I’m not good at surprises

I’m not afraid to say that I am someone who likes to know exactly what is planned or I end up organising things so that I know their done the way I like them to be done.

Hence I decided what restaurant me and the Aussie would visit on my birthday on Wednesday (I chose Moorish in Darwin and it was amazing! I’ll share more of the he pictures later)! He told me to decide, probably a bit scared of choosing somewhere I wouldn’t like!

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On Thursday the Aussie came home from work and told me that he had got me something else for my birthday. He wouldn’t tell me what it is, only that it’s a bird with big feet? Ummmmm what!?!

I asked when I would receive the gift and was told sometime soon, I was concerned I might be busy, hectic social life and all that, and was told that if I wasn’t available then I would miss out!!!

I have spent quite sometime asking questions now:

Q – Is it an animal vegetable or mineral?
A – I think that would be fairly obvious – only if it’s an actual bird?

Q – can I sit in it
A – maybe or maybe not

Q – will I receive it at home
A – possibly

It’s really quite infuriating now! I’ve reminded the Aussie of my control freak ness and also that I am a lawyer but even my best negotiation skills have failed. Apparently he is aware that I am terrible with surprises and now I’m just waiting and wondering.

I’ve asked friends and other than an actual bird with big feet (Jacana?) maybe we have no idea.
Crown Crested Jacana Running
What do you think it could be, any and all suggestions will be very gratefully received and when I finally find out I will share it with you all, if I don’t go crazy first of course.

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Short but sweet

Just a little post today because it is officially 12.01am Darwin time on the 26th November which means only one thing it’s my birthday aka the most important day of the year (no matter how many times I inform the Aussie of this he doesn’t seem to get it!)!!!!!

I’m working today before the Aussie and I go out to dinner in the evening at a restaurant I really love in the city called Moorish and they serve amazing tapas style food. All in all I’m looking forward to seeing how the day pans out.

I’m going to miss seeing my family and friends in the UK today but will look forward to speaking to my parents later tonight on the FaceTime as well as having dinner with the Aussie because we don’t usually go out out for dinner on our own if you know what I mean. I might even wear a dress!

Anywho, hope you all have a great November the 26th!!!

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Honey and Ginger Stir Fry

Ever since I started to have more time available to cook as it doesn’t take us an hour plus to get home anymore I have really enjoyed trying new recipes and trying little tweaks to perfect them. This also means that I have really gone off eating the ready made sauces that we used to end up eating because cooking from scratch was not appealing after our journey home. I can really taste the sugars and salt that are put into the sauces and they just don’t taste the same to me.

A recipe I always enjoy is my Honey and Ginger Stir Fry. To begin with the recipe didn’t include ginger so it was more honey and sesame and it was nice but adding the ginger, has in my opinion, really improved this dish! I also use half of the sauce to cook the chicken and then the other half over the vegetables and noodles when they are just about cooked.

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The recipe I use is as follows and is best served with noodles I find:

1/2 cup of Honey
4 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Oyster Sauce
3 teaspoons Sesame Oil
1 large chicken breast diced
1 teaspoon ginger paste
Mixed stir fry veg adjust depending on number of people (I use frozen stir veg and they work well in this)
Large handful of Cashew Nuts
Packet of noodles

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I then mix the honey, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil in a bowl with one cup (measuring cup) of cold water. Heat some olive oil in a pan and when it is hot add the ginger paste and the chicken which is cooked until it becomes golden brown.

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Once the chicken is browned pour in half of the sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the stir fry vegetables which I cook for about 5 minutes (following the packet instructions for the vegetables).

Once the vegetables are starting to cook throw in the cashew nuts and add the remainder of the sauce to cook everything together. When the sauce is heated add in enough noodles for the number of people you are feeding and cook them through until heated and then serve!

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Dental Nightmares

After writingΒ about my “fear” of public speaking last week, another one of my “dislikes” reared its head today. The Dentist!

a tooth

I have for as long as I can remember been known to get extremely anxious when I had to go to the dentist after a bad experience when I was a teenager. Today as I found myself muttering “I know people probably say this all the time, but I am really not good at being treated by dentists” I could almost hear the Dentist who had the misfortune of treating me and his assistant rolling their eyes at me.

I knew I would end up having to have a filling after my first visit to a dentist in about 18 months (the last one being 2 days before I left for Australia to have a filling done quickly before I left) as one filling had fallen out (yep the emergency one before I left the UK) and then the tooth behind it had broken and I had got to the stage where it was starting to get sore.

