PostHeaderIcon Has it really been that long?

Happy New Year – how’s it going so far? One month is almost gone and I can hardly believe in one week I’ll have been living in London a year (2nd Feb)! The time has flown So fast in fact that I don’t feel I’ve achieved a lot to show for it however, I’m sure if I look back I have fit quite a bit of activity into that year.

Big Ben - my neighbour

Big Ben - my neighbour

The short story is; I’m happy living here even if the weather isn’t my ideal. I’ve made some friends, go to the theatre every 2-3 weeks (sometimes weekly!) so I LOVE THAT and; I am getting to travel fairly often so overall, everything is good.

Christmas Eve 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

I was in France for Xmas and New Year – in the North with my famille Francais for Xmas then a week in my beloved Paris for New Year. Although there are many places I love and would return to, I can’t get over Paris for some reason….must be my romantic soul.

The Eiffel Tower at Sunset

The Eiffel Tower at Sunset

Today I finally got around to tidying up all the things that got dumped upon my return from Paris and directly back into work.  As I sorted through Xmas items, things collected in Paris and some other things from before and after that, I re-ran the year through my mind and realised it’s been a little busy…

……Try saying this in one breath……On the 2nd February 2010 I arrived in London, stayed 2 days then went to Montreal for 2 weeks, arrived back and moved into a house with 11 people! The following Saturday I caught-up with my 1st Aussie visitor and hardly felt like I’d left Oz! Monday: commenced the job-hunt.

Dog-sledding, Montreal 2010

Dog-sledding, Montreal 2010

I started work mid-week three and haven’t stopped since (lucky; but damn!). March was over in a flash; found another place to live and moved in with what turned out to be the creepy, drunk, stalker guy! Caught up for dinner and theatre with more Aussie visitors and went to France for the Bal de Carnival.

First Holy Communion group

First Holy Communion group

I went to Brighton for Easter so got to see a new English place. Came back, re-packed and made another trip to France for my sweet Mathilde’s communion. Back in the UK, more Aussie visitors arrived resulting in three nights of pub meals and pints whilst looking for another place to live. Found one which then fell through, one week prior to moving day! My 1st Aussie visitor returned at the worst time; however, he’s a charming friend who actually organised the best “forget your homeless worries” evening out I could have wished for – expensive seafood, Martinis & Champagne always cheer me!

British Grand Prix 2010

British Grand Prix 2010

I survived the frantic, almost homeless week – found another place with two days to spare so on the 3rd July, moved in then went off to Opera In The Park to celebrate. The next week was a trip to Silverstone to see our Aussie guy win the British Grand Prix then returned to London to catch-up with another Aussie visitor. More pints!

Saved the pounds frantically for the parents impending arrival at the end of July. Went to the North of France, Berlin & Belfast with my parents……..WE HAD A GREAT TIME!

The Brandenburg Gate 2010

The Brandenburg Gate 2010

Did some English sight-seeing and general hanging out for the final couple of weeks of their visit and then had to wave bye-bye. That bit wasn’t fun.

Cheered myself up by heading up to Edinburgh to see my best friend (more visitors from WA) and the rellies there. Back to work and saving the pounds again as Xmas and New Year were looming and Paris was calling!

Phew…so that was 2010.

I wonder what 2011 will bring? Oh, I’ve already had one Aussie visitor, two theatre visits and a birthday!

PostHeaderIcon Happy Birthday to me!

I was born on a Monday around 1pm…not so long ago!

As I head swiftly toward another birthday…dare I blink, knowing I share my day with one of my work friends, I wondered who else shares our day? Seems we’re not in bad company;

If today is your birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  1. Andre-Marie Ampere. January 20, 1775. He was a French physicist in the field of electromagnetism. June 10, 1836-†

  2. Andy Sheppard. January 20, 1957. British jazz saxophonist and composer.

  3. Anson Jones. January 20, 1798. He was the fourth and last president of the Republic of Texas. January 9, 1858-†

  4. Ashikaga Yoshimasa. January 20, 1435. He was the 8th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate from 1449 until 1473. January 27, 1490-†

  5. Bill Le Sage. January 20, 1927. He was a British pianist, vibraphonist, composer, arranger and bandleader. October 31, 2001-†

