Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Momofuku, Sydney.

"I've fallen in love with Australia. I'm just fascinated by the food scene in Sydney and Melbourne. People are excited about food in Australia. It's fresh and it's energetic." - David Chang, Chef/Owner, Momofuku

Mud crab, old bay, yorkshire pudding

Smack in the middle of the Sydney Star Casino, the doors of the first Momofuku outside of the US are now open. After giving up so many earthly pleasures in this lifetime, I am still allowed to eat food. And my god does David Chang do food well.

After creating my user name last November for the Momofuku website, I'd diligently log in every morning before 10am .. the precise time the bookings opened up. Day after day I'd watch all of the green ticks turn to red in front of my eyes. I'd try again the next day, then the next. My whole morning was planned around where I would be at 10am. In a pump class? I'd put my weights down and walk outside, frantically tapping on my phone. Driving on the freeway? Pull over. In a shop? Crouched down, manically trying to secure a highly-coveted reservation.

No dice. I stopped myself from going on twitter tirades many times, for fear of retribution. David is partial to an angry tweet himself, so I didn't want to wreck my chances of eating his stuff. But man I wanted to tweet ... "Momofuku? More like MOMO FUCK YOUUUU."

Finally it happened. I now know *exactly* how Charlie Bucket felt at the first glint of gold. Booking was secured ... on a Friday night no less. 7pm. Sharp.


What's so good about it? Only everything. Chang is one of the world's most influential chefs. Last year, he was named on Time's list of the 100 people who most affect our world. He's passionate and fiery, a swearing genius.

We walked in to the sleek, dark restaurant bang on 7pm to begin the fifteen-course degustation menu. Taking our seats at the table overlooking the kitchen I was so bloody excited. And self-conscious. The chef's looked at us as much as we looked over to them. The cooking of the food was a floor show - no, a rock concert. And we scored front row seats.

The music was jammin' so I start shazammin'. The head chef walked over and said, "Ahhh, you are shazamming?" Busted. I just laughed - song was Mickey Avalon singing Jane Fonda. I kept having to tell myself to act cool.

The thing about real food is, IT'S REAL. Kind of controversial in today's processed, chemical-laded world. David Chang plays it down, says, "Look, we're not out there curing cancer." He's right. But the thing is, eating such fresh and tasty things reminds me of not only how food is supposed to be, but how life is supposed to be. Something about intention and purpose and passion.

I am not a food blogger. I just like to celebrate good shit.

Hands down personal favourite was the pea agnolotti with parmesan and ham. I just know that every ingredient is specifically sourced and carefully made from scratch. Sometimes I stare out the window and think of that agnolotti. True story.

Lamb neck - daikon, pickled turnips. To be honest I couldn't eat much of it .. it was beautiful, but I kept thinking I AM EATING A LAMB NECK RIGHT NOW.

One of the desserts. Just heaven on a plate. All of it.

Peach, rose, pistachio

After the desserts were done ... out came the pulled pork and brown sugar. I KNOW. How the hell can you eat a main after the sweets? Well, you just do. With your fingers and the juice runs down your arm and you lick. The self-consciousness wears off after a while.

One of my favourite parts of the evening was when a complete loudmouthed wanker and his hooker girlfriend sat down next to us. I had the pleasure of watching the chef's reaction when his mobile phone rang really loudly and he sat there, talking on it. Gold. Both chef's stopped what they were doing and just watched with a shitload of amusement and annoyance. A waiter asked him to get the hell off his phone. I sat there smug, secretly shazzamin'.

The only thing this post is sponsored by is my pants, and how happy David Chang made them after I had finished eating.

Immediately opposite the restaurant is Zumbo's. We went inside and thought about buying some of his famous macarons...

.. but didn't. Too full. I snapped this photo anyway, specifically for my homie Magneto Bold who is the macaron QUEEN. During the night I thought of a few online peeps who would love it - Kim from All Consuming and Beth from BabyMac.

The Everyman Kitchen - a cool chef and baker and cook over in the Americaz - summed it up best after he saw my Momofuku instagram pics.

"That Chang ... he's one of the good guys."

He really is.

Momofuku pork buns taste EXACTLY how this song sounds.


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I never knew daylight could be so violent.

I can't see my life ending well.

I've told a few people that they are invited to my relapse party. They laughed. Make no mistake ... my relapse party would be the most hardest corest relapse party ever in the world. Naked hookers would line the driveway with shots of tequila as you drove in. They'd be wearing tiaras and heavy mascara that'd be dripping by the end of the night. Symbolic and all that shit.

There'd be designated areas for designated things. Lube and mirrors. Smoke and heavy music. A sense of resignation.

I shouldn't write things like that but GODDAMN it feels good. I should play it safe. Talk about official life/parenting/spiritual shit, get all deep and then have some kind of light yet profound revelation at the end. My grandmother always told me I would write .. I don't know that she even believed it herself, she just wanted me to believe something good about me. She would probably find some of my writing shocking. I like to believe she would understand. My life was shocking.

When I was 24 I had a dream that I lost my eyes but my grandmother had a new pair for me in a jar of water next to my bed. I put them in, looked, and there was the biggest most magnificent landscape you could ever see. I can still remember it. This dream was right at the beginning of my sobriety journey. My sobriety is about so much more than sobriety. Resilience, redemption, daily death of self. These Big Things. Do you understand? Are you with me?


My super-secret awesome number bloggy tip is to have copious amounts of self-loathing. If you mix it with a kind of burning rage and the desire to just write; if you actually dig and look and have something of value to say ... you're on to something. Sometimes I click onto blogs and see the blogger percolating nicely. A few more years and they'll have something really cool.

