#1957 Remembering him, and the memories

A part of me feels like I’m not allowed to write about my uncle, because I had only spent two periods of my life with him.

But today, having learned of his passing, I feel a tremendous amount of sadness for my Mum’s family, while also realising that I am more than qualified to speak about him, because he inhabited some of the most meaningful and memorable parts of my life.

When I was 13 I travelled with my parents overseas. Being a fresh teenager, the thought of meeting family that I hadn’t met before was not exactly thrilling stuff.

And yet those 3 months ended up being the best of my life.

Our home base was at my uncle and aunty’s house, and so we would return there often for days at a time, sometimes weeks, in between our travels around Croatia and the neighbouring countries where our relatives lived.

I remember how much he and my Dad seemed to click. Both fond of drinking the hard stuff at 40%, they loved their grapes, their gardens, and their gadgets. Both natural handymen. It was never too early to ‘cheers,’ and they were often caught having a good ol’ chat.

I remember the garden, the vines above providing ample cover as good as a ceiling. I remember the swing there too, and the kittens that crawled along the roof of these vines, and how I looked up at them.

I remember the ‘bunker’ at the bottom of the house, and I remember the random spa-type apparatus that sat on top of the garage! Me and one of my cousins sat in the empty pool as it were, on a hot Summer’s day.

I remember them taking us out to ice cream in the main centre. I remember us walking the streets, and them telling us where the bombs had fallen, showing us the concrete scars they had left on the road. They showed us where their son had gone to high school and proudly pointed out the court he played basketball in.

I remember more vividly the second time I visited my uncle and aunty, because it was more recent… it was when Hubbie and I were on our honeymoon.

Although it wasn’t yesterday, the memories are far fresher. I had the opportunity to spend time with them, now as an adult, out of the wings of my parents, 12 years on. Hubbie and I sat with them. There was still the bunker, the 40% alcohol, and the cherished garden. And of course, the cats.

I think he had a soft spot for cats.

On the few days we were in town, he kindly played tourist guide, driving us around to see other family members. We saw his favourite fishing hole, and he spoke fondly of his own family, and of his memories with them.

I often found myself staring at him and being amazed at the likeness between him and his son.

But what I remember most, is the day he took us to the train station, as we set to depart from Croatia.

We waved goodbye, and I said we would see him again one day. I watched as he turned, his head bobbing down in a sign of resignation as he walked away.

But that day never came.

I think of all of this, and I send so much love out to my family tonight.

I hope they too hold their own special memories of him that they’re replaying in their minds.

It’s just another sombre reminder that we must grasp each and every day with all our might and all our love.

Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

RIP, M.G.

#1948 My moccasin love

I will forever be a lover, of the papuce.

That is moccasins to you, my English speaking friends. πŸ˜‰

Do not show me an ugg boot. Do you know what I say when I see an ugg boot?

Ugh.

Get it? The ugg is named aptly, because it is DAMN UGLY. Only once in my whole life have we had ugg boots in our house, and that was because baby girl got them as a gift when she was a baby, and even then when I put them on her, Hubbie stirred me forever and a day because he knows I don’t like ugg boots.

I think they pass on a baby. I mean, everything looks cute on a baby.

But, ugh. Pass on the UGG-LY boots, please.

Moccasins, ALL THE WAY.

From as long as I can remember, these things have been on my feet all year round. A couple of months around summer, I live in thong-type cushiony slippers… but these things, these moccasins, spell one thing.

HOME. 🏑

I wore them all through my childhood and teenage years, and really they remind me of my childhood home, of my parents, of keeping feet warm and protected through everything.

I mean, why would you wear basic slippers when it’s cold? There is no proper support, or protection, or warmth… they can so easily slip off.

Actually, slippers are a hazard.

Moccasins fit snugly around your foot, providing cushions of love and goodness to keep those toes toasty, all day long.

(And yes, I know ugg-ly boot lovers will argue that their boots do the same, but the fact that you have to pull them off makes them so inconvenient, and did I mention, ugly? 🀣)

I got a new pair today at the local Wednesday market, because I wore my old ones to the ground to the point that there was literally no cushioning left in the moccasins!

