Tag Archives: London

Get out of my house

[Warning: This particular blog contains no humour, or wit. It is just me complaining.]

There are strangers in my house.

Well, it’s not really mine because we are renting it. That‘s the problem. The landlord is selling the house, and strangers are potential new owners.

Once again, we are boxing up and moving out.

The ‘For sale’ sign appeared a few days ago, and a steady stream of smug, anxious professionals is coming through. They want to buy ‘my house’.

My son’s face crumpled slightly when I told him that we have to move, so I talked up all the positives. New = good. It’s exciting. Woohoo…

I could write something thoughtful about having a sense of place; connection to physical structures; belonging in a community; the need to ‘nest’… blah blah blah. Instead, I will just say that I slightly want to vomit at the thought of moving house again.

[Insert wise words “At least you’re not moving overseas.” or sensible comments “You’ve done it so many times before, just get on with it.”]

Our local squirrel has offered to help me pack.

And here’s one I wrote earlier…

Where do you go when you press Home? Does your life have a ‘Home’ button? I’m back home (Sydney) after a brief visit to London (new home).

The sound of one glove clapping

Lonely gloves on park fence

Lonely gloves

Lonely gloves on park fence - it will be

It will be ...

Lonely gloves on park fence - lonely this Christmas without you

... lonely this Christmas ...

Lonely gloves on park fence - without you by my side

... without you by my side

The best Steve Jobs tribute merchandise. Ever!

So, I was walking around M &Ms World in Leicester Square, when I started thinking about Steve Jobs.

[Note – I was only there because my young child-free cousins were using my kids as an excuse to not look like weird tourist-LOSERS. ]

M & Ms World is an evil 4-floored pit of colourful, candied consumerism. I chose not to buy an M &Ms tie, basketball or pack of underpants. But, I did start thinking about what kind of Steve Jobs tribute merchandise I would create …

We all have too many mugs and t-shirts. Steve Jobs was an Innovator. So if I could turn M & Ms World into Steve Jobs World, I’d have floating chrome shelves full of:

iJetpacks. Affordable jetpacks for the common man. Because jetpacks are cool. And once we strap one on and press ‘Go’ , we won’t be able to remember why we even bothered walking to work.

iWalnuts. No more messy wrinkled shells. No more nutcracker hassle. Just smooth, polished orbs of nut, with pressure sensitive opening and soft-close concealed hinges. Delicious with iCheese (due out in 2012)!

S & Js candies. Little apple-shaped chocolates in a colourful crisp candy shell.

iWheel. A new generation in wheel design. Four distinct corners have been added to the boring old circle to give it a modern, sharp look. The four corners represent the corners of the earth and unity of North, South, East and West. It’s a subtle design tweak to create a new design classic. [iWheel-compatible roads are currently only available in USA, but are global rollout schedule will be announced very soon.]

Do you have any other suggestions?

Will you be my friend?

The fastest way to make friends is to have a brief chat, run around a park for a bit, then exchange phone numbers.This method seems to be working quite well for my son.

We’ve been in London for only a few weeks, so we don’t know a lot of people over here. While I wonder how to make connections, my son meets children in the park and asks “Can I come over to your house to play?” Simple, really… I wish I had his confident approach to networking.

I’ve been wondering who ‘my tribe’ here will be:

  • Lady of leisure? One day maybe – right now, kids are eating dinner from a small rickety garden table and I’m wrestling with the new art of vacuuming stairs…
  • School mum?  Not yet – it’s school holidays, and I still haven’t officially heard when the kids start school.
  • Art gallery fan? Perhaps, if I was without the children. I took them to the Tate Modern, and all they wanted to do was eat snacks at the cafe. I pretended that the only way to get to the cafe was via some of the exhibition rooms, just so I could trot past a few pictures. (They were asking me why it was taking so long to find the cafe.)
  • Aussie expat? Not right now – I’m more interested in becoming a local, rather than celebrating the joys of distant Sydney. Plus, like a new mother, I am getting a LITTLE bit sick of advice from strangers.
  • Digital hipster? Not any more – I had lunch in a fashionable cafe in Shoreditch last week, and I felt like Dr Who going back in time, avoiding my past-self. Casually self-important young men glanced at iPads. They wore neatly buttoned checked shirts and not-too-tight plain coloured jeans. Pretty girls in ugly glasses and Scandanavian A-line skirts flicked through magazines and tapped away on iPhones. I knew the 90s music they were playing (My Bloody Valentine; Mazzy Star), and the coffee was good, but I am now a mature-age student at the school of cool.
  • Chinese immigrant? hahahaha – I have been struggling to cook edible rice in a pot (I am really missing my rice cooker!) My non-Asian husband does a much better job at it.

