Friday, 6 February 2015

Taking stock: February 2015.

We’re one month and a bit into 2015. I’ve been enjoying a week of sunshine (and rain) in Byron Bay with my boy and Little Red. What better time to take stock again?

  • Making: More time to write. (That’s one of my goals for this year anyway. So far it’s a slow starter.)
  • Cooking: Not a lot because we’re away. Salad and cups of tea is really the extent of it.
  • Drinking: Cocktails. I was 32 weeks’ up the duff when I was here last time, so my indulgence extended to a few special mocktails, smoothies and herbal tea. This time around, I’m splashing out on pisco sours, lychee martinis, lychee caipirinhas and wine. (And smoothies and herbal tea.)
  • Reading: Heroic Australian Women in War (it was smaller to fit in my bag than Buddhism for mothers, which I’m still reading, oh so very slowly). And Diggers’ Club magazines that have been piling up on my coffee table for the past 18 months.
  • Wanting: More time here to read and write (and a nanny to look after Little Red so I can do these things).
  • Looking: Forward to some kind of routine again when I go back to uni. I’m a creature of habit, what can I say?
  • Playing: Where’s Little Red? This is similar to peek-a-boo, except that Little Red pulls something (book, toy, sheet, clothes) over her face to hide from me, then drops it and looks at me with a gummy grin.
  • Deciding: What to have for breakfast. Vegan chocolate mousse cake is winning so far.
  • Wishing: I had better self control when it comes to food! (See ‘Thinking’ and ‘Snacking’ below.)
  • Enjoying: My cup of vanilla chai and some quiet while Little Red naps (hopefully for longer than 30 minutes this time).
  • Waiting: For my reiki appointment. It’s been years since I had a treatment. I’m a bit excited.
  • Liking: Early morning strolls along the beach.
  • Wondering: How many vegan chocolate cakes/balls/slices I can fit into my bag to take home.
  • Loving: How lovely everyone is here – they are all so relaxed, friendly and kind. Yesterday I was on the way back to the apartment with Little Red, who was screaming up a storm in her stroller. A hippy surfer guy in his 20s walked past, dreads, old threads, stretched ear lobes, guitar in hand. A walking sterotype. He saw Little Red’s tears and immediately started playing some music to distract and cheer her as he walked by. What a beautiful, thoughtful man! Similarly, the staff in a bottle shop whipped out a toy for Little Red during another episode, and ran outside after her to give it to her as my boy wheeled her away so she didn’t scare off the other customers. I didn’t even mind that it was an NFL football covered in the Wild Turkey logo. It immediately stopped her tears. What a lovely gesture!
  • Pondering: This question. I’ve seriously been stuck on it for hours and have come up with nothing that I’ve been or am pondering. Except this question.
  • Considering: A self-imposed Facebook and internet limit per day. Or maybe whole days without them each week. I seem to have developed a wee addiction and spend far too much time online. That time could be far more wisely spent.
  • Watching: Two parents by the pool with their six-month-old son. We chatted with them two days ago when we were there swimming with Little Red and they’d just arrived. Their son is blind (and I think may have other disabilities). But he is absolutely gorgeous and his parents absolutely adore him and dote on him. It’s like they’re surrounded by a bubble of love, warmth, gentleness and beauty. It radiates out from them and draws you in.
  • Hoping: The house sitters have weeded the garden for me. It was getting a bit out of hand. They said they were enjoying pottering in the garden while we were away. Pottering = weeding, yes?
  • Marvelling: At how much Little Red is growing. I know it’s incredibly annoying and dull when parents say this sort of stuff about their kids, and I’m not usually one for sentiment or soppiness, but she’s growing so fast and it’s amazing to watch her learn things. In a matter of weeks she’s started clapping, pointing, waving, stretching, saying Dad (and other syllables) and drinking from a straw. She also says Ta (in a distinctly Darth Vader-esque voice) as she passes you something or you give her something. She’s almost crawling and pulling herself up on things. And she quite likes pulling you close and giving you big, sloppy, open-mouth kisses on whatever part of you she can reach and hold. This old ice heart of mine is melting.
