Friday, January 31, 2014


I have some beautiful friends. They push me out of my comfort zone into a fun place that I like to visit every so often.

Tonight, to celebrate my last weekend in Daegu we went dancing. I absolutely love dancing. I think I was doing it for three hours straight. It was glorious.

Now, that's not all. We wore wigs and had fake names and pretended we were in a feminist band called the VUVU's. It was all rather hilarious.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Today was absolutely beautiful. It was hardly even winter! A balmy 14 degrees, it was!

I met Nicole for tea and we had a lovely wee catch up. All her talk of Scotland made me so excited to go home and share those experiences with my friends and family. 

I really will miss her. She's so great to talk to and so, so lovely. But it wasn't too sad saying goodbye because I know I'll see her again soonish.

Beyonce burnt!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I just paid a fortune for the dentist. While eating an extra crunchy sweet potato chip, part of my tooth came out.

It didn't hurt, but the cost of the ceramic filling did!! 

I'm starting to get worried about trying to stretch my money when I'm at home. I'm concerned about not being able to enjoy certain things or buy some items I need. 

But I guess that recently I've been praying that I would trust God more, and in this area. I should know that prayers like that are dangerous. He seems to answer in ways that allow us to experience the very situations that will grow us in that area.

Hello tooth.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


This morning I woke up with a fuzzy brain, blocked nose, and sore throat. I thought I'd try my luck and ask Rebekah for the day off. She ended up telling me to take tomorrow to rest as well!

That makes this a whole 6 day break! I am blessed indeed. 

I stayed in bed and watched a movie to celebrate. Daytime movies are the best!

I had to do grocery shopping and look what I found! Dragonfruit.

Monday, January 27, 2014


My co-teacher told me very seriously that she thinks she overdid it with the Pilates and treadmill last week and was too sore to try again. She said she didn't think it was for her.

I painted a somber face on and nodded away sympathetically while my insides were jumping. 

The gym is all mine again!!!

I celebrated by going for a nice run. It was exhilarating. I think I'm really liking it. What a crazy thought! 

But the difference today was that I didn't push myself to exhaustion. I enjoyed the whole thing. Afterwards I lay on my mat with a big grin. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014


There was some sort of joy bug going around at church today because we were all far too happy. I was full of gratitude for the people around me, with whom I couldn't stop giggling during the offering time. I was sitting next to Jess, which was an utter delight.

It was a beautiful feeling for my last day of singing.

My bruise is coming along nicely. Yoga is dangerous, folks.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I wanted I kiss whoever made the playlist at Travellers (a terrible foreigner bar) tonight. It was full of "early 2000s softcore hip hop" to quote Dani. There was Nelly and all the faves. I made my exit to Beyonce and krumped my way outta there. It really was a great backdrop to farewells and fooseball.

Friday, January 24, 2014


As I opened the door to leave school today I was enveloped by warm air and the smell of spring. It wasn't flowers; they're still a long way off, but the fragrances in the air were enhanced somehow. It was as if the feeling of spring was made tangible to my nostrils.

I walked past the delicious aroma of someone's dinner cooking as I looked out over the mountains with a huge grin. I felt like dancing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Apologies for all the fitness-related posts recently, but seriously guys, it makes me so happy!

AND I MET MY GOAL! 1 mile in under 10 minutes.

Now, it might not seem much to you, but to me this is a huge accomplishment. Never having been a runner, I started out so sluggish. But I'm getting better each time and it feels amazing.

Below is a post I wrote over on The Lonely Paleo just a few hours before I ran. Time to make a new goal!

I am learning not to use excellence as a gauge of success. It has only led me to disappointment and self-punishment. When I see the perfect bodies of women in magazines, the perfect plates of food bloggers, and the incredible accomplishments of business people, I can't help but see myself as a huge failure in comparison.

This has always been a problem for me, a stubborn perfectionist. But things are changing. Instead of beating myself up in this way, I am starting to think that progress, even in minute increments is success. I am starting not to look at others to determine how well I'm doing, but to look to the past to measure how far I have come.

Take running for example. I am certainly not the world's best runner. Far from it. I had never really tried it until a few weeks ago. My first mile took me well above 12 minutes to complete and left me completely exhausted. Two weeks later I'm at 10:03 and my goal is to get it under 10 minutes by the end of the month. Each time I have come closer to my goal and it feels incredible to make that kind of progress.

However, last night I had a conversation with a friend who mentioned that she once ran 5km in 20 minutes. My jaw dropped and I was in complete awe of her. But whereas in the past I may have been discouraged because her ability is so far above mine that I couldn't dream of achieving that kind of excellence, now I can be truly joyful for her accomplishment and at the same time I can be very proud of what I have done.

This is only one example of course, and it's a lesson I need to keep learning in many areas of my life. But it is certainly freeing to stop comparing myself with excellence which is unattainable in the near future, but instead start comparing myself with the myself of a little while ago.

Perhaps one day I'll run a marathon, but for now it's baby steps.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Well, today's gym excursion with my co-teacher was equally hilarious. It was my day to use the treadmill for ages so I helped her get started on the other one.

