July 30, 2007

By any chance...

would anyone like to come to my house and help me pack? My stomach is in knots and I am not able to believe that I will even come close to being ready to leave on Thusday morning. I have piles and piles of clothes and have just found out that I probably can't carry my laptop on to the plane. I am usually quite good at the whole packing thing, but it is not making any sense when I try and plan work wear, jeans, summer stuff, woollens and anything that I want in the way of shoes and handbags. Impossible!!

At least I have some currency now, just went and collected it from the post office. Big denominations and memories from a couple of years ago when I went to Budapest with J. I'm off to cut the grass as another attempt at procrastination. Now that the journey starts in less than 3 days I wonder how long I can put off packing for?

July 27, 2007

A small town in Alaska called Cicely

One of the programmes that I recall the whole family sitting down together for when I was a teenager was Northern Exposure. It is a TV series set in a small town in Alaska that is inhabited by a number of quirky characters and my whole family thought it was brilliant. Being a teenage girl, I was always waiting for Maggie and Fleischman to get together and watched every epsiode until they did. It also instilled in me a lifelong passion for Alaska and even now I am desperate to get up there for a holiday. One day, when I am rich.

It was with some amusement then, that K and I started watching a series called NUMB3RS. Rob Morrow stars, aka Joel Fleischman from Northern Exposure. Perhaps I should also point out that I hate Maths, am crap at Maths and in fact had to do my Maths GCSE a total of 5 times to get into Teacher training College. I find myself obsessed with this series though and love the mix of the FBI officers and wierd little Mathematician Charlie helping on all their cases.

I realise that my adoration of that which we call 'boxsets' may be a tad unhealthy, but that doesn't ususally stop me from doing it. Maybe I should be packing for Budapest, but instead I have devoured the whole of the second season. I also started watching 'Heroes' and 'Brothers and Sisters'. Anything else I might be missing?

July 26, 2007

Whole wheat blueberry muffins

I got bored of feeling nervous and got tired of the rain so I baked! Whole wheat blueberry muffins with blueberries from Poland! Here is a lovely picture. I am off to make a cup of tea and enjoy the hot fruits of my labours. I found the recipe here.

Barenaked Ladies

One week. I'm not packing, I'm not organising, I'm loafing about and playing on the computer. There is a slim chance that the Godson could be already in the world by the time I get to Warsaw and that is pretty exciting! As for the rest of it, I now have some-one is is picking me up from the airport which is chucking stomach churning nerves at me. Walking through town with L today and having to say out loud that this time next week I will be on a train and on my way makes me nervous.

It is bizarre how the blog breaks down barriers over time. When I moved from Warsaw to Paris I blogged in a smug way about how I felt that it was the 'right' move and that my instincts were telling me that it would all be okay. This time I am just as sure but also more willing to admit that I am scared. I can't believe that I am moving to be third country. Four years ago when I moved to Warsaw I never would have imagined that I would end up moving about like this, whilst still feeling so at home in Poland. I can't wait to see N and K, being there feels so comfortable.

So all I have to do is pack all the clothes that I will need for the next four months in one suitcase, remember that the school has a library and not worry about books, and try to breathe.

July 24, 2007

Nervous laughter

There are three piles on the bed in the room next to mine. Already I have enough stuff to fill my suitcases and I am left wondering how to cater for winter and the present heatwave in one 20 kg load. I have loads of fluffy cardigans and sheepskin boots that need to be packed alongside my sandals and floaty dresses and space is sparse.

I feel like I am floating at the moment, there is too much to do and now that work is done all I want is to sleep. Spending time with N and S is brilliant, but I seem to be acutely aware that there will not be many of these times left. I thought that when school finished I would be a packing and organising machine, but I can't get my head into gear. I found the invite for the wedding in Warsaw and even that seems like an age away when in reality it is in only three weeks, and remembered that I need to pack wedding outfits too.

I hate to admit it, but I am nervous. I still feel very much that this is the right move, I am excited by my new city, but there is much to be done between now and feeling settled. Just a good nights sleep and I will get in the game tomorrow. I am also still bored of the moaning blogs, bring on sunshine photos and new places and voices to blog about.

July 22, 2007

Along the way

All the little milestones that I had in my head seemed to have past: H's wedding, finishing work, day with L and baby M. Now that work is done the only thing that is left is to work my way through the goodbyes and pack. I found myself checking the weather for Budapest today and realising that I really will be there soon, 11 days to be exaxt. I am sure that they will fly past too.

I want to go to York and see my friend P and his wife and new baby. I also plan on lots of time with N and S, who is back from Seminary for the summer. It is all feeling a little surreal now. I know that I will be happy in Budapest, but the usual fear creeps in just the same. Will I like my new job? Will they like me? Have I actually remembered any of the Hungarian I have learnt? Do I have enough clothes? The questions are endless, but there is no point in worrying until I get there.

