#1504 Day 6 of getting there: Supporting local – Kirks

I feel terrible for all the businesses out there suffering through this uncertain and indefinite period.

I look around the town that I love, and I feel even more sad.

Because it’s these small businesses that make my town, what it is.

Sure, people will flock and spend and visit and book things once this all blows over, but that could be months away… meanwhile, how do these places stay afloat?

Keep employees paid?

Keep paying rent?

Keep making money amidst further lockdowns, bans and imposed isolation to ALL?

I’ve been happy to see many businesses going online, getting creative and thinking of other ways to get their business out to people who can’t get out anymore.

Really if you think about it, this is kind of the best time in history that we could have this kind of pandemic. Because even though we may not be able to get out in public…

We can still get out and about online.

I’ve made a concerted decision lately that I will be one of many out there, to support local business. I don’t want the people who make this beautiful part of the world so unique and great, to go under, and I want to make sure they know they are supported, while also trying to send the really strong and important message…

Buy local. Wherever you are. Support small business. Keep them afloat. And tell your friends about it too.

Which is what I am here to do. πŸ˜‰

First on one of my many support locals list… Kirks.

Of course, FOOD.

We have been there heaps of times before, (check out my Food Review from a while ago), it is a local favourite on the Esplanade, and no matter what, we seem to gravitate there, again and again.

They recently released a takeaway/delivery menu in the midst of no more in-dining within their restaurant, and I have to say –

WE WERE EXCITED.

Tonight we got a different kind of food delivery!

Instead of your basic pizza, or fish and chips, or drive-through, it was:

Beef Burger

Prawn and Zucchini Risotto

Chicken nuggets and chips (for baby girl – okay kind of takeaway staple!)

and because we got two main meals in there, we were able to get a bottle of wine for $5.

$5!

It’s only the beginning of my loving local and helping local list, so stay tuned…

It’s going to be a big ride. Let’s get ready for the long haul.

And on an aside, it was Zoom night, part 2…

As we caught up with sis and bro-in-law!

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Who said isolated Saturday nights were going to be boring? Like hell they are!

#1491 Toilet paper

Never in my life did I ever think I would be so grateful for toilet paper.

I mean, even writing this gratitude blog, where I often talk about very simple, every day things that I’m appreciative for. Even toilet paper, that one item that we take for granted, that item that we literally wipe our asses on, and yet the one item that helps keep us so hygienic, allowing us to clean ourselves and flush it all away without a second thought.

Even that, very important necessity item. Considered a luxury in a lot of third world countries… yet something we have tonnes of in the Western world.

We have options. 1ply, 2ply, 3ply. Large commercial public toilet rolls… organic, bleached and non-bleached… recycled, patterned and coloured… even large packets that come with convenient handles that help us lug the monstrous packages to our car.

We have a lot of options.

We had a lot of options.

Now we are lucky to find the damn paper.

This coronavirus panic has materialised itself in Australia in the most bizarre way. And though my concerns about the actual virus itself have grown day by day, as I learn more about it, and as more travel and social bans are imposed upon the country in order to keep us safe from contracting it, it seems a lot of people are just panic buying, and as well as clearing the supermarket shelves from all long-life and tinned food, the main priority, for a virus that attacks the respiratory system, was how we were going to control our bums.

As simple as that. There is actually no logic to it.

Virus that attacks your lungs? Buy toilet paper.

I have no clue as to the link between the two.

This sheep mentality as I like to call it, has meant that people that haven’t been panic buying, are almost forced to, in order to protect themselves against the inevitability that there will be nothing left for them in the probability that we have to self-isolate.

I was down to 4 rolls. 4 rolls. 2 in use, and 2 that were sitting there, just waiting to be wasted.

My parents offered me rolls last week, but I was over-confident in my toilet paper buying abilities over the week… and then both Hubbie and I went all over town and still found NOTHING.

Fortunately for me, I have more than one person who cares about how much toilet paper we have in the household. Sis called the other day to tell me how Aldi seemed a better bet to get toilet paper from. Even though the major supermarkets are getting truck loads of it delivered every morning, it goes within hours.

