Holiday planning

Here’s a post I drafted last August…

I think I want to visit the US this year.  I mean, maybe.  I’ve lately felt a little ‘over travel’ so I’m not going to make myself go.  However, there are some places I love to go, and some new places I just keep reading about.

Like Portland, Oregon.  

How pretty is Portland? via
How pretty is Portland? via

So, as this blog is my memory, I shall link up to the first inspiring post, from Young House Love:

Then there was a much more recent post, again all about food, here:

I mean I think the blogosphere is making it clear that I just MUST stop off there on my next soujourn!

I’d always swing a trip the the Big Apple, even if it’s only to do all I’ve done before – mainly just look in the shops! I could make it to the factory/make your own converse place that I missed last time?  What else?  Try and find some of the spots they filmed ‘Suits’ in – that’s the cheapest thrill ever, finding places used to film things *without* the costly tour – it works well even for lesser known shows now that the internet can help!

Yep, never seen it in real life - but now I will!
Yep, never seen it in real life – but now I will!

I’ve never been to San Francisco, so I’d like to visit (and give all Aussies seems to fly into LAX unless they are doing around the world) it should also be convenient with flights too!

The real question is how would I fill my days?  Something I always struggle with on holidays, home or abroad.  I feel like I have to make the most of the time, or the place or both, and I need a good list for that to happen.  This isn’t much of a list…  HELP!

And now back to real time.  My mother’s just been accepted to a writing course in San Francisco.  So, of course, I agreed to accompany her! Last night’s fortnightly family dinner, we burnt a hole in a credit card (of course, dutifully paid for with cash today) buying two tickets to SFO!

We’re spending two week in the US in January.  Keep in mind I head to Noumea, New Caledonia for a week at the end of this week (and after my Halloween party on Friday night), and then there’s a family Bali trip in September planned.  Gosh, I am lucky.  I keep thinking ‘if I had kids, I wouldn’t have the money to do this’ – so I’m making the most of every opportunity!

So – how should I fill my days? I’ll have most of my time in San Fran, and then we might fly to Seattle, and then drive to Portland.  It’s all a little unclear.  Mum’s got NO idea (or reason) to visit Portland, so I’m going to have to campaign hard there 😉

Zero Waste Update

Long time readers know that I was a big advocate of zero waste, with weekly Wednesday posts all being catalogued here.  Most of my posts were when I lived alone, in the loft.  It seems timely to let you know how the zero waste warrior is going after more than a year living with the BF.

Naturally, things have changed.

Firstly, I no longer go to the butcher to buy meat in my own container.  We had such a large bill for groceries in our first month living together, there was no way I could swing the more expensive butcher’s prices.  Plus, I didn’t have the normal local butcher who knew me anymore (unless I wanted to drive or walk further).  So we shop at the big bag duopoly for under cost price meat.  There’s one thing I’m ashamed to admit and that is: the price does matter.

What about coffee? Well I’m recently become more committed to ensuring my daily (sigh) coffee addiction in taking my own cup. Alas, the keep cup I bought for the BF was too big for the machines.  And he’s not a remember-er, and I’m not a nagger.  So today I bought us both coffees and they were both in take away cups.  I diligently recycling the paper cup and the plastic lid after washing them.  It’s a step in the right direction…

The red one smells like cinnamon, the blue like yum, and the brown one like tar :( Haven't tried the other two.
The red one smells like cinnamon, the blue like yum, and the brown one like tar 🙁 Haven’t tried the other two.

I continue to buy solid shampoo bars from Lush, but the BF uses a bottle of shampoo from the duopoly.  The matching conditioner (apple flavour!) is more for my use.  I have had no luck with bulk conditioners for the coop or Lush.  And now my hair is longer I need conditioner 🙁

I continue to visit the food co-op, though much less regularly now that I don’t have one day off a fortnight.  I buy nuts there, as well as vinegar.  What else? Sometimes pasta.  Chia seeds.  I don’t buy their organic fruit and vege.  They are ugly.  And I’m that vain.  And cheap – back to cheap!

