Thursday, December 31, 2015

Processing Time

I've just noticed that this is my 700th's post.

Hopefully, but the time 2016 the count will be over 1000. I've made a new year's resolution to write daily.

Anyway, I'm home after a week in Adelaide. It had to be done. Rather than spending Christmas with friends in Melbourne I drove the 800 kilometres back to Adelaide to be with my family over the Christmas week. It had to be done. I think it's the first time I'm been home for Christmas in well over five years.

See, my niece, my sister's daughter passed away on the 16th. She would have had her sixteenth birthday on the 20th. Her funeral was held on the 29th. I drove back to Melbourne on the 30th.

It's the longest time I've spent back in South Australia since 1991.

Despite the circumstances, Christmas was a lot better than expected. After we all had a cry over a song, we got on with having Christmas as a friend of my sister's hosted our family. It was a good day.

The week at my parents' place was nice. I got a lot of reading, crochet, went and saw a few friends, took my little niece to see Star Wars on Boxing Day, acted as my parents' designated driver for the week - I'd have one, they could have a bit more to drink and I would have a gin and tonic when I got home. Worked for all concerned.It also ensured my mouth stayed in control. Alcohol and my mouth can be a dangerous combination.

The funeral was a lovely celebration of a very young life cut short. My mum, my sister and a school friend spoke. The celebrant, dressed in a colourful, floral dress had known my niece since she and her son were in kindergarten, which made the ceremony all the more special.

I'm still processing a lot of this at the moment. A hell of a lot. I think I have my first novel out of this last two weeks  - that that it was overly fraught, but it there was a lot to come out of all of this.

So now I'm back, and have been back for 24 hours, after the long drive back, with a good stop at my cousin's place at Ballan to drop off some Fru Chocs and to have a cuppa for an hour or so.

And now, it's me time and processing time. Time to get my head around a lot of things. Time to start thinking about the new job. Time to get the flat organised thanks to Marie Kondo. Time to lose some weight and get running fit.

Time to write.

Time to do all the stuff I haven't been able to do in the last year because I've been working.

I'll talk about Marie Kondo next year.

Which is an hour away.

Time to get myself off to bed.

Here's hoping 2015, as good as it was in some respects, is nowhere near as fraught.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Goodbye 2015 Meme

This feels a bit early, and I reckon there is another version of this that I might do in a few days time. It has a few more pertinent questions.

I'm writing this on my mother's computer down here at Myponga - having an easy day today before what will be a hard one on Tuesday, then the drive back to Melbourne on Wednesday.

Anyway, here we go.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? 

Said goodbye to a niece. My sister's eldest daughter passed away after battling leukaemia  ten days ago. It's been an awful process to watch. I never want to do that again.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 

 I didn't make any new years resolutions - just wanted to keep healthy, happy and solvent, and I did that. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

No, but a friend is expecting in March - making the blanket now. 

4. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2015?

Life is very short and fragile. (I'm sorry I'm a bit morose, but I'm attending my 15 year old niece's funeral on Tuesday - a bit hard not to feel a bit down)

5. What was your favorite new TV program?

I didn't watch much telly this year, but I was fond of Transparent on Stan.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? 

Somebody who has been wanting to be here should be here by this time next year - things just have to run its course. 

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 

16 December. It was the day my niece passed away.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 

 Remaining solvent, happy and fit.

9. What was your biggest failure? 

 Not keeping the flat tidy.

10. What was the best thing you bought? 

I bought a new 50 inch Smart Ultra high definition television. I love it. 

11. Whose behavior merited celebration? 

Gillian Triggs is amazing. Calmness in the face of adversity. Clementine Ford had her moments too.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted? 

Peter Dutton for a start. Tony Abbott has always been a poor excuse of a human being. I have no idea why Donald Trump continues to breathe either.

13. What song will always remind you of 2015? 

I don't like the song though.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of? 


15. What do you wish you’d done less of? 

Eat ice cream - and procrastinate about exercising.

16. What was the best book you read? 

I have to give three. Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five was amazing. Loved Anthony Doerr's "All the Light we Cannot See" and ML Steadman's "The Light Between Oceans: too.

17. What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?  

Having somebody's divorce finalise sooner. Oh well, not long now.

18.  Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Time, time, time See what's become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Questions

I've been avoiding social media today. You see, today would have been my niece's sixteenth birthday. Unfortunately, she passed away on Wednesday due to complications from the treatment of her leukaemia.

So rather than watch my facebook feed today, I've been keeping off line. I've been to the gym. Done my Christmas shopping. Had my legs waxed. Went and saw a film. And felt sad for most of the day.

Keeping off social media worked for me, but it meant that the blog is a bit late.

Anyway, here are Sunday Stealing's Christmas Questions for this week.

1. Have you been naughty or nice this year? 

I think I've been nice. Can't remember being that naughty.

2. What do you want most for Christmas? 

A retrospective, failsafe cure for leukaemia that doesn't kill the patient. Backdated ten years.

3. What is your favorite Christmas movie? 

Die Hard. Quite fond of It's a Wonderful Life too.

4. How many Christmas cards do you normally send out? 

I'm a heathen. I don't.

