About Jo Whittington

I am a young woman, on the wrong side of 25 who has just made the epic move back home to London from 2.5 years in Australia. I've lived in France, Canada, Australia and England and somehow have been in a relationship since I was 19. It is now time for a change in my life - new career, new city and newly single. This blog is documenting my Carrie Bradshaw type escapades in the next year whilst I try to find my dream job, and try to remain single - and maybe undergo a relationship with myself for a change. Wish me luck!

The Lion, the Witch and the Dishwasher

So my week has been a mixed bag of events. It started off well with Monday being warm and sunny and arriving with a job interview in tow – only for an agency but still, it’s a start. After my little shopping spree on Sunday (business clothes only I might add) I put on a great little suit dress type thing and trundled off up to London Waterloo. As I left with flip flops on and stilettos in hand (got to be mindful when debuting new shoes) my plugger came out of my flip flop. Now for those of you that aren’t Australian your flip flops are held together by one plug between your toes (depending on how old you are you might even have double pluggers but that’s another story) and about 5 paces from my front door it broke. I should have taken this as a sign that this week was going to be ‘one of those’ weeks.

I switched shoes again and finally made it up to London, had a promising meeting with said recruitment agent, meandered around the Southbank in the sun and headed up to Liverpool street to do some banking, and admire some bankers. I then spent the afternoon in Covent Garden trying to track down unique looking stylish people for my street style fashion shoot thing that I’m doing as part of my intern/freelance magazine thing. Now you’d be fooled into thinking that was a pretty pleasant day – which it was, until I got home that night and started to feel the dreaded aches and pains of the common cold.

Tuesday was pretty boring, applied for more jobs, watched even more Come Dine With Me – endured more programmes about moving to Australia (there are SO many!) and then came Wednesday – the day to end all days.

It started off well with finding out via email that my Aussie visa had come through – hurrah! I then decided to put on some washing and mooch about the house doing various useful things. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in that situation where you want to leave the house but the washing machine says it only has 20 minutes left and you’re torn between just going and having smelly washing 6 hours later when you eventually get home, or waiting and hanging the washing out? Well this was my dilemma.

I patiently waited the ’20′ minutes – which turned out to be 35 and enthusiastically went to open the door before the lock symbol had disappeared. Now I might add – and this is vitally important – that the cycle HAD finished and said ‘End’ – it was just the damn symbol that hadn’t disappeared. I tugged on the door and it didn’t open. I left it until I heard the lock release sound, and alas, still no open door. It was at this moment that panic set in. I needed to go but was scared shitless that I’d broken the washing machine, (not ideal when your mother has just purchased a new fridge) so to my disappointment I put it back on for a spin for 15 minutes (20 mins) and then tried the door again – nothing!

I left thinking that somewhere in space and time between me leaving and returning that it might miraculously just fix itself. Fast forward 6 hours later and still no joy. At this point I turned to good old Yahoo Answers; literally the best thing since sliced bread, and scoured the pages for solutions; turned it on and off, tried another cycle, took the plug out – nothing would work. At this point I was desperate to sort it without the mother figure finding out. To my surprise I managed to drag the machine from its snug resting place, open the lid with a screwdriver and pop the latch to get it to open. I was quite impressed with myself to say the least. That was until she closed the door with new washing inside and it wouldn’t open – again. And all this was happening amidst a screaming session directed at me from said mother figure, saying that apparently everything I touch gets ruined! Not sure if she is referring to everything seeing as my face and boobs (and other things I won’t mention here) seem to be fine.

I do hate that though – the parental rule that unless it was them that found the washing machine door handle broken; it must have been your fault. Even if the chance of you both discovering the fault at the same time was equal – it will always be a case of “well it was fine the last time I used it!”

Anyway, I hopped onto YouTube (god bless YouTube) and found an instructional video about how to replace the door handle on a Hotpoint Washing machine – magic! Then a website where I could by the part – amazing! You have to love the internet in times of desperation. So I ordered the part hastily (£21.99 later – bastards) and went to bed anxious.

I awoke the next morning – thankfully to an empty house – and got to work disassembling the dreaded machine. It’s always better not to have someone watching you in these circumstances, just in case you fuck up…royally…which is what I did…in a word.

