Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday 11 December – I’m off!

Current location: Eveleigh
11.11am, At work, with my suitcases by my side. Today I’m off to England, my homeland! I’m so excited to spend Christmas with my beautiful family, who have grown in number since I was last home, thanks to my littlest niece Anna being born last month. I can’t wait to cuddle, be cold, play games, eat well, be an auntie, stroke my preggo friend’s belly, meet my friend’s fiancĂ©, drink mead, open pressies, swim in the sea, and soak up the love of those incredible people who know me so well and love me lots! This year has been remarkable, for many reasons… engagements (including mine), pregnancies and babies (not including mine!), holidays, weddings, and just so many of those wonderful days where nothing major happens, but there’s laughter and sunshine and you’re filled with happiness and peace and contentment, and your soul and heart are happy. I think Christmas in Cornwall will bring more of the same, and I can’t wait to celebrate such a bloody great year. Feeling the love!

Thursday 10 December – Drinking and packing

11.11pm, Packing, badly. Tonight was our work Christmas party, and by the time I got home and tried to do responsible things like packing, I was pretty useless. Who knows what’ll be in my bag by the time I open it in London?!

Wednesday 9 December – Siobhan’s in Sydney

Current location: Erskineville
11.11pm, In the Hive, having a drink. It was tipping it down raining so we used it as an excuse not to leave, and to have another drink, especially as our gorgeous friend Siobhan is in town for a week!
(Pic taken from when we used to both live in London).

Sunday 6 December – Goodbye lovely!

Current location: Manly
11.11am, Having brekky and booking an Uber. It’s another beautiful day and a few of us headed off to Mosman, to have a drink on the water and say goodbye to our beautiful friends Emily and Dave, who are about to move to Melbourne. I met Emily when we did our Masters together back in 2007/08 in London, and over the years have stayed in touch a bit… Until she moved to Sydney and now we are super-duper close. I have been so lucky to have shared a city with this amazing couple again (and play on a netball team with Em). She is one of the most supportive, generous and courageous people I’ve ever met, and I’m going to miss her heaps!

Saturday 5 December – All the parties

Current location: Manly
11.11pm, Eating cheese, drinking port and opening presents. It’s (pretend) Christmas! As we’re all going to be in different places this Christmas, Andy’s family decided to have an early Christmas dinner together tonight. Jess cooked for us all, and we listened to Christmas music, opened our secret santa pressies, and ate ourselves stupid. Christmas!
It was such a perfect evening, which followed an ace day at the beach in Manly, having a barbecue in 30C sunshine, for our friend Juan. Today is defo one of those days I love living in Australia!

Friday 4 December – A quiet drink

Current location: Erskineville
11.11pm, In the Erko pub. I came out for ‘a drink or two’, although I’m pretty sure that ‘one drink’ doesn’t actually exist. I went out with some of my gym buddies, then bumped into some other friends, and before I knew it, it was nearly midnight. Oops! Happy Friday to me.

Thursday 3 December – A Bookwurmz Christmas

Current location: Eveleigh
11.11am, Messaging on Facebook to make plans for tonight. Our book club girls (Bookwurmz) and I were meeting for a Christmas drink and, even though we were all pretty tired out, we managed to all rally after work and meet in the Old Clare pub, which has been renovated and has a beautiful rooftop bar. The sun was out, the Champagne was flowing, and we were all in the best mood. It's so good to spend time with these divine women, and we were having such a lovey time, we then went for dinner at Spice Alley. It's an amazing little hawker's food market, which feels like it's in the middle of Singapore... And so cheap and fresh and tasty. What a find!

Wednesday 2 December – Keeping it local

Current location: Erskineville
11.11pm, Asleep, but full and happy. Andy and I had an impromptu date night, which consisted of dinner at Bitton, the amazing French place around the corner from where we live, then cracking open one of delish Hunter Valley wines, then reading mags on the couch. I'm very glad I'm with someone who has the same interests as me!

Tuesday 1 December – Tuckered out

Current location: Erskineville
11.11pm, Asleep. Today, this is what I did (other than a full day at work):
-A weights class at the gym
-A run at lunchtime in 36C heat
-A 45-min power walk across town
-Three games of netball


Friday, December 4, 2015

Monday 30 November – The Oztag derby

Current location: Erskineville
11.11pm, Trying to wind down from a fun, funny, late night. A big group of friends make up three different oztags team (one of which I am in), and tonight two teams – the Panthers and Brooklyn – played each other. I'm happy to sat Brooklyn (my team) won by a healthy margin, although I didn't have much to do with that! Luckily I can hide behind (literally and figuratively) the better people in my team! I bet well that night, and had dinner riding on the win, so after wards a group of us went to the pub and Frank (capt of Panthers) bought me dinner. Cheers Frankie!

