#410 Sunday Solitude

I’m actually surprised at how happy I was to stay at home today. Our quick stop by the shops was really, too much, as we would have gladly holed up in our home all day while the wild weather unleashed itself around us.

What was particularly great about staying home? Well, apart from the early Winter spell we were subject to, that made it especially fantastic stay-home weather, it was just the fact that it was long, LONG overdue. We haven’t just stayed home to not do much in a while, and I think our souls longed for the downtime.

Apart from ironing, washing, Hubbie preparing us a healthy lunch, while I prepared us a healthy dinner, and then him removing bug marks from our blinds, alongside some other random house odds and ends… I think the best part was when we woke up in the morning and then baby girl joined us in bed, all 3 of us cuddling together and snuggling under the covers.

We caught sight of our reflection in the opposite mirror, and it was the best sight ever. My family.

Sunday, solitude Sunday.

#371 Casual beach epiphany

These casual beach visits are happening more and more lately… partly because we are testing the literal waters of how close we are, and also, because… well, the hot season ended just yesterday.

Either way I love these visits.

It doesn’t mean however, that the warm weather has gone away. March has already brought a spectacular sunshine-y day to us, and looking at the forecast for the week ahead, things look really good.

While sitting on my beach towel watching baby girl and Hubbie in the shallow waters earlier this evening (I only ever get to sit for a few minutes at a time, IF I am lucky) with baby girl leaping into the water like a frog, and Hubbie keeping watch nearby, I turned around to look at the scenery around me.

It was a Wednesday afternoon. Lifeguards were jumping off of their red boats and practicing essential life-saving skills. A man sat in his beach box behind us, making us all jelly that he had residential property on the beach. A couple of dogs ran wild in the water. And in amongst the decent lot of people around, I spotted some casual-looking ones: straw hats, low slung beach bags, big sunnies, and oversized tops thrown over their swimwear.

I looked back to the pristine and still waters before me, glistening in the sun, and got very emotional.

This was now our neighbourhood. We were now locals, as they all were.

It was a small moment, and certainly one that has struck us with its epiphany before, but every so often, Hubbie and I will be somewhere in our ‘hood, doing something, and turn to each other and say

“Look where we are.”

We actually, dumbfound ourselves.

I love these moments. I hope they never end. The wonder and sheer surprise that life has to offer, with its marvellous and weird and trippy twists and turns.

And I hope they keep on coming, at the beach.

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#338 Taking a break

I’m fortunate enough to be able to work alongside some pretty cool views. It’s not often that I am able to appreciate them though.

You know, ‘work’ and all.

You know, temperamental Melbourne weather and all.

Which makes the converging of Summer, and holidays, all the more exciting. Warm and comfortable days, relaxing walks due to not-so-pressing work matters, makes for some… ahhh moments.

While heading out to grab a coffee at work today, I was on my own and without any of my fellow work colleagues/coffee lovers, so I took a longer than normal break to just, you know.

Sip coffee and watch.

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Breathe in.

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Observe the glistening water.

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And ponder that while I’m at work, I’m by the water.

And when I’m at home, I’m also, by the water.

And yet I’m a Lion that loves to bathe in the sunshine.

Always the contradiction.

It was a small, yet tranquil moment, and I took it in while it lasted. Then back to the office I went with my Blended Beard firmly in hand.

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It’s all about the small things. It always is. Because they add up to the greater whole.

#316 Family beach time!

Finally! We hit Mount Martha beach today as a family.

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I am super grateful for that. We have been living in our Sea Change location for almost 3 months now, and given our unmatched schedules, opposite work routines, and lacking Melbourne summer, all 3 managed to reverse itself and collide today for a superb, super-hot, sandy-toed and salty sea, time.

The seal has now been broken. There will be more to come… not just these holidays, or this summer… but like my book, or my life, or our house, or even my parent blog SmikG… this is a work in progress.

You have to have fun, whilst on the journey of life 🙂

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#309 My town folk and Rain / Bestie’s surprise tree painting

A special edition. I had two interesting and special incidences today, and so I absolutely have to post both.

Lucky me. Double the gratitude:)

Part 1: The Rain.

I had just driven through the most hellish storm imaginable. I actually had thought to come to a complete stop while on the freeway going home from work. Many, many times, I found it almost impossible to see from the white sheets of rain in front of me, sweeping  across my car and enveloping it in a blurry fog of white. It was scary to endure, and I was relieved when after the longest drive, it started to lighten up.

And this, after the most incredible sunset last night. Ahh Melbourne.

