Wednesday, 4 July 2007

my top 5

If anyone has seen High Fidelity, you will appreciate the importance of being able to list one's top 5.

So here goes. The best 5 things that have happened to me so far:

1. Driving through the Kalahari. Seated in the luxury of our rental car, this has to go down as one of the most memorable things I've ever done. To be in Africa and be able put in to perspective how incrementally small one's existence is amongst the vast plains of nothingness. Amazing.

2. Walking Annapurna in Nepal. I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, chased down with double espressos and polished off with a Vodka Martini in the evening. The fact that I did this, and didn't drop down dead of a heart attack is a testament to the power of my stubborn nature. All of my much more active friends were very proud (i.e. surprised) I made it. (First over the finish line too, I might add!) I also got one of my nicknames whilst I was there; Didi. It means big sister in Nepalese. I am choosing to believe that I was christened so due to being fairly tall and not because I look older than my years.

3. Reading in my Nan's bedroom on a summer afternoon. I loved my grandmother with all that I am. She was beautiful, intelligent, feisty and a chocoholic. I spent hundreds of afternoons cuddled up with her in bed, watching the boats in the bay, munching on her chocolate supply and reading books. I will never, ever forget how safe and loved she made me feel.

4. Ciggies and wine on the terrace with my friends I have astoundingly wonderful friends. Sitting outside, with great food, wine, company and an assortment of musical instruments is how I've spent many, many a night.

5. Getting my heartbroken It's amazing how you can feel the happiest and the saddest at the same time.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

love and other catastrophes

You would not believe it if you read about it. Well, perhaps you would, but...I've been struck by a cold again. The second in a month. This displeases me greatly and I've spent the last few days holed up in bed feeling very sore and sorry for myself. I am hoping that I am on the mend.

Well, I've been back in Australia for a little over a month. That actually astounds me. It seems as though a lifetime has passed over the last few weeks and I'm still in a little bit of a daze. I'm still in Brisvegas and whilst the original plan was to head back down to Sydney, now I'm not so sure. I have absolutely no idea what my plans are and that actually feels great. I'm doing some temp work with the Environmental Protection Agency to earn some cash, I'm hanging out with my friends and generally cavorting about town.

M & I have spoken twice over the last ten days. In the years we have been together, we had never previously gone longer than a day or two without speaking. I don't know what is happening to us. I know I'm getting stronger now, and I feel a little like I'm emerging from a cacoon that I created for myself whilst wrapped in my relationship. It feels good to have myself back.

Of course, I would not be me if I did not have some wild romantic fantasy going on and here is my latest. To quote the lovely Miss Apple, I'm "far too in love with inappropriate men to function"*

Monday, 2 July 2007

ten things i hate about you...

Delivered with some considerable delay, my first ever meme:

1. Emos.

I have posted on this before. I can't even stand the word, let alone the purported persona that is attached to these people. Yes, life is shit somtimes. Yes, the facists have fucked us all. But for god's sake, pull yourself together and get a bloody job.

2. Public Spitters.

I know most probably dislike this, but I find it utterly repulsive

3. Stupid Questions.

I have wonderful, fantastic & beautiful friends from all walks of life. For this fact I'm incredibly grateful. However, the other night at dinner when I was discussing the work that I had done with indigneous people in Africa, someone asked me: "No, but tell me, seriously...were you tempted to buy the diamonds?".

Oh, well of course, I only do the social justice stuff in order to ease my conscience when the light catches my latest 5 carat purchase.

4. Out of control binge drinkers.

No. I don't want to see your tits.

Yes. Running in to that hedge that covers a wrought iron fence is going to hurt.

5. Inconsiderate Cyclists.

Saving the environment: good. Running down innocent bystanders at pedestrian crossings: bad.

6. Accent shifts.

I have the most disturbing accent ever at the moment. I really hate it. I'm watching neighbours repeats to try and flush out my weird Australian/Southern England/Mancunian mess.

7. Liberal Party Campaigners

I was driving the other day and there were these two young blokes decked out in full party costuming (hats, caps, flags) waving at motorists, trying to drum up support. Has my homeland morphed in to the United States while I've been gone?

8. Bitchiness

Don't get me wrong, I like a good natter over a nice cup of tea. Tearing someone to shreds for something to do? Not cool.

9. Racists.

My heart goes out to the family of Murrinyi Domadagee.

10. Career Public Servants.

Don't get me one my sister works for the Art Gallery which is a government run body, but god, the attitude of some of these people is incredible. Their notion of work? Even more astounding.

If anyone is still reading this...I tag Frog, Cowboy, Chloe, Julia & Danielle.

Friday, 22 June 2007


I am drunk. I've also been neglecting my blog.

A lot has happened over the last few weeks but I am far too drunk to articulate. Will do so soon.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

fear and loathing in bris vegas

I will start this post with an apology as I do not seem to be able to write with any degree of clarity at the moment..brief snippets below.

1. I am pleased to report that my self medication and a diet of tea and cigarettes has rocketed me back in to good health.

2. I arrived back in Australia a little over a week ago, and whilst the jet lag has now well and truly subsided, my cultural re-assimilation process is still ongoing.

3. My Aunt died last Saturday and so things have been a little emotional for the last few days. I am looking after my 15 year old cousin this week who had flown up to spend time with my sister and I.

4. I have not lived with my family in 15 years. Being back in the "family fold" is really a very strange feeling. I feel like I have momentarily regressed to a 13 year old who is sitting in my bedroom with the Britney Spears gem "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman", blaring through my boombox.

5. I really dislike Britney Spears.

6. When I was at Sydney Airport, the police officer patrolling the terminal was resting his bottle of evian on his gun holster. (Australia is so relaxed that we'd offer you a drink of water before wielding our weapons upon you. Unless your in Melbourne - they're a little more trigger happy down there).

