Things Work Out

I mentioned yesterday that I felt a wave of anxiety come over me at the weekend and I felt overwhelmed.

to doI have had a ever growing “to-do list” always present in my mind. There are things I have written down on post-it notes all over my desk, my bed-side table, the coffee table. Things I keep remembering I must make sure I do before I go out to Australia. For some strange reason, I have felt urgency about completing my self-assessment tax return. I have until October, but I felt as if I want to get it out of the way and pay any tax I owe.

In addition, I found out my phone won’t work in Australia (I am going to need a phone out there) and the network I am with said that even with a new phone, they would only unlock it after three months. They told me I would have to buy an unlocked phone from Carphone Warehouse. I have never actually bought a phone in my life. I have always depended on hand-me-downs.

My hair needs a trim, but I will have to postpone having it cut until just before I travel. Which means I am going to have shocking split ends and the hair stylist is bound to tell me off. I am just going to tell her straight – “you are too expensive and I have had to spend a lot of money on my Australia trip!” Better to have nice hair when I see Goldfinch though.

Then the pharmacist told me that unless I have a yellow fever booster, a rabies course and some other vaccinations, I will not be allowed into Australia. Everyone is telling me, buy a flight pillow, buy compression socks for the flight, buy hand sanitizer, buy travel mini toiletries…and so it goes on. I want to buy new lingerie for my trip – but that’s another big expense. Aaaaagh! All these little things I have never thought about. I have just felt a bit frazzled with it all.

I saw one of my workmates the other day and voiced my worries of either being detained at the airport like that Tom Hanks movie because I didn’t have a yellow fever booster. Or else being lost somewhere in the outback without any way of getting in contact with Goldfinch because my phone won’t work and then being bitten by some creature and ending up with rabies. But because my phone has no signal, nobody can find me!!! Then eventually when they do find me and I end up in hospital, I am mortified that I failed to buy new lingerie and the hospital staff have seen me in my faded undies!!

Some of the pressure I am putting on myself is unnecessary.

  • adding machineWhy am I worried about my tax return now? But I was so anxious that I sat down and made myself fill out the form, which I could only do after I spent forty minutes on hold listening to music and “we are very busy right now, an adviser will take your call as soon as one is available” announcements, and had the chance to ask my questions about which parts really apply to me. I think I owe HMRC £30, but I have to wait until they receive my form before I can ring up and make a payment. I have posted it though, and I already feel relief.


  • The travel agency reassured me there are no mandatory vaccinations for me, but they recommended a booster for diphtheria, tetanus and polio. I called my GP surgery to see if they could beat the price quote of £60 that a private travel clinic had quoted me. My GP surgery said they can do that for £15. They said I needed to nip down to the surgery and fill out a form. The GP surgery is just at the end of the road. The next day I found a message on my answering service saying that it was only the tetanus, diphtheria and polio booster I needed, and inviting me to call and make an appointment. I called the GP surgery and the receptionist said I could go immediately as they had an appointment available in ten minutes time. While chatting with the nurse I admitted to her that I am bit anxious because it’s the first time I have travelled abroad on my own and I have never been so far. Well she told me the first time she ever flew on her own, it was to go and visit her boyfriend who had recently moved back to Australia. She gave me lots of advice and told me about the airport where my transit is, and… she also told me she is now married to her Australian sweetheart.


  • basic phone.pngI need to replace my phone anyway. It hasn’t been working properly for about six months. I can only take calls if the caller is  on loudspeaker and one of the keys on the keypad isn’t workingI bought a new basic phone which is unlocked  for £20 and I will put my sim into it. I have been assured I can use this in Australia! So now, I should not find myself in a pickle on the opposite side of the planet without any way of contacting Goldfinch, or anyone else for that matter.


  • I was looking at travel pillows and flight socks in Boots The Chemist and decided I could not afford them yet. Then I went to a department store to use the ladies because they are always clean, unlike the main shopping centre (mall). The ladies toilets are near to the section that sells suitcases. I had a wander round – I don’t need a suitcase, but I found myself curious about what they had  – and noticed they had a travel accessories section. There was a flight pillow that was reduced in their sale. I bought it for £6 instead of the original marked price of £24. They had flight socks too for half the price of those in Boots (again they were marked down in the sale). 


  • sleepyI read a travel bloggers’ post with tips about long-haul flights (very helpful!) and she mentioned a product that you put on your pulse points to make you sleepy – it has lavender and essential oils in it etc. I noticed a branch of the store she mentioned and I went in and told the assistants what I had read. They showed me the product, but I was hesitant when I saw the price for a tub. While I was chatting wit the staff about the coffins we saw in Ghana, one of the assistants kindly put some of the Sleepy cream into a little pot for me and said to me “that’s all you need for your flights, if you like it, you can come back and buy more when you get back.” Wasn’t she kind!


