I’m super stressed. My AHPRA certification exam is next Friday.

I’m not that worried about the stuff I’ve done in real life, or been tested on already… but I’m TERRIFIED about the stuff that I don’t even know I have to know. Like one of the questions on the practice exam was about a CT table that I never even knew existed. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

The reference list is not super helpful either as it includes about a dozen entire textbooks, and a couple dozen papers that I can’t get. Hgkjghgjjj. Edited to add: I was wrong, it has THIRTY THREE textbooks on the list. O_O

On a completely different note, I liked this quiz about boardgames. Scott and I both rated really high on Conflict and Strategy, which you (cough) might not be surprised about. Yes I do like blocking people for no personal benefit. SO WHAT. Hahaha. Let me know what your results are if you do it!

Alright, back to work.

June 8th – June 13th, 2016

After Barcelona we headed to Carcassonne, France. We may have picked the destination based on a certain family favourite board game. Coincidentally, Scott’s cousin Shaun (and Karen and baby Archie) were visiting there too at the same time. It’s always fun to hang out with some familiar faces in a foreign country.

The view of the fortified city of Carcassonne from our AirBnb.

Scott claiming a road.

Scott claiming a field.

He actually ended up with a super itchy rash that lasted for a couple days from lying in this grass. Worth it tho??

The castle was really cool. You can go into a lot of the buildings, and walk along the rampart. There are murder holes and draw bridges and all sorts of other medieval goodness. I had just finished reading Pillars of the Earth so everything was extra interesting to me.

After Carcassonne we went to Hossegor, a surfing town on the West coast of France. I had organized it to be a nice beach holiday weekend but never actually checked the weather report. It was like 10 degrees and/or raining the entire time we were there. Doh. Instead of swimming I spent a lot of time playing Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 on my iPad, and Scott watched a lot of the UEFA Euro.

Both Carcassonne and Hossegor had pretty good food. Salads with goat cheese. Duck cassoulet. Giant platters of mussels and fries. Woodfired thin crust pizzas. Giant hamburgers on the beach. CHEESE. Croque monsieurs. Baguettes with Nutella. Local strawberries. Sangria. Cheap tasty house wine.

Too bad it was the last yummy food that Scott would be able to eat…

Umm so I procrastinated blogging for far too long and now I have A LOT of things to catch up on. Like, huge life changes. O_O


  1. Scott got laid off.
  2. We decided to move back to Australia.
  3. I quit my job.
  4. We sold everything in our apartment and moved out.
  5. Currently in Nepean visiting papa.

The last month was crazy. It was really stressful to sort all of our life belongings into what we still needed, what we would ship to Australia, what to sell and what to donate or throw out. Al while I was still working almost every day. Hopefully we didn’t make any mistakes. Scott did an excellent job of managing dozens of Craigslist posts and we were able to sell everything.

I finally finished my crochet blanket, with like 3 days to spare. It’s so big!! It took me two years to finish. We have vacuum packed it and put it in the boxes to Australia.

Anyway so last weekend we flew to Montreal. We watched Dan-Que perform in a story telling show and took in a few Nuit Blanche exhibits. We hiked up Mont Royal and walked through underground tunnels. And ate and ate. We had bagels, smoked meat, Portuguese chicken, arepas, kouign amann and probably even more I’m forgetting right now. Thank you for all those great recommendations Facebook friends.

And now we are in Ottawa! It was tight but we managed to spend some time with a lot of my favourite Ottawa people. :) We went tubing (Scott crashed into a fence with his face and did 18 flips in the air, and got a fat lip), curling, escaped from an escape room, watched Eddie the Eagle, ate ridiculous amounts of dessert, and played A LOT of games (Careers, Clue, Scattergories, Quiddler, Wizard, Five Crowns). Fun!


  1. Listowel & Toronto
  2. Whistler for my last skeleton race ever :'(
  3. Epic roadtrip (Washington/Oregon/California/Nevada/Arizona/Utah/Idaho/Wyoming/Montana)
  4. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  5. Walk across Spain (Camino de Santiago)
  6. Miscellaneous Europe (Glasgow/Ipswich/Rotterdam/Lund/??)
  7. Thailand

Approximate arrival in Melbourne, Australia: mid-July 2016

It’s been an incredibly busy fall. I’ve been working almost full time, weightlifting at Terminal City Training twice a week, training on my own, push training at the Richmond Oval about once a week, walking home from work when I can, working on a really complicated project, meeting up with tons of visitors, and more! OMG.