It started spinning on 0.5km/h which she complained was too slow so I showed her how to turn it up. I revved it up to 3km/h and she got such a fright that she clutched onto the handles for dear life and turned it back down. To be fair, she does have tiny legs.

It took her a while to master the art of walking normally. Instead of strolling along she would pick up her whole leg and stomp it down in a way that meant, "Yeah! I'm exercising! Not just walking", while pumping her arms.

I started warming up over on my machine and we talked a bit. Then I put in my earplugs and became blissfully unaware of her presence until after 30mins she flopped down in a chair like she'd just run a marathon. She stayed there for a few minutes and realizing I wasn't going to stop for a while, she waved at me and left.

In her face I saw traces of shock and horror as I turned, bright red, sweaty, and panting to say goodbye. These Koreans don't know what real exercise is. Or, at least they don't look as terrible as us waygookins when they try it.

 Oh the joys.

Also, there is an app called Drakeshake and it's the best thing ever. Lucy and I were having some fun:

And this is my spot Drake photoseries:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


This afternoon I found myself laying on my back, feet up in the air, doing circles with my toes. This isn't an unusual position for me to be in, thanks to Cassey from Blogilates, however today my co-teacher was doing the same next to me.

That was only the intro. Soon we were hip thrusting, doing roll-overs, and contorting our bodies into all sorts of compromising shapes. She had no idea what she was in for when she told me she wanted to come do some exercise with me!

It was very strange to have her company. Strange, not entirely unpleasant, but very odd. This is a crazy journey.

Monday, January 20, 2014


These days it's not worth sacrificing the warmth of my gloves for the entertainment of my phone when walking outside. This problem leaves a good amount of uninterrupted thinking time.

I like it best when my walk turns into an absent-minded stroll and my mind turns over abstract thoughts which I can never recall later. It is lost time, but time valuably spent in these days of never-ceasing communication.

Such was the case this afternoon as I wandered by fields, mulling over life's complexities, I'm sure. That was, until I became aware of what was happening and started to write this blog post in my mind. Thus ended my empty-headed bliss.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I went to a DVD bang this evening with Jess and Michelle. No, we did not get up to mischief. We just watched a terrible film and talked a lot.

For those of you who don't know, DVD bangs (or rooms) are where young people go to make out and so on and so forth because they all live with their parents. You choose a movie and they usher you to a room where there is a couch/bed thing and the film is projected onto the wall.

It sounds really gross. And it probably was, but it was dark.

Anyway, despite the surroundings, I loved hanging out with the girls. They are just so real. And they are absolutely hilarious. I love that we can swing from talking about Jesus in one sentence to crotches in the next.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Just a week ago I wrote about how I never want to go out these days, but I think perhaps my hibernation is coming to an end. I have to wake up sometime, and with my Daegu days coming to a close it's probably time.

This evening I met Kirsten at Buy the Book and we had some great chats while I spent far too much money on books and Larabars.

I love talking to likeminded people. She's such an encouragement and we are on the same wavelength when it comes to what God's doing in our lives. When I got home I got excited about her coming to visit me in Seoul.

It's going to be a great reunion. It's strange to think my mind is so far in the future but I haven't even left yet!

Friday, January 17, 2014


Handstands really make me feel incredible. I've been doing them every day and I'm getting better each time!

I can't wait until I can walk on my hands. 

Apparently all of this good stuff happens when you go upside down. Your body releases cortisol which gives you more energy and makes you happy. 

It also is more difficult to sleep when your cortisol levels are high so no more hand/headstands before bedtime!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


My co-teacher came back to work today. I have been dreading sharing my precious gym with someone else.

Luckily she just came and talked to me for a bit and didn't follow me upstairs to my happy place. 

She said the principal was worried that I was lonely in my office all day so he told her she had to come visit me. 

He's a nice man (and also probably concerned about my lengthy lunch breaks).

This is the reason for the long lunch break. It was incredible.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Michelle's company always makes me smile.

I went to bed practically grinning because she left behind such a warmth. 

I am certainly going to miss her beautiful friendship and these movie nights full if laughter and fun. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I know I go on and on about the sun, but today it was pretty incredible. I've beer seen anything like it.

I can't call it fog. It was more like pollution or the "yellow dust from China" that filled the air. It covered the sky in such a thick haze that I could look straight at the sun as I walked home for lunch. 

The sun itself was a glowing orange orb that was almost glittering against the muggy grey backdrop. 

It was very strange indeed. 

Monday, January 13, 2014


The winter here is cold, but certainly not gloomy.

The sun still shines even though the temperature is well below zero. 

It hardly rains and only very rarely do I see a cloud in the sky. 

It's a beautiful season and I would enjoy it a lot if only it were a few degrees warmer.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Today it felt great to be part of such an awesome church family. I love these people dearly and will miss them a lot when I go to Seoul.

It was nice to be talked to after the service. Even after all this time I still appreciate others initiating conversation. 

And the worship and the sermon both pinpointed things that God has been teaching me recently. That's always super encouraging. I like hearing his voice in many different ways. I know I'm meant to be listening.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


I am such a homebody these days. I haven't gone out in a very long time but I have been very happy with that.

