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Adventures with Jo in North Queensland

After 3.5 years living in the UK, I've returned to Australia and settled in North Queensland. Settling back in brings with it new challenges - a new town, new job, a whole new life it seems!

Diary Entries

Thursday, 03 January 2008

It's been yonks since I've written an entry but not much has changed. Most of you I've caught up with on Facebook so I'm thinking of winding down this site. I don't know... It's chronicled 2 years of my settling back into life in Australia. It's never been a travel diary... and my life has taken on a bit of a mundane tone of late - don't want to bore you to tears!

Work is still good. I got a Xmas bonus which the tax man took more than half of, which I thought was a bit bloody rude! Unfortunatley, I'd already spent it in my mind... so it was a bit of crash landing.

I enjoyed my xmas break. i spent most of the week with family in Biloela. I took 2 days to drive back to Townsville, stopping the night in Airlie Beach. That probably wasn't the best idea. I'd been driving for 8 hours so the first thing I did after finding a bed for the night was go the pub. that first scooner was just the BEST!! so was the 10th... I didn't have dinner which is a recipe for disaster. I also have no STOP button so before long I was doing snakebites! It was a good night but I was a very sick girl the next day. I felt okay on the 2.5 hr drive back to Townsville but from lunch onwards I was a mess... I'm too old to hang out with backpackers! I can't keep up anymore...

I went on another dive trip to Pelorus and Orpheus Islands on the Sunday/Monday before New Year. It was a lot of fun. My buddy and I were allowed to go off on our own and we found some fabulous swim throughs and caves.. it was awesome. Monty took lots of photos too so when I get a hold of them I'll put some up. In most I'm unrecognisable with a wetsuit, dive kit and wearing a mask but you'll get the drift!

For the first time since I became legal drinking age I woke up on New Years Day without a hangover. I came back from the dive trip the night before exhausted and went to bed not long after 9pm. I was woken up by the fireworks down the beach at midnight, which I watched while laying in bed... and you know what? it was the best New Years Eve I've had in ages... Ok ideally, someone else would have been in the bed but we can't have everything! ;)

It's been a bit of a struggle to pull the ole head back to work but I have to. January, February and March are looking to be pretty hectic and no doubt a bit stressful. I was planning on a trip to New Zealand for 3 weeks of madness but I've had to postpone that until October because I'm so busy... Grrrrrr.

Catch up with you soon! Happy New Year!! x

Friday, 26 October 2007

Location: Townsville, Australia

What a week! I had all these plans to go out tonight but I came home from work and just fell into bed and slept for a couple of hours.. I seem to be doing that a lot lately.. hmmmm maybe I've common down with some weird vector borne tropical virus?!

Anyway, hypochondira aside, I'm going to have a quiet Friday night in to regain my strength and sanity! I might even read a book.. I haven't opened a book since I started on Facebook.. how bad is that??


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Location: Australasia

hello.. sorry i've been a bit quiet.. i've just been a bit tired!! It's take a lot of energy to sit down and write about nothing in particular. I wish I had something exciting to tell but it's pretty much been all work during the week and endless social engagements on the weekends. There was my work 1st birthday party which was a cocktail party. I should know by now to stear clear of them. I have no stop button and well, lets just say no-one came off good in those photos!!!
I ended up stayed over at the house of a girl I work with. It wasn't pretty. I was such a mess the next day. I slept for most of it and when I wasn't sleeping I was either hugging the porcelain bus or trying to find some relief from the nausea (and the heat) in the swimming pool.. Hangovers in hot climates are the worst!! To make matters worse I had to back up the following night to see The Waifs in concert (folk rock band?). Anyway, they were awesome but it took KFC to get me right and able to bop away for a few hours. I swear it's the only time I can eat the stuff without feeling sick.. it's compulsory for hangovers!
I would like to think things are going to settle down but next week I'm off to Brisbane for a hen's night and 2 weddings in 4 days so I don't think that's going to happen somehow...
What's everyone doing for Xmas and New Year?? I'm not sure. I'm spending time with my family mid-December for my Dad's 60th so I'm likely to be a free agent come Xmas.. Anyone fancy coming to the Whitsunday Islands with me??? C'mon.. ;)

Thursday, 11 October 2007

NEW HAIRCUT NEW HAIRCUT check out the new photo page. haha! ;) sorry i couldn't be bothered wearing makeup but most of you have seen me looking worse...

