Mid January I decided to get out of Sydney and head down south to Melbourne. After one failied attempt at securing a ride share with some couchsurfers (sadly the car broke down 2 hours outside Sydney) I decided to splash out on a train ticket and a 13 hour journey. As luck would have it, it turned out to be the hottest day in 100 years, with temperatures soaring to over 40’c and remaining that hot until after midnight!! Such heat I had not felt since Africa a few years before. I was picked up from the train station by my hosts and very good friends through couchsurfing, Suz and Dave, who showed me endless hospitality and helped me settle down in Melbourne.
Within days of arriving I landed myself 2 jobs. One in an Irish Bar and hostel in the cool area of Carlton near Melbourne University and another as a Chugger…aka charity mugger walking the streets on the prowl for people to sign up to various charities. A horrendously hard job in which I lasted one day and was happy to turn my back on!
The job in The Corkman Irish bar, on the other hand, was awesome fun. I got to pour my first pint of Guinness (the first of many…!) and was shown the ropes in how to run a bar, restaurant and hostel simultaneously. Every Thursday they had traditional Irish music sessions, with all the locals singing songS ‘as gailege’ and playing bodrans and tin whistles. Always a great night at The Corkman. Unfortunately I was not quite talented enough to perform the afore mentioned tasks of running a busy bar, restaurant and hostel at one time so was politely let go after only 3 weeks working there. Disaster!!
Back onto the Gumtree website to search for a new job. Within a few hours I had been contacted by a family living in rural Victoria to come nanny for them. Success!! The family picked me up the next day and brought me back to their home. They ran a business drilling water around NSW and Victoria which appeared to be VERY successful. The Dad was a monster truck fanatic who recently purchased a T908 Kenworth ‘show truck’ for the bargain price of 400,000 dollars. The grandmother was horse fanatic and filled me in on how she had recently purchased the 1892 Melbourne Cup at auction (for the outrageous price of 180,000) which had been won by the horse trained by her great great grandfather.
The family were lovely if not a little noisy. Ok with 4 kids it’s a LOT noisy!! Driving 4 hyper active kids, including a 7 month old crying baby, to school on a road I was not familiar with was in my eyes a total nightmare. The days were long starting at 6.30am and ending after all kids were in bed and because we were so rural the chances of making friends was very limited. Despite my love of working with children, spending 7 hours a day playing thomas the tank engine was an absolute bore. I decided after a week that this was not the place for me and hopped on the train back to Melbourne where another adventure began…