19 days

..until Christmas!

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hello! did my title freak you out a little? just maybe? how is the christmas shopping going?

the christmas spirit is well and truly alive in our house. we put our christmas tree up on the 29th (first time ever in november!) and it is as pretty as a picture. we also have stunning spiky star ornaments in the entrance way, and new fairy lights in the outside area, plus our wonderful fabric advent calendar.

i’ve been working full time this week! it feels good being back into the swing of things and i’m enjoying the work i’ve been doing. plus it’s comforting finally having some money finally entering my bank account instead of just leaving it – paying rent on our flat in dunedin until 31 Dec is no joke.

my hair is getting longer hallelujah, and some careful application of fake tan has me a pale golden, so i’m feeling good at life. i’m also trying to eat better which is much easier a) at home and b ) in summer, with all the beautiful fruits and vegetables in season right now.

reading: just finished Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and The Vacationers by Emma Straub. Mindy is just so great! i adore her (though danny on the mindy project is starting to stress me out!) The Vacationers i would give maybe a 3.5 star? not a book i would recommend shouting from the rooftops, but one i enjoyed reading on our visit to corsair bay the other week. need to get back to the library for some more books!

cooking: lots of salads from the ripe books – the two in the picture are gado gado and autumn brown rice. both delicious!

making: a book of my university experience! i just bought an art notebook with unlined pages and went to town. I was inspired by this book and this lady. here is a sample page! (except now i’m having second thoughts about the bagel decision – kiki beware does a sensational veggie bagel and bacon buttie bagel … qualms!)

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i just wanted something that was not a photo album and that recorded all the little details i would be likely to forget about my daily life for three years as a student in dunedin. having it pretty and funny (at least to me, low standards remember) was an added bonus! there are way more pages, so i can just keep adding to it as i think of more things to include. a lovely creative project for my last week or so of holiday.

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lately

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how does that saying go, if you need something done ask a busy person to do it?

sounds about right: i’ve been the opposite of busy these last ten days and needless to say, i haven’t accomplished much. sorting my bedroom out, working on my CV and some application details for next year is as far as i’ve got.

i had grand plans of making a marvellous photo book of my three years at university, writing my sweet friends darling letters and doing masses of language study – but not enough time has passed for me to truly miss dunedin or have massive deep meaningful things to write in letters to my friends, and as for the last item, well i guess the fact that there are no deadlines or tests coming up for either language means i’m just not motivated to study them.

what, then, have i been up to? besides sitting on the couch and drinking coffee, that is…

running – verry determined to keep fit over the summer and managing to so far! it helps that christchurch truly is a gorgeous place to run around – the moniker ‘the garden city’ is very apt. trees line the streets and the new green leaves simply glow in the sunlight!

reading – always a treat to get back to fictional books after a long year of heavy textbook readings. i’ve read we are all completely beside ourselves (good) the girl in the spiders web (masterful) someday someday maybe (average) and currently alternating my time between bad samaritans (a book about economic development my dad’s lent me) and the world to come (a queer little story, reminiscent of a history of love, which i’m enjoying, but feel like it is to be read slowly and not in one sitting).

cooking – dinner for the family! adoring the beautiful asparagus and new potatoes the season has brought us. promise to bring you a fun healthy recipe soon – we have the cookbook plenty which i’m dying to make something from.

checking out christchurch cafés – trip to addington the other day which was lovely as always. we also went to laneway espresso yesterday and the caravan the dukes of sandwich, to celebrate my sister being 5 exams down! i had the most insane sandwich – strips of smoky, charcoal-y pork belly with an apple slaw, homemade gooey bbq sauce, salad and ciabatta bun – and for only $12!

back to work soon, so of course once that begins i’ll start doing much more exciting things in my free time! i’m already excited for christmas and my mum and i have been plotting the dessert we’ll contribute – we saw a stunning trifle recipe which might just pop up on the christmas table (maybe i’ll do a trial run so i can blog about it). only 35 days to go!

ps – while this has been an upbeat blog post, i just wanted to add that my heart has been very heavy with all the loss and sadness in the news lately. paris, beirut, the syrian refugees, the passing of beloved jonah lomu, and many more tragedies have meant that having my eyes well with tears while reading the news has been a daily occurrence. sending all my love to all those who are hurting around the world.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it… always.” – Mahatma Gandhi

taking stock

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Learning: the french passé simple tense, at least 3 years later than i ought to have (such a weird mix of simple and convoluted – which i suppose is true for any language!)
Cooking: sausage casserole for flat dinner tonight! sounds awful, but is supreme comfort food.
Drinking: too much coffee, always.
Reading: short stories by Albert Camus, in french (can you tell that my french exam is coming up?)
Wanting: exams to be over but simultaneously to go on forever, because end of exams = end of dunedin!
Enjoying: spending time with my sweet dunedin friends.
Wondering: what my life next year will be like.
Listening: to Adele’s new song on repeat.
Loving: all the fun activities we’ve been doing to complete our dunedin bucket list.
Hoping: for wonderful weather this summer.
Eating: blue cheese on crackers with my grandma’s homemade quince paste – so glad i have learned to love blue cheese. now for red wine..
Smelling: the jo malone samples i’ve been spritzing (wood smoke and sea salt, mm)
Wearing: cozy flannel pyjamas that it will soon be too warm to wear to bed.
Watching: the final season of Downton Abbey, ah!
Noticing: the last of the blossoms around campus
Knowing: that my days as a scarfie will be over very quickly
Thinking: about my twenty years of life so far, and what the next twenty will look like
Laughing: a lot about the silliest things
Feeling: so very blessed.