#2004 The Queen of puzzles

Do you know what I did after hearing the news today that lockdown was extended for another week?

No, after I sulked.

No, after a big ‘what do we do’ D&M with Hubbie.

No, after I called the party place to talk about the girly pamper party for baby girl and her school friends that was MEANT TO BE this Sunday.

I took out this:

A puzzle! When we got given this last year, I kinda didn’t want to ever be in lockdown again and have to rely on a jigsaw for entertainment, but also…

I mean, Freddie Mercury. COME ON.

(A tiny teeny weeny part of me was like, well next lockdown won’t be so bad if you can do this…🀭)

So we got to putting some pieces together tonight, and at 500 pieces it won’t take nearly as long as our 1000 piece ones from last year.

In the words of Freddie:

“I like it!” 😁🎀🎢🎡

#1986 Saturday Night In no.9

Of course we were ‘in’, there was no place else to go!

We filled the house with home-made food, topped up our glasses, and then settled on the couch for song after song of our Saturday night lockdown ritual, the “music-fest.”

We take turns finding songs on youtube and blaring them. There are the ol’ faithfuls that come up regularly, i.e. Queen and The Weeknd, they may as well have beds made at our house…

But we keep the list ever-changing. A different performance here, another song some singer does, there.

Some notable tracks from tonight:

Amy Winehouse, singing Tears Dry on Their Own, live, because it was the 10 year anniversary of her death just yesterday.

Then a live number of Back to Black, because that song just gives us the feels, time and time again.

Queen (duh) at Wembley doing Lap of the Gods that turns into Seven Seas of Rhye.

Sia singing Chandelier live on Sunrise some years ago (she wears this insane multi-coloured almost mardi gras slash Eastern-inspired ensemble, must see.

Cold Chisel doing When the War is Over… also live (shit there was a definite theme tonight).

Prince doing his song, live… Nothing Compares to You. (And nothing compares to Prince singing this).

INXS at Wembley… singing several actually, but my favourite tonight was What You Need.

The MOST fun was when we turned the tunes to the 80s. When I found REO Speedwagon’s Can’t Fight This Feeling, Hubbie and I kinda lost our shit. πŸ˜‚

This song is TOO MUCH FUN to not sing along to. Here are some lyrics that rhyme too much:

“And I can’t fight this feeling any-more

I’ve forgotten what I started fighting for

It’s time to bring this ship into the shore

And throw away the oars, for-ever.

Oh My God. Sing this out loud, and try not to laugh. Couple that with the guy on the piano with the crazy moustache, and then the singer, who Hubbie aptly pointed out looks like a librarian…

🀣🀣🀣

Oh God. I’m done. Best sing-a-long ever.

(You’re gonna look for the mo guy now aren’t you? 🀣)

#1977 Can anybody find me…

In the words of the late, great, genius Freddie Mercury…

“Can anybody find me…

Something to be grateful for?”

Or something to that effect.

Oh man. Victorian lockdown number 5.

πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

This sucks majorly. I understand there are greater issues and problems at play here, but it’s still ok to be pissed. It’s ok to be upset that once again, everything in our schedules has changed. Shifted. Pressure mounted. Responsibilities added.

There are so many people who are suffering financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, that the addition of yet another lockdown brings so much angst. Plans are changed, and though at surface level it all appears to be just a ‘simple inconvenience,’ many of us count on seeing our friends and family, to lift our spirits, to get us through hard times, to be amongst loved ones so that we’re not lonely.

Some of us just need a bloody break, and another lockdown to keep us away from all that we love is the icing on the cake, or in this case, the horse poo on the top of the pig vomit.

There has to be another way to avoid this. We can’t just change everything and halt life every time a couple of cases roll into town. There has to be another way.

And yeah, I know, look at NSW. I don’t wanna be like NSW at all. No offence guys. We’ve been there, done that, for 5 months of last year that was quite frankly soul-destroying.

So yeah, NAH.

But enough on my soapbox. Yeah, I’m a bit over it all…

But in true Freddie fashion, I did find something to love (or be grateful for) after all.

It’s July 15th folks! We are officially half-way through Winter!

And although there are still other worldly problems larger at hand, making the coldest season of the year pale in comparison, knowing that the trend of lockdown tends to go down the warmer the months get…

See, see?

It’s something. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

#1975 Live aid anniversary

To think that I was barely two when this concert happened, and here I am, 36 years later… the songs, moves, inflections of tone and unbridled enthusiasm etched into my memory, that’s how much I’ve watched it.

It’s not just me either. Hubbie and baby girl also know parts of it, very, very well. Baby girl knows him by name, Freddie Mercury, and I’m teaching her the other band member names, so that she can appreciate the genius all across the band, not just in the charismatic front-man.

