Category Archives: australia

Stu’s Birthday & Dreadlocks Update

It was Stu’s 33rd birthday a couple of weeks ago, as you may have read in my previous post I’m not rolling in pay cheques at the moment so I wanted to make his birthday really fun without splashing the cash.

I decided I would make him an Alien cake as he is so into UFO’s Aliens and the unexplained. I looked online for some inspiration and found  beautifully crafted realistic (as can be I suppose) Alien cake.

It definitely didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped and was a bit more out there than I was going for but hey these things are supposed to be fun! I had fun making it, although I did cheat and made the sponge from a box mix as I wanted it to be red velvet inside to resemble the inside of an aliens head. You can see his reaction in the video I made below:

16508306_10155131573507868_740746335572391183_n

If you have been to or live in Australia then you will know how breathtaking the Whitsundays are. I pinch myself every day waking up to another day in this place! On Stu’s birthday we did pressies, played with our housemates dog and then went down to a one of our favourite local Bowen beaches (Grey’s Bay) for a morning swim. Showered and changed we then drove out towards a beautiful (I’ve heard) beach resort in Gloucester Passage called Monte’s, and it was closed! We were gutted as it was 40 minutes out of our way and we were absolutely starving, but instead we went to Dingo Beach Pub, only 10 minutes from Monte’s. It turned out really nice there, and Stu still enjoyed the birthday lunch he was looking forward to.

We were pretty tired by the time we got home after an early start so we had a quiet one, with the guys enjoying some alien cake after some traditional happy birthday-ing.

Happy birthday to my fave human around!

We also decided to cut Stu’s dreadlocks, well he decided that he wanted them to be shorter, they were way past his bum and causing his neck and back to hurt (plus they were dangerously close to dipping in the toilet!) so we took 10 inches off each dreadlock! They are still long but it definitely relieved him of some of the weight!

I decided I was tired of being stuck with the one hairstyle a few months before and finally I brushed out my dreadlocks, which is definitely a better option than shaving your head! It is more time consuming, but so is growing hair!

I enrolled a very kind friend Emma who helped me brush some out and then every day I would tackle a good handful by myself, a LOT of hair came out but apparently that is the hair that would have otherwise naturally fallen when you brush your hair. It was super frizzy and broken, I don’t have any pictures but I do have photos of my hair now post dreads. I would say it has taken about a month after brushing the dreads out for my hair to feel super soft and shiny and healthy again.

Me being me, I put a semi permanent blue dye through my previously blonde bits cos I can’t handle too much beige in my life.

16976809_10155174286927868_2127724706_n.jpg

I loved having dreadlocks at the time, but now I look forward to having more versatile hair style. Sleeping was definitely a problem, and especially living in such a hot climate as North Queensland, it is truly delightful to dip your head in the ocean sans dreads.

Having dreadlocks was a cool experience and part of my journey but now I look forward to some loose hair adventures!

If you have dreadlocks or are thinking of getting them then please know that it doesn’t have to be for forever.

Much love,

Hippy Hoo Ha

x

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HAPPY. CONTENT. POSITIVE. SHOULD BE STRESSED?

16195364_10155086869747868_3920677870167286870_n

Grey’s Bay, Bowen

Lately things have been kinda stressful, especially if I take a step back, looking from the outward in, but from my point of view, (especially or mainly due to the daily yoga practice I’ve been doing since January 1st) I don’t feel stressed, although I know there are some pressing matters that I should probably feel pretty darn stressed about.

Do you ever feel like you should feel stressed, like almost society says you should be stressed out by something and so you kind of play it out?

I haven’t done that so far, apart from acknowledging that I am in a potentially stressful place if I choose to accept it. I’m going to be brutally honest here.

16559132_10155123903552868_13656560_nI have less money in the bank than I am comfortable with, although I have no debts, no credit cards, no mortgage to pay off, so in many ways I am in fact free-er than the average home owner. (except I don’t have the joy of owning a home!)

Last year I earned more money than I think I have any other year of my life, I felt rich! I had a steady income, worked my butt off and was very happy. I’m glad for that as it helped me to make so many precious memories and journeys. I have lived work-free on and off for many months, living a life of luxury!  (Mainly because of lack of work not from choice!)

However, I have a visa to renew before November costing nearly $7000 aud.

It is looming over me.

I am working to a bit of a deadline, but there is a need that I must fulfil, I have to make it happen as no one else can. So, here goes, I’m gonna do my darnedest to create the life we want.