5. Do you still get a stocking? 

I'm not a Christian, so I don't decorate the house. I don't think I've had a stocking since I was a kid.

6. What is your favorite Christmas song?

7. What is your favorite Christmas tv special? 

I tend to avoid Christmas specials on the telly. Mind you, the Call the Midwife one I was watching today was nice.

8. What is your favorite way to wrap gifts? 

Brown paper and ribbon - if wrapped at all.

9. What do you look forward to most at Christmas? 

Normally I spend Christmas with Blarney and Barney, their kids and an assortment of other friends. This year, I'll be with my family. I generally prefer the former. This year, I have to go home. I can't not.

10. What did you do for Christmas this year? 

Nothing. I didn't go to any parties. The one I had to go to I bailed on as my niece had just passed away. I have minimum participation Christmas rule anyway. For Christmas I'll be driving to Adelaide. 9 hour drive. Then spending Christmas with my grief stricken family.Can't say I'm looking forward to it, but I know that I have to be there.

11. Who do you want to kiss under the mistletoe? 

As an Australian, we don't have mistletoe. I wouldn't know what it looked like if I tripped over it.

12. What kind of Christmas tree do you have? 

As quiet and as peaceful as possible.

13. Did you take part in a Secret Santa? 

I will at work - but the project I was on didn't have one, so I missed out.

14. Did you go to any Christmas parties? 

See question 10. I did well this year.

15. How early do you wake up on Christmas morning?

As long as I'm allowed to sleep in for.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Why Do You Want To Know That Meme Part II

It seems that there are two parts to this meme.

Hmm. Thanks Sunday Stealing.

It's been a lovely quiet weekend. It's my friend Geetangeli's fiftieth birthday today. We've had a chat on skype, which was lovely. It's my last week in paid employment for a while - which is nice. Have to find a new job come February - something is on the way to being lined up, which is good. Lots to look forward to in the coming weeks. At least six weeks off work being the most important thing of all.

Anyway, time to get these done, with job in between for good measure.

25. List 3 activities that you can only enjoy by yourself. 

Watching Dr Blake.
Eating ice cream from the tub.

26. If you could live in any biome* (and survive) which biome would you live in? (*a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g., forest or tundra.)

Why don't they just say habitat? I'd say forest. Like forests. As long as there was hot running water.

27. How do you like being roused in the morning? 

By the sun. A cat's paw to the nose comes second.

28. How was your day? What did you do? 

Nice day. Gym. Breakfast. Christmas shopping. Watched a few movies. Done some housework and cooking and the food shopping. A normal Sunday really.

29. What did your last text message say? 

Cool bananas.

30. Do you respond to texts quickly? 

Normally. Depends who it is.

31. Who was the last person you called? 

Mum, about an hour ago.

32. List 5 things that are on your wish list. 

That my niece gets better(and soon.
World peace.
Rational, compassionate, sensible politicians.
A stable job come February.
That I get a date when a friend is coming out from England.

33. If you were famous, what do you think you would be famous for? 

Writing a book up there with Harry Potter.

34. Winter or summer? 

Definitely Winter.

35. What is a quality that all people should have? 

Kindness. Kindness is very underrated.

36. If you could have a large collection of one item, what would that item be? 

Book. Oh, wait, I have a large collection of books.

37. What have you been thinking about lately? 

What I'm going to do when my friend comes out from England. Busy plotting fun things to do.

38. What is the secret to a happy life? 

Stay in the moment. Don't worry about the stuff you can't control. The serenity prayer says it all.

39. What are some phrases you say often? 

Cool Bananas. Yeah... Nah....

40. Favorite food? 

Ice cream. Any ice cream.

41. What is your wish for the world?

That people would learn to just get on with things and stop trying to enforce their views on others - think terrorism, gun laws, abortion, religion. Seriously, beliefs are like a penis. It's perfectly fine to have one and be proud of it, but when you start taking it out and wagging it in my face, we have a problem.

42. What are some of your greatest fears? 

Spiders and stairs. In that order.

43. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? 

A copy of a book for book group. Bought from Amazon, thank you.

44. Most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen (in real life)? 

The forest just outside of Boston in Autumn. I've seen lots of beautiful things.

45. Spicy food: Like or dislike? 

Love it.

46. Scary movies: Like or dislike? 

Hate them.

47. Do you like to travel? 

I would do that every day if I could. Love travelling.

48. Any regrets? 

No. Regrets are stupid.

49. Do you like rain?

I am from country South Australia. Rain makes me very happy indeed.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Why Do You Want to Know That Meme

My place is a mess. I'm strictly on a "Do a question, clean something" rota today. The state of the place is getting me down. Other than this, all is well.

Questions, as per normal, are from Sunday Stealing.

1. List 5 things you want to do before the year ends. 

Make Cassata (will do this for Christmas Day)
Hold a picnic for friends (doing this on the 27th)
Go on holiday (Extended Holiday starts 18 December - will find a new job in February)
Read three books - This should get done.
Get my flat ship-shape and Bristol-fashioned. We will try.
Get Bigpond mail running on my new computer (Bigpond and Windows 10 are not friends)

2. What color are your pants? 

Grey. Not over washed white-grey, Real grey.

