13 December 2010

Pictures For My Family.

I'm absolutely racked with guilt that it has been so long since I've posted anything on here. Most of the time I feel like I don't really have anything new to say but I guess that doesn't mean ya'll don't want to hear it. I don't have any words this time, though I am working on something. Instead I'll let these pictures do the talking. Grandma, now you can give people the link without embarrassment. Enjoy ya'll! More to come! (If you click on the picture you'll see a slightly bigger version.)

This is Sydney from my favourite spot, the top of the hill at Moore Park. My flatmate Erin took this for me!

This is me down in the CBD (Central Business District). A lot of the buildings you see behind me are from when Sydney was first settled. My friend Sara took the rest of these photos. She's fantastic!

Another one down in the CBD.

My friend Alex busking (playing on the street for money) with the Sydney Tower behind him. A lot of my friends do this. They are incredibly talented musicians and they'll make several hundred dollars a day doing what they love. Sick as!

Me at a farewell brunch for a friend.

Well, there you have it. A little glimpse at life in Sydney. We all have my amazing friend Sara Colee to thank for all the amazing pictures.

28 July 2010

My New Paper Friend

This is my new friend. He's a paper crane. I made him. I've decided to name him Schroeder. Maybe tomorrow I'll make him a little paper crane family, but until then, he's on his own... Poor Schroeder...

My best friend always says that expectations are premeditated resentments, which I think is a really good thing to say. But this guy Jeremiah says that our gift in life is a hope and a future, which is also a good thing to say. I've been trying to live in the ticklish place between the two.

Not having expectations can be a really positive thing. If you refuse to hold people up to your own expectations, it will be that much harder for them to disappoint you. I realize that this sounds really defensive right now, but just hear me out... Putting expectations on people really just binds them. It keeps them from giving me all of whatever it is they have to give. Expectations say "What you have isn't good enough. I need this." If I lower my signboard of rules and requirements that I hold in front of others and simply let them be, I am much more likely to have fulfilling and satisfying relationships. Because its not until people fail to meet my standards that I begin to feel resentful. I am happy to just let others meet their own standards and gain whatever I can from that.

Then there's hope. Hope is really important. Because if you are alive, you have a dream inside of you. Dreams are what happens when your soul is breathing. Dreams are what feeds our hearts till we're full. And a dream without hope, without the possibility of fruition... that's just despair. I dream about beauty and life... and love. And if my dream exists without the smallest drop of hope to feed it, it will languish. It will fade. And it just might die altogether.

But hope is just two slides over from expectation, isn't it? Hoping a thing will happen- a door will open, a flower will bloom, a heart will love- precludes the possibility that it won't. But expectation says it must, which is a much more heartbreaking business.

Living between the two is like walking a tightrope, but its one that leads to our broadest possible future. This feels really complicated and I'm not sure I'm doing a very good job communicating it but I hope you can at least catch my drift...

24 July 2010

Uninspired and Uninspiring... But Here is is Anyways

Clearly I've been a bit lax. It has been over 2 weeks since I posted anything and I would like to tell you that I have been off doing interesting and exciting things and not telling you about them, but that's not true. Mostly I've been working, reading, brushing up on my knitting skills and taking long walks in the park. Not exciting and not really anything worth writing about.

But also, I've been feeling rather uninspiring. Like I don't have anything interesting to say. I've found I'm the kind of person that doesn't want to open my mouth unless I have something to say that will amaze the whole room... That's a lot of pressure to put on myself. So I've also spent the last couple of weeks listening more and speaking less. I've tried to spend time finding beauty in the simple statements that move me from hour to hour rather than one grand statement that will define the day.

That's really all I have for you right now...

Here's a video I shot of me and Oscar in my favourite park. Enjoy.

10 July 2010

Sunday Morning Songs

The Table

I’ve had a dream, of a place I’ve never seen. It’s a room but there are no walls, just a boundary between light and dark. In it is a large wooden table, cut out of the stuff of the earth. The table has no end and there is always just one more seat. There’s no lack of food, but that’s not the purpose of the table. The point is not what you eat while you sit there but who you’re sitting next to. There’s no pretension at the table; everyone is at ease with each other. There’s no ego to stroke or axe to grind at the table. Just stories. Everyone has a good story to share and everyone’s happy to listen. There’s a hundred different languages being spoken at once but no one seems to mind.

