Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Picton George IV Inn First Annual Rockabilly Festival

Image by Love Stories by Kate (previously Gaia Photography)

Image by Love Stories by Kate (previously Gaia Photography)

My hometown of Picton held its very first rockabilly festival last weekend. Held at the George IV Inn (one of the oldest pubs in New South Wales), the event was attended by a large and diverse crowd. Luckily, the day had clear, sunny skies after a week filled with gale force winds and rain. Overall, the event itself was a fun-filled day and a relative success for the first ever rockabilly festival in Picton, however there was some room for improvement for next year. Here’s my highlights and not-so-highlights from the day:

Highlights

-Live Music: The Voodoo Rhythm Shakers, a Sydney-based rockabilly band were definitely the main reason behind the great atmosphere of the festival. The band held up a steady collection of rockabilly classics from Brian Setzer, the Stray Cats and much more with a strong-voiced female lead singer. Not only did these guys do a show at the inn the night before, but they also played for the majority of the festival held the following day. They were able to keep the dance floor open, and they didn’t stray from upbeat foot-tapping songs – there was never a ‘slow song’ to give the dancers (and the band) a break, so I do admire their stamina. I’d love to see these guys perform again at the festival in the future, and would love to see some other gigs they’re in!

-Great use of the layout of the George IV Inn: The inn itself has just been freshly renovated, with a big barn/shed area opened up. Because of this, they were easily able to accommodate a car show outside the back, a band at the front, markets and stalls around the sides of the inn and keep the inn itself relatively not too busy with the flow of crowds. Throughout the day, we were easily able to pop out back to the outside dining area to have a break and grab a few drinks and some food, which was very convenient.

-Free entry: Who doesn’t love free entry?! I’ve been to so many era-themed events recently, where an entry fee or participation charge was required (and it definitely was not worth it). So, it was really refreshing to have an event where anyone was welcome. The friendly feel and relaxed nature of the day may be a result of this.

-Family friendly (to an extent): there was lots of activities for the kids (well, enough that you can run outside of a pub), including face painting, colouring in competitions and temporary airbrushed tattoos. It can be hard to have many kid-friendly activities at an event held at a pub, however the kids present found many things to do to entertain themselves (including having a go on the dance floor). In future, I’d suggest that there be more things to get the kids involved – perhaps a kids ‘best dressed’ competition (or a better title…’pinup competition’ for kids is a bit inappropriate) would be a good idea!

Not-so-highlights

-Not enough food options, and expensive food: as someone who suffers from coeliac disease, I was pretty disappointed to discover that unless you really liked bread and pizza, there weren’t many options for food. As the staff couldn’t guarantee that the hot chips were gluten-free, I had to take a chance and hope I didn’t get glutened after. Surely I wouldn’t have been the only person with issues in getting food at the event: anyone who was vegetarian, gluten intolerant or lactose intolerant may have had issues as well. That being said, what was on offer (other than food directly from the inn) was from one stall only – serving up hot dogs costing $10 made from the cheapest looking ingredients. I’d pay $10 for a decent Subway sandwich (if I could eat one), however this was definitely not worth the price that was being charged, and there weren’t any other choices available to patrons. However, due to the location of the inn, many food outlets were close by which could accommodate instead.

-Some parts of the day were poorly organised, particularly the Pinup Competition. The Pinup Competition had been advertised as commencing at 4:15pm, with interested contestants being told via the Facebook event page that they just needed to show up at the pageant to be able to enter. However, these ladies then discovered at the festival that ‘try outs’ and heats were taking place at 2pm on the day, without any advertisement of this happening. As a result, there were many ladies turning up to the pageant who were then told they could not enter. On top of this, many children entered the contest as well as there was no age limit or restrictions advertised: while I am happy for children to have a go at things, this wasn’t very appropriate as it was a ‘pinup’ contest advertised and aimed at an older audience, where all other contestants were older women. In fact, many adult contestants were knocked out in the heats due to the ‘cute factor’ of many children who entered. It has already been advised that there will be a separate category for children next year, which will be much more suitable (hopefully it’s just a ‘best dressed’ contest, rather than being ‘pinup’ themed). Also, the competition was judged based on audience approval alone, giving an unfair advantage to locals or many who had supportive friends come along. In future, there should be a combination of a designated judging panel, as well as audience participation.

