Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday 23rd dec – Nelson.

Today was sunny, nice.

After email time I decided that today was officially ‘day of the big feed’…after dreaming of chocolate muffins and porrage and honey, I thought it was probably time to splurge on something to fill my shrinking tummy…..

so I returned to hostel and had 8 ryvitas with promite and avo, with my customary carrot….”hmm not really doing it for me”, I thought, so I added an apple, an orange and a pint of full cream milk….”hmm still not satisfying that niggle….”

so I went a brought a 250g bar of Whittakers fruit and nut chocolate, and lay by the river, in the sun, listening to my ipod and ate the whole thing…and it was goooood!

I lay there basking, sleepy and satisfied…..finally….

I also purchased some ‘Boost’ multivitamin tablets to put in my water everyday to…well…..boost me, hopefully….

After my wonderfully naughty and luxurious afternoon, I pottered back to the hostel and, after chatting with my American room mate (whos name I still cant remember, and has gone way past the point where I can ask her now…eek!) I went for run. Its amazing how much food actually enhances your sporting performance isn’t it….chocolate was like rocket fuel! I ran the whole way there and back, with some leapy jumpy bits in the middle…. was great.

so now I feel revitalised once again, and am a lot happier…. thought I may pass out last night….

Xmas eve tomorrow, not too sure what im doing apart from the usual run and email sesh. Think there is a carrol thing on in the square tomorrow night so might head to that…we shall see….

Feeling a lot more settled but still super excited to get back to Aus and start my course….

tired now beddy byes….

oh I also wrote 5 poems today, and did some drawing…now considering writing my book….eek!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday 22nd dec – Nelson.

Today I am so tired I can barely type.

Was sunny today thank the lord, but pretty windy.

Walked to library, did emails, then walked to the beach. A 1 hour walk there, 30min walk on the beach, and a 1 hour walk back…then I went for a 45min run….now I must sleep before I collapse….

That is all.


ps. 4 days to go! mini woop……

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday 21st Dec – Nelson.

Today something changed.

I was still for the first time ever.

I awoke after another brilliant dream that was filled with symbolism and messages that I am sure I am supposed to reading into….

I did my usual peek around the curtain to find, once again, because the weather hates to dissapoint, it was bucketing down, this time with increasingly harsh winds to boot.

But I didn’t really think anything, I just kind of accepted it.

I lay in bed for another 20mins before getting up and enjoying my labouriously lovely shower….

I then dressed and headed out to the library in my daily uniform of yellow waterproof coat and backpack, with cover.

I strolled along to the river to the library, enjoying my walk in the rain, at peace for once.

I checked my email to find that Rebeccas travel plans have been slightly scuppered by said bad weather, and she now doesn’t know if she will be here for xmas at all!

I was a little upset but then thought “oh well its just another day I guess”.

Im really getting used to this ‘on my own’ thing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to make a life of it or anything, but maybe because I know I am leaving soon, I have finally relaxed and am enjoying some solitude.

After email time, I headed back to hostel to have my 4Ryvitas, avo and promite with the customary half a raw carrot. I then read for an hour and then went running. And low and behold as I rounded the first corner, out came the sun!

I did a few skips of joy before powering out to the Noisettes funky pop rhythm…. Upon my return, i decided that if I am going to be trapped here for xmas, then I should probably try and talk with someone.

So I said ‘hi’ and ended up chatting to Rebecca, one of the younger more smiley German girls. She is very sweet, and I apologised for my anti socialness, but explained that I had been having a bit of a hard time the past few days. She said it was fine and everyone takes a while to relax… ironic!

German Rebecca and her friend Lena are both here for xmas, so at least I have 2 people to talk to. Also an American girl called Sam just arrived, she is 30 and lovely, really chatty, and we ended up talking for a while about the bullshit of visas. We agreed that the Australian government haven’t a clue what they are doing by stopping hairdressers and chefs coming into the country as all they will accomplish is another shortage, and in 3 years they will be begging for us to come back, so I will be ready and waiting for that day! haha…

She is only here for 1 night, which is a shame, but the german girls will do for xmas entertainment… im planning on getting them drunk for added fun!…hehe…

So at 5pm I pottered into town to head for my 5.45pm yoga class….once again total bliss… I am officially in love with Yin Yoga and am planning on attempting to tweak my class to this way of teaching…

so there you have it, did a tad of shopping on the way home and treated myself to an apple and pint of full cream milk…yummy…gotta keep my bones strong now… and that’s it.

A much more peaceful day I think you will agree. Now I am so tired I am just going to get ready for bed and settle down with my book for a big sleep.

nighty night.


ps… this time next week ill be in Melbourne! woohoo!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday 20th Dec - Nelson.

Another grey and gloomy day im affraid.

I am, however beginning to get used to this live of a recluse.

I have perfected the art of daydreaming, and can now follow out a fantasy for at least an hour, imagining possible outcomes and conversations along the way. Altho, I do have to be careful as I tend to get carried away, and find myself practicing a well rehearsed argument in the middle of the supermarket, much to the dismay of the Nelson locals.

