#439 Memories from my past

Today I was at my parents house, pointedly going through the wardrobe of my old room, looking for… ‘something.’

In my search though, I found LOTS OF THINGS.

Some made me smile. Some made me proud. Some I took home.

These items included:

·   an old diary from 2004 (it made me smile – damn my writing was perfect then!)

·   a water bottle and water bottle warmer (to take home – you never know when you need one)

·   old Uni essays from when I took ‘Classic Hollywood’ (that made me proud when I read bits and observed the score, and the teacher’s comments)

·   a photo scrapbook my bestie put together and gave me the day of my wedding day (that made me smile, AND I took it home!)

·   a Sex and the City make-up case that contained all 6 season DVDs, back when I bought the box set over a decade ago! (that I took home – I already have the DVDs with me, may as well complete the collection)

·   also a Sex and the City board game that I have never played (that I took with me of course, due to the former!)

and then, I found the ‘something’ I had been searching for:

Angel memorabilia – in the way of Angel magazines from 2004.

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🙂

Going through memory lane was a blast, and I will do it again and go through more of my old ‘things,’ when I unpack more boxes here at home.

Yes, I am still unpacking, 8 months on. Not many to go, but I need to sort nonetheless.

And the reason for my Angel memorabilia search? I am very confident that tomorrow’s gratitude post will reveal ALL the answers…

;););)

 

#374 Reclaiming the past with Besties

Tonight, Bestie and her Hubbex came over to visit us in our new ‘hood.

It was a pretty rad night.

We have a pretty awesome history, us 4. I often wonder if the looks we get from other ‘friends’ are that of jealousy: I mean, bestie and I are of course, LONG-TIME besties, and when we get together, our Hubbies become equally as tight and crazy as us.

We were an integral part of their bridal party when they got married, which was right before I got pregnant with baby girl. It was an amazing day, and so special to be sharing it with them both, in such a close and intimate way.

But that was not the beginning, and it sure as hell won’t be the end. No. Our times together have many prior years and years on their wedding day… from after our high school years and through all of our twenties, birthdays and events, days out, dinner, catch-ups and plenty of laughter here, there and EVERYWHERE. I’m talking Hubbie and Hubbex jumping out of our semi-moving car after midnight singing “How Bizarre” at the top of their lungs on a Saturday night. I’m talking funny dress-ups, and stupid faces to the point that when we look back on them now, we laugh ourselves so silly that we do unintentional ab crunches from our laughter, our breath soundless and eyes all screwed up from the mad laughter that we are expressing.

I’m talking wine, I’m talking shots, and I’m talking plenty of D&Ms in-between. When I think of our long-standing history together, and think back through all of those years, I then realise how varied, vast and deep our friendship and experiences with one another are.

And generally speaking, I am proud of the maturity I’ve developed in response to the friendships and relationships in my life. Nothing remains static, stagnant. Things are ever-changing, and so too do many friendships take on a temporary ‘on hold’ spell, while life takes over, other things become more of a priority, and you move in different directions.

I love that quote, that says something like you know you have a true friend when you don’t always see each other, but when you get together it’s like no time has passed. Nothing is truer for this awesome-foursome.

Although all our lives are extremely busy, and we all have differing passions and interests and jobs that keep us entertained and out of trouble, we still make the time for each other, when we can. And tonight, while eating and drinking, listening to a whole variety of musicians and getting extremely excited over them, talking the deep philosophy of Beyoncé’s image, pruning roses, allowing baby girl to do multiple renditions of Let it Go, turning our staircase into ‘ice’ as she stamped down on the landing, and shooing off cats, we had a smashing time.

We have matured, we are older, and we have more responsibility present in our lives… but it is still us. And US, has still got IT.

Take care of your true friends, because it takes a long time to gain an ‘old friend.’ They are precious and much sought after.

After tonight, I think our future together looks just as happy/funny/silly/meaningful/profound/bright, as ever 🙂

 

#309 My town folk and Rain / Bestie’s surprise tree painting

A special edition. I had two interesting and special incidences today, and so I absolutely have to post both.

