#869 Late night soccer

Just as well I brought the hat home last Friday.

It had been in my old room, at my parents house. Just as I have been purging and sorting through my own stuff, so too have my parents been trying to purge – themselves of my stuff. LOL.

I always said I would tend to the big pile of childhood and teenage accumulation and mementos that I had left at their place when I first moved out. That promise turned into a faraway and not very concrete date, and so my parents took it upon themselves to take everything out of hiding and line it up accessible and for me to see in my old room.

Every time I am there, I go through a little more. I came across some carnival hats that baby girl was enamoured with… I thought ‘fine.’ There’s many things I am bringing home, simply because I am not sure of what to do with it, but I feel that I should really be throwing it away.

The hat, is not the case.

Because the hat, is from the homeland. It holds my parents roots, and is an emblem of where I hail from.

The discovery of the hat was so timely, because I was able to hold it near and dear to me, during the viewing of the Soccer, very very late (or very very early, whichever way you roll) last night/this morning.

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Croatia has progressed into the second round of finals in the FIFA world cup. I always said if they did get this far, then I would stay up/get up early, and watch. I knew baby girl having school holidays would make it easier – no early start and subsequent running around after a 3-hour sleep due to Soccer match… so very very early this morning, that’s what I did.

I had a preorganised massive blanket on the couch to wrap myself in. Little did I know it was the coldest night of the year, but I was all tucked up and cosy, the only light coming from the guys on the green field and the soft glow of our hallway.

In those 2 and a half hours, I learnt a bit. I didn’t think I would. I picked up strategies and things about the game which I had never noticed before. I got emotional, my head lifting from the pillow in anticipation when a goal was near; I whispered “damn!” at missed opportunities; and I also nearly fell asleep several times.

I am more sleep ambassador than a soccer one.

But it was the memories and the times I had spent watching the World Cup before, that led me to this night. I remember my Dad staying up late, and me sitting with him, trying to work out the game. Asking him questions. Things about the goalie, and how hard his job was. All of this came flooding back to me, the time I spent with my Dad watching this sport, excited about the rare late nights, and the bonding that I didn’t realise I was partaking in, ’til just last night.

And there was more. I remembered World Cup soccer parties at my sister’s place. The excitement of driving across town at midnight to watch the tournament take place. I remember sleeping in my bed at 3am, and the phone ring because Croatia had just progressed into another round, and my sister across town was calling to talk to my Dad, who was watching on our side of town.

“Sorry SmikG,” she said. “I’m calling for Dad.”

So casual, yet so novel. It was fascinating, how this event turned all our lives upside down.

And then when Croatia did make 3rd place in that same year, the happiness the people experienced and devoted themselves to, awoke something in me.

A deep curiosity for World Cup Soccer. Now, it was going to become a ritual.

Years later when Australia made the World Cup, remarkably it was Croatia they faced in one-play off. Although I couldn’t really lose in this scenario – ‘homeland’ team, playing ‘home’ team – I nonetheless went for the regional underdog, while Hubbie, then BF, was happily cheering for the land down under.

Our rules were: take a shot when your team makes goal. And run around the house with the national flag wrapped around you.

We did it.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, my parents were in Croatia, their native home, watching the very same game. They would wince when Australia faltered, silently cheering and smiling with glee when they moved ahead, noticed by my uncle who said to them

“Why, you’re cheering for Australia, not Croatia!”

That’s because Australia was their real home now.

Or maybe it had to do with going for the underdog in their current location, just as I was doing, cheering for Croatia to win as I sat in my Australian house.

I never remember who won. I don’t even care. All I remember are the memories.

I am not a soccer devotee. I will not claim I know all the players’ names. I will not pretend to watch soccer at any other time for the next 4 years after this event.

But I am a fan of where I come from. And as long as Croatia will feature in this 4-yearly event, so too will I haul my ass out of bed in freezing cold Winter temperatures, and remember, the memories from before.

For those keeping score… my ass-hauling last night DID pay off. Croatia won. In an epic extra-time plus penalty shoot-out setting. They won on the last kick!

Incredible. And if all I remember from this World Cup is…

coldest night

reminiscing on the past

cuddled up on the couch

Hubbie joining me post 6am before heading off to work

and then cheering happily because they had won (and I was going back to bed!)

then that would be enough.

#863 Shark Tank

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I’m surprised its taken me this long to pay a grateful homage to the above TV show. I have only been watching it from the very beginning, season 1 ep 1, and this latest season you will find me reliably sitting on my couch every Tuesday night from 8:45 to 9:45pm, arguing with baby girl that Mama needs her ‘me time,’ and that she can go do whatever the hell she wants.

Parenting at its finest.

But honestly. All I ask is for one uninterrupted hour. I don’t even get that.

Tell her to go to bed you say.

You obviously DON’T have a 4 year-old child.

I do my best anyway, with what I get. And what I get, I L♥VE. I sit on the couch with my tea, all comfy in my pjs, recently-converted Shark Tank watchee Hubbie beside me, in my nicely heated and cosy abode.

