Monthly Highlights: January-March 2015

5 Comments

April 12, 2015 at 6:00 amCategory:Life as we know it | Monthly Musing

This year, instead of meticulously recording every new cafe I visited, movie I saw, book I read, or occasion I celebrated and then posting a mammoth update once a quarter, I thought I would commit to putting together a list of my highlights for each month. A good idea, I thought, in theory, but given I was in denial until the end of February about 2015 actually commencing, here I am wrapping my planned monthly updates into a quarterly post.

January

High Tea at Park Hyatt Sydney

We caught the first sunrise of 2015 down at Bondi, which was a fantastic way to kick off the month and the new year (not to mention my Birthday Month). I didn’t get in nearly as many beach days as I did last year, but the weather cooperated for the few days I had off work at the beginning of the month, for which I am grateful. After saying for an entire year that I would book it in, I finally had High Tea at the Park Hyatt, and I think it’s my favourite in Sydney so far. Not only was the food and view to die for, the service was fantastic, and I have been raving about it to anybody who will listen ever since.

Open Air Cinema Sydney

After missing out on the St George Open Air Cinema last year, I made sure I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale this year. The rain held off (yay) and we saw ‘Men, Women & Children’, which was an interesting take on the way technology and the internet has impacted relationships, our self-image and the way we communicate. I loved the whole outdoor cinema and hospitality set up, and the backdrop of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge was absolutely amazing, if not a little distracting… I do wish they operated on reserved seating like regular cinemas, though – the having to get there early enough to nab a good seat was too much stress (that I placed on myself…) for after work!

Back in 2007, we saw Wicked on Broadway when we were in NYC and I absolutely loved it – so when I found out that the musical would be in Sydney in late 2014, I was very excited. Our schedule is always pretty full, so we only just managed to see Wicked before it finished up. Unfortunately I was feeling a little under the weather, so didn’t enjoy it as much this time around at the time, but I’m glad we went.

Bronte sunrise

It probably goes without saying that one of the highlights of the month was my birthday weekend. We caught the sunrise at Bronte, had crepes for breakfast at Avila in Bondi (a must-visit!), and later checked in at the Four Seasons for the night. Mr Posy took me to Rockpool Bar & Grill for dinner, which was a fabulous way to end the day.

February

Turning 30 - Four Seasons Sydney

My birthday celebrations continued into February with another High Tea at the Park Hyatt – I loved it so much when I visited at the beginning of January, and my birthday was the perfect excuse to book in another tea. February also marked the first night out for work drinks for the year with the girls; the champagne and laughter was fairly flowing as a late afternoon turned into a much later night than anticipated.

Speaking of work, as we didn’t have any trips away or public holidays, I took a flex day so that I could enjoy a relaxing long weekend. Of course I managed to pick the one occasion where work was so hectic for Mr Posy, that he ended up working the entire weekend. My timing is always so perfect… We did manage to get in an early breakfast at The Grounds on the Friday morning though (where I snagged a posy of peonies for myself for Valentines!), and I spent the weekend lounging around reading, so it definitely was not a wasted weekend by any means.

While February had some beautiful sunny days, they mostly seemed to fall on weekdays when I was stuck in the office, so we only managed to squeeze in two beach days, but they were such beautiful days that they almost made up for all the miserable weather.

Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors - Sydney

We were also blessed with beautiful weather when we went along to this year’s Greek Festival down at Darling Harbour (Mr Posy was very happy with his haul of loukoumades), and to the Lunar Markets in Pyrmont Bay Park and the Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors at Dawes Point as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

We did take advantage of a rainy weekend at the end of the month and finally went to the Art Gallery to check out the Pop into Popism exhibit – just in time before it finished up! I am starting to sense a running theme here when it comes to events – we always seem to leave it to the very last minute… There’s just always so much to see and do, and it can be a bit of a mission scheduling everything in.

March

Bronte in Autumn

March started with a cracking morning at Bronte – it was so glorious that for a brief moment I actually thought that we might be blessed with another long summer (miss you, 2014), and that I might finally make up for all the missed beach days, but it was not to be. The memory of that morning will hopefully see me through the cooler months, until I can get back in the surf.

Melbourne to Sydney

I had a lovely catch up here in Sydney with friends back from PosyTown – it was so nice to have a good laugh and a big chat over wine and dinner. The next morning Mr Posy and I caught an early morning flight to Melbourne to visit Niece and Nephew Posy (and their parents) for a long weekend, which was over much too quickly.

