High Hopes.

Whilst putting together yesterday's yearly recap post, I came to realise that 2007 wasn't a particularly wonderful year for me, sickness wise. It's not as though they were truly serious ones, but they were enough to leave me knocked around for a good few weeks across the year.

Catching a bug right before my plane trip was hardly something I would have wanted, but in a way it might have worked out for the best: the jump from summer to winter weather would have most likely had me sneezing anyway. (It's not the cold weather that bothers me, it's walking into buildings that are blasting their heaters at million degree temperatures. No wonder we're all sick!)

I'm feeling much better lately, and hopefully will be able to shake off the remaining pesky little germs soon. It would be really nice to be able to ring in the New Year without having to blow my nose every twenty seconds, even if we do just end up watching the celebrations on the television like a couple of grandparents.

For now, though ...

my tonsils not swollen ma, loldogs n cute puppy pictures - I Has a Hotdog!

2007: The Year That Was.

I say it every year, but it really does feel like this year flew by. Last year, I wrapped up the year's events in a post, and I can't believe it's already that time again. I can safely say that this time last December, I would never have guessed that in a year's time I would be sitting in a lounge room in London with Jason.

January
I celebrated the New Year quietly at home and enjoyed watching the summer storms. I counted down the days to my New Zealand trip with Jason, where I bungy jumped and canyon-swung on the south island in Queenstown. We went white water rafting and shot-over jet boating and made our way to Wellington on the north island. The fun continued, as we enjoyed a lake cruise in Taupo and the glow worm caves in Waitomo. At the end of our tour, I snorkelled for the first time ever in the Bay of Islands, where I also managed to step on a sea urchin, ouch! I also discovered that Auckland is possibly my least favourity city ever, as we were bored after our first day there. The school term resumed and I began my second year of teaching job-sharing with a fellow teacher.

February
A few days into the month, I was offered to teach my own class of kidlets with high support needs, which was a position I accepted. On the blogging front I updated my 100 things list, which reminds me - I need to update that soon! After a happy year with my previous class, my pet mice were given away to a new home. Februrary 14th had me thinking about the different opinions we all have about Valentines Day, and no, I sadly did not recieve a puppy as a gift. A few friends and I braved the crazies and went to see Evanascence in concert, and a few days later both me and Kirby had contracted the great Goth Bug of 07, my first illness of the year. After a few random looks at my blog stats in the past, the inaugral Sunday Google-age post was created! To wrap up the month, I ended up with yet another cold! Brilliant, eh?

March
I watched alot of Bridezillas this month, which had me thinking about weddings and all that goes along with them. I confessed to being a self-proclaimed dork and shared my dorkiness with the world. It was proud moments all round as I finally paid off my car, within the first year of my buying it. I came down with yet another illness, which was diagnosed as possibly glandular fever. Not long after that, I found out that Jason was going to be leaving me to go to England much earlier than we had planned; needless to say, that was not a happy weekend. A whole stack of memes began floating around the blog world, and I went into over-analyse mode over whether to tag or not to tag. Lastly, I became a teaching mentor for the first time when I was introduced to my student.

April
My blog celebrated it's 2000th comment! My obsession with Threadless tees began, when I recieved my first shipment of witty slogan tees and teased everyone with their humour, though they did cause me to get squished boob syndrome. I made it through the first term of school relatively unscathed. I rescued a gorgeous rabbit (lovingly called New Bun) from the vet but after a few weeks of failed bonding, ended up having to say goodbye and find her a new home. Kirby, Mum and I braved the cold sitting in the backseat of my parent's Mustang convertible on the way home from the awesome John Mayer concert, where there were skanks a-plenty, but no Jessica Simpson in sight. I had my first appointment to find out about having laser eye surgery to correct my shortsightedness, and soon found out that I was a successful candidate for the procedure. My baby brother turned 20, and I took a trip down memory lane. Sadly, my beautiful Bella-rabbit passed away from a jaw infection, leaving me heartbroken.

May
I discovered that I am possibly the world's worst poker player, but that I can play blackjack. I underwent Advanced Surface Laser surgery on my eyes, and lived to tell the tale. My Stalkerific Blogroll went live for the first time, which also needs updating! I did my part being an environmentally friendly water-saver, and poor Rusty the dog suffered in the wake of it. Jason turned 25, and in celebration I brought home another bunny - Ricky bun! I worried over what the rest of the year would bring, and how terrified I was about Jason leaving the country without me. And I got sick. Again.

June
Writing the kidlets half-yearly report cards kept me busy, as did posing for the dreaded school photograph. My blog got reviewed for the first (and only) time which left my confidence fairly shattered, though thankfully your comments helped get me through the paranoia. I became very nervous about the planet after watching An Inconvenient Truth. Despite losing some weight, I whinged about not going down a dress size; something which has still not happened yet! My student teacher finished up in the classroom, and I realised that I had thoroughly enjoyed being a mentor. I reminisced about bungy jumping in New Zealand, and shared my pictures for the first time. I had a bit of a meltdown over being left on my own, and had a nasty experience with a split lip that looked suspiciously like a cold sore. Lucy and Ricky finally started to get along, and I got the photo evidence to prove it. And I took a big step and registered my very own domain!

July
Guess what - I got sick.. again, surprise surprise. I realised I was well and truly over my head after moving my blog, and had to get up to speed fairly quickly. My possessed television began turning itself on at night, leaving me completely and utterly spooked. I started thinking about what American tour I should save up for, and decided on the Grand Southern Contiki tour. After deciding I needed some distractions while Jason was away, 'The List' made it's debut on my blog, thanks to all of your suggestions. While stressing out over the boy's impending departure date, I took a big step of my own and bought my own one way plane ticket to England, leaving on Christmas Day. I celebrated my 23rd birthday, with a low key dinner with my family.

