#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?


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.


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.”


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.


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.



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…




#711 ‘Work’-ing it out

There’s just something that happens when you combine your work friends, with alcohol.

I don’t know why it is. Maybe because you spend most of the day getting shit done, talking about shit, and complaining about shit, that if the opportunity arises to drink with any of your fellow shit-talkers, well you don’t miss the chance to get shit-faced.

Ok, so maybe my shit-face drinking days are over. But still, its nice to hang out with my work colleagues, after work. And have a drink or two.


Something happens. This connection arises. Not that it hasn’t been there before. Sure, you share the same workplace. There is teamwork involved. You need to talk to each other – it is a prerequisite.

But then you ask about each other’s lives. Your spouses, your parents. Real care and concern.

What, you live where? How old is she now?

Clink clink.

What did you do to your kitchen? I like that brickwork.

Do you remember when we started… hang on who else was here before me?

Clink clink.

– How long do you think we have here…

-2-5 years tops.

-I’ll open a Butcher shop with Hubbie then.


-I lay the blame on you!

-I begged for the job!

-Ok so I will shift the blame… to HIM.


Tonight the drinks were for a couple of colleagues leaving us – so it was bittersweet. But nonetheless a great excuse to remember, reminisce, and look forward to the future with wonder, curiosity, and Hope.

Because although we don’t always know where we are headed, or what is around the corner, if we at least have good people – NO, great work people –  around us, life becomes much, much easier.

CLINK to that.


#705 Cooling down at LEGOLAND

On day 2 of what to do when you are stuck in 35+ degree heat with no air con at home…

I actually wouldn’t have even thought to go to LEGOLAND today, if it weren’t for the extreme heat. So maybe I will be grateful for it…


l’ll dedicate this one to the weird and wonderful things we saw at the ‘mini brick mansion’ instead.

I mean, it’s not like we had never planned on going to LEGOLAND… baby girl sure loves her Lego, and can’t wait ’til she turns 5 so she can accumulate even more Lego (I have to impose a pretend age ban, or else we’d be swimming in these pointy shaped blocks in our house).

The only LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Australia is situated in Chadstone shopping centre, Melbourne. It’s a bit of a hefty entry price per single admission, of $32.50 a pop (sheesh!) but you do get access to a whole heap of free things. My thoughts are that with an annual pass costing you $75.00 a person, if you are bound to go at least twice a year, you’ve paid off your ticket, with the annual pass coming with freebies like special event invites and 10% off the Lego store too.

The website also advises that you can book and even schedule a time in advance to visit, so as to avoid the disappointment of possibly waiting if you do just ‘rock up’ like baby girl and I did today, hoping to just walk on in… having said that, we easily walked in, and still found it packed to the rafters inside with adults and kids, and it is school holidays too! Perhaps it gets even busier on weekends? Something to consider.

Upon entry we walked into a room where we were told to stand on a red dot and pose for a camera. I didn’t like this, only because I knew I would later be easily persuaded to buy the photos of myself and baby girl for a hefty price… which I did, for a hefty price! $45 to be exact!

But they were pretty cool, and showcased both of us in various Lego scenes, and to be honest we looked good, and if we didn’t I wouldn’t have bothered. Onwards.

The next room was the Lego ‘tour,’ which was really just a circular room with screens all around, with little cartoon people talking to us about how Legos are made, and all kind of fun statistics and info for kids… maybe older kids, but it was nothing to keep baby girl interested for very long.

The next door took us to a ride where we had to save the Lego princess, and we hopped on a car that took us around the dark in twisting corners, and where little Lego-shaped characters popped out, and then we pointed our play guns at screens and shot the bad guys. Of course, we saved the princess in the end 🙂 A cool ride, for both young and old, but if your littlie is scared of the dark, maybe it might be a little freaky with all the fake spiders and all.

The next room was MY personal favourite of the centre, the LEGOLAND of Melbourne city! Stay tuned for photos at the end of this post.

