We’re relying on technology so much nowadays, being separated from one another physically, and so it brought me much joy to see facebook spring forth a memory this morning.
I mean, I knew what day it was, I’m kinda counting the days to August (with nothing to really look forward to at this stage, let’s face it, but ‘eternal dreamer’) so I did realise it was the anniversary of our dear baby girl’s christening, from 6 years ago.
WOW. 6 years ago. Photos, with family and friends. My gorgeous baby girl, actually, a baby girl! Not 6 going on 13 as she wishes she were. Even a video was there, and I could hear the music in the background, was reminded of the joy of the event, and tried to imagine what it’d be like to be amongst people like that again…
No fear. All love. Happiness, laughter, good times.
I hope this virus passes soon, for everyone’s sakes. And then when facebook brings up 2020 memories in years to come, we’ll look back on all the masks, isolation woes, and toilet paper wars, shaking our hands and wondering if it was all a dream…
Or a nightmare. In the meantime, let’s look back on the memories, and look towards making new ones, hopefully soon…
It wasn’t a surprise to me this morning, when a friend reminded me it was now officially, the season of the lion.
The Leo horoscope, was upon us.
Only it wasn’t really a reminder to me. I wait for the changeover to this feline month, and the last month of Winter, not just because I love cats and hate the cold, but mainly for the fact that it’s my birthday month, and a celebration month for A LOT of my family.
But, things are a bit different this year. It’s guaranteed there will be none of the usual birthday hoo-ha’s this August, and so for the last little while, I’ve turned my attention elsewhere.
Well, it IS always there… I’m just really engaging all of my energies into it.
It’s a scary place to be. Putting yourself out there, exposing your passions and insecurities right there on paper/word doc/social media…
Allowing people into your mind, your heart, your soul. But it’s what I love, and so a part of me must be masochistic, because I keep doing what terrifies me most, inching forward increment by increment, hoping to God that everything stays smooth.
Everything keeps sailing.
I took a bit of a leap recently. I joined a local writer’s group. It’s no basement-budget style catch up either – it’s a proper, paid, yearly membership, where you immerse yourself with other like-minded, passionate writerly types as yourself.
Today I joined the closed facebook group for the club… and you know, it felt SO GOOD. I was kinda terrified of putting myself out there, as is normal since writing is uber-important to me, but I did what I’ve been doing all this year it seems… and pushed past the fear.
“What’s the big deal?”
“Why are you so scared?”
“Stop over dramatising!”
All very valid thoughts you might be thinking, I get it.
But imposter syndrome is a real thing, and trying to push past the self-doubts, the questions as to why you’re there, the fear of rejection or denial, of discovering you’re actually shit… all of those things are genuine fears that keep people from doing what they should be doing.
From pursuing their dreams.
But the thing to understand is, these self-doubts we all experience are completely normal, to some degree. We all have them, we all feel them at some point or another, and as long as they’re not physically or mentally debilitating to our psyche, if we learn to accept them and push past them anyway…
Guess what we’ve just done?
I actually came across a lovely quote today, quite indicative of the step I took:
“Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.” – Brendan Francis Behan.
And how convenient, that we are talking about all of this courage, at this particular month…
During this particular season.
Try to channel the lion in you, and take a step closer to what you most love to do.
I’ve said that walking and getting out and about will save us during this time of isolation.
But what is also good for our souls, is music.
It literally, LIFTS the spirit.
No matter what mood you’re in. There will be a song to either,
soothe your mind
get you energised
or have you all nostalgic and looking back in time with fondness.
Tonight I had a whole array of music to suit my various moods.
First I was listening to Bedtime Stories, one of my all time fave albums by Madonna. Bestie mentioned it to me recently, and I had certain songs on repeat, like “Love Tried to Welcome Me”:
“And I must confess, that I, am usually drawn to sadness,
And loneliness has never been a stranger, to me…”
I love the melancholy and violins in this song. It was feeding my contemplative mood as I prepared dinner.
