Saturday, 29 November 2008

Welcome Home

Sometimes in a quiet moment at work I daydreamed about how I would react should I get that 'the work permit is yours' e mail. Of all the scenarios I invented, there was not one where I get the news in my red fluffy pyjamas with a 39 degree fever and a jackhammer in my head. But you can't plan these things. And that is how it happened. And maybe I was too sick to do a little solo (no one is watching) dance in my teeny bedroom, but I smiled to myself for a little bit. And then exhaled properly for the first time in weeks.

So the champagne remains unopened, but it is in the fridge. Until I'm fully recovered. And I can now start working through my list of things I had put off until my work permit came through. Membership to the Tate. A subscription to Vanity Fair. Book another trip to New York. Get on with my life.

The relief is almost indescribable. Sometimes I just sit back and let it wash over me.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

London Limbo

My fate currently rests in the hands of a seemingly nameless, faceless Home Office employee.

In two weeks time I should know whether I can stay in this country I now call home; continue working at the place where I finally actually get a little bit of respect and responsibility; and keep my lovely house with my even lovelier housemates.

I don't want to think about the alternative. Maybe because I haven't thought of one yet. The idea makes me feel a bit sick really..

Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Democratic Right

Nine years ago I cast my first vote in a general election. I can remember the day so vividly, even still. On a sunny Saturday morning, myself and my friend Janine took a stroll down to the Aro Street polling booth after having decorated our flat with stolen election advertising the previous night.

Mine was one of the votes to bring in Helen Clark and the Labour Party who would reign in New Zealand until today.

This week I cast my fourth vote in a New Zealand election. By fax. Much to the amusement of my colleagues.

And as I lay in bed this morning, with Radio New Zealand streaming live to my duvet, I followed the fall of that party and leader I helped elect all those years ago.

Earlier on this week I woke to a text message at 4am telling me history had been made. The headline on the Metro one day later said it all. 'The day America became a little cool again'. It was a happy day in the office that Wednesday.

And two days ago a nice lady stopped by my house to inform me that I am eligible to vote in this country's general elections too.

How nice. Women can't even vote in Saudi Arabia and I get to vote in two countries.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Where has the time gone..

If someone had asked me 20 years ago, what I would be doing on the 3rd of November, 2008, I can't think what I would have said.

But 15 years ago, I'm pretty sure I would have said I would be a star of the stage.

10 years ago I would have been a touch more realistic and would have said working for the United Nations as an environmental development officer in Sri Lanka.

Five years ago I would have said I would be now working in my first international posting for the New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade. Maybe somewhere in South America.

One year ago I would have said I would have just started my intensive Japanese language studies for my Masters research.

And here I am. The third day into November - 2008 and I'm sitting by myself in a crappy 1980's office building, waiting for an engineer to come out to fix the alarm system at 7pm on a Monday night. Not only is it dark outside, but it is raining. And I'm meant to be sitting in a Covent Garden theatre right now watching a play.

I can't see much light on this dark Monday night.