#1828 Balcony brekkie

So what else does one do when you’re locked at home, it’s beautiful weather…

Did I mention locked at home? ๐Ÿคฃ

Well, kind of. Many Melburnians would agree with me. Others would call me over-dramatic, but I am a writer so…

LOL.

With not much to do, and with so much time to do it, I looked outside, felt the air, and said to baby girl:

“Why don’t we eat breakfast on the balcony?”

It’s a nicer experience actually, without the gazillion cars going by. I actually don’t really notice them, it’s only that Hubbie loves to bring it to our attentions time and time again.

The cars, oh man, the cars. God help us, THE CARS.

But now, during lockdown? There are minimal cars.

It made our tea, toast and toy experience that much more serene, peaceful, and chilled, up there, on a day where we didn’t do much, AT ALL.

Hey, maybe we schedule snap lockdowns once a month, just so we can get some time off? Anyone?

Ok I’ll duck –

#1718 Day 220 of getting there: cafes are back

Today was so exciting!

Hubbie and I dropped off baby girl at school, and soon found ourselves on the main strip for coffee.

DINE-IN COFFEE!

Oh, what a great decision we made when we picked a primary school that practically backs out onto the main strip. Seriously. Best idea ever.

We were one of the early ones, and there were already a few people here and there, headed out to shops, restaurants and cafes…

Not only did hairdressers’ still have lines out the door…

But beauty salons now had people lining up too!

Not to worry, we were early.

And we went through the new ‘normal’ routine.

Scanned the cafe’s QR code on my phone.

Signed in our details.

Sat with our masks still on.

Then took them off when our coffees arrived!

Oh, and almond croissant to share too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yum yum. It was a great experience, and the coffee was actually a 10/10. That has only happened a handful of times for me. Sure the coffee in Melbourne is A1, but most of the time it is an 8, 9…

But oh my, a 10? What a way to get back onto the cafe scene.

We left the cafe, ready and primed for the rest of our day, set up in the best way…

And people were outside, EVERYWHERE. Sitting at tables, lining outside shops. Cars were driving down the main strip.

The sun was shining. People were dressed up.

Everyone was happy and excited.

It honestly, nearly brought a tear to my eye.

We’ve missed so much. And now, in whatever way feels right, we are getting it back. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

#1709 Day 211 of getting there: Monopoly makes me reminisce

This afternoon after school, baby girl and I started playing some Melbourne Monopoly.

In total we probably played for about an hour and a half, and you need to play for this long to really get the game going. Baby girl is getting it more and more, and my God is she a property hoarder. I’m all picky with what I buy, but I find myself having to buy more than I want or else I’d be paying her rent constantly.

We played for so long, that only one property was left unbought from the whole game board. We even had houses – 5 of mine, 3 of hers – laid down. That’s the sign of a good game. When HOUSES appear.

But this was a Melbourne version… so instead of Old Kent Road, you got Hosier Lane.

Instead of Northumberland Avenue, you’ve got the Chapel Street Precinct.

And instead of the exclusive Mayfair… it’s the MCG.

I think it’s pretty cool, and though I’m a stickler for originals (I have the original tattered version too) I came across a card today, and well, it’s just Melbourne:

I don’t know about you, but this made me miss being out and about even more.

Even the annoying hipsters. I think I even miss them. ๐Ÿ˜œโ˜•

#1612 Day 114 of getting there: So much freedom in lockdown

Lockdown part 2 for us here in Melbourne.

There’s even the potential, (SHOCK HORROR!) of a stage 4 lockdown approaching soon if the corona cases don’t stay low low low.

But something occurred to me today.

While I worked from home, in my trakkies.

When I I had to run to the garage to take out the Dory table and chair for baby girl to enjoy in the backyard, and I didn’t even have to put my work Skype on “be right back.”

When I had home-made soup for lunch… I just grabbed what was in the fridge.

I know those are all fairly work-related-from-home cases, but there is so much more.

So many more great things about being in lockdown.

We get to cheat… at EVERYTHING.

At life.

You don’t have to drive the kids to school. Sure, the home-schooling is ‘interesting,’ to be diplomatic.

There are no early morning lunches. No freezing wake-up calls with frost on the windows.

There’s no barking at kids to get out of the house on time.