Taste of Sydney

We didn’t have much time to be sad once we got back to Harbour City, however, with Taste of Sydney booked in for the following weekend. Last year we copped a drenching at Taste, and after a rainy week, I was expecting a repeat performance… Fortunately, the rain held off when we went on the Saturday evening and we had an amazing time. We rushed through the savoury dishes so that we could get to the sweet – the white chocolate and caramel popsicle with dark chocolate crumbs from 4Fourteen was my favourite dish of the day.

March also marked footy season kicking off for another year, which means weekends cheering on my beloved Roosters! It’s going to take me a while to get used to the absence of Mini on the field, but there is some great young talent coming through; the club certainly does a good job of developing our juniors (RTS being snapped up by the Warriors from 2016 is evidence of that! … and as sad as I am, I wish him all the best.).

Ed Sheeran Sydney

Just as I knew would be the case, I was very pleased that past-me bought tickets to Ed Sheeran when they went on sale. It was just Ed, a couple of guitars and some kind of loop pedal – no fireworks, no back up dancers or singers, no fancy costumes or background tracks – but his concert was incredible! It was all him and all live. I will definitely be buying tickets when he next tours Australia.

We voted in our first state election – it was a bit of an anticlimax (voting always is), and there was no sausage sizzle at our polling booth (!), but it just further cemented that WE REALLY, TRULY LIVE HERE! Living here is still a bit of a novelty, and I still often say to Mr Posy “Wow! We really live here!”…

PosyKitty turns 4

Other highlights of the month include PosyKitty turning 4 (and she was so happy about it), and feeling like I’m in a really good place with work. I’m still acting in a different role, and I am loving it – I’ve got some really great projects on the go, and I’m working with a fantastic group of people. Hopefully I can stay on a little while longer..

The Guilt Trip

3 Comments

March 15, 2015 at 6:15 pmCategory:Life as we know it | Travel

Flight

About this time last week we were on our way home to Harbour City after a lovely long weekend visiting Mr Posy’s family down in the City by the Bay. Niece Posy read us the riot act back in January – she was very unhappy that we hadn’t been down to see her for a while, and demanded to know when we would next be visiting. Given our last visit was in August (time got away from me), her guilt trip was very effective, and that night I was looking up flights.

I started a countdown calendar of work days to our trip (because I am five), and I was tickled pink to hear that Niece and Nephew Posy were counting down the days on their own calendar (“THEIO AND THEIA POSY IN TOWN!”). Getting up at 4.30am to get to the airport for our early morning flight was hideous, but worth it once we got off that plane at the other end and I could give the kids a big hug.

Melb

Niece and Nephew Posy are getting so grown –  I relished every minute of colouring-in, playing superheroes, making tutus, reading storybooks, singing at the top of our lungs, searching for fairies, and taking selfies. And bowling! We took the kids bowling for the first time and they loved it.

Saying “see you next time” still felt like a knife going through my heart, but there were no tears on leaving this time round (theirs/mine). We’re hoping they might be able to get up here in May for a long weekend, and Mr Posy and I are making a list of all the places we want to take them and all the things we want to do.

It’s funny how life works out sometimes, isn’t it? If somebody had told me when I first started this blog (after sidelining my previous blog), that the thing I’d miss most when Mr Posy and I moved to Sydney was having his family right across the road, I would have said they were out of their mind. Yet here we are – more than four years and one interstate move later, and I miss them dreadfully, and I wish they lived across the road. I don’t miss Mr Posy’s Ma’s cooking, but I do miss having his family so close. I miss our family BBQs, and I miss seeing the kids grow.

We’re at a bit of a stalemate though – they will never move to Sydney, and Melbourne will never be on the cards for us. We will just have to settle for video chat and frequent flyer points.

(Belatedly) Looking back on 2014

2 Comments

February 22, 2015 at 5:00 pmCategory:Life as we know it | Memories

Sydney

Oh dear, I’ve done it again – I’ve left my ‘year in review’ post until February. I seem to really struggle to get going in January; it’s my birthday month so it still feels like it’s part of the festive season, people at work are all still off on holidays so I find it difficult to take the month seriously, and the past couple of years I’ve been finding it really hard to let go of the old and embrace the new. Now here I am, feeling like I am finally starting the New Year, in the middle of February.

