On my first morning in Oz I woke up at 6am following a fitful but exhaustive sleep, head clogged with Jetlag.
I contemplated closing my eyes again, before concluding that getting up was probably the quickest way to bring my brain back to functionality. So I wandered around the house in the quietness of early morning before trailing to the beach in my running gear.
I know it’s not the first thought most people would have, but it is what it is.
Well, after 4 years it’s finally happening – we’re going to Oz for Christmas.
Although I can’t say I absolutely hate the warm coziness of being inside on Christmas Day while the weather outside freezes the landscape white – somehow it seems much more like the movies – but damn I’m looking forward to going back to the Aussie traditions of a Christmas morning swim, and it being too hot to roast inside. Better do it on the Barbie!
I was at a wedding recently talking to an American who had moved to the UK and actually had to retake his driving test before he was allowed to drive there. And it got me thinking. Because in Austria, I was allowed to drive, on the wrong side of the road, in foreign language, with different road rules, immediately – no lessons or tests required!
The driving rules between Austria and Australia are similar in many way – ignoring the whole ‘driving on the other side of the road’ of course. Still, Austria has some quite interesting quirks when it comes to road rules and the way to drive.
Nine months on from excruciating back pain, life has much improved. I can run for 40 minutes – 40 minutes. I live day to day with only a mild discomfort or misstep reminding me that I still have an issue. I underwent no surgery. I am one of the lucky ones.
But when the pain bites it’s not always easy to remember the positives. Sometimes it comes crashing down again: the frustration of having to wait for my husband to retrieve something from a high shelf, standing around while others carry heavy items, annoyance that I can’t sleep on my stomach.
When friends from home visit they invariably bring Aussie food with them – I’ve got a great stash of the important things – Tim Tams, BBQ Shapes, Cadbury chocolate, the list goes on! And to start with, when I got a new batch of deliveries I would I proudly present it to my Austrian friends or work colleagues with a flourish… but their subsequent delight wasn’t always what I was hoping for.