All this, "Like me!" "Only 200 more followers until I do a giveaway!" If you want followers, you might want to think about where you're leading them so gaily, like the Pied Piper. Otherwise your conga line might crash into itself and people will be confused.

If you're into giveaways, the best giveaway you could do is a giveaway of your own self. Dig.

(I'm a heavily disguised social media maven guru, you know.)

So .. are we cool to leave this post here? I'm ok. I have to return emails and then go put a slow-cooked sausage casserole on. Life keeps asking me to raise up.

I turn up on this page just like you do .. hope this protagonist makes it through! Scoot over and pass me the popcorn.

I wonder what's going to happen, in the end?

"I never knew daylight could be so violent
A revelation in the light of day
You can't choose what stays and what fades away."


Monday, 27 February 2012

Somebody give the tooth fairy a double espresso. And some gratitude.

Max lost this tooth on Saturday night about 8pm. His friend Zac was having a sleepover and as we all ate dessert, Max twisted his tooth and there it was. My only thought? "Great. I don't have any goddamn money."

It was too late to go to the shops and get some cash out and frankly I couldn't be bothered. I know Max doesn't believe in the tooth fairy any more, and he knows I know he doesn't. But we still play along anyway.

I forgot all about it until at two-o-clock in the morning I sat upright in bed.


Parents are the tooth fairy, santa claus, AND the easter bunny? I call bullshit.

I went out to my car and went through all the usual shrapnel places  ... $3.55. I waited for the murderer to club me over the head and then go inside and systematically kill all of my children. It didn't happen!

Creeping into Max's bedroom, to find that he and Zac had arranged themselves on mattresses on the floor. After fumbled under Max's pillow for a while I realised it was Zac's pillow, and I was his friends weirdo mum leaning over him at 2am.

I went around to Max's side and do you think I could find that stupid tooth? No way. I gave up, left the coins under his pillow and as I sidestepped the boys I tripped over. Shouting, "FUCK."

One of them woke up and freaked out. "Who's that?"

Before limping out, the fake angry tooth fairy said "THE TOOTH FAIRY." 

Then I couldn't sleep for hours. When I got up, Max came running out, gleefully showing me his tooth.

"Mum! AHA! I hid my tooth to prove that the tooth fairy wasn't real, but I got money anyway. I'll leave my tooth out tonight to see if I get MORE money."

Little turd. "I don't think it works like that mate." Both boys went off laughing. Later they bought hot chips with Max's money.

Max did indeed leave his tooth underneath his pillow the next night. In the morning he found it was replaced with a rock from the driveway.

Don't fuck with the tooth fairy, dude. She plays roller derby and believes in revenge.


Friday, 24 February 2012

What else should I be? All apologies.

Sorry if I scare you.

Sorry that I wasn't born a boy. Sorry for being such a shit friend - I have severe trust and paranoia issues. Sorry for hiding in my kitchen that time. Sorry I hate the school run. Sorry about my tattoos. Sorry about the swearing.

I'm really sorry you couldn't make me come. Sorry I couldn't go to your mum's funeral ... my funeral quota is filled. Sorry that I made you feel bad. (Truth is I can't "make" you feel anything. You know that, right?)

I'm really sorry I never went to university. Sorry I thought I was so stupid all this time. What a waste of smarts. Sorry that a recovering alcoholic and drug addict has one of the biggest voices. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't plan it. Sorry for the haters hating. Sorry you are a useless bag of shit. Sorry about your face.

Sorry about the Stolen Generation. Sorry for being so white and privileged and spoilt and so fucking ignorant. Sorry.

I'm sorry I can't be more like you. I'm sorry for failing. I'm sorry for succeeding.

I'm sorry I wasn't carry-over champ on Wheel of Fortune. I'm sorry my father never held my hand. I'm sorry for not commenting on your blog. I'm sorry for being so inappropriate. Sorry I made so many mistakes. Sorry I'll never live in Paris. Sorry I couldn't try harder. I'm sorry I'm still alive. I'll be more sorry when I'm dead.

Sorry I'm so broken. Sorry I'm so powerful.


Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

Sorry? Spill.


Thursday, 23 February 2012

My Brother From Another Father.

           Cropped his forehead pimple out. That's what good sisters DO.

My brother and I stayed up late last night laughing and talking about how stupid life is. Nothing ever makes sense! I asked him for cupcakes but he bought me a dozen donuts. I heated them up for exactly eleven seconds each. He ate one to my four.

We talked about the death of our fathers, the mines in Western Australia, sex, acid trips, childrens books, girlfriends, apathy, depression, suicide, and relapsing.

I hadn't seen him for a whole year. When this guy was born in 1980, my heart swelled out and I was in LOVE .. used to creep into his bedroom at night and watch him sleep in his cot, terrified he would get taken away from me. I pushed him to the shops in his stroller, bought him stuffed toys with my pocket money, and taught him how to write his name. When he was five I even taught him how terrifying horror films are. (Mate I am SO SORRY.)

I used to covet his pacifier, just really wished I had one to suck. One day when I was about nine, I grabbed one and ran outside, bent down ... and sucked on his dummy.

It didn't feel as good as it looked. So disappointing.

That hot day in summer I felt sick, waiting for him to come home from school and be told the terrible news that he'd never see his dad again. Years later I told him everything I knew about why what happened happened. I believed he had a right to know. I believe you should tell the truth about hard things.

Last night I watched him eat my spaghetti bolgnaise and I love him so hard. I want to make the whole world right, just for him. He is one of the smartest, capable, funny guys I have ever met in my life.

