We’ve learnt that we don’t need to go to a shopping centre, almost every Sunday.
We’ve learnt that there is a beautiful simplicity in staying home, clearing out the old, weeding what is not necessary, and making way for a new path.
We’ve learnt that although we love our family and friends… we don’t need to fill up ALL of our weekends.
We kinda enjoy our own company too.
Guess what? We are STILL learning.
We’ve also learnt, that the slower pace of life, suits us just fine. Whether it is making coffee on the stove, patiently waiting, and then watching it rumble and come to a boil…
Or putting on a record, and listening to all the songs. No skipping. No repeats. Put it on, and listen all the way through.
Hubbie’s been wanting to repair an old record player he’s had for a while. It was his parents’, and so he wanted to give it another life, while bringing a good dose of the 70s back with its old school look and vibe.
But, it hasn’t really happened has it? The repairing.
Insert, the other record player. The one he acquired before we got married, which has been just kinda sitting in our cupboard, well, ALL OF THESE YEARS.
It came out today!
Hubbie spent some time setting it up, cleaning it up, hiding all the speaker cables and cords, and lo and behold we now have a fully functional record player.
First off the record block… if you read this page often, well, can you guess?
It was Queen’s greatest hits. It was just magical, listening to the group’s melodies break out through the record, their instruments blaring as if they were actually in our home.
Just love. LOVE.
We’ve all grown so accustomed to technology, haven’t we? The latest gadgets, the greatest connectivity, the most instant gratification you can get…
But there is something beautiful, in going back to the basics.
With baby girl, Mister F, hell, even the bird was outside.
Without my phone on me.
IN MY PYJAMAS.
It was about 10am. I stepped out to feed the cat, while baby girl was inside.
But then she followed me. And when she leant down to pat Mister F as he started eating…
She brought the door that she was leaning on with her… and it closed.
It’s one of those old doors that has no handle, it can only be turned with a key.
Only the key was on the other side of the door.
I looked around in panic.
The garage was locked.
The back door was locked.
The front door was locked.
Hell, even if I climbed like an ape onto the balcony, that was locked too.
And obviously, the laundry door was now locked.
So, I went around to the front… to wave someone down.
Pretty quickly, I saw a man walking past. When I called out to him, standing there in my purple fluffy robe, explaining that I had been locked out and needed to call my husband… well I must have looked genuine.
He took out his phone, asked for the number, and proceeded to call.
It went to voicemail, but he left a message on my behalf, nonetheless.
I thanked him profusely, and then proceeded to wait.
But I was anxious you see. I know Saturdays are busy for Hubbie. And I know he won’t generally open up voicemails left to him by unknown numbers…
It might have been 45 minutes later, when standing by the rose bushes, baby girl and I flagged down another passerby, a woman walking by with her daughter.
She was also, so so lovely. I wasn’t presumptive of taking her phone, but she was more than happy for me to take it and call Hubbie.
Again I called his phone… he didn’t answer. And I left a message:
“Please come home… we’re locked outside!”
But it just kept gnawing at me, and gnawing at me. I knew, I just knew the only way to know he had gotten my call, was to call the damn store itself.
Or, we would be waiting many more hours ’til lunchtime.
But how would I get his work number? I had no mobile. Calling his phone wasn’t working when it kept going to voicemail…
I needed someone like me. I needed someone with internet who could look up his work number online and get the number to me in a jiffy.
I sent baby girl over to several neighbours. Two doors down wasn’t home. The next door neighbour had moved out. But on the other side, well they seemed to be home, but they weren’t answering the door…
After baby girl’s third attempt over, the young boy came out. I didn’t hear him – his head just popped over our fence, and my eyes lit up.
“Hi! Can you tell your Mum we need her mobile… we’ve been locked out.”
She came over, and something like within 0.8 seconds, she had Hubbie’s work number up on her screen.
Praise the lord.
