Having just watched Sarah Jane Adventures (and had a big squee during the bus crash scene - that's the one Danny showed us on his digital camera!!! DannySqueeeeee!) and now waiting for Wind in the Willows to come on (MarkSqueeee! Twice in 2 days!!!) I decided to fill in the time but posting some random points about 2006. I apologise in advance, but I'm a sucker for nostalgia.
It started off pretty lame, to be honest. Work at the Woolpack dried up so I was left with no job and no money, and with my mother nagging me constantly to get a job, which was easier said and done seeing as I was only available to work until the end of January. This was also the month during which I had to swallow my pride and be a bridesmaid - NEVER again!!!!
This all changed in February when I did the most insane and amazing thing I've ever, ever done and took a flight to Sydney on my own with no savings, no job sorted and nowhere to stay. Spent a good deal of Feb being slightly depressed about the whole thing but at the same time discovering that wonderful country they call 'Oz'. By March I'd got a job sorted, albeit not a particularly well-paying one, and various desperate emails to my parents ensued, mainly along the lines of 'HELP!!! Got no money!!!'. Luckily they came through again and again and bailed me out until I managed to get a job in a warehouse, sweeping up cockroaches and packing clothes in the Aussie summer heat. Niiiiice. Still, you have to make the most of these things and generally, it wasn't that bad. And I finally had money. April consisted of work, work and more work and although it got a tad boring sometimes, I finally felt like I knew what I was doing and why I'd come to Australia in the first place. Aaaaan relax.
The 3 months I spent in Sydney started off shaky enough but by the time it came to leave in May I missed it sorely. The hostel I stayed in was awesome and I met some great, great friends there and found the best roomie anyone could hope for in Chris - he was a godsend! We bonded over rugby and spent many a night boozing it up at the cheap cocktail bar down the road. Sweet.
May was spent largely travelling across the huge country by way of Greyhound Bus. 48-hour coach journeys, stopping off in random outback towns, not seeing sight of a bed for days, and arriving in Adelaide and Melbourne at stupid times in the morning with nothing but my backpack for company was certainly an interesting way to spend the month, and I wouldn't give up the experience for anything - it's what backpacking is all about. The 3 days I spent camping in the outback and hiking round Ayers Rock, the Olgas and Kings Canyon, then drinking wine (ewww) round the campfire, staring up at the stars and being able to see the milky way aren't exactly going to be forgotten easily.
June and July, the winter months in Aus, were a little shaky as after my month of travels I was back to having no money again so had to resort to fruit picking in a town called Bundaberg, in Queensland. Fruit picking can only really be understood once you've got up at 5am in the freezing cold, only to spend all day in a boiling hot field, picking tomatoes and being shouted at by some twat with a superiority complex. Rotten tomatoes, torrential rain, domestic disputes between the supervisors - nothing came between us and our fruit picking. June was one of the most stressful months I've ever had, but I guess you need those to appreciate the good times!
July I travelled again, back down the east coast via Byron Bay and Nimbin, but not before I'd managed to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, do a scooter tour and watch kangaroos as the sunset, and fit in some whale watching. Completely awesome. When I arrived back in Sydney, it was like coming home and quite a few of my old friends were still there so I managed to fit right back in. That last month was mainly spent chilling, working a bit at that same old warehouse (except this time it was freezing!) and seeing as much of Sydney as I could before I left.
So then I arrived back in the UK in August, and spent most of the summer depressed. When you've come from living in a hostel, with no privacy, surrounded by people, with the most amazing sights and experiences on your doorstep, to come back to Chichester where the weather is gloomy despite it being the height of summer, with everyone either at work or on holiday, then it's one hell of a let down. I must say I was pretty miserable that summer and spent most of it looking forward to uni in the autumn.
When uni came around, it certainly wasn't a let down. My main aims for the first term were to have fun, meet some new and interesting people, create my own little space, and meet David Tennant. I think I achieved pretty much all of that within the first month. And then of course I met The Scoobies, and together we've had the craziest couple of months I could've hoped for! The first half of my year was full of new and amazing experiences - so was the last 3 months. It may sound more mundane but it was totally awesome and I've met some great people.
So here's to 2007 and the continuation of the Scoobies doing stupid things and being stupidly happy because of them! And here's to David for bringing us all together, even if he doesn't know it! And here's to all the Scoobies, and honourary Scoobies, for being a pretty awesome bunch of people (yes I know, I am overusing that word, but it seems appropriate). Oh and here's to me for doing the bravest and stupidest thing I've ever done by backpacking round Australia, alone, at the age of 19. Oh yes. No retrospective is complete without a bit of self-congratulation.
And now I'm missing the Wind in the Willows, so here be the end!