Saturday, 29 June 2013

Things I like this week

Sorry for no posts, this week has been a hot mess of hecticness and I have been incredibly tired. In between going to the gym and doing household stuff after work, on the off nights I've been out with colleagues til quite late.

So I thought I'd share with you a few things that I've really enjoyed in this hectic week!

Edison - a quite cool cafe/bar in the 9th district of Vienna, where they have a vast menu of cocktails and long drinks, including Pimms No. 1 with ginger ale. Not too pricey, and Sundays is all you can eat brunch for €16.


Circuit training at the gym - oddly for someone who hates exercise, I love going to the gym. The fat burner zirkel training is perfect for me, as it keeps you moving and keeps it interesting. It seems to be working as well, as I can see my body getting leaner.

Beautiful weather - after the heat of the previous week, this one has brought a more mixed bag, and started out miserable. Lots and lots of rain, although much needed to cool the city down, was not so much fun if you needed to go out anywhere! However, the weather has improved in the last couple of days, bringing sunny weather with a cool breeze that keeps things a little fresh. When I was walking to the gym this morning I was actually reminded of the summer weather in Cornwall, warm and lovely in the sun but with that lovely fresh breeze. I suspect it is a little cool for the native Viennese, but for my Northern European soul it is perfect.

Catrice make up - unfortunately not available in the UK, but those in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Slovenia and the USA can get their hands on these fantastic products, which bring high end quality at drug store prices. I'm going to write a separate post about the things I have, but just look them up on Make Up Alley and see their ratings for yourself!

As my weekend is a little less hectic I'm hoping to finish a couple of posts I've been working on, but in the mean time, I bid you adieu, as I get to tidying and doing those boring housework things!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

25 facts about me

I love reading these posts, but find them so difficult to write. I also struggle when I am asked to do get to know you exercises at training workshops, no idea why as I'm normally a chatty thing! Anyway, here goes nothing!

1. I love cats. I have collected cat related stuff since I was a child, and now have 2 cats of my own.

2. My favourite food in the whole wide world is curry. I really miss good curry!

3. I have played a musical instrument of some description since I was 5 - I started with the recorder (descant and tenor), and added the piano, clarinet and bassoon. I can technically play the saxophone, oboe etc as well, because they have the same mechanics as the clarinet and bassoon. I've never played them though!

4. My favourite place to go on holiday is Greece. I love the food, culture, the islands, everything.

5. I am afraid of vampires, JCBs, large dogs, drowning and guns.

6. My favourite flowers are roses, especially dark red scentless ones, because the smell of roses makes me feel a little queasy.

7. The smell and taste of honey in its pure state makes me feel sick.

8. When I have a fry up, I don't like my beans to touch the other foods. When I make one at home I always have my beans in a separate bowl, and if I'm out, I will skip the beans altogether.

9. My tastes in music and films are wide and varied, but time after time I come back to rock/metal for listening, and action movies for watching.

10. I absolutely love Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. All of them.

11. I don't really feel the cold, even when the temperature is several degrees below freezing. This led me to tell a reporter from one of the Austrian radio stations, in a round about way, that Austrians are pussies. I may have been drinking.

12. Speaking of which, my biggest healthy living downfall is alcohol. Don't get me wrong, I can take it or leave it, but I do love a nice cool beer, or white wine spritzer in the summer, or a glass of red wine in the winter.

13. I spend a lot of money on skincare.

14. I feel more at peace with myself now I have turned 30. I can't even explain why, but maybe after a seriously hectic 20s, I am ready to chill out a bit now.

15. That said, I can never really shake off the feeling that I am not nearly as cool as I want to be.

16. I cannot keep plants alive. At all.

17. Cooking is my therapy. Except in the summer when it is really hot and all I want to do is grill meat and add salad and nice bread. In the cooler months though, I love creating different dishes and experimenting with ingredients.

18. My favourite ice cream is vegan coconut ice cream. The kind that is just made with coconut milk and cream. I think I should make some this summer.

19. Ever since I stripped my hair back to close to my natural colour, my choice of make up colours has become very boring and mainly taupe. 

20. Black nail polish rocks my world.

21. I am very allergic to mosquito bites.

22. My parents are my heroes. They have taught me everything good and bad about myself and supported me throughout, even when my choices were a little ill advised!

23. My favourite item of furniture is a vintage chair that once belonged to my grandparents. It was the only piece of furniture that came with us when we moved.

