Saturday, 27 November 2010

Christmas in the sun!

So we approach our first Christmas away from home. Its an interesting feeling, and its hard to feel festive when its 26C outside and wearing a santa hat is a health hazzard. Walking through the shops, listening to Christmas music makes me feel dizzy - I don't think this part of the world has ever seen snow =)

But still, we'll do our best! Nicola is working on Christmas day so we're planning to have our Christmas day on Boxing day. Make sense? Most of our friends are heading home for Christmas, so it might get a bit lonely. In fact, we've got a few friends heading home for good so its a little bleak - but hey, making new friends is always fun =)

We've both got rather special works nights out planned - with Nicola's being a black tie dinner down at Circular Quay. My work is whisking is off somewhere secret, and I have no idea where. Mystery!

And now, its less than 6 months before we return home for a holiday - time is flying by, and I hope it continues that way - err but I still want to enjoy every moment here. I should probably add that =) I'm away to search for a Christmas tree amonst the BBQs and sun lotion.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

It's all one big adventure!

I can't believe it has been so long. Time passes so fast, and yet what have I to show for it? =)

I've just finished an exhausting week. Last tally brought a figure close to 80 hrs within 7 days. I can't face another week like that, I feel so robbed! But the good thing is that it is now over, and I have a long weekend coming up soon. Hah, I've almost forgot what a day off feels like.

Some random conversations with Nic about what to do for our Birthdays got me thinking. We've done the 'big move' thing already. What is the next 'big' thing. No, it's not kids hehe, although soon I imagine.

I really want to go see a spectacular sight. Something I never thought I'd see. Poor Nic has been left as a second thought as I 'geek' out. So far, I think I've limited it down to 4 choices:
  • Machu Picchu (
  • China, to see the Great Wall,
  • Chichen Itza (
  • Petra, Jordan (
I know. I come from Hallglen. How can I be saying these things? Maybe moving out here has made me crave some culture :) Or some history. I think its safe to say I could only do one of these in the near future. I just can't pick which.

And I am soooo looking forward to this weekend. I think we're off to breakfast in the city, scale the harbour bridge and chill out on Marboura beach. Happy days and simple things =)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Brrr, it sure is cold!

Winter has arrived! Now, I know what you are thinking:

"How cold can it really be, in a place where summer temperatures easily pass 35C in summer?"

The answer is REALLY cold. I believe it's averaging around 5C in the mornings. Almost Scottish sunbathing temperatures. So I'm feeling quite at home, leaving for work with a thick jacket on, stamping my feet to keep warm while waiting on the bus. Once in the office, the miracle that is air conditioning kicks in and I no longer have that as an excuse for being unproductive at work. I have other excuses, none of them believable.

So what is new? The answer is not much. Time is really flying by. We aren't far away from celebrating our 4 month anniversary out here. We have met a huge amount of great people, and that is undoubtedly helping us settle in.

We've been spending a bit of time with a couple we met at church, Phil and Belle. I think, in them, Nicola has met her soul friends! I'll let her explain why, but I'm so thankful for them already =) It has been a long time since we made new friends - people you can be open and vulnerable with. An in that, it has been really refreshing.

There really are so many nationalities and walks of life crammed into this city. And yet, I can't think of one person I've met who hasn't been open, friendly and honest. Such a change =)

I'm actually struggling with one thing. We came out here to experience a new way of life, a "better" way of live even. When we arrived, everything seemed so different. Initially, it was exciting to do things differently. Travelling everywhere on the bus, being able to go the beach on the weekend, becoming comfortable in meeting new people, becoming experts at the 5 minute conversation (Where are you from, what do you do, how long are you here for?).

And yet, I feel myself slipping into old routines. Working too late, or even worse: bringing it home with me. Letting myself be distracted by meaningless things, instead of concentrating on the things that really matter. Settling for what seems good now, rather than what is right. Hah, that sounds philosophical. Oh how I hope I can resist the home comforts. If I let myself settle back in, the experiences become few and far between, the videos dry up, the dream becomes smaller and dimmer. I need to keep pushing =)

Friday, 23 April 2010

It's been a while!

I can't believe I haven't wrote anything since we've arrived. It is even harder to believe we've been here for nearly 6 weeks! How time has flown, and yet it feels like an age since we left home.

We left our city apartment and moved into our current one three weeks ago. I say "we" but it was only Nicola who moved in. I was sent up to work in Brisbane for two and a bit weeks - which is a story in itself. Poor Nic had to endure a strange environment, with no home comforts other than a bed and a couch. I really feel for her, I don't know how she managed to stick it out. I would have really struggled.

