#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 😉 )

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 clarified… “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 café 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.” – 

It was –

“How baby girl wailed 

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. 🙂

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. ♥

 

 

 

 

#1367 Bathing it away

I’m actually kinda surprised. After getting rained on after school drop off, and having to witness my cat totally drugged out with pupils like saucers due to his new meds… I was almost laughing today.

You know when thing after thing goes wrong, and you literally look up to the sky and say “what now?”

But I amazed myself in my strength. I thought all this crap would have worn me down… but instead, like the main character in my book says “BRING IT ON.”

Maybe I’m somehow channeling her. Maybe I’m gaining inspiration through her fictional self. Either way, I moved on from the crap, and set myself up for…

A blissful bath.

There is always a reason why I shouldn’t have a bath. There are always 58 things I should be doing instead of lying in water, alone, breathing in to my thoughts.

But I’ve learnt by now that time like this isn’t a luxury… it’s a necessity.

So. Candle light. A steaming bath. The meditative sound of a slowly dripping tap, against the backdrop of howling winds outside the window.

Steam rises above me. The air is damp. I sink into the watery cocoon and let it swallow me whole, my body submerged by all that is peaceful, all that is good.

And with it my mind and soul slide into a place where my equilibrium is restored, and everything makes sense.

 

#1295 Sunday surprises

It’s a lot nicer when you don’t expect anything, and then the opposite occurs.

Something. We were happily bound to our home for the day, Sunday, the first day of Spring (yippee!) and also, Father’s Day.

Baby girl had happily helped her Dad open up his presents after our late morning breakfast, still on a high from the night before yet feeling the lack of sleep, when I got word, that our quiet day might be different.

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I had seen my Dad at my bro-in-law’s birthday the night before after all… I had seen my whole family. 

But then I heard my Mum and Dad were going to my sister’s place for a quick visit, and so then we might as well pop on by…

And what started as a very non-expectant day, had us around a table talking, laughing, and then watching the rain pour down later when the clouds decided to merge overhead.

It didn’t affect the sunset though. Just as I had been longing for Winter to be over, just as quickly it came to an end… and this seems to happen every year. June, July and the start of August feel so long, then mine and baby girl’s birthday passes and it no time – BANG!

Spring. Sunshine. Sunsets like this:

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And so the message really is… don’t expect anything. Things are that much sweeter when you think of not much at all…

#1284 Lucky 7

As I drove into work on the dreaded Monash this morning, the car slowed, painfully so… for the longest time.

There was an accident. I shook my head. I was going to be late.

As I walked into work the drizzle intensified, cascading down over my face. I couldn’t help my amused smile. Thanks for the lovely send off Docklands.

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And then as I started up my computer, two programs weren’t working… I had to call IT.

Face palm.

All on my very last day of work.

It was finally HERE.

It was the weirdest sensation. I felt anxious and intensely nervous through most of the day. Things were emphasised to me at every turn… when I went up a lift “this will be my last time travelling to level 3.” When I scraped my bowl of its weetbix residue… “this will be my last dish from this kitchen.”

When I locked my locker for the last time.

When I logged off my computer for the last time.

Even going upstairs for a break with my colleagues got me over-sentimental. I in fact stopped going up for tea years ago, back when I started my morning coffee walks instead, and then there was the whole writing-at-the-desk-during-any-break thing…

I had to force myself to breathe. Pause. Reflect.

Many things made me feel better.

Firstly, this was not I, and I alone leaving. It was all of us. Our entire department and so many more. I was the second last of our team to leave, and so many had already walked my steps, felt my dis-ease, the discomfort and the bittersweet emotions at leaving.

It had happened to ALL my colleagues. My friends.

Secondly.… well change. It is inevitable. If this hadn’t happened now, we would have all been content in just going through the motions, the routine of work that we know like the back of our hand, becoming complacent in our roles and not expanding our mind and life journey with new learnings, adventures and places to see, people to meet.