August
I enjoyed my last few days with Jason before he left the country, where I distracted myself by staring at my birthday bling. Kirby and I splurged on a gold class cinema ticket to see Harry Potter 5. After becoming frustrated with my weight loss efforts, I declared August a scale-free month. Mum and I had a strange encounter with some pink mashed potatoes. I braved my fear of the hairdresser to get a new style cut, where I also had my palest of pale eyelashes tinted. I had blogging on the brain, and talked about how seriously I took it. And I mentioned one of the most important things I noticed about Jason when I met him: his sassy shoes.

September
Life without Jason saw me going through the motions, day in and day out. Kirby and I went to see Snow Patrol in concert, where we screamed out Troy! and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Jason started house hunting in England, and I started helping from a million miles away. Lucy-bun got sick, and I began the process of medicating her by mouth, which was not fun. I reminisced about how I met Jason and the butterflies and anticipation that came along with it. We celebrated our fifth year anniversary a million miles apart, and I dedicated a photo montage to him! My face decided to go back to it's teenage years and break out in a spectacular fashion. A few days later, I discovered that the blotches weren't just from a break out, but that I was suffering from the Slap Cheek virus, the umpteenth illness of the year. My UK working Visa arrived, which brought on a minor stress attack, and I booked my USA tour for next August.

October
The holidays didn't start out particularly well, as my beautiful Lucy passed away in my arms this month. I decided to try and get more motivated after my efforts with healthy habits left me feeling down. I participated in the Great Mofo Delurk, where most of us bloggers met some wonderful new faces. I pushed on with my fitness and managed to run my first 5km stretch with no breaks. The random assortment of Aussie bugs appearing due to the weather left me completely freaked out. I began writing the Time Capsule saga, two posts chock full of memories from my primary school and high school years. For Blog Action Day, I talked about the environment from a teacher's perspective. The kidlets and I went into Sydney for our transport excursion, where I got to be a tourist for the day. Three months into our separation, I wrote about how I was coping being on my own, and realised that I was doing a pretty darned good job of it! My tendency to worry about the little things was something on my mind, and I got a little grumpy on Halloween.

November
For the second year in a row, I participated in NaBloPoMo, even though I posted practically every day this year anyway! Kirby and I had a spontaneous weekend o'fun on the Gold Coast, where we braved the theme parks and had a spankin' good time! I finally got around to registering with Bloglines, even though I was probably the last person on the planet to do so. Laughter is always the best medicine, and a Harry Potter based parody really tickled my fancy. I braved a visit to the dreaded dentist (no cavities!) and vowed to floss every day after getting a nifty goodie bag. I uncovered our great family debate: who took the cute picture of Max? Mum later showed off her technological genius by creating a very witty LOLMax. Along with a stack of other fabulous bloggers, I participated in the In The Raw blogshare, where I enjoyed posting anonymously for a day. A bit of drama close to home left me wondering where to draw the line with friendships at work, and the kidlets artistic sketches of me had me in stitches. Realising that I had only a month left on Aussie soil left me shocked, and I remained disheartened over my body image.

December
In amusing fashion, my first blog post in December was a slightly drunken one. I went on a very important mission to uncover my top five celebrity crushes. I purchased my first ever laptop and christened her Dellilah. A farewell barbeque left me feeling very loved, as I saw a stack of friends who I'd not seen in a long time. The two week countdown to Christmas sparked a bit of fear in me, but also left me feeling really excited! My Secret Blogger Santa spoiled me by sending me some fabulous free gifts (thanks Janet!) as well as an Itunes giftcard. Things started looking up on the UK job front, as I had to make some tricky decisions over teaching jobs. I had London on the brain constantly, which was heightened by my internet blowing up at home, argh! At the worst possible time, I caught my final cold for the year just days before my horrible twenty two hour flight. Then it was Christmas, and I said goodbye to my family, my pets, my home, and ended up here in the sunny UK - alive, if a little wheezy. And here I am today: sitting in the living room of our house in London, after being brave and finding myself along the way.

So that's that. It's been a strange year, but I'm happy with where I've ended up. Here's to the next year bringing lots more exciting things!

Lead Me To Your Door.

Am exhausted today, after literally squeezing into the tube and heading into Covent Gardens for a teaching agency interview. It was a typically grey and miserable day, and I was glad to get back home - but it being dark at 3.37pm is completely bizarre. It feels like bedtime, yet it's the early afternoon. It'll be strange for a while.

I took a few pictures of the apartment this morning, so feel free to have a squiz!

This is the cute kitchen, where Jason has been making me eat strange green vegetables. They've been fairly good so far, but sssh. He might end up with a big head.



Here is the bedroom, which is actually a lot bigger in person than it looks in the picture. (Oh, and do you see the messy bed? That's what I got when I asked Jason to make it so I could take a picture. I think that perhaps he should stick to cooking. And ironing.)



And my favourite room: the lounge/living room. It's got a comfy lounge, a cute coffee table, and a huge window that opens onto a balcony. Also note the lovely treadmill/cross trainer of death. Seriously, that thing is insanely hard. I think I hate it.



This is the view out of the balcony, towards the river: just through those arches, and all around the bend, you'll find the water. We're a moment away from the Thames!



This is the view up the other end of the street: to get to the railway station, you walk to the end and turn right, that's it. It's a really gorgeous area, I love it to bits!