-Not enough stalls and variety of stalls: I understand that it can be hard to have a large variety of stalls in the first year of a festival. Plus, when you’ve got limited space, you can only select a few stalls for the day or otherwise risk WHS issues. However, there really wasn’t that much variety in the stalls and shops on the day. Some of my favourite local sellers were there (which was amazing), but other than that, not many other stalls stood out with their products. In fact, many didn’t really align with the theme of the festival very well (or, they attempted to try and ‘fit in’ and didn’t really cut it). In future, hopefully the word gets out about the festival, with more peeps getting involved who are in the rockabilly culture and industry.

Overall thoughts

It was really fantastic being a part of the first rockabilly festival in my hometown. Having an alternative, classy and trendy themed festival become a part of where I grew up means that I’m pretty excited about where this festival will go over the next few years. It was a great ‘first go’ of the festival, however with better promotion, more diversity of the stalls involved and better organisation, the festival is surely going to become bigger and better than ever. Congrats to all who were involved on the day – can’t wait to see what’s in store next year!

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Week 21 Update, 2015

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Hello again! I seriously can’t believe that it’s almost half-way through the year. It’s crazy! Anyway, here’s my update from my adventures over the past week:

-Curves Complete is going relatively well for me. Since starting 3 weeks ago, I’ve started to lose a little bit of weight and can feel some of my muscles getting firmer again. I’ve been working out 4 times a week and go for a walk in my lunch break as well. My biggest struggle at the moment is adjusting to the meal plan (I’ve gone back to the first phase of the program), and also doing more steps on the weekend. This weekend I seemed to pull some muscles in my calves so had to take it relatively easy.

-On top of trying to exercise more often, I’ve been really tired this week. I think it’s due to hormones and where we’re up to in the month, but I’ve been so exhausted. I’ve been meaning to stay up and do some writing for the blog (as well as put up the overdue Rockabilly Festival review), however I’ve been really drained of energy. Sorry for my lack of new content! If I don’t have the Rockabilly post up by Wednesday night, you are most welcome to hassle me 🙂

-In the background, I’ve also been working on getting up-to-speed on the gaming videos I’ve made solo for our YouTube channel. Last night we put up the second of my randomised Pokemon play through videos, and I’m working on a third video. My first-play through review of Pillars of Eternity should be ready in the next week or so. I feel that while we currently only have one computer to record/play games on, we’re a bit limited with time and resources to make more content. However, once we get our gaming computer set-up, we should be able to make many more videos on a regular basis.

-After a few attempts at learning the basics in Adobe Illustrator and Graphic Design, I’ve decided that it wouldn’t be wise for me to pursue studies which require such a huge learning curve for me. So, I’ll keep learning how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and Graphic Design as a hobby on the side. I’ve also made the same decision about Web Development. However, I’ve started to try thinking ‘smart’ about studies that I’d like to do. I want to combine what I already know and practice with some study that will be valuable and help my future career opportunities in a bigger variety of fields. I also really want to get some study sorted before we start making some of our big epiphany plans happen, and also before I have any children to run after. So I’m starting to investigate some postgraduate studies that offer evening classes (which I could attend around work).

Originally, I was thinking of just trying out distance/online study again, however I like the convenience of on-campus study and am motivated by having an actual class. At the moment, I’m looking at a Masters of Business with a double specialisation in Marketing and Human Resource Management. Firstly, I’ve chosen Marketing as it’s something I really should have added on to my Media and Communications degree to make it more career-friendly and valuable to the business environment (and I’ve discovered I actually like doing marketing in business). However, I’ve also chosen Human Resource Management because I want to upskill into something valuable which makes a difference. I’m passionate about helping others, making sure that things are done correctly, working for the greater good and making sure there’s equal opportunities for those with disabilities and the such. Originally, I started thinking about studying Law and advocacy for the same reasons, however with my background in business and administration, I feel that HR is a more natural approach for me to take. So, I’m really eager to become qualified in this field and have the chance in the future to help take care of the staff and people of a unit, organisation or business. I’m a bit nervous, as I’ve never really studied business before, but it feels like the best/smartest decision and most secure study decision to help improve future employment.