  • I don’t really need more clothes, but some of my clothes seem so shabby. I keep looking at clothes elsewhere and wishing I could afford them. My landlady very kindly gave me a beautiful blouse which will look great with my tailored chinos. I am going to spare the details of my choice of clothes for Australia right now, (I am sure there will be a post about the contents of my suitcase later!) but there are five pairs of chinos under consideration. I have navy, a really nice colour tan/beige, white, turquoise, and red. I have been looking at all my navy/white/beige tops and my navy/tan shoes, I am taking a navy rain coat and a tan cross-body hand bag which fits all of my travel accoutrements inside.


And I will have to save up some more money and postpone that purchasing lingerie until closer to my travels.

But what I have learnt is that, as always, things have a habit of working themselves out, often helped along by lovely folk you bump into along the way… I get myself all worked up and overwhelmed for no reason. Things work out!

32 thoughts on “Things Work Out”

    1. Thank you 🙂 I wish I had been more motivated from as soon as Goldfinch left in December. It would have been better to have planned and budgeted for this over six months instead of just three! Silly me!
      I spent the first few weeks coming to terms with his loss, then the next few weeks reeling from realizing I had a life changing situation to think about.

      It was actually before I lost my little apricot that I said to Goldfinch I really wanted to come and see him, partly because I felt it would be easier to get myself there with a watermelon inside of me…than to have to travel later with a little one.

      Then…when I lost her, I spent a few weeks sulking, but said to Goldfinch that I would still like to see him. That’s why it was only April when I actually booked my ticket!! I have waited and waited and now it’s all systems go and some intense planning and budgeting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sorry, I didn’t know all that had happened. You’ve been through quite a bit, Mel. You had to take time to work through the loss so it is a good thing you waited to start planning. It’s ok that it’s at a quicker pace. You’ll look back on it and say how was I able to do it all. I’m so very happy for you that you will be reunited with your dear Goldfinch ❤


    1. I must admit, I feel so much better for doing the things that I could. I have been organized and started to write a list of things to take (it is too early to actually start packing). I just need to keep busy. keep happy and surely the time will fly!


  1. Sounds like you have your “ducks in a row”. I just arrived in Germany the flight from Atlanta was 8.5 hours, and the neck support pillow is a must for me. Just a tip. I must have got my earring snagged in it and arrived with one empty ear lobe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have a great time in Germany 🙂

      I am always losing earings, so that is a very helpful tip!

      I need to keep them little duckies lined up and not let any of them go astray 🙂


    1. I am so excited Tom – mainly about seeing Goldfinch, but I am also growing more and more excited about seeing Adelaide. Because my mum’s family are Australian, I have always had a desire to visit, but I thought it would be very unlikely I would make it because of the cost of travel and how much time off work I would need to take.


  2. It is funny how we want things perfect and new when we’re seeing someone we haven’t seen in a while. I guess it’s just we want to put our best foot forward even though they just want to see “us”. I know the feeling, but I’m sure he will just see you, not what you’re wearing. Have a great time, don’t worry about having the perfect anything, just be you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Thanks Cheryl 🙂
      I often wish I was perfect for Goldfinch. But like every other human I am imperfect.
      I am delighted I have found some really nice clothes in local charity shops. But I am not going to buy lingerie from charity shops. So I am going to carry on with this strict budget a little while longer so that I can feel a tad more confidant when I see him.


  3. I can put your worries about rabies and the Outback to rest!

    The reason you were told you need a rabies shot before getting into my country is because we don’t have rabies here!!! We do have VERY strict quarantine laws for outside animals coming over to stop it getting in and yet this does not apply to humans largely?? The authorities seem to think that as long as you are not frothing at the mouth when you get to the airport customs you probably don’t have it and it’s safe to let you in… so no drooling when you land at the thought of seeing G again – OK? 🙂

    Besides, in the outback if anything bites you you are far more likely to die much more quickly than if you got rabies; minutes to hours most likely. And it your phone is not working you won’t be alive by the time you are found – if you are ever found that is. It could take months, or longer.

    So, no more worries about rabies or spending time in hospital – Clear?? 😉

    I’d probably advise against getting lost or wandering more than 100m from a safe place if i were you.

    Finally, in the words of the Great Bobby McFerrin…. Don’t worry – Beee happy! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy to help Mel! 🙂

        Seriously though – the Aussie Outback is not a place to take chances, or to go to without being very well prepared and with people who really know that they are doing.

        It can be awesome and the experience of a lifetime… you just don’t want to let it be the last experience of a lifetime!

        Liked by 1 person

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