Oh, hey there

Stuck between tube stops due to a signal failure on the district line… what a perfect opportunity to play catch up on the blog!

Belated Happy New Year – I made a simple BJJ related resolution, and I am proud to say that I have stuck to it so far:

Make it to training at least twice a week.

Two sessions as a base is extremely achievable, and I find I’m beating myself up much less than when I was getting to four classes one week (huzzah!), but then sometimes none the next.

In happily averaging three times per week at the moment, and trying to really focus on retaining more of what I’m learning. Moving off one stripe in 2015 would be kinda nice. I do still have the short term training memory of a fish though, sadly.

What else is occupying my time? Well, I’m job hunting – I mean proactively job hunting as opposed to just wishing a new gig would fall out of the sky. Crossing fingers and toes a shiny opportunity presents itself soon (well spoken EA/Project Manager and media type for hire, just sayin).

Happy 18 months in London to me!


HOW have I been in the capital this long already? Ashamedly I am yet to see the inside of any museums bar the Hunterian, and have only made it to one musical (Urinetown, odd title but a good show).

While many of my Aussie friends here are now realising they have under a year left on their working holiday visas and are frantically trying to tick off their euro travel bucket lists, I am wondering when I should start compiling mine.

The beauty and danger, of an EU passport.

I’m really keen to make this year count – on and off the mat, in my career and in my personal life. The latter part of 2013 was very much a career holiday. 2014 saw me jump into a bunch of new things including my first Gi competition (I did enter a second Southend Open in November, annnnd let’s just say I didn’t surprise myself but I DID learn a lot).

It’s time to build now. Oh, and I’d also love to find a new flat.

The truth about chicken parmigiana

Not BJJ related … just a little truth bomb that was dropped on me by my Italian flatmate while at the pub the other night. I JUST ASSUMED IT WAS PROPER ITALIAN!? Mind blown..

Learn Italian with Lucrezia

Hello everyone!!

I want to tell you a secret today… (I’ll write in English for the sake of all of you understanding!)

Chicken parmigiana is NOT an Italian meal. I’ve never eaten it, I’ve never seen it in Italy and I’ve never even imagined it!!!

I don’t know where it all started, I mean the legend about chicken parmigiana being Italian, and honestly I don’t even want to know! But the thing which is pretty annoying is that you will find it in every “Italian” restaurant abroad and it makes it even worse because it makes you think that the recipe is Italian. I’m probably stressing it too much, but I just want to let you know that if you go to a restaurant and order a chicken parmigiana thinking that you are eating Italian food, well… you are wrong. The same goes for spaghetti with meatballs, I’ve only seen…

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Gi Weaves 101

Brilliant post on different types of Gi materials – it’s nice to have it all explained, I am totally guilty of the smile and nod “oh I totally understand the difference between pearl weave and gold weave…”

BJJ For Women

womancallingWe get a lot of calls asking which one is our lightest gi, and what is the difference between weaves. When talking about the weight of the fabric, textile industry uses gsm, grams per square meter, measurement. This however is rather meaningless to the consumers who will never test the material for gsm. It is easier to use the weight of the full gi set, jacket and pants, when choosing a gi.

Our women’s gis range from 2 lbs 8 oz for an A0 to 4 lbs for an A4. The minor differences in weights between different gis can be contributed to the design elements: pants loops, cord or flat drawstring, collar thickness, extra embroidery, and variances that happen in cutting and sewing. Half an inch extra in jacket or sleeve length as well as added reinforcements, patches, and decorative tape can add some extra weight.

The trend in the gi…

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Greek Island Flexi Hopper Wrap Up

Really good read for fellow travellers weighing up paying for a tour vs DIY. I have used Busabout before and had a fantastic time – but yes you will be paying more than if you organise everything yourself.

