#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.

πŸ˜‰

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 cafΓ©…

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. β™₯

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. β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯

#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. β™₯

#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.Β 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.

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…

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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.

#1363 The free coffee that got me festive

Firstly.

I don’t need much to get me into the Christmas spirit.

I love me some Yule, y’all.

Secondly.

I will wait pretty damn long for a coffee. I love it a bit too much, and therefore will happily hang out, at various lengths, to get it.

The barista today didn’t agree. That is, that I should wait.

When I arrived at the shopping centre cafe, the line was decent, there were about 7 people waiting, and only one person manning the place. He was making the caffeine happen, and judging by his solo-ness , also making the ordering happen…

Only he wasn’t. He was as I said, only the lonely. Numero uno.

He looked over amidst his coffee-making several times to apologise for not coming over to take my order… then on the third occasion that he met my eye, he came over, fished out a coffee card from a nearby container which had all the spots stamped out, and said to me –

“here, you shouldn’t have to pay for your coffee.”

I was a bit stunned, and laughed, but took it. I wasn’t even angry or anything! I was happily waiting to be served, but this guy wouldn’t have it.

I had to have it, free.

Five minutes later and I was walking off with my cappuccino warming my hands.

But that was only the beginning you see. The coffee was only starting to course through my veins.

😜

I was in Myer and looking through the Christmas gifting section… thinking of who to buy for, what I could get, looking for some inspo, all that jazz…

And while sipping on my delightful free coffee, looking at all the amusing things around me…

Something happened.

Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas is you” happened.

😯

In case you don’t know… I LOVE CHRISTMAS SONGS.

Sure I was looking at Christmas stuff, but there was no definitive Christmas soundtrack in the department store. Up until then it had just been a random collection of pop stuff.

But then, Mariah.

I had to breathe deeply when the next song followed:

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

(Oh God it really is).

And then the clincher…

Wham’s Last Christmas.

🀯

Inside, my body was doing something like this:

But on the outside, I was showing this:

Seriously, I was sooo buzzing, and just wanted to break out into song.

“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart

But the very next day, you gave it away…”

All because of a little well-timed coffee and Christmas music.

πŸ˜‰πŸŽ„πŸŽ

#1323 Finding joy in Dora

Official day 1 of our holidays together.

We watched a movie. Granted it was a kids movie… but as we do when we go out, we try to make the damn most of it.

Coffee, followed by shopping, followed by movie… in the Vjunior theatre. We love it because for baby girl, sure she is 6, but she is that restless 6. That restless 6 that would rather jump and dance around than sit for hours at a time watching something. Even when she prompts it at home and chooses a DVD to watch, an hour in and she’ll be walking off, without a care in the world as to seeing it through. Meanwhile the OCD switch in me is turned on and flashing a warning red – “YOU CAN’T NOT HAVE CLOSURE!”

Of course she knows what happens in all her animated films. But still, how does she do it???

The Vjunior cinema is great because before entering kids have access to a whole lot of drawing, lego building and racing car facilities, and that’s before they’ve stepped into the theatre. Then inside, before the movie begins, and then at the forced intermission, they can go down a long slide that run downs the length of the theatre, and also jump around on a light-up mat at the bottom of the cinema floor. All this running and jumping we noted, is A GREAT IDEA… before the movie started baby girl was pooped, truly ready for resting and watching a movie.

High Five guys. High Five.

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And then again, I like movies. I love stories… adventure, escaping into another world. Whether that world is in the form of a book or a movie, same same. I love going to another place, and even if it is a kids movie, you can be sure I will be reflecting with my inner child and laughing along, in conjunction with that other side of me that is always analysing ‘why does this work?’

Anyway, we watched Dora and the Lost City of Gold. It was great. I enjoyed it, and the references to the cartoon were funny and clever. It did feel a bit long, even though it was a mere 100 minutes, and baby girl, though she had the best time making friends as she ran up and then slid down the slide, and jumping along on the light-up mat, she sighed exaggeratedly to me at the end as she turned and said “please can we not go to another movie again… it was too long.”

Oh God that girl. I’ll have to wait a few more years until we can go off together and do Mummy-daughter movie dates. She still has ants in her pants.

We followed our movie sesh with a great TGIs dinner, and then a smashing round of games at Totally Games…

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I love when we pick games that we can all participate in, and we’re there throwing discs wildly at some bunch of scary clown faces that we want to belt into oblivion all for the sake of some tickets… ahh bliss.

It was a long day and a fun one at that, and I just can’t wait for more πŸ™‚