#712 Family Fun on Jan 26th

Today is a day that divides many people from the land down under.

January 26th – Australia Day. A national holiday to celebrate our achievements as Australians, to recognise how far we’ve come, and to reflect on our culture.

The local park down by the beach ran a huge Australia Day event, and naturally, we all headed on down.

It was a very pro-Australia Day experience. Flags abounded, Union Jacks on clothing, and green and gold was the norm. Massive theme park rides were spaced on the perimeter of the park, food trucks on one end, and a stage for live music on the other.

These people came here to celebrate Australia day – or as was in our case, to take advantage of the free entertainment.

But there is a movement, a wave of people that has been increasing exponentially, that believes we should not celebrate Australia Day on January 26th.

And I agree.

BUT that does NOT mean I am not proud to be an Australian.

January 26th is not the day the First Fleet landed in this country, as many people are led to believe. In fact it is believed to have occurred in 1788, somewhere between Jan 18-20, and the 26th is the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney Cove, to declare British Sovereignty.

Australia Day was celebrated in Sydney on January 26th in those early days, before other states took on the holiday too, but they did this on different days, like Tasmania’s ‘Regatta Day,’ or South Australia’s ‘Proclamation Day.’ This was the case for 200 years, and only in 1935 did it become nationally recognised and celebrated, even then only being declared as a holiday in 1994.

In that way, Australia Day as we know it today, is fairly new.

The day January 26th, is known as ‘Invasion Day’ or ‘Survival Day’ to these Anti-Aus Day Jan 26-ers. Because it signalled the end of 50,000 years of Indigenous occupation on this land, which then led to brutal colonisation. Massacres of the Aboriginal people took place, land was taken, and children removed from their parents. The stolen generation was born, and many Indigenous descendants grew up not knowing where they came from.

The pain, suffering and loss the Indigenous community experienced is more than profound. And that doesn’t include the repercussions echoing out to this current day. To think of what they have had to endure, not just over years, but decades and centuries, with oppression and hate and discrimination, when all they were doing were living on their land… a sorry will just not do.

But it was done. In 2008 the Australian Prime Minister formally apologised to the Aboriginal community – for the successive laws and policies of previous governments that inflicted severe pain and grief onto their families and communities.

January 26th, the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney in 1788, is then a representation of all that preceded, and all that was lost to the Indigenous community when the First Fleet arrived. The slavery, the violence, the oppression. It is a day of mourning for many. Rightly so.

My ancestors were NOT from that First Fleet. In fact, in 1788, my ancestors were probably farming cattle in a remote and poverty-stricken land somewhere in the Balkan region of Europe. My parents came to Australia in 1970, for a better life. It is the story of so many European immigrants, and continues to be so to this day. They came from nothing, from having to work so hard just to be able to obtain, I don’t know, a bike… over the span of a YEAR… and the opportunity to come to a “land of plenty,” where stories of filling up a trolley with fruit and vegetables with only $2, and realising after their first pay check working in the factory, that they could achieve so much more here in months, than they could achieve over there in years… that is the history I grew up with.

I grew up hearing, how Australia saved my parents. In doing so, they saved my sister and I. I grew up hearing of the comparisons between my parents’ beloved native country, and the ‘lucky country.’ They have such respect for where they came from, and when you ask them their nationality – they are Australian. Proudly so.

I have seen more of my family come from overseas. They didn’t come here to brutalise and oppress any minority or otherwise group, just as my parents didn’t. No, they came here for a better life, for a chance at something greater, even to escape WAR. They came here because they heard things were good, and they wanted to see things for themselves.

They have all stayed. We ALL have.

The Australia I have lived with, and which has been represented to me, is a good one, a noble one. I know things are not perfect, and there is always something the government must do better. But here, there is democracy. Freedom of speech. There is strong multiculturalism. People are kind. People are friendly. People love to connect.

However, bad things were done, many, many years ago, and despite the fact that we can’t go back, we can try to make things work as a unified community.

A country, united as one.

Both black and white, coming together.

But it has to be a conscious and integrated effort from both parties. There are white people I know that complain of the country we live in, or talk about how shit Australia is, or how that ‘other’ country is soooo much better.

Well move then. Go on, piss off (as a true blue Aussie would say). Don’t hang around here gaining benefits and working and earning Australian coin, when you know of so much better.

You are ungrateful. We don’t want you.

Likewise I have heard some other pretty horrible things today. I have heard of Indigenous people at Invasion Day rallies, saying “F*&k Australia, hope it burns to the ground.”

This makes me terribly sad. Sad for the mourning this person would have experienced to want the country they live in, the country we ALL live in, to burn to pieces.

Like I said, both parties need to want to move forward, peacefully. Slandering will not make things better. And it unfortunately won’t change the past.