Ladies, he's 31 years old and single ... if you'd like the chance of me being the Auntie of your children, please send through an application. You just need to have a good heart. (Great boobs don't hurt - but the guy's cerebellum is where it's all at, promise.)

We laughed so hard last night, each remembering in intricate detail the other's worst pants shitting story.

He's having lunch with my sisters on Saturday; I'll hear the laughing from here. Just stood on my drive and waved him off. Don't know when I'll see him again.

Bam Bam I got your back, and love you always. You ain't heavy.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Imitation is the sincerest form of saying "IMMA STEAL YOUR IDEA!"

"You were born an original. Don't die a copy."
- John Mason

I wonder if humans are all born with the same amount of creativity and originality. And over time, it either gets eroded .. or people just stop believing in themselves so they steal and take from others. Sneaky pricks.

Case in point: fellow Australian blogger Chantelle Ellem from Fat Mum Slim. I first knew of Chantelle when we were featured in THIS article together a few years ago. Her blog is creative, whimsical, original .. just like her. I sighed, when I first clicked over - she is amazing.

In January this year, Chantelle created her own photo-a-day challenge. She did not invent this genre, at all. But she *did* invent the everyday prompts, the hashtag, and her own button using a cool and distinctive style.

So many people around the world joined in ... I got so excited I kept emailing her. On Instagram alone, the #janphotoaday hashtag was used 171,875 times. It went so well that people begged Chantelle to do it again for February, so she did.

The #febphotoaday hashtag was used a whopping 715,024 times. The awesome thing about it was, a lot of people found new people through this. I love seeing what others on the other side of the world are doing, and how they interpret the prompt.

Chantelle thought of these prompts from her own head ... radical, huh?

So one day last week, after I dyed my hair PURPLE (which I didn't end up getting fixed - it'll fade. Thank you for telling me to own my hair, by the way) ... I was mucking around with some completely narcissistic black-and-white self portraits and took this photo:

I simply called the photo "Clean" .. because I like the double meaning of clean from the shower, also clean from all of the crap I have ever polluted my body with over the course of my entire life. I also like this photo because I'm not being my usual middle-aged gang-signing idiot. But my god, MY NOSE. I always forget exactly how cauliflowery it actually is!

Anyway, then I upload it to Instagram, have a browse, and see Chantelle's new March photo a day prompt. (I stopped doing them back in January, because true to form I never finish what I start. Know your limits, people!)

I was struck with how cool that lime colour she used is:

..... but I was HORRIFIED to see that the last day of March said "b & w self portrait." Chantelle would think I copied off her and I didn't! I just did a wanky black and white self-portrait of my accord, I swear. Chantelle then uploaded the new March challenge to her blog - AND IT WASN'T THE LIME GREEN ONE. The above lime green one is a FAKE. This is the real one:

Let's all agree that anybody in the world is allowed to do a photo-a-day challenge. Chantelle didn't invent that. But she DID invent the hashtag, the style, the font of her own. I call bullshit on copycats. So did Chantelle over in her post HERE today. (But in a much nicer way.) She even used this pic which I just stole off her:

Like Sandi says to Danny right before she throws her pom-poms down .. "You're a fake and a phony and I wish I never laid eyes on YOU."

In conclusion: I really want a nose job.

Wait - that's not my conclusion. My conclusion is .... make your own shit. It's not that hard.

For example, I have an awesome idea for a photo-a-day challenge. It can be called PHOTOS OF THE SEAMY UNDERBELLY OF LIFE. My fonts and style will be all swirly and black, with skulls and shadows. Some of my prompts would include things like:

1. Nightmare
2. Failure
3. Pain
4. Something you regret
5. Clothes you look dumb in
6. A junkies coffee table
7. Your last big cry

I think it would be a hit. The dark things in life have feelings too, you know.

Chantelle, if I can be bothered to get my own idea off the ground instead of lounging around googling noses? You're goin' DOWN.


Monday, 20 February 2012

My Skyclimber.

This is one of the best photos I will ever take. We got out of the car and I saw the sun setting over the water, so I asked him to climb across the monkey bars. He couldn't at first, said it was too slippery. So he jumped down, picked up handfuls of dirt and rubbed his hands in it like a gymnast does powder.

I don't know who taught him to do that. That's what happens when your kids start really growing up - they do shit of their own accord. It's awesome and terrifying.

He made his way across the first few bars, and I was snapping away until I got just the right shot.

It makes me tear up. I cannot believe this big, gangly boy used to be no bigger than my pinky nail. That he grew inside me, and came out with such a lifeforce that just burst me open into a thousand pieces. He makes my heart warm. The bridge of his nose tells me he will be strong in the world. He recited spelling words the other night that made me punch the air ... guy can spell like a CHAMP. Like me!

I hope he inherits only good things from me.

I want him to change the world and stand up for himself and to think. To look around, and see who needs helping. To learn his hard lessons with grace.

Probably the biggest thing I can teach him is to never give up. It's the one thing I keep learning, over and over again.


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Weirdo Bloggers are WEIRDOS.

For the past few days I have been freaking out about blogging, blogs, all the things I've said, how dumb it is, how many years it would take for google caches to clear once I deleted my blog .... and all the explaining I'm going to have to do with my children.

I get this every once in a while. It'll pass.

In the meantime, I'm asking you to collude with me. Tell me why we do it? Who are your favourites .... your tribe, your people, the ones who talk your language? Who resonates with you? Your homies, your peers, your posse?


Liz Gumbinner from Mom 101 - Liz makes blogging look good. She works in advertising, has two young daughters and a husband and one of the best goddamn brains in town. She's American, lives in New York, and deconstructs topics on a regular basis. She's got the smarts. She hugged me last year when I was sweaty from dancing and she didn't care.

