#717 Blood-y Moon gazing

The streets are eerily quiet. A dog was barking… but then it stopped. It must have observed what everyone out there is looking at tonight.

The MOON.

Tonight is a special event on the Astronomy calendar. A trifecta, lucky 3, three amigos if you will, of the star world are appearing tonight… because we are lucky enough to be witnessing, the Super Blue Blood Moon.

I wish I knew more about astronomy for moments like this. I planned to anyway, when I bought a little star-gazing book over a year ago. However it sits on my shelf with a 1/4 of the other books still unread there. That’s ok. It’s time will come.

So if you are anywhere in Australia, you are at a spectacular vantage point for this – whereby we get a supermoon, a blue moon, and a total eclipse in one.

It is bigger, it is blue/red, and there are shadows – that is about the gist of it I get. Like I said, I haven’t read the star-gazing book yet. But at the beginning of the evening I started off the night looking through all the house windows trying to find the direction of the moon, until I found it looking down on me from a backyard window.

And so now? I find myself in front of this window, blinds up in the darkness, tapping away on my laptop, looking up occasionally to see the bright moon with slight shadows starting to move across it.

It really is magical.

Not the big part, or the blue part, or the shadow part. Yes it does look amazing and blindingly bright, but just the fact that I’m here, taking time out, and chilling behind the window of the yard that is filling with light, exposed to all the possums and cats and insects staring at me through it – that’s OKAY. It’s ok because I am looking up at the sky, at the stars, as are so many other people tonight, and I am reminded that there is a world out there, much bigger and brighter and more fantastical than I could ever imagine.

I then think of the constellations and the galaxy, and us humans in comparison… and we are all but a blimp on the radar, a tiny insignificance, a breath in time compared to what is out there in the great expanse of EVERYTHING.

And suddenly, that makes me all the more grateful for my time here on earth.

But you want a moon photo don’t you?

The progression from my fantastic mobile phone, in pictures:

I really do need to stare up into the sky more.

11:35pm Update: the shadow is almost fully across it! Observe on my fine camera phone photo…

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#716 Fading light of Port Phillip Bay

I showered. I took my time. It’s the one time I demand being alone – even in the toilet I am often in the company of baby girl – so shower time, is ‘me’ time.

Thoughts flow. Suddenly you remember EVERYTHING. You reflect on the day. That funny time in high school where you couldn’t stop laughing. You argue with someone in your head, someone you’re too scared to confront.

You plan the next day. You think of the upcoming holidays, baby girl starting kinder, and then suddenly you are imagining your child at primary school, high school… what kind of person will they become? What will they like? Who will be their friends?

And suddenly, you are driving your child and their friends to the movies, the way your Mum used to do when you were a teen.

I stepped out of the shower, and felt like I had travelled 20 years in the past and future. But I still felt refreshed.

And then, I walked on over to the balcony window. Whenever I see a startling beautiful view out of it, I can’t help but reflect how in our last house, I used to look out our then bedroom window, wondering if our next house, would bring us views other than suburban homes and brick walls and tall gum trees. House after house after house.

Tonight, I thought of that AGAIN.

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Because I could see the light fading across the Port Phillip Bay. There was a ship far off in the distance, beacons of light flickered in the water, and there were some other dark shadows, possibly small boats, scattered here and there.

The horizon showcased how the endless sky, and endless sea, married together as one.

Houses went dark as their insides turned on, creating a splattering of fireflies all around, and the cars moving beneath it all shone the way forward as their headlights illuminated the way.

It was all very picturesque. The world was going to sleep, and yet in its fading light, it was beautiful. The bay looked mysterious, and unknown… but still beautiful.

#715 Dancing in the Summer rain

I thought I was hilarious last night, when I considered messaging Hubbie from work, with the quip “I’m considering putting my cardigan on.”

That remark was so hilarious, because I was in air-conditioned coolness, almost too much of it hence the quote, while Hubbie and baby girl were at home, sweat literally dripping down their bodies.

I got home after midnight to a 27 degree night minimum. Not just at our house, the heatwave was State-wide. And upstairs I went, to the bedroom of our double-storey house, to eat ALL my Karma, as I proceeded to have the most restless and muggy sleep ever.

It wasn’t just the heat. It was the possibility that baby girl would wake up again, because she had woken up once with Hubbie, and then with me when I got home, all heat/dehydration related, and then of course there was a HUGE huntsman on the outside flyscreen outside one of the upstairs windows, and even after Hubbie hit it from the inside so it wasn’t staring at us while we slept, I spent the night freaking out over the spider somehow getting inside, and baby girl waking up again.

Like I said, I ate ALL my Karma.

In the morning, a cool change was promised, but there was no sight of it, as I walked around the still-humid house, tired, deprived, exhausted, and slumping around in my sogginess.

So at about midday when I heard a familiar rattling, I interrupted baby girl’s chatter.

“Shh,” I said. “Listen.”

We both went quiet as I heard the all-too familiar sound of increasing rain on the roof.

“It’s raining,” I confirmed with relief. “I’m going outside.”

She followed me silently, perhaps because she couldn’t believe her ears and what I had just said.

