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Start your MOtors!

31 Oct

Howdy folks,

Well it’s the first of November (even though the date of the post says the 31st Oct – it’s run on a different time zone), the start of which is commonly known as Movember. The month dedicated to men’s health, particularly focusing on prostate cancer and depression. Each year 3,300 men in Australia will die from prostate cancer and one in eight suffers from depression.

So along with all the other fine men at my work I have dedicated my upper lip to the cause. If you don’t know about Movember, it’s where you start the month clean shaven and then groom yourself an amozing moustache for the whole month. You then get people to jump on board and sponsor your moustache, in the process raising funds and awareness for men’s health research, educational and support programs.

I started the day clean shaven which is quite a drastic measure as I haven’t been clean shaven in a couple of years, well actually for Antarctica I was, but the past few years I resembled the photo above taken last year with a Thai pussy (photo taken whilst living in Thailand). The photo below is what I look like clean shaven this morning. And if you’re thinking what I’m thinking you’re probably thinking that I shouldn’t shave as I resemble a pubescent teenage Italian wannabe porn star named Fabio whose mother did too much acid while he was in the womb –

Yesterday I started up my Movember donation page, but then realised I’m getting pretty greedy these days asking for donations; men’s health, bicycles for impoverished Africans, save the Happa fund. Crikey, it’s a cut throat competitive market, everyone wanting your money that you spend on yourself! I felt a little guilty donating to my Movember site when I still hadn’t donated to my expedition charity Bicycles for Humanity, especially when I’m planning on donating a couple of thousand $ for the sea container. So I put my first instalment of $300 towards the container, and then a little $30 donation towards Movember, I never knew donating would be so darn stressful!

But at the end of the day it all pumps up the Karma account, sharing’s caring! I don’t want to steal Movember’s thunder, but hey if you want to donate to my expedition charity Bicycles for Humanity then go here, we have currently raised $1861.95 of the $12,000 container transportation costs. Thanks to everyone who has donated thus far.

If you want to support my mo and Men’s health then go to my Movember page. I had a warm up run for the mo at an ‘All things American’ fancy dress party I went to in the weekend as Magnum PI, (towards the end of the night I ended up wearing a Mandy’s Dorothy wig from the Wizard of OZ). It’s time for me to get out of the spot light, put my moisturiser and tissues away and let some other people on stage. Heres some photos from the “All things American’ party of other people that aren’t named Hap.

Linnley dressed as Mandy and Mandy dressed as Dorothy – ummm, that could get me in trouble after a couple of beers.

Fat Frank the loud American tourist from Florida

Madonna, Jersey Shore boy and Burlesque dancer

Snow white and Yellow taxi

Cheese Burrito and American Physco

George Washington and Magnum PI (Ohhh let me back in the spot light)

Superman and the Statue of Liberty

The Amish

George Bush

 

My favourite photo – Chiz with his hairy hands getting busted checking out Superman’s crotch!

 

 

 

 

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A post for mum

23 May

Ooooohhhh isn’t this sweet, a blog post for mum and it isn’t even mother’s day……………………………is it? When is Mothers day? I really have to start paying attention to the real world now that I’m living in it, well at least for a year.

Anyway, mum here is the video I promised you of our apartment in Melbourne that we moved into a month ago. It’s a bit of a mess, in a clean kind of way with washing hanging up etc.

 

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I think Mums in general love all this kind of house/apartment stuff, and I suppose when your son hasn’t really had a fixed address of his own to send his credit card statements, birthday presents (I’ll be expecting a big present this year now I have an address), and those bloody PADI (SCUBA diving company that bombards you with dive community stuff) newsletters she must get kind of excited. Especially when my address is an actual house and not the passenger seat of my car, or a coffin sized Antarctic crew cabin, or a couch, or an Indians basement, or a room with metal bars for a window or a 3 bedroom house with 12 people living in it (It was actually a 4 bedroom place if you count the wardrobe that Ferret slept in) etc.


It has been quite enjoyable buying furniture and scrounging kerbside and utilising milk crates and plywood and which by the way if you are looking for a coffee table two milk crates with a piece of plywood and a table cloth thrown over top is gold. I even purchased a printer, wow, a purchase that can’t fit in my backpack!


I keep talking about living in Melbourne but the reality is that I spend more time working in Tasmania. I actually experienced sunshine down here on the West Coast of Tasmania, it is bloody beautiful, check out the photos below of my neighbourhood. What’s my blog come to, photos of IKEA furniture and beautiful landscape shots, next thing you know I’m going to change my profile photo to my cat! (I don’t actually have a cat, but shit I’ve just bought a printer and a duvet, so who knows maybe a cats on the cards – maybe it could be the Africa expedition mascot, or is that “mascat”?

