Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I don't own this pretty picture. I would've found one of my own, but I'm on my Dad's computer

It's bloomin' cold. I mean it. It's like that above should be in my town. It's not though. I live in the 'northern' part of Australia. I say 'northern' cause on a map it's pretty much the middle of the country vertically. But it's still counted as north. Well, all the people from the soaps set down south either are killed off or go to 'Queensland' for the sun... not unlike the weak ending on Ugly Betty. (Which shall remain for another story)

I understand this blog is starting to be negative. (I just said, "I understand" in my head like the lovely cross-eyed beauty on the 'Say yes to the dress' ad: I know she want's mermaid shape, I understand.) I don't mean it to be; honestly, I really really don't.

On a positive note, I've added some followers because of the 50 Things post link - - quick! Go to blogthis and vote for me. Don't enter- that will decrease my chances of winning. ;)

But the chilly air is invigorating me to sleep. I just can't seem to face doing anything. Third day in a row, and I slept until 10am. Yesterday, I slept until 12:45 pm. I have to go and get my student I.D. from UQ, but am thinking it's going to be too cold to get changed.

You know that whole, "I live in the north" thing? Apparently, it doesn't get cold enough here to own a heater. Even though it's 12.2 degrees celsius.

*I feel I need to include a postscript as I am aware that 12.2 degrees is, in fact, not cold. I will attempt to explain like I have everytime I've been overseas. I live in a house that is 6-8 feet off the ground, to allow the air to circulate under the house to cool it down. It also have insulation (that didn't kill anyone) keep the heat out. Because of afore-mentioned stumps in this post-war marvel, the single pane windows don't close airtight and the open plan living means I can't close a door and be cosy. I PROMISE the next post will be positive*

Monday, June 28, 2010

Baked potato

If I had a camera, I would show you the potato I 'had' for dinner tonight. I didn't, I threw it away.

I cooked it in the oven for 40 minutes and it was still hard. I shoved it in the microwave for an additional ten minutes.

Well, the bowl is black, the house still smells of smoke and I had cheese on toast.

50 things of Reverse Culture Shock

Reverse culture shock? A lot of people don't believe in it. They've heard of culture shock, but having a culture shock (which by the way, I have an unerring desire to spell: schock - damn using German, my spelling in English is going down the drain!) when returning to the country you grew up in? How's that?

I can tell you, after three sojourns living elsewhere than Australia and living with my sister once when she returned after living overseas reverse culture shock not only exists, it makes people angry. Really angry. Bottled rage, annoyance and constant-talking-about-how-the-other-country-is-better/different-anger.

This is for the blogthis challenge '50 Things'. Now the brief was incredibly non-specific. 50 Things...

""Take your pick, this one is open. 50 things I want you to know about me; 50 things I would do if I won lotto; 50 things I want to cook; 50 things I have photographed; 50 things I want for my birthday; 50 things I would like to tell my ex.... It's up to you, whatever you want to tell your readers""

So, I thought, 50 things? What in the whole wide world am I going to write about? I just listed things about my ex and how I am better now, I hate cooking, I photograph my friends and building exclusively (which, actually, doesn't sound too bad, but I don't have files of them all), I just ask for money for my birthday.

Then I thought, hang on, what's the now-title of this blog? It's resettlement in Australia. I lived elsewhere and was going to use the blog that documented that journey to document the chaos that I felt inside when I came home. What better challenge than this one to use my blog for its 'proper' use.

I know that I am going to annoy some people, for that I am sorry. Remember the rage? Blame that.

Here goes:

Reverse culture shock on returning from the UK. 2010.