The biggest problem I’ve faced so far is that being on a working holiday visa, commonly known as a backpacker visa, means that any full time work I apply for is instantly rejected and so I am constantly applying for jobs, and if I get far enough then going to interviews and finally  being rejected when they find out my visa situation. It gets slightly disheartening, but I won’t stop trying!

It’s a catch 22 situation, no work because of my visa and no new visa applied for yet, because I don’t have the money to apply for it.

Anyway, my point is that I am trying out this new thing, called “Not freaking out about things.” I am just trying my best, staying positive, and taking whatever casual work I can to keep us afloat, which will hopefully lead to something more permanent. I have found that keeping tabs on my positivity levels and staying happy and thankful for what I have, makes me way more productive and likely to be able to get through any challenging times.

16265623_10155074687152868_5119030073972085394_n

Murray’s Bay, Bowen

After my visa comes through (Please accept me Australia!), we have big plans for the longterm. Buy a property to renovate eventually, (possibly where we are living now, in Bowen, possibly not) have our own boat and live in North Queensland with some beautiful dogs in a GORGEOUS place near to the beach that we’ve made our own. Our door always open to parents, siblings, friends and naughty nieces & nephews to visit.

Oohhh I can just see it all!

Side Note: (Say HELLO to ZEUS, the little puppy we are adopting, who will be ours on Saturday!)

16652863_10155123903447868_1608209841_n

Our new family member, Zeus

So that’s the dream! We’ve found our little piece of heaven in each other and now it’s time to make it our home!

16708280_10155143176082868_1264138703269980855_n

Dingo Beach

Definitely a time to remember that making your dreams a reality isn’t always easy, but it’s worth a try.

You just gotta take it one step at a time.

My top five stress relieving tips:

  1. Daily exercise routine. No matter how much time you have to spare, take a little time out of your day even if it’s just 10 minutes to do a short relaxation yoga or meditation video on Youtube, or going for a short walk. You’ll often want to do more than you’ve planned on once there, and if not that’s okay. This will also help you sleep better as it really clears your mind and is a natural stress reliever. I highly recommend Yoga With Adriene’s videos.
  2. Following on from the last point, Sleep! I can be a terrible sleeper especially when I know I have something important to do the next day. It always seems to be once my head hits the pillow all of my worries crawl out of the shadows. I try to encourage a good nights sleep for myself by being productive during the day, keeping a notebook and pen beside my bed to jot down anything I remember I need to do and preparing what I’ll need for the next day – even just laying out my outfit and shoes, or re-organising my handbag helps me. A cup of tea also helps me to unwind and chill out. If I wake up in the night or can’t sleep, I go to the toilet, drink some water, write down whatever is bothering me and try again.
  3. Talk to someone. I find just voicing my fears or troubles to someone close to me can help to understand things from another perspective and it also helps to feel supported, receive suggestions and to help come up with solutions. It really helps to feel less alone. Everyone gets stressed out and if you meet up with a friend to do something fun such as go out for a walk or lunch for a chat, or have someone over for movies or drinks, then you can feel some clarity whilst having fun, which can help to eradicate negative emotions surrounding you. You may also realise that your positive friend has some stressful situations going on in their life and that can put your issues into perspective
  4. Tidy up your life. If you’re already stressed, it certainly doesn’t help to be surrounded by chaos, and I find that organising my clothes or even just hoovering and cleaning a little helps to make me feel less stressed out. You know where everything is and it feels calming to be in a nice environment and while that certainly doesn’t fix the reason you are stressing out, it definitely helps you to focus on what is important. Writing lists, making a bullet journal, buying a fancy new notebook to make plans in or even just pampering yourself a little can definitely help. I bought a new Doona cover the other day from Woolies on sale for $10, it has brightened up our bedroom and I definitely have been feeling happier and more relaxed from such a simple difference.
  5. Change it up. As Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results” I’m a big believer in moving out of your comfort zone, even if you don’t like it, at least you tried. If you are scared of flying then maybe book a fun trip with friends, if you  hate your job or where you live then why not go volunteer or teach abroad for a few months, if you are sad about being unfit why not join the gym or make up your own fitness regime. Sadly it can be easier to come up with excuses. Something that sometimes helps me, as strange as it sounds to say it, I think of life like a challenge. I don’t want the game to be over and for me to still be on level one. I want to have felt emotions, been places, met people, been scared, got stronger, pushed myself. There is a danger of living a slightly boring existence full of regrets if you don’t push out of your comfort zone. And remember that it is NEVER too late to start. Sometimes when life is frustrating and you feel you are getting nowhere, you have to light it up yourself. You’ll be waiting a long time if you expect anybody else to make a change happen aside from you.

