Thursday, 30 April 2015

On Missing Home

Month five is fast approaching and it's starting to really settle in that we are 9000 miles away from home, just the two of us. To be honest we are starting to miss home just a little bit.
We miss our local pub, our takeaway, our big cosy bed, all our DVD's, proper chocolate, our dogs, our families and our friends.
We knew that moving to the other side of the world would be hard and sometimes it really is. We don't have an amazing relationship with our housemates, the temperatures dropped and working 40 hour weeks kind of takes the fun out of living in Australia.
Despite the odd bouts of homesickness the positives do outweigh the negatives.
I've held a koala, fed a kangaroo, seen quokkas (that are only native to WA), seen some amazing sunsets and views aswell as all the other stuff we have coming up - Shark dives, sand boarding, seeing Uluru, road trips and a whole lot more.
All the experiences we have had and are going to have make the homesickness worth it but Yorkshire is always going to be home.


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Australia: Month Four Recap

Image from Tumblr.

Man can you believe it's been four months since I hopped on that 20 hour flight? Sometimes it feels like I've been here forever and then other days it feels like five minutes. So what's gone on in Month Four?

Well as explained in Wednesday's post Jody and I have decided to head North in search of farm work. Instead of pimping out our mirage we are gunna invest in a campervan (sadly not a VW) and have a proper Aussie roadtrip.

Campervans cost money which means working and saving hard...Luckily my one month temporary role has been extended to as long as I want! As we all know staying in all the time can get pretty boring so we have been finding really cheap things to do to pass the time.

Unfortunately all my savings so far have gone on paying off our four day West coast trip, our car rego AND a new hard drive for my laptop cos mine has conked out so I'm having to replace that.

All bills seem to come at once don't they? Aaah being an adult.

What have you guys been up too lately? Any cheap but fun ideas of what to do with ourselves?

And a small PS - We went to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron yesterday and I couldn't recommend it more. Action, Comedy and Superheroes what more do you need?


Saturday, 25 April 2015

The Motor Museum of WA

I'm not too sure how most people will feel about this post as it features a lot of cars but hopefully the readers of Alright Blondie are a lot like me and can't help but 'Ooooh!' when a shiny, brightly coloured, vintage car drives past them!

Last weekend Jody and I wanted to get out of the house but as we are skint we are on a very tight budget. A few googles later we decided on the Motor Museum of WA in Whiteman Park as it was only $10 entry.

We are both massive fans of Top Gear and I LUUUURVE vintage cars (Cuba looks like my idea of a dream). Then there is Jody's dad who is big into cars so he's passed that gene on to Jodes ! We saw going to the museum as an easy way to kill an hour or two and to be honest we didn't expect much but after walking in we realised we were extremely wrong.

There was loads of different cars - both real, fake and toy! - aswell as motorbikes, petrol pumps, signs, photos and more. If you're not into cars at all then don't waste your time going cos you probably won't enjoy it but if you are a petrol head then get yourself there. (If your SO, BFF, mum isn't into cars there is Caversham wildlife Park just next door so coerce them into going with you with the promise of kangaroos and koalas!)

I won't bore you all with all the different car makes and models but if you would like to know feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you!

And to finish, everybody's favourite vintage car BRUM!


Friday, 17 April 2015

Jobs available to you on a WHV

So you've got your working holiday visa, you've sorted everything important out and now you need are on the hunt for a job. Well where do you start?

You all know how hard I found it getting a job when I arrived and to be honest I didn't expect to find it as hard as I did. Thankfully I've been in work for a month now so I thought hey, my experiences could help somebody be more prepared than I was when they arrive in Australia!

On a working holiday visa you are only allowed to work for an employer for 6 months which means a lot of companies won't employ people on a permanent basis (unless they plan on sponsoring you). It means finding work can be a bit of a ballache but there are still jobs available so don't loose hope!

So here goes...

Bar/Café/Restaurant work.
These kind of jobs are perfect for somebody on a working holiday visa. Hours are flexible with both full and part time hours available aswell as paying upwards of $20 an hour. It's pretty easy to get a job in this area (especially if you have experience) and with a lot of students doing these kind of jobs they are used to people working for them short term. BUT if you plan to work with alcohol make sure you get your Responsible Serving of Alcohol certificate online.

Apply for jobs on Seek.
Only the lucky few will get a full time, permanent job - like I said up there, companies don't tend to employ people on a WHV. Seek is the biggest recruitment website in Aus so there are loads of contract and temporary positions you can apply for.

