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.

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TrainBlog

I am on the train once more.
Perhaps I should rename this blog from Genesisdreams to TrainLog, or RailJournal or something like that because that’s what it is becoming.
I’ve got Star Guitar blazing from my earphones as I type this. The quaint English country side whizzing by in time with the beats. I’m hyped up on one too many train trolley lattes and am in the mood to write!
I had the most wonderful weekend. On Friday night Nikkie and I met up with all of our friends at bar BZR. After one too many triple vodka and oranges we made our way down to Ocean, our usual Friday night clubbing haunt, and managed to get in without tickets and without too much queuing! They had redone the place somewhat, but they still played the same old cheesey music. It was great! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed clubbing, both Nikkie and I really needed a good long dance.
Saturday we did some more stuff, went out for dinner, watched the OC season 3 and the first two episodes of Lost season 2. Sunday we did more stuff, then I got on the train home.
I don’t really feel like writing a full account of that stuff now. It was such a wonderful weekend I don’t really want to write about it in detail. I’d like to keep a lot of it for just Nikkie and I.
Still I am in the mood to write. I’ve talked about work, university, travel, friends, books, music, and movies in my blog before. I’ve talked about my love life. I’ve talked about my hopes and fears. I’ve talked about my dreams.
This blog is called Genesisdreams. I started it more than two years ago now with the intention of providing a link to my family and friends back home. At that that point I was only planning on coming to the UK for a year, on exchange for University. This blog was designed to help me keep in touch with those I left behind back home. Over the years though its purpose has changed somewhat. It now represents to me a record of a new beginning. It’s a history of the beginning of my dreams. I didn’t really know where my place was until recently, I was unsure about my future, about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be, who I wanted to spend it with. I had ambitions, I had hopes, and I had plans. I had dreams. Dreams about where I wanted my life to go, about what I wanted to achieve with it. Through this blog I hope I’ve allowed you to witness the genesis of these dreams. Reading back over my entries I think you can follow a definite sense of purpose, of direction, leading me to a turning point. We all have a road to walk down, and we face forks in that road every day of our lives. Occasionally though we come to a junction from which there is no turning back. If you take the wrong path you can’t simple retrace your steps and take the other once. Our decisions shape our lives, and I think that looking back over this blog you can see what the major decisions were that I faced, and what helped lead my to my final choices.
Go down the wrong path and your dream ends, how down the right one, and it’s only the beginning.
Written while listening to Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar

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!

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

These little piggies went to Amsterdam

This is Nikkie. Michael asked me to do a guest entry so here goes…
The physiotherapy course is so hectic that this is the first time in a year that we have been privileged enough to have been given a week off while all the other students are busy celebrating the arrival of an 18 week summer holiday. I grabbed the opportunity to whisk Jade, my best friend and housemate, off to Amsterdam for a wild night out to celebrate her 21st birthday. Before our adventure could commence, we had to endure painstaking revision and an exam which took place on the Wednesday morning (1st June) at 8.45am.
Jade and I were both very nervous for the practical exam as you never have enough time to think and appear a fool if you don’t have the answers at the drop of a hat. The exam consists of a case scenario, 15 minutes thinking time and then joining the examiners to discuss all the relevant anatomy and clinical reasoning to arrive at an appropriate diagnosis. Next, you discuss a management plan and have to demonstrate 2 treatment techniques on a model. Finally, after what seems like forever, you document everything done with the patient, including treatment dosage, gained consent, safety tests, advice given and when you would next like to see them. Jade and I were given the same scenario of a patient with tension headaches so we came out of the exam intrigued as to what treatment we had each given. Luckily, we both appeared to administer the same treatment for similar reasons, so with that out of the way we left to get ready for our trip!
I drove, for the first time, up to Liverpool. We arrived, after a relatively stress free journey to the city but as we approached Michael’s flat, things became slightly more traumatic. At this point it is fairly relevant to mention that Michael has lived in Liverpool for 5 weeks but still appears to walk around with his eyes closed, hence the reason he (and Graeme) will be blamed for getting us lost! We ended up travelling around a roundabout 5 times until they could meet us there and take us the right way!
So, we eventually arrived at the flat, piled our belongings up the 3 flights of stairs and headed out for some lunch in a typical English café. The boys left shortly to return to work and us girls took the opportunity for some light shopping before our lift to the airport. Jade and I are both fanatical about fashion and the idea of retro and vintage clothing delights us! As a result, spotting 4 charity shops to rummage through determined the activities of the following few hours. At around 5pm, the boys had finished work for the day and we hopped in the car, laden with plastic bags full of vintage 1940’s purses, tops, scarves and the odd few bits including a wooden elephant names Widnes! So much for the light shopping trip!
Graeme and Michael dropped Jade and I off at Liverpool’s John Lennon airport and I managed to shop as soon as we got there, buying a fantastic golden yellow leather handbag. We boarded the plane at 7pm and by 11pm were sat in a bar in Amsterdam.
An exam at 8.45am in a British university, and barring in Amsterdam by 11pm – I love Europe!
Staying in a cheap hostel in the red light district ensured we were surrounded by lots of young people. We quickly re-applied some lip-gloss and changed our shoes to heels and headed out. Passing the local chippy, we were unable to resist the classic Dutch chips and mayo. I got back into the swing of the language and was soon chatting to the chip-shop man only having slight difficulty understanding the Amsterdam dialect, which is very different to that I am used to. Once our appetites had been satisfied, we followed the crowds past some very sexy and virtually naked women in doorways to a bar for a beer. Soon after our arrival we began chatting to the barman who, much to our disgust, told us we were not in a ‘green’ café, although smoking in there was permitted. We rushed off to find somewhere selling pre-rolled joints, as neither of us were in any fit state to start rolling ourselves. On the recommendation of the guy behind the counter, whom I now realise we should never have trusted, we bought 4 joints for the equivalent of about £10. Back in the previous bar we lit up and began to chat to a bunch of Aussie men. It amazed me how many Australians there were in Amsterdam, most travelling Europe after uni. Mindless chit chat revealed that these particular guys were all living in London as teachers although one had flown in from Sydney that afternoon. They were a laugh and bought us a couple of drinks so we decided to stick with them for a while. By about 1am, we had broken off and un-surprisingly only two guys remained. We visited a few more bars, smoked and drunk a bit more while playing cards in a chilled bar. The lads knew where our hostel was, as they were in the same one, so we began our walk home. We were halfway there when Jade was cornered by one of the lads and had to apologise that he must have got the wrong idea from her. Realising that he was not going to get anywhere with her that night, he swiftly left. The other guy, however, was more persistent and we had to team up to get rid of him, which we eventually did by hiding in our dorm!
Although I had shared a dorm with mates on camping trips ( I was in the scouts) and on school trips, nothing quite prepared me for this. It was a dorm of 20 beds and great fun. We sat up a while chatting crap due to our stoned and drunken state when we over heard a couple arguing over a guy having been in a peep show instead of meeting up with his girl! I’m sure this would have still amused me sober but we were both having serious difficulty in resisting laughter and continued to listen to the bickering trying to work out whether the guy’s story was genuine or he had in-fact been in a sex show as his lady was stating! By about 3am we got ready for bed and fell into light, interrupted sleep.
