I guess I was not the only one finding it difficult to fill the days with excitement during the Covid-19 lockdown. Spending a large amount of time in one apartment was a challenge, but this is an experience I will definitely never forget. Today I am appreciating a cup of coffee at the the cafe. Commuting by train again. Seeing colleagues and friends face to face.
I am so happy the restrictions have eased, but there will be a couple of things I will try to take with me when life goes back to the new normal. Firstly, I have had a lot of time to take care of the plants. Jarryd realised we had 50+ plants and we have for a long time needed more storage space for our green babies. We decided to go to IKEA and get the cheapest shelf which would be the new home to some of the plants without a permanent spot in the apartment. We also managed to fill the shelf with other junk we never can throw away (#girlfriendisahoarder).
It has been getting a lot cooler here in Brisbane the last couple of weeks (we are currently using a heater at home…) and this came as a shock to me and to the outdoor plants. Of course I could not let them freeze their butts off outside, so I took the most vulnerable ones inside and kept them close to our sunny window next to the ugly balcony (where we never hangout, instead it is only used for storing recycling and drying clothes). Here are some of the seedlings that absolutely love being inside. We also tried to put seeds in eggshells together with some soil. They seemed to really like it, which really is a plus since it means less plastic and more organic!
We got a fish tank from Jarryd’s mother and our first thought was to get a couple of fish. When we realised how much work and responsibility it requires, we decided it would not be worth spending that much time with a pet you cannot cuddle. Instead we turned it into a terrarium. After spending a couple of hours at Bunnings and the local plant nursery, we got everything needed for the different layers and beautiful plants. The plants are growing bigger for every day, so I need a plan for what to do when they are getting outside the wrapping paper hmm…
I guess my mind has been focused on plants lately, because that has basically been the only thing I have been painting as well. I will eventually make a post showing you the paintings I have at home and some of the stuff I am currently working on.
The only time I was outside during the lockdown was when I had to go to the grocery store or when I went for walks. I like that Brisbane has so many bridges! They all have their own personality and appearance. This is one of my favourites, William Jolly bridge in South Brisbane.
Lastly, the lockdown has been a great opportunity to read all the books I usually find hard to prioritise when there are a million other things happening during the weeks. I am a bit of a sucker for history and could not resist purchasing this book. It is so interesting to get a detailed description of how the medieval life could have looked like: how people lived, what the society was like and how everything looked like. Please give me a time travel machine!
What interests and activities have you occupied yourself with during Covid-19? Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!
This photo bomb from the last couple of days starts with a snack after my first shift at my new internship/job at Queensland Cricketers’ Club. I found Pearl café in the Gabba and had the sourdough with olive oil before catching my bus home to Paddington.
Magazines in the bathroom at the café. My eyes were drawn to the fantastic house.
Walking past this beautiful barber shop on my way to the bus stop.
Last week, Jarryd and I were spending a lot of time with our plants preparing them for summer. We gave them new soil and fertilizer. We have new vegetables, but so far, the tomato is the only survivor. My little Chinese Money plants are looking more and more tired which is really sad. My plant babies…
Our oldest plant that started this whole plant addiction: the fig tree. It was our old housemate who left the fig tree on the veranda when she moved to Europe. It was supposed to be picked up by her friend. After many weeks, no friend showed up and I had to start giving the poor plant water. I decided to adopt the plant and that was our first plant. The smaller fig tree is originally from the bigger tree.
We also added a Sentinel to our collection. My dream is to have a really big Sentinel to attract parrots. Now, we only have bush turkeys and bin chickens in our garden.
A quick ginger beer stop before watching the Joker at the movies. Tasty ginger beer and a fantastic movie that really touched me. After the movie, I went to a friend’s place in Kangaroo Point and played games and talked for ours.
Halloween is lurking in the shadows and soon it is time for the annual Halloween party at our friend’s house. We will compete against teams in beer tasting competitions, beer pong, flip cup, etc, etc. A crazy fun night with other words! It was time for Jarryd, my two other team mates and I to meet up and discuss theme and outfits. We decided to have dinner at Fish Lane in South Bank.
