101 things about me

Friday, 29 February 2008

Quote of the day...

The man who views the world at 50,
the same as he did at 20,
has wasted 30 years of his life.

Mohammad Ali

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Page One, New chapter...

What a day.

Great group of teachers and students.

The teachers are all working artists and incredibly enthusiastic about the course. They were lots of fun and managed to keep everyone entertained.

The group of fellow students are all women - something I was not expecting, but it has it's advantages and I hope it will become a strong support group. Ages range from in the 20's (one or two) to in their late 50's. They come from a range of life experiences which will definitely colour the experience for everyone.

We spent the day getting to know each other, looking around the facilities and then wandering around Melbourrne exploring some of the lesser know smaller galleries. Really interesting.

Tomorrow it's time to get our hands dirty.
Painting all morning and then drawing all afternoon. I expect it to be a pretty full-on day.

Have a good day everyone.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Saying the right thing at just the right time...

I start my course tomorrow... the one I applied for in the first week of November... the course which now seems like it's never going to happen even though tomorrow it begins. It's an arts course which includes painting and drawing, art theory, visiting artists in their studios and hopefully some classes in print making and sculpture.

I will be at school 2 full days a week. Thursday and Friday. I am going part time at work which I consider will be a move in the right direction, though financially it will take a bit of adjustment. New challenges are just around the corner. I am stepping outside the comfort zone once again, which always fills me with a combination of nerves and excitement.

And so, as the day draws nearer and the excitement grows, so too does the doubt. It's the nerves talking, I know it's crazy, but I can't help it. What if I am hopeless? What if I have no talent? What if no-one likes me? What if I don't even like the course? So many doubts swimming round in my head.

I admit only two aloud to Mal.

What if I am no good?
You'll be fine... comes the reply.

"Or worse than that, what if I am the worst in the whole group?"
And the reply? ... "Then you'll be most improved."

That was a pretty cool response. It was a positive angle I hadn't considered.

And there you go, he said just the right thing at just the right time. Put it all in perspective somehow. And I am still nervous and I still have (a few) doubts, but it will all be fine. Of course I know everything will be OK, but it's nice to hear it from some-one else sometimes.

Now... where's my pencil case?

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Quote of the day...

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

Monday, 25 February 2008

What's cooking?

Tonight I managed to do a bit of cooking. It's the first time in ages. I have been pretty slack lately. Living in Richmond makes it far too easy to head out locally for a cheap meal and so we've been lazy. But tonight the excuses ended and I made up a pot of my Aussie cassoulet. The pot is bubbling and the smell is throughout the flat and drifting out the open windows and doors.

It is a base of beans and tomato with some kangaroo sausages, chicken breast and mushrooms thrown in for good measure. In the mix is also a splodge of dijon mustard, a glug of red and a few secret herbs and spices. As you've probably guessed, my cooking rarely turns out the same from one meal to the next... Smells good so far. By tomorrow's dinner it will be just right.

My kitchen is still the original from the 1930's - very little has changed over the years. I have dreams of one day upgrading but it has done pretty well for the last 7o+ years and me and my finances are not in any hurry...

These are a few snaps from my kitchen.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

This Is . . . My Favourite Accessory...

This is a bag I made recently in a class at The Kimono House in Melbourne. The class was run by the lovely Nicole of Nicole Mallalieu Designs. who was incredibly patient and managed to keep us all on track. At the end of the day I was amazed I had created such a beautiful satchel.

The subject for this weeks "This is..." was suggested by One Red Robin. Sorry I didn't include a picture of me with thw bag, but the photography and flash into the mirror caused me all sorts of problems - in addition to that, it was a really bad hair day, so this is will just have to do.
The "This is..." meme started with the very creative Angela of Three Buttons fame.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Friday giggle...

Humorous Pictures
moar humorous pics

Last night I had the strangest dream...

Last night I had the strangest dream...

I was having morning tea with George Bush and a whole lot of faceless politicians. Included in our group were a lot of 'ordinary' people also. I don't remember any discussions clearly, though I do remember a number of us were going through the newspapers and cutting out pictures of those killed in the Iraq war and then handing them to the President.

