#1365 The Euro Grocer

Finally, I am home.

We have been in our Sea change destination for 3 years now, but it was not until today that I felt like I was finally one with my environment, and it was one, with me.

I was home.

Because, finally, a European continental grocer opened up at my local shopping centre and I CAN NOT EVEN.

😁🤗

I am ecstatic. Back in our old ‘hood I used to shop weekly or twice-weekly (who am I kidding it was thrice-weekly) at a great grocer deli that was near all the other big supermarkets.

The location and convenience was optimal. I could go to H&G, grab all the fruit and veg I could feast my eyes upon, and then anything I wasn’t keen on I could get at the $$$ supermarkets.

H&G had a huge range, good produce, and was value for money.

I lost ALL of that when we moved here. I have been focusing on supermarket produce ever since and IT KILLS ME. Sure there are gourmet produce places out here, but they are not just $$$…

They are $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

So it has been only slightly annoying.

But today… today! I was in heaven. The produce was fresh and inviting, and so wide in range. There were some gourmet deli products, European basics (which had become foreign rather than regular to me in our moving here), and we even got a whole pumpkin, for 27 cents!

What? How does one buy a 2.185 kilo pumpkin for 27 cents?

Why, when it is on a daily special of 8 cents per kilo, that’s how.

8 cents a kilo???!!!

Yep. 😏

But that is not all. Noooo.

I was walking by the biscuits and nuts and my eyes came to rest on the most heavenly of boxes.

NAPOLITANKE.

These are the best God-damn wafer biscuits in the world. There, I have called it. They don’t sell it at my local Safeway and when I bought a similar product from a competitor…

They were NOT the same. 👎

Do not buy imitation people.

I proceeded to grab a packet and tell baby girl that these were in fact the best biscuits in the world, while non-Euro pensioners walked by me with curious eyes taking a second look at the Napolitanke.

Yep that’s right. Keep walking. They are all MINE.

I grabbed a papaya for old times sake and Hubbie branched out with gourmet sauce, we got our produce and were out of there…

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I am so happy. Soooooo happy. Oh man. I will have to shop there every day until the novelty wears off.

i.e. NEVER.

#1330 I’m okay for the change

What timing, for daylight savings to begin the day before kids go back to school.

I usually LOVE daylight savings time. Increased sunshine means warmer weather, getting out and about and having fun…

But the timing, sucks.

Right when we are wrapping up our end of week holidays. Right when we are having late nights.

THE DAY BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS AGAIN.

Who decided this?

Today, we woke late, but yet, it was even later. We had a kids birthday party to attend out of all things, and so ended our holiday tired, weary-eyed and sucked out of sleep as we watched baby girl expend energy we didn’t know she had, going nuts on a jumping castle.

Everything that is great, must come to an end.

And I’m okay with that.

Sure the timing is crap. It never is the right time to lose an hour of your day, is it? But having a week off with both baby girl and Hubbie, means I have had a lot of fun, SURE…

But I am soooo behind in everything else.

Which is why I am so relieved for things to go back to some kind of normal. Tomorrow I am keen to get on board with my writing course. I am terribly behind on that. I am keen to buy groceries and re-stock the fridge. Things that I can stop to grab that is just too hard with baby girl in tow, become terrifically convenient when she is at school and I can dash in and out of places.

I can water plants. I can make phone calls.

I can write in peace! PEACE!

I know that routine is good for me, and it is good for baby girl too. She was only telling me the other day, after days of fun and adventure, that she missed her friends, and staying at home was “boring.”

This from the girl who met Andy Day the dinosaur-in-time explorer during her holidays. But hey, she has high expectations, right? 😉

And then, after some routine, some writing and schooling and working, in no time at all it will be –

‘Jingle bells, jingle bells…’

Christmas folks! And that means MORE holidays.

I am okay with change. I am okay with routine. Because I know, as is life, I will come around to this happy and free holiday place, again… ♥♥♥♥

 

#1212 Coffee seclusion

We did nearly nothing today, on this long weekend Queen’s Birthday holiday. Zilch. Zero.

And we definitely needed it.

Ok so we did go to the supermarket. We needed food after all. And sure, I washed some clothes…

Sang happy birthday to my sister LOUDLY over the phone.

We ate.

But then, nada.

Nothing.

It was soon coffee time (3pm or thereabouts) and Hubbie was napping on the couch… doing, that’s right, NOTHING.

I made a coffee for myself and a babycino for baby girl. We were going to sit near Hubbie and have our drinks and some leftover birthday treats from Sis’ big birthday… but then I was like –

“nah.”

Instead, we went upstairs. To my bedroom. Some privacy for baby girl and me, and quiet for him.

‘Girl time,’ I called it. Even our cat Mister F was not allowed.

We sat on the floor looking outside. With nothing to distract us. No TV. No music. No noise. Just us. Baby girl proceeded to tell me what I should put in her lunchbox tomorrow. We talked about the party, and cake.

Then we lay on my bed, all cuddled up.

Doing absolutely nothing. And yet, my soul filled up, with EVERYTHING.

♥♥

#1148 Balcony reading

I’ll be brutally honest with you… most Sundays I am heavily disappointed.

Yep. Even for this gratitude girl.

My expectations of the day are too high. Too unrealistic. Because it is usually the one guaranteed day that we spend together as a family, I often think, I don’t know…

There will be family fun and fireworks.

