41. Malaysia – Part 3

Our final 4 days/3 nights of this adventure have seen us in Kuala Lumpur, our accomodation dilemma (see part 2) solved with me getting into Princess mode and booking a Presidential Suite at Vortex Hotel. Holy Wow is all I can say!!! Sometimes the upgrade is worth every single penny, and in this case it absolutely was!!

A central location with everything in easy reach – perfect for all of our exploring. The view was beyond spectacular – one side Centre Point Tower on the other Petronas Tower, in between a billion lights and the kings palace, in the distance Genting Highlands and Batu caves…. All of it magic!! Two levels of absolute luxury… two bedrooms and bathrooms, a full kitchen and lounge room and the most glorious deck complete with a jacuzzi! A truly epic way to finish our trip!

Our first full day in KL saw us taking advantage of the jacuzzi on our deck – Bubbles galore and just soooo decadent and indulgent! We also took advantage of the vastness of the view and embraced a bit of freedom! I loved it! It felt incredibly powerful and emotional… it was a big fat ‘Fuck you world!’

Once we decided we had wallowed and indulged ourselves enough, off we went… China Town and Central Market and a ton of shopping! I feel really sorry for my poor suitcase – it is stretched to it’s absolute limits! We also went to Masjad India and then dinner with L and J at Jalan Alore…. The colours, smells and crowds were fabulous. This was the ‘Asia’ that I had pictured in my head, although I did try to come here without any expectations wanting to be surprised and delighted by everything! The trip has absolutely exceeded any ideas that I had, although I probably haven’t been quite as brave with food choices as I might have been, but maybe that will come next time!?

China Town
Central Market
Jalan Alore

Day two saw us entertaining in our Unit. L and J came over along with another friend Z – someone else that they had all worked with on the Theme Park. Initially the plan had been to go out and meet somewhere for lunch, but with the epic view at our fingertips it would have been a waste to not use our space. It was exactly the right way to spend the day!!! We had all manner of delicious things to snack and nibble on – prawns and clams, Fried Rice, cherries and Dragon fruit, cheese and crackers, chocolate…. A proper feast!

After lunch Z drove us to her favourite Jeweller – perhaps a little bit of a dangerous thing to do!! I managed to spend quite a lot of money on a bangle that is beautiful!! I have been looking for one for ages and this felt right! This trip has made me decide that I will treat myself to some kind of trip each year (last year was Uluru for my Birthday) and a piece of jewellery- one for my birthday the other our anniversary. Claytie would probably roll his eyes, but would indulge me anyway… and this makes it feel like he’s with me in some small way!

My beautiful new bangle x

We finished the day with a Pampering session in the spa… hair treatments, face mask, bubbles and Epsom salts in the water… and of course a tiara each!! Proper girl time and such a fun thing to do! I have to say that the nervousness that I had before coming on this trip was not necessary… K and I have got along fabulously – we have laughed and cried and discussed the meaning of life! We are similar enough that it has been easy and different enough for it to be interesting… I have had a great time and I would absolutely travel with her again!!

Our final day has been spent trying to pack our suitcases and calculations for excess baggage costs… as well as one more trip to the shops haha! Neither of us is looking forward to the flight as the plane looks to be really full! Luckily we were able to negotiate staying the full day in our apartment until we need to leave for the airport, our flight isn’t until 10pm!

I have to say I have had the very, very best time on this trip. It has been beyond anything that I thought it might have been. I have been incredibly lucky to have been accepted by more wonderful people that I would never have become friends with if it wasn’t for Claytie, and I am so glad to have them in my world! Thank you K and L!!!

I am really happy that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and been brave – and this has absolutely felt like an incredibly brave thing for me to do. I have never really travelled without Claytie, but I know now that I can. I’m still not sure – in fact I know that I don’t want to travel on my own, but I absolutely want to travel a whole lot more and I am already planning where to go next… maybe Tasmania, New Zealand and definitely back to Germany at some stage – let me know if you want to come!!

40. Malaysia – Part 2

Part two of this travel story starts with leaving the Genting Highlands and heading towards Kuala Lumpur with a side serving of 272 steps at Batu Caves….

