Canadian Down Under

Friday, April 02, 2010

Over and out...

So I'm here in Melbourne airport waiting for my flight out and I can't believe I'm actually here and I'm actually leaving.

Surprisingly, I was not upset when I left my flat I'd lived in for over 5 years, nor when I actually left Manly - and with the exception of one friend who briefly caught me out - I ensured I had emotional buffer everywhere I went so I never even teared up.

But you know - the cab ride here has unsettled me. And the waiting hasn't helped much either. So finally it seems I'm a little sad (and I must say, I'm a little relieved to feel something - I was beginning to think I was made of stone...)

But even saying that I still think I'm doing the right thing. I need time out - (I'm kind of thinking of it as a pause.....) So now I'm beginning the long trek home - the long trek that involves stops throughout the route to see friends, family and friends again. (Kind of cushioning the blow....)

Although I have been busy the last few weeks with things I should have, could have and normally would have blogged about - I simply didn't get time - and now its really just time to look forward. So in anticipation that in six months time I will not want to do an international move again (I did mention how hellish it was, didn't I?) I will simply sign off here.

Wishing you all the best - and thanking you for reading.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

My god what a coward!

I recently sent an email to someone I know-but having never gotten a response, I've been feeling a little badly about it all-like maybe I was too harsh, went too far or a gazilion other things..

But you know what? I just re-read what I wrote and- given the circumstances around what precipitated the email- ...actually, screw that-even as an isolated email- it was nice. Sweet almost.

Made me realise that a coward that person has proved themselves to be in not replying..

Friday, March 26, 2010

Never thought today would arrive!

I'm finally out of my flat!

Stuff sold.
Stuff shipped.
Flat cleaned.
Bond returned.
Keys returned.


One weekend of fun left in my swanky digs then bye-bye sydney.

Can't believe its finally here..

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reasons to never read Women's Health magazine ever again...

So far - the latest issue has told me the following:

  1. The margarita I'm drinking while I write this has over 700kj and requires 18 minutes of exercise to burn...
  2. Because I get migraines - I'm twice as likely to have a heart attack..
  3. The "how to have hot sex tonight" article did not include a hotline phone number to a bevy of waiting men
  4. The article on "Swinger sClub" was about golf...

But on the up side? Something cool?
  • 2012 Olympic stadium will be made of recycled steel - steel melted down from guns & knives confiscated from criminals

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cause I can.

Been away for a little while - trip up to Byron Bay. Ever heard of it? Its hippyville. Hippyville on crack! (If you've had a few glasses of wine like me - you'd find that really funny.....)

Why I am having wine? Alone in my flat?
Well - read the title: Cause I can!

My new mantra.

While up at Byron a couple of times I may have had a beer or two after dinner and you know why I did that? Yup - you guessed it. Because I can.

So this post may just be a jumble of random thoughts... Know why I'm doing that? Yup - cause I can! (And yes, that's even beginning to annoy me - but I'm probably not done yet...)

So time in Byron was good. Very restful - but now the final days into organising for the move are kicking in....

So the unfun stuff?
- trying to work out all landlord stuff...
- getting rear ended and having insurance companies call
- taking all the stuff off my walls
- selling my car (or not selling it as the case may be)
- selling the other bits and bobs
- packing and organising what I'm taking.
- coming into a flat that has totally bare walls... (depressing....)

Oh my God - I'm boring myself just writing about it!!!!

The less unfun stuff?
- selling my BBQ
- selling my entertainment unit

Good and necessary - but sad still to see it all drive away.... How is it that you can get attached to inanimate objects?? Maybe its just some of the memories associated with them and the emptiness that increasing in my flat...

So - I know I'm doing what I said I wanted to do - but its awful hard to get the final days. People have been great - but its starting to get to the sad point - and I still have almost 2 weeks to go.

I've already written about the really bad stuff - but I guess it too was necessary. I just wish it hadn't happened.

But goodbyes come in all shapes and forms.

I'm hoping there's some fun ones before this is all over.

But for this evening - its time out. Zero socialising - except for me and my wine bottle.

Know why? Cause I can...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Be Yourself

One of my favourite songs (and yes, its Canadian) is Good Mother by Jann Arden. Its just one of those songs that sticks. Some of my favourite lyrics are near the end, and go:

Heart in hand,
Feet on ground,
Facing forward,
Be yourself.
just be yourself.
just be yourself.

And I think she's right. Its really important to be yourself. But damn - it can be hard sometimes.

You know, I have some really good friends - but sometimes even they are trying to change me (improve me is probably a better way of saying it). For example - I've had a friend tell me that I should no longer communicate with anyone until I 'come out of the red zone'. All very good advice and all - but seriously - I'm part Irish and I have the hot headedness that goes along with that - so if I forever remain calm - will I really just be being myself?

I've also been told that sometimes I just need to let things go. Again - good advice - though if I forever drop things and don't tell people when I'm upset, why I'm upset or how I feel about things - am I really just being myself?

Besides - shouldn't your friends and the people in your life be able to accept you for who you are?

So again - I think both above points are valid - its just I can't do them 100% and remain myself. I am outspoken. I am animated. I am expressive. So I've tried a compromise.

An example is something I recently emailed to someone I know. I know email can be a bit... I don't know... lame - but with email as the medium its way less likely that I'll spontaneously go in the red zone and do/say something stupid. Note the word spontaneous - because I can truly do red zone emails - but I took my time with this one. I wrote it quickly - but then reviewed. Actually sat on it for a few days before sending.

