Sunday, January 28, 2007

Glorious Rain

Good rain means about a 5 degree drop in temperature, it's actually 26 degrees now. It's raining now and Gideon has just put some jerky on, so it's a nice change to have all the windows and doors open. Here's a picture of the view from the study balcony. If you look really hard you may be able to see the rain.... really hard.

It has rained a fair bit in the last 20 hours or so, about 2cm. Not always heavy, but consistently going. Last night I went for my first swim in a storm. The lightening effects were awesome, and the water was still warm.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

So it's true...

Nightclubbing in Darwin is excellent.
After a solid 3 and a half hour dance session, am feeling tired but very satisfied.
Pretty good music, easy going crowd, and very busy.
Had to work off all those tacos I ate for dinner!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Slice of Scrambled Egg

Ka-Chow my pretties…

Settling into the apartment now, and have had a chance to experience Darwin life a little more, and mostly it’s all good. Below are a few thoughts and facts.

By the way, if you want a way to be automatically notified of when I have updated my blog, click on the "bloglines" button on the right, and sign up to get automatic notification.

Darwin -The City

It’s small. There is no disputing that fact. There is pretty much one of everything. One Woolworths, one Coles (none of this Express-supermarket-on-every-corner rubbish), one CBA, one ANZ, one National (they seem not to have updated to “NAB” yet), one McDonalds. Then a lot of things are not in the city, you have to go out about 9-13km. The closest KFC, Bunnings and Freedom are all about 9km away.

The other day I went to the Darwin City library and signed myself up for a membership (my first since North Melbourne!). The library is so small that although they have a Romance fiction section, the Mills & Boon are not in it, the few they have live on a stand for people to read in the library only, no borrowing of Mills & Boon… or maybe it’s just that they actually have some standards! ;P

Darwin - TV

There is no Channel 10. How can that be you ask? No So You Think You Can Dance, no American Idol (Gideon gives a big sigh of relief!), no new season of NCIS, no Simpsons or Futurama, no Bold and the Beautiful (just kidding), no David Letterman, now that he has moved from 9 to 10, no Sandra Sully or Rove McManus. I am just beginning to realise just how much Channel 10 I used to watch, and how little of the other channels I watched. It’s probably a good thing I have other things to keep me busy (computer games!J). I am really looking forward to Heroes, Ugly Betty, Dancing with the Stars and the new season of The Amazing Race though. (Incidentally, is anyone entering the Melbourne Amazing Race in Feb?). I am told that in the past they have actually shown Big Brother on one of the other channels though… lucky us! ;P

Darwin - Don’t come here for the shopping.

There is only one big shopping mall. It is about the size of Northland and it is located 12.92km from here (according to Last Tuesday I decided to brave the weather and go for my first proper bike ride. Stupidly I left home just around midday, and it was damn hot. I could feel the heat radiating off the bitumen, there was barely a breeze, at one stage I was feeling nauseous and wondering if I would make it. It took me 34 minutes to get there with an average heart rate of 166bpm!!! (Put it this way, sitting around, my heart rate is about 62bpm, and my max while exercising is around 180-190bpm if sprinting). Thankfully, it is pretty flat around here (Robbie, no hills I’m afraid). Anyway, I got there safely, and was pleasantly surprised by the size of the centre. Managed to fit in a movie (See below), missed the bank (they close at 4pm here), and even managed to make a few purchases…

They are back! And this perpetual fan has a copy of the new album. It’s not bad, although a touch on the sappy side. Not exactly cutting edge music, but I still love them (I hear Michael laughing at me in the back of my head). I’m also hoping to get the Panic! At the Disco album, now that I finally figured out who the hell sings that song with the line “haven’t you people ever heard of closing the God damn door.”

Darwin - Herbacious News Flash #1

Inspired by the likes of Geordie the herb man and Geoff the prolific tomato grower I decided to try my hand having a herb garden once again (all previous attempts have failed dismally).
Bunnings supplied me with a block of dehydrated seed raising mix (never heard of it, but there you go), which took forever to cut in half with a pair of scissors! Yeah, maybe a saw would have been better.

Turned out I needed the whole block anyway.

Just add some water...

...and Tada!

My own little herb nursery.

And look! Hey Presto!
They are already sprouting… although I think the sun is burning some of the seedlings.

