A new chapter

The sun is out. I repeat, THE SUN IS OUT.

I just sat outside for an hour. I’ve used the washing line for the first time in months. This morning, I put sunscreen on my shoulders. Trivial, boring things that I never realised meant so much to me.

It’s been six months since I’ve seen the sun in London. Turns out, I missed it.

And with the sun shining, everything here seems a bit more magical. Flowers are blooming. Kids are playing on the grass outside the little brown brick house. The ice cream truck just did a lap of the street. And as I soak in as much Vitamin D as I can, I can’t help but think that I’m about to embark on a new chapter of this chick lit adventure.

The new job starts on Tuesday. I am beyond excited.

And I don’t know if it’s the sun, on the prospect of meeting new people, or just the simple fact that I’ll be earning money again, but I suddenly feel like anything’s possible. That I can make this story whatever I want it be.

On Saturday morning, I was struck by an urge to be spontaneous, adventurous. Two hours later I was on a train to Stratford-upon-Avon to celebrate William Shakespeare’s 449th birthday.

It was brilliant.

I took hundreds of photos of beautiful Tudor buildings. I got strangely emotional about marching bands and Morris dancers. I ate scones in the sunshine. I got a bit tipsy and watched the best Shakespeare I’ve ever seen on the banks of the Avon.

And, at the conclusion of ‘As You Like It’, when Rosalind, Orlando and company celebrated the changing of the season, I did too.

I’ve survived my first London winter.

It wasn’t easy. I’ve experienced cold I’d never imagined. I’ve set a world record for the number of pairs of socks worn by one person at any time. I’ve successfully navigated icy pavements without falling on my bum. And I’ve learned that hot chocolate with a sneaky shot of Bailey’s in it can be the secret to surviving any sort of outdoor event.

The winter is finally over. And from here on, things for this chick are going to be pretty different.

Bring on Part Two!

Rolling with the oldies, Stratford-style.

Rolling with the oldies, Stratford-style.

Don’t count your chickens…

So.

I’m in my pajama pants. My hair hasn’t been washed in four days. My fridge is bereft of cheese, eggs and milk. And a reluctant look at my bank account yesterday provoked a pathetic flurry of tears.

I still don’t have a job. It’s STILL freezing cold (c’mon London, it’s nearly APRIL already!). It’s getting pretty hard to make rent. And now, I can’t even make cheese on toast.

But there’s no need for pity. No need to feel sad.

Because we’re just one day away from the BEST WEEKEND OF THE YEAR.

Easter!

A shelf of happiness. And that bunny? AUSTRALIAN.

A shelf of happiness. And that bunny? AUSTRALIAN.

And while I may not have any REAL eggs, I have a bucketload of chocolate ones. Easter egg chocolate, in my opinion, is the absolute best, most delicious chocolate of the year. While everyone else complains when the Easter eggs start arriving in the shops on December 26, I celebrate. That’s THREE WHOLE MONTHS you can eat the best chocolate in the world!

And being the contrary, nationalistic thing I am, English chocolate WILL NOT DO. I don’t care if the UK is the home of Cadbury – I swear to you, they do it better in Australia. Something to do with a chemical to stop the chocolate melting so easily, apparently. Well, BRING ON THAT MYSTERY CHEMICAL, I say! It tastes delicious!

So I’m counting down the hours until the Easter binge, jealously guarding my stash of Aussie chocolate from dodgy Londoners who don’t appreciate it for the magic that it is.

And who knows, when I bite into my breakfast turkish delight egg on Sunday, things might just fall into perspective. I’ll realise that my turning point is just within reach. Have an epiphany about new life, rebirth, and all that stuff.

Or just get an awesome sugar rush.

Either way. My hair might be dirty, my fridge might be empty, and my ego might be battered. But come Sunday, I WILL EAT CHOCOLATE.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Feathers ruffled, but still kinda fabulous. This chick in actual chick form.

Feathers ruffled, but still kinda fabulous. This chick in actual chick form.

Here comes the sun

I’ve got a problem. And it’s pretty serious.

I guiltily confessed it to my housemate on the tube this week, glancing around so that no one could hear.

“I think I’ve lost my mojo.”

“Your mojo?”

“Yeah, my mojo. My sparkle. My shiny….ness. Basically, I feel like a big dork.”

And I do.

It’s been a gradual thing. But the confident, flirty, interesting girl who got off the plane in London all those months ago seems to have lost her touch.

None of my clothes seem to look as good. My makeup seems wonky. My stories aren’t as interesting. On Saturday night, it took me an hour to get served at a bar. AN HOUR. NO WOMAN SHOULD BE FORCED TO WAIT AN HOUR FOR A MARGARITA. And as soon as I’d drunk it, I decided I’d rather be reading a book instead, and went home.

Walking back to the little brown brick house, I pondered my situation with increasing anxiety.

What is wrong with me? Is this what happens when you get old? Is my face starting to LOOK old? Is it wrinkly? Oh God, is all this thinking GIVING ME WRINKLES? OK, hold your eyebrows still. Maybe it’s that I’ve been single too long. Have I lost confidence? Have I forgotten how to talk to people? Have I lost the power to charm men? That’s it, I have! Oh, why did I WASTE the power when I had it? Think of the THINGS I could I have got if I’d used it wisely! I could have DIAMONDS! And they would DEFINITELY distract from the wrinkles. I AM A HIDEOUS, WRINKLED, DIAMOND-LESS MONSTER THAT NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE!

Fortunately, back on the tube, my ever-wonderful housemate was there to stop my pity spiral.

“You haven’t lost your mojo. You’re just dealing with your first London winter. You haven’t seen the sun in four months. You’ve been shivering since August. It rains every day. We’re all used to feeling like crap for half the year, but we have the good sense to stay inside and drink wine. It’s just you, trying to pretend everything’s good when the winter is trying to beat all the joy out of you. Just hide under your doona, and everything will get better in April. Or May. By June, definitely. We will definitely see some sun in June.”

JUNE?

It’s too much to bear.

Which is why I write to you from Changi Airport, Singapore, halfway home to Australia.

I AM going back to London. But I’m just taking a little break in the sun. A few weeks to hug my cousins, drive a car, eat potato salad and not have to deal with black snot (one of the more disturbing aspects of London living).

Who knows, I might even find my mojo.