December 31, 2013

2013: a year of firsts

This year i

moved out of home
acquired a cat
bought a spice rack and filled it half with sprinkles
travelled by plan outside of australia
visited my family's hometown in england
visited loch ness
climbed the eiffel tower
rode a double decker bus
visited louis vuitton in paris
bought an exercise bike
watched someone else eat snails
found a tardis in scotland
visited stonehenge a day before chris colfer
saw the roman baths in bath
venice canal ride with a singing guy in stripes
bought explicitly shaped gummy bears
saw grease the musical
shopped at top shop
rode a horse and cart in austria
tried haggus
ate pasta in rome
bought merano glass in venice
bought chips at the monte carlo casino in monaco
took an australian sign language class
watched friends play soccer with random kids in italy
rode a carousel like 4 different times
bought a clock from the black forest
visited harrods
rode the tube
saw the queen in person
tasted chocolate and toffee covered popcorn
had a picture in front of the colosseum
ate chinese food with my grandmother in hertfordshire
ended up in a hospital in paris for 3 days
rode down the nile
stared out at mount vesuvius
felt the pain of pebblestone beaches in sorrento and nice
read a john green novel
did the chicken dance in switzerland
found assorted european coins laying around the house
watched the 50th anniversary doctor who
saw 3 musicals on the west end

and all for the first time.

October 6, 2013

monday. my restless heart

There is a river that runs through Glasgow,
And he makes her and he breaks her and he takes her into parts.
And a current just like my blood flows,
Down from the hills, round aching bones to my restless heart.
And on one side all the lights glow,
And the folks know where the kids go when the music and the drinking starts.
And on the other side where no cars go,
Up to the hills, and round aching bones to my restless heart.
Well I would swim but the river is so wide and i’m,
Scared I won’t make it to the other side and well,
God knows I’ve failed but he knows that I’ve tried.
I long for something that’s safe and warm,
But all I have is all that is gone
I was as helpless and as hopeless as a Feather on the Clyde, oh no.
And the sun sets late in Glasgow,
The daylight and the city part.
And I think of you in Glasgow,
‘cause you’re all that’s safe, you’re all that’s warm, my restless heart.
Feather on the Clyde - Passenger

September 20, 2013

friday. Pyramid Teas

Checked my letterbox today to find a pack of complimentary pyramid teas to try from Lipton! I had forgotten I entered on Facebook to try some. The package was beautiful, so bright and colourful and made to open like an envelope!
haven't tried a wide range of tea flavours, I usually stick to black tea with milk, so I'm excited to try these exotic flavours... Green gunpowder? I didn't understand how a tea could taste (or why you would want your tea to taste) like gunpowder until I read the explanation of the back lol. Temptation Summer Fruits looks good, I might try that one first. 

I love trying new products - I used to get a samples box every month packed with cosmetics, skin and hair care products... Unfortunately had to stop my subscription when I moved out of home and became a broke student lol. 


September 19, 2013

thursday. my body

so we've decided to join a gym. i have grown to love my body, but i'm excited to work on it nonetheless. we should probably stop eating so much pasta/potatobake/chocolate ...

This is my body
And I live in it
It's thirty-one and six months old
It's changed a lot since it was new
It's done stuff it wasn't built to do
I often try to fill it up with wine
And the weirdest thing about it is
I spend so much time hating it
But it never says a bad word about me

This is my body
And it's fine
It's where I spend a vast majority of my time
It's not perfect, but it's mine
It's not perfect

-Not Perfect by Tim Minchin


September 14, 2013

sunday. a poem for father's day

my father is a poet, so this father's day i chose to write him a poem of his own.

My Father Is

My father is a poet,
he writes of things he's known.
My father is a town crier,
always loud and on the go.

My father is a performer, 
always drawing in a crowd.
My father is an optimist,
it takes a lot to get him down.

My father is a character,
he knows how to make me smile.
My father is a funnyman,
well, he's funny for a while...

My father is a songbird,
always whistling a tune.
My father is a goofball,
but hey, I'm a goofball too!


September 10, 2013

tuesday. apple spinach sludge (smoothie)

I'm not sure if fruit smoothies are MEANT to be foamy and sludgey but i just love it that way for some reason. Chewy chunks of apple and a strange thick but light consistency. I guess it reminds me that it's really freakin' healthy. For this one i used 3 small red apples, 2 cups of spinach leaves and half a cup of water (with a bit more added at the end if you so wish)

I tried blending the water and spinach first, and adding the apple after to push it all down, but it took a fair bit of shaking of the blender to get it all blitzed. The PULSE function proved very useful lol!


