Good evening fellow nomads,

I love the cinema. It’s one of my favourite things to do in my spare time, and I thought I’d rave a bit about it, just in case anyone else needs convincing.

Me enjoying the cinema with my good friend Jenny, including a sneak peek of our snacks

Rachel’s Top 5 cinema loves

1. Popcorn

I really love popcorn. I make it myself at home, but for some reason it never tastes quite as good as the cinema stuff. I order the biggest size possible, and usually finish it well before the end of the film – and no, I don’t share. I only like salted popcorn; I don’t really understand the point of sweet, or fudge, or ‘cajun’ or anything too out there. Stick to what you know, I say. That said, I will occasionally switch things up and bring some sweets or a box of After Eights, but popcorn is my first and one true love.

2. A big drink

I’m really marking myself out here as a complete greedy guts, but I also love the big fizzy drink to go with the popcorn. We don’t really drink fizzy drinks at home, so this is quite a novelty for us and we do enjoy it. I have to be careful though, because if it’s a late night and/or a scary film and/or I have a caffeinated drink like coke or something, it’s likely I won’t sleep very well that night!

3. Sitting in silence

I love any excuse to get comfy in a big chair with some snacks and not say any words for a few hours. As I may have mentioned before, I’m an introvert so I love the chance to be quiet and recharge my energy. The cinema provides a socially acceptable way to do so! By the time the film is done, I’ll be ready to have a good discussion about how you enjoyed it, the plot, what you thought of the cast – but if you are planning on talking to me during the film, forget it! No interruptions, no distractions. We are experiencing.

4. Escapism

I love the chance to live another life through someone else’s eyes, even if it is a completely outlandish science fiction. I like when films make you think about your own life, but I also love some pure escapism. It helps if I’m in the right mood, but I’m generally quite easy going about what type of film I will watch. Almost anything goes.

5. Indie cinemas

I particularly love indie cinemas. Even if they have slightly uncomfortable seating or strange ticketing practices, there’s something extra special about them. I particularly like The Electric Cinema in Birmingham, the State Cinema in Tasmania and I’m looking forward to a new cinema, The Odyssey, opening in St Albans. Even better, some of these cinemas are licensed, so you can trade up your coke for a nice glass of wine! What’s not to love.

Popcorn – my first love

Do you like the cinema? What’s your favourite thing about it?

Have a thrilling Thursday,

-Rachel

Happy 2014!

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to a year
which, I personally feel, will be a great one. 2013 was fairly turbulent for
me, but I’m looking forward to making this year a really exceptional one. I know
that’s fairly cheesy, but this year for the first time in ages, I think it might actually be true.
So to aid me in making this year excellent, I’ve been thinking
about how I can intentionally influence my time and space on this earth. This
year will be less about letting things happen to/around me, and more about
making things happen. This way, I can make sure the things that happen are all
good things. This may be naïve, but I’m going to give it a try, and here’s how:
·       Be more organised
This year I will never miss a birthday! I’m
going to use all the technology I can to aid me in this, from high-tech to low-fi. A relatively low-fi tip I have heard before goes as
follows:
1.    Make/buy a card for everyone who you need to send a card to for
the next year (I may change this to 6 months, so it’s not so overwhelming!)
2.   
Either write it, or leave it blank and don’t seal the envelope,
then write the latest date the card must be posted by in pencil under
where the stamp would go.
3.   
Keep the stack by the front door
4.   
When you leave the house in the morning, check whether anything
needs to go to the post box that day.
This will be the year I am
organised enough to give this a try!
·       Keep one weekend in 4 COMPLETELY FREE NOT EVEN A LITTLE SOMETHING PLANNED, NOTHING WHATSOEVER.
I am an introvert. This means I need
time by myself to recharge, or I get really cranky/useless. However, I also
love seeing my friends and family and always prioritise this over spending time
by myself, which I tend to think of as ‘wasted time’. However, this is clearly
not the case (see above). I need to reassure myself that it’s ok to need time
by myself, moreover, that this should be scheduled into my diary so it doesn’t
get pushed out by other more fun things to do. Therefore, I’m going to keep one
weekend in 4 completely free to allow me to have some time to recharge, and do some
spontaneous activities with my husband who also tends to get neglected with all
this family and friend time. I’m also going to rebrand ‘alone time’ as ‘recharging
time
’, so as to make it sound more like the legitimate use of time that it
is.
·       Find out what colour my parachute is
I bought a book called “What Color Is Your Parachute?” amidst a career crisis I had recently, and I haven’t managed to finish it
due to overcoming that particular career crisis. Whilst this is good in one sense, unfortunately I still don’t
know what colo(u)r my parachute is. I would like to find this out.
·       Read more
I’ve been given some great books for Christmas,
and I still have a backlog of unfinished books from last year. I will make time
to read these this year, mostly by putting the Internet Machine AWAY earlier in
the evening and picking up a book instead. I used to read an awful lot so I’m
keen to get back into my old habits.
·       Make a scrapbook of each week
This is related to the general resolution
I have for 2014 of being more intentional with my time and energies and consciously
appreciating each moment, rather than worrying about the next. To this end, I
will make a scrapbook (nothing fancy, mind) with one page per week. I will put
a photo, or photos, of at least one memorable or enjoyable thing I did that
week. This will encourage me to do
one memorable or enjoyable thing each week, if only to put it in the scrapbook!
·       Take more photos
See above – I feel sad when I have no
recollection or markers for vast swathes of my existence. Having pictures helps
me remember and feel good about things that I have done, plus they are
essential for creating my scrapbook. I don’t want to become an annoying
photo-maniac-paparazzi type, but just take care to document what I’ve done with
my time in pictures as well as words.
·       When staying away with work, eat
sensibly and take advantage of exercise facilities
When I’m away with work, I have a great
opportunity to change my habits for the better. For example, choosing a healthy dinner, rather than the most exciting one. If
there are exercise facilities, I can make sure to use them rather than slipping
into my home routine. Basically, when I’m establishing a new routine, I can establish a good one that will make me happy in the long run.
·       Declutter
We only have a small flat, and by most (Western)
people’s standards we don’t have very much stuff, but it’s still far more than
we need. I’ve been reading an excellent blog called Loving Simple Living and it’s
really challenged my view on the things we possess and our perceptions of them.
Whilst I don’t think we are brave enough to sell all our belongings and move to
China like the author Lorilee, she does have some great tips, testimonies and
inspiration to get us started.
That turned out to be quite a list. Congratulations if you are
still reading, and wish me luck on sticking to these bad boys!
Have a sparkly, shiny new week everyone,