3. Favorite motivational quote. 

[Insert your deity here], grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference . (Just finished Slaugherhouse Five - it was great to see that in there...)

4. When was the last time you drank coffee? 

I'm drinking one now.

5. What was the last thing you ate?

Poached eggs on toast - about an hour ago.

6. Favorite animal. 


7. Favorite song. 

At this very point in time -

8. Last movie you watched? 

On telly  - I watched Avatar last night.
At the movies, I saw the phenomenal National Theatre's taped production of Hamlet, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role. Most excellent.

9. Any turn ons? 

Pleasantly hairy chests. Nicely defined backs on men.

10. Any turn offs? 

Dirty and smelly men. Ew. Personal hygiene is very important.

11. List 4 big words off of the top of your head. 

Melifluous. Serendipity. Juxtaposition. Autoethnography.

12. What are some meaningful movies?

Decent documentaries.

Try these:

13. 2 most important people in your life right now? 

My partner.
My team leader at work (who might be recommending me for work in the company next year)

14. What are 3 things you want for Christmas? 

World peace.
Joy to all people on earth
Health to my niece who really needs to be cut a break.

15. When was the last time you read a good book? 

Yesterday - finished Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Sublime! One of the best books I've read all year.

16. What was the last thing you studied? 

I've just completed Master's units in Real Life Writing and Journalism.

17. Do you have any nicknames? 

Panda. Panders.

18. Favorite kind of perfume? (fruity, alluring, etc.) 

Rosy orientals - like Narcisso Rodriquez, Stella McCartney (not that they make it any more) and Agent Provocateur.

19. Do you have any international friends / friends who live out of state? 

Plenty. I lived in England for eight years and have friends all over the world because of this.

20. What is something unique that you do every single day? 

Light a green candle to keep the money coming in.

21. If there was a movie based on your life, what would it be called? 

"Don't Try This At Home."

22. When was the last time you bought a gift for someone? 

I've started my Christmas Shopping for my friend's kids - does this count?

23. Are you a shopaholic? 

Not really. I'm okay shopping but I don't love it.

24. What are some songs that always make you feel better?

Here are three:

And the best Christmas Song Ever:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Consider Yourself Meme

Well. it's been a hell of a week. I finished school for the year, work has been really busy and my niece nearly died. Thankfully she's back being stable again, but that put a big dent in the week.

Now school is over it's time to start proper blogging again. I'll still do the Sunday memes, but I need to start writing properly again. And exercising more.

Anyway,questions from Sunday Stealing, as per normal.

1) Of the various cultures, ethnicities or nationalities you belong to, which most strongly do you consider yourself?

I'm fifth generation white Australian - and though I don't feel like I'm Australian, I know I am. The next question will answer the rest of this.

2) Is there a culture you cannot claim heritage from but which you feel quite close to?

In my heart, I'm British. Always have been, always will be.

3) What's one language you wish you knew fluently?

I really wish my French was better. I'd love to speak Spanish too.

4) If you could move anywhere in the world and be guaranteed a job, etc., where would you go?


5) If you had a time machine, and could witness any one event without altering or disturbing it, what would you want to see?

I'd love to see Gough Whitlam on the steps of Parliamment House utter his famous words about "God Save the Queen".

6) Have problems sleeping?

Generally, no.

7) Are you free with your feelings?

Not really - with some close and trusted friends.

8) What is the one outfit/piece of clothing/accessory you own that makes you feel incredibly good whenever you wear it? Why?

My navy blue trench coat.

 9) What do you do to make yourself feel better when you're in a funk?

Got for a walk or go to a movie.

10) Has anyone ever surprised you in a way that let you know you were special? How?

I get told I'm loved regularly bu somebody I deeply care about. When that started that was surprising. It still is a bit.. That is enough for the time being.

11) When you are having a "good day," how do you spread the happiness to others?

Smile. Say nice things. Bounce around.

12) What is one thing that puts you in a bad mood, no matter how good you were previously feeling?

Tony Abbott. Andrew Bolt. Peter Dutton.

13) Would you rather live in a world with or without technology such as computers, cars, airplanes, bombs?

I could do with a world without bombs. I rather like the rest of those things.

14) If you had to live without either heating in your house or air conditioning, which one would you keep?

I can survive without heating. As I live in Australia, I need air conditioning. Really need air conditioning.

15) If you had to own five dogs, what kind would you get?

I'd have one Bernese Mountaing Dog, one Golden Retriever, one Corgi, one spoodle arrangement and I'd love a Newfoundland. But I'd also need a farm in a cooler climate. Love big dogs.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Would You Rather Meme

I would rather be writing this on my new laptop - but it's still in the store being updated. Joy.

I would rather be writing this free from my last tute paper for the year - but I'm doing five questions then writing a paragraph. I'm nearly there.

I would rather be in a world where there was no leukaemia and my niece was happily sitting her year ten exams rather than lying in an intensive care bed in Brisbane. Please send up a good word to whoever you pray to. She's a fighter, but this is getting beyond a joke.

Questions from Sunday Stealing, as per usual.

Would you rather be stuck on an island alone or with someone who talks incessantly?

I'd rather be on the island alone. I'm an introvert. A chatty person and I could come to blows.

Would you rather be too hot or too cold? 