The final room was a huge mish-mash of everything:

  • There were various zones of Lego play where kids could get into the Lego-making themselves
  • Kids could also make Lego cars and then test them on awesome car tracks against other kids’ cars!
  • They could view human sized Lego
  • You could get involved in a Lego workshop
  • You could even create your own Lego to take home (today it was a starship from Star Wars)
  • There was the 3D Lego movie that ran every 30 minutes or so
  • Then there was the Merlin ride where you pedalled your way up and around into the sky (that was great fun!)
  • And last but not least there was the playground area, but note to all: kids aren’t allowed without socks!

And all of this with a café in the middle of the room and toilets nearby. All the activities were for free, the only things you had to pay for that were extra, were those cheeky photos they took of you at the beginning (of course you would pay for them), and food and drink from the café, plus anything from the Lego store of course, which was the place you exited from as you left the centre.

AMAZINGLY, we didn’t buy anything from the store, but that was purely because there was no Frozen or Little Mermaid or Disney themed Lego that was 4+ that baby girl didn’t have.

I would seriously consider getting an annual pass, but perhaps when baby girl is a bit older. Although we did most activities and went on both rides, she wasn’t interested in the movie, and the workshop might be a ‘next time’ task too.

But it was a great day all in all, and baby girl and I spend a good couple of hours in there, taking it all in (and me trying to get my money’s worth!)

Oh and it was cool. Hip-wise and temperature-wise. BONUS points.

Now for those awesome Lego Melbourne city pics…


(Luna Park)


(Baby girl – and Anna – checking out half of the MCG during cricket)


(Racing the horses at Flemington Racecourse)

(Melbourne Exhibition Building and Shrine of Remembrance)


(The stunning Arts Centre)

(Live music, and Hot Air Balloons!)


(They even got the suburb I work in… why I never! Docklands)

And my favourite, most favourite of all…



Melbourne’s beautiful beaches. Yep, we sure do ♥♥♥

And all was made that much sweeter and cooler, by the addition of some much-needed cold relief following such a huge day out…


Hope your day was filled with as much fun and ice cream as ours was.



#702 Planned and Impromptu family day

Today was a BIG day. But it was all about LOVE.

Half of it was planned you see, when my beautiful cousin popped over with the recent princess of the family – her daughter – and we bonded all together with baby girl (despite some Diva-esque moments from my little one, still tired from that Wave Pool yesterday!) talking life, family, kids, parenting, and everything else in between.


And then later on, an unplanned, impromptu visit, by my sister and her family. We threw things together – I made my spicy rice which I have been planning on showing them the recipe for for AGES… the barbeque was turned on, radio up just as high, and there was plenty of laughter and lightness, with a gentle dose of D&M too.


Like I said, it was a BIG day. I had moments of tiredness, but the great company I was in, the love in the house, and the laughter abounding, inspired me and kept me going.

And one of the best things I heard today? Advice from my 15 year-old nephew. After telling him about my writing and blogs and stuff (I am still letting people know, s-l-o-w-l-y) and expressing some of my deep-seeded fears related to it, he sat next to me and said

“you can’t let your fear of what other people will think or say of your writing, stop you from putting yourself out there.”

And to get such instant emotional support from my family network, filled my heart with such courage, love, and joy.

Don’t you just LOVE family?! I do. 🙂 ♥♥♥


#692 Summer catch-up with Best Man and Fam

Time between catch-ups is often too long and drawn out, usually with those you love and get along with the most. I don’t know why that is, I mean, we should not see the people that annoy us in life (I do that too) but for some reason it is just as impossible to get together with those that feed your soul.

And when your kids get along, DOUBLE THE POINTS.

What to do then on such a catch-up? Why, let’s try everything.

Fish and Chips at the local park – then let the kids run wild.

A quick walk down to the beach, which turns into some splashing in the bay.



Why not some ice cream? The kids aren’t high enough on Summer/beach vibes, and hey let’s tire them out, while simultaneously feeding them sugar, because… January?


But hey, that was intentional for a reason! They sat on the couch later and totally chill-axed because of it, while us adults rocked on.


A fabulous night, all in all, for ALL. 🙂