This week was always going to be a busy one. I spent Monday and the better half of Tuesday in a relaxed yet productive state, preparing to leave for Parramatta later that day. I was to head back to the apartment while my cousin and grandma went halfway to my aunty and uncle’s place in Penrith. They’d spend the night and then begin the long and arduous twelve hour Sydney to Melbourne commute in the wee hours of the morning. I dutifully packed my bags, attempted to clean out my closet and leave my bedroom in a presentable state. Since ordering hotel bedding and becoming obsessed with throw cushions, making the bed has become a ten minute task. Fifteen on the days I have to fluff and tuck and preen as per the care instructions.
Despite packing a bag with clothes each week for college, I always manage to forget something or wear only a couple of items. I’m thinking that I need to sift through my wardrobe and cull it again. For the moment though, I hung up what I could that was fresh from the wash and tried to plan my days, then removed all the empty hangers from my closet as they bother my compulsive self! Lots of jumpers, my linen culottes, a nice dress for outings. In other words, Instagram fodder. What would look good in my pictures and perhaps even keep me warm? Priorities! So far so good, although I’ve noticed I lack a warm jacket. I only have my gem and pearl encrusted denim number but nothing wool or puffer style. I’ve been enjoying layering more lately. It’s an excellent way to keep warm and introduce texture into a fit.
We arrived in Penrith around six in the evening and met with my aunty. After a little dinner planning we decided on a smorgasbord of pizzas to share- barbeque chicken, margherita and salami with some garlic bread. The adults had red wine and I opted for coke. Love my fizzy drinks. It was nice to have everyone over and catch up, something we’ve been doing weekly for the past while. I arrived home late on Tuesday and stayed up until just before sunrise. I found it difficult to get to bed by a decent hour as my mind was preoccupied with so many thoughts. The moments of stillness have their revelations and I try to take advantage of this.
I’ve noticed that a particular apartment across from mine always have their lights on no matter the hour. This was consistent throughout the week and really piqued my curiosity. At times I feel that I’m more interested in other people’s lives than my own. I consume their content with more frequency than I put out my own. My creativity is my lifeforce and I frequently need a feed to stay driven and motivated. I suppose I just live with myself so constantly. There is such a profound intimacy to knowing oneself in your entirety and revelling in what others are afraid to be.
Wednesday started off slow. My new desk was delivered and I had to endure the urge to open the box without making a move to do so. As much as I wanted to assemble it, transporting the desk to the Mountains would only damage it. There was a significant discrepancy in postage costs from urban Parramatta to the more rural areas so it seemed more economical just to pick it up during the week. I woke up around ten in the morning and had a nice frothy coffee and some almond croissant that my mum picked up on her way back from Pilates.
I caught up on my Youtube subscriptions, watching a living room makeover from amateur designer Lone Fox and a daily vlog from Allison Bickerstaff. After a while I got ready for the day and popped on a little bit of makeup and a floral hair scarf from Review boutique. It really elevated what would otherwise be a basic white tee and jeans outfit. Doing my face is nothing too extravagant. I’ll curl my eyelashes, apply Burt’s Bees lip balm and set my eyebrows. On days where I need more coverage I’ll spot apply concealer and dust setting powder everywhere.
My mum and I had planned to go to our local home maker centre and stop in at Adairs and Ikea, then pick up some lunch. Somehow I managed to exercise restraint and not buy the whole store but I came close. They have lots of new boho selections in store. I had to convince myself that I didn’t need another pair of sheets or a throw cushion since mine extend halfway across the bed as is.
The goal for Ikea was to pick up some wood photo frames for a small gallery wall above my dresser. I have four art prints from an old Frankie Magazine diary that I wanted to put to use. They are Australian native botanicals. I ended up choosing four fancier white frames to help the art pop and not blend into the wall. We also picked up a leafy plant for my mum to pot at home.
Afterwards we headed to the food court and decided on Soul Origin. They have these incredible gourmet salads and wraps. I chose the tandoori chicken and olive oil panini complete with chilly mayo and a generous serving of tomato and spinach. Then, in the spirit of balance, we ordered some cupcakes. Two vanilla rose and one chocolate as a treat for my brother after school. Dinner was a lot of fun too- we ordered Nandos as my mum had a formal dance event on that evening. I got a classic halloumi wrap with some chips. Branched out and tried something a little different as I usually get the pita. I’m such a creature of habit.