August 23, 2013

friday. montage to end all montages

In June/July of this year I went to Europe with trafalgar & insight & also did a bit of travelling without a tour company. It was absolutely beautiful and I can hardly believe I did some of the things that I did like climb the Eiffel tower & cruise through venice on a gondola!

I made the following video from iPhone footage taken throughout the 6 week trip!
[copy and paste link below]


August 19, 2013

tuesday. marathon

Jack couldn't believe I had never seen a Star Wars film before! So far we've seen the 'first' two. I'm waiting for Ewan Macgregor!
Star Wars by candlelight, how romantic. 

August 18, 2013

monday. domesticated

Another kind of homemade soup! This time one of ma's recipes. 4 cups of chicken stock and chopped veggies as a one-pot meal! Add ingredients together in a pot and cook until harder veggies like turnips are soft. Super easy! We bought a 'soup pack' at Coles. Includes turnips celery potatoes and carrots. We also added assorted spices from our spice rack. 

Last night we made another of my favourites, curried sausages and winter vegetables over mashed potato. The curry sauce was a packet mix, but everything else was lovingly prepared and lovingly eaten. I'm not much of a red meat eater, but I can't go past this one! 

I live for food. 

August 14, 2013

wednesday. holy hormones!

"Jack, I need chocolate! And I'm about to cry..."

"What kind of chocolate would you like?!" He replies, practically sprinting to the cupboard. 

Talk about brownie points!

August 13, 2013

wednesday. homemade deliciousness

Oh man. Finding ways to use up all these fruits and veggies is proving to be ... delicious.
Strawberry and honey smoothie for breakfast (ice cream and skim milk based, not ice)

Nachos with homemade guacamole for lunch! I used a giant spherical avocado (not sure what type but nothing like I've seen before), diced cherry tomatoes and red onion, salt, and ground black peppercorns! Splash of spicy red tomato sauce and a drop of lime cordial (substitute for lemon or lime juice) and bam! Guacamole. 

monday. souper

Came home after Uni tutorials and group meetings to housework (vacuuming, washing, and dinner prep) then some study before starting dinner as jack makes his way home from a long day at work. Oh so domesticated, we are!
Homemade carrot soup with garlic and celery, and topped with sour cream and cracked black pepper!


August 10, 2013

sunday. smooth move

Received a huge fruit and vege crate from @kimmieserendipity this week, and am currently plotting what deliciousness I can make with it! 
Started my day today with a handful of strawberries and a banana smoothie. Ugh so good. 

Contemplating a carrot and vege soup for dinner one night soon. 


July 26, 2013

saturday. brownie time

In mild disbelief that this is actually my life- making brownies on a Saturday morning with jack in our own place. He's been here 6 weeks, but it's like I've just moved in. 

saturday. Europe tours

After writing a huge post about our scotland trip and having it disappear into the void, I kindve gave up on blogging. Plus it was hard to keep up with what day of the week it was with so much stuff packed in during both tours. 
Basically, Scotland was scenic and beautiful and rocky and surprisingly not that rainy. We went to the Orkney islands up top where I could no longer feel my face it was that cold, and to the aisle of Skye. To Glasgow and then back to Edinburgh, where if feels the most liveable of everywhere we travelled in Scotland. 
After Scotland we got back to London where it was no longer jacket and jeans weather, but rather freaking hot. Didnt see that one coming. Apparently this summer has seen their hottest day in 7 years (the day HRH prince georgie was born). I got my hair/fringe cut in London on a whim before starting our Europe tour. 
The Europe tour proved to be pretty memorable. We saw so much in 18 days and had a great bunch of people to travel with. More people my age than the previous tour (where my mum was among the youngest). From Germany to the Netherlands to Italy and France. Every tourist shop In amsterdam was filled with penis shaped goods and hash cookies. Italy gave this ghostly white English girl the best gift of all - a slight tan. France was just beautiful, from the pebblestone beaches to the perfumeries to the cafes with all chairs facing out onto the boulevard, as if they're saying "yeah, we know we're beautiful". 
You really can't sum it all up in one post. My Instagram tells a pretty good story though if you scroll through the pictures. (Handle: RhiannonKimberley)

Now I'm home with my gorgeous man, in blunt disbelief that I'm actually moved out of home. 


