Having listened to the little voice that told me I could really live in Australia for real, for real, I set about making it happen.
In lots of little ways I landed on my feet.
I had a school friend who I hadn’t seen in 10 years take me under her wing, and when her housemate moved out after I had been in Melbourne for only 8 weeks, it seemed perfect for me to move in. I went to a school for what I thought was a day’s relief teaching that actually turned out to be a job interview to replace someone I had done my Master’s with in the UK (the level of coincidence here is insane… there were eight people in my group in Cambridge in England now we were 12,000 miles away in the western suburbs of Melbourne) I got the job (phew- that would have been awkward) and was given sponsorship to stay in Australia while I worked there. So with accommodation, friends and work sorted I started on the next thing every new arrival needs…a date.
I would love it if this story went something like…
I arrived in Melbourne and the next day I walked into my local coffee shop (Melbournians are obsessed with coffee- more on that later) and standing there was the love of my life. The end. However this was absolutely NOT the case. As I was getting to know Melbourne I was also getting to know a lot about the dating scene. I was a very equal opportunities dater. I dated a runner, a chef, an accountant, a PHd student, an engineer, a plumber, a carpenter, a bicycle renovator, several lawyers, great guys, awful guys, guys I definitely shouldn’t have dated, guys who I wanted to see again, guys who I wish I hadn’t seen in the first place. At one point a friend and I had a chart on her fridge that showed the (nick)name of the guy, and the number of dates we had been on and when just to keep track. If the path of true love didn’t run smooth it certainly ran…
About 18 months after I first arrived in Melbourne, I was over the dating scene.
I had kissed too many frogs and spent way too many hours trying to be interested in some dude’s Crossfit routine. I had just been ghosted by a guy who had downloaded a whole series of Made In Chelsea for me. I had mistakenly taken this as a sign of true love. I was just about to delete all dating apps (I was on three) and swear off dating forever when an unfinished conversation caught my eye.
I had been exchanging a few messages with ‘Jonnie’ a few weeks before MIC-Guy. He had seemed a bit player-esque but his messages had made me laugh out loud- a rare treat in a sea of meh. So I decided to send one final message before I shut down my dating life completely. The message went something like ‘I am over all the fluff. This is my number. If you want to go on a date I will meet you somewhere on Chapel Street at 7pm on Saturday.’ I deleted the apps and heard…. Crickets.
As Saturday morning dawned fair and bright I was very dusty and very very crabby. It was the June 25th 2016 and the news of the Brexit referendum had hit me hard. I had consequently hit the (ironic) champagne hard the night before. I was therefore doubly surprised to receive a message from Jonnie at 9am saying ‘So where am I parking my Batmobile tonight?’
To be continued..