Film Camera MjuII Kodak Ultramax 400 Echuca Farm Stay

5 AM Thoughts At 2 AM

Just when I started to feel a hint of nostalgia for my insomnia nights, or as I romanticised as “5 AM Thoughts“, it came for a visit. On a Monday night, when I desperately needed a goodnight sleep — after having to work 12 hours straight a few hours before — and about to take on a new task that requires me to start to work an hour earlier the next day, essentially, a few hours later.

And in case you don’t know yet, I am not a morning person.

The insomnia wasn’t a welcomed visit! Well, when is it, though?

It’s 2.36 AM now. I am tired. I should be sleeping. I tried to identify the culprit.

Is it the anxiety about the new task that I am taking on at work? Is it the stress of house hunting? Also, why do we call it house hunting — such a weird term for finding your forever place. Is it because I put too much spicy sauce on my tacos earlier? Or is this the aftereffect of the double spiked Sangria that I had with it? Is it the internalised sadness of not being able to travel for more than a year and, worse, not knowing when it will be next?

After tossing and turning for 88 minutes, I decided to give it space — to be listened to, mulled-over and recorded. Based on past experiences, writing these swirling thoughts seemed to be the only way to put it, together with my brain, to sleep.

My mind is filled with things. From winter soup to adopting a dog, from starting a tarot journal of the 78 cards in chronological order to the #100HappyDays challenge, from the narrowness of the house that we saw over the weekend to the size of the apartment we are living in, from the new work to old colleagues, from my first time in Japan to my last time in Japan, from Spencer and JJ to Tynan and Beth, from filling the Indo tax to paying my future mortgage, from Parisian to witches.

Then there are things to write, books to read, food to eat and places to visit.

Coffee Diary 160121

It was not even 9 in the morning when I sat down in one of the empty booths in the Pancake Parlour in Melbourne Central.

All Night Long was playing on the speaker.

This place brought about tons of memories.

Comforting memories ━ of breakfast dates with Liz and Pedro, where we ordered whatever we wanted with zero judgement, planning fun weekends with Jik, of having a morning moment to myself. It’s the equivalent to the chicken rice shop near the HDB I stayed in Bishan, Singapore. These are the places I frequented in search of food and comfort by means of eating my comfort food, which varies from pancake to chicken rice.

The unicorns print mask-wearing waiter came to take my order. I went for the classic. Two pancake with ice cream on top, strips of crispy fried bacon and eggs ━ scrambled this time. She helped me to save $3.80 by giving free maple syrup. Made me glad that I didn’t put the order through the app.

Order placed, I flipped through Patti Smith’s book, Year of the Monkey. I got jealous of Ms Smith; for writing eloquently and having stayed in Japantown. Meanwhile, I struggle with basic grammar and have never been to a Japantown.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go was playing next. I put the book down to add it, and the song before, to my Spotify list. I apparently like (Pancake) Parlour(s) songs, a realisation that would help to break my self-limiting belief that I am not into music.

I spotted a hand-written signage:

$5 discount on hot days (above 30 degrees)

That’s not a lot, is it?

Idk how this place survives, to be honest. It’s pretty huge for a restaurant in a prime area such a Melbourne Central but each time I am here, I only see a few other patrons ━ most looks like out-of-towners (in a way, myself included).

Today was no different.

Also, coffee has never been good here. It tasted more like mocha, but the smell strangely reminded me of Japan. Then again, these days many things, anything, everything reminds me of Japan.

Only after I paid my bill and stepped out of the place, I remembered that I didn’t register for the Covid tracker.

Tulips Pink Flowers Valentine

Lockdown Diary: Day 5

It’s last hour of lockdown. Making it the shortest lockdown I have experienced so far, but didn’t mean it was in any way easy or got easier.

These five days have been a constant battle of staying positive.

I couldn’t take a mental health day off today from work, nor can I anytime soon. And by the end of workday today, I felt entirely drained, like I am running on empty.

Alas, it’s almost over now. For now. This wave.

Ps. After work, I watched Contagion to wind down. Weird choice, I know. It’s a good movie, eerily similar to the current situation.

Pps. Something random, I wondered about the zoo personnel during the lockdown. Some of them still have to go to work every day to feed the caged animals. Strange time we are living in.

Ppps. Tarot card of the day was the Seven of Pentacles from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck.

Lockdown Diary

Lockdown Diary: Day 4

Fourth day of the lockdown. Feeling really low today. Too much going on and it feels like everything is spinning out of control. I texted Liz, asking for her therapist details. Might start on that path soon. I am also thinking to take a mental health day off from work tomorrow. Here’s to healing.

Ps. a highlight of the day was Tivoli Bakery’s ham sandwich.

Tivoli Bakery Sandwich
Evil Eye Mug Fifth Spirit Tarot Journal

Lockdown Diary: Day 3

When I sat down for the Monday Morning meeting, the first thing discussed was the high probability of lockdown getting extended. Not a great way to start the week, eh?