And last but not least... the both of us, sick, tired and slightly grumpy. Squee!

Miss Independent.

I would hate to jinx myself early on in the piece, but I think I've settled in fairly well to the London time zone. I ended up going to bed at about 8pm last night and woke up this morning at 6.30am. Other than the silly head cold, I have been feeling positive.

I forgot to mention this yesterday, but dear old Jason has been ill since I arrived. (No, it wasn't me who made him sick - he was sick while I was still in the Southern Hemisphere, I swear!) Needless to say, my waking up bright and chipper in the wee hours of the morning was probably the last thing he needed, so I left him alone and kept myself amused by wandering around the house for a while.

We had made plans to head to Canary Wharf and set up up a bank account for me as well as a couple of other errands, but weren't in a great rush to do so.

When Jason emerged a little while later, he looked terrible. After mentioning that he would see how he felt about going out later, I did something really bizarre and unlike myself: I offered to just head in and do things myself. I realise that makes me sound about twelve years old or something, but I am not a very confident person. It takes me a while to warm up to new things at the best of times, so even catching the flight here on my own was a big step for me. As for figuring out the trains and layout of a giant shopping mall, well, let's just say it was an interesting day!

A couple of hours later, I stumbled home feeling a little bit worse for wear. Jason opened the door for me, all dressed and ready to come out - he was worried I'd gotten lost and was preparing to come rescue me! In actual fact though, I was fine. I managed to get my way around the light rail, and didn't get lost doing so. I did however, get lost in the shopping centre, which was spread out everywhere and all over the place, but I eventually found my way.

Here's what I ended up achieving on my random day out:


  • I opened up a UK bank account, which will be ready in a week or so.

  • I purchased a pink (!) fluffy dressing gown, which I'm smitten with.

  • Bought a whole lot of toiletries for home that I didn't bring with me.

  • Hunted around for a cheap hair dryer and straightener.

  • Got a UK simcard for my mobile phone, and organised a new number.


So there you have it: I got out and about on my second day here. (Yes, I'm proud of myself.) I think that I'm settling in fairly well so far, though I do miss home already.

Alive and ... Drooling?

I made it!

I'm not particularly awake at the moment, but just thought I would pop online and let you know that I arrived in London early this morning. The first part of the flight was 7 hours to Singapore, then 13 hours from then on. It's a horrid one at the best of times, but is particularly dreadful when you can't breathe.

We caught a taxi home from the airport, where I giggled like a crazy person as we drove past Leicester and Trafalgar Squares, and omg a red phone booth! I'm easily pleased.

It all feels like a bit of a dream, at the moment. The house is gorgeous, the pillows are awesome, and I'm feeling comfortable. Now if I could just wake up for a few more hours and get into the swing of the time zone, things will be perfect.

I'll post more details later when I feel more awake, but in the meantime - did you have an amazing Christmas? Since I missed mine, you'll have to fill me in on yours.

Happy Christmas.. in Transit.

I'm always ahead with my Christmas wishes because of the time difference - but I'm allowed to indulge one last time.

Thankyou for sharing another year of blogging with me. I hope you have a really wonderful holiday, however you're spending it and whoever you're spending it with.

As for me, I'll be talking to you soon enough.. from the other side of the globe. (I really hope that this is not my plane.)

Merry Christmas, my friends!

santa_claus_plane.jpg

Last Minute Ramblings.

I can't believe this is going to be the last night sleeping in my own bed. I love my bed. I love the stripey quilt cover. I love the six pillows I sleep with. I love having the window behind me left open each night, so that I get some fresh air. I am going to miss my bed. I hope my new bed will be a comfy one. And I hope Jason has some nice, hard pillows. Or else.

I exchanged a little bit of money today - which was a completely depressing experience. $1 Aussie dollar is currently $0.42 British pounds: making my savings seem pretty poor! It won't be so bad once I start earning a little money, but still: walking away with that teeny stack of notes just felt weird. Everytime I see English money, it makes me realise just how pretty our Aussie money is.

My room is packed up. The suitcase is done. I've left out all the paperwork for my parents to fill in for next year. My next task is getting the bathroom cupboards cleaned out, because my beloved toiletries are going to have to be either stored or thrown away. This packing business is hard work!

Bad news is, I still have my cold. Not only am I spluttering like a steam engine, I have lost the ability to smell and taste. I'm also channeling a certain reindeer we all know and love, because my nose? It is a really alarming shade of red.

There go all of my romantic notions of waltzing off the plane all glamourous and special, and being swept off my feet by my adoring partner! On the contrary, I'll be the red-faced, puffy-eyed and scruffy-haired girl who will be staggering off the plane under the weight of her bulging carry on bag crammed full of stuff. (It's almost as heavy as the suitcase.)

As Paris would say: that's hot.

For now, I'm off to enjoy my last night here in Sydney - spending Christmas Eve with my family, two of whom I've managed to share the sickness with: just call me McLovin'. I'll no doubt steal online before I leave to wish you all a Merry Christmas, but in the meantime, make sure you're extra nice tonight so that Santa will pay you a visit.

:D

Just Your Usual Dose of Whinging.

Once again, that little thing called karma has come around and bitten me on the arse. I should have learned by now!

I'm usually always the first one to be affected by the zillions of germs that float around, resulting in me being knocked around by countless colds each year. It's happened more often now that I work with children day in and day out, and this year has been no different. If a kidlet got sick? Give it a few days, and I would have caught it too. It's a talent.