14079660_10154592587352868_1921025694894718414_n

Thank you so much for reading, I hope it helps if you are feeling a little stressed out at the moment.

Lots of love,

Hippy Hoo Ha x

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saying Yes and De-Stressing

sayyesadventures

It has been nearly 5 months since my last update and there is so much to catch up on!

We left Darwin in late October for the Sunshine Coast and travelled down over the course of about four days. We left Darwin in a little bit of a hurry as Stu had a job offer down the coast and we needed to arrive within five days. He got the phone call at about 2pm that day and we packed up all of our belongings into the car and left the next morning at 6am to been our 3500km journey.

Here’s a video I created documenting that trip.

We were headed to Stu’s friend Simon’s home, which he shares with his wonderful wife Judy ( Who at this point I had never met, and now I consider a good friend) & their three children. They were kind enough to offer us their spare room in their lovely house in Currimundi near Caloundra, until we found our feet.

15697579_10154976375362868_5532839923072106073_n

Simon & Judy on Christmas Day

The feet didn’t take long to get found and we ended up only staying with them for one week, after we found a beautiful Queenslander on the gorgeous Bribie Island to stay in with the owner, a lovely lady called Chloe and her Kelpie cross Border Collie pup, Boris.

14716195_10154774799002868_2740674283636236305_n

Boris

The location was beautiful and it was handy to still meet up with Simon and Judy at the weekends as Bribie Island is only around an hour away from Currimundi. Bribie Island is a little piece of heaven, a beautiful island off the Sunshine Coast near(ish) to Brisbane, connected to the mainland by a large road bridge and easy walking distance to all your amenities. In fact the majority of Bribie Island is made up of National Park Land. The downside to this being that it is a very desirable place to live, especially for the older generation, and the people and houses are all compacted down to one end. In fact as beautiful as it is, it is known as an above-ground graveyard within the surrounding area.

It proved near impossible for me to find work, being a small place with far more people than job opportunities, plus the fact I definitely feel employers are put off when they see the applicant is on a working holiday visa.

I felt depression creep back into my life whilst living there, which is quite remarkable considering it was such a beautiful breathtaking place. I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to live there, but not being able to find work really took its toll on me. I felt like I had failed.

Eventually after eating into our savings for nearly a month,  Stu & I decided it was time to move on. He no longer wanted to stay working a job he didn’t like for a poorly run business  and to be honest I was happy and excited to hit the road again.

It was now mid-November, We spent around a week trying to find work somewhere new, basically anywhere in Australia, (although we really wanted to stay in Queensland if possible) and after searching all over the internet on every job website, dozens of emails and phone calls later we found a job working for Manbulloo mangoes who provide Mangoes to Coles (One of the biggest supermarkets in Australia). This job opportunity meant us driving from Bribie Island to a (tiny) place called Giru nestled somewhere between Ayr and Townsville in North Queensland, around a 1300km drive. With no idea where we would stay or what the work would be like we took a chance, packed our lives up into the car once again and took a big dive into the unknown.

I was looking forward to seeing a new place, and meeting some new faces, I was determined that I would make the most of this adventure and pull myself out of whatever rut I had started to fall into.

We decided this time to do an all-night drive, so we spent the day packing up the car, drank copious amounts of coffee and finally we left around 10pm that evening. Around about 5am the next day Stu was getting extremely tired and he doesn’t like me driving on long journeys, (that’s a whole other story though) so we pulled into a rest stop for an hour. He had a nap and I have to admit, I was so incredibly grumpy on this trip. I’m sure any member of my family could tell you that when I haven’t slept I am a very grumpy lady. Public apology to anyone who has encountered sleepy Morv! I felt like I had to stay up to keep Stu awake, so I consumed way too much caffeine and it prevented me from sleeping at all the whole trip.

16142581_10155074688142868_7846666433048971644_n

Leaving Bribie, crossing the bridge to the mainland.

At one point we were coming over a steep hill at around 3/4am and there was a massive road train behind us, he had been sitting right up behind us for  a few kms and then on a blind hill he decided to flash us (we were doing the speed limit), and then begin to overtake us not knowing if anything was coming the other direction. There was a steep drop off to our left, I totally panicked, and Stu slowed down, as we were pretty much forced to. This driver then pulled himself in front of us rapidly and his back end nearly whipped us off the road, I am not even joking, I thought we were gonna get swept off the road, we pulled back and he narrowly missed us by a hair, our hearts were racing as we came over the top of the blind hill and then see another truck coming on the other side of the road. If it had come a few seconds sooner, I swear we’d all have been dead.

