On the weekend I headed to the record fair, that happens at this local music store on the last Saturday of every month.
To be honest, I wanted to find a bargain Robert Palmer, much like I had found a $2 Laura Branigan months earlier, and lo and behold it’s a truly great album. I love listening to it again and again.
Also, I was still coveting a good Johnny Cash, but those are hard to find. The Folsom Prison one would be incredible, but I’ll just have to hold out some more.
So we searched and searched. I did see a Cash, but he was singing with another group, and I knew it wasn’t what I was looking for. I had just discovered something Hubbie would like – The Boys Light Up album by Australian Crawl, and when this guy across from me moved away from one record bin, I told baby girl “go and check that out for me.”
She knows our taste, and she knows the artists we are after.
Immediately, she goes – “Mama, Queen! The Game.”
My head snapped up. I’m sure the couple next to me flinched. I said “hold onto that one honey.”
Tee hee hee.
And so it was, that we went home with the Aussie Crawl and yet another Queen album. I did a count earlier, and this is my 5th studio album of theirs, not including the two greatest hits I have, and one Queen Live Radio specials one too.
I have a collection of records and CDs, but when I find something that’s a steal, in record form, I have to have it.
There are pros obviously of having a portable CD, but there is just something magical about putting a record on and letting it play through the house.
‘The Game’ was $35, and when you consider that it is in pretty decent condition, and Queen records sell for at least $60 in store, if not more, I honestly can’t believe it didn’t get snapped up sooner.
This studio album is their 8th, and contains the hits “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
I put it on tonight.
The theme is soft rock, and the sound of the bass guitar follows through some songs, making itself prominent in the opening riff of “Another One Bites the Dust.” The ode to rock is made transparent in one song where they literally sing that they love rock and roll, and all in all, on first listen, I love this album.
Oh God. Is there any album of theirs which is not brilliant?
One day I will write an article about Queen. You bet I will. Watch this space…
A part of me feels like I’m not allowed to write about my uncle, because I had only spent two periods of my life with him.
But today, having learned of his passing, I feel a tremendous amount of sadness for my Mum’s family, while also realising that I am more than qualified to speak about him, because he inhabited some of the most meaningful and memorable parts of my life.
When I was 13 I travelled with my parents overseas. Being a fresh teenager, the thought of meeting family that I hadn’t met before was not exactly thrilling stuff.
And yet those 3 months ended up being the best of my life.
Our home base was at my uncle and aunty’s house, and so we would return there often for days at a time, sometimes weeks, in between our travels around Croatia and the neighbouring countries where our relatives lived.
I remember how much he and my Dad seemed to click. Both fond of drinking the hard stuff at 40%, they loved their grapes, their gardens, and their gadgets. Both natural handymen. It was never too early to ‘cheers,’ and they were often caught having a good ol’ chat.
I remember the garden, the vines above providing ample cover as good as a ceiling. I remember the swing there too, and the kittens that crawled along the roof of these vines, and how I looked up at them.
I remember the ‘bunker’ at the bottom of the house, and I remember the random spa-type apparatus that sat on top of the garage! Me and one of my cousins sat in the empty pool as it were, on a hot Summer’s day.
I remember them taking us out to ice cream in the main centre. I remember us walking the streets, and them telling us where the bombs had fallen, showing us the concrete scars they had left on the road. They showed us where their son had gone to high school and proudly pointed out the court he played basketball in.
I remember more vividly the second time I visited my uncle and aunty, because it was more recent… it was when Hubbie and I were on our honeymoon.
Although it wasn’t yesterday, the memories are far fresher. I had the opportunity to spend time with them, now as an adult, out of the wings of my parents, 12 years on. Hubbie and I sat with them. There was still the bunker, the 40% alcohol, and the cherished garden. And of course, the cats.
I think he had a soft spot for cats.
On the few days we were in town, he kindly played tourist guide, driving us around to see other family members. We saw his favourite fishing hole, and he spoke fondly of his own family, and of his memories with them.
I often found myself staring at him and being amazed at the likeness between him and his son.
But what I remember most, is the day he took us to the train station, as we set to depart from Croatia.
We waved goodbye, and I said we would see him again one day. I watched as he turned, his head bobbing down in a sign of resignation as he walked away.
But that day never came.
I think of all of this, and I send so much love out to my family tonight.
I hope they too hold their own special memories of him that they’re replaying in their minds.
It’s just another sombre reminder that we must grasp each and every day with all our might and all our love.
I was overcome with profound happiness and lightness today.
