Author: Samantha

I’m dreaming of winter

It’s getting to be that time of the year where I am very much wishing for the end of summer. I know some of you will be thinking, ‘what on earth is wrong with this girl?!’ when I say that, but it has been one scorcher of a summer and I will not be sad to see it go. Advertisements

New year, new start and all that hoopla.

I know that I am a little bit late to the whole New Year spectacle, but it seems that it is only now that I’ve had time to breathe and really think about. The holiday time is just so crazy. In between Christmas and New Years, having family over, catching up with friends who have been away or are going away, as well as the crazy time at work with sale (I’m in retail btw), the time has just flown by!

Sleepless nights

It’s 3.28am…on a Tuesday night…I should be sleeping. But no, instead I am writing this post because I have resigned myself to the fact that this is going to be one of those nights where I just can’t get to sleep, no matter how badly I want to.

For the love of books

I’m not one of those people who has been swayed by the digitisation of books. Ebooks…no. Kindle….no. iPad…well I have one but the only book on there is a free lonely planet one I couldn’t refuse. Books are meant to be made of paper, they are meant to held and they are meant to form a collection that sits proudly on our bookshelves. And I’m sorry, but I don’t buy this whole it’s so much easier to carry around and I have all my books in one place argument. I have all my books in one place too…on my bookshelf. And why would I need all of my books at once? I’m only reading one! It’s just as easy to throw a book in your bag as it is a kindle or tablet. For me, there is nothing like the feeling of a freshly bought book. Holding the weight of it in your hands, the wonderful smell of the paper (yes I like to breathe in the smell of a new book..what of it!) and …

Picture Perfect: Edinburgh Castle

  Since I am going through a travel drought at the moment, as I scrimp and save for my US trip, I hope you don’t mind if I post some of my favourite pictures from past adventures. This is the magnificent Edinburgh Castle. The sun was out, a rarity in Scotland, a band was playing in the West Princes St Gardens and I just sat there thinking how freaking beautiful it was. Scotland is definitely the most naturally stunning place I have been too…and Edinburgh certainly didn’t disappoint.

Tis the season to do nothing.

I love Christmas time. Not just because of the presents or the time with family or the delicious food that we continue to eat no matter how full we are or the cheerful carols that are incessantly blasted through every store’s speakers (yes I am serious, I love carols). I do love these things, but more than anything, I just love the time off. No work, no study, just day after day to do fun things I normally get to do once in a blue moon. I feel like I have no cares in the world. I mean, that’s absolute bull because I have a lot of cares. But just for these two weeks, all those cares fly away and I can live in blissful ignorance of them. Like yesterday, I baked. I actually baked. And it wasn’t even a packet mix either, which is normally to go to if I ever have the time or inclination to bake something. And it was festive baking too…gingerbread men. I carefully measured out the ingredients as I painstakingly …

Fruit World Problems

I am going to tell you a story. A story of a girl who discovers that she is not Jamie Oliver nor Heston Blumenthal. She is not Nigella, nor is she Julia Child. And she is certainly not worthy of a place on Masterchef, or even Ready Steady Cook, despite how much she likes to delude herself into believing she is capable of using those flashy knife techniques that cut up food super-duper fast yet still perfect. Yes, that girl is me. And the events of the day have led me to this place, being my couch, nursing a sore head and a sliced finger. Allow me to explain. It started with breakfast, the most important meal of the day they say! And who does not love a bit of fruit for breakfast because I certainly do. A bit of banana, some beautiful strawberries, and lately because the joys of summer fruit are upon us, some mango. My favourite fruit in the whole wide world, and my love started young too. We used to be able to …

Picture Perfect: Notre Dame and the Seine

Paris is an incredibly beautiful and photogenic place, so I couldn’t resist sharing another one of my favourite pictures from my time there. It was twilight and the only way I can describe it, is that it was magical. The setting sun was hiding between the clouds and the street lights were all flicking on. This is looking down the Seine with the wonderfully gothic Notre Dame on the right. Every time I look at this, I ache to go back there. And quite frankly, with sites like this…how could you not?

