Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year That Was

"Borrowed" this from my facebook wall and since it's the last day of 2008, what better time to reflect on the year that was...

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Started my very own blog

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't like to make New Year's resolutions as I'm notorious for never following through. I did make a start on losing weight which I will continue into this year (it's taking a little longer than planned!)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but there are babies on the way!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. My nana died this year

5. What countries did you visit?
Just Australia. Next year will be a different story...!

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A husband...! :-)

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Probably my birthday. Turning 35 wasn't as good as turning 34 had been the year before! Definitely got a lot harder to say out loud!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Actually starting a savings plan (now if I could just stick to it...!)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not sticking to my savings plan as I should have!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No illnesses, but I did some ligament damage to my knee which wasn't too much fun

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My laptop, definitely!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
It would have to be all the volunteers who helped out in The Gap after the storms in Brisbane

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Can't think of anyone...

14. Where did most of your money go?
Ummm....into my savings account?? :-/

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Plans coming together for move to London in 2009

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
"Open Your Eyes" by Snow Patrol or "Pictures of You" by The Last Goodnight

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?
Happier, generally (if you don't count still having to go to work!!)

ii. thinner or fatter?
Thinner - yay!!

iii. richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
More saving, less spending! Spending time with friends and making new ones

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Spent Christmas with mum, dad and nana. Just a quiet day since my sister, brother-in-law and niece were in the US

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
No...but isn't there still 10 and a half hours to go??!

23. How many one-night stands?
None - not really my style!

24. What was your favorite TV program?

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. Hating people is never good

26. What was the best book you read this year?
Twilight. Oh, and finally read Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion by Jane Austen - both great reads!

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Sugarush Beat Company - go Jaz!

28. What did you want and get?
Got closer to moving overseas, funded largely by my boring job!

29. What did you want and not get?
A job that wasn't boring!!

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
OK. Am just going to say it...High School Musical 3! I know...but I did see it with my 9 year old niece (if that, in any way, makes it less sad!!)

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Spent the day at work and turned 35

32. What's one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Discovering sooner that I didn't have to be a receptionist for the rest of my life!

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Black and white. I need a lot more colour in my life!

34. What kept you sane?
Having internet access at work!

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I love Ewan McGregor! I can't help it...! :-)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I think the US Presidential Election - maybe because it was on the news so much, but it really felt like witnessing a great moment in history when Obama was elected

37. Who did you miss?
I really miss my friends in Adelaide...and the crazy road trips!

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Too many great people to count!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Life is too short - follow your dreams

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"London calling, to the faraway towns..."

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twilight - The Movie

While I am hiding inside today, avoiding all contact with the sun (in a totally non-vampire kind of way, thanks to the extent of my sunburn!), I thought I would say that I finally saw Twilight at the cinema last week.

Loved it, loved it!!

I left it a few weeks to see it mainly to avoid the giggling teenage girls going mad for Edward, and pretty much had the cinema to myself.

It was a fantastic movie, great even if you haven't read the books. I couldn't help but compare it to the book (as you do) and most of it was like I imagined.

My favorite part? That would be Jacob. Always a fan of the underdog (pardon the pun - for those who have read the series!), I'm glad they cast his character as they did. Oh, and Edward wasn't bad, either...!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why do I do it?

OK, I know most people have in their head the idea that all Aussies are tanned. Well, this is so not me!

I am "lucky" enough to have that pale English complexion - you know, the kind that looks like I haven't seen the sun in years.

I spent the day at Noosa today, which is a gorgeous town up on the Sunshine Coast, about 2 hours drive north of Brisbane. In preparation for the day, I remembered to slip, slop, slap (actually, I couldn't find my hat so I just slipped and slopped!). Once we parked the car halfway up a mountain and walked to find our friends at the far end of the beach, I was already burnt!

I got into the shade as soon as I could, but the damage was already done. It was too late for me!

Being the pale creature I am, I tend to burn, peel and then go white again, and burn in patches.

So, now I'm at home, wishing I had some aloe vera gel and looking at my skin that resembles a red and white patchwork quilt.

Why do I do it? Because I'm Australian...and living under some delusion that one day I will live up to the stereotype!

Friday, December 26, 2008

So this is Christmas...

Well, I had a great Christmas yesterday. I spent the day with my mum, dad and nana. It was a quiet one and none of us over ate or even fell asleep in the afternoon!

Mum made homemade fruit mince pies and we ate these while opening our presents. For lunch, we had roast turkey and pork with roast veggies, followed by pudding and custard for dessert.

During lunch, we called my sister, brother-in-law and niece who were shivering in the snow up in Vermont. They are having a great time and are off to New York today.

