Wednesday, October 9, 2013

[the baker in me - pt 2...]

Preface:  I must preface this post by saying two things.  1).  There are no pictures in this post.  Blogging crime.  You could go check out pinterest or google images if you need pictures though - I even linked you in and got you started.  Kind.  2).  This post has been sitting waiting to be published for a couple of months.  I'm a bit 'off' blogging at the moment but last night my friend told me she enjoyed my writing and she liked part one of this story so this is for her.  Her blog is here - she is amazing and you'd be privileged to nerd it up with her playing board games every Tuesday like me.  End (way too long) preface.

Dear future baker (ha and ha),

Back by popular demand (read: no one asked), part two of the great baking saga of my life.  Part one  left us with a completely eaten but not exactly... shall we say... appreciated pancake cake, made by yours truly.

I had a break from baking for, uh six months or so and then I ventured gently back into the kitchen with Paisley-Jades Coconut Iced Chocolate Slice (no bake) (amazing - you should totally give it a go.)  I very bravely took my slice to work, put it on the table and added a super welcoming sign saying 'Help yourselves!' It was a night shift, and it goes without saying that night shift equals eating fest.  The classic four am sugar low means I've seen nurses eat five day old brownie, mandarins, chip crumbs - whatever is on offer.

No one ate a single piece.

No. One.

I actually laughed out loud when I went in to check on my progress.
Five times.

So morning comes and slice goes back home with me.

Anyway, don't feel sorry for me because here comes the lesson.  There's always a lesson.  Is there?  I don't know but that's what they say on fancy-pants blogs.  Anyway, this time there was a happy ending.

So I'm tired out of my head after the night duty and waiting at the bus stop for my bus, there is some kind of altercation taking place.  A tall man on crutches is asking a male nurse for a smoke.  Male nurse is refusing, tall is arguing - so on and so forth.  Male nurse is edging away, tall guy comes over to where I'm sitting.  His question to me is whether it is fair that male nurse refuses him a smoke.  I say that I agree with male nurse - he doesn't have a right to someone elses smokes. I say that people work hard for their money, and it isn't fair to expect someone to give you something they've worked hard for.  

See?  Lessons.  I am so a fancy-pants blogger.

Tall guy asks me for a smoke - I tell him I don't smoke and in fact I think it's gross and bad for you.  But I can give him some of my slice?  (See, it does tie in - I'm not just rambling!)  I tell him it's not great for you either but better than cigarettes and that I would be happy to offer him some, even though I worked hard for my money.  I had a paper towel in the container (for my work colleagues to use for their slice - sob) so I gave him a few pieces.

Tall guy was so happy!  He seemed to forget all about his smoke issue, which wasn't surprising given his next issue was that he had no money for the bus.  Awkward.  So bus driver lets him on anyway, and Tall Guy follows me to the back of the bus.  We sit together, merrily chatting about life, love and all things cake.

By the way, male nurse has completely abandoned me  into the loving arms of Tall Guy - even though I'm pretty sure I saved his life.  (Murse was going do-wn!)   Lesson #2 - don't expect anything in return for saving lives with cake.

Suddenly, my new friend TG (we're now on a nick-name basis you see) has a revelation.  He's realised that by giving him the cake, I stopped him from smoking.  He believes that while good for his lungs but not great for his hips, this cake means that he caught the bus which he would otherwise have missed because he'd have been smoking.  Also, the driver who would have been driving the next bus may not have been so kind as to let him on.  And what would he have done if the driver had declined him?  He'd have asked more and more people for more and more smokes and been more and more unhealthy and also still not been HOME.

Me and TG had revelations that day - his was that cake is better than cigarettes both physically, and metaphorically.

Mine was that things are not always as they seem.  Sometimes a tall man on crutches needs your cake more than twenty nurses at four a.m.

Metaphorically speaking, that is.

Learn that.
Love, never-judge-a-tall-book-by-its-angry-cover-me.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

[the great return...]

Dear future bore,


We went home.

After living in London for almost two years, we went back to our home town where we haven't lived for five years.  Our home town is pretty small and kind of rough, if I'm allowed to be honest.  Being away was amazing - life changing even, but it made us realise how we love that rough town we call home.  We missed the scenery - rolling hills, water for miles, green - so much green.  We missed the lifestyle - barbecues in all seasons, fresh fish and family.

So we went home.  It has been hard and special, and emotional and exhilirating.

More on that later, future me.  Meantime - don't forget to relish the journey.

xx  Enjoying the ride.

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.