Until next update... Much rain, heat and sparkle your way... g




Dreamgirls: 3/5

Cast: Jamie Foxx (Ray, Collateral), Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), Beyonce Knowles (Gold Member), Jennifer Hudson (American Idol)

In a nutshell: Jennifer Hudson rocks

Brief Synopsis: Troubles erupt in a Supremes style girl-group as management makes some changes and egos get in the way.

There are rumours that after her Golden Globe win, that former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson just may take out the Oscar for best supporting actress. And why wouldn’t she? She pretty much is responsible for the score I have given the movie. The other actors are just ok, and I am surprised that Murphy is getting such great kudos for his supporting role. The movie is a touch on the long side also. In a movie that is as subtle as a lobster tan, Hudson managed to send tingles up my spine and make me shed many tears. I am of two minds as to whether the format of the movie worked. It is a musical, but unlike the brilliant Chicago and Moulin Rouge, the songs are placed such that often they break the mood of the scene rather than add to it. By the half way point I found myself hybrid groaning/laughing whenever another song started, despite the fact that the songs are good. On the other hand, I am not sure that Hudson’s performance would have been quite as powerful had she not had the luck of being able to use her best talent, her voice.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Update by photo

Howdy Partners,

I seemed to have skipped over Christmas and New Years, so here are some photos from Dec 2006 to Jan 2007 to show you what I've been up to.

In early December, Gideon and I hit the Great Ocean Road in THE cutest car around.

Mmmmm..... the Mini luurves the GOR....

...and so does Gideon.

The Kylie Showgirl concert was completely awesome. Tania did a brilliant job of getting us tickets only 8 rows from the extended runway. Kylie was even more beautiful, stronger, and more entertaining that I had even hoped to imagine. Plus, she surprised us with some really good quality singing! As Milo would say "Nothing but respect".

For Amy's very belated (June) birthday celebration, we headed off to the Collingwood Abbey to take a look at the glass blowing at Philip Stokes' glass studio. Pretty cool to see how much effort goes into making just one drinking glass.

Katherine and Zoe have a pseudo drink of water at the Abbey cafe (nice spot for a weekend brunch or lunch by the way).

Then it was off to a relaxed lunch at one of my favourite places in Melbourne, the Fairfield Boathouse.... mmm... yummm.... jam and scones....mmmm.

A walk afterwards to work off some of the calamari salad, pizza and burgers.
Cheryl, Monica, Amy, Zoe, Katherine & me.

Next, it was up to Sydney to spend time with Gideon and his family.

On a ferry from Manly to Circular Quay

Gideon enjoys the harbour.

Sneak preview of the firework hanger on the bridge.

Catching up with Anna at the Rocks (Gorgeous Lass) for a German all day breakfast.

All smiles despite the sauerkraut.

Christmas Dinner #1 - Christmas Eve
Mum's Family
Christmas in Eastwood with cousins galore.
Adrian, Drew, Kwang, Eric, Amelia, Amanda, Sabrina.

It's ok Andrew, it's only a paper hat.

The adults in silly hats... and a few stray kids.

Christmas Dinner #2 - Cromer Heights
Gideon's Family
David carves up the delicious turkey.

Before we were all too stuffed to sit up.
Nick, Anne-Marie, David, Cate, Gideon, Gen and Archie.

Christmas Dinner #3 - Lower Templestowe
My family
Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of photos here - it does not mean that the meal was any less delicious in any way, it just means that Gayle left her camera in Sydney.
Lynn, James, Mum and Dad.

Hope you all had just a great a Christmas as I did and ate just as much.... well no, I shouldn't wish that on anyone, no matter how delicious all the turkeys, chickens, sausages, hams and pork cracklings were. :)


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Come on in...

Welcome to our new home...

Very humid greetings from Darwin!

I hope you are all well, and recovered from Christmas and New Years feastings!

Apologies again (this seems to be all I do on this blog), I know I said I would try to blog more often, and I promise I will. Am waiting for our ADSL connection to happen at the moment, so using dial up, hence the lack of blogging. Also having problems accessing hotmail, so apologies to anyone who I have been innocently ignoring!

I’ve only been here for a week now, but it feels like a month. The last week has been pretty busy.