Bokashi bin
Bokashi bin

I still have normal people recycling, plastic recycling that go back to the duoploy bins, and compost that goes into my neighbourhood bins.  Gosh I am pleased for those, as my Bokashi composter spilt in my mother’s car and that ended their yard as the destination for organic matter.

I still weigh the bin bag when I take it out.  It’s not always on a Wednesday, but it still happens in the cover of the early morning, so there’s no one to laugh at me 🙂  Actually, the BF thought I’d stopped weighing it – seems I’d just gone stealth.

The reality is – life got in the way.  The fight isn’t worth it.  Compromise is important.  I still move trash from one bin to another under the sink, and I still take out ALL the various waste products.  And I’m ok with that.  I don’t want to let things end up in the wrong bin (by  the way, pleased as punch that my building of 13 apartments, everyone puts in recycling in without plastic bags – a big win in my heart and soul!)

So there’s the update – how are you in your various zero waste efforts?

First kiss

When I was a teenager, and hormonal, I wrote endlessly about love and all the involved permutations.  But I knew I was young and hormonal and who wants to read the same gaff every teen goes on about?  Now I’m in that perfect spot – neither youthful hormones, nor at the sunset of youth (relatively), nor pregnant lady hormones. I feel like I can write about the heady memories of first kisses without a bias 😉

There is nothing more intoxicating than the anticipation of your very very first kiss.  There’s nothing to compare it to.  From those more experienced at school, the most graphic example Sally gave was ‘it’s like licking a plate’.  I think the visual was captivating enough, irrespective of it’s relevance to the actual act.

When I FINALLY (or so it would seem) had my first kiss at 16, it was at a school dance.  I remember the sore hips from a night of swaying back and forth on the same spot.  I was delighted to be told that ‘it looked like the movies’ when Fran reminisced about my first kiss.  Cause if it looked right to an outsider, I mustn’t be doing anything too wrong, right?


Alas, this kiss was unexpected, a function of luck.  The best kisses are the ones you’ve imagined in every possible combination in your head.  Every moment, in freeze frame motion.  And that started LONG before I was actually first kissed.  I remember spending my first year in high school speculating ways I could ‘run into’ the neighbour up the street.  It couldn’t have been more frustrating to NEVER have him on my train home – how could us two commuters never find our paths met?  (Mostly cause he went to school for an hour less a day, and my school was twice as far away!)  Nonetheless, almost every day I spent 50c on a roll of lifesavers, so should I see him, I’d have something to offer.  A way to nonchalantly strike up conversation.

After my first kiss, but whilst still in high school, I developed a crush.  With it, I created this alternative reality, this happily ever after.  It all pivoted on that first kiss.  When the time finally came to steal a kiss, it was lack luster.  he smelt… like he’s clothes hadn’t dried properly.  There’s nothing I detest more than that musty smell.  It failed to live up to the hype in my head.  (Interestingly, I was told many years after this that I was ‘the one that got away’.  Since then, he’s happily married, so I think all’s well on that front!)

At university, it took about at least a year to get over the awkwardness that comes from eight years in a girls boarding school and into an environment of 95% guys.  I spent a long time expecting someone to rib me for talking to guys, that I might have an ulterior motive, that I was ‘in lurve’.  I also slowly got out of thinking every interaction needed to be working towards ‘a boyfriend’.  Let’s face it, in boarding school you had to maximise you chances, which were so few and far between.


Let it be known that I’ve had more crushes than hot dinners, so it will come as no surprise that this thrill of imagining the first kiss is a well worn path in my sub conscious. I remember developing a firm interest in a friend in one particular class.  I think it’s the only time that the reality far exceeded my imaginings!  All the mystery he’d developed seemed to continue despite our first kiss.  I can only assume I wasn’t as skillful (?) as that ship sailed.  Our romance dissolved and we continued to study together with no malice.  Well not much 😉

First kisses.  There’s so many unknowns.  It’s often the gateway to physical touch.  Will it be breathless and heady?  Will it fall flat to all the hype in your head?  Will it come when you least expect it and leave you floored?  To me, there’s so much mystery in a kiss.  A mystery in why humankind do this – and why we found this ritual so intoxicating.  As my little brother mistook it as a child ‘why are they biting each others’ lips?’.  Well, that’s a very good question… One I just can’t quite answer!