Genting, as mentioned previously, was K and Jerrods home for 3 years. He was involved with building the Theme park there and she decided rather than doing it FIFO (fly in fly out) she would move over too and they would have an adventure. Based on the stories I’ve been told, they absolutely did just that! Leaving there was bittersweet for K – there are still loads of people working and living there that remember them both very fondly, and it was really nice for me to see the impact that they had there – but we had other exciting places to go and see!

Our first stop was at Batu caves. A very famous monument for the Indian God Lord Murugan – a revered Tamil known as the god of war. The temple is guarded by a very impressive statue of Murugan with a height of 42.7m – it is the tallest statue in Malaysia. To get to the caves, you have a whopping 272 steps to climb (each painted in a different colour), keeping in mind that the humidity is at about 90% and temperatures are in the high 30’s, as well as the 100’s of monkeys that take up a lot of the handrails -they do make a good excuse to stop and catch your breath!

The view out from the top is spectacular, and the inside is also amazing (although there are quite a lot more steps inside that no one warned me about!). The limestone cavern is pretty epic, and it’s hard to know just where to look. There are shrines in several places inside and quite randomly also a lot of chickens! K was not able to make it to the top with me as she has very sore knees, but I am so glad I did it. My legs were absolutely like jelly by the end, and my clothing drenched from the heat and exertion, but it was absolutely worth it!

Next stop Kuala Lumpur and the one place we were both nervous to stay at – K’s best friend L’s friends (J) unit. She met us at the gate and was super proud and happy to have us staying in her space. We were much less sure as it a small unit (only one bed and a very strong smell of mothballs) in an area that felt quite uncomfortable for us. Lots of seedy looking men staring at us – and two blonde women definitely stand out in that area!

We kind of decided to park our discomfort and just moved on to checking out KL…. I think we walked about a million steps around the city, in and out of shopping centres, getting food and exploring. We got soaked with rain and laughed ourselves silly – We also avoided our accomodation as long as we could. We stayed up way later than we should have, repacking our suitcases for Langkawi as we were only allowed a 7kg hand luggage case.

Our morning flight to the island of Langkawi meant that we had to get up super early as the airport is an hours drive away… I made friends with some neighbourhood street cats waiting for our Grab to come, trying to avoid eye contact with random blokes.

On our arrival in this island paradise, we were whisked away by our pre arranged driver and taken to Casa Del Mar, our resort home for the next two nights. Our unit was a beach-facing bungalow and very luxurious! The view was amazing! L had very, very generously arranged all of this for us, and boy oh boy did he do good!!

The view from our room at Casa Del Mar

We dumped our stuff and got changed into clothes more suited to the much hotter weather, and off we went up and down the Main Street shopping up a storm! When the shopping got too heavy, we headed back to the resort for cocktails by the pool… such a decadent way to spend the afternoon! Dinner that night also turned into an adventure!! K remembered a place that she had been to before, raving about how good the food was… it was not!!! We both ordered Pad Thai and we’re served bright pink, sloppy noodles that we completely inedible!! We tucked our money under the plates and hot footed it out of there! Room service for us instead!

Nasty, nasty Pink Pad Thai!

Day two in Langkawi started with a yummy brekky by the pool which was just lovely, then a change of clothes into togs and a huge walk along the beach. The only thing I’ve been really disappointed with in Malaysia has been the amount of rubbish everywhere – and it was really evident along the sand! Another walk into town, more shopping and pizza for lunch- made by Iranian people in Malaysia at the beach, a very multicultural moment.

Dinner that night was at a market that we had been told would be at one end of town, but turned out to be in the opposite direction… a proper adventure! Loads of food stalls with very interesting offerings – I wasn’t brave enough for most of it, but I loved the experience!

Langkawi Night Market

A very long, dark walk back into town – and some nasty thigh chafing! We had another cocktail by the beach and a nice chat to some other resort guests (our neighbours in fact) while watching a beautiful marriage proposal. K and I got told that we should get into motivational speaking about our experience by our neighbours as they were quite moved by our conversation. I’m not sure that would be my cup of tea.. I don’t think I’m anything special, I’m just trying to figure out what my world is without Claytie in it – but I guess it is nice for people to realise that life can be very short and you need to live every moment.

