A reflection on One Day by David Nicholls

29.11.2014

A huge Anne Hathaway fan myself, I had to watch One Day when I first discovered it. A heartfelt film following the lives two friends over a period of 20 years with their various ups and downs, it was a film that had me laughing and crying at the end. When I started reading the book a week ago, I was worried that I would be disappointed, having set high expectations of it. But after staying up last night finishing the last chapter with the flashlight on my phone illuminating my book, I can safely say it was just as good, if not better than the movie.

15th July 1988 is a date that seems so ordinary to many of us, or for people like me who were not born yet it means nothing at all. Yet for Emma Morely and Dexter Mayhew, each St Swithin’s Day marks the anniversary of their first meeting on the eve of their graduation and the night they spent together. The years that follow mark their lives on this day, their romances and showmances, and while sometimes they are together and sometimes they are apart they are always thinking of each other.

After 20 years of circling each other, getting married and divorced, becoming a celebrated writer and getting dumped from a television show, they have been there for each other through everything and when it finally becomes their turn to marry, they make it just as unique as their own personalities. Emma and Dexter feel like close friends of mine. I can share in their anguish and grief at the insults they hurl at each other, at not having a baby and the blame and guilt that comes with that. I feel for the injustice of it all, at losing what they had when it only just started.

Delving into the past and their first meeting at the very end of the book, it gives the reader a bitter sweet ending, a kind of retrospective happily ever after knowing that that first St Swithins Day was touched by youth and hope and that intense passion that marks all young romances. That now or never kiss that Emma and Dexter shared in the middle of Oxford before parting is etched into my minds eye like a symbol of every young love, that passionate flame of a whirlwind romance that makes you do ridiculous things that only the young can get away with. I have never been kissed like that and I don’t know if I ever will be but I hope that if I did meet a rude Marlon Brandoesque arrogant man who I was madly in love with, I wouldn’t wait 20 years to make it happen. Now is time enough.

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As one door closes…

28.11.2014

They say that as one door closes another opens and while that’s true, its hard to say goodbye to things and people who have been a constant in your life and have meant a lot to you. At the beginning of this year, I would never have thought that leaving Holden would be such an emotional experience for me but it definitely has been. Working at Holden made me realise that accounting can actually be fun and that I am not as stupid as I always thought I was. My team was like my family and it’s hard to let go of the bond that you develop with your colleagues after a year of working together. When you reach that stage of friendship where you can reach across and take each others food and pick the olives off someone’s pizza because you know they can’t stand it you cross that invisible barrier that separates colleagues from friends.

I have learnt so much this year, not only at work but about myself. Living on my own for the last 11 months has made me a stronger person, more independent and resilient in the face of the unknown. Things that would have me a crying mess 6 months ago don’t phase me anymore. I know with more certainty than I did before what is important to me and the things that really matter and I think I can look at things now and think will that even matter in the greater scope of things no not really. And I use words like ‘scope’ in normal life, SOX has really grown on me.

My last week at Holden was wonderful, training my cute new Co-op Anna who is a pleasure to teach and such a fun girl to hang out with. It was hard saying bye to Richard, Patrick, Nihaar and Sean but goodbyes must be said. I wrote goodbye letters for all of them and got little presents to say goodbye. Their gift to me was so special and surprising. It’s amazing that 4 grown men managed to get me such a thoughtful and insightful present, I can just imagine them struggling over my gift and agonizing for months. I’m loving my 8 weeks of unlimited latin dance classes and will be going on the chocolate tour tomorrow, thanks to my lovely team. I will never forget all the kindness they have shown me this year and their honesty and friendship.

I had an amazing last day at Holden, with drinks after work at Melbourne Public where a lot of stories were unnecessarily rehashed which I prefer not to remember actually, and then dancing at Circus on Commercial Road. Met some awesome people, danced all night, and even better could walk home after since it was only a 15 – 20 min walk from my place. Am so grateful to the lovely person who walked me home at night 🙂

Nevertheless, my first week at KPMG has been lovely and I hope that in time I will love working here as much as I did at Holden. KPMG is known for having people who support each other and share their experiences and knowledge. Many employees say that the main thing that motivates them to go to work is the people they work with and as corny as that sounds, I think it’s a great reason to want to go to work. I don’t think I could ever work just for the money, or the importance or the job itself. I’m much more people oriented than many people who do commerce and this is definitely the factor that would influence me the most.