Ahhh.

What is it about this show that I love sooo much? Hubbie has asked me this question several times, and I have thought long and hard about the answer, curious myself.

Quite simply, it is fascinating. Watching some of our countries most successful and wealthiest businesspeople, assess the every day person’s entrepreneurial dreams, and determine if they are worthy and valid enough to be given a cash investment… that is exciting stuff.

It is explorative. You see things from a ‘Shark’s’ viewpoint. You will think an idea will surely get the team fighting for a bite of the money pie, but then slowly, all 5 of them turn it down for various reasons, and their individual reasons offer you a window into their very experienced and business-minded world.

I enjoy the journeys presented, I love the banter between the Sharks themselves… but most of all I gain some courage, some inspiration, some insight into both those people coming into the ‘tank’ and laying their ideas and hearts on the line, and also from the Sharks who offer invaluable feedback and insight for each individual.

Maybe I too, see myself in the entrepreneurs.

And maybe I also see myself in future, like a Shark 🙂

 

#791 A rainbow ice-cream couch date

I knew what I was doing tonight before this day had even started.

That’s because last night, being Saturday night, when Hubbie messaged me at work, from the comforts and warmth of our home, he sent me a photo with the delightful caption:

“F$%k that’s nice.”

While I was doing one of my last late, late shifts in a while, he was cosied up on the couch with baby girl, enjoying some gourmet rainbow ice cream.

And in my mind, Sunday night was suddenly set.

I organised for myself a date with the couch, watching Bachelor in Paradise, and… the rainbow ice cream.

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And, it happened. Who said dreams don’t come true? 😉

#619 New TV

We didn’t get anything fancy. God knows we can’t afford it. But the reasoning to getting it was, if we had just added the sports package and Hubbie couldn’t bloody well see the players, stats, shots, ANYTHING on the left side of the screen during his much loved NBA, then what was the bloody point of an extra $29 a month?

You see, our TV never had any issues. Until…

Dum da dum dum.

Baby girl came along.

Don’t turn your nose up at me. Until you have a child that wants to ruin ALL of your things, don’t say ‘it can’t happen to me.’

I used to say that. And guess what?

It DID happen to me.

You know what’s worse? It always occurs with the ‘sleepers.’ You know the ones, the kids that are oh so darling, flash their bright whites at you, give you hugs and kisses, eat their vegies… all that jazz.

And then when you are not watching, they take their toy maraca and smash it against the TV.

There is only so much you can do when a child takes to TV with strong object. See, by the time you get to them to stop them…

… The TV has copped a few good bangs. You think, fine, I’ll confiscate the maraca. Tell off your child. “Don’t do that!”

And nothing happens for weeks.

Then BANG! They have gotten hold of some festival light-up stick, and BANG BANG BANG! Again against the TV.

And you’re like “what is wrong with you? I thought you liked Dora the Explorer?”

You can confiscate all the hard, stick-like objects, and do your best to keep it from happening again… but it happens so infrequently, you kind of think, ‘I can’t just stay here watching her watch TV, ALL the time…’

And that is the beginning of the TV undoing. Because just as you think they have gotten over the TV bashing stage –

BANG!

And that my friends, is how the left side of our TV came to stay a blurry black, for about 2 whole years.

We got used to it, but really, it was soooo annoying.

I mean, TV entertainment was just not the same. Action scenes? They are fighting, and then disappear to the black.

Drama? Watch someone arguing into blank space.

Romance? There is no point in watching love scenes when all you can see are arms.

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This is our new beauty. Of course, within 10 minutes of set up it was already on baby girl’s old fave.

I just hope she still likes The Wiggles, or else she’ll go to bat with them too…

😉

#618 The classic Theme song

I have said on many occasions here, that one of the important things with gratitude, is appreciating all the little things, as well as the clear and obvious and staring-you-in-the-face BIG things.

Well, I’m well acquainted with that notion. And you will probably LOL at my gratitude for today.

I have been really enjoying my Bold and the Beautiful catch-up episodes of late (I say catch-up because I have approximately 70+ episodes on my Foxtel Planner, and as it is Australia is about 3 months behind, soooo…..).

It is the 30th year of their being on our screens, broadcast around the world in too many countries to even begin to count, and in lead up to their ‘anniversary date,’ they were showing small clips of significant moments throughout the years, at the end of some of their episodes. These significant recaps were fantastic: huge fights, people coming back from the dead revelations (at least two), declarations of love, meltdowns, affairs… you name it. I have thoroughly enjoyed these little snippets at the end of each ep, some I even vaguely remember – I have been watching it since I was 11!

That’s 23 years of my life! Sheesh, I need to get me another hobby.

Anyway, these end of ep recaps ceased once a select group of the cast headed on over to Australia NO LESS, to film and celebrate the wedding of two of their most popular characters, and my most favourite couple, Steffy and Liam… yay they got hitched!