Monday, 08 October 2007

Hello! I had another awesome weekend away camping and diving but I'm not going to bore you with to tears.. except to say I've been convinced to do my Rescue Diver course and possibly go on a dive holiday next year to Truk Lagoon (one of the world's best wreck dive sites) but we'll see... it's a big monetary committment! and I really would like a holiday in UK/Europe. Maybe I can combine that with a dive holiday instead. Visit the Red Sea again.. I'd get much more out of this time.. I could even dive the Thistlegorm.. Mmmmm..

In other news, I came back to my brother being let out of hospital. When I spoke to him he was bowling with his good arm so he's obviously in better spirits! I think they're still a bit worried about the infection getting into the bone tho..

And how about the Rugby? WTF?!! That was my reaction on getting back to dry land and receiving texts from Paul and Rich alluding to the fact we'd lost... but Australia AND New Zealand? My kiwi mates are soo devastated.. I'm not sure they'll get over it ;)

Luv yus all.. and get your arse here and come diving with me.. Danish Dive Master told me I look good in the water (unfortunately, he was referring to my buoyancy! haha)

Friday, 05 October 2007

I just got off the phone to my brother. He's back in hospital with an infection in the arm he broke about 3-4 weeks ago. Apparently the specialist took one look at the arm and wacked him straight into theatre to open it back up again and clean it out... but get this - my brother had actually ridden to the hospital on his bike!! Honestly, how stupid is that? The little bastard (a term of endearment) is just mad about motorbike riding!! I just hope Mum doesn't find out. It'll send her blood pressure through the roof! She's already freaking out that I'm going away for the weekend diving (her friend's son died diving so she's a little sensitive about the issue)

but i'm very careful!!! and I'm very excited. i got offered a last minute spot on the dive boat at half price so i get to go camping on an island and do seven dives over 2 days for $225! What a bargain!! Of course, I got the dive trip at half price but then they managed to sell me a set of fins and a kickarse torch for night diving so all up i probably didn't save anything at all!!! haha but I am slowly amassing my own kit...

Thursday, 04 October 2007

Sorry that I'm only just now getting around to telling about my dive trip on Sunday but it's been a big week of work. Sunday was awesome day.. and I was so glad because I sooo needed it to be! As I mentioned it was a bit windy but that just made the boat ride out a bonding experience for the 14 of us!! Fortunately, visibility wasn't effected too much.

The diving itself wasn't that amazing.. We saw a Manta and a Leopard Shark but that was about it for the big things.. What I was most impressed about was how comfortable I felt in the water. It was great!! I was loving it! I got down with less weight than ever before (think about it, i'm pretty buoyant! haha) which was a testament to how relaxed I was. i'm still a bit of an air pig but I put that to just getting value for money! ;) My night dive likewise was awesome. We came up after 30 mins and I'm like "what? why are we coming up? I've still got nearly half a tank!?" but we had to get back to shore before the pub kitchen closed. So that was it! We had beers and steaks at the Lucinda Pub (I cannot remember appreciating a steak more!) before driving the hour back the Ville. We didn't get back until 11pm which meant I was totally wiped out for Monday.. but it was worth it!!

Wednesday, 03 October 2007

i will write a proper diary entry when I'm feeling a bit more alive. I'm a bit tired from my trip out to the mines. I have put up a new photo page showing my luxurious accommodation.. haha. unfortunately, there's nowhere else to stay. but it's a bed and I get to hang out with hundreds of men in the mess area. ;)

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Ah, I've an hour to kill before I go diving.. I'm getting very excited, sitting here all dressed and ready! Unfortunately, the wind has picked up today. It'll be ok in the water but it's going to be a bit of a choppy ride out there. OHHHHH I so need today to be a good day too.