Lucky me. Double the gratitude:)

Part 1: The Rain.

I had just driven through the most hellish storm imaginable. I actually had thought to come to a complete stop while on the freeway going home from work. Many, many times, I found it almost impossible to see from the white sheets of rain in front of me, sweeping  across my car and enveloping it in a blurry fog of white. It was scary to endure, and I was relieved when after the longest drive, it started to lighten up.

And this, after the most incredible sunset last night. Ahh Melbourne.

Nearing home, the rain lessened. Finally. It had been a tense drive. I had to stop at the shops first, and got out of the car to light, wispy rain settling on the edges of my stray pieces of hair. I walked calmly into the centre.

After my post office stop and before I got to the supermarket, I heard it on the roof: the intense rattling.

Surely it wasn’t raining so hard, again, so soon after the hour of intense downpour I had just experienced on the way home?

15 minutes later with my bag of groceries in one hand, I was standing under the shelter out the front of the centre, looking in dismayed disbelief over the buckets of ran being heaved upon the car park.

My car was so close, yet so, so far.

I stood with others also holding out for the rain to ease. There were about 7 or so other shoppers, and I looked out at the car park, wondering just when and how long it would be until the rain gave out. It was heavy, and unrelenting.

The rain slowed, but only the slightest amount, not enough to brave the weather and walk through it… and yet, people did. Almost all the people who had been waiting decided to head on out to their cars. I watched, curious, as one by one they left, while I stood there, waiting, watching the Rain.

And then more came. I observed as people wandered in to the centre, soaking wet from the car park; and vice versa, as people exited the centre, and after a brief pause, a reshuffling of bags or searching of keys, kept on walking into the heavy rain towards their car.

The rain had lessened, ever so slightly. But I could tell what kind of deceiving rain this was, what with its big drops and generous weight. I wasn’t going out there, and getting soaked in 3 seconds time. I would keep waiting.

A man walked out of the centre with his son. They walked out and into the rain with little hesitation. A young couple walked out towards the car park as if they were taking a leisurely stroll.

Holiday-stayers, I observed. They don’t care if they get wet – they’re on holiday time.

An older man walked past me from the car park in his shorts and singlet, losing his thong in a deep puddle of water. He slowly stopped, walked back a few steps, his bare foot splashing through the puddle, before grasping the thong with his toe and balancing it back on. A nearby man smiled and they exchanged some words and a laugh before the man walked on, feet soaking, into the centre.

Ok, he mustn’t be driving. He can’t drive like that.

A woman walked out with her son. Flowy dress, telling him “now, don’t run!”

Run, why would you run? Ok it’s easier for her, he’s like 10, she doesn’t have to put him in the car herself.

Still I watched with how casually they made their way into the rain.

They’re all on holiday. I stood there in my wedges, pondering this fact. Skinny black jeans and a stripy singlet top. I was coming home from work. I had to drive home. I wasn’t on holiday time, not yet. These guys were not fazed at all if they got wet. They were moving about without a care in the world. I considered every justification possible.

Then, a woman walked towards the centre from the car park. As she moved forward, she too like the man earlier, lost her sandal in a puddle of water. She paused, her other foot hovering, as she fished it out of the water. I heard the splosh as it was brought forward and onto her foot. Her long flowy dress barely touched the deep puddles beneath her as she kept on going.

It hit me. My justifications were suddenly unworthy. These weren’t ALL holiday-makers. More than half were locals. And here I was, newbie in town, the girl from the ‘burbs looking on and wanting to avoid getting wet.

Screw that shit.

I waited for a slight break in traffic in front of the busy centre, and then started forward. Within seconds I could feel the warm drops sinking into all parts of my clothing, and it squeezed itself between my toes. My car was barely a minutes walk from the shopping centre shelter, and yet by the time I got to the car and plonked down in the driver’s seat, I looked down to rain splattered dark drops all over my clothes, saw the water on my arms as if someone had thrown a bucket on me, and felt my matted hair sticking in sections to my head.

