Grateful Heart Monday

I haven’t posted for Grateful Heart Monday in a while but decided that I had to make a post today because I am very grateful for an offer that was made to me last week.

Grateful Heart linkup w/ Ember Grey

I have mentioned before but I am a Lawyer but only qualified in the UK. This is great because it was kind of my dream career, my mum says from about 12 or 13, goodness knows where I got the idea. It took a LOOOOOOT of study, time and money to qualify and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and friends.

However I moved to Australia and when I asked for my qualifications to be assessed the Law Society folk basically said yeah great you did loads of study etc etc and yep your a Lawyer BUT we need you to do more studying (and there I was swearing off doing any more studying ever again) and so I am stuck a bit in limbo getting everything in order so that I can start the studying in January next year.

When I started looking for work in Darwin it was near impossible to get any legal practitioner work but luckily I was able to get a pretty cool job as a Legal Secretary/PA (and I met my fantastic friends at the same time) with no actual secretarial experience but that job was only temporary.

I looked for a new job when that assignment finished and was very lucky to be offered a job within a few days which I started and have been even luckier to have been able to progress firstly to Paralegal and then this week was offered a promotion which means I will be doing much more actual legal work which will help me no end when the studying starts. The people I work with are also really lovely so things have gone very nicely as well.

This was so exciting for me because I had been hoping and waiting the time out to find the best time to discuss progression and instead it happened all by itself. So I am grateful that I worked as hard as I did to prove that I have what it takes and to be offered such a great opportunity because it was so very unexpected. I just have to get round to starting that studying now ouch!

Grateful Heart Monday w/ Ember Grey

Weekend Fun Part 2

On Saturday we paid a visit to the Royal Darwin Show that has been on from Thursday 24 July to Saturday 26 July 2014. This is the reason why we had a public holiday on Friday but I had also entered some photographs in the competition that was being run.

The Royal Darwin Show is run by The Royal Agricultural Society and is held every July. You can read more about the show and its objectives here.

The showgrounds have everything from a petting zoo, cars for sales, other commercial sales, our local politicians, photography displays to a fairground for the kids.

Royal Darwin Show Collage 1

We were only really visiting to see the photography display but ended up visiting quite a few areas which was fun. I had a cuddle with a Papillion puppy who was entering the dog show and made me miss my little ones at home in the UK who I cannot wait to see in September and also held a baby chicken which remarkably didn’t go to the toilet in my hand as expected!

I also really enjoyed a wander around the photography display to see my pictures up on display, even if 2 of them were hung the wrong way up(!), but best of all I discovered that two of my photos achieved second place in their classes.

This one in experimental:
Dragon 167/365
This one in Monochrome
Moo Cow dsc_0113

I really enjoy photography so it was a lovely surprise to see I’d come second and won a prize as well. It’s a good motivator to keep on taking the photos to see how well I can do in the next competition.

After the show we headed over to the TIO Stadium to watch the NT Thunders play the Sydney Swans Reserves.

Royal Darwin Show Collage 2

It was one of those evenings where the girls sat inside chatting whilst the boys watched the match which suited us all fine as we had a fun night chatting, eating good food and having a good catch up.

Also importantly the NT Thunders won which is always a good thing for your local team.

Weekend Fun Part 1

Another busy and hectic work week followed by a long weekend and this long weekend started on the Friday (also very excited this week is followed by another long weekend) which is I think the best day for the weekend to start, so if someone could just arrange for the weeks to run Monday to Thursday that would be fantastic!

Our weekend started off somewhat slowly with a relaxed Friday morning before heading to our favourite Friday night spot at Dinah Beach for dinner and some brilliant live music. We weren’t disappointed by the great musicians who played and also enjoyed dinner with good friends.

We had also planned to go to the movies at the Deckchair Cinema which is a really cool outdoor cinema which comes (unsurprisingly) with deckchairs at 9.30pm with our friends to watch the movie All is Lost.

The movie stars Robert Redford and his character is sailing a boat in the Indian Ocean when it is hit by a container. Severe damage is caused by the container to the boat which starts taking on water. The damage is repaired by his character and he begins trying to sail it again. Unfortunately his radio and other electrical devices are broken and by accident he ends up sailing into a storm and that’s where his problems really begin.

The Aussie really wanted to see this film as he loves sailing and I was happy to go along because I love going to the movies, wanted to visit the Deckchair Cinema and quite enjoy sailing too. I wasn’t disappointed by the film at all. I didn’t understand everything that was happening because of a serious lack of sailing knowledge but it kept my interest and I really wanted to see what would happen next.

