Noosa Aerial View - Coastal ParadiseI said I would start from the beginning so that’s just what I am going to do.

I was working in Noosa at a restaurant called Jasper, on Hastings St and was given my leave after the busy season had ended come late January.  It was only days later that I was diagnosed with Ross River Fever and a pretty bad case, and that my life became difficult.  My joints seized up and ached constantly, I found it difficult to get out of bed, get in the car, I cried in pain just getting dressed, pretty much anything was a major effort.  Justin was wonderful and helped me in any way that he could but basically it meant months of anti inflammatories and moving slowly.

Once things eased a little I started work at another restaurant part time, Riva.  The owner, Nicholas, had a reputation for being super anal about how everything was done, and therefore difficult to work with.  I didn’t mind there being only one way to do everything – how much easier to just follow one rule?  Nicholas sold not long after, sadly, but in the meantime I had made a beautiful friend in Suzie, the restaurant manager.  When the new buyers took over, Suzie moved on as well.  She had met the owners and knew she didn’t want to work for them.  They turned out to be a NZ couple arriving back from the UK cashed up.  They had not only never owned a restaurant before but had not worked in hospitality… this was his dream, not hers.  I ended up working evenings alone with Karen (half  of the ownership couple) and it was torture.  She would refuse to carry plates and wouln’t come out of the office.  I tried to teach her and convince her that I needed her help but it didn’t seem to make any difference.  In the end, I went to Bali on holiday and whilst gone, they left a text message on my phone firing me.   The reason was because, as Manager, I comp’ed a drink (stealing) and was too aggressive (Karen was pathetic!).  I don’t mean to sound harsh but I am glad things didn’t work out for them and they ended up selling and moving on.  Karma can be a real bitch sometimes!

One of the chefs I met at Jasper had mentioned to me about this work she had been doing.  As fellow kiwis, we hit it off right away and formed a friendship pretty quickly.  She was back from the UK taking a break from touring work after falling ill and was having a whole myriad of medical tests while she did casual work.  It wasn’t until months later, after she had been to the UK and back again, that we met up and she convinced me that I had to follow up on the touring work.  And being incredibly disappointed in the Noosa restaurant scene after my experiences, that’s what I did.  As I was a recommendation and hadn’t met the boss before, I was told that I could definately go to London and have a go at the work but if it turned to shit and I was no good, they would pay for my return fare home.  Well, that was it, settled.

Not knowing how I was going to manage with the Ross River (and not telling anyone about it) I said goodbye to Justin (the first time he told me he loved me) at the airport and we both cried.  It was the first time we had been apart for any length of time in 4 years.  I got to Singapore and thought that I had made the biggest mistake of my life.

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