Buzzing Fish Lane!
With all the lights and street art.
This night we were heading to Saccharomyces Beer Café.
At the beer café you can borrow a wide range of games and play pinball. Jarryd and I were playing four in a row while waiting for our team mates. I lost very badly… The good thing is that theme and costumes were decided and I have already managed to buy everything needed for my outfit.
I did my makeup and hair on the bedroom floor as always. Still in desperate need of a haircut ehhh.
Last Saturday started with kayaking in the Brisbane River.
The kayaking was was a Christmas gift to Jarryd and I from Jarryd’s aunt. Unfortunately, the storm was on its way but we decided to give the kayaking a go. We managed to reach the Story Bridge when it started raining. Luckily, we got new vouchers and will be going kayaking again in two weeks for free.
Good morning, tired Brisbane.
For lunch we decided to try the Vietnamese restaurant Ngon in Paddington. Super tasty food and drinks!
Like every other night, I have been stalking the neighbourhood possums. This mom has a little baby on her back and makes sure no other possum will bully it. Good mama! And this what I have been up to the last couple of days. Now it is time to heat up homemade lasagna and bake a chocolate cake. Happy Tuesday everyone!
Wow! Already Monday again and I feel so behind schedule. This post was supposed to be updated last Friday, but nope, I completely forgot. While I am waiting for the pumpkin in the oven, I have some spare time to finally publish the post about last Thursday.
Yes, you guessed it! I was applying for jobs pretty much the whole day. I am planning to do some casual sales assistant work during the Christmas holidays to get some extra cash. I am also looking for an admin job on the side while I have a casual position at the university. Finding any type of job has been a long, difficult process. It finally feels like I can see the light in the end of the job searching tunnel though!
To remain sane and not climbing the walls at home, I spend a couple of hours at the local cafe called Sassafras. A cup of flat white makes everything easier!
Swapped full cream milk for oat milk, nomnomnoom!
I also tried my newly bought second hand skirt from Salvos in Red Hill. It is colourful, not too short and reasonably priced for a second hand clothing.
Then it was time for dinner and I decided to make dumplings, squid, spicy corn and sugar peas with a dipping sauce (plus a lot of chili, spring onion and coriander). Very yummy! And that folks, was last Thursday!
Just like every other day, last Friday started on the front porch with a cup of coffee in the sofa next to the plant collection. It is the perfect opportunity to check how the plants are doing. We currently have a bunch of new seedlings and we are trying to give them some extra care and love. I also applied for some jobs before the start of the weekend.
Managed to take two selfies before I had to run to the bus. I was wearing a typical outfit: loose t-shirt with a long, pleated skirt and sunglasses. For me it does not matter what kind of weather it is, I will always wear my sunnies. I have noticed that my eyes have become much more sensitive to the sunlight recently and this is the only way to keep the tears away.
Ray Bans and my super frizzy hair. I had to survive without a conditioner for a couple of days which was very painful. It is also definitely time for a visit to the hairdresser ehhh.
I headed down to South Bank at lunch time because Jarryd and I had planned a lunch date together. I saw the preparations before the final day of the Brisbane Festival on my way to Jarryd’s work. The festival always end with the traditional fireworks along the riverside and a jet show. I met up with Jarryd and we decided to try an American inspired restaurant.
It is not always easy to find a $12 lunch in South Bank!
I found this spinning wheel tucked away in a dark corner behind baby chairs. I asked the waitress if we could get a spin but she was unfortunately not as eager.
Posing with the house red wine. I have no photo of the lunch, but try to picture a plate with chicken wings and a garden salad.
Then I said goodbye to Jarryd since he had to run back to work, but I decided to explore South Bank a bit more before going home. I visited Brisbane Art Gallery and realised that the NASA exhibition “A Human Adventure” will end soon. I talked to Jarryd (who is a real space nerd) and we decided that we would make a visit on the Saturday before the Riverfire.
