Monday, April 29, 2013

[love letter...]

#22 - Write a love letter to my husband.
See my bucket list here.

Gag fest ensues.  
I can't help it - it's an anniversary post.  Never fear, there is a fart joke in there to lower the tone a bit.  You're welcome.  

Dear future husband,
(Just to clarify; I'm thinking same husband, just in the future.)

Today is our six year wedding anniversary.  The last year has certainly been our most adventurous and our most loving yet.  I can only assume it continues to get better from here.

Today walking home from the bus, we were holding hands and you looked into my eyes and kissed my hand.  It's moments like those I feel the sweetness of us.  You took not three steps and I heard what can only be described as a fog horn in the mist.  Surprised, you looked behind you as if you might see the ship the fog horn belonged to appear.*  It's moments like those I feel the laughter of us.  

It sums us up really - we park long enough in the garage of romance to remember and remind ourselves we are sweet, loving and kind.  But we spend the majority of our time navigating the roads of life with laughter and silliness and friendship - and it's here I find my greatest happiness.

Last night we were in Croatia, eating al fresco as the sun went down over the mediterranean and you toasted our six years and hoped for sixty more.  I hope we have sixty more too, but lets make each year count - I know there are people who would do anything for just one more day.  Let's not forget we are the lucky ones.

Lovingly and fartingly yours,

Your wife and friend. xx

*Suffice to say there was no ship.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

[small things...]

Joining in with Meghan at MNMs for 'Things I'm Lovin'.  The instagram edition.  Life lately has been about waiting, watching, holding space, biding time.  Good time to appreciate the small things...

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful matter how simple it is.

Geek love...  We brought some new sleeping bags for our road trip in a few weeks.  We made sure to buy square ones so we could make a double-up and we slept in it that night to try it out.  Geek love.

Famous girl love...  I was on British TV for the second time.  The first time I was in the audience for Deal or no Deal.  This time, the BBC filmed a documentary in the NHS, including in my unit.  Do I look good in faded red scrubs?

Odd light love...  This odd light came in my window and made strange shadows on my bed.  I heard them call it 'the sun?'

Weird birds love...  Two weird seagulls went crazy outside our window at work.  We are on the sixth floor, and these birds were squawking and pecking, trying to get in to the babies.  Creepers.

Pepper-free sandwich love...  I hate pepper.  So much.  Always, always, always there is pepper on sandwiches, until I found this one at Pumpkin Cafe at the train station.  So happy!

Baby love...  The husbo had to go away for work, and I went with him.  Some friends were up there too (he works for the same company) and we stayed in the same hotel.  They have a new baby, Edward, and I looked after him while his deserving Mama had a pedicure.  Cute!

Plenty of things to be thankful for this week!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

[monday memorandum...]

Just a few thoughts to make your week interesting for a Monday.  Ha.
(Wait, it's Wednesday now.  Oh well.)

: :  I turn 30 in two days...  Cripes alive.  My present phobic husband has brought me a special treat and I can't wait to see what it is (read:  I already know because I chose it.  I'm no fool).  Also I'm going to Gordon Ramsay's restaurant for an early dinner, and to a west end show.  Ah am sow London, innit?

: :  Birthday trip...  Also we are going to Croatia for a few days at the weekend.  We had to plan to be back in time in case I got these QI tickets I applied for and was certain I would get (since it's my birthday and our anniversary, although it never asked for that info on the questionnaire - I just assumed they'd know?) But I never heard from them (yet) so I assume we'll have to do something romantic on our anniversary instead.  Sigh.

: :  Three weeks of work left...  I work in a really lovely unit, but I am super glad to be done with work in a few weeks.  Most of our pals here work to travel - as in, they work enough to get money (like three months or so) and then travel for a month or so.  We never did that though, I've worked right through since we arrived - only taking a two week break when Mum visited.  Any ideas for a job I can do when I arrive home that doesn't involve working?

Pretty rad view from my work.

