Tuesday, 27 December 2011

And a very stormy Christmas to you!

On Christmas day a big storm hit the town where I'm from in Norway.

Part of the roof of the building where my grandmother lives fell off and into the road. My grandmother is okay, she just said she heard a very big crash as it happened.

10, big, 35 year old trees below the family farm blew over. And there is loads of other damages all over the town as well.

I contacted my mum and dad as soon as I heard about the storm, they're all alright. I've also not heard about anyone else being hurt or worse, so I hope everyone is alright over there.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas traditions.

Yesterday was the first time I've celebrated on Christmas day. Well, I have opened my presents on the morning of the 25th once before, but I was on my own, and it was only because I worked a 14hour shift on the 24th.


It was nice to see how someone else celebrates Christmas, but I can't get over how "short" it was... got up, opened the presents, and that was it really. No more christmassy stuff. I think I prefer what my family usually does, but that's probably because that's what I'm used to. But like I said, it was nice to see how someone else celebrates.

What are your traditions? How do you celebrate Christmas? Do you celebrate it at all?

What my family usually does is, we don't decorate until the evening of the 23rd, then when we get up on the 24th it's all christmassy and the stockings have been filled and there is usually a present for each of us under the tree from Santa (if you don't believe in him you don't get presents from him, Haha!). If the 24th falls on a weekday then we go to work for a few hours, usually to 4 at the latest, depending on what kind if job you have of course, but my family has always been lucky with that.

At 5 the church bells "rings the Christmas in". My family doesn't go to church, because we're not religious, so at 5 we sit down and have our dinner. The others have sheep and pork ribs with loads of other stuff, while I usually have rice porridge (in Norway porridge is also what Santa eats.).

After dinner we put everybody's presents under the tree and then we sit down for a few hours and read cartoons and play board games. My family's favourite is trivial pursuit.

Then around 8 or 9 we start opening the presents. My sister is usually the one that goes and gets one from under the tree, she reads the label, gives it to the person it's for, sits back down and everybody watches as that person open the present. It takes a while to open all the presents, but I like it. I like seeing what every one gets, who they get it from, how they react and all that. That's my favourite thing, seeing other people open their present.

By the time we finish it's usually close to midnight, we might stay up for a bit longer to "play" with our presents or a quick round of TP, and then we go to bed. I like how it's a whole day of Christmas, and not just a morning.

This is how we celebrate with my mum, and how we used to celebrate when my mum and dad was still together. I've not celebrated with my dad since they got divorced, I've only seen him after Christmas so we've just opened our presents from each other.

How do you celebrate?

Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

I am going away until after New Years, I might still update via mobile posts, but I just want to wish everybody Happy Holidays before I go. Have a great time with family, friends or on your own!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Guest Post: Mistletoe & Wine?

Mistletoe & Wine?

By Nicky, web author of www.weboftangleddreams.blogspot.com

As Sir Cliff would say, Christmas time, mistletoe and wine ...

Hmm, wine is not a good thing for me to be drinking; nothing
good has ever come of me drinking wine. These episodes are
infamously known amongst my friends, or those lucky (or unlucky)
enough to be witness to these goings-on, as my “wine decisions”.
The last one ended with a belly –dancing episode that is never ever
to be repeated, or spoken of again.

Mistletoe? Hmm, again, nothing good has ever come of me brandishing a sprig of mistletoe either.
There are far too many undesirables fancying their chances at this time of year, praying on young,
single girls like little old me. And trust me, where I live, there are plenty of undesirables lurking.

Okay, I admit it, Christmas is officially a difficult time to be single. Snuggling up in front of the
fire, swapping presents, being all lovey-dovey like on the TV. But come on, how many couples are
actually that perfect and festive?

It’s a proven fact that more marriages and relationships break down at Christmas than any other
time of the year. I don’t wish to be the bringer of doom, but it’s statistically proven, if you don’t
believe me, Google it. I’m guessing the reason for this is stress and expectation. The perfect present,
the perfect day, the perfect dinner, who to spend the day with, not getting too drunk, not saying the
wrong thing. It all adds up to a day of panic and worry that knocks the stuffing (pardon the pun) out
of the cute and cuddly festive picture that Hallmark would have us believe.

