Wednesday, 31 August 2011

It wasn't a catamaran.

It was a chop choppy speedster that made all our tummies go funny. I went snorkelling in my undies because I forgot my bikini bottoms but nobody noticed because I didn't tell them .. that's the trick to life. If you go to a foreign country and forget your bikini bottoms, just wear khaki undies and pretend you bought them as a matching set with your black top and don't say a word.

Own those khakis, baby.

Obviously, people are asking me a lot about my blog and what I write and who I am and where I came from and WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE HERE?

But that's ok. I wear khaki undies. And I'm on a boat. And I'll be home in the blink of an eye and will not go away like this for a very long time.

We're not in Bangkok anymore Toto ... and we never goddamn were!

There are no bags of salted chips in this hotel room ... but my GOD are there full size bottles of hard liquor! We arrived here about half an hour ago, I can't see anything yet. It's pitch black ... but I AM very impressed with this:

                                        Gold sealed toilet paper.

                              One robe for me and one for my alter-ego.

                      Apparently, I am allowed four guest over? Who's in?

It took eighteen hours for me to get here - two planes, one cab ride, two shuttles, and some weird-ass train thing at Singapore Airport. I was walking around Singapore Airport a hot mess, desperate to buy a charger to turn my phone on to roaming and pay a bajillion of all the hard-earned blogging money I earn, to hear my boys voices back home.

I bought one, unplugged a free internet computer, and charged my phone and dared anyone to to look into my wild eyes and dispute me.

I rang and nobody answered. I bit back tears, bought a crap coffee, and decided to never leave home again, until the next time I leave home. I expect Dave will have his stuff ready to go when I come back home - it is SO his turn!

I saw a sign saying "Changi" and I thought, am I in Changi? Yes, yes I was. I am quite ignorant and dumb, and fail geography badly. I will shamelessly admit this. We were flying over Australia today to get to Singapore and I thought ohhh, so THAT'S where Singapore is. Now where the hell is Thailand?

When we finally got off at Koh Samui there was a massive sign saying BANGKOK. And I thought .... am I in Bangkok now? (No, I'm not.)

So there's my secret that I don't hide - I'm a dumb ignorant idiot who failed flank. But ask me about the state of the human heart? Ask me to talk of the toil and hardship of the human condition and the hopeless ridiculousness of simply being alive?

I'm your man.


Today has been interesting. There are about ten of us - most of them know my blog. Which is really very odd - like, when I drop Rocco off at daycare and I know some of the carers there who read this blog and they're all, "Here's the crazeeee one." At BlogHer recently and again today, I've been asked what I blog about. After stammering for so may years, I've started saying I'm a personal memoir blogger. Had some fascinating conversations with the organisers of this trip and their take on traditional vs new media and the benefits of blogger engagement. And where Australia is headed. They are perfectly coiffed, but I don't hate them at all.

Tomorrow there is a catamaran involved. I also hear that St Murphy is in town. Koh Sumui is about to explode.

The local currency is "baht" pronounced "Butt" and I sniggered, because I like that and I cannot lie.

Proper photos tomorrow ... judging from your comments and emails, it's going to be amazing!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Koh Samurai Sword

Last Thursday I received an email inviting me to Thailand for a press trip. I happened to be talking to my friend Mrs Woog at the time and I was all "Koh Samurai? Like the sword?" She did not even laugh, and told me it was Koh Samui.

I was so, so sad that I could not go and came home and told my husband I was so, so sad that I could not go.

You know I'm going, right?

It is called a "scent indulgent trip" for Ambi Pur. I'll be able to talk about more details as they come through ... I don't even know who else is coming. All I know is, I owe my husband BIG TIME.

This is coming off the back of the worst weekend I have had in a looooong time. If you have a semi-decent brain, I would swap my life with you in a second. Life is a tricky hard thing, man. I'm tempted to see if I can buy a Samurai Sword in Thailand just to prove myself goddamn right. Will I just chuck some dresses and a passport in my luggage and Bob's my uncle?

When the beautiful lovely ladies from the agaency I've been dealing with have been emailing me back and forth - I feel like they've made a big mistake. Like, neglected to read my blog. I'm obsessed with beautiful coiffed high achievers. How did they get to be where they are? Where's their dark? What propels them on? Surely life must SUCK SO BAD for them too, right?

It's a four day trip. I've never been to Thailand. I just want green chicken curry, and if I can eat it without wiping a stinky bum beforehand, then I'm winning.

My car gets here at 6.40am and I have not packed a bean. I will drive off the mountains with the biggest sense of relief but you mark my words ... by the time I reach Emu Plains I will be crying because I miss my boys. I love them but they kill me but I love them but they kill me. I lose myself every day. And not in the way Eminem means.

I would not be the person I am today without being in this family. This family makes me want to run far, far away.

Conundrum City.

I'll be packing my resin mustache, one-piece bathers because it's safe to say my stomach is ruined, and a list of questions about bloggers about to crash mainstream media. I found these guys on twitter, and will see if I can do anything while I'm over there. You know, in between eating and having crises in my head and being a white slob.

Dave is a *tad* concerned ... "Um, hon? Please be ok. I don't want to come and rescue you."

He rescues me every goddamn day and doesn't even know it - I just bluff and put a succession of differently coloured cowboy boots on and pretend I have my shit together but mostly don't.

