43 things that happened to me in 2015

Wow, what a crazy year. I thought no year would fly by as fast as 2014, but hey there 2015, you’ve gone and trumped it. It’s been a great year for me – here’s some things that happened on the ride:

  1. I finally realised I’m too old to remain in love with One Direction. Zayn’s departure didn’t break my heart the way it should have done, and I came to the sad conclusion that I could’t really give two shits about them anymore.
  2. I accepted that a bowl of bran flakes and four Ryvita crackers is not sufficient nutrition for the day.
  3. I realised how much I truly hate winter. I used to sort of love the cosiness of it all – the jumpers, hot chocolates, fluffy socks and layered clothing. But at some point around July in Melbourne, rain-sodden and snivelling, I announced I could not go on. My search for eternal sunshine began in Northern Queensland, where I had two tantrums and shouted at my boyfriend declaring that the cloud that had appeared on our second day was his fault. Obviously.
  4. I ate wallaby… and enjoyed it.
  5. I gave up red meat (a very recent development – for those of you who are questioning whether or not you did in fact see me chug a burger two months ago).
  6. I stopped lying to myself about enjoying clubs less than I used to. I started to realise I was getting too old for it when I stopped recognising the music, and I’m now 100% certain that I am over the hill.
  7. I made my peace with Aussie television.
  8. I learned the truth about Australian winter. No. It absolutely is NOT like our summer.
  9. I learned to drive an automatic car without flapping my left foot about in search of a clutch.
  10. I learned that sucking tea through a Tim Tam has to be done incredibly quickly before it all goes soggy and plummets to the ibis that is the bottom of your teacup.
  11. Apparently having a headache doesn’t always mean you have a brain tumour.
  12. I become a professional writer after years of writing content for free (yay me).
  13. I allowed my boyfriend to see me removing my upper lip hair.
  14. I discovered I am truly dreadful at market research interviewing.
  15. I survived an 8 hour drive to Adelaide (and back) without a freak out (bar one tiny blip on the final 3 hour stint of the return journey when we were further from McDonalds than we thought).
  16. I realised I don’t actually like Victoria’s Secret stuff that much.
  17. I sent so much stuff home from Melbourne over the year that the man in the Post Office said “to England?” every time I went in with a parcel.
  18. I realised I need to know more about politics.
  19. I discovered the true need to wear socks with my running shoes.
  20. I found a hairdresser that actually cuts off the amount you want, and doesn’t ask me how I blow dry my hair when she knows the answer is I DON’T.
  21. I found that when you exercise a lot, your hair and beauty game takes a serious hit.
  22. It seems that 5k in a beachfront race feels a lot further than 5k on the treadmill.
  23. It turns out I don’t like chia seeds. Or cacao powder.
  24. But against all odds I do like courgetti and natural peanut butter.
  25. I finally found the perfect eyeliner brush.
  26. I started saying no to cream on my Starbucks Christmas drinks for the first time EVER.
  27. I learned both verses of the Australian National Anthem.
  28. And upped my level of defence and respect for The Queen.
  29. I discovered that working from home is not always the dream your 9-5 office job leads you to believe it to be.
  30. I realised I’m over Lucy Watson.
  31. But made my boyfriend follow her on Instagram.
  32. Despite having fallen somewhat in love with mine and boyfriend’s long distance, novel-worthy existence, seeing some couples popping round to each other’s houses for the evening and having mutual family gatherings made me realise I do sometimes wish it was normal.
  33. I found that I will forever compare every mode of transport to The Tube.
  34. Taylor Swift got too cool for me. Bring back the country pop, gal.
  35. I heard the phrase ON FLEEK and quickly developed a seething hatred for its entire being.
  36. When I was new in Melbourne I made conversation with someone by telling them I thought I was allergic to my toothpaste.
  37. I learned never to make conversation by telling someone you think you’re allergic to your toothpaste.
  38. I cried at The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
  39. I also cried at Masterchef Australia.
  40. I realised how sad I am that the early-twenties stage of my life where you live with girlfriends is over.
  41. I realised that Corgis are my spirit animal. And that I must have one.
  42. I went to JB HIFI and Harvey Norman in excess of one hundred times with my boyfriend while he stared at the same TV for hours on end. That’s love.
  43. I discovered the reason I am so unhappy after going to Pancake Parlour is because I don’t actually like pancakes that much.

