#614 Mementos from the past

I am in the process of sorting through all the childhood things I left behind at my parents house when I first moved in with Hubbie. So each time I visit, I go through a drawer, a cupboard, a shelf, and I sort into 3 piles:

The throw away pile

The recycle/donate pile

The take home and keep forever and ever pile

I have come across some absolutely amazing things, LET ME TELL YOU. Watch this space carefully. I even came across a note, that nearly made me clap my hands with joy… it’s not with me yet, or else I would have posted about it already.

In due time. 馃榾 馃榾 馃榾

But anyway. Along with getting rid of some items today (if I can’t remember where it is from, or it doesn’t spark any interest in me, I remove it from sight immediately in a rather ruthless and cold manner – I have to because I hoard soooo easily) I took home a fair few more.

All little things. Which makes it ok.

But some of the interesting finds were these:

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Bits I had TOTALLY forgotten about. Bits that told a story, of another time, and another place. And Bits that just made me go “huh?”

Bits I had TOTALLY forgotten about

The pale blue rosary. Who gave it to me? I don’t know. Was it a baby gift? I don’t know. Did someone think I was going to come out a boy?

I DON’T KNOW.

But it has always been there, and therefore has always given me some kind of comfort, since I know it has been around for as long as I have.

The Christmas tree pin. It lights up. I think. My mum gave it to me… I think. But regardless of who gifted it to me, it’s Christmas, and so immediately, KEEP.

Bits that tell a story

The blue and pink zig zag choker. When I was 13 and overseas for the first time, my cousin gave this to me. I think I can even remember, that she had made it.

I am not now, nor have I ever been a choker wearer. But I wore it then, several times, both in front of her and away from her, as a kind of experimentation with self, and you know, teenage years. I had completely forgotten about this one. It takes me to a very memorable and significant trip from my childhood, and so this has to stay.

My incognito watch. I wore this in my teenage years, even possibly leading up to, and during my aforementioned overseas trip. I have to say, I had no idea what incognito meant when I wore it. Oh man.

Bits that make me go “huh?”

Those keys on the bugs bunny key chain. You know how you accumulate a thousand and one keychains in your life? No? Well I somehow received a lot. As a present, attached to some gift set, and hey, key chains are an awesome present to give somebody as a holiday souvenir, because who doesn’t want a picture on their keys of some kind of landmark, that they have NEVER been to???!!!

So, I have no idea who gave me this key chain, or if in fact, I got it when my parents and I went up to Surfers Paradise one time. And those keys… like, what? I told my Mum to throw this one out, and then stopped in my tracks.

What would those keys open up?

???

“Maybe you should keep those,” Mum suggested. “It might be to open those brown boxes that kept all those books you used to write in…”

My old diaries. Hmmm. She knew about that VERY well…

So, what a memory blast. As life goes on, I find it fascinating that we used to live a life so long ago, that we can’t remember a lot about. And we come across things, that used to be so regular in our lives, and now, we draw a blank. It’s incredible, and as a child, I used to always say “I’ll never forget,” baffled with adults who couldn’t remember events of their childhood.

I now forget.

You know what might help me though? A watch. I know what incognito is now, and I certainly go by it online… 馃槈

 

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#566 Messages from the Coffee cup

I have a LONG history with it.

When I was 10, the day after my sister’s wedding my parents threw a huge, informal backyard party at their place for our closest family and friends. There were a lot of people on that sunny January day, and being the excited kid (and flower girl, thank you very much) that I was, I went ape-shit.

Come the fading hours of sunlight, and my tummy was aching. It was a phase of life where if I jumped or ran about too much after eating, it all came up.

And so it all came up.

While everyone was singing and dancing into the night, the sounds of a folk accordion echoing out to me from the garage, I lay in my room feeling like absolute shit. Not only did I actually feel horrible, but I felt even worse to be missing out on ALL THE FUN.

Oh the agony.

My parents brought me a cup of black coffee. No sugar. The plan?

“Drink it. It’ll make you better, one way or another…”

Yep, it was the other. I threw up some more.

My first taste of real coffee. Coming up.

I grew acquainted with it in another way when I was 13, and on my first overseas trip with my parents. Coming from a fairly superstitious European background (and at that age being absolutely obsessed with what the future would hold) I was delighted to no end to find out that my new most favourite aunty over there, could read coffee cups.

Basically an espresso-sized coffee would be prepared for you, using really fine freshly ground coffee beans, and then it was combined with water and brought to a boiling heat before serving.

