#1365 The Euro Grocer

Finally, I am home.

We have been in our Sea change destination for 3 years now, but it was not until today that I felt like I was finally one with my environment, and it was one, with me.

I was home.

Because, finally, a European continental grocer opened up at my local shopping centre and I CAN NOT EVEN.

πŸ˜πŸ€—

I am ecstatic. Back in our old ‘hood I used to shop weekly or twice-weekly (who am I kidding it was thrice-weekly) at a great grocer deli that was near all the other big supermarkets.

The location and convenience was optimal. I could go to H&G, grab all the fruit and veg I could feast my eyes upon, and then anything I wasn’t keen on I could get at the $$$ supermarkets.

H&G had a huge range, good produce, and was value for money.

I lost ALL of that when we moved here. I have been focusing on supermarket produce ever since and IT KILLS ME. Sure there are gourmet produce places out here, but they are not just $$$…

They are $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

So it has been only slightly annoying.

But today… today! I was in heaven. The produce was fresh and inviting, and so wide in range. There were some gourmet deli products, European basics (which had become foreign rather than regular to me in our moving here), and we even got a whole pumpkin, for 27 cents!

What? How does one buy a 2.185 kilo pumpkin for 27 cents?

Why, when it is on a daily special of 8 cents per kilo, that’s how.

8 cents a kilo???!!!

Yep. 😏

But that is not all. Noooo.

I was walking by the biscuits and nuts and my eyes came to rest on the most heavenly of boxes.

NAPOLITANKE.

These are the best God-damn wafer biscuits in the world. There, I have called it. They don’t sell it at my local Safeway and when I bought a similar product from a competitor…

They were NOT the same. πŸ‘Ž

Do not buy imitation people.

I proceeded to grab a packet and tell baby girl that these were in fact the best biscuits in the world, while non-Euro pensioners walked by me with curious eyes taking a second look at the Napolitanke.

Yep that’s right. Keep walking. They are all MINE.

I grabbed a papaya for old times sake and Hubbie branched out with gourmet sauce, we got our produce and were out of there…

20191110_153315

I am so happy. Soooooo happy. Oh man. I will have to shop there every day until the novelty wears off.

i.e. NEVER.

#1358 People about town

It’s become second nature for me to find simple and small things to be grateful for.

Firstly, because life is often routine. There is school and work and groceries and cleaning, and if you can’t see beyond all of that and take joy in the little moments, well frankly you are going to go mad waiting for that ‘big party’ where you think you will have a rad time.

Chances are you won’t. Your child will be clingy, your hubbie will be sick, and there you will be in the corner with a coughing partner and child tugging on your arm as you chug down another wine.

Don’t wait to be happy.

Secondly… well because the little things, really are the best things. If you can find happiness in everyday moments, imagine how much better off you will be? Imagine all the opportunities of satisfaction, self-fulfilment, and growth that you will experience in this state?

I am happy, because 3 years on from our Seachange I am starting to notice people around town.

Wait, what? If you think you missed the post where I celebrated our 3 years here, don’t worry, I actually forgot myself… (shakes head). It wasn’t until midnight ticked over the day after our moving-house anniversary, that I realised the day that had just been, and went ‘d’oh.’

And it has taken a while… but lo and behold, I bumped into two people today that I knew… within a space of hours.

Sure, I see people around a lot more now. A lot of them I’ve come to know through baby girl’s school. But today I saw two such people within only a couple of hours, and the second one, was walking by my house! Why I never…

Moving to a side of town where we have no family or friends settled nearby has had its specific set of challenges. To be honest, it can, and has been at times, a very isolating experience.

But like everything in life, good things take time. And it hasn’t been something we’ve been able to push, or force… we had to just let it be.

And when you let things be, that’s often the moment that things seem to work out for you…

You just have to wait. Sometimes 3 years.

And then what you were waiting for, comes by your front door… LITERALLY.

πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

#1339 Why I love to garden

20191015_171935

I asked myself this very question this afternoon, as I sat crouched over our flower bed, pulling out weeds at random and picking at those pesky sort that just wouldn’t come out so easily…

Why did I love it?

I certainly never had any real affinity to it growing up. Sure my parents backyard was a beautiful haven to relax, think, have d&ms and read… but it never went further than that.

The maintenance of it all was beyond me. Unthinkable. Not because I despised it… rather because I never truly considered it.

Until we got our own home. This home to be honest. In our old place we made the front and rear gardens to be as lowmaintenance as possible. A couple of yakkas here, a palm tree and a shrub there, throw in a whole lot of pebbles to thwart weed growth… TA-DA!

Done.

Maybe it’s because we are at a place where we see ourselves growing and building our ideal house and lifestyle. Maybe I’m finally at an age where I can appreciate and have a bit more time for these outdoor leisurely practices.