Karen Charlton from The Rhythm Method - I've only read about four of Karens blog posts. My mate Allison from Pink Fibro put me on to her ... my goodness. Karen can write. Like, WRITE. A swirly real writerly writer. Each post a delicious feast.

Pam from Bloodsigns - My Pam. She came to my blog when I was doing IVF, and cheered me on as I got pregnant with Rocco - loudly. We bonded over absent fathers and stepmothering and manly husbands. We've posted rocks from our gardens in the mail, to each other. I love her. We helped each other through stuff, and she is living proof that blogging runs deep.

I'll stop at three ... but there's a gazillion more. Who's your favourites? Any genre, any gender. I'd just like to be comforted by the fact that there's heaps more of us weirdos out there, bloggin' FOOLS.

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

Here's this weeks linkonian. I'd love it if you commented on a few other blogs who link up. Spread the love. Tell them they're not (that) weird.

I don't even know what a cache is .... like, a cache of guns? "Edenland was found hiding, quivering in her closet. A cache of blog posts beside her. She was charged with .... telling the goddamn truth." QUELLE HORREUR


Friday, 17 February 2012

I Seen Better Days

Yesterday I felt low so I thought I'd cheer myself up and dye my hair. It came out purpley dark and I cried. I keep thinking, it's only hair it's only hair.

But it's MY hair.

I look like a middle-aged emo goth. I'm too vain to post a picture - on Monday I get it all stripped back and re-coloured. It's only going to take four hours and cost over a hundred bucks!

I'll be wearing a hat all weekend.

I had to cancel dinner plans tonight that I was really looking forward to. There was no summer this year and it's now almost autumn. I'm hungry. I feel like a walking nerve ending. Everything is stupid. Starving children of the world I care not for your plight .. I have the wrong hair colour. Pity me!

Just then I took my coffee out to my back deck and called Buddha an arsehole and we sat there looking at each other for a while. I thought I'd do something to really annoy myself, and check today's reading in my Daily Recovery iPhone app. They are usually so crap and trite ... "Live and let live" with an accompanying obligatory uplifting picture of a lighthouse or ocean scene.

Today's is majestic.

I don't know why my brain works the way it does, or who wrote that furiously dark reading. But my god I feel infinitely better.



Thursday, 16 February 2012

Brothers Three.

No matter what happens around here, these guys will always be thick as thieves. Always talking about poo, bums, penises, farts, and boogers.


The rough and tumble and the swagger ... I have a hunch that girls would have been much quieter.

... and a lot less stinky.

(The words you left on my last post ... wow. Thank you.)


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Monkey

Late last year I grabbed the corner of our monkey, and in furious anger wrenched it down so hard that it smashed all over the floor. It was only 6.30am in the morning and I was in the midst of a dreadful argument with my husband. Sometimes I get violent when I'm angry.

Who has fights that early in the morning?

Married people.

The monkey was smashed. It was a really cute monkey too, we'd had it for over twelve years. Since the beginning of our relationship. He was brown and ceramic, laying on his back using his arms and legs to hold up a bowl. In that bowl contained vital pieces of crap that households collect - allen keys, buttons, batteries, ds games, coins. Whenever somebody around here couldn't find something there was only one question. "Have you checked the monkey?"

Every so often I'd get staunch and go through all the crap. Sift it all, and the monkey would be culled. Then we'd start again, layers of detritus building up. One day, I found something in there so horrific I was kind of in awe at my own dysfunction: Rocco's belly button thing that fell off when he was a baby.

Yeah. I choose to look at that symbolically ... the time when he was born was so manic, so hard ... that I obviously just tossed it into the monkey to deal with it later.

My husband Dave moved out of this house in early November. It was a joint decision, one we both felt was the right thing to do. There were four kids to consider - our two younger ones needed their own bedrooms and safety so I stayed here with them. Dave took his two older children from a previous relationship over into a different house a few towns up.

I was unprepared for how I would feel when he left. Intellectually I knew that it was the best thing for all of us, it was not a "break-up" .. just a break. To catch our breath and stop fighting, to focus on our children, to heal the gigantic gaping maw that the clash of parenting values two adults can have when parenting children of a blended family.

I was absolutely fucking devastated. The pain was intense and horrible and I thought to myself, "something deeper must be going on here." And it was, it did not matter if I consciously knew it. All of the abandonment I'd ever experienced in my life came crashing to the forefront of my mind and no amount of any tough exterior or hardcoreness could extinguish it. My heart turned wild with fury. Then it started winding around itself, shooting out protective layers like a pearl.

My husband is the only man I will ever let in to my heart, and it was crushed. Bad. My husband adores me. My husband had no choice but to put his children first. My husband makes me crazy. My husband makes me safe. My husband got cancer and kept soldiering on and it was me, me who fell, in the end.

Spectacularly! I never do things by halves.

We spent Christmas apart for the first time in 12 years. I would not talk to him. It was awful. I worried about falling off the wagon. On Christmas morning I woke up to the flu, my period, manic family-of-origin dynamics .. all as a single parent. Then I watched people get drunk. I got through it by laughing, because life is stupid and also funny.

I came away from the festive season with a feeling I hadn't felt before, a strength that has been growing ever since. I am strong - like, I really am. Big! I'm not just pretending. A fertile ground grew in me. I kept daring my voice to grow louder and it did. I kind of liked me, a bit. That was new.

I've been mainly financially dependent on my husband for many years now. It has slowly eroded my sense of worth, my self-belief. Of course I do the bulk of the child wrangling and meals and housework .. but sadly, it never seems to COUNT. I haven't felt equal, and I haven't felt enough. You know what happens when you have no respect for yourself? Nobody around you has much respect for you either.

