#645 Early tradies

There are all manner of excuses as to why us commonfolk roll our eyes and brace ourselves at the sheer mention of the supposed ‘reliability’ of tradies.

Because they are always late.

Because they don’t arrive when they say they will.

Because they don’t return your call.

Because they make promises they can’t keep.

Because they forget.

All of these reasons have to do with tradies deferring or putting off their service to you…

Which is why this morning was SUCH a surprise.

Because as I went downstairs this morning, giving myself a good 3-hour window to get my shit together before the tradies came over to commence part 1 of our kitchen demolition/renovation, I turned on my phone, and saw with some amount of trepidation, a missed call, and a voicemail message.

Uh-oh. I just KNEW it was him. The tradie.

I listened to the message, and my eyes widened, before running in to baby girl’s room and telling her to throw ANYTHING on.

“Hi SmikG, it’s tradie here… just letting you know we’ll probably be at your place about, 9:00.”

A half hour window.

I did the bare minimum, which was still good as I left feeling I had done my best in setting up the place for the guys – but consequently the bare minimum didn’t include breakfast… so I said to baby girl, “pick where you want to eat.”

And she led us to Mercetta on the Main street. Mainly because the back of the café has fake green grass and egg chairs that hang from the tree-like ceiling, with kiddies using them more as swings than adults using them as areas of refuge.

I had been stressed as hell in those 30 minutes before their surprise arrival, but the early morning start gave us a nice reason to go out and have some breakfast on a Monday morning…

And any reason is good enough reason for surprise breakfast I guess 🙂

 

 

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#634 I love Main street, and let me count the ways… no.2

Oh. Hello there little fella.

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What did you do today? Oh, shopping? What a coin-chi-den-che (go and watch Only You starring the beautifully talented Marisa Tomei and oh-so-cheeky Robert Downey Jr, laugh at some Billy Zane hilarity and then come back to me).

I picked up this guy while out and about getting bits of this and bits of that for the festive season… I got some presents for others (yes some for Christmas, KK surprises 🙂 ) others just because, presents, and then some presents were for ME! Sorry that was meant to say Hubbie, my bad.

But this guy came along not as a present for me (though he is so damn cute) but as a little something for another little fella. Aww shucks. Maybe I will keep him.

And this little guy wanted to suss out some of my other finds…

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Pineapple lollies? Redskins? Are you even serious right now?

YES. Yes I am.

You know what was annoying about buying the pineapple lollies for Hubbie, who used to love them 15 or so years ago? He couldn’t remember loving them 15 or so years ago! Sooooo disappointing. You surprise someone and they don’t even remember these things, like are you even my Hubbie???

Sigh.

And the redskins… they taste the same. I was 15 again.

I am loving Main Street shopping and all the weird and wonderful things I’m finding there. ♥

#632 Melbourne Cup coffee

So, a little while ago in a post far, far away, I said I would count all the ways in which I love coffee, and I would happily spend my life doing so and expressing it here in this gratitude blog.

Enter today peeps.

I mean, I didn’t plan on going down Main street. I promise I didn’t. But a chore I had to do fell through, and here baby girl and I were on Cup Day, dressed up, in the car, with nothing to do.

She asked me as I turned into our fave strip “Mama why go here?”

I was silent for a long while. I wanted to surprise her. “I just want to see what’s open.”

In true literal and toddler fashion, she then proceeded to point out every single shop that was open.

After circling the block a couple of times, I made up my mind. And we headed on over to a local fave for a quick stop on this public holiday.

We missed Hubbie/Dad very much. Baby girl expressed her desire to share a biscuit with him. But somehow she managed to get by, and downed her babycino, while I treasured my chai latte, and then together we smashed an Oreo muffin, NOT pictured because you know… smashed Oreo muffin.

It wasn’t life-altering, it wasn’t squealing with excitement fun, and it wasn’t the bestest thing I had ever done. But it was a precious moment that I was grateful to be sharing with baby girl, and as long as it is something to be enjoyed, it is enough.

And then also, as I always say, it’s the little things.

We then went home, and discovered with happiness that Hubbie was on his way home, let off his work shift earlier that day.

We didn’t win in the 3pm race, but we won in the most important one 🙂

 

#609 1st year celebrations

It is the loveliest thing, when the town that you move to decides to throw you a welcoming party in honour of your presence, and then at each anniversary they throw more parties, just to remember how amazing it is that you decided to regal them with your being to reside in their locality.

Yep. That, or it happened to be the Main Street Mornington Festival, which falls on the third Sunday of October and has been happening for 22 years now, and it just so happily coincides with the time of year you decided to move.

Same same. A lucky coincidence either way.

And so the gratitude and happiness at our 1 year long Sea change continued today at the Main Street Fest. It was a stunning day, with a very fresh, strong sea breeze, and yet still, the people were out in force, packed like sardines in the middle of the street as they squeezed their way through amongst the countless and endless food stalls on either end.

