Jul 13, 2020

Life This Week 13/7/2020: A Newtown Weekend.

And I'm officially 'out of office'.  

A week of annual leave awaits and I'm looking forward to making a mostly low key time of it.

Crochet is my latest passion (just in case you hadn't already noticed this for yourself) and I'll be spending as much time as possible on the couch with my yarn and hook.  

I had a few things to do at work over the weekend before officially signing out.  Master SSG came along for the ride and it ended up being a weekend of sharing my work world with him and in the process, making some new discoveries for myself along the way.

We had made to order Japanese at a delightful little restaurant on King Street and then went wandering further down the road to explore.

I love the energy of Saturday afternoon Newtown.  Newtown is colour, freedom, individuality and acceptance.  

I find myself walking that little bit more slowly as I give into the prevailing energy of the locals who are mostly young students or free of school-aged children (or rather the tightly scripted weekends that children of that age tend to have these days).  My rewards for slowing down are the little details I'm now free to observe and collect like treasures as we stroll.

A wall of earrings for every mood or frame of mind you may find yourself in.

Blind book 'dates' at Elizabeth's.

I have so many fond memories of visiting Elizabeth's in Perth with dad.  And now here I am taking my son for a wander along its iconic green bookshelves.

Perfectly ordered tubes and bottles of paint that inspired me take up a brush - on the canvas of my imagination.

But who knows?  I've learned to crochet, perhaps iso living will also see me learn to paint....

We didn't have enough fingers to count the number of gelato options we had for dessert.  Mapo won in the end.

Stracciatella was our pick - a light but rich vanilla studded with chocolate chunks.

Jubilee Park and its breathtaking views of the city feature in my drive between home and work.  It marks my internal transition from work to home mode. 

On Sunday, I stayed in home mode just a bit longer.  I parked the car and escorted Master SSG and his scooter to the park to make the most of the sunshine before the rain set in.

As usual, major food decisions had to be made.  The Fancy Banger caravan was very tempting but we found it way too soon after breakfast.

It's never too early for coffee and crepes at The Little Marionette, though.  Of course, we found ourselves at The Tramsheds after Park Hour.

And of course, the Supamart there had the one grocery item I was previously unable to find in my travels through less super supermarkets.  Along with toilet paper, Moet (!!) and 5 pack Mi Goreng, there's been a run on pickled ginger here in Sydney.

Has Newtown weaved its magic on you recently?

Jul 9, 2020

Lovin' Life 9/2/2020: Five Things.

The things that made me smile this week:

1.  A sunny winter's morning at the park.

Soft sun filtering through the bare branches of winter, 

riders cantering on their horses to the side of me

and Master SSG scooting ahead of me.

Centennial Park never fails to work its 'oasis in the city magic' on me every time I visit.  It's just a shame I get there so infrequently.  Something that needs to change, I think.

2.  Being reunited with a favourite chocolate.

Spotted in the most unlikely corner of suburban Sydney.  The familiar profile, the red and cold trimmed packaging... my beloved Mozartkugel.

That dark chocolate coated, marzipan filled confection that I discovered in Berlin back in the days when we could travel with relative abandon.

The world felt smaller and more welcoming then, the boundaries of countries porous.

3.  A productive morning at Westfield.

This pit stop for coffee was well deserved.

In the space of one Sunday morning I got the car (deep) cleaned, my brows groomed, soccer boots sorted and my stock of Aldi chocolate replenished.

It wouldn't have been an Aldi chocolate run without the addition of an item from the middle aisles of plenty to my trolley.  These wool-blend hiking socks work a treat with my new hiking boots for the snow later this month.

4.  Third time's a charm.

5.  Gifts.

I found some beautiful birthday presents for my nephew and niece.  Looking forward to the gifting and then the unwrapping.

Jul 6, 2020

Life This Week 6/7/2020: Taking Stock.

Hello all,

I've just discovered crochet.  It's also so, so close to my annual leave I can taste it.  Which all is by way of putting context to my responses to 'Taking Stock' this month.

Let's get to it!!

Making : room on the top shelf of the fridge.  Goodbye, unopened jar of caramelized onion that expired in 2018!!

Cooking : Japanese Beef Curry in the slow cooker.  It's one of my favourite make-ahead meals.  It works for lunch or dinner.  It's filling.  It's one pot.  The list of its virtues is endless.

Drinking : wait for it... a mug of tea.