The day I left Melbourne was a hectic one. I got two fillings from my local dentist (instead of the four fillings the stunningly blonde dentist at Smile Solutions had prescribed – long story, most of you have already heard it). Then set about trying to get all my stuff to weigh in under the 35kg limit, after which the cost of excess baggage is phenomenal. Finally rocked up at the airport with my trolley loaded with a bicycle, large suitcase and my trusty backpack… which totalled to 35kg exact! Luckily the new Virgin rule of having to weigh your bike did not apply to me because I booked before the 1st of Jan, and the bike (plus accessories) weighed in at a mere 5kg. Double bonus was that because my trolley was so overloaded, they let me go straight to the front of the luggage queue – sweet!

Very lucky girl that I am, Gideon did all of the hard work and looked at about 25 apartments and townhouses before I got up here. Then on the morning after I arrived we had a look at 3 places and signed the lease that afternoon. The next day all our furniture was delivered and we have been unpacking ever since! All extremely quick and stress free… for me anyway.

The apartment is awesome. The only complaints I would have is that the two car spots we have are only under shade cloth (still working on finding a dry place to put my bike, it’s already getting rusty out on the verandah, a new bicycle may not be far off!), and the bathrooms are definitely on the pokey side.

But otherwise, it fits all of our requirements.

It’s a short walk to the city centre, ie. The cinema (approx. 500m), and there is a Video Ezy and a Dominos just around the corner. There’s a lap pool which has been a divine treat after each day of unpacking, the water is always warm and welcoming.

The apartment itself is big enough that both of us can be in the apartment at one time and not know where the other person is. Best of all, it’s large enough to fit all of our junk! The cupboards and storage space are phenomenal – Gideon tells me that in general Darwin places tend to have a lot more storage than Melbourne. We have a spacious living area (plenty of room for the trolls!)...

...and a pretty decent kitchen, apart from the electric stove (seems to be the standard here).

There are 3 bedrooms, one of which we are using as a study. The other is a dedicated guest room, and we can’t wait to have our first visitors. So please take that as an invitation!

Gideon has gone back to work this week, so I’m at home by myself during the day trying to be a dutiful house slave. Don’t know if I’m being all that successful as I keep getting distracted by computer games (Icewindale II). Believe it or not I have been getting up quite early, 7am today – as I’ve been getting up with Gideon and trying to make use of the day. A bit of job hunting, more unpacking, some errands and then making dinner – and there you go, the day is gone!

Still getting used to the weather, but starting to get better. I think switching between air conditioning and the humidity outside is going to take some time. Finding my bearings around Darwin hasn’t been too difficult, as there really isn’t that much of it. Our unpacking has finally got to a respectable level too. There are still some boxes still to unpack, but at least there is not a box at every turn now. Will send on more photos once we have gotten rid of all of the boxes. Hope to hear from you all soon.

Love gayle

PS. Photos from the Christmas & New Years to follow, once I have access to a better connection.
PPS. And some movie reviews, of course!


Night at the Museum: 2.3/5

Cast: Ben Stiller (Reality Bites, Zoolander)

In a Nutshell: Fun bit of puff, kiddie silliness

Brief Synopsis: The new night security guard at a museum has to learn to deal with all of the models and dinosaur skeletons in the museum coming alive every night.

Nothing particularly outstanding about this one. In the vein of Jumanji, there are a few laughs and some adventure, and the main character learns more about himself in the process of sorting things out.

The Holiday: 3.75/5

Cast: Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine…, Titanic), Cameron Diaz (Charlie’s Angels), Jude Law (A.I., Cold Mountain), Jack Black (Hi Fidelity, Nacho Libre)

In a Nutshell: Overcomes a bad case of overacting at the start with some funny and touching (read mushy) moments.

Brief Synopsis: Two lasses do a house swap to the other side of the earth to get away from their boy troubles.

Surprisingly it is Winslet and Diaz, both normally stunning and lovable sheilas, who make the movie painful to begin with – I don’t think I have ever seen such an atrocious case of over acting. But if you can get past the first 15 minutes, it is worth it. Nancy Meyers follows a similar formula to her previous movies, Something’s Gotta Give and What Women Want, throwing in some good humour with some human emotion and gets it mostly right. Jack Black is a puzzling choice as a romantic lead, and well, unfortunately it does not work. However, where Black lacks, Law makes up for it. A completely biased point of view, but Law was definitely the best of the actors, oozing natural charm, boy next door qualities and just general shaggability. I want to watch this again. Probably more for the chicas though