I hesitated and thought about this one for quite a while because the person in question I wanted to send it to has always reacted to me being myself by running away. So the risks associated with my chosen action plan was that this person would run and hide and I'd never hear back.

So was that what I wanted? Well, I think what I really wanted to do was to say what I needed to say and explain how I felt. What I didn't need to do was lash out and say something hurtful to even the score. If this person ran - then the person ran - but I could still be myself while taking on board the advice given to me.

I think I found my compromise. I'd waited long enough to let the immediate hurt and anger go - but I still said what I felt I needed to say.... but calmly. Not completely without emotion - because there is still some there - but in a more level way.

And now maybe I'm in a place I can just let it go....

I had my heart in hand,
my feet on the ground,
I think I was facing forward....
....and I was definitely myself.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

God love Australian liquor laws!

So james squires pub is opening at 6 am for the canadian/us gold medal game AND THEY'RE SERVING BEER!

Bring it on!


Friday, February 26, 2010


I'm so excited I can barely contain myself - Canadian women won gold and the men's team are in the semi-finals - game tomorrow!!

Expat group meeting at a pub on King Street Wharf where the pub has reserved space for us - our own big screens and control of the volume!!!!!!!!!! (Unlike the last game where it was hard to hear anything....)

Just keep away the nasty American who crashed the last Canada gathering to watch the Canada/US game. Him we can do without.

Got my Canada shirt.
Extra Canada shirts going to adopted Canadians.

I'm so there.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And all things nice..

So I've managed to tell you all my grumbles - but between all the miserable there were some nice things that happened and its probably only fair to share (and a little more balanced...)

So part of my year off is about doing the things I love, so that's what I've been doing: writing, music and even exercise (yes, I love it - even thought I resist it and procrastinate around it every day....). Now I know that just because you love something it doesn't mean you're good at it (go back and read about me and exercise again for an example...) but sometimes its awful nice to find out you might be...

So Saturday - the course was a bunch of muso's and me. All these well trained professional singers and me. Just a tad intimidating. But given this was my year to just try anything - and given that I'm leaving soon and will never see any of those people again - I volunteered to be one of the ones who sang to demonstrate some of what we were being taught. I mean its great to hear some of the suggestions - but unless its actually you being coached - its had to apply what's being taught.

So about halfway through the day it was my turn (to be honest - almost everybody sang at least once...) but as luck would have it - I'd brought my material on something they weren't technically set up for so I was standing there all ready to go and yup - had to sit back down. It took them about 45 minutes to get set up (there were others that went on in between) and then it was my turn.

Do you know what its like to have to sit and wait like that? Torture! But the instructor spent a long time with me - which was cool - but the best thing by far was as I went to sit back down she said "Laura, that was worth the wait."

Pacifying me? Unlikely, given her style, but you know what? I don't care. I'm just taking it at face value.

And then to top it off? I was the last one to sing in the evening class and as I was collecting my stuff, the instructor's assistant (also her nephew) quietly said to me that I'd done good - that I had a really nice voice.

A few quiet words and he'd made a bad day have a touch of wonderful. If could have hugged him on the spot!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Strike 2 Australian Canadian relations....

You'd think after my humbling encounter with the car wash guys Saturday,I'd have retracted my claws for the rest of the day, but no, apparently I'm not a quick learner... Crappy mood does not lend itself to being a good conduit for learning....

So I finally got to my course almost an hour late. An hour. That's almost a new record even for me... And man was I in good form when I got there. (You can hear the sarcasm can't you?) That anyone spoke to me at all that day is a little bit of a miracle.

Really - its only because I had already paid for the course (I did truly want to go) and that it was a one-time event to have this woman come in from the States to teach this music class that I didn't just pike. Besides, I needed to occupy myself so I didn't mope. I thought it could be a distraction for me from my own misery.

Well, I occupied myself - but in the end, I didn't really distract myself from my own misery - I ended up spreading it around....

At one point the professional from the States was teaching us all a technique - and she went through the group one by one to ensure that we all had understood and could do it ourselves. Seeing I was in the back row - she'd gone through almost everybody before getting to me - and as luck would have it - I didn't pick it up very fast - so she was kind of working with me for a few minutes. Embarrassing, but okay. Well okay until...

Okay - I'm going to have to interrupt myself and give some context to the set up before I tell you what happened next. See - these events are run by some local music organisation - which is cool except primarily its the members who attend the events. People like me are the exception - and not only are we the exception, we are not part of the clique. Which, again, is cool by me because I hate cliques and just ignore them - but in these music courses - its not always that easy to ignore.

Like with what happened next. The teacher of the course was working with me - but given she'd already reviewed everything with the clique group (who of course sat in the front row) they now considered themselves experts - and given some of them were music teachers - they now felt they should be teaching me.

Like they knew better then the real teacher.

(Can you tell something ugly is about to happen?)

Anyway, I found their verbal encouragement and instructions coming from over the shoulder of the actual teacher not only annoying - but also distracting. Mix that with a person who has no patience on a good day? and before I even realised it I shouted "Stop it" ( inthe same tone a kid responds to teasing from elder siblings..)

The course teacher kind of looked at me in shock so I clarified "No, not you - the 17 teachers sitting behind you."


Four words you can't use to describe me on Saturday.

Well, at least it worked. The clique appropriately retreated to their corner. Perhaps it may have worked too well though - not a soul spoke to me for the rest of the day.

Not a bad thing really.

I did manage to relatively behave myself for the rest of the course (which didn't end til 10:30 that night). Well, almost. I slightly cracked it again at about 9:30, but for the most part, beating my forehead with my pen helped me control the snark.

Nice dent on the forehead though....