#416 A Writer’s Dream

Today, I officially became a writer.

This is because I lived out a dream. The dream, of all wannabe writers out there.

It all started a few days ago.

During the week my boss had asked me if I could do a 9-5er on my next shift, being Saturday. I usually work early shifts on Saturdays, for 2 reasons:

Getting to work early means I get out earlier, therefore having more time to spend with my family later, going out/shopping/dining/coffee-ing/

Also, leaving the house so early means that baby girl is still sleeping when I leave. She wakes up, MIL is there, they cuddle in bed, and all is good in the world. Hubbie and I both usually work Saturdays, and this routine is great. There are no tears, no tantrums, no pathetic displays, from ANYONE. And baby girl is unfazed too… because she doesn’t see us leave.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Likewise, don’t rock the boat. Having her still asleep when I leave the house is MORE than perfect.

Working a 9-5 shift however, posed a conundrum. Would I get up later? Undoubtedly so. This would cause possible issues. Would baby girl cry as she watched me leave? Would she have a hissy-fit, therefore making the rest of my MILs day exceptionally hard?

Simultaneously, as all this was circling around in my head, a work friend of mine was telling me about how she loved the bakery, Banjo’s. Being Tassie-born, the bakery there is prevalent, a part of most people’s upbringing, providing her with much nostalgia and sweet (and savoury) memories. However where her old grounds has a Banjo’s on every corner, in Victoria there are only two: one in regional Victoria, and the other in the town of the Morning, my new home turf.

I was telling her how I would bring in some special requests next time we worked together, saying I would drop by the bakery before my work shift to satisfy her Banjo cravings, when suddenly, an idea started to emerge.

It crept up and up, like a flower rising to face the sun’s beams, ’til suddenly, everything was perfect and the thought was standing there, alone, shining in all its immaculate glory.

This morning, I got up with Hubbie, and left the house almost as normal. By 6:30, I had parked minutes away from home.

Across from Banjo’s.

And inside I walked, with my…

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Laptop.

Ding!

It has been my long-held, deeply sought after ideal to write in a café. This dream of mine was so strong, it was there even before I realised I wanted to be a writer. I mean, the dream kind of came with the lifestyle choice. The vision of being cosied up in a café, writing to your heart’s content, eating food and sipping on coffee while the world rolled on by, and idling there like you had nowhere pressing to go, well that just looked so absolutely unreal and fantastically special for me.

I didn’t think I could get to do anything like that, ’til long long long after I had another kid, and then they were both in school. So like, 5 years or something.

But, it happened.

I sat in Banjo’s for over an hour. It wasn’t the kind of café I had dreamed of writing in, but today, for my first time, it would have to do. I ordered an egg and bacon toastie and while I waited for it (they were still opening so they couldn’t make my order straight away- I had been warned) I sipped on some oj, and I typed.

And typed. I wrote personal stuff. And I reviewed my story, squinting at the screen critically and re-reading several passages 15 times, ’til I realised, I NEEDED TO EAT.

Driving to work on an empty stomach is far different to writing on an empty stomach. The former is a default activity that requires little effort when it is a regular route. The latter requires the head.

Head requires food.

I didn’t have a coffee either (some coffee snob I am) since I can’t drink it on an empty stomach  – the beans just rattle my head. When my toastie did come, I scoffed the deliciousness down, and then all was good.

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I had still been productive though, and written about 45 minutes of the time. As I headed off I took some things with me: some snacks and some lunch for work… and also, a 6 pack of hot cross buns for my work colleague.

They’re currently sitting at her desk, waiting for her surprised face to turn up. She didn’t work today, but she sure as hell will get a lovely Happy Easter surprise tomorrow on her work shift.

And there you go, 3 events coincided brilliantly together this morning to create a happy harmony. I left the house early as preferred to keep baby girl in her happy routine; I got some memory-making buns for a work colleague; and I lived out my fantasy of writing in a café.

Gratitude done, by 7:50am. Is that a record? No, of course not 🙂

Now that I’ve broken the café-writing seal, I think a lot of re-occurrences will now follow… I may just volunteer for more 9-5 Saturday shifts… and I do have to get the café food arrival timing correct, and make sure I get coffee next time, and a proper window seat…

We can’t get these things right the first time… that would leave out the fun now, wouldn’t it? 😉

#399 Colleague appreciation no.2

So, it’s getting later in the gratitude game now, where I’m tending to double up on gratitude moments.

