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Day Two in Cinque Terre; we awoke to beautiful blue skies and headed out to explore the other side of the cliff at Riomaggiore, but by the time we had ordered gelato we were ducking to find cover from the rain. 20 pretty serene minutes were spent perched in a little cave watching the waves roll pass, but this quickly passed and the beautiful little rock beach slowly filled up with people basking in the sun. It was another lazy day filled with swimming, reading, afternoon espressos and flash fried seafood (again, !!!. And to think I detested seafood about 2 years ago.) For dinner, we decided to take a bottle of white and some little nibbles (local olives, charcuterie and the likes) back to our beautiful villa to watch the sunset. There we ran into our french friend (another whole story that might just remain privy to close friends and family), and the evening was spent in conversation with him, and many, many bottles of wines and whiskeys later, we fell into bed after another beautiful Cinque Terre day.

Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore.

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I’ve been dreaming of Cinque Terre ever since I first saw a sun-drenched photo of the colourful villages which adorn the beautiful Italian coast many, many moons ago. So when it came to deciding where to kill time for a week, post being-kicked-out-of-the-country and pre going home, it was a bit of a no-brainer. As much as I loved the idea of travelling by myself, I’m so happy I pitched the idea to Bre, who was more than happy to join. Two weeks later, we were off on yet another girls trip. (Tough life, but someone’s gotta do it)

Seeing as I’m heading home to Australian ‘winter’ for 6 weeks, I have rather hefty luggage containing jeans, jackets, boots etc etc, not the light backpack that would be common sense to bring for moving about cliffside villages. Boy, me and my 20 kilos struggled (which by the way, is the most inconvenient of bags; it’s not a hard suitcase, so everything kind of falls to one side, meaning every 10 seconds I have to stop and flip it back on it’s wheels. UGH).. Although definitely not as much as the poor chap who offered to carry it for me to the VERY TOP of the village, where our beautiful villa was. 

Speaking of! Bre and I have a SERIOUS knack of somehow finding the most brilliant accommodation.. It’s always on a tight budget, yet every time we arrive somewhere, we’re pleasantly shocked at how we’ve hit the jackpot! This time probably takes the cake. More photos to come, but imagine beautiful villa terrace overlooking a wide expanse of ocean, with dramatic cliffs and steep vineyards to either side. Our room was so sweet as well. And so very Italian. I couldn’t have dreamed this up if I tried. 

The first hour or so was a little overcast (cue Maddi: ‘Oh nooooooo, but I wanna tan!!?!!!’) which thankfully didn’t last. It did provide for some pretty breathtaking scenery shots though. Amiright? & THAT CHURCH. Bre said over and over, every time we puffed past on our nightly trek back up to our little home away from home, that she is to one day be married in that church (in gold Dolce and Gabbana, no less). 

Oh, I forgot to mention. Story: So, we almost missed our connecting train from Pisa to La Spezia. I had to leg said 20kilos in about 40 seconds from one platform to another. Wheezing and spluttering, I made my way down the packed carriages, looking for space for both Bre, myself and our luggage. Finally, a kind gentleman motioned to his free seats in his compartment, and about 5 minutes later, we’d hit it off with Bert and Matt from Michigan.. 

They were on their way to Cinque Terre for a day trip, not knowing much about it. I was kinda flabberghasted. Whilst I’d never been, it only takes a pinterest search to realise that this place is heaven on earth, and with 5 villages to cover, half a day CERTAINLY wasn’t enough. By the time we were to change at La Spezia for the last connecting train to the coastline, they were convinced to find a hostel and stay a few extra nights. 

What lovely, lovely, intelligent, warm-hearted guys! After saying our farewells at the station (before our epic trek to our room), we shortly bumped into them again on the rocks, and a jolly afternoon was spent swimming and basking in the sun with wine and local treats. A beautiful dinner watching the sun set over the little bay (fresh squid ravioli - omg) which was followed up by dessert and a few more bottles of wine and some rum on the rocks.. You know when you just meet people travelling and something just clicks? Like there’s no ulterior motives, just like-minded travellers with a passion for meeting new people and being enriched by whatever experiences come their way.. We spent many hours in the greatest of conversation. Such a nice start to the trip! 