7. If the Prime Minister of Australia gets voted in again at this year's federal election, I will NEVER reside in this country again.

8. Emotionally, I am still a bit all over the place at the moment, but I am feeling a lot more zen than I have in a while.

9. I've decided that I am going to go back to Uni and study French and Poltical Science via distance education. That way I can still do my law talkin thing, but I am furthering my education in things that I feel passionately about, too.

10. That's about it for now.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

hong kong nights

Well, after a reasonably pleasant flight (considering I'm feeling horrendous with the flu), I've touched down in Hong Kong. It is absolutely boiling here, 32 degrees and 95% humidity.

It's now 5.50am Hong Kong time and I can't sleep. Forgive my disjointed sentences and poor prose, but what's a girl with the flu and a weird time zone induced delirium to do?

Last night, (I had to think for a minute, but yes, it was last night HK time) I wandered around the night markets of Kowloon and sampled the delicous street food. On my way back to the hotel I discovered a small pharmacy and it struck me that I best get some antibiotics to prevent this flu from turning in to a chest infection, which tends to happen when I get these things.

In my younger days, Asian pharmacies that dispensed drugs with abandon would send my heart soaring with joy! These over the counter goodies were bought with glee in Bangkok, Kathmandu, Delhi and various other Asian locales. However, it is a sign that I'm aging that when I got back to the hotel this evening, I sat myself at the computer and researched the brand name of the tablets of wellness that I was given and wondered if it was really a good idea. In the end, I decided, like the old saying goes, "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

Onwards and upwards.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Ce n'est pas possible

Ahh, I have a fucking cold! This is hardly what I need when I am about to embark on a 24 hour flight. Well, I do have an overnight stop in Hong Kong, but still. Yuk.

M is behaving like a twat. Sigh.

On to a more positive subject. I am in love with this man.

See below, for French cultural instruction classes.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

homeward bound...

I've cashed in the frequent flyers, booked my flight, and will be back in Sydney on Wednesday morning.

I'm going home for 3 months to get my visa organised and earn some money.

Viva Australia.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

4am (god bless european summer time)

I love the fact that I've been out all night dancing and can walk home at 4am and the birds are singing. The daylight is creeping up upon me and I'm welcoming back sobriety with a nice cup of tea by the window. There are only a few months of the year that you can enjoy this in London, and when you can...tis' great, it is.

I had such a great night. I went to a friend's 30th, someone who i'd not seen in years. I danced all night on the King's Road, in a horrible bar, filled with pretentious sloany wankers, but I had my friends around me and we danced and drank and feasted on a late night curry.

Due to aforesaid wankers in Chelsea, felt the need to start a socialist/class warrior/don't crack on to me you wanker revolution on the bus home. It sounds a lot more dramatic than it was. Really.

All in all, a fab, fab, fab night. I needed that.

Friday, 18 May 2007

last musical post of the day...

Last song of the day, but I love Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's fusion of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It's a Wonderful World.


chemical brothers feat beth orton

I am in love with

I've only seen two concerts in my life. Beth Orton and Beck. Both of which were amazing. However,given that music is one of the central pillars of my existance, and I'm a wanna be guitarist, it's a bit of a piss poor effort really.

Ooh, I forgot, I saw the Brazilian diva, Ivete Sangalo, last year. So that's 3 then.


I adore this song, I keep bounding about the house to it.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

a poem, is a poem, is a poem

The Art of Poetry - Jorge Luis Borges

To gaze at a river made of time and water
And remember Time is another river.
To know we stray like a river
and our faces vanish like water.

To feel that waking is another dream
that dreams of not dreaming and that the death
we fear in our bones is the death
that every night we call a dream.

To see in every day and year a symbol
of all the days of man and his years,
and convert the outrage of the years
into a music, a sound, and a symbol.

To see in death a dream, in the sunset
a golden sadness--such is poetry,
humble and immortal, poetry,
returning, like dawn and the sunset.

Sometimes at evening there's a face
that sees us from the deeps of a mirror.
Art must be that sort of mirror,
disclosing to each of us his face.

They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders,
wept with love on seeing Ithaca,
humble and green. Art is that Ithaca,
a green eternity, not wonders.

Art is endless like a river flowing,
passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
and yet another, like the river flowing.

In memory of Audrey's Mum.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

kickin' arse

After re-reading my last few posts I've been, quite literally, squirming in my chair. Whilst said posts were complete stream of consciousness ramblings, and I do want to write as honestly as I can about how I am feeling...yuk, it just made me feel self indulgent and melancholy. I wonder though, is it just because I fear that people will judge me that way, that I worry? Is that last sentence just an incredibly bad attempt to seek reassurance from those who read my little ol' blog? Do I think too much about things that really don't bear thinking about? Did Lily Allen really feel hurt by footballer's wife extroadinaire, Cheryl Tweedy's comments about her? Is it wrong to wonder about Lily Allen's state of mind?

Plus, when I look back at the sort of person I was when I was 28, I definitely want to think I was much more kick arse than falling prey to a fractured heart!

Oh, weird side thought, could we all re-write our own histories before they even happen? I know some stoner conspiracy theorists that would love to hypothesise that one.

Anyway, a bit of a rubbish day, but hey, we all have them. M is behaving like a royal prick towards me and I'm tired & sad. I have all but made up my mind that it is time to go home and get myself in to a more happy and positive state of mind.

If I am being really honest with myself, the writing has been on the wall for a really long time. He is not very nice to me. And, as much as I like to think that I'm stronger than to fall prey to my past, right now, that is exactly what I'm doing. My mother once said to me, "Your grandmother sat at the kitchen table every night wondering why your grandfather wanted to drink more than be with her, as did I with your father, don't let the same thing happen to you". Who know's, maybe at some point in the future he'll be different, but right now, that doesn't matter.