The wall space quandary

I think I have a problem, in fact I know I do. I am addicted. Every place I go, I buy a poster, print or watercolour to go on my wall and now my collection has reached epic proportions. So much so that I don’t have anywhere to put them. Instead, they sit in piles or propped behind my door, wasting their beauty. It’s something I can’t resist, I just love having mementos from places I have been. Every time I look at my Monet watercolours, it takes me back to Paris and how amazing it felt to look at the water lilies in the Musée de l’Orangerie. My Kandinsky print from the Tate Modern reminds me of the day I walked across the Millennium Bridge from St Paul’s to the wonderfully industrial art space. I have old train company posters of London and Edinburgh I found rifling through a bargain bin in Oxford, and a beautiful watercolour of the Trevi Fountain I bought from a charming little shop in Rome. It seems too, that now my …

Picture Perfect: Parisian Dreams

It’s an oldie but a goodie. I just loved this moment so much that I wanted to share it as part of my Picture Perfect posts. This was after a wonderful day of shopping and wandering through the streets of Paris with one of my dear friends. We were walking back to the hotel when we came to the river and this wonderful sight befell us. I had pretty high expectations of Paris as I had been dreaming about it for many years. It certainly rose to the occasion though, particularly at this very moment. We just stood there drinking it all in as I marvelled at the fact that Paris was everything that I had dreamed about.

Picture Perfect: Winter’s Beach

Ok, it’s not quite winter but it sure feels like it. Spring has barely sprung but it doesn’t bother me when at the beach, in fact I prefer it that way. Snug as a bug in a rug with the cool salty breeze blowing on my face and the stormy sea raging beside me. This is how I prefer the beach. None of this burning sun you can’t escape from and the hoards of people everywhere. Give me a deserted winter’s beach any day. This post is the first in a line of themed posts I’m going to start called Picture Perfect posts. They are in no way perfect pictures, but are rather to capture a moment in time using any available camera where I am feeling happy, content or inspired. After a relaxing dinner enjoying the sunset, I couldn’t help but feel happy here so I whipped out my iPhone to capture it.

A red lipstick kind of day.

Have you ever woken up, feeling anxious or uneasy about the day ahead of you? Sometimes you need a little pick me up to help you survive the jungle you are about to enter. I have two forms of personal pick me ups…peppermint tea and red lipstick. Peppermint tea is an old stand by, ever reliable for hot minty goodness that wakens me. It’s something I need most mornings to prepare myself for the day ahead. Wearing red lipstick on the other hand is something I decided to try on a whim, and I have never looked back as it seems to have jump-frogged tea in terms of effectiveness in giving me a boost. Now I know some of you reading this might be anxious about trying something so bold (particularly the men) but I urge you to give it a go. What exactly does reddening ones lips do? It adds a dollop of style, a dash of va va voom and a tonne of CONFIDENCE. Sometimes it’s the small things that make all the difference. …

I had this dream.

So I had a weird dream last night. I won’t go into the details too much but basically I was driving down a beautiful tree-lined road somewhere in the New England area of the United States (well I’m guessing it was this region from my extensive viewing of Gilmore Girls episodes). Not only was I confused because Americans drive on the wrong side of the road, but then a police officer appeared out of nowhere and tried to fine me 200 pounds for doing 50km/h in a 50km/h zone (Yes, I do mean pounds and km/h. Apparently my dreams are bi-continental). Let’s just say, things got heated and I got very defensive because I was NOT speeding. But the lovely copper and I eventually sorted things out and all was well in dream world. Anyway, the reason I mention this wonderful tale is because when I woke up, it got me thinking about how much I would LOVE to be driving down a road somewhere in New England. The US is somewhere I am yet to …

Free falling.

Is there something that you really want to do, but you really don’t want to do it?  You see, I want to sky dive. I really want to do it, but I really don’t want to.     That doesn’t make sense you say? Well let me try to explain the internal struggle I am having regarding this.  I hate heights, but in a particular way. I like looking out at pretty views from the tops of castles and buildings and I can stand to climb ladders at work. But as soon as I can look down or directly underneath me and see how high I am, I freak out. Take going up the Eiffel Tower. Beautiful views looking out, but as soon as I go near the edge, OH NO! Take me working on ladders at work. There I am, pottering away perfectly fine doing what ever has taken me to face the retched beast, and I stupidly look down. I go shaky, and have to climb down before I can brave it again …

Let’s read this world.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. – St Augustine There are still many pages I want to read of this wonderful book. To name just a few: New York, the Maldives, Rio de Janeiro, Scandinavia, the Greek Islands, Nepal, Ireland, Prague etc etc.