Your pets get all the love.

There’s no rush, generally. There’s no more ‘job-hopping’… run here, grab this, quickly do that before flying across town for that other thing.

Sleep-ins on days off are more acceptable. Remember, there is not much to do.

Other than think of yourself. Your household.

Baking. Cooking. Yummy treats.

Baths. ‘Me time.’ Paint your nails.

Read a book… read all the books!

Just Netflix. Watch old DVDs. Crosswords. Knit a scarf.

Start an exercise routine.

For ALL the times that we wanted to chill… we can now chill.

For ALL the times that we wanted to just do nothing… we can now do nothing.

For ALL the times we wanted to have time for us… we now have time for us.

For ALL the times we wished we could hibernate in Winter… we can now hibernate in winter!

You can take some extra breaks if you’re working from home. A couple extra coffees here and there to keep you sane. (I’m not saying I do it, just saying, you know ;)).

People keep talking about restrictions restrictions restrictions, lockdown lockdown lockdown…

But did anyone stop to think of the tremendous freedom we now have to do what we like?

To be free of our usual responsibilities and rushed go-go-go life, to now do what we like?

I know life goes on, and I know there are still things to do… but let’s face it.

There is a lot LESS.

And much more time, to just pick and choose.

Take that approach with you for the rest of this so-called ‘lockdown.’

More like, ‘WIND DOWN.’

I like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Photo by Jackson David on Pexels.com

#1523 Day 25 of getting there: Home deliveries

What would you say is better?

Receiving a home delivery that YOU ordered…

Or being the receiver of one that is a surprise?

Well I didn’t have to choose today. I GOT BOTH.

My T2 delivery arrived today. I have been out of Melbourne Breakfast Tea for weeks now. I ordered that, alongside some new chai (smells heavenly) and a cute little surprise bunny mug for baby girl… her new fave. ๐Ÿ™‚

But the surprise came from sis and family. Because from them, we received an Easter package, filled with chocolate, activities for baby girl, Easter miscellaneous items, and most importantly LOVE.

There is nothing quite like filling the current monotony of life, with online deliveries, surprises, and love. โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅ

 

#1452 “Live baby live!” in the car

For Melburnians out there (and anyone listening to digital radio online) did you know that the station GOLD 104.3 is not GOLD 104.3 anymore?

Okay, kinda not true. So the name ‘GOLD’ remains in the station title. But their vision has changed… because in fact, there are no ‘golden oldies’ as they used to call them.

They have like, everything now.

They have Michael Jackson… the 80s. (Whoops the 80s are now 40 years ago! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฑ).

They have Michael Buble (now that is a more recent artist ๐ŸŽต).

And I’ve even heard them play Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca (crap, that’s 19 years old if I think carefully about it… ๐Ÿค”)

But they do play artists like Pink as well, so take that. ๐Ÿ˜

My point is, they aren’t as OLD as they used to be. (Or maybe I’m catching up? ๐Ÿ˜‚).

Anyway, I enjoy the throwbacks, and Gold found it’s way out of the car speakers once again today as we drove across town. Baby girl was at school, Hubbie and I were driving to service his car, and the sun was SHINING. ๐ŸŒž

We had just finished our Macca’s drive-through coffees (no coffee snobbery allowed when you are short on time) so were kinda high on LIFE. โ˜•

One song finished and the radio station did that little promo thing, where they promote themselves in a 5 second ad… and I could hear the familiar music of the next song starting to creep out of the closing ad, slowly increasing.

“Oh!” We both said.

I reached for the volume and turned it up to like 50. ๐Ÿ”Š

Windows down. Sun streaming through the windows. And then we sang along with Michael Hutchence as he belted –

“LIVE BABY LIVE! Now that the day is over.”

Oh! What an opening! What words, what power, what amazing music! โค

We were totally pumped for the rest of the song. Jumping in the car like the crowd at Wembley! The timing was perfect. We enjoyed the noise blasting out of the car speakers, and when it was over we were devoid of any hearing capacity, but we were happy.

Happy, pumped and deaf. But most importantly, happy. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿ˜

It was GOLD. ๐ŸŒŸ

 

#1437 Melbourne Monopoly

I was so excited to come home with the tattered and old board game.

