I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a monthly roundup for awhile now. That means months of sitting on a fence (figuratively, not literally) and having arguments with myself, like the following:
“Are they a bit narcissistic? Maybe not. Am I narcissistic? Probably.”
“It’s my blog – I can do what I want with it!”
THE THING IS, a blog can also double up as a travel diary. When I look back on my earliest posts, I’m met with vivid memories of my life back then – rereading them makes me smile (or grimace, depending on the post in question!).
That and I do like reading other blogger’s roundups. It’s nice to get to know the person behind the blog, sometimes.
So, I figured I’d give them a whirl and see how they went. Worst comes to worst, they can bite the dust. It’s wonderful wielding this kind of power, isn’t it?
I really do think this time of the year is the loveliest in Oz (or anywhere in the world, really. Spring blossoms, anyone?). Australia tends to take awhile to ease into winter, which meant that the weather in Melbourne stayed warm right until the middle of the month of April. When it did finally turn, we were rewarded with beautiful autumn colours!
There are a lot of evergreens in Oz, so you don’t quite get the flurry of colour that you would elsewhere in the world. What you do see are bursts of orange, yellow and red every now and then, which makes for a rather nice backdrop amongst the green.
It was nice enough to see in Melbourne, but when I ventured down to Tassie – man, that was like autumn on steroids. I’ve reckon that this time of the year is probably the nicest time to visit the island state as the weather was spot on and the landscape sure did look like a vision. I had to spend some time reminding myself where I was, as much of the countryside could easily be mistaken for England’s, if you squint and ignore the local wildlife.
Having moved to Melbourne and picked up a full-time contract for the year, I was rather worried about how much time I’d have left for exploring purposes. However, I did manage to leave the city not once, but twice in the month of April! I don’t think I’ll do as well every month (and my wallet would probably beg otherwise), but I was happy to have made the most of the fantastic weather we’d been gifted during this time of the year.
Here are the stats for the month:
Melbourne: 24 days
King Valley: 2 days
Tasmania: 4 days
I’ve already written up a summary of our weekend in the King Valley, which was a lot of fun. Expect to see about a bazillion blog posts on Tassie in the future. Well, that’s an exaggeration and then some. But, I had a great time driving around the state and came back with my head buzzing with words and ideas.
On the Green Front
The last time I had a monthly roundup, I wrote exclusively about trying to give up plastic. There are some methods and practices I’ve adopted that I haven’t found a place for on the blog yet. Or I have, but want to touch on them further.
My water only hair washing journey is going well, having hit the three month mark last week. I think my hair itself is doing okay, but I haven’t cut it in over seven months, so it’s currently driving me mad! I’ll be interested to see how I feel about it after I’ve had my layers cut back in and it’s a little bit more manageable.
In other beauty news, I’m currently working on getting a routine together for skin care, that involves some natural products – both homemade and bought. I believe drinking water, eating well and doing some sweaty exercise is the best gift you can give your skin, but I’m also a girl who loves to be pampered! I’ll be publishing a guide to my routine on the blog, once I’ve perfected it.
I’ve been utilising the local bulk goods store to purchase my kitchen cleaning products and so have managed to go plastic free on dish washing liquid and dishwasher powder. I have a reusable squirty thing (I believe that is its technical name) on the sink for the liquid and simply keep the powder in a jar in the cupboard. I’m turning my attention next to toilet paper. Australian company Who Gives a Crap? have been getting a lot of buzz lately. I’m pretty keen to give their paper a whirl, or a wipe as it were (too much?).
Other Random Ramblings
One achievement of late that I’m fairly pleased about, has been getting my sleeping patterns back on track. Years of shift work has really stuffed them up – I’ve been a morning person, trapped in a night owl’s body for awhile now.
Six months after returning to Australia, my body finally feels like it’s on the right track. There’s something really nice about getting up at first light – you feel like you have the entire world to yourself (particularly on the weekends!). I’ve been using the time to be a little bit productive, mostly working on my blog or writing, as it’s proved to be a bit difficult around full-time work. I wrote this entire post at seven in the morning!
Now I just have to make it to one of the early morning yoga classes and then I’ll really be impressed with myself.
Best Reads of the Month
I’m well on schedule with my reading goal for this year of eighty books, having scratched almost thirty books off the list.
Having enthusiastically dived into the works of Sarah J Maas on the recommendation of a friend, I finished her latest book in the Thorns and Roses series, A Court of Mist and Fury. I think I like this series better than her “Throne of Glass” books and that’s saying something. Her newest novel came out yesterday and I’m already halfway through it (goodbye life, for the next couple of days). I was quite eager to dive back into Feyre’s world!
I’ve also been making an effort to read books written by Australian authors, in keeping with my pledge to immerse myself in Australian culture. I picked up Benjamin Law’s The Family Law – a collection of essays about growing up gay in a mixed-race family, in Queensland. It read a bit like a David Sedaris book at first, but Law had really made it his own by the end. I found myself chuckling along with each turn of the page. His mother in particular is quite a character.
Blog Post of the Month
I didn’t realise how unique and confusing Australian slang was, until I moved abroad and continued to use words that I just considered part of my vernacular. Cue confused looks from everyone around me, with me replying: “What? Have you never watched Neighbours?” (If they’re British, the answer is usually “OF COURSE I HAVE.”)
This was a lot of fun to write and the response has been hilarious, with Aussies and other adaptors of “Strine” empathising big time, contacting me with their own additions, or just agreeing that no one else can understand a bloody word that they’re saying.
What’s on For Next Month
My main goal for the month of May is to do some more local exploring. I’ve been living in Melbourne for almost three months now and feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of the city (and have written no content on it, whatsoever!).
I’ve got not one, but two of my friends coming to stay with me in Melbourne this month, which I’m super excited about. Hopefully this will lead to some city explorings, or at least some yummy meals.
I’ll be heading to Sydney for a long weekend at the end of the month, for the city’s best festival (after the film festival), Vivid. For those of you playing at home, that’s when the city is lit up by light artistry. Sydney is already a very pretty place, but it really becomes something else during Vivid. Having spent only a handful of days in my hometown since returning, I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends, as well as eating my body-weight in raw fish at my favourite sushi bar.
How was your April? What are your plans for May?
This post contains affiliate links to books I’ve read and therefore recommend.