Saturday, February 28, 2009

Byron Bay, is this paradise.....uh, i think so.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday 26th feb 09 – Byron Bay

It is 11.15am and I am eating my lunch as I …oops carrot on the keyboard…type. Yes, my lunch. It seems incredible that in 2 just two weeks the board of directors that is my body clock, has given in to the ridiculous timetable that we have to live by with little resistance. We have breakfast at 7.45am, lunch at 11.30am, and dinner at 6pm, then to bed at 9pm.
My hearty lunch today consists of salad leaves with a peanut dressing, grated carrot with coconut and raisins and 3 rice crackers. Yum. No seriously its good stuff. Simple and raw, my ideal diet.
However, those people back home who thought I would turn into some sort of stick insect were much mistaken as at the moment my thighs have a somewhat similar muscular silhouette as a shire horse. Not what I had hoped but I suppose this means I could deliver a mean donkey kick if the need ever arises. Ah… every cloud and all that.
I have just had a 2 hour lecture, in which 3 girls ran out crying and another refused to take part. Pretty good going for a morning session really.
One of the aforementioned ‘weepys’ has just been curled up on the end of my bed like some whimpering injured sparrow for the last 20mins bawling her head off about her confidence problem. Well in my eyes you got to have some sort of balls to launch into someone’s cabin, when they are clearly engrossed in writing a ‘very important document’, and blub all over them in the most unglorious fashion. I did, however much I complain, make all the right noises and gave her a hug.
It is a veritable pit of emotions being here at the moment, as we are all detoxing like mad, que greasy hair and teenage spots in wild abandon, so there are a lot of tears, hysterics and rebelliousness kicking in. I, however, am just trying to keep my head above water, ride the wave, and all those other watery expressions for ‘just bloody well getting on with it’, at the moment. Apart from my infamous unpredictable eye, (which by the way is feeling much better today, after I gave it a good mental talking too last night.) and missing my beloved boy more than I could ever have guessed, I have a strange overwhelming feeling that I am in the right place, and that I was meant to come here and do this.
My cabin mate has just trucked in with a note to excuse her from this afternoons activities, lucky girl.
Anyway must run, got tears to mop and bad jokes to make.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday 25th feb – Byron Bay.
A sight for sore eyes.

I woke this morning at 4am. Well I say woke, more like I was ripped from my dream
by a sudden stabbing pain in my right eye and thru the entire right side of my skull. That’s right folks it was my worst nightmare…. the return of the funky eye.
Just when I had high hopes that it was on its way, out it came back with a vengeance.
At the time I was dreaming that I was about to be unabashedly hurled a right hook by Sarah a rather sweet, if ever so slightly annoying, girl on my course.
Being half asleep I didn’t quite realise that my pulsating virusy friend had once again decide to set up camp inside my socket, so sat up and made two major mistakes. Take heed…..firstly, i rubbed my eye. Hard. Secondly, I tried to open it. This involved wrenching my puffy lids open in front of the mirror to see my swollen, veiny, gecko like eyebulb glaring back at me. As realisation hit me along with my primary thought of “oooooooooouch!” I swiftly snapped it shut again. I sat there in the darkness with only the sound of my Norwegian cabin mates snuffled snores and the sound of my own heart beat thumping behind my eye. At this moment I felt so far form home and my beloved boy, who would normally wrap me in cotton wool at the first hind of a gammy eye, so I did the only thing I could think to do at 4.30 in the morning, I sat and cried.
Im not sure how but I must have fallen asleep at some point, and I woke again at 5.30 to drag my aching, yoga abused body from bed to make my way to my first class of the day, complete with slitty eye.
I scuttled across the garden to the studio and was first to arrive, so I went in, set down my mat and sat relishing the darkness and how forgiving it felt on my burning hot dilated pupil. My thought process went as follows:
“my god im in pain,”
“maybe this isn’t such a good idea, maybe I should just go back to bed”
“now come on sally, I thought we were turning over a new leaf. You know more mature, grown up, able to deal with these things. Its only your eye you have two you know.”
“oh ok ill stay”
This, however, changed as soon as my friend Becky arrived and flicked on the light switch.
The light pierced straight thru my eye and into the back of my head as I dropped to the floor, rolling around like someone had just poured acid on me.
“bloody hell dude whats wrong?”
“aarrrrgh!!! Turn of the light, turn off the light!!”
thus followed a thorough eye inspection, from my dear friend, which involved more poking and prodding and gasps of “ooh”, and “eugh!” and “I know ill go and make you some tea”.
So, sufficed to say I ended up in bed with a dressing gown cord tied around my head like some bathtub pirate, for the rest of the morning, while various caring members of my peer group crept in to see me and see the offending eye.
Each came with words of sympathy and of course an opinion or remedy of some sort. We tried various different eye wear with which to block out the light before settling, in the end, on a pair of sun glasses with a sock taped over the back of one lens. This final idea came after deciding that Siws contribution of a panty liner cut up and stuck to my face with masking tape, was, and I quote “never going to bloody happen” tho I was forced to let her try her idea out as Norwegians are somewhat stubborn and not to be messed with.
So here I am, after soldiering on thru my day, sitting on my bed just about able to see the keyboard on which to type my woes, and I now have to start the endless supply homework we are having trust upon us on a daily basis. Ah the life of a yoga teacher glamorous as ever.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hurrah my new best friend has not let me down.
I am now with bike!
Death by Yoga part deux. Benlongil Beach 8am

