Between an end a new beginning

I forgot that Sweden is so gray during winter. These images were snapped during one of the brief hours of light the other day. I was visiting Peter’s family up north.

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It starts to get light outside at about 10am, the sun rises (ever so slightly) above the horizon at about 11am. This is sunrise people.

2013 is coming to an end and I’m way too tired + busy to try to summarize it all. It has been a roller coaster, in a great way. It started with family visiting in Australia and will end with family in Sweden. In between we’ve managed to visit a few countries, different parts of Oz, find new friends and get closer to some, find routines and I got myself a new office. It’s been a year of settling, and now I feel I’m in a place that I really love. I can only hope that 2014 will be even close to as great as 2013 has been.

See you all on the other side of the new year!

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Cookies and Christmas

So, there was a bit of a break posting. I thought I would have some time to prep some posts before heading to Sweden on Friday afternoon, but as always before going somewhere, things heap up and you never have enough time to do everything you want to.

After a 30 hour journey we ended up in Sweden at midday on Saturday. As usual, it’s all running around meeting friends and family. I’ll share more from Sweden later, but as it’s Christmas Eve today, which is when we celebrate here, I’m not going to post anything but pictures from a wee gingerbread baking session with my niece on Saturday.

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Merry Christmas all!

The best friend event / Day 20 / My Advent Calendar 2013

I thought this was going to be easy, because I keep on coming back to Angela & Iulian’s house party. But then there was the Color Run, and then Thanksgiving. Not to mention the about zillion brunches over the last few months. They have all been great and it’s way too hard to pick one.

But since the house party came first, I’ll have to stick to that one. I think of it and my heart aches just a wee bit, every time I hear the Chvrches song. It’s a great feeling.


This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

A rooftop, some chicken, a bit of pool and a bar

It was a sunny day last Thursday. It was also the eve of an meet-up among our friends that was called ‘Pool and Chicken’. It probably had a much longer name, but you know, this was the essence of the night.

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I was working in the city and finished early, earlier than we were meeting up. So me and Angela headed to Curtin House Rooftop bar for some sangria.

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The place was packed!

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Angela liked it too.

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I love the rooftop bar view. And the lights!

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After a while Pouya arrived. Hey hey!

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And the moon came out for a visit. Can you see it?

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The bartender was plenty busy.

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We gave Pouya a bun.

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So then we had Pouya with a bun. We were convinced he should sport this look like, well, every day.

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I call this the look of… Eh. I don’t know. I’ll just leave it like that.

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Then we headed downstairs, across the road and met up with a few other people. Like Peter and Åsmund.

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And ate chicken! Well they did. I didn’t. I had two fairly sad sushi rolls.

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Next step – pool! Eric taking a shot.

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Nina was there as well. She and I teamed up and won our game! Skilled.

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We got tired of playing pool, so we headed out and walked a wee bit longer.

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We were heading to Hardware, a bar, for a drink.

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Juan was there, of course.

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Then I stopped taking pictures, until it was time to head home. Such a nice night!

What I want for Christmas / Day 19 / My Advent Calendar 2013

This is the year that I have started to love snapping pictures. Sure, I’ve liked it before but this year, it’s gone a bit mental. In a good way. If I could dream big I’d want a new fancy camera, a full frame one, like a Canon EOS 5d Mark II. But that’s way too pricey. I’ll settle for a new lens. Like this one.


This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

A tuesday nibbling on ‘mazing mock meat at Sweet Water Inn

On Tuesday Angela came over to my place. The plan was to craft, but safe to say we failed quite miserably. The backup plan was to head to No Lights No Lycra, but you know what? We missed that one as well. Plan C was to go somewhere and eat. This we didn’t fail.

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Say hi to Angela!

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She took me to Sweet Water Inn. I was completely famished.

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We sat down at the bar counter, ordering a beer each, our food and waiting for a table.

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Cheers!

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The place looked gritty and great, and the staff were all incredibly hipster. Incredibly.

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<3 the corrugated sheets that covered the walls.

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Then we got the food. Sweet Water Inn has the most amazing fake meat. Seriously? It was mouthwatering and I don’t ever want to eat anywhere else. I can’t wait to go back and try the rest of the options, because if they’re even remotely close to the vegan ribs, then it will be among the best food I’ve ever had. Yes, it’s that good.

Once we finished it all, downed the beer and talked ourselves a bit tired, we walked back home.

My birthday / Day 18 / My Advent Calendar 2013

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I turned 30 this year. The big 3-0 had not really scared me, and I have no problem being over 30. On the other hand, I was a bit nervous about my birthday party. We didn’t know that many people in Melbourne yet, would my party be okay?