I knew that 2014 had a lot to live up to as 2013 was always going to be a hard year to top – 2013 was the year that Mr Posy and I finally moved to Sydney, the year I started a new job after six years with the same employer, and it was the year that Mr Posy and I finally got married. It was a big year for us, and one that I didn’t want to end. I may have been a little slow in letting go of 2013 and getting into the swing of 2014, but once I finally accepted that a new year was upon me, I really embraced it. While 2013 was a year of change, 2014 was a year of adventure – our first year living in and really exploring Sydney, our first year of marriage, and our first overseas trip in five years.

I’m glad that I kept track of all our adventures through my quarterly blog posts – I’m still amazed at just how much we crammed into 2014. I visited 81 different restaurants/cafes/bars, some of which I returned to again and again, spent 33 mornings at the beach, went to 17 different festivals/events, had 13 visits from family, took 5 road trips, went to 4 concerts, took 2 trips to Melbourne, had 1 adventure getting stuck on public transport underground, and took 1 holiday to Bora Bora. I won’t even go into the sporting events we went to, the movies I saw, the books I read, the special events we celebrated, or my adventures at work.

2014

More than a year on, and we still haven’t really adjusted to living here – we’re up at the crack of dawn every day and we squeeze the most out of our days, as though we’re only here on a holiday and may have to return to reality at any minute, forgetting that we’re here in Sydney for the long haul. By the time Sunday evening rolls around each week I am completely exhausted, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mr Posy and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Bora Bora – parasailing, swimming with turtles, stingrays and sharks, driving an underwater scooter, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling, jumping off our overwater bungalow, swimming, drinking, eating. It was an amazing holiday (another post for another day). We’ve been back to reality for nearly four months and I still miss that beautiful island nearly every single day, and can’t wait until we can go back.

We had a quiet and very relaxed end to a busy year. We farewelled 2014 at home with champagne and trashy movies, before taking a stroll down the street to get a good view of the fireworks. The next morning we were up early to catch the first sunrise of 2015 and to get in for a leisurely breakfast at one of my favourite cafes before the rest of the city woke. It is going to be another really great year.

New Year


2013 | 2012  | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

La Dolce Vita IV (Q4 2014)

January 3, 2015 at 6:00 amCategory:Life as we know it | Quarterly Update

Sydney

I don’t like to wish my life away, but I had been looking forward to the final quarter of 2014 since the end of the first. Quarter 4 = my favourite flowers back in bloom, the return of Summer, the build up to Christmas, and most excitingly – our trip to Bora Bora!

Q4

Q4 2014:

Sydney FC games attended: 1 (vs Adelaide United [we lost])
Beaches visited: 3 (Red Leaf, North Bondi, Palm Beach)
Mornings at the beach: 5 (+8 in Bora Bora!)
Movies watched: 8 (Sex Tape; Tammy; Wish I was Here; Love, Rosie; If I Stay; Begin Again; Gone Girl, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Books downloaded on Kindle: 12
Books actually read on Kindle: 8
Concerts purchased tickets for: 2 (The Script, Taylor Swift)
Concerts attended: 1 (Katy Perry)
Road trips: 2 (Bathurst for work, ACT for a funeral)
Trips taken: 1 (Bora Bora!)
Trips booked: 0
Visits from family: 3 (Mum [for work], Nan & Pop, Dad)
New cafés/restaurants/bars explored: 35 (North Bondi Fish, Messina Dessert Bar, Mamak, Adria, Cyren, Stacks Taverna, Beanbah, Harris on Harris, Brown’s Siding Cafe [Medlow Bath], Jack Duggans Irish Pub [Bathurst], Elie’s Cafe [Bathurst], The Hub [Bathurst], Church Bar & Woodfired Pizza [Bathurst], Victory [Blackheath], Fire Station Cafe, Tipple Bar and Bistro, Strawberry Hills Hotel, Bill’s Bondi, Kingswood, Franc’s Cafe and Bar, Izakaya Musashi, Le Tipanie [Bora Bora], Bloody Mary’s [BB], Mai Kai [BB], La Villa Mahana [BB], Lagoon by Jean Georges [BB], Bar 100, Nakashima, The Orient, Alexandria Hotel, The Treehouse, Sourdough Panini Bakery & Bar, Pasta Emilia, Sugarcane, Luxe Woollahra
Celebrations: 3 (1st wedding anniversary, friend’s birthday, Christmas with Dad and co.)
Festivals/events attended: 5 (Festival of Chocolate, Sculpture by the Sea, Jillian Michaels Maximise Your Life Tour, cooking class, surf lesson)
Flex days taken from work: 8 (1x catch up with friends, 4x Bora Bora, 3x Christmas)

Bora Bora

While this quarter largely revolved around our trip to Bora Bora (another post for another day) – preparing for and gearing ourselves up, actually holidaying on the island (hooray for two weeks off work!), coming home and wishing we were back in paradise – we also had a lot on that didn’t involve our vacation.