Our last day in Langkawi saw us having another brekky by the pool and then packing our bags ready for check out. We did soak up some more sun both at the beach and pool before our driver came to pick us up. A delayed flight back to KL meant that we made a decision about where to stay – both of us agreeing that we wanted to finish our holiday on the same high note as every other moment has been.

I have loved every single experience of this trip and I am so glad that I didn’t let my anxiety stop me – I’ll always have it and I’m working out the best way to deal with it! I’m too young to not keep having adventures, and I know that Claytie would back me 100% with this. Stay tuned for part 3 of this epic trip!

39. Malaysia – Part 1

“Arnie and Danny do Malaysia”
Names taken from the movie Twins, starting Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito … I’ll let you work out who is who!

Our trip, the one I have been nervous about for some time, started with a bit of a fizz… a text message at 2am to say our flight would be at least 2 hours delayed.. uh oh we thought, but it was all fine. Brekky at the airport following security clearance, and then we were off! We chose the back end of the plane for our seats – which worked out super well… plenty of spare seats to be able to spread out! I hate flying and did my usual anxiety take off routine – being laughed at by my friend K – which was probably deserved – I know it’s ridiculous!

The flight was, as flights often are, a long and tedious 8 1/2 hours, and the security queue at the KL airport was next level chaos! We then had a 3 hour drive into the Genting highlands. A trip that normally takes 1 1/2 hours doubled in time because of a public holiday long weekend for a Muslim holy day. To say we were exhausted on arrival would be an understatement.

We did manage a bit of a sleep in day one and then enjoyed some quality pool time, followed by a trip down to the local DFO shopping centre for a look around at all the big brands. Some more pool time and cocktails, and then a trip to the local village of Permai for dinner. That was definitely an experience! All the colour and smells – it is Durian season – a fruit that has the most pungent aroma- think vomit and sewage!… Cars driving everywhere and so many things to look at!

Day two saw us eating curry for breakfast before heading up the mountain! We went to see the Theme park that my friend K’s husband Jarrod was involved with building before his cancer diagnosis. It was such an interesting thing walking through the park with someone involved in its construction (K’s best friend L still lives and works there). We went up the mountain in a sky rail which was very high, very fast and mildly terrifying but with amazing views! On our way back down we stopped at the ChinSwee Caves Temple… a fabulous place with a giant stone Buddha and dioramas telling the story of the 8 gates of hell. I loved every minute of it!

Day 3 started with surprisingly noisy rain but is was a lovely morning to sit and wallow for a while. We had curry for brekky again. L came around to our room and we had some fabulous conversations… my new nickname is either Behemoth or Hindenburg (a strikingly attractive large object)… depending on the mood… I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it, but he has assured me that it is meant to be complimentary!?

I mentioned that I was yet to see monkeys – I had been told they would be everywhere on the golf course but hadn’t seen any, L organised his driver to take us to a spot we would be guaranteed to find them. And that we did! They were everywhere and quite terrifying up close! I was given half a loaf of bread to feed them, and once they saw the bag they were very enthusiastic and clearly hierarchical if the pushing, screeching and baring of teeth was anything to go by… but also very very cute!

When we went back to our resort, it was decided that we would complete the main reason for our trip… to place Jarrods ashes in a spot that he loved, one of the water holes that are on the golf course at the resort. It is a beautiful spot and it was a privilege and incredibly moving to be part of something so special. I didn’t know Jarred, but if it wasn’t for him, this trip and my friendship with K, and by association L, would never have happened. A nasty glass of his favourite Rum and Coke and L and K sharing their favourite memories rounded out the afternoon for us.

For dinner that night we went back down to Permai to eat at one of the local shops. It was almost impossible to get a Grab (like Uber) given it was one of the holiest days of the year for the Malay people, so when the local police chief offered to drive us down the hill to the village for dinner in his car that has a bullet hole in the side, we couldn’t say no!! The lady that runs the shop we went to, had promised to make my friends favourite curry, and was just so so happy when we came back to eat with her. There were plenty of tears from all of us – police chief included, when we discovered that we were all widowed – Echo Chamber of Misery – Malay chapter – sometimes it really feels like a very small world!

We had the very best chicken Randang curry I have ever eaten and a fabulous conversation with the locals! The Police chief very kindly also drove us home – and contrary to some of my boys predictions no one harvested my kidneys (or showed the slightest inclination for that to happen!). One last night in Genting and then on to part two.

