Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Jetstar is a low cost airline which flies in and around Australasia and Far East Asia. It's a bit like easyJet and Ryanair. I recently joined their equivalent of a frequent flyer club and have been getting emails on Friday afternoons with enticingly cheap flights to places in New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan and other tempting destinations.

The only thing stopping me buying any of these tickets has been that my Resident's Re-entry visa expired in mid-September. I can live indefinitely in Australia without a re-entry visa but if I leave the country I can't get back in.  This would not be entirely convenient!!

Nothing for it.  I need a new one.  So on Thursday of last week I put in an online application for a new Re-entry visa.  I was not expecting it to be a straightforward matter.  You need to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to Australia to get one unless you have lived here for any length of time.  I haven't been here two full months yet. So I assumed I would need to go to the Melbourne Office of the Immigration Department to plead my case.  I have my documents and my arguments at the ready.

As it turned out, however, I don't need them.  An email turned up on Monday morning giving me a 12 month Re-entry visa.  I am now able to spend all our money on flights around the local regions :-)

We had an excellent weekend.  It was a glorious day on Saturday and we all turned out into the garden to do useful things.  The Builder and Ian chopped up a tree which had blown down in the gales two weeks ago.  I (almost) weeded the rockery out the front which Lindsey has been growing herbs in.  You can now see the oregano and the valiant parsley (which has struggled but has survived the weedy invasion).  We have new herbs ready to go - I just need to finish the weeding process.  Lindsey had to be careful how much she did - her ankle is looking very much better but it still doesn't want to get out and do vigorous exercise.  It was quite happy, though, to go to the Lakeside Farmers' Market with The Builder and me and have a gentle potter there.

Sunday was exceedingly windy.  It didn't deter Lindsey, The Builder and me from heading out to Blackwood and visiting the garden at St Erth.  I'm quite glad it was Lindsey driving and not me, though.  The car was definitely getting buffeted about.  There were lots of trees and branches down when Lindsey and I took Sam into Buninyong for his afternoon walk, and large parts of Ballarat were without power.  Fortunately, the Electricity Dogs smiled benignly upon the residents of Mount Helen and our power remained nice and stable.

Otherwise, things are settling into something of a routine.  We go to East Melbourne on Mondays. I go to work on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. We head back to Mount Helen on Wednesday afternoons or very early Thursday mornings and potter around in the Ballarat area until the following Monday.  It's not very onerous or very demanding - but even so, the days seem to be vanishing at speed.

Speaking of going to work, it's time I got ready to leave.

It was very windy in De Souza Park in Buninyong on Sunday
This tree did not enjoy it!

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