• March 2017
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Crocodylus Park

Today around midday I went to Crocodylus Park with my mum. As the name suggests, there were crocodiles there. First we took a quick look at the breeding pens for crocs. After this came a tour of the crocodile pens starting with a feeding of them. I had a go with dangling a long stick over the side to feed one and it snapped the meat of the end real quick:

Croc Bait

Croc Bait

Bait is caught

Bait is caught

If you think that is something, I don’t think Indiana Jones would have survived a pen of crocodiles compared to a pen of snakes:

Pen of Crocs

Pen of Crocs

Of course, I also had a go at holding a baby crocodile:

The Baby Croc Says Hi

The Baby Croc Says Hi

Let me go!

Let me go!

There were various other animals there including emus:

Two Emus

Two Emus

ostriches:

An ostrich

An ostrich

various monkeys:

A monkey

A monkey

dingoes, wallabies, and a sleeping lion:

The lion sleeps today

The lion sleeps today

A turtle as well:

Its Turtle Time

Its Turtle Time

A whopper of a croc:

Breeding Pen for Crocs

Breeding Pen for Crocs

It is well worth the visit if you travel to Darwin.

Here’s looking at you kid:

Heres lookin at you kid

Here's lookin' at you kid

V8 Supercars

I’ve finally finished a long 20 weeks (with a short one week break in between) teaching this year. Semester 1 is over and done with. I am tired. Spent a good few weeks preparing student reports after assessing the students.

We had our school sport’s day (athletics day) yesterday and I had really sore feet throughout the afternoon. I made the mistake of buying a new pair of sport shoes which were a size too small!!! I will give them to my brother (only worn for 5 days) and purchase a new pair (checking the size inside properly this time) after my next pay day.

Yes, I took 5 students to see V8 Supercars racing today. The chief minister here in Darwin had this organised for school kids to come along – good publicity. We watched the race cars go round and round the track many times, but enjoyed having free soft drink, BBQ and salad lunch and paddle pop ice creams to finish off with. I took many pictures using the school camera along with my iphone. Here’s one example:

V8 Supercars Racetrack

V8 Supercars Racetrack

Once it got to 1:30pm the students and I traveled back to school and I was greeted by a fluorescent light buld having been smashed onto the carpet in my classroom during my absence. I was not happy to be cleaning up that mess. Then I had the students help me to clean up the classroom before the semester break. Lastly I spent a 2.5 hours after school placing and writing things into the students’ reports.

I am now on holidays for the next 3 weeks and will eat out (or buy takeaway) to celebrate and relax.

Deadly Darwin?

Yep, ‘bout time I updated my blog. I have just made it through the first term of school. Our Easter holiday is for one week and is almost over. I have tomorrow left to relax and then I start preparing again for term two from Sunday arvo and Monday. It is good to be sharing a house with my mum and no longer living on my own. I am a little used to living alone but don’t like it. I haven’t done all that much this week except play some WOW, watch TV shows and relax – very lazy I know!

Yesterday mum and I went for a walk around the local area and had a look at a giant termite mound. It looks like a large hand:

The termites greet you with a large palm greeting!

The termites greet you with a large palm greeting!

I stand just under 6ft, so this picture gives you an idea of the scale of the termite mound!

I stand just under 6ft, so this picture gives you an idea of the scale of the termite mound!

This morning mum and I went to an Easter service at a park with one of the local church groups. Afterwards we took a walk around the park and enjoyed the shady trees. We also went for a walk around parts of Darwin the other day, and encountered a deadly brown snake on a sloping pathway.  So we changed our mind and went another way. A couple of banana splits later we felt better and headed home.

Tomorrow mum and I plan on going to the major shopping centre to look for some books for teaching resources. Maybe I’ll purchase a new book for myself too (a favourite pastime of mine).

The internet has been dropping out a few times today, and I suspect that it is a dodgy telstra line, because I have tested most things and had to permanently unplug our landline phones. I probably still need to purchase a new modem some time soon as well.

Deeper in Darwin

Yes, its finally here – my latest entry. I know its been a while, and I have taken a while to settle in here and feel more able to update my blog.