My home away from home away from home. The house I live in, Tullah, West Coast of Tasmania


 

View from the deck, blue skies do exist.


 

Our quiet street, well there are only 250 residents in Tullah so all the streets are quiet and not too mention friendly – when you actually see someone.


 

The shopping mega mall Tullah style – café, hair dresser, real estate, post office.


 

What is my blog coming to! A picture of a cow, anyway, this is taken from beside the shed where I work, and like a lot of the Tasmanian landscape it reminds me of home.


 

Not too sure what I’m up to here, or why I even put it in this post – and no I haven’t shat myself. Oh and if you think I’m looking buff, it is only because I’m wearing 6 merino wool layers underneath (I’m serious too), and what makes this even worse is when my Tasmanian work mate turns up to work in a t-shirt! Maybe in my next life I will come back as a sheep (and not because of what the NZ farmers do to them, but because they have a wool coat)


I know I’m turning into a Melbourne city boy when…………

7 May
  • I’m standing around at a party talking about what kind of push-bike I ride instead of how big my Holden Commodore engine is!
  • I go to a used clothing store and buy an oldskool adidas woollen sweatshirt and pay $70 because apparently it’s not a used clothing store but a “vintage” clothing store!
  • Building something involves constructing my IKEA furniture (and yes when they say to put something under the metal bit your hammering it is because if you think you know better and don’t do it you end up cutting chunks out of your rental apartment carpet – at least I know I’m still man as I don’t follow instructions – photo taken after I cut the carpet)
  • I use a beard trimmer instead of a razor.
  • I wear a man bag instead of a back pack (guilty, I have been using a man bag for many years now, but it’s made in India so doesn’t that make it more of a spiritual accessory?)
  • I cross my legs when I’m sitting at the café drinking my skinny flat white (sorry I got that wrong, I’m the skinny flat white guy drinking my coffee). I think crossing my legs makes me feel profound and I need all the help I can get with that.

“Building” my own furniture with my $2 store hammer (and yes I am posing for the photo)

 

With my bi-polar lifestyle I also get my fix of man time as I spend 2 out of every 3 weeks working in Tasmania’s mining industry – you don’t get much more manly than that, maybe if I worked as a Holden mechanic in a dark greasy workshop with calendars of half naked ladies on the walls would be a bit more manlier. For my 2 weeks of work in Tassie I leave my beard trimmer at home in my IKEA bathroom rack, I enjoy the freedom of farting and burping with pride, ordering a big juicy steak with greasy chips and a pint of James Boags at the local pub (the only pub in my town of 400), driving a V6 pick-up truck and smashing rocks and carrying heavy things like the cave men of yesteryear.

 

I think I used this photo in a previous post, but hey it shows me earning major man points, using a power saw to cut rocks and most probably whilst burping and farting!

 

 

But I must say, I arrived in Melbourne a month ago (2 weeks of which spent in Tassie) and I love this city. My first bullet point I mentioned guys talking about their bikes, this is because Melbourne is riddled with interlinked bike paths which allows you to bike everywhere, it’s perfect training for my Africa expedition.

 

Me in the “used” bookstore (holding the cycling expedition book I’m currently reading) modelling my “vintage” sweatshirt with my spiritual Indian made man bag and freshly MANicured beard.

 

 

Melbourne is a city that has it’s finger (not it’s thumb as the thumb also has a pulse so you should always check the pulse using your index finger to get and accurate reading – I just completed my first aid refresher course last week) on the trendy arty, music scene. Heaps of cool chilled out cafes and bars where I can cross my legs and drink my coffee. Walking down the city street you aren’t overwhelmed by the suits and ties but rather a mixture of people, and a lot of people that my grandfather would of categorised as “weirdos or dickheads”. So far Melbourne is meeting all of my extremely high expectations I had for it and I’m looking forward to the following year of being here while I organise my Africa expedition and hopefully save money to fund it. Two thumbs up Melbourne!

First day of work!

18 Apr

Tomorrow is going to be a shock to the system as it will be my first day of work – I wonder if my body will remember what to do when it hears the beep beep beep of my alarm clock. The past 14 months as I have completed my Dive Masters in Thailand, lived and travelled in South America, looked for Antarctic work, studied Spanish I have only worked a total of 2 months. So it’s going to be hard yards getting back into the slog but I’m looking forward to it. The settling down process is in session, time to start earning some money, get set –up so I can start focusing on Africa.

So what is my job? I’m back into the old mining industry doing my favourite job; Exploration Field Assistant. Once again a friend opened the door so it saved me going through the whole job hunting process. In fact since I’ve been working the world 95% of my jobs have come from contacts. I have a 2 week trial so I will see what happens, I will be flying out of Melbourne to work in Tasmania.