My Saturday was hilarious! I was the designated driver, trying to keep the boys under control on the golf course when they'd been drinking rum since 7.30am and were put in charge of golf buggies! It took over 3.5 hrs to play 9 holes but we've invented a new sport "golf polo", played with teams of buggies. It was a long morning but very funny..

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Hey, i have a very busy weekend lined up - birthday celebrations for a mate all day today (it's starting with an 8.30am round of golf!) and i'm going diving tomorrow... but i'll tell you all about that later! xxxx

Monday, 24 September 2007

oh just been out to dinner with a prospective new work colleague! I was given the task of introducing him to Townsville... It was a really nice evening. Lovely guy, creative, confident, at ease, I really do hope he comes and works for us. He would fit right in and be great!!

Other than that.. i went to Maggie Is. on the weekend. spent the day hiking and swimming.. it was awesome but exhausting.. the beer did taste that much better for it though. Sunday I took a lazy drive up into the hinterland with a friend. We did tea and cake at the Heritage Tea Rooms.. very civilised! xx

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Hey, sorry it's been a little while since I made an entry. I must admit my enthusiasm for PR has waned since I became a Facebook user!!! Who's not on it yet? C'mon... keep up with me in real time.. haha.

Well, not a lot exciting has happened. I did a mammoth drive, 20hr round trip, to Gladstone the other weekend for my cousin's wedding. It was great to catch up with Mum, Dad and the family but it was a long way to go for just one night. I can't remember whether I mentioned my little brother had a motorbike accident? Anyway, he ended up with a double compound fracture of his forearm. fortunately it's healing well but that weekend he had just done it and was feeling pretty sorry for himself.. so on the way back i called in and saw him too. I ended up having to leave Mackay at 4am to make it back in time for work.. I was soo tired tho. I nearly drove off a bridge - frightened the hell out of me!

so what else? I've been on a few dates... all very nice but nothing too exciting to report. they paid - is that exciting?! haha. it is these days i suppose..

it's the off season for outrigging (no racing) so we've all been concentrating on perfecting our technique. It's been fun but a lot of hard work. I've been getting pretty good feedback tho - apparently I have a lot of natural power (i think that's a nice way of saying i'm a solid girl.. haha) anyway, i'm still enjoying it. i have strength I just have to work on the stamina!

I'm off to tennis now.. I've been asked to fill in for a team as a man so this should be interesting.. no doubt I'll get flogged! XX

Monday, 03 September 2007

Location: Townsville, Australia

I just read my stars and Saturn has just moved out of my sign.. Thank God because apparently he is the reason I've been feeling all weirded out, especially when it comes to love and money! Last night I had this dream that my credit card debt was in pounds and more than I could earn and I woke up feeling very stressed! So good riddence to Saturn.. bring on Venus!

Saturday, 01 September 2007

Thank god for the travelling Sydney Film Festival on this weekend or I might have died of boredom... I saw three really great films today.

1. Red Road - set in Glasgow. Intense but so many twists and turns. It was very satisfying..

2. Half Nelson - Ryan Gosling was very good.. Although the film doesn't go anywhere very quickly and there's always the feeling of impending doom!

3. The Italian - Russian film about an orphan boy who goes in search of his mother.. Amazing.. I think everyone fell in love with this little boy.. I got broody even! haha

and I'm going back for more tomorrow.. there's an argentinian film called 'The Aura' that is reminiscient of Fargo and the South Korean Monster Film 'The Host' to look forward to... then I'll probably be all movied out...

Friday, 31 August 2007

Location: Townsville, Australia

Cheesh!! What a fortnight!? I met the deadline and got some very good feedback which meant I could go off on our work junket feeling relieved! The four days on Magnetic Island were fantastic! I'll probably never stay in such luxurious accommodation again but I enjoyed every minute of it e.g. I started my first day started off with a massage... haha livin' it up!