2015, you were pretty rad. Bring on 2016.

Coco xx

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27 things you will have said if you’re from Ringwood

Bonjour. I’m bashing this post out from my warm, toasty couch on a Saturday evening full to the neckline of prosecco and cheese after a corker of a lunch at Renoufs in Westbourne – so please excuse any omissions in grammar perfection, won’t you. For anyone who saw my recent Facebook status, you’ll know where the inspo for this has come from. On my way to lunch today, I was pootling along the forest roads out of Ringwood when me and my little Peugeot were reduced to the hair raising speed of 5mph – because two horses were trotting along the side of the road. As I was picking my friend up from the train station, I was concerned I was going to be late. Chuckling to myself, I thought, wow, I’m going to have to say I’m late because of a horse. Yep, a HORSE. This got me thinking – what other hilarious sentences come out of the mouths of those of us from Ringwood? Here they come:

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Image via thenewforest.co.uk

  1. “Sorry, I’m late, I was stuck behind a horse on my way here”.
  2. “I GOT A PARKING SPACE AT WAITROSE ON A SATURDAY.”
  3. “Well Jules, I was going to pop to HSBC yesterday but of course, I couldn’t – it was market day!”
  4. “Gosh, The Furlong is really coming up isn’t it.”
  5. “I just don’t understand how TOYS is still in business.”
  6. “Remember when Caffe Nero was Cosmetique!?”
  7. “Oh, that car mechanic is in Parkside” Where’s that? “You know, off Christchurch Road.” Nope? “Near Texaco.” Nope. “Where the carnival starts.” OH YEAH THERE. 
  8. “Remember London Discounts?”
  9. “Well the problem was, Jemeima’s friend Molly was out of catchment for Ringwood school. She ended up at Twynham”. Oh gosh how terrible for her. 
  10. “I saw Howard [Donald] yesterday” Oh really, where? “Waitrose”.
  11. “You’ll never guess who I saw yesterday – John Clees!” Oh wow, where? “Waitrose”.
  12. “I had to pick up some lightbulbs, masking tape, a watch battery and a dog toy, so I popped into Johnny Junks”.
  13. “Whoops, I mean Ringwood Surplus Stores!”
  14. “FREE PRAWN CRACKERS FROM THE CHINESE. GET IN”.
  15. “I STILL just can’t believe it’s not a 50mph limit on the A31 yet”.
  16. “I still look at Iceland and think of Woolworths.”
  17. “Christmas just isn’t the same without Woolworths is it?”
  18. “I knocked my exhaust off going over the cattle grid last week.”
  19. “Well we were going to book Disneyland for September but of course it’s Carnival isn’t it.”
  20. “I miss walking round the corner, seeing Cat Weasel and almost crapping my pants”.
  21. “Don’t get me wrong, I like the new Framptons, but I miss the old one”.
  22. “Who actually goes in Jaeger?”
  23. “Where are you watching the Carnival?!”
  24. “Those public toilets have come a long way since there used to be diarrhoea up the walls”.
  25. “I’m surprised the back entrance of Boots lasted so long! Woolworths had to shut theirs because of break ins incase you didn’t already know!!!!!”.
  26. “The Santa parade has been called off due to bad weather”.
  27. “I bloody love Ringwood!”.

C xx

22 things your English friends say when you live in Australia

Okay, so while I’ve taken somewhat of an absence from the blogosphere lately – attributed to being flat out bashing my fingers against the keypad working on other projects, and basking in the Aussie sun (more on that later) – it’s generally common knowledge that I’m living in Melbourne at the moment. Living in a country with such a globally misunderstood reputation has allowed me to notice a few, er, let’s say patterns in the things my friends and family back in England say to me about being here, so today, I’m setting the record straight. Don’t get me wrong, obviously I’m utterly elated that my pals are even communicating with me from 11,000 miles away and haven’t forgotten the essence of my existence since I left 7 months ago – but some of these perceptions of this country need clearing up once and for all!

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So, what even is the time there? Is it like, the middle of the night? I just can’t get my head around it!

It’s 11 hours ahead, just like last time you asked. You know that smartphone that you’re glued to? It has a world clock. Try that. 

Wow, you must be soo tanned!

Nope. Not really. I actually have a job and a house that are inside. I’m not just cruising around Byron Bay in baggy trousers and a crop top in a knot.

