Friday, 29 July 2011

Every Day I'm Shufflin'.

The silver thing? My bathroom bag.

Left home yesterday in the nick of time. It feels like I've been let out of jail.

Currently in Melbourne, to attend Blogopolis tomorrow. Melbourne? You win. You are beautiful, and Sydney is a stinky smokestack in comparison. Tomorrow I'll be talking on a panel with problogger about the future of the Australian blogosphere. Sunday night I'm back in Sydney, staying at Woogs Mansion until we board a plane on Monday and fly to LA. The future of the Australian blogosphere? Hilarious, if Woogs has anything to do with it.

Then on to San Diego for the BlogHer Conference 2011. At some stage during San Diego I will go down to Mexico, to buy some Day of the Dead skulls. At all stages of this journey I will eat what I want, when I want it. I'll meander, dream, drink sugar-free redbull while all my mates get pissed, dance like a mofo ... and feel like I've come back to myself.

                            Eating googy eggs, yesterday morning.

I just sprawled out on my hotel room bed to type this out. Don't have to share these lightly salted chips with anyone. Don't have to wipe anybody's bumhole, mediate fights, or wake up seven times in the night to shepherd roaming children around the goddamn house. I will not be struggling to be a great wife, or stepmother, or friend.

Last night I arrived at my sister Leigh's house .. she left the key out for me because she was taking her kids to swimming lessons. I went straight to her pantry and found some Bhuja spicy peas - the same ones we used to buy from the canteen when we were kids at school in Fiji. Then I took a photo of me admiring her newly-renovated bathroom, and text it to her.

                               Still warming to your grout, Leigh.

I held those peas aloft, triumphantly. A symbol of my freedom. Maybe I am always this free - maybe I'm as free as I believe myself to be.

There is so much ahead, and as I go through the next two weeks, I'll realise exactly how much is inside.

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” - GK Chesterton

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

"Mum, I would HATE to be gay."

My nine-year old son was sitting at the table one day, looked up at me and said completely out of the blue, "Mum, I would HATE to be gay."

I was furious. I sat down with him, ready for a long discussion about equal rights and injustice and tolerance and ignorance. No child of mine was going to be homophobic goddamit. I don't know if it's right or wrong to enforce your own personal beliefs on to your children. I try to let them have their own views, give them space to make up their own assumptions about things.

But I was not letting him get up from that table until he got a crash course in respect and kindness. Until I had full assurance that he was not growing up homophobic. No kid of mine is going to be a homophobe. GODDAMIT.

Calmly, but with my head racing, I asked him why he said that. Was it because his dad and older brother are such macho manly men? Did he see something on TV? Goddamit.

He stopped his drawing, looked at me and said, "Well, because, if I was gay .... I would have to hide it."

My heart. Oh.

We sat there for a while in silence. Wrapping my head around the fact that not only was my son not being homophobic at all, he was coming from a place of empathy. He already knows that to be gay would be problematic. I thought of all of the children in his school ... there would be a percentage of them that ARE gay. And know that they are gay, and they would feel ashamed. Struggling to hide their Truth.

That's just so bloody sad.

I love gay people - specifically "out" gay people. I think it's because, they have struggled a lot to get where they are. People who go through struggles in their life, are often remarkable. They know themselves. They're battle-weary. They're deeper.

I told Max that yes, it would be hard to be gay, wouldn't it? But if he ever finds out that somebody is gay, to understand and never tease or judge them. He looked at me like I was an idiot. "Pfft! Of course I wouldn't do that, mum!"

And then I thought some more. "And, sweetheart ... if you were to ever tell me that you were gay? I would not care one bit. I love you so much, and ..."

"MUM. I'm not gay, I was just telling you something."

"Ok mate."


"Yes mate?"

"Imagine if Rocco was gay! He would be the toughest gay guy in the world."

And we both laughed, because Rocco WOULD be the toughest gay guy around. Totes butch.

If any of my sons were gay, I would wave the rainbow flag from the highest rafter. I would beg to be in their float at mardis gras, I would hold dinner parties for all of their friends, and I would embrace them all with my whole heart. I would want to walk them down the aisle at their wedding. I would want them to be allowed to have a wedding.


This is my favourite "It gets better" video, from the wonder people at Pixar. The guy at 5 minutes and 35 seconds? Oh my god. I wonder how his mum reacted when he came out. I hope she loved him as fiercely as the love I felt for him when I first watched this.

I know some brillant bloggers, who happen to be gay. I adore Rick from the Ambiguity Report, Maybe. I'll be spending some time with St Murphy this weekend and I can't WAIT.