There has been a lot of working from home and home-schooling over the past year, so they have been in high demand. 😁

But, ahhh. A new pair of moccasins. To set me up for the cold months ahead…

Welcome papuce. Welcome. πŸ˜πŸ’–

#1886 Precious little fingers

New little fingers, and new little toes.

I met one of my closest friend’s little baby today, and ooooh!

He is just the sweetest thing 😍

I am such a sap nowadays. I walked into her place and immediately welled up and nearly cried, at the sight of him sleeping in the corner, mittens on and arms up, oblivious to the world around him.

In several months, our entire girls group will have littlies with them.

My high school group of girls. We’ve known each other now for 2 decades, some of us going back even longer.

It’s the stuff of dreams. We used to talk about this in high school. All of us still being friends and catching up together, and having our kids together too… making them be friends with each other, you know, all that starry-eyed optimistic talk you have about how the future will be.

To know that soon ALL of us will have a littlie around the table when we meet up… well it’s just darn amazing.

There’s nothing quite like holding a newborn. Everything else just melts away.

Can’t stop grinning. He is absolutely precious. πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1845 Have you ever really loved, a love song?

I’ve been listening to Bryan Adams suddenly, out of nowhere, and I can’t stop.

Maybe it’s the weather. The warmth has dissipated, leaving in its wake cold, windy, grey days.

Things feel slower. Sleepier. I feel like chilling, playing love songs on repeat.

Which is kinda what I’ve been doing. πŸ˜‰

To be honest, it’s not quite all of a sudden. It all started after I was listening to one of my favourite songs “O Sole Mio” last week. And then when I looked it up on YouTube, I came upon the most weirdest of versions.

It was a duet, featuring Pavarotti… and Bryan Adams.

BRYAN ADAMS? I couldn’t believe the caption, until I watched it and listened to it with my own ears.

Now, at first, I was very slightly offended. Was this a joke? I have no problems with Bryan Adams at all. I think he’s great.

But, this song was made for the operatic tone. We don’t need no husky, raspy voices here. Bryan Adams, you may not apply for this job. And yet there he was. Singing alongside this famous Italian, the Pav looking at him all amused, perhaps like it was some kind of joke, or dare, or perhaps more realistically, a TV special or charity show?

In fact it was neither. Rather it was for Pavarotti’s 59th birthday in Modena, Italy, and he surely thought he’d get a kick out of it or something. Look it up, and see his deeply amused smile as he watches Bryan attempt this song designed only for a tenor. Just watch.

And then, something happened. After I got used to the wildly different voice and version, his voice started repeating in my head.

BRYAN ADAMS STARTED REPEATING IN MY HEAD.

I could hear the strain, even and mesaured, but not deep, as he sang “Ma n’atu sole cchiΓΉ bello, oi ne'”

(Otherwise known as line five)

I was actually starting to like it.

πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

And with that… his other songs started repeating in my head.

Because of that, I’ve been playing various renditions and versions of his songs…

Summer of ’69.

Heaven.

Let’s Make a Night to Remember.

Please Forgive Me.

And last, but definitely not least, and most certainly my favourite song of his of ALL TIME:

Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?

(With special subtitles :))

I have loved this song since it came out when I was a young teen. I LOVE IT. And the love just keeps on growing in our household, because every time Hubbie comes home from work, he hears this guy…

LOL.

#1784 Old words, old works, back to who I used to be

I’ve been going through some OLD paperwork.

I have a whole collection of stuff I suddenly inherited (i.e. it was ceremoniously dumped here after my parents suddenly sold their house – or you could say I just failed to take it with me since I moved out of there 11 years ago 😬) that I’ve been slowly going through and checking out, for the past week or so.

There is a throw pile. Old bags, lots of school paperwork, dozens of plastic coin change bags (remember those?)

There is a donate pile. Think a glass chess set that I bought my Dad for a birthday, I think, which he never used… why did that end up with me again?

There is a maybe pile. Like these glass/photograph coasters, or that dancing sunflower with the saxophone that used to work on battery, but is struggling now…

There is a ‘whoops this isn’t mine better check with sis/parents’ pile. VHS tapes, some kind of charger?

Then there is the KEEP pile.

OMG, the keep pile. Loads and loads and loads and loads of PAPER STUFF.

Of course.

Old diaries. School work. Reports. Assignments. I have so much, and I still have one big bag of folders to go through.

