Day 4: A Day of Pure Existence

No. of words I wrote: 1043

No. of photos I took of lizards: 16

No. of times I made a wish that my future children will be as engaged with a movie as the one that was sitting next to me: 14,000

I began the day by searching for a café to have breakfast, laptop in hand. Due to the mood I was in, I found this quite difficult. No, no, no, no, no, no … ehhhhh … no, no, no, no.

Finally deciding on a place to eat, I sat and immediately opened my laptop and began to type. I was surprised by how engrossed I got. I was determined to get as many words out of me whilst I had the chance.

I sat there for a good hour and a half, oblivious to all the people walking past, all the other diners, all of the staff. I sat and wrote until I thought I had outstayed my welcome … and my laptop was losing its charge.

I headed back to my hotel room, put my laptop on charge and decided to explore the City Botanic Gardens. They were gorgeous. The sun was out, and so were the lizards—sunbaking, enjoying the sunlight slowly heating their blood. They were obviously used to the attention. Most of them just sat there silently judging all of the people taking photos and fawning over how cool they looked. I was one of those people. They were awesome.

Next stop was the bookstore. I spent about an hour in there, browsing, taking in all of the pretty covers and just generally enjoying being in the company of books. I left having purchased two carefully chosen books.

I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around shops, looking at clothing and buying a few things here and there.

Back in my hotel room, nearly falling asleep, I made the decision to go and see the new Beauty and the Beast. I was seated next to a little girl who gave her own unprompted and innocence driven commentary throughout the entire thing and I have never been more happy to have my movie viewing repeatedly interrupted. In short, the movie was entirely magical. I loved it immensely.

It was the perfect end to my day.

***

Advertisements

Day 3: Animal Bonanza

No. of teas before 10am: 2

No. of times I was astounded by the innocence of children: 2

No. of times I wished that I could take an animal home: 14,000

Today ran so much smoother … probably due to the fact that I wasn’t the one in control of organisation.

Entirely by chance, I found out a couple of weeks ago that my uncle, aunt, cousin and my cousin’s friend were to be staying nearby. So they kindly offered to come and get me in their hire car and take me to the zoo for the day. It was awesome.

After about an hour’s car trip, we finally arrived at the home of Steve, Bindi, Robert and Terri Irwin – Australia Zoo. This was my first visit, and I have to say I was impressed. Of course, Steve Irwin’s aim in life was to get the general public to be as passionate about the conservation of the world’s wildlife as he was. He wanted to share his passion with the world and I think that it’s made apparent at this zoo.

We saw everything from lizards, to koalas, to kangaroos, to giraffes, to lemurs and even an alligator snapping turtle.

Over the course of the day, we witnessed the Irwins, themselves, feeding crocodiles and we saw three keepers have a play with three tiger cubs (when I say tiger cubs, we’re not talking little. We’re talking the size that could easily maul you, but still young enough to be called “cub”).

In short, I uttered the word “cute” a lot and stared at a lot of animals.

A good day, right?

***

Day 2: Up in the Air

No. of times I got lost: 3
No. of times I made an idiot of myself: 3
No. of times I considered napping: 14,000

The morning of day two went thus:

5.27am Woke up remembering I had not booked a shuttle to take me from the airport to my hotel.

6am Booked shuttle.

6.45am Alarm went off.

7.30am Left the bestie’s.

8.47am Arrived at airport.

After arriving at the airport, I went through the usual rigmarole – boarding pass, checked luggage, boarding, seats and tray tables in the upright position.

When we touched down and I was reunited with my luggage, I headed off on a shuttle bus to the city. Due to all of the stops we had to make along the way, I got a pretty rounded view of the city I had now found myself in.

After disembarking from the bus, I made my way around the corner to the hotel I was staying at and marched pointedly up the reception desk, told them my surname and instantly my jaw hit the desk.

‘No, I’m sorry, we don’t have a reservation under that name. Are you sure you booked with us?’

‘Yes. Well, I think so.’

”Have you got the right one? There are a few of us around the city?’

Of course, in typical Sarah fashion, I had not taken it into account that there might be more than one hotel with the same name in the same city. I mean, I knew it was a chain, but I just didn’t think that there could be two in the same suburb. Anyway, of course I had the wrong one, and of course I would be the one to make that mistake. So off I went … four blocks (approximately) to the other hotel, where I did have a booking.

Despite a few mishaps (I wouldn’t be me without them), there were a couple of things that I witnessed at the airport and on the plane, though, that made me smile.

