It is not that exciting! Suburban living.

fullsizeoutput_15c8Just another ordinary day, with the highlight being a walk around the lake.  It is a fine Winter’s day, a coat day because it is cold outside. Days like today just are not that exciting.   As part of the Ultimate blog challenge today I am to share blogs that I am reading.  Well I am tired and want to go to bed so I have only one to share.

Today  I have decided to just let you know about a Suburban online  social network to connect with your neighbours and find out what is happening in your neighbourhood it is called Nabo 

Nabo is an Australian social network where you can sign up and is relatively new but is growing. I love that it is suburban focused.

A great blog post on the site  to check out is How to fall in love with your neighbourhood again.

I love its suburbia feel and how it focuses on suburban living.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

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Five ways to turn traffic time into happy time.

sad critter

Stuck in traffic, crazy that is what it is, crazy out there on the roads. Stop, start, beep, beep, surrounded by angry frowning faces in the cars all around me. I can feel my stress levels rising, and my frustration getting to me. I don’t want to be miserable for this amount of time. Time is too valuable to waste on being miserable.

This is my sucky current reality. The developers have gone crazy and there are housing estates going up everywhere. They are blocking roads and even closing some completely. It completely sucks, road works everywhere, dust everywhere, and potholes everywhere. The roads are a mess and the traffic is horrific and I am afraid I don’t know where all the extra cars are going to go. There are frustrated drivers, pushing in, beeping, and taking risks. I am a little over being beeped at, one even beeped me for stopping at an unmanned school crossing and letting some student cross the road. Seriously!  It should be ok to let children cross the road safely. I think this is the saddest part when people no longer are considerate of other people. The roads around here are crazy, and we are all struggling to get places on time or to get home. Yes, it sucks! It is the Traffic Jam paradise, and don’t bother riding a bike because that is too dangerous because of all the angry frustrated drivers on the road. Oh if you would like to catch public transport, good luck, you will need extra time for that too due to the rail works. Okay, that’s a big rant. At the moment you could describe me as the frustrated grumpy suburban chick.

happy critter

I have to live with it and somehow turn traffic time into happy time. This is why I have come up with five things to do when stuck in traffic.

1. Sing, sing, sing really loudly and bop away as much as you want. It feels good.
2. Listen to audio books, they can be entertaining or informative and it makes the time feel productive.
3. Practice speeches or presentations in the car, you can really work on remembering your content and practicing vocal variety.
4. Practice breathing exercises and try to relax.
5. Daydream,  about all the wonderful things you could be doing if you weren’t stuck in traffic.

 

Sometimes it is just really, really hard to be a Happy Suburban Chick. However, time is too valuable to waste being miserable and stressed. That is why it so important for me to turn traffic time into happy time.
Help! What are your tips for turning traffic time into happy time? Please leave a comment.

FRAN DISHON

( Day 3 of the Ultimate blog challenge, I am taking part of this challenge and will be blogging everyday this month of July)

 

Everything you need is close to home. So explore!

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Finding a place to journal write the things I need to write about. Finding a place to think about the things I need to think about.  My intuitive lead today was: Everything you need is close to home. Explore. Just take a closer look. Be careful not to dismiss the obvious.

Suburban living can often feel like everything is actually so far away. That I need to get in my car and drive, drive, drive to get to where I want to be.

Today I went across the road to the local shopping center, ventured into a small cafe, sipped on my coffee, and tasted a delightful lemon tart. I got out my little note book and wrote a few notes. Just a little suburban bliss time, in a little cafe that was like a suburban oasis. I often feel it is hard to find these places. However, my intuitive lead is probably right. I need to explore and take a closer look. So much of what I need is at this shopping center, it is where I get my food, it is where I get my hair done, it is where the chemist is, and so much more.

After this I went for an Adventure walk discovering a new park to sit in and enjoy. Walking down suburban streets admiring some of the beautiful gardens. It reminds me if I look closely I can see the beauty in suburban life. It certainly doesn’t need to be dull or boring.

Today, for just part of the day, I got to go out and enjoy some suburban bliss, and part of the day I got to stay home and enjoy some suburban bliss. Sitting in my arm chair with a cup of coffee and journaling, getting out into the garden, listening to podcasts as I did my housework, and even taking some time out to do a home yoga session. Now that I have picked my boys up from school I get to create a meal for us all to enjoy together tonight.

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Mr. Crow here caught my attention, he just looked so important that I had to take his picture.
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Found a place to sit, rest and contemplate.

What Suburban Bliss Can You Discover?

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Walking Adventure

I love the look of big fluffy grey clouds.

I love the look of big fluffy grey clouds.

It looked like it might rain. It was dark and cloudy. Still a perfect day for a walking adventure. I really appreciate a cloudy winters day, it has its own beauty, and the coolness of it makes it perfect for long walk.

