We had a really busy January. I thought life would slow down after Christmas but it did not. I feel like I’ve barely been home at all over the last month and I’ve been perpetually 15 minutes late for everything.

Last year I would go months without getting called into work, but I’ve now been called in 7 times in the last 6 weeks. Insane. But insanely good for our bank account!!

Anyway we’re on holiday now though so it’s ALLLLLL GOOOOOD.

Cassia and baby Cedric came to visit the other weekend. I was a bit unsure how the visit would go since it was the first time we’ve had a baby guest, but it ended up good! Cedric is 6 months old and requires a lot of bouncing. Between the bouncing we went out for brunch, played Ticket To Ride, went to the Camberwell Sunday Market, went to the city to shop at H&M and Uniqlo (they don’t have those in Adelaide), made pizza, drank milkshakes, and of course lots of catching up chats.

We played the present Rosemarie gave me for my birthday.. (mostly) Canadian themed Wits and Wagers cards! They were fun although we had some questions… for example, does the surface area of the worlds largest pizza account for the top and the bottom?

Weightlifting is going ok. I got told a new cue a couple weeks ago which has made some things click finally, although I’m still terrible and weak AF. Don’t know if I’ll be able to lift in Korea at all though so maybe I’ll forget everything. :/ If things go ok when I get back though I will do another competition in March, the Victorian Weightlifting Open. We’ll see.

Sailing has been fun. They’re slowly giving me more things to do as I get more comfortable on the boat again. Although last week I tried to help by loading the winch, but I did it wrong and caused an override and we came in (extreme) last place in the race. We almost had to cut the rope. It was real bad. They’re probably glad to have a couple weeks without me haha.

Scott and I have started a new thing where he is supposed to plan something for us to do once a month. Last month he organized a night out at the Big Bash League. I am slowly figuring out cricket. I actually don’t mind big bash because it plays at a pretty good pace and they try more exciting shots. However the game we went to turned out to be more of a Medium Bash and was kinda dull. Melbourne only hit one 6 (and no 9’s hahahahahah).

Da boys cashed in their Christmas present voucher from us, which was to take them to the Aquapark at Melbourne Cable Park. It was really fun! Although Scott and I struggled to keep up with them, haha. I also feel like I pulled Seth out of the water about 900 times. The next day my arms were so sore!! We got slurpees after and no one hurt themselves, so I would consider it a success all around.

Kate sent over a whole bunch of Canada Olympic gear for Scott and I, and all the kids. They are very ready to cheer for Canada starting next week!!

Scott and I leave tonight!! We’re stopping in Sydney to see Jess and Rae and Ben Folds, and then we fly to Seoul on Wednesday. Rosemarie will arrive on Thursday. :D :D Back in two weeks (unless we get nuked).

I’ve been asked to write out a list of what we are going to so you can look for us on TV. I apologize if there are any mistakes… time zones are hard. Look for the Aussie-Canadian duo! I’ll try to post on Facebook or something about what we are wearing on the day. I’d guess that it will be easiest to see us at skeleton, but who knows.

All for now. I’ll probably be posting the most on Instagram while we’re away. #instagramthatshit

GO CANADA GO! AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!

I really enjoyed last years cider advent calendar, but I didn’t want to order it again if the ciders were going to be the same. So instead Scott made me one himself! What a good egg. He put together a great mix, many of which I had never tried before.

Here are my thoughts, again mostly for my own reference.

  • Mercury Draught Cider – 8/10 – better than I expected, pretty normal tasting, not too sweet
  • Pipsqueak Apple Cider – 9/10 – dry, tart, natural taste, great
  • Rekorderlig Apple Cider – 1/10 – smells like nail polish remover and doesn’t taste any better, couldn’t finish
  • Saxton Apple Cider – 8/10 – a bit funky like French cider
  • Montague Cider House – can’t remember
  • Monteith’s Crushed Apple Cider – 7/10 – a bit sweet

  • 5 Seeds Crisp Apple Cider – 8/10 – fine
  • The Cider Lab Pink Lady Apple – 6.5/10 – ok. a little sweet, a little artificial tasting
  • Orchard Thieves Apple Cider – can’t remember
  • Spring Cider Co Apple & Pomegranate – 5/10 – this is cider watered down 50% with soda water, tastes fine but gets a half score for only being half cider
  • Strongbow Dry – 8/10 – fine
  • Pressman’s Original All Australian Apple Cider – 8/10 – very apple juice-y, nice

  • Little Green Apple Cider – 3/10 – nooooo, fake apple flavour, sweet, like Sommersby (my least favourite cider ever)
  • Bonamy’s Apple Cider – 6/10 – don’t like it that much, don’t know why exactly
  • Willie Smith Bone Dry Apple Cider – 7/10 – dry but not sure about fermented flavour

  • Twisted Sister Apple Cider – can’t remember
  • Batlow Cloudy Cider – 8/10 – good
  • James Squire Orchard Crush Apple – 8/10 – tart, has chunks, I still like it