-With hubby’s birthday coming up, part of the presents I’d like to get him is a capture card. This means that we’ll both be able to record more variety of games for our YouTube channel, and (once we get NBN) potentially stream our own channel on Twitch,. I’m pretty excited about this, as we’ll be able to do much more in terms of the types of games and accessibility to retro games.

-In line with our lack of finances lately, I’ve decided that I’m going to sell my 2011 Macbook Pro. I rarely use Apple products anymore (except for my iPad and iTunes), and am finding that while it’s sitting there gathering dust, it’s money I could be spending on better things (such as getting our gaming computer up and running in order to make more videos/stream/game). Plus, I will need to get myself a smaller and more efficient laptop for study (if that goes ahead), and the Macbook certainly doesn’t cut it anymore. So, over the next month or so, I’m going to work on exporting all the stuff off my Macbook so I can prepare to sell it.

That’s about all the updates I’ve got for now. Expect a post later this week (apologies once again), and thanks for reading 🙂

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Week 20 Update, 2015

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Hello readers! After a busy weekend of cleaning (yay, rental inspections!) I’m taking a moment to write my update for the past week before I am too forgetful. It’s been a long week! So, here’s what I’ve been up to:

-Last week, I officially settled back into the Curves Complete program. It appears that after having three months off to recover and heal up my leg, I’ve only really gained a kilo or so from where I left off at the gym. Considering I spent two months where I could barely do any physical activity due to my leg, this is a massive relief for me. I’ve set a few realistic goals to help me get back into the swing of having the gym and exercising as a daily habit. I managed to get back into my 4 days of gym last week (including a Saturday morning session…I was crazily motivated), go on a walk every lunch break, and exceeded my step goal for 5/7 days. The only things I need to reintroduce are my strictness to following my Curves Complete meal plan, as well as yoga before bed. So, as of this Monday, I’m starting back on Phase 1 of the Curves Complete program just for one week to ‘jump-start’ my system. Currently, I was on Phase 3 of the program, where there’s quite a large food allowance in comparison to Phase 1. However, after three months of no exercise and not looking after my food choices as well as I could have, I’d like to give it a go. So, if I am cranky or stressed this week, it’s likely going to be due to my change in food amounts. That being said, yoga really helps with my stress levels, and now that I’m able to sit on the floor with my legs crossed (my NLD flare-up did not like this one bit), I’ll be able to start doing some small exercises before bed. I am SO excited and motivated towards getting myself back on track to being healthy and happier, now that I have some long-term goals in mind!

-Over the past week and a bit, hubby and I have reached our goal of 100 subscribers to our YouTube channel, Arjadia. Our channel was originally just run by hubby, who focused on retro game ‘let’s play’ videos. However, I recently also became involved to help him have more variety of content. As a thank-you to all who have supported us so far and given suggestions and feedback, we’re holding a giveaway, which closes on June 10th. Details can be found in the following video, however in summary we are giving away $20 for Steam to one lucky subscriber. To enter, you must be subscribed to our channel, and leave a comment on the giveaway video with your suggestion on what we should be doing next on our YouTube channel. We will then select the best/most creative entry. I’m pretty excited about this – being on YouTube was something I initially wasn’t very keen on doing, however it’s really grown on me and I can’t wait to share more gaming reviews and play-throughs. Plus, it’s something awesome that hubby and I can do together 🙂

-I mentioned last week that we were having some financial struggles. Well, this week I’d like to really express how thankful and grateful I/we are for our families. We received some fantastic support and generosity from our families over the past week, which has been really touching. As I’ve grown older, I’ve started realising how amazing our families are. Both sides are truly supportive and encouraging of all family members, and go out of their way to ensure  no one is struggling or having too rough of a time. Such care is quite rare in a large number of families these days, so we really count ourselves as lucky and blessed to have this. Hubby and I now see that, even though we’ll have some financially tough times for the next few weeks, they’re not as bad as we thought and we’ll be able to get by.

