#1426 The city trip

We easily could have had a crap day.

We had a few difficult starts that could have turned us sour.

Like the train station parking.

There wasn’t any.

As it was we couldn’t take our regular line into the city because there were replacement buses at certain stops…

And if you have ever had to take a replacement bus in, you will understand why we never ever want to take a replacement bus EVER AGAIN.

So we tried to jump on another train line.

But every car park was full.

We were on holiday time… but the rest of the world was not.

It was a Friday you see. Business hours applied.

We went to one station, couldn’t find parking, before driving up to the next one trying to get lucky.

We did this at three stations before I said “let’s just drive in.”

I remembered the car park I’d gone to with baby girl when we had our Andy show for the last school holidays.

And we just happened to take the scenic route there.

Boy did it bring back memories.

We were driving along Beach Rd in St Kilda, and I was looking at the palm trees, at the houses facing the water…

AND IT HIT ME.

I remembered going there with Hubbie way before baby girl was around, and how we’d look up at the houses and admire them saying “imagine living here by the beach? Imagine that?”

Well we didn’t live by that beach, but now we lived close to a beach.

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All of a sudden our unplanned drive in was becoming a whole lot more.

We arrived at our car parking destination about 2 hours from when we set off. All the pausing and going from one station to the next and then looking for parking had taken ages.

We could have been cranky. We could have been pissed. Instead we stepped out of the old building, so known to us, and went ‘ahhh’ as the humidity of the day hit us and we spied THAT familiar street.

Lygon street. Our old stomping ground.

Oh wow. We were walking and telling baby girl everything. “Mummy and Daddy used to come here all the time… we used to go there… then we would go there… we’ve been there… look that’s changed!”

It was amazing as all the feelings came flooding back. It was a place that at one time in our life we frequented like twice a week… then it changed to once. LOL. We went there so much the trip there was permanently engrained in our minds. The twists and turns of the street, the best parking spots, and who did the best pasta and steak.

(Not necessarily from the pricey side, and if you know Lygon street you know which side of the street that is 😉 )

We stopped to eat lunch at a place we had before, and looking up and down at the greenery on either side of us, I grew misty-eyed.

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I had a revelation.

I even said it aloud: “I could see myself living here.”

Hubbe was shocked. It was a big thing for me to say that. Me, SmikG, so rapt with the beachside that I couldn’t imagine anywhere else.

I clarified… “I love where we live… but one day, maybe in 20 years, I could imagine living here.”

The memories. Oh the MEMORIES! Even sitting at that table, I was reminded that we had sat at that very café and at that very table and had a coffee, right before going on a little trip together pre-baby girl… I reminded Hubbie and he said “Yes, I remember!”

“Where were we going again?”

After throwing out some names which weren’t right, he said it was at a spot on the Peninsula.

FACE PALM. Where we live NOW.

The symmetry was freaking me out.

Lygon Street made me feel right at home. From the bear-shaped pizza for baby girl and the handmade gnocchi for me that melted in my mouth, I was in heaven. I’ve always said I was Italian in another life. I am more than confident of it after today.

We shared a coffee after our tram trek into the city-centre, where I had the most delicious and iconic Melbourne themed chocolate…

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Before we went to where we had planned to all along.

A children’s theatre show.

It was Room on the Broom, a production based off the iconic Australian children’s book. It was a present to baby girl for Christmas after we saw how enthralled in the book she was last year… and so that was the point of our whole trek in.

We did so much before that to get there, and it had been an adventure.

The show in itself was another great adventure.

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But then like so many times before, shit hit the fan.

Baby girl wanted merchandise. A tiny $40 stuffed toy witch, or a $25 stuffed toy cat.

I shouldn’t even mention the money. The money doesn’t matter. It was the principle.

She has LOADS of stuffed toys. Do you think she plays with them?

Noooooooooooooooooooooo.

She started the hysterics. The tantrum built. Cries and shrieks. “No I want it!” Stamping of the foot. It is almost hilarious if it ISN’T happening to you.

We’d done so much to get there. Spent so much. Travelled so far.

And now THIS.

I looked outside the open doors as she cried behind us. People crowded through the foyer, some looking over and others dealing with their own demanding brood.

I could see it – gone was the humidity that had enveloped me during my delicious Pomodoro gnocchi as I sweated it out at 1pm…

Because now at 4pm, it was windy and raining and people were getting drenched outside.

