Saturday, February 11, 2012

Time flies when you're having fun!

And even when you aren't sometimes! Where to start?
Well, the new job is really busy and despite having a system which throws up all your accounts sorted however you like, management still insists on emailing stupid Excel spreadsheets with loads of different colours (the meaning of which I don't know) with missives that say things like 'Team please do all the green accounts before you go home'. And basically, if you get this and have loads of cases you just have to stay back and complete it. No matter how long it takes. And you have to get 3 hours 'talk time' every day which only registers calls of 20 seconds or more, so if you get the dreaded Telstra 10 second message woman you have to talk really s l o w l y to make 20 seconds. Because I'm not taking inbound calls yet I am not getting 3 hours a day, and am a bit bored with having to submit records of all my actioned cases. C'mon guys I'm not 19 years old. So we shall see how this pans out - I mean the people are really nice but some of the stuff is just ridiculous. 
Robin has managed to get the apartment in Katty fairly well sorted out but still doesn't have decent wifi and had to invest in a gas geyser for the bathroom. So much expense that we weren't really expecting: geyser, inverter, new laptop, spare bed. I've stopped counting but I just have to make sure I can pay the bills....
I was really looking forward to spending some time at the pool this summer (ha there's a joke) and I STILL haven't been to the pool. And probably never will. Since we got back on 1 December there's been about 12 hours of sunshine. So totally boring. I had a whole bunch of summer clothes made by Master-ji in Delhi last year and I despair of ever getting to wear them.
I had to buy some new software for the computer to get the slide scanner operational so hopefully I can get some old holiday snaps scanned in my spare time (the time that I am NOT spending at the pool!). And I bought a USB turntable so that I can convert my records to MP3 and stick them on the iPod. Well that's the plan anyway. Having a few issues with, I believe, 'the interface'. Whatever that is. I'll try again tomorrow.
Oh and I had a horrible eye infection that lasted for 2 weeks - I was rather lucky I panicked when I had a sore eye and managed to get into a specialist straight away. The pain was awful and I ended up having 3 days off work (always a good look in your first month) and couldn't even sit in the loungeroom because the skylight made the room too bright (with this overcast weather. Ha!) And I couldn't wear my contact lenses for 2 weeks. But I did manage to get to the T20 cricket - I'd never been before and it was SUCH FUN! I must make more effort to go see some games in India next time.
'Rosemary's Baby' is on the TV - I remember being scared witless reading the book when I was a teenager. So far, so strange.
I will try to report more regularly, eye infections notwithstanding.....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Busy as a one armed paper hanger with an itch

That's what this week has been like. I managed to avoid having anyone come over on Monday night to say bye bye birdie to Robin so we got to spend a little time together, before I had to leave him when I went to work on Tuesday. Predictably I was a sooky lala for most of the day but toughed it out to hang in there at the office and receive endless messages from sir about the luggage, the queues, the excess baggage charge and the rip off refreshment prices. He got charged excess luggage by THAI (but really he DID have 60 kg and they only charged him $208 for a couple of kilos) but I think he did pretty well to squeeze himself and all his luggage onto the chockers jumbo. After 12 hours in Bangers airport he then got to Kathmandu where they had to have 3 goes at landing cos the one runway was full as 8 flights landed at once - sounds like the local supermarket car park on Saturdays! Anyway, he finally made it into town and the hotel where he was only going to spend a couple of nights before moving to the 'luxury' apartment - remember the one with 24 hour electricity GUARANTEED.
Well what can I say: not 24 hour electricity, no hot water into the kitchen (what, you mean you wash up in HOT water?), no glass in one of the windows in the loungeroom (he found that out after his first night there and it was 0 degrees), no gas connected to the gas cooktop, no drinking water and I can't remember what else. Such an adventure. Oh and the shower curtains I bought him at Red Spot Boutique didn't have curtain rings. And his helper threw a box down the stairs which contained the glasses. Oh and a bottle of beer exploded all inside his new fridge. I'd better stop now.....
He had his first dinner party last night which despite being deprived of electricity seems to have gone well. But I do wish he would stop sending SMS messages like 'how much baking powder do I add to flour for pastry' and 'what spices do I need for nachos'. Strewth.
The view where I get off the train...
I meanwhile have been working away very busily (for not much result it must be said) but I get to wander around the Botanical Gardens in my lunch break which I rather enjoy. Every night since Robin left I have been out for dinner so I am looking forward to a quiet one this evening....
Have a great week and stay tuned for more adventures!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Long time no see

