#1575 Day 77 of getting there: the shopping centre drought-breaker

I feel obliged, to justify myself.

Even though I HATE when people justify. Because when people justify, they aren’t trying to convince you…

They’re trying to convince themselves.

Like, stop making excuses for whatever it is you’re making excuses for. I once told a serial justifier, to stop justifying themselves, THAT’S how much I can’t stand it.

And yet I find myself in the same predicament today.

Having to justify myself, to you.

Or me, I guess?

That’s the state of our hyper-alert, alarmed and aware world at the moment, isn’t it?

Because even though it’s been 3 months that I’ve –

Seen my family.

Gone anywhere.

Gone anywhere AT ALL.

Oh, just grocery shopping…

Target, once.

And today… it was 3 months ’til we’ve been to a shopping centre!

Yes, 3 months, as of today. The drought was broken.

I was second guessing this morning… Like, should we? There are 5 reasons to go out amidst these ongoing restrictions, and heading to a massive shopping centre… well maybe if I tell you what we got you can decide for yourself how ‘essential’ the trip was.

Hubbie got new work jeans.

I needed new jeans… I’d worn in the last ones and they were literally bursting at the seams.

We needed new pillows.

A small toy for baby girl (because entertainment, and sanity?)

And also, Hubbie got some Michael Jordan clothes, like the rest of the world has gone to do after watching The Last Dance, such was the low stock we experienced in the sports store.

So all in all, it was’ kinda,’ ‘sorta,’ ‘not really,’ and ‘absolutely’ essential shopping…

We were amazed at the volume of people. Just astounded. There were actually droves of people everywhere, and the 1.5 metre rule was out the window… people didn’t care. You were lucky to get half a metre of space between you and the next stranger, change rooms were open, and people were so nuts they were even brushing past and making physical contact (shock horror!) as they flew around.

Where are the restrictions? Not at Chaddy today, NO WAY.

Were they doing ‘essential’ shopping? Should I even be questioning them at all when we were there ourselves, adding to it?

Have we been too strict all this time? Or are people letting go of the reigns, and letting the horses roam the fields big time now that cases are starting to stabilise?

This will be up for discussion in a future Friday night conversation, to be sure.

I still don’t know what is acceptable, if we should’ve gone, and if any of this is worth it. If any of these restrictions are worth it when people are congregating together despite the rules.

Despite the rules, we still applied hand sanitiser, at every twist and turn. Entering a shop… exiting a shop. It was everywhere, as well as two tubes I had in my bag.

As we said before we left the house –

“If someone looks at you, sanitise.”

“If someone smiles, sanitise.”

“If someone looks like they’re going to fart, sanitise.”

We did it all day long.

And how can I forget the most important purchase today…

Two new records. Two new albums to add to our slowly growing collection, and two musical artists/bands who I admire with all I have.

Now that, is for the soul. That IS essential.

#1555 Day 57 of getting there: Bright Wiggly pyjamas

Another package arrived today.

That’s the thing about isolation. Deliveries are always exciting, but the anticipation of them goes up several notches when it’s what you’re relying on as your retail therapy.

Only it’s delayed.

There was one item I couldn’t wait to get, and it wasn’t even for me…

Bright yellow Emma wiggle pyjamas.

It wasn’t even a luxury… new pjs became  necessary last week when two holes appeared in two different sets of pyjamas of hers… two!

It’s as if as soon as I ordered them, the old ones willed themselves to tear.

Baby girl was so rapt when she saw her surprise… she put them on straight away to try.

At lunchtime. I had to force her out of them and back into normal clothes.

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I don’t know what it is about the colour yellow… it’s not just knowing baby girl loves her new set, but it’s the way the colour is reflective of her, and just lights up the room with happiness, cheer, love.

Even in the dark. 🌟

#1523 Day 25 of getting there: Home deliveries

What would you say is better?

Receiving a home delivery that YOU ordered…

Or being the receiver of one that is a surprise?

Well I didn’t have to choose today. I GOT BOTH.

