Welcome to Life at Number Eight! My monthly series that lets us recap the month and catch up with everything that has been going on.
Hello and happy one year anniversary of these monthly round up posts!
12 months ago I decided it was finally time to start putting together a monthly post to give myself a space to share absolutely anything that has been going on that didn’t really warrant it’s own post and to get a little more personal. If you’re interested, you can catch up on the archives here.
These types of posts have always been my favourite to read of other bloggers, and they have become one of my favourite posts to write, so I hope you have been enjoying them as well!
Let’s get stuck into August.
What Happened in August.
My flight getting cancelled and then getting charged $60 for excess baggage. This month we flew to Sydney for an engagement party which happened to be on a very windy weekend. Sydney airport had closed on the Friday and we were on standby for our flight to get cancelled the following Saturday morning. By the morning however, the winds had died down enough for the airport to reopen and our flight to depart. The landing was a little rough but we made it only about 20 minutes delayed which was great.
Thinking we dodged the flight chaos, I was surprised to wake on the Sunday and find that our return flight had been cancelled. The weather had cleared up and no explanation was given. I assume they were just reshuffling as a result of all the cancellations over the weekend. We got put on a flight an hour earlier which was the one I had originally wanted but didn’t select as it was about $100 more expensive, so I was happy.
Flying home with Jetstar, they did what we all fear – they strictly weighed everyone’s bag. They wouldn’t let anyone board the plane without first having everything weighed (including handbags). And despite me having a very empty bag having taken just the bare essentials, I still weighed JUST over and the lady was not at all forgiving. $60 later, I got to board the plane with my bag.
I respect that they get to set the rules, and we all clearly know it. But the inconsistency I think is what bothers me the most. That and I can’t understand why if I pay $60 that makes my extra 1kg ok?
Eating one of the most delicious meals in Sydney. After arriving in Sydney and checking into our accommodation in Darling Harbour, we set about to find something for a late lunch. We wandered along the water at Barangaroo not feeling inspired by the burgers and pub style menus. We finally found a strip of small stores with tables protected from the wind and with heaters.
We choose a place called Zushi and debated what to order as everything sounded incredible. We finally settled on scallops with white truffle, and seared wagu with ponzu and crispy garlic (pictured above). The scallops were incredible, but the seared wagu was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. If you are in this area, I highly highly recommend checking out this place for some beautiful Japanese food.
I thought I broke my tooth. One morning, I was flossing and heard a crack sound and out fell a small piece of what I thought was my tooth. I freaked out as I could now feel a hole in my tooth and having never had a filling I was starting to panic. I googled dentists on the bus all the way to work and booked an appointment. On sitting down in the chair the lovely dentist told me that the news was good, and that I hadn’t broken my tooth but rather it was a bit of calcium that builds up behind the teeth and it wasn’t supposed to be there.
So after realising that it had in fact been a while since my last dentist visit, she cleaned all the calcium build up from my teeth and informed me that I was still cavity free – yay!
Most Popular Blog Post
Finding a rhythm between posting as frequently as I want and balancing quality over quantity is still very much a work in progress. At this point I have more ideas than energy and time, but slowly I will get to a point where I feel content with what I am producing.
This month, there was a very clear winner and I cannot help but agree. These cinnamon sugar baked doughnuts where something I had wanted to make for years and finally, I have the perfect recipe that is so much easier than I ever would have imagined! Do yourself a favour and pick up a doughnut pan, because I promise you that these are going to be a household favourite.
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes – finally a perfect vanilla cupcake recipe that doesn’t contain eggs and dairy! I’ve been working on this one for a while (pictured below).
Golden Turmeric Sweet Potato Soup – the perfect end of winter meal. So easy to make and full of flu fighting goodness.
What I Read This Month
This month was not a great reading month. I have completely fallen out of the habit and that bothers me everyday. I have still been listening to audiobooks on my daily commute which at least has meant I am consuming something, but slowly I have started trying to read a couple of chapters each night before bed to re-form the habit.
This month continues the theme of me only listening to self-help and autobiographies on audio.
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates (2019) Audio
From the moment I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it. As I have been enjoying the memoir genre in the audio format when read by the author, I decided that might be the best way to consume this book. I think personal stories are always more powerful when being told from that first hand account.
I had really high expectations for this book and after reading it, I have mixed thoughts. I really struggled through the first half of the book where Gates talks about setting up the foundation through the fundamental issue of the availability of contraception. While I wholeheartedly agree with her points I struggled with the delivery. It felt like I was being sold to and it came across as political in nature.
What I did enjoy where her insights about how the education of women and girls is the key to solving so many of the issues we struggle with in today’s world.
Also as a woman in tech myself, I enjoyed roughly the last 1/3 of the book where Gates talked about not only her struggles of working in a successful male dominated start up, but also sharing the stories of other women in tech and what issues specifically surround them, as well as the important role of men in balancing the gender gap.
The sentiment and values of this book where fantastic and for that reason I would recommend it, however I just wasn’t a fan of the delivery and that made me feel a little uneasy in certain areas.
A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons by Ben Folds (2019) Audio
Brick is one of my all time favourite songs. When I was in high school it made me want to learn how to play the piano. I would sit there and practise the opening riff over and over again. So when audible suggested to me the autobiography of Ben Folds as read by him, well I was in.
This book was fantastic. Ben Folds is such an interesting person with a life full of bad judgements and mistakes that have lead him down a very unorthodox path. He has a rock and roll story surrounded by this need to create unexpected music with his piano. And he talks about how ironic it is that his biggest hit is a ballad about abortion, when most of the Ben Folds Five music has ridiculous lyrics with distortion and thrashing piano.
I was very interested by his impulsive behaviour and how he managed to keep going on after nearly losing everything time and time again. I think this book is written from a place of healing and acceptance of his life and his perspective is quite funny.
Being an audiobook, there were little piano interludes between chapters and sound effects that added to the way the story was told. It was light hearted, it was serious at times, which of course was paired with the outright ridiculous. It was just the story of Ben Folds.
What I Watched This Month
Queer Eye Season 4
As soon as this dropped on Netflix I was watching. I cannot get enough of the stories of transformation and how beautiful the Fab 5 are. I feel like I cry with every episode but also I feel that I learn a little bit more about self acceptance and how to care about others by caring about yourself. More please!
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman
David Letterman is out of retirement and has grown a beard!
I’ve wanted to watch this for a some time since I first saw it pop up on Netflix as I was fascinated by the guest list. It is quite the hook to have Barack Obama as guest number one! I have been watching an episode most evenings while having dinner, and it is just perfect for that. I have only gone through season 1 so far, but the standout interviews have been with Obama (obviously) and Jay-Z. I am looking forward to season 2, particularly the interview with Ellen.
It’s just really well done and provides a close up look at some pretty interesting people.
What I Listened To This Month
I’m just going to leave this here <3
What’s coming up?
September is hopefully a month of finding routine at home. I am feeling like I am now settled in at work but there are still things at home that I feel as though I am struggling to balance. This month I think is about looking for small wins and habit changes that can be sustained long term.
It’s also time to get a new passport! I remember when I got mine back in 2009 as a naive 19 year old thinking that I’ll nearly be 30 by the time it is up for renewal and how old that was, and now well, here we are. This was my first passport and it has carried me to 9 countries around the world, and I am so excited for where this new little book will guide me to next.
I think it’s only appropriate that I end this post by signing off in the words of Dave Letterman:
May all your favourite bands stay together,