Pop Up Frock Up Ballarat

My favourite words are “frock” and “pop up”. When the two are together it is an irresistible combination.

I headed down to St Patrick’s Hall on the second day of the Pop Up Frock Up Ballarat with Miss BG.

2014-08-17 13.57.24Miss BG was happy to go and spend some time with mum, especially when the outing ended in cake. Once inside, we marvelled at the range and stalls. Sunday was quieter, and you could move quite easily amongst the stalls.

While it is lovely to have a shopping companion, a nearly seven year old who loves to touch does make you hyper aware that a) the goods on display are fragile and b) expensive. You couldn’t get lost in the racks, flicking through without making sure little hands were not touching too much stuff. I ended up giving her my phone so she could take some photos.

2014-08-17 14.16.38

Glamorous mannequin

The bling was definitely something which caught her eye and the dresses dod not disappoint. Vintage was quite an elastic term, with pieces from the last 20 years for sale, but stretching back to the 1930s.

Coat detail

Coat detail

There were though, a few dresses from the 19th century on display, which made for interesting viewing.

1890's - look but don't touch!

1890’s – look but don’t touch!

 Cake beckoned as Miss BG’s interest was waning as and luck would have, we were right across the road from the Golden City.

It was a lovely afternoon of window shopping and marvelling at the beautiful frocks on display :)

Snowed under

Snow! Winter in Ballarat is long, but snow definitely makes it worthwhile.

It was a magical hour between 11am and 12pm today when my workplace turned white. The rain turned to sleet, then snow started falling thickly.

I couldn’t feel my toes as I went outside with other hardy souls to take photos, have snowball fights or simply stand outside, excited like little kids.

I shared photos with my workmates across the other campuses in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne- all of whom were enjoying warmer weather conditions, but they were still excited to see it.

Then I returned back to my real work, wading through usage statistics and updating procedures…

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1 Food, 1 Drink for the rest of my life

The topic for Writer’s Boot Camp is a doozy – Imagine for the rest of your life having only 1 food and 1 drink. Boring? Yes. Difficult to choose? No.

It just popped into my head.

Milk and potatoes.

This is definitely influenced by my Irish background, and a childhood that consisted of endless meals of meat and three veg, one of the veg being potato (I know it’s not a veg, but a tuber). I drank a lot of milk too.

I like the versatility of the spud, having it mashed, boiled, baked, roasted, fried. The milk provides protein, calcium and fat. Milk and potatoes were a subsistence diet for many an Irish family before the potato famine struck.

I do realise that it would be a subsistence diet, and I’m sure I would be craving green things- even brussel sprouts :)


The Best Advice

There are two pieces of advice which have stayed with me- one from my mum, and the other from a man called Ray.

When you are pregnant, you become a magnet for well-meaning words of advice. Eat this, don’t eat this, drink this, definitely don’t drink that. sleep on your left, put your feet up, sit up straight, and the silliest one of all- rest, because you won’t know what hit you after the baby is born, ha ha ha…

The best advice I received was in my last week of work before going on maternity leave, and speaking to  Ray, an older male colleague. He said the best thing you can do when you get home is to just be by yourselves- you, your husband and your baby and get to know each other as a family. We did and it was a great experience, seeing tiny Baby BG bond with his dad, and Mr BG insist on getting up his son in the middle of the night to play with him. There was also the return to hospital as I was having feeding difficulties and being slightly hysterical with the midwife about putting him on formula, and late nights trying to get him to sleep (he was a very windy baby). The first weeks were crazy, but having Mr BG there with me was what I wanted, and what Baby BG needed.

My mum also gave me heaps of advice about children and babies, but as the years have gone by, they didn’t stick so much as Ray’s did. She would always advise to “Be myself”, which is something I have tried to hold on to throughout my life. It’s not easy though!


Pining to run

I’ve been grounded and I hate it.

A recurring injury in my right hip has been diagnosed as bursitis with a tendinopathy in my gluteus minimus- or I have a tear in my tendon on my right hip which is causing inflammation when I undertake activity like running. In some ways I am glad I know what it is, after putting up with it for a long time.

The treatment plan recommended by my physiotherapist involves Pilates to build my core and strengthen my tendon, cortisone injections to alleviate the inflammation, and rest. Eventually I will build up to a stationary bike, and weights, but the rehabilitation program is set to last for 12 weeks. I am at week one, and it was so good to be exercising after a forced break, even if it was stretching and using my core muscles!

However, my plans to run at Run Melbourne (I had signed up for the half marathon, but was looking at completing the 10km) have been pushed aside. I look at the events my running posse are doing with envy. I see people running around the Lake, or up the street and wish I was doing it. Being told I can’t do something only makes it more desirable don’t you think?

I miss moving, I miss my friends and I feel left behind.

Dear 2.45am- a letter to my pet peeve

You were late this morning, it was nearly 3.25 when you finally showed up!My daughter started yelling “Muuuum!” from her bedroom, at which point I nearly fell out of bed, padded to her room and grabbed the cat which had decided to play musical beds.

I could almost feel you mocking me when I returned to my warm cocoon and snuggled down under the doona. I ignored you and went straight back to sleep.

I think I met you when my brother was a baby. He was a rotten sleeper and would wake up crying for mum. Broken sleep became something I never quite got over and it’s stayed with me.

When my children were babies, you were a repeat visitor, coming several times a night when I had two of them both needing my attentions, whether it be hunger, teething or simply ‘growing pains’.

You weren’t all that bad. When my eldest was a baby, I snuggled with him for night feeds, his warm little body nestled against me like a little hot water bottle. When he weaned off the night feeds, I almost missed you :).

Now they’re older and mostly sleep through, unless there is a wayward cat, or leg cramps, or nightmares. If you come for me, I am usually tired enough to roll over and close my eyes.

There are other days when I can’t ignore you, or at least my brain can’t. That’s when I toss and turn, mulling over the day that was, worrying over the day that will be, and trying not to think of the many things I have to do.
There are times when sleep doesn’t return at all, and I face the day as a grumpy zombie.

Sometimes in order for you to disappear, I will get up and write a list of all the things I have to do in the morrow. It’s somewhat cathartic writing things down isn’t it? It quells my mind somewhat and then I can relax enough to sleep.

Hopefully I won’t see you tonight :)

Love Bookgrrl

My artistic inspiration

Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life

Pablo Picasso

I had been travelling for 36 hours when I arrived in London on May Day 1999. It was my first trip overseas as an adult with my boyfriend, now the amazing Mr BG, and my head was swimming with new sensations- English accents! Red double-decker buses! The Battersea power station!

We arrived early and was at our BnB at 8am. After a shower and a change of clothes, we headed on the bus to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. I remember the crush of the crowds out enjoying the warm spring day, the feel of my boyfriend’s hand around mine, as we made our way across the iconic square to one of the most amazing art galleries in the world, made all the more amazing because it is FREE.

We go through a door on the right and step into a room of Degas, and then the next room, I see something which takes my breath away. My head spins and buzzes with adrenalin (mainly because I am running on empty and haven’t slept for ages), and all I can do is stand there with my mouth agape.

Sunflowers was the first piece of artwork which blew me away, and which has stayed with me for the last 15 years. That heady rush I experienced when I first saw it is something I have been chasing every time I go into an art gallery.

Art is my soul food.