Monthly Archives: July 2012

I’ll help you carry on

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

This is the song I have been singing to Kate all week as she has been getting overwhelmed with the sheer amount of things to sort out before our trip. I’ve done my best to calm her down, pack her up and move her out and we are now at a more peaceful place in our journey. Certain things we have learned:

1. Make lists, then make another one, and then make another and then put it on a calendar.
We all sat down (me, Kate, Chris and Ted) and contributed to a giant list. Chris being Chris, he tried to stop the creative flow at point 5 but we persevered and got to a more realistic 25 points! From that we made another list which linked related tasks and prioritised our items and THEN we drew out a calendar for the next three weeks and put the tasks in. This would have been a great idea until we saw that most of the tasks had to be done in the first 5 days! Cue Kate-faint number 1! We then colour coded responsibility for each item (I had important contributions like ‘be blue’ and ‘sit still doing nothing’) and we were off. I have to say, lying in bed sitting here at the other end of the mammoth week, it did work well.

2. It takes longer than you think to clean a 1 bed flat and we have been living in filth without realising
So far, the time tally is racking up on the cleaning front. Kate has spent the about equivalent of 2 days cleaning and scrubbing and bleaching. We have also realised that if you have to clean this much to move out, why weren’t we cleaning this much while we were actually living there?! I’m not going to highlight this fact anymore – I’m not a big one for cleaning as the bleach makes my wings wrinkly.

3. Looking forward doesn’t stop you looking back
I think it goes without saying that we’re all very excited about our trip. Especially now we’re packed and more on our way. However, I think we’ve also learned that no matter how excited we might be, it doesn’t stop the feeling of sadness that something special has come to an end. I know Kate feels like that about her job and it has tinged this part of our trip with a bit of sadness. However, lovely quote is helping us to move on –

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. ~Jan Glidewell

So we may keep glancing back, but eyes (and wings!) now turned to the present.

So, many useful things learnt over the last few weeks, which we will hopefully use over the next year with our strange lives. I’ll need a new skin at this rate! Get knitting granny!


Categories: Duck's soapbox, Vancouver, Working holiday | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Not just for humans


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Mr Creosote comes to China Palace

The difference between ‘eat all you like’ and ‘all you can eat’ may only be one word but the meaning is so much deeper. Case in point, watching Chris work his way through a menu in a Chinese restaurant, ‘sampling’ (polishing off!) most of the menu. His mentality was different even to the above definitions – he was going for ‘eat as much as you can’ which, on witnessing it, I can say was a hugely disgusting task. As he threw another piece of crispy shredded beef into his waiting mouth and half chewed it, even the staff were beginning to notice his perseverance. The waitress tried to take it away before it was finished for his own good and almost had her arm bitten off too. He spooned in some special fried rice straight from the bowl, bypassing the plate, lazily dabbing at flecks of an unrecognisable sauce that had splattered his face Pollock style. He looked tortured as he finished off the special rice and turned to face the egg fried rice leftovers, upending the bowl into his plate with some style and effort. By now, he was eating with his fingers, face close to the plate so it was less effort to make the long journey to his half-open mouth. Hair covered in bits of rice, he finished off the last of the beef with a sigh of accomplishment, not satisfaction. It was more about the challenge than satiating any hunger, that had long passed. He proceeded to ask for a tap water three times and finished his long meal by chomping on the ice and massaging his swollen digestive system while moaning quietly.

But it’s ok because he didn’t have any crispy duck pancakes.


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