duminică, 14 mai 2017

Mother's Day

It was Mother's Day here in Australia today.

We celebrated it two months ago, on the 8th of March, as a Romanian celebration.

In the morning I was cooking American pancakes, running errands, doing all the urgent things needed to be done asap, as the corporate white collar says. 

The kids gave me nice loving postcards, Runa indulged me with a box full of my favourite candies (which, by the way, I'm eating right now, hidden in my bedroom), I prepared their most loved dish for dinner: shrimps pasta and we ate it all together in the kitchen, quite quietly, and that meant they loved the food. Usually the dinner time is the arguing and teasing time, for all of us, but this time the hunger and the pleasure of eating a good meal was bigger than their animosities.

It was such a simple and normal and beautiful day, that I wouldn't even write about it if it wasn't about my promise to myself. 

To illustrate it, from the middle of an ordinary day, trying to get out from a very busy IKEA, there came this painted sky, with the Australian flag waving in the distance. 

G'day, my friends! 
Never be afraid of a mediocre day, it may just mean you're happy!




sâmbătă, 13 mai 2017

The Aliens' Landing Spot

We've never been much on sleeping in, me and Bogdan. Waking up early, even during the weekends, is a long established habit, for the last 20 years. 

But here, in Australia, we started waking up even earlier, even during the winter months, when the sun rises late and the 98% humidity slips into your bones early in the morning. 

We never get upset with each other when one of us wakes up (too) early. I just drag myself out of bed, go downstairs and fix some strong (usually Lavazza) coffee, then go outside with blankets on my shoulders, socks on my feet and enjoy it for half an hour.
And today, as in every given day, I was siting in the backyard, at 7 a.m., when I noticed some aliens came during the night and drew circles around our lonely tree there. Can you see me? I'm that small dot on the left, laying in a grey armchair on the verandah. You can even notice how impressed I was. 

Of course it was Bogdan, gardening as usual, every weekend morning, an Alien
A Romanian in Australia. 
He just marked the landing spot.


vineri, 12 mai 2017

The First Year

"This is the first day from the rest of our lives" I wrote on this blog one year ago. 
I can't be more convinced of this now. I mean, this IS the rest of our lives.

It was a difficult year, I won't lie about it. Probably one of the most difficult years of my adult life. Struggling with the unknown, worrying about the basics of life, rooting in a new country, on a new continent, in a new language, this was the most challenging year ever. 

We came in Australia one year ago, with all the plans set. 
Where to. 
How to. 
When to. 

None of this actually happened. And that was a big kick to our egos and to our strategic capabilities. And yet we are fine.

We are here and we love where we are. We both have jobs, the kids are good in school, the pace is slower and the traffic is easy.

We are more welded than ever before, we trust each other more, we stand for each other, we go through life hand in hand

I think that, if we made it through this year, the years to come will be nothing but better.






joi, 11 mai 2017

A Big Island

For those of you who don't already know, what is called the Sydney CBD (Central Business District) is a very small and vibrant part of greater Sydney, located a Pacific shore. 
On an island
OK, a big island. 
Actually it is a continent!!!

On the other hand, the Sydney metropolis is a huge area of 12,367 km2 sprawling towards Blue Mountains in the West, spreading its slightly larger than five million population through North and South on this very large surface, the East is bounded by the Pacific ocean.

For a number of reasons, now I don't commute anymore to  the CBD for work, so every time I get the chance to go in the City it's a real treat and joy. Today I had to go for a meeting, so I went for 1 minute to check on my favourite street and gave my tribute to the disappearing birds who used to live here before the people did. 
 
Say hello and wave, please!


miercuri, 10 mai 2017

Not an Ordinary Day

It was a day, a long time ago, when I decided I will write on this blog  
every day
The rational behind this was that every day was worth being remembered for something good. There must have been something in the day which made my heart beat faster, feel warmer, bring a little moment of happiness or release or ease a frustration. 
A "count your blessings" moment, in a short image or a short description, an exercise of removing what's bad and making place for the positive in my life. 

I still do this in my real life every day and I think it may be the time to revive this moment through this blog too. 

Why?

Because I'm alive, because I live where I like and because sometimes I forget to be as happy as I deserve to be.

