Lent. Easter. And coffee.

Lent is the season that begins on Ash Wednesday and finishes today on Easter Sunday. During this time, Catholics historically practice the art of sacrifice for the sake of soul strengthening.

This year I gave up coffee. I thought it would be tough but I actually didn’t really miss it. And this morning when I drank it again, it wasn’t even that amazing.

Because I believe that religion should be about dignity, not depravity, I also tried this lent, to commit to something more meaningful than just a bunch of beans. I made the decision to spend the 46 days of lent being more positive and upbeat.

I’ve always been a glass half full kinda girl. But at work, I find it easy to get drawn into negativity. Sometimes my work place can be a real energy vampire! I really wanted to stop getting involved in the daily huddles, where people speak in whispered tones about what’s going on with them and other people.

I have to say that it was initially hard. I’d hear people gossiping and have to force myself to control my curiosity. But the upside is that I’ve been incredibly productive over the last 6 weeks. Also, I’ve realised that when you encourage yourself to mentally raise your vibration, being positive all day, every day is easy. Even when you don’t have caffeine to help you.

Happy Easter.

 

 

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Saltwaters

I’ve noticed more and more people getting about in Saltwater sandals these days.

What do you think of these shoes? Abhor them or adore them?

salt water

I’m firmly in the first camp!

Posted in Stuff & nonsense | 3 Comments

It’s quiz time!

You know I love a quiz or five. Here’s a few I’ve done lately. Mostly from Buzz Feed which are usually silly, mostly wrong but always entertaining.

1) The great language game
Think you can distinguish between 80 of the world’s most spoken languages? I only got three wrong! This was fun!

2) What hidden talent do you have?
Apparently mine is ballet! While I did do ballet classes when I was little, these days, my posture is hunchey and my body lumpy. So I’m sorry Buzz Feed, I’m not sure this can be true.

Do this quick quizz and tell me about your secret talents!

3) What font are you? 
Times New Roman apparently! Ugh. It’s my least favourite font. I hate serifs.

It said this about me “You’re a classic — a constant, reliable, secretly sexy classic. Anyone who thinks they can turn in a term paper or a resumé that doesn’t feature you is fooling themselves, and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.”

I call bull shit. What font are you?

4) Which city should you live in? 
Mine was Cape Town. Interesting…and kinda true! Well, the first and last sentences anyway!
“You have never been able to sit still a single day in your life. An avid adventurer you are always looking for the most unconventional way to do things. You love city life, but couldn’t imagine life without getting out into nature every once in a while.”

Where should you live? 

5) What career should you actually have?
I should be an astronaut apparently. This is getting ridiculous. What did you get? 

I’ll end here.

 

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Read, watch, hear

Read it! 

Something I love about Ian is how well he knows me. I know it seems obvious that the person I’m married to should know me better than anyone. So I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t take it for granted. It’s one of my favourite things.

Even though we have very different taste in, well, everything (!), E always knows what I’ll like, what will inspire me and what will scare me. He gently pushes me to read different things, watch different things and try different things. And I know I need pushing sometimes.

So this short story by Issac Asimov is not something I’d normally even come across, let alone read. It’s not my preferred genre. But it was good. And E knew I’d like it, because the ending (which you MUST NOT skip to prematurely) echoes thoughts I often have about the world.

Watch it! 
I also wanted to share with you a video I came across which I similarly, knew that Ian would be interested to watch.

Seeing this guy base jump and then free dive made my own lungs positively ache. I kept finding that while I was watching it, I was holding my breathe and then gasping for air. At the same time though, the whole thing felt quite ethereal.

Hear it!
Earlier this year, a couple of different bloggers I love talked about how much they enjoy pod casts. Tomas and Jones and Joy the Baker both posted about their favourite things to listen to. Between their own recommendations and those mentioned by their blog commenters, I had a big long list to start working my way through.

I’ve always been a strictly vodcast girl myself. In the past, I’ve found it hard to listen to audio books, radio shows or podcasts because without a visual, my mind tends to wander off. However in just a couple of months, I’ve become totally addicted to filling my ears with the words of intelligent, social commentators. My mind feels nourished in a way that it hasn’t for a long time.

I have a looong list of favourites that I shall share another time. But one for today is Stuff you should know. It’s a weekly, 40 minute pod cast that is completely different to anything else I listen to and I love it. Each week, the two guys cover really random topics and they explain how stuff works. Recent topics have been; 3d printing, landslides, amnesia,  electricity, skateboarding,  online dating,the Spanish inquisition, termites (creepy!) amputation, (gruesome!) and then a whole session about riots at Kent State University in the 70s. I’ve been learning a lot!

So friends if you have anything you’ve read, watched or heard lately that you think I’d like, please share :)

Posted in Thoughts about life and things | 2 Comments

March moodboard

Have you enjoyed March? I’ve had a lovely month. It looked a little something like this.

March mood board

Posted in Little bits of lovely | 3 Comments

Him and me

On this day eight years ago, my now husband asked me to marry him. I’m so glad I said yes! He’s my person, you know?

We work, us two. I’m pretty lucky. His heart is a good one.

 

BG

 

Husband & wife 4 life!

Gorgeous image by Blanca Gomez.
Posted in Stuff & nonsense | 3 Comments

World nutella day

Tomorrow is world nutella day! To celebrate, we’re having a little nutella party. Husband and I are making these banana, nutella and salted pistachio pops.

Nutella popsSheela is baking these salted dark chocolate nutella cookies.

