09 November, 2010

My blog mojo

I seem to have lost the ability to write lately. I know I've neglected my dear little blog and you, my handful of loyal followers. I haven't forgotten you, honestly. I haven't even been busy for the most part. Sure, there have been periods of frantic academic activity as I struggled to finish the last two assignments for my graduate certificate. There have been times where I have forced myself off the sofa and fought with piles of long neglected paperwork. There have been several shopping trips on the internet for things I didn't need. There was even the time when I attempted - unsuccessfully - to sort out the wires for my set top box and DVD recorder. All of these times, dear readers, are times when I could have sat down and told you what was going on. Alas, I am a lazy moo, both on the surface and deep down. I'm sorry. I am a first class procrastinator.

I've had many thoughts and ideas for blog entries. I even tried to write an entry last week but I lost interest, stumbled across a bar of Green & Blacks chocolate and the rest is history. I had an idea when I was standing at the bus stop night. It had evaporated by the time I got home. I don't know what's wrong with me.

I'll try harder. Honest. But don't hold your breath. I'm a lazy moo, you know.

09 September, 2010


So. The move.

It was torturous. My notoriously unreliable friend had promised to help me but I was feeling less than certain that she would appear. An enquiring text elicited a favourable response and I felt slightly easier. At 09.05am a the removal team arrived. Two men with limited English arrived to remove my copious belongings from the flat and secure them in a van. They had left the van outside of the driveway, which made it harder for them as it was a fair distance to travel back and forth but the apparent senior of the two managed to communicate that he didn't mind.

The notoriously unreliable friend rang at 09.10am to say she was in a suburb on the other side of The Bridge (the Anzac Bridge, not the one you see on the TV) to collect a tumble drier that someone had kindly donated to me. I screamed internally. She was bound to get stuck in traffic. Fortunately she didn't and burst into the flat in full Technicolour, roaring with delight at the scene of carnage.
"I thought you were soooooo organised," she trilled. "You're wearing rubber gloves! Not ready at all! I love it!!!!!"

I immediately sent her to get coffee from a local cafe. The man carried on packing. The place was an absolute bombsite. We did a carload of fragile stuff as well as things I couldn't be bothered to pack properly. We came back to find the men had finished. Off we went.

I felt sorry for the removalists when they realised that not only had they dragged all my possessions down a flight of stairs and up a driveway but that now they needed to get them across a road and down a narrow flight of stairs. The now reliable friend left me to collect her daughter and catch up on a few jobs. The men finished, I paid them and collapsed on my recently relocated settee.

The friend returned to take me back to the old place. That was when I did it. Locked the keys to the new place inside it, that is. We had to drive to the letting office, run in, collect the spares and go back. The friend left me with a cheery wave and a promise to return on Friday.

I went back to the old place to do some cleaning. I managed an hour and a half before the headache that I'd been brewing all day finally caught up with me, which wasn't surprising seeing as my days dietary intake was limited to one cup of tea, one coffee and a banana. I got a taxi 'home' and collapsed on the settee. I didn't have the energy to make a cup of tea, instead just getting up every now and then to take more Paracetamols. I finally dragged myself up this morning - still with a headache - to go to work. All set. But where were the keys?

In the lock. Outside. Where they had been all night.

It can only get better.

06 September, 2010

On the move

Me again.

I'll spare you the excuses. Your correspondent is currently sitting in an apartment which resembles an explosion in a department store and wishing for some petrol and a box of matches.

You may remember - that's if I mentioned it - that I returned from my UK trip to the news that the apartment I rent is being sold. I finally managed to find a new flat to rent less than five minutes drive away. Not that I can drive, of course, but if I could....well, you get the picture. I've had the keys for over a week and still haven't moved in, mainly because I'm lazy but also because I had to pay rent on the current place for two weeks anyway. So, being stubborn - and lazy - I left it till the last minute.

