Standing still for 6 months

As it happens, I have taken a job in Switzerland for 6 months. This is an exceptional commitment for me & the longest time I have stayed still in 5 years. I feel ever so slightly anxious…..

I am however looking forward to:

  • Having a local (pub/bar)
  • Having a regular fitness routine
  • Meeting people who I don’t have to leave the next day/month
  • Not having to pack up my life every month
  • The short commute to work (I’m live in)
  • Becoming awesome en français!
  • Not fretting about my next position
  • Having a regular day off (BLISS)
  • Exploring
  • Discovering
  • Relaxing
  • Having my own space

I do have the fear that I’m missing out on so many other opportunities & travel but I shall push that to the back of my mind for the sake of my happiness & sanity.

If anyone has tips for me to explore Switzerland & the surrounding countries, please do tell!

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Time to pack up my life

The upheaval is on the horizon. In the next week I shall be moving to Lausanne. Time to have high hopes of reinventing myself, my lifestyle & my future. This will all fade, of course, when daily life & work happens – but I live in hope. With every move I endeavour to find improvements in my self & my happiness. I imagine I will continue to do so for years to come, despite the apparent lacking success rate.

The thought of packing up my life again makes me feel weary, but this is the lifestyle I have picked so I have to deal with it. Tough shit to me. I’ve made my temporary bed, time to make it somewhere else again & lie in it.

Dear Switzerland, I miss you

I cannot wait to get back to Switzerland. I am super excited about learning to snowboard. I don’t have much time left until the end of the season & I feel like I’ve hardly spend any quality time with my friends. Literally, where has the season gone? It has went even faster this year than the previous 2 seasons & somehow there are less crazy memories.
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What have I been doing for the past 3 months!!?:
  • Had my first snowboard lesson
  • Enjoyed après drinks in the sunshine with the most beautiful views
  • Watched the entire Love/Hate series, that was amazing!
  • Worked my hooves off & have nothing to show for it
  • Moved house 5 times
  • Worked some more
  • Partied very hard about 6 times
  • Nannied the cutest kids
  • Blogged
  • Went to Morocco
  • Listened to London Grammar constantly
  • Caught a virus
  • Starting running
  • Started #take12trips
  • Invested in my skincare
  • Ate pasta
  • Ate cheese
  • Watched dinner date a bit too frequently
  • Read 3 books
  • Broke my celibacy
  • Drank coffee
  • Watched Ireland win 3 6 Nations games so far
  • Basked in many baths
  • Didn’t find a post season job
  • Daydreamed on Skyscanner
  • Anticipated the new Formula 1 season

I’m really going to make the most of it when I get back. Being sick last week & unable to do anything or see anyone has really made me want to get out there & see & do everything.

Switzerland, I hope you are ready for some serious quality time! See you on Sunday x

When casual conversations turn into panic inducing inquisitions

Yep, just a casual conversation with my friend. He seems to have his post ski season year sorted & is happy about that. Almost smug. Boastful some might say. Less kind people would say he’s being a bit twattish about it, frankly. When he asks me about mine I brightly tell him about my plans to go to New Zealand in September. I have this roughly figured out since October & I am delighted to have direction & focus on the horizon. Go me! *pats self on back*

His face. He looked at me as though I were crazy!

“That’s in 6 months. What are you going to do next?? After this!?”

Is he being dramatic & Italian or should I have my shit sorted out by now. Ok, both. More importantly, I should have my shit sorted out. Queue the panic, searching, applications, waiting & desperation to take the first low paid, little respect position that crawls its sorry ass my way. In fairness, my friend has just recently organised his next few months & shouldn’t be so harsh on me – but then again, my contract in Switzerland finishes in 4 weeks. *Is a little bit sick in my mouth* I need a kick up the arse. What the deck am I going to do?!

Still, I never know whats around the corner. That dream job in Formula 1 could be my next calling – It’s not, but imagine if that was my next job! Shhhhhhh, let me bask in it for a moment…..

Daydreams OVER. Back to the real world with a thump.

