I also had a lot of biscuits. But you can't have one without the other.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Photo @ Emily McDowell
I also had a lot of biscuits. But you can't have one without the other.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
When I bought tickets to Strictly Ballroom for my mama on Mother's Day, it felt like July was aaaages away. But whaddaya know?! I blinked and we're here. Half way through the year! Slow down already, won't you, days... I need a minute to stop and take a breather.
And that's kind of exactly what I did today. I took the day off work (my second day off this week, but who's counting? Apart from my boss, maybe...) and mum and I spent it the best way possible, seeing one of our favourite movies reworked for the stage. The whole show was an absolute blast. The theatre was decked out to the nines, with lights and disco balls and colourful posters lining the walls, and the costumes were 10% fabric, 90% sequins and feathers. You can tell Baz Luhrmann had a hand in brining it to life.
If you're in Sydney, I highly recommend it. It's straight-up fun.
PS. I caught up on The Bachelorette tonight. And I'm telling you, if Andi doesn't pick Marcus, I'm going to riot.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
This city girl has had so much nature in the last two weeks, I'm actually thinking we might start getting along.
My folks and I got up to Fingal Bay a day late (random truck fires on the highway are never helpful for traffic…) but it was worth the wait – the weather and the ocean views on the north coast were stellar. As soon as we got there, we walked our whole troop (that's about six aunties and uncles and seven cousins) up to a point on the coast to see if we could spot whales. Spoiler: We did! No sign of the albino whale Migaloo, though, but I guess one shouldn't be greedy...
Then there was the weekend highlight: Lunch. My aunty threw back to her roots and did the full Canadian Christmas spread – turkey, ham, gravy, potatoes, stuffing, the works! It kind of made sense because it was winter, just like Christmas in Canada… except it's summer in Canada right now, and my uncle tells me this weather is more like a Canadian spring… But that's all by the by. The food was delicious. And we followed it up with a sticky date pudding, which I might actually prefer to Christmas pudding. (But don't tell my mum that. Making the Christmas pudding is her pride and joy.)
The next day we did more bush bashing – if you count walking along a cement path through scrubland "bush bashing", which I do. Don't get me wrong, I still think a city skyline at night is the prettiest thing I've ever seen. But maybe these views come a really close second.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Am I glad to kick this week in the rear, or what? I feel like I say that every Friday these days, but if the cap fits, well…
And I'm TGIF-ing with added gusto today, because this weekend I'm taking an extra day off and heading up to Fingal Bay for our family's annual Christmas In July (or Christmas In Late June, as the case might be). Fresh, beachy air, get in my lungs already! I'm so pumped to walk on the sand, finally finish reading Girl Boss, and just generally eat and drink myself stupid.
Oh, and sun – you better come to the party. Because I bought a new leather cap yesterday that I'm pretty excited about taking for a test drive.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Winter hit Sydney like a 200kg sumo wrestler this week. Which is to say, it hit hard.
One minute we were cruising around in T-shirts saying how much it did not feel like winter at all, and the next… boom! Beanie weather had arrived. I don't know if I'd call this my favourite season. (My favourite "season" isn't really a season, it's more like a handful of days between summer and autumn when the weather is not too hot, not too cold, but just right.) But I do have a soft spot for the cold. I love layering up in impossibly bulky knits that make me look like the Michelin Man, and eating all the delicious foods – because, well, who can tell under all those layers, right? We'll worry about those extra kilos come September…
Here are just a few reasons to go bananas over these sub-zero (read: 14-degrees-celcius) temps…
Seeing your breath.
Cocoa and marshmallows.
Monday, June 23, 2014
One year, while I was still at university, mum and I went up to the Gold Coast for a holiday. Turns out we had different ideas about what makes a "holiday". Every morning she made me walk – uphill – for kilometres, all with the promise that we would see dolphins and whales. But all we got was a whole lotta water and some sore legs. Then my dad came up to join us and (phew!) my mum had a new walking companion. "Want to join us?" she asked. Er, thanks, but no thanks. And guess what they saw that morning? Humpbacks breaching by the shore. I mean, for real? I put in a week's worth of walking and I got nada. They go one day without me and suddenly the coast is a David Attenborough show. And that is how I came to realise that when it comes to spotting whales, I am jinxed.
It's gone down the same way so many times since then. "There are whales off the coast of [insert destination here]!" But sorry not for you, Alice. So when my mum suggested we go whale watching in the national park on Sunday, I was all like, whatevs. At least the view will be killer… But we saw them! Honest to goodness whales, spouting water out of their heads and flipping over in the ocean. And it was killer indeed.
(Side note: How amazingly beautiful is this part of the park? I sometimes forget how downright gorgeous this country is – and all if it just an hour out of the city. We walked for two hours along the coast and through some pretty spectacular bush, where we got up close with an echidna and a kookaburra, and it was so sunny and warm that we had to strip off all our jumpers. Go Sydney winter, you good thing! For a lot of the track, we had it all to ourselves – and I'll admit that for a bit, I danced around like a loon for no other reason than that it felt so darn good.)
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
This is one of my favourite photos.
I took it earlier this year when I was on holiday in Queenstown. It was summer, the days were long and balmy – and the beauty of those South Island mountains, boy howie. It was like walking around in a postcard. I honestly don't think I have ever felt as free as I did in that place at that time. Without the stress of office deadlines or how-am-I-going-to-pay-that-bill panics or worry about friends I don't see enough, don't text enough, never call... I was on a much-needed break from my life and it felt good.
Most evenings we would wander down to the water and eat dinner and soak up the last of the setting sun behind the mountains. (Did I mention the stellar backdrop?) If I could have bottled that moment, I would have kept it in my fridge and skulled it daily. But one particular evening, as we ate our burgers on the grass, we saw all the locals were gathered on the beach with cases of beer and tightropes strung between the trees (as you do...) They were tossing the frisbee back and forth and taking turns walking on wires. It was very much a hair-out, shoes-off affair where everyone seemed to know someone. And right then I felt a tingle of envy. These guys having all this fun weren't on a break from their lives, they were living. They were relaxed. And calm. And effortlessly going with the flow in a way this tightly-strung girl has never quite been able to.
I've always been a stickler for routine – big on order and tidiness and plans. Oh, I'm a planner if there ever was one. And it's not that I want to change. I adore my life with all it's mundane normalcy. (Nothing makes me happier than fresh tupperware and colour-ordered pencils, so could you imagine me in a hostel? It doesn't bear thinking...) But I'll tell you a secret: Having an always-made bed and wrinkle-free clothes and no unfinished jobs in your in-tray can get exhausting. So every now and again, when everything feels like it's getting a little bit much, I take out this photo and I remember that sunset and those boys on the tightrope. And the sense of freedom comes flooding back.
Because that's the thing about little moments, right? You collect just enough of them, to experience and remember, to make the big picture seem that much fuller and sweeter.