What kinds of memories have I found?

All my work payslips pre-2007. ALL OF THEM.

All my high school reports.

The letter my Jeans West Work Experience manager wrote back to my teacher when I was in year 10… “she learnt to apply herself in the time given, but she was a bit shy.”

Ha ha, so me.

Uni assignments, oooh, I’ve loved these. I have a script for a 5 minute film called Doggy Day that I wrote and planned myself. I have an interview I did on my Dad on his life and immigration to Australia which I got good marks for. An article about the RSPCA that I should have sought further help on to get publication, judging by my uni teacher’s comment in the notes. Damn, should have chased that one up.

And so many textual analyses of books and film, oh my goodness.

High school diaries and notes with Hubbie’s name written over them. πŸ˜πŸ’–

Psychology, Philosophy, and Ancient History handouts.

My old work pass.

I opened one of my old diaries at whim, to see what day I’d end up on. One entry had me in 1999, 16 years old, where I had met with one of my oldest friends at our local milkbar and we’d ended up walking to the house of our primary school friend who we didn’t see much anymore.

I wrote how we had sat in her bedroom, it had been a bit weird at first but then we’d relaxed and it had turned into the good ol’ days and all the memories we shared.

My 16 year-old self wrote how it was weird, a bit sad, that someone we used to be so close to about five years earlier, we didn’t see much of at all anymore, and our conversations had turned to pleasantries and reminiscing of the past, rather than the stuff you typically share with your closest friends – “Did you hear what happened to her?” “Did you hear about the party last Friday?” – type thing.

And I observed in this diary, and wondered, if the friends I had then in high school, whether we would be like that one day, exchanging pleasantries and talking about the past as the only thing we could hold onto.

In 6 years time, would we be a bit awkward like that too?

I smiled. SmikG NOW smiled.

I smiled as I read, wanting to jump into the pages of my old diary and grab 16 year-old SmikG, grabbing her by the shoulders to shake her excitedly and tell her –

“Guess what? You stay friends with them ALL! A couple of them drop off, sure, but you’ll come to realise they weren’t real friends anyway!

Your true friends are still friends… not 6 years later, but even 21 years later!”

And 16 year-old me, would undoubtedly have gone –

“😲😲😲”

And asked immediately –

“Who aren’t I friends with anymore?”

And this SmikG would have shook her head with a cluck cluck cluck and said.

“Dear girl… I think you already know.”

πŸ’–πŸ’–

I’ve had so much fun going back in time, and it’s made me realise how much I’ve changed, but also, how much I am still exactly the same.

Still passionate about the written word, still writing stories, still experimenting in different forms, and still wondering about the future and life in general…

I wonder what SmikG 10 years from now would say to me now…

See? πŸ˜‚

Photo by Kate Graur on Pexels.com

#1756 Moving and growing

OMG, today was really important.

For a number of reasons. Firstly, this happened.

My childhood home was SOLD. Yep, the place where I was brought home as an infant, lived all through my childhood, to teenage years, adulthood, and was even led out of the house, parents side by side as they escorted me to the wedding cars for my nuptials with Hubbie…

That house, went under the hammer.

It’s momentous for all of us, but mostly, our parents. Mum and Dad have lived there for 40 years, so this is a huge change, but also one that was imminent, and something that is great to have happened now, when it did.

Being with my parents, my sister, and baby girl, all of us sharing in that special moment… it was mixed emotions, but it was EXCITING.

The excitement continued when I headed over to help celebrate a dear friend’s baby shower.

Oh wow. Can I just say, other than my immediate family, I have not seen people for like, ALL YEAR! Ok, so maybe not all year, but most of the people in that room I haven’t actually seen in 2020. Like, things have been cancelled, postponed, practically all birthdays were thrown out the window this year, so those we would have seen even a handful of times, we’ve seen NO ONE, at all.

But it was special. It was wonderful. It was exhilarating while also being oddly relaxing. Eating, drinking, sharing conversation, and enjoying each other’s company…

My God, I miss being social. It’s great to be back. And when it’s for great things, like

Moving… or

Growing…

I will happily oblige to help all the people celebrate.

πŸΎπŸΎπŸ’–πŸ’–

#1727 Day 229 of getting there: My old Creek friends

I’ve spent the last few months, both covid and life induced, getting re-acquainted with old loves.

