CHThis week has been pretty damn good. Not all good, let's not get carried away there, but you have to count your blessings really. You can't let the fact that they ran out of almond milk for your latte get you down, because that would be a total JERK MOVE (even if you did go out of your way to get the bus to the nice stand on Martin Place at 7 AM). But, in order of the days and the goodtimes, thank you MONDAY for the Clovelly walk and the golden sun and sea air even though my back was sore and I could barely make it to Bronte, to TUESDAY for the thoughtful card from my bestie who didn't put her name on it, but has been sending me curly-hadwritten notes for twenty years now, to WEDNESDAY for the framed picture of four of the best smiles I know, for no reason, all the way from the Victorian coast, to THURSDAY for the cheese I ate, standing in my kitchen at twilight, wine in hand, listening to the new Decemberists album while I cooked dinner, and to FRIDAY for leaving work at 4 PM, just because I felt like it, and the old 'dinner and a movie' date ahead with the lovely Ngaio.

* Image by Camille Henrot


GFI have done a bit of GRATEFUL here before, but recently got invited to do a little exercise over on fb. It's a kind of social media in-between world that I often find odd, but having so many friends living out their lives in other towns and states and countries, it continues to allow me to stay in touch. I love knowing what article a friend is reading / posting, or seeing pictures of friends children that I might otherwise miss. Not to mention all that good youtube tomfoolery. So when my friend Sophie asked me to take part in a five day challenge, I thought 'lovely'. For five days I shared three things I was grateful for. I found it to be a pretty wonderful thing to do - not for the listing it myself, this is something I try to do most nights before bed, in my head, but because I was so touched by how many friends commented and liked and got involved. Friends I haven't heard from in a while took the time to share their thoughts which I found really special. I've included my bits and pieces below, in case you were wondering...

DAY ONE: *After a weekend at yoga teacher training I am feeling sore and tired but very grateful that I have a healthy body. A healthy body that allows me to stretch and move and bend and hold and flow and sweat, and a mind that allows me to learn and explore all these ideas and concepts and philosophies. Yoga is one of the reasons I feel so happy in my body and with what I have. * Spending an evening cooking dinner and listening to The Moth podcast (wonderful storytelling). If I am feeling stressed or tired or overwhelmed, an hour in my kitchen. barefoot, with a glass of red wine and good music or stories is the best thing for it. It calms me and nourishes me inside and out. * Honey, pure and simple. I'm coming down with a head cold so am very blocked up and have a killer sore throat, so have drunk about five cups of chai and am on my second chamomile tea, all thick with honey.

DAY TWO: * Today I watched part of the LIFE documentary, which is a longitudinal study that follows the development of a group of kids at ages 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. Life at 9 focused on the benefits of creativity in young people's lives, and part of it was filmed during a workshop at the Sydney Story Factory. It was so good to see my amazing friend Matt and lots of our other volunteers in action - I am grateful to be a small part of this community, because I think what we do is super important. * I walked home from work just after 6 and it was still kind of light. I am grateful for the longer days and the changing of seasons - dusk is my favourite hour, the in-between of daylight and nighttime where things feel softer and a little more special. Walking though Prince Alfred Park on this mild evening the sky was rosy and the lights flickered on just as I got to the intersection. * I am grateful for the postcard from my sister that was waiting in my letterbox when I got home. It made me laugh (a lot) and is one of the many hundred we have sent each other for the last 15 years that we have lived in different houses and states and countries.

DAY THREE: * After getting all swoony over last night's sunset, today I am grateful for the sunrise. I work out in Glebe some mornings, in a park by the water and it's dark for the first ten minutes or so, and I am so busy trying to stay warm and kick arse, that sometimes I miss it. But today's sunrise was all bursting, rosy clouds. 
* I am grateful for hamburgers, generally, but especially the Luxe burger with pickles and fries I had in Bondi tonight. And, as a side note, the glass of wine I washed it down with. 
* I got paid for a small writing project this week and I am grateful for a bit of extra pocket money so I can buy a new Turkish rug for the lounge room.

