Saturday, June 23, 2007

Long time, no blog...

Haha, a dear friend said to me last night "you wrote 'hurrah, I have a social life!' and we've not seen another blog post out of you since!!!". Funny cos it's true. So here I am, shamed into updating this page. If the truth be told, I've been pretty much offline lately - I moved house into a fabulous new flat, and I bought a laptop, so I thought I was going to be all connected, but internet connection here has been a real bitch. Nothing is ever as simple as we'd like. And I've been so excited to have a bona fide HOME to go to, that I haven't bothered frequenting the netcafe any more! So basically I've been too busy having a LIFE to manage having a blog as well!!!

Does that sound smug? Not intended to be... But I am feeling quite contented these days, and that's a very good thing.

So updates..... Work is becoming a very full-on part of my life here, which was never the plan! But it's busy and going well so I can't complain. Just taking up more time and energy than I thought - after all, it started out as just a temp job. Now 4 months in it's getting to be more than that.... Church is still going great guns, I'm getting more involved these days which is just fantastic - I'm part of the visitors team (greeting people who are visiting and making sure they feel welcome - yay), also joining the choir and helping with "The Reel" (a free movie screening once or twice a month). Also taking an hour or so off work each Thursday morning to help set up for a mothers & babies group that the church runs for mums in the local community - very worthwhile and having a great impact on the community, but not enough helpers so even though I can only give an hour a week I'm just trying to do SOMETHING cos I feel that it's a really worthwhile programme! So all that's starting to keep me quite busy. Socially, things are going well, building up a nice bunch of mates and keeping myself entertained! Travel-wise, I did my first wee side trip a few weeks back, 3 days in Ireland, to be sure, to be sure. Had an absolute blast! Once I get a more reliable internet connection, I'll attempt uploading some photos on here. Let's just say it was old, misty, mysterious, very green, full of passionate people (if only about beer and whisky for some, but let's say there are no half measures amongst the Irish!). When Irish eyes are smiling, which they always are, you know they're up to something shifty (which they always are!!!). hehe.

Anyways, I guess that's enough of an update for now. I will attempt to be a bit better at documenting what's going on..... No promises....


Posted by -MissJ- :: 11:43 pm :: 2 Comments:

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oh my gawd..... I have a social life!!!

Yep, it's true. Thus I have been extremely slack on the blogosphere, because quite frankly, I've had better things to do!!! And what a relief that is. :)

(Just as an aside: Scots say "frankly" a LOT. They are very frank people. True.)

So, I've met a few people through work, and also hooked up with some Oz/NZ expats through Gumtree, and also met some people through Church, so the social calendar is getting banked up, which makes Miss J a happy camper. I know I have proclaimed long and loud that I wasn't going to hang out with expats, but I've found that the old saying is true: birds of a feather DO flock together. The difficulties in meeting people and making friends just kinda makes it a necessity. So I have swallowed my pride, and hung out with some other travellers, and while predictable, it's good fun. My favourite people so far are a pair of kiwi gals who are just so genuine and such a pair of dags that I felt perfectly comfortable with them after about 4 seconds. We've become rather tipsy together on a number of occasions now, which is not only assisting the social situaion, but also facilitating me to broaden my knowledge of Edinburgh pubs. Can I just say, "Fingers" (think piano bar) is an establishment that no self-respecting citizen would frequent, but by george it's great craic! We ended up there after about 4 thousand beers (or ciders in my case), and we just sang our lungs out and got hit on by dodgy men all night!!! I even danced - that should tell you how much fun I was having.

Other essential cultural experiences have included watching the 6 Nations Rugby (Scotland v Ireland) at the Walkabout pub, which still reeked of the night before and was packed to the gills with folk from all over.... Met a cool Queenslander and a lovely Mauri guy, and generally had a good time. Scotland lost. Proceeded to an Edinburgh establishment called "Milnes" and settled in for the night. Met some absolutely fab guys from England (but two were Irish) - all but one married, but we just laughed and drank and laughed and sang Irish folk songs and laughed and drank until we got kicked out at closing time.