And although the other 2 big chains sell out quickly, Sis seemed to think, going by her recent luck, that Aldi seemed like the better option… and then the knowledge that they opened at 8:30am (not having to get up at the start time of 6am like the other two chains) felt so much more achievable for me, and like I might actually get it.

So… this happened today.

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I got there before opening time, to a crowd of about 40 people waiting outside the closed doors. Everyone was fairly orderly yet had one very specific thing on their mind, and we all headed to the toilet paper aisle to get it.

24 rolls. 24! I am so bloody relieved after nearly shitting myself for a moment there (deliberate pun).

So, in case you too are freaking out as to where to get toilet paper from in Australia, and if 6am is awfully impossible too for you to get up for, try Aldi. The stores I checked out open at 8:30am every day. If you can pop in before work, school drop-off, or have someone grab it for you…

There you go. Good luck. That’s my community public service announcement.

We all need someone to look out for us. Let’s just pray that toilet paper is the biggest of our concerns.

#1484 A happy Sunday

A happy Sunday? How can the end of the weekend, where you have free time, catching up on stuff and doing what you like, sleeping in and going about life in a leisurely manner, how can a day that means the end of that, be good?

Ahh. If you have a public holiday the day after.

πŸ˜‰

We went into today pretty happy with ourselves and the days ahead. Not only did we have my cousin’s big birthday, but knowing we were all off from work/school tomorrow, made it all the more terrific.

A couple pit stops later at my parents’ place and then sis and bro-in-law’s was then definitely in order to prolong the weekend and really feel the long weekend holiday vibes.

😁❀😏

 

#1476 Together again

I don’t think I realised just how much I missed them all, until I saw them all today.

I’m talking about my family… my WHOLE family.

Cousins, aunties, uncles, kids, people who aren’t my blood technically but who I still faithfully call “cousin.”

And making it sweeter, having my parents, and sis and bro-in-law in the mix.

Age, gender, cultural ethnicity… it’s all irrelevant. We all blend and merge seamlessly into one. I talk to my younger cousins as easily as I do with my uncles, or the 3 year-old birthday girl.

We are all in such different stages of life, and it makes catch-ups like tonight that much more interesting. Either someone is plowing through work, looking for work, or thinking of finishing up work. Some are raising young kids, others teens, while others still are free now that their brood are independent of them.

Some are retired, enjoying the good life in the garden.

Some holiday a couple times a year.

Some are dreaming of their next holiday (um, us? πŸ˜‚)

We get along, but we also argue. We shit-stir, and we agree to disagree.

And although there’s so much separating our very specific and individual lives, there’s one major factor unifying us all.

And that’s family.

We were together for a kid’s birthday today. And not ‘kid’s birthday’ in the literal sense… although there was rainbow cake, pink balloons, dress-ups and a jumping castle…

But there was so much noise. Rowdiness. Gee we can be f$#&ing loud! Anyone passing by outside would be forgiven in thinking it was anything but a kid’s birthday party.

We are passionate, yet we still have our problems. Health problems, kid problems, work problems and just generally, LIFE problems.

We share all this to lighten our load, then we smile. Eat some cake and drink some wine.

Go home full in our bellies and our hearts.

Because we are family.

And gee, I missed them. ❀

 

 

 

 

#1467 A crazy little thing tonight

I was driving in the car this evening, on my way to my musical destination.

I was on my way to see Queen.

Bona fide proper royalty. πŸ˜‰

And they were blasting out of the car too… but the crazy little thing was, the Queen I was listening to had Freddie Mercury, and the one I’d be seeing tonight had… Adam Lambert.

It’s another one of those crazy things, when someone or something you love is not there, and something else, or somebody else, stands in.

Tonight, Adam addressed the elephant in the room early on.

He was NO Freddie. He was a fan, just like we were.

And tonight he was going to pay tribute, the way he knew how, and the way that he could.

With those formalities out of the way, the show went on in superb style.

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Adam is a performer in his own right. He did an exceptional job bringing his take to Queen classics, and his vocal range is just as remarkable.

I loved some of his camp parades, and started to appreciate him in a whole other way.

He was somebody else to love.

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But perhaps most touching of all? When Brian May did the guitar solo for Love Of My Life, even singing the sweet words Freddie used to…

And then 3/4s through the song, Freddie suddenly appeared on stage, on a screen next to Brian.

