Thursday, July 29, 2010


I am now in Whitehaven working at West Cumberland Hospital. Everyone up here is lovely and very helpful and nice. They all greet each other by saying hiya. The accent can be quite thick - I've found that I can understand about 75% of the time what people are saying. I'm hopeless at writing down the messages from our answering machine though as I can't make out what people want!! I am working with another dietitian called Emma who just moved over from Ireland.

Last week in London was pretty busy but I had a great time, I really like the city, actually it is hard to call it a city really because it isn't that busy compared to other "real" cities!!! I managed to do some exploring, lots of walking around.

While in London I was lucky enough to score a massive bargain on a car who I named Francesca. She is a dark green ford fiesta who I purchased for 275 pounds!! Insurance on the other hand.... not quite so cheap but oh well. I needed the car for my job as I have to drive around clinics in the area seeing patients. So far, it has been going well with no dramas. Actually I was quite excited because I went up in teh world from my last car - francesca is only 17 years old, and has... wait for it... central locking and a sun roof! Luxury!! hehe.. sad isn't it when such simple things are exciting or amusing. oh well.

I try to make the most of exploring every place I go, so have been venturing out in the lakes district and within the greater area of whitehaven in the afternoons and weekend. It's cloudy during the and then without fail the sun will come out at about 8.30pm for 2 hours before it sets. I've found this is the best time to be outdoors!! I was explaining to a friend the other night that the sun had just come out (at about 8pm) and he was like "what?? the sun is setting!!" I climbed up a fell this afternoon. Apparently that is a mountain, and there is such a thing as fell-sprinting which is basically running up and down the mountains. I was told that there is some sort of event where people try and run up and down as many of these fells as possible within 24 hours - there are 47 to choose from or so I am told!!

Starting from tomorrow I'm on the $2 a day challenge. I've been surprised about how much food I have managed to accumulate for that little amount. Whoever said food was expensive in England was LYING!! Food is quite cheap here compared to Aus - especially if you cook pretty much everything from scratch like me. For example I bought 2L milk for 50p (Au$1) and you can buy a 800g big loaf of really grainy bread for 1 pound (Au$2). Its at least double that back home. Fruit and vege are also similarily cheaper in most cases than Aus. The next picture shows what I will be eating for the next 5 days.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

living off $2 a day

In the last couple of days I have noticed the following things about London:

* Considering how old London is, it is so clean!! There is barely any rubbish anywhere, they have recycling bins everywhere (yay!!) and its just so clean... can't explain it any better than that!

* There are policeman everywhere!! policeman on horses, policeman in yellow jackets, policeman with those big bucket hats on, policeman on motorbikes, policeman with little caps on.... I

* You drive on the left hand side of the road, BUT you walk on the right side of the path - weird!

* Food is priced about the same as australia (in the supermarkets) and pretty good quality too.

Okay - now onto more important issues. I'm coming onto this a bit late as its only about 2 weeks away, but I have accepted the following challenge and am looking for people who will support me in this (fully tax deductable).

I am joining a 1 week fundraising event called Live below the line where I'll be living off $2 per day (as I'm in the UK, that's going to be altered to whatever that is in pounds - about 1.60 pounds i think atm) to raise money for poverty in Cambodia.

Please check out the link and if possible I'd really appreciate your contributions. I'm going to do it from the perspective of a dietitian and look at how nutritionally complete or inadequate a diet you can make from that.

For every additional $100 I raise, I'll do an extra day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Welcome to London, the time is 6:10am

The last 2 days of my life have pretty much flown by. Literally. I have spent around 30 something hours in transit until arriving in London this morning. In Springwood I got up at about 6am in order to get ready before leaving and we left home at about 8. Everything felt surreal – definitely didn’t feel like I was leaving the country for a couple of years. I had managed to pack everything that I was taking up by about 8pm on Saturday night. In Sydney we dropped by Phillipa’s cafe for a yummy breakfast before getting over to the airport at 10. My flight left at 11 but as it was a domestic flight to Melbourne, I didn’t have to be there all that early.