Maybe I should browse online for people who will overlap me in a Venn diagram of interests. Meet up instead of just emailing and admiring from a distance. Or maybe I’ll try my son’s approach?

Goodbye from the Orchard Twins

I assembled this card just before I left Sydney, and took  a dodgy phone picture. The card is by ‘Art and ghosts‘ and I added the vintage Scrabble tiles.

Goodbye card with scrabble tiles

The card is by 'Art and ghosts' and I added the Scrabble tiles ... I(http://artandghosts.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/02/the-orchard-twi.html)

Where do you go when you press Home?

Does your life have a ‘Home’ button? I’m back home (Sydney) after a brief visit to London (new home). My old house is empty and my new house is waiting for me. I’ve never been very attached to a particular location.  Home is wherever I am with my own little family.

Technology is helping to create a homesickness prevention barrier. I’ve made heartfelt promises to email, Skype, tweet and update many many people. And when I have time, I will even put pen to paper.

I am a busy body

The busier I am, the less time I have to tell people how busy I am. Twitter and Facebook are not part of my core communications strategy matrix. (Can you tell I used to work in an agency?)

Some of the things I might have mentioned if I’d been social online in the last weeks:

• Black cabs only take cash? WTF?
• I may have missed the wedding, but I do have a Catherine & William commemorative Oyster card.
• The estate agent looks young enough to be my son. His suit has too many nifty seams to be professional.
• Camden Market is horrible. Too many giant horse-themed sculptures.
• Kids would rather smash gravel with hammers than talk to me on phone.
• Want to take video of the local streets, but worried that I look creepy.
• I got little pile of crisps/ chips with my sandwich! One of the major reasons for moving to the UK…
• Have never asked to move seats on a plane because of another passenger’s smell. Until now. I was very discreet.
• First words from son upon my return: “My snot is the same colour as your top.” I did get a hug after that though.

From here to over there

Can you tell where I’m writing this blog from? I don’t know where you are and, mostly, it doesn’t matter where I am. But I’m moving house. To a galaxy far far away… Or rather, from Sydney to London. There may be a few more “Now that I am in London …” posts.

It’s all at once exciting, terrifying, sad and brilliant.

Happy face 🙂

  • All the years of Facebook stalking old London friends and colleagues have paid off. I’m already building a London network.
  • As I say goodbye to my friends and family, they inevitably mention Skype and email and Facebook. We’re never truly cut off from each other are we?
  • The process of filing and organising our possessions has left me lighter and more streamlined.
  • The great big Internet has been incredibly useful for researching London. I can’t quite remember how I used to prepare for trips, pre-WWW. Travel brochures? Old guidebooks from the library? Static-filled, echoing phone calls to distant relatives, worrying about how much the call cost per second?
  • I can stop obsessing about avoiding skin cancer.

Sad face 😦

  • I’m quite happy here. I sometimes wonder if what we are going to, will be worth what we are leaving. My dad always says: “One door shuts, another one opens”. I’m just poking my head around the London door and gently closing the Sydney one behind me.
  • Sydney is such an easy place to live. As Joni Mitchell sang in Big Yellow Taxi “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?” [I love the bit about the tree museum … and right at the end when she does crazy high and low singing.]
  • I will very quickly develop a BBC-style English accent. Probably within hours of landing. I’m not taking the piss*. My brain just switches over to Penelope Keith and when I try to speak Australian, I sound like Steve Irwin.
  • Skype and Facebook are just not the same as chatting over a mountain of dumplings (see above).
  • Gloves, hats, scarves, coats. Even more bits of clothing for the kids to lose.

*That’s Australian for mocking something…

 Anecdote: One of my older lady colleagues in the UK told me that she had never travelled abroad, and never planned to. She didn’t have any specific complaints, but just thought that she “might not like it over there”.

Brought to you by the InterWeb – Tiny tiny mail

I am hoping that my friends might keep in touch via the world’s smallest post office.