Monthly Archives: February 2014

What I learnt this week: Walk a mile

Another busy week at work, but I’m these days I’m learning how to cope.  You have to accept that there’s only so much you can do.  And if you do your best, that’s all anyone can ask!

Due to fact I don’t get my monthly pay until next weekend (which will be dangerous), I have no dough, which equals no socialising this week.  I’ve been wondering if it’s better to have 2 really amazing weeks and 2 povo weeks.  Or to be sensible and ration a little fun over the whole month.  I’ll have to experiment.

Therefore no activity really to report.  I’ve started a routine for myself to include writing in the morning, more exercising, eating healthy organic foods and not drinking as much.  This is exciting reading I know.

But it’s good to find balance in your life.  It’s a struggle we all face!  I finally feel after 5 months of being here I’m getting a handle on life.  Well, for now at least.

So…what did I learn this week? You know the old saying: ‘before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes?’  This really hit home for me.

A person you see on a daily basis could be dealing with insurmountable shit and you don’t  have any idea.  However I witnessed cracks in people’s veneers this week.  I won’t go in to detail, as they’re not my stories to share.  But I now have a new found respect for the above saying.

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Funnily enough one of the quotes this week written at my train stain was ‘Be kind;  for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.’  Also I saw this posted on FB as well…

Sometimes we’re aware someone close (or not so close) to us is fighting a great battle.  Sometimes we aren’t.  Best to be kind to all who are in your life.  Because at the end of the day we all have a cross to bare.

Funniest moment:

  • Probably when I cooked broccoli at work and made the whole office smell like farts.  That was fun explaining to candidates that walked in, hehe

What I did that scared me:

  • Made no plans for the weekend.  And as a planner this pretty much killed me!

Highs:

  • Getting my free Able & Cole fruit/vege box, for recommending a friend!
  • Getting a free gym pass from the cute guy on the front desk!
  • Getting a free slice from the cafe I eat a few times a week (freebie week, yea)

Lows:

  • Seeing people close to me upset and not be able to help them
  • Dumb boy from the weekend not texting back, even though he contacted me first!  If I do hear from him the response will be, ‘sorry I’m busy FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.’
  • Netflix doesn’t have Godfather 2.  WTF?  Why have 1 and not continue, that’s just mean?

What I learnt:

  • Understanding leads to respect.

This post is dedicated to the younger, cuter, more stylish version of Mr Bean 🙂

 

What I learnt this week: Love is in the air

It was a rough start to the week.  Taking on the role of manager has been no bed of roses.  Tuesday I imploded.  But by Wednesday things had started to look up.   It’s so hard attempting to please everyone.  Sometimes you just bloody well can’t and you need to accept that!

Apart from work it was quite a social week.  A dinner catch up with Nadelle on Monday night.  Half price steaks at the Slug and Lettuce, near Waterloo.  Got my iron levels sorted!  Yea buddy.

Wednesday was my first trip out to Brixton, a dodgy area filled with hipsters.  Kinda like Brunswick in Melbourne.  The Brixton Academy was an amazing venue.  Seeing Phoenix was incredible.  I’ve wanted to catch them for ages, and they didn’t disappoint.  Played for almost 2 hours.  The lead singer even ventured into the crowd and thanked everyone for coming!  Couldn’t help but smile the entire time.

Ahh, it was also Valentines Day this week.  I usually hate this day with particular passion, as I’m not usually in a relationship.  Which isn’t the problem.  The problem is that us singletons are reminded; ‘you’re single, only couples get a special day.’  Fuck that.  I got up dressed nicely, did my make up & hair nicely, I felt good.   Went in to work to find a rose on my desk from Camilla, which meant a lot to me.

That’s when it hit me- the day should be about love for all, not just couples.  Love exists in so many forms.  I’ll continue this line of thought in the lesson; need to wrap up the week first.

Later that night I went out with Libby.  A friend of a friend from Aus.  When you meet mutual friends you never really know how it will go.  Lucky for us it was love at first sight.  Well girly love.  She’s newly married.  We shared stories, wine, and a lovely Valentines Day evening.

Saturday I headed to Barnes for a pub crawl with Kelly, Linda and Anna.  We started at the White Hart.  I would love to mention where we continued to and eventually finished, but I guess the idea of a pub crawl is you don’t remember those finer details.  Although I have inserted some pics, to jog my memory…

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I do know that I made it to 4 pubs and the other girls 5.  I may have stopped to chat to some cute rugby guys at pub 4.  Also shortly after that I may have needed to send myself home due to the excessive amount of alcohol in my body.