This was more pleasant. It had sugar. Sure it was bitter and very strong, but I mean, I had to know if that guy I had just met I was going to EVER SEE AGAIN, so I would have drank a sample of someone else’s saliva if necessary for that information.

My aunty would peer into the base and sides of the coffee cup once it had been turned upside down. You see, the thick syrupy part of the coffee that remained on the bottom once it had all been drank, well that was the bit you worked with. Because you would grab your all-important saucer (they have a use, yes), place it on top of your coffee cup, and then with a swift 180 degree turn flip it over and rest, allowing the thick coffee syrup to gently drip its way down the walls of your inverted coffee cup.

I loved the information I got. It was mostly what I always wanted to hear. Some favourable ‘love’ news. Oooooh! Did it come true? I’m not sure, probably not. But it made me happy, made me believe, and I never stopped asking for coffee readings.

Fast forward to today. I actually drink coffee for enjoyment, not just for the sake of knowing my future. I think it’s better that we don’t know some things… that I’ve learnt the scary way. But tonight while at my parents place, Mum made me, Hubbie and my Dad a coffee, and as I drank it, I just couldn’t help myself…

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Flip!

It’s not that I necessarily know what every sign or symbol means in coffee reading. I try to decipher them based on my own knowledge of dream symbols… I figure they might be the same. You scan the walls and base of the cup once the grounds dry, and try to make out any figures…

I immediately found a person on a motorbike. Leaning forward as if trying to get away. And closely next to it is a sweet dog’s face.

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Can you see what I’m looking at? That cluster of black near the top, that is a person leaning forward in a motorbike. And beside it near the bottom of the bike, are some dots: two perfect eyes, a nose and a mouth, and the nose is even within a darker area, representing the muzzle of the dog. The dog is smiling, which is good.

I looked it up in my parents old-school dream journal (of course they have an old-school dream journal) and I couldn’t find any mention of a motorbike or bike for that matter, but it was noted that a dog was good, and if it was at the base of the cup, it suggested a good friend in your home.

There was also a tiny heart which I was unsure of… look again to the left side of the cup, tilt the photo 90 degrees to the right, and there it is… tiny love heart.

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Also a good sign.

I like good signs.

(Can you see anything else? Let me know!)

Anyway I love it. I love what this little tradition reminds me of. Wonderful events, memorable people, and particularly, one of the best times of my life…

Why wouldn’t I want to keep returning to it?

Yes, it is all a bit of fun, but I do strongly believe that there is some truth to it too…

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See that photo? This was taken a month before I found out I was pregnant with baby girl.

A BIG HEART.

Take that as you will 馃檪

#505 Home-made food

Baby girl was hell-bent on some sickly sweet treat from the bakery today, so I succumbed. It was a pink meringue, and looked something like this

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but it was long, like a plait. There were two m&m blue eyes, and sprinkles throughout. At home, I broke it into chunks for her,聽and popped a piece into my mouth to see what was so good about it. I tasted some kind of bakery taste, but not necessarily a pleasant one, and something oily. It WAS sickly sweet. I didn’t think baby girl would last with it, knowing her palate, and yet聽I left the room and left her to it…

I was making my Nutella-filled baked cinnamon doughnuts. I too had a disposition towards sweet things today – maybe it was the cold, dark and dreary weather, and the menacing clouds hanging over us and threatening to spill with rain at any second, that made us need the sugary pick me up.

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As I was near the end of the process, my doughnuts now out of the oven, and聽close to buttering and sugaring them up, baby girl ran in.

“Yuck!” she was saying. She appeared to be spitting, and needed some kind of help so I went over to where she had been eating her meringue while watching endless Nickelodeon in the other room.

A few pieces had been eaten, yet several chunks were still there on the table, with one wet, clearly chewed up and spat out piece.

“This is too sweet baby girl. I knew you wouldn’t eat it.” I told her we would pack up the uneaten pieces for another day, and I cleaned up her spat out聽piece. She needed water, and it was here that I crouched to her level.

“You know baby girl, this stuff is no good. What Mummy bakes is the best. You know when Mama was a little girl, she only ate the cakes that Baka made? Home-made food is the best honey, know that.”

I went back into the kitchen with such conviction, with baby girl happily gulping down water and converted, behind me. Home-made food, no matter the dish – savoury or sweet – was always going to be a fresher, healthier, and smarter option compared to store bought or processed ANYTHING. Even as I finished off my Nutella doughnuts and reviewed the ingredients in my mind (caster sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon, milk, egg) they were all pantry/fridge standard staples, and though yes butter and sugar prevailed, I’d rather that than artificial colourings and sweeteners. This is the stuff the old, old, old generation used. This was the stuff to eat, when you ate sweet. Anything home-made, ruled.