Nerd alert

I was there last night with a friend queuing with 200 other people at a bookshop in Northallerton. I got the book home, made a cup of tea and read the first hundred pages. Today I went to see L and baby M in Leeds, read all the way there and all the way back. I got home and hid for the evening and read and read. Now, I'm finished and happy. It's all over, no more books to wait for. This one is brilliant, I loved every line. It made me cry on more than one occasion, I really was lost in a fantasy world today.

July 19, 2007

Two weeks to go

Only fourteen days left in the Uk. Between then and now I will be doing these fourteen things:

1) Eating home-made Thai on Friday
2) Reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
3) Waiting for baby A to be born in Warsaw
4) Having a hot stone massage
5) Seeing S, home from his first year training to be a priest in Rome
6) Getting Polish and Hungarian currency
7) Having my last day at work
8) Eating sausage rolls from my favourite Northallerton bakery
9) Saying bye to J and B as they go off to China for the summer
10) Packing all my winter and summer clothes in the suitcase I am taking with me
11) Watching the double bill of 'Heroes' next wednesday
12) Having coffee with L
13) Eating special food with N and S
14) Hanging out in Sianies garden

I have a couple of little connections that I am in the middle of making for when I arrive in Budapest, but if any-one in the blogosphere has any contacts in Budapest that can take me for a coffee or give me insider info on life in the city, now is the time to pipe up.

July 18, 2007

The moaning meme

Thanks to Paolo over at World Citizen for tagging me with a meme, especially one that involves a good moan. Unlike Paolo, being from Yorkshire means that whining is a local sport. It is all done in good fun though and people would like to think that they keep hold of a 'get on with things' attitude throughout the moans.

5 people who will be annoyed that you tagged them.
Arthur Clewley
4 things that should be placed in room 101 and removed from the face of the earth.
People who can't be bothered to recycle.
Elevator music
Call centres
Anyone who is famous just for being famous
3 things that people do that makes you want to shake them violently.
When people are late
When people push into queues
Shop assistants who chat to their mates while you stand and wait.
2 things you find yourself moaning about.
How skint I am
1 thing the above answers tell you about yourself.
That I really am incredibly English after all

* Link to the original meme at Freelancecynic so people know what it is all about
* Try to be as honest as possible, this is about people getting to know the real you!
*Try not to insult anyone, unless they really deserve it or are really, really ugly
*Post these rules at the end of every meme.


When I am looking forward to something in the future I measure time by milestones. Now that the final milestone has occured, Hs wedding, I am left with just one more before I will be all about suitcases and which shoes to take. I still need to make it to the end of the week and finish school. I have just had my last lessons with one group and over the next couple of days will slowly say goodbye to the rest.

I have been excited by my move for a while now, but as of today I am officially nervous. I feel that little knot in my stomach, it is getting tighter all the time. That said, this is the part of moving that I like the best. The part when you know that it would be so much easier to just stay in the comfort of where you are, but you go anyway. Once Friday night gets here and it is time for my Thai goodbye meal with my colleagues, I will know that I am back on the road again.

I must get my Hungarian books out again, I had a spurt on learning a few weeks ago but things have been so mad that it all took a back seat. I think that I need to sort out my priorites now, and obviously I have to fit in a cover to cover reading of the new Harry Potter.

July 17, 2007

From the beginning -Part two

Here are a few more pictures from the wedding. I am sure you understand why I have left out the ones of me and my friends squinting into the camera...

Flags by the entrance to the Marquee

The reception before everybody got sat down and started messing with the perfect look.

The end of the night on the dance floor.

July 16, 2007

From the beginning - Part one

When people get married it takes them totally out of the context in which you have grown to love them. We all adore H and were happy that she was getting married, but it all felt surreal. How could the three single girls left contemplate that our fourth would soon be a wife. We didn't really understand it, but we knew that it would be momentous just the same. There were conversations over the years as to who would be the first to get married or have a child, here was one of those firsts happening.

We knew that things would be sentimental for us, had even had moments before the wedding day when we filled up just thinking of our H in a wedding dress. We giggled on the way there as we tried to find the little country church and before we stepped out of the car we tried to breathe deeply and get ready for the next couple of hours. M and I opened the car door and our ears were filled with the ringing sound of church bells that herald a wedding. We stopped for a second just to try and compose ourselves

I can't speak for my friends, but I know that I was not prepared to see her like that. Smooth, polished, radiant, nervous, she entered the church and beamed at us all. The service was perfect, I smiled all the way through and made faces at A and S's little baby, only pausing to wipe my eyes when the readings were done. She looked so overcome at some points and the new husband gazed at her and stroked her had until she was ready to speak again. Such love in a small space.

