Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fortune be my favour tonight, with thanks. . .

I am very lucky. And it shouldn't be the material things that remind me of that. But what the heck, it's Christmas and I am very impressed with how much I love everything that I have been given. I liked it so much that I took a photo and made a list (in no particular order):
1. soft and colourful carry bag - from B's lovely and sweet Mum
2. chalkboard that reads 'Hooray - one more job to do and it's gin and tonic time!' from my list-loving step-sister-in-law. Oh dear. I can see the list of relatives may get confusing. . .
3. sparkly necklace - from my stepbrother's cousin. Yep - told you it may get confusing. Bear with me. The necklace is gorgeous. I admire her taste!
4. painting of a mandala from my artistic and creative Mum - using paints I bought for her in India
5. books from B who is both clever and insightful.
6. notebooks and photo album from Kikki K (I love Kikki K!) from my perceptive and observant brother & his wife.
7. Gourmet Food Safari! OK this was on the very little list I gave to my Dad & Stepmum . . I can't wait. I already booked it - a tour of 'Turkish Sydney'
8. The fanciest jet-set Aesops toiletries thanks to the fine taste of my cousin and his wife.
9. subscription to Good Taste magazine - I buy this magazine every month and considering I am taking a vow of Compacting from Jan 1 this was the only magazine I decided I really really want to have . . . thankyou to my Aunt M and Uncle D.
10. Tuscan egg cups from my wicked step-mother who took my real request seriously (I wasn't joking when I said I really needed some!) and ordered them from Italy.
11. Tall purple candles courtesy of my cousin's advice and my Aunt B and Uncle G's generosity
12. Taylor & Khoo toiletries bag from Aunt B - all profits from T&K go directly to Cambodian orphans. I adore their stuff and believe in what they do.
13. Hand and body cream from B's Mum which is truly lush and smells of tuberose and hyacinth.
14. Pick up sticks. OK - this was really for B from my kind step-family, but who's gonna be the lucky girl to challenge him to a game?
15. Double Compilation CD created by my 'I told you I was trouble' step-niece. She's cool and is about my only redemption from complete old-age geekdom.
16. Pirates of the Caribbean style pot-pourri - again from my lovely Aunt B.

OK - I had no idea that I would have chosen these things myself but I love them all! A couple of items were a little camera shy and snuck out of the photo - the George Jensen vase (a housewarming gift from Aunt B) and the beading carry bag (from my thoughtful Granny). Oh - and the cooking class at Sydney Seafood School that B & I gave to each other and will do in January. Very spoilt - but I also feel like the luckiest person ever!

PS My niece loved the cat I made for her from a pair of socks. She promptly renamed the cat 'Pussycat Meow' and taught it to clap in time to carols. Cute!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I see dead people: Looks like you mob need a coffee!

Monday morning 6.15am - On the bus to work. Knowing I had a busy week ahead my plan was to get a head start on Monday. Humming happily on the bus as it whooshed across the bridge over the grey pre-sunset harbour I realised I forgot my door pass. I couldn't get in until everyone else knocked in around 9am. Hmm. Life's way of telling to me slow down. I walked to work, but stopped along the way at a cute cafe I'd been deliberately walking past recently. Why the detour? A different message written everyday on the chalkboard sign. Each day is funny and makes me smile. I entered the coffee shop on Monday to meet their maker. A sweet girl, who had just moved from Canberra (where I went to uni!) was the magic behind the message. I told her how funny I thought the signs were and she grinned at me through the steam. She said she stresses about what to write each day, and was chuffed to have the feedback. I sat down to toast and a coffee, then continued on to work - happier for knowing I had made the day of a girl who makes a little difference to my mornings. And the work? It was still there, just a little easier to handle after a good start to the day.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

City to Surf

I love the City to Surf. I know many people dread the idea of walking 14km with 64,000 other people through the streets of Sydney. But it's great exercise and one of the quintessential days out in Sydney. Transport into the city is packed with people in work-out gear, faces shiny with sun-screen and excitement about the day. People run in different groups - there is a group at the front who take it very seriously and who finish before the back of the pack event starts. The trees are littered with sweaters which people have thrown off as the sun thaws them. Everyone yells and whoops as they walk through the tunnel. Corporate Groups, social groups and local sporting clubs all get together to raise money. There's a huge range of charities - from Tumour Terminators to Canteen - every one (and their little dog too) takes to the streets. It's a lovely view of Sydney that reminds me of the community goodwill of being in the anti-war march in London in 2003. It's great to see the police and ambulance officers chilling out and enjoying the day too - every year the event runs smoothly. Exhausting - but the walk always ends with a tasty lunch as we watch the rest of the walkers arriving.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Paddington Day

A day of pure indulgence. I woke, rested & peaceul, in my favourite flannel sheets. A sleep-in and reprise from the almost-daily gym schlep. A happy hour uploading new stuff to my ipod. An easy walk down to the ferry. I always seem to 'bump' into J, a friend from London. I think we see each other more often when it's unscheduled! A windy ride through the sunny morning across the harbour. An easy bus ride winding up through the colours and sights of Oxford Street. I was booked in for a hydotherapy bath and was on another planet when I stepped out of the bath - I was so relaxed! L had a facial at the same time, and we met afterwards and had lunch in the Bellevue - a pub dining room we'd looked at on walks in the neighbourhood when we lived here, but had never been inside. Gossip, great food, a glass of sparkling wine in the bright, white dining room amidst the din of affluent, and tipsy, middle-aged locals. We strolled through the markets, inspired by local designers and spring blooms. And then I headed home, bewitched by magnolia's trees dopping thick creamy petals from their fat spanish-onion crimson bloom.