Not really double-up, but the theme is similar, hence all my “no.2” posts at the moment.

Take coffee for example (of course I would use coffee as an example). A narrow-minded person may be grateful for it, once. But an open-ended and wide-ranging one, would take cause to notice it’s deep aroma, the texture, the way it perks you up, it’s up-lifting qualities, of course it’s taste, and then there’s all the places you can enjoy this fine beverage in a range of wonderful locations… and so, so much more.

You get my drift.

I actually have been grateful to coffee in a number of ways too. And I will continue to be.

As I will find reasons to be grateful, for many, many other things multiple times over.

Like, a nice compliment. Appreciation. Who doesn’t need a bit of kindness directed their way???

So today I had my usual coffee walk with my work colleagues. I haven’t seen them properly in a while, which means that although I, and they, have all been working, with all of our shift work, and then my part-time work on top of that, I’ve just been catching the end of them as they conclude their day’s work.

I was both surprised and touched to hear, amidst our light-hearted banter, that they had missed me, and preferred when I worked earlier in the day, as opposed to late in the afternoon.

“But I don’t make that much of a difference!” I exclaimed, referring to my part-time work.

“But you do!”

Awww. I’ve known them for quite a few years now, and it’s interesting how well you begin to know each other’s lives and everything in it. I’m pretty lucky to work within a great team, and to hear from some of my longest and best colleagues that I’m missed when away…

Well, that just makes me blush. 🙂

#330 Blended Beard, & Boats

Have you ever had that moment, where you feel you are truly being appreciated? Where you are genuinely welcomed and made to feel special? Where someone is nice to you and you think ‘yes, this is what humans are meant to do for one another?’

Also, are you a caffeine addict?

And imagine now coffee lover… if a café gave you the above warm welcome when you walked through its doors?

???

My mind is still being blown from my morning coffee walk at work today. I walked into Blended Beard, listed as being my 2nd, almost equal 1st, café to coffee at in Docklands, which you can read about in my review of Docklands cafes here.

Anyway, this place has always been amazing. I’ve always preferred Story’s coffee down at the concourse, ever so slightly to theirs, but in the service department, the Bearded guys win, HANDS DOWN. They are always so friendly, lovely, warm and welcoming, and today’s experience just needed a mention in this blog, that’s how much it pleasantly surprised me.

So we enter, work mate and I. Greetings from the coffee making counter, lovely hellos, “Welcome guys,” and all that jazz. Like we’ve been away on holiday, and they’ve missed us majorly (well, we kind of have).

I then go up to order, and the girl behind the counter is the regular who takes the coffee orders most times I’m there. I say with a smile

“Hi, can I get a large cap with 1 sugar?”

And she’s looking at me with the slightest hint of a smile, but there is something more there, something I can’t quite detect yet. Slight squinting of the eyes, firm look of concentration, she takes a coffee cup and starts to write on it with no hesitation from the moment I’ve spoken.

“SmikG.” It’s more a statement than a question.

I nod and go to hand over my coffee card so she can stamp it, suddenly aware that she hasn’t yet seen the name on the coffee card… so how did she remember my name, when I haven’t been there in weeks, and I might frequent the cafe only once a week?

I walk away in slight shock and awe, and wait ’til my colleague orders his cap before I converse excitedly.

“How did she know my name?”

“Maybe she saw your pass.”

I look down. My name tag is swaying above my hips. She couldn’t have seen it, not from the large cash register that had been in between us and obstructing our bottom-half view from one another. No way.

“How did she do that?” I go on. “She must be one of those mind game people, you know they read you psychologically, maybe she’s like that with names.”

We soon get our coffees and leave to more lovely well wishes and sweet goodbyes. I am actually really appreciative that not only are they so amazing and friendly, their coffee is great, but also the coffee order gal tries her damn hardest to remember everyone’s name, and she somehow remembered mine!

I am still in awe. This from a girl who is shocking with names. Really. She is my hero.

Then we slowed the pace because it was a gloriously sunny morning, and watched some rowers and boats along the water, wishing we too were boarding the grand old thing with the pensioners. Oh well, one day.

To Blended Beard, and Boats. And name remember-ers. I salute you.