Whether like me, my ancestors were not part of that First Fleet, or like other Australians, perhaps they were… the power to want to change the future is out there. People want to make amends for the past, whether they are white or black… but a person living in Melbourne today, should not be blamed for what their Father did in February 1st 1985 for example… just as today’s First Fleet descendants that want to change for the better, should not be blamed for what their ancestors were part of from 1788 onwards.

The idea is out there, that Australia Day needs to be moved to another date, or it is abolished all together and another day that celebrates both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities coming together, is created.

I believe this is the only way forward. I think respect needs to be shown to the original people of this land, and January 26th and Australia Day, are synonymous no more.



I went to the park today. I was happy to be amidst our community of proud Australians – Australians that love the country they live in, the people in it, and the culture that lives on.

Was I celebrating Australia Day? Hmm, not quite. I was celebrating the life I live…

But that I do every day. Because I am grateful for the place that I reside in the world.

I am grateful for MY history. I am grateful for the choices my parents made. And I am grateful that change is coming to respect the life and culture of those who inhabited this land 200 years before any white people were on it.

I had my own family fun day, and I enjoyed the fact of some extra time together, with them.

I hope wherever you were in the world, your day of January 26 was great too…




#707 Going back in time to Shakespearean days

To write a play that endures time, is one thing.

To write a collection of plays that endures time, is a whole other thing.

To write a collection of plays and sonnets that withstands time and change and all manner of things, is unheard of.

Oh wait, it’s not. William Shakespeare has done it.

Let me reiterate: to write a collection of plays and sonnets that are still celebrated, re-told, adapted and cherished, 402 years after your death, is something to aspire to.

402 years people. Can you even begin to imagine the breadth of this genius?

Doth you protest such excellency?

Ok, so I am no Shakespeare, since he would have written that line soooo much better.

In case you are not aware, William Shakespeare is a literary genius that has transcended time and age and geography and language, with his collection of plays and sonnets, that tell stories of tragedy, drama, comedy, and of course love.

I was immediately enthralled by the news late last year, that a pop-up globe theatre showcasing a selection of Shakespeare’s plays, would be ‘popping up’ as it were, alongside the Sidney Myer music bowl in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens for a several-month run.

I had been hanging to go there since, but alas time and distance and life were not on my side. It was an effort, a struggle, and a lot of pushing on my part, but finally I got my God damn Shakespeare play day today.

I headed into the city alongside Hubbie and baby girl, and as they ventured off for lunch and park wanderings, I walked the winding path around the Botanic Gardens, until I saw an exciting sight sitting atop the hill just ahead of me.


The play I watched today was Much Ado About Nothing. I wanted to see this one particularly, because it was re-done in recent years by famed Buffy-Angel-Marvel Universe creator/director Joss Whedon, and despite recent revelations about his ill choices in other areas of his personal life, I still have to give incredible thanks to the guy that brought Angel into my world. Creatively speaking, it is one of the best shows EVER. And if he chose two Buffy/Angel characters to star in a modern-day adaptation of a Shakespeare play, then that play must be pretty damn good.

I haven’t actually watched Whedon’s re-take… but I have read the original play in all of its hysterical glory. And crazily enough, I had even forgotten I had read it, since it was so long ago… I just went into it today, knowing I really really wanted to watch Whedon’s take on it after seeing the theatre guys today. And as I stood there, listening to the characters quick wits, hilarious remarks, and the beginnings of a very twisty-turvy tale, a part of me said “this is familiar… does Shakespeare like presenting such strong-willed females?”

I soon realised, in a similar Shakespearean humour, that I was a fool (as he would say), and I had already read the tale. Duh, Benedict.

A tale of love prevailed over 2 and a half hours, with themes of jealousy, scandal, trickery, but most dominant comedy, keeping us all thoroughly entertained and gasping for air in wonder and laughter.



But let’s place this all in context shall we? The history of the globe is that the theatre was planned as a one-off project in Auckland, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 2016. Following from two massive seasons, with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the shows, another pop-up globe was planned for our fair city of Melbourne, and is running up until February 3.

The globe itself is a reconstruction of the second Globe, the theatre that Shakespeare and the company he worked with built in 1614 following a fire that burnt the first Globe a year earlier. Although based on rough proportions of the original, it is slightly smaller than the 1614 Globe, which would have sat 3000 spectators compared to today’s reconstruction.




Annnnddddd back to today’s play. With the pop-up globe having done its run first in New Zealand, there were native themes dabbled in throughout Much Ado, such as ceremonial mourning and nuptial dances and songs, New Zealand actors, and an amazing Maori routine at the end of the performance that had me, and the rest of the audience, in absolute awe. Such passion and love and dedication was so apparent in the Globe today, however I am sure it was not only reserved for my eyes on this January Sunday.

