The blogging paradox

The more interesting my life is, the less I blog. The less interesting my life, the more I blog. Not ideal.

A Londoner at heart?

A disturbing realisation hit this morning as I reached my desk and smiled at the colleague who sits next to me… it was the first smile to grace my face with its presence all morning.

Which begs the question… am I turning into a Londoner?

Am I capable of spending 40 minutes on buses and trains in forced close contact with fellow human beings, making forced eye contact by way of apology as various body components collide, finding no humour in the situation? Surely not! I hereby serve myself with a wake-up call… get a smile on your dial or you’ll become one of them.

Project Smile-fest has officially commenced!


From the mouths of babes…

The words “I love you” hold a beauty that is difficult to explain. When spoken with sincerity, they have the power to create warmth and joy unparalleled by any other emotion in Western society. At the tender age of 29 I have heard these words many times from friends, family and lovers, in both honesty and unfortunately insincerity, and they are words I never tire of hearing when directed from the heart.

But, as lovely as these words are from an adult, when uttered by a child the beauty is transformed, intesified. Today my beautiful little cousin Breanna looked at me in complete sincerity and said “I love you Chel”. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. So innocent, so heartfelt, so uncomplicated. Just the pure love of a child. Amazing.

Learning anyone?

Today saw a random adventure with Chook to Oxford. Stunningly beautiful with an academic history spanning back to the 1200s, this is one town where I would love to learn. Our guide for the day, Ursula, was wonderfully eccentric… entertaining, knowledgable and unfailingly quirky, she provided us with the low-down on everything from the history of the university to the lesser known fact that the British library is obliged to keep a copy of all materials published in the UK – books, newspapers, magazines – pornography included!

The colleges in Oxford are amazing, each with its own ornate chapel and grand, if somewhat gloomy, dining hall. The pick of the dining halls was that of Christ Church College… I now feel compelled to explore my witch heritage with a view to enrolling at Hogwarts! Our favourable impression of this college was assisted by finding a back entrance and escaping the entry fee.

Note to self for the day… grass in Oxford is a protected species! I received a stern reprimand for a close encounter with said grass, or lawn as it is more correctly known, as I attempted to improve the angle on a photo I was taking. Oops!

What first Sunday in July would be complete without a date with the TV? We found a pub showing the men’s final just as it reached a fifth and final set. Would history show that I’d seen the champion play on Centre Court on his road to victory in 2009? I had everything crossed for a Federer win and wasn’t disappointed as he triumphed over Roddick 16-14 in the decider.

The stuff-up

It starts with that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach… Then the internal debate begins…

Optimist: “Is it possible I just stuffed up?”

Realist: “Yep, you did.”

Optimist: “But surely it’s not that bad?”

Realist: “Yep, it’s that bad.”

Optimist: “Don’t be silly. I can’t possibly have done something that stupid and careless!”

Realist: “Yep, you did.”

And so the realisation takes hold… you have indeed made the worst blunder of your career… an error so grave that you have taken a global company’s major financial system down for 12 hours during the busiest time of month, impacted up to 300 users worldwide, caused hours of extra work for colleagues late into the night and effected the performance statistics of the team who entrusted you to complete the work.


Back on the wagon…

It seems I have been somewhat remiss in updating my blog. I know in theory that the best time for updates is when I’m having my most interesting adventures, ie when I’m travelling, but somehow I just can’t seem to tear myself away from the fun long enough to write anything meaningful… or anything at all! Will attempt to get some back-blogs from my trip to China and Borneo up and running in the next few weeks.

Back in Melbs again this week. Mother Nature must have heard me complaining about the temperature in NSW the other day and figured I needed to be reminded what cold’s all about… it’s bitter down here!

China, Borneo, Cambodia… here I come!

FINALLY made decisions about where to head on my next adventure! Rob’s been living in Beijing for at least 18 months, probably more, and I’ve been promising to visit the whole time. But it’s taken the fact that he’s leaving at the end of April to finally spur me to action!

So, Renae and I are heading to Beijing first then to Borneo to climb Mt Kinabalu. Then who knows where? Am hoping to meet up with Ev at some point. And definitely want to make it to Phnom Penh to check out whether it’s somewhere I can see myself living or not. That’s if I’m even offered a position!

So, it’s sorted (to an extent) and I’m excited! Have been running round the house like an idiot this afternoon telling my family over and over again “I’m going to China. I’m going to Borneo. I’m going to Cambodia. Woohoo!” Renae, you may wish you never got yourself into this!