So. Salamat Datang!

Friday, 26 August 2011

My half-assed attempt at parenting.

My beautiful boy Max got a note home from school. "Please have your child dress up as something from his cultural heritage for bookweek on Friday."

I know - an empty bottle of vodka to symbolise his Scottish roots! No, no glass allowed. What about carrying a bag of potatoes, to acknowledge his Irish heritage on Dave's side of the family? No - too heavy.

I have been rushed, stressed, and tired for ooooh - three years now. I told Max I know .. in honour of MY own family tree of exceptional forefathers who date back to the colony-makers of Australia, why doesn't he go as a convict?

GENIUS! Except, at 9pm last night we had to improvise because it was due the next day. I found a stripey shirt to wear, and cut some scraggly pants up for him.

              I wonder how many times he has been asked what he is.

We all piled in the car and as we drove nearer to the school I started to see it ... brightly coloured costumes, perfectly coiffed hair and easily identifiable national dress. Max was screwed. Prickly shame crept up from my neck to my face. My bedraggled convict got out of the car. "SEE YA MUM!"

Rocco said "Bye Max" but Max didn't hear so Rocco blew my eardrum out in protest. Not only was my son obliviously walking next to all the amazing costumes, he didn't bat an eye when I trawled next to the curb, wound my window down to say "Max, Rocco said he loves you."

Max ran over, placated his brother, and then ran into school. The bedraggled convict with not even a ball and chain to show for it, because I was so tired.

Why am I tired? This guy:

                                    I am just so refreshed mummy!

Every single night he runs into my bed and kicks me to death and I do not sleep. I put out an APB on my facebook page recently, asking for any tips on how to stop this happening. I have not had a decent night sleep in three years and am getting desperate. The general consensus from commenters is to just ride it out. Nothing can be done - unless I lock him in his room and get some heavy-duty earplugs to drown out the wails. (I almost did that. Almost.)

Every night now, when Rocco comes in and kicks the shit out of me I put a dummy pillow in between us but he kicks it out of the way with an "I NEED YOU MUM!" ... I think of all the other mums and dads out their, battling the same problems at night. It makes me feel less alone.

One day, we will sleep. Probably when we are dead.


During the time it took for me to write this post, Rocco informed me that he "Spilt a bit of wee in the toilet mum." So I went in with a few tissue to mop it up. A few tissues? No.

                         We're gonna need a bigger boat.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Mother-in-Law Law.

My mother-in-law has this law. We aren't allowed to leave her house without getting our photo taken. Usually as we're about to leave, all crowded next to Dave's ute. When we leaf through her photo albums, she does it to everybody who stays. Pictures of families standing next to their cars. Pictures of people eating is another of her favourite poses, usually when the person has their mouth hanging open the split second before the fork goes in.

All snapped with her brick of a camera, using old-fashioned film. It's hilarious .. except when it's not. Because most times, Dave and I are arguing at her house. We have gone away because we are stressed out and I always, ALWAYS forget how incredibly annoying it is to stay there.

So, it's safe to say that not all of these photos have me in them. Or me looking entirely pleased to see the camera. (My sisters and I have a saying, "A Barrie can never pretend.")

Dave came back from seeing her lately, with an evil glint in his eye.

Instantly I was wary. "Wha-aat?" It was annoying.

"Well hon," and he starts laughing his head off, holding something behind his back. "I've got something to show you. You'll be really impressed by it."

I was not impressed at all.


I have no words at this juncture.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Make money blogging. Ask me how!

Can you make money from blogging? I don't mean free trips or stuff or products or things or clothes or lipgloss.

Or nappies or vouchers or educational books or bandaids or spokey dokeys.

I'm talking serious coin. Is it possible? Can it be done? I'm interested.

In the past few weeks I've had a whirlwind of emails and requests from PR companies asking me for my non-existent media kit. True: I flew to America with no media kit ... on a Blogger blog, no less. I have started to reply to the PR's, saying, of course I will email you through my media kit!

Then I think, what is a media kit? I know lots of people have them .. I've just never taken my blog that seriously to think I needed one.

I got back home last week, sat down at my desk and thought Now, where was I?  I have no idea.

I have failed at most things in life, including having a career and starting my own business. I am a ridiculous bumbler. Walking awkwardly through it all ... this home life that Dave and I have got going here lately? HECTIC. It's very, very hard and takes up most of my energy.

Today I wrote up a Media/PR section for my blog, just to see where it will take me. Tomorrow I will tackle a media kit. It's like - homework. So boring.

I'm incredibly flattered with a lot of opportunities that are being bandied about, as well as a bit concerned over bloggers doing things for free. Case in point: I wrote a blog post a few months back called Fatty Boomsticks. It shows my fat stomach - some would call that stupid brave. Not long after, I received an email from a weight loss company asking if I could please mention them on my blog?

I asked what they would offer in return, and they told me ... why, nothing!

I don't think they understand how much WORK was involved in getting my gut to look like that. I declined their generous offer and emailed them the link of Wil Wheaton collating papers. Never heard back.

I loathe the sentiment that just because you blog, you are entitled to free shit. However, if you spend years building something up, surely that might mean something?