It completely took me aback. I fumbled for my camera, trying to record the moment, while looking past the phone to the stage before me to take in… Freddie.

It was the closest I’d ever get to him. Being in this large arena, with all these thousands of people, with Brian on guitar and Roger on drums… and Freddie as a pre-recorded video… I realised, this was as good as it’s gonna get.

It was emotional and extremely humbling.

And yet, it was still one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and it was missing one very important frontman.

How would it have been like, if Freddie were there? Would he have been able to hit his high notes? Would he have paraded around in his undies or some other garish costume? Would he have done his operatic solo, competing against the crowd, only to say “fuck you,” with a cheeky smile at the end when they managed to keep up?

No one knows.

But what I do know, was that despite his physical absence, his spirit was definitely there tonight.

He was all around us, just as his music grows in influence and deepens connections and traverses continents and generations.

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I was thinking on the drive home, my head full of Queen and giddy from the experience… my relationship with Queen has grown like that of a friendship.

It started off as an acquaintance, grew to a friendship, merged to best friends…

And now, it’s true love.

“When I grow older

I will be there at your side

To remind you

How I still love you… (I still love you)

I still love you.”

😍πŸ˜ͺ🎡

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Best birthday present EVER. Thanks sis and bro. This one was definitely worth waiting for. ❀❀❀

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#1465 Experimentation for inflammation

I did something pretty drastic today.

Drastic for me. Maybe for you too. Or maybe you have done it already.

Experimented.

But I went to the grocery shop, and I bought a number of items…

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Can you spot the similarities?

GLUTEN FREE.

Today’s buys are a weird one for me. Weird because I feel like, in one way, the purchases are a contradiction of my whole life up until this point.

All my life, food has been good. All of it. My parents came from nothing, and so when they came to Australia, hungry for a new life, a chance to start anew, their hunger also reigned in a very literal way…

Food. They had scarce amounts in the village where they lived, and once they were working, they made sure there was always food for sis and I.

They never had enough food growing up. Constantly hungry, wanting more.

Therefore, from their life in Australia going forward, growing up for sis and I, food was a friend. It was something we celebrated with.

Food was wealth. Food was happiness. Enjoyment of food then, was one of life’s greatest pleasures.

And it still is. Very much so for me, as those European values are an intrinsic part of my DNA.

But some things have changed… like us, and also, the food.

I’ve always been a fairly healthy eater, and I consider my diet to be moderately balanced.

But like I said, things change. Our bodies don’t respond to things as they used to. The food we eat has changed. Pesticides, modified crops, freezing… food ain’t what it used to be either.

And with all of that, also, my diet has slightly changed. Still good, still adequate…

But, I have an inkling, I could do better.

I want to see if I can do better.Β 

Therefore, my experiment.

Now I’m not all anti-gluten and WHEAT IS EVIL here. I’m not going to hold a pitchfork against anyone who eats a slice of bread in my presence, or shout at them for drinking normal milk in their latte. No. I am taking a really relaxed and structured approach, if there is such a thing…

Because it’s not that I’m anti dairy, or anti-gluten…

Rather I am pro-alkaline and pro anti-inflammatory.

This is where my curiosities lie.

I am trying to replace my regular gluten staples with the absence of it.

I am going to introduce smoothies, teas and drinks that fight inflammation or work to reduce it.

And slowly, SLOWLY start to experiment with new dishes that take all of this into account.

It’s actually a HUGE project. I was at risk of overwhelming myself the other day as I simply started pondering it… but I had to remind myself – “Slowly. One day at a time.”

“One dish at a time.”

I’m going out two nights this week… if I eat gluten then? Eh.

But on the days that I do, I’m going to up the green tea, smoothies and bone broths during the day.

I hate the word diet… this is more of an experimentation. I was talking to my sister the other day who was telling me things about keto that seemed to align and make sense with things I had already been looking into… and though I am not on the keto bandwagon, I am heavily interested in how all these different ways of eating differ, yet are starkly similar.

I also don’t like feeling restricted. I may or may not stop this after a few days. It might be too hard… one meal for me, another for Hubbie and baby girl… but the only thing I can do is TRY.

Food is not the enemy. It never has been.

Food is the healer. And it is now my test, to see HOW it can be so.