When getting on the plane in Sydney the Qantas people didn’t want to let me take on my guitar because they had been given “strict orders no guitars” but the lady out the front let me anyway which was good! After that I didn’t have any more guitar issues and got it safely here to England. It’s getting around this guitar!

I had a 2hr layover in Melbourne, but by the time I had gone through customs and got my new boarding passes (every leg of my journey was with a different airline) there was really only about an hour. I grabbed a sandwich for lunch and called all my grandparents for a chat and then left melbourne and australia at 2.30pm heading for Bangkok on Jetstar. The plane was quite empty which was awesome because I was placed in the aisle seat on a middle row and had the entire row to myself so I could spread out on the 4 seats which was good! This was a 9hr flight which I spent watching movies. To help myself get over jetlag for when I arrived in England I didn’t let myself sleep until my flight from bangkok to try and get into the right timezone.

I got a bit lost in Bangkok airport. Because I have flown in and out of Bangkok airport before I thought it would be easy. Then as I arrived I realised that this time I was flying through the international airport rather than the domestic, so it was completely different!! There were a few things that made me smile though – the walking platform things like escalators that don’t go up and stay flat, at the end of them have these beepings and warnings that remind you that the end is coming.

I went through the security check to get to the transit lounge and got the full-degree security check. I had to take my belt off and got fully patted down front and back!! That’s never happened before to me! Then I got onto the next level, wandered around a bit and realised that I actually needed to get my boarding pass first, so went back down, got the boarding pass and had to go through the security check all again! It was 8.30pm in Bangkok when I arrived so after I had my pass I went and got some dinner as I hadn’t eaten on the plane. I had a green curry. The plane left Bangkok at almost 1am- this time with British Airways. I was starting to get pretty tired by this stage as I had been awake for almost 24 hours with about 5 hours sleep the night before. I made myself stay awake a bit longer though, watched another movie and had some dinner on the plane. Again I was lucky the seat department with a window seat just behind the wing. There was a girl on the aisle seat with an empty seat between but she ended up moving across to the middle aisle seat so she could spread out as the seat she was on was broken. Which meant that I had 3 seats to spread out on. When I did go to sleep I think I managed to get a solid 6 hours and woke up with about 2 hours left to go on the plane. Watched another movie, had breakfast and we flew into London at 6:10am. By 6:30 I was through passport control (thanks Dad for the british passport!!), by 6:40 I had all my bags (I have too much stuff, but I guess it means I dont need to buy anything here for a while) and by about 7:10 I had managed to walk the however many km it was to the underground station, buy an oyster card and figure out how to use it, and catch the first train towards where I was staying.

The train was quite empty when I got on and quickly filled up. I was watching all the people and wondering why they were all so dressed up and businessy or in school uniforms. Then I realised that it was about 7:40am and they were on their way to work/school. Duh! I didn’t realy have any issues with finding my way around or getting to the hostel

It is now 2:40pm and I’m starting to get very very sleepy... I’m at a cafe just up the road from my hostel where I’ve been waiting for the last hour untill now to check in. In the meantime since dropping off my things this morning at the hostel I have been wandering around on foot exploring London. So far I have:
• Seen Big Ben and the London Eye (but I didn’t go up)
• Fed a squirrel
• See the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
• Walked along picadilly lane, pall mall and trafalgar square ( I didn’t realise that all the places on monopoly were real....)

There are probably more things that I have done but I’m too tired to think of them right now! London today is absolutely beautiful. The sun is shining, it has been quite hot actually. The plan now is to go check in, have a shower and then go and find a mobile phone and try open a bank account.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"it depends"

I've just had a great night hanging out with my friend Amy and amongst many many other topics of discussion, we were talking about friendships, degrees of friendships and also personality types/ personality tests and self awareness.

