It’s been quite an interesting week in the life, that’s for sure. I’ve had two major developments which I’m excited to share with you. The first has to do with college. I actually started back this week for trimester two and my classes so far look really diverse content wise. During the holidays I was debating dropping my workload to sessions a week but decided against it. In that first couple of months stretch I’d been adjusting above all and hadn’t figured out an organisational system. If I can just manage my time better and not leave my assignments and allotted tasks to the last minute, I’ll do a better job and not feel so swamped. Besides, it would drastically alter my predicted finishing date for this diploma course and I don’t want it to drag out.
The classes I’m taking are Design Studio One, Joinery and Finishes and Bespoke Decoration. Design Studio is like an origami class but not. We’re tasked with making paper models that will be translated into online programs such as photoshop for digital enhancement. We’ll experiment with wood, fabric, plastic and the like to create prototype, then keep a journal documenting the story and vision behind it. Joinery and finishes I see as quite self explanatory. We’ll be researching and documenting a basic joinery package for a kitchen setting and exploring the correct terminology and application. This includes all fittings and equipment.
Bespoke decoration is an introduction to the design process with a greater emphasis on haute couture, custom, one off interiors. Very lavish, very lush. We’ll be exploring the design principles and elements and their place in the overall process. The role of reflection in design development with a focus on colour, application and effective budgeting. In other words, lots of out of the box creative thinking and problem solving. Majority of these classes are online, which is a learning curve. So far I’ve figured out how to use the blackboard interface and join the live calls. Our class is scheduled for three hours but only an hour is spent in an active lesson.
Anyhow, my surprise. Let’s get to that. I received a text message mid afternoon yesterday letting me know that my claim for student benefits has been approved. I’d been working on an original submission back in January but couldn’t complete the forms in time and they expired by April. It was an arduous process and a long time coming but I verified my identity through video call back in Melbourne and began what I assumed would be a month long wait. Little did I know that I’d have an answer within a week. A letter is currently on its way to me with further details on how much money I can expect to receive bi monthly.
This greater financial independence will really help me to feel more autonomous and in charge of my future overall. I plan to set aside a predetermined percentage of each paycheck I receive for savings. Ideally I’d like this to be my travel and business fund, not something I dip into on a rainy day. I know the hard and fast general rule is to deposit ten percent but as of yet I don’t have bills or any real costs. I’m aiming to save at least fifty percent and really set myself up for success. This was definitely a win that gave me a lot of momentum.
Another project I set out has to do with the personal rebrand I’ll be undergoing at the end of this year. I plan to change both my first and middle name. Not the last as I feel that has to be earned- although it would be amusing, albeit a bit cheeky, if I was to suddenly take my partner’s last name! I want to start my eighteenth lap across the sun in a really confident forward way with my head held high. I’ve never felt represented by Maryam. I don’t associate myself with her. Moving forward, I want to own the person I am. It’s funny because I still can’t correctly pronounce my name. My Pakistani family and friends can but that’s about it. Why walk around another day like that? I’ve really resonated with the first name Estelle and the middle name Aria.
I had originally wanted to reverse the two but I already have an Arya in the family. Despite the different spelling, it wouldn’t feel right. Estelle is classy, powerful. I’ve been testing the name out in different settings and always feel like a badass. It’s just perfect. The universe seems to be reinforcing my beliefs too and through no mere coincidence. Over a matter of a day and a half, I’d seen the name Estelle in four different places. Once on a pyjama label at the op shop, once as a side character’s name in a book, once on the bedding my grandma currently has on the bed and another time on a jacket I was looking at whilst online shopping. What are the chances? Changing my name doesn’t feel like a major leap really. I’d toyed with the idea for years now. I’ve done some research and figured out that it costs about two hundred dollars and I’d have to be reissued with legal documents like a birth certificate and passport. That’s about it though.
A little while ago now I took a trip to Leura, a small town about five minutes from Wentworth Falls where I live. It’s kind of like High Street with lots of bookstores, homeware places and boutiques. It’s just so pretty in Autumn with all the falling leaves and buildings in muted pastel shades. Lots of the houses are heritage listed so the streets have maintained their old world charm. Just look at that Post Office! Truly a Victorian dream. I stopped in at my local Witchery and Papinelle to exchange a dress and skirt I’d bought online and then to look for flannelette pyjamas. I hate that we are in the dead of winter here in Sydney. Our temperatures have gotten into the minus degrees and I’m not here for it. In store at Witchery I received a twenty five dollar voucher back as I’d purchased the dress using rewards. Honestly, I’d bought that dress at full price and then watched it go on sale the next day. I’m a student and don’t have endless cash so I did what I could and ended up buying a lovely denim number to make up the difference. At the moment I’m currently on the hunt for a good winter jacket. There is the brown faux leather aviator style that I can envision myself in but I’m sleeping on it.
A couple of days later I had a little date night with my grandma. We try to get out and about each week, spend some quality time with each other. We decided to try out a local Chinese restaurant, Springwood Gardens, that had been closed last time we’d planned to visit. It was such a relaxed atmosphere and the owners were warm and chatty. Such lovely people. I was left in charge of the menu so ordered beef with black bean sauce, mongolian lamb and a mixed fried rice. The middle dish was probably our favourite as it was sweeter but the tanginess of the first dish was incredible as leftovers the next day. I guess the flavours had time to sit and my palate was clean. Afterwards we saw a movie, The Quiet Place Two at our local cinema The Edge. I’d been anticipating seeing this film for a long time now. While it lived up to my expectations, I think the first film was better executed and more riveting. Still a must watch though! I wonder if they’ll continue it on.
Also, while we’re on the topic of food, we finally caved and bought a subscription to Hello Fresh! Five meals a week for two people. I’ve meal planned a month in advance and am just beyond excited. It was so much fun and took the stress out of such a daily affair. I’ve really fallen into a recipe rut lately, despite owning a heap of trendy cookbooks. To that I say no more. I was slightly influenced by my favourite youtuber Allison Bickerstaff and her frequent mentions of Hello Fresh but I’ve made the best decision here. Gone are the days of constant pies or soups. We receive our first box the Wednesday after next. On the menu are garlic and herb beef meatballs with red pesto rossini and parmesan cheese, a middle eastern chicken mezze with honey glazed halloumi, dukkah flatbreads and salsa, pumpkin and roasted onion ravioli with chorizo cream sauce, pangrattato and pear rocket salad, goat cheese and red pesto spaghetti with caramelised cherry tomatoes and honey glazed beef koftas with a cherry tomato salad and herby garlic dressing. Just delish! xx