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December 28, 2015

2015

2015 was an unexpectedly good year. I had low expectations for it - I was starting my clinical rotations after a year of research, I was going to have to start hitting the books again, and odd-numbered years have always been dodgy for me, in general.


Surprisingly, though, I ended up having more fun than I'd planned...


I went to the two Asian Cup games in Sydney - my first football matches, and it was great fun.


A roadtrip down to Bateman's Bay with Wai Lam in the Easter break.


Celebrated a birthday at the Cheese and Wine room (still need to go again!).


Survived a rural term up on the North Coast, and took a day trip to Byron Bay.


Vivid, a yearly tradition.


Ended up really enjoying my clinical placements. I feel like I have a better sense of direction for what I want to do in the future. Plus, I learned a lot, which is a satisfying feeling.


I didn't let studying take over my life this year. I still went out and saw my friends and took afternoons off to nap. Could I have scraped another ten marks in the exams if I hadn't? Probably, but I would've been miserable.


Went to BEAMS festival, which was fun.


Cronulla Beach for what would turn out to be the only beach day of the season.


Rosie the Riveter for Halloween.

And the reason why this post ends at the end of October is because I've written this in mid-November, procrastinating studying. When this is published, I would've finished my exams, got on a plane to Tanzania two days later, and (if all has gone to plan) should be in Cairo! I'll let you know how my December went when I'm reunited with my laptop next month.

I hope everyone's having an amazing holiday season. Happy New Year, and see you in 2016!

This is a scheduled post. I'm currently overseas and reading your comments via email, but won't be able to reply. If you have any burning questions, you can email me.

December 22, 2015

San Francisco ii

More photos from San Francisco last December (a year ago!). First part here.


December 15, 2015

San Francisco i

San Francisco, and last of the posts from my trip in December last year. This was the last stop on our trip. I'd never been to SF before, but my friends all had glowing reviews of it. I really like the city as well, I can see the appeal. It reminds me of a mix of NYC and Sydney, it's got an impressive big city feel but still laid back.


December 9, 2015

Winter reading roundup


I haven't done a book post in a while! Here are a few books I've read since that last post, over the tail end of winter and spring. No particular theme to the books this time, a pretty mixed bag.

The Tortall universe books by Tamora Pierce. I was obsessed with these fantasy books when I was ten, I don't know what made me think of them again but I did a massive binge on most of them. My favourite series are the Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small series (women kicking ass in male dominated fields, literally), but I have a soft spot for the Immortals books as they were the first I read, all those years ago. It's interesting to re-read a series you read when you were younger. The plots don't seem as intricate and intriguing anymore, but I'm able to pick up on the the political and gender issues which I missed when I read them in year five.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. This was nominated for the Man Booker Prize this year, and I've seen it mentioned on a few blogs. It's a massive book, and definitely an experience to read. It traces the lives of four friends but focuses on Jude, whose past is slowly revealed throughout the book. It's dark and heartbreaking, the subjects it touches on are really upsetting and confronting. I don't know if "enjoyed" is the right word to use with this book, it was engrossing and I'm glad I read it, but I don't know if I'd read it again.

A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. A re-read, I've had this book on my shelf for a couple of years. I guess most people would know the premise - it examines gender and the role of women in the context of a dystopian society. Again, since I last read it, I've been able to pick up more of the nuances. It's a good story in itself, but I would understand if the style isn't to everyone's liking.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith. I've been a big fan of JK Rowling's detective series so far. This book felt a little bit different to me, I think I prefer the first two books. The twist was a bit of a let down, but once I re-read it I could kind of appreciate the clues she had left. I got invested in the characters during the previous books so it was interesting to see the relationship develop over this book (I don't really like where it's going, though).

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Again another re-read from a few years back. There's a really good film adaptation of this book as well. This is a really charming coming of age story, funny but sad at parts. It's about a family who lives in poverty in a castle in 1930s England, from the point of view of teenager Cassandra, one of the daughters. Initially I loved the voice it was written in, but she started grating on me towards the end of the book... but I'd still recommend it!

This is a scheduled post, I'm currently overseas. I'm reading your comments via email, but won't be able to reply immediately.

December 1, 2015

Sydney summers

Let's be real, if I had to spend the entire summer in Sydney I'd complain. But because this will be the first time I'm spending the entire summer away, I'm feeling a little nostalgic. Here are a few of my favourite photos from the summers that I've blogged - involving picnics, Sydney Harbour on warm evenings, summer golden hours, the beach, Christmas decorations which clash with summer weather, and eating ourselves sick.


Picnic in the Botanical Gardens.


Martin Place Christmas tree.


View from Observatory Hill.


Picnic at a nature reserve.


Glebe Markets.


Bondi Beach.


La Renaissance Patisserie.


Chicken and waffles at Jazz City Diner.


QVB.


Pop-up bar at the Opera House.


Bookstore/cafe across from Glebe Markets.


In Guylian Cafe.


View from the bridge.


Sunset over Darling Harbour.


Valentine's Day picnic.