1. uncapped internet. Oh how I miss thee.
2. no ATM fees. They are the bane of Australian existence.
3. convenient public transport (OK, this one is glorifying it - I once stood in the snow for 1.5 hours waiting for the damn bus on which some old man's pee-bag was leaking, but the bus network went down every main road.)
4. Heating.
5. powerful education unions
6. 7 quid prescriptions, no matter what it was for
7. comprehensive TV streaming on the internet
8. Grocery stores open 24 hours
9. Multi-buys - 1.5kg Cheese for the price of 750g? Hell yes, please!
10. no swearing
11. intelligent comedies and comedians
12. the Beeb
13. excellent plays and musicals in the West End.
14. The opportunity for good-quality music festivals and A-List bands
15. History
16. Cheap groceries - 70p for a loaf of bread, that lasted for over 7 days?
17. Cashback and using your credit card at any shop - including the kebab kiosk at the local shopping centre
18. Debit Visa cards accepted everywhere
19. Decently priced, lovely clothes for fat people
20. Acceptable train service, on which you can eat and drink
21. intelligent conversations about politics, and things other than sport, the weather and pride in our nation.

Reverse culture shock from returning from Germany, 2005
22.  Having a government made up from the two main parties without any name calling
23.  Living in dorms with autonomy
24.  Inexpensive beer
25.  Being able to buy afore-mentioned cheap beer at the servo.
26.  Eis-Cafe's
27.  Living in a place steeped in culture - our favourite cafe was across the road from the Brothers Grimm's house
28.  Not hearing the Australian accent
29.  Cheap cafes
30.  German comedy
31.  Maturity from everyone undergoing national service

Reverse culture shock in entering back into the education system here

32. Less systemic apathy
33. Outcomes-led reporting
34. Supportive staff and behaviour support
35. No play ground duty without extra pay
36. Form class for 5 consecutive years - you become their mother (almost)!
37. Union conferences for free (weekends away purely for being a member.)
38. Being included in union decisions by monthly meetings with area rep.
39. Mentoring program
40. Students having to interview to get back into Senior (A-Level)
41. Privileging of MFL - 'Oxbridge' not accepting students without a foreign language GCSE
42. Lunches with other staff due to not having department staff rooms
43. Contacting schools directly and getting a job on my own merit and not through the department
44. Lots of supply work due to 'rarely cover'

Reverse culture shock in entering back into the lives of people here.

45. Lots of changes have happened and I don't really fit in.
46. Two of my closest friends being even closer
47. Receeding back to where I was 10 years ago
48. Having lots of experience, but nothing I want
49. Not going out to the pub/cafes every few days
50. Not being happy.

There! Done it. I hope you made it through to the end. I know I probably wouldn't have!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ms Gillard

Ms Gillard.

It has come to my attention that you are our first female Prime Minister. I feel so strongly regarding this news that I felt I needed to write about it on my blog. After reading another blogger's open letter I thought that this was the best way in which to communicate my opinion.

Firstly, congratulations on being written onto 'history's page'. Let's hope it's a positive one in the end. I know that I am annoyed by the fact that Australia receives its first female Prime Minister without any input. Hopefully when my children read in their National Curriculum History lessons about how you were self-appointed into this role it's a positive spin. Let's not hope that it conveys true history; you were willing to undercut your people-appointed leader who was making tough decisions, at 10pm so the least amount of people knew about it. Let's hope it doesn't say that you chose to use your "female-given" right to change your mind and after weeks of denying a possible challenge, spearhead a coup on the government and the people you had sworn to govern with/for.

Secondly, I hope that you continue to follow the agenda of the AWU. I mean, if you don't know how ruthless they can be when they don't like the government's decisions, I'm sure there's an ex-Prime Minister who can let you know.

Thirdly, I hope you have vastly differing, substantial and worthy policies. I know it's only a few months until you'll go to the polls, but it might be a tad embarrassing if all you do is run with policies gotten up and running by the man you decided, while voted for by the public, was incapable of doing the job he was charged with.

Lastly, I hope you've thought through the idea that you've most likely handed the Liberals the government on a silver platter. One with inherent support for the richest men on Earth (who aren't even necessarily Australian) and where they look like (even with their own leadership battles) that they are all friends and totally on the same page.