Friday evening and I had the house to myself and I decided to make tapas consisting of chili and garlic prawns, scallop, asparagus with a touch of lemon and baked chèvre with a hot and cold tomato salad. I also found some salami and olives in the fridge. With the tapas I drank a natural wine called #003 Amber from Swining Bridge. I bought it at Spiros in Paddington and they recommended it to me since they know I usually buy sour, fruity beers.
I really enjoyed this wine together with my spicy tapas.
The Saturday started with a hunt for a 30th birthday gift. We spent 3 hours (!) looking for a drainage pot. The CBD was super busy due to the Brisbane Festival and excitement was in the air before the annual Riverfire. Of course we had to make a stop and listen to some good tunes on Queen Elizabeth St.
We finally found a birthday gift and crossed the bridge between the CBD and South Bank. It was lunchtime and our stomachs were growling for food (and something cold to drink in the heat).
Hello from Saccharomyces Beer Cafe!
We shared a plate with brisket bites, BBQ sauce and chips.
When the plate and glasses were empty, it was time for the NASA exhibition “A Human Adventure”. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos from the museum or the Riverfire. After the exhibition, we spent a couple of hours in a packed pub in an even more packed South Bank. The fireworks were amazing and it was a really good end to the Brisbane Festival and our Saturday.
In a blink of an eye, it was Sunday and time for a 30th birthday party. Before heading to the party, I had to get the birthday gift ready. The gift was one of our Chinese Money plants together with a painting made by me, plant information and of course the pot we found the day before. Hopefully the pot will be the plants home when it is bigger.
At the party there was an actual birthday pig. It had been rotating over the grill for hours and was stuffed with lemongrass, garlic, onions, and much more deliciousness. It was so tasty! We stayed at the party for a couple of hours, but then it was time to go home and prepare for a new work week. And woosh, the weekend was over!
Since I have not been blogging for the last months, I thought I could show you some bits and pieces from the last weeks before spring arrived. Pretty much every day started in the sofa on the front porch, which is the warmest place in the house during the morning hours. This winter has been really cold and the best way to start a new day is definitely in the sun with a cup of coffee. This is also the time when I check my plant and making sure the possum has not been taking any bites of my babies.
I have been wandering around in the city now when I have had more hours to spare. This photo was taking on my stroll to Roma Street Parklands.
Jarryd and I had a date night and we decided to try Creole Soul Kitchen in Spring Hill. We started with duck wings with a Louisiana pepper jelly sauce. Then we had chicken and sausage gumbo for mains. Really delicious food and affordable prices!
Paddington has been looking beautiful, just as always!
I attended the event Christmas in July Pub Crawl and the theme was Christmas in your home country. I was dressed as Santa Lucia (Saint Lucia) and it was my friend Johanna and I who represented Swedish Christmas. We managed to visit 10 out of 12 pubs and it was an amazing day and night!
I made a visit to the Sunshine Coast and it was almost warm enough for a swim. I also finally had the opportunity to try the Scandinavian Cafe and of course I had to get a glass of O’boy. Very nostalgic! This is what I drank every morning for almost 18 years.
Pub Choir at Jarryd’s job (yes, it is exactly what it sounds like, choir singing at the pub). We sang “You’re The Voice” by John Farnham. After the singing, we hang out with the colleagues of Jarryd and had a couple of beers. This is the view from Jarryd’s workplace.
One Sunday hike at the Gold Creek Reservoir.
We had lunch in Brookfield and I chose a fresh couscous salad.
Last Sunday, it was time for the annual Scandinavian Festival here in Brisbane. A lot of Scandinavian food and it was also possible to do rune readings.
One of the signs that winter is over and that spring has finally arrived! I am excited to see what spring will bring and I am really ready for it. That was a bunch of photos, hope you enjoyed!
Before I can start this weekend with a good conscious, I have a confession to make. I do not have a great knowledge of Australian art or artists and I can count the number of visits to art galleries and exhibitions on the fingers of one hand. Although, this is about to change, because I have finally planned my next art exhibition field trip.
“Margaret Olley: A Generous Life” is a free exhibition at GOMA featuring more than 100 works by Margaret Olley who is one of Australia’s most loved artists. She had a love of travel and a passion for still life, interiors and portraiture. Olley moved to Brisbane in 1935 and “A Generous Life” highlights these formative years in the family home in Hill End.