There was a bittersweet sadness leaving the Highlands – K and Jarred’s home for 3 years, and heading on to KL and the next part of our adventure, but also excitement and enthusiasm for what was to come! …. Part two still in progress, but coming soon xx

38. Louis Theroux

So this week I had thought about and was definitely contemplating a more serious post…..Tomorrow morning I’m flying out to Malaysia – anxiety is peaking! It’s my wedding anniversary – it should be 27 years, but instead it is now two years without the most important person in my world… huge ANXIETY!!!

But I kind of talked about all of those things last week, and then Saturday night happened and that is absolutely worth telling about! … and sorry to those of you who have already heard this story during my need to debrief!

Recently I have been on some very random dates. I have for the most part enjoyed myself and have no real complaints other that it is super difficult to find someone that you connect with at the right level. There really are ALL kinds of people out there! How fussy do you let yourself be before it becomes ridiculous!? Is it that they didn’t stand up or kiss you hello? Or that they were entirely too touchy-feely? Is the look of someone’s hair or hands a reason not to go on a second date even though you spent several very enjoyable hours together over drinks and dinner!? Shaved legs, too hairy? Sneakers and longer socks? Does the way someone chews their food really matter? Jeans and thongs for a dinner date? How much communication is too much and screams unwanted commitment? A lot of it feels very very shallow, but I guess if they were the right person then those things wouldn’t matter.

Some things tho really, really matter! Last Saturday night I went on a VERY blind date with a guy I’d been chatting to who seemed reasonably well educated and well spoken. We hadn’t exchanged pictures, so I had no idea what he looked like but there were no real red flags at that stage as to why not to meet up …the time and place were organised, happily for me following on from a super enjoyable day catching up with my Uni girlfriends.

I Ubered to the designated spot and realised much too late that a photo should really be a compulsory check before meeting! I hate to say I’m so shallow that looks absolutely matter, but sometimes they do! Turns out there was a reason he did not show me his pictures ahead of time – think Montgomery Burnes from the Simpsons!!! The teeth, nose, hair… liver spots! It was all there – and too late at that stage to turn around!

I was greeted with a handshake – new for me on a date! We went for a drink and had a hugely enlightening conversation – the fellow is very firmly entrenched in the BDSM scene, and was looking for a submissive partner for his activities. Not what I had been expecting, but I thought why not find out all of the information I’ve ever wanted to know about such things! I channeled my inner Louis Theroux – a journalist and documentary film maker who I think is fabulous (look him up for those that have not heard his name before!) … Not sure old Monty knew quite what hit him, but he was very indulgent as I honestly asked at least a million questions – I feel like I am doing research for a book!!

I got educated! … questions asked and answered… some further ‘studying’ (?) to do, and my little mind exploding! Following the interrogation and perhaps to give himself a breather haha, he took me to an adult entertainment place in Brunswick street – he told me kind of what it would be like, and at that stage and so many questions in, I thought why not!? Downstairs is a sex toy shop and upstairs a combination of Peepshow rooms, glory holes and all manner of surfaces to use as required! I was given a tour and had all sorts of things explained to me (diagrams not necessary as the demonstrations were live!) … I’m not sure what I was expecting, certainly not this! – but it was definitely an interesting evening!

I’m not sure either of us got what we expected from this encounter, and I can guarantee there wont be a repeat, but I can’t say I’m sorry it happened. My number one takeaway from all of this tho is that you should definitely ask for a current photo, possibly have a more sane exit strategy, and if all else fails a very long list of questions to ask!

37. July

So we are just about in hell month for us, and it marks the end/beginning of another year without Claytie. Two years now without the very best person in our world, and it feels both like a life time and like it was just yesterday!

I will never ever forget the day our world changed. I try not to relive it too often, because the conscious nightmares are far worse than the sleeping ones, but every so often I need to play it out to make sure that I remember it right – not that I could ever forget! – and thank you if you’ve been a shoulder and ear for me on those days that I have needed to talk out loud about the details…. It feels like the only concrete way to convince myself that this isn’t some kind of weird altered reality. It’s kind of the glue holding all of the fractured old and new parts of myself together.

