Saturday, September 28, 2013

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens whilst you are making plans."  Man alive, is that ever true!  Probably the only time I have agreed with a scouser.

You trundle along, thinking you are making progress, then life, or more specifically people, throw you a curveball.  I suppose the challenge is in how you react.  I probably threw mum a curveball this week.  By casually dropping into our regular Skype call that she is coming to Australia in March next year.  Yes, I told her, rather than asked.  You see, ever since I was moving out here, and the whole time I have actually been here, she has been saying she will visit.  But she prevaricates.  And she let's all sorts of stuff run through her head.  About how hard the flight will be.  She will never be able to do it.  Etc etc.  Blah blah blah.

So, I took the proverbial bull by the horns and made the decision for her.  I'm thankful to report that she took it very well.  After a period of going a little dizzy and needing some fresh air, she returned to the little iPod screen they were Skyping on (yeah, seriously!) and said she would love to come. 

She now needs to get her head around it being extremely warm in March, and start picking up summer clothes bargains in the autumn sales in the UK.  

Mum, Mosman awaits.

It is now September.  Which can only mean one thing.  Well, probably a few actually, but only one that I am going to blog about. 

The start of Oktoberfest.  Yes, you read that right.  I've never really understood why by the great German beer festival that bears the name of October actually starts in September.  But there you go. It gave us a great excuse to go the Bavarian Beer Cafe in Crows Nest and join in the celebrations. 

And celebrate we did.  I think.  After much strong German beer, and the barmaid rigging the tombola so we got free shots, the night seemed to pass in a little bit of a blur.  Did somebody say mortalled?  
Thank you Victoria, we will be back.  But we probably won't wait until next September.

In a less inebriated fashion, answer me this.  How often do we praise the tax man?  Not often, right.  
However, I must take my hats off to the good ladies and gentlemen of the Australian Tax Office this month.  Submitting a tax return is mandatory for everybody in Australia.  What a bloody pain I thought.  However, I did the right thing, completed all the necessary forms, and off it went.  Imagine my surprise when some weeks later I got a whopping refund in my bank account!  Those are the kind of curveballs you can throw at me every week.

So, being the prudent Yorkshireman (NOT tight) that I am, the majority got squirrelled away for a rainy day.  And yes, it does rain a lot here.  The remainder I decided to spend on a good old-fashioned shopping trip.  The Xmas booze cupboard got fully stocked, and I even treat myself to a (very) early birthday present.  Bosh!

The question is, will it last??

The other thing of note this month was the pending expiry of my passport.  Something that I couldn't leave unaddressed.  So having attended my appointment at the post office, and handed over the best part of $300, I was left for a disturbingly worrying period where I was unable to travel anywhere but within the confines of Australia.  Granted, they are very, very big confines, but I still felt like I had a bit of cabin fever coming on until I received a parcel in the post that contained my new, 10 year, electronically chipped UK passport.  How I breathed a sigh of relief.  

I do have a weekend jaunt to Byron Bay next weekend (the long bank holiday) for which I don't need the passport, but I’m always looking to my next overseas trip.  My passport has turned out to be my most reliable friend.  The one that never lets me down.  I want this relationship to continue.

Have passport, will travel

I should finish this missive on a sporting theme.  But rather than address the recent football scores (or rugby for that matter – bloody South Sydney and the Burgess brothers), I will just touch on the rather excellent news that Fox Sports have just this week announced.  From this weekend, they have signed a deal and will show live games from both the Spanish La Liga and the Italian Serie A.  Could my weekends get any more perfect?  Well, actually, probably.  A little bit.  But, now I can have orgiastic sport filled weekends, the likes of which starts for me in about 30 mins with the Newcastle Knights taking on Sydney Roosters for a place in next weekends Grand Final.

Then we have Chelsea v Spurs, followed quickly by Man Utd’s game versus West Brom.  I will have a little time to sleep, then it is Real Madrid early in the morning.  Oh, and just to finish the weekend, I get to watch the progress of ex United player Paul Pogba in the live Juventus match.

I might be gone for some time…

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