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Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

I may not be able to sing one, but I have seen some of the most spectacular rainbows since I’ve been back here

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For some reason, the sight of them always fills my heart with hope..the sight of a double rainbow is even more inspiring to me…perhaps they are a harbinger of good things to come for me. And given that I saw these not long after I arrived back in Australia, and given the incredible upturn my life has taken, perhaps they are indeed my carriage of kismet, my pot of gold….

But I digress……

Some of the rainbow pictures came about because my friends, Sue & Gary, threw me into their car one day and announced I was being taken for a bit of a Sunday drive…Destination, New Norcia. This is an amazing little town about 90Ks north of Perth that was settled by Spanish monks a very long time ago. The buildings are spectacular and the Monastery is still in operation. The entire town belongs to the monks, which is probably the reason why developers have never been able to get in there and wreck the place, as developers do.

Anyway, the year after my dad died, 1969, my mother decided to take my sister Jillian and I on a bit of a trip up north of Western Australia. We stopped at New Norcia and spent the night at the hotel. When Sue And Gary said we were going there, I was quite excited and commented that the hotel had a beautiful staircase and that somewhere there is a photo of a 14 year old me standing on the stairs of the hotel.

When we arrived I wandered around to the front stairs, having a bit of a look around and seeing if I recognised anything. I certainly did and also realised that the name of the publican was the same as the name of a guy I used to work for back in the 80s, a fella called Rick Ryan. Rick was always very good to me and I was very fond of both him and his girlfriend, and later, wife, Jo. Could it be the same guy ?? My bloody oath it could. ! I went wandering through the hotel looking for someone to ask the question ‘ is this the same Rick Ryan that used to own the Premier hotel in Albany’ when I saw a very familiar visage coming towards me……not a lot different than 20 years ago, except he used to have dark hair…but then again, didn’t we all. 🙂

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It was so good to see him after all those years. He called Jo down and we had a lovely afternoon having lunch and chatting to them and catching up on 20 years.

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They are living in a very special place and it’s exactly where they deserve to be. They’ve worked so hard for many years and certainly had their good times and their bad. I was so happy to see them living in this wonderful environment running this fabulous hotel [photopress:DSC06393_th.jpg,full,pp_empty]

The only thing I didn’t do was get pictures of some of the other buildings, which is a shame because some of them are very beautiful, but I don’t mind ‘cos I got distracted by something that’s very important to me….friends. And I can always get back to New Norcia for a day/weekend and get all the pictures I want. I do know from talking to other friends and family that a weekend in the New Norcia hotel is well worth doing….

And while on the subject of friends that I haven’t seen for a while, the last time I saw these two was in Scotland…

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I got invited around to another friends place for a BBQ and Nige and Anna were over for Anna’s school reunion…perfect chance for a catch up…and we did.

Nige is a vet and he was over there helping through the foot and mouth epidemic and Anna joined him later and worked in the UK for about a year (I think). I had visits from them when I was Edinburgh, but then they returned to Australia, moved to the Clare Valley in South Australia, got married and had a family.

This is a lovely couple that I knew from Albany, saw in Scotland and then mostly lost touch with when I headed for Bulgaria and they headed for their new life in South Oz. I was so please to catch up with them …and one of their beautiful children

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isn’t he just adorable 🙂

Just briefly on the subject of BBQs…why can’t I get one like this is Bulgaria. That’s not a BBQ, it’s an entire kitchen !! [photopress:DSC06431_th.jpg,full,pp_empty] .
…the one thing we have got right in Australia !!

We had a fabulous night catching up on the last few years…good food, good wine and great company and I think young Ned and his dad summed up how we were all feeling by the end of the evening

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Can’t think of a better way to finish this entry than with that beautiful face…..

caio, caio

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So here I am in Australia, a very long way from Bulgaria.

One of the first social occasions I was invited to, was a night of traditional singing and dancing at the Perth Greek club. In fact, it was a birthday present from my sister and two of her friends, Steve and Anita, both of Greek heritage.

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and here they are

Now, in case you didn’t know it, Greece and Bulgaria are neighbours and whether they are friendly neighbours or not, they cannot escape the similarites in their cultures. When the evening kicked off, I began to realise just how similar they are……

It all started with the food, as we sat down to plates of tomato,cucumber and feta cheese, a cheese not disimilar to the cirene cheese that is eaten in Bulgaria. This was followed by lamb cooked in the same way as the Bulgarians cook theirs.

And then things really hotted up with the entertainment. An absolutley fantastic Greek band from Melbourne and a group of traditional dancers hit the floor and it was wonderful.

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The outfits might be different, but the dancing was so similar

Unfortunately, for the first time in years, I went out without my camera, and so all the pictures of this fabulous night were taken on my phone…not great quality, but at least I ended up with something.

