Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Drunken Recollections
These are the messages I sent Bug in the early hours of Sunday morning, while I was at the 'ball' (read: drunken party in marquee with haybails and pre-mixed spirits and soft-drink in huge plastic containers with those little taps attached) for one of the residential colleges here at uni, complete with spelling mistakes. I however didn't feel that the mixed vodka and lift was strong enough so I headed out to Rose's car where I had left some tequila, salt and sliced lemon (I think I was a boy-scout leader in a previous life) and proceeded to do shots with another couple of girls (who were gone by 3.30, the weaklings!).


I need u 2 mind me, these others used 2 me being straipht one & im so drunk 3.44 am

I luu u bug & lets b friends 4 eva cos i luv u & luv u & h cant walk 3.48 am

& wheres agg? I wamjed 2 dance with her. Teqila bad girl 3.54 am

(Agg is Bug's younger sister, whose name is not agg.)
posted by Cecilia @ 5:00 pm   2 comments
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Eyelashes and London ... continued!
Rightio, so where was I? I honestly can't remember. Oh, the eyelashes look simply fabo though, thanks for asking. Definately worth the $55! Oh. My. God. I just spent $55 on my eyelashes! $40 perm and $15 tint. Plus there was that extra $34 for the eyelash conditioner (which has no expiry date and will last me so long 'they'll bury it with you, darl', according to my beautician) which was totally necessary if I didn't want my now-brittle eyelashes to crumple up and snap off. That's 4.7 hours at work. Oh well, it's only money! And I do have truly magnifique eyelashes now!

Okay, so the trip planning. So, moving on from when we want to go, we then had to decide how to get around. Again, I found myself on the outer, speaking against buying a van and driving ourselves around Europe. It sounds great, in theory, and they were all so excited. They seemed to think it would be like driving around Hobart. This massive adventure, with the six of us in an old combi, driving ourselves where ever we fancied going. And it does sound marvellous, on the surface. If you haven't been to Rome, or Paris and seen for yourselves how crazy the streets are. I had never even heard of 'bump parking' until I saw it in action. And if you don't think about what happens if the van breaks down, gets stolen, who's name it's going to be in, who will be insured to drive it, how the hell do you get car insurance for Aussies who have no fixed address in London, and then can you even get insurance just for a couple of months, what about registering it and changing over all the papers . . . then there's the stress and hassle of working out every single day where you're going and how to get there, where can you park, what about cheap accommodation (will you need to book ahead), and oh yeah, what the hell was there to see here again anyway?

So again I came off as the massive bitch as I firmly said "I don't think it's a good idea to drive around all of Europe" and after I'd stuck my neck out Rose, the only other one to have been to Europe before, then supported me and said she refused to drive on mainland Europe too. So we compromised and now we're driving around the UK for about 20 days. But they still want to buy a van. For 20 days. Instead of hiring. Hiring a van is damn expensive, I'll admit it. It'll cost us each about $800 for 20 days, not counting petrol, because we have to pay an extra surcharge for being under 25, and then registering more than one driver. Oh hang on, I didn't count Carmen when I did my calculations, because I didn't know she'd be coming. $670 each then, plus petrol. But I still don't think that Carmen will be able to come, realistically, if she's only just started her full-time goverment deparment job. That equals 1,613 pounds. Can you buy a good quality late 1990s van that seats 6 adults plus a huge amount of luggage for 1,613 pounds in London, English readers? Because these other girls think that we'll be able to, but I'm somehow doubting it greatly. Please, direct me to London used-car pages (do you have a standard newspaper that has a second-hand car-buying guide in it that I can look up online?) so I can prove to them that it is still better to hire rather than buy, even if hiring is just throwing money away.

So now we have established that we're leaving somewhere between February-April, we're hiring/buying a van to tour the UK, and then it was onto travelling around Europe after only 1 and a half hours of meeting. Italy, France and Switzerland were on the top of all lists except mine and Rose's, because we've already been to the 'normal' first-time-to-Europe places. I don't mind going there again, though, because I only spent one or two days in each place and like you can do Paris or Rome in just that short space of time. Top of my things to see list is Prague, and I'd love to go back to Berlin. Rose and I want to go to Eastern Europe, though, because it's cheaper and has some really gorgeous places. I think it's a bit safer and more touristy now than it has been (or is that my imagination?), and I'm dying to see Dubrovnik, Croatia. The others all had to leave then, leaving Rose, Katie and I. Rose (who I think could see how very little we had accomplished in this meeting) typed up what we had discussed and what we needed to discuss ("otherwise we'll spend all our time gossiping like normal"). I had tentatively floated the idea of doing a Topdeck tour (just go to www.topdecktours.co.uk and it's the one called the Grand European- I tried to put in the link but for some reason it won't work) of Europe - 28 days, all accommodation, transport, breakfasts, and 16 lunches and dinners for $3500 (1,410 pounds). No hassles or stresses, it includes all the places the others want to go, plus some Eastern Europe for Rose and I, and Prague for me and been shouted down earlier in the evening. Too expensive (I seriously think we'd be pushed to do Europe for a month for cheaper than that, and see everything everyone wants to see in the time frame), I don't want to be on a bus for so long (Felicity, who obviously has no idea that if we're on our own charted coach taking us directly where we want to go, it would actually be quicker than when we're catching buses around Europe ourselves that stop to pick up and drop of people at cities along the way), and 'what if we don't like it?' (Frieda, who wasn't placated when I suggested that you would have to be a pretty damn miserable person to not enjoy a whirlwind tour of Europe). When I broached the topic again to Rose and Katie, they were much more receptive. Rose in particular, once she saw the price, what it incorporated, and did her sums. She's very money savvy. Must be that commerce degree with four majors. And as Katie said "if this tour goes everywhere we want to go, it would be a good idea to do it". Finally. Voices of reason in the madness. Now all I have to do is pray that they stick by their tour desires (Katie especially is indecisive and non-commital about such small things like meeting up for lunch), and convince Felicity (that's going to be damn hard), who thinks that doing a tour will be like when we were dragged about on school excusions and we will be stuck on a bus permanently, Frieda, who has extremely limited funds and is worried that we'll pay all the money and hate it, and Carmen (who is probably the most anti-tour but what is the f****** point when she obviously isn't going to be able to go!!!!).

