#2035 Lockdown Saturday night tricks

I have a little trick to help during these lockdown-Saturday-night-party blues.

(While we pine over parties we went to in the past, and yearn for those that are yet to come).

I accidentally came across this great and super easy solution tonight, that can trick you into feeling like you are at a party. (Yes, keep reading!)

Put on music. This can be stereo, phone, record player, or like for our Saturday night tradition, YouTube.

This is great to do even if on your own since you can just keep selecting all your fave tunes, but even if in company this might be better, since the others will be selecting their own songs, and then it really will feel like a party!

Wait, that’s only half of it.

With the music still going, LOUD, start messaging people, preferably unrelated to each other… those who are reliable, who you know will respond… at least two people.

But as they say, the more the merrier.

This is what I did tonight. We had the music blasting, then on a whim I started messaging some family and friends… and before I knew it I was swivelling from one conversation to another, all while music was happening in the background…

And then lo and behold, a third group chat began, and I was like “WHO DO I TALK TO FIRST?”

And the music was so loud!

And it was so happening!

And then, it hit me… party vibes! 🀣

Well look, almost, not quite, but it’s the best that we’ll get, ’til we get to that super elusive, ‘there.’

πŸ€žπŸ’–πŸ™πŸŽΆ

#1966 Chocolate slice and Ricky

Two things brought me joy today.

(Well, many really, but I gotta talk about something different now, don’t I? πŸ˜‰)

  1. Cooking.

It was such an inside day, and I was happy to spend most of it indoors, willing the rain to rain down even more, so I could revel in the inside-ness, even more.

I did lots of cooking, and was most happy with this chocolate slice I made. It’s a recipe I’ve had for yonks but never tried. Honestly, I have a trillion recipes scattered in magazines, books and clippings all over the place, and need to go through them more regularly so that I can discover more interesting things to make.

It was good.

2. Ricky Martin.

I’ve been on a massive rock fest of late, and most of the time Queen is the only thing I play. But I put a song on YouTube tonight, a live Ricky Martin performance, and after that was done it gave me another Ricky Martin song…

And I just REMEMBERED. I mean, it’s not like I forgot. But you can’t love everyone at the same time, and you gotta play music according to your mood.

But man, I still love the guy.

I ended up finding a CD and pumping it up as I did the dishes, because that’s the rule in our house… whoever does the dishes, picks the soundtrack.

And it was a whole lot of ‘ola’ tonight!

Chocolate slice, and Ricky. Both so, so sweet. πŸ€£πŸ’–πŸ˜‰

#1939 Loom bracelets

Starting from last night, baby girl embarked on a loom band bracelet FRENZY.

She was given this container of bands when she was like, a baby… from a relative. Hand me downs, with all the connectors along with a tin of bright and interesting beads.

I kept them all this time, and finally I have cashed in.

Baby girl has been unfortunately stuck to her ipad during lockdown, and I can’t do anything about it.

  1. Because I’ve been working, and I can’t really be stopping every two seconds to supervise her, and
  2. Even when she isn’t finding new apps, she is doing homework on a device of some kind.

πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

Somehow, she decided she wanted to learn how to make these bracelets. I found a youtube video, we ran through them…

And she has spent almost ALL of today making bracelets!

It’s actually quite soothing and rewarding when you pull the band out and see the pattern you’ve created…

Coo-el.

If you get one of these for your next birthday… well just be grateful.

🀣πŸ₯°

#1887 It’s Friday then…

I love Fridays.

Who doesn’t?

I’ve previously written about the anticipatory excitement one gets when Friday rolls around.

For me, when 3pm on a Friday comes around. 😁😁😁😁

Hell yeah! It’s the best. Knowing you have days off ahead, is FAR better than any of those days off, let’s be honest.

It’s the anticipation.

So today as I clocked off from my work office at home, logged off my laptop, and headed into the kitchen where baby girl was happily waiting, I started singing…

“It’s Friday then, then Saturday Sunday what?”

We’ve been singing this song ever since a Friday has rolled along, ever since we saw the absolutely fantastic video of that guy that just jumps out of the car and dances to his hearts content when he hears the song.

And so we did. Baby girl and I ripped up a storm on the kitchen dancefloor, because…

“It’s Friday then, then Saturday Sunday what?”

#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.

#1788 Hats off to Hatzis

Isn’t it THE BEST when you pose a challenge to someone, and you just know they will never get it?

“Guess what cd I’m going to put on!” I smugly asked Hubbie tonight.

He guessed something that I had taken out of the archives like, 6 months ago.

Err, wrong.

I pressed play, and the sound of a dial tone came on immediately.

“Hello?”

Soon, it was this guy talking in his unmistakable Aussie/European accent.

Yep. Good ol’ Guido.

