La Dolce Vita IV (Q4 2014)

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)

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, RB 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

La Dolce Vita II (Q2 2014)

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…

La Dolce Vita (Q1 2014)

When I lived up in PosyTown, I had all the time in the world (well, I did once I’d finished studying, anyway), but rarely felt that I had anything interesting to blog about. Now, I live in this amazing city and have plenty to write about, but I have been too busy exploring Sydney that I have had little time to cobble a post together.

As we’re now fast approaching the month of May, I thought an update on our first quarter of 2014 would be prudent.

Q1 2014:

Roosters games attended: 4 (World Club Championship: vs Wigan Warriors [we won!]; Telstra Premiership games: vs  Rabbitohs [we lost], vs Eels [we won!], vs Manly [we lost]).
Mornings/days spent at the beach: 16
Beaches visited: 4 (Bronte, North Bondi, Avalon, Freshwater)
Movies watched: 14 (Saving Mr Banks, August: Osage County, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Book Thief, Wolf of Wall Street, About Time, The Heat, I Give it a Year, Frozen, Her, Ruby Sparks, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (Moonlight Cinema session), The Hunger Games – Catching Fire, Anchorman II (Moonlight Cinema session)).
Books downloaded on Kindle: 17
Books actually read on Kindle: 6
Concerts purchased tickets for: 4 (Katy Perry, Tina Arena, Lady Gaga, Kate Miller-Heidke)
Concerts attended: 0
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: 1 (Bora Bora!)
Visits from family: 3 (Mum + brother, Dad, Mum)
New cafés/restaurants/bars explored: 11 that I can remember off the top of my head (The Wine Library, The Boathouse Balmoral, Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel, Opera Bar (okay, a re-visit, have been once before), Flat White, The Chalkboard Café, Café Salina, Swell Restaurant, Chiswick (okay, another re-visit, went once before in the lead up to the wedding), The Tea Salon, Panania Hotel…)
Birthdays celebrated: 3 (Me, PosyKitty, my friend’s little boy – cowboy themed party!)
Festivals/events attended: 5 (Taste of Sydney, Four Thought at the Opera House, Alain de Botton at the Opera House, book launch, Yoko Ono’s ‘War is Over’ at the MCA)
Flex days taken from work: 3

Q1 2014

Our weekends the past few months have largely revolved around the beach, and most surprisingly, Mr Posy has been the driving force behind this. I am so glad that he rediscovered his love for the beach, to the point that I had to drag him home, because it really is my happy place. If I’m being completely honest, I suspect that he would have dragged me along to the beach even if he didn’t enjoy it himself, because of how much happier and more relaxed (less anxious/stressed) I am after a dip in the ocean … but aren’t we all?

My birthday this year was a very quiet affair – no morning tea at work or after-work drinks with friends, and no little people here to help me blow out my candles. Mr Posy did take me out for a dinner however, AND he made me my favourite cake – Nigella’s Chocolate Mousse Cake. He also treated me to breakfast at The Boathouse in Balmoral (and more time at the beach), so I had a pretty relaxing birthday weekend!

We managed to squeeze in a trip down to Melbourne to see my BIL, SIL and Niece and Nephew Posy (they moved south shortly after we left PosyTown – thankfully they’re now only one hour away by plane instead of four!) – I really miss being able to wave to them from my front patio. Niece and Nephew Posy are growing so quickly, and it was so hard to say “see you later” (always “see you later”, never “goodbye”). On our last night in Melbourne, Niece Posy’s teddy bear ‘said’ to me “I’m going to miss you Aunty Posy”. I can’t tell you how hard it was to fight back the tears. I knew it would be tough moving away from them, but I didn’t realise that I would feel like a huge chunk of my heart was missing. I am thankful for Skype and short plane trips!

Most excitingly this past quarter, Mr Posy and I booked a holiday for later in the year – a first anniversary/belated honeymoon trip… to Bora Bora! It has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, and I am over the moon that this dream will soon become a reality. I have been busy reading travel books and forums, scouring the interwebs for travel reviews and photographs, and counting down the days. Unlike other trips that we plan, there will be little structure to this holiday (aside from a dinner at Villa Mahana that I have already booked in) – and I can’t wait! I may already be planning a return visit, before we even get there…

All in all, we’ve had a pleasant start to 2014, and it’s hard to believe that we’ve been living here for nearly seven months already – and married for almost six! I don’t know why I thought time would slow down living here; instead it seems to fly by at double-speed.