Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This Year I...

... said goodbye to the best friends anyone could ever have ... moved over 10,000 from home and set up my new life ... listened to ABBA non-stop for 6 months ... made some new friends Down Under ... learned to love mushrooms ... saw 'Wicked' for the 4th time ... almost worked for Cate Blanchett ... laughed so much in Melbourne I cried ... cried so much in Sydney I laughed ... found a few old friends ... learned how to read music ... discovered one of my best friends is pregnant ... freaked out at Australia's capital city ... reached a high C ... swam in the ocean on Christmas Day ... had a private pool party on NYE ...

Happy New Year! And so on we go into 2009.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hope 2009...

Whatever the next 12 months may bring and how it will affect myself, my friends, loved ones and people all over the world, it goes without saying the underlying theme we all seem to have for our future is an urgency for hope.

Not since the following months after September 11th, has the whole world come together, through a mutual plight against economic struggle, fear of terrorism and personal traumas, to hold their breath in unison and pray for a resolution to come that will make everyone's life a little bit less of a struggle. I know am lucky compared to others round the world who are still facing violence and atrocities I cannot even comprehend, but I have experienced on an intimate level the fact there are few friends I know right now, who have not had to struggle, all of them have a sense of desperate uncertainty in their voice when they talk about the next year may bring. Along with this though, there is a undeniable sense of determination that the year head will not and cannot be as bleak as the media, economists and politicians have predicted. I am not talking about blinkered naivety, more the sheer will to remain mentally intact during the adversity yet to come.

It has been fascinating to me to see how the world has reacted to this. A media-driven, often shallow and certainly at times seemingly heartless world has continued it's bleak and foreboding forecast of the future, misunderstanding the minds and hearts of us all by perpetuating the far too familiar tones to which over the last decade we have become accustomed to. Although this is not what the world wants or needs right now and voices have broken free and people have stood up to offer us a new line of thinking. The new President-Elect Barack Obama has come to epitomise this. I am not suggesting through my obsession with American politics, he is the most important figurehead of all those who have demanded more from the world we co-exist in, there are many 'unsung' voices, but he certainly is one of the most relevant right now. What Obama does represent is how a world has taken a simple message to their heart, a message long overdue and pure and straight talking. Obama's succinct, self-assured, humble message speaks for us all. For it is the American's people's voice, their will to begin with, that he has shaped his message from. He has been ingenious with his election campaign, asking for the American public to speak out, campaign for him, make his voice their own and vice-versa. It has also been beyond the typical campaigning fare and biased clout we are familiar with. He has risen above the usual slander, remained true to his message and candid in his approach. And the world in return has stood up and taken notice of this former Governor of Illinois. We have embraced him as a true revolutionary and I can think of only John F Kennedy who has managed to capture the nation's spirit during their period of history so perfectly. In turn, Obama has promised to deliver a transparent government accessible to all. He has used the internet to make this possible, much as he did during his campaign, each policy and discussion available online, for anyone to comment, contribute and question. The cynic in all of us can try to laugh it off as a cunning and clever campaign strategy, but so what if it is, it's what the world needs right now and to question the motives behind this new hope, is to somehow be pessimistic and wanting the world to fall flat on its face.

I am particularly enraptured by how the world has taken to the incumbent President of the United States. Literally embracing him to a point as, not necessarily their surrogate leader, but someone who represents the values they need in their own country, their own neighbour, their own state of mind. I look at the politics back home in the UK and no one even comes close to having the same spirit-level of leadership Obama has. I know having spoken to my sister in New York, election day was an incredibly momentous 24 hours and also especially poignant and personal event for many Americans in the process. We need to be listened to right now, now more than ever, we no longer want to be spoon-fed by a closed government and a petty and unforgiving media intent of breaking any ounce of hope we have, we need to have someone who is unashamedly truthful, smart, who demands us to be intelligent and accountable for our own actions and who most importantly inspires greatness in all of us during this current climate. I am surprised this voice has come from America, a place perceived as the source of what is 'wrong with the modern world'. Arrogant and crass and ignorant of others. But here we are, looking towards the USA for a reason to be hopeful.

