Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places



This. Is. SPA!

So my first Christmas gift from Arddun turned out to be a voucher at a fancy schmancy spa at NewActon. And after postponing and cancelling a few appointments owing to sudden and gradual changes in weekend and holiday plans, the expiration date loomed before us and today ended up being the last possible Saturday to schedule in some relaxation time.

I had booked my spa date in before we left for Brisbane, which meant I completely forgot the list of treatments I’d ordered when I rocked up this morning – still coughing and spluttering from my cold, clothes mismatched, and 3 zits on my right cheek like a pimply teenager on the week of her finals. Not quite a glamour puss, but a puss much needing a touch of glamour.

SOMA day spa photo montage

Turns out I had ordered something called a Satin Wrap, which meant someone pretty much emptied a bottle of LA BIOSTHETIQUE Paris on me, and then wrapped me up in a plastic sheet, then a satin sheet, then a heavy towel, then a doona. And thus I lay swaddled and greasy, and left to soak in all that oily, moisturising goodness while she placed cucumber-like swabs on my eyes and messed my hair with a head massage.

Then I got falsies.

I have very little recollection of ordering this one, but apparently I had decided weeks ago that my eyelashes were in need of a major uplift. And so I spent 30 mildly uncomfortable minutes getting fake plastic hair stuck on my lash line. The result was a little bewildering. I think I looked a little manga and even though I got used to the feel of them eventually, I went home and snipped the corner strands back so I don’t look like spiders crawled under my eyelids and died.

And then I went and got a pedicure.

Which was safe enough. Except I forgot to bring slippers – or what Australians call thongs. (Australians think slippers are house shoes, or ugg boots. And Singaporeans think thongs are overpriced skimpy underwear made infamous by Borat.) I forgot to bring flip-flops – or rather, the bright and chilly winter morning banished all reasonable thought of ever wearing any. Except pedicures, as the experienced know, actually take hours to truly dry. And walking around in hard leather covered shoes is the surest way of rubbing off exactly $20 worth of pedicure within the first 30 minutes.

And so I walked from NewActon to the Canberra Centre in those oversized white spa slippers you see above.

Truly a memorable Christmas present. Thank you, sweetie. xx

TTT – Like a prayer, like a pampering, like a pair of pants

1. People who pray with technology
This week, I got two text messages filled with love and practicality. It said I was prayed for, it told me what the prayer was about, and it had a pretty handy piece of scripture attached to it. Short, to the point, powerful. You know how you read a chunk of scripture over and over, and nothing quite sinks in? Not deep-and-meaningful like? And then you get sent one verse at just the right time in your life and – ka blam! Impact.

This was the verse:

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Somewhere in my spiritual life, it got trendy to ONLY ask for strength to handle the come-what-may. Somehow, somewhere, it became the done thing to NOT plead with God. To not beg Him for a specific outcome. Not ask that it be A, and not B. Pretty please. Somehow, somewhere, the idea that we submit to God’s will mutually excluded the bit where I run to Him like a child and pester Him. To take what’s nearest and dearest to my heart and go… “Dad, this is my heart’s desire. Could I please have it?” Rinse, repeat.

I don’t know where I learnt not to ask for healing, but only for endurance. Not to ask for the removal of the impediment, but only to beg for fortitude.

So thanks for the reminder. And for finding the words, when my own brain lies still and rather useless at the mo.

2. Pretty vouchers
Arddun’s Christmas present to me: a very generous get-pretty voucher at a spa in the city. This, on top of another pedicure and facial voucher. Which is on top of my hair appointment this Saturday.


After feeling all mumsy and like a dag for months on end, it’s lovely to finally book in these pretty-me-up dates. The impetus is a wedding in late March and my trips to Brisbane and Singapore. Oh who am I kidding. I don’t really need a reason to book in afternoons of massages and pampering!

3. Hand-me-down Happies
Now that my weight and body shape have stabilised, I’ve had to take a deep breath and start throwing out things I can’t wear anymore. Which is about half my wardrobe, easily. And while I’ve been putting off the putting-aside because of laziness, the bigger reason has been my reluctance to pass on my clothes to complete strangers.

I donate regularly to Salvos and Vinnies… but these clothes spell history for me. And because most of these pieces have been with me since I was a teen, it’s been even harder to give away remnants of my past life in Singapore. These clothes aren’t just clothes – they’re memories of dates and break-ups and Sunday services and tertiary life and first jobs… They are one of the very few things in my house that came with me from Singapore. That were part of what I brought to our marriage home.

But then the Kirky girls have suddenly all grown up – and so I’ve found new clothes horses! It’s been happiness on both sides, because they get a new wardrobe while I see my clothes get a new lease of life every Sunday morning. Now complemented with gorgeous chestnut brown and strawberry blonde hair.

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