Old TV shows. Old friends.

Just recently, something dropped on Netflix.

Sure, I have the ENTIRE DVD BOX SET at home.

But with our DVD player playing up, I kinda have to depend on Netflix for going back in time…

Today, feeling sorely and under the weather, I happily lapped up Dawson’s and friends!

That is, Dawson, Joey, Pacey and Jen. But I bet you knew that, because I bet you’ve watched it too, right?

I don’t know if this is just a ‘me’ thing, a ‘SmikG’ thing, but I watch and read things, and am usually casually without much effort, heavily critiquing and analysing the plot/characters/conflicts/dramas etc.

(You too? πŸ™„πŸ€£)

So while I was happily enjoying the walk down memory lane tonight with Season 1 ep 1…

I was noticing the strong teenage themes already present in Scene 1.

Scene 2 grabs you when, well a seeming ‘monster’ grabs Joey from her sunning position on the deck, and pulls her into the water.

Cue, ‘ok, Dawson is a budding film-maker.’

Then, HELLO! Blonde girl arrives, grabbing Dawson’s (and our attention).

And there within the first few scenes, we know that Joey is secretly crushing on Dawson, he’s crushing on Jen, Jen has some weird thing going on at her grandma’s along with her mysterious past, and Pacey has set his sights on some new older woman in town who turns out to be his teacher…

And throw in some coming-of-age themes, lots of sex talk (cue Dawson walking in on his parents doing it on the coffee table) and suspicions of extra-martial affairs, and you have a hell of a lot of drama and conflicting intentions happening there!

Welcome to my film school. This all happens so naturally in my head.

Not taking notes. Really I’m not…

Anyway, I love these guys. And I’m excited about getting back to my creek roots.

#1672 Day 174 of getting there: iso TV shows

As I look back at this time of iso, I notice little things that worked out to our advantage, or just happened to be a small light at the end of the tunnel.

Little things. But they make up the whole, right?

At the start of the year, I was NO JOKE, over 100 episodes behind on my Bold and Beautiful eps. I know, serious stuff.

I had way over 100 eps on my planner, and I actually thought there was no way I would catch up… ever.

But then… covid happened. Iso happened.

I was working from home. My morning commute went from a 2 hour 10 drive/train/walk journey, to a get-out-of-bed, trakkies, oh-here-I-am-downstairs-at-the-work-desk journey. In like, 5 minutes.

Suddenly, I didn’t have to be in bed so early…

And slowly but surely, sitting on the couch at the end of the night, I caught up.

Also, covid happened to Bold and the Beautiful too. They suspended production initially, showing only old eps… which I still watched.

Still, I caught up on them ALL.

But lately, it has been more than soap operas occupying my TV viewing.

7 days a week I am occupied with one thing or another.

From Monday night to Friday night, I’ve got it on channel 119 on Foxtel, and The Golden Girls and Cheers are playing out to me in the lounge room.

And if you’re shaking your head and laughing, then obviously you’ve never watched them! The Golden Girls are not just old ladies… they are actually quite rude, which makes them all the more hilarious!

And Cheers, well this one surprisingly, I haven’t watched in years… oddly for my age at the time, I remember watching this casually when I was in my pre-teens, about 12, and getting hooked on the Sam and Rebecca storyline… and now like 25 years later I am re-watching HOW they got together.

So that’s my Mon-Fri. I switch on the TV after everyone’s asleep. I sit on the couch with my laptop. Check my phone, write, pay bills, look things up, etc, etc… all while 4 golden girls get into all kinds of crazy scenarios, and then this woman-mad bartender gets into random escapades with his bar colleagues and local regulars there to support and ‘cheer’ him on.

The nights are fun:)

But that’s not all. These eps don’t play on the weekend, and just as well as I’ve found something else to fill in my time there too…

On the sci-fi channel… cue music:

ANGEL.

For this show, I was like 16, and still remember tuning into the first premiering eps on TV… I came for David Boreanaz, enjoying my perve at him, but stayed ultimately for the incredible stories and world-building. It was so emotionally engaging, that I had to stop watching for a season and a half after becoming absolutely furious at the show’s sudden direction!