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#303 Spoilt for choice on Christmas Eve’s Eve

I don’t know what exactly to be grateful for today. So instead I will be grateful for ALL THE THINGS:

*Having an abundance of Christmas-y goodies and presents to feast on while at work

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*Taking a leisurely stroll in the beautiful sunshine with colleagues at work and talking about fantastical dreams of buying a boat

*Being let off work 2 hours earlier, because, Christmas

*Getting to shop by myself for 2 hours in peace and freedom before I went home

*Having Hubbie home earlier than expected in this mad Butcher’s week

*Going to look at some local Christmas lights with him and baby girl, and taking part in neighbourhood bonding and festivities in doing so

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*Sharing an indulgent ice cream with baby girl at the end of the night on the couch, with Hubbie looking on in amusement

I know I usually pick one thing… but it’s Christmas. And I guess I’m glad that when there are exciting times ahead, the fun and happiness and good times seem to follow you wherever you go.

Having time off work helps too.

And by no means does this mean I can’t be grateful for the above items, individually, in separate posts… today’s gratitude comes in the combined effort of all of the above.

Because, Christmas Eve’s Eve.

Merry Christmas Eve’s Eve to ALL.

 

 

#301 Giving goodies – Gingerbread

I love to give. I also, love to receive. And I take such joy, in anticipating the happiness that people will feel when I give them something, sometimes unexpected, because in their shoes, I would be damn excited about free Gingerbread too.

It is so true, that the joy is in the giving. I guess it’s something you can’t explain unless you feel it. But I just love seeing the looks on people’s faces and seeing their happiness, walking away knowing that I made a somewhat little difference to their day. It may be only little, but it’s the little things that count.

Today I brought in my annual gingerbread bikkies to work, and took quiet pleasure in handing them out. I love gift giving. I love gift receiving! And I love this time of year.

Any excuse to be nice, and to give.

Hey, why don’t we just be nice and give ALL the time?

There’s an idea. !

Here’s to Gingerbread and goodies and good times ahead.

#282 Getting into the grit at the work Christmas party

So that night is over. For a moment there, I wasn’t sure if I should attend this year. Half of the team weren’t going to be there due to various reasons, and most of the ones that were going to be there, I didn’t feel as close to them as I did with the others.

However, that ended up being ok.

I feel like with the removal of my ‘go-to’ work colleagues, I was able to actually spend some quality time** with these other fantastic colleagues of mine, and in doing so feel like I’ve connected with them in a way that I probably wouldn’t have had the rest of the team been there.

It was actually a pretty good night!

If you’re tossing up whether to go to your own work Christmas party, I say DO IT. I’m all about showing up. Show up for the job, show up for the party, show up for life, show up for the Universe and tell it God damn you’re serious about being a writer. Just show up. I don’t like to say no to any kind of ‘thing’ I’m invited to, so I guess in line with one of my internal ways of being (have I just discovered another True Rule?) I showed up.

And it was great.

And in addition, you learn and are privy to some fantastic content.

I.E:

“She has a long-term boyfriend but is sooo desperate here.”

“Did you hear how he cheated weeks after?”

“His Instagram is all blow-jobs and XXX…”

“He’s gay. Susan gay.”

“I love my girlfriend. She is hotter than my last one.”

A bit X-rated I know, but if you’re Christmas party is tamer than that.. well you need to get yourself a new job. That’s what the work Christmas party is after all.

I’m grateful I went, the new connections I made, and for the entertainment of the grit 😉

 

**Quality time meaning drinking, daggy-dancing when Mmm Bop comes on, gossiping, drinking, gasping in horror at regular intervals, drinking, “she said what?”/”he did what?” moments, laughing out loud often, MORE drinking, and just generally learning about all the weird and wacky of work life and beyond…**

 

 

#222 Going loco for Ricky Martin

My colleague didn’t send me a link for a Ricky Martin clip this morning – no, rather he sent me a clip saying “I know you like latino stuff, and like (love) Ricky Martin, so here’s a song…”

In my head, through my eyes, all I saw was this

Ricky Ricky Ricky

like I was in some self-imposed hypnotic coma. I clinked on the link and it took a while to realise ‘no, Ricky does not make a special appearance in this other dude’s clip.’

It was some other dude, singing a song. He was alright. He was no RICKY.