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thursday 19th feb 09 – Byron Bay Yoga Centre
Death by Yoga.

Im sitting on my bed in the shed that is my new home. I moved in on Monday which seems weeks ago now as we have been getting up at 5.30 every morning to do yoga as the sun rises, glorious I know but takes its toll after a few days.
It is wonderful. I shouldn’t complain. After all I have paid to do this!
I have often wandered what you are all up to back home (not counting the time difference) while I am contorting my self into positions way too graphic for 5am, and I do realise how lucky I am to be here doing this.
There are 22 other ppl on the course, two of which are men. We are all female, white and between the ages of 20 and 40 which is quite sad really. This is why I am dedicating myself to teaching yoga to black, men, aged 45 and up..…maybe.
The camp/commune is made up of 6 wooden huts all interlinked with a weather beaten board walk that is very slippery when wet and has big frogs living under it. All of which I discovered on day 3. It was not fun.
My room mate is called Siw (pronounced Steve without the T, not Siv which I found out on day 3) and is from Oslo in Norway. She is very sweet and has also had to leave her boyfriend behind so we have something to whinge about together.
I have made a new best friend called Becky who is from Weston super Mare (note: the joke ‘Weston super man’ is not funny or original, I found this out on day 1) who is 26 and a surfer. She is travelling the world and has been living in Byron for 4 months so has shown me all the cool spots to surf, when I finally learn (don’t laugh) and is in the process of trying to blag me a free bicycle from her “hot surf dude” friend, by using such bribes as “my mate needs a bike for 6 weeks can she have yours, shes really nice and got great boobs”. I think that means we are now firm friends.
The yoga is going as well as can be expected. I am already sick of it and feeling totally intimidated with the task at hand. It all seems way too much information to fit in ones head and I ache everywhere, but I am told this is all totally normal and it will all settle at some point. Im dubious, but willing to wait and see what happens, with as little fuss as possible.
I haven’t worn shoes for 4 days now which is a little trivial to some but I know my beloved boy will be very proud of me. I have endured gravel, wet frogs, a few spiders and a hell of a lot of sand in four days and I am beginning to accept and appreciate nature a little more. On several occasions I have found an ant or fly of some sort in my herbal tea and have felt sorry for the poor thing, saved him from his imminent scolding hot demise, to release him back to his pals. Just this morn while I was eating my fat free yoghurt and sunflower seeds, and sipping my chai, a bird came and sat right next to me on the table and gave me a good ole ‘beady eye’ up and down, before launching into the most awesum bird song I have ever heard, right at me. I felt sad that I couldn’t even try to imitate it back to him as I felt he wanted me too, so I gave him a grape instead, which he burst on the table and flew off with. I started to feel like a true earth mother but then automatically the thought entered my head “I wander if they blow up if you give them alka seltzer like pigeons do”. So maybe im not quite mother teresa yet.
Silver, the resident cat has just sauntered in. He has given my new hoody a good mauling and has now set up camp on the end of my bed, amongst my cleanly washed clothes and yoga books. I doubt I will be able to move him all night now, but to tell the truth I don’t really want to touch him as has a rather mean looking tick on his head so I think ill steer clear.
Other than that im fine and all is going well. The food is far too greasy so im living on fruit, yoghurts and rice crackers but hey, what else is new.
Love you lots.
P.s pictures to follow soon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday 14th feb 09 – Byron Bay

