This morning my mental health half day consisted of visiting an old friend who recently moved 20 minutes away from here, into the most beautiful house in the world, while her own house is being renovated. On the way there I stopped at something that was signed as a ‘garage sale’ but was SO MUCH MORE…

It wasn’t really a garage sale as such, but more a huge shed with a hodge podge of vintage stuff – anything from old beach umbrellas to furniture to chandeliers to an old fridge – plus a few racks of fairly glamorous dresses and skirts. I was in heaven. And wishing for far more money than I had…

Mornington treasures

I sated myself with an old laundry basket – one that is square, cane, with legs and a hinged lid. I have always coveted them, but I’ve never found one for ten dollars before.

New old laundry basket $10

Not a great photo, but the best I can do at this time of night! I went with my friend to watch her eight-year-old daughter play her second ever game of competitive netball. I love netball! I used to play in my early teens. I umpired games and coached my own little ‘Under Nines’ team for a year or so with a friend of mine.

My friend and I stood on the sidelines. She kept apologising to me, saying, “I can’t help it! I think I’m one of those parents! I have to yell encouragement!” And she did, and it was lovely! I very much enjoyed watching the game and how all the little players progressed from beginning to end *warm glow*

Netball courts in Chelsea

We chatted a bit, of course, and she is living the very opposite of my life. They leave the house at around 6am or so each morning to get the kids to before school care back near the house that’s being renovated. It then takes her 90 minutes to drive to work. She spends at least three and a half hours driving each day – and then there are all the things that seem to come with older kids – the sports after school, the ballet class, the gymnastics…

I began thinking that actually, I am living in the s-l-o-w lane – and some of the time feel like I’m struggling with that! Bizarre. I suppose there are different stresses that come with being at home with very small children. With a non-mainstream work situation we have traded money for time and flexibility: my friend has money but her time is tied up and compartmentalised. Two extremes.

On the way back home I went into the bakery to get rolls for lunch. I went in the back door past the ovens and was jolted by the smells of baking bread back to my very first job. I must have been thirteen or fourteen. I got the job through Melinda, the goal shooter in my netball team (my brain was working hard behind the scenes tying this all together, obviously)…

I worked behind the counter on Saturday mornings. I think it was on the third week they sacked me. They had a cash register that just totalled up the purchase – it did not work out the change owing. It took me too long, apparently, to work out peoples change. The last straw was a guy who paid for his purchases with a handful of one, two, five and twenty cent pieces. I had to count them laboriously as the shop filled up with people waiting to be served. At the end of my shift they told me not to come back…

I was fairly embarrassed, but also frustrated. I got over it. I went on to bigger and better things 😉 like working in a cafe, and a supermarket delicatessen… and owning an awesome laundry basket…