Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Scottish Highlands!

Ahh, back at work today after spending a good four days in Scotland. Traveling makes me remember that living in London is all worth while because I had such a great time while I was away.

I caught the Mega Bus up to Edinburgh which is where my tour left from and it only cost me £6 return! Fabulous. I didn't even care that it was a NINE hour bus ride because it was so cheap. I explored Edinburgh for a day and it is such a gorgeous city. There is a castle that lies on top of a hill which is an extinct volcano... pretty amazing stuff. The whole city was just so vibrant and everywhere you turned you were looking at some old building or monument of some kind.

Then I started my MacBACKPACKERS tour for three days which was so much fun. There were only 12 people on my tour with 8 of them being part of a couple... lucky there were three others traveling solo and we got along so well. I got along really well with Cameron, the token Kiwi, and we ended up having a bit of a pash in the staff quarters on the first night - turns out he has a girlfriend waiting for him back in NZ and the rest of the trip he was really quiet and he apologized for this on the last day saying he felt really guilty.. Oops for him but I didn't do anything wrong, I thought they'd broken up. 
As for Scotland itself... all I can say is WOW! The country is so beautiful. Everywhere we went in the Highlands we saw mountains with streams running through them and quite often we saw pretty waterfalls. We were meant to go for a hike up a mountain but it ended up raining so much that we didn't go.

I'm struggling to even find the words to use to describe how much fun and how beautiful Scotland is. I am really glad that I made an effort to go. Check out the photos and they don't even begin to show how dramatic and fantastic the landscape truly is.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Well I can say that I've been in London for over a year now. I'm so proud of myself for seeing this through and not giving up when times have gotten tough. I've traveled loads and have made some amazing friends... yet I feel incredibly lonely. I am surrounded by these amazing people and never am bored on weekends yet I almost find myself thinking that these are people who are really good friends but at the same time aren't people I feel comfortable sharing my whole self with...

It's funny because I don't miss Australia but I miss having my close friends. I've been speaking to some of my good friends back home which almost in a way makes me think I haven't made as much as an effort with the friends over here. It's almost like in the back of my mind I keep thinking 'well I'm going to be leaving London soon, what's the point?' which is a really stupid mentality to have.

I've got a really good network of friends which has been increasing rapidly and I love that. The most frustrating part is that I'm barely going to be here to get to know these new friends that I've made because of my travel plans. I adore living in London but it has it's downsides too. That happens to be one of them.

Not much I can do about that though I suppose unless I decide to stay in London longer (which I won't because it means I'd have to teach full time and get sponsored which I don't really want to do!)

To the point, I just feel lonely.. all my good friends are either gone or have boyfriends which leaves me single and bored cos they all couple up on the weekend leaving me to do nothing... Everyone always says that being part of a couple doesn't change the way they act with their friends but they totally do... Time to start hanging out with some new, single friends I think!

Hope you guys back in Melb are all doing well - not long until I see you now!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Guess the Mystery Object!

I'm not sure how much I've bitched about my room mate on this blog but I know in my head I bitch about her constantly. She drives me insane with the stupid stuff that she does. Yes, it's only LITTLE things but they really irk me because we are living in such close proximity to one another...

For example, she has taken over the rack on the back of the door which we are meant to SHARE to hang our towels to dry... so I hang my towel on the door knob of our wardrobe - she then manages to let my wet towel drop to the floor and doesn't pick it back up to hang it... so when I go to have my next shower after I get home from the gym, my towel is all wet!

She cuts her hair extensions (yes, she cuts her hair extensions, I couldn't figure this one out either...) and leaves the strands of hair on MY side of the room. So, I've taken to picking them up and hiding them under her doona because it really annoys me.

She throws her WET towel on MY bed which is just totally gross for reasons I don't think I even need to write. I chuck it back onto her side of the room. She has used my hairspray, without asking, so much that when I actually went to use it, it was empty! But I had no proof to back that up, for all I know I used the hair spray SO much that it would be empty... but, I can count the amount of times I have used that hair spray in the past 6 months on one hand so I doubt I used it all... She also uses my nail polish remover because when I first had it, it was almost full... now it's only half full... argh!

If she asked to borrow my stuff I wouldn't mind because at least I'd know she was using it and it's disrespectful to assume you can just use someone's things without asking.... if I didn't like her using my stuff I could always say no.

A few of my house mates had gotten annoyed because she dyes her hair (and the extensions so that they're all the same colour) in the bathroom and apparently cuts it in there too because one day the drain was all clogged and the bath was full of brown, matted hair. Gross! The shower curtain was covered with dye as well and she didn't wash it off... not to mention she left about 3-4 towels just lying on the bathroom floor which were there for DAYS because she didn't pick them up...

I could bitch about more (like how she leaves her straightner on the edge of my bed and I literally get it and throw it down the side of her bed so she can't find it for ages) but I will stop so I can tell you a hilarious story...

Kelly does not know how to use the washing machine (literally, she didn't know you had to buy washing powder, let alone how to turn it ON...) and has not washed her sheets in the entire two and a half months of living here... So, her bed, needless to say, is quite disgusting. There are crumbs ALL over it and she sleeps with her laptop at the end of her bed and with her hairbrush beside her and a book and lip stick and whatever else she can't be bothered putting away for the night..

So, I get a kick out of showing my friends the disgusting sheets because their reactions are priceless. I had Teegan and Trudy over for dinner and told them about the disgusting sheets that they just had to see... so up to my room they come and I lift the doona cover and they both gasp... Me, having seen the sheets before and witnessing this reaction before said "I know, how disgusting are they?" to which they replied "Um.. Simone, look at the sheets more closely" to which I did... To my horror, I found myself face-to-face with a massive vibrator which was laying amongst the two month old biscuit and toast crumbs, chap stick and vaseline.... TOTALLY DISGUSTING but we could not stop laughing for hours afterwards. Luckily she didn't come home that night because I don't know how I could have looked her in the eye without laughing. I still haven't seen her yet but I think I'll be able to contain myself...

