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October 9, 2017


The main reason we had Vienna on our itinerary was that it was close to Budapest, and we'd never been, so why not. Again, having no expectations, I was surprised at how much I liked it. It's a lovely city - very refined, yet still laid back. It was also nice to return to a Latin alphabet, despite having about ten words of German between the two of us. And here, I finally realised what a summer tourist crowd means in Europe. Russia had about the same number of tourists as western Europe has in the winter - but here, it was so crowded we could barely move in the Old Town.

October 1, 2017

Recent buys

Things I have recently spent money on that cost more than $10 and not food (which is where most of my income actually goes).

The perfect chambray shirt from Levis. I was really disliking the one I already owned, and had been looking for a replacement for a few months. I nabbed it on sale at Myer (for 50% off) after stalking it online for a few weeks. It's 100% Tencel (lyocell) which I thought would be too smooth and drapey (like rayon), but it actually feels quite substantial - kind of like very worn in denim. I'm super pleased with it.

Some prints I bought on my trip - the left from a children's store in Szentendre, Hungary, and the right a Degas print from the Hermitage in St Petersburg. I'm moving out soon, hence the sudden interest in wall decorations.

A belt from Urban Outfitters in Edinburgh. I'd been looking for a black leather jean belt with a brass buckle for ages, and I finally managed to find the exact one I was envisioning. Funnily enough I haven't even worn it out yet. Maybe I didn't need it as much as I thought. Oops.

The most expensive of all - a new stethoscope, which was $300. I'd "lost" my old one, which had been the cheapest in the range, so I jumped on the excuse to get a better one. My old steth ended up finding its way back to me, but this one was so worth it. I can actually hear breath sounds and murmurs properly now. I'm basic, so I got it in all black (the one people get to feel cool but in reality every second person has it) with my name engraved.

September 27, 2017

St Petersburg

I'd heard a lot about how beautiful St Petersburg is so I was quite excited to visit. As usual when my expectations are high, I was slightly disappointed (it's probably not a fair assessment of the city though - I came down with travellers diarrhoea here, which marred my experience). Compared to Moscow, it's much more compact - it has a defined centre and old town, which we didn't really leave - and the architecture is much more western European. Peter the Great, who founded it, loved all things European and drew inspiration from places like Amsterdam. Possibly because I've been to several western European cities, I didn't find it overly special. I can still see why people visit, and it's definitely much more touristed than Moscow, with a lot of people visiting it as part of a Baltic Sea cruise or tour. I also noticed that people here are a bit more arty and hipster, as opposed to Moscow's glam.

September 24, 2017


Last weekend I went to Rookwood Cemetery to check out Hidden, a sculpture exhibition. If you remember, I went last year and absolutely loved it. It wasn't as good this year unfortunately, but I still liked the setting.