How irresponsible. What a selfish act of driving. Maybe the truck driver has children, would they want people to do that to a car with their children or partner inside? He/she put everyones life in danger that night and we were shook up for the remainder of the journey.

Everyone makes mistakes though, so hopefully it was just an error in judgement.

Here’s a video I made of the trip from Sunshine Coast to Giru (via a one night stay in Bowen) where we lived and worked for a month.

We went via Bowen, where Stu grew up as it was on the way and he gave me a quick tour. As we had made good time, we arrived there around about 1/2pm we decided to set-up-swag in the Horseshoe Bay Caravan Park as you are not allowed to free camp anywhere around Bowen such as on beaches etc.

15095475_10154865508702868_4789670897641622515_n

Enjoying a beer at Horseshoe Bay after a very long drive overnight.

I absolutely loved Bowen! We stayed one night and then the next day we had to drive to Giru, further North. We sussed out where our new work place was and then called up places looking for some cheap accomodation for the upcoming month. The cabins in caravan parks nearby were charging ridiculous rates per week, for the same money you could have rented a 5 bedroom Queenslander near the beach. As Giru is in the middle of nowhere, it’s just off the main highway with a large sugar cane factory works (sugar cane processing stinks FYI) there’s not too many options unless we wanted to stay in Ayr which we did not and we definitely weren’t willing to stay at a backpackers hostel, no offence to  those who do, both me and Stu have done it before, but we value our own space and freedom too much now to go back to it  (plus, I’ve heard some horror stories).

We managed to find an absolute gem off the highway, a crumbly sign for an Eco-Tourist Park looked intriguing and was only 10 minutes from the mango shed. As we drove in, it was certainly eco – thousands of wallabies everywhere, a little run down but it sat under a beautiful mountain range and was lush and green and more importantly away from too many people. Here we met Fred, originally from Germany, a 90 year old man who had cleared this piece of land with his young family when he was in his 20’s. He was such a genuine, straight up, wonderful man. He told us many a tale of his past, showed us through old photo albums and told us that we were the most respectful, nicest couple he had stay in the park for over ten years.

16142433_10155074687862868_459194743810148879_n

At nearby Billabong Sanctuary

 

He had only one caravan available on site, it looked pretty big and had a massive canvas annexe attached, as we stepped inside it was clear it had been empty for a while, it had a smell about it that I still can’t put my finger on, but hey, who cares we thought, we’ll take it! After a fair amount of Nag Champa had been burned, floors had been swept, everything cleaned and dinners had been cooked, it no longer smelt stale, and we had our own little cute pad for the next month.

We also made some pals in the park, all of which were furry. Possums regularly woke me up in the night climbing on the caravan, one of which had made his home between a tin roof and the top of the caravan, which I’m pretty sure is why he crawled inside the annexe desperate for water a few times. It got real hot here, and I’m glad we could help the wee guys. We fed the wallabies and possums mangoes that had gone too soft for eating, and they became regular fixtures at our front ‘garden’. We really enjoyed living here and Fred was excellent to have a chat with each week when we went in to pay our rent. Most of the other residents here were contractors we never really saw anyone to speak to them, everyone was doing seasonal work and was either working or sleeping, which made it such a beautiful and peaceful place. We took some time out after work one day to go for a local bush walk to the local rock slide, and that was amazing.

16174951_10155074687642868_3261083327004374039_n

One of our possum pals who came to see us for some water

We worked at the mango shed until around the 20th December by which time we were both so over it. At some points we were doing 70+ hour weeks and getting paid really awful wages, especially since the more you work the more you get taxed. One massive bonus of working there though was the amount of delicious mangoes we got to consume, and we made some delicious mango chutney to give as Christmas gifts, which went down very well with Simons family!

16265365_10155074687937868_5637746229429164642_n

Stu enjoying playing guitar in the spacious annexe

I painted this picture to give to Fred the Eco-tourist park owner, we had many chats about the commercialism of Christmas and as we wanted to give him something, I decided on making him a gift using up some of the paints and canvasses that we have been carting around Australia with us! He loved it. His eyesight is not great so I think he really appreciated the bold lines and colours.15665964_10154966618922868_1580557610874393212_n

We decided we would go back to Bowen for Christmas, so once again without knowing too much about where we would stay, we packed up our lives and headed to Bowen. Luckily I looked on Gumtree and I found an old advert from September still up, from a guy looking for a housemate in his four bedroom Queenslander. I took a stab in the dark, as it was the 23rd December at this point, I messaged him and he said he would be happy for us to drop in and see him.

Feeling a bit like Mary & Joseph, we did, and he let us move in that day.

