(It is hard to keep a blog when the nearest internet access is on top of a mountain 60km away! It would be easier, but I have a hole in my rear tyre...)
An update long overdue. (Thank you to Hamish for the prod.)
I have settled into Bright reasonably comfortably. And so has everything else. Things are getting quite quiet in the pub - most nights are early, and none are ever busy for more than a short period. The weekend before last was great! Incredibly busy, the band went off on Saturday, fun all around! This weekend just passed was very, very slow, especially in contrast. The only drinkers were the staff who had Friday off who celebrated my birthday by downing shots with sweet sounding names and sweeter ingredients (getting hilariously loose in the process). A fun - if casual - night my birthday ended up, though I'm the only one that remembers the later shenanigans.
So, as lovely as the place, the people and the job all are, we're all settling into a country-town atmosphere. I am glad, therefore, to be planning my next destination: Sunny Melbourne-town.
Remaining time in Bright
First up, I need to work through this week: I am not off until next Tuesday, but with a bit of luck the upcoming AUSTRALIA DAY! long weekend will bring back the busy. If that fails it will at least bring Sunday/Public Holiday pay, which I think I can bear.
Tuesday I might be back in Melbourne, on 'business'. There's a trial upcoming which will pay my wages for my time in Melbourne in only two weeks and would mean I'll have the cash and time to see my sister while she's back in Australia for a couple of weeks, and the time to pursue less imminently monetary avenues while in the Southern Smoke. So hopefully Tuesday will be a succesful screening visit.
Work I will secure on arrival - I am confident I'll find something (if I need to).
Accomodation I need to finalise. A friend has a room in a fairly good spot in a nice little house in city-side Richmond (right near the MCG: think William St on Hyde Park in Sydney and you'd have an equivalent), but there are a few other locations that I have my eye on: Carlton being the top of the list (also probably near the most expensive suburn in Melbourne but with hard work that isn't much of a problem). I spent last weekend in town but unfortunately I couldn't really get any places to inspect in time.
I did enjoy my first taste, though, and while I didn't spend the time to learn the cultural differences that people talk about, I was struck by the layout. The creme of the CBD fringe, like Sydney, is packed with dense housing, cafes, bars and retail - but nowhere in Sydney can I think of a place which combines that density with wide, often leafy streets that make it a casual place to walk in. (Manly might be similar, but we know Manly is a seedy hole filled with drunken poms, kids and kiwis.)
Regards my todo list: it's still intact! I do have a bit of time off next week though, so I think I'm climbing a mountain on Thursday, and will hopefully be back (and in a fit state) to enjoy the famous Simone's that evening. The brewery I'm not sure about, but it isn't a priority anymore.
As always, my most interesting stories are about the riding I do in my time off - the most recent trip took me over the Dargo High Plains which was yet another unforgettable experience.
And yes Hamish, I do realise how lucky I am to be living the life that I am, a sense at its most poignant when on the road. I fully understand the love of Australia that living away from this place can bring - I don't know that I would appreciate my time in it if I hadn't spent that half-year in Russia. It struck me riding back from Melbourne with some force, so I'll direct the kindly reader to my [moto-blog 2009-motorcyclist.blogspot.com] if they want to read what I was thinking about that.
Also a random note the Sasha's Czech cuisine in Bright is well worth a visit! (It was actually the first time I have eaten anywhere in town other than the pub.) The pork was uninspiring, but combined with the sides was a great experience (and a good feed after a lunchless day). I thought I had done cabbage - obviously not Sasha's cabbage.
Approaching Melbourne I'll hopefully be on the net more, whether here or there, so you'll have to forgive me for being so sparse and believe my intentions to change that.
I also promise to format these posts properly and include a few photos of Bright itself.
Til next time.
jsbaxter.com.au (coming soon!)