Monday, 31 January 2011

Aussie Day

I have been a very busy girl! I’m going to have to break it down into several blog posts! I’m getting very used to this lifestyle and I would move here for the weather alone! It’s not dipped under 27 degrees during the day! I get up between 6-7am have breakie with Mike, go to the gym, swim sunbathe (I refuse to come back paste so I actually dedicated time to sun worship) then spend the week days writing/reading/researching. As I type this its Monday afternoon 30 degrees with a light warm breeze cooling myself and the laptop!
Health wise I’m in less pain than I would be at home, the heat is definitely a bonus for the RSD I’m worried that the weather is just masking the relapse and coming back to the freezing UK is going to be like the 6 nerve blocks I had years ago – a teasing relief.

Anyway I still have another glorious week here so I’ll start where I left my last post.

I was at Mike’s work on Tuesday and we tried to go down to the South Bank but there were community service officers stopping any one wandering round. Still it was nice to explore the Central Business district and see more of the city.

Wednesday was Australia day, I find it quite funny that it commemorates the first convict ships we sent to OZ landing in 1788. Who am I to question a day off work though? We headed up the Sunshine Coast to the Alexandra Headland with two of Mike’s University friends Jenna and Brian who moved out here 18 months ago. Man! They’re living the life, better paid jobs, a custom built 4 bedroom house and THIS WEATHER! – Jealous much?

In Alexandra we sunbathed in the 34 degree heat – a b.e.a.utiful day! I had my first experience of waves! They were so strong I had to hold on for dear life to Mike as the limp cheese strings a.k.a my legs couldn’t hold me up. It was strange that the beaches weren’t pack at all; on a day like that in Southend you couldn’t get a spot to stand upright!
Sunshine coast - the place to be!
Jen and Brian took us to lunch (thanks guys!) at The Lime Grill opposite the Beach, a cafe run by a couple of New Zealanders (hey we’re not Aussies so we broke the days tradition!) we all had burgers and wraps topped with gorgeous huge milk shakes! When we had finished Jen said we had to go to go for ice cream (was never going to say no to that!) and despite being stuffed we went to a Cold Rock (a Queensland chain of Ice Cream parlours). At Cold Rock you chose one of their 37 flavours of the good stuff and chose a chocolate or candy to be crushed and folded into your ice cream – heaven!

Feeling hot hot hot!
We came home about 4 and crashed, what is it about heat and salty air that makes you so sleepy? Still mildly jet lagged I was in bed by 8 – such a rock star!

All of Thursday and Friday during the day I didn’t do much at all, I was so knackered after Australia day, so I sat and read half of Stephen Fry’s autobiography – I didn’t think I could admire him any more than I did, turns out I so can!! I wish I could get away with such flamboyant and dramatic writing!

Friday evening I was actually really nervous! My Uncle Glen was visiting from Sydney and he’s lived here 23 years so I didn’t remember him at all! I found myself dressing up and cleaning the apartment top to bottom. I had nothing to worry about, the evening went really well, we went to a local steakhouse called SS0 and had!! It was a cute Western themed place where you snacked on monkey nuts and popcorn between courses. I had some beers, but since I had my gall bladder removed calling me a lightweight is a joke, I had half a drink before I had to ask for bread to soak it up! Mike, my Uncle and I sat up until the early hours and got up early again to chat before his 11am flight home! He left saying I couldn’t remind him more of my Mum if I tried, I take that wholeheartedly as a complement!

L x

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The first day… or so

Well the jet lag has most certainly kicked in! I fell into bed at 9am exhausted last night and yet I woke up with all the energy of a 16 hour kip at 2am!

Sunrise from our balcony
We arrived at our apartment in the CBD by 10am on Monday. Even on the 8th floor our block is dwarfed by other complexes and offices around it. We have two bedrooms, two bathrooms and three balcony’s (at least Mike and I can escape from each other should there be a need for solidarity!)

View from another Balcony
We have one large living area with full dining room, self catering kitchen and entertainment system too all with the added bonus of broadband 24/7! Ah, home from home!

