Thursday 25 April 2013

I got to tell you something...

Dear Jennifer from Grits & Moxie has tagged me to share 5 things about myself. Reading her five, I found out that she is some kind of super-cool creature, able to defy matter and time. See for yourself!

Now I know these kinds of posts are usually quite light-hearted. I warn you, this one won't be. I've been thinking about what kind of things I wanted to share with you, and as I had already been contemplating on a few matters that I feel I should be more honest about, this came at the right time.  Each one of these would probably warrant a post on its own, so excuse me while I come clean...

I am going to be 36 years old on 3 May. I do not know why telling you how old I am seems to be such a big issue for me. I do feel like an imposter sometimes, 'hanging out' with blogger friends who are way younger than I am, so here we go: I'm almost old enough to be your Mama! Doesn't mean I'm any wiser or more clued in, though.

Marco and I are not planning a family. Seeing as you now know about my old age, you might be wondering: where are the babies? There aren't any, there aren't even any thoughts of making one. I am not saying that it will always stay like this, but right now we're happy with each other's company and as a family of two. This is a conscious decision, not influenced by circumstance or medical conditions.

I am a size 20. Even being tall, this makes me obese. And I am not happy with my size. Not at all. I wish I could say I was, but I loathe the surplus body I carry around with me. I am fat. And although I am trying to be honest here, I would not be comfortable telling you what I actually weigh. I am too embarrassed by that number. In my mind, I am slim. I chase after the bus, I go hiking, I jump up and down at concerts, I love to swim, run and to be active. But then I get self-conscious when I remember what I really look like. I am shocked every time I see photos of myself, or my reflection in a mirror. I really want to lose some a lot of weight. I did it before. I shed 30 kg, and I felt fit and healthy. There was less of me, but still I felt more like myself. Now I am so angry and annoyed that I let myself go again. I know, it should be easy. Exercise more and eat less. But add my head to the equation, and it gets just so utterly, utterly complicated and frustrating.

I am reclusive. I love the few friends I have to bits, but sometimes it is very hard for me to keep in touch. I am happy in my own company. It feels easier being by myself, as I am always trying super-hard to please everybody when I am around others. I love all you internet people for engaging with me here, but if you should ever suggest we meet up in real life, you will send me into a state of mild panic. I do try to be sociable, but I usually prefer being the quiet one sitting in the corner and observing.

I am really insecure. If you pay me a compliment, I will not believe you, or I will try and talk it down.  I do not know how to accept one graciously. I say thanks, but I will still doubt your judgement  For some reason, I seem to come across as this confident, strong, creative person. I have no idea why, because I mostly feel like I am a failure and a mess. I am not saying this to fish for compliments, because you already know that I can't handle those. Sometimes, though, when I do think that I have done something well, I have the really annoying habit of talking about my achievement forever, mostly to poor Marco, asking him to analyse every little thing with me, almost like I am trying to commit the success factors to memory, so that the triumph might be repeated. If I then try the same thing again and fail, I will be heartbroken and devastated.


And that is it. Phew. Sorry for abusing you for therapeutic purposes. I feel better now. You probably feel worse. Can I make you a tea? I just felt like I was kind of hiding these things and we'll be better friends if I can be honest about them.

I'd like to tag Susi, Jessie, Aimee, Vaida and Jo to share next. No pressure at all, and please feel free to be as light-hearted and whimsical (or as heavy and solemn) as you like with your 5 things.

Much love,

© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).

Wednesday 24 April 2013

And the winners are...

Happy to announce we have three winners for the Pimp Your Blog giveaway! 

Congratulations to Betsy, Angela and Jurgita!

And a big thank you to everybody who has entered!


© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).

Dinner with Bill Granger

One of the things I really wanted to do while in Sydney is to go visit one of Bill Granger's restaurants. I have watched a few of his TV shows and own some of his books, and I have always admired his flair for flavours. I know that we have Granger & Co. in London, but somehow I had it in my had that only visiting one of the original restaurants in Australia would give me the full experience. I got very excited when my friend Ivonne told me that she lived just a short walk away from one, and one evening we went as a treat for me. Thanks for indulging me, friends and husband!

Unfortunately, Bill's does not take dinner reservations, but we were lucky and did not have to wait for a table long. I apologize that all these photos are a bit meh, by the way, I always feel self-conscious when I take my camera into restaurants, and always just take quick snapshots.

I was slightly disappointed by the décor. The interior was very plain and functional, and for some reason I had thought that the restaurant might resemble the airy beach houses and leafy patios that Bill usually cooks at on TV. I did like the coloured dessert bowls against the white tiles and the display of produce on the shelves in the open kitchen. You can see Ivonne and I are excited about being there! 

For drinks, I chose a Kölsch. This is a light German beer, usually native to Cologne. It is hard to get even in Germany when you are not actually IN Cologne, so I was surprised to see a version on a menu in Sydney. 

We had to wait for our drinks for a while, as there was only one waiter for the whole floor. Even though he was trying his best and was really nice, he desperately needed at least another colleague to help him out.

We shared bread and olives for a starter and I decided to go for a vegetarian main of fried rice and vegetables with kimchi and omelette. 

I mainly chose this dish because I wanted to try the kimchi. In hindsight, I wish I gad gone for a fish or meat option, because even though this was tasty and filling, it was blander than I had hoped and offered nothing of the great, fresh Asian flavours that often are essential to Mr. Grangers dishes. It was quite earthy, as a a matter of fact, more comfort food than summer delight. Here's the menu if you want to see what you might have picked...

For dessert, I obviously had to go for the Australian staple and ordered a Pavlova. This was a simple but delicious combination of meringue, cream and juicy-sweet strawberries and although it looks light, I was utterly stuffed when I finished.

All in all, my visit to Bill's filled my stomach with good, solid food and I am glad I was able to go. I might try the London location once, to see if another dish might just sweep me off my feet a little more. But I think I will mostly just stick to re-creating Bill Granger's recipes in my own kitchen in the long run.

© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).

Tuesday 23 April 2013


Oh, yes. I almost forgot. I didn't only go to Vietnam, I also stayed in Australia for a while at the end of last year. And I took photos. Which I will now start to share.

Famous Bondi Beach. Thanks, weather!


© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).