Oct 30, 2020

The Last Friday of October.

It's the last Friday of October.

We're all finally able to start let go of a bit of our Covid times related tension.  Just in time for the silly season which I think we can technically start from November 1 after all we've been through collectively.

Melbourne, though, you deserve to let go of it all - just remember to stay socially distanced and as safe as you can as your world slowly returns to normal.  May there be many more 'doughnut' / zero days ahead for you and the rest of Australia.

We've had beautifully sunny afternoons which have given a sepia tint to even the most mundane scenes.  This is a random school gate that leads to some tennis courts in the senior school.  Yes.  The senior school.  Why was this mum of a junior preppie trying to blend in here?  I was helping in the hunt for an elusive library bag.  The bag's still missing in action but it's always calming walking along picket fences under the swaying branches of stately trees.

There's been rain.  Buckets of it.  It's kept the car clean and made the windows at home presentable again so it's been a win of sorts.

The rain also forced me back to the gym.  Where I rediscovered the treadmill and how I actually do enjoy running on them.

I surrendered my damaged licence plates to the RMS this week.  After I removed them in the car park at the local shopping centre.  Thanks to YouTube, it was painless for both myself and the new paintwork on my car.

Similarly painless was my time at the RMS.  Despite all the restrictions placed on them with the pandemic, it was efficiency with a smile from every staff member I met.

I've been especially handy with my screwdrivers this month.  All the loose screws in the dining table chairs are now tightened.  Farewell, creaky chairs.

Speaking of new.

I've bought myself something very sensible to wear.  A lightweight, water-resistant jacket.  Never in a million years will I ever be able to pull off bone / biscuit like Her Majesty.

So I played it safe (and sensible) with a version in black from good old lulu l.  My transformation into a Saturday Soccer Mum is complete.



It's Friday evening.  

I'm always at my wittiest at this point of the working week.

Did you know we now have Mumm from the Land of the Long White Cloud?  Mumm Marlborough has landed at Dan's.  I've taken it upon myself to try both the Brut Prestige and the Vintage Rose this silly season which I've decided starts November.  I'll report back.

It's Halloween tomorrow.  This reformed Halloween scrooge is actually looking forward to saying hello to the neighbours as we explore the haunted front gardens of the 'hood.  I had my orange socks on at work today and I've been refreshing my weather apps repeatedly to see if there's any chance it won't rain on our trick or treating parade tonight.  

Here's hoping.

Oct 27, 2020

'Becoming' by Michelle Obama.


- stronger yet more compassionate
- a student of the world before you
- more dignified and resolute despite the adversity
- confident to simply be who you are
- comfortable to change and learn constantly
- a motivator for those that come after you, to show them what is possible for every American
- contented within yourself.

Just some of the actions and messages I've come away with from 'Becoming.'

My time with Michelle Obama as she narrated her memoir, 'Becoming', has sadly come to an end.  Listening along was like a Sunday afternoon with dear friends.  A sharing of your personal version of the issues common to women of a certain age.  Laughter, tears, nods as you find yourself relating precisely to what your friend is describing.  The tempering of that emotional range with favourite beverages and food of the deep-fried variety.

The poised, considered and heartfelt words of this humble woman have been a constant companion of mine over the last few weeks.  I've listened to her voice on Audible as I've commuted to work and back - attempting my own, far less complex juggle of the worlds Michelle had to keep in the air in her time as First Lady.  

I learned much about myself as I listened.  At times, it felt like I was telling her my story - rather than the other way around.

The Former First Lady readily admits that politics was not her thing when Barack first told her of his plan to run for President of the United States.  She concludes 'Becoming' with the same thought.  Despite the power and influence bestowed on her.  Despite being the change in so many aspects of American life.  Despite the trappings and privilege of living in the highest house in the land.

It is the journey between these points that 'Becoming' is about.  Growing and changing in the areas of life where these are needed while still knowing yourself and staying true to this.

Long time readers will know this already.  I'm not a history or politics person.  I was worried, at first, that this would make 'Becoming' hard going for me.  Fortunately, the history and politics discussed served to provide context for the memories and events that Michelle shared in the book.

The 'optics' of political life was explored without breathless name dropping or gush.  Life defining meetings the former First Lady shared had a purpose in delivering her message that wasn't about provoking awe or envy in her readers.  Yes, she does write about meeting The Queen of England and Nelson Mandela but her commentary here is economical, sticking to the facts with an amusing anecdote or two.  The most powerful reflections are saved for the 'everyday' people she met as First Lady.  The war veterans and their families, the students from underprivileged backgrounds whom she helped inspire, the families of those lost to gun violence on US soil.

I will admit right now that my favourite passages from 'Becoming' relate to what life in The White House was like.  Followed closely by Michelle's brutally honest writing about struggling with infertility then life as a working mother and her steady love for her family through the ups and downs they faced together.

And that's what made 'Becoming' such an enriching read for me.  That emphasis on 'together'.  How being united, whether it be within a family, an organization or a nation makes each of us stronger and better.

Have you read or listened to 'Becoming'?  Did it move you more than you expected it to?

Oct 24, 2020

The Land of Exciting Times.

Hello, again, from the land of exciting times.

School swimming has begun and we've been playing along at home.  I have it on good authority that La Roche-Posay's SPF 50+ spray-on sunscreen isn't just bougie, it's easy for a 7-year-old to apply and is kind to sensitive skin.  The bottle also lauds the product's 'No White Marks' properties.  It's a claim that's neither here or there for snow leopards, I guess, but old Snowie here hasn't lost a single one of her black stripes since she began using it.