I, if you haven’t guessed it yet, have LOVED Ricky, since I was, oh about 13. It is a long-standing love affair. I happened to see him before most of Australia did too, since I was overseas at the time and anyone who’s ever been to Europe will know that often songs are released a good few months before arriving here on our shores. I saw this man and went “oh my.” Even at the tender age of 13, I was saying ‘oh my.’

But it wasn’t just the way he shook his hips or the way he sang the song made out to my middle name. Or his devilishly good looks. Or his smile. Or his charming personality. Or the fact that you could feel the warmth of his disposition in his interviews. Or the hair. Or the physique. Or the hips (I said hips didn’t I?)

Ok, so maybe it’s all of these things. I’m being cheeky I know. Seriously though, what started out as teenage lust, has turned into something so much more.

I really do love the guy.

My first concert was his first Australian tour back in 2000. I was 17. Since then I’ve bought his albums, listened to his music, both Spanish and English ones, learnt a fair bit of his native tongue inadvertently along the way, and just last year I had the pleasure of seeing him again on tour, for the second time.

I still love his music. He is very safely in my list of top musicians… you know, the few musos you have that no matter what style of music they go through, you still love their tone, their current experimentation, their voice, and their lyrics. You love what their music does to you. You love how it makes you feel. You love the story it tells you and the way the pictures dance magically in front of you as the strong yet gentle voice caresses its way out of the stereo…

Stop. Ok.

Now, I’m not the only one, as most of Australia fell in love with Ricky when he appeared on our version of The Voice. Even straight men are like “I love Ricky.” Like, seriously. He is just amazing. People who don’t know him think of him as that guy who sings poppy commercial stuff and shakes his bon bon around all day long while dancing in the rain on top of a car. No (although that would be a sight). In fact, Shake Your Bon Bon is one of my least favourite songs – I don’t like it one bit. I feel like it paints a very inaccurate picture of his musical talents and scope. The people who don’t look beyond the commercial stuff don’t realise that there is a world of emotion and meaning and seriously funky and upbeat latin tunes just waiting for you to discover.

In line with his caring nature, he has also been heavily involved in his own foundation against child sex trafficking, a cause that needs no further emphasis to prove its importance. Not only is he a talented man, but he has heart, he has compassion, and above all you can tell that he is a genuinely good soul.

I can’t begin to tell you which of his songs I love most. I love so many.

(La Bomba, Spanish Eyes, She’s All I Ever Had, Lola Lola, Pegate, Private Emotion, Drop It On Me, Asignatura Pendiente, Raza de Mil Colores, Besos de Fuego, Almost a Love Song, Stop Time Tonight, Save the Dance, Cambia la Piel).

Ballads. Upbeat percussion beats. Swoon-worthy songs. Dance ’til you drop songs.

But what happened this morning has had me singing Adios in my head repeatedly.

Without going through the whole story, I basically came across Ricky Martin performing the song Adios on the American Today show recently. It stayed in my head and then today after my colleague mentioned Ricky in a comment (albeit his link didn’t contain Ricky, but it was all the ammo I needed) and with the knowledge that it was a quieter than normal work day, I looked up more clips of the Adios song in question.

Where has this song been all my life?

Well, actually, where has it been for the last two years? I couldn’t believe it had been released in 2014, and I was just learning about it. Some Ricky fan I was.

And then I remembered – 2014. I was raising a tiny human then, a pre-1 year old. I was forgiven.

So, the video has been viewed in both English and Spanish version by ‘moi’ today, a combined total of at least 30 times, and that is no exaggeration. I am obsessed. I need this song in my life, at full volume pumping up the jam and hassling the neighbours to no end. I need it. And the above mentioned song comes from an album that I also had no idea about (MASSIVE FACE PALM).

So tomorrow you know what I am buying at my local JB HI FI, don’t you?

This current Ricky song obsession, is just further proof that he is a stayer, of musical proportions, and hu-manly proportions, and all other proportions in my life, FOREVER. I haven’t even gone into proper depths, on the impact this man’s music has had on my life, as this post being written pre-midnight just would not do it justice.

I’ll just need to be grateful for every Ricky song ever made for the length of this blog’s existence… my whole life.

And what makes this relationship even better is that Hubbie totally agrees with me that he is pretty cool… he likes his hair.

Whatever it takes.

I’m in love with Adios right now… but with Ricky, it’s always hello.

😉