Anything home-made RULES.

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It’s a lesson I knew I was always going to teach baby girl, and today I was grateful in the knowledge that I received that much-necessary education from my own Mother, by her words and strong example, so many, many years ago.

Thanks Mum… as always, you聽are totally聽right聽馃檪

 

 

 

#471 The Box of Barbie Memories

“Why don’t you take home that box of dolls you have?” Mum had asked me. “You said when she was younger that you wanted to wait a bit more, but now she might enjoy it.”

I could see where she was going. When she had asked me about a year ago if I wanted to take home with me an old box of Barbies I had packed away at my parents house when I was a pre-teen, I had said that I’d rather wait until baby girl was older, and ‘into’ dolls more. Also, I didn’t want to be adding another box of stuff to our household, when we already had so much ‘stuff.’

But I realised today, that baby girl was not only older, but she was definitely into dolls: she had two of her own Barbies, given to her as pressies over the last 6 months, and she loved the whole figurine, dress-up, pretend-play games she did with them. It was actually, perfect timing.

When at my parents place, they started looking for them in聽a wardrobe, and it almost looked like they wouldn’t be found for a little while. When they almost gave up, Dad stumbled across the box.

Just looking at the box, brought back memories: both the box, and the packing of it. With the latter, I actually had the faintest memory of packing it – in that room where it was found, my old ‘first’ room (before my sister moved out and then I moved into her room because it was front-facing and bigger), I remembered placing the barbies neatly against one another and on top of each other, before gently packing it all away… for good.

For another day, another time. I didn’t know then what聽I would be doing with it in 20 years time. That I would be giving it a new lease on life.

Secondly, the box.

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The Kraft box. My Dad worked there for a good couple of decades, and each year for their annual Christmas party, each employee was invited to the party for a lunch, bringing home a festive box full of Krafty goodies – cheeses, spreads, biscuits, and any other new product that wasn’t even on the shelves yet. I was always so excited when Dad came home from these Christmas parties – I’d come home from school, looking around the kitchen and dining room table, hoping to see a Christmas-y coloured box, with tinsel bursting from the sides. And Dad knew I’d get so excited about it, smiling just as much as me when I finally saw the box. Going through the contents of the box, was a happy, pre-Christmas tradition for me.

Even after he stopped working there, he was still invited, along with other long-standing employees of the company, to a former employees Christmas Party… that sadly, soon stopped fairly soon after, after new management came along. I remember the sadness and disappointment I felt in discovering the goodie box, was good, no more. So this box that I was staring at today, was quite possibly, one of, if not the, last boxes he ever received.

And I’d put my Barbies into it. Memories upon memories.

The only way I got baby girl into the car today was the promise of playing with Barbie dolls at home. So once there, I complied.

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Finding all my dolls, some just that, plain dolls, ‘wannabe Barbies’ and others the very real deal, was seriously like stepping into a time capsule that I myself had buried 2 decades ago. I found dolls I had forgotten about, costumes and shoes I didn’t know I had, and also the barbies that I faintly remembered – and then of course Ken. Who could forget when one got a Ken doll? That was a special thing back in the day.

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(Some funky outfits they had)

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(Check out the blonde ‘fro – yeah yeah!)

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(I won this Ariel doll in a kids mag comp, and I was STOKED… but one of her legs broke as soon as we lifted her out, maybe she should have stayed in mermaid form…)

I told baby girl that she must take extra care with these dolls, and pack them away gently as they were found. I think she knows what to do, but still, I have to make sure these Barbies are under supervision by me or Hubbie when she is playing with them. Even he agrees, saying “they’re old enough to go on club reg.”

Too right.

But even though I’m happy for baby girl to play with my cherished old Barbies, there is one thing I think I’m going to have to change – the box. Old and flimsy as it is, and with the addition of a piece of paper that was on the bottom of the box, where my Mum scrawled Dad’s last day of work聽at Kraft… I don’t know, but I think I need to put away this box, this special box of so much history and memories, and use it for my own good, and get a new box for baby girl to put all her old/new barbies in.

I know it’s just a box, but it’s what it represents that is priceless.

#467 A coffee break in my Parents backyard

It’s a lovely full circle moment when you are a visitor in your parents’ house, enjoying it in away that let’s face it, you never really used to enjoy it.

My parents have a pretty beautiful back yard. Lots of fruit trees, lush green grass, plenty of shade from the old trees’ branches to protect you on sunny days, and just a serene place to relax, and appreciate nature.

