Friday, 31 August 2012

Bunk Around!

This post and amazing giveaway is sponsored by Bunks and Beds.
                                               
Some rather large boxes arrived at the front door. I was on my way down to visit my mother, so called Dave and said, "Um, hon ... any chance you could put together a bunk bed okay thanks BYE!"

"What? What bunk bed?"

THIS bunk bed.


Charlene Bunk Bed in Chestnut

Dave is a builder, so he knows his quality of wood. I asked him for his thoughts.

"Well sure, Eden. I was pleasantly surprised on how easy it was to put together. I like how it's an Aussie company .. and the bunk really is solid timber. The stained colour gives Max's room character and warmth. It's just not flimsy like other bunks."





Max may hate Mondays, but he loves his new bunks. "Now I can have more sleepovers mum!"


The days after the bunk assembly, strict rules were needed. Chiefly, no jumping off the top bunk onto the floor below .. over and over again.


Who, us?



9pm on the exciting first night of the bunk bed looked a little like this:



Truth is, there was one main reason I got this bed - if I moved Rocco over into Max's bedroom, he might stop coming into our bed and waking us up.

And he has. Just like that, Bunks and Beds has given me a consistently decent nights sleep for the first time in FOUR YEARS. The first morning, I got up to find both the boys still sleeping. Hi-fived Dave, snuck into Max's room, expecting to see both boys sleeping soundly in their Chestnut Charlene.

Instead I found this guy. Patiently waiting at his brothers feet. Swinging a plastic axe.

                "I'm waiting for Max to wake up. I'm going to scare him."

Would you like a Charlene Bunk? Hans, the owner of Bunks and Beds ... is giving one away.

Operating from Queensland, Bunks and Beds are predominantly an online seller which means they can keep all of their costs down. SO many different styles and colours to choose from. I chose chestnut, but there's also oregan, white, rustic, or black. Dave is right - they are the most sturdy bunks around. Made from solid 35 year old Radiata Timber from sustainable forests in the Southern Cape of South Africa, they all come with a ten-year guarantee. Same-day shipping is Australia-wide.

This is the dashing Hans ... Hans, thank you for the sleep. I OWE YOU.




Bunks and Beds websiteFacebook and twitter.

All you have to do is tell Hans in the comments below why you'd like to win a new Charlene bunk bed, usually valued at $799. Entries close 5pm Wednesday 5th September. Like the Bunks and Beds Facebook page HERE ... Hans will choose and announce the winner next week. He's also generously offering all Edenland readers a 10% discount on anything in the store. Use the code FF47TIV2Y23 at the checkout for ten percent off.

Why would you like to win a new bunk?

.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Baby Monkey. (Backwards On A Pig, Baby Monkey.)

Things have been hard. I've had to hold on, let go, ride through storms, be a mother, grieve, watch my mother grieve, and not use any drugs through ANY of it.

No drugs! Not even legitimate ones!

One night last week, I lay on the floor with my head on the floor and Rocco was all,

"Mum, why is your head on the floor?"

He plopped down next to me asking for a new game on the iPad. I listlessly scrolled through ... and don't exactly know how I found it but I just found it. Like, the Universe was guiding me towards one very specific App:

BABY MONKEY.


Baby Monkey is kind of the Holy Grail of apps, because anybody can play it. You're just a monkey, riding on a pig, getting through obstacles. Pretty sure it's directly representational of life itself.

Rocco and I laughed so hard. We took it in turns. Over and over again, until I realised even more why I loved it - the theme song. With a CRACKING riff. The kind that needs air drums when you're stopped at the traffic lights, taking the kids to school.

"The world has gone insane.
And you don't know what is right.
You've got to keep on keepin' on.
Get on that pig and hold on tiiii-iiiiIGHT."

I bought the song on iTunes. It's now the ring tone on my phone. It's my new anthem and I will use it like I use everything else in this world that makes me feel good ... until every last ounce of fun and joy is squeezed out.

Today I found the song on YouTube, accompanied by actual footage of a baby monkey riding backwards on a pig.