The funniest part is that despite all of my sickness, Jason rarely gets sick at all. It doesn't matter if he's in contact with me while I'm sick, he seems to have the world's strongest immune system - where as mine is constantly waving it's white flag and giving up.

Since he moved overseas, I've been lucky. In the past five months, I've had an almost perfect record in the sickness department: other than the slap cheek/parvo debacle, I haven't had one cold since the beginning of August.

What's a usually-sick girl to do when she stays relatively healthy for a change? Boast, of course. A fair bit. Then publicly announce that Jason must be the carrier of all the nasty diseasey germs; hence the reason why I'm sick all the time and he isn't. And then deduce that it is because he is overseas and is keeping his germs away from me, that I have remained fit as a fiddle. Oh, and that all of the sickness I've ever experienced was his fault.

I know - sometimes I get just a wee bit carried away.

It's okay though, because like I said: karma. Guess who has got the head cold from hell two mere days before her 22-hour-long plane ride? You guessed it.

It started off as the dreaded sore throat - and after popping an insane amount of vitamins, it's now progressed to my sinus. The charming part about sinus is that a) your head feels like it is constantly going to explode, b) you lose the ability to taste, and c) you can't sleep at night for fear of suffocation. I suppose that explains why I'm awake at 1.43am instead of snoring peacefully. Although in London time, it is actually 2.43pm (the day before) so perhaps I'm just getting myself ready for the time differences which are also going to be kicking my arse soon.

Wait, if it's 2.43pm London time, that means it's still Saturday. Which means I don't actually leave until another THREE days have passed, rather than two more days...

[Head explodes all over the monitor]

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words.

I think this image about sums up the last few days:

(And yes. I'm the one face-down on the desk.)

mfln183l.jpg

Good news, though -- we're back online!

Mum was able to grab a new modem, so at least I have some connection to the outside world for the next four days. And you thought you could get rid of me that easily, eh? Ha!

School is out. Weekend is here. I have a daunting task ahead of me, though: packing the dreaded suitcase which I have put off for weeks on end. The time for procrastination has come and gone, now it's on. Aly vs The Suitcase.

(If I were a gambling person, I'd be betting on the latter: I have a feeling that The Suitcase is going to kick my arse.)

Out of Commission.

I hate to say this, but your dancing just aint workin'.

Turns out the modem/router is well and truly DEAD. There's no coming back for the little bugger. Needless to say, we're internet-less at home.

(ohmygosh)

As this is my last day here at school, I may be out of commission for a little while - meaning you might get a break from the I'M MOVING TO LONDON IN FOUR DAYS spiel.

(ohmygosh)

My classroom is empty. I have three kidlets who decided to come to school on the last day. The canteen lady is making me a free lunch for my last day. My last day: I can't believe I'm saying that!

(ohmygosh)

Carry on dancin', everyone! I'll be back soon.

Not Happy, Jan.

It's official: the internet at home has left the building.

I arrived home from work yesterday, only to find that the internet was down. We called the company, I frantically texted people, and I tried all sorts of techniques to get it back again, but it's gone. Looks like our combined router/modem has shit itself, and so we're left with no net.

It's incredible realising how much you depend on the internet when it's not working. Even the mundane things like checking my blog comments, or talking to Jason on MSN: I missed them so much last night. I was also a fair bit panicky, because all of the communication between schools and agencies happens through email.

(Speaking of which, oh gmail, how I miss you! We've only known each other a short while, and I'm already attached to you. We'll be together again soon, I hope.)

I'm going to leave you today with one final request - can you please start doing the "Bring-internet-back-from-the-dead" dance as soon as possible. What, you don't know that one? Bah, of course you do. It's like your standard rain dance, only much, much funkier. And with added yodelling.

I'm hoping for a miracle, folks.

An Experiment.

So today I want to see if I can get through an entire post without mentioning anything revolving around moving. Starting from now, that is. Not another word.

>>>
>>>
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Nope. I tried. I just can't do it. Sorry about that.

It's just that every waking minute of every day, I'm thinking about something move-related. I can't even get away from it while I am sleeping - I'm having those bizarre dreams that you remember having, but can't remember what they were about. (Though for some reason, I have a sneaking suspicion that they involved men with accents.)

I'm know I'm scatterbrained, but this is just ridiculous.

Yesterday morning, I arrived at school at my usual 8am time, and went to my classroom to organise my day. A few times I wondered why it was so quiet in the wing, but I shrugged my shoulders and put it down to being the end of term. Half an hour later, I had a phone call, reminding me that the usual Tuesday morning staff meeting had begun ... 20 minutes ago.

I've still put off the packing, because I don't want to think about it just yet. I've used the excuse of waiting for this week's clothes to be washed, but really it's just because I don't want to do it. I hate packing. I hate leaving so much stuff behind. I hate that the Sex & the City boxsets I pre-ordered are delayed and won't be here until I leave - makes packing just a wee bit difficult.

(Yes, I am taking my dvds with me. Caseless, of course.)

This week is shaping up to be really busy. I'm catching up with a friend tonight over Thai food. I have the Year 6 farewell shindig tomorrow night. I'll hopefully be spending this coming weekend with my family, but then that's it. Soon enough it will be Christmas Eve, followed by THE DAY.

Now do you see why I can't stop thinking about it?

At this rate, I'll have no readers left by the time I make the move - because you'll all be bored to tears. Bear with me for six more days of pre-move rambles & jitters. I promise there's light at the end of the tunnel, if you can stand it!

I Told You I Don't Do Decisions Well.