I put my foot down figuratively, told her “NO!” and stomped outside.

And instead of –

“But how the witch wailed

And how the cat spat

When the wind blew so widely

It blew off the hat.” – 

It was –

“How baby girl wailed 

And how her Mum spat

As the wind blew so widely

and her Mum yelled ‘that’s that!'”

LOL.

She cried as we pulled her along through the rain, pelting down on us as we ran towards our tram stop.

“You don’t need another stuffed toy!”

“Yes I do!”

“No you don’t!”

“Yes I do!”

“No you don’t!”

And as we ran, our feet sploshing through puddles and water sinking through our sandals, our arguing turned into banter, and the water on her face was suddenly from the rain, not her tears, as baby girl started to laugh.

“Yes I do!”

We got some much appreciated shelter from a woman holding an umbrella as we waited to cross the road, and within moments, all was well again.

The wild weather could have thrown us off.

The tantrum, the crying and yelling could have put us in a real sour mood.

But it didn’t.

And all of a sudden, we were full circle in our feelings again. 🙂

It was one of those weird days where it was a little bit of everything, but mostly a lot of fun and crazy.

We didn’t let anything unexpected throw us off our main task of having fun, whether it was a long drive, no parking, wild weather or a demanding 6 year old…

Our task was to make memories, with the added bonus of reminiscing past memories.

It was a happy day. ♥

 

 

 

 

#1386 KK by the river, 2019 edition

When the day started off by walking on a wall, we just knew it was going to be amazing.

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Special. Different even. And it sure was.

ALL of us getting together around a table, girls and partners and kids, and there was not one person missing? Not one that didn’t pull out due to injury/sickness/over-commitment/boredom?

Why I never.

NOT ONE.

These things only happen like once a decade peeps. Hence the special. 😉

It was our annual KK catch-up pre-Christmas festivities, and it came nice and early on the first day of December, and the first day of summer (though summer was nowhere to be seen…)

Did we care? Nooo.

We were nice and snug and sheltered.

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And then there was the item of presents.

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GOODY!

The kids chased ducks outside and threw sticks and leaves into the Yarra outside to ‘help’ them float, and us adults chilled and bonded and watched our guys bond too.

Awww. Don’t you just love it when your guys make friends. They don’t admit it but they enjoy it too 😉

And so, a pretty perfect day was had. I love being with my gals but it’s even more amazing when we come together as couples and family units and spend our Sunday lunch together, our common tie and reason for uniting being the pubescent group who went to high school together and promised that one day our kids would play with each other while our guys would make friends too, all those years ago.  ♥

And now I have new writing implements so there… (make sure you do KK with people that ‘know’ you, then they won’t get your presents wrong EVER).

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The only downfall with doing KK soooo early?

The debate I’ll be having with my 6 year-old until Christmas day… because baby girl got presents too. Times 4 today.

“I wanna open my presents!”

“No, you have to wait until Christmas! It’s called patience.”

“But I can’t wait!”

“You have to wait!”

“How long until Christmas?”

“24 more days…”

Help me, please. 

 

#1344 A different festival

It’s that time of year where Mornington puts on a show and has it’s annual Main street festival.

We have gone every year since sea changing… it’s been 3 years in a row.

Today would have been 4… if we had gone.

But I had a more important festival to attend.

The Mornington Peninsula and Frankston Writers and Book Festival.

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Even the trees outside the venue, are MY trees. I love them. I see them all around the Peninsula. They are also the trees my story characters pass by on their way to school each day.

😉

It was an insightful couple of hours. I had booked into a workshop on ‘publishing.’ And though I got great tips and information on the industry, heard about the pros and cons of traditional versus self-publishing, I still walked away going “huh. I already knew a lot of that.”

It wasn’t that it wasn’t helpful. Just being in the room and sharing a table with other aspiring novelists was HUGELY beneficial. It motivated me in my writing dreams even further, and made me realise how important being a part of a writing community is, in sharing ideas, teaching each other information, and engaging in that writer-ly camaraderie, that feeling we get when we hear the other’s woes and go, ‘Ahh. I feel your pain.’

But the point at which I realised knowing what I already did was to my advantage, was when the workshop teacher, an editor and business owner of her own publishing company said to us –

“Often when I tell people all of this they become discouraged.”

A few people voiced their joking concerns.