Too cold any day. Being Australian, being hot is normal - and horrible.

Would you rather have a cook or a maid? 

I'd rather a maid. I like cooking

Would you rather be the youngest or the oldest sibling? 

I only know what it's like to be the oldest sibling. That's fine but you don't get away with as much.

Would you rather get rich through hard work or through winning the lottery? 

The hard work way is far more rewarding.

Would you rather have a 10-hour dinner with a headstrong politician from an opposing party, or attend a 10-hour concert for a music group you detest? 

I'd go the politician. I rather like an argument sometimes... though maybe not with Tony Abbott - that might get very ugly.

Would you rather be an Olympic gold medalist or a Nobel Peace Prize winner? 

Nobel Peace Prize winner - oh to do something worthy of that.

Would you rather have a desk job or an outdoor job?

As much as I love the outdoors, I'm best at a desk.

Would you rather live at the top of a tall NYC apartment building or at the top of a mountain? 

I'd love to live in New York for a while. That appeals.

Would you rather have Rambo or The Terminator on your side? 

Terminator. I'm sure he's marshmallow in the middle.

Would you rather be proposed to in private or in front of family and friends? 

In private. You have the right of refusal then.

Would you rather have to sew all your clothes or grow your own food? 

Sew my own clothes. Killing animals does not do it for me, though I'd be okay with an orchard and a veggie patch.

 Would you rather hear the good news or the bad news first? 

Bad news first - get it over with.

Would you rather be your own boss or work for someone else? 

I'd love to be my own boss for a change. One day.

Would you rather have nosy neighbors or noisy neighbors? 

Noisy neighbours. The have to shut up at some stage - and there's always the police...

Would you rather be on a survival reality show or dating game show? 

Umm, neither. Both have their own sets of humiliations. Fun to watch, but not interested.

Would you rather be too busy or be bored? 

Keep me busy. I'm destructive when bored.

 Would you rather watch the big game at home or live at the stadium? 

On the telly. I'm not fond of crowds.

Would you rather spend the day with your favorite athlete or you favorite movie star?

Movie star. I've put my Christmas order in for Clive Owen already.

 Would you rather live where it is constantly winter or where it is constantly summer?

I prefer the cold, so give me Winter. I was very happy living in England. Loved the weather over there.

(Oh, and I've finished the tute paper. I'm free of study til March., YAY.)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Cookie Meme

Writing this from my mother's computer in Myponga. Came over to Adelaide for my 30th high school reunion - which is scary in itself. Despite the procrastinating to go, I was glad I went in the end. Worked out that things are not as bad as they seem. Some have done very well. Some haven't. Some have aged well. Some haven't. High school was not the best part of my life - and as one of the unpopular, dorky, dweeby kids, it seems that life has really not done me too bad. Mind you, I think it would have been a touch easier to go to if I could have had a few drinks.

Anyway, today's meh meme comes, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

Are any of your friendships on a fine line? 

Not sure what this means, but all are well. Some probably need a bit of nursing, others might be let go. The way things are, really.

 Have you ever witnessed a birth? 

Only of animals, but that's pretty special. The dog once had puppies on the end of my bed when  I was a kid.

Where’s your favorite place to be when you feel depressed? 

Home, in bed, away from everybody.

Are you currently looking forward to tomorrow? 

Back to work tomorrow, going to get slammed at work for the next few days, but it will be good to be busy. And I'm seeing my trainer tomorrow night, that's always good.

When was the last time you held someone’s hand? 

I honestly can't remember.

 Have you ever faked sick? 

Yes, but very rarely, last time was about three years ago. They're called mental health days. Sometimes you just can't go into work.

Are you currently wearing jeans? 


 Have you gone to a coffee shop within the past week? 

I was in the coffee shop opposite work on Friday for my nearly daily cappuccino. I I try not to go to coffee chains.

Would you like to be able to read thoughts? 

 I have enough thoughts in my head without having to hear other people's thank you.

Do certain swear words just roll off your tongue? 

Fuck, yeah.

Are you often the last one to understand a joke? 

Sometimes. Only sometimes.

Can experience be gained just by reading?

Hmm. Interesting one that one - mostly no, but there are times when things are enhanced by reading.

 Does playing the guitar make a person more attractive? 

Only if played well.  Very well.

 Have you ever slept in a tent, indoors or out? 

Yes. Not my favourite thing to do, but I do reckon I'd managed to go glamping one day. Normal camping has no appeal.

What does your hair look like at the moment? 

Very long and very red.

Are you mad right now? 

No. I'm quite happy actually.

Who did you spend your summer with last year? 

Me. I worked through summer. That's what I do. Work so that I can use somebody else's air conditioning.

Did you eat a cookie today?

No, but I did have a rather nice vanilla slice (snot block) at the Myponga Bakery.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Big Bad Meme

Well, I'm completing paper mode. My masters papers are due tomorrow then that's subjects four and five out of the way. One has been submitted. The other is a mongrel dog with fleas that needs taming. Actually, looking at it, it's not as bad as I thought it was, but what I'm doing is completing a question, then working through a paragraph of the mongrel. It's nearly there.