When I last posted, my furniture was going to take a while. However, the removalists must have received many complaints and decided to ship people’s things south. A week later from their last phone call to me, the removalists rang me to inform me that they would be delivering my furniture in a couple of days. I did not expect this (a week from when it should have been delivered), but was inordinately pleased.

I have left many book boxes still not unpacked, and am glad of this because I will be moving again soon to a bigger house to share with my mum who is starting a job up here soon. I will be glad of the company, as living alone is no fun at all.

I have been attending one of the local churches here in Darwin, and whilst it is good preaching and worship, the hospitality leaves somewhat to be desired. I do go to a bible study group most weeks, although it would also be nice to have made some deeper friendships by now. I must soldier on and keep praying about it.

School is pretty good so far. The staff members are very friendly and caring and you feel like a part of a school family.

The weather: somewhat hot and humid at times, but bearable. Air conditioning is nice when you can get and when not, you don’t want to rush around.

Disasters in Darwin?!!!

I received a phone call from Wridgways Removals yesterday informing me that due to the flood on the Barkley Highway (and total and complete erosion of the road) my furniture would not arrive for another 2 to 3 weeks!!!

A stretch of the Barkly Highway damage cutting off transport from Queensland to Northern Territory

A stretch of the Barkly Highway damage cutting off transport from Queensland to Northern Territory

I had previously rang Wridgways last Friday about this and they informed me that my stuff would arrive by Wednesday and be delivered today. Obviously they did not check the current whereabouts of my furniture and I was really angry when I heard from them yesterday. They had a couple of weeks to get my things past the border point and away from where the flooding has happened. Total lack of care and laziness must have happened where the people responsible for my things took some sort of holiday over Christmas and New Years and probably left my stuff sitting in some warehouse or yard up near Mt Isa. I have had to buy a new fridge and a basic trundle bed+mattress (the Fridge to be delivered some time tomorrow with a new dryer I also paid for; the bed & mattress to be delivered on Tuesday morning). I have also purchased a cheap plastic table and folding chair for various uses. In the meantime I am camping out on the floor of my bedroom unit with an air mattress that keeps on slowly losing air. Not happy!!!

After already having to pay an electrician myself to replace my bedroom fan and switch (fan would not stop rotating), today another maintenance problem with my unit occurred: the fan and light for the bathroom stopped working (stuffed switch). I organised an electrician and will be sending the pending invoice to the real estate for the landlord to pay for the repairs. The landlord finally got in a plumber (after we complained directly to her) to fix the leak and blockage in the bathroom basin and drain pipe. Then later I discovered one power outlet that does not work at all. The other maintenance jobs to be done (submitted to the real estate), I doubt will be attended to i.e. fly screens with holes needing replacing, a window fly screen partially unattached from the wall, some other taps with degrading seals (cannot turn off taps easily), and a shower head needing replacing. Not the discovery of Darwin I was expecting!

Tonight at 12:35am mum takes off from the airport for her long flight back to Brisbane. I have enjoyed having her here as moral support, her help with my settling into a new place, and above all her love and companionship. I will miss her. At least we can communicate by phone or internet chat. I will be leaving here at 11:30pm to take her to the airport, and will probably stay to see her off – late night for both of us.

On a brighter note, the primary coordinator has invited me to dinner tomorrow night and that will be good with my first night by myself beginning tomorrow and my mum and I will have to get used to our own company again. I start work next week with Monday consisting of an orientation day for new teachers and staff, and the other days taken up with planning and organising for the new year of teaching to begin the following week when the children attend school. No smiling at the kids until Easter, lol.

Enter the Darwin

Mum and I arrived in Darwin last Friday morning at the ridiculous hour of 12:35am (1:05am EST). We were quite tired and caught a taxi to our budget hotel. Upon lugging our bags through the hotel entrance (mine was particularly heavy), we found we were required to present our ids in order to receive the key to our room. We stumbled down the hall to our room and when we opened the door, a horrid smell wafted out (probably someone had peed or thrown up or both in this room and the carpet was not properly cleaned). We instantly regretted choosing this budget value inn (lacking in value obviously). The stench was enough to keep anyone awake and had me coughing throught what remained of the night. The next morning we went by taxi first to the car transport depot and I was dropped off to collect my car whilst mum continued on to my unit in order to be there in case the telstra phone technician arrived early.

