Thursday, March 29, 2012

Screw Applying for Jobs - I'm Updating My Blog

Hello lovelies,

I’ve been in Melbourne a couple of months now, but most of that time has been spent in a bit of a haze of temp work and finding somewhere to live. Things seem to be settling down a bit now, thank goodness, so I’m hoping to be able to spend more time and energy on some new and interesting projects and meeting new and interesting people.

Just to get started (and blatantly imitate the format of Gala Darling’s blog), may I introduce...

Things I Like About Melbourne Thursday:


I think cycling is just great. Cycling that involves cute dresses and wicker baskets that is – lycra, notsomuch. It's great for me, great for the enviroment, and great for my bank balance. Of course I will also need to go shopping for outfits to wear while I am gracefully pedalling around the streets of Melbourne.* **

Image from


Admittedly I haven’t actually met that many people yet, but those I have seen walking the streets look like they’d make excellent friends. This is helped by the fact that many of them are wearing cute outfits whilst gracefully pedalling around the streets of Melbourne. It can be done. Or at least I can have friends who are able to do such things. There's also loads of amazeballs street art:

Hosier Lane

Coffee/Café’s/Bars and the fact that my housemate works in a café and brought home some cake:

My time spent living in Wellington left me with a slight addiction to caffeine and high expectations of what good cafes and bars should be like. Thankfully Melbourne lives up to it’s reputation and I have spent many happy hours eating delicious food and drinking coffee and wine with friends.

N.B. Cake may have been nibbled slightly prior to photoshoot.
LOVE this: an interactive waterfall
One of Melbourne's may laneways

Terrace Houses

I am getting a little bit obsessed with the houses here. I even got to stay in a house with a wee front yard and a lovely private back yard for a while. They are just so old and cool looking. And go really well with bikes with baskets on the front.

***photo to come***

The Weather

Actually. I know everyone complains about it because it changes every ten minutes or whatever – but I grew up in Northland so I find it kind of comforting in a weird sort of way. It seems I missed the hottest time in Perth, but I was there long enough to know that Hollie and temperatures about 35 degrees do not mix well. Plus it’s less damp and humid than home – that I do not miss.  

Northcote on a sunny day.

Long story short, Melbourne is pretty sweet - I'm slowly but surely getting settled, and if anyone is around and wants to meet up for a coffee/wine (or, better still, employ me) then get in touch!

*My inability to do anything gracefully, and my irrational fear of traffic may be a slight impediment, but a girl can dream.
** This bike picture wasn't actually taken in Melbourne. But you get the idea.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Of late.

Perth Cityscape

It is hot. The weather site tells me that it is currently 35 degrees. It is also very dry, making it much more bearable than the same temperature would be back home. I'm sitting outside under the shade of the verandah enjoying the warm breeze and sipping on a coffee.

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks - for no particular reason other than that I've been busy getting used to my new job. The marked copies of my thesis finally arrived after touring New Zealand trying to find me for a month or so before getting shipped to Australia. I was really nervous about having to go through them and was pleasantly surprised that the required changes were minimal (compared to feedback I've had in the past) and I was able to get through the majority of them in a couple of hours.

Working as a receptionist has been great. It's something that I've not done before so I'm enjoying doing something new, meeting new people, and only having to work during business hours (I go home at 5 and have weekends off!!! Amazing!!!).

The other weekend I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours wandering around the Kalamunda Markets.

Kalamunda Markets


Ok, I really suck at pumping out these posts! I did manage to finish this off earlier, but it somehow deleted itself. So we've skipped forward a few days to Tuesday, where I am tucked up in bed with a wheat pack as I can't find a hot water bottle. Not too sure what happened to the hot weather, but I'm assured that it will be back with a vengeance in no time. Neato. 

Right, back to the markets. It was a gorgeous day and I really enjoying wandering around looking at the stalls. I managed to pick up some earrings for Emma (for her birthday) and myself (because I could).

Froggy birthday card!