I'm going to be kick arse.

The road to being kick arse requires some respite in the form of sitting on the sofa watching some bad tv. This evening's bad tv came in the form of Channel 4's, "Virgin School". Yes, it followed one man's journey to sexual emancipation with the help of an intimacy clinic in Amsterdam. I don't believe in censorship, and the program was interesting in a strange way, but that poor bastard is going to be completely bollocked by the less sensitive men and women of the British public, and that ain't cool.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

and the band goes marching on...

It's a funny old world isn't it?

I posted yesterday about my relationship woes. When things start to go wrong, it's natural to start to think about the sort of life that you will start to carve out for yourself next. With the possibility that M and I will be no longer, I feel uneasy about the choices that lay ahead.

The sensible part of me knows that I could (and in all likelihood, would) go back home and create a lovely life for myself. I've never had any problem with finding employment, I have wonderful friends and adore the Australian lifestyle. The romantic and irrational side of me tells me that it would hurt like hell to be back home, so far away from the man I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with and under these circumstances. How can I leave our home of the last few years, head to airport and say goodbye forever? I feel like I've said so many goodbyes in my life that I simply can't imagine having to say another. Not like this.

Back to the sensible side: I detest that I sound like someone whose romantic life is the sole focus of my existence.

I bet I'll be bouncing off the walls happy tomorrow. Bloody typical.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

daydream believer

It's late Saturday night, and after another rainy day, I'm wrapped up and cosy on the sofa with Parky's familar manner comforting me through through the satellite transmission.

I fear that my relationship is collapsing around me. I don't really feel ready to write much more than that at the moment other than to say that I'm okay.

Luckily for me, I can escape to my imagination when times get a little tough. Yesterday whilst listening to my ipod on the way to meet friends, the lush tones of Ella Fitzgerald transported me to a smokey bar, with an Ella like figure seranading the crowd from the stage. I would be wearing a figure hugging, floor length satin dress with my hair swept up and deep red lipstick. As I sip my champagne and smoke a cigarette, I'm gently disturbed from my reverie to be led to the dance floor. The music sweeps over me and I spend the rest of the evening being held tight in the arms of a man who loves me.

Friday, 11 May 2007

my baby sister and me

My baby sister, who is not such a baby anymore (she's 26), is getting married.

Lauren is one of the sweetest people to have ever graced the planet. She is kind, open and simply the best sister a girl could ask for.

Her wedding, which is to take place in September, will be a simple and intimate affair. Well, as simple as it can be with 7 step siblings, my mother's three ex husbands, my father, step mother and various other family members in attendance!

Despite all that, I can't wait. It will be a day time ceremony and reception (in an effort to keep the relies sober) and will take place in a beautiful garden and pavillion in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

A resourceful young thing, she's having a co-worker at the gallery where she works design her invitations and she has found a beautiful 1950's style, floor length Morrissey dress in off-white which she picked up for the bargain price of $250!

So now my search begins. I have to find a dress.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

the magic faraway tree and how patrick swayze ruined my life

An odd heading? Perhaps.

As the years have passsed and I have meandered down the long path to adulthood, I've held on to a few things along the way. Yes, at 28 years of age, I still believe in fairytales. I like simplicity of the notion that good and evil are clearly defined and that the baddies always lose. Using this logic, it makes sense that one's lot in life will determined by whether or not you share your fairy bread and with how much fervour you can sing "sticks and stones may break my bones..." and really mean it.

Unfortunately, age and experience have exposed the harsh reality that the good guys do not always win, no matter how nice you are or how high above sea level you are perched on your moral ground. On the other hand, the changing lands of The Magic Faraway Tree, to me, seem reminicsent of travel. You can climb the tree (see. plane) and land in an ever changing land. Although, you don't get pissed on your way up the tree and I don't remember any reference to jetlag, spending beyond what you earn or struggling with a foreign language.

Anyway, the point is, I still believe!

Moving swiftly on to matters of the heart. It's true. Patrick Swayze ruined my life.

You see, due to inadequate parental supervision and lack of a stable male figure in my life, I learnt to define the roles of relationships from things other than family. That's right. The measuring stick of a proper, functioning relationship for me was that of Johnny & Baby in Dirty Dancing. I thought his bad temper, slick moves and soft on the inside centre were the epitomy of what a man should be. "Nobody puts baby in a corner". Damn right.

Of course, this has led to all sorts of romantic disasters. Briefly, Man 1: After 5 years together I decided he was in fact too nice and a little bit boring. Man 2: He was a little more Patrick Swayze like. Nearly 20 years older than me and a worldly and successful entrepreneur we enjoyed a fairytale start to our romance. Unfortunately, my romanatic illusions would come back to bite me on the arse 18 months later when he revealed himself as an alcoholic who would rather stare at his own reflection than engage in any form of conversation.

Lastly, and by no means least, my current love M. Who told me last week, that it would be interesting when we had children because they would have his bad temper and my one big eye.* Awww.

All this leaves me undeterred.

I'll still keep building my castles in the sky. Patrick Swayze or not.

* I don't mean to come across all "thou does protest a little too loudly" but my eye is really not that much bigger in real life. It's just a weird angle or something!! Oh, also, my hair has not been that blonde for a very long time.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


The people that I have stumbled upon in this weird world of blogging are truly amazing.

Last night, I stumbled across the latest post of Audrey, a talented young writer from Australia. I cannot adequately form the words to express how her post moved me. Her ability to write so candidly about what is without a doubt one of the hardest things anyone could go through, is astonishing.

I don't have a god that I pray to, but if I did, I'd pray for her.