It remains one of my all-time favourite shows to this day. And honestly, it if weren’t for iso, I wouldn’t be watching much at the end of the night, weeknight or weekend.

But now, I get to remember. I get to reminisce. I would tell you to watch Angel, but that show is like a commitment. Because I tell everyone to first watch the first 3 seasons of Buffy before they watch Angel… but still, it’s a beautiful and rewarding commitment, an incredible journey that will make you cry more than laugh, but mostly will make you feel (then cry like a baby again).

So watch Angel. Watch Cheers too, it’s a fun show. Watch Golden Girls if you want some fluff to laugh at. They’re good fun.

Or just watch your own shows. Hell, we have time now, don’t we? Revisit something you used to LOVE. Or, still do. πŸ’–

#1587 Day 89 of getting there: my Friday night vice

I must admit.

I have a vice.

It’s been with me, like ALL MY LIFE.

It is…

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

Corn chips.

I can’t get enough.

But… I try to stop myself.

For the last little while now, after a pretty long time of not eating any corn chips, I’ve been… treating myself.

Every Friday night. When everyone else is in bed, I pour myself a bowl of delicious, crunchy, tasty corn chips, get comfortable on the couch, with laptop/remote/phone/book all of the above, and I have the best time.

It is oh so simple, but OH SO GOOD.

Why do I pour into a bowl? Well it’s obvious isn’t it. If I ate from the packet I wouldn’t be able to stop. In my teenage years, I have been known to devour an entire packet of corn chips, and no I ain’t talking those little fun size packs either.

The packages I eat from are WAY more fun.

So that’s me and my Friday night… rocking on.

LOL.

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

That could be me… but it isn’t… but it could be… πŸ™‚

#1584 Day 86 of getting there: the BOLD book

15 years ago when Hubbie bought me a 20 years of The Bold and the Beautiful book, little did he know that many years later I would actually seriously be using it as an encyclopaedic timeline of all things soapy.

I have actually caught up. I may have mentioned a number of times that I was seriously behind on my B&B watching. So much so that my Foxtel planner had during one very long period, NO JOKES, over 100 unwatched Bold eps.

Not even exaggerating.

But you know what has happened during this iso?

Guess what has happened… πŸ™‚

I’ve caught up.

I’ve caught up on the recent eps anyway. And what I mean by that is, I’m across the board on the most recent eps that have aired around the world, and as of today, I started to watch what else they’ve been feeding us while we wait for more eps…

The old eps.

Because they aren’t filming anymore, you know? Just during iso. And it’s not just me, but Australia has caught up with the US!

So if you haven’t worked it out by now, I am a fairly MASSIVE Bold fan.

Taylor-Ridge shipper, Steffy-Liam shipper, ALL THE WAY.

Today I watched the first old ep. Eric and Brooke’s wedding… from who knows when.

Ages ago.

It was OLD.

It was cheesy.

But it was fascinating!

I just kept going “oh they’re so young! Their voices! Their hair! So youthful! So wrinkle free!”

But I had more pressing questions to the storyline, and less superficial ones too.

Why was Stephanie at the wedding of her ex-husband?

Why was Taylor engaged to Brooke’s brother?

Had Ridge been involved with Taylor yet?

Why were Brooke and Ridge making googly eyes at each other when she was marrying his Dad?

You know, the usual.

So after I watched the ep and listened to that original fantastic 80s theme music, I went to the bookcase.

I honestly have never read this thing properly. Not like a sit down and read. I’ve flipped through it, and I loved that Hubbie had gotten it for me when we were dating, knowing how much of a die-hard fan I was (he has a hilarious bold story from back when we first started talking on the phone!)

And it was the kind of book that you could leave on a coffee table and just flip through casually at whim, nothing too philosophical to take up your mind’s attention, or too technical that it required focused concentration.

But I hadn’t even really flipped through it.

But tonight I did. Not just flipped… I read. And read and read. And found out some fascinating stuff. Filled in many blanks.

And realised I will forever more always be team Taylor-Ridge.

And I also realised how many years I have spent following these people.

And I also also realised, I am a bit crazy about it all. 😜

Oh well. You learn something new every day don’t you?

I now need to catch up on these old, classic eps… i might have something like 30, 40?

No rush. I’ll take my time going back in time, with these.