Wednesday, September 26, 2012


On the first day we arrived in Marrakech we hit 46 degrees.  

It was a nice break to pop over to the Moroccan coast - Essouaira to be precise.  It is about twenty degrees cooler at the coast.  We did a day tour with a local guide, who was lovely and knowlegeable.  He also had a very interesting playlist on his ipod which included Peter Andre's 'Mysterious Girl' and some arabic songs and even a bit of Shania Twain.

I'm afraid this post may be a little photo heavy and a little word light, but I wanted to get it up.  Hope you don't mind.

We came across these amazing goats who climb up into these trees and stay up there all day for the fun of it.  Believe it or not (not).  In true Moroccan fashion, some lovely men let us hold the baby goats that they happened to be holding at the base of tree...

... then charged us 100 dirham.  Oh.  If you look closely you'll see the little shelves made of branches, and up the road we saw some more guys giving the goats a... lets say... helping hand to get into the tree.  Funny thing.

The coast was considerably cooler and very interesting to visit.  We were significantly more conspicuous as tourists than when we were in Marrakech, but somehow that didn't feel uncomfortable or negative, quite the opposite in fact.  It felt like we had more of the culture to ourselves.

I particularly liked the seaside, with its wind and fish smell.  I guess it felt a little like home somehow - being able to smell the sea.

Each city in Morocco has a colour theme, and Essouaira's is blue.  

Moroccan streets are lined with tall, coloured concrete buildings.  They boast shops selling oils and herbs, home made key rings, all manner of knick knacks.  They are also complete with a number of pets, which look like they need would love to be adopted.

As in Marrakech, Essouaira is hustling and bustling with markets, people who want to help (and take your money).  People who live from dirham to dirham, with children who need feeding and cats who need tending to, and whose entire living depends on tourism. 

People whose simplest pleasures in life are simpler than you and I could dream of - and they are richer for it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

[actually monday memorandum...]

YUSSSSS!  It's actually Monday and I'm posting my Monday Memorandum. 

: :  currently watching...  As I type, I'm just finished watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and now I'm watching X factor.  How great is it when they are awful?  I know it's horrid to say, but I just think it is so fun to watch.  I went and saw the taping of a session, and now I'm watching for myself in the audience.  Ha.

: :  niceness...  He has been working from home this week.  I like it too - having him around, just being there.  Also if I need something technical fixed, he can help me.  Ha.  Don't ask me what is going on here - some soldering business, and I helped hold a wire onto a metal thing.

: :  assignment...  I was feeling a bit worried about not being offered another contract with my work - I had asked and they hadn't got back to me...  Nervous waiting...  eeek!  Anyhow, this week they got back to me.  Lady: "Oh, Stacey.  Did we get back to you about your assignment?  Because we do want you back."  Me:  "Cripes, lady - way to leave me hanging."  So that's whew!

: :  oh, hello...   Oh, hello sunset.  

: :  falling asleep...  Anyone else always fall asleep in movies?  Watching them at home, at a friends house or even at the movies - I would say that 90% of the time I fall asleep.  If I ever suffer from insomnia (I doubt I will), I'll just watch a movie and I'll be sure to fall asleep.

: :  patent...  This is a patented idea.  I have had some trouble with extracting marshmallows from the hot chocolate without being piggy and using my fingers, or getting them stuck in the lid hole.  BUT wait...  I figured out while waiting for the bus after a night duty that I could use the lid as a scooping spoon.  Gen-i-us.

: :  mum comes back...  Mum comes back next week, and we do a bit more looking around England and then go on a coach tour of Vienna, Budapest and Prague.  Then we head to Santorini and Athens.  Can't wait!

: :  fouling can cause blindness...  Really?  How?  If you rub it in your eye?  Or as a comementer said on my instagram - if someone punches you in the eye?  Also, how's the little poo on the side?  And what is up with the eyes.  Weird sign.

: :  date night...  My Guy suggested a date night last night and I was pleased to accept.  We walked to a restaurant about ten minutes away and had some yummy tea.  It's a pizza lounge and we shared an entree and a pizza, and had some lovely conversation about our current plans and work, and our future.  It was very nice.  And I even did curls.

: :  downton abbey...  The new Downton starts tonight!  Season three...  Eeeeeeee!

: :  sunday funday...  The London family had a picnic in the park today - we had a barbeque (we made it at the house) and walked up to the park for a nice meal and a few games of boules.  I got a sweet picnic blanket, picnic set and boules set for my birthday and I love to use them!

So that was my week briefly.  What have you been up to this week?

Friday, September 14, 2012


Dear future me,

I like this attitude.  Seems nice to choose each day to make it your favourite day.

So sweet.

No reason each day can't be amazing.

Love, current day me.  xx

Thursday, September 13, 2012

[autumn bucket list...]

The lovely ladies over at 'A Beautiful Mess' posed a challenge this week - four simple goals to achieve before 2013.  Funnily enough, I'd been thinking about just this anyway, in an attempt to get hyper organised (the space I seem to need to be in lately in order to have a clear mind!)

