Thoughts from the road.

This weekend I checked two things off my ‘The Last Single Girl’ list.

13. Go on a vacation by myself.

21. Go on a road trip.

This weekend I went on a road trip by myself.

Honestly it was one of best ideas/decisions/things I’ve had/made/done. I’d been feeling a little bit ‘bleh’ and decided just to do something a little bit spontaneous. I decided last Friday to go. Booked that night and the following Saturday morning I was off! I wasn’t too worried about having only myself for company, however I thought a one night trip would be a good starting place.

I stopped off for coffee at Blaine & Tegan’s before I left. Caffeine is critical for long drives but it also makes me happy. It also felt a bit like I had a cute little send off.

I drove to Byron Bay, which I’d actually never been to before. I drove up to the lighthouse.. walked around. Drove down to the beach. Sat on the beach and contempated life.

I had lunch and coffee at Bayleaf. Felt a bit judged with my slick hair and Prada handbag but got over it enough to enjoy the experience. And then I drove the last and longer leg of my journey on to Coffs Harbour. I stopped only once more to take a few photos and arrived in Coffs Harbour at 5pm.

When I road trip, I road trip in style. No backpackers or seedy motels. Resort luxury baby! Private access to the beach, a room that didn’t need to be that big. Pools, grassy lawns, sneaking a peak at a wedding they had that night. Yes, I think I’d make the right choice.

I wandered down to the jetty.. basked in the delightfully pink sunset. Picked up some dinner and settled in for some election updates which was all that was really on tv that night. I snuck a midnight (actually 8.30pm) swim and froze to death. Used every towel they provided me (6 in total). Took 2 showers and a bath and just generally enjoyed doing nothing.

Upon a recommendation from a local (B Ward represent) I went to Urban for breakfast, LOVED it. Stopped in at the beach again and then headed home.

Important lessons to be learnt from road trips.

  1. You are not invincible. My calves are aching today. I feel ridiculously tired, not relaxed. Whoops.
  2. Take a car with cruise control. Ouch. Seriously, my calves are SO sore.
  3. Go luxury. It’s worth it.
  4. Take photos. Lots of them.
  5. If you feel the need to talk to yourself, do it. I didn’t talk to myself, but I certainly did laugh out loud. Quite a lot. I laughed when I got to my room and realised how big it was. I laughed when I thought I’d take a shortcut back to my car from the beach and walked directly into a caravan park.
  6. Still talk to people. I think complete isolation is a bad idea when you travel alone.
  7. The whole point of being alone is that you can do things on your own timeframe. Eat dinner at 5pm, or 9pm if you wish. Stay up late, go to bed early, sleep in. Do whatEVER you want. WhenEVER you want.
  8. Get an amazing playlist. A mix between new songs and classics you love.
  9. Use a GPS. Not maps. I downloaded TomTom for my iPhone. Works a treat.. yells out directions to you and even if you have your headphones in, it will dim your music and let you know amazing things like ‘Keep going on Pacific Hwy for 76 km’. Ok great. Like I had other options.
  10. Snacks. That’s what I sort of forgot about. I should have gotten really into it and planned a little esky situation. Nope. Whoops.
  11. Look up places you want to go before hand. Research your coffee joints.
  12. Remember that there’s a time difference between the states. I got home way earlier than I needed to be due to a little thing we call Day Light Savings. Darn.

So many times I would sit/stand somewhere beautiful and think ‘Boy, I’m having such a good time’. And I would want to tell someone, but there was no one, and realising that was the main reason I was having such a good time was such a liberating experience. There’s something very important and necessary about open roads, relying on a map, street names you aren’t familiar with and a tiny bit of risk.

I’m sorry if you never see me on the weekends anymore, I will be adding more oil to my car (whoops again) and be road tripping all around our great country. Happy travels.

Gratefully Shot

After 60 days of photographing things I’m grateful for (365 Agradecido) I am definitely learning a thing or two about how to be thankful.

  1. Coffee Machines

While my new work’s coffee machine actually makes fairly rubbish tasting coffee (after 3 attempts I think I’ll stop) – the very fact that my work has a coffee machine is a huge upgrade.

2. Grocery Store Hair Dye

You woudln’t believe how fast my hair is growing. I have noticeable regrowth after 3 weeks of new hair colour. So I’m very grateful that fixing it, only costs $20.

3. Cupcakes

My new boss bought me a cupcake today. This  makes me so happy.

4. Hannah Pinches

This lovely lady deserves a mention. We went out for dinner and movie last night – she’s honestly just really good company. I laugh a lot when I’m with her and it’s very reassuring to hang out with someone who gets all your references, quotes and jokes.

5. Mum’s Jewellery Collection

She honestly owns a ridiculous amount of jewellery. I could borrow something every day for a year and she probably wouldn’t notice. This is my favourite that I’m loving at the moment.

6. The Adjustment Bureau

I’m glad people still make decent films. It’s so rare to go to a thought provoking movie that isn’t just.. really weird and creepy. Every Christian should go see this. It’s funny how so much of the movie identifies with our worldview and yet how so much of it doesn’t fit in at all. It really helped me cement what I believe about fate, destiny & will. Emily Blunt is also amazing.

