Meetings In London

It’s mid-morning and I am on the train from Nottingham to Liverpool.
I had a big meeting with some of the General Dynamics guys in London yesterday. We were discussing the next phase of the project; what feedback they had from the first phase and what features they would like to see in the second. Everything went well; their feedback was positive and their requirements manageable in the timeframes required. It was a very productive meeting.
So Nikkie was up last weekend, and because she has finished placement and is on Project week, she stayed a couple of extra days and came down to London with me yesterday. I of course had to work all day, but I jump at every chance I get to spend more time with her.
I’m back at work today of course and it is going to be busy as usual. But as I’ve said before, I’m finding it really interesting, I am enjoying it, and I’m getting paid really well too.
So enough of my recap of work. That’s all I seem to talk about recently. On to other things!
Thanks to all of my friends who emailed me back with status updates on their lives! I wrote about fifteen different emails that day on the train and sent them out to all of you guys who I want to keep in touch with. It was great to hear back from all of you (well almost all of you, you slackers know who you are who didn’t write back, so get on it!! :), I really liked reading about everything new that’s been going on in your lives since we last caught up. Some of you I hadn’t talked to for at least a year!
This blog is a very one-way form of communication. I write my entries but get very little in the way of comments. I know people read it; I’ve got stats that show when the site is viewed and where the viewers are. I recognise pretty much everyone who reads the site, who the readers are from Australia, who they are from the US, who they are from the UK, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got that Finnish reader sussed too 🙂 Some of you check the site almost daily, some from week to week, while others sometimes go months without checking. I know you are all filled in on what’s going on in my life (or the small portion of it I have time to describe here), but I feel really left out when it comes to all of your lives. So I’ve done my best to remedy that. If you won’t add comments or (heaven forbid!) create blogs of your own then I am just going to have to pester you with emails until you respond!!
Until then, take care everyone.

Another Long Week

Well it’s Friday again, and I’m on the train down to Nottingham. I have some time now to myself, to think, to reflect, and to write an entry for my blog!
This week was very intensive. I did an all-nighter Sunday night, and another Tuesday night. I racked up more than 80 working hours this last week, so effectively did two weeks work in one. This whole last month I’ve been averaging 60 hours a week.
It’s pay day today though, and I’ve got a rather large pay packet coming to me, so I’m happy. ^_^ The drinks are definitely on me tonight!!
I’ve been doing some really excellent work recently, and because of it I’ve got another promotion. I’m now the design authority for the Enterprise Project Management system I am producing, which means a lot more authority and responsibility. Hopefully another pay rise too; I’m talking to the boss about that next week.
So we are now examining the next phase of functionality. I’m writing documentation and getting everything ready for security auditing. We have to comply with BS779 because of the restricted and secret information that is being held on the system. We are entering an exciting stage of the project and I’m really looking forward to getting onto the next lot of functionality.
But enough about work. According to Nikkie I am now officially the best boyfriend in the world. Because I’ve been so busy this last week I haven’t been able to call her as much as I would like. She has been really busy too, doing her neurology placement in a hospital in Boston. She’s been feeling a little sad that we have both been too busy to keep in better contract, so to cheer her up I got a dozen red roses delivered to the ward she was working on in the hospital . She said she got such a shock when they arrived, and has had a massive grin on her face ever since. I’ve had a massive grin of my face all day too knowing about the surprise she would get. I can’t wait to get to Nottingham and see her.
In other news I talked to mum and Fragma last night for about an hour each. It’s the first time I talked to either of them on the phone since I got back from Australia! I know! How bad of a son/friend am I!! Mum had a lot of news to tell, and we chatted for ages. She told me that she had received a thing from the University of Queensland saying that I had been admitted to the Dean’s Honour Roll for my Bachelor of Business Management, which I thought was a scream. I hardly use my Engineering degree, let alone my Business one. I guess it’s good to put on my CV, but I still think of it as a bit of a joke considering the amount of work I put into it. Mum said she lost the lapel pin that came with it, but I told her not to worry. I’m never going to wear it.
After speaking to mum I called Fragma at work. He works harder than I do the crazy man! Nikkie reckons it is all his fault that I am working this hard. She says he is a bad influence on me :). We chatted about all my friends back home, what they are up to, what new things that have been happening. We also chatted the normal bollocks that we do. It was great to talk to him again. I’ve got to stop being so slack and call my friends back home more. I think I’ve only called Ads and Wulfen once or twice each, and Fragma only a few more times than that. I left some really great friends behind in Aus and I really need to start making more of an effort to keep in touch.
With that thought in mind I’m going to finish this blog entry here and spend my remaining battery power writing emails all of those friends of mine who have been slipping away recently. Expect an email soon guys!

