Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday 26 July – Fire, food, friends

Current location: Alexandria
11.11am, Tidying. For some reason I've been feeling quite motivated on Sunday mornings, and today was no exception. I got up and cleaned the bathroom, put a wash on, tidied, washed up and then settled down to watch a bit of netball. It was another beautiful day, so I met Rochy, Colin and Christabel and we took Hemi for a walk in Sydney Park. In the afternoon I had netball (we lost, boooo), then went to Nick and Bree's for an amazing dinner, courtesy of Breezer the amazing cook, and sat around the firepit with red wine and lots of laughs. It's a good life!

Saturday 25 July – Go North

Current location: Somewhere in Sydney
11.11am, In the car. Andy was going to play soccer on the Northern Beaches, so Rochy and I decided to hop in the car with him and go to the beach. It was such a beautiful day today, 21˚C and sunny (I love Aussie winters!) so when we dropped him at footy, we headed straight for Curl Curl beach. Rochy's gorgeous little dog Hemi was with us too, so we took him for a walk, then when we realised it wasn't a dog beach, we bundled him into Rochy's bag to get carried along.

As we got to North Curl Curl, it was about lunchtime, so we had a yummy lunch (freekah salad and vegie juice, how very Sydney!) then chilled out on the sand for a couple of hours, chatting, reading trashy magazines (Rochy) and having a cosy nap (me). Someone had prposed to their partner by hiring a plane that spelt out 'Will u marry me' (no question mark) so that kept us entertained for a while, then we had a mocha and wandered back along the beach and up the cliff path. Today was simply stunning!

When we went back to pick Andy up (who by this time had had a few beers and so I had to drive home!) we went home to Sydney then for a biiig pasta dinner. Nick and Bree had been out for dinner with Dave and Val so we met them at Opera Bar for a red wine, then back to Redfern, for a drink at the Bearded Tit, and then home. Bloody rippa of a day!

Thursday 23 July – Go the Kings! And the Flamingos!

Current location: Alexandria
11.11pm, Not being asleep. I was still a bit wired from a netball match, even though we were totally thrashed and didn't come anywhere near winning! I've joined a team with my buddies from F45 and, although we haven't yet won a game, it is so much fun! Fingers crossed we'll get a win one of these days.

Monday 20 July – Thanks for all the good times!

Current location: Eveleigh, Sydney
11.11am, Filling in my passport form. I have to send it off to get renewed, and I feel a bit irrationally sad! I have travelled a lot in the past 10 years thanks to long-distance relationships, friends in different countries and (mainly) wanderlust, and I've figured out it has got me into and out of at least 21 different countries. Thank you passport!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday 19 July – Sunday stuff

Current location: Erskineville
11.11am, On Sha and Tristan's sofa. We were trying to organise a weekend away, which has been the plan for a couple of months, and today we actually got around to it. I'd had a fun morning that comprised going to Sydney Park for a little bootcamp session in the sunshine, calling in on Tristan and Sha and hanging with them for a bit (I love living near friends!) then coming home and doing Sunday stuff, such as blogging and washing and sitting on the couch.

Saturday 18 July – Best date ever

Current location: Alexandria
11.11am, Texting Jessie. We haven't had a good amount of time together recently so we decided to have a date day. We met at 2pm and went for an amazing veggie lunch at Suzy Spoon's, did a bit of shopping and then went to the cinema to see Amy. It was an amazing film, pretty touching and one of those that will stay with me for a while I think. We went to the Dendy in Newtown, which has to be one of my all-time fave cinemas (champagne at your seat? Sure!), then came out to find the day had morphed into Saturday night. Killing a bit of time before Jess had to get her train, we went for 'one drink' at Black Sheep, which, predictably, turned into a few drinks, a few hours and lots of Connect 4. Such a fun date day!

Friday 24 July – Pat's birthday

Current location: Surry Hills
11.11pm, In the pub. We were at the Dove & Olive, drinking and chatting for Pat's birthday. It was just one of those awesome nights, where there are good friends and new friends and old friends, and the wines are a-flowing, and the conversation is a-cracking and you're having too much fun to remember to take any pictures.

Tues 21 July – How much is too much?!

Current location: Alexandria
11.11pm, Putting my feet up, literally. Tonight I played four games of netball in a row and my legs were aching!

Saturday 11 July – Sun and ice

Current location: Alexandria
11.11am, At home, making plans with Breezer. It was a beautiful day and we haven't caught up for a while so we went for a lovely walk between Bondi and Bronte. It was sunny and lovely, and fab to have a good catch-up with my semi-sis-in-law.
In the evening, Andy and I drove out to Baulkham Hills to watch USA v Canada at ice hockey. I've never watched a proper ice hockey match before (except for this one in Austria) and it was SO COOL! SO MUCH BODY-SLAMMING!!! SO MANY FIGHTS!!! It was also freeeeeezing in there, unsurprisingly, so we drank hot chocolate and ate hot dogs and shouted a lot.

