In memory of one year from the start of our first lockdown (Covidversary) here are some light pictures I took during that dark period.
Our Meletos staycation at the end of last year turned out to be so-so only.
Although the weather was gorgeous that weekend, the winery was beautiful and their books collection was interesting; the food, the service and the room could be much better.
Some of my fave parts of the Meletos stay was the beautifully decorated lobby area, this time of Christmas theme, the aromatherapy smell oozing for it and the plenty of beautiful books laying there. In the room, I love the unbelievable nice smelling toiletries ($40), the big bathroom, the two sinks and the small nice touch wooden door closet and the super-soft bed and the windows that can be opened wide.
Meanwhile, enjoy the 5 frames of our winery stay which I took with Mjuii film camera using Kodak Colorplus 400.
Happy Friday the 13th! I always feel like this day carries more woo-woo energy compared to most days, and the witch in me always gets excited about it.
My first memory of Friday the 13th is when my very hipster music teacher told us about the Jerusalem virus which has been attacking computers all over the world every year on Friday the 13th. A fact that is a bit morbid for a 13yo to remember, but I have always been a bit weird 🤷.
My fascination on Friday the 13th was established that day and it has been growing ever since.
This Friday the 13th is a bit more special.
It is the second Friday the 13th in 2020. Marking the end of the self-isolation period which started on the first Friday the 13th of the year, in March. It was the last day I went to work and living life, as usual.
Today, 7 months later, after passing through, in limbo, the uncomfortable adjustment and somewhat painful learning period, I feel like I am being invited to finally turn over a new page—a milestone.
Officially marking being completely hatched, reemerging fully into and totally embracing the new normal.
I celebrated the day with a fun breakfast date with Fafa at The Top Paddock. It’s the first breakfast place I had been to by myself when I moved to Melbourne years ago. We reminisced our first months here (his was a year before mine) and other travel memories.
I still have to do a massive task before logging off of work. But later, I have a coven meeting for (yes, it’s a thing). And after that, I plan to finish The Alchemist and do some night-journaling accompanied by a mug of hot Gluhwein and both The High Priestess and Death tarot cards (New Moon on Scorpio). It feels like the right way to honor the day—both Friday the 13th and the new normal milestone.
I named our apartment the Burrow, the Weasley family’s home in the parallel Universe, a hat tip to my obsession over Harry Potter. We have lived in this apartment for almost two years now, and I remembered promising to share a sneak peek of it last year. Oops? I have taken some pictures of it many moons ago in my defense but only got reminded of it recently when I was looking for it to share it with a friend.
The center of the apartment is the kitchen-cum-living room. The kitchen is pretty in tack as I haven’t been cooking much, but I plan to change that. It’s no longer cute to be an adult who doesn’t cook. We don’t have a dining table. The kitchen’s biggest thing is the fridge, which I bought and danced around when it arrived last year as a part of an old tradition.
Other than the fridge, which stored enough wine bottles to intoxicate a small village, the kitchen part I have been using the most is the tea cupboard. Although I am fully immersed in a Melbourne coffee culture and always frantically look for flat white whenever I travel, I still am a tea person. The Harry Potter knitted tea holder was from a quaint little tea shop in Sydney called The Tea Cosy. It’s a must-visit! And the Sakura patterned kitchenware were findings from Yanaka and Kanawaza during our last trip to Japan.
There is always at least one book and a candle on top of my night table. These days I keep a Guatemalan worry doll and pink quartz on it as well. Underneath the eyesight hurting kaleidoscopic pattern quilt, which I claimed as boho-chic, the bed is covered by a bamboo sheet. It was a recommendation from our interior designer friend, Jacqui. Nothing, let me tell you, nothing compared to sleeping on a bamboo sheet. It’s even better than those hotel sheets. The sheet has been a freaking excellent investment.
This is the window to the main balcony. The rainbow dream catcher is from Ishka, a chain hippie store in Australia with a year-long closing-down sale.
Do you have a dream catcher in your place? I bought my first dream catcher, a white-colored one from Bali, a few months after I moved into my first apartment more than a decade ago. It symbolizes protection, though I never really see it that way (I protect the house with a crystal grid instead). Dreamcatcher for me has become a part of my personality, being reflected in the places I live in; it’s not complete without a dream catcher. I have been eyeing a gigantic dream catcher sold just down the road from us. We will share the picture here when we get it.
I have a big plan for the balcony, which involves various chili plants and a summer reading/entertaining nook. But for now, it has a dried-up plant-box and grass like a carpet, which we were supposed to throw, but got creative and decided to trick our brains into thinking we have a luscious garden.
I have been subconsciously attracted to the rainbow, which I came to realize as of lately. I start to think of it as a sign from the Universe. A blessing, a reminder, that I am being looked after and loved. And this sign nudges me almost daily, especially during summer, thanks to two rainbow makers mounted on the windows. Every house should have a rainbow maker! Maybe it can be my best friends’ gift for their next birthdays.
One day Fafa half-jokingly said that we are turning into the hoarders. It has woken up a real fear because my parents are functioning hoarders (hence my fascination for the show). Every time I visit them, both the house and my bedroom feel more cramped than before. The things my Appa collected from his parents’ house (it’s collecting dust) and the things Amma gets for free, which she claims she will use one day (she won’t). But I shouldn’t complain, it’s their house and if they are happy with more stuff, be it.
Back to our apartment, I don’t want more stuff! We made a deal to do spring cleaning twice a year (following Northern and Southern hemisphere, ha!) and donated our unused belongings. So far, it’s working, though if I am sincere, there are a few more Star Wars items I can make do without. Happily.
We managed to squeeze in a bookcase into the Burrow. We filled it in with unread books, mainly fueled by overestimating our ability to focus and the Book Depository’s convenience.
By now, It must have been pretty apparent that I don’t shy away from crazy colors and weird knickknacks. On the top shelf, the printed Remarkables poster was from Queenstown, a memory of our traversal (travel-anniversary — coined the term!) last year. The Harry Potter book was the previous year’s Diwali gift from Fafa, and we scored the gold candle holder from a small town during our road trip to Marysville.
On the lower shelf, the gold frame holds a stitched image of Uluru, from my girls trip with Jik to Ayers Rock, my passport and a printed photograph of the Indian girl’s saree and bangles were taken by a Latina photographer named Christie, who I met at a flea market some time ago.
On the rest of the bottom shelves, I kept the charcoal painting Hirosaki Castle by an artist in Ueno park, a surviving Kokedama plant, a picture of my best friends, and an enchanted love candle handmade by a local witch.
Most of the time, there are a bunch of fresh flowers in the apartment. A well-kept promise by Fafa to fill my weeks with pretty flowers. Another favorite piece of the apartment is the purple mason jar we filled with gratitude and love notes. We have started filling it from the beginning of this year and plan to share it on the last day of 2017.
The current apartment lease goes until mid next year, but from its look (i.e., credit card statements and general laziness to pack and unpack), we might need to extend the stay for another year or two. I don’t mind it at all. I love this place. I love being alone here; I love inviting my friends and having sleepover parties in the apartment.
*If you look hard, you will see Lukas Stobie’s Mario Brothers painting on the featured picture.