Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I have left London.

My room is now occupied by a (lovely) Canadian, my stuff is in boxes on route by sea to Adelaide, I have one suitcase of stuff with me, just as when I arrived and I have said too many goodbyes to too many amazing people.

I am currently sitting in a warm living room in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, taking the long way home. Many people have joked I’m going ‘the wrong way’ and I explain that I am taking the opportunity to see some people I haven’t seen in a long time, visit some new cities and generally add a small amount to my extensive debt before I get home and start trying to pay it off. But more about the cold and wintery North American continent later.

Almost two years ago I packed up my apartment, sold a whole bunch of stuff, gave stuff away, put stuff in storage, said my goodbyes to a select group of dear friends in two cities and left a life that I liked but didn’t love for an unknown adventure. I had no idea what my life would look like, if i’d survive, if i’d find work, a place to live, friends, love, new hobbies… And I was excited about that, because I knew it was going to be the best adventure of my life and that no matter what the future beyond London brought, this would be a thing that I had DONE, that I had sought out, proof that I had LIVED my life. In short, it was what I needed in so many ways.

Now I find myself equally at a loss as to picturing my life in a few weeks time and it carries the added blow of leaving a life i have absolutely and completely loved. Certainly I know where I will live, and I now, thankfully, know where I will be working at least for the foreseeable future. I have a headstart on knowing what family occasions will look like and how the seasons will turn, but the thing I don’t know is how will i feel. It seems strange, one should know how one will feel when returning home. And I am returning home. I will be living in Adelaide for the first time permanently in almost 9 years. Certainly the first time as a (mostly) independent adult. It will be very different from when I used to live there. Many of my friends have moved to various little corners of the world, as has some of my family. One big part of my family won’t be there at all. Small people who were distinctly children when I left, will now be young ladies (or not) and there are whole new small people for me to get to know. I have learnt much about what makes me happy in London and I hope I have the strength of heart and purpose to seek that out in my home town rather than fall into old, unhealthy patterns. It is a definite fear I hold and I have various ideas of what the pitfalls and solutions for my new life will be. There are definitely things I am looking forward to, but there is also an apprehension that will not be immediately eased.

In returning home there are certainly things that I will miss about living in Melbourne, my dear friends, the richmond knitters, better yarn fare (and something I only discovered in London, but originated in Melbourne – Swing Patrol), and a wider variety of standard artistic fare, but Melbourne and I always had an uneasy relationship. There were some great times, and there were some truly awful times, there were little secrets of the city I loved and corners I made my own, but on the whole I never felt at ease there, not in the way I immediately did in London and, of course, Adelaide will always be home no matter where I live.

As for leaving London… where do I start… It has been said that there are two types of Londoners. Those who are born there and never have any desire to leave, and those who come to London for the first time and know they have come home. That’s how it was for me. The first time I visited (properly) in 2009, I stayed a month, went to classes, made friends with Londoners and visitors alike and knew that I wanted to return. I felt instantly at home and comfortable in this city of rudely polite people. I love it’s contradictions, it’s wonderful art and absolute crassness, its everyday beauty and distinctive odours, its drabness and its elegance, its englishness and its multicultural ways, its ability to offer you the best bargains of your life whilst bleeding you dry, its standoffishness and welcoming arms…

But mostly I loved its people. Now there are two things that happened that made my life in London so wonderful and if either of those hadn’t happened then I have no illusion that my life would not have been as awesome as it was. Firstly, I got a job. Whilst I enjoyed it in many respects and got to work in a fantastic location right in the heart of the city, what made this remarkable was the people. I suddenly had 500+ friends who understood me, welcomed me, drank with me, laughed with me and generally made London the best place ever. I know with out a doubt that I will never work anywhere else like it. And I got into swing dancing, which gave me Sunday nights of fun, friends and fabulous dances. Through these two things I made so many friends that it is genuinely painful to leave you all. Thank goodness for the internet! Of course I now have the dilemma that there are so many places in the world I still want to visit, but when I have the time and money, London will be first on the list because there are too many people I long to hug!

Still, as much as I loved London, I carry the understanding that my life there was unsustainable. I lived like I had two years there and were I able to stay longer, changes would have been made that may have meant my life wasn’t as awesome. So it is impossible to feel that I am being parted from something unfairly or unjustly. Instead I recognise that life is surprising and massive upheaval brings great opportunity. And my life is what I make it and should I need to go wandering from home again I know two very important things. Firstly, I will survive and secondly, that I will always have a home to go back to.

Too many goodbyes. I will miss you all!

Too many goodbyes. I will miss you all!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Farewell Edinburgh

So I got back from Edinburgh just over a week ago. And it’s taken me a while to recover.

This year was such a different experience to last year. A two hander play and a British crew meant a lot more people involved and a lot more fun to be had, and the production itself was so light and fun to do. I genuinely find the play hilarious, and brainstorming on it, improvising with it and getting that live response was joyful.

Not that it wasn’t without it’s problems, of course, there were some downsides to the trip, but on the whole it was fantastic. I met some amazing people from other shows, and got exceptionally drunk with them. Dinner at midnight anyone? Was also an interesting experience doing a 13 straight show run, no breaks. That was new. and I loved it.

