Friday, 18 July 2008

Mon 14 July: Back to ‘work’

Today was day of getting back into some kind of work ‘routine’ – set alarm early, spent morning sending emails to work contacts and following up various ‘leads’. I’m off to Melbourne on Wednesday for just over a week and want to make the most of my time there to meet people and explore various possibilities. It’s looking good so far and I’m looking forward to getting to know the social enterprise world out here.

By the afternoon, had ticked off all my ‘to do’s so we headed out to explore the city’s swimming facilities. Had lunch in the Australia Museum café and then went next door to the Cook & Phillip Park Aquatic & Fitness Centre for a swim. What a place! 50 metre pool, probably 10 lanes, clean, cheap, hardly anyone there – had whole lane to myself. Right in the middle of city centre. First class. No wonder Australia has gold medal winning swimmers. K is delighted as swimming is his thing and is already planning his route home from work around the pool.

Back to hotel to check emails – have interview lined up for tomorrow afternoon for some short term work in Sydney, plus some more meetings set up for Melbourne. Went out for dinner to steak restaurant in Darling Harbour, followed by a drink on the harbourside with a view across to the Central Business District (the Sydney equivalent of the City). Realised that K and I have been completely spoiled by living in London for 9 months with a view of the “Gherkin” from our bedroom window – the last time we were in Sydney, we thought the harbourside view was spectacular and now we’re like ‘oh it’s not a patch on the South Bank’! Really should remember to count our blessings…

Speaking of blessings…Sydney is currently over-run by lots of earnest young people, all congregating as ‘pilgrims’ for World Youth Day 08, which is annual Catholic shindig, attended by the Pope as a celebration of ‘virtuous’ young people etc etc. Everywhere you turn, there are huge groups of them, all wearing official orange/yellow backpacks, many wearing their own ‘slogan t-shirts’ (Jesus is the one and only/I ‘heart’ Benedict XVI, that kind of thing), most carrying or draped in flags from their country of origin. There’s a fair amount of hand-clapping, quite a bit of tambourine-shaking and the occasional piece of guitar-strumming. All in all it’s quite innocuous but I’m not sure how I’d feel if I was anything other than a lazy-minded agnostic/atheist/not really bothered-ist.

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