I am most disgruntled by and disappointed in your decisions over the last 24 hours.  I am ashamed that I did not have the choice of my next Prime Minister. I am angry that that choice was taken away from me. I understand it's still the same party but it is not the same faction. You are not what I was promised.

Do not compound your behaviour by calling the polls after the end of the term. Go to the polls as we expect; before the end of the year. While we are still angry at you.

**** And now, the letter I actually sent her... after seeing the media reactions and calming the heck down ****

I welcome you to your new post. I hope to not sound bitter; I do not think that the way you arrived at this position inhabits the ideals of 'fair go' and 'mateship - ideals that you posit throughout your party.

You must hit the ground running and I hope that, while you must have some different policies than Mr Rudd (otherwise, the coup performed today was rather irrelevant, don't you think?) you keep some the same.

The mining tax must be pursued at length and with minimal compromise. You were not willing to budge on MySchool, and just because the Education Departments in this country do not have multi-billion dollar sway within parliament, you must treat the mining companies with the same disrespect you showed thousands of honest hard-working citizens of your country, worried for their students and communities.

The Education Revolution needs to be continued and, while investigation is important (there are some horrid practices being perpetrated on teachers and students throughout this country,) scrapping spending on state schools would be negligent. While I understand that the word 'state' confers responsibility onto state governments for funding, the funding of State Schools at a federal level must be increased. It is not an equitable dispersal of funds to have privately-owned schools funded at a higher rate than those educating the majority of your population.
I have noticed that the media is already singing your praises. I hope that it continues, because if it does not, I fear you have handed the government, nicely gift-wrapped, to the conservative parties in this country.

Please go to the polls while the people in this country are being mesmerised by the 'first female Prime Minister' spin and before they realise that you stopped them choosing you.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear Meg in 2009

I made a letter in 1999 to open in 2009 on Christmas Day. Not unlike a time capsule.

I didn't open it in 2009 'cause I'd forgotten about it (oh, and I was in England.) I opened it earlier this year. The contents made me so mad and annoyed I forgot about it straight away.

Basically, the contents that my 17 year old self wrote to my 27 year old self were - I hope that you are happy with X. He was in every sentence.

He was the boy I was obsessed with in year 12 and for the first part of the year following. He's who I now call 'knob boy' and my dad always called 'that thing in black.' The one who had little ol' gullible me thinking he was actually going around killing people. So of course, you know, I'd be all sympathetic and allow him to do 'whatever he wanted' and 'needed'. The guy who couldn't have me over to his house, 'because I've got a contract out on my life and I care for you too much to have you here' Yeah, him.

He was my first everything and while I am grateful to have had the typical high school experiences, I am so glad that I dodged that crazy-arse bullet.

So what have I done in the intervening ten years since dumping his lazy be-hind?

2009 - living in England. Saw lots of things, made friends I never would have and seen a 'better' education system

2008 - graduated university

2007 - was involved in my best friend's wedding. In which I got right stressed and, because of panic attacks, made a fool of myself. I also went home with a friend and had some of the best 'comfort' of my life.

2005 - studied in Germany for a semester. Made friends from all over the world, lived in dorms, fended totally for myself. Saw an inordinate amount of movies, fell in love with Indian food, dabbled with the idea of veganism (which in 2007 was a reality), went to Amsterdam and generally had a great time.

2002 - departed from my TAFE diploma and started a teaching degree. A degree! Something that only two or three others of my extended family have (at this time, in 2010 every man and his dog has one), something I never would have had the passion for in 1999.

2001 - doing a TAFE diploma. Boring as hell. But it was study, I was getting Austudy and could hang out with my friends a lot. And I did. Some of the things I did this year make me wonder how we didn't die.

2000 - dumped his sorry arse. Found out the moron was cheating and I moved to Germany. Not the best experience in my life, but I got to fulfill my dream of living in Europe. I also got to see Paris and Italy.

So, if I am to talk to my 17 year old self, I would say this. He's not worth it. He's a little obsession now. Don't let him take over your life. Think of yourself, and what you want. Don't give it all away.

What would you?