The joys of roomshares... I can't figure out if she actually used it whilst I was in the room but I'm guessing I'd have known about it, although at times she did make loud breathing noises which I assumed was just her way of trying to get to sleep... but, maybe there was more to it.... Hmm.. not something I'm going to ponder...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WHOA Money Crisis!

Now I know why I have been in such financial stress this whole year. I worked out how much I have earnt this past year and it is approximately £300 a week. This is because I spent about 2 and a half months last year out of London traveling but still - I was shocked cos Kirra earns about £280 a week and she still can't afford anything. I guess it shows that budgeting works.. but then I also spent LOADS of my own Australian funds which worked out to quite a bit of travel...

Still, I'm not complaining, the only reason I'm annoyed it cos it means I won't be able to apply for my highly skilled visa but I'm thinking if I want to stay in London I will try to get sponsored. I'm not sure what I want to do yet, I will know more once I visit Melbourne but I want to know my options for staying in London. There is SO much I want to do in England and I've done alot of traveling in Europe but have barely seen the English countryside. So, I've decided when I come back in May I will be doing some weekends away and day trips.

Ahh... the hard life I lead..

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sad House

Everyone in my house is moving out and I'm a bit sad. Things have been going really well lately and as soon as I feel I've found my feet, everyone is leaving.

Also by the time I move out and get a new place I will only be in London for 3 months again before I'm off traveling. So, I may find an awesome house but only be there for a short time. I kind of wish I'd had a better house while I'd been here. By better, I mean more social but this house has been okay.

As I've already mentioned, I can't change my experience here. I can only live and learn and be happy with what's already happened. When I come back in May I will try and find a more sociable house. Who knows, I may even decide that I don't even like that kind of house! Change is good but at the same time it is really sad.

Another annoying thing is my phone bill! I seem to rack up an amazing amount each month - HOW! I try so hard not to text so to all of my friends back home, know that I love you but I will not be texting anymore - Seriously this time.

Argh, annoying work story (haven't had one of these for a while)...
Firstly, the bloody bus took FOREVER (literally 20 minutes) to arrive at the station and when it finally did arrive it was chockers full of young kids on their way to school. We were lucky to even get on that bus. Driving along with the kids being noisy and silly, trying to open the buses back doors when the bus was moving, and just being stupid. The driver got so annoyed that he stopped the bus and yelled to the kids "oi, get off the bus yeah. I'm not moving this bus til some of you get off yeah. Seriously, I'm about to call the cops yeah." I wanted to punch the bus driver out for the amount of times he said 'yeah'. You do not end a sentence with the word 'yeah' EVER!

So, I get to school and have a lovely day, with the exception of a few kids being mildly annoying. During the last session when some of the kids were playing up I warned them that the next person who spoke would be sent out of the room... Of course, a kid called out, so I pulled him up on it and sent him to the teacher next door. Ten minutes later I find out he never even went and was just sitting in the hallway. So, I send him into the other teachers room (mind you he's whinging he doesn't know why I sent him out in the first place - and he knew EXACTLY why after being warned ALL day) and another 10 minutes later he is STILL in the hallway. Whatever, I bring him back into the room, by this stage he is in tears although who knows why.

All is good til after school when I go to the office to get my time sheet signed and see him and mum standing there complaining about me... *SIGH* so I chat to mum to attempt to explain the situation and basically get called a liar and I do not know her son and shouldn't treat him so badly... What an absolute cracker of a day. The teacher spoke to me and basically said I'd done a good job in the class today and not to worry. He said he'd be happy to have me back in the school and mum is a nutcase.

Job done!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

One Year Anniversary


Today marks the day when I first arrived in London 365 days ago. When I first arrived in London I was excited and ready to embark on new adventures. Everything was new and at times, a little scary. I had to navigate this thing called the tube and master all the tube lines... Jubilee, District, Circle (but wait, they go to some of the same stations, which line should I take?!), Central, Bakerloo... how do I know where I'm going? After getting disorientated many times while on the tube (I was going south bound when I really needed to be heading northbound) I managed to find my way ok. Zones and Oyster, whatever do you mean? Add cold weather to that and I really was outside my comfort zone.

Even supermarkets and areas, finding a house to live. Starting off in East Putney which was a gorgeous area but expensive I ventured down to Shepherd's Bush... Brilliant. Deciding this was still too expensive I ended up sharing a ROOM in Chiswick and spent the better part of my year sharing a room which I vowed I would "never ever" do.

Looking back, I can see how far I have come. I embarked on this adventure not knowing what to expect and not knowing what would happen in the end. At times I have cried and wanted to come home like you would not believe but I pushed through the hard times and have now found myself enjoying every second of London (minus the windy coldness).

I've explored new places and have met some amazing people and am only continuing to meet many more. It will be such a sad moment when I leave London because this has not just been a holiday destination for me - it has been my home. Definitely a culture shock too because of how multicultural London is. The accessibilty of Europe is amazing and I only just booked £40 return flights to Norway (which is cheaper than me booking return tickets from Melbourne to QLD) which means traveling is a breeze. Although, don't be fooled, even weekends away can turn quite expensive.

London has taught me so much about life and about myself. I've said it before and I'll say it again - London is one of the best things that I have ever decided to do in my life. Sometimes I feel that my London experience hasn't turned out the way I wanted but then I think about how I left everything at home to come on this crazy adventure and decide that I don't need to have my experience turning out a certain way - it will turn out the way it is meant to turn out and all I need to do is enjoy the ride.

And the ride has been amazing and is nowhere near over yet!