Saturday, 29 January 2011

I Am Not A Tree...And Other Thoughts...

After a couple of hours in a local cafe with friends (yes there was a glass of wine involved) I have been catching up on the week's worth of blogging and I found myself drawn once again to the meanderings of Lauren Holgate (@ ladaisi) by the catchy headline 'You Are Not A Tree'.

Wondering what it all meant (as it is quite obvious I am NOT a tree), I read on to learn...

Aha, I thought, this is to the point and kind of catchy...there just maybe a gem or two more here!

And then I quite liked this one...

...which is something I try to apply in my daily commute - by NOT being plugged in to earphones!  Believe me, there are moments of fractured glory every day if you watch and listen.  (BTW, did anyone realise that there is classical music playing in the Vauxhall tube station ticket hall during morning peak hour?)

But in all honesty, I think my favourite one is this...

Brutal, cynical and to the point.

Is this really the one that struck a chord with me?

Some say platitudes are 'crap' but in my experience, they have an ability to sneak in through a chink in the armour when you least expect it.  And now I'm starting to wonder what this might mean about me...and how I can, in my glass-half-full kind of way, define 'stupid' in a motivational and optimistic light.

'Stupid is as stupid does' (from inspirational tear-jerker, 'Forrest Gump') is the only thing I can think of so it doesn't bode well...

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Australian Flood Appeal...A Shindig For A Good Cause...

As the world watched our dry and drought-stricken landscape disappear beneath swirling flood waters, first in Queensland and now in country Victoria, Australian expats will have felt more keenly than ever that heart-breaking tyranny of distance as these tragic events unfolded.  My urgent emails and phone calls to check that loved ones were safe and the  relief I felt as I discovered my family and friends were ok have now been replaced by the sad and numbing realisation that others have not been so lucky with stories like that of 13 year old Jordan Rice, who saved his brother and lost his life, reminding me that the devastation is far deeper as flood victims face the monumental task of re-building businesses, lives and communities.

And it would appear that it isn't over yet as reports of flooding and the ensuing devastation continues unabated. 

This Wednesday (26th January) is Australia Day, a time traditionally for we Aussies to get together for a bit of a shindig and celebrate all that is great about being Australian.  One of our greatest traits is our 'get-on-with-it' attitude in the face of adversity:

 "Without doubt the best quality we observe across the entire Australian community is a natural willingness to pitch in and have a go, to help others....It is a generosity of spirit and a selflessness that is perhaps our most precious heritage to hand on to younger and newer Australians - a nation of people who care for and look out for each other."   General Peter Cosgrove, ex Chief of Australia's Defence Force

And in fine Aussie spirit, my lovely friend April has been inspired put together a fab Charity Wine Tasting event to mark Australia Day 2011 and provide a way to support our friends and family and the communities afflicted.

19 Bevis Marks, London, EC3A 7JB
Wednesday, January 26th, 7.00pm-10.30pm
Nearest Tube/s (important over here!!!):
Liverpool St, Aldgate

Tickets are £20 in advance (they'll be £25 on the door so in the immortal words of Ian 'Molly' Meldrum, do yourself a favour and book early!) but even better than that, Hemingways have thrown their hat in the ring and 10% of the bar takings for the event will go to the flood appeal.  Howzat??

For tickets and to be included on the guestlist, please email April by clicking here or get in touch via the Event Facebook page here.

So whether you are Australian or not, if you fancy a knees up with a bit of additional 'feel-good factor' on Wednesday (or know someone who might), get yourself/them down to Hemingways...pronto!!!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Breaking News...from ad broad

A little bit of humour from ad was laugh out loud funny so I just had to pinch it and share...

The moral of this story?  Keep an Aussie busy or we'll get up to no good! New Zealanders were harmed in the making of this ad...although we may have offended a Kiwi or two!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A Conscious Incompetent...

This week I started my new job and I find myself back in that uncomfortable place of Conscious Incompetence...when you know that you know absolutely nothing.

Without a shadow of a doubt there's some Unconscious Incompetence there too (I don't know what I don't know) but that doesn't count because I don't know about it...yet!

And this has all been combined with some god-awful jetlag which resulted in me hitting - no, head-butting the wall vigorously and repeatedly about Wednesday.  (What a joy I must have been to be around!)

So I'm frantically trying to muster some of my Competence (Conscious or Unconscious - I really don't mind at this point) to offset that first day at school feeling of 'how on earth will I fit in' and 'what will be my contribution to this new community'.

A bit like when I moved here 7 years ago and began 'Life in the UK'...

...and here I am, tap tap tapping away in my front window and taking a brief few moments before the inevitable Sunday evening maelstrom of getting ready for the Work Week whilst watching entertainment of the mindless, sparkly variety (currently Dancing on Ice for those of you who don't live in the UK).

Now that's something I know about!

ps...I'd also like to take this opportunity to welcome 2 new followers to the Gidday From The UK peanut gallery...Lil Chicky and Anji.  Hooray! Bonza! You Little Ripper! and all settle in and make yourselves right at home!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Red Rag To A Bull...The 50 Book Challenge...

So one of my fellow bloggers, I Blame Oprah, posted about this 50 Book Challenge and as I love love love reading, I thought I'd give it a go. (Just in case you didn't get the point, the aim is to read 50 books during the year.)

I've added a new page so you can check out my progress, marvel at any pithy comments I might share about said tomes and keep me honest if you like.

And let's face it - I'm likely to have greater chance of success with this than the Great Bake-Off which is still

Let the literary marathon commence!

ps...Book 3 is already underway - Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Life is Sweet...One For The Girls...

Following our nefarious shopping adventures of yesterday, we were off this morning for some serious's the short version of what happened...

There were massage for each of us...
(Look at those very smiley faces...aaaahhhh!)

...and much scrubbing, rubbing and painting to produce very pretty paws.

It was then time for a tad more shopping followed by some sweet, sweet sustenance at Theobroma Chocolate's the short version (again) of what happened...

Before, there were chocolate covered waffles and ice-cream...

Later, the chocolate covered waffles and ice-cream were gone...

...and then there were two extremely satisfied (if slightly nauseous) customers.

So definitely a day of sweet treats for the girls...

...and for any of you blokes who happened to read this post all the way through, I can only salute you for your patience / curiosity / ability to be in touch with your feminine side!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Ghost of Christmas (Sales) Past...

Well, it's week 2 of my great Southern Odyssey, custody of my good self has been successfully transferred to the sprawling abode of Lil Chicky and Husband (and I do mean sprawling - my entire flat would fit in their garage!) and it was time to get out those Christmas vouchers and hit the sales.

5 and half hours later (noted with some amazement as we paid for our parking), voucherless (me) and footsore (both), we heaved ourselves into the car, agreed we'd had an excellent day...and groaned.

What is it about post Christmas sales that convince us to keep pushing on well beyond the comfort of our shoes and the confines of our finances? 

I mean, it happens every year so it's not like this is a completely new experience...but it does not seem to matter how comfortable the footwear (although I have not yet stooped to shopping in my slippers) or how often we stop to fortify our shopping lust (with lunch, cake, coffee etc), we always arrive back home completely spent in more ways than one.

And as I sit here with my aching feet propped up on the chair in front of me, I can't help but think about my fabulous purchases and smile with complete and unmitigated satisfaction...

...and wonder where we'll shop tomorrow.