And I loved it! I felt invigorated, refreshed, and alive.

Why the hell did I not do this earlier? We had moved to the beach for the lifestyle, which meant I had to live, LIKE the lifestyle. The locals had inspired me.

I wanted to live on the beach? Then live like I’m on the beach.

I genuinely, do love rain. And I also love my townsfolk 🙂

 

Part 2: The Painting.

I headed over to the parcel as my MIL was putting down baby girl for a nap. I had noticed it before getting changed out of my wet clothes, but hadn’t bothered to investigate further, feeling sure it was the coasters I had ordered a long time ago. Surely, most definitely, it was them. But as I picked up the parcel and the envelopes that read “card only” indicating the late Christmas arrival, the name at the head of the label jumped out at me.

SmikG.

Hmmm. I didn’t remember putting down my author’s alias when I had ordered the coasters. In fact, I don’t remember putting it down anywhere at all. As I looked at the parcel some more, with my actual name and address underneath my alias, the writing grew so familiar to me, that by the time I had turned the parcel around to see who the sender was, I was absolutely definite on who it was from, even though I had no idea what it was.

Sure enough, I was right.

I first opened the Christmas cards, wanting to save the intriguing and exciting surprise package from bestie ’til last. As I opened it, my very slight suspicions, and my judgments based on the weight and size, were confirmed.

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My very talented best friend has recently started painting again, after a long hiatus between high school and now. I actually had NO IDEA how talented she was until she started posting her work on facebook. I had commented on a painting she had done of a similar tree, as I love trees, and all symbols and images associated to them, as mentioned here, and here. However I didn’t think she would ever send me an actual, original painting of hers.

I immediately fell in love. It was perfect. The vibrant colour was reminiscent of our friendship too, an ode to high school, Prince, Purple Rain, and so much more. It was so personal of her to give me something so beautiful and creative of hers, and I immediately felt emotional.

I called her up to express my profound thanks, and later I placed it up high in our bedroom, until we find a more permanent home for it.

…When I walked into the room hours later, the painting of the purple tree was a sight for sore eyes. I didn’t realise how much colour was lacking in our room, in our house, and I was sick of seeing beige boxes shoved into corners all over the place, only I didn’t know how much until this masterpiece entered our home.

I love it. I am really grateful for this personal present gifted to me by a very dear friend, the heartfelt meaning behind it, and the sincere generosity of bestie to even think of giving it to me in the first place.

 

Dancing in the rain amidst friendly townfolk and purple trees by bestie. Not a bad day. Not a bad day AT ALL. 🙂

 

#307 My high school friends

Every few years or so, after much organisation, effort and heavy planning, a certain group of 6 girls get together for a good gas-bag, food, drink and laughter, sometimes accompanied by their partners and kids, and other times without.

Who am I kidding. We stopped being ‘girls’ over a decade over.

Some of us are Mums. Well half. The other half are living life with their long-term partners/spouses, and living a fantastical life not revolving around kids. Which is perfectly great for us Mums, as we get the temporary non-kid break when it comes to conversation starters.

Not that there are conversation starters. Speech just flows when the 6 of us are around. No odd silences. No wanting of ideas. No awkwardness. It’s more of an issue of how one can be heard in a group such as this.

6 girls. 6 friends from high school. We’ve gone through those turbulent high school years, seen each other move through education and jobs, been there at each other’s weddings, and held each other’s newborns with love, hope and admiration.

We are all different. So, so different. Yet we are also the same, uniformed in our shared history, our long-standing bond and friendship to one another. Because of that history, I don’t think we could ever part. And I’ve come to realise, especially tonight, that no matter how much we may differ in other aspects of our lives: our views, lifestyles, choice of friends, morals even – we can never stay mad at each other for long.

We just can’t. We are in each other’s lives too much. We are now way too deep. And we don’t wanna get out.

After our last get together 4 years ago, tonight we came together again. And it was great. Busy with a few of the kids around, and a few of the partners too, but it was truly fun and heartfelt to be in amongst our group again.