Friday 10 July – Ribs and Burgers

Current location: Zetland
11.11pm, Lying on the couch. So full. After work today, Yee and I went to Ribs and Burgers... and basically ate all the ribs and all the burgers. We had soooo much meat we almost went into meat comas.

Tuesday 7 July – Ronald McDonald House

Current location: Eveleigh
11.11am, Speed subbing. I was leaving early today to go to Ronald McDonald House in Randwick with some people from work. Quite often, the house puts on party/dinners, and various companies go and help out, and tonight a few of us from New Idea went over for a BBQ.

It was so much fun meeting all the families, playing table football with some of the kids, chatting netball with a super teenager, and managing to avoid most of the washing up! It's such an awesome service that Ronald McDonald House provides, and I fully recommend that anyone who can help out with volunteering, fundraising etc, should definitely do it. What a happy and positive place, and what a fab night to have some cheer even when it was tipping it down with rain!

Monday 6 July – Quintastic!

Current location: Eveleigh, Sydney
11.11am, Making plans with the Quins. Our lovely friends, the Quin family, consist of Mum Fionnuala, Dad Linden, and kids Jemima, Lyra, Grace and Lucy, one of the most wonderful families to walk the earth! We love them heaps but, as they live in Perth, don't get to see them all that often. However, they're over here at the moment for a little holiday, so Andy and I babysat last night, then today made some plans to catch them in the park over my lunch break, as it's Fionnuala's birthday. It was a sunny, gorgeous day, so I rode to the park, had a picnic with them, then after work managed to catch up with them for the evening too. What a superstar family.

Sunday 5 July – Perks of the job

Current location: Rozelle, Sydney
11.11am, Meeting Sharni Layton! Anyone who knows me knows I am a big netball fan, and am a big supporter of the NSW Swifts. One of the star players for the Swifts is a superwoman named Sharni, who is such a legend that she has her own legion of fans, dubbed the 'Sharni Army'! I met her a couple of weeks ago and then, thanks to my job, which runs netball stories every now and then, had the pleasure of interviewing her today.

We went for brunch in Balmain/Rozelle, to About Life, and had a fun and funny hour or so chatting and eating delish food. It was lots more like a chat with a friend than a traditional interview – so much so that, after we'd finished, we decided to go for a little walk and then grab a coffee. She really is one of the most inspiring people I've ever met, and she manages to pack so much into each day, so I was super grateful I got to spend some time with her and find out about some of her upcoming ventures, including Strong Chicks. And she's really fun, so by the time I'd left, it was just like I'd caught up with a friend. It was an absolutely stunning day so when we said goodbye, I rode to the park and spent a couple of hours in the sunshine. Super Sunday!

Saturday 4 July – Picnic and pals

Current location: Dulwich Hill, Sydney
11.11pm, Playing Cards Against Humanity. We were at Chrystal and Marc's house, and we'd had a fab evening of cycling there, having some wines, eating yummy homemade mac 'n' cheese lasagne (taste sensation!) and catching up on a month's worth of news.
Earlier in the day, I'd had a picnic with my friend Alissa, and a few of her friends, at Sydney Park. She's a pretty new friend, who I met through my F45 gym, and she's just such a bloody winner. I love it when you meet a newbie and just click.
What a fab day of being around good people – so good for the soul!

Wednesday 1 July – Not as schnitty as last week

Current location: Erskineville
11.11pm, Getting home from the pub. Tonight netball was cancelled at the last minute so Andy an I found ourselves with a whole evening together, which doesn't happen that often. We had a look around for pub trivia, and found one at the Parkview, a pub a few streets away from where we live – and they had a schnitzel night on at the same time! If there are two things that'll get me to a pub, it's schnitty and pub quiz!

When we got there though, there were a lot more people who were more organised than us, and had pre-booked their tables, and sadly there was no room left. However, two lovely ladies who had heard our plight said we could join their table, which quickly turned into joining their team. They were so much fun – an Aussie, an Irish woman and a Scottish woman, and the five of us had the best night of answering a few questions right here and there, eating average schnitzels and drinking red wine. Love a random night!

Monday 29 June – Keeping ourselves entertained

Current location: Alexandria, Sydney
11.11pm, Back home, asleep. We'd both been a bit cabin fever-y tonight, and had no plans... It seems like lots of places are closed on a Monday night, so we ended up wandering down King Street in Newtown, just having a walk and a talk, and then stopped in the Black Sheep for a mulled wine and a few games of Connect 4!

Sunday 28 June – Lawrence lunch and family dinner

Current location: Alexandria, Sydney
11.11am, On our way to Nick and Bree's house. Dave and Val had come down for the weekend, so we went for a lovely lunch at Nick and Bree's, and had a catch up with the parents before they head off on a month's caravanning holiday. The food was yummy, as it is whenever Bree cooks, then we headed down to Queens Park to watch Andy play football. His team won 5-0, and I put it all down to his cheer squad!