I had tears of laughter during comedic moments, tears of sadness in truly mournful ones, and tears of pure elevation and extreme gratitude, at the end when watching the performers do their final act and perform for the people in the Globe. They bowed for the audience 3 times, and I could swear the room was going to explode from sheer love at the happy drama that had unfolded over the past couple of hours.


It was the best thing I had done in a long time, and I was soooo happy I had managed to get over there for the Melbourne season. The first Melbourne season hopefully, as I am keen to watch more of his plays in a replica of the original Globe as many times as I can, as it just added so much to the feel and vibe of the story.

I was a ‘Groundling’ today, a true commoner as would have been the case in 1614, and stood close to the stage seeing everything unfold in utmost clarity. Having said that, the space of the Globe is small, and all seats within provide wonderful vantage points.


A sole Groundling ticket is approximately $28 including online processing fees, with seated areas going up substantially, however I ended up paying double quite accidentally, since there was an error as I ordered the tickets online, and I ended up with two.

But to have paid $56, for what I saw today? Priceless.

I went home with a little souvenir… a Shakespeare Pop Up Globe tote bag. And you just know what my reading material will be as I walk about town with it…


Only the best.



#705 Cooling down at LEGOLAND

On day 2 of what to do when you are stuck in 35+ degree heat with no air con at home…

I actually wouldn’t have even thought to go to LEGOLAND today, if it weren’t for the extreme heat. So maybe I will be grateful for it…


l’ll dedicate this one to the weird and wonderful things we saw at the ‘mini brick mansion’ instead.

I mean, it’s not like we had never planned on going to LEGOLAND… baby girl sure loves her Lego, and can’t wait ’til she turns 5 so she can accumulate even more Lego (I have to impose a pretend age ban, or else we’d be swimming in these pointy shaped blocks in our house).

The only LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Australia is situated in Chadstone shopping centre, Melbourne. It’s a bit of a hefty entry price per single admission, of $32.50 a pop (sheesh!) but you do get access to a whole heap of free things. My thoughts are that with an annual pass costing you $75.00 a person, if you are bound to go at least twice a year, you’ve paid off your ticket, with the annual pass coming with freebies like special event invites and 10% off the Lego store too.

The website also advises that you can book and even schedule a time in advance to visit, so as to avoid the disappointment of possibly waiting if you do just ‘rock up’ like baby girl and I did today, hoping to just walk on in… having said that, we easily walked in, and still found it packed to the rafters inside with adults and kids, and it is school holidays too! Perhaps it gets even busier on weekends? Something to consider.

Upon entry we walked into a room where we were told to stand on a red dot and pose for a camera. I didn’t like this, only because I knew I would later be easily persuaded to buy the photos of myself and baby girl for a hefty price… which I did, for a hefty price! $45 to be exact!

But they were pretty cool, and showcased both of us in various Lego scenes, and to be honest we looked good, and if we didn’t I wouldn’t have bothered. Onwards.

The next room was the Lego ‘tour,’ which was really just a circular room with screens all around, with little cartoon people talking to us about how Legos are made, and all kind of fun statistics and info for kids… maybe older kids, but it was nothing to keep baby girl interested for very long.

The next door took us to a ride where we had to save the Lego princess, and we hopped on a car that took us around the dark in twisting corners, and where little Lego-shaped characters popped out, and then we pointed our play guns at screens and shot the bad guys. Of course, we saved the princess in the end 🙂 A cool ride, for both young and old, but if your littlie is scared of the dark, maybe it might be a little freaky with all the fake spiders and all.

The next room was MY personal favourite of the centre, the LEGOLAND of Melbourne city! Stay tuned for photos at the end of this post.

The final room was a huge mish-mash of everything:

  • There were various zones of Lego play where kids could get into the Lego-making themselves
  • Kids could also make Lego cars and then test them on awesome car tracks against other kids’ cars!
  • They could view human sized Lego
  • You could get involved in a Lego workshop
  • You could even create your own Lego to take home (today it was a starship from Star Wars)
  • There was the 3D Lego movie that ran every 30 minutes or so
  • Then there was the Merlin ride where you pedalled your way up and around into the sky (that was great fun!)
  • And last but not least there was the playground area, but note to all: kids aren’t allowed without socks!

And all of this with a café in the middle of the room and toilets nearby. All the activities were for free, the only things you had to pay for that were extra, were those cheeky photos they took of you at the beginning (of course you would pay for them), and food and drink from the café, plus anything from the Lego store of course, which was the place you exited from as you left the centre.

AMAZINGLY, we didn’t buy anything from the store, but that was purely because there was no Frozen or Little Mermaid or Disney themed Lego that was 4+ that baby girl didn’t have.

I would seriously consider getting an annual pass, but perhaps when baby girl is a bit older. Although we did most activities and went on both rides, she wasn’t interested in the movie, and the workshop might be a ‘next time’ task too.

