Making History

Yesterday we made history.

For the first time ever, women have been given the opportunity to play Australian Rules Football at an elite level. The inaugural AFLW match took place last night at Princes Park, and I was there to witness it.

This event was momentous. Not only for women in sport in general, but particularly in this sport. The AFL is famously and notoriously laden with misogyny. There has not been a season where a player, coach or commentator has not been involved in violence against women (actioned or threatened – although they may claim they were only ‘joking’).

And when the inaugaural AFLW season was mooted even those in the higher echelons of the AFL stated that it would only be popular if the women ‘wore lycra’ to make it more interesting.

So this was the weekend where Melbourne got a chance to prove the haters wrong. And they did!

Over 24,000 people turned up to see Carlton defeat Collingwood. I couldn’t get a tram from work and had to walk 4km with hundreds of other people to get there. Once I did arrive, I only just made it through the gates before they shut them. They ran out of beer 8 minutes into the first quarter. People gathered outside the ground and waited, patiently, for security to confirm whether they would be allowed in.

The organisers underestimated us. They didn’t take account of the power of the people and they lost sight of this city’s sentiments. We love sport. We love competition. And we (increasingly) love equality. Admittedly there is still a long journey ahead of us but at least we are now having the conversation.

If you do anything over the next few weeks, get to a game. Support women in sport. Show the powers that be that we are passionate about equality of opportunity (and not only when they wear Lycra!). Let’s make this a success.

View from the old stand at the inaugural AFLW match. Feb 3 2017.
Advertisements

Christmas in July – with instructions!

Last weekend it was Stuart’s birthday and, we decided, the perfect weekend to celebrate Christmas in July. We have lots of Northern Hemisphere friends who find it hard to get into the ‘Christmas mood’ when it is hot and sunny. So this is our way of celebrating in the cold (and any excuse for a party in our house!!).

Christmas collage

We wanted the day to be about friends, food and fun; so we wanted it to be as stress free as possible. This involved a lot of preparation and a lot of simple decorating ideas.

A week before the party we decided to draw up a list of everything we needed. We asked everyone to bring something (either the cheese, starters, vegetarian option, dessert etc). This meant we only needed to provide the protein and root veg as well as one dessert.

We then worked out what could be prepped the day before. This was essential as I was working on the day and was going to be one of the last ‘guests’ to arrive!! So anything that wasn’t done had to be done by Stuart or by people once they arrived.

For decorations we went with a simple but lovely idea to put down plain brown paper and crayons then decorate the table cloth with questions and activities. We then raided my parents’ Christmas box and just made some bows for chairs, put some baubles in a bowl and bought some Christmas Crackers! Done.

The day went off without a hitch. We had been able to boil the veg and brown it the night before so it only needed a bit of cooking on the day. We had also prepped the dessert and got the utensils out as well as setting the table. The meat was all cooked on the day and everyone stepped up and brought amazing contributions to the meal!

DSC_0010.JPG

On the day we had a Secret Santa where each person brought a present then got to choose one at random. This saved the hassle of having to draw names out of a hat and, again, minimised our stress. It was also a lot more fun as you can choose to either take a present from the pile or steal one! Look what I stole!

IMG_4364

(you may have already noticed that the dress theme was ‘bad taste Christmas jumpers’ – mine was a cashmere and pearl number with sewn in shoulder pads from an op shop!)

In the end we had a lovely evening with close friends. It was the least stressful Christmas I’ve ever had. And we got to share a fantastic moment as it was our friend Maddi’s first ever Christmas!! Low-key was definitely the theme but it didn’t feel like that on the day as all our friends made a huge effort and our shortcuts didn’t show once we’d had a bottle of champagne!

DSC_0048

 

Before I go I wanted to share with you the dessert we cooked. It’s stolen off my aunt and a real family favourite!!