Have you got an accent yet?!

….Maybe 😳

Are you going to come back and keep saying BONZA?

Nope. Nobody says that. 

What’s a ‘cool change’?!

This weird thing when the hot weather stops for a day or two to allow you to breathe again. You’re outside and its 35 degrees, then suddenly a huge gust of cold wind comes and the temperature plummets 10 degrees in about 6 minutes. 

Wow, you must be ‘throwing shrimp on the barbie’ for dinner every night, right?

Again, nope. Funnily enough there are calories here too. And ovens. And normal food that isn’t barbecued. 

What do you mean it’s raining?

Yep. It rains here. Imagine that. 

Hahahaha, you said #winter the other day on Instagram. Their winter is like our UK summer though, isn’t it?

NO. I’m in Melbourne, it’s 8 degrees and raining, and I’ve just bought a coat and scarf. 

What does 40 degrees feel like?!

Imagine 30 degrees. But a third hotter. Bingo.

But there’s air con everywhere right?

Ask Metro trains what they think about that statement. 

Work? I thought Aussies just chilled on the beach all day.

Yeah and rent is paid for by the state. Not. 

*I’m going to Adelaide* Where’s that? Near Sydney?

Not quite. Imagine the entire length of the UK. Double that. That’s how far from Sydney that is. 

What’s a suburb?! Like Hammersmith or Clapham?

No. Not really.

How often do you eat kangaroo?

About as often as you eat cat. 

So are there spiders like EVERYWHERE?

There are no spiders here. 

Do you feel like you’re in the Inbetweeners movie?

None of my friends work in nightclubs and I’m not frequenting Surfers Paradise with a backpack so again, no. 

Have you been bitten by a spider?!

No, haven’t done that either. 

Are there snakes in your back garden?

No, I do not live in the outback.

Are there kangaroos fighting as soon as you open your front door?

Afraid not.

Do you feel like you’re on neighbours?

Occasionally. And no, I have not been to the Ramsay St set and I do not intend to.

Does McDonalds taste different?

Unlike Europe, it actually doesn’t!

I bet you don’t miss England at all!

ACTUALLY I SO TOTALLY DO! I MISS SAINSBURY’S, I MISS TESCO, I MISS THE BANK NOTES, I MISS THINGS BEING OPEN LATE, I MISS THE TUBE, I MISS MY OYSTER CARD, I MISS STARBUCKS NOT TASTING LIKE DIRT, YES I DO MISS ENGLAND! 

Thoughts after my first week as an Aussie

Hello world. This post is coming from you live from Melbourne, which for the time being, is the place I call home. While I like it here, and love exploring all that this glorious country has to offer, its a well known fact that I am a complete amalgamation of everything British. I’m known to break into chants of “I’m England ’til I die”, or God Save the Queen at random intervals, defend our awful weather and annoyingly pick apart any accent that isn’t that of the Queen’s English. Its for these reasons that its hard for me to adjust to a new country, so here are some of my thoughts after my first week as an Aussie resident, some good and some bad!

1. The prevalence of avocados on restaurant menus is DELIGHTFUL. Smashed, sliced, coupled with perfectly crisped bacon…you name it, its there.

2. People are kind of rude. Restaurant staff in particular. Conversations aren’t modelled on the standard British “sorry, hi, yes, please thank you sorry, thanks, cheers, see ya, yeah cheers bye”, and its quite unsettling.

3. 29 degrees is apparently the appropriate weather for donning head to toe fleece.

4. Every single road is like driving on the M25 (even in the suburbs the roads have a billion lanes).

5. There are actually ample bins. Its not like London where any sort of rubbish disposal is considered catnip for terrorists. I can dispose of my litter in peace.

6. Trains seem to come when they damn well please.

7. Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. Great coffee everywhere. Even at McDonalds.

8. There’s a genuine place called Waffee. Waffles and Coffee. Enough said.

9. Frozen coke. Frozen fanta. Frozen sour watermelon. Slurpees. FROZEN ERRYTHANG.

10. They haven’t yet grasped the concept of free cash withdrawals. $2.50 charge for using an ATM that isn’t owned by your bank. SAY WHAT?

11. People repeatedly tell you that Melbourne has unpredictable weather and that you can have all four seasons in one day. I’m from the UK. I am fully used to unsteady climates. I don’t need it to be explained to me.

