Just a quick update…

G’day from sunny Perth…

It’s been about two months since our last update. Since then we have said goodbye to one set of visitors, and we have been making the final arrangements for the arrival of the next lot. And Simon turned 30 – the big 3-0!

Firstly, thanks again to everyone that sent birthday cards and gifts – Simon had a great birthday and was spoilt rotten! Sarah treated us to a weekend away in Margaret River, which is a wine region in Western Australia and is about a 3-hour drive south of Perth. You will have heard us rave on about the various beaches that we have seen on our travels, but the beaches in the south west of Australia are, without doubt (almost), the best that we have ever seen! The beaches in the Maldives were incredible, but the beaches here (also in the Indian Ocean) are just as good, if not better. Then there is the awesome food and wine! We are really looking forward to showing you around the Margaret River region one day…

Back in Perth, and on the night of Simon’s birthday, we ate at Rockpool, which is a restaurant run by an Australian chef, Neil Perry. It is one of the best restaurants in town and we enjoyed fantastic cocktails, a great bottle of red, and the most incredible steak.

Sarah has also treated Simon to a trip back to the UK later in the year, and we are now really looking forward to spending Christmas with everybody. We’re not entirely sure how we will cope with going from the heat of the Perth summer to the cold of the UK winter, but I’m sure we’ll survive – especially as we’ll still be able to enjoy the last couple of months of the Perth summer when we return to WA in January.

But first we are looking forward to our next holiday, and catching up with more of the family. This time next month we will already be one week into our 3-week tour of the east coast, where we will be climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge, watching the sunset over Uluru, diving at the Great Barrier Reef and enjoying the bright lights of the Gold Coast. Unfortunately there is not enough time for us to squeeze in a trip to WA, but we look forward to welcoming them all to Perth another time.

In other news, we are currently experiencing our seventh heat wave (three or more consecutive days of temperatures above 35 degrees C, apparently…) since November, and although we are now officially into Autumn, we are expecting another heat wave this week. We have also changed our minds about buying a scooter, and are now looking to purchase a car after our holiday.

Anyway, we promised a quick update but have rambled on more than we thought we would. We hope all is well with everyone back in the UK; Happy Birthday to Rach – we’re thinking of you and hope you have a lovely day.

So, that’s it from us for now. We’ll leave you with a light hearted look of Perth…

Lots of love, Sarah and Simon xx

 

Happy Christmas!

G’day, and season’s greetings to all of our friends and family! We just wanted to provide you with a festive update, and fill you in on what we have been up to since we last spoke.

In our last blog, we told you a bit about life in Perth, and how we were settling in here. Since then, we have got to know Perth a little better, and we are really starting to enjoy living here. The weather, obviously, plays a massive part in that, and we have really enjoyed spending time outside – riding our bikes, walking along the beach or the river, and sitting in the beer garden of our local pub.

The economy in Western Australia (WA) is still going strong, mainly due to the resources boom, and it looks like things will stay this way for the foreseeable future. Whilst the cost of living here is high, we feel that it is all relevant and fairly affordable.

Together again...

Both of our jobs are going well. Sarah is receiving extremely positive feedback from her boss, which is great, and Simon is enjoying his new job – although working as the only man in a team of 20-30 women has it’s challenges!

We are still living in East Perth, and enjoying the convenience of being so close to where we work in the city – a 2 minute walk to the train station, a 3 minute train ride into Perth and a 10 minute walk to our respective offices. In fact, we have just renewed the lease on our apartment for another six months. The possibility of living closer to the beach and by the sea is very appealing, so this is something that we may reconsider next year. However, being so close to the city, and only a 20 minute drive to the coast, maybe we couldn’t be better located…

We have now sold our camper van and, whilst we didn’t get as much money for it as we would have liked, we are pleased to have sold it fairly quickly. We are now in the market for a new vehicle and are currently taking motorcycle lessons, with the view to purchasing a Vespa scooter in the new year.

Hello sailors!

Sarah’s dad and brother are currently staying with us, and it has been great to see them again. They landed in Perth on Tuesday 13 December, and their first week/ten days has really blown by. Ian and Jamie are having a great time, and are enjoying the laidback, outdoor lifestyle, as well as the great weather, of course! We have kept them busy with trips to the Swan Valley, Fremantle and Mandurah, and we have a few other things planned before they fly home on Tuesday 3 January. Here are some photos that we have uploaded to our Flickr account. We are off to Sydney later this week, to celebrate the new year by watching the fireworks in Sydney Harbour, and we will also catch up with some friends, and do some sightseeing. We LOVE Sydney, so we cannot wait to be back there! The flight time from Perth to Sydney is approximately five hours, and there is a time difference of +3 hours.

What are we doing for Christmas? It will be a fairly quiet one, starting with the obligatory beach barbie on Christmas morning – with a shed load of snags and prawns, and then the slightly nontraditional roast [goose] dinner with all of the trimmings on Christmas night. The weather forecast for Christmas Day: sunny and 32 degrees…

Happy Christmas!

So, with the new year just around the corner, what do we have planned for 2012? Well, we both turn 30 this year – Simon in February and Sarah in October, so we will, no doubt, do something to celebrate. We have more visitors coming to Australia at Easter, when the rest of Sarah’s family are joining us for three weeks. We have an action packed itinerary, with trips to Sydney, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and the Gold Coast, although we simply do not have enough time to squeeze in a visit to our home here in Perth – so we will look forward to doing that next time.

