london

15902710_10155767966854199_1210118800_o

London is not for the faint-hearted; it’s big, and scary…and extremely fantastic!

It’s difficult to describe London – the majestic buildings, the double-decker buses, the crowds, the atmosphere. Sure you watch movies, see photos and maybe even read a blog…like mine…but there’s just no comparison to actually witnessing the city in action. And it really is something spectacular.

My London experience began with a bang – an oyster card (kinda like a go-card), an underground tube, angry, pushy businessmen, and a clock that said ‘peak hour’. I think it’s safe to say I definitely got my dose of underground tube experience. But, despite it being scarily packed, the tube got us to where we wanted to be – Oxford Street.

Oxford Street was insane. In both terms; insanely cool and insanely crowded. There were people everywhere, we’re talking hundreds and thousands of people walking the streets, running between cars, and jumping on and off buses. You can hear the buskers, bands and beat-boxers, their music filling the whole space. It’s a place where you can hold your sister’s hand, free of judgement, because everyone understands you don’t want to be swallowed by the mammoth crowds.

And in London, you just can’t seem to escape the crowds.

Buckingham Palace was next on our agenda, and it was grand! By chance, at 11 o’clock, we stumbled across the Palace and got to witness the changing of the guard. I must say, it was my favourite part of London – the chitter-chatter of excited tourists, the cold breeze, the policemen on horses, the marching band…it was extravagant.

And the extravagance continued. For a few hours I got to experience what it was like strolling through a fairytale. Winter Wonderland, you were magical; the fairy lights, the golden merry-go-round, the smell of hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts. And the little stalls and markets, strung with lights and wreaths. Oh, and the food, the food was to die for: German sausages, traditional fat chips with sauce and mayonnaise (I know, mayonnaise! It’s surprisingly really yum), crepes and waffles laden with Nutella and fruit. Delicious. Every part of this Wonderland was truly magical; as was London itself.

If you ever travel to London, or anywhere for that matter, you mustn’t forget to look up. It can be so easy to get caught up in the crowds, and the awe of what’s right in front of you, that you don’t even realise the phenomena above you. When I wasn’t manoeuvring through people, I’d try to remember to look up…and that was the best part; taking note of the majestic buildings, rising so high with so many intricate details…something you don’t want to miss.

-Christie Eliza-Jane

Oxford Street15681846_10155715818919199_1637501273_oThe Ritz15908953_10155767966809199_1099097664_oreceived_10155760206564199Buckingham Palacereceived_10155760206574199received_10155760207244199received_10155760207874199received_10155760208089199received_1015576020725419915878201_10155767966829199_1646374717_oreceived_10155760209219199received_1015576020812419915857487_10155767966599199_1404396670_oSt Paul’s Cathedral15902639_10155767970164199_2128594868_o15877931_10155767966674199_2032601214_oBig Benreceived_10155760209494199received_10155760210469199received_10155760210474199London Eyereceived_10155760210384199Winter Wonderland15681747_10155715818904199_385261725_oScreen Shot 2017-01-26 at 8.11.01 am.png

Advertisements

christmas trees

received_10155760226129199

Best day of the year? You guessed it – Doughnut Day; the first Friday of June (thanks Wikipedia).

Best season of the year? Yeah, Christmas.

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock, whoop.

Nothing compares to the magic of this season. Sure, it gets a little busy, but when you take time out to focus on your family, your surroundings, and count your blessings, the Spirit of Christmas becomes very real and it really does become the most wonderful time of the year!

Yes, Christmas is technically over, but the Christmas Tree Farm was far too cool not to mention.

Usually back home, houses are snazzified with your trusty Kmart trees and Big W ornaments.

Well, last year we got ourselves a Ferny; that’s what we named it anyway. It was a Nordmann Fir, and it was big.

When you’re in the forest trying to find that perfect tree, your scale of how small or big the trees really are, gets a little funky. Suddenly the trees are all the same height, and they don’t seem that big. And you’ve got your dad there saying “Girls…these trees are bigger than you think.” And you’ve got yourself, your mum, and your sisters saying “Dad stop being such a grinch!” Well we found our perfect tree, and when we had it delivered and brought inside, we finally realised that yes, we had bought a humongous tree. Fine Mr Grinch, you were right.

But, 3 boxes of ornaments and 5 boxes of lights later, we had our completed Christmas Tree, and it was niiiiiice.

It was pretty epic fun running and slipping through the mud in my gum boots…or as they like to call them here, wellies. But secretly, my favourite part of our little adventure was the adorable cat I got to cuddle. No, I didn’t technically have the owner’s permission, but they didn’t seem to mind. Hehe.

– Christie Eliza-Jane

15725210_10155715818564199_342605177_o15696430_10155715818574199_752301322_o15725591_10155715818529199_823067910_o15658869_10155715818519199_1152309714_o15681979_10155715817984199_14136600_o15725463_10155715818019199_2018995549_o

the place I call home

received_10155760205119199

…you know those wholesome movies you watch, the ones that reveal your inner child, like Tangled or Beauty and the Beast? How they’ve always got those scenes in a magical, old-looking village, with stone pathways, big old buildings and folk who spontaneously break out in musical routines? Yeah, my town is that village.

Stone houses that harbour narrow roads, restaurants, little florists and sweet bakeries are what make up my little village. It’s the kind of town you meander through, fresh-faced and make-up less, because you know the only people you’ll bump into are the little old cherubs on their morning stroll.

And apparently, these little towns are common here; in fact, they’re normal. But to me, in all my Australian wisdom, I feel like I’ve just been transported to some magical, old place. Ahh the joys of travel!

So we have become quite acquainted with our local grocery store down the road, the Co-Operative Food (aka the Co-Op), as I’ve come to realise that when moving houses, let alone countries, you don’t have a whole lot of time to prepare your own food. Your time is consumed by trips to IKEA to buy furniture, trips to IKEA to get those thingamabobs you forgot about, trips to IKEA to buy that rug you were indecisive about, trips to IKEA to turn in circles, and trips to IKEA to buy those parts the lady at the desk forgot to tell you about. But the Co-Op was great in our times of IKEA-related stress, providing us with the real goods everyday; our sandwiches, our salads and our carrots with hummus.

Foooood, glorious fooood! Evidently, I have tried and tasted Co-Ops’s yummy salads and sandwiches, but I am yet to experience the yummies at the Bakery, the Italian restaurant Briscola (which is really fun to say in an Italian accent, “Bbbbbriscola ayeee!?”), and the New Inn that mum’s been raving about ever since we got here.

Whenever I’m stuffing my face with that heavenly thing called food, my justification is simply: “I’m a growing woman!”. Yes, I can eat; no, I’m not ashamed; and yes, I’m pretty darn excited to try all these fancy, smancy cafes and restaurants.

-Christie Eliza-Jane

15902566_10155767966604199_510312491_oepic view from my  window.received_10155760213594199the canal up behind my house.15857793_10155767970179199_207119178_o15682496_10155715819724199_334023121_oone of the many local pubs.