Sunday, 27 June 2010

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man

After a stressful month of hunting I can now finally say I have a job, Hooray! Since being here I have found it really hard to find work because of the length of time left on my visa. However, just over a week ago I replied to an ad on Gumtree asking if the job was still available (bearing in mind it had been posted ages ago), to which I received a reply saying 'yes'. The next day I popped to Oxford Street Bakery to chat to the owner. The bakery is situated in Bulimba which is a half hour walk from our place in Morningside. After a long chat about the bakery and how it is family-owned, Julie said how perfect I was for the job. The only thing I wasn't too sure about was my barista skills which she was interested in. If you remember, Jo and I took a coffee course while we were in Sydney which Jo went on to make the most of but I didn't! Anyway, Julie told me I could start in a few days and that one of her four daughters that work there would show me the ropes. I just hoped I could remember the difference between a latte and a flat white...! Well, it's been a week since then and I can safely say that I survived. All the staff are really friendly and made me feel very welcome. There are a few newbies there which takes the pressure off me a bit. Everything we sell at work is made on site and is of high quality. Each night I tried to explain to Jo how impressive everything is and how much we actually sell. Yesterday Jo came to the shop to have a look and was impressed with what she saw. She bought a 'Blondie', on my recommendation, which is basically a brownie made with white chocolate, yum! Just as I finished my shift she managed to sneak in a quick photo to show everyone at home my cool hat!

In the lead up to my job I have had a lot of free time. Each weekend Jo and I have tried to see a bit more of Brisbane and join in with any events taking place. Throughout June the local knitting community organised something called 'I Knit Brisbane'. Dotted around the city people have been showing off their knitting skills and putting their work on show for the general public. I met Jo after work one evening and we had a hunt to see how many we could find. There were so many that we came across but only a few that were worthy of a photo. The washing line was our favourite!
We later found I Knit Brisbane, along with all other going-ons, on a website recommended by Nichola called (thank you). It was on this site we found out about lots of markets dotted around Brisbane in the coming months. There was one particular market called BrisStyle which was located in Hamilton. We visited Hamilton not long ago when we went to watch a film at The Dendy. This is the same chain that owned the cinema in Newtown, Sydney. The market was very cute. Each seller had something different and unique to offer. It was such a gorgeous day which helped bring out all the lovely colours and fabrics used on the individual stalls. There were lots of talented Australians all showing off their artistic and crafting skills. One thing that stood out for me were lots of bird cages hanging from a stall with knitted birds inside, very cute!
We were informed by one of the locals that they will be there again in July as well as a twilight market in the city. We might just have to go there again as there we lots of bits that caught our attention for our future house!
We took the river cat to the market but to get home we thought it would be nice to walk back to the city. The walk was a lot further than we thought, but it gave a chance to see parts of Brisbane we wouldn't have seen otherwise.
As you probably know by now, Jo and I like to explore, which normally means walking somewhere. I read in our trusty bible (Lonely Planet) that there is a great view over Brisbane from the top of a 'mountain'. The last time we went to a lookout was Mount Wellington in Tasmania back in 2008 which I'm still blown away by even today! We caught a bus from the city to Mount Coot-tha lookout. The drive to the top, as you can imagine, was very windy. On the way we passed Brisbane Botanical Gardens and a very big graveyard. Even though it was a Sunday, it was really busy. We hopped off the bus and went to admire the view. It's hard to capture it in a photo but believe me when I say it was a great view. Atop this mountain was a gift shop and a very expensive café which we soon avoided after realising a caramel slice was $8, ouch!
After taking in the beautiful view we thought it would be nice to walk back down instead of catching the bus. The walk down took us through a very big woods which was a bit bumpy on the feet. Halfway down we thought we were lost until we popped out onto a street of houses which looked like they stepped out of Neighbours! We followed the road out and came across a cute park. No one was about so being the kids we are we had a little bit of fun on the rides and the swings! :)
The following weekend was a special day in our diary. June 19 was our six year anniversary, wow! We both thought it would be nice to have a chill-out day and just potter around the shops. We agreed that we wouldn't spend much on each other as we are trying to save, but that didn't stop Jo buying me a very funky tea towel. Yes, I know, a tea towel, but the plan is to convert it into a cushion, as you do! The design on it is by an Australian artist called Russell Leonard. I, on the other hand, decided to make Jo's favourite dessert, Key Lime Pie. The last time I cooked it was probably two years ago so it was a bit of a surprise for her. Jo gave it a big thumbs up and two days later it was gone!
That evening we booked a table at a Turkish Restaurant called Mado. It is located on South Bank which is a very popular area for food and night life. The meal was amazing. It took us back to our holiday in Greece as that was the first time we discovered aubergine dip, but here they call it eggplant dip. After tucking into our starter, and feeling full already, our main was brought out. Jo had an 'eggplant boat' full of lots of veg (so Jo!) and I had a pizza-style pide. Turkish pide is basically a giant pita bread full of herbs and spices. This one in particular covered my plate and was very very filling. Just after we finished our main a blast of music came out of the speakers and out popped a belly dancer. Everyone got involved by clapping in time with the music. Some guests got up and danced with her. We both hoped she wouldn't ask us, as we were still waiting for our food to go down! She was out dancing for about half an hour which was very entertaining. We finished the meal off with a cup of coffee before finishing the night with a trip to the cinema. All in all we had a really nice day and enjoyed reminiscing about the last six years together.