At work, I welcomed my desktop to the 21st century when it got an OS upgrade to Windows 10.  Everything looks so different, I'm surprised the hard drive isn't as confused as I am.

There are rules, established truths and a single standard way of writing maths equations and the working you used to arrive at the solution.  Just not on my watch.  I know the answers, I just struggle with demonstrating why I'm correct in a format that's  logical to another person...

I'm still excited that dried pears are back at the supermarket. The squishy kind that have the consistency of fudge.  In my opinion, their taste vastly superior to the more aesthetically pleasing variety that look like frozen cross-sections of a pear prepped for viewing under a microscope.

Here's a visual of the latter.

To celebrate the return of the pears, I  went with my yellow Uniqlo socks at work this week.  I don't know if I'll ever work my way up to wearing the witty statement socks that the youngsters are wearing to work these days but never say never...

Predictably for this time of the year, we've had beautiful weather through the week only to see it disappear for the weekend.

But at least I made the most of that weekday sun and wore this vibrant Marimekko x Uniqlo sundress.

Wishing you all a restful weekend and a wonderful week ahead.


Oct 20, 2020

Life Lately.

Socks that span the rainbow and beyond at Uniqlo.  They've added a much-needed pop of colour and a dash of sartorial flair to the #scrublife at work.

The runway created when the cousins come over for Sunday lunch.

Running a ribbon worth 900m at this week's athletics carnival.  

My favourite dried fruit has returned to the supermarket shelves.  Those fancy freeze-dried pears and that aesthetitically pleasing variant with the skin and core in are both all well and good but these sweet, chewy dried pears from Woolies are my favourite kind.

Just a girl, her coffee and her shopping.  Killing time on a day off outside Woolies in trackies and Birkis.  These are the highlights of my weekday day off.

Leftover air fryer miso crusted salmon starring in a mid week salad lunch.

A day that began with spitty rain and grey skies only to develop into this....

Nothing says Year 10 to a child of the 90s like .....

Impulse deodorant!!!!!!  They were simpler but also more transformative times.  2020s me is smiling warmly back at 1990s me right now.  Telling her from across the decades that while the best is yet to come, the best times are right now.  Urging her to make the most of every opportunity and privilege afforded her.  That the people who love her (sometimes with tough love) will be the pillars of her adult life too,

Oct 17, 2020

From Where I Stand.....

Annual leave seems like a lifetime ago.

One day you're on staycation being a tourist in your own city, sleeping in and swimming in a rooftop pool and the next moment....

it somehow got to be Friday morning and you're having a moment on the sidewalk outside your favourite work cafe, waiting for a long black.  

Personally, I feel that we all deserve medals just getting to work on Friday mornings.  Waking up the household, ensuring that its fed and dressed, making it through the various commutes necessary before you can even embark on that all important bill-paying one... Friday mornings are marathons.

Friday afternoons, on the other hand, are simply a gift in themselves.  You leave work feeling that the loose ends are tied, the work diary been's turned a page forward (did you know we're up to week fortysomething of the year already!?!?). The after school pick up on Friday is my favourite one of the week and I accessories accordingly with an extra special after school snack and a fleecy sweater.  Because, you know, Asian mum and we are famous for feeling those drops in the temperature.  Often well before the weather itself decides to make it so.

Fast forward to Saturday when gardens great and small become my happy place.  

I actually had more fun than I care to admit to pruning my hedges and doing a general tidy up.  I am yet to achieve the precision of the suburb's army of visiting landscape gardeners but it will do and it was therapeutic putting my hedge shears through their paces.

Saturday soccer in the park has resumed for the final term of the year.  It was a draw 1-1 for the 10am 6/7 Kickeroos.

Spring has also arrived at the park and it looks like this.

Flower beds that fit together symmetrically like a jigsaw, ponds filled with waterlilies in the background and people simply out and about getting their (socially distanced) steps, kicks, cycle and bats in.

The flowers are in bloom at home as well. Kind of.  Uniqlo make these Relaco pants and they cost $14.99 AUD.  There are two lengths - shorts and 3/4.  They have been my go-to pajama bottoms and general lounging pants since forever.  These florals are my pick for the warmer nights ahead.

Oct 14, 2020

Wednesday Afternoon.

And exhale.

Order has been restored.

My much-loved, slightly ancient mum mobile is back on the road.  I just picked her up from the panel beater today and she looks practically brand new. I've missed how easy it is to maneuver the tight corners of parking lots with her, the way her indicator and windscreen wiper switches are on the 'right' sides, the dulcet tones of her GPS, how I managed to BlueTooth my phone to her computer.  

It's great being back on the road with here and what a relief to be able to lose those 'hire car nerves' of the last few weeks as I've gingerly driven around in a rental.  

School's back for the shortest term of the year.  Here's to having the correct socks paired and ready to go plus the summer uniform shorts freshly ironed.

In these times of covid, a fresh supply of personal hand sanitizer dispensers were also part of our back to school preparations.

It's been such a crazy year for us all.  School has been a calming constant for us both.  Its routines connect our pre-covid lives to the post-covid lives I'm sure will be ours in the not too distant future.  On a personal note, the school grounds are a restorative bubble of swaying trees, solidly reassuring buildings and the dynamic presence of the students.  Miles away from work and the strange reality that is our country in 2020.  

Be well and I hope life is treating you kindly right now.


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