(Image from 'A Beautiful Mess' with permission)

I often think about where I would like my life to be in one year, five years, ten years.  I find it motivating to think of how I would feel in five years if I was the same person, doing the same things, having the same issues.  I need to have grown and developed into something I want to be, and not have regrets for the way I wish things would have gone.  I guess that a certain amount of growth happens just in everyday life.  I like to be aware of myself, and my desires and dreams and my shortcomings and to hold the person I know I can be in high regard, and strive to do better for her sake.

So without further ado (and bleating on about sentimental nonsense), here are my four simple goals before 2013, (inspired by the person I aspire to be in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and on and on.)

1).  Complete a craft project.  I am good at starting craft projects, not so good at finishing them (as in, I am terrible).  I don't like this about myself - my inability to stick to something (exercise, diets, projects) and so I thought this would be a good one to focus on.  I have already started something in anticipation, and here's a clue - it ties in with one of the goals from my 29 before 30 bucket list!

2).  Become fitter.  For years now, I've had the goal of losing weight and as I said in number one, I never stick to it.  I just never do it long enough to make a difference.  So maybe 'become fitter' is a better goal.  I've been doing a lot more walking since living in England (incidental exercise) and I am certainly fitter now than I have been.  I've been riding a bike home from work, and am keen to do some zumba and pilates classes.  I guess if I get fitter, drink more water, eat more greens... the weight loss will happen too, but that won't be my main focus.

3).  Make pasta from scratch.  I love Jamie Oliver and his simple approach to food.  When I visit the markets around here, I'm always inspired to eat organic, fresh, homemade food, and then I get home and it all seems too hard.  I think if I learn to make fresh food in an enjoyable (and not too complex way), I would be more inclined to spend time in the kitchen making healthy, delicious food.  So I'm going to make pasta from scratch - I'm thinking I'd like to try ravioli!

4).  Nurture uplifting relationships.  I'd like to be deliberate about the friends I choose to let right into the inner circle of my life, and to nurture the relationships I have that I want to hang on to for good.  I think those are the ones that uplift and add to my life, and I'd like to be a person who uplifts and adds to theirs too.  I'm talking about remembering birthdays, skyping more, sending gifts, words of encouragement.  Not just friendships too, but family relationships and even my marriage.  I guess what I'm saying is it's easy to get blase about relationships that have been around for an age, and it's important to me right now to be deliberate about them.

So all of my goals seem to be less simple than I had intended when I write them out in such a way.  I suppose they are really as simple as making some pasta and going to a zumba class, but they mean more to my personal growth than just the tasks.

Look forward to sharing my journey with you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Monday memorandum has evolved in to just plain old 'memorandum' on account of the fact that it is almost never Monday when I post it.

My brain has been feeling oh so cluttery lately.  It's as if the mind can only hold a certain number of things, and when it gets overloaded it gets foggy and slow.  I don't know about you, but it makes me feel a wee bit sad, and the best cure is to get organised.  So earlier in the week I went online to me ole friend amazon and purchased a few things to help me along the way - probably the parcel of my dreams.

: :  the best delivery ever...  I got some click clack containers for our food cupboard, and some labels to label which food is ours (we live in a house with a bunch of other people).  I got a wardrobe organiser - it's kind of a canvas shelving unit that hangs from the bar in the wardrobe to put things on, right from the bar to the floor.  I got a shoe rack for all the shoes that pile up around the door.

: :  the little things that help...  I've been working too much (any much feels like too much lately!).  I had a nice shift with a lovely new friend I've made and I popped downstairs at midnight and fetched us a hot chocolate and a muffin.  It's the little things, right?!

In the elevator heading down to the cafe.

: :  the great bike fiasco...  My friend taught me to ride a bike, and we've been riding home.  Well, I already knew how to ride but I've not done it for about twenty years.  So we ride home from work (in London alongside the big red buses).  I am slow and awful, but I'm exercising and it's a little bit fun.  Ha.

: :  sidenote...  How can I possible be old enough to refer to something as being 'twenty years ago'.  Yikes.

: :  craftastic...  I spent ages researching the stitches, techniques, yarn and hooks for crochet.  It was ridiculous how long I spent, and so I just decided to get started on a special project.  I'm amazing at starting things but poosy at finishing them so hopefully I'll have something to share with you later.

Crochet hooks (also in the amazon parcel of my dreams).

: :  public crafting...  I crafted in public on the train, too (with permission from my train buddies - wouldn't like to embarrass anyone with my geekery!).

Craftastic train ride

: :  oxford for a day...  Our special pal, E has been working in Oxford for a few weeks.  What better reason to pop up to Oxford for a day spent by the river in a garden bar?  We popped by Christ Church school too, where the Harry Potter dining room scene was filmed.

Christ Church

: :  tuberculosis shot...  Got myself a tb shot the other day (compulsory for my work).  It's a bit fun having a festering sore on the arm, really.  I do love me a good hunk of pus (puss?)!