Making life even more interesting, the block of flats in which I live has had no hot water since Thursday. Capital works to the gas lines have stuffed up something completely and the whole block has no hot water. It's not fun. I'm over showering at the gym (which is nearby and is open 6 am to 10 pm) and having bucket baths. Hopefully this will all be fixed tomorrow.

Is there anyone else in the room with you atm? What are they doing? 

No. Other than the telly, I'm alone.

Do you show your teeth when you smile, or do you prefer smiling with your lips closed? 

I think I smile showing my teeth - but I don't have a toothy or gummy smile.

Would you rather be told the truth, even if it isn’t what you want to hear? 

Unfortunately, yes. Pull off the bandaid. Get it over and done with.

What is something that you plan to buy, as soon as you’ve saved up the money for it? 

A new laptop - this one is slowly grinding to a halt. I've saved the money, just need to find the time to sort it out - the weekend after next is looking promising.

Do you play Sudoku?

Sometimes. I have a habit of doing sudoku on plane, trying to get the easy one in the Qantas magazine done by the time we take off.

 Have you ever had a migraine? 

Unfortunately, yes. Thankfully once I put myself to bed and take drugs they go away quickly.

What was the last book you read for pleasure? 

It was The Children Act by Ian McEwan. It was for book group. Can't wait to get reading after these papers are in.

What was the last item of clothing you purchased for yourself? 

A pair of comfortable, wide legged  trousers from Target. Good for lounging about in - and writing.

Your first serious relationship, do you still talk to him/her? 

I haven't seen him on over thirty years. This is a good thing.

Who is the last person you texted? 

Cleo, my personal trainer - who's currently stuck in Bali under the ash cloud.

How close is your family? 

About 500 miles away in Adelaide.

Is there anything too serious to be joked about? 

Anything to do with violence against women, children or animals.

Do you like to understand and have good knowledge of things? 


What is worse? Back pain or shoulder pain? 

Back pain. Shoulder pain is awful, but as a few weeks ago proved, back pain is worse.

Have you ever almost fallen off of something high off the ground? 

Thankfully, no.

What’s one fruit you love in drinks? 

Lemon or lime in my gin and tonics.

What is something simple that you’re afraid of? 

Going down stairs without a banister. Not fond of stairs.

Has this weekend been good? 

Not too bad. Good play last night. Paper will be in soon. All is right with the world ready for hell week. Just need hot water and all would be well.

 How much time do you take to get ready in the morning? 

About an hour. Can do it in half an hour, but I prefer to ease into the day.

 Last movie you watched in theaters and with whom?

I went to see The Dressmaker on Friday night. It was excellent. I was alone.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Halloween Meme

I'm going to paraphrase this meme with the follow:

We generally don't do Halloween here.

The only concession I'll give is this photo.

This is Bozley. My sister's dog. The bestest dog ever. He went to heaven yesterday. I'm really sad about this, but he was nearly 13 and his legs stopped working and he did not suffer for very long, but I'll miss him when I go to Adelaide. Sleep well, bestest boy. You were a great mate. (photo from my sister)

Okay, so here we go. Questions, as per usual, come from Sunday Stealing. It makes a change from trying to write a feature article on the Freemasons.

Are you scared of bats? 

Not really. If they bite you they can give you Hendra and that will kill you, but I generally don't get close enough to the bats. They're fun to watch at night.

When you were a kid, did you go out on Mischief Night? (Mischief Night is an informal holiday on which children and teens engage in pranks and minor vandalism. While its name and date vary from place to place, it is most commonly held near the end of October to coincide with the night before Halloween)

No, because I'm Australian. We don't need a reason to make mischief.

What is your favorite trick-or-treat candy? 

No idea. We don't really have Halloween candy.

Have you ever seen a ghost? 

Yes - more I felt her. We used to have one in the house in London. She scared the downstairs neighbours countless times.

The most memorable costume you ever wore? 

Never worn a Halloween costume. I'm Australian.

Do you dress up on Halloween? 

No, I'm over 40 and Australian. We don't do Halloween.

Any cooking or baking you do for Halloween? 

No. It's just a normal day.

 Have you ever been to The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland or Disneyworld? 

No. Never been to Disneyland.

Any element of the season you don’t like? 

Well it is Beltane, a pagan festival. I'm good with that.

What is your favorite scary movie? 

I generally don't like scary movies. Beetlejuice or The Sixth Sense is about as far as I go.

 Do you cook the pumpkin seeds from your carved jack-o-lanterns? 

I'm Australian. I cook pumpkin all year round. Roasted with lamb is my favourite way to do pumpkin. Pumpkin soup is great too. See, pumpkin is a savoury thing around here.

 Are you intrigued with vampires? 

The thrill is going. They've over represented in modern literary culture.

What is your favorite written work of horror fiction? 

Bram Stoker's Dracula is pretty good. I will get around to reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels one day. Horror really isn't my thing.

What is your favorite work of science fiction/fantasy? 

Love Kazuo Ishiguru's Never Let Me Go and David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas - and Margaret Atwood. Oh, I do read literary speculative fiction... I hope that counts.

Who is your favorite monster? 

Mike from Monster's Inc.

What is your favorite Horror movie? 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I'm not into horror. Shaun of the Dead isn't too bad either. The horror films I watch have to be funny.

