Timeless Thoughts – Geocities

Timeless Thoughts - Click to join the linkup
Timeless Thoughts – Click to join the linkup

Hello, yes I’m still here. Just in time for this months Timeless Thoughts from Georgie and Tara. Click the image above to join in if you have something you want to write about that gives you a little nostalgia.

Recently, I was discussing with a friend the internet of old. It started with a mention of Alta Vista on Google’s 18th Birthday. For those of you that don’t know what Alta Vista is, it was Google’s predecessor. It was Google before there was Google. The very best search engine of its time. In the end Yahoo ended up owning it and, not surprisingly, ruined it. Because that is what Yahoo does it seems.

Our discussion then moved from search engines to webhosts, reminiscing about Geocities, Angelfire and Tripod, to name a few. Geocities is definitely where I got my start. It was the place I found when I realised that “hey, I can make websites too?” and yes, they were very basic and very terrible until I learnt more and technology started improving.

The thing I really enjoyed about Geocities was that they had a bit of fun with choosing your url. You got to choose your address based on the neighbourhood you chose and the number you wanted in that neighbourhood. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any screenshots of this but Geocities had different cities/neighbourhoods with different themes so you could set up your website in Hollywood if your website was entertainment themed, for example.
Once you chose the neighbourhood you wanted you were then presented with little houses and you got to choose one. This also meant you could choose your neighbours! Once you made these decisions you got to move in and start on your website. Geocities did try and make a little community for their budding website builders.

Geocities was so iconic that there are now silly websites where you can ‘geocities-afy’ your website. Here is mine! – That’s a little scary!

In the end Yahoo bought Geocities and, well, ruined.

On my trip down memory lane last week I stumbled upon Neocities whose aim is to make the internet fun again – Geocities obviously also had an effect on them too. They want to make website building accessible and about skill and interest rather than about money making, “pin me” covered websites. This spoke to me as I really do miss the website building of old where the aim wasn’t to be the best (no one was making money anyway so what did it matter?) but to be the best you could be and there was a community around to help you out if your layout just wasn’t doing what you wanted it to do.

So that prompted me to sign up for Neocities and make my own little slice of the internet (away from this slice of the internet) where there is no php or divs or even layout images. It’s just a basic website that I had fun creating. This is very similar to something I would have made back in the day, I always liked using black/charcoal and a bright colour, usually blue or pink. I’ve always been more interested in using colour to create a layout rather than images, something which continues today.. in fact, I realised while writing this post that the colour scheme is the same as All The Me. I guess some things never change!

While I’m not sure I’ll do anything else with the Neocities site, it was fun playing around with everything again. I can’t believe how rusty I was and that a simple table was a stretch of my memory. I used to make sites like this all the time and now I barely remember how, it really shows how tools like WordPress make you a little bit lazy.

Did you ever use sites like Geocities to create websites or other free hosting providers? Did you make websites before the days of wordpress?


Review: This Cafe, Gungahlin – Re-Opening

Last July I wrote about my favourite cafe closing which was sad but also OK because they’d be opening in again in 3 months in a new location.

This Cafe new logo - from the inside of the cafe
This Cafe new logo – from the inside of the cafe

Fast forward twelve whole months (well 11.5) and they finally are open again. Throughout the year I was told there were delays and they weren’t opening in October but in February, then April, then June and then finally July and fortunately, while playing Pokemon Go, we walked past last weekend to find out they were opening on the Monday after.

So of course we decided to go there today! We weren’t sure what to expect, they don’t have an online presence and I hadn’t seen much of anything to say they were re-opening and I wondered if it would be quiet.. on the plus side that would mean we’d get a booth seat!

Mini Gallery on the wall
Mini Gallery on the wall

As it turned out, the place was packed! We didn’t get a booth seat (next time) and there was only one 2 person table left so we quickly sat down and took it. I guess other people had also missed the cafe! As it turns out the table was ok, they have new chairs now which are much more comfortable than at the old location.