Now to take the unemployment bull by the career empowering horns. Can I turn this around? What will it take to get a suitable, challenging job that I’m fully competent in, enjoy & get well paid for? Not even well paid, just a decent wage appropriate to my skills & time. Plus in a country I adore or I haven’t been to yet. Am I asking for too much? Can I make this happen??

I guess I’m just going to try my best & make it work, somehow. Inspiration is welcome as always!

Here’s to taking corners, not knowing whats around them & the security that there are always opportunities hiding & waiting. In case you were wondering, yes, I do drink when I blog & make a cheers to all my readers at the end 😉

Dear Skype, I love you

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I bloody love Skype. Another highly cherished ‘enabler’ in my world of travel. Without Skype I don’t know if I could go for long periods away from my family & ‘home, home’ (aka my original home where I keep homing back to).

However, with Skype comes a world of hurt, abuse, trauma & neglect as I am thrown 100% back into the normalcy of my family life. I have tried to come up with methods to avoid these negative situations but I fail at every step. I shall continue to perfect the manner in which I use Skype. These are some of my user issues:

1> Timing

Timing is EVERYTHING. If I Skype during Sunday dinner I am overwhelmed with morbid jealousy & I am a one woman pity party for myself. My mouth is watering & I can almost smell the delicious, familiar feast…. When I’m hungover this crippling sense of being hard done by & neglected is MAGNIFIED. Sunday Skypes are risky business. You are taking your hunger in your hands!

If I Skype when my nephew is trying to watch ‘Toot Toots’ (Thomas the tank engine to us mere grown ups) on the iPad, I am greeted by a screaming child. I usually hear the wails before I see his red, outraged face. “NOOOOOOOOO! Toot TOOTS!!!!” Will be shouted at me repeatedly while I am being pushed away in horror. This can really affect my self esteem when I’m looking forward to seeing a cute, loving face after a tough day travelling or a long week at work. This scenario isn’t helped by the parents’ protests to “Say hello to auntie” being met with a stamping foot & a distressed child screaming “NOOOOO!!! Toot toots!!!”. Enjoy your flaming toot toots then Mr Terrible Two *sobs into keyboard*

2> Motion Sickness

Pass me my motion sickness bands & tablets – I’m going to Skype the parents! Strap on your seat belts, this is going to be like no roller coaster ride you have ever experienced! Prepare to be shaken, dropped, moved non stop & aimed excruciatingly poorly at the wrong thing. This can all be done from a stationary seated position. That’s impressive! My parents’ arms must be aching after a Skype session with me from their non stop juggling. Maybe its a fitness initiative that I’ve missed?? Just when you think your eyes have adjusted to the swaying & spinning it somehow goes twice as fast. If you are hungover this is not even worth the risk. Even the thought of it may take you to a dark place of wretching. I swear my parents are worse than my niece & nephews who normally carry me (the iPad) somewhere & stand on me/switch me off/prop me against something/cuddle & kiss me.

3> Terrible picture

Feet. Corners of the ceiling. Blank wall. The iPad cover. I’m looking at you again parents. Its a simple aim & hold device. I do not need to gag at your dirty, disgusting crocs. I didn’t call you to look at the Dulux whisked egg-white-ivory-linen-cotton-cloud paint on the walls. I am giving you a perfectly delightful view of my face. Ok, so it may not always be a delightful face but at least there is emotion, communication & interaction. Why am I looking at the carpet??? Is it so difficult to look at the little box on the screen to check what I’m seeing once in a while? Is it so difficult to remember whether you’re on front or back camera? Can I see your whole face for expression or must it solely be a conversation with your scalp?? *Sigh*

4> Neglect

Sometimes I get forgotten. The iPad (me) gets set down, people get on with their tasks/chatter/life & I listen in. I quite like it though. I feel like I’m right back at home – Is this a pity party thing where being left out makes me feel like I’m at home?? I like to sit back & be a fly on the wall, taking in the conversation & taking part when it suits. Not being the focus of entertainment or being interrogated.

5> Interrogation

Ok, I get it. When someone isn’t home their life seems so exciting & you want to hear more about it because you’re sure it’s incredible. Ask me questions, I’ll tell you anything you need to know. But please, fill me in on what’s happening back at ‘home, home’. I want to hear the funny, silly stories. I want to know that my niece cried when granda collected her from nursery, I want to hear about my nephew giving his toys to his wee brother when he’s upset, I want to know that the flowers I sent were hand delivered & my mum was asked for by her funny nickname.

