Thoughts Become Things

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Charm Bracelet: London

Charm Bracelet: London

My London Adoration bracelet was re-spaced and now? from one end to the next I have:

Charm Bracelet: Double Decker

A Double Decker Bus. The .925 is the back licence plate. Adorable.

Charm Bracelet: Parliament

The Houses of Parliament with an oversized Tower-which-houses-Big-Ben.

Charm Bracelet: Bobby's Hat

Policeman’s Helmet (Bobby’s Hat) which even has an ER on the Shield.

Charm Bracelet: St Christopher

St Christopher. The Patron Saint of travellers. Can’t hurt.

Charm Bracelet: Squirrel

A Squirrel!

Charm Bracelet: St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral.

Charm Bracelet: City of London Shield

City of London Shield.
The centre, the focus of the bracelet.
(Focus as in central, focus as in hearth and home)

Charm Bracelet: Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge.
It is open as it’s supposed to be good luck.

Charm Bracelet: Crown

(Keep Calm and Carry On)

Charm Bracelet: Tower of London

Tower of London.

Charm Bracelet: Telephone Booth

A (red) Telephone Booth.

Charm Bracelet: Britannia


Charm Bracelet: Black Cab

A (black) Cab.

It’s hard to explain adequately how much I adore this bracelet.
In the soft silvery jingling I am reminded of the white noise traffic roar when our double glazed window was opened, Like magic. I am standing at the lights waiting to cross, watching for the lights to go yellow again before going green. I remember the smell of wet cobblestones near St Paul’s and the swirl of a priest in a cassock.
I am walking past the garden in Bedford Square on my way to work, looking our for squirrels and the red Royal Mail vans.
I am waiting with Craig for our Yeoman at the gates of the Tower of London, sitting with a magazine at the Statue in front of Buckingham Palace, sitting on the steps at St Paul’s waiting for Craig, Lying in sundappled shade in Hyde Park with my head on his hip. Walking hand in hand, glove in glove, along the Thames on a Saturday morning.
Roast chestnuts at the entrance to Tottenham Court Road tube, caramelised nuts near the Millennium bridge, churros and curry at the Thames festival, the wet organic scent of the back roads of Borough Market. The hush of a church or gallery, the silent roar of a cathedral, echoing, warbling sopranos, the muffled rustling of tourists, the err-err-err of wheelie bags on the ridges of the Millennium bridge. It is a sea of french, italian, of cockney, eton, greek, indian, of myriad accents.

My London was seen on foot and remembered in sounds and smells.

And all that from 13 little charms, on one little bracelet, on one little wrist.

P.s. My fav-fav-favourite charm? St Paul’s.

Charm Bracelet: St Paul's Cathedral

Because? Well, firstly because I adore St Paul’s. It is my moon, my London anchor.

St Paul's at Night

But also! because it opens!

Charm Bracelet: St Paul's: a little open


Charm Bracelet: St Paul's: Open!

I think it might be Jesus. Or just a cross. Or Jesus. Or a cross. Or Jesus. Who knows?


Somewhere in my youth, or childhood, I must have done something, something …

I seem to have the worst luck with London. I'm choosing to not see this as a sign.

Firstly, I only found out about the HSMP (5 year visa) after I was no longer eligible on my pre-London New Zealand salary.

Secondly, just as I was settling into the idea that Craig would really be sponsored to stay in London, the company pulled out.

Thirdly, they changed the HSMP to Tier 1 (still a 5 year visa) which increased the amount of money-earned required to apply.

Fourthly, finally, and just THIS MORNING they announced changes to the Working HolidayMakers Visa/Tier 5 which makes it two years working instead of one year. The one year that Craig has worked and was why we had to come back to New Zealand. And it is changing on the 27th November. If it does happen to change our visas at all, it still means that we would get back to London in early December and have to leave again 6 scant months later as our visas completely, entirely, forever-and-ever expire on the 9th of June 2009. Oh and you can't apply for WH/Tier 5 more than once in a lifetime.

This news is killing me. It is the epitome of the straw that is breaking my back.


In actuality, it just means that we just have to keep calm and carry on. I work and work and work and work and next year we apply for Tier 1 visas.
The uncertainty is hardest. I wish I knew that we would get back to London. I wish I knew that we would get the visas. I wish I knew that all this work and stress and planning was going to result in something other than a stomach ulcer.
I wish I wish I wish.

At Heathrow.

Pouting & frazzled at Heathrow.
Our excess baggage has been paid for (118kgs!!!) and we have boarding passes & everything.
This is really happening. We are really moving (temporarily) back to New Zealand. Disconsolate is a good word for me today.

P.s. Craig has just gone into an electronics store to buy my birthday present. I am a little worried.


Apologies for the lack of amazing underwater photos from Hawaii. They are sitting on the computer all sad and neglected while I whizz around London with my sister doing things like this:

Playing tourist
(p.s. worst photo of me ever. ugh)

and this:

Charlotte playing Tourist

and this:

Proving that not all cider is Scrumpy.

My London-Friends were right when they moaned that London’s summer is over. So far the weather has been 80% grey with 40% showers or rain and only 20% sun &/or heat.
And still I wish I could stay here.

My Sister agrees with my crazy theories. This worries me.

