Just Call Me Mary Poppins.

I don't mind it when it rains. (Good thing too, living in this sunny city and all.)

Seriously though, it's quite relaxing. Everything seems fresh, relaxed, peaceful - at least when you're sitting inside and away from it all.

What I do need to invest in? A decent umbrella!

I've gone through about three since getting here.  On arrival, Jase had brought me a compact sized one; unfortunately, it quite literally blew inside out the first time I took it out in the rain. Since then, I've bought a few more, and they've all ended up in the bin.

We do have a big giant cane of an umbrella, except I feel like a grandma when I use it.

What I need, is a small umbrella that is light and easy to shove into my handbag, and that won't blow to smithereens the second the wind blows. It's got to be cheap (hey, I'm saving for shopping in the USA!) and even better, it has to be pretty.

Suggestions?

Exploring Our Options.

So our lease in this flat is going to be up in a few months; in actual fact, since it's been over six months since Jase first moved in, we can give our notice period anytime now really. I adore our flat, but if there was an option to move somewhere closer to work/the city and in a nicer place, let's face it: I'd take it.

I went looking at a couple of apartments after work today, just because the opportunity fell into my lap. I probably shouldn't have gone, because I am the world's most impatient person and also? I'm great at getting my hopes up. I saw a cute two-bedroom place, close to the station but not overly big. Then I was taken to a brand new block of apartments, never been lived in, very modern and flash, and shown the most amazing one-bedroom place, with a huge adjoining terrace and massive living area. That was it. I was in love.

Sadly, it was way over our budget; but I then saw the last place of the day - a nice, one-bedroom place that has a huge big bedroom, spacious living room and loads of floor space. I want it. I want it NOW!

(See? I told you I shouldn't have gone looking.)

So now it's down to Jase checking out this place, and for us to make the decision if we want to move or not. Either way, we will be spending a little more on rent, but we're closer to central London, and the flats are perfect. I just wish I had an extra fifty pounds a week to spare, because I would've put a deposit down on the terrace flat in a heartbeat.

Decisions suck. And so does waiting!

You See This?

This . . . this, my friends, is why I need a pet.

The cuteness! It hurts my heart. I miss my animals.

Four Months.

I've lived in the UK for exactly four months as of today. Four months. As in, a third of this year. It's going incredibly fast, and some days I can't get over how quickly I've grown accustomed to calling it my home. Don't get me wrong, I have my girly melt-down moments where I feel like I'm missing out on a lot of things back home, but I would say that 95% of the time, I'm content. When I'm meeting new teachers who tell me that they only want to stay for six months before heading back home, I secretly think they're crazy; why would you come all this way and only stay a few short months?

As easy as it is to complain about the public transport here, it's actually fairly painless for the most part. I never thought I'd take to catching multiple modes of transportation in the morning, particularly coming from a place where I accessed everything by car. I don't mind it though; it's actually sort of nice being able to take a breather and read the paper of a morning on the way to walk. (Of course, breathing is highly over-rated when the person next to you hasn't brushed their teeth or applied deoderant.)

I love the cold weather, so fitting in with that hasn't been too difficult. I think I'm the only person living in the United Kingdom whose heart drops at the thought of warm summer days. Give me a cup of tea and a blanket to snuggle under, over sweaty armpits and greasy skin any day of the week!

I've tried to push myself to do things I wouldn't normally have the chance to do back home. Back home, I was never much of a social butterfly, though I'm doing my best to get out and explore while I'm here. No, I'm not going out clubbing and drinking every evening; that's never going to be me. But I am trying to do new things, experience random events, and meet new people. I hope that continues no matter how long I stay.

London is an amazing place to visit, and even more amazing to call home. It's so diverse, and often overwhelming. There are so many parts to it that I don't think I'll ever get a chance to explore, but I'm looking forward to doing my best. In four months time, I hope to have a whole stack of things to add to my memory bank.

Long story short? I think what I'm trying to say is that four months in, I'm happy.

Ghoulies, Chucks and Curries.

Jason and I both did our own thing this Friday night; he had a boys catch-up night with his friends and I had a girly night with mine!

I headed with some friends to Monument, where we embarked on a 'haunted London' walk: an hour and a half of wandering around in dark alleyways, hearing about creepy stories and ghosties. After that, we headed to Brick Lane - well renowned for it's CURRY. A full meal later, and I'm home and stuffed to bursting point. Was a great night, and I'll steal some pictures from my friend Chris as soon as she gets them up.

(I also wore in my new chucks tonight, which did fairly well considering the amount of walking we did. Now if only I could stop them from being so white.

I will keep it short and sweet for now, because I have to go look after my tipsy other half, who is a cheap drunk. (Seriously, he's a lightweight!)

Fashionista!

Seen walking down the street today;

A girl wearing black tights, brown stiletto cowboy boots, white short shorts, a fur coat over a fluoro green singlet top, and a bakerboy hat.

Only in central London, eh?

Some Birthday Musings.

My brother turned 21 today - 21! I feel so old. And so far away.

