Just Your Average Eurovision Party

What happens when you have a group of eight best friends who haven’t seen eachother in weeks, and gather them in one house over the Eurovision weekend? A Eurovision party and so many good times.

I know there is probably so much judging going on right now and you are most likely all thinking ‘who on Earth looks at Eurovision and thinks “well, by gum. It’s party time.”‘ But, let me tell you, if you haven’t ever had a Eurovision themed sleepover with a fun group of people, you are missing out. But let me fill you in and see if I can convince you of the worthiness of this event.

Me and my girls are just a little bit different. Our schoolies was spent watching Smallville and playing pingpong. We dress up and have fancy dinner parties just for fun. Most importantly, we wear matching pyjamas to movie sleepovers at my house. We find fun in being ridiculous together and ever since we spent our new years eve watching replays of Eurovision 2014, we have been waiting for the epic moment that our sleepover tradition could be combined with the  fun times and general awkwardness of Eurovision. It finally came. Hilarity ensued.

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First of all, can we just take a moment to appreciate that one of my friends owns a snuggie… ummm…. legend. But anyway, on with the story. For the ultimate Eurovision experience we buried ourselves, matching pyjamas and all, in a nest of mattresses, blankets, beanbags and pillows and planned our pizza dinner. After pondering for a good long while over the appropriate number of pizzas to buy, we finally settled on four. Half a pizza each is enough, right? No. Wrong. So wrong. Luckily we were saved from this grave mistake, by a lovely lady who was more experienced, than us, in the ways of bulk pizza purchases. Thanks Sam!

So we ate almost all of the pizza and we laughed our way through the wonderful Israeli boyband and drooled at the Swedish perfection. But after all that, we were still hungry. In typical Australian fashion, it was time for a maccas run… wearing pjs…

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Six pizzas, maccas, a nest of pillows, a beautiful Swedish Eurovision man, matching pyjamas, a snuggie, and some brilliant people. What’s not to love!

What was so great about this night wasn’t the Eurovision, or the pizza, or the maccas. It was the general frivolity and fun that happens when you’re with friends. It was the fact that our stomachs hurt, not just from food overload, but from laughing so much as well. Life can be crazy. Life can be difficult. Life can be exhausting. But take a deep breath because the fun times are still there – you just have to look for them. They’re in the form of fun people and spontaneous adventures.

So how shall I conclude all of this. Life is brilliant. There are always opportunities for fun times so don’t pass them up if they seem too ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with just a little bit of frivolity. Also… daaaaaang Sweden… so much perfection I can’t even.

Stay fun, be happy and invest in a snuggie

-Alice

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An Adventure up Elizabeth Street

I must admit, I have grown lazy. Actually no, let me rephrase that. I’ve grown comfortable.

You all know that I have an irrational inadequacy complex. If you don’t, and you are new to my blog, I suggest that you venture over to my “My Irrational Inadequacy Complex” post, before continuing through this lovely little read. But anyway. A while ago I discovered a brilliant little laneway cafe called Bean and it became my new favourite city jaunt. I was proud of myself for defeating my irrational inadequacy complex and relieved when it turned out so well. So relieved, in fact, that I have not been exploring any other cute cafes, as I said I would.

I grew comfortable. This is terrible. For the sake of the life of this blog, it could not continue. I must continue forth on my journey to overcome this complex and experience all fun coffee shops in Brisbane city. Luckily, today is a cool drizzly day and I often find I am at my most adventurous when it is raining. So that’s what I did. I went on an adventure. What did I discover on this adventure? A little coffee shop called Bonsai Botanika

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Entering this coffee shop, you are hit with a wonderful mix of classic French country decor, the rustic edge of deli products secured artistically in glass cabinets and the hipster flair of fake grass, rose gold lighting, wooden ceilings, and a dramatic display of fancy cold brew towers. It is inviting, homey, and a comfortable escape from the cold bite of the rainy outdoors. So far, so good.