You know what this means?

God is real, athiests.

It's hard to find good apps to suit the whole dysfunctional family - any suggestions?

.


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Politics Of Blogging About Politics.

What did the Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek do immediately after announcing Australia's long-overdue dental health-care overhaul at a press conference earlier today?

She got straight onto a conference call with some bloggers and answered all of their questions.

The bloggers were briefed in an email from a Parliament staffer yesterday about an upcoming health announcement, and given the chance to participate. Some respectfully declined, a lot said yes.

I said yes. An hour beforehand, I put the call out on my twitter feed for any questions people might have in response to the announcement. The first three questions that came through to me were all the same:

"What did she cut, to make way for this?"

A discussion ensued. When would the dental plan start taking effect? Is it just for low-income earners? Will Australia now follow the UK's lead and provide dental care for pregnant women?

Other bloggers today included Mrs Woog from Woogsworld. In little over an hour, fifty comments appeared on her blogs Facebook page about her reader's experiences and problems facing dental healthcare in this country. Kim Berry from All Consuming used the opportunity to talk about her son Oscar. He has special needs, abhors the dentist, so must be put under a general anaesthetic during dental work. Kim asked the Minister if he will be better off after this scheme starts.

Other representatives from the online space were from popular Australian parenting websites Essential Baby and Bub Hub.

Do I care about oral health reform? Very much, actually. Once upon a time I was so broke I chose getting some teeth pulled over expensive root canal therapy. Waited at 6am at the Dental Teaching Hospital in Sydney, for the pleasure of having a trainee oral surgeon place his knee on my chest to gain more traction as he pulled my stubborn molars out.

I miss my molars.

So why the interaction with bloggers? From the Parliament House Communications Team:

"We recognise the importance of bloggers and genuinely want more people to have the facts on what we are doing. It's about respecting bloggers and their audiences."

I'm not a soft vote to be targeted. I'm not a Labor Party puppet, nor do I do the Governments PR. I get to participate in discussions relevant to Australian politics today, and invite my online community into those discussions ... whatever their political persuasion. Would I go to a morning tea with Tony Abbott? Bring it on! I'd love to ask him about his policies.

.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Rapscallion.



Last week, Rocco hid behind the television and pissed straight into his blue Sesame Street cup. He walked into the kitchen and offered it to his brother.

"Want some juice, Max?"

Max held his hand out to take it, because ten minutes ago, there was no juice in the house. But now, there was! Recoiled as soon he twigged.

"ROCCO YOU ARE DISGUSTING!"

I held Rocco's warm cup of special juice in my hand for a while, kneeling down next to him on the floor until he admitted the truth. He's a hard nut to crack.

This morning, his preschool teacher gave me this:


A 1.25 litre bottle of Pepsi. Rocco took it out of his bag at lunchtime, plonked it onto the table next to his sandwich.

"My mum said I could."

Much later he begrudgingly admitted stealing it from the fridge that morning when I wasn't looking.

The child is four.

I'm screwed, aren't I? Seriously, so utterly screwed.

Can anybody relate? I'm frightened, Aunty Em.

.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Blogging And Journalism: The Twain Met.

I grew up with a mother who loved watching the news. There was always a bit of a rush and frantic activity every evening at 5.55pm right before the nightly news came on. We sat down, sometimes even with our dinner, and Brian told us everything we needed to know.

Back in those days, there was The News and we were told The News. The next night, we were told even more News. (Often I would wonder about the previous nights News ... was it resolved? Is everything ok now, before we start again with more News we needed to know? The News would always make me worry.)

I've been consuming news for my entire life. Papers, magazines, radio and TV .. I like knowing what's happening in the world. I like to feel informed.

We now live in a world where everybody has the potential to be a news broadcaster. Through our own Facebook pages, twitter accounts, websites and blogs ... we are the ones telling the rest of the world our news. Like a global show and tell, we now filter events and opinions through our own lenses and set them free.

There's a lot of information getting set adrift out there.

On Saturday I was invited onto a panel at the Melbourne Writers Festival that discussed blogging and journalism. The conversation turned to the differences in reader engagement of blogs as opposed to online news sites, and what both can offer the other. It's a widely-known catch-cry these days to "never read the comments on a news website!" They're often flamed by vicious venters, whereas blogs can have some of the best comment sections around. With genuine interaction and discussion.

There are still no official rules or regulations for bloggers to abide by - only our own personal code of ethics. Blogging is still a strange, new thing. Bloggers can take years to find their voice, years again to use it. It takes a lot of time, effort, energy to build up a blog into something sustainable and worthwhile. We're still finding our feet in so many ways. And who are we, to tell the news? What value can we add to our respective genres within Australia's burgeoning blogging industry?

I love this line from the Sydney Writers Centre press release when Edenland won Best Blog 2012 in May:

"Eden's blog shares insights and experiences ... in a way that only a blog can."

Blogging is such a unique way of sharing information. It's so different, for so many. It confuses people too. I see people dismiss it as much as they fear it. This year Australia has seen huge shifting tides in traditional news sites and papers .. the downsizing of certain publications led to a kind of hunt for blame. I don't like the blogger versus journalist debate. We're still, all of us, hacking through the new terrain with our bush machetes.

The ABC News Director Kate Torney was also on the panel on Saturday. In February this year she spoke on the Future of Media at Melbourne's Press Club:


"I think we are in a period of extraordinary change .. the danger and challenge for us as news leaders and as media leaders, is to focus too much on the technology. Trying to map where it's heading, it's impact, and not enough time on nurturing and growing the principles that have always underpinned really great journalism. 

... I don't know where the global media landscape will be in ten years or twenty years, but I'm pretty confident that beautifully crafted stories, probing investigative journalism, and public interest reporting with strong and trusted news brands will be very much a part of that landscape."

As a blogger, I have an internal entrenched bloggism against myself, that journalism is "proper" and blogging is ... not. I hold hope that my (probably widely-shared) view will change. I hope that blogging will be an inherent and valued part of the new global media landscape.

::

Before the panel on Saturday, I was incredibly nervous. Felt like I had to cram for an exam, maybe I should rehearse carefully worded soundbites that made me appear learned and intellectual. In the Green Room I quickly realised I was sitting next to Henry Finder, Editorial Director of the New Yorker Magazine. He was talking and everybody was listening, murmuring in the right places. YOU ARE OUT OF UR DEPTH! Said my brain.

But my heart ... my big, open, blogger heart .. told me that I could sit there talking to Henry Finder. So I did, and he wasn't scary, he was very gracious and interesting. Interested. (With an almost alarming sense of candour and curiosity, one can talk to anybody.) We were later on the same panel and instead of being out of my depth I probably talked the most, because blogging is one of the things I'm most passionate about.

Later as the sun was setting, a beautiful volunteer driver from the festival took me to the airport in her car.  In twenty minutes, we had one of the most amazing conversations of my life. Blogging, career, religion, spirituality, death, taboos, cancer, spirit. We both cried. I'd never met her before and don't know if I ever will again - still do not know her name. We just connected, told each other our stories, our information. Our personal, yet universal news.

A shared humanity. The basis of all good writing.

.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Back In The Saddle.

Exactly five weeks ago I walked into a hospital room to help my mother pack up all of her stuff while her husband lay in the bed. He had just passed away. His beautiful head was nestled back against a pink horseshoe pillow. I didn't touch him or say goodbye as we'd just had a whole terrible month of that and I just wanted to bring mum home.

I couldn't pack fast enough. Death was right there, in front of our very eyes. Mum really wanted that pink ruffled horseshoe pillow and tried to get it but it was too hard so we had to ask a nurse. I couldn't watch, as the nurse gently eased the pillow out from underneath.

Mum grabbed the pillow. I didn't want to touch it .. it had death on it.  We all walked out for the last time, stopping only to take a photo of me and my mothers shoes, next to a feather outside on the pavement.