So essentially, the take home message is that everything you've heard about Edinburgh is true. They're all just drunk all the time. And when in Rome.... do as the Scots do!!! I put forward the motion that, wherever you are, just do as the Scots do. It's more fun that way. :)

Anyways, to bring this blog up to speed from the last post, the bright shiny job interview that my consultant hooked me up with when she saw her big fat commision fading into the sunset..... well that has turned into a rather sweet job for me with the Bank of New York. Nice people, nice office, jury still out on the boss but so far so good!!!! To be fair, he's been great so far, but I can't help feeling that the bomb is about to drop at any moment...... We'll see. So, I'm in my 4th week with the Bank, and all going well. I am flying to London tomorrow to schmooze with the people who I'll be dealing with from the London office, and do some training. Yay, corporately funded trips, my favourite. Looking forward to staying at the Hilton (seriously) and just chilling out a bit. And lucky me, I've booked my return flight for Sunday afternoon instead of Friday night, so I get to catch up with my lovely friends in London for the weekend. BRILLIANT.

On that note, I must dash, as I have a taxi booked to pick me up at 6:45am to zoom out to the airport...... ewwwwww!!! So I'm off to get everything ready and get to bed early - such a nanna!!!! :)

Now that I am over the novelty of actually having social engagements, hopefully I will find the time and motivation to keep this infernal blog up to date......

Until then, I shall continue to do as the Scots do.....


Posted by -MissJ- :: 6:51 pm :: 1 Comments:

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Friday, February 09, 2007

A dusting of snow, and a touch of frost...

Yep. All I've got to write about is the weather!!! We had a nice light smattering of snow on Wednesday night, so I woke up to a white city on Thursday, which was lovely until I nearly went arse-over about 47 times on the way to work.... There's nothing attractive about sliding down Princes one's arse, is there? Thankfully that hasn't happened. Yet. Only a matter of time, I'm sure.

So I'm finishing up at the boring reception job today, only to move on to an equally boring reception job next week. Joy! I hope the people at the next place are as nice as they were here, although it is a law firm, so I guess that's not likely. This is the voice of experience speaking (apologies to my lawyer-type friends, but it's a fairly safe generalisation!!). Time will tell.

The good news is that I decided that I would make use of all this idle time today and bang out a few job applications. I sent out SEVEN!!! And better still, it has already resulted in me getting FOUR job interviews for next week! How wonderful. Admittedly, one of the interviews is through the agency I'm currently working for, but securing 3 interviews in one day all by myself is still pretty good. My consultant rang me today about the role for next week, and I told her that I had a bunch of interviews for next week so I needed to know what time my lunch hour will be..... Surprise surprise, suddenly she has a bright shiny job for me to interview for!!! I think she saw her big fat commission fading into the distance and promptly jumped to action. Hah!

Update is that the flat is going well, not that I've spent much time there seeing as I've been leaving for work at 7:20am and not getting home til around 7pm (and it's very dark at both those hours!!). Looking forward to actually being on my new turf in daylight hours on the weekend to do some exploring. Was planning on doing a course that is an introduction to Destiny Church here in Edinburgh, but it ran Friday night and all day Saturday, and I just need some time to myself to set up my new room and settle in. I'll do the next course.... Went to this church last Sunday and really loved it - actually even more friendly and welcoming than my old church in Canberra, which is really saying something!! Enjoyed the service and looking forward to going back on Sunday...... just not willing to give up my entire first weekend in my new Edinburgh flat!!!!

So, this weekend I'm planning to sniff out some second-hand furniture shops or charity shops and see if I can't find myself an ultra-cheap double bed for my new room. Also planning a bus trip to ASDA for cheap groceries, a cheap cd player and cheap work shirts!!! Cheap, cheap & ultra-cheap are the order of the day!!!!!!

OK. That's it. I'm so bored that I can't even type another word.

Posted by -MissJ- :: 4:10 pm :: 1 Comments:

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I live in Edinburgh.....!

Yep, that's right, I now live in a flat and not in a hostel! Hurrah!

In a stunning turn of events since my last post, I actually had a good think and decided that missing out on the Leith flat was actually a lesson to be learnt about not dragging one's feet, and therefore I shouldn't miss out on the flat that had been such a close second by deliberating too long......! So I called them up when I knocked off on Monday, said that if it was OK with them I'd take the room, they were happy, and I moved in that night!! And the rest is history I guess....! I got there and unloaded my stuff, and then sat down with the new flatties and drank a few bottles of red and talked the night away! A very promising start.....

