Archive | March, 2004

Ch-ch-ch-changes

30 Mar

Work took an interesting turn with the project I’m working on be technically pushed aside for a month, possibly forever. Bit upsetting to work on a peoject for almost 2 months, only to see your creation discarded, and watch another pick the bones for useful tidbits for THEIR solution. Ah well, just checked, and I’m still being paid 😉

Kite surfing lesson #2 came along, with a one hour session involving getting the board on your feet whilst sitting in shallow water and controlling the kite. Very tricky. I managed at the end of the hour to get dragged feet-first, board pushing ahead into the water, but not enough wind to pull me onto my feet – so my final hour of lesson has been delayed until next week.

Hope to take my camera down and get some snaps next week – it has lain dormant in my dorm room for quite a while. I emptied it of pictures today and found some pictures still awaiting upload. So the first lot, pictures of my return to Sydney, birthday drinks and last night in town drinks have been added onto the end of the Sydney album. The other lots are some Melbourne pictures that will be added into a new Melbourne album sometime soon.

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Everybody loves surfing

21 Mar

This weekend saw the start of my kite surfing training. With strong winds on Saturday, I went out and flew a 3m² kite without a harness. This was all easy stuff, familiar from my days off Flexifoil flying, but using a bar rather than 2 straps for the steering.

Then I graduated to a 5m² kite, which with the addition of being clipped to a harness around my waist was also quite easy to fly – just getting used to the power controls offered by the harness. I skidded about the beach for a bit, before donning a wetsuit, lifejacket and helmet to go “body-suring” in the water – letting the kite drag you face forwards across the water (fun).

Then, enjoying my confidence, I moved onto a 11m² kite – which took me 10-15 mins jsut to walk it out into the water as the pull was so strong. I then tryed body surfing back into the shore. The kite not only dragged me along, it also wrenched me out of the water a couple of feet, leaving me to splash back painfully as the kite swung round for another tug. Fun, but painful after 10-20 mins !

That was the end of the Saturday session. A few beers and a good kip later it was Sunday, where I went down for a second session – only to find there was not quite enough wind to try out the kite-board. But kindly they let me play around on the beach with a 14m² kite, skidding around for 30 mins. This ended with a sharp turn which flipped me onto my back, landing head first into the sand. Dazed and happy I decided I had overstayed my free session, and rebooked my other lesson for next Saturday.

Cars, booze and money

12 Mar

Life in Melbourne plods on. Work is going really well, Sensis appears to be “on the up” at the moment, and lots of launch celebrations are planned (e.g. free beer). Yesterday was the first of these free drinks sessions, which went on for a long time, after which was my mates birthday in Saint Kilda. It all got blurry… blurry enough to prevent a 9:00 apperance at work today, it was more like 11:00am when I finally got in – whoops.

Most of my fun has been constrained to weekends though. Last weekend was a bank holiday and the Melbourne grand prix. I went down for the day of the race (which was a foregone conclusion in seconds) and had a good time – it was loud as hell and a nice day to sit outside, and we were surrounded by many exitable Columbians who went wild at every mention of Juan Pablo Montoya. I cheered on our boy Button, mainly as he was my sweepstake pick, but he only managed 6th.

Otherwise I’ve been catching lots of movies (go see the station agent if it’s out near you) and a few nights of drinking and dancing, including one legendary night in “Tony Starr’s kitten club”, a trendy jazz club / restuarant hidden away in the alleys of central Melborne. This is one of Melbourne’s signature themes – all the cool bars worth knowing are all hidden down side streets with little or no signage – although this has prompted the sale of a very useful pack of cards, detailing how to find these hidden gems.

Still waiting for my first pay cheque – it has to go through various layers of companies now that I am contracting, but hopefully a few dollers will drop into my account soon, as I have over 1,000UKP of debt on my credit card ! This has been partially accomplished by me signing up for some kite surfing lessons for next weekend – which accomplishes one of my new year’s resolutions (try kite surfing) – which I am very excited about.