It's nice to settle into a quiet spell. During January there are no small groups or events so it's a great chance to hibernate. 

I am a bear who watches movies and sleeps a lot and it is glorious.

I didn't even set a foot outside today.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I sneezed for the first time in a long time today and it was utterly glorious.

It felt amazing.

The itch. The twitch. And then the clarity.

I don't know why I don't do it more often.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


My lunch breaks are growing increasingly longer, but today it was for a worthy cause.

I made this:
I realize it may not look like much, but it was incredible. The tomatoes, peppers, spices, herbs, meatballs all combined beautifully, and then the egg at the end made it impossibly dreamy.

I nearly died.

I've been undertaking a bit of culinary experimentation in the name of real food and a happy gut.

If you want to follow my adventure you can do so here.

You can see what I'm eating every day. The photos are going there which is why there's been a lack of delicious here.

It's not just my journey either. There are tips, recipes, and rants too if you're interested.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Today I saw the most beautiful creature on my walk home from school.

He was the handsomest Korean man I have ever come across (sorry Gong Yoo).

I was strolling along, dreaming of dinner when I saw him. His clothes struck me first. So stylish! And then his hair. Good hair is so important!

He was still to far away to make out [with] his face, but I could see the cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. While it definitely escalated his cool, it was quite disappointing.

Why does every Korean smoke!? It's an epidemic.

Anyway, as we walked closer I could see his face and I couldn't handle all that good-looking so I quickly turned down the road to my left and stumbled my way home.

Monday, January 6, 2014


I HAVE A CROCKPOT. Yes, I am that excited. No, it's not mine. I'm borrowing.

But oh man I strode home at quite a pace, knowing that I would be able to tuck in to dinner as soon as I stepped in the door.

The smell hit me first, and then I was piling it on my plate, and then heaven in my mouth.

Honestly, cooking is going to be so much easier now!

I forgot to take a photo before it was half gone.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Why is it that only middle aged men want to talk to me on the subway? I want to make friends, not be hit on!

Anyway, it was a nice conversation. He saw my book, One Hundred Years Of Solitude and started asking me questions, saying he read it. I think I believe him. He said it's popular in Korea and asked me if I've ever been to "Portugese" [sic].

Then he said, "I think you've spent 25 years of solitude, yes?"

Wow. What a line. I laughed it off as I saw the doors close on my station.

We carried on talking as we got off at the next stop. He told me his favourite song was Solitary Man by Neil Diamond. This guy was strange.

But we parted at the ticket gate and I spent the long walk home wondering whether he rode the subway back and forth finding foreigners to chat to.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I couldn't ask for a better Saturday. After laying a while in bed after I woke up (something I never do), eating a delicious breakfast, and doing Dance Day with Dani, I walked to Costco and ran into Jess and Alex.

What a lovely surprise! I got out of there as soon as possible with my meat though because it was craaaaazzzzyyyy.

When I got home I made lunch, curled up in bed, and watched The Lone Ranger. I love turning off the lights and watching a film in the afternoon. It's like stopping time. Everyone else is going about their daily life but you're there caught up in another world. It feels amazing.

Then to top it all off, I made my way to Nicole's place in the evening for girl's night! It was so good to see everyone and laugh a lot. A lot.

Ahhh, may there be many more Saturdays like this!

Friday, January 3, 2014


I have found my happy place.

The gym is on the top floor of the school, in the perfect position to get the afternoon sun. It's just me up there, and Cassey of course. We have fun.

It's warmer than my office, and so much nicer. I might start hanging out in there all day long.

It was a bit strange to do some of the pilates moves when, at any moment, another teacher could decide to come in. I'm pretty sure they won't though.

It was also very strange getting changed in my office. I thought I heard a noise from the adjacent classroom just when I'd managed to get my pants and stockings off. I went into a flurry of panic. It was nothing though. Phew! That could have been quite awkward. The bathrooms are so gross and freezing so it's worth the risk of an unexpected visitor.

Do you think they were going for "Robber Chicken" or "Rubber Chicken"?

New shoes yeah

Thursday, January 2, 2014


The second day of the year ended with a bang. The sun was setting behind the mountains as I walked home from school. It wasn't quite as amazing as the sunrise yesterday, but it reminded me that endings can also be beautiful.

Instead of the almost-red glow that the daw brought, it was a brilliant yellow glare, as if the sun was fighting to stay up. The rays groped at the sky, trying to keep from sinking. It was a mighty struggle to witness.

The photos don't do it justice.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Dawn has broken on a new year, and what a glorious sunrise it was. As the magnificent orb peeked over the mountains, myself and a few others looked on with awe. It was huge and so gold.

My favourite part was the premature glow that took over the skies in a beautiful peach colour which sang, "The sun is coming!" The birds danced along, bouncing from tree, to powerline, and back to the tree, dipping and diving in unison.

When the sun did rise, it was so sharp. The perfect circle cut through the fog and brilliance shone from it. There was something enchanting about how it floated upwards.

Hope is rising. It's a new day, a new year, and it's full of promise.