homemade iced tea

A few weeks ago Peter and I went out for breakfast to the crochet-covered, delicious-food-serving  Wild Poppy in Fremantle. We were a little disappointed when our iced tea came in glass bottles – rather than being homemade – but that only lasted until we tasted it.

I ordered a Peppermint, Lemon, Lime iced tea and it was the most refreshing drink I’d ever had. I can’t remember the brand name and it’s driving me nuts but when I got home I decided to make something similar.

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Several hours of trawling the internet later (okay, maybe it was more like 15 minutes) I mashed together a whole load of recipes to get this:

1 litre boiling water

1/3 cup of caster sugar

3 black teabags

1/2 a lemon

1/2 a lime

a sprig of mint (from my very own garden!)

Just add all the ingredients and stir until the caster sugar is dissolved. Take out the teabags after 3 minutes and the mint after about 15. Chuck it in the fridge til it’s cold and HOORAY ICED TEA.

It’s not quite as good as the mysterious iced tea from the Wild Poppy but it’s better than most shop iced teas and it’s a lot cheaper.

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rewrites

I finally bit the bullet and decided to go print out my novel at Officeworks. All my editing, up til now, has been on a computer screen. But I only have a few more publishing companies to send it to and I really want it to be the best story it can be, you know. And I heard that printing it out really helps.

Well I don’t know if it’s the time away from the story or the fact that it’s now on paper but I just spent an hour or so slaving over the first two chapters. Rewriting every sentence. It will be better at the end of this process than it was at the start. But will it be good? That’s the question.

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I’ve always had lofty ambitions. But they’re never out of reach.

a belated blog post

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So it’s been 10 days since I last posted. Life was relaxing and then busy and then blah. You know how it goes. I’m doing really well on some of my goals (ukulele, reading) but not so well on others (running, being less stressed).

I’ve decided to add another goal to that list, that will possibly replace the cooking goal (who knows!), and it is to have a little garden on my balcony. Are you excited? I’m excited. First up: basil!

But definitely the most exciting thing of the last week or so was going on a mini camping trip last weekend! It’s the first time we’ve used the tent my mum gave us for our wedding. Hmm, what? We’re a bit slack, yes. We drove down to Busselton on Saturday morning, spent a few hours there and then headed just a little further south to stay overnight near Cowaramup. Next morning we checked out some caves then toured some of the wineries/breweries/chocolate factories. I tried some amazing olive tapenade but when I attempted to buy it I was informed that the only jar they had was the one for tasting (which was promptly packed up so as not to disappoint anyone else).

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I hope all your goals are coming along swimmingly and the start of your year has been fun!

Grateful for.

It has been a tough year for me but here are some things that have been pretty great.

1. I found two sort of new hobbies: writing and photography, and they have given me things to think about and care about outside of work that distract me from missing my family and stop me from watching tv all evening.

2. Europe. Guys, I got to go to Italy and Austria and Germany because of my maths. I made new friends, ate delicious food, saw beautiful things and generally enjoyed the good things in life.

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3. Public speaking. It might seem like a strange thing to be grateful for but I enjoy the challenge/adrenalin of performance and I guess presenting maths is the direction that’s going to take in me for a while.

4. My husband. I find it hard to write about him, and our relationship, on here because it feels awfully personal and he’s more private about the internet than I am. Suffice to say he has made me laugh and comforted me when I was miserable and we have grown closer together in our separation from everyone else.

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5. Living near the beach. There’s not a lot to be said about this. It’s just pretty great.

6. Friends and family. I’ve really appreciated all the visits we’ve had from outernet friends and family this year. But also, internet friends, you’ve been exactly who I needed and I’m so happy that we met.

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And nope, the pictures from Europe are not even near running out so expect posts with unrelated pictures tacked onto the end all through next year too.

Happy New Year, guys 🙂

 

I’ve been away

I went to Sydney for a maths conference.
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And then to Brisbane for a wedding.
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I returned to Perth and then headed off to Adelaide for Christmas almost immediately.
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It’s been pretty crazy in my head lately. There’s been so much going on, so many things to do, places to be and people to see. All of it was great but also tiring and today we returned home to 40C, a car with a coolant leak and an air conditioner that is out of action. The photos make the present a little easier and I’m hoping for some relaxation on the horizon.

I’ll be back in a few days with NY resolutions, something I am newly keen on.

post NaNoWriMo reflections

Starting out without a plot was probably (certainly) a bad decision.

I’m not convinced I’ll ever do it (NaNoWriMo) again.

It showed me how much time I have available in my day. I don’t want to always spend that time on writing but now, for instance, I know that I really do have time to exercise.

I do not have high hopes for the story but I haven’t brought myself to read it all the way through so we’ll see.

On the (rare) days I knew where my plot was going I could write quite quickly.  So that’s an incentive to plot out my next novel in a lot more detail than I did with the last one.

Working on one project so incessantly gave me a huge ton of ideas and inspiration to work on other projects.

So overall, I’m glad that I did it. It taught me a lot about writing and I now have a book that will, at the very least, entertain a few friends.

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This picture is from Castello Aragonese in Ischia. I have no idea if that was originally meant to be a heart but I liked it.

week 2 of nanowrimo

Okay so I will confess that this week has been harder. I didn’t write on Friday or Saturday or Monday and yesterday I didn’t manage the 1,667 words needed to stop falling further behind. But do not lose hope! We had a friend visiting on the weekend and I plan to fully make up for all the non-weekend writing of last weekend, this weekend. (Also, I discovered the Supernatural transcripts online and accidentally read three seasons in three days but I’m sure that’s irrelevant…)

So on this magical non writing weekend, what did we do? Mostly we spent our time hiding in bookshops in Fremantle (where it unexpectedly rained!) and in Kings Park which was delightfully sunny. It was also Remembrance Day and the War Memorial is in Kings Park so we got to hear The Last Post played by someone from army.

general update goodness

No, I have not reached my 1,667 words for NaNo for today but my average is above what it needs to be so, so far so good.

I find that I’m repeating myself a lot and having trouble allowing myself to work in multiple storylines. It’s trouble enough coming up with ideas for one plot so adding in side stories seems fairly impossible right now. Keeping up with the word count requires effort but not too much and so far, given all the hype, NaNo doesn’t seem as hard as people made it out to be. It’s not interfering with my daily life like I thought it might. But, then again, I’m not even one week through yet so perhaps it’s too early to tell.

I really appreciated today’s pep talk because its central theme was this: “I am a writer. I write books.” And it shocked me to realise that this is now true of me. It wasn’t a year ago. But now I can say this: I have written one book and I am writing another. I am a writer. I write books. And there’s nothing so encouraging as that. It reminds me of the scene in HP3 when Harry realises that he can cast a patronus because he has already done it. I have written one book and I can write another. That realisation washes away all of the “but I haven’t been published so it’s probably rubbish” thinking and reminds me that I have achieved something I can be proud of. There is nothing that can take away the fact that I have written a book. I do not need to wait for approval from any other source. I can say now, with pride, that I am a writer and I write books. And if I never get published and all my books sit on my computer or in the cloud I will still know that I am a writer and I write books.

Here is another art from the outdoor gallery along the remains of the Berlin Wall:

nanowrimo ’12

I have decided to enter NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve never done it before and I am approaching it with a not insignificant amount of trepidation. I’ve got some characters and a vague outline of a plot but I’m having trouble working out some crucial plot details.

Other life things: my brother has returned home, getting wisdom teeth out is actually really painful, and I dip-dyed my hair purple.

Last night we went to Cottesloe beach for dinner and it was beautiful: