April Summary

Culture:

Quite unexpectedly, I attended a concert in April.  A fantastic young artist, Vera Blue, was sold out, but the night of her concert, I got an email for last minute tickets for $35! I did not hesitate and bought two tickets and invited a friend from work (who’d coincidently been at the last concert I went to – Urthboy).

OK so not the best photo… But the sound was AMAZING

I caught up with great friends for a MeatFest on GoodFriday for lunch, as well as an after work meal of dumplings – where we debated the quantity of dumplings we could consume in a sitting!  I also had a few wine filled meals with some close friends who we’d spent the past three years out of contact.  It’s great to be back in contact, and things just gel so easily.  I also ate out in a new area and despite it being known for Italian, we had French.

I also took twin six year olds to the Lego Movie, but promptly had a nap between some great one liners…  I also had an evening babysitting, where they wouldn’t go to sleep :s

Cheeky movie buddy

Romance:

The dating has continued! I could even say it’s been a good month – kept me very busy too!  I had a first date on weekend night, at a bar that you’d walk by and miss in an alley in Darlinghurst.  I actually recall going there many years ago – inside it’s all themes like an American Saloon, complete with snacks of peanuts to crack and eat – a great activity for first date nerves (which… I don’t really get, but he might have!).  The other first date was a weeknight at a small bar I’d been to before (also) for a 40th celebration.  They were comedically ill equipped for my cocktail order – having run out of key ingredients with the long weekend!  Sometimes, wine’s just easier.

Not romantically, I met a good friend prior to Easter Sunday church.  We usually catch up like this quite regularly – he drinks a coffee and stay lithe and I eat and drink, and in this case, the mean was equally ‘wow’ worthy.

Yummy! And looks that way as well

Work:

The new management has been in for two weeks – though one week’s been between Easter and Anzac Day (the day Australian’s have off to remember fallen soldiers).  It’s also school holidays – so it means so much is on hold awaiting people to return from leave.  In the short 4 day week, my new boss was in my office one day, and half of that was spent on site meeting and inspecting the safety of teams, including mine.  My former boss is still ‘on the books’ but has taken leave.  What will become of him is still uncertain.  My mentor is also still on the books.  All a little… perplexing.

Hipster cafe or what? I know Lucinda – out for BREAKFAST!

Health:

I continued to aim for two classes per week of Barre Tone, in addition to a one off yoga class at Humming Puppy.  Other than that, I tend to walk to and from church Sunday, as well as for additional services and my monthly Parish Council meetings.  I also walk to Barre Tone which is a comparable distance as to church.  It’s better than nothing, but all month I’ve been considering if it’s enough in comparison to my rather lazy and somewhat unhealthy eating.  One possible date and I have been chatting, and considering joining F45.  They are INTENSE 45 minutes sessions, and they really tone people, but I am anxious about what week I want to write off as being in utter pain for the muscle pain!

Easter sunday flowers (I did them)

Bought:

I spent a small fortune on AirBnBs and hostel deposits, as well as a week of day trips in Iceland!  As far as material possessions, I tried on four pairs of hiking pants.  I really wanted to buy Patagonia gear, but they didn’t have the size/colours I wanted and I’m not a huge fan of mail order when i’m not sure on size.  I went to another store that sells multiple brands and tried on two pairs, and settled for the comfier pair – elasticised back waist and inner light fleece lining!  They were $200 (!!) so I paid the $10 to join the ‘club’ and get 10% off!  At the same time, I got another ‘goo tube’ – I thought I needed one, but since getting home, I’m not entirely sure I do.

Read:

I have had three books on the go for a while, but none are capturing me.  Those are

  • Hot Milk – this was recommended on another blog, but it’s just not that interesting. I did finish it, but… not sure why
  • Queen of the South – translated from Spanish, there’s still a LOT of Spanish and it makes it disjointed for me.  I can see how it’s a TV show, but it’s not a story that is compelling me to keep reading. I returned it having read about 150 pages.
  • Working with Difficult People
  • Presence by Amy Cuddy – recommended by Save Spend Splurge
  • Last night in Montreal by Emily St John Mandel

I really need some good easy readers I think… I’m really not enjoying or reading much at the moment.

Planning Euro tour 2017

In less than a month, I take off for another (just short of) three week trip to Europe.  And yes, I was in July/August in 2016 (going to Russia, Turkey, Bosnia and Romania).  The reason for my trip is the wedding of a VERY dear friend, whom I’ve known since 1999 or 2000?  The lovely Julia was a supervisor in the boarding house whilst I was at school – she was studying at university.  Even in my school years, she spent time in Germany (Cologne I think), and since then, has lived in Heidelberg, off and on.  She’s also spent time living in Brisbane and Melbourne, and so we’ve seen each other in different places as the years have passed.  I visited her in the European summer of 2008, before continuing on to Berlin.  Then I ‘last minute’ went to Heidelberg from Christmas 2010.

