We are now in Saldanha, South Africa, about an hour from Cape Town up the west coast, at my Dad's house.
Wow what a week. We moved out of our rented house over Easter and I spent a couple of days cleaning it after that. We finished up at 9pm on Wednesday night and flew out on Thursday (yesterday) morning.
The flights were pretty much ok although we missed our connection in Johannesburg so got into Cape Town a couple of hours late. My Dad and stepmom picked us up and brought us back to Saldanha and gave us drinks and nibbles and chat until 1:30am when I crashed out.
7 hours of sleep later we woke up, had a breakfast and a walk on the beach. It is midday now and feels like evening on the body clock (it is 9pm in Sydney)... It's a stunning day, clear and breezy, and we are off for lunch on the waterfront shortly.
I'm still a bit shattered, but expect to sleep well tonight and be normal by tomorrow... I take ages to get over jetlag, but this time seems better than our last trip - we drank less on the plane which probably helps!
1 week to our wedding! OMG!!!
Weight - I have no idea but just before I packed the scale on Monday I was still 68kg so I'll pretend I didn't gain anything in the meantime. Cleaning the old house was exhausting - I ached all over - so hopefully that countered the farewell parties!
I doubt I'll be able to blog much over the next 3 weeks. On Monday we move into a place in Cape Town without internet, and after the wedding we are travelling around South Africa for a couple of weeks.
Drop back in a few weeks for an update on the wedding and honeymoon ;-). Bye for now blogees...
Friday, 28 March 2008
We are now in Saldanha, South Africa, about an hour from Cape Town up the west coast, at my Dad's house.
Thursday, 20 March 2008
2 Weeks to go to my wedding! 1 Week until I fly out to South Africa! I'm so looking forward to catching up with family and friends there, and of course to the wedding and to the travels around the country afterwards.
Weight 68kg. Excellent, so I'm maintaining just fine. What with hen parties and leaving parties that's a very good sign ;-). I've been trying to keep to my points, and I probably manage it every other day... I know that if I stayed on the 20 points a day I'd be losing! I must try to go for a run every couple of days now until the wedding too.
So what's up in my life? I sent my CV (resume) out to 10 agencies yesterday and had 7 immediate responses so that's looking good for when I get back. One agent was trying to get me to interview next week but it's just too much on top of everything else! We have found a furnished (cat friendly) let for when we arrive back from honeymoon and begin renovating the new house, and we've instructed the builder to begin sourcing people to start that rolling. The wedding planner has taken final payment (ouch).
This Easter we will be packing up the current house and cleaning it thoroughly. I got asked if it was spotless when I moved in, and well, no, as Milord had been there alone for a couple of years! He tries but he's a boy...
Good Friday tomorrow, I'm looking forward to a nice lie-in before the madness begins. Here's an Easter lolcat (one of these days I might actually use a cat pic)...
Saturday, 15 March 2008
Actually it was great fun! Phew. The girls looked after me and we had a super time. We had drinks, then dinner, then ended up in the skanky club over the road (average age 12). We boogied until 1:30 am and I was showered and asleep by 2am. This is me as queen of the night:
Milord got home after his stag night at 10am! They'd ended up at someone's house and carried on... it is now nearly 2pm and he's been asleep for a couple of hours - I don't expect him to surface before dark. I do have some pictures of his stag but he'd kill me if I posted them - I'll just say pink dress, white boa and yellow wig in public! Here's a shot he took of the sun rising - nice hey?
In a little while I will wake a member of the stag party passed out in our bed and drive him to the airport, and then I think I might have a nap myself. Although it's such a lovely day I may sit outside under a tree with the newspaper and a bottle of wine. Ah it's a hard life!
Friday, 14 March 2008
I am uninspired, so I'll follow the rest of blogland and start posting lolcats...
Tonight is my hen night. Wish me luck! Hopefully I'll have some funny photos when I'm well enough to log on again!
Thursday, 13 March 2008
Ooooooh 3 weeks to go until my wedding!
Weight: *sigh* 68kg, up a tad from last week. You know what - I'm sick of dieting... What I mean is that I am sick of frantic dieting: living on 5 points a day during the week, losing a load of weight, then being so deprived that I binge on the weekend and put most of it back and start the week feeling angry and miserable and starve myself again.
I don't binge like that normally. It's got to be a reaction to the starving, and that's just silly. So now I'm not trying to lose weight any more - I'm going to try to stay at 68kg and I'm going to stay on 20 points a day. No starving, no bingeing, no weight gain, and if I lose anything that's a bonus. I'm looking good if not thin, I'm right on the upper limit of my healthy BMI, and that's ok. Now I will concentrate on sit-ups so that I look reasonable in a bikini!
Plus my dress fits and I don't want to slim out of it! I had a nightmare the other day that on my wedding day my dress was too big and hung on me like a sack... and it was a shiny emerald green - ew. My subconscious is trying to tell me something!