I tried to push the speculative news aside, along with the thought that I most probably won’t see my parents nor go on Kumano Kodo pilgrimage this year.

Instead, I spent the day working, reading a few pages from the boring CPA textbook, running, practising yoga for runners, texting friends and gentle journaling.

Some highlights of the day include bed coffee, payday (I pulled the King of Pentacles), cozying up on the sofa with Fafa and watching The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel on Netflix, the smell of the burning candle ━ a gift from Jik, getting a package and Wood Frog’s pumpkin seed sliced bread.

Lockdown Diary: Day 2

Happy Valentine‘s Day! It’s the second day of the third lockdown. Gah! As soon as I typed it, I realised how polarising those two first two sentences were. Alas, both are valid.

My morning routine stays the same ━ bed coffee, morning journal and tarot cards.

Today’s card was The Hermit. I also pulled another card to honour Valentine’s day and wrote a semi-lengthy journal about it. I continued with yoga, short exercise and a 5km run at the Albert Park, which thankfully is still within the 5km limit set by the government.

We then stopped by the South Melbourne Market where I got free-range eggs, honey-lemon potion, pumpkin-seed bread, and other things to make a typical Aussie brunch menu: chill scrambled eggs on toasts with smashed-avo on the side.

I quickly prep the food back home, declaring it as Valentine’s day meal made with lots of love when I served it to Fafa. He got me a bunch of gorgeous pink tulips and pre-ordered a tarot deck (I KNOW!) for Valentine, the least I could do was to cook the man a warm meal.

After lunch, Fafa went to study to read up on his upcoming project while I did a bit of reading. Then I started watching Contagion and dozed off half-way before waking up to Fafa sitting beside me, watching the finale of Your Honor.

There is nothing much to share about the lockdown nor my feelings about it, except maybe it looks like it’s going to last more than five days which gives me a bit of anxiety. But I have decided no point in dwelling about it today and ruin my restful Sunday.

Before I leave for the day, let me share one of my favourite poetry about love by one of my favourite poet, Bianca Sparacino:

My god, I hope you find love. And I don’t just mean that in regards to someone you wrap your tired bones around at night. I mean that I hope you find love in every aspect of your life. I hope you find it tucked into early morning sunrises, and the smell of your favourite places. I hope you find it strung between the laughter you share with your friends, I hope it bounces off of you when you hug the people you care for,  I hope it swells within your ribcage whenever you hear your favourite song, or discover something that moves you. I hope you fall in love with growth, and change, and the messiness and the beauty of fucking up, and making mistakes, and becoming exactly who you want to be. I hope you find love in places that were once void of it, in places within yourself that you could have been softer to, kinder to, in the past. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that love is so much more than a boy, or a girl, who holds your heart. Love is everything around you. It is everything.

I truly hope you had a love filled Valentine day. Sending you virtual blessings and love 💌.

 ❥K

Film Camera MjuII Kodak Color 200 Government Housing Melbourne South Yarra Simmons Street Hoarders

Lockdown Diary: Day 1

Today is the first day of Melbourne third lockdown.

There ━ a sentence I was praying never to write. The authority announced it yesterday afternoon; said it’s going to be only for five days and calling it a circuit break. As if making it sound mechanical could help to ease the despair.

I wanted to share my experience here, diary-style, as I regret not doing it consistently during the last previous lockdowns. Also, I figured surely I can commit for five days.

Today, on the day one, I woke up, turned off the alarm, recounted my blessings, drank my bed-coffee and shuffle my tarot cards.

First, I drew the card for the day, Queen of Pentacles and Judgement flew out. Then, I did a lockdown tarot spread. By the time I finished journaling Fafa had come back from the market (shopping for essential is still allowed) with an almond croissant. What a treat!

I stayed on the bed until past noon, which seemed the least I could do for myself in the name of self-care after the work week I had combined with the lockdown announcement and having had to cancel both the Airbnb and dinner-date to celebrate Valentine this weekend.

After that, I did healing yoga, showered and went to the market myself. I wanted to get myself some flowers and the over-priced hipster juice from there, which I deemed as my happiness potion. Unfortunately, the roses were also over-priced and the hipster food store was closed. Instead, I came back with stuffed capsicum and quinoa salad for lunch, red velvet Vals cupcake and iced coffee for Fafa.

I read for a while but then thought I’d give my weary brain some rest and joined Fafa to half-watch Your Honor while browsing Affirmations decks on Etsy.

For dinner, we ordered fancy-ish take-away to recreate the date night that we had to cancel. We got Szechuan style king prawns and spicy fried rice from Dainty Szechuan and when we realised we forgot dessert, tiramisu from Thirty Eight Chairs.

I also watched The Descent (2005), it was really good; and The Neighbour (2017), which was extremely boring.