There are other dynamics at play here, too. If I write this out according to what I did and how I feel, then hopefully I won't hurt anyone. But my god, when a woman realises she has been giving her power away and wants to start reclaiming it? Watch out world.

I've never felt so free and creative and fertile in my life. There are talks of moving back in, living together and working as best we can. With a sense of honesty and clarity that we all did not have before. I finally realised that I am not a wicked stepmother .. because my own children annoy the crap out of me just as much as my stepkids do!

I'm not step-kid racist, I'm just an arsehole!

I don't know if I believe in marriage anymore. It's too hard, there's too many compromises to make. I'm really scared that I will go back to how things were. I don't want to lose myself again, because I just found myself. And I like what I found. Can you have a rich creative life inside yourself and also be married with children? Or is that too greedy?

Honest conversations have been had. He's willing to do whatever it takes, and he looks at me with those green eyes and I think man, I will NEVER let myself love another person as much as I love this guy. I think real love is like the stuff that makes the arrow always point to north on a compass.

I don't know what's going to happen. I've been pestering him to take the trip to Spain he's been talking about for years, by himself. I might surprise him with the plane tickets and he might go over and fall in love with some Spanish chick and they could be *made* for each other. Or he and I could live together for the rest of our days until we die in a horrific accident. We could part ways and be best friends forever. We could stay together and love hard instead. We could divorce out of protest for gay rights, and just date each other until we're eighty seven. Nobody knows. If you think you know what's going to happen in your marriage? You don't. Nobody does.

Goddamn this world and the keeping up of appearances.

Marriage is HARD. I finally realised what old people who have been married for fifty years mean, when they say "sticking through the hard times."

You gotta know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em.


We have a plastic pineapple now, to collect all the household crap. It's orange and looks pretty ridiculous and weird. I miss the monkey. Yet breaking his back is one of the best things I've ever done.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Who Snaps?

It's been almost a year since I did my first "Year of Turning Forty" series of posts. The 11th of every month I have done something big, or meaningful, or ridiculous.

I have exactly one month left on this planet before I turn forty years old .. this calls for something drastic - something I've been wanting to do for YEARS.


I'm joining a goddamn roller derby team. Meet Ginger Snaps.

It's all fun and games until somebody breaks their arm like a twig, has blood pissing out of their nose, and a slight concussion.



(PS The link-up in the post below this one is just incredible.)


Friday, 10 February 2012

Tell Me Your Funeral Song

I am obsessed with death, dying, dead people, what happens, where we go. I'm also completely terrified.

I've done research on how long it takes for bodies to decompose in their coffins, down in the ground. Wanted to know if my fathers bones still existed on the earth. He died in 1984, so I'm pretty sure he's dust now. My stepfather was cremated after his suicide in 1988. Over and over I visualised his skin melting, his wooly hair alight.

Many, many funerals later ... I often wonder how I want my own funeral to be. Maybe I should write something and leave it in my computer in case I die suddenly ... for it to be read out in front of all my mourners mourning. Or if I die slowly from cancer in hospital, I'll write something *so amazing and profound* for my funeral but I'd have to get a nurse to come and read it out because she wouldn't be close to me so she could read it without crying and I want people to understand it.

Often I hear a song and I suddenly think THAT'S IT ... that is my new favourite funeral song. There's been many, over the years. Nick Cave's Into My Arms. Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah,

And it all depends on how I die anyway. If it was from, say, a hypothetical overdose? U2's Running to Stand Still. But a nice, comfortable and unoffensive car crash? U2's cover of She's a Mystery to Me. Trapped in a burning house? Eddie Vedder's Rise.

Sometimes I picture requesting an incredibly inappropriate funeral song. Like RUN-DMC's "It's Tricky." Because that would not make any sense.

But life never promises to make sense, does it?

There's the chance for a few songs on a funeral playlist anyway. One as the coffin arrives at the church, one halfway through the service, and then one as the coffin gets picked up and carried out. (Sometimes you can get an extra one squeezed in at the gravesite.)

As of today, the 10th February 2012, my chosen funeral song would be this.

The delectable Florence and the Machine, "Shake it Out."

".. and all of the ghouls come out to play
And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn."

What is your funeral song? Do you think about it? Are you terrified of death too - like, TERRIFIED? I'd love you to tell me, for the second Fresh Horses Brigade. Please feel free to either leave a comment or link up. Button code is below. My Mr Linky box will be open all weekend EUPHEMISM.

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

PS Is this entire post offensive? Maybe my brand is "Always ruining her own brand."


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Carbon Neutral Blogging

I struck up a friendship with the chick in charge of social media at World Vision Australia, Richenda. Completely in love with what she and her team are accomplishing, I offered my services and help in any way I could. She asked if she could do a conference call with me, I said, sure!

Any conference call ever makes me nervous. Sitting in the supermarket carpark one day and waiting for the call to come through, I thought, who's dumb idea was this! Oh - mine.

I answered and we were chatting away. Then she mentioned that all these other people were in the room .. that they all read my blog and wanted to say hi.

"Oh ... you all read my blog? Well now you know how completely batshit crazy I really am. How's it hangin'?"

And we all laughed and I just stopped being all pretendy official. Doesn't suit me anyway.

A few days later I emailed Richenda and she emailed me back laughing, saying that because of the "offensive nature" of my email, Worldvision had censored it. (It was just the word 'shit' ... geez, Worldvision, loosen up.)

So lucky for them they get to work with such a professionail blogger.