I think I’m dreaming about love in action. Actively loving the one’s you’re around. Freely giving of yourself and humbly receiving whatever others have to give. At the table we prefer one another in love and ask nothing in return. Our hearts are open and at ease. We never tire and we want for nothing. Anything we could have need of is in arms reach and our spirits are at rest.

I think it’s a pretty good dream.


Saturday Night Special

09 July 2010

My Uncle Noticed I Had No Art on My Walls So I Got This.

My uncle (who has a glass eye) recently pointed out that the walls in my room are startlingly blank and he felt I should remedy that as soon as possible. I told him to settle down.

But then the other day I was walking through a garage with some friends and we noticed a pile of discarded goods from a former tenant. Among them was a bin of yellowed rolled up posters. We took the posters back to her flat and the first one we opened was this one:

Brad Pitt

I immediately called dibs and shoved it into my purse. Thanks Uncle Chuck. If not for your anal retentive attention to detail I might not have thought to lay claim to this masterful piece of beauty and proudly display it next to my desk area. What would I do without your wise council in my life? Lord only knows...

01 July 2010

India Grace

A week or so ago my boss had a baby. We call her India Grace...


27 June 2010

A To-Do List is Like a Rabies Shot for the Soul.

When I moved to Georgia, I literally thought that was the hardest thing I would ever have to do in my life. And it was, up until that point. I lived in the middle of nowhere. Sushi came from the fish counter at the grocery store (blech) and they looked at me cross-eyed when I asked for seltzer water. And everyone was super friendly and in my personal space and wanted to tell me their life story.

It took 3 months but I eventually made some friends and found some places where they didn’t drive pick up trucks or wear cut-off tshirts (not joking) and I was really happy. I thought that after doing that I could do anything and that I was, essentially, Master of the Universe.

Me as Master of the Universe. A little scary, but fairly accurate.

So then I moved to Australia. After adjusting to Georgia I honestly thought this wouldn’t be too hard. But it is. I miss home and I miss Athens and I miss feeling grounded somewhere. I feel a little like some rabid furry animal- totally cute, but totally crazy.

But the best part is, its all going to be fine. I figured out Georgia and I’ll figure this out too. To help me, I made a little list of things to do this week. Lists are my friend. They give me order and sanity when my life is as ordered as a bowl of jello. We like to cuddle and go on picnics. I love lists.

So, as you can see, if I follow the list, by the end of the week I will be totally awesome. Possibly even rad, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That’s a picture of a flying unicorn and a rainbow and some stars down there. My artistic talents are pretty legendary.

So that's about it. In summary- Life right now, not so awesome. Life by the end of the week, totally awesome. The End.

25 June 2010

I Let a Girl Named Pixie Cut My Hair and This is What Happened

I usually wait until my hair looks like a rabid, overgrown poddle before I even start thinking about getting it cut. This time was no exception. I was apprehensive about getting my hair cut here in Oz because its freakin' expensive and frankly, I just miss my old hairdresser Liz. She was my hair superstar and I credit my long lucious locks to her magical scissors. I'm not making that up, I think they had legit magical powers.

I decided to go to a place on Bronte called Dolls & Dynamite. I don't really like dolls- their little porcelin faces genuinely scare the crap out of me. But I like dynamite. So I figured I had at least a 50/50 shot at a successful haircut.

I called to make an appointment and a lovely young girl by the name of Pixie was happy to book me in. The name Pixie did make me a little nervous and sent visions of Angelina Jolie in that movie Hackers through my head.

Remember that movie? Remember how ridiculous we all thought it was that Angelina Jolie was really a world class hacker? That was not the look I was going for.

Anyway, Pixie did a really great job and I really love my new do. Its pretty freakin' rockstar. I think it raises my awesome level a solid 47 points, up to 40,000,000,047 points of awesome. A nice round number, I think.

So now my hair looks like this:

Anyway, that's all. I hope you like it.