::

Tomorrow I will be on a panel at the Melbourne Writers Festival called New News: Editors Talk  "What can bloggers teach our mainstream media editors about audience engagement, and on the other hand, what lessons has mainstream media got for the newest and edgiest entrants to the media circus?"

(Even though the tickets are officially sold out, I have been told that there are still some available if you're around.)

I'm usually great at speaking but I'm not sure how I'll go tomorrow. I often joke that I'm a great public speaker from all the years of recovery meetings where I've spilled my guts and tears freely, finely honing my skills.

Lately I'm only just hanging in there. By the thinnest thread. Lost my mind and broke my heart. You should see my mothers eyes ... they are SO green. The greenest they've ever been. Painfully, beautifully green.

I hunch over my car, grimace, stop myself from weeping, scrawl in a ball, walk around the house in shock and trauma. Every time I come here, the only words inside are DEATH. CANCER. GONE. DEAD. PAIN. PAIN. PAIN.

I don't want to do that, be that. So I'm not - here. In real life, where all my real feeling are? Yeah. It's all fucked up.

Thing is, you know what happened to that scary pink ruffled death pillow, five weeks ago? My niece grabbed it out of the car with glee and turned it upside down, stood astride it, and galloped off.

"HORSEY!"

She rode that pink death pillow all the way inside, stopping only to neigh along the way.

I stood in mums driveway, alone and aghast at how quickly life moves on.

::

My two boys, my buoys, my joys. I have been having a wicked few weeks. They pull me up and out, every time.


I am indebted, enriched, erased, renewed.

I owe them.

::

Edenland passed a million pageviews the other day ... I was wondering if you could do this quick, five-minute survey, so I can get a better understanding of - you? There's a $150 Westfield gift voucher up for grabs, and I'd really appreciate it.

Click here to take survey (Or the link up the top of my sidebar. Thanks. Heaps.)

.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Budding Artiste.




Max was getting his haircut, so Rocco picked up some chalk and started to draw. I was half-listening.

"And then the eye. And the nother eye. And the arms ... and the legs."

Rocco has never been much of a drawing guy. I thought his picture would just be all squiggles and lines. No - it was his very first, very real, picture.



I saw it and teared up. Seriously started crying. His milestones always do it to me.

My guy can DRAW!

Later I asked him to draw a picture of daddy, so he did. Dave sat there with the obligatory face beam. We thought Rocco had finished but he ran back to the picture with a pen.

"AND THAT'S YOUR PENIS DAD. AND YOUR POO. AND YOUR FAAAAAAAART."

We laughed so hard that every single picture Rocco now does, is finished off with penis, done with a a majestic SWISH! and a huge grin on his face.

No penis gets left behind.


.

Monday, 20 August 2012

The MoMa And The Mooch.


I took this photo of my Aunty Mooch's bedroom last Christmas when she and her husband Pete were in the kitchen .... they have a huge David Bromley hung on the wall behind their bed. SO COOL. Mooch is the owner of Moochinside, the most gorgeous shop selling things you don't usually see in a shop. "Moochinside promotes emerging artists and designers, showcases a range of unique products all with their own stories."

A few weeks ago, after a series of particularly wicked and hideous days, Mooch held my shoulders, looked me in the eye ... and told me that when I go to New York I am to visit MoMa. "Forget all the others .. MoMa is our kind of museum, Edie."

Dave and I saved it for our last day in NYC. The days were still wicked and still are. But Art exists in the world.

As soon as we walked in I started to cry. I don't know why ... something about being human, filtering and mirroring back the world as we see it. Trying to understand, grasping for knowledge and comfort and wisdom. I walked around and wrote this straight into my phone: "I wondered if my life was a museum ... what would be the pieces on show? The roped-off areas in need of security, the installations, the relics, the fragments, the dreams and half-truths."


The thing about art is, it can mean whatever the hell you want it to mean. I love this one - all of this dark stuff happened and I can never erase it so let's put it in frames and hang it on the goddamn wall. And get on with living.


