Well, here we are. Two weeks on since I last wrote, and one week on since when I was due to write again but didn’t due to the fact I was busy, away, out of service / not on wifi – and simply was otherwise happily preoccupied.

My memory isn’t always the greatest so I’m struggling to think what exactly happened in the week before last. Monday was disgustingly cold, wet and windy – it felt like Winter yet it was mid Spring. I’d set myself some goals and was keen to stick to them so still went out to walk. I was keen to test my new waterproof jacket, which worked a total treat. Windsor was absolutely saturated and so was my lower half – but the top, very nicely warm and dry.

Tuesday. Yep, can’t remember. Need to check my phone for any pics to see if anything jogs my mind. Basically the week consisted of lots of walking, reading, attempting to alter my mindset, trying to get in a bit more walking, coffee, and random jobs or driving errands. I’d had another blood test to see if my iron was improving, taking increased dosage and feeling the effects of it. One of the evenings I went to do a little walk around the field but ended up walking to two villages, saved a little shrew, found a tiger and yeah, just enjoyed being amidst the landscape.

Wednesday we’d been in to Norwich for some jobs, and also went to check out the Castle again too. I’d been a couple of years ago, and my energy was way down so I was doing my best to appreciate what I could. A fair amount was similar. It’s a great and informative place, and no the 3,000 year old mummy hadn’t changed. We did discover the wildlife and local geography sections which I’d never been into before. It reminded me of some other places I’d seen in Paris and Scotland as well.


I’d had a really good week as a whole. Accomplishing little goals and in a better headspace. Things were looking up. Saturday I was due to go away for a couple of nights. Whilst packing my things on Saturday afternoon though I was overwhelmed with anxiety in my chest. I hadn’t realised how bad it was until I went downstairs and could hardly speak. I was upset for a long time, fighting my mind and very nearly bailed on the plans. I knew it would pass, but this somehow felt different.

There are always some apprehensions when it comes to change, and the way its seems at the moment is with a weaker body, as soon as there’s a slip of the mind it just slides. Riding the waves isn’t easy, and I think I felt worse having had such a good week that it really came over me in an unexpected manner. Really appreciate the support I have here though with my family. Truly. I went up to try and rest, collect my thoughts type thing. After some time I felt okay enough. Dad and Chaz said they’d drive me over to my Aunt and Uncle’s stunning farm in North Norfolk, about an hour away. I was still pretty tense and even upon arrival Ros checked to see if I wanted to stay or not. I said I would. I wasn’t actually sure I was going to get through, but knew I had to try, and that things should improve. Having made the commitment earlier in the week I really didn’t want to go back on my word. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and it generally works out for the best, just needs time. I took a deep breathe and continued on, ultimately having a really fantastic weekend.


Ros and Larry had a couple of lovely friends visiting, Maria and Patrick, whom I’d met a couple of years ago in Winter time. It was great to see them again, particularly with glorious Spring sunshine to light everything up each day. The last time we were all there was when I’d returned to England after breaking down in Europe from my PTSD after Paris. I’d lost my entire identity basically, my essence and any ability to travel. I’d needed to return home, to a safe space, people I knew – to what was familiar. I can recall when we were all there I’d freak out at noises and movements there, and in the tiny seaside town of Blakeney. I’d lost all rationality and was struggling to deal. It was beautiful to sit and reflect on how much things have improved since then.

Our weekend was so nice. I was mostly helping out as an extra set of hands – prepping, cooking and cleaning; renamed to the little kitchen fairy. Lots of time with the animals, walking about the woods, seaside Blakeney and along the beach at Wells too Asparagus adventures, river dance performances, pond clear outs and other random bits and pieces too. All sorts of conversation, and an incredible amount of time in the sunshine absorbing all the most beautiful rays. I started reading a book a friend gifted me last August. I’ve carried it everywhere with me since but always struggled to pick it up. I’ll finish it tonight. Such a stunning message and a book well worth a read when the time is right. I’ve started noticing synchronicity signs again, and yeah – I think the whole weekend of helping out along with some R&R was well embraced.

In the end I was away for four days – with a total digital detox in that time, only using my phone for the occasional photo, video or the time. Loved it.


When you find the time, and when the time is right, allow yourself to bathe n the beautiful message within the pages of The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.


So where am I? Tuesday I think it was when I came back into Norwich and back to Stokesby. The sun was still shining so I found the sun lounger here and continued to bake and read for the remainder of the afternoon. The day was glorious so we wandered down to the Pop for a drink by the river in the late sun, before ending up staying for dinner.

Loved the sun this week, and on Wednesday it continued on – more resting, reflecting, making daisy chains, fixing gazebos, further enjoyment of the peace in the pause. I’ve been looking at work exchanges on and off again for a while now, unsure of where to go and what to do exactly, but also trying to work out some plans for the upcoming month.

I think it was Thursday evening I watched a movie on TV. I rarely watch the square box or manage to be awake that late, but it was called A Walk In The Woods, based on the book by Bill Bryson. Very easy to watch and the scenery had me pining for the mountains, increasing my excitement to be heading back.

Friday and Saturday we spent time in Norwich, jobs, wandering, riverside walks, coffee, cake, more coffee, deliberating over decisions, discussions, public performances, the works. Really nice just getting a chance to spend time with my family, hanging out with my brother in Norwich like we used to last year when I was working here.

Today is Sunday. I keep forgetting what day it is. I never did find my watch, and days kind of pass from one to the other. I can’t believe it’s the 13th of May already. Nine years ago I was packing my bag for a one-way flight to England and no idea of what my future had instore for me. May 16, 2009. A date I’ll never forget. I’ve got to start packing again soon, and I don’t think I’m going to take my laptop with me, so again this may end up being the last blog in a while – unless I work out how I can do this on my phone. Doubt I’d manage to write so much though. It’s basically waffle anyway so doesn’t really matter so much.