Home alone

I can’t remember the last time I stayed home alone on a Saturday night… maybe never! So tonight is an indescribable pleasure… spoilt myself with wine and cheese whilst whipping up a vegetarian feast (chilli turned up to max volume) and am about to sit down to a corny rom com. A lovely, romantic evening, just me and myself… therapy for my poor, aching mind that’s burdened with so many decisions at the moment. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

Creepy crawlies

I’ve always fancied that Europeans who won’t visit Australia because there are “too many creepy crawlies” are missing out on a good ol’ adventure for no apparent reason. I mean, it’s not like all the “scary” things don’t exist (mum’s pulled a 7 meter python skin out of a shrub beside our laundry door before today), it’s just that coming face to face with something dangerous happens very rarely.

Unless you’re in sunny Lisarow this week. I nearly trod on a red-bellied black snake whilst out for a run the other day. And today Ken killed a redback spider that was casually weaving a web on one of the outdoor chairs where we sit for lunch. Close encounters of the Australian kind! Crikey!

A nice day for a white wedding

Congratulations to Mr & Mrs David & Angela Mew(sli), married in a beautiful ceremony in Sydney yesterday. The gods were smiling on the happy couple… the weather was perfect, the garden’s resident kookaburra exercised restraint during the ceremony, the groom showed up with both eyebrows intact and the best man remembered the rings… what more could be asked for?

Well, Kate and I could have asked for her car not to break down as we were running official errands on the morning of the wedding!!!!! Time management not being our forte, the two of us set out for the day determined to prove to our beloved Ang (not to mention ourselves) that when entrusted to perform official duties, we were equal to the task. Oh, the cruelty of the universe!

Reverse karma is my name for the curious phenomenon that often occurs when I do something nice for people… something not so nice happens in return. For all you doubters, take this example. Kate & I spent Thursday night & Friday morning surprise cleaning the marital home in preparation for the newlyweds’ arrival and attending to last minute wedding tasks. That’s some pretty decent positive karma being pumped out into the universe. Not to mention that, when the car actually broke down, we were on our way to visit the bride while she was getting her hair done, before running flower errands and setting up for the ceremony!

One would assume the universe would smile on such a display of friendship and conspire to provide smooth passage for this pair of wedding assistants. But no. Pierre (Kate’s usually trustworthy car) lost acceleration as we neared the top of a hill before producing one of the more horrendous electrical smells I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with. Fortunately the steering (albeit without the power) held true and a deft piece of driving saw us manoeuvre off the busy Lane Cove Road into the safety of a side street.

Several phone calls, an expensive (and unfruitful) NRMA visit, a taxi ride, an emergency kidnapping of the brides’ car and some sunburn later, we were back on track to complete our duties. And only an hour behind schedule! Needless to say, there was some stress involved but, to our credit, we pulled it all off and even had 10 whole minutes left to do our hair, put on some makeup and slip into our party frocks! A mammoth effort, Kate, I’m proud of us! 🙂 The rest of the day went off without a hitch, thanks in large part to Ang’s almost super-human organisational skills.

Some observations from a wedding that was…

1) Always wear waterproof mascara to a wedding, especially if you are a bridesmaid.

2) The super-hot waiter who claims he was out catching the prawns that morning really wasn’t… he’s telling stories like the guy in the old Jatz commercial. But don’t hold it against him, he’s still super-hot and a useful ally when (yet another) bottle of wine is required.

3) When one of the groomsmen steals your beer, takes a big skull and passes it back saying “it’s empty”, it may not be. Check before upending the “emptiness” over his head. Sorry Joe!

4) When fruitlessly attempting to drag a friend onto the dance floor, always check that your previous dancing allies are still on the dance floor before dancing animatedly back out to the centre… failure to do so may result in much laughter at your expense and possible humiliation.

5) Some people in the world are seriously lacking an ability to have fun. This deficiency is often directly proportional to the amount of time spent in a relationship… the longer people have been together, less capable of fun they are. Give me single happiness over coupled misery anyday!

6) If, as a young girl, an American was taught “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree” at school, it is an absolute joy to be present when she finally hears a kookaburra laugh. Andrea, you made my day!

7) Teapots + pink liquid = trouble. Be mindful of how quickly time passes when this combination is involved… sorry Kate.

8) If you’re a single, late-20s female looking for some attention, put on a fancy party dress and tell the boys you’ve just been to a wedding. It’ll work a treat.

9) Just for the record… the sign I have on my forehead announcing to the world that I’m only interested in meeting attractive, intelligent men if they are already in a long-term relationship… I didn’t put it there. I’m in negotiations with the Devil to have it removed but it’s not looking hopeful. Seems that men are like parking spots after all.

10) Angela and David Mew were quite possibly the happiest couple I have ever seen on their wedding day. And I’ve been to my fair share of weddings! A couple not prone to massive public displays of affection, and oft derided for taking “so long” to get married, it was apparent that they have carefully considered the enormity of the marriage commitment and genuinely want to spend the rest of their lives together. Seeing them publicly declare their love for each other was a moving experience I feel priviledged to have been part of. Ang & Dave, I wish you all the best for a beautiful future together.