That’s it from us. We hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas, and a prosperous new year, and we look forward to speaking to some of you on Skype later today.

Lots of love, Simon & Sarah xx (and Ian & Jamie)

PS – our NEW video camera died this week, so there will now be an unfortunate delay until the latest release from Pickle Productions is ready. Sorry…

Perth, Western Australia

G’day!

It’s been nearly four months since we last updated our blog – a very busy four months.

When we last spoke, we had just arrived in Perth and were looking for somewhere to live. Simon had just started a short term contract with Rio Tinto, and Sarah was looking for work. Since then, we have moved into a beautiful apartment in East Perth, Sarah has started a new job, and our travels took us out of town for a couple of weeks…

East Perth

We are enjoying our time in Perth – Sarah loves it here, and Simon is growing to love it. Perth is a small city, without the hustle and bustle of somewhere like Sydney or London, and without the wow factor too – there’s no Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Houses of Parliament or Big Ben here. However, there is also no traffic, which is great! A colleague mentioned something about the ‘busiest road in Perth’ the other day; she was referring to William Street, which can be likened to Sydney’s George Street or London’s Piccadilly. Sure, there are a couple of sets of traffic lights, but busy? Traffic? No – the busiest road in Perth is just not busy! And, the motorways are no exception. Sure, the Mitchell, Kwinana and Graham Farmer freeways can get a bit “stop-start” in rush hour, but they are in no way as painful as the M25, M4 or M1.

We’ve also found that there is relatively little to do here, and we regularly struggle to find anything to do at weekends. Having said that, we are, however, starting to visit a few bars and restaurants; and with summer approaching we will, no doubt, start taking picnics to the beaches and parks; there are even a couple of concerts that we are planning to attend over the next couple of months. We have been to the theatre a couple of times, to see Wicked and Tender Napalm, and we’ve [finally!] found a decent curry house.

Perth is almost notorious for being cliquey, but we are starting to make friends here. We went out for drinks in the city on Friday night,  to a barbie at a fellow Pom’s house last weekend, and we have also been taken to our first AFL (Aussie Rules) footy match.  When we first arrived here, we met up with a couple of Simon’s mum’s friends, who live in a beautiful home in the hills to the east of Perth. Very kindly, they invited us to spend the weekend with them at their house, and we are meeting up with them again for lunch in a couple of weeks.

Soon after arriving in Perth, Sarah started work on a 3-month contract with a newspaper publication, with a particular focus on improving the link between their online and offline content. She did a great job, and has just been offered a permanent contract with them. Simon’s 7-week contract at Rio Tinto was extended until the end of the year, but he is leaving at the end of next week to start work in a 12-month recruitment role with Chevron. Once again, we are now both rocking the “corporate look” with our dread free hairstyles.

Claisebrook Cove, East Perth

Our new home, a 2-bedroom apartment, is about 15-20 minutes away from where we work, and as we live within Perth’s free transit zone, we are able to catch the train into the city every day for free, and then take the short walk to our respective offices. We are also situated less than a 5 minute walk from the multi million dollar homes on the banks of the Swan River, where we often go for evening walks; and the riverside bars and restaurants at Claisebrook Cove, where we sat watching the dolphins a couple of weeks ago whilst having lunch. Truly amazing! We do have a spare bedroom, and a very big bbq, so if any of our family and friends are planning a trip to Perth, we would love to offer you a bed and a barbie – just let us know when you’re coming!

Little Creatures

One of our favourite suburbs is Fremantle, or Freo as it is more commonly known, which is where the British first settled in the 1800s. Freo is renowned for it’s well preserved architectural heritage, and when we first arrived in Perth we went on a ghost walk around many of the convict-built colonial-era buildings, including the old jetty, port, and prisons. Little Creatures, based in Freo, brew one of Simon’s favourite beers, Bright Ale, and we (Simon!) are looking forward to doing their brewery tour and eating at their well regarded restaurant.

We are currently in the process of selling our van, as we have decided that we are unlikely to use it for more travel, and to leave it sitting in the underground car park would, therefore, be a waste of a good van. We have advertised it for sale, along with everything else that we bought with it, and hope to sell it all for a good price. We may end up replacing it with a small run-around car at some point, but for now, we don’t really need anything.

Back in July we did leave town for a couple of weeks, leaving the campervan at home as we were heading to Mexico to surprise Sarah’s mum on her 50th (sorry Karen!) birthday. Cutting a very long story short, we had a few problems with our flight out of Sydney, but we had a great time with the family when we finally arrived in Mexico. We are now looking forward to seeing them again next Easter when we are all heading off on a mini tour around Australia, visiting Sydney, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and the Gold Coast. Unfortunately there is not enough time for us to include a trip to WA, but we are looking forward to spending Christmas in Perth and New Year in Sydney with Sarah’s dad and brother at the end of this year.

When we arrived in Perth, we were excited about starting work again. However, we are now four months in and I think it is safe to say that the novelty is, very quickly, starting to wear off. We are now ready for our next holiday!

Click here to see a selection of photos that we have taken since arriving in Perth. We have been a bit slack, so watch this space for more pictures…

Lots of love to everyone.

xx