Then something else happened. Like so many DJs at the moment, a family friend of ours was showcasing his turntable work, and so as we had dinner, we were watching and listening to old school RnB tunes during a facebook LIVE, and totally grooving along at the dinner table! Like with Boyz II Men…
“Baby I wanna do, whatever’s on your mind,
We’ll make it all come true, if you roll with me tonight…”
Yep, let’s ROLL!
And then, as I cleaned up afterwards, I was suddenly in the mood for something else ENTIRELY. Insert another one of the best artist’s of all time, with one of the best album’s of all time…
The artist formerly known as…
“And if the elevator tries to break down, GO CRAZY!”
And what an amazing sentiment that is. He is totally telling us to just lose it next time something doesn’t go to plan, as opposed to trying to keep calm and hold it together.
Just let loose.
From the 90s, to the 2000s, and then back to the 80s, the music genres in our household moved with my moods, but every time I found something amazing that complimented how I was feeling…
I haven’t been writing as much as I like, and that’s got a bit to do with this cv business and balancing working from home with schooling baby girl from home, but it’s more to do with the OTHER.
The other is me fuelling all my creative energy into cooking new recipes.
It isn’t hard to find them after all. So many more people are putting together live recordings and sharing extra recipes to help us deal with this isolation, and just as well because we need something to do with all the extra time we aren’tgoing out.
And just the other day, I fell in love with a recipe idea I have been toying with for years now.
It was gnocchi. Rather, it has always been gnocchi. But this version was a sweet potato gnocchi.
Nom nom nom.
You know, some time ago I bought a packet of gnocchi from the shops, at the height of the shopping-covid frenzy when pasta was getting low to nothing on shelves… and I thought, being from a nice grocer and all, that this gnocchi would also be, nice.
I have only ever had, smooth, delicious, pillowy puffs of homemade or restaurant high-grade quality gnocchi.
So imagine my disappointment when this gnocchi tasted like plastic.
It was NOT nice. It honestly had a fake, manufactured taste, and I was spurred by the idea of homemade gnocchi even more.
So earlier this week when I saw Leah Itsines, self-taught cook, post on facebook that she was doing a live and making sweet potato gnocchi, I knew that soon, I would be too.
How great is technology? I knew I couldn’t follow her to make it at the exact time she did, but she was posting the video on YouTube later, so all I had to do was go to her channel today and voila!
The instructions were all there.
My gnocchi was deliciously homemade. It was so refreshing, to have it not taste like plastic! What do you know??? In fact, it tasted anything but. I think I made a pretty great first time gnocchi, and I even have extra that I have frozen for another time so that is SUPER EXCITING.
But that’s not even it. No folks. Topping that homemade sweet potato gnocchi was Jamie Oliver’s 3 minute tomato pasta sauce… another food guru I have started following lately!
And just as well that I had a 3 minute sauce recipe, since it took me hours and 26 dishes to make the gnocchi.
(All hail the dishwasher).
It’s so satisfying to make your own food. It’s amazing to experiment with different dishes, flavours and ingredients, and even to go out on a whim and try something you’ve been scared to for so long.
I can’t believe I made gnocchi, I am still so excited about it!
Next on my experimentation list? Well Leah has also made dumplings, and I LOVE DUMPLINGS… Marion Grasby has an egg drop soup that looks incredible… and Jamie Oliver and Oprah Winfrey recently made his Singapore-style fried rice together, over video call of course… ahh.
Who would even think about putting those two in the same sentence?
Sushi, with mango?
It’s the most random of combinations, and it could only come from the mouth of a child, as the comedic trio of Joe, Carlo and Andrew found out when Joe’s toddler uttered the words while running rampant one day.
Sooshi mango was born. And they have given us plenty of belly-aching, toppled-over, can’t-breathe-no-more massive laughing seshes.
I love these guys. There is nothing better than spending any free time devouring the videos they’ve posted on social media, and fortunately for us all in iso, they’ve been posting A LOT more.
