#707 Going back in time to Shakespearean days

To write a play that endures time, is one thing.

To write a collection of plays that endures time, is a whole other thing.

To write a collection of plays and sonnets that withstands time and change and all manner of things, is unheard of.

Oh wait, it’s not. William Shakespeare has done it.

Let me reiterate: to write a collection of plays and sonnets that are still celebrated, re-told, adapted and cherished, 402 years after your death, is something to aspire to.

402 years people. Can you even begin to imagine the breadth of this genius?

Doth you protest such excellency?

Ok, so I am no Shakespeare, since he would have written that line soooo much better.

In case you are not aware, William Shakespeare is a literary genius that has transcended time and age and geography and language, with his collection of plays and sonnets, that tell stories of tragedy, drama, comedy, and of course love.

I was immediately enthralled by the news late last year, that a pop-up globe theatre showcasing a selection of Shakespeare’s plays, would be ‘popping up’ as it were, alongside the Sidney Myer music bowl in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens for a several-month run.

I had been hanging to go there since, but alas time and distance and life were not on my side. It was an effort, a struggle, and a lot of pushing on my part, but finally I got my God damn Shakespeare play day today.

I headed into the city alongside Hubbie and baby girl, and as they ventured off for lunch and park wanderings, I walked the winding path around the Botanic Gardens, until I saw an exciting sight sitting atop the hill just ahead of me.


The play I watched today was Much Ado About Nothing. I wanted to see this one particularly, because it was re-done in recent years by famed Buffy-Angel-Marvel Universe creator/director Joss Whedon, and despite recent revelations about his ill choices in other areas of his personal life, I still have to give incredible thanks to the guy that brought Angel into my world. Creatively speaking, it is one of the best shows EVER. And if he chose two Buffy/Angel characters to star in a modern-day adaptation of a Shakespeare play, then that play must be pretty damn good.

I haven’t actually watched Whedon’s re-take… but I have read the original play in all of its hysterical glory. And crazily enough, I had even forgotten I had read it, since it was so long ago… I just went into it today, knowing I really really wanted to watch Whedon’s take on it after seeing the theatre guys today. And as I stood there, listening to the characters quick wits, hilarious remarks, and the beginnings of a very twisty-turvy tale, a part of me said “this is familiar… does Shakespeare like presenting such strong-willed females?”

I soon realised, in a similar Shakespearean humour, that I was a fool (as he would say), and I had already read the tale. Duh, Benedict.

A tale of love prevailed over 2 and a half hours, with themes of jealousy, scandal, trickery, but most dominant comedy, keeping us all thoroughly entertained and gasping for air in wonder and laughter.



But let’s place this all in context shall we? The history of the globe is that the theatre was planned as a one-off project in Auckland, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 2016. Following from two massive seasons, with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the shows, another pop-up globe was planned for our fair city of Melbourne, and is running up until February 3.

The globe itself is a reconstruction of the second Globe, the theatre that Shakespeare and the company he worked with built in 1614 following a fire that burnt the first Globe a year earlier. Although based on rough proportions of the original, it is slightly smaller than the 1614 Globe, which would have sat 3000 spectators compared to today’s reconstruction.




Annnnddddd back to today’s play. With the pop-up globe having done its run first in New Zealand, there were native themes dabbled in throughout Much Ado, such as ceremonial mourning and nuptial dances and songs, New Zealand actors, and an amazing Maori routine at the end of the performance that had me, and the rest of the audience, in absolute awe. Such passion and love and dedication was so apparent in the Globe today, however I am sure it was not only reserved for my eyes on this January Sunday.

I had tears of laughter during comedic moments, tears of sadness in truly mournful ones, and tears of pure elevation and extreme gratitude, at the end when watching the performers do their final act and perform for the people in the Globe. They bowed for the audience 3 times, and I could swear the room was going to explode from sheer love at the happy drama that had unfolded over the past couple of hours.


It was the best thing I had done in a long time, and I was soooo happy I had managed to get over there for the Melbourne season. The first Melbourne season hopefully, as I am keen to watch more of his plays in a replica of the original Globe as many times as I can, as it just added so much to the feel and vibe of the story.

I was a ‘Groundling’ today, a true commoner as would have been the case in 1614, and stood close to the stage seeing everything unfold in utmost clarity. Having said that, the space of the Globe is small, and all seats within provide wonderful vantage points.


A sole Groundling ticket is approximately $28 including online processing fees, with seated areas going up substantially, however I ended up paying double quite accidentally, since there was an error as I ordered the tickets online, and I ended up with two.