I take no pleasure in moving. I don't know anyone who does, really, but I can't stand it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'd lived in three different houses before I was eight. I'm a creature of habit. I like to stay put. Strange, you might think, coming from someone who lives 12,000 miles away from the country of her birth, but there you go.

I bought a lovely flat in London and lived in it for some years until I moved to Australia. I think about it sometimes. I miss its large living room. I miss its massive kitchen/diner. I miss its quiet back garden. Most of all I miss putting the key in the front door and knowing that no one can tell me to move out of it.

I've moved a lot more since coming to Australia. Not counting the house in Canberra I've lived in seven different flats in the last 12 years. Sydney is a hard place to live. Renters can't afford to buy and so we live in other peoples flats, paying their mortgages and looking wishfully at the For Sale section of the newspapers.

The New Flat will be number 8. I'm looking for something to buy and am hoping that Number 9 will see my last foray into packing boxes and purging of book collections.

So, here I sit, surrounded by detritus and half packed boxes, waiting for a kind friend to come round and take some odds and sods round before the removal people come on Wednesday morning to shove my goods and chattels into the back of their van before depositing them in The New Flat. I've liked living here, not loved it, but liked it a lot. It's a small flat and The New Flat is much bigger. It's not as close to the beach but still walking distance. It's on a different and less frequent bus route. I just want to get in there and turn it into home.

They say moving house is one of the most stressful things that can happen to you in life. Aint that the truth.

01 August, 2010

What's next?


Lots has happened since I was here last. I had my Big Holiday, which was nice. I spent lots of money, saw family (some nice, some not so nice) and friends (all nice), singlehandedly revived the economy -albeit temporarily - with my many trips to the shops, topped up my Oyster card repeatedly, got on trains, got off trains, got on buses, got off buses, slept in different beds, looked in bathroom cabinets - oh yes, if I've been in your house I've looked in your bathroom cabinet - watched mostly good television, consumed litres of Pimms, eaten too many Marks and Spencers Yum Yums, shopped again, marvelled at the English countryside whilst quietly congratulating myself on visiting the country of my birth during what turned out to be a glorious English summer. I defy anyone to say there is no more beautiful place to be than in an English garden when the sun is shining and you're eating raspberries and cream from Waitrose served in a Marks & Spencers meringue nest. Oh yes.

A lot happened in that holiday. My dear old dad was taken into hospital during the last week. I watched the nurses like a hawk. I ran a finger along the surfaces to check for dust. I straightened the sheets. I checked his observation chart. He's fine now, and was discharged before I flew back. I took him home in a taxi the day before I flew out. I made him a cup of tea and loaded the washing machine like a good daughter. I'm glad it happened when I was at home and not the week afterwards. It's a confronting thing when your parents get older. But that's a story for another day.

Anyway. I had a spectacularly good holiday. I spent lots of money. Lots. I had an uneventful flight back. The food was okay, the films were dull. I got back to Sydney, turned on my mobile phone and listened to my messages. One was from a friend welcoming me back. The other was from the letting agent. The flat I live in is being sold and I have to be out on the 9th of September. Arse.

So, I'm moving again. I'm looking for somewhere to buy but with the money I earn my choices are limited. I've loved living by the sea in my little shoebox but all good things come to an end. I can't afford to buy this place as it's been valued at $20,000 over my maximum budget. There's not much on the market but I'm hopeful something will turn up. In the meantime I have to look for somewhere to rent until I find something to buy.

So. That's me. How are the rest of you?

01 July, 2010

Point of origin

Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind lately. There was the fuss of leaving the old job, starting the new job, inadequate packing for the UK trip (no shoes!) and the hour and a half I spent on the floor of a Virgin Atlantic aeroplane looking after a man who was having a suspected heart attack at 35,000 feet in US airspace. But that's another story for another day.