Hubbie answered, and he came. We had been outside for 90 minutes. The house was warm from the heater being left on. Our brekkie that we were about to prepare, was sitting on the bench. I re-boiled the kettle.
I took our stuff to the coffee table… and sat down.
I was emotionally exhausted.
It hadn’t been the nicest experience. Being locked out of our safe space, waiting for someone to come and save us, not dressed appropriately, feeling helpless, the rest of my day dependant on other people entirely…
You know what that sounds like there? That sounds like a homeless person.
As I sat on the couch, eating my toast, and drinking my hot tea at midday, I realised what I had experienced was similar in many ways to what someone living on the street would experience.
Out in the elements, with no shelter to protect them.
Their livelihood dependant solely on others.
Clothes that weren’t quite right or didn’t fit properly (I had fluffy socks on, sleep socks as I like to call them, and because I had literally put on slip-on shoes to feed the cat, the socks kept slipping down my ankles).
Having to ask others for help.
And in my case, I had someone with me. I wasn’t alone. I had a sunny morning, I was within the confines of my yard, and I was safe.
And yet still, as I came into the house, the sense of relief was immense.
I was able to walk into a sheltered home. Have food. Have all my creature comforts.
It changed my outlook for the WHOLE DAY.
I was able to get changed out of my sleepwear. Into clean clothes.
I was fortunate, that I had the means to wash my clothes.
Clean the house.
Tidy my surroundings.
Clean the bathrooms and toilets, that allowed us to be hygienic.
Oh how lucky I was, to have these taken-for-granted items and chores that we all whinge about all-too-often.
I WAS SO LUCKY.
I actually got really emotional during the day. I thought of those homeless people, here, there, everywhere around the world… who cannot escape their predicament, for whatever reason.
It made me feel so much for them.
I remembered getting off at the station in the city before iso, for my new job, and how the lines of pre-9am people heading to walk would just charge by the homeless person sitting in the same corner, head hung, almost devoid of life, every single day.
What had happened to them, that their life was reduced to this? Did we not have a greater responsibility to look after our fellow humans, more so than to just walk right by without a second glance?
I remembered an old work colleague, who said on her clubbing nights in the city, she would buy a cheeseburger from Maccas for them, instead of giving money, so she knew that her gift was of value, and being used wisely.
I think that’s a great idea.
And as I sit in bed tonight, warm, the wind thundering and beating the roof outside… I think of them all.
They are on my mind.
And I think they will agree, a cheeseburger sounds pretty good right about now.
I’ve been trying to get into ‘book mode,’ or rather, ‘editing-book mode.’
I recently got some feedback on my YA novel that I needed to up the ante for my main protagonist. I needed to make more happen… I needed to really make it, a page-turner.
Those words have been nagging me, haunting me, ever since.
So I’ve been thinking.
Reading over my notes.
Reading over all the feedback.
Tapping my chin with my pen.
Staring off into the distance.
Thinking some more.
And trying to think of some way to up the ante!
Firstly… I’m cutting out 3 characters. Just, gone. Albeit they’re side characters, but still…
Slaughtered. In place of them, a character I really didn’t think would be loved, is actually, LOVED, so he is getting a much-needed identity boost.
But that’s it. Plot points otherwise, at a nill.
I even went so far as to look up the psychology of teenage emotions, to try and get some inspiration and motivation for storylines that might fit my cast.
Fascinating stuff, let me tell you. The amygdala has A LOT to answer for. (Psst, it’s a part of the brain).
But still, no new stories.
What did I need? I needed an injection of teen stuff. I needed to immerse myself in their world, their lives, not to think and act and be like them, no, that I have down pat (part of me will forever be 18…)
I needed to know what goes down.
Books? Could I read more YA books?
Hmmm. Considering that part of my life is a huge work in progress, and I am already time poor…
This writer, more than reader, had to say, NO.
What was more immediate, than a book?
What could I access, like, right NOW?
I jumped on last night and started searching. I had Stranger Things come up repeatedly, and was actually thinking that might be the answer. I had heard about it heaps, had always wanted to watch it… could that be my YA key card?