: :  No work...  I have emailed two places at home about work, and applied for two jobs and have had NO REPLY from any of them.  I'm so surprised because I'm a really good nurse (mostly) and when I was writing my C.V I said to the husby that I look so good on paper, I'd give myself a job without reading the rest of the pile.  Nothing like a good old dose of ignoring to pop my over inflated ego.

: :  It was actually sunny...  We came to England from New Zealand's winter, into England winter.  Then we hit the worst summer England has seen for 100 years (fact according to myself), then the coldest winter for 100 years (fact according to myself but I feel like I've heard it before.)  I have never been so pale in all my life (and I am usually like glow in the dark PALE).  Lets just say that the bits that see the light of day are the same colour as the bits that don't.  BUT this week I have seen shadows for the first time in two years, and I even wore my sunglasses today.  Bliss!

By my pad.

: :  Dandruff city...  Since coming to England I have been plagued with dandruff problems.  (I exaggerate).  Don't judge me, I'm a clean girl with usually nice hair which I wash regularly, but the water here is so hard and limescale-y.  I digress.  This week was particularly diabolical.  I switched shampoo from one which shall remain nameless (Tresemee) that was making me get split ends and fly aways.  I switched to another one that shall remain nameless (Pantene) that gave me a filmy, greasy feeling.  Not to mention I was now looking like I had dropped a packet of dessicated coconut on my head.  So I had to go to the hairdresser and ask for some help - she suggested that I wash my hair with dishwashing liquid (no lies - she told me not to tell anyone she said it) and then with some proper hairdresser type shampoo that shall not remain nameless.  Kerastase.  Kerastase and my hair are now having a love affair made of soft, sweet smelling locks and not a coconut flake in sight.  Win.

: :  De-furring...  Speaking of hair, today I went to have multiple small hairs ripped from various places on my body.  I felt a bit concerned when half way through, beauty lady goes 'so, are we doing your upper lip today?'  I say 'ah... nope, wasn't planning on it'.  She goes 'oh.  long pause.  okay'.  I'm all like 'lady, I'm almost thirty - a few lip hairs never hurt anyone.  I'm embracing my age with grace.'  Then I go home and pluck the crap out of that top lip.

So there you go.  I hope your day is more interesting now, and that it wasn't so boring before that a post which is mostly about hairs and weather made it exponentially more interesting.  Cos if that's the case, you gotta get a hobby.  For reals.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

[learning, always learning...]

Dear future photographer,

# 9 - Learn to use a DSLR camera.
See my bucket list here.

Oh me, oh my.  I am turning thirty in five days.  Yeesh.
(Does that make you feel old, Mum? Hehe.)

Anyhoo, just checking out my list of twenty-nine things I wanted to do before turning thirty.  This was a weird one, because I don't know at what point I've 'made it' in the DSLR arena.  There are still loads of things I need to learn, and practice.  We did a ten week course when we first brought our camera (about two years ago now) which I think gave me a fairly decent foundation.

BUT I'd still like to feel confident on what I guess is the next level of manual photography - manual focus, metered exposure, changing settings quickly to suit changing light.  But I'm pretty happy with my progress up until now.  I've taken some photos in manual that I'm proud of.  

SO I'm happy to tick this one of as done and done. *dusts off hands*

All of the following pics are largely unedited except for the occasional crop or frame.

water fountain, hamilton gardens // first maternity shoot //  austrian alps //  norman church, england //  lake lugano, switzerland //  botanic gardens, vancouver // city skyline, czech republic // kamari beach, santorini //  cottage, iceland

Saturday, April 6, 2013

[oh my guinness...]

# 26) Drink a (or some) beer in an Irish pub.

I'm not a fan of beer - I'd always choose a juice over a beer any day and in my opinion the darker it is, the grosser.  Anyhoo, I'm all about finishing up this bucket list (I'm totally not - I'm way lagging) so here is proof I had some dark beer in an Irish pub (well, bistro but hey ho) with the most amazing steak sandwiches.