Cookies

And Kylie is making these nutella truffles.

Nutella-Truffles

I’ll have you know that nutella is more than just a chocolate hazelnut spread. It’s a way of life people. A way of life.

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January books

I’ve read three really great books this month.

Books in Jan

The half brother by Lars Saabye Christensen is a a huge story, both figuratively and literally, that focuses on the lives of a family in Norway. It’s really well translated and probably the best thing I’ve read in a long time.

I can’t really think of how to describe this book in a way that will do it any sort of justice. It’s a story about four generations of family. It’s a story about strong women, about weak men and about interesting relationships. It’s also a story about so much more.

If you’re looking for something meaty to sink your teeth into, this is a good one.

Cleaving, by Julie Powell is the book she wrote after Julie & Julia made her a bit famous. It’s mostly about her apprenticeship as a butcher but she also touches on the (many) affairs she had while married. 

I detested the way that both her and her husband were so disloyal to one another. But I was weirdly fascinated by her tales of cutting up animals. The art of butchery really is dying, with meat factories now replacing this old skill.

I started to think that maybe I too wanted to become a butcher. Then Ian reminded me of my inability to enter a butcher shop without gagging. Also, despite my love of cooking, I’ve never EVER touched raw meat. So there’s also that.

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy is a tale of a father and his son, set in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s somehow a terrifying scenario written in a really beautiful, warm way.

Husband recently read this book and was surprised to find himself crying at the end of it. In the 19 odd years I’ve known Ian, I’ve only ever seen him get choked up a couple of times. I knew that if a book could make him cry, it was a book worth reading.

I loved the tenderness between the father and the son. Despite living in a terrible world, they share the most beautiful of relationships. And for me, that’s really what life is all about.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Theatre, film, books | Tagged | 3 Comments

January online reading

I’ve been reading some really great stuff lately. I’m nothing if not a sharer so I thought I’d give you a few links to peruse.

But first, let’s start with a pretty picture to give you a little mind break before we begin. I love paper cranes.

Paper cranes

Leigh linked to this great article that I recommend you read too. I loved this writer’s perspective about being a stay at home mum and the simultaneous joy and horror it brings.

The crux of this article though is about the type of questions we ask each other. The writer suggests that a caring question is like a key that can unlock a room inside the person you love. Generic questions are kind of like generic gifts, whereas caring questions are more like thoughtful gifts.  If we really want to know each other, if we really care about people, then we need to ask them better questions and really listen to their answers.

I want to try and be better at asking the people I love good questions and really listening to how they answer. New goal!

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I came across this funny post by a food blogger about the 10 food blog trends she think should stop. It made me laugh. In particular, I love her comments about people trying to ‘paleo-ise’ every recipe. Guilty!

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I thought this article about how birth order can affect you personality was interesting. I wonder if my niece, despite being the 4th child in her family, will actually behave more like a 1st child because of the big age gap between her and her siblings. If you’re the eldest child in your family, do you have the traits described in this article? I think I do.

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I have always been a fan of quizzes. Back when I used to buy magazines, they were one of my favourite parts! I’ve done a few online lately that were fun including this one, based on the Harvard Dialect Survey. It guesses where you come from by the types of words you use. It’s US based but was interesting none the less. Apparently I sound like I’m from New York, Providence or Honolulu! I’m actually not sure whether that is good or bad!

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You can do this quiz to test the extent of your vocabulary. I recognised a lot of words but I couldn’t define them all so overall I was a bit disappointed in my score. Do it and tell me how you go! But no cheating!

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In this test, I was very happy with my score! It’s about seeing how well you can read people’s emotions. The theory behind this piece of research is that people who read literary fiction rather than popular fiction are generally better at reading emotions. Apparently this is because literary fiction often leaves more to the imagination, encouraging readers to make inferences about characters and be sensitive to emotional nuance and complexity. Fascinating!

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And then there’s this little personality test. It consists of just one picture and confirms for me that I am most definitely an introvert!

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If you have time, read this long, but amusing article about the radical honesty movement. I always thought I liked honesty until I saw that Jim Carrey Liar Liar movie. It terrified me! So did this article! I think I’d actually prefer a world of white lies over radical honesty.

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And for all the wanderlust out there (that’s me!), here’s the New York Times list of 52 places to go in 2014. It’s so nicely written. On the list, I’ve been to only 6 places; Christchurch, Scotland, The Vatican, Athens, New Caledonia & Vienna.

Having read this list, I think a third trip to Scotland is in order so I can do the 8-12 day walk across the country!  I also like the look of Indonesia, Iceland, Serbia, the Seychelles and the Faroe Islands.

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I also liked reading about how the travel writers pick the places for the list above.

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Have you read anything lately that you can share with me? Add your links below!

Posted in Stuff & nonsense | 8 Comments

52 lists – nice walks

There’s lots of nice walks around Sydney & the Blue Mountains. Next year I want to do a lot more. My current favourites are:

- Bondi to Bronte for ocean views
- The Bay Run to Iron Cove for harbour views
- Spit bridge to Manly for a bit of everything. You can do both beach and the bush in 10km
- Around Govett’s Leap, up near Blackheath for spectacular mountain views!
- Around Lake Parramatta, the Nepean River or Lake Macquarie for glimmering water
- Campfire Creek to the Red Hands Cave, Glenbrook for some indigenous art.

What about you? What are some of your favourites? 

Bondi to Bronte, from Waverly Council website

Bondi to Bronte, from Waverly Council website

Posted in List lovin' | Tagged , | 3 Comments