Green with Envy

I am so choked up with envy at the moment that I cannot do much more than refer you to my friend’s blog in which she talks about breakfasting in Switzerland, lunching in France and dining in Belgium.

http://the-empress-exported.blogspot.com/2011/02/three-countries-in-one-day-europe-is-at.html

Yes, I will calm back to my normal blue-eyed lovely self later and be very happy for Jo and her wonderful European Life, but right now I would like to wallow in envy if you don’t mind!

What the poetry world lost…

Adey, please avert your eyes now!
Do NOT read any further!
I fear you may lose all respect for me.
‘Dragons’. A Poem by Lisa Keane Elliott, c. 1970s

I came home the other night and found this sitting on bed. It is one of my poetic efforts c. 1970s. Well, from the state of my writing, I am thinking it is c. 1970s. If this is 1980s Lisa then I am even more embarrassed! I pity my Aged Aunt #1 who was the lucky (?) recipient of this poetic gem. (Or should I say, poetic turd? Hmm? Close call.)

It is clear that I understood the concept of rhyming words.

It is also clear that I had quite an imagination.

It is just the panache I seemed to have been lacking. Or any poetic talent for that matter.

I have not improved much over the years.

I recall sometime in 2005, walking along the streets of Subiaco in pink thongs (flip-flops for my English readers) and having just finished reading Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled, I was full of poetic inspiration. The resulting poetic brilliance of this walk:

I walk along the city streets, flip flop

Upon my feet are bright pink things, flip flop

What the poetry world has lost the historical world has the misfortune of gaining!

Well ain’t that just a bit bollocks

At the end of last year I was happily proclaiming that it was now less than a year and I would be returning to London for my third and final sojourn. Yes, the permanent move was nigh. I had set my date of departure for 28th December 2011. My thesis would be finished, my personal belongings would have been downsized and packed, my ticket purchased and temporary accommodation sorted with one of my poor friends in possession of a couch. My days as a full-blown Aussie were numbered and I would soon be part of the Ex-Pat Antipodean Community of London. (Not that I ever spent much time communing with the Ex-Pat Antipodean Community of London. I was too busy meeting lovely Poms!)

Alas, my happy little bubble was burst by the sharp stab of reality only a few days later when I met with my thesis supervisor on January 13. I suppose that deep down I knew something like this was coming. 2010 was kind of a lost year for me. Not as bad as The Lost Year of 2006. I unwisely prioritised my part-time job over my thesis and when I did have thesis time, my Melancholy drove me to the couch for Couch Potatoing or to bed with the blinds closed and the covers pulled over my head avoiding what must be done. I think I managed to perfect the Art of Avoidance last year. (Inspiration for my blog address did not come from afar.) Coupled with my brilliant skills in the Self-Sabotage department, I have managed to make a bit of a mess of things.

However, looking at the positive side of things, I have been bloody useful at work and, most importantly, I got to spend some quality time last year with all my gorgeous niece and nephews, as well as socialising with my lovely friends and family dwelling in Perth, Canberra and beyond. You cannot knock a year that began with a short sojourn in Paris, London and Newcastle, the last a blissful week with my gorgeous nephew, Jackson and his gorgeous honorary bro, Ben.

As a result, my plans to have my thesis finished at the end of February 2011 are now unlikely given that I have only five chapters roughly drafted and three more still to make it from my head onto my laptop.  However, in regard to deadlines, I have to say that I am in accord with the great Douglas Adams who is quoted as saying, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound like make as they fly by”.

My faffing about means that the thesis will be submitted sometime before the end of the year: Current official submission date is mid-September, but I have been told that it is better to extend than submit a thesis one is not quite happy with. I suspect I will be overcome by my inner-Douglas and take advantage of that submission deadline extension. One then has to allow for three months between first submission and awarding, or not, of one’s new Doctor title. Apparently one submits, then one receives suggestions for rewrites, tweaks and edits from the examiners, then one resubmits and at some point notification will be received that all is well, or not.

And my thesis supervisor and mother have insisted I stay about to take part in the Pomp and Circumstance of the Graduation Ceremony. Their insistence is even more emphatic given that I buggered off to London without doing the parlava after achieving my 2:1 Honours Degree in 2001. (Frankly, it was a case of $200+ being directed toward my First London Sojourn or a Graduation Ceremony and given that an Aussie dollar was amounting to a meager 25 pence in September 2001, I needed every dollar I could get my hand on!) And I am sure my Dad would like to see the whole Pomp and Circumstance routine seeing as the likelihood of him walking me down the aisle on my wedding day is on the low side.

So there it is. The simple and depressing truth about why I will not be arriving in London on Thursday 29 December 2011. Arrival will now be sometime in April 2012. (Many SFFs have been consumed since I was forced to realise this inconvenient truth.)

However, this is nothing in comparison to the poor Queenslanders who have been alternatively flooded or cycloned in recent weeks, the Perth Hills people who lost their homes in fires this week and the Victorians suffering periodic attacks of flash flooding. Staying in Perth for a bit longer is not as terrible a fate as my fellow Australians have been suffering recently.

Besides, I am sure there is someone who once said that a pleasure delayed is a pleasure made greater by the anticipation.

I bloody well hope so!

Yes, it’s true. Once I was a Beauty Princess

I was scanning this photo of Baby Me…

Lisa Keane Elliott, circa 1973

… and as I placed it face down on the glass, I spotted this label on the back.

Lisa Keane Elliott, Baby Beautiful 1973

Naturally, I did not win, but I take some satisfaction in the knowledge that at one point in my life, long ago though it is, I was cute enough for someone, (probably my Mum), to think I was gorgeous enough to be entered in such a competition!