Tag Archives: melbourne

St Patrick’s Day Abroad

15 Mar

This is my 3rd year in a row being outside of Ireland for St Patrick’s Day, by far my favorite holiday of the year. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, New years…all fun but Paddy’s day beats them all hands down!

It is just pure and utter madness. 

At first I was quite sad to be away from home, away from all the fun and frolics, the parade, the drinking, the green, the singing, the ceili street dancing and the whole run up to our national day of pride…but after spending it abroad for the last few years, I really appreciate the diverse ways people celebrate all things Irish the world over!

In 2010, I spent Paddy’s Day in Melbourne. It was about 30’c, sun shining and every Irish, half Irish or wannabe Irish person was to be found in any number of Melbourne’s Irish bars…from as early as 8 O Clock in the morning. Well, that’s what time Vera and I started at and there were already some guys on their second pint.It was a pretty awesome day, spent with some Irish friends and many couchsurfers from around the world. We did an epic, day-long pub crawl through out the city planting shamrocks on strangers and jumping on random buses in an attempt to face paint the poor driver. AS it was not half as crowded or chaotic as any Irish city, getting around, ordering drinks, getting food and not being ripped off were all easily accomplished.

St Patricks Day 2010, Melbourne, Australia

Sun is shining, drinks are flowing!

Lat year, 2011, I spent Paddy’s day in South Korea…worlds away from both Ireland and Australia! As it fell on a week day, an all day drinking session was definitely out of the question! However, I did have an awesome day decorating my classroom with the irish colours and teaching my students all about St Patrick which was a welcome break from intensive grammar and spelling tests! That night I met some American friends for some DakGalbi (spicy chicken and rice cake dish). One of my friends was called ‘Jameson’, like the Irish whiskey so that was about the closest thing to ‘Irishness’ I encountered that day. It may not have been the normal St Patrick’s Day, but then again you should know by now… I strive for anything but normal!

My beautiful students in South Korea

Dak Galbi and a Beer with Laurel!

Now I can’t wait to see what fun is in store for me in The Netherlands!

I guess it doesn’t matter where you are…it matters who you’re with! :D

Guest Post: Love sick or Puppy Love

24 Feb
Guest post written by my friend Kieran from The Long Acre Blog! :)
So, of recent weeks, a change has come over me. A change we can believe in? Perhaps!
Was i hungry? No. Tired? No. You been eating too much sugar again, kid? No, no, but maybe yes and no…
Could you call it love? Hmm, getting warm maybe… Because that’s almost certainly what it felt like, to me anyways. Let me explain.

The GREAT Ocean Road

4 Apr

After our amazing 2 week  road trip around New Zealand, I bid farewell to Ali, who had to fly back to Auckland. My parents and I flew to Australia to drive the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Adelaide, where we would be visiting Dad’s cousins.

Upon leaving Melbourne our first stop was the surfing haven of Torquay, home to world famous brands such as RipCurl, Quiksilver and Billabong, world reknowned surf spot Bells Beach, and the annual The RipCurl Pro. It is also home to the awesome Surfworld Museum, which is recognised as “the worlds largest surf and beach culture museum, and is home of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame dedicated to tell the story of surfing.”

Surfer on Bells Beach

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“Neighbours, Everybody needs good neighbours…”

21 Mar

The sign that was not to be found!

On one of my last days in Melbourne before jetting off to New Zealand to meet my parents, Vera and I decided to drive to Pine Oak Coart AKA Ramsay St from the popular Aussi soap “Neighbours”. Excitement does not begin to descibe how I was feeling…I was pretty much ecstatic about finally getting to see where all the action takes place, where nasty Paul Robinson lives, and maybe even get a peak at some of the hotties. I’m sad like that.

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St Patrick comes to Melbourne

19 Mar

St Patricks Day, the nations favourite holiday, and a worldwide celebration of all things Irish. Leprechanuns, Irish dancing, Riverdance, Shamrocks and all things green. Oh and did I mention drinking? Lots and lots of drinking. Guinness, Bulmers, pints, shots, pub crawls, drinking marathons…all in a days work. In Ireland you can expect a day for all the family including a huge parade in all the main cities. In Melbourne I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew we would make our own fun regardless.

Waiting for the tram circa 9am!!First Pints of the day

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Have YOU got your free ceiling insulation?

17 Feb

On the train back to Melbourne, I was sat next to a group of 8 Irish guys. Feckin Irish…they’re everywhere!! The journey was pretty hilarious as all the lads were drinking beer to the dismay of the train staff. Lets say subtletey was not their strong point! Turned out they were working on the Government Insulation rebate Scheme, installing free ceiling insullation to houses in the area. Good money to be made, or so I was told. We decided to keep in touch and had the usual drunken mess of a time in PJ O Briens Irish bar later that night. Back onto gumtree the next day for me to look for a new job…and when I came across an ad looking for door to door sales people on behalf of the Government Insullation scheme I thought ‘bingo, this could be my chance’.

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Guinness, Trucks and Antique cups

2 Feb

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.

Suz 'Hostess with the Mostest' Cleary

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!!

Pouring perfect pints

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…

The familys pride and joy, their Kenworth T908

1892 Melbourne Cup

The 4 beautiful kids


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