The photo that particularly left an impression, was of a group of very well dressed white women comforting a distraught black woman who was very obviously grieving the loss of someone close. She was draped across these women in their designer suits as they sat unable to do more than pat her gently on the shoulder. It was an odd image, and I half expect to open the paper this morning and see it printed.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Showering on Venus and Mars...

How To Shower Like a Woman

Take off clothes and place them sectioned in laundry basket according to lights and darks.

Walk to bathroom wearing long dressing gown.

If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.

Look at your womanly physique in the mirror - make mental note to do more sit-ups/leg-lifts, etc.

Get in the shower.

Use face cloth, arm cloth, leg cloth, long loofah, wide loofah and pumice stone.

Wash your hair once with cucumber and sage shampoo with 43 added vitamins.

Wash your hair again to make sure it's clean.

Condition your hair with grapefruit mint conditioner enhanced.

Wash your face with crushed apricot facial scrub for 10 minutes until red.

Wash entire rest of body with ginger nut and jaffa cake body wash.

Rinse conditioner off hair.

Shave armpits and legs.

Turn off shower.

Squeegee off all wet surfaces in shower.

Spray mould spots with Tile cleaner.

Get out of shower.

Dry with towel the size of a small country.

Wrap hair in super absorbent towel.

Return to bedroom wearing long dressing gown and towel on head.

If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.

How To Shower Like a Man

Take off clothes while sitting on the edge of the bed and leave them in a pile.

Walk naked to the bathroom.

If you see wife along the way, shake willy at her making the 'woo-woo' sound.

Look at your manly physique in the mirror.

Admire the size of your willy and scratch your bum.

Get in the shower.

Wash your face.

Wash your armpits.

Blow your nose in your hands and let the water rinse them off.

Fart and laugh at how loud it sounds in the shower.

Spend majority of time washing privates and surrounding area.

Wash your bum, leaving those coarse bum hairs stuck on the soap.

Wash your hair.

Make a Shampoo Mohawk.


Rinse off and get out of shower.

Partially dry off.

Fail to notice water on floor because curtain was hanging out of bath the whole time.

Admire willy size in mirror again.

Leave shower curtain open, wet mat on floor, light and fan on.

Return to bedroom with towel around waist.

If you pass wife, pull off towel, shake willy at her and make the 'woo-woo' sound again.

Throw wet towel on bed.

I can't take credit for this one, it was emailed by a friend and I just had to share it. Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Bureaucracy gone mad...

Six weeks ago I bought something over the internet from Canada. I was told my order could take up to six weeks, and so at that estimate, I should have received it no later than this week.

Last Thursday night I decided to have a look at the original confirmation to check the dates and was REALLY annoyed to find the delivery address in the original confirmation was incomplete. As I had filled in an automated form when ordering, I can only imagine it was my mistake and I had not filled the form in properly. Aye aye aye! Everything else was there, including my flat number and my name. The street number however, was missing.

On Friday I contacted Australia Post via their centralised 131-number. I pressed a combination of numbers which EVENTUALLY allowed me the pleasure of speaking to one young lady by the name of Bronwyn. I explained my dilema and asked what my chances were, but she gave me no encouragement and said she believed the parcel would be well on it's return journey to the Northern Hemisphere.

"To put my mind at rest"... I asked if I could be transferred to my local PO to see if the package had managed to arrive there and was patiently waiting for me to collect it having not turned up at my address. She refused to transfer me as requested. In fact, she REFUSED to assist me any further at all. Point blank REFUSED.

She insisted that the PO would be unable to help and that as A MATTER OF PRIVACY she was unable to put me through! Australia Post is a government owned company! Since when am I forbidden to talk to a service provider because I may be intruding on their privacy??? I couldn't believe my ears, but she wouldn't budge. Bloody bureaucracy.

Was this number a help line, or a "stick it up your jacksie" line?

According to my 'helpline buddy' Bronwyn, it would be better if I could drop into my local PO and discuss it in person! Well... yes, that would be nice I suppose - IF I DIDN'T WORK 20KMS AWAY AND THEY WERE OPEN MORE THAN THE STANDARD 9-5, MONDAY TO FRIDAY.

