Sunday, 19 April 2015

Busy Busy!

I’ve had a busier-than-normal week last week, and it’s nice to be on to the weekend!

Work-wise, with the Easter holidays, I’ve had some extra time with the girl I work with as a Support Worker while she has been off school. While this meant I didn’t get to spend much time with my husband while he was off work, it did mean I had a chance to earn a bit of extra money. This all goes back to normal next week, so I’m hoping to get to work with another person as well so that I can boost my hours. While I’m finding my job quite challenging, I’m sure I will get better at it with experience, and also I really need the money – I have a friend and her kids visiting for a month later in the year, and I really want to be able to give them a really great trip over here, as well as help with the costs a bit.

Speaking of my friend’s visit, I’m so excited about that!! I have spent much of my spare time over the last couple of weeks in planning parts of our trip. I just started writing about it all, but I’ve realised that there is so much to say that it probably deserves its own post really. I will mention part of it though – I’ve booked a trip to Sydney and the Blue Mountains, which I’m very excited about!!

I’ve never been to Sydney before, and I figured for my friend that if she’s going to fly all the way from the UK to Australia, then a trip to Sydney is a must.

I booked everything myself independently, which is how I generally organise my travels. I managed to get in early enough to get the cheapest Jetstar flights, although this was still a bit more expensive than the flights I would buy from budget airlines in Europe. We really are lucky in Europe when it comes to travel options! You have to watch Jetstar though, they are very sneaky with their additional fees – they even charge $17 per person for paying by card!! 

For our accommodation, I have booked us all in to YHAs. As we have the kids with us, I’ve booked family rooms; this has the added benefit of keeping the costs down a little further. YHAs can have a slightly odd reputation back in the UK, but the Aussie YHAs seems fantastic: modern, bright, clean, youthful, and more budget-holiday than austere and remote. I’ve stayed in 2 Aussie YHAs so far, and both were fantastic – especially the one at Hervey Bay. We were only there one night on the way home from Brisbane, but having seen it I would happily make a holiday there again. There are several YHAs in Sydney itself. The Harbour one looks amazing, with wonderful views of the Opera House from the roof terrace. This was significantly more expensive than the Central YHA though, which would have added up even further over a few nights, so the Central one it was for us.

After a few days in Sydney, we will catch the train to the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba, where we will stay in another YHA so that we can explore a little around there before having to catch the flight back to Townsville. The Blue Mountains form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site too, so I’m really excited to visit there and see what it’s like.

Also on the internet, I have entered the world of MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online short courses offered by various education institutions, including some really top universities. I completed my first one last week, an Introduction to Nursing in Healthcare. I chose this as I’m considering training as a nurse next year, and this course had an Australian focus so I thought it would be relevant. It was a very superficial glance at the role of nurses in Australia, but it was good to get thinking about nursing, and it was also a good, gentle introduction to MOOCs in general. I plan to do more throughout the year too, in whatever takes my fancy :)
If you’re interested in MOOCs yourself, these are the places I have found most useful for finding them:

Away from the internet, I went to my first Aussie sports game yesterday. 

I tried to get some photos of the game and the pre-match entertainment, but as you can see the sun was not helping!

We went to see the AFL – what is called footie in Queensland, but would be called Rugby League back home. The Townsville Cowboys were playing the New Zealand Warriors, and it was a pretty tight game coming down to a nail-biting finish. I really wanted to support my new home town, but I’ve always been something of a Kiwiphile and the All Blacks have always been my second team to support in international rugby. As soon as the Warriors got the ball to score the first try of the match, I found my loyalty very firmly lay with them… They had an excellent player who made several breaks, and they were ahead for most of the game. The Cowboys never let them get too far ahead though, and just when it looked as though the gap was too much to close, the Cowboys scored another try with 2 minutes to go, taking the lead at the very end. The crowd went wild, but I was a bit disappointed that the Warriors hadn’t won…

And there has been crochet of course!

I have made a few more hexagons for my cotton blanket – the rest of the yarn from my order has arrived too, I just need to collect it from the Post Office as soon I can as it arrived while I was out. Then I can get started on even more colours!

I have also been making some more amigurumis, these ones are for my future craft stall. So far I have made another little pig, this one has a purple flower badge (my original one had a coconut heart):

I also broke out some baby blue yarn, and made another bunny and a kitten. The kitten has a nose and whiskers embroidered with sewing thread, while the bunny's nose is yarn. I know the bunny's button looks plain and round, but it's actually glittery:

The bunny has a pom-pom tail, while kitty has a long tail:

That pompom might need a trim...

I have a few more to share too, but I'm worried that this getting a bit long now so I'll leave it there for now! I hope you're all enjoying your weekends :)

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