And like that it’s been a year since I moved to Brisbane. A year since I convinced some QLDers to give this New South Welshmen a job during an 8am interview after 3 days of skiing. A year since mum and I cruised up the M1 stopping in Coffs overnight to watch the ever important Bachelor finale. A year since I left all the junk of 2015 behind and arrived in Brisvegas knowing only three people. And what a great year it’s been. Following on from a friend who wrote a ‘You know you’ve lived in [place] for [length of time] when…’ post a few months ago, I’ve decided to celebrate the milestone with a version of my own. Sadly mine won’t start with “Eating the relatives of your first pet is no longer traumatising.” Thank goodness I moved to BNE and not Peru! Praying for you Anna 🙂 Here goes. You know you’ve been living in Brisbane 12 months when: You’re wondering when winter happened. Perhaps it was that day when I needed a coat? Driving more than 20 minutes is an investment not to be undertaken without careful consideration You fill your fuel tank maybe once a month You’re attempting to transition to a morning person in preparation for another summer of 4am sunrises It’s 9pm on a Saturday night and you start thinking about heading home #nannalyfe Buying fresh produce at supermarkets seems criminal when there are farmers markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The crazy special you discovered at the markets = flavour of the week. Hello 3 broccoli for $1, 1kg of strawberries for $3, massive pineapple for $2, 6 avocadoes for $1, boxes of mangoes. Ah so good. A long commute is being stopped at all 3 sets of lights on the walk home! You’ve stopped honking when cars are slow off the lights. They’re a little slower up here. You no longer rush (except when leaving the house every morning). Again, a little more laid back. Sunscreen goes with you everywhere, but you still manage to get sunburnt. You switch collecting coats and scarfs for hats. You start making connections between the few friends you do have #smalltown Your drink of choice is becoming closer and closer to beer You’re learning to drink real fast but even then your bev-ie ends up sitting in a puddle #condensation Eating inside seems counterintuitive…except in February. Gimme air conditioning please. Your skin glows November through March (aka sweat) You moisturise once a week before #sweat everywhere. Bikram Yoga isn’t something you pay for, but a free provision for all activities in summer Running along a river > Running along suburban streets Airport pick ups are stress-free, and, well, free You start complaining about traffic when you have to wait more than 1 cycle at traffic lights #srsly You develop an unhealthy affair with brownies (looking at you I heart brownies) and any hot cinnamon donuts (It’s okay, they’re usually gluten free, vegan etc so practically healthy) You strike up conversation with anyone, anytime #bigcountrytown The few overcast days each month send you into a depressed state (Hello 283 days annual sunshine) Despite walking it everyday, the (only) hill walking home is torture every single afternoon. (You’ll know this already if I’ve ever called you walking home!) The possums and brush turkeys in your backyard (3km from the CBD) are practically pets You attempt to plan social gatherings and wonder why no one’s available because there’s a game on A sea of maroon jerseys is now just part of furniture You drive into the city and street park on weekends and Fridays after 7pm #winning You drive everywhere because even if you have to pay, it’s never more than $2/hr. #cha-ching You love your new church family and miss them when you’re out gallivanting around You just miss the familiarity and history with old friends It hurts to see friends having fun without you #fomo The arrival of a text from a Sydney-friend can make a lonely night bearable. But you know you’ll always be a Sydney-sider when: You had to unfollow Gelato Messina on Instagram because the cravings were too much to handle. (But #providence, they’re moving in South Bank next month) You roll your eyes every time someone complains about traffic in Brisbane. #nothingonSydney The Story Bridge remains a laughing stock You can actually merge lanes, parallel park and just drive in general like a normal human who knows where they’re going You chuckle when people complain and/or nervous about visiting Sydney #sobusy You’re astounded by supermarkets closing at 5.30pm on weekends Your heart breaks at the sight of Brisbane salaries You get places fast because #assertiveness You really just don’t get what’s so great about maroon. Blue is so more aesthetically pleasing. You still follow NSW politics because Mike Baird SMH remains a daily news haunt Cyclists on the road really are super annoying You see any photo of Sydney Harbour and you stop everything you’re doing and just take it all in. That’s my hometown. You still refer to it as ‘home’ or visiting as ‘going home’ It’s gone quickly, but then reflecting on all that the 12 months has held, it doesn’t feel so quick at all. But as for another 12 months in BNE? We’ll see. #jks. I’m not going anywhere… for now at least. Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