But it was a great day all in all, and baby girl and I spend a good couple of hours in there, taking it all in (and me trying to get my money’s worth!)

Oh and it was cool. Hip-wise and temperature-wise. BONUS points.

Now for those awesome Lego Melbourne city pics…


(Luna Park)


(Baby girl – and Anna – checking out half of the MCG during cricket)


(Racing the horses at Flemington Racecourse)

(Melbourne Exhibition Building and Shrine of Remembrance)


(The stunning Arts Centre)

(Live music, and Hot Air Balloons!)


(They even got the suburb I work in… why I never! Docklands)

And my favourite, most favourite of all…



Melbourne’s beautiful beaches. Yep, we sure do ♥♥♥

And all was made that much sweeter and cooler, by the addition of some much-needed cold relief following such a huge day out…


Hope your day was filled with as much fun and ice cream as ours was.



#683 Super Play centre

They’re upsizing everything nowadays. Not just for the adults, but for the kids too.

They are getting fun in huge doses as well, in the form of huge jumping arenas and floor-to-ceiling play centres where anything and everything is possible.

We were in such a play centre today, for those playing from home (Melbourne that is) it was at SuperZu. And, we came prepared…

And that means, WITH SOCKS.

Baby girl and I met up with her cousin and Mum, and us Mums were just as keen as the girls to get in and amongst the fun. There were tube slides, something baby girl and I have recently grown accustomed to, yet which never grows boring, climbing net-like contraptions, motorised cars, mazes and ball pits and shooting platforms and ALL kinds of activities you can imagine, scaling 2 to 3 levels, maybe even more, I can’t say, that’s how much of a web the centre was.

And then there was a volcano-like climbing wall. It was pretty steep, and I watched baby girl try to scale it a few times, sliding down the slippery surface each time.


She was growing frustrated, and was hard on herself as she generally is when trying to do something new. I encouraged her and told her to keep holding on to the white steps with her hands and feet, and bit by bit, she worked her way to the top, teetering ever so closely to the edge as she got there and giving me a fright as I willed her to throw her legs over, but once she had I was breathing a huge sigh of relief.

She then proceeded to climb the wall confidently at least another 25 times in the next few hours.


My monkey. She had fun, her cousin had fun, us Mums had fun because they were having fun, and everything was just FUN.

Here’s to places designed to keep our kids happy 🙂


#682 Work Air Con

At our home currently, we do NOT have air conditioning.

This may not mean much to an Eskimo, Santa, or any person currently not experiencing an Australian Summer.

However, in Melbourne tonight at the time of approximately 10:30pm, it is about 28 degrees in the city centre.

And it ain’t dropping heaps overnight my friends.

Earlier when I spoke to Hubbie he told me it was boiling in our house. There is no breeze, and there is sweat on baby girl’s face, reminiscent of that time we went to Port Douglas and she was mostly cranky pants in the 40 degree heat, only satisfied when in a pool/ocean.

And yet, I am grateful. Not for the sauna awaiting me at home when I leave here shortly, no. But for the fact that in this moment, I am in a cool climate of possibly 18 degrees, the industrial work air con working brilliantly in my surrounds.



#655 SIA!


Clap clap clap.


Clap clap clap.


Clap clap clap.

What an incredible and talented performer and ensemble we were privileged to be in the company of tonight.

As if it isn’t enough that she has conquered the vocal world with her chords, what makes it all sweeter is that…

She is OURS.


Aussie gal through and through.



#518 Chaddy shopping day no.2

Considering I practically live in jeans, it’s weird that I only have two pairs that I religiously alternate between.

Well, maybe not so weird. I am a Mum after all, and us Mums are notorious for putting ourselves last ALL THE TIME.

I bought my last black pair of Nobody jeans a good 4 years ago… I know the time roughly because baby girl was not around, at all. Make that, maybe 5 years. That’s a long time to repeatedly wear the same pair, on and off, and further proof of the staying-power and longevity of this Melbourne-based jean legend.

So when my zip broke while at work earlier this week (fortunately at the end of my shift) I knew it was coming time to look at another pair.

Today at Chaddy, the purchases were:

  • a new black pair of Cult Skinny Black Nobody jeans! (why try something else when you’ve found the best?)


(that’s not me, but they look something like that)

  • a Paw Patrol Chase toy and car, and a Wobbly Worm game
  • and finally, some awesome chocolate and cheese hokkaidos, which were the BOMB

Baby girl and Hubbie spent ages slinging hoops over the ‘wobbly worm,’ a game I think is fantastic for both kids, and their parents, especially at the end of a party where the parents can get just as intense and full-on in their competitiveness, especially when a couple of drinks are involved.

And the hokkaidos, why, oh my. I promise they are not paying me. They are just so damn good!

Shopping day, well spent. 🙂 $