Saturday Night Special

24 June 2010

Fred Downs

My Pop-Pop died a few weeks ago. He had been sick for a while but it was still a bit of a shock to me. He just got old and tired and I think he kind of gave up. And considering the last few months he’s had, I don’t blame him.

I grew up in the north and Pop-Pop lived on Jax Beach in Florida, over a thousand miles away. So I don’t remember much about him but here is what I do remember.

He was an incredible artist. Any iota of artistic ability I have comes from him. My uncle thinks he could have been a great American artist, and I’m inclined to agree with him. Pop-Pop told me “Draw everything. Sit in front of a tree and try to draw the other side of it. That’s how you’ll get good, kid.” He may not have actually called me kid, but that’s how I remember it.

He loved Frank Sinatra, and really the Rat Pack in general.

He smoked like a chimney, and I didn’t really mind when I was younger. And he drank like a fish. But in my mind he was more like a romantic Hemmingway. Without all the womanizing. Just this beat artist who drank and smoked because that’s what artists do.

He watched the racing channel.

He was in the navy. I’ve seen pictures of him in his blue sailor uniform with his great long legs in those sailor pants with the flare. He looks like a tall handsome movie star in those pictures.

He used to own some kind of fast red car. I don’t remember what it was because it was before me. But he showed me pictures and I could tell by the way he talked that he “loved that damn thing.”

He said “damn” a lot. He’d be sitting on the couch talking to us or telling us a story or (most likely) complaining about something and he’d draw his great long legs up under him and prop his forearms on his knees and wave his cigarette around and say “Damnit I tell ya!” I never remember what he was telling us but I can very clearly hear his voice saying that one phrase.

He made us call him Pop-Pop, that was all his choice. I think “Grandpa” made him feel too old, and he was right. It didn’t suit him and he wasn’t old until the end there. He made us call him Pop-Pop like some old beatnik poet or jazz legend from the thirties.

That’s all I really remember and I’m ok with that. I’m sure there are other things, but I can’t think of them at the moment. And I feel like that’s the really important stuff. He was a good man and I really love him. And I’ll miss him. But in some ways I’m glad he’s gone. Maybe he’s happy now, wherever he is.

From left to right: My "little" brother (what is with the facial hair? You're 16.), Dad (Glorious 1984 hair), Pop-Pop (Totally awesome.), Uncle Chuck (He has a glass eye.), Me (Please don't mock me, I didn't know any better.)

22 June 2010

Wow! My First Hater! I Must be a Real Blogger Now!

Let me start by saying that anyone is allowed to think whatever they want to think about me and the things I choose to write. So long as you understand them in the first place.

So yesterday I wrote what I thought (and others seemingly agreed) was an amusing satirical post commenting on my general appearance. Apparently not. Someone (who failed to identify himself and will heretofore be referred to as “Too Judgmental”, because that’s what he thought of me) thought I was being serious, and just a little harsh.

First I was surprised that anyone besides my mom and my whopping 3 followers read this thing. Then, I was confused. Because I assume whoever was upset with me is someone I have at least met in person, yet they chose to remain “Anonymous”. Strange…

I guess it’s my own fault. I do have a unique and searing sense of humour that most people struggle to grasp. I am fluent in sarcasm and I forget that others only possess a rudimentary understanding of the language. Like Charlie the 3 year-old thinks he speaks Spanish because he watches Dora, these people think they both understand and can comment on my sense of humour.

Like I said, it’s my own fault. So lemme break it down for you.

Here is a picture of what I generally look like. It’s not pretty, so brace yourselves…

This is legit. I did not just put on this outfit for the purposes of this picture. I have been wearing this all day and some of it for a few days.

You see, Too Judgmental, what you failed to grasp is that my letter was not so much a commentary on what Attractive Hipster Guy looks like and more a commentary on what I look like. I think Attractive Hipster Guy is, well, attractive. That’s why I call him Attractive Hipster Guy.

Myself, on the other hand, not looking so hot on a day-to-day basis. Sure, I scrub up nice, but I rarely scrub up. So I find it amusing and ironic that I encounter this man several times a week looking the way I do. If I encountered him on a weekend or when I’ve dressed to go out to a pub or movie I might stand a chance. But I don’t. Only when I look like that. (see above) You would think that I would anticipate Attractive Hipster Guy’s appearance in my day and take a shower in the morning, but I never seem to think that far ahead.