P.s, now, sitting in Rome, I am a very healthy shade of (very light) brown.. Funny to look back on these pictures from 6 days ago where I am white as a ghost! 


Firenze, part 2 

Firenze

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It’s hard to believe after looking over all these beautiful, sun-drenched photos, that at 5am this morning, after 3 hours sleep, Bre and I trudged to Stanstead (by trudge, I mean we got a car, but whatever, extreme tiredness + grumpiness was involved) in miserable, chilly London drizzle. 

So you might be wondering why/how on earth I have time to be basically live-blogging this little Italy adventure so far.  Due to said tiredness, after the quickest transit ever and a beautiful day of aimless wandering, vintage shopping and gelato, Bre and I decided a quite night in our beautiful little Italian apartment (with the most Tuscan of vibes) was in order. And as such, as I edited photos and begun to type, Bre had been fixing up the most simple yet perfect summer dinner: a fresh tomato salad, garlic infused courgettes with the raw flowers atop, bresola topped pear and a cannellini and faba bean mash, complete with a bottle of red. Legit, absolute heaven.

I’m just a little bit in love with Florence, just as I expected I would be. It’s quiet, friendly, easy to get around and is so damn breathtakingly beautiful. I’ve been told time and time again by friends who have passed through on their travels, and my friend Mica who grew up here, that it is one of this most incredible places in the world, and I couldn’t agree more. The Tuscan sun is agreeing with us, and spirits are high.. 

Now for some sleep! 

I present the second, ongoing paparazzi instalment in my lovely London life (also known as, “spot tinned Jack in my dress”). Goodbyes for now to my favourite city, and all these beautiful people in it. I’ll be seein’ you in 6 weeks. 

Goodbye to you, London

What other way to say ‘You’re all really great and I’m gonna miss you all while I’m away for 6 weeks’ to my friends than a boozy, sunny sunday day in Viccy park. You’re probably going, ‘what the frig is up with the cat faces??’… and I guess you’ll never know.. :)

The Last Week

It’s amazing how two years can seem like all the time in the world and yet nothing at all… It feels like yesterday I was writing excitable posts about my impending move to London, yet I (obviousssssslllyyyyy) feel like a completely different human being. 

It has, without a doubt, been the busiest week of my life; one which has left me absolutely knackered, (moving about like an old Grandma due to many pulled muscles).. 4 out of 7 days, I had THREE final round drama school auditions, which are whole day affairs that are designed to test your mental, creative and physical stamina, as well as working every spare hour in between and trying to sort out other general life-admin affairs.. It’s been pretty monumental in that I have learnt so much about myself, about bitter disappointment, my friends, the importance of theatre and the art of acting this week.. You should see my little scribbly ‘acting-y’ note-book - it be jam-packed with lots of new goodies.. I had the experience to work with Patsy Rodenburg on one of my Guildhall panel auditions, and BOY was it 10 minutes I will never forget.. I am gutted that I didn’t make it into Guildhall, as I had strong hopes for that school. None-the-less, I must keep in mind that for my first time auditioning, beating 2,800 other hopefuls to make it to that round is achievement enough, and perhaps there’s always next year.. I am now still awaiting results from Drama Centre (please dear god let me get into Drama Centre) and Ladma.. I just wish they’d hurry up about it, as we all feel like we’ve got our life on hold a little bit. I jump nervously every time my phone vibrates with an email… asdfkjals;kdfj

Finishing my drama centre audition on saturday evening was the hugest relief, and by the time my sunday farewell rolled around, I found I was summoning all my energy to drag my poor battered and bruised body and puffy eyes to the park in good spirits. (A few pims sorted me right out though…) 

Some random shots I got throughout the week, and some from the last few weeks I’d forgot about too. Mostly my lovely little neighbourhood.. 

