#459 Local help

Everywhere I turned, I seemed to run into them. People at the shops, bumping into their friends. Acquaintances. People from down the road. A local they hadn’t seen in a while.

Two women stood in front of the apples talking about how it was when they ‘showed’ so early for their second child. The grocer guy sang out to his buddy stocking up corn, and they chatted loudly about people they knew from other stores.

Another older woman held her arms out in an embrace as she came across another woman, and then the woman being hugged pointed to a third woman and said “this used to be my neighbour.” I saw them picking out groceries together and helping the older woman later on.

Two old ladies stood at the entrance to the biscuit aisle, whispering lowly about God-knows-what, but their faces were so solemn I nearly hung out a second longer to catch a word or two about the latest scandal, I could only assume.

I felt a bit left out. I couldn’t just bump into someone I knew in our town. Not yet. I didn’t know anybody. Baby girl was slowly making friends at kinder – soon she would know people out and about. Hubbie was also now working locally, so he too was recognising faces here and there. I was still based out of town, WAY out of town for work, so I wasn’t really based in any such way in our new town, not yet.

Not yet. I told myself this. I told myself, as I smiled at the exchanges I came across, wishfully thinking that my time would come, and soon enough, I would be bumping into people, and saying “oh hey! How have you been?” Maybe I would talk about how the corn was in season. Or maybe I would indulge in some scandal/gossip or two.

Or maybe all of the above. If I was lucky.

And this I pondered, as I searched for fresh yeast.

It was becoming extremely difficult to find. Back where we used to live in the Northern suburbs, I knew exactly where to find, and where to go for the fiddly, specific, random items I sometimes required. Fortunately for me, where I used to buy yeast was just around the corner from me, at a continental deli in the large shopping centre in town. There were that many wogs, (ahem) Europeans there, of course they had fresh yeast for sale, frequently. It wasn’t odd to look for it.

Here however:

“No we don’t sell it,” said one gourmet deli cashier to me, as she genuinely looked quizzical, adding that she didn’t know where I could buy it while looking around to serve the next person and get rid of me.

“I don’t know where we get it from,” said the bakery lady who had walked out to place bread on the shelves in Woolies, implying that yes they had it, but no, they did not SELL IT.

Where was I going to get fresh yeast from? It almost seemed like I was asking for a Unicorn’s horn, or something. People looked at me like “Wowzee, geez, good luck.” I was making a bunch of bread-like cheese rolls for my parents’ upcoming anniversary, and I was going to make them tomorrow. So I needed to buy the yeast, NOW.

I decided nothing was lost by asking the cashier who had put through my items a previous time at Woolies. She seemed like a really lovely person. As she weighed my apples, I asked, “do you know where I could find fresh yeast around here?”

She thought for a moment, throwing a bit of a clueless look as so many before her had thrown when I had posed my question, and then turned to the Mum with two kids behind me who was placing her groceries on the conveyor belt, and without hesitating asked “where can you buy fresh yeast around here?”

They knew each other.

This Mum was lovely and started rattling off heaps of names. One on the Main street, and then the cashier jumped in and mentioned a grocery store in town.

“My Hubbie works there actually” I said. “I’m just waiting for him to get back to me on that.”

The Mum then remembered a gourmet/organic grocer that was a few shops down in the little centre we were in, and immediately I was like “of course!” How could I have forgotten that little unique and quirky-buys place?

I high-tailed it out of there after thanking them, and upon walking into the gourmet grocer, came across a very smiley lady at the counter.

“Do you sell fresh yeast?”

“You know who would know that? Our chef. And she so happens to be a few doors down. Follow me.”

And just like that, she left her post in the grocer store at the counter, and walked off, me following her with my trolley full of groceries, containing almost everything BUT fresh yeast. She kindly introduced me to the chef who was chatting with another shop owner, and then left to resume her post, while I asked wide-eyed “was there any fresh yeast around here?”

The chef, was super-friendly. She was surprised Woolies hadn’t just given me some, but said to try all the bakeries in the area… she mentioned the Baker’s Delight just several stores down, and Banjos on Main street, and then another fine foods deli off the Main street. She was so friendly and helpful, and placed confidence in me that I WOULD find it.