You remember my the post from a few days ago, where I had to make a decision on a teaching job in London? The one that I had made up my mind about; where your comments backed up my decision to wait it out for a better offer.

Well, I sort of changed my mind. [bashes head against wall]

Yesterday I sent off an email to the agency, explaining why I probably wasn't going to accept the post - the transport was killer and the pay rate that was offered simply didn't make it worth the time. She was very understanding and called back soon after, trying her best to offer me different solutions. Her solution involved seeking a higher wage for me, to make it more worthwhile. She emailed me not long after, saying that the school was willing to pay what I was asking for, so the decision was in my court.

Shit. Bloody decisions. I ended up making a list to work out what to do next, because honestly ... this is all so new to me, and I have no qualms in admitting that. Thank goodness I have Jason to help me look over contracts, work out travel options, figure out tax rates etc for me.

(And I love lists even more than I love piles of rocks.)

PROS:

*Perfect grade - year three
*Lovely headmaster - very positive and friendly
*School practically perfect - lots of planning, very excited
*Pay increased - good daily amount
*I'll have my own classroom!
*It's in a good area - lots of shops and seems safe
*Employed from January to July - ready for USA holiday!
*Working straight away - will be paid weekly from day one
*As it's temporary, I can give instant notice if I don't like it
*Won't have to do daily supply, ending up all over London
*No stressful job hunting, means I can relax until January 4th

CONS: (& how to solve them in Italics)

*Getting up early to travel (Will get into a routine.)
*Getting home later (Again, will get into a routine.)
*Three trains and a bus (Can think of productive things to do to pass the time. I can make it work. Hell, maybe I can even write a novel on the way in. No matter what job I take, there will always be travel involved. Stinkin' travel.)
*Could be horrible class/school - might hate the whole thing (Can always trial it for a few weeks and if I'm unhappy with school, can seek work elsewhere at the same time.)

I think you can see where my list is heading, right?

I'm most likely going to be accepting the job.

The pay increase was about 12 pounds a day extra, which makes the daily rate very reasonable and higher than my earnings here, which is what I wanted. It doesn't make the travel go away, but even if I was offered another perfect position at a later date, it might still be the same amount of travel. It might offer less pay. It's hard to say.

I've been trying to go by my gut feeling and by Jason's instincts, and I can't get the lovely school out of my head. Now that they have agreed to higher wages to keep me, it makes me think that I should give it a shot and see what happens. If it doesn't work out, I can try something different. If it does, fabulous.

I'll never know unless I give it a go - and after all, that's what this London move was all about in the first place.

I'll keep you posted.

Oh! The Things We Could Do!

Thanks for all of your advice on the job post: as most people guessed, I'm leaning towards not accepting the job due to the pay & transport time. I felt so awkward emailing the agency, even though I'm within my rights to turn it down - I'm not used to saying 'no' to people. Anyway, I tried to be polite in my email and explain the reasons why I wasn't keen on the position, so we'll see what sort of a reply I get back.

In the meantime, I've made a bit of a list of things I want to venture out and experience before I start working. Jason will most likely be dragged along with me (willingly or not) to all of these adventures, but I'm sure he doesn't have a choice won't mind.

The Winter Wonderland Festival.
It's in Hyde Park, and is all done up with holiday festivities: an outdoor skating rink, ferris wheel, carnival rides, fairy lights. I know it'll be after Christmas, but SQUEE!

Stonehenge.
You all know Stonehenge. I missed out on seeing it the last time I was in England, and don't intend to miss out this time around. (I love piles of rocks.)

Jack the Ripper & Ghost Tour Walks.
I'm intrigued. I like walks. I like scaring myself silly. And at least I'll have someone to cuddle when I'm scared.

Plus spending as much quality time as I can with the boy while he's off work, if all goes well. I still can't believe we'll be in London for New Years Eve. How incredible is that?

Decisions.

I've always been a terrible decision-maker. It was harder for me when I was younger, as I hated being the one in charge of things, but even as an adult I tend to shy away from making the tough choices. I'd like to think it's because I'm a fairly mellow person who isn't interested in making a fuss, but no doubt it's because I'm just plain hopeless when it comes to taking charge. I'd rather avoid it, and have things done for me.

I had my first teaching interview with a UK school a few days ago, and despite the fast talking (nerves), rambling sentences (nerves) and sweaty armpits, I thought I did pretty good. I've been lucky enough to have always had a teaching job, I've never had to inteview for an education position before: this was a huge first for me. All nerves aside, I must have done a decent job, as the school offered me a position. It's a good school, the principal was lovely, it's a grade three class and it really sounds like me.

Sounds fantastic, yep. But here's the catch. It's a long way from home. It'll take about ninety minutes each way to arrive at the school, and I'll need to catch three different trains and then a bus. Because the school is in Greater London, and not in the city itself, the travel costs will be more expensive per month. I always knew that there would be travel involved, but I really didn't count on eight changes a day.

And also, the pay? It's not a fantastic offer. Being that I've had a few years experience in Sydney, the rate of pay is no different to me just working casually here. The reason we were going to the UK is to travel, yes, but also to save some money to get ahead when we move back home. Earning the same as what I'm earning in Sydney sort of defeats the purpose. Plus, the cost of living in London is a heck of a lot more expensive than home.

So here's the decision: to take the job because it's a nice school and deal with the long commute times ... or to decline, and hold off until I get there and do some interviews with schools closer to home. I already have a batch of agency interviews set up, so it's not like there is no work available: it just means it may take a little while longer to find it.

I think I've sort of made up my mind: But what would you do?

Oh, Hai!