Everything is going really well though. I am not complaining about being busy at all.

It’s actually the one year mark of me joining Al’s weightlifting gym. I’ve added about 30 lbs to my press and benchpress, and 60 lbs to my deadlift and squat!! Sweet sweet noob gains. Group training is the highlight of my week, tbh.

Push training is also pretty fun. It’s a flat track with a metal skeleton sled on wheels and an emergency crash pad at the end. It’s fairly realistic, although the sled is quite heavy, and there is no chance of popping the groove. We can run as far as we want basically and then you drag your toes to slow down. Running bent over, while trying to accelerate a sled without actually putting much weight on it is very difficult!! I don’t think I will ever be a very fast starter but hopefully it’s still helping me get BETTER.

The Whistler skeleton season starts November 4th, by the way.

Scott walks home from work almost every day now. It takes him about an hour. It’s saving us a lot of money, and he gets his daily exercise. Win win! I walk sometimes, but definitely not as often as Scott. I did walk home from UBC once though, haha. It suddenly started taking 5ever to get home on the bus when the university students went back to school so out of frustration I decided to just walk home. It took 3 hours and it was quite boring and my knees hurt. But I will probably do it again if I’m at UBC again on a Friday.

We’ve been super lucky to have lots of visitors lately!

  • I met up for bubble tea with Anna, one of the German girls I camped with in Bowen, Australia while we packed corn and beans. She had been living in rural Saskatchewan trying to get her Canadian PR but the restaurant laid her off and she had to go home. What a bummer. She came through Vancouver on her farewell Canada tour and it was really nice to catch up after 6 years.

  • My friend Chris, from Halifax stopped through Vancouver too, on his way to his next WWOOFing place. I hadn’t seen him since 2007!! We went to the Richmond Night Market and ate takoyaki and fish sticks and deep fried cheesecake that made our teeth hurt. I was too scared to sit on the Throne of Rotato.
  • Leslie visited from Victoria (so nice that we at least live in the same province again!) for Thanksgiving. She helped document the whole spatchcocking the turkey project (more about that later), and get ready for our potluck Friendsgiving Thanksgiving dinner. We made tons of food and delicious cocktails (hello Automnal Cinnamon Apple Whiskey Sour!!) and had a really nice dinner. I love hanging out with old Ace Gang members.
  • And last night I met up with Catty and Samir who were in town for a conference. Again, I hadn’t seen her in years too! We went out and watched the Blue Jays game with Scott and then went out for ramen with Rosemarie and Lauren. All was good except for the Jays losing, and a super long hair in Samir’s ramen… blech.

Rosemarie is doing her last semester of uni now so she’s very busy these days, but we still try to squeeze in as much hanging out time as possible. We spent one afternoon making 9000 dumplings: some pork and some shrimp. We’re not very good at being able to seal them when the dough is thin so they ended up pretty pudgy… but very very very tasty.

We also went bouldering for free at The Hive, because we voted. They were supposed to offer more free days too but apparently it’s again election law, ha oops. I struggled because my hands are in such bad shape (dry and cracking… gross and painful), but Scott climbed A LOT!

How about that election eh? I watched the election results like Scott would watch the rugby world cup final, hahaha. So relieved we have a non-conservative government again. Scott was pretty happy about being able to vote in Canada for the first time too!

What else what else…

GE randomly threw a free nuclear medicine conference, which a bunch of us from VGH went to. They had a wine and hors d’oeuvres and we… had fun. Closed down the bar. The talks to the next day were pretty entertaining, and I learned a few new things too. It was fun to see a lot of techs from other hospitals that I hadn’t seen since being a student as well.

Scott won tickets to a Canucks pre-season game from work. We actually got to sit pretty close to the ice for once! They Canucks lost and the security people confiscated my bag of cherry blasters I tried to bring in. :/

We had another games day with Marjorie, Latif and Phil. We played King of Tokyo, For Sale (a super simple real estate card game), Galaxy Truckers, and an epic long game of Lords of Waterdeep with both expansions, which I won by 1 point. :D That’s my favourite game lately.