: :  listy list...  Purchased myself a 'list book' today.  Who doesn't love a list or two?  I saw it a while ago at the shop, and I kept thinking about it so here it is in all its deliciousness...

...  look at this picture below and you'll see the amazingness of it.  On the right is a note pad.  Then on the left side a shopping list, some post-it notes and some little marker post-its.  Are you totes jell? 

: :  call the midwife...  Such a great series, my friend E and I are watching.  Can you tell I'm watching it as I write this?  Also do you know the most incredible news - that season three of Downton Abbey is coming out soon.
Shut... Up...

: :  stratford...  Popping up to Stratford (where the olympic park is) for a spot of lunch (and to buy list books to feed my organisation fetish) is something I like to do, and we went today.  There is a burger restaurant called 'Gourmet Burger Kitchen' which sells New Zealand products, including 'Kaitaia fire' and...  L&P!  I took the liberty of introducing my pals to it, and they were suitably impressed, I believe.

Enough rambling for one day.  I need to go and watch some more Call the Midwife, and do some crochet.  Haha.  So very 'elderly' of me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

[visit from the mom...]

I had five days off when Mum came to visit, and we acted like tourists in my own town.  Hehe.  I've realised it's a good idea to see touristy sights and do touristy things in the town you live in.  There is much fun to be had. 

Here is some of the fun we had!

: :  Went to a West End show - Billy Elliot.  It was awesome!  I haven't seen the movie but cripes the kids can act!

 : :  Visited the Tower of London, where prisoners were held and even Ann Boleyn was beheaded there.  This big raven was hanging around outside.

: :  We went on the London Eye, and it was a stellar day for it!

: :  Rode the longest escalator on the tube network, along with a whole bunch of other escalators on the tube network.

: :  Of course we had to hit Buckingham Palace.  We made it just at the end of the changing of the guard and there were tonnes of people there.  Fun!

: :  Walked along the embankment to find some lunch and saw some rad art.

: :  Lastly we checked out my favourite, Borough Market.  So many awesome things there.  I brought a freshly made baguette and some rhubarb, vanilla and something else jam.

There you have it, a snapshot of our week doing tourist-ish things.  Now I'm off to research what is going on in London, tourist style.  Hope your week is going awesome!

Meghan at MNM's does a cool segment on her blog - check it out.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

[monday memorandum...]

Encouragement is so uplifting. So appreciative of all the encouragement here on the blog, and also on facebook after my last post.  Like I said, I wasn't feeling sad for myself, just a little confused and it's nice to know I'm not the only one getting dumber as I get older.  Maybe I should just embrace the thickness.

With that, here is Monday Memorandum...  a little late this week but I'm sure you'll survive.

: :  mum...  As I told you, Mum visited this week.  It was so nice to have her here!  Also, a little odd having someone here from home - I think I've mentioned before, it feels like two different worlds colliding.  Not bad at all of course, just strange.  It was super fun showing her around London - we did some fun touristy things (more on that later), and I realised how I need to get more touristy in my day to day life!

Mum the day she arrived.

: :  purse...  I brought the coolest coin purse on Granville Island in Vancouver.  One of those purchases you make when you aren't sure you should, and then you never regret it.  This week, I lost it!  I think it fell out of my bag when I pulled my cardi out...  boooo.

: :  kindle...  In other boooooo news, my kindle screen is broken.  Stinker.  I have to go back to reading the old fashioned way - with an actual book.  How odd.

: :  man drought...  It's not that I'm looking, but I have a few single lady friends and I have noticed on their behalf that there seems to be a decent man shortage.  Where have they all gone?  If you know a decent man that is looking for a decent lady, I'm thinking of starting up my own dating business but it's a bit one sided at present.  Ha.

The London Eye.

: :  crochet...  I just keep thinking about this picture I saw on instagram of someone crocheting the softest looking baby blanket and I want to make one too.  I started watching a few youtube vids of crochet basics and I'm after some needles (needles?  or hooks?) and some yarn (yarn?  what am I, American?!) to make the softest baby blanket ever.  Also, is this even possible?

 ::  work...   I'm at work at the moment.  It's 2.37 am and I'm on an extra shift.  Somehow picking up an extra makes working a little less palatable, especially at this hour.  Also, don't tell my boss I'm blogging while the babies sleep.

Midnight, on the way to get a hot choc and muffin for my workmate and I.

: :  lists...  Anyone else a major list fan?  I have five lists on the go at the moment, and it helps my brain feel less cluttery.  Lists for presents, things to do, things to buy, and even a miscellaneous list.  I think that's the beaver in me coming out.  I'm certainly more 'beaverish' as I age.

: :  games...  I miss board gaming.  I know, super nerdy, right?  My friend posted a pic on FB of all their games - a whole bookshelf full and I just remembered how much good fun it was.

That'll be enough for now.  I've got a few ideas for posts coming up so stay tuned!