Distracted by girly night of music videos.

Unsure about possible job offering less than average pay.

Loving random websites to sidetrack people.

Oh and, 10 days to go. OHEMGEE.

funny pictures

The Christmas Video I'll Never Tire Of.

I know this clip is an old one, and that 99.9% of the internet has already seen it and either a) gasped in horror, b) raised their eyebrows, or c) giggled hysterically, but I just can't help myself. Yep - I'm a (c).

It's the silly season, and nothing says 'happy holidays' more than presents especially made for your loved ones. Very special presents. Presents in boxes. Do you see where I am going with all of this?

Sing along with the boys, if you like. You know I will be!

(Beware: You'll soon hear some er.. naughty words.)

You'll have to click to view, now.

A Five Post Stampede.

In the spirit of today's post, let me give you five reasons why I'm resorting to a meme today instead of something witty & fun:

#It's grey.
#It's raining.
#I'm sick.
#I'm lazy.
#I was tagged by a new blogger: thanks, Lightening.

Here's how this one works: I'd not seen it before, which is unusual! In short, you simply choose an already-published blog post to fit into each of the five categories, and then spread the love around.

FAMILY
Sometimes family can drive you insane. But I'm not bitter.. or am I?:
A Loony Rant

FRIEND
It's rare to find people who you know will always be there for you, even if you don't see them very often. I think myself pretty lucky to have a few people like that, though this post speaks of just one of them:
Reminiscing

MYSELF
I think that the post which tells the most about me would have to be my classic 100 things list. I'll have to remember to update it again in the new year:
It's All About Me

MY LOVE
Where do you start when you're talking about the person that you love? Jason and I celebrated our 5-year anniversary (how appropriate!) from different sides of the world this year, but that doesn't change the fact that I adore him more than anyone else on the planet. If you're feeling sappy, stick around and watch the slideshow:
This Year's Love

ANYTHING I LIKE
Hrm. I'm still a big dork, so I guess this post would be fitting:
Confessions of a 20-Something Dork

So there you have it, a nice handful of posts that you may or may not have already ready about me. You might know how I feel about tagging - so if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. :)

In Love With My Secret Blogger Santa.

Seeing that this Christmas is all over the place, I was really excited to join up with Laurel & RA's Secret Blogger Santa - and I'm loving it. I really enjoyed attempting to think up random mini gifts for my own mystery blogger, which has been much harder than I anticipated.

The first gift that I recieved was a gorgeous little photo montage, showing all of the states I'll be visiting during my USA Contiki next year.

Aly's USA Contiki

Today I recieved a hand-made "SBS Insider’s Guide to London" brochure, full of handy hints about the grand ol' city I'll be moving to: helpful directions, best eats & best pubs.

Once again, they hit the nail on the head with the perfect gift!

I'll admit it: I'm smitten with my Santa, I really am. They've gone to the trouble of learning more about me, of finding out what is going on in my life (as if I'd let you forget about that!) and creating really personalised gifts. I love it. Am touched. I think it, and they, are grand.

I know that like any truly awesome super hero blogger, you have to keep your identity anoymous for just a little while longer. (Surely you'll be outing yourself at some point, right? Yes? Please?)

Whatever the case, and whoever you are, I love you. The End.

Over My Head.

Apparently you guys are in agreement with me: pieces of bread with nutella slathered on top can solve any problem. Or at least make you feel better about any problem. You don't need to talk to the hand today. Am feeling sociable. And friendly. And there are no LOLROOs in sight.

I've been thinking an awful lot lately, and I'll admit it; it's beginning to make me stressed. I was talking to Jason last night and mentioned that I just wished I was overseas now. I think I've had enough.

I'm moving to England. In two weeks time. EXACTLY TWO WEEKS.

That's pretty much it. It's all I'm thinking about. I'm going insane.

It hit me this morning as I was writing the date on the blackboard here at school, that it's really happening. And it's happening bloody soon. I've mentioned before that it felt like only last week that Jason left. Then it was half way done, and school was heading into the fourth term. Soon after that, out came the Christmas decorations. And the questions started: "When are you leaving?" Back then, my response was always "At the end of the year." Now when people ask me, the answer is "In a couple of weeks" - which I blurt out, and then go into panic mode.

I'm yet to sell my car - which now has a few dents in it from the freak hailstorm that hit us over the weekend. Talk about the worst timing in the world! I don't know anything about cars, so haven't listed it on any places yet. I feel like getting all girly and asking my daddy to help me do it, but I know he's busy too coming up to Christmas - so I'm not sure what I am going to do about that. Why can't I just close my eyes, blink a few times whilst waggling my nose, and then open them again to find my car sold & some extra $$ in my pocket?

Other than acquiring a nice stash of space bags, my packing hasn't progressed much further either. My room looks like a brothel (no, not literally) and I'm having to jump over piles of stuff just to get to my computer. Thankfully I have the laptop up and running now; meaning if I jump the right way, I can end up on my bed with a computer ready to go. It's the ultimate accessory for a couch potato like me.

I've not heard anything on the job front: agency after agency have set up first appointments for me, yet no jobs have been offered. Despite not worrying too much, I had my heart set on being offered something before I leave - looks like I'll have to be patient and hope the right job finds me once I'm over there. Or perhaps I'll just arrive in the UK and turn into the perfect little house-girlfriend. I could do that.

Add into the mix a whole assortment of other things to do, like staff nights out, dinner catch ups, visiting relatives, finalising school reports, getting through another eight days of school and realising that I'm going to be thousands of miles away from my parents and my pets, and you've got yourself a walking talking nervous wreck.