I got a haircut. It’s nice to not have so much hair. It took the girl 2 hours and 20 minutes hahahaha. Fun times at the Aveda Institute. At least is only cost $21.

Oh and like other years, we watched the AFL Grand Final at Moose’s Down Under. We had 20 people this year! Mmm those parmas were delicious. The game was not super exciting, but it was still fun, as usual.

Alright! I think I’m caught up. Until next time my friends!

Rosemarie and I went white water rafting with Liz and Tom on the Thompson River (near Lytton, BC).

It was lots of fun. It wasn’t that XXXXXXTREME, I was the only one who unintentionally fell out of the raft, but we still had perma-grin the whole time. It was a nice hot day so we jumped in and swam at every opportunity, and took turns sitting right on the front for maximum splashability. There was even one rapid we got to go through in the water hanging on to the rope on the sides of the raft.

Liz gracefully getting back into the raft, probably after Tom pushed her in.

A classic Rosemarie picture on our lunch break. +1000 points for them having dinosours for dessert. :D

Like I said, I was the only person that fell out of the raft… out of the whole group of rafts… hahahha oops. I swear it wasn’t on purpose, I just fell out! It wasn’t too scary, at least I felt like I really got my moneys worth. ;)

We camped at a BC Parks site for the night and then drove home to Vancouver the next day, via the Othello Tunnels near Hope, and Hope Diner. Another very hot drive home with no AC, ack.

Jill and Joe had a long stopover in Vancouver on their way back to Adelaide so we met up with them for dinner downtown at Forage. Everything was super delicious and it was awesome to catch up again. I had seen Jill a few months ago when I went to Adelaide, but I hadn’t seen Joe in a LONG TIME!

The waiter suggested the cheese puff for dessert and it’s a good thing we listened to him because it was SO DANG GOOD. It was a profiterole with neufchâtel cheese filling, with ice cream, gin soaked blueberries and some kind of cordial sauce all around. MMMMMMM. The other dessert there was berry adult jello panna cotta that was also very good, but almost forgotten after the cheese puff.

Forage is cool because ALL their ingredients are locally sourced. We really enjoyed all the dishes we tried… octopus, carbonara, stinging nettle risotto, mushrooms… highly recommend.

Thanks to the Dafoe’s to treating us to a great meal!!

Forage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I redeemed by birthday voucher for a Picasso pedicure at Bloom. Those are hand painted lemons!

Lesley, Stephane, Scott and I went camping for one night at Cultus Lake. We played many games of Settlers (of which I lost all of them), and ate tacos and burgers and generally lazed around. We took the party island out for another spin. Cultus Lake is so warm!! Camping is weird when there is a fire ban though, you sort of run out of things to do when it gets dark.

More skeleton push practice at the Oval. Note to self, bring bug spray for twilight sessions because there are SWARMS of mosquitos. Who’s bright idea was it to have so many still water features around the facility, yeesh. I seriously got about 30 bites in half an hour. But this was a useful session, I now have a few new technical things to focus on for a bit.

Other unpictured fun stuff that happened:

  • We went to Charles and Ankie’s wedding at the fancy Terminal City Club downtown. Open bar, woot!! It was a fun wedding, although we couldn’t understand a fair chunk of it because we don’t speak Cantonese.
  • Our board games group tried an escape room, and failed. It was hard!! We got through the first two rooms but ran out of time trying to figure out the half dozen puzzles in the final room. The operator guy did say we got further than average though (does he say that to everyone?). We also came back to our place to play a few games of Seven Wonders.
  • Stephane made bacon wrapped cheddar stuffed burgers for Burger Friday. I thought they would burst into flames on the BBQ but they were fine!
  • Mary Ellen and Paul came over while they were in town for a wedding. Mary Ellen wanted to try purple yam and cheese ice cream but unfortunately Shoppers Drug Mart was out!! They only had plain purple yam, so Scott got that instead. It is Barney purple and tastes like… those cheapy styrofoam cones imo. The debate of the month is what type of cheese it would be in the yam and cheese variety. So far Kraft Singles type is leading. EWWW.
  • Work drinks at Tap & Barrel. We have to make this a more regular event!
  • The worlds smallest blogger meetup. We ate yummy tacos from La Taqueria and then went to Rain or Shine for ice cream. I had malted milk chocolate honeycomb in one of their delicious homemade waffle cones. Yum.