The End of Twenny Fourteen

J&S Matilda Bay
I love him.

John Michele Sam Matilda Bay

MSJT Matilda Bay
My Mum, Me, Mr H and my sister. My Dad was also there, but I have my eyes spectacularly shut in the photo with him, so Papa, I’m afraid you miss out.

 

If you’ve snuck a peek at my Instagram account over the last week or two you may have noticed that a *rather* special chap has made a reappearance in my life. That’s right folks, I’ve just had two quite fabulous weeks here in Perth with none other than Mr Hello himself. Our year of the dreaded LDR was ended at disgusting-o’clock on the 18th of December.

We’ve spent two weeks gazing longingly into each others’ eyes and being unrepentantly loved up, celebrating his first ever Australian Christmas (the heat, OH THE HEAT), and more importantly, spending some quality time at the beach. It’s been delightful, truth be told. We even managed to have a relaxed engagement party last night at Matilda Bay.

I’m due to head back to the UK in three weeks, and so now that Mr H has made his way back to the cold before me, it’s time to knuckle down and get to packing (how I loathe the word). I’m excited to return, but also experiencing a strange kind of emotion…almost as if….I might….miss living in Australia? It’s absurd, really, considering the fact that I have more or less spent this year wishing I was back at home in Kent, but now the time is very nearly upon me I find myself rather reluctant to leave. The heat I can take or leave, and yes I am well aware of what a terrible Australian that makes me :), but it’s really the people here that I will miss dreadfully. Which is exactly what I said about leaving Rochester all those months ago. I guess the heart and head get used to living wherever they find themselves to be.

It’s been a wonderful Christmas. It’s been an amazing 2014. Here’s to more of the same and better next year.

My Weekend Has Been Spent #6

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Sydney 1

Sydney Townhouse

Brighton Street Sydney

Museum Station Sydney

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Sydney Opera House and Seagull

Sydney Harbour Bridge Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha in Sydney

Mr Tumnus Hyde Park Garden Sydney

Belvoir St Theatre Sydney A Christmas Carol

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Polish Consulate Sydney

German Shepherd Mask Melbourne

  • Technically starting the weekend on Wednesday morning, when I hopped on a plane at an ungodly hour and flew to Melbourne.
  • Being greeted by my Mum at the airport
  • Seeing my Mum’s new fancy house – they’ve just bought it and it’s magazine worthy. Think modern with a Scandinavian mid century twist. Yeah. That’s good, isn’t it?
  • Scraping a couple of hours’ kip in Mum’s spare bedroom. Ugh. There’s a difference between early starts and early starts.
  • Trying not to get carsick on the way to the airport
  • Boarding a teeny tiny plane to Sydney.
  • Reaffirming my feelings that flying is not scary for me, just incredibly dull.
  • Landing in Sydney and heading to my friend’s work to drop off my suitcase
  • Realising that Sydney was ridiculously humid. Oh my god, was definitely not expecting that after the mildness in Melbourne.
  • Realising that hair products do actually work. Normally my hair would end up like Marge Simpson’s at the tiniest whiff of humidity, but it stayed perfect until I got drenched later in the day.
  • Having pizza and wine time with a dear friend that I haven’t seen for ages. (Love you K!)
  • Waking up and wandering into central Sydney.
  • Spending a couple of hours in David Jones, my favourite department store in the world. It’s like an Australian version on John Lewis, and believe it or not they do the best sushi I have ever tasted. It’s slightly better in the Perth store though!
  • Realising that a lot of Sydney is modelled on an English style of architecture. Think terraced housing, the Museum station above and big Selfridges style department stores. It was quite comforting in a way.
  • Heading the Museum of Contemporary Art. I was a little bit…underwhelmed I have to say, which is a real shame. One thing I adored though was a digital installation called The One Hour Laugh, which was simply a video of four women in somewhat ridiculous get up, trying to make each other laugh. I found myself grinning like a loon and giggling along with them. Very cheering.
  • Despairing of the fact that coffee is cheaper in Sydney than it is in Perth. :-/
  • Wandering around the Docklands, and catching views of the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Heading inside the Opera House, but just missing out on a tour.
  • Catching a view of a statue I have hereby named Mr Tumnus in Hyde Park.
  • Popping back to Surry Hills to see Belvoir St Theatre’s charming show A Christmas Carol. 5 Stars, would recommend. It was the most delightful reimagining of the story. Let me tell you, I get LOADS of Dickens in England where I live, which I rarely enjoy, but this was something truly heartwarming.
  • Catching some zzz’s back at my friend’s house.
  • At last completing my Sydney mission – putting in my application for my first ever Polish Passport at the Consulate. This is the only place in Australia where you can do it, which is a bit annoying for us west-siders! I was expecting it to be difficult, but the assistant was totally lovely and helped me out when my non-existent Polish became an issue!
  • Flying back to Melbourne to spend the actual  weekend with my Mum’s family. There was a German Shepherd mask involved, but I don’t think I could explain that even if I tried.
  • Catching another plane back to ol’ Perth.
  • Praising everyone who could possibly be praised for the fact I could lie down in my own bed.