In the meantime, I have some *awesome* ideas for blog posts.!/edenland/status/105504862808190976

Monday, 22 August 2011

Deep Purple

On Saturday I had to wear purple to a party so with a few hours to spare I went shopping. Ended up with just a pair of purple prayer beads because nobody makes good purple clothes. I ended up RUNNING into shops .. "S'cuse me do you have anything purple?" The shop assistants invariably always asked why. I was tired and manic, so I told them the truth: a purple drink company called Ribena had sponsored me to fly across the world for a blogging convention and now they were throwing me a party in Sydney where the dress code was purple. It made perfect sense, but not to the eye-rolly shop assistants. In the end, I did the only thing I knew how ... took the piss out of myself on the internet. On Instagram, actually. Do you know I found out Amy Winehouse was dead via Instagram? Almost as crazy as finding out Osama Bin Laden was dead via twitter. I rang Dave with that one. He jeered at me, "Oh, how do you know that? Did TWITTER tell you?"

I lied and told him that NO, I saw it on the TV. And I felt bad that twitter had told me about the death of the most hunted and hated man in the world. But no more - I will take a stand in solidarity for social media goddamit. This is why America are leaders of the free world - because you walk into a clothes shop and check in on facebook to claim the free discount code for jeans on sale and nobody rolls their eyes at all.

I actually thought that I might wear this top:

                        Isn't it Divine? (Brown)

In each shop I was getting more desperate. There were a slew of outfits, until I just surrendered and kept picking the most RIDICULOUS things to try on, just so I could upload the pics to my Instagram/twitter feed. To keep my people happy. Because this shit was FUNNY.

                   Ironic mummyblogger baby gut that never went away.

The shop assistants would look puzzled when I asked them if I could try my purple bounty on - especially the beanie. When I finally sped off - late, I downloaded Eminem's greatest hits to listen to in the car. I remembered and rapped every single lyric and voice inflection to Cleanin' out my Closet and was a hero in my mind. Arrived to a room full of bloggers at Mrs Woogs house, we went to the party where we had to act all professional.

I had originally asked Dave to come. Surprisingly, he said no. So I asked my two sisters instead. I rang them on the way, remembering what they were like after a few sherbets. Had to actually ask them to please not heckle me during my speech, and please stay away from any Important Executives. Worlds then collided when my blogging buddies met my sisters. Us Three Barrie Sisters are quite the cards. And very, very shy.

It was a great night. There were even cocktails named after us - a LOT of Mrs Woogs were drank. Dranken. Drunk. My cocktail, the Eden, was a mocktail. But there was a typo on the menu which listed vodka in it. A few people made mention to me that there was, in fact, vodka in my mocktail and to be careful. I wondered what would happen, if I relapsed at a blogging event packed with some of the best bloggers in town, my sisters, and the very people I was trying to show gratitude to and impress.

I don't know - but I DO know that I would still be out right now, in Sydney, if I did.

I put together a slideshow for the event, of our travels overseas. I'd never made a slideshow before and taught myself how at 2am in the morning last week. When I eventually crept to bed, Dave woke up and was cranky and I said Mate! I was putting Rocco back in his bed!

He didn't believe me. He always knows when I lie. He loves the way I lie.

The party went really well - thank you to everybody who came and to the organisers for putting it on. I congratulated Naked Communications and Ribena for pioneering the way for other Aussie bloggers. Soon these kinds of things will be the norm. Until then, social media and its uses remain a delicious secret, shocking the crap out of all unsuspecting sales assistants in Penrith Plaza.

Me and Squiggly Rick ended up having an accidental amazing time. He did not flinch when I regaled him with some choice shocking stories. It was fascinating to be out in Sydney on a Saturday night. The memories! At times I felt wistful, wanting to be twenty three again. Tough and angry and owning the night. But it always came at such a huge cost. At one point I accidentally bumped into a guy as I was walking down the street. Immediately I said sorry, and the guy goes, "You will be if you do it again." He was not joking. Oh how Squiggly Rick and I laughed! Part of me wanted to go right back there and get all up in his face. I could have - I only masquerade as an idiotic middle-aged woman.

When I got back home yesterday, Rocco kissed me on the cheek and told me to NOT  EVER wipe that kiss off mum. Max proudly showed me his new bum comic he had drawn, he wants to photocopy it ten times and charge his friends 50c each. I had a sore back and throat and legs and feet. The old grey mare she ain't what she used to be.

I've felt a huge tug lately, from my creative life clashing with my home life. Then, in the quiet times late at night when everybody's asleep .. I marvel at the fact that I have any kind of life at all.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Forget cowbell - world needs more ballsack.

Every single time I drive out of my driveway I think "BALLSACK!"

Dave bought a lion statue last year, and positioned it at the front of our drive. Every time I drive past it I am greeted with this:



I have a husband and three sons, so it makes perfect sense that we needed more balls in the house. Oh, Dave actually bought two lions, so even if I drive out the other way, I just see the *other* lion ballsack.

I looked out one morning, turned to Dave, and asked him why all the phallic symbols? Specifically, the large ironstone rock he asked an excavator to come and spend an hour to turn upright.

                                     I call it the cock rock.

He looked at me like I was speaking Greek, which I was.
Phallus - φαλλός: To inflate, swell.

Yesterday Dave rang me and I said, hey hon, how's it hangin'?