It’s hard enough spending the day in extreme close proximity to your extended family, when you’re
used to coming and going and having your own space, without having to visit someone else’s and
be on your best behaviour, whilst also putting up with Uncle Sleazebag slapping your arse in a joking
manner, all in jest – of course. That smile on your face will of course be plastered on, and giving you
aching facial muscles, whilst all you can think of is how much you would really like to knee him in the
unmentionables. In jest - of course.

The bottom line is there is far too much expectation, which basically just spells inevitable failure.
People don’t like failure. I certainly don’t like failure.

So this is why, despite the picture of perfect festive coupledom, I actually prefer to be single at this
time of year.

Alright, not “prefer”, but “can see the positives”. That’s probably a more honest assessment of the

I don’t have to buy a present for someone, wracked with worry that it’s either a) not right, b) not
expensive enough, c) too expensive, d) all of the above rolled together. I don’t have to feign total joy
when presented with a gift that more than likely consists of hideous lingerie, in probably the wrong
size, and I don’t have to split my precious day between two different places, exhausting myself by
eating two Christmas dinners and having to be on my best behaviour, when I could be vegged out
on my own sofa, snuggling up to a tin of Celebrations and watching Disney films on the TV, or Only
Fools & Horses, whichever comes first.

I can also get myself totally glammed up into extreme sequin sparkledom, and grab that badly-
advised mistletoe, inviting whichever young dude I see fit to join me underneath it. This I will admit
comes with the unfortunate downside of having to throw the above mentioned mistletoe in the
nearest bin when the undesirables come a-knocking, which they do, you try it, they’re like moths to
a flame. But the point is, I can do it, if I want, because I don’t have to answer to anyone.

If you are attached this Christmas, please don’t do what my friend does every year – “aww, don’t
worry hun, at least you can spend the money you’d have spent on a guy’s present, on you”. Hmmm,
condescending much? Methinks so. But actually, she has a point, so I took that as permission to go
and buy a new pair of shoes.

Equally, if you’re single this yuletide, don’t get so drunk at your office party that you do a Bridget
Jones, i.e. karaoke with glass in one hand, microphone in the other, singing I Will Always Love You,
or even worse, All By Myself. Dignity nil.

I guess the bottom line is, single, attached, somewhere in between, complicated relationship,
whatever, there are pros and cons to each. I will not have a worse Christmas than my married
friends, and vice versa. We will all fall out with someone, we will all get too drunk at some stage
and say something inappropriate, we will all eat too much, feel sick and get debilitating indigestion,
we will all make some comment about the Queen’s speech and we will all be sick of eating Turkey
by Boxing Day. The thing that matters is that we spend it with someone we love, whether that be a
husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, family, friends or the dog. It may not be perfect, but things very
rarely are.

So Happy Christmas everyone .... now pass me the Quality Street.

If you enjoyed what you read, please visit my blog!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

In time

I just have to tell you about a great movie I watched today. It's called "in time" and it's got Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Johnny Galecki in it.
Everybody in the world stops ageing at 25, then you get one year extra to live. You can beg, steal or earn more time, but like it is in the real world the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. You also pay for everything in time.

I think it was a really good movie. The actors were good and the plot was awesome. What would you do if you only had 26 years to live? If you could actually see how long you had left to live? I would have less than a year left now... What would I do in that time? Probably try to earn more... Try not to waste a minute.

You should all watch this movie, it really is great.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sunday Spotlight!

I have been featured on Luna's Sunday Spotlight! Please check it out here.

And check out the little beagle pup's other amazing posts as well while you're there! Luna, a dog's life...

Beach House

Book number 42 in the 100+ Reading Challenge

Beach House
by R. L. Stine

Outer back cover: The sun is hot. The water is cold. And the kids are cool.
Too cool to live.
Because a killer is stalking them, one by one. A killer who never leaves a clue. Who disappears as completely as a footprint in the sand.
A killer who has found a very special place in the sun
for some very special fun...