Our Melbourne office joined us and we hit it off spectacularly... There was lots of drinking and good fun to be had around pool. We also went out to the reef for the day. The conditions were possibly the worst of the season, very rough, but it was a bonding experience! Wednesday we set aside some time for work. Noone was looking forward to doing their 10 minute presentations but suprisingly, they were all really impressive, inspiring even (apparently, even mine!). We're all working on interesting projects and there was a lot of lively discussion.. We were still talking about them on the ferry back to Townsville!

Unfortunatley, the whole four days went rather too quickly and we were all saying goodbye. I went home to an empty house and all of a sudden felt very lonely and kind of empty. I thought I'd gotten used to my own company over this past year and a half but having such a great time, and being surrounded by like minded people, made me realise how much I miss the company of others.. I suppose everyone feels that anticlimax after a holiday though....

The good news though is that I now have internet access at home and I'm set up on Skype so there goes any social life I might have had... haha I'll try not to let it take over my life.. xx

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Location: Townsville, Australia

I have soo much work to do.. this is my week from hell. I've got a major deadline Friday and I'll be working around the clock to meet it by the way I'm going so far... It will hopefully all be worth it though. I can happily go off to Magnetic Island knowing I have done my best and delivered (fingers crossed).

It's my work love-in from Sun - Wed over on Maggie. Check out where we're all staying. It's gorgeous - 10 x 2 bedroom villas right on the beach. At the moment it feels a long way away...


Friday, 10 August 2007

Location: Townsville, Australia

Yay!! I've taken delivery of my laptop. It's a bit of a tank but it can do 3D modelling and the like so I don't mind. So, now you know what I'll be doing all weekend - setting up my laptop. I think I will have to get a laptop stand because when I'm using Skype I don't want you to be looking up at my chins.. the camera needs to be angled down! haha...

What else to tell? Well, it's been a huge week actually. I spent most of last Sunday sitting in a bar overlooking the Strand and drinking wine with Alexis. The next few days were pretty uneventful although I did see 'Living With Others' at the cinema which was heavy but very worthwhile. Wednesday, I went to the Sarah Blasko concert with a group of friends. It was amazing. Her voice is just incredible. The whole crowd was swept away!

I had to back up two nights in a row because the John Butler Trio were in town on Thursday night. I was soo tired. I had black bags under my eyes last night that no amount of makeup could hide! The gig was good though. I managed to boogie with the help of a full-strength coca-cola! (That's big because I haven't drunk full strength in years!!)

The Jazz festival starts tonight but I've decided it's more important I get some sleep!!! Maybe I'll be up for the jazz fest tomorrow night after a day of rest and relaxatio over on Magnetic Island. That's the plan anyway!

Monday, 30 July 2007

Location: Australia

I'm in a bit more of a reflective mood... Usually I beat myself up over these things but so what the paratrooper has moved on?! It doesn't take away from the fact we had fun. It just didn't last for maybe as long as I wanted it to... that's life though.
Today is a new day.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Location: Townsville, Australia

Well.. the paratrooper may have left the building but he hasn't left the country as I found out at the Townsville Cup Race day!! Yes, there he was being very attentive to a gorgeous blonde (dim witted and a trollop I'm sure!) just 2m to my right as we were seeing in the last race. Talk about ruin my day........ Oh it was just shite. Fortunately, I did manage to maintain my composure to walk up and say hello (only just, i was shaking on the inside!). The trollop had mysteriously disappeared but he still shat himself. It was very funny. He came up with some stupid story about losing his phone, his mate accidentally taking it back to the UK. A likely story and it still didn't explain the blonde but anyway, I laughed, said please don't explain, I only came up to say hello. I know you leave the country and the force soon so I just wanted to wish you good luck and I hope it all goes well for you. He stammered some question about what I was up to but I said goodbye and waltzed off to collect my winnings without a backward glance. I totally out fabuloused him and he knew it. The swine...