And he answered "Snug and tight." We laughed for about one full minute without stopping, until I said there is no way either of us could ever be married to anybody else.

Thank you for your comments this week Computer. Straight from your heart to mine and back. I need to mix up heavy posts with ones like these, so I appear light-hearted and normal.

More ballsack to you.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Imma die with my boots on.

These are my favourite pair of boots.

I bought them on a whim on eBay one day, not holding out much hope they would fit. They do - we were made for each other. Dave was home when they arrived in the post. He handed the parcel over to me and saw the return address was Queensland.

"What is it hon?"

I am a sneaky, terribly brilliant liar. Had 1.5 seconds to answer his question before arousing suspicion. Didn't want him to know I'd bought a pair of boots for $80 online and they probably wouldn't fit. Suddenly remembering that both of my sisters were in Queensland that week. "Oh ... the girls said they found me some amazing boots. They posted them already, wow, they are SO nice!"

I opened the parcel and they fit like a glove and I walked into my bedroom and text both Linda and Leigh at the same time: "Bought boots from eBay. Told Dave you bought them for me. Thank you for kind gift."

They text me back straight away. "We are SO glad they fit! You're welcome!"

Every time they see me in these boots, they comment on their generosity.

They were the only shoes left that fit me towards the end of my pregnancy with Rocco. I called myself the Angry Pregnant Cowgirl. We moved quickly from clomping the halls of maternity to clomping the halls of cancer wards. The Angry Cowgirl.

They have special powers, make me feel incredibly tough and kickarse. I took them to San Diego and wore them as I spoke.


Last year, when Dave and I were in New York, I looked for red cowboy boots everywhere but had no luck. I believe every woman should own at least two pairs of red shoes in her lifetime. My favourite fable of all time is the Red Shoes - the real version where she gets her feet chopped off.

On our last day, I told Dave that I hadn't been to Central Park and I needed a photo of me there to prove I went. So we ran up, I posed - some would say awkwardly - for this:

As we ran back to our hotel, I spied these babies in the window:

                      HON I FOUND THEM

It was the sweatiest, quickest shoe sale I have ever been involved in. The cashier was batshit crazy and would not shut up. I get so many comments on these boots. They jazz up any mood I am in. They give me confidence and sass.


When I was in LA and San Diego, I scoured everywhere for a pair of black cowboy boots with white stitching. No dice anywhere - kept trying Macy's and Nordstrum and all the schmancy shops with snooty cashiers. On our last day, I looked everywhere but could not find my boots. Suddenly, a guy said the two magic words "Boot World." I promised Mrs Woog I would be quick ... as she waited in the taxi with the meter running, I raced inside to Boot World and yelled at the guy. "Do you have a size 8 mens black cowboy boot with white stitching my taxi is waiting?"

Yes. He did.

I stood at the counter and let him sell me some leather conditioner too. Need to start looking after my babies more. A female cashier came running from out the back "OH MY GOD THERE IS A HUGE SPIDER IN THE STOREROOM!" As a fellow arachnophobe, I laughed and told her she's lucky she doesn't live in Australia. I have huntsmen as big as rats in my woodpile. (I can't even type the word "huntsmen" without squirming.)

I bought the black boots, got in the cab, raced back to hotel, packed, and caught a plane out of the country.

Apparently it is now my "thing" to buy cowboy boots at the last minute in America.

If I take my black nailpolish off it will mean my trip is over and I am just not ready for that yet.

Haven't worn my newbies much yet. They haven't walked in any maternity or chemo wards. They are not scuffed. I wonder where I will go in them? I wonder what they are going to see?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

You can't outrun your shadow.

"Run as fast as you can, stop writin' and kill it."

I am not who I was yesterday.

I installed LinkWithin on my blog, so now at the end of every post up comes a cheery "You might also like:" ... with links to things I had entirely forgotten I'd written. My blog posting motto? Post and run, baby. Post and run.

Yesterday on twitter somebody expressed surprise when I said that my father had committed suicide. He tore my goddamn heart out and threw it in a fire. I will never be whole again. I make fun of suicide, because it is not funny.

My stepdad killed himself at Oran Park -  a raceway in south-western Sydney, but his car wasn't going anywhere. To this day I wonder what he was thinking as he attached the hose to the exhaust pipe. He was facing jail time. Two days before he did it, he wallpapered my bedroom with a quite ugly blue flower print. I didn't help. He looked at me at dinnertime and said, "I thought you were going to help me."

I wish I had helped him. Not because I think I could have saved him - nothing could save him. I just wished I'd had a conversation with him. What does a guy about to kill himself talk about?

My real dad was Bill Barrie, a Glaswegian who stereotypically drank himself to death. He wanted a son, after his twin daughters .. and got me. I wish he was alive, so I could ignore him. Many times, falling down drunk, I would smile at the sky and toast him. Look dad ... I drink just like you do, arsehole!

I google earthed the apartment he was found dead in:

                          Isn't technology amazing?

He chose the wrong house - falling down those stairs drunk so many times killed him. Poor bruised brain.

If I sound wry and sad and bitter, it is because I am. There is a category in this blog called "Dead Dads!"


I find it hard to sustain friendships. Going to ten schools does that to a person. Always the goddamn new girl with the timid voice.