Im sitting on my bed. I say my bed tho actually I am surrounded by 5 others and there are another 6 down stairs and I have just paid 35 dollars for the privelige.
I am in the place I swore I would never go. I am in a backpackers hostel. Eek!
I departed the tiny Jetstar plane that flew me bumpily but quickly from Sydney to Queensland at 6.40 Sydney time. It took me another 45mins to realise that there is a time difference between the two so in actual fact my trip only took about 20mins. Go figure that one out.
So I collected my very heavy bag, ironic as it was 70 dollars lighter after i had paid my excess baggage fee, from the carousel and yanked it to the bus desk to ask sweetly “ one to Byron bay please” only to be glared at by the busty antipodean and told, “we don’t go there”. Nooooo! So I phoned the number that the ‘lady’ so kindly thrust in my face with a courteous “you’ll be lucky if you haven’t got a reservation”. But lo there was a nice lady at the end of this line, and she assured me one would be there in at 8.30pm. Good. Only another hour 45 to waste then. So I spoke to my beloved boy who was back in the 1920’s eating rations of spaghetti, curled in my stinking night gown, missing me suitably.
I didn’t have much entertainment as you can imagine in a small empty airport at 8.30pm on valentines night, in the rain. So I brought my self a relatively light dinner of sesame snaps and a nut bar, which I managed to make last at least 20 mins.
I got my bus on time and actually enjoyed the hour long trip as the mini bus was air conditoined and the driver had Mozart playing in the front, classy.
But oh how it all changed once I reached the quaintly titled ‘Aquarius’ backpackers lodge. Thumping dance music reminiscent of 1994 greeted me as I stumbled bleary eyed (bad eye) and fluffled from my cocoon of classical concertos. And a group of loud cockneys “waahey”ed me as I passed them dragging my 28kg tail between my lags with a sheepish look of “please don’t rape me” plastered across my face.
After hauling the beast up the stairs to the all girls ‘dorm’, with my starched lilac pillow case and top sheet given to me by Lillian the stoned looking receptionist. I entered to find what resembled a ski lodge, or what I imagine one to be like. Wooden slanty ceilings with small metal beds every where, and the smell of the school girls locker room. Kind of like prison but with more pine. I went and found my bed and luckily only two of the other girls were home as I had envisioned the classic first day of school syndrome, trying to find a spare seat and none being offered.
So I made my bed and here I am. Smelling a bit but too scared to take a shower as im not sure what the protocol is yet. Pretty sure I should stop tippy tapping tho as the others have gone to sleep.
Nighty night then, Wish me luck!
Friday 13th feb 09 – Sydney

Im always a little nervy about this date, not too sure why but I think im subconsciously hideously superstitious. I must be, I have spent my entire time here freezing when I see a magpie and panicking as I never can remember that stupid rhyme. And so follows a rather wonky sort of curtsey/bow/spin with me muttering some combination of “morning/Evening/afternoon mrs Magpie” while feeling like a complete idiot, but also a slight twinge of relief, in the knowledge that the world will not end now. Thank god, thank god my magical words will have held up that tsunami, or quietened that volcano, or stopped that meteor in it tracks. Powerful stuff.
Good news tho my eye is finally feeling better. Oops….touch wood.
Just in time really as I have just finished stuffing my belongings; once again, back into the same suitcase they have appeared and reappeared from so many times on this journey. I sometimes feel guilty as im sure most of the other suitcases purchased are left to sleep until same time next August when they are taken on a two week trip to Corfu, then back home to the comfort of the attic/ airing cupboard to recover, safe in the knowledge they wont be called upon again for at least another year. My poor thing has been dragged all over the place thru rain and sun, and I have been a little mean as my usual military packing technique taught by ‘sergeant mother’ has been cast aside for a more freestyle, casual effort which means poor Carl (the case) suffers a some what bloated tummy until I spill his guts again at my next destination.
Hungry now, oh and must shave my legs.
Thursday 12th feb – Sydney.
Bored to tears.

