Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Happy Zan Day! :)

My parents celebrated my birthday today with lots of great food. We went out for some delicious lunchtime treats and then I came home to post. The most magical of all, my first ever delivery of flowers:

They were from my friends Ric and Rach, and they were a lovely surprise! Such lovely colours too - purple and teal! One of my favourite colour combinations! :) Yaaay! :)

Here is my birthday seafood bonanza which followed my deep fried oyster starter course. I feel like I have eaten my weight in ocean!

And here are the rentals - thanks for celebrating my birthday with me!

It was a quiet one but in many ways that was good! I have been far too busy recently so relaxing at home (and taking a meaningful break from work related social media) was really nice! I'm going to sit here rubbing my food baby for a few more hours and enjoy the rest of my birthday. 

A big thank you to everyone for their messages today - I felt very much loved! Yaay! :)

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Day in the Lakes

My friend Andy and I decided to go for an day trip to celebrate my up-and-coming birthday, and just because sometimes you just have to adventure. We chose to go to the Lake District so we aimed the car in that general direction and set off. We ended up at Lake Windermere and drove all the way around it, stopping at intervals to look at fun random things. Here are some photos:

Here's the road train that took us from the car park and back in Bowness. It had the cheesiest commentary ever, hahaa.

We celebrated in style at had afternoon tea for lunch at The World of Beatrix Potter. Really great value for money, I might add! And the scones were delicious! :)

Here was the view at Lakeside, where there's basically nothing apart from a steam train and an aquarium! Ha!

This is Wray Castle and has to be the best looking castle I have ever seen! I totally wanted to live there - it had its own private access to Lake Windermere which is open to public all year round!

Here's the view from Ambleside, just as we were heading off home. The sun came out and the skies cleared just as we pulled up. A lovely end to our adventure.

And here's me and Andy, enjoying a few more moments of quiet before debating about what carb-based product I would make him eat for tea.

We also did a bit of shopping, visited Hill Top (one of Beatrix Potter's houses), saw a steam engine set off, hugged a tree and watched a lady almost fall into the lake. Good times! :)

I had a lovely day in the Lake District. I always look at photos of the area and think that they must be photoshopped, or some artist has just put their glorious spin on the scenery, but no - the views around here are in fact beautiful, and I hope to come back again soon to admire them all over again. I loved this point-in-a-direction-and-go kind of adventure - we'll have to do it again soon! :) May there be many more mini adventures in our future! :)

Monday, 18 July 2016

Five Days With My Niece

Last week, I had to look after my niece for five days, from 8am til 5pm, for my brother and sister-in-law.

Now let's first get some background information here - I have never changed a nappy unsupervised before, and had also never spent more than maybe... erm... 2 hours alone with a small person before. This was going to be a challenge right from the start and my parents laughed at me when they realised how much I was going to learn this week.

Owing to the fact that I have literally had my hands full this week, I don't nearly have as many photos as I'd like. There were some pretty fantastical moments though and here are some of them:

Here we both are, getting acquainted on the first day.

Here is my niece, driving the car.

This is us, going for an adventure with the Gruffalo.

This is the day that my nephew came to visit us, and check that we were still coping! It was lovely to see my sister, even though... erm, my niece may have beaten up my nephew a little... sorry!

And here is my little active niece, in the playground outside, getting good at her hands and feets and legs and arms. She's go-up-the-slide, jump-off-the-spinning-roundabout, fearless. And I love it.

Now that it is over, I am glad to report that we are both alive and well: survivors, let's say. I think fondly back to that moment when my sister-in-law shut the door to go to work, and how many niece wailed so very loudly. I could see the week panning out badly at that moment. But it didn't take long for the little one to enjoy my company, insist on being picked up, refuse her food unless outside, throw her snacks across the room, eeeek her disaproval at sitting in the car seat, eeeek her need to have a photo taken, and her pièce de résistance - shoving her drool-covered, half-chewed food into my mouth and eeep that I eat it. I think she had fun with me: I certainly loved every minute of it! But I won't lie, I was absolutely shattered afterwards! I am full of admiration for how her parents do this - how any parent does this. 

I feel a bit like I leveled up as an Auntie today. Maybe a few levels. I'm glad that my brother and sister-in-law trusted me with their little one, and I can say with confidence that I'd be happy to do it again! Go Auntie Zan! :)


After pulling hard at her cousin's hair she looked at me with a puzzled expression. Obviously she had no idea what she had done, and why he was crying and why I was frowning at her. But she knew something had happened, and that the other baby in the room was distressed. So she did the only thing she knew how - she started offering him sticks of cucumber. And when he didn't take them, she just started throwing them at him vaguely. This was as much of an apology as can be afforded by a 14 month old. Auntie Zan noticed this and laughed to herself as she continued to apologise to her little crying nephew.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Meeting Up in Hong Kong

After a working holiday in Singapore, I flew on to Hong Kong. That's where the majority of my extended family live so of course I had to go and visit! I also took the opportunity to meet up with friends there and (of course) eat a lot of food. Here are some folks I met:

Here are some of the younger members of the family, enjoying an excellent get together around multiple pizzas and sushi!

I managed to catch up with my friend Tracey!

This is another awesome little person that I am related to! Hello little one! :) We played and shopped and ate so much food together!

I spent some time with my friend Wing Chi as well!

And of course, I spent a little time with the Godfather.

It's been a bit hectic since I got home, which I won't go into now. But I'm reflecting on a very food filled, family and friend filled visit to Hong Kong which was really great! It was lovely to see everyone and also to have some shopping time alone too. A big thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to say hello to me - hope to see you all again soon! :)

Now to get my head down and catch up on some work!