The month of November is a month of celebration in Sydney. The days are longer, the weather is heating up and the countdown to Christmas is well and truly underway.
This November was no different, except that it was my last full month of work for 2014 and signalled the start of the four-week countdown to my first visit back to the UK for two years.
To say I was excited was an understatement. I don’t care what anyone says, it doesn’t matter how long you live here, Christmas just ain’t Christmas without cold weather, mulled wine, woolly jumpers and a roaring fire. Most importantly, it will never be a proper Christmas without my wonderfully mad family and our special Christmas rituals.
Typically in Sydney, the Christmas countdown usually begins with the Melbourne Cup, which occurs on the first Tuesday in November. This horseracing event “that stops a nation” is a big deal in Australia and this year I treated myself to a new frock and fascinator for a day of celebration with my new work colleagues at the GPO.
A suited and booted Mr B joined us later and we entered an Instagram competition to win a $100 dining voucher by posting a selfie of our dressed up selves on the GPO page. Amazingly we won, which was a fantastic way of covering the cost of said new frock as well as make up for the lack of success in the actual race itself.
My obsession with Instagram also paid off when Not the Daily Grind was featured in GoodHealth magazine. I was so chuffed to see my photo and blog mentioned in print that I proceeded to re-post the original image alongside the image featured in the magazine. I think I have a serious problem.
November also marked four fabulous years with my darling Mr B, which we celebrated with an evening of fine dining at the amazing Argentinian restaurant Porteno. Not only is the food in this place absolutely delicious, the ambiance, setting and atmosphere are incredibly unique and the wine and cocktails are to die for, as are the brussels sprouts. Yes, you read that correctly. Brussels Sprouts.
As a lover (read: weirdo) of brussels sprouts anyway, I can honestly say that these do not actually taste like the usual “boiled to death” grandma style sprouts. So if you are ever in Sydney, give them a try. They truly are a revelation.
Before heading back to the cold European winter, our final weekend saw Mr B and I go on a spectacular scenic tour of Sydney harbour on a seaplane. I am not much of a sea baby, nor am I a massive lover of planes, so I was a tad on edge, but Mr B was in his element.
However, as soon as we were airborne, I absolutely loved it. Seeing Sydney from above reminded me of how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful city, and despite my initial anxiety, our whistle stop tour of the skies was over way before I was ready for it to end.
This was my November.