Monday, 7 May 2007

home is where the ..... is?

I guess after a few days of reflecting on bits of my past, it's only naturally to think a little about where my future is heading. I have been carrying around a feeling of being slightly unsettled for a few weeks and am fighting my instincts to look for greener pastures. Experience dictates that the grass is not greener on the other side, it's usually just a trick with the lighting.

I've lived in London for four years. I have a love/hate relationship with this town. It's exciting, alive and constantly challenges you. Sometimes though, I just want somewhere a little more, I don't know...relaxed. Paris, another big city, does not ever make me feel as anxious as London can. It's hard to be able to put the words together without seeming unnecessarily harsh toward my adopted city or overly idealistic about it's French cousin.

Plus, if home is where the heart is, then how do I leave here anyway? Tis funny. I love M. With all of my heart I do. However, he struggles with understanding the insecurities that I battle with from time to time and this worries me. I don't believe that anyone else will give me comfort within myself, but, by the same taken, I can't be something that I'm not.

I'm not always this neurotic. I promise!

So what do I feel like doing today? I feel like moving to New York, or moving back home to Sydney to set up my own little nest, or driving through the United States with no fixed plan (although trying all sorts of pies at roadside diners in the day and eating at places called "The Lobster Hut" during the evening would be necessary), or lastly, sitting in one of my favourite cafes in Oberkampf and watching the gray drizzly day turn to night.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

melodies for a new day

After feeling a touch melancholic the last few days, today provided some respite. A good night sleep and a long walk allowed me to clear my head and music has always been my constant companion.

A bubble bath and my book will round today off for me. Quiet and calm is just what I need to bring me back to my sunny self.

Friday, 4 May 2007

is there a road out of here?

It's been one of those days. Ordinarily, I'm not one to quote lines from American movies, however, "I'm just a fucked up girl looking for my own piece of mind", is how I'm feeling today.

I sometimes wish that I could crawl out of my own head. I constantly analyse everything and panic that things are going to go wrong. Growing up with alcoholic parents, being on the street at 14 and an abusive and violent stepfather all wrapped up against a backdrop of middle class suburbia can do that to a girl I suppose. It's funny. Sort of.

When I first left home, I felt so streetwise. I moved in with a foreign exchange student from my school who lived with his brother, also an exchange student, who was attending University. It was the summer holidays, I was just about to turn 15 and I thought that I had the world under control. The brother's girlfriend,I'll call her Jane, a blonde of perhaps 21 or 22 took me under her wing and made sure that I ate properly and was okay.

A week or so later, I woke up to find Jane screaming on the driveway. Her boyfriend had beat her and she was dragging her stuff to her car. She grabbed me and off we went in her red convertible sports car. She rented a two bedroom serviced apartment in the City and told me that I should stay with her until I was on my feet. On one condition, I would need to be out during the evening as she would be working from home. That posed no problem to me. It was summer, I'd discovered the joys of passionpop and had appropriated a fake id. Unfortunately, after a particularly heavy evening on vodka, I managed to drink just enough to give me alcohol poisoning. There would be no going out for me for a few days. In fact I could barely manage to leave my room. Late in the evening, I craved water and stumbled out toward teh kitchen. Standing there, in the middle of the hall were two men and Jane. Naked.

She was a prostitute and I had absolutely no idea, I was so naive. I grew up quite a lot that day. (Not in the participation sense of learning I might add).

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't feel sorry for myself. I've gone to university, travelled and have wonderful friends. However, sometimes I wonder just how far I've really come. 90% of the time I'm fine. More than fine even. But there is still that 10% where I feel scared that I'll never be able to let go of all the bullshit.

Tomorrow's a new day and I'm sure I'll feel much better. Getting it out of my head and on to paper is has helped a little already.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

on a lighter note...

3 things I'm loving this week:

1. Dim Sum. Always loved it, but craving it at the moment.
2. Apple Cider. In a pint glass stacked with ice.
3. Cherry Blossoms. After an afternoon spent with my book under the falling flowers. Even better was when the local wino walked through the park picked up a handful of fallen flowers and threw them in the air over his head. He turned to me and said; "Isn't it beautiful?".

Yep. It is.

the fabulous briscombe girls...

It's funny. Ever since I started blogging I've begun to think a lot about my past and where I'm from. Perhaps, due to the fact that my sister read my diary when I was 11, and I swore that I would never commit to writing my thoughts again, I want to now create some record of the people, places, events and third hand tales that have shaped me over the years.

One of the biggest insipirations of my life has been my grandmother. Throughout her life (and even after she died) she remains the one anchor in my life. She had a pretty tough life in a lot of ways. The youngest of 5 girls and the daugther of a beautiful raven haired Irish women by the name of Olive and an incredibly bright, charming, extremely religous and more than a little eccentric man, Everett.

Olive and Everett had fallen in love at a young age and quickly settled down to marriage and children. Everett had trained as a priest before deciding on a life in the law and whisky in the evening. As was the case amongst many Catholic families the children arrived quickly and consistently. Leading up to the depression, my great grandfather fell deeper and deeper in to the solace of drink and the company of colleagues leaving the young Olive at home with 5 girls under the age of 8. When she annouced in early 1926 that she was expecting her 6th child, Everett was livid. He made it clear that this was not welcome news and he held her personally responsible. A month later Olive died of septecimia as a result of a backyard abortion. She was 31.

The five remaining girls were separated and spread amongst various family members. My grandmother was sent to live with her Aunt and Grandmother in Mosman where they owned a milkbar. Everett would visit perhaps once a year and my grandmother would not know her sisters until she was much older. The love of her grandmother and aunt allowed her to grow up in to an amazingly strong women and she went on to marry my granfather who adored her until the day he died.