12. TV advertising is hysterically cringeworthy.

13. Nobody says “pay with card”. Its apparently Eftpos (some sort of unnecessary acronym)

14. Any word that can be shortened, is shortened.

15. The prices of stuff is messed up. A McFlurry costs $5 (about £2.75). Yet a McDonalds ice cream cone (with almost the same amount of ice cream) is 50 cents (30p). WHAT?

16. The fast food monarch we call Burger King has been replaced with a young boy named Jack who requires food. Burger King = Hungry Jack’s (no idea why)

17. The food at Starbucks is far better than the UK. No stale blueberry muffins or dry panini in sight

18. Ive spent a fortune on water. I drink bottled water a lot, and here they cost about $3.30. I miss my 40p Evian from Sainsbury’s.

19. THEY STILL HAVE CADBURY DREAM. That white chocolate that was discontinued for sale in the UK when we were about 12. IT LIVES ON.

20. Everything. Is. Massive. Forget your regular sized shampoo bottle at about 250-400ml. No no no. EVERYTHING IS HUGE AND HAS A PUMPY LID. Litres and litres of toiletries line my shower now.

So those are my initial observations upon spending my first week as an Aussie. More musings to follow….

Ciao x

29 Things Nobody Told You About Australia

1. The spiders aren’t literally waiting for you at the airport. Nor are they everywhere you look.

2. They don’t have a coin smaller than 5 cents, even though things are still strategically priced at $1.99. If you paid with a $2 coin, don’t wait for change. You will be disappointed. On the plus side, their notes won’t rip, even if they do look like Monopoly money.

3. Not everywhere is hot. They even wear COATS.

4. A 24 hour flight isn’t as bad as it sounds. Honestly. It may fill you with fear and dread, but really, a couple of movies, a few cat naps, flick through a book or magazine, some new music on your iPhone, and its over in a flash.

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5. The jet lag, on the other hand, is as bad as you think. Actually, its probably worse. 5am will become a familiar time of day.

6. The legal requirement for all establishments serving food and drink to have a public bathroom doesn’t apply here. After skulling a large Coke at McDonalds, I learned the hard way.

7. They have an absolutely MASSIVE range of chocolate that you’ll never have seen in the UK. And they have freddos in every flavour possible.

8. The aforementioned chocolate, is however, extremely expensive. $3.30 for a KitKat Chunky. Thats about £2!

9. They refer to themselves as “Australians” more than you would believe. Particularly in TV ads. They never just say “people”.

10. No houses have an upstairs. Ever.

11. Having a pool at home is as standard as having a bin.

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12. You genuinely can’t cross the street unless there’s an official crossing. J walking is an actual offence!

13. They say the word “maroon” as “marone”. And they do it on purpose. Seriously.

14. Everyone eats Vegemite and watches Seinfeld. Everyone.

15. Student concession cards and drivers licences from one state aren’t valid in another.

16. You’ll never be asked how you’re “doing”. You’ll hear a lot of “how you going?”

17. The AFL Grand Final is a bigger deal than Christmas, New Year and anybody’s birthday….combined.

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18. Everything closes early. Yet things are open on Easter Sunday.

19. They get a day off for the Queen’s birthday. Yep, our Queen.

20. In Sydney, not only are the trains double decker, the seats are reversible, so you never have to travel backwards. I won’t lie, this was the best discovery of my entire trip…and we caught it on video here.

21. They claim Italian Chicken Parmigiana as “Australian cuisine”… ever thought the Italians might have something to say about this? They also manage to breed chickens with massive baps, to produce these bad boys.

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22. All lattes are about the size of a vodka shot. Everywhere.

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23. That said, the coffee is exquisite.

24. They can’t pronounce the letter L. Here’s a translator:

“Straya” = Australia

“Miyyion” = Million

You get the idea

25. They call peppers “capsicums”

26. You can’t get sweet popcorn at the cinema

27. Sadly, nobody really says “rippaaaaa” and “gday”

28. They don’t drink Fosters either. Or say “good call” in an overly Aussie accent. *cry*

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29. These hilarities aside, men aren’t all blonde douchebag surfers with long hair and board shorts, and the people are more friendly than you’ll ever encounter in London. And I don’t know whether its one of the things people never told you, or whether people did tell you, but there’s no doubt its one of the coolest places on earth.

So there you go 😉

Huroo

(They don’t say that either)