Baby of Mine : Round Two

Any day now I will become an Aunty for the second time. My brother and his wife, parents of not one, but two precious people.

My niece’s excitement puts it perfectly ‘ I’m going to be big sister!’

It was just over two years ago that I was honoured with the title of Aunty. In that time I have grown into my role. I love hanging out with my mini best friend. Time stand still in her company.

A look back at a post from 2015, the most family friendly of tales…….

 

 

The most beautiful of gifts came my families way recently.

My brother and his wife became parents to a precious little girl, ever so tiny and perfect– Ms Ravyn.

Ravyn and I

Ravyn and I

And in an instant our worlds were turned upside down, changed for the better in every single way … I became an Aunt, my parents Grandparents, my brother a Father , my sister-in-law, a Mother.

Ravyn you are so loved, so precious and arrived just when we our family was looking for a new addition. Did you read our advertisement in the classifieds? You must have for you fit each and every criteria…it is truly uncanny!!

Boyle Family eagerly seeks new member

  • Desire to be loved unconditionally by a Mother and Father, Grandparents x 2, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Neighbours, Pets and the general public
  • Fond of cuddles, kisses and general affection
  • Able to cope with hours of attention ( due to your captivating nature and beautiful spirit)
  • A curious mind, creative streak and endearing sense of humour
  • A commitment to a lifelong love of cats
  • Eager to embrace fashion and latest trends
  • Ability to carry the burden placed on those who are deemed ‘ As cute as a button’

Applications to be received in person Thursday, April 16th

You simply blew all the candidates out of the water Ravyn….And in doing so, you secured your place in our family, in our hearts completely.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Boyle.

Cementing Love…Take Three

This post has been recyled for a third time. One of my favourites from the last 6 years of writing Catch up with a Mate posts.

My fur best friend Flora and I, a union etched into cement, Earl Street, Randwick, circa June 2013. It high time I returned to my old hood, for old time sakes, to marvel at what was, what has been and what is yet to come.

In 2015 I wrote …..

As I prepare my great escape from the East, a few posts from my time in this exclusive neighborhood come to mind…and I just have to bring them to the forefront once more.

Cementing Love

In 2013 I wrote….

A few weeks back my street was treated to a new foot path / pavement.

Initially I was hesitant to engage in some street art…but when my neighbours started to get creative…I rallied to the cause.

The sun had gone down , so I shone my i-phone screen in the direction of the footpath with careful precision I lovingly carved my name, Flora the cat’s name, to cement.

And I got in just in time.. the footpath had nearly set….It was after all 7.33pm, and the cement had been laid at 9.07am.

I am ever so proud of my street art….Friends say I have changed, that the previous Kate Boyle would NEVER have engaged in modern-day street graffiti

But change is good…and everyday when I close the front door of my tiny flat and take to the streets, I am greeted with a constant reminder that change is good…the big, the small, the seemingly insignificant..

Take me to Church…..

Oh the places my role as an internship coordinator has taken me, the people I have met. I wrote this piece one year ago. Declaring August 2017 the month of the recycled post, putting this little gem back in the spotlight.

There was a conversation I had last year with an Anglican Priest in Dulwich Hill Sydney.

Over black coffee we chatted for two hours and it transpired that yes, he was interested in hosting a student intern. His questions for me, would I be interested in taking up boxing and joining him on tour of Syria?

That conversation was one of the most interesting I had ever engaged in….it was magical, joyous, life affirming, and it was over too soon…So today, 8 months after my path crossed that of Fighting Father Dave Smith, Australian of the Year Nominee, Work Record holder & all round awesome person…. I returned to his hood, his church, his parish, his people, his Sunday Celebration at 9.15am.

But he was not there – He was doing a peace tour of Iran…

Fighting Father Dave Smith, Martin Place, Sydney

Fighting Father Dave Smith Artwork, Martin Place, Sydney

Physically he was far from home, but by God did I know I was in Fighting Father Dave’s Parish!!
For a start I was set upon my a young boy of 6, he ran down the foot path as he saw me approach the church. He handed me a prayer book and asked if I had ever been to church. I said ‘ yes, but not this one’. He looked puzzled by my answer but let me enter.