24. I watch The Apprentice every week even though it is totally cringeworthy. I like to think I could do so much better....

25. I am a proud feminist.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Here comes the sun....

Vienna is in the grip of some very warm weather, which I'm sure would be amazing if I had the time and resources to be able to do nothing except sit by a pool under an umbrella.

Sadly, I have to go to work, although we do have some form of cooling there to make it bearable. My Northern European origin is always blatantly obvious amongst my colleagues who are far more acclimated to these temperatures, although I feel less hot than I did last year.

I do know that at least I am not in my flat right now, and that we have learned some lessons from dealing with the heat.last summer. Keeping the sun out is the most important, and while this probably confuses the cats it is better that it doesn't get too hot for them. They can always escape to our bathroom, which due to having no window remains cool and shady all day. The bath is a particular favourite spot of Zelda.

The temptation is to spend my evenings swimming in the river, but due to the high water and flooding of the beginning of June swimming in the Neue Donau is currently forbidden. Hopefully things return to normal quickly so that the option to cool off after work will be there!

Friday, 14 June 2013

I passed.... with Merit!

After what feels like forever, I finally got the results of my dissertation and...... ..... 

I scored 78 on the paper and was awarded a Pass with Merit!!

I am so so chuffed, can't believe it to be honest!! I have now also been awarded my MSc in Development Management. Now all I have to do is work out where I'm going to attend a graduation ceremony and book it... Paris is looking promising!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Saturdays are precious

There is nothing I like better on a Saturday morning than a nice lazy start. All too often recently have our weekends been taken up by visitors, events, happenings etc that have meant that the lie ins we so desperately crave have been cut short.

This isn't a bad thing, I enjoy visitors and being busy. But things have been so hectic over the last month it is nice just to take a moment relax.

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet yeah (the remix of the classic Bob Marley track is one of my favourite tracks ever, so completely 1999). So I'm going to leave the Beard in the shady comfort of our flat playing video games and head out to the shops for a little retail therapy. Aka the great hunt for a suitable cardigan for the season. In black (I have a taupe one). And maybe a little make up shopping, I fancy some new stuff. Not that I don't have enough already but since I changed my hair back to my natural colour (ish...), my perspective on make up has shifted and I'm finding that some of my current stuff just isn't working anymore (I'm sure this is why I resisted having natural hair for so long). I have my eye on a Paint Pot from MAC and a new lipstick of some description.

My most pressing decision right now is where to go to shop. I think the long Mariahilfer Strasse is winning somewhat because of the possibilities of the arty Neubaugasse and the food of Naschmarkt, plus the sun will be shining and there are loads of places to grab a soft drink in the sun.

Lunch in the arty/hippyish 7th district or on Naschmarkt will make life easier, as I'm currently back on a Slimming World based plan having basically spent the entire month of May drinking and eating like a mofo.

So to the shops I go. How successful I will be is unknown!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The sun finally shines

As you may have seen in the news, Central Europe has been under water this week. According to the Austrian weather people, two months of rainfall fell in two days. I missed the worse of the weather, ironically, by escaping to the UK for 4 days, but it was pretty grim the day I left. When I was on my way home from Bratislava on Monday, the train passed over one of the Danube's tributaries on the border with Austria and that was pretty high. Apparently at one point the Danube in Vienna had 11,000 cubic metres of water flowing per second, a new record! To give you an idea, the normal flow is about 2,000 cubic m a second.

So the BBQ festival at the weekend is cancelled, the Sunken City is underwater, and the water is a lovely khaki colour. All a bit ironic for the 25th anniversary of the opening of Donauinsel as a recreation facility - it is a major part of the city's flood defence scheme.

But finally today, the sun came out. It was so nice I decided to walk home from work. It takes about 35 minutes, but the tube journey takes me nearly 25 some days, so when the sun shines I like to get some exercise and walk home. The canal is also very very full; only yesterday did I see some pictures taken just by the bridge at the end of our street where the water was crashing up onto the tow path. The waters are slowly receding now though, the news today reported that they are going down by approximately 1m a day, so in about a week or so, provided there is no more rain, things should be back to normal again. Hermann Strandbar on the canal seems to have resumed business after being closed yesterday, and have opened up as 'Camp Sweden' in preparation for tomorrow's Austria vs Sweden football match at the Ernst Happel Stadium. More on that tomorrow maybe, especially as I'll be a lone England supporter stuck between an Austrian and a Swede!


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