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Next let’s have a look at the menu, shall we?
As a uni student with a love of coffee and a wallet that is short of money, I don’t go to cafes for the food. I go for the coffee. What did I find? Heaven. So many options it was difficult to decide.

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You not only have cold brew. You have the option of chemex cold brew or Kyoto cold brew. Do you want to choose your roast? Well they’ve got that covered too. How about you throw some chocolate ganache into the mix, just to be super fancy. Do you want to be out there and try some Japanese Rice Tea? They say go for it. I’m all about the variety. These guys have got that down.

Naturally I ordered a Kyoto cold brew in a medium roast, despite the cold weather, because I wanted to explore the wonders of a medium brew from Kyoto (#yolo). What did I get? Crushed ice, and coffee and milk presented in cute little conical flasks. Ummm, yes.

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Flavour? Amazing.

Now, although I’m not eating food, from where I am sitting (yes I am so excited I’m actually writing the blog post about the cafe whilst still at the cafe), I can see the menu. We’ve got pancakes, quiches, french toast, rice pudding, noix cake and any number of other fun times that I can’t quite decipher from this distance. There are pastries and cakes in the cake cabinet and just so many good times, I can’t even. I also just spotted a choice in hot chocolates between swiss white chocolate, 32% milk chocolate, 67% Madagascan dark chocolate and 70% dark chocolate. What is this place. This is magical.

For some people, the service is also important so I shall say this. Everyone here is welcoming and friendly and the service is quite fast. There is a bar up on the second level as well for anyone who cares about that and it’s not too busy so I would consider this as quite a comfortable little hideaway from the life of the city. The only thing I will say is that this place isn’t particularly cheap. But honestly, for the quality and choice you are getting, this is to be expected.

Overall, I’m in love. If you want somewhere that has a nice open feel, with a rustic charm and an endless choice with food and beverages then please, Bonsai Botanika will be your slice of heaven. It’s on Elizabeth street, just around the corner from Topshop, so is fairly close to the heart of the city and it is definitely worth the venture.

Whilst Bean remains my favourite for its cosy atmosphere that is inevitable in an underground setting, this is definitely a new favourite to add to the list. So friends, go forth and drink coffee.

-Alice

The Subway Man

Today I am not going to show you pictures of things I have recently seen and talk about my life and general musings. I am just going to tell you a story.

To give you some context, this is the short story I wrote for the Grade 12 QCS test last year, under the theme ‘who cares’. I finished it an hour early so decided to rewrite the entire story on some scrap paper so I could remember what I wrote. I stumbled across it tonight and I thought it would be kind of cute to put on my blog. Enjoy 🙂

The Subway Man

In a dusty, secluded corner of the London underground lies a heap of old battered quilts. The air is foul with the stench of decay and the flickering lights above emit sinister shadows from the dark. Hiding beneath the pile of quilts is the subway man. He had a real name once but it was forgotten long ago.

The subway man spends his days buried beneath those quilts, shaking a rusty tin and murmuring “Money for the poor? Money for the blind?” but no one has a dime to spare for the subway man. No one cares enough to even spare a glance for that poor, helpless man in the corner. 

Over the years, this man has transformed, gradually reduced to a decrepit heap amongst the dust. With the change in the subway man, so too came a shift in the London underground. Once upon a time the subway was a place of adventure; an intersection of experiences and lives all coming together. Music from energetic buskers would breeze through the tunnels and sweet aromas of pastries and foreign delights blanketed the air. People of all shapes and sizes would bustle through, laughing, joking, and sharing the stories of their adventures. “Money for the poor? Money for the blind?” People would respond to this cry, filling the tin of the subway man and sharing with him all the stories they had heard so he too could appreciate the vast variety of life. But no more. This time of celebration in the underground has ended. Something happened to that community and broke the delicate ecosystem of life.