 

I was incredibly lucky to have left Sydney before the terrible events in the Lindt cafe unfolded. It was a tragic event and my heart goes out to all those touched by the cruel actions of a deluded man. 

Press On

hellosamgoodbyesamantha press on

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrecorded genius is almost a proverb.

Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

***I found this pinned to a board in my late uncle’s house when we sold it earlier this year, and found it really moving. Turns out it’s by Calvin Coolidge.

My Weekend Has Been Spent #5

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Weekend  1

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Weekend 2

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Weekend 3

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Weekend 4

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Weekend 5

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Weekend 6

  • Putting on a full face of makeup for the first time in what feels like forever
  • Mixing my two beloved Revlon Colorburst Matte Lip Balms together to make the most perfect coral lip colour. Deeeelightful. I used 245 Audacious and 210 Unapologetic, or as the French translation goes Sans Remorse. Guess which one I prefer?
  • Getting dressed in my new yellow Karen Walker dress
  • Carrying all of my belongings to my Aunt’s house, and getting more and more enraged at myself, for having so deciding to bring so many things; the weather, for raining on my blow dried hair; every other person on the bus, who somehow could not wait for me to out my 100,000 bags down before them, and just barged past me struggling away. IT’S TIME TO GET A CAR SAM
  • Partaking in a delicious High Tea at Rochelle Adonis in Highgate, with the women in my Mum’s side of the family for the civilised version of my Hen do. It was a gorgeous afternoon, and I really enjoyed the whole ceremony of it. The service was faultless and attentive. Having said that, it’s the kind of thing that I don’t ever need to do again. That’s no reflection on the quality of food, service or my company, it just transpires that perhaps High Tea is not really my thing.
  • Going outfit shopping with my decidedly hipster Mother. She’s looking for her Mother-of-the-Bride outfit, and we had a bit of a laugh when we saw what Mother-of-The-Bride dresses actually look like most of the time. The dress actually isn’t that horrible, it’s just definitely not my Mum’s style. Definitely not. It is actually really hard to find cool and yet wedding appropriate dresses or suits for arty people. If you have any tips, please send them my way!
  • Heading out for a drink and a chin wag with my Mum. She lives Over East, and so even though I’ve been in Australia all year, I’ve only seen her three times! You miss out on a lot of the day to day stuff in life when you’re so far apart.
  • Meeting up with my aunt and uncle and a couple of their friends for dinner at The Old Swan Brewery. We had a great meal, and they’re really familiar with the restaurant, so all was just splendid until a waitress spilt a glass of champagne down the back of my aunty…..oops. Did not go down particularly well.
  • Trying to fit 6 people in a 4 person taxi. It doesn’t work, and you may well find a 60 year old woman sitting on your lap before they get turfed out by the sensible taxi driver
  • Waking up with a teeny tiny hangover. Oops
  • Going shopping again with my Mum. No joy on Saturday either looking for wedding outfits. I daresay she’ll find something back home though 🙂
  • Making our way down to Fremantle and having a wander
  • Stopping for lunch at Bread in Common. They do the most amazing bread there, and we had some with dukkha, prawns and asparagus plates, alongside a cheeky glass of rosé.
  • Heading back to my aunt’s house for an LLD (little lie down).
  • Sneaking in a FaceTime with Mr Hello <3
  • Having pizza, wine and chats with my Mum and Aunty. Good quality girl time.
  • Falling asleep having drunk a tiny bit too much once again.
  • Waking up to the sounds of a family breakfast being prepared.
  • Trying to be helpful, but being a bit useless and ultimately deciding the most helpful thing was to get out of the damn way.
  • Having a big fry up (hash browns for the win!) with my extended family.
  • Saying goodbye to my Mum, knowing that for the first time in 5 years, I will see her again within a week!
  • Heading home to DETOX. Oh my, all the wines happened this weekend.

