#1999 Lots of little things

It’s lots of little things combined that made me smile today.

It was watching an Australian decathlete in the Tokyo Olympics urge his teammate to cross the finish line to win bronze.

It was making a delish new dish, Marion Grasby’s spicy garlic butter linguini.

It was picking up a book that was a hold at the library, knowing I could really get into it and do some research over this next lockdown week.

It was seeing the fruits of my workout labour, finally start to eventuate.

It was a tickle fight with baby girl after finishing work.

It was funny memes on social media.

It was being alright, even though it was day 1 of lockdown 6.

All of these things. 💖💖

#1979 Saturday night feast

Lockdown = baking. 😋❤

Omg, nom nom nom.

During the day I made this delectable new recipe, recently seen on Marion Grasby’s social media, the ‘bounty brownie.’

Basically she uses the bounty chocolate bar, along with a whole lotta coconut and other good stuff, to make this incredible version of the brownie.

This is oozy, gooey, soft, and just OMG. My heart. ❤ I originally made it with Hubbie in mind because he loves coconut with chocolate, but gee, I think it’s an all-round winner.

But that wasn’t ALL. Hubbie got a selection of yummy meats and prawns, mixed grill style, and we got them sizzling on the stove… accompanied with salad stuff and home-made oven chips, let’s just say I was feeling really content.

Happy Saturday night 🥰🥰

#1967 The only way to make oats

A few weeks ago I watched a Jamie Oliver video on social media, and it changed my life.

So apparently, you don’t cook oats on the stove with milk, or cream as Jamie suggests.

You do it with water, the traditional Scottish way.

3 parts water to your oats. (So if you do half cup oats like me, you would follow with one and a half cups of water).

A good pinch of salt.

And then you stir and stir, letting this delicious pot of oats turn to cream in about 13-15 minutes.

OMG. It is actually amazing.

Don’t worry, you can add the sweetness you desire.

He had a whole bevy of ideas for sweet toppings, but I just went with a simple arrangement of fruits today.

You can look up the video by typing in ‘Jamie Oliver oats five ways,’ or even type in ‘Scottish oats by Jamie Oliver.’

I honestly feel like my body is shouting “thank you!” when I eat this in the morning. It’s become a bit of a recent staple, you know, being in the depths of Winter and all.

But it is important, and Chinese medicine will concur, that it’s vitally important especially at this time of year, to keep our bodies warm, and that includes from the inside out too. 💖🥣

#1794 The truth behind the holiday pics

What a fucking day.

And I don’t swear lightly… on social media, that is. But today was totally fucking swear-worthy.

The start and end of it look quite blissful… see?

Baby girl’s babycino following our buffet brekkie. Then me enjoying some relaxing time while baby girl screamed “cannonball!” launching into the shallow swimming pool’s waters.

But the meat of the sandwich that was between those two photos? The middle of the day?

That is a story and a half.

Because we had started the day happy, you see. We had brekkie, and on our way to visit a beach we had only stopped by days earlier, made a pit stop to get a boogie board for baby girl, which ended up being a family boogie board, so awesome and big and colourful it was.

We were just pumped. Couldn’t wait to get to the beach, oh, 10 minutes away…

But then my car overheated.

The temperature gauge went to red.

Hubbie pulled over in a panic.

And in the space of a few hours, we were waiting waiting waiting, had a huge mix-up with our car roadside insurance that resulted in help being sent a lot later than we would have liked, we were hot, stuck on a busy road. were in the vicinity of a possible Wolf Creek type abduction attempt when a man pulled over after seeing me outside the car, and in between all of the waiting, being told by the roadside guy there was nothing he could do, daydreaming about the boogie board we should have been using then at the beach…

Well there were the water birds.

We called them ducks the whole time, but they were too big to be ducks. These birds were on one side of the busy road as we waited over an hour for help, and in that space they proceeded to leisurely cross the two sides of traffic, a number of 4 times.

At first, we couldn’t watch. We told baby girl to cover her eyes, sure that one of them would be splattered and flattened over the asphalt. They were lanky, moved slowly, and just lacked any kind of fear or trepidation when it came to forcing huge pieces of machinery to brake to a stop to allow them to pass.

And yet, they passed. They made it. There were 6 of these animals, with one of them hobbling like it’d been swiped by a vehicle… and yet they crossed the two-sided road 4 times.