Anyway, as I watched and listened I realised just how similar the music was and even more so, the dancing. When the official entertainment was over, just about everyone in the room got up and the real dancing got underway. You may remember from some of my earlier diary entries that I have been attempting to learn some of the traditional Bulgarian dances so that I could take more of a part in village social occasions. As I watched the Greek community of Perth dancing around the room, I realised that I actually recognised some of the dances and knew how to do some of them…..

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I was still having a little trouble with my back at this time, so couldn’t get up and strut my stuff, which was a shame. I suspect I might have been quite at home. 🙂

I still had a cracking night with friends and my sister

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but left feeling quite melancholy about Bulgaria and its neighbourhood….

But a lot has happened since that beaut night out and I’ll have more in the coming days/weeks…..including a lovely trip back to Bulgaria. Oh, and the good news is, my back is back, so to speak and I’m again able to exercise, though there will be no more lifting things that weigh more than me…..so things are looking up even more….I can’t complain about how things are going in pretty much every aspect of my life…..I’m happy 🙂

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Greetings to all that are still checking this site for updates……. I’m still alive and still in Australia and things are moving along at a cracking and interesting pace.

I’m having a great time, but wont deny that I’m missing Bulgaria….a lot. In fact, I’ve just returned from there. I headed over in early August for a short visit to see the dogs and check the house. Gee Whizz, both were an enormous tug on my heart and I think I now know where I belong, but still have to make up my mind if it’s the right place to be for my soul.

I really miss my dogs and, though I knew they would be big girls when they grew up, I’m kinda staggered at how much they have grown in the short time I’ve been gone. They are only 8 months old and are built like brick shithouses….and they’ve still got a years growing to go. So who knows how large they will end up…..

But lets take a step back………

After arriving here in April and with the help of a great friend of mine, Gary, I got work with the state police. It’s was good for me to be back in some kind of routine and to have some structure in my life. Interesting work, as you can imagine, and I certainly saw some sights, both funny and sometimes very sad. I made new friends, good friends, while there, and that’s always good for the spirit….

The whole time I was working for the coppers though I was looking for something that would pay me really, really good money and so had turned my attention to the mining companies. There’s a resources boom on in Western Australia at the moment and there’s more work than you can poke a stick at AND it’s paying fabulous dosh ! One company contacted me and I started down the induction path, feeling pretty pleased that I might have found something that would fill my bank account and give me financial flexibility if I decided to return to Bulgaria.

As always, sods law came into play and half way through the process I got a call from my old employer, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the ABC, asking if I was interested in some work with them again. Thinking they were going to offer me a bit of casual work to fill in a few days, I responded that I might be interested ..’ What was on offer ?’ I asked….’how would you like the be the Manager of our Geraldton Station ?’ they replied !!! Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather….and, of course, the first thing that went through my head was COMMITMENT !! Did I really want something that would nail my feet to the ground. The money on offer was really good, as were the conditions, but I still had a resisitance to getting nailed down. The mines seemed so much more flexible, and when I got the call offering me a job there, I was really tied up in knots of indecision…..

So I did what any self respecting, undecided, don’t know what to do when I grow up woman would do…..I made a life changing job decision with the toss of a coin !!

So there I was……I squeezed into my red shoes….I clicked my heels together over and over and said ‘there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home’ and, bugger me, I landed in Geraldton. The last place on earth I would call home, but here I am none the less….

For those who don’t know, it’s a town on the west coast of Western Australia http://www.geraldtontourist.com.au/

So, say hello to the new Manager of the ABC Radio Station in Geraldton, Western Australia.

I have only signed up for six months, as I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, and the call of Bulgaria is still very strong.

Mind you, the money is good and the conditions are very good…I can’t complain. Once again the gods have smiled on me and my life is looking great…….

I’ve already done some proper work… I headed off to a place called Dowerin last week for the Dowerin Field days, http://www.dowerinfielddays.com/history.htm where we broadcasted from..When I say ‘we broadcasted’ I mean one of my colleagues, Grady, did all the hard work while I watched on and wondered if radio really was such a good idea again.. I’m straight back into it…..at the deep end, and I’m still very nervous indeed.

Anyway, I have a lovely house to live in and Geraldton looks OK to me, so far. The guys in the office all seem really nice and I get to go back on air next Monday morning. I’ll be the breakfast presenter for the duration and I’m kinda looking forward to that. I always did enjoy being on air……though the 5am wake ups are already taking their toll on me……bit old for this really.

And, should anyone feel like a trip to Geraldton, I have a three bedroom, fully furnished house and, of course, a BBQ for all those balmy Geraldton nights……..I’d love to see you up here

Even though I’m not in Bulgaria, a lot of my webpage readers are asking for Aussie updates, so I will be doing the odd diary entry again every now and again.

And, in fact, next week I’ll bring you tales and pictures of great nights out at the Greek club in Perth, a wonderful visit to Bulgaria, my lovely fat bottomed girls and days out in the Australian countryside surrounded by farmers, machinery and all things rural. There’s certainly no shortage of things happening in my life just now :o)

Until next time

caio for now

mercer

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