And The Winner is…

There were actually only 7 of you that entered in the giveaway so the chances were pretty good. But has spoken and it picked number 6. And that is…

Claire of kiss a cloud for The Complete Maus!

Congratulations Claire!

Wish I could send you all a book because you’re all my favorite bloggers and people *

* including the ones that did not enter the giveaway but left nice comments :)

I’ve been quite frantic in keeping up with all the new things going on every single day, so my reading (and blog reading) has not gone back to its usual activity. But with work started just last week, I hope to start settling into routines of some sort soon-ish, reading or otherwise.

Also, I’ve been on tumblr a bit, trying it out. So I’m sharing Mee’s Adventures in Wonderland, in case you’re interested photography, traveling, London (for now), and the walking-with-camera side of me. It’d be mostly photos with short captions and quotes. One of my favorite so far:

piccadilly circus

Piccadilly Circus tube station (don’t you just love the name?)

On another note, I met Jo and Jackie on a Friday morning last week in Bracknell, a lovely little town, about an hour train trip from London, with awesome secondhand bookshops! Thanks to these two who dragged me from one shop to another, I came back with a good loot and started filling my bookshelf. What is a home with empty bookshelf, right? I can’t remember why we didn’t take picture of us. I wish we did!

Lastly, happy long weekend to those in UK! It baffled me that you can have a public holiday for no reason at all. Just “bank holiday”. One bank holiday at the beginning of May, and then one more at the end. That’s it. No reason. Well, I’m all for random public holiday! I was thinking to go to the Hay festival and stay for a night but it seems all cold and rainy for the weekend and I don’t feel like spending too much time outside. Maybe next weekend? Are any of you going or have gone before?

Officially A London Based Blogger

union jack

Yes, as of yesterday the 10th of May 2011, I am officially a London based blogger. Surprise!

A little bit of a flashback. I started to look around for new job opportunities in January/February. Adventurer at heart, it’s only natural that I looked overseas. All you UK bloggers always made me green with envy with your cool bookshops and literary events and the whole Europe at your doorstep, so I decided that I WANT TO LIVE THERE.

And by struck of luck it is actually happening. I mean UK is not the easiest place to get into right now, what with the change of coalition government and stricter visa rules and allowance. My job title is on the shortage occupation list however so my new company was able to sponsor me.

It didn’t happen overnight of course, so there were weeks of thinking and considering and fretting. First, my husband would not come with me, not at first anyway. He was just settling in in Australia and started a pretty good job, so we think it’s best for him to stay there a bit more and see how things go. Then early on, around the same time as the London company replied to my application, out of the blue I was contacted by a game company in Kyoto to see if I was interested in their Japan based position, adding complications to the mix. So at one point after interviewing and negotiating process, I had two job offers, for two different job roles, from two completely different countries, both of which I have always wanted to go to or live in.

I was completely torn. UK or Japan? London or Kyoto? Film or game? Which one? Which one? Whichever that I picked would have a big impact to the rest of my path. I would do different things. I would meet different people. Both opportunities may only come just once. So I tossed and turned and lost sleep for many nights.

But you know the end of my dilemma. I picked London. Hubby and I think that this is the better move for my career path, and the salary gap could not justify the Kyoto position. I don’t say goodbye to Japan for sure, just “not now” :). (I found this website to be quite accurate for broad comparison between two countries: For example, if Japan were my home instead of the UK, I would make 7.39% less money and work 9.4% more hours each year. If Indonesia were my home instead of Australia, I would die 10.67 years sooner and make 89.96% less money. The 10 years gap of life expectancy is so true. Most old people/relatives I know in Indonesia including my grandparents died in their 70s while Australians generally look and feel younger in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. Uum I’m going on a tangent here… Let’s go back.)

So. That’s a long way to explain why I only put up like 2 posts per month for the last 3 months…

Admittedly I am in a pretty bad book slump too. Feel like I haven’t read properly for ages. Maybe it’s the stress of waiting and the anticipation of moving. I’ll just have to wait it out until the mojo comes back.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of my tradition, I’m having a giveaway! New job, book giveaway. Makes perfect sense, no? Here’s the list of all English books that I have read since 2003 by author. To enter, let me know what book you would want from the list if you win the giveaway. If no title catches your interest, you can pick another title that I haven’t read by any of the authors in that list. And while you’re here, can you also tell me what is your favorite book either by a British author or set in UK? If you don’t have any, just a favorite book will do, or book that you think I should read immediately! I’m hoping that some recommendations from book bloggers will take me out of my book slump. Help!

Giveaway opens internationally for 2 weeks. Will close on 26 May 2011. I look forward to your comments! :)

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