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!!

A new car…

I’ve never owned a car outright, as long time readers might recall from this post. That’s all about to change!

I have decided at the ripe old age of 31, that it’s time to buy my very own car.  It due to some frustrations by the limitations of work’s car – I can only drive it to and from work, and for work.  So it limited the flexibility to do things ‘on the way home’.  And playing and training for water polo is a little tricky! I used to have a team mate live locally, but no longer.  So car pooling is out.

I started with a budget, of course.  Then I knew I wanted some convenient features – being reversing sensors and steerin gcontrols for the radio, and hopefully Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phone calls.  OH, and I realised I forgot to say – I was only going to buy a used car.

Initially I thought about a hatchback.  They are very adaptable to large bootloads of Ikea furniture – I know from all my years sharing a Hyundai Accent.  Dad and I went to, coincidently a home I’d inspected when it was for sale, to inspect a BMW 118i.  It was priced high for what it offered in terms of kms and age.  I offered a fair price, but the sellers were successful in getting their asking price.  I can’t fault them on that!

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However, after looking at the profile of many of the possible hatchback options, I didn’t like the profile.  I didn’t love the car I inspected.  I just felt… ho hum.  It’s pathetic, but then, there’s so much choice in the car market, I figured I would be better to buy something I loved!  I’d always liked the rear profile of an Audi A4.

So this past weekend, I planned to inspect a few A4s, and encouraged by my parents, I put in an offer.  There was some back and forth, but I’ve now put down a holding deposit on a silvery blue 2009 Audi A4, which is coincidentally diesel.  The car I drive currently, the Hyundai i30, is a diesel, and I have no issues or concerns with it.  I have paid a holding deposit, and the coming weekend will be an independent inspection.  Part of me is steeling myself for ‘bad’ news, given the car is 110,000km under it’s belt.  But better to know what I’m putting my money into, now and into the future.

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I’ll be the first to admit – I’m mildly terrified.  It’s a HUGE lump sum payment.  It’s like buying property.  It’s ultimately easier to damage badly, at least I think so! Although, I keep recalling, it’s JUST a car – I can just as easily sell it if it doesn’t work how I’d hoped.  And if I realise I went too big, or it’s too hard to park, or uses too much petrol, I’ll at least have tried and failed at the car I’ve long admired.  You can only learn through failure.  I much prefer that idea to the idea of always wishing I’d got what I ‘really wanted’

It’s hard to imagine the flexibility and freedom a car will provide me.  At any time, I can go anywhere.  In any weather.  I look forward to having the open road, and suburbs, and choices open in front of me!

St Petersburg first day

We had a 9am ish breakfast buffet in the hotel – awesome little cheesecakes! Tomorrow Rory plans to try herring. The coffee is tasty too – and we see Cafes every where and vans with coffee machines in the back. So far only seen one Starbucks.
Hermitage, and the lines!
Hermitage, and the lines!
We started the day with a long walk – past the Hermitage with huge lines of tourists, the walked along the Neva to a bridge with very ornate lamp posts, which was a contrast to another more post revolution bridge with sheafs of wheat and stars. The first bridge led us to see an ornate mosque and then a little island which was a tomb for royalty.
It’s hard to feel aware as it seems Russia has had a long history and a lot of stuff in the 1700-1800s which is almost an unfathomable time! We ended up near the admiralty and the bronze horseman statue and took a low boat tour along the NEva and canals. The boat turned just before our hotel so it really feels like we’re quite centrally located. Thankfully our boat didn’t have the continuous Russian we often hear in boats that pass our hotel!
The bronze horseman
The bronze horseman
We had another microwave meal for lunch – a comedic point and pick situation! So for dinner I found us an Italian restaurant which seemed rather upmarket for the guy in his colour run t shirt and shorts! Overall Te Russians seems a bit more dressed up than your average American. You see people out walking in high heels and skirts that’d be ok in the office. Actually we saw a ton of weddings and in some cases it seems like all the guests traipse with the bride and groom past monuments for photos. Bridesmaids are less common but large paper medallions were badges on some guests and sashes also seem popular for parents of the couple.
A private moment whilst the photographer gets the best man and woman
A private moment whilst the photographer gets the best man and woman
And the ornate chariots
And the ornate chariots
Lovely italian resturant
Lovely italian resturant
I had an epic nap between about 4-9pm, rest assured Rory didn’t starve (see the photo). I had one! Dad would have called dinner fancy but it was comparable prices to Sydney – I had a octopus dish which was pretty tasty with chickpea purée. Overall restaurants are pretty hard to find – bars seem far more common.
almost seeing inside
almost seeing inside
Such beuty
Such beauty
After dinner I took Rory to the spilled blood church which awed me yesterday evening and took another bazillion photos. The dark meant we could see inside the church and it was just as ornate inside.

Resin jewellery making course

Horribly, my parents home was robbed, and Mum lost most of her jewellery.  With every thunder cloud, there’s silver linings, and one of them was that I booked us both into a class to make resin jewellery, one rainy day.