I spent the next hour and a half waiting for the depot office to open, sitting on my large clothes bag. Finally I was able to collect my car and then drove to my unit. I needn’t have bothered getting to the car depot so early as the telstra technician didn’t arrive until mid morning after I had arrived at the unit. My phone was connected and I then went about organising electricity, etc. No power was on by the afternoon, so we decided to stay at a nicer hotel for 3 nights. Over the next few days we did the business rounds and I rang my internet provider a few times trying to organise my internet connection (finally on yesterday). I also rang a plumber to install my washing machine on Friday, and a tv guy to come and fix the aerial connection for television on Friday as well. My furniture is supposed to arrive today in Darwin, and be delivered some time tomorrow – here’s hoping!

Since my internet was turned on, I’ve had drop outs at least once a day, and am currently hanging on hold for over 20 mins with the phone pinned to my ear waiting for someone to answer my call (internode customer service sucks). My car is at a local mechanics for the morning to have some belt noise checked out, and funny enough the mechanic I met is the father of one of the kids I will be teaching this year (fortunate or not?!). They gave us a lift home and said they could pick us up to collect my car later on.

We have had some unusual dry couple of days for the wet season, howerver today the cloud and rain is back again. Very humid here, but Gympie got pretty humid at times too, so I can adjust (plus I’m staying in a/c as much as possible :D).

Yesterday mum and I toured the Darwin botanical gardens and enjoyed the shady walks among rainforest trees and plants, accompanied by the humid weather. So by the time we got back to the car we were both drenched in sweat. The a/c took care of that on the way home, and a shower later cleared up the rest.

Crazy Packing, Cleaning & Calls of Owls

The last few weeks have been very busy for me and my family. My mum helped me with my packing so that I would get it all done before the removalists turned up. I even had gone to the crazy trouble of cataloging all the books I own (almost all) which took a very long time.

During the next week I dropped my car off in South Brisbane at the transport depot so that it would be sent to Darwin ahead of me. I then rushed to the bus stop to catch a bus that was due to arrive in 20 mins. However, upon arriving there 10 mins before the due bus,  I waited about 30 mins for a bus that never turned up. I rang the Transinfo and they didn’t know anything and the only advice they had was to catch a later bus from a nearby street (which I already knew about – my backup plan). After another 30 mins waiting that bus did arrive and I was on my way. 50 mins later, I arrived in Brisbane City and walked very quickly to the train station to take me to North Brisbane. Another hour later and I finally was off the pathetic public transport system and met up with my mum to head home. Yes, I hate public transport!

Just last week I had do more packing for my mum’s move out of the house she was renting. Fortunately we had family members and friends to help us rather than use removalists (a big thankyou to Karin, Karl, Kim, Kendal & Bec, Morris & Rosemary). We made the move in one day taking some furniture to my mum’s rental cottage, and the rest to storage.  On Saturaday mum and I unpacked, and I organised her kitchen. Then this week we  spent the last 3 days cleaning up our former house. This house was so big that a normal clean took a long time. Part 1 consisted of cleaning the carpets  and the bathrooms as well as removing odds and ends from the house, part 2 we spent more time on the window grills and taking things to storage (I also reorganised it to fit a lot more things in there) and the tip. Part 3 (today) we both washed the windows and I hosed down the cobwebs and dust from the outside. Then we took yet more things to storage and to the tip.

I was drenched in sweat all over by the time we were finished. But wait there’s more, after our last storage run, we swept out the garage and then piled all our cleaning equipment into the car. Hurray, a long job finished.

This morning (before all that crazy cleaning) mum and I travelled to Maroochydore to go shopping for a wireless internet modem (one that connects wirelessly to the internet). We arrived around 9:30am, and when we were finished the shopping centre was jam-packed. We were stalked by a car park vulture following us on our way to the car. Then about two or three of them crowded us in, forcing us to reverse the wrong way and take the scenic car park route out of there (crazy holiday shoppers).

I have now set up mum’s internet using this modem and although the download speeds are extremely slow (compared to my last internet connection), surfing and general internet usage is adequate.

Tonight I spotted about three owls perched in a couple of trees in our front yard and their call sounded like a whispering croaky cry. A bit eerie. The cat took no notice of them 😀

Well, I could type a whole lot more, but am too tired to do so. Signing off!