My grandmother gives me the strength to believe that I can be anything I want to be. I was born on 20th December 1978. She was born on the 18th December 1925. Every year on her birthday she told me that I was the best late birtday present that she ever got. I hope that I remembered to tell her that she was the best present that I could ever have hoped for. Despite the difficulties with my parents, she gave me enough love for a whole lifetime. I love you, Ruthie.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

gamble everything for love...

Well, after a number of weeks without an internet connection, I am now back online. I have previously mused over the idea of connectivity as a staple to one's existence but I truly had no idea how reliant I was until I went without. I am so used to checking my emails, myspace, ebay, doing my research and getting my dinner recipes that I almost thought I might need a rehabilition clinic to get over my reliance on this, the new drug of the masses. Luckily, service was restored before this course of action became necessary.

Truthfully, not too much has changed over the last few weeks. My battle with the Home Office continues to progress albeit at a snails pace, M and I have had some really nice time hanging out and my frustration at not being able to work increases by the day. I have to try and remain upbeat, as I'm sure it will sorted out sooner rather than later.

I guess that coming from quite a colourful past and shambolic upbringing, I always promised myself that I would be able to support myself, rely on nobody and achieve enough so that I could be proud of what I've done. Not being able to do work makes me feel that I am not anywhere near doing any of those 3 things. Then, I start to wonder whether I am being naive sacrificing all of this for the sake of being with the man I love. Am I just setting myself up for a fall and wasting good time in the process? I guess, no matter what the outcome, I can say that I followed Mr Ben Lee's directions and gambled everything for love.

How cheesy. I told you I was a romantic.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

french knickers and fancy food

The sun is shining, the leaves are starting to blossom on the trees and I feel so relaxed that even the fact I'm currently broke does little to dampen my mood.

All of my life, I've always been able to earn my own money and spend it as frivolously as i desired. So from this experience of brokedom I'm taking a real lesson. I don't need money to be happy, I have fun, explore and create with limited funds, so when I am once again able to work, I should be able to use my money much more wisely. I'd have payed off a mortgage by now had I learnt all this ten years ago!

Although, I do know the first thing I'll be buying apart from the gorgeous necklace and brooch from Julia's delectable store, and that will be these babies:

They are absolute burlesque deliciousness, and, best of all, hand made by the Hackney based and aptly named Buttress & Snatch.

On to food. I have to admit that I wasn't a huge Neneh Cherry fan in the eighties, but after seeing the new BBC cooking show last night Neneh & Andi: Dish it Up. The food was divine. They were putting on a feast for their 12 closest girlfriends and the menu was a world food take on a tapas style feast. Included in the menu was: Swedish Style Brownies, Crispy Duck Salad, Wasabi Avocado and Prawn & Squid Ceviche. The recipes and background on the show can be found here.

The law of something (gravity, hormones, who knows) suggests that what goes up, must come down, and my bouncing off the walls and zen state will undoubtedly be interupted at some point. But, I'm tired of worrying about what will go wrong, and when. Life's short and right now, I'm a happy girl.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007


My last few days have been filled with the company of my beautiful girlfriends. Whenever I become fraught in dealing with the realities of my less than conventional family unit, they are always there with words of encouragement, a hug and unwavering support.

Without them I'd be completely lost. So what do you do if you're feeling alone and wishing that things could just be a little normal? Pose for the camera and then on to lunch.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Friday, 30 March 2007

and, relax....

It's such a strange feeling. Today, for the first time in months, the knot of anxiety in my stomach and tension in my shoulders seem to have just disappeared. After months and months of tension and strain, M & I are getting along well, and even despite all my visa dramas and worry about maintaining my independence, I realised this; no matter what happens, I'm going to be okay. I'm a tough girl and I've been through, and come out the other side of, far harder situations than this. I've had my heart broken, made stupid mistakes and grieved the loss of family members that I was sure I could never live without. But, I've also loved and been loved unconditionally, been lucky enough to have travelled the world, made amazing friends and I love the work I do.

This morning I looked at the photo my grandfather gave me for my 21st birthday. It is of him and my grandmother, the day after they married. A beautiful young couple in love, they are leaning up against the door of a beach cottage wrapped in each other's arms, looking as though there was no other place in the world they'd rather be. The inscription on the back of the photo read's: "My Darling Grandaughter. Life has nothing sweeter than the springtime. Golden Days when we were young. Lots of Love Nan & Grandad." My grandmother had died the year before, and until he died 3 years ago, he would still always sign her name on our cards. Today, I've realised, that the memories I have, will keep them with me forever.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

all manner of strange things

I don't whether or not it is a good sign that one of the highlights of my week so far is the discovery of this scrumptious peanut butter kit kat; whatever, it is absolutely delicioso.

Today has been the day of compulsive list writing. I have this overwhelming desire to feel that I have at least some control in my life at the moment and this exercise goes a little (i.e. miniscule) way to sating said desire. So I am listed up and enthused at clearing my personal admin, getting my first Luli&Free collection underway and (nicely) harassing the Home Office. Must try and keep the momentum going longer than the next 24 hours.

Two things have been playing on my mind today that are completely unrelated. 1. The two charming chaps that have taken up residence in my bin room downstairs; and 2. My crazy ex-flatmate who used to speak to her cats (and not in the normal way that most people speak to their animals).

1. Bin Room People. After months of on and off occupation my favourite squatters are back. I went downstairs today to have a chat to them, and advise that they best move on (before they get arrested again). I arranged for an outreach worker to try and get them a hostel referral and reminded them, (with only a touch of evangelical vigour), that as tempting as it is to get out of your face on crack and white lightening, sooner or later its gonna lose its glamour. Don't get me wrong, I like recreational substance abuse as much as the next person and in my younger years managed to go through enough white powder and pills that I put my fellow Chadwick girls to shame, but come on, a bin room? Having said all that, when I went down to chat to them, they were mopping and sweeping the floors. I actually think that they are probably the cleanest residents in our inner-city, overly trendy, ridiculously expensive & uttterly filthy street.