Our apartment is... well... I am trying to adjust to it =) It is always warm, and even though it is a one-bedroom place, it stills feels rather empty. We are in a great place, surrounded by everything we need (I've counted two bakers, two cake shops and a cheesecake shop already). It is pretty good for getting into the city centre too. We do, however, have an interesting neighbour who insists on sharing his music with us every so often.

Nicola is enjoying her work, even though she finds things a little backward. She says the people are very friendly and is currently working her first night shift since she started. Which means I'm home alone, aww =) It still feels about 20C outside, so if I was brave I'd go exploring. But I did say "if".

I got back from Brisbane a few days ago. It IS an experience I won't easily forget. I met some great people, did quite a bit of work, had many a squeaky-bum time but... ah, I can't believe I was away from Nic that long. It is the longest time we've spent apart since we've dated. That's over 10 years! It was great, but I don't think I'd be too keen on spending so long away again.

We are really looking forward to the next few months, now that we have most things settled. Personally I'm looking forward to the cooler weather =) I'm going to attempt my first outdoor jog since I arrived tomorrow so I hope the sun isn't out too early in the morning! It is hard not to make snap decisions on what our long-term future is. Its far to easy to be tempted by home. We're really looking forward to 6 months down the line so we have a clearer idea of what we want from this move. Until then, its good to enjoy what we have, and enjoy this wee adventure for what it is =)

Friday, 5 March 2010

Five Days to Go!

I think it is beginning to hit me. Everything feels incomplete, nothing feels settled. I don't know why I am surprised, I should have been expecting this!

I think we're finally prepared to go. All bills have been cancelled, all relevant parties have been notified, and plans are in place to visit our nearest and dearest one last time. I can't help wishing we had one more week, just to make sure. But that is maybe just delaying the inevitable.

I've not felt like this for a long time. Perhaps the only thing that comes close is how I felt before an all day interview - knowing that it would be over before I knew it, but needing to make sure to come up for air - to take stock of what is going on.

It's our last Friday night, and we're spending it with our old friend Julie =) (she's actually younger than me but I've known her forever!). The rest of the weekend is reserved for more visiting, with our remaining days next week being spent with family. It will no doubt be teary, and I know I've got lots of things I want to convey, but I think we are just now really looking forward to Wednesday afternoon - knowing that the initial hard part is done, and our wee adventure awaits =)

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Day After the Party

Wow that was one fun party! I think we eventually got to bed around 2.30am. If you know us, you'll will be as shocked as we are hah! But time really flew past at the party. We were so blown away by the turn out - I was particularly pleased that my old uni friends came along (although they aren't old of course!)

To finish off the evening, we had a couple of my friends from work stay over. There were a number of innuendos about the inflatable animals being left in the living room but Stuart managed to behave himself =)

Anyway, we've recorded a little clip about the party so please have a look =) (If you are reading this on FB, you'll need to click the "View Original Post" link to see the video.

Friday, 26 February 2010

The Day Before the Party

So we've decided to try keep a video record of the important days left in the UK, as well as our initial days in Oz. Half because we'd like to share a little part of our journey, and the other half because Nicola got a new flip camera video that she likes to show off =)

So this will be our first little clip. Its our leaving party tomorrow, so this is a little clip about how we are feeling about it all. Cheese, yes. But still, its a lot of fun =)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

First New Year's Resolution

I'm usually awash with resolutions and yet it has been hard to think of any this year. Maybe it is because so much has changed. This time last year I think my main resolutions were to finish my PhD and lose weight - two things that I tended to struggle with. I managed to complete them both =) Weyhey...

Oh maybe that is it, maybe I've lost the things that I used to define myself. I was the guy doing a PhD, I was the guy without a job, I was the guy thinking about moving to Australia. And now, I'm no longer defined by those things. Am I a Joe Everybody now? Maybe I no longer feel unique. Maybe I need to. Maybe I need to stop waiting for things to "settle down" before I step out.

D'oh, my mind wandered a bit there. Or maybe it just needed written down to be real. Heh. I think this has went a little off topic. Onto my first New Year Resolution. I'm on the verge of a major change in life. In two months time, we may be living in our new home in Australia. Thats a short amount of time and yet far enough away for the thought to be pushed to the back of my mind.

My first resolution is to make as much of that time count, to fill it with as many memories as I can, to find myself changed by something or someone so I'm different then than I am now.

I have a cheesy thought in my head when I write that. Imagine time passing being like a bucket of sand being poured out. We can stick our hand rigidly into the falling sand and tell ourselves we are in the moment, we are involved. And yet, the sand doesn't care we are there, it is largely unmoved. It finds a new way to reach the ground and once it is all gone, our hand has little trace of all the grains that passed. The only way we can retain the passing sand is to change shape, to cup our hand to that we can catch the sand. That way, when the bucket is empty, we can show we were there.

We have sand in our hand. We own sand. I want to own memories. I need to change shape.