Canadian Down Under

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wiped out - AGAIN

I am a hazard on two wheels.


I have twice come seriously close to permanent brain damage and both times it was on my bike.
Today, I didn't come that close, but I did wipe out in a way that permanently damaged my ego....

Okay - maybe not permanently, but there was definitely a large dent..... which is a great accessory to the grazed knee I now have.

So what happened?

Well, I have done this once before (which I may have blogged about already) when I first got on my bike after being off for a couple of years. See, although I'm not a very good cyclist - I do have clip pedals (I used to ride often enough when training for my little short triathlons that it seemed justify) - not a problem when you cycle often enough and are used to them....

which I am....

except for halfway through my ride today.

Right in front of a bus.
Right in front of the commuters getting off the ferry.
...complete dead stop and now way in hell would my shoe come out of the clip.

Oh - and falling over like that ONLY happens in slow motion.
At least this time someone stopped to ask if I was okay.

Yup - I'm fine. Everything except for my pride.

Sometimes I am such a tool it surprises even me....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Australia Day!

Went to a friend of a friends' barbeque today - he'd become an Australian citizen in the morning and was celebrating.

It was nice to see him so happy.

Reminded me that just 4 years ago today I became an Australian citizen myself (and scarily enough I was even blogging back then - even posted my citizenship certificate! You can look if you like, but I am far too lazy to try and link that post....)

4 long years. Good and bad. Definitely ones I wouldn't want to live over - but also wouldn't want to have missed.

Today's barbeque made me slightly nostalgic for the happier, more optimistic new Australian I'd been back then. But I was glad I went. Was glad to have been reminded of how good its been here sometimes.

Seems my plan of staying for a few months to remember what it is I love about Australia and to leave with fondness rather than bitterness might be working...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is this what boredom feels like??

I don't know anymore. I've spent the last few years either working or tired and always thinking about the things I could be doing if I wasn't tired and/or had some free time....

well - I'm there now.

I have free time and I've been doing the things I've always wanted to: eating better, exercising, learning guitar, writing and doing all things music.

I sound so saintly, but really I'm not. I start every day with the best of intentions - but I am naturally a procrastinator (read: lazy) - so I have to-do lists. I write down all the things I want to do/need to do the following day and do my best to fit them all in.

Now its not like a work list - I even include things like 'go to the beach'. Lame I know - but sometimes as I'm turning into a potato on my couch, just simply reading the list can get me moving.

That way - no day is wasted.

Well, unless I want to waste it!

And I've been good! Doing all things that I want and should. But I think that some of the shoulds are wearing on me slightly. This whole packing thing and getting quotes is really taking the fun out of my day (I know you'd think that perhaps making a list would actually take the fun out of my day - but truly, it doesn't - it helps considering my short-term memory sucks at the moment...)

I don't know my dates. I don't know exactly when I'm leaving, when I should give notice for my flat, when I should ship the cat, what I should sell versus ship.

I just can't make any decisions...

Today, I couldn't even decide of the three items I bought (variations of the same thing) - which I should keep (and the intent was only to keep one - not all three...) and what I should return.

So the last few days I've done what I'm supposed to - but I've had more time than usual.

I'm actually feeling kind of idle - which is dangerous for me because it lets my brain think too much and too often.

Is this boredom? Or is this just what happens when the weather gets crappy????

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"You're looking good"

So - I'm not sure how this happens exactly - but you know sometimes in life you're just travelling along, minding your own business and the world decides to be nice to you.

Well, its been happening to me lately.

I really noticed it yesterday (will get to that part soon) - but I guess it actually started when I was back in Canada. How nice were my friends to me? Feeding me. Offering me places to stay. Letting me talk with little to no interruption..... (Come on - admit it - some of you laughed at that one...)

But it became really apparent yesterday when wherever I went people would start by saying "what have you been doing - you're looking really good" and then following up with even more compliments and positive things. I mean a one-off can happen here and there - but yesterday it seemed like everyone I crossed paths with was telling me that.

And the thing is - I didn't make any kind of special effort yesterday - and in fact spent most of the day in workout clothes (which you have to admit, unless you're a supermodel - there's very few people that can look good in those - or at least that's what I keep telling myself).

So there you have it. Apparently I'm lookin good.

Nice to know.

Want to know what I think? Strange events (though not to the extent of yesterday) happen when I return from Canada. Maybe its because I'm rested and relaxed or more probably because going home helps to rejuvenate me - but there seems to be a direct correlation to returning from Canada and positive feedback from the world around me.

Hmmm, I could think about this more - but I think I may just accept that I'm looking good and leave it at that.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Today is the first day of the rest of your life....

Damn I hope not. You'll have to shoot me right now if that's true!!

Talk about bor-ing!

Okay - exaggerating a little. Perhaps its the post holiday blues.

Can you have the post holiday blues if your life is just one big vacation????? (I did mention I quit my job a few months ago right?)

Well, newly back from a winter trip home and I guess on day 2 I'm settling back into life's routine, but the truth is - I don't really have a routine. And in fact, I'm now just kind of killing time until I pack up and go to Canada for 6 months (perhaps longer.... have I mentioned that before??)

