The story so far

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Leaving England

After my work leaving party on the Thursday, I decided to have a lie-in. I asked for a late checkout from the Hilton, but true to form, other things came up which meant I did not truly relax. I got a call from my friend Gary at 10.00 saying he was coming to see me at 10.30. Great! Although I wanted to see him, my plans of relaxation would have to be put on hold. Gary only stayed half an hour, we went for a walk in the Newbury sunshine and looked at cars on the A34, the source of the famous Newbury Bypass dispute. Some people will know about it, this guy called "Swampy" climbed up a tree with matted hair and an army surplus jacket and refused to get down saying that it would ruin the natural countryside around Newbury. Swampy had a point, you can hear the roar of the A34 in some of the most beautiful and otherwise quiet patches of woodland on the north side of Newbury and it ruins the peace. I don't think iPods had been invented back then though because once plugged in, the place takes on an even more atmospheric quality, depending on the track you are listening to at the time. I suspect Birdwatchers would disagree, they normally do, but I can handle it.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Leaving today

Just a very quick post to say we are leaving today.  We'll be arriving in Thailand tomorrow and flying into Sydney for the 5th November.  We may be out of touch for a little while....but we'll be back.  Soon.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Leaving Work

I'm due to jump on a plane in 24 hours and may not have Internet access for a while, so I decided to rush this article out. I may try and tidy it up a bit later and add more details. If anyone there thinks I've missed anything worthy of inclusion, please post a comment.

I have given up trying to post photos as I'm in transit and my iPhone keeps crashing. Take a look at my facebook page where I've uploaded a number of commented photos.

A while ago, someone at work asked me if I was having leaving drinks. Anyone who has read my article on saying goodbye will understand why this thought did not fill me full of excitement. I'm not that keen on being centre of attention, I don't like fuss and having to go to the expense and effort of organising something really didn't appeal.

Friday, 23 October 2009

A Poem from my mum

My mum has just read my blog for the first time and she asked me to post this:

It was about time I let the world know where Nick's poetic tendancies come.  I present: An Ode to a New Austalian.

Zoe Olivia Wiltshire, whose initials have always been ZOW
Informed me today of a change she is making to take effect from now
She wants to reverse her forenames which got me to thinking, "is this because
this transmogrification is a reaffirmation of her emigration to OZ?"

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Technology and gadgets

I'm a bit of gadget freak and going to Austalia gives me the excuse to research and trial all sorts of new gadgets.  What I'm planning to do is keep this article up to date each time I find something new.  Like how does my Xbox work in Australia?  I need a new TV, what will I do?  I'm sure the suspense is killing anyone reading this!

Wireless Digital Photo Frames

If you are going to be travelling or spending time away from loved ones and have an internet camera phone or a camera and PC, you could provide a feed of photos direct to a frame in their living room.  If this interests, read on.

A poem about Australia

I've had a real hard time getting a post out this week. I've just finished my job and had to work quite hard on my last week getting things done and saying goodbye to people in the evening. Since then, I've been running around, socialising and trying to orgainse 101 things which need organising before you move to another country halfway around the world. I am absolutely exhausted and don't know how I am going to be fit for my leaving party in Newbury in 48 hours.

OK, so the poem won and this has been part of this issue. Writing a poem is more difficult than it seems. When you are trying to say something, the less words you use, the harder it is.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Hatred. A Practice Poem

I read up a bit on poetry and learned a couple of things.  Firstly, it doesn't have to rhyme and even could be viewed more highly if it does not rhyme.  Secondly, poetry is often most moving when written in a state of heightened emotion.

I wondered about this.  A lot of poetry is written by men in frilly cuffs and curly wigs and delivered up to ivy clad balconies or in clearings in the woods.

What I mean is that a lot of poetry is driven by love, or more likely lust and you have to be a bit airy-fairy to write it.  I wasn't keen to get into that.

I did remember reading some poetry by soldiers in the trenches in the first world war.  This poetry, fuelled by fear, was really good stuff.  Clearly situations like this are to be avoided, but it's interesting to note that fear could probably inspire even better poetry than love.

I don't love Australia, I don't hate Australia and I'm not too scared of it either.  Maybe writing a decent poem about it would be difficult?

Then, at lunchtime today, I learned something that made me angry.  I don't mean angry, I mean totally irate, furious and fairly confrontational.  After I had calmed down sufficiently to reach the conclusion that violence was not the answer, despite its initial appeal, I decided that it might be a good way to start me writing poetry. I thought I'd write a poem about it.  This would be a warm up for my Australia poem and would be slightly more challenging because due to the sensitive nature of the incident, I cant really reveal any details.

One thing I can reveal is that this is not about Hannah!


My thoughts are focussed by anger, they pierce the fog of my life.
Why did she do it, the destruction inflicted, she's evil, she's nasty, vindictive, insane.
To me she was nothing, but now there is something, a reason to see her once more.
I wasn't her target but still took the pain, my hatred is burning, my fury aflame.
Her lies were effective, flawless in fact, but what was it that drove her to this?
What pleasure is found from causing this hurt, when all I can see is her shame?
My logical mind will not find an answer.  This much I know as I struggle to sleep
What motivates her is foreign to me, perhaps not so much as I imagine her weep.
But really I think, she is driven by greed.  One man for the money, one for her need.
She's a user, a leach, she's the worst kind of scum. That's why I don't get the things that she's done
But one thing I'm sure of, what motivates me, can not be the hatred that she'd like to see.
As sleep starts to win, my thoughts turn to pity.  She's nothing, she's failed, her life: it is shitty.
She may think she's won but she hasn't I see.  She's taken from us, but she's lost more than me.
We still have each other, our family and friends, but love is something which she just pretends.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Saying Goodbye

To be honest, I was not expecting this to win the vote. I thought I’d be able to write about saying goodbye once we had said goodbye to everyone. I am grateful though that I didn’t have to write a poem. I’m not sure why I put that option in really.
Of course, I already have some things to say on the subject and I can always add to this later when we are on the plane, crying tears of sadness. I probably will cry, but in private and I will enjoy it.

Anyway, what I initially had in mind is a description of our friends, probably with something about what they mean to us and what we will miss about them. This will come with plenty of photos. That won’t be interesting to most, but will be a good way for us to remember the people important to us.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Shankar Presents......

Shankar is a colleague at Detica and a friend. The most notable thing about Shankar is his cultural appreciation and his love of the finer things in life.

Since Shankar is an avid reader, I asked him to provide me with a list of his favourite books which I could read as I take it easy on the way to Australia. Shankar did such a good job of this, I have decided to make a feature of it and have asked Shankar to present his ideas on good food, music, places to visit and anything else he feels able to share.