5 days into my new job, we have been wined and dined at every opportunity, stuffed with free lunches, afternoon teas, cupcakes and gingerbread biscuits. I hope to make some lasting friendships in my 8 weeks here at KPMG and hopefully learn a lot more about Internal Audit as well. I am so grateful and honoured to be here after I have tried so hard for so many years and am extremely humbled to finally get this chance. So far I’ve met some really lovely people and for the first time I’ve met someone else who has read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. That is a pretty amazing feat in itself and I never thought it would ever happen in a Big 4 accounting firm hehe.

Driving in the fast lane

10.11.2014

If I had entertained any thoughts that driving about 1300km in Tasmania would prepare me for driving on Melbourne roads, I realised today that I was most deeply mistaken. Driving in Melbourne is like a cross between Auckland minus the sheep and Bangalore minus the cows. So I finally decided to pluck up the courage to drive in Melbourne and after driving home today lets just say there is a reason I am shitting myself right now just thinking about driving to work tomorrow morning.

I don’t think I will ever be able to do it without a GPS but time to man up and not call someone every time I panic. It’s funny how getting lost and having no clue where I am makes all my feminist sensibilities fly out the window and the first thing I wanna do is burst into tears and call a guy. Never the less, 6 more days with the Trax so might as well make the most of it. Planning to do a couple of day trips this weekend and go to Hanging Rock and Wilson’s Prom or Phillip Island.

Other than that have had a great cup week, even though work is crazy catch up mode atm. Went to the races for the first time last week and soaked up some sun with my fascinator and feet sneakily half hanging out of my far too tight shoes. Races weren’t as fun as I thought it would be but still a good experience. Then had an amazing afternoon at a friends bbq playing cups, doing pull ups, and rolling around with the cutest friendliest dog I’ve met in a while. Sun gods have been out this weekend so it was perfect weather to try Messina – so far I’ve had Dulche de Leche, Apple Pie, Salted Caramel & White chocolate, Fig in Marsala, Lychee, and Pear & Rhubarb! Heres to another 5 months of sun and ice cream J

Under Down Under: Anushka and Redgie’s Adventures in Tasmania!

5.11.2014

Exhausted yet warm and refreshingly clean, I am glad to be back in my own bed in Melbourne but the last 5 days in Tasmania have been incredibly crazy busy and fun and a whirlwind of activity. After months of planning, booking car rentals and flights it finally happened and seemed to get over so quickly. Redgie and I left for Hobart on the 6am flight on Saturday 1st November, with bags packed and passports in hand. Here’s a quick recap of our adventures in Taz.

    Day 1 – Hobart

Arrived in Hobart around 7.30am to cold and rain. Redgie said and I agreed that it felt like we were in the Twilight movie with pine forests and bleak weather all around us. We took the airport shuttle to our YHA in Hobart and left our bags there before heading out to the Salamanca Markets to check out the local artists and crafts and get some breakfast. We saw some wonderful wood carvings, Russian babushka dolls, persion food, local fudge and chocolate, and gypsy skirts. After walking around for a while we headed back to the YHA for a nap. Later that day we walked to the Cascade Brewery where we did the Louisa’s walk tour, a historical tour of the Female Factory with actors telling the heartbreaking story of Louisa a female convict from England. We had dinner at a local pub and then walked down to Battery Point for waffles and ice cream before calling it a night.

    Day 2 – Hobart – Mt Wellington – Tahune Forest – Hobart

After a lazy morning picking up our rental car and having breakfast at Salamanca Place, we headed off to Mt Wellington which was a long and windy road through the forest. Finally arrived at a carpark halfway up the hill and Redgie touched snow for the first time. After throwing a few snow balls around and skidding through the sleet on the hill, we caught snowflakes on our tongues and hurried back to the warmth of our little Hyundai. After 8 months of not driving, it was a little scary getting behind the wheel but like everyone told it, it’s like riding a bike or swimming, once you learn you can never forget. I never realised how much I miss the radio in the car, but Tassie seems to have 6 songs on repeat on the radio including All about that base, Stolen Dance, Taylor Swift. After sitting in the car singing along with the radio until it stopped snowing, we started the long drive to the Tahune Forest. A couple of hours and green fields later, we arrived at the Tahune forest airwalk where we walked 20 meters above the forest floor, in air so clear it felt like I was inhaling it through all my pores. It looked out over the Huon river and felt like I was disappearing into the mist. Not quite New Zealand but pretty damn close. Driving back to Hobart we decided to have dinner at La Porchetta and got some pretzels at cold rock for dessert.

