Aug 29, 2019

Lovin' Life 29/8/2019: New Mat, Stay.

This week, I'm loving my new yoga mat.

I'm loving its black marbled finish, that spring under my step as I jump through a vinyasa, the reassuring stick as I pivot feet and hands between the various warriors and that weird in a good way new mat smell.

More than its physical properties, though, I'm loving the way practising on a new mat makes me feel.  I'm three months or so into my recommitment to daily yoga practice and I've come to love the 20 minutes or so in the evening that sees me fold, bend, stretch and balance before retiring to bed.  I've rediscovered the power of my breath and I've rediscovered that respect for the transformation of a human body's function over its appearance.

I don't quite know the science behind it but since using my new mat, I've been able to fold deeper, stretch higher and balance for longer in the asanas....


Or should that be new mat, stay.

And on that note....

Aug 26, 2019

Life This Week 26/8/2019: Self-Care, Share Your Story.

This week's instalment of my self-care story goes a bit lateral in the interpretation of this theme.  It's been a week of all sorts of interesting and unexpected moments.  The kind of sights and sounds that have been uplifting, energizing and inspiring.  Rather than just sharing things I 'do' to self-care this week, I thought I'd share some things that I've felt and seen instead.

This letterbox with its red rose motif.  There's so much character to be found on the streets of Annandale.

I got to chat with one of the gentlemen in this photo but ran out of time to hear all the stories behind the adventures of this food-loving pair of entrepreneurs.  I can still see that twinkle in his eyes and the guffaws of laughter at the memories gave his face a vibrancy that made the pain and frailty practically disappear....

In a move that's perhaps counterintuitive to the self-care theme, I actually spent less time on my makeup on Friday.  But it was all for a good cause.  I had to get a few lumps, bumps and dark spots lasered off my face.

Here's the spendy sunscreen from the dermatologist that I had to slather on after the fact.

That whole less make-up thing was really confronting for me.  I've gone to work with a full face of makeup for the last decade or so and in that time, it's been a kind of armour.  It's often projected more calm and poise than I felt able to bring to the working day.   I've also looked upon my efforts with the face paint as a nod of respect to the people I see at work.  That their sharing of their problems and themselves with me is worthy of me putting both my best mind and face forward for them.

So it was different fronting up on a regular day with nothing but sunscreen, concealer, mascara and eyeliner (that was the 'bare minimum' I could tolerate for a proper day at work).  I did wonder if the team would recognize me and if looked up for the job.  But just for a moment.  It honestly didn't matter once I started my loud clacketty clack up the stairs and across the lino at work....

My appointment was in the city and as usual, I was irrationally fascinated about being let loose there on a regular working day.

The unexpected homely touches of cafes that only open for trade during the week in the more corporate streets around George Street.

The view from a floor-length window on an upper level of one of those anonymous-looking office towers.

A hasty lunch on my lap (and a possibly illegal one... but don't tell) in the train back to work.  Of all the days I chose for my weekday city adventure, it would be the very one that featured an all-day meltdown of our great city's train and by extension bus network...

Some witty displays at the entrance to some of the eclectic stores along King Street in Newtown.

They all made me smile widely as I speed-walked back to the office.

Can you name something you did just for you this week?

Aug 22, 2019

Lovin' Life 22/8/2019: The Australian Museum.

Master SSG and I were there on that beautiful Sunday afternoon last weekend to say goodbye for now to the Australian Museum.

As a gift to the public on its last weekend on display to the public before closing for a year for a bit of nip and tuck, the museum was offering everyone free entry.  

There were the last minute, spur of the moment ones like us who hadn't got tickets who lined up to the left in a shorter but slow-moving line.  Those who had logged on for their tickets from home the night before lined up in a queue the snaked halfway around the block that moved pretty briskly, all things considered.   

In true Sydney family event style, the mood was buoyant and the staff on hand efficient but kind.  Not one person in line complained, everyone listened to and followed the instructions given by staff and all the children trying their hardest to wait patiently were given plenty of leeway as they weaved in and out of the line playing those games they come up with when left with nothing but their imaginations, a crowd and a bit of space.

