Well I for one was feeling rested and relaxed following our lovely three day sojourn down south to Quindalup over the long weekend … that is, until around 6:30 am this morning, when I checked in at work, processed the weekend’s emails and wrote out a list of the day’s tasks. At work, I make sub-lists of my ‘master’ to do list, sometimes on a daily, weekly or several-hourly basis. The busier I become, the more lists I make, and the more neurotically neat and tidy my desk becomes. I make piles of papers, paperclip them together, and then arrange them in neat rows. I set myself colour-coded calendar reminders to think of things, to complete tasks, to follow up, to prepare, to telephone, to meet, to collect. I check, recheck and then check again every email recipient, sentence, calculation and piece of advice. It seems the more that my brain is working through, the less it can process outside of those urgent tasks and the more my organisational skills kick into gear to see me through to a calmer period. Not long now, until the end of the month, the end of a series of back-to-back major tasks, the beginning of a new professional year and a time to reflect, learn and plan again for the future.
Images taken down south, by me and my love.
Working … like, a lot. March review month, I can’t wait until I have kicked you to the curb, along with your KPIs and silly deadline friends.
Looking … at our professional wedding photos over and over again, seeing new details and expressions each time I do. I don’t think enough time has passed for me to look at the images objectively, without remembering the surge of emotion that goes with them still. Michelle Kiddie, you were a beautiful, calm presence on the day, for which we will be always grateful.
Prettying … up our spare room (now finally cleared of wedding paraphernalia) with a dotty doona cover and some pom pom cushions from Castle. I would add pom poms (and dots for that matter) to everything right now if I could.
Eating … black cod miso and wagyu tacos at Nobu. One of my bridesmaids, Rebecca, very thoughtfully gifted us with a voucher for our wedding, which we decided to put toward a first month anniversary dinner. I didn’t love the decor but we both dug the food and the service was exceptional.
Browsing … a couple of lovely new blogs I have got my mitts on, Miss Moss and Amber Interiors. At least they are (generally) non-wedding-specific, which is progress for this nuptial-addled brain of mine. Anyone I (even vaguely) know to be getting wed in the next year is probably sick of my creepy fascination with all of their wedding stories. Must learn to compose myself.
Last month I had to travel a couple of times for work, most recently to Sydney and also to China. It was my second trip to China (the first, last year, also for work). This time around was a lot less overwhelming for me, a lot warmer (we were last there during winter), and a lot prettier than I remember it.
We travelled to Guangzhou, in the humid Guangdong province of southern China, and then went by car to Zhongshan. During this trip, we also drove around to Shenzhen, and then crossed the border by car into Hong Kong before flying home from there. A couple of the pictures below show how tropical and green China can be in parts (away from the more dense industrial zones), something that surprised me. My memories of my first trip were of a chilly, grey and thickly polluted city that felt very foreign and far from home. I felt more aware of my surroundings this time around (I guess you always pick up new things when revisiting a place) and more comfortable with my knowledge of local culture and customs.
Contrary to what is implied by the photo of the caged snakes above, we ate really well at most of the places we were taken to while in China. The Guangdong province is known for seafood and mild flavours, and I really enjoyed the whole steamed fish, dumplings and gelatinous desserts especially. And yes, that is the minibar menu from my hotel room, which offered the option of purchasing paper underpants (in female and male versions, helpfully).
Loving … anything Royal Baby George. Princess Kate, I liked you before, I kind of love you now.
Lemming … Jennifer Behr‘s beautiful Gatsby-esque hair accessories (above), made by hand in New York City.
Eating … cauliflower and roast vegetable salads for lunch and fresh loaves of rye bread at home from Small Print Bakery & Roastery (and trying not to notice any of the home made caramel slices, misshapen muffins and banana bread that gets casually placed right near the cash register. And sharing good Italian food with friends last night at La Lola.
Looking … forward to half of a weekend with Mike, before taking off for Sydney on Sunday morning (mainly for work, but I am also on the hunt for a pair of wedding shoes).
I know it’s more important to be healthy and active, but is it so bad that I hope this little gym escapade will produce some visible results? I have to admit, over the past month or so of becoming a 3-4 times a week gym person (what?), I do feel stronger and I have significantly more energy. I also don’t feel like I’m putting my body under strain by climbing up a flight of stairs at the train station anymore (which literally used to happen, and which is completely wrong for a 28-year-old woman with no known medical problems).
I’ve enlisted a couple of colleagues at work to keep me away from the snack box and the inevitable birthday/child’s birthday/anniversary/I-made-too-much cake that usually floats dangerously near to my desk. I’ve also cleared out my personal snack area and replaced said unacceptable snacks with exotic-smelling herbal teas and less-than-500kj Weight Watchers bars.
After only a month, this new regime has me generally feeling a lot better about myself and the way I treat my body. Although Mike will wholeheartedly vouch for the fact that I haven’t curbed my potato chips addiction on weekends and I find it increasingly difficult walking past the Nutella aisle at the supermarket. Sigh. You have to live a little, no?
What is becoming of me – I am posting pot plant pictures on my blog? I am a garden person? It seems so. In recent weeks, Mike and I have been cultivating a little kitchen garden in the back courtyard, complete with dill, parsley, coriander, basil and chilli, as well as a lemonade lemon and a potted magnolia (which is not for the kitchen, but is beautiful nonetheless). It is so handy having fresh, often-used herbs on hand in our back garden, and all the greenery has warmed up the little outdoor space. I’ve got grand plans for more courtyard landscaping in the future (but not all at once, who knew that gardening is expensive?).
Long in advance, I had planned to take a day of leave today which, with the public holiday yesterday, has meant a lovely (super) long weekend. And just in time, following a particularly stressful couple of working weeks. Highlights of the weekend so far have included Anzac Day breakfast at Hobart Deli (below), a few more wedding tasks ticked off the list, a playful afternoon with my nieces Emily and Lucy, a great gym session (what?) and a little Friday night dinner at Burgermeister (I die for their peanut butter choc shakes). Looking forward to what the next half of this weekend holds.
Loving … having a new house mate (who also happens to be my fiancé). Fiancés make the best house mates.
Dreaming … of the Easter long weekend, and all of the sleep-ins, warm lazy days and chocolate bunnies.
Enjoying … spending time with this little one, my newest niece, baby Emmy.
Getting … used to 5:30 am wake-up calls and super early starts at work. Moving my day forward a little means an earlier finish and a lot more productivity. I should have thought of this years ago.
Eating … prawn bruschetta and merry berry smoothie at the Naked Fig while watching the waves roll in with my lovely friend Janie. We are so lucky to live where we live, Perth is beautiful.