 

How was your weekend?

Wedding Planning: The Dress

I found my dress about two days after getting engaged. It sounds utterly ridiculous, I know. The whole process of finding what is to be the frock I’ll wear when I go from Ms to Mrs has been incredibly painless and totally without setting foot in a bridal store. Go figure.

I know it’s not the done thing these days to admit you’ve thought about your wedding day for a long time. But to hell with being embarrassed, let’s be completely honest here – it had crossed my mind on a not-infrequent basis over the years. To the point where after I found out about Love My Dress, I began to regularly read, despite being three er, a couple of years out from getting engaged. For a long time I imagined having as fancy a shindig as possible, but by the time the concept of getting married had become more realistic, my tastes had changed and I began to naturally lean towards a simpler, much more chic aesthetic.

Gah, I am desperado to show you a picture of my wedding dress, but I know for a fact that Mr Hello reads this here blog and I want to maintain a bit of mystery for the grand day itself. So…as a compromise I have created the collages below, to give you an idea of my personal style, and maybe even a hint or two…

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Wedding Dress InspirationHello Sam Goodbye Samantha Wedding Inspiration

What do you think? Any favourites?

I was a little bit afraid that having bought my dress online I would feel like I had missed out on the bridal shop experience. Being a bride often feels like a real rite of passage, and I don’t want to miss out on meaningful experiences with my Mum or my sister, or in fact any of the significant women in my life. I was a little bit concerned that a one-time opportunity had been missed, before I came to the realisation that I genuinely despise clothes shopping with other people. I feel self conscious about my body, and I question my own style when I ask other people for their opinion, so in the harsh light of day, perhaps the decision to choose my dress from the comfort and relative privacy of my own laptop was for the best.

Soon after our engagement I was casually Googling wedding dresses, you know, like a totally normal person. When I saw a picture of my wedding dress, I knew within a second that it was the one for me. What I didn’t realise at the time (but did shortly after) was that it was also the wedding dress of a bride from one of my favourite real wedding features on Love My Dress (nope, not linking to it you cheeky thing!). But as luck would have it…..it was a 3 year old dress, and the company making it had sold out. Noooooooooo. This is where it took me a little more time to actually buy the dress I’d somehow chosen immediately. I hit up eBay, with no joy, then PreLoved, also no joy there, and the threads of desperation started to get their sneaky hands on me before at last, I found one in my size on OnceWed. With nary a second’s hesitation I send off an enquiry email. Happily, within a few weeks I had bought it from the lovely Bonnie in Virginia, US, who not only sourced the best postage deal for me, but sent me a beautiful engagement card along with my dress in its original packaging. It was very special. Now OnceWed uses Escrow.com for all financials, as supposedly it’s much safer than PayPal. In the end, Bonnie and I used PayPal to seal the deal and I had absolutely no problem. I can’t vouch for others, but I had a great experience.

Luckily for me, my dress is actually everything I never really knew that I wanted. Buying a secondhand dress actually feels really meaningful, almost as if it’s already a happy dress. That it gets to be a part of more joy, and in turn brings more joy with it. On top of that, it cost me $650 (£350) including shipping. Not shabby at all!