Monday, June 30, 2014

Friday 27 June - Vietnamese Fridays

Current location: Sydney
11.11pm, Getting home from dinner. We'd gone for dinner with our friend Jem, and met his fiancee Rika, and it had just been the loveliest night. They're both such sweet, interesting people, and the restaurant we went to (Thanh Long in Surry Hills) was perfect.
Described as 'Sydney's best-kept Vietnamese secret' by The Urban List, the food was so, so good, and as it's BYO, we took a bottle of red from the Hunter last weekend. Not too wild a night, but just what I fancied.

(Picture taken from The Urban List)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sunday 22 June – I love the Hunter Valley!

Current location: Wollombi, Hunter Valley
11.11am, Walking. We decided to make the most of the glorious sunshine and take a walk into the nearby town. We walked past the cemetery, which was beautiful, and along to the cafe to sit in the sun with a juice. We also wanted to try the infamous 'Jungle Juice' at the Wollombi Tavern, and in the early afternoon we headed back to the house. We were so sad to leave! It's been such a wonderful weekend of chilled times, funny times, wine times, good one-on-one times, sleepy times, fire times, learning to chop wood, eating well, drinking, playing games, cuddles, walks, exploring, and all-round general awesomeness. I love the Bookwurmz and I love the Hunter.

Saturday 21 June – Wurmz go wine-tasting!

Current location: Hunter Valley (somewhere)
11.11am, At Lakes Folly winery, the first of many wineries we were planning on visiting today! After Lakes Folly, we headed to Audrey Wilkinson, my favourite winery, and then to Gundog. Gotta love some morning wine-tasting! The Hunter is so beautiful, and the weather was gorgeous and sunny and crisp, it was just lovely having an explore. We stopped off for lunch, then kicked on with Hungerford Hill winery, which was hilarious and resulted in us purchasing a lot of wine! As the day went on, and the sun stayed out, we made our way back to Wollombi Views and had a bit of chill time before starting on a roast dinner.

For the evening, we had all decided to come dressed as a character from a book (yes, we are massive book nerds, don't forget!), and it was so impressive! Everyone made such an effort and looked so cool, and it was so funny! We had Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby, Pippa from The Goldfinch, Miss Havisham from Great Expectations, The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Chiyo Sakamoto from Memoirs of a Geisha, Sherlock Holmes and The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared! Quite the costume party! What bloody amazing girls.

Friday 20 June – Bookwurmz on tour!

Current location: Wollombi, Hunter Valley
11.11pm, Chatting in front of the fire. The Book Club girls (seven of us) decided to have a weekend away in the Hunter Valley, so we drove up after work tonight, to 'Wollombi Views', a beautiful home in the middle of nowhere, with a log fire and comfy giant beds. It was a beautiful place to get to (even if we did have a long, windy drive through loads of fog), and as we all relaxed with pizza, a glass of wine and chats in front of the fire, I could feel my tensions disappearing.

Wednesday 18 June – Too much activity!

Current location: Eveleigh
11.11am, In work. Trying to keep my eyes open. I was so tired today! I have just started a new fitness class called F45 (which stands for Functional 45, and involves 45-minute classes, with 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest each minute). It is so full-on, high-energy and sweaty but you come away feeling amazing. I went this morning before work, which, combined with last night's netball match, has left me sleepy. The match last night was ace though, we won 23-12, and the team was so nice, my GD (I played GA half the match) high-fived me when I scored a goal, and gave me a hug at the end! The nicest team I have ever played, what superstars.

Sunday 15 June – C'mon England!

Current location: Ettalong Beach
11.11am, In Coast, getting a coffee. We'd got up super early (well, 8am, but that's early for a Sunday right?!) to watch the England v Italy match in the World Cup. It was a fab game (made better by the Champagne brekky we had while watching it) but sadly England lost – despite all the chants we were shouting at the TV!

Saturday 14 June - Eat, Sleep, Read, Repeat

Current location: Ettalong Beach

11.11am, Running. Jess and I went for a job this morning (she's training for a 14km run, so I did about 4km with her), grabbed a coffee, then went back to the house to chill out, read our books, watch some football, and then we went charity-shopping. After a lot of laughing (and quite a lot of shopping), we bought heaps of stuff and tried it on at home, before cooking up a delicious stew and settling in for the evening. The girls made me watch Harry Potter, which I didn't hate quite as much as I thought I would, and we had a fab, relaxed evening. I feel a million miles from the city when I'm up here!

Friday 13 June - Thumbs up to a beachy weekend!

Current location: Ettalong Beach

11.11pm, Getting ready for bed. Rianne, Jess and I came up to the Central Coast after work today for a chilled coastal weekend, and it started with a nice, quiet dinner with Dave and Val before an early-ish night. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thursday June 12 – Happy birthday Val!

Current location: Erskineville
11.11pm, On our way home from Surry Hills. We'd been for dinner at Arisaig, a Scottish restaurant, where we'd been for Val's birthday. It's a cool place, and the company was great, but I was a bit undecided about the food. The entrees were incredible (I had scallops with black pudding, yum!), but the main was a bit average (steak and ale pie). A fun night though, happy birthday Val!

Sunday 8 June – Semi-finals, stunning films

Current location: Surry Hills, Sydney
11.11am, Having brunch with Bree's family. They were down visiting Bree, and she invited me to meet them as a few of them were going to the Swifts game afterwards. It was the semi-finals, and we had to win or we were out of the championships.