Monday, June 21, 2010


So any of you good people who drop in when I bother to write on here might know that I am addicted to three things: food, facebook and T.V. I can't remember when it started, and I really wish I wasn't, but man, I get soooo bored.

Anyhoo. One of my favourite shows is Dr. Who. (The new one; not that old stuff) I liked Chris Eccleston, loved David Tennant and am falling in love with Matt Smith as well.

I feel a traitor. I spent all last year going, "No one, I repeat NO ONE is going to replace David Tennant. He is the doctor and all others will be only pretending." Yes, I would say that damned loud - capitals were required. But I have been just in love with the new incarnation.

You know what though? I don't think it's Matt Smith. I think it was the dynamic of having Amy and Rory along for the ride. I know that Rose and Micky were along for the ride for a while, but it felt forced; the doctor sooo didn't want Micky there. Rose also didn't seem to want him there. So it felt wrong. Amy on the other hand (or Amelia, which is what I always say in my head after someone says Amy) was in love with Rory; she only wanted him, she was in pure joy sharing this experience with him. He was who she wanted - the doctor was a man who gave them lots of fun, scares and the universe.

Then they did it.

Stop reading right now if you don't know what happened with the Homo Reptilia. I mean it, stop. There will be spoilers.

When Rory died for the second episode in a row, I thought, "Hey, maybe he'll get resurrected like last week." Nope. Dead. As a doornail. Havin built up the character and making me fall in love with him, it was not fair. To tell you the truth, I like when there's a shock death. Doyle on Angel being one of my all-time favourites. I like it when characters die. Even the ones I am irrevocably in love with. I think it's the mark of good writing, directing and acting to have the viewer sobbing along - I don't think it's ever been done as well as with Ianto Jones. I cried for days - and I'd only seen about four episodes of Torchwood before. It's the sole point of making a character die. If the viewer isn't upset and in grief, you may as well as have sent them to move to the Gold Coast (Word up Neighbours!)

Even though, regarding Rose being sent to an alternate universe, it was said, "It's a happy series, it's about hope, no one can die," (I'm paraphrasing here and it might have been Russell T Davies, who jumped ship for America and Torchwood, who said it, but isn't the premise the same? ) they killed one of the companions off.

But did Stephen Moffett et al let me have that grief? Did he hell. No sooner than Rory uttered his last, "But we were on the hill" did the time energy (or some such Dr Who nonsense) come out of the crack in the wall to remove his existence from the world. Amy no longer remembers him, so we can't go through the mourning with her. I am so mad. They removed one of (I think) the best character devices from the series ever and we aren't alllowed to mourn. What a load of codswallop.

But then, last night, the Dr showed us he remembered - "Amy, Rory" Amy answered "who?" So someone remembers him, I just wish we were allowed time to let him go.

And I hope that Amy doesn't become another Dr-lover simpering around for his affection. Like Rose and Martha. Keep her Donna-esque.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I've been toying with the idea of surrender over the past few months. I read it on one of the blogs I lurk on; the lady was desperate to have a baby and in the end surrended it over to her God to 'let it happen when it's the best time' and fell pregnant within a couple of months. (As an interesting aside, while I don't need euphemisms for many things being 'up the duff' is definitely one of them. Pregnant is, to me, one of the scariest and ugliest words in the English language. The German 'schwanger' isn't much better)

I pray when I think of it. I go through periods where I speak all the time to Archangel Michael and the others, and then I can not talk to them for weeks. I also kinda think that if I think, 'please' then it's assumed to be directed to him.

The day that I read her blog, it seared into my flesh. I surrended entirely to them and knew - as certain as I was that I was breathing - that they were going to come to the party with what I wanted. This has all but disappeared now. I knew it wouldn't be a miracle salve, but I had hoped that I would see some movement towards it.

And then, I think, I'm doubting them, why would they help? Does your God help you, guide you, even if you're doubting he is? I'm worried that mine don't.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

weight loss

What has worked for you? What hasn't?

I need guidance.