Thursday, October 27, 2016

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie...oi, oi oi

My dad wrote a porno.  I didn't think I would ever write those words.  Well you wouldn't would you? If your dad hailed from the northern extremities of Scotland.  All the way from Buckie, on the Moray Firth coast.  And yet this is how I start the blog.  Why, you may wonder?

Well, this month, a friend of mine put me onto the podcast of the very same name.  And I can’t tell you how deranged I have looked since, hysterically laughing out loud on the commute home from a staid day in the office.  This is when you can justifiably use the acronym “lol” when instant messaging your mates about it.  

It is not the “erotic” content of the book.  It is so far removed from erotic to be laughable.  Literally.  It is more “50 Shades of an old perv’s mind”, than the Christian Grey variety.  The podcast takes the form of the author’s son reading a chapter, whilst getting critiqued (read, taking the piss) by a couple of his friends.  If you like typical British humour, of the “saucy seaside postcard” variety.  Download a few episodes.   Just don't blame me if the men in white coats come to cart you off the bus, due to your inability to stop inanely giggling in public places.

Talking of “50 Shades”, and old pervs, it has been quite a month since we bade farewell to my old mate Steve.  I’m glad to hear he is able to stave off poverty for a while longer, now that he has again found himself gainful employment.  Your retirement plans will need to go on the back burner for now squire.  But on the plus side, you will be able to treat yourself to a more sumptuous breakfast than sliced toast and tea.

And for me?  I have given notice to end my experiment with employment as a permanent member of staff.  It seems it did not sit well with me.  All the internal politics, and associated brouhaha.  And so, I will imminently be returning to the contract (freelance) market.  Something that I am very excited at the prospect of.

I will be taking up a 6 month contract, back into IT project management with one of the smaller banks here in Australia.  I will be starting at the outset of a 2 year programme, so hopefully, I will get my head down, make an impression, and I will have work beyond the initial 6 months.  If not, there are plenty of items on the travel bucket list, just screaming out to be attended to.

The other significant news this month is that I have now completed, and had approved, my application for Australian citizenship.  Along with the reams of bureaucratic paperwork all these things demand, it also entailed sitting a citizenship test, which was passed in quicker time than it took me to just tell you about it.  Twenty questions, multiple choice, with just a few wriggly ones in there.  I now know what a wattle is.  And the colours of the Torres Strait Islanders flag. This knowledge alone should hold me in good stead for the future.

All that remains now is the formality of an official ceremony, which is likely to be some time early in the new year.  This is the final step before I can get my Aussie passport.  I will no doubt devote more time on my whole road to citizenship, since arriving in 2012, in a future post.

A jacaranda in full bloom
Since we last spoke, spring has well and truly sprung.  The clocks have changed.  The trees have started blossoming.  My beloved jacaranda trees are once again in full bloom.  And walking through the Botanic Gardens early one Sunday morning recently, you couldn't escape the unmistakeable aroma of eucalyptus.  Without doubt the one smell that I immediately associate with my new home.

And with the spring, comes the warmer months, and thoughts of summer, and xmas.  After being on the road in Australia for last two December 25, this year I will be celebrating my birthday at home, with friends and family.  Having been warned that my guests enjoy a tipple or two, I can no longer close the cupboard doors for wine and beer bottles. Keep this to yourself, but I have had to resort to hiding the good stuff. Anybody know where I can buy Fosters in Sydney?

For the day itself, Xmas, I live in hope that Sydney smiles down on me.  The two years that I have spent at home since arriving in 2012 have been dampened by the ubiquitous Sydney rainfall.  Grand plans of champagne and picnic on the beach, sporting ridiculous xmas hats,  were washed away. This year I am hoping all will be different.  The weather.  I’m not sure about the hats.

Ubud, Bali
But before then, we have a holiday to Bali.  In November.  This trip will be to Ubud, a place I have not visited in over 16 years.  I am sure the once quaint little town, quietly hidden away amongst the rice paddy fields, in the centre of Bali, has changed immeasurably.  In some part as a result of Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love”, which resulted in half of America descending on Ubud, in the same way that Rome, and all the ashrams in India benefitted (suffered?).  

If I can find time to put down my piña colada, and book(s), I will dedicate my next blog post to the trip.

Until then, adios amigos.

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