I firmly believe there is no finer place to be than England in the summertime. The sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom, people are happy and strawberries are half price at both Marks & Spencers and Waitrose. I've been busy going backwards and forwards during my UK holiday meeting old friends and family, sitting in various sunny gardens drinking Pimms and looking at flowers I haven't seen since I was a child. I spent a couple of days in the Lake District breathing in fresh air and marvelling at the scenery. I've seen more of the Essex countryside than I ever thought possible and anyone who makes jokes about Essex people should shut their mouths and open their eyes to how truly beautiful my home county is.

There was a point to this post but I have no idea what it was now. I suppose I just wanted to say that I'm home. It's good to be back and it's going to be hard to leave.

By the way, I'm sticking comment moderation on for a while as I seem to be getting a lot of spam. Please don't let it put you off commenting. Cheers.

17 May, 2010

Thank your lucky stars, Sisters.

SSS is a feminist. Surprised, aren't you? I know. I blame my parents. And my grandparents, come to think of it. I grew up in an environment where I saw men do 'womens work' without a murmur of complaint or without looking for a pat on the back. In some respect this has spoiled me for the real world. But never mind.

I'm constantly bemused when I meet women who don't seem to understand how lucky they are. They don't seem to care about the sacrifices the Suffragettes made for the women to come after them. They think feminism is a dirty word. They have no concept of history. They've grown up with access to education and healthcare. They can wear what they want in public without a member of the police hitting them with a fucking big stick.

Tonight I watched a TV documentary which made me once again thank my lucky stars that I was born in a country where I could basically do what the hell I liked despite having a uterus.

Nel Hedayet is an Afghan born, British raised 21 year old girl who wanted to know more about the country of her birth. She travelled to Afghanistan to find out about her heritage and learn what life was really like for her sisters. What she found shocked her and reduced her to tears on several occasions. She found an Afghanistan where the Taliban may have been overthrown but where outside of the capital Kabul women are still forced to cover themselves from head to toe in the dreaded blue burkas. She met a 15 year old girl whose father had given her to a 60 year old man to take as his wife. She met another 15 year old whose father had married her off at the age of 12 and consigned her to a life of physical abuse from her inlaws, abuse so overwhelming that the child set fire to herself in order to escape. 15 years of age, languishing in a ward full of other married children who had resorted to self immolation to free themselves from their miserable existences. She met Afghan schoolgirls who risked their lives to go to school. Nel reflected on how angry she thought the girls would be to find out that their British counterparts squandered their own education opportunities and skipped school for no good reason. She met a girl with an enlightened and loving father. She met a 14 year old boy who would not 'allow' his older sister to appear on a local television show as it would be 'disrespectful' to him. She met many inspirational girls and women who are attempting to rail against the status quo of a country where the cards are stacked against them.

At the end of her trip she threw herself into the arms of her mother and told her that she finally understood why her parents had left their homeland. I wonder that it took her so long. I'm just glad she got there. And I'm glad she got out.

Never take your freedom for granted.



11 May, 2010

The Hospital Next Door

Last Friday was my final official shift at what I now call the 'old' place. It was an awful day, very busy and punctuated by annoying events. By 11.50 I was ready to walk out and tell them to shove their cake up their arse. Some kind souls had organised a farewell lunch for me but no one thought to tell the relief nurse who hadn't bothered to see me to arrange my lunch break some 20 minutes after starting her shift. This is the first thing the relief nurse is supposed to do when she starts work. Silly me for thinking that on my last day the relief nurse would come and see me to arrange my lunch break. I finally got into the tearoom for the lunch but felt sick and could only manage a cup of tea. I watched the British election results coming in on the TV and felt lost. I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt so low.

The farewell tea party came and went, I was dragged in to a round of applause. The tearoom wasn't as tidy as I would have had it - in fact the first thing I saw on arrival was the cake box and a work surface strewn with the detritus of lunch - and I had to turn the television off myself before the boss made her somewhat dull and emotionless speech. I remained dry eyed throughout. I said some stuff, said thanks, said I'd had some difficult times and some good times and that I would miss some people very much. I said something funny and that was it. I cut into the cake and asked someone else to cut it into slices. I then had to ask for a piece as they'd started to pass it round without offering me the first slice.