But yeah, basically have the next five weeks sorted out with a few different adventures and happenings. Haven’t had plans like that for quite a while. Months really. It’s going to be sad to leave my family again. It’s always nice spending time together, enjoying and sharing moments. But life is for living, and we know we’ll be together somewhere soon as well. Plus I’ve got to be back in July for a big summer party. 50 years since Grandma and Stanley purchased this place. 50 years my Grandma has owned her home, 50 years since my Mum and her siblings moved here (9 that “Mum’s room” has become “my room” haha). Well worth a celebration.


At the same time I can’t wait to soon be returning to the most beautiful patch (and more) of this big wide world where my body shakes my soul to its’ core and feels ever so alive. So much so I struggle to describe it with anything else but a super smile that spreads across my face just at the thought of it. My third home. My soul’s home.


 

To blog or not to blog? That is the question…

Well why not?

I’ve tried setting myself a challenge to see if on a Sunday I can do a little recount type post for what I’ve been up to throughout the week. Whether or not such a thing is going to interest anyone other than myself I do not know, but that does not matter, for the main purpose and reasoning of said challenge is for me.

Many a times have I tried setting myself up with the aim to start writing on a continual basis, and never has it succeeded without huge gaps between posts. That is apart from when writing became an extremely cathartic process for me after the events in Paris back in November 2015 – however most of those words are in the abyss of the Instaphere and attached to my old account.


So. We returned to England on April 18, and by we I mean my mother, father and myself. I have not flown to Europe with my parents since I was 11, and the last time we all shared a commercial plane was 2006 when flying to Cairns in Far North Queensland.

I have flown in planes multiple times domestically and internationally by myself, with friends, brothers, silent strangers, and other family members too. Thanks to my uncle and a family friend I have also zipped around the skies above my hometown of Hay and the Riverina to inspect farms, floods, and for fun too. One morning a friend and I were able to join some young guys getting their hours up and soar above the skies over Hay in a hot air balloon as well – now that was an experience!!

In April last year whilst waiting somewhere I made a list of all the international flights I could recall from my life. I got to 22, with seven of those simply being written as “return”. 29. But to adjust to today, being April 2018 – it is now 34 – and doesn’t include all the legs when doing the big trips – e.g. Australia – France.

I think my most memorable moment from a plane would have to be when I couldn’t sleep on my way back to Australia in March 2016. 42 hours of travel with 2 hours sleep. Ouch. But phenomenal – because whilst amusing myself/preoccupying my mind by watching the stars and night sky pass outside my window I looked down to see the moonlight snowcapped mountains of Iran. I was awe-struck, and as we continued so did my amazement. There were all these areas of pulsating red lighting up the darkness. I witnesses them grow and shrink, grow and shrink – some bigger than others. It was then that I realised they were oil fields, and the flames were the gas. It blew me away, and I strained my neck until I could see them no longer.


Ah man, at this rate I’m going to have one very long post! Where was I?


Right, so I’ve been back in England for eleven days. The Thursday before I flew was 39 degrees, the weekend before I was up at the skifields of NSW with snow, minus temperatures and a wind chill factor of -18!, flew out of a 20 degree day in Melbourne and arrived into Heathrow at lunchtime – with a stunning 26 degree day. I have to say it was one of the worst flying experiences I’ve ever had – extremely tired, riddled with anxiety, exhaustion, dehydration and lack of appetite. I would say I was happy to arrive but by that point I was beyond it all – and wanted nothing more than a bed. I could only manage two sips of disgusting coffee and fell asleep somewhere after the madness of the M25. We finally arrived to my Grandma’s house / my English base at about 8.30pm. I barely remember what happened after that and was asleep not very long after.


In the days that have followed since touching back down onto English soil time has been filled with rest, reflection, recovery, random happenings around the countryside amidst villages, towns and cities. Settling in and adjusting with the jetlag basically. Driving duties, yoga, shopping, walks, a swim at the beach, odd little adventures, cleaning, acclimatising and the sorts.


On the Friday after we arrived I was still fairly out of it, but had the immense pleasure of attending and watching my second brother graduate and perform as an English firey after months of training. Chaz had spent years working for the rural brigade in Australia and is now part of the urban side of things over here. Fantastic to be able to attend and very much a proud sister moment. Keen to see where everything leads.


Most other days have blended into the above happenings, with a few other family catch ups, coffees, crisps and fish and chippities thrown in too.


I haven’t had the greatest past few months for an abundance of reasons I do not wish to go into right now, but one thing that I believe isn’t helping is the ripple effect of my very low energy levels. Not long before leaving Australia I found out my iron levels had dropped again, and were in fact lower than the last time this happened in 2013. I’d reached a point at home where I was becoming extremely exhausted with work / sometimes at work, and even if I finished in the afternoon would need to rest before dinner at night. This then was impacting other areas of my health / life, which in turn made everything even more frustrating.

It was reminiscent of back when I was working on farms across the summer of 2012/13 and sorting out the issues I was having then. I had recently returned from having a fabulous four month European summer (I’d left for only 7 weeks and extended a couple of times), travelling about the place and enjoying life – in particular a bit too much whilst working at a hostel in Northern Ireland. As we drove around the Republic of Ireland I wasn’t drinking all that much – the odd little Guinness, cider or baileys as we moved about to accompany our phenomenal budget-proof diet of white bread, lettuce and mayonnaise sandwiches (plus the cheapest sliced meat every couple of days). Belfast was another story though, and I was drunk almost every night for a good six weeks. Quite the change after barely drinking for the first six months of the year. Safe to say the alcohol had ruined me and my insides – causing me to drop 25kgs within just a couple of months and struggling to eat more than half my palm size of food. I was back in Australia and would go off to my bug checking work early in the morning to beat the heat, and come back shattered by the middle of the afternoon – unable to stay awake I’d need to nap, wake to attempt to eat, then be back in bed and asleep by 9.30pm in order to function the next day. This time I didn’t have the physical internal issues to contend with, but it was creating other internal annoyances.