Chatting to people week-to-week I have to remind myself to be thankful for an awesome job that allows me to get out and appreciate our creator God. I’ve been fortunate to cover a fair of Queensland’s ground in my nine months, learning more and more about this northern land.  And slowly i’m building my fun facts collection, so the longer you wait to visit me, the better your personalised tour will be. Scenic Rim Mount Tamborine, is not famous for tamborines but rather being Queensland’s first national park declared in 1908. Brisbane Brisbane came about after needing more space for felons in the Sydney Colony. It was original named Edenglassie but renamed Brisbane after a governor of New South Wales Sir Thomas Brisbane. Brisbane received the first contingent of US soldiers in WW2 14 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Within 12 months, sleepy Brisbane’s population of 300 000 had become 600 000. The well-paid soldiers made themselves at home in Fortitude Valley and with the Australian women. It didn’t go down so well and the little-known  Battle of Brisbane broke out among 5000 soldiers on Thanksgiving in 1942. North Stradbroke Island Rainbow Beach Lady Musgrave Island The tiny coral cay is literally made of bird poo and crushed coral. It’s a stopping ground for thousands of migrant birds. Thankfully it was pretty from the air, its neighbouring Fairfax Islands were almost obliterated during WW2 target practice. Bundaberg Famous for rum, sugar and ginger beer. Also, the home of my own family heritage. Town of 1770 Considered the birthplace of Queensland after Lieutenant Cook made his second landing in later known Australia, the first in Queensland. Rockhampton, Great Keppel Island Rocky is the beef capital of Australia with the ratio of people to cattle 1:4. Magnetic Island Affectionately called Maggie, it was named after Lieutenant Cook’s compass apparently went haywire while passing by. Substantial research has been undertaken to counter his claims. Townsville It’s 2 most notable landmarks are quite unfortunate. Firstly, Castle Hill that stands out from the rest of the geography is only a few metres short of mountain status. And second, the tallest building in town is the hideous but much loved sugar shaker building, currently the Holiday Inn. Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
On this joyful day of love, I thought it fitting to write a little ode to a recent love (read:foe) of mine. I must warn you though, it’s pretty steamy so you may need to follow my lead with a cold shower. I hate the way you smother me, and the way you ruin my hair. I hate the way you melt my face, I hate it that you fog my eyewear. I hate you’re costly to escape, And the way you ruin my zZz. I hate you so much it makes me sick, It even makes me whine. I hate the way you’re always there, I hate it when you’re high. I hate it when you make me ‘glow’, even worse when you make me slime. I hate it when you’re still around, and the tease of rain is agony. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close… not even a little bit… not even at all. (Okay, that last bit was a total lie. I mean seriously even my drink is sweating…) Everyone warned me, even told me I’d need to buy new make up, which I have. Alas, there is no escape…until mid-March i’m told. But to you and the one who blesses you with the affection I don’t have for my juvenile curls, I say Happy Valentine’s Day And because it is so, here’s the sappy original featuring the one and only Heath Ledger: Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
