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2003-05-23 - 8:20 p.m.

This may be my last entry for a few weeks. Starting tomorrow I'm housesitting for my cousin (well, one of those "known them all your life so they might as well be") in Strathfield for 3 weeks. No internet or cable TV- although the last one wont bother me much. Still, if it gets quiet at work I could always sneak an entry, but probably not. More likely I'll be dropping by at home semi-regularly.

There's a few things that will come out of the next three weeks. I guess the main one is that it's like a trial run of what Jane and I would be like living together, as she will be there with me. That doesn't mean it's even on the horizon mind you, just that this opportunity is there for 3 weeks, and it will be interesting. There's no need to wonder if it would work, what it means to our relationship or anything like that, it's 3 weeks and then back to where we are now. As such neither of have any reservations and are really looking forward to it- it'll be nice.

Plus we're catsitting as well. They have a gorgeous smoky grey kitten that's only a couple of months old, as well as a big (considering it too is less than a year old) black cat. Jane is loving this having pets thing- she's never had one in her life and in the last month her flatmate got a dog and now she'll have cats for 3 weeks.

I'm hoping I might do a bit of pen-and-paper diary writing and some reading when I'm home by myself with less than my usual creature comforts (say when my days off fall in the middle of the week and Jane's at work), but I'm not going to put too much importance on it or I'll get really annoyed at myself when I don't do it. I also (and this one I *must* do) have to put my car in and get the air conditioning fixed (it's actually more of an issue in winter I find what with foggy windscreens and rainy weather stopping you from winding the window down) and stop the boot from trying to kill me, while I have my cousin's car to drive.

The other thing that's going to be interesting is how I cope with the extra travel time on my 6am starts. That's one of the main reasons I wanted to do this, to see if I could cope with living further away from work while I'm working shifts, as I would seriously consider living in the inner west for a while if I move out of home. And that's the other point- if the contrast between my 3 weeks away and having to come back to the family significantly favours the former then I have to do some serious thinking about when I'm going to make that move again (for anyone reading this who doesn't know I lived out of home, albeit only in the next suburb, for a year but moved back just over a year ago). At the moment the logical time would be after I get back from my proposed two month holiday in March-April next year, but I can afford to move out before then and still have my holiday- hell, I'd get a loan if I had to.

I haven't really talked about my travel plans yet come to think of it, apart from some vague desires to travel the world.

My friend Meaghan won a trip to The Bahamas and The States for four people. Well, not so much the trip itself, in that you still have to pay for airfare, but accommodation, 4 days in Disneyworld, and a bunch of other things included. So I immediately put my hand up and said I was willing to pay for airfare if she wanted to take me along. I don't think too many of her friends could afford the airfare, and I've been confirmed as one of the four.

Jane can't afford to go, and has already been on two big trips and wants to start saving for an apartment, but (apart from being insanely jealous of the travelling bit) is completely okay with it, and has always encouraged me to do it. I wonder if I'd be as okay with her travelling for 3 weeks with a single male friend and a couple.

Truth be told I'd love to travel with Jane, as much as Jane warns me that travel is the ultimate way to test a relationship, platonic or otherwise. I'm going to miss having her at really silly times like when I'm trying to get to sleep on the plane and thinking if I had her there we'd be all cuddled up together and not so concerned if we couldn't sleep. And on the flipside (it might sound bad but I'm trying to be as honest as possible), I'm sure that at times I'll get tinges of regret that I'm not living it up as a single, but believe me that won't be an issue, just my typical "I should have done this at a different time" mentality.

Enough tangents, let me tell you more about the travel plans themselves. The bit with Meaghan (which I'll go into in a minute) is for about 3 weeks, and the plan for them is to fly into the States, get a multiple-domestic ticket and go to a bunch of places (the prize covers quite a few different places) then fly home, but I want to get a round the world ticket and keep going from the States to London. Meaghan's vague plan was to fly into New York, then fly to Vegas, Miami, cruise to the Bahamas and then go home via Hawaii. However I do have a say in the plans, and I'm going to suggest flying out of New York if that's okay with the rest of them, because that will work a lot better for the rest of my trip.

I will still get the multiple-domestic ticket with them, rather than put those flights on my round the world ticket, but then I will fly from New York to London. From there I have limitless options which I have nine months to think about. One of my close friends from Uni, Tara, and her boyfriend are going to be living in London at the time- and I definitely want to spend a bit of time with them, just hanging out rather than being the complete tourist. One option would be to base myself in London for the rest of my trip (without outstaying my welcome with Tara- I could even do the hostel thing for a bit), but take trips to Northern England, Paris and Amsterdam (I so want to go to Liverpool and be the tragic Beatles pilgrim). Another would be to go to London, Northern England, Paris and Amsterdam via London and then onto say Rome and maybe an Asian city or two (I have relatives in Singapore but there are many many places I'd rather go) since I will have a round the world ticket. Plus there's the option of an Ireland tour from London. Jane loved Dublin, and the rest of Ireland, as did my Dad. Dad spent about 10 days there, Jane a month, including over a week in Dublin. But that doesn't mean it will be my thing.

Too many choices, but I have a Lonely Planet guide to Western Europe. I'm rambling so I'm just going to quickly summarise the prize part. 4 days in Orlando/ Disneyworld (not something I would do if it wasn't all organised and free ans stuff), the Bahamas, Vegas or Atlantic City, and I think one more place out of Hawaii, Memphis, The Rockies or Mexico. It'll definitely be Hawaii or Mexico.

It's all very exciting. I was just saying to Cindy I've been up and down a lot this week... talking about travel definitely lifts me :)

If you don't hear from me for a few weeks, wish me luck in pseudo-domestica. Or something. Did I just make up a word?


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