It wasn’t really released in the cinemas here in Darwin and so we were lucky to spot it was on at the Deckchair Cinema but I would recommend watching it if you get the opportunity.

Weathering the Weather

We Brits do enjoy talking (sometimes complaining) about the weather. Some of us even brag about it when we are enjoying great weather – usually outside of the UK and I am guilty as charged for this, especially as when it is winter in the UK it is freezing cold and when it is winter in Darwin like now, winter means 30 degrees C with a breeze and low humidity I have found myself sharing screenshots of the difference in temperatures).

Image from www.gratisography.com
Image from http://www.gratisography.com

In Darwin we have temperatures of around 30 degrees C and often higher all year round, the only difference is that the humidity seems to drop in the winter/dry season as do the temperatures overnight and we get quite a nice breeze all day. We are lucky as in other parts of Australia it’s been raining, cold and in some places snowed though.

Image from www.gratisography.com
Image from http://www.gratisography.com

Over the last few weeks I’ve heard and seen that it’s been very warm there in the UK and they are expecting temperatures to hit 30 degrees C in some places which will is so hot especially when you are trying to function as a person and go to work and sleep and I always feel bad for the animals who don’t understand why it is so warm.

In contrast whilst we have had the heat during the day (much more pleasant thanks to the dry season) overnight its been really quite cold so I even had to buy a duvet (quilt/doona) because I was finding I was getting so cold overnight. The Aussie had to work away for 4 nights this week (haha the temperature dropped to a cool 6 degrees C overnight!) and so the duvet was especially welcome.

Image from www.gratisography.com
Image from http://www.gratisography.com

The Aussie used to complain about how cold it felt during the dry season overnight and I would always say man up its 12 degrees there that’s warmer than it is for us in winter but yet here I am wearing 2 tops to bed with a sheet 2 blankets and duvet available if the temperature drops more than normal. In reality it is a big drop from 30 degrees to 12 degrees C so it makes sense that it would feel so cold right?

I complain about how cold it is for us frequently and people laugh but man there is nothing more sobering than waking up at 6am to go to the bathroom which is outside or to have a shower, which is also outside, when you know that as soon as you step outside of the hot water you will be plunged in to the cold air! Very dramatic but it is so tough to do!

20140202-190042.jpg

For now I am enjoying the weather as soon the build up and wet season will be here and then it will be HOT and RAINING!

Literary Junkies – July 2014

Wow I can’t believe it’s been a month since my last Literary Junkies post! Where has the time gone?

This month the group will be reading Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult and it will be discussed during the monthly meet up on the 3rd Tuesday of next month. Looking at the synopsis on Goodreads this book looks like it will be very good. I used to read a lot of Jodi Picoult books and so it will be nice to read one of her books again.

As usual there are some questions for my post and here are my answers:

1. What are you reading? Tell us about it!

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – Alice is 29, married and pregnant with her first child or so she thinks! She wakes up on the floor of her gym, unsure how she got there as she hates the gym and discovers that she is actually 39 and her life has completely changed and not always for the better. The story details Alice’s attempts to piece together what happened during the last 10 years and also fix what has gone wrong.

2. Do you find yourself reading more of a particular genre during the heat of summer?

I tend to read the same genres all year round, but sometimes find that I need a more lighthearted book every so often especially after reading a book that’s very involved so that will determine which book I read next.

3. Who are your favorite book villains (either to love or to hate?)

I love the character Vlad in the Night Huntress series which I have mentioned before but is about a half vampire half human called Cat and her vampire husband Bones. He’s a modern version of the Vlad the Impaler and is always there winding up the character Bones because Bones wife Cat considers him to be one of her closest friends whilst Bones hates him. I love how he interacts with both Cat and Bones and Bones reaction is always very funny!

4. If you could choose one author’s writing powers to harness, who would you choose and why?

The ability to write a book at all really! I really admire people who can write books and be creative it must be so difficult choosing the characters, story line, how it develops and see it through to the end.

5. Do you read one book at a time, or read multiple books at once?

I have about 4 books on my currently reading list on Goodreads but in reality I am just reading What Alice Forgot as I find it to much to focus on multiple story lines at the same time. The other 3 books are ones I have started but lost interest in a bit.