Another book that I thought from the cover would be scary. It was a bit creepy, but I wouldn't call it scary. It was a weird book in a way, it was okay but not great. I used to love to read the Goosebumps books by R. L. Stine when I was a young teenager, and I think I would have enjoyed this book more back then as well, I would have probably even thought it was scary then.

It's a bit confusing as it changes between 1956 and "current" time (early 90's), and keeping track of who's who and what happened in what time can be a bit hard. Because of what happens in the book I just knew there had to be a weird twist but I didn't actually manage to guess what it would be, which was nice, but at the same time I don't know if I like the twist or not, haha.

Saturday, 17 December 2011


Book number 41 in the 100+ Reading Challenge

by Diane Hoh

Outer back cover: When The Devil's Elbow roller coaster goes off its tracks and several teenagers are hurt, everyone thinks it was just an accident. So no one listens  when Tess says she saw someone tampering with the tracks.
But one person knows it's true. That person is playing a deadly game - and is going to make sure Tess doesn't stand in the way. Tess soon finds she's being terrorized, with threatening notes, menacing phone calls, slashed tires, and nasty pranks. When another "accident" occurs in the Funhouse, Tess is sure that she was the intended victim. Who is commiting all these horrifying acts? And why?
Tess is just beginning to realize that the Funhouse can scare you...to death.

Because of the cover I kind of thought this book would be scary, but it was more intriguing actually. I liked all the little twists and that I could guess what was going to happen or anything. A nice book for a short read.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Time of my Life

Book number 40 in the 100+ Reading Challenge (Yeah, I'm not going to reach 100 before the 31st!)

The time of my life
by Cecelia Ahern

Outer back cover: Lying on Lucy Silchester's carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation - to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she's been ignoring it and it needs to meet with her face to face.
It sounds peculiar, but Lucy's heard of this before. Anyway, she can't make the date: she's much too busy despising her job, lying to her friends and avoiding her family.
It turns out that Lucy's life isn't what it seems. Some of the choices she's made - and stories she's told - aren't what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, some of these stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory - unless she learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.
Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life - and she's going to have to keep it.

I love Cecelia Ahern, and this book was no exception. Her books really makes you want to keep reading, in the beginning to figure out what on earth she's on about and then later it just captures you and it's almost impossible to put down. I like how the things she writes about might not be real, but the way she writes it you can imagine that they are. Depending on how much of a realist you are of course.

This book really made me think. Lucy meets with her life, which is a separate person from her. He looks horrible, because Lucy's life is horrible, she just can't see it. I wonder what my life would look like. It also made me think about how dangerous even small lies can be. They really do snowball. Not that I tell many lies, but the way Lucy was and had to deal with it all just made me not want to tell lies even more.

My favourite character was Lucy's neighbour. I don't want to give anything away but she was such an interesting character and it was sad to read about her, but at the same time I would love to read a book just about what she was going through.

Another truly amazing book by Cecelia Ahern! I could definitely imagine this as a movie (although I would probably never be happy with the movie as they're never as good as the books), it would actually be really interesting to see as a movie! Hey movie-makers! Make a movie out of this book! A good one!

Are you serious!?

The Father's mother (M) and I have never really gotten along. Just one of those things where our personalities clash. So I usually try to stay away from her, but I'm civil and stuff when I see her.

A few weeks ago she was visiting and I came out of my room smelling burnt toast. I thought I'd cancel the toaster in case everyone else was busy, but when I got to the kitchen M was there. I told her I could smell burning toast.

M: yes.
Me: would you like me to get it out for you?
M: no, it's already burnt. There's no point.
Me: oh, but I can just press the cancel button.
M: there's no point, it's already burnt.

Well. Since I didn't want the whole house to smell of burnt toast I walked over to the toaster anyway and pressed the cancel button so that the toast popped up. M was next to me straight away, and pushed the toast back down."I know how to use the fucking toaster!"