Nearing home, the rain lessened. Finally. It had been a tense drive. I had to stop at the shops first, and got out of the car to light, wispy rain settling on the edges of my stray pieces of hair. I walked calmly into the centre.

After my post office stop and before I got to the supermarket, I heard it on the roof: the intense rattling.

Surely it wasn’t raining so hard, again, so soon after the hour of intense downpour I had just experienced on the way home?

15 minutes later with my bag of groceries in one hand, I was standing under the shelter out the front of the centre, looking in dismayed disbelief over the buckets of ran being heaved upon the car park.

My car was so close, yet so, so far.

I stood with others also holding out for the rain to ease. There were about 7 or so other shoppers, and I looked out at the car park, wondering just when and how long it would be until the rain gave out. It was heavy, and unrelenting.

The rain slowed, but only the slightest amount, not enough to brave the weather and walk through it… and yet, people did. Almost all the people who had been waiting decided to head on out to their cars. I watched, curious, as one by one they left, while I stood there, waiting, watching the Rain.

And then more came. I observed as people wandered in to the centre, soaking wet from the car park; and vice versa, as people exited the centre, and after a brief pause, a reshuffling of bags or searching of keys, kept on walking into the heavy rain towards their car.

The rain had lessened, ever so slightly. But I could tell what kind of deceiving rain this was, what with its big drops and generous weight. I wasn’t going out there, and getting soaked in 3 seconds time. I would keep waiting.

A man walked out of the centre with his son. They walked out and into the rain with little hesitation. A young couple walked out towards the car park as if they were taking a leisurely stroll.

Holiday-stayers, I observed. They don’t care if they get wet – they’re on holiday time.

An older man walked past me from the car park in his shorts and singlet, losing his thong in a deep puddle of water. He slowly stopped, walked back a few steps, his bare foot splashing through the puddle, before grasping the thong with his toe and balancing it back on. A nearby man smiled and they exchanged some words and a laugh before the man walked on, feet soaking, into the centre.

Ok, he mustn’t be driving. He can’t drive like that.

A woman walked out with her son. Flowy dress, telling him “now, don’t run!”

Run, why would you run? Ok it’s easier for her, he’s like 10, she doesn’t have to put him in the car herself.

Still I watched with how casually they made their way into the rain.

They’re all on holiday. I stood there in my wedges, pondering this fact. Skinny black jeans and a stripy singlet top. I was coming home from work. I had to drive home. I wasn’t on holiday time, not yet. These guys were not fazed at all if they got wet. They were moving about without a care in the world. I considered every justification possible.

Then, a woman walked towards the centre from the car park. As she moved forward, she too like the man earlier, lost her sandal in a puddle of water. She paused, her other foot hovering, as she fished it out of the water. I heard the splosh as it was brought forward and onto her foot. Her long flowy dress barely touched the deep puddles beneath her as she kept on going.

It hit me. My justifications were suddenly unworthy. These weren’t ALL holiday-makers. More than half were locals. And here I was, newbie in town, the girl from the ‘burbs looking on and wanting to avoid getting wet.

Screw that shit.

I waited for a slight break in traffic in front of the busy centre, and then started forward. Within seconds I could feel the warm drops sinking into all parts of my clothing, and it squeezed itself between my toes. My car was barely a minutes walk from the shopping centre shelter, and yet by the time I got to the car and plonked down in the driver’s seat, I looked down to rain splattered dark drops all over my clothes, saw the water on my arms as if someone had thrown a bucket on me, and felt my matted hair sticking in sections to my head.

And I loved it! I felt invigorated, refreshed, and alive.

Why the hell did I not do this earlier? We had moved to the beach for the lifestyle, which meant I had to live, LIKE the lifestyle. The locals had inspired me.

I wanted to live on the beach? Then live like I’m on the beach.

I genuinely, do love rain. And I also love my townsfolk 🙂

 

Part 2: The Painting.

I headed over to the parcel as my MIL was putting down baby girl for a nap. I had noticed it before getting changed out of my wet clothes, but hadn’t bothered to investigate further, feeling sure it was the coasters I had ordered a long time ago. Surely, most definitely, it was them. But as I picked up the parcel and the envelopes that read “card only” indicating the late Christmas arrival, the name at the head of the label jumped out at me.

SmikG.

Hmmm. I didn’t remember putting down my author’s alias when I had ordered the coasters. In fact, I don’t remember putting it down anywhere at all. As I looked at the parcel some more, with my actual name and address underneath my alias, the writing grew so familiar to me, that by the time I had turned the parcel around to see who the sender was, I was absolutely definite on who it was from, even though I had no idea what it was.

Sure enough, I was right.

