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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.