The point being, if there even is a point, to all those ramblings is that I’ve just been told over here that I need to double my dosage for another month. I’m really hoping this will help spark my soul again, as well as recently purchased ticket too. I hardly have any plans worked out at all and it has been feeling more daunting this time than before ( which I think is more situational), but as my little brother reminded me (and many others in their own ways too – thank you), I haven’t really known what I’ve wanted to do for the last 10 years of my life, and look how things have turned out… pretty freaking fantastic. I sure have had my fair amount of fun and random adventures in that time, so who knows what may just happen next…


I more than likely won’t normally write out this many words if I do in fact manage to make this a weekly occurrence, and shall attempt to be a bit more detailed – but today is freezing, wet and drizzly. I have a coffee by my side, the central heating is on, my candle lit, laptop up and a slit view through my window of the mist outside. It feels like inside weather to me. So computer based jobs and some writing felt apt to me.

** As well as that I’ve given myself five habits to attempt everyday, and one weekly one – which is this. Shall see how it all goes – definitely not on track right now to hit my walking target for the day! Still a number of hours left though.


V

 

Video #1: Weekly Write Up #1. April 17-29,2018

Day 10 of #Yes100

I didn’t write today, but I have a pretty good reason for it which I will care to explain in more depth at yet another time.

But in short – it’s because I was busy flying to the other side of the world!

I’m in England now with my friend Georgina. We flew out of Melbourne at 10pm on Saturday, October 1 and arrived into London at 2pm Sunday, October 2 – which would be the equivalent of midnight Sunday in Australia.

I was far too tired to write by the time we made it back to Stokesby yesterday, so I am attempting to write somewhat of a recount of yesterday now, on Monday night, before writing for one today too. I hadn’t planned to not write, but after arriving back here to my English home of my Grandma’s by 5.30pm, and having conversations, catch-ups, dinner and dessert I was pretty beat and keen for bed. I think we went to bed around 8.30pm?

I had slept around 5 hours on the first part of the flight. We were going from Melbourne to Doha in Qatar, a flight of 14 or so hours. We’d got on the plane, got settled a little and as much as I’d have liked to go to sleep soon after I could smell the stinky plane food and realised we were still getting dinner served to us, so figured best to wait until after that had been served. It’s a pain falling asleep with the chair back only to be woken up by the stewardess to pull it forward so the person behind can eat their food. Yes it makes it easier for them, but if you’ve managed to fall asleep on a plane, I’d much rather be able to stay asleep.

Before sleeping I’d had a quick browse through the movie menu and made a bit of a playlist up of things I’d be interested in watching. There were four or five French movies amidst the mix, because I hadn’t practiced my French before take off for the 15 minutes – I’d done just one lesson – but I figured that watching the French films with English subtitles was a good and alternate way for me to learn. Interesting watching and when you turn away, with the headphones on of course, and you catch a glimpse of what was being said but then get lost so have to watch again to work it out.

I think I watched 3 or 4 more movies after my sleep. I tried dozing off a couple of times again but it didn’t happen. I watched a really fascinating documentary about a Mexican kayaker who had planned to drop off Niagara Falls. Really well produced and a good story line / point made in it too. Worth watching if you get the chance. The only other film that wasn’t French was some American thing set out in the wilderness. I thought it was okay to begin but just turned a bit strange so I fast forwarded to get to the end quicker.

We landed in Doha whilst it was basically still dark. The sun was only just starting to light things up, and it was a cool 27 degrees outside. We had a couple of hours in the new airport there so went walking all around the shops and different areas and gates before making our way to our own. It’s a superb architectural building. I always love flying through the Middle East and seeing the way their culture is reflected in the buildings and surrounds, but also because the make-up of people there is so different as well, particularly if compared to Asia. I like trying to guess where people may be from due to their dress and things like that. Highly recommend it. Also they are cheap and have great timing for the flights, in my opinion anyway. You get to leave at night, kill a few hours then sleep when you would be in Aus, then wake, eat, be awake for the ‘day’ as such, before jumping on the next leg where you may be awake for a bit at first, then try and sleep some before getting off in the middle of the day in London, so that you don’t have as long to be awake for before night falls and you should be sleeping there anyway. Basically I find it helps you to adjust more.

I was feeling pretty good in Doha. I’d been a bit nervy and sad at Melbourne, and couldn’t help but constantly feel  like it was a dream and not real. The flight was smooth, on both legs, but a few little times I just had to talk to myself a touch to see things straight. As I was saying Doha then felt really good and wasn’t bothering me at all. The second leg went by and when we got to Heathrow things were on my mind a bit more. For the second flight I’d only got an hour or so of sleep, and apart from that watched another French movie, a doco on the clock tower of Mecca, something else I can’t remember and then a bunch of docos on the Silk Road by David >>>>>>/ – it was a fascinating watch, and what made it cool was that for part 2 and 4 of the journey where he was and what we was talking about was basically directly beneath where we were flying at the time. Pretty mad. Want to learn more about it all, and by the way, Georgia looks stunning!