But to have paid $56, for what I saw today? Priceless.

I went home with a little souvenir… a Shakespeare Pop Up Globe tote bag. And you just know what my reading material will be as I walk about town with it…


Only the best.




#697 Mindful colouring at Mechanic’s

As a busy Mum/Wife/Woman/PERSON, finding time in your day for things that you want to explore, things outside of your ‘box,’ and for things that you just want to indulge in, well they are minute, if actually, NON EXISTENT.

So when I see that I will have a future moment to myself, I try to prolong and make the most of it the best I can.

If I am at the doctor’s office or the hairdresser’s, I bring a book.

And when I am at the mechanic… I bring a colouring book.

I honestly haven’t coloured in for fun, for ME, probably since sometime in high school. I do it on occasion now with baby girl, as she asks me to draw something for her and then we go on colouring Beauty and the Beast, or something like that, together… but nothing just for ME.

Back when it was my birthday, I received a mindfulness colouring book with good ol’ fashioned Derwents – that I was sooo excited about – but that nonetheless remained untouched for months.

Until today.


Sitting in the mechanics kitchen, I got to work. Leaning on the old European 80s-styled tablecloth, as my car got its much-needed service in the huge garage outside of the room I was in, I found a drawing in the ‘good health’ section, and started small. What started off as just colouring, became something more. The TV was on in the background, ‘ABC news’ so it was pretty serious going with heavy issues and all, but I found myself getting deep in my thoughts as stroke by stroke I filled in the patterns and shapes and lines, still completely aware of my surroundings, but in a deeper, calmer, more meditative place.

The mechanic came to me too soon, as I was nowhere near completing my page. But for now, it was enough. You’ve got to take what you can as a busy individual. It had provided comfort and a different avenue of expression that I am not normally used to, and in turn that gave me creative insight of a different kind.

I’m looking forward to more stolen moments with my Derwents ūüėČ


#548 Returning to Island time

I wrote a post very early this year about a photo I took while on holiday with Hubbie at Phillip Island, many many many years ago.

Not only did this photo stay with me due to it being taken at a highly creative and deeply personal awakening time for me, but its strong and subtle message of taking it easy while being on an island, sang an especially sweet song. It spoke of not just relaxing into the moment, but allowing all worries and stresses to melt away as you succumbed to the slow-down pace of a more mindful part of the world.

Well today after about 5 years, we were back at Phillip Island.

Then it had been a still and sunny, though cloudy January day.

Today it had been a grey, incessantly rainy, and hair-flailing windy August day.

Then there had been an abundance of tourists everywhere lapping up the scenery.

Today there had been few overseas people about, the streets mostly empty and quiet.

Then the shops and cafes had been bursting with livelihood and excitement amongst the best time of the year.

Today there were more shops blackened and closed, than were open.

Then I had taken my sweet time to take the best shot possible of my favourite pic, angling the camera just the right way to get the best light, while using the poster’s message to take it slow and take it in, in my task.

Today I had forgotten about the poster on the passing building until we were nearly past it, and I made Hubbie slow down in the middle of the round-a-bout while I made a mad scramble for my phone and took a hasty shot of it again.


I didn’t even get ALL the words in.

And yet I didn’t care. The people, conditions and comparison didn’t matter to me: all that was important was that the poster, the message was still there. And as long as that poster was in that same spot, that meant it was always going to be island time.

And it forever will be, rain, hail or shine.

(The background tree photo on my SmikG blog is of the Phillip Island iconic trees on the main strip, an ode to the time when an especially important story and group of characters came to life in my head…


#377 She performs ‘Magic’

Keep them young and carefree as long as you can. That is my underlying theme in raising kids.

They will have plenty of time to ‘adult’ later in life.

I don’t see any harm in letting them believe in an over-sized¬†bunny that hops around leaving Chocolate eggs for Easter.

I don’t see any harm in letting them believe there is¬†a fat man with a long white beard and white hair, who squeezes through your chimney/climbs through an open window, and after indulging in some carrots/cookies/milk, leaves you some much-desired gifts.

Let them even believe your little white lies “We have to go home NOW because the park is closing for lunch.”

“The beach is closing! See? It’s getting too cold so it’s closing.”

“If you splash in the bath too hard the spiders will come.”

But don’t even suggest the¬†fantastical idea¬†of boogeymen or scary things lurking under the bed. They definitely don’t exist, but if Santa and the Easter bunny are, this seems just as likely. Anything that leads to an interrupted nights sleep for your littlies, don’t¬†EVEN. Don’t even go there.