Fireworks almost never happen.

Housework happens. Grocery shopping happens. Stuff around the house happens.

“What do I eat?”

“What do we make for dinner?”

“Baby girl get in the bath!”

With a heavy dose of “I can’t be bothered.”

Today I got shitty and took matters in my own hands. I realised I need to schedule some ‘me time,’ no matter how small or short it was… it would help me, replenish me, allow me to do my thing and then return to the monotony of cooking/showering/cleaning.

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Reading time. On the balcony. The sun was bright and warm in the afternoon, and I read a decent amount of pages before everyone decided I had had enough ‘me time’ and joined me out on the balcony…

And of course by then, I didn’t even want to read anymore.

They wouldn’t be my family if they didn’t follow me around. Look for me. Demand I look and talk and listen to them when I am clearly doing something else entirely that demands my sole attention… no, they wouldn’t be my family if they DIDN’T do that.

And I love them for it.

And that’s the thing. Something that becomes tiring and monotonous, boring and routine…

Is much more acceptable, with more happiness at the task and success in achieving it, when you get a little break beforehand.

A little ‘me time.’ Like a book, on the balcony.

And for those playing at home, the book?

Aptly, the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

😉

 

#1080 The day before prep

I didn’t think I would be too bad. We even bought school shoes this morning and everything, and yet no overwhelming emotion struck me at what the next day held…

I thought, ‘I am going to be ok.’

It didn’t hit me, until I was at the Coles check out.

Baby girl started to squirm and bounce around a little, and before I verbalised the feared signs I knew so well, she told me she needed the loo.

I had just unloaded all our shopping onto the conveyor belt. There was a lady being served in front of me, but she was with her elderly mother who was in a wheelchair, and had groceries of her own she was paying for, and was then divvying up her mother’s groceries, so that it was taking some time for the check out guy to work it all out.

I hesitated. For a moment, I questioned…

‘Should I let her go to the toilets alone?’

It was a mini shopping centre we frequented weekly, if not more often. Baby girl knew where they were. She wouldn’t get lost, surely.

But there were so many people that day. It was packed, being the last day of holidays for so many… Mums and Dads and kids and grannies and grandads, all milling around like chains and locks were going to be wrapped around the shopping centre’s entrance the next day.

I pondered it, for a few moments. I even asked baby girl how she felt about going on her own.

But then I realised, strongly. HELL NO. She was 5. Regardless of that… I could not let her go.

I explained to the check out guy I had to take baby girl to the toilets, and amazingly we were back in time as the two ladies finished up and he started setting up my reusable bags.

But the grocery shopping, or the toilets, wasn’t EVEN the point.

I was suddenly filled with anxiety, dread, fear and paranoia, all at once.

I could not let her go… but I had to.

I saw that the contemplation of letting her go a couple hundred metres on her own, had filled me with such unease, but it was a situation that was completely unavoidable.

Because at one stage or another, I had to let her go. And suddenly, my time was up.

Because tomorrow is the start of prep.

Most of the day has been spent preparing for it. In between ironing on labels to her school clothes, I’ve spent the other moments just staring at her with a frozen smile, willing her face at that time into my memory forever.

Setting up her lunchbox and bag, and then playing with her, letting her drag it out for another minute, then another minute…

Telling her how proud we are of her…

And then bursting into tears the next minute.

Get a grip! I told myself. You are picking her up at 12:30! After the half-days, you will still be together from 3:30!

But I can’t kid myself. It’s not just the time. It’s the beautiful moments shared. The slow wake-ups together, the kisses and cuddles in bed… her asking me what the plans are for the day, and me surprising her with promises of babycino café visits or the beach.

It’s all the little moments. It’s not even anything momentous or eventful. It’s the everyday occurrences, which will be replaced by routine, and order, and responsibility…

And she will be exposed to people, environments, and things that I can not control.

It scares me.

I am excited by what is to come for her, for us… really I am.

But I am so afraid, that the innocence in her that I have loved, and nurtured, and seen thrive… will be lost.

Will she change? Will she be the same?

What will this new life stage bring?

So much happiness has come before us, and I am terrified it will end.

Friendships might change her.

Harsh truths will be learnt.

Tears will be shed.

And I am freaking out about it all.

I don’t even know how this is a gratitude post, other than to say this day before prep, was a beautiful one. Telling each other how much we love one another… and now the tears won’t stop rolling, so I think it’s time I go.

Wish me her luck.

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#735 Down day signals end of Holidays

There was to be no major outing.

No beach visit.

No movies, or dinner out, or coffee café-ing.

No catch ups with friends.

No craziness.

Nil, Zilch, Nada.

It was the last day of our holidays together.

And though at first glance it may seem like it was a totally boring and uneventful day, we were really happy to just stay home for the majority of it, tidying up, unpacking our getaway bags, getting shit done, putting shit away, and just catching up on SHIT.

And when we did head out to grab some groceries, the most eventful part was baby girl going up to random people and asking “are you my best friend?” and then shouting “Mama!” repeatedly when I disappeared into another aisle without her.

LOL.

It was a very cruisy and chilled day, but it was just as we liked it, which made it a success.

And as long as you like it, that’s all that matters.

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Photo by tu tu on Unsplash