This wasn’t my CD. Newsflash, it wasn’t Hubbie’s either… he borrowed it off a friend a gazillion years ago, and never gave it back.

Tsk tsk tsk.

I know, I know. But it’s so damn good, I kinda don’t want him to give it back (I think it’s long-forgotten by his friend now!)

Over the years, from our dating days, to early married days, to pre-baby days, to now, we occasionally put this CD on. And it’s the best way to do it, like any comedy. It’s not so funny if you watch or listen to it all the time, because YOU KNOW THE JOKE. But if you come back to it, every year, or even longer, then it’s hilarious.

It’s…

Yep.

It’s truly been years since we listened to Guido. We let the CD run tonight, but then strapped for time, we went to the Florist phone call. We thought that was the one that we loved best from memory, but after a minute or so realised it wasn’t the one, though it is funny… Guido calls a florist to say he will accept the job being advertised, but first things first… they have to get rid of the flowers.

Anyway. The phone call we wanted, was the one AFTER the florist.

THE PLUMBER.

I actually found the call on youtube, for your ultimate listening pleasure. 😁

But before I share, they’ve added a Guido cartoon for effect… I think it totally detracts from the call itself, so sure, play the video, but keep your eyes closed! Listening to Guido and the plumber on their own, is comedy gold.

I won’t say anymore, because like in the words of my other fave comedian Eddie Murphy, who talks about people who “Fuck my jokes up on the job” after seeing his show…

I’ll just let you enjoy πŸ™‚

#1785 Shameless Insta self-promotion

You know why holidays are so good?

You get a whole lot of time to actually catch up on stuff.

And it may not be things that you feel are necessarily important or even life-serving…

It can be something as simple as working out how to use Insta stories.

πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

This thing has been bugging me for months now. Insta. In particular, insta stories, and the potentially and definitely mammoth amount of filters and options and links and tags and what have you that you can add onto them.

They’ve left me confused for so long, but yet I haven’t really tried to learn it either.

Insert, tonight.

The Insta youtube tutorial. Oh yeah, I am such a dag right now.

But now, I KNOW! I’m a dag that knows!

I posted my first insta stories tonight, and even created a new Highlights reel on my page, woo hoo!

If you wish to check out what all my fuss is about (and see my stories, i.e. it’s food!) look up @smikgwriter

Watch out world… this is only the beginning!

@imcoming @newbie @smikg @insta @tagtagandmoretags

#1582 Day 84 of getting there: Soon we’ll be found

It was Sunday night dinner-time, we were doing our usual youtube merry-go-round, and it was my time to pick a song.

I was over the same old, same old. We played the same songs repeatedly.

Hubbie would play The Weeknd, or the freaking Roses song. Oh if you haven’t heard it, look up Roses by SAINt JHN remix.

I ain’t putting it on here. I hear it too much already. It’s a great song, but you know when someone repeats something so much, they absolutely kill it for you?

That’s what Hubbie does.

The other song he had only rediscovered this morning was Don’t Let Me Down by Chainsmokers and Daya. It’s only a few years old, but he had forgotten about it, only to remember it all over again and play it again, repeatedly throughout the day. And again, check out the song on youtube… but this song gets bloody stuck in your head to the point that you’re like ARGH! Get it out!

Baby girl sways strongly between the two of us. She will put on a song Hubbie loves, or I love… or she’ll go and put on Dance Monkey which she was obsessed with ’til recently, or some Frozen music medley, which can sometimes go on for 20 minutes, so we force a cap of 4-5 minutes.

Me on the other hand, well you all know I am massively into music royalty at the moment, i.e. Queen. And I punctuate that currently with Madonna and Prince. But like I said, we’ve been listening to the same old, for too long, and I wanted my turn to be something different, something we hadn’t heard in a while.

Something slow. I was in a heartfelt song mood.

It then hit me.

“What’s that SIA song?” I asked Hubbie, the biggest SIA fan I know. “Where she sings “I’m tired, can we just sleep tonight…?”

He continued the song, catching the words before he said confidently “Soon we’ll be found” and started clicking away on youtube.

He brought up a 2008 performance on Letterman. Yes, David Letterman. I was stunned that a year before we had gotten married, this Aussie chick was heading over to the U.S and making her big American debut.

You go girl.

“Let’s not fight, I’m tired can’t we just sleep, tonight…”

It’s a great performance. She sings it better than she does the recorded version, and watching her hands perform is as mesmerising as listening to her voice.

She is uncovered, so this is truly back in the day. No hair to hide behind, no short blonde do that covers her eyes and nose just so. She is characteristic SIA, which is one of the reasons why we love her, and she is giddy with happiness when she finishes her performance, jumping up and down in joy which can only be interpreted as “I did it! I performed on Letterman!”

It is so wonderful to watch.