I get why they call it a pub crawl now.  You end up crawling like infant by the end of the night.

Back to the lesson:  love comes in many forms.  I saw a beautiful article about a little boy with Schwartz-Jampel syndrome (your muscles are tense all the time) and an abused dog becoming best friends.  The two fell in love, and in turn gave each other confidence to live a better life.  The love was evident.

V day reminded me love exists in all of us.  And is around us everyday.  Not just one day of the year.  We can love friends, family, pets, boyfriends, wives etc.  And don’t forget to love and respect yourself too!  Just go right on ahead and share the love.

Funniest moment:

  • When I was chatting to one of the rugby boys I thought he was an English guy mocking my accent.  Nope, he was an Aussie guy with a terribly bogan accent.  And I had just asked him if he was putting it on as a joke.  He informed me it was in fact his voice.  Whoops!

The thing I did that scared me:

  • Sent a Valentines day card

Highs:

  • Good steak, with a good friend
  • Meeting Libby finally
  • Phoenix

Lows:

  • Over drinking
  • Over stressing
  • Over tired

What I learnt:

  • Love is everywhere.  Make sure you share it 🙂

 

What I learnt this week: Aha!

Monday was our last Canadian career fair.  We walked through mountainous fields of snow to reach Ottawa University- not exaggerating.  It was another successful day.  I’m getting good at promoting!

Our last supper that night was at a cute little Italian restaurant.  As we toasted to the trip, it felt like we’d been away for years.  It’d been amazing but we were looking forward to seeing everyone back in London.

The next day we got up early and checked out.  Wandered down to the canal which is 7km’s of frozen river.  Everyone puts their skates on and whizzes up and down.  Well- we walked it for around 500 metres.  But it was beautiful all the same.  Also ate a beaver tail, which is basically a flat donut.  Very tasty.

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Then it was time to say adieu.  Taxi to airport, security, fly to Toronto.  Lay over.  Bought myself a bottle of Chloe perfume, ‘because I’m worth it.’  Got on board, unfortunately no up grade but slept most of the flight anyway.

It was good to be back in London.  Even better to miss the tube strikes!  I was exhausted and spent the rest of the week trying to catch up with sleep, work and friends.

Had a great time on friday night with Stu and Brendan.  Kicking back at the Red Lion Theatre pub in Angel.

Saturday, Kelly and I popped to view the 100 best wildlife photos of the year, at the Museum of Natural History.  So beautiful.  Then off to dinner at Bumpkin in South Ken, where I swear I saw Elle Mcpherson.

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So…’Aha!’ moments.  Thanks Ophra.  Or perhaps you prefer to use the term ‘light bulb’ moments.  Either way it’s when a concept completely drops into place in your brain.  Maybe it was something you read or something a friend said that just clicked.  You go ‘why the hell did I never think of that?  That definitely makes more sense.’

I experienced a couple of these beauties this week.

It’s not so much of a lesson but more of an observation.  But I guess you could say be open to ‘Aha!’ moments.  Be open to advice, wherever it may come from.  Listen, read.  Because these ‘Aha!’ moments can provide such clarity and perspective, that your whole world can change.

Funniest moment:

  • After one day back at work, I needed a DRINK.  Went to the bar on Friday night.  Asked how much a glass of red was compared to a bottle.  It was a far better deal to get the bottle, so I did.  The bar tender inquired, ‘how many glasses do you want, 2 or 3?’  I paused.  I only wanted 1! But I was like ‘yeah, 2 or 3 thanks.’ When I told Stu and Brendan they laughed, and asked why I didn’t just ask for a straw.  Next time…

What I did that scared me:

  • Took on the role of manager at work

Highs:

  • Natural History Museum with Kelly
  • Friday nigh catch up drinks with the boys
  •  Watched the Katy Perry doco.  She’s exceptionally talented and I love her

Lows:

  • Jet lag again
  • 3000 emails to be checked from whilst I was away
  • The constant rain, we get it London, you rain A LOT!!!

What I learnt:

  • Be open to advice

What I learnt this week: Chumbawamba!

If you’re too young to know the above band- do yourself a favour and look them up.  They basically only had one hit- ‘I get knocked down.’  Which is this weeks lesson.  More on that soon…

Monday morning, another career fair in Canada.  The day started slow but ramped up very quickly.  So much talking, I lost voice.  On another note Edmonton is so cold. I’m pretty sure the snot in my nose actually turned to icicles during the walk from the hotel to the university.