6> Heartache

Nothing breaks my heart quite like how much I miss my dog when I’m away. I think about him an absurd amount of time. My daydreams usually involve reminiscing about how soft his fur is & how good he is to hug or looking forward to the next time I cuddle him. When I Skype him he doesn’t show interest in me anymore. The years of abandonment have hardened his fragile heart. To see him on Skype is always a complete joy & a reminder that I’m a bad mamma. I guess if this is one of my great sources of sadness then I can consider myself very fortunate. & I do. However, this doesn’t stop me missing him every single day.

7> Jealousy

I am happy go lucky, I make the most of what I’ve got & I don’t dwell on jealousy. If anything I make a joke at how unfortunate I can be on occasion. Honestly, most situations I wouldn’t change because I really love a funny story. No matter if I’m the joke, I like to see how things unfold. Plus I have a fantastic group of friends who see great humour in when things go wrong in my life. Not in a cruel way, more of an it-could-only-happen-to-you, eyes rolling, kind of way. When I say I don’t do jealousy, I have to admit there are flashes when it consumes me. One great example is when I Skype during Sunday dinner. I am jealous. I want to eat that too! On Skype my family don’t hesitate to tell me when they are going to the (DELICIOUS) local Chinese, my favourite restaurants or for walks or day trips to my favourite places. It is mainly food induced jealousy. What can I say, I’m a foodie! (This is the cute term I use so people think I’m not a greedy, forever hungry, unfillable pit of a human).

8> Emotional

Not content with being a visual roller coaster, Skype has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I can document so many milestones & experiences via Skype. My heart filling when I got to see my 1 hour old niece from Switzerland, my heart twisting when my Grandad passed away when I was working in Italy, my nephews first steps, ringing in new years, singing happy birthday & wishing each other merry Christmas. You are the one who has been there for my family & I through it all.

So, Skype, I still have to finesse the terms on which I use you to avoid all my personal issues…. But honestly, I don’t know what I would do without you. You help me see my niece & nephew grow up, you give me immense comfort when I see my dog, you warm me when I hear my family chatting casually & waving down the camera. You allow me to have a (somewhat) normal life with my family via regular conversation, interaction & sharing our lives. You make it easy for me to pack my bags, leave home & jet off to a new country. You make it easier to pack for months away. You make it easy to visit countries on the other side of the world, to explore & escape.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you for being an important enabler in my life.

Please share your travel enablers with me in the comments below. What apps & websites help you to travel & make your life easier? I’m sure there are so many out there just waiting to be discovered. Thanks!

Travel day!

With 3 hours sleep & miserable as fuck from my cold & hatred of flying I attempt to embrace my day of travel.    *sigh*

This will be my 18th flight in 12 months.    *sigh*

I am perplexed at how I can afford all these flights & how I managed to actually have the will to live to take them. For me that shows a certain strength of character & my determination to travel & explore. All of these flights have been alone. I think all my flights excluding 6 in the past 13 years have been alone. I’m not sure how to travel with a companion now. It would be strange…..

Packing was as drawn out & relentless as ever. I now know that my issue is that I’m too resourceful & see potential use in all my belongings. If only it was as easy as packing my clothes, cosmetics, entertainment & travel documents. I am packing herbs that I struggle to find, chocolate I know my friends will love, secret santa gifts, forward planning birthday gifts, homely comfort items, rehab kit, etc. I need to streamline this. A lot.

I am also a bit scatty. I take it too far. I love my home comforts but sadly that’s where I have to leave them. I also didn’t check the side compartments of my luggage until my bag was being weighed at check in – a tanning mitt & table ping pong set were waiting patiently from my flight from Italy over 2 months ago. I really need to get my act together!

Yet again I am travelling into the relative unknown. I’m going back to my favourite winter home, a beautiful ski resort in Switzerland. This will be my third Christmas here, the unknown aspect is with regards to my work & the duration of my stay. I am going to be working for a nannying company & hopefully I’ll be able to pick up other work during the busier times. I am staying as long as I have work, or until I get bored or something else comes up. I’m always on the lookout for a new adventure and path.

