What lies before me

Here we are at another 1st and this time it’s the first of May…

Ooops! This is what happens when good intentions get waylaid and a person gets laid low by a hideous migraine.

But I’m back, albeit a little overdue, which means it’s time for another Calendar Challenge… 

There are the obvious ‘lush’ perspectives here (although in the last few days, I have never felt less like a drink in my life). There’s the social glue of getting together with friends and putting the world to rights. The importance of a cracking red with a new ‘local’ pizza at the end of countless moving-house-again days. The virtual Cheers! across the miles with Lil Chicky via WhatsApp or Facebook. In fact, the sheer necessity of such an indulgence if one is to have a balanced outlook on life.

And this brings me to an important point, one which a friend and I were discussing a few weeks back over…you guessed it…a bottle of red. We have both come to realise that, at this point (we are in our mid-forties), we are at about the halfway point in our lifetimes. (All going according to the statistics of course – as an Aussie sheila, it’s expected I’ll be popping my clogs at 85.6.)

Anyway, it made for some interesting discussion about what we would do and in fact what the world would be like for the next 40 years or so. Will our jobs still exist and if they do, what are the chances of us wanting to do them? And for how long? Where will we live? What things will we do to inform, amuse, educate, indulge ourselves? How do we shape the years that stretch ahead of us before they shape us? How much planning do we do and how much should we leave to serendipity, chance or spontaneous gut feeling?

I have no answers, this being a new and slightly unsettling line of thought for me. My life right now feels really full and fabulous, like the work of the last 44 years has come to fruition and given me the life I always dreamed of. Even so, I found myself picking up Investors Chronicle magazine with my Saturday paper this morning and over the last week or so ‘google writing courses’ keeps popping up on my mental to-do list. And I swear there’s that brine-y cloying smell of the sea in my future somewhere.

It’s not that I’m racing off into the wild blue yonder – breaking the glass in an emergency so to speak – with any of this yet but this recent twist of the kaleidoscope has made me wonder what would make me happiest in my future and how I give myself the wherewithal to be there, wherever there turns out to be.

My move to the UK was driven by that deep-down feeling in my gut that this was what was right and next in my life. And it was sudden so it makes me wonder what the next catalyst for change in life as I know it will be. I sincerely hope it won’t be anything tragic. Perhaps it will just sneak up surreptitiously, moving me along a gentler path until suddenly I look around and say, ‘Aah yes, this is exactly where I am meant to be.’

Life has a funny way of showing us a path when we least expect it but to my way of thinking, I need to take a few more steps off the beaten track and forage about in the undergrowth a bit to understand what I might really like to have in my future.

Who knows what I might find.

Calendar Challenge 2014 – Back Catalogue

Keep calm and carry on

Sour grapes

Water water everywhere

On the shore


The Silent Letter…

One of the things any Australian coming to the UK feels assured of is the ability to speak the language. You know, to communicate, be understood, that kind of thing. And after almost eight years here, despite some early faux pas (the use of words like pants and thongs come to mind), I don’t find myself thinking twice about the way I speak.

However, working for a global business, I am surrounded by colleagues whose first language is not English. My team mate is French and a close colleague who sits across the partition from me is Turkish. Within a couple of desks away are three Germans so by the time you add the erstwhile Aussie to the mix, the locals represent less than 50% of the seating arrangements in our area. 
There’s often much hilarity as sayings go a bit awry with regularity. We’ve had the dog barking at the wrong door (vs up the tree), don’t let the bugs bite (the bed just went amiss), cookie (vs brownie) points and my personal favourite, a ‘one pony trick’ which leads the mind in a significantly different direction from the one trick pony!

But on the train home today, I was reminded what a real minefield the ‘English’ language can be, particularly when it comes to place names.

It’s not just the longer prefixes to the shires that trip one up on this green isle – I mean how do you get ‘wooster’ from Worcester – or the fact that words tend to dribble away here as opposed to the emphasis-on-every-syllable pronunciation employed by my lot (eg. Bir-ming-ham rhymes with ‘I eat SPAM’). 

It’s the presence of a letter.  A letter that just sneaks in there, quiet as you like. And upsets the natural order of things.

The letter ‘W’.

It’s a dastardedly affair. The ‘W’ sound is happy to lead off, loud and proud, at the beginning of a word – Walthamstow, Windsor, Worthing are fine examples. 

But the rules seem to differ when that little ‘w’ ensconces itself right in the middle of things. So Southwark is pronounced ‘Suthick’ (vs my fresh-off-the-boat South-walk all those years ago), Harwich is pronounced ‘Harrich’…

…and today, I automatically corrected my collègue français’ Flitwick – without skipping a beat – to ‘Flittick’.

My family keep telling me I sound more and more English every time I speak to them.

I think they may be right.

Date Night: Breathless Anticipation…a correction…

Dear reader

An erstwhile follower of my blog has pointed out to me today that the 31st May was not the end of Autumn for me here in the UK but the end of Spring!  Generously she has done this via email rather than leaving a comment on my blog so for all of you who thought I’d lost the plot but were too polite even to mention this gaffe…what sort of friends are you?? (Ha ha…)

I have obviously been left somewhat dazed and confused by my Aussie visitors…who will be back on the weekend!

Yours sincerely

The Numpty Blogger