Well, Too Judgmental, I am sorry for the confusion and I do hope this clears things up a bit. Just try to read my blog (if you choose to continue doing so) with a sarcastic voice in your head. Like Chandler from the hit television show Friends. That should help you out a bit. And please, keep commenting!

Most Respectfully,

21 June 2010

This is What Gets Stuck in Your Head When You're a Nanny

Wow! Two posts in one day. Aren't you all special...

This is what usually ends up stuck in my head. Its actually my favourite part... *shame*

go Diego, go.

An Open Letter to the Attractive Hipster Guy Who Rides His Bike Through My Neighborhood

I'm working on a more substantial post with pictures and all, but its not ready yet. This will have to satiate you for now. Soon though, soon.

Dear Attractive Hipster Guy Who Rides His Bike Through My Neighborhood,

We’ve crossed paths several times now, Hipster Guy, and I would just like to formally introduce myself. I’m Lydia and the reason you see me dragging this toddler around is because I am his nanny. Not his mum. I just wanted to get that out of the way right off the bat.

I wanted to thank you for your impeccable timing, Attractive Hipster Guy. Thank you for choosing my best days to ride your bike down my street as I am losing a fight with a 2 year-old who still can’t form words. You always seem to come around when I’m looking my sexiest- the days when I rolled out of bed 40 minutes after my alarm went off, pulled on a crumpled pair of jeans off the floor, and threw on the first sweater that didn’t smell funny. I also caught you noticing the red headband I tie around my head in such a fashionable manner. It is rather attractive, if I do say so myself. And don’t be confused, I’m not a gang member, I’m just incapable of washing my hair before noon.

I have noticed you too, Attractive Hipster Guy. I’ve noticed your bike and your flannel shirt and your skinny jeans. I’ve even thought of finding a way to approach you, but that seems like it would be pretty difficult. You zip through the neighborhood at gale force speeds and I’d probably have to throw my toddler in front of you to get you to stop. Which I think would give you the impression that I would be a terrible mum. We’d have beautiful children, you and I.

Although, now that I think about it, maybe you are a little too hipster for me, which is saying something. I know your flannel shirt isn’t vintage, I saw it at Target last week. And your jeans might be a little too skinny. I’d be afraid you’d ask to borrow my pair of Paper Denim skinnies, just to see how’d they look. Not cool, Hipster Guy. I don’t date boys who wear the same size as me; I learned that lesson a long time ago.

I also think your hair might be a little too hipster- just the right amount of dirty and unkempt, not yet smelly. And I can tell you groom your beard to look that disheveled. Also, you're not fooling anyone with your mint green "vintage" one speed beach cruiser with white wall tires. I know you didn’t find it in a second hand shop in Melbourne, you bought it brand new at Cheeky’s down the street. And how long did it take you to learn to ride it without hands? Effort is so not hipster

You tried to deceive me, Attractive Hipster Guy, and for that we can never be together. Stop eyeing me like that, because it’s never going to happen. Stop imagining us perusing the thrift store together, fighting over the same argyle cardigan. Stop picturing what it would be like to seclude ourselves in the corner of an overcrowded pub, filling the table with PBR empties. Its just not meant to be, Attractive Hipster Guy. But give it time; you’ll get over me. Maybe. Go date a girl with a nautical star tattoo, ‘cause I’m just not the one.

Most Sincerely,
AKA Insane-Looking American Girl with the Toddler and Crusties in the Corners of Her Eyes

20 June 2010

Bears Love Cookies and I am a Bear.

Today I got a craving for chocolate chip cookies. But not just any chocolate chip cookies. I wanted the Nestle Tollhouse Break & Bake kind. The kind that give you warm gooey chocolaty satisfaction 10-12 minutes after you tear open the yellow cellophane packaging. The craving hit me like I was a bear. I was immediately ravenous. Its like I was a bear and if there had been another bear with some of those cookies we would have had a bear war and I would have conquered him because the craving for the cookies would have increased my bear powers exponentially.