  • Cheeky Rascal Passionfruit Cider – 6/10 – fine I guess, a little passionfruit flavour, sweet
  • Sunshack Feijoa Elderflower Cider – 6/10 – i just don’t think i really like feijoa or elderflower
  • Dr. Pilkington’s Miracle Cider – 9/10 – light taste, refreshing AF
  • Renberg Apple – 7/10 – Aldi version of Rekordelig, tastes ok
  • Cheeky Rascal Apple Lime Mint Chilli – 6/10 – not as spicy as i hoped

Last weekend Scott and I went camping in the Grampians. The campground had a big field next to it where you could see emus during the day, and kangaroos in the evening. It was my first time seeing emus in the wild. :D

Saturday morning we hiked up the Pinnacles. It was very hot and I am very lazy so we took the easy way up, from Sundial car park. It still took a few hours and involved a bit of climbing. The views up top were great!

Scott is so #basic.

After our hike we got ice cream in Halls Gap, and walked to Venus Baths, but it was a bit lame and had too many flies so we didn’t stay long.

We still needed to cool down so we headed to the Lake Bellfield swimming area. It was not very busy and I don’t know why because the lake was very pleasant. I really like lake swimming.

We couldn’t have a fire that night because there was still a total fire ban (we have such bad luck with that!!!!), so we just swam in the campground pool, read books, and played games instead.

Sunday morning camping pancakes to fuel us for another hike.

This time we hiked to Mackenzie Falls from Zumsteins via Fish Falls. This hike is longer, but much flatter than the quicker way to the waterfalls. Again, it was HOT AF!! It took us about 2.5 hours including lots of time taking pictures and refreshing our feet in the water.

Again, so #basic.

OK so the hike and waterfalls were lovely, but it all feels a bit weird now because we found out afterwards that someone actually drowned in the waterfalls the evening before, and they had only pulled the body out about 1.5 hours before we got there. The waterfalls were actually closed when we set out, but because we walked the long way in there were no signs!! D: I’m just glad we hadn’t gotten an earlier start because we could have seen it all which would have been even more disturbing. :( It’s all very sad.

You’re not supposed to swim at Mackenzie Falls but a lot of people do because it is SO nice. We totally would have swum too if we had brought our bathing suits. If you do decide to swim there, please be smart about it!!! Maybe wear a life jacket? Stay well away from the falls, they are much more powerful than it seems. Only swim if you are a strong swimmer. Be careful about slippery rocks!!

 

The Noodle Market in Birrarung Marr is long over but I still wanted to show you stuff. I’m sure it will be back next year anyway.

We went early (around 6pm) on a drizzly day and there were almost no crowds. This was very good because I wanted to check out all the options before I decided what to buy. And there were A LOT of options!

KFC Cheese Puffle: Korean Fried Chicken stuffed inside a cheese puffle topped with Japanese mayo and shallots

I ended up choosing a very Instagramable puffle from Puffle. It was yum. Cost $17 though!! It was very hefty at least. Plenty of chicken.

Scott had a Chicken Satay Roti from Shallot Thai, which had chicken satay, salad and peanut sauce in a roti wrap. And Natasha had veggie noodles.

Scott and I also shared a It’s Sher-Berth-Day cone from Gelato Messina. It was a white chocolate lined cone filled with mango sherbet, vanilla cream and mango jellies, and dipped in more white chocolate. It was very very nice. I really liked the mango ice cream and all the white chocolate.

Scott hasn’t actually had a drink in nearly 18 months. He’s so thirsty.

This gonna be LONG. I’m just going to post about ERRYTHANG.

Natasha finished her lap around Australia and came back to Melbourne to spend the rest of her trip. She stayed with us while she found a job and a sharehouse, which I liked because I barely had to do any dishes. :D She ended up getting a job as a punter, and a room not too far away (if you use the ‘subtract 15 minutes because Melbourne’ formula). Pretty sweet.

We did some fun stuff all together like play lots of games and make a giant batch of perogies. So much work! But perogies don’t exist here so you gotta do what you gotta do!

PS here is the crappy cartoon I finally drew of our Fraser Island cliff driving adventure. Wow drawing cartoons is hard. It looked way better in my imagination!!!

We went to an epic cheese festival at Prahran Market. I have never seen so many free cheese samples in my life, it was amazing. I ate SO MUCH CHEESE. Will definitely try to go again next year.

After some extreme procrastination I finally got back in touch with my old sailing crew from 2009. They were very welcoming and invited me back for a sail a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a great race. Actually we won!

Home stretch means you can have a bevvie! Look at all those boats in our dust!!!

They said I’m welcome to join them again any time but it’s been hard to organize on my end. This month is just so busy. Hopefully I can get back into it in the new year.

My coworker Sonny (left) got married and invited the whooooole department. It was a fun wedding, although since I am the newest staff member, I had to be on call. However this stopped me from going too crazy and having a repeat of the pre-Mexico-barfing-20-times wedding experience so that’s actually fine, haha. No pictures of Scott because he was doing Movember and looked gross.

