Happy Christmas, hope this reaches you safely and the New Year allows you let a little craziness out of your system!
Another long email...christmas letter covering Tim's 8 months in Australia. (you might want to grab a full beer/beverage before starting to read!)
Tim has successfully worked for the longest time in one place this year!
I spent 7 months in Alice Springs and I still want to go back! I love the place...but not enough to give up the road!
This is what I have been doing to amuse myself in 7 months (ok really only 6months of work)
Running: This has kept me sane...everyone in the territory has an addiction of sorts...most common by far is alcohol, smoking (you can still smoke inside pubs/bars/buildings in the NT) and computers (still don’t understand how World of Warcraft, Wii-fit or TV can amuse people for so long). My addiction is running, not surprisingly I arrived back into Australia and after 2 weeks decided a ½ Marathon was in order... I found out the hard way about the importance of stretching and easing into things slowly as I gave myself a ITB muscle injury...the curse of many a runner! Running went on the backburner as I was limited to 30min per day and instead started stretching and strengthening exercises. They all seem to have worked and now I am again running every morning.
Achievements this year include:
Harts Range Memorial Mile – I came second to a guy wearing jeans! (Preparation of little sleep, beer and bacon/eggs doesn’t help!)
Sydney City to Surf (wow...so many ppl)
18min58sec - 5km (only way to run on boring bitumen is fast)
7hrs17min - 56km Yurrebilla Trail run through Adelaide hills http://www.sarrc.asn.au/yurrebilla.html
Finke Desert race – for the motor enthusiast, best part about it was working the week following and trying to figure out how you dress a blister covering the entire palm…serious racing aka stupidity on motorbikes…needless to say I enjoyed it!
Beanie Festival…not an event up my alley, brings out the hippies and they try to take over like knitting jumpers for the tree’s!
Camel Races…may not have seen the Todd flow x3 times but you cant have lived in Alice without attending the camel cup. Apart from the antic’s performed by the camels, the booze flows free (cept when you have to work later that arvo) and it is a regular race day carnival atmosphere. Cant bet on the camels sadly…breucratic licencing and so on…
Harts Range Bush Sports Weekend
200+km from Alice Springs, drawing in a crowd of station owners, families, cowboys, Alice Springs folk.
Weekend of x4 horse races, bull riding & sports events for the Station folk (running, sack races, lolly scramble, cow tail toss...etc) Plus good old fashion bush dance and nightly entertainment.
Australian Music Spectacular
Headlining acts and classics of Australian music...loved the fact was sitting in my own chair under the stars with the music greats entertaining me...where else but Alice! Will never forget singing along with John Williamson and busting a grove to Leo Sayer...
Henley on Todd
Boat race in the DRY Todd River bed. I joined a crew of 4 to make an inflatable rubber ducky and we went as lifesavers. Great fun in the Alice, hot, sandy and sunburnt but successfully took home the 'Lifesaving rescue event"
Didn’t race as still on rationed runs but it didn’t stop me from dressing up as a clown for a water stop half way. Made it more fun to hide in the bushes whist the runners ran past and then sprint/overtake them in a clown suit…I got a kick out of it even if they were to puffed to laugh at/with me.
Walked the 220km trail across central Australia’s beautiful West MacDonnell mountain range. Escorted by an enthusiastic but blistered Mr. Butt. We walked early in the mornings, at night and simply sat the shade during the days. AMAZING scenery, photos and memories...must do for anyone with a spare 2 weeks!
Here I found a new passion...running longer and rougher tracks! 56km or 7+hrs of running up and down hills could not be more fun and worth the special flight out of Alice and back compete. Call me crazy...
Cat Empire & Jimmy Barnes
Wow…what a concert…300m from my front door it was hard to get to J! The Cat Empire got everyone in the mood and Jimmy just blew us away…he concentrated on Cold Chisel and the older stuff…I think the next day I sounded almost as hoarse as him.
One of my favourite memories of Alice will always be watching movies on the big screen outside after a fantastic feed. Cant thank the Paul/Suzanne/Renee enough for their hospitality and company.
NZ Jenny Mum came to visit
First she visited Brother Bradley in Armidale and then came out to see the Alice and Timbo. Great to catch up with the old gal aka 'Mum' and have her cook her famous carrot cake (not x1 but x4...she left the freezer full). I sent her on a ‘rock’ tour and enjoyed the post conversation about sleeping in swags and things that go bump in the night (those dangerous dingoes and snakes). Maybe roughing it and swag-ing it isn’t for everyone.
Pharmacies Xmas Party
People were amazed that I simply rung home and got a costume sent up…out of mum’s closet…doesn’t everyone have a closet of 70s - 80s clothes?
The Darwin Pharmacies Christmas Party (December) was also a fun night…great way to meet the crew I will be working with over the next month. I wonder if it was good value for them when I had only worked 3 days prior to the party.
Tim/Tam’s Toga Hoorah
What better way to leave Alice and house mate Tam (Tamasin) than to have a Toga Party. Toga parties are always great then add in 30L of Sangria and make it even better!
I moved to Darwin for work...again call me crazy!...moving to Darwin for the wet season has been interesting. The humidity has not been as bad as I was told, saying that it is interesting going to work in board shorts and another shirt so that you are not sweat sodden all day long. We had an amazing storm…many more to come I hope…lightning and thunder like nothing I have seen. Then a tropical low dumped a months worth of rain over 3 days…wow…rain rain rain…it then moved off and became a cyclone. I must be the only person in Darwin crossing there fingers to experience a cyclone, saying that I wanted an earthquake whilst in NZ and that didn’t happen.
Christmas is at home with the family and grandpa in a vase, New Years will be spent in Darwin/Kakadu/Litchfield and January is working in Darwin. I am going to spend some of Feb working with Brad/Amanda in Armidale NSW before a family hike in late Feb.
Then…6 months holiday!
I have booked tickets to fly into Los Angeles and plan on a trip up the coast to Vancouver with Adrian (school buddy). Once in Canada we will enjoy some of the Winter PARA-olympics. Once finished the plan is to visit Banff, Jasper and then make my way to Anchorage (Alaska) for more hiking and getting chased by bears! Returning home in October!
Keep me posted where you will be, what trips you are going to take and fingers crossed our paths will cross.
Have a great Christmas and New Year
See you soon