  1. In the food court at the airport, I witnessed the children of a young family play a spelling game between themselves.
  2. I sat next to an elderly woman and her daughter whilst waiting to board and I learnt more about them in five minutes than I thought I would.
  3. I sat opposite a baby and his mum on the plane. He was a restless little soldier, but when she flicked through the pages of a magazine, he was completely mesmerised.

These three things, made me marvel at the world. Small things, small actions can make someone else’s life that much more enjoyable.

I knew I was going to be nervous today. I made myself promise I would push myself. So I did. I talked to those strangers sat next to me and I went out in the afternoon and evening even though all I wanted was to sleep.

So, on the whole a good day.

I’m off to bed. I can barely keep my eyes open.

See you tomorrow for day 3.

Psst! It’s gonna be a good one.

***

Follow me on social media!


Twitter



Facebook



RSS


Day 1: A Rocky Start.

Total no of phone calls to Dad: 4

Total no of phone calls to the bestie: 5

Total no of times I nearly cried in frustrated rage: 14,000

After a slow start to the day …

PicsArt_04-02-09.58.41

I set off from home at around 10.30am. Everything was great. I packed in record time and I had everything I needed (or so I thought).

I got ten minutes from home and realised I had left hair ties at home. Not a big deal. I could get some replacements on my way. I wouldn’t be able to survive without them. My hair falls down to the small of your back, and is sometimes quite unruly and needs to be tamed with a nice high ponytail. I digress.

Thirty minutes from home, I realised that I had wet washing in my washing machine that I hadn’t hung out. After four days away, they were going to be well and truly mouldy and unwearable. Back I went.

Fifteen minutes later, I was back on the road.

About two-thirds of the way to Melbourne, I made a loo stop, only to find that my car was struggling to start. Car troubles are not uncommon for me. They seem to happen when I least need them to happen. After a couple of tries, I got him up and running again and off I headed.

Arriving in Melbourne, I as usual with me, got lost …

But I have now finally made it to Melbourne, and am now in the comfort of my bestie’s apartment. I have cooked us both dinner of Indian-Style Lamb and Eggplant Pizzas…

and I have made her bed, given her presents … and am currently ignoring her presence because I am writing. OH GOD, I’M A TERRIBLE FRIEND.

So … day one has been a rocky one. But I eventually made it here, and dinner turned out to be a smashing success.

I’m now off to spend some quality time with my favourite person!

See you tomorrow!

***

Dear Holidays

Dear Holidays,

Thou art a bittersweet novelty.

You arrive and depart in what feels like the same second. Why?

The time leading up to a holiday is the longest to endure. You are so full of excitement, every minute feels like an excruciating hour. When that time arrives, you can’t believe it’s here. You’re boarding a plane, you’re loading up your car; you’re “getting the hell out of dodge”, basically.

There’s something about embedding yourself in an environment you aren’t familiar with. It’s scary as hell … but you thrive off it. Somehow, though we are on the same planet, it gives us this feeling that we are cheating life, and are running away from life and our responsibilities. It’s such a powerful thing. Of course, what really happens is that all those responsibilities and life stresses that we think we are running away from are well and truly present and accounted for, stacked on your doorstep when you return. Funny that.

When you arrive at your destination, it’s bliss. You can’t wait to go out and explore this new world you have found yourself in. And it doesn’t stop. You walk more in one day than you usually would in a week. You’ve come to this place to relax, but you end up jamming so much into your day, that relaxing becomes an absurd concept. How can you relax, when you are confronted with so much to see and do?

And then before you know it, whether it’s for six months or three days, it’s over. And you are on the plane back to your hometown, back to work, school, whatever is you do. And on that first day back, you find yourself wishing that you booked your trip for that one day longer. You wish you could go back, and you long for the time you can book another holiday to take you away from the responsibilities and stresses that you have just returned to.

As you may have guessed, tomorrow I go on holidays. I am so exited to go. It’s going to be epic. It’s a writer’s holiday. I’m going to be spending my days, taking in the world around me and writing about it.

So … You have a whole six days in a row with me this week … starting tomorrow.

***

Follow me on social media for immediate and visual updates on my trip!

Review: ‘Lola and the Boy Next Door’

I am not pretending that this isn’t a cheat’s post. I know it is. But I haven’t had the time to write a proper one today. I apologise. But I thought that I would give you a review of one of the books that I have read recently.

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins

This book is the second in the Anna and the French Kiss series. It’s young adult, it’s easy to read, and it’s a feel-good book.

When I first started reading this book, I was sceptical. I had loved the first one, and I was wary that this one would fall short of my expectations. But I was surprised. I ended up loving it.

Lola is the girl who dresses strangely. She wears bright wigs and clothes to express herself, and she has a flare for it. She’s always dreamed of walking into her school dance in a dress that Marie Antoinette would swoon over. She has an older rockstar boyfriend and, apart from her dads not approving of her choice of boyfriend, her life is pretty ok.