So that is where my life is at right now. Planning this trip is exciting, yet it is so totally exasperating, time-consuming, worrying and stressful already, and we've only just begun. I'm sure I've annoyed everyone already in just the one two hour meeting, by arguing against everything everyone else wanted to do. It doesn't bode well for two months of travelling!
posted by Cecilia @ 10:29 pm   2 comments
I'M GETTING MY EYELASHES PERMED!!! Oh, and I'm coming to London!!!
I'M SO EXCITED!!!!! I'm getting my eyelashes permed in one hour. So very, very excited. In actual fact, I may be a little bit too excited for the activity, even though I have never had my eyelashes permed before so it's naturally an exciting occasion. It could have something to do with the fact that it was confirmed beyond all doubt last night that next London spring will see me there for a little overseas jaunt.

So, I'm sure you want to hear all about it. Well, I didn't really know anything about eyelash perming until my friend Rose showed up at work with it done, and it looked great, so then I asked my own beautician . . oh, hang on, the COMING TO LONDON is actually far more interesting and exciting in fact, so anyway:

The travelling companions: all girls from work

Rose: worked with me for a couple of years, went off to be a flight attendant for some middle-eastern airline, then came back to us last year.

Frieda: nicest girl in the entire world, raised by her grandparents, cruely treated by ex-boyfriend and now with former south-african (been in Australia 4 years) law student/waiter with ridiculously rich family who worships the ground she walks on. Terrible at making decisions.

Felicity: fun but very much a 'group' person, young for her 21 years, also bad with the decision making.

Katie: tightest person with money I have EVER met - has a $90,000 inheritance, plus works two jobs and lives at home whilst studying, and unlike me who also did this for years, never spends any money. She hasn't had a haircut in like, 8 years, never visits the beautician, buys clothes once a year when she goes to Melbourne before Christmas to spend the money her mum gives her to buy her own pressies, and (this is the one that REALLY shits me) always eats BEFORE she goes out to dinner so all she'll have is some garlic bread, or bruchetta. Felicity and I have calculated that she simply must have at least $200,000, with her inheritance and 5 years of working nonstop and doing/buying nothing significant, not even a car). But essentially nice, just very, very tight with money.

Carmen: nice too, but one of those glass-half-empty people.

So anyway, Rose, Frieda and I had been talking about going over to Europe together 'next year' all year, but it was kind of all just talk, like, nothing definate, just nice daydreams as we set tables, took skirting off tables, that kind of thing. Felicity was planning on going to London this year for a few weeks by herself to visit a friend. As she can only stay with this friend for one week, and would then have to go live in a hostel, she heard us talking about our totally hypothetical trip and then decided that if we're going next year, then she'll wait for us to go because she doesn't want to stay in a hostel alone. Katie has always been going to go and live in London for a year, and work, and she's now decided that she'll go when we go, tour about with us then get a job, and Carmen is planning on having a full-time job in London for all of next year (she's already applied for a job at a place linked with her current place of work).

Last week Frieda said to me "when are we having a meeting to plan our trip? We'll have to start planning soon." I stared at her in astonishment and happiness. I had thought that all our talk would come to nothing, like so many of our talks had before. We decided to meet last night. I actually had no idea Carmen was going to come until she showed up at the meeting last night. I don't understand how she can get a fulltime job in this London department, work for three months and then nick off on tour for two months, then go back to work, but that's what she seems to be planning on doing.

We got hardly anything established last night, yet our 'hardly anything' was much more than I thought we would, given that there is SIX of us all with differing ideas and wants, and they are collectively the most indecisive group of people (barring Rose, she's a do-er like me), especially Felicity and Frieda. Planning going out for a casual dinner is usually a major undertaking for us.