-Last week, we received news that our real estate/landlord wanted to inspect the property within the next week or two. With such short notice (I thought we were meant to have two weeks’ notice), our place has been in shambles due to not having time to clean. However, with hubby having a free afternoon which matched with the real estate’s schedule, we managed to pencil in a Monday inspection –giving us the weekend to tidy. I guess it was the motivation to kick ourselves into gear with tidying up. Since having my NLD flare up, I’ve been pretty useless in keeping the place tidy. Plus, at the best of times, I’m not the tidiest person. In particular, I find it really difficult to keep on top of tidying a place when renting. It’s hard to explain – I think the idea that the place isn’t actually ‘ours’ is quite un-motivating for me when it comes to doing a tidy-up. That being said, I should be all OCD about keeping it tidy due to the fact that it isn’t ‘ours’, however because I don’t have that feeling of ownership or a connection with the place, it’s tough. Anyway, enough said – the place got tidied, and we’ve had a rather boring, exhausting weekend as a result.

-Actually, we did take one small break from tidying over the weekend, where we popped into the local Comic Convention event called ComicGong. The convention is in its second year (from memory), and you could tell that the word had gotten out about it. Unfortunately, I can’t do a full review of the event as I only popped in to visit some friends of hubby’s to briefly check out their stall. However, from my observations, the convention was way too crowded: it was tough for any normal person to easily walk through the event, let alone anyone with limited mobility (I was struggling with my leg in some parts). With the exposure and great promotion of the event, attendance numbers have soared for it, it seems. Therefore, hopefully the convention is moved to a larger area for future years. That being said, the convention had a great variety of stalls, extended range of cosplayers and great atmosphere. I hope I get to attend future ComicGongs!

That’s all I’ve been up to, for now! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Mrs Ginger Fox Abroad: My most embarrassing travel stories

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel many places in my life so far – whether it be through orchestra tours, study or personal travel. As such, I’d like to start a mini-series of posts about my varying experiences overseas, to be called Mrs Ginger Fox Abroad. What way to start the series better than bringing out my most embarrassing travel adventures!?

Here’s my five most embarrassing tales from my adventures overseas:

Getting locked in a toilet of a traditional Japanese Ryokan in Tokyo

Yeah, this happened. As part of a school trip to Japan back in 2005 (my very first trip to Japan), we stayed in a very traditional Japanese inn, or ryokan. While I was getting ready for bed, I needed to use the bathroom, so made my way to the shared bathrooms. However, when trying to open the cubicle door (made from very strong, old wood), it seemed that the wood had swelled-up and was jammed into the frame. As a result, I had locked myself into the cubicle. I was still on insulin injections when I went on this trip, and started to panic as I needed to take my night-time dose. However, everyone else was settling into bed, and the place was eerily quiet, as a traditional ryokan should be. I had to break this traditional atmosphere by screaming out for help at the top of my lungs, which was terribly embarrassing and slightly culturally insensitive. In the end, our teacher had to use brute force to pull open the door from the outside.

Caption: One of the only photos I have from the trip with me in it....Karaoke. Obviously, I was ok with being in crowded, small rooms after this incident.

One of the only photos I have from the trip with me in it….Karaoke. Obviously, I was ok with being in crowded, small rooms after this incident.

-Getting crapped on by a stork in the streets of Madrid, Spain

They say that having a bird crap on you gives you good luck. Well, my embarrassing experience in Spain in 2008 should have given me decades of good luck. Wandering around the cobblestone back streets in Madrid (I believe) with a crowd of other students in the orchestra I was in, there were many birds sitting on the steeples of churches and historical buildings. We then saw an incredibly large bird start flying over the group – one larger than we’d ever seen (it looked to be a similar size to a penguin). Next minute, it felt like I had a bucket of water thrown on me from above. Well…turns out it wasn’t water: it was the waste of a very large (and very full) stork. I don’t really remember much of what happened straight after this: I was in a state of shock and complete embarrassment. I was literally the only person in a group of 40 individuals who got hit by the craptacular display from this stork. I think I ended up throwing out some of the clothes I was wearing, borrowing clothes from other girls and having a very long shower and washing my hair multiple times. From this, I hoped I would somehow gain the winning lottery numbers, eternal youth or something…but all I have for now is an awkward story to tell about birds in Spain. Take my advice: if you’re in Spain and see a massive bird, don’t stare: run and hide. RUN AND HIDE.

Caption: The last photo I have of myself before the incident. I appear so innocent and unaware of the literal s***storm about to happen.

The last photo I have of myself before the incident. I appear so innocent and unaware of the literal s***storm about to happen.