We awoke at 8am with the sun streaming into the room and the dorm already half empty. After showering and attempting to make ourselves look remotely human we wandered downstairs for a full English breakfast, and a mug of incredibly strong tea. Our persistent friend from the previous night pulled up a chair questioning us about where and when we were leaving Amsterdam. Making quick excuses and ensuring we were sufficiently dosed up with caffeine we walked in the direction of the main shopping street – Kalver straat. I had been to Amsterdam previously with relatives living nearby so was slightly more orientated than the average tourist and we found Kalver straat fairly quickly. We shopped, had some lunch in the Vroom and Dressmann restaurant, a definite must for a cheap detoxifying meal, and shopped some more. After a few more trips to the cash-point and laden with bags, we returned to the red light district for some major vintage shopping. I got a pair of ankle height grey slouch boots which I had been on the hunt for ages. All in all, we spent over £200 of our student overdrafts on clothes and accessories, all very worthwhile! After all, you spend what money you actually have, and then the bank decides to give you more! No, I don’t always have such a lax attitude to money but do find it very hard to resist a bargain!
By 5pm we were exhausted and grabbed our bags from the station lockers and returned to Schipol airport for a ‘maccy D’s’ (Mcdonalds) and to catch our flight home. We landed back in Liverpool at 10pm and were greeted by the boys who drove us back to Michael’s flat. Shattered from our adventure we went to bed and slept soundly.
The following morning, Michael strolled into work at 10am and Jade left to rush back to Manchester to grab fresh clothes for a night out with some old friends in Newcastle! I, on the other hand, pottered around the flat with my eyes half closed all day trying to recover from abusing my body so much.
The next few days have consisted of more pottering and trying to get Michael’s hole of a flat slightly more liveable! I have cleaned, washed, tidied and sorted but this is the first and last time I will do, so he will have to become domesticated from now on! We did a very ‘grown-up’ shop of cleaning products yesterday evening which Michael clearly needed some guidance on – he was shocked to discover that bathroom and kitchen cleaner were different! My work here is definitely challenging!
On Saturday night we visited Liverpool’s night life which I definitely felt was something else! I felt like I was in Ibiza, obviously without the gorgeous weather, it was very surreal. We sat in a square outside surrounded by bars and a very concentrated amount of gorgeous people. The women were all slim, verging on the border of too slim, had all been bronzed, either by a bottle or some hard work on a sun bed, and were made up with very expensive looking clothing. Graeme, Ben and Michael, un-surprisingly, were in awe of them all, [Editor’s Note: I was more in awe of my fantastic girlfriend of course!- Wigs], as was I, but my eye was placed more on enjoying the surrounding fashion statements. I must state though, the women were some of the best I have ever seen, obviously not including celebs, models etc, only with the downside of the Liverpudlian accent! The men were incredibly well groomed and also in expensive clothing. The music was brilliant, Michael said that it was much like the dance music ‘back home’. Being out with the lads I had to keep up with the pace of drinking which, with a reputation of a lightweight I did quite well, going drink for drink with them. Overall, Liverpool was a great night out, expensive but great.
Our trek home left much to be desired. We caught the night bus home after waiting for a taxi for over an hr. On the walk home from the bus stop we got separated losing Ben, our other scouser housemate who had come home for the summer, and fell asleep with him not having returned to the flat. We woke with a startle the next morning realising Ben was still not home. I dressed hurriedly, on a bad hangover, to jog around and try and find him. Michael eventually got him on his mobile at the same time as I came across him asleep in the back of his car! Safe, but still very very pissed he came up to the flat to sleep off the alcohol. I went for a 20minute run along the beach and came back when Michael and I decided to return to bed till 3pm. Another crazy but fantastic night out.
To think that a year ago, I was still in Newark Hall, had only known Michael 6 months, was a fresher and living a very dependant life shows how much things can change. Life is fantastic but it has been hard to get to this point; I considered dropping the physiotherapy course during the harder times, Michael moved 3 hrs away from Nottingham just when we finally got together, I moved house and Graeme’s changed university course. The summer is only a month away, I have one more outpatients placement to get through and then I will be back in Liverpool living and working here for 6 weeks. Third year will be here sooner than later and then I’ll be a qualified physiotherapist and will have to become even slightly responsible! On second thoughts, I’ll delay that as long as I can, go travelling, live a little before pinning myself to a 9-5 job. The end of university is so close, yet so far. I’m only two thirds through it and things have changed so much since arriving in September as a fresher.
Change is good. Hard but good.

