Actually Packing

When I actually start to pack, with serious intent, I start to realise that I’m actually going on this trip.

I’ve always been slightly terrified of packing, leaving it to the last minute where possible. If anything, I’d love it if someone just packed everything for me and set me on my way. The reason for my terror is simple: packing puts it into context. “It” being everything – when you’re packing, you’re basicaly bringing all your posessions together, eliminating the optional extras and bottling the essence. This is especially so if you’re going for more than a week or two – a week lets you pack a simple set of things you may need over a week. Going for well over two months like I am, if I’m missing something I need 4 weeks down the track, it’s not going to be there.

You just don’t think about these things usually, because they’re right there. Your life is spread throughout your house, your neighbourhood, your city.You pack everything you think you need, and it’s a statement: This Bag Contains the Essentials of My Life, of Me.

Fitting it into one bag can almost be belittling, like saying “My essentials are just this limited.” Everyone likes to think of themselves as a complex person, and the non-perishables you pack define your identity in so many ways. A simple thing like choosing which jacket to take; at home, you’d step outside, realise you have the wrong jacket, and swap it. On a trip, you’re hundreds, thousands of miles away from that other jacket which would be perfect right now, but you can’t do anything about it.

You can’t pack everything, if just out of sheer practicality. You’ll reach your destination, and reach for that thing… that thing that you thought, thousands of miles away, that you won’t need.

I don’t know quite why, but it’s simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying each time I go to pack.

Overdue

I’m well overdue for posting something here, but things have been, somewhat inevitably, hectic around here. I’m never able to be a comfortable packer – I always think I’m forgetting things that I take for granted, and as a reaction I end up packing more than I really need to. I’ve travelled enough times that it shouldn’t be such an issue, but I’m yet to get to the state of just knowing what I need to throw in my bag.

A couple of friends have been lucky enough to get grad positions, and to hear the uncertainty disappear from their voices is both amusing and pleasing. Even if right after that I drive in various stabbing implements by listing all those things that work brings along with it – like this morning, I was talking on the train to a friend who’s moving to Melbourne for work. I went back over my experience, and he looked fairly terrified at the prospect by the time we rolled into to Central. I sent him off with a hopefully-reassuring “… but you’ll do fine!”, but I might not put it past him to call them up and cancel =)

Still, seeing this process as someone who’s been through it reminds me of all the highs and lows of it. It’s a valuable experience to go through, regardless of whether you end up getting a job or not. I occasionally still have to pinch myself and remember this isn’t some temporary work placement, and that I won’t be returning to uni next week. The trip to London at the end of the week is sure to hammer it home – I’m very lucky with where I’ll be, I think (down the street from the Queen! ;D)

All in all, it’s a rush week in which too many things are happening in not enough time… ah, c’est la vie~

New Design

Welcome to Pushing the Sky v3, or as I’ll dub it, “The much-too-lazy edition”. I poked around wordpress for a weekend and a half, but I couldn’t come up with anything I spectacularly liked, so I stuck Hemmingway in there and think I made good.

It’s a bit of a departure, ain’t it? Hmm.

I’ve modified this theme enough to say it wasn’t a total slap-dash job, and I intend to look at further modifications in the next few days, but this would have to be it for most expectations. Which isn’t really a bad thing – it is a very sweet theme, I’d say.

I’ve chosen it because I think it’ll be more suited to the style of posting that I anticipate when I’m in London – less frequent, more long winded posts I came up with somewhere beforehand. The most recent post will be on the left, and will be in full text. The second most recent post will be on the right, and will be just the “excerpt”, so you’ll have to click through to see more. Do try, because the full-post page is sweet! =)

I’ve retained Asides, though it’s questionable how often they’ll be updated. Still, it is there! Look below the mysterious fold. Older posts are listed below the Asides, and the search box has also returned. And did I mention the links! Shall add to that imminently.

From my simple analysis of the visitor figures, this theme also tends to suit you guys; once a post has crossed the first couple of days/posts, it disappears off the radar and is only ever later encountered by searchers. We’ll see how true that is as we go, but I think that’s where blog design is heading, or at least should be.

None the less, I hope you enjoy!

Oh… Bother.

It would appear that I cannot simultaneously have a decent umbrella and a good scarf.

Went and bought a good umbrella yesterday, for the London trip, and in the perfect way to top off a day that had just gone downhill from about 7:30 in the morning when I found out where I was staying (though it really couldn’t have gotten any better there, could it?), I left my scarf on the train when I was coming home. To much gnashing of teeth.

Bloody hell yesterday sucked, after about 8 o’clock.

Official Birthday Party Date Type Thing

Ok so the hall is booked and all – the official, final date is November 17th (Friday). I’d have preferred to have had it on the Saturday, but it seems if you want that you have to think of these things 6 months ahead, nearly. Who thinks that far ahead?

That or the Hall business is a lucrative one.

I’m expecting most people I invite to turn up because it is a Friday night and because it’s after exams (more or less) and … well coz it’s also sort of a farewellish type thing. My family’s moving up here next year, and that will mean my trips to Melbourne will be cut down (but I guarantee 2 trips a year at least… I do miss you guys!).

What I need from you now though is addresses, for the official invites (& for postcards/letters from London). If I’ve been over to your house, or have sent you something in the past, chances are I’ve already got your address, but if not, please email me (karanj at gmail dawt com). I may contact you directly, too, if you can provide address for others =)

p.s. that should make the choice easy for ya, Zhi :P