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2004-05-31 - 7:26 p.m.

I might take this opportunity to update what I've been doing with myself essentially in the month since I got back from abroad. I mean I've written things here and there but I like this diary, or any diary to have some sort of continuity to it. For example while there might be one or two things I still want to write about overseas, they are neat little thought packages and if I wrote them in six months time I've already got the timeline written to link it back to. On the other hand most of what I've written since I got back has been little snippets that are in need of something to fit into.

I got back in at about 8am on a Thursday morning, and Jane was there to meet me. I came home a day earlier than originally planned- Jane had taken Friday off work but I thought she'd have to go in on Thursday after meeting me, which wouldn't be a big deal since I'd probably unpack and sleep and then we'd have a whole day together the next day. But she just laughed and said "as if I'm going to work."

The thing I remember most about that first- embrace in the airport after 6 weeks was how soft her cheek was against mine- meh you all already think I'm a hopeless romantic or too sickenly cute so whatever :P

So Thursday and Friday we made up for lost time, and we dropped around to my parents' place on the Saturday night. Then Sunday 6am it was back to work.

Work is good at the moment. Apart from feeling recognised for my performance, I'm in a really good team, both functionally and socially I guess. Previously there was a guy on my team who I consider a friend but is really really bad to work with, and that makes things difficult. Our performance as a team was suffering, and in particular our perception amongst other teams. Now functionally we're probably the strongest of the three shift teams, and we get along really well and work independently but by the same token I don't feel weird asking them to do things as a supervisor, despite them being peers.

And I don't feel static, partly because these sort of changes can almost make doing the same work as you have been for years seem like a new job each time- but also because I know there is opportunity for movement on the horizon. I don't know where I stand in the pecking order but there will be an assignment in planning when one of the planners goes on maternity leave, which would be ideal in terms of getting some experience in a different area, as well as idea of whether it might be something I want to move into, while still having my cushy job to come back to. It would also be very different to what I'm currently doing. I'd have to buy work clothes for the first time in my life- trousers, business shirts, an ironing board! It would be Monday to Friday, almost normal person hours (7.30am-4pm)- I'm not getting my hopes up too much but I'm definitely going to give it a go. On the flipside if I do it, I'm going to be shitting myself. It will be the most responsibility I've ever had- I could regular cost the company thousands if I don't do my job well, and it would be also the most independent I've ever had to work. But more of that when the opportunity draws nearer- for now I've set eyes on the horizon.

The first weekend after I got back (or second I guess) was a busy one. After my last night shift I drove into Balmain to meet Jane and her friends, Saturday we had drinks with on of Jane's friends on the North Shore, and on Sunday (Mothers' Day) we did the family thing in two of the furthest apart places you could think of and still be in Sydney (Richmond and Sutherland for anyone who might know). The Monday I caught up with Cindy and showed her my photos and made her insanely jealous :)

After another cycle at work I had three days off all to myself in the middle of the week (well, the beginning of the week but the point being they were all weekdays), which I used to clean the house in preparation for the party I was having in the middle of a work cycle that I would have no further time to prepare for.

The party went really well. There were some interesting groups of people, some of whom I hadn't seen for a while. God, if you had told me when I was writing my first ever entry in here (which for all I knew could have ended up being my last) that less than two years down the track I would be emulating the feats of that *other* internet community I was a part of, I don't know if I would have laughed or cried. But it's brought me closer to a friend that I've always felt some sort of connection with yet rarely see, and it brought four almost strangers (when you throw me into the equation) together on my kitchen floor, and I'm not feeling a tragic sense of deja vu. I'm looking forward to my- well I guest newest friend (awwww) moving up here because I think she'll be cool to hang out with, and then all that's left is to convince that Brisbane girl and her boy that Sydney is the place to be :P

I love meeting people. Apart from the delightful Ophelia (who brought me a plant which was lovely, even if it was missing a few leaves and was meant to be a bottle of wine), I met this really cool English couple, one of who works with Jane, and impressed the guy- who was the most stereotypical British Indie Boy you could imagine- with my extensive CD collection :) Jane made another ridiculously alcoholic punch (which by the end of the night had her trying to transfer the leftovers from a gigantic punch bowl to a narrow water jug and getting most of it on the table), we had no noise complaints and I was very good about Jane's now customary drunken cigarette.

No stupid fights at the end of the night. Although we've probably had at least one since I got back- it's a common theory that you need to have a few decent arguments to sustain a healthy relationship, and I haven't decided if I'm sold on that one yet or not.

That's brought me virtually up to date. There was a gig I wanted to mention (basically how cool it was to discover a really cool and little known band) but I need to cook. Mmmm, gingery duck with orange salad. I've never cooked duck before but it's probably my favourite meat. Fingers crossed I do it justice.


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