In Need of a Rest

I’ve had a really busy week: my workweek runs Sunday to Saturday, for which I worked just over 60 hours, and today I worked another six. Most of the drinking, not getting much sleep, pissing around and working heaps has now caught up with me – I’ve definitely burnt the candle at both ends and now I’m just absolutely knackered. My sprained neck has flared up again this week, both my feet are buggered, my back hurts, even my chiropractor can tell that my liver isn’t happy. At some point soon I need to have a couple of days where I just relax – my only day off for the next week is tomorrow and possibly out after work both Tuesday and Wednesday so maybe that’ll come on my next couple of days off. For sure it’s been a fun and crazy few weeks but I seriously need to rein it in a bit.

I’m also hopefully moving in a few weeks for work – a month to six weeks or so, and then heading off on my travels. It’s meant to be a really nice place that I’m heading to so hopefully I’ll be a good enough driver to take a few day trips in the area. It’s not in Melbourne, but in the grand scheme of things, pretty close by anyway.

The start of this week isn’t looking too busy for week but come Friday it will be insane – I’m expecting something close to 60 hours again. It’s all hourly pay too, with extra pay on Sundays so I work all the hours that I can get, only a couple of weeks and the Christmas season will be over, then hopefully on the coast for a crazy-busy-hourly-paid few weeks.

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Working through the Melbourne summer

The past week I’ve been trying to take it easy. The drink or two I went for last Sunday turned into more like a drink or eight, then got asked to come to work on my day off the following day. That wasn’t fun. There’s been a fair bit of work over the past week, 46 hours over five days then this coming week is meant to be the busiest week ever with me working over six days. Every day bar Sunday should be around the ten hour mark, but I’m expecting to be put on at least a couple of 15 hour shifts.

Today I had a driving lesson which went alright – I think I just need a few more hours on the road and then I can take a few trips around Victoria. Around/after Christmas I’m hoping to do some trips to Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula, but I don’t trust myself to drive back from a wine trip to the Yarra Valley.

With Christmas coming up, we’ve had some Christmas music blaring out of the kitchen. Thankfully not the kind of music I’d be listening to on the radio, but instead I’ve had Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo stuck in my head a fair bit. With the hot weather last week, the kitchen hit the 35 degree mark, the same as what I was planting melons in. It’s meant to piss it down the whole of this week, then we’ll get some nice weather next week.

I’ve decided that I’m going to take a trip, probably for around three weeks, around some of Eastern Europe, and also Iceland before I bugger off to Asia for a long term trip. Last year I had two winters, so it’ll be nice to have two summers next year.

From now until Christmas I am working a lot more than usual, so not really up to much.

Last week I managed to burn my forehead at work, but besides that and the amount of Harry Potter comments I received, my new job is going pretty well. The job is getting prepared for functions and dinners so definitely not so stressful – I’ve had a fair few comments now from friends about how chilled out I seem compared to a couple of months back.

Apart from work, I’ve caught up with some friends – been to a rooftop bar, some places around the city and to a friend’s place. Last weekend I went out for “a quiet one” and ended up going to bed at 4pm the next day – it took me a good five or so days to recover from that one but was well worth it. During the week I saw a friend who’s going back to the UK next week so was nice to have a catch up and to have dinner in China Town with her before she goes and I’ve also been to the pub a couple of times as well. Yesterday, I went to a Spring Festival Market in Ballarat with some friends which was really nice, today I’m meeting a friend in the city for a drink and tomorrow I’m just going to chill.

 

Work Work Work Work Work

I’m halfway through a 11 day workweek.

For Monday, I said I was going to be a tourist for the day. I woke up at 1pm so that wasn’t really going to happen. Went to the CBD instead and did some shopping for when/if it becomes summer this year. It looks hopeful though, as today and yesterday were pretty hot. Tuesday, I started working with a friend of mine who I worked with last year which has kept me busy for most of the week.

Wednesday was my second shift at the races and it was actually quite fun. For the first time since March I had to put suncream on before my shift, for which I worked at an open bar and thankfully not planting melons. It’s fun until you realise how you wish the roles were reversed – drinking at the open bar instead of working for it, but it was a nice workday. And I went home and cracked open a beer so it was all good. My social life is actually starting to pick up now as I have a fair bit of time outside of work.

As I have a lot of time off, I’ve been wondering what to do with myself as I don’t want to go back to just working and sleeping. There’s a rock climbing place around the corner which I think it’s aimed at children; despite the fact that I am still sore and bruised to shit two days later it is pretty good and I can make it up to the top of a few of the walls so I’ll be making a habit out of it.

After finishing work today I thought I’d pop to Abbotsford Convent and the park nearby – I didn’t stick around for long as I’d get sunburnt but it’s definitely a place that I’ll visit on a day off and not in black skinny jeans.

