Xmas/End OF Year Letter I Sent To Friends And Family

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope 2008 has been a good year for you.

 

2008 has been a watershed year for me. In February I began working at my alma mater, UniSA, in a support role for the Division of Business. After the contract ended I spent time contemplating my future. After being based in Turkey for several years, living in Australia took adjusting to and required a realignment of goals.

 

The upshot is, in October I moved to Perth and began working for consultancy Turner & Townsend (T&T;) in the Energy sector. So far my main work has involved a contract management system evaluation for a multi billion dollar Gas project. I enjoy focusing on big projects and in this job I have incredible learning opportunities in both project management and the energy sector.

 

Other 2008 occasions (with associated blog links):
– Trips to Melbourne, Sydney and my town of birth, Ceduna
– Dad and his 11 siblings came together for the first time in many years at Dad’s 60th birthday
– Started running and completed the City-Bay 12km event in a time of 1:01:13
– Fell in love with Kings Park, Perth
– Swapped my “Eastern States” drivers license for a WA one
– Mum and Dad came to Perth
– Visited Rottnest Island

Early tomorrow morning I will fly to Adelaide and arrive home in time for Xmas lunch. I’ll be in Adelaide until 2 January so give me a call if you’d like to catch up.

Wishing everybody a joyful and fulfilling 2009!

 

Love,
Joe

Test Cricket: Australia vs South Africa, WACA

Unfortunately, South Africa has just won the 1st cricket test in the 3 match 2008/9 series versus Australia by scoring the 2nd highest ever winning 4th innings total.

 

I wasn’t at the game today but I took the following photos from the 4th day’s play yesterday at the WACA Ground, Perth.

 

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Brad Haddin batting

 

The highlight of yesterday’s play was Haddin hitting 2 sixes and 1 four in consecutive deliveries off spinner Harris. He was out stumped in the same over for 94 runs when attempting to bring up his century with another 6.

 

The second best highlight would have to have been the remote control cars brought onto the oval at the tea interval. Their jumps and speeding around were great fun to watch.

 

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Ntini in his delivery stride, about to bowl the ball

 

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The Australian wicket keeper (Haddin), 3 slips fielders and Symonds at Gully all anticipating the next delivery

 

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With 8 wickets in the 1st innings, Mitch Johnson was popular with the autograph seekers in between deliveries

Rottnest Island, Western Australia

On Sunday 14 December Lucy, Mette and I took the Rottnest Express ferry from C Shed, Fremantle to Rottnest Island (or Rotto, as it is colloquially known). The 30 minute journey ($53 per adult, same day return) docked at Thomson Bay, adjacent to the main island centre, Settlement.

 

Getting to the Fremantle ferry terminal early in the morning was an adventure in itself. I ran and walked the 3+km from Yokine to Glendalough train station before catching 2 trains to Fremantle where I met Lucy and Mette.

 

The hot weather did not encourage long hikes and we walked around a small proportion of Rottnest, from Settlement to Little Parakeet Bay for a swim and back.

 

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A Pelican resting on a light pole near the Thomson Bay jetty

 

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Yachts departing Little Parakeet Bay with the City of Perth skyscrapers in the background

 

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A seagull in the foreground and bathers and boaters in the photo’s background, Little Parakeet Bay

 

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A juvenile crab, Little Parakeet Bay

 

Several juvenile crabs entertained us around 2 rocks in the area we went swimming.

 

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Ducks relaxing in the midday sun, Lake Baghdad

 

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Yachts moored in Parakeet Bay

 

Every bay we saw was full of yachts visiting Rottnest on a day trip from Perth.

 

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A rat quokka at Geordie Bay Cafe pestering us 🙂

 

The Quokkas make it easy to see why Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh named the island Rat’s Nest (Rottenest in Dutch). The Quokka is in fact not a rat but a macropod, related to kangaroos and wallabies.

 

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Mother and baby Quokkas sheltering from the hot afternoon sun

 

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On the Rottnest Express ferry back to Fremantle

 

I would like to return to Rotto for a few days camping and hiking in the off season when the weather is cooler and there are less people. The island has a varied history and it would be a great place to relax and get away from the city.

Beautiful Blog Post Responses

In the last week I have received 2 highly intellectual, diplomatic and witty responses to my blog posts. The first, from an email address aptly beginning with the moniker “spastic” was in reply to my Burning Turkish Flag post:

 

What is that article all about? You don’t know a damn thing about Turkey. How dare you say Turkey is immature because burning the flag is a criminal offence in the eyes of the government. Sure, run your god damn mouth just because you have been to Turkey a few times but unless you were born there and know the country inside and out with the issues it’s facing everyday, especially issues that might cause the country to be divided in two, don’t fucking run your mouth!

 

First, read up on the whole Kurd issue! Read up on PKK, a Kurdish terrorist organization that Turkey has been dealing with for the past 30 years…everyday. Then, you will understand what is what! Turkey is not like the US, and don’t sit in your chair, telling us how we should make our own laws!

 

Turkey’s state religion is Islam, meaning it is very prone to being a country such as Iran where there is no democracy, where the country is being ruled on based on religious rules (it’s nonsense to call them rules as those people come up with those “rules” by interpreting the book the wrong way and taking it word by word).  That flag is merely a piece of cloth; it is a symbol of the democracy that we struggled so hard to gain!

 

The party that is in power is one that does not believe in secular Turkey and wishes to convert Turkey into a country like Iran, like Saudi Arabia so whenever we see an act that tries to divide the country, the whole nation rises. Again, unless you were born there or studied the background of Turkey thorougly, you don’t know shit so don’t fucking insult my country or my people by using words like “immature!”

 

The second is a comment on my Lahore, Pakistan post. I’m not sure what spurred this person to write as the article is not  at all political:

 

Open your mind understand how people are different and cultures are different.
as for as you all healther freak in west, i live in west and i wash 10 time and use sanitizer on enything and every thing i use in public here, because you guys are filthy when were the last time to piss and wash your hand, ya that what i mean
Back how most of the prople pray at leat 2 a day, that is the best way to keep health, plus all the filth desis are cration of western socity

 

Remarks like these make me feel good about blogging, almost as positive as receiving compliments. Annoying nationalists should be an organised sport.

Stop Australian Internet Censorship Rally: Midday, 13 December, Stirling Gardens, Perth

The federal government wants to introduce internet censorship laws placing Australia in the league of Iran, China and North Korea. As this video details, there will be a series of rallies protesting against the proposed censorship laws on 13 December in Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

 

 

Even though my parents will be in town visiting that weekend, I still hope to attend the Perth protest rally.