It was a miracle.

Cars, even trucks, pulled to a stop. We watched in amazement as traffic on this busy tourist road came to a standstill, as these slow-moving water birds ambled across slowly, seemingly unaware of the chaos they were creating.

They managed to move, however slowly, while we sat there static, in the heat, a little bit in awe of their bravery (and sometimes, stupidity).

My faith in humankind was restored, even following the Wolf Creek incident, seeing ‘most’ of the cars patiently wait for these indecisive avian kind to work out which side of the road they wanted to be on.

And that faith in people continued when some time later, a random cafe owner we had passed only that morning on our fated way to the beach, ended up helping Hubbie get back on the road, however slowly, where we breathed a huge sigh of relief that we were back in a known, safe, comfortable place.

But now, we are stuck.

There are a couple of morals to this story. One is the REAL truth behind all the social media photos you see. Despite the filters being put on display, it doesn’t mask the truth in between the snaps of photos being taken and the 100 special effects being created.

And secondly… there are miracles to be observed, even amongst unbelievable odds and impossible situations.

To be continued…

#1717 Day 219 of getting there: on the edge of the horizon

You don’t realise what you’ve missed, until you’re within grasp of it.

All day today, on social media, on the radio, I could read it, hear it… People are SO excited about significant restrictions easing tomorrow.

And you know, I didn’t really know how that would affect me. How I would feel.

It’s hard to know how you’ll feel, when so many things have gone astray. Events don’t go to plan, then one shit thing after another shit thing follows.

It’s difficult to work out whether or not you can ever be happy or satisfied again.

But today, I really started to get excited!

I’ve been thinking of all the things I can do, see, go back to… things that I didn’t realise I missed, or that were really lacking in my life.

Hope is on the horizon.

#1538 Day 40 of getting there: Egg drop soup

Something inside me twigged when I saw the above recipe video, and I didn’t quite understand why.

After some thought, I remembered that growing up, my Mum would sometimes make this egg-type soup as a breakfast meal!

It might seem weird, but if you think about it, eggs are a primarily breakfast meal, and this just happened to come in a comforting and seasoned broth that made for nice cold mornings.

I’ve been loving Marion Grasby’s videos on facebook. I really find the meals the former MasterChef contestant makes on her channel, fascinating, easy and seemingly delicious.

I was keen to put the latter to the test today, as I’ve been slowly planning my attempt at her incredible egg-drop soup.

I was soooo excited. (I always get excited making something new!) The only thing I didn’t have was the dried shrimp to add to the broth, but oh man the amazing scent of ginger, spring onion, pan fried chicken filling the kitchen tonight… mmm!

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It was so delicious. I am in love. Another great soup to add to my repertoire of soups. 😉

Follow her on facebook or insta, it will be worth your while. ♥

#1338 Hearing the Novel name

I don’t know how I am going to say this. It’s a bit hard to talk about something when you don’t want to use real names.

So I will use pseudonyms. It comes natural for me, being SmikG and all 😉

Let’s say the over-riding name for my novel, the series as it were, since I have written the first, and have started the second (albeit very s-l-o-w-l-y) with my intention for it to be part of a very long series…

Is ‘Mountain Peak.’ Yeah that’s about right. Let’s call it that.

But that’s the title of the series, so it comes to reason that each novel would need an individual name, right?

So for this current novel that I am working and re-working and re-working ’til FOREVER it seems, it is called…

‘Experimentation.’

YES! Perfect. No that is not the name, but for purposes of this experimental exercise and real-life scenario, let’s go with that.

Mountain Peak: Experimentation.

That makes sense! You experiment while climbing a mountain’s peak, right?

Tee hee hee.

I was at swimming with baby girl today. She was doing her thing in the pools, while I was doing my Mum thing… having a quiet moment. In the peak of swimming centre traffic, with kids entering pools excited, then exiting the same waters drenched and exhausted, with parents amidst it all watching the clock and holding out towels, and ordering that wet clothes go into plastic bags, I sat with my head lowered, looking at all of social media and trying to remember if there was anything I needed to look up during this temporary moment of non-interruption.

I was getting bored while scroll scroll scrolling, as a Mum sat beside me with her older primary school aged daughter. They were doing something, I didn’t really look up to see, and I just figured they were waiting for a child/sibling to get out of the pool.