After lunch, we all sat down to watch Christmas Day TV, which is always "interesting" - you've gotta love those Hallmark movies!

I came away with a great haul of presents and over all it was a really good day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve, babe...

Christmas Eve is finally here and at this very moment most of my family is preparing for their first white Christmas in the far reaches of Vermont, USA...while I am trying to stay cool and waiting for the summer afternoon storms to roll in.

My shopping has all been bought. My presents have all been wrapped. My money has all been spent.

I feel like I can breathe out now. I am on holidays from work and all the hard work seems to be behind me.

I am off to Carols tonight at church and then tomorrow I will spend the day with my parents. I love this time of year!

Merry Christmas....everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Random Acts of (Christmas) Kindness

Ever since the snake episode, I have been nervous about the length of the grass in the front yard, imagining all sorts of long, fang-wielding creatures lurking there, waiting for my unsuspecting foot to casually step out of my car door.

As I am housesitting at the moment, and using the excuse of not knowing how to operate their lawnmower, I have been putting off the task of actually doing something about the lawn.

Imagine my surprise when I get home from work last night to find the front lawn has been mowed! Some kindly neighbour has decided out of the goodness of their heart (or the fact that it was by far the highest grass in the whole street!) to mow the lawn for me.

To me, it's these kinds of things that make it feel like Christmas. The little things, the random acts of kindness. It warms my heart!

I'm not sure who is responsible, but I would like to say a huge "thank you" to whoever it may have been.

I like to think it was the elves...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Update on the snake...

I found out today that the snake I found in the backyard died two days after he was taken away, and in spite of myself, I felt a little sad....

Friday, December 19, 2008

Losing it

What a week! Work has been particularly awful this week - or it may just be how I was looking at work this week that made it so awful.

You see, it's the last week before Christmas, the office will be closed from next Tuesday and everyone has left it all to the last minute. Now I work in an office full of men. Not to attack the male gender as a whole, but this particular group of men have very little clue about what it takes to run an office. Oh, sure, all those lunch "meetings", networking functions and brainstorming board meetings are important, but when it come down to the day to day work, it's the faithful, hard-working admin staff that actually keep the office running.

Now, when God made us admin staff, were we the only ones to whom he gave a brain that can work out the complex process of filling the copier, changing the toner cartridge, actually putting our own coffee cup in the dishwasher? That seems to be the case. And so, day after day, we answer the calls - "There's no paper in the copier" (to which we reply, in our heads, of course, "you know, there won't be paper in the copier unless you put it in there yourself"), "The coffee machine is beeping", "There is a paper jam", and the list goes on and on...

As you can probably tell, I am not having the best week.

It has had it's good points, though.

I haven't mentioned it yet, but as my title says, I am working on changing myself. I am at Weight Watchers and I have got some weight to shift before I move overseas. Now that my goal has possibly been brought closer, I have stepped it up and am happy to say that my temper is not the only thing I have lost this week! Still a "little" way to go!!

And now to all those faithful, diligent, hard working, loyal, polite, efficient, talented, organised, patient, understanding, tolerant admin staff everywhere, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas - because we all know that Christmas just would not happen without you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I got a phone call today that could change everything.

It turns out that a job I am very interested in in London, needs me to start a lot sooner than I had planned, which of course, is amazing! But also a little bit scary.

The job is my ideal job. It will be a combination of a nanny / PA role which actually suits me to a tee. Even though I am looking to change careers and jump head first into the whole nanny thing, a role where I can still use the skills I have gained over the past 10 years would be perfect.

Now, before I get ahead of myself, the final plans are still up in the air and I have no definite dates, but my dream is starting to look clearer. If all goes to plan, I could be off in the next couple of months. The next couple of months....!!

For the impatient side of myself, that is great news. For the planning side of me, not so much! My brain has been working overtime thinking of all the things left to do and those horrible bills that need paying off. I am selling all my furniture and stuff in my mind at the moment and finding it very hard to concentrate on work.

So, in the spirit of not getting my hopes up....

I'm off to London, I'm off to London, I'm off to London!!!!!!!!! WOO-HOO!!

(Sorry - couldn't resist!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Twilight comes to the cinema on Thusday.


Well, I haven't really been waiting that long - I only started reading the books by Stephenie Meyer a few months ago, after reading about them on Jessica's blog - Jessica's OE. And now the movie is out and I can't wait!

If you haven't read them, get your hands on a copy now! A great read and very hard to put down.


I am Australian. I live in a land filled with dangerous creatures. I should be able to handle having a snake in my backyard. I should. But no, I can't!

