Thursday, January 04, 2007
Good things in the New Year
Major good news: I've been granted the second year's working holiday visa. Thank goodness for that, after 2 months of worrying. One more year here to see everything that so far I haven't been able to (Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Far North Queensland, Byron and Nimbin ... it might not sound like much but if you look at a map the distances involved are pretty enormous!)
Even better news: My sister's coming to visit in April!!!
It was an unusual New Year's Eve this time around. Last year's was great - 4 wheel driving on the beautiful Fraser Island with 5 good companions. This year, instead of going out drinking and watching fireworks in Adelaide, I joined a good friend's family at their Adelaide Hills mansion. I hadn't expected them to be millionaires, but it was a stunning place with a new pool and all the entertainment one could want. We ended up singing Singstar Rocks before racing down to restrain the dogs at midnight in case the fireworks startled them. I felt like one of the adults for the first time: really interesting people were around debating climate change, international projects, sharing gossip - and I felt like I had something to contribute to the conversation too, rather than wanting to hang out with the kids all night. The teenagers, rather than playing or celebrating, were going on the internet trying to find the footage of Saddam being hung! Who would have children these days? It must be a horrific job to be a parent trying to stop your little darlings from seeing this deeply disturbing stuff.
On the TV they showed what was going on in Sydney ... yes, gorgeous fireworks, but minor celebrities dancing around for half an hour first? I can see they must sell a lot of advertising in the run up, but for those in Australia at the same time next year who want to see what's going on, just turn your TV on at midnight and skip all the pointlessness.
Resolutions for this year include:
- Writing more - I'm not setting a target of 1000 words a day, because I know from experience I wouldn't always do that and then would beat myself up over it. I will at least update this a couple of times a week.
- Dancing more - I lost the joy back there for a while. But I'm excited to be part of a gang of 5 amazing Adelaide people starting a belly dance class this Sunday. Wish me luck.
- De-cluttering. I shouldn't have to explain this, but it's ridiculous for a backpacker to travel with 8 bags of stuff. Having settled in places for months at a time, I do tend to amass things, books, more clothes than I need, and lots of tickets and mementoes I'm planning to scrapbook. The current mission is to finish a scrapbook by January 11th, when I move out of this house-sitting place. I will stop getting sucked in to all the books here, and start organising so as to leave with less stuff than I brought. I would post a photo of what I'm carrying around with me, but I'm too embarrassed by it!
- Be a better friend. Last year I went through a brutal break up, the day before my birthday. I had to write possibly the most difficult email ever to all my family, friends and all the mutual friends who had only ever known us as a couple. After being on the road for so long, I'd half lost touch with many people. But I was amazed and touched by the huge outpouring of support that came in from practically everyone I knew, including people I thought of as Eric's friends. I was pretty emotional at that time and would read these thoughtful messages and cry. What I didn't do was write back to these people. Several months passed, I got a measure of equilibrium back, and I felt too ashamed to write now after so long. My conscience has been pricked, however, by a strong family member whose husband recently passed away. Of course I wrote to her, but stressed that she must have a lot going on and not to bother responding. But she sent a wonderful note to me at Christmas saying how much she appreciated what I wrote, really putting love and best wishes into it. If she can do this, after such a bereavement, I think it's high time I made amends as well.
I'm proud of where I've got to, though, and I have a lot to look forward to.
Want to see what I've had published so far?
So proud of this one, a truly weird interview with Adelaide's bearded messiahs The Beards (the photo above shows Kirsty, Jasmine and myself appropriately disguised to attend their gig I'm the evil Grand Vizier, Kirsty is the Billy Connolly lookalike and Jasmine's rocking those fluffy sideburns. Hey, it was Christmas! Without our own facial hair we had to use what we had at hand - namely a feather boa and purple tinsel.)
A slightly more sedate interview with Adelaide band Is This Art?