I think most of all, if one of my kids came home and told me he was gay, I would feel instant sorrow. For the stupid straight world is hard to live in ... they'd be facing a lot of real-live ignorance and hate from stupid people. Life's hard enough, man.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

It's a Sign.

I have a home-made sign next to my bed.

You know how, in self-help books, they say to stick positive affirmations everywhere? Things like "I am a unique and special person." "I am worthwhile." "I deserve good things."

Well, they are all a little schmaltzy for me.

I battle with severe - and I mean HUGE self-esteem issues. My thinking can get all warped and slide into paranoia, delusions, extreme fear. It's really bad, and sometimes I spiral down so very low. Like that fucked-up dreg from a piece of soap that nobody wants to wash themselves with.

Back in Feb, I lapsed in my recovery after ten years straight sobriety. IT SUCKED. There was a chorus of naysayers in my head. A cacophony of vermicious knids, all telling me I was no good, worthless, terrible. It got so bad that it was kind of funny - I felt like some kind of serial killing monster. Surely I am not?

So, I decided to make a sign and stick it in a place that I would see in the morning as soon as I open my eyes - before the vulture sitting on the edge of my bed took hold.

                                              My bedside table.

I put the little boat there for my Spirit to go sailing every night while I sleep. There is a chunk of amethyst right next to my head. (To keep the drunkenness at bay.) Buddha has a metal fire exit sign behind him - I don't know why. My skull ring and a fifty cent piece in my favourite fish plate.

And stuck up on the wall next to that, is my sign.

                                                 YOU ROCK.

It just bypasses everything - cuts straight to the chase. I don't always necessarily believe it, and I'm always taken aback by it. "Do I? Really?"


I leave in a few days, and Dave has his mother coming up to help. She will be bringing her stinky partner up, and they'll be sleeping in our bed. I almost took the sign down today, but didn't.

Even my MIL's stinky partner needs a reminder that he rocks, too.

We all do.

Stop listening to your head.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Wibena Flushie.

Care to win a family trip to New Zealand?

To enter, check out the Ribena Australia Facebook page, fill in your details and tell them in 25 words or less how your family enjoys Ribena. I've been to New Zealand, it's stunning. We took a driving trip around the South island with three children, when I was pregnant with Rocco. I do not recommend that. But I do recommend entering this. You even get to visit the Ribena Berry Farms.

Confession: when I was sitting in a meeting with Important Ribena People and they mentioned Ribena Berries, I sat there for about twenty seconds thinking, what IS a Ribena berry? (Blackcurrants. I confirmed with Woogs in the car on the way home.)


My very first word as a child was not mumma or dadda .... but "drink." ( Kind of ironic, really.) And my favourite drink was Ribena. In a sippy cup with a lid. Who would have thought, a kajillion years later, that same drink would fly me to America for a blogging conference?


We have been drinking Ribena for months now. It's saved me on more than one occasion, as sometimes every beverage in our fridge mysteriously vanishes. The stashed Ribena bottles in the pantry are brought out. Crisis averted.

Even though it's the middle of winter, and we live in the Blue Mountains ....behold!

                                          My cute assistant.

                                           He makes the best flushies!

Something incredibly annoying happened the first time we made them - I had to ask Dave for help. His face lit up ... What hon? Do you actually need my HELP? (He offers his "help" to me in many ways, during our life together. Which always ends up in me telling him that he is NOT the boss of me.)

We switched it on, and BAM. Slushies for all. Or as Rocco would call them, "Wibena flushies." I can't correct him, it is so cute. So now we all ask, whose turn is it to make a Wibena Flushie?

        At least he had the courtesy to spill it on the dark part of the rug.

They are delicious. Please note, I am determined to make good use of the pink fairy cups Acer Arena charged me $15 for (each!) last week at Disney on Ice. It is a shock, to have such pink things in the house.

I made mine in a glass. I drank three, they are that good. The ice comes out so exquisitely thin, and you just pour the syrup on top.

                                Matching dark purple Ribena manicure

To win one of two purple goodie packs:  what's a cute thing your kid (or your friends kid, or your partner, your niece, etc) says, but you can't correct them on it?

For example, the way Rocco says Wibena flushie. Or how Max used to call his heart beating his "Loveheart beeping." Or, the many words my husband mis-pronounces on a daily basis but I'm not allowed to correct him so must stand there with a straight face and then call one of my sisters later. "Today he said head poncho instead of head honcho hahahha."

