Edinburgh Christmas

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It seems ages ago now, but in December Fraser and I had our traditional pre-Christmas celebration. As with every year so far we spent actual Christmas day apart and with our respective families. This being from two different countries thing can be complicated to work out at times, but we have found a solution that works for us. And this way we get to have two Christmasses, and who wouldn’t want that?

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We had decorated our flat earlier in December, I love having all that Christmassy stuff around. It makes you feel nostalgic and cosy on cold December nights.

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Our whole day was lovely, we unwrapped presents, watched Christmas films, had a lovely meal and went to the cinema. An absolutely perfect day.

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Being away from blogging

It’s a funny old thing, blogging. You are profoundly aware of the fact that what you are really doing is documenting things for yourself. Or I am at least. That was why I originally started this blog. I wanted to have a place where I would document the every day things, appreciating the little things in life, encouraging myself to take photographs and hold on to memories of just normal life.

It has been something I have immensely enjoyed and has been incredibly rewarding. I have already enjoyed looking back at slightly older posts and remembering fun times. As such, I realise there is no real need to explain why I have been away from the blog for over a month. I am not sure anyone cares, and that is of course understandable. I know people read this blog and I love getting comments, but I am under no illusion that there is anyone who really misses my blogging when it’s not around.

To put it simply, blogging is very time consuming. That is not an excuse just an explanation. I have been and will continue to be incredibly busy, but I have really missed blogging over this last month. Some lovely things have happened: Christmas with Fraser, Christmas at home with the family, coming back to Edinburgh, getting on with my coursework. So I feel I don’t need to feel guilty about having been away from blogging. It was right for a while so that I could really enjoy everything that was happening around me.

But as I have missed it, I have stayed up late tonight and finally sorted through a few photographs. What it has made me realise is that I really want to continue this blog. Not because I think this blog necessarily means anything to anyone else. But because I know that I will be grateful for it when I one day am able to look back at this time and at who I was at 25, what my life was like and what I did.

I am also aware that things are about to get even more busy as my Masters course heats up. So there may be more absences from blogging on the horizon. But sometimes distance gives us clarity. And that is what this time away from blogging has done for me. It has made me realise that even if I sometimes fail in my immediate goals, and don’t document all the many things I would like to, I should at least try. And so that is what I will do: continue to try and blog as often as my schedule allows. Because I know that in the future I will be so happy that I made the time for it.

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I am preparing and will be publishing this week my long overdue Christmas posts and then hopefully be getting back to regular blogging. If there is anyone out there reading this, I love reading any comments and hearing people’s thoughts. Aside from everything else, I feel blogs are good place to share.

What’s been happening recently…September

Time, where does it go? I am no closer to finding the answer to that question as the last month seems to have just absolutely disappeared. I have been so busy with my new university course, which I am loving, but it has meant less time for blogging. I am determined to still keep up the blogging as much as possible, even if it means in slightly longer intervals. It is a great way to document my memories and a good way to ensure I write as often as possible and capture the little moments in life. Anyway, in the mean time, here are some snapshots of September, perhaps looking at these I can figure out where the time goes.

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Hello Edinburgh!

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So I’ve been back in Edinburgh for a week now, and despite really missing my family, it does feel good to be back. Mainly it was nice to be reunited with Fraser. I was lucky to be greeted with a truly glorious spring day the day after my return, and Fraser and I decided to make the most of it.

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We went for a walk in the lovely sunshine and stopped off to buy some of our favourite coffee (Guatemalan Elephant, in case you were wondering).

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We took our time, catching up, chatting and enjoying the fact that spring had finally arrived after a long, cold winter.

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Eventually we felt hungry and so stopped off at Bibi’s Bakery for some of their amazing and delicious cupcakes. It’s a treat we don’t often allow ourselves but when we do, we are always reminded of just how great their little bakery is and just how fantastic their cupcakes are.

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As it was getting late and we still had plans for the evening we decided to head home to devour our cupcakes. It was a lovely late afternoon, still sunny and warm.

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Being home meant cupcake eating time, and oh, were they good!

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A chocolate-orange and a smarty cupcakes for me, and a lemon and a nutella cupcake for Fraser.

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By the evening it was time to head out again as the sun set over the city.

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We rounded off the evening with some tapas in a restaurant we hadn’t been to before, (where we seemed to disappoint the waiter that the ‘Shearer’ reservation was not, in fact, for Alan Shearer). Followed by a trip to the cinema.

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It’s good to be back, Edinburgh, please stay sunny for a little while so we can continue to enjoy you. Thank you!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The Christmas season has begun and in our household we do Christmas big. We both have very fond and nostalgic memories of Christmasses when we were younger and I think this has carried over into adulthood for both of us. There is something so cozy and familiar about it and every year we try to make it special.

So, now that the start of the Christmas season is here we set to work.

The beginning of the Christmas season means of course advent calendar sweets. Yummy.

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But back to the serious business of bringing Christmas into the home. We quickly assembled all of our decorations.

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Then it was time to get them hooked up and hung up. Christmas quickly spread to the walls, the doors, even the ceiling.