So as I was saying… the jet lag, I’ve never experienced it before and I had no idea what to do with myself before dawn! I was having trouble counting sheep when, for some unknown reason I kept imagining giant socks floating passed our apartment instead, it was like some weird Tate Modern version of the insomniacs classic.

Mike left for work at 8am, it’s all very new to us; him doing the 9-5, when he goes to work (on oil rigs)he leaves for weeks at a time, now I’m definitely feeling like the “little wife” sat at home waiting for him to return, especially since I have no GoGo scooter to explore on.

So, what else can one do when they cannot leave their apartment blocks… swim… in the 5th floor infinity pool and spa… do you hate me yet? Lol! I forgot how freeing swimming is, it’s the only time I walk with beautiful symmetric balance!

I had a call from “the hubby” who suggested I taxi it up to the office to meet his colleagues; another first, as a riggers missus you never meet the work mates as they live across the world and no two riggers have the same work pattern, so there are never Christmas parties or dinner do’s to attend.

So taxi it up I did, and here I am. Sat in the office listening to people practically talking another language (Scientists, Engineers etc) whilst I sit in a booth with Mikey’s laptop. So far every one’s been lovely, there’s a great atmosphere, I almost wish I worked in an office for the banter alone. We did go for Sushi in “The Barracks” – funny enough a shopping centre built within the old army barracks. Had some lovely food I couldn’t pronounce or identify.

Tonight Mike and I are walking home and he’s taking me down towards the river banks to see some of the flood damage. I’ve heard lovely stories of 50,000 volunteers descending on Brisbane and random BBQ’s set up down residential streets so that families can cook and make up for their own kitchens being destroyed.
Flood damage - see the water line?
South Bank, back to "normal"

One of Mike’s colleagues still has no electric at his home and said that his apartment block became an island amongst the flood. A lot of his neighbors’ have moved into alternative accommodation but he and his family have stayed put with cold showers and I suppose almost war time entertainment with no TV or computers. I do wonder whether the UK would be so laid back about something so huge?

L x

The Journey


Well, here I am in Brisbane, Australia. Finally! We were due out here two weeks ago but of course the awful floods, that have now moved on to Victoria, were raging through the now very hot and sunny city I’m looking at as I write this!

I thought I’d keep a diary of my time here, I’m easily pleased and fascinated so the smallest of things leave me very excited, for example; here when you press the button at road crossings it sounds like you’re playing space invaders, so cute!

Anyway, my journey started Saturday morning, I was daft enough to drink my friends home brewed wine the night before and only got home at 3am, but I had yet to pack – was not looking pretty!

Mike’s folks came to pick us up around four and I had a minor panic that I may have forgotten something or left something on that would burn our flat down, this is, by the way my first fortnight holiday... ever! It had even occurred to me that what if I died and no one knew my passwords to sort out my e-mails... ever the sane girl that I am.

I had been to Heathrow Airport for the first time to pick up Mike from his first trip to OZ last month, I love it there, people watching is better than almost any TV programme (not Glee mind!) people saying Goodbye is sad and all but I found it fascinating to watch the “better off” browse Chanel and Gucci like I do Primark, I actually heard a presumed mother and daughter proclaim £860 was such value for a handbag! I doubt my whole wardrobe costs that!

We were/are flying with Singapore Airlines, who I have to say so far have been wonderful, nothing is too much, they’re so accommodating and friendly, I didn’t feel as though my “special” needs were all that special! I have to say their uniforms are beautiful, when Mike pointed them out as cabin crew before we boarded I couldn’t believe how detailed and ornate they were.

From a health point of view my legs did not like the limited movement they had available, I’m very used to sitting around (Boom! Boom!) But I was scared of walking up and down the aisles as when I’m tired and stiff my legs refuse to walk in a careful straight line! Still I’m incredibly adapted to A) Sitting for hours watching films and B) Holding out going to toilet after years of tracking down disabled loos!

