Sunday, 18 March 2012

Muse


A couple of weekends ago I went to see the Picasso exhibit that is at the gallery of New South Wales with my housemate. The Picassos were amazing, seeing some of the most famous works of art in the world up close with your own eyes is so much better than seeing a print or a copy. I don’t know why but maybe you’re not meant to know why; it’s just part of the provoking magic that is art.

Muse - Eva Nolan
I don’t actually want to talk about the Picassos in this post. I want to talk about a work of art that I knew nothing about and had never heard of the artist before. This is Muse by Eva Nolan from MacKillop Senior College. The drawing is about the relationship between the real world, books and the imagination and how books can unlock a person’s creativity and create something new and exciting. I really like this piece. I sat looking at it for ages. The girl is almost life size so the drawing is huge with enough detail so that you notice something new each time you look at it.

Anyone that knows me will know that I live in my own little world. It’s got the real world in it, I’ve just added to it with some improvements and additions from my imagination. Hopefully this makes me a delightful eccentric rather than a down right loony. But it’s nice to see that some other people add their own imaginations to their worlds too. Every time I see something in life that strikes me, if it’s a book or a film or a quote or whatever, I spend the next week or two with it mulling about in my mind allowing my thoughts to feed of it and use it as a starting platform to jump from. This is exactly what this drawing did.

Firstly, it made me wonder what my portrait would look like if I was drawn with my thoughts about me. Hopefully that would be something interesting and not just a drawing of me looking bored with all my text books and work about me.

Secondly, this work made me miss drawing a lot. I draw in my sketch books but I haven’t worked on a large project in years which, when I realised how long it had been, made me feel rather ashamed and motivated to find a new project.

This brings me to my third and probably most important train of thought that started with this picture. It’s hard being in Australia knowing that I have to go home, it stops you doing things like starting a new art project as I know I wouldn’t be able to take it home or I might not finish it in time. It also puts a new perspective onto other aspects of my life, especially the social side of things, like every friend I have here I know I will have to leave behind when I go back to the UK and what about Sheldon?! I am going to have to leave him behind (even if he isn’t my favourite person at the moment as he nibbled a hole in my very nice and expensive bed spread). But the thought of leaving all the great people I have met over here has been preying on my mind and getting me down.

I really hope I can stay in touch with people here and I’m contemplating doing my PhD here (if that’s still what I want to do after I graduate) so maybe I can come back and spend a few years here. I know I have another 5 months here but the first 7 seem to have gone awfully quick. I’m trying to ignore my impending relocation and focus on spending as much time as I can with the people here who are important to me. I’m not forgetting that when I go home I get all the lovely people I left behind back too!

I guess the point of this post is that with every new chapter of your life comes the end of the last one and I even with things like email and skype (which I will have to teach some people how to use) the world is still a very big place sometimes.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Leo


Today on my way home I made a new friend. His name is Leo and he is a Siamese cat. He was just sitting on the pavement as if he was waiting for me. He made me jump as, even though he was sitting right in the middle of the path, he was camouflaged against the dust and sand the building site had left all over the area, so it wasn’t till he meowed hello that I noticed he was there at all! I stopped and we just looked at each other for a while, then I decided that I would like a cuddle so I bent down and offered him my hand to smell. He came straight over and wanted a big fuss so much so that I sat on the pavement making a fuss of him for the next quarter of an hour. We sat in the sunshine and he purred loudly and looked very happy as I scratched in between his ears.

Anyone passing by would have thought that Leo was my cat as we sat on the path with him in my lap and as I walked away it stuck me how much Leo had trusted me to do that. Trust is a quality human society lacks a lot of the time. What would the world be like if we all trusted each other and just came over to say hello and have a cuddle with perfect strangers? Would it be a better place or would people be taken advantage of more? Does society’s distrust of strangers protect us or hinder our development and happiness?

All I know is that I enjoyed my 15 mins with Leo and I now have dusty paw prints all over my black jeans! 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Red alert, my mother’s coming to visit!


Yes that’s right, my mother is planning to visit me for two whole weeks next month. I’m actually really looking forward to it! (Yes, I know you’re reading this mum so I have to be nice, but I mean it, I really am looking forwards to you visiting) I’ve got so much planned for when she comes, I want to show her all that I can of Australia but also I want to show her that I can survive on my own. 

I have been moved out of my parent’s house for 3 years now and in the last 5 years I have lived in 8 houses. So moving about isn’t something new to me. However, this is the first time I’ve been totally independent. I feel like I have had to grow up a lot this year and that I’ve outgrown my previous student way of life (see previous blog post). Not that students have a bad way of life, despite what the newspapers will have you believe; students aren’t all alcoholics’ draining money from the government, but I feel that now, I have started a new chapter in my life and with that has come a bit more maturity and a shift in priorities.

It’s funny how you think you’re as developed as you’ve ever going to be but then, later in life, you look back and realise how far you have come since then. In the last few months I feel I have had a growth spurt in my personal development and I’m better for it. I hope. But despite all that, I still want my mother’s approval. Maybe that’s something we never grow out of? Maybe it’s inbuilt that we always want to make our parents proud.
Whatever the psychology behind it, I’m excited and a bit nervous about mum coming. My mother and I have an interesting relationship. She knows I’m too stubborn to allow her to have power over my life so she respects my decisions and privacy. I would say we are like sisters but even that implies a hierarchy. We are more like friends that happened to live in the same house for 17 years. That sounds a little odd but it’s a relationship where I’m there for her when she needs me and she is there for me when I need her, as equals.