Right before bed, I called my parents and got an earful to be extra cautious as if being put on lockdown is not enough. And with that, I shall retire this first day take three.

January 2021

January 2021

It’s almost midnight on the last day of the first month of the year on this part of the world.

Earlier today, I went to the market to get a bunch of sunflowers and a loaf of bread to celebrate Lammas (Harvest Festival) tomorrow, which coincidently is the first day back to the office after almost a year of WFH. I just spent a half-hour ironing my work clothes.

Ironing ━ that’s the one type of hell that I didn’t expect to resurface this fast.

Alas, I now done with prep-ing for tomorrow, which somewhat felt like the first day of school, and want to take some time to review and reflect the month that just past.

Let me start with with giving thanks for the highlights, which include welcoming the new year at the Echuca farm, clocking in 70km running distance, being served bed coffee daily and crossing 1000th post mark here.

This month, I have been enjoying the Aquarius season (except for that one Full Moon in Leo day) and deepening my tarot practice with journaling tarot prompts given by the Moon Void Tarot creator. I went to the Triennial exhibition at the NGV, which made me think about leading a more sustainable lifestyle.

I am also learning to respect the boundaries that I set for myself and others.

I discovered a few new things this month: Pamela Bakes Two Page (a second-hand bookstore in Fitzroy), Belle’s hot chicken wings, Njuda paste and Biryani Taco. All were good, except for the last one, some things don’t go well together.

The rest of the month has been filled with work, work and more work, Headspace meditation, impromptu yoga sesh with Adrienne, phone calls with parents, domestic thrillers (Confessions on the 7:45 and The Mother-in-Law), The Wildly Tarot Podcast and weekday TV-date nights (Come Dine With Me followed by Law and Order SVU) with Fafa.

I hope February will be with a smooth transition to another part of the new normal and more quality time with the loved ones ━ and I wish the same for you.

Alright guys, with that, let’s bid January goodbye with a jar filled with gratitude.

✨K

First Quarter Moon Aquarius

210121

Happy Aquarius season ♒︎ guys!

I haven’t been writing for a week here, the longest period since I started this blog last year. I am feeling a wee bit of a writer-FOMO, so here are some random observations I noted down in the journal recently —

I use a 400-page black Moleskine to journal. It was a birthday gift from Fafa. At first, I thought it would be my annual journal. But now, only five months in and having used up 3/4 of it, I think I will be getting myself a new journal for my half-birthday in March.

One of the reasons that I haven’t been writing much on the blog is because I am hitting a tarot-reading wall. For some reason, I have been feeling a little less excited about journaling about tarot recently. Not sure whether I am even allowed to say that, but that’s the truth. I have come up with solutions, though. I have started journaling tarot with prompts given by the Moon Void Tarot‘s creator, Stefanie Caponi to honor the Aquarius season (my Moon sign).

I also bought another tarot deck—my first-quarter purchase (hey, I lasted 20 days! Now, I have to go through the next 70-something days without buying another deck). It’s the Fifth Spirit Tarot which sits on top of my 2021 tarot deck list. Yesterday, I saw that Two Sided Tarot has it listed on their website and with only AUD10 shipping, I knew I shouldn’t wait any longer.

One last thing about tarot: I am looking for a tarot deck with continuity or a similar theme throughout the deck. The Moon Void Tarot deck has been the closest I’ve got, but the non-human court-cards broke the singular theme thing that it had going for it.

Even though I haven’t been writing much here, I have been compiling random notes I wrote here and there — paper and digital — into my Day One App. Maybe I can share some of the not-super-boring ones here?

Also, even though I haven’t been writing much, I have been running. I registered for a measly 10km run in October. That gets me going. I am clocking in 3km every run, but with an embarrassing pace to be shared here.

The last best coffee I had was well, not a coffee. We went to Brunswick last weekend to feast on a crab at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack. On the way back, we stopped at one of my favourite coffee shops in Melbourne for some sit-down coffee chai.

This month, I dreamt of Fafa bringing and or showing me a ladybug. Twice. Google told me that it’s a symbol of good luck.

This week, I tried a new Thai dish called Hor Mok for the first time. It’s steamed fish cooked with coconut cream, curry and basil leaf served banana leaf cup. I ordered it because it reminded me of Kerala Meen Pollichathu, but it tasted closer to Cambodian Fish Amok.

Yesterday, I found out that all this while I have been cooking and eating butter that has expired in 2019.

Today, I woke up reminiscing about my Uni time. Jik and I used to sneak into each others class. Even though we majored in different subjects and went to different Universities. And hers was more fun than my boring Accounting lectures.  Then, I realized that taking up CPA is like adopting the worst part of schooling-the studying and exam parts. Ugh!

I realize more and more that I am a creature of routines and rituals. So instead of ignoring it, I should use those things as a foundation of my daily life.

Half-naked yoga brings me joy.

♒︎K