Where I’ve Been: Sydney, Australia
Where I’ve Stayed: Ashfield Manor, Sydney
I’ve just been plodding on with work and general life lately. Now I’ve booked my flight home, it seems a little strange to have an end date! Also it is strange working somewhere knowing you are not going to be there in a few months time – takes the pressure off somewhat!
Taking things for granted
Over the past few weeks I’ve been reflecting on living in Australia and the things I have started taking for granted, namely:
- Seeing two of the world’s most famous landmarks pretty much everyday
I have seen the Opera House and Harbour Bridge almost every day since I moved here. Firstly when I lived in Neutral Bay I went past them every day to work and now in Ashfield I can see them from the road I live on. Then when I come into work I generally will see them to. It has got to the point that I don’t really notice them anymore, whereas when I arrived here in December 2009 and saw them for the first time I was amazed!
- Jumping on a ferry to go for a beer
Most Sundays now I meet my friend Kieran for a beer in the lovely Manly Wharf Hotel. I get a train into the centre of Sydney and then hop on the Manly Ferry and, hey presto, 20 minutes later I am sitting in the Manly Wharf having a beer. I’ve begun to treat it like hopping on a bus!
- The weather
Since I left home a year ago I’ve rarely been cold (aside from a few nights in the Australian winter!) but during the day I’ve spent 90% of the time in a t-shirt and shorts. It seems almost inconceivable that persistent cold weather exists!
- Fish and chips
Oh how I took fish and chips for granted in England, fish and chips in Australia and New Zealand has been very disappointing!
Work was relatively busy at the end of September as Amnesty had a website refocus, which meant rewriting and updating lots of content and a couple of 9pm finishes. Although the bonus was we had pizza bought into the office! We’ve also had two new permanent members of staff start – one of who will be doing my job when I leave in just over six weeks.
Also the Commonwealth Games have been taking place and Australia has been following them very closely, and are very happy as they topped the medal table. However the media coverage of the Games has been very interesting and illustrates something that I find slightly annoying.
Australian coverage of any sport seems so biased it is ridiculous. There is hardly any acknowledgement of the other competitors/nations and this was best shown right at the end of the Commonwealth Games in the traditional closing events – the relays.
Australia’s men won the 4x400metre relay, so they, quite rightly, covered this extensively and they finished fourth in the 4x100metre relay so they showed that too. Australia’s women finished fourth in the 4x400metre relay, so again they covered this, but then when I waited to watch the highlights of the women’s 4x100metre relay it was completely ignored and not even mentioned! I found out the next day this was because the Australian women didn’t qualify for the final!
Made me pine for the good old BBC!