I’d had to split from George after getting off the plane as she was headed for Other passports and I had to go for the UK/Europe line. We said we’d meet at carousel 2 for our luggage, but I couldn’t see George when I arrived. I had gone through really quickly, and I saw the line was longer for the other section, but I didn’t expect it to take as long as it did. The bags took a fair time to come out. I got mine first, then saw George’s so grabbed that and waited to the side. I was hoping that she hadn’t been caught up arriving on a single ticket or anything like that. She came out not that much longer than her bags, and we made our way for the exit.

Viv spotted us on our way out of departures. We caught up on the way back, stopped at some services for lunch and then just continued to chat all our way home. Super grateful for the airport pick up, still all felt surreal.


Written;
From: 8.39 – 9.00pm (a day late)
In: Stokesby, UK

Day 9 of #Yes100

Today’s the day! I can’t believe it really. The first of October, the day we fly to the UK. Ever since returning home on March 1 I have been aware I would one day be going back overseas again, and was meant to go on April 19. I decided that that was far too early given the way I was feeling, so changed it to late May. Late May came and went, and I still hadn’t flown. I had to forfeit my ticket in order to look after my health, a decision that I do not regret. I was talking to someone just the other day and felt that had I gone back then, I would probably already have returned home. But in saying that, it’s all hindsight. You never really know what’s infront of you, so you just have to take life as it comes.

Today was an early rise. My alarm was set for 6.15am, however Dad came and knocked on my door at 5.57! I hadn’t got to sleep until late so was a bit slow moving. I got up, showered, got things sorted for my hand luggage and the rest of my big backpack, and then finally we were able to pack the car. We had planned to leave at 7am, although by the time we got to pick up George and make tracks it was about 7.45am.

We headed along the highway chatting about all sorts of things. Many billy buttons were spotted between Mathoura and Echuca, and jokes were had with everynoe saying they couldn’t see the little yellow balls. It took me a few minutes to realise they were all winding me up. We stopped in Echuca for the loo, Heathcote for breakfast, before getting to Alphington to drop George off to see a friend. Mum, Dad and I continued on to North Richmond to pop into a shop and get some final things – really good earbuds and a blow up neck pillow that doesn’t bust. I purchased the same things before my last trip and they all worked really well, until I lost them.

To get from Richmond to Port Melbourne we went along Hoddle St – the place was so quiet especially considering the fact it’s grandfinal day. We saw quite a few revellers making their way around the place, then drove along the esplanade of the bay to meet my brother and his girlfriend in PM for lunch. The place we were headed for was closing, due to low numbers from the final, so we found somewhere else near by. It was great to catch up as usual and chat about old times and new. I have a few photos to send Alex, so hopefully writing it here will remind me to do that at a more convenient time.

We said farewells to the guys before making our way to South Melbourne, where we were meeting Virigina and Paul for the afternoon. We parked in my old spot for PSC and walked over to Southbank, finding them in a place full of AFL supporters. It was pretty loud but we managed, and George came and joined us too. As the afternoon got on the football finished but it was still a bit loud, so we headed to a front table for some fresh air. A helicopter zooming past and some slamming toilet doors, plus the slightly warmer inside before moving was starting to make my chest a bit tight and my mind start to wander. It wasn’t too bad, however was there.

It was lovely to catch up with all through the afternoon, but then we had to make our way to the airport. Quick goodbyes to Mum and Dad was a bit sad however had to happen in order for us to go. We went in, checked in quickly thanks to online check in/bag drop and then made our way through security etc and to the gates. A bit of book browsing on the inside and some water and lolly purchasing, then waiting at the gate and writing this out.

A few times plans have flown by and it just makes my mind wonder for a moment – but I’m at an airport and you expect that so yeah. Called my brother Chaz for a chat before writing this out. Beginning to get very tired though, but it’s okay, for our plane is starting to board and we need to go.

I haven’t completed my French lessons yet, but will do that either on the plane or whilst we are waiting to board.

Best go! You’ve been great Australia. Until next time!!

Peace,
V


Written;
From: 9.02 – 9.17pm
In: Melbourne, Austraia

Day 8 of #Yes100

We’re here. It’s the penultimate day in Australia once again, and I right now can barely keep my eyes open. I’ve been slowly working through my list of jobs since this morning, with a little bit of procrastination thrown in too.

The morning mostly consisted of sorting out some washing, waiting for that to dry, coffee, some computer based jobs and waiting longer for things to dry. The weather was looking quite precarious so I decided not to hang anything outside but instead set it all up by the heater.

In the middle of the day I joined Dad for a quick run out to the farm, what’s normally a 15 minute or so trip was almost half an hour. There is just so much water around at the moment that the road from the bitumen was just so slippery we had to take it all quite slow. The idea was to go out and start a pump to help reduce how much water was around in the channels, however when we got there in the end and Dad jumped out to sort it, he soon decided there wasn’t actually as much as he had expected and there was no need for the pump. This was quite good news, as it sounded like it would mean he could join us tomorrow in going to Melbourne and heading for the airport.

We slid around to get back to the road, with the dogs out of the back of the ute and running around like mad. It was great to see both Archie and Buddy having  so much fun. Archie would run through all the puddles, jumping around and racing from side to side of the road, his tail often flicking water up from the puddles as he went through them. Bud on the other hand was more keen to run in straight lines and wander about in the bushes, getting stuck on the wrong side of a fence at one point before being rescued and coming to join us on the road side again. It was nice to get out and see the Plains for one last time too. Everywhere is so lush right now. The greenness has started to fade as when it’s not raining the weather has been starting to warm up. Still quite a sight – especially when there are many different varieties of wildflowers about too.

I had a little chat to my brother Chaz on the way in. Today was his last day of work after almost 10 years. He moves to England for a career and life change in just over a week, which I have to say is just awesome! So happy for him making the move and giving a whole new chapter a go. Really intrigued to see what happens there. Whilst we were driving around on the phone we also had a look at some of the flood levels. All the river roads are shut off as the water is now at 8m, however it still has quite a way to go before hitting the 2012 level. This may well happen if the rain keeps up!

