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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Birthday Celebrations

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This week we celebrated Fraser’s birthday. Unfortunately he had to work on his actual birthday, which was on a Tuesday, so we just had a mini celebration in the evening, and saved the rest for the weekend.

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But I decided to surprise him with a birthday cake when he came home. It may not look like a masterpiece, I was just glad when I managed to get the sprinkles in the shape of a ’23’.

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The all important wish-making-candle-extinguishing procedure.

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And then cake consumption.

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The rest was saved for a celebratory day on Saturday, where we enjoyed some of Fraser’s favourite things. Such as a lovely breakfastSAM_1450 SAM_1452

A lovely afternoon with some coffee and cupcakes, in a gloriously sunny Edinburgh.

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Presents, cinema and dinner at Fraser’s favourite restaurant in the evening.

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Being 23 really isn’t so bad.

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A quarter of a century

Yes, a quarter of a century, that is now me. On Sunday the 21st of July 2013, I officially turned 25, which doesn’t really sound much better than a quarter of a century. People who know me, may know that I don’t generally look forward to birthdays. It is no reflection at all on the day itself or the people I spend it with as all of that is lovely, I just don’t like the feeling of getting older. And I don’t mean OLD, just older, I have felt that way since my 13th birthday. I guess I just wasn’t made for being a grown-up.

That being said, I always ALWAYS end up having a wonderful day and this year was no exception. The wonderfulness of this day was, in no small part, down to Fraser, who, in the absence of my excitement had been very excited about my birthday. He made sure it was special from start to finish.

He made me breakfast in the morning, anything I wanted. I wanted eggs and bacon. After breakfast it was time for presents and cards.

Cards first. Thank you to everyone who sent cards. I especially enjoyed being ‘Auntie Jemise’ this year (Jemsie it what those closest to me call me).

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And this is Fraser’s sweet card, ensuring that I don’t feel too bad about getting older.

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Then presents, and I got several lovely things. The crown jewel of which was Fraser’s main present to me, which was a camera. Yes, an awesome new camera. It has several functions with which I am not familiar, but I am SO enjoying using it. It’s a perfect present, considering I use my camera every week.

We spent a relaxing morning, not rushing anything, just doing what we wanted to do. I phoned my parents (never forget, your birthday is also a special day for them). By the afternoon we were hungry again and so it was time for my birthday tradition. You may remember that for the past two years on my birthday we have bought cupcakes from the wonderful Bibi’s Bakery. It is the best birthday tradition and I could not WAIT!!

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I mean just LOOK at how delicious. I had my usual, my favourites, chocolate-orange and smarties, and Fraser had Oreo and summer berries. They were delicious and gone too soon!

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Sooooo good!

It was such a nice day, we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around sunny Edinburgh, working up an appetite for the evening.

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We went to one of my favourite restaurants and afterwards walked around New Town as it was still so warm, before heading to the cinema to see Monsters University (we do love a good Pixar film).

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So all in all, I have to admit, turning a quarter of a century was really very pleasant. I could not have asked for a better birthday!

Valentine’s

Just a little post about Valentine’s Day. We kept it simple, we really just wanted to spend the day together. So we had a lazy morning, opening a few presents.

I got a sweet card from Fraser.

We went for a little stroll through town on an exceptionally sunny winter’s day.

After a fun trip to the cinema we rounded off the evening with dinner at our favourite tapas place.

A happy Valentine’s Day!

Merry Christmas

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Christmas at home is one of the best things in the year. This time it began with baking. LOTS of baking.

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Then of course decorating and preparing the house for Christmas.

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Then, naturally, on Christmas day there were presents and AMAZING food.

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The last few days have been wonderful. Valuable time spent with family, relaxing, eating good food, gazing out at foggy days whilst being warm and cozy indoors.

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We have had a great Christmas holiday and the most important thing was that we got to spend it together. I probably shouldn’t say this (it might sound a bit odd), but I am already looking forward to next Christmas.

Pre-celebrations

So far Fraser and I have always spent Christmas day apart. It can be very difficult but it is important to both of us to see our families at Christmas. But we have always made sure that we have our own Christmas day (or pre-Christmas) before I fly off home. And this year was no exception, we had a wonderful day together and did so many amaznig things that it felt just like the real thing.