Snowy Christmas

The invitation was enough to jump start me to add side trips I’ve long wished to do, and re-blog about earlier this year.  The key things being

  • visiting Oradour-sur-Glane in France
  • seeing the tulip fields in the Netherlands
  • see Iceland

Seeing Tulip fields is seasonal, and so it’s a lucky coincidence for a spring wedding to almost coincide.  I did go to Amsterdam and The Hague in 2010, between Christmas and New Year, but it will be quite nice to see it in another season.  I will visit a friend I studied in France with in 2006 in The Hague, who will be expecting her first child!

Talk about futuristic! A Hostel in Iceland

Going to Iceland is a more recent passion.  I continued to see other bloggers visit, namely 71 Toes with their brood of children, and the (not by choice) childless Blog About Love couple. Seeing as the latter was published in 2014, it’s been a slow simmer to get me to visit.  I did look at flights last year when I was in Turkey, but it was logistically challenging and accommodation both pricey and hard to secure.  Earlier this year, I caught up with a dear school friend who’d recently been to Iceland, so I took that as a final ‘push’!  She’s recommended a great tour company, so I’ve booked a WEEK worth of day trips! As I’m travelling alone, I’m not keen to hire a car.  I did hope I could twist my brother’s arm to come travelling with me again, but he has work commitments (and… coincidently, can now go to Iceland to accompany a school trip.  Beats me bank rolling his travel ;))

Pretty tulip fields

So I plan to fly to Amsterdam and spend two nights in The Netherlands, before about a week in Iceland.  From Iceland I will fly to Frankfurt and catch a train to Heidelberg (which I now feel like is almost normal to me, after a few times!) for a long weekend – arriving before the wedding and staying until the Monday.  I’ve lucked out with finding a friend of the bride who wants to share accomodation with me in an AirBnB – actually aside from Iceland, I’m staying in AirBnBs.  In Iceland, I went for quirky hostels.  And the book end to the trip will be France  – a few days to head to Oradour and then fly out of Paris back to Sydney.  It’s only these last few days in France I’ve not booked, but basically, I plan to train or fly in from Germany, hire a car, and head south.  It’ll be my first foray hiring and driving a car on that side of the road – eek!

Of course, this will take me to the wire of annual leave days I have.  But beats a week or a day on the couch in Sydney, so it’s worth it!

Humming Puppy Yoga

So a very dear friend and blog reader gave me a great birthday gift – she named it an Advent calendar and the concept is to do different ‘bucket list experiences’ each month together.  We started with my birthday dinner at Momofuku, and then things slowed down!  Of course, I have things I want to see and do that didn’t feature on her 12 months of birthday fun Advent calendar, and I got busy in March doing all sorts of fun things.

The light ruins what is a lush waiting area

One thing she’d earmarked us doing was Humming Puppy Yoga – funny name right? It’s a yoga studio that has a resonant frequency going at all times, as well as being constantly at 27 C.  Warm, but just right.  This weekend, I went along to try it.

Sneaky snap – bit blurry sorry

I selected the class based on timing – 2.30pm would work well around church (as it was a long Palm Sunday service).  The class at that time was called Mellow Yoga which sounded like just what I’d feel like on a Sunday afternoon!

I almost need instagram for this!

This place is next level on chic, hipster, boutique exercise.  It’s like first class style.  The waiting area and bathrooms were stunning.  I’d settle just to ‘wait’ for someone and never do a class and die happy!  They are upstairs from a tea store, so there’s two teas to sip, or coconut water or filtered water.  Luxury right?

A photo of their flyer

The studio is the third or top level of the building. The room was wonderfully dark for the session with only muted lighting and a lit candle.  The session was an hour long, and it was blissfully relaxed and over before you knew it.  My friend S said it was an expensive place for a nap, but cheap for therapy – and it really is a hybrid of the two!!

Yellow is so happy

Of course, it wouldn’t be a complete visit without dropping in on the tea lounge.  Again, jaw droppingly gorgeous in style.  We had Ginger lattes and some fancy snacks (you know, all goey and power foods but nothing like conventional food!)

The counter top is also broken tile – wonder how cleaning goes?
I’m coming back til I’ve had every mocktail!
Every inch is stylish!

I’m not sure if I’ll do expensive yoga again, but I want more of those drinks!!

