Wednesday, March 29, 2006

On the buses

This is a pic taken from the front seat of the top deck of my bus - the number 43 from Frien Barnet to London Bridge, via my house. I don't usually ride right at the front, as it takes the hair-raising effects of being two stories high and in the charge of a maniac to heart-stopping levels.

Ah yes, London loves its buses...even more so since the introduction of the Congestion Charge in Zone 1, which the likes of Madonna (sorry, how many MIL did your last pathetic album earn you?) have been moaning about. To which I say, get your sorry ass into a peak-hour bus seat and shut up.

There is something quite majestic about being ferried around the city at a (jerky) snails pace, sailing in and out of traffic and feeling like a look-out in a crows-nest. Of course, there is also the added excitement of the odd cyclist/bus driver standoff - a kind of a modern-day, urban David & Goliath scenario where each tries to edge the other out of the bus lane, preferably without killing the cyclist.

I have read somewhere that being a bus-driver is one of the most stressful jobs around; largely because of the lack of control you have over your circumstances - ie. the horrendous traffic; and the ever-present risk of violence on board.

Well, heres to the London bus drivers - who have contributed in getting me to work and back (mostly) on time over the last few months, in their cheeful red vehicles - always a welcome sight. I don't miss the tube in the least.

Monday, March 27, 2006

That Monday feeling

Daylight savings begins today! Yay for more light in the evenings and less light waking me up at 5.30am every morning. Boo for having to get up an hour earlier today, though.

Very handily for all international jet-setters, daylight savings in Melbourne usually ends at the same time as it starts in the UK (making the time difference 9 hours instead of 11)- meaning, happily, that my window of opportunity to phone home is slightly wider. Good news when you have trouble getting up before 10 on the weekends.

On a completely different note, it occured to me recently while discussing my foray into blogging with my boyfriend, that maybe this venture is just a way of trying to come to terms with where I am at this point in my life. It seems to me that a lot of single/unmarried chicks around my age (approaching 30, since you ask) find themselves at this rather awkward age where you very slowly start to become aware of the glaring gap where you thought the husband/1.4 kids/family home would be.

Some women start throwing themselves into the gym (this could be literally any one of the women I work with); some take on slightly wacky new projects (hello!), some comfort-eat tubs of Ben & Jerry's on a nightly basis - heck, some probably attempt all 3 at once.

At least I still have the music to comfort me. Rabbit Fur Coat is brilliant new album by Jenny Lewis (with the Watson Twins on back up) - a sweetly subversive collection with big-hearted, faith-affirming vocals. I haven't been so excited about a new musical discovery since Martha Wainwright:

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dog heaven

Pepper basking in the sunshine at home in Melbourne (I swear she is a cat on the inside). Posted by Picasa

Why blog?

Because everybody else is and I want in on the action!

No, not really. Because I like to write and this is a good way for people at home to keep up with my London misadventures. Because I feel like I have a lot of ideas to share, but once a thought occupies my brain for the length of a bus journey/lunch break/kettle boiling, it disappears and is lost forever (yes, I have the memory-span of a goldfish. A particularly vague goldfish who gets easily confused). Because I am feeling a little isolated over here. And yes, because I'm (secretly) hoping it might lead to something or somewhere.. different and exciting.

"Melbourne dreaming" refers to me missing my home town of Melbourne, Australia, and to the quite possibly rose-tinted view I have of my home town after being away for over 3 years. The song "California Dreamin'" pretty much sums up my mood at the moment - the London winter feels interminable, despite a couple of bizarrely sunny (but still cold) days which have been thrown in the mix just to cause confusion. Everybody here is reaching that "approaching end of hibernation" point where the cold weather and trapped indoor-ness is starting to feel less cosy and frustrating.

I can picture myself as a teenager, lying on the trampoline in the backyard, summer breeze lazily drifting over my inert body. The "tramp" was the ideal summer reading spot for several reasons:

1) it was black and therefore, soaked up the sun's heat like a cat;
2) despite the above, its handy open-weave material meant that it never got as hot as, say, the vinyl seats in my Pulsar; and
3) it kept you suspended (hammock-like) above the ants and scratchy grass blades below.

Looking foward to summer.... what an understatement.
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