Katy

This quarter was probably my most social yet. There were catch-ups with family and friends and after-work drinks with colleagues, a trip away for work, a cooking class, a surf lesson, a Katy Perry concert, beach days, and Christmas with my dad. Mr Posy and I celebrated our first year in Sydney, and we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Oh! Also a temporary promotion at work. … and I wonder why I am completely exhausted.

As I reflect back on this quarter, I stop and pause to remember the lives lost in the Martin Place siege in our beautiful Harbour City. Such an absolute tragedy; a tragedy that I will never be able to find the words for. The ocean of flowers, outpouring of love and the way that people banded together in the days that followed still makes me tear up. Some people may choose to do some truly horrible, unspeakable things to others, but there is still good left in the world too, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

And so ends my quarterly wrap-ups for 2014 – I wanted to document our first full year in Sydney to ensure I didn’t forget any part of our amazing adventure, and what an adventure it has been.

La Dolce Vita III (Q3 2014)

2 Comments

December 1, 2014 at 6:00 amCategory:Life as we know it | Quarterly Update

Sydney

I’m not sure what it is about the third quarter of a year that is so incredibly draining, but Q3 left me absolutely exhausted (as partly evidenced by the delay in this post!). This same quarter in 2013 also left me shattered, though I suppose I was preparing to move our whole life interstate and organising a wedding at the time, and I don’t have that excuse this year. Looking back, we may not have been packing up a house, but we were pretty busy this past quarter…

Q3 2014:

Roosters games attended: 7 (vs Sharks [we lost], vs Panthers [we won!], vs Dragons [we won!], vs Rabbitohs [we won! … and thank you to the NQ Cowboys for beating Manly = Minor Premiers 2014!) … vs Panthers [qualifying final – we lost], vs NQ Cowboys [semi final – we won!], vs Rabbitohs [preliminary final – we lost; I cried]) + 1 Manly vs Rabbitohs game…
Swans games attended: 1 (vs Dockers [we won!])
Beaches visited: 2 (North Bondi, Palm Beach)
Movies watched: 5 (Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Fault in Our Stars, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Bad Neighbours, Happy Christmas)
Books downloaded on Kindle: 0
Books actually read on Kindle: 0
Concerts purchased tickets for: 1 (Ed Sheeran)
Concerts attended: 2 (Lady Gaga, Tina Arena)
Road trips: 1 (Newcastle to visit my aunt and little cousins)
Trips taken: 1 (Melbourne to see BIL, SIL, and Niece and Nephew Posy)
Trips booked: 0 (but counting down ’til Bora Bora!)
Visits from family: 5 (Mum x2 [for work], brother x2, Dad)
New cafés/restaurants/bars explored: 17 (Le Paris-Go Cafe, The Cook and Baker, The Eight Modern Chinese Restaurant, Wolf, La Dimora Cafe, Ground Control, Bodhi, Dunes Kiosk, Macchiato, Cosmopolitan Cafe, The French House Coffee, Kwila, Bucket List, Ribs & Burgers, Ravesi’s, Rose Bay Diner, Luxe Bar)
Celebrations: 2 (12 years with Mr Posy, cousin’s 11th birthday)
Festivals/events attended: 3 (Bondi Winter Magic, Aroma Festival, Festival of the Winds)
Flex days taken from work: 4 (1x Life Admin Day, 1x PosyTown Show Day, 2x Melbourne)

Q3 almost felt like the never-ending quarter, and reading over my list, I’m surprised at just how much we managed to cram in to just three months – 17 visits to new cafes/restaurants etc, 7 NRL games, 5 visits from family, 3 festivals, 2 concerts, 1 AFL game, 1 roadtrip to Newcastle and a trip to Melbourne to visit our family. Mr Posy and I also celebrated 12 years together in August!

It was fantastic visiting Niece and Nephew Posy (and BIL and SIL!) down in Melbourne in August – the kids are getting so grown. You can have entire conversations with Nephew Posy now (he’s not a baby anymore, but such a gorgeous little boy), and Niece Posy is just as sweet as ever. They are amazing kids and they light up my life. I miss them a lot, but it is getting easier. I’m hoping to get down to Melbourne to see a little more of them in 2015; two visits in a year is just not enough.