2. T. My crazy, Commonwealth Government Employed, ex flatmate. She really was a sweet girl and fabulously easy to live with. I suspect that the ease of the living situation was enhanced by the fact that I was very rarely at home and spending most of the time at my then boyfriend's place. T would regale me with her stories of daily life each time we happened to spend more than 1 minute in the same room (actually it was more of a mix of boredom & astonishment, which is a strange mix, especially when someone is talking to you through the bathroom door as you try to enjoy your bath). Among the best of these were how it is a fact that the Government rosters more staff in their call centres each month at full moon, due to a shift in the national behaviour patters (she knows, she did the rostering). Another favourite was when I was sitting in the loungeroom one morning, gulping down cofffee while I waited for my cab to turn up to take me to work. I was minding my own business, blurry eyed and trying to focus on lighting my cigarette. Everything was completely normal until she starts to talk to the Cat. Not just a normal, "Good morning sweetness" or "Are you hungry?" but a complete conversation with the requisite breaks in her questions to allow the Cat to respond. In fact, she wouldn't move to the next question until there had been some form of Cat reply. I mumbled something about the cat being cute, and she advised me that they spoke like this, AT LEAST, one hour a day.

Tres bizarre. I'm sure If I was seeing a therapist at the moment they would be able to tie the themes of homelessness, crazy flatmates and mess into a very accurate reflection on my current state of mind. However, I think I'd just prefer a kit kat.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007


These babies deserve their own post. Bought on ebay for 2 quid, I love these little flamenco brooches!

european summers and frangipani dusks

Ahhh, summer is on it's way. The clocks went forward on Sunday morning and already I can feel the national mood lighten. It's really quite extraordinary, especially for me after growing up in sunny Sydney and living for a number of years in sub-tropical Brisbane, how much of a difference a few extra hours of light makes.

Two years ago I spent a month in Croatia at the end of summer; it was absolutely divine. I stayed with a friend of mine and we travelled all around the countryside, landing up on the island of Hvar, just off the coast of Split. There are not words to describe the beauty of this place. So off we trooped to see a friend of her family, Domagoj, who had this amazing little restaurant, which was set on its own private beach. Not as simple as I initially thought, this place could only be reached by boat from the town or by walking through bushland, along the jagged coast of the Adriatic, for about 40 minutes.

Upon arrival, I fell in love. It was a simple place with no airs and graces but the surroundings and the quality of the food immediately catapulted it to one of my favourite destinations on earth. Each day over summer, RESTAURANT ROBINSON-MEKIĆEVICA opens for lunch and serves the most amazing fresh seafood and out of this world domestic wine. We decided to stay for a few days and sleep under the stars on the beach. For five days we ate, drank, swam and by night watched a trillion stars with not another soul around. As for bathing? Well there was a toilet at the restaurant (one of only a few modern conveniences) and a Lush store on the island - so I bathed in the clear turquoise sea with my environmentally friendly (and swoon inducing) lush bath products. Yep, there ain't nothing like a European summer.

As happy as I am about the arrival of summer, the whole not working thing is really getting me down at the moment. I feel so dependant upon M for everything, which is the most horrible feeling. Even if my relationship were perfect, I still would never want to be comletely reliant upon a man. I am keeping my fingers crossed that my visa will be sorted sooner rather than later. My only other choice is to go back home and work for a few months whilst a decision is made or until I become eligible for a spousal visa. Given that I've done 5 australia-europe flights in the last year, that is not something I'm too keen on. Ah well, it'll all work out in the end.

On the topic of keeping one's chin up, I read a very amusing article in American Elle a few weeks ago. It advised readers that when feeling anxious or depressed, a sure fire way to lift one's spirit was to write down 3 positive things in their life, each hour, on the hour. It then went on to say that if you couldn't think of anything, then write down "I am calm in the face of impending disaster". I don't know if I'd quite have the vigilence to record my "happpy things" however, it did make me smile. Even chuckle a little.

Monday, 26 March 2007


I absolutely despise this word.

In fact, it's not even a word. I prefer to think of it as a phonetic abnormality.

weekend daze

What with my current forced upon unemployment, I almost feel guilty enjoying my weekends, but enjoy it I did. With M usually working 80 hours a week, I generally would do my own thing come week end. However, since my arrival back from Paris, M has taken to keeping the time free for me, which is lovely. Even though our peace remains precarious, I still get taken aback the way that even when doing the ordinary stuff, your heart can lurch with how much you love somebody. He drives me crazy at times, and is irritating as hell, but I wouldn't want to be irritated by anyone else but him. I am really too much of a daydreaming romantic for my own good, I fear. Ah well.

We started Saturday off with a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and avocado on the words best fresh grain bread, then it was time to wander over to the Tate Modern to check out the latest exhibitions (Gilbert & George & a weird slippery dip installation piece). In all honesty, I am not a particularly big art aficionado. I love going to galleries, and appreciate and respect diversity of expression, but if you start on at me as to how Tracey Emin's "Bed" somehow illustrated "A sort of disguised genius and showed her fragile yet resiliant inner exterior" (hypothisised words of an art critic); I might just have to kill myself. Well, maybe not, but if you ask me it's just a bit too wanky.

What followed was a nice cold pint with a pub lunch, a wander through London and dinner at my absolute favourite Vietnamese restaurant in London. Cay Tre - The Vietnamese Kitchen. Just around the corner from my house, this haven of goodness can be found at 301 Old Street, EC1. This place has seriously amazing Pho (Noodle Soup) as well as deliciously tasty steamed rice paper rolls that are filled with marinated beef and salad and served with a dipping sauce.

