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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!

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SNOW DAY!

first off – happy new year everyone!

I went home for Christmas and New Year’s which was awesome – got to see all my loved ones and meet some new loved ones! Like the offspring of vintagenettles and her hubby

Meet the adorable Miss Nova! She and i have totally bonded.

And I got to snuggle my kitties!!! While I can talk to my parents, family, friends and sundry over Skype, the cats are not big fans. Binka gets annoyed cos she can hear me but i’m not patting her and Lilah just gets confused.

I think they were pretty happy to see me!

I won’t talk too much about Aus, since most of the readers of this blog were there… I’ll just say I got to see my family and my knitters and my friends and all the babbies and new pets and it was awesome!

Anyone with a basic understanding of geography and meteorology will appreciate that i flew from sunny (and starting to get very warm) Australia back to the heart of an English winter. While this should be terribly depressing, apart from getting used to the 2.3 hours of daylight again, it’s actually been pretty awesome…

BECAUSE IT’S BEEN SNOWING!

much to the amazement of my UK/Canadian/European/American friends, I’ve only seen snow once prior to coming to the UK, on a lovely spring day with Katie when we drove to Mt Bulla. It was awesome.

So on Monday, on a day when i could blissfully sleep in, it was terribly exciting to watch it start snowing at around 11am! I opened up the curtains and watched from my bed with a cuppa as magical whisps of snow floated down in soft little flurries. The only downside? as the first day of snow it all melted pretty much on contact, so it had the basic effect of rain, but much prettier!

Then the next few mornings on the way to work there was a soft dusting on things… it looked as though someone had sprinkled icing sugar on all the plants and fences. But i had no time to take photos.

So today, my next day off, I was absolutely delighted to see it SNOWING. Proper, staying-on-things, making-things-white, probably-a-real-pain-if-i-had-to-go-anywhere snow! Actually,  I did have to go somewhere, the supermarket, so i rugged up – Hunters, Handknit jumper, shawl, hat and mittens, hoodie and raincoat – and detoured through finsbury park to try to capture what to an Adelaidean like me is the pure magic of snow.

The hedge outside our front door.

Rosemary on my street – there’s something wonderful about this colour combination!

Finsbury Park. The Brits do parks VERY well.

My Hunters getting a workout! So worth it!

LOOKIT! the lake is freezing over! There’s a duck WALKING ON WATER! heehee

I am loving how objects look in the snow – these benches, wrought iron fences, trees, EVERYTHING!

See? street signs + snow = pretty!

I was so happy to come out of Sainsbury’s carpark and see this vast expanse of clean white snow – and then of course i had to kick it up and walk through it. It’s a compulsion!

I TOTALLY MADE A SNOWLADY YOU GUYS! (she looks kinda shocked to be here… maybe she doesn’t like the cold? also, the rocks on the ground look like a face… maybe she’s come across a crime scene? … I need to read more calvin and hobbes)

So that’s been my day today! It’s been FREAKING AWESOME! I stopped at the cafe near the supermarket and had a peppermint hot chocolate and lemon and poppyseed muffin, since it seemed appropriate, came home and have had a nice long hot bath.

I am fully aware that this snow will, first of all, turn to slippery ice, determined to see me fall arse over tit, and then to grey, gross, slush, but right now?

I can’t stop giggling and grinning like a kid!

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I had my first major freak out today, which given that it’s a week til i leave is pretty good going for someone with an anxiety disorder!

Today I told my agent that i’m leaving and instead of just saying, ok, i’ll take you off the books, take care, good luck, she told me that had i told her earlier she would have helped me out, but now it was too late.

A few people asked why i didn’t tell her earlier… well, I was scared. there are lots of little excuses for why, but the crux of it is i didn’t want her to not work for me the way she did over the last few months, to not put the effort in since she knew i was going. A few other people have pointed out that SHE works for ME, not the other way round, but it’s pretty easy to be slack when you’re not getting paid. the fact of the matter is she hasn’t made a cent from me in 18 months. and while she got me a LOT more auditions than my last agent, I never expected her to go above and beyond for a low return prospect. hence not saying anything.

so when she played the ‘too late now!’ card i was a bit panicked for a few reasons. Firstly i HATE upsetting people and the passive aggressive bullshit that goes with it. I hate the feeling of i should have done this or that instead. And also in our brief conversation she said it would be too hard to contact agents right now because it’s (US) Pilot season and the castings are global and everyone’s too busy. which of course means i’m sitting here freaking out that agents will be too busy to see me when i get there.

Now that being said, Drama School graduates in australia are usually agent hunting in Jan- March as they work out where they want to live and who they want to get. (if they didn’t get picked up in Nov). And two of my three agents i got at around this time. So i know that busy does not equal not interested.

Still it’s frustrating to think that there might have been help available that i can’t get now.

But! in the list of things done and things to look forward to…

I have a place to live! yes, living in Stoke Newington for 4 weeks which gives me a little buffer to find further accomodation!

I have signed up for a casting director course with actors platform, so the day i arrive i shall be meeting the casting director of Law and Order UK (amongst other things) exciting!

I have a bank account and a meeting with the bank to get my cards the day after i arrive.

I have applied to 2 places (so far! ) for work (yes, both yarn stores) and signed up for job alerts with Harrods and Liberty

In things completed and done here in aus…

The apartment is sold. I am now homeless! (sort of) and all my stuff is in storage (except for what’s in SA so mum and dad can post it in a pinch)

My songs are recorded and being edited by the incredibly talented Adam Rudegeair so very soon i shall have my first original album (of sorts)

My in development production of a new original solo show based on a short story i wrote went REALLY WELL and i shall be registering it for the Edinburgh Fringe this week! My director and i had a drink and said, do we think we can do this in 4 weeks? and crazily said, yes we can! so we did! We did 2 shows only at the Owl and the Pussycat and i’m really happy with the feedback. So Edinburgh here i come (I promised myself i wouldn’t go back til i had a show!)

And my 31st birthday was SUPERFUN AND AMAZING! I had 5 separate celebrations (i have friends! who knew!) Drinks at Naked for Satan (mmm vodka), A PERFECT high tea at Miss Molly’s in South Melbourne with my melbourne besties (with three bonus babies!), Delicious Dinner at Hellenic Republic with Katie, Dea and Mum (so nommy), A Haphazard Games night with my adelaide besties and a family BBQ with, well, my family. I have definitely celebrated the occassion! Nothing makes you feel so loved as going away!

@ Miss Molly's

So really, it’s not surprising i finally shed some tears today!

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A New Adventure

Hi Friends and maybe even strangers.

This year has been a tough year for me and i’ll talk more on it later but the long and the short of it is it lead me to a decision about myself.

I don’t want to look back on my life and feel dissatisfied, underwhelmed, disappointed. I’ve always played it safe, played more or less by the rules and the taken the proven tracks and ended up in a place that while fine when compared to say, the position of small underfed children in Somalia, is less than fulfilling.

I turned 30 this year. I had one of the worst 6 months of my life healthwise. and i made a decision.

I want to have adventures. I want to really live my life. I want to create stories to tell, fall in love again, experience the world and fight for what i want.

So, with this new nike attitude i decided (once i was well) to apply for my UK visa. The application was sent in two week ago.

yesterday i got a post slip in the letterbox.

My passport was awaiting me with one significant change.

This is really happening.

 

I am completely terrified and so excited!

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