I might be coming across all Miss Jean Brodie here but I think after 7 years the least I could expect is the offer of a lunch break, a tidy tearoom, no TV and first offer of the orange and poppyseed cake. I suppose what it made me realise is that either a) I care too much about little stuff or b) no one pays attention to detail like I do. In fairness, most people were wonderful. I was given lots of little presents. There were tears and they weren't all mine. Some people said some lovely things in private. I felt appreciated by the staff if not by management.

In all honesty I'm glad it was a crappy day because it made it a lot easier to walk out of there. I cleaned out my locker, handed back the key, put my shoes in a plastic bag and walked out of the door.

Today I started at The Hospital Next Door. I had a good nights sleep last night and woke up at 06.30 instead of the usual 05.45. I only started to get nervous as I approached my usual coffee shop. The owner wished me good luck as he handed over my caffeine fix and I walked in the usual hospital front door. Instead of turning right I turned left.

All in all it was a good day. I got there nice and early, had a guided tour, met far too many people, received lots of information, did some reading, had more coffee, sent some 'I miss you but I'm fine' emails to some ex colleagues and shuffled some papers. I also saw about eight of my old doctors, which was absolutely lovely. I'm sharing an office with two of the managers. No one was doing much talking - I was too busy reading - but then someone came to talk to me and I laughed quite loudly. I don't have a pretty laugh and I think I startled them. Anyway, it broke the ice. They told me the last girl didn't talk much. They'll be sorry. My favourite moment was when I asked them if they minded me bringing in my collection of fluffy toys and picture of cats in amusing poses. They'll be sorry.

Of course the irony is that The Hospital Next Door is no longer really The Hospital Next Door as the Old Place holds that title now. I've been surprised at how easy it's been to let go.

It's a big job and I've got a lot of work ahead of me.

I think it's going to be okay.

Now, bonus points to anyone who can tell which episode of a popular TV programme this post has made me want to watch?

30 April, 2010

Counting down

Just one week to go before I leave my current job and move to The Hospital Next Door. This morning I walked into the changing room to find a sign announcing my farewell and the associated celebrations - dinner next week, pub session the week after - and was touched to find it had been thoughtfully decorated with a lovely picture of David Tennant as The Doctor standing outside the TARDIS with a cheeky smile on his face. I was completely taken by surprise and it made me both happy and sad.

I've been in my current position for just over seven years. It's the longest I've ever stayed with one employer and it's going to be a wrench to go. Don't get me wrong, I'm ready to leave. I've had a lot of issues with management - and some staff - during my time there, I know I've got no chance of progressing in my career and I've had it up to my eyeballs with a lot of the lazier, younger nurses. But I'm also going to miss a lot. I've met some amazing people. I've cared for some wonderful patients and their families. I've cried, I've shouted, I've slammed doors. I've told people to shove things where the sun doesn't shine. But I've laughed till I've cried. I've done good things. I've led by example. I've maintained high standards of professionalism. I've had some deep and meaningful conversations with the most unlikely people. I've held secrets, I've helped people - and been helped in return. I've spent too much time in the pub. I've met kindred spirits and I've made friends for life.

So, next Friday I'll have to submit to the ritual 'afternoon tea' that waits for all staff members who leave. At some point in the afternoon a nurse will take a sheet and place it over a table in the tearoom as a token tablecloth. A cake will be placed on the table, along with a farewell card, a bunch of flowers and a present of some description. Another nurse will be despatched to gather staff and they'll all sit in the tearoom and wait for me, chatting and giggling. Someone will want to sign the card at the last minute. The senior nurse will then come and find me, asking me to come for a walk. The walk will lead to the tearoom and I'll arrive to a round of applause and cheers. There will be a speech, thanking me for all my hard work and wishing me well. I'll probably cry. I'll thank everyone, cut into the cake and have a cup of tea.