Brunch was delicious, but I was so nervous thinking about the game! Supporting the Swifts has ended up being a really fun part of my Sydney life – I have learnt heaps more about netball and professional sport, got to spend more time with lovely Rianne, and just enjoyed being part of a club that achieves such awesome things.

Today's game was against Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, and it was always going to be a tough one. We beat them a couple of weeks ago, so I guess they had turned up hungry to win. We were in front most of the game, but Magic had a surge in the last few minutes and evened the score. There are no draws in this netball championship, so one team had to win or it would go into extra time. Crushingly, in the final second (literally), the Magic scored the winning goal, ending the Swifts' premiership dreams! It was gutting, and the stadium was almost silent; everyone was just in shock!!

I went back home and watched the game again (same result, sadly), and then Andy and I went to see a film, Keep On Keepin' On, as part of Sydney Film Festival. One of Andy's friends was the cinematographer, and it was a documentary about Clark Terry, the legendary jazz musician. I didn't really know what to expect, but I was in tears from about halfway through the film... Not that it was sad, it was just so powerful and beautiful and intense. It told the story of Clark and his relationships with his pupils (he taught people such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones), and the beauty of the human spirit, and how much people care for each other was just amazing. I honestly think it was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen!

Saturday 7 June – A nice, normal day

Current location: Erskineville
11.11am, Having breakfast and reading Frankie. Had a fab day today, part-lazy, part-activity. After a chilled morning, I went with Andy and Nick to the basketball courts and had a bit of a throw around, then when they went to play a 'real' game, I went for a run around Centennial Park. In the evening, we came home to an amaaaazing-smelling house, as Rochy and her uncle Gee had been making Sri Lankan curries all day. YUM! Andy and I went to meet Sha and Tristan for a bev in our local (I love that they live in Erskineville now!) and then went to meet Jess and her friends for dinner at the Lord Nelson. The food was so good (which is lucky because I was having Rochy-curry-envy!).

Tuesday 3 June – Breakfast and balls

Current location: Eveleigh
11.11am, Eating granola. Inspired by the beautiful, healthy foods that our friends on the Gold Coast were eating, I decided to make some granola last night to eat with my yoghurt brekkie. It was so yummy!

Tonight was the first game of our new-look netball team, complete with 'Hoops' T-shirts, and we managed to pull out a win for the first game of the season – and I got Man of the Match! Love playing with Hoops, such a fun part of my Sydney life, and it's made me some wonderful friends!

Monday 2 June – From Queensland to NSW

Current location: Gold Coast airport
11.11am, Checking in for our flight. Last night's flight back to Sydney was cancelled, so we went back to Charlie and Sydney's, went to sleep, got up this morning and came back to the airport. Once we had managed to get a seat on another plane, we had a couple of hours to kill, so went for a quick walk and found a beautiful beach about 10 minutes away. A beach near an airport – genius! I love the idea of a last-minute top-up of sunbathing before the holiday ends!

Once we got back to Sydney, it was about 3pm, so we had a bit of a lazy afternoon, then headed down
to Circular Quay to meet Rianne, David and Val, and went on a boat to see the best of Vivid. It was lovely to see them, and to see Sydney harbour looking so beautiful.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sunday 1 June – Beautiful Burleigh

Current location: Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast
11.11am, On the beach. We had loads of plans for today, but it ended up being such a beautiful sunny day, so we decided to just have a fun one at the beach. There are so many stunning beaches around here, so we spent the day sunbathing, swimming, surfing, picnicking, and falling in love with the coast around here.

In the afternoon, we tried to go to barefoot bowls, but so many others had the same idea as us that it was all booked up. So we grabbed a few beers and some sushi (they go well together, right?!) and went to a beautiful hill to watch the sunset and enjoy our last night here. I love that our friends live in such a beautiful part of the world and we can come and visit them here. What super people, and a super place! 

Saturday 31 May – Golden girls (and boys)

Current location: Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast
11.11am, Hanging out at Charlie and Sydney's beautiful home, while we were deciding what to do with the day. It ended up being quite grey and rainy, but we went to the beach regardless and had a little surf in the rain, then went back to Charlie and Syd's place and made a yummy lunch on the balcony. They live in such a beautiful place, high up and looking out over loads of treetops.
As the afternoon dragged on, we made a plan for the evening, to play poker, drink wine and go out for burgers. So, so, so much fun, with such wonderful people.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Friday 30 May – 1000-minute May is over!

Current location: Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast
11.11pm, Playing poker. I flew up to the Gold Coast, Queensland, after work, to meet Andy (who flew up yesterday) and two of our friends we were coming to visit, Charlie and Sydney. They are friends from home who moved out here last January, and have made themselves a wonderful life, chock-full of surfing, activities, lovely friends, and a beautiful home up in the trees (in a house, but looking out on the treetops!). We had an ace evening, at their friends' party, then drinking wine and playing poker until the wee hours.

This morning I got up early to go and exercise with Sha. Today was the last day of our 1000-Minute May challenge, which has been pretty fun and not as hard as I thought. We finished off with a 'Pump it Up' dance DVD, which was pretty hilarious (think lots of Britney-a-likes gyrating to dance music), and a great way to end!

Thursday 29 May – Story Club part two

Current location: Redfern, Sydney
11.11pm, Cycling home from a comedy night in Redfern. A big group of us met at Arcadia Liquors after work, and had a toastie and a few drinks, then went on to the Giant Dwarf theatre in Redfern. The people who host Story Club had another comedy night on tonight and, although it was really funny, the theme was erotic fan faction – and I embarrass easily. So love to be out with everyone though, we have such a lovely group of friends here.