After moving very slowly for what seemed like too long, we ended up deciding to just sit down and watch everyone else idle on by, and so we happened across the best spot at one of our most favourite-st of places to eat, drink, do anything really: The Winey Cow.

(I had the best Laksa!)

A spot of ice cream was required from Vespa’s afterwards

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And then once some more fun and drinks were had, we headed off back to the car a good few blocks away…

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Oh, to be a kid and be able to hitch a ride like that. She is so damn lucky. I had to walk.

And then, poor Hubbie’s shoulders.

But all in all, the day was splendid, and we had spent it as intended – us, our family, just doing what we came here to do a year ago…

Enjoy life 🙂

 

 

#522 Kinder days no. 4

“Hooray!” shouted every single parent that existed, at the beginning of this week as term 3 commenced. “Hooray!”

I was one of them. I love baby girl, yet I also love my ‘me time,’ and was looking forward to spending time on my own-some once again.

It was terribly biting and windy, but THAT DIDN’T STOP ME this morning. I walked up and down the Main street, going into shops here and there and getting bits and pieces, as well as a bit of sticky-nose and research that was required.

Look for keep cup in tea/coffee shop – nope not in that one.

Check out pants for baby girl – not Wintery thick enough.

Check out possible cake at The Cheesecake Shop, for baby girl’s upcoming birthday – TBC…

Buy a tattslotto ticket

Go into party shop, ask about balloon deliveries.

Go into herb shop, and come out with brazil nuts at $50 a kilo (no really, there is a shortage and the Unicorn teeth are in at an impressive $59.95 a kilo!)

Take out $$$

Ask Vinnies if they want toy donations – yes they most definitely do.

Bread, groceries…

And ahh, the best moment in my everywhere-morning… THIS:

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For under $10, I got a sensational chai latte and nutty/seedy bar at a nearby cafe, both of which were delicious and filling, and kept me going for even more of the morning, well up until lunchtime. Again I was at the Corner Counter, where I had my first proper chai latte in Mornington a while ago, and so it made sense that I should go there again.

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The sun was shining brightly as I positioned myself by the window, read the daily paper, indulged in some delightful café fare, and totally catered to myself. Catering to oneself, when oneself is also a ‘Mum,’ is more than an indulgence – its almost a necessity, something that must be done time and time again, to fill up ones reserves. Ones dealing with every life and crap and annoyances and jobs and chores and responsibilities and drama and stressed and everything reserves.

It was bliss, and I look forward to more fill up reserve days 🙂

 

#485 I love Main street, and let me count the ways…

Number 1 ♥. Random babycino stopover leads to fantastic find.

After our lovely library visit only a few blocks down, we headed down the main strip where again I spied upon the gorgeous blue and green scarves with pom poms I had eyed off only an hour earlier. If I hadn’t read that book about minimising your stuff and the challenge of only having 100 personal items, I might just have gone in to purchase it. Oh well, another day.

As I then observed another shop, which through the windows looked amazing with the clothes that seemed to be yelling “SmikG! SmikG!” I turned to baby girl and said “let’s go in here honey.”

Only she was heading for the shop next door. The café next door. And she was fairly intent on one thing.

“Babycino.”

What had we created? Sure, I won’t lie, Hubbie and I are all for cafes, and got her café-savvy VERY early on in the game so we could go to them frequently, often, with no dramas or hesitations from her. But now, she had her own agendas, her own routine, her own requests. She decided, now was the time she wanted a babycino, and there was no getting around it.

I walked over hesitantly, using all manner of excuses.

“Mummy will make you one after lunch.”

“Daddy will be home for lunch soon, let’s go.”

“You need to eat lunch first honey.”

She completely ignored me and placed her library bag full of newly borrowed books on the bench beside her, as she positioned herself permanently there. A waitress from within the café came out to us, holding a bottle of water and two glasses.

“You sitting here?”

“Actually,” I started. “I’m trying to get her to keep walking with me, but I think she’s intent on a babycino.” I sighed and looked at baby girl.

“Do you want me to quickly make one?”

I hesitated for a second before looking back at the friendly waitress. “Sure.”

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And so it was, that we came to be sitting at Dr Fox’s, proverbially smelling the roses, with baby girl sniffing the sprinkled chocolate and marshmallows alongside her drink of choice.

In observing this girl of mine with a mind of her own, I discovered some other little facts. The café was open for dinner a few nights a week; a nearby board told me about their inviting new menu for the colder months; and upon paying inside, I discovered the friendly service continued, with the girl inside being as amazing as the one serving us outside had.

It was only a little place, but it had some awesome character. You don’t need a big space, to make a huge impression. They stole mine and baby girl’s heart today, and we WILL BE BACK.

And the friendly, genuine, and warm nature I’m coming across, from within many of these local cafes, shops and services… I am just loving.

LOVING. I ♥ my town.

#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.