Glorious Saturday Afternoon

It’s amazing to think how much has happened this last year. Exactly one year and one day ago today was the Summer Party 2004 to mark the end of the University year and the official start to student summer (you can read all about what we got up to this time last year in this entry). Well now is Summer Party 2005, and the lot of us, older and wiser, went down early with a disposal BBQ, lots of meat and beer, and camped out on the downs in the glorious sun, and sat off listening to music and having a great time. Karl Kennedy from Neighbours was the “special mystery guest” and he was there with his band playing covers of oasis songs. It was a glorious afternoon. We didn’t stay for the whole night (having learnt what a disappointment that was last year), but instead lazed around in the sun having a great time. It’s still light out now as I am writing this, and it’s wonderfully warm.
So we were talking about how much we had all changed since last year and everyone (excluding me the old, responsible, working man) was amazed to think that this time next year they would be finished uni. The topic jumped back and forward between the past and the future. Where everyone thought they would be heading after Uni, where was the best place we travelled to last summer, what was everyone’s plans for this summer, when did we all meet each other originally. Maybe because I am such and old man, and am still looking at it from a semi-outsider perspective, but it was startling to me how much everyone had changed and grown up in the last year. We were playing spot the first years, and I couldn’t fathom that everyone with me was a first year just a year ago. They seemed so different. We all grown and change constantly through life, but I think that one of the most pivotal periods is your life is that first year after highschool, when you leave the security of school and enter the real world. I feel lucky to have been privileged enough to be a part of that year for all of my friends here. They are such fantastic people, fantastic friends, and I’ve really missed them all these past couple of months when we’ve been apart.
I’ve been lucky like that all through life now that I think about it. Other that a few rare instances I’ve always had fantastic friends who I get on well with and trust and respect. They have provided support, comfort, jokes and fun. I can just sit and hang out with them all day doing nothing much at all, I can travel to exotic places with them, I can rant and vent to them when I’m stressed, I can rant and rave to them when I’m in love. My friends have been there for me, with me, though so much. I miss you guys, wherever you are in the world. Friends in the US I’ve never met personally but whom I’ve told everything to. Friends back in Aus that I left behind. Friends here in my new home, who I don’t get to see enough of.
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. – Albert Camus
Thanks again for The Fall Al. It really meant a lot to me.
Written while lying on Nikkie’s bed, while she studies for her final physio exam, listening to her sing along to U2’s greatest hits. Nikkie is my closest confidant, a fantastic, thoughtful, caring, and wonderful friend. I love her more than the world. I am the luckiest.

Partyhouse – Reunited

The partyhouse crew were fully reunited last night in what must be the first time in almost 4 months. We’ve all gone separately ways recently. Nikkie has moved out and is not living on the other side of Nottingham. Graeme is changing courses and having taken the rest of this term off, is living up in Liverpool. I’ve started full time work, so I’m up in Liverpool, and that just left Viki, Bruce and Ben in this big old house. There had been exams for the last couple of weeks and everyone was really stressed, but now they are all done (except for poor Nikkie who has one more next week). With the newfound freedom from stress we all converged again on the partyhouse to do what the party house crew are famous for, partying! ^_^
So Graeme and I left work early Friday afternoon and started the drive down to Nottingham. It was a sunny and hot 21 degrees (which is really good for England springtime) and we cruised down the motorway listening to radio one and chatting about how much we missed all being together. Graeme had previous been to the butcher, so we had 12 hamburgers, 12 sausages and 12 lamb kebabs. Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm. After arriving into Nottingham we went to pick up some beer, and then the six of us sat off in the sun in the backyard, drinking and catching up. I took responsibility for cooking the food on the BBQ, having as my mates claim, an innate skill due to my Aussie heritage. Anyway along with all the copious amounts of meat I also cooked some of my patented beer onions, which went down a treat.
Viki put her computer speakers out the window and we have some great summer trance pumping out over the garden. We all sat around, eating our food, drinking our beer and wine, and having a great time. It stayed light till almost 10pm, and when it eventually got dark we scavenged all the wood and cardboard we could find and made a fire in the middle of the backyard. We talked and drank and played with the fire and talked some more. Some people smoked a little too. I love these guys; they are a fantastic group of friends. The conversation never lagged, the jokes always kept coming, the funny stories were never lacking. We talked about the coming summer, and the previous one. We talked about plans, and goals and dreams. We gossiped of course, and talked about sex and guys and girls. Everyone got very drunk. I can’t remember the last time I was that drunk, and I can’t remember ever seeing Nikkie that drunk before either. She is a very cute drunk ^_^
At about 4am the sun was starting to come up again and the birds were chirping. We all took that as the signal to go to bed. I fell asleep with the with windows open, the cool morning breeze wafting into the room, and the beautiful girl that I love in my arms. I’ve never been happier.
I get by with a little help from my friends,
I get high with a little help from my friends,
Going to try with a little help from my friends.

Written while listening to The Beatles – With a Little Help From My Friends.