We are extremely lucky to live with the aforementioned, Liam, we’ve been on a good few adventures so far, lots of snorkelling, bbq’s and a boat trip. It is so nice to live with someone and have that social aspect there too.

Thanks Liam!

15672736_10154987641727868_3933934491393462475_n

At Mother Beddick in Bowen

Stu knows his friend Simon from Bowen, as they were a pair of bloody terrors when they were kids, running rampant around the neighbourhood, or so I’ve heard, so Simon and Judy (who’s also from Bowen) were coming up for a big family Christmas. We were lucky enough for them to invite us along for Christmas Day with the whole family which was just lovely and so nice to see everyone again. We spent the day by the pool and the night dancing our butts off.

15741069_10154983934772868_3450275299448696743_n

Judy & I having a girly day eating lunch and drinking pints!

We organised to meet up with our awesome friends Anna & Trev, who we worked with at TFS the Sandalwood Plantation in the NT, for New Year, and decided to head to Hydeaway Bay. They brought one of their older dogs Buster, their teenage pup Boogie, and their new lil’ baby pup Trip. We had an awesome weekend with them down at the beach, snorkelling and camping.

A brilliant way to bring in a new year!

16114601_10155074687452868_5562201160838847426_n

Trip hitching’ a lift

We were sitting on the beach around 8.30pm on New Years Eve (Saying “Hogmanaaaay” was a running joke at New Years as my Aussie friends had never heard of it before) with a fire burning and two men began to approach us, we were the only people on the beach, so we thought maybe we would get told to put the fire out, but instead they asked if it was okay if they set off some fireworks near us. We were front row seat to a show of fireworks at 9pm, and luckily we had chilled Prosecco to pair it with.

It was so perfect.

16142305_10155074687512868_8699444421630941453_n

Happy to be here

Then I had another amazing surprise happen! My darling friend Louise who I met whilst travelling in South America, and with whom I ended up travelling with for three months AND who became a HUGE part of my life messaged me to say she was in Australia and could she come visit me. It was so lovely to have her stay for a couple of days, and really made me realise how many amazing people I have been lucky enough to meet and be able to call my friends.

16265896_10155074686612868_4615530536723156919_n

Louise is a beautiful mermaid

Stu and I are still currently loving life in beautiful Bowen, and awaiting the next adventure to unfold. I’ll keep you updated.

16114882_10155074687392868_7066741472359802949_n

NYE kisses

16265623_10155074687152868_5119030073972085394_n

Murray’s Bay, Bowen

My observations for 2016/2017

I have had an amazing start to the New Year, which kind of just rolled over from the whole of 2016 being so bloody interesting and exciting.

After we finished work at the Mango shed, I really wanted to get back into my fitness and so once we were back in a place with some reliable fast internet, I started doing yoga workouts with my favourite instructor Yoga With Adriene from the comfort of an air-conditioned spare room. I started to do around 3-4 sessions per week, and I also signed up for Bowen Parkrun, of which I have only done one (on Christmas Eve) as it is so hot even though they do them early in the morning, it was the hardest 5km run I think I have ever done!

15697891_10154971517817868_244668108430530559_n

Feeling pooped after the Parkrun on Christmas Eve

Then, Yoga with Adriene created Yoga Revolution which is 31 days of daily yoga videos from the 1st to the 31st of January, I got really excited and signed up straight away. It has been so interesting to do yoga everyday. At one point in fact I wanted to go to India ( I nearly did & still do want to) to do my yoga teacher training. It’s had a wonderful effect on my mind and my body. I like to do it in the mornings and it really sets me up for the day in the best state of mind. Even when I don’t feel like it, I still turn up to the mat and never have I once regretted doing so (we’re on day 23 so far).

16266228_10155074686477868_874726978339231300_nYou can still do Yoga Revolution at any time, and just work your way through from day 1 to day 31. I really recommend it and you can go as hard or as gentle as you like.

I’ve noticed something that’s changed in my life in the last year too, I used to be a kinda messy/lazy person. I’m not really at all like that anymore, don’t get me wrong I have lazy days, but I love to keep everything clean and tidy, I get such satisfaction from a clean kitchen, a tidy room, a hoovered floor and organisation, it makes me feel more at peace. I don’t feel stressed out about where things are, I can find everything in its place and it’s all clean and ready to go when I need it. I wish I’d discovered that one a good few years ago! I like to be spontaneous, so if someone wants to do something last minute I can just say yeah sure give me 5 and I can easily have everything I need to go ready. It’s made a huge impact on my levels of stress.