But when I stepped out the back door, some of the rain hitting my head, and asked “are you coming?” the pause from her, was all incredulous and excited wonder, rather than stunned hesitation.

She broke into a smile, and followed happily.

We celebrated the rain, and her excitement only increased the longer we were out there, and the more I spoke gratefully for it. We let it fall upon us, not caring for the wet splatters and spots upon our skin and clothes – it was refreshing and cool and necessary.

We then headed out into the front yard for some more cool relief, and she yelled happily as she observed the raindrops everywhere – on the car, the roses, the plants, and the window.

It was a brief and light rain spell, but it did the trick. We were invigorated, alive again like the garden was after such a hot night, and most of all, we were free and one with nature. Only the best way to be.

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#714 Enjoying work

Hold on… what now?!

Yes, I enjoy my work.

I enjoy the little perks I sometimes get… like free tickets to some event, and┬ásurprising vouchers when I make 10 years ­čÖé

I enjoy the fact that my car stays protected and under tight security at night when I work late.

I like how clean the bathrooms are.

I like the kitchen facilities – that filtered water.

Today, I LOVE the air con.

But even more, I go to work today, and I get to watch this:

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The Australian Men’s Final. I didn’t get to watch much of the Aus Open this entire season at home, and now I am getting paid (and I’m in air conditioned goodness?!?!) to watch it?

I’m away from my family, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be grateful for anything.

In fact, I am grateful for a LOT of things.

:):):)

#713 Beach mornings

Sometimes work makes us do weird things. And forces us to get out and do something, we normally wouldn’t.

Like today. Sure, the beach is fairly close and accessible to us. But getting up early enough to get there, in the AM, just never happens for this lover of sleep (and a certain baby girl who follows in her Mama’s footsteps).

But because I was due to be working tonight, thereby losing my Saturday night with the fam, and the weather was going to be hot, I thought…

“let’s sneak a cheeky beach visit in early on.”

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Hubbie was working so it was just baby girl and I. But a working woman’s gotta do what a working woman’s gotta do… grab that opportunity by the horns and run with it! Don’t wait for anything! Enjoy the moment NOW.

Which is exactly what we did. 3 and a half hour of cheeky beach fun. The weather was actually perfect. Not too hot, and yet somehow, hot enough. No wind. So still. And I reckon they were generally locals around, since it would have been more packed than it already was if the Long Weekend touros were onto us…

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But just imagine. Imagine I missed out on perfection with my daughter, just because I was waiting for the right day. When Hubbie was around. When I wasn’t working. When we had MORE time. When we were all well-slept.

Scoff. Nope.

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It was heaven, it was bliss, and sitting here at work now, I am soooo glad that we did it.

Here’s to more beach mornings, and early rises ­čÖé

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#712 Family Fun on Jan 26th

Today is a day that divides many people from the land down under.

January 26th – Australia Day. A national holiday to celebrate our achievements as Australians, to recognise how far we’ve come, and to reflect on our culture.

The local park down by the beach ran a huge Australia Day event, and naturally, we all headed on down.

It was a very pro-Australia Day experience. Flags abounded, Union Jacks on clothing, and green and gold was the norm. Massive theme park rides were spaced on the perimeter of the park, food trucks on one end, and a stage for live music on the other.

These people came here to celebrate Australia day – or as was in our case, to take advantage of the free entertainment.

But there is a movement, a wave of people that has been increasing exponentially, that believes we should not celebrate Australia Day on January 26th.

And I agree.

BUT that does NOT mean I am not proud to be an Australian.

January 26th is not the day the First Fleet landed in this country, as many people are led to believe. In fact it is believed to have occurred in 1788, somewhere between Jan 18-20, and the 26th is the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney Cove, to declare British Sovereignty.

Australia Day was celebrated in Sydney on January 26th in those early days, before other states took on the holiday too, but they did this on different days, like Tasmania’s ‘Regatta Day,’ or South Australia’s ‘Proclamation Day.’ This was the case for 200 years, and only in 1935 did it become nationally recognised and celebrated, even then only being declared as a holiday in 1994.

In that way, Australia Day as we know it today, is fairly new.

The day January 26th, is known as ‘Invasion Day’ or ‘Survival Day’ to these Anti-Aus Day Jan 26-ers. Because it signalled the end of 50,000 years of Indigenous occupation on this land, which then led to brutal colonisation. Massacres of the Aboriginal people took place, land was taken, and children removed from their parents. The stolen generation was born, and many Indigenous descendants grew up not knowing where they came from.

The pain, suffering and loss the Indigenous community experienced is more than profound. And that doesn’t include the repercussions echoing out to this current day. To think of what they have had to endure, not just over years, but decades and centuries, with oppression and hate and discrimination, when all they were doing were living on their land… a sorry will just not do.

But it was done. In 2008 the Australian Prime Minister formally apologised to the Aboriginal community – for the successive laws and policies of previous governments that inflicted severe pain and grief onto their families and communities.