Even though I'm over here and he's back home, he still makes me laugh. We chatted online a few weeks ago, and it reminded me that he is turning out to be such a decent guy. He'll forever be the same old frustratingly annoying and cheeky sibling that he's always been, and I love him for that. But I'm realising more and more that I actually like him. Despite his flaws (and lame jokes), he's turned into a really decent man.

(Now he just needs to grow out of the whole spending money on his car phase, and start on the whole saving money for a European adventure trip phase.)

Happy birthday, my not-so-little brother!

An American Werewolf, er, Diner in London.

Had a great night out after work with friend of mine, one who I actually met via a different kind of blogging about a year ago! We went to this funky warehouse-looking pub sort of close to my work, and after being kicked out of there, headed to a cute little American style diner for a traditional milkshake - classic!

(We have emailed for a while now, but this is the first time we had met face to face. The verdict? She's my long lost twin. Non-identical, but still fantastic.)

I'm pooped now though, because going out on a Tuesday? So weird for me. Poor Jase is already asleep, and I'm trying to tiptoe around the place without knocking too many things over. Not easy when you are a clutz like I am! So while I keep this short and sweet, a big huge thank you to Jenny for answering my 'woe is me, I am so lonely, boo hoo' pleas for attention. We're so on for Friday night, my book organising and obsessive fixer-uppering new friend.

How was your Tuesday?

Quote of the Day.

"You know, mean people suck." - Max, Roswell.

Aint that the truth!

Girlfriend Stuff.

Lately I have felt myself becoming one of those annoying girlfriends that I've always claimed I would never be. I always considered myself to be fairly low maintainence, but maybe I'm a little needier than I thought. I'm hoping this is just a phase and that I'll snap out of it soon. I think I just need a bit of reassurance, for whatever reason.

Thankfully, J is somehow able to put up with me, so all I can do is thank my lucky stars, make him a cup of coffee and try not to complain when he puts his cold feet on me.

Oh, and I'm going to do my best to quit the whinging.

(That doesn't mean it's going to stop. I mean, come on, one step at a time here.)

But I'll try.

Quick Recovery.

It's handy living with someone who is fairly up-to-speed on this obsessive/compulsive blogging habit of mine, because it works out perfectly when sickness arises.

Last night, out of nowhere, I came down with the sudden and drastic 'Oh hell, I think I need to barf, can't move without fear of barfing, but can't actually barf and will instead just feel like I am DYING OF THE QUEASE' illness. Apparently it is going around.

(Seriously, one second I was fine, and the next second I was literally green in the face. I went to bed and slept for twelve flipping hours. Feel fine now.)

By the way, all in favour of Jason doing a regular guest blog for me, please raise your hands. I am trying to inflate his ego by showing him the comment love on yesterday's post, but he's playing hard to get. Silly little man. We will get him back, oh yes!

I spent most of today skulking around the house in my fluffy pink dressing gown, although I did pry myself out of it to take a shower just before dinner. We're being homebodies, because the wonderful British transport system has shut down our train for the entire weekend; very handy, that. I have lost count of the number of Roswell episodes I've watched today, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Other than that, life is quiet right now. Quiet, but comfortable. I like it like that.

And the winner is Sickness!

I never thought I would see the day when Aly wasn't well enough to actually blog. Heck, even when we go away she still somehow manages to find a way to blog even if it's by getting guest bloggers to post here.

Unfortunately I don't possess the same flair and imagination as my significant other and therefore will keep this short and sweet. Much like my own blog which only lasted 1 week.

Without much further ado, I present to you a youtube clip I saw about a year ago which I thought was hilarious. Hope you do too.



Jason

Cramming: Now With Added Rock & Roll.

Busy work day, and am not looking forward to tomorrow - because it's going to be just as busy, but with twice the catch-up paperwork that goes along with it. I love finishing early, don't get me wrong. It's just that finishing 2.5 hours earlier each day for 2 weeks, but with the same workload, is a little hectic! Next week the hours go back to normal, and I'll go back to whinging about coming home late and tired.

It's a vicious cycle!

I have nothing else to say, so let me distract you with some witty humour:

funny graphs
For more funnies, check out Graph Jam. It's a fantastic time-killer, that's for sure.

A Haiku Kind of Day.

Bomb scare at my work,
Left us standing in the street.
My feet really hurt.

Old re-runs of Friends,
I need to get this boxset.
Loving Rachel's hair.

Wanting a pet now,
Going to write to landlord.
Keeping fingers crossed.

Princess of Procrastination.

Today was one of those somewhat uneventful days, where time seems to be crawling around in slow motion and then all of a sudden you look up, and the day is over.

I'm not sure that I like those days.

Seriously, the highlight of today was getting shampoo and conditioner (for piss-weak, dry hair like mine) for a whopping total of three quid. It smells nice too.

This week I've been finishing work at 4pm, meaning I'm generally home within the hour. This is about the time that I would finish work teaching last year, and earlier this year while I was teaching in London - so I'm feeling a bit spoiled. Unfortunately it doesn't last long - as of next week, I'm back to my 6:30pm finishes, which will leave me back in my usual exhausted state.