There are not many things that I can truly say I hate, but I honestly, really, HATE personality tests. I hate them. I can't really give a complete answer as to why that is, but I just don't like them. Perhaps I don't like getting to know myself because I don't like what I find? Or I find traits that I don't like. Which should serve as a motivator to change really.

I think that one of the main things that I dislike about these tests, is that my main answer or immediate response to pretty much every question asked is "it depends". I would describe myself as a chameleon. I think I can adapt to every situation and fit in, regardless of where I am and who I am with. I'm happy to be proven wrong with this, but that is what I believe I am like. I am quite as comfortable and happy living in the city as the country, being noisy as quiet, being instantaneous or patient... I can make some decisions spontaneously without a significant amount of thought like buying a ticket to England to move, while it may take me 3 months or more to decide whether I actually, truly like someone or not.

So, when I see a question in a personality test - my answer almost every time is "it depends"... on the situation, who i am with, my current state of self esteem (can vary greatly), where I am etc etc.

Anyway, I have been challenged to complete a particular personality test. I like challenges (I like to prove people wrong on the odd occasion..)! Amy swears by it. Once I get the address for it, I will complete it and let you know the results, my response and then whatever thoughts I have on its accuracy. Apparently it takes into account the "it depends" situations.. We shall see!!

With friendships, Amy asked me to explain my closest friends and something special about them. I came up with five main people. I have other friends too, but these 5 are the people who I probably have shared the most with, and let in the closest. I have alot of walls, and am very practiced at pushing people away. This isn't something that I'm particularly proud of, and I think I have improved in removing some of these walls and getting better at letting people really know me. I think I can get along with people very easily and will open myself to an extent, but letting them in properly - that will take a while!


ha! me? stable?! never! well, sort of! At least for a month or two I know what I'm doing! I just found out that I have got the job up in Whitehaven which is the top of England near Scotland so I am going to be employed for my first few weeks in england before starting uni in september! Yay!! Very happy about that, start the 26th of July. So my first week will be in london getting all my paper stuff sorted out, getting a bcg vaccination, doing some mandatory training and other bits and bobs.

Can't tell you too much right now about the place - I know its country, by the sea and rural. The job involves some clinical and community, lots of driving around the entire county of Cumbria, probably lots of diabetes patients. Should be good regardless. I'm just happy to have work to go straight to.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blessings and batteries

I've been quite looked after lately, in many different ways. As I may have mentioned earlier, my car died and was sold to the wreckers about a month ago before I went to Mildura with the grand total of 20 years and 420,000km to its name.

Since I got back to the mountains I've been getting around mostly on foot with the odd occasional lift or borrowing my parents car if it's available at the time. Last week I spent the day with Erin and Charli, and Jared happened to buy a new car and they were kind enough to offer me Eleanor, Erin's car to borrow for the remaining 2 weeks that I'm in Sydney for. It has come in so handy and been a massive blessing.

I love older cars! Eleanor is an old corolla - complete with no power steering and a battery that can be a touch fiddly. I was driving the other night and saw something that made me laugh - Eleanor has an analog clock on the dashboard! cute.

Tonight I learnt the long way that its probably not the smartest idea to leave the lights on... not that I did that intentionally! Especially when you are in castle hill... I was watching a movie with friends at a fundraising event and went back to the car to discover that I had a flat battery and my friends' phones were all off... not good!! I sort of just waited there for about an hour, asking people who went past if they had jumper leads.

I discovered that a majority of people in Castle Hill don't have jumper leads, don't know what jumper leads are, or have jumper leads in their "other car". I would have push started the car myself (i have done that once on my own- scariest thing I ever did while at uni down a hill full of parked cars) except because eleanor has no power steering I probably would have either smashed into the car infront or the column in front of me... neither seemed like a smart move.

thankfully after about an hour of patient waiting some girls waiting to be picked up asked if I needed jumper leads as their mum had some. So took a quick drive to my car with them and bumped into another guy with jumper leads who also helped us out and we were all quickly on our way, no worries!