-Mistaking the appearance of lychees in Japan

When I had my stint at studying in Japan in 2009, I was introduced to lychees by my host family. Coming from a family where apples and oranges were our standard fruits, I immediately fell in love with the juiciness and sweetness of the lychee. I ended up having a bowl full for breakfast almost every day of my trip. One day, whilst walking home from university with a group of my friends, my lychee cravings kicked in early. The group decided to head to a convenience store, and I followed, hoping to fix my appetite. As we entered the stall, I noticed something interesting next to the counter: a jar of white, gel-like fruits which looked exactly like lychees to my untrained eyes. I immediately purchased these and ran out the store. As soon as I did, some of my friends gave me some strange looks, and our Japanese friend burst out laughing. They began questioning why I decided to buy myself a jar of pickled onions…where I quickly learned my mistake due to my tired, uninformed eyes. Lesson learned.

Caption: Whilst I don’t have any photos of this experience, here’s one from the daily walk to our university. A real estate used this interesting cardboard model to advertise their company...and we loved it.

Whilst I don’t have any photos of this experience, here’s one from the daily walk to our university. A real estate used this interesting cardboard model to advertise their company…and we loved it.

-Getting fitted for an antique kimono in Japan

It’s very common to try and get yourself a kimono when visiting Japan. However, whilst studying there in 2009, I wanted to get the real thing. As such, my friends and I decided to visit an antique/second-hand kimono store up the road from our university to try our luck. A lovely elderly Japanese woman with no English skills was our fitter, which gave us a perfect change to try out our language skills. Whilst fitting me, she stopped to stare at my chest region, and then blurted out the following phrase (equivalent in English): “Wow, your boobs must be so heavy/such a burden!” This is based on the Japanese word she used of omoi, which roughly translates to heavy/a burden, where we then realised the lady was politely trying to say that I was so sufficiently stacked in the chest, I would never fit into her kimonos. My friends immediately burst out laughing, and “omoi” turned into a great little reference and in-joke of the trip and class.

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Me just prior to the “omoi” experience. That kimono was so pretty….alas, “omoi” 🙁

-Freaking out on the Temporazan Ferris Wheel in Osaka

I was lucky enough to introduce my husband to Japan for the very first time on our honeymoon last year. On our cruise up to this point, every port which we had pulled into in Japan had a ferris wheel. During our second day in Osaka, we had no trips booked in, so decided to explore the port. Feeling adventurous and not wanting to miss the chance of riding a ferris wheel in Japan, I convinced my husband (who has a slight fear of heights) for us to give this one a try. Though, at the time I didn’t realise that this ferris wheel was in the top 20 tallest ferris wheels in the world (and is the 4th tallest in Japan: a country which loves its ferris wheels). Well…I didn’t realise until we were about a quarter of the way through the ride experience, which made this the tallest ride I’ve ever been on. I also then decided to start freaking out about the sheer height – not helping my husband’s worry at all. Our eyes went from the rickety carriage we were in to the bolts that held it together, to the outside view where we were suspended in the air, higher than the top of our cruise ship. We managed to successfully pull ourselves together and laugh about being complete idiots about getting on such a tall ferris wheel whilst admiring the view on the way to reaching the ground (which my husband kissed as soon as he got out of our carriage and his feet touched the ground). Next time, we’ll take the scenic, ground-level rides instead.

Our Lego figurines mid-Ferris Wheel ride. We were shit-scared, and any photos of us show the pure panic we were in...So you guys get the Lego version.

Our Lego figurines mid-Ferris Wheel ride. We were shit-scared, and any photos of us show the pure panic we were in…So you guys get the Lego version.

I’ve done so many embarrassing and story-worthy things overseas, but these few events definitely take the cake. Regardless of what cringe-worthy experiences you have overseas, I highly encourage anyone to experience travelling and discovering a new culture. These awkward experiences just help you to connect more with your fellow travellers, locals and yourself.