So today I woke at 9am. Im not sure if it is the nest like bed that I am currently cotted in, or maybe it is the lengthy days spent trapped within the chambers of my own mind, but I am having some of the best nights sleep ever….

I am usually in bed by 9.30/10ish, and wake up refreshed and rested at around 9am. That’s about 11 hours sleep a night! no wander…..

So anyway, I woke at 9am and crossed my fingers and toes as I sheepishly peeked around the corner of the curtain, preying for blue skies….no such luck. It had rained all night and was threatening the same for the day to come. Bugger.

“Oh well” I thought “at least I have the most practical wet weather gear ever, at the moment, and a chance to use it!”

I lay in bed for an hour and read my book, which I am becoming more and more engrossed in as the days go by…..following the tale of Michelangelo as he takes his first tentative steps into marble carving, and the debaucherous life of the Medici…..wonderful.

I then got up and headed for the shower once all the germans had had their go. Sounds silly but i am also really enjoying small pleasures such as showering, standing with my eyes closed under the stream of water as it washes away the dreamy tales of the night. This is usually when I remember my dreams.

Tho I have to say I winced slightly at the sight of my ‘much skinner than usual’ body in the mirror as I towelled off…..cant wait for a good feed, when I next have money….

After drying and dressing I then packed my backpack with the essentials: laptop, charger, notebook, reading book, and bottle of water.

Once again I am starting to enjoy the pleasures of a good hardy back pack too…..i wouldn’t be seen dead with one strapped to my back before heading to Australia, but since becoming a slave to the bycicle and also the temperamental downpours of a winter in Byron, my mouldy green Eastpak has become a firm friend….i have even taken a few comical holiday snaps of me and ‘the bag’, as my replacement other half…..

So I made my daily trek to the library, took up my usual spot and started typing.

Printed off my visa for the trip back to Oz and also my enrolment form, and info pack for the course and headed back out into the greyness of Nelson.

I wandered round for a bit and then pottered back to the hostel.

Had my daily 4 ryvitas, added a cheeky extra 1 after the mirror shock this morning, with promite, avocado, a small tin of tuna and half a raw carrot. I then lay on the sofa in the common room and read for an hour, before donning my purple leggings, trusty bikram yoga bra top and vest, trainers and ipod and headed out for a run.

I ran along the river, up to the marina, along the side and along the front, on a path that I had guessed would take one to the beach, but to no avail. I was mid flow, singing at the top of my lungs, and in the middle of a brief power sprint when the path ended rather abruptly.

“oh, ok, ill stop then shall i?...”

so I sat on the rocks and had another good think. Bad ones came up this time tho, and I had to stop them short before they took over my entire head…naughty nasty thoughts…. I then ran back to the hostel.

My favourite bit of my run is as you head along the side of the marina, there must be a nest of seagulls somewhere near by, as the mummies and daddies seem to have decided to dive bomb any passing poor unsuspecting person, or car. It has happened everyday now and adds a bit of computer game style, ducking and dodging as I leg it past doing my best evil laugh and shouting “better luck next time birdies…hehe”…

My total run was about 30mins

“ah im getting better” I thought. Must be because im smoking less…..

Back at the hostel, all was quiet, so I headed for my second shower of the day, another chance to enjoy the watery bliss, with my sweet smelling soap…

So once again I dried and dressed and headed back out for a walk. I was supposed to be going to a pottery class tonight but turns out its not on over xmas…typical. so I took leasurely walk back thru town and back.

wow I just managed to make the most boring day fill at least 2 pages, im good.

if you are still reading, “well done you” if not, “ I don’t blame you…”

have had to book in here until Thursday night, but now have the annoying decision of taking the risk of checking out on Friday 24th, and hoping something else will turn up, or booking in over xmas….i may actually kill myself if I have to spend xmas day in a backpackers… the reception guy said “don’t worry we are having a big party!”

oh great, a party with people that don’t ever speak to me even tho I have seen them in their underwear for the past 4 days! what fun…..

Cant wait until im not quite so winging and miserable!....... im sure you cant either….


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday 19th Dec – Nelson.

A wise man once said to me:

“find 1 thing to smile about everyday, and everything will be ok…”

I am finding this increasingly difficult to stand by at the moment.

It rained all day today again…..

After a wonderful night sleep, filled with weird and wonderful dreams, I awoke to ‘the others’ zipping and unzipping their bags (a noise that haunts you daily in a backpackers residence, and becomes increasingly annoying) so I grunted loudly and rolled over. I inched back the red and cream striped canvas curtain, to see a dark grey sky once again, pissing down on everyone in Nelson.

“whats the point?” I thought to myself, as I buried my head in my pillow and grappled around for Unyun, my one stuffed saviour amongst all the trauma….

I eventually dragged myself from bed at around 11am, lazily showered and then, what?......what is there to do on a day like today, when you have no money and no mates to play with…nothing…..

yes, dear readers I was in one of THOSE moods, I think my mother used to refer to them as “a tiz”.

So I dressed, and pottered into the living area with my book, flounced down on the sofa amongst the other 13 nomads, with each of their equally thrilling tomes and tried to read…..