But as I was watching a preview of it, something else was recommended, as Netflix does so well.
And without even knowing why I was drawn to it, I just knew, it was IT.
Because I have a thing for water. Clearly. (This will become blatantly obvious when my book is released 😉 )
I started watching last night. I continued more this afternoon, after work. And by the end of the second episode tonight, I even had Hubbie watching.
I am hooked.
Firstly, what is with Archie’s red hair? It is drawn on, it has to be! And his eyebrows, oh my God so thick!
The small town vibe, I am digging, only because I dabble in it myself. 🙂
The love triangles.
The Dawson’s throwback to teacher tryst…. nice nice. I wasn’t expecting that.
A murder always makes things more enticing.
The crazy twin. Like, sooo crazy!
I am just loving it.
In fact, I finally have one good reason to be coughing non-stop. I am coughing, baby girl is coughing, and you know what, if that means I will binge on Riverdale this weekend and not be social, well…
Oh well. I will have to deal (happily!)
Hold up, what was the point here? Research? For my book?
Sure, sure. I am totally getting ideas. I have no time to write them though, I have a new show I need to watch…
It’s a positive sign when you continue to find new songs from musicians you love, songs that get you moving, pump you up, make you feel deeply, and get you inspired.
One of the best and simplest things, is when I wake up, and I’m not working.
I eat breakfast at the coffee table while watching TV, with baby girl.
And then as I wash the dishes afterwards, I put on MUSIC.
It’s a great way to start the day. 🙂
Today it was all of the above, plus sunshine outside. Just, outstanding.
I put on a clip that I’ve been listening to a lot lately, a medley from the Queen Wembley show in 1986.
Yes, Queen. Again. Hubbie can’t get away from it either.
But this song, or should I say line-up, I love. It’s In the Lap of the Gods, followed by Seven Seas of Rhye. When the song changes from the first to the second, watch how fast Freddie’s hands move on the piano for Rhye, watch the sweat dripping from his head, then how he takes charge of the stage as he starts singing.
If you read my other postyou will know I had A SHIT DAY.
But we’ll try keep that drama away from this page, being all appreciation-central and all.
Trying to keep my chin up this afternoon after my work shift, I did that thing we try not to do, when we’re being all sensible and wanting to use things up in order as we open them…
I opened up a gourmet chocolate block… but we already had chocolate open.
I had to. Like I said already, SHIT day, and there was this chocolate block I had been eyeing for a couple of weeks in the pantry.
I opened it… and it was delicious.
If you see this in your local supermarket, do yourself a favour and get one! It had a dark chocolate tinge to it, and with its luxuriantly silky chocolatey-ness, and the flakes of coconut, I had to have 3 squares.
It was that kind of day.
But, the squares are super thin, and those 3 squares probably equate to like, 1 and a half Cadbury squares, so really I should have had 4…
Then, to work off my anger add to my happiness, baby girl and I ran around the block, and I took photos of the only rose in our front yard… the sunset… shit like that, to lift my mood.
We saw that we had a handful pieces left before the end, but let me tell you, 20-30 pieces still takes a long time to finish when they are all shades of blue. Oh my God!
We thought we were done and dusted with the final piece, and then realised, there was still one empty gap in the puzzle… with no piece in sight! We searched around the table, underneath it, under the tablecloth, everywhere… We were wondering if it had somehow gotten jammed under the table, when I saw something sticking out the chair seat padding… the last piece!
Baby girl snapped it up, put it into place, and we all clapped. Seriously. After 1000 pieces you would throw a party too.
With restrictions easing, that might be the last one we do for a while now. But if anyone else has a puzzle they wanna swap with, and don’t mind Elsa, Anna and gang… hit me up. 😉
Movement, and music. Two free things that have helped enormously during this isolation period.
I found myself inadvertently singing to baby girl at two different times today. Music is so prevalent in our home, so much a part of our lives… it’s always Hubbie’s music, or my music, baby girl’s music, or something we totally rock to all together.
