I'm sleeping so well at night at the moment, not because my mind is clear, but because I have switched pillows from an old stained foam slab to a fluffy new microfibre jobbie. When I finally get to sleep (which is an exercise in self-deception, trying to trick my brain into feeling relaxed enough to let go of multiple problems long enough to recharge) I sink into a space where my neck doesn't hurt and nothing bothers me until morning. Apparently I had a mumbled conversation with BB in my sleep a couple of nights ago, which is something I used to do years ago when my sleeps were solider, so while it worried BB, I see it as a Good Thing.
Anyhoo, I woke up this morning to this blissful sense that my neck was quiet, and started to go back to sleep when I realised that it was Market Morning. And that the markets weren't close to home this week, but over the other side of the city, thanks to the Canberra Show setting up for next weekend. Bugger. I really, really wanted to just turn over and go back into pillow heaven, but the markets really are better early in the morning. So I arose with an acute feeling of martyrdom and left BB to his microfibre pillow, even though he doesn't heart his as much as I heart mine.
Out to the car, and suddenly I was hit by the coolness of the morning; the car was covered with dew, and I needed to turn the de-mister* on, just for a minute or two. As I turned the corner onto Northbourne Avenue, the windscreen cleared, and the sky revealed itself to be a pale, dewy, cool blue, with a horizon-line of hot-air balloons. My first Balloon Day of the year! In my world balloon days occur all through Autumn in Canberra, and auger a good day, if only because they put me in such a good mood that anything seems possible.
The Farmers' Markets have moved to the Canberra Institute of Technology (Reid) carpark for this week and next, and it's a much more open venue than at the showgrounds. At 7.45am it was all still in shade, with a touch -- a hint -- of cool to the air, and all of us early-risers wandered around and sampled and bought and chatted, and looked up at the balloons overhead, and...
... well, it was just so damn CANBERRA.
I lugged my trolley full of nice things home, put The Lighthouse Keepers on the record player, and made a cracking good breakfast of toasted bagels covered in deli yummies with lashings of tea. Then on a whim I hussled Bumblebee into some clothes and took him over to the National Gallery to see Egyptians: Journey to the Afterlife. We just made it into the first mosh of the day without lining up, and when we came out there was a waiting line that seemed to go on forever... and deeply impressed Bumblebee, who thought my getting him there early was just a new variation of Mother Torture. It's nice when kids look at you with a note of respect in their eyes, but it never lasts long enough. I've been wanting to get to that exhibition for months now, especially after hearing Floppy talk about it when we met, but it's taken until the second-last weekend for me to get there (as usual, nothing like a deadline to force me into action). It's fabbo, if you can find spaces between the hordes to see anything. Bumblebee fell in love with the mummified cat, which for me wasn't as good as the one in the Civilization exhibition of years ago (early 1990s?).
So here I am, stuck again in front of the computer, chipping away at the pile of paper that is Mary Gilmore's Collected Verse, Volume 2, but I've had a marvellous morning, which is something I was not expecting when I dragged my sorry bum out of bed. Thank you, hot-air balloons!
I think there's something in that for all of us...
* not sure if this is the right spelling, looks like something you could buy to get out of a bad relationship (in a better universe).