The Next Adventure: London Baby!

In less than two weeks I will be off to London.

The Balcony Garden has been disassembled, and plants distributed to various family gardens. I am surrounded by boxes, and have a very long To Do list. It’s all very exciting.

I have visions of writing about my new adventures here, in this blog. For those of you who know me well, those adventures are likely to involve getting lost, tripping over my own feet and spilling red wine at inappropriate moments. If this sounds like something you are interested in hearing about – you can follow this blog by subscribing to receive email updates, or by following the blog page on Facebook, or me on Twitter.

I will try to squeeze in some hill scaling and exotic weekends away to keep it interesting.

London, here we come…

London-Wi-Fi-Phone-Booth--39554

Sydney: My Beautiful City

At 5pm tonight in North Sydney, a storm was brewing. Thunder was roaring, lightening was flashing across the sky – people were madly running for shelter, umbrellas blowing inside out in the chaos.

I wasn’t sure this was a good night to be going for a walk.

Continue reading

Rainy Adventures

I’ve been out with my backpack, trekking around in the rain.

And I mean serious, Sydney rain. I got really wet. It was awesome. The sweat was mixing with the rain and running down my face into my mouth. My hair was well wet. And the exercises on the cut grass, in between hills, got me nice and filthy.

Continue reading

Indira, I Do

I was inspired, earlier this year, by Indira Naidoo. Not, as you might think, to become an awesome writer or journalist (which would make sense, because she is awesome at these things), but – to make a salad made from plants on my balcony.

Some wonderful friends gave me a copy of Indira’s book, The Edible Balcony. The title of which, when you first hear it, makes you think (or at least makes me think) of the Homer Simpson episode where he dreams of the land of chocolate, and everything, including the houses – and balconies one would expect – are made from chocolate. This is not the kind of edible balcony we are talking about here.

Indira’s book is about growing food on your balcony. When I got the book, I’d dabbled in a little herbal growing. You know, basil from the fruit shop, and a bit of mint. The idea that I could grow actual veggies and stuff, well – that was kinda cool. It seemed especially cool after throwing out yet another fridge full of soggy week old green stuff, that had once resembled vegetables, but now looked like it came from another planet. There must be a better way.

So I decided I should take Indira’s advice:

You Grow Girl

I would grow my own.

I started with some seedlings, and lettuce – and for a many months now I have been able to make my salad for work each, day purely from the spoils of my balcony. Not only is it saving me money, it tastes awesome! And I’m sure it’s healthier. How much fresher can you get, picked that morning to eat a few hours later?

With Spring here, I decided the Balcony Garden needed a re-vamp. I’m pretty pleased with the efforts.

full balcony

My new thing – growing from seed (no – they are not just pots of dirt, there are seeds in there). My thinking is – its cheaper (seeds are really cheap), and I’ll get more plants for my money. The only problem is, its also slower, so I might have to top up my greens from the store in the meantime. Mmm.

There is something enormously satisfying about eating something you have grown yourself. But somehow it is even better to sit on your balcony, sipping a coffee, surrounded by your own little mini-farm. Its amazing what a few plants can do to a space.

leftcorner

Ten minutes spent watering my plants is a very peaceful, meditative start to the day.

I’ve grown to love it.

corner

Climbing Thursday

I think Thursdays might be becoming my favourite night of the week.

Indoor rock climbing after work, with good folk. Home in time for a summer dessert treat (Frosty Fruit is the current favourite), a little Star Trek, warm shower – and finishing up with some good Deep Heat action.

The thing is, nothing really beats a little natural adrenaline – well not for me anyway. Some people’s buzz of choice is substance induced, drugs or alcohol*, for others its the endorphins from a long run, swim or bike ride. Some even get a buzz from buying new stuff. Or dosing up on sugar. But for me – I need a little fear.

I love travelling. But what I really love, is the buzz of walking out into a city I’ve never been to before. The thrill of being somewhere completely foreign, where you can’t even understand what is being spoken, or read the street signs. The excitement of finding out what is around the corner, a corner you’ve never seen before.

It is scary. What you find is not always good. Its not always interesting. But its new.

I love the scary.

Indoor rock climbing is pretty tame as far as adventures are concerned. You are inside for one thing. You don’t even have to worry about the weather. You are strapped in and safe. You have to try pretty hard to really hurt yourself.

But you are climbing up a wall. And there is something instinctive about being 20 feet off the ground that gets the heart racing. Throw in a few overhangs, the feeling of your foot slipping – hanging from one arm trying desperately to reach the next hold… and you have it. That natural little adrenaline rush, that makes you know you’re alive.

And it doesn’t give you a hangover, or make you fat, or hurt your budget.

In fact, its kind of good for you. Works the muscles and all that. And thinking through a climb is kind of like doing a puzzle with your body. Good for the brain.

Thursdays. The day before Friday, with a little adrenaline thrown in.

 

*Ok – I’m a little partial to the alcohol. Just a little.

Classic Spanish

As it turns out, nothing really comes past a Classic Spanish.

You can try all the non-food rewards you like. But at the end of the day, a Classic Spanish is… the best. Better than mojitos, better than Sav Blanc. Its the awesome, pleasure inducing treat that tops them all.

I’ve been thinking about it all day. And I decided to wait – it was Friday night, I would wait, and have my wine, and tapas, and good chats with my friends, and wine. All awesome, good, Friday night stuff. I did all this, but still it was on my mind.

The Classic Spanish.

So – after Book Club, after the awesome walking chats and wines, I headed over to the chocolate cafe and… bliss.

Hot, melted chocolate with cream on top. The feel of it is still fresh on my tongue, the taste lingering in my mouth.

Have you ever known such pleasure? It was worth waiting the week to get to. Worth walking for hours with my pack on my back.

The Classic Spanish. Pure pleasure.

Classic Spanish

I think I’m addicted to Deep Heat

As I am writing this, I am enjoying a warm comforting glow, spreading across my hips. It is truly sensational.

I have been searching for years for a non-food* reward. You know how it is – you go out, do all that good exercise stuff – and then you are starving! And you think – I deserve a little reward… and the best reward is, well food. Or more precisely chocolate.

I’ve found something better. Yes – even better than chocolate.

Deep HeatIt is so good. So good that I think I am addicted to the cosy warmness. The comforting, relaxing, gooey heat, spreading across my tired (and so deserving) muscles, oozing, creeping gently…

Ok. You get the picture. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. You’ll sleep like a baby.

And the best thing is – its not food (actually, it would be a really bad idea to eat it – don’t do that). So technically its guilt free.

At least until someone tells me why its bad for me in some way. Please don’t do that.

Let me wallow in the Deep Heat after glow just a little while longer.

*Blueberries don’t count. Promise.