Both prize packs include:
A Kambrook Little Chefs Snowy Flakes Ice Shaver - Kambrook, thank you SO much for coming to the slushie party!
Ribena Blackcurrant 2L Syrup
Ribena Light 1L Syrup
Ribena Blackcurrant - 6 x 250mL Pack - Fruit Drink

Chris the Ribena Guy will choose two winners. Competition closes Monday 1st August. Aussie residents only, I am SO sorry Bolivia!

Ribena on facebook
Ribena twitter hashtag is #RibenaAus

Wibena. Still one of my favourite drinks!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Back to Black

The demons won.

She would have tried and tried, over the years. Made promises to herself and her family. She would have thought, I can do this!

And she kept sinking back down again. Into the black.

It's a siren song. The world is hard for all of us - the junkies and alcoholics make their world so much harder.

I wish she knew that recovery was real. It exists. There are things in your life that feel more exquisite than any pill, any shot, any drink. It's true, I have seen it and felt it with
my own eyes and heart. I don't believe in a lot, in life. But I believe in this and I wish she could have too.

Fare well, Amy.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Tune in to Radio Carly


“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.” - Alex Karras

Carly is one of the most beautifully tough people I have ever met. EVER. And I met her in the real-live flesh before I discovered her blog  - you know, like the olden days.

She is 29, lives in Melbourne, has killer taste in clothes and music. Owns a wicked sense of humour - and probably has the biggest battle scars on her heart you've ever known.

Meet Carly.


It is interesting that jealousy arises in those who should have the most empathy.
I was recently featured in New Idea – a double page spread. Of course I was hesitant. My story in the mainstream media's hands. My story about living with a rare, highly visible and often confronting chronic illness called ichthyosis. A story that could be manipulated and sensationalised like a great chunk of pity-putty. But it wasn't. I didn't write the article, but my personality, humour and honesty shone through.

The New Idea article was a small window into my experiences. To make those who don't know me think differently about physical appearance. To make people see my achievements, despite. The writing on my blog is the reality of my life. The fun I have shopping and seeing bands, the food I cook, the clothes I wear. Sometimes the reality I write about is tough. Hospital. Harassment. Love. Self doubt. Overachievement. My appearance. But it's the reality that I am prepared to share. And I am glad I do.

In the 19 months I've been blogging I have found a new support network. Online to offline. The friendships I've formed have been amazing. I have found support, acceptance and encouragement in strangers across the world. I have also been told I've helped people with ichthyosis and other disabilities and chronic illnesses. I've been told by parents of children with ichthyosis that they hope their children grow up to have the same positive outlook as I do. This is a privilege. And I've never sought pity in any of my writing pursuits.

Interestingly, the only negative comments I have received about my New Idea article, and also my writing for the ABC and DiVine have been from another person with ichthyosis. This criticism has been in the form of public online beratings. Despite our obvious similarity we are poles apart. Our generation, upbringing, support networks, outlook and choice are poles apart. The responses I have received from her are because of their own insecurities and bitterness. The jealousy and nastiness within are far more painful than her ichthyosis. Empathy versus jealousy. I know what I'd choose.
I have chosen a good life for myself. I could have sat at home hidden away, covering up, being ashamed. It's been suggested that I do. But I've worked hard at my own integration. I've had the support and encouragement from my parents. I've shown everyone I've encountered that I CAN. The road hasn't been smooth. I've experienced judgement, loneliness, fear, heartbreak the desire not to have ichthyosis, bullying and physical pain. But I've just gotten on with life, despite the bullshit. Nothing has been handed to me, nothing has just fallen into place. I've worked damn hard to prove that I am not just a red face.
We all have the same opportunities in life. We can choose not to take them. We can choose to be angry at the blows life has dealt us. We can choose to feel hard done by.
I've chosen to see humour in awful situations. I've chosen to grab opportunities firmly with both hands and run with them excitedly, in awe of the possibilities. I have chosen an education, a corporate career and a media journey (writing and television) - an income for my independence. Friendships haven't always been easy, but I've worked hard at them too. I have chosen happiness. And these choices make my ichthyosis-riddled life a whole heap easier. "


Remember Fenyella? Yeah - Carly told me she related to that video, and even slid it into a post on her blog. And I felt ashamed of myself, really. I had a bung tooth for one day and felt like crap. Carly has been dealing with the very real issues of society's expectations regarding physical appearance for her entire life.  

She writes, on an exquisite post called  Untouched -
"After so many years of peoples' repulsion at touching me, the times when I've been intimately touched are amazing. Not necessarily sexual, but the hand holding, the brush of the arm to indicate interest, a kiss on the face. They're all electrifying. The best feeling in the world. I can remember every single caress during the first time I was in bed with a boy - even though it was in January 2000. I remember everything about how it felt."