I still tentatively walked to Baker’s and when it was my turn to be served, asked all high-pitched “do you sell fresh yeast here?”

“Yeah” responded the cashier with no confusion or Unicorn horn- questioned look.

Finally!

And so, I got my damn fresh yeast. The locals had been lovely, and gone out of their way to help me, just as you would expect in a village-type seaside town.

And just as I had been wondering how long it would talk to get it, the fresh yeast came across my path quite suddenly, as it had been there in front of me, all along…

And I realised that like the yeast rising, hopefully so too would my ‘locals’ friend list also go up… much sooner than I expected.

 

#453 Photos

My sister always says, that it is so worth taking heaps of photos, for the memories that will come to you later as you look back on them.

She speaks with a lot of experience. She takes, HEAPS of photos.

She doesn’t have many photos of when she was a baby, and so I think she has spent the majority of her life, kind of making up for that fact, and making sure that her kids, will have tonnes of them.

I think I’ve kind of taken that from her. I too, love photos. Currently there are approximately, no exaggeration, 2000 of them waiting to be filed into photo albums at my less than likely leisure. I fell behind before baby girl was born, and thinking like the stupid parentless ‘know-it-all’ I was, that I would catch up while on maternity leave with her…

Yeah, right. Like that ever happened. 3 and a half years later and they’re still PILING UP.

But anyway. I love them, and in the most old school way – hard copy in a PHOTO ALBUM.

I’ve been doing heaps with photos lately, and it’s just reminded me how amazing and beautiful these snapshots into time can be.

In just over a week we’ll be celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We’re doing a few special things on the night, and one of them, to highlight their 5 decades together, is the photo collage I’m putting together, of one decade each per large cardboard sheet of paper, with as many photos as I can possibly muster crammed into all 5 sheets.

When I took my usb stick of anniversary photos over the years to the photo centre, there were 647 files.

647 photos.

I knew I had to scale that back, BIG TIME.

I told myself I’d only select 150…

then I got to 150 and said I’d select up to 200…

then I got to 200 and said 250 MAX.

Which is how I ended up at 255. Close enough.

Today when I took the developed photos to my sister’s place, for our little debrief over the anniversary party (who would sit where, what we would say, what would go where, what time that would occur, etc, etc), she flipped through the photos quickly, grinning and letting out “oh wow!”s, complimenting the broad selection, and happily going back in time to as far back as the late 60s, as she saw my parents journey again from start to current day.

Seeing the reaction on her face was great, and later at home as I trimmed the photos back, removing blank spaces and tightening it up so I could surely fit 50 photos per large page, I couldn’t help but pause and smile several times, observing my parents youthful looks, almost laughing out loud when my parents were too laughing in the photos, grinning with fondness at family photos through the decades, and just generally reminiscing with warmth in my heart.

I know, I sound like a hallmark card. But really, I loved it. I love photos. And I think the guests at the party, my parents’ family and friends, and my parents especially, will really enjoy the snapshot through the ages.

50 Golden Ages. 🙂

#414 The Crew unites

Tonight, Good Friday Eve. It’s not often that me and my high school friends get together. I mean, the original group. Although the last time it was December, before that, it was years. And before that, more years.

You know when you are so busy, that pre-confirmed plans just bug you? Well sorry to say, that’s how I felt about tonight.

The house is a mess,…I need to get ready for weekend work… I need to clean… I need to put clothes away… and I have a tonne of Easter baking to do…

These were my thoughts. They kept whirring around my head up until about 4pm today.

And then I went ‘screw that.’

I got dolled up, embraced the girl club spirit, and headed on over to the Fitzroy Social to meet up with the other 5 gals of the crew. It was a great catch up, and we of course had the required end of night photo, both smiley, and goofy faces present.

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18 year old me would have been in shock horror at my stupid excuse of ‘the house is a mess’ to even contemplate not going out for a catch-up… and yet my 33 year old self was just feeling like it was all too much.

But I realised something as I drove home later from this great night out. I thought:

If my house is a mess…

If I’m late getting ready for work on the weekend…

If my house remains dirty for a day or two longer…

If the clothes hang around unfolded a while longer…

And even if I don’t bake all that I intend to for Easter…

IT WILL BE WORTH IT, because I had a great night catching up with dear friends. My time will feel well-spent, as I would have had fun in my precious time – not spent doing some boring household chore, but instead, reconnecting, bonding and having the bestest of convos and laughs with my high school friends.