Then all of a sudden…

“Experimentation.”

Huh? Had my ears deceived me?

I looked to the side where the Mum and daughter were. They were doing a crossword puzzle. Not wanting to stare and be obvious I quickly looked away, wondering to myself…

‘Did I just imagine that? Did I just hear the name of my novel? I must be kidding myself.’

I went about getting out baby girl’s towel as the end of her session drew near, and the curious cat that I am, I just couldn’t help myself…

The mother-daughter duo were positioned to my right and baby girl’s class was also in that direction, so it made perfect sense to linger my gaze a little longer to watch her retrieve dive sticks from the pool…

(Meanwhile my eyes were insanely scanning their crossword from a distance, looking at all the long words to see, if really…)

BINGO!

There it was. Experimentation.

They had it crossed off.

They had found it.

OMG.

I found it the oddest, funniest, yet also spookiest thing to have someone whisper to themselves, loud enough for me to hear sitting beside them, the name of my novel!

And this name, it isn’t even as common as ‘experimentation.’ Sure, for one particular group of people it might be a daily utterance … but most folks would usually say testing, instead of experimentation, you know?

Yeah, I know, you don’t know… ha ha ha.

And I was just like… woah.

Before I had time to smile or ponder any further, baby girl came over to me soaking and wet, with raindrops of water cascading off her hair and swimsuit, as if it were falling out of the sky… 😉

 

#1257 The month of the Roar

I honestly had forgotten. It had completely slipped my mind.

Until I saw it was my cousin’s birthday on social media… I hadn’t realised.

Hadn’t realised, the month of the Lion had begun.

ROAR!

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Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

And not only had I forgotten, but I had failed to remember for a couple of days already…

The sign of the lion started on the 23rd of July.

(Face palm).

How could I forget one of the most exciting times of the year???

I feel things heating up already… take that as you will 😉

#1191 Look up

Social media is great.

Social media tells you what is happening – which of your friend’s are pissed off and which family member has life-changing news to share.

Social media shows you countless vids of how to cook delicious food, as it does all those before-and-after bikini shots from people embarking on an exercise regime from yet another celeb trainer.

Social media lets you know what is trending: memes, jokes, news, cat videos…

Social media keeps you informed.

Also, social media tells you when you should stop looking down at your phone…

And start looking UP, at the sky.

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I was literally just on my phone as baby girl was falling asleep. It is my usual routine to message people back and get my gratitude post ready. And in amongst this, while scroll scroll scrolling, I found a site I follow, tell me, to look outside NOW… Jupiter was next to the Moon.

My photo is clearly shit, let’s face it. You need some super-charged DSR/DLR/TLGHDYT I-don’t-know-what super-charged camera to capture this moment. But the moon, as you can see, is to the left and big and bright and shiny, whereas Jupiter is but a tiny tiny dot to the right of the moon, positioned to the centre, and yes I have just seen a planet.

How cool is that. Go out and look outside people. Be amazed at the world out there.

So much bigger than all of US combined…

#908 My Selfie collection

Baby girl and I have developed a love of taking silly shots. All I need to do is call out “honey, come here,” phone out-stretched in my hand – and she knows it’s GAME ON.

I don’t tend to share these shots with anyone. Actually, NO ONE. I have become very private in my own personal social profile, whereas my SmikG presence – well that’s a very different story. Still, I find it important to preserve mine, and especially her face and identity, in a world that is becoming increasingly accessible, and in doing so, increasingly dangerous.

The photos we take, are for our eyes only. I look back on my camera roll, look at the filters we have applied – the 60s sunglasses, flowers in our hair, top hats, and all other manner of photo trickery – and I smile. It brings me happiness, and having these photos as mine, and mine only, makes it more special.

I think people have become way too accustomed to over-sharing. It is an addictive pill, that once taken, requires constant refills in the form of likes and comments. Then they share even more online, and soon, there is nothing special left. Nothing unique. Nothing of differentiation.

Nothing at all. Because the world suddenly owns ALL of you.

If we leave a little for ourselves… then those memories become more personal, more intimate, and more sacred… don’t you think?

Anyway, that is my gratitude for the day…

You want a selfie pic don’t you?

Ok fine. I’ll give you one from today.

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Tongues only. I never said you’d see our faces 😉