Welcome to New York , it’s been waiting for you

At the start of this month, a childhood bestie flew to North America for a work conference. But before work, there must be play. Always. And New York provides the perfect amusement park. Always.

Solo travel. Often daunting, at times overwhelming. On the flip side endless possibilities, opportunities to do absolutely anything the heart desires. Scary. Yes. Exhilarating and life affirming. That too.

Not till you hit NYC’s sidewalks is the days adventure revealed. Often you can’t help but be picked up by the momentum of the foot traffic, destination unknown.

But that’s the magic!

I’d recently started on season four of the Netflix series ‘ Chefs Table’. An episode featuring Christina Tosi of Milkbar Bakery fame, with it’s all American focus on sugar, butter and more sugar, gave me a tooth ache. But like all good sugary products, I love longed for more!! I imparted the discovery of ‘ crack pie’ and ‘ cereal milk’ panacotta to my bestie & let the city of NYC do its magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To provide balance to the sugar high ‘ MilkBar’ would inflict ‘ Humming Puppy’ Yoga was prescribed as the perfect antidote. My bestie and I have long been fans of ‘ Humming Puppy’ Sydney. It provides the perfect escape from the everyday that is city living : fast cars, endless office deadlines and concrete skylines. I can only imagine that ‘ Humming Puppy’ NYC provides this oasis and more. For its been said you travel to NYC to feel alive, energised and inspired. You travel to Sydney to sleep.When comparing the energy of the two cities, I’d agree.

What else did my bestie do on her travels? I can’t wait to catch up with her and find out. For its true that NYC provides the perfect canvas for a solo adventure. With an open heart, the city will reveals itself to you, befriend you and offer up experiences that appear tailor-made. Timeless memories and magical moments.

Welcome to New York, it’s been waiting for you – Taylor Swift

 

 

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Memories in Music

Last night as I left my local supermarket, a song heard over the shopping mall sound system, though faint and almost undetectable due to the 5pm rush hour traffic,  transported me back to the United Kingdom, January 2002.

I’ve been there ever since!

London, January 2002. I was 23 and embarking on another year abroad. No clear road map, little direction and even less money. Yet I was convinced I would build on the life skills I had mastered in 2001, when aged 22, I had boarded a one way flight to the United Kingdom with my 19-year-old best friend.

London, January 2002. The epitome of cool, I was going clubbing with my friend Ali, the ‘ beautiful person’, whom I had befriended whilst backpacking through Barcelona, Summer 2001. We were venturing to ‘ Fabric’ nightclub, East London. I would be out of my depth, my home town of Wollongong, on the South Coast of NSW, population 400,000 had no prepared me for the drum and base, dupstep, house and techno scene that was London, United Kingdom, population 7 million.

Not one to show my fear, I bedazzled my face with two tiny fake butterfly tattoos and headed out into the night. With Ali by my side, we could do anything!!

16 years ago. A bouncer, a door, an entrance to the unfamilar. Music, drum and base, pulsating through our tiny bodies, exiting through our extremities, finger tips, toes. Unable to fight the compulsion to move, we danced and danced and danced.

Last night, on the streets of Waterloo, I stood with a bag of groceries – olive oil, brown onion, can of chickpeas. But little did people know that a song, barely detected over the shopping mall sound system had transported me some 24,000km to another place, another time.

‘ World of our Own’ by Westlife

 

And as the title of the song suggests, it contains a lifetime of memories, moments in time that are mine, moments that have been enhanced by the smiles, laughter, tears and awkward dance moves of people I treasure most.

Memories in Music, the soundtrack to a life half lived.

A treasure chest to be revisited, over and over again. With new additions to be added as the years progress, as I evolve, change and grow. I can hardly wait!!

We got a little world of our own
I’ll tell you things that no one else knows
I’ll let you in where no one else goes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner Date

I did not take a photo of a truly momentous catch up that took place on the weekend.

A meal with four women, a tight-knit circle of lifelong friends that have wrapped me in unending love, support, wisdom and wise counsel for some 30 years and counting.

To the onlooker, our waitress, fellow dining patrons, it would have appeared unremarkable. A table of five, sharing a meal, a few drinks and dessert over conversation. A Saturday night text-book restaurant experience.

To the onlooker that is. But the significance of the occasion was not lost on me.

In the hustle and bustle that is daily life, days, sometimes weeks can pass without contact with these precious gem stones. The occasional text, phone call, often scheduled and made whilst driving, hands free, the only time busy Mums and business women seem to be able to chat without interruption.

And the day-to-day grind can be a hard slog, project managing families, children, complex careers whilst prioritising the complexity of the emotional, physical and mental wellbeing of loved ones, themselves if they are lucky.

Sitting around the table on Saturday night was a group of women giving a collective sigh that we had pulled of this catch up. One of 2018’s greatest achievements? Most certainly in my books!

And I feel a shift, a deeper understanding and appreciation of just how special our time together is. In the craziness that is the everyday, our ability to connect , despite all obstacles, is undeniable. It is a precious, precious thing, fluid and flexible, accommodating and inclusive. It demands we are the best version of ourselves, and supports and nurtures us as we stride confidently towards our uniquely personal goals and dreams.

Saturday night dinner date – unremarkable to the onlooker.  Yet those women who  shared my table are nothing short of amazing to me.

Ode to Kesha

 

Just as my sudden appreciation of John Mayer’s music took me by surprise earlier this year,  my adoration for female vocalist Kesha has floored me. It’s taken all of 10 months to come to terms with why I feel an affinity with her 2017 album ‘ Rainbow’

It was August, 2017, when a best friend from Queensland landed on my doorstep for a girls weekend. With her she brought her unrivalled enthusiasm for coffee, cake, shopping, fancy dinners & music. And Kesha was top of her play list.

Familiar with her early music, I was not a fan. But my besties whole-hearted lip sync rendition early on Saturday morning, complete with rolled up newspaper microphone, of the ballad ‘ Praying’ that streamed via YouTube made time stand still.

Gut wrenching lyrics, calculated and crafted with a clear message – that Kesha, a victim of sexual harassment, refused to be silenced by her perpetrated. She would have the last word.

‘ Cause I can make it on my own,
I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring fire, I’ll bring rain
When I’m finished they won’t even know your name’

Using her undeniable gift for song, Kesha war cry is a resounding message of hope. From the darkness she has emerged as a women assured of her power, of the don’t fuck with me variety. Reliance in abundance, she has channeled all of her resources into moving forward. Her voice a weapon, disarming and shaming her perpetrated, but in a testament to her character she croons ‘ I hope find your peace, falling on your knees, praying’

Experiences in 2017 were challenging and for me the song ‘ Praying’ became a firm favourite, as I continued to pick myself up and move on from situations that left me feeling depleted. And always there, always encouraging was Kesha’s music.

Confessing this to my Queensland bestie recently ‘ Whatever  gets you through!’ her response.

So thank you Kesha, life is again looking peachy, I see ‘Rainbows’ and I’m ‘ Learning to let Go’.  Thank you for strength of character, for continuing along your path, when it would have been far easier to retreat from the public eye. To remain silent.

No, still steadfast, still bold, your lyrics a reminder that all one must do in trying times, is stay true to themselves and trust that all will be well.

‘ I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters I can breathe again
And you said that I was done, You were wrong and now the best is yet to come ‘

Dedicated to my Queensland Bestie Lauren – Happy Catch Up with A Mate Month 2018 xxx

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