Now, “why don’t you try and make friends?” I hear you cry… this is why…

I have always hated the idea of a backpackers because I was convinced they were full of horny travellers, high on life and cheap narcotics, desperate for the next thrill, drinking away the evenings like debaucherous vikings, and waking up in each others beds…….these guys are no where near this…infact, a bit of barbaric hooliganism wouldn’t go amis right now.

They are silent, SILENT germans…. they all sit around reading like they are on a London tube train…god help you if you catch someone’s eye, they look away immediately in fear of being turned to stone…

One of the said Germans is in the bunk above me, that’s about 2 feet away from my head and I don’t even know her name….i know her breathing patterns when she sleeps but no, no name….

The only person who I have had brief conversation with is the Italian guy who spent the entire evening staring at my legs last night as I tried to watch Amelie. This morning he cornered me as I tried to eat my 4 Ryvitas, Promite and avocado in peace….he plonked down next to me and asked me how long im staying for….im being a bit mean because im in a bad mood, but its so obvious he is just trying to get in mine and anyone’s pants!!

So after our brief encounter I donned my bright yellow sailor coat and brand new waterproof bag cover, and sprinted out of the door an hour before I needed to.

I walked along the engorged river that was threatening to burst its banks, and along to the library. I stood outside undercover and read my book for 45mins until it opened then headed in to email.

The most horrific thing happened…..

Ollie had said to me the other day

“ok well if you are doing this course you should double check that hairdressing is still on the skilled worker list, as I heard a rumour its bin taken off”

“nonsesnce and poppycock!” said I, confident in my research skills.

Low and behold, for once in his life, he is right!

Damn, blast and a million other obscenities that blurted from my pretty English mouth in the middle of a public library, along with a torent of hot, angry, homesick tears.

I cant believe it. For the first time in my life I had made myself a sensible plan that potentially could last the next 5 years, and would mean getting into Australia all by myself, no marriage needed…and now that’s all gone to balls!

im so gutted.

After about 2 hours of tears, I stopped.

“There is actually nothing I can do now. This isn’t up to me.”

I still really want to do the course and that would give me another 2 years in Oz….anything can happen in 2years and if it doesn’t and I cant stay, well theres nothing else I can do.

So after the rest of the day walking around in the rain, my plan B is as follows:

study the 2 years hairdressing course in Oz and enjoy it.

after 2 years if there is still no way to stay, I will return to the UK and try and get a job in a salon, and a flat in Bath.

This way I can see my sister and mummy more, I can go to London for weekends if I want, and maybe have holidays to Byron. Oh, and I can get a dog.

So not all bad I guess.

Ill just leave it up to the universe now…..

The days here are dragging so much. Im trying so hard to be positive but its so difficult.

Oh, I guess I did do possibly the best yoga class of my life this afternoon tho. I didn’t want to leave at the end, as I knew I had to come back here, and its fully booked which means no room to swing a cat, or backpacker, or horny Italian man……


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sunday 19th dec - Nelson.

This is the dream I had last night, I think it may have been brought on my my liquorice binge……

Floss (my old dog) had died in some sort of accident & was all cut up, a man had wrapped a carrier bag around her body and thrown her in a dumpster. I was so angry so I went to rescue her, to bury her.

I put her body in the back of my old purple KA car, my old black Rudge bike was in there too. Daddy was driving and I was in the passenger seat.

We tried to drive up a very steep hill, but because we had to stop briefly, the car started rolling backwards, gathering speed. We tried, brakes and handbrake but it did nothing.

In slow motion, we rolled backwards off the bank into the river that was filled with green pond weed. Dad got out straight away but it took me a little longer and I had to swim out of the window. It wasn’t that deep so we pushed the car out and back onto land. When I opened the boot, Floss was alive. Very weak and in a bit of a mess but she was looking at me and blinking.

Then I was sitting on the street by this restaurant we used to go to, back home, called The Armoury. I was looking for something in my bag, when this family walked past. They had a young daughter, about 6 years old, and she was mumbling, giving a sort of commentary. I recognised her as the girl Koko and I had talked about in real life, who could contact spirits.

I knew who she was and tried to hear what she was saying. Then she looked at me and stopped. She said that I had a path of blue spots leading towards me, and said that I was haunted by the spirit of sudden loss. She performed a small ceremony on me, where she dotted me with honey on my head and shoulders, as she said it would keep me safe.

Then I was in the backpackers in Nelson and I was just waking up (still in the dream) and I had a pet gold fish who kept jumping out of the bowl. I could see it floating around the room, like it was swimming but in the air. It was gasping/dying for water. I shouted because no one would help. I caught it and it looked at me and nodded, like it understood that I was trying to save it, but my legs wouldn’t move fast enough as I tried to get to the sink. I kept screaming at the fish to hang on, but it couldn’t and it died. I couldn’t stop crying.

Daddy was in my dream a lot last night. He was angry at me because I told mum the car crash story with the river, but she just laughed.



Saturday 18th December – Nelson.

Feeling sad again today.