Of course, I can only be talking about royalty. Queen. πŸ‘‘

I put the set on tonight after dinner. Approximately 20 minutes, 6 songs, in front of 70,000 or so people, the wider audience, THE WORLD.

It’s truly a masterpiece. Back in 1985, the band donned light coloured tops and shirts, and casually strolled onto the stage, though still pumped, to make music history.

I consider it, one of the best live performances ever, and biased or not, many others would agree.

If you have a chance and haven’t seen it yet, feast your eyes on the performance. Type in Queen Live Aid, you will get to witness some truly musical powerhouse genius.

And if you have already watched it like me… well, there’s no day like today to get yourself reacquainted.

#1966 Chocolate slice and Ricky

Two things brought me joy today.

(Well, many really, but I gotta talk about something different now, don’t I? πŸ˜‰)

  1. Cooking.

It was such an inside day, and I was happy to spend most of it indoors, willing the rain to rain down even more, so I could revel in the inside-ness, even more.

I did lots of cooking, and was most happy with this chocolate slice I made. It’s a recipe I’ve had for yonks but never tried. Honestly, I have a trillion recipes scattered in magazines, books and clippings all over the place, and need to go through them more regularly so that I can discover more interesting things to make.

It was good.

2. Ricky Martin.

I’ve been on a massive rock fest of late, and most of the time Queen is the only thing I play. But I put a song on YouTube tonight, a live Ricky Martin performance, and after that was done it gave me another Ricky Martin song…

And I just REMEMBERED. I mean, it’s not like I forgot. But you can’t love everyone at the same time, and you gotta play music according to your mood.

But man, I still love the guy.

I ended up finding a CD and pumping it up as I did the dishes, because that’s the rule in our house… whoever does the dishes, picks the soundtrack.

And it was a whole lot of ‘ola’ tonight!

Chocolate slice, and Ricky. Both so, so sweet. πŸ€£πŸ’–πŸ˜‰

#1960 The 5th (8th) album

On the weekend I headed to the record fair, that happens at this local music store on the last Saturday of every month.

To be honest, I wanted to find a bargain Robert Palmer, much like I had found a $2 Laura Branigan months earlier, and lo and behold it’s a truly great album. I love listening to it again and again.

Also, I was still coveting a good Johnny Cash, but those are hard to find. The Folsom Prison one would be incredible, but I’ll just have to hold out some more.

So we searched and searched. I did see a Cash, but he was singing with another group, and I knew it wasn’t what I was looking for. I had just discovered something Hubbie would like – The Boys Light Up album by Australian Crawl, and when this guy across from me moved away from one record bin, I told baby girl “go and check that out for me.”

She knows our taste, and she knows the artists we are after.

Immediately, she goes – “Mama, Queen! The Game.”

My head snapped up. I’m sure the couple next to me flinched. I said “hold onto that one honey.”

Tee hee hee.

And so it was, that we went home with the Aussie Crawl and yet another Queen album. I did a count earlier, and this is my 5th studio album of theirs, not including the two greatest hits I have, and one Queen Live Radio specials one too.

I have a collection of records and CDs, but when I find something that’s a steal, in record form, I have to have it.

There are pros obviously of having a portable CD, but there is just something magical about putting a record on and letting it play through the house.

‘The Game’ was $35, and when you consider that it is in pretty decent condition, and Queen records sell for at least $60 in store, if not more, I honestly can’t believe it didn’t get snapped up sooner.

This studio album is their 8th, and contains the hits “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

I put it on tonight.

The theme is soft rock, and the sound of the bass guitar follows through some songs, making itself prominent in the opening riff of “Another One Bites the Dust.” The ode to rock is made transparent in one song where they literally sing that they love rock and roll, and all in all, on first listen, I love this album.

Oh God. Is there any album of theirs which is not brilliant?

One day I will write an article about Queen. You bet I will. Watch this space…

#1907 Jumping gym

Every so often your child grows up that bit more, and you hit another, really pleasant milestone.

Recently we’ve reached the ‘drop-off-and-drive-away-for-an-extracurricular-activity’ milestone.

This happens when you take your child to an after-school activity… but instead of staying there, like I do for swimming, I DRIVE AWAY.

Now, there are two reasons for the ‘drive away.’

1, she is old enough so I can leave her.

2, the session is too long to wait for her!

Hence why I hang around for swimming. Swimming is only half an hour. I check my phone, go on social media, make calls and send messages, as well as chat to a fellow parent. 30 minutes flies by.

90 minutes though? Today was her second gymnastics class after her trial last week, and I drove home, started prepping dinner, paid a bill, and rocked out to the entire A Night at the Opera Queen album, totally head-banging when ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ came on.

You know, the usual. πŸ€£πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

She is loving it though. She is an active girl, so she loves jumping about with the other girls, learning to do cartwheels and flips and all other cool stuff that I could never ever do, but hell I can live vicariously through her right? I mean isn’t that what ALL of parenting is anyway?