At the end of the day I'll hand in my locker key and leave the changing room for the last time. I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead. But it's going to hurt all the same.

19 April, 2010

Jumping the gun

I had an interview last Thursday at The Hospital Next Door for a job I really wanted. It went okay. Not brilliant, but okay. When Friday came and went without any news I managed to convince myself that I hadn't got the job. This isn't as paranoid as it sounds, honest. A previous interview at The Hospital Next Door recently was less than successful. I was heard to later remark that it couldn't have gone any worse if I'd stood on the table and done a big wee. Or something like that. Anyway, I didn't get it and the way I found out was by letter 10 days later. I mean, the penny had dropped well and truly before then but you get the picture.

At 7am this morning I was standing at the traffic lights, cup of coffee in hand, contemplating the day when a person appeared next to me. It was the boss from The Hospital Next Door.

"Sorry I haven't been in touch," says she. "I couldn't get hold of anyone I needed to speak to on Friday."

Yes, readers.

I got the job.

That'll teach me.

16 April, 2010


So. I didn't get it.


Oh well.

05 April, 2010

On fence sitting and risk taking

Yes. I chickened out of applying for the hospice job.

I wanted to, I really did. I was all fired up but my enthusiasm waned on a daily basis. I got cold feet. I thought about it long and hard but when the closing date passed I didn't feel a pang of regret. There's another potential escape route in sight, however, in the form of a nine month maternity relief position with a view to extend in The Hospital Next Door. It's a public hospital which scares me slightly as I've worked in the private sector for over 12 years now but maybe it's time to get out of my comfort zone. Yes, I know. We've all heard that one before and look what happened. Nothing.

I'm slightly torn about this one although I'm feeling more enthusiastic this time round. Without saying too much (you never know who's reading) it'd be a promotion. I emailed my CV and a covering letter last week and received an email the following day from the manager telling me my covering letter was missing some information and could I send it again, please? I didn't get the email till a couple of days later as I was in sunny South Australia in a house with two other adults, four children and a Red Setter. I came back to Sydney last night to two messages on my answerphone from the manager asking me to resend my letter. The closing date was originally the 31st of March and they've extended it by a week. So, she either really wants me to get it or no one else has applied for it. I'm somewhat worried about being unemployed in nine months time so I do have to really think about this but I'm going to apply and see what happens.

In other news - Adelaide was nice if not very noisy. The dog was the best behaved member of the entire family as well as having a shiny coat and an amazing tail. Dogs are much nicer than people, don't you think? I ate a lot of chocolate, too many hot cross buns and drank a moderate amount of South Australian rose.

Oh, and my computer died a couple of weeks ago. This blog is brought to you courtesy of my beautiful new MacBook Pro. It's hard to save money when you keep spending it but my, it's a wonderful thing. I am officially obsessed with widgets. And Red Setters. And chocolate.

04 March, 2010

The passing of a giant

SSS was deeply saddened to learn that Michael Foot, Labour party legend, passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 96. It is, as they say, a good innings. His death is hardly unexpected. His beloved wife Jill Craigie died some years ago and the couple had no children. So, who mourns him? I do.

I'm not going to give you a potted history of Mr Foot's life, most of the papers have excellent obituaries and the Beeb have some nice coverage. I don't even have a terribly interesting Michael Foot story. But I'm going to tell it anyway.

You will not be surprised to know that I was something of a militant student nurse. It was difficult not to be, training as a nurse in Thatchers NHS. I was a union steward and was reasonably active in rallying the troupes in the volatile days of the late 80s. There were public meetings, petitions, and marches. Lots of marches.

One such march was organised by the TUC. Thousands of the great unwashed massed at The Embankment to march for the NHS. The union advised us to march in full uniform and we did so, hats, dresses, capes and banners. We were angry. We were loud. We were on fire.

