Friday, March 31, 2006

You just can't escape yourself!

I, like anyone ( I guess) when facing the opportunity for a 'new start' thought it would be the ideal time to reinvent myself. Y'know put right the things that you blame everyday life on and the fact that people have certain expectations of you. So, I thought australia would be the perfect place to become more relaxed, live for the moment and generally try and be a little more 'happy go lucky' I had ideals of becoming more of an out doors kinda a guy cycling lots of places and even perhaps taking in a little extreme sport, albeit rock climbing, but climbing REAL rocks rather than the leisure centre equivalents. I wanted to shed my clock-watching attitude, and by that i mean feeling I have to be here or there at a specific time rather than taking MY time.

So nearly 4 months in what exactly have I changed?

Well, my intentions were good, but they were inevitably jarred by my untimely redundancy and more pressing matters needed to be addressed. I think that kinda took the wind out of my sails and upset the whole process. Now im here in brisbane I face the same aim but without the same nieve exuberence I had 4 months ago. Its also apparent that ausralia isnt one big O'neal advert, sure there are parts which are like that but its not really the culture here in good ol' brisbane.

I know I'm avoiding the question above, but i'll try and save that for a cool closing or something..

I guess one aspect has changed, my apprearence (just check out the picure I look so 'fly').
More by necessity than anything else. Being 30 plus degrees in the summer when its not being 'tropical' i.e. raining, its too hot for jeans, shoes and a rather suaeve shirt. Im now sporting these days, three quater length combats/denim short and T-shirts I've vetoed the flip-flops as I just cant walk in them! yeah I know I hardly sound like a 'catch' but when in Rome and all that.... Until recently I was happy with my 'cool' and 'urban' affectation but now the stylish shirts and the flared Jeans are calling to me again. Now I go into a clothing shop and think, "wow they look cool" then I have to remind myself that that's exactly how I used to look! Gggrr... There has been many a morning that I've toyed with the idea of putting jeans on but its simply too hot, not to mention that no one actually dresses smart for ANY occasion here, not that i've seen anywhere to go to, dressed up!

On the plus side, I'm not actually missing a car, though I may feel different had I many places to go!. Gone too is my mobile phone, and again I dont miss that burden.

It was especially apparent once my wife started work, our life has almost become a carbon copy in terms of 'routine' of our life back home obviously sans friends and family y'know the good stuff :) This is not to say its either good nor bad but it is interesting (to me at least)

I actually feel quite good that some things actually dont change as this means we were more true to ourselves than we thought. We did things because thats what we wanted to some extent and not as a result of our environment. In a time when we are more self aware than thats healthy its important to realise that your initial reactions are sometimes right for you.

..Next up my visit to Seaworld for the Easter break,

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New Lottie sketch

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mid -Term Report

I've been in Oz now for three months. I've now got a house and I've been in my job for about 6 weeks and my dog is finally here, so I think its only about now I can feel qualified to talk a little more objectively about my experience in Oz, afterall this is only my experience.

I think its important to make a distiction betweem the 'tourist' Australia and the 'everyday' Australia. Im talking about the everyday living.

Three months on and there still isnt a day that goes by without me thinking about going home or at least making plans for when I do get home. Think Steve Mcqueen in the Great Escape. It's like I have a mental tally count striking off each day. It's fair to deduce from that, that I'm not entirely happy. Its true, but that is not to say I'm completely miserable either I just feel a little, for want of a better word, empty.

Maybe it goes deeper than my disapointment of Oz. Perhaps there is an element of anti-climax in realising an ambition? almost inevitably. From a young age I've associated 'success' with moving from the place where I grew up, moving on both literally and metaphorically. You see, I think i've always needed a certain amount validation and I always heard the local blue rinse brigade gossiping about x,y or z's niece, nephew or son (delete as appropriate) moving to, well, anywhere else and how there are doing so well. It was a kind of benchmark of success for some reason, but I bought into it and wanted to be seen as one of those people who are 'doing ever so well' of course the irony is not lost me, the fact that I cant be around for my validation by its very own definition.

Ever since I can remember my family members who are wieghed down by the burdens of modern life and full of regrets always used to say 'you dont want to stay here' or 'if I won the lottery' urging me, anyone, who can get out of dodge to do so. Perhaps it was like living out their unfulfilled potentional in someone else, namely me..perhaps. So now I dont just have my dissapointment to deal with, but the unenviable task of telling them that their dreams and hopes are not actually 'all that great'

Maybe (bear with me while I continue to digress, hell, its MY blog) when I was younger I wanted to be 'something' not a celebrity no, im not sure what exactly. But as I got older, I kinda told myself that this would happen when 'I lived abroad and fulfilled my potential' and now its here its not actually happened (think mid-life crisis in the twenties) ..alas

---- impromptu therapy session ends

So back to Oz. the long and short of it is that we still havnt made any friends, even in work I dont feel like a really fit in. Its not to say that people are unkind but people especially games people just get on with their 'thang' Brisbane as a place is desperately quiet. Though the locals think its the best thing since slice bread and I can't quite see why, I really want to but its like the Emporer's new clothes. The tourist boad in Oz really earns their crust. Lots of beautiful photos and extravegant blurbs but the day to day reality is very different. Dont get me wrong, when we do the 'Tourist Australia' its very good, in fact we've drawn up a plan to see Ayers Rock, Melbourne, New Zealand and The Great Barrier Reef. Hell, if the day to day version doesnt suit us, we'll see as much of the Tourist pre-packaged version as we can whilst we here and you never know, we may even make some friends

You may ask me why I just dont come home? We ask ourselves this too, but we wanna go home on our terms, when we are ready, rather than by default. Also I want to be safe in the knowledge that we gave it every opportunity as I know that on a cold miserable monday morning when Im facing an hours drive to work I'll look back with rose tinted specs and thinking why the hell did we go home, I have to know that I can answer that and not have the same regret as some of the people around me.

D+ must try harder

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Canyoutellwhatitisyet ?!

Well, I said as long as I was here I wanted to broaden my ski-ilz. This is my first foray into the modern web phenomenom called 'speed painting' the essence is to sketch in colour with a wacom tablet straight into a paint package. The aim isnt to festidiously capture all detail but to capture the vibe of your subject. I yoinked a tablet from work and thought I'd give it a bash over the weekend.

This is a speedpaint of lottie as a pup. Not bad as it is my first effort and it took about 30 mins.

This wasnt my intention for my blog but until I get them on my website it'll have to do.

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