It’s good to be home. Sometimes we don’t see it, but home has so many everyday touchstones that we only miss when we are away.
To sleep in your own bed again is serenity. The pillows are just right, the sheets and doona are a known quantity, even the orientation provides a level of comfort. The sunlight in the house comes from the right quarter. The smells are identifiable. The freedom to relax and flop in your favourite armchair is bliss. Not only have I come back to a world which includes Vegemite and the metric system, but I have come home to accustomed flavours of drinks and dressings and recognisable food.
With fresh eyes, I notice the minute changes in the seasons as Spring takes hold. The bursting blossoms have given way to the feathers of emerging green. The overnight temperatures no longer require a nighttime beanie to keep my head warm (fashion victim!). The sun is up before I leave for work. The changes are subtle and distinct yet familiar, and promote thoughts of warmer days to come. We don’t see the routine things until they are not there. So open your eyes to your surroundings and enjoy the cosiness and sense of belonging they impart.
We all have tough days, but there is a mateship borne of Australia. We care about each other. We care about all the people in our lives. Sometimes “life” gets a bit too frantic, but there are always people who care. Friends, family or our special someone: people just need a simple question to know that someone cares for them or about them. It is good to be on the receiving end of the question, but it’s also good to do the asking, and just listen to the response. That’s all it takes. “R U OK?”
I’m okay! and I’m heartened to know that there is an organisation out there that cares about all of us. They care enough to create awareness and momentum, to provide tips and tools, and resources if needed. This simple question has begun to change lives for the better. Today is R U OK? Day. Make sure you share the good feeling and ask someone today if they are okay, then try it again tomorrow and the next day … You’ll be surprised at how rich your own life becomes.
One of the more decadent things to do is to crawl back into bed after you wake up in the morning. The space is still warm from your slumber and you can snuggle into the comfort of your doona. It’s your choice whether you snooze or read a book or watch the TV. The pleasure of this simple exercise bestows the knowledge that you don’t have to be anywhere or do anything. Your time is your own.
I have been known to declare a ‘jarmy’ day where the traditional observance is to remain in your pajamas all day, thus ensuring you don’t actually go anywhere. The day is spent in simple pursuits of napping, reading or binge watching Netflix. It’s a slow down from the pace of everyday life; reconnecting with yourself, allowing yourself time in this hectic age. Friends think I’m a bit outrageous indulging as I do. Admittedly, I choose to indulge more frequently than most for my own sanity. So it does feels even better to be vindicated. There is an actual National Pajama Day on 21st July. Let’s mark our calendars and take the time afforded us to appreciate the simple things. Happy Pajama Day to all!
It’s those little things that take us back to our childhood. Reading a dinner menu, I came across a pork dish, with an accompanying apple-based sauce. I just had to have it. The dish was like nothing I’d had before, a bit fancy and full of flavours, cooking techniques and jargon: a pork chop, a balsamic jus, an apple reduction, crispy bacon bits, confit mushrooms, garlic mash potato, deep fried carrot string and a sprinkling of micro-herbs on top. But to me, this was a simple dish – think 1940’s Humphrey Bogart – it was a plate of “porkshops and appleshauce”.
This pronunciation was made famous by Peter Brady of the Brady Bunch staple TV show. My sister and I used to say “porkshops and appleshauce” over and over again to each other in the 1970’s (a long time ago). Yes, confession – we watched the Brady Bunch. So this fancy innocuous dish transported me back several decades to two kids impersonating Peter Brady impersonating Bogart until the laughter takes over and we can’t speak anymore . Here is a snippet of Peter Brady immortalizing the phrase for all time.
Happy Chinese New Year! Always a fun time with fireworks, lots of yummy food and the dancing dragons. Everyone is upbeat, smiling and catching up with family. Yum Cha is especially good at this time of year because of the bustle and pace of the restaurants. So if you get a chance book in for a session and absorb the spirit of the celebration along with the food.
This year is the year of the Rooster. The Chinese zodiac comes around every 12 years. I’m a Rooster so this is my year! As an Earth Rooster I am lovely, generous and trustworthy. Always the positive reinforcement so look up what animal you are and see your good qualities. When your animal year comes around, it apparently brings bad luck. One in twelve is not so bad, but it can be avoided for those superstitious types. Red is the universal panacea to the Chinese. It brings good luck, it protects your house and it even has Feng Sui applications. It is even more potent when given by an elder relative – you know who you are, so I’ll be expecting something Red in order to survive this year 🙂
The title is a little longer than normal, but the journey was longer than normal too. Today, I received my certificate and academic transcript for the recent bout of study undertaken. This had morphed through three different courses and two separate institutions, but I got there in the end. As they say, anything worth doing …
And what a ride with lots of good new information and concepts including a few lateral thinking challenges. My thinking is normally very linear and logical for a scientist and stretching my boundaries to the creative was a worthy goal. It enabled me to see and understand another rarely seen side of me, as well as meet like-minded individuals with which to share the journey.