Now for the details..... I have committed the ultimate sin that I swore I would not do, which is flatting with other Aussies!!! Well, one other Aussie and one Scot, so I guess that makes it OK? The Aussie has lived here for over 4yrs, and she's shacked up with the Scot, so I think I'm safe!! I have been violently opposed to the thought of living with backpackers, particularly Aussie ones, because it's a bloody expensive exercise to come all the way over here just to hang out with ex-pats, as I can do that at home for free.......! But this girl doesn't quite qualify as a backpacker, she's a local, and she's lovely, so for mine it's all kosher. My new flatmates are a lovely couple - a 'non-couply' couple of course, or I wouldn't live there for quids! I 'click' quite well with both of them, and the flat is amazing, so it's all looking very promising! We even have a backyard, which is almost unheard of in the centre of town, and certainly none of the other flats I looked at had any yard to speak of. I'm a 5min bus ride from Princes St, and I think it would be about a 25min walk, which is perfect. The only problem I have encountered so far is that they don't have a microwave!!! Apparently microwaves aren't so common in the UK as they are at home, and it's not strange for a house not to have one..... I'm going to have to revert to old-fashioned methods of heating and reheating.......!

Will post some photos of the flat soon..... Once I can actually upload some from my camera, I'm having IT difficulties here, or should I say access to IT difficulties..... Will get there eventually!

Other news..... still bored stiff in my temp job, but the people are really lovely, so it could be worse. I am potentially starting a 3-week temp role with an investment house next week as PA to the Chief Operations Officer, and a stunningly good rate of pay (compared to the current role, anyway!), so hopefully that comes through. Should know later today or tomorrow.

Other than that, all is fairly quiet. I finished unpacking my stuff last night (after the write-off of the first night with the red wine situation), and the room looks nice. I have Susan and her boyf coming over for drinks tonight, my very first visitors, so that's exciting! Not too much else going on. I need to pull my finger out and start doing some job applications..... It is so easy to sit back and wait for the recruitment consultants to do all the work for me..... But alas, I think I must take the reigns and get cracking! The sooner I have a steady income, the better...... obviously.

Anyways, in the words of the immortal Rexy - "Yibbidy yibbida, that's all folks!". Until next time.....

Posted by -MissJ- :: 11:49 am :: 0 Comments:

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Back to reality.... with a thud!

Righto. The elation of the last post has slowly seeped out of me over the past 3hrs..... I have started in my first temp role - answering phones at a car dealership! - and it's anything but thrilling....!!! Not exactly what I was hoping for, or what was promised to me from my temp agencies, but whatever, at the end of the week I will officially be earning GBP, which means that hopefully I can be slightly less of a tightarse....!!

Can I just mention the inherent problem with me doing a job that is pretty much solely answering phones.... it's difficult enough to understand Scots when I'm face to face with them!! So far I can hardly understand a word that anyone has said to me on the phone, so I am forced to use my exceptional powers of deduction to direct their call..... So far I've only had one complaint, so I figure that I'm doing OK?!!

So.... the other high agenda item is the flathunt. Have been going pretty hard at it, eventually trying to decide between two.... At length, I chose one, and wouldn't you know it, they had just finished confirming with someone else...... Damnation!!!!! So now that I had decided on that one, it is hard to go back to the other one, as I thought I had my mind made up!!!!! Anyways, the landlady of the house I wanted but didn't get, has offered me the room on a night-by-night basis as the new person can't move in for a month.... What I want to say is "Right, so you gave the room to someone else, but you're happy to make some money off me in the meantime??" but what I actually said was "Thanks, I'll keep that in mind". Because beggars, you see, cannot be choosers.

