Friday, March 27, 2009

Let The Countdown Begin...I'm Ready (I Think!)

A lovely e-mail arrived today, containing the very message that I have been waiting (and not very patiently) Ancestry Visa has been approved.

Yes, I know I've done it all the wrong way round and I really should have had my visa approved and in my hot, little hand before I booked and paid for my flights, before I accepted a job and definitely before I shipped a box of my stuff over to London (OK, I haven't actually sent the box yet, but it is packed!).

Now that that last hurdle is out of the way, my official countdown can begin. As of today, there 45 sleeps until I move to London. 45!! Is that all??

Now that it's almost here, and as much as I know I'll be ready (packed, shipped and queueing at the airport), will I really be READY? I have been planning this trip for over two years now and here I am in the final days, feeling scared and sad and out of control. This is the big one - the BIG move. This is the change of the country, the change of the career and most certainly, the change of myself. While I know it's normal to have these feeling when facing such a life-changing move, I want to spend these last few weeks making the most of my time left with friends and family, and that means leaving behind all the worry and the stress.

I'm just not too sure how to do that. Maybe there is something to be said for the whole "one day at a time" thing...I should give that a go.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Mine!" ... "Mine!"

On Sunday, I packed up my car (and my sister's) with most of my household items, left home at 5.00am and headed off to set up a stall at our local market. This was the first time I have ever done a market...and I was not prepared for the "feeding frenzy" that occured.

We pulled up at the car park of the train station that is home to the market every Sunday. The sun was not even out and the cars not even unloaded, when the "seagulls" arrived! Out of nowhere, we were suddenly surrounded by shoppers we could barely make out in the dark dawn. All of a sudden, my boxes were unpacked at the speed of light and we had already sold about $40 worth of stuff by the time I had everything out of the car. Just as quick as they arrived, they disappeared. It reminded me of all the seagulls in Finding Nemo (hence the title of this blog! If you haven't seen the movie, where on Earth have you been??).

To say the least, I was overwhelmed. Even my sister, who is a market veteran, had never seen anything like it. I am happy to say, that although we stayed busy throughout the day and I made over $800, we didn't have a repeat of the first half hour.

So apart from the sunburn (yes...again!) and the emotional breakdown in the middle of the car park at the end of the morning, it was a good day! I had been so good at seperating myself from all the stuff that I had to sell before I move overseas, telling myself that "it's only stuff", and "I can't take it with me", but once most of it had been sold and I was packing away the remaining few things that I could give away, it hit me that, yes, it is only stuff, but it's my stuff. It all has a story, memories that make up my story. So, looking around my place at the moment, it looks a bit bare, but then to cheer myself up, I look at my bank balance and start to feel a bit better!

It was a full-on weekend. On Saturday, I woke up at 4.30am to call the family that I'll be working for in London, then I couldn't get back to sleep. The night before, I was babysitting my niece until about 12.30am and I had her all day Saturday as well. We went shopping to look for a dress for me to wear to my best friend's wedding in Sydney next month and came home with a pair of jeans and a you do! I can justify the purchase...I had jeans and a jumper on my list of stuff to buy before I move to the UK, so I've just bought them a little earlier than planned! I actually wanted to go and see Trinny and Susannah who I thought were appearing at Westfield that day, but they'll actually be there next saturday...maybe they can help me find something to wear...or what not to wear!

And to I may just have done something crazy! I have accepted an extension to my contract at the Government call centre until 1 May - 5 weeks away! Can I do it? I hope so. Before I accepted, I called all my recruitment companies just to see if they had anything else for me and sadly, they did not! On the upside, it's guaranteed work until I leave, I have made friends there and I know the job, so i'm pretty sure I can last another 5 weeks. But in this "Current Financial Crisis" (sorry to have to use the tired, old cliche!), it seems that beggars cannot be choosers!

So it looks like I'll be a Call Centre Customer Service Agent for a little bit longer. I can handle that. Soon it will all be behind me. I'll be a nanny. I'll be living the dream.

I'll be in London!

P.S Update on whereabouts of British Ancestry Visa...who knows?? I am getting a bit nervous, but I still have plenty of time yet. I just need to stop checking the tracking page on the Australia Post website EVERY...SINGLE...DAY!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

If I Only Had a Brain...

Today, I escaped the drudgery that is my life in the call centre at the moment, and went for a walk on my lunch break.

(This wasn't an effort to increase the amount of exercise in my day. The truth is, I overslept and ran out of time to pack my lunch, so I had to head off in search of sushi!)

Anyway, on my walk, I noticed two scarecrows in someone's front yard. Yes, it's true. Scarecrows! In the city! They were dressed in someone's old and pre-loved clothes, complete with accessories - a hat (bucket) for the gentleman and a handbag (of the green, recyclable shopping variety) for the lady. If I only had my camera....

It's amazing what you can see around you if you only open your eyes.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Donald Duck, Tea Cups and Other Dreams

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to go to Disneyland to ride the spinning tea cups and have my photo taken with Donald Duck. That's all. Just going all that way to do those two things would have made me happy.

I was lucky enough in 2004 to make the trip from Manchester, England to Orlando, Florida and onwards to Disneyworld (I wasn't too fussed that it wasn't Disneyland - beggars can't be choosers!).

If you've ever been there, you'll know all about the piped music that is constantly playing around the park and after even 20 minutes, you believe that all your wishes and dreams really do come true.

So when Dream Number One, riding the spinning tea cups, was accomplished, I then lined up for an hour and a half to have my photo taken with the duck himself...The Donald! (Mention must be made of my flatmate, Lisa, who braved the line-up with me - by far the oldest two people without children in the whole line!).

Photo taken and Dream Number Two completed, what was I to do now? Come up with another dream? Something I have always wanted to do but have put off for whatever reason?

It wasn't until a few years later, after returning home from the UK and moving to Queensland, after years of the 9-5 office job, I found a new dream.

I wanted to be a nanny in London.

I had the training but had never worked as a nanny. Regardless, I pursued this dream and am pleased to report that as of today, I have a job...starting in a nanny! That's right. Another dream is close to coming true. The job is exactly what I have been looking for and in the area of London that I have always wanted to live.

So, thanks to you, Donald Duck and the Spinning Tea Cups. I now know that dreams can come true and I'll keep on dreaming.

What can I dream of next...?