Don’t know why, this morning I managed to book a bus to Christchurch, a night at the YHA Christchurch, a flight to Melbourne, and organise a tourist visa for Australia all within an hour….this means I am going home!

I should be ecstatic as this is what I wanted, but somehow its not so fun when theres no one to celebrate with….. after all the bookings were complete, I looked around for someone to high five with, as I usually do when I have booked a holiday/trip/online purchase, only to find the loved up Italian couple next to me simply staring into each others eyes….oh god…

and now I desperately want to go and have a celebratory florescent cocktail, in a hip and funky down town bar… such luck as im on such a tight budget, but I did splash out on my other favourite indulgence, a bag of liquorice and a carton of milk, and sat by the river taking silly pictures of myself and the ducks… oh well.

Never the less, I am pleased I can go back, and on the 28th too, so only another 9 days here.

I am enjoying Nelson as a holiday destination but I am so glad im not having to live here. Im not even sure why either, its perfectly nice, theres just something about it that reminds me so much of my home town, Shrewsbury…and that’s not a bad thing, its just that that is what I have spent a long time trying to get out of….

Spoke to Ollie earlier and told him of my ‘new plans’. He said that he thinks I should have given it a bit more of a try, but he knows how I hard I find it being on my own…. I was a little bit pissed off at this, but at the same time I know he is right… hes always right when it comes to matters of my frail heart, he knows me so well…damn it.

Was lovely to speak to him, tho what he is doing right now is polar opposite of my situation, its quite funny. He is on a 3 week cruise around New Zealand with his entire family. He said “I thought it was going to be classy, but its like bloody floating Butlins!”….. made me smile, and miss him.

I have moved to a new backpackers today, one that is over the bridge and a little more out of town…. it is a lot quieter and more ‘family run’, so a little more character than the good ol sterility of the YHA…. it is a nice walk into town, and to get to the library (the trek I make daily to check emails) you have to walk along the river so that’s very pretty.

I am now in a 6 bed mixed dorm. It is quite nice actually, I have one of the bottom bunks next to the window that looks out to the washing lines and the picturesque backdrop of the rolling mountains.

I am nervously awaiting the imminent arrival of Rebecca. I am slightly worried that I may leap on her the minute I see her, and talk incesently at her for the first 2 hours, before maybe, just maybe, letting her breathe, and then, possibly, get a word in edge ways…..we shall see…

Another big, but lonely, “Hoorah!” today, was that I spoke to mumsy about the hairdressing course and she has agreed to lend me enourmous amounts of cash to do it! I have, of course, promised to pay it back once I am styling Johnny Depps beard….

So tomorrow I am going to print out the enrolment form and all the blurby wafty stuff to read thur several more times, before signing my life away and posting it to Brisbane…. probably once I get to Melbourne…

im so so excited!

Not too sure how Ollie took the news that I am returning, but I assured him that I am coming back to concentrate on my training, therefore I will not be at his door begging for a bed… I think he, along with all of the people I have spoke to/emailed about this situation, just want me to be happy, I need to learn that one….

That’s about all for today. Was going to go to Bikram at 4pm but ended up lying in the grounds of the Cathedral in the sun, reading, and then came the liquorice pangs…and then it was game over…. going to go for an evening run in a bit tho. Liquorice always seems to give me a great energy boost to run on, bit like rocket fuel, plus I like to think im burning some of it off!

So there you have it, Saturday night, a week before Christmas and what am I doing tonight? going for a run and then to bed with a good book….MY GOD how old am i?...seriously, i constantly wonder why I am not a mother yet, id be bloody brilliant….


p.s. Post run update:

word of advice, do not eat a whole bag of traditional Australian soft eating liquorice, washed down with a pint of milk and then go for a 45 minute run….i think im dying…….

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday 17th December – Nelson.

Today it is STILL raining.

It rained all night and all morning.

A ray of sunshine in my drip dry head tho, was a late night text from my dear Mother, loin of my fruits….. She said yes to the hairdressing course! “what the hell, do it!” were her exact words… I went to bed with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye for the faith of my mummy, in me.

I spent a long night tossing and turning in an attempt at figuring out my moves for the next few weeks.

This morning Sam and I walked down to the library as we heard a rumour that they have free wireless internet. We have both been forking out the dubloons in order to keep in contact with home and loved ones…..

She donned her maroon and navy kagool, complete with aerodynamic waterproof hiking backpack, while I dragged out my old yellow sailors mac, complete with spare doggy poo bags stuffed in the pockets, (from my old walks with India) wrapped my dear topple in a carrier bag and shoved it head first into the depths of my mouldy green backsac, amongst the cigarette papers and the broken Biros……

We marched along the road, chatting. Sam has been amazing, I have told her my whole story, how I want to go back Australia and study and why…she seems genuinely interested too, she even asked me to read out my scholarship statement to her last night, and then gave me a few tips…..she really is wonderful and im so glad I met her.

Upon arrival at the Library we realised it was closed for another 15mins.

“oh I need to go to Kathmandu (the camping shop) do you want to come?” she said.

“uh, yeah ok”

“what are you getting?” I asked shyly as we entered the store with its immaculately shiny, pine clad flooring.