6. What are some of your favorite non-fiction books?

I loved the Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman and Jeff Gulvin – it accompanied a tv series which is one of my favourite tv shows and was all about their trip around the world on motorbikes. It’s such a cool and interesting story it really inspires you to see the world!

Pink Heels Pink Truck

Books ‘n’ Bloggers Recap Post

A little while ago I mentioned that I was participating in the Books ‘n’ Bloggers swap which is being run by Chaotic Goddess.

I was linked up with Chiara of Books for a Delicate Eternity which was kind of perfect as she blogs about books she has read and really loves Young Adult books which I am a bit of a fan of.

Chiara has been so lovely and it has been such a fun experience getting to know her but also reading her blog for book inspiration.

The idea behind the swap is that we get to know each other and then send each other 3 books which meet the following requirements:

1. A book that you love
2. A book you haven’t read but are interested in
3. A book from your partners wish list

I love the books that Chiara has chosen for me and she chose the following books which I think are pretty perfect for me. I can’t wait to get started on them once I finish my current book so I can tell Chiara all about them and if I think of doing it, doing a book review or two.

These are my lovely new books:

Beautiful New Books

1. A book that she loves – Shadows by Paula Weston
2. A book that she hasn’t read but are interested in – The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas
3. A book from your partners wish list – Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor

It was also lovely to receive actual physical books because we could swap eBooks if we wanted but we thought it would be great to swap the books and for me this is nice as I always used to enjoy reading a physical book but having a Kindle made it so much easier to read and also buy a new book when I wanted to read one.

Chiara’s post is here and just in case you wondered what I sent her my list is here:

1. A book that I love – Residue by Laury Falter
2. A book I haven’t read but am interested in – To All the Boys I love by Jenny Han
3. A book from your partners wish list – Charmed Thirds (Jessica Darling #3) by Megan McCafferty

Check out the link below to see who else has participated and what books they have swapped!

Territory Day

Territory Day is a day celebrated only by those in the Northern Territory of Australia and falls on 1 July 2014. It’s not a public holiday (sadly) but lots of people get together and celebrate the day, usually by attending a firework day or buying fireworks as the 1 July is the only day during each year when everyone can buy their own fireworks. This seems a bit crazy as its the middle of the dry season and there’s usually a fire ban this time of year but nonetheless on Territory Day after the sun sets everywhere you look there are fireworks going off!

Celebrating Territory Day
Celebrating Territory Day

I missed Territory Day last year as I arrived at the start of August and the year before that I had been in Darwin but was tired from travelling a few days before so I had never been along.

I was really pleased to realise that my family would be here on Territory Day as it would mean that we could go and watch the display together. We wanted to see the fireworks on Mindil Beach which was just down the road from the house that we were renting but we didn’t fancy battling crowds to find a spot on the beach.

We had heard from a friend about a company called Sea Darwin, who run boat tours around the harbour, trips to see turtles and also a fish and chip cruise. We are all a bit partial too fish and chips and I saw on Facebook that they were running a special extended tour on Territory Day so we would get the tour, have some fish and chips and also see the fireworks.

WreckedLuckily this was not our boat!

One of the great things was the price it was so reasonable ($55 for adults and $40 for children) and I had a voucher from a company called the Entertainment Book which meant one person’s trip was free which was pretty perfect!

Quick Stop for Some Fish and ChipsQuick Stop for some fish & chips

We arrived for our trip and got on the boat where we received a complimentary glass of champagne, beer or soft drinks. Shortly after we zipped of into the harbour and to Cullen Bay where one of the crew hopped off and picked up our fish from a local restaurant. Back onto the boat and we had the most amazing fish and chips as well as some squid rings whilst watching the beautiful sunset.

Waiting for the SunsetWaiting for the Sunset

Next up was a bit of sight seeing whilst we waiting for the fire works and because it was Territory Day all along the coastline there were fireworks which kept going right up to the brilliant display put on at the beach.

Territory Day Fireworks
Territory Day Fireworks 2

Territory Day Fireworks 3

When the display finished we did another speedy trip back to Stokes Hill Wharf where we caught the boat and home.

The journey home by car was crazy as people literally stood at the side of the road letting off fireworks. They also launched them from their apartment buildings as well as on the beach. I think the whole display lasted from around 6pm till 11pm so we saw a LOT of fireworks.

It was the perfect way to celebrate Territory Day and I was so impressed by Sea Darwin. I would totally recommend their tours and they are perfect for all of the family I think. Plus of course amazing fish and chips which are always a winner.