Dear The Internet,

I think New Zealand may secretly be a black hole.
I have been back for more than a month and yet? the fact that I’m leaving again in … 13 Days (Thirteen! Under Two Weeks!) seems impossible. Improbable. Didn’t I actually just arrive yesterday? possibly the day before?
Although, I really can’t deny that the world is turning, time is passing, and all that, as within the last two weeks it has gone from darkness to dawn to ever-so-slightly daylight when I leave for work in the mornings (So Early. Hate).

I almost don’t want to go to London again. It is a trip to say goodbye. To pack up our little room & leave a few bits and pieces in storage with friends so that hopefully, by osmosis, the home office works out that we belong in London and grants our visas super-quick.
We are kidding ourselves that it’s just a little vacation by planning a few days in Hawaii on the way over. To make up for the fact that we don’t really get a summer this year. This is mainly Craig’s idea. I am not so much a sun & sand person. Definitely not an anticipatory sun & sand person. Once I am there, with a book, Spf 500 sunscreen, and salt-dreadlocked hair, I love it. Until then … it seems like too too much trouble.
Craig is adorable in his excitement. He wants to learn to surf. We want to go snorkelling. I am thinking of getting a waterproof digital camera.

I think that really, what I want, is to get on with the 8-10 months of working constantly. To know that each hour working is an hour closer to the goal amount that will allow us to apply for the top Tier of the cake of London visas. At this stage there are so many months stretching ahead of me that they are a pinprick in the distance. Around a huge corner. And in general hard to keep in sight.
I’m hoping that New Zealand really is a black hole and these coming months will pass in an instant.

Now all we have to do is try and work out if we’re able to arrange a 10 month sub-letting situation for our Darling Flat in SE1. Do you know of anyone interested Internet?


Baby, what you going to do?

Do you know what I hate? Not being in London. I really hate it.
That’s not to say that I hate being in New Zealand. Because I don’t.
A lot of my favourite people are here.
I’m just not living in a city that gives me butterflies.

Craig and I finally finally made a decision for our future.
Instead of going to Dublin or Canada or Vienna (all of which were seriously considered at one point or another (maybe not so much Vienna. I don’t speak any German (but it does look beautiful!))) we are going to spend some months (8? 9? who knows at this point? Not me!) in New Zealand before applying for brand sparkling new visas which will (fingers crossed!) allow us to spend longer than a year or two back in London.
If we had chosen one of the other countries on our list we would have ended up in the exactly same situation we’re in now, only twelve months down the line!
I don’t think I could do this again!
And I’m so so willing to spend a few months slightly irritated for a longer stretch of our lovely itinerant lifestyle.

I actually feel really positive about this decision (I know! me! positive! crrrrraazy).
So. August in New Zealand, September in London (love!), and from October? Nouvelle Zélande again.


On a completely different note!
I’ve been working as a temporary super-receptionist at a company in Wellington this week. And three out of the four days that I’ve been working there?
I have (accidentally!!) color co-ordinated with the other receptionist.
Yet again my life proves itself completely ridiculous!

The first day? it was cute. The second day? it was funny as other people in the office started to notice. The third day? RIDICULOUS.

Don’t panic! we discussed it today and chose completely different colours to wear tomorrow. Let’s see if it works!

The Tate Modern, it is a-changin’

Tate Modern

They have taken apart the top of the Tate Modern Chimney!
Where there was once a large glass-&-metal square that lit up our bedroom window, there is now just a sad little frame. All left behind.


Craig hopes that they are replacing it with four powerful spotlights shooting up into the sky. Or perhaps an illuminated flame shape.
And while I find the giant-candle idea appealing, I hope for something more streamlined. Perhaps a large white balloon. Also illuminated. In my mind it looks something like a bubble-gun.

There is also a Street Art exhibition opening in the next week. As part of that they have turned the Tate Modern into a giant canvas:

Graffitioed Tate Modern


Tagged Tate Modern

Bear Art

My favourite parts?

Favourite Detail

Favourite Detail

Favourite detail

Photos taken on the 18th May.

fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed

All of a sudden it seems to be summer here in London. A welcome visitor for the most part.
The sun is out, sky is blue and the temperature is creeping up into the mid twenties. The omnipresent voice in the underground warns us to carry bottled water as the heat has a solid damp presence on the Tube. An unwanted passenger that induces a cloying smell & rolling beads of sweat. My least favourite thing about London heat. Hate you antHropomorphised heat!

What hits me most with this calefaction (almost. but not quite. I know) is how familiar it is. The weather was like this when we arrived in London (not quite. It rained the first day. But soon after our arrival …) and in only 27 days we will have been in London for one year. At 5:15am exactly.

I am trying to make the most of summer-esque weather. I like to think that London has turned the weather up early this year because it knows that I will be missing a great part of the London Summer. Most of July and all of August.

Craig & I are juggling forms and feelings. Visa plans are in the works but I cannot, will not crow about it until I can post photos of my complete passport.
I am still returning to the familial focus in early July and Craig will be following soon after for an appointment with the embassy. Perhaps. We hope. As long as all goes according to plan. Maybe. Touch wood.

I heart the Borough Market


Bottles & the wine beyond.

Wine you can fill & refill.



Sunset oranges.


Crates & Crowd

Crates & the crowd.

Giiiiiaaannnntttt stack of Brownies

The best brownies I have ever tasted.
This photo was taken at 10am a couple of weeks ago. On this past Saturday I passed by just after 1:30pm. Only the bottom two layers remained unsold.