Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fireworks Over Kings Park

View of Perth City from Kings Park
Sometimes, things have a habit of surprising you, and lifting you. Those times when somebody does something nice for you, or you happen to be in the right place at the right time, for instance. Last night was one of those times.

We had decided to go up to Kings Park, a beautiful park that has lookouts over the city which are especially good at night. We had been there the night before, but had missed a moon rise by about ten minutes or so, so we wanted to go up there to see the moon rise in all its glory.

It was looking like a nice evening, warm with a little breeze to keep the city from reaching its full capability of 35oC, and with very little cloud on the horizon. We took our place amongst the surprisingly large crowd for the time of evening (the moon rise was due for around 9:50pm). A few photos of the city, and briefly chatting about anything and everything, and the moon began rising over the far end of the city. A deep red colour (I believe the colour comes from the red dust in the atmosphere in this part of the world, but I'm sure I'm probably wrong on that!). The moon rise was really good, and we managed to get some really good photos.
Moon rising over the city
We were on the verge of leaving, when we saw something in the corner of our eyes. Looking through the camera and phone lenses, we both had the same thought in that instant, that there was something wrong with the screens. Looking up, however, revealed something quite unexpected. One of the venues over the East side of the city had started setting off fireworks.

Like I said, sometimes, things just happen that bring that little bit of extra joy to your day.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Flat Hunting Sucks!

In my previous post, I said that I wanted to be more motivated this year in certain things, the most prominent of which is finding a new flat.

A little under two months ago, my girlfriend and I moved out of our studio flat about half an hour north of Perth city. The flat was not too bad, but it was a little small for us, and the ant and spider problems were becoming more of an issue, so we had decided not to renew the lease.

I'm a little disgruntled to say that since then we have been living in a mix of hostels and hotels, unable to find suitable accommodation. We have set ourselves a reasonable maximum price and know the areas in which we are happy to live, but a mix of bad luck, bad timing (the run up to the holiday season is never brilliant for looking for flats) and ridiculous application processing requirements on the part of the estate agents has left us homeless.

I'm not sure how the application process works in the rest of the world, even in the UK as the situation never arose, but this is how it works in Western Australia.

We see a flat we like, and go to view the property. Many of the places we have been to see bare absolutely no resemblance to the photo's on the estate agents websites. In fact, some of the photos, you can easily tell, have been photo-shopped to make the property look bigger or brighter!

If we like the apartment, we will fill out the tediously long application form (most of which run to ten pages or more and ask for four separate references for each paying tenant).

This is where the process gets most ridiculous. In order for the agents to process the application, they require a weeks rent as a down payment. If the application is successful, the payment will be used as the first weeks rent. Fair enough. If the application is unsuccessful, the payment will be returned. On the surface, this seems absolutely fine, but the fact is that the agents will return the money in a cheque. This cheque takes up to three business days to go through and this is after the agents have taken up to two weeks to process the application.

The worst part of this is that if we find two places we like, we have to make a decision of which of the two places to go for because, if we apply for both, and are then accepted on both, one of the down payments will not be returned. I wish we could afford the risk of losing up to $450, I really do, but it really is just not possible!

So far we have had three applications rejected, and each time we have waited a week for the rejection and then had to start all over again.

Trying to remain positive in this situation becomes difficult at times, but we are trying, and hey, everything happens for a reason. Hopefully it will be one of these places

One can but dream!


P.S. I visited a friends house yesterday a little outside of Perth, and to be honest, I really loved the place. The houses interior was lovely, and the outside area exceptional. That's not to mention the little surprise in the back garden. I don't know if he will be reading this, but if he is... Please can I have your house. Pretty please, with vodka cherries!?!? And Lou wants your puppy!!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A New Year

Can you believe that it's the third of January already. I think it seriously bad form of 2012 to be going so damned quickly already! If it carries on at this rate, next month we will be seeing the dawn of 2013 (I know that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but it's how it feels!).

I have never been one for new years resolutions. I have pretty much the same thoughts about what to do every year, only to see it broken in the following manner
But this year, I'm going to treat it a little differently. I fully accept the fact that New Years has been and gone, and that I have done many of those bad things already this year, but that is all part of the silly season. My new year starts now! With a little luck it will prove a little easier to stick to the resolutions with the entire silly season out of the way, rather than breaking resolutions because it's still the holidays.

The resolutions that I have in mind are many and varied. There are the usual promises to my body to give it a break from the seemingly endless cycle of bad food, alcohol and nicotine that I expect 90% of the first world have promised themselves this new years. Then there are the more personal ones.

I feel that this time in my life should be the time when I turn things around and become a more motivated person. I have become weary of waiting around for things to happen. It is time to start making things happen for myself before it becomes too late and the rest of my hair turns grey and goes on holiday.

I have about thirty million projects on the go at the moment, but there are a few that I want to concentrate on specifically. These projects involve both work and play (several coding projects and one rather interesting music project that I am really hoping works out!).

For the present second, though, I am motivated to find a large quantity of tea, so I shall leave you with a little video of a penguin thief (taken from the BBCs Frozen Planet). Penguins are awesome, funny and fantastic little creatures and prove themselves as great actors time and again (Frozen Planet, March of the Penguins and Pingu all spring to mind!)

Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year and may 2012 bring you everything you desire.