Sunday, May 09, 2010

dear mum,

First of all Happy Mother's Day. I hope you're having fun in South Australia.

Today is also laundry day. You know, washing clothes, nothing to wear.

But luckily for me you left a cardigan on the airer. Yoink. Thanks Mum.

So thanks for your love, your ranting and (most importantly at the present moment) your wardrobe.



Saturday, May 01, 2010


Of all the places I expected to be at 7:30 on a Saturday morning, the emergency department wasn't all that high on the list.

Bed? Yes.

Making a coffee? Yes.

Emergency department? No.

The excruciating pain woke me up; just above the right hip and spreading out in every which direction from there.

It reduced me to a whimpering, sobbing mess.

So off to the hospital we went. In my pyjamas.

The pain was still taking my breath away so I entered the world of ill-fitting hospital gowns and identity bracelets.

They had to take my blood and they wanted to put a line in just in case hard core intravenous painkillers were the order of the day.

Yep. Cannulas.

They hurt. Like some kind of words that would thrust this blog into MA 15+ territory.

And that was the first time they tried.

Two hands and one wrist later, I was sporting a cannula. Out the side of my wrist.

The pain subsided, much to my relief.

Mum was sitting at my bedside wanting to take photos of me in an ill-fitting hospital gown.

I know, not exactly happy snap time.

So I said a potentially inappropriate joke: 'Hey look, I'm Jesus!' Holding up my hands with the two round band aids over failed cannula attempts.

She giggled. Dad looked at us funny.

If I could crack jokes, I was well enough to go, so I left the hospital with 20 minutes to spare to get to my travelography course.

I made it on time, looking like I'd just done a runner from a hospital.

Just call me Speed Racer.

Friday, April 30, 2010

token lady...

...or beer bitch as one colleague endearingly named me.

Every Friday (well, most Fridays) six of us gather together and drink beer at midday. In full few of colleagues and those poor souls in the newsroom who shake their heads disparagingly and try to shield their envy, we drink.

The ritual's been going on for nigh on a year.

One of us will get impatient. Or thirsty. So they grab the box of pilsner glasses and head towards the common area.

Then we wait until the quorum has gathered, introduce the guest star (rarely are all six foundation members there on any given Friday), make the obligatory Love Boat joke at the guest star and wait for the reveal.

There has to be a reason for the beer at hand. Or it has to be a very good beer.

The reveal is the best bit. It's kind of like a beery version of Toastmasters. It forces you to convince the others that the beer before them is something awesome to behold. Or else you have to tell a bloody good story to back it up.

We've had all kinds of beer. Japanese beer made in Canada, two cartons worth of English beers, your usual Belgian or German suspects.

We've also had home brew and Emu Export, but we only talk about that when we want to dish out some shtick.

And I am the token girl. Sitting amongst some of the funniest, Irish-est, drunkest, interesting blokes you'll know. Some of the time I wish they'd shut up about the bloody cricket (thank goodness the season's over) and other times I laugh so hard at their anecdotes, impersonations and views that I quite literally cry.

We are the envy of the office.

So much some envious women have formed a wine club.

But they don't have a token guy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

unintelligible grunt

Here's the bit where I should have something profound to say.

But I don't.

All profundity decided to walk away for the day. They called it a profound strike.

So... I'm just writing shit instead.

In other news, I still haven't lost the touch with grabbing an old book with random photographs from the second hand bookshop and making a corker party invitation.

Just you wait... This one? Spectacular.

Who needs facebook events when you can have one of my lovingly handcrafted invites.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

on my mind

I'm trying to get on a bit of a blogging kick. See if I can blog once a day (trust me, you don't need anymore than a once-a-day insight into my mind)

But here's some lolz from today.

1. I appeared in a colleague's dream.
In their dream, I was also spending a day a week working as a doctor. Apparently it's the best kind of moonlighting. I was a nice doctor for the record. Trust me, I'm a doctor (in your dreams)

But then, after the program (yes, we've shifted to real life) she came over and pointed to her eye and frowned. I was on the phone. As soon as I got off the phone, I asked what was wrong with her eye. She said it was puffy. I said, "You've got a stye, rub your eye with a gold ring." She asked me if I ever had any aspirations to study medicine.

So yeah... I just spent too many words on describing someone's dream (and real life). Moving right along....

2. Everyone loves my soup

I make chicken vegetable noodle soup that dreams are made of. That sentence doesn't really make sense and I don't care. It's that delicious.