We all want to go at different times. Rose in January, Katie in February/March, Felicity in March, Frieda doesn't know but whenever will be fine, and me in April. In vain, did I point out to them how miserably cold and dark it is in the UK during winter. Given that I have actually been there for winter before, and it was miserable enough in December when I was there at the beginnig of winter, you would think my words would have some weight, but apparantly not. I can't leave uni until March is over, so I just can't go any earlier. And it's not like they have to be in London in a specific month. They have just decided that April is too long to wait to go. I am rather annoyed because how much difference would it really make to them to leave three weeks later at the start of April rather than a week into March?

So we didn't resolve the issue of when to go. They all said 'well, we can go and you can catch up to us wherever we are,' which rather annoyed me because they think I'm just being obstinant and selfish about not going in March, and they can't see that I'm just not going to get permission to nick off to Europe during Summer, my fieldwork season when my buttongrass isn't underwater.

posted by Cecilia @ 1:40 pm   0 comments
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The Naturopath strikes and Mia strikes again!
Greetings world. I am currently sitting at my desk enjoying a chocolate-coated teddy (this would be a very tasty biscuit, I am not attempting to shag a teddy with fur the colour of chocolate) with the heater on and the window open. I know, I know, for an environmentalist I have a) a very crap diet, and b) absolutely no regard for energy conservation. There is a reason for my disregard of the energy budget, and that is because my office smells very strongly like rotting apples. My officemate Mia has been away (yay, yay, yay) all month (alas, she is set to return today I think) in America. I only know this because I saw a flight itinerary on her desk when I deposited the cupcakes on it and with total disregard for her privacy and the unwritten laws of office-sharing I read it. You would think, wouldn't you, that something as big in your life as a trip to America where I guess she is presenting at a conference, because her conference posters have been removed from the walls of our office, would merit an excited mention to your officemate, but no, apparantly not. Anyway, enough bitching, the point of the story is that Mia has gone and left two dried out apple cores on her desk, and a wrinkly apple (there are also many prune pips, put there after she removed them from her mouth). Given that we have a little airless box of an office, the apple has been filling the air with apple-fumes which are quite strong when you first enter the room. They're quite bearable once you've been sitting in the office with it for a while (especially to someone such as myself who used to deal regularly for seven years with apples in such extreme states of decay they had actually liquified), but just in case I have any visitors I though I'd better open the window and air the place out a little. But it is cold so I have to have the heater on to compensate for the cold wind. Why not just remove the offending apple, I hear you ask. Well, that too would be a serious breech of the officemate's code, one from which I don't think we'd ever return, given our very tenuous forced pleasantries each day.

At the suggestion of my mother, who has a very srong belief in the healing powers of herbs (she swears by an infusion of thyme rinsed through the hair three times each week to stop grey hairs, and as she only has a few and she's 48 she might be right), I visited a naturopath yesterday in an attempt to find some natural remedy to rid myself of my continual ill-health which is seriously cramping my usually most full and entertaining life. My ill health began with pharengytis about 6 weeks ago, then some lovely thrush bought about by the antibiotics that cured the pharengytis, then some seriously painfull constant headaches and really bad pains in my neck and behind my ears, especially when I angled my head down in any way (sinuses maybe?). A visit to the doctor then confirmed I had the flu (flu vaccination therefore a total waste of time). Two days later another trip to the doctor confirmed flu, an ear infection, pharengytis and 'fluid buildup in my sinuses' or something to that effect. I then retired to bed for an entire week, and now almost a week after emerging I still have severe headaches and a runny nose, and now I'm beginning to get pains in my neck/behind my ears again when I tilt my head forward and am rather dreading this whole flu-thing beginning all over again. So, anyway, I took my catalogue of illnesses to the naturopath, who was a lovely woman probably not much older than me. She provided me with some vitamin C powder (side-effect is diahorrea, oh goody) and a personalised liquid herbal mixture, with many interesting things in it, including the stock-standard eccinatia and to my surprise oregano.

This herbal mixture has to be taken twice a day. It's a browny-greeny sludgy colour with an unpleasant smell, and you mix it in about 5 cm of water and down it goes. THEORETICALLY. Unfortunately, it tastes so absolutely terrible that I actually gag as I drink it. It takes all my courage to continue on after the first swallow, given that I have to drink it at the sink as I retch over the sink, coming extremely close to actually vomiting, streaming eyes and all. I have only taken it twice, and I don't know how I'm going to continue to take it for two weeks. I know, I know, I don't HAVE to take it. But I'm not getting any better and I'm sick of beig sick, and I can't afford any more time off uni, plus (priorities, priorities) I have a 13 hour party to attend next saturday night after working a really demanding function (11 pm - 12 noon, 3 bands, 2 DJs, $1 spirits and formal attire, what more could a girl want?) AND this concoction of satan cost me $33! So by God, I'm going to drink it! Although I am very, very scared and not sure I will physically be able to down it sometimes!

Wish me luck on my quest to vanquish the evil germs and overcome the noxious potion!

Cec :)
posted by Cecilia @ 1:20 pm   5 comments
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