Tuesday, 19 March 2013

It's a sweet London life

So as I start writing this blog post, I'm sitting at Gatwick airport, waiting for our flight to Bergen, Norway. It's times like this when I sit and think..."Wow, life is pretty sweet." Thirty-seven countries and counting, some visited more than once, often as many as five times. The last two and a half years living in London have been better than I could ever have hoped for. Actually, better make that 38 countries, once we land in Norway.

Fun in Norway
March 2013
Bergen, Norway
March 2013

Pretty as a postcard
Bergen, Norway - March 2013

And so, on to 'Life'. 

I always struggle to think of what to write for my 'Life' blog posts cos I'm one of those people who doesn't want to comment about every little tiny thing that happens in my life. It's what some people use facebook for (and I block most of those people) Who cares?! But I suppose my faithful, dedicated readers are the ones that actually DO care (or else you wouldn't be reading my little blog - I love that you all read it, it brings me such joy!!) and so I should just get on with it and tell you what's been happening in my London world.

Firstly, we did the very grown up thing and moved out to live on our own. Living in a sharehouse with a total of nine people sounds like a lot (and it is) but we definitely had some fun times. Parties, table tennis, watching Formula 1, house dinners... but at the end of the day, we needed our space, B needed to be closer to work and I needed my own kitchen. We moved to the 'burbs. As in, no tube line... that's a pretty big deal. It's not the prettiest suburb but it's got four supermarkets within walking distance (my fellow Londoners will understand how impressive this is) it's cut B's commute down from an hour forty each way to just under 30minutes and we can live in an apartment, not a studio apartment and not just a room in a big people filled house. Bliss! Well, it's hardly bliss but our little grown up apartment gives me my own kitchen to cook away happily in and a WHOLE FRIDGE AND FREEZER! The 'one shelf per person rule' in our sharehouse made me an expert at fridge-tetris, learning to strategically stack food in such a way that meant if B ever took something out, he often couldn't get it back in. Having a whole fridge could quite possibly be the highlight of our married-nest. How easily pleased am I?

Bedside at our new pad

New apron for my new kitchen

My beautiful bowls can finally be used

My gorgeous rug from Morocco

And then came January. The month all Brits hate. Like, seriously hate. It makes me sad when people hate on my birthday month. It's not THAT bad... but in London, it really is! You get up in the dark, go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. It's cold, wet and raining all the time. People give up alcohol cos they're 'detoxing'. A word of advice. Don't detox in England in January. It's miserable enough as it is. Don't take away the alcohol and make it even worse.

And so I like to think of my birthday as a personal gift to my family and friends to NOT give up alcohol as they have to celebrate the day of my birth and you can't do that justice if you're sober (unless you're my sister L who doesn't drink cos it doesn't agree with her. I feel like this is such an injustice for her cos the rest of our family definitely know how to enjoy the drink. Responsibly though. Always responsibly). And so I turned 28 this year. Surprisingly, this turn of events didn't bother me so much. Twenty-seven really freaked me out but 28 felt pretty good. I had to spend my day at work but my gorgeous work girls made my day so much fun with great presents (thank you G!) and my favourite cake, Victoria sponge, baked by F... I was so touched! How can you not love birthday's when people put that much love and effort into it? I shouldn't forget all the other people who made my day so happy. My husband who offered to make me breakfast in bed when I woke up, showered me in presents and bought me endless more presents when we visited Marrakech. My family and friends from all over the world who sent me messages, emails, cards, presents and phone calls. I felt the love! Thank you!

Family and friends make birthdays the best
January 2013

Presents, cake and mail from across the world
January 2013

I ended my working day with champagne at the Pearl Bar (so posh!) with J, followed by an awesome dinner with B, J & L with the surprise addition of two of my lovely friends G and K. They all joined me for the hugest pile of presents I think I've ever received plus the tasty delights of wicked burgers, deep fried pickles and all kinds of other foodie goodness (see my last blog post 'It's time to eat' for more, I won't bore you by salivating over it yet again). And so, I have come to the conclusion that birthday's are awesome because what's not to love about cake, family, friends, food and presents?!

Champagne at Pearl Bar
January 2013
YUM! Salted caramel cheesecake. My
birthday cake, made by lovely J... in March.
Better late than never!

From birthday's to name changes. I'm sure you all know by now that I recently married my long time love and decided to take his last name (giving me an awesome new name, the same as the alcohol superstore in Australia). It all seems pretty standard right? Well, not if you're my bank who requires you to change your name with them not once but FOUR times. Apparently none of their databases match up so it's a real joy when you're online account is different to your regular account so it locks you out. It's also fun trying to change your passport. Cos apparently, already having a current, valid Australian passport means nothing and you need your original birth certificate (located in a bank vault on the opposite side of the world) to prove who you are. Ah, how whiney do I sound? Ask me in a week when it's all over and I'll tell you it wasn't that bad. If you'd asked me a month ago, I'd have said it was the biggest inconvenience ever! I know, I'm so dramatic.

This wouldn't be a proper post about London life if I didn't have a whinge about the weather. Living in London with dreadful weather for much of the year means there's a fair amount of germs floating around. There's always someone who's sick at work so it was inevitable that I would get sick at some point too. It just so happened to be when we spent the weekend in Dublin, Ireland. I had managed to convince myself that Guinness was going to cure all my ailments and that everything would be happy and healthy once more. And so after two massive nights, the first ending at 2am, and the next spent hanging with my lovely Irish friend M and her fiance, resulting in a 3am bedtime, I am here to tell you that Guinness in not good for colds and does not contain the nutritional value my body so dearly needed. It also resulted in a new rule being enforced in our house. No Guinness after midnight. Guinness is not a good idea in the wee hours of the morning. Lesson learnt. I wonder how long that will last...

Ugh... bleak London weather
January 2013

Despite what I say, the Guinness
was delicious, just not nutritious
Dublin, Ireland - Feb 2013
Brrrr!! Icy!
March 2013

So that's it for this blog post. Next month I will go back to my usual set up of a bit about life, some stuff on love, the fun adventures of travel and probably mostly banging on about food. As a side note, I'm yet to have confirmation that my lovely husband actually reads my blog so I'm going to see if my asking (please note, I said asking, not nagging) has paid off and see if he tells me he's finally read it after seeing this. I'll let you know the result next post!

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