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!

Feeling Overwhelmed

Something happened to me in the course of last week. I very rarely have this feeling, but it deluged me in an enormous wave. I felt completely overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure exactly why. After all I have a lot to look forward to. But my worries were greater than the excitement for a while. It took me a few days to calm down, and I only did so because I went out and did everything I can do now, and have settled myself that everything else cannot be done yet – I have to wait until nearer to my travels.

I have been so much more busy than normal. I seem to be rushing from here to there. I have paid out so much money for my ticket to Australia, leaving me on a very tight budget at the moment. I think the pace that I am going at, and the constant care over how much I spend, has just been eating into my calm state of mind and gradually anxiety has crept in. I was drowning in a sea of concerns and worries. I really don’t like that feeling as if everything is “on a knife’s edge”! But I suspect, it is only my perception of things, and not my reality.

I found out some great news last week. While I am away, someone will rent my flat from my landlady. This is great, she can make a lot of money from someone with too much money, who wants a little hide-away within the right postcode so they can enjoy their little holiday in London. My landlady has managed to do this once before and it worked out really well. I am pleased for her.

But it does mean I have to move a lot of my personal items out of the way so that the holiday maker can have an empty wardrobe and drawers etc. I have three suitcases, a small one, which is ideal for the cabin on the plane and two larger ones. One I will take to Australia with my holiday clothes. The other I will fill with all the clothing I am not taking with me and then put that into the little storage room in the flat.

I made a start doing more deep cleaning in the little nest. I individually cleaned every slat in the wooden Venetian blinds I have here. It took me four hours to thoroughly clean all the blinds in the flat. I do flick-dust them and wipe them regularly, but every six months they need a more thorough clean. So they should be fine for when a stranger is in the little nest enjoying their holiday.

I emptied all of the kitchen cupboards and drawers and cleaned the insides and took out everything personal. I bought a 65 litre storage box (£6 from Wilkos) and have put those items into the little storage room I have. Closer to the time I will do another deep clean, but I have made things a lot easier for myself so that I am not overwhelmed just before my trip with how much I need to do.

I wish I could start packing now…but it is too early!

There are lots of other little things that have added to my worries – but over the last few days things have worked out alright. I have another post scheduled for tomorrow all about how things have worked out. 🙂


A Much Needed Distraction

stressedI have felt overwhelmed the past few days. I am working on a post to explain how much I tormented myself worrying about silly things.

All is better now! But still very busy. This morning I am up at the crack of dawn to help set up a fashion show. It will be a long day!

I have needed to distract myself to break the cycle of panic that I had triggered myself. I was glad to turn my attention to the lovely questions in this week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD, provided by Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind:

Well…here is my chance to tell you a little more about me and SHARE-MY-WORLD with you 🙂


If you could interview anyone from your life living or dead, but not a celebrity, who would it be and why?

great grandmotherOoooh.

I guess one person I heard a lot about when I was a child, but never had chance to meet of course, is my great grandmother. My mum’s mum’s mum. Everyone said I looked identical to her. She died just before I was born. She is one of the people I would love to meet and interview.

I think interviews are a great idea!! I used to grill my parents on their lives before the were the parents of us adorable kiddos.

As a child, did you have a nickname?  Did you carry that with you throughout life or was it only in childhood that you used it?


Smiling girl climbing treeWhy was I called Jo? I am not entirely sure why. There were several reasons. I think partly because I was a tomboy who wrote a lot of letters. (Jo from “Little Women” – Louisa May Alcott.) I say “I was a tomboy” simply on the basis that I was a tree-climbing, football playing, scaffolding scaling kiddo. I also thought another tomboy character from one of my favourite books George, was uber-cool (“The Famous Five” – Enid Blyton).

My name was distinctly girlie. I needed a tomboy nickname. So my friends chose Jo. I liked Jo. When I went to high school I met a new bunch of friends (all the kids on my primary school went to different high schools than I did) and none of these new friends called me Jo, they just used my name.

Give us three words that describe you:




Sneaking into a second movie at the theatre (if you go to a movie house)?  Is that wrong or just harmless ‘fun’?

cinemaIt is so rare that I actually am interested in going to see a movie at the cinema, I would be baffled if there were two that caught my interest.

But if I wanted to see two movies, I would pay for two movies. The thought of sitting still for all that time is not appealing.

I saw a few movies with Goldfinch. By the time one movie was over, it was definitely time to be going home! 😉

If you had a time machine would you go back to the past or forward into the future?  Why?

Forward. I would like to see the world at peace, a paradise earth, no more disease or crime or war. No more economic extremes, but everyone with what they need to be happy and healthy.  Complete peace of mind and vibrant energy. Hearts that have healed. No more pain.

look ahead.jpg

There is no way I would want to come back though!


GRATITUDE QUESTION: What were you thankful for during April?

I am grateful that Goldfinch rang me at two o’clock in the morning one night and that prompted me to buy my ticket to Australia the next day. I have felt full up of gladness ever since.