Plans for the next week or so

We're going to be in Sydney, staying at my parents' place in Gladesville, this week. We'll both be doing the job hunt thing and hanging about looking after my Dad who's got some back problems at the moment. Saturday night we're thinking Mad Racket at Marrickville Bowling Club.

So we'll be around for a bit. Be great to catch up with all you Sydney peeps.

Crown Seal Longnecks

Coopers have gone back to using crown seal caps for their longneck bottles. This is a real boon for homebrewers, who for some years haven't been able to buy anything but imported beer that can be refilled. For those of you from overseas, a longneck is a 750ml beer bottle over in these parts.

Cooper's Sparkling Ale

In other brewing news, I picked up my homebrew stuff at Big W today. It's amazing the difference between homebrew kit in Oz and the UK. A Coopers kit costs £9 in the UK. Here it costs $10. In an ordinary store, not a specialist homebrew shop. That's more than half the price. I'll start my first brew tomorrow.

New site design

After four years with the old design, I've finally got around to redesigning my site. This time around I've used CSS for layout, which was one of those things I've been planning to do for a long time. The blog still needs to be moved to the new styles, which I'll have a go at tomorrow. Feeling nostalgic for old designs? Try the Wayback Machine.

In other news, Holly and I are now on the job hunting treadmill again. As usual, this involved dealing with recruiters, marginally higher up the evolutionary chain from amoebas. I've already had one phone me and ask me a question which is answered on the third line of my CV. Sigh.

So if you know of any work going, drop us a line. Particularly keen on contracts at the moment, until life settles down a bit with things like having a home. Would consider permanent if the project was good.

Made it to Australia

Well we made it to Sydney yesterday. The flight was uneventful and we spent the day with family. Was lovely to see everyone again. Mum and Dad are now on their way to London, we dropped them at the airport on the way down to Holly's Mum's place.

We're staying down in Wollongong for a bit, probably until the weekend. Will try and catch up with everyone in Sydney on the weekend, then maybe head up to the Central Coast for a few days.

Leaving London

Well we're leaving London tonight at 22:30 local time. We've got mixed feelings about the move. After six years in London, it's a pretty big move to up stumps and head to the other side of the world, even if it is to move to the country we grew up in. I am, however, looking forward to seeing my mates and family, beaches, prawns, good Thai food and seeing the sun once in a while. Not looking forward to the redneck reactionary politics and media.

So London peoples, it's been great fun and we've met some wonderful people. Stay in touch and drop in if you ever make it to Sydney.

Sydney peeps, we'll see you soon! Plan is to spend Tuesday with my parents, then drive down to Wollongong for a few days. I'll probably be back in Sydney by the weekend.

I've uploaded some new photos:

Lovely newspeak from the UK Treasury

Under the heading "Pension Tax Simplification" you can read all about the complicated new rules that have been introduced this year. Orwell had nothing on these guys. Reading around with the experts, they all seem pretty well agreed that this new system has made things a lot more complicated. Bah!

Why am I hurting my brain with this stuff? I need to move my UK pensions back to Australia. Oh joy.

Homeward bound

So we've been in London since Tuesday, staying with Rachel. We've booked our flight back to Sydney for 3rd September, arriving the morning of 5th September. We'll probably spend the day with my parents, then head down to Wollongong to stay with Holly's Mum.

In other news, I bought a laptop. First time I've ever bought myself a new laptop, and I'm well impressed. I chose the one I bought due to its Linux compatibility, and it's incredible: just about everything has worked out of the box under Ubuntu. Wireless, video, sound, DVD drive, hibernate. Wow!

The laptop an Acer 2428AWXMi, i.e. a Pentium M 1.7 GHz with a gig of RAM, 60 gig hard drive and DVD burner. Built-in wireless 802.11b/g and Bluetooth. Highly recommended! The only thing that's a little flaky is 3D stuff in Google Earth. Will have a fiddle around and try to sort that out.

We're off camping with our mates in Norfolk this weekend. It's a long weekend here in the UK, so when we decided to come back they'd already organized this. Should be fun, and the weather promises to be just about okay.

Heading home

We're going home after five months on the road. Our flight to London leaves on Tuesday afternoon from Sofia. We'll organize our flight to Sydney when we get there, but should be in London 10-14 days or so. We'll plan some big get-together so we can say goodbye to everyone.

The reason we're heading home is a family thing for Holly, so we've had to cut short our trip. Still, we've had a damn fine holiday!

We're staying in Ohrid, Macedonia until Monday night, then an overnight bus to Sofia for the flight to London.

I'm currently uploading some new photos into the Macedonia gallery which include today's boat trip out to Sveti Naum which was lovely.

Cornflake breaded chicken?

Cornflake breaded chicken

The picture to the right shows a rather odd meal Holly ordered in Sofia. She was expecting some kind of schnitzel, but ended up with a cornflake-coated chicken thing instead of breadcrumbs. Weird!

We're still in Skopje, leaving for Lake Ohrid tomorrow. It's bloody hot so we're looking forward to cooling off in the lake.

I've uploaded some more photos. There's a bunch from Veliko Tarnovo and Sofia in the Bulgaria gallery and some new ones taken today in the Macedonia gallery.