Church started at 9.15am, but people arrived when it suited them. This made me smile.

A church band consisting of a drummer, saxophone, piano, guitar played glorious tunes, backed by glorious singing voice.

Children ran joyously around the church during the service. They were free to express themselves even more at what felt like intermission, a Sunday school sing-a-long for kids, complete with instruments for all, dancing and hand gestures. Hard to tell if the kids enjoyed it as much as the adult congregation?!

The open mic announcement mid service were indeed my highlight. Updates from Dave’s wife about the Iran tour, and his boxing for peace work. Parishioners followed with updates on aid work in Fiji, volunteer roles available etc. My favourite announcement was that one parishioner had been unsuccessful in her submission to this  years Archibald portraiture exhibition.

There was singing, sermons, a 5 minute ‘ peace be with you’ approach to spreading the good news, morning tea, birthday cakes, conversation galore, I was clearly an out of towner and people were keen to hear my story.

The morning had it all. Everything except the man himself- Fighting Father Dave Smith.

But by golly gosh was he there….He was everywhere.

A testament to the community man that he is, the church was buzzing with joy, conversation, compassion & kindness, for the young, old and the curious ie me.

I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Last night I attended a Middle East Food Festival in Waterloo, complete with camels, hookah pipes and hip hop music. It was out of this world, well, Waterloo anyway.

I returned home to indulge in an hour long Whitney Houston tribute evening on youtube. Self curated because the Middle East and Whitney go so well together,

I have declared August 2017 the month of the recycled post. I have written over 400 since  I started Catch Up with A Mate in 2011. Whitney is one of my favourite topics to right about, she is my childhood. I will always love her….

A post from 2013

One year ago, my childhood idol, Whitney Houston passed away.

In the year since her death, much has happened…from the big (a family wedding) to the small (I mastered the wheel pose in yoga). And while I got one with another year of life, one constant during those 365 days was Whitney’s music.

I confess that I did not listen her music every day… but for a good 6 weeks after her passing on Feb 11th, 2012, it was on high rotation…I indulged this guilty pleasure again in late September for my birthday and by pure chance, whilst preparing for my god daughter Mae’s birthday yesterday, she appeared on Video Hits in all her ‘ I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ glory!!

Mae, who was busy helping her Dad blow up balloons for her party stood still from the moment Whitney graced the screen. She was transfixed by her natural beauty, bubbly personality , 80’s hair-do, million dollar smile…and THAT voice.

The VOICE that commands attention: Ms Whitney Houston

The VOICE that commands attention: Ms Whitney Houston

We shared a special moment there and then, when a little girl all of 2 years of age and grown women (who will remain ageless) danced around a suburban lounge room to a timeless classic.

Ms Houston we did you proud, you gained a pint sized fan whilst transporting me back to a time when happiness depended upon one thing: a cassette tape titled ‘Whitney’

Related Posts: Death of My Childhood Idol 2012

All my friends are Hipsters……

Two years ago I wrote this post. To this day I firmly believe all my friends are hipters xx

 

When did all my friends become Hipsters?

So Hip it hurts the eye!!

So Hip it hurts the eye!!

Or have I just become so liberal with the use of this word that I brand those nearest and dearest to me as forever ‘hip’!?

I like to think the second question is my stance on this global trend….My….friends…..are …..SERIOUSLY….cool.

Off the richter scale awesome, exuding a confidence and self-belief that money cannot buy. They are as precious to me as gem stones…..one of a kind, beautiful and unique. They shine.

Don’t get me wrong, my friends are human, they suffer from self-doubt, setbacks and life challenges a plenty….

But my mates are troupers…the kind of variety that when life serves them lemons….they make lemonade.

My friends are hipsters….and I love them dearly. xxx

Five Sentence Fiction- Limitless

Four years ago I wrote this story.

I re-read it today….it was just what I needed.

 

Word Prompt- Limitless

Finally after months of torment in the school playground she had developed a tactic to cope with the bullying.