Carly, I couldn't use that photo you emailed me because it was in a word document and I got all confused. So I went to your facebook page and decided to give myself permission to pick one myself. I like the one I chose - you look cool, tough, and sassy.

When I come to Melbourne next week I am going to hug you so much. I may not let you go.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Order in the House

“So much time, and so little to do! Strike that, reverse it.”
- Gene Wilder, Willie Wonka

I am manic. A manic maniac. Here are some bullet points.

* How the hell can I ever top Fenyella? I can't. THANK YOU for loving her as much as I do. There's a little bit of Fenyella in all of us, I think. She's told me she'll be making an appearance at BlogHer, maybe. We shall see.

* I finally have my crown. It was utterly traumatic ... my poor beautiful dentist Ros had to scrape my tooth before fixing it. I was in the chair with my legs bunched up in the fetal position, dropping the f-bomb and crying. Hard. She felt so bad ... but, it is DONE. I can now smile, broadly, for the first time in over thirty years. It still FEELS ugly, but it's not. It's beautiful. I hugged Ros and told her that she has changed the way I will feel about myself. She told me I was her favourite patient, and I said I would eat LOTS of lollies, just to come back and see her soon.

* I have a guest-poster here tomorrow. She is one of the most beautiful people the world has ever seen. I know you will love her, truly.

* I'm leaving next week to spend 12 days and nights away from home. Pretty scared about something bad happening, and keep looking at my childrens faces, drinking them in before I leave them to be half-orphans for the rest of their lives. Everything they do is cute ... ohhh, Rocco's wee on the floor is in a shape of a perfect circle! How cute! Max unpacked the dishwasher - of dirty dishes, and didn't notice! How sweet! Nothing is annoying me - I am outta here, with my partner-in-crime Mrs Woog. I love her - Woogs, I wish my kids were remote controlled.

* I hired out Magnolia to watch with Dave. We saw it together eleven years ago - in the early days of our relationship, when it was all nice. When you treated your partner like the best thing EVER. I miss those days. So I hired it out and we are going to have a date-night ... watching TV in bed. So romantic. The day after we saw it in 2000, he came into my work and gave me the soundtrack on CD. It was my introduction to Aimee Mann, and I had it on high rotation at work all day. I was a waitress. (I was the worst goddamn waitress you have ever met.) Thrilled at the surprise, in love with my guyo.

* I am still in love with my guyo.

* I have been chosen to read out a blog post at BlogHer's Community Keynote. This is a big deal. Huge. All I keep thinking is how proud my grandmother would be. I miss her. Strangely, I am not scared of talking in front of three thousand bloggers at all. Years of sharing in recovery meetings can make one a GREAT public speaker.

* Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for your comments and emails. I am so sorry I haven't been able to respond to them. I do respond to all of my tweets. Does that count? You are beautiful, Computer.

* I have started sending off the Buzzy Bees books, to those that donated. Over four hundred bucks was raised for Project 18. SCHWING! I have emailed those whose books I've posted so far, and will do the rest tomorrow. Look what Lerner from the Stay at Home Babe did the other day. Isn't it amazing! You can email her, if you want to get involved.

* I bought Rocco a Spiderman suit today. He saw it, and was so excited he cried. The mask is too big so he keeps crying because he can't see properly. He cries and cries. I want to throw the Spiderman suit in the fire and watch the scratchy nylon BURN.

                                           I CAN'T SEE, MUM!

* Thank God Dave did not come home when Fenyella was here the other day. He would have thought I'd started hooking.

* This morning I was cleaning the skid marks off the toilet - not my poo. Which was fine. I've resigned myself to being the family poo-cleaner for the next ten years. But, the lid to the toilet cleaner fell off into the toilet and I immediately plunged my hand in and kept missing it. My hand was swirling around, around in the toilet. With the not-my-poo in there.

And in that instant, I was not guilty at flying to LA at all. Not one teeny, tiny, goddamn bit.

* The title to this blog post is a joke. There never has been, nor will there ever be, order in this house. I've given up trying. It's so freeing.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Queen has Lost her Crown.

You know how you have days where you don't know if you're battling the worst kind of dark depression in years ... or if you really are just a useless piece of crap? So you keep challenging yourself every day, to keep trying to maintain a healthy marriage and be a fantastic mother and nurture yourself and find your Spirit and your zen but then it all just TURNS TO DUST.

And you have a nightmare about the zombie apocalypse and you wake up and even though it was terrifying, you'd much prefer to be back in your dream because real life is too hard?

