Edinburgh - Weekend Guide

Edinburgh Diaries – Come for a weekend, stay forever!

As trite as the phrase ‘four seasons in one day’ sounds, it has never described a city more aptly than it describes Edinburgh. This is a place that requires a coat be carried at all times regardless of the season. It is however, a city that is worth layering up for. Having been inhabited since Adam was a cowboy, the city is steeped in history like a forgotten teabag. At each turn you are confronted with another majestic stone building that would violate every part of the New Zealand earthquake code.

A single weekend in Edinburgh was all it took to convince me that this city would be my new hometown. So how does one weekend in one city have such a big impact? Let me share the itinerary that had me bagpipes over sporran for Bonnie Scotland. Continue reading

Belfast - Northern Ireland

Belfast – Northern Ireland and the Secret Engagement Project

Let’s preface this story with the fact that I’m a bit of a wedding scrooge. I worked for a bar and catering team in my hometown doing a lot of weddings over the years and it made me never want to have one of my own, I just couldn’t see the sense in spending all my time and money organising one day (even accounting for my love of spreadsheets and organisation in general).

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Fringe Festival Edinburgh Assembly Working Guide Help Job Work

Working at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – A Month of Madness

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is essentially an experiment to see if, for a month, a human being can subsist on a diet of refined carbohydrates, minimal sleep and rum. I volunteered myself to test this theory back in August.

The results came back as a resounding no.

If attempted, you will contract strep throat and spend a week in bed, on antibiotics, trying not to create any saliva and stroking your own head for comfort. A word of advice, if you come to the festival try to eat a vegetable and sleep more than six hours a night.

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Designing and writing a yachting cv for work on super yachts

Working on Super Yachts – Writing a decent CV on land or sea.

So I had intended to write you great long screeds about my dockwalking experiences in Antibes. I was going to chronicle the weeks of daywork and rejection I encountered while I tried to shimmy my way into my first yachting job. I would regale you with my misfortunes and mishaps…But as it turns out I can’t tell you the first thing about it because I got my job directly via a phone interview after I put my CV up on a crew site. Continue reading

STCW super yacht training fire fighting

STCW – How to work on a yacht, starting with FIRE!

If you want to work on a boat the first thing you need to do is your STCW. This is the basic level of training that everyone working in the maritime industry needs and you aren’t going to get hired on a bit white floaty thing if you don’t have it. It can be a bit of a cash commitment to make when you don’t have a job yet but it’s unavoidable, you just have to take the hit and hold out hope for your first months wages. Or you can do what I did and put it on a credit card and then stew in that horrible “I’m in debt” hole for five months. Continue reading

Dad and Daughter Diaries roadtripping cornwall to scotland padstow black isles bird abroad

Dad & Daughter Diaries – Roadtripping from Cornwall to Scotland

In many ways I’m very glad that my father never got the sons he would perhaps have hoped for initially. The absence of boys meant my sister and I were expected, supported and encouraged to get involved in all the activities he loves; hunting, fishing, diving, walking and generally being ‘out there doing it’. At 12 years old we both had a coming of age trip with Dad, together we sea kayaked Abel Tasman and he and my sister walked the Milford Track. During the intervening years we’ve been on countless other adventures, walking the Heaphy Track, tramping the length of the Tararua Ranges, diving in Vanuatu, spearfishing off Kapiti Island, scalloping in the Sounds and myriad others. Continue reading

worst day traveling koh tao to bangkok backpacking malaysia thailand what not to do tips and tricks

Malaysia – A Cautionary Tale from your Bird Abroad

If you’re familiar with my blog the following story may not surprise you. I’ve been known in the past to make some poor decisions under the influence of alcohol and this story is no different. This is the trouble with being a hedonist with a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out), I just can’t say no to a good time.

My trip to Malaysia started with some epically poor decision making. I hadn’t actually been ‘travelling’ (read: with a giant pack and comfortable footwear) for quite a while. I’d been too busy on weekend jaunts around Europe with my wheelie carry on and had forgotten a key lesson, one that I was set to be reminded of in a most cruel fashion. Continue reading

London travel tube underground public transport walk bus taxi uber bike

London Living – Navigating Public Transport in London: THE BASICS

I’ve briefly touched on getting around London in my post on moving there. In this series of posts I want to elaborate on that advice, just to help all you poor sods faced with the epic task of trying to navigate public transport in London. Let’s dive right in, because much like my worst day travelling, this is going to be ugly, long and potentially sanity destroying. Continue reading

Food Favourite Places in London to eat where I love to have dinner for foodie heaven

London Living – My 12 Favourite Places to Eat

For me London has been the death of supermarket shopping and eating right. If I buy a courgette it will live in the fridge for a week, shrivelling beyond recognition before being thrown out. Wasteful, I know. Environmentally conscious me is doing all she can by eating out more often than her bank account really allows for, but it wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I would stand in Lidl tossing up between loaves of bread and buying the cheaper one so I could get an extra packet of noodles. Those were dark days, so once I had a job that paid a living wage I made the most of being able to sample some of the wonderful cuisine London has to offer. Below are my absolute favourite dining experiences I’ve had to date: Continue reading