I’ve decided not to make any New Years Resolutions. I just know I want to feel good this year like I did the last, I’m not going to define things too definitely by years either as I suppose really there is literally one second between them.

16105858_10155063852247868_464076504233472795_n

Stu looking hawt

I definitely agree that it’s good to see your progress and track it somehow, so it makes me thankful to have this (slightly neglected) blog on which I can reflect on life, and see how things have changed over the years.

What are your observations of positive changes to your life over the past year? I’d love to hear other peoples points of view!

If there’s one piece of advice I could give, it would be to definitely do things that scare you. They are usually the things worth doing. Follow that little desire at the back of your mind, which seems impossible now, and make steps towards it becoming a real experience. 

16195118_10155074686527868_378870858987172964_n

Much love and thank you for reading!

16195449_10155074687662868_2033961836158386431_n

Much love from my Wombat friend

Morv x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top End

I will forever be thankful waking up everyday to the beautiful combination of a deep blue sky lighting up a rugged red dirt landscape filled with lush green palms.

The Northern Territory really is something else. The saying up here goes “If you never never go, then you’ll never never know” and I am so happy to be here and to have the opportunity to find out for myself.

The land is lush and dusty all at once, (that red dirt I speak of gets everywhere & into everything) the rivers and creeks are all croc-infested,  the mozzies are brutal, Crocodile Dundee was filmed up here and you understand why once you see some of the wild crocs roaming free.

We are currently working on a Sandalwood plantation in a region called Douglas Daly, about two hours South of Darwin. After three months work I am now an accomplished tractor driver and myself and Stu are the marking team, using tractors to paint mark the layout of the Sandalwood. It is a parasitic tree and therefore needs host trees to feed off as it grows so the layouts can get pretty hectic as some of the plots need to be in a pattern, planted in a certain angle,(so that the rows look pretty and so that the Sandalwood can reach the roots of the hosts).

It is two hours from camp to the nearest shop for groceries so we often spend a whole afternoon going to get our shopping for the week. We have had the opportunity to travel too, as there are plantations situated in Katherine and Mataranka further South again. There is so much to do around here, especially in nature, Stu enjoys fishing, and we often go camping and on adventures with friends in the local area. We are so glad we invested in a 4WD as without it, many places would be impossible to get to.

I made a video to show what we’ve been up to which is probably easier than me trying to explain everything.

Internet is hard to find in these parts so we make the most of it when we can, hence why posts are few and far between recently, although it is fantastic being able to enjoy life without staring into a phone or computer screen everyday.

Who knows what we’ll be up to in the next three months!

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Quick NT Update

I spent about an hour earlier writing an email home of our latest adventures and figured I may as well share some of it on here as it condenses our last week or so travelling to the Northern Territory.
Me and Stu are in Darwin today(It’s lovely!) staying at a Novotel for the night. We’ve just arrived after a 2 & a half hour drive which is our weekly commute to the nearest shop for groceries, so we thought we’d make a trip of it after work this morning since we are off tomorrow. We left Stu’s mums on Tuesday avo, and only drove about 3 hours to a place called Crystal Brook, SA, where we stayed in the swag. It was a really lovely night so we left the mozzie roof zipped without the full canvas outer on so we could see the stars. We woke and it was spitting rain so we pulled up the canvas but didn’t zip it round and then I woke up at 4am Wednesday thinking I’d pee’d myself as the tent was wet and then realised the WHOLE SWAG was soaked through. It was bucketing down and because we hadn’t zipped it up properly we got absolutely soaked through. It was pretty cool in SA so we were freezing in the dark trying to heat up in the car and find a way to make coffee while the sun rose. We wrapped everything in bin bags and drove a full shift, finally stopping in a place in the middle of no-where called Cadney Well. It was just a service station with a small shop and bar and some solid iron ground to try park your swag. The flies were crazy here, just persistently wanting in your eyes and we had to hang our swag mattress and belongings all over the site to dry. I was slightly worried at this point that this was setting the bar for the flies to come further North, although they have never been as bad again.
Thursday we managed to cross the Northern Territory/S.A border after a 10 hour drive. We had passed through Alice Springs that day, but didn’t stop apart from to fill up on fuel as we were aiming to make it to our work place on Friday evening to have time to settle ourselves in before commencing work. We saw a sign for a place called Wycliffe Well with a UFO on the sign and as Stu was so tired and the sun was setting, we decided to stop at that campsite for the night. Possibly THE CREEPIEST place ever. It sells itself as the UFO capital of Australia and the WHOLE place was very well painted/graffiti-ed up with Alien murals EVERYWHERE. There was an old unused kids railway and lots of creepy buildings. It was kind of like a set for a movie where an old style fairground has become run down after aliens landed and the alien teens graffiti-ed the place. And then haunted it forever. There was just a weird vibe and we heard a gang of Dingos howling close to us. The natives were having a grand old time buying beer from the servo there and were all drunk and driving and fighting next to the campsite for the majority of the night. Must have been a full moon.
I actually had an amazing sleep here and the swag is so super cosy and comfy. I love that you can see the stars when you fall asleep. It’s magic.
The next day, Friday, when we were leaving Wycliffe Well we went in to the campsite office and saw all these articles about this guy who had killed backpackers in the middle of the outback and apparently one of them is buried there. Heeby Jeebies. We exit-ed pronto!
 