They always make me laugh. At the moment bestie and I tag each other in new videos that come out, but I always end up watching so many more because I just can’t help it.
They mimic the ethnic background I, and so many of my family and friends around us have grown up privy to. Our parents and grandparents, talk and have talked in this abrupt, direct, no-fuss and mixed English kind of way, and a lot of the European descendants that hail from there, can relate to the sketches in their hilarious comedy.
Did I mention they swear? Yes they swear soooo much. And in the language of the people that came before us, it is even MORE funny. Even if you have a pole up your bum when it comes to foul language, you can’t not laugh at this!
(Ok, maybe you still might have a pole up your bum, but you might end up giggling just a bit).
(If you don’t then go away). 😉
I have so many favourites… damn I just can’t choose.
Ethnic Mum Christmas food insults. OMG. I know women who act and talk like this (and even look like this!)
Supermarket shopping done right at La Manna’s. Oh good God.
When Ethnics say goodbye.
Ethnic Dads in the garden.
Ethnic Dads playing cards.
Oh I just love them ALL!
Do yourself a favour and check them out their YouTube channel… or follow them on facebook and insta.
Oh what the hell. Here’s a taste.
(It took me double the time to write this post due to Sooshi Mango ‘research,’ and now I can’t stop grinning :):):) )
I am always on the lookout for ideas to keep baby girl busy at home, now that we are in the middle of this indefinite isolation period.
So I love when I find ideas that are not only fantastic, but support small business too.
Insert, Billie’s Place.
They’ve joined other businesses in creatively looking for ways to keep running by providing certain home deliveries to customers in the light of shop lockdowns happening all around.
I found out about these mail-out fairy houses on social media… and thought it was a fabulous idea. I jumped on board and ordered one for my own fairy princess.
Today, on this still and sunny Autumn’s day, we set about putting it together.
It was the perfect hump-day activity… though to be honest, every day kind of feels like hump day at the moment, right?
Here’s some more sparkle.
And done. It was as much fun for us, watching baby girl’s excited expression as she got creative and added bling and greenery everywhere, and anything that makes us forget what is going on in the world right now… is priceless.
There was taste-tasting, coffee making, and puzzle doing… it was relaxing, and with the wind howling and sheets of rain coming down outside, there was really no better place than to be at home.
Our cat Mister F slept for about five hours on the couch. It was that type of day.
Then at night, on random we started to dance in the kitchen.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know that’s a common eventin our household. Somehow though, we just haven’t had much of a chance or opportunity to dance all together on a Saturday night.
It seems for the moment though, we will have an indefinite amount of time to dance in the kitchen.
What made it better, was I started off reluctant. All I wanted to do was settle back on the couch. It was like I was so used to doing nothing, that I just wanted to go back and do NOTHING.
But as the saying goes… if you can’t beat them, join them.
Which is what I did. I participated in baby girl’s little dance-off contest, and before I knew it, was galloping and pirouetting across the kitchen floor and almost colliding with Hubbie and baby girl but doubling over with laughter.
And I was so glad I caved in. So glad we mucked about and went stupid and got warm amidst a really freezing day. And though we aren’t all tik tok savvy to have recorded it for the world to see, there is something else I captured…
Our little tennis match. I saw the best idea on facebook a while ago. Take two wooden spoons or other long-shaped utensils, tape it to the back of some paper plates, then using some stools/chairs, drape a blanket/tablecover over it to create…
A tennis stadium IN YOUR HOUSE.
Oh, and the ball? A balloon. It even acts like a ball if it’s been hanging around the house for a few days, flying irrationally and without care through the air, making it more challenging to hit.
Let it howl. Let it rain. We’ve got the home isolation entertainment down pat.
The other night my phone did that messenger ‘ding!’ And without fail I said to Hubbie, “that might be my writing friends.”
That’s it. I’m done.
I have made it.
