Anzac Day &
Manchester United 3 – 2 A.C. Milan

We’re not in work today because it’s Anzac Day here in Australia. April 25th, whichever day it falls on, is a public holiday.

It’s really poor form that Britain can’t do the same thing, making 11th November a bank holiday rather holding the Remembrance Sunday ceremony on the nearest Sunday. And don’t get me started on why St George’s Day isn’t celebrated. >:p

Anyway, it’s nice having a Wednesday off work. We haven’t made any plans, but the weather is really nice so we’ll decide what to do later, maybe a walk and a picnic in Jell’s Park.

The other good thing about having today off is that I could get up ridiculously early this morning to watch the United vs Milan game live without the problem of being tired at work for the rest of the day. (:|

With so many first team players out injured (Neville, Vidic, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Park and Saha), I honestly expected United would be torn apart by Milan but we played really well and deserved at least a draw. Gattuso, Nesta and Kaka stood out for Milan. Once again I have to say Fletcher played very well and Rooney’s last-minute winner was fantastic, really setting things up for the second leg next week.

I can really see United going all the way to Athens — hopefully against the Scousers — but I’d be more than happy with just the league this year, to knock Chelski off their perch. 😉

One slight concern is that five United players are one booking away from a ban: it would be unfair if Ronaldo or Scholes (again) missed the final because of a silly yellow card next week.

Cirque du Soleil – Varekai

Last night we went to watch Cirque du Soleil in Melbourne. Sara and Andy bought the tickets months ago as surprise presents for me and Johanne, who both celebrated our birthdays last week. <:-p I've seen a couple of programmes about Cirque du Soleil in the past and always thought it'd be worth watching, but I've got to say this was absolutely incredible. Even though the "Varekai" storyline was a bit odd at times, it was a spectacular performance and the acrobats and performers were amazing. ^:)^ If you get the chance to see this show (it will be coming to Europe later this year) then I'd definitely recommend it. I'll certainly see Cirque du Soleil again if I get the chance. b-)

Manchester United 3 4 5 6 7 – 1 0 Roma

I’m sat here at 5:06am watching United on ESPN. Three nil up inside 19 minutes. :d

It’s my birthday today too. <:-p Edit: Ronaldo makes it 4-0 just before half time.

Edit: Five nil, Ronaldo again! \:d/

Edit: A second goal for Carrick, 6-0! =d>

Edit: Six-One with 20 minutes to go.

Edit: 7-1, Patrice Evra!

Fantastic performance, great atmosphere. Man of the match for me… Darren Fletcher. 😮

House Hunting

We’ve been house-hunting again for the past few weekends. It’s very different over here: houses that are for sale have scheduled 30 minute “open inspections” every weekends where the owners disappear for a while and the estate agents let people wander around the house. Recently we’ve been looking at six or seven properties on a Saturday and a couple more on Sunday. #:-s

The other odd thing in Australia is that they never tell you how much they are asking. The agents advertise the properties using terms like “$350,000 Plus Buyers” meaning they are expect offers over $350,000, usually up to 10% more. I suppose you could get lucky with a cheeky low bid, but it’s very unlikely. A lot of properties are sold by auction too, but all the nice ones we’ve looked at seem to be snapped up within a few days of being listed. $-)

Last weekend we finally found one that we thought was worth making an offer on:

It has everything we’re looking for: plenty of space inside, a huge flat garden (big enough for a pool), double garage, nice quiet location, within walking distance of local shops (and pub), less than 10kms travel to work. It needs nothing doing to it at all, except maybe getting rid of some of the pine cladding. Here’s the link.

It was advertised at $400,000 plus — a bit more than what we are really looking to spend. But we did our sums and talked through our options: Are we ready for another mortgage? How much more than our current rent would the mortgage be per month? Will the incoming rent from England cover the difference? What if we were to change jobs and earn less? Would we consider selling up in England? Lots of thinking. :-ss

We eventually decided to put in a bid of $420,000 and went for a second viewing. Unfortunately the agent told us that two other bids over $435,000 had already been received but the vendor was holding out for $450,000. Maybe he’s lying to bump up the price and earn more commission? We aren’t prepared to raise our offer and he hasn’t called back, so I guess we’ve missed out on this one. 🙁

Back to the house-hunting tomorrow. ~X(

Edit: There’s now a “SOLD” sign outside. Ah well.