Thing is, I ADORE seeing works for good manifesting online. See the World Vision ad over in my sidebar? Somebody asked me last week how much do I charge them for it and I was aghast. Nothing! I just put it in there to spread the word ... you're allowed to do that with your sidebar if you want!

Before that I used to just google a cool image of a charity I like, like Amnesty or Red, and then link to it. Totally make my own ads up. For free, to make myself feel good. Stick it to the man ... whoever the man is.

You can put things together like this:




Anything at all you feel strongly about or believe in.

Do I think somebody will actually click on that Worldvision link and sponsor a child based on that ad being in my sidebar? Maybe not ... but maybe just raising awareness of an issue can call people into action, later on down the track.

Worldvision have even made up buttons for bloggers complete with html code HERE

They're pretty cool.

Sponsor a child

Yesterday in the post I received this hand wash from a PR agency:

The founder of the Child's i Foundation, Lucy Buck, quit her TV job after burying a baby boy called Abraham who died of meningitis at just 16 weeks. She works full time for the foundation ... making a goddamn difference. I am flat out minding my own boys .. but I can certainly write about this Trilogy hand wash on my blog complete with pics and a link. It's not much, but it's at least something. It's sold through Priceline, Myer and chemists for $19.95 and Trilogy is donating ALL the sales of this handwash to the Child's i Foundation for the entire year of 2012.

Props for Trilogy .. and my GOD it is beautiful stuff.

The same PR also kindly sent me some hair stuff, which I won't blog about because .. I don't want to.

This post is to raise awareness of stuff that means something. It's also to clarify certain rumblings regarding my motives. My motivation, online and off, remain remarkably kind of genuine. I know it's hard to believe, but some people in the world actually give a shit.

I'm just bumbling my way through life as best as I can. Any decision to start working with sponsors and advertisers more these days is based on a financial necessity for me right now.

I'm not saying I'm a fricken saint - I'm still an arsehole. But I'm an INSPIRATIONAL arsehole.

You gotta give me credit for that.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

When the day is long, and the night.

I don't really do guest posts on my blog. You'll see why I had to say yes to Peg. This Finnish warrior woman .. she writes over at Cake Crumbs and Beach Sand but today she needed a place to talk about some big deep dark things. I love big deep dark things almost as much as I love seeing people overcome the biggest battles of their lives. I am really honoured to have her words here.

I know everyone has a story. Everyone has some challenges they have had to face, some worse than others. But everyone has a story. This is mine.

Before 2003 I didn’t really understand grief or loss. Aside from my aged grandfather, I didn’t know what it felt like to lose someone close. Then I lost a dear friend in a tragic way. My friend was my sister-in-law, the partner to my only brother and the mother of my beautiful niece and nephew who were three and six respectively at the time of her passing. Her death was sudden and surprising, although looking back I can’t see how I didn’t see it coming. She had been struggling for some time with mental health issues and although I was often on the receiving end of distressing phone calls, whilst in the midst of it I truly didn’t see it coming. Now when I look back I see an image of this big cloudy, dark bubble that contained six or so months of anguish. In the midst of that anguish was her. That saddens me. I wish I had cuddled her more, told her she would be okay more, I wish I did more. Needless to say if I ever saw the same signs again I would do more.

I still remember the night of her death so vividly. I remember waking up to a phone ringing and a tap dripping and how anxious it made me feel (I still don’t like the sound of a tap dripping). I remember driving in the dark to her house, getting lost in my panic even though I had been there a million times. I remember the sound of emptiness in the middle of the night, it was like there was no-one else in the world but us. Us, surrounded by darkness. It was a dark time. I don’t want to get into more detail as it is difficult to write. I feel if I don’t write it then it will go away. If I do write it is there forever as a constant reminder. Even writing this much I feel like I am reliving that dark night, it’s oh so vivid. This would be my darkest moment yet. And then the nine months that followed.

The following months I surrounded her children and my brother with my love. I was anxious, I was scared, I was remorseful. I was tragically sad. Every breathing moment was consumed with sadness and questions. God why can’t we turn back time? I floated around from moment to moment in disbelief. I worried about my niece and nephew, I worried about my brother. I was always worrying. I was always wishing I could turn back time.

Nine months later further tragedy struck. My brother had a serious motorcycle accident. I remember Mum and I driving to ED at the hospital that morning, seriously concerned he had broken his arms and legs. I was thinking in my optimistic way that a lot of support and he’d be okay, a few broken bones won’t keep him down. At least he is alive! When we arrived at the hospital we discovered he had a spinal injury. The rest is a bit of a blur, I don’t think I can recall the events in ED as I would be making it up. I just can’t remember. Next thing I do recall he was in a rehab centre, learning to deal with the loss of the use of his legs, and arms, and was rendered a quadriplegic. The dark cloud I was shuffling around in just got darker. My heart broke for him. I cried and cried and cried. When a doctor came in to tell our family he would never move his legs again, I cried. My heart broke daily. Not my active, hard-working brother! How, why? Fortunately (yes there is an upside) he didn’t receive head injuries and he did not die. But why this? Hadn’t he and the kids been through enough? More grief. More sadness. More guilt. Why hadn’t I been at his house that night to stop him getting on his motorbike? I spent as much time as I possibly could at his house in the months after my sister-in-law passed away, why wasn’t I there THAT night? I grieved.

Over the next four or so months I went to the rehab hospital daily. Sometimes twice a day. I finished work and I went to visit him. I got up on the weekends and went straight to see him. My son was only a toddler and I carted him back and forth with me. If my brother was smiling and joking I felt ‘okay’, but in my mind I was constantly asking how could I make this less painful for him. I was distraught. When he started wriggling his toes and started moving his feet I said a silent thank you to whatever is out there, thank you for making this easier for him. After he was discharged from rehab he returned to my Mum’s house where his kids had been during his rehab stint. Without a parent at home my Mum had scooped them up and moved them into her house, got them into a school near her and surrounded them with love and family.