What horror movie gives you the most chills? 

Se7en gave me the jeebies for weeks.

What character from any horror film would you most like to play?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

25 Fun Meme

Well, I'm working on my Real Life Writing Project  after a weekend at a Freemason's conference. yes, I'm a freemason and yes, I am a woman.

It has been a great weekend, and I've left this a little late. Ah well.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1. If you were trapped in a room with the person who asked this for 24 hours, what would you do? The answer cannot be romantic or sexual.

Probably read a book between chatting. Depends on what's in the room.

2. If you could learn any language instantly, what would it be?

Spanish. I speak passable French, but I'd love to spend more time in Spain.

3. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

James Joyce's Ulysses. It could take me the rest of my life to decipher it.

4. Favorite song lyric?

I've been wondering why Scaramouche has to do the Fandango for a number of decades.

5. Favorite album?

The Pixies, Surfer Rosa.

Favourite Australian Album: Hoodoo Gurus, Stoneage Romeos.

6. Which time of day would you say is best for you work-wise?

I'm normally at my best mid morning.

7. Favorite city that you’ve visited?

Do I just have to name one? I love Paris.

8. Favorite city that you haven’t visited?

I'd love to visit San Francisco one day. Top of the list.

9. If you could donate $10,000 to charity, what charity would you pick?

A children's leukaemia one - probably the Leukaemia Foundation. They've done so much for my family this year.

10. What is one book you wish you could get all your friends to read?

Louis de Berniere's "Captain Corelli's Mandolin". For non Fiction, Dr Spencer Johnson's "Who Moved My Cheese." Both books changed my life.

11. What is one movie you wish you could get all your friends to watch?

Garden State - still love it.

12. What do you think people assume about you from first glance?

I eat too much. That or I come from Melbourne because I wear a lot of black.

13. If you could play any musical instrument, what would it be?

Piano. I wish I could play the piano.

14. What is your favorite item of clothing?

My navy blue trench coat.

15. Who was your first follower on your blog? Do they still follow you?

An old uni friend named Kath. I think she still reads me now an then.

16. If you could create one thing, what would it be?

A cure for leukaemia that is fail safe and painless.

17. Favorite superhero?

Probably Superman.

18. If you were to write an autobiography, what would you title it?

I'm writing my memoir for uni at the moment. I'm tossing up "In Plain Sight" or "Don't try this at home..."

19. If you were to have a band, what would you call it?

Medulla Oblongta - hard rock band.

20. What is your favorite card/board game?

I'm a dab hand at Trivial Pursuit, but I rather like Operation and Monopoly.

21. What was the first IM service you used? Who was the first person you talked to on it?

Probably the hotmail messenger, but no idea who that might have been.

22. If you could give a friendly hug to any one person, who would it be? Cannot be your romantic/sexual partner if you have one.

My sister needs one at the moment.

23. Have you ever won any sort of contests? What kind?

I've won a couple of writing competitions for my short stories. Those 25 words or fewer contests I don't do too badly.

24. Who was the last person you hugged? Cannot be your romantic/sexual partner if you have one.

One of the masons at the Freemason's convention today. Not sure which one - they hug a lot.

25. If you could be skilled in any one activity, what would it be?

I'd love to be able to crochet more than granny rugs.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Swiped Meme

Just back from Jonella's birthday lunch, which was lovely. We left just after the birthday girl was being spirited away on a Harley (a birthday treat from her partner).

I should be studying - so it's write a paragraph, do a question. Not too bad questions this week.

Questions, as always, are from Sunday Stealing.

1. Did someone die in that last movie you watched?

Yes. Was a touch close to the bone at the moment. The film, Miss You Already. Here's a trailer.

2. Are the trees pretty colors outside for you now or at all?

The spring blossom has nearly finished and we're into green trees. They're pretty, but not as pretty as in autumn.

3. Have you ever made a bad first impression on someones parents?

The last time I met somebody's parent's was thirty years ago.

4. When's the last time you video recorded something on TV?

I haven't had a video recorder for about three years. I recorded something about a month ago on my hard disk recorder.

5. What is a career you wanted to have when you were younger, and still kind of want to have now? 

I wanted to be a writer when I was growing up. I'm a writer.

6. What are your views on sunflowers?

Love them. Particularly in Tuscany.

7. What is your favorite incense or candle scent?

Rose and Frankincense.

8. Caramel apples or candy apples?

If candy apples are toffee apples, then I like them.

9.  Have you ever walked into a wall?


10. Would you ever or do you make your dog wear a bandanna?

If I had a large dog I could see that happening every so often. My sister's dog wears Christmas bells at Christmas, why not a bandana.

11. Do you find dandelions when they're gone all white pretty?

Do they go white? I never knew that.

12. What makes you laugh?

Satire and inappropriate humour and Monty Python and Sean Micallef and Adam Hills.

13. The scariest moment of your life?

All the ones containing huntsman spiders. Reentering Australia after eight years in the mid nineties.

14. What’s the coolest thing you’ve bought lately?

Probably ice cream.

15. What’s the worst you’ve had to do because of losing a bet?  

Drink Baileys mixed with beer. That was at university.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Alphabet Thing Meme

I can sit in a chair for longer than ten minutes. YAYAYAY. After some very, very nasty back spasms later in the week, to be back to 90% is great. Now the pain has gone away I can study and clean.