I was going well, hammers and tongs, getting out the broken door handle, putting the glass bowl out of harm’s way, making sure the screws were in nice little piles when for some reason I screwed the wrong screw back into the door of the machine. Now this sounds like a minor issue, except for the fact that no matter what I did to that screw it would not come back out of the hole I’d screwed it into. There is nothing on Earth more annoying than a screw that keeps turning (and I don’t mean in a good way) the blasted thing just turns and turns and turns. Oh and did I mention there were 2 of them? No? Oh and did I also mention I needed both those screw to get the door back onto the machine? Right – oh and to top it off, mother would be home by 5 and spitting bullets if she saw the machine any more broken than last time. I panicked to say the least. There were no men in a 30 mile radius that I knew, or who were free, to help me. And I hate to admit I need help from a man but in this case, being a girl, in a situation you can see no saving from, your reaction is to cry – and that’s when you have to surrender to the fact that men are better in these situations. There. I said it.

Thirsty minutes and a phone call to my Dad later – I had ingeniously poured olive oil into the screw hole and tapped it out from the other side. You have never seen anyone so happy in all your life than me at that moment in time! Now I could finally carry on with putting the door back on so it looked like nothing had happened since yesterday. (Which it hadn’t – obviously.)

Come Friday – and I’m waiting for the part to be delivered. It finally gets here after waiting for 3 hours, only to find that it is the wrong.bloody.door.effing.handle!!!! I am absolutely beside myself with anger. I call the manufacturers and then the worst bit happens – I realise it’s my own mistake (don’t you hate that!)

So to cut a very long story a little bit shorter, here are the things that have happened since that moment this morning, in the correct order:

  • Called company to complain the part is not right
  • Realised the fault is mine
  • They send me a sticker to return the part (and no madame you won’t get the £6.99 express delivery fee back)
  • I walk to the nearest postbox to send said parcel, it doesn’t fit, despite my attempts to shove it in there.
  • I have to walk all the way into the high street to go to the proper post office to send it.
  • I walk home and on the way stub my left toe on the pavement (blood literally gushing out the end of my toe, like leaving a Hansel and Gretel crumb trail for Twilight fans!)
  • I realise I have nothing but peep toe shoes to wear to tonight’s do – awesome!

And to top that all off I had to repurchase the correct part from a different place, to arrive on Monday for more money – I love my life!

Here’s to getting pissed on a Friday to recover from the week and to feigning surprise when your mother can’t open the washing machine door.

Until next time…. J x

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Jo-isms

I forgot to mention the Jo-ism part of the last blog. Then whilst I was enjoying a pub dinner on my own (small violins at the ready) it came to me that I needed to explain myself.

A Jo-ism is a term my friends made up many moons ago when they simply couldn’t put into words my inane ramblings. You see, often I would blurt out things I had been thinking about, without actually thinking about them, and expect them to make perfect sense to those around me. To put it simply – people thought I was mad.

Here are a few examples to get your brain ticking over…

Have you ever noticed when you get into a lift that it usually has the word Schindler written on it? Then you draw the comparison and have a chuckle to yourself making you look mad to other lift folk, all the while you’re thinking ‘Schindler’s Lift he he he’ no? I do…

Then there was a classic one from yonks ago where I simply announced ‘how annoying is it when you’re trying to get to sleep and all you can hear is your heartbeat in you ear?’ needless to say this cracker was ensued by silence.

One of the last ones I can remember is saying how cool it would be to be able to take pictures with your eyes – admit it though, that’d be a pretty nifty trick to have up your sleeve – think of all the hot guys you’d have in your wank bank!

Just saying…

Karma, karma, karma, karma, accent chameleon…

I was in conversation with some very good friends the other day, albeit having consumed 2 bottles of Marks and Sparks sparkling wine and a variety of nibbles, when I dropped the C bomb. Now I dont mean the ‘See You Next Tuesday’ kind, but the new Jo-ism (more about that in a bit) I have donned called the accent chameleon.

For those of you out there who are already perplexed by this phrase it’s what I like to call someone who can’t help but imitate the accent of the person or people they are around.

Having lived in a few different countries, and also different parts of my own country England, I have adopted what I like to call a hybrid accent – one that you can’t quite place. For reasons unbeknowst to me, I have always had a bit of West-country in my accent saying things like ‘roight’ and ‘coider’ instead of ‘right’ and ‘cider’ and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was visiting my old friend Charlotte down in Hampshire every summer holiday and half term and playing with country boys, or maybe I always aspired to live in the Cotswolds in my previous life? But whatever it is, it has stuck with me until now. And it shows no signs of abating.