January 26th, the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney in 1788, is then a representation of all that preceded, and all that was lost to the Indigenous community when the First Fleet arrived. The slavery, the violence, the oppression. It is a day of mourning for many. Rightly so.

My ancestors were NOT from that First Fleet. In fact, in 1788, my ancestors were probably farming cattle in a remote and poverty-stricken land somewhere in the Balkan region of Europe. My parents came to Australia in 1970, for a better life. It is the story of so many European immigrants, and continues to be so to this day. They came from nothing, from having to work so hard just to be able to obtain, I don’t know, a bike… over the span of a YEAR… and the opportunity to come to a “land of plenty,” where stories of filling up a trolley with fruit and vegetables with only $2, and realising after their first pay check working in the factory, that they could achieve so much more here in months, than they could achieve over there in years… that is the history I grew up with.

I grew up hearing, how Australia saved my parents. In doing so, they saved my sister and I. I grew up hearing of the comparisons between my parents’ beloved native country, and the ‘lucky country.’ They have such respect for where they came from, and when you ask them their nationality – they are Australian. Proudly so.

I have seen more of my family come from overseas. They didn’t come here to brutalise and oppress any minority or otherwise group, just as my parents didn’t. No, they came here for a better life, for a chance at something greater, even to escape WAR. They came here because they heard things were good, and they wanted to see things for themselves.

They have all stayed. We ALL have.

The Australia I have lived with, and which has been represented to me, is a good one, a noble one. I know things are not perfect, and there is always something the government must do better. But here, there is democracy. Freedom of speech. There is strong multiculturalism. People are kind. People are friendly. People love to connect.

However, bad things were done, many, many years ago, and despite the fact that we can’t go back, we can try to make things work as a unified community.

A country, united as one.

Both black and white, coming together.

But it has to be a conscious and integrated effort from both parties. There are white people I know that complain of the country we live in, or talk about how shit Australia is, or how that ‘other’ country is soooo much better.

Well move then. Go on, piss off (as a true blue Aussie would say). Don’t hang around here gaining benefits and working and earning Australian coin, when you know of so much better.

You are ungrateful. We don’t want you.

Likewise I have heard some other pretty horrible things today. I have heard of Indigenous people at Invasion Day rallies, saying “F*&k Australia, hope it burns to the ground.”

This makes me terribly sad. Sad for the mourning this person would have experienced to want the country they live in, the country we ALL live in, to burn to pieces.

Like I said, both parties need to want to move forward, peacefully. Slandering will not make things better. And it unfortunately won’t change the past.

Whether like me, my ancestors were not part of that First Fleet, or like other Australians, perhaps they were… the power to want to change the future is out there. People want to make amends for the past, whether they are white or black… but a person living in Melbourne today, should not be blamed for what their Father did in February 1st 1985 for example… just as today’s First Fleet descendants that want to change for the better, should not be blamed for what their ancestors were part of from 1788 onwards.

The idea is out there, that Australia Day needs to be moved to another date, or it is abolished all together and another day that celebrates both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities coming together, is created.

I believe this is the only way forward. I think respect needs to be shown to the original people of this land, and January 26th and Australia Day, are synonymous no more.

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Soooo…..

I went to the park today. I was happy to be amidst our community of proud Australians – Australians that love the country they live in, the people in it, and the culture that lives on.

Was I celebrating Australia Day? Hmm, not quite. I was celebrating the life I live…

But that I do every day. Because I am grateful for the place that I reside in the world.

I am grateful for MY history. I am grateful for the choices my parents made. And I am grateful that change is coming to respect the life and culture of those who inhabited this land 200 years before any white people were on it.

I had my own family fun day, and I enjoyed the fact of some extra time together, with them.

I hope wherever you were in the world, your day of January 26 was great too…

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#711 ‘Work’-ing it out

There’s just something that happens when you combine your work friends, with alcohol.

I don’t know why it is. Maybe because you spend most of the day getting shit done, talking about shit, and complaining about shit, that if the opportunity arises to drink with any of your fellow shit-talkers, well you don’t miss the chance to get shit-faced.

Ok, so maybe my shit-face drinking days are over. But still, its nice to hang out with my work colleagues, after work. And have a drink or two.

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Something happens. This connection arises. Not that it hasn’t been there before. Sure, you share the same workplace. There is teamwork involved. You need to talk to each other – it is a prerequisite.

But then you ask about each other’s lives. Your spouses, your parents. Real care and concern.

What, you live where? How old is she now?

Clink clink.

What did you do to your kitchen? I like that brickwork.

Do you remember when we started… hang on who else was here before me?

Clink clink.

– How long do you think we have here…

-2-5 years tops.

-I’ll open a Butcher shop with Hubbie then.

Clink.

-I lay the blame on you!

-I begged for the job!

-Ok so I will shift the blame… to HIM.

CLINK.

Tonight the drinks were for a couple of colleagues leaving us – so it was bittersweet. But nonetheless a great excuse to remember, reminisce, and look forward to the future with wonder, curiosity, and Hope.

Because although we don’t always know where we are headed, or what is around the corner, if we at least have good people – NO, great work people –┬á around us, life becomes much, much easier.

CLINK to that.