I'm ready to go, I really am. I'm ready for a change, I'm ready for a new experience. I'm ready to explore London. And I'm ready for lots of hugs with the boy; I wonder how slowly the next fourteen days will go by.

Do Not Disturb.

Not in the mood to talk to anyone today so I'm headed for bed, already in my pj's and holding a nutella sandwich hostage.

Yes. It's 5pm. Is that a problem?

I'll be back with my regular scheduled blogging tomorrow.

In the meantime ..

Funny Pictures

Everybody Loves Barbeques.

So the barbeque went off well yesterday, thanks to my parents doing an awesome job of cooking and organising. It was great seeing some old friends make the effort to come and stop by, and I'm happy to report that I felt very loved. Good for the ego, before leaving the country and all. Throw in some munchies, a few drinks and a whole lot of flies, and it was a pretty great day all up.

Let me say that the first punch I made was awesome. So awesome in fact, that I made a non alcoholic version as well so that other guests could indulge in it. The second punch? Not so lovely. The juice was a different kind and it wasn't so wonderful. Kind of piss weak, actually. Thankfully though, that was about the time that my brother and his girlfriend arrived home with some liquer ready to make cocktails: ever heard of a grasshopper? Mmm. I'm hooked.

One thing I learned from yesterday is that being a mingler is bloody difficult. We had family and family friends sitting outside, and my random assortment of friends sitting inside - and trying to make my way between the two proved to be pretty damn hard. Hopefully I managed to get around to everybody at some point, but I still felt like I was somehow not spending enough time with everybody.

Am a sucky hostess.

Now it's your turn; what have you been up to this weekend?

My Fingers Are Crossed.

We're throwing a backyard barbeque today as a sort of going away party, and so are going insane trying to get the place looking respectable. Will keep this short and sweet, and go help mum prepare the munchies.

Now I'm just hoping that people show up ... otherwise I'll be drinking an entire bowl of punch by myself. Score!

Rubbing It In.

To dear porn-offering person spamming my email,

I suppose I should start off with a thankyou, because I would hate to sound rude. Especially on a Friday morning. Nothing (alright, maybe not nothing) can make cranky on a Friday morning. Friday mornings are awesome. Not as awesome as Saturday mornings, but not far behind either. Am rambling now. Where was I? Ah, the thankyou. Yes.

Thankyou, kind spammer, for sending me three-four emails per day. It might sound a bit strange to be thanking you for this, but I feel it must be known: I am a bit of an email whore. When I'm on the computer, I'm guilty of checking my email compulsively; hoping to see the inbox light up. I'm blaming this blog for fueling the fire, because I love seeing blog comments get sent through (hint, hint) but the junk emails you've been sending? They help too, even if they end up in the trash not long after.

The problem I have is rather to do with the content of the emails.

I agree with your man.
xxx hardcore porn
Buy some buy some


Look, pal. I may be partner-free for the moment, but I'm coping just fine. I really don't need any of the products you are offering, especially if the word 'hardcore' is involved. That frightens me, just a little.

(Am apparently a prude.)

What I find very interesting, spammer dear, is that you seem to be in correspondence with my missing other half - obviously having some deep and meaningful conversations about my sex life, or lack thereof. Please cease this immediately. It's creepy. Very creepy.

I do like the persuasive tone at the end of your message though. Short, sweet and to the point. Nice work on that one, even if I'm still not going to be visiting you. If I can cope for four months, I can cope for another seventeen days. Thanks anyway, though.

Looking forward to tomorrow's emails,

Aly

A Laptop By Any Other Name.

There have been a few things that have made the forthcoming international move seem especially, well, real for lack of a better word. Having Jason leave a few months ago, having my UK Working Visa arrive at my doorsteps, and finally? Buying my first-ever laptop.

No doubt, I am probably one of the last people on the planet to not have their own laptop. I have a regular old computer here at home, and I didn't have a need for anything else. Ignoring the fact that it sounds like a jet engine taking off, it's never given me any problems. (And the rumbling noise actually soothes me to sleep.) Not any more, though! I bit the bullet a few weeks ago, parted with some much loved $$ and ordered myself a laptop. It arrived yesterday and I managed to set it up without blowing anything up. A good start, if you ask me.

Last night I was discussing my new purchase with Mick, and we got on to the topic of names. What could I call my shiny new friend? Thinking I was very witty, I suggested she be called Adele. Because it tickled my fancy, and I found it rather amusing. Unfortunately, that name was deemed too unoriginal (who are these name stealers?) so the next option given up was Dellilah. Dell-ilah. Dellilah! I'll take it!



Ohhhhh, it's what you do to meeeeeeee.

For No Mere Mortal Can Resist.

Today is going to be a long day.

After stacks of practice, the kidlets will finally be performing their long-anticipated dance routine in front of an audience. For those of you who missed the mention a few weeks ago, my class has joined with another class at school, and are going to be dancing to Thriller as zombies. Not only does it make for a pretty nifty end of year routine, but it was also on "The List". (Which I had almost forgotten about.)

The dance isn't exactly the same as the Michael Jackson filmclip. In fact, it's only loosely based on it. I'm open enought to admit that teaching six year olds how to grope their crotch and thrust their pelvis? Is not one of my teaching strong points. Plus, six minutes is a pretty long time for infants to dance independently. They've been doing really well (in my somewhat biased opinion) but there is always so much hype for the event that stage fright is inevitable.