I just gave up then and walked back to my room before I snapped at her. Apparently the toast was like charcoal when it came out again, because of course she'd started it from the beginning again when she pushed it back down.

After the toaster situation M hasn't said one word to me when we've met (which isn't very often thankfully). Today she dropped The Girl off because she'd had her for the night. She came in for a few minutes to see The Boy. Not a hello or goodbye to me, not a single word unless I spoke directly to her, and then only short replies.

I don't think I've met an adult acting so childish before! Especially in front of kids! Kids and young teenagers act like that. I don't care that she won't talk to me, but she could at least try to be civil in front of her grandkids!

Oh well, hopefully I'll never see her again after I finish in January.

But seriously?! Just because I tried to help her with the toaster?! I can be stubborn sometimes, but I don't think I'm THAT bad!

Would you be that mad at someone just because they helped you when you didn't want help?

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Quick-mix Chocolate Cake

I've been really good lately. I've not had much chocolate, cakes, lollies in quite a while and I've been out running almost every night. But today the sugar craving was just too much. It started out as just the munchies, I wanted something to eat, but no matter how much fruit I ate I still wanted something else. Either salty or sweet. Then I suddenly thought of cakes. I don't know if I was watching tv and there was a cake on or something, but I NEEDED cake!!!

I found a recipe online, I thought I might as well try a new recipe out if I'm going to be bad. Not so sure about the Quick part of the name though, as if you follow the recipe it takes nearly 3 hours before you can actually eat it! And it didn't really whip together all that quick either (but that might just be because I have no patience).

If you want the recipe it's here. It turned out pretty tasty. Now the only problem is it has to be eaten, so I haven't just been bad today, but I'm going to be for a few more days as well..... Oh well. A treat now and then won't kill anyone!

And even if it does, it was totally worth it for this yummy cake!

Just a tip if you make it, it doesn't look like enough icing if you make the one in the recipe, but it is. There was actually some left over... Well there always is when I bake because I like to eat the icing! Favourite part of the cake! Oh! And the cake also rises to twice it's size, just something to keep in mind for the cake pan.

Finished result!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Blue Memory Meme

Another meme from Sunday Stealing. I haven't answered all of the original questions, which might be cheating in a way, but this is my blog so I'll do whatever I feel like! If you want to see all the original questions here are the links: Part 1 and Part 2
1. If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be? Queen Elizabeth II. I think it would be really interesting to have a casual conversation with her, just ask her how her life's been, what she thinks of the changes the world has gone through through her life-time, and how it is to be the Queen, the most famous monarch in the world. And, yeah, I just think it would be interesting to meet her.
2. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go? That's a really tricky question, because I want to go everywhere. If the return ticket to Australia is included for free as well I think I would go to..... China maybe, I've been wanting to go there for years. If the return ticket to Australia isn't included (I need to take advantage of my visa while I've got it!) then I would probably go to Uluru. It's on my list of things I MUST see before I leave Australia.
3. What do you think about most? At the moment, probably The Paramedic. I also think a lot about what to do when I finish as an au pair.
4. Do you believe in karma? Yes. Well, I hope it's true. It just nice to think that good things will happen to good people and bad things to bad people, although often it can seem like it's the other way around.
5. Give me the first thing that come to mind when you hear the word: heart. Love
6. Are you happy with the person you've become? Most of the time. There are times I wish I was different, but then I just try to work on those things. After all, I'm the only one that can change who I am!
7. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes
8. What about aliens? Yes. I find it impossible to believe that all the life in the universe is on only one planet.
9. What is the single best decision you've made in your life so far? To travel alone. Instead of waiting to travel with someone or not going at all I'm glad I took the first step which was going on a holiday to Edinburgh all on my own. I was scared shit-less, but it made me realize that I don't have to go with someone to have a good time.
10. Can insanity bring on more creativity? In some cases I guess. But then again I think everybody is a little insane, it just depends who you ask.
11. To you, what is the meaning of life? To see as much as possible, learn as much as possible and have fun!
12. What's a song that always makes you happy when your hear it? I like most old-school music and call it my good-mood music, but music from the movie "Grease", like Summer lovin' usually cheer me up.
13. Do you believe in real magic? Yes, but I am sceptic as well when I watch magicians, because I know a lot of that is trickery and maths, but I think that there is probably some people who can practice real magic out there.
14. Do you ever hold grudges against people who have done you wrong? Yes. It depends what it is they've done, but yes sometimes.
15. What is your secret weapon to get people to like you? I don't know. I don't think I have one. I try to just be myself, as far as I've noticed I don't do anything in particular to try and make people like me, unless I do it subconsciously.

