Sunday, 31 October 2010

My vegetable freak out moment

The first time (that I recall) that I had a sort of anxiety attack was at the West End markets in Brisbane.

It was a hot day, hotter than usual for that time of year. A close friend and I had gone to the West End markets to purchase some veggies and to have a look around. The West End markets started out as lovely small markets, under these enormous and magnificent trees, but I hadn't been in ages and now they were big and markety, with people everywhere and everything now out under the hot sun.

We went into a fruit and veggie store, but nothing looked too appealing. The next store yielded nothing and the third even less. Usually I would purchase similar types of food each week. But for some reason everything looked, well, yuk, and I felt increasingly less and less inspired to cook.

"I don't know which veggies to buy", I stammered to my lovely friend, tears suddenly spilling out of my eyes. Not even missing a beat, she patted my arm and reassured me, "hun, it's okay, now what do you need to get?"

"I don't know, I just don't know what veggies to buy!", getting closer and closer to panic. Sensing my distress she requested if I wanted to go home, telling me there was no pressure to buy anything if I didn't want to. A huge wave of relief washed over me, "yes, I've got to go home NOW!" But then a fresh wave of panic swept over me, "I can't go home without veggies!!" The crowd seemed to get thicker and we were fighting to get through. All the while it was getting hotter and my sense of panic increasing until I couldn't hide the tears.

I've got to go, now, but I couldn't go home empty handed. What would I cook and eat for the week?

I am blessed that I was in the company of such a good friend, who without judgement or question guided me home, with the reassuring words that there was no pressure to buy veggies.

We dubbed it my 'vegetable freak out moment', not really knowing at the time that it was the start of something a little bigger.

In retrospect, of course, I have no idea why I panicked so intensely. Anxiety is funny in that way. It's difficult to comprehend, even for me having experienced it first hand, until you're in it's grasp.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Throw away the book

We spend so much of our energy checking ourselves against what is considered normal or okay. We wind ourselves up in knots wondering if we're doing the right thing. People's advice, expert advice, books, magazine articles, the internet. Today our ability to access all types of information is forcing us around in circles, making us anxious and depressed because we're not certain we're doing that magical thing we think we should be doing.

Well, who says what the right thing is?

Is it time to throw caution to the wind and for once, listen to ourselves. Our own bodies. Our own minds.

Could it be time to throw away the book, and sit with our own thoughts, for just one minute, to see whether we approve of ourselves?

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The Sunday Age: booyah!

One of my little posts I love Melbourne trams, or most of it (all but the last two sentences) has made it to The Sunday Age, page 18, under 'Your say' in the opinions section. Hooray! Of course I helped it get there, and it's not an article, but I am still quite excited to see my name in print!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Tumble Turn, by Doug MacLeod

I decided I was long overdue for a day of pure, not going anywhere, not doing anything, rest. Unemployment is good and bad. Good for afternoon naps. A little stressful though from time to time.

Instead of watching terrible day time telly, though, I read Tumble Turn, by Doug MacLeod, upon recommendation from my sister.

It's an extremely engaging read. Funny, laugh-out-loud hilarious, heartbreaking, honest and comforting.

I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

I have just finished reading Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel.

*gasp*

What an incredible book.

It is a fictional novel, written in monthly instalments with recipes, romance and home remedies.

It is a magical tale of a young girl, Tita, who, forbidden to marry through tradition, falls in love with a young man named Pedro.

I am not going to ruin the tale but the spirit of this book is truly magical.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The nook of happiness

This is one of my favourite nooks of happiness. I have a few favourite nooks and this corner is one of them. 

Today my nook of happiness provides me a place I can sit, comfy in the armchair, with my book, writing pad, and magazine all within reaching distance, while the windows are open beside me so I can feel the cool air, hear the rain, and see the lightening of the spring storm we're enjoying today. It is just splendid. 

I have always loved nooks. When I was very young I used to sit in this very corner (pre armchair days) and play with my toys. I would line up all my teddies and my cabbage patch doll and play doctors, or schools, or anything my imagination fancied. It was perfect for play. I could see out, open a window and enjoy the air, and the window sill provides the perfect little shelf. 

I heart granny blankets

I have started making a granny blanket.

This is the first time I have really sat down to crochet, and I must say I am loving it! It's quite automatic, so it's really brilliant thinking time. I have lots of thinking to do at the moment and so this sort of activity is perfect!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Riding in the sun

The weekend just gone was magic. It was the first real spring-weather weekend this year, and it didn't let us down. Not even once. 

I had gained quite a bit of colour on the Friday, playing cards outside with my sister, and so my sweet boyfriend diligently kept an eye on the sun, making sure my burnt shoulders were shaded for the most part. 

On Sunday we rode our bicycles (they were very excited to leave the house, it'd been a while) to St Kilda for a (Subway) picnic and to read our books in the (partial) sun.  We followed the shade around our palm tree, me with my shoulders in the shade but my legs in the sun. It was lovely until the shade was on the had rocky sandy soil and comfort became impossible. We rode on. 

The Albert Park lake is surrounded by green, luscious, soft grass, too irresistible to ride past and do there we sat until we were hungry again and it was almost dinner time. 

Simply lovely. 

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Goodbye winter

Goodbye winter, we'll see you in a year. It's been lovely, sharing warm cosy fires and hot cups of tea with you, but now we must go outside and enjoy the abundant sunshine!!! It's exquisite! We won't miss you until Summer has worn us out. Goodbye winter.

Friday, 1 October 2010

One fine spring day

I awake later than I would have if I was working. Lovely.

I shower at a leisurely pace. Beautiful.

I clean out my new old coffee machine with two parts water and one part vinegar and make myself and my sister a coffee. Delicious.

My sister lays out her card deck (for Killer Bunnies) on the outdoor table in the backyard and arranges our chairs for maximum sun exposure. It is sunny outside. Devine.

Bundaberg Ginger beer is cracked. Scrumptious.

As the sun moves across the sky, we shift our chairs; the sunlight kissing our pasty winter skin too enjoyable to farewell. Wonderful.

Mum asks me, "what should we have for tea?" Following a few halfhearted ideas, Mum exclaims, "barbeque!!!". I love it. Sausages, onions, Greek salad, and corn on the cob. Spectacular.

We light the barbeque, make a fire in the Mexican oven, and cook the snags. The corn on the cob (plus butter, salt and pepper) is a party in my mouth.

I ring my boyfriend and say I would like nothing more than to be scooped up in one of his hugs, and that his presence here would make this awesome day even more magnificent.

Mum and I sit beside the Mexican oven toasting our chilly legs near the hot coals. Toasty.

I am the last one out here, inching my chair closer and closer as the coals die down, reluctant to go.

My sun filled body is happily dozy, wanting me to carry it off to bed. But I am finding it is almost impossible to say goodbye to this one fine spring day.