Week Avenged by a Crafty Weekend of Surprises

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I’ve just spent the last hour reviewing everything that’s happened over the last week and it made me realise one of the greatest things about blogging. It forces you to stop and review what’s really been happening. Too often we jump from the day-to-day and week-to-week events without taking the time to appreciate how much really goes on.

I also see myself as a fairly up-beat, positive, optimistic kinda guy, that likes to share fun and happy stories. So when I start thinking back to all the stuff that has transpired over the past seven days, I’m naturally inspired to put a positive spin on some of the stuff that may have stressed, depressed or angered me at the time.

For instance, this week I found-out that one of my newest team members at work will have to leave for an indefinite period of time due to an illness in his family.

We were just starting to get into a bit of a routine and getting ready to push a bit harder knowing we have the resources to handle more work, and this unexpected news has forced us to review, and potentially change our approach. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with him taking leave, after all, family and friends are the most important things in the world, but I’d be lying if I were to say a wave of stress didn’t wash over me when I heard the news.

Yet, less than a week later, and after a weekend full of small, but fun and interesting experiences, we’ve already started working on ways to proceed without our little Irishman. And, to be honest, I’d almost forgotten that he was leaving, let-alone caused me the amount of stress and concern that I felt at the time I heard the news.

I seriously doubt he’d read this, but if he does stumble across it – Shane, I hope everything works-out as well as it can for your uncle and we can’t wait to have you back… whenever that may be.

On the topic of unexpected events, I was on my way home from work on Friday evening and I got stuck in traffic. It took about an hour to travel 15Km’s, so by the time I got home, I was somewhat exhausted and still a bit stressed from Shane’s news a couple of days prior. I had just sat down when I got a text message from Emily asking if I was up to anything and if I wanted to have a couple of glasses of wine. As this was probably the best thing anyone had said to me in days, I jumped at the opportunity.

A couple of bottles later, I realised I had agreed to help with an upholstery class she was running the following morning.

Em has her own business called Furniture Fashionista where she up-cycles old bits of furniture, re-upholsters chairs as well as making new chairs in antique styles.

The class was happening out at one of the retail outlets that sells Em’s stuff – a quirky little hand-made boutique homewares shop called Homespun at Aratula (about 90Kms south-west of Brisbane).

Despite the stupidly early start and the complete shamozzle trying to get some breakfast from the little coffee shop next to the store, the class went really well. I helped with doing some video recording as well as handing around bits of material, foam and tools.

I also felt quite manly when some of the ladies in the class needed me to help fix their staple guns. Little did they know I had absolutely no clue what a staple gun was prior to that morning. But, before any of the ladies noticed, I whipped-out my phone and sneakily Googled like a Ninja in a craft class, and downloaded an instruction manual. Within minutes I became the resident staple-gunsmith – I can now appreciate how Neo from the Matrix must have felt when he learnt Kung Fu. 😛

After the class Em was dropping me home and I got caught-up in yet another activity that I am still relatively new to – scavenging kerbside collections. A few times a year the local council encourages residents to do a clean-up and discard any large or bulky items that don’t fit in a regular bin. You leave these items on the kerb and the council comes and collects it. Or they would, if dirty hoarding scavengers like us didn’t get to it first.

But in all seriousness, it’s not as bad as it sounds. One person’s trash is often another person’s treasure – and when you have the mad furniture restoration skills that Em has, there’s a lot of great stuff you can find. I have discovered a world of cool retro furniture that people throw away because the cushions are ripped or stained, but the frame and construction is often really solid (and usually a lot better quality than you get in brand new furniture). So with a little bit of foam and some new fabric, there’s a surprising amount of awesome stuff that can be saved before it ends-up as landfill.

The next day I wanted to try a cafe over at Hendra that had received a good review in the local paper a couple of weeks ago, but by the time I dragged myself out of bed and got over there, the place wasn’t open.

This turned-out to be a blessing in disguise because as I was driving away, I stumbled across the Eagle Farm Markets. They’re held every Sunday and have live music, an amazing selection of incredible foods, fresh produce, hand made stalls and all sorts of other quirky interesting stuff. I purchased a bag of chilli chocolate coated coffee beans from Guatemala that tastes absolutely phenomenal and I’ll definitely be heading back there again. The food alone is worth the trip.

Then to finish the weekend off, I went to see The Avengers. It was good. Not quite as good as I was hoping (although I did have very high expectations), but still a really fun movie. Strangely enough, I enjoyed the in-fighting between the group before they all started working together far more than when they were fighting the real enemy.

I also didn’t expect to say this, but the Hulk was very good. I have never been a huge Hulk fan, but because I really like Eric Banna, I felt he did a pretty good job back in 2003… but Mark Ruffalo absolutely smashes it (pun intended).

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