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.


Smelling:
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.



Pretending:
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.

Jul 1, 2020

A Sentence (or Two) A Day: June 2020

As I look back on my daily sentences for June, it struck me that the overarching theme among many of them was thought, reflection and goal setting.  This quiet life I've found myself has had a surprise benefit of giving me time to reboot my mind and life.  I'm looking forward to approaching the second half of 2020 with the tools that June has seen me find from within.


  1. The first day of winter.  Not that you could tell from the sky today.  I’m certainly not complaining.
  2. Autumn colours on my run and a steaming bowl of Mexican chilli for lunch. 
    Definitely had a colour theme running through today.
  3. And we’re back to regular programming with the return of the sun today.  It was bliss just sitting in the backyard, feeling those radiant rays on my face and hands.
  4. The simple of joy to be found on just stretching, breathing and occupying space boldly. 
  5. “Knowledge is power” the words of Sir Francis Bacon.  Three words that also work as a calming and empowering mantra.
  6. Sunshine, friends and the great outdoors.
    A perfect celebration of covid restrictions lifting slowly but surely. 
  7. Sometimes (make that all the time) all you need is the chance to make word salad with the contents of your mind.  It’s a wonderful thing being able to use language as a creative outlet. 
  8. Feeling motivated by the numbers in my offset account. Slow but steady progress is being made. 
  9. Yoga tonight. As much about strengthening my mind as it is my body. 
  10. Face to face team meetings feel so…. crowded.   Later days, Zoom.
  11. Ticking things off my to-do list today.
  12. I’m going to look at it this way.  We’re getting the rain out of the way today ahead of a clear-skied weekend.
  13. Phew.  Nothing major going on with my car.  All it needs is a service.  Crisis averted.
  14. And we have a new and confident bike rider in the house!!!!!
  15. Monday Evening Me thanking Sunday Afternoon Me for the gift of this lasagna. 
  16. That feeling when you’ve read the last (for now) in your current favourite crime series.  Jenny Starling, when will we meet again?  Soon, I hope.
  17. I’ve rediscovered MoroccanOil. The original and the best for my hair. 
  18. How can there be a champagne shortage at Dan's at a time like this?  Actually, nevermind.  Answered that one for myself.
  19. Just one of those lovely Fridays where everything fell into place.  
  20. Major crochet breakthrough made. Amazing the difference the right sized hook for your yarn makes. 
  21. Namaste.  Happy International Day of Yoga.
  22. I finally downloaded all the updates AND restarted my laptops.  Surprise, surprise… this is all it took to sort out its sluggishness.
  23. Sometimes you do need to “close your eyes to find the beauty”. My audio-guided runs don’t just motivate me to run, they also make me find new perspectives on life as I bumble along.
  24. Restoration by way of stillness.... a shift in perspective does the world of difference sometimes.
  25. “Stay in awe of life. 
    The little things are the big things.” words of wisdom from Richie Norton. 
  26. In surprisingly good spirits this Friday ahead of a weekend at work. 
  27. Work, work, work.
  28. There's no turning back now.  That difficult to write email has been sent and whatever reply it brings, I presented my argument as impartially as I could.
  29. A stirring of stagnant breath and thoughts, an expelling of the things that no longer do you good.... Yoga never fails to turn my mood and energy around when nothing else does.
  30. New hair!!!!!!  The perfect way to end the month.

July, what will you bring us?

Jun 30, 2020

Life, Lately.

Life, lately....


Pausing at the window sill of a cafe down the road from work as I wait for my takeaway coffee.


Standing in the lift on my way to another something that's 'a little bit different... '.  There's never a dull moment at work.  The days are filled with unique personalities, the unpredictable and questions that don't always have answers (or rather the answers that we would like).


It's hands on (my winter hands on show for the world to see, above) and it's full on.  It's science but it's also an art.  It's an endlessly rewarding. endlessly fascinating world that I'm privileged to be a part of.  It's a world that happily co-exists with the other worlds of my life.


A run through the university campus next to work at the end of a weekend on.  These campus runs often put me in a reflective mood.  Hallowed academic institutions tend to have that effect on most of us, I think.



Our first visit from bicycle repair van.  The van is a thing of wonder.  It houses a complete workshop behind the driver's seat and all repairs take place within the van.  It wasn't just the likes of myself that were curious.  Passers-by stopped to chat, toddlers requested to be allowed to climb inside for a closer look.


Our current evening project is this 3D marble run puzzle.  The torches in the photo are for me.  I need extra bright light these days to read the finely printed instruction manual and the piece numbers on the puzzle.


Sometimes, the only thing that will clear a person's mind is to arrange themselves in a basic yoga inversion, close their eyes and breathe for a while.  It gets awfully cold being that still so thick socks are a must at the moment.


Haribo Bears as art, thanks to Master SSG.


Individual Mi Goreng packets as art, thanks to myself.  The Rona related hoarding has returned to Sydney.  In addition to toilet paper, 5 packs of Mi Goreng are also in short supply.  


I love this second-floor space at my hairdresser's.  It's airy, drenched in natural light and pleasantly still.  His talented hands have seen life restored to my hair.  I wonder how much blonder I can go?

Be well.


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