I am still baffled by how our minds and thoughts change as we grow older. Sometimes for good, sometimes for stupid! I mean, worried about a clean house as opposed to a catch-up? Come on.

We need to think more like teenagers, like children. Then maybe the world’s problems would be solved. Then maybe the world would be a happier place 🙂

The boring stuff can wait. The boring stuff should always wait.

Screw the responsibilities. Have fun!

#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 🙂

 

#367 The calm after the Partays

Thursday was a full on day. Kinder for baby girl. My 5 hours ‘off,’ were actually crammed in with everything and anything I could think of.

We had visitors over that night, my cousins.

Friday night (yesterday) we had an engagement. I slept 4 hours. Got up to work today. Groggily.

We had a birthday on tonight. Drove to the other side of town. Drove back. I don’t know how many hours of sleep I’ll get tonight. I’m working tomorrow, again.

And although there is one more ‘task,’ to tick of my to-do list, that of work for the weekend, I sure am glad that the festivity part is over, at least for now.

Don’t get me wrong. I love heading out, getting dressed up, having fun, socialising, and watching baby girl thrive amidst it all.

But I haven’t stopped. I’m tired. I still need to work. We’re all getting under the weather.

We just need to stop and take a moment to breathe. In peace.

And so, I am hopeful, that finally the calm has come. And I’m so grateful for it.

#360 Damaged blinds

Am I grateful that the blinds are damaged?

???

I sure as hell am not grateful that my friend’s child damaged baby girl’s bedroom blinds today.

And I sure as hell as hell am not grateful that she clearly saw and tried to cover it up, or else how the hell did the blinds look all rolled up and tidy?

And I sure as hell am not grateful that my friend referred to my daughter as ‘cheeky’ when her child is a destroyer!

And I sure as hell am not grateful that she doesn’t go as far as to invite people over to her house which she keeps untouched from other children, yet is more than happy to go to others’ where her children will wreak havoc!

No, I sure as hell am not grateful for ANY of those things.

What I do hold consolation in is the fact that these blinds, although new and untouched (until today), will eventually be replaced.

Not in the next year or so. Maybe a 5 year project. So I will have to look at baby girl’s damaged blinds for the next however many years thinking of my friend’s child’s face.

And grunt.

But at least they’re not our ‘ideal’ blinds.

Trying really hard right now. Trying to summon forth the glass half-full view of post #1…

Grrr, argh.

#323 Post New Year’s Countdown with Best Friends

Saturday January 12, 2017.

It is almost 10pm. On the dot. Coincidentally.

Music is BLARING. (Sia).

Scene? Best Man and Fam’s house.

The kids have just finished going through a box of sparklers. They have been looking forward to lighting them up ALL night.

Party atmosphere is turned ON.

Suddenly, someone mentions that it feels like New Year’s Eve. We’ve spent it together before, but not the one that just passed.

Hubbie decides a countdown. And the older kids join in.

“10, 9, 8” (Just a few of them)

“7, 6, 5” (Some adults join in)

“4, 3, 2, 1” (We’re all chanting now)

“Happy New Year!”

Everyone yells and jumps around. Out on the alfresco part of the yard, they all begin walking to one another with kisses and hugs, wishing each other a Happy New Year. They do it with love and happiness, yet so seriously, like it is REALLY Happy New Year.

Even the kids start going around and shaking hands with each other. Like we are talking two 3 year olds, a 7 and a 9 year old.

When they come to me to kiss me Happy New Year, I am laughing so hard I can barely reciprocate. “What are the neighbours going to think?”

10pm on Jan 12 it’s New Year’s?

I reciprocate the kisses and hugs, still laughing.

“It actually feels like New Year’s!” Someone exclaims.

THIS IS SOME OF THE RANDOM SHIT YOU DO WITH YOUR BEST FRIENDS.

And it totally rocks.

What makes it more awesome is our kids are in on the act too.

I am so happy, and grateful for these memorable moments. 🙂