My daily dose of happiness comes from the place I live, love and work, and that place is what you see: my backyard in Castle Hill, Sydney, Australia.



joi, 30 martie 2017

Robertson by Storm


It was a beautiful Saturday morning... oh, wait, it was raining cats and dogs in Sydney, but we were still determined to go and enjoy the evening with our most amazing Australian friends in Robertson. If you don't know where it is, I can tell you that when we were invited I didn't know either. 

"Come and join us, we rented a beautiful wooden log on a hill, in Robertson", our friends, Alina and John, kindly invited us. "It has plenty of space, and you can sleep in the living room!" Living room sleeping sounded a little kinky to me but, hell, why not? We were here to taste the real Australian lifestyle! After a rainy morning in Potts Point, we thought that a rainy afternoon in Robertson wouldn't be so bad.


We hardly found the way, and we arrived there that night only and only because John was kind enough to wait for us at about ten kilometers away from Lloran domain. He was even waiting for us a while because we mistakenly took THE PIZZA on the right as THE PUB on the left, but it's just a small detail. When you have two quarrelsome boys at home, waiting outside some friends in the freezing rain might seem to be a guilty pleasure...


The fall was still there when we arrived, with the beautiful leaves on the ground and an amazing view from the window. The accommodation was in a romantic wood log, with a fire place, cozy coaches in front of the TV, with the above view in the backyard and the forest in the front yard. But the autumn didn't last for too long, during the night the rain grew in intensity and volume, and in the morning everything was flooded.


"The strongest storm" in the last 10 years was just there. In Robertson. And so were we.

First, we checked the next door log, to have an idea for our next visit accommodation. It was water on the floor and the guests were already out from the first hour of the morning. So, it was decided on the spot: it will not be our next accommodation.





Then, the boys had an idea. "Let's go for a ride to check the road, to see if we can get out of here", they said. "Let the girls cook and take care of the (five) kids, and we do what men usually do." 
You know what, and if you don't know, I can share: clearing the road, taking pictures, hunting, fighting sharks. And dragons. 
Kind of heroic stuff.
Which they totally went for.


And this is what they found. 
Can you see the sharks? 
Me neither.  
But they sure are in Queensland, as I heard these days.




The storm was terrible indeed and they cleaned up the paths, so we were able to leave safe and sound in the afternoon.




I have to say that the main reason they left the log that morning was to go and shoot the waterfalls. They sure have shot a lot of water. Falling. From the sky.


The camera(s) couldn't miss from that landscape, as they harvested a lot of pictures in that historical day. 


Finally, let's have a look at the reason they went out that morning!


Meanwhile, in Paradise... we cooked, cleaned, prepared the luggage, read few books, took some painting lessons, knitted few pullovers for the winter and (of course) had some tea and laid on the coach waiting for the boys to come back.


In front of the fireplace, of course.



The kids had their eyes sore from the blue screens, but only after they tortured Bella the dog, of course. 

Two more weeks to go and we'll be there again, to spend the Easter holidays in Robertson. It will be our first Easter in Australia, I will probably cook a lot of Romanian food and enjoy the real Australian fall.

vineri, 27 mai 2016

Sovereign Hills

Ballarat was a small and pastoral settlement near Melbourne when gold was discovered in 1851. By 1861, Ballarat had grown from a poor village into a fine provincial city built on the wealth derived from its gold.


Sovereign Hill is an outdoor museum in Ballarat, presenting the story of Australia’s fabulous Gold Rush history. It's a living museum, full of old times characters, dressed like in 19th century, and even talking like in the old times.


Inside the buildings are really skilled craftsmen, which make live demonstrations of their skills, actually working on what they have to do. 



If you feel cold (and that's how you should feel on a drizzle late autumn rain), you can stop at any corner and warm your hands (and feet, if you feel adventurous).


If you are a member of Weight Watchers Anonymous, DO NOT sit on the weighing machine, please! It's sophisticated and with a very subtle announcement on the left side: FAT, FAT, FAT!






If anybody needs a pan, I can go back and bring some!



The kids were amazing! They had roles, no doubt, but they were so natural and genuinely happy, we stayed and enjoyed their joie-de-vivre and happiness for more than half an hour.













It was a little bit too theatrical for me, but I enjoyed it and I highly recommend it for kids of any ages, willing to find out something more about Australian history and the Gold Rush.