One year in Australia

It’s flown by but I’ve now been in Australia a whole year.

I can’t believe how different my life is now. I have a challenging job which is fulfilling and enjoyable, I live in a great part of a brilliant city and I have a wonderful girlfriend. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this happy.

Getting on the plane a year ago was pretty terrifying. I was sad to say goodbye to my family but it was an opportunity I was desperate to take. I’m thankful I had a good mate in Jordan waiting for me on the other side. I am super grateful to his family for all their help and support. I visited the UK for Christmas and loved seeing family and friends. Their happiness for me made me certain I’d made the right decision.

Australia and Sydney keep on surprising me. I have become immersed in Australian culture (believe me, look hard enough and it is there!) and I’m loving it more and more all the time as I adopt a new lifestyle and try new things.

I won’t go on about how great my life is because I know how tedious that is but I felt it necessary to put a few words down to mark the occasion.  Now maybe I’ll go out and treat myself to a schooner of something cold.

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Short reviews of films I’ve seen recently

Over the past few months I’ve rekindled my love of cinema. Here are a few snapshot reviews of films I’ve seen recently.

Gravity – I don’t like 3D. I never have. It’s always been a gimmick. But then there was Gravity. I was fortunate enough to see this in 3D at the Sydney IMAX (the world’s biggest screen!) and it was definitely the way to see it. Continue reading

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Flying home for Christmas

It’s been nine months since I moved to Sydney. I’ve loved every moment of it but right now I’m super excited to be “going home” for Christmas. I will be staying with my family for three weeks and enjoying my favourite time of year in England before shooting off to Thailand for New Year with my girlfriend. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Christmas, how I get equally excited by seeing James Stewart or Tim Allen on TV and how both Nat King Cole and Wizzard make me freak out and dance. I will be doing things I love that I just can’t do in Australia; picking out and decorating a Christmas tree, visiting my grandma and old friends, as well as shouting myself hoarse watching Leeds United. I am scared by the concept of an Australian Christmas, spending the day by the beach or the pool in 40 degree heat, eating seafood or having a barbecue. I’ll do it one day but maybe I’m still acclimatising.

Then again, the temperature difference will probably kill me. I wear jumpers when it’s 23 degrees these days. So two hours in sub-zero temperatures at Elland Road will probably be more of a challenge than it used to be.

I love Christmas shopping. Most years I have waited until December and gone on a day trip or two, recently to Worcester, Cheltenham and Leeds. This year though I’ve done pretty much all my shopping in November. There are hundreds of things I wish I could take home to give to people. It still amazes me how expensive replica sports shirts are in Australia. I will never balk at forking out forty quid for a footy shirt again. I want to take a million things back with me to remind my parents of their time in Australia and to teach my little brother about this awesome country. Unfortunately there’s only so much I can carry.

Three weeks in the freezing cold will be brilliant, as will all the traditional Christmas stuff I love so much. (I still act like a six year old on Christmas morning!) I will, however, have one eye on a Thai beach as I plan my survival strategy for the infamous Full Moon party.

Hopefully I’ll post on my blog a couple of times when I’m in England but otherwise I will definitely be Instagramming (timothyhodge) and sharing stuff on Twitter. On the off chance I don’t post before then, have a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year.

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