Cricket lives next door. He’s spent his entire life living under his twin sister’s wing. He’s always loved Lola from afar. When he moves back to town, he thinks it’s a sign to finally make his move, but the one thing he doesn’t account for is the possibility of Lola already being taken.

This story is heart-warming and heartfelt. It left me wanting more, and desperately wanting Cricket and Lola to finally get together (what can I say? I’m a softie). If you love a good, innocent love story in Young Adult form, definitely give this one a shot. It’s worth it. Trust me.

***

Follow me of social media!

V is for Victoria

I have been watching the television series Victoria. It’s incredible.

When I bought it, last weekend, I had heard limited things about it. I heard that it was good, but had no idea as to what the focus of the programme would be, other than Queen Victoria.

As a lover of everything to do with the English monarchy, it was in my hand, paid for, and out of the store before I knew it. I was anxious to start watching. Queen Victoria has always been a subject of interest for me, but one I never pursued much further than watching The Young Victoria on television once. I suppose this is not much different.

There are a couple of things in the life of Queen Victoria, I have since learned through watching Victoria and the subsequent research I have undertaken, that stick in mind more than others.

  1. Queen Victoria was not the daughter of a king. She was the niece of William IV, and due to an obscene amount of luck, though she had three uncles to contend with for the role monarch, she became queen.
  2. Her name was not actually Victoria. She was born Alexandrina Victoria, and when she became queen, she adopted her second name.
  3. She married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg. Though their marriage was originally somewhat arranged, they fell in love quickly and deeply. They had nine surviving children.
  4. She reigned for just under 64 years (from 1837-1901). Up until recently, she was the longest reigning monarch of England when she was overtaken by Elizabeth II (girls rule!!)
  5. She was eighteen when she became queen. There was a lot of speculation surrounding her youth and her sex and whether she was able to rule a kingdom, but she pressed on and became one of the most admired and respected monarchs the United Kingdom has ever seen.

Victoria has Jenna Coleman in the role of Queen Victoria and Tom Hughes in the role of Prince Albert. Both work stupendously together, and tell a wonderful story with the help of their co-stars, producers, directors and alike.
On the whole, I love this television thus far, and cannot wait to see more.

I think it has sparked my motivation to learn more about Queen Victoria. Before you know it, I may be able to spout her life story at length and by heart.

So from one short lady, talking about another short lady, I bid you adieu. And I advise you to watch this incredible love letter to a most admired monarch.

See you Tuesday!

***

Follow me on social media:


Twitter



Facebook



RSS


Dear Drivers

Dear Drivers,

I spent most of the weekend driving. I drove at least 1090 kilometres (676 miles) over the weekend. I averaged about 272 kilometres (196 miles). That’s a very long way in my book; I don’t know about yours. By the time I got home yesterday and stopped concentrating, I was half asleep and yawning every five seconds.

For the most part, I enjoyed driving with you, but there were exceptions.

When I first started driving, I was a bit older than most. Here, we get out learner’s permit at sixteen years old. I was nineteen. This is not because I didn’t have the opportunity to get my learner’s permit. I just didn’t want it. In hindsight, I probably should have just got my licence when I first had the chance, but somehow, I don’t think I would have been ready.

I’m a pretty nervous person, so getting my learner’s permit at sixteen, when I had a lot of other things to worry about and consider, probably would have made me flip out. That’s probably not something that should happen when you are in control of a vehicle travelling at high speeds … Whereas, when I was nineteen, I had mellowed and I finally felt ready to take that next step toward maturing.

I think when you are sixteen, you are so ready to grow up and say goodbye to childhood, that you jump into driving with next to no serious design in learning. Then when you are put behind the wheel of a car, supervised by a licenced adult, and you have to try your best not to be the cause of racking up a buttload of car repair and medical bills, your teenage brain kind of sobers.

Now that I am fully licenced, I see it more and more. Kids on their learner’s permit, sitting in the driver’s seat beside their parents, looking absolutely petrified. Not so scared that they might, in a panic, run headfirst into a wall, but the kind of petrified that looks as though they have realised they haven’t quite thought the decision to start driving through.

And how tiring is driving when you first start? I mean, I could have had external factors making me so tired when I was first learning, but I found that I was desperate for a nap soon after every drive I had. Now, though, I am used to it, though the concentration that driving demands still slowly sucks the vitality from me. That’s what driving breaks are for!

In short, I have been known to love a good drive; usually a long one. And, perhaps, others may have been right in saying that I was unwise to refuse to get my licence for so long, but … I don’t regret it. I have more than made up for it. And I almost like it now.

