Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Seeing the future

If anyone had told me eight years when I accepted a job offer from a certain politician that my life would be sent into the spin cycle I would never have believed them.

Last night as I sat drinking Moet with one of the most wonderful, beautiful, clever people I know, I thanked the Universe for the good it has delivered (many of those politicians aside and the good ones know who they are).

There have been times in these past few years when I wanted to shut my eyes and wish everything back to normal, but what is normal? Now, normal is two incredibly strong teenagers who are beginning to make their mark in the world, my new career as an artist, wonderful friends and family. The dark days of the bullying and wretched behaviour by co-workers and sometimes by bosses are long gone. Karma will take care of all of that.

My beautiful friend who visited last night lives on the other side of the world and we met by chance in that first politician's office. Our ritual is we drink French Champagne when we get together. On paper we have little in common, but in real life we have a mutual love and respect, despite our incredibly different upbringings and ages. We can tell each other anything and everything. We offer each other good advice, while shrugging our shoulders at the weirdness of some of the life dilemmas that we face.

For all the bullshit I have been through in the past decade, these new people in my life make me realise that the Universe offers up rewards that we least expect.

This year has been one of the hardest of my life and now that I have the space to breathe I am hearing the same from many others. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger is the worst cliche ever, but it is true.

Bring on 2017.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Reflections of a weekend in Melbourne

Stayed around the corner from the Paris end of Collins Street, Melbourne, the past two nights. Our room overlooked the Treasury Gardens. It seems that wherever I go, I must see trees, even on a two-night visit to another city.

Treasury Gardens*

What a blast is Melbourne. It's so civilised with its shops and people and laneways and free trams.

And the food. The food is delicious and the atmosphere of whatever establishment you are eating in makes the whole meal an experience.

Miss B and I had a bit of a treat, because we deserved it. We went to MEL to shop and we shopped until we almost dropped. Not helped by my foot being injured by a tiny sliver of glass a week ago, a remnant from the courtyard table being smashed by a stray golf ball way back in September. I have swept and hosed and vacuumed but still a sliver of glass found its way into my foot. I thought I had removed all of it, but obviously not, from the courtyard and later from my foot.

Did you know that the only cure for the pain of a sore foot after a day and a half of shopping is a champagne in the middle of the afternoon in Myer? There were Miss B and I, on the down escalator when we saw the champagne bar. "Why don't you have a glass Mum and then you might stop complaining?" my shopping companion asked. That and the two painkillers taken earlier in the day took the edge off the pain momentarily. How civilised to refuel mid store and mid shop?

A couple of comments about Melbourne. Why oh why is smoking such a thing? Every five seconds when we were walking along the streets was yet another smoker. I don't particularly care if people smoke or not, but because #CBR is mostly smoke-free everywhere, I hardly ever get the full-blown smoke attack. And so it was that we both noticed the amount of smoking.

This morning we were off to meet Mr C for breakfast. My poor foot could not cope - especially as sleep had been interrupted in the middle of the night with the hotel's emergency system alerting us all to a smoke alarm. We were not to do anything until further instructions were issued. A few minutes later we were told it was a false alarm. Thanks to some stupid guest obviously lighting up inside.

At least the hotel had the grace to give us a late check-out.

So this morning we caught two trams to the other side of the CBD, for free. How civilised for a city to welcome its visitors and citizens alike.

My only other reflection? Why do the "homeless" beggars of Melbourne have such well-fed dogs? Why do they have shifts of begging? That is all.

*Photos by Miss B.