Maybe I am more like my parents than I ever imagined.

OR… maybe it is that all of my indoor work, sitting at my computer both writing and writhing, needs to be balanced somehow, somewhat, and that can only be done outside tending to nature…

Yep. Even the weeds.

I find it so therapeutic, ripping them out. Honestly, sometimes I question if I have gone mad.

But I think where I have really gone, is to Nature.Β 

#1187 The layered sunset

Going from my increasing success at being able to capture the perfect ‘one’ since we made our Sea Change, when I looked out the window and caught the colours, they were beautiful… still, I knew I was about 5 minutes too late.

The layered sunset:

IMAG8803

Imagine how magical it would have looked if I snapped it on time?

#1089 Rebirth of an orchid

I entered the laundry today.

Within moments – “Oh!”

Shocked. Startled. Amazed beyond belief.

I was moved even.

It was about the Phalaenopsis plant. Rather, to you and me and most Tom, Dick and Nancy’s, the orchid. MY orchid. The plant that had been gifted to us when baby girl was born, the plant I had kept alive… until recently.

Until the move.

I am honestly not sure if it has bloomed since we moved house. Last summer, despite it being next to a window, I don’t recall seeing it blossom once, NOT ONCE… it soon moved to a less prominent position, but still by a window, and still facing the same side of the house as it was before… only it was in a different room. The laundry.

I was hopeful for so long. This plant held ties with baby girl’s arrival. Sure, it’s miraculous to keep these things growing beyond a few years. Plants die, ndoor potted ones more so… I get it.

But this one I COULD NOT LET GO OF.

I watered it. Gave it food. Trimmed some dead leaves and branches from it. With no change and the soil becoming more like sand than dirt, I started to contemplate throwing it away.

Again… I just couldn’t. I left it there in the laundry, facing the window, with dust settling on the leaves… thinking one day, I would do something with it.

I just didn’t know what.

So to walk in today and find this…

IMAG7219

What? My orchid was alive? Reborn from brittle soil when I least expected it, its seed lying dormant for the longest time, waiting, just waiting, for the right combination of circumstances to spring forth…

I honestly, clapped with glee. Got teary. I am so glad I didn’t give up.

You all know what this means. I may not throw out a plant now, NEVER EVER EVER.

Because you never know if a seed of hope is lying around somewhere, just waiting.

Waiting…

#1047 Reasons why I love living near the beach no. 1

Ok, so humour me. Obviously for a water-loving dweller like me, this will be a fairly extensive and LONG list.

But that is the whole reason for this gratitude blog (duh).

The first reason being… you can go there at almost ANY time.

There is never an inopportune time to go to the beach.

Today I changed my mind 3 times:

First I was going to go about 2ish.

Then I changed my mind, and said nah, about 4-4:30.

I changed it yet again, and we ended up at our favourite local about 7pm.

IMAG6258

It is never inconvenient. Being a short drive away means that even if you are there for a total of 45 minutes, that is fine… 45 minutes in the outdoors, wading in water and cooling down from an exceptionally humid day, is far better than 45 minutes in front of the TV.

I just love it β™₯β™₯β™₯

 

 

#1044 Christmas Eve at the Beach

Well. What an iconic way to spend Christmas Eve in Australia.

IMAG5972

Even so, it wouldn’t have happened in our old house. Back then we would have had to plan and organise a time and day where we were all free, packed up about 7 bags, a fridge, a heap of beach toys and tents and chairs, because you know, pack the kitchen sink and all when you’re already making such a drive… and that would have happened, oh, maybe 3 times in one Summer, if we were lucky to manoeuvre our schedules that way.

But today.

Today, on the eve of the busiest and fullest of family days of the year, I headed on down to one of our fave local beaches with baby girl.

I was applying sunscreen on me and her as I heard my phone notify me of a message.

It was after 2:30pm.

It was Hubbie. He was home early from work!

Damn it! We had just missed each other, I mean, he could have come with…

Wait a second.

I called him.

“Come on down!”

His easy response – “I will.”

:):):)

I left it as a surprise, preferring to see baby girl’s startled face at the sight of him, than to ruin it earlier and tell her he was coming.

IMAG5987

It was beautiful. β™₯

Everything was beautiful. There weren’t too many people around, and yet already my radar is fine-tuned to spot tourists! The water was sublime, that perfect stroll-right-in temperature.

There was a slight breeze taking the edge off of the beating sun.

And it was Christmas Eve!

IMAG5994

(That’s me waving from the water in the distance over there)

It still amazes me that two years on from our move, only now we are getting more of a chance to do the things we so wanted to do frequently, when we first Sea Changed.

It was the best way to head into the holiday season, and head into Christmas.

Merry Christmas Eve all πŸ™‚