I got Dad to drop me off at Foodworks so I could buy some milk, but more so to say goodbyes to my co-workers. It’s going to be a bit sad not getting to go in and have fun with them everyday, and they seemed to feel the same way too. My little six week stint lasted 7 months in the end, and I am super grateful for that opportunity. I saw almost all of the peeps, and then on the short way home bumped into two more who were just starting, and had another drive past just as I was getting to our place. Joys of a small town knowing everybody.

I spent the afternoon sorting things a little more, lunch and a couple of games of backgammon, however whilst playing I couldn’t help but think I really needed to go and start packing. It was around 4.45 when I started to lay things out on my bed in order to see what was there and what I wanted. I had written a list out earlier in the day and had everything except one little black cardi thing.

Our neighbours came around for a farewell drink a bit after 5, so I took a break to join them, talk and laugh. Many fun times had over morning coffees and I’m sure many more at other points in time too.

I got back to the sorting of clothes etc., before going out for dinner with my parents, as well as the family of my friend whom I am travelling with for the six months. Great to see all the Lowies and spend time with everyone, excitement was starting to fill the air. We were talking of a BBQ earlier in the week, however after hearing that one of the local pubs had been broken into, again, this time having an entire safe stolen and tens of thousands of dollars and donation money, we decided we would like to go and have dinner there to support them.

It wasn’t an overly late night as for most of us we have an early morning to head to Melbourne. When we got back I went to pack my things which I had put into a washing basket prior to dinner. They didn’t look like they were all going to fit, however they did with a fair bit of extra space. I put my backpack onto the scales and was quite suprised to see it only come to 8.9kg. I had left some things out that seemed like duplicates, but decided as I had spare space and plenty of room – my allowance is up to 30kg – that I would put in the extra bits and pieces as I can always leave some stuff at my Grandma’s in England, where we will be in just over 48 or so hours. I can’t seem to find my ugg boots, but had thought they might just fit in the bag – what a serious luxury that would be.

Extremely tired now, and once I finished sorting that. I tried to tidy up some things in the living room before taking myself to bed to sleep, but not before writing this. I think tonight of all nights I have wanted to the least. Not because I don’t enjoy it, but because I could barely keep my eyes open.

I’ll have to work something out tomorrow as I’ll need to write and post before taking off tomorrow night, and then as we reach my Grandma’s Sunday night I’ll have to write and post again there to try and not miss a day.

Sleep now, up in about 7 hours to get sorted and make our way to Melbs.  Keen!

Ah, and I completed my French this morning. I only just made 15 minutes as I was tired having just woken up, but I knew I’d need to get it done early rather than leaving it until late again.

Peace,
V


Written;
From: 11.04pm – 11.25pm
In: Hay, Australia

Day 7 of #Yes100

It’s been a week now, this is day seven of the 100 Yes Days. Every day so far I have said I would not write late at night when I take myself to bed, but every night it happens that way. It makes sense really though, as I am busy through the days getting sorted for our trip and up until today working as well.

Today I woke up early, not sure why actually – it was gone midnight when I went to sleep and woke around 7, unable to fall back to sleep. I had a list of things to do today so got up, had breakfast and started to do things.

We had sausages for breakfast. I don’t normally have cooked breakfasts, maybe once every couple of weeks, and it never used to be that much. Dad was cooking though so I said sure, I’ll have one too. Mum came down to join us and reminded me that in a couple of days I’ll be able to have some delicious Acle sausages at Grandma’s. That thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. It was VegFeb when I left, and I can’t remember if we had any in the few days of January that were left when I had arrived there, so I may not have had any since last December. Looking forward to it.

I set about my day crossing off jobs in order of how I wrote them. I had a 10am appointment, which turned out to be 10.30/45 instead. So I headed down the street to pick up some extra camera batteries I had been recommended to purchase from BetterBatt, and also my freshly dry-cleaned jacket. It’s needed a pretty good clean for some time now, so hopefully that helps for this third winter I am headed for.

I went for my appointment next door to get some things sorted before flying out, and in the process was shown the hometown of our business neighbour’s father in Italy. Altomonte looks superb. She said that if I wanted to head that way to let her know and she may be able to find some cousins etc who would have me to stay. Said I’d be happy to work for my keep type thing, so who knows if that may happen. Being in Southern Italy it may be a good option for the colder months – it won’t be super sunny, but surely will be warmer than other parts of Europe.

I am sure there were a couple of other things in there that I did but I can’t really remember now. I spent a fair amount of time trying to look through worldwide medical insurance offered by Bupa, but then came to realise I would also need travel insurance to cover my phone/camera/laptop etc., not just health. Quite a few phone calls and reading through policy information, I think I am going to go with WorldNomads. They look to be the cheapest – around $540 for 5 months worth, with the option to extend and it doesn’t matter which countries I go to. So that sounds pretty reasonable. I can’t see that much of a difference between it and the Bupa one apart from $130 or so, where as Covermore who I go with are really expensive – especially when I try add in the Moroccan component. I’ll book that in the morning, before getting on to sorting out clothes, car, finalising a digital product and a few other things too.

I was pretty exhausted by mid afternoon. I don’t think this crazy windy/wet weather helps, and I could barely keep myself awake. I took myself to bed somewhere around 3/3.30 and fell asleep. It was gone 6.30 before I woke, and felt like I could have kept sleeping through the night. I’m not sure of the last time I had an afternoon nap, but I didn’t feel like doing anything else but just that. Woke up to find Dad’s chicken casserole was almost ready. Dinner was delicious, throwing some vegetables, drumsticks, stock, lemons, mushrooms and parsley into a slow cooker for a few hours is a sure way for tasty goodness. When I sat down I noticed there was extra cutlery, but didn’t think anymore of it until it was mentioned there was dessert. Crepes had been made, as well as a raspberry mix of cream, raspberries, banana, chocolate and I think something I have missed? Served up with ice cream and strawberries on the side it was a great end for my final dinner at home.