“Ahh traditional publishing is too hard.”

“Self publishing is just as trying.”

Me? I was sitting there going… nope.

Been there, done that. 

Nothing about that process could scare me. I have been through the scenarios a million times in my head before. Sure there is a lot of luck and perseverance involved in finally getting your work out there and published…

But there is no other way for me. There is no other outlet. There is no alternative option.

Writing is the ONLY WAY.

And can I tell you a secret? Years ago when I used to read up on writing and publishing, the information I got back suggested at ‘if you are lucky enough to get published…’

Whereas nowadays it is “when you get published…”

Either my sources have grown in reputation, maybe it’s the courses I am doing, or maybe I am deciphering the messages differently, as I grow more confident and positive, so too what I read becomes so…?

But I truly believe that to be the case. WHEN.

I got home from my workshop day, and then sat at the computer to do, what else…?

Work on another submission for my online course.

As Elizabeth Gilbert asked in Big Magic, “What is your flavour of shit sandwich?”

Guys, over and over again, I will pick writing. All flavours of shit just to be able to write.

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#1333 A different view

It’s nice to dream.

It’s nice to have something to aspire to. Even if it feels way off in the distance. Even if right now, you’re completely happy as you are.

Still, it’s nice to dream.

And this one particular dream, well I always joke to Hubbie, is more likely to happen when I’m an established, published and successful author…

But then I used to also talk casually about having a beach holiday house… and now I live full-time by the water.

😮❤🌅

Oh, speaking of living by the water, and dreams…

Hubbie and I took a walk in a different part of our ‘hood today. We took a quiet scenic walk, amongst tall and towering trees…

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… but also, by the water.

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It was a long, winding and circular street, that had the best of both worlds.

Trees. Water.

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I know we live around it, but damn those views were amazing.

We got home later, happily…

There is no chance we’d move.

Not when our view is pretty fine as well…

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But, like I said… it’s always nice to dream. ❤

 

 

 

#1237 Revisiting sweet strawberry memories

It took me a long time to work out if we should go or not.

But this morning, 2 hours before the session was to begin, I quickly logged onto the website and booked a workshop for baby girl.

I knew it was going to be sunny, and I knew the day would be good.

Deep down, I knew.

Because although this was baby girl’s first time at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, she had kind of been before… when I was only 4 months pregnant with her, in my tummy.

Back then it had been strawberry picking season, and I had picked loads to take home and DEVOUR.

Today we were in off-season, so instead, baby girl made an enormous chocolate shard. 🙂

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It was a school holiday activity. There were kids all around the room, with melted chocolate on their plates, adding mini marshmallows, little chocolates, coconut, honeycomb and cocoa puffs to their giant freckle creation.

Into the freezer it went, coming out all hard and ready to EAT!

More than the fun chocolate activity, for me was going to a place that we had been to so many years before, and which held such fond memories of a really exciting, happy, and hopeful time in our lives.

Nothing has changed.

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The strawberries may be covered from frost in the far distance, but we are…

forever excited,

forever happy,

forever HOPEFUL.

And the sun shining down on us today proved that more than ever.

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#1199 Encouraging words

It’s ALL about words lately. Whether baby girl’s funny ones or my…

3000 ones.

And it is in reference to the latter, that I am extremely grateful to those that encourage you.

I received feedback from my online tutor recently… and as I read over her comments and listened to her audio feedback with bated breath…

I soon found myself exhaling audibly.

I was content. Everything she critiqued constructively, I got. And everything she positively commented on…

I was beyond excited.

I had hope. My dream, was realised. The foundation of my story, that started in my head over 7 years ago, was recognised as worthy, visual, important, not just by me, but by a professional.

That is HUGE in my book. Of mammoth value.

Her words are echoing in my mind, and in so doing, my pen name is suddenly shining bright in flashing lights.

:):):)

 

#1082 Evening bike ride

A cool night.

It is still.

Memories of a day at school, with thoughts of what is to come tomorrow.

In between – the bike ride.

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In the evening. Of the fading light. As the night settles in soon, so too will our weary bodies and busy heads.

But never our hopes and ambitions. They will flare and ignite and burn, more so in our heads as we lay ourselves to sleep, dancing around in our dreams as if it is really possible.

IT IS really possible.

Only to awaken the next day, wondering what just happened.

What will happen?

Que Sera, Sera…