Friday, 22 December 2006

Happy Dance & Merry Christmas/Solstice to Me!

Just got notification that my visa for Australia has been issued!!!

Happy Solstice

Once again, it's the shortest day of the year. I vaguely remember posting on this last year, although not sure, as that was also the day I flew out to Ireland for my xmas holiday. Two days later, I met my beautiful boyfriend, who I am soon to celebrate one year with. We had a total of 16 dates (most of which were longer than one day as we did weekends and trips) before I moved in with him. The first and second were in Ireland, the 5th in Amsterdam, the 8th in Paris and the 9th in Prague. A charmed first 8 months, and although we were together 24/7 after only seeing each other for brief periods every 2-3 weeks, I think we've done pretty damn good...and are lucky to be planning ahead strongly...3 moves in the next 7 months. Poor boy is over-stressed at the moment over all there is to do before we make our next move, to Chicago, in about 9 days, and as usual, I am what others would consider to be ahead of schedule---big pile of things to ship to Australia on the lounge, and one suitcase almost packed, while everything unnecessary has been binned or given away. I'm so excited with all that's going on I can barely sleep properly. Tomorrow is my last day at work and there are only 3 full days left until Christmas!

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

What I'll miss most about England

List to be modified until departure:

Cappucino at work in the morning. I always find myself glancing around for my coffee cup, only to realise with disappointment that it's been finished and the cup tossed (the action which motivated me to begin this post).

Walking down the residental streets in our neighborhood knowing that 100 years ago, people saw the exact same site...almost like stepping back in herstory.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Sliding at the Tate Modern

New installation...I took a slide down the littlest one and was still scared (you go down fast!). The tallest one (on level 5 of the museum, I believe) is said to be a very physical experience. No thank you...

Monday, 11 December 2006

Surprise visitors

Now, I know that the English have a tendency to drop over without ringing first, which is a difference in culture I'm told I'll have to get used to in Australia as well...but it seems the neighborhood cats have the same characteristic. This little guy came right on in when we opened the door the other night, then stuck around until we literally had to shove him out the door.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Got this last week at the local Homebase. Not easy to get a real tree here; this one was $20 and came in a planter, and it's only about 2 foot tall. The ornaments are edible;)

Friday, 8 December 2006

The Advantages to Working in England

So three of us just got back from our local Sainsburys for a typical lunch shop.

(side note: I was jonesing for a bagel with cream cheese and my co-worker piped up with 'Get Philadelphia'. They don't call it cream cheese here; I bought the generic, which was Sainsbury's soft cheese.)

Anyhoo, the checkout lady seemed in a particularly good mood...calling everyone sweety and honey and whatnot, smiling away, then noted "Don't mind me. We just had our Christmas meal (wink wink). I can't believe they put me back on the til after three glasses of wine! I'll be lucky to make it til 3:30!!) Oh well---at least they get to work sitting down...

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Bullying boys

I can recall two instances in junior high in which I had to ‘bully’ boys into giving me money. That is an extreme description however, as they were only giving me what was owed. One day on the way home from school, Tim Kelly grabbed my earmuffs and ripped them to bits in front of everyone on the bus. He was all puffed up and pleased with his act of male aggression at the moment, but all it took was a stern threat the next day to tell on him unless he forked over $3 to get not only money for a new pair of earmuffs, but also an extra bit of cash in my pocket. (New muffs only cost about $1.50.) Around the same time, Tom Noonan decided it would be great fun to scribble over all the drawings on my nice pink leather pencil case. If I recall correctly, I got about a fiver from him and used an old pencil case I had at home for the rest of the year. When it comes down to it, most boys are wusses. When a female friend in her 20s broke my digital camera, I never saw a penny, but the boys always seemed to quiver in the boots when a threat was issued. Perhaps we remind them of their scary mothers, or they know they can’t use brute force as a show of aggression with us, but on the whole, they’re much less likely to mess with us.

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Trash Bird

I was having a conversation with a co-worker today about the differences between our countries (she's a Brit who's lived in NY) and all of a sudden she made the comment that she 'posted a lot of rubbish' in the States. I almost ignored it, as it made no sense, only to look up and see her looking at me, waiting for me to take the bait, so I asked...

She recalled how she's complained to a classmate about what a nuisance it was to have to go the Post Office every time she wanted to mail something, and why didn't they have post boxes in the US. The classmate then pointed out to her a few of our big, blue mailboxes. I would assume a look of shock and horror crossed her face right before she spoke up an announced that she'd been throwing her rubbish in those bins for the last six months.

I quickly did a google search for her and asked her what she thought the outline on the boxes was, a trash bird. Not to mention the times of collection listed inside the opening, to which she recalled the McDonald's bags and leftover Chinese noodles she'd inadvertently dumped all over the mail. The poor postman...

The Christmas movies I'll miss this year

Majority of the DVDs I own at home are xmas films. Not that I have a very large collection, but I'm going to be missing these this year:( I don't know what will actually be on the tele this year (other than the queen's speech), but if it's anything like the daily line-up of documentaries, nature shows, and reality tv, it's gonna suck. I will shore be packing these to take to Australia (poor Steve will have to get used to cartoons at the holidays)...

And my all-time favorite....

You'll shoot your eye out kid!!

Friday, 1 December 2006

How to prepare for a move to a new country

When contemplating a move to a new country, it's easy to just think of basic, practical things. When taking into consideration the basics, which range from looking for a good mobile plan, setting up a bank account, finding somewhere to live, getting the proper documentation/visa, finding a doctor/sorting prescriptions, looking for work and places that might provide work ahead of time, working on your CV (no longer called a resume), finding inexpensive phone plans for those at home to call you and vice versa, and all importantly, saving up enough funds to support yourself until you find work, there is the social side to consider. Once you leave behind the friends, activities, hobbies etc you enjoyed at home, where do you find your identity. Best to plan ahead of time on those as well. My boyfriend thinks I'm very organised, but little does he know this is a necessity for survival once we arrive, and will benefit him almost as much as me;) So far, I've found a great literary journal which I'd eventually like to subscribe to, called the Australian Book Review. I found this through a literary blog, which I found through a personal blog, which I found through a list of blogs on Adelaide or by people from Adelaide, which I found on page 10 or 12 of a google search for Adelaide. This made me think to look for some book groups/clubs, of which I found two through yahoo based in Adelaide which is mainly a book exchange and another that is simply Australian. Both seem very friendly and sociable, so there is one need met, hopefully. I'll be sorting out a place to go for yoga (er, which I did for England as well, both Leeds and London, yet have never been). I've been networking on on-line groups for Americans in Australia, just to get info, as well as to potentially find some people in Adelaide to go have a coffee or pint with. I've got ridiculous amounts of web sites bookmarked, on things from general info on Australia, to what to see and do in Adelaide, where to buy books online since does not have an Australian component, to Australian recipe sites....