My mind has been elsewhere

I took myself into the city on Saturday, a long-earned, well-deserved break and some Maddie-time. I often combine a haircut with a day in the CBD afterwards, I can mooch around, have a coffee, wander in and out of shops, basically have no agenda. I used to do it in the UK too, toddle up to London on the train, get off at Waterloo (or Victoria) wander through the city too Covent Garden and people watch.

I don’t understand how people can ever be bored in a shopping precinct. I love sitting on a bench, or in a coffee shop and just watching the world go by. Cup cradled in my hand, other hand tucked under my chin, eyes roving over people. I wonder about their lives, where they brought their clothes, what they are walking towards, what they left behind them, did they make their bed this morning? What state was their bathroom in? Other times, I don’t think of anything, I just be.

Here are my notes that I scribbled while I waited for lunch order, I’m not going to change anything, I like the stream of consciousness and how my mind is flowing:

Sitting in Chloe’s rooms is always funny. It’s on the Lonely-Planet-tick-it-off-you’ve-seen-Melbourne-list. People puff their way up the stairs after fighting past the big issue sellers and leaflet pushers by Flinders Station, with their ears still ringing from tram drivers clanging their bells angrily at people, bikes, taxis, seagulls in their way. Getting upstairs, they look at Chloe, go ‘OK’ and go back down again. If you don’t fancy the stairs, here she is for you:

Melbournites sit here drinking beer, wine, cider, with the odd bottle of fizz going pop in the background. I can hear conversations on the footie, shopping (there was 40% off in Myer today), wondering when people will stop queuing to get into H&M, or sit at a coveted window seat and watch the world go by. I’m the latter. I snagged a seat right in the corner, more by luck than judgement, as I walked to the table next door, the people sitting where I am now got up and left.

This room is special to me, it’s where I told Bill Hunter I loved him and his work. Two short years later, he passed away, so I was glad I was brave enough to interrupt him and shake his hand.

Tourists and children are getting into horse drawn carriages in the road beneath my window. Something I won’t do here, not because I don’t love horses, I do, but for some reason here they stink as they walk past them. So the thought of sitting behind them as they trot through the city when they’re obviously not being cared for properly…

So why am I here? A night off for good behaviour? R&R? To find me again? Any of the above. It’s been a hard few months, Hubs said I deserved a treat, so I asked for a night off. A night in hotel, on my own.

(I love how some cyclists think that red lights are optional for them. It must drive the others that observe road rules batty when they get tarred with the same brush).

I booked a hotel by Albert Park. I’m going to run round the lake tomorrow morning. The majority of my overnight bag is taken up with a pair of trainers. I can check into my room from 2pm, about 40 minutes from now. After I got off the station, I walked through Fed Square to the gallery, checked my bag at the cloak room and wandered around. I’ve been up to the top of Myers and walked down slowly floor by floor.

I tried very hard to do some retail therapy, but it was a bit busy. Never to mind, I found a nice candle to burn in the hotel room later. I hope I get a bath to wallow in with a book…

Just had my lunch, chicken burger and chips. Had to send the first one back as it arrived proudly on a pide. Despite me asking for gluten free. I inhaled it as I was so hungry, although $21 was a bit much for three little bits of chicken. So much for the ‘burger’. Tasty, really yummy, hence me inhaling it, but not worth that much, but the cider is lovely!

Two ladies are talking pilates next to me. They’re so good, they’re almost a Victoria Wood sketch.

Fed Square is busy, a Korean festival is on, someone is busking and entertaining the crowds and the Italian Masters exhibition at NGV opened yesterday. I love this city.

There you are, my mind has been full of lots of different things going on just lately. The weeks are whizzing by, this week I’ve had two late nights at work too, which is the first time I’ve had to stay back since I started, and back to back to boot. Tonight I’m off for a the gym assessment I had to cancel last week. I had an osteo appointment on Monday, she asked me to do a specific exercise to strengthen my back and I could barely do it. For someone who’s back and shoulders have historically been strong, this was a shock. I will be asking for a weights program to supplement the running I want to be doing, my back will thank me for it I know.

My mind is thanking me for taking time out to exercise regularly, but it really needed this holiday. I felt like a new woman when I got home on Sunday. I got into the hotel room, drew the curtains, watched three films About Time, August: Osage County and Dallas Buyers Club, read a Poirot, alas no bath, but the candle was lit and smelt beautiful. I had a carpet picnic:

I had a little lie-in, ran/walked/ran round the lake, stood under my rain maker shower head for a little bit too long, then had an enormous breakfast. I walked up and down Chapel St. All the while on my own time, with no-one else to worry about, just me. I’m looking forward to doing it again at the end of the year. My treat to me.

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3 thoughts on “My mind has been elsewhere

  1. Emotional energy tanks successfully refueled by the sounds of it… Excellent! Many women should take a leaf out of your book and learn from you. We need to take “me time”, and to not feel guilty about it either. We need to take “me time” so that we have the emotional and physical energy to be the partner/mother/daughter/friend/colleague that our friends and loved ones deserve. They suffer when we don’t take “me time”. And the wisest thing you’ve done is to know what activities will recharge or recreate, as in recreational activities, rather than just entertain you. You knew what you needed, you asked your (very supportive) husband for permission (for want of a better word) and you booked it in. Peanut and hubby are all the better loved and cared for because of it!

  2. And a P.S.
    I’m a people watcher too… I’d happily sit silently on a bar stool next to you gazing out the window at the world going by.

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