Last night, with a house full of guests, I discovered a snake in my backyard. Max, our lovely German Shepherd, was barking and barking and so I went to investigate and found the snake coiled near the retaining wall. When I say discovered, I really mean peering out through the darkness from the safety of the back step. Yes, I am a girl. I am a city girl. And this is probably only the second time in my whole life that I have seen a snake in the flesh (?). And I didn't handle it well.

I jumped on the phone to call my mum. Not sure what she could do as she hates snakes more than me. Luckily, she was able to be calm, not being in close proximity to the snake. Me? I was not so calm. I proceeded to burst into tears (such a girl!).

Having a house full of guests turned out to my advantage as it was mostly guys who were suddenly fascinated by the snake and eager to have a go at catching the thing - or to stand by and watch. All the girls were still safely inside the house!

In the end, I called the snake catcher in and he came and carried off the snake in a hessian bag to "rehome" him elsewhere. I just hope it's a long way elsewhere.

But, I am pleased to report, since I am housesitting at my sister's, both her chooks are still alive.

Great. I "love" chooks too (roast chicken, chicken nuggets....)

Do I need to mention that the snake was a harmless python? No? Ok, then I won't....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Moving...sort of

OK, so things are not moving fast on the BIG move, but they are certainly happening at home.

Several weeks ago, Brisbane was hit with some really severe storms and while I thought I had managed to get off fairly lightly in regards to damage, it turns out it was not to be.

Apparently, most of my interior walls need to be ripped out and refitted due to quite a bit of moisture and water trapped inside. This is not good. It means I will have to move out for a few weeks while to work is being done.

Fortunately, I am due to housesit for the next three weeks as my sister, brother-in-law and niece are off to the States for Christmas, so all we need to do is find a builder who can do the work now...three weeks out from Christmas. Hmmm. Should be easy, right?

I'll find out tomorrow if they can fix it now, so I have spend most of today packing and moving, but with no exciting move to London at the end of it. Oh, well. Gives me a chance to sort through stuff and throw things out. Well, it would if I could be bothered!

It's hot today and I would much rather sit here and blog with my fan on high, than face all those decisions on what to keep, what to throw away, what to give away and what I'll need between now and when I do finally pack up and move for real. It's too hard. It's too hot. It'll all wait until tomorrow....

Oh yeah, did I mention that I am a procrastinator as well as being extremely impatient?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The waiting is the hardest part

I haven't blogged too much about how my plans for moving to the UK are going and that's because not much is all!

I am in the stage of saving like mad and waiting to apply for my Visa, so on the outside it looks like nothing is happening. Very frustrating.

I have never had much patience and those who know me will whole-heartedly agree. So it comes as no surprise that I am finding this particular stage of my journey difficult. Add to that, a job that does not require much of me at all (read as: extremely boring and monotonous!) and it all works to drag the time out longer and longer.

That doesn't mean my mind hasn't been racing ahead with all the stuff I need to do before I go, and all the stuff I want to do when I get there. I have done it all before - it should be easy, right? This time feels different for whatever reason.

Little things like when I was at the hairdresser on the weekend, she talked me into a new shampoo and my first thought was, 'Will they sell that brand in the UK?'. I mean, why get used to a new shampoo if you just have to change again? It's these sort of things that are going through my head at the moment and at the oddest times.

But my plans are coming along, albeit slowly. It's like the old saying, "Lord, give me patience, but give it to me now"!

So those of you hoping to read about an Aussie girl braving new frontiers, starting over in a far away land, you'll have to wait a bit longer yet. Hey, if I can wait, then anyone can!! I promise to keep you updated on my progress and hopefully find some interesting things to post along the way.

Until then....'s one for the road!

Monday, December 1, 2008

100 things

Thanks to Jessica at Jessica's OE for this one! Love these!
Basically, you bold the things on the list that you've done:
100 Things
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (does DisneyWorld count??)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own
Ok, so 40 things are not too bad!! Give it a go!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Deck the Halls ... and all that stuff!

I got out my Christmas CD today. I love the start of December. It doesn't feel like Christmas to me before December.

I have a great Christmas CD. I got in while I was in the UK so it has great songs like Fairytale of New York (one of my favourites! What other Christmas song has the words 'you scumbag, you maggot' in them??), I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday, not to mention all the Cliff Richard 'greats'! Ah, Christmas.

This is the time I put up my tree. Always a great tradition in our house as a kid. On would go a Christmas CD. Mum would get out the box of decorations, most of them my sister and I had made and the rest seemed to have been in the box before time began. But each and every one had to make it onto the tree or it just wouldn't be the same. Next came all the standing back and moving ornaments until the tree was balanced. Once all the decorations were hung, at last the angel would be placed on the top. And it was official - Christmas could now start.