Sunday was a lazy day of reading, baking and cleaning the house. Bliss.

Friday, 23 March 2007

design and what not...

Luli and Free. The above is the website design picture for my ethical clothing company. I've always been interested in fashion, and, particularly, trying to find items that I feel comfortable about where they've come from. I absolutely despise the fact that a lot of the ethical/green labels are hemp, tie-tyed or formless cotton smocks. Argh, a rant for another time.

I've been a bit slow to get my company up and running due to my current and aforementioned stateless existence. However, a little vest top that I made a few years ago, sold on ebay the other day despite being a very home-made effort. I received an email today to say that the purcahser loved it, so I am a happy girl. Note to self: I really, really must find the inspiration to get off my arse and move my ideas along.

The first lot of designs I have in mind are very much basics. I love what American Apparel has done with their design and marketing of basic pieces, my designs are a little different, but I love their ethos. Every girl's gotta have the basics. Being quite tall, I am also am mindful of finding clothes have the right length. There is nothing worse than finding a fantastic pair of jeans or a shirt that is sitting on your ankle or mid navel.

Voila! The vest was made after hearing a rather style conscious male friend of mine refer to his girlfriend's shoes as; "rather 1985". Besides being horrified that he could make such a remark to his beautfiul girl, I thought that it would make a good shirt. I used to wear this over the top of a spaghetti strapped long bonds singlet, with sass and bide dark denim drainpipes.

On another note, my shameless plug of the day goes to the brainchild of the lovely Julia (intialesjb), This fab website showcases some up and coming Australian designers and as soon as I find myself a little more fiscal, I shall be ordering the following, from Elena Dwyer's collection, toute de suite!

Thursday, 22 March 2007


On the subject of hot drinks, the drinking cocoa powder from Jean Paul Hevin of Paris is absolutely amazing. M & I discovered this on a trip to Paris last year and I stock up whenever I'm there.

A man who can make a chocolate shoe is someone to adore.

coffee v tea

I collect teapots and adore my espresso machine, however, I can't decide which could I not live without.

The aroma of coffee and the full taste of that first sip is, to me, heaven on earth. I remember being in Italy a few years ago, alone in Venice, visiting the Piazza San Marco. It was mid-morning, unusually quiet and the orchestra was just about to start up. Despite the exorbitant price of the cafes on the square, the romanticist in me broke free, and as I pulled up a chair the music began. The price for my one coffee: 14.90 Euro (5.00 euro music charge). A complete tourist trap, but sitting alone in the near empty square is something I'll never forget. That day it felt like the music was playing just for me.

Tea on the other hand, is comfort. I love the ritual associated with brewing tea, and the wild and different tastes available. It will always remind of visiting friends, sitting on porches and chatting the afternoon away to night.

Exoticism v comfort. Lucky for me, I can have both.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

technological evolution

I books, I Phones, E Bay, I Tunes, I Store, E Sure, My Space, Blogging, Phishing, Spoofing, Spamming, I Pods, E get the picture.

I was contemplating last night, the way in which technology has affected my life. I can listen to what I want, communicate with whomever I want, buy whatever I need and play out the narrative in my own blog daily all with the touch of a few buttons.

Take MySpace, I can have my favourite music, photographs, friends, movies, books, food and cultural leanings all nicely packaged up and given their own web address. It's a blank canvass for me to show the world who I am. I can choose a background, a soundtrack and even organise my beloveds in to their rightful "Top 8" order. How fabulous!

Now, I like to think that I am pretty unapolagetic about who I am. I may not always be happiness and light, but I am confident and comfortable in my own skin. However, do even the most confident and self assured fall prey to self censorship and creative licence? Do we create our own electronic personalities, which become so ingrained in us that it's hard to tell where our virtual reality starts and ends? Hmmm, I am unsure if I am in a position to answer my own question, after all, my technological renaissance came circa. 1985 with a Beta video player and an Alaskan pen pal.

I'm sure I won't ponder this for too long. I've got to go and post off my latest ebay clearout.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007


Brrrr........ it's freezing! I exaggerate a touch perhaps, it's not too bad, but crazy for this time of year.

I spent a lovely weekend in Oxford visiting my very old friend S. She is living in a beautiful old house, in a little town called Brill, where she is caring for a charming 87 year old aristocrat who insists on calling her a "lovely boy". S has just been awarded a PHD scholarship so will be returning home to commence her doctorate shortly. It has always been her dream to work as an academic and I'm very proud of her.

As I arrived back in London yesterday, I was keeping M abreast with weather updates, calling him to advise every time a shower started. Being born and bred in Manchester, M indulges my excitement with a "Hmm, that's nice".

Yay to snow.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

london or bust, baby

the lovely D, contemplating her afternoon entertainment

inner city street signs

street art embraces the "so bad, it's good" music of the eighties.

brick lane; the best curries, vintage & inner east ragamuffins.

comic relief

Well, I survived the dentist and am feeling much better now. Yesterday was Comic Relief Day here in London, with the benefit gala all being televised on the BBC. It certainly was one way to put things in perspective and for me to be given an abrupt jolt back to reality. The reality being that I am one lucky girl. The above video was my favourite sketch of the night.

I remember when I was around 5 or 6 years old at home in Sydney. At that age, we had the ridiculously early bed time of 6pm (even 22 years later I still think it unfair!). I digress.