All the name calling, poking and prodding could not harm her once she found a quiet spot, closed her eyes and focused on her breath.

She had learned that the act of turning her attention inward soothed her, calmed her…the gentle inhale, the long exhale, was ever-present, a certainty in an otherwise unpredictable environment.

Whilst the hurt and suffering caused by the school yard bullies was still present, the act of focusing on her breath took the sting out of it.

Whilst in this quiet space she found peace within, the practice allowing belief to form that the name callers could not shape her destiny, her options in life where limitless!

My Island Home

Yesterday morning I felt compelled to write a blog post. But as I tried to come up with an angle for a story, scanned the week that was, and those that lay ahead, I deemed nothing noteworthy.

Yet I knew that if I just left my apartment, peeled myself of the couch and actively engaged in the world outside, I’d be bombarded with ideas and inspiration.

Not till 1.57pm did I emerge from my self-imposed cocoon and brave the afternoon. And as I put one foot in front on the other, traversing along the foot path with fellow members of the human race, the story I had wanted to write earlier that day appeared.

As I crossed Abercrombie street, and entering the Block, Redfern, music filled the air. I was drawn to it, and rather than heading straight down Eveliegh  Street, I crossed the road towards the community centre.

The sweet melody that filled the air was by Christine And ‘ My Island Home’ and I slowed down my walking pace, so that I could enjoy the entirety of the tune. The sun shone and I stood transfixed by the lyrics. They were not lost on me, nor the significance of the suburb in which I stood.

This is the type of story that does not have an ending, the narrative continues.

Though confroning, I’m thankful that I stepped outside yesterday and got to witness first hand community issues that are ever present. Stories are everywhere, you just have to step outside yourself to notice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hernandez Coffee Shop, Kings Cross

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2009 visit to Hernandez with Lisa

A week-long staycation in Sydney comes to an end.

A beauty of a week, winter sunshine, yoga, time by the sea and the company of cherished friends.

A week to indulge in all things I love about city living….and so a visit to Hernandez Coffee Shop, Kings Cross. Atmosphere alone, this place is a winner.

It has not been hipsterfied, not a beard or moustache in site, drinks served in coffee cups, not jam jars. A long black is a long black, not a dirty chai latte with a side of nut butter and a butterfly.

Coffee straight up, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It is iconically Sydney and rightly so – it remains timeless, may it never change.

On this visit I asked for a Vienna Coffee ( long black with whipped cream – I was on holidays after all!) but was informed the cream order had not come in that day.

So I offered a Bon Bon ( sweetened condensed milk, coffee shot topped with frothed mild) – a drink common to the cafe owner’s native home of Spain.

I deliberated over this for some time, then opted for a long black.

To my surprise a complimentary Bon Bon arrived, baby chino size, with my coffee order.

It hit the spot, sugary and sweet. I buzzed out of the coffee  shop, two coffees under my belt and onto my favourite op shop.

A staycation in Sydney should always include a coffee at Hernandez Coffee Shop, Kings Cross, but why stop at one! Timeless, iconically Sydney – may it never change.

 

http://www.cafehernandez.com.au

 

Who would have thought?

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If you’d asked me six months ago were my focus would be in regards to work as an internship coordinator, sport management placements would have featured way down  the list.

I’m not a sports fan, I openly admit that, very un- Australian of me!

I’ve been dragged along to the occasional Sydney Swans game, feigning interest…but deep down, as my friends scream, yell, stamp and cheer in the direction of Buddy Franklin, I’m daydreaming of my next beach holiday. I just don’t get it. 

Yet I admire the passion and dedication of sports fans. I’m actually envious of it.

Sport can be a guiding force in life, defining weekend activities, entire Saturdays can be taken up by game day. It bonds people, barracking for the same team means you become part of a something bigger than yourself. Take the AFL,  for 6 months of each year you are busy being a fan. I’m just cold and miserable, wanting summer to return.