Also? Our flat was lovely – so cosy and spacious at the same time thanks to a very … random… kind of decor. Cushions, and lamps and paintings and books and… well… a homey feel to it. And I had a princess bed… four poster, with a step to get up on it. I kinda loved it!

We got some reviews: A lovely little 3 star from Broadway Baby which is completely honest and fair (if they’d reviewed us later in the run it might have been 4) and two great geek-centric reviews from Blogtorwho.com (not written by Cam*, as that would be rather biased) and Cult Den.

Once I have fully recovered (almost there) I shall be looking into London venues to look at putting it on towards the end of October. Probably only about three or four shows, but if everyone from work comes then we can definitely fill a small theatre! There are so many people I know who would really enjoy the show! It’s so wonderfully geeky and full of references.

Though, that being said, it was hilarious working on the show in the end, as I think i turned out to be the least geeky person involved!

Here are some obligatory photos. None really of Edinburgh proper this year as I feel like a) my photography cannot capture the painting like glory of that city and b) I already have lots from my last two trips!

IMG_5634

IMG_5744

IMG_5794

IMG_5842

Beginning of Scene 4 – but anymore and, well, spoilers sweetie!

IMG_5723

Our Venue, top of the mile

IMG_5705

Creative advertising ploys!

*Cam, my co-star, runs the Blogtorwho website.

Read Full Post »

As you all know, I am a terrible, terrible blogger. In the sense that I think about blogging, but rarely do.

However, we interrupt your usual procrastination schedule to bring you a very important announcement.

I am going to the Edinburgh Festival again this year. It may be the last time i do this with it only costing a few thousand pounds instead of a few tens of thousands of australian dollars, so I’m making the most of it!

Keith Gow and I had a wonderful catch up over christmas, discussing what a two hander written by him, for me, might look like. Keith and I first met when I did a crazy amazing thing, namely, I went to the preview screening of Serenity, sans ticket, in the hope of purchasing a ticket off somebody else with a no-show in their party. After all, people get sick, they get stuck at work, they have car accidents, they have early labour – there’s a whole host of reasons why someone might not be able to make up and thanks to modern technology we can let our friends know in a few simple clicks of a smart phone. So I went anyway, sign in hand and fingers crossed. I ended up being given a ticket by the marketing director of Universal pictures, so clearly, being a little bit insane can actually pay off, but I also met a whole host of really awesome people, including Keith. Skip ahead to a time when we have mutual admiration for each other’s talents, a strong online friendship (what with me being in England) and a desire to create our own work and you get this conversation that started this whole paragraph.

We discussed what a play by us might be about, and given the above story, geeky fandom seemed to be a natural starting point. We both also have an interest in exploring gender politics in our work, and Keith is fascinated by my outrageous personality, especially in comparison to the more introverted geeks around, and thus, WHO ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE? was born!

We will be performing in C Aquila, just off the royal mile, from August 14 – 26 at 3.30 in the afternoon. I hope you all can make it (but am realistic about the fact that most of you live very very far away)

I am, however, going to ask for your help (with the promise, that if all goes according to something resembling a plan, we will stage this show in Melbourne and Adelaide in 2014/15). We want this show to be awesome, because we honestly feel like it’s the kind of show that can make a mark at the Fringe. I have a wonderful director, in Emrys Matthews and we’ve got Doctor Who Superstar, Cameron K McEwan of Blogtor Who fame as my fellow actor. But it’s a pricey feat, what with venue costs, effective marketing and an accurate Fifth Doctor costume tailored to my non-canonical figure! So we’ve jumped on the internet bandwagon and we have an indiegogo campaign. Every penny (literally!) helps and if you yourself are unable to contribute, then I hope you will spread the word for us!

Thanks in Advance and see you in Edinburgh!

Read Full Post »

Remember, remember, the 5th of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot. I can see no good reason, why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot…

Last night was Guy Fawkes night (bonfire night) and i was quite excited to head out to Waltham Forrest townhall with  my housemates to see what the festivities would be like.

Unfortunately, we all managed to forget just how many people are in London, and with the cutting down of the number of fireworks displays around London, everyone in the entire NE of London was in Waltham Forest. This meant that a bus trip that should have taken 5 minutes, took us about 20 and didn’t even get us to the town hall before we gave up and walked. We literally got to the town hall just in time to see the last firework go off and get crushed by the mass exodus…

FAIL! 

we did see some of the pretties on our way and we could definitely hear and smell them. they let people a lot closer to the fireworks themselves than they do back home! We hung out for a bit and walked around the muddy trampled field (which made Rebecca at least feel like it was a proper bonfire night) and Cat had a hotdog (which made her feel like it was a proper bonfire night) and I had a second dinner of hog roast (why not??) and a toffee apple and then i bought candy floss (Fairy floss!!) to share. So we got muddy boots and a sugar high before heading home!

We did get a bit of a personal fireworks display walking back from the bus though – there were two different sets of fireworks going off near our house, which we could see as we walked home. It was like duelling fireworks – red and green in one spot, then red and green in another, little rockets in one spot, then little rockets in another. they went on WELL into the night.