We went up to the Devils Marbles about an hour or so away and took a few pics and then hit the road again planning to smash in some more km’s to take a chunk outta our journey hoping to possibly arrive early Saturday morning at the latest. The car temperature started to rise and rise very early on and at 12.30pm we pulled into a roadhouse called Renner’s Springs as we were worried we might be low on coolant. The engine was really worryingly hot. We basically broke down here, we couldnt leave as the car temp was in the red even after leaving it to sit for hours. We were so lucky we stopped when we did as we were in the middle of nowhere. Not knowing what was wrong with it we called the nearest mechanic (90kms away) and he quoted us $650 just to tow the car to his workshop less than an hour away. We politely declined. He also suggested it was most probably the head gasket…I think his pupils must have dilated into dollar signs when we called him.
We started looking into getting the car transported by a road train freight to the next big town (about 600kms)which they quoted us at $800-1000 and that wasn’t including us travelling also in the price, so we’d be split from the car. We talked to truckies  asking them if they knew anyone who could fit us on their load, asking other drivers if they could tow us, people were stopping and trying to help us find and fix the problem, but to no avail. We kept our heads up, figured we would work it out and wrote lots of lists and plans. My organised sister would have been proud! We set up our camp there after a long day and night of expensive public phone box calls, as there was no signal, and we finished our night with a little hand-holding ask to the universe to try to help us out. Hippys 4 Lyfe.
 
When I woke on Saturday morning (another awesome sleep) Stu was up looking at the car drinking coffee and a fellow camper, an older gentleman came over and helped him through the possibilities of what could be wrong. Turns out taking the thermostat was the best idea ever, and it only went and bloody worked didn’t it!!???
Absolutely relieved we cautiously got on our way and tensely drove on-wards, Stu barely looking up from the temperature gauge. We drove for about 5 hours to Katherine, the last town with shops, food etc before Douglas Daly where we are working. Stocked up on food we headed into the beautiful lush and humid forest land.
The place is beautiful. There is a phone signal sometimes but absolutely no internet round there. It is nice being so secluded.
The drive up here was amazing, we had so much fun and it was interesting seeing the landscape change as we headed North. There was a lot of orange roads and blue sky for hour upon hour mind you. We are so happy we decided to do this trip. We missed out Ayre’s Rock as it was an extra 500km round trip, the petrol was so expensive out there, it was going to mean an extra day driving, ALOT of extra fuel (who buys a V8 anyway!) and the day was overcast so we made a joint decision to skip it which was just as well as the car would have broken down way out that way.
 
The job is cool, we’ve made lots of friends and we’ve already been promoted! Stu is now driving tractors which are run by GPS and they squirt paint out where the trees are to be planted, but as the computer isn’t that smart, myself and a lovely Canadian traveller Danica are the line-marker girls. We have somehow fallen into really important jobs and we line up all of the marks and make sure the tractor is in the right position for the start of each row. It’s hot hot hot working in the blazing sun for at least 8 hours a day and I have felt a bit melty at times, but we are drinking a power of water all of the time. It’s crazy how much you drink before you even pee. Sorry I’ve mentioned pee two (now three) times in this email. How inappropriate!
We have already made it to overtime rates this week so we will be making good money here! Stu’s happy as he has made lots of fishing fanatic friends.
It feels so alive here, the wildlife is thriving, wallabies and birds, bugs, turtles, crocs, fish…it’s buzzing with life and it’s really cool.