Hi everyone and Happy new Year (better late than never). I could say something stupid like I can't begin to tell you how busy life has been, but since I am about to tell you how busy life has been, I shan't. If you see what I mean.
New Tear's Eve was quite boozy and fun-filled, especially the bit where we jumped on the Wii to try downhill skiing etc - luckily we had the safety bean-bag in front of the TV in case of accident. We didn't need it though. Somehow.
Robin and I went to day 1 of the India Australia cricket test - a great day's cricket but India have been oh so disappointing - and continue to be so. They have some of the best batsmen in the world but they just can't pull it together on the field. Sad really but I am winning bets with my Indian friend... if I can ever collect the $$$.
Beautiful Babai River, Bardia NP, Nepal
Speaking of which I have been at my new job for nearly 2 weeks now and after a very strange start it seems to be going well. It took over a week for them to get me the important paperwork to sign - they didn't even know my surname!!! And they still haven't sighted any ID. But they DO have my bank details so I am looking forward to visiting the ATM on Wednesday. Woo hoo!
Robin is flying back to Nepal on Tuesday and so life has been a flurry of last minute bro love visits from his mates, late evenings which seem to be centred on bottles of wine, and STUFF everywhere. He is having a few 'issues' with the 'advertised amenities' of the apartment he was planning to rent, not the least of which being the 'guaranteed 24 hours electricity'. I guess the guarantee was for 24 hours a week, not per day. Our dear neighbours had a spare barely-used counter top fan oven/grill which they have given him (and it only weighs about 20 kg) and of course electricity would be good for that. And the fridge, computer etc etc. Better him than me...
So I will be back to single working girl status again which of course has good and bad points. Robin will be spending the first few weeks in Kathmandu getting some stuff sorted out (like electricity) before going trekking with Baz and Howie (from our recent trip there) walking from the western border of Nepal east for a couple of months. Then, hopefully India for a very exciting trek in Nanda Devi. After that there are a few plates spinning at once - just have to see how long we can keep them all up on the sticks! I'm hoping to get over there around monsoon time but who knows. If I can work out where he is.
I am going to head off now and enjoy the brief bit of sun - hasn't this summer been a bummer so far?
Take care and I promise updates will be much more regular once BSR gets to the 'du and everything goes crazee!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good grief it's New Year's Eve

Where did all that spare time go? We have been very busy since we got back organising this year and next year. After many attempts I secured a paid job (YAY) which starts next week, and Robin has arranged his sponsorship (better late than never) and has booked his ticket for the middle of January to head back to Nepal to the apartment he has arranged. He will be busy trekking, making maps, updating the guidebook and who knows what else. Oh yes, he is working on some smartphone apps too which I have helped with (being so smart at such things) and we hope they will be out soon - you will be the first to know.
The credit cards have been getting a bit of a hammering thanks to no job, but I am cheering myself up with the thought of all the POINTS we'll have... I think I know where my first few pays are headed!
Strewth these blasted planes overhead are driving my nuts - it's like the blitzkrieg today!
Our Christmas was a fairly sedate affair with mad nanna on her leave pass from the maximum security twilight facility (and with not a lot of idea what was going on - but she knew who Robin was after 10 months away, still not sure who I am though!).
The Hawaiian party I wrote about 3 weeks ago was fun - there were some really bad outfits there, and interesting uses of palm trees.
I have my new iPhone 4s now and I love love love it. And it has a sparkly pink protector in case I drop it.
Just before Xmas I was cleaning the oven (a pyrolitic one which heats up to about 500 celsius) when the inner door glass broke. Into about 10 million pieces. Fantastic. First time we've had to clean the oven with a vacuum cleaner! When I rang the manufacturer on the Monday the woman said "oh we are only sending someone out if you are using the oven to cook Xmas lunch. Are you cooking Xmas lunch?" so of course I said YES. Otherwise I'd be waiting for weeks. And they fixed it for free. How kind.
And of course what has kept me sane has been the cricket - the chance to sit back and enjoy Australia beating India (especially when I won a $10 bet with my Indian friend)  is worth being under employed. I am still not sure if I should go double or nothing on my bet with Adi, as I think the only game India are likely to win will be Sydney. Must give that more thought. Pity I only get to go to day 1 and day 5 (if it lasts that long) of the Sydney test thanks to my new job.
My highlight for this year which is rapidly disappearing into the sunset would have to be getting my 2nd eye done (not that the op was such a highlight considering the anaesthetic didn't work) because I can now see better than I have been able to since I was about 4 years old. And that was not yesterday! And Robin's highlight was definitely being able to complete the Manali to Srinagar trek, which everyone told him could not be done.
Well I hope you are looking forward to a great NYE wherever you are and whatever you do. Stay safe, don't drink more than a bucketful of anything and see you all next year when there will be more thrills and spills on the GHT - this time with more India, Nepal and maybe even some exciting news for Pakistan.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where have I been all week?