I have one week left at work (jumps for joy). I'm at the point now where I spend a lot of time documenting code, I don't get invited to the planning meetings and the work tribe is beginning to nudge me out. The collegue taking over my work is totally stressed out and cranky, but I'm sure she'll be fine.
Two weeks until we move out and fly to South Africa. The shed is down, the spare room is packed up as well as a few boxes of books and dvds from the living room. I plan to do the bulk of the packing over Easter as we have no other plans. This weekend we'll touch up paintwork and stuff - I'm keeping the tasks light as I have my Hen Night this Friday and Milord has his Stag Night too! The weekend is basically a write-off.
I've had to organise my own Hen Night as my bridesmaid is in the wrong country! So I'm holding it in my own suburb, the theme is "Little Black Dress", and I'll be able to stagger home when I've had enough... I hope it's fun. I have about 15 girls joining me for drinks and dinner, and probably a boogie on a skanky pub dancefloor!
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
On most days I catch the bus to work. Generally my busload is made up of a gaggle of giggling schoolkids and a bunch of sleepy adults fresh from the shower. I fall into the sleepy category...
The other day I was half snoozing in my seat observing the world from behind my sunglasses. There was an old lady sitting the in seat in front of me and I was gently musing about her. I considered that you don't often see the wool knits with the metallic thread running through it any more, and I wondered how long she'd had her cardigan. Her somewhat greasy hair was scraped into a pony tail and I wondered if, when I am old, I will stop washing my hair every day. I wondered where she was off to at 7:30 in the morning with the working crowd.
At about this point the old duck turned around and started chatting to me. "Oh man." I thought, "Why do I always attract the lunatics? Now she's going to talk crazy at me all the way to town... maybe I should jump off and get the next bus." I nodded and smiled and tried not to stare at her toothless mouth and sun-damaged skin.
Then the strangest thing happened. She was interesting! She told me about the various landmarks we were passing - their history and what they meant to her. She told me about my suburb, Balmain, and how it used to be a docker's area and now was all trendy. The library on the way used to be a children's hospital and she took her kids there when they were sick... and so on. She was 74 and lived alone and liked taking the bus for a change of scene.
You know what? I was sorry to get off at my stop. I would have liked to have stayed chatting to that old lady for the rest of the morning - maybe over a cup of tea. It was a glimpse into the past and it was fascinating. She was in my thoughts all day.
When I am old I hope I have the courage to chat to the young whippersnappers on the bus dozing behind their sunglasses, and share a bit of my wealth of experience.
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
We took down our shed this weekend.
When I moved into Milord's rented house a couple of years ago there was a pathetic little shed in the back garden. It was covered in creeper and mostly falling down - we could just about shove the lawnmower in there but that was all. As a result Milord thought it was quite acceptable to keep things belonging in a shed in the house, like his bicycle and golf clubs, tools, pots of paint and so on. This stuff dominated the spare room, or if we had friends staying over then it all moved into the lounge and drove me crazy.
We eventually convinced the landlord to let us replace the shed. We ordered a new one which arrived in bits, then spent a weekend flattening the old shed and putting up the new one complete with a footing of 40 massive flagstones. The thing is, Milord mixed up feet and metres, so we ended up with a really enormous shed! You could park a big car in it. It was fabulous what we could pack into the space, and I delighted in clearing all sorts of junk out of the house.
Sadly the landlords were less than impressed, and they made us pay for the thing and promise to remove it when we moved out.
Which we did on Saturday - our neighbour Jim came around to help Milord dismantle the shed, and as the last panels came apart they called me to help support bits. I was happily balancing a shed wall then suddenly something ran along my arm and disappeared down my back under my top. I don't know about you but I don't handle that very well! I dropped what I was holding and scampered across to Milord squeaking "There's a bug down my back! There's a bug down my back! There's a bug down my back!". He managed to lift my shirt and flick it out:
It was a "baby" huntsman spider (they can get as big as a dinner plate - this one was 2cm across). They're not venomous but who cares? shudder
The rest of the shed removal was uneventful! Moving the flagstones took most of Sunday, and then we had to put down turf which is another story...
Monday, 10 March 2008
Remember I told you about the horrible house we were thinking of buying? Well we bought it this weekend!
The auction was at 2pm and we got there a bit early so walked half a block to the high street for a takeaway coffee. Then we took a stroll along the street looking in shop windows... within 2 blocks we saw a butcher, fishmonger, Chinese, Greek and Thai restaurants, 3 hairdressers and 2 dollar-shops. The library is at the top of our road and the booze shop a little further along. We got so excited! That's just the start of the high street - it goes on for ages...
We got back to the house as the auction was about to start, determined to buy it. A lot of people turned up, although only 4 registered to bid - and only one person actually bid against us! We saw her off within a couple of minutes and "Sold!" cried the auctioneer. Wow, what a thrill - I was shaking for half an hour afterwards. Then we walked into the house to sign papers and shuddered at the state of it. What a dump. What have we done?
