Saturday, 7 December 2013

Getting my social butterfly wings back on

We had a black-out that lasted twenty hours this weekend, so the first thing of my list of Ten Things of Thankful  this week is that the power did finally come back on. I was beginning to feel like a Girl Guide all over again and starting to realise that I'm not too good these days at roughing it up without electricity and life's little luxuries, like hot coffee.

In light of that, my second thing to be thankful for would have to be my new friend Belinda who came to pick me and Ben up this morning to drive us and her daughter to Athletics and who, after I'd explained our electricity debacle to her on the phone, arrived at our house with an extra large double-shot, piping-hot take-away coffee for me.

"You're not getting in my car before you've had a coffee", she said as she handed it to me. Bless her, looks like this girl knows me already!

This week I'm also thankful that I seem to have got my social butterfly wings back on again after feeling like a social moth for most of the year. I thankful for those wonderful friends of mine who have come to visit, invited me out, called with fantastic news, listened to me and laughed with me.

3. I thankful that my friend, Esther, who has been my friend since I was five years old but who I hadn't seen for a year and a half came down from Perth to stay with us for two days. The two of us were able to escape alone together for an hour to go out to High Tea at a beautiful old stone cottage near my house called Magiric Emporium.

They were able to whip us up some incredible delicacies, despite our requirement that everything be gluten free and lactose free (Esther can't have the lactose and I can't have the gluten - together we make a chef's worst nightmare!)

Note to self: In future, do not go to high tea on an empty stomach (we gobbled up these little beauties in about five minutes flat!)

If you click on Magiric Emporium's facebook page and scroll down a little, you can see a picture of us there too.

4. We also went out to dinner on her last night. Ben came along to chaperone.

I'm thankful for her thoughtfulness in buying Ben the latest book in his current favourite series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, to read while we chatted.

                                         (I'm pretty sure the book was a good choice :)

I thankful that they had some delicious gluten-free options on the menu at this place too ...

                                     (GF pizza marinara followed by creme brulee - yum yum!)

Most of all, I'm thankful for the fantastic company. Isn't it wonderful to have friend who you can 'pick up where you left off' with, no matter how much time has gone past since you last saw them?

5. I'm thankful I had a chance to catch up with my lovely friend Laura, who came down on a road trip for a couple of nights. The kids and I went to visit her in the holiday apartments where she was staying. Ben had a swim in the pool there while we chatted and played with his little sister. We had a great chat, as we always do ... she's always got loads of great stories to tell me about her travels and her enormous Italian family.

6. As I mentioned in this post, I saw my nephew briefly when I picked him up from the bus stop at the start of his week of partying in celebration of the end of high school (our academic year ends in November/December in Australia and the kids in their final year of school go on what has now become a culturally embedded tradition of week-long partying thereafter). Although I only got to see him for an hour or so, it was wonderful to be able to chat to him about his plans for the future.

(I wasn't quick enough to get a photo with him this time, but here's a bit of a blurry one of the two of us taken a few years ago).

7. We went to the absolutely beautiful, much anticipated and utterly romantic wedding of one of my former work-mates, Kelly. The day before, it bucketed with rain, but on the morning of the wedding the sun came out good and strong and shone its light for the gorgeous couple. It stayed shining right through the day and then while we were driving home, it started to pour again. How's that for good timing?!

As is usually the case when I am having fun, I forgot to take many photographs. The bride and groom had also requested that the ceremony itself be an "unplugged" event, meaning they requested their guests switch off their phones and cameras so they could be wholly present in the moment with them. So I left my camera at home, but I did manage to snap a few shots with my phone ...

Here's one of the view from the balcony just outside the restaurant

It's such a spectacular view, all the way out to the ocean. The ceremony took place where those people are gathered. They're not the wedding party though - they're some people who were rehearsing their own wedding ceremony for the following day :)

8. I'm thankful that Ben didn't cause any major catastrophes  behaved himself relatively well throughout the day. Another one of my former colleagues, who shall remain nameless, thought it would be a nice idea to teach him how to catch flies. Unfortunately, he's a pretty fast learner and managed to accumulate a rather large collection of dead flies which he kept in his possession for most of the day. So there went my nine years of conscientious behaviour management out the window! :) No photos of that as I'd actually rather banish that memory, but I did get this photo of him during one of his more subdued moments ...

9. I'm thankful for my friend Sharyn (another former work-mate, but not a fly catching one) who often drops by to visit me on her way home from work and frequently brings me stay-at-home-mum survival packs, which include chocolate, magazines and girly things like face masks and peppermint foot scrub. She puts random acts of kindness into action so often and I am truly blessed to know her.

10. Finally, I'm thankful for a surprise visit I had from my friend Marina, an old school friend who I've know since our first year of primary school and who I mentioned in this post used to skip religion classes with me in high school to go and hide in the music rooms and play the piano together. I hadn't seen her for almost six years and a few days ago I got a text message saying "I'm in Busselton [the town I live in], where are you?" Half an hour later, we were drinking tea together in my backyard. In the years since we last caught up, so many things have happened in both our lives, including her living extensively in India, but all the changes we've both been through didn't make conversation difficult. On the contrary.We hardly came up for air the entire time we were chatting :)

As she was leaving, she took this photo of us on her phone

Writing up my Ten Things of Thankful list just now made me think of a quote I read a long time ago:

        Some people make the world a better place just by being in it.

Ten Things of Thankful

Don't you agree? 

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