Then you chew on a piece of gum and it dislodges your temporary crown. On your front tooth. And you hold it in your hand and call your sister, half wailing. 'MY FRONT TOOTH HAS FALLEN OFF AND THE DENTIST CAN'T FIT ME IN TIL TOMORROW.'

And you're ten again. You're just a child with no voice, who the rest of the family hates and hits and you are so ugly because you are a nothing from nothingland.

Can't even smile - have not been able to smile your whole adult life, always had to hide the ugly fake tooth. Always had just So. Much. To. Hide.


And your sisters voice, on the other end of the line, is howling with laughter. Which is why you rang her - you need to laugh at the absurdity and the pain and the stupidness of it all. And she cares for you and loves you so much - both your sisters do. They hold you up. They are still in your life after you push everybody else away. And they convince you that the only way to deal with this situation is to upload a video onto YouTube.

And you agree.

I think there's something wrong with me. Or, it's performance art. Not sure. But MAN do I feel better!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Yellow cup, with flowers.

I have been to a lot of rehabs. This is not cool - it's incredibly embarrassing. One of them was a really crap one down near Parramatta Road in Sydney. It was a JOKE. You had to jump through so many hoops to get permission to go to a meeting. Staff would turn a blind eye when people were obviously under the influence of something.

I was determined to make the whole 28 days, so I stuck it out. One day, part of the "program" was to actively seek out known triggers - so we all went for a walk up to the nearest pub. And ordered lemonades. Stupidest thing ever - in direct opposition to one of my favourite cliches about keeping yourself safe: "If you sit in a barbers chair long enough ... you're gonna get a haircut."

By this time, I knew a bit about recovery. It was incredibly frustrating - but still, I stuck it out. I didn't want to keep failing. Continual failure wears a person out, you know?

I remember a lot of people, from rehabs over the years. I wonder where they are - if they made it. If they "got" it.

During my stay, I got quite attached to a particular coffee mug. Every single thing in that place was beige, or brown. Curtains, carpet, chairs ... down to the cups in the kitchen. All except this one cup, this one yellow cup with green, pink and orange flowers on it. I "bagsed" it all the time, and even took it into my room at night so nobody else could use it.

My last day, I took it to the kitchen, washed and dried it up. Thought about taking it, but "How much was my honesty worth" yadda yadda. I did the rounds of goodbyes, to my fellow freaks and misfits and beautiful people. I knew some of those people had not one chance in hell of staying clean and I really hoped I was not one of them.

When I was walking out the door, a woman came running up to me and pressed something wrapped into my hands. Her name was Lydia. She was German, still with a really thick accent. A stunning woman with blonde hair and beautiful eyes. Her ex-husband had recently taken full custody of her son and it killed her, she carried so much pain. But still, she could not stop drinking. Wicked conundrum.

"Zis is for you, Eden. Take it. Go. Open later. GO." She was a bossy sweetheart, as soon as I took it I knew what it was straight away.

I got in the car and opened it up, showing Dave my prize. This was September 2000. Almost eleven years ago.

Can you believe that mug is still in perfect condition? I played a kind of trick with it, and just put it in the cupboard with all the other mugs. Pretending there was nothing special about it all. (When you have so many children, most of your shit gets broken. It's the rules.)

It means so much to me - priceless. Every single time I see it and drink from it, I remember where I came from. Sitting in my big house with my beautiful kids and fancy car .... I could lose it all. I never want to lose it all.

Sometimes I feel like I owe it to all my friends who fell by the wayside ... to live my life. Like, really LIVE it, you know?

It's as terrifying as it is exhilarating.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Meddlesome Do-Gooding.

*I've turned comments off for this post ... I knew you'd do it computer and you did! Thanks. Heaps.*

Three years ago, right at the start of Dave's chemotherapy, I was asked if I wanted to write the text for a childrens book. I took this as Universe balancing out the awful crap we were going through with something really lovely, and said yes. About twenty beautiful paintings arrived at my front door; it was my job to write some words about them. I remember lining them up all the way around the room upstairs, trying to find the threads of a story to tell. I did, it worked out really well, and I named the book "Buzzy Bees."

                           August 2009 - Rocco *loved* reading it, see?

I've had two big boxes of those books sitting in the hallway of my house for - oh, two years now. Dave often tells me to "Just sell them hon! Make some cash!" And I tried to, once. I took two copies in to a bookshop in Katoomba, and stood there, squirming - asked if they wanted to sell them on consignment. The bookshop lady did, she loved them and told me to come back in a few weeks and see if they sold.