In the end I couldn’t have asked for a better celebration. It came in 3 parts. First a week before my birthday my parents and Peter brought me to Queensland and Townsville for some birthday scuba diving. My first scuba diving experience ever. It was terrific!

The Saturday day after my birthday I had a party in our house. It wasn’t a big one, because hey, we didn’t know that many people, but it was sweet. About 15 people gathered and we ate, talked and hung out in the backyard until late.

About a week after my birthday we had a short visit in Sweden. We spent a few days up north to attend a funeral, and then we had 23 hours in Stockholm before heading back. So I sent out a message to friends in Stockholm that I’d spend that night at a bar and whoever wanted to come and meet us would just rock up. That night about 30 people showed up, and I managed to meet another 10 or so during the day. It was a continuous train of people and it was like a never ending love bombing. Intense, but amazing.

Next birthday won’t be as fancy, but hey, I’m sure it’ll be great too.

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This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

Best travel memory / Day 17 / My Advent Calendar 2013

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In early June we went to Japan. For Peter it was a dream journey but for me it wasn’t. Not to say that I wasn’t excited about going there, I was, but it wasn’t somewhere I’ve been wanting to go for the last 20 years.

For me the best travel experiences happen when my expectations are nil. I don’t expect to do anything specific, or see anything touristy, I just go somewhere to be.

One day we went to Nakameguro. We had googled ‘top hipster areas in Tokyo’ in the hope of finding a cute place with loads of cafés, shops and bars to walk around in, and this one was part of that list. I can’t say Nakameguro is filled with that, it’s fairly queit, but every block or so there’s a really cute store, café or something. And all of this settled around a canal. The place itself was great, but the best part was this little café we found. First of all, it was called ‘Malmö’ (which is a city in Sweden), so of course we had to go in. It was a café/bookshop/bar and we hung out there in sagging old sofas, reading books and sipping on what could be the greatest mojito I’ve ever had.

It was a moment of peace and quiet and it was absolutely beautiful.


This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

Lani’s goodbye party

Last Saturday wasn’t done with brunch + two markets. No no, it was time for Lani’s goodbye party.

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I walked straight from The Big Design Market to Collingwood and to Habitat, where the party was at.

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Juan was also there early.

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It was still sunny outside, a clear, crisp blue sky.

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More people started dropping in. Like Angela, Fraser and Eric.

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Me and Angela quickly got into the mood. I went ghetto and Ange happy.

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Although this is what most people saw of me the entire night. I filmed like crazy!

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Iulian also came by. Everyone wanted pictures with Lani. Well, who wouldn’t?

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And John!

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At some point there was some male carrying going on. Not really sure what Peter wanted to do.

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Eric went on and on about how everyone looked great in his glasses, so I had to try them out. I felt like I looked exactly like my mother. Apparently I thought it was hilarious.

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Hey hey!

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Peter found a new friend, Cooroo.

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And then Shohre was there.

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As well as Pouya.

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I want you!

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A whole bunch of us. Peter was all sad that Lani was leaving. The rest of us, well, I don’t really know what we’re doing.

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Thanks for a fabulous night, Lani. And for a fabulous last few months. I’ll miss you like crazy, that’s for sure, but I know we’ll meet up again soon enough. If you want to keep track of Lani’s adventures in food and otherwise (which you totally should), head on over to Four Seasons of Food now. Just do it! Thank me later.

My job 2013 / Day 16 / My Advent Calendar 2013

131211_WorkThis has been a tumultuous year workwise. When we left Ghana back in 2012, I had consciously not lined another gig up, I really needed a break. I had worked way too much at that job and the one before, and I needed to somehow reset my systems.

I started applying for jobs in January. I wasn’t very active, to be honest, because we had loads of visitors that needed some attention, as well as I had some freelancing projects that filled my time between them.

In March I started thinking about actually freelancing for real. It scared me but I registered for an ABN number just the same. I didn’t start working properly though, and the ABN number certificate just lay there on my desk, doing nothing.

Up until the middle of winter. I don’t know what hit me, but I felt it was time. Time to do it proper. And in the next few months, I started putting out quotes, getting my portfolio site up and running and populated, I created my own graphic profile and I met with an accountant. A month or so later I moved into the shared office, which was a great improvement on avoiding procrastination.

I’m still not up to full time work, but hell, I don’t want to have a full time work. And I can start to see the ripples of contacts and previously delivered projects. Slowly I’m getting to where I want to be, on my own terms, doing things that I’m proud of and enjoy creating. I you would have asked me a year ago, I would never have said I’d be where I’m at now, but I’m so happy I took the leap and went for it. I’m thankful for it every single day.


This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.