What could I do? Well, I made my frustrations known and finished the call. At this stage everyone in my office had heard my complaint. Certainly they had never seen me so fired up. They all encouraged me to drive the 30 minutes to the PO to resolve the mystery in person, though I decided it would have to wait until the end of the day. In the mean-time, I retried the 'help-line', but, as luck would have it, yep you guessed it, Bronwyn answered. And that was that.

So. I left work early and headed home via the PO. In their defence they were incredibly helpful. "Lovely" Leanne and others searched through all their international racks and discussed my options. They asked if I had called their 131 number and then listened with shaking heads as I told them my story. They apologised for the carry on and they offered me sympathy. They called the 131 number on my behalf, but alas the result remained unchanged. My parcel was still on the missing list.

Two things make this whole situation even MORE frustrating.
1. There are only two blocks of flats in my street and 2. I am the ONLY person with my surname in the ENTIRE city of Melbourne! How can this be so difficult?

I have since contacted the shop in Canada, but it hasn't been returned so far. Canada Post website confirms it was sent, but there is no other tracking recorded.

There is no happy ending. So far in any case. I am hoping that it will turn up, but given my dealing with Australia Post to date, I'm not holding my breath.

I'll keep you 'posted' on any developments!

The joys of public transport...

loldogs, cute puppy pictures, emo, bus, I Has a Hotdog
This week is my last full time week at work for 18 weeks while I do my Arts course in the city. I cannot begin to tell you how much joy this brings. I will be creating for two full days of the week, and (as a bonus) will have Thursday and Friday away from my work.

I will leave the car at home and travel by public transport to class and walk the 5kms home. I am a great advocate of public transport, and hope that the next few months will not leave me cursing it's inefficiencies.

see more loldogs are funny dog pictures!

Thanks for the link Alyndabear.

Monday, 18 February 2008

These 4 things...

Four jobs I have had in my life:
Camp Counsellor USA/Art Director
Studio Manager
Builder's Labourer

Four movies I could watch over and over:
Love Actually
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Gone with the Wind

Four places I have lived:
Richmond, Melbourne, Australia.
Richmond, London, UK.
Point Lonsdale, Victoria, Australia.
Maffra, Victoria, Australia

Four TV shows that I watch:
Grey's Anatomy

Four places I have been:
New York

People who email me (regularly):
Shirl & Dave (Mum and Dad)

Four of my favourite foods:

Four places I would rather be right now:
On the beach
In bed sleeping
London catching up with friends
At home doing 'stuff'

Things I am looking forward to in the next 12 months:
Arts Course
Going part time at work
Living more creatively
Finding a clearer direction...

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Will you be my Valentine?

Love is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Wednesday, 13 February 2008


I have been reading this morning about today's historic apology by Australia's parliament for all past wrongs done to Australia's indigenous people. I have read the text of the apology. I have read comments about it's wording and the reporting of praise for it.

Some will not agree with the apology and the term 'Stolen Generation' will continue to be debated long after today's speech. We each have the right to make our own call. For me, I think it is an apology that should have been made long ago. It is an apology that is needed to acknowledge that the 'stolen generation' actually existed and an apology to recognise that families were torn apart and lives forever changed by the very people that should have been protecting them.

At 9am the apology will be read in a nation-wide address by our current Prime Minister.

The media have been discussing it for days. This morning's media frenzy was amazing. I hate morning television at the best of times. It is soft and shallow and inane. And this morning was no different. I was disturbed to hear one reporter describe today as a celebration. Is it just me, or is this patronising and ill informed? Can this be a celebration? I'm not so sure. I can only imagine the destruction and hurt that was inflicted on our indigenous families. I cannot imagine a long overdue apology reason for celebration. Some sort of resolution perhaps. I'm not sure. I don't think I am in the position to know the reaction of those effected.

As for the oposition leaders and spokesmen, do they really support it, or are they just trying to cover all bases? How can Brendan Nelson say he supports it and then label the wording as "trite" and "lacking substance" ???

Liberal leader Brendan Nelson last night confirmed his party's backing for the apology, despite misgivings about the term "stolen".

On a positive note (from The Age website):

Mick Dodson, co-chairman of Reconciliation Australia, led a chorus of praise by indigenous leaders. "I am inspired by this apology as an act of true reconciliation towards indigenous Australia," Mr Dodson said.