I found myself watching the other people in the museum watching the art, wondering what they thought.


Jasper Johns "Flag" .... is not what it seems. Nothing ever is.


The museum itself is a piece of art.


"I feel most coloured ... " by Glenn Ligon


I took this photo of Spiderman for my boys, stood there missing them so badly it felt like I would never see them again.


A weeping woman stares at the Weeping Woman.


This is probably not an official artwork at MoMa. But it COULD be. You just never know. Because who defines art, calls the shots, calls the decrees? We do.


I'll be thinking about "Solo Scenes" for years. In terms of myself, my sense of self, my sense of you, social media, my alcoholism, aloneness ... and the day-to-day grind of staying alive.

"These 128 video moniters present continuous footage, run simultaneously, of the artist during the last year of his life. Roth recorded Solo Scenes in Reykjavik and Basel, Switzerland, while recovering from alcoholism. We see him working in his studio, sleeping, bathing, and using the bathroom - everyday activities that suggest the isolation, loneliness, and tedium of everyday living. The stacked arrangement of monitors across three shelves enforces a sense of order as each scene unfolds in sequence, from the left shelf to the middle to the right, and from top left to bottom right."

My beautiful friend Palemother once said that every morning as we get up, it's a performance art piece. Turning the coffee machine on, wrangling children, getting ready for the day, taking a dump. An orchestrated ballet dance of love and banality. All of it.

Later that afternoon in the balmy heat I took this photo of some graffiti on a New York street. It's not hanging in MoMa.


But it COULD be.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Getting Through The Things We Get Through.



I gave up on today about seventeen minutes into it. That's how I get through shit - by giving up.

There's a huge relief in letting go, realising you cannot cope anymore, and letting the world wash over you repeatedly; instead of fighting and struggling every damn day.

I tweeted the other week that the only way I could get through this next bit of my life was with a pair of black and gold hi-tops, a fuck-off tattoo and a Salt'N'Pepa CD. I now have all of those things, and all of those things are helping me get through.

I don't how they are but they just are. I don't question it. I've appropriated superhero powers to my hi-tops and I have them on today and they make me feel good. I'm taking my two boys off to do something fun in the world before I tear this whole house apart and set fire to it. I am an enraged beast who wants to fuck shit up so hard it would be the most spectacular spectacle of all time. OF ALL TIME. I'm also a loving mother choosing to live through my painfully painful pain and feel my emotions, instead of doing the societal norm of blocking my pain out.

There's different degrees of suffering in the world and some people go through more than I do but right now there's no gold, silver or bronze in this stuff. There's only caverns, oceans of hurt and loss and grief and I cannot stand life, no not at all. But I still have to live the stupid thing because the alternatives all suck and I really like my new hi-tops.

Maybe that's how humans get through things ..... admitting that we don't. We endure, hold on, let go, fuck up, bay at the moon, cry, create, bake, knit, fuck.

I think my blog is so successful because I write my humanity on this page for the whole world to see and that's getting to be a rare thing in this homogenised, packaged, structured and airbrushed world. I think people come here and read my words and they feel a bit better because they can relate to my hairy ballbag blowing in the cyclone. You see me hanging on for grim life with my fuck-off tattoo giving all of my Dark Past the finger .... you tell me you wish you were like this and you already are. If only you had more faith in yourselves to just be yourselves. There's nothing wrong with it and it gets not even scary anymore.

Maybe the world doesn't want you to succeed. Maybe the people around you want to tear you down every chance they get. Maybe life has wanted to kill you ever since you drew your first scrawny breath but you've endured all this time anyway. All of us walking around are fucking miracles and we don't even know it - we've lost it, we forget.

Fuck that.

I have extraordinary foresight and I know exactly how much of a hard slog I'm in for. This intense grief of watching one of my beloved family members die in front of my very eyes has knocked all of the wind out of my sails. All of my sails can suck all of my penises. I will draw strength, AGAIN, from my brokenness and dark. I will use my anger as the gleaming motivation and fuel that it is, and I will fashion my own little boat out of the beautiful rotting carcasses of my dead selves.

