Sunday, October 31, 2010

madchester moments

Winter is slowly creeping up on us here in England! I haven't seen blue sky in at least a week or two, the rain is becoming more of a regular occurance. I've just noticed particularly in the last day or so how much darker it is earlier now. It starts getting dark from about 3:30pm :( with temperatures definitely cooling down as well. I do like autumn for the colours though. This red tree I discovered in a park a few days ago. Every other tree is boring green or yellow. And the one tree in the far corner is red. It makes me happy everytime I run past it! I just wish the sky would be blue (and a little warmth wouldn't go astray either!!).

I finished up last week at my job in Manchester. I ended up working for the whole 3 weeks instead of going to spain during the third week to teach english which is what I originally had been planning to do. In hindsight, that decision to stay and earn an extra weeks pay was definitely the right move. At the last minute Sam had to go away for work and if I hadn't been around England last week I wouldn't have seen him for a while. Originally he was meant to fly out on Saturday but that changed to Monday. It was quite funny actually how that happened. He was visiting me at the time on his way to see his parents, and was telling me how much better it would be to leave on Monday for x reasons and five minutes later he got a call to say he was leaving Monday. Crazy! This resulted in us being able to see each other a bit more during the week, saying goodbye on Sunday night as he drove to the airport.

We organised to meet up at the petrol station on the M6 about 30minutes drive from where I've been living in Manchester. Good thing I left early too! As luck would have it, I was about 15 minutes away from arriving to discover that every remaining exit on the M56 road was closed. I followed the diversion signs which started taking me back to Manchester Airport. By this stage I started getting worried that I wouldn't even get to see Sam again, so turned around and used my map-reading skills and the help of Tom-Tom (who isn't always that helpful, telling you to turn around when you legally cannot) to guess a back-route through the country side. I did end up making it there approximately 2 minutes before he did, and we got to spend about an hour and a half chatting before he had to drive the rest of the long road to Heathrow airport.

I've been couch surfing at the boys' house in Manchester for a month now, which has been a fun yet interesting experience. I've done a fair bit of cleaning while here - including at least a few solid hours spent between the bathroom and kitchen. Yet living in a house with 4 boys seems doomed to failure in terms of keeping anything clean! I'll clean all the dishes and come back 20 minutes later to find rubbish and dishes everywhere. Oh well. You can't have everything!! This picture shows what the rubbish bins area and a tiny bit of the washing up (probably not even a day after I've completely cleaned the kitchen!!!) looks like one morning.....

I was lucky enough while here to have a room (and bed) to myself for two weeks while some of the boys were away and since then have slept on the floor upstairs, much cleaner than downstairs!! There isn't actualy a vacuum cleaner or anything in the house and last week for Halloween the boys bought wigs, cut them in the lounge room and dressed up as each other - resulting in stray hairs spreading through the entire downstairs!!

Tomorrow I am making my way back to London for a week or so to do some more training. This time I am going to be doing a week long course through Merlin, an international medical emergency relief charity on public health in crisis and transitional contexts. A few weeks ago I went to a 2-day workshop on relief work, which helped to establish and further refine my interest in the area and I guess give me a bit more direction about what I want to do.

Strangely enough, in the midst of all my instability, I have been having some quite strange impulses or desires to stay put in one place for a while. Weird I know. I think I am really missing the input of a church in my life and having a christian community and being able to get involved. I have been playing alot of guitar and singing in the last few weeks in my spare time, and it would be great to get involved with music in a church again.

Right now I am in the middle of applying for a 5 week job in Ethiopia, so would appreciate prayers towards that if that is the right thing for me to do....

Monday, October 18, 2010


An interesting statue in Glasgow!

I'm currently on the train heading back to Manchester after a long weekend up in Glasgow and Edinburgh catching up with Sam and some friends. I am once again amazed at how quickly time has flown by.

I have spent the last week couch working at the Christie Clinic in a locum oncology (cancer) position with private patients within the NHS public hospital. Even though there hasn't been a huge number of patients to see at the moment, the work itself has been challenging which I've enjoyed.

At the moment I am surfing a mates house which coincidently is just around the corner from the Christie Clinic. Initially I was sleeping on the couch and/or floor but my mate Alex is away at the moment in Austria so he kindly offered his room to me for the week. And... as he is a strong smoker, I managed to swap that room with one of the other guys an Aussie by the name of Andy who I met in Newcastle in August (non-smoking room) so I have managed to upgrade to my own room which is pretty cool! atleast for this week, then it's probably back to the floor!

I'm enjoying the house though, its very much a boys house!! Even though it's a mess, we have sorta created a little temporary family there,and I love it. A couple of us have been alternatively making dinner. It's great when you walk through the door at about 5.30 absolutely starving to have dinner ready for you. Even if it is only swiss meatballs with a big serve of mashed potato. I've done a little bit of cleaning around the place, but refuse to do all of it even if I am getting free accommodation atm!! I cleaned the oven last week because I wanted to make muffins without them tasting like smoke... I chiselled out a big big bowl full of charcoal from the bottom!! No wonder it smoked every time they turned it on!

Friday, October 8, 2010

On the Road again

The past few weeks I've done a fair bit of travelling around England with Sam visiting family and friends. Our itenerary included Blackpool, Frome, Bath, Somerset, Brighton, London and Felixstowe. It was great to catch up with people I hadn't seen in years.

Currently I'm taking the weeks as they come. As of tomorrow I'll be working in Manchester somewhere (I dont have the details yet) doing oncology dietetics work in a clinic for 2 weeks. AFter that I'm heading over to Spain to teach english for a week and beyond that we'll see. I'm going to have to start making my way back to Australia at some point, and I'm looking at links into dietetics volunteer work along the way.