    Day 3 – Hobart – Freycinet Penninsula – Launceston – Tamar Valley – Bridport

Waking up early we packed our bags and grabbed Maccas before beginning the long drive to Freycinet Penninsula. The day was beautiful with clear skies and sun shining…so much that we had the AC on all morning in the car. Finally arrived at a beautiful lookout after driving through kilometres of Freycinet National Park along Wineglass bay. After stopping for fresh oysters at Marine Bay Oyster farm we drove on to Launceston where we saw yet another Banjos – which appear to be the equivalent of Bakers Delight, Starbucks and everything else in the western world. It turns out we were in Launceston on a public holiday so everything was closed and we had no choice but to eat at Banjos before checking out the local town clock and city park. Next on the list was Cataract Gorge where we walked up to Eagles Aire, or rather climbed up a rocky track. The view was spectacular and we met a friendly climber from Norway near the top of the cliff. Descending down to the car we found a family of tourists smoking some weird kind of weed outside our car while their children played. Interesting. Thankfully due to our trusty GPS we were soon off to the Tamar Valley wetlands where we strolled on the wooden boardwalk through the beautiful wetlands and kept an eye out for snakes next to a very jumpy Redgie before driving down to our YHA in Bridport about an hour away. After some Fish and chips for dinner and my very first Milo Scoop shake, we settled into the YHA and then went for a walk along the beach just across the road from our hostel and sat on the sand enjoying the evening breeze.

    Day 4 – Bridport – Launceston – Sheffield – Staverton – Sheffield – Cradle Mountain – Sheffield – Campbell Town – Hobart

Craziest day of our trip so far. Began in Bridport leaving at 8.30am for Launceston were we grabbed some Maccas yet again for lack of anything else to eat and then drove on to Sheffield the Town of Murals. Saw some amazing murals on the walls there before driving on to Staverton were we went to Tazmazia in the Promised Land (so corny I know). We tackled a couple of mazes, took lots of photos of the miniature houses in the Village of Lower Crackpot and then had some nachos and scones for lunch before driving back to Sheffield to get some lollies and chocolate to share with our teams at work at the Candy Shop. There we met a Llama called Predro with a cute local man who let us pat the darling. Next began the longest drive of my life (actually that’s not true the way back was longer). The drive up to the top of Cradle Mountain was extremely long and windy and scary with lots of U-bends, speeding cars and dead animals on the road making me squeamish. It’s a miracle I never hit anything on that trip while we saw hedgehogs, fat wombats and even a kitten crossing the road right in front of us. Finally at the top of Cradle Mountain two hours and a puking Redgie later, I went alone on the Cradle Mountain shuttle bus to Dove lake where I walked a little way around the track and took photos of the Cradle Mountain looming over Dove Lake and a Wallaby with a little Joey in her pouch. Then began my 4 and a half hour drive back to Hobart via Sheffield, Launceston and Campbell Town. We finally reached Hobart at around 9.30pm after singing for hours in the car and getting trapped between two trucks on the B52 with Redgie musing that this is usually when people get cornered and abducted in movies haha. Craziest drive of my life never doing that again, felt so bad for Redgie with her travel sickness. Definitely going to be better with the planning next time. Probably drove around 550km in total that day.

    Day 5 – Hobart

Our last morning in Hobart we woke up early, I dropped off the rental car and after a quick stop at Maccas headed out to MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art in Claremont. We saw lots of interesting exhibitions such as the Gallery of Death, the Wall exhibition called ‘Cunts and Conversations’ featuring a long wall of sculptures of said anatomical part and ‘Fat Car’ a Porche built like a primary kids sausage writing. Both Redgie and I were incredibly impressed with the ‘O’s, the I-Pods that were handed out which were linked to all the art work, featuring summary information about each exhibition, an ‘Art wank’ section with more information and a Love/Hate feature to track our journey. After that we went to the Cadbury Factory further up the road where we got a few free chocolates and bought a lot more. With the smell of chocolate wafting through the air we boarded the bus back to Hobart, chatted about chick flicks and rom coms and grabbed our bags ready to return home to Melbourne; to civilisation, bustling streets and no more Banjos!