#1957 Remembering him, and the memories

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.

Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

RIP, M.G.

#1910 Mother’s Beach Day

How was today made special for me?

Well, I got little school gifts purchased from the Mother’s Day stall last week.

I didn’t have to do the grocery shopping (praise the Lord!)

AND… I relaxed by the bay.

😍😍

We did everything by the water today. We ate near it, bringing ourselves some food and bubbly…

We went to the park.

We got coffees and drank them on the sand.

And we just lay there, doing NOTHING as baby girl made sandcastles nearby.

NOTHING. Ahhh.

And we were at, get ready for it… Mother’s Beach.

Talk about appropriate. πŸ’–πŸ’–

Happy Mothers Day for ALL the Mums today.

For the old Mums, and the young Mums.

For the angel Mums with wings.

For the Mums with angel babies.

For the ‘should-be’ Mums.

For the adoptive Mums.

For the step-Mums.

For the fur baby Mums.

For the trying Mums.

For the solo Mums.

I see you. I hear you. I feel you. πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1818 Underneath it all, my happy place

Today I found myself really happy, in a place that I never really thought much of before.

Under the house.

Under, my parents house.

That’s baby girl way back there, climbing further and further underneath.

But at the beginning, we were scaredy cats. All of us, except for Dad. Of course he wasn’t scared, he made that storage space what it is today.

Mum got the guts first. Again, of course. She went in, and was slowly looking around, pulling things out, and discovering hidden treasures…

44 year old hidden treasures. Guess what it was…

🍢

I called baby girl out, because hey, check this out! She had never been under there, and seeing as it was the last time at my parents house for her, well there was honestly NO BETTER TIME.

And then it just kinda happened.

It occurred to me, that this was part of my childhood. I remembered going underneath there with my Dad, as a kid, back when I wasn’t so freaked out by spiders and webs… and as I grew, so too did my fascination of the place go dimmer.

I mean, why would I want to go under there? In the dust, bugs threatening to drop, strings of webs stuck to my hair?

I crouched outside the door there today, deciding “I AM GOING UNDER!” I knew the smell that would hit me before I even went in, and I wanted to sit in it, one last time.

As soon as baby girl realised I was headed in, she was off like a rocket, after her Baka. I slowly followed, and once my Dad was in there, soon all four of us were on hands and knees, looking around, me shining my phone torchlight towards them so they could see where they were headed.

As they set off in different directions, I sat, looking around. Those old wine bottles. Bags of old Christmas decorations. Paint tubs. An old crib. Tents. Sleeping bags. Spirits. 100 different planks of wood.

The smell of wine barrels, dust, and something else astringent filled my nostrils.

The air was cool and comforting. Yet something musty surrounded us, the smells of yesteryear hanging low there, reminding us that they would never float away, no matter how long that door remained open.

It was the scent of memories.

That’s what it was. Memories. I may never smell that scent again, but I will never forget it.

#1721 Day 223 of getting there: back to it all

Today was an exciting day.

WE GOT OUT.

Escaped from the confines of our home.

No, it wasn’t cleaning all day,

finding a board game to play,

then pruning with waters glistening in the horizon on the bay.

NAY.

WE WENT OUT.

Baby girl and I hit the Main street. Shopping. Excited with, “look, SHOPS ARE OPEN!”

We stopped at my 10/10 coffee place from the other day, Flowergirls and co cafe –

YAY –

and had a great coffee and babycino break.

And gingerbread man. πŸ˜‰

People were milling around EVERYWHERE. EVERYONE was out.

We continued the fun this evening when we went out to dinner at one of our fave restaurants, The Royal Hotel.

HOORAY! Wine! I haven’t drank it in about 2 months. I was firstly going through some health hell, then I was terrified of drinking anything that wasn’t water, so I stayed away for so long…

Until tonight.

That one glass of red made me go all YIPPEE in my head, and immediately, I loved everyone. I missed everyone.

I mean, I do love and miss everyone, and by everyone I mean only those people I care about.

HA HA HA. (Still some alcoholic effects I see?) 😜

But seriously. Cheap drunk alert. I was happy happy, LA LA LA, my seafood linguine was NOM NOM NOM, and then we walked across the road, to the best view of them all.

Ahhh.

All in all, today was a great way to get back to it all.

Shop. Coffee. Dinner. Beach.

Relax. Happy. Grateful. YAY.

REPEAT.

#1427 Saturday Night In no. 8

A Saturday night in, but a loud, passionate and fun one with the best company.

It can get a little crazy.

It can get a little noisy.

And it can get a little rowdy, but that’s how things are when we combine, us with sis and bro-in-law, and best man and fam.

The kids will be running around the house at full speed, (and I don’t know how they don’t collect themselves on corners more often) flying past us adults gathered around the kitchen island, clicking glasses and listening to the latest tune selected that is blasting out of the portable speaker.

It’s love.

No really, it is. We were singing “That’s Amore” with booming voices, swaying to and fro and laughing at ourselves.

“When the world seems to shine

Like you’ve had too much wine

That’s amore.”

It sure is. ❀🍷πŸ₯‚πŸ»πŸŽΆ

#1300 The Patron send-off

How perfect that our send-off party for my old work (note the use of old, not currentΒ  – I am well-adjusted and dealing with it) we have the next-level type of coffee drink to see us off…

Patron.