Shopping and Reunions

So Saturday Nikkie took me shopping in Nottingham. I really needed some new winter clothes. Since I hadn’t bought anything new for myself in ages I decided to spurge and spend a hell of a lot of money. I figure that I’m working full time now and I’m earning good money, so I shouldn’t look like a shabby student anymore. It is about time to scrub up and care about what I look like a little more. So Nikkie took think as a sign to go to all the posh shops! I bought jumpers from FCUK and shirts from Ted Baker. I’m generally clueless about labels and which some things are better than others, however after trying on some of the stuff in Ted Baker I understood why it was so expensive. This was really, really good quality stuff. I promptly spent £95 there without even thinking about it.
So anyway I bought a whole new posh wardrobe and now fit the image of a well paid professional. I feel a whole lot better about myself too, I didn’t realise that good clothes made this much difference.
Saturday night the old Church Avenue gang got back together for the first time since April. Bruce, Ben, Graeme, Nikkie, Viki and I all met up at the Pitcher and Piano and promptly slipped right back into where we left off 4 months ago. Everyone had stories to tell and we had a great time catching up. As I was now a big successful working man it fell to me to buy a bottle of champagne for us to celebrate our reunion with. We all got drunk and happy and I was struck with how much I had missed all of them.
I’m heading back down to Notts next Friday, so we’ll all go out together again, and it will be just like old times.

Counting Down!

Well I’m on the train down to Nottingham… again! Lately it seems like the only time I get to write entries is when I’m on the train. Train travel provides you with a kind of peaceful solitude that allows one time for reflection and contemplation. I’ve got a lot to reflect upon, and so much more to come that I need to contemplate.
Three more sleeps to go before I am on my way home. It’s so exciting. I really can’t wait. I’ve finished work for the week. Got all my tasks done, and now I’m free! I’m going down to Nottingham to meet up with Nikkie, go out on the town, convince her to leave some shoes and handbags behind, and then we are going to pack up her car and drive up to Liverpool tomorrow.
Things have gone so fast recently. Everything has come at once, and now I am rushed to finalise everything before I go away. I went to my cousins last night, had a few drinks and a nice dinner and talked about how jammy I am. I was also laden down with presents to bring back with me. Between all of Nikkie’s stuff and my cousin’s presents I barely have any room for anything of my own. I want to have lots of left over space too, because I plan on brining as much stuff as possible back over with me. I am coming home this trip, but I don’t know whether it is my home anymore. There is so little of me left there now, and there will be even less soon. I’ve started accumulating stuff, but it’s not in Brisbane, it’s in my flat in Liverpool. I’ve got furniture, plate sets and towel sets and bed linen. I’ve started painting the place, making it exactly how I (or rather we, as Nikkie has a big say in it) want it. It’s starting to feel like my very own place now; I’ve put my touch onto it.
I’m becoming an adult, all grown up and responsible. I own bed linen! I mean come on! I’m earning a living, going on a business trip, organising my finances. It’s scary and yet exciting at the same time. Anyway enough rambling. This will probably be the last entry I post before I am over in Aus! Man I need to start getting organised. I haven’t even thought about packing yet!