Questions, as per normal from Sunday Stealing.

A: Accent -- 

A soft Middle Class Adelaide Australian. I have long A's, miss the finial L's and occasionally get mistaken for being English.

This explains it perfectly:

B: Breakfast --

Normally a protein shake or eggs on the weekend.

C: Chore you hate --

Anything to do with floors or dusting.

D: Dad's name --

Ronald Geoffrey

E: Essential everyday item --

Bedside light.

F: Flavor ice cream --

Do I have tot just pick just one? Maggie Beer's Caramel, honeycomb and burnt fig jam is pretty special.

G: Gold or silver --

Silver. Always has been, always will be.

H: Hometown --

Adelaide, South Australia

I: Insomnia --

Occasionally - thankfully not too often. Once or twice a year for a few days only.

J: Job title --

Technical Writer / Instructional Designer. Depends on the gig.

K: Kids --

Thankfully, no.

M: Mother's birthplace --

Adelaide, South Australia

N: Number of significant others --

None. Pathologically single (at the moment)

O: Overnight hospital stays --

Two. When I was a child and they were fixing my legs. Nothing in adulthood.

P: Phobia --

Huntsman spiders. Hate the fuckers. (Google them if you want a picture, Americans)

Q: Quick at --

Picking up concepts.

R: Religious affiliation --

None. That's why I'm a Freemason. Spiritual and agnostic is what I normally put on forms.

S: Siblings --

One sister, one step-sister,

T: Time you wake up --

Normally six when the alarm wakes me. Seven when I don't need to set the alarm

U: Unnatural hair colors --

I've been dying my hair since I was sixteen, but it's normally a fairly natural reddy brown colour.

V: Vegetable you refuse to eat --

I've never really seen the point of zucchinis (Courgettes)

W: Worst habit --

Sucking my thumb when I'm tired or stressed.

 X: X-rays --

Other than the odd ones from the dentist, the last one I had was 20 years ago in Ireland when they thought I had pneumonia.

Y: Yummy --

I made a Chicken Waldorf salad for lunch which was divine.

Z: Zodiac sign --

Leo/Virgo. Okay, to be more precise, I'm a Leo/Virgo, Cancer Moon, Capricorn rising with a five planet stellium in Virgo. I hang out with astrologers. Can you tell?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Q & A Meme

Okay, bribe time. Two minutes of transcribing (tape time) one question. Has to be done. Study is getting a bit heavy and it will be until early November. I have three hours of interview tape to transcribe and it is doing my head in, especially as I'd rather be reading a book somewhere.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

 1. What would you pick as a major, if you could go back to college and do it again? 

I've often said that if I was to go back and do my undergraduate again I'd go back and do Medicine. Failing that (and with my hatred of physics) I think I'd love to study drama and creative writing - there are so many more choices than we had thirty years ago.

2. Who is the one celebrity with whom you would most like to have an in depth conversation? 

Probably George Clooney -a great philanthropist.

3. If you could make a living doing ANYthing, what would that be? 

I'd love to be a very successful writer.

4. What’s your all-time very favorite dessert? 

Creme Brulee. The thicker the crust on the top, the better.

5. How many pairs of jeans do you own? 

Five or six in different colours.

6. What is your favorite flower, and why? 

Roses. I love their scent.

7. What book has most changed your life? 

Two books. Dr Spencer Johnson's "Who Moved My Cheese." The other is Louis De Bernieres' "Captain Corelli's Mandolin". The former got me out of my funk, the other took me around the world.

8. What is your least favorite vegetable? Is there any way you can be persuaded to eat it? 

Zucchini. It's pointless. Flavourless and bland. Not overly fond of broad beans either.

9. If you could take a nonstop first class flight to any destination, where would you pick to land? 


10. If your 15 minutes of fame included a stint on American Idol, what song would be your trademark solo? 


11. If you could pick one former friend (who has remained elusive in this wild Facebook world) to reunite with, who would you unearth? 

An Irishman called Dave. Dave is dead. I'd love the truth one day.

12. You have been awarded the time off from work and an all-expenses paid week anywhere in the United States. The catch is that it must be somewhere you have not been before. Where do you choose to visit? 

Seattle or San Franscisco. Always wanted to go to Seattle and San Francisco. I'd go back to Boston and New York happily, but we can't do that for this test.

13. Name three of your guilty pleasures. 

Ice cream, donuts, gin and tonics.

14. The best kind of cookie is: 

White Chocolate and Macadamia cookies.

15. What do you value most in other people? 

Intelligence and honesty.

16. Have you ever looked back at your life and realized that something you thought was a bad thing was actually a blessing in disguise? 

Oh hell yeah. Not having the job work out in Greece - though it the worst thing ever at the time, but it moved me on in leaps and bounds. A very, very good thing.

17. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited? 

I have been to a lot of beautiful places, but the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral takes my breath away every time.
Image result for lady chapel ely cathedral

 18. Are you more of a thinker or a feeler? 

Though able to think, I'm definitely more of a feeler.

19. Name three things you are thankful for right now. 

Good friends, I'm solvent and the worst of the depression I've had has gone.