  6. Bretaigne Windust. January 20, 1906. He was a French-born American theatre, film, and TV director. March 18, 1960-†

  7. Carlotta Monti. January 20, 1907. She was an American actress. December 8, 1993-†

  8. Carlyle Blackwell. January 20, 1884. He was an American actor, director and producer. June 17, 1955-†

  9. Carol Heiss. January 20, 1940. American figure skater.

  10. Charles III of Spain. January 20, 1716. He was King of Spain from 1759 until 1788. December 14, 1788-†

  11. Chuck Domanico. January 20, 1944. He was an American jazz bassist. October 17, 2002-†

  12. Clarice Cliff. January 20, 1899. She was an English ceramic artist. October 23, 1972-†

  13. Colin Clive. January 20, 1900. He was a British actor. June 25, 1937-†

  14. Connie Haines. January 20, 1921. She was an American singer. September 22, 2008-†

  15. Crystal Lowe. January 20, 1981. Canadian model and actress.

  16. Daniel Cudmore. January 20, 1981. Canadian actor. Film, X-Men.

  17. David Tudor. January 20, 1926. He was an American musician, composer and pianist. August 13, 1996-†

  18. Derrick Green. January 20, 1971. Vocalist & guitarist. Band, Sepultura.

  19. Edwin McCain. January 20, 1970. American singer-songwriter and musician.

  20. Emil Newman. January 20, 1911. He was an American composer and conductor. August 30, 1984-†

  21. Eric Stewart. January 20, 1945. English musician, songwriter and record producer. Bands, Mindbenders and 10cc.

  22. Fabia Drake. January 20, 1904. She was an English actress. February 28, 1990-†

  23. Farhad {Farhad Mehrad}. January 20, 1944. He was an Iranian rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. August 31, 2002-†

  24. Finlay Currie. January 20, 1878. He was a Scottish actor. 1968-†

  25. Fireball Roberts. January 20, 1929. He was an American racing car driver. July 2, 1964-†

  26. Frank Marlowe. January 20, 1904. He was an American actor. March 30, 1964-†

  27. George Johnson. January 20, 1952. American writer and author.

  28. Ghulam Ishaq Khan. January 20, 1915. He was the seventh president of Pakistan from 1988 until 1993. October 27, 2006-†

  29. Gordian III. {Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius}. January 20, 225. He was Roman Emperor from 238 until 244-†

  30. Graham Stark. January 20, 1922. English comedian, actor, writer and director.

  31. Greg Kriesel. January 20, 1965. American bass guitarist and backing vocalist. Band, The Offspring.

  32. Ian Hill. January 20, 1951. English musician-bassist. Band, Judas Priest.

  33. Isabel Withers. January 20, 1896. She was an American actress. September 3, 1968-†

  34. Ivan Fischer. January 20, 1951. Hungarian conductor.

  35. Jamie Denton. January 20, 1963. American actor. TV, Desperate Housewives.

  36. Jamiluddin Aali. January 20, 1926. Indian-born Pakistani Urdu poet, playwright, essayist and columnist.

  37. Jane Hall. January 20, 1971. Australian actress and comedienne.

  38. Jason Richardson. January 20, 1981. American basketball player.

  39. Jimmy Cobb. January 20, 1929. American jazz drummer.

  40. Jimmy Smith. January 20, 1947. Scottish football player.

  41. Joe Swash. January 20, 1982. English actor. TV, EastEnders and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

  42. Joel Pott. January 20, 1979. British vocalist and guitarist. Indie band, Athlete.

  43. John Beal. January 20, 1947. American film composer.

  44. John Ireland. January 20, 1914. He was a Canadian actor and film director. March 21, 1992-†

  45. John Michael Montgomery. January 20, 1965. American country music artist. Duo, Montgomery Gentry {Troy Gentry}.

  46. Jorma Nortimo. January 20, 1906. He was a Finnish film director and actor. July 2, 1958-†

  47. Josef Hofmann. January 20, 1876. He was a Polish-American pianist, composer and inventor. February 16, 1957-†

  48. Joy Giovanni. January 20, 1978. American actress, model and wrestler.

  49. Juan Garcia Esquivel. January 20, 1918. He was a Mexican band leader, pianist and film composer. January 3, 2002-†

  50. Kaho Minami. January 20, 1964. Japanese actress.

  51. Ken Page. January 20, 1954. American singer and actor.

  52. Kerri Kenney-Silver. January 20, 1970. American actress, comedian, singer and writer. TV, as Deputy Trudy Wiegel in Reno 911!.

  53. Krishnam Raju. January 20, 1940. Indian actor.

  54. Leon Ames. January 20, 1903. He was an American actor. October 12, 1993-†

  55. Linda Moulton Howe. January 20, 1942. American investigative journalist, documentary producer, director, writer and editor.

  56. Liza Goddard. January 20, 1950. English actress.

  57. Lorenzo Lamas. January 20, 1958. American actor.

  58. Mel Pritchard. January 20, 1948. He was a British musician. Band, Barclay James Harvest. January 28, 2004-†

  59. Melissa Rivers. January 20, 1968. American TV host.

  60. Melody. {Nathalie Lefebvre}. January 20, 1977. Belgian singer.

  61. Michel Goyette. January 20, 1973. Canadian actor.

  62. Mischa Elman. January 20, 1891. He was a Ukrainian-born American violinist. April 5, 1967-†

  63. Mitch Benn. January 20, 1970. British musician and stand-up comedian.

  64. Nadia Di Cello. January 20, 1989. Argentinian actress.

  65. Nancy Kress. January 20, 1948. American writer of science novels.

  66. Nicky Wire. January 20, 1969. Welsh lyricist, bassist and vocalist. Band, Manic Street Preachers.

  67. Nora Brockstedt. January 20, 1923. Norwegian singer.

  68. Olivia Hallinan. January 20, 1984. English actress.

  69. Owen Hargreaves. January 20, 1981. English football player.

  70. Paul Coverdell. January 20, 1939. He was a United States Senator from Georgia from 1993 until 2000. July 18, 2000-†

  71. Paul Masvidal. January 20, 1971. American guitarist and singer. Bands, Cynic and Eon Spoke.

  72. Paula Stone. January 20, 1912. She was an American actress. December 23, 1997-†

  73. Paula Taylor. January 20, 1983. Thai-born English actress, model and TV presenter.

  74. Paula Wessely. January 20, 1907. She was an Austrian actress. May 11, 2000-†

  75. Pierre Lalonde. January 20, 1941. Canadian singer and TV host.

  76. Qurratulain Hyder. January 20, 1928. She was an Indian Urdu novelist, writer and journalist. August 21, 2007-†

  77. Rachel Perry. January 20, 1976. Canadian TV personality and music VJ.

  78. Rainn Wilson. January 20, 1966. American actor.

  79. Richard Sanders. January 20, 1945. He was an American wrestler. October 18, 1972-†

  80. Rick Evans. January 20, 1943. American singer and guitarist.

  81. Ron Townson. January 20, 1933. He was an African-American vocalist. Group, The 5th Dimension. August 2, 2001-†

  82. Roy Plomley. January 20 , 1914. He was an English radio broadcaster, producer, playwright & novelist. May 28, 1985-†

  83. Ruth St. Denis. January 20, 1879. She was an American contemporary dance innovator. July 21, 1968-†

  84. Scott Thunes. January 20, 1960. American bass player.

  85. Sebastian of Portugal. January 20, 1554. He was the 16th king of Portugal and the Algarves from 1557 until his death. August 4, 1578-†

  86. Sid “Ratboy” Wilson. January 20, 1977. American musician. Band, Slipknot.

  87. Skeet Ulrich. {Bryan Ray}. January 20, 1970. American actor.

  88. Slim Whitman. January 20, 1924. American country music singer and songwriter.

  89. Tom Baker. January 20, 1934. English actor and comedian. TV, Doctor Who.

  90. Toni Gonzaga. January 20, 1984. Philippine TV host, singer, actress and model.

  91. Tracii Guns. January 20, 1966. American rock guitarist, musician, and songwriter of various bands.

  92. U Razak. {Abdul Razak}. January 20, 1898. He was a Burmese politician and an educationalist. July 19, 1947-†

  93. Wakanohana Masaru. January 20, 1971. Japanese sumo wrestler.

  94. Walter W. Bacon. January 20, 1880. He was an American Governor of Delaware from 1941 until 1949. March 18, 1962-†

  95. Walter Piston. January 20, 1894. He was an American composer of classical music. November 12, 1976-†

  96. William Berger. {Bill Berger}. January 20, 1928. He was a European actor. October 2, 1993-†

  97. Wyatt Knight. January 20, 1955. American actor.

  98. Yvette Guilbert. January 20, 1865. She was a French singer. February 3, 1944-†

To check out who shares your day (& thanks for the info)…visit>  http://hubpages.com/hub/Famous-peoples-Birthdays-for-the-20th-January

PostHeaderIcon New Tricks

There’s a saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” that in my opinion is another myth. In some cases, I think it gives people something to hide behind. They quote that phrase as if it’s scientifically proven in order to justify that they don’t want to try something new.

Every time I hear it I can’t help but wonder if the person is afraid of failure, resisting an unwanted change or just plain lazy. That may seem harsh but if you’re honest, you can probably think of a time when something new has come up and you’ve felt one of those motives propel you toward saying you wouldn’t be able to do such and such a new task or deal with a new or different situation.

I get it. I should say, I understand that most people don’t like change however in truth, I don’t get it. Whilst change may sometimes cause uncertainty I think people get too bogged down in that and forget to make their own path. When it feels like you have no control over the situation or other people are dictating the outcomes, why not make a move of your own and seize the opportunity that changes usually represent.

Recently, I met someone who was being made redundant at a time when jobs are not easily found. Although it came as a shock, this person told me it was going to be a good thing as he’d wanted to do something else for a long time but now realised he’d been playing it safe and become resigned that he’d probably never take the risk. Due to circumstance out of his control, he’d now be able to take that step and see it as moving in the right direction rather than risking what he already had.

Of course not everyone is equipped emotionally or financially to take that view but we could all start with the small things. If you really want to do something, how about taking some classes to help get you there. If you’re unhappy in your job, take action and start looking around rather than complaining whilst still turning up every day. If there’s a new task or situation thrown at you that you don’t understand so you fear failing, why not embrace it and take on all possible training and assistance to ensure your success – avoiding it will surely help you fail.

So many times I’ve wanted to do something and in the end I’ve realised that I need to make it happen as waiting brings no result. I’ve learned knew skills, taken jobs that were unfamiliar, even moved to new locations where I knew no-one. I’ve found every time that although it may take a while, I’ve succeeded in the end. Sometimes I’ve even surprised myself when things have turned out better than I’d hoped.

As for old dogs – it’s never too late. My father waited to retire until he was 69 and I’m sure it was partly because he had no idea what he’d do if he wasn’t working. He’s taken on a totally new lifestyle with open arms realising, if he waited around for something to do it would never come.

After years of saying he’d like to take up painting, he finally decided early this year to attend classes. Less than a year has passed and he’s just had his first exhibition and sold his first painting – something he wasn’t expecting but a wonderful bonus to being brave enough to ‘give it a go.’  

So, as we head rapidly toward another year, maybe it’s time to ask yourself what you’ve done this year. Have you achieved a goal, tried something new, made a friend you weren’t expecting or have you done the same old things and now wonder where another year has gone?

Old dogs (and young ones) can learn new tricks – I have a million ideas to get through, what’s yours going to be?

PostHeaderIcon A scarf for all seasons

You know, when I lived in Australia I never bothered with scarves. I didn’t even own one until a friend bought me a really cool, funky one that was made of lots of chenille loops (kinda hard to describe) and not the old Nanna type of thing I pictured when anyone mentioned scarf! More an accessory than a scarf – thanks Jo.

The beginning - scarf No. 1

The beginning - scarf No. 1

In fact, my worst nightmare was the so-called chic female with a scarf eternally knotted around her neck. No, I didn’t think it looked chic at all. I felt (and still do) that it looks so conservative I want to scream! Either that or the only excuse is that she’s an airline stewardess and it’s part of the uniform. Sorry neck-tie gals but there you have it!

Then a funny thing happened. Call it global warming, call it discovery on my part, whatever you call it; the chenille scarf was my favourite accessory as the Australian winter arrived and was unusually cold – yes, ‘proper’ scarves were in demand. Not the “chic” neck-ties but proper, warm scarves. Of course that was short lived in Australia but it was enough of a taste to make me pack the chenille scarf when I took off to see the world.

Flying the Mexican colours in Boston - accessorising!

Flying the Mexican colours in Boston - accessorising!

My first stop was America and it was summer but as I stayed for months it got colder I soon decided I needed another warmer scarf. When I visited Mexico, which was wonderfully hot, I terrified myself by deciding I just had to buy a cotton scarf for the in-between weather!

L..L...leopard skin - tres chic!

L..L...leopard skin - tres chic!

By the time I arrived in London I had 4 scarves, one with a matching hat! Of course it is leopard skin and looks great but for heavens sake, is this getting out of hand?

Needless to say, I’ve learned the value of a scarf. You see, several times I’ve raced out and having put my scarf down to pick up keys or other vitals, forgotten to pick it up again. Due to zero level temperatures or bone-chilling winds I’ve had to buy a new scarf to survive the outing. My collection is becoming quite valuable – both for warmth and in cost!

I now carry one in my bag – unless of course I happen to swap bags and forget…

Today I did it again. I bag-swapped (foolish when running late) and guess what?! I have another new scarf. I resisted as long as I could but as the peak temperature today was around 9degrees – I forgive myself.

As I handed over the cash and pondered yet again if I was really cold enough to justify the spend when I have several scarves at home, (18 now!) I found myself thinking “well, actually, I don’t have one in this colour so it’s ok,” I started to wonder if I’m showing signs of a new addiction.

It's cold outside...

It's cold outside...

Surely one plain coloured scarf would go with everything just as they say one great pair of black shoes will – then again, I have at least eight different styles of black shoes and none of those matches everything so how can necessity be classed as addiction? I’m OK!

A growing collection

A growing collection

PostHeaderIcon Time to think

Lately I’ve started thinking I must have too much time on my hands. Although I know that’s just not true I kind of hope it is. Why else would I be thinking about so many things that are just too difficult to answer? I mean really – what is the meaning of life and more importantly; where oh where is the fountain of youth?!

Perhaps the problem isn’t too much time, I sometimes feel I’m running out of time. As each year passes it seems I have less time to do the things I really want to do, achieve the lifestyle I want and fit all the people that are important to me into that equation.

Not so long ago I made what most people saw as drastic changes. I went from having a well-paid job, high community profile and being located close enough to family and friends to spend time with them whenever I wanted; to becoming a ‘homeless’ backpacker on the move without a care in the world. My biggest decisions were where to go next and how long to stay.

I miss that life and can’t explain the freedom to you if you haven’t experienced it. Most people tell me they believe it must be a scary existence with so much uncertainty, those who’ve done it know it’s exactly the opposite. I met so many interesting people and experienced something new every day.

That was the life I’d dreamed of but now I find myself doing what I promised myself I wouldn’t do. While I was  out there seeing glaciers in Alaska, doing yoga at an ashram in India and learning Thai cooking on an island in Thailand, I told myself that I wouldn’t get caught up again in the lifestyle that comes with earning a living.

I was sure I could work, earn some cash to fund the next trip and keep going that way until I found the place I wanted to settle in. Somehow the reality is far from that as I find that if I’m working I need a place to live then I need to keep working to fund that. It seems I’m being dragged kicking and screaming back into the world of 9-5 (at least) and limited travel time.

In truth I haven’t sold my dreams out just modified them so they’ll continue to be funded!  I’m now living in a place that enables shorter more frequent trips so I’m really working to fund those but as each day goes by and I get (a little) older, I find myself thinking I must get a move on and do MORE of the things I want to do before time steals those opportunities away. Yes, I’ll be signing up for Tango lessons soon…

Today I found myself looking at everyone around me on the train home and wondering how many of them were doing things they really wanted to do and how many of them were just ‘existing.’ A sad thought but enough to inspire me again to keep taking my worklife less seriously than many people around me think I should, continue doing whatever seems interesting and fun and most of all, keep walking to the beat of my own drum whether it’s playing rock n roll, blues, jazz or pop – I like a bit of variety! 

PostHeaderIcon Where is patriotism?

The dictionary defines a patriot as; “a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.”

Although I love Australia and like to see us do well, I’ve never been fanatical and like most Aussies, I’ve taken it in my stride if we don’t come 1st at something. Most of us don’t know all the words to our National Anthem or even like the song – compared to many others it’s not that uplifting and the topic of what should be our National Anthem is one that still causes debates today.

Having said all that, there’s been a subtle change in my level of patriotism since I left Australia. I’m now willing to watch sport on TV if the Aussies are playing or even attend a match for the same reason. My recent trip to Silverstone for the 2010 British Grand Prix was partially because it’s something I’ve never done but; when you consider I’ve never had any interest in Formula 1 racing, you could say the fact that an Aussie (Mark Webber) was a major contender was the deciding factor in my decision to pay the ticket price!

Once there, I felt a strong need to wave an Aussie flag to support Webber and let everyone else know there  was  an Aussie amongst them…I saw quite a few actually. I even managed to get my Kiwi friend to wave an Aussie flag. This isn’t something I (or she) would normally do but then again, I guess if I was in Australia I might not feel such a need to display my ‘identity’ and support for my fellow countrymen, we’d all be ‘home.’

From knowing nothing about this sport I quickly learnt the background (they have a good commentary during the lead-up) that Webber had not been treated as well as his team-mate in the week prior to this race and had basically said he’d win anyway.

Of course that stirred my camraderie and I pointed out to my friend it was a very Aussie attitude and that he would win for sure.

I never doubted it and must admit my interest in the race was certainly tied to the fact that Webber took the lead  from the start and never let it go. I wanted him to win and show he could do it against the odds, with all my Aussie heart.

Can you imagine my excitement (pride) when that Aussie guy led for the entire race and became the first Australian to win a Formula 1  Grand Prix since Alan Jones, roughly 30 years prior – Go Aussie Go!

This experience made me think about patriotism and how us Aussies don’t seem to display it much at home. Some nationalities feel the need to display patriotism for their country all the time, almost forcing people not to doubt it. I’ve learnt that the famous Aussie laid-back, don’t give a damn attitude doesn’t come from a lack of patriotism at all. It’s more about that other Australian idiosyncrasy whereby we don’t like to ‘blow our own trumpets’ rather from an actual lack of caring.

Perhaps being away from your homeland makes it more acceptable to take pride in the achievements of your countrymen. Being away has made me more patriotic than I ever feel the need to be in Australia and I’m thinking that’s not a bad thing…how about you?

PostHeaderIcon Can’t stop and chat…

Since moving to London I’ve been doing all sorts of things and just realised, I haven’t told you all about many of them yet! It seems I’m always too busy ‘out doing’ rather than stopping to chat about it.

Like the time I recently tried ‘jellied eels‘ – a love it or hate it UK tradition! Being the seafood lover that I am, I liked them; much to everyone’s surprise and some people’s horror :-)

Jellied Eels in Poole UK

Jellied Eels in Poole UK

Today I’m heading off to another new experience – Silverstone and the British 2010 Grand Prix. I’m not a race fan but am sure I’ll have a great time and enjoy the experience. For me, that’s usually the best part – the atmosphere and experiencing an event live.

Watch out for the photos and don’t forget to see if you can spot me on TV!

PostHeaderIcon A day to remember

Today is a lucky day. I remember it every year but today it bears good tidings in more ways than one.

My parents - the happy couple (1963)

My parents - the happy couple (1963)

Today is my parents wedding anniversary – today this year (2010), it’s their 47th; so in a period where divorce is the norm, it may seem a charmed day to some, a surprising day to others but for me, it’s a lucky day.

How lucky they met, ended up together and here we all are – I have sisters, a brother, a son, nephews and a niece all because of a random lucky occurence 47 years ago.

Was it Luck? Some people believe we choose our destiny. I agree to an extent but still feel there are random opportunities that we may either take up or miss and that’s not always by choice, sometimes we’re already caught up in so many things we don’t notice the random.

My father believes your destiny is pre-determined and what’s meant to happen does. I agree that seems reasonable but still believe we have choices and random opportunities that sometimes cause us to do something in complete opposition to our usual behaviours and patterns.

Is it destiny that causes a non-gambler to buy that once in a lifetime lottery ticket and win or is it a random stroke of luck?

Was it destiny that caused my parents to meet up again some time after initially meeting and not particularly liking each other? Or was it luck that they did and then found they each weren’t so bad after all? Haha, were they really MEANT to be together or are they lucky they’ve put up with each other so long? (Love you Ma & Pa!)

Today I called to say happy anniversary – I was telling my father about the saga I’ve been living; searching for a place to live in London and the looming threat of homelessness this weekend! To my surprise he said he wasn’t worried as he always knows whatever happens I sort things out/take care of myself and will always be ok.

I’d been feeling pretty fed up with the whole situation,starting to get more than a little worried and realising I probably wasn’t radiating much positive energy however, after talking to my Dad and hearing his positive thoughts I felt heaps better and made a decision.

Today was the day I focussed all thoughts on finding a place to live – even to the point of taking a couple of hours of work; unheard of for me! I even decided which out of my three wishlist locations my place was going to be in.

Hallelujah – Lucky Day!

I found a place exactly where I wanted at the right price and available at the right time – I told you this was a lucky day. Maybe I was destined to be there and to find it on my parents anniversary. Maybe it was because I chose today or maybe, just maybe – this is a lucky day! You tell me……..

They've still got it!

PS: CONGRATULATIONS you two xxx

PostHeaderIcon Calendar Girls

I recently watched the movie Calendar Girls for I think, the 5th time. Yes it’s a favourite – apart from the wonderfully talented cast and acting, I love the message it sends. In fact there are several messages to be found but the one I love most is that “age is no limit.”

CalendarGirls

Calendar Girls

Those girls were just as successful and a whole lot braver in creating their nude calendar than the twenty-something year olds usually found in such publications.

When you’re wrinkle and sag-free, you’re assured that even the people who may be shocked to find you smiling back at them from an “artistic” picture, will likely admire your smooth and shapely form. Society declares youth as beautiful and the acceptable norm for all things sexy.

Stepping outside that “norm” is a brave and uncertain thing to do. How many of us would dare? Even in the movie the initial reactions of the by-standers is predictable; outrage from the women’s club members, a husband who declares the wife an embarassment…the list goes on.

The wild success of the calendar is largely due to the fact that these “calendar girls” are not the norm society expects therefore they’re depicted as brave and inspirational; rightly so. The characters surely fit my IWOM ideal anyway and every time I see the movie I’m inspired to continue doing whatever I choose and not what’s expected of me.

Hmmm, I wonder if my friends would like to be in a calendar………..

PostHeaderIcon To share or not to share???

It’s been way too long since I’ve been here, I feel disappointed and annoyed at myself but more than that, totally peeved at the circumstance that steals my time!

I’m house-hunting again. It feels like a deja-vu experience of the worst kind. I’ve been in my current place around 3 1/2 months and actually really like it but can’t bear the flat-mate.

I thought after living in hostels for so long while travelling, it would be easy to share. I’ve learnt how to ignore things that are foibles, we all have them. I’ve learnt how to judge when bathrooms will be free and race in! I do things with the thought in mind that the next person may be following straight after me…..think; washing your dishes, not leaving clothes in washers or dryers or staying in the bathroom for hours.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared for a person who can best be described as ‘creepy!’

That may sound cruel but when you’re a single female and move into a share situation with a supposedly mature male, you don’t expect him to immediately start acting as if you’re a couple. It’s actually quite hilarious and has provided moments of entertainment for my friends however, immediately after their laughter ends they’re telling me to get out….NOW!

Of course, I am an IWOM therefore I decided I must honour my agreement to the landlord and must also toughen up and assert my rights as an individual.  For heaven’s sake, I’m not married, don’t have a partner and so can’t see why some strange man I barely know should be sarcastic about my friends for taking up time he thought I’d be with him (why???) or demanding that I give him notice of my next visit to friends in France so that he can come! Oh la la………yes, very creepy when you consider these things happened during the first week I moved in!

So; I made a stand and made a statement about how I was renting a room and not ‘living with’ anyone and wouldn’t ever be! Since then there have been dirty dishes with food on them left for days, no taking a turn in cleaning the place and very loud TV til the early hours – I’m guessing it’s a form of revenge.

Needless to say, I stay out a lot – good for the social life and sightseeing, not so good for the budget :-)

Avatar; tree of life

Sightseeing in London - standing under the "Avatar" tree of life...looking for my mojo

I have loads of notes for things I want to write but my mind won’t work when I walk in the door to the atmosphere here – you could say I lose my mojo every time I get home. Apart from that, it’s really not so funny when you’re living it however, I do see the bright side and know this will make a hilarious if somewhat unbelievable chapter in my best-seller someday!

So as I was before, I am once again, searching for a place to live. I’m totally over the idea of sharing but unless I want to travel a long way each day it’s looking like the best option……….how many of you have lived in share-houses/flats? How many of you have made great friends and how many of you have similar horror stories of freaky, creepy, lazy or otherwise just awful sharers?

I know I’m not the only one and I know there’s nice people out there too………..anyone know of some nice people looking for a friendly, tidy house-mate?

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