Expat update: Month 10

February in the UK is usually my most hated month. It’s still so cold, and it has been for what seems like forever, there are no fun holidays to brighten things up, and everyone is still poor after Christmas. So it’s been a breath of fresh air (literally) to be somewhere warm for a February, and I have to say it’s made all the difference. It’s been a fun month – here’s what’s happened.

The Good

Visiting the Sunshine Coast ¦¦ We were able to take a long weekend break to the Sunshine Coast and it was just the ticket. We had a cute AirBnB with our own pool (what luxury!) and we spent the time exploring the area as much as possible, oh and feeding and patting echidnas.

What?

More on that another day but yes it was everything.

In other news, I also tried out some new sunglasses that my husband told me looked too trendy for me but my Instagram poll returned 100% yaaaas *hairflip* result.

If Instagram says it’s cool, I think that’s fairly definitive. Although it’s moot anyway because when we got back from holiday I put them through the washing machine by accident and now the arms have gone all floppy.

Oops.

Being out and about ¦¦ I have a new project and it involves leaving the house! I am really very happy about this. It’s just nice to be seeing strangers on a regular basis. It’s not like I go and talk to them, before you think I’m actually outgoing or something. The new project is surprisingly good so far – I wasn’t particularly happy to be assigned to it if I’m completely honest, as it sounded a bit of a nightmare client and I’m working in a different capacity to my usual. However, everyone there has been super friendly and nice, the nightmare has not yet hit (although I have no doubt it will one day, so I’m enjoying every day until then!) and the commute is so short it’s actually quite pleasant.

Note: not where I work. This is the beautiful Peregian Beach, Sunshine Coast

Networking ¦¦ I realised that if I had no problems whatsoever with emailing fellow bloggers and seeing if they’d like to meet in person, why should I have a problem with doing it to potential professional contacts? So I’ve been messaging a few people in my industry, most who I had a prior introduction to, and everyone has been very friendly and open to meeting. I have had one breakfast meeting already and it went so well. People are nice, aren’t they?

Chinese New Year ¦¦ I haven’t really celebrated the lunar New Year before, but there were quite a few celebrations on in Sydney. We went to check out some happenings down at Circular Quay and it was fun to be inamongst all the celebrations. I love how multicultural this city is! Here’s a mahjong ox looking out over the harbour:

I took this next to one of the ox’s legs, because I saw a lot of Chinese people doing the same.

Apparently the symbol means good luck of getting wealth, according to my Chinese friend. I’ll take it!

We also saw an extremely arty aerial acrobatics/dance/interpretive art show as part of the celebrations. It was far too conceptual for me and completely went over my head, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. You may have caught some of it in my Instastories – any idea what was going on there?

The Bad

My first Twang ¦¦ It’s happened. I had my first Aussie Twang. I was on FaceTime with my bestie Emma and apparently I said the word corner in real Australian. I’m now taking extra care to sound super British and am feeling suddenly very conscious of how I talk. I suppose it’s inevitable to pick up some of the accent of where you live, and I’ve made it this far, but I think it’s all downhill from here. Next time you see me I’ll be calling things ‘bonzer’ and referring to you as ‘mate’. I might even start sentences with ‘Look, …’. You have been warned.

It got quite hot ¦¦ We’ve had a few spells of very hot weather – we got up to 43°C one day, which is almost 110°F. Here is me experiencing the walk back from work in 38°C, which was unpleasant. Can eyeballs sweat?

Joking aside, it hasn’t actually been too bad. We’ve been very glad of our air conditioning on only a handful of days, and I have survived pretty well so far. February is known as the month of high humidity, which added to the heat we get through December and January can get quite unpleasant. But I’ve survived so far so I have the best of hopes for March, when things should start to cool down a little bit anyway.

The Ugly

In case you’re new around here, I’m sharing The Ugly side of things via email so I can be more honest on things that I’d rather not splash up here for all to see.

So if you want to know The Ugly, just put your email address in the box and I’ll add you to the list. You’ll get mail from me a few days after you see this post, just to give everyone a chance to sign up who wants to.

What’s your favourite month of the year? Did you have any Chinese New Year celebrations near you?

Rachel

See previous months’ updates here