Killing time is a little harsh - and I think some of my friends here might be insulted by that (sorry if you are - its not personal). I do have things planned - but it really does feel like the countdown has begun.

Next week is the start of a six week course. But what's really playing in the back of my mind are questions like:
- when should I ship my cat home
- what do I do with all my furniture? ship or sell?
- where do I sell? and for how much?
- when should I book my ticket?
- how am I ever going to get through all the crap I've accumulated?

Its different temporarily (maybe permanently...) leaving Australia vs leaving Canada - but mostly because of people's reactions - and partly my own.

See the friends I've made here are excited for me. And they are actively trying to catch up with me before I go - whereas when I left Canada I found my friends seemed almost hurt I was leaving (my words) and definitely not excited and sometimes too busy for me. I don't think on purpose - but I'm just comparing the two.

And for me? I was definitely more excited to head this way. The change this time seems bigger - especially since its seems all so up in the air.... Maybe its because I know what its going to be like and how hard it will be. Friends at home think it'll be easy because they are all there - but the truth is, they have full, busy lives and although they will definitely make time for me - it won't fill all the voids that moving will create.

Anyway - I don't know how I got to here from where I started - but I guess my point is that I'm going to have to do at least one useful thing a day so I don't feel like I'm just passing time.

Will work on that and will try to report on how I'm going.

Not sure how entertaining that will be for either of us - but if it turns out any good - please don't hesitate to let me know. (I need all the encouragement I can get!)

Borderline Violation

Strong words, I know.

Anyone travelled into the United States lately? Say since December 26th? Then you know what I'm talking about.

If this doesn't hamper the travel industry, I'm not sure what will.

So aside from the reduction in the cabin baggage allowance (which I'm actually okay with - aside from the fact that you're not allowed to use backpacks - only handbags...) there's only one real change: the extra search.

aka: the pat down.

So where does this happen? In security? In customs?

Oh no - it happens as you try to get through to your gate. So you think you've gone through all the checkpoints and you're about to settle down and wait at your gate - but no, there's one more line.

The pat down line.

So they start with going through each item you have with you. And I mean EACH item. They actually flipped through the pages of my books and went through even nook and cranny in my wallet,not to mention everything else.

And then they began the pat down - in front of every other passenger waiting to get to their gate.

Like a full on pat down.

And although I understand the need to be careful about air travel - do they really need to pat down my breasts and check I have nothing in my bra in front of a shitload of people. Including the guy who smiled/smirked at me getting what most would consider 'felt up'.

Not fun. Not something I'd like to do very often. Can't imagine doing that every week if Iwas travelling in and out of the States.

If that happened anywhere else - I'd feel violated.

To be honest - I was humming and hawing about what title I could use for this - but I'm thinking that borderline violation is probably appropriate.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The great thing about being home... I'll never go hungry.

Seriously - I've been doing some family visiting and stuff - but for the last week I'm here its mostly catching up with friends. And you know what? My friends LOVE to eat (probably why they're my friends)

And I've worked out - that aside from breakfast - I only have to feed myself once between now and when I leave (and even some of the breakfast's are accounted for).

How fabulous is that?

Well in a world where you can eat what you like and never need to exercise? That's great.

Oh yeah - I'm not living in that world.

I've brought all my gym gear....
Its still in my suitcase...

But me and running shoes while on the road? That's another story for another day.

I just re-read my title - and you know what? its pretty sad that when I talk about the great things about being home its about how people are going to feed me rather than about the people I'm hanging with.....

Goes to show you where my priorities are. Amazing I have friends at all!!

Au Naturel....

This is so not going to be about what you first thought....

I need 'au naturel'. Food that is. It seems that being away from North America has made me a little bit complacent about watching what food I eat.

And no - its not about losing weight. I think its been well documented throughout this blog that me and weight loss are not the best of friends... I try my best to keep my distance from that subject these days.

So what am I talking about? I'm talking about the fact that I can't eat anything with additives or preservatives - or precious few - and I seem to have forgotten that this week. (Or more specifically, this trip home).

Because when I eat things I'm not suppose to - I end up like I did yesterday: in a dark room, craving absolute silence, begging for sleep so I can escape the pain and nausea.

Yup. Migraines.

I still have a headache today - but at least I'm functional.

So - because I'm special - it seems that regular migraine triggers have zero impact on me. Bring on the chocolate and caffeine! I'm good to go. Even cheeses. Its just that processsed or manufactured food does my head in. Literally. And, unfortunately, in North America there's a lot of it. And its so much easier than trying to eat real food.

But I didn't expect to be tripped up by a chocolate chip cookie.

Seriously - I am the original cookie monster - and I'm going to have to hang up my hat. See, when food actually makes me sick - I can't touch it again for months - perhaps years.

I'm so going to miss you cookie!!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Worn out...

I have so many things I'd like to write about - the subjects keep swirling in my head but the travel of the last week has worn me out.

I'm afraid all my good ideas might disappear by the time I'm rested enough to actually write - but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I at least remember some.

Note to self: long flights + plenty of road travel in snowy conditions + jet lag + the holiday season = one tired little camper...

Ahh - I write so little lately anyway. Guess that New Year's resolution has already fallen by the wayside. Is it alright to start a New Years resolution on the 15th of January??????