We were finally ushered in and I gazed around me with a mixture of awe and sadness.  Awe because knowing that this would be the last time that I'd be able to visit for a year made me appreciate more deeply the beauty of the museum as well as the quality and range of its collection.  There was a little sadness too because I'll miss not being able to visit on a whim.  My bus rides into the city won't be the same either because I assume the entire facade of the museum will be under wraps while it gets made over.

I have many happy memories of bringing Master SSG to the Australian Museum over the years.  We've visited with friends and on our own, as an adventurous and risk-taking toddler, then as more considered preschooler and now as a practically grown-up Year One boy.

Master SSG took the photo above of one of his favourite exhibits while I found myself lost in my memories as I gave a crawling infant wide berth on the stairs and wished his mother a solid night's sleep on the grounds of the amount of energy her little one was expending through his exploration.

There were memories everywhere I looked, actually.  Not just of my own but those of Australians of generations past.

I'd never stopped to notice before just how perfectly the taxidermy and skeletons are maintained at the museum.

No matter how many times I visit, there's always something new for me to discover.  From different angles, the glass cabinets offer so many different windows into exhibits beyond what is immediately in front of you.

I remember finding museums boring and colourless as a child but my perspective on them has changed with time.

While most of the colours to be found are on the more muted side of the spectrum, they have a beauty to them that draws you in to look closer to discover the subtleties that are hidden at first glance.

This is part of a display of Christmas Beetles.  Their colour and sheen are so beautiful they look like jewelled brooches.

Master SSG was fascinated by this touch screen featuring 100 Australians and their achievements.

It wasn't too long ago that I would have been hovering anxiously waiting for a silent bolt and run or a tantrum just because....  Just look at us now!

The museum will reopen next year bigger and better than it already is.  I understand that part of the reason for the renovations is to accommodate a major collection of Egyptian antiquities.  I can't wait to see this reinvention of the museum.  I'm also grateful for all the memories we already have of this national treasure.

Did you get a chance to visit the Australian Museum over the weekend?  Do you have any further news about the renovations?

Aug 20, 2019

Five, Make That Six Things.

The days, the month, heck this year is hurtling by at frightening pace.   Brief and less frequent blog posts and Instagram have been my social media outlets of choice as I try to juggle work, life and a creative outlet.  Bear with me.  I have a feeling in my waters that life will settle down soon and that I will have things to discuss beyond how busy I am.

Life has looked a little like this since Saturday....

Planning for Paris has begun in earnest.  I'm being ambitious this time around and have booked two day trips to places beyond the city limits that are ... wait for it.... not outlets nor champagne houses.  Wonders never cease!

Master SSG's Woolworths Ooshie collection is now complete thanks to some frenetic swapping with the class parents via our WhatsApp.  The photos were taken in real-time as we did our swaps well into the evening.  Living the dream, I tell you.

The same dream that saw me charged with maintaining the structural integrity of this maths assignment whilst Tip was being played before me.  I did my job perfectly, only to witness the marshmallows being eaten off their toothpicks as we went through the school gate...

Busy times call for one too many frozen meals in this household.  I found this brand of gozleme at Woolworths and rate them highly.  There's just enough feta, the spinach is fresh and the combination would rival a market gozleme stall.  The squeeze of lemon in mandatory, as it is with market purchased versions.

Image result for seawheeze 2019

Of course one of my 'things' is a run.  And of course, it was related to Lulu Lemon.  For the first time this year, virtual entry to their legendary SeaWheeze half was offered and yes I did.  Disappointingly, me entry did not grant me access to all the fabulous race gear like 'live' entrants did but who knows, one year I may well make the cut to be among the 10,000 invited to Vancouver to run.  

It was possibly ill-advised to run a half the morning after a crazy Monday at work and on-call but it was the only way I could make it work.  There was wind but there was also glorious sun....

These went down a treat after my run....

I inhaled both as I looked to the sky and attempted to decipher its cryptic sky written message to myself and the rest of Sydney....


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