I never went back. I'm not sure why. Probably because I'm a weirdo with huge amounts of self-loathing and zero self-esteem and hate, HATE pimping my wares for ANYTHING. (I had a distinct dream around this time, of standing up in front of a huge group of people .. who were all their to celebrate the writing of my "book." I told them all, in my speech - that it wasn't a book. It was just a square thing with words in it.)


In honour of my Year of Turning 40, I've decided to give them to you. Really! There's a catch - you just have to quickly pop over to Cate Bolt's Foundation 18 website and donate at least ten dollars. Once you've done that, let me know either via email or a comment, and I will mail you a copy. So simple. You can donate more, if you want to. Even just a few dollars more will make a huge difference. You get to feel good AND you get a book. Which I will even sign, if you want. I have thirty copies to give away.

                      My favourite page in the book - that crazy Mr Rooster!

I have no way of checking if you paid, so this is an honesty-based system. Like, buying a bag of peaches from the highway near a farm and leaving your money in the box. You could lie to me and I wouldn't know. But that's bad karma.

If you don't want a book but would like to help anyway, you can put this button in your blog sidebar:

Help Foundation 18 to continue to educate kids in need.

Get the code here.

Make sure you let me know if you put a button in, so I can come and check it out on your blog and marvel at its beauty. Think of it as carbon-neutral blogging. Especially if you already mention brands like Ford or Ribena on your blog - you can balance it all out, with annoying do-gooderism. If you'd like to be involved in another really cool thing to do with Project 18, email my friend Lerner at Stay at Home Babe. She is in the throes of organising something AMAZING! Hardcore, rockin' chicks with tattoos, UNITE.

Here's a quick vlog of me showing you the book.

I always think I look much prettier than I actually do. Sad.

I haven't told Cate I'm doing this - I'm going to wait, see how long it takes her to notice. (Because I'm kind of hoping the donations will ROLL in. Not by me - yet. I get paid tomorrow. I'll probably spare forty bucks. Maybe even fifty, if I postpone my pedicure til next week.)

Thank you in advance, Computer.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Ford Every Stream

Yesterday I got up at 5am, which was easy because Rocco's feet were digging into my ear all night anyway. Quickly showered, dressed, and jumped in the car, to go and meet the people from Ford. In Melbourne.

I've only ever been to Melbourne once before and I hardly remember any of it. Sitting on the plane next to Chantelle and Simone, I cracked jokes about the plane crashing, to make Chantelle feel better. We met Melissa at Melbourne airport, and got chauffered by the spunky Maree from Kidspot - in a Ford Territory - to attend the Melbourne Motor Show. Which ended up being not nearly as boring as I thought it would be.

There were the other two finalists, Sandra and Kel. It was a pleasure, and I will never tire of meeting other bloggers in the flesh.

From left: Simone from Honey and Fizz, the famous Ford Territory Engineer Jess Riseley, Sandra from $120 Food Challenge, me with my flimsy fake tooth, Melissa from One Crafty Mumma, the delectable Yutong from Ford, and at front in the blue dress is Kel from 1000 Homes for Happiness.

Moving quickly on to lunch, where these babies were waiting for us.

                                 Never met a burger I didn't like

 The place setting. I ended up smuggling the apple back to Sydney in my handbag .. it was the most handsome apple I have ever seen.

The best part of the day was the talking over lunch. A fascinating discussion between the bloggers, the PR's, the Kidspotters, and the Ford people themselves, regarding the use of social media. Particularly, how companies are just starting to catch on to the power that bloggers can wield. Ford are leading the way in Australia, and it's been a real pleasure to be involved in this campaign. I almost didn't enter it at all, because I thought it would be too hard to maintain the balance of blogging and mentioning Ford on my blog. I'm glad I did, even though it was tricky at times to write about something because I "had" to, not because I wanted to.

On asked what the best part of blogging was for me, my answer was you. My favourite section of this blog is the comments. You tell me things that I don't know, and I honestly thought I knew everything!

Dave's work magnets have been on the Territory the whole time, so people talk to him about it a lot. The only person who ever talked to me about it was the guy in the main drag of Katoomba last week. I was using the parking camera, and knew it was going to be a tight squeeze. But I am the world's best reverse parker, so knew I would be fine. Suddenly I hear this THWACK and I thought, oh my god I crashed the Ford. Looked up to find that he had smacked my car with his open hand. To stop from reversing into his precious Audi.

He walked around to my window, where I deigned to buzz it down. Both furious at each other. "YOU ALMOST REVERSED INTO MY CAR!"

I motioned to the reverse camera screen, and said Mate, I have a camera - no I wasn't! Then he said something really annoying, so I asked him to please go make love to himself! (Using much coarser language). Buzzed up my window, leaving him spluttering in the street.