Keep them na√Įve. Innocent. Unknowing. Fresh. Keep them untainted.

Let them even believe, in MAGIC.

I started this a while back, when baby girl fell and hurt herself. She is fascinated with band-aids, but don’t try to put one on her! That is a worse-r hell than the injury she has sustained herself. Don’t even.

So I had to get creative. My forte. I love to imagine, and create, and send wild thoughts into the atmosphere.

“Mummy do Magic,” I had said to her. “Doo doo doo doo doo” like the sound of an old-school¬†phone connecting, as I brought my lips close to her wound. I patted it with alternating hands in quick succession, letting out a “ch!” sound with a big blow, a big kiss and a dramatic pull-back of “Magic!”

She LOVED it.

Every time she was hurt or sore, Mummy had to do Magic. I’ve studied psychology. I know all about the placebo effect. I was fascinated to see the Magic actually working, like Magic I guess (!), on baby girl. Of course, anything serious and I wouldn’t even suggest something like that, I am a Mother, I DO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. A scrape requires Magic. Something more serious, a doctor.

Even if so, some ‘light Magic’ would help ease the woes on the drive over¬†I’m sure.

Since all we are dealing with is little scrapes and bumps, Magic has been a saviour.

And then, when one day I was sore, she performed Magic, on ME.


She does it regularly and often now. She will perform Magic on herself. It’s like a self-help tool to assist her in moving on. And it actually helps: she does MOVE ON.

Tonight as I sat on the couch talking about how I wasn’t feeling the best, and how my lower back had been sore yesterday, she promptly finished up drinking her nightly milk, pushed me forward, and tinkled her fingers against my back.

“Doo doo doo doo doo” she went, kissed my back, and then went “Dash!”

Dash, is Magic.

Funnily enough, she has also extended this to when I am mad, and have road rage. I am a much calmer person on the road with baby girl in my car, but still, I will say “what are you doing? Seriously? What a silly, silly person!”

“Can you drive? Come on, move it!”

“Mummy is very angry right now, there is a very cheeky driver on the road.”

And she’ll go “doo doo doo doo doo” a kiss, and “Dash!”

Problem fixed!

I find it hilarious that she does this¬†on me, and in varying situations. She now actually believes that Magic will solve almost anything. Sometimes I will be unwell and I know I am incapable of moving on from it immediately, and when she does Magic, I think ‘how do I get out of this one? How do I fake being healthy again? For the sake of believing in Magic?’

But, it makes me smile… and for a moment I forget I am sick/sore… and I guess that’s kind of Magic in itself, isn’t it? ūüėČ




#363 Play-doh

You end up doing ALL kinds of things when you are a parent, and participating in ALL kinds of activities to amuse the little ones.

Often you do this, kind of chaperoning and looking out for them during these times, because they are still quite young and na√Įve, and just need a watchful eye over them as they –

draw on that a4 sized paper with red texta as they lay on your carpeted floor


throw the ball wildly around in the backyard as two of your birds watch above from their cages in slight horror


practice riding their new bike on and around your steep driveway.

You hang around, for their safety, for other’s safety, and also, for cleanliness.

That’s a BIG one for me.

Many of the times I hang around and make sure baby girl is in line is simply to make sure she doesn’t make more mess. Sure, she is rapt and thinks “Mum is playing with me!” And, I am. But I scold myself that I don’t live in the moment more and appreciate the time spent with her, instead watching warily to see if any mess will be made.

I just can’t handle the thought of having more stuff to clean up, when already I am the primary person who cleans up SO MUCH. It bothers me to an infuriating point, to think there is some kind of mess or disorganisation made, and to someone who already spends so much of their day doing it, to do extra when it could have been avoided…

well it just really gets my goat.

Play-doh is one such activity I have to be right there, next to her, ‘helping’ her make creations. I get all OCD and make sure she doesn’t mix up the colours so she can use them again. And then I think ‘these things are dirt cheap, I could buy more tubs at the supermarket if she blends them all into one dough-y heap!’

But then today, after promising her for half the day that we would take out her play-doh, when we did, I found myself not just getting into OCD mode, but Lego mode too.

‘Lego’ mode is when I get soooo into the Lego making, that when she deviates from the instructions and wants to make her own block creations, I get exasperated and exclaim “baby girl! why do you want me here if you don’t want to do it properly!”

So OCD, I know.

But, we had a lovely moment with our play-doh date. I lost a bit of my OCD, and though we were keeping the colours separate, we both got really into the art of making play-doh flowers, play-doh icing, play-doh fruit, and other kinds of cupcake toppers using some tools from a recent set she was given.

