And what a week it's been. Routines turned upside down and inside out, new people and experiences, new places. I need weeks like this every once in a while to give myself a gentle prod outside my comfort zone.
I had a couple of hours foot loose and fancy free on Wednesday morning and of all the exciting things I could have done, this is what I did.
I went to the Maccas at the Myer in the City food court and got myself a medium Coke Zero with ice. For old times sake because I've technically given it up.
And then I took my drink to the T2 store at the QVB and did my tea shopping whilst trying to appreciate the irony and possible sacrilege of entering the store toting a paper cup full of fizz, chemicals, sugar and artificial colours.
You know how life sometimes feels like it is in fact a bit 'Life On Mars' surreal and bizarre? And then you see the eponymous doughnut at Doughnut Time?
Well, you obviously have to take one of those doughnuts with you to share with your preschooler.
Another highlight of the week is that rain has finally rained itself out and we've had a few clear days this week. Everyone in the neighbourhood is happy. People are back at the cafes kicking back at the sidewalk table settings rather than looking pensive and vexed in little huddles taking shelter inside as they wait for their coffees. There's less tension at the car park possibly because more people are walking to the shops rather than taking their cars. Why people queue up for the third parking spot from the entry gate when there's a whole second floor of car spaces closer to the shops I'll never know...
And the builders are happy because they can finally get on with it. We had the best seats in the house as we watched a house down the street get demolished. As one person hosed down the building, the second in the driver's seat picked away at an old ceiling with this nifty drill bit on an excavator. I'm sure there's a proper name for the vehicle, excuse my ignorance.
I've been on a roll with good reads recently. My latest success is 'The Wave at Hanging Rock' by surfing writer and first time novelist Gregg Dunnett. I know novels about surfing are the last genre you'd expect to find on this blog but I'm intentionally stepping out of comfort zones at the moment.
'The Wave at Hanging Rock' is a suspense novel essentially about a man called Jim who disappears after going on a surfing road trip on his own. His car is found miles away from his home with wife Natalie a psychologist and it is also found with his clothes neatly folded on the front passenger seat. Along with several packets of pain killers under the seat.
A clear cut suicide by drowning? Eight years on, though, Natalie receives Jim's battered wallet in the post with all his money and credit cards undisturbed. How is all of this related to Jesse, a young man with a difficult past who left Australia after the death of his father so that his mum could take over a caravan park in Wales?
Hanging Rock is the name Jesse and his friends (including the enigmatic and charming John) give to a place that they surf that's home to waves more thrilling and perfect than Town Beach which is the one place everyone has to surf at. The thrill of Hanging Rock beyond it's beauty is that it is on private grounds and the boys hatch a plan that enables them to surf there in secret. It's all going perfectly until John goes and ruins it all....
I really enjoyed 'The Wave at Hanging Rock'. Dunnett has created back stories for all the main characters that kept me turning the pages. It wasn't just how Jim died that I wanted to find out but also the relationships the main characters had with each other and what their numerous secrets were.
The novel is currently free at the Kindle store and well worth downloading if you love suspense novels.