I have a writing group. ✍📖
It was such an amazing realisation. They are the people I’ve met in my online course, and we have been reading each other’s work for months now, getting revved up and also totally paranoid and anxiety-ridden over the fact that we need to submit full novels for review and feedback by next weekend.
Not stressing… much… ???
But they make everything okay. We added each other as friends on facebook and have started our own chat away from the restrictions of the online classroom. Most days someone will post something helpful or share some personal writing thoughts, or just cry that they are about to pull out of the course and we will all be like “don’t you dare!”
It’s a lovely place to be,and be a part of. I shared my own structural journey with my novel, taking a photo of the unique way in which I am trying to work out the narrative and see where my themes, characters and rising tension is occurring… yeah unique way, on the floor.
Yep, there you have it. Your first look at my novel! Good luck making sense of it though (I am struggling too). 🤣
But having people to bounce off ideas, inspire you to keep going, and remind you that after all of this they will be attending your book launch (!), well it’s completely heart warming.
Amazing. It’s a bloody great place to be, and I am so chuffed to be a part of it.
It came at the best time for my sister to call in on an impromptu visit.
She had spotted something on facebook marketplace, without even searching for it, and decided she needed a real-life inspection.
What do you know, it was in MY neighbourhood.
What do you know, when she got talking to the seller, they had A LOT in common.
What do you know… when the seller said something about the Universe bringing you what you need, sis was thinking the exact same thing.
What do you know.
But do you wanna know what is most freaky?
I was looking for a sign. A sign that someone up there gave a shit about me today. A sign that someone was listening. A sign that not all efforts were futile, a sign that some semblance of my life still mattered.
And what do you know… my sister dropped by.
Just like that.
I’ve been having some really crappy days in amongst this late-Spring random cold I’ve caught, and it’s subsequently messed with my head… but all I can say is, the drop by tonight was not only welcome…
Until I moved here, I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed one very particular thing.
MARKETS. On the Mornington Peninsula, they are abundant in their offerings.
They happen all the time. Every weekend you will find a market happening somewhere. There are seasonal markets, monthly market, and even weekly markets.
The Mornington Wednesday Market occurs on the Main Street every hump day, rain hail or shine.
The Mt Eliza Farmers Market is held on the 4th Sunday of each month.
And then you’ll find something like the Emu Plains Market in Balnarring, open once-monthly on Saturdays through the warmer months, and then hibernates their stalls, food trucks and jumping castle, over Winter.
So many markets.
There are specialty markets that appear at the same time each year, and there are also new markets being created ALL THE TIME.
I personally, love it.
And yet I nearly missed today’s one. Thank God for social media. Facebook gave me a reminder last night, and so after picking up baby girl from school, we freshened up at home before heading down the road to the –
Soul Market. Yep.
This one is held once, maybe twice yearly. It’s a smaller venue, but so close to us, that if I knew I wouldn’t have to drag a tired baby girl home once all was looked at and oohed and ahhed, we could have a really good walk up and back from there.
We walked the rooms, shared some twisted potatoes, and enjoyed the fact, that hell, it was Friday.
For a small market, it was really high in quality with what I was presented with. I saw a lot of beautiful and special things, and, I couldn’t help myself…
I bought things. 🤭
Can you blame me? I happened across a row of Vintage dresses with the price tag of $25 tagged on the top of the clothes rack, and then I spied a really cute and fun dress, and a familiar tag…
I didn’t even try it on. I put it on later at home. 😉
And that other item there? Natural deodorant. I have seen these things around lately in many forms and brands, and so when I saw the lovely lady there with pamphlets in hand and ready to offer demonstrations (and apply all the different kinds to my skin, now that is personal service!) I was more than ready to buy.
It was a nice and slow afternoon wind-down, a wind-down from this week, this month, and this cold weather…
And to think, I could possibly do it all again, as soon as this Sunday.
Because it’s the Mornington Racecourse Market. 🤷♀️🤣