Sign up to Recruitment agencies for temporary office work.
Recruitment agencies that specialise in temporary office work are fantastic for people on a WHV. I signed up to three and one of them has been spectacular, getting me some fantastic roles. Once you've proven what a good worker you are, you will nearly always have work  Expect to earn upwards of $23 an hour.

Become an Au-Pair.
From what I can gather, all the Aussies seem to have European au-pairs. You don't necessarily need experience working with kids but it always helps. And you can live in the family home in some cases. I don't know a lot about this one I'm afraid cos it's something that's never really interested me!

Try your luck and just go round handing out CV's and ringing people.
Jody gave his CV to a couple of companies and within a week he had a call back and a job. Some people just get lucky. Jody has worked for builders merchants since he was 19 and has a lot of good experience...It didn't even matter that he was only on a 417 visa. If you have a proven track record, work in the right field and have a bit of luck, you might just get your ideal job.

Do your second year farm work - Paid
If all else fails go do your farm work - fruit picking, packing, pruning, fishing, pearling - there is all sorts available all over the country. Just make sure you check what's in season and when. For 88 days of farm work you will be granted another year here, have some money coming in and learn a lot more about yourself. Some hostels have contacts within the farming industry, some have recruitment agencies and some have job boards.  Or you can always just try your luck calling farms.

Some 2nd year visa work websites:
Backpacker Jobs - facebook
Fruitpicking Jobs - facebook

Do your second year farm work - WWOOFing.
Okay with WWoofing - Willing Workers on Organic Farms - you work in exchange for accommodation and food. Sure your not getting paid but you don't have to worry about paying rent and you know, not eating. AND you get your 88 days signed off. Bonus.

Hopefully this helps you lovely people out and I have my fingers and toes crossed that anybody coming to Australia doesn't find getting a job here as hard as I did!

Any plans to come here soon? Comment below! :)


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

140 William Street, Perth

I've bored on about how much I love the city before and when we went there today to get some bits and bobs I just had to show Jody the street where I work, 140 William Street.
140 William Street is my favourite bit of the city, right next to the train station. I'm not 100% if its a new development or not but it all looks pretty new. It's rammed full of yummy restaurants including Nandos and Jamie Olivers Italian aswell as some lesser know places such as the Chinese restaurant Bam Bam Boo and the hipster coffee shop Max + Sons.
Alongside the restaurants are clothing shops Cotton:On and Forever New as well as the WA governments offices. Murals are painted all over the spare bits of walls and if you are ever down there look up! You will see 'Rapture' by Nick Saavas (above). Cool or what?
Today we had a few drinks in Brotzeit, a German restaurant but next weekend we plan on going for a full meal -  The food smelled so good we had to leave cos we were staring so hard.  Expect a review sometime soon.
Jody enjoying his 'dangerous' German beer.

Cocina Bandito - a walk up window showcasing the best in Cuban food. How amazing are all the posters?
A collab piece by artists Kyle Hughes-Odgers and Benjamin Johnson. Awesome right?
Jody seemed to like it anyways!
I love street art and I'm always on the scout for more, where are the best places you've seen it?

Saturday, 11 April 2015

6 Aussie Myths Debunked

When reading this list, please bear in mind I live on the West Coast - Things may be different over East!
1. Steve Irwin's (RIP) shows made out Australia was heaving with a million and one things that can kill you - Which is true it is - but in the urbanized areas you hardly see any poisonous critters (Not here in Perth anyways). We've seen zero snakes and one redback spider..Bear in mind Jody works as a delivery driver so he is often out in the sticks and he hasn't seen anything super scary either. And he is TERRIFIED of spiders.
2. We grew up thinking that all Aussies say 'Bonzer', 'G'day', 'Barbie' and 'Sheila'...Well guess what, TV lied. 'Too easy' and 'No worries' are super common and here in Perth expect to hear 'How you going' and 'Yeah, Nah' a lot. I know I don't get it either.
3. Fosters doesn't come from Australia, isn't made in Australia and it isn't drank in Australia. It's just a marketing gimmick. Here in Oz, people drinking lager isn't that common really, most aussies seem to prefer beer.
4. You know when Oz is shown on telly, the sun is always shining and people are wearing shorts? Again, ALL LIES.  Perth is one of the windiest cities in the world, it rains quite a lot in the cooler months and on a night it can get as low as 1 degree. ONE DEGREE. The other night we had trackies, hoodies and beanies on AND we were under the quilt. TV, I trusted you.
5. I've mentioned this before, but koalas really aren't that common. Koala's aren't actually native to the West Coast and the colony at Yanchep were brought here. From what I can gather, they aren't roaming that freely on the East coast either? Yep if you wanna see one, you will have to pay for it or have extremely peeled eyes.
6. Not everyone is a bronzed, blonde surfer babe. In fact, I haven't even seen that many surfers (maybe I'm in the wrong bit). The people here are just like you and me, and some of them are actually quite pale! Don't believe everything you hear.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

