Lately: Hello Long Weekend

We’re in the middle of the last bank holiday weekend until Christmas. We’re chilling out around home after camping at Eweleaze Farm last weekend. Eweleaze is a lovely costal spot just outside of Weymouth. It’s only open during August for the summer and school holidays, outside of that it’s a working farm. It’s a pretty special place. I celebrated my 29th Birthday down there too. Blog post and pics coming soon.

This weekend we have company too. We’re dog sitting a mischievous labradoodle called Scruffy.

Isn’t she cute?! She’s obsessed with chasing balls and finding sticks and loves lots of attention. I think we’ll miss her when she goes home.

20160827_For_Blog_0151It wasn’t practical to take a cake camping with us but I couldn’t go without a cake for my birthday, so this weekend I made myself a birthday cake. My second attempt at Red Velvet cake.. and slightly better than the first, but still not as light and fluffy as it should be.

Tastes good though.. nom!

I spent the day lazing about in the backyard and reading Lonely Planet guides for travel inspiration for next year.

Sigh… so much to see, so little time (& money).

We had a pretty full on week before our road trip down south. Friends visited over the weekend so there was lots of London touristy things to be done.Somerset HouseWe saw the premier of Captain Fantastic at an outdoor screening at Somerset House. A lovely film that highlights the disconnection we have from nature and the amount of wasted time we spend in schools and in front of the TV. There is lots of hilarious moments and lots of really touching ones, too. I definitely recommend checking it out.

We also celebrated our 9 year anniversary at Gaucho- my request. It’s an Argentinian steak house. Ben ordered a marinated fillet steak which was huge and super tasty. But I won the night by ordering a plain rib eye steak. It was perfect, the best steak I have ever eaten. We didn’t take any pictures sadly but it was nice doing something fancy together and chatting the night away.

I have discovered this fantastic new podcast and blog by Emma Ganon, Girl Lost in the City. It says a lot about finding your way online and self-promotion which interests me for blog writing. I also find her social commentary totally on point and I’m getting a heap of book recommendations through following the blog. Also, sign up to the newsletter, she finds some great links on the internet. Seriously you will enjoy it.

Through Girl Lost in City I have discovered Irish author Louise O’Neil and I have just read Only Ever Yours which was fantastic but harrowing. I felt really body conscious after reading it, which is not ideal, but shows how deeply you can identify with the character. I’m now reading Asking For It, which is a story of a girl who goes out to a party one night, and in the morning can’t remember the events of the night before. But they’re all over social media for the world to see and now teachers and police are taking action. Again, not the brightest of subject matters but so important to have these works out there. You can follow Louise on Instagram @oneillou or her blog too.

Hope you’re enjoying the last days of summer, or winter if you’re in the southern hemisphere. I know I will be lapping up all the sunny days I can get before the nights close in and the days get crisper.

 

Lately… Spring, we missed you!

_MG_0821The blog has been hibernating over winter, mainly because we moved flats and it was soooo time consuming. But spring is here, and with it, a new beginning. In a new place, with new people and a whole different perspective on London. I am so excited to explore!

I did manage to fit in a few other things since the New Year too, so here is what I’ve been up to lately…

We are, as of last week, residents of Tufnell Park._MG_0827It’s only been a week but already I’m in love with our new location. It’s a short wander to Kentish Town and all the booze, food and gigs that the area boasts. We have local cafes, butchers and cute little independent shops down the road.  My commute has got quicker and we have a big sunny garden out the back of our flat, the date for our first BBQ has already been set.

These are some of the pastel houses I pass on my walk to the station. It reminds me of the coloured house on the Venetian Island of Burano and never fails to brighten my day.

I found out I may be able to go for indefinite leave to remain this year!! Eeek! This is big. I thought I was only able to get an extension of my defacto spouse visa this year, but it turns out I may qualify to apply for a more permanent settlement visa. It will be a bit more work as I would have to sit a ‘Life in the UK’ test. If I am eligible though, it means that I am quite close to being able to apply for UK citizenship and then a passport which would give Ben and I a few more options in the future if we ever wanted to come back to the UK. I’m getting some advice on it now from an immigration lawyer. Fingers crossed!

20160123_Anna's_baby_shower_cake_0014Friends recently had a gorgeous baby boy, on February 29th to be precise. But before we knew he was going to be a leap baby, or even before we knew he was a he, the girls gathered for an afternoon of onesie decorating, bump measuring and goodies. I took the chance to create my second baby shower cake (here is my first). A baby lamb for the new Kiwi baby.

20160315_Andie's_cards_0809I mentioned in my new year’s resolutions that I collect (hoard) a whole lot of magazines and craft stuff. In an effort to reduce my load before we moved I spent some quiet evenings making these cards and gift tags from all the pictures I had collected. Now to send them.

I was introduced to the wonders of National Theatre Live. Its live screenings of West End or Broadway theatre shows in local cinemas. So you get the best seats in the house, for a fraction of the price. They do one a month, with a few encore screenings after that. So far I have seen Of Mice and Men which James Franco and Chris O’Dowd performed on Broadway and I am hoping to book Hangmen next. It’s a dark comedy that recently showed on the West End. Both only £16 each. So cheap! There is going to be so much more theatre in my future.

Speaking of theatre, a colleague and I recently saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Firstly, I highly recommend the book. I don’t want to give away any main plot features, but it’s a gorgeous tale of a young boy trying to understand the mysteries in his life. I think the narration is done brilliantly and it is such a nice book to read. The play was equally good, it followed the story really closely and really bought it to life. This show features the most tech I have ever seen in a theatre production. The whole stage is effectively a computer screen, but it doesn’t take anything away from the production, as I thought that something like that might. Instead the characters interact with it seamlessly, like any other prop piece. Definitely one to see.

I read Jane Eyre recently too. I wish I had a read it sooner, it is a classic for a reason right? Jane is a kick arse heroine for her time and I completely devoured the book in a matter of days. I’m now wondering what other classics I have been missing out on? Wuthering Heights is next on my list and then maybe some Charles Dickens? Any other recommendations for me?

Old Rope ComedyOh, and let me gush about my new flatmates! I now live with a comedian – we just saw her do a sweet gig as part of the Old Rope new comedy night at The Phoenix; a blogger – check our all her wanderlust inducing travel tips here and an events manager working for a company that manages lots of tourist sites in and around London – we have already had ticket hook ups for Thorpe Park. Thank you all, I will repay you with sooo much cake.