Tomorrow is the last dinner in Hay, but I am headed out for it with my parents, my friend George who I’m travelling with and the rest of her family too. Looking forward to it. It also means I have to have everything sorted by 7.15pm! Best get to sleep so I can wake and finish things off tomorrow.

I am yet to do my French today. I didn’t feel like it waking up tired this morning, and had meant to complete it through the afternoon but hadn’t exactly realised I’d be asleep for most of it. Best complete that now before I fall asleep.

We watched The Da Vinci Code after dinner which had French without subtitles. It was fun trying to work out what they were saying, picking up words here and there. I had forgotten it was set in Paris. I knew it finished there with Le Louvre, but forgot a lot was filmed around the place. Always nice to see the old city – look forward to seeing it again soon!

By the way, I don’t read through any of these posts, just write them out and post. So no idea how they actually read back through as a whole. I just do a little spell-check and that’s it.

Peace,
V


Written;
From: 11.04pm – 11.20pm
In: Hay, Australia

Day 6 of #Yes100

It’s thunder. I know it’s thunder, I’ve been told a storm is coming, it sounds like thunder, I know it’s thunder – but my mind is trying to make me think otherwise.

I know my PTS and anxieties have been coming back a little bit this week. Emotions moving, checking the news a bit more frequently / aware that I am, certain thoughts playing around in my head etc.

Tonight there is a really big low system coming through which has been forecast for a few days now to bring winds, rain, thunder and lightning. It’s the kind of thunder that rattles across the sky from one side to the next, and it started just over 15 minutes ago. I heard it rumbling in the distance whilst I was in the shower, and I could feel my head noticing it and trying to play funny buggers. It’s a loud sort of rumble that I used to train? myself to look out for. Train isn’t a good word, but it’s what was happening and I couldn’t control it. It’s been getting closer since the shower, and I just saw the first lot of lightning. Within 10 seconds the thunder started, which I can’t remember the formula for but I think means it’s about 3-4kms away? The rain is beginning to fall heavier, just as I write this sentence it is starting to pound harder. Hail is meant to come with it. This system has already put South Australia out of power – a whole Australian state!

I’ve just turned my light off, and unplugged my computer before writing. I think I should unplug my phone too, just in case. Here comes the rain. It’s falling hard. It would be saturating if you were out in it. I’m wondering where my camera is. Another lot of lighting. It sounds more like a storm now, seeing as there is rain etc to go with it. This thunder though, it’s shook my window a couple of times. It’s not suprising it makes me question. My psychologist in Australia said that I will be hyper-vigiliant to things now, so it’s to be expected I suppose. With the change of stability and cirucmstances coming up I’m not really that shocked that I’m feeling a few different things.

This morning though, I was so excited. I was smiling so hard I could feel it all the way through my body. It hit me just before and on the way to work (about a 3 minute walk) that today was my last day. I would not have to put my uniform on again, or walk to the supermarket to a timeframe. All throughout the morning I was feeling pretty chuffed, fully aware that everything I was doing was the last time I would have to do it. It’s quite a surreal feeling really. I have left this place a few times now, but each time I don’t plan on coming back. The employers are great for they have had me back each time I have asked, and I have really appreciated it. This time I was only meant to be back in Australia for seven weeks, and had said that I could work for six. The first week it was over 40C and a heat wave, so having come from a European winter I was hiding inside in the airconditioning. That six weeks though, well I ended up working for seven months.

I didn’t plan this, I planned to fly back to the UK on April 19. I had bought a return ticket from over there and that was it. Well I soon changed that flight to late May, as I did not feel ready to return in April. May came and that too felt too soon, so I had to wave goodbye to 500 odd dollars as my ticket could not be extended any further. Then there were plans to work in the French Pyrenees for September basically. It would have started late August and gone for four weeks, building stone walls high above the world. I decided that wasn’t such a great idea in the end, and had to cancel it as well.

This time though, I am due to leave the country with a childhood friend of mine. It feels different knowing there will be someone to go with, and who understands my situation too. I have back up plans incase they are needed, but really I won’t know until I go, until we get there.

This isn’t what I planned to write about tonight though, and my fifteen minutes is already up.

I was going to write about today, what I did, going to work and completing my last day, farewelling friends, customers and colleagues etc. I basically did every job you could do – clean, cook chickens, take them off, clean machine, ends, fill, necks, frames, dates, meat ends, clean, close, etc. Once I finished work Maddi did a little song and dance, whilst I tried to video it. It was pretty great, but I don’t think anything will exceed what she and Lachi did yesterday. I was at the top of the stairs looking over the workplace having signed out for the end of the day and they both broke in to song and dance, clapping and I was clicking. It was like a musical all for me, and it was fabulous. Tonight’s little encore will have to suffice. After work finished and dinner / chats I went around to a friends. Margie and I spoke of travels, photography, post-exhibition things, Scotland, photography, and more. She thanked me for what I had done with the camera club and the help I had offered, for which I said I did not need anything, but was given a new memory card which was very nice of her. Having heard the story about how she and Chris lost 9 rolls of film from their travel in Scotland in 1989, I proclaimed that the new card was for Scotland – and that in this time in one week when we are travelling there, and whatever we find ourselves doing there, I shall photograph on that card  as a way to acknowledge what had happened.