After my year in Canada and my, nearly 3, years in Australia I have an almost semi-permanent compulsion to say ‘ay? or ‘eh?’ at the end of a question; as if I can’t bear for the person I’m speaking to, to not understand that what I said was a question of sorts. Funnily enough my time at university, which was mostly spent in Putney bar in SW London, meant I had many Aussie friends years before I actually set foot there, resulting in a multitude of people thinking my harmless ‘no worries’ was a genuine Aussie-ism. But now I really do struggle to find my own true voice and accent amongst those that I’ve taken on over the years.

The great thing is I can understand what people mean, even if there are 5 people at my dinner table from every corner of the earth, I understand that if they say: sneakers, runners, trainers or pumps that they are all referring to some sort of sports shoe. I know a jandal is a thong, a thong is not a g-string, and that a double plugger is not some weird sex game played by bi-curious swingers but a flip flop – and believe it or not this sort of translation comes in handy at the most random of times.

I think whatever I hear is what I end up saying – so hopefully my English rose accent is on its way back to me, somehow. But until then ‘don’t get the shits if I don’t sound loike a proper English person when I’m oot and aboot, cos I know I sound funny, eh?’

Yours,

Accent Chameleon

Accent Chameleon

Totes Amaze – Apparently!

After much cajoling by my social media fanatic friend I am back to try and be more dedicated to this blog. But without wanting to make excuses it has been a busy two weeks and quite a life change, so sympathy is welcome!

I’ll give you the quick down low so you know what is going on in my Hollywood life…

About 7 years ago (ok 8 if I want to admit I’m nearly 30) I met a man who shall we say was my Mr.Big; swept me off my feet and then hurt me really badly. We spent 2.5 years together then bailed because it was too volatile and passionate. I then fled to Canada where I had the time of my life, enjoyed a few gentleman callers and met another man (albeit trying to stay single – more about that later) who turned out to be my best friend not my boyfriend. We moved to London for 10 months then made a snap decision to move to Australia. Fast forward 2.5 years – living on the Gold Coast and in Sydney, my Mr.Big flying over to tell me it had all been a terrible mistake and he wanted me back and struth, here I am back in London again, single, jobless and living with Mummy again. Fall from grace or courage step forward to happiness? Hmm I’m not sure which either…yet.

The great thing about being back in England and not in Australia is I can now talk to people in real time. For those that aren’t so keen on travel out there, real time is the opposite to ‘Fuck It’s Skype Time’ or FIST if you want to abbreviate – FISTing if you want to be clever and dirty. There is always that moment on a Sunday night when it dawns on you you should talk to your family. As lovely as it always is, it requires great effort after a long day at the beach and a few ciders to get the laptop, text the person you need to speak to and then settle into some face time with the parentals. The inevitable ‘what have you been up to, how’s the job, how are you and boyfriend who should have just been best friend’ etc etc.. Instead of this weekly ritual I can now just pick up my phone and say ‘hey I’m coming to see you – be there in 5’ and it’s the best feeling ever – a little luxury you forget about until you have it again.

This brings me to the title of my blog today and this new (or maybe I’m just late to the game?) obsession with abbreviations. Fabs, defo, btw, atm, whateves, and finally totes. For a few Aussie ones I’ll throw in devo (devastated) povo (poverty as in that guy’s a povo bogan) and here’s a beauty – babe as (as in I love Justin Beiber he’s babe as.)

I get how addictive it is, as it does feel sort of nice to say them but I can’t help but think it’s text slang gone mad!

But in honour of my little discovery I’ll list a few things that are totes amaze:

Animal Beatbox
Hamster on a Piano
Fuzzy Fuzzy Cute Cute and
Dick in a box vs Mother Lover

Feel free to look these little beauties up on YouTube and have a giggle to yourself – you’ll soon be finding the voice in your head saying totes amaze for defo obvs!

Until next time…and the accent chameleon…lol : )

Back to Blighty

So I finally did it, I made the big jump and moved back to England.

From being a small fish in a big pond over 7 years ago, I now feel like a big fish in a small pond – but it’s a familiar one, so it’s not all bad.

This is my first blog so I will need to familiarize myself with the inner workings of it all before I can create anything revolutionary, so watch this space!

J x