As civilisation evolved and technology developed, lives became busier. The clothes of travellers transformed from arrays of bright colours and fabulous frocks to a mask of black and white. The air became stale with cigarette smoke and a shadow darkened the souls of those in the London underground. Their eyes became glazed over with a permanent look of disgust and despair. “Money for the poor? Money for the blind?” The same cry can be heard from the subway man, but with something else. No more do people respond to his pleas. no more do people show interest in his life and his experiences, yet he is the man in the underground with the most beautiful stories to tell. Along with the end of this time of adventure came a change in his plea. The simple murmur of “Money for the poor? Money for the blind?” transformed into a cry desperate for a response. “Money for the poor! Money for the blind!” Yet people are deaf to his pleas.

The truth is, that time of adventure is over. No one cares about the subway man. No one has any interest for the man amongst the quilts with the most stories to tell. No one will ever understand the life of the subway man. 

No one cares.

And that, friends, is the wildly depressing story of the subway man.
On that sad note,
Have a happy day and be sure to buy a sandwich for your local subway man.
-Alice

Boundary Street Markets

As you may have gathered, this blog reflects on stuff. So much reflecting. But sometimes I don’t really feel like reflecting; I just want to point out the good times without having to justify said good time with some deep and philosophical thought about happiness. So here’s a new angle for you. Time to mix it up. Time to start giving some good old-fashioned reviews on stuff. There’ll still be reflecting because… well… that’s just what I do. But it will be broken up with a general guide on where all the fun times are happening in Brisbane. Cafes, markets, laneway festivals, everything. If I go there, I’ll talk about it. Because quite frankly, Brisbane is a bit terrible at advertising their stuff themselves. So let’s help them along, shall we?

After my last post, I think you should all now know that I have a love of spontaneous adventures. As well as this, you should already know that I’m partial towards cute cafes. What you may not know is that I also have an appreciation for cute markets and small farm animals. So what happens when you blend all of this together? A good time. Where did this happen most recently? The Boundary Street markets in West End.

Up until about two weeks ago, these cute markets were a little slice of magic that only occurred in the evenings. But no more!

On a Sunday afternoon, filled with the adventurous spirit and having nowhere else to be, my family stumbled across this little corner of the world and of course our curiosity took over. Upon entering, we discovered farm animals. Well that’s a good start. Who doesn’t love a good farm animal or two. Also can we just take a moment to appreciate those spotty chickens. Oh my gosh.

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We proceeded to wander around outside, weaving between people and taking in the atmosphere of a lively market. We discovered cute little coffee corners. I’m calling them corners because they were too fancy to be considered ‘stalls’ and too small to be classified as ‘cafes’. Also I like corners.

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We never actually had the opportunity to try any of these which is wildly disappointing; but that just gives me all the more reason to go back! What I can tell, however, is that these corners offer a comfortable and welcoming place to hide away from the hustle and bustle of the markets, whilst also providing caffeinated beverages and pancakes. So far, I’m sold.

But it didn’t end there. Upon moving indoors, I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of ‘OHMYGOSH this is everything I love in one place.’ Just enough hipster to appeal to the slight hipster within me, and just enough general market brilliance to make it a fun time for the masses. Wooden furniture, old books, steampunk accessories, vintage clothes. I was in heaven. The Boundary Street markets have an impressive variety of offerings considering their small size. Well done Boundary Street. You have impressed me.

There is not a large offering of food here and apart from the animals, there are no areas of particular interest for kids. So I’d say if you’re a uni student with friends (or maybe highschool if you’re a particularly artsy teenager), if you’re a couple on date night or if you’re feeling kind of lonely and just want to feel the community vibes, then this is a place for you.

Their website has some more details, so it’s time to peruse.
http://www.boundarystreetmarkets.com.au/

Also, if you are a local or if you are looking for some holiday adventures, check out Visit Brisbane for updates on what is happening around the place.

Stay happy and keep adventuring
– Alice