We are now back in full swing living a “normal” life and carrying our masks in our bags. Work is crazy with every child back with only 4 weeks to go for the school year! It gets a bit full on always at the end of the year with holidays on the horizon – I am looking forward to a break, yet again! This week has been pretty relaxed with getting back into study mode and lots and lots of reading and assignments looming in a couple of weeks. So I have to just pace myself.
What I am being conscious of is taking time out to hang out with my friends and spending quality time eating and chatting about our lives! My friend and I have made a plan to carve out one Sunday a month to catch up in the city and check out the amazing brunches on offer. I have 12 years of not having brunch to make up for!! So today’s adventure was at Higher Ground which was so good with my faves avocado and halloumi sitting on top of a giant pretzel, poached egg and beautiful fresh flowers to eat as well. This is life and I am so grateful for the time I am having with my friend and making up for the time we had apart from each other when I was living in California. As I was wandering around trying to find the cafe I walked down a little alleyway to find this super cool bike sculpture, this is another wonderful thing about Melbourne is finding random artworks tucked away.
All I can say is that my free time with my cat is done now that I am back with Uni and work. I have been struggling to get back into the readings and I have been procrastinating a little. Now I have moved my desk I feel a bit back into the groove but last week threw me a bit with children coming in sick and passing their germs on – which means go for a covid test which then sucks time out of my study day! Still, it was negative and now I am feeling a lot better after resting at home and planning my study for the next few weeks.
I am grateful for the creative time but now I have to get back on track and also balance the Xmas gift gathering. Not feeling it this year as I cannot believe that it is November! Another reason it does not even feel like summer with a high of 13 degrees C – now I am still wearing woollies and it is springtime… Well, time to get back into the work and study balance as well as have a weekend treat of something to look forward to and this week it was the film – Last Night in Soho which I loved! So good to be able to go to the cinema again and enjoy time out with my hubby.
This week I was thankful to have a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup – so we could have a family day together and head out into the bush. Over lockdown, I have been investigating places to visit and the redwoods in East Warburton was number 1 on the list. It was a bit different for us to see this alien landscape of plantation redwoods in the bush. The day was super hot at 28 degrees and the weather was something we are not used to so it was lovely to be amongst the trees in the shade for the day. Before too long, the public holiday crowds came by and we took off and headed back home via a picnic by the Yarra River. I am so grateful that here in Melbourne we have such beautiful places to visit on day trips when we can, but, now for me, it is back to Uni study days and part-time work balance with a bit of freedom on the weekends to hang out with friends.
We are now living in a Covid normal as the vaccination rate reached 80% last Friday and we were given new freedoms of no mask required when outdoors. To begin our freedoms, we had our family over for dinner on Saturday night. They bought some tasty appetisers from the Victoria market and we made the most amazing pulled pork and bean mole tacos for dinner with a Halloween themed pumpkin pie for dessert – it was so good to entertain again! On Saturday I got into the swing of cleaning the house to prepare the place for visitors and I ended up with a deep spring clean which felt wonderful – until the cats dropped all their fur everywhere the next day!! It was wonderful to have a couple of glasses of wine together and catch up on what we got up to for around 3 months of lockdown.
Sunday came and I said to my hubby lets go for a bike ride on this glorious sunny morning. So off we went and rode along the new trail towards the city. It bought back so many memories of the times when I used to use the same track after my day at Uni, to go for my daily rides up to Royal Park and do circles around the track in the afternoon sun. Those were the days before mobile phones and a camera in your pocket, so the memories of the place are quite vivid. As I was riding up there on Sunday it reminded me of those times and we got to the track but there were dogs everywhere so I think over time it has become a designated off-leash pedestrian-only affair. So we continued for a bit more and turned around and headed home. It was a great start to Sunday where I got my exercise done and dusted while having fun! And I completed my library errand of taking some of the books back that I borrowed over lockdown – all were inspiring reads.
All I can say about this week was thank goodness!! Everyone in Victoria reached the 70% double vaccination target and we now have some freedoms. I was so happy that I went out to the city to meet my friend in real life!! We usually meet for brunch once a month so over the lockdown we were Facetiming with a cuppa or a wine on Sunday.
It was so good just to be out having a coffee made by a barista and a lovely brunch. The weather was typical Melbourne – that is four seasons in one day so we just had our umbrella just in case it rained. In the photo it was brilliant sunshine, we went to the Royal Botanic Gardens to see the outdoor exhibition Seeing the Invisible and it was so much fun! The best was being out and about wandering amongst the gardens – which is, in fact, my happy place. And I am so grateful that my friend and I could have this special time to hang out together. After our wanderings through the garden, we headed to a bar for a cheeky couple of Sunday afternoon wines at Transport at Federation Square in the sunshine before I got on the train with a very drained phone from the augmented reality app in the gardens.
The energy of this native flower captures the feeling I had experienced this week with a big week with a my son turning 16 on Monday. We had an amazing feast of Tamales made by a local chef who used to live in California. They were just delicious and his salsa is the best! My daughter made a delicious brownie cake as the birthday cake with no icing 😀
Towards the end of the week it was time to hone in on my creative adventures that I had jotted down in my journal to complete. Thursday was a gorgeous sunny day so I completed some macrame for some pots outside, it is so wonderful to listen to audio books and craft the day away. We have been in lockdown since middle of August and this Friday the 22nd October we finally get some release due to reaching a 70% double vaccination target. I have enjoyed the time out to create with no appointments but with the opportunity to catch up with a friend on the weekend is something I am looking forward to! This week I am grateful for the time out of a busy schedule to just be and create.
So many things this week to be grateful for with the number one being sunshine and nature. It was a wonderful first week back after term break as I worked the Monday and for the rest of the week I was working from home. And when I work from home and the weather is good I am outside under the yellow umbrella in the sunshine!
On Thursday I decided to go for a bike ride with no plans as to where I was going and the only caveat is to stay within 15 km from my home. So off I went, just staying on the bike path travelling the path during the week with hardly a person in sight. I thought to myself, this is the best I shall continue to see what I can discover and along the way. I rode by the Merri creek until it met up with the Yarra river and it was amazing. No people on the trail and nature was my best friend for the morning. I have to say it was such a glorious day with no wind and sunshine I ended up riding 30km return and man, my legs were so sore but so worth it. On my way back, I stopped at Joes Garden farm stand for a collection of produce and the most amazing olive bread for lunch – absolutely the best bike ride ever!
Then along came Saturday and I have been wanting to check out the flying fox colony at Yarra Bend park so I met my friend there and we had a lovely catch up walking beneath the bats on a 23 degree day. Now, I have to say we are so lucky to be surrounded by so much nature in Melbourne and I love exploring, so this is the perfect way to adventure out and about without catching a plane. In my thoughts are a sign that I read out hiking which said, “explore more”. I am so thankful for the beauty of nature in this gorgeous city to recharge my soul!
I have to say last week was the best creative week I have had in a very long time. Due to lockdown there were no distractions so I just got to making and creating and it has been so much fun! I had a whole week off work and my last assignment of Uni was done, so I was a free as a bird!
I got out my sewing machine and planned my week of projects and made a lovely pinafore from a gorgeous pinwale corduroy – these are my fave wear for work. I also did some needle felting, crochet, knitting and lots of gardening. What a wonderful way to spend my holidays and it was so hard to go back to reality in the land on Covid today – frightening really – but we stay as safe as possible with keeping the children outside to play all day! The Delta variant is flying through the community like glitter.
So much to be grateful for last week and just to have that free time to create and make has given me the freedom to just want to do more and lucky for me I have a whole month off Uni and work is on site one day a week as we have less than 10 kids in total. Just so happy to be making again and I am making my list of projects even longer with each day 😀
Finally, I have reached the end of the 12 week teaching period for Uni. I have to say it has been a bit of a struggle getting on with things with being in lockdown for weeks and just wanting to be outside when the sun is shining. Still, I have managed to get through and now this week is all about creating and making – catching up on so many fun projects that have been sitting in the craft cupboard. It was a super sunny Sunday so I got out the drill and made a couple of mobiles for decorating the outdoor space at my work, the kindergarten. I am pretty excited to see them up high as they are so bright and colourful. The kids at kinder had painted some corks so I got those drilled and wired ready to hang. With that project done, I have also been making crochet pencil caddies for the teacher I work with and they look super cool.
This week I have been needle felting a scarf in rainbow colours, as well as a bit of sewing with my daughter and pulling apart clothes to make them into items I would actually wear! I am lacking in skirts so I have a couple to complete this week. I also need to make a pinafore that I enjoy wearing to work. So this week I am thankful for the brain space and having the time to create in peace in the sunshine with my cat outside. I love it!