So, how was the food?

The menu was very similar to the old one, just a bit more condensed but they appeared to have all of our old favourites. We were concerned things would change and we wouldn’t like it anymore but that wasn’t the case.

Chocolate Thick Shake ($5.90)
Chocolate Thick Shake ($5.90)

It was mostly about the shakes. Were they still going to be sweet, thick and delicious? Yes! And they are also the same price as when I last reviewed This Cafe in February of 2015. Given the explosion in crazy shakes at the moment it is nice that some places just do your standard chocolate thick shake without the frills and for a very good price.

French Toast ($15.90)
French Toast ($15.90)

The first time I ever ate French Toast was at This Cafe in 2014. For some reason I never tried it before that and now I try if everywhere! It was also the first time I jumped in and ate my bacon with maple syrup and it was so good! Which everyone in existence knew except me. I considered going with the pancakes but opted with the French Toast for this visit and out it came with a crater of maple syrup. Bananas are much more bearable when covered in maple syrup!

This has a good combination of all the things I like with French Toast; berries, bacon (hard to see in the photo but it’s hiding between the two slices) and maple syrup with the added bonus of yoghurt and banana. The bread was well cooked and not soggy like you sometimes get with french toast, would definitely go back and try it again.

Brekkie Wrap ($11.90)
Brekkie Wrap ($11.90)

Jarrod has been going crazy for bacon and egg rolls with hashbrown in them so decided to go with the brekkie wrap which, based on my previous review, is now $3 cheaper! It doesn’t look the best in the photo, I suppose it’s hard to make a wrap with bacon, egg and hashbrown look overly appealing while hashbrown oozes out of it but it was hot, tasty and filling.

Overall it is the same food in a new location. I’m happy to have This Cafe back and am excited to see what new seasonal additions and specials they add to the menu.

This Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Timeless Thoughts: Driving

Timeless Thoughts - click to join the link up
Timeless Thoughts – click to join the link up

It’s time for Tara and Georgie‘s link-up, Timeless Thoughts, where you post about something from the past that you’ve been thinking about. Click above to join!

I first got my Learners Licence when I was 16, the legal age here is 15 and 9 months, I knew some people that got it the very first day they could because they were that keen to drive. I was less keen and never really felt the same desire to drive as my classmates. It was more my parents pushing me to get it rather than me wanting to that finally made me do it. Learning to drive was less than fun, the first vehicle that I started in was my Dad’s ute and I found it far too stressful and didn’t try again for ages.

A little while later I started learning in our old red Holden Gemini, we had bought it one day when we were actually out looking for a new ute. One place we went to that was advertising a ute for sale also had their son’s Gemini for sale and my Dad loved it so much he bought it. It was a teenaged boys dream, my Dad wasn’t exactly the target demographic for the lowered car with dark tinted windows and a redback spider gear knob.

Eventually I started practising in my parents new car, they thought it would be more respectable to do the test in it than the old Gemini plus it had power steering and was somewhat easier to drive.

And that is how I came to get my “red P’s” in the summer of 2000/2001. I had a deadline from my parents, they needed a driver to the AC/DC concert in February of 2001 and expected me to get my licence so that I could do so, seriously, that happened.

After that I inherited the Gemini which went on a lot of adventures with me. I’m surprised it didn’t end up worse off given it had a tendency to overheat and I drove it in some conditions it probably shouldn’t have been driven in. One day it died for good. I could have repaired it but it was more money than it was worth and more money than I had so I let the wreckers take it away and investigated buying a new car!

I hated my new car, it was an automatic and a lot bigger than my little Gemini and I decided I wasn’t going to drive it and then if I wasn’t going to drive it why bother having a licence? So I let my licence expire and didn’t renew it for nearly 10 years.