As per usual, I would encourage anyone to see if they can’t discover another side of themselves and mine the rich environment for creating a greater-than-the-original version of oneself in which to pursue this mortal life. Diversity and expanding boundaries brings a richness with which to enjoy it all. So what are we going to do now? What is the next adventure?
After a cold and wet winter, two things have combined to give us a hint of conditions to come. We changed our clocks to daylight savings time which resulted in lighter and longer evenings. The weather also got in on the act yesterday with a shinning performance of 27.2C to give a taste of the warmth to come.
People’s spirits were automatically lifted with the warmth and the sparkling clear skies. The extended daylight hours also give rise to new possibilities for afternoon and evening endeavors: all manner of outdoor activities; a bit of gardening; barbecues with friends; a glass of wine relaxing in the twilight; a walking dinner along a river bank; post-dinner forays to the ice-cream shop. Start using your imagination now and write a list so you don’t miss any opportunity to enjoy this double act of light and warmth.
With the promise of things to come, let’s look to the remainder of this year and consider the endless possibilities of what else we could do, see or achieve and get creative about making the most of this serendipity. Here comes the Sun!
More street art, random creativity at work. I’ve seen these ribbon pictures popping up all over town on chain-link fences. Here are two images that I snapped near the Burnley Golf Course.
They are quite creative and given their prevalence in public places, I think they are the current trend in street art. I see these images almost daily and they have lasted a while now, so they are obviously not considered graffiti and seem to be tolerated by the community.
I don’t know if this form of art has a name or any hidden meaning, but it is probably like most artistic pieces – it is open to interpretation. To me, I think the artist of the first image is trying to prompt social consciousness and provoke thought. Contemplate the next instillation of street art that you see and how it speaks to you. Appreciate the opportunity for introspection in this crazy fast-paced existence that we call life, and reflect on random art in your world.
Comedy abounds when you choose to see an International friendly soccer match at the MCG. The game was exciting with several saves by the Juventus keeper and three goals with a final score of Juventus 2 defeating Tottenham 1.
The amusing part was the temperature – very cold. I wore many layers including thermals (top and bottom), as well as a long thick woolen coat, gloves, a knitted hat and scarf, plus a blanky. I was impersonating the Michelin man. With all this paraphernalia, I was just okay (not cold). I had planned for the open air, the cold night and sitting sedentary for long periods of time. There were some that were impervious to the weather, which I found astounding. Young kids were running around in shirt sleeves or soccer jerseys completely oblivious to the frigid conditions. Most of the adults were in coats, beanies and scarves, but there were a set that had dressed to impress and wore suit and tie, or dress and heels.
This eclectic mix of people and wardrobes was rather amusing and I had to smile at practical versus stylish where one suffered for their fashion. But the thing that made me chuckle was when the sprinklers came on while the players were “warming up” on the pitch before the game. Being sprayed with cold water would then make it doubly hard to “warm up”. Life tells us to look out for the unexpected, so check for surprise sprinklers next time you’re on a sports field.
To those who have read a blog or two, you might be aware that I had a sabbatical from my life with ankle surgery, so I put a few things on hold. Because I needed to relearn how to walk, I had put on hold my services at a local dog shelter. You can’t walk a dog, when you can hardly walk yourself, but this weekend I returned to SADS – Save-a-Dog Scheme, which is a no-kill shelter. http://saveadog.org.au/
It was like ‘riding a bike’ as the saying goes. The puppy dogs are always happy to see you. You chip in, clean pens and pick up poo. Once all the chores are done, you get to walk the dogs, to give them some freedom from their pens in the outside world. Their exuberance and love of life is refreshing, their curiosity unbridled. They want to see and smell everything and their waggly tails show their appreciation. Their effervescent happiness is contagious and you can’t help but smile yourself.
I am back on the roster to volunteer my time. It’s an alternative workout that provides more than exercise endorphins, but lots of licks and wet noses too. This is what I call fuzz therapy, so get creative with your exercise routine and see what sort of fun you can have while working out.