Thursday, 28 April 2011

A River in Egypt

Sorry for the truly rubbish pun. But I am in total denial about my imminent departure.

Which is all fine until people ask 'so when are you heading off to LA?' Or ' Are you ready for the big move?' That's a bit of a downer, particularly if at that exact time one is trying as hard as possible to live in the moment by drunkenly showing off some terrible dance moves to 99 Problems. In a strapless, floor-length bridesmaid's dress. As one does.

And there are a lot of things going on in the next couple of weeks that I really want to immerse myself in, without having any more major 'I'm-moving-halfway-across-the-world-leaving-friends-and-family-behind-I'm-going-to-miss-out-on-so-much' style freakouts than strictly necessary.

So in no particular order, these are the things I've got lined up before I leave:

 - Another wedding, this time in the beautiful countryside where I grew up
 - A last-minute Eurostar trip to Holland to catch up with the newlywed S+R
 - The craziness that is the royal wedding (I'm on sleb-spotting duty outside the back of Westminster Abbey)
 - A hen-do for one of my oldest and bestest friends, whose wedding I'm gutted to be missing
 - Meeting my baby sister's boyfriend for the first time (she - for some inexplicable reason - fears I will judge him, so has avoided the big meet-up for almost a year)
 - Hanging out with the 'rents, and going to see my grandma, who is pretty frail, in hospital

And at some point (preferably before my mum arrives to pick all my stuff up) I should probably start to pack... maybe. And spend some quality time with my lovely dogs. And my lovely housemates.

I know that if I stop for a second to really consider how scary this move is, I'm going to panic. And then I might not even be able to force myself onto the plane, let alone behave in a vaguely normal fashion until I go.

So denial will continue to be my modus operandi for the time being.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Things I learned this weekend

3 things I discovered:

 - The north coast of Scotland is unbelievably beautiful
 - Red lipstick makes everything better (turns out Mac is the best in terms of non-smudgy matte colour)
 - Lace shrugs are insufficient protection against the wind when you're standing on top of a mountain clutching a bouquet

3 things I suspected that have now been proven:

 - Raspberry Beret remains a classic dancefloor-filling choon
 - I will cry like a big wuss at every song/grand entrance/speech at the weddings of everyone I care about
 - My friends S and R held the best wedding EVER and are all set to become an amazing husband and wife team.

Big love to the newlyweds. xx

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Progress Report

So I have a visa - success! After a lot of form filling, a hefty fee, and a morning sitting at the British Embassy surrounded by men carrying big scary machine guns*, America, in all its wisdom, decided to let me come and hang out for a while.

Flights: Check. Visa: Check. Leaving party date (one needs to prioritise the important things, like getting drunk with your friends and work colleagues): Check. I've even got as far as going through my wardrobe and bin-bagging three jackets, a couple of old pairs of jeans and some skirts.

On the other hand, I still haven't sorted a hire car, found anywhere to stay in LA, either short-term or on a more permanent basis, or, well, done anything else. And I still haven't found the emotional strength to begin The Big Shoe Cull of 2011. I'm building up to it by slowly pulling out individual shoes and stroking them a bit, so they know they're loved, even if they don't make the final cut...

But more importantly, I have a wedding to go to this weekend, a bridesmaid's dress to squeeze myself into and (clearly) some crying to do as one of my best friends gets hitched. Yay for weddings. Yay for nice brides who don't force their friends into puffball monstrosities, and yay for the beautiful venue, which is in a place I've never been before!

Laters. xx

Monday, 4 April 2011

The List

I celebrated my birthday in Amsterdam with my lovely birthday twin friend a couple of months ago. She's getting married crazily soon, and is a year older than me. And we got to talking about all the things we wanted to achieve in life.

Not the 'get married, have babies, buy a house, invest in some antique furniture and get a puppy' kind of things. Although I really would like a puppy.

The kind of things that you might look back on at a later point, and regret not having done, even if, at the time, they seemed totally irresponsible/foolhardy/financially unwise/random (delete as appropriate).

And thus The List  (caps are obligatory) was born. It's not a bucket list, the whole 'things to do before you die' thing sounds awfully permanent, and I'm not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil just yet.

It's just 30 things I'd like to do before I'm 30. Some of them are travel-based: go to Berlin, visit New York, do the Trans-Siberian railway.

Others are little challenges for myself, like learning to dive, taking up a new sport, and going to a life drawing class.

Some are just, well, random - spend the night camping on a beach and go skinny-dipping (I did that, many moons ago - it's one of the most amazing memories I have of being a teenager). Hit the town with my siblings for the first time.

And some are private.

But I'm already making progress - I've ticked off a couple in the last couple of months, and it's mightily satisfying scoring a line through one of my goals. I'm hoping LA is going to help me achieve a few more...

As for the lovely birthday twin friend, she got distracted from her list-making by her fear of flying, so I still need to bully her into joining me.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Flights are booked!

Me and 46 kgs of my most valued possessions will be decamping to California in Mid-May, if everything runs smoothly visa-wise.

It's all starting to seem far too real now....