#877 Shopping with my girl no.8

It is so true that forcing yourself to get out and about when you’re not up for it, can really do wonders for you.

And having a convincing baby girl on board to coax you along, helps too.

As a parent, it’s really hard to say no when your kids are so damn cute and clever.

So, feeling under the weather, light-headed and all spaced out, we headed over to Southland today, amidst headache, crankiness, and cramps…

ALL MINE.

It was great though. After our argument within 10 minutes of being there. We got the shouting out of the way (what will happen to me when she is 14, and not 4?!?!) and then proceeded to actually have, the best day.

Spending money is a really great way to feel better. I know I’ve said this before, but it is so true. We made use of our time, eating and cafe-ing our way throughout the centre, and getting a few bits and pieces along the way too.

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She got a couple of books that she loves, from discovering them at kinder/the library; I got a book on handling fear, something I desperately need as the necessity to share more of my writings and work grows, and with it the inevitable audience which quite frankly SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME; some Lego, and a dress for her; and for me/us, a Queen album.

But none of that quite compares to the highlight of our shopping day, which cost absolutely nothing, and gave both baby girl and I insurmountable laughs and joy. Because as we were lunching, I somehow decided to open up my messenger app and show her the filters you could place over our selfie portraits.

What a can of worms… and a fun one at that! We went through filter upon filter, checking them out, watching our faces and features change and distort upon the application, and we roared and shrieked with laughter. We had our lunches half-eaten in front of us, and here we were in a room full of people, cacking up like we were the only ones in it.

It was, absolutely the best. And well, that kind of ruins my earlier hypothesis…

Because it was FREE.

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#875 Sunday funday BIG day

Today’s super BIG day started at the super wee early hour of 5am.

And it wasn’t accidental or by unwanted force – no, the wake up call was all instigated by ME.

Crazy huh? Yeah, I know. I even set the alarm and EVERYTHING.

If it hadn’t been for the mammoth day ahead, my wake up call would have been an hour earlier… but alas, I needed some sleep. I knew what was ahead of us, and yet I also knew that I couldn’t miss out on possible celebrations…

So I left my phone on silent on the bedside table as I went to bed on Saturday night, the FIFA schedule and results up on my internet browser, so that when the alarm did wake me at 5am, I would see the half-time scores of the FIFA game playing right then.

I figured if my team were losing by a big margin, I would keep on sleeping.. anything close in competition, and it meant wakey wakey for me.

It read Croatia – 1: Russia – 1

Damn. Kind of. RIP sleep. It would have to come another day.

So my first gratitude of the day came after several dozen heart attacks through the roller coaster of a match, where FINALLY Croatia won in yet another penalty shoot-out!

Guys! What are you doing to me?!?! :):):)

There was no point in going back to bed. Because there were places to be.

The first show of the day brought with it my second gratitude.

Lah Lah’s Big Live Band 10th Birthday show. Can I just reiterate how amazing they are? It certainly isn’t the first time we have seen them or been up close and personal… but not only did Tom Tom the drummer willingly and of his own accord sign all of the to drums before the show, but Lah Lah added to it with her own signature, on the drum and on the mini doll.
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My third gratitude of the day came with the realisation of an exhibition I have been longing to see. The thought of works from New York being shown outside of the States and in Australia was reason enough on its own, but knowing I could see up close and personal some incredible and influential art, one of which is a favourite of mine in both artist and painting, was an opportunity I couldn’t ignore.

My favourite, (top right) ‘The Persistence of Memory,’ by Salvador Dali. Did you know Dali used the hypnagogic method in helping to inspire his artwork, whereby he would take his daily siesta holding a spoon above a plate… and when it fell, it woke him, taking him from the grey area between awake and sleeping, this pre-sleep stage that provided him with the most fantastical images of the unconscious world.

Crazy. My kind of crazy though. 😉

And last but not sleep… the final gratitude of the day. From merely a decade of Lah Lah, to a century of Disney on Ice!

 

The best parts? Discovering our seats were THE BOMB, along with watching baby girl act out with absolute glee all of the Frozen scenes, pure joy for her since she was dressed as the Ice Queen herself 🙂

And right now, I am pooped. It was an amazing day, a BIG day, but I need balance.

Tomorrow, I might have to do BIG NOTHING.

And I will be BIG grateful for it 🙂

#831 Friday night friend fun

You don’t need cocktails.

You don’t need food.

You don’t need a happening hotspot.

Nor do you need lights, crowds, people and ambience to fill the scene.

All you need are your friends…

And now I’m going to eat my words (along with tonight’s not-so-mild curry) and say that I had ALL of these tonight!