I also went for an outing to Kings Park. It rained on us so we didn't stay as long as I'd have liked - but I have high hopes for picnics in the park in the not-so-distant future. 

Lookout over Perth city

Kings Park

We also made a very brief stop at one of Perth's famous beaches (I have no idea which). It's stunning, but things like this happen which make me think I might stick to swimming in the pool at my house!

"thongs" - tee hee

Hope everyone is well back home/wherever you are!

xoxo Hollie

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Perth Proper

On Thursday I went into actual Perth to meet up with a new friend and have a look around. I thought I was already in Perth, but apparently not. In fact, Perth isn't even on my address. Actual Perth consists primarily of the CBD - which is around 40-50 mins drive from where I'm currently living. 

I love this guy! I didn't read the plaque so don't actually know who he is or why there is a statue of someone doing a handstand/breakdancing in the middle of the street - but it's pretty cool regardless. I wonder if there are any sheep statues anywhere like this one in Canberra:

Seriously, WTF?

Sydney boasts some fine sheep statues as well, but I can't be bothered dredging through all my photos to find a picture. Can anybody explain this phenomenon?

We went for a walk along the riverbank (where I neglected to take any decent scenery shots) and stumbled across this dude trying in vain to swallow a pufferfish that was clearly too big. Nice try, buddy.

We also stumbled upon this random little alleyway. It's super cute and completely different to all the other areas I saw in the CBD which were considerably more corporate. 

Awkward blatant tourist pose.

I'll have to take some more scenic pictures sometime. I've secretly been waiting until the weather is better so that it will look more awesome. Below is a picture I took last night of the sunset as Emma and I drove into the city. Emma promises me that there will be many more like it - this pleases me. 

We were off to do some late night shopping as I start a new job as receptionist on Monday and need some clothing that isn't Emma's! I hadn't been shopping in forever as most of my clothing in the last year had been given to me through clothes swaps and the such. So I am the proud owner of new pants, skirts, and several blouses. How exciting. I also have a new hair colour and cut. So much for saving! I'm quite stoked though that it took less than a week to be offered not one but two jobs - and I'm really excited to be doing something that I've not tried before.

Roast dinner at Emma's Mum's place tonight! Nom nom nom.

Friday, September 23, 2011

You Always Take The Weather With You

Today promises to be the first sunny day since my arrival - there is literally not a cloud in the sky. And while I am told I will get over it eventually and crave rain, I really am quite happy to see some sunshine. I am making the most of it by sitting outside by the (very green) pool/giant birdbath. I love this back yard - it is going to be AHMARZING in summer for bbqs and swimming.

Pool area - taken on a less sunny day
Earlier this week Shane took me to see the Mundaring Weir which provides water to Perth and other towns in WA, many of which are hundreds of kilometers away. While the Weir is huge, it is pretty obvious just how low the water level is, despite this being the wettest winter they've had in nearly a decade. So, as grumbly as I am that it has been raining so much, it is clearly desperately needed here.

Mundaring Wier

Of course, being the bloke he is, we had gone out in his enormous car and did a spot of 4WD driving (I realise the 'D' stands for driving, but really, how do you write that?). It was pretty fun! I got to see some scenery as well which was cool - we live really close to the bush. 

I'm looking forward to more exciting adventures in the future - especially once the weather clears up and we can head to the beach! Yay beach!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hollie Moves to Perth

Right. So I've arrived in Perth in one piece - even though it took an outrageous amount of time to get here. I left my parent's place in Whangarei at 6:30am (NZ time) and arrived at Emma and Shane's in Perth at around 5am (NZ time). A lot of flying and hanging out at airports - plus an extra two hours just sitting in the plane in Melbourne airport while they fixed and tested stuff.

Needless to say I was a tired little Hollie by the time I got in.

