# 61 Playdough

OK this is a late post, but I wanted to make the most of Melbourne and to be away from the tablet. For my food adventures, check out my Ronna Eats blog post…

The date on phone tells me it’s 18 April - today’s my birthday! Facebook had reminded people it was my birthday and they have been steadily posting on my page all day. I'm on a plane somewhere over the Tasman Sea. You can say that I’ve spent my 34th birthday getting somewhere, as much as my 33rd was spent trying to run away from something. I don’t know what the next chapter of my story will be, for now, I just want a break from having to think so much.

You know I used to be that kid that liked to mix up the different colours of playdough. Actually, I probably became the adult that still likes to mix up her playdough colours. You’ve been warned future parent playdates. Man I used to love that weird, artificial smell. Playdough reminds me of a time of simplicity, innocence and effortless happiness. That's where my life is right now.

Having been in a ten year relationship, it’s amazing how quickly you forget simple things that used to come naturally, even just after a year. The way you steal their blankets when you roll over or when they jolt you awake because your hair got caught under their arms. Or how your bodies fit together. That kind of stuff.

That first morning, we woke up late - and we only got up because we were hungry. My eyes opened to an unfamiliar ceiling. His face was blurry, I squinted and he came into focus. Then I realised I didn’t have my contacts in yet. Ian found pancake mix and I offered to cook. There I was in his kitchen, cooking pancakes while standing on a plastic stool. You can say I’m 5ft tall on a good day.

I flew into Melbourne the night before. On the bus to the airport, I almost sat next to a monk - we made awkward eye contact and I quickly found an empty seat across the aisle. Then his mobile phone rang, with the classic Nokia ringtone that made the encounter even more amusing.

By the way, do airlines have a gigantic bean farm somewhere? I swear it’s like the staple in every meal. I’m surprised flights don’t become a big bean-induced fart torpedo.

 

Somewhere across the Tasman Sea I stared down at my beef, beans and kumara mash and I was glad I had udon noodles at the airport. The beef and beans were good, but the kumara had an odd taste that I put down to ‘plane-food-ness’. Having been on the road all day, I missed lunch and could feel that familiar queasiness that comes from hunger. By the way, do airlines have a gigantic bean farm somewhere? I swear it's like the staple in every meal. I'm surprised flights don't become a big bean-induced fart torpedo.

The movie selection was pretty good, but decided to stay away from any potential tearjerkers. One flight back from Singapore, I made the mistake of watching A Fault In Our Stars. When the guy passed away, I became a blubbering, bawling mess then tried to hide under the blanket. I admit, it messed me up a bit. The woman next to me was brave, she watched Lion - that movie would be the ultimate advert for Kleenex. OK, Suicide Squad it is then.

We took a road trip to see The Twelve Apostles. Man, it felt like we’d been driving forever. It's been awhile since I had been on a road trip this long and the novelty wore off in the first hour. Still, the weather was great and Ian was driving, which meant I didn't have to.

The sun beamed through the windscreen and there were stretches where all we saw was farm land. A bit like home really. We were so far in land that I felt a bit claustrophobic, especially having lived near the coast most of my life. In reality we were only a couple of hours to the shore.

We were on our way to The Twelve Apostles, which are naturally eroded rock formations, and used to be a part of the coastline thousands of years ago. There are probably only six left, and in time the sea will reclaim the last remaining few. We walked down to the beach using the man-made stairs and headed west away from the crowds. Ian and I sat down on a rock, admiring the rough, dirty tumbling waves on the misty horizon.

I sensed the tide was coming in and made my way back towards the cliffs. Ian wasn’t so lucky and a rogue wave soaked him up to his waist - which included his phone that was our GPS! Fortunately the road was well sign posted and we got back to Melbourne in one piece. We were glad there were no checkpoints on the way, having to explain to the cop why he was driving in his underwear would have been an awkward conversation indeed.

We got home around 7pm, got changed and headed to Roxy’s Kebabs. Ian had been telling me about it and I was excited to try their falafel kebabs. It’s always a good sign when the locals love it, although we must have missed the dinner rush. They also make a yummy rice pudding.

I must have been pretty tired because Ian told me I was snoring. He didn’t really mind, and like he said, it was just nice to wake up in the same country for once.

Ronna Grace Funtelar

A thirtyish storyteller, hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.