These days, my tree may be smaller and my decorations newer and shinier, but it still means Christmas to me.

The Santas have begun to appear in shopping centres. Yesterday, I sat in the hairdresser and watched all the kids and parents lining up to have their photo taken with Santa. The decorations are up and everywhere the feeling of Christmas is in the air.

Growing up in Australia, Christmas to me is hot. I have only had two Christmases out of the country - my first in Scotland was wet and cold and the second in Manchester, we did have snow in the morning, but we were flying out to Florida that day, so we had snow in the morning and tropical thunderstorm in the afternoon!

So, as the weather gets hotter and we start singing songs like 'Winter Wonderland', 'Frosty the Snowman' and 'Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!', it finally feels like Christmas to me!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Keeping it real

Please don't roll your eyes....I promise not to write about facebook with every single blog, but I just wanted to say that I love it! Have I said that already?

I spent several hours the other night 'chatting' to one of my best friends from high school that I haven't seen in a good 10 years. It was amazing to find out things about her and the rest of our 'gang' that I didn't know, like who was married, who had kids and how many, etc. But in the middle of all this reminiscing, I felt really sad. How did I lose touch with these people? My 'best' friends through some of the most important years of my life.

I made a promise to myself today, that no matter how good facebook is, or how great whatever comes after it will be, I will do everything I can to hold on to those friends in my life right now, so that in another 10 years, I can know about their lives first hand, by having shared life with them...not just through a photo and a profile on a wall.

But even though I feel a bit sad today at what I have missed out on, I still love you, facebook...!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Start at the very beginning (a very good place to start)

I am moving to London - changing countries, changing careers and hopefully changing myself. That is the reason for this blog. But this won't be the first time I have packed up my life into one suitcase (weighing no more than 20kgs, of course!) and travelled to the other side of the world in search of....adventure? Maybe. Something new? Yes. An opportunity to live the dream? Definately!

I have always wanted to travel and see the world, but was always putting it off, so when a friend one day sent me an sms asking did I want to go to Scotland, I jumped at the chance. That was back in 2002 and I spent a whole year working and saving, saving and working and then jumped on that plane and off I went.

It was such a great experience. Don't get me wrong. It had it's fair share of the good, the bad and the ugly.

I lived in Scotland for 6 months in a small village called Crieff (home of the lovely Ewan McGregor!!) and worked at the Crieff Hydro Hotel - a huge leisure hotel set in 900 acres of beautiful Scottish countryside. I loved the snow, the mountains, the whole village life. But soon the city girl in me started to resurface and I had to move on.

So, one day my two Aussie friends, Mandy and Lisa and I opened our Great Britain atlas and, not being quite ready to make the leap from Crieff to London, we chose Manchester - situated nicely in the middle of both.

Packing our life once again, this time into a hire car, we got behind the wheel, braved the M6 and headed for Manchester - home of the awesome Manchester United and Take That - what more could a girl want?

We soon settled into Manchester and it felt like a real home. But inevitably, the drag back home became stronger and so after a year in the North West, the packing began again - this time we were homewardbound.

It was strange being home again too - like living in a new place. It took me a while to realise that I'd been bitten by the travel bug and that it was terminal.

So after a few years, here I am again, planning to once again pack my life into one suitcase (weighing no more than 20 kgs, of course!), jump on that plane and travel to the other side of the world.

This time, I think I am ready for London....will it be ready for me?
There are so many places I still have to many things I still want to do...

And so, this blog will make that journey with me and be a lasting memory of all my adventures when I finally get to that place where I settle down and look back over my life...whenever that will be!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Facing the Facebook

I have been putting off joining Facebook for a couple of reasons:
1. I had no laptop at home and it was generally frowned upon to access Facebook at work and 2. I knew it would be very addictive for me.

Well, I have my new laptop and yes, am already addicted to Facebook!

I knew it would happen so I really shouldn't be surprised. I have already found so many friends that I had lost contact with and I guess I just need to wait and see if any of them want me as their friend...because we all know it's all about how many Facebook friends we have, isn't it?

Stay tuned - the promised post about the reason for this blog is on it's way... after I just check my Facebook page again!

Friday, November 21, 2008

You Sneaky Blogger!

Just sneaking on to my blog while I am at work - is that bad?

Off to buy my own laptop tomorrow, so hopefully my posts will become interesting - or at least a bit longer without me looking over my shoulder for the boss to catch me out!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A blogger is born

Here I am. Finally. My own blog! I have thought about starting one for a while now and here it is. This first post will be a short one - just a test really - then I will be back to fill you in on why I am starting a blog and a bit more about me!

Back soon!