So I decided since I was on my break from work that I would get me some cookies. I dragged myself out of my be- er… I mean, away from the important creative thing I was doing and set out. Now to get to the grocery store I have to hike my lazy ass up a huge hill and wait for the bus and then stand on the bus next to a malodorous Indian man for 20 minutes. Which was fine because my love for the cookies was driving me onward, giving me bear powers. I got to the grocery store and headed for the refrigerated section and that’s where the first moments of fear hit me.

“Maybe they don’t have Nestle Tollhouse Bake & Break cookies here…”

And sure enough, they don’t. I scoured the refrigerated and frozen sections in vein. I tore numerous bags of peas asunder with my bear rage. I clawed little old ladies in front of the jellies and jams section. I tried to politely ask an employee about the cookies but he gave me a look like I was insane. Well, first he gave me the “Oh! She’s American! Wait, what is she saying, I can’t understand her accent… Cookies? What the hell is this chick talking about? OMFG? I’m going to be one of those people who get killed by a crazy American!” When his face starting saying that I ate his head, because I’m a bear.

Soon enough, the rage subsided and I was just sad and tired in a busy grocery store surrounded by muesli and dollop cream (they love that crap here). So I dragged myself home and settled for some Tim Tams. Which are good, don’t get me wrong, but they are no Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookies.

P.S.- I’ve also wanted Mexican food for quite sometime but they don’t make that on this continent. Just a crap load of Asian food, which I’ve never really cared for. I had a few lovely friends send me some Mexican recipes but I managed to screw them up. First of all they don’t have Rotel here but also, I’m just a terrible cook. Who screws up a burrito? Me. I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to Future Boyfriend, I’ll try to get better. I promise we won’t live off of frozen waffles and peanut butter. Well, we might at first, but I’ll probably get sick of it and try something else. Or maybe you should start to learn to cook, and then I wouldn’t have to. Just a thought, Future Boyfriend.

P.P.S.- I realize my mother is probably despairing at the bear rage photo as its not helping the Future Boyfriend situation and she probably thinks she'll never get any grandchildren now but its OK. Future Boyfriend will have to find out about bear rage eventually, its just a fact of life.

19 June 2010

Super Charlie Bignill Monkey Chips

It happened the other day. Charlie told me he loves me. I don't remember what we were doing- putting on his shoes or something- and he looked up at me with his perfect blue eyes and long dark eyelashes and just goes "I love you, Lydia." And I threw up in my mouth a little because I don't really like it when people say that to me. Especially kids I nanny. Because I am going to leave him one day. But then I swallowed it and gave him a big snuggle and said "I love you too, Charlie." And it was awesome. Because I do.

Sunday Morning Songs

Saturday Night Special

18 June 2010

And We're Back.

As I’m sure one or two of you may have noticed- probably just my mom- it has been a minute since I last posted anything of substance. This is because an evil little gnome crawled inside my computer and screwed it up. I wasn’t able to blahblahblahtechnicalcrapblahblahblah and it was very frustrating. So I took it to the Apple store here in Bondi Junction.

Long story…

Three appointments and a few tears later my computer is back and slightly improved. When I asked the “genius” who attended my machine why this happened his remarkably in-depth answer was “Just lucky, I guess.” Gee, thanks Forrest. You have a stupid name and a stupid lip ring.

So I am going to cheat. I am going to back date some posts and get you all caught up with pictures, because now I can.

Meanwhile- today is a sunny, albeit blustery day. The sun is shinning so bright that I am actually sitting at my computer with my sunnies on because it just hurts my eyes. I think I’ll go down to the beach today and take some pictures. And hit on the surfer guys… Probably just the former… Those of you that have been a victim of my flirting “skills” will understand why.

Also- and I apologize for the completely random nature of this post but I’m so hungry my stomach is trying to eat my spinal cord and is cutting off the blood to my brain- but also… um… my boss had her baby!

Yesterday as I was peacefully enjoying my newly restored computer in the cave dark comfort of my room I heard MaryAnne calling for me:

MA: Lydia?

ME: Yeah?

MA: Oscar is crying in his crib can you get him? My water just broke.

ME: Oh, ok.

MA: Actually, could you first get me a pad and a clean pair of underwear?