How is that for fate? I got a last minute invitation to the races and out of 15,000 people, I had to see him... Clarification, and closure. That's what it was.

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Recent Messages

From Isabella
Yeah i'm up for it! Seriously, when can i start? If i said i was coming over to upholster, would that give me a few extra points?! Shame it would be great fun for a year or so although you haven't exactly done a good PR job on Townsville men. I'm surprisingly not stressed about my work situation and doing 3 peoples jobs. Maybe that's not a good sign! Hope you're doing well xxx
Response: hahha.. too bad Australia doesn't recognise civil partnerships Isabella because I would marry you.. easiest way to get you over here! Although funny enough we are short of upholsterers.. ;) xx
From Isabella
Hi Jo

Can't access Facebook at work. They're depriving me of hours of fun. Actually i haven't ever been on it before so not sure what all the fuss is about but shame we won't be able to chat to each other on it. All ok here although my admin team have all left. I'm trying not to take it too personally!

Will email you soon xxxx
Response: What? They've all left.. Poor Isabella.. Oh I'm sure it's not you.... we're looking for a new office manager. Would you like to come work here? I'll put up a few reef shots to entice you.. speak soon xx Jo
From john-in-dubai
very very lovely darling, but WHERE are the underwater pics?? Huh?? How can you tell us about the wonders of diving when all we see is the shiny top of the water?!? I'm sure a plastic bag round the camera would be fine, so next time . . . . right??
Response: ah! c'mon I've only just gotten my first digital camera now you want me to get a waterproof case?! No seriously, the underwater pics are coming. My Dive Master got some lovely video footage of the Manta Ray.. I just have to bribe him with beers to get a copy!
From john-in-dubai
Hey - you may not have known Duncan, but you might know the guy who sits on the other side of me - Gerald, lead singer in Brisbane bands 'The Flemme', 'The Prodigal Sons', Abraham Sandwich', 'Cardinal Puff' and 'Skuse'. No? Seems a bit more likely, though. Bummer abt earache. Hope it improves. How about a nun as the alter (altar?) ego?? Jx
Response: I lived in Brisbane from 1992 to 2002 and unfortunately, I can't recall any of those bands... but that doesn't mean I didn't see Gerald strutt his stuff. What type of music are we talking here? Where did they play? I swear there's only 2 degrees of separation in Bris Vegas!
From john-in-dubai
hey! That outrigger canoeing looks awesome!!! You go, girrrrll.
PS had long talk last night with girl from work from Brisbane who was bemoaning Ozzie's apparent linguistic gene bypass (esp. vis-a-vis French) - you're not alone! though I don't understand it . . .
Response: Yes, our language skills are pitiful... maybe it's a Brisbane thing?
Thanks for the encouragement over the outrigging. I just love it! It's a bit addictive.
From Iz
Hi babe
So nice to hear your news. How's the paratrooper chase going? Good luck honey! What is Anzac Day? Sounds moving and fun. So glad you are settling back into life there - life here same same. But, as you may have heard, my brother died suddenly recently which was the worst thing ever in my life. Made me realise that death is part of our lives too. So trying to put life back together after that. Cricket starts Sunday which always gives me a lift, looking forward to that!
Hope all is well with you and think of you often. Beach beginning to get busy again now!
xxxx Iz
Response: Hi Iz,
I'm so sorry to hear about your brother passing. That must be really tough to deal with. Big hugs from me (((o))) I love the photo of the two of you on John's website. You haven't changed at all! Anyway, I'm glad the Cricket starting up again has raised your spirits. How was the World Cup farce? It was so boring and drawn out.... although, I did get excited when Gillie was hitting 4s and 6s all over the place in the final!
and no, I haven't heard from the Paratrooper... :'( Truth be known I didn't really expect to.. but it would have been nice. I haven't enjoyed a man's company so much in ages!! He was lovely.
Take care Iz, xxx Jo
From Tara
Cheers Jo remind me not to leave my life in your hands in the future!!! Thanks for a great time looking farward to getting you back over to the UK. xx
Response: I'm terrible aren't I - a typical apathetic aussie (No worries! It'll be right mate). That's probably the same reason why Australia hasn't signed the Kyoto protocol...
Keep in touch xx Jo
From Isabella
Hi Jo

Where are you? I miss your updates - no pressure or anything!