I can easily coat my heart in a black ash so that it never gets hurt ever again. Spend a few years on heavy drugs, watch the lines in the sand get washed out to sea ... you learn to pretend you don't care. Then you forget you're pretending.


Are you still with me? I'm sorry - for all of it. I did not plan for this to happen. I'm sorry I am not who you thought I was. I am not who I was yesterday.

It was in my late twenties that I realised I was not a pathetic worthless loser. Who knew.

This morning I rattled things off to my nine-year old son, my young man. "Got ya lunch? Hat? Ok mate, be careful ... and remember, you burst my heart open every day."

He is used to me saying things like that. "Ok mum, you burst my heart too. See ya!"

I didn't burst anybodys heart open when I was a child.

Which is why Universe sent me other things, other secrets that only I know. Universe sent you secret things too, if you needed them. It's Law.


A few years ago I sat here, thinking up a tagline for this blog. I was watching Greys Anatomy, and right when I was poised to email my designer a cutesy line on chocolate and coffee, Meredith's voice came over at the end. "Whatever you do, remember ... as much as you try, you can't outrun your shadow."

My blog header has skulls in it. I talk of death and shadows and pain ... and my tagline is a quote from Greys Anatomy.

Every day I try to outrun my shadow. Don't you? I want to punch mine, kill it. Shut it UP. This way and that, it always follows me. Sometimes at noon I stand perfectly still, and it is gone. I probably should only ever post here on those days.


As I was writing this, my husband rode his motorbike into the house and parked it. It smells so cool in here. Smells like Rebellion. I'm talking him into taking some time off work and flying to Spain for a solo sabbatical. Guy deserves it. We sat here, not that long ago, when my belly was swollen ... working out his will before he got admitted to hospital.

I broke, finally, when he got cancer. I'm not ok and never will be. It's actually quite liberating.


My grandmother saved me with her kind eyes. She saw me. She told me I would write a book one day. I don't think I will. Maybe this is my book, occuring here in posts, in real time. I've learnt to wear the world like a loose garment. Simultaneously waiting for the next terrible and extraordinary thing to happen. I will not be disappointed.

I am not who I will be tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Shared Humanity.

Yesterday at dusk I was driving past the lake and looked up to see a blinding white cloud, it must have been right in front of the sun. It looked mystical, amazing. I caught a guy looking at it as well. I felt connected to the cloud, the Universe, and to the guy.

When I drove further along, I realised that the guy was actually watching his dog take the biggest crap on the ground. The whole time the guy had been yammering away on his phone. He turned and walked his dog away, leaving the poo glistening in the light, in those precious moments before the sun goes down.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Monsters Among Us.

"We're all weeping now, weeping because
There ain't nothing we can do to protect you."

- O'Children, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

I think of Leiby a lot. A little over a month ago, he begged his mum if he could walk home from day camp. She said yes, and even went through a dry-run, practicing where he was to turn off to get back home in Brooklyn, NY. He was almost nine years old, and he got lost. There's CCTV footage of him, walking down the street with his backpack on. He asked the wrong person for directions.

For two days he was missing. When the police knocked on a suspects door, he led them to his kitchen. Blood and knives on a chopping board, a pair of small feet in the freezer.

How can that even be possible? How can that happen?

Every country has its own lost children, their names indelibly etched into a collective psyche. One of Australia's is Daniel Morcombe, a beautiful boy who was abducted while waiting to catch a bus in December 2003. He was thirteen, and he was never seen again.

You know that feeling you get, when your child goes somewhere but you don't know where? Running off in a shop, or down the street .. you panic and think, oh my god this is it - something terrible has happened and I will never see them again. Then they round the corner, or walk in the door. Of course they do.

Except when they don't.

Monsters exist in the world. They look just like you and me, but they shouldn't. They SHOULD have heads as big as a hot air balloon. They should have ten eyes, or a flat skull - some universal identifying feature that would send a child running far away.

A man was formally charged with Daniel's murder today. I watched the Morcombes stand graciously in front of cameras for a press conference, their voices wavering. I clutched my scarf as Mrs Morcombe bit back tears, no more hope at ever seeing her son alive again. Their official website crashed. #danielmorcombe is trending on twitter. He would be turning 22 this year - a man. It would be harder to bundle a man into a car than a small child.


Max asked me who the boy was, on my computer. I told him that his name was Daniel, that he got taken away from his family.

"Did a guy take him away?" (How do kids sense these things?)

"He did, sweetheart. But, they found the guy."

"He'll never get out of jail, mum."


Leiby's family have started a memorial fund in his honour $280, 000 have been raised so far. They have a goal of one million. I have no doubt they will reach it. In the days following their sons funeral, Leiby's parents had a sign fastened to their front door. "There are things that this family does not need know. Do not be the ones to tell them." I ache for Leiby's mum. I ache for Leiby, walking his feet down the street. Those feet.


What can I do, to help? I can give money, I can educate my children on the dangers in the world. People were asked to wear red today for Daniel. He was wearing a red t-shirt when he went missing. I wore a red scarf and got my boys in the shot, to upload to Styling You's facebook page. I nearly took the photo again, because I was not sombre enough.

Maybe the answer is to not be sombre, but to walk through life with joy and grace, giving thanks for all we have.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

I secretly filmed my husband and uploaded the footage to the internet.