Disclaimer:  It was raining, snowing, freezing and we were sick as dogs.  That's why we look a bit budge.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

[the baker in me... part one]

Dear future baker (ha),

Part one of this story is a little sad, and a little silly.  
I like part two best, but you gotta have the horse before the cart.
Write that down.  That one's for free.

I don't know in which scenario my life would depend on me baking an edible cake, but if there were one - I'd be a goner (gonner?)  In the absence of appropriate real-blogger-and-mother-baker gel colours for a rainbow cake last year (they were delivered late!) I baked Jamie Oliver's pancake cake for a last minute birthday cake for my pal.  It was average at best, kind of stodgy and plain.

Anyway, we ate a slice each and I took the rest to work the next day for my work mates.  Under usual circumstances, nothing goes uneaten in the healthcare profession...  I've seen some pretty dire things be eaten.  Lets just say - rubbish bin raids have been known to occur.

So my beloved (mediocre) pancake cake arrives at work and sits proudly in the fridge with a sign on saying 'pancake cake, eat me!'  I felt sure a free pancake cake would be a welcome treat for my colleagues - I didn't put my name on it so that I sit back could be quietly chuffed with my (very ordinary) efforts.  Regardless of a few tweaks I'd make, it's a pretty interesting concept.  

Also, its free.  Free.

You see the stodginess?  I'd recommend some kind of berry aspect would make it better - a jam or a coulis in the layering.  I can't bake but I sure can eat.

Fast forward to lunch time, and I'm sitting in the back of the staff room waiting for my secret praise.  Imagine my surprise then, to hear...  lets just say...  a very stern and negative appraisal of my work.  There was a lot of 'don't waste your calories' and 'all it is, is nutella and pancakes'.  There was also a very long discussion about all the different aspects of this cake (also of how it isn't even a cake) and all the ways it could be improved.

Don't feel sad for me.  I wasn't sad, I was just bemused really - I'm okay with my weaknesses - though I'd have liked to be able to defend myself.  I'd have said two things.
1). It's Jamie Oliver.  (Instant win).
2).  Also uh, it's free.  I repeat - FREE.

Needless to say, the whole thing was eaten within an hour and people who knew it was me complimented me.  I'm not bothered, in fact I think it says more about the people talking that way - potentially in front of the 'owner' - than it does about me as a person.  But that's a whole 'nother post.

I didn't, however rush to bake again - one failure too many in the baking department for me.  I've been put on probation by My Guy now - to ensure success (and forward moving progress), I should bake only with supervision or not at all.

So funny.

Recently I ventured into the kitchen again to make some of Paisley Jade's special Coconut Iced Chocolate Slice (no bake).  Unsupervised.

And I took it to work and shared it.

So grab a piece of pancake cake and impatiently await part two for the disastrous, life lesson learning results and also a success story.

Love, still no floopin' baker me.  xx  

Monday, April 1, 2013

[old me...]

Dear future me,

The adventures in England are over.

The Shard - I drive past here on the bus on my way to and from work.

Don't worry, I'm not sad about it.  Good things end so that new things can begin and I'm okay with that.  Cos I love new things, and the new things we've got planned are uber good.

We are going home in June after a wee road trip in Europe and a stop over in Singapore.  A little farewell to our travelling ways.  I don't know if you ever let travelling out of your heart once it's been in, but I suppose you must move past it.

Out the window, heading to Ireland.
There's a weirdness about going back to our home town where we grew up.  We haven't lived there for almost five years by the time we get home.  

Its just that I feel like 'past me' lives there and I don't care to meet her again.  She uuuugly.  I assume everybody has a 'past-self' who they don't care to remember, and I've decided to think of her as some kind of a bridge to my present self - who I quite like.  She taught me things I wouldn't have otherwise known, helped me shed things I'd have otherwise hung on to.

From one of our local pubs - over the Thames River.

Something I'm learning - you gotta forgive your past self, and trust that she made the decisions she made based on what she knew then - not on what you know now.  She made the best choices she could with the information she had.

Now here's hoping no one else remembers past me either! 
*bites nails nervously*

Love you, and be easy on yourself future me...  xx