Hope you're really well and all going ok. Things are fine here and spring is on its way so definitely looking up.

Take care and speak very soon.

Isabella xx

PS Any UK trips planned?
Response: Sorry.. sorry, I'm back now and will give you a full update. Unfortunately, no UK trips planned as yet. I think I'm going to have to win lotto first! xx Jo
From IZ
Hi BABE, long time no speak but glad to see you're having fun. Fab pictures of the falls and wow! pictures of all that water! Hope you're ok and enjoying volleyball - great game. Any particular male eye candy catch your eye?! Me? Still solidly single but hoping this year changes that....
How's work? I've been really busy since start of the year - decided 2007 was to be better than 2006 (couldn't really be worse). So, I've got another job, working p/t at the Clinical Centre of Chinese Medicine on The Drive - so 5 mins from home - doing reception and writing all their promo stuff - so a nice combination and a great atmosphere to work in. Determined to get off Housing Benefit - though HB actually told me not to take the job as I'd be better off not working! Blimey, thought the idea was to encourage people BACK to work, bleeding beaurocracy, pah!
Hey, guess what? I BEAT Ols at Scrabble, by a long way too - he was speechless, literally! Poor love, must have been a shock. And he's off to Dubai this week to see dadda for a few months, so I'm hoping it will do him the world of good. His new flat (Lansdowne Pl) is really nice - light, high ceilings, good view - and affordable too. So that's a positive thing. Good for him.
Days are getting longer here and the cricket season starts in 10 weeks (and counting.)Can't wait! Though I hesitate to refer to our APPALLING performance out in Oz! Well done you guys! Thought we came back wonderfully in the One Days though, huh? VERY exciting. And for me cricket is the start of summer, though I know the first few games, I'll be sitting there wrapped up very well.....Do say Hi to Trish, Phil and Izzy from me if you make contact with them.
Anyway, thinking of you lots and sending a big hug from across the sea. Love hearing all your news hon!
(Sorry for the very long letter!)
Response: Wow!! I love your long letters Iz! It's lovely to hear all your news. Your job sounds fantastic and very you. Congratulations too on getting beating Ols at Scrabble. Haha! I can fully appreciate what a big deal that is... He's a wordsmith. Thanks for the photos, I'll reply back to your hotmail. xxx Jo
From John-in-Dubai
Hey!! Amelia - Hi!! good luck!!! and Mr Dibb!! What a surprise to find you here too!! Two people I know in one entry - and at the opposite end of the planet. Excellent flood pics, Jo, and GORGEOUS girls - don't tell me you've actually got a digital camera at last???
Response: haha! Yes John, I've entered the digital age... now for that i-pod! xx
From Iz
Glad you had a good one. Just wanted to let you know, I've started a blog too! Very short at present but will grow to be sure!
Lots of festive cheer honey!
Response: Excellent! I'll be sure to check it out... I hope New Year in Brighton was a good one! xx
From Iz
Hey babe
Just wanted to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a fabulous New Year.
Hope you have lots of fun!
Lots of love
xx Iz
Response: Merry Christmas to you too Iz!! I'm thinking of you and I hope Santa comes to your house.. X
From Isabella V
Hi Jo

Thought i'd send you a quick message before I leave for holiday in Italy at the end of the week. Sounds like you have a great Christmas ahead of you catching up with friends by the pool.

Am off to Wales for the whole of January to finish my diploma and will be renting a cottage in the middle of nowhere so should have more time to write you a longer email. Will try to call soon though as i really do want to hear all your news.