If you have any overseas tales you’d like to share, please do! 🙂

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Week 19 Update, 2015

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Hello and welcome back! Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-Last Monday I received the best news ever – I finally received the all clear from my doctor to return to normal exercise and the gym! Words cannot express how excited I was about this: after having to take off 3 months from exercising and suddenly go to complete bed rest and no exercise, I was so ready to get the all-clear to return to normal levels of activity. I needed my energy levels back, and I even craved going to the gym (something that my old self would have NEVER admit to saying). I do have to take it easy for 2 weeks, and will have one follow-up check to ensure my NLD does not disagree with the resumed physical activity. But regardless, I’m back! I returned to the gym last Wednesday, and I then went to the gym for the next 3 days straight. I don’t know what it was (perhaps having been forced to take 3 months off), but I now have this incredible drive and energy towards getting to the gym. Even after an exhausting day, I found myself with added motivation to get to the gym, walk in my lunch breaks and much more. In fact, I exceeded my 10, 000 step goal easily on these three days as well. Now I am able to exercise again, I’m not going to take it for granted. I’m aiming to keep weekends as a rest time for myself (to ensure I don’t push myself and over-do it for my NLD), and Tuesdays are my rest-day due to D&D. Otherwise, I’m resuming 4 days at the gym per week, and lunch break walks every working day! 🙂

-Last week I received final confirmation of my mentoring going ahead. Apparently, this was meant to commence last week, however due to a technical glitch I did not receive this information. Anyway, I have received the profile of the high-school student I will be mentoring (who seems like such a cool chick), and I will commence my volunteer mentoring with her this week. I am so excited about this opportunity, and being able to actively donate my time to help someone and make a difference. Due to privacy laws, I likely won’t be able to share much specific information about the progress of this, however I am mega excited to finally start doing some volunteer work!

-Also, as I mentioned in last week’s post, I decided to take the plunge and sign myself and hubby up to NerdBlock. To those unfamiliar with Nerdblock: this is a service that delivers a box to your house each month filled with goodies tailored to your specific interests. We enjoy purchasing a nerdy “treat” for ourselves every now and then, however as we need to epically start budgeting our finances better, we needed to find a way to conveniently give ourselves a small, set amount for this each month. Here’s where Nerdblock came in, and became the best option for us. Firstly, we will receive a t-shirt with our orders each month, which was a big selling point for us. If we receive a shirt we don’t like, we can pass it on to friends or gift it (or put it up for grabs on eBay, if this is allowed). However, the Nerdblock service means that we’ll get a surprise each month, and receive specialised merchandise. This will ensure that we won’t waste our money on spur-of-the-moment purchases, as we’ll be budgeting towards our Nerdblocks instead. Hubby and I will be doing “unboxing” videos once we receive our box each month, and we can’t wait to share this with you.

-On that note, I am aiming to write a post in the near-future discussing what I’ve been up to in helping hubby out with his YouTube channel, as well as our future plans for the channel. We’ve just reached 100 subscribers on YouTube, as well as almost hitting 1000 followers on Twitter, so we’ve got lots of planning to do! 🙂

-This week hubby and I were relieved in that we believed we had finally “caught up” on any financial commitments we had. We would be ready to start saving towards our “future epiphany”, rather than putting savings aside and then having to use them for unexpected financial emergencies. However, it appears we’ve been hit with a whammy, and we now have to gather some emergency finances towards major car repairs and expenses in the next 4 weeks. This has been a major disappointment for us, as we are exhausted and just want to have a lucky break and meet our goals, rather than working so damn hard and just keeping our heads above water financially. However, we’re trying to stay optimistic: we have each other, which is more valuable than money. We also have a rule that we will never, ever fight about money, which has been really beneficial in our focus of dealing with sorting out finances. That being said, we realise that in our country, so many are doing much worse than we are, therefore we need to be thankful that even though we are struggling, we are still keeping things together.

-Over the weekend I also had the pleasure of attending the very first annual Rockabilly Festival in my home-town. I am in the process of writing a review about this event (as I’m waiting on some photos from the event to be published), however hope to have this up in the next week or so. Overall, the event had a great atmosphere and attendance, but I felt it needed to be better organised and have more variety of food and stalls. More to come at a later date!