She loved it, and I really loved the creativity we both got into, expressing ourselves with colourful, dough. I actually lost myself in the moment, several times.

Doh! Appreciating the Doh.





#327 Back to routine

I think we were ready for it. Even Hubbie said today, following his first day back at work at a new workplace nonetheless “I was happy to go to work.”

Holidays are amazing. They are freeing. They are a luxury, but also, they are very, very, very much-needed.

But, what tends to happen to us on holidays, is, like in the words of Elsa, we Let it Go.

Wake up early? Let it go.

Cook? Let it go.

Washing? Let it go.

Hobbies? Let it go.

It might seem a normal thing to sleep in during your holidays, but when you are going to bed late and then waking up late, every day, your body comes to expect so much more, until that first back at work morning when your 5am alarm gives you a very unexpected and rude awakening. Not to mention your body suffers.

Eating out everywhere might seem like the most first-world thing to do, the most luxurious of fanciful endeavours. But when you’re over-indulging night after night after night, and taking that extra bit of cake, just because holidays, well by night 12 you might be wondering why it’s so hard to zip up your jeans. Not to mention your body suffers.

Caring about the washing might seem like a fairly tedious and insignificant thing to pay much attention to… but when several week’s worth of everything gather up to the point of having piles on your laundry room floor, well, it’s hard NOT TO notice. Not to mention your body suffers… from lack of clothes.

And when you start to push away your usual everyday hobbies, passions and pursuits, whether they may be playing an instrument, writing a novel, learning a language, or practicing some form of dance… well you start to miss it, while your artform at the creative endeavour also slips. And your body, mind and soul, suffers.

Today was Hubbie’s first day back at work. And though I don’t go back for another 2 days, I like him, was also happy for the routine to recommence. To some degree, you need a routine. You rely on it. It keeps you on track. With¬†just enough of it

*going to bed and waking up at a reasonable hour keeps you more alert

*cooking keeps you healthier, and mindful of what goes into your body

*washing keeps you with a smaller laundry hamper!

*and hobbies keep you happy, and with a sense of purpose.

Hubbie and I have realised that we need some sort of order in our lives. We always need something to do, something to work towards, and something to look forward to. Today I was quite happy getting back into the habit of washing (several loads), cooking (and really being mindful of what I was eating), and getting back into some sort of more regular writing habits.

As for the sleep? Step by step peeps.

I think we went a bit crazy over these last few weeks, because, well that’s what you do on holidays. We knew we would go back to some kind of routine eventually, and wanted to just Let It Go, for as long as we could.

And I mean, if we happened to ever be the recipients of a massive cash windfall, and never had to work again, hey, I WOULDN’T COMPLAIN. Not at all. It just means we would have to set up a regular routine, of looking after ourselves and our life, in amongst the fun of never working again.

Sigh. Dreams.

Random is good. Random is great. But I wanna enjoy my life in amongst the crazy times, you know? So I CAN enjoy those crazy times.

So today, I’m actually happy for the return of routine into my life. Hell, I’m even grateful for it.




#177 3rd birthday creativity

I’m in bed, my freshly painted pink nails slowly drying, hitting the keypad slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y, and thinking of the creative day that was had.

Yellow bows, Wiggle-Emma style, placed atop whipped milk chocolate ganache on pretty cupcakes. I’ve never made whipped ganache, or to that effect yellow bows made out of fondant! But I did it. I watched youtube videos on the subject, and learnt a little about cake decoration.

Next, I worked with those edible images you stick on cakes, working with yet another batch of cupcakes. Another youtube video, learning about that and how you have to place that atop buttercream (or thereabouts) icing. Tick.

And finally, in amongst that, a lot of cleaning, a lot of tidying, and other baking and cooking projects (Nutella-filled baked cinnamon doughnuts to be made into a whipped cream and fudge tower, anyone?) Hubbie and I stayed up after baby girl went to bed, and set to work measuring, stencilling, carving, and cutting, in order to make a Wiggles Big Red car photo booth cut-out.

I had a moment, pausing from cutting out the yellow circle headlights, to look at Hubbie using a Stanley knife to cut a section from the thick cardboard, and smiled, wondering how we would explain this to baby girl one day: “we stayed up and did this for you!” I thought of all that had proceeded the car, with the baking, and the learning of different techniques, and I felt happy. I felt proud.

No matter how any of it turns out, I think she’ll have a pretty good time at her party tomorrow. It’s all been a hell of a lot of work, but given the rewards, the experimental creativity, the learning of different things, I’m feeling pretty grateful.

That’s enough in itself.