7. Bones Drama

Bones is finally amping up the antics when it comes to realtionships drama. So much slow moving tension building up over seasons.. and then Season 5 is just bringing out the big guns in terms of surprise drama.

8. HOLIDAY

20 days until I’m on holidays for 2 weeks! A week in Tassie and then a couple of days either side (due to the amazing amount of public holidays in April) is going to be just SO lovely. Plus Dave & Mel’s wedding. Yay!

9. Jesus

10. My new work. I’ve alluded to how much I love it already. But I really do. Grateful & Thankful and Happy.

Coffee & Sin

On Friday, as I went out to do what normally ends up being the daily banking. I thought I would stop in and get a coffee on my way back. To some, this might sound like a fairly normal occurence. Trust me, it’s not. Depsite being a large fan of coffee, I have over the years, become what most call, a coffee snob.

I’m fairly okay with the name and have come to terms with how people will perceive me, but I feel this is one of those occaisions where I’d prefer to have people think I’m a coffee snob and be able to drink good coffee.

So on this fateful Friday – I thought I’d stop in at a specialty bakery place that seemed to have a big emphasis on coffee. I’d often walked past and smelt their almond croissants and the coffee didn’t seem to smell to bad either. This Friday my curiosity must have peaked as I walked straight inside and asked for a regular latte. It’s a standard choice for me, and if I’ve never tried the coffee before I always ask for one sugar. Most place make it too bitter and it’s better to be safe than sorry. I watched her make it, as I’ve seen enough good coffees made, to know if it’s going to be bad.

What I have discovered, and what I am hear to tell you all today – is that it can look like good coffee and smell like good coffee – but that hardly ever means – that is IS good coffee.

This coffee was basically undrinkable. Burnt my tongue on the first sip, so I waited a full 15 minutes until I’d arrived back at work to try again. Still too hot. Added another sugar, still too bitter. Call me crazy – but I drank most of it anyway.

The moral of this story (apart from you should only drink coffee from One Drop Specialty Coffee) is soon to be told.

As soon as I drank that coffee, I got to think about sin and all the bad choices we make as humans.

For me, sin is bad coffee. A righteous life – is good coffee.

I  know that I like good coffee, I know it’s a rareity and that I have to go to extra lengths to find it. But sometimes, just every now and then, I find myself slipping. For some reason – maybe I’m tired, or I need a bit of a buzz, or sometimes for no real reason at all – I find myself walking into a coffee shop and purchasing inferior coffee.

Sin is exactly like this. Living a pure and righteous life isn’t convenient. You have to work at it, you know it’s better for you and you know it’s right thing to do yet for some reason, maybe just on off days, you find yourself slipping and choosing sin.

You purchase that icky gross bitter coffee and you cringe and you swallow – and you remind yourself to never again purchase coffee from any random shop. You tell yourself – ‘you idiot, not sure why you did that – stick to juice, or water, don’t do it again’. And you don’t.. at least for a while. Until the memory of the coffee starts to fade and you can’t exactly remember exactly why you said you wouldn’t ever drink it again.

Sounds like sin to me!

Don’t let yourself be sucked it! Block your nose when you walk past that “inferior coffee joint” (also known as temptation) and resist! Cos what looks like a good choice, and what smells like a good choice – rarely ever tastes like a good choice.

Isn’t She Lovely

Loveliness on a Thursday afternoon..

God’s finger can touch nothing but to mold it into loveliness – George MacDonald

Great coffee from my best friends coffee shop, one drop.

A productive day at work.

Knowing I still have a lovely evening to look foward to.

A lovely best friend to share lovely lunches with.

New entertainment.

It’s my birthday in 5 days! I’m taking the day off and it’s going to be oh so lovely.

Lovely lovely images.

Photo Source: Some taken by me – see my tumblr for credits.

Levels of Success in a Workplace

I’ve figured out the three levels of influence in a workplace so you can easily determine when you’ve made it!

Level 1 — You make your own tea and coffee but also make it for other employees

Level 2 — You make your own tea and coffee’s

Level 3 — Someone else (normally a level 1) makes your tea and coffee for you. Sometimes a level 3 can also manage to have lunch bought for them and if they are very influential, or scary, have their dry cleaning done.

Photo curtesy of Blaine Swanborough

Photo curtesy of Blaine Swanborough

I look forward to the day where I am level 3, right now I would be content with a level 2.

Mr Swanborough

My friend Blaine is pretty talented. He’s a great friend, is funny, sensible, wise, a good public speaker, is a good cook and is very considerate. However the things he is most known for are his wonderous abilities to make wonderful coffee and his musician-ish skills.

You can check out his coffee blog here – and you can check out his mad poetry skills here.

Truth.MyHeart.MyMind

I do not believe my heart and believing in truth is truly an art,
When the feelings have gone, when the pain has passed,
Truth is still true, but wrong yet again, was my heart.

I do not believe my mind as it so easily conforms to the daily grind,
When my heart fights to be free, and to express itself creatively.
The daily grind still imprisons my mind, and I continue on in apathy.

My heart and my mind both confuse and deceive,
They betray the confidence that they receive,
They cause me to grieve over the temporary.
Continually on the wrong path they lead.
Only in truth should my heart and mind believe.