A couple of galahs

Well…cockatoos to be exact. I’ve been taking much pleasure in the shenanigans of our friendly, feathered friends pictured below who we have coming right up to the kitchen window to say hello. There is much solace to be found in nature and living in the present.

I’ve been reading Phosphorescence by Julia Baird (below) and some of the takeaways have been to look (or ‘regarde!’ by the French writer Colette) and to savour the good things we see and experience – I think this is especially important in a year where so much has been taken away. I’ve taken much strength from her quoting writer Albert Camus – the start of his famous quote begins, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

They’re fighting words and I hope, if you too, have suffered loss of any kind this year you will remember to hang on to hope and know you have the resilience and resources within you to keep going. Nothing is forever and everything changes. As much as I may not like where I am, I have accepted my circumstances knowing there will be better times ahead and our beleaguered city and world will return to (a new) normal in time. We still have to enjoy now and focus on the things which give us pleasure and meaning.

I have celebrations in my family, with Christmas and in my friendship circle over the next month and I’m looking forward to visiting some of Melbourne’s CBD-venues which I’ll post about. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been taking place and while I’ve reined in my spending, both my kettle and microwave recently carked it so we’re currently waiting for the new microwave to be delivered but lashed out and bought a Smeg kettle (below) on sale. I have to say it’s made my kitchen bench top look a lot more stylish! I just hope my toaster doesn’t die on me as much as I’ve always wanted a Dualit.

There are a number of Christmas markets coming up including Heide on 19 December in Bulleen and the Alphington and Coburg Christmas farmers markets on 23 December from 2 – 6 pm, for which you do need to register. I also took note earlier this year regarding some of the beautiful care packages available for delivery if you have the budget including those from Kindful Gifts, Soul Bundles and Curated with conscience.

One of the best presents I’ve given people is simply taking them out somewhere special and shouting them lunch or dinner – our time and attention are often way more important than material things. If money is tight this year, you may want to make your own ‘gift’ voucher to give people – cooking, cleaning, babysitting, gardening or providing whatever kind of service you may be able to offer – for me, I’ve been able to help family update their resumes and edit cover letters this year.

Christmas is a time to give – as much as to ourselves and each other – I hope you have plans to spend your day, if you celebrate it, in the company of those you love whether they are biological or logical family. I’ve been lucky to have many caring people in my life reach out and lift me up at a very challenging time – if you can relieve someone else’s suffering, there is no greater gift.


The luxury of time

Happy Easter. It’s a different kind of Easter celebrating at home this year. From the sentiment I’ve picked up on social media, it has not been an easy week for a lot of people dealing with the subsequent fall out socially and economically of Covid-19, coupled with being confined at home with their family or housemates if they live with other people. Many people live on their own and self-isolation can be even more challenging for single people, given we are social creatures.

Some of my friends are questioning the severity of stage 3 restrictions but personally I’d rather go hard, go early than experience what New York or Europe has in terms of infection and deaths. I guess we’ll never know, but history will be the judge. And for those complaining about how difficult things are, The Project’s Waleed Aly issued a good reminder this week as to why we are still the lucky country. Things are hard relative to what we’ve been accustomed after almost 30 years of good times in Australia. We’ve been extremely fortunate to live in an incredibly privileged and affluent country, which is why the hardship we’re experiencing now is such a shock for so many people.

Trying to see the pink supermoon from our deck on Wednesday night

I keep returning to that conundrum of when you have time, you have no money but when you have money, you have no time. Whether you still have a job or not, all of us now have time on our hands and time to choose our own adventure regarding how we spend the next six months (and beyond). A lot will be determined by our own strength of character and our attitude, as the challenge will be largely mental. Instead of chasing after what we want in the external world, we have to turn this around and want what we already have inside the four walls of our home and in our own minds. I’d like to focus on what I can do and use this time more productively (as someone who has previously questioned and complained about the busy-ness of modern life) with time being a precious commodity not even the richest person in the world can buy more of (which Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have discussed in the past).

Mr Rosanna’s landscaping handiwork

It is a chance to live life in the slow lane with a focus on the local and sustainable. A chance to read or write that book, do that course to re-skill or upskill, take up an art or craft, start that herb garden or veggie patch, raise some chickens, clean up or do up your place in whatever way you can, exercise, beautify, create and bake. There’s been a massive pivot to all sorts of online entertainment and courses and in some ways, it’s a blessing to be heading into Winter where it feels more natural to be inside, as much as getting fresh air and spending time outdoors will continue to be important.

People are already embracing this time spent cocooning, there’s been a run on building, nursery and hardware items, activewear, lounge wear and comfy clothes, bread tins, puzzles, beauty products and hairdressing scissors! Food-wise, I’ve been told the Coburg Farmers Market is still on as well as CERES Joe’s Market Garden. You can also now order and pick up fresh fruit, vegetables and other groceries from the Open Food Network with the Melbourne Farmers Marketplace in Alphington until online grocery services are up and running.


I’ve now done a couple of Zoom yoga classes and had to improvise in terms of props (as you can see above) – I always knew that sociology text book would come in handy one day! Needless to say, I have ordered myself some yoga blocks and a belt from iyogaprops for home practice. My work colleagues have also started doing pilates and HIIT classes on FitOn. There’ll be no excuse not to emerge from this time fitter rather than fatter…