Im trying to calculate just HOW fat can you get in 1 week? Especially when the main bulk of ones diet has been All Bran, a whole loaf of Raisin Toast and pan cakes with maple syrup.
The scales are reading 10stone (my max weight)but I think they are being kind to me as a kind of regular user scheme. I seem to have been hurtling between 9.5 and 10 stone for the past two weeks.
Its all the fault of my diseased eye. It has got a whole lot worse over the past 2 days, and tho I now have two kinds of eye drops to try and squirt into the tiny crack which I am now reduced to peering thru, they haven’t kicked in yet. I have obviously done something to seriously tick off the almighty one tho as the timing of this really is great. This was my last week in Sydney and not only has it rained everyday but I now only have 1 day for my shrivelled pink eye to get back to normal so that I can actually see when I catch my plane. Therefore I have done no studying as my head hurts too much and yoga is the last thing I want to be doing right now.
I have to say that the surroundings really are crunching down on the old mental state too, I feel about 80, and haven’t left the house in 2 days.
Im so bad at being ill I just fight the bugger left right and centre rather than just accepting it. So this afternoon I have tried to ‘give in’ and have slept a lot and painted a picture of ollie, for ollie for valentines day. It’s not bad considering I did it with sunnies on and 1 eye closed.
My god I cant even think of anything interesting or remotely funny to write. Im so bored.
Over and out.
Tuesday 10th feb 09 - Sydney

Apparently I am harbouring some sort of rare eye disease. I woke two days ago with the worst headache of my life, like someone was standing on my skull, and over the next two days it continued to get worse until I now have a constant pain above my right eye, more like someone drilling very slowly into my socket with a rusty hand drill, with double vision and light sensitivity, which is fun!
So you can understand why im feeling a bit depressed today. I have a strange compulsion to eat my self to death when something like this happens. Probably some left over psycho shit form my anorexic days, wow those were fun.
So today I am not only trying to deal with the small possum that has burrowed into my head over night, is currently trying to nest behind my right eye and just cant seem to get comfy, but im also a bloated mass of wind brought on by too much All Bran, and Spicy Fruit Loaf from my rather lame binge session over the past 3 days.
It is also raining which I was informed ‘never happens in australia’. A rather sweeping statement I agree, especially as this place is the greenest place I have ever seen with wildlife and creepy crawlies from the Jurassic period. But there you go.
I was going to embark on the rather long walk to the beach this morn for a swim but have changed my mind and decided to stay in and order carpet samples instead.
I must admit that my last week in Sydney so far hasn’t gone too much to plan. I had invisioned lazy morning swims and sun bakes before the 3 mile hike it takes to get back to the ‘1920’s’. Especially as im not sleeping to well with my brain freeze probs. You wouldn’t think it would be a problem while sleeping seeing as the eyes are generally closed, but for some reason little ‘Ike’ decides to try and focus, which at the moment is not a pleasant sensation, on the back of my eyelid. Not something I have ever had the urge to do but there you go, now it seems a necessary evil.
My beloved boy has just set out for workypoos. I have to go and let him out of the back gate as the security here has a mind of its own. If you happen to leave your front door unlocked because, say, you were just popping out for a run and would be back in 20 mins, so didn’t think it necessary to lock the door, nope. It locks itself! As you can tell from my tone this has happened once or twice to me so far. The only explanation I have come to is that there probably isn’t too much ‘popping’ anywhere for these fellas, and the likely hood of a run is very slim I should imagine. So anyway I have to scuttle after him, in the rain, with my pulsating eye and let him out.
His aunty Ginny is coming round in and hour with the carpet guy to measure up and pick a new carpet for this place. Hense my earlier comment about staying home and ‘ordering carpet samples’. (It was a valid statement tho I do realise it may have sounded like some sort of lesbian innuendo. Appologies.)
Anyway I think im going to try and have another little sleep before she gets here as my eye is about to fall out from all the comedic writing I have just produced.
Love you both lots,
Ps can you tell im reading more books?
Australia part deux.
Sunday 8th feb 09 - Sydney