The performance begins after 1:10. The song is moving and takes you on a journey, and it fit my mood perfectly tonight.

My favourite line? “Let’s not fight, I’m tired can’t we just sleep, tonight?”

So beautiful. Enjoy, as we all did.

#1531 Day 33 of getting there: homemade sweet potato gnocchi

I haven’t been writing as much as I like, and that’s got a bit to do with this cv business and balancing working from home with schooling baby girl from home, but it’s more to do with the OTHER.

The other is me fuelling all my creative energy into cooking new recipes.

It isn’t hard to find them after all. So many more people are putting together live recordings and sharing extra recipes to help us deal with this isolation, and just as well because we need something to do with all the extra time we aren’t going out.

And just the other day, I fell in love with a recipe idea I have been toying with for years now.

It was gnocchi. Rather, it has always been gnocchi. But this version was a sweet potato gnocchi.

Nom nom nom.

You know, some time ago I bought a packet of gnocchi from the shops, at the height of the shopping-covid frenzy when pasta was getting low to nothing on shelves… and I thought, being from a nice grocer and all, that this gnocchi would also be, nice.

I have only ever had, smooth, delicious, pillowy puffs of homemade or restaurant high-grade quality gnocchi.

So imagine my disappointment when this gnocchi tasted like plastic.

It was NOT nice. It honestly had a fake, manufactured taste, and I was spurred by the idea of homemade gnocchi even more.

So earlier this week when I saw Leah Itsines, self-taught cook, post on facebook that she was doing a live and making sweet potato gnocchi, I knew that soon, I would be too.

20200424_175050

How great is technology? I knew I couldn’t follow her to make it at the exact time she did, but she was posting the video on YouTube later, so all I had to do was go to her channel today and voila!

The instructions were all there.

20200424_193050

 

My gnocchi was deliciously homemade. It was so refreshing, to have it not taste like plastic! What do you know??? In fact, it tasted anything but. I think I made a pretty great first time gnocchi, and I even have extra that I have frozen for another time so that is SUPER EXCITING.

But that’s not even it. No folks. Topping that homemade sweet potato gnocchi was Jamie Oliver’s 3 minute tomato pasta sauce… another food guru I have started following lately!

And just as well that I had a 3 minute sauce recipe, since it took me hours and 26 dishes to make the gnocchi.

(All hail the dishwasher).

It’s so satisfying to make your own food. It’s amazing to experiment with different dishes, flavours and ingredients, and even to go out on a whim and try something you’ve been scared to for so long.

I can’t believe I made gnocchi, I am still so excited about it!

Next on my experimentation list? Well Leah has also made dumplings, and I LOVE DUMPLINGS… Marion Grasby has an egg drop soup that looks incredible… and Jamie Oliver and Oprah Winfrey recently made his Singapore-style fried rice together, over video call of course… ahh.

Ain’t technology just the best. πŸ™‚

 

#1530 Day 32 of getting there: raw fish and tropical fruit

Who would even think about putting those two in the same sentence?

Sushi, with mango?

It’s the most random of combinations, and it could only come from the mouth of a child, as the comedic trio of Joe, Carlo and Andrew found out when Joe’s toddler uttered the words while running rampant one day.

Sooshi mango was born. And they have given us plenty of belly-aching, toppled-over, can’t-breathe-no-more massive laughing seshes.

I love these guys. There is nothing better than spending any free time devouring the videos they’ve posted on social media, and fortunately for us all in iso, they’ve been posting A LOT more.

They always make me laugh. At the moment bestie and I tag each other in new videos that come out, but I always end up watching so many more because I just can’t help it.

They mimic the ethnic background I, and so many of my family and friends around us have grown up privy to. Our parents and grandparents, talk and have talked in this abrupt, direct, no-fuss and mixed English kind of way, and a lot of the European descendants that hail from there, can relate to the sketches in their hilarious comedy.

Did I mention they swear? Yes they swear soooo much. And in the language of the people that came before us, it is even MORE funny. Even if you have a pole up your bum when it comes to foul language, you can’t not laugh at this!

(Ok, maybe you still might have a pole up your bum, but you might end up giggling just a bit).

(If you don’t then go away). πŸ˜‰

I have so many favourites… damn I just can’t choose.

Ethnic Mum Christmas food insults. OMG. I know women who act and talk like this (and even look like this!)

The Concrete.

Supermarket shopping done right at La Manna’s. Oh good God.

When Ethnics say goodbye.

Ethnic Dads in the garden.

Ethnic Dads playing cards.

Oh I just love them ALL!

Do yourself a favour and check them out their YouTube channel… or follow them on facebook and insta.

Oh what the hell. Here’s a taste.

(It took me double the time to write this post due to Sooshi Mango ‘research,’ and now I can’t stop grinning :):):) )