There is so much to see. So many people to meet.

Memories flooded back to me as I looked around. The people I had seen come, and go. The places where secrets were shared. The darting looks and cheeky glances. The meltdowns. The showdowns. The ups, and downs.

Almost 12 years of my life.

I got my last coffee with a colleague… and today it was necessary to get dessert. Sure I had leftover cake from the weekend at home…

But it was my LAST DAY EVER. Screw that.

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It was sublime.

As I sent off a billion emails to my personal email, going through folders and deleting files here, there and everywhere, the feeling of anxiety grew.

I was deleting, and removing any remnants of me, from my locker… my desk… my entire email account. 1000s upon 1000s made their way into the graphic rubbish can on screen.

And my anxiety grew.

I was forgetting something. I met with HR. Got my papers. Went through more emails. Checked my lists… again. Went through my empty locker… again.

I had done everything I had to… and yet there was the strongest urge that I had forgotten something.

And just like that, at the acknowledgment of my lost feeling, I realised.

I felt like I was forgetting something, because a piece of me was going to remain there, even after I walked out the doors.

You can’t just flick a switch. Walk out without turning back. Expect to not have a memory lingering. Some laughter floating through the halls.

You can’t do it. Not after so long. Not after having created some of the best memories with the best people you could ask for.

You couldn’t, just, forget.

With that in mind, knowing I was going to have to leave a piece of me behind…. I walked out.

And instead of the grey morning and drizzle I had walking in with, now there was sunshine.

There was a new adventure waiting for me.

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And it’s a bit hard for me to believe now, so early… but I think it will be even better than this one.

And that’s because of my lucky number. Numbers. Because I have lots. And it’s not just 7.

😉

 

 

 

#1272 A Wintry and literary time out

You can understand the great ahh moment that came for me during the below photo I captured this afternoon, not just because, hey everyone loves a break, but the fact that…

In the morning the wind broke my Mary Poppins umbrella that I’ve had for over 10 years!

I got rained on MANY times

towels were shoved around various windows in the house due to the insane weather and water seeping in through the ferociousness of it all

it had rained both at school drop-off AND pick-up (of course, the Murphy’s Law school fairies strike again)

and I had this intermittent headache that was just dragging me down, symptomatic of my flu NOT wanting to let up.

Sigh.

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Which is why I sat on baby girl’s bean bag with my herbal tea this afternoon, looked at all my very inviting books all set up lovingly on my new/old bookcase, just whispering “read me, read me,” and decided to just peruse through, a few…

And what a wonderful way to chill out on a cold Friday afternoon… whether or not I got soaked that morning, it was still very much appreciated. ♥ ( I did).

#1258 Saving Winter orchids

Several weeks ago on a particularly windy and wet Winter’s day, I looked out the window and saw our orchid buds on a long, strong branch… but yet hanging dangerously low.

They looked as if they would bloom very soon. The problem though was the beating they were receiving from the weather, which is why the branch was suddenly drooping to one side, putting strain on its base.

I went outside and tried to lean the branch along the wall of the house. It seemed to work, as it now leaned vertically along the window side… I went into the house happy, and every so often peered out to see how they were doing through the continuing bad weather.

It was as if I knew… the day wasn’t over and once again I saw them hanging to one side. I was worried the base would snap due to the fierce pressure being placed on it, and so again I rushed out.

This time I pushed the heavy pot to an angle. I used the lean of the branch to my advantage, and having pushed the pot far enough, the lean was now against the window… not hanging loose amidst the wild Wintery weather.

From then on in I was able to check on my orchids, with happiness. 🙂

Today I took this picture.

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They are blooming beautifully. I know I adjusted them so, and yet I feel like they are peering in on me, showing off their amazing beauty, leaning in towards the window with that extra effort, glowing ever so much more than what they would have and whispering “thank you” for my efforts.

And I said “you’re welcome.”

What a tremendous gift from Mother Nature. ♥