***

See you Saturday, and don’t forget to follow me on social media!

Huckleberry Farm

Yesterday, I took to Facebook and Instagram and asked for yet another set of five words for a five word challenge.
This time, I chose the set: hunger, strawberries, pillow, music, shower.
HERE WE GO!

***

Huckleberry Farm

I never intended for my life to turn out this way. I feel like a lot of people say that, but, really, it’s true. When I got this job—strawberry picker at Huckleberry Farm—I thought it would an after school/on the weekends sort of job. Then after school turned into after graduation, and after graduation turned into indefinitely. I didn’t think to find the off switch until it was too late. I was hooked.

When my teachers asked me what I wanted to be, I always said a pharmacist. I know. Though I would always say this, I was never sold on it. I just thought it would get me more money than other jobs, and I thought that I could probably be able to get the qualifications for it. That’s the me that my parents wanted me to turn out like; not like the Farmer Ted I now am.

I love being out in the sun, planting, watering, crouching over the rows, monitoring ripening, and finally plucking each juicy fruit from their leafy green shelter.

Admittedly, the fruit incites hunger that I had never before experienced. Being around enticing food constantly, is difficult when you aren’t allowed to eat it.

‘Declan!’ Harriet’s voice floats from the door of the small shop.

‘Yo!’ I straighten and wipe my forearm across my forehead.

‘Could you check row 240 for snails? I noticed yesterday they were chomping on the leaves. I put bait out, but I haven’t checked to see if it needs more.’

‘Sure thing, Harriet!’ I sigh, placing my bucket of strawberries at my feet and readjusting my hat.

A car rolls down the driveway. The drum beat of the music playing inside it is thumping loudly. I could see a girl about my age nodding her head to the beat. I could almost guarantee she is on an errand for her mother. They always are.

Leaving the bucket there, I head in the direction of row 240 on the back of the farm’s four-wheeled motorbike. We have three hundred of these two hundred metre long rows of strawberry plants. Frank, Harriet’s partner, and I are the only pickers and maintenance men.

They work me to the bone. That’s the way I like it.

That way, I can go home knowing, I have earned every cent of my wage. I can shower and feel cleansed. My head can hit my pillow and I can fall asleep in the same instant. Those are just some of the perks of a job like this.

So, yeah, maybe my life isn’t the way I intended it to turn out.

Maybe it’s better.

***

There you go! I will see you Tuesday!

In the meantime, follow me on socials:


Twitter



Facebook



RSS


U is for Umbrellas

I don’t know why I woke up this morning going, “Today, I’m going to write about umbrellas,” but here we are.

Umbrellas.

It’s a weird word. It looks wrong, like somebody picked up magnetic letters a child dropped on the kitchen floor and decided to put them in any semblance of an order.

Apparently, the first recorded folding umbrella came into being in 21 AD. I know. I’m astonished too.. It was used as a source of shade on a four-wheeled carriage in Ancient China.
But they were used in ancient civilisations all over the world as protection from unruly and scorching weather.

My first recorded umbrella had Winnie the Pooh on it. It was awesome! It had alternated red and yellow panels with pictures of Winnie on the red ones. I carried it everywhere – much to my parents’ dismay. You never knew when the weather would turn sour!
On a particularly blustery day, about a year after I first got it, my umbrella promptly turned inside out, and was unable to be put right again. I remember watching its funeral procession as it was driven down the driveway to the tip on the tray of my dad’s ute. I couldn’t believe it was gone.

I never did find another umbrella I loved as much; nor have I had such an interest in them. I find myself missing that loud, red and yellow monstrosity. I don’t know why.

Perhaps the most famous depiction of an umbrella in fiction is Mary Poppins’ classic parrot handled umbrella. I’m quite excited at the possibility of seeing it return in the movie remake (Yes, I did just say that).

When I was a kid, I thought it would be such a cool thing to have an umbrella that could talk to you and help you fly. I mean, what kid wouldn’t. I don’t think I ever went as far as testing out my Winnie the Pooh umbrella in this way. I could have been in for quite a shock if, on a rainy day, Pooh began muttering ‘Oh, bother’ at the rain dripping on his head.

Now, though, I just see umbrellas as a pain in the behind. They are bulky and difficult to carry without getting in the way – whether that be folded or unfolded. If there is even the tiniest bout of wind, the umbrella either turns itself inside out, or, the rain ends up soaking you to the bone regardless of whether you have the umbrella up or not.

Though I understand there are immense pros to having an umbrella handy, for me, those cons are irrefutable … even if they are as cool as my Winnie the Pooh one.

***

See you Saturday!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media.


Twitter



Facebook



RSS