But no, there is MORE.

Because as this most fantastic 30th anniversary wedding episode happened in front of the Sydney Opera House, hell I will even call it in my backyard, something else incredible, ingenious happened.

They went back to basics, in the BEST, FREAKING, WAY.

It is the original theme song! I LOVE IT! A throwback, updated yes, but a brilliant homage to the original theme song that quite frankly knocks the ball out of the park when it is compared to the ‘runway theme song’ they had before this, which was new, but lacked any thing really…

Bold. Or Beautiful. Yes I went there.

So gratitude. Yes, basic things. But it reminds me of my childhood, and things that should remain as they are when they are working.

I ♥ this show.

#593 Stupid time-wasters…

I feel soooo guilty.

I actually don’t have all that much time to spend doing what I wanna do. I am constantly in a state of ‘must-write,’ and yet having a little girl and a part-time job, a fussy (yet so lovable) Hubbie, and constant 24 hour responsibilities OF LIFE, mean I don’t get to write as much as, or when, I’d like to.

I don’t even get to watch the TV shows I love. My Foxtel planner is currently full of 50+ unwatched Bold and the Beautiful eps, and the only reason I get to watch the current season of The Bachelorette is because I practically demand it.

I haven’t even watched any NEW movies, for about 5 years now, let alone an old fave, in soooo long. I am hanging.

Which is why, to do a totally useless thing, a completely time-wasting activity, feels so horrible, and yet at the same time, so so good…

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Hangs head in shame.

I know. I am sooo late to the party. I think this was huge 5 years ago, and yet for some reason still unknown to me, when I saw the link on my computer as I was adding up sums on my laptop calculator for ‘boring as bat-shit’ bills, I thought “is this a freebie?”

I didn’t expect it to be a full-blown game. I thought it would be ‘meh,’ and not only ‘meh,’ but it would immediately lead me to a section where I would have to go online to pay before I could gain full access to the game.

But it didn’t.

And so for nights now, after doing my obligatory writing projects (gratitude post, personal journal) I have been moving up stages in Candy Crush Soda Saga.

God Help Me. I am up to Stage 17. And even earlier today, as I had 20 minutes or so to wait until my cauliflower soup had simmered to a ready stage, instead of doing something useful online, say, like ANY writing…

I moved up 3 stages. Damn.

I am getting really addicted. I feel bad to be doing something so trivial, so useless, and so inconsequential to the progression of LIFE, but I think at the same time that is what is so appealing about it all …

Because as Women, Wives and Mothers, our lives are full to the brim with responsibility and jobs and routine and drop-offs and lunches and cooking and cleaning and bills and paperwork and work work work work work of ALL KINDS.

So although there are so many things that need constant doing…

Sometimes, not doing anything important at all, feels like the most freeing, and therefore important thing to do.

Yes, this post is about my gratitude to Candy Crush. Yes, I know. I never ever ever EVER thought…

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#501 Couch time

Usually when I drop off baby girl for 5 hours at kinder, it is usually GO-GO-GO for me. Grocery shopping, a Zumba session at home, some kind of cleaning/tidying house stuff, followed by lunch, more clean up, and then hopefully some writing if I can manage it before pick-up time.

Today was very different. I’ve been feeling unusual lately. Out of sorts. I decided I needed a break from the rush and routine, and knowing that it was the last time I’d be on my own like that for a few weeks, being the end of term 2 and all, I decided to really milk it.

I still had a snack and tea when I got home, as is the norm. But then I sat. I read magazines, flipped through the newspaper, all while I sipped my tea and had Bold and the Beautiful on in the background.

Then I moved to the couch, wholeheartedly now devoted to the TV, and watched MORE B&B. Snuggled up under the couch’s throw. This then changed to a recent episode of Shark Tank, a programme I am absolutely obsessed with. I LOVE IT. I have to catch all episodes, and laughing and staring in bewildered shock, even crying at the shows I watched today, was just bliss. So, so necessary. I never give myself proper couch time, because well, Mum-guilt, always feeling like I really should be doing something more time-serving, important and responsible… But, it was just one of those days. Outside it was FREEZING, and snuggling up to myself on the couch, watching some great shows, was the perfect way to spend an hour or so.

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And for the record, I cried in Shark Tank when a man was telling the sweet story of how he has dedicated his life and earnings to an invention that literally, will save the planet (even the Sharks nearly cried), and in Bold I was oh-so-emotional over Liam and Steffy getting back on track in their relationship. I’m about 2 months behind Aus’ episode run, which is already behind the US’ of about 3 months, so bare with me if I sound terribly out-of-date. Let’s just say when it comes to B&B, I’m invested.

I really don’t need shows on my planner, waiting for me to watch them. But also, if I didn’t have anything I NEEDED to catch up on, I don’t think I would ever sit down and give myself some down time. I would always be on the go, and I would never have a proper, wind-down, break.

Ahh. You just need those days every once in a while.