Saturday, 7 April 2018

Better than Six Years Ago


This is the second video that Jalen made last year, for his photography assignment.  His idea was to have photos and videos to show that most people look okay on the outside, but there is often something very hard going on in their life. 

This video is a very short version of my story (I've only watched it once as I hate hearing my voice and seeing myself on screen!).  


You can see his first video here, which was his story.  

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Ed in Melbourne

After Aaron died I decided that rather than wasting money on things,  I wanted to spend money on experiences and create happy memories (hence I continue to keep looking at my house which needs a lot of work, but continue to put it off).  I'm always envious of friends who have amazing holidays overseas, but that is just not feasible for us.  We are lucky to have my brother Chrish in Sydney, as it always means it's a cheap holiday for us (especially as I always buy sale fares six months before we go) and we always have a lovely time.

Eleven months ago lots of staff at school including myself, were desperately trying to buy Ed Sheeran concert tickets online during our lunch break.  Looking back on it now it was hilarious, as we were all running (or walking fast...there's no running at school of course, except on the oval! ;) to each other's offices to see if anyone had any luck.  At the time we were all so stressed and disappointed as a lot of us missed out when the first tickets were released, including myself. 

I was so disappointed as we love Ed Sheeran and knew it would be an amazing concert, and really wanted to take the boys to Melbourne as we often go to Sydney, but haven't been to Melbourne very much.  I took Jay and Harri to see Taylor Swift a year after Aaron died and will never forget their faces and joy as the concert went on.  They didn't realise how good it was going to be, and since then I had been looking forward to a time when I could take all three boys to a concert.

Just a few days later, they released another concert and I was lucky enough to be able to get tickets straight away. I was so excited and wanted to keep it a surprise for the boys, but there was no way I could! I was just too excited to tell them.  We just had to wait ten months till the concert.  At the time it seemed like forever to wait, but summer holidays flew by and before we knew it, it was time to fly to Melbourne!



Kobe was the most excited.  He was counting down the days for weeks and every morning he would wake up and tell me how many days it was until we were leaving for Melbourne.  In the weeks leading up to going, he kept watching Ed Sheeran concerts on YouTube and would tell me different things to expect. 

I have to admit that I was just as excited as Kobe.   I don't get excited about much any long (probably because Aaron isn't here to experience things with me) but I couldn't wait to go to Melbourne for a few days with the boys and see Ed Sheeran in concert.
We arrived in Melbourne just as the sun was setting.  It had been hot in Launceston when we left, but it was even hotter in Melbourne.  



The day that I bought the concert tickets, I also bought plane tickets (which were very cheap at the time) and booked accommodation.  It was lucky I did as I heard of some friends paying crazy prices for airfares (because half of Tassie was going over to one of his concerts) and a friend even decided not to go (even though she had tickets) because it was just too expensive to fly over. 



Last year I took the boys to the soccer in Melbourne and we stayed in an Airbnb apartment for the first time.  We loved the building it was in (the apartment was good but a little small for us) so this time we booked another Airbnb apartment in the same building which was a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment.  It was so cheap (a friend told me that she paid more than us for one night's accommodation in a hotel, compared to our three nights) and the apartment was so good. 

It was right across the road from Spencer Street station and Etihad Stadium (where the concert was) and we had an amazing view from our balcony and the bedroom which Kobe and I slept in (sorry for the phone photos - I don't really use my good camera very much anymore as I blog now just to record memories, rather than taking photos to blog them.  I probably should pull out my good camera more often).


The building also had a gym, indoor pool, sauna, rooftop garden and rock climbing wall. 
I think we swam four times over the three days.  Last year when we went to Melbourne I was so sick, so it was nice to be there this time and enjoy it  more.  Last time I didn't even swim, but this time I didn't want to leave the pool.





My cousin Tim had bought tickets to the concert (separately to us) for his son Jai's birthday.   They arrived in Melbourne the morning after we arrived and we had the best day with them. 
The main thing my boys wanted to do was go to their favourite shop - Culture Kings.   I hadn't planned on shopping very much, but the boys had saved up their own money and couldn't wait to spend some there.  Since we went to Melbourne last year, the shop had moved to a new location and it was very cool to be able to walk out right into Hosier Lane.


While we were there an artist was repainting one of the walls.  We went back a couple of days later to see how it turned out.
I had heard about the National Gallery of Victoria and the Triennial Displays because Will Smith (our old mate from Sydney! ;) had posted a video about Melbourne on his Instagram. I looked into it before we went to Melbourne and was pleasantly surprised that it was free!   When Tim asked what I had planned for that day I told him I was taking the boys to the NGV and that it looked really cool and he should come along.  When he told Jai that we were going to an art gallery Jai was not very keen about it, but thought it would be okay since we would all be together (and we would have fun no matter what we were doing).  He agreed that it was very cool and loved it as much as we all did.

There were so many cool displays and things to see and do.







With these photos you could put in your email address and then a timer would take your photo, and it was instantly emailed to you. 





These are hundreds of microphones.
This room was very cool, but made me feel a bit sick.  The lights and patterns on the would spin and move when there was movement from someone on the floor.




This was my favourite.  It was a woollen rug made by Alexandra Kehayoglou showing a landscape in Argentina which was under threat of being dammed.  You could lie on it and above there was a mirror so you could see the landscape and take photos.  