After a hard days work the hotel was so kind as to put on free wine and cheese for us at the bar.  Well not just us, but the all the guests.  Didn’t take advantage though…much.  Needed an early night.

Next day was spent compiling candidate info from the career fair and making further contact with them.  I was so exhausted, it was the 3rd time zone in less than a week.  Oh woe is me, right?  We took the night off and checked out the largest shopping centre in Canada, and quite possibly the world.  It had an indoor theme park- Galaxy Land!

Martine and I played like  5 year olds for a couple hours.  Lots of spinning, whirling and twirling.  Although this came to an abrupt holt once we got on a ride that swung from side to side until you virtually tipped upside down.  It was fun, until it got too high.  I was like- ‘I wanna get off now!!!’ That was the ride that ended play time.  Martine and I were very green.  The bus ride home wasn’t fun.  We both had to try and keep the vomit down.

Next day, got up, packed up.  Plane to Toronto.  Stuck in traffic.  Hotel 7pm.  Starving.   Went to our fave organic restaurant, ‘Fresh,’ for a much needed healthy dinner.  Ate chocolate tofu cake, for dessert.  Which was incredible and guilt free.

The next couple of days were mental.  Packed back to back.  Caught up with a whole bunch of candidates we’d met at the fair in Toronto last year.  It was great chatting and helping them sort out their plans for moving over to the UK.

We were lucky enough to see an university ice hockey game with a couple of the students.  That was so fun!  Those ice hockey guys are so manly and tough, me likey.  We didn’t want it to end.

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On the friday night we went to the top of the CN tower, which is the tallest tower in the world and has revolving restaurant.  Had a lovely dinner.  Then stood on the glass floor and looked down, that was more scary than lovely.

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Saturday, you guessed it.  Pack. Plane to Ottawa.  Our last stop.  Arrived in 5 feet of snow.  Shopped for some provisions at the Wallmart.  Those things are gigantic!  No Wall Martians unfortunately.  Sunday was our first day off on the trip.  I put the do not disturb sign on my hotel door and watched a whole season of ‘Community.’  Man, was I a happy girl.

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But by the time night swung around cabin fever was setting in.  It was time to venture out. And it just so happened to be Super bowl Sunday.  We headed to a Texan grill.  Perched at the bar, watched the game, enjoyed a margarita and Mexican delights.

Getting to the lesson of the week.  As we were leaving Galaxy Land, we wandered through the shopping centre and noticed a bunch of kiddies learning to ice skate.  As most of you know I’m not really a kid person.  But there was this one little boy, Jordon, who melted my heart.

Scene: Jordon trying to learn how to skate with the other kids.  He falls over about every 5 seconds.  I’m not exaggerating.  But every single time he got back up.  Until after about 15 minutes he fell over again.  The look on his face was ‘I don’t know if I can get back up this time.’  But after a deep breath, he got right back up.  Only to fall over again.

This continued,  but Jordon was a trooper.  Just when you thought he was down for the count, he kept getting back up.  It was a big lesson from a little guy.  No matter how many times you fall over, no matter how beaten down you feel, you can always get back up.

ALWAYS.

(Unless you’re skiing and you’ve broken both you legs, then you may need some help getting back up).

Funniest moment of the week:

  • Martine and I decided to enter the Haunted house in Galaxy Land.  However that sh*t was not haunted, it was down right freaky.  Seriously I thought we’d stepped onto the set of ‘Saw’ Volume 87 (not sure where they are with that franchise, 1 was enough for me).  It started ok, an alligator eating a really fake body, I laughed.  As Martine clung to me, we entered the second part of the house, a dead man sprang out at us, then a small chucky doll  jumped out of a cupboard with a huge knife, whilst a zombie was carving a pig.  In front of me was a plastic door, like you see at a butchers, it was dark.  I decided, ‘fu*k that,’  I was not going any further.  Martine didn’t need convincing.  We ran back out screaming at the top of our lungs.   As we chatted to the curator a couple approached.  We warned them not to go in.  But the big guy was laughing us off.  We waited until he came out.  You could tell he was totally freaked.  He walked off straight after exiting and could barely get any words out.

The thing I did that scared me:

  • Rode the roller coaster at ‘Galaxy Land’

Highs:

  • CN tower
  • Super bowl Sunday
  • Ice hockey

Lows:

  • Horror house, it was horrible!
  • Exhaustion
  • Almost losing my face to frost bite on a 2 minute walk

What I learnt:

  • No matter how many times you get knocked down, you can always get back up!