The news is too heavy today.

So I secretly filmed my husbands horrified reaction to my Fenyella video and uploaded it on to the internet.

I have nothing further to add at this juncture.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

I cannot write a BlogHer11 recap post.

It's impossible. BlogHer is a wild beast, a mechanical bull at a bar that you get on with a heart full of intention and expectations and it ends up sliding you all over in places you didn't expect to stretch.

I can throw out a few observations, though.

1) Redeeming the price of my ticket during the very first session I attended. Brene Brown, Gluten Free Girl, and Mr Lady on the panel talking of  Perfect Imperfections: Blogging Your Way to Self-Acceptance I need to buy every book that Brene has written - she is an expert on shame. So am I, really.

2) I ate my first Twizzler. I do not like Twizzlers. But I watched Twizzler Girl, the whole conference. Day in, day out, offering her Twizzlers to all who walked past. She kept offering me one, as if she had never seen me before. I walked past her a lot. And I thought, who is Twizzler Girl? With her hat and Twizzlin' outfit? What are her hopes and dreams in life? She reminded me of when I used to work in an ice-cream shop on Manly Wharf in 1991. I loathed that job, was so very hungover every bloody day. I would scoop the ice cream and want to scream at the people I AM MORE THAN AN ICE CREAM SCOOPER.

Twizzler Girl was more than just a Twizzler Girl, just like I was more than Ice Cream Girl. I wish I'd asked her exactly what.

3) The outrageous Sparklecorn cake:

What's so outrageous about it? The fact that I did not get a piece.

3) Waiting to talk with Jenny in her makeshift bathroom, one of my favourite bloggers Megan from Velveteen Mind coming up to say hello. When I told her my blog she knew who I was, and we had a beautiful talk that night and again two nights later. Megan is a knife-juggler who revels in the threadbare. She did not bat an eye when I cried to her.

4) Crying, a lot. For so many different reasons. I took an ache in my heart over there and brought it back home with me. Was I born with this fucking ache? So annoying.

5) Ree set the tone of the whole of BlogHer for me. I went to her Pathfinder panel on the first day - not because I want to become a media company ... I just wanted to bask in her glory. And I did - she is so gorgeous and shy and funny. I had dragged across the globe a copy of her book "Pioneer Woman Cooks" to get signed for my friend and top Aussie food blogger Liss from Frills in the Hills. Liss also gave me a box of Aussie candy, to give to Ree.

I sat there with the book and the candy under the table, shrinking at the thought of walking up and asking her to sign it. Lunch time came, people made a beeline for her, and I decided that no, I would NOT get the
book signed. I would tell Liss sorry, it was too hard. So I walked out and down the hall to get some lunch. Dejected idiot. And then I punched myself in the head. "Just go back in and ask her to sign your friends book! Just doooo iiiiiitttttt."

So I did. And when Ree saw me she clapped her hands and told me she couldn't believe it was me and she loved my twitter vlog and she has watched it fifteen times. And all the people around her turned to look at who she could possibly be speaking to. She was talking to me, the Ice Cream Girl. Later in the panel Ree adjusted her spanx and then sang an American underpants theme song from when she was a kid. And I thought wow ... THIS is why she rocks the whole blogging world.

(And this is why we must push past our comfort zones ... why, if we walk the world with an open heart, we will be richly rewarded.)

6) Half-and-half. Just deserves its own bullet point, is all.

7) Oh, Mrs Woog. I watched her show a group of raucous American coupon bloggers how to donkey root, She conducted an experiment on whether Americans knew what a "mole" meant, (they didn't) .. and every day, I watched her never take herself too seriously. I love her.

8) I had a truly religious experience in True Religion. Here in Australia, shopping is expensive - a pair of True Religion jeans would set you back a lot. I went in on a mission, tried on so many pairs that I had to start taking photos of them and then asking the girl three pairs down the track ... where are these ones again?

                                 My ass ... let me show u it

She found them, and before I bought them -  "Still Haven't Found" came on over the speakers and I started crying (see: Ache). She did not bat an eyelid. It's hard to shock you Americans.


I could go on forever, I could. But my kids are fighting and I have to go be a soccer mum.

I've learnt, from reading other recap posts including this from Lerner and this from my main homie Mel and  this one by the fricking gorgeous Mom 101 ... (Liz I want to make love to your mind) that it's common for everybody to feel deflated after seeing friends and letting go and having so much fun. The high of it was just so high ... surely, Dorothy must have looked around the room after she woke and felt so relieved that she was back in her own home, but missing the glitz and sparkle of Emerald City? That when she went back to raking the muck out of the pig pens, she had an ache she could not quite place?

And then this.

My suns, my anchors, my sweetest little turdburgers.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Edenland Bloco.

This morning I stood at my kitchen sink and ate a hunk of cold leftover chicken schnitzel, straight out of my hand. Like a savage. A sad one.

Being home is foreign .. it is America that is familiar. I bought some cream from the shops this morning, and made my own half-and-half for my coffee.

That cannot end well.

Here is my Bloco, my blog doco on the last two weeks. It runs for nine minutes.

Gee my hair shits me. How can I be 39 and still have dumb hair?

My next post will be BlogHer 2011 highlights - of which there were many. I am so lucky. I am so sad.


