Posts Tagged ‘history’

It’s 3 years.

3 years since one part of my life fell apart.


It’s 3 years since I decided that I was now free

I was now able to choose to live my life the way I wanted

To not be apologetic for being me

Since I decided to set out on the quest to learn how to live a life of fulfilment and happiness. Joy and Hope.

In those 3 years I:

  • Travelled to the UK and Paris twice and the US once, to Melbourne numerous times, Tasmania 3 or 4 times, and the Great Barrier Reef once
  • Had various adventures, danced through life and bounced for happiness and joy
  • Drank tea on a rooftop, drank wine on another one, danced in the rain, cuddled trees, discussed philosophy on balconies at dusk
  • Met lots of lovely people, learned what it is to love friends and be loved back. Discovered many members of my heart and my spirit families
  • Shared a home with a wonderful woman. We shared food, thoughts, care and concern. A comfortable place to be, and my first home in a long time
  • Learned how emotionally strong I am, and how I deal with stress
  • Learned what my ideal life is like
  • Had a brilliant job, with fantastic colleagues, that was all I could want at that stage of my career
  • Lost 15 kgs, and became stylish, but also wore knee-high stripey socks and fun hats
  • Learned the principles of being an adult, chief that being an adult means realising no-one is going to do that difficult task for you.
  • Was an internet DJ for 18 months and learned that I CAN tell an interesting story
  • Have seen the Cat Empire in concert 6 times, and re-discovered an appreciation of music that I thought I’d lost
  • Have become an excellent intuitive cook, and appreicator of good food
  • Met the man I was supposed to meet, and moved to the UK to be with him

On this day every year I remember, and am thankful for the fact that part of my life fell apart. For the intense phoenix journey that was the following 18 months, and the changeable journey of the last 18 months. And I start to look forward to the next 12-18 months and start to wonder what it might bring.

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This weekly update is a bit late. Oh well.

Last week was spent mostly receovering from whatever illness I had the week before. Maybe swine flu, maybe just normal flu passed on from a child. Jed and our flatmate seems to have avoided it, so maybe it was just a common English variant that L and I didn’t have immunity to. Which means I am now dreading winter.

On Thursday Jed and I had one of our adjustment blow-ups. Not an angry one, just a space where one of us emotionally cracks about a particular issue and then we talk, meaningfully, about why and what has triggered it, come to an understanding of the other person’s perspective and perhaps come up with a solution to the problem. Not surprisingly there’s been a number of these since March, as we sort out a relationship and living together. “Hot-housing” is the term I’ve come to use for our situation. Most relationships go through a steady build up, where each person gets to slowly learn the foibles of the other, their preferences and attitudes and there’s time-out space created through not living together. Not this situation, we have very little time-out space other than going to work. Emotional outbursts are not worrying, since our reactions are healthy, and we build from there.

Actually, in some respects this is my current lesson. Learning to identify when I am upset or when I feel that I should sacrifice myself for someone else’s (assumed) feelings, rather than speaking up and communicating what is wrong and either saying sorry if it’s my fault, or being able to say “this hurt me” if it wasn’t. I’ve spent most of my life trying to not rock the boat, trying to have as little impact as possible, avoiding conflict and subsuming problems, scared that I’d not be loved if I wasn’t nice and accommodating, or if I caused anyone any bother at all. This has been the benefit so far of this situation, learning when to state what is actually going on, and learning that I will still be loved. Lots.

The outburst was probably also caused by the 4 month crash. 4 months since I arrived and stuff is now mundane, not shiny and new. Habits and patterns have set in, as has a form of homesickness.

Bridge over the Avon
So, in order to escape from these patterns, and to give ourselves some adventure time together we booked a last minute weekend in Bath. It was lovely! We stayed in a guest house on Great Pulteney St, with a view over the cricket field. We visited the Roman Baths, lots of good history there, being able to walk through the excavations of the site was fantastic. We played River Pirates Adventure Golf (mini-golf for the Australians, the River Pirate stuff was the result of puddles on the pitch). We avoided the 30 minute talk in the Jane Austen centre, actually we avoided that entirely deciding to not jostle with die hard fans who secretly want to wed Mr Colin-Darcy-Firth, we had lunch by the weir and discussed the racist attitudes of seagulls to the lesser pigeon half-breeds (aka juvenile seagulls that had pigeon colourings) and came up with a way of talking about the root of the problem that caused the outburst on Thursday, so that should start getting better.

Just what we needed.

The photos will go up in a week or so, once the Lego ones have been processed. In the meantime, here’s one I took last time I was there in 2007.

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Homesick for work?

At home in the office

This may lead some people to think I am a bit barmy, but I’ve realised over the last week that I am homesick, but for a very specific aspect of my life. Work.

I miss having my own desk with plants and pictures and my files and plans on the walls.

I miss being a respected font of knowledge in a particular area, and having people ask me regular questions that involved nuanced detailed answers.