Q3 concerts

I had such an amazing time at both the Lady Gaga and the Tina Arena concerts – obviously very different artists who put on very different shows, but I loved them both for very different reasons. I bought tickets to Lady Gaga on a bit of a whim – I like the music and I figured it would be a very entertaining show, and I was not wrong! The concert was freaking phenomenal. I have loved Tina Arena since I was a small girl, and I saw her once before in concert (at the Sydney Opera House after returning from our first US holiday), and she just does not disappoint. She belted out songs from her new album, along with some old favourites, and I left feeling pretty elated. Speaking of concerts, I bought tickets to Ed Sheeran for 2015 when the presale started – I wasn’t sure about it at the time, but I figured my future self would be upset with my past self if I didn’t, and now my  current self is quite looking forward to it!

2015, now there’s a thought… How is the year almost over?!

Festival of the Winds

30 by 30 – Cooking up a storm

6 Comments

November 2, 2014 at 8:48 pmCategory:30 by 30 | Food | Life as we know it

Back when we first moved to Sydney, I found myself checking out West Elm/Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma on a Thursday night for new homewares, when I noticed that Williams-Sonoma offered cooking classes. I mentioned it to Mr Posy (who has come a very long way since he was first learning to cook, and now regularly puts me to shame), and he also thought it sounded like a fun idea (and it meant that I could cross off an item from my 30 by 30 list), so I made a mental note to book us in for a class. As it so often does, time got away from me, but in August I finally had a look at the calendar and booked us in for a class – which we went to last week!

We were originally booked in for a ‘Date Night: Marrakech’ cooking class (which I mostly chose based on the date of the class), but they contacted me in September to say that unfortunately they had to cancel the Marrakech cooking class and that it was now a ‘Date Night: Tapas and Sangria’ class. They gave us the option of going ahead with this class, choosing a different class on another date, or obtaining a refund – we chose to stick with the class on the same date (they had me at Sangria!).

I’d had a bit of a rough fortnight at work, so I was fairly exhausted and almost considering piking on the class, but I quickly changed my outfit (Mr Posy and I both wore white shirts. To a cooking class. Who does that? Total amateurs!) before I could change my mind – and I’m so glad we went.

Williams Sonoma

I wasn’t really sure what to expect – would we be cooking or just watching? As I sipped sangria, completely oblivious to the cooking stations around the kitchen, I decided we must just be watching. The chef, Hulya, explained that she would be cooking three dishes, and then we’d also get to have a crack at making the third dish. Oh…

The first dish put in front of us was the Gambas al ajillo. Oh my word, amazing. What’s more amazing, was that I managed to get through the shrimp without spilling sauce all down my top…

Gambas al ajillo

As we all devoured the shrimp, bread and sauce, Hulya started putting together the flan (so it would have time to set), explaining that it always helped if she fed the participants while she was preparing the other two dishes. I think the term ‘hangry’ was even thrown about. As she had with the shrimp, she explained each step as she went, showing us the consistency that we were looking for (with the custard), and passing around ingredients for us to look at and smell.

Once the custard was ready, it was poured into loaf pans and put away to set – and on to the meatballs. Hulya went through each step of the recipe, explaining what to look for, what consistency the sauce should be, how long to reduce everything down – and after a quick taste, it was our turn!

Seeing as Mr Posy is such a whiz in the kitchen these days, I left him to chopping up the onions (though Hulya did show us a new technique which meant no tears!). And also mixing up the meat and squishing the meatballs. I chopped the parsley. And the almonds. And mixed them up with olive oil, saffron and paprika. For those playing along at home, I made the sauce.

Cooking

Token shots cooking the meatballs.

Meatballs

The end result looked and tasted a little bit amazing. Albóndigas en Salsa de Almendra. Meatballs in almond sauce. I will definitely be making these at home, but maybe with a little less garlic.

In the interest of leaving room for chocolate flan (and more sangria), we packaged up most of the meatballs to take home for later.

Flan

This flan was delicious. The mix of dark chocolate and chilli confused my tastebuds a little initially, but was incredible. The caramel/toffee was a little sweet, so I couldn’t get through it all; the flan would have been off the charts with some strawberries and/or a little cream – something I can’t wait to try again at home!

All in all, we had a really fabulous night – the class was fantastic, really well organised, and a lot of fun. I will definitely be booking in future classes with Williams-Sonoma. It was fun to learn new dishes with Mr Posy, and the classes would also make a fun girl’s night out. Importantly, we asked for the sangria recipe before we left – with the weather starting to heat up, it will be the perfect accompaniment to a summer barbeque.