Another lake!
Another lake!

Yes I have been on another walking adventure around my suburb. This time I discovered a new lake, play ground and sporting area. It is amazing that it is just across the road and I had no idea it was there. I live in a new area with new estates and houses popping up everyday. When we brought our house our estate was meant to be the end of the line. The area beyond our estate was green zoned. Shorty after we move, the area was re zoned residential. So all the farms and cows are disappearing. Estate after Estate is going in and filling up with houses. My walking adventures help me to discover the changing face of my local area, sometimes they are delightful and other times a little frightnening.

Dirt tract for local walkers and bike riders.
Dirt tract for local walkers and bike riders.

I found a dirt tract to walk along in went in-between the new estates, it was a big long tract. I had no idea where it might go. My curiosity got the best of me, I had to find out. It was a lovely long walk, often being pushed aside by enthusiastic families on there bike ride. It was annoying in one way, however good to know a number of families still get outdoors and spend time together. Something my own family should take note of and start doing more of.

Walking past suburban houses!
Walking past suburban houses!

Eventually I stepped off the track and into the suburban landscape of houses upon houses. I discovered another lake, more playgrounds and park land.

Another park, another play ground.
Another park, another play ground.

I wish my boys were younger. They used to love going to play grounds. These days in this area there is a multitude of play grounds to choose from. You could make a day of it and take kids for a play ground crawl.

A place to sit and rest.
A place to sit and rest.

It was a long walk, my dog Little Miss Popularity was struggling to keep up, so we stopped and had a rest. At least there are lots of places to walk my dog in this area. I did offer to walk the boys, however they declined. The dog is always keen and excited to go for an adventure walk with me.

Another lake.
Another lake.

Yes another lake. The trend in the area these past few years is too use the storm water from the estates and recycle it creating lakes and waterways. Providing natural environments for residents  to enjoy and wild life to inhabit especially birds and frogs.

Sadly not many people out enjoying these man made nature environments.

I love discovering new areas, new parks, new lakes, and new places to sit, rest and enjoy nature.

I can not wait until my next walking adventure.

Could you have a walking adventure of your own, discover new parks, new shops, community areas, even new streets that are interesting?

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Reflections on Suburban Living.

The suburbs are considered by many as cultural wastelands, the boring burbs, a place of conformity, boredom and loneliness. Yet the suburbs are a popular place to live, and where I am living the suburban sprawl is full throttle and growing exponentially. So I have decided to find my own suburban utopia, to enjoy the experience of suburban life, to immerse myself in local culture and events, and live blissfully in the burbs.

I currently live in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, in a place called Berwick. Berwick is a pretty place. It still retains some of that village look as you drive down the main street. Its main street is alive with restaurants and cafes. The  housing estates are close to parks and gardens.

So why live in suburbia, firstly would be affordability, a larger home and block of land parks and good schools for the kids.  The Australian dream ,a home of ones own. Whilst the promises that are being sold to people are the following:

Real backyard living.

To build a future

Perfect for the family

A children’s paradise

Wonderful place to live

Family friendly at its best.

Resort style living

Whilst these suburbs are full of houses that exude style and functionality. Peaceful private homes. Dream homes, prestigious homes, and elegant homes.

Sounds like utopia, however sadly it is not. What they sell us is the idea of a ‘culture of affluence’, a desire for more, a reason to live beyond one means, and travel longer distances and more travel. In fact with all the time travelling we have less time to spend with family and friends. Then there is the isolation and loneliness that suburban living also entails. Plus the lack of excitement,entertainment, and those communal places to go hang out and mix with other people. Whilst boring architecture and the lack of art that exist in the suburban landscape is a contributing factor to suburbia being described as a cultural wasteland.

The suburbs have been severely criticized over the years such as claims the suburbs are guilty of spreading conformity. The  suburbs make people conformist in lifestyle and architecture. I personally have found that the suburbs lack the creativity and diversity of city/urban life. Plus suburbanites are so dependant on cars, because you need a car to get you almost anywhere. Then there is the idea of affluence, having it all, and ‘ keeping up with the Jones’ that encourages the consumer culture of the suburbs and entraps people into over extending their finances and defines success by what we have not by who we are.

Whilst if living in the city is rich with culture and experience why is it not that way living in the suburbs? If living in the country is getting close to nature and peaceful why  can we not have a little more of that in the suburbs? If living by the beach is relaxing and carefree why can’t it be that way in the suburbs as well? I think it is time we started defining suburban living in a more positive light, and also that we demand more liveable, sociable and enjoyable suburban environments. I also think we need to focus less on affluence and prestigious living and more on community, nature, family, friends and experience.

So in this blog I will be exploring suburban living its good points and areas for improvement. My own personal experience will be to live blissfully in the suburbs embracing community, nature, family, friends and experience.