Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another year over

G'day all!

And I've been doing lots!

This has been a pretty incredible year.  Not necessarily the happiest year ever but all sorts of things have happened.

We have seen lots of stuff - going to NYC and back to San Jose was pretty darned  good.  We've made some good friends.  We've lived comfortably in Australia's largest city.

And the New Year will ring in changes.

On New Year's Day, I'm driving back up to Sydney to supervise the packing of our gear and its removal to the States.  Plus I'm taking some extra bits.  On the 4th, I am going to the airport and getting on a plane for Hawaii (meeting up with DH at Sydney airport), where we will spend a couple of days.  Then we get on the plane to Seattle and a new life.

I'm going to miss family and friends and Australia and the long days and summer.  I am a long days person.  DH isn't "validating my feelings" about this, which causes arguments.  I am sure things will be fab in Seattle, I am just not good with rain and cold and short days.  I don't deal with temps under about 15C with any sort of grace - I get cold, like finger-numb-and-stiff and nose-numb-and-dripping.  Even if I dress warmly I get cold.  I am after all Australian born and bred.  Melbourne gets cold in winter, but Californian-type cold, not temps that you find in a fridge or a freezer.  When it is damp it feels even colder.

This just means I'll have to knit Even More Mittens and hats (and line them with polar fleece to make them warmer).  And there will be new things to see and explore, and if they carry the nice bread I found in Wholefoods in NYC and Campbell I'll be happy (cos they will also have the amazing range of GF and DF "icecream"... what, I shouldn't eat icecream if I am cold? 8-).  I'll take along a good supply of chocolate cos sometimes WF doesn't carry the one that is edible - GF and DF chocolate is surprisingly hard to come by.  Most of them have traces of both gluten and dairy, and some dark chocolate outright contains dairy (the horror!).

So if I do not blog over the next few days, you know that I am getting ready to leave (again), and that you have my felicitations for a most fabulous New Year.  Make it a good one!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Long time between drinks

G'day all!

We are now down in Melbourne for Christmas.  My little old bomb (car) made it down without a hitch.  900km/560 miles over two days, in part because we left in the afternoon, too late to make it in one day and in part because I hate driving that far in one day, particularly with only one driver.

We have visaed.  (That isn't a word, btw.)  It only took about an hour and a bit, most of which was waiting in a queue.  I managed to read about four pages of my book in that time.  You can't take knitting into the consulate.  At least they provide magazines these days.  The first time we went there, we didn't take books, there were no magazines and the tv was showing the screen saver for the DVD player it was hooked up to.  And we were there for over three hours.  OMG, nearly died of boredom.

We were told we should expect the visas next week.  Hooray!

So Seattle, yes Seattle for all those who guessed correctly, is GO GO GO!

And we will be living in Seattle, not Redmond.  Nathan has not joined The Evil Empire, though I really now think Microsoft is not The Evil Empire any more.  No, a different company is that.  One Nathan hasn't worked for.

I have one more day of work before knocking off for Christmas.  I have to go through the attic here and figure out what I want to take with me to Seattle, what is staying behind, how much I can really take with me - I will be driving back to Sydney with Nathan's bike and some boxes of stuff as all our stuff is leaving from Sydney.  I have to be back there on the 3rd of January, and will probably go up on New Year's Day just to give me plenty of time (aka a day) to get organised.  But I'll have to hire a car most likely because the car I was going to use has decided to have a little rest, and is spending Christmas in a shopping centre carpark with a dud immobiliser or a dud wire.

Hmm, now that I've ignored the blog for a couple of days, I can say I've finished work for the year (I have to go pick up the laptop after it gets more RAM), and the visas with passports arrived yesterday!  Hooray!

I have managed to do very little this Saturday arvo, except drive to and from the inlaw's place a few times (argh!  I didn't have a key for the house!), read through some old stories I wrote years ago that I found in the attic (alas, I wrote up more of them on my old old laptop but it got stolen and I hadn't backed up the stories, so I only have the handwritten parts.  I know one was somewhat more extensive than what I have written down!), and burn the gluten and dairy-free shortbread bikkies (thank heavens they didn't all fit on the tray, so I have about 12 left.  I hope I don't decide to water the garden or anything this time around!).  I even avoided the golden orb weaver spider who had cunningly placed her web across the best access to the nectarines, which are just coming into ripeness.  Alas, about 70% of the nectarines are affected by rot, even though it hasn't been dewy or wet recently.  I presume they need to be sprayed to stop them going rotten.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, or a nice break depending on your religion or lots and lots of moulah for working on Christmas Day, and may no nightmarish santa claws haunt your dreams!



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grey day

G'day all!

At last I can make an announcement.  Hooray!  This has been weighing on me for a while.

Today DH resigned from his job.  Yep.  We are blowing the big G off and going off to a new and exciting location.

Sydney's weather, grey and a bit cool, is preparing us for what awaits.

