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.