Posts Tagged ‘one year’

A Year Passes

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Time. It’s a magical thing. I don’t think we will ever really understand how it works and why it works that way. Speeding up and slowing down without warning and generally disappearing before your eyes. You may have noticed by now that when I start talking about time it is due to the day being of some sort of ‘anniversary-like’ significance in The World of Jess. Today… wait for it… my One Year UK-Versary!

On this day one year ago, I dragged two suitcases and a backpack from my apartment in Paris, caught two trains and crossed a large channel of water to eventually arrive in a surprisingly sunny Manchester. And there I stayed for 365 days making a new life for myself in ‘The North’. So what happened in that time? What was achieved? What were the pros and cons? Do I have a Mancunian accent yet? Let’s reflect.

  • I found, moved into and will soon move out of an apartment in a really cool part of the city
  • Thanks to my very-extended-cousins, I visited many ye olde houses, castle ruins and generally cool places
  • I saw a lot of theatre and developed an interest in Shakespeare
  • I met a great, yet slightly odd, variety of people who I am honoured to call my ‘friends’
  • I went to Croatia for my birthday
  • I am starting to learn the difference between ales, bitters, lagers and stouts (etc) and have developed a taste for whisky
  • I met the Queen (from a distance)
  • I ran a marathon
  • I became a waitress and then quit as soon as possible
  • I got a job as an IT analyst (fancy-afied IT Help Desk phone answerer) and was then fired
  • I set myself up in a communal office space where I now have friends
  • I learnt how to ‘network’ and now don’t completely hate it
  • I went to Wales twice
  • I went to Sheffield quite frequently and got to hang out with my big brother a lot (Win.)
  • I saw Goldfrapp and Fanfarlo and Sarah Blasko
  • I stalked Paul Hollywood
  • I ate a lot of great food and some not so great food
  • I watched numerous parades in Manchester
  • I volunteered in the Manchester International Festival and got to see free things
  • I learnt how to respond to the locals’ “Y’orrigh?”
  • I became older and wiser.

That will do. The last dot point I actually believe to be true. This past year I have felt strangely “adult” as opposed to “just some kid who can’t settle down.” Moving and living in another country on your own is tough and I’m quite proud of my achievements and the fact that I haven’t gone completely insane. Living in Manchester has been a lot easier than Paris for many reasons – language, politics, administration etc. But mostly because of the close proximity of my family members. It has been a huge relief to be able to spend time with my brother and with my very-extended-cousins who have accepted their long lost Australian relative like a daughter.

So now what? Another year (well 11 months now) awaits full of exciting adventures and potential. I have no idea what is going to happen and that’s great. Bring on round two.

Hello Manchester!

Hello Manchester!

One Year and Counting

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Greetings from sunny Perth! What a difference a 20 hour plane flight makes. I went from sunny yet frosty Paris to even sunnier and oppressively hot Perth and it was certainly a shock to the system. I hadn’t felt the burning sun sensation for over 360 days and as I stepped out of the Perth International Airport and headed into the concrete car park, I reeled back and almost ran into the air conditioning again. The jeans, long sleeves and boots that I had worn for voyage to the Paris airport and the excessively cold plane didn’t quite suit the 38 degrees I found myself in.

Today is a landmark occasion in my life as it is exactly one year since Tom and I arrived in Paris. I’m sure you’ve realised by now that I love anniversaries, count downs and dates of significance and so I am a little bit sad and disappointed that I am in Perth for this event. Really, I would prefer to be in the minus temperatures that Paris is currently experiencing, heading to the stairs of Sacre Coeur to have a ceremonious Nutella crêpe. It is the only way to celebrate this sort of day. I am more just disappointed that I can’t really say that I have lived in Paris for an entire year, because I haven’t. I missed out by three days. Three hundred and sixty two days does not a year make. Anyway, I’ll get over it.

Tom and I had planned on celebrating early on the evening before I left for Perth, however I had managed to give myself quite the impressive upset stomach that I couldn’t actually eat food. This is potentially one of the worst experiences of my life. Usually if I am sick, I’ll still eat something. Dried crackers, rice, bread. This time – nothing. I’m back to normal now but for awhile there I thought my life was over. No more food?? This can’t be true.

I have been to the beach three times since my return to Perth and it has been utterly wonderful. I now realise why people fall over in amazement when they discover Perth beaches – they are truly special. On Monday morning at 7am, I dumped my towel on the sand at North Cottesloe beach and ran into the water like a crazy lady. I feel like I have washed a year’s worth of grime from my skin and my insides are all cleansed and sea-salted. In the past year I swam in Greece and Portugal but nothing compares to the Australian coast.

Returning to Perth hasn’t been so bad. I know I whinged about having to come back, and I will continue to do so as it is becoming a excessive financial drain for something that really could have been done in France, however I am definitely finding the positives of being in Australia. I get to wear skirts and sleeveless tops; I have rediscovered my old clothes and shoes; my mum cooked me chicken and asparagus for dinner; and plums and nectarines are in season! Life is good.