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Of course. It makes perfect sense. Patron liqueur, a combination of both coffee and tequila…

Arriba!

It was always going to be coffee related. Always. How can it not be when me and my work friends are involved? (note the use of work friends, present tense, not ex work friends… that’s because we’re forever friends πŸ˜‰πŸ‘Š)

Yet I didn’t know it was going to be coffee related… until the shot was put in front of me.

And I thought “I really shouldn’t have this.”

But then I said “fuck it.”

No asterixes either. Just all foul mouthed.

And then it made perfect sense.

Coffee. Of course. It was the perfect send-off for me and my friends.

It makes sense, even if I don’t… πŸ˜‚

 

 

 

#1294 The party keeps going at 50

Pink beads and accessories, over llama-corn pyjamas?

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Why, it must be the end of another party night. πŸŽπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚

Another 50th, another amazing night. I say that like we have 50th birthday parties ALL THE TIME.

But it just so happens we’ve had some of our closest people turn 50 lately… and tonight it was my bro-in-laws turn.

And what a night. Bohemian Rhapsody singalongs, reminiscing with I Will Survive (many memories there) and a 2am wake up with Baby I’m a Star! ✨

And we’re still going.

Good night to you… not for us… πŸ‘ πŸŽŠπŸŽΆ

 

#1267 A taste of Prosecco

There’s nothing quite like trying something for the first time.

I don’t know how I never came to try it. Prosecco. For all I know, I have, and it has been mixed in with some other odd-ball alcoholic creation so that I didn’t even know I was tasting it…

But as far as I was concerned earlier today, I didn’t know what it tasted like.

And it’s funny, but neither did my sister.

As we came to the realisation, it was decided. We would have it. THEN AND THERE.

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Lucky for us we were having this discussion because we had 3 bottles in front of us and were trying to work out which to open up.

Prosecco ended up being the one.

And can I say, regardless of how it tasted, trying something for the first time, is only made better if you are doing it with someone else. β™₯

(P.S. I had two glasses, so obviously I didn’t mind it too much ;))

#1255 Prepared for a glass or two

We weren’t quite prepared last night. It was our first ever attendance at a school production that baby girl was in, after all.

But yesterday we had watched. We had taken it in. And we had observed one very strong theme amongst A LOT of the attendees…

And I’m not just talking the parents. Hell no. I’m talking the dozens and dozens of grandparents who were there to see their grandchildren up on stage…

Even they were in on it.

We realised that they were all…

Boozers.

In kinder terms, they ‘enjoyed a glass.’ Or two. Or even three, or more…

We had arrived right on drop-off time, the time at which the kids could then get themselves ready for the show… but we realised that there were plenty of parents, already drinking their half-glasses, looking very relaxed.

What? This was a true social function? They had gotten babysitters for this, arrived half an hour early and gotten on the booze…

Why I never…

Why didn’t anybody tell us?!?! πŸ˜‰

So tonight, we were prepared. And we sure as hell deserved it, Hubbie more so, as he carried baby girl about 2 blocks, while we all huddled together under an umbrella as the rain poured down amongst us.

He was protecting her penguin ballet feet from getting sploshed in puddles (father of the year right there 😘)

After we had dropped her off, STRAIGHT WE WENT to line up at the bar, ahem, snack bar.

πŸ˜‰

We ordered… I happened to look back behind me, and the line was growing out of control, weaving through the foyer area… and then I spied a fellow mum from baby girl’s class.

I see you!

(Cheers 🍷🍺)

P.S I enjoyed the show much more tonight πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

 

#1250 The different ways to appreciate my friends

A recurrent theme for me in this gratitude blog is in finding different ways and discovering various angles in which to appreciate the same thing, place, event, food… or people.

And in life, it is common that you find yourself repeatedly thankful for the same thing, many times.

Consider it something truly special, if you find it. It’s not repetitive or mundane.

It’s magic. Blissful. Electric. Beautiful.

To find yourself anew with wonder, happiness and a heart full of love, at the same thing again and again… it’s a blessing.

And so again tonight. Dinner out with friends. Maybe not the number of us that there were meant to be, so hearts were missing… but the hearts there were full of love regardless. ❀️

And how do I pinpoint, and make notice of the different ways in which the night made me smile, filled my soul with joy, and truly made me appreciative of the night?

Well, straight off, Thursday night out. It’s practically still mid-week, and us mums were rocking it, school routines and all waiting for us the next day.

Stuff it.

Nothing says ‘stuff it’ better than a mid-week cocktail.

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Stuff it.

And then there were the moments. The constant talking, how silence DIDN’T fill the air…

The coriander.

My name in their drinks.

The spiciness.

How nothing else was open after we ate, and yet we idled about walking from one place to the next, biding time, while we talked to our hearts content.

Or how we stood talking for half a length of a movie outside the cinemas… just chatting, laughing and sharing stories.

Or how we talked a further 20 minutes in the middle of a vacated shopping centre as we said our goodbyes.

And then said some more…

And so you see, it’s all these things that made this night with old friends so unique. And actually, it isn’t at all common, no matter how many times we catch up, where we eat, who is there, or what we do.

It’s in the memories shared with those you love, and that is always special.

Look after yourΒ friends. Good ones are hard to find.