The Wedding Date - Locked & Loaded!

I am feeling super accomplished since returning from Sydney to London. Maybe it's having completed the essentials of basic wedding planning - the trifecta of church, reception, photographer - but whatever it is, I'm basking in the glow of being a fully fledged bride-to-be.

That being said, all of this has had me thinking about how nontraditional we are.

I don't see Jase and I as a run of the mill couple. We have always floated through our lives and our relationship at our own unique pace, which doesn't always fit with the normal, traditional way of doing things. As I've gotten older, I care less and less about fitting in to other people's perceptions of what should happen and when - but it's still hard not to compare sometimes. Such is life.

We met while fairly young, with me having just turned 18 and having just started my first year of university. Because of that, we dated comfortably - for years. By the time we had started looking to the future and the possibility of working abroad, it was fairly obvious that we were in it for the long haul; but this little adventure would bring about quite a few new hurdles our way.

For a start, Jase ended up getting a work opportunity that was too good to pass up, which saw him leave Sydney five months earlier than we had anticipated. Being in a long distance relationship is tough; my kudos go to all couples who persevere through them. I learnt a lot about myself in that time we spent on different continents, but it also made me realise the good things that we had - and to appreciate everything we had going for us.

Anyone who knows me could probably tell you just how much I was craving an engagement ring over the past couple of years. Jase and I had the usual bumps in the road, but were as strong as ever - having survived the months apart, the moving in/cohabitation stage, and each of us finding our own feet and routine in our new life here in the United Kingdom.

I was annoying. (Trust me, I know. I was there, hearing every whinging word that came out of my mouth and cringing at what a GIRL I was being. Poor Jase.)

I wasn't being high maintenance and wanting to get hitched straight away - I just wanted the next step to happen. I'm so glad that the boy managed to keep his engagement plan a secret, because I loved it even more not knowing it was coming.

Unlike most newly engaged females, I had no great plans for the actual wedding once the ring was on my finger. I say 'most' very lightly, as I don't like to generalise - it's just that our situation was once again a little different than most. We both knew we would get married back in Sydney, and since we had no plans to leave London at the time, planning was put on hold. The Internet is great when it comes to planning, but it's not the same as being there in person and getting a real feel for a location - so we waited. That's just what worked for us, a nice long engagement that we could celebrate while still on our European adventure.

I love the kind of couple we are. It makes me incredibly happy that we are both individuals who can give the other the space they need to be themselves. When the boy needs to be flexible with contract locations, we work it out. When I want to be independent and have girly travelling time with friends, we work it out. Whenever random things are thrown at us, we work it out. It's just what we do.

So now it's real. And it's real because... we have a date! An actual, set in stone, money-deposited, honest-to-goodness date.

11-6-11.

The best is yet to come!

Just a Little Jet-lagged.

Since arriving home on the weekend, I've been in the usual zombiefied state that comes after a long haul flight. And since I was doing this holiday in a really short time frame, I had the beauty of doing the journey twice. In two weeks. Somewhere along the way, I lost two days of my life sitting in a glorified tin can with artificial air making my hair oily, skin greasy and nasal cavity crusty. Oh, the joys of flying!

So Saturday was spent quite literally trying to keep my eyelids propped open as long as possible. Jase did his best to keep me awake and get me back into the timezone, and I tried my best, really. In actual fact, I failed. Quite spectacularly, really. I think I took three naps that first day. Can you call them a nap if you snore your way through a few hours at a time? I'm not sure. All I know is that those snoozes were quality sleep time.

I promised I'd come back and write up a wedding related post, but I'd really love to show you some pictures to go with the commentary. Unfortunately, inserting images requires effort, and effort requires functioning brain cells, and let's face it; I'm just not there yet.

BUT..

Anyone who is following me on Twitter may have seen a tweet of mine from this afternoon which was a bit random and out of the blue. The one I'm talking about looked like this:
So I have officially handed in my notice.

Yes, after quite a lot of consideration and budget talks with Jase, I met with my team leader and handed in my resignation notice today at my office. There are a few reasons behind it which I'll come to in another post, but suffice it to say that this was a pretty big deal for me. I'll know when my official end date is over the next couple of days, but for now, I'll be wrapping things up at work and getting my head around what happens next.

Awake-ish.

Ahoy, friends. I have been a slack little blogger - the past few days I have been telling myself to post just before bed, only I'd eventually get up there and crash without getting the chance.


I was worried that the volcanic ash was going to affect my journey home, since there were so many problems with flying into UK air space. In fact, things were looking so grim for a while there, that I was mentally preparing myself for being stranded at home in the beautiful high-20's (Celsius, people) weather for a few extended weeks of unpaid vacation... only the day before my scheduled flight, everything resumed as normal.

So, here I am. Back in London, which feels surreal as ever. Home again with the boys, even if one of them isn't being particularly smoochy just yet (I'll let you decide which one) and trying my best to stay awake until this evening if I can.

It's not an easy feat when your flight was full to the brim thanks to the volcano problems, and when you only really managed to get shut-eye for 15 minute periods at a time, thanks to the stupid man sitting behind you kneeing your chair.

I've already caved and had two naps today, and I'll probably give in and go to bed in an hour or so. Oh, bed. Nothing like sitting up straight & uncomfortable for a day and a half in transit, to really make you appreciate being able to actually lie down and sleep.

I'll post more this week about the trip back soon - and fill you in on all the joys of wedding planning so far. Squee!

I'm Always Right.

Well, hello there.

I survived and I'm back in Australia - sadly free of an upgrade, thanks to a full plane with about a thousand (slight exaggeration?) passengers on board. Almost 24 hours later and without even a hint of sleep, I staggered into Sydney airport, looking slightly worse for wear and then had to endure the panic of waiting at the luggage belt for almost an hour.

(I swear, my suitcase is always the VERY last one to come out on the belt. Every time. It gives me heart palpitations. I'm sure it's since I am super early on every flight, so my suitcase is at the bottom of the pile... but I get incredibly nervous waiting around for it while everyone else has theirs. All good though. The suitcase got there in the end.)

I managed to get a good eight hours of sleep last night and mum and I were off in the early hours to get started on the wedding venue search. The first place we saw was okay - but really was just okay. It had ugly carpet and pink curtains (gag) that wouldn't match any of the colours I had in mind... and was in a historic house, so had its share of interesting quirks. It wasn't the one, but it was only the first visit so not too worried about that.

We also ventured right into Sydney city to visit another venue; one I've been super excited about for weeks now, as its location is AMAZING. It's literally right under the Harbour Bridge and it's got an amazing view! We arrived early and had a walk around in the sunshine and stopped for some lunch in The Rocks, heading back to the venue just shy of our 2pm appointment time.

This is where things went pear shaped.

There was a function on inside, and so we had to ask a staff member for help - so they sent out the manager. He turned us away.

(!)

(Pause for dramatic effect.)

I told him about the appointment that was booked, and he told me that I couldn't possibly have had one, as there were functions on in both rooms and that it was impossible to go in and view them. I tried to get the email up on my iPhone while we were talking, but my lovely phone decided not to turn on, which was very helpful. Manager-guy also told me that the venue co-ordinator was away on holidays that weekend, sorry,so it must have been wrong and no, you really can't come in today.

And that was it! Talk about a let-down.

I walked away furious and may have had my first Bridezilla moment in the car on the way home - because what a waste of time, money, tolls, parking tickets! My stinking iPhone decided to turn on then and hey, GUESS WHAT THE EMAIL SAID? Let me give you a clue.

Something along the lines of 'Hi, 2pm is confirmed, I'll be away but there will be someone there to give you an inspection, just walk inside and ask any staff member. Here's our address, and see you then, kthxbye.' (It may have been slightly wordier than that. And with better grammar.)

So, blah.

It doesn't help that I had my hopes up that this was the venue. The one where you walk inside and just know that this is where you can see yourslf getting married. This is where you can picture people sitting, and this is what it'll be like. The one that can convince you to stop looking elsewhere and be happy with what you've got.

(I know, I know, high hopes for Day One, but that's kind of why I planned this visit at the very beginning.)

Not even getting a look inside the door was just plain mean. Plus, the manager guy gave me a look. Not just any look, a look. The kind of look as if to say, 'Sorry lady, you're wrong and I'm busy... please leave.' And seriously! I was right! I knew I was right! I am the world's most organised planner - so when I say I have an appointment, I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT. Geez!

Not a great start to the fortnight of wedding extravaganza, but it's early days yet - and I'm so happy being back here. How could you not be when you are visiting a city this beautiful?



Honey, I Can See Your House From Here.

So, I'm more than a little obsessive compulsive when it comes to planning and organisation. I spent the Easter break packing my suitcase for the trip home, and thought I was sorted then and there. The idea was to take as many extra clothes back home with me as I could - so that I could leave them there, and return with a relatively empty suitcase.

Extra clothing? Check. Trinkets for friends and family? Check. Shoes I don't wear often? Check. Books I needed? Check.

Sorted. Or so I thought.

Since last weekend, my suitcase has sat proudly in the hallway, basically ready to pick up and go. It wasn't until I woke up this morning and started getting dressed for the day, that I realised what I'd completely forgotten to pack.

Knickers.
Bras.
Underwear of any and all kind.
Not even a lousy sock.

Now that could have potentially been very awkward indeed.

Suffice it to say, I re-packed everything again this afternoon. A few thorough checks later, and I am officially done. My suitcase weighs a few kgs over the 20-kg weight limit - but I've always managed to get by with that, so fingers crossed it should be fine. If not, I can always reshuffle things around and put on a few extra layers of clothing for the flight! My carry on bag is chock full, and my handbag is plane-ready, with everything neatly baggied and organised.

And most importantly, my planner is labelled, dated and ready to rock and roll - I honestly cannot wait for these wedding venue visits I have lined up. I've checked in online already and my plane ticket is printed and is sitting in my bag, ready to go.

Now to get the blasted flight of doom over and done with!

Tomorrow morning I'll be heading off to Paddington (with J's assistance; he's good for hauling heavy suitcases up flights of stairs) and then will be farewelling the boy and catching the connecting train to Heathrow - where I'll sit with a coffee for a few hours and read, because as you've probably guessed, I'm one of those people who gets to the airport obscenely early just in case. Yep. That's me.

So, if you've got me on your twitter feed (and if you haven't, add me: breathegently) I'm going to go right ahead and apologise in advance, because I'm sure I'll be posting far too many updates tomorrow. And since it'll be the last time I use my iPhone for a while, thanks to the outrageous price of roaming internet abroad, I intend on making the most of it.

See you on the other side!

New Digs.

If you're reading this right now, you've probably just come from my old blog. And if you've made it this far, I salute you.


Changing a blog isn't easy at the best of times. It's even less easy, when you've been using a certain name for last five years that actually includes your first name. Catchy? Yes. Smart? Not so much. Back then, it was all about being found. I wanted people to find me. I wanted them to read, I wanted them to comment, and I wanted the attention and loved what came along with it.

Now that I've been blogging for a while, I'm not so fussed. It's not a competition, and it's not a game. And when random people kept coming across my old blog simply by searching up my first name, well, it had me worrying. What's the point in keeping a blog when you can't write what you want to write, for fear of people actually reading it?

Hence, this move. I'm here, I'm a little less ME, but I'm hopefully going to get to share a bit more of ME too, if that makes sense. (It makes sense in my mind, at least.)

If you're new here, great! If you're an old faithful, even better. Here's to moving forward with a little less paranoia over who is reading.. or searching through Google.

It'd be great if you could change any links over, and update your blogfeeds. I promise I won't be going anywhere... for a while.

And a completely off topic and irrelevant little extra for today:

3 days until I fly home!

This is going to be the longest short week I've experienced in a while. I can't wait to get back to Sydney and start sharing Operation wedding-plan with all of you.

Come Fly With Me.

This time next week, I'll be finishing up at work and getting ready for my last night in the UK before my two-week Australia visit! I am MORE than a little excited, and working from home tomorrow before the Easter break PLUS the long weekend, is going to make the time fly by.

Speaking of flying... I've been on a mission this week.

What is that mission? I wanted to find out everything I could about getting randomly upgraded on a flight. The flight from London to Sydney (and vice versa) is a horror, nearing 23 hours of flying time. It's broken into two legs, with a couple of hours stop-over in Asia (usually Singapore or Thailand) and I won't lie: it's painful. I've done it loads of times now, and it doesn't seem to get any easier. In fact, knowing what's ahead tends to make it just that little bit worse.

Because the countries are so far apart, tickets are expensive. As such, the only way I can afford to fly is cattle-class, also known as economy class, where most of the mere mortals end up. It's painful. It's squashed. And I inevitably end up stuck behind a very tall gentleman who reclines his chair for the entire flight. Interestingly, no matter how far in advance I plan my flight, and I'm a notoriously early planner (have had this flight booked since last November), I never end up with a row to myself. I always end up stuck in the back end of the plane, completely surrounded by people. It's awful. I hate it.

You see, I feel like I've contributed to my side of the positive flight karma system.

I only fly with one airline, because I'm a Frequent Flyer and I like to accumulate points. I fly with Qantas, because I'm Australian and I always book with them if I can... it makes sense to get as many points as possible.

And honestly, I'm an awesome traveller. I never piss off the flight attendants. I always smile and say thank you. I put up with the screaming children and the reclining passengers, and I try very hard not to elbow my seat passenger while I'm buttering my bread roll with a plastic knife. I also wear deoderant and brush my teeth and tend not to get up a lot during the flight, as I hate crawling over the top of people that are trying to sleep. I am the ideal passenger!

Because I'm a single traveller, I'm always the one that Qantas call upon to move seats - usually to accommodate for groups or families that for some reason have ended up split up on the flight. And every single time, I do it. Why wouldn't I? I would hate to be on the other end of that deal and stuck sitting with a stranger while my entire family sit together. I'm nice about it. I don't mind, at all. As long as I'm near a window that I can fall asleep on at some point, with my head at a 90 degree angle, I'm happy. (Well, as happy as you can be on a long-haul flight.)

Even still, even the times I've been switched, it's just been to another squishy economy seat. I've never managed to score an upgrade. Ever. Every time I fly, I hope this will be the day it happens, but so far I've been left unlucky. I'm hoping next week will be the one.

It seems like every second person I know has been upgraded at some point or another. I spent my lunch break searching for clues, and have found out that Qantas is notoriously bad with handing out free upgrades. Bummer! So far, I've been advised to be nice to the check-in and gate crew (check, I am always nice!) and to dress smartly, so no jeans or uggs for me. Those things, I can do - and usually do anyway!

Have you ever been randomly upgraded? Tell me all about it... and rub your luck off on me!





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