everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Plane speaking: Sunrise

Before I go on, I do want to say that I realise how lucky I am to be able to travel – especially on overseas adventures to the other side of the world. So, any criticism that I make of plane travel is in that context – a lighthearted whinge, not a serious complaint or gripe about the sad state of my world. Just so we’re clear.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, my first travellin’ post is about the craziness of long haul flights. I think I’ve mentioned before that on the height scale, I’m closer to ‘pixie’ than I am to ‘giant’, but even so, I find myself tucked into crazy yoga positions as I try to fit in my seat – the one that is to be my chair, bed, cinema, restaurant (and everything else) – for the first leg of my trip: the 14 hour flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi. At least my neighbour was lovely and just the right amount of chatty. A German chap who’d lived in Sydney for six years, he warned me early in our conversation that he had a strange eye condition as he had been hit at close range with a tennis ball a few days ago and now had a medically-induced dilated pupil to ensure that his eye didn’t explode. We joked about the inconvenience of an exploding eye while flying, but luckily he survived the flight with both eyes in order. Although I did panic when I heard a loud hissing noise – turned out he was just deflating his neck pillow. Phew.

Anyways, it was my first time flying with Etihad and they were pretty good. A feature that I particularly liked was the way they managed the ‘wake up’ part of the flight. It’s always so arbitrary – you board at a certain time and you know your arrival time at your destination, but everything in between is really just a mish mash of hours and days as you cross time zones and you’re served dinner when your brain is expecting breakfast. In the olden days, the staff used to just plunge the cabin into darkness to encourage people to sleep, then flick the bright white lights back on whenever the plane clock said it was time to wake up. Like the end of a disco, it was always a shock to the system and felt a bit like being punched in the face. Those days are gone – I appreciated Etihad’s thoughtful way of sending you to sleeep and gently waking you up with their version of sunrise / sunset. Here’s the overhead light sunrise – imagine it through bleary eyes and a frazzled mind to get a better idea of how it seemed at the time…

And to finish that first leg of the journey, here are some mugs that I noticed in a shop at the airport in Abu Dhabi, where I had a few hours between flights. Just because in my confused state, I thought these were pretty amazing.

PS, I’m posting photos on Instagram as I go – I’m everydaysparks there if you want to join me…

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Hope

I was recently talking with my lovely friend B about how I think I am suffering from some disorder that means I can’t keep track of time. B’s a med student, so he kindly considered my rambling description of forgetting or confusing birthdays, due dates, holiday departures and other calendar events and timeframes. Then B distracted me by asking about tv shows and, given that I also suffer from a short attention span, that was the end of that consultation.

Now, I’m not sure if it’s ironic or coincidental or just a sign of my advancing calendar-itis, but I’ve just realised that the Hope 2012 blog relay was due to end on Monday. And I haven’t run my leg of the relay yet. Not wanting to let down the lovely Jo, of the fabulous This Sydney Life, who passed the relay baton to me, I’m going to run it today. As a bit of background, the relay was started by blogger Melanie Crutchfield, inspired by all things Olympic. Melanie decided to blog about hope and then pass the baton to some blogging buddies, who would in turn blog on the same theme and then pass the baton along. A pretty cool way to spread words and ideas about hope around the blogging world.

Hope Necklace by Chic & Sweet on etsy

So, with that ridiculous amount of build-up, I now need to write a little something about hope. My first port of call for inspiration is, as always, etsy. Turns out you can buy Hope jewellery, bookmarks, iphone covers, t-shirts, prints, prayer books – etsy is a veritable hotbed of Hope.

And then I looked through the Camera Roll on my phone – lots of different people and places captured over the past year (or so). Lots of Hope there too. Hope for sunny weather, hope for bright futures for amazing little people, hope for safe travels, hope for new directions. So, I’ve picked my top few photos that say something about Hope to me. (This is likely to be sappier than my usual posts, but please be assured that normal EverydaySparks programming will resume shortly.)

Last Thursday I flew across the country to see some of my family, who live in the West. I was very excited to see them and it was such a beautiful day that I couldn’t help snapping a pic as we headed towards our landing in Perth. And then the thought crossed my mind: it’s actually pretty amazing that flying has become so humdrum – we just jump in a giant metal bird and fly up beyond the clouds til we reach our destination. No big deal anymore. Except it is a big deal – and it’s kind of the ultimate in hope – we’re totally reliant on a bunch of random strangers (engineers, pilots, service staff) doing their jobs well so that we travel safely. Up in the sky, past the clouds and the birds.

And here’s the EverydaySparks herb garden. Except I fear that this ‘garden’ needs not just hope, but faith and charity as well. The seeds (coriander, parsley, basil) were planted last month and some strange things have been happening in these pots. But I have hope that what looks like a mess of weeds will soon somehow magically start looking like the herbs that I buy from the shops. I’ll keep you posted…

Then there’s my home town of Sydney – full of hope and promise, especially on a sunny day. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be here – as I whinge about a late running ferry, or a slow barista, or the traffic. Waa waa waa. And then some days, I catch a view like this one and stop for a minute (ok, probably fifteen seconds) to try and take it in. And I hope that people who are visiting the city are having a great time; and that people who dream of being here will make it; and that we won’t do anything to mess up the beauty of it all. (Ok, and I also hope that the ferry will be on time and my coffee will be made quickly. I’m not Buddha.)

And last, but most definitely not least, a photo of the shoes of some of my most favourite people (with one small shoe missing – the teeniest feet were too little to stand in this pic). I know I’m a biased aunt, but the kids who stand in these shoes are just amazing – funny, smart, thoughtful, quirky, silly and sweet. They are soccer players, netballers, tennis players, fashionistas, dancers, cellists, wrestlers, pianists, drummers, and singers. They have ambitions of being doctors, vets, pet shop owners, acrobats, chefs, face painters, fairies, waitresses and teachers. For me, these peeps are what Hope is all about. (Granted, sometimes, it’s just hoping they’ll be quiet or go to sleep.)

And with that, I collapse at the finish line. That’s my part of the relay run. I hope I wasn’t too late!

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