Whilst waiting to start walking I glanced around and spotted an older gentleman with a walking stick. He looked familiar. Suddenly, it dawned on me. "Come on," I shouted at my equally militant and similarly clad friend. "Michael Foot!"

We rushed towards him like excited spaniel puppies. Before the great man knew what had hit him we each grabbed an arm and planted a kiss on his cheek. The look on his face was priceless. We told him we loved him and thanked him for coming. He started laughing, as did everyone standing nearby. I don't think my feet touched the ground for most of the march.

I wonder if he ever remembered the day he was grabbed by two young nurses. I like to think he did. I know I'll never forget it.

Flash forward two decades and I found myself reading about his passing on the internet. Today I stood on the other side of the world and watched a British news item reporting his death with tears streaming down my cheeks. Even in death he was teaching me something. He reminded me that there was a time I cared passionately about something.

RIP, Mr Foot. Thank you for your service to the Labour party and to the country. Thank you for being that rarest of creatures, a decent politician. Thank you for being an inspiration.

16 February, 2010

An epiphany

As most of you know, I am a nurse. Much as it pains me to admit it I have been a nurse for a very long time. 24 years of my life have been spent in a variety of different uniforms in a variety of different postcodes looking after a variety of different patients. I don't think it's a vocation, at least it isn't for me. I sort of fell into it after answering an ad in the local newspaper. I'd already had a few crappy little office jobs when I thought I should really do something proper and perhaps shag a good looking doctor/meet some interesting people at the same time. I went along to the interview and a short time later found myself in a classroom with 30 other would be nurses. Excellent. A real job.

St Florence's Hospital for the Perpetually Bewildered was a local busy district hospital. It was home to Britain's second busiest casualty department. It had Britain's second longest hospital corridor. It remains to date the busiest hospital I have ever worked in and the most fun I have ever had during my nursing career.

I had absolutely no idea what I was letting myself in for on that first day. I wrote my resignation letter at least three times in three years. I cried. A lot. I drank cheap cider, got food parcels from my grandparents and an aunt, cried some more, laughed more than I ever thought possible and developed a love for Marmite. I worked like a dog for a pittance. I worked with some amazing people. I cared for some amazing people. I would say I studied hard but that would be a blatant lie, instead winging exam success with a slightly better than average brain and pure chance. Three years and three months later, I got my nurse registration, a silver buckle for my new blue belt and a job on my favourite ward.

Twenty one years later and I've hit a brick wall. I'm bored. I'm not doing what I want to do. I'm not getting job satisfaction and I haven't done so for at least ten years. Lately I've been thinking more and more about moving into the field of palliative care. I thought about it when I was a student nurse and was all set to do an allocation in the hospitals own palliative care centre when a change in hospital policy put paid to my plans. A fellow classmate had what might be deemed as a mental breakdown during her own allocation there leading her to attempt suicide after a fight with her mum and sister. She's fine. At least she was then. I haven't seen her for a while. Truth be told she was always a little bit mad by her own admission. Anyway, to cut a long story short - and believe me, it is a long story - it was decided that she'd gone off the rails due to the death of her grandfather 4 months before. The school of nursing instigated a policy preventing student nurses from going to the palliative care centre if they had experienced a bereavement within the previous 12 months. Sadly, my own wonderful grandfather had died the month before hers had and I was transferred to another unit.

I qualified, got a job on a ward I loved and didn't look back. Every now and then I wondered about what would have happened if things had panned out differently. I always enjoyed looking after terminally ill patients on the ward, which I know sounds strange to non nurses, but I always saw it as a privilege to do so.

