I have been endlessly busy for the last 12 weeks, hardly a moment to even catch my breath. It's been insane. And now suddenly I have less than a week to go before I set off into the big bad world for the trip! How did this happen?? But we'll get to that. First we have to pause for a bit of a retrospective so I can catch up on everything that's been missed. And it's quite a lot.
Firstly, the birthday. Since my last post I have entered the dangerous, uncharted waters of 24. Oh, the horror. To say I was unenthused by the prospect is a bit of an understatement. I'm sorry, but 24? When and how did that happen? Shudder. Despite of my lack of enthusiasm at the approach of the mid-twenties, my friends all came over to help me celebrate. There was a barbecue, cake, a predisposition to rum and watching of the first season of The OC. It was brilliant. Had an absolute blast and I was glad everyone came over to hang out. My friends are awesome. Don't ever doubt it.
Then there was the Elf job. I spent every weekend helping Santa scare small children. It's a noble occupation. Seriously though, it was actually rather fun. I think the season is just long enough so you don't get sick of it. I was a bit over it by the end, but I suppose that's to be expected. Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to do that again when I get back next year - the manager said she'd be offering it to us all first. I did learn a lot about name preferences during this little adventure. The most common names for boys are Lachlan (at least 1 in every 3 is called that), Ethan, Harrison and Riley. There's slightly more diversity with girls but most common is definitely Georgia and Ashley, with Emma, Emily and Olivia also very popular. Spelling for girls names is way crazier though - thinks like Jorja, which just baffles me. If it was just one, fine. But there were quite a few. So bizarre.
Of course, there was Christmas. Ours was a pretty laid-back affair. Just hanging with the family. As is now tradition, our family friends came over on Christmas eve and we had a fondue, followed by walking around the neighbourhood inspect the Christmas lights. The new neighbourhood is pretty good with this and our street in particular put on a good show. The neighbours all have so many lights. Dad is slightly disappointed as we didn't get any new ones this year, but we still put in a good effort. I had many nice presents, including the socks I've been asking for. I need socks, and I don't like buying them for myself. I also got some trip related stuff from the parents, including a sleeping bag liner. Yay, no touching hostel sheets for me! Yes, I'm crazy, what of it? Lots of lovely, and useful, stuff from everyone really. Oh, mum also got me the Harry Potter boxset. So pleased! I've spent years refusing to buy the DVDs, knowing that when the last one came out there'd be some special set. I watched the first one on Christmas day but it doesn't look like I'll manage to get round to the others. Sigh. On boxing day, I spent the morning with the 'rents and in the afternoon, I took the family friend's daughter to see Arthur Christmas. So cute! Very happy I got to see at least one movie I wanted to see before I leave. Why are there so many awesome ones coming out now? I'm missing them all! Bah.
Since my last blog, I have also sold my car. Oh Jack, we had some times. It was actually really sad for me. He was my first car after all, and I've had him for 7 years. Watching someone else drive off with him was not a nice experience. But at least I didn't have to give him to the scrap yard. That would have been worse, I think. They wanted to give me a pitiful amount for him and I just refused. In the end, I got almost triple what they offered me. Still not nearly as much as I though he was worth but I couldn't be particularly fussy, especially since my rego expired the weekend I first put him up for sale. Cutting it a leeeeettle close. But hey, what's done is done.
Obviously, I've also finished up at the magazine company. Last Wednesday was my last day. It was a relief really, but I also had to struggle with my inner control freak as I just wanted to jump in and take over everything my replacement was doing. She's so slooooow. But hopefully she will learn. That job is not for the faint-hearted. And hopefully it will make her less miserable that it made me. It's also a bit sad though cause my editorial team is so nice. Just really great people that I get on with really well. I never had any problems with them, just the company and the actual job. C'est la vie. We had a team Christmas party at the stylist's house and it was lovely to hang out with them beyond the work scene. I will definitely keep in touch and it's nice to know I've made friends in the industry. Even if I don't particularly think I'll ever go back into that industry. My last few weeks at work were actually pretty fun as I volunteered myself to assist on photography location shoots. This is pretty much just visiting houses in the country and shooting quilts, but it was interesting. Definitely nice to get out of the office and see what else happens in the process of putting a mag together. I've hopefully lined up a couple of freelance jobs while I'm away too, so with a little luck I won't be completely income-less.
So current status: no job, no car, no real obligations other than getting on a plane in, oh, two days. I'm not going to lie to you, it's sort of terrifying. But a blog about all that will be forthcoming. I've at least managed to spend a day with Lizzie, who valiantly helped me try on a bazillion pairs of vintage shoes for Abbi's wedding. We attended the Neil Gaiman reading at The Factory Theatre, which was awesome and creepy (the stories, not Neil), even if it did run quite late. I also had a lovely dinner with Em, R and M last night. Seems so weird to think I won't see them again for months. Or weeks in R's case, which isn't so bad. I don't like to dwell on the fact, or on the fact that I won't see my parents or Oreo for months, because I get this really weird sensation in my chest and it's not fun. But again, blog about that forthcoming. Hopefully.
I'm currently in the process of trying not to stress about all the things I haven't done and putting a quilt together. Well not really a quilt, more a wallhanging. My editorial team all got me fabric and stuff for my birthday after I was admiring this quilt in the office. Of course I have never done anything fabric-related before so my ex-deputy editor invited me over yesterday to show me how it all worked. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it. Plus, since they actually bought everything for me I feel extra motivated to at least attempt making it. Sort of owe it to them, you know? I have to get all the blocks together so I can do the stitching while I'm overseas. Hey look, I have a lot of flights and long train rides in my future. I have to entertain myself somehow.
Anyway. That's enough for now. I need to iron some fabric and make an attempt at packing stuff. Groan. I really hope to get some more blogs done before I leave but I'm not very optimistic. At the rate things are travelling, I'm lucky if I have time to breathe.
Music: Shake it out - Florence & The Machine