Embrace the unexpected.
When a friend tagged me on an Instagram post and suggested I should set up a stall at the upcoming Afrobeats Festival I almost dismissed the idea. I had a house move looming on the horizon and I wasn’t sure I would be ready for the festival.
Getting ready for the day was frantic but we pulled it off and now I’m set up to pop up anywhere!
I enjoyed the atmosphere although I needed a couple of days afterwards to recover from all the excitement. It was a treat dancing to Afro music, many of which were from my heritage. There was a lot of interest in my artwork and it was thrilling to sell a few large and smaller prints.
I learned that we never feel ready for some challenges but that shouldn’t deter us anyway. We are usually more capable than we believe.
These wise words are so familiar that it’s easy to walk past the message. Yesterday they made me stop and ponder their meaning. Today it’s hanging in our dining space. I hope it encourages us remember to live gently and mindfully in the busy stressful moments. It’s about the journey and not perfection.
I’m thankful for this daily reminder and the artist who took the time to create this simple special piece.
What do you need to recharge your batteries?
This week I needed a long drive away from the city. It was just a longing in my heart as my body struggled with post-house-move exhaustion. With the kids at school for the day my partner treated me to a drive around Samford, Camp Mountain, Dayboro, Warner and Petrie.
Although I got tired very quickly and just wanted to fall asleep it was therapeutic gently making our way in and out of local post offices, fighting over delicious sausage rolls from a bakery in Dayboro, indulging in a gluten free lemon and pistachio cake from an organic café in Samford and striking up conversations with the locals about my Partner’s 1979 vintage car.
I always enjoy the artisanal nature and community focus of local businesses and in small towns they feel like the pulse of the place.
Do you enjoy or live in a small town? How do you recharge your batteries?
This vibrant painting celebrates one of the 4 Market days of the Igbo tribal group from Nigeria. These women are heading to the Orie (pronounced Oye) market.
This painting is nostalgic as it reminds me of my grandmother waking up early to embark on a big walk to the nearest Orie market to buy homegrown food items and handmade crafts.
She would be accompanied by neighbours or friends and there would be a melting pot of people from other villages around the market buying, selling and building community bonds.
This limited edition print of my original artwork which gets as big as 70 x 100 cm.
It ships worldwide and can be found online here:
I was drawn in by this tree during my walk this afternoon and it was sparkling right into my soul. In a strange disconnected way it helped me connect my thoughts and string the following words together.
Usually, I shop every fortnight and today is my shopping weekend. As such, I was supposed to go to the market early then to Aldi and then to Woolworths. Laundry was supposed to have been done and hung out to make the most of the beautiful sunshine and I was supposed to be generally organised. However none of these have happened today because I’m exhausted.
I slept in and had breakfast almost at noon today. I let the kids watch morning TV and make their own breakfast. We left laundry piled up on the floor and have now gone for a walk to the park. I took a couple of pens and my sketchbook and we followed the long scenic route during our walk.
No I haven’t done my menu or shopping list and yes I will do an online shop and pickup tomorrow arvo. No I haven’t figured out lunch or dinner but we’ve got lots of porridge and beans in the pantry. I’m sure I can figure something out at some point today.
Yes I’m learning to abandon convention and definitions of success that I have followed unquestioningly in the past but which left me stressed and frazzled. Yes I’m slowly learning to understand that success needs to serve me and not vice verse. Yes I haven’t quite articulated in a coherent explain to someone else way what my individual definition of success is but I know that my central theme is living a life that is meaningful to me. I also know that meaning is 6 billion times unique and therefore even if I tried to explain what my idea of success is you might not get it. And that’s ok, perhaps that’s how it should be.
I have experienced how the definitions of success we are raised with have not only be defined by others but many times serve other people’s interests rather than ours. I am inspired when we can have open discussions on a range of issues that help us clarify and articulate our own perspectives and values as well as accept the rights of others to have and live guided by theirs.
I hope you find your sparkle and your peace on your path and that you are courageous enough to live a life that is meaningful to you!
Recently a group of friends and I were sharing our current reading habits and I was intrigued by our differences in choices and routines.
I love the company of books and my favourite authors have literally been a gift to me in my darkest moments. I always have a mix of books going at the same time. Currently around 23 but here are 10 of them. I find that having books on the go from different genres allows me to always have a book that fits any mood.
How and what are you reading?
The question I’m asking readers this week is, “How do you make sense of today and keep forging ahead when the future is uncertain?”
I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Known for it’s quaint steep streets and cute Workers Cottages Red Hill is one of my favourite Brisbane suburbs to explore and hang out. Located in a colonial corner store, The Little Red Providore stands out on Windsor Rd with its bright red door! The first thing I noticed when I walked in was an artisanal vibe. As a creative person I loved seeing a display of artworks for sale, locally crafted ceramics, jams, breads, milk and condiments just to name a few. The café is also known for spontaneous menu changes guided by seasonal produce and the Chef’s inspiration.
This visit was my third and having only previously ordered the Brioche Breakfast burger I decided to try something different from the menu. We ordered the big breakfast to share: grilled haloumi, bacon, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, avocado, scrambled eggs, rocket and homemade tomato sauce on sourdough toast but swapped the sourdough with brioche.
We settled into a nice warm spot in the sun filled courtyard downstairs. The indoor seating area downstairs was abuzz with students and professionals working away at their laptops. There is a relaxed living room style area with a couple of sofas and cushions, a library for customers who would love a book with their coffee and a kids section. We noticed an artist nestled in a corner drawing butterflies and this warmed my creative soul!
Our meal arrived without delay and we dug into it with gusto (I was starving and it was almost lunchtime)! I enjoyed the freshness of the meal with the rocket, tomatoes, mushrooms and avocado creating a mix of flavours, textures and colours that appealed to all my senses! The brioche was mildly toasted and on second thoughts I should have stuck to sourdough toast as the brioche turned out to be quite light but it still worked. The haloumi and eggs were seasoned perfectly and they worked together with the fresh seasonal produce to create a flawless symphony of flavourful goodness. I also enjoyed the pineapple and orange juice which I found quite refreshing and not too sweet.
It was a lovely day for such a delicious adventure and while we indulged in the culinary delights we also engaged in some meaningful conversation which I think is always the perfect accompaniment to a good meal. My partner asked me this cliched but introspective question,
“If you could have breakfast with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be?”
As simple as the question might seem it took me a couple of mouthfuls to ponder and come up with a answer. I had four people I would love to have breakfast with-
- Queen Esther (written about in the Bible)
- Oprah Winfrey
- Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
- Jacinda Arden, PM New Zealand
I am inspired by these four women because they have charted courses that push the boundaries of racism and sexism. They inspire me to be brave and courageous, to see opportunity in seemingly impossible situations and to believe in myself no matter what.
Who would you like to have breakfast with?
Visit The Little Red Providore