My T2 delivery arrived today. I have been out of Melbourne Breakfast Tea for weeks now. I ordered that, alongside some new chai (smells heavenly) and a cute little surprise bunny mug for baby girl… her new fave. 🙂

But the surprise came from sis and family. Because from them, we received an Easter package, filled with chocolate, activities for baby girl, Easter miscellaneous items, and most importantly LOVE.

There is nothing quite like filling the current monotony of life, with online deliveries, surprises, and love. ♥♥♥

 

#1479 The surprise DVD

I definitely wasn’t expecting it. As I wandered into Target this morning, shopping aimlessly like I have been doing since mid last year but with no $$$ (ha ha), thinking how days like this were limited in itself, I saw this huge Frozen 2 cardboard display.

I stopped.

WHAT? The DVD was out already?

I wasted no time in buying it. Surely baby girl would be as surprised as I was. She would be over-the-moon. I would even, tape it.

After school Hubbie turned on the camera on my phone to capture what would undoubtedly be a high-energy moment. Surely she would be ecstatic. Lose her mind. Go ape-shit.

“Baby girl,” I started. “What would be like, the best present ever?”

A huge smile spread across her face as she finished drinking her milk.

“Actually, get off the stool. I don’t want you falling off it when you hear this.”

She got off, and I spent a few moments asking her a series of really generic questions… but then it started to get specific.

“So, who are your favourite dolls to play with?”

“Anna and Elsa.”

SCORE. I knew she would say that.

“And, what’s your favourite Disney movie?”

PAUSE… “Ariel?”

WHAT?

“Ariel? Any others?”

“Cinderella.”

This was NOT going to plan.

“Okay, what about movies you’ve just seen… what was the last movie you saw at the cinemas?”

“Frozen 2.”

Without a word I pulled out the DVD from it’s hiding place and handed it to her. She took it and stared at it, looking it over.

“It’s the DVD! From the movie! Frozen 2!”

She smiled… faintly. I looked at my phone. “You can stop taping now!”

OMG. Her reaction was so underwhelming. I think it was the shock of having it suddenly… there.

But within no time over the course of the afternoon/night, I could hear her singing songs from the sequel with such heart, songs she had only been able to access through small snippets on youtube…

So we got there. Finally.

#1474 A date with the parentals

In light of things about to get a whole lot busier, it was lovely to have this pre-planned day, to head across town and meet my parents in a shopping centre, near my old ‘hood.

Memories.

First I was just wandering without a care. Look here, look there… go wherever I damn like.

When I met up with them, it was BUT FIRST, COFFEE.

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And then the pinnacle of the day, being also the least active… when Mum and I lay down to have massages.

Ahhh.

The lady who did my back, was kneading a point in my left shoulder blade so much that I nearly cried out. But I gritted through the pain, to get to the glory.

Huh. Much like life I guess.

It was MAGIC.

Then for lunch I introduced my parents to Roll’d… and if you haven’t tried their food, you are missing out. They are delicious.

And now my parents think so too. 😉👌

Best of all, was the bonding and quality time spent with them… because I just know at the end of it all, we all walk away, feeling happier and lighter.

#1438 Everything you want

If you read my blogs closely you will know that yes, I love George, but this post is not about our Flawless Mr. Michael.

😉

Rather it’s how we have everything we want down our good ol’ Main Street.

Hubbie had suggested today that we go to a shopping centre 20 minutes away…

My answer was: WHY?

Instead we hit our lovely abode.

We had coffee at a fabulous café…

walked around and headed into one-off boutiques, clothing and furniture shops…

Even found the ol’ faves like Cotton On, and ooh ooh, a pop-up Country Road shop!…

The best newsagency for MILES as there are possibly 300 different magazines on offer (not even joking) a goal-mine for this aspiring freelancer…

And then Hubbie wanted a hair cut.

There is one on almost every corner. He was neither here nor there, for AGES, but when we happened past one of those drop-in-and-get-your-haircut-done-for-$20 type places, he popped in to give it a shot.

He was really happy with how his hair turned out. Quick, cheap but good!