I first opened the Christmas cards, wanting to save the intriguing and exciting surprise package from bestie ’til last. As I opened it, my very slight suspicions, and my judgments based on the weight and size, were confirmed.

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My very talented best friend has recently started painting again, after a long hiatus between high school and now. I actually had NO IDEA how talented she was until she started posting her work on facebook. I had commented on a painting she had done of a similar tree, as I love trees, and all symbols and images associated to them, as mentioned here, and here. However I didn’t think she would ever send me an actual, original painting of hers.

I immediately fell in love. It was perfect. The vibrant colour was reminiscent of our friendship too, an ode to high school, Prince, Purple Rain, and so much more. It was so personal of her to give me something so beautiful and creative of hers, and I immediately felt emotional.

I called her up to express my profound thanks, and later I placed it up high in our bedroom, until we find a more permanent home for it.

…When I walked into the room hours later, the painting of the purple tree was a sight for sore eyes. I didn’t realise how much colour was lacking in our room, in our house, and I was sick of seeing beige boxes shoved into corners all over the place, only I didn’t know how much until this masterpiece entered our home.

I love it. I am really grateful for this personal present gifted to me by a very dear friend, the heartfelt meaning behind it, and the sincere generosity of bestie to even think of giving it to me in the first place.

 

Dancing in the rain amidst friendly townfolk and purple trees by bestie. Not a bad day. Not a bad day AT ALL. 🙂

 

#270 Sunday market at Docklands

Me and markets, don’t go together.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE MARKETS.

But like I said, me and markets… DON’T GO TOGETHER.

Or maybe I should say my purse and markets, don’t go together…

Because a casual Sunday stroll while at work brings me pink shorts, a Spiderman towel, and a gigantic cinnamon scroll, while removing $30 from my wallet.

Me thinks not too bad?

😉

I was starting to feel a bit sorry for myself this morning when I got up to go to work. Melbourne was putting it on, in fantastic fashion. Without even peeking through the curtains, I could just tell by the amazing light filtering through that it was going to be a stunner of a day.

And it was. Is. Driving to work was a tad hard. Everyone was going to be out today. Everyone was going to be enjoying the sunshine. Everyone was going to be having the freaking time of their life…

And I was going to be alone, at work, in front of a computer screen.

But, this gratitude blog, is not just a blog. It is an online expressive means of A WAY OF LIFE. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you should always try to look for something to be thankful for, and even on particularly difficult days, you may be able to find something little, still something worthy, if you look hard enough.

I know I don’t have any real problems here. I was just feeling sorry for myself on a sunny Sunday. So then I stopped, and decided to discover the Docklands Sunday market, a current Summer mainstay. I perused the stalls, and found some cute little pressies for baby girl – some pink shorts and a Spiderman towel, because this girl loves her trains and spidermen as much as she loves her hair accessories and beaded jewellery – and then because I had a coffee in hand I had to buy the biggest cinnamon pretzel I have ever seen.

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It’s a pretty cute selection of stalls, and though it’s nothing massive, it’s still worth having a look at if you’re in the area. You’ll find kids items, coffee, pastries, churros, cakes, jewellery, soaps, diffusers, gemstones, vintage-style binoculars, telescopes and compasses, second-hand books, and clothes, amongst many other things.

I now have something to be grateful for on my Sunday work shifts…

Or should I say, another thing to be grateful for 🙂

Check it out at: http://www.docklandsundaymarket.com.au/index.php

#263 Hopefully local

As soon as we discovered the café about a 5-10 minute walk from our house, we were hopefully optimistic.

I mean, we had always longed to move to somewhere where we could leisurely walk through back streets to a quaint little café where the owners knew our names and we could say “we’ll have the usual Dave,” and then we’d laugh and talk about the crazy Melbourne weather, plonking ourselves in our regular spot while talking about how damn lucky we were to have amazingly accessible coffee that close to home.

Well. We saw this place and decided we had to try it out, together, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

That was the problem though, you see. Because we were working on opposite shifts, we had NO TIME TOGETHER.

However, we’re now in the process of trialling something new out, and so far, it’s worked. Hubbie’s Mum stayed with us one day this week to watch baby girl while Hubbie and I worked, meaning we got one day off together: today.

It was cloudy, overcast, and rain threatening to spill at any moment, but this morning we rugged up in our jackets, and due to the weather, took the car instead. To the hopefully local.

And it was great. The food was pretty good for a corner back street café, it was intimate, the staff were friendly, and the coffee? Most importantly… it was fantastic. Very strong, yet very smooth, something I find a difficult combo to combine, and yet here it was done brilliantly.

Ahhh. Hopefully local? I think, definite local.

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