Archive for January, 2008

Australia Day/Invasion Day

Monday, January 28th, 2008

This is my first time being in Australia for Australia Day. It’s a celebration of the landing of the First Fleet - the first British convicts who came here to build the colony. Aboriginals refer to it as Invasion Day. It feels a bit weird to celebrate something that was the start of one culture and the demise of another.

The celebrations have also been strange. In the morning Johnson, Oleg and I went and watched the annual ferry race, where they race four of the small commuter ferries from Circular Quay, around one of the islands, and then under the bridge. Slowest. Race. Ever. Other than maybe tortoise racing. We watched it from the Harbour Bridge, which I hadn’t walked on yet so that was cool, and the four racing ferries were decorated and then trailed by a whole host of other boats wanting a close-up view.

During the day there were buskers, and live music venues, street food (sausage sizzles are quite popular), a display of classic cars (the quantity of them was a bit more impressive than the quality). We hung out in Hyde Park, and listened to music in the afternoon. Went back to Oleg’s apartment for dinner, then watched the Darling Harbour fireworks from the Google Sydney office.

I don’t think I mentioned this before, so side story: I went to Google for lunch with Oleg a few weeks back, and it was amazing! Everything I’d ever dreamed! Chefs on 2 floors, a kitchen stocked with food and drinks all day, people playing Guitar Hero, Halo, and ping pong. Tables full of Nerf guns. Extravagant office decorations. It was awesome!

So we went to Google to watch the fireworks - 18th floor of the IBM tower, overlooking Darling Harbour. We ate free Google M&Ms, and drank free Google fancy juices, and watched an amazing display of lights and explosives at eye-level. It started with a string of white sailboats, their masts illuminated different, changing colours, that sailed in a ring around the harbour. Then a tall ship lit up with Christmas lights, and light flooded a choir that was singing something (maybe the national anthem?), and it sailed around the harbour and docked, I guess in a re-enactment of the First Fleet landing. And then the fireworks started. They LOVE fireworks in Sydney, and use any excuse to set them off, even if it’s a free viewing of the Nutcracker outside the Opera House, or the finals of Australian Idol. As a result, they’re really good at putting on a fantastic show. Every time seems to get better. And this time the view was just spectacular.

Yesterday I went to the beach, watched Darjeeling Ltd, and then watched the men’s finals of the Australian Open. Today we’re doing a BBQ. All in all, it’s been a great weekend.

Winter Fun

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Hello All,

So life is good here. I have updated some pictures so you can see where I live and work,

Work is going well, I got a second job kinda. It is still working for the mountain but I am doing an aftercare programm Monday to Thursday. So I work 10 hours a day but I now get a three day weekend which awesome! My skiing is improving and I have been taking some lessons which help a lot and the people are so nice. Brock is working at the Four Season and meet Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher the other day and apparently Brad and Ang are staying there right now as well… but we haven’t seen them yet.

I was dog sitting Charlie last week while Drew and Shae went on holidays which was a lot of fun, Honey Bunny I miss you! And once I figure out the next step in my life as the seasons will start to change again, in the next couple month maybe I will  get a dog. Not sure what my plans are at the moment. I do enjoy living in Whistler and I am still looking for a job with the Olympics- Maybe Whistler maybe Vancity we will see what turns up.  Miss ya - SL


Sunday, January 20th, 2008

When Floz offered me her apartment, in case I didn’t have somewhere to stay after Shahla gets back from Iran, I started considering just moving from house-sitting location to house-sitting location, and never having a permanent residence location in Australia again. But then we got a house! It’s a few blocks from campus, will be people with geeks, and we have a backyard and a garage in which we can grow herbs and store our bicycles. We’ll catch rain water and I’ll see if I can convince everyone to spring the extra few cents and get 100% green electricity. Houses certainly have their benefits over apartments. And Yael wants to get a rabbit. Good times are a-comin’!

2nd Knit Complete!

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Inspired by all my Christmas knitting books, and as a thanks to Budi and a have a good time in China gift, I knitted him a fancy scarf! Here he is modelling it:


Uluru and New Years Eve

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

I’ve got some pics for you all now! And they’ll show up, now that I’ve figured out how to fix up the html again. To whet your appetite for photos:


Taken at Kata Tjuta, a stunning rock formation in the centre of Australia, 40km from Uluru. Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta are of spiritual significance from the local Aboriginals.


Taken from McKell Park, after a masterful trek across the City. NYE on Sydney harbour.

Check out the following links for more photos. I’ll slowly migrate them over to my galleries when I have time.

Uluru and Kata Tjuta

NYE 2008

1st Knit Complete!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

So a lot has happened since the last post - Christmas, New Years, a trip to the Red Centre of Australia, I’ve moved flats for teh time being, and…. I’ve completed my first knitting project!


I made a baby blanket for my friend Jamie’s new baby. Jamie’s my old flat mate who has moved back to China, and I may have put her bad boyfriend story in here at some point, but anyways, she got knocked up, they got married, and now she has a lovely baby boy. I wanted to make the blanket red, because red is lucky in Chinese tradition, but all the reds were too garish (or too pricey). I think the burgandy turned out to be a good, gender neutral, close to red choice that ended up better than I expected. I also planned on having this blanket finished before Jamie’s baby was born, but I was about r4 weeks too late. I blame exams. Not exactly a good time to start knitting projects. Although I expect that’s when lots of people do actually start knitting projects.

In other knitting news, I received 2 knitting books for Christmas! Very exciting! One was from my friend Budi, it’s a scarf book, and has lots of interesting, impractical scarfs that look fun to make in it. Expect some random presents all you friends and family members back home :) My first attempt is a scarf for Budi. It’s a bit different than in the book, because I had to swap the yarn for something a bit less expensive, and the colours are a bit different, and I had to go down a few sizes in needles, so I added some stitches and rows into the pattern…. all told it still looks good, fairly close to the pattern, maybe just a shade thinner than you’d like a scarf to be. Whatever. It never gets that cold in Australia anyways, and it’ll loosen up a bit as I go I think.

The second knitting book I received is “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch”! Which is also exciting, and has lots of fun patterns at the back. And it’s also a mystery - I have no idea who sent it. It was puchased online and has no sender or billing information, and no note, so if you sent it, please let me know! I want to say thanks. I read the first half of the book (on techniques, and materials, and all that sort of stuff), over the past 2 days. It’s a very funny, informative book. Love it!

Yesterday I went to my local yarn shop and spent a fair bit on yarn (it was a 50% off sale, last day - I went a bit nuts). And on Christmas I gave the Canadian girls (Laura, Syl, & Meg) some yarn and knitting needles (Meg was inspired to learn when she saw me knitting while I lived with them), so they’re all hooked now too.

I have lots of stuff to tell you about Christmas and New Years and Uluru, but I’ll wait on that until I get the photos. Oleg has the Uluru and New Years stuff on his camera, and he wants to sort it and pare it down a bit before it gets to me. I have Christmas photos on my laptop, however it’s no longer connected to the internet, so I have to remember to bring the photos in to uni now. And Laura has the Christmas eve photos. All will be collected in time.