“I need a back pac cover for all this rain” she twittered, skipping over to the wall of oversized packs that could easily smuggle several African children over the border with ease.

I winced as the smell of fresh ripstop straight from the box, hit my slightly soggy nostrils.

“sorry, a what?”….

“it goes over your back pack silly, to keep the rain off. you should really get one if you don’t want to ruin that Mac any time soon…any way they are great for when you are cycling too, nothing gets wet….”

“Really?....thats genious, but, oh , I mean, I probably just make one from an old kagool or something……” I replied desperately trying to hang on to my artistic creativeness in the vein attempt to resist becoming a backpacker…..

“have it your way…..” she sighed, with a smile.

“ah, well, hang on wait a minute, they have a sale on that means its only 12 bucks instead of 27…..maybe I should just try one……”

5 minutes later I appeared from said lodge, with a fresh new black backpack cover, smug because all my dear possessions were dry, feeling like a dick, because I looked a dick…..

We then headed over to the library.

And yes, twas true, free internet usage for Sam, and free wireless for me….happy days for all…

we both spent about 3 hours there emailing everyone we could think of, because we could.

And this is where my plan came together at last…..

I facebooked my dear friend Jess to tell her of the days drippy forecast, and she instantly replied with:

Jess: Babe, come and stay with me in Melbourne…my flatmate is going away for the whole of Jan, my best friend has just opened a café, and I even have a bike you can use…. come over for a month or two before you start your course!

Sally: Really?!....hmm tempting…let me check out flights etc and ill get back to you. thanks lovely so much!

So for the next hour I trawled la interweb, cross checking flights, buses and backpackers until I found the best deal possible….this does mean that if all goes to plan I will now be leaving in a week and a are crazy expensive between now and xmas, and also after new year, however they drop considerably between xmas and new year leaving me a 4 day window to get the hell out!

so I have written key details of bus to Christchurch, 1 night in backpackers there, then flight to Melbs, including cost of my new visa…all up it comes to around $350 ASD…pretty damn good if I can pull it all off….. just waiting for my darling jess to get back to me and confirm…..

New years in Melbourne, with Jessica Dunn, “watch out!”…hehe.

I also downloaded all the bumpf for enrolling on the course and received, and replied to an email from my beautiful sister, who I am awfully crap at keeping in contact with, telling me tales of her new house….im so jealous, she has a house she loves, in a place she loves, with a man she loves…..AAARRRGH!

I trotted over to Sam who was sitting curled up in an armchair, devouring Vanity Fair…

“good book, hey?” I whispered

“hmm…big” she replied.

“did you get everything done?...any progress with your plans for college and stuff?”

bless her little English, ironed, cotton socks…. she cares! finally ive met someone who not only wants to talk to me, but is interested….wow, ive bin on my own, in my own head for far too long!

So once again I filled her in on all the details of my next moves….

“please stop me if this is mind numbingly boring…” I said,

“no, no, I want to see what deals you found and compare them to what ive bin paying to get about….ooh they look good sal.”

I wanted to hug her with every bone in my body, just for being so lovely and making me feel like I had a friend at last. I held back tho…

And this is where I left her as I went on my way to hit the shops, to buy the total sum of: 1 avocado, and 1 mini tin of tuna…..lunch.

So here I sit on my bunk in my room, watching the rain slowly, but definately pissing on everyone in Nelson.

I have written a list of things I need to get printed tomorrow, in order to apply for my course, which, I have realised, is actually a 2 year course, meaning that at the end of it I can then apply for my skilled worker visa!!!!

the biggest “WOOHOO!...” escaped my lips and actually lifted me off the bed when I read this bit of the blurb.

In two years I could have a visa to stay in Australia for the foreseeable future, possibly permanently……I could cry!

so now, I leave you dear readers and lovelies, to return to my scholarship statement.

“its really good and funny too…” said Sam, “but how long is it? isn’t it supposed to be only 100 words?”

“570” I replied.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thursday 16th December – Nelson.

Today it rained.

Not that good ol tropical down pour that really lets you know its raining, but that grey, drizzly English rain. Not quite enough to warrant a jacket, but enough to give your fringe that sexy drowned rat look, and soak you to your pants by the time you get home.

It rained all day.

Last night 3 new arrivals rattled thru my dorm door with backpacks bulging, only to find me curled up in bed typing away furiously. Sam was first to come in. She is lovely, I think she’s about 20, from Kent, England and reminds me so much of my old ex boyfriends sister…all chirpy and posh. So cute, I haven’t heard that proper English accent for so long.

She thinks its “way cool” that I live in Byron and nearly wet herself when I told her we don’t wear shoes there…..”oh how fun!”

Next to enter was a lady whos name I didn’t quite catch. But she too is lovely. A little older, possibly mid fifties, & from somewhere near Yorkshire, England. Again another friendly accent I hadn’t heard in a while that somehow makes me relax.

