SUMMER 2015 || FEBRUARY... I'VE DONE IT

I LOVE reading the comments you make on these monthly posts. Quite honestly, I am surprised anyone, at all, reads to the end of what is e...

katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com || bowl of wooden beads

I LOVE reading the comments you make on these monthly posts. Quite honestly, I am surprised anyone, at all, reads to the end of what is essential an online catalogue of my days. Surprised, but thrilled. Thank you.

If you've not ever said hello, please do.

In February:

I READ… Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Such cruelty, such raw humanity - or, in so many cases, the choice to be human or live with the consequences of choosing the other. A theme I felt resonated deeply in Flanagan's most recent piece of public writing.

Also on the bedside table this month was the recent work of school pal, great thinker and Resilient Entrepreneur Louise Francis' Memoir of a Corporate Refugee. Louise comes from a place of having worked stuff out and, and, being the generous yet pragmatic lass she is, wanting people to see a clear path to working their own stuff out and getting on with it. It's a 'take no prisoners' read that you will see plenty of yourself in. I certainly did.

I WENT TO… Dookie, population 286. More correctly, I went to the University of Melbourne's Dookie campus in rural Victoria to do six intensive days of training to set myself on the path to completing a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Here's what I learned: do NOT do anything over an intensive six days. I don't know that I'll be rushing back to any tertiary education any time soon.

I ATE… birthday cake. February is a bumper birthday month in our family. It's my mum's birthday, our eldest's birthday (good grief, she was 28) and mine. I've made reservations for a belated birthday dinner at Woy Woy Fisherman's Wharf, tonight.

I OP SHOPPED… beads: a whole string of them for $2. A jute macrame shopper for $3 and two cocktail frocks: black and white polka dots from the 1980s, $10, and a handmade slub silk number from the 1960s, $25. The skirt on the latter falls in a series of large pleated petals.  

I MADE… plans. I am tired, worn down, worn out and needing a break in my routine. I'm not complaining; everything I do has a purpose and I love doing it. However, knowing when it's time to recharge and see things from a distance is good too. I've booked flights to New York. It's my first time to the city, and to the States, and I am looking forward to being inspired. Please do share with me your tips, favourite places, must dos and online (or printed) travel guides. I am open to it all.

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12 comments

  1. hey happy belated birthday!

    yeah for your travels! nyc is a lot to take in. not sure what your interests are... shopping, shows, architecture, food....
    i always catch a broadway show, sit in coffee shops, have a slice. (that's nyc pizza talk. it will be huge and greasy... feel free to blog the grease off with napkins. that's acceptable)
    i like little artsy shops... but at least walk through tiffany once. because tiffany.
    i have family+friends in brooklyn (lucky me!) that's where i stay when i go so i can't personally recommend where to stay in the city.

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    1. *blot the grease....
      i would suggest to pass on going the statue of liberty tours and just look at it from a city view.

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    2. Tracie, Oh you are a kindred spirit. I probs won't blot the grease - just go for a long walk after. And yes, I'd already screwed my nose up at getting up the good lady's insides. An "pinch me, I am in the same city" view of her will do just fine.

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  2. Isn't it funny how some months are birthday months within a family. March is a bit of a birthday month here, or rather the 31st March. it's my fiancés, grandmas and aunts birthday on this date.
    Your op-shopped frocks sound lovely.
    I can't believe I only just started following your blog just now. I'm off to check out more. x

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    1. Zara, hello and welcome. I do hope you find things you like here. The frocks are both fun and frivolous. I have way too many frocks with nowhere really to wear them.

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  3. Hoorah for plans! Deep recharges of experiences rather than rest can be so wonderful. The art galleries in New York are ridiculous: you'll be hurrying out because you've already spent hours there, and then you'll chance upon a room full of Monets or similar, all of a standard far superior to the best Monet owned by any Aussie gallery. Incredible. I also love the High Line so much - the juxtaposition of prairie grasses, beautifully planted by an incredible designer, against skyscrapers is just so beautiful. It's also an incredible story to think about, coming from community-driven transformation. I also really enjoyed going to a number of the urban agriculture/community garden sites around there, and was lucky enough to spend a day volunteering out at a community farm in Brooklyn, at an incredibly rough high school, which has a farmers' market that locals are able to purchase fresh food at using food stamps. It was a really amazing urban ag project that actually met social justice and food scarcity issues. I like getting a black coffee and a cream cheese bagel from anywhere, or a really special (but scarily expensive) bagel from Russ & Daughters, and soul food from Sylvia's in Harlem, and I'm struggling to remember the name of another awesome Southern style restaurant I enjoyed...hmm. I'll get back to you if I manage to recall it! And Sleep No More is a wonderful experience - such a different theatre thing to do, I really enjoyed that. You'll have such fun!

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    1. These are all awesome suggestions Jen. Really appreciate you penning them. I'd love to know more about the community farm in Brooklyn. Did you just stumble across it or is there a network I could look up and make inquiries. I am already - very geeky of me - visiting a Girl Scout troop while I am there and hope to meet up with a handful of my UNICEF colleagues. You're never far from someone you know, are you?

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    2. I stumbled upon it through my cousin's recommendation, but just tracked it down (http://hspsfarm.blogspot.com.au/p/visit.html) and it looks like they have regular volunteer days. :-)
      I guess some people do find it geeky, but I love going to urban farms and food systems projects - if the aim of travel is to learn about different people and their way of doing things, and to recharge, then what better way than something that you can use as inspiration for a part of your life you care about? And it's always so interesting, and you hear about all these other more intimate parts of people's lives and beliefs in that culture by having an introduction through a shared interest. I love doing it!

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  4. Hello Katie, lovely blog! I'm just waiting until I have a little more headspace to read Richard Flanagan. I love his books but they are usually pretty heavy going and I'm a bit tired at the moment. How lucky are you heading overseas and to NY no less. I'm green with envy! Im sure it will be amazing no matter what you do over there :-) Mel x

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    1. Thank you Mel. I read Flanagan's novel as an audio book. It's the only way I could have tackled it. It's perfect, that way, for a tired head and I found lifted me out of my tiredness - how could it not - such horror lived by those men.

      The New York trip is exciting.

      Hope you feel better soon. A burst of energy sounds like it's required.

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  5. Very nice blog, thanks for this post..it's been good reading this..

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