I’m a bit calmer now with the thunder. I’m not actually sure of the last time I saw or heard a really good thunderstorm. There haven’t been all that many really, just lots and lots of rain. Which is why the river is currently flooding, something which I hope to photograph tomorrow or the next day. I’ve got a bit of a list of jobs to do tomorrow, as I now have just two days to get myself organised and packed to travel to the other side of the world. We head to Melbourne Saturday morning and fly out that night, can’t believe it’s finally here!

I continue to do my 15 minutes of French in the morning before I get up, and it’s going well. Did a quick redo of this mornings pronouns tonight before coming to bed and was happy to make only one mistake.

Life is basically all unknowns really. And that’s where the fun lies… looking forward to it.


Written;
From: 11.28pm – 11.50pm
In: Hay, Australia

Day 5 of #Yes100

What an interesting day, well mostly morning anyway!

An alarm was required to make sure I was awake at 8am to get ready to leave by 9. I don’t need that much time, but I know I don’t like to get up straight away so it’s best to play it safe. I woke up at 7.59am and watched my alarm switch on just a moment later.

I was off to Deniliquin for a dental appointment, as well as to catch up with a friend beforehand. I had asked Mum if she wanted to join, so when we were both ready for 9am we went to make our way. To work out whose car we took – mine little runabout or Mum’s main car, we flipped a coin. First was heads – mine, but I did best of three and her came out on top. We journey South along the highway for about 15 before swooshhh – we passed a truck on the highway then heard a crashy type noise – I looked behind to see a rear red light go flying as we slowed to a stop. Mum jumped out to see what exactly had happened, only to discover the back panels had blown apart and the light was missing. We went back to pick it up, try and push everything back into place and attempt to drive again. It popped out again within about a minute, so we stopped and wondered just what we were going to do. We were 20kms into a 120km drive, and we could barely move a few hundred metres without it being an issue. Mum found some band aids in her handbag, so we figured well, this is the best we’ve got – we need to try and bandage it back together and see if it holds. Amazingly it did! I didn’t expect it to. We got back to Hay, swapped vehicles and then headed off in mine. Half an hour later meant unfortunately there wasn’t much time between me arriving and having to race off, but Mum was able to stay and chat whilst I went off to my appointment.

bandaiding-the-car

There was a bit of a wait upon arrival, but I didn’t mind as I found an interesting little Reader’s Digest to have a browse through, mentioning something about mindful meditation – and many other things. It was an interesting read with some good points to be made. As the trip draws closer I’m beginning to feel more emotions again – excitement, elation, nervousness, a bit sad and some anxiety trying to creep in too. Mixed emotions is totally normal before a big trip. It is your brain trying to make sense of what is about to happen and the changes that are going to occur in your days. I keep telling myself this, for I have felt these things before, but at the same time trying to control the little bit of anxiety I can feel too – which I had been expecting. I’m really keen for the trip, I just think that getting there is a big step.

Anyway, whilst reading the digest as I waited for my appointment I was delighted to learn you could submit articles and be paid. I thought this was a great idea and have made sure I remembered to bookmark it for later. My phone had died when we got to Deni – barely 2.5 hours off the charge and about 30 minutes of use, yet it was dead, only showing a sign to plug it into a charger. Pleased to know my memory worked and I remembered RD for another day.

The appointment was good and didn’t take very long once in there. We were soon on the road once more and heading back to Hay so I could get to work. It wasn’t the busiest afternoon but I had a few jobs to do so was busy with that the whole while. I saw some people who I wasn’t sure I’d see again, so made sure to say farewells and goodlucks until we meet again. It’s beginning to feel real when these things are said. Not only that it was my second last day of work, only one more now. There are cetrain jobs I won’t have to do again, which still seems crazy to consider. I could try and do figures to work out how many times I have done them since being back home and working again for the past seven months, but I think I’ll leave it.

I completed my French this morning between waking and getting up for a shower. My brain seemed a bit slow but we were getting there, however I was glad when the fifteen minutes were up. I had a very brief look tonight at CommeUneFrancais. I will look at it more later when I have some extra time (I need to get to sleep), but had a memory when I saw from high school when I signed up to Learn French through About.com. I never really liked that site and barely looked at any of the emails, but by the end of high school I had thousands of them in my inbox. Learning French has always been something I’ve wanted to do, great to see it’s finally happened a bit more concrete than unread emails!

I can’t believe tomorrow is my final day of work!!!! Shall miss the fun times, but it does make me quite excited!! 🙂

Peace,
V


Written;
From 11.11pm – 11.34pm
In: Hay, Australia

Day 4 of #Yes100

It’s my last Monday for the mean time, and I didn’t really know how to feel today.

I woke up earlier than desired, still in the hour of seven. I stayed in bed for a while though, again, I seem to like resting lately. But I wasn’t doing nothing, I completed my French practice for the day, going for the 15 minutes it ended up almost half an hour. It was good, and I was really enjoying it. The bits and pieces are slowly starting to work together, and I am now up to date with my learning from when I stopped using the app back in January or so. Imagine where I’d be now if I’d kept it up? Regardless – Je apprends francais, et j’aime.

I can’t really remember too much of the morning? I was working my way through some images from the recent Making Hay weekend here in my hometown to send off in case any want to be used. Mostly documentation of the weekend and the photographers involved, but also some other images that I quite liked as well.

When Mum came down and said good morning she made the point of not knowing how many more times she’ll be able to say that / and it works both ways, I was also beginning to wonder how many more times will I get to be greeted in the morning, and all throughout the day by my parents.

We had our neighbour join us for a funny coffee morning, calling him up to come over to take a picture with him and the cop car parked beside his house. Funny times and some top photos came about, before getting back to the photos and working on them up until racing to get ready for and to work on time. Can’t be late this close to the end.

