Archive for May, 2010

Good things come to those who wait

May 19, 2010

I’ve had a good week. On Monday I was offered a job as an editor at a business and finance magazine and with glee I accepted it.

After 18 months of living in the UK it finally feels as though my partner and I have finally cracked it and landed good jobs.

Everyone thought we were mad (even we thought we were a bit crazy) to leave perfectly good jobs in Australia at the end of 2008 and move to London. The UK was facing its biggest recession since World War II and there were about two million people out of work – a statistic that we joined.

I won’t lie because it hasn’t been easy getting where we stand today. I worked as a shoe shiner, in a greasy spoons restaurant and in a call centre before I finally got media work. A year and a half later I can look back on those times and laugh but when we were living through it, it wasn’t so great.

We very nearly ran out of money and even had to borrow $200 from my parents to pay the rent one week. I was ashamed to ask for the money because it seemed like admitting failure. But I had to swallow my pride or face being kicked out on the street!

It just goes to show that if you want something badly enough and work hard enough to get it, it will come your way! I’ve really learnt the virtue of patience over the past 18 months – something that I never had before.

Thank goodness things are finally looking up! It’s been a good week!

First non-drinking challenge…did I succeed?

May 16, 2010

A good acronym for last night... especially when it comes to facing the cold!

I did it! We went out for dinner last night with friends and while everyone was knocking back beer, wine and gin and tonics, I remained alcohol free!

Trust me, I was tempted. It sure didn’t help that I ordered the lamb cutlets which I kept thinking would go amazingly with a glass of red. Not only this, but my friends and partner kept shoving their drinks under my nose and saying, ‘just one, come on, it won’t hurt.’

But I remained stone cold sober. And felt proud of myself for doing so!

However, on the down side:

  1. Wearing a mini-dress out in the evening in London is not so much fun when you don’t have alcohol pumping through your veins to keep you warm.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, remaining sober didn’t save me any money. My non-alcoholic cocktail was 4 quid, whereas my friend’s gin and tonics were 5. Don’t see how that’s fair!
  3. I woke up feeling…terrible. I have a cold and perhaps some warm whiskey might’ve cured it last night, who knows? The fact is I didn’t wake up feeling as fresh-faced as I had anticipated.

 

Nonetheless, I plan to continue my non-drinking phase, at least until we go to Spain in two week’s time. There’s no way I can stay off the booze in Spain – we’re going to the Catalonia region where Cava comes from!

UK to take on Australian-style voting system

May 13, 2010

Clegg chose Cameron over Brown in the end

So we have a new prime minister – David Cameron. It’s who I wanted so I’m pleased. However, I can’t say that I wanted the Liberal Democrats in power and I think it’s rather strange they won it as well, seeing as the party only received the third highest amount of votes. So they are to share the power with the Conservatives.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have agreed to form a coalition government for the next five years. The Conservatives were only 20 seats short of forming a government on their own so Cameron must be a little pissed off that he has to share power with the enemy.

It was all smiles at the press conference yesterday however. And it seems the two men have more in common than previously thought. For starters, they’re both the same age (44), they have young children and both went to prestigious universities (Oxford and Cambridge).

One of the changes the two men have agreed on is to make changes to the voting system so that a hung parliament will be prevented in the future.

The changes include a new system of voting that is similar to the Australian way. Currently in the UK when you cast a vote you put a cross next to who you want to vote for. For the local members you can chose up to three people, putting crosses next to each of them. The new government wants this to change to the Australian style where you number your votes in order of preference.

It is hoped that this will put an end to hung parliaments in the future. Although there will probably be a referendum on the new voting style before any changes are made.

Only time will tell whether the Brits follow the Aussies’ lead yet again!

Bit of self-promotion never went astray

May 11, 2010

Ok, I have created a little business by creating a company called Carma Beads.

The only reason I’m doing it is because I’ve become a bit bead-obsessed lately and thought it might be fun to try and flog a few of my jewellery pieces. I have to try and get some money back from all that I’ve spent on make it so far! Plus, I won’t be able to wear it all… I’m running out of room to store it as well!

Anyway, you can check out my new Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/London-United-Kingdom/Carma-Beads/117607004926505.

Take a look and spread the word! I’d really appreciate it.

My mum is in the process of designing a website for me that will have something on it that has never been seen before in terms of jewellery design. (It pays to have a computer programmer as a mum).