Fast forward to today and I've been thinking a lot about a move to the field of palliative care. Last week I was channel surfing when I came across a programme about a hospice, a hospice which just happens to be opposite my hospital. Today I was at a meeting where the palliative care clinical nurse consulant talked about her work. For the next half an hour I could think of nothing else but the hospice and how I wanted to work there. It was as though someone was standing in front of me saying, "Run. Run now. You hate what you're doing and you'd be really good at this. You'll love it. Run."

So, I'm thinking of taking up running. Matters are slightly complicated by the fact that I have an interview on Friday for a part time job in the Hospital Next Door as project nurse for 13 weeks which I'd quite like to get. If I get that, I'll stay put for a while. But if I don't, I'm going to pull on my trainers and run.

25 January, 2010


I'm sorry to tell you that I'm feeling a little bit maudlin today. For some strange reason I want to call my grandmother tonight. I want to call and find out how long she had to wait for the bus to East Ham. I want to call and hear her tell me how terrible the television is. I want to call her and hear how much her feet hurt. I can't, of course. She died some years ago. I wanted to pick up the telephone and listen to her voice. It's come out of the blue and I don't know why. I just miss her tonight. I really do.

That's the thing about being apart from people. It causes you pain. It doesn't make it any easier when you've deliberately moved yourself away from people, regardless of what they might think. I'm planning a trip home this year and will be in sunny England - and possibly further afield - in June and July. I get to eat Marks and Spencers food, lard myself up with proper chips from the chippy, annoy friends and family by asking, "Who's that, then?" during soap operas and of course, see my dear old dad.

I was reduced to tears at work on Friday when one of the doctors asked me if I was going home this year. I said I was and that I was looking forward to seeing my dad.
"Do you know what it feels like for a father?" he asked. "Don't you know that when they're so far away it hurts? It really hurts. It gets you right here," and he pressed a hand against his chest.

I know. I do know. It hurts me too. Sometimes I sit here and I think about my dad sitting on his own on the other side of the world. I wonder if he ate properly today. I wonder if he spoke to anyone today. I wonder if he understands that it hurts me too. Not all the time, of course. But sometimes. Like today.

Still, I get to see him in about 16 weeks. I can pick up the telephone right now and hear his voice. I can't do that with my nan.

Ring someone you love today, if for no other reason than to hear their voice. You'll be glad you did.

20 January, 2010

Monday nights entertainment

See this? Good, isn't it?

I love Sydney. I think I was born to live in a hot country and this one fits the bill. Good climate? Check. English speaking? Check. Doctor Who shown on terrestial TV? Check. Okay, so it's 12,000 miles from the country of my birth and there are times when I wish I didn't live so far away but for the most part it's great.

The picture above is a further indication of why Sydney is a great place to live. The Sydney Festival hits town in January. There's something to see and do most nights of the week. Some of the events are even free, which is a bonus considering how little free cash most of us have at this time of year.

One of my favourite things to do, however, is visit the Open Air Cinema at Lady Macquarie's Chair. Tickets are like hens teeth. I've been unsuccessful two years in a row but this year I managed to score two tickets for last Monday's performance of In The Loop. I know, it's been out for ages in the UK but we've only just got it and I thought it was the funniest thing I've seen in ages.

I'm not going to talk about the film. I just wanted to tell you all that I had a fabulous time. Yes, the seats were a bit hard and I was sitting right up the back directly under the fig trees, thus increasing the risk of ending up with batshit on my head. I didn't care.

Just look at that view.

11 January, 2010

Remember me?

Hello, my name is SSS and I used to have a blog. I didn't have much of interest to say for a while, real life got in the way and I became morose and dull. I sought solace on the braindead pages of the Daily Mail, watched too many episodes of The West Wing, ate chocolate, drank tea. I procrastinated on a level never seen before.

Anyway, I thought I'd come back to my little blog. And here it is. Sad, neglected and a rather unattractive shade of blue. A bit like my old PE knickers, actually.

But enough of my knickers. I hope to have something witty, informative, hypertension inducing or hilarious for you soon. I just need to have one more cup of tea.........