Work & Wine

There is a lot of competition for jobs within the not-for-profit sector, so I was really pleased when my first temporary work assignment in Sydney placed me at the charity Relationships Australia New South Wales.

RA supports various communities in Australia, offering counselling and mediation services and education programs.  More information on the excellent work that the charity does can be found here.

I was delighted when, at the end of my week’s assignment, I was offered a 6 month contract within the finance team at RANSW.  The office I am working in sits in the suburb of Lane Cove, a leafy green area with a small collection of unique shops, some delicious eateries, and a small plaza where I like to sit and enjoy the sunshine on my lunch break.

DSCN1980Aside from my good fortune work-wise, that same week I was also lucky enough to win $500 worth of wine.  I hadn’t even remembered putting my name in the draw for a chance to win, so when I received the e-mail to tell me I was the lucky winner, it was completely unexpected. Given the choice of two cases of average wine, or one case of smashing wine, I opted for the smashing wine, which Tom and I agree was an excellent choice.  Meerea Park Hell Hole is a Shiraz from the Hunter Valley, priced at around $42 (£28) a bottle.  It has featured in our celebrations for my new job, and also for Tom’s birthday, and there are still a few bottles left!


New Home, New Job, New Beginnings

Today marks one week in our new home and my first week at work.

We moved in last Saturday, to the Sydney suburb of Crows Nest, in to a house share with 2 other people and 2 dogs.

Crows Nest is a lovely suburb in the north of Sydney, over the Harbour Bridge. It’s full of great restaurants, pubs, and plenty of things to do. With regular busses to the Central Business District, it makes my morning commute straightforward and stress free, being only a 15 minute journey.

We live with two women, Vikki and Dani, and two dogs, Boo and Jackson. Vikki first came here from London twenty years ago, and Dani is a real Aussie, who was brought up in the outback but now lives in Sydney. Vikki has two dogs and also works with dogs for a living so we can often have up to six dogs in the house. The dogs are all well natured and I really like having them around. We are especially fond of a pug called Henry, who can only be described as being so ugly that he is cute, and looks as though he has ran into a wall, squashed his face, and made his eyes pop out.DSCN1927

Rent in Sydney can be very expensive. Finding a place to live can also be really hard for couples on a working holiday visa, so I think we were lucky with what we found. Rent is $350 a week for a double room, including bills, which may sound like a lot compared to England, but is a lot less compared to accommodation in the rest of the city.

I started work on Tuesday at a school in the Central Business District called ELS, Universal English. The school is in a great location, and it’s much bigger compared to schools I have worked in before. The classrooms are large and air conditioned but have no windows. The lighting in the building is so good though, that I was blissfully unaware of the fact until somebody pointed it out to me.

I feel so lucky to have found a job so quickly on arriving, as I know how it can take some people months in Australia. Having full-time work means we don’t have to worry about running out of money, and we are going to start just enjoying settling into our new life.