On the way I took some photos of upside-down sky, and my first glimpse of Australia:

I'm into my third day now, and I'm only just starting to get the hang of the time difference. I constantly feel like I've been wasting the day away, only to look at a clock and find it's 11am! I've been kept busy setting up my room, doing a wee bit of sight-seeing, and a suprising amount of shopping for various bits and pieces for the house.

I was really excited about arriving in much warmer weather than NZ, and being able to swan about in shorts and dresses by the pool. However, it really isn't nearly as warm as I was hoping! Instead of lovely sunshine there has been a big storm! So it's been warm clothing and extra blankets on the bed for me. Lamepants.

My room is pretty sweet. It feels crazy to be in such a big room in a house with no stairs and a huuuuge back yard after my flat in Wellington. The house is pretty neat as well. It has a bit of a batch feel about it: there are two actual bedrooms, two lounges, a random storage area/hallway, kitchen, bathroom, and the toilet is outside. Yes, outside. It's not so bad, it's all covered and I can get there easily from my room - although I'm slightly afraid I'm going to step on a snake one night while I stumble there in the dark. So far the closest thing to a snake I've seen was a cute little caterpillar, but it's early days yet. 

Here are some photos of my new digs:

My super comfy bed

So much space!

Hail in the Pool (taken from my room)

We get a new flatmate tonight, another guy from NZ, so we will be a house full of Kiwis! Except for Shane who is the quintessential Aussie bloke. He owns a ute and a Bronco (does that count as a ute?), watches the 'Footy', and appears to be able to fix anything you point him at. Basically the opposite of me. It also seems that I have no choice but to join in with a whole bunch of exciting activities - Emma has already bought vouchers so that we can learn to kitesurf, is planning camping trips, boat trips, and they are super into diving so I'm sure that will happen too. It's pretty awesome. I'm looking forward to trying a whole bunch of new things. Including going to the gym! I know right! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just in case you thought it was over...

Despite submitting in June, I am still doing thesis related tasks. This is set to continue for a while as I need to contact participants and work through the examiner's comments, before having it bound and handing it in to the library. Some time after that I will actually graduate - and THEN I will be able to say that I do indeed have a master's degree!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baby Steps

I've just arrived in Auckland after a lovely couple of weeks in Wellington spent lazing around and catching up with friends. And eating. I did a lot of eating. The weather was great the whole time, and it was just so nice to see everyone again. Although I am still gutted that I missed out on the snow. I'm not sure I'll ever get over that, no matter how much people tell me it was kind of crap once it started melting, particularly if you had to be outside for any reason.

I'm at a friend's place (by myself, she's not home until later) and it is surprisingly cold, and predictably overcast. I have "borrowed" her puffy Kathmandu jacket that she raved about when I saw her last (it was on the floor in plain view, what's a girl to do?), and am now seriously considering stowing it in my suitcase and pretending that I never saw it. It is actually like wearing a snuggly cloud.

Actual jacket:
Accurate representation of how it feels to wear the jacket:

I'm sure she won't notice if it disappears.

In the last few days I have packed up all my clothes, furniture, and attempted to throw out a whole lot of stuff (not particularly successfully). I'm ridiculously slow at packing. I always end up spending more time peering through photo albums, reading old essays (cringe), and trying on hats that I haven't seen in a while, than actual packing. I was also SUPER awkward when the moving men came to collect my stuff and basically hid in my flatmate's room until they were gone (even though they were totally professional and did a good job). I'm a bit sore today as they took my bed and I had to sleep on the couch last night. The plus side of that was getting to properly say goodbye to my flatmates this morning as we all rushed out the door at the same time(ish).

I'm really going to miss Wellington - I've made so many friends there over the last 18 months and it makes me sad to wonder when I'll get to see them again. Thank goodness for social networking, or I'd be totally lost. Thanks to technology we can now still drink wine in bed and gossip via skype. Plus it is just so beautiful. Yes, even when it is raining, windy, and the bus is 20 mins late.

Tonight I'm catching up with Auckland friends for MORE eating out before heading home to Whangarei for a tiny while - AND THEN TO PERTH WITH ME!