Coming Home

I started this blog more than two years ago. Boy I’ve come a long, long way since then.
So I’ve been really busy these last couple of weeks. That’s not unusual. A lot has been happening at work. That’s not unusual either. There are some big changes in the works though, which has led to something unusual.
So, to cut to the chase, and to let those of you know whom I haven’t contacted already, I’m flying back to Australia on July the 12th. I’m coming home. Though I don’t really know whether it is my home anymore. I’m not coming back to stay, that’s for sure. I’ve got a three week trip booked, and it’s predominately a business trip, the emphasis behind it coming from work rather than my desire to come back for a visit. I had originally not planned on coming back for a visit until Christmas time, but things have been steamrolling ahead at work, and that’s necessitated my early return.
To explain in more detail; I’ve been promoted! I’ve been given a great opportunity, a great new job focus, and when my boss offered it to me I jumped at it. I can’t quite do what is being asked of me yet, so I’ve got to do some training first. Guess what, the training I need to do can be done in Brisbane! And it’s a damn sight cheaper than doing it in London as well! So I’m flying home on the company dime, to do two weeks of intensive training on the company dime, all while earning the company dime as if I were working as usual, and at the end of it I fly back to the UK to a new, better, job earning even more of the company dime than before! As Nikkie says, I am a jammy bastard ^_^
Speaking of Nikkie, she is coming with me! She has one more week of placement and then she starts summer holidays. I’ve explained to her that I’ll be working most of the time when I’m back home, that for me this isn’t a holiday as such, it’s part of my job, but she wouldn’t be talked out of coming. Not that I wanted to talk her out of coming. I can’t wait to introduce her to my mum, and all my friends, and show her where I grew up. I’m so totally in love with this girl that I want her to know everything about me, to meet everyone that is important to me, to share in these experiences with me. She is so excited !! ^_^
Things are going really well for me here. I’m in a fantastic job, I have a great flat, I’m going out with the most beautiful girl. I’m fit and well and happy and loving it all. I don’t think my friend will recognise me when I get home. Partly because Nikkie has had me out running with her, and physically I am much trimmer and more toned than before, but also I think my personality is a great deal different to how it was two years ago. It’s hard to describe, but I think it has to do mostly with my outlook on life, or rather more importantly, my outlook on myself. Don’t worry, I wont get all philosophical here, I just think that some of my friend will be shocked at the change in me.
I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to be coming home. This time next week will be my last sleep in the UK before I leave. There is so much to do before then, so much to organise, to work out, to plan for. Right now I don’t care about any of that, I’m just too excited! !!!!!!
Written while listening to Alex Lloyd – Coming Home

Early Morning

So I’ve been slack again at writing entries. Nikkie wrote a thesis guest entry last time. She is such a sweetie. I’m writing this on the train back up from Nottingham to Liverpool, early Monday morning. It’s been a full on last two weeks. Nikkie finished her exams last week, went to Amsterdam with Jade, and then stayed with me last weekend and all last week. At lot has happened, but I’ll just go over it briefly, because I’ve been awake since 5am, and I want to catch a quick nap on the train before I have to go to work.
Last Saturday Nikkie, Graeme and I went to help out a Netball tournament that Lisa from work organised to support Breast Cancer research. We had to time matches, ring bells and announce things over the PA system. No very exciting, but it gave us all a lot of time to chat and catch up.
Saturday night Ben came down and we all went into town. I had only been out in Liverpool once before with Ads, and that was a random Tuesday night, and Nikkie had never been, so we both looked forward to a big party night. This was Ben and Graeme’s territory, so we let them lead us from bar to bar, club to club, and we got progressively drunker as the night wore on. It was a fantastic night out, the music was great, the atmosphere was pumping, we all had a great time. We ended up getting the night bus back to my place, well it didn’t quite stop at my door, which meant that we needed to walk home a little way. Somewhere along the way we “lost” Ben. We were going to go looking for him, but instead just fell asleep. All of a sudden it was 10am the next morning and he still wasn’t there. Nikkie, crazy girl, put her on running gear and set out to look for him, fearing that he was in a gutter somewhere. She only got halfway down the street before discovering him, curled up asleep in the back of his car.
We then went to back to bed and slept into 3pm.
The rest of the week went really fast. Work was busy, really busy, and I often has to stay late. Nikkie was absolutely fantastic and cleaned my flat and sorted out all of my stuff, and make my place civilised. It wasn’t that I was particularly disorganised, I just hadn’t had the time to sort everything out. I’m really lucky to have found her, she is wonderful. Thursday night I played a 4 hour club game a cricket. Paul my boss was in Bulgaria, so he asked me to fill in his place. I haven’t played cricket since highschool, and my eye wasn’t in at all, but I played pretty well and had a great time. I didn’t have proper whites though, and so played in shorts. My knees were shredded by the end because I was making diving saves, and my legs killed me the next day from all the running around I did.
Nikkie over the course of the week, while I was at work, did lots of physio work, lots of pottering, lots of walking on the beach, and spent lots of time watching the fourth season of 24! Over the course of the week she watched the first 20 episodes, catching up with me, and then together we watch the final four. WOW! What a fantastic series, it was absolutely awesome!
Saturday we drove back down to Nottingham. Nikkie’s parents came up on Sunday, we all went out for lunch, and now, come Monday morning, I’m on the train, heading back to Liverpool, ready to start another week.
I’m going to sleep now.