ME: Um, sure.

Ensuing confusion. Finally she and Tom headed to the hospital and just an hour ago Bignill #3 was born. They haven’t named her yet. Originally they had decided on India Grace but it appears that Tom is going to put up a fight. I’ll keep you posted on how that works out. (The theory is she pushed it out, she gets to name it.)

MaryAnne has been putting up quite a fight to get this birth going and luckily I was able to reference some of my doula knowledge to help. Exciting little pearls of wisdom like the Muslim prayer position with rocking and nipple stimulation. Yeah, super exciting. Anyway, something worked and life is about to get just a little louder. Because it was so calm before.

More updates to follow… But for now, here's a picture:

07 June 2010

Shari Lewis and Some Food for Thought

Its way too late at night but I had a coke and some chocolate creme thing and I can't sleep. Sugar OD.

Tonight I made lemon sage lamb chops and oven roasted potatoes (sweet and white), carrots, and caramelized onions topped with goat cheese next to a lovely glass of white wine. Betty Freakin' Crocker. Its usually just me and MaryAnne (The Boss Lady) for dinner and we love cooking for each other. Though, with her being at nearly 37 weeks, I do most of the cooking and she does most of the eating. ::Cutie::

Though when I was eating the lamb chops, I kept thinking about Lamchop... Awkward...

So, I didn't go to a normal college so I didn't have a Psych 101 course like most kiddies but I've been living this whole Nature Vs Nurture thing. You read that right. As a nanny I've seen kids from the time they were weeks old. I've watched them grow up and develop little personalities from well before they could speak. I've seen them adopt mannerisms that are identical to something their parents do and then I've seen them come up with something out of the blue that makes you go "Where the heck did they learn that!?" Some things we learn and some things we're born with, right?

Shift from kids to me.

In less than 1 year I have changed cultures/ environments/ "nurture" twice. I went from living in the North to living in the Deep South to living Down Under. I think my head is still spinning. Its been an interesting process and its caused me to really sift through my true nature and what I've been nurtured to do. Every time I've changed cultures I've had the opportunity to keep the things that are really me- the parts of my true Nature- and get rid of the things that were just a product of my environment.

Because we are products of our environment. Our experiences, the people we surround ourselves with, the beliefs systems we stand on, the moral standards we structure our lives around are all parts of what form our personalities. But some of them are just environment. Some of them are just survival mechanisms that we would lay down if given the opportunity to act another way.

Its been an awesome process. Because every time I go through what should be a terrifying experience of having to adapt to a whole new cultural system, I just get to find all the best pieces of me. When we set out on a journey, we expect the scenery to change but we never realize how much our reflection will change. And change is a good thing, we can't have too much change.

02 June 2010

Uneventful Adventures

Its another gray day in Oz. I'm sitting at my desk watching the rain drip from unfamiliar trees. There are moments when the weather gets ahead of herself and the rain and sun come together. It sends the birds wild and they drown out any other noise with their rejoicing.

The days are all pretty much the same. Its funny to me how an adventure never really feels like one when you're in it. There are definitely exciting moments that remind me that my life has changed. But for the most part, it just plods along. Which is how its suppose to be, I think.

That's how it is in the stories, at least. Books, not movies. Lord of the Rings, for example. They just walk for weeks sometimes. And then something exciting happens. But mostly, its just them walking. That's the only way we get any where. Just keep moving forward.

A slight change has been my boys. Mum is getting close to having her baby and I think the boys can tell. They've been fairly full on for the past week, keeping things interesting. Melt down temper tantrums and viral infections keep the days pretty hectic. But on the rare sunny day, I put Oscar in his bike and we have our own little adventures. Rides to the park to see the birds. Walks to the cafe for cakes and fruit and coffee (the coffee's for just me). And of course, frequent visits to the swings at the little park on the corner.

Both of the boys are intolerably cute and I have plenty of pictures to post but there is something wrong with my computer and I haven't been able to upload anything. Its pretty freakin frustrating and I'll probably have to give up my computer for a few days to get it fixed. So once that's done, pictures galore. I promise.