DSC_0084

This is a Bread and Butter pudding with a twist. We make it with Jewish sweet Challah and chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • One loaf of sweet Challah, cut coarsely
  • One (or more!) block of chocolate- milk or 70% cocoa solids, according to preference
  • Around one block/stick of butter
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs

Method:

  1. cut up the Challah and place in a single layer in a baking tray. break the chocolate into small chunks and place throughout the bread.
  2. warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter is melted, take off the heat. add the vanilla and sugar then, once it is cooled slightly, add the eggs and beat in. make sure the mixture isn’t too warm as it will cook the eggs.
  3. pour the milk mixture over the bread making sure it is all saturated. if you don’t have enough mix at this point I have been known to pour a bit of milk over the rest (it’s a bit of a cheat but I’m not a precise cook and it seems fine!)
  4. place in the oven at 160°C (or 150° fan forced) for about an hour. keep your eye on it, when the top is beautifully brown and crispy take it out and check the middle is hot. some people like to cover it with foil for the first 45-50 mins so it doesn’t over cook on top, but again, I’m not that precise (and I love the crispy bits!)

 

 

 

 

 

What’s On 29-31st July

This weekend is Open House Melbourne where you get to explore hundreds of properties across Melbourne, many of which are not open on other days.

You can find out more details at http://www.openhousemelbourne.org/ and I highly recommend you check it out. Last year I went on a tour of Melbourne Cemetery with some friends.

If you are in the mood for exploring then why not check out some other interesting tours that you can take part in!

  • A while ago we got together and did a ghost tour of Melbourne which was great fun (even with a lot of ghost skeptics between us!

IMG_4325

  • Another one we have had our eye on for a while is the moonlight kayak tour where you get to eat fish and chips on the water in your kayak!! We haven’t done it yet but I think we will wait until spring or summer now!
  • If you want something on the water but a little less energetic, I love the look of the Botanic Garden Punt tours. I had a friend who got married on the edge of the Ornamental Lake and it is such a beautiful part of Melbourne to explore.

 

Let us know below if you have any other tour ideas. Or share cool Open Melbourne ideas!!

 

I’m OK

 

So I know I said I was going to talk about affirmations and Sankalpa this week, and I sort of will. But Karen’s post from last week reminded me of something that happened recently to me.

The scene is thus:

IMG_3397

Good Beer Week and a very excited Stuart. We were on our way to a six course ‘beer off’ between a local brewery (3 Ravens) and Stuart’s favourite brewery in London (Fuller’s).  We decide to cycle there because there is no convenient public transport and it’s a lovely evening.

So lovely in fact that as we get on our bikes I realise I don’t even need my jacket!!

So lovely that I take off my jacket and leave it in the garage.

 

Seems innocuous enough, right? Except that about 15 minutes after I press the garage door button and run out the closing door (Indiana Jones style….)

I couldn't find a decent Indiana Jones Hat Grab Gif, so I made one - Imgur.gif

… I realise where my keys are. (And by now I’m sure you have too….)

In the jacket pocket of course.

Now, six months ago this would have sent me in to a panic spiral as I imagined the worst and my head would have flooded with a multitude of cognitive distortions (or thinking errors/traps) (‘I’ll never be able to get in to my house’, ‘everyone will think I’m such an idiot’, ‘I’m so disorganised and forgetful’). But I have been working a lot on the affirmation ‘I am OK’. The belief underlying this is that no matter what happens to me, I have the capacity within myself to cope and to be okay. I use this as my mantra whenever I am confronted by feelings of anxiety or worry and it is has helped me to embody a belief that nothing is too big to overcome.

 

Bike riding

Me and Stuart on bikes….    (Photo used for illustrative purposes only)

So here I was, on the bike path between Brunswick and Northcote, with no keys and a super awesome dinner awaiting me that I did not want to miss. Then I realised ‘I am okay’, there are locksmiths and if I have to call one out I’d rather do it after dinner than before. So onward I cycle. And then I realise something else (when we are calm we are so flexible in our problem solving…..). Our awesome friend Molly has a spare key!!!

A phone call later and Molly is on her way to our house with the spare key in hand to leave in [undisclosed location]

And then I realised. I’m not okay. I’m better than that. I’m surrounded by awesome people who really care about me. I have the means to have frivolous six course dinners with beer pairings. I live in a city I love and live a life I love. And even when things do go wrong, or things happen that I don’t love, I’m still okay.

Stuart Molly Karen

Some of my awesome friends who make everything (better than) okay.