Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places



TTT – Climate, Cinema, Community

The Handmade Shop in Civic has a hilarious Canberra souvenir section, with tongue-in-cheek heart-shaped lollipops that proclaim “Canberra Doesn’t Suck!” and badges that earnestly try to convince visitors how Canberra’s such a lovely place, “despite what everyone says”.

My 3 gratitudes for this week happen to be about this city once again.

1. Spring


Canberra winters, despite what Queenslanders and Darwinians moan about, are actually delightful. Friggin’ cold, but usually sunny – and that makes a huge difference to one’s temperament. I’ve been to Melbourne in winter and while Melbourne remains my most favourite Australian city (and while I still harbour not-so-secret thoughts about moving there one day), it has miserable winters.

So here’s what Spring in Canberra can start to look like. Bursts of colour, still coolish climes, radiant sun and cloudless skies. Also, dawg-awful hayfever… but let’s just focus on the positives for now, yeah?

2. Beauty and the Beast


Movies here cost an arm and a leg compared to Singapore, so it’s quite the treat for us when we bother making a date of it, and when they do something special like feature a Disney Princess movie every Saturday/Sunday morning for a month and a half. We only managed to catch the last one on Saturday. It was Arddun’s first time watching Beauty and the Beast, and we think she rather enjoyed herself, even though parts of it got quite intense.

We had primed her for it the whole morning. “Got a surprise for you, Arddun!” we said, as we got her dressed and into the car. “A big surprise!” And she got all excited when she realised we were going into the cinema. Job done! Such clever parenting. So we didn’t quite know how to react when Tony took her down to PappaRich for lunch after the movie, and she looked up at him while they were waiting for the table and asked, “Where’s the surprise, Daddy?”

3. That village feeling


Today pretty much summed up how my Mother’s group has become a bit of my village. Started the morning text-chatting with Carrie and commiserating over tired pregnant bodies… Received a text this morning from Fam who told me that our husbands ended up in a work meeting together by sheer coincidence… Bumped into Allie, Alex and Liam at the library where Arddun could enjoy an impromptu story-telling session on the steps… and ended our afternoon with Sara and Co., where Arddun had a ball with Jett and wore their dogs out by endless chases.

I love that I can start and end my day with these beautiful women and their bubs, that these friendships are effortless and genuine. I love that our children are playing well together, and that Arddun has all these surrogate “aunties” she can trust. I love that I can turn up at their homes with no make-up on and lousy hair, because we all first met when our bubs were two to three months old and we were all too sleep-deprived to work out whether our T-shirts were on back to front.

Good times.

TTT – A week of visiting

1. Movie Morning

Isn’t it always the case in Canberra that one gets along swimmingly with a new friend before A Big Change comes along and it all goes poof? Canberra, I find, has quite the transient crowd and as it is, I’ve had many up and move interstate just when things were getting comfy.

Which is why I’m hugely happy and a little sad that Arddun and I are starting to form really lovely friendships in my mother’s group, only to remember that absolutely everyone else’s maternity leave is about to dry up by August. But count my blessings, I will. Because they’re not moving out of town, at least. And I finally have friends within walking distance of my home.

This Monday past, 3 of us got together at my  humble home with our 3 bubs and actually accomplished what we had set out to do. Namely,

  1. Actually produce and consume a quality cheese-toasties lunch
  2. Actually make some popcorn
  3. Actually sit down and finish a movie!
Three babies at movie afternoon
From left: Arddun (“Mommy… What’s a chicky?”), Ryan (“Check out ma chickies…”), and Charlotte (“Oh for the last time… I AM NOT YOUR CHICKY!”)
An orange bowl of burnt popcorn
Yeah… the first bowl didn’t go so well.

2. Abi road

Claire and Abi are in town this week, and graced us with their delightful company yesterday afternoon. Yet another cheese toasty adventure (nothing better on a chilly Autumn afternoon!), followed by a leisurely walk to the local mall and coffee at the usual haunt. At least Abi got to visit the home that her mum and dad house-sat (?) after their wedding, and Arddun got to hang out with her Little Friend with the Stunning Eyes.

Arddun, Claire and Abi

3. Triple Fun

At last we got to see the triplets! Or “Chee-pets”, as Lily called them for ages. And I really, really wished I thought to whip out my camera in the midst of wallowing in their cuteness and amazingness and OmiwordI’mholdingaCheepet!-ness. And I stand amazed that three little fellas could have come out of this amazing little lady. And I stand even more amazed that she does what I’ve been doing with Arddun – except to the power of 3. And I’m super impressed that all 3 went down for their naps without even so much as a whimper when my own wiry daughter managed only 25 + 20 minutes THE WHOLE DAY. And I’m inspired, and think, “Wow. Maybe we should aim to have 2 under 2 after all!”

Except I really think I love shopping and coffees in the mall too much.

Bless this little family, their growing tummies, and their happy smiles.



The Lorax is coming…

I used to be scared of the Dr Seuss books. Too quirky, too creepy, too drug-induced-frenzy for my 5yo tastes. But Tony grew up on the stuff and he personally bought The Lorax for Arddun before she was born. Because it was one of his faves.

So since then, I’ve been reading The Lorax to her. And whodathunk that it has such a green message in it. Very modern cautionary tale about capitalism at the environment’s expense, really. Probably a bit too grown-up for her, methinks. As it is, she hasn’t quite grasped how her carbon footprint in disposable nappies ain’t doin’ the Truffulas any favours.

Anyhoo – just found out it’s coming to the big screens. Or perhaps it’s already showing. Sorry. Am a little slow on the uptake, seeing how movies here cost $17 each.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