022 | 365 The love of a cat

Lucy the catThis morning I wake for the first time in three weeks in my own bed.

I have been woken by Lucy, my cat, who is giving my shoulder a massage and is purring away. Outside the sun is shining and the birds are singing.

After hugs and cuddles with my cat, I get up. Today is about doing nothing but relaxing.

My mum comes to the door shortly after breakfast on her way to an exercise class. She has forgotten a water bottle. I get one for her and send her on her way inviting her for lunch after her class. She is back within half an hour. She has been given the wrong details. The class doesn’t start for another six weeks and in a different location. We work out that the brochure she has been given is two years old. We decide to go and visit her sister, who invites us for lunch.

After a lovely day, again I find myself tiring early. For a night owl, it’s a strange being tired and ready for bed at an early hour.

As it has turned cold, my bed is warm and comfy and I fall asleep almost instantly. Lucy, who has been following me closely since I got home, falls asleep next to me as well.

021 | 365 There’s no place like home

Two hours until arrival in SydneyThe final two hours flying to Oz are the longest. I even get a little bit of travel sickness. The flight steward gives me some warm ginger ale to settle my stomach and then I’m ready to eat breakfast.

I need to do something to stop looking at the clock but it is great to see the beautiful colours in the sky.

After a long wait in Sydney I’m on my flight home to Adelaide. Travelling domestic in Australia is so different to the US. I feel like I am intruding on a business outing.

I have phone access for the first time in three weeks. Surprising how easy it is to do without a phone and messaging.

In Adelaide, I am greeted by my mum and brother. It’s good to see them and it looks like they are glad to see me too. I warn mum that I will most probably smell as it has been some time since I showered and was very hot and sweaty when I left New York. She lets me know that she didn’t shower before coming to get me so I wouldn’t feel so bad. Small gestures are sometimes the sweetest.

On arrival home my cat Lucy greets me at the door. She looks surprised but very pleased to see me. For the rest of the day she doesn’t stop meowing, which is unusual for her. I also get lots of her hugs, head buts, sniffs (I think these are her kisses) and licks too.

I am surprised I feel quite alert. That is until I sit down to relax in front of the television at 7pm. I think I might have seen five minutes of whatever was on and wake at 9pm freezing for the first time in three weeks.

I take myself to bed and sleep very soundly. There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed after being away.

014 | 365 Reflections

9/11 Memorial Pool

In Manhattan, New York City, there are many reflections. This includes buildings reflecting other buildings and traffic sounds reflecting off these buildings. It also reflects stories of its history, through its art and architecture. There are reflections of hard times and of good times in abundance, as this city is all about being big. It is the Big Apple after all.

Today, I visited the 9/11 Memorial with its two reflective pools on the sites where the two World Trade Centres stood. It is a beautiful place with the water sparkling and moving in it’s own rhythm as it falls. The noise of the water almost drowns out the noise from the street and building works around it.  And it is not only the two pools that offer reflections. There are reflections all around, in the buildings, in the water, in the erection of new World Trade Centres, the Museum around the site and the people who are visiting.

It was a moving place, but not a sad place. One thing that became apparent when going into the visitor centre on the way out of the memorial, viewing the photos and videos of survivors or loved ones of those who did not survive was a story of determination, respect, courage and love. It was a very positive place, on looking forwards and upwards.

This city is built on rock and its inhabitants are rock solid.

New Yorkers are lovely, friendly and warm. They will stop what they are doing to ask if you need help or to chat. As I haven’t been here before I wonder if this is how they were before September 11, 2001. In such a busy city where there is so much happening and so many people, locals go out of their way to help you and make you feel welcome.

New York City should be referred to as the Big Heart instead of the Big Apple.