Do you think, if I never eat lunch again, I could drink coffee with cream and sugar and never get fat?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Aussie Broad Abroad.

This is our last night in America. We fly back home tomorrow ... all of this air conditioning caused HAVOC on my skin.

In one hour, the 6.30 with George Negus show on Channel Ten will show a piece on Australian bloggers, featuring myself and Mrs Woog. We are both relieved to be out of the country, because we feel a little like tools. We're staying up to watch it unfold on twitter, of course.

If you are a blogger, please feel free to comment below with your blog name and a short bio about your blog. I think the Australian blogosphere is ready for its close-up.

What's a blog?

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Gonna Be Alright.

Very far from home, a skull tattoo starts to flake.

I read my post Every Little Thing out yesterday at the BlogHer 2011 Voices of the Year. Have not even gone to bed yet, but I need Vee to see this.

Before I left Sydney last week, I drove back down to Nepean Hospital to see if the artwork was still there. My son came with me, and just as we were walking in he said Mum - what if it's not there?

I had never even thought that. We walked in and I told him to act casual, like we were visiting someone. Detectives. We walked in, and the first canvass wasn't there. And the second canvass wasn't there. Inching over to the room we put one, in I glanced in.

To find the last one was still there.

                                    One outta three aint bad.
It sucked going there - like all the other times. I hated it and was lucky enough to grab my son and run for the hills. There is never a good day to visit a cancer ward.

Alex's art has been on sale at Red Bubble for many years now. It still is. You can have a look at the rest of his stuff here. I love how Vee has kept it open. There's an option to buy just a greeting card for $3.


BlogHer is blowing my goddamn mind again. So many things have happened. The branding of blogs is getting huge now ... I hope the storytelling always remains. I am completely honoured that this post was the one that got chosen. America thank you for being totally fine with the fact that an Aussie was up there. You people rock.

I rapped Lose Yourself to Mrs Woog at Sparklecorn tonight, to celebrate.

There are a maelstrom of posts in my head, swirling. They'll keep, but this one couldn't. Thank you Vee, for allowing me to share your story. People were really touched by what we did. They told me.


My husband emailed me to say his brand new motorbike is sitting on the living room floor. Of course it is. When he tells everybody about it, they always ask him, What will Eden think!

He tells them that I was the one who talked him into it - and I did.

Live your goddamn life.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

My Skull Tattoo. My Skattoo!

I needed ink in LA. So I got inked in LA.

                    Swear they are hairs from my head. NOT my neck.

Due to an idiotic taxi driver who could not speak english and then shut the door on me as I was alighting, I got to LA Ink (actually known as High Voltage) LATE for my appointment. They were a bit annoyed, so I asked to use their bathroom, just to annoy them more.

High Voltage dunnycan. To the left were life-size replicas of the Simpsons. Homer listened to my man wee.

I came out and looked around. Lots of crazy cool eye candy, in the form of the Virgin Mary, crucifix's, and skulls.

My guy came over to talk me through my design. I said "Day of the Dead-ified" but he said too much detail. I said colour, he said black. He was kind of intimidating. So I told him whatever he thought. He sketched something out, positioned it, everything. He was the total boss of it.

I was so hungry and thirsty and rushed that I forgot to steel myself for the pain.

OUCH. Hurt like a bitch. I sat there and copped it, painfully aware that I was the oldest person there. He asked me was I enjoying myself on holiday. I said yes, going to a blog conference soon. "Oh, a blog? What do you blog about?"

Ok so here's a tip - when you are in an ultra-groovy world-famous tattoo parlour and you are asked what kind of blog you have, do not - DO NOT EVER SAY YOU ARE A MUMBLOGGER.

I told him, I am a mumblogger!

He asked me to repeat myself. "Um, a mumblogger?" I kind of felt red in the face. He downed his tools - swear to god - and said, "A what? A mumbler?"
No, not a mumbler - a mumblogger. He kind of could hardly believe it. Either could I.

"So, people actually want to read about things like that? Oh, little Johnny was playing with a toilet roll holder! How cute!"

We both laughed, and I assured him that I was a dark and twisted mumblogger. I was getting a skull tattooed on my neck goddamit.

I was painfully self-aware, and pretended it was not hurting at all. It hurt a lot.

Finally finished, he asked me to go take a look at it, I walked through, tripped over the velvet rope in front of the mirror. Told him it was great, but just wanted to get OUT of there. I swung my handbag over my shoulder, missed my shoulder, so it came crashing down onto the floor.


I went to pay and they didn't have change so I had to go next door to "buy a souvenir." Next door had artwork of women with skulls and no pants on. Vaginas were split open and the hot tattooed 50's chick gave me a running commentary of the artist. Kind of did not know where to look.

The cheaper items in the shop included a jigsaw puzzle of an Asian man wearing a suit made entirely from bacon. I just wanted to buy something, get the change for next door, and get the hell OUT OF THERE.

I found the perfect thing, and scurried off. Took it back to my hotel, made plans to grab Woogs and go meet the delectable Mamaspohr and family for a Mexican dinner. I sat down next to Heather's cousin Leah and told her I got a new tattoo ... was it any good? Because I had not seen it properly. She assured me it was.

Weary now, but I can't sleep. It's 6.30pm back at home, and I imagine how noisy my dinner table is right now. I miss them keenly. Ouch. Hurts like a bitch.