Good on you, Ford. It was such a cool and engaging thing to do, to hand over five cars to complete strangers. (For all they know, one of them could have outrun the cops because they were running late to a dentist appointment last week.) A huge thank you as well - when our electricity was down for three days, that DVD player and heated interior saved us.

So. I did not crash the Ford, the plane back to Sydney didn't crash, and it took fifteen hours to travel from the Blue Mountains to go to a fancy lunch in Melbourne and back.

                                      Hi blogger - why the long day?

As I drove out of the airport carpark to start the trek home in peakhour, I read all of the amazing comments on my last post. My friend Crow simply wrote out the lyrics to No Woman, No Cry. So I decided to download that song right then on my iPhone and listen to it all the way home.

But my transaction was declined because I don't even have $1.69 in my bank account. (Is there money to be made from blogging? Not sure.) So I just hummed the song instead. Then, I almost crashed the Ford AGAIN but didn't!


Two and a half hours later I walked into my front door. Rocco came running up, and with no hello in sight, grabbed the handsome green apple out of my hands. "MY APPLE!"

And walked away, chomping.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Now I have something to cry about.

                                     Ha'Penny Lane, Katoomba

I have not been feeling so hot. On Tuesday I was listless, blank, and morose. Sat down on the couch and did an empty cry, for no reason, feeling like a stain in the world. There's nothing wrong! Why you cry, dipshit? Exactly seventeen minutes later, the power went out.

And remains out, three days later. No hot water, no TV, no electrical gadgets. Just candlelight, hyperactive children, and my own stupid brain. It's like Universe said, "I'll give you something to cry about!" BAM. No power for you!

I don't think we will ever get electricity back, ever again.

Went to the dentist for the third time - did you know, that when you get a crown, they drill your tooth to a point? It was horrific. I cried ... but I'm halfway there! Soon, I will be able to smile broadly, with no self-consciousness, for the first time in my adult life. In the meantime, I have a flimsy kind of temporary tooth in. I really hope it holds on for one more day .. tomorrow I'm flying to Melbourne to meet the other four Ford finalists. I will sit next to Chantelle from Kidspot/Fat Mum Slim, and crack jokes about the plane crashing and she will probably wince, and I'll be all, "Is mah tooth still there?" In my best trailer park accent.

Rocco is having a hard time at daycare, and both teachers have asked me if there's anything big going on at home that they need to know about? I genuinely said no, didn't think so.

Then went home and thought for a bit.

My stepdaughter has come to live with us, my husband had a cancer scare, stepson moved out, and the little girl living with her dad in the flat above our garage is craving attention and family, so is over all the time. I continue to live life unmedicated, my therapist sacked me, and I want to punch myself in the face every day. Apart from all that, we're completely fine.

My blog has now eaten my blogroll TWICE - I will rebuild it again. Please email me if you'd like yours on there. I have a penchant for Ye Old Skool blogrolls, and I miss it terribly. I'm behind in emails, DM's, PR pitches, everything.

I don't have a media kit, a proper front tooth, or healthy self-esteem.

Today, I went to my friend Mary's house for my first shower in three days. And am wearing my mustard boots and leather jacket, to portray a tough facade to the world. But deep down, I know it's fake. As fake as my flimsy front tooth cap, covering my brown stump. This, too, shall pass.

Like a kidney stone.


I have been asked a lot why I weighed in to last weeks twittergate. My answer is in the comments here, over at ShePosts. And if you want to have a go at me - I know you are, but what am I?

CLARIFICATION: I'm ok, truly. My answer to this all is to blog, go home, light a bajillion candles, and play with my children. I'm leaving for America in three weeks - the world is so much better when you have something to look forward to.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Great Escape

Last night I sat everybody down and forced them to watch What About Me? A documentary that promised to ".. explore the complexities of human nature from a global scale; revealing how we are all connected through our creativity and beliefs .. but most of all through our collective insanity."

I adored it. The kids said it was "boring but interesting" and Dave really liked the music. I kind of fell in love with this one guy in it, said to Dave, "Hon! I understand every single thing that guy is saying!" And turned to have a discussion, but he was asleep. He also slept through the parts about a woman's sexuality - I'll have to force him to watch it again. At the end I found out the guys name was Eckhart Tolle The name was familiar - he's a German spiritual healer and bestselling author. He spent much of his life depressed and suicidal, until a spiritual transformation at the age of 29.

I think the best spiritual awakenings often come from the worst pain.


Today I took Max and his two mates to the park. With their overseer, Rocco, who was drunk on the power of choosing which ducks got bread.