Stay tuned!

Off the booze for a month… can I do it?

May 10, 2010

Bye, bye, bye

I don’t know why, but I seem to drink an awful lot more in the UK than I ever did in Australia. I can put it away a lot better than I ever used to be able to in Oz too.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I never drive in the UK, so I don’t have to worry about drink driving. Whenever we go out we get a cab/bus/tube home so that’s not an issue. On Saturday night I drank a bottle of wine and five gin and tonics and I was hardly drunk. I didn’t really even have a hangover the next day.

A couple of years ago, if I had drunk the same amount I would’ve had my head in the toilet the next day, no doubt about it. So how has my tolerance increased so dramatically?

Is it because I drink a lot more and therefore it takes me longer to get drunk? Or perhaps I’m fatter and have more places to store it? Or maybe I’m just old (and therefore can handle my booze – now that’s a sad thought).

Whatever it is, I don’t really seem to mind. I hated suffering from hangovers every second weekend when I was young. I always seemed to pull up worse than everyone else. Now I can drink everyone else under the table.

When I Skyped my mum yesterday, after yet another bender, she said that she was worried about me. I sighed and said that yes, perhaps it’s time for me to stay off the booze. I said maybe I would detox for a month. She said that this was a good idea, ‘just to see that I can do it’.

Oh, come on now, it’s not like I’m an alcoholic. I mean, I can live without booze. So I’ve decided to go cold turkey. But then I checked my calendar… going out with friends this weekend, another friend’s birthday next weekend, Spain on holiday the week after that. Oh dear, this is going to be harder than I thought…

Hung parliament – exactly what I feared

May 7, 2010

Who will be our next prime minister?

So it looks as if we are heading for a hung parliament. Sigh. This could mean that we won’t know who our prime minister is to be for another few days. In fact, if Brown takes his time to step down, it could take weeks!

The last thing that England needs is for the country to have an uncertain leader. Britain is already suffering from an unstable financial system thanks to the economic crisis and the collapse of many of its banks. We need someone strong who is going to drag us out of this economic woe and start to cut spending in order to release England from the chains of its debt.

It has been a tight race between Conservative and Labour, with the Tories currently on 290 seats and Labour at 247. Nick Clegg from the Lib Dems didn’t do as well as expected, winning only 51. There are still 30 or so seats to be counted, but even so there are not enough seats left for anyone to win a majority.

Gordon Brown has said that he will seek to have open coalition talks with the Lib Dems, but honestly, is he crazy? Those parties came second and third, it is unfair for them to believe that they could run the country together. This can’t happen though, because they don’t have enough seats either. It’s a gridlock where both sides don’t have enough to win. Interesting.

The last time there was a hung parliament was in 1974, when Ted Heath was forced to resign after failing to secure a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. We have to hope that Gordon Brown will also resign and that the Queen then invites David Cameron to form a government.

It’s in turmoil and it will be interesting to see how the next few days pan out!

Counting down the hours until election time!

May 5, 2010

Go DC!

As I write this there is no doubt that David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg are nervously counting down the hours until election time.

It has been a month of furious campaigning with a pinch of stupidity (Brown and his ‘bigoted women comments), only a dash of sleep (David Cameron pulling an all-nighter to campaign) and surprises (Clegg actually doing well in the first debate…pity it was downhill from then).

I have finally decided who I will vote for. It’s going to be the conservatives. I don’t love them, but then again I hate Labor, so I guess the Tories will do. As people head to the poll booths to put a cross next to Clegg’s name, I am guessing that some of them don’t understand that they may as well be voting for Labor. We all know that if Clegg comes out on top (which I doubt) he’s not going to be siding with Cameron in a hung-parliament situation.

My boyfriend is working a 13 hour news shift so I guess I will be one of the first people to know who wins. Looking forward to it. Although, I must admit I am rather over politics at the moment!

I was surprised to learn that this year was the first time the party leaders have participated in a live TV debate ahead of the election. It’s something that’s commonplace in Australia and although I’m not sure whether it helps us make better-informed decisions, it does provide some political entertainment for a few hours (if that’s what you can call entertainment).

Hopefully in the next election the TV broadcasters will introduce ‘the worm’ like they have in Oz. Might make things a little more interesting.

Fingers crossed that we have a good result this coming Friday – David Cameron – one of the youngest prime ministers Britain has ever seen!