The next period of a year or so is not my story to tell. My brother has fought some long and hard battles and this was one of them. He faced a difficult and challenging time which I know many of us will never know. But the moment I saw him move past the grief of losing the use of his legs was a happy day for me. My brother is also an eternal optimist, like me. We get that from our Mum. He wasn’t going to pine for long and after some long, dark months he started to live life again. He was alive, he had his kids, he was going to make the most of that. And he still does. Nothing has changed for him, he is the same man only in a wheelchair. One of his friends once jokingly said ‘He was an asshole before his accident, and he is still an asshole!’ I see him as the same cheeky, caring brother I always have. During his difficult times though I struggled watching him wheel away from me. I would gaze at the back of his head and my heart would break. Again. But now I see him for the same person he was, maybe even better. He is more alive, he loves life to the utmost and I learn a lot from his positivity. I complain less now about minor ailments and I take nothing for granted.

So years after this troubled period the sun eventually started shining again, I could see smiles on the faces of my niece and nephew, my brother, my mother, surely I too would be happy right? Right? Once the shock of what had taken place settled and I was no longer running around trying to make sure everyone else was okay, it hit me. Severe sadness. Anger at my sister-in-law. Sadness for my sister-in-law. Grief.

I could be plodding along being mum and wife, working and helping others, when all of a sudden when everything seemed to be fine I’d fall apart. I remember a day when it hit me. I was standing in the kitchen of our newly purchased abode and I felt this wave of anxiety take over me. I should have been feeling happy but instead was in a state of panic. I felt helpless. I didn’t understand it at all, I was supposed to be excited over our new abode, life was good, we were all safe and happy. I promptly called my therapist in a state of manic anxiety and we later discussed this: our bodies have a memory and on this particular day in mid December, there was a summer smell in the air and we were approaching the festive season. My brother’s accident was four days into the new year. My body was reminding me without me even thinking about it, ‘Look out, trouble ahead!’ Just when life is going along smoothly my body feels the need to remind me, to be alert and on the lookout for tragedy.

After months of fortnightly sessions my therapist got me back on track, subdued anxiety in check and slowly dissipating. Every year though, around this time, my anxiety does rear its little head. I know the signs now though and I know how to somewhat control it and keep it at a level I can still function and think rationally. Most times.

So when you read my blog and you (hopefully) see positivity and a genuine love of life, you know why. I have spent the better part of seven years trying to remind myself that the tragedy is over, we are all okay. The anxiety is something I live with and I feel if that is the worst I have to deal with I am doing fine. I have to work on it, it doesn’t go away on its own and never will. In fact it only gets worse if I leave it. I know that now. I am however grateful I took the initiative to sought help, the many, many hours I have spent in therapy have worked wonders for me. I work hard towards living a fulfilled life, appreciating the very simplest but most valuable thing – my family. I don’t ever take them for granted and I surround them with my love and happiness at every moment. I may be the eternal optimist, I may see the good in people before the bad, I may see the good in situations rather than the bad, but I work damn hard at it. I work hard at not feeling negative about things I can change, knowing when situations that you cannot control strike that feeling of helplessness is debilitating. I find hearing people complain about small things very painful, I can’t relay my experience onto them but I only wish they never have to deal with something traumatic to make them realise how wonderful life truly is, and to not let the insignificant details ruin their day. Often I have to feign compassion over small concerns expressed by others, as I know to them it is a big deal. However I barely batter an eyelid over their ‘dilemma’ knowing if they had something worse to compare it to they would not be wasting their energy worrying about it. But to some people the small insignificant issues they are dealing with are a big deal to them. It is not my place to put others’ lives into perspective.

My brother says he hates when people complain over minor ailments. I have heard him say he hates it when people complain over an ingrown toenail, and it always makes me laugh. He is always one for putting things into perspective and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Moments when I feel sad over something insignificant I quickly snap myself out of it. I have nothing to be sad about. I choose my own path, I choose how to wake up and live my day. And I choose to do it with love and positivity. If I don’t like something, I change it. If I can’t change it I change how I deal with it.

Life’s good, I’m sure not going to spend any time bitching about it.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Can I take a camera of you?

That's all I heard this morning from Rocco. "Mum, PLEASE can I take a camera of you?" I was finishing off writing THIS article about boobism, but stopped as he made me pose for him. Which is fine - I'm a poser! But he was getting frustrated because he couldn't work out how to take a camera of me at all.

I knelt down and wiped the tears from his sad little three-year old face .. and showed him how. He ran around the house, clicking everything in sight. The joy of learning a new thing! He took about twenty of me .. I was struck at how he sees the world.

                                            SMILE MUM

It continued in the car. Instead of the usual games, he was a photo snappin' fool.

                                     The summer that never was.

Today I realised I have the driving posture of a granny. Tough image? BLOWN 

We arrived at pre-school and I opened the door to let him out of the car, but he was busy taking photos. Instead of getting the cranks or rushing him, I simply said, "Sweetheart, mummy is standing in the rain."

So he got out of the car. We have reached the "reasoning" and "logic" part of our relationship. FISTPUMPS.

I took him in and scoped out all the other kids like I always do, making sure none were excluding him or being mean. This method involves sitting down on the ground and being the funnest mum ever! All the other kids come circling around wanting to show me stuff, while I ease Rocco into his playmates. Then I change tactics and was all cuddly and purposely clingy and kissy with him until he looked at me with mild annoyance and said, "You can go now mum."