I was 5 or 6 and it was the day of Live Aid. I awoke from sleep and I wanted to see my Mum. I crawled out of bed and tiptoed down the hall, unsure of the reception I'd get if I got sprung being up and about. I creeped up behind the sofa in the living room and heard my Mum crying. I was still young enough that to hear your Mum crying filled you with a sense of complete bewilderment. I emerged from hiding and hugged her, thinking that maybe my father had become violent toward her again, but that wasn't it. The images of Live Aid and the ethopian famine were flashing on the television screen. I started to cry too when I saw the young children crying and hungry. This memory has stuck with me my whole life. In fact, it inspired me to work in the field that I do.

I have had the most amazing experiences in my life working in Africa. Although, I don't believe that we can only make a difference abroad. I've worked on projects in Australia and the UK and truly believe that each of can make a difference. It sounds so cliched, but, believe me, it's true.

I have an extraordinarily blessed existance. I don't believe that as a sign of solidarity I need to do without or not enjoy material things, BUT I do believe that I am obliged to try my best to make the world a little bit easier for someone less fortunate than myself.

Thursday, 15 March 2007


If this drink does what it claims to, I want some. I've been locked in dental agony for the last 36 hours and was forced to make an emergency trip to the dentist yesterday. The joyous news; a root canal tomorrow at 9am. On the upside, I have a completley irrational fear of dentists which I seem to have conquered. I was in so much pain that I didn't care a bit what they did, I just wanted the pain to stop. Feeling much more comfortable now and hopefully all will be fixed soon.

Loveland seems to have lost its shine through all of this. Now don't get me wrong. I am ordinarily pretty good when I'm sick and I actually don't like a fuss to be made of me. However, with M knowing how ill I was, did he come home at a reasonable hour? No, he went off and got shitfaced with his workmates. Nice! The piece de resistance was when he called me at around 9.30pm to let me know that he was "just going to one more pub" before he came home. And, when I said to him "Okay, well have a good time and I'll see you in a bit", replied "I don't seen how I can have a good time when you are sounding like your dying". Hmm, am I supposed to try and sound better just so he can enjoy his pint?

Feeling grumpy today.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Monsier Gainsbourg

Forty years on and this video still rocks.

cloudy days and hormones

I woke up with a start this morning. It is one of those days where the light is deceiving and you are not quite sure what the time is. So as you open your eyes and look around, you think to yourself; "It couldn't possibly be later than 6am", when in fact, it's 9. It's funny, I've been living away from Oz for four years and I still have not adjusted to the light over here. Sometimes it feels a little like being in a room with lights on dim.

Please forgive my ramblings. Today I am severely pre-menstrual. I hate the fact that each month I fall victim to this irrational hyper sensitive state of mind and, the worst part about it is, that I am aware of it the whole time. The fact that I start to get upset over nothing, become completely irrational, and view everything through a haze of hormones, is still not encouragement enough to fight the apathy I feel about buying some Evening Primose Oil in the faint hope of alleviating the symptoms. On the upside, I don't suffer nearly as bad as my sister who becomes, quite frankly, a little deranged.

There is something about PMT that makes you re-examine everything in your life from your wardrobe to your relationship and - decide that it is all shit. In fact, there is probably no better time than now to call your boyfriend and tell him how inconsiderate he is and then accuse him off not loving you the way that you deserve to be loved. Follow this up with going shopping and maxing out already maxed out credit cards. When the guilt of what you've done starts to creep up on you: cry, eat, repeat.

Photo of M and I. If you look closely, you can see the neurotic look starting to creep accross my face.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Vive La France!

On a trip to New York a couple of years ago I read an article in the New York Times that proclaimed: "Amelie's Paris doesn't exist". I remember feeling slightly disgruntled by this at the time, but, this evening, after viewing the film again I vehmently disagree. I had been hankering after seeing this film again for the last couple of weeks as I am missing Paris desperately. I was just about to order the film on Amazon (which, to be honest, I'll probably still do) when an advert flashed up that it was to be playing tonight! I love moments like that.

You see, to my mind, Amelie's Paris may not exist in the eyes of tourists that arrive hoping to be transported straight in to a parralel universe, however, it exists in the smell of bread wafting from the boulangerie, from sitting at a metro station and an old man turning to you and saying, with all the sincerity in the world, "you're magical, be my valentine?", and finally; the way that the city envelopes you completely and allows your mind to run away and create your own version of a fairytale.

Back to my reality, momentarily. The weekend was chilled. Lots of reading, walking around St James Park, cooking and hanging out with M. All is still well in the land of love. Yay to that!

Time for bed. Contented yawn.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Billy Joel and Moleskins

Another gorgeous day in London. Well, if you ignore the usual heavy cloud of pollution, that even if you cannot see it, you still feel it as you breath in the cool "fresh" air. Sounds appealing, I'm sure.

Thankfully, affairs of the heart are currently without drama and angst. I absolutely adore peacefulness. I cannot bear it when people confuse unnecessary arguments as being tantamount to a passionate relationship. Give me the passion, i'll leave behind the kleenex. Ta.

I spent a lovely afternoon with my gorgeous and dear friend D, we wandered up the road from my flat to Exmouth Market, just near Holborn. Exmouth Market is a little enclave off of Roseberry Avenue with a collection of fab little restaurants, boutiques, patisseries and bookshops. Sipping on one the best coffees I've had since arriving back from Paris, we amused ourselves with catching up, people watching and sit-down bopping to Billy Joel eighties crap-but-sorta-good anthems.

I also re-discovered these fabulous little moleskin city guides. A friend of mine introduced them to me in Paris. They have local street maps as well as space for notes and review pages that you fill in yourself so that you can document your most (or least) favourite restaurants, museums, galleries, boutiques etc. A rather cool way to record a trip or re-discover your own hometown.

Tonight was a fairly relaxed affair. M & I prepared a lovely meal of home made burgers with organic beef and avocado, roasted vegetables and garlic infused mayonnaise. Lazy food for a lazy evening.