Our RPS Christmas bash was very drunken this year. The Noise Boys were unleashed in Kemptown and it all got quite messy i've been told. Unfortunately i was the first casualty and had to go home straight after the lunch - no stamina. Hope your's was fun. Anyway have a great time over Christmas and speak soon. Isabella xx
Response: Hi Isabella, lovely to hear your news. I hope you have a great time with your family in Italy. I'll speak to you when you get back. X
From Iz
Oh bum ....... we lost the Ashes - and spectacularly badly too! Hey ho. 'Spect you're celebrating out there...
Hope you're getting some xmas drinks in honey - have a Happy Yuletide and a fabulous New Year!
LoL xxxx Iz
Response: Yes, I was also a bit disappointed that England didn't make a better show of things but it was still exciting cricket. Gilly was amazing!!
From Iz
Ahhh...... you know England - adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!
How do they do it!
Response: Incredible! I couldn't believe what I was seeing.. Once they let Australia get a sniff at Victory there was no stopping us!!! Poor Freddie...
From Iz
Hey babe!
Long time. Am SO envious to hear about you being at the 1st test - even if we did get mashed! Wish I could have been there. How exciting! Glad you had a great time.
Hey - I went to see Elton John at Hove cricket ground last summer and he was fantastic - professional and passionate - clearly enjoys playing on stage to an audience which is great. Seen many 'stars' who make little effort so was very impressed with Elton. And didn't realise he is cricket mad too!
Hope all's well with you hon. I've just got back from Dubai! (as you may have seen from John's blog). I absolutely loved it and am now trying to find work out there. Decided Brighton's not really working for me anymore and Dubai offers so many opportunities (and tax free income). Better quality of life - and warmer too. So cold here it's miserable. So learning Arabic and applying for jobs like mad. Will be a big move but nothing ventured...
If you can get out there, do try cos it's fab. A truly 21st C city. All risen out of the desert. Amazing.
So hope all's well with you - and you find a great man to love you and give you cuddles! In the meantime, sending you a big hug and lots of love from Hove.
xxxxx Iz
Response: Wow!! The Dubai plan sounds like a great one. It could be the start of a whole new life! Brilliant.. Great photos of you on John's website too but then you always look lovely. xx Jo
Ps I caught up with Phil, Trish and Isobel while in Brisbane for the Ashes. They've just bought a beautiful old wooden house in a leafy suburb only a couple of kms from the CBD. They were both in good spirits despite the English cricket team doing it's best to spoil Phil's mood.
From Isabella
Hi Jo

Finally made it to your site! Good to hear your latest news. I always look forward to your updates. Hope you've got your wisdom tooth sorted - sounds really painful. After a year I still really miss you in the office - you definitely livened things up. It's pretty dire around here too and very quiet. I just bunked off for half an hour this morning to walk around the park and see some life outside the office...well a few squirrels but a change from the company of those rowdy Noise consultants i suppose!

Hope all going well with the new office. Sounds exciting but hard work.

Anyway must get on with some work. Will call you very soon for a proper chat.