I ran a 30% off sale for the Black Friday weekend in my Etsy shop and ended up selling a whole bunch of patterns! Even though I wasn’t making much profit at all on some listings I still managed to make about 3x what I usually make in a month. Sweet! Plus I hope some of these people will post pictures of their WIPs and do my advertising for me. Next year I will make sure I’m much more prepared for the sale with lots more stuff to offer because I think it’s the perfect timing for Christmas gift sales.

I had known that Sia was coming to Melbourne for months, but tickets were $179+ so I didn’t organize anything. Even though she is one of my favourite singers ever, my budget was like… $75 (why are concerts soooo expensive in this country). I decided to check Ebay the day before the show and saw a few pairs of tickets that were going for about $120 but my budget was still $75. Finally, ONE HOUR before the show started there was a single ticket available for $70 so I bought it and literally ran out of the house. I was in the middle of preparing dinner and everything but just left it on the counter hahaha. Poor Scott. (But he was the one telling me to BUY IT!!!! when I was waffling.)

I didn’t get there in time for Amy Shark (which was really too bad, because I like her a lot), but got there in time for Charlie XCX (who was good, very pop, entertaining), and MØ (who dances very strange and I only recognized her last two songs).

Then came Sia. That blob with a bow on her head.

I didn’t actually like the show. Yes I know that Sia doesn’t really perform any more and that she would stand at the back of the stage the whole time. But I would never have guessed they’d use pre-recorded video screens at an enormous stadium show. They had dancers on stage that were matching what was on the video screens but what was even the point?? Most of us were too far away to actually see what was happening on stage. I can watch music videos at home.

To make it worse, she didn’t interact with the audience at all. She didn’t say a single word until 90% through the show when she sang Titanium she changed it to “I am Australiaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnn” and said “I know that’s not how the song goes but I just had to do it” and that was it. I’m not even entirely convinced it was her on stage and/or she was actually even singing (it all sounded good… TOO good).

I left disappointed. Good thing I didn’t pay full price at least. I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t use live video?! The other people around me seemed pretty underwhelmed as well, although no one was really saying anything so I wasn’t sure. But she got annihilated in the press the next day so I guess I wasn’t alone.

(Side note, Scott and I went to Sia’s last show that she ever showed her face, in Vancouver in 2011, and she chatted with the audience a lot back then!! That was a really fun concert and I’m just going to think about that one and not this recent experience.)

Elevator selfie post-concert. My shirt has bananas, watermelons, and pears on it. PS so happy I found a new sport to give me tons of bruises. :P

Scott made me a cider advent calendar!! I enjoyed the one last year so much but didn’t want to get it again if it had a lot of the same ciders, so Scott organized one himself! I guess this only works in places where you can buy things one bottle a time, but I asked him last night how difficult it was to get 24 different ciders here and he said only 4/10 difficulty, so not bad! It’s been great so far, already a few ones that I have never heard of before.

Scott has a Star Wars Lego advent calendar this year, but next year I think I will make him a comic book advent calendar. I just have to be more organized.

My lime tree is liming!! I am iksidid. Will they be ready before summer is over?

We’ve been eating out a lot lately. Too much, tbh, but it’s full blown Christmas Party Season. Wowzers. I went out for a ladies dinner with all the girls from weightlifting, which was really really nice. It’s always great to cross that barrier and hang out with people outside of where you usually see them, like work or the gym or whatever.

Scott and I also went out for dinner at Hellenic Republic for my work Christmas dinner. We all had the banquet meal and it was very nice. The lamb was fantastic.. tender and sticky, and the grain salad was another highlight. We also had saganaki, chicken, kingfish sashimi, pita and dips, and more. And rice pudding for dessert, which I have never had before. I think I can make that in my pressure cooker? Need to investigate.

It rained REALLY hard last weekend. They were hyping it up sooooo much in the media and so many things got cancelled, including a dumpling dinner we were supposed to have with my internet friends, but I was kinda relieved because we were already eating out so much. Anyway there was flooding and power outages and I even got to leave work early. Our windows started leaking after several hours of constant heavy rain. I collected about 3 litres of water in jars before we went to bed. Thankfully it slowed down overnight.

I brought Scott with me to trivia last week and he won the jillpot!! The question was “What country produces the most almonds?”

Rosemarie is now on our side of the International Date Line! She is doing a ski season in Niseko, on the North Island of Japan. That will be an adventure!! She is blogging again, which is great.

Dis is a skillet cookie, and our nephew Myles. He’s much bigger now. Time for another skillet cookie.

On Saturday I am doing my first weightlifting competition. It’s just a casual club comp and I’m lifting less than what other girls use as their warmups but WHATEVS. I miss competing, and I always ended up surprising myself in skeleton races, even after the extreme anxiety and sleep deprivation. So I’m doing it. My training personal bests at the moment are 32 kg snatch and 42 kg clean and jerk. I will be happy if I get any kind of total at all (you get three attempts at each lift) and very very happy if I get a new PBs. But we shall see. I trust my coach and will do what he tells me on the day.

OK I’m all caught up! Byeeee.