But then we had a slight problem. Someone else wanted to get their hair done…

Baby girl. ♥

She was actually due, I just hadn’t yet booked her in at Amazing Toys where she last got it done. But we were there, she was telling me she wanted a big girl hair cut in a big person place, and I was like you know what?

Let’s do it.

No fuss, no getting her in somewhere else, no extra driving required.

We were there. It made so much sense.

She even got a pink apron and had her hair brushed with a massive glittery pink hairbrush.

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Don’t my loves look great?

We have all we want. ♥♥♥♥

#1437 Melbourne Monopoly

I was so excited to come home with the tattered and old board game.

It came from the depths of my parents’ garage, and the game in question was Monopoly.

I had played it oh so many times in my childhood, and I planned to again… with my family, introducing it to a newbie in baby girl.

But then today while clearing out a cupboard, I came across MORE board games, and realised…

I had a newer version – Melbourne Monopoly.

Years ago for Christmas I had gotten it from Hubbie when the special city edition was released. I was so excited then…

But never played it! Never even tried to look at it…

‘Til tonight!

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Monopoly was on the cards alright. We didn’t play until someone was bankrupt (baby steps for baby girl) pulling the pin early because hey, the game takes sooo long anyway… but we already had our first little hissy fit.

Baby girl didn’t want to pack the cards away, wanting to keep the pink strip of cards… Because PINK.

The strip in question? It includes iconic spots like the Chapel Street precinct and the Emporium in Melbourne.

Of course. It had to be shopping related.

#1431 An easy shop

An easy shop. It doesn’t mean items come to you easily, or simply pop out at you, begging to you as you’re walking along saying “pick me! Pick me!”

Rather, it’s the casual intention of the shop. To wander. To browse. To take your time. To go wherever your feet lead you.

We didn’t know where we would end up today, but after seeing the intense haze and smelling the burning smoke this morning from home, we knew the destination WASN’T going to be outside.

Indoors it was. And what better place to escape heat and smoke haze than at a shopping centre?!

It was good. It wasn’t stressful because we weren’t madly trying to find things to no avail like what usually happens when we wait until the last minute to find something for an event… we were just walking around, looking here and looking there, and because we weren’t intently on the search for anything, we actually found things we were after!

AMAZING!

Shopping moral of the story? Don’t look for anything… meander, and it will come to you. ♥

#1389 The Tunes!

“TUNE!”

It’s what Hubbie yells when a great song comes on the radio.

But today it was me getting excited by the music. We had just been Christmas shopping, and our efforts had been great… we got a lot of stuff including baby girl’s pressies, which was timely seeing as she was at school and had NO IDEA.

On a high from being so Christmas productive, I was happy to hear a song come on the radio, and I immediately turned it up.

“Best movie ending ever,” I said to Hubbie excitedly. “How great is the climax? He comes back after being rejected from the dance company, rejected by her Dad, and he rebels against it ALL, takes her hand, on-stage, and brings the house down as they start to dance.”

“Then the bosses realises,” I still rambled, “‘hey, the holiday-ers actually like this stuff,’ and her Dad goes ‘oh I was wrong about him,’ and it is just sooooo satisfying!”

What movie am I talking about? You should know by now.

Time of my Life, from the ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack.

As if that wasn’t enough to get me happy… as soon as it ended, another great song.

I turned the volume up really high. The max I usually have it on is about 16, maybe 17 or 18 if I’m really excited and driving down the freeway on a hot night with the windows open.

And that’s still loud.

Today I turned it up to 20. Hubbie thought the speakers might burst.

But you know, all great songs MUST be played really loud. Like this one:

INXS’ Don’t Change. I absolutely love this song. I love the cyclical 80s film clip. I love the way Michael Hutchence dances. I love the band’s youthfulness and open disregard for structure and rules. I love the time it encapsulates, but most of all I love how it’s just a really awesome song and has some great words which you should learn and sing along to too…

“Resolution of happiness

Things have been dark for too long

Don’t change for you

Don’t change a thing for me…”

#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.

😁🤗

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. 👎

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…

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

i.e. NEVER.