The food was gorgeous I opted for all the unusual menu choices (working my way up to Kangaroo and Alligator steaks) and every available alcoholic round of drinks, Mike might be working but I’m on holiday baby! I watched Going The Distance - Hilarious, Social Network – Loved it, what a story! And The Switch – very disappointing!

We landed in Singapore 12 hours after leaving the UK, luckily we only had 3 hours there so we had a quick look around their in house Butterfly Farm (as all airports should have!) and then I was labelled with a giant yellow badge saying I needed assistance, this made me laugh, because any one we wheeled passed or tagged outside the disabled loo nodded at us with yellow badge pride!

A Butterfly!

We embarked on the 7 hour second leg of “mission to Oz”, but this time neither of us had slept in 26 hours, and jet lag was starting to settle in. I watched Bedtime Stories – Sweet, You again – Predictable and The Romantics – Dull and so disappointing with a normally talented cast!

High Rises of Brisbane CBD

Finally at 7am OZ time we landed! Customs was a tad unnerving, I had to tick a box that listed medication brought into the country, unfortunately that same box included bringing in porn, fire arms and classed drugs, I felt dirty just ticking that said box and I swear the immigration woman gave me a dirty look!

They happened to be filming Border Control whilst we where there, I couldn’t have looked more awful if I tried, greasy hair and skin, blood shot eyes (no wonder I got that dirty look!) food down my top (again my vanity prevails) but luckily filming wasn’t due to start until 9am! Phew!

We walked out into the sunny (already 22 degree!) weather and it smelt like summer holidays, sun cream, flowers and fresh air, I’m in love already!

Monday, 3 January 2011

OZ and Thoughts

Well here we are in 2011. I’m thankful 2010 is over. It was one of the worst years I and many others I know have ever had. I spent September through to December dwelling on it too. I seem to have come out the other side with incite and hope never the less.

Not all of 2010 was completely awful I have to admit; although the many children born have made me less broody than ever, I adore them all. I’m proud of my family and friends; you’re all doing a brilliant job as new parents. My camera is always by my side and two years ago all you would have seen on the memory card back then would have been drunken glitter studded pictures of my friends and I. Oh how times have changed there are now 600 photo’s of bonny little ones from December alone! Many more are due this year; there will be more children than adults in my life soon.

Another highlight of last year was of course the original point of this blog, my freedom! The GoGo and yet to be named new wheelchair have given me a thirst for travel and yet more freedom, I’m getting greedy and am desperate to get back to my driving lessons, which are on hold until I can lower my pain medication and I regain the use of more than one brain cell.

I’m almost 9 months into my relapse now, it’s by no means the worst pain I’ve been in but it’s become one of the most persistent phases I’ve been through, I’m bored now! Frustrated could be a better description since all this time sat wallowing has given me time to really think about things.

I realised that although I want the wit and intelligence of Stephen Fry, the voice and looks of Katherine Jenkins and the business mind of Sir Alan Sugar, none of the above are going to happen, least not without a Christmas miracle and oops... it seems I missed that boat. But I can only try to be myself. I’m sick of apologising for being who I am and liking/disliking the things I do.

I love Glee, I watch Love Actually at least three times a year, I’ve never seen Star Wars or The Godfather films, I clap like a five year old when excited, I’m terrible at texting/calling back, this isn’t me being mean just forgetful, I worry about everything/everyone all the time, I can be unbelievably lazy and moody, I still have issues about not being a dancer (Irony), I’m a writer than refuses to show any one my work (other than these ramblings) and I can eat a tub of Ben and Jerry’s 15 minutes and still not work out why I’m always a bit fat! – Oh yeah!

I have to start thinking, “I don’t care what you think!” “I’m going to do what I like when I like with whom I wish to it with” – in the most innocent of contexts of course.

See? These relapses are hazardous not only physically but mentally, I have too much time on my hands and that’s dangerous. So quite randomly I’m off to Australia, almost completely unplanned and there I’m hoping the warm weather will release my body of the relapse and just fry my one remaining brain cell so my inner voice shuts up!

Hopefully body and mind will reunite soon!

L x