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.
Posted in About me, Arty & farty, London, Travel
Tagged cafe, friends, gallery, hipster, kids, London, parks, rice, scrabble, Shoreditch, tate modern, tribe
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.
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.
Posted in About me
Tagged abroad, facebook, friends, goodbye, hello, location, London, moving, overseas, skype, Sydney, Travel