We are now on our 5th living accommodation in 2 months. And its going well. We went from the huge house in rose bay where we spent xmas and new years, to our friend Michaels house in south Bondi. He had gone to India for a few weeks and said we could have his bed and housemate Tim. We love, love, loved this house so much, it was a small 3 bed semi 5 mins from Bondi and Tamarama beach. With a modest and unloved back garden complete with weathered sofas, broken golf clubs, and a rusty chopper! Ollie was in heaven here and spent his days painting, sewing and drawing while I spent my time at various yoga classes in the area, and also bleaching my hair at some point!
Then we moved back out to Ollies aunty Mandys house in Killarney heights, which is north Sydney. Its beautiful out there, the only problem being that it is literally the end of the line! Buses don’t go any further and its a nightmare without a car, which over the 9 days we stayed drove me (no pun intended) slowly insane! I did a babysitting job over in North Bondi and it took me 2 hours to get back, 3 buses, 2 trains and a lift! Aaargh! But we got swim each morning in their pool and ollies youngest cousin, Georgie (12) taught me how to swim! I have now mastered a slightly uneven breast stroke (with goggles) and a pretty passable freestyle (frontcrawl).
After this we moved to Elizabeth bay in the city to ollies other auntys (Ginny) house. Lizzie bay is super cool and despite being just off king cross, where the hookers, strippers, and ‘im not quite sure whats’ like to play, it is a world away from this with little caf├ęs and a gorgeous bay full of boats.
Her home was the penthouse apartment of a building which looked like a 60’s b&b. You climb the tiny staircase up 6 flights, in which time your eyes slowly got used to the psycadelic carpet and the smell of moth balls. When you reached the top you arrived at an incredible set of super porn star doors which were zebra print laminate with sliver horn handles. Appropriate for two lesbians in their 50s I thought. But when you entered, the flat was enormous, white, minimalist and designed to within an inch of its life, ie not a door handle to be seen. The balcony was equally as modest and was only half the size of the entire flat, disappointing I know.
We had a nice time here but after reading the “warning”/welcome note, which specified such things as “don’t touch any of our clothes, drink our vintage wine, or have any parties of any sort whatsoever” we were pretty on edge and Ollie spent his entire time sitting on his hands for fear of breaking one of their many ‘ancient’ statues, or trinkets.
Anyway we had a lovely first week there but unfortunately george (ollies grandpa) was taken ill and ginny and louise had to cut their holiday short by 3 weeks and return to Sydney which meant we had to vacate the premisies rather swiftly.
So now here we are, staying in a rather lavish retirement village courtesy of George.
We have no tv or internet, and the radio only picks up cricket so I feel I have something in common with the other residents and find myself having, what my mother would call ‘senior moments’ more and more. Slightly worrying I know!
I only have one more week here as I fly up to Byron Bay next Saturday, but I am trying not to think too much about the fact that I have to leave my boy here for another 6 weeks.
He is working 3 days a week now in an antiques shop in Queens Street, which is incredibly quaint and full of antiques and art dealers. I think he is enjoying learning about antiques from the guys he works with, and the various experts who come in from day to day, and has made friends with an artist whos paintings are sold in the shop too.
I have just finished a 10 day nannying job over in North Bondi. For a little girl called Leila (2yr 7mnths) im not going to talk too much about it as it was pretty standard really lots of going to play on the beach and in the park etc. It was good fun, tho I was pretty tired after 10 days as the travelling too and from their house was frustrating and long!
We have managed to get about a fair bit since we arrived nearly 2 months ago, we have: seen several art exhibitions, been to a gig, the opening night of Sydney festival, jazz in the park, theatre in the park, sun baked and swam at 4 or 5 different beaches, visited Toronga Zoo, been in the local paper, dyed my hair brunette (incase you hadn’t heard!) both got jobs, and moved 5 times!
So now I am trying to enjoy my last week in Sydney before I start my yoga course next Monday.

Hope you are all well, please let me know what you are up to as we are missing home.
Lots of love
Sally and Ollie.