The last of our trio was a Japanese lady who lives now in Aukland. Right in the city, “the sticky part” as she referred to it. She is very quiet, but impressed us all when, at 11pm, the annoying Canadian girl, outside shrieking at her equally annoying best friend down the phone, was rudely interrupted by our dear friend leaning out of the window to tell her very sweetly to “shut up!”…..

So today I spent the most pro active 3 hours of my life trawling the internet looking for my answer to that question that plays on my mind on a daily basis: “what is it I want?”

I don’t want to stay here and just get a bloody job in some seedy stinking bar. Im sick of jobs like that, I want to train in something that I am bloody good at and then be the best at it, and have people running around for me, cleaning up and making tea instead of me being the god dam gopher all the time….aaaarrrgh!

THIS is what I want and this is why I cannot stay here.

Its funny how, realising you are in totally the wrong country, gives you that much needed kick up the arse to look at your life.

And so I found it.

Im not sure how this had slipped past my beady little eyes, but I have been looking for the appropriate hairdressing course to do back in Aus that is a combination of, the right style of course to suit a student visa, the right course for me, an isn’t miles away from Byron…. So far I have been stumped at one of these hairy hurdles every time, but today I Googled: “Hairdressing courses Australia” one more time. And there it was, “Certificate 3 Hairdressing plus Salon Management”, a 7month full time course, with 6 weeks holiday, at either Brisbane campus, or Gold Coast…….

I nearly leapt out of my well worn YHA arm chair…..i devoured the entire contents of the website before cross checking it with the visa requirements, whilst at the same time emailing dear mummy with all the information and a generous dose of excitement……

My good friend Koko had said to me many times before I left Byron “if you want to get your residency, it would be so much more powerful for you to have done it by yourself, instead of relying on a bloke to marry you in….”

I had always listened, and had sort of made brief steps towards finding the right course but it seems this forced isolation, and being torn away from my home, has really given me that drive to get my visa and residency. And for the first time I am excited. I really want to go back to school and brush up (no pun intended) my hairdressing to a really good standard, then I can do the ‘hair and make up for film’ course……my god, I actually have a career plan, for once in my life I will have something I can build a future on and make money from.

I now have to write 100 word essay on why I should be awarded the $1500 scholarship…might as well try, I do have a whimsical way with words after all……

once I had finished and sent my lengthy email to mum, I packed away my dear topple for a much needed rest, and headed out.

If all goes to plan I will be enrolling on the hair course for March 2011 so I figured I could stay here until end of Jan/Feb time… I should probably find a job or something…..

I started by hitting the 2 nicest backpackers in town to see if there was any chance I could clean for them, in return for accomadation, as I figured a free bed is a good place to start. But no luck, got my name down in a few places but it seems all the sneaky Japanese have snatched up the rubber gloves in most paces including our hostel…..buggers.

I then went to see a friend of a friend of mines called Galen. He was so sweet but completely useless with any kind of help or info, sadly.

I also asked in a couple of bars but was greeted with that familiar look that I remember from Byron of “are you kidding me”…so I left.

I did however find a much nicer backpackers than the one I am in that is a little more out of town, still walking distance but has a beautiful view of the mountains and no traffic hurtling past the window, a big plus for me.

Also its cheaper than here tho it means I will be sharing a room with 5 others instead of 3 but, hey, whats another 2 people seeing you in your pants I say….

so I may check in there on Saturday when I am booted out of here, to await the arrival of Rebecca on Monday. I want to see what her plans are, how long she is going to be here etc…. I think I may move on from here after xmas or new years, I figure I might as well try and see some of NZ if im going to be leaving soon….. so I might try and do the Abel Tasman walk (apparently I can do it for $50 which is good), and maybe make it to Wellington for a couple of days before flying back.

I say all this tho I am on a very strict budget now.

My diet is now as follows:

4 ryvitas, with 1 small slice feta cheese, 5 slices of cucumber and a mini tin of tuna per day.

I have calculated that I can make this last an entire week and costs about $9 for the lot, plus I can throw the odd avocado in as a treat. This way I can spend my money on other things, granted I may faint doing them, but it’s really the only fathomable way.

I laugh typing this, but its actually making me very sad. Im hungry and lonely…

I guess people will laugh at me for coming back so soon, even if it is in a month or so, but I don’t really care, this really isn’t the right time for me to be doing this. Its too much pressure on top of everything else I have dealt with this year….. I have never travelled alone and I don’t think I ever will again.

A friend of mine emailed me today, she is a big traveller but said

“Sal you do make mistakes sometimes, ive bin to some awesum places, but ive also been to places and the minute I get off the plane im like ‘oh shit, ive made a mistake’, and that’s fine, at least you made the step to get off your ass and go and have a look. Some places you just don’t click with, and others you do, like Australia did for you.”

She also said she spent 3months in Chicago, and the first 2 weeks she wandered around crying and lost, then followed her gut and jumped on a plane to Hawaii and loved it!

This made me feel a bit better.

I have realised a few things being here, and one of them is that I dont so much have a hatred/fear of being on my own, (which is what I, and a lot of other people used to think of me…) Its more that I get such a kick out of sharing an experience with someone, anyone. What does it matter if you laugh and theres no one there to laugh with you……or if you see something amazing, whats the point if its just a memory in only your little head, why not share it with someone and be able to talk about it for years to come.

