Second, not first. 

I’ve decided to change something this winter.

I’ve been very very lucky to grow up in a family where we have big wild winter skiing adventures. We have spent many days together skiing the Australian slopes, and being in the mountains is where I find true peace and clear mountain air clarity.

However, as I’ve been gifted with the “fear” gene my skiing days have also been consumed with “this is so icy you’ll break your neck for sure” “did you see that guy flying past? Totally out of control. Could do some serious damage” “WHO on earth do these maniacs THINK they are?!?” Which in turn has meant my skiing is not as quick nor as smooth as my family. And for nearly 25 years I realise (and yes disclaimer: this is a total first world problem) that I’ve been largely focusing on that.

So what my new 31 year old blogging self is going to do this winter is enjoy being second, enjoy being a slow skier and not wonder wonder wonder when I’m going to be fast – when I’m going to be skilled – when I’ll stop wondering if it’s time for hot chips and lemonade yet. And instead I’m going to be the slow skier who takes in long deep breaths of cold cold air and sees those around her as nice holiday pals rather than dementors with an intent to destroy me and my legs. Because I don’t mind if I don’t come first, as long as my family are there with hot chips and lemonade by the time I eventually get to the bottom.
O.

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Eloise

This weekend, a new baby cousin named Eloise was born.

She’s the sweetest little cherub, with perfect pale eyebrows and the teeniest of squished up hands. My beautiful cousin Alex, is the most tender, gentle and loving new mama.

Eloise has reminded me (in only the way babies can) about what is important, and how the best things really are the simplest (like the smell of a newborns head). She is going to be such a loved little person and I’m so excited for the big beautiful future ahead of her.

In a world that’s sometimes tough and sometimes hard to see the good and the beauty (I’m looking at you Trump) little Eloise arrivals make everything seem just wonderful.

 

Peter Rabbit

Tomorrow we are going to plant the vegetable garden. There will be plenty of pictures and plenty of pride.

In honor of this, I am thinking of Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter. So here’s to them:

WE have a little garden,
A garden of our own,
And every day we water there
The seeds that we have sown.

WE love our little garden,
And tend it with such care,
You will not find a faced leaf
Or blighted blossom there.

Beatrix Potter.

Precious time

I’m spending a lot of time at the moment listening to slow living pod casts and trying to find a slower more grounded way of life.

We have chosen not to live in a big city for this reason, and we both work within 5km of our homes. We live near the beach; which was a top priority when we were picking moving locations. We have a garden that could hold many more vegetables than it does, and a house that really does feel like home.

But there’s something little and itty bitty inside that still makes me feel I’m not living my truest and slowest life.

One recent podcast I listened to (Slow Living) explored materialism VS experimentalism. This really resonated and thought provoked. Unintentionally I find satisfaction and suffice in the purchase of material items. I’ve really tried to be more ‘mindful’ (OMFG I’m suddenly middle aged and talking mindfulness). About my purchases, and assess their sustainability and environmental impact. But sometimes I find my materialism still there, and I don’t like it at all.

However the concept of replacing materialism with experimentalism is something I love. I think the satisfaction and joy that comes from experiences far outweighs and out cries purchases. And perhaps my unease has come from a really really really busy year where we have had incredible experiences (like beautiful honeymoons and the most incredible wedding) but where unintentional escapes to the beach and camping by the fire have lessened.

And of course, having these experiences takes time and takes money and takes planning and takes car trips and where will Basil go, will Basil come bla bla bla etc etc etc.

I spend Sunday evenings planning the week. I put pilates and runs in, I put dinner plans. I put evenings out and I put evenings in. I feel on top of the week when it is planned. But this is my weekly grind (in a job that I do love) that I’m devoting so much time to, so I wonder why it’s never occurred to me to actually sit down and think about the weekend and what we want (and more importantly, NEED) to get out of our special sabbath days.

Maybe little old 31 year old me does so plan for weekends…

Friday: Birthday dinner with Richie at Tulip. Which I love and am very excited about. This is probably stupid, but does food and wine consumption count as materialism?

Saturday: Drive to Anglesea with Basil and Richie. Walk along Point Roadknight beach, which means a whole lot of things to us for a whole lot of reasons. Smell the ocean air and even try and collect some seaweed for the vegetable garden. Breakfast at McGains nursery among the beautiful greenery, no phones. Just chat. Plant vegetable garden. (Which will involve an annoying reality of getting a truckload of soil in a Ute we don’t own.) Dinner with Jane and Alyce. Trying new local pop up restaurant. Supporting local, sustainable and community.