Work in progress
Work in progress

Yes, I’m sad about plastic cups.  You use those to divide up Part A and Part B, then you add colour to one part, then mix them together, mix til they heat up, and then pour in the moulds.

All in the moulds, setting
All in the moulds, setting
Mum's mould's - she shocked me with lime green!
Mum’s mould’s – she shocked me with lime green!
These were someone else's
These were someone else’s
Exhibit A: Some people mixed four different colours.  Me, I used bangle overflow and made rings... matchy!
Exhibit A: Some people mixed four different colours. Me, I used bangle overflow and made rings… matchy!
Had hoped for a deeper colour
Had hoped for a deeper colour
The class pile
The class pile
More of the class pile bottom centre is mums!)
More of the class pile bottom centre is mum’s!)

Sadly, the moulds by the time Mum and I got there were a bit big for my fingers.  The bangles obstruct typing (ah, Mum’s a teacher, so she wears them more).  So I took all my newly made stuff to a water polo team dinner and left three behind (had to leave early), so I hope others have rehomed them.

Gliding (fixed wing…)

So like a plane, except, extra long wings so that you can cut the engine and glide.  The BF got this as a Christmas gift, so it made my 2016 Goals, and struck something off the bucket list.

2016 Gliding 063

That’s my pilot tinkering

 

I was pretty darn excited:

Excitable clapping also occured
Excitable clapping also occured

Here’s the inside:

Instrument collagae

Let me show you some ‘up in the air’ pictures

2016 Gliding 032
The church my pilot, Bill, was married in.
2016 Gliding 023
Coming in to land, with no engine on Far off on that horizon line is the Blue Mountains, and snow!
2016 Gliding 038
My bread and butter – substations (this is outside my company’s area tho)
2016 Gliding 046
A valley/flood plain

Here’s some shots of the sexy beast I flew in

2016 Gliding 010 2016 Gliding 005

In the airfield, there was gliders from another ‘club’ which don’t have engines (they get towed up).  Seems the embedded engine is preferable – less manpower needed, and less ‘vehicles’:

These gliders can't 'self propel'
These gliders can’t ‘self propel’

I loved it! My pilot was super helpful, let me ‘fly’ and took right back over when the nerves got the better of me.  He also told the BF I squealed (true).  I have a real fear with steering a glider, or a jet ski.  But then no fear/freak out with hang gliding or parasailing (both of which I did ‘pre blog’).  I think it’s to do with being able to imagine a sudden, horrible outcome with the former two, and less so with the latter?

The BF also signed his life away and went up too:

2016 Gliding 012

It was a pretty awesome way to spend Saturday morning.  We were really lucky to only book this date in, many people have been repeatedly rescheduled – the airfield was under water a month ago!

The pilots are all part of a club, and volunteer to take us city folk up (DINKs and the like who buy RedBallon vouchers).  The ‘profits’ for this are ploughed into the club, which owns to gliders and a little trailer/office/hut thingie.  There’s air traffic control at the air field, as there’s private planes and other dinky planes, but we also saw some super fighter jet take off too, as there’s an air force or cadets group that train there.  Anyhow, it’s a pretty ‘cheap’ hobby for the club members with the offsetting of once off flyers.  The other pilot there on the day had taken his grand daughter ‘up’ before us, and planned to take her again.  Nothing like the indoor sky diving costs (did I blog about that?)

Diner en Blanc 2014

Somehow, this post never got posted, but the pictures are no less lovely, so why not now?

Last year (ie 2013), we went to Diner en Blanc held at the surprise location of Bondi Beach.  I posted about it here.  This year (cough 2014!), we went again, and here’s a photo summary.  This year it was held in Centennial Park, which wasn’t as ‘wow’ as a beach, but still a lovely setting.

Schleping the gear from coaches to the destination
Schleping the gear from coaches to the destination
Serviette waving - the food eating may (formally) begin
Serviette waving – the food eating may (formally) begin
Pretty people, pretty tables, but nature is the BEST!
Pretty people, pretty tables, but nature is the BEST!
Where are we off to?
Where are we off to?
That sun set, if nothing else, this event makes me realise how lovely Sydney is
That sun set, if nothing else, this event makes me realise how lovely Sydney is
Here's a rabbit, there's a rabbit
Here’s a rabbit, there’s a rabbit
Beautiful tables
Beautiful tables
The sponsor...
The sponsor…
Sparklers time
Sparklers time

Sea Plane flight

For my birthday celebrated in February, I was generously given two ‘experience’ vouchers, and a while ago I redeemed some of one for doing Trapeze (did I blog about that?).  The remainder of the vouchers went on a sea plane flight, rather on a whim.  What a way to start a weekend!

I will not share all 134 photos graphs and the few videos I took.