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We have a mini mini mini tiny little tree as there is not much space in the flat. But we love it and we have managed to find just the right amount of decorations, lights and tinsel for it.

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The start of the festive season was appropriately rounded off in the evening by lighting the candles and the lights ….

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… and settling in for the best possible start to Christmas.

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Have a very merry start to your Christmas fun!

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Summer holiday at home

In August I finally managed to grab some proper summer weather as I headed home to Austria for two weeks. I was lucky that I had already been able to spend time with my parents in Devon and in Edinburgh but I really wanted to see them again this summer. And of course the promise of Austrian summer weather was also very enticing.

However, one thing we all love when we go home are those home cooked meals. My parents are both excellent cooks and I was immediately greeted with fantastic food.

I arrived in the middle of a heatwave so for the first few days of my stay there was nothing to do but head to a lake to swim. There are a lots of lovely lakes for swimming and it was the perfect way to cope with the heat.

First we found a shady place to lie, so that we could read and relax when not in the swimming.

Then we made for the water to cool off.

  

After the first few days it finally cooled down a little bit. So we were able to do other things and mostly just spend time sitting around, chatting, catching up and enjoying being together.

 

We went to my favourite Chinese restaurant,

 

to a Buschenschank for some classic Austrian food,

  

and celebrate my Papa’s birthday, twice!

Because after a few days my brother and his girlfriend joined us and there were yet more celebrations to be had as we also pre-celebrated my brother’s 26th birthday.

 

We also drove out to visit my lovely grandmother on a particularly nice and sunny day that wasn’t too hot.

 

We all went to yet another nice restaurant to celebrate all of us being together again.

And of course there were more delicious meals and desserts to be had.

 

Then we drove home again as my stay drew to a close.

I am always sad when I have to leave home. Even though I always have stuff to look forward to back in Edinburgh, Austria is where I grew up and I hate that my family live so far away. All I can do is make as many trips as possible out to see them and ensure that they come and see me when they can. But it is comforting to know that every time I return we all have such a wonderful time just being together.

A rainy Brownie afternoon

I thought it would be nice to include a little post about one of mine and Fraser’s recent rainy day activities. It was Edinburgh in July, so naturally the chance of rain was pretty high (no higher though than at any other time of year in Edinburgh). So here are a few shots of our afternoon with the browie maker.

  

We’ve had this brownie maker for a little while now and have been eager to try it out. After settling into the new flat, having visitors, going on holiday, we finally had a free afternoon to try it out.

Here the measuring of the ingredients started, Fraser is always very good about being exact about these kinds of things.

      

Then it was my turn, to mix everything together.

  

Then, gloriously melting chocolate. (Resist the urge to sneak some of it away to eat right now, it is for the BROWNIES!)

   

Then some more mixing. I felt that the mixture looked a little bit like tar, and I hoped it would taste better.

      

Then we scooped the mixture into the brownie maker and waited about 5 minutes for each batch.

  

I decided to watch the rain out of the window while we waited.

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Soon enough it was done, the first batch. The brownies looked delicious so we immediately filled up the brownie maker again, and then again, yes, and then again.

    

And there you have it, a large plate of brownies,

  

one rainy afternoon,

and two hungry cooks.

  

I can assure you these brownies were a great success and disappeared too quickly, they even received the stamp of approval from our friend Katy. We can’t wait for an excuse to bring out the brownie maker again.

  

Devon, with the best family in the world!

So, I have the best family in the world. I know it may seem like the sort of thing that is tough to prove definitively, but I just know that I do. And last month I was lucky enough to spend a week in Devon with my whole extended family. It was a wonderful and memorable week and a great way to celebrate my mum’s 60th birthday.

In total there were twelve of us, and we shared one big house together for the week. Devon is a beautiful place and there was plenty for us to do there. We weren’t always so lucky with the weather but we never let that stop us from having fun.

Most days we went in search of beautiful clifftop walks. It was so lovely to be wandering along chatting to each other, laughing, whilst being surrounded by such incredible scenery.

 

   

I really enjoy every minute I spend with my family. They are amazing people and we always have stuff to talk about.

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They are even kind enough to let me sometimes pretend that I am actually not the smallest member of the family, that in fact, I tower above my cousins (thank you Laurence and Ester).

It was also particularly nice that my whole family finally got to meet Fraser who also enjoyed our week in Devon and getting to know these people who mean so much to me.

   

My favourite day was probably the day we visited this lovely beach. It was warm and sunny and the perfect way to relax for the afternoon.

  

My British family members (and my always-up-for-an-adventure brother) being somewhat hardened to the cold, even made the bizarre decision to go for a swim in the sea. I think I speak for them when I say, thank Christ for wet suits!

   

  

Trips like this one always make me wish I could see my family more. They are the most important people in the world to me. I feel like I could talk to them about anything and for days. And somehow with all our individual wacky personalities, we never run out of ways to have fun together.

        

I can honestly say that I cannot wait to do this all over again. Hopefully in the future I will be seeing a lot more of all of them, the greatest family in the world.