I do feel a bit harsh saying this, but it is quite rare for me to feel a connection with Australia due to my Swedish heritage. I know this will eventually get better with time, but a part of me is scared of the fact that maybe I never will feel completely connected to this amazing country. However, when I saw Olley’s paintings featuring Brisbane, I did feel that fuzzy, embracing feeling of affiliation and familiarity. The art is soothing and warmly, just how you want your own home to feel like. And this is the second reason why I really enjoy her art. Every interior painting is like an inspiration picture on my vision board or Pinterest. The vintage carafes and cake stands, beautiful flower arrangements and handpicked fruit from the garden. Hopefully my Queenslander will look like one of Olley’s creations one day.
Do you have a favourite Australian artist? Who and why? Please share, I want all your tips!
Like every Sunday, I try to seize the last day of freedom before it’s time to dive into the new week of stress and responsibilities. This usually means I try to leave everything that reminds me of my ordinary life and instead focus on exploring. One Sunday in June was no exception, so we ended up in Redcliffe.
Cold, cold water, but it was good preparation for our trip to Sweden (which meant even colder water, uugghh).
Happy Lily doing her ‘Happy Lily Dance’ on the jetty.
This sailor was happy when it stopped raining and the sun finally came out.
The Recliffe harbor really reminded me of Sweden and that was a good teaser before our long journey to the land in the north.
Today it’s time for the third and final State of Origin game. I’ll be preparing snacks and blankets for this cold, but exciting night! And yes, both Jarryd and I noticed the dirty lens…
After a busy work period, it was time for a change…
I had a spontaneous haircut! I haven’t touched my hair for the past nine months and I finally managed to find a free spot in my calendar and some extra spare cash. Oh, I’m so happy getting rid of that old possum nest I used to call my hair. New hair, happy Lily!
It wasn’t only time for a new haircut, it was also time for new flowers in the bedroom. The eyes and the nose are enjoying the Lillies.
On Sunday it was once again time for the weekly Bardon Markets! A small, cosy market at the Norman Buchan Park with a dozen stands, yummy breakfast, live music, cricket game in the background and friendly ponies.
My breakfast contained coffee and a vegan sausage with sauerkraut. YUM! Is there a better way to end the week?
It has been a stressful period. I know it sounds like the lamest excuse, but there has been work non-stop. I have however, managed to snap some photos I want to share with you. It all started with beautiful flowers…
I still had flowers left from the birthday party decorating the bedroom. I really love this cozy corner of the room.
Flowers and sunrise, I wish I could wake up to this every morning.
This week, I also started thinking about this super tasty beer I tried at Brewski on Caxton Street.
A chocolate and marshmallow porter. YUM! If you stumble across this beer, try it. Trust me.
Blossom outside of our bedroom. It’s very pretty, but the smell is quite intense. I first thought the smell came from the moth balls Jarryd put next to his herbs to scare away the possums. After all my nagging, he took the smelly moth balls away but I could still smell something weird. I thought he had been sneaky and put it up somewhere else in the garden, but nope. He had been a nice boyfriend and gotten rid of them, and instead it was the plants smelling like chemical death. Sorry Jarryd!
One photo I forgot to post, which is from our hike on Bribie Island. Such a contrast compared to our smelly, blossoming bushes. This photo was taken in an area after a severe bush fire.
My friends at work were practicing diving.
On Wednesday it was time for a date night. Jarryd and I had dinner at Tuk Tuk in Milton (highly recommended) and went across the street to La Dolce Vita for dessert. It was cold, dark, and cozy.
An attempt to keep the plants alive by keeping them indoors during the night. They are officially our pets (until we are allowed to have real pets hehe).
The week is not over yet, but due to really bad weather and stressful couple of days, the weekend will be spent indoors watching movies and eating tasty food from UberEats. A lazy weekend, which is highly needed. And this is what I see every night before falling asleep. There are many things I don’t like about old Queenslanders, but the details are beautiful!