It came from the depths of my parents’ garage, and the game in question was Monopoly.

I had played it oh so many times in my childhood, and I planned to again… with my family, introducing it to a newbie in baby girl.

But then today while clearing out a cupboard, I came across MORE board games, and realised…

I had a newer version – Melbourne Monopoly.

Years ago for Christmas I had gotten it from Hubbie when the special city edition was released. I was so excited then…

But never played it! Never even tried to look at it…

‘Til tonight!

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Monopoly was on the cards alright. We didn’t play until someone was bankrupt (baby steps for baby girl) pulling the pin early because hey, the game takes sooo long anyway… but we already had our first little hissy fit.

Baby girl didn’t want to pack the cards away, wanting to keep the pink strip of cards… Because PINK.

The strip in question? It includes iconic spots like the Chapel Street precinct and the Emporium in Melbourne.

Of course. It had to be shopping related.

#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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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 clarifiedโ€ฆ “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 cafรฉ 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.” –ย 

It was –

“How baby girl wailedย 

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. โ™ฅ

 

 

 

 

#1321 Amazing cuz, Amazing Andy

It’s been a real quiet first week of school holidays .

Some cafe stops. Playground visits. Lots of groceries and stay-at-home days.

That all changed today.

We went out. BIG TIME.

We went to the city, to watch…

The ‘Andy’s Amazing Adventures’ Show!

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Not only was it great to be able to watch the show, and see this man come to life on stage that baby girl (and I!) have watched on TV soooo many times before… but it was gifted to us by my cousin, who *ahem*, works in a field that seems to have a lot of perks!

But no, it didn’t stop there. As we arrived to the show, we were led through a side door and waited in this narrow grey corridor with pipes overhead and ladders on the side, until, guess who walked around the corner?

ANDY, HIMSELF!!!! Super star moment! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿคฉ

I swear, baby girl is sooo lucky. She has met so many of her fave stars, she is gonna grow up thinking that this is normal. Oh man, darling, it is not. We posed for photos with him before going outside to our seats, which were also smashing thank you very much.

Baby girl was looking up and around and saying she wanted to sit on the upper levels, and she spied the antique balconies of the Athenaeum theatre… cuz and I were like “trust us, these seats are better!” *stalls*

Ahh, kids.

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The show was brilliant. There were plenty of things to make the parents laugh, and being Andy it was super educational while still a ball of fun.

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Baby girl walked away grinning from ear to ear, and funny as it may be, though we don’t get to see my cuz as often as we like… she ain’t ever forgetting him after this event! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿคฃ

Ahh cuz. Love you. โคโคโค

 

 

 

#1151 Conversations with our girl

At the end of the night Hubbie and I swapped cute exchanges we’d had with baby girl today.

I had called Hubbie whilst driving home from the city.

RING RING.

“Hello Mama.”

“Hi honey! How are you?”

“Good.”

“That’s good. What did you do today?”

“I’ve been colouring in sooo much.”

“Oh honey, my sweetheart, that’s good.”

“Tato’s in the shower.”

“Oh ok. Well can you tell Tato, Mama will be home after 7. Ok?”

“TATO! MAMA WILL BE HOME AFTER 7!”

๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†

(A just audible ‘ok.’)

“Thanks honey. I’m gonna hang up now, ok?”

“Ok.”

“See you soon. Love you honey.”

“Love you. Bye.”

A phone call with her when Hubbie didn’t have to step in? Now that was a first ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ’—

Hubbie then told me later that he had been admiring her, and said to her “Mama and I are so proud of you, we love you so much.”

And the curious cat that she is, asked “why are you so proud of me?”

Hubbie was prepared for this. These are the moments when you shine. You rehearse them so that you don’t get caught out, you have the right answer… and not because there is any lie in the response. Hell no. More so, because girls get told all the time that they are pretty. Boys are applauded for being strong and fast… girls for being cute and darling.

We don’t like that.

He began.

“Well, we are proud of you because you are caring, kind-hearted, fun, clever, you have a beautiful nature…” he went on a bit more, without making any mention of her appearance.

When he stopped she paused and said “Thank you Tato! I will remember that!”

Awwww.

I sure hope you do our sweet girl. You are all that and so much more. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