No, I'm afraid there are no FOs in this post.
This is my last post for 2007, and probably my last post from the UK. I'm flying home to Australia in 4 days (and due to the flight length and vagaries of timezones, will arrive in 6). My partner and I have spent the last week trying to clean out the house and get rid of various goods in a responsible manner.
I'm not quite sure why, but there seems to be far more a culture of the new in the UK than I'm used to in Australia. Maybe it's just the area we live in over here. It's quite difficult to get rid of second-hand but perfectly reasonable goods. We had to throw out more than we were comfortable with, but what can you do? We did manage to sell or give away most of our larger encumbrances and found a recycling centre for much of the rest.
Most of the stash left in boxes to sail the high seas just before Christmas. I had to inventory it and price it for insurance. Given how much I've spent on it, I'd damn well better start doing useful things with it. Hopefully I will see it again some time in March. Two pieces of knitting remain with me: the one row scarf I have been trying to knit for some time now, and a baby jacket for a friend whose baby is due any day now. (I am realistic: the jacket is sized for a 6-month-old.)
Unfortunately my hands and shoulders have been getting a cleaning workout, and knitting is not really on the agenda right now. I have an intermittently pinched nerve in my neck which started bothering me very badly a couple of months ago when I a) slipped on a nameless slippery substance on the footpath and jarred my arm and b) fell up the stairs at a client (I had only had 7 hours sleep in the previous 3 nights) a few weeks later. At the moment the last 3 fingers of right hand ache which isn't too bad: at worst I get numbness, pins and needles, my elbow aches and my shoulder aches. It gets worse when I get cold, so I'm trying to apply heat packs to it on a regular basis.
One more night in this house, and everything has to be out including us. We are staying the next two nights with some friends who put us up for the first month we were over here. The last night we are staying at the airport Hilton: I've spent so many nights in hotels of the Hilton family due to work that I've earned a couple of free nights.
I am still very ambivalent about moving back to Sydney. I've spent 2 and a half years living in London. I can't say it's where I'd choose to stay forever: between the insanely busy lifestyle and my allergy to London air it hasn't been the best time. I've learnt a lot over here, and done things I never would have thought myself capable of. I've overcome my fear of flying and can stand up in front of a client for 5 days on end either training or facilitating and enjoy it. I didn't get to explore London the way I wanted to: too much travel has meant that if I'm actually home on a weekend, that's where I want to stay.
I'll miss the cooler weather terribly. So far the weather forecast for the next week in Sydney isn't awful from my point of view, but it isn't great, either. I'm not sure what possessed us to return at this time of year.
Trying to pack up and go home has been a real pain in the arse, but one of the advantages of this is that it makes me view the long flight home and the fact of being home with more pleasure: we're so tired of packing and cleaning and making decisions that we just want it to be over.