Helen goes to Morocco Day 5 – Akchour & Chefchaouen

My 34th birthday, the first of if I recall correctly, 4 birthdays on the trip, or maybe it was 3. I received a lovely card from the group and enjoyed Happy Birthday being sung to me when I walked into breakfast (in English) and then also again on the bus (in English and then in Arabic as well). Today much to the delight of the group at the start of the day, today we had decent little walked planned, of about 10-15km. Like many things in life, what is planned and what happens do not always align and accepting this fact makes living life a lot easier.

Please, click here to continue reading 🙂 “Helen goes to Morocco Day 5 – Akchour & Chefchaouen”

The eve of 33

I’m sitting here on the eve of my 33rd birthday waiting for orange syrup to reduce down before I crawl up in bed to read another chapter of Optimism by Bob Brown. A book that so far at the start of chapter 34 has had me laughing, crying, smiling, sobbing and pondering.

I have pondered many times over the past years, the updates required to this little blog on my little corner of the interwebs. When you no longer update the blog regularly (hello Instagram) should you do big catch up posts on the miscellany that is my life or should I just post random snippets of this life? It then of course all becomes too hard and the number of unpublished drafts increases in numbers and the pages in my various notebooks that contain my thoughts increase. Please, click here to continue reading 🙂 “The eve of 33”

The Hippeastrums say hello



Well I must say I hadn’t planned on it to be over two months between posts but such it is.

In that time uni has been well uni. It’s my last semester and and the two subjects I’m doing are ones that require a lot of brain wrangling.

Textbook pages a flutter


I had a birthday. I’m now 27. Gosh, it’s hard to think that this time ten years ago  I was busy decorating my formal dress, having fun and looking forward the two and a half months I was having going round the world instead of going to schoolies.

Tim tam pikelet stack


The girls at work made my desk into a “winter wonderland” aka filling my drawers and covering my desk with very finely shredded paper and then wrapping it all up in bubble wrap and presenting the above tim-tam wrapped berry and cream pikelet stack to me as my cake.

Bubble wrapped

Mum sent me a bunch of flowers to work which was very nice.

Birthday blooms from Mum

My birthday presents to myself was a tablet (Google Nexus 7) which I love and would be more handy that I imagined in the past few weeks, a pair of new shoes and nose surgery.

Nexus 7

These are my shoes. They’re silver. Oh so pretty. Oh so comfy. They Spin in silver from Ecco.

Shoes, Silver Shoes.


For the last couple of years I’ve pumped drugs up nose on and off in a bid to clear it. I’ve not really smelt or tasted things very well. One reason, why I’m always slightly paranoid about people’s response to the food that I make; does it taste ok? That all came to head earlier this year when I got sinus pain whilst flying. A change of nose drugs didn’t really do much so it was time to consider other options. I had a septoplasty and turbinectomy at the start of the uni mid-semester break.

Gosh, I’m still in recovery and if it wasn’t for those who I’ve spoken to who’ve had the the surgery previously I would seriously be questioning why I undertook it. Imagine a tap on your nose that you can’t turn off and splurts out rubbish down your nasal passage and your throat all day long.   I work in the medical field, I’ve seen, read and heard enough gory surgical tales that 99.9% of it is water off my back. Facial surgery though is that .1% that makes me go argh. I do though get a kick out of the fact though that I can now say I’ve legally used cocaine.  Yep, it’s commonly used during nasal surgery as a local anesthetic.

Roses from work in a Figgjo Flint Lotte jug

Work sent me these lovely pink roses (I can sort of smell them) and no, they didn’t see the irony in sending me roses as they came from head office and not my office. We got a laugh out of it though. I also finally picked up the Figgjo Flint Lotte water jug that I’ve had my eye on for some time.


Bed time

Now it’s time to have a little nap before I venture off to uni this afternoon. I’m not using four pillows anymore but am down to two pillows. The blanket came from the farm, the pillow and sæng cover are from Ikea, love those dots.

And here is another photo from the garden to sign off with. I’m so happy it’s finally raining! Not only to settle the dust so it doesn’t irritate my nose but to water the garden and to give the tank a good fill. Not sure about you but my water tank has been empty for almost two months. A Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) enjoying the Grevillea.


I just about did it.

referring to a declaration I made a little over a year ago. Number 8 in fact.

Halina's birthday cake from me

I made a rainbow cake, not the style of rainbow cake I had planned to make a year or so ago but an easier one both to make and to consume. I used the butter cake recipe from *that birthday cake book*, doubled it, split it in to a number of bowls, added a liberal amount of food dye to each bowl, stirred that food dye in very well, dolloped it into a bundt pan, baked it, covered it in yummy chocolate ganache (the secret to shiny ganache is a little dollop of a plain veggie oil) and then sprinkled gold sugar over the top.

It was well, it was smile material.

In progress shot.
mmmmmm cake

One of the girls at work is a day younger than me, so to celebrate our birthdays we made each other a cake. Oh it was a day of cake last Monday at work.