So the upshot of all this is that at lunch time I'm going to call her up and see if I can move over there tonight. The place I'm working at is an easy bus ride from that flat, but a moderately intense nighmare to get to from the hostel I'm at (for example, today it cost me a £10 cab fare, a bus ride, and a 20 minute walk to get here - and only just in time!!!!). So for the same price as the hostel, I can get here without blowing a gasket, and also I don't have to shove all my stuff into a locker the size of your average esky. As much as I hate to be lining the pockets of the woman who denied me the flat I wanted, I must repeat that it's all about beggars and choosers unfortunately...... I'm holding on to the thought that there simply must be something better around the corner!

All these minor dilemmas aside, I still love Edinburgh, I'm still happy to be here, and I'm very much looking forward to planting my feet and settling in a bit more....... Bring it on!!!!

The GOOD news is that I caught up with Sandy's friend Susan yesterday, and she's fab! Yay, my first official friend in Edinburgh!!! We had a beer and some food,, and she came to look at 2 flats with me..... We had a good old laugh, and I got some great tips on Edinburgh life. Hopefully she will be the first of many friends to be made here......

OK, signing off..... Hopefully good news to report on job front and flat hunting soon.

Posted by -MissJ- :: 11:29 am :: 2 Comments:

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Friday, February 02, 2007


Yes, I'm here. A bit slow on the uptake with the blog updating thing, but no matter! So finally, finally I have made it Scotland!!! It's been such a long time coming that I just continually need to pinch myself to prove that I'm actually, really, truly here. Edinburgh is everything I've dreamed of and more (forgive me for sounding so trite). It's thrilling just to be here, and I'm totally smitten with the city on the whole.

I'm just going to skip over the week in London...... will sum it up as "not my cup of tea" and move on from there, eh?

Week One in Scotland has been filled with plenty of walking, job interviews, walking, flat hunting, walking and more walking. I have been a total scrooge and holding on to my Aussie dollars pretty tightly, so just been exploring the streets and drinking it all in..... wonderful! One of the highlights has been St Giles' Cathedral - amazing building (currently under restoration), and the elderly volunteers there were just gorgeous, I really enjoyed talking with them.

My time on the net is about to run out...... more updates on Edinburgh life to come soon!

Posted by -MissJ- :: 9:27 pm :: 0 Comments:

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The countdown is on.....

It's down to sleeps.

24 of them remaining until departure. Holy cow.

I have been totally slack with documenting my 'preparing for take-off' phase.... That's because I've been too busy procrastinating about packing up the disaster zone that is my bedroom. Oh yeah, and working 2 jobs, and catching up with about 467,000 friends, and planning my bon voyage bash.... I mean, who's got time to actually pack up?

In truth, I have been doing a lot of thinking about it, but not a lot of action. This all changed yesterday (Boxing Day), when I spent the afternoon in a bit of a frenzy going through my oodles of miscellaneous 'stuff', chucking out a lot of things and divvying up some stuff to either give away, ship off or store at the parentals. My room now looks WAAAAAY worse than it did to begin with. Ah well, as D:Ream used to say, "Thiiiiiings can only get better....." (sing it now!). So it's full-scale intensive deshittifying of my life, with a concrete deadline. EEK.

So, the two jobs thing. Lets just say I obtained a casual job for some pre-Scotland supplementary income, and it has been shite. I've been run ragged, and it has gone a long way to erasing the sentimentality I might feel for shifting my life to another hemisphere. And thank God for that too, as yesterday the enormity of the whole adventure really hit me, and so I've had 100 different emotions all swirling together, and getting a bit sooky and cold-feety about leaving, and having anticipatory guilt about things that might not eventuate ("What if something happens to my Dad while I'm away? I'd never forgive myself!!").... So it's kinda lucky that I'm so over the work/pressure/exhaustion thing, otherwise I'd be a total soggy mess on the carpet just now! Don't get me wrong, I'm really looking forward to going, and have been for a long time, but it's getting a bit real all of a sudden. I guess it's better to be feeling all these things now and then moving on from it, rather than it not hitting me until after I leave..... it would suck to be a soggy mess on the carpet in a foreign country where I have no friends! So 'cheers' to getting the sulks out of my system early!

24 sleeps. 3 weeks and 3 days. And way not enough dollars in my account. And a car which is yet to be sold. And a house which is yet to be packed up. And about 674 friends who are yet to be caught up with.


Posted by -MissJ- :: 4:51 am :: 2 Comments:

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