Reading: a new crime series.  It's the dark and cynical portrayal of romantic relationships that reeled me in. The mysteries themselves explore dark at times sordid motives.  None of this has been able to stop myself from getting deeper into Tyrone Swift's corner of present day London.
The Complete Tyrone Swift Mysteries (Tyrone Swift) by Gretta Mulrooney

Trawling: my sock drawer for the ski socks I thought I bought from last year's Aldi ski event.  I've come up trumps and found them in pristine condition.

Wanting: my freedom to travel back.  It's a trivial and very first world problem to miss something that was a privilege in the first place I miss how easy it was to plan a trip, book my tickets, pack, get to the airport, fly a lot, land, unpack, rediscover myself and then do it all again in reverse. 

I miss the anticipation at checking in for my departing flight.  I miss the flights themselves.  I miss the excitement of my destination either a city waiting to be explored or the warmth and love of my family and friends.  

Looking: at this pineapple tea cozy that belongs to someone at work and wondering if I have the crochet skills to recreate it at home...

Deciding: that cauliflower rice and I will never get along.  Ever.  It might look like rice straight out of the freezer but that smell as it cooks. I just can't.

Wishing: it was easier to get out of bed in the morning now that it's winter.

Enjoying: that we do have distinct seasons in Sydney.  Seasonal food and wardrobe, that our lifestyles change with the weather too.

Waiting: for summer all the same.

Liking: the efficiency of my scanner and printer at home.  They both work seamlessly with my ageing laptop.  A blessing that I am truly grateful for.

Wondering: what I might get up to during my week of leave coming up next week.

Loving: the thoughtfulness of my Australia Post delivery guy. 

My rainy day parcel deliveries get wrapped in plastic bags before being pitched over the front gate.

Pondering: why I always seem to be in such a rush all the time.

Listening: or rather trying to listen.  Properly.  Stopping and engaging kind of properly.

Considering: how the current restrictions on my life imposed because of the virus have actually liberated me in areas of my life that I definitely needed to work on pre-Covid.  World. Myseterious.  Ways.

Buying: yarn.

Watching: beginner crochet videos.

Hoping: crocket blankets as home decor aren't a major fire hazard....

Marvelling: at the mysterious way the world works.  I never got to return the kindness someone in my life showed me a few years back but the chance to do so just came out of the blue this year. There's a sense of a circle being closed in my heart now and it's a very special feeling indeed.

Cringing: at the stories emerging in the news about life in the quarantine hotels in Melbourne....

Needing: to know that that surely so many lives (security personnel and quarantined citizens) couldn't have been put at such high risk in Australia but, sadly, also knowing that I probably won't ever get that reassurance.

Questioning: my purchase of this wireless automatic hair curler.  I didn't think it through.  At all.  I have far too much hair to fit into a curling chamber the diameter of a 20 cent coin and my hair is also too short for the curler to get good purchase on my locks.  Lesson learned.

my favourite hand cream on my hands.  Update - this winter's dry cracks / fissures have finally healed and I don't need to bind my fingers in surgical tape anymore!!!!!  Happy days!!!!

Wearing: scrubs and I don't think I'll ever go back to normal work clothes ever again.  Happy news for my credit card, I think.

Noticing: that it's July so we're entitled to embrace Christmas in July at work.  The decorations are already up, in fact!

Knowing: that time is going to fly by even faster now that it's July.

Thinking: that for once I'm completely fine with the second half of a year flying by.  2020, you have not been great.

Admiring: my handiwork with two hair elastics, some hair clips and a brush. 
Work hair done while my ancient desktop starts up for the day.

Getting: ready for some annual leave.  Forget my handover email, I've drafted my 'out of office' email first.

Bookmarking: beginner crochet videos on YouTube.

Opening: my bag of snow gear from years gone by.  These tiny snow boots aren't going to cut it this year! 

Closing: browser windows for Kathmandu, Macpac and Anaconda.  I DO NOT need to 'have a look' at anything until after I've inspected the snow gear we already have. Reader, you are correct.  Of course those browser windows promptly got reopened...

Feeling: better about my purchases for the snow knowing that I placed orders (after reopening the above browser windows) only after it was clear what we needed for our trip.

Hearing: the chatter and sounds of work beyond my office door.  It's a  testament to the people I work with that they can sound so happy and calm despite the busyness.

Celebrating: the return of our face to face weekly team meeting with ...  hygienically sealed mini packs of snacks for morning tea.  They will do until our usual home baking, cheese platters and cut fruit trays can return.

that I'm not that excited to have found a plentiful supply of antibacterial surface wipes at the shops this morning.  These days, seeing full shelves of toilet paper and cleaning supplies is my barometer of how kind we are being to each other.

Embracing: life as it is now.  It's not so greatness but also it's very human, almost miraculous moments.


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