Sunday: Paint very odd window area above bed in lovely calming green. Long run along the river in preparation of the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon which is VERY close and I am VERY unprepared.

There, that wasn’t so bad. And it all sounds rather lovely. The proof is in the pudding, but as the weekend diary shows – there’s bound to be some pudding…

*For future reference my weekend planners will be known as ‘Too precious time to waste.”

Dear Greg,

Dear Greg,

Today Fairfax Australia proposed to cut 125 jobs, which is 1 in 4 current employees. You intend to save 3 billion dollars with these cuts.

My dad is a current employee of Fairfax. My uncle worked for Fairfax for the duration of his career. I have grown up knowing they take their responsibility to ensure Australians are informed, educated and empowered by media very seriously. We sat around kitchen tables with weekend papers, and fought furiously over quizzes. In a blissful time before technology, I remember a time where the newspaper delivered the news (and where we could be free from connection before it arrived). (Disclaimer: Unless the television was on, I’m 31).

Whilst budgets are budgets and finances are finances, I wonder about your sense of responsibility to Australian societies.

Is it the wish of Fairfax media that people disconnect completely from the on goings of the world around them? They they cannot access stories of the world they live in? What about the people who don’t have tablets, or laptops, or mobile phones. Or the people who don’t have broadband or WiFi? People deserve to tell their stories, and people deserve to be told them.

Find your dollars elsewhere Greg, because you’re risking far too much, and a future without good journalism is bleak. And all black. No grey.

Olivia

 

 

 

Dear Trashy Mags,

From grade six, my proudly earnt babysitting pay was spent on the weekly edition of TV hits. I would quickly flick through the glossy and colorful Jonathon Taylor Thomas filled pages to the important middle section and feel relieved and pleased that “YES!” there was one more Hanson poster.

It’s been a while since grade six. But my love for magazines remains resilient.

We are a magazine family, my family and I. Dad says it’s important to support the industry, mum buys beautiful piles of magazines according to whom her guest is and where they are in their life, she puts them in neat colour coordinated stacks with freshly cut roses.

This year, I made myself a New Years resolution. I decided, that the trashy mags had to go.  Of course, Frankie and Peppermint and Donna Hay and Delicious and Gourmet Traveller (you get the idea) could stay. But the New Ideas, and the OK of my life no longer had a place.

Perhaps this rather drastic move (in a first world kind of way) stemmed from my relocation to the Northern Territory, where it is really not relevant if I know who is wearing what to which party and how much weight they lost on the way to the party. It’s such a world from here it may as well be a series of photographs compiled by ET, (the alien.) Wherever the idea came from, I have to say; not having these magazines in my life is good, really darn good.

I don’t look at girls who have enjoyed their lunch only to be headlined ‘six months PREGNANT!’ I’m not comparing myself to Bingle looking ah-ma-zing in a bikini alongside the boldly titled“6 kilo weight GAIN.” I obsessed over Kate Middleton’s beautiful leaving hospital dress through my lovely instagram community where people fondly commented on how beautiful and normal she looked. I didn’t worry myself with the important trash mag issue of how she was planning to lose her baby weight. I saw Mylie make a fool of herself on you tube, as advised by my sister who assured me given Mylies influence on young girls it was important to see, I’m glad it was the video, and not a glossy page. It was glaringly obvious, how not quite right, and sick her behaviour was. I think I would have thought differently had I seen still pictures.

Now don’t go getting me all wrong, my coffee table is still covered in the beautiful magazines that I really do love. It’s just that now, they are good for me (something I claim often to Richie as he remains wide eyed studying the newsagent receipts). These magazines give me menus, and pictures of pasta I dream of, they tell tales of strong and fit and healthy women. I’m still up to date with the best skis of the year, and the alpine bars worth having a schnapps in. I ogle over beautiful furniture and paintings in Vogue interior and attempt to keep an eye on what’s in fashion (says she in her sarong and singlet…) in Elle and trusty Harpers Bazaar.

It has to be said trashy mags, you really are big trashy bags, and although it’s been twenty years, I’m a lot more comfortable in a bikini without you.

Basil

Oh but they said, you’ll have to teach the dog so many new tricks.

You’ll have to teach the puppy to sit, to sleep, to be quiet, to be tame, to walk on the lead. You’ll have to teach the puppy all there is to know about life.

But oh said the puppy, you’ve no idea what I’m to teach you. I’m to teach you about playing with me instead of your phone, about walking, wandering and exploring. About the simple things in life. And how simple life can be.

Basil laughed, oh said he; I’m to teach you about how incredibly spoiled one puppy dog can be!

MCCANN_190