This year I decided to be proactive (and I’m not sure that’s the right word??) and to get in early. I took a whole bunch of time off, pretty much the entire month- last year I only gave myself those big dates and it didn’t work out so well for me. They ended up feeling so very different than I had anticipated, some slightly more expected and others that took me absolutely by surprise and flooring me with their impact. I really didn’t want to be surprised again, but imagine I will be, and by different things this year. That seems to be kind of how this rollercoaster works. The twists and turns and sinking feelings come from nowhere and steal your breath in the hardest ways.

This year I am also taking myself far away for the worst of those dates for me, my wedding anniversary. Last year I was only thinking about Clayties death anniversary and how hard that first one would be. I did not acknowledge ahead of time the fact that my 26th wedding anniversary would be without my husband. That day and my first birthday without him, making me older than he will ever get to be, were that days that broke me.

I will be travelling overseas this year, with a friend who is coming to the end of her first year without her husband. We are going to Malaysia for 10 days and will be making new memories. I will be away for what was my worst day last year, but home for the ones that we need to spend as a family… and we have our own new tradition for those that I am almost looking forward to this year – which is not something I ever thought I would say!

I do have to say that I am really conflicted about my feelings around this trip… on the one hand I’m super excited. It’s a place I have never been and I’m excited for the adventure. I am travelling with a friend who knows the area incredibly well and who has a lot of friends over there. I already know that I will have incredible stories to tell, and I’m looking forward to writing those, but the other part of me is really nervous. Is this a good idea? I have never been somewhere this new to me without Claytie, and I am really, really shit with flying – I am not the person you want to sit next to on a plane!! Should I be going away leading up to Clayties anniversary? How will the boys go? How hard will it be to support my friend for the big things that she needs to do on this trip – some of her husbands ashes are coming with us to be left in a place that brought them huge happiness. Will she be ok, and how will we go travelling together?

Not all of this stuff is rational, and I know that; but this is how my anxiety manifests. I guess all I can do and continue to do, is go with the things that feel the best at the time. It’s been the only way I have got through every other day since my world changed.

36. Book Review…

I recently read a book that I wish had come my way last year. I plan on buying several more copies of it to give to people that I think need to read it. It is called ‘The Hot Young Widows Club’ by Nora McInerny. It could 100% be my story, although it’s not just about grieving the loss of a spouse. It is a book that everyone should read. At some point in our lives we are all going to lose significant people, and that loss rearranges the way you look at everything.

I know that the process of grieving is so very different for every single person, and yet we kind of all do the same thing. It has been absolutely the hardest, strangest thing I’ve ever had to go through… and it has no end date. I have constantly surprised myself with the things I have done and felt on this journey. In some cases I have managed an absolute reversal of opinions that I thought were firmly mine and come out on the side that I have previously disparaged. I have done things I never could have imagined ‘before’. And I very much define myself as ‘before’ and ‘after’. I have met people that have only come into my world because of my loss, but now that they are part of my world, I can’t imagine not knowing them. Each day is a new coming to terms with my life now, and I consciously try to chose what I want that to look like – albeit not always successfully!

This book for me is one that I wish I could have had before our world imploded. It’s almost like a ‘what to expect’ guide and has been completely accurate or me. It should be handed out at funerals for people to understand the enormity of what the death of their person actually means. I can imagine it would be invaluable for the family of someone with a terminal diagnosis in palliative care. It is feelings and advice and it speaks the kind of sense that seems to disappear along with the person who died. It has validated my experience til now and I know that it will still be true for me in the future.

34. Spur of the moment

So I had something of a crazy weekend doing all sorts of fun things that may or may not end up being posted about haha… (my mum reads this!). But my favourite thing was taking myself down to the beach for the morning, bright and early on Sunday.

I hadn’t planned on that being the thing that I did, but woke up at 6 and decided that my feet needed to feel sand and ocean, so off I went! It was spectacular! Freezing cold, I think it only got to about 12°C while I was there, but the sky was blue and the surf was wild. I took myself for a big, long walk, listening to a meditation app, followed by brekky in the surf club.

My absolutely favourite part about the morning tho was watching whales playing just behind the shark nets, incredibly close to shore. They were magnificent and plentiful. It was such a joyful thing watching them, and also seeing the enjoyment of my fellow diners and their kids catching glimpses and squealing.