Today the kidlets have a dress rehearsal in school hours, followed by the actual performance which begins in the late afternoon. As much as I love the end result, the whole process has been draining this year and I'll be very happy to have it all done with. Should be insanely cute. I'd take pictures, but wouldn't really be able to post them anyway due to confidentiality laws. Instead, just imagine if you will, about 40 youngsters dressed completely in black with white face paint, marching and wiggling around like zombies. Precious.

As for me? I'm all danced out, and the day hasn't even started yet. And as much as I love the song, I have a feeling I'll be skipping Thriller on my Ipod for a while. Hopefully things will all go smoothly. Keep your fingers crossed that nobody falls off the stage or is allergic to white face paint.

Edit: The long day is over (why thankyou, Norah Jones) and the performance went off without any real hitches. The kids looked awesome in their black outfits, white face and zombie makeup; the girls even went all out teasing their hair and making themselves look as scruffy as possible. Top that off with nearly all of them doing the moves on time, and it made for an awesome performance. Am a very proud teacher tonight. And tired. Very tired.

(Good news? No-one fell off the stage, lost control of their bladder, broke out in hives over face paint or cried. There was however, a split butt-seam and a whole lot of craziness.)

Proudly Announcing My Newest Love.

And no, it's not a puppy. Sadly I have to wait until I return from the working overseas gig before I can fulfil that particular lifelong ambition.

I am head over heels for my newest love, and feel that I may simply burst if I don't share him with all of you. Caring and sharing, it's what I do.

My newest love is an all-round life saver.
My newest love helps me to pack my suitcase and assures me that YES! I can cram a few more shirts into my packing pile.
My newest love understands that taking three pairs of shoes is impossible, and that YES! Put in a couple more.
My newest love doesn't judge me when I pack ugly stripy toe socks.
My newest love was found in the cupboard here at home a long time ago, but is soon to be replaced with a much newer model.
My newest love will probably come to the USA with me next year, and you'll be able to admire him for yourself.
My newest love is handy with a vacuum cleaner.

Have you worked out who he is yet?

Yep, he's a Space Bag. And he's making the horribly daunting task of packing seem a whole lot less scarier. Now if only my love could magically suck away the weight of the clothing as well, I'd be all set. Don't get me started on the 20-freaking-kilogram weight limit again.

I'm sure some of you are seasoned packing professionals: care to share some advice on what to take when you'll be living out of your suitcase for possibly two years? (And if you say pack as little as possible, I may hurt you. I intend on cramming as much in as I can!)

The Fab Five Shag List.

It's funny - a friend and I were discussing this list a few nights ago (whilst slightly under the influence) which started me thinking about it. And then as I'm checking my blogroll yesterday, Michelle had written a post about it -- must be great minds thinking alike!

Anywho, I decided to jump on the bandwagon myself, although I must admit that choosing five shaggable celebrities is actually hard to do. And no, I haven't consulted Jason about his list, though I can basically guarantee that Jessica Alba will take out the top spot.

david-boreanaz-picture-1

The-sultry-quiet-type: #5 David Boreanaz

jared_padalecki_01

The-tall-friendly-guy-next-door: #4 Jared Padalecki

john_mayer

The-lyrical-genius-and-musical-manwhore: #3 John Mayer

tn2_jason_behr_4

The-gorgeous-strange-alien-type-dude: #2 Jason Behr

jesse-bradford-echo-horror-remake

The-dimple-smiling-looks-like-Jason: #1 Jesse Bradford

Honourary mentions include Hugh Grant, Nicolas Cage & George Clooney.

So there you go, my picks for the list. I can sort of see a trend coming up in the celebrities I find attractive: tall, dark and handsome!

Who would you put on your list?

(*I'm stealing this title, because it made me giggle. Thanks, Sarah!)

There's Another Type of List?

Ahem.

Well, that was a nice little distraction, wasn't it?

Someone please remind me that posting whilst tipsy seems like fun at the time, but Aly + wine DOES NOT = comprehensible posting.

To decipher the post for those of you who do not speak/read drunk, I ended up at Kirby's house last night, where we had a chick flick session. Mean Girls, Bridget Jones & Edge of Reason. (Granted though, we mainly wanted to see the part with her in Thailand, sort of skimmed the rest.) We were going to watch Knocked Up as well, but ran out of time and/or energy.

I really do find Hugh Grant strangely attractive, though.

Which brings me to a question: apparently, there is some sort of a list that couples make up with five somewhat famous names on it. And if for some chance reason you were to meet those people and should the occasion arise, you're 'allowed' to go out on a date with them. How did I never hear of this before? Can someone please explain this concept to me?

Ding Dong!

You know whgat's a weird word? FpR! Fork!

I went out before. I'm watching moivies at Kirby's house now. We watched movies like Mean Girls and Bridget! And ew're about to watch gthe one with the MUSHROOMS~

I think I'm secretly in love with Hugh Grant. Hubba hubba.

Kirby claioms she doesnt like wine but she is drinking faster than I am. LIAR! *throws chocolates at tv screen* I'm correcting my typos but she is yelling at me because she dodn't correct her typos! Alco.

Ah-some! I can fit my whole fist in my mouth! Wanna see?

P.S. Hi Mum! I'm not coming home tonight! I'm staying at Kirby's!!

Cutting It Fine.

Two nights out in a row? Someone call the authorities!

It's 11.57 on the 30th of November -- talk about cutting it close on the very last day of NaBloPoMo! Just wanted to wish everyone a happy December for tomorrow (OH MY GOD) and well done if you managed to get through the month with no hassles.

Bring it on December, I'm ready for you. 25 days. The countdown begins.





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