I think I'm going to laugh forever when I think about Tim putting his feet up the edge of the rug which was going up the wall, and the security guard rushing over to tell him not to do it.  Tim is hilarious and cracked us up as he tried to change the subject to avoid being told off by asking 'acrylic or wool?' to the security guard.  He wasn't interested in answering his question which made me laugh so much that I couldn't stop crying.  The rest of the day we just kept saying 'acrylic or wool?' and would wet ourselves laughing again.  






We also loved the huge skulls. 





I also loved the display by Japanese artist Yayoi Kasama.  As you entered you were given a flower which was also a sticker, to place somewhere within the room.
This display was different! Each thing on the wall had a different smell .Some were floral smells, some smelt like smoke. Some weren't very nice at all!
This was a very cool kids area.  The walls had displays of everyday things, which had created beautiful patterns. Some of it was interactive.






































































We all had a swim back at our apartment building before catching the tram to Luna Park that night.  We have been to Luna Park in Sydney and love it, but have never been to the one in Melbourne before.  It wasn't even half as big as the one in Sydney and was no where near as good so we were glad that the tickets were two for one.  Although it wasn't as good as the one in Sydney we still had a really fun night.  I think Tim makes anything fun, so there were lots of laughs and we also had the workers laughing with us.  On the old wooden roller coaster we were cheering the driver and booing when it was over which was cracking everyone up. 
While we were waiting in line at Luna Park Kobe said to the boys that a guy near us looked like one of his favourite YouTubers - Theo Baker. I have no idea who that is, but he is from the UK and makes YouTube videos about soccer and has over 750,000 followers.  Kobe asked Jai if he thought it was him and Harri looked him up online and they all agreed they thought it was him.  Tim chased him down with Jai and Kobe and it was him, so they got a photo with him.  Kobe was very excited to meet him.
The next day we had a big sleep in and then did a little bit of window shopping before the concert.  I hate shopping (probably because I would rather spend my money on experiences than things) so we literally just had a quick look before Kobe spent the rest of his money he had saved up, before heading back to our apartment before the concert. 

When we got there the Ed merchandise shop had opened up, so we bought a program to keep as a momento.




It was so good just being across the road from the stadium, as we didn't have to stress about getting there.  We went early even though we had seats, so we could listen to the support acts (Bliss n Eso and Missy Higgins).



When I went to buy tickets online the most expensive tickets came up as available first.  I knew that if I clicked away from that page to try to get cheaper seats, I would miss out on tickets so I ended up buying the most expensive seats, but it was definitely worth it.  We were really close and I was so glad to be sitting down.
The concert was incredible and just as good and even better than I imagined it to be.  Ed Sheeran is an incredible artist.  I absolutely loved watching him build up the songs, by recording part of the song and then playing it on a loop, and then playing another part and recording it, before singing the song.  I loved looking at Kobe as he tried to figure out what song it was, and then when he realised he would yell it out and was so excited. 
Our favourite part of the concert was when he got everyone to turn on their lights on their phones. 





I videoed our favourite songs on my phone.  We all sung our hearts out the whole time and had the best night. 
When Ed sang 'Nancy Mulligan' a little girl and her Mum in our row, stood up in the aisle and did some Irish dancing.






We had half a day in Melbourne the next day, before we had to fly home so we found a cool basketball shop that a friend told us about.  Harri was excited because an NBA game was on that morning, so he got a few minutes to sit down and watch it in the shop.
The one thing I lashed out and bought for the boys was a pair of NBA socks each, since they're all playing basketball this year.  They're the most expensive socks ever, but someone was very happy to have his own pair.
We caught the Sky Bus to the airport  and saw so many people from Tassie at the airport.  Harri was happy about the free wifi, so he could finish watching the NBA game!










It was so nice to spend a few days in Melbourne with the boys. We had so much fun and will never forget how great it was to see Ed Sheeran live. We love to visit Melbourne,  but it was so nice to get home to Tassie.
Kobe wrote a little post for me to put up here. It's so cute hearing his perspective of the weekend away. This is how he saw our trip to Melbourne.


Last weekend we went to Melbourne we stayed at in an Airbnb.  We could see an outlet shop and Etihad stadium.  Our cousins stayed a block away from us, so they went for a swim and a climb on the rock wall at our Airbnb with us.

We went to the National Gallery of Victoria.  My favourite bit was the skulls.  We went to Culture Kings and at the back of Culture Kings there was a massive alley way of graffiti and pictures. I got a Chicago Bulls hat.

That night we went to Luna Park. I didn’t want to go on the rollercoaster but mum said she will pay me ten bucks, so I went on and it was my favourite ride.  My second favourite one was the swinging ship.

The next day we went to DFO.  We caught the tram then walked three kilometres.  Then we turned the corner and Harri spotted it.  We went inside and we planned to meet up after a while. I went with Mum and got a Hawks geurnsey.  Then we had lunch and I got Subway.  We walked back because it was 1.5 kilometres away. 

That night was my first concert we went to Ed Sheeran. Near the start I started getting butterflies in my tummy.  My favourite song was Galway Girl and Shape of You. The jokes where really funny and the backgrounds where awesome. I loved that in ‘Sing’ everyone stood up and sung and danced. In the encore every stood up and sung and danced.

This was my favourite trip to Melbourne ever.
I also made a 'one second video' of our trip to Melbourne.  More pics are also on my Melbourne Instagram story.







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