That’s all for this week! Later this week, you can expect the very first post in a series I’m starting called Mrs Ginger Fox Abroad, where I’ll be writing about my experiences overseas and travelling in general. My first post will be based on my most embarrassing times overseas (who doesn’t like a funny story?). I hope it’s entertaining! Anyway, thanks for reading 🙂

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Week 18 Update, 2015

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Update time! The past week has really flown by, and it feels like nothing major happened. However, we’ll see what I can come up with here:

-My NLD appears to be settling down. In saying that, I really hope I don’t jinx myself for my dermatologist appointment today (Monday), where I hope to get the ‘all clear’ to return to exercise, walking and the gym. My leg hasn’t been giving me much pain at all: only when it’s been irritated due to the bandages being too tight, or when I’ve done too much walking and need to rest. It’s now been three months since I had to stop going to the gym, and I am so ready to return. I’m over not having any energy, and I’d love to see the amazing blood sugar levels, confidence and energy that the gym and regular exercise gave me. I had to drop all physical activity in February in an instant, and that’s been really hard for me to do after finally making exercise and being active a daily part of my life. I do miss it, and I’m wishing with all my might that I’ll get approved to return to the gym for this week. Update: as of tonight, I have received my doctor’s approval to return to the gym! I’m very relieved, and will write more about this next week 🙂

-Over the weekend, hubby and I set ourselves up with some YouTube videos to walk us through making simple logos in Adobe InDesign. This was in line with my curiosity with trying out some Graphic Design. Well…it was interesting, but it wasn’t as enjoyable for me as learning things in Photoshop. I also feel that I perhaps lack the creative eye required for Design, therefore my skills would be better reserved for editing, or basics in Photoshop instead. So, it may be back to the drawing board on skills to look into developing…though I’ve had some really good ideas and feedback on family this week on things that I should have a look into.

-Also, I can confirm that I am still slightly addicted to exploring Pillars of Eternity. It’s so refreshing playing a game created by many who worked on the Baldurs Gate series, where it has so many of the great things modern technology and skillsmanship (as well as crowdfunding) has given, such as an epic soundtrack, detailed character appearances and party interactions. I am loving the detail of the story, as well as “good” and “evil” not clearly being defined in the game as well. I really want to write a review/opinion post on the game, so hopefully you’ll see one up here soon!

-In our weekly D&D group, we’ve started playing a Pokemon based series, which has been developed by my husband based on a combination of the Big Eyes, Small Mouth games and homebrew based on the actual mechanics of Pokemon (ie. lots of maths and probability). It looks like a very exciting game that we have ahead, however the first game (where we just created our characters and Pokemon) was basically us having to use a lot of math. I haven’t really done detailed maths since high school, so my poor brain was very tired, haha. But yes, we hope to officially start the game this week, and I look forward to reporting back here with details 🙂

-Speaking of my husband, I’ll be helping him out more with his YouTube channel. I am already doing a Zelda-based web series with him (which I will share on here soon), however due to the increase of followers we’ve received through YouTube and Twitter, he’s thinking about branching out into other areas. It’s a completely new and foreign type of media for me to be doing, but it’s really enjoyable being able to share our experience and love of video games and nerd culture. We’re also so extremely thankful that people actually take the time to watch the videos as well and share their feedback. So yeah, I’ll be reporting more on this in the near-future.

-On the same note as the videos, hubby and I have decided to sign ourselves up for Nerdblock this week. We like to allow ourselves to purchase something small each month as a treat, of sorts. After researching, and hearing feedback from friends, we’ve decided that getting a Nerdblock each would be a good replacement for this. Each month we will receive a box of goodies, and it will always come with a tee-shirt (I really need to branch out with my nerdy t-shirts, especially given how most of the wardrobe is work-friendly clothing). So, it’s something we can look forward to. I’m going to be signing up for the Arcade version (video game merchandise), while hubby is signing up for the Comic version. Whilst shipping is only a few dollars less than the Nerdblock itself, the whole thing pretty much would cost the same as us buying a nerdy shirt and one piece of nerdy memorabilia from a game store in Australia. We’re going to do an unboxing video on YouTube each month too (I haven’t found too many Austalians doing these so far), and it’s good to do something small to keep our hobbies and passions alive and our fan-girling/boying active.

Well, that’s about all I have for this week. Lots of nerd and video-game talk, sorry (but not sorry). I have been working on a few posts behind-the-scenes, and am hoping to have at least one up in the next week. Two of my upcoming posts are about my travel experiences, while another is about the importance of staying creative. Anyway, thanks for reading 🙂

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