If Every Day Was a Holiday

Just Chillin' Like a Villain

Just Chillin’ Like a Villain

If every day was a holiday I’d wake up to the sounds of birds singing. I’d slowly roll out of bed, wander into the kitchen then grind up some freshly roasted award winning single origin organic coffee beans. I’d pop those bad boys in a stylish coffee percolator and allow the delicious aroma to wake me up another notch. With the divine brew heating up the perfect hand-warming mug, I’d sit out on the back verandah, gazing at the sun rising over the explosion of flowers in the garden, and welcome in the new day.

If every day was a holiday I’d try new and unusual foods like German Presswurst, Russian garlic, warrigal greens, bush asparagus, wombat berries and bush celery. I’d give it a red hot go, even if it might destroy a mouthful of tastebuds.

 

Octopods to the Rescue!

Octopods to the Rescue!

If every day was a holiday I’d build things I’ve never built before like an octopod for beans to grow up, flexing their tendrils, reaching for the sky. I’d build a barbecue for the best sausage sizzle in town. You know the one I’m talking about: the one where the tastiest sausages explode as you bite into them, dripping sizzling fat down your chin. Pleasure and pain in just one bite.

6pm and only 8,000 pieces to go!

6pm and only 8,000 pieces to go!

If every day was a holiday I’d have big girls’ days out, and buy lip gloss and pat dinosaurs and eat Old Mac Dac Donald’s for lunch. I’d ride (fake) horses, and Sega Rally and shoot animated wildebeest. I’d have my first Sex on the Beach and watch back to back episodes of Naked and Afraid, thankful I’m clothed and safe.

If every day was a holiday I’d learn new things, like post-bloom pig face flowers taste like salty strawberries; like drawing requires a change of perception, and we can all do it – easily; like I can make really good Mojitos and scones (on separate occasions); like there’s an island in the Bellinger river that’s home to a population of flying foxes.

And because every day is a holiday, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. And why I’ve been slacking off on the blog. But it’s a brand new day, the sun is shining over the explosion of flowers in the garden, the birds are singing, the coffee tastes amazing and I thought that you should know. And even though some days aren’t holidays, there’s always sunshine (even if it’s in hiding), there’s always flowers and birdsong. And if you’re going to have an addiction, Amelia Franklin’s specialty fair-trade organic coffee from Bellingen is my addiction of choice.

I hope you’re having a really fantastic day. Make it a holiday. Any way you can!

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What a Craptacular Week!

Nothing but a load of trash!

So, was your week as rubbish as mine? My week was not the week from Hell. But it was pretty damn close. So much so that I haven’t been able to write anything here. Since the day when the Malaysian Airline plane was shot down, it seemed to me that there was absolutely nothing worth writing about. Why write anything when all that’s going on around you is one horror after another? People hurting other people. People hurting the planet. People hurting themselves. Rapes. Murders. Wars. Insane Governments. Sun flares. Sink holes. You name it, last week it was getting up in my face.

It got me down because to add to that my day job, my home and my relationship status (or lack-thereof) are all in serious need of an overhaul. But I didn’t want to bitch and moan and dump my misery on you. I don’t want to censor myself, and I want to keep my writing as real as possible. I write this blog for my own pleasure as much as I write it for yours so I made a pact with myself over the weekend to admit to you and myself that yes, last week was utter shite. Sometimes life is bleak. Sometimes you’re powerless to change the ghastly circumstances around you. But just like lightning things can change in a flash. And it can be something really simple that makes that change. For me it was this weekend.

From Drab

From Drab…

 

I awoke on Saturday to another miserable cold, rainy day, and toddled off to see my shrink (see, here’s me not censoring myself – depression and anxiety? Me too!) I had a really great and inspiring talk with her, then toddled further down the road to have brunch with my lovely friend Jini. By 10.30am I was already inspired, I was actually enjoying my cold walk in the drizzling rain, I had money in my wallet for a delicious meal at a nice cafe at the beach with one of my most favourite people in the world. Hello, I was waking up (again) to the fact, that my life is in fact, pretty bloody good.