I presume I will stay for a month at least. By then I should have come up with something new & had a good catch up with my wonderful friends. I need to recharge my soul with the fantastic bunch of people I am privileged to call my friends. Laughing, hugging, drinking & dancing. I can’t wait for it all to begin!

Merry Christmas!

My 8 secrets for a cringe free massage

My office

My office

I work in the field of Sports Rehabilitation & massage, normally high end massages in luxury ski resorts or on the other end of the spectrum with sports teams. Looking forward to the upcoming ski season got me thinking about this & what may be some valuable insider information & words of advice for massage therapists everywhere.

Some of the chatter amongst my colleagues circles around when male clients get erections during treatments. I find this massively inappropriate, although hilarious because it is not happening to me of course. It has never happened to me. This situation has happened to my friends many times. Never me. Should I be offended?? I have a 0% erection record & I am determined to maintain this. I started calculating how many massages I have done & dreading that via the law of probability I had one approaching imminently.

I have thus constructed guidelines that I have been living by so I can avoid this situation. These are my tips for when doing massages in a client’s home/chalet. If you work in a spa or with a team you will also be able to adapt & implement some of the tips.

1>Always look sweaty, out of breath & flustered – made believable as you have had to haul your treatment table & kit in the snow for a 20 minute incline whilst more than likely lost & late. This is the client’s first impression of you so it should make a lasting mark. Out of breath panting could be added in a strictly non sexual manner.

2>Exude a simple innocence. A great opportunity to do this is when taking your shoes off. Try to do this when you’re still carrying your treatment table & kit bag. This will look exceptionally awkward & you will inevitably stumble over. This acts to remove any sexual inclination the client may have towards you.

3> Smile. It’s always great to smile. There is no need to be rude to the client. This also discards the mysterious air that men find attractive in moody cows.

4> Be a bit of a mess. This will lower the client’s expectations of you from your initial poor impression digging further the hole of unattractiveness that you want to be consumed by. It’s always helpful to set up your treatment table in a tiny box room, making it physically more difficult will aid in making you look like a hot mess. An unattractive hot mess. While you’re at it why not move the furniture, try to locate plugs & mess around with plug adaptors for your electric blanket.

5> Require pity. When calling the client to commence the massage be sure to look apologetic for your entrance & how long it took you to set up – despite it being a humanely commendable duration to do everything. By mentioning that it took you a long time the client will consider it to have been long & think even less of you. He may doubt your capabilities as a massage therapist, which is a risk. You should easily be able to redeem yourself via your treatment. This lingering sense of disappointment will abolish any sexual tendencies the client may have towards you.

6> The treatment. Carry out an excellent treatment as always. Never compromise on quality, your skills & professional reputation.

7> Chin alignment. At all times keep your head tilted downwards creating a multi chin effect. From the angle your client is at this will be wildly exaggerated & no man or beast would contemplate a sexual encounter with the likes of you.

8> Facial expression. This is your gift to freestyle with. Think unsexy & repulsive. Be as natural as you can with this. It is surprisingly simple to master these looks. In some cases this may actually be your neutral facial expression! So simple! They are highly successful in discouraging an erection.

I hope these tips help you to avoid those those flag pole moments. I can’t imagine the horror in having to deal with this situation – if you have experienced it, please comment & if you have any tips to add please share them.

Bitches Be cleaning

Cleaning. This is my new life.

I am now cleaner extroardinaire in no less than 4 establishments, where I am highly commended for my adeptness in all that is spick & span – to spectacular standards.

Dust & fingerprints are my krytonite & I don’t mean to sound like I’m big headed but I am fucking SMASHING THEM!

I have perfected the cleaners’ slut drop to quickly polish toddlers fingerprints from glass doors.

I am highly proficient in the cross eyed ‘is that a streak in the glass?’ studious stare – I look like I’m trying to crack a magic eye puzzle. I am fairly confident I will sprain a pupil before the end of the season. One of the chalets is approximately 80% glass….

I have battled as a petite lady making superking beds & relished in the satisfaction of the ease of making up a toddlers cot – Is this how it feels for tall/regularly heighted people to make beds?

I have not successfully mastered the art of hoovers. Two have ceased to suck for no logical reason while one agressively gave me electric shocks. Another made a crude attempt at acting like a trip wire – I broke that bad ass hoover, then whimpered & fixed it in a panic.

I have the proprioception of an agile mountain goat when it comes to cleaning the glass panels bordering the swimming pool. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the multi million pound chalet designer for allowing the ledge I have to balance on to be the exact length of my foot but not quite the space my ass requires. I know this will only get worse for me as my booty flourishes at all the dirty mark slut drops I’ve been doing.

My fitness has plateaued at the level of near collapse with aphyixiation combined with the legs of a bambi on ice when I get to the top floor of the chalet. How is my fitness not improving? I work damn hard for hours every day. How are my legs not big & strong like an ox?! I expected to be practically a centaur by now. Why are my arms not borderline Madonna toned?? How is my lung capacity not superhuman?!
I am starting to question altitude training as one massive performance enhancing cover up.
I’m on to you all *points at athletes ‘altitude training’*

I do love things about my job too…. When annoying guests leave, admiring the guests’ expensive make up, noticing things that remind me that multi billionaires are just normal people, singing my way through changeover days, my colleagues and free stale bread. This is how I’m living my current dream.

As an aspiring yacht stewardess I know this experience will be invaluable for my CV. I can’t help but wonder how tedious cleaning will be on a superyacht & what am I letting myself in for??

For the record I am still eternally on call for my actual massage therapist job…… *Looks wistfully at phone*

The Other Side

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I am delighted to report that I have made it to the other side. I have unpacked, settled into my new home, met up with my friends for drinks & contracted altitude related VerbiAids. It happens to even the most seasoned seasonnaire.

I have left my native Ireland for my second ski season in Switzerland. I am working in a beautiful & exclusive resort as a masseuse & sports rehabilitation therapist. I won’t even begin to describe how striking my surroundings are. I will attempt to transport you here via photography however the only way to fully appreciate the beauty is in person.

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I am being hugged by the Swiss Alps. They are comforting, superior & extraordinary. They elevate my mood & render me speechless. They exude class & unrivalled perfection. I feel so blessed to be able to call this home.

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Packing – my personal hell

So here I go, on my travels again.

If I give you the impression that I enjoy travelling – please do not be deceived. My family & friends on twitter will tell you that the whole process of packing, getting to the airport, flying & getting to my destination accumulate to an extraordinarily prolific stress peak in my merry contentment. I am my own worst enemy in this domain. I have a sharp mind for conceptualising how dynamic & invaluable every item can be. Yes, I see the potential in my favourite ripped pyjamas, old phone – I know you will come in handy, 3 eyebrow pencils to be on the safe side…. At this rate I am going to be the looking like a tramp with fierce scouse brows, a phone I can’t operate & incredibly horrific posture from carrying everything.

I certainly don’t make things easy for myself. I insist on visiting people who I haven’t seen in a long time, catching up on gifts I haven’t given & gifting people whose birthdays I will be missing. Everything I haven’t had time to do gets wedged into this last week before I leave. Understandably my suitcase, which has been treated ashamadly badly, is bidding for it’s desired exit plan. Combustion. I know with all my heart that the day I go to collect my beloved suitcase to find my belongings have exploded without my close thsupervision is ebbing closer. It will be like a massacre of my livelihood. I am expecting this to occur when I return from a trip where i have went wild shopping at some sort of sex convention….. I take comfort that God’s humiliations upon me are becoming somewhat predictable.

So here I go. Completely exhausted, anxious & living in fear about travelling. Not exactly my chosen path to my new life in Verbier. I take comfort these feelings will disperse on the other side to make way for my excitement, thankfulness at how lucky I am & total & complete overwhelming joy. I know I will never change. This has been my pre trip routine since I was 16. Who would change me though? I love the thrill of getting away & the love of all the people I visit just before I go. I will never change & when I’m very old with my wrinkles & dismembered posture I will smile at my adventures & plan my next one.

In conclusion, 6 months worth of belongs do not fit in to 30kg. It can’t be done.