 

For the week ahead, I’m working every day until Saturday – I have the next few evenings off so I’m going to be out for a couple of them at least. Thursday morning I may climb up a few walls again before work, Friday I’ll chill before work and I’ll find something to do on Saturday.

Back to Melbourne, Back to Work.

Had a few nice shifts last week – Monday I came home from Tassie, Tuesday I had off then worked straight through to the weekend, having Sunday off and spent the evening down the pub. It’s been one of the weeks where I earn enough to cover rent/food/wine and to put some money away, but I’ve gotten myself a second job working for a friend – it means not many more days off for the rest of the year but for sure I’ll be able to take January off and to put some money aside for Asia.

I also managed to finish watching Stranger Things on Netflix. It took a good couple of days commitment but was bloody good.

The plans for January are the Australian Open and to see the Foo Fighters and Weezer. I want to do a roadtrip from somewhere in Western Australia to Melbourne, driving Adelaide through to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road, but anyone who has seen me behind the wheel would know that I need some lessons. Summer would probably be the worst time to visit Uluru but at least I won’t be planting melons in that heat, then I might go to Tasmania again but we’ll see. Between January and the time my visa expires, I want to do a trip to the Northern Territory then visit Port Douglas and the Whitsundays when the weather is good.

As it’s public holiday tomorrow, some places in hospitality pay you extra to work certain hours and days, resulting in a 100% chance of me being off tomorrow. I have a few things in mind as to what to do as I probably should do something other than sleeping but it just depends on the weather.

Working in Cradle Mountain

After being back from Japan for a day, I received a phonecall asking me to go to Cradle Mountain in Tasmania for a couple of weeks work. It’s the kind of place where people pay a lot to travel to and visit so I thought why not. Two weeks was enough for me though, and I’m happy now to be able to spend the next couple of days chilling and watching Netflix as I have not really had much of a day off in the past two months at least.

Work was pretty easy and well paid. During my days off I did some of the bushwalks – one of the walks did get fairly dangerous at one point; you pretty much had to do the walk then climb your way out of it. Probably should have done it either with phone signal or with someone else.

During my time there I managed to cut every fingertip but one on my right hand doing the same bloody thing and it hurts to type, so just going to keep this post short and sweet.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve not done a lot so it’s a short update.

Last week over my days off, one which I spent in bed, I went to the Aardmans Exhibition at the ACMI which was pretty good. There’s a few things that Aardmans have done that I’ve not really heard of, and have only really watched Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run –  it’s quite interesting to see how they develop the characters. Since I started travelling, I’ve met some people from up north and I wonder what their accent reminds me of. It took me watching Chicken Run to realise that the accents remind me of the movie, so now every time I meet someone with that accent I struggle to keep a straight face because all I can think is “I don’t want to be put into a pie… I don’t like gravy…..”

 

I also really could not be bothered to cook one night last week so I went about 40 minutes out of my way to Queen Vic Night Market – there’s a lot of food there, and mulled wine, but for me it’s more of a place to stop by for some food on the way home from work.

Over this weeks days off I was intending to do something productive and touristy. One day I shit you not, I slept for 18 hours, and Thursday I managed to sprain some of the joints in my neck whilst doing nothing which I’m still recovering from. It’s not ideal to be recovering from that with work, especially with being advised to not move my neck. I also got a promotion this week at work after being there for three weeks which is great, just heaps more responsibility.

First Week Back in Melbourne – Time to be a Grown Up

This week has probably been the week that’s put everything that’s going to happen until January into place. The job hunt has been successful, I’ve settled into the house and drank a fair bit of wine.

I was looking to work with the agency again but as it’s winter they’re not busy so they’ve said to look elsewhere and to keep in touch just in case. To cut a long story short, I got a job which I’m so impressed with – it’s a really respectable position in a great restaurant, the team seem to be great and I know I will be able to save a decent amount for travelling next year. It’s a lot more professional than my previous jobs – more responsibility than what I’ve been exposed to before. It seems now that the places that I’ve worked previously are starting to get me noticed and the placements and work experience that I did when I was younger are starting to pay off. My hand is still buggered from a drunken injury from a few weeks ago – will probably take a fair few days to finish healing so the next few days will be interesting.

Today, I worked a shift that I saw advertised on Facebook. It was a short shift in a cafe, not difficult at all and really laid back. I’ve mentioned before that my job pays well out in Australia, especially in comparison to the UK. I would’ve been happy with $20/hour and was expecting around $22. It ended up being $50/hour; I seriously thought they were bullshitting me at the end of my shift. This time in Melbourne I’m going to be a bit more grown up with my money; todays shift is enough to pay for a flight to Bali and still have money leftover.

