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2006-10-05 - 1:05 p.m.

It's been a while but I'm back, loyal readers. My 6 weeks away has been faithfully chronicled in my pen-and-paper diary (I'm quite excited that I'm almost at the end of an exercise book after 6 years- I used to go through 1 each year) but I will no doubt still include a few details in here. I last wrote at the end of my first week in the US- some of the highlights of the next 3.5 weeks included hiring a car and driving down the coast road (while staying in Santa Cruz for the US labor day long weekend, discovering more of San Francisco on foot as I like to do, hanging out on occasion with Jane's work friends and getting a feel for what it would be like living over there and having a fledgling social network and eating at plenty of nice restaurants.

In hindsight there's a not a lot to write about (having written about it already), but the whole month in the US was about spending time with Jane, and that I did. It's kinda surreal- while I was over there it was like we never spent 6 months apart, and now that I'm back here I'm quickly getting used to what it was like (for better or for worse). In some ways this next stint apart- while only half as long- will be more difficult because we don't have the new challenges to face that we did back in March- me in my supervisor role and Jane establishing herself in a new job in a new country. Instead we're going back to some sort of Status Quo, only we've had a taste of what it would be like with me over there. Still, there's only 80 days until we see each other again. I only wrote that so you'd all screw up your faces, or let out a collective "awwww", depending on whether you're a cynic or a romantic.

Vanuatu was fantastic. I felt completely wrecked when we arrived, after a 13 hour plane flight from SF saw us touch down in Sydney at 6am, only to have to wait until close to 11am for our 3.5 hour flight to Vanuatu- and I was initially a little disappointed with our resort, but after a good night's sleep I wore my rose coloured glasses for the rest of the week and had a great time. It's so nice to wake up naturally by 9am and not feel like you need another 3 hours sleep (although on the flipside there weren't that many late nights). I don't know what else to write about it- the wedding was really nice, pretty much everything they had imagined in their 4 year engagement (not to mention the 5 years they were together before that), and my other highlight was snorkelling in crystal clear (well, almost) waters and seeing amazing marine life that I'd never seen outside of say, the Finding Nemo feature at Disneyworld.

And then within 2 hours of touching down in Sydney we were at the Townie with over 20 people who had come to catch up with Jane for one night only. As one friend said, it was almost a crowd you'd only expect at a wedding. My parents and my sister were there, Jane's dad and brothers (her Mum didn't come but she actually flew back with her for a 10 day visit), about 5 or 6 people that used to work with Jane, Meegs, Cindy, Steve, Meaghan, Alex, Mark&Phoebe, Jules&Dan- it was very impressive. Also the Townie Bistro is good again. A handful of people ended up at our place because even when the next day is a public holiday the archaic Sunday trading laws apply.

Then the next morning we had time for Yum Cha, a bit of a relax around the house, and then it was goodbye for another 3 months.

So the other news is that I'm finally getting someone to move into the spare room. That someone being Steve, who has already shared with me for 8 months (and Ellie for half of that) 5 years ago, so I'm pretty confident that it will be entirely okay living together. It's pretty much a six month arrangement- after that time he wants to be back closer to his Soccer Club which he lives and breathes from March to August, and by then hopefully I might be close to moving over to the US, which means I'll be packing this place up and renting it out in full (hopefully to Mark and Phoebe without the use of a real estate agent).

Anyway, that's about all I have for now. I'm still on holidays for a day and a half, but come 6am Saturday morning it's back to the grind.


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