Sunday 29 November – Barbecue birthdays

Current location: Newtown
11.11am, Having my hair cut. From there I met my friend Kara and we walked in the scorching sun to Carriageworks, where there was a food market on... Then I rode back to St Peters, to go to my friend Gaz's barbecue. It's his birthday and he and Mia are awesome at house parties, and this one was no exception. So much fresh seafood and so many cold beers... which became a slight problem when I then had to play a netball match that evening!

Saturday 28 November – Taylor Swift!!

Current location: Homebush
11.11pm, On our way home from the Taylor Swift concert! YES TAYLOR SWIFT!!!! I was channeling my inner tweenager, and oh my goodness did she have fun!! My friend Yee and I had the best best BEST time dancing along, singing, cheering, and we couldn't wipe the grins off our faces. I'd never been to an arena concert before, and everything from the millions of costume changes to the glowing-in-time-to-the-beat wristbands, was totally bloody awesome. She played every song from 1989, plus a few from her other albums, and I'm pretty sure every of the 76,000 people at the stadium sang along to every one.

Friday 27 November – Openair cinema

Current location: Newtown
11.11pm, In Earls Juke Joint, having a beer. Tonight, after work, we went to our friend Emily's final architecture masters project viewing (I'm not sure that's its official name!), then Rochy and I went to the Openair Cinema at Sydney Uni. I was just so happy tonight, feeling so satisfied with life and excited for the future, and just so content and grateful. #blessed, if you will.
After the cinema, we wandered back along King Street, and met Andy, Colin and Christabel, plus bumped into another couple of friends, and had another beer and a boogie.

Wednesday 25 November – Dinner with Ducky

Current location: Eveleigh
11.11am, Making plans with Ducky. Tonight we went out in Newtown, to a fab restaurant called Lentil as Anything. The food there is all vegan, there are about four options, then you pay what you think the meal was worth, at the end. The money mainly goes to charity... So yummy, and such a good initiative. Afterwards, we went out for a cheeky whiskey, and made Ducky some new life plans, as you do on a Wednesday.

Sunday 22 November – Sunday wine times

Current location: Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
11.11am, At Keith Tulloch winery. We apparently weren't too full of wine yet, because once we left our beautiful French home, we decided to go to another winery. Keith Tulloch is a stunning winery, which also has a chocolate shop and cafe, so we spent the morning there, trying more wines, eating chocolate and doing an impromptu photoshoot (which often happens when one of your party is a photographer). Then, sadly, it was time to drive home, with our bloody full of alcohol (not the drivers, obvs), our pockets full of chocolate and our hearts full of joy and drunken memories!

Saturday 21 November – Wine on wheels

Current location: Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
11.11pm, Playing games and drinking tequila. It has been the most awesome day ever, beginning with a scrummy brekky of eggs, avocado, fresh bread and bacon made by Andy, as well as granola and yoghurt and fruit, which we ate outside, with fresh coffee. I felt like we were in France (which may have something to do with the French feel of the place, 'Villa Provence'!).

Full up and ready to start our day of adventuring, we caught a cab to Grapemobile, where we hired bikes. We then had the most epic day of riding from winery to winery, taking in beautiful views, so much good wine and yummy food. Plus fun dogs, awesome scenery, boules, some hilarious 50-somethings, jokes, photoshoots, buying too much and laughing our heads off. It was the best! I highly, highly recommend cycling as a way of getting between the wineries, even if there is a hill or two to conquer, as being out in the countryside and fresh air is the best way to see the vineyards and clear your wine head before going to another tasting.

When we dropped our bikes off (pretty merry and wobbly by this point!), we went back home and had a swim in the pool. Living the dream! The Aussies/Kiwis taught us English/Welshmen how to play Marco Polo, which then led to us playing it for about an hour and not getting any better at it! Going inside to shower and warm up and get ready for the evening, Em and Matty D cooked us an amazing feast, while we read and played some poker and chilled out in our French mansion. We had a very grown-up dinner party, finished off by an incredible cheesecake made by Mia, then we cracked out the games. It turns out the boys do not make a great team! We laughed at them (a lot) then slowly fought off the tiredness until it was time for bed. I love it here!