– Rachel

Seeing as I’m still fairly new around here, I thought I’d take the opportunity to let you get to know me a bit better.

Without further ado, here are 20 Facts About Me:

1. I’m tall. Better get this out of the way first, as it’s often one of the first things people say to me when they meet me. “Ooh, you’re tall!”. Yes, I had noticed.

2. I don’t own a TV. I’ve never regretted getting rid of it, not even once.

3. I’m one of the scattiest people I know. I’m always forgetting or losing things and it drives me mad.

4. I’m 27 but regularly get ID’d for alcohol, and even painkillers. I have such a babyface it’s unreal.

5. I hate the dust at the bottom of cereal packets. It’s such an extreme dislike that I have been known to sieve my cereal – yes, really.

6. My favourite author when I was a child was Gerald Durrell, and if I’m honest, he still is now.

7. I have always been a bit of a grammar pedant, but since I married a trained copy editor, it’s become much, much worse.

8. Invite me to the cinema, buy me popcorn, and I’m your best friend for life.

9. When I get cold, I get grumpy.

10. My spiritual home is Sydney, Australia and I go as often as budget and work permit.

11. I have been a diagnosed coeliac/celiac for 6 years.

12. I work full time in an industry broadly similar to financial services consulting (read: lots of excel, very stuffy, a fair bit of travel).

13. My favourite colour is green.

14. I like to think I’m quite an intuitive person, and I enjoy working people out. I’m not sure how good I really am though, because I always look for the best in people and this can lead to catastrophic errors.

15. My favourite band changes all the time as I get sick of music quite quickly, but I always seem to come back to the Chili Peppers. The John Frusciante years, obvs.

16. I’ve been married for just over 3 years.

17. I don’t really like talking to people on the phone; I much prefer a conversation face to face.

18. I really love pick n mix.

19. I am definitely a dog person. I do not trust cats.

20. I’m an introvert, and I like to spend a fair amount of time by myself.

Welp… That’s quite enough self reflection for one night. Happy hump day everyone, and enjoy the rest of your weeks.

– Rachel

Hej fellow nomads,

Notice that little bit of Swedish I snuck in there? Well it’s about all I know. I’ve been working on a project in Sweden for the past couple of weeks and I’ve had a blast. It’s so, so beautiful and everyone has been very friendly.

In case any of you should find yourselves stationed in Sweden any time in the future, here are a few things I think you should know.

  • Hej (pronounced “hey”) is both hello and goodbye. This can sometimes prove confusing.
  • Instead of fish on a Friday or a Sunday roast, their traditional dish is yellow pea soup and pancakes on a Thursday. To make it a little weirder, the pancakes are served with sweet cream and jam – and yes, you eat it all together with the soup.
  • Toothbrushes are expensive.
  • Actually, most things are expensive.
  • Any temperature above 0 is classified as “warm”.
  • They have excellent pick n mix selections in their supermarkets, and it’s not just for children. Adults happily fill up a bag with no shame. My kind of place!
  • Some Swedish people speaking English sound a little bit like they are making fun of very strong Welsh accents. This is very funny at the most inappropriate moments.
  • The trains have tiny rubbish bag dispensers by each seat. This pleases my inner anti-litterbug greatly.
  • Did I mention it gets quite cold?
  • There is plenty of gluten free food available, both in restaurants and supermarkets, and restaurant staff will carefully explain menu choices to you without sighing, rolling their eyes or tsking. Or saying, “Gloo-tin? What’s that? Oh you mean you can’t have potatoes.” (Argh).
  • Hotels tend to have this weird two-single-duvets-on-a-double-bed thing going on, which takes a bit of getting used to and can result in some chilly awakenings.
  • There is a brand of chocolate bar called Plopp. Do try not to laugh.
  • The airport shopping is nothing to write home about. Which is lucky, as there aren’t any post boxes either.
  • It’s generally a very pedestrian and cyclist friendly place.
  • Everything is so freaking Christmassy!

Have a festive week everyone,
– Rachel