Bungalow Bar Forever ✌

When I was 18 years old I walked into my favourite bar for a remedy. I was young, unemployed, living with my mum, studying music and this bar was our favourite college lunchtime venue. We would come here and have a few pints at lunch break from college and play pool before our next class. This place was a rock bar called the Crow Bar. I came in with my friend Muzzy and solemnly asked for a drink, the guy behind the bar asked me what was up and I told him I had been looking for a job but to no avail. This guy turned out to be the manager, Steven and he asked me to come in for a trial shift on the weekend. I was bloody overjoyed. I had never worked in a proper bar before (I worked in a tennis club bar but that doesn’t count, this is rock and roll!) I remember the first night I stepped behind that bar I felt like a rockstar. It was like being onstage. So many cool people in one room, it was dark and dingey and the music was grungey. The drinks were dirty and the chat was great. I moved out of my mums house a few months into working there and into a flat, sharing with my brother. Before this I had only been friends with my school mates and I guess I felt a bit anxious about moving away from my close circle of friends in my home town. I worked in the bar and made many friends who are still my good friends to this day. One day at a lock-in (where you close the doors and have a cheeky party in the bar, if you have never experienced one you have missed out) I met a guy called Alan who was a musician and we went on to have a long relationship, which has since ended amicably. I became close friends with the sound guy Stevie, the other bar maids were ace and the bands became friends too. I was the singer in a punk band throughout college and we regularly performed in the venue.

561320_10150847896642868_1926684811_n

12910250_10154218570827868_415394654_n

292569_10150847896632868_1477652682_n

I’ll never forget dancing on the tables to the Nine Inch Nails with all the girls at the end of the shift on the weekends. As much as I loved working here, I had travel in my blood and I decided to go travel. The Crow bar eventually closed down whilst I was away which was sad for everyone who loved to frequent this popular venue . Whilst I was in Spain, Alan, Stevie and some other friends decided to bring the Crow Bar back to life by incorporating a legendary Paisley venues reputation.
image

The Bungalow was a music venue in Paisley which  played host to The Buzzcocks, Echo & the Bunnymen and many more amazing bands due to a punk music ‘ban’ in Glasgow during the late 70’s. It had since shut down and is now a spanish restaurant. Inspired by this venue and it’s reputation the Bungalow (mark two) was opened whilst I was living in Spain and i would regularly visit and be made to feel more than welcome.
image

They brought live music to paisley. More than just a pub with live music. They made a venue from hard graft with musicians who could build to help out. Plumbers, builders, electricians who played in bands crafted this place, everyone got their hands dirty. I returned from my travels and bagged a job at The Bungalow. We had so many amazing nights, The Complete Stone Roses was a favourite busy night along with Madchester club nights, many amazing independent and touring artists also chose The Bungalow as their favourite venue.
image

We became a family, the clientele, the bar staff, the management, the bands. We became intertwined and we became one massive family. We were all always welcome.
We hung out, we worked we listened we learned. The mantra at the bungalow was always love and peace and happiness.

image

We had problems but we always overcame them TOGETHER. I left The Bungalow last year and came to Australia with my boyfriend Stu. I miss my Bunga family so much and have recently heard the news that it is closing. I feel like a massive part of my last 10 years is somehow based around this building and its people. This one massive room managed to get me through so many turmoils and was the reason behind even more fun times. This place was the basis for my whole adult life. This place is my friends and my family. They taught me morals and manners and social etiquette. (Obviously aside from my family) They are my loves, my mentors, my confidants. My silly fuckers, my girlies, my guys, my lows, my highs. Fuck, I’ll miss them.
image
image

image

image

image

I dunno, maybe because I’m abroad its harder for me to see, but this feels like the end of something really, REALLY special. So special that I cant explain in words. I love this place, I love what it stands for and I wish that people in Paisley had paid more attention to it. I feel like there will be an empty space now. This is where as an 18yr old I met all of my role models, my best friends, my inspirations and my partners in crime. My extended family who never judged me and who always made sure everyone was always welcome. Infact more than welcome. Everyone was a friend unless they proved otherwise!
You don’t know what youve got till its gone and you sure as hell dont make friends like this many times in your life. The Bungalow peeps loved and supported me. They were forgiving and kind when I most needed it. This was more than just a bar for many people. Bungalow fam, I love you!
I don’t know how many folk who barely made the effort to come down regularly will now be sad because it is closing. It was up to the people of Paisley to come together and support it and be welcomed into the family. I’m not blaming anyone for the close of it because obviously there are many factors involved BUT it would have been good for more folk to choose Paisley over Glasgow and to be totally honest I feel like the council has a big part to play in the future of local businesses, especially encouraging independent businesses by lowering rates and working with them rather than against them. People would choose Paisley over Glasgow if there were more thriving bars and a better night life. Independent businesses like this need support from the locals and the council.
I bloody loved this place and all of the people that fuelled it.

There is a teeny tiny, but significant hole in my heart today.

Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: