First snow of the season on Tuesday here in London and it made me think of Christmas. Funny actually how I’ve only ever experienced one cold Christmas before yet the snow reminds me of Christmas. It’s amazing how much movies and television shows affect your perception of what Christmas should be. It inspired in me this lovely Christmas-y feeling and I started wanting to hear Christmas carols and bake cookies and drink mulled wine? What the??
Rewind 18 months and these are the things that would be making me think of Christmas – bushfire warnings on the news, the cricket on TV, the summer temperatures creeping up to the 30s and news of schools and retirement homes without air conditioning. I’d be thinking of seafood and fruit platters and pavlova, I’d be salivating over ice cold beer and thinking about taking the esky out of the cupboard and planning a picnic, and I’d be looking forward to spending the day on the beach and working on that tan.
So that got me thinking – wow it’s been almost two whole years. It’s very possible the end is near due to visa issues and it feels like I haven’t in any way achieved half of what I wanted to achieve. Am I really ready to come home? What things have I done and what have I learnt over that time?
It’s been a long while since my last update so here is a bit of an update of the things that have happened since then.
August saw my birthday come along and the sad end to my sister’s trip over here. It was really great having her about for the first part of the month and stoked I could celebrate my birthday with her.
C took me along to this awesome restaurant called Circus for my birthday – we know one of the owners and he did a deal for us which was awesome. It was a great venue – a cabaret and dinner venue but classy not tacky. The food was amazing and we were given a couple of glasses of champagne on top of our already significant discount which was really lovely. The next day we got up early and caught the train to Paris for the weekend. It was so great – second time there but equally exciting and I actually had a working camera this time around so went a bit overboard on the pics.
September was extremely and excruciatingly busy at work and saw me working late and on weekends a lot of the time. It’s a bit of a blur really but we had a lot of tenders and pitches for work going on so there was a collective of people clubbing together to meet the deadlines. I did get to a few gigs during that time though including Modest Mouse at the Troxy in east London which is a great venue, and Placebo at the Brixton Academy which is an even better (and more famous) one!
In late September I was lucky enough to get over to Copenhagen again to drop off one of the big tender docs we’d been working on for work over there to a client of ours and got to look around for the day. It was a shame that I hadn’t been home in 36 hours by the time I arrived in Copenhagen though so the thought of walking around for another 8 or so hours wasn’t exactly appealing at the time…delirium had more than certainly set in!
October was blissfully quiet after the previous hectic month but managed to get to a Queen’s Park Rangers game (for those not in the know they are a local football aka soccer club) and attended a fun Halloween party even though I hate dressing up!! It was also the month I bought my bicycle which was thoroughly exciting and I started cycling through London to get to work. I am fortunate enough to get to go on a really lovely route through Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, through the Wellington Arch and over past Buckingham Palace and through Green Park, through the Admiral Arch and past Trafalgar Square and then all the way along the Thames past the Tower of London – so literally… quite a few sights as on the way I do get a glimpse of Big Ben and the London Eye. It has made me much more aware of what’s around this beautiful city and I honestly wish I’d done it much sooner.
November kicked off well – starting with Guy Fawlkes day and the ever exciting fireworks displays. The next week I came off my bike in an accident with a 4×4 but came off pretty lightly in terms of injuries. My bike unfortunately was no so lucky and was written off. I have replaced it and gotten back on ‘the horse’ so the speak but it was a bit of a set-back and very disappointing because the woman didn’t stop.
The end of the month included dog sitting in Chelsea for some friends which was great and a welcome change from our small cold and pet-less abode, and a trip to Dublin for C’s birthday where we met up with his Mum and her friend and went to watch his cousin play for Ireland in the rugby (union for you Aussies in the crowd). It was the first time I’d met Geraldine (C’s Mum) and although I was nervous I got along really well with her.
Phew!! What an update huh? So, over the whole time I’ve been here I’ve managed to get to nine new countries and been to 3 of them twice (not including England)… not bad actually!!
While you are all probably soaking up the rays on the beach and planning a barbie, I am rugged up in as many layers as possible watching the world outside turn white. It really is a world away but you are all still in my heart and if I don’t get time to write again before Christmas, Merry Christmas to you all and hopefully I’ll be seeing some of you in December when I’m there for a fly-by visit!