                               No, not you duckie! OTHER ONE DUCKIE.

I'm in a virtuous habit of driving to the apple orchard at Blackheath every Sunday. It's on a real proper farm. Ten bucks a box ... you know it's winter when the Royal Galas are at their peak. I can never shake the feeling that an apple should be a summer fruit, though. Odd.

                                               All together and CRUNCH


I was really interested in the comments on my last post. (Blogger has promised a new commenting system very, very soon. Can't WAIT to be able to reply to comments individually.) This post "But you're doing it WRONG" by Cate Bolt and this one by Corinne are fantastic. Then the Stay at Home Babe ended up writing this (which I can't comment on because disqus broke) ... and she went ten steps further, emailing Cate herself, rallying her troops, taking up the challenge. Cool stuff is in the pipeline ... I LOVE how ideas and action can flow. Stay tuned.


Lastly, my time with the Ford Territory is coming to an end. This weeks theme is Escape. Such a coincidence, as this week ... all I have wanted to do is escape!

And I did. Here, I recreated it for you.

Friday, 1 July 2011

A rich, white, western woman walks into a poverty-stricken third world country.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
- Winston Churchill

Last year I travelled to Bali three times. This isn't exotic for an Australian. Indonesia is at our back doorstep. It's a rite of passage in your twenties to go, get drunk and sunburnt, haggle at the market, complain about the foreigners and then fly home. I'd never been before - it was pretty shocking. The beggers and desperation was not something I could get used to. I gave away money like it was sheets of candy - tried to stuff their dirty hands with my dirty guilt. Breastfeeding women, lying on the street with their hands outstretched. Sometimes it made me feel so uncomfortable that I had to go back to my resort.

                                                    Poor, uncomfortable me.

I interspersed getting massages and facials ... with going to the orphanage, to take toys and pencils to the children. Because I am a do-gooder .. helping makes me feel good, down in the deep void.

Can you imagine the self-satisfaction I felt, pushing around this trolley?

                                        Coming through ... it's for the poor people!

Oh, that's right. I didn't push the trolley - my driver pushed it. Apparently I was some kind of Queen, because I was white. And rich. I'm better than them, aren't I? I'm white and rich.

     Such *dear* little eggs! I must snap a photo, for my album!

I went to the orphanage a few times. Took a lot of pens and books. And paper. I asked the kids to all draw me a picture. I still have them all, and will keep them until I die. (Even though I can't remember any of their names - too hard to pronounce.)

Just before I left for the last time, the loudest boy of the group (the girls were all hiding out in their treehouse) ... pulled out ten dollars. This was a LOT of cash. I asked him where he got it from, and he never answered me. Just stuffed it back in his pocket. My heart lurched when I noticed he also had a gold chain.

The ten dollars worries me a lot. Who gives an orphan ten dollars? And jewelry?

I hated my last trip there, and don't know if I'll ever go back. It mocked me. The truth kept getting stuck to my shoe and I couldn't ignore it.

Was I an arse, for helping? Helping is selfish ... it made me feel better. Took me out of myself. Perhaps I should not have helped at all?

What of bloggers like Dooce - using her blog to share her experiences abroad? Is it just cringe-worthy - is she just too popular to be taken seriously? Why? Some people call it "poverty tourism." So, I guess there's no point in doing anything at all? Why bother.

There's some great discussions going on, about using your powers for something that can actually mean something. Imagine!

When I saw that photo of Erik Thomson I thought wow - he actually means it. That's no goddamn photo opportunity. All my American friends were like, "Butter menthol?!" (America, I am so sad for you. You don't have Bounty bars OR butter menthol flavoured throat lozenges. I thought you guys invented everything?)

I had a bad day today. Every stupid day is bad, lately - if it's not a cancer scare it's a stupid argument with my husband. Or struggling to be a good stepmother - a good mother. But you know what? I'm not lying in a street, breastfeeding my naked child, with my arm permanently outstretched for money. THAT is a bad day.

That's actually a bad life.

And if people want to use their time and their blogs to shine some light on issues that could do with some publicity? POWER.

If you are the kind of person who is going to shame somebody for helping, I will shame you. Because that makes you the biggest arsehole of all.


Cate Bolt is a top Aussie chick who is using her powers for good. She has a million things that need doing, at any one time. She started a foundation. *yawn*. She's not just taking pencils and paper into orphanages ... she's clothing those kids and sending them to school. I triple dog dare you to tell her you want to help. If you tell her Eden sent you ..... I'll, do something drastic. I will.

I may be a spoilt rich white western woman .. but I'm also an inspirational arsehole. It's a potent mix.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...