It started the night before with presents under the tree.

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Then continued the next day with present giving, pancakes for breakfast and old Christms cartoons.

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Followed by a wintry walk and a trip to the cinema.

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Then Christmas dinner in the evening with crackers and obligatory punny jokes.

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The evening was capped off by some sparkler fun which provided us with seemingly endless entertainment.

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A perfect pre-celebration of Christmas, we really did get everything we wanted.

Fraser’s Birthday Celebrations

Things really have been busy recently. So busy this blog has suffered a little. I pledge to do better.

But on to the main event, which, at the end of September was Fraser’s birthday. We had both been looking forward to a day of fun and indulgence and I was excited about making the day as special as possible for my great man.

So I got up early and went out and got us each a slice of chocolate cake as a surprise.

Then I laid out all the presents. (Yes, that is Christmas wrapping paper, we figure, why be wasteful?)

Then it was time for the birthday boy to open some cards.

 

Then the moment, I am sure Fraser had been waiting for, the presents.

Including my main present for him which expanded his collection of string instruments to include a ukulele.

  

We hadn’t expected the weather to be nice so we had planned for a rainy day. And rainy it was! After a little wander through town we decided to go for some soup to warm up. It was very yummy and just what we needed.

 

Then, seeing as it was still rainy and cold we headed for the cinema. We saw an excellent film, Killing Them Softly, we both felt that it was the best film we had seen in ages, thoroughly absorbing.

On the way home we grabbed some dinner at Fraser’s favourite Indian restaurant. This made him happy, the boy does love his curry!

This is Fraser’s curry face, here he contemplates the delicious food he is about to consume.

 

And I have to agree, the food was very very tasty, especially the chicken curry that I had.

  

All in all, I think it was a pretty successful birthday, if I do say so myself, with great food, company, films and entertainment throughout.

Happy birthday, my love xxx

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.

They say it’s your birthday, nananananananaNA, (Or, Nanananana NANAaaa BIRTHDAY)

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to my birthday. Not because I thought it wouldn’t be memorable, or I wouldn’t have fun. It’s the age. I just don’t feel 24. But 24 I am. And on the 21st of July I celebrated my birthday.

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I can always rely on Fraser to make sure I have a good time and am expressly forbidden from complaining about being another year older. I know he made a real effort to ensure that I had a special day, and I am very grateful for that. And you know what? Depite myself, I actually really enjoyed it.

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The morning started with opening cards and presents. Thanks to everyone for the cards and birthday well wishes. And to Fraser for my very amazing presents. I loved them all! That’s the part of birthdays that always has that same special feeling, when you see little parcels wrapped up you get just as excited as you did as a child.

Then one of the lovely surprises of the day. Fraser banished me from the kitchen for about half an hour and surprised me with my all time favourite soup, he knows that is the best kind of lunch for me. A great surprise as I had no idea what I would be getting and it made me very happy.

We then went for a little birthday wander and ended up at the Grassmarket at the Jazz and Blues festival.

    

That was a nice surprise. We had a look around the shops, the stalls and listened to some music. It was sunny and warm, my first birthday in Edinburgh where it hasn’t rained.

  

And THEN, it was time for what is fast becoming a little birthday tradition. Bibi’s Bakery. Seriously the best cupcakes you have ever tasted, no word of a lie. Princes Street was very busy but we pushed through the crowds to get to these jewels.

   

And then, as it was so busy, we took them home to devour them. Let me just take a moment to remember how delicious they were.

      

I chose a Smarties one and a chocolate-orange one.

  

Fraser chose a cookies and cream one and a banoffee pie one.

  

Then we got ready to go out. We went for dinner at my favourite restaurant and finished the evening off by watching The Dark Knight Rises (which we both greatly enjoyed, very good of the studio to time the release for my birthday.)

  

So all in all here’s the story, I can’t promise that next year I won’t get that nervous feeling as I inch closer to my birthday, thinking that in my head I am still 21 or something. But as the years go by it also gets easier to remember just how much fun I had last year on my birthday and that the year that followed was filled with so many more great memories. And you know, it’s worth remembering that no matter what there will always be cupcakes.

Special thank you to this guy

for making this girl

a very happy birthday girl!