In the application cover letter for my current job, I facetiously said Sydney was the best city in Australia but if they took a New South Welshman aside they’d admit Queensland’s beaches are some of Australia’s best and they happily holiday above the border at any opportunity. It was a way of retaining my blue dignity in the chance I got the role and had to move into maroon territory. It seems my backhanded compliment was received well and four months later I’ve sunk my toes in at least 15 of Queensland’s beaches. The verdict? Australia (not just Queensland) is beautiful and I’m proud to live in this land of sweeping plains, ragged mountain ranges, droughts and flooding rains. I cherish the far horizons and her jewel sea. But after 20+ years of New South Wales coastline and inland regions, I’ve enjoyed familiarising myself with the Goldie, Brissie, Straddie, Sunny and Bundy. It seems Queenslanders like their abbrevs as much as their southern neighbours. Queensland is a big place and I’m keen to keep exploring however long this sunscreen dependant and beaded upper lip adventure lasts. A few months ago the sun woke me at an ungodly hour. Usually cursing the early northern sunrise, that morning I sat up from the air mattress atop a catamaran roof and looked out across the coral cay and lagoon. I considered the series of events that led me there. I was being paid to stay on the Great Barrier Reef in order to photograph the crystal waters of Nemo, Squirt and his all his buddies. The end goal being for more people to enjoy hopefully more than I did in my very brief trip. What a huge blessing. And it goes without saying that each time I look out from the expanse separating the water from water, I consider the work of God’s fingertips and am truly thankful. We have a creator God who blessed us abundantly with a beautiful world to take care of. Despite the curse that now lays across the land, we can continue to take rest from work and enjoy his creation. This is Queensland, well just a small selection of snapshots from Southeast Queensland. It seems it’s a whole larger than I realised! Burleigh heads Broadbeach Surfers Paradise Mount Tamborine Curtis Falls Mount Coot-tha Brisbane North Stradbroke Island Town of 1770 Agnes Water Lady Musgrave Island  Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
I’m one month in and I’m alive! Yew! I may not have many friends, but I’m remembering all the important things – brushing my teeth, taking my house keys each day (well at least most days…) and eating vegetables. I’ve even got into the habit of making my bed each morning – new place, new routines etc. (Sorry mum!) I’ve been trying to work out how update everyone the three people in the wide world of the internet who care about my life, and I got lazy and ended up with this list. Enjoy! Brisbane is a cyclist friendly city = Brisbane drivers need to be cyclist-friendly drivers. (Bonus fact: Brisbane has 1324.8km of bike lanes across the city) Swimmers/Cozzies are called ‘togs’ Maroon is not a colour, it’s an identity. People are not in a hurry, ever. Traffic is non-existent. It takes 10 minutes to cross the city – and there’s a river running through it! The river almost looks blue at sunset. But don’t let Instagram filters fool you, every other time it’s an ugly shade of brown Fixed speed cameras do not have 3 x warning signs with the speed limit before hand….they have one, an unhelpful 10 metres in front of it. Three-lane roads can be 60km/h. Speeding fines are 30% more in QLD for 10km/h over the speed limit. A car mount for one’s phone is a necessary car accessory and should be bought before running into another car while trying to navigate. Aldi does not sell alcohol. The sun wakes up early, too early.WAY too early. (Sunrise is at 4.59am tomorrow!) Geckos make a very annoying repetitive chirp at sunrise. (Read: at 5am!) Bush turkeys are the local friend and foe. It’s hot, even at 8am. (Therefore,) Washing dries super fast. Fresh produce is super cheap, super high quality and lasts a super long time. The tap water is awful. Brisbane from the highest point in the town looks…small. Doughnuts are the latest craze. And I’m not talking about cronuts. I’m talking about doughnuts from hole in walls, garage doors, food trucks, combi vans and market stalls. “We have about 100 adults in church on a Sunday morning, so practically a megachurch in Brisbane terms.” People start work early. I used to be one of the first in at 8.15/8.30am in Sydney, now I’m almost the last! People in Brisbane don’t cook. eat out a lot. It’s so nice when you leave work, why not dine on a little footpath/rooftop/riverside café. Polished white floor tiles should be criminal. Storms appear without warning and windows should closed for even a 30% chance of rain. A sung Eucharist is thing…that happens every Sunday morning in half the churches around town. It’s cheap! Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)