I’ve come to appreciate these girls on another level after tonight, and I am grateful for their past, present, and continuing role in my life. Most importantly I think I’ve come to accept them for who they truly are: their own beautiful, unique, fantastic, and individual selves.

I love you girls: Miss Soulful, Miss Bold, Miss Nurturing, Miss Meticulous, and Miss Mischievous.

Love, SmikG -aka ‘Miss Secretly Surprising’… since most of you are unaware of this blog 😉

 

#306 George Michael – his role in my life

I stared at my mobile in shock. “What?!” I demanded the word, my eyes popping at what was before me.

Hubbie was concerned “what happened?”

I stared at the message bestie had written to me. ‘George Michael passed away.’

It was sadly fitting that the message came from her. George Michael was a favourite and prominent musical figure in our teens. Careless Whisper, Too Funky, Freedom and I Want Your Sex were regular sing-a-longs. I even think I have the handwritten lyrics to Careless Whisper given to me by bestie, stored away somewhere in my old room at my parents’ house.

What a year. First the shocking passing of Prince – and now, George Michael? I had always believed I would see him one more time, at least…

So many memories, so many life anthems. Each of his songs brings a different vision, a different story or place to mind.

But first, the memory my sister tells me. She is a teen, in the 80s. She and her bestie are at the airport. Wham steps out of a car; they turn, and wave up, to a large group of them. Directly at them. A swarm of fans push up against them, squashing them against the front rail they are up against. Later that night, she is in a fan picture on the news behind the newsreader who is reporting on Wham’s appearance in Melbourne.

She was the first George Michael fan in our family. I naturally followed.

Bopping to the beat of Too Funky. It was my internal anthem as I walked, my inner music that I used to repeat to myself to raise my confidence as I went through my early teens.

Then as I got older, that anthem got replaced by Flawless. In the car, volume on full, powering through the streets with George beside me ( 😉 )

Faith. Like seriously, who in this world looks cooler than George in his toe-tapping skin-tight jeans and aviator sunnies. I don’t care his sexual orientation (um, Ricky Martin obsession anyone?) but that man is damn! good looking.

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My Twisted Lyrics series over on SmikG is inspired by a misheard Careless Whisper lyric, posted by an online writer who wrote that instead of hearing the correct “Guilty feet have got no rhythm!” they heard “I must admit I have no rhythm!” That error made me LOL so much, and stayed with me for so long that many, many years later, I decided to implement that misheard lyric thread into my parent blog.

My first few months of coffee. Maybe 5 years ago now. On a Saturday morning, making myself a fresh cuppa as I watched George Michael music videos, and literally jumping out of my skin with dance to the song “I’m Your Man.”

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I LOVE that song. I can’t explain to you how much the beat lifts me up, quite literally.

Amazing. When I bought the single, I played it on repeat, for an entire weekend non-stop. I could not get enough of the melody, his voice, and the words

“I think it’s amazing, I think you’re amazing.”

2010. His first Melbourne concert in 20 or so years. Bestie is with me. Our teenage dream fulfilled. He calls us Sydney, multiple times. We scream, in both horror, and shocked amusement at him, jumping on the first raised level of Etihad stadium, with 1000s of others, the concrete slab actually rocking against our pressure.

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(A photo I took on March 3rd 2010 at Etihad Stadium)

That night he sang many of my favourite songs. We rocked to the classics, he did awesome club-versions of Flawless and Spinning The Wheel, as well as his Wham, I’m Your Man 80s fuelled dance-hit. He also performed a song that I had not as yet fallen in love with…

 

When I later, only days after the concert, fell deeply in love with A Different Corner, I was shattered. I had heard the most beautiful voice singing the most heartbreaking and beautiful words to the most dreamlike and woeful music, and yet I hadn’t appreciated it fully at the time, because I had not yet fallen in love with everything about the song.

I always thought I would hear him perform that version live again. I was convinced I would, and that I would cry, as that song has made me cry so many times before.