A few more hours of inspirational creative discussions with Jini, who, dear reader, is an amazing writer – watch this space, I see a thrilling novel on the horizon – and the sun had started to shine as the rainclouds quickly dispersed. How good is mid-winter sunshine?! Seriously, when you feel awful, go stand in it for a few minutes and soak it up. Sunshine is joy in the form of heat and light.

An evening of laughter and bad movies with some other amazing friends – Krystyna and Marc – confirmed the goodness of life. (Snowpiercer is an awesome movie name, don’t you think?!) With more sunshine and coffee and beautiful scenery than you can shake a fist at in Manly today; phone calls with friends and family topped up the weekend, and my joy tank is now refilled. So the simple things – friends, family, sunshine, scenery, and lots of coffee – were all it took to bring me back to joy.

To Fab!

To Fab!

As I went for my evening run tonight, I made the commitment to myself to continue writing this blog as a form of enjoyment for me and for you. I won’t hide the fact that sometimes I feel like my life is crapola. I refuse to wallow in it either. I’ll be focusing on the good bits. Because life is full of them. Sometimes you’ve got to use a magnifying glass, but they’re there. It will give me the greatest pleasure to know that you’ve read my words and smiled, or chuckled, snorted, guffawed, or had one of those really big blasts of air from your nostrils where you freak out that something might have gone flying from it and hit your neighbour in the face. Belly laughs are great, and comments on the post are even better.

Remember, lots of shit makes your garden bloom with vigour. Imagine what a shitty week’s done for your life. Wishing you a SPECTACULAR week!

Um… Hello? Can You Hear Me?

 

Open Mic

Is this thing on?

In pursuit of storytelling inspiration, I grabbed a my friend, Xenia last night and headed to the Art House Hotel for a storytelling slam session. ABC’s Radio National holds a bi-monthly open mic night called Now Hear This! And I wanted to hear what This was all about. Being a storyteller with an ENORMOUS fear of public speaking, I thought I’d also challenge myself to get up and tell a story. Next time. Last night was all about research!

So, what I discovered is that you need to be really amazing at maintaining focus, not allowing yourself to be distracted by the live music being belted out in the adjoining bar. If you want to score big on the points, you need to tell a love story if you’re a guy, or tale of tragedy if you’re a girl. If you go first, you will never win. And if you’re an 8 foot tall Amazon woman with the inability to keep still, you shouldn’t sit in front of me because I’ll remember you next time and I’ll make you pay for your misdeeds!

But back to the stories. There were tragic tales of Nullabor Plain crossings, and several stolen goods stories (luggage, computers, unpublished manuscripts). Prose on picking up chicks in the Sistine Chapel. The memoir of a 10 year old Philippino boy who wanted to be a tall skinny Bond girl, and my favourite tale about a smelly ghost. I didn’t have the heart to tell the smelly-ghost-storyteller that her house up on North Head was probably not haunted by a ghost from the nearby Quarantine Station. But the likely culprit was the sewage treatment plant down the road, which was very generously sharing the fragrance of Sydneysiders’ insides with her!

Shhh! Do you smell something?

Shhh! Do you smell something?

As the storytelling slam came to a close and the ferry beckoned to carry me home across the harbour – past the Quarantine Station, in fact – talk turned to something with a much finer fragrance: coffee. Xenia let me in on a little secret of hers when it comes to ordering coffee. It’s something that makes the whole coffee experience that much more delicious. She uses a coffee name.

“What the hell is a coffee name?” I asked.

“Well, you know how they ask you what your name is when you order your takeaway coffee? It’s really annoying because they always get your name wrong because of all the noise, and they never understand my Hungarian accent. They end up calling me Zena or Anya, and I can’t be bothered trying to spell out X-E-N-I-A because they’ll get it wrong anyway. So I tell them my name’s Vicky. Now, every morning when I come in to buy my coffee, it’s all ‘Hi Vicky’, ‘Here’s your coffee Vicky’, ‘Have a good day Vicky’.”

“That’s hilarious!” I said. “So, what’s your boyfriend, David’s coffee name?”

“Guido!”

And with that, I boarded the ferry, safe in the knowledge that when I heard the barista call out “Heidi” in the morning, my coffee would be good to go.