That’s why I write this stupid blog, I guess, to try and share it with you guys….not sure if you are still reading, maybe ive bored you to suicide by now but just writing it helps……helps get it out of my tiny monkey mind.

So I think that’s it. oh, I also went to a good art exhibition this afternoon in order to escape the rain, and it was only $3 to get in, bargain! some of it was average but my favourite thing was what looked like a black plastic bin liner full of rubbish carved from Basalt….amazing. I told them so in the visitors book as I left.

I also treated myself to a nice bar of soap from Lush, the natural soap making place. I picked porridge oats and molasses flavour, I want to eat it, it smells so delicious. Bit naughty as it was $12 but its so yummy, and I do smell!

Im dying to go to the theatre, or movies but think its too pricey and want to save some pennies to maybe go for dinner when Rebs arrives.

So that’s it, I went to yoga at 4pm which was nice and now im sitting on my bed listening to rain and the sound of my rumbly tummy, missing you all, but at least I have a slight tinge of hope now.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

nelson thru sallys eyes.....

for ollie: the kiwi version of health and signs!

Wednesday 15th december – Nelson.
I think Ive realised that Australia is my home.
“but its only been 3” days I hear you cry, and my mother did…down the phone this morning, several times,
but I don’t think it takes long when you know your heart is somewhere, somewhere else.
so today started with tears to Mama. Alot of them…….
then I dried my permanently puffy eyes, and packed my backpack for the day.
I caught the bus to beach after Deidre, who left this morning, told me where to get it. the bus fare was $3.40 each way! which shocked my pants off….”another reason to go back to byron” I thought…..its free there…..
Tahuna beach is nice. blackish sands but beautiful clear, warm water…a few blue bottles but that’s the norm…..tho it does have the main highway and main intersection, running right next to it, complete with Mc Donalds, KFC and some doughnut place that I couldn’t be bothered to remember…..
I lay for 2 hours in the sun, smoking, listening to M jack B and planning my moves…..
Rebecca arrives on Monday so would be good to see her but I am rapidly eating thru my cash…’eating’ being a funny way to describe it as, to be honest, I haven’t been doing a lot of that at all, choosing instead to spend my money on internet time and bloody bus fares…..
I realised that I am missing the beach culture more than anything, and Bali springs to mind……why I didn’t head straight there for a month of yoga, then head back to byron, I don’t know….
so I have two more nights at the YHA here booked so that takes me to Saturday…..then im out on my arse and clueless as to what to do…..
am meeting up with an old friends sister on Friday for a drink, he thinks that this may make me change my mind and want to stay, but we shall see……
I guess I should really stay put until after new years when flights etc are cheaper……
I think im going to go for a run now in yet another attempt to clear my foggy head….uh oh, here come the tears…again!
Aaaaaaand here it comes….the post run euphoria….i swear they should sell this stuff…..
so my run was as I expected, stunningly beautiful and serene….damn it!
I ran all along the marina to the very end of the point, where you can turn left and take the rather incredible, but long, walk all along the sea front to the beach. I unplugged myself from the ipod and marvelled at the silence, all but the waves lapping gently on the rocks just below my feet……
so I sat.
I sat, closed my eyes and asked myself, “sally, what do you want?”…and quickly added “and you aren’t allowed to say ‘to go back to byron’…. not for another 3 to 6 months at least….”
after a long pause I answered:
“for now I’ll stay put. I will go out tomorrow and will go to my yoga class and I will ask Robert, the owner, if he knows of any jobs, there or anywhere, to do with yoga….then I will go back to the café where I went on my first day, and will call the number of the room for rent in the window. I will start with this. Then, once I have a little job and room under my belt, maybe in a few weeks I will buy myself a little car in which I will spend my weekends driving up into the hills to write, and look out at the world instead of looking in all the time. I will sit and meditate on the magnificent mountains and will spend however long I am here, in Nelson for, working on being peaceful…..then in a few months I will review my situation…..eventually I will make it back to Byron but there is no rush…the only reason I am feeling this way is because it is a natural reaction to being taken away from my home, friends and loved ones….those people know how I feel about them, and will always know this…….now it is time for me.”
I think there was a gaping hole where my third eye should be after this epiphany…. there were also a lot of tears as there was one other thing that came up that I cannot write…..too personal…..but has made me realise I cannot stop things from happening, they would happen whether I was still in Byron or not, all I can do is carry on being ‘sally by sally’ and hope that things will work out the way they should, for the best.
why is life so hard?
why is love so hard?
why is being yourself so hard?
why is giving up so easy?
so there you have it folks, another little sneaky peak into the firey, inner depths of my tragically turmoiled mind….
a bid you adeau….