March summary

A lot has happened in March, so in the style of others, I’m doing a month’s round up.

Culture:

I went to the ArtExpress featuring the graduating class of 2016’s artworks, which I shared a photo heavy post on.

Mum and daughter selfie – her new dress too

I had a weekend in Melbourne with my mother.  It was spectacularly sunny and warm the whole weekend – Melbourne’s not known for having consistent weather at all! We ventured to a new suburb to try a Barre Tone class with an instructor who I used to have teach me in Sydney. I’d forgotten what an intense work out she provided, and my mother enjoyed her first ever class.  We scoured op shops, first out of necessity for Mum to buy some work out pants, but then for fun.  She brought a great black and white dress and a multi colour rain coat.  I settled for a polyster top for work (I’d NEVER buy polyester new, but for cheap and second hand, I’ll bend the rules).  The main reason for the trip, however, was to see Book of Morman.  Neither of us are musical fans, but we both loved it.  It’s incredibly quick, punchy and completely irreverent.  We went to a Saturday matinee which was blissful (we’re both sleepy heads). On Sunday, we met Fiona from Declutterer for breakfast at St Kilda.  All three of us talked our heads off, helped that Mum is also a teacher.

Bloggers meet – another wow breakfast
Melbourne’s H&M showing what an amazing refurb of a new building to the mecca of commerce

The following week was no slower for first times and fun times.  On Thursday evening, I braved a lot of traffic to see my very first drive in film, Beauty and the Beast.  Having a car is a certain prerequisite I didn’t fulfill previously!  On the Saturday night, I went with my brother to see some Aussie Hip Hop. The main act was Urthboy, but I’d almost saw I enjoyed the support act more, Joyride.  Joyride just seemed to have a smoother sound and strong convinctions in his thoughts, and I couldn’t help but be a little starstruck.

The drive in went full retro with the diner too!

Yes, tall people = stand at the back!

Following all this, on Sunday, Lucinda met a less than shiny and bright me – yep, in a week, I met two long time blog readers and writers.  We ate lunch at a cafe (as Lucinda thinks breakfast out is ridiculous, which I’d agree if I settled for avo on toast, but I clearly do not!) before heading to see a French film at the festival.  It was a harrowing (true) story of Polish nuns, pregnant through rape, and the help of a younger French doctor.

Romance:

As with past months, I continued dating in March.  I saw one guy three times – first for a drink. Due to wet weather, I decided to hail a cab rather than walk the relatively short walk to our meeting point.  The same time a water main failed in a main city street.  In the end, I escaped my sky rocketing taxi fare for a different pub, and he came and found me!  I was quite impressed by his efforts, so we met for another drink the following week.  He kindly drove me from the date to Newtown, where I met my parents and my brother and his girlfriend for her farewell dinner (she’s returning to the US).  It was a fun night, my family were in great spirits for a weeknight!  I was going planning to go to the drive in with the same fella but he got cold feet waiting for me to pick him up (due to heavy traffic – an emerging theme!)  We ended up catching up the next evening, but things didn’t gel and have silently fizzled out since then!

Date brunch – panna cotta

Technically the 1st of April, I went on a first date at a very hip and local cafe (it’s closed when I drive by for work, but I read it’s tasty menu one evening walking)  They churned us in and out quickly but it was tasty!

And earlier in the month I met for a post work drink in what ended up being a very smokey outdoor area.  We’ve remained in contact and somewhat as friends, he’s a lawyer, so good at chatty banter!

Work:

Work has been revolutionary in the past week – they announced some rather unexpected and hard to stomach changes to my management line.  Both my direct boss and his boss (also my mentor) are in a perilous position.   My boss is told to await Easter, and they may find him a role.  My mentor is finished and leaving the company at Easter.  The last week of March was consumed with finding this out, then disseminating the information, and attending roadshows and talks from management.  Right now, it doesn’t mean my job is in jeopardy, but blind freedy can see it will mean my role and those similar to mine will need to be rationalised evenutally, having see such a huge reduction in front line staff in the two years I’ve been in this role.

Buying

  • Black with white patten polyster work shirt – second hand – Melbourne
  • White knit dress – second hand – Oxford brand
  • Grey cable knit pullover – second hand – Cotton On <- cheap brand, cheap fabric, but comfy
  • Navy top with sequin detail collar – second hand – David Lawrence
  • Silver cross necklace
  • Blue and white zig zag patterned glass studs
  • Bamboo straw
Second hand white cotton dress

Read

I’m on GooodReads, but for a quick summary

currently reading

How was your March?  Which was the best thing you watched or read?