I say it every month. I will probably keep saying it every month. So, apologies in advance. Am I in month 5 of this new life already? The days and weeks are flying by, to the extent that I am already one and half months into my 6 month work contract. Where did those weeks go?
Now, we are on the run up to Xmas, and some well needed time off work. I suspect the next few weeks will go equally as fast. The second half of my Spanish course. Which, by the way, I am really enjoying. Something I should have done a long time ago. Regular gym visits, now I have formally committed and joined on a 6 month contract. Nothing to do with the manager being a very attractive girl who twisted my arm into joining. Nothing at all. How shallow do you think I am? Football twice a week, with the odd after football beer (or 3). We do play on Thirsty Thursday after all, and from what I have seen the last few weeks, Thursday looks a particularly good day to wet your whistle.
|Santa lording it over Darling Harbour|
Did I mention Xmas? Oh yeah, I'm sure I have seen Santa around town. But if it wasn’t for the incongruous tree, basking in the mid-day sun in Martin’s Place, or the one below lighting up the interior of the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) one could be forgiven for forgetting we are in the Yuletide season. Yes, some shops have trimmed up. Or at least, made a token effort. Some of the Xmas trees they have put up have seen better days. If there was a “Comic Relief” charity for sorrowful looking trees, these specimens are the ones you would see on your screen. Paraded against a backdrop of “Everybody Hurts” by REM. I saw one in Starbucks that looked as though it had had all its pine needles stolen. With all the money Starbucks are saving on unpaid taxes in the UK, you would think they could afford a healthier looking tree.
|QVB xmas tree, or part of it. It goes through 3 floors|
With Xmas comes yet another birthday. Not that I have ever worried about them. What’s age but just a number. I’ve never let it define me, or influence how I live my life. That said, I do use the time, strategically placed at the end of the year, to reflect on what I have achieved the preceding year. And this year, it is fair to say, has been a productive one for me personally, one in which I feel I have continued my growth as a person. Moving to the other side of the world, on my own, was never going to be easy. But it was something I wanted to do, and so to coin a phrase, “I felt the fear and did it anyway”.
And here we are, entering month 5, and the festive season. A time I am looking forward to, with visits from friendly faces from home, to help celebrate Xmas and New Year. I suspect it will be a fun filled time, with plenty liquid refreshment and a champagne fuelled, inebriated Skype call home on Xmas Day to speak to mum, my sisters and my nephews and niece. As I nurse the resulting hangover, I’ll be wondering what next year will bring as I continue to search for my raison d’etre.
|Glebe Street Fair|
The last month in Sydney has seen my going to a few street fairs on the weekends. These are always bigger events than I anticipate. I went to the Glebe Street Fair the other day and was staggered by how busy it was. Glebe Point Road was full of market stalls, end to end, with evocative food smells drifting in the air, and the number of Sydney-siders who had come out in their droves to support it was truly impressive. A fantastic community effort all round. I had a mooch around, sustained by a coffee from Mano Espresso, as recommended by a new twitter friend, @NickiGirlStar. Twitter really does open up a world of local knowledge when used well. I have also been getting good coffee and food recommendations from @msnessiel, another virtual Sydney neighbour from cyber space. It is not who you know, but rather, who you don’t know.
One recommendation that didn’t come from Twitter was “Scenic Dogging”. I didn’t know what it was either. Honest. On a recent day out at Bradley’s Head, Mosman, (one of Sydney’s best look out points) on arrival a friend said it looked a great place for this afore mentioned, unknown to me, activity of scenic dogging. I’m not sure what surprised me more. The fact that I immediately agreed with him, once he explained to naïve little me what it meant, or who the suggestion came from. Maybe that young man has secrets we don’t know about. Not as innocent as he appears. He did seem rather well acquainted with the bush up there. Stop it! You know I mean’t the Australian bush. Such filthy minds.
As we roll into December, we usher in summer. Scooter rides in thongs (the Australian version), long lazy days at the beach, apple based alcoholic refreshments in the local. Spending the evening on a new hobby. Counting freckles. The sun brings them out you see, and it’s a good barometer of how well you are catching the sun. Whilst always remembering the sunscreen. Which is as tenuous a link as is needed to re-post this fantastic song again. Sunscreen song. Working on getting the tan just right for when Pommie friends visit, and I can sufficiently gloat. Well, after all, isn’t that why I moved here?
Hasta luego chicos and see you in month 6.