Feels like home to me

7 Comments

October 27, 2014 at 6:00 amCategory:Life as we know it

Sydney

As of three weeks ago, we’ve been in Sydney for one whole year!

Three hundred and sixty-five days. Fifty-two weeks. Twelve months. One year. It’s amazing how quickly time passes! The past year has been a total whirlwind – interstate move, new job, wedding. Nothing like a bunch of major life events all at the one time!

Some days, I still have to pinch myself. It’s hard to believe that a year ago, after packing up our little life in PosyTown, we said farewell to our family and friends and boarded a one-way flight to Harbour-City. I just can’t believe that we’ve lived in this beautiful city for 12 months now. Yet at the same time, I feel like we’ve lived here forever, and I can barely remember a time before Sydney. PosyTown feels like a lifetime ago.

We had dinner with some very old friends who were passing through the night after our Sydney-versary, and speaking with them made me realise that moving, and moving interstate, isn’t just some tiny little thing. Not only do you have to find a new place to live, pack your whole house up and shift it interstate then unpack, you have to find a new doctor, dentist, hairdresser, start a new job, make new friends… It’s not easy, and I’d be fibbing if I said the past year had been a walk in the park, but it also hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be. Completely exhausting yes, but not so difficult.

Coffee

It still feels very surreal that we made the move I always dreamed we’d make and that we do actually live here now, but we are settled. We have our weekday and weekend routines. As much as we like to explore new cafes and restaurants, we also have our favourites where we often find ourselves again and again. I haven’t yet made an effort to get into team sport since we’ve moved down, but it is something I want to look into for the coming year. Making friends in a new city is not easy, so I am grateful that we already had extended family and friends here as part of our instant support base – it has helped, a lot. I miss seeing Niece and Nephew Posy every day, watching them grow, but they left PosyTown for Melbourne not long after we moved, so now they’re only an hour’s plane ride away, instead of a four hour flight.

After dreaming of our Sydney move for so many years, I had that little worry at the back of my mind – What if it doesn’t work out? What if it isn’t everything I’d always hoped it would be? I also worried about Mr Posy – he’d previously been a little hesitant about moving so far from everything we knew – What if he hated it? What if it made him completely miserable? I needn’t have worried. It has been more amazing moving here than we could have ever hoped, and surprisingly, I think Mr Posy actually loves Sydney even more than I do. I certainly didn’t see that one coming! In fact, I wouldn’t have thought it could ever be possible.

Celebrating Sydney

This beautiful city treated us with spectacular weather to celebrate our Sydney-versary – we enjoyed sangria and seafood in the sunshine down at North Bondi, while reminiscing over everything that has happened in the past twelve months, and talking about our plans for the years to come… and then because we hadn’t indulged enough, we finished off our day with a trip to the Messina Dessert Bar…

Dessert

Our new chapter has only just begun.

Under my skin

5 Comments

July 29, 2014 at 6:00 amCategory:Life as we know it

Nails on a chalkboard. Crunching. Slurping. Belching. Singing out of tune. Scraping against ice in the freezer, or a chair scraping across the floor. Cutlery screeching across crockery. Throat clearing. Nails being filed. Chewing gum. Teeth being drilled at the dentist.

What noises make your skin crawl?

As is often evidenced by my ranting on Twitter, for me, it is noisy eating. Though the guy sitting in front of me on the bus last week hocking back logies (snorting back his boogers) was definitely a close second.

Somehow, I always seem to end up surrounded by these people. Perhaps it’s just because it drives me so crazy, that I notice it more – like only really noticing that the supermarket has a baby aisle once you’re having a baby (or a friend has a baby), or seeing a certain car brand or type everywhere you go only once you are in the market for that car?

Noisy, crunchy food is one thing, but it surprises me just how common people chewing with their mouth open seems to be. People who are often around my age – certainly old enough to know better. Has a family member or very close friend never told them that it’s extremely poor manners to chew with their mouth open and/or speak with their mouth full? Don’t even get me started on those who look and sound like a cow chewing the cud when they’re chomping down on gum…

On public transport, it is easy enough to move carriages when somebody is chewing in my ear, or I try to ignore it if I know my stop isn’t far away, but there always seems to be at least one in my workplace (no matter where I work) – and as much as the sounds are enough to drive me right out of the room, I really can’t just get up and move away. Especially when they eat all. day. long. Currently, I have two people in the general vicinity of my desk who like to munch on noisy food (what are they eating – gravel?), rustle in paper bags before chewing loudly (one with his mouth open), noisily slurp soup/hot drinks/from straws when they reach the bottom, make out with their strawberries, proclaim “aaaaaahhhh” after each sip of their tea, and the best bit – belch loudly after they’ve finished eating.

I am in Hell.

It would be okay if I could time my lunch break to be out of the office while they eat, but these two snack right throughout the day. I can’t very well ask my boss if I can move desks – “Why do you want to move?” “Oh because I am going to scratch my eyeballs out if I have to listen to the people around me masticating in surround sound every single day for one minute longer.” I have taken to wearing headphones, but I have to say, the level that I need the music to drown out the munching and slurping is going to seriously impair my hearing.

It’s really only a matter of time before I’m reduced to a rocking, crying mess underneath my desk, or I completely lose my sh’t with them and tell them to chew with their f’cking mouth closed.

I can’t really see my workplace implementing a No Eating at Your Desk Policy any time soon, and while I like the thought of anonymous passive aggressive notes in theory, they’re really not my style (instead I just publish ranty posts on my blog…), so perhaps it is time to invest in ear plugs. I just have to work out how to explain them to my boss.

Getting stuff done

No Comments

July 9, 2014 at 6:00 amCategory:Life as we know it

Life Admin

I wanted to title this post “Getting sh’t done”, but decided against it. Seemed a little smutty.

One of the benefits of my new job (which really isn’t so new anymore) here in Harbour City is the ability to accrue flextime. I know, I know – it’s hardly revolutionary, but it’s new for me. Don’t get me wrong, my boss back in PosyTown knew that I put in extra hours and she was absolutely amazing and very generous when it came to time off, but it’s great to be working within an official framework, where all our hours are officially logged. I haven’t made as much use of this arrangement as I could have, and I certainly haven’t been taking the full six days per quarter (and have so far only really used the days that I have had off for travel), but I am trying to embrace this whole ‘work-life balance’ thing – something I have never been very good at.

I’ve been keeping a list of things that I needed to do, that could only really be done on weekdays during work hours but were too time-intensive to do during my lunchbreak, for some time now, and I decided that I would finally put one of my flex days to good use – to get through my to-do list. I also tried to arrange a couple of coffee dates with friends I have been wanting to catch up with, but the Universe conspired against me and those dates weren’t to be. A good thing, really, as it turned out I did need the whole day to get through all my tasks.

I declared last Friday my ‘Life Admin Day’. You know – a day dedicated to calling banks, sorting out your super fund/s, getting papers together to send off to your accountant, calling your health fund, sorting out stuff around the house and with the furchildren etc etc. I was on a mission and I was determined to get through my list, and some of Mr Posy’s, as it turned out.

About half an hour into Life Admin Day, I started worrying that it would be a total bust. Websites were down, I couldn’t log in to online portals, papers weren’t ready, people on the telephone weren’t helpful… I took a deep breath, sipped my coffee, and continued on to the next items on my list, instead of becoming completely hysterical that my day wasn’t working out the way I had hoped. Fortunately, by the time I worked my way through the rest of the list, systems came back online and I was then able to action the items that I had been struggling with at the top of the list. Throw in a trip to a bank, and I WAS DONE. I got through everything on my list, including sorting out an account I had been meaning to close for the past, oh, six years… Oops.

The best bit about my day off? Aside from feeling absolutely elated at crossing off all those niggling tasks that have been bothering me for some time (seriously, it felt almost as good as submitting the final essays for my uni degrees) – I had booked us in for a sunset ice skating session down at Bondi! And unlike when we went ice skating at the rink in Rockefeller Center (Christmas 2007), Mr Posy actually let go of the barricades this time around. I am toying with the idea of another skating session before it finishes up; I will have Mr Posy zooming around the ice in no time!

Bondi

The icing on the cake was that with all my life admin and chores out of the way on Friday, I actually had an entire weekend to play! With such amazing weather, this meant a two hour walk on Saturday, watching my beloved Roosters lose at Allianz, another walk on Sunday – this time along the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk looking out for whales – and coffee in the sunshine (something we have been enjoying on weekends a lot lately).

Here’s to getting sh’t done.

La Dolce Vita II (Q2 2014)

1 Comment

July 6, 2014 at 4:29 pmCategory:Life as we know it | Quarterly Update

Sydney
And in the blink of an eye, another quarter (and season) has passed us by – it’s hard to believe that we are now more than halfway through the year. Christmas will be here before we know it!

Q2 2014:

Roosters games attended: 2 (ANZAC Day match vs Dragons [we won!], vs Raiders [we won!])
Swans games attended 1 (vs Geelong [we won!!])
Mornings/days spent at the beach: 4
Beaches visited: 3 (North Bondi, Manly, Palm Beach)
Movies watched: 4 (The Lego Movie, Philomena, The Other Woman, Veronica Mars)
Books downloaded on Kindle: 3
Books actually read on Kindle: 2
Concerts purchased tickets for: 0
Concerts attended: 1 (Kate Miller-Heidke)
Road trips: 1 (Canberra)
Visits from family: 2 (Mum, Joey)
New cafés/restaurants/bars explored : 18 (Rushcutters, Grounds of Alexandria (technically a re-visit), Catalina, Alpha (re-visit x2), Lady J Café and Wine Bar, Zigolini’s, Bondi Picnic, Sahara Parramatta, Ruby’s Diner, The Boathouse Palm Beach, Nelson Road Tuckshop, Hinky Dinks, Le Cafeier, Coco Noir, Good Brother [Canberra], Bar Indigo, Public Dining Room, Gertrude & Alice)
Celebrations: 3x birthdays (Molly, Gems, Niece Posy [via Skype, ha!]), 1x baptism
Festivals/events attended: 4 (Easter Show, Wills and Kate do Manly, Vivid, Supanova)
Flex days taken from work: 0.5 (Before Easter)
Work adventures: 2 (Speaker on 1x conference panel, 1x office move)
Public Transport adventures: 1 (Stuck on train for two hours, for a trip that takes 15 minutes)

Q2 2014

While this quarter has been quieter on paper (or rather, on screen), I am absolutely exhausted. We temporarily moved offices back in February, and the longer commute was really wearing me down (two trains and a 45 minute commute each way, instead of the 15 minutes on one train that I’m used to), and I was putting in long hours as work was quite hectic at the time. Throw in the cooler weather and the earlier sunset, and I was ready for bed as soon as I walked in the door each evening! Thankfully, we moved back into our city office at the end of June, work has calmed down somewhat, and I am getting used to fewer daylight hours.

Mr Posy and I have made long weekend walks with PosyDog a bit of a habit – we usually grab a coffee to go somewhere along the way, and seem to find ourselves somehow walking for a good two or three hours. Mr Posy made the comment the other day that I am “definitely solar-powered” – that I seem to have so much more energy and am much happier after a good stroll in the sun. It seems so obvious, but living in PosyTown I spent a lot of hours indoors in the air-conditioning for a good nine months of the year – seriously, I’d go from home to the car to work to the car to gym to home, with a weekly game of touch football and an occasional walk thrown in; I spent so little time outside – and it’s only since we’ve moved down here that I’ve noticed how much happier I am after a little exposure to some sun. It’s a little surprising that somebody living in PosyTown could end up deficient in Vitamin D, but I managed it; I’d definitely be interested to hear my results at my next health check!

This quarter marked both six months in Sydney, and six months of marriage for us. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that we haven’t even been here a year, because it feels like we’ve been here forever, and some days it’s hard to believe that we’ve been here as long as we have, because it feels like we only left PosyTown last weekend! I still miss my old work family regularly, and I still look occasionally look for them when I’m walking around my office – I guess when you work with the same crew for five years, it takes a little while to adjust!

Mr Posy has had a few trips away for work – they usually seem to clash with with sporting events that we’ve had booked in for months… i.e. the Roosters vs Tigers game (my team vs Mr Posy’s team), and the Swans vs Geelong game (again, my team vs Mr Posy’s team). Thankfully, we had friends who were able to use our tickets to the Swans game, though I’m still a little gutted to have missed it… especially considering the Swannies won!

I have been madly ‘planning’ our trip to Bora Bora – which mostly just involves spending hours and hours reading about places to eat and cocktails that are available, looking up blog posts from people who have been there recently, and counting down the days until our own holiday.

Those that follow me on Twitter will know that I had a bit of an adventure on public transport last week – my usual fifteen minute commute ended up taking two hours (mostly spent in underground tunnels) – at first I had to have a bit of a laugh, then I started to go a little stir-crazy, but then I was able to have a laugh about it again. I caught the bus the rest of the week – and discovered that I actually prefer the bus! It takes me about five minutes longer (however drops me off closer to work), but if the bus breaks down, at least I’m not stuck underground, and I can get off and walk…

Looking back, perhaps this quarter was a little busier than I first thought…