Thursday, December 29, 2011

This time last year....

This time last year, if I'd imagined where I'd be in 12 months, I daresay it would have caused a little flutter of disappointment and the thought 'more of the same'.

If someone had told me this time last year that in 12 months I'd be living in Fremantle, have a permanent job at a World Heritage Site, and have bought a house, I probably would have laughed (but inwardly cheered, and gone 'yippee!'). I could never have imagined the last 12 months, but by god I'm glad they happened!

I can't help myself - I love variety and I love change. Those two years at the NMA working on Landmarks, while good years, were indistinguishable one from the other. How horrifying! 2010 was, in fact, the first time I started the year doing the same job I ended it on. Ever.

I like to think that I am treading a path where variety and suprise and an ever-changing journey are being balanced by moving forwards, and still achieving something worthwhile and concrete. The idea of 'settling down' in one place terrifies me. I can't imagine it. But I'm happy to spend enough time somewhere to get to know it, to love it, but then also to leave it. I don't know where my final home will be. I suspect I might never have one. It's enough to settle down for a while, to experience something new, to learn about myself and my surroundings, and then to move on.

Home is important, don't get me wrong, but there is nowhere I've come across that feels like a forever home. Not yet, anyway. Instead it's a place in my heart with my husband, and wherever we go, together, it feels like home. I do need the solid home base - there's no way I could couch-surf while trying to hold down a full-time job, or live out of a suitcase while trying to live 9-5. I need the stability of a good home, but I know I'll always end up leaving.

Such an inability to commit to settling down seems odd from someone who grew up in the one house until moving out at 18; went to the same primary school, and only 2 high schools (and that's coz they kicked me out of the first one!). I'm like some weird hybrid of a nomad and a settler. But it helps to keep life interesting. And in that spirit, I wish you all a wonderful new year, and many blessings for 2012. Who knows where we'll all be in 12 months time hey!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Wow, the landscape changed dramatically last week, when my boss announced on Monday that she was resigning, effective Friday. Phwoar!

This was good news to me for several reasons, but the one that I am going to focus on from now is about the future. I hope the past will stay put behind me, and not rear its ugly head. Perth is a small town, apparently too small to go around making enemies, but I think my boss and I pretty much burned all our bridges this last week of our working relationship. Never mind, like I said, from now on it's all about the future!

I get to act in the position of Curator until they recruit for it, and as they need to sort some other stuff out first that will more than likely be between 4-6 months. I'm banking on 4, and going to direct my energies to achieving at least one major goal in that time, as well as hopefully kicking several small ones as well. If I get extra time then it's a bonus.

I'm under no illusion that the job will be handed to me in recruitment, but nor will I shy away from applying for it. I hope to be a strong contender for the role, but whatever happens, these next few months are a fabulous opportunity to sink my teeth into some really satisfying work. The chance to punch above my weight would never have been forthcoming had I stayed in Canberra - there you work above your level but never get a chance to do it officially, not unless you've jumped some serious hoops or somebody dies to make room up the top. This is an amazing opportunity.

Things seem to be falling into place for me right now with almost miraculous synchronicity. I'm intrigued by how it will play out in the new year!

PS I also passed Level 4 with PRD, which seemed to be the equivalent of CRDL's Orange Star testing, and that means I can bout with the league in the new year. Huzzah!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Power to the (derby) people

Team Australia is currently in Toronto, Canada, kicking arse at the Roller Derby World Cup. Every time my husband rings me I excitedly tell him what team those amazing ladies have trounced now - and anyone who knows me, knows that I'm the last person to be giving score updates, for any sport (ok, except derby!). So far they have beaten Germany, Finland, and Scotland, and are seeded 4th. I think they will finish up in the Top 3 for sure.

The team features not one but FOUR skaters from Canberra Roller Derby League (CRDL), which was my home league until I moved over here. Makes me realise what a great group of women I learned to skate under. They are hard-working, dedicated, and most of all FUN to skate with. I have realised that not all leagues are like this.

In WA there are two Leagues based in Perth, and they both struggle for numbers. It makes it hard to field competitive players if you struggle just to put together a home team. Being so far away makes a huge difference too. These girls are taught to skate by non-derby people, particularly men. I have skated with both PRD and WARD, and been in sessions taken by boys that have no idea what they're talking about - a speed skater advising us all to kick up our legs (low block, anyone?), or the artistic skater who stands straight-legged and yells at us all to "Get in derby stance, NOW!". I don't get it. The only boy who ever took a session when I skated with CRDL was Ref Fink, and let's face it he's amazing! He also skates derby (or merby, as it's known!) and knows his shit.

I feel resentful that I have to take orders from people who don't know derby, and feel that surely we're not THAT desperate over here? Maybe these people have something to offer, sure, but for one session max - not continuously. What about skills within the League? Are there any jam skaters or speed skaters or bladers in there? Who knows. All I can say after seeing the standard of PRD, which formed around the same time as CRDL, is that isolation does make a huge difference in skill level.

Also the ethos is different, but that's to be expected. People over here don't want to train more than twice a week - fair enough, I'm pretty sure that there were some girls at CRDL who didn't want to train 3 times a week. But if you want that spot on the team when they roll out onto the track you do whatever it takes to get there. You strive to improve.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not slagging off the WA skaters, I'm just saying that it is different. I'm sure joining any league would have been different. But CRDL fielding 4 skaters in a team of 20, playing at international level, gives you some indication of the skill level I have been used to (please don't mistake me - there's no way I'm saying that I'M at that skill level - ha ha! No way!). I certainly feel very lucky to have learned from these skaters, who can now honestly claim to be some of the best in the world. And I feel a little sad about what I have lost coming over here.

But you know what, today it was 36 degrees and I went to the beach and had a swim in that gorgeous blue-green Indian Ocean, and I remembered why I wanted to move here all those months ago!