When I first started doing more travelling at the beginning of uni, I complained a lot about how boring Sydney felt in comparison. But funnily enough, the more places I visit, the more I appreciate my hometown. I love exploring new cities, but in the end I'm most comfortable with a sense of familiarity. Wait for me, Sydney!

This is a scheduled post. I'm currently overseas and reading your comments via email, but won't be able to reply. If you have any burning questions, you can email me.

November 20, 2015

Freedom

Exam done and dusted! Phew. I can't believe that was a year's studying for 30 minutes' worth of questions. Anyway, after an exam I like to go into the city, get an unhealthy lunch and do some window shopping.


What I wore. It was a face to face exam, which is why I had to dress somewhat smartly (also I need proper armour if I'm going to be grilled mercilessly on brain anatomy). Mirrors courtesy of H&M (didn't end up buying anything).


Martin Place Christmas tree. It was blazing hot today.


I went to Starbucks and treated myself to a peppermint mocha frappuccino, and did a bit of reading without the cloud of I-should-be-studying-right-now hanging over my head. Felt good.

This is the last post from real-time me until January! I'm off in two days and won't get onto a computer until I'm in Europe, but I've got a bunch of posts queued up. Have an amazing December!

November 13, 2015

Seven Wonders of (the parts of) the World (I've been to)

You've probably heard of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, in addition to a bunch of other lists of wonders with various methods of categorisation. In trying to come up with reasons to re-post my old favourite photos, I've decided on my own list of seven wonders; places which photos and words don't do justice.


1. The roadtrip to Milford Sound. Milford Sound itself is amazing, and has been described as another wonder of the world, but the road there from Te Anau is almost as good.


2. The view of NYC from above. I was expecting it to be good, but I was totally blown away the first time I saw this view from the Top of the Rock. The sheer density of Manhattan is crazy.


3. Charles Bridge at sunrise. We thought crossing this bridge on the way to Prague Castle was going to take about thirty seconds, but we ended up bouncing off the walls here for about half an hour.


4. Iguassu Falls. The Brazilian side, sorry Argentina! You don't even need to look at it, you can just close your eyes and soak up the mist and feel the energy.


5. The Great Wall of China. It runs up into the hills and off to the distance, and I only visited this one section. I can't wrap my head how around how they built this.


6. Christ the Redeemer. This is the view from Sugarloaf but I mean the statue itself. I just love how it sits up in the mountains, looking over the city.


7. Whitehaven Beach. The water is ridiculously clear and the sand is ridiculously fine. The rest of the Whitsundays isn't bad, either.

November 10, 2015

Wardrobe leftovers

I've been procrasti-packing instead of studying, and with all those clothes clean and folded and ready to go, I've been wearing what I can from what I'm not packing. Luckily I haven't been seeing anyone I know so I've just been repeating outfits to run errands and "study" in cafes.



ASOS tshirt / Jeans West jeans / Evolution tote bag / Saltwater sandals.

When you feel happy about your outfit all day, come home, take photos of it, edit the photos, upload them, write the post, and then you realise it's the most basic outfit in the world... Whatever! Someone complimented those sandals today. Also showing these jeans some love after being in a black jeans mood all winter.

November 6, 2015

Out of patience



Trying to keep the nose to the grindstone now that exams are two weeks away, but I've been distracted trying to get myself organised for the trip (that I'm leaving for two days post-exams. Great planning, Jane). This morning I had to sort out my UK visa, which, by the combination of annoying bureaucracy and my own stupidity has been insanely stressful and expensive. After that, I put in a good two hours of cosy studying in Starbucks, which has started its Christmas drinks (I'm a sucker for a peppermint mocha frappuccino). I've been spending a lot of money on coffee, because studying in cafes is the only way I can get myself to focus (bar the occasional people-watching distraction).

It's taken me an hour to try and put this post together, because technology has been failing me at every stage (from phone to editing to uploading). So now I'm going to go to bed a very grumpy person!

November 2, 2015

Dressed up, nowhere to go

Happy Halloween! Halloween isn't big in Australia like the US (no one really trick-or-treats) but it does kind of exist in the general consciousness and clubs/bars do have themed events here. We didn't aim to go to any, so we just had a usual catch-up (roaming the city and eating), vaguely in costume.


We ate dinner at El Loco, where they were giving out temporary tattoos.


I was Rosie the Riveter. I spent ages trying to tie the bandana properly but I gave up in the end.


I got my customary beef taco and a quesadilla (always hits the spot).


We then walked into the city, with Wai Lam suggesting that we go to Chinatown to get these custard puff things which apparently everyone loves.


She'd painted Van Gough's Starry Night over her face!


Mel's effort.


These were okay I guess. Kind of like puffy pancakes with a tiny bit of custard in the middle (I was told there usually is more). They'd be a good snack with a coffee (and pretty cheap too - 15 for $4 I think it was).


Rosie and Harry.


The others had a hankering for Aqua S. I got the blood orange and sea salt. Wai Lam continues getting the fairy floss, even though it never fails to melt off halfway through.

I feel like Halloween's getting more popular here. Maybe a party next year? And I'll dress as something properly scary.