This is the oh so so so yummy double layer chocolate cake she made me.
My birthday cake from Halina

mmm rainbow cake.

25 things to do before 26

Well I’m most certainly 25 now; I had a lovely weekend, went to Gerties on Saturday night with some friends, had breakfast at Sassafras on Sunday with N and then a browse at the Paddington Antique Centre, where I picked up the most amazing find; a Figgjo Lotte Salt Box/Cellar. I remember when I first saw one of these listed on ebay, I just was awe; the amazing shape, the placement of the designs, the everything. I also remember the price the auction finished, whoa that was some money. The next few times I saw one come up on ebay, the auction finished at similar prices. I can happily say that I picked up mine for a whole lot less.

Isn’t it beautiful? I’m not sure what I will put in it yet but I can assure it won’t be salt.

A lovely birthday find

Yesterday I had a great day. It was a training day at work so no candidates and a chance to have lunch together as a department. I went to the orthodontist and got the news that I’ve been wanting to hear for the last nine months or so, it’s time to go see the prosthodontist, yay! I have an appointment on Oct 5, which will hopefully be an x-ray to confirm root placement and the like and that we can move forward with the implant procedure. Cross your fingers. It’s now week 9 at Uni which is hard to believe, it seems like just yesterday I was looking at my lecture notes for week 1 and thinking it sort of makes sense. I’m really looking forward to next year. When I got home from uni I was presented with the most amazing bunch of red, magenta and orange gerberas from one of my flatmates as belated birthday present. It’s gorgeous, I’ll have to take a photo later.

Now to to the meat of this post. 25 things that I wish to do/complete before I turn 26 next year.

  1. Be finished with orthodontic work.
  2. Challenge myself to take more thoughtful photos.
  3. Ride my bike more.
  4. Get a will.
  5. Get better with my practice of one thing in means one thing out for my belongings.
  6. Spend more time creating.
  7. Print and frame more photos.
  8. Bake a rainbow cake.
  9. Do more study.
  10. Go to the Drive In – hopefully the Wonga one if it re-opens in the next few months.
  11. Go media-free for at least 48hrs.
  12. Make marshmallows and honeycomb.
  13. Be more regular on my blog (gee, that sounds like an All-Bran ad).
  14. Grow my investments.
  15. Reduce the stack of clothes in my mending/alterations stack.
  16. Make my own tea blend.
  17. Make strawberry jam.
  18. Get fresh flowers more often.
  19. Write and comment more.
  20. Grow professionally.
  21. Get my routines started again – planning meals for the week and exercise.
  22. Read some more classics.
  23. Finish my granny square blanket.
  24. Make mulberry crumble or pie from the mulberries in the freezer.
  25. Turn 26

There it is, some things are small, some things not so, some things are little, something things require effort.

And we’ll end off with two books that I’ve been enjoying immensely at the moment. 50/60/70 : Iconic Australian Houses by Karen McCartney and The Iconic House by Dominic Bradbury.

Two of my current books

24.99726 years

Tomorrow I turn 25. As of tomorrow I am most certainly in my mid 20s. 25 it sounds so much more formal than 24.

For everything that the last 364 days have brought me, from the good, the bad, the ugly, the forgettable, the unforgettable, the amazing, the challenging, the one thing that I think will always be a hallmark of my 24th year is of course Pabbi dying. My 25th year starts to unfold tomorrow and as the year passes it will be interesting to see what it brings. I’ve got a number of things I want to complete/accomplish next year but mostly I’m here to live and to make the most whilst doing just that; living life.

and to move away from birthdays but onto happenings of the last week.

For the past week I’ve been literally overdosing on strawberries.
Strawberries ....

I am very pleased to announce that I got 80% for my accounting exam last week, it put me in the top 9% of the class, I aim to improve on that as the semester continues. The exam was Saturday morning and Saturday evening was Riverfire which we watched from a hill in Wooloowin. Oh sigh, we had 3, yes 3 dump and burns this year from the one plane. Oh the F-111 is one special plane.

Dump and Burn

Tonight after work N and I had “dinner” at the 40 Days and 40 Nights of Chocolate Buffet at the Bistro Allure. Oh I’m just recovering from chocolate and sugar overdose. I’ll go again in a couple of weeks with some of the girls from work and I’ve got a game plan worked out. The plan from which I shall not deviate is to get one piece at a time, eat that piece and then go back for more. mmmm chocolate ….

One of the many cases of goodies
Chocolate Buffet at Bistro Allure

N’s plate
Chocolate Buffet at Bistro Allure

My plate
Chocolate Buffet at Bistro Allure

This is one of the adorable presents I got from one of the girls at work today. A mini tea set. The perfect desk accessory for a tea fanatic like myself. I had received the little sugar pot at Easter and was told that I would get the rest of the present for my birthday. Total gold. The best thing is that the tea pot actually pours 🙂

A mini tea set for my birthday