Sunday, April 28, 2013

Not 19 Forever

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Not, as I thought, the collective noun for a bunch of old Ford cars (Cortinas), but in fact a (pop?) band.  The Courteeners.  A band responsible for the song of this blog title, played over the tannoy to a very happy Old Trafford as the 20th title was secured in style versus Aston Villa.

This being the main reason I have been walking around Sydney with a big stupid grin for the last week or so.  We have been champions elect for some time but until we made it safe I was still having nightmares about the end of last season.  When I see Man Utd play at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney in July, it will be back in our rightful place as Champions of England.

I also feel that the writing of my last blog seems to have been the best therapy I could have had.  Massively cathartic.  And heartening to get so many positive messages from friends.  The outlook seems sunnier now, quite literally despite it being Autumn, and I am doubly looking forward to my upcoming visit to England, just over a short 6 weeks away.  Yes, really so soon.  In typical Project Manager fashion, I have a plan, a timeline and a very full spreadsheet.  And for the last 2 months, Mum has been stocking up on the booze and has a few of my favourite meals lined up.  Aren’t mums brilliant!

The 6-week countdown to my trip ushers in the start of month 10 as life as an expat.  I’ll say it again.  Where is the time going?  I’ve had my well-documented ups and downs, but seriously, I’ve nearly been here a year already?  The writing of this blog really brings home to me how time is passing. 

People ask how long I will be here for, and whether this is “forever”.  What is forever?  I’m not sure it exists as an entity.  More a collection of “nows”.  All the “nows” add up to create the moments and various chapters of your life.  Some chapters are longer than others.  This current chapter is currently a good read, so it will continue.  That said, this is not how I want the book to end.  As alluded to in the last blog, this story is just getting started.  I’m ready for bigger and better things.

What else do I have that I can share with you?  Well, this has been a very expensive few days.  Last Thursday was ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) day in Australia, a public holiday.  ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.  Following dawn services, the afternoons are traditionally spent in the pub playing a very strange game called “2 Up”.  A variation of “heads or tails” that gets the pubs packed and has loads of people gambling on the outcome.  I didn’t get roped into any gambling but did savour a few cold ones.  It’s fair to say that the following day at work wasn’t my most productive.

Then we get to Saturday and after a day at the beach, I return to the flat to make @scottbarton8 a cup of tea only to find that we were locked out of the flat.  The thing is, I had my keys, but just not the key I needed.  I have 2 locks on the apartment door.  A yale lock, for which I have the key and is the lock I always use.  The other lock is one of those that you lock from the inside and then close the door.  I never, repeat never, use this lock.  What must have happened is that I appear to have pressed in the lock, on the inside by accident, then pulled the door closed.  Upon my return, I could unlock the top lock, but not the bottom, the key for which was inside the flat.

We jumped in the car and drove to the letting agent, only to find it closed.  I then rang them, only to find they were out of town.  My only option it turned out was Mosman Locksmiths!  He promptly turned up and after about 5 minutes of what appeared to be just trying to ruin the lock, and $140 later, he had me back in the flat.  And before you tell me, yes I know, there is a lesson in there.  It seems I’m learning a lot of lessons recently.

So, as I go and copper up, working out how much spending money I will have for my trip to Europe, I will leave you to enjoy your emerging Spring (if you are reading from the UK).  What’s that you say?  It’s snowing again?  Spare a thought for me.  It’s Autumn here.

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