Gullfoss, Iceland

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It’s just hit me that I’ve still got a bunch of travel photos to share – from Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Germany – and from my visit to my home country, Iceland. After months of travelling it was good to come back to a familiar place and to see my dear family and friends. We also got some decent weather. Even at Gullfoss, where I find it’s normally cold and windy all year round.

Here are some photos of Gullfoss, the most popular waterfall in Iceland. We even got a rainbow!

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Happy Friday! Have a lovely weekend.

The City of Dreams

It happens the most when I use public bathrooms. What a random place to miss one of the best times of your life. But I can‘t help it – public toilets remind me of Sydney.

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They remind me of going to McDonald‘s on the corner of Park Street and Pitt Street only to use the bathroom. They remind me of the toilets in Star Bar where my boyfriend and I had our first date. And that reminds me of all the other places we‘d go to: The Strand on William Street where we went almost every Sunday for beer and a cheap steak, Domino‘s Pizza on Darlinghurst Road and that place in Manly where we got the best burger I’ve ever tasted.

I‘ll never forget my favorite cafe, Caffe Cherry Beans on the corner of Pitt Street and Liverpool Street, where the staff knew my order of a $4 large latte or pot of peppermint tea. And the chicken caesar salad they kept making just for me even after they changed the menu. They played the best music and I could just sit there for hours and watch the people walking by.

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Some of my best memories are of my days working. Cleaning is not my dream job, but the hospital was in a nice area. The walk to and from there was the best.  Past Kings Cross and through the cute little streets with the smell of coffee in the morning. Walking down Oxford Street and Crown Street on a sunny afternoon. Wherever you go around the city you can find pretty areas. Taking a stroll down to the Opera House on a day off and visiting Charles Billich’s art gallery by The Rocks never got old either.

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My heart crumbles when I see photos of Bondi Beach or the Harbour Bridge on Instagram. It’s a mixed feeling of regret that I’m not still there and warmth and joy for all the memories I have.

Maybe it‘s just because of the good memories. Maybe it‘s because of the sun or the fact that I fell in love there. Whatever the reason, it hurts to know that Sydney is so far away. It‘s the city that has everything – a city center with tall buildings, with shops and cafes, British-styled pubs and Asian restaurants wherever you look – the pretty streets and suburbs surrounding the center – all the beaches with light yellow sand and blue water – and let‘s not forget the lovely weather.

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. Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited for the future and what’s to come. I’m closer to my family now and I have a lovely partner who makes everyday better, I’m living in a beautiful part of England and I finally have a place to create art again. I also feel extremely lucky to have experienced this amazing city the way that I did. Not everyone can say they’ve lived in Sydney, Australia. I did live in a hostel, but it was in a great location and I got plenty of time to explore and enjoy my time there. I wouldn’t want to change a thing. But I’m warning everyone who wants to do the same – this city has stolen a piece of me and I don’t know how long it will take to get it back. I might never get it back.

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Sydney has set the bar high. I have dreams about having my own little art studio or gallery near the city and living in a house or apartment by one of the beaches. Sketching and writing in a coffee shop and visiting art galleries and book stores, sunbathing on the beach and going for walks along the coast or in the Botanical Garden with a view over the harbour. That’s the life I’d love to have. It doesn’t have to be Sydney, but I know that’s one place where I can get all of that.

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For more about my time in Sydney and my travels in Australia:

Where I’ve been hiding – Part 1

Where I’ve been hiding – Part 2

Where I’ve been hiding – Part 3

A stroll through Sydney Botanic Garden

Sydney tip: Harry’s Cafe de Wheels

The best thing in the world

BREAKFAST

You can try and tell me I don’t need it and that I’m better off without it. But I will not stop eating breakfast in the morning.

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I like to get up extra early to make myself a decent breakfast and eat it in my own pace. I like to get a healthy start to the day and my breakfast normally consists of one of these options: crispbread with cottage cheese and tomato or avocado/natural yoghurt with granola/porridge – and always some fruit and berries! I tend to eat the same things over and over again but it’s just too good.

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Not only does a good breakfast give you energy to start off your day, but it can also make getting up easier because you have something tasty waiting for you (works brilliantly for me at least).

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New In: Promarkers and a drawing pad

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As I mentioned in an last week, I went to Plymouth a couple of weeks ago and bought a few (more like sixteen) Winsor & Newton markers – Promarkers, a Brushmarker and Metallicmarkers. I bought a Bristol Board drawing pad as well. I can honestly say that they are pretty amazing. The best purchases I’ve made in a long time.

Now, why did I buy these exact things? Well, I’ve been wanting to find good quality colors to bring more life to my drawings and I watched a Frannerd video where she recommended Winsor & Newton and the Bristol Paper. So I thought I’d give them a go. At this moment I’m not in the position to paint with my usual choice of oil on canvas, but I can still draw like normal. I normally draw with pencils and black ink pens though, so I’m not very experienced when it comes to using markers. But that’s about to change because I am really enjoying my new discovery of the Promarkers!

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Since I obviously didn’t have the arm strenght to carry the money to buy all the markers in every color, I decided to focus on the Promarkers to begin with. So I ended up with:

9 Promarkers:

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1 Brushmarker:

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6 Metallicmarkers:

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I only bought one Brushmarker to try out but will probably buy a few more, although the Promarkers are better in my opinion. They’re smaller and less flexible, but that makes them easier to control.

What are the positives? They blend very well, so the color becomes very solid and you don’t notice every stroke so easily. They simply look great on the paper and you know it’s decent quality. I haven’t really put them to the test on this, but they feel like they could last pretty long as well. The Metallicmarkers are great for extra effects on top of other colors. Negatives? I haven’t found one yet, but if I do I will let you know!

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The Bristol Board is simply amazingly soft. It also holds the color very well so it doesn’t go through to the next page.

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My conclusion is that it’s all worth a try and it’s not so overly expensive (unless you buy too many…). But if you’re more pro than me, please please please feel free to give me a hint on other better products to try!

Here’s a little sketch I did to test them out:

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