Totally joshing you there, you know it too.

But I love it as well. She’s already made a good friend, and even though she’s said both times “Stay!” as soon as they begin their stretch-ups and warm-ups, 5 minutes later she motions to me through the window “You can go!”

So I go, to do really important stuff like make dinner… and head-bang.

#1879 ‘Yes’ for school holidays

I love school holidays, because baby girl’s routine goes out the window.

It would be better if I also had holidays, because then it would be double the fun.

And if Hubbie actually had holidays, it would be triple the fun.

But, we gotta work.

It turns out though that I actually have lined up in front of me now 3 days off… so we are totally double-troubling it these next few days. 😁

Everything becomes easier. Everything becomes YES.

“Wanna go to the park?” YES.

“Wanna go to another park?” YES.

“Want to swing high and almost flip over the bar?” YES.

“Want to climb way too high?”

YES.

“Want that bun even though dinner is half an hour away?” YES.

“Wanna dance in the kitchen going crazy screaming our lungs out to Queen after dinner?”

Oh wait, we do that already… 😏🀣

#1876 The light in darker days

“Oh, oh, the night comes down…

And it’s dark again.”

These are the lyrics sung by Queen in the song ‘The Night Comes Down’ on their self-titled first album.

And I can’t help but think of these lyrics when looking out at the sky tonight.

The sky, which came darker, earlier. I can’t lie and tell you I’m jumping for joy over the thought of reduced daylight hours, colder days and cooler nights, shivering as I head outside instead of relaxing in overabundant warmth.

But the older I get, the more I am coming to appreciate all of the seasons.

The last 6 months have been crazy. We’ve gone from a covid world, to attempting a life back to ‘normal’ following super-tight restrictions.

We all went a bit crazy. We’ve tried to cram in as much as we can, as much outside/social/happening time as we can, because you know, you just don’t know.

We don’t know what is in store for us. In life, and in covid.

And so the last 6 months, which have honestly been horrific-ly long at times, while also being stunningly beautiful, well I won’t mind to see the back of as daylight fades a bit.

I am feeling up for some mellower days. Staying in. Watching Netflix. Board games. Reality TV. Shopping where I’m not sad to be missing out on the outdoors. Catch-ups with family and friends, sitting around the table and sharing our woes, our laughter.

There is a season for every moment. I am coming to appreciate the different aspects of each, instead of only holding on stubbornly to Summer.

Every season brings with it something beautiful. It’s up to each of us individually, to find out what that ‘something’ is.

πŸ‚πŸ

#1776 Thank God It’s Christmas

“Oh, my love, we’ve had our share of tears

Oh, my friend, we’ve had our hopes and fears…”

Did you know Queen has a Christmas song? Actually, two that I know of. The one I’m referring to, the same title as my blog post, well I discovered it a few months ago.

But upon finding it to play, I struggled to get through it without tears in my eyes, as the lyrics hit me hard, having gone through some issues at the time.

This morning, I put it on repeat, several times.

“Oh, my friends, it’s been a long hard year

But now it’s Christmas

Yes it’s Christmas

Thank God it’s Christmas.”

Those were my sentiments exactly, and I went into Christmas at my parents house, shared with my sister and her family, feeling utterly grateful.

Snapshots of Christmas 2020.

You might notice a plate of lemons in there. Well you see, lemons are the right fruit to refer to with what I’m about to share, having played an important part of a moment I had today.

Not only was I grateful to be amongst family after a year like no other, where hardship and difficulty seemed to arrive at every opportunity, but it was a bittersweet Christmas in that it would be the last at my childhood home before my parents moved house.

It was a Christmas, like so many we’d had there before… full of love, happiness, laughter, and great memories. But every now and then, it hit me – CRAP, this was our last one there.

I was cutting up lemons for our evening prawn feast, when it struck me again.

Last Christmas here.

And suddenly, it was bittersweet. Much like the lemons. On their own they were hard to take, your face screwed up when you bit into it, they were so sour…

But in accompaniment, with something else, like prawns… with a martini… or with honey… somehow it tasted a lot better.

It was great, even desirable.

Much like this last Christmas.

It wasn’t the last, but it would be the last there.

I could take it though. I could take it, because I still took with me all the memories of being there, celebrating Christmas after Christmas with my family and friends, all throughout the years.

Most importantly, I was taking the most important thing with me.

My family.

As if on cue, INXS’s ‘Don’t Change’ came on the radio, and I had to smile.

If only there were no change. Things would be so easy, with everything staying the same, static, and with no room to move.

But that’s the point of life you see. To grow. To evolve.

There MUST be change.

So I took the lemons to the table, and we enjoyed them in the best prawn feast ever.

Merry Christmas. πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ’–πŸ€Ά