3. Jane Austen, much like Charles Dickens is not that easy to read.
I find I need to devote my entire attention span to the very old syntax and the pussyfooting around things. Take for example in Persuasion, where Sir Uptight Conceited Father runs out of money because he's been too extravagant. Miss Austen takes five pages to explain in very convoluted 1800s terms that he must mortgage his home and rent it out in order to continue his cashed up lifestyle. Oh the shame! Just goes to show the GFC is not a new concept.

4. Dad was watching a Bon Jovi concert on Foxtel.
That fact disturbs me greatly.

5. Things you must investigate post haste.

In no particular order: QI, why Stephen Fry has lost so much weight of late, Turkey, Istanbul, Cappadocia, microstoven dishes, why I buy kitchenware when I'll be leaving the country in a month and, The Swell Season.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


You know it's time to leave Perth when:

You become Facebook friends with someone and there's that 0.333 degrees of separation that only the most isolated capital city in the world can deliver.

You can't even get a head start on shaping your own notoriety because somebody who worked with somebody who went to uni with someone you went to high school with knows you and has already told all the daggy stories they can about you.

That is more or less a perfect example of how Perth works.

You just want to back away slowly before the stoic, parochial... who am I kidding?... stuff draws you in to stay longer and longer.

Until you're stuck.

Yep, that was just a great advertisement for WA: "We rock! And you should think so too..."

You know it's time to leave Perth when you realise you need to fashion a flow chart to show how you know everyone... or more importantly how everyone knows you.

Flow chart.

Coming soon...

You know it's time to leave Perth when... you want to be you. Not known as somebody's child, grandchild, sibling, niece or nephew, 2nd best friend twice removed.

(Don't get me wrong, identity is a great thing and you're inevitably, irrevocably shaped by family and friends)

There is that liberation in knowing that no-one knows of the university or high school you went to or the suburb you live in.

Nor do they care.

They want you to bring your A-game in humanity, be the best you that you can possibly be, show them you're more than just the pigeonholes yourself and others have slotted yourself in.

Yes please.

Monday, April 26, 2010


"Excuse me, can I take a photo of you?"

There was joy in my household this weekend as my new camera arrived in the mail on Friday.

This camera is long awaited, so too its new lens and plain betterness.

I've been reading up on travel photography, trying to get my head around all the elements I need to keep in mind to take that superhero photo I keep banging on about.

One thing I really want to do well as far as travel photography is concerned are portraits.

The good book says it's important to treat the portrait subject with respect, ask before taking their photo, all those nice things you should do.

I was putting the camera through its paces in Freo's West End, taking some architectural detail photos amongst the wedding parties in stretch hummers having their bogan wedding portraits.

Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I spotted someone dressed as a ghoul. In my head, I tried to figure out when Halloween was. Certainly not late April.

But the closer the man in the long black cloak came, the more I realised his was an Aboriginal performer, face painted with yellow and white, didge slung over his back.

I thought I'd bite the bullet, obey the good book, ask permission to take this guy's photo.

Smaller than me, with a killer swagger, he walked over to a bench and flung his coat off to reveal a chest painted much like his face.

He smelled like a combination of hard liquor, sweat and in short: a rough night.

"I just walked past that wedding party, I wished them the best of luck.

"I might go back and play them a tune while they have their photos taken."

Somehow the conversation with turned to his own love life.

He told of women who had run around behind his back.

"Yeah, the next time I find a woman, I'm gonna spear her I reckon."

That's one way to pin her down... I said, fully aware of the pun.

A peal of laughter erupted from him. He thought it was the funniest thing ever.

He then turned serious again.

"They reckon I might have a kid from one of those old missus.

"My brother saw her with this kid in the pram and he said it looked exactly like me!"

He then deliberated as to whether he really wanted to know whether the kid was his or not.

Well you'll know whether the kid is yours or not if he has a beard, I said, pointing to the beard protruding from his white and yellow face.

"A baby with a beard!" he roared with laughter. This really could be the funniest thing he'd heard all day.

"You don't have any smokes do you?"

I shrugged my shoulders, Nope, I don't smoke. Sorry.

He wandered off talking about heading back to the wedding photography session.

But not before shaking my hand.

Sometimes it's not about getting the photo that makes photography a good experience.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

how to solve a cryptic crossword

I was cranky yesterday afternoon.

Somehow I had missed the memo ordering all Sunday drivers to be especially aggravating on a Saturday.

Traffic was shit, shop service was bad. Welcome to Perth, where time stands still and so too do her inhabitants.

After letting out an unintelligible war cry of rage, I drove to Granma and Granpa's place, where tea and an assorted tray of biscuits are a must. Especially squashed fly biscuits.

At Granma and Granpa's you rarely need to knock on the door. Granma has already shuffled over to the door and greeted you with some witticism or another.