In the evening, six of our friends came around for 'family dinner', which used to be a bit of a tradition here but all kind of fell apart when everyone moved to new houses. So this was a move to bring it back! I made baked pumpkin risotto, poured out the wine and we all played Cards Against Humanity and forgot about our Sunday night blues!

Saturday 27 June – To the bay!

Current location: Erskineville, Sydney
11.11am, On the way to Circular Quay. Today was a beautiful winter's day so Christabel, Jess and I decided to go for a walk. Sydney is full of lovely walking tracks, and we opted for starting at Circular Quay, passing the Opera House (always fun!), then through the Botanical Gardens, Mrs Macquarie's Chair then all the way along the coastline until we reached Watsons Bay. It was about 16km and took us four hours, and was absolutely exquisite! Walking and talking, with the sun on us, you can't get much better. Except for stopping at the Watsons Bay Hotel at the end, of course, and having a mulled wine, then getting the ferry back at the sun set. That made it pretty unbeatable.

Friday 26 June – Rocking out

Current location: Alexandria, Sydney
11.11pm, Watching a movie on the couch. This week's Friday night has been WILD. After work I went to Bunnings with my friend Yee, then Andy I decided to go to Ikea. We needed a few bits (meatballs can be something you NEED, right?!), and thought tonight would be pretty quiet. And we were right!

Tuesday 23 June – Netball nuts

Current location: Alexandria, Sydney
11.11pm, Laughing and sending Facebook messages. After netball tonight, we decided to go for a drink. It's pretty rare that we do that, as most of us are either playing another game, rushing off home or have plans elsewhere, but tonight it just happened we were all free. So we decided to have a drink and dinner at Black Penny, and for some reason we were all in the most ridiculous mood. We'll blame the endorphins. But honestly, I haven't laughed like that in aaaages, and even when we all stopped crying with laughter and took ourselves home, the ridiculous messages about the evening kept me laughing well into the night. Love my hilarious Hoopsters.

Sunday 21 June – NSW Swifts v Queensland Firebirds, Grand Final

Current location: Brisbane, Queensland
11.11am, Waiting. Waiting for a train to get me to the stadium. Waiting to see Dana, Bree's auntie who I was going to the game with. Waiting to watch the Swifts... Waiting to see them (hopefully) win!

The odds were against the Swifts, who've never won away to the Firebirds, and who weren't the favourites for this match. But they'd hit their stride a few rounds earlier, and were looking strong, despite having played a few extra games in the past couple of weeks, while the Firebirds had had a rest thanks to finishing top of the ladder.

The atmosphere at the stadium was amazing right from the beginning, with about eight times as many Firebirds fans as Swifts fans, but we were doing our best to match their volume levels. The game was super-mega-exciting, with the Swifts taking a very slight lead early (1 goal up at quarter time) and maintaining the lead for almost 59 minutes of the 1-hour match. The quality of netball played at this level never fails to astound me, but today they really upped the ante and all us fans and viewers were treated to such a fast-paced and hard-fought match.

Sadly, the last minute proved to be the Swifts' undoing, with the Firebirds managing to even the score then win by a single goal in the final minute (scored by an ex-Swifts player, no less!). The stadium absolutely erupted – I have honestly never heard noise like it, and it must have been incredible to be a Firebirds fan at that game. Us in the Swifts corner just couldn't believe it and there was definitely a sense of injustice, as we'd been winning the entire game, but that's sport, and the Swifts just couldn't hang on at that moment. They definitely did themselves proud though!!

After the match, I went with Dana and her family back to the hotel the Swifts were staying in (as Dana's daughter Taylah plays for the Swifts), and I got to meet some of my favourite players. Exciting times, but there was obviously a bit of a subdued feeling in Swifts camp that afternoon! We had a nice could of hours though, before I got back on the plane and headed down to Sydney. What a weekend – I'm so glad I made the decision to go up, and am so proud to be a Swiftie! We'll get 'em next year!

Saturday 20 June – A quiet night in Brisbane, Karyn-style

Current location: Brisbane, Queensland
11.11pm, Dancing. No idea which one, but in a club in Brisbane. I'd decided, somewhat last-minute, to fly up to Brisbane for the weekend, to combine a couple of things: seeing my lovely friend Karyn, and watching the NSW Swifts in the Grand Final against the Queensland Firebirds. More about this on tomorrow's post, but today was dedicated to Karyn-related fun. Now, if there are two words that go better together than Karyn and Fun, I don't know what they are. Seriously, this girl is all sorts of awesome, and one of those people who you just know you're going to have a good night out with.

So I don't know who we thought we were fooling, when we headed into Brisbane for 'dinner only', then a quiet night. Admittedly, we'd had a couple of wines by then, but we were definitely dressed for a low-key dinner (think Converse, cardigans and scarves). Skip a couple of hours forward and we were throwing our shapes in our third club of the night, owning the dancefloor and getting all sorts of disapproving looks from those who'd really dressed up for their night out! We finally made it home at about 3.30am (the latest I've stayed up in a loooong time), after six clubs, lots of drinks and a cheeseburger spring roll (Yep, that's a thing).