I loved the whole thing so much that I booked to do another whale watching experience this week! This time I found a friend to come with me, and the nerves around motion sickness were not nearly as bad as the first time I did it! Plenty of travel calm, pressure point bands and ginger bikkies… I was good to go!

We set off bright and early- the German in me needing to get there with plenty of time to spare! Following some brekky, and contemplation of the morning ahead, we were able to board, and decided to sit right up on the top deck. Rugged up in warm jackets and scarves off we went! The sun was shining, the waves were big and the whales took a little while to find, but when we did they were abundant. We spent about an hour or so floating in the middle of a 9 (or so) pod of juvenile humpback whales. They were fabulous!

We were so close to them that you could hear them every time they came up to breathe. It was a sound that raised goosebumps and I’ll never forget. It was hard to know where to look – they were all around us, and at least 200 photos were taken to be sorted through later. It was ‘feel-alive’ magic, and I’m pretty sure I’ll go at least a couple more times this season. It was absolutely the perfect way to spend a day off… if you’ve never had the chance to go you should definitely add it to your bucket list xx

35. Blind Date

So I mentioned the other week that a friend of mine had set me up to go on a blind date with a colleague of his. I okayed the exchanging of phone numbers, and the chap and I stared chatting. He seemed nice enough and the conversation was not difficult to maintain…. Talking to some people can be like pulling teeth, this did not feel like that.

We decided that an actual meeting should probably happen, and a date was arranged. It was going to be convenient for both of us to meet after work and before trivia as that venue is close to his work, and I was going there anyway for my favourite weekly outing. We would have a chat over a drink and then go our seperate way for the evening…. He suggested joining our team for the night and was a little bit put out when I said he didn’t meet our criteria – we came together out of the Widow Support Group! -but was still happy to meet me there. A reasonable plan I thought!?

Apparently not… just as I was entering the car park for the venue, my phone indicated I had received a message. My new friend decided that he would prefer to work overtime and was not going to get there. I got stood up! … and adding insult to injury, given the time of day, there was no point in me going home only to turn around and come back. It meant that I had 2 1/2 hours in the car park to stew on it. All I can say is thank goodness for the snacks left in my lunch bag and the kindle app on my phone! The friend who set us up also got a talking to!

I did ponder whether a second chance should be given, and being the nice person that I am (and with nothing else planned at that stage haha) three days later we tried again. A different venue chosen, again after work for convenience, and every assurance given that this time he would actually turn up!

I was a bit nervous… it is definitely a weird thing meeting someone that you don’t know much about – whether it’s a date set up by a friend or an online arrangement. The date was nice, conversation was easy and quite varied…and two hours passed easily enough. I’m not sure that we have a whole lot in common, but it was not an unpleasant experience. I can tell you that there will not be another date with him though… he is not really my type -and my mother has recently commented more than once or twice that I absolutely have a type! I’m also not really cut out to deal with the huge amount of baggage he was bringing along – launching immediately into the hows and why’s of his last relationship breakdown! There is a line between what’s ok and what is entirely too much!

I am definitely very open to meeting new people… whichever way that happens! It’s all part of the adventure that I’m currently living! I’ve met some incredibly interesting people, some just for a coffee, others a couple of times, and one or two that I’m really enjoying spending time with! There have of course also been the duds! There have been some hard situations and difficult conversations as I’m figuring out what I’m looking for which is also an evolving thing. Initially I thought I wanted one thing, but now I’m not so sure it fits me anymore. I’m not giving up, and on the whole I’m quite enjoying the experience – not all of which is rated for publication (haha)… so in the spirit of that thought, feel free to keep me in mind if you know someone that you think I should meet!

32. Some random thoughts…

I’m a little bit stuck on what to write about this week…. In lots of ways its been quiet compared to my normal, and in other ways, not at all! I guess this will just be rambling thoughts for now.

I have been pondering the fact that I am someone that adds a side of complaints to pretty near everything! We all know it, and I think it’s unlikely to change any time soon. I’ve always been a complainer… my mum used to tell me to write a list for her when I was little and pissed off about something. I would write an extensive list filled with all of my gripes, and then sign it off with love.