June 22, 2013

Saturday 22nd - Shopaholics

Had a free day in Edinburgh today. Went out in search of clothes and food. Bought 2 dresses and some black tartan stockings. Everything is tartan in the tourist stores... 
Found a Pizza Hut restaurant. Saw one in London too! They've died out in Australia, or at least in Brisbane. 
Met up with our tour guide and group for introductions and dinner. Total of five youngens (including myself). Everyone else is over 55 D: saw that coming 

June 21, 2013

Friday 21st - Skype

Skype is a godsend when you cant use your phone as a phone, as it only uses data (Internet) and not phone credit to make voice and video calls. We bought a British sim when we arrived with unlimited data. 


Friday 21st - Scotland / Edinburgh

Getting on a train soon to our next stop - Edinbrough, Scotland. 4 hour train from kings cross station. Packing like a madman, trying to hit everything in. All souvenirs and gifts we've bought so far have already been boxes up and posted home, but still our suitcases seem to shrink...
Our bags are ridiculously heavy. I think we injured our cab driver. Shame our train wasn't on platform 9(3/4). We're in a quiet carriage. It's not that quiet. I have a few hours supply of chocolate. Strawberry & yoghurt filled Cadbury bar and Tim tams. Oh Europe. 
So the countryside is really flat. Also we could see the (north?) sea on the train ride over! Gorgeous scenery. Fields if canola flowers and red poppies and sheep and cattle and the angel of the north. 

It's not as cold as I expected, but lets not  jinx it. Jeans and a jacket weather. Wandered the streets (we meet our tour group tomorrow night) and found a small strip of markets. Bought some felt hair clips. Have been looking at similar ones on etsy for months! Love felt jewellery and hair accessories. 
There are a lot more homeless people with hats out huddled under blankets than I remember the being in London, which surprised me. 
Scotland feels so liveable. London was busy and packed tight with businessmen or tourists. Edinbrough, or what we've seen of it so far, is so much more relaxed. So many locals. Not so much a big city feel. I could see myself living here. 
Stopped by a pub near our hotel on the way back. Their equivalent of rekorderlig was so good. Strawberry and line cider. Had a drink with ma sitting at the bar and chatted to the bartenders - one from Australia, the rest with GORGEOUS Scottish accents. Ohhh I don't think I could ever grow sick of it. 
Had a relaxing bath and broke out the warmest fluffiesy bath robes you've ever seen. 
More exploring tomorrow. 

June 20, 2013

Thursday 20th - Stevenage & Wicked

Stayed overnight with my great aunt Freda. So many of them still live in the village. Stopped by to see grandma for a while before we got the train back to London. Cried leaving her. 
Walking through the town to reach the rail, we found another chocolate shop! Couldn't believe we found Tim Tams in there. We haven't even reached Switzerland yet!
After unpacking and repacking our bags back at our London hotel, though we'd try our luck with last minute theatre tickets two hours before the show started. Couldn't believe we scored dress circle seats right in the middle! Ugh wicked. Will never grow tired of that show. Couldn't believe mum hadn't seen it before, all the shows we've seen together. Elephaba was pretty much phenomenal. That vibrato. UHHH so good! And had never heard it before with English accents. 
Row of grade ten students behind us torturing every song during interval. 
Scotland tomorrow!


Wednesday 19th - Stevenage

After usual hot buffet breakfast, made our way to kings cross station for our 20 minute ride to Stevenage. 20 minutes! The trains are so fast here, when they zoom past it's actually frightening. 
Stevenage is quaint and beautiful and very English. The main town is well populated and busy with locals, whereas the outlying village of Bennington is one-car width roads with overgrown hedges on either side and wild flowers and BUNNIES AND SQUIRRELS! Breathe. 
We visited the church my grandmother and her family attended, saw where they grew up (all 14 children together) and the chapel where my grandmother (a Draper) married my grandfather Cyril. I never really though about where my name came from before my father. I had never known my grandfather Cyril. 
Back in Stevenage, I visited my grandmother. She had just returned to her flat after weeks in hospital and then rehabilitation after falling and breaking her hip. The poor thing. She's tough though. Determined to do things herself, though she has support in place. Saw a picture of her with Cyril on their wedding day. She made the gown herself from parachute silk. I had never seen her so young - she didn't look anything like my grandmother today, and yet she looked almost exactly the same. Took some presents from Australia for her to add to the growing number of kangaroo and koala adorned ornaments around her home. 