Thursday was rather uneventful with Friday being the next day of interest. Our doorbell rang early in the morning and I realised that a clothing parcel I’d ordered had just arrived. I shopped for a cream shirred broderie midi skirt and oatmeal tie up linen pants from a boutique called Witchery. I was faced with a couple of dilemmas as I’d had to hurry out of bed and nobody else was home. Where are my keys and do I have time to quickly make myself presentable? In the end I couldn’t do either and didn’t want to risk my parcel being taken back to the post office. I figured I’d take the stairwell back up to my level and leave the apartment temporarily unlocked. I didn’t envisage the stairwell being locked however and ended up stuck on ground floor until a lady arrived and took the lift to level two.
I went in with her but couldn’t go further so I entered the stairwell from that point and went to the rooftop. I then sat there and listened to music and just did some evaluation for the next hour. Gained some perspective as I like to say. It felt like I was on top of the world yet I had a sense of being small compared to my surroundings. In the apartment across from me there is a young family with a little girl of about four. For a good half an hour she’d come over to the window, rest her palms against the glass, smile and lovingly wave at me. It was so precious and innocent and really reinstated my faith in others. So many people can let you down but a child only knows light. They embody it every time they walk barefoot or collect ladybugs or dress up. We should always nurture and encourage that warmth.
Anyhow, I did eventually get back in the house to try on my clothes and sleep in more! The pants were a perfect fit as I’d hoped but the skirt was surprisingly loose. The model wore a size eight and yet I seem to need a six. The ruching is not nearly as fitted up top as it is in mid section of the skirt. Perhaps that’s why it was on the clearance sale! Go figure. I’m going to look into returning it for the smaller size as it’s such a gorgeous and versatile staple piece. Another productive step I made this week was finally submitting my student benefit forms. I’ll be eligible to receive a sum of money to support lifestyle and my studies for the next while. The paperwork process is quite arduous however. Today I have a quick video interview to confirm my identity and kickstart the process but otherwise I’m good to go.
Saturday was an absolute blur as we were due to catch a flight at twenty to seven. I spent the day doing errands at home and finalising my packing, transferring my belongings from a duffel bag to a suitcase. Somehow I still managed to forget my laptop charge- It’s becoming a trend. Surely I’m not the only one who can never remember their cables! On a happier note, I managed to bring clothes in, clean the kitchen, water the plants and tidy up my bedroom at the apartment. I made the bed with new sheets and added some decorations. I still need to choose and buy a new bedframe for that room but it’s coming along well as a second space. My doona cover is an earthy green with cherry blossoms and embroidered birds and my accents are black and dark wood with some gold. I had a radiola radio and some blooms that I put in a vase on my dresser.
Being at the airport again brought me immense joy and felt so surreal. I haven’t walked through those terminal gates since I left for Bali in twenty nineteen- that feels like a small lifetime ago. We were required to wear masks throughout the flight’s hour duration but we had them on very little. My mum had paid for ten dollars each of snacks. The food we ordered and the movie my brother had on, Stuart Little, kept us busy for quite a while. That initial moment of take off was so thrilling and I loved seeing the glittery cities below. Eventually the clouds came into focus and then, when we dropped low enough, the roads. It was amazing. Hopefully I’ll find myself in a similar position next year, only then I’ll be going to America. Fingers crossed!
We landed at Avalon airport and travelled two hours back to Charlestown where my cousin and his fiancee live. They recently bought a new place out on farmland and are slowly making renovations. There is a guesthouse, barn and sprawling pastures that stretch for miles. It’s all rustic chic with the exposed beams, working fireplace and galvanised steel walls in the bathroom. Their are many dairy cows and some chickens outside and I’ve heard the sunsets and sunrises are spectacular. My brother and I spent the day exploring. We have a slight view of the ocean which just brings the best of both worlds together. Nearby is the Great Ocean Road and other astounding lookouts. So far many cups of tea have been had while relaxing! Dinner last night was a veggie filled pasta bake- kalamata olives, zucchini, egg, cheese, capsicum and more. So healthful and vibrant and really hearty!