[10 Feb 2004 - 25-Feb-2004]
We purchased £6 per person tickets online for one of the local bus companies. This is a one way ticket from London to Bristol. Again use the internet for purchasing tickets, most sites now offer secure services and the savings are fantastic.
Before our bus, we had organised to catch up with Nik & Ev from Perth. They had been over also doing some touring and skiing. We had crossed paths a few times, missing each other by a matter of days. But we did finally organise a time and a place where we could meet. Coffee in the Paddington train station. It was really good to catch up guys, hope all is well back in hot, sunny, Perth.
We arrived at the bus terminal with five minutes to spare, enough time for a toilet break and to buy our lunch. The bus trip takes about two and a half hours from London, not as fast as the train, but at a fraction of the cost, it was a nice journey.
Our first taste of Bristol was the bus terminal, not the most attractive building, but the people were nice enough. A hotel near the bus terminal was full, but they gave us a map and directed us to the Walkabout pub. “You are Australian” the woman behind the desk said. “You should go to the Walkabout”. Dave being a keen adventurer decided to heed the advice and go. Narelle had visions of rat-infested dorms, drunken Aussies, shared shower conditions that required the use of “flip flops”, remember there is a double meaning for a “thong”. As it turns out the Walkabout has a full hotel at the back of the pub, three star accommodation, it wasn’t the cheapest, but we had not organised anything, we were there, we had seen a room, no sign of those rats, we’ll take it.
We spent two nights in the Walkabout, before we found some Serviced Apartments that would take us for a month or more, it was slightly cheaper than the walkabout and had its own kitchen and a single reception. The term Reception is used for a general purpose room that can serve as a lounge, dinning, study or what ever you like. A lot of the places have two bed one reception which basically means shared lounge and dinning room.
The Serviced Apartments are cleaned (serviced) once per week, it is located right in the centre of town, very handy to the internet cafe (the only one in Bristol) and the centre shops. We even have a TV, which we didn’t want, but are getting used to so it will be interesting to see how long we last without one.
The job situation has been slow, it seems to be the black hole of CV’s. Dave keeps sending them in, and nothing comes out, every so often there is an echo of the submission, but then that soon disappears and nothing is ever heard of again. There have been some interesting prospects, but may take a little while to organise. Will keep you all posted.
Narelle has also found agency nursing very frustrating due to change of agency nurse rules by the local nursing body, and also the end of financial year (6 April) is approaching and all hospitals are watching and pulling in the purse strings. Hospitals are crying for nurses, yet it is almost impossible to get employment directly or through the agency. This is taking its toll, however we are finding our feet, and I am sure it will all become easier once we get settled.
We have met some great people, one of which works in the local internet cafe, Neil. Sorry mate have to give you another plug. We would like to thank Neil for taking us car hunting, flat hunting, helping out with job searching and being an honest friend. I would also like to thank Nick for selling us his car, and don’t worry about the business and pleasure thing, we bought a car, that’s all, it is now our responsibility, and cars are a bucket with a massive hole in it anyway.
It is almost time to move out of the Service Apartments, we are finding the daily rate too expensive, and it is time to settle down and become a “Bristilian” a word Dave made up which represents the locals, or maybe it should be “Bristolian”.
Dave & Narelle