53. Only 53. I’m still in a huge amount of shock. People are talking of 2016 as a shocker of a year, and until this happened today, I was a staunch defender. Yes, every year has its ups and downs, and yes, another of my faves, Prince passed earlier this year… but I was adamant that this year wasn’t a write-off, and that there was good, much good to be taken from the past 12 months…

It’s too early for me to make a call. 4 days until the end of 2016, and I just don’t know what to say. Two musical legends have passed, and life just isn’t the same. The world isn’t the same without them in it. The genius, the amazing talent that inhabited this world, is gone.

George Michael will live on, there is no question about it. In our hearts, in our memories, on our screens, and on our radios…he will not fade away.

But we are sad. I am sad. So, so sad.

Because he, is Amazing. Too Funky. And quite simply, Flawless.

“I think it’s amazing… I think you’re amazing.”

R.I.P George Michael 1963-2016

georgemichael

 

 

#260 Letter from bestie

Still shitty. But when I came home frustrated, poking my sad face into the mailbox, I saw a familiar flowery-printed letter, and subsequently familiar writing on that letter.

About 2 hours later I took the letter from my bestie and plonked myself on the carpet in our Rumpus room – because we have no proper furniture there yet – with a cappuccino and a peanut butter and chocolate chip protein ball, and proceeded to read, smile and unwind my worries through the written words of one of my closest friends.

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We started this letter-writing business through the old-fashioned hand, can you believe, earlier this year, between the group of us original school friends. There are 6 of us, and some are more fluent in their letter-writing than others. I haven’t been so present in the artform, but now that we’ve moved I will definitely stay on top of it.

You know how sometimes, you’re just having a really shit day/days, and it’s like someone calls you or you get contacted by them somehow, as if through divine intervention?

Yep. Today. So I’m grateful.

#181 Bestie, birthday, movie and Me

Which scenario is better:

  • heading out for your birthday
  • spending some ‘me’ time with a cherished friend, or
  • participating in a luxurious past-time that has been absent from your life for a long time?

Why, I have the answer – ALL OF THE ABOVE!

I was really excited, when a couple of weeks back my bestie messaged telling me she wanted to take me out for my birthday to see a movie. My initial instinct was to worry ever-so-slightly about how baby girl and Hubbie would manage things without me for a few hours… and then I was like ‘no!’

They will manage. Anytime I have been out, they always have.

Tonight, post-birthday, but never, EVER too late for a good time, we headed out to the local cinemas to watch Absolutely Fabulous The Movie. This was the movie of choice, because in our high school years we were one of very few (maybe only) in our year who actually watched the series, mocking Eddie the following day with repeated “sweetie sweetie sweetie sweetie darling”s. It was hilarious, as all things are in high school.

Well, the above line didn’t come out in the movie – a few ‘sweetie’s yes, but no combo like the above. I had popcorn just so I could feel like I was actually at the cinemas. The salt dried my lips out, but I had no damn care whatsoever.

I honestly wouldn’t care if I was watching the movie that had won the yearly Rotten Tomatoes award. I will gladly pay anyone to sit down and do nothing, much like I do at the hairdressers too.

However, I did enjoy the movie. As a disclaimer for other movie-goers, I do think it’s probably only enjoyed for those who actually watched and liked the series. It was light and fluffy fun, nothing too overwhelming or even too hilarious. Just silly, much like Edina and Patsy.

Following the movie was a bite to eat, alongside a drop of red from the seaside destination we are heading off too… and then the talking. D&M. Talking. More D&M. It made me realise how much I miss ‘me’ time, and bestie time, and just going out time, that I need to make an effort to do it more, and not just when prompted, not just for an occasion. It has to be a common ritual.

I came back home so much happier, and full of vibrancy. I was refreshed, I felt brand new, and I was ready to be a Mum and a Wife again.

Mums, if you’re reading this: do it. Take the night off too. You deserve it. You won’t regret it. Looking after ‘you’ is important, more so because you look after everyone else.

I’m so grateful for the night I had. I didn’t think I needed a night off, but boy was I wrong. I am so glad I was wrong. I need to be wrong like this more often.

‘Sweetie darling.’