But seriously, I might as well have been eating fish and chips from a dodgy booth somewhere for all I cared. Sure the surroundings were cool, and I love heading out to different and new places… but when you are in certain company, and you realise that where you are doesn’t really matter, just THEY do…

That’s a good sign. 🙂

 

 

#784 Evening park fun

I’ve now decided something: the best way to end the weekend, one filled with work and commitments and long-drives and rushing and pressure pressure pressure, is…

With a park visit.

And baby girl was ALL too happy to oblige.

Rather, we were obliging her. Before heading back to our side of town, from the other side of town, we stopped over at a park near the MILs place.

And it wasn’t just baby girl getting into it.

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It wasn’t just Hubbie acting like an 8 year-old monkey again.

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But Mama Lion decided to have a swing at it too.

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There’s nothing quite like playing like a child, with your child, to bring out your inner child.

It is always there. Buried deep, just waiting to swing on the swings and climb on top of the monkey bars and act like responsibility is just one L-O-N-G BIG word again.

The best end to the day. 🙂

 

#727 Fine drink, fine food, and fine company

There is nothing better is there, than to catch up with loved ones and eat ’til your hearts content, drink just as much, and blab your deepest desires, sing from the depths of your loins, and just have a ‘bloody’ good time?

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This all happened tonight, and every time we have nights like this, I do NOT take them for granted. I am always grateful for the love, laughs, support and great memories we make together.

Just another Saturday night, but also another BEST night.

#719 Mini movie time

It was a full and fun day for baby girl and I, what with shopping, gift buying, babycinos and pink doughnuts to boot.

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But none of that compares to the quiet moment we had after.

While purchasing one of our many things for the day, being the highly-anticipated new JT album (!) baby girl decided she too had to have a new disc. I told her no, as she already has about 35 DVDs (probably no exaggeration), but then I had an idea. I had a Moana idea.

Every parent under the sun asks me about this movie. They say “oh, has she watched Moana yet?” and when I reply “no,” they say “it’s really good.”

Really good.

But I figure she doesn’t need to be inundated with all the great kids flicks at once. I even held off on introducing her to Frozen years ago for that very reason (also to escape that highly addictive ‘Let It Go’ number).

But today, as she was asking for something, and I figured she had been so good for kinder yesterday… I picked up the Moana DVD facing us, discounted too. I mean, I had already decided, right? But that only made the decision easier.

When we got home, I put it on for her. And then I did something I don’t do often… I sat down. I told her I’d only watch it with her for 5 minutes, and then I had to go do “Mummy jobs.”

But it was a Disney movie. Which meant of course, it sucked me right in.

5 minutes later and I was almost sobbing, with baby girl turning to me with concern and saying gently “it’s ok Mama, it’s ok… her Tato find her.”

Oh GAWD.

Time passed, and passed, and I was LOVING this movie.

It was really good.

After about 40 minutes of quality viewing time with my girl/my arse planted firmly on the carpet, I dragged myself off to go and prepare some dinner, or else all that would be on the menu was a whole lot of “How Far I’ll Go.”

Even so, I kept peeking around the corner to see the storyline’s progression, and then at the end when the food was all underway and getting going, I sat down to finish it off.

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And though it had been a full day, of walking around, laughing, spending money and eating out, the most precious time had been with my girl, watching Moana from the floor of her play area.

The best things in life are free… (or $15 as was the Moana DVD… 😉 )

#712 Family Fun on Jan 26th

Today is a day that divides many people from the land down under.

January 26th – Australia Day. A national holiday to celebrate our achievements as Australians, to recognise how far we’ve come, and to reflect on our culture.

The local park down by the beach ran a huge Australia Day event, and naturally, we all headed on down.

It was a very pro-Australia Day experience. Flags abounded, Union Jacks on clothing, and green and gold was the norm. Massive theme park rides were spaced on the perimeter of the park, food trucks on one end, and a stage for live music on the other.

These people came here to celebrate Australia day – or as was in our case, to take advantage of the free entertainment.

But there is a movement, a wave of people that has been increasing exponentially, that believes we should not celebrate Australia Day on January 26th.

And I agree.

BUT that does NOT mean I am not proud to be an Australian.

January 26th is not the day the First Fleet landed in this country, as many people are led to believe. In fact it is believed to have occurred in 1788, somewhere between Jan 18-20, and the 26th is the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney Cove, to declare British Sovereignty.

Australia Day was celebrated in Sydney on January 26th in those early days, before other states took on the holiday too, but they did this on different days, like Tasmania’s ‘Regatta Day,’ or South Australia’s ‘Proclamation Day.’ This was the case for 200 years, and only in 1935 did it become nationally recognised and celebrated, even then only being declared as a holiday in 1994.