My weekend.

Well, it's been a busy week and a busy weekend. It's nice to have today to just relax and not do anything at all before it's back to work tomorrow.

On Friday The Mother, one of her friends, H, and I went into Brisbane. The Mother had a work Christmas do and after that we were all going out. We had booked a hotel room in the city so that we wouldn't have to worry about getting home in the middle of the night.
No, I do not get a sudden urge to jump!
We had a little bit of drama before we even got into town, H managed to leave her bag in the car! Luckily she noticed not long after we got on the train so we just got off after a couple of stations and thankfully someone brought it to us. We were just glad H realized early on the train and not as we got into the city or right before we were going out that night.

When we got into town we walked to the hotel, the Sebel, and left our stuff there while we went shopping. It was a nice hotel, good location and we got a very pretty apartment.
The Mother had to return some shoes, so our first stop was the shoe shop. Now I had brought with me a pair of shoes that I was going to wear that night, but I really wanted some higher heels as I was wearing a pencil skirt, and that really does look better with high heels. I found some shoes that I liked but most of them were really uncomfortable because my feet are quite wide. But in the end I found some glittery silver shoes. All I could say as I put them on was: "I'm tall!! I'm so tall!". I didn't really need them, but I've been wanting a pair of high heels for a while, just because I don't have any, so I bought them. I don't really wear heels, but at least now I know I have some when I "need" it. I originally wanted some black ones, because that goes with everything, but I like silver too.

We then went in some clothes shops. There are so many pretty dresses!! Especially when I don't need to buy one. If I had needed one I probably wouldn't have seen a single one that I liked! So, ummm, yeah, I bought a dress too.... I ended up with a whole new outfit for going out. I don't regret buying the dress, it's a nice simple black one, so I can use it again and again. And I have been wanting a little black dress for ages as well.
My new outfit!
We went back to the hotel room and The Mother got ready and left for her work party, while she was there H and I got ready to go out on the town and started the drinking. We stayed in the hotel room until The Mother got back, that way we didn't have to walk around in our heels for so long! The view from the hotel room balcony was even prettier at night!
We went to a pub near the hotel, Gillhooleys, and spent the rest of the night there, drinking and dancing to the live band, which was actually really good. I was quite proud of myself for managing to keep my shoes on and not falling over the whole night. It was nice to be so close to the hotel though as I could take my shoes off as soon as we got out of the pub and just walk barefoot back to the room.
On Saturday morning we all went to the Coffee Club near the hotel for breakfast. It was very nice. I would only go there occasionally though as it's not really the cheapest place in town!

I then helped The Mother and H to carry out things back to the train station, but The Mother took my things back home for me because I was staying in town to meet a friend.

My friend, M, was an au pair for the same family as me back in England. I was their first au pair and she was the third. We'd met a couple of times when I'd visited the family in England and we figured since we were both in Brisbane we should meet up. It was nice to see her again, even though we're not really very close or anything. It felt kind of strange to think that the last time we saw each other it was on the other side of the world. M has gotten a job in Brisbane so she'll be staying here for a while, so hopefully we can see each other again a few times before I leave Brisbane in January.