Tuesday 14th dec – Nelson.
Wanted to go home today.
this morning I couldn’t stop crying, this afternoon the sun is out im about to go to a yoga class, ive had a big walk and im happy….bloody mood swings!
went to the Queen Elisabeth gardens this morning which were beautiful, very English and pretty which was nice to see.
I saw a family feeding the ducks and the little girl kept shouting “eels!”, I dont think there were any eels tho. I then saw a lady pic up one of the ducks. It was wriggling like mad and lots of people gathered round her to try and pet it, I thought “what a horrible thing to do”, then it pooed all down her front, and she just put it down and wiped it off all nonchalant!....”don’t worry kids that happens to me all the time…”
went for a big walk along the river and along to the marina, took lots of photos, and silly videos….. I had been wandering “how do people do this travelling lark all by themselves?” then I realised what entertainment an ipod and a camera are….I was literally in fits of laughter all by myself in the middle of knowhere!
wanted to walk to the beach but got a bit lost. Que little old sal trotting thru the middle of a ship builders yard in R.M Williams boots, ripped jeans shorts singing along to Cat Stevens, with big, burly, kiwi ship makers eyeing me up, kind of like the way a seagull eyes up a stray chippie from the bag…….
never the less I smiled, they smiled and we all got on with our day.
I have taken photos of the things I have found so far, as I think I should start collecting again.
so far the list is:
a rather funky bottle cap, red with a black magpie on it,
a snail shell,
and a teeny tiny whelk shell, smaller than my little finger nail,
a pair of shoes that were kind of neat down by the river, but they looked like they had just been kicked off to frollick, so I dared not take them….
oh and a VB beer can! wow you really know your in Nz when you find one of those babys….took a picture, naturally.
Bought a beautifully decorated book of Tolstoy today as have always wanted to read his stuff, supposed to be thought provoking and very honest, bit like me really…(joke!)
Questioning what my next move is…..
do I stay and find a house and job?
or do I try and get a van and go for a look about, getting fruit picking work along the way?
maybe I should do house and job for a bit, then work out where im going to go, get a vehicle and do that…..
ah questions questions……..
think I might stay here at the YHA for a couple more days as I feel ok here, its pretty quiet and is not over run by 18 year old boys, like the ones in Byron, so it gets a tick in my book….tho they do insist on playing unoffensive pop music very softly down the intercom, which leaves you checking your phone every few minutes as you “could of sworn you could hear someone talking”……
The ladies in my room seem nice. Obviously they come and go a lot but Deidre an Irish lady, and Barbara an English lady are both very sweet.
They both have big backpacks and crocs.
They think im a lunatic.
We had one other lady in our room last night. German but don’t know her name. I was sleeping when she came in chattering to herself. So I woke up and said hello. We got chatting, well when I say ‘we’, I mean she talked at me and I smiled and nodded a lot. She has been travelling for years tho she looked very neat, and not completely unlike Olivers brother Oskar…..she left this morning.
saw a sign in a barbers shop for hairdressers today, was tempted to go in but it was in a 1960’s looking arcade, down a side street and I thought the lack of natural light may make me want to jam my scissors in my eye after a while…..
ok im off, quick shower then to yoga, “ah my bendy friend how Ive missed you”……cant wait!

Monday 13th Dec 2010 – New Zealand.

And so back to the blog she goes…. yes that right I have up sticks and left my beloved Byron to head for majestic shores of New Zealand, and so time to write again I thought.

Why? because my Australian visa was about to expire and seeing as how I haven’t managed to marry my way in yet, I was border line being booted out.

You currently find me curled up in a make shift shack cobbled together from my backpack, hold all and suitcase, on the floor at Christchurch airport waiting the lengthy 7 hours for my connecting flight to Nelson.

I am rapidly ploughing my way thru Irving Stone’s, The Agony and the Ecstacy, the one and only book I have ever had recommended by the famous Mr Oliver Buckworth, and I must say he was right……im hooked.

watched Eat Pray love with Julia Roberts on the plane, a recommendation by the dear Mr Luke Yeaman that I will taunt him with forever…it sucked.

food choices were chicken hot pot or lamb casserole, I had neither. que grumbly tummy and a right ear drum that just will not pop.

just realised I picked the worst spot for my ‘nest’ as im right by the automatic doors so every now and then I get a refreshing blast of cold air on my jetlagged eyeballs…..

might try and sleep now and need to save battery as not sure what kind of adaptor I need here for charging etc….a minor point but one that annoys my mind constantly…..


ok im back after another painfully slow half an hour of book reading, im back.

after managing to track down a cup of tea, savoury muffin and an apple, I have relocated to a much cosier spot, right by the toilets (not so good) but also under the Christchurch airport Christmas tree. Not only good for the festive spirit, but I have also sneakily plugged said topple into a vacant plug socket and hidden it behind my bag….hehe playin the system! plus relief, we have the same sockets so no worries there!

so I am thinking a bit about what Nelson will be like. I have no idea what to expect, brings back all those nervous feelings of when I arrived in Byron. I arrive at 8am so I guess ill head to the YHA and drop my bags, then maybe go for a walk….then ill prob head back for a shower and much needed sleep. don’t want to put my self under too much pressure on my first day, so I think my main goal is to go for a walk and maybe get a copy of the local news paper for houses, jobs etc…. then I have 2 days to either find a house or scrounge a few extra nights at the back packers…. fingers crossed. x