It's been a while since I arrived, and I really do need to get my hair cut soon. My fringe is at the slimy-kinked-stringy stage, where I'm lost without the help of a bobby pin or two to keep it out of my face. The rest of my hair is fairly low maintainence, but it does need some of the endy bits snipped. I've been keeping an eye out for hairdressers since I arrived here, but they're either big name salons that charge a million pounds (possibly exaggerated) for a cut, or they're dodgy barbershops that offer women's hair cuts, but only seem to have men inside. Yeah. No. I'm cheap, and I'm not a dude.

I guess I'm spoiled, since before leaving Australia I was having my hair done by a really fantastic lady that my mum recommended, who did a full shampoo, cut and blowdry for about $10. I absolutely love having my scalp massaged, so I am searching for the full salon experience, just without the dollars. Sadly London is not helping me out in that respect, and my hair is looking shaggy. Very shaggy.

Perhaps I should just let it grow out until August, and then indulge in a nice comfy American salon experience. That's if I don't wake up one morning in the meantime and start shaving my head ala Britney in frustration. The water here does nothing for hair.

Okay, could I sound any more like a girl? I promise I'm still the least girly girl around. I am actually quite proud of the fact that I'm generally a low maintainence person; no fussing around in the bathroom, just in, out, quick hair dry and I'm done. I don't really wear makeup, save for a tinted moisturiser & brown mascara if I'm feeling daring. Some days I'd love to look as glam and done-up as some of the other women on the tubes of a morning, but to be perfectly honest? I wouldn't have the foggiest clue where to start. I reckon I'd be the ideal candidate for one of those makeover shows.

I can't believe I'm still talking girly. I think I need a change of subject.

Well, if all goes well this week, I'll have been at my job for a whopping three months. Once this week is done, I need to put in a probation report, and if it's approved, I'm officially a fully fledged member of the team. Being the wee competitive little freak that I am, I can't wait to get through this week.

What else is happening? Oh, well, I'm going slightly crazy without any animals around me to look after. So crazy that I've taken to checking out the Gumtree website during my lunchbreak to see what pets are looking for new homes, because I quite honestly don't know how I'm going to cope being petless for the next three years. I know Jason thinks I'm insane, but there really hasn't been a time in my life that I've been without a companion. My pups, my bird, my bunnies, and now there's nothing. A little piece of me is dying, dying.

(Yes, dramatic. But it's true!)

I'd love to adopt one of the many kittens who are being given away because they can't find homes for them. It would be a totally spoiled indoor kitty. I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. Well, no, I wouldn't call him Squishy. But you get the idea. Kitties can be house-trained! We have plenty of love for kitties. And considering we're here to work at this point, and saving our big travel-spree for years down the track when we leave, it'd be perfect. I've tried using the Facebook Pups & Kittens to tide me over, but the virtual pets just aint doing it for me.

I think it's a lost cause even getting my hopes up over it, but still. Worth a shot.

How's that for random ramblings?






Coming to America.

I talked a bit about my American tour last year when I booked it, but that was well over a year away at the time. Time is going so quickly though, and it's now only four months away, so I thought I'd give you an update on the plan. Since then, I'd like to think I've met some new blogging friends, who might not know what my plans are.

I'm flying in to San Francisco on the 6th August, for 2 nights. A friend from back home, Mel, who stalks this blog, is flying from Sydney and meeting me there. We don't have any huge plans for San Fran at the moment, other than being recommended to do an Alcatraz tour at night, to scare off our pants. I'm all for spooky stuff.

After that, Mel and I are catching a quick flight to Los Angeles, where we're spending 4 nights in a somewhat dodgy-sounding hotel in Venice Beach. LA is so insane, I don't know what we're doing here either yet - but hopefully squishing in some good ol' sightseeing and a trip to Universal Studios for good measure.

We're meeting Kirby (yes, my real life & blogging friend Kirby!) on the 12th August, and we are all shuffling down somehow to Anaheim for another 4 nights - Disney! Woo! I'm also tempted to get back out to Six Flags at some point, because omg, that will keep the ride nut in me happy. Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE amusement parks?

On the 16th August, we begin our Grand Southern Contiki tour - a 24 day stretch that takes us from Anaheim right across to New York. This is the tour I'm going to be doing. (On that page, you can see the different states, stops & sightseeing that is included in the package, too.) We get to see loads, but the downside is that we miss out on Chicago and the other mid-western states, boo. If I had the dollars and the time off work, I'd totally add the Grand Northern tour on top of that, but alas, poor.

Once we've been to all of those different spots, we'll be finishing in New York City - where we're staying for an extra week, before heading home on the 14th September.

Are you exhausted yet?

I know it's a little early to start thinking about things, but I'd be super interested to find out if anyone wants to catch up for a coffee, dinner, drink or bargain shopping spree at some point - because in most of the bigger stops, we'll get time to ourselves to explore. I'm all for being a crazy tourist, but let me confess; I'd love to meet some of your smily faces along the way! Give me a holler if it sounds like something you would be interested in, and I can give you a better idea of dates.

(I promise I'm not an axe murderer, as if I'd ever get THAT through security!)*

*Doesn't that make you feel so much more secure?





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