Climbing into bed I sat on something lumpy - the thing I bought to break down some change for my tattoo.

                      I did not know I needed it, until I saw it.

A $20 resin moustache on a stick. I flew halfway across the world for this.


Mojo Risin'.

Wish I could photoshop the flab underneath my arm to the top of my arm. Like, a bicep.

I'm waiting for my laxatives to kick in. There is so much to tell you, namely, how DARE I be doing this? I don't know.

I do know, that soon enough, I will be sitting at home on my back deck and it will all be over. Five minutes in to our car ride from LAX to our hotel yesterday, I said out loud how sad I was that we had to leave. Woogs was all, we only just got here!

                       The gorgeous Mrs Woog, showing me where she works.

Yesterday we looked around at the Groves shopping complex, wondering how we ended up in toontown. We are perfect travelling companions. She is smart, funny, sassy, and HILARIOUS. I can't wait for some American bloggers to meet her, and have started writing down some Woog gems:

1) Standing in line waiting at customs in LAX yesterday, in a daze from jet lag: "I really hope our drivers name is Hank."

2) Sitting in a diner for a LONG time, waiting for her hotel room to be ready: "I need to put my face in a vat of makeup."

3) On not being able to upload her photos properly to her computer: "Ok. I need to start taking responsibility for my technological retardedness."

Australian blogging is on the increase - it is SO great to see. (Except somebody needs to tell Bruce the customs guy at Sydney airport. Where I had written "blogger" as my occupation, he crossed it out and wrote "writer." True story.)

Last weekend was Blogopolis, where a slew of amazing people came together and danced, drank, laughed, and shared. The panels were good too - I spoke on one, and was so animated that I snapped the microphone off when I was talking. Mortification. I held it in my hand, and watched the sea of bloggers laugh, and saw my stunning mate Glowless just shake her head, sadly.

Our Qantas flight to LA was beyond, and made me realise how I am carrying all my Aussie bloggers friends with me.  BabyMac would have loved the Florence Broadhurst-printed toiletry bag. Kim would have loved the Neil Perry selections on the menu. And Nikki from Styling You could write a whole blog post on the Qantas flight attendant uniforms.


I am in love with everything. Every sight, taste and smell is all new and different, and it keeps waking me up to the nowness of now. Travelling is good for your soul, I suspect.

Last night at 11pm, I went for a walk on Sunset Boulevard by myself. Up from the Viper Room, past the Chateau Marmont, strip clubs, and smoky dens of iniquity. I was hoping I didn't get stabbed. A girl was crying on the phone that she had just been sacked from her waitressing job. A bum in the street was too shouty for me to give money to. I will never understand how you can buy bottles of vodka in drugstores over here. Crazy.


Thank you, Ribena. For taking a chance on two Aussie mumbloggers who are the only ones in this fancy hotel who have children. Congratulations to the two winners of the Ribena giveaway - Siobhain can you please email me your postal address? The judges (and I) adored your sons national anthem: "Australians all want ostriches .." Second winner is Amy - I have never done a giveaway on my blog before, and was blown away by the amount and quality of entries. There are three family trips to New Zealand up for grabs, with more information on the Ribena facebook page.


I am now going to LA Ink to get a teeny skull tattooed on my neck. Hardcore mumbloggers FTW!

Computer, I will be back real soon. My esteemed work colleague and I are flying into San Diego tomorrow tomorrow, for BlogHer. I have not practiced reading out my blog post yet - who was the idiot that said she was not scared about talking in front of three thousand people?

In the meantime, as I now go into the bathroom due to horrific stomach noises, I have one request.


Monday, 1 August 2011

Glint of Gold.

Sitting in Qantas lounge and walking over to get a cup of coffee just then, a well-dressed lady came towards me so I stopped and waited for her to go first. I stood there for a while waiting, until I realised that it was a mirror and I was waiting for myself.

I was waiting for myself.

So I let myself pass. And I'll let myself walk onto a plane in a minute and fly over to the States and have an amazing time. Life can be amazing if you let it ... some days, you are hunched over a poo trying to decipher if it human, and some days you cross the globe ready for an adventure.

Beside myself with excitement. I feel very close to an orgasm right now - like, Charlie when he ripped the wrapper and he first saw the glint of gold. I had that book when I was a kid and would re-read that passage over and over again, my ten-year old heart passionately believing that amazing things can happen.

I forgot that for a long time, but it's always been a truth.

I have a handy travel pack of Vegemite ready. I want to get a skull tattoo on my neck in LA. Just spoke to Dave and the sound of his tough voice made my heart go funny. I wrapped thirteen presents for all three kids at home before I left, so they open one every morning and know that I am thinking of them. Dave says Rocco keeps trying to break into the room with the present stash. I miss my boys keenly. Achey.

A special shout-out today to the other four Australian bloggers travelling over to BlogHer this week:

My extraordinary travelling companion Mrs Woog, Brenda from Mummytime, Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim, and Sarah from Ah the Possibilities.

All morning, I have read beautiful supportive texts and emails from a lot of Aussie bloggers wishing us well - thank you so much. Come next year - I'm serious. Even if we can't get sponsorship, just save up and come. We'll hire a whole goddamn plane.

Don't wait for yourself.
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