19 Things you should know before visiting the UK.

1. It doesn't rain all the time...Just some of the time.
2. We don't all drink tea (Sorry).
3. There is more to the UK than just London. The southern coast is beautiful and sometimes warm and the North is so green!
4. The transport system is pretty unreliable so don't expect much.
5. And a bulk of the bus drivers are really rude.
6. The accent varies a lot...Good luck with that.
7. As does the slang. Something from the North might mean something completely different in the South.
8. Prepare yourself for just how good our chocolate is. Seriously.
9. The UK is actually quite safe outside of London.
10. We don't accept people who don't like animals. True story.
11. The music scene is fantastic (especially the indie scene).
12. It's so easy to drive in the UK and most of the time it's fairly safe.
13. And everywhere is so clearly sign posted (unlike in WA...)
14. You can get anywhere in the UK in a day. Even if you drive. Amazing.
15. A lot of Brits are quite ignorant when it comes to other languages. Sorry about that. I wish schools put a bit more emphasis on languages - Much handier than algebra.
16. Most of us have good teeth thanks to the fabulous NHS. Don't watch the Jeremy Kyle show though if you want to see good teeth.
17. Parts of the UK are a lot more expensive than other parts. It's cheaper to buy a 3 bed house in the North than it is to buy a 1 bed flat in the South.
18. Our grub is the best. Bland and comforting and YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS.
19 And finally, Jody's addition...We have the Premier League, the GREATEST league in the WORLD...Prepare yourself for just how seriously men take their football. You may become a football widow.


Friday, 3 April 2015

Tick it off the Bucket List...Hold a Koala

 Just a heads up this post is photo heavy/full of koala spam/an overload of cuteness.
If there was one thing on my Aussie bucket list that I wanted - no, NEEDED - to do it was hold one Australia's native marsupials...The koala (obviously). And yesterday that dream came true.
We made the hour long drive to Cohunu koala park in Byford. Entry fee to the park is $15 but if you wanna hold a koala and take photos it's an extra $25. I thought it was a bit of a rip to be honest, but after being handed Tilly and getting to feed her some eucalyptus (which STINKS by the way), I was more than happy to pay the extra $25.
I mean look at the look of pure joy/excitement/pure happiness on my face:
The park itself is a little bit run down I guess but the staff were so friendly and the koala carer seemed to genuinely love the little dudes (she described them as her babies). The koala's are rotated so they aren't constantly being pestered and we got about ten minutes each with our bear.
 I didn't feel like the koala's were being forced against their will. They are used to being handled, are looked after and to be honest, being able to get so close to these kind of animals just makes you want to try and help conserve wildlife that little bit more.
So anyways this little beauty was Tilly and she seemed pretty happy to be handled. She came over to us so easily and she seemed pretty chill (Does eucalyptus get koala's stoned? Have I read that somewhere?). But yeah, koala's are as soft as they look but man are they heavy! (I know you wouldn't think that right?)

Anyways I fell completely in love with Tilly and all the other bears and I can't wait to go to Yanchep National Park where there is a WILD colony. It will be magical to see them in the wild and it's just another adventure for us to go on!
Anywas here's some more koala spam...



Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Australia: Month three recap

March 29th marked our third month in Australia and it's terrifying me just how fast this year is going. It feels like we have been in Perth for a lot longer than three months though which is a bit weird!
Month three started out a bit rubbish. Jody was working so I was in the house by myself, no car, savings slowly dwindling. I'd applied for a bazillion jobs and was signed to three recruitment agencies and nada. I was getting a bit down I guess.
Fast forward to the end of March and everything is the complete opposite. I've been working for two weeks in a really nice office and come Tuesday I started at another month long assignment (With the possibility of extension aswell!).
I have money in the bank, we have our four day trip to look forward and we are looking into moving out (either into a hostel or a flatshare). I'm feeling a million times better than I did at the beginning of the month.
The long Easter weekend brings more exploring and Jody's 26th birthday (it feels like only yesterday it was his 21st!) so April is off to an ace start!
How was your March? Wonderful I hope?