Acting like a clown - I was exicted
Acting like a clown – I was excited
Pre flight briefing
Pre flight briefing
Some young cargo
Some young cargo
2015 Sea Plane flight 121
That weird view from the pointy end of the plane
2015 Sea Plane flight 036
Botanical gardens, a pool, a cathedral
Bondi beach - we flew far enough I could see the Sculptures by the Sea crowds
Bondi beach – we flew far enough I could see the Sculptures by the Sea crowds
The Pacific Ocean!
The Pacific Ocean!
Looking over the pilot's shoulder
Looking over the pilot’s shoulder – and suburbs who’ll wait a long time to worry about rising sea levels
The million dollar shot
The million dollar shot
2015 Sea Plane flight 060
Just love the colour of the water
2015 Sea Plane flight 020
Bigger boats as we come down to land
A boat and a plane...
A boat and a plane…
Even a sea plane pilot needs a handsfree iPhone
Even a sea plane pilot needs a handsfree iPhone
So this is still an international airport - can you imagine the 39 stops to London of yesteryear?
So this is still an international airport – can you imagine the 39 stops to London of yesteryear?
Oh so chuffed
Oh so chuffed

It was about 15 minutes in the air, but it felt like ages.  We went out past the harbour heads and flew down to Bondi beach, before turning around, allowing the other side of the plane a view.  Once back inside the harbour, we climbed up high so we could fly towards the Harbour Bridge.

Landing was a fun challenge with all the Eastern Suburbs private schools having their little sailors out in the water!

I’m kicking myself I didn’t think to add this to my 12 in 2 list – but then again, I had some spaces, so there’s nothing like adding to a list, only to strike one item off!

Body Painting class

So my bucket list has me wanting to be body painted.  When the local venue offered a class on body painting, I jumped at the chance.  I didn’t have any idea what would happen – in the end, there were three models, suffering in the large warehouse in winter, and a known artist (of make up and painting bodies) who just said ‘go have fun!’.  Other people come from a make up background.  One woman and two friends were enjoying it as a birthday gift.  Everything was provided, including sugary snacks and some vino.  All in all, a good way to spend a night!

Bodypainting 004

Back of modelesse 1
Back of modelesse 1

 

What a mess we make
What a mess we make
I just cant say no!
I just cant say no!
Male models back made me want blue hair!
Male models back made me want blue hair!
Non chalance of Modeless 2
Non chalance of Modeless 2
The funky decor
The funky decor
The male model, part way through I did his face
The male model, part way through. I did his face
Male model with detailing
Male model with detailing

If you’re looking for quirky one off classes after work or on weekends, try The Workshop, which is in both Melbourne and Sydney.  I subscribe to their weekly email, which is a great way to scan if there’s anything of interest when I’m free.

A new 12 in 2

I’m feeling a little stuck in a rut, so I thought I might set some ‘fun’ goals to help me look forward to things that are out of the ordinary.  I started with my Bucket List.

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So here’s what I’d like to try and enjoy in the next two years (the numbers below are from the bucket list):

Struck through means they were done!

10. Visit Russia <-July 2016!

11. Visit Serbia/Croatia/Bosnia/Romania <- AUg 2016
25. Get hypnotised (ideally to solve a bad habit!): three times for my cuticle picking with limited success and much expense
26. Ride a segway
27. Drive on a race track
36. Go cave diving <- went canyoning in March 2016, which I think is similar oh and we visited caves
45. Build a bonfire and make S’mores
61. Try barre body classes (ballet with yoga/exercise)
65. Fly a glider <- gifted a voucher (thanks BF!); completed in June 2016

That’s eight… hmm I feel like i need some that take time to achieve.  Something academic or endurance… thoughts?

Zorbing in Phuket – 12 in 2 list

Ready or not, we roll!
Ready or not, we roll!

At long last, after posting about my 12 in 2 goals here, here and here, and then finding out that the Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, closed down their zorbing, this looked like a goals I might just never get done!

Post watery zorb
Post watery zorb

Alas, Phuket has what they call ‘Roller Ball’ which is zorbing – putting fully grown human in inflated balls and rolling them down a hill. Being Phuket, I naturally went with water inside the ball (I can’t imagine doing it without the sloshing water to help move me and the BF around.

Ocean views with adventure
Ocean views with adventure

 

Verdict? AWESOME!

It was over quickly, and it was pricey for the duration, but not the $110 I’d estimated to do in Australia originally. I think it was about $40 each if I remember correctly? As often is the case, it also came with a ‘free’ t shirt in orange. I declined. They were confused. I didn’t take it, nonetheless.

Twists and turns
Twists and turns

I laughed the whole way down – and we were on a crooked track not the straight one, which you can see above, and I think that made it more fun too!

So a quick run down of the 12 in 2

I did everything (still learning to surf, two lessons down and one to go) except: prepay my funeral, visit my friend in New Zealand (she moved back to Oz) and go on a silent retreat.  But I did start to meditate, so that’s a step towards the last one.  Nice work.  Time for another 12 in 2, you think?