I’m surprised our cat doesn’t have his own playlist. Oh hold on, the bird does. He just whistles along.
And for some reason, if I can sing a song and make it out to be about baby girl, I do it.
It makes me so happy, and I think she likes it too. 😉
I was getting my car warmed up as it revved in the driveway, ready for my once weekly mammoth grocery shop. Baby girl and Hubbie were running around outside, and a song started to play in the car, familiar, but better.
Because it was LIVE.
They saw me bopping along and came around to the driver’s side to listen.
I sang along where I remembered the lyrics… I bopped in between… if you can call it that.
“One two three, take my hand and come with me
Because you look so fine
That I really wanna make you mine…”
Bop bop bop bop bop bop.
“I said you look so fine that I really wanna make you mine.”
Bop bop bop bop bop bop.
Meanwhile baby girl started dancing along too. I pointed to her and sang –
“Well you don’t need no money when you look like that do you honey?”
Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop!
“Long brown hair…”
Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop.
And then I pointed to her dramatically to sing “I said are you gonna be my girl?”
“Awww!” Hubbie and I gushed together.
I went off to do the grocery shop, feeling happy in my heart.
But I found myself remastering lyrics from another song, to her again. Earlier tonight I had Queen’s Greatest Hits on, with ‘You’re My Best Friend.’
Again, an overdramatic point to her, making sure to catch her eye to sing –
“My feelings are true, and I really love you.
You’re my best friend.”
We smiled at each other and laughed, and I know it was the smallest thing, but those little moments are the best.
They leave your heart all warm and fuzzy, and I know hers felt like that, because mine felt like that too.
Baby girl’s bedtime routine used to be sooo much easier pre-corona. She would be tired from the school day, after-school activities, and with our general life and running around, that falling asleep happened quickly.
Now? Now she gets up whenever she wants.
She goes to bed late.
Sleeps on average 11 hours, if not 12 some days. And when I’m trying to get her to sleep, she is stalling with every thing she can.
“One more game?”
“Can you do the puzzle with me for just a minute?”
“Just a quick story.”
“Can I tell you a quick story?”
“Can you lie in bed with me?”
Let me tell you, nothing is ever quick. Something that is meant to take 2 minutes, will always take 10.
Even when I get her in bed, and lying down…
Suddenly, there are life questions she has to ask.
She will reveal something I didn’t know, so of course I need to probe with “when did this happen?”
Or there will be a funny story that she has to share.
And the heart tugger… “Mama… I love you.”
She’s a clever one. She manages to steer the topic away from sleep constantly, and gets me sidetracked a lot.
I’m getting tired of it. I’m tired, of her not being tired at night.
I mean, they called it a ‘device free’ day. That meant that they had given us a an activity sheet to download earlier, which we could work off with our kids, and give them a much-needed break from doing so much on their devices.
Basically, it was a BS day.
We looked at the sheet after my work shift, and baby girl was like “nah.”
I let it be. I mean, she was meant to go back in only days anyway. Playing pretend hairdresser or making up a dinner menu, well missing that kind of activity wasn’t going to really affect her schooling life.
Unbeknownst to her I had checked out the list in advance, and decided to surprise her with something else…
A treasure hunt!
Yep, a treasure hunt was on the list, so I took the idea by the reigns and steered it in my direction. I made a rough sketch of our ground floor, and started thinking of places to hide little notes to help her around the house, to find the ultimate goal…
Chocolate, LOL what else?
So we did it after dinner, and seriously, she loved it.
No more seriously… Hubbie and I loved it more than she did. 😉
And when she found the chocolate, she was rapt… only to take a bite of the gourmet strawberry speckled chocolate heart Hubbie had bought home from his work, and go –
“It has a funny taste.”
So she got a plain one instead, oh well. We do these fun things for our kids, these special things, and what do we get…
Fun for us instead. And memories. Memories for us all. 🙂