Work was a bit slow today, but it is school holidays and that often seems to be the case. Early in the afternoon I started to feel strange for some reason. I felt like my excitement for this upcoming trip/adventure was turning to nerves, and it was almost making me feel sick. I worked on some breathing techniques to calm myself a bit and then also rationalising as well. Not too sure where that came from, but I wasn’t expecting it. It wasn’t overbearing, but it wasn’t how I thought my afternoon would go.

This evening was a bit slow and tired. Came home and chatted, had dinner and then had a phone call from an old friend of mine which was fab. Always good to have a chat with Zo and recall fond memories from this year and many before.

I was headed for an early night an writing session, but then found myself looking up all sorts of things, practiing reading, writing and intrepreting French with a fellow #Yes100er Sophie. We don’t actually know each other, but she mentioned French on the #Yes100 post and we decided it would be good to hold each other accountable. I think I mentioned this in the first post. But regardless, it was fun to chat and work with the bits of French we know. Interesting how some pieces come back and others don’t, but I also love trying to work out the gist of a sentence even if it’s not all known.

As well as that I was also having a bit of a chat with an old photography classmate of mine who is following his dream and rocking it! I was eager to find some information out about what he does for websites, as I really think I should make myself a website for my photography. I tried last year but was busy and got sidetracked, so it all fell through and never eventuated. Tomorrow we plan to talk more and see what happens.

Also tomorrow I have a dentist appointment a groovy 120kms away, so it’s a ~2.25 hour round trip for that, so I’ve lined up a coffee date before hand with an old friend and Mum is coming along to join us too. Once the appointment is over though we’re headed home as I’m due at work upon arrival back to town, for what I can’t believe will be my penultimate day! Wowser. I had been wondering about working Thursday, but with the slight increase in emotions I am thinking a couple of days break will be more beneficial then an extra days dollars. I’ll just have to make up for it another time.

Until then…

Peace,
V


Written;
In: Hay, Australia
From: 11.16pm – 11.33pm

Day 3 of #Yes100

I want to stop writing these at night time. It seems like a sensible thing to do, to finish off the day by recollecting on what has occurred within it, but when I’m tired and eager to sleep after being busy doing things it’s almost the last thing I want to do.

Today started off a bit earlier than planned, but I stayed in bed for a while just relaxing and enjoying a day without work of any sorts. I spent a while working on my French, still struggling to remember the names of animals, but I kept at it and might even have one more retry before I go to sleep. After completing my 15 minutes minimum I decided to load up German and have a quick go there as well. I hadn’t practiced any German properly before, only picking up bits and pieces from life and my friend whom can now converse in the language. Nicola spent a few weeks DuoLingoing before spending a month or so on a horse farm in Northern Germany, where she picked up a heap more. I still recall being super impressed when we met again in Portugal (we both left Australia on the same day, travelled down to Melbourne together etc., but she went to Germany whilst I was in Paris). Anyway, we were walking around up the top of an area of Porto when we came across a couple of German guys and she just busted out into conversation with them. Now yah, das est kewl. 😉

I got up eventually and started to download photos from yesterdays wedding onto my computer. I need to update things so unfortunately I have to go through a lengthy conversion process before I can touch them, so I set that to do it’s thing in the background and for some reason ended up on LinkedIn. I hardly ever go on there, perhaps I was procrastinating, not sure, but I decided to go through and update a bunch of stuff on there. It needed doing and will help when I redo my own resume as well, so it wasn’t a waste of time. I felt like I was nervous to see how the images came out, so spent a lot more time just fiddling about on the computer, looking up fares and car hire for England and France and just simply amused myself before finally looking at them. I can be pretty hard on myself and at first was still unsure, but going through them with a second eye (thanks Mum) helped me to see them differently, and appreciate what was there. I still don’t think wedding photography is for me, but I hope that the happy couple will be happy with the results once they are all fixed up etc.

Later on in the afternoon we suggested to a friend that if she made dessert (great cook) then I’d do dinner. Plans were made and I had no clue what to do.  A little looking around found a recipe for Mediterranean Tagliatelle, and it turned out to be delicious! Amidst looking for recipes I also found one for a pretty sweet looking Mezze plate, so as some of the ingredients were similar decided to make that as a starting platter followed by the pasta. I’ll post a picture of it here later on. Dessert followed. Instead of being an orange blossom cake, we had apple pastry scrolls? I forget the name exactly, but it was our friends Nan’s recipe. It was delicious. Apples in pastry and covered in syrup then backed before being topped with cream – you can’t really go wrong. Lots of chats were had over dinner before a pretty full on session of backgammon. I really enjoy the game but like to have some fun with it too. Many laughs were had as the night went on.

I don’t think any of us had realised the time so Lisa headed home a little while ago, and I went off to get ready to bed. Beginning to feel tired and keen to sleep it then occurred to me that I had this commitment to make – write out for 15 minutes and post before the day is out. By the time I am finished with this it will be five to midnight. I keep saying this, but I really do want to try and write earlier in the day rather than right before bed. I have a lot of ideas and articles I wish to write about so could work on those, otherwise it will end up as more and more recounts.

I can’t believe I forgot to mention – in the middle of the afternoon I went down to the shop to get ingredients for dinner. I had to say farewells to a couple of friends and workmates as they are off tomorrow and we won’t get the opportunity to see each other before I fly. Sad times. So many wonderful people around here it’s hard when it comes to the moments when you realise you have no idea when you’ll ever see them again. Take care guys!

Times up, I’m keen for sleep.

Peace,
V

p.s. the recipes for dinner and starters are:


Written;
In: Hay, Australia
From: 11.39pm – 11.56pm