"It allows us to move forward with honesty, an acceptance of shame about parts of our history and with courage, pride, maturity and hope."

I hope he is right.


I have included a link to The Age website where you can read the apology in it's entirity.

And not a moment too soon...

Last night I had some time where I gathered my thoughts and refocused on a few things I knew HAD to be done. The sort of things I hate to do, avoid like the plague and then, once complete, I wonder at why I have taken so so long to do it. It wasn't as bad as I had expected and the weight released from my shoulders was a relief that far outweighed the effort.

I did a mini tidy up. I collected my paid bills and filed them away. I read and then threw out all the junk mail and uninteresting mail I had collected to "read when I had the time". I answered a few emails, archived what I wanted to keep and deleted the rest. I tidied my desk. Removed the obstacle course that surrounded my mouse pad and made some space for myself again.

I work better in space and without mess. I find it a more calming environment. It causes me far less agitation.

***Nothing groundbreaking and hardly worthy of a post on a blog... (but it's early and inspiration is a little thin on the ground).

All the while I copied files from my old faithful laptop to my new iMac. I transfered all of my personal files and a collection of select music from itunes, I deleted what I could and did a shut down. And not a moment too soon... It was at this point that my little laptop, my trusty (if rather slow) assistant for the last few years, spat the dummy about my new companion and refused to do as I asked.

It didn't shut down. It wouldn't reboot. It put it's head in the sand and refused to respond to my direction. And then it rolled over and lifted it's feet to the skies and died. It's time had come.

Regardless of the fact I have a new computer (that I am very happy with by the way) I feel a little sad at my little i-book's passing. But here's the thing. What do I do with it? It IS possible there is still life, that this is merely a technological tantrum. I do hate to discard it, but then I also don't need it. I had planned to sell it, but in it's current state there hardly seems any point. If it were a horse I would put it to pasture and not send it to the knackery. It would only be fair! But it is a computer afterall.

Any advice?

Monday, 11 February 2008

Quote of the day...

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, 8 February 2008

9 images that describe me...

A long time ago (way back in September - gulp) I was tagged by Liss at Daydream Lily. I tried. My computer went into major meltdown. I got busy. It got lost in my list of things to do. I got a new computer. At last I got back to it... Liss, I am sorry for the delay. Here it is at last... 9 images that describe me.

1. My mini. I love it. A little impractical perhaps, but I don't care, it's all about having fun...

2. Magnolias in Kew Gardens in London - a favourite haunt when I lived there over 10 years ago.

3. Me and my Mum. I love this photo as we are both having such a fun time together. It's never been any different. I have a great family.

4. Simply beautiful - a shadow that was captured on a week-end trip last year.

5. This is me and Mal on the ferry to Queenscliff. It's a nice relaxed shot of us both.

6. These numbers are old petrol station signs. They are about 3 foot tall and made of metal. I love typography and 3121 is my postcode.

7. Point Lonsdale beach. Very beautiful and it so happens it's where I grew up. It is also where I feel most grounded.

8. My pigeon holes sit on my desk and are filled with a small selection of my collections. Creativity is something that drives me, and each window holds a little bit of inspiration. Even the empty ones!

9. Yes - this is me. Nearly 20 years ago!!! I spent 4 month travelling through Africa. This is my first day in the Sahara. Stunning scenery - and just a little dusty!

If you love the grid of pics, you can do it too... go to bighugelabs.com and sign up. It's called Mosaic Maker. Consider yourself tagged if you wish and make up a mosaic of 9 things that describe you. Leave a comment and I will drop by and say hi.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Quote of the day...

For every minute you remain angry,
you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

This is my collection...

I collect all kinds of things. More through luck than intention, I am an accidental collector. This is also partly because I hate to throw things out.

If I looked around my flat I would have to say an ongoing theme is my love for numbers and letters. I have collected a few without intending to make a collection as such, but many of the items that decorate my flat are along a similar theme. I have cookie cutters and old petrol signs and a couple of more industrial pieces. I am drawn to them. I work in the graphics/printing industry and love type. What can I say?