At home, that's where! Had a good flight from Bangkok last week - the plane was pretty empty so everyone got a row each and I enjoyed the delights of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. LMAO.
I managed to drop my iPhone at the luggage carousel - it still works but is definitely a health hazard as you can see. Good thing our phone contract had expired so I managed to get a new 4S delivered, so I can now use a phone without getting shards of glass embedded in my fingers.
The weather since we got back has been pretty ordinary and I have had to get out of the summer part of the wardrobe and concentrate on the long sleeved end. Boring. Still no exciting job offer. Boring. Test cricket Australia v NZ - only a bit boring...
Tonight we have Rhonda's 50th birthday party and it is a 50's Hawaiian theme - which would be fine if the weather was warm but I think I will have to ditch the grass skirt and coconut top - which probably isn't a bad thing! And I lost the toss and get to be designated driver. Which means Robin gets to do the honours at Xmas.
Puss was very happy to see us and I can't tell you how many times I have fallen over her as she darts around me. Pest!
Robin is hoping to head back to Nepal in mid January as he has a lot of businessy things to attend to, but I plan to be here in Sydney until mid year before I head back to Nepal and India. No firm plans yet, it all depends on so many things.
Today I drove to the shops in the next suburb and discovered that the nearest parking spot was in fact the one I had just vacated out the front of home.. so I drove back home, parked and walked. Summer Hill shops on Saturday are a nightmare, and today was no exception. There was a guy outside the bottle-o playing Hungarian songs on the piano accordion, the 'band' outside the bank playing Eagles songs, and some children who were playing maybe clarinets or something (very badly) delighting us all with Xmas songs. I HATE XMAS SONGS! But the highlight of the trip is this place:
I think the people in there must be very scary.....and in all the years I have been wandering past I have never seen or heard anyone in there, but every now and then a new gnome feature appears.
I need a cup of tea and a relax in front of the cricket after that experience.
Have a great weekend

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Homeward bound

Hello from our last night in Katty. Tomorrow it's Bangkok airport for a sleepover then back to hopefully sunny Sydney. If that was 4 month in Nepal, Sri Lanka and India well I have had it. It has been many things, but dull wasn't really one of them. I've just got time to check a few things, like the newspapers... and here are some items you may enjoy...

Keep your seatbelt fastened until the plane comes to a complete stop.
Plane tickets and passport? Check.
Road safety Katty style

Visa expired today and you fly tomorrow? Check!
If she weighs as much as a duck she's a witch..
And so it's namaste from me, and it's dib dib dib from him.

Thanks to everyone in this crazy part of the planet and I hope to see you all soon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Now where did I put last week?

Strewth, how can it be the last 3 days in Nepal already? And what was I doing all week?
Sunday was our friends last day, and then we had some other mates come back so it was a moderately sized evening at Sams for what has now become Singalong Sunday. oh dear me...
The week has been very busy with Robin looking at various options to occupy himself here next year, while I look for meaningful and remuneratively excellent employment in Sydney...Fingers crossed and thanks everyone who is keeping an eye out for me. We have also been apartment hunting which is q reeal exercise in frustration, becaue landlords assume you work for an NGO and couldn't give a rat's how much rent they charge. Oh buddy you are so wrong. We are hopeful that Robin can find something decent to share with a few friends which isn't too far from where we currently are, but is less noisy and chaotic.
I found a cafe with free wifi and great chocolate cake (which even has chocolate cream and icing!) and also does a mean chicken and avo salad roll. After 4 months that tasted pretty good.
Today I visited friends in Shivapuri and helped bottle some home brew - which I was pretty good at - and then we sat in the garden having lunch and wine in the sun. The wonderful sun which has been out all week, except at night obviously! My goodness the nights shave been cold and many places now have their fires roaring - if I wasn't on the iPad I could show you some pics... Maybe tomorrow. Got an excellent virus on the iPad and iPhone which did some interesting things and I hope I have now fixed it....never use an unsecured network.
Singalong Sunday night loome ever larger so I think I had better prepare myself.
will try to post some of my excellent pics as soon as I can get the laptop away from sir.