I think that this has been my longest time between posts. Ironic really that it happened at a time when I was busy due in large part to the very fact that I am a blogger. But in fact all the social media, events, and trying to move into self-employed mode meant that I was overwhelmed with obligations, short on time, and juggling furiously. And the blog got dropped (along with folding and sorting clean laundry, baking, grocery shopping and leg shaving).
And while I was off running around like a mad woman with hairy legs and rumpled clothes I realised that the chicks and I all needed a break, not from blogging, but from the busy times, from the cold, from the stress of school, doctor’s appointments, moving between houses, and adjusting to new parameters in life. So I did something quite spontaneous, a little bit radical, and slightly financially reckless, and booked a trip to Hawaii.
The view from our balcony each day!
One week later the chicks and I were in the sun, with sand between our toes, and with crystal clear waters to swim in on Waikiki beach. We had a week there and have returned feeling refreshed, recharged and all those other ‘re-’ words.
Swimming at the Kuhio Park end of Waikiki Beach in the clear water.
It was wonderful! We swam at the beach and in the pool most days, went snorkelling together at Hanauma Bay (where I was able to surprise my children with the fact that I have a lot of experience snorkelling thanks to growing up in PNG), explored fabric shops and did a bit of clothes shopping. We had no plan and just went with what we felt like each day. It was just what we needed. The TV did not get turned on, we ate fairly simply during the day and found mainly suitable restaurants that served gluten free food for the girls at night, and all unwound. We returned home with an extra suitcase to accommodate all the fabric, freezer paper and Lego that was bought. (Yep, we have our crafty and nerdy priorities right!)
Freezer paper supplies purchased!
It was hard to have to sit by the pool, sipping a cocktail and watching the children swim. (do you believe me?)
A poolside cocktail? Yes thank you!
Hanauma Bay, Oahu. It is a bay formed from an ancient volcano crater with a beautiful reef teaming with tropical fish.
The beach at Hanauma Bay, Oahu
So many things happened that made me stop and reflect, and tickled that part of me that is used to writing things down, and I realised that it was time to pick up the blog again. And to take it back to the things that are important to me – sewing, family, and growing a business to sustain both of those passions!
Playing in the sand on Waikiki beach.
Snorkelling fun at Waikiki.
I have really enjoyed the scheduled events of the Human Brochure experience, but now that the official discovery events are over I am looking forward to continuing my role in the process at my own pace and in my own way. One of the lovely benefits that has come from the experience is that I am far more aware of what is available to enjoy in my own town, and have a lovely network of new friends to enjoy it with. I am going to keep my detailed recording of it for the official blog though and keep this blog for me!
If you are a regular reader you will know that I love to write, and write and write. So you might be worried that I am going to give you a blow by blow of the last three weeks…..but you don’t need to worry. Highlights of the trip are about as detailed as it will get!
Things that fascinated me in Hawaii:
- the fact that so many shop keepers wanted to know where my husband was. One lady said ‘oh is he at home working to pay for the trip?’. I just smiled and said, he is at home working, and left it at that, because the children were there and I didn’t want to start the whole ‘I’m a single mother’ thing. But I haven’t been asked that in Australia more than twice that I can remember.
- my lack of TV watching worked against me when the TV show Hawaii 5-0 was being filmed in and around our hotel and I had no idea who the famous actors were and who were the staff!
- my kids weren’t interested in watching ‘American TV’ or wanting to try out ‘American candy’ like my siblings and I were when we had our first trip to America 30 years ago. Then I realised that they already see the shows that interest them, and can buy all the ‘American candy’ in our local store at home. The glamorous foreignness of the USA has diminished dramatically over the last 30 years with globalisation making such things commonplace.
- reading on-line reviews is just as misleading there as it can be here! I was trying to work out which were the best fabric stores for me to visit on our trip, as I knew that the kids were not going to be able to cope with more than one or two, so I turned to the internet and found all sorts of reviews on various sites.
One of the shops, Fabric Mart, had a long series of reviews talking about how rude the staff were, and how bad the shop was, etc, but it still seemed to be one worth visiting. Another was said to have good staff but too expensive stock. I discussed this with the chicks in deciding which one to go to, catching a taxi, and decided to try Fabric Mart, and just deal with any rudeness of the staff.
More tropical prints at Fabric Mart
Of course the staff were not at all rude, and were in fact very helpful on many levels. Which was lovely until my boy said, just as I was finishing my transactions “There is very good service here. I don’t know why people said that there was bad service here. These people are very nice and are going a really good job” and a bit more to the effect that the bad reviews were unjustified. As I tried to shush him the ladies behind the counter laughed and chuckled and I realised that they had the right attitude. They knew that their store was there to serve a particular part of the market (seriously – if you need any tropical print fabric they are the people to see) and weren’t bothered by the small mindedness of the reviewers. And I learnt a lesson about sharing such comments with my children!
Tropical prints at Fabric Mart
What now? I have returned with arm-loads of fabric, lots of ideas, and some vague, half thought out designs for new bags. I am trying to balance working on my contract work of admin and advertising, being available for the family, and leaving myself time to create. I have some ideas about how I am going to manage it all, so will share the progress as I go!
My fabric shopping!
In the meantime, it is nice to be back – both at home, and here on the blog. I hope that you have been well!