Though a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between 2 points, life has a way of confounding geography. Often it is the dalliances and the detours that define us. There are no maps to guide our most important searches; we must rely on hope, chance, intuition and a willingness to be surprised.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Visa-good, visa-good... his aussie visa's good!!!"

(Chest in time! After more than a month of uncertainty, John Howard is satisfied with my xrays and has approved my visa extension. I'm now allowed to stay in the country until the end of July. , though I'll be out of here by the start of June.)

I have more than the usual cause for a few relaxing beers this weekend. Just when i'd given up hope, the Australian Department of Immigration has at last deigned to approve my visa. I can now go ahead and plan for the next stage of the trip through Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal (possibly) and India without fear of being deported at short notice.

I'm glad I can leave oz in my own time. I've been involved in a couple of new projects with Opportunity International in the past week and it would be a shame if I didn't have time to finish those. The first is to write part of a brochure that will be published within weeks. I hope I can post a copy on this website. The other is a global competitor analysis and will take a few weeks to complete. Both projects support Opportunity's planned expansion in India.

I've been diving again at last. Because I don't have an advanced diver certificate I can't do any deep diving in Oz. This is kinda bemusing as they just don't care in central and south america where i dived a number of times below 40m - about twice my 'technical' limit - and I felt quite comfortable with that...

...then again, these pics might raise questions about my abilities. I was diving in a group with a friend, Roslyn, and a couple of other peeps. It took a long and unsteady walk over wave-swept rocks just to get into the water. It was only at this point that my tank started to come loose and fall into the water. Roslyn caught the comical efforts to reattach the tank with her underwater camera.

(Though this may look more like an unusual mating ritual between two creatures from the deep, our attempts to reattach the tank were eventually successful. The dive itself was somewhat less eventful. Visibility was v poor, made even worse by a huge grouper who insisted on following us about and getting in the way! I like the old fella though, a bit like an old-English sheepdog he was very curious and quite friendly.)

All the big news this week seems to be going on back in blighty. Even the always-naff Channel 9 news had coverage of the Scottish election result. Who wouldn't be interested to hear that it's the first time labour has come second in Scotland for 55 years and a notable shift towards independence just days after the 300th anniversary of the union. Interesting times...

Ok, I'm off to the beach. Dont even need to feel guilty about saying that as I understand the weather back in the UK has been top pocket in the last few weeks. Next week I'm going gorge-walking in the famous Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Hope to get some top quality shots.

Been listenin to some good new tunes this week. If you're interested in a top-quality innovative dance album (sadly thin on the ground these days) try LCD Soundsystem:

(just click on the song titles to listen)

Or for Scottish alt-indie try The Aliens. Mostly made up of former members of superb Scottish alt-rock band The Beta Band. Much more conventional than The BB in some ways, but 'Astronomy for Dogs' is still interesting stuff.


I got this story the other day from my friend Kirsty in Belize. I just love this, as it is sooooo Belize. Kirsty writes...

On Tuesday I went to the First Caribbean bank, downtown in the busy commercial area to cash a cheque. First Caribbean is a branch of Barclay's bank. I walked in and made my way to the front of the Que, and then noticed that there was something a little strange going on. When I actually looked and realised what was happening, I was shocked. The lady at the counter informed me that they had lost the keys to the vault, and therefore had no money. In full view of everyone, there were 2 men, with crowbars trying to pry open the vault. Only in Belize!!! Of course, no one had thought that perhaps closing the bank while this was taking place was a good idea, I mean lets show everyone just how easy it is to break into a vault!

1 comment:

Graeme said...

Hint for other readers:
Don't bother clicking on the link. It's a bit like drinking the local plonk - tastes great at the time but as soon as you get it home it tastes like vinegar!
Readers will be pleased to note that I have finally got my logon to work, having negotiated the new google sign in. Readers will also be pleased to note that I have no intention of starting my own blog!