When I sent Mum what I had planned she had to remind me that she is in her 50s not her 20s even though I left out the bungee jump and the white water rafting! Also, Dad thinks that we will both get eaten or stung or bitten or something so I have to send my mum home back in pristine condition (maybe even with a little tan) to convince my dad that everything here isn’t just out to kill you.  Ok I have been bitten by mosquitoes a lot but that’s about it. I’ve not even seen a jelly fish and certainly not seen a shark or a crock without looking for them.

The plan at the moment is to spend a few days in the city and then hire a camper and hit the south coast and do the great ocean road. I hope I can make it as good as I want it to be! I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Friday, 9 March 2012

30 Weeks


Week 28

This week I ran another 3 clinics, busy busy busy.

 On Saturday it was a girl from works party. The theme was uniforms. I really missed my cute little sea captain costume I left back home. I nearly packed it too! But I told myself there was no way that I would need a uniform costume in the 12 months I was going to be here and I regrettably left it at home. As I am never one to miss an opportunity to dress up I acquired a navy uniform for the occasion. Needless to say it wasn’t my size. I tried so many different combinations to try and make it look cute. I tried the trousers and a little black crop top, I tried the jacket tucked into skirts but I decided on wearing the jacket with my waist belt and my black hot pants underneath. The jacket was long enough to cover the hot pants but I didn’t trust it as a dress. The party was fun, we all got rather gazeboed, so much so that I wandered off home by myself at some point after royally embarrassing myself by my gaydar being way off. At least I got home by myself though! My housemate had to be walked home as she wasn’t capable of walking herself. The next morning I made my usual hang over Mackie’s (MACKIES NOT MACCAS!!! – Damn Australians getting everything wrong, oh my goodness I just googled maccas and it comes up with the Aussie website, we gave you English! Use it!) Where was I? Oh I was hung over; anyway I offered to buy my housemates some. One was fine and was off out for the day being productive, the other one was still so drunk that she couldn’t even log on to her Skype account. Fail. I felt rough all day. Lesson to learn: never drink the punch.

Week 29

This week the lab was running, so were the clinics, and I got sick, pretty bad week. I spent the tail end of the week in bed so sick and drugged up to my eyeballs trying to forget I was alive. Doing two night shifts didn’t help but at least it meant I had the house to myself to sleep all day. The bad thing was that this week it decided to actually be hot and as I was so out of it I slept though the heat and ended up covered head to toe in prickly heat. So adding insult to injury I was now very sick and very red, hot and itchy. Great.

Week 30

This week I started to get better which was good. It was this week that Georgie’s sister came to stay. So Monday night we took her to the opera bar for dinner and then to crab racing. I have fond memories of crab racing but we got there late so there was only one race left. Pushed my way to the front to put my name on a crab, and I won! Go grab 9!!! Top prize was a holiday to Noosa. I was so happy. And to think, I nearly didn’t go out because I was still feeling a bit sick.

By mid-week I was feeling a lot better. Thursday Georgie and her sister flew out to Brisbane and in a few days they are off to Cairns. I hope they have as much fun as I did. On Friday I went to Jagermeister Friday and had a lot of fun. On our way home we discovered two new clubs completely populated by Asians. Now I went to an international secondary school so I’m used to being the only white girl in a place but this was insane. Tried to find them again in the day but they had disappeared. Room of requirement Asian bars? Who knows?

Saturday was Mardi Gras. It was like the biggest gay party ever. I went to a friend of a friend’s house who had a balcony that overlooked the parade route. It was chucking it down so we watched the hard core fans get drenched.  I was meant to meet some friends later but that never happened. Didn’t learn my lesson from 2 weeks ago: never ever drink the punch! Especially when it’s served by a gay.

Week 31

More clinics. Georgie is away so I’m covering her clinics too. I’m managing to keep my head above water surprisingly; I hope I’m doing ok.

To make up for accidentally ditching my friends at the weekend we went for dinner at this cool Thai place on the north side. I’ve never crossed a body of water for dinner before. Mind you it was chucking it down so anywhere I went I would have had to cross a body of water! Got kinda soaked but I got to pick the wine so it wasn’t for nothing.

On Thursday Eloise left to meet Georgie and her Sister in Cairns. This left me to be Georgie, Eloise and myself at work! Friday was mad. It’s meant to be my quiet day where I can hide in my office and work on my paper. My 2nd draft was nearly done so I was looking forwards to being able to spend the day making it perfect before I sent it off to be slated again. That didn’t happen. Its grant application time so it’s all hands on deck to get the reports ready and I got drafted. That was the morning gone. The afternoon was gobbled up by yet another clinic. By the time I sat down to work on my paper it was nearly 4. At 6.30pm on a Friday I was still sitting at my desk. Aren’t I cool? I did get my draft finished and sent off to the slaughter though. Came home, had a rather large bowl of chocolate soy ice cream with raspberries and played with Shely.

So here I am at week 32! I have to work 30 weeks to pass this year, I had 2 weeks off for Christmas and half a week off for Cairns so that means I’ve done 29.5 weeks of work. I’m calling that a pass! Go me. Just Final year to go now and I can graduate and do a PhD and get a great job and and and….. Not that I’m counting my chickens or anything.