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After three weeks of looking and goodness knows how many applications, I've finally been offered somewhere to rent. It's a small flat in South Perth, close to the city (fifteen minutes by bike over the bridge or ten minutes on the ferry) and the zoo, and about half an hour's cycle from the University. I signed the lease yesterday and pick up the keys on the 21st, then go looking for cheap furniture again! I'm getting good at that now...

I've been climbing for the first time in a month as well. On Tuesday I headed up to The Hangout to meet some people from the climbing club. There are quite a few routes there, but it's a bit different to the walls I'm used to. For a start, all the ropes are fixed to the floor (which is an advantage when you're belaying a heavy climber!). They also all have belay devices attached and ready-made loops to attach the climber, so all you have to have is a karabiner. Most of the walls are short, but a lot of them have overhangs so, even though I didn't climb anything very high, my muscles complained about it the next day!

At work I've been getting on with old projects in between sorting out somewhere to live. I've installed AIPS and, as well as getting on with supernova observations, I'm also trying to run some simulations which are giving my new computer a good test!

Posted by Megan on Friday 13th Jun 2008 (06:08 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink

Ups and downs

Into week four now and this evening I'm going to a Cub Scout group in Victoria Park. The weekend before last I came across some Scout leaders on the south shore while I was out and about. They were running an event station as part of a huge event celebrating 100 years of Scouting in Australia. Scouts from all over the state were in Perth for the weekend, exploring the city all the way down to Freo and doing all sorts of challenges as they went. I spent Sunday with them on the station helping out and thoroughly enjoyed it. They put me in touch with HQ who helped me get in touch with a local group. Far more helpful than the Guides were!

But, I still have nowhere to live. The housing market in Perth is ridiculous, partly because of the mining boom the region is going through. House prices are going up rapidly it seems, pushing more people to compete for rentals. Every viewing I've been to has had upwards of twenty other people there. You just have to apply for as many as you can afford (you have to pay an option fee of one week's rent up front when you lodge each application, which adds up quite quickly) and hope you get lucky. Of course, I'm getting around on a bicycle so I can't go to viewings that are too far apart because I'd never make it in time! Still, at least I'm learning my way around quite quickly. So, I've been having problems finding somewhere to live, but there have been problems with the bank back in the UK as well. They detected an overseas transaction the other day (I was trying to get enough cash to pay the bill on the temporary accommodation the Uni arranged for me - it's expensive!) and put a stop on my card! What's really annoying is that I made a point of telling the bank I was moving to Australia and even had a meeting with a financial advisor to sort out my finances before I left. Argh. After several phone calls to the UK, it is now sorted and I should have access to my money again.

It's wierd. I've been away from home for a whlie before, but this is different. It's exciting exploring a new place, of course it is. But it's quite depressing being on your own sometimes. Normally I don't mind, I quite like the peace and quiet normally, but when you've got nowhere to live either, and not even any music to play (everything is still in the container which hasn't even left the UK yet), it can get very frustrating.

Swings and roundabouts.

Posted by Megan on Monday 09th Jun 2008 (06:17 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink

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