I finally got back to The Loft, a place that I visited late last year for a discovery session.
And discovered myself I did. Part yoga/exercise/pilates/psychic (I don’t know how else to explain it) this integrative movement space that uses reformer beds made me question and think things I hadn’t before.
I became much more aware of my body and the way I carry myself, the way physical and emotional pain can store tension in the body and create dis-ease, and so, so much more.
But today I went back, just to a small class environment. Not a one-on-one this time though.
The discovering (in some sense) was over. Now it was the DOING part.
I was nervous initially. Whereas in large classes you can kinda hide within like, 15 people in a large room… in a small, no, tiny room of 4 other ladies, there is NO WHERE to hide!
But I got through. All the stretches, the burns, the moving your legs in a circular motion this way, then that way… 😂
But I was moved most when we got to the end of the class, during the relaxing, Savasana.
I was moved emotionally. Because as we all lay on our reformers, breathing deeply, letting go of distracting thoughts, I let the teacher’s words fill me up from within. She was telling us how in moments of peace, of meditation, we tend to think of the past, or the future, and with the future we try to guess how things will be.
We try to predict, and we think we know, but we don’t. None of it is true, they are just thoughts, assumptions, most of which probably won’t even come true.
The only thing true, she said, is this present moment. And with the eye pillow resting lightly on my face, my feet meeting at the soles resting on the bar above me, she said “All that is true is that you are a beautiful woman. You are sitting on a reformer. And you are relaxed.”
And with that she left us to breathe and be still for a few more minutes.
It really struck a chord, so much so I felt my eyes welling up underneath the eye pillow. Something about it hit me hard. It hit a spot, and I don’t even know which spot, except for it might be a place where I tend to overthink, or expect too much, or am too hard on myself.
I walked out of that room, feeling lighter. Happier. Freer. More hopeful than ever.
And to celebrate, well you can guess what I did…
I had to get a coffee from down the road, and one of those super clean treats, a Snickers bar, except this thing is like gluten/vegan/dairy free for example, and is loaded with things like nuts and dates and coconut oils and what have you, and it was THE BOMB. Oh My God. How can healthy taste so good?
I was still amazed at how incredible I was feeling. I felt on top of the world.
I wanted to feel like this every day.
I’ve found a new favourite place. 🙏
In case you’re interested, here is what I wrote to her, which she shared on her Facebook stories… 💖
It sits nicely amongst other fave Winter days, and the unifying theme is all about hope. Hope, and happiness.
So, what are my fave Winter days? I never thought you’d ask.
June 1st is first. There is so much dread and anxiety approaching the coldest season of the year, that honestly having the day tick over to Winter is a RELIEF. The waiting is over, and most of the time, it ain’t that bad.
And also, this year was really not that bad at all. You know what’s bad? Covid, and LOCKDOWNS. But Winter? Nah. Chuck on a jacket and go outside with your freedom.
June 10th. This is my sister’s birthday, and so it comes to reason I love it because she’s one of my favourite people. 💖💖
The end of June is great. We are a month down of Winter! July 15th is a similar reason, in that it’s halfway through Winter, and then end of July, we’re two months done peeps! I consider August HALF-Winter, LOL.
And speaking of August, there is mine and baby girl’s birthdays, including that of everyone I know in my life, pretty much, almost. And I say time and time again, come our birthday, and Spring is in the air, I SWEAR. I will fight this to the end guys.
So, what’s so spesh about June 21st?
Two things, really. Kinda three.
Our engagement anniversary. 13 years ago we had a terrific celebration where our families and friends united for one amazing, joy-filled, hopeful night. Full of happiness, dance, laughter, and great memories.
The second reason is it’s the Winter solstice. The shortest day of the year! So from here on out, the days will incrementally start getting longer, oh-so-small at first but it will be there.
An aside from the Winter solstice is the meaning behind it. Our number three. The spiritual significance of the day has to do with the dark making way for the increasing lighter days, with renewal and rebirth both major themes.
I absolutely love this, and so every year I look forward to it with excitement.
I was lucky in that I had the opportunity to engage in self-care on such a day, a day when your intentions and what you put out into the Universe is paramount. I walked, I worked out. I had coffee, made a warm breakfast. I read, I wrote, I sat in the sun, and I also chilled, like watched TV, so, so peacefully.
It is a day of hope, of promise, and after losing a lot of hope for so long, I am feeling like I am starting, very slowly, to gain it back.
And this winter solstice is therefore so timely. 🌞