Outside of work related things, I met up for breakfast with one of the girls who I met in Ayr and had a 50 day Snapchat streak with. It was really nice to see her and to be able to shit-talk about Ayr. When she’s in Melbourne for a while we have plans to get pissy on a wine tour of the Yarra Valley together which I’m excited for, we’ll probably do a fair bit together. Tonight I think I’m going to go out for a couple of beers, but as I start a new job today this literally means a couple of beers and nothing like the average night out in Ayr.

Back in Melbourne

It is so cold here.

So on Wednesday last week I flew back here. It’s a long story but a few of us figured out that our money-grabbing hostel owners owe us a fair bit of money which quite conveniently took far too long for them to sort out. So now I have to keep in contact with Ayr to see if I can get like $200 back. Cheeky shits.

I spent the first night here in the same hostel as before; apparently I’m dubbed as the “super guest” as I’ve spent a lot of time there. My first full day I looked at a flat I had arranged to see last week. It didn’t look too bad on the internet, however, the only way I can describe it is something that I really shouldn’t say on the internet. It was a two bed apartment, there was no living room because there were two beds in it – the size of the two bedrooms and living room was comparable to my studio flat in London that just housed me, and this flat had I think twelve to fifteen people living there. Absolutely no chance was I going to live there.

After returning from the CBD to St Kilda, I had a look on Facebook and had arranged a flat viewing for the same day, and I’m living in it now. I’m sharing a room with two other girls, I think there’s around twelve people living here which is alright. If I were living out here full time, I’d like at least my own room, but this is better than what I’ve been living in over the past five months.

When I was younger, a girl in my year 5 class moved to Australia, and I have her as a friend on Facebook. I messaged her in the airport the other day, she invited me to stay the night round hers and have a few (several) drinks with her partner and neighbour. It was great to see her, a bit strange to hear her accent, and to find someone that can swear more than I can. I enjoyed the night and we’ll be meeting up again.

Apart from that, I haven’t done much over the past few days apart from going to buy some winter clothes because it is so bloody cold. I’m talking cold as in I wouldn’t be surprised if a penguin walked through the front door and made itself at home. One of the things that I’m looking forward to seeing in the CBD is the Wallace & Gromit expo, though it is on for a further three months so it’ll probably have to be done on a Tuesday or something in the middle of August. There’s also a Van Gough expo at NGV, but I won’t pay $30 for it.

There seems to be no work available for me this week which is a pain in the arse, and if I don’t get a phonecall on Friday for work, I’ll have to start looking to get a job in a restaurant nearby as I can’t afford to sit on my arse and not get paid for it. It’d cock up my plans for going to Japan next month if I do that, but will have to wait and see what happens.

Leaving Ayr

The past five months has been quite the experience. It’s been fun and I’ve had some really, really good company as well as a high number of hangovers. I wouldn’t change much except maybe the alcohol bans, having less personal space than Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs and getting a pay rise, but doing it once is more than enough for me.

It started off pretty brutal – eight hour shifts in 35+ degree heat with no shelter with a crippling back ache. There’s one day I remember looking at someone, probably to make a comment about how hot it was, and her face was just layers of sweat at 8.30am. The first couple of weeks were horrendous, but after the first couple of weeks and getting over how shit it actually is, as long as you can have a laugh it’s ok.

I probably owe the hostel around $3000 in fines for rules that I’ve not been caught breaking and managed to get my $200 bond back. One Thursday night we went out and ended up having a pool party for an hour at 1am, breaking six or so rules in the process; how we didn’t get caught is beyond me. I’d write a bit about the hostel and how it’s run but I will completely go off on one and end up writing an essay about it.

A couple of things that I learnt: if it’s Monday and you think you’re coming down with something after a heavy weekend, it’s probably a two-day hangover. I think most importantly, it’s about seeing the bigger picture and powering through. Next year I want to travel through New Zealand and Asia, and my second year in Australia I intend to earn a lot of money to pay for it, so I’m better off staying here for the extra year than going back to England. I’ve never wanted to work on a farm and over the past five months I’ve had some of the worst shifts that I’ve ever worked. When I’m chilling out in Thailand or visiting some Lord of the Rings sets in New Zealand, I’ll look back on the crippling back aches, almost being sick in a field on a hangover, sunburn, early mornings and RSIs in my wrists and hands, and it’ll be worth it. Looking back, I know I moan about it a lot, but I’ve had a great time and met a lot of friends who I’m sure I’ll see again.

Some things that I’m really not going to miss: boxing melons, planting melons, getting moaned at for something to do with melons, being in pain from some sort of melon-related injury, having less personal space than Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs, being threatened with my $200 bond, alcohol bans… the list could go on. I’m going to miss the times that I’ve spent the people who have grown to be close friends over the past five months.