I will post before and after pictures as we sort the place out, but it's vile. We will be borrowing enough money to fix it up properly and replace the kitchen and bathroom as soon as possible... I couldn't spend a night in there at the moment! Once we are in we intend to apply for planning permission to move the kitchen and bathroom around in the house and to put a deck on the back, but that can happen next year. The sign says 3 bedrooms but we'll be knocking one out to extend the living area.
This is the front of the house - it looks ok from the outside. I think the multi-coloured roof tiles are nasty, but at least they're sound! And we'll be pulling up that pebbley cement stuff in the front yard at some time too - yuck.
Oh yeah, and it's my birthday today. A bit of an anticlimax with everything else going on! Milord spoiled me with a new camera (Canon ixus 960) and the DVD box-set of the Black@dder TV series... as I'm about to become a Black@dder I need to watch the show to understand the jokes at my expense! (I've altered the spelling there so that new bosses don't find me with a search... good old internet privacy!)
Thursday, 6 March 2008
I have three countdowns on the go:
Days to my wedding = 29
Days until we move out = 19
Days left at work = 14
Hmm, actually, make that five countdowns because there is also:
Days until we fly to South Africa = 21
Days to my birthday = 4 (Monday)
(With everything else going on I am totally not excited about another birthday, but I'm sure Milord will spoil me. He has some making up to do for last year when he didn't even get me a card! sniff Being away on holiday is not a good enough excuse.)
Anyway, what I'm going to blog about today is leaving my job of almost 2 years. Gee, 2 years - it feels like yesterday that I landed my first contract role in Australia! The visa struggle, the public transport, making friends at work and understanding the new system. Exploring the shops near work and joining a gym. Working out what things really cost once I got my paycheck and stopped spending pounds! It was very exciting and I jumped out of bed each day to meet the challenge. The days flew by and I didn't have time to check my email let alone blogsurf.
The challenge is gone now and getting out of bed is a nightmare. Every day is groundhog day... same routine, same work, same people, booooring. I spend more time in the blogosphere than writing code. I went to update my CV (resume) the other day and nothing needed to be added since I submitted it in my visa application over a year ago. I have learned nothing in a year! No wonder I want to leave...
I am not a "comfort zone" person. I have a friend who is, and she said: "But, if you change jobs you'll have to learn a new system and meet new people and start a new routine!". Yes, that's the point! I didn't come halfway around the world to rot in a dead-end job in a blah suburb of Sydney for bad pay... I have my shiny new independant visa and these boots were made for walking baby.
I cannot wait to throw myself at the job market and see what happens. Very exciting!
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
Over Easter Milord and I are moving out of our rental, and a few days later will be gone for 3 weeks getting married and on honeymoon. And then we may be homeless for some time looking for a new House... So what do we do with his horrible old cat?
No we won't put her down. None of our friends can take her. Leaving her behind is not an option. So, we've booked her into a bloody expensive swanky cattery... $1000 for 4 weeks?! You've got to be kidding!
Anyway, last night we received an email from Milord's ex offering to take the cat for a few weeks. Sadly not as long as necessary, but for a while at least. Hmmm, satan cat living with banshee ex?
They deserve each other. Mwahahaha. MwahaHAHA! MwahaHAHAHA!!!
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
One month to my wedding... time is starting to fly!
Firstly, weight: 67.8kg. Up a little from last week, but I'm not surprised because I pampered myself all week and didn't gym once! I'm being very good this week so I won't up my ticker just yet in the hope I get back to 67.5 soon. I'm having fruit for breakfast and snacks, baked potato (no butter) and salad (no dressing) for lunch, and vegetable soup for dinner. No booze, no sweets. I'll walk home every day and hit the gym a couple of times... I need to get to 67kg this week to be on target - not impossible. Just very boring.
I did a bit of clothes shopping yesterday - the zip in my slacks let go just before lunch (not fair when they're actually loose right now!), so I took it as a sign from the shopping gods. I found new black slacks, a couple of work skirts, and a few plain tops. And a sexy red halter-neck top for my honeymoon... yeah baby!
You know how fitting room mirrors are always really evil? How they give you shadows and bags and cellulite and stuff (why don't shops do something about that - I'd buy more if I looked good)... Well yesterday even the fitting room mirrors were nice to me! My tummy is flat, my bum has shrunk loads and my boobs have perked up a bit. Obviously I still have weight to lose, but I'm starting to like my body again.
Nearly bikini-ready methinks ;-). Keep it up girlfriend, you can do it!
Monday, 3 March 2008
Lookit what I done:
Yesterday Milord and I started packing. We needed to empty the shed as it's coming down next weekend. Everything needed to be packed into the spare room, which meant that the spare room had to be packed up first... The first couple of hours were ok, and then it began getting very tiring!
After 4 or so hours I was on my hands and knees taping bubble wrap around a large picture. We'd got a dispenser for the tape which makes life a lot easier - you just stick, pull and twist to get the serrated teeth to cut the tape. Stick pull twist. Stick pull twist. Stick pull tug tug twist yank... ow.
I'm an idiot.