In that way, Australia Day as we know it today, is fairly new.

The day January 26th, is known as ‘Invasion Day’ or ‘Survival Day’ to these Anti-Aus Day Jan 26-ers. Because it signalled the end of 50,000 years of Indigenous occupation on this land, which then led to brutal colonisation. Massacres of the Aboriginal people took place, land was taken, and children removed from their parents. The stolen generation was born, and many Indigenous descendants grew up not knowing where they came from.

The pain, suffering and loss the Indigenous community experienced is more than profound. And that doesn’t include the repercussions echoing out to this current day. To think of what they have had to endure, not just over years, but decades and centuries, with oppression and hate and discrimination, when all they were doing were living on their land… a sorry will just not do.

But it was done. In 2008 the Australian Prime Minister formally apologised to the Aboriginal community – for the successive laws and policies of previous governments that inflicted severe pain and grief onto their families and communities.

January 26th, the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney in 1788, is then a representation of all that preceded, and all that was lost to the Indigenous community when the First Fleet arrived. The slavery, the violence, the oppression. It is a day of mourning for many. Rightly so.

My ancestors were NOT from that First Fleet. In fact, in 1788, my ancestors were probably farming cattle in a remote and poverty-stricken land somewhere in the Balkan region of Europe. My parents came to Australia in 1970, for a better life. It is the story of so many European immigrants, and continues to be so to this day. They came from nothing, from having to work so hard just to be able to obtain, I don’t know, a bike… over the span of a YEAR… and the opportunity to come to a “land of plenty,” where stories of filling up a trolley with fruit and vegetables with only $2, and realising after their first pay check working in the factory, that they could achieve so much more here in months, than they could achieve over there in years… that is the history I grew up with.

I grew up hearing, how Australia saved my parents. In doing so, they saved my sister and I. I grew up hearing of the comparisons between my parents’ beloved native country, and the ‘lucky country.’ They have such respect for where they came from, and when you ask them their nationality – they are Australian. Proudly so.

I have seen more of my family come from overseas. They didn’t come here to brutalise and oppress any minority or otherwise group, just as my parents didn’t. No, they came here for a better life, for a chance at something greater, even to escape WAR. They came here because they heard things were good, and they wanted to see things for themselves.

They have all stayed. We ALL have.

The Australia I have lived with, and which has been represented to me, is a good one, a noble one. I know things are not perfect, and there is always something the government must do better. But here, there is democracy. Freedom of speech. There is strong multiculturalism. People are kind. People are friendly. People love to connect.

However, bad things were done, many, many years ago, and despite the fact that we can’t go back, we can try to make things work as a unified community.

A country, united as one.

Both black and white, coming together.

But it has to be a conscious and integrated effort from both parties. There are white people I know that complain of the country we live in, or talk about how shit Australia is, or how that ‘other’ country is soooo much better.

Well move then. Go on, piss off (as a true blue Aussie would say). Don’t hang around here gaining benefits and working and earning Australian coin, when you know of so much better.

You are ungrateful. We don’t want you.

Likewise I have heard some other pretty horrible things today. I have heard of Indigenous people at Invasion Day rallies, saying “F*&k Australia, hope it burns to the ground.”

This makes me terribly sad. Sad for the mourning this person would have experienced to want the country they live in, the country we ALL live in, to burn to pieces.

Like I said, both parties need to want to move forward, peacefully. Slandering will not make things better. And it unfortunately won’t change the past.

Whether like me, my ancestors were not part of that First Fleet, or like other Australians, perhaps they were… the power to want to change the future is out there. People want to make amends for the past, whether they are white or black… but a person living in Melbourne today, should not be blamed for what their Father did in February 1st 1985 for example… just as today’s First Fleet descendants that want to change for the better, should not be blamed for what their ancestors were part of from 1788 onwards.

The idea is out there, that Australia Day needs to be moved to another date, or it is abolished all together and another day that celebrates both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities coming together, is created.

I believe this is the only way forward. I think respect needs to be shown to the original people of this land, and January 26th and Australia Day, are synonymous no more.

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Soooo…..

I went to the park today. I was happy to be amidst our community of proud Australians – Australians that love the country they live in, the people in it, and the culture that lives on.

Was I celebrating Australia Day? Hmm, not quite. I was celebrating the life I live…

But that I do every day. Because I am grateful for the place that I reside in the world.

I am grateful for MY history. I am grateful for the choices my parents made. And I am grateful that change is coming to respect the life and culture of those who inhabited this land 200 years before any white people were on it.

I had my own family fun day, and I enjoyed the fact of some extra time together, with them.

I hope wherever you were in the world, your day of January 26 was great too…

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