I'm Not in Kansas Anymore

I have been trying desperately to clean up my photos folder on my hard drive as I have been taking load of photographs of the food I have been making. For the food blog.  That I am starting soon.  Really.  I mean it.

I have an excellent filing system (as one might imagine) that includes such folders as "Random Pics", "Random Sydney Pictures", "Random Food Photos" and "Random Nature".  Are you sensing a theme here?  Anyway, I've run across a whole bunch of Aussie themed photos that I had taken that I have been meaning to share here.

Please enjoy my "random" collection:

This is the Kookaburra couple that likes to sit on the rooftop of the building next to us.  It's close enough that, were the roof flat, I wouldn't be at all nervous to jump onto it from our window.  So, that means that they are very very very very loud!  This has also become their favourite place for "couple time" if you know what I mean.  It's quite violent and frenzied and a very good reason to close the curtains...

Also a favourite spot for this adorable Lorikeet couple.  These birds are just so gorgeous to watch, not only because of their plumage; but because they have really cute personalities.  This couple in particular seems to have a husband that is a bit of a loudmouth and a wife who just shakes her head at him.  I'm sure there are lots of us who can sympathize!!

This is an insane flower that Joe and saw on our way to breakfast one weekend.  It was just down the street from us.  I know it looks a little suggestive; but climb out of the gutter for a moment just to admire the absolute coolness of it.  I didn't feel that this picture adequately captured the size of the bloom, so.... 

I had Joe provide a sense of scale.  Every time I see a familiar plant here, I always notice that the one here looks like it must be taking steroids.  I'm sure it's mostly to do with the climate and I'm certainly not complaining.

This is some "street art" that is out at a place called Cockatoo Island.  It's in the middle of the harbour and it used to be a heavy industrial site.  It's been closed down for some time and, instead of tearing everything down, they've left it all as a canvas for very interesting art.  You can take a ferry out and tour around the island on your own for free.  Very often they have exhibitions there; but even when there isn't, there is some permanent stuff that is very cool.  They also have a bar there during the summer, complete with lawn chairs and astroturf.  It's an absolutely amazing place to go with friends to spend an afternoon drinking G&T's and watching the water.  I've never gone with the express purpose of wandering around the island - I'd like to do that next time to see all of the industrial art.

Autumn brings colder weather which really stinks; but it also brings incredible sunsets which doesn't.  This is one of my favourite ones from a few weeks ago.  Purple water yo!!

All by myself....

Well, not really...

And mostly by choice....

I know I haven't written much lately  - in my mind, I feel as though it has been a couple of months since I blogged regularly; but the sad truth is that it's been closer to six than two.  Anyway, lots of things have changed in that six months - most notably that Joe moved to a new job in a new company.  What that has meant for me has been the opportunity to stay home and be a "lady that lunches".

Most of my friends work though (how dare they right?) and so I find myself doing a lot of things "all by myself".  I waver between rather enjoying all the time and feeling a bit lonely.  I know that I am very lucky and I also know that this status may not be forever.  I may have to go back to work at some point or someday we may have children and this enviable status of stay at home wife could go right out the window.

Because I am aware of how lucky I truly am, I am not complaining even a little bit about those spots of loneliness - I am trying to embrace the opportunity to do things that I never had time for before.

I am starting a cooking blog.  No really.  I am.  Soon.  Seriously.  I promise.  Stop laughing.

Well, the whole point of this post is that I was on the bus the other week coming back from some shops when we happened to stop at a red light right in front of our local cinema.  I was looking at the posters and a sudden thought flashed into my head.  I realised that I have never seen a movie by myself in my whole life!  Ever!  So, I resolved then and there to rectify that situation as soon as possible.  It took me a couple of weeks to get around to it; but this afternoon I went to a movie by myself.

Just a quick word about our cinema.  It's called the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace and I think it's grand!  It's a fully restored art deco theatre so the technology is new but the furnishings are still swank.

This is the largest theatre where the most popular movies play.  During prime time, there is an old Victrola Organ in the floor that gets raised up before the movie and you get a little concert.  Majorly cool!

How amazing is that?

Even the smaller theatres are cool.  This one is only about 60-70 seats and so lots of the smaller films play here.  This is actually the cinema I sat in today when I saw my movie.  Me and 4 other people!

I saw a movie called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and I am recommending it highly if you have the opportunity to see it.

Reason #24618 I love living in Australia

My chemist knows my name....

It feels hard to explain why that is such a big deal - but I will try...

Instead of having giant Walmarts, Krogers, CVSs and Walgreens to choose from for our prescription needs, we have two local "chemists".  I chose one when we first moved here simply because it was on one side of the street versus another.  This isn't like a Walgreens where you can pop in for some groceries, a dog toy, a belated birthday card for your cousin, eyeliner and your prescription.  No, this is a tiny little store  - maybe the size of two largish bedrooms smooshed together and their opening hours are not conducive to modern times.  They are open till 7pm weeknights and have very limited hours on weekends.  If you went in with that list that I just named off, you would walk out with just the prescription.  That's all they do....

It sounds limiting and there were times when we first moved here that I struggled with that.  Joe and I both take maintenance prescriptions so, while I wasn't in there a lot, I was in there about once a month.  When Joe had his big surgery back in October, we struggled with getting his pain managed properly.  The doctor agreed that he needed an additional script of the main pain med he was taking.  They asked for the name of my chemist and I gave it to him.  Later that day, when I went to pick up the script, the chemist didn't know what I was talking about - apparently, the doctor sent the new script through snail mail to us - not even to the chemist!!  There was no calling or faxing. The chemist tried to call the Dr to verify; but it was after 5pm so no dice.  Luckily, the Dr had scanned the new script and emailed it to us.  I showed the copy to the chemist and he filled it because he knew us and knew we weren't trying to scam him.

So, can you imagine going into CVS or Walgreens with a *copy* of a prescription for narcotic pain killers and having them fill it and telling you, "just bring the original in when you get it in the mail."??  Can you imagine?

Anyway, since then, he has filled another script for Joe while still waiting on the new one from his regular Dr.  To be fair, this is one of the ones we get every month; but still.... how great of service is that?

Last month, I ran out of refills on my regular prescription.  When I picked up the last one, the chemist gave me the used up script and told me to get a new one from my Dr and drop it off when I had time.  I did it a couple of weeks later and stopped back in to drop it off.  He was behind the counter in the back filling a script so the shop girl was trying to help me.  I was just trying to explain what I was dropping off to the confused girl when he popped out...

"Hey *insert my real name here*, is that your new script for *insert medicine name here*?

"It is!"

"Do you need it filled now or later?  You should still have 2 weeks worth from the last one but I can fill it right away if it's easier"

So, in that moment I realised.... My chemist knows my name by sight, he knows what medicine I take and approximately always knows when I will be needing a refill.  A couple weeks after that when I was picking up my medicine, he asked, "Does Joe need his *insert medicine name here* filled?  He should be almost out".

In that second moment I realised.... My chemist knows both of our names and all of our medicines and when they need to be refilled.  How great is that?

Brings a whole new meaning to personal service!