I miss my boss coming up to my desk at irregular intervals and asking where I’m at, which was always code for “I’ve got some work for you”. Which relates to me missing the situation where each day had the potential to bring a new, possibly pressured task to do, which I thrived.

I miss the phone ringing. It doesn’t here. I miss meetings. I *almost* miss 2 hour teleconferences with a chair that insisted on repeating everything that we said and waffling. Almost, but not yet. Although I do miss the sense of accomplishment in being the only person who actually prepared for those teleconferences and was able to meaningfully contribute.

I miss having to wear at least 3 different hats on any given day, and the variety that went with that.

I miss being responsible for a process or project that I’ve been involved with since the beginning, that actually matters to someone other than a management committee spinning wheels in case they get rubbished for something beyond their control.

I miss the political machinations. The sense of camaraderie and cohesiveness that came from working on a difficult policy area.

I miss the sense of being part of something bigger and doing something worthwhile. I miss doing something that was almost always guaranteed to generate a conversation at parties where I didn’t know anyone.

I miss actually feeling like a worthwhile member of my team, whom my Director depends upon.

Here’s hoping tomorrow goes well!

-for anyone from SPD reading this post, click on the photo above and it will take you to all the photos I took in the office while I was there. Oh, and Jenny, I read the May EPHC communique today and almost giggled/cried at the statements, and waht they mean for the work we were all doing, especially the ones relating to CDS.

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It’s been a rather social week.

Monday I went to a private show at Camberwell College of Arts to look at their graduating student exhibition. My friend Flick (incidentally, not her real name, as I discovered after NOT finding her work) had just finished her MA in Conservation and the Ledger books she’d repaired were on display. I really Other exhibits included some papyrus, conserved in a “less innovative way” (code for, the Museum that owns the piece wouldn’t take my advice); a navy velvet Victorian jacket; a copy of Dante; a ‘heiroglyphical’ bible, essentially a version of the bible with some nouns replaced by line drawings and the images of a Norwich fabric pattern book from the 1700s which was still in Norwich, although it is going on display in September. Sounds like a good excuse for a viist. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and hanging out with Flick, getting the insider’s description of the works and the personalities of each conservator.

Managed to get lost on the way home, by taking the bus going in the other direction. I really miss my ability to zen navigate in this country. It’s probably because of a lack of familiarity with how everything connects, and this will change in time, nevertheless, it’s frustrating. On the other hand, I did get to fill in some of my knowledge of South London between Camberwell and Lewisham, so not all bad.

Wednesday I caught up with Brendan, who was on the London leg of his extended European holiday, and Monty, who hadn’t realised I’d moved over. We went out for curry in Brick Lane. I got to watch Monty haggle with the touts in front of each restaurant to get us a 20% discount, free beers and pappadums. I’d been to Brick Lane once before, on that occasion we walked into the 1st place we saw as we were all so hungry we didn’t care. This time round I got to see how it should be done.

Had a long lunch with Brendan the next day. It was perfect weather, so we headed to Canary Wharf (near where I work) and ate by the water. With the exception of Friday last week’s weather was gorgeous, similar to the best days in October in Sydney. If this is as hot as it gets all Summer then I’ll be happy.

Saturday we caught up with Scruffy & J to do a tour of Hever Castle, which is only two valleys away from our house. This is the castle that Anne Boleyn grew up in, and where she retired while Henry VIII was getting his marriage with Catherine of Aragon annulled. It was full of Tudor portraits, most of the ones J and I were familiar with from our costuming days. We lingered in these sections of the castle while Jed and Scruffy motored on ahead and had a relaxing recline on the lawn. Hever is surrounded by fantastically landscaped gardens built in the early 19th century to house the collection of artifacts that a member of the Astor family collected while he was the British ambassador to Italy. Some of these items date back 2000 years. I took many photos (of course) which will be on my Flickr account soon.

Yesterday we re-arranged the house to make it more liveable. Very happy with the results, and we could tell it was a success from the impressed exclamations of our flatmate, Robbie, when he came home.

Otherwise I’ve not got as much done this week as I wanted to, mostly as I bought two PC games on special last week, Rollercoast Tycoon 3 and Settlers 5, and have been sucked into the vortex of gaming. There’s a reason I wasn’t allowed to purchase anything like this until after I’d secured employment. Robbie is a PC gamer as well, so now evenings at our place consist of the 3 of us in the living room with our laptops going and the TV on in the background. Quite communal in a strange sort of way.

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Citizenship Test

The example questions for the citizenship test came out this week. Listening to the Hack report on them I suspect I’d be one of a few people in this country that could actually pass it, but then I have an infants teacher for a mother, and a father who thought that a general knowledge of Australian history was a good thing. Oh, and I was a girlie swot in primary and high school.

The Age carried this satirical piece today, which is a much better indication of Australianity [1]. Or at least that particular brand of Australianess that we affectionately refer to as Ocker:


Get ready for a good giggle!

[1] yes, I am making up words, since it’s a madness to think that there is one way to view our culture. Or any culture… even a small village has a sub culture. Unless it’s the one in Hot Fuzz.

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