Of course I also love pens and paper and brushes and hand made books and old drafting tools and wooden boxes. And notebooks and diaries? Don't even ask!

I love clocks too - though my family have given me so much grief over the last few years that I have learned to restrain myself and at the moment I only have one in each room. One day I will ignore their head shaking and fill a wall with nothing but clocks.

One day...

"This is..." is another great idea from Angela at Three Buttons... Get on board!

Friday, 1 February 2008

My date with Julia Roberts...

I'm getting in early. Today is the first day of February and Valentine's Day is a mere 14 days away. It will be the subject of many blogs over the next week or two, so I decided I would get in first and start the ball rolling.

In Australia, Valentine's Day has been criticised for years as a clever marketing ploy established by Hallmark to rake in millions of dollars every February. It often gets dismissed as American schmaltz at it's worst. Romance converted into the mighty dollar.

To be honest, that has never really bothered me. I'm all for a little bit of schmaltz - American or otherwise. And commercialism? There's no avoiding it. Let's face it, if they can commercialise sex and religion then nothing is sacred. So why not add romance to the mix?

If the truth be known, I am not a lover of Valentine's Day. Never have been. It is the least fave of the annual celebrations. Not being a particularly romantic type, it's all a little bit lost on me to be honest. Of course, past experience hasn't been particularly encouraging...

Two years ago I was single and living alone. I had spent the previous 14 years in a relationship where Valentine's Day was not a huge event on the special events calendar. And so, as my 'coupled' friends spent their evenings with their partners, gazing lovingly at each other over romantic candle-lit dinners, I was determined not to stay at home and hide myself away.

I decided to go to the cinema. On. My. Own.

Now. I love the cinema. Often I prefer to go alone. Some may baulk at this, but here's the thing... I can escape without the worry of sitting beside a friend who wriggles in their seats, who laughs outrageously ending with a loud snort, looks at me to see if I'm crying or (God forbid) talks once the movie has begun. I can eat all my popcorn without having to share, and I can decide on ANY movie and not have to worry about whether my companion is enjoying my choice. I love it.

So, back to Valentine's Day 2006. I am staging my own little one person rebellion. A single person out on Valentine's night. Night of love and romance, roses and chocolates, champagne and COUPLES!

I'm standing at the counter at the cinema, when the cashier hits me with the first blow. I ask for a single ticket and watch the confused glance over my shoulder and then the look of dismay as he realises I am telling the truth. "Are you sure?" he asks, "Just the one?"

"Yes" says me (yes - I am going to the cinema on my own, yes - I am ok with that, yes - I know you think I am a loser, but I just. don't. care.)

"Would you like an extra ticket?" he asks.
It's my time to look puzzled.

"Well, no" I reply. (Mr Perfect has not miraculously appeared beside me)

"But it's Valentine's Day..." (Alright already, I get it! I get it! Thanks for sensitivity buddy!) ..."and we have a special 'Two for the price of one' promotion."

I pause. I can't resist a bargain. A bargain to me is like an open bank to a robber, a casino to a gambler, a bar of chocolate to a chocoholic. I caaaannnnn't resist.

"You could give it to someone" he says, and he's got me.

I look around quickly. Surely there were others venturing out alone. There must be at least one other person here by themselves, and what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a free movie pass?

"Well, OK then. Sure."

I walk away from the counter, past the food bar, 2 tickets in my hand and I look around.

There is a lone male standing reading the list of movies on show. He looks OK, clean, sober, no nervous twitching, and as I sidle up to him I'm not repelled by bad body odour. So I turn to him and ask him if he wanted a free ticket.

I've gotta say, the look is priceless.
You would have thought I was a stalker.

When he asked me what the movie was and I had to admit it was a Julia Roberts pic... I was promoted to mass murderer!

Needless to say I walked away with the 2 tickets in my hand feeling rather (ever so slightly) humiliated. That promotion (and the following rejection) made me feel SO much better about being alone. Oh well.

What's a girl to do? First, I had a laugh at myself... (it disguised the flush of embarassment)... and then I bought myself the bonanza bucket of popcorn, sat it in the empty seat beside me and Julia and I celebrated Valentine's Day in style. Together.