Thursday, 29 March 2012

Dining Out

As a kid I loved reading and I loved watching TV.  These were my two favourite activities while on holidays.  I was often told, "Go outside and get some fresh air in your lungs."  The air in our house was probably fresher than the air outside in the city, but there was more implied.  

One of my favourite wake up calls was when Dad came in full of energy saying, "Up, up, up, up, up.  It's a be-yootiful day.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the [insert day specific activity here (eg. sheep are waiting in the yards)]" while his arms waved like he was levitating us out of be in time to his "up"s.

I think having a stationary office job makes you appreciate time outside, but I think I have an even stronger appreciation, because I've lived in London.  London has plenty of great things happening all the time, but it's also no secret that its weather is not a main attraction.

Now, when I get home from work and it's one of those still, just-comfortable evenings, I am dead keen to get outside and take advantage of it.  The same goes for when it's sunny at lunch time or any other chance I have.  Tonight was one of those nights, and today had one of those lunch times.  It's a good thing for our bank account that Lee and I have such busy evenings as my first thought is, "Let's go and eat outside in Lygon St."

I would love to sit on our balcony, feet up on the balustrade, looking out over the houses, but unfortunately our balcony is full of bikes.  Instead it was the grassy verge between the roads (it's hard to explain).  I made myself comfortable on the cooch grass, crickets in the background, an occasional insect buzzing past, and when I had finished, I lay back and searched for pictures in the clouds.

Eating outside is part of the culture.  Staying with Co-Head Coach Lu (and Pete) yesterday I was invited into their "dining room", which could also be called their balcony, for a delicious breakfast of pesto scrambled eggs and ricotta cheese in the fresh Sydney air.

Picture these:
- the verandah
- cafes spilling onto the street verge
- picnic and cricket/soccer/frisbee in the park
- the good ol' Aussie BBQ.
They are so much a part of the Australian lifestyle that we can take them for granted.  

I'm just glad I don't.  Thanks London.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Sunscreen and Sock tan

I am earning a crust again.  I'm still the Bread Eater in our partnership, but we can afford some pretty decent bread.
(As a quick aside, we were given Michael and Jan's breadmaker when they moved to Seattle, so we've been enjoying some delicious fresh-baked bread.)
This means that I no longer have as much of that dearly-loved Time.  In fact, looking at my calendar I'm starting to panic a bit.  We have come home and slotted into some previously-established habits, such as Monday night league and club training.  On top of that we have brought back some new interests, such as photography and are getting more involved in the professional scene in Melbourne too.  Having been away and isolated from our families, we're also keen to make sure that our connections with family are frequent too.

On Friday, it was announced that I was one of the lucky ones selected for the Australian Women's Masters team.  This means a trip to Japan at the start of July.  I am also the Co-Head Coach of the Women's Juniors team - which means a trip to Dublin at the start of August.  The preparation for these two events will be a fairly big commitment in the coming months.  Already I am seeing the outcome from full weekends outside with a developing t-shirt and sock tan, and last night experienced that familiar sensation of scraping layers of sunscreen from my face - still better than sunburn.

We thought we were busy before we left, but bringing back our 'full' life from London, plus time for friends and family, means we're approaching new heights.  I think the outcome will be a couple of tanned, fit and life-fulfilled Australians, and hopefully not two strung-out shells of beings.