When I got back home I was only home for about an hour before The Mother and I went to a Christmas party at one of her friend's house, the same place I first met The Paramedic actually. We didn't really stay at that party for very long, both The Mother and I didn't really feel like drinking, so we just caught up with some people.... Well, she did, I just talked to some people I didn't know... And then we left. It was kind of nice as it meant I got a proper night's sleep tonight and I don't have to feel like I've been drinking all weekend.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Life altering event

Nearly 6 years ago a long-term boyfriend broke up with me. Now, I wasn't devastated or anything like that, I had known something wasn't right for a while. Anyway, that's not the point.

I had been wanting to go to the UK before I even met The Ex, and when he broke up... Well, what was stopping me?

It took a few months, but I finally decided to actually do something about it instead of just thinking about it. So I handed in my resignation at my job at the bakery (which I didn't like anyway), and I got a part-time job substituting at a nursery. As a substitute I wouldn't need to give any notice before leaving, so I thought it would be perfect for when I could finally go to the UK.

At first I was looking at "normal"jobs and flats online, but it's very hard to do it that way when you can't go for a viewing or an interview and I know nothing of the areas or anything, so I decided I'd take a different route and I started looking at au pairing jobs.

Less than a year after The Ex had broke up with me I was sitting on a plane over to England. I had gotten a job as an au pair in a place called Chesterfield, and as it turned out I stayed in Chesterfield for over 3 years before I decided I wanted to see even more of the world.
The crooked spire of Chesterfield.
I don't think I realized how life-changing the break-up was at the time, how could I? But I'm sure happy it did happen. As far as I'm concerned my life changed to the much better. If someone offered me a chance to go back in time to the time around the break-up I would not take it. I don't want to change a thing.

What about you? Tell me about an even or incident, big or small, that has changed your life in some way. Did you realize it was life-changing at the time? Did it change your life for the better or worse? Would you go back in time and handle things differently if you could?

Friday, 2 December 2011

I keep changing my mind!

I have had today off, so I've been looking at what specified jobs there are in regional Australia, for when I finish as an au pair in January. Most of the jobs either require me to have a licence or they want me to start straight away. Or they want male workers...

But then after I had been looking at what kinds of jobs there were for a while (not a lot of jobs anyway really), I just thought that since most of them want workers to start immediately anyway I might as well wait until I finish this job before I look.

And then I started thinking that I don't really want to do specified work, which is mainly fruit picking anyway. It's going to be hard work and I'll melt outside in the heat. I would like to do it for a bit, because I think it's part of the experience on a working holiday visa in Australia, but I don't really want to tie myself down to one place for 3 months (or more).

The whole point on me coming to Australia is to see the country, travel. And I've already "wasted" 6 months as an au pair. Don't get me wrong, the family is really nice and it's nice to know I've got a place to stay for free so I can save up money, and that I've got a job and I'm earning money, but it's hard to travel when I can only do it on the weekends. I also get kind of "settled" and just want to stay at home and relax when I've finally got some time off. Whereas if I didn't have a job I'd feel like I'd have to do something and I'd travel more. Hopefully.

So, at the moment I am looking at just travelling for a bit. Hostels have got notice board with jobs posted on them so that when I want to make some money I can have a look at them (or online), but I'm not going to stress it too much. I am also thinking that if I don't do 3 months worth of specified work, and I don't qualify for a second Working Holiday Visa, then if I choose to come back to Australia it will be a kick up the bum to figure out what I want to study as I would probably have to get a student visa.

I have found a greyhound bus pass from Brisbane to Melbourne, it's a hop-on hop-off one, so I'll get to see more of Australia, so I might buy that one for when I finish here in January.
I am also thinking about flying over to Tasmania when I get to Melbourne and going on a 6 day tour down there, to see that part of Australia as well. I think it's very easy to miss out on Tasmania when you're backpacking because most people tend to just stick to the mainland. After that? We'll see.... Apparently all of Tasmania is on the list of regional areas, so maybe I'll just get a one-way ticket down there and then do a few weeks work there if they have any?

But I might change my mind again before January, so who knows what'll happen?

What about The Paramedic I might hear you ask? Well, I still have no idea what's going on there and even if things do work out between us I'm still going to travel. Who knows, maybe he'll even come with me some places. If not it will just have to be a long distance thing for a while.


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