Venetian Tales

Imagine it is six degrees and there is a thick layer of fog hanging over the blue-green water.It’s mystical and eerily beautiful to see the old buildings appear out of nowhere as you make you way towards San Marco by boat. In the dead of winter, this was my Venetian experience. A group of friends and I were only there for a day, so we first did the one thing we all desperately wanted to do, a gondola ride of course. Six of us crammed into the traditional boat, which was punted by a lovely fellow called Giovanni (I’m not making that up). Although refusing to sing for us, he took us through little side canals so narrow you could touch the walls of the houses as you went by. We then made our way out onto the Grand Canal, a wonderful expanse of water teaming activity even on this chilly day. It afforded beautiful views of the gorgeous old buildings that make up Venice. I should also mention, we had a couple of bottles of …

Grammar: the difference between knowing your s**t and knowing you’re s**t.

If there is one thing that really irks me, it’s bad grammar. Now I am not going to pretend I am Miss Perfect here, we all make mistakes and I’ve certainly had my slip-ups. But not every single time I write something. At university, it is something that is drilled into you every day, spelling and grammar matters. However, it’s everyday actions that are concerning me. Grammar and spelling is something that immediately tells the recipient of your email/text message/tweet/status/blog post the commitment you have to preserving our language. And let’s be honest, if I see someone post ‘so exctd for tomoro! Its gona rock!’ (Yes, sadly that is a real world example), my opinion of them is immediately lowered. I’m sorry, that may seem judgmental, but that’s just how I feel. I value language, and I value the intelligence to use it correctly. Common infractions we should have learnt in primary school include: Two, to and too. There is a difference. Its and it’s. Once again, a big difference. Their, there and they’re. What do …

In the age of social media, I’ve never felt more antisocial.

Last week, I spent an enjoyable week catching up with friends having brunches, lunches, tea times and dinners. But I’ve noticed that a nasty habit on my part has emerged. My phone sat on the table next to me for the duration of every meal and drinks session, within easy reach for access to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It is well-known that we are in the midst of a social media revolution. There is now a demand for information right here right now, which is dominating shifts in social behaviour. But the problem I now realise is that communicating with people via these sites and apps is replacing communicating with them face to face. And what’s worse is that it happens when there are friends sitting right in front of me. For example, take the dinner I had with my two good friends I went through uni with. All three of our phones sat on the table, making it even more cluttered and requiring Tetris-like skills to fit our tapas plates. While we could say …

Reminiscing about Fijian times

An island paradise. A tropical heaven. Fiji has long been thought of as a holidaying destination to rewind and relax. Not for me. Fiji holds a different place in my heart. It will always be the place where I started school, the place where I learnt to ride a bike, the place where I got the scar on my chin and the place where I experienced things others dream of. I was 4, so we are talking a good 18 years ago now (wow that seems like a long time!). We lived in Albury, New South Wales and then my dad got a job at a company in Suva, Fiji. Mum and dad thought, hey why not! When are you ever going to get the chance to do that again? So they packed up me, my brother and all our stuff, and we moved to the Pacific. Being my typical self, I made things pretty interesting on our arrival. It was Easter weekend, and I was REALLY excited to be there. We were staying in a …

London Calling

It seems to be London’s year this year. It’s the Queen’s Jubilee, there’s that big sport event happening at the moment, and the city got a visit from me. In stark contrast to the peacefulness and natural beauty of Scotland, the buzzing city of London is all about being on the move. Before I begin, I must mention two things; number one, I love the underground. I come from a place where the public transport is so bad it’s pretty much obsolete. So, experiencing the tube is like christmas and my birthday combined times two. Number two; even in our week long stay, there was no way we could visit or experience everything that London had to offer, there is just so much.  I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I took this trip to the UK with my mum. I had been to London before, but mum hadn’t, so the things we did included a lot of the traditional sites and tourist attractions of London, as well as a few bits and pieces of what we particularly wanted …

The Highlands

Edinburgh, West Highlands, Stirling

Given that I am new to the blog world, I though I would catch you all up on a little trip I took a month and a bit ago to the United Kingdom. After all, it’s very much relevant to the whole documenting-my-travel-dreams-and-experiences thing I am going for here. I was lucky enough to make my way through a small portion of Scotland and England for a short three weeks. In no way did I see everything I wanted to see, and certainly not everything there was to see, but I sure wasn’t going to turn down a trip overseas now was I? So…it began in Edinburgh. Oh Edinburgh. Not only is Scotland the most STUNNING place I have been to thus far, but Edinburgh is way up there in my top 3 favourite cities (again thus far – maybe it will be challenged, who knows). Everything about this city is beautiful. From the dirty stone of the old buildings on Cowgate to the Georgian terraces in New Town and the parks surrounding the Edinburgh Castle. …