I still have a toffee apple to eat (what, it’s totally one of my 5 a day!) and i can smell fireworks smoke in my hair. I’m sad we missed the proper display (what we did see was pretty epic) and even sadder there was no proper bonfire, but still, it was an adventure and it was fun to see this strange autumnal event!

I still need to get me some bonfire toffee though!

(yes, it’s all about the food…)

Read Full Post »

A quick update

Life marches on! I can’t believe it’s already 2/3rds of the way through september!

I’ve spent a bit of time recovering from Edinburgh, but i’ve also been doing things like acting courses, working as a simulated patient, going to auditions (ok, only one audition, but still) and preparing for a major work event (which i ended up missing out on really due to all the other things)!

The Thames from Limehouse/Canary Wharf: One of the last sunny days in London?

I am socialising like crazy, which is awesome, but i’ve had a few down days since i got back from edinburgh. Whether that’s due to post-fringe blues, or the fact that i’m sharing my original songs online for the first time (and it’s scary) or because i’m now over a quarter of the way through my visa and i don’t want this ride to end (17 months is going to fly!), it’s been a nagging anxiety, which i’m mostly on top of thanks to awesome friends, housemate, cuddles and tea!

I have also been able to see Ursula in recent days and will see her again on tuesday, which is wonderful! we are planning a yarny adventure at Loop and this time i will take photos!

I haven’t done too many exciting ‘touristy’ things since i got back, though i did go to the Tate Modern, finally, just in time to catch the Damien Hirst exhibit. It was remarkable (if more than a little disturbing). My favourite thing was the butterflies. both the live ones and the paintings using butterfly wings. They were very evocative. Glad to say i’ve been to the Tate Modern now, though i don’t like the building itself. It’s quite imposing and i feel very uncomfortable in it. Still might go and see the Munch exhibit before it ends next month though!

St Pauls from Millenium bridge – one of my absolute favourite sights in London.

Read Full Post »

Feeling Good

Somehow, within 2 months of arriving, I managed to bag myself a bit of a dream job.

While i have worked in retail for most of my adult life in one way or another, I’ve never really valued it as a profession, nor my skills as a retail service provider. It has always been a means to an end.

Then in 2008 I began working in one of the loveliest and most fun jobs of my life – working in a yarn store. I got to feed my passion for craft, be around beautiful textures and colours and meet a whole lot of fascinating people- and more importantly, take the time to connect with those people.

Last year, I was hired very quickly by a leading designer clothing brand. I realised for the first time that my retail skills, whilst seeming obvious to me, were highly valued by other people. It was a nice feeling. And while i still don’t rank ‘being good at retail’ particularly highly for myself, it was nice to know that others WOULD value it highly.

So now I get to work for a company which is almost universally considered the best retailer in the world. I get to work in the busiest store for that company in the world on one of the most beautiful, coolest, busiest streets in London.

 

AND IT ROCKS!

First off, the atmosphere is amazing. I get to work in one of the most beautiful buildings on Regent Street with all of Soho and Piccadilly and Oxford Street just nearby for playtime

Secondly, the company i work for values creatives. It recognises that creative people a) are the people who generally use their products, b) have the communication skills and personality types valued by the company and c) are the kind of people that created the company in the first place. So I get to work with over 600 really awesome people – musicians, designers, directors, actors, photographers… It’s pretty wicked.

Thirdly, I get to have a chat with really cool people from all over the world every time i’m in at work.

Fourthly, I feel valued and special and prized and exceptional all at once. And while this feeling may wear off, at the moment I am loving it.

All in all, I have not felt this at home, this socially secure, this alive and excited on a daily basis since Uni.

So thank you universe, for a pretty fucking awesome Plan B.

 

 

 

PS: I got a call from an agency on monday, so the plan A may be going alright too!

Read Full Post »

So today was a GOOD day.

I officially have been offered a job at Apple, details TBC, but most likely about 20-25 hours a week at the Regent Street store

AND I have a place to live! I move in tomorrow to a beautiful big room in Manor House.

It’s a bit odd, because if i think about who i am, then it’s kinda perfect, a quiet house, with three studious and sedate girls, 2 in publishing and one doing a Geology PHD, but that’s kinda why i was a bit reluctant. I’m trying to break out of my comfortable self so was hoping to live somewhere a little more lively. BUT I guess i will just have to create my own liveliness! Besides it’s a three month let to start so there’s always room to move (LOL). I will post photos of my new room and house tomorrow, including my garden 🙂

I’ve been staying with Bronwen, a friend of Ren’s who has been ABSOLUTELY wonderful and has put me up last night and tonight. She also gave me wine!

I have to also thank the lovely girls in Stoke Newington who made me feel quite at home for my first 4 weeks in London. Becca, Lucia and Loukia you are lovely! and Penny, thanks for letting me live in your room!

this is how i celebrated today…

I went and saw The Pirates: An Adventure with Scientists and the icecream was Turkish delight and Pralines and Cream. NOM

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »