Under the radar

Basically you haven’t heard from me since my last blog post about how swimmingly things were going at The Orange Tree in England.

Since then, much to my disappointment, I have had to return home to sunny 35 degree days with clear blue skies. How awful must it be to come back to Australia. Not entirely.

However, drawing near to spending 5 months prancing around overseas it was sad to see leave something which had me feeling so alive!

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Believing that when I got the job no body would question me about a working visa. (Which I later found was legally required for working anywhere…ESPECIALLY the UK) I was never questioned about having one through all the weeks I lasted without it. That was, until, I was due to get a bank account to stop stashing the cash in an empty Port bottle. I found out that I would have to come clean about my illegal status. The staff were relatively impressed of how strong I flew under the radar for about 4 weeks. An innocent Australian girl who didn’t mean any harm.

I was extremely saddened to have to say goodbye to some incredible people with personal journey stories I had grown to appreciate throughout my time there. There was 9 of us living all together above the pub. Therefore, I really connected with a vast majority of them, including many part-time staff also.

I won’t name people but some of the stories I was told along the way included;

  1. A man who worked two jobs- Waking up at 4am to work on a farm for a few hours in the morning, to then return back to the restaurant as his lunch-night job. Sending all of his money back to his wife and two sons for their house to be built. Don’t quote me, but I believe he had been working this way for 8 years and his house would finally be complete this year to come.
  2. A person who had moved to The Orange Tree for 3 months in order to improve his English. He was the type of guy you would go to who would start up a killer beer fund, and get everyone on board too (not that they needed much convincing 😉 )
  3. A guy who had brewed his own beer and sold it as a way to afford getting over to England.
  4. A girl who would prioritise your matters of illegality, over her own. Offering for you to stay at hers if need be. She was always keen for having three dinners instead of one (which you were totally excited for too!). Also my partner in crime during horror movie watching.
  5. A person who would give up his whole day every Saturday to volunteer at a Suicide hotline.
  6. A guy who helped me get back home one night out, even when he wanted to continue his night with the rest of the boys. For he knew that even if he gave the taxi driver money and told him where to go, I wouldn’t have physically been able to get myself to my room. Putting my safety above his plans to go somewhere else that night.

Not going to lie, coming home was just as exciting as it would be if I was to stay overseas. I had missed my family and needed to catch them up on everything I had seen and done. Which I later realised; WAS A LOT.

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Home.

So as I sit outside on the church pew we somehow obtained from my newly ordained Anglican Priest Grandmother; I stare in awe as the delicate spider weaves her web on the tree next to me. A thought comes to mind which I must elaborate on. How I was just like that spider, weaving my web all over the countryside. Making memories, legacies, friends I hope to remain for a long time. But just as the spider has a clear path for how she spins her web, I always did too; always staying grounded, knowing that whenever I wasn’t acting myself, I had to change directions.

I had experienced a lot and learnt more about myself than any other time in my life.

And as the wheels hit the tarmac at the Brisbane terminal I agreed that this year was by far my favourite of all.

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