So what does 2009 hold for us? Well for certain, we have to begin looking ahead with sense of purpose and renewed hope, not on the world scale I've just talked about, but within our own immediate lives. It will be the only thing I feel that will keep us grounded and positive.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Keith Olbermann Comment on Proposition 8...

Very rare for a person's words to move me so much, but this did. What with Obama's Presidential Nomination speech being incredibly inspiring, I am truly thrilled at the long overdue eloquence that seems to be coming from America.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Well, I maybe here a little longer. The company I'm temping at have decided to nominate my permanent visa application.

Another step towards my future.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


One thing fell foul during the nomination of Barack Obama becoming President. Proposition 8. At least they're campaigning to set things right again. Here's hoping they see sense and get back on track. Meanwhile something that made me laugh concerning said situation, which also features amongst other famous faces, the fantastic Neil "Doogie Howser M.D. and now Broadway Star and Gay' Patrick Harris and my all time favourite actress Allison Janney:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Monday, December 01, 2008


So my time is nearly up. The Clock is ticking. The 'Countdown' theme tune is gradually being turned up to remind me I've not long to go find myself a sponsor so I can stay in this country. Two months to be exact. I've been aware the last few entries on this thing haven't been exactly positive, well, it's been a hard couple of months for everyone it seems, and many factors out of my control have made it a hard slog for me while I settle into my new life. Being able to settle down so to speak hasn't been easy with the looming 'credit crunch' (or 'lunch' or 'munch' as my friend Becky describes it) which the UK have so fondly decided to rename the recession. Over here we can say the 'R' word without financial analysts slapping us down, pressing their bony fingers to their pursed lips or having the media leap up, relishing being able to put the fear of God up our 'budget conscious' arses.

Moving to Australia has most definitely been a positive move for me - it has! There's no need to jab a finger into my side to remind me I've not exactly been happy these past few months. Truth be told, it's been expected and not at all surprising I've experienced the recent hardships, what with everything going around me in the big wide world and the decision to uproot my life and plonk it somewhere alien and distant. I can see now how my life would have continued it's endless cycle without the much needed 'kick up the arse' I so desperately needed. I am not alone. I only need to talk to my new found friend of mine to discover this. I have witnessed the best of times and the worst of times. Within myself and within my new life I have created. I need to remind myself what I have done is an incredible achievement and many people would never dare dream of taking the risk, opting for the comfort of familiarity rather then the vast potential of the unknown. I can tell you now the yearning for familiarity has been an intoxicating pull at times, especially when things haven't been going to plan. A naive part of me didn't expect it to be such a draw after leading quite a transient life up until the age of 18. Being in this country is far more than going to a place where it's sunnier. A cliche response I hear from many who remind me that life back home is 'the same and the weather is miserable' and I have to remind them the meteorological differences were never the catalyst for my my decision to come here.

So come January, I either begin my visa application and employer nomination application or I start packing my bags and heading home. How do I feel about this? Well, right now. 50/50 either way. Straight down the middle. There are pros and cons on either side and I teeter on a see-saw, wobblying in a fragile fashion, as every minor comment I hear or recent experience makes me lean one way or the other. I do have to remind myself if I went home now, what would I be going home to. 'To what?' exactly is the big behemoth of a question I have to write in big fat marker pen and place right in front of my face. This is the main reason to keep on going here. If I am true to myself, there is no 'going back' option for me right now. For it means I'd be going backwards. If I return it has to be because I have learned as much as I can from being here as possible and be excited to return home, to family and friends so I could start another chapter in my life and not because I have no other option. I know practically and financially it may not be possible to stay but I have to keep pursuing and ensuring I can create a life out here.

The next few weeks will undoubtedly give me the answers I'm looking for, with or without my help.