Saturday, 23 August 2014

30 for Thirty: No#17 Eat Something I've Never Tried Before

I do enjoy tasty food and, after last year's flavour adventure in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, I wanted to set myself the challenge of eating at least one new dish. I definitely did this in Indonesia this Summer. I ate new savouries and sweets. Here's a few photographs as evidence that I can tick this 30 for Thirty item off the list:

1. Seafood: Barramundi and mahi-mahi 

I was really excited to try "barra" and mahi-mahi on Gili Trawangan after dribbling in front of the TV for so many episodes of Australian MasterChef. 

2. An Indonesian pot-luck plate

This was a tasty dish I ordered at a little warung on Lembongan. I've no idea what exactly was in it, but it tasted good and I'm pretty positive there was at least one thing in it I'd not tried before.

3. Indonesian nasi campur

I cannot remember whether I tried nasi campur in Sri Lanka, but I'd not had Indonesian nasi campur so I'm counting it as another new dish! This was my nasi campur breakfast our hotel in Ubud. I did wimp out and avoid the spicy sambal at 8am, though.

I am sure my adventures in food with continue but I'm not sure that I'll be on such beautiful islands eating any time soon!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

A Weekend Beside the Sea

In June, I travelled to Brighton to celebrate two lovely people getting married. I've not seen enough of the UK and this was my first trip to Brighton. I know that it wont be my last. 

Favourite moments:
  • Seeing lovely friends become Mr & Mrs in the stunning setting of the Royal Pavilion Gardens
  • Eating amazing burritos at La Choza
  • Playing penny slots and general childishness at Brighton Pier
  • Ice creams quicker than they could melt on the pebble beach
  • Exploring little shops and people watching in the North Laines
  • Sunsets and sea air
  • A tasty fish meal at Fishy Fishy, which turned out to be owned by Dermot O'Leary
  • Posing in deck chairs and face-in-the-holes
  • Cocktails with friends at our fantastic hotel's (The Artist Residence) bar, The Cocktail Shack 

Brighton, I'll be back!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Liverpool's Light Night May 2014: Highlights

Admiring Liverpool's skyline from new places  
Guessing what glacial art ice sculptors were creating outside the Anglican Cathedral
Sneaking into The Black-E to catch the end of a martial arts performance
Looking (and not finding) our faces at Lu Lowe's exhibition
Pit stop pint and burrito at Camp & Furnace
Feeling like Belle in the old halls at Central Library
Listening to readings from young writers on the library's roof terrace
Soaking up the Brazilian carnival atmosphere at St Peter's Square
Watching the sky darken over Liverpool from the Anglican Cathedral Tower
Hearing Pzyksong through the bell towers as we queued to get to the top
Raising eyebrows with the crowds at the sound battle performance

Friday, 8 August 2014

30 for Thirty: No#6 Learn to Ski

I've grown up feeling quite afraid of skiing. Watching school friends come back from trips to the dry ski slope with bruised skin, broken arms and other injuries put me off. My brother and I share this fear. Before my trip to Bali, we faced our fears together and signed up for a beginners ski session at Chill Factore, a real snow indoor ski slope in Manchester. Truthfully, I bought him a voucher as a gift to encourage him along with me. "We'll be fine!", I assured him, trying desperately to assure myself at the same time.

The Chill Factore was pretty quiet when we arrived as it was their off-season period. We hired trousers and jackets, took our own gloves, and were provided with boots and skis as part of our lesson. We were measured for our boots, given our winter weather gear and directed to the waiting benches. Our instructor arrived, told us what to expect and then we entered the -2 degrees indoor ski area as part of a class of around 8. The whole operation is well organised and leaves you with plenty of time to work on your nerves.

How was it? Oh my word - skiing is difficult! We were only on the beginners slope, which probably had the same incline as some people's driveways. Sidestepping up after every awkward downhill tumble took some effort. Gliding definitely did not come naturally to me. Falling and slipping seemed to feature a lot and at the end of the lesson after one and a half hours of effort-full sidesteps and a soggy bum, I felt quite defeated. Pretty sure that my brother and I were the worst in our class (and I'm not so good with not being good at something!). One woman decided to call it a day after one sidestep up the slop, so I felt that at least I'd given it a good go.

I'm really glad that I signed up for this lesson and faced my fear, and it was a great experience to have shared with my brother. I'm not sure I'd hurry back for beginners level 2 but if M did bring up a skiing holiday again I might not be quite so resistant to the idea. Another tick off the list.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

30 for Thirty: No#19 Swim Alongside a Turtle

On honeymoon, we learnt to scuba dive in the Maldives and we were desperate to see a turtle. No luck. Last Summer, we went diving in Thailand on Koh Tao, also known as Turtle Island. No turtles. This year, we widened our search to Bali and the Gilis.

Hoorah! 2014 is our year for seeing turtles. So many wonderful hawksbill and green sea turtles in their natural environment. We snorkelled with them and dived alongside them. What graceful, magical things they are. While diving Shark Point, off Gili Trawangan, we saw two enormous guys which our dive master guessed were around 80 years young.

Here are some of my new friends caught on camera*!

*Photos taken using GoPro Black Hero 3+, no filter (definitely investing in a red filter for our next trip)

I am so pleased to be able to cross this one of my list! 
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