  • Needing: More sleep (some things never change). We are all sharing a room here. Little Red has taken to waking any time after 4 am. After her initial grizzling, she sometimes naps again til about 5.30 am, then it’s tears til one of us gets her up and changes her and I feed her in bed with me. After milk, she starts laughing and yabbering “dad dad dad dad”, which wakes up Chris, and we all get up and walk down to the beach to watch the early birds swimming and surfing. We have to do this before getting our coffee/tea, because we’re out and about BEFORE the coffee/tea places open. I kid you not. Little Red is also not entirely partial to napping for long periods here. I, on the other hand, would love a sleep in and a long nap. Several sleep ins and long naps, actually.
  • Smelling: A sun shower. I love rain.
  • Wearing: Floaty summer dresses. Pretty turquoise sandals I bought in Sucre, Bolivia. Big, dangly seashell earrings. Sunnies.
  • Following: The predicted leadership spill being discussed in the media.
  • Noticing: How young and relaxed the backpackers here seem. There are SO MANY travellers here. Responsibility free, fancy free, mortgage free, study free, baby free. I used to be a backpacker/traveller. Sigh.
  • Knowing: That even though I look longingly at said backpackers/travellers/those who are younger and more free than me, I wouldn’t trade where I am or who I am now for anything. (Most of the time.)
  • Thinking: I really should stop buying vegan cakes ‘just because I can’. I just ate another piece of cake (technically a chocolate fudge slice – it was delicious). And I have two and a half bliss balls, two and a half pieces of cake, and three packets of chocolate in the fridge. And I will probably buy more cake tomorrow before we leave.
  • Admiring: Is it wrong to say I admire those parents with their boy down by the pool? I could be wrong, but I imagine it’d be pretty hard raising a child with a disability, no matter how gorgeous he is. They seem to be doing it with such grace.
  • Sorting: The past few weeks I have actually been sorting out notes for uni. I am no where near finished mind you, but I’m hoping that my teachers see my (attempt at) preparation and organization and add at least 10% to my final grade ‘for effort’.
  • Buying: Pretty much everything in stock at Naked Treaties – and then some. I think my annual visits here keep the store in business for the intervening months.
  • Getting: A little nervous about going back to uni and seeing real, live patients. Eek! Any volunteers?
  • Bookmarking: Recipes from Wholefoods Simply. The food looks so simple, but so delicious.
  • Disliking: Mosquitoes. One just bit my shoulder and forehead. The feeling apparently is not mutual – mosquitos love munching on me.
  • Opening: A nice bottle of red later, to share with my boy.
  • Giggling: Mostly at Little Red. She’s pretty cute. She waves at everyone and everything, crosses her legs at the ankles and sits back like a lady (when she isn’t sitting legs spread-eagled in her stroller), babbles incessantly but most seriously, laughs when we laugh, and gives beautiful kisses. And you can’t help but smile in confusion at her bizarre husky, breathy, growly ‘Ta’.
  • Feeling: Pretty relaxed after a lovely massage at Relax Haven.
  • Snacking: Wow. What isn’t there for me to snack on in Byron? All sorts of fruity, nutty, chocolatey balls. Vegan cakes, slices, cheesecake and chocolates. Dips, corn chips, olives, dolmades.
  • Coveting: Holiday houses. I’d love to be rich enough to own one or two. But then I guess you’d tied into going to the same place each holiday, and that might get boring.
  • Wishing: Time would slow down, just a wee bit. Week one of February 2015 is almost done and I still feel like it’s June 2008.
  • Helping: An old man down the stairs after a movie last week. He was a bit bashful about accepting my proffered arm, but seemed grateful. We both agreed that The Water Diviner is quite a good film. After seeing it, I want to dig out my CD of Whirling Dervish music.
  • Hearing: The waves breaking on the beach about 100 metres away from our apartment, and the birds chattering in the bushes and trees all around. Bliss.

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