How’s the house hunting going? Well it’s going, there’s quite a bit of competition over here and on paper Mandy and I aren’t really the best tenants when you put us up against…………well anyone I suppose, for example the questions like; previous addresses (this takes up a page), previous jobs (this another page), how long were you at your last address (not long), bank accounts showing income (last years income – what’s that?)etc. You can imagine what my history of this looks like, somewhat nomadic would sum it up. But we have 3 more applications that we are waiting to hear back about so fingers crossed. We are lucky though as we are staying with friends Matt and Linnley which means there is no rush. I’m loving Melbourne as a city, and enjoying hanging out with mates.

Mandy’s immigration application has been handed in. And in true immigration style it won’t even be looked at for another 4-6 weeks, so Mandy is unable to work until this comes through which is looking like July.

Today I added a new asset to my asset portfolio that consists of my pack and all the clothes that fill it – oh and a 15 year old stereo in Mum and Dads attic with a missing button. But check it out, my new wheels, $30 at a garage sale – gold!

The familiar road that eventually leads to Africa.

14 Apr

Mandy and I arrived in Melbourne, Australia 6 days ago weighing the most we have ever weighed. This was due to strict baggage allowances that forced us to wear as much clothing as possible and carry all heavy things in our pockets to avoid paying any more than the $200 we had already spent on excess luggage. I must have looked like a drug smuggler with bulging pockets and sweating profusely from the layers, you can see me pictured below wearing two pairs of jeans, shorts and about to put on another pair of jeans. It was the first time I have ever weighed more than 70kg.

The reason we had so much gear was because we will be “settling down” in this coming chapter that is going to see us stay in Melbourne for a year. A year that is going to be dedicated to saving, organising and planning for the Africa chapter (more on that in later posts). Since landing I have been walking the familiar road, flat hunting, immigration paperwork, job hunting etc.

Our flat hunting didn’t start off too well. The day we arrived we went to an inspection of an apartment as we are keen to get set up ASAP. There were 12 couples waiting outside as the property manager turned up and went to unlock the door. “SNAP”, the property manager turns around and says “sorry the key just snapped off in the dead lock, looks like the viewing is cancelled, sorry”. So it wasn’t the best omen for our apartment hunting, it continues. (Matt who we are staying with checking out a perspective walk in wardrobe).

I haven’t had much time so far to even look for work as I have been filling out the paperwork for Mandy’s visa. Somehow as I’m a kiwi I can sponsor Mandy a 5 year family member visa for Australia – you have to wonder what Australia gains from being so lenient to us kiwis, maybe it’s the fact we raise the national IQ (that jab should tell me if there are any Ozzies reading my blog). Anywhoo, we have been spending every hour of each day trying to prove our relationship for the visa, it’s a full time job. Ooooohhhhhhh I love dealing with government organisations (deep breaths Hap). So far the application consists of over 100 pages and still counting! Thank you to everyone that has helped us in this.

Job hunting. You’d think that since I have been working the world for over 7 years now I would be used to it. Well actually it is the one thing I hate. Trying to persuade a potential employer that I’m not someone that stays in a job for 3-4 months and then moves onto a new city, country/job……………….oh yeah thats right, that’s what I have been doing, haha. But the problem here is that I actually plan to “settle down” for a year, unpack the backpack, have an address where I can get mail sent to, buy stuff like furniture, towels, bedding etc – in fact I just acquired a frying pan and a coffee mug for the house on the side of the road.

It’s crazy, here I am trying to find work and a house in Melbourne but I find myself surfing the net all day about Africa and expedition related issues ie types of touring bikes, hippo related deaths, dry season and wet season etc. Today I went for a run and stopped off at 2 bike shops enquiring about what types of touring bikes they have etc etc.

That big hole that Antarctica left has been filled right back up with my Africa expedition. I really need to get set-up here in Melbourne ASAP so I can start earning and saving for Africa and get my Africa ball rolling. I can’t wait to get my new Africa Expedition website up and running and jump head first into it. Already I’m waking up in the night with my mind full of lions, smiling black faces, crocodiles, endless dirt roads, GPS, cycles, rafting, laughing kids, mud huts and a sore bum (from my touring bike seat).

But in saying all that, I’m loving the vibe of Melbourne, a city I have wanted to live in for so long and full of good friends, friends from my NZ days and friends from my travels. So what will I end up doing for work? Where will I end up staying? Will I have third world withdrawals? Will I remember how to work after only working 2 months in the past 14 months? Will Mandy get her visa accepted? Keep following folks as the Melbourne chapter unfolds!!!!! (pictured below with Simon my English friend from my Mexico backpacking chapter)