How would YOU tour the Greek Islands? With a group like this or independently?

elly b

So we have finished our Busabout Greek Islands Hopper and my what an experience it was. When it came to deciding how to travel the Greek Islands there was an easy option for us… BUSABOUT. Having booked the North and South loops with them and having researched a variety of different ways to see Greece, we weighed up our options and Busabout was by far the most flexible, suitable and appropriate way for us to see this beautiful country and with the deals that you can get with Busabout- 2-4-1, 10% and 15% off its a great deal!! .

Why did we choose Busabout?
Having had friends who have organised their own way around the Greek Islands it was something that we considered. But with mixed opinions on organising a trip around the Islands on your own, Busabout took the organisation out of my hands but still allowed for…

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Post-Class Euphoria

Yay endorphins! I really really enjoyed class tonight. It’s not something I’ve been able to honestly say for awhile – usually I’m too busy feeling so ridiculously useless on the mat, and lamenting my lack of progress.

I wasn’t necessarily any less useless tonight mind you, but I felt like I was ‘getting it’ where I normally wouldn’t. Ironically, we were being shown a technique with a few more steps to remember than usual. It may have had something to do with the gazillion brown belts and like, three white belts in attendance.. but I felt good!

Annnd then I bought Doritos on the walk home. But THAT’S TOTALLY OKAY RIGHT?! 

*Happy dance*


Done & Dusted

Well, I have successfully completed my dating-for-charity challenge – who knew dating could be so exhausting?!

You can catch up on dates 4 and 5 here and here, and find out if I hit the dating jackpot.

Meantime on the BJJ front, there hasn’t been any for two weeks. It is KILLING me. Blame the new job and all the clunky long hours that go with it. I think I have a handle on things now though, so it’s comeback time tomorrow night.

God help me… so unfit. Well and truly time to reverse that Heathrow injection!





Can This Date Be Beat?

*Not BJJ related

Date three of my Five in Five challenge was pretty fabulous. Dudes, simple gestures can make such a great impression!

I’m now halfway into week four with a tentative date scheduled for the weekend, crossing fingers it happens! I think I need to get this sign working for real and lock in a backup date, just in case..


Photo: Birdman Foxglove Photography

A couple of awesome things

  • I went to my first London women’s BJJ open mat last weekend at Horizon BJJ – got my butt kicked, learnt a lot about where I’m at and where I want to be. The Horizon guys seem great too, a really wholesome club that’s very welcoming – I’ll definitely be dropping by in future.



  • I GOT A FULL TIME JOB! It’s only taken eight months, countless applications, unanswered emails and phone calls and very few interviews. Gosh London you are a hard nut to crack. And because the universe has a twisted sense of humour, two days after I accepted the job I got called to interview for another, AMAZING job *shakes fist* but, I’m going with my gut on this one. Right now the job I’ve accepted is what I need. It’s “9-5,” working with some pretty inspirational people and it’s going to allow me to train frequently, which means I can really focus in on some little goals – like my first gi comp, I’d like to get THAT out of the way this year. Another stripe would be nice, feeling like I deserve to actually have my first one.. this lax little white belt is getting to work.

Date Two, Woohoo!

*Not BJJ related

Second date done for Five In Five – on a roll, having a blast and have raised $241 for charity. My target is $250, quite small but it’s definitely a challenge trying to drum up support from the other side of the world. I’m so happy to have raised as much as I have so far, thanks to mum & dad for a nice chunk of that. 😉


I’m meeting some lovely dudes, too. It feels great to get out there and be proactive on the romance front. 

I am a little worried I won’t have enough London connections to come up with the five dates in five weeks.. what’s with most people I know only knowing attached or gay dudes?! 

Comes with the late-twenties territory I suppose!

First Date Down!

*Another non-BJJ related post – if you’d like to read about my Five in Five dating adventures, you can do so here. And if you’d like to support my campaign which is raising funds for three Australian charities, you can do that here and expect a HUUUUUUGE virtual hug and maybe even a big sloppy computer kiss, from me!