Then it was done, married. The bride and groom posed for photos and we all drove off to the reception, that is another story.

July 12, 2007

Wedding Belles

It all started with itunes, music and an open suitcase. I uploaded some song to listen to on the train on the way to Manchester tomorrow and as usual went a bit crazy with a musical trip down memory lane. I also have my hungarian workbook and some language to listen to on my ipod which should make the two hours go fast. In fact, I usually read nothing and listen to nothing because I like the journey too much.

After this M will be meeting me and J at the station where we will transfer to her car and drive to Hereford where we will see H getting married on Saturday. I panic when I think about the weekend away as I have so much to do, but friendship and celebrations come first, as it should be. This is a weekend that has been a long time coming for all of us. The first to be married, from my four best university friends, it is only right that it will also be a road trip and girly weekend for me, M and J. We started being friends together that first day at University when we first arrived young and fresh faced. Now we get to see how big the changes of our 30s are. These are friendships that have defined the last 13 years, changes that influence the thinking of all four.

Some people think that weddings are big things, but I know that it is the marriage that is the mystery. This weekend I am sure that my head will be filled with wonderings, but mostly I am just feel really lucky that I get to see H with a wedding dress and an endless smile. I am sure it will be perfect, the wedding and the time afterwards. Have a lovely weekend everyone, photos to follow.

"Do not seek the because - in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions"
Anais Nin

July 10, 2007

Mellon collie and the infinite sadness

I have to say that I am not above a bit of wallowing from time to time. I have a fondness for quiet spaces, solitude and pyjamas that may be quite unhealthy. With all the changes that are going on in the next few weeks, I have tended to retreat inside my own head to deal with the stress that goes along with a change of job, change of home and change of country all in one go. Add to that the stress of organising stuff and the stress of trying to survive teaching until the end of term and the result is all a bit messy, in my head that is.

I do feel a bit stressed, so I have been swimming and later I will go running. I have booked massages and organised nights out with friends for when I finish work.If there is one thing I am good at, it is giving myself little treats. I need to get rid of the tension, need to make my body understand what my reason knows: it will all be fine.

'When the mind suffers, the body cries out'
Godfather part III

July 08, 2007

Packing it in

I went luggage shopping today and this is the result. I made the mistake of buying a coffee before I went into the shop and ended up balancing it on shelves while I poked the goods and made my choice. There was an amazing Diane Von Furstenburg set that I had my eye on, but it was way out of my budget so I went for my old favourites, Antler. Now that I have my new suitcases, getting packed and jetting off seems just days away. The 2nd of August is closer than you think.

July 05, 2007

Dusty Buddha

“Little things console us because little things afflict us”
Blaise Pascal

Yorkshire in July

July 04, 2007

Winding down

This blog is over two years old and it is very wierd to think of where I have lived and what I have done. I started this blog when I lived in Poland the first time and it charted my move to Paris and then back to Poland. More recently, it has kept a record of a very strange six months of wondering and waiting and soon it will be all about adjusting to life in Budapest. I can't imagine not posting photos, and writing down all about my life there. I do wonder about the reason I blog, I am not sure if I do it now only out of habit.

I like the blogging part of my day, but there are times when I have nothing to say. Tatiana recently blogged about how she felt that her lack of posting and negativity in her posts had caused her readership to slip. I love that some of the same people read my blog all the time, I like that I have readers in New York, Isreal and Thailand that I don't know and that there are readers who click every day but never comment. I think that I will continue to blog while I am in Budapest, if not only because I am desperate for my camera to be out and in use again. I guess I am just wondering where the blogging will end, and if I will be 70 and still blogging.

July 02, 2007

Yes Captain

Over the weekend I booked my flights from Budapest to Warsaw for the wedding and to see K and N in the summer. Aside from moving home, this will be my real holiday and I am already excited about being back in Poland for a few days and having coffee with TFT and hearing all about what he has been up to in the six months since I left. It will also give me a bit of familiarity before I leave to go back to Budapest and begin the new life there.

I also booked train tickets, I sent more parcels and had a haircut. Today I am taking the car to be MOT'ed and to try and sell it so that I can have some extra cash floating about for the first few weeks of life in Hungary. I am going shopping for some new luggage this week and I have ordered some currency for Poland and Hungary from the Post office. As usual, thinking about what is left to do is too much for me. I have a busy couple of weekend coming up and I cannot really afford to take time out from my packing and planning. Life goes on despite my big move it would seem, there just are not enough hours in the day.