I find that sport fans are driven and determined, loyal and optimistic. A girlfriend of mine, travelled from Brisbane to Sydney for the Rabbitohs NRL grand final win against the Bulldogs. ‘ Born a Bunny’ back in 1977, a true believer, she witnessed the historic win that night, and revelled with the Redfern community the day after. A true fan, of the A to Z variety. All codes, all disciplines. Passionately, hopelessly mad about sport. The end.

Possessing none of the above, a focus on sports management internships have pushed me out of my comfort zone and into an iron man race against time to secure countless opportunities for sports mad interns.

Think Canterbury Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Illawarra Dragon, Parramatta Eels.

Think Invictus Games ( Prince Harry, oh la la!!) Football Australia and Athletics NSW.

And surprisingly , I’m loving every minute of it!! The in-person meetings, the phone calls, the emails. Endless conversations about sport.

And each time a site agrees to host an intern, it’s like scoring a grand final goal or world record at the Olympics.

Perhaps I do possess the qualities of an sports fan after all – tenacity, grit & steely determination. It’s what I’ve needed in spades as I’ve navigated my way into the unchartered world of all disciplines, all codes.  

Whether I win or loose as I slam dunk, sprint and peddle my way to my target, I’ve come to view journey as the grounds for personal growth and learning. 

It is challenging, fun and I’m constantly learning – what more could I ask for other than an interest in sport??!!

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Arcade Fire

 

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

It has been a while since I have added to the collections of blog posts I term ‘ friendship fire starters’. But as I watched my niece dance in her car seat to pop music, I silently declared to myself that I would take responsibility for her musical education. And then this story surfaced. But before I get to that, to Ms R, prepare to be wowed by the voice of Whitney, the moves of MJ and the poetry of the Man in Black, Mr Johnny Cash.

My own musical education is questionable. I have written about it before. I have long been a fan of the humble boy band, and when I found myself living in the UK as a  22-year-old, I was in heaven.

The Australian Music scene had always taken itself too seriously for my liking, and whilst I was a fan of the rock, grunge and alternative music, I looked further afield for my pop stars. The UK was a melting pot of awesomeness in that department, think BoyZone, Westlife, a solo Robbie Williams, a solo Ronan Keating.

And then there was the Latin movement that took hold, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin…. It is fair to say that between the ages of 22 and 24, whilst living abroad, I was lost to Pop.

This rather angered, indeed infuriated a young man I came flat with in Edinburgh. How this Aussie bloke and I remain friends today is a modern mystery. Music was his world. I termed him the ‘ repressed rocker’: he was forever playing an imaginary drum set, curly mop of hair thrashing about, beatbox sound effects released at random.

He was passionate, rather obsessive about music and I admit, I admired him for it.

My taste in music he despised – and he made that very , very clear.

Not one to be deterred – I continued to play BoyZone, Westlife and Enrique at every opportunity.

Fast forward 5 years, and I am back home, living and working in Sydney. I recieved a call, out of the blue from the repressed rocker, he has a spare ticket to a band held in the highest of regard : Arcade Fire.

‘ I’ve never heard of them’ I whimpered down the phone ‘ Are they like Enrique Iglesias or Westlife??’

Silence

‘ Enrique or Westlife?’ I ask again, thinking hadn’t heard me the first time.

‘ Your not coming’

Dial tone – he has hung up on me!!

I am left puzzled – who is this majestic band I have been deemed unworthy of watching? Why has my penchant for pop cost me so dearly? Arcade who?

Hurt and confused I refuse to torture myself. I put in my headphones , resuming the data entry whilst listening to Enrique

And this evening, whilst watching youtube videos I see that Arcade Fire have just released a new album. This band I did go on to discover, in my own time, in 2013, on a holiday in the UK. It was love at first listen. The song ‘ Sprawl II ( Mountains Beyond Mountains’ was my self-declared moving song when packing up my Randwick Flat in 2014. The tune channelled the courage required to  immerse myself in shared living again.

So Mr Repressed Rocker, did you know that Arcade Fire has new material out? Am I finally ahead of the game?

What I expect you’ll say is that they are no longer cool, and that you have moved on.

What I want you to say is that you like their new music.

Most importantly what I need to say is thank you for introducing me to this exquisite music by default all those years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

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