Isabella xxx

Response: I can't believe it's been a year already! Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my life in Brighton. I don't want to lose my connection with people or the place. I really miss hanging out... Talk to you soon. xxx
From John -in-Dubai
I got my crown fixed in Bangkok for 300baht = £4.50. Crown on tooth, that is, not crown on head. Worth taking trip to BKK if you have serious dentistry needs!
Response: now that's worth thinking about....
From John-in-Dubai
Hey babe! I got Holistic Oz contacts for you, but not got your address - I've put mine here - if you write me I'll send u conctacts by return.
Response: Thank you!!
From Iz
Great work photo - v. professional darlin'. Hope all the work is going well now - are you moonlighting yet? Nice to be in demand.
Like the 'happy thought'. Happened to me too - a nice feeling huh? Life here goes on. Still no work which is a bummer, seen Ols a few times who is pretty much the same (we know what that means!) but still can't beat him at scrabble....and been chatting to Mr Wigham in Dobuy. Hoping to make it out there soon.
Shocking to hear about your mum and dad. Must be tough for them. We've still got as water shortage here even tough it rained for the whole of August and most of September! We waste so much here, it's awfy.
Love to hear your news. Sending you a big hug hon from across the world.
xoxoxo Iz
Response: In two years, I only beat Ols once at scrabble but it was a beauty - a triple word score on the last go. He thought he had it in the bag! haha.. xx
From Iz
Hi babe
Great to hear your news. Jeez, must be tough without water out there. Still got a hosepipe ban here after a year and it hasn't stopped raining this month. Will try and send some rain your way..
VERY envious that you're off to the Test - be great to be there with you (supporting the opposition of course!). Have a ball. Elton John, great - saw him when he was playing at Hove Cricket Ground in the summer. My friend's garden backs onto it so we had a great day, and all free. Did you hear we had a Tornado here in Brighton? Great stuff! Check out BBC South East for pics.
Glad to hear you're back in work - hope it goes well. God I can only dream about working 40 hours a week. Absolutely no work here, bummer! So good luck hon.
Love to keep hearing your news. Heard from Trish yet?
Big hugxxxxxxIz
Response: Big hug back Iz!! I'm so glad you leave messages regularly. It's really nice to hear the news from Brighton and no, I haven't heard from Trish yet but she is notoriously slack... and yes, I came to my senses with the work thing. 40 hrs is far too draining as it is. Good luck with your job hunting. It just takes so much energy doesn't it?! It's such a frustrating process. Keep your chin up, xx Jo
From Iz
Hey babe
Woa - hot news from the work front! Well at least you got some paid holiday out of it so far...Same thing happened to me in London 3 years ago and it was a shock at the time but the best thing in the long run I now see.
Hey - guess who I saw yesterday at our last cricket match of the season? Trish and Phil with little Izzy - who's not so little anymore. They're here for 3 weeks and it was lovely to see them again. They send you lots of love and Trish said to tell you she'll call you soon for a catch up. Told them to get on your blog! Gosh it's a small world isn't it?
John's been here a few days from DoBuy and just left this morning to go and see Matthew and the babes in France whilst Sally is in hospital having her operation, hope it all goes ok. Nice to see John again......! More on that later (this story runs and runs!).
Love the pictures - you look really well. Really nice to hear your news - keep it coming honey.
Big hug xxxx Iz
Response: Hey Izzy, it's a small world indeed! You've probably seen more of Trish, Phil and Isobel than I have! I know we live in the same state but I am 18hours drive north! I'm glad you had a nice time with John. On the subject of Wighams, do give my love to Ols next you see him. I hope things are working out in the Egremont St house. Take care, lots of love xxx
From Johnin Do buy
So there!!
PS more photos! The hot outfit?
Response: well well.. it can be done. Sorry about the lack of photos. I haven't come into the digital age yet. No sky, no home computer, no digital camera, no IPOD. I'm being left behind...
From Iz
Hi Jo - how ya doin? Hear they're suggesting State funeral for Croc but his dad says no! Quite right - he was an 'ordinary' chap and wanted to be treated as such! Hope you're not too mournful over there in Oz.
xxx Iz
P.S. Err...why would one want to make an umlauted O anyway?! Tip: umlauted O = OE = same thing in German.....
Response: Hey Iz, I'm good. I'm totally agree with you on the umlauted O. I don't even know how to pronouce it let alone when to use one!

This outpouring of grief for the Croc Hunter is amazing. I think they must be foreigners here on holiday because no-one I know is particularly cut up. I feel shocked. I've got that same feeling I got when I heard Superman became a paraplegic... but there's people in news blubbering, saying 'i'll never get over it!'. Ahhhhhh please......
From John-in-Dubai
No matter how or where I try it, the combination of Alt and 153 doesn't give me an umlauted O. Your correspondent must either be using a Scandinavian keyboard, or be on some mind-altering substance..... Any luck, anyone else? Jx