After taking an x-ray of my mouth, the Dentist muttered those words I was dreading, yep I have to have a root canal done. I have had one before and it was seriously unpleasant for me. At the time I was being treated at the Dental Hospital in an attempt to get rid of my irrational response to going to the Dentists and the temporary filling between treatments had fallen out the day before a holiday. My lovely, calming and understanding dentist was away and I was left with one who didn’t think anesthetic was necessary for drilling. Yep I cried.

True to form today and without my lovely Mum there to support me as she did whenever I visited in the UK, I had a bit of a meltdown as the poor Dentist tried to drill the tooth so I could have a temporary filling until the root canal could be done. In the end he had to keep injecting the anesthetic (I think 6 injections in all) and between my hyperventilating, apologies and near tears the Dentist and his lovely Assistant kept telling me I was doing well. I didn’t agree!

The needle

I managed to calm myself down once the drilling stopped and am very glad I visited because it turns out there is an infection in my mouth which would have got worse but I am dreading the return trip for the root canal and am considering just having the tooth extracted because its towards the back of my mouth and I’m not sure I will be able to force myself to visit the dentist 3 more times for the root canal surgery.

It also turns out dental surgery is a very lucrative business with the cost of the root canal apparently costing 2/3 of what I will have to pay to study one of the seven subjects I need to study to qualify as a Lawyer here so an extraction might be kinder on the bank balance! Crazy isn’t it.

Happy Happy Birthday!

Today it’s my mums birthday! Here’s some penguins singing Happy Birthday to you because, well, why not?

I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy the little treats that I sent you as you deserve the very best Mum xxx

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Because I am a terrible singer and over use emoji’s …..

Happy birthday to you
🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈
Happy birthday to you
🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
Happy birthday dear Mum!
🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈
Happy birthday to you!
🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰

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Laneway Cafe

Over the weekend the Aussie and I paid a visit to Laneway Speciality Coffee Shop in Parap, Darwin for some lunch as we had heard great things about the food as well as the coffee that they serve there. Darwin’s not really known for it’s coffee shops and so Laneways is quite popular.

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On their Facebook page they say that their main focus is on specialty coffee, simple fresh food and family friendly service. The sourdough is organic and baked fresh daily and the sweets cabinet (which was filled with gorgeous looking cakes) is where you will see their naughty side!

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It was tough deciding what to eat because the choices all sounded delicious but the coffee was an easy choice and I opted for a latte which tasted really good and was not expensive when you consider how much, not so great coffee costs in Darwin!

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The Aussie and I both ordered the Wagyu Burger and I added bacon to mine!. The burger was delicious as was the filling and I would definitely order that again because it was really tasty and I think great value for money, especially as we were still full from lunch in the evening and didn’t need dinner! Even better we realised later in the day that an old school friend who recently moved to Darwin from the UK was our Chef and so we will be popping back soon to say hi to her.

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There were also some specials available and so I tried the very tasty Raspberry, pomegranate and lime soda and the Aussie tried a Vanilla Guerilla milkshake which was in a huge milkshake cup and he wolfed down so quickly I couldn’t even get a picture so it must have been good! Mind you he is a milkshake fiend and that his drink of choice if it is on a menu!

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I loved the way that the place was decorated with old thrift shop style objects like old glass milk bottles, tins from milk powder for storing knives and forks and old style scales up by the till.

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I’m not a big coffee drinker normally but I did really like the atmosphere in Laneway’s. The service was fantastic and you felt like you were really well taken care of. My only regret was that we were too full to try one of the cakes on sale but next time they are definitely on the list!!!

Darwin Fridge Festival

I was just looking back over my photos on my phone for another blog post and realised I totally forgot to share my photos for Darwin’s Fridge Festival (yes fridge not fringe!).

This event takes place every year during October. I visited for the first time last year and was very impressed by the array of well fridges that mostly no longer looked like fridges!

This year it took place from 25 October until 02 November and we popped along one evening after having dinner at the Waterfront where the fridges are left on display for you to take a look.

The blurb in the website says that the festival is a celebration of Darwin, its people and the humble fridge. It is a chance for everybody, everywhere, to make art. It focuses on recycled arts and sustainability. Paint or decorate a fridge. Turn it into a different object.

My favourite fridge this year was the Yellow Submarine which looked very like a submarine rather than a fridge. It even had a button you could press that would play the song Yellow Submarine.

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The others we saw were pretty amazing too and the pictures are below.

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All in all this is a really fun event to visit in Darwin and there are lots of events associated with it that are good to go along too. Last year me and the Aussie went to an event run by the local camera club and I’m now on the committee for the club so it was a great way to find out more about the camera club for me.