20. Have you ever participated in a three-legged race? 

Like nearly 40 years ago. Yes.

21. When you are at an event that plays the National Anthem, do you place your hand over your heart?

I'm Australian. I'll stand and shuffle my feet a bit. None of this hand on heart stuff. At least I know the words to the first verse.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Really Random Meme

These are really random questions, Sunday Stealing!  Need to get this done quickly - I'm off to see the David Bowie Exhibition and spend some time with an old and good friend who is down from Brisbane.

So, here we go.

Do you believe that Walt Disney is really frozen? 

Do I care? No. And this is relevant how?

Do you believe its easy to forgive and forget? 

It's not easy to forgive or forget. I will forgive quickly, but I NEVER forget.

When you feel like running away from it all who do you call? 

My inner self or my bank manager and find enough money to go somewhere for a week.

Is there anyone who knows your entire life story? 

No. There are a few who know most, but there are patches they don't know about.

Have you had to have stitches at all in the last year? 

Thank goodness, no.

Which is coming next: Christmas or your birthday?


Have you ever been a clown for Halloween? 

Halloween is unAustralian. We don't do Halloween. So no.

What time did you go to bed last night? 

About 11 pm.

When did you get up this morning? 

7 am. I've been doing some study.

When was the last time it rained? 

Early last week we had a few showers.

Are your finger nails painted at the moment? 

No. Was thinking about doing them last night. Didn't happen.

Do you ever go hunting/fishing? 

I like fishing, but I haven't been for years.

Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? 

Yes. His name was Sparky. I was very good at losing him in supermarkets.

Which parent do you look most like?

I'm a funny mix of both parents. There is a lot of Dad and a lot of Mum. Depends on who's looking and my expression.

Do you have any friends who are famous? 

No, but I have a good friend who's a good mate of Eddie Izzard, so I have a direct link to a lot of Hollywood.

Do you use eBay to buy or sell? 

Yes, both.

Is music a daily part of your life? 

Yes and no. I like music, but it's a background thing. Listening to Simon and Garfunkel as I was stuck in traffic yesterday was brilliant. Calmed me down.

Is your self esteem high or low? 

After years in therapy, I can say that I've got pretty reasonable self-esteem. Sure it has dips, but on the whole I'm in a good spot.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Gag Me Meme

Some rather silly questions this week, but in all, they're not too bad. I've been told to Americanise the next blog that comes out with truly American questions. These are good. Thanks Sunday Stealing.

Do you have a sensitive gag reflex?  

Fairly. It comes out around vomit or when my hair gets stuck down my throat - a bit of a trap when your hair is as long as mine.

Where are you the most ticklish?  

The ribs. It's not pretty.

What was the last situation to upset you?  

Watching what's happening to the Syrian Refugees is very distressing. The Australian Federal Government is not upsetting me quite as much now that Tony Abbott is no longer Prime Minister. (Danced the conga for two days after that happened.)

Have you ever had an online argument?  

Of course.

Do you like to listen to music while filling out surveys?  

No. I tend to do the surveys really quickly.

How long do you spend on the phone each day, on average?  

Five minutes, max.

Is anything in your hair right now, like gel, hairspray, etc.?

A bit of straightening product. That's all.It will have a hairband in it soon as I'll be heading off to the gym.

When was the last time you were up before the sun? Do you like wearing sunglasses? Why or why not?  

Most mornings I'm awake at 6 am. The sun isn't quite up then.

Last show you watched?

I sat down yesterday and watched a repeat of Celebrity Apprentice - well that was on the telly. I went and saw the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" last night. It was really enjoyable.

Next vacation you’re going on?

No idea - too many factors to consider with that one.

Do you regret doing anything you’ve done this week?  

No. No time for regrets. Waste of time. Though I half regret not completing my Real Life Writing homework yesterday as it's a gorgeous day out there.

Last night you felt?

Buoyant. Had a great time last night

What are you wearing right now?  

My dressing gown.

Have you ever kissed underneath the stars?  

No. Not that I can remember.

What are you doing now?  

Writing this blogpost.

What plans do you have for tonight?  

Go round and see Blarney and Barney and probably do my Real Life Writing homework.

What’s the very first thing you do when you wake up, other than breathe?

Normally check the time on my phone (which acts as my alarm clock)
Do you like reading?  

It's one of my favourite things to do.

Do you ever think about stuff and start crying?  

Every so often. Thinking about a couple of people who've passed will bring up tears.

Have you ever kicked a vending machine?

Of course. They deserve it.

Do people consider you smart?  

I have no idea. You'll have to ask other people.

Have you ever stayed online for a very long time waiting for someone? 

No. But I've come back and checked if they're about. Joys of a long distance relationship.

Do you tend to be aware of what is going on around you?  

Yes. I'm pretty aware of that. At least I try to stay on top of things.

How much money did you spend yesterday?  

Hmm. Weekly groceries, $90. Breakfast $15. Meditation $30. Dinner with Alice. $45. To that comes to about $180. Then I go through the week spending $4 a day on coffee and my train ticket. Swings and roundabouts.

Is there anything in your past that you’d like to try again?

Maybe bellydancing lessons. Last time I tried it, I threw my back out.