Anyways, me so tired, me so rambly. I’ve spent the entire day packing up my room and trying not to think about how much I have to organise tomorrow; my last day in London for a little while. ROLL ON WEDNESDAY, where Florence and Cinque Terre, with all their wine and fine dining and beauty await. Life is good. 

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Missing til Monday

Last saturday night we very secretly went Missing til Monday (but seriously though, because on monday morning, we were all still at Bre’s house recovering..) and I am very, very excited for this wee lil video to appear.. Another brilliant night with the best people in London  the world. 

70’s baby (Dorset Days 3 and 4)

Many a lazy, hungover hour was spent at the Square and Compass on both sunday and monday.. The homebrewed cider has been voted some of the best in England, and I couldn’t agree more.. But that stuff was LETHAL.. Just a wee half had me feeling exceptionally happy and slightly light-headed. 

Sunday arvo saw half the group head home, leaving Heclan, Charlie and Mica, Jack and Emma, and myself (7th wheeling?).. A ‘quick power nap’ left Jack, Ems and I groggily waking at 11pm, and without domestic goddess Bre, it was a laugh trying to rustle up some dinner.. While others powered on through the remaining tins and bottles of wine, I had respectably bowed out of the booze game earlier that afternoon, and we spent the rest of the evening/early morning thoroughly engrossed by ‘The City Of God’.. 

After a morning spent madly cleaning the house, we decided to make the most of our last few hours in the blazing sunshine and fresh air, and headed off to the ol’ pub for one last pint and game of backyard cricket. Seconds after jumping in the cabs that were to take us back to the train station, the heavens opened and the rain started pouring. Talk about timing! We were all incredibly sad to be leaving, but the party continued as we bundled back onto the late afternoon train (chardonnay aplenty) which hurtled back toward London.

Upon arriving back in London, we headed straight for Rhodes EP launch at a secret location in London Fields, suitcases in tow. Any separation anxiety that was felt was quickly subdued when whole crew was reunited again. 

It was a weekend that will go down in history, and has even coined it’s own ‘you had to be there’ catchphrases. I felt so blissed out and even more besotted with the wonderful people I get to call my friends and family over here.

juanjoselorenzoblog:

Maddi

70’s Baby (Dorset, Day 2 - Part 2)

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We said ‘What happens in Dorset, stays in Dorset’, but some of these are too good not to have on here. Other, NSFW memories shall remain just that.. What wonderful, cheeky fun! Ohhh being in our 20’s.. 

70’s baby, (Dorset, Day 2 - Part 1)

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(A whole lot of green and blue!)

So the planned ‘reasonably calm and classy’ Friday night ended up a little more rowdier than expected (but then again, surely I should know my friends by now…), and thus, Saturday morning, I was far more hungover than expected.. Everything ached?! After a sluggish start, armed with eskies packed to the brim with tins and sarnies, we set off across the windiest, greenest of rolling hills towards the sea.. 


As you can see, it was kinda the perfect day.. The quintessential picnic spot; a bubble wand; a football; the pub; home-brewed cider and playing British Bullrush in the village park - pure bliss. 


(Photos are a conglomeration of my disposable + iPhone shots, and friends’)

70’s baby, (Dorset, Day 1)

The perfect first day of our wonderful little weekend away in Dorset. It was an early start, and the tins were cracked and blackjack was played as we trained our way to the seaside.. The 6 of us filled the sunny day with backyard cricket, wandering down to the sea, a quick dip in the (near arctic) water and the most beautiful dinner cooked by Bre.. (who upon arrival at the cottage, found fennel in the garden and took to creating a traditional caramelised fennel salad for dinner.. WHO IS THIS SUPER-GIRL?!).. We then entertained ourself with a lengthy game of Ring of Fire until the other 9 arrived late in the evening, by which time we were very jolly and mostly topless… 70’s baby. 

Coming close to 730 days