DAY FOUR: * I get to work my own hours and today I left at 4 PM just because I felt like it - so grateful. I walked home and bought a bottle of rosè. Game over.
* My parents are actually the kindest and most generous and supportive people in the whole world and I am ALWAYS grateful for their love. They are in sunny Queensland right now on a well-earned break. Peace-out folks! 
* I am grateful that today I got emails and messages and phone calls from some people that I love who just want to share their day or thoughts with me. That this happens most days and that these people are amazing is just the best.

DAY FIVE: * So VERY grateful for and amazed by my hilarious, hard working and generous friends and family who pitched in to help me at the Sydney Story Factory today as we cleaned, unpacked and counted 3 million tins for stocktake. What would have taken Vanessa and I three days was a dreamy 7 hours and the Embassy looks outstanding. Thank you! 
* This afternoon was the last class at my yoga studio with the spectacular Persia. She is the most inspiring, kind, intelligent and funny teacher I have practiced with and she has been a shining light for me this last year - always grateful. She lead us through a strong and engaging class that had me sweating buckets and feeling amazing. * Exhausted and very pleased to say I am grateful - already - for tomorrow's sleep in. For the first time in over a month I will be able to sleep later than 7 AM and I am bursting with happiness at the very thought of it!

{image by L}


20140124-223545.jpgSome things making me happy right now: * Emails from best friends, far away. * A favourite Lauren Moffatt dress on half-price sale, now just waiting to be worn (remember how much I was lusting after it) * This AMAZING Journey cover by the Jezabels, which had me rolling on the bus to work this morning in a big way. * Two hours of massage and acupuncture for my sore old neck and back on a rainy Friday night. * And now a glass of wine in bed and a whole long weekend ahead of me.


BLUESome things I'm grateful for this week:* A moment of sudden, bursting from the insides pure, laugh out loud glee - my kind of science. * My housemate Tola's ability to predict any craving I might have (we actually both came home from work on Monday with salmon, green beans and cherry tomatoes, I mean, GET OUT OF MY HEAD, so amazing). * The fact that they're playing Friday Night Lights on channel one at the moment. I caught an episode this evening and between Landry, Tim Riggins, Tammy and the Coach and a whole lot of Southern drawl my night is made. * Lighter spring mornings have made getting up for yoga just after five a whole lot easier. I'm not naturally a morning person, but I sure love getting a start on things and feeling like I stole a few more hours of daylight and bright. * Best of all was an email from my good friend Stephen asking if I'd be a (long-distance) godmother to his new baby girl Gracie Mae. This little lady is just a month old and an absolute picture, not to mention about to get a whole lot of postcards and other side of the world Christmas gifts. I have a little craft project in mind for her to kick things off...

{and some Pinterest floral to keep things cheery up top, there}


20130702-215112.jpgMy old friend Sathya and I email each other about the things we are grateful for. Sometimes we send longer messages with news, or recipes we've liked, but we got into a habit for a while there of just writing about three things we were grateful for. Three things that right that moment were making us happy, pleasing us, feeling a bit easier and kinder in our days. It's a very nice insight actually, to reflect on what it is that's getting you through, and what things your friend - all those states away - is thinking about and valuing. Today I am grateful for a lot. Most specifically:

* I am grateful that I have a warm and dry old house, and a cosy and pillow-full bed. With all this weather in Sydney, all the buckets of rain and winds that bite, I am every day grateful that I have a home to shelter me from it all. It's simple, but golly if it isn't the most amazing and important thing.

* I am grateful for the new National album. I think Matt's voice is rich as honey and the lyrics thick with description and mood. I don't mean to rattle on about the rain and cold, but it's here and you might as well listen to something that puts a bit of heart behind it.

* I am grateful / obsessed with my Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Scrub. My dearest Kell gave it to me for my birthday and I could about eat it for breakfast it is that good. I love what the Aesop folks do, everything so creamy and deliciously but-not-at-all-overpoweringly scented. Natural, Australian made, beautifully designed - quite the package really. And this scrub leaves my freckled and wintry skin soft as can be and not at all dry.

Image from my Instagram feed - my MERCI charm, my daily reminder to be thankful...