I do feel like I’m mostly a positive person and I am so aware of the complaining side of me that half the time I’m taking the piss out of myself while I’m laughing about it! This weeks main complaint is about the lingering covid cough that has decided to invade my body… it is driving me (and everyone around me) completely crazy! If anyone has any good suggestions for getting rid of it, please please let me know!

One thing I am not complaining about for now tho, is the change of weather here. We have gone from almost constant rain for a month to icy cold! It’s soo nice to see blue sky for a change, and how nice is it to pull out jumpers and scarves again! I love the cold weather so much more than hot and humid… although neither is particularly great for my hair! …And I will complain about it soon enough I’m sure!

What else can I tell you!?… I probably shouldn’t be left unsupervised for too long or I do crazy things like impulsively get a tattoo! I have seen the image a few times before, I have it saved in my phone at least twice and always liked the shape and the meaning. So when a friend bailed on a catch up the other day and the picture popped up in my newsfeed, I just decided why not! I paid a lot more than I should have – but I got it done there and then. I am now the proud owner of the Sanskrit symbol for breathe on my right arm. My mum is not really impressed, but I love it.

It is the first thing we do and the last thing we do.

In other news, I have a friend that is trying to set me up on a blind date with a work colleague. I think I’m ok with it – I’ve okayed the passing on of phone numbers anyway, but it does seem weird. The idea of someone knowing both of us and thinking we might be a good match?! I’ll keep you posted on how that all works out! I have also reconnected with an old friend and gone out a couple of times which has been a whole lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens with that! The whole situation feels a bit like juggling at the moment, but it’s also kind of fun!

Between the boys and I there are a couple of big thing in the pipeline, but none of them are ready to be shared yet… watch this space, there are good things coming!

31. Taxi!?….

So in the vein of ‘how come this stuff happens to me’… I have a (I think quite funny) story to tell.

Recently I have been out and about socialising with different people for different things and have caught taxis and Ubers…. I know, this shouldn’t be anything new, but it is for me! In my world ‘before’, I never needed to. I would either not drink and drive myself, or Claytie was there to be the designated driver. My boys think I’m all kinds of odd about it all, and that’s ok!

Now, I’m not really sure what the protocol is for everyone else, but I like to chat with people so I usually start a conversation with my driver. Sometimes this is successful, sometimes not, and sometimes it is just straight up weird!

I have had the typical – and I do hate to stereotype – but sometimes you have to!? – Indian or Pakistani gentlemen, who are really not interested in a whole lot of conversation – perhaps language is a barrier!? These rides are a bit of a disappointment to me.. it hardly makes for a good story does it!?

I have had a ride following a music festival that got half way to home, only for my fellow passenger (you know who you are!) to realise that they had lost some property, which meant turning around to retrieve said property before starting again (motion sickness was an issue for me that time). That drive also involved a conversation/lecture about the taxi vs Uber debate… interesting!

Not so long ago, I was coming home from West End and had the most entertaining, delightful driver and we laughed the entire way home. He was flamboyantly gay, with super long manicured nails, fabulous hair and gorgeous make up… our conversation was wide ranging and super fun! I genuinely felt like I made a new friend! It was absolutely one of my favourite trips ever and I was sad when it was over!

Most recently tho, I was returning from a hens day lunch in James Street. I got in the car and said hello and the conversation started immediately. We began with politics – obvious given our recent election. The driver asked loads of questions and I had a fabulous time giving my views. He is a recently arrived (2years) permanent resident from Iran, here on a student visa wanting to become a dentist. He shared some of his story and I shared some of mine. It was enjoyable and entertaining and I was having fun until things took an interesting turn about 500m from home. He told me that the had also enjoyed our conversation and would love to continue it… on a date some time!

It seems that I am exactly his type, in spite of the 14 year age gap… I guess (?) I am flattered – he thought I looked like I was in my mid 30’s rather than late 40’s – it was dark and I had a mask on! Haha …can I say bless?!? He has followed up the initial date suggestion with several text messages, and while I admire his enthusiasm this is not a date that I will be attending.

My boys are mortified both that it happened and that I think it’s hysterical! A friend of mine now makes Uber, driving or car jokes every time I talk to her, and I just think: Wow! It’s a whole new world for me! Everyday is a new adventure and while they are not all fun, some of them absolutely make me laugh!