I've got a friend headed up the east coast of the states in a boat. He'd probably be irritated at me for calling it "a boat", but he'll get over it. On a day like today, pent up in this house covered in rain clouds, a wide open ocean sounds like a really good idea.

25 May 2010

The View From Where I Sit

In two days I will have been here for a month.

Let's just let that sink in for a minute...

Yeah. It didn't sink in for me either.

Let's move on...

I woke up to thunderstorms this morning. Little rumbles broke through the steady drum of rain and sent flickers of light through the cracks in my blinds. The weather moves different here than back home. Lately it seems like I have to leave the house with both a pair of sunnies and an umbrella. The clouds seem to hang lower down, but they're not oppressive. You just see them rolling off the hills down toward the ocean with a wall of water chasing close behind. You can watch it come and go in an hour and wait it out with a cup of coffee in a shop.

But today is different. It started this morning and it hasn't stopped. It actually makes me feel like I'm home- this is such New England weather.

I'm ok with being here. Its not what I expected, but then I tried hard not to have expectations. I think it makes a difference coming at the start of winter. Oz is all sunshine and beaches and coming in May is like going to Florida in February- you'll be disappointed no matter what. I think, in the end, its a blessing in disguise. Coming now has afforded me the opportunity to look past the palm trees and sea breezes and see the people all around me. On the bus, on the train, in church I get to get a sense of the attitude that makes this country such a lovely place to live.

The view from where I sit seems rather grey. The rain has rotted the bark on the paper trees and the lorries have hidden their beautiful colours. But the people around me more than make up for the dreary landscape.

20 May 2010

The Park

I’ve already done quite a lot since moving to Sydney and I’ll fill you on some of that stuff later. But first let me tell you a story.

OK, its not really a story, its just what I did today. I took the younger boy (Oscar) down to Centennial Park. He has this little tricycle that he straps into and I can push it with a handle. It’s like a pram but way better. Because then I don’t have to push around a freaking pram. Anyway, the park is gorgeous. Its huge, probably a couple of square miles and it was built at the turn of the century when Oz was only 100 years old. It’s still strange to me that I have lived in houses older than this country… I’m just saying.

So, I pushed Oscar around on his little trike. And he likes to point at things and shout “Ga!” because he can’t really talk. And I say “Yeah, bus.” Or “Oh, a bird.” It’s all very stimulating. We walked down to this little cafĂ© for a coffee then went over to feed the ducks at the duck pond.

Now, when I say “ducks”, I don’t mean any aquatic foul you and I have ever seen in the states. There are huge black swans as high as my chest when they stretch out their necks and even bigger pelicans. Yes, pelicans. Like in Finding Nemo. And these little cranes with these long sickle-like beaks that look like they want to take my eyes out. And there are these funny little black birds with some weird red crest on their forehead. Anyway, there are a lot of them and they are kind of aggressive so you have to be very strategic when you feed them.

Obviously I have to hold Oscar because he will run into the lake if I let him, no question. Then I have to keep him supplied with bread to throw and I have to throw bread fast enough to keep the grabby birds away. Then when we’re out of food I have to strap Oscar into his bike and get out of there before the swans surround us. They’re like ninjas. Today there was a black swan standing right next to us as I was strapping Oscar in and the kid kept reaching out to touch him. And he could, if I’d let him, the thing was that close. But I believe in returning children to their parents unscarred. Both physically and metaphorically.

Needless to say, its and adventure.

One other thing- there is this tree here called a paper bark tree. It’s got this massive trunk that splits into all these massive branches. And its got this bark that looks like an onion peeling. I love them; I think they are really beautiful. There is a grove of them in the park and when I stand on the edge of it, that’s where I know that I am someplace I’ve never been before. It looks so completely foreign. I couldn’t have dreamed these trees… and I don’t need to. They are there, in my waking, reminding me of how far I’ve come.

19 May 2010

An Introduction

I’m sure some of you are thinking “Hey, what ever happened to that Lydia chick? Did she move to Yemen or something?” Well, close but, no. Australia actually. And this web log (or “blog” for all those crazy kids out there) will serve to keep you updated on all my southern hemispherical adventures. I promise, Yana. Or at least, I’ll really try. I’ll also post pictures and videos and all that good stuff. Hopefully.