I currently live in an area that only this week had a local set of shops open and it’s either a 30 min walk to the next shops or working around the less than awesome bus timetables to get anywhere so about a week ago I got my Learner’s again (I got it originally 2 years ago but let it expire without doing much driving) and am pretty determined to get it converted to at least my P’s, but hopefully a full licence. Hopefully this desire outweighs my laziness.

I went for my first drive yesterday and it went ok! Considering in the last 10+ years I’d only done a little drive once before it’s pretty amazing how quickly you remember how to do everything. There are obviously things I need to work on (like checking for cyclists when crossing cycle paths. No I didn’t do that yesterday, eek! Fortunately there were no cyclists) but I think it’s something I can do and maybe in the next year or so I will be saying I went for my first drive solo.


Review: Z and Co. Subscription Box

This weeks review post is a little different as it doesn’t contain any food (although I would like to eat one of the soaps.. it smells so good!) but instead a subscription box. I really enjoy the idea of subscription boxes because of the surprise each month and sometimes there are things you would never pick for yourself but realise you actually really like. I’ve tried a few boxes in the past but found I never used any of the products and the overseas ones always had crazy postage charges attached which, in most cases, negated the added value of the boxes.

First look into the Mini Mystery Pamper Pack box
First look into the Mini Mystery Pamper Pack box

I first heard about Z and Co. a few months ago but couldn’t decide what products I wanted to try but subscribed to their email list just in case something took my eye which, this month, it did. They just released subscription boxes! Z and Co. is an Australian (from Canberra, even better!) brand that sells skin care products such as scrubs, soaps and body butters which are all things I enjoy using so I couldn’t wait to see what I would receive.

Something I like about the boxes is they aren’t all shipped out on the same date like many others but you have a monthly subscription from the day you first sign up which meant instead of waiting weeks for my box it arrived within a few days.

What's inside!
What’s inside!

The box was packed nicely with some black tissue paper for padding and there was also a personalised, handwritten letter from owner Neda, she informed me I was the lucky 1st subscriber to the box and because of that she’d thrown in a few extras for me! It was lovely to get something handwritten and personalised and the service was great all round (I also emailed Neda a few time before I bought the box and she was prompt to reply and very nice).

Items from the Mini Mystery Pamper Pack
Items from the Mini Mystery Pamper Pack

I bought the Mini Mystery Pamper Pack which is $29.95/month including shipping, the subscription boxes are open to Australia only, which is the cheapest one available. They have a variety of packs depending on your budget and also ones that cater to pregnant women/new Mums and men.

In my mini box I received:

  • Feel the Love Body Soak – this is a lovely body and foot soak that includes vodka! – I probably wouldn’t try drinking it though. I had the pleasure of using this last night and it left my skin feeling lovely and soft. The scent isn’t overpowering and could be used by both men and women.
  • Honey, I’m Home! Body Butter – After letting this melt a little between my fingers it then went onto my skin really easily and my skin felt nice and soft and soothed. The scent is an unusual one that I’m not overly keen on but given one of the ingredients is Shea Butter I’m not too surprised, it isn’t a scent I particularly like. If you do though you might like this.
  • Bush Pig Soap – this is quite an unusual name for a soap! I looked up on the website for answers and it appears to be ‘why not?’. I haven’t had a chance to use this yet but I love how it looks, especially the little leaves on top.
  • Blueberry Mini Cupcake Soap – I haven’t had a chance yet yo try this one. I’m interested in what it must smell like though! I can imagine this being a cute little guest bathroom soap.
  • Candy Watermelon Soap Cube – This soap looks and smells amazing! It reminds me of Starburst chews and I really just want to eat it. I have to remind myself it will not taste how it smells! I haven’t had a chance to use this yet either but I am trying to think of where I can use it so I can open it as soon as possible.
  • Gentle Lavender Soap – I’m not sure if this one is available still as it isn’t on the website. I haven’t used it yet but it has a subtle hint of lavender and is a goat’s milk soap so I’m assuming it’s nice and soft and milky to use. I love goats milk soap so I’ll definitely be giving it a try.