Today is the protest at Facebooks office's in Sydney by breastfeeding mothers who have had accounts suspended because of their pornographic breastfeeding photos. I've just spent the last hour looking for my breastfeeding photos but the ones I had of Max, I threw away only a few months ago. How could I be so stupid? I always hid them in the back of the baby album anyway because I didn't want anyone to see them. They kept falling out and I thought I looked too ugly. Plus, they were my BOOBS .. offensive until proven sexual.

I tried to get my old computer fired up to see if I had any pics of breastfeeding Rocco, but it's broken and I never got around to uploading the thousands of photos onto a hard drive.

Then I cried.

So, I asked my friend Shae from Yay for Home if I could upload her breastfeeding photo onto my Edenland Facebook page and she said "go nuts" and I laughed at the reference of nuts because I am juvenile. If you would like to help me stick it to Facebook today and upload your own breastfeeding photos to my wall, PLEASE feel free. I can't, because I thought my own photos were shameful. Man I wish I had taken a camera of them.

I wonder how long until my Facebook account gets suspended.



How cool was the Fresh Horses Brigade!? Thank you, to everyone who took part. I was so amazed and learned that: People are passionate about handwriting, mine is officially the messiest, and you are all so organised with your to-do lists - so THAT'S the trick to life! Now let's all buy our children truckloads of diaries to write in. FISTPUMP.

I leave you with a self-portrait of the artist as a young man, in his Lightning McQueen shoes.


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Edenland Fresh Horses Brigade

Meme:  "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena."
Source - wiki

I'm starting a meme here every goddamn Saturday. Complete with a button, linky tools and everything. I thought, what could my meme be? Ended up basing the whole thing from one of my favourite ever cards:

We're bringing on the fresh horses every day. Life keeps going. I don't know who hands us the reins for our fresh horses .. I just know that I dig my cowboy boots into the stirrups and ride like my life depends on it. The horses that got me to that point in my life grow weary and collapse but I go on like a gladiator. So do you.

This is open to everyone. I'll just be asking you something each week, simple! You don't need to have a blog to enter, it's all-inclusive .. everybody wants to be heard and in this big internet it's easy to feel ignored. I was left-out for my entire childhood. It doesn't feel nice.

Let's do this thing!

You know what's cool? Handwriting. I remember a teacher with kind eyes teaching me how to write, at a school in Fiji when I was five years old. She drew a red wagon with an "e" in it, up to the word "can." To make "cane." Mind? BLOWN.

I went on to learn cursive and then unlearn cursive. My sisters tease me about my chicken-scratch writing, and I love it. I loved going from blue ink to black when I was still at school, turning the lined pages sideways. To this day I can't write in lined pages - too contained. I miss handwriting. You know how you get an old-school letter in the mail from an old person? SO COOL.

I'll show you mine if you show me yours.


So that's it.

I would love if you can be bothered to show me your handwriting and link up below. Terrified that nobody is going to do this with me and I'll be here, lonely balls swingin' in the breeze.

Jarod and Liz Productions strike again. They only came up with the best meme button of all time, complete with code if you want to add it to your blog. No wonder their work led to a nomination for Best-Designed Weblog for this year's Bloggies.. they're over there, nonchalantly sitting next to the Bloggess. AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE.

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade
Once you write a post about handwriting (is yours worse than mine?) You can link up at any time right here:

Or you can just tell me in the comments if you still believe in handwriting. Or fresh horses.

PHEW I AM EXHAUSTED. And horses don't have anything to do with handwriting. This is too much work. Great. What's a meme?


Friday, 3 February 2012

The Cup.

I saw this cup in a shop  and thought, now that is a cup with superpowers.

And it is.

I thought of all the cups of tea and coffee it would hold for me. I love how it's black and peacocky and odd-shaped ... and that I didn't buy the set. Only one.

It's magic. It helped me through some of the hardest nights of my life, these past few months.

I've grown more stronger than I have ever been .. learnt the difference between having strength and being tough. Had to wear my Converses for a while, instead of my cowboy boots. Huge difference.

According to maths, pain gives birth to wisdom. Which makes me confucious right about fucking now. It won't last - nothing ever does. But today, all is well.

Last night I had strange dreams and woke feeling fuzzy and flat. Most mothers take their kids to playdates ... I take mine to recovery meetings! Rocco played with the dollhouse and puzzles, looking up every now and then with curiosity as the speakers changed. He asked me to look at the picture of a guy he drew, I watched as he lifted the chalk and did some really quick scribbling ... "THIS IS HIS FART MUM."

He cuddled me and played my phone until it went flat. The big words of strangers was delivered somewhere into his subconcious. I was asked to share and found myself talking about the day of his birth. And family dynamics. And relapsing. And death and big decisions, Spirit, hope. I have no qualms that he heard me. My theory is, children feel a sense of safety hearing the truth, even if it's hard.

Both of my babies are recovery babies. In my time in the world, I have seen children in places they had no business being. And then again in rehabs and halfway houses, still scared and worried but with a hope in their eyes that their parents might make it this time.

A lot of the time, the parents don't.

Today me and Rocco drove home and put on party hats and read books about koalas. I made two coffees in a row in my magical superpower cup and Rocco called from his room.
"Mum, be here with me now. I need you."


I am starting a meme here tomorrow ... it came from my own brain and everything! Hanging to see what you all come up with and will be visiting the blogs of everybody who links up. I need to give some love back.

(My actual real-life Aunty Mooch sells the magic cups from her bloody amazing shop in the Central Coast called Moochinside You can say her favourite weirdo niece Eden sent you.)

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