We are going to a place renowned for its rainy, foggy, cool weather.  Am not looking forward to that part.  It is a couple of states up the coast from where we lived for a couple of years.

Any guesses yet?

In the meantime, we have had an extra exciting weekend.  But blogger just ate my great long ranting post - it completely lost 90% of it and I am now peeved with it and do not want to play with blogger any more today.  Plus it made me log in again.  Humph.  I think that deserves a flounce.  It even gave me a 404 page not found error.

There is so much to do, so many places to see before I leave Sydney next weekend.  Sigh.  We are going back to Melbourne for Christmas and to get new visas (there's another clue).  I have to get the results of blood tests to see if the Big C is staying in remission but I can't find anyone who knows if they have been received.  I guess it is time for more phone calls.


Brisvegas re-entry

G'day all! Whoops, forgot to post this before the PiLs arrived, and I've hardly been online all weekend.

I am very glad to be home from Brisvegas, though not glad to be home for reasons I cannot reveal until Monday (AFAIK, I am fine, DH is coping, but in the next month there will be some big changes!).

So how are you all?

I am rather stressed, for reasons that will be revealed soon.  I have so much to do.  Tonight the PiLs are coming to visit, which means moving furniture again and cleaning the place.  Did I mention that I've been away for a week?  And have Even More Stuff to put away?

Ah well, it will all be good in the end.

So the conference was good, very good.  I learned a fair bit, not the least of which was that even without much sleep, I can still put on my own little show and pretend to be a bouncy outgoing type, until I run out of food at least.  I had a lovely time at one of the dinners (the dinner where they offered me more than two party pies, a manky sausage roll, and eventually found a plate of prawns and smoked doods, that is not dinner, especially when lunch was lentils and rice and there was something like 7 hours in between meals.  I graze my way through my day, normally).  I seem to have a knack of ending up talking to the overseas visitors.  One chap had lived in Seattle for 28 years, and another lives in San Jose about 3-4 miles from where we used to live if that.  Another lives near Toronto, which I have visited.  Another lives in Sheffield, UK, and likes both Monty Python and Pratchett.  My boss picked on me because apparently I had two of the visitors eating out of my hand pretty much, but it was noisy at the dinner and they both turned out to have hearing issues (they had hearing aids).   I danced like a crazy thing, though I nearly passed out because I cannot do what is effectively high impact aerobics, sing and breathe all at the same time.  Like what is wrong with me?   Really.  Oh and they had a smoke machine too, just to add to my breathing issues.   I stood at our booth and talked to people for hours.  I extraverted, or at least pretended to be an extravert, for quite a number of days.  It's only taken me how long to learn how to wear that hat?

There is a reason why I want to crawl into my hidey hole and pull a lid over it and pretend that I don't have a number of deadlines hanging over me....

I was vastly entertained by the opening speaker of the conference, Amanda Gore.  She is like me crossed with my boss, extraverted and on speed.  The lady's stage show would imply she is mad as a cut snake, though I have the feeling she isn't. Anyone who can get a pack of dour occupational hygienists all standing up, arm in arm, singing "Always look on the bright side of life" has to be pretty darned cunning I reckon.  (Although the lady next to me walked out.  She couldn't take it any more.  Someone else sat down next to me and we had a brilliant time - me and him and the other lady next to me....)  Now not all occupational hygienists are dour, as you might realise.  My boss isn't and most of the Bright Young Things amongst them aren't either.  Some of the older ones really know how to get their groove on too.  Amanda gave us a lot to remember and be grateful for.

Must post this little one before getting onto the Big News.


Monday, December 05, 2011

Ah, sunny Brisvegas

G'day all!

Ah sunny Brisvegas....

Apparently the weather is craptastic all the way down the eastern seaboard.  Someone did not even bother checking the weather forecast and is mighty she brought one long sleeved cardie with heer, cos it is a mite chilly at the moment...  Brisbane is tropical, for those not in the know and I expected it to be warm...

Mental note for anyone interested, the supermarkets close with the shops on the weekend...that means don't leave it until six pm to go get some stuff.

Conference has been good so far. Talked to lots of people, sat through two awesome talks and two average ones, scared a few people, attracted others (to the work stall which I am manning for a couple of days).

I'd talk more about the two speakers I really enjoyed but I am writing this on the phone.  However, I will say I am a walking joy spot and will be happy to show you my gratitude glasses, and that CT scans are apparently quite good for you. A little exposure to radiation has a protective effect against cancer.

Who knew?


Friday, December 02, 2011

Oh for the life of a jet setter

Gday all!

I am off to Brisvegas. 


For a conference, not for a holiday.  Not so hooray.  I'll be manning the stand for work, along with a coworker.

I expect to be knackered by next Thursday.

At least there have been no major dramas so far. Here's hoping it stays that way.

Woot, boarding is about to commence.

Gee, thanks optus for not letting me connect!

Now coming at you live from brisvegas