Tuesday 18th - Westfield & Billy Elliot

Found a Westfield. A whole floor for Prada and other high end stores. Different to ours. Bought some clothes in a Myers-y store (Debanhams?). Found a chocolate cafe. We have w gift for finding chocolate shops and cafes. Everything here has cream. Whipped or clotted.
Saw billy Elliot! Wore a dress i bought earlier. Probably enjoyed the Australian version better when we saw it in Sydney, but gosh the accents! Proper English accents by proper English performers. 

June 17, 2013

Monday 17th - Bath & Stonehenge & Salisbury

We're currently on a tour bus to bath, Salisbury & Stonehenge! 2 hours to bath, an hour to Salisbury, then a short trip to Stonehenge. A whole day trip with a tour guide (who has the best posh English accent). Great commentary! So great to hear about the history of Britain and not just about the buildings by the roadside. The rule of Cromwell and the only British king to be executed. How pub fish and chips are not the proper authentic fish and chips! Handy to know, we would have gone to a pub. The reason why they drink ale warm and the difference between traditional ale and lager. 
Loving this tour guide commentary. He answered a question ma and I had been wondering about - they drive on the left hand side like we do, but stand on the right side on escalators? We were standing on the left casually on a really long escalator at an underground stop and the guy behind us obviously realised we were tourists and suggested we stand on the right (that's when we noticed all the signs lol). Apparently it's because when the English pioneered moving stairs everyone was afraid and wanted to hold on with their good hand, most people being right handed. We stand on the left because that's where we drive (and walk on footpaths). I'd never heard that explanation before. Interesting. 
Okay, so bath is probably the most beautiful place in the world so far and I want to live there. You don't realise how big it is until you leave and look back from a distance. The buildings are just beautiful! We visited the Roman baths. Mind blowing that so much of it is still in tact. Imagine being the excavators who discovered it. After a stop at the gift shop we wandered through the small but busy streets and found some traditional fish and chips with vinegar! Vinegar? I suppose we use lemons. We got so caught up we almost missed the tour bus and had to run about trying to find where we were. Now we're off to Salisbury. Giant horse and australian defence force symbol in chalk hills are magnificent! Also, thatch rooves are still a thing. The building below is Bath Abbey. 
Salisbury cathedral is beautiful and tall and intricate and gothic. Huge spire added post-completion that makes some points of the cathedral lean over 40cm! Salisbury is all about clotted cream apparently, so we stopped to have scones with jam and cream... And another hot chocolate with whipped cream D:
Also the home of a well preserved copy of the magnatcarta, the first notable democratic document. Hand written on a sheepskin, it's hard to believe it still looks so good. 
Stonehenge is so commercialised! I thought it would be in a field in the middle of nowhere, but it's so close to the road with a car park and a gift shop! All I could picture was the doctor who episode that was shot there. Certainly a fantastical explanation of the purpose for the stones. 

Sunday 16th - holy harrods!

Spent the entirety of Sunday eating cake waiting for the shops to open. In aus they open around 10am on a Sunday. Here it's more like 1230. After a giant hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate mousse cake, and a quick visit to a tourist shop next door (shot glasses, snow globes, 'keep calm' mugs)  we went over the road to harrods where hundreds of people were lining up outside the doors. 
Apparently we stumbled upon their once a year end of financial year sale! Talk about lucky. As soon as the doors opened one crazy lady pushes everyone assigned and ran to the Gucci counter. I'm guessing she had a game plan because not long after she had things put away under the desk (they didn't start serving until an hour after opening) and had rushed off in another direction. We were fine moseying through at our own pace. We weren't set on buying anything as harrods is notoriously expensive. The sheer size of the place was staggering. Like a Westfield in one shop. There was an entire floor almost all dedicated to food. Grapes and vines covered the ceiling and they had so many counters and sections. A whole room and then some for candy and sweets. A huge cabinet filled with rabbit, game, almost anything - pies. Baguettes and giant meringues in various flavours. Cupcakes and cakes and slices and a deli and a "fromagery" lol. So much food! I wasn't expecting so much in a department store. We bought some baguettes and salads to take back to the hotel for lunch. 
Needless to say we for lost several times somewhere between the pizzeria and the chocolate cafe and the floors and floors of discounted shoes and fur coats and crystal homewares. We picked up some bags and supplies from the gift shop. New bag for Uni big enough for my laptop and text books with a big gold "harrods" on the front.
Tuesday is another shopping day, but we've found an actual Westfield nearby!