But today she was quiet as she opened the door carefully.

"Ssh..." she whispered, "the baby's asleep,".

The baby is her 86 year old husband taking a snooze on the sheepskin-covered couch.

We're relegated to the bedroom lest I hear his snoring.

We can leave the bedroom at 3pm and have the legendary tea and biscuits. Until then, I am regaled with stories of why my great uncle has a stutter (Freak gliding accident, apparently).

"What's the time?" she asks.

I hold my watch out to see it's three o'clock on the dot. Time to wake Granpa.

During tea and biscuits Granpa normally stays quiet. He's the strong, silent type. The still waters run deep type. He's also rather deaf.

But this time he would pipe up every so often from behind his cryptic crossword.

"Granpa does the cryptic crossword every day," says Granma. Speaking for him is her norm.

"It's not as hard as normal crosswords," rasps Granpa (he always sounds raspy, as though he hasn't spoken for a while when he talks) "you get two clues put together in the cryptic crossword."

Fair call, I thought but those two clues are still tricky.

"The LB one in the Sunday Times is the trickiest," he said.

"To complete the LB you need a thesaurus, a good atlas, the complete works of Shakespeare, a Bible and an encyclopaedia."

That explained the bottom shelf of the bookshelf. There they all were.

He read out a clue in the latest cryptic crossword.

"Book coming my way?" he asked.

Granma and I looked over at each other and shrugged.

"Tome!" he said brightly in a self-satisfied tone.

There were chuckles all around as we laughed at the dad jokeishness of it all.

"He's so clever," said Granma half taking the mickey, half complete adoration for her husband of 60-odd years.

Granpa got up.

"Oh, it's four o'clock already is it?" asked Granma, "I thought you had a shower yesterday."

"No..." was his reply.

Granma reached over to his shelf where he keeps his Columbines, crosswords and a calendar, it would appear.

She showed it to me. Every second day was highlighted yellow. Shower day. Every other yellowed day had a C for clean clothes, others had a H for washing his hair. He had his hygienic routine mapped out until August.

We chuckled and thought about the prospect of highlighting a square one day out.

Granpa returned from his shower and had a bit more of a chat just before 5 o'clock. Or bowls o'clock as it would happen to be.

Today I bought the Sunday Times. I'm going to give the LB a crack.

Just to see how I go.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

dear icelandic volcano

Yes, that's right, I'm one of millions, or even perhaps billions who cannot pronounce your name properly, let alone spell it.

So sorry, I could try and say it, but I'm fairly certain I'd make a mockery of the Icelandic language. And the voice of the Swedish Chef.

Anyway, where was I?


Dear Icelandic volcano,

I know you're cranky and you're spewing stuff into the air. It's your moment in the sun, you're stealing the spotlight in the international media. And you're teaching people a few things:

a) Always have a plan B, C, D, or all the way through V.
b) Never travel farther than you can afford a taxi fare back to your humble abode.
c) Not to be so precocious as to assume you can just fly somewhere. Commercial aviation is relatively young.
d) You cannot ever make airport terminal chairs comfortable. Nor can you make them into beds.

Ok, so we've established that you've given us a few timely reminders. Lesson learnt.

Now can you please, please, please it a rest in ooh... a month at the most? I have a plane to catch.

K thx bye,


PS. Will ask SCOSE how to say your name. They will know.
PPS. Do you have a nickname? That may be easier.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

high achievers' five year plan

Wow. 25.

Quarterlife. Didn't that sneak up upon us?

Anyhoo. After quite a high-achieving quarter century, I thought it only fair that I set a few goals for the next five years.

1. Have a tropical cyclone or police operation named after me

Let's face it - doesn't the phrase, "The category five Severe Tropical Cyclone Jessamy is bearing down upon the Pilbara Coast" have a rather nice ring to it? So too does, "WA Police are busily working on Operation Jessamy - the fight against underage tomfoolery."

2. Be a publisher, not a just published.

Yep, Editor-in-chief or Editor-at-large sounds awesome.

3. Fill a passport with stamps and visas

Let's be conservative and aim for 20 stamp or visas. I'm already going to make a nice dent in that one. The mid-level ultimate? Russia. Just because it's a pain in the arse to get one

4. Learn how to do something really culinary.

Blend some wine, brew some beer, make some cheese, roast coffee beans. I would love to be able to make something really awesome.

5. Take a superhero photograph

Not just a good photo, nor a great one. Not even an awesome photograph. I'm talking about the photograph. The one that gets published in Lonely Planet, National Geographic. The superhero photo. Yes, please.