Do you think I spent that much time ‘taking it in’ when I was a teen? Hell no. Sure, I have plenty of backyard memories, of climbing up trees, jumping in piles of leaves my Mum had just swept into a pile, picking an apricot straight from the tree and devouring it. Playing with my cats, having my friends over, and then ALL of those parties!… the list goes on and on and ON.

But it’s not until you don’t live at your parents house anymore, that you start to really appreciate the little things.

While over near my parents side of town today for an appointment, following that baby girl and I swung on by to visit, and after the customary lunch upon arrival, we all headed out to the back.

The Autumn skies were clear, and sunny. Still, not a wisp of wind. Soon Mum was manoeuvring a garden table into the middle of the lush green grass, positioning chairs, taking out sweets, and聽I was making coffee.

Dad, Mum, baby girl, and I. All 4 of us, sitting in the middle of their backyard, having a great family moment.

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(Check out original Ridge on that soap opera mug – MINE!)

Of course it didn’t last long. The sitting I mean. I was up and at baby girl, following her or something. But it was still bliss.

Moments with your family are never enough, not for me anyway. I always feel like I need more, I want more, want to appreciate and experience and enjoy and live through MORE. I guess that’s just how it is with those you love. It makes me聽 grateful for these moments, these moments that are never enough, so much more.

Soon after聽the skies turned grey, and we all headed inside…

To more FUN. Dancing in your parents house with your loves, well, that’s another gratitude post right there…

#439 Memories from my past

Today I was at my parents house, pointedly going through the wardrobe of my old room, looking for… ‘something.’

In my search though, I found LOTS OF THINGS.

Some made me smile. Some made me proud. Some I took home.

These items included:

聽聽 an old diary from 2004 (it聽made me smile聽– damn my writing was perfect then!)

聽聽 a water bottle and water bottle warmer (to take home – you never know when you need one)

聽聽 old Uni essays from when I took ‘Classic Hollywood’ (that made me proud when I read bits and observed the score, and the teacher’s comments)

聽聽 a photo scrapbook my bestie put together聽and gave me the day of my wedding day (that made me smile, AND I took it home!)

聽聽 a Sex and the City make-up case that contained all 6 season DVDs, back when I bought the box set over a decade ago! (that I took home – I already have the DVDs with me, may as well complete the collection)

聽聽 also a Sex and the City board game that I have never played (that I took with me of course, due to the former!)

and then, I found the ‘something’ I had been searching for:

Angel memorabilia – in the way of Angel magazines from 2004.

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馃檪

Going through memory lane was a blast, and I will do it again and go through more of my old ‘things,’ when I unpack more boxes here at home.

Yes, I am still unpacking, 8 months on.聽Not many to go, but I need to sort nonetheless.

And the reason for my Angel memorabilia search? I am very confident that tomorrow’s gratitude post will reveal ALL the answers…

;););)

#408 Meeting Dora

I was about 5 or 6 when my sister took me to go and meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was the late 80s, and back then, it was a BIG DEAL. The photo is hanging out somewhere in my parents house, but I remember the awe of it all, and the humongous queues to get a photo taken with them. It was really, really momentous.

Apart from that, that is my only brush with kiddie fame. And I was thinking today, what a difference a few decades make.

Back then, Minnies and Mickeys only ventured out of Disneyland, like once in a blue moon. And if you met them, that was like the holy grail, the Christmas of Christmases, the highlight of your sweet, sweet childhood.

Nowadays though? Baby girl has been to 4 Wiggles concerts, been in close contact with Lah Lah’s band and posed with the accordion player, had photos with both Bananas in Pyjamas, Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle from In The Night Garden, and today, the latest addition.

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And she is only 3 and a half.

She met Dora at Westfield Southland today, and it was amazing. I mean, for her. I watched proudly as she confidently walked up to the top of the stage steps, to wait her turn for a meet ‘n’ greet, and then strode purposefully towards one of her idols for a big all-encompassing hug and photo op.

When I saw the size of Dora, a little part of me went ‘Yikes.’ I mean, this was a super-sized Dora! I was concerned baby girl would cower slightly and need strong nudging before hesitantly making her way towards her.

But nope. This seasoned professional, who has already seen so much, and so many of her favourite entertainers, did me so, so proud.

And the best bit? The novelty HASN’T worn off. She is still as excited and thrilled seeing Dora today, as she was 2 and a half years ago when she went up to Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy in the shopping centre and happily gave them warm hugs.

It is still sweet. And I will encourage that sense of wonder and innocence, of youthful exuberance and gratitude in her, for as long as I live.