I really wish I had a use for all these soaps so I could find out how they smell and feel. One day I will get a chance to use them all! I also love that everything appears to be full size, no samples here! There was also a $5 off coupon in my body soak! Fortunately I noticed it before pouring it into the bath!

Overall I have enjoyed this pack and can’t wait to see what I get for future packs. If you’re in Australia and looking for a new subscription box to try I’d definitely recommend it, especially as the prices start at $29.95AUD including shipping and you can cancel any time.

Note: This is not a sponsored post, I paid for everything myself and just enjoy sharing quality products from small local businesses.


A Night at the Museum

On Friday night I went to my second Click + Connect event, held by Her Canberra. This time it was the Night at the Museum event held by the National Museum of Australia that was all about celebrating 50 years of Play School. The great thing about this event was that beforehand we got to mingle and meet new people around a table filled with lollies, champagne, fairy bread and party pies!

mmm lollies!
mmm lollies!

On arrival we were given glasses of champagne topped with fairy floss and completed with a straw! I’m not quite sure of the purpose of the straw but it was quite good for poking the fairy floss down into the champagne. It also a little volcano like with bubbles pouring up out of it after taking a sip.

I think I enjoyed this event better than the last one I went to as it felt a bit more casual. There was no sit down component and you weren’t stuck at the same table, you could wander around and meet everyone if you wanted. Plus there was a huge platter of fairy bread! I have to admit I had a few pieces of that. I don’t know who invented fairy bread but you can’t go past crunchy 100’s & 1000’s on some fresh buttered bread!

Champagne, extra full lolly bag and museum program
Champagne, extra full lolly bag and museum program

After a few glasses of champagne, some time to chat with the others and also to fill up our lolly bags we were given programs for the night and were whisked to the front of the line for entry to the museum. No queuing or tickets required! All very VIP.

Unfortunately as soon as we made it to the museum entrance everyone seemed to get separated and we didn’t enjoy the event as a group. It might have been that the 1 person who I wandered around with (I can’t even remember her name even though we had nametags on!) and I decided we needed to get on the jumping castle! It was a lot of fun but also quite tiring. My heart was racing after only 5 mins of bouncing fun!

People having fun hula hooping
People having fun hula hooping

There were little activities throughout the museum and we were free to wander around where ever we liked. I didn’t give hula hooping a go, I don’t think it would have been too successful.

Lower Landmarks - National Museum of Australia
Lower Landmarks – National Museum of Australia

It seemed like many people didn’t realise you could go further than the main hall as we basically had free rein over the other areas. It was nice to get to see the museum without having to move around other people and especially with no kids.

During one of the activities (that was held in a room that had twinkling stars on the ceiling) we met another girl, Vee, who had been separated from her friend group and asked if she wanted to walk around with us. She was really nice and I’m glad I made the offer, even if I only knew her for about 30 minutes.

The 3 of us then went and tried out kspaces which is an interactive exhibit where you become a time travelling robot that has to help in an event from the past.

They take your photo and for some reason my head/face ended up in a shark’s mouth. Maybe that is just how time travelling robots from the future are! I had a great time, even though it is targeted at kids. Part of the adventure involves a team of 4 having to control 1 mech which was difficult enough as adults, let alone as kids. Our team came 2nd (there were 3 teams of 4) and only lost by 5 points!

Quote on the wall
Quote on the wall

After kspaces my companions for the night had to leave which left me to walk around the museum solo. I didn’t actually get a chance to see the Play School exhibit (I’m not sure where it was as I did walk around quite a bit) and didn’t stay for the talks of the night as my feet really felt like they wanted to fall off.

I didn’t stay anywhere near as long as I expected to, I really wish I had another pair of shoes (and didn’t have to carry my coat around) and that the group had stayed together, at least a little, for the actual museum component of the night. It was fun though and I’m looking forward to finding out what the next Click + Connect event is.


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