Yes, it has been 19 days since my last posting, but I wouldn’t bore you with excuses. Instead, here is some stuff I could share by now:
Moving – again!
This is the first time I officially confirm that mr.mck and I are going to move down under. The news, of course, has been circulated around friends for a while. First reaction normally would be something like, “What? You’re moving? But you have just moved!”. Indeed, we have just moved to our new house this summer. We still have boxes unopened and rooms unfurnished. In four months living in the new house we have thrown many BBQ parties and dinners. We have had visitors staying with us. We have been busy planning and fighting about wall colours and Tilly cat’s sleeping arrangement. But I have learned that life is full of surprise, and we’d just need to go with the flow.
The move is much sooner than we expected – we thought it would be at least another year until we got the chance – but we are very delighted, scared and excited at the same time. New place, new experience, new challenge, new friends. If everything is on schedule, we will be there by end of November, right before my birthday. So I stop shopping for winter clothes, and my Sex in The City and Friends DVD set, which I have carried all the way from Indonesia in a very neat box, will still be in it for a wee bit longer (two years unopened box is nothing. My aunt has boxes unopened for 25 years when she moved from Germany to Indonesia) until we get to our new place. I will be sharing the continent with Ecky, although we are 7 hours flight apart (and although she is already looking up the next destination for her next posting, aarrgh! How ironic it is if she is moving to UK?). Another blogger is moving down under too, and hopefully I would be able to visit her sometimes soon. If everything is on track, we will be there for at least 3 or 4 years. But again, looking at our life, I stop planning for more than two months….
Partying and traveling – again
September is a busy month as we had few BBQ and thrown some dinners and lunches for our friends. No one is hospitalised so far, so it’s a good sign that mr.mck and I actually can cook. And because we are leaving in a couple of months, we have several going away dinners to go to. Not really ideal situation to land in summer with expanded waistbands while everyone looks tan and fit with skimpy clothes!
September is also a good month for me because I have finally become a British permanent resident, which means I do not need to apply for visa anytime I visit UK, although sadly it doesn’t mean anything to the rest of the world. I suffered from colossal stomach pain before submitting my documents, worrying that my application wouldn’t be granted, or they need more documents and will cause delays for my Australian visa, and other paranoia. I also had to submit them in person, but instead of getting the appointment in the nearest office in Scotland, I must go to Liverpool, which comfortably can be reached in 7 hours by train. The joy of getting my PR was quickly washed away by another 7 hour-journey back to Aberdeen with changing trains and platforms in 3 cities, and – most importantly – the fact that I had to pay for the train’s wifi service! Honestly, Scottish train is way much better than the border’s or English ones, I get wifi for free in Scottish trains!
Some other trips are already in my calendar, one of them is a trip to the Netherlands where I would like to see my cousin before we leave to Australia. Of course I would grab the chance to meet Indonesian bloggers there, so if you are in Rotterdam in the end of October, let me know, we could catch up and grab some coffee. Or space cakes.
Researching – again!
I vaguely mentioned that I have participated in some research, but I just got the green light to actually mention about it here. If you click on ESOMAR website, you will find out more about European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research – a world association of research professionals – and its activities and conferences. I and other 9 selected bloggers have participated in the project done by GfK UK, one of the largest market research companies in the world, which papers discuss about – what else – bloggers. Yes people, the raising of web 2.0 and social network platforms force companies to change the way the conduct their business. And what we do, sharing our useless opinions in the virtual world, are actually noticed by others. I wrote about how our comments actually worth a million last June, where I shockingly discovered the existence of web scrapers which crawl on to every blog and forum, gather the data, and sell them to the companies which are eager to find the general public’s opinion towards a product, policy, or government’s law. The research conducted by GfK UK actually takes several steps further, by looking at bloggers as research partners (and not just as respondents). A paper was submitted at the ESOMAR conference in Vienna a couple of months a go and another in Chicago next month. To me personally, participating in such important research is really exciting, and it actually forces me to think about what I have been doing with my blog and blog activities. I will publish the complete paper here next month after the conference and after I got the approval from the researchers/writers!
So, what have you been up to?