And I don't even know what that means. I just make shit up as I go along.

.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Coming Home.


I flew all the way back home to Australia.

To these guys.


Their new iPad has been put on a time-out twice already. The fancy orange Anthropologie kitchen timer bought to designate "turns" is already broken. I knelt down and brushed Rocco's teeth for him and it was the best most important thing I've done in weeks. Max is a long jump champion at school. I cleaned his bedroom because it was a pigsty, and didn't mind one bit.

I feel terrified and low. Dave's mum was minding the boys when we were away but she needed to be hospitalised and almost died. She won't be the same again. Our dog Mischka is still dead, buried near the veggie garden and my mind keeps thinking about the stages of her decomposition. I thought Jim was standing at airport arrivals on Monday, to pick us up. I see him everywhere.

Dave has shoulder surgery today, a cancer checkup next week ... and there's about seventeen other hard unbloggable things happening right now.

Life is bullshit.

I love the feedback and reception of my last blog post. Thank you - and a huge thanks to my husband Dave for taking all of the photos and giving me pep-talks before I approached people. What struck us the most was how much people WANTED to tell us their stories .... their relief and gratitude when we asked them about themselves.

So many people just want to be heard.

The past few weeks I've been lucky enough to cross the globe and broaden my outlook, again. Travel changes a person. I saw the top of the Empire State, the dancefloor of Sparklecorn, the eyes of the homeless, the best burgers in town.

And then? The plane didn't burst into flames and spiral into the ocean on the way back.

So I got to come home and watch a boy drink his milk.


I'm so lucky. So lucky.

::

Thanks again to Maybelline NY for the opportunity to attend BlogHer12 .. gave myself a makeover in the airplane toilet on the way back and came out looking markedly different than when I went in. MARKEDLY.




Sunday, 12 August 2012

Who Are The People In Your Neighbourhood?

What must it be like, to feel invisible in the world?

 

This was Mary and her niece, begging for money on the streets of downtown Manhattan. Pretty sure they don't like begging. I like their painted toes.

Steve is one of the critters who come out at night. Scavenging through the hundreds of dumpsters that line New York City.



At 5c a bottle, he can make $80 a day. He said he's happy. He lied.

Steve lives in a flat over in the Bronx, barely affording rent and food. "I'm my own boss ... if I need a day off I take it. I gotta listen to my body. It's hard work."


He knows he's doing an important job. "People don't care. They don't recycle." We shook elbows. Later I lay awake in my hotel bed with garbage air in my lungs. Thinking.



I loved that Dan was reading a book. A western. "It's a true story 'bout the Indians and how they got slaughtered. It's pretty sad." He isn't scared of living on the streets. Says the shelters are disgusting. "Full of crazy people!"

I said man, I wish I could do something for you Dan. He looked me square in the eyes.

"Take me with you back to Australia."




I wished I'd asked him back to our hotel room for a shower. Instead I ran back to give him more money. As I threw the second twenty in his cup, he didn't even care. Looked up briefly from his book with a "Thanks babe."

I like that he called me babe. With a shower, good feed, and a sleep? Homeless Dan could start reaching some of his potential. Get a job, probably pull some chicks. He has a spark, you know?

One night in Times Square we came across a guy taking a breather, sweat riveting down his face. I paid him for a photo and asked him not to pull his headpiece down. It's a "thing" for people to dress up in cheap polyester character costumes and pose for photos with tourists.


                    A picture really CAN speak a thousand words.

Maybe it's because I've walked around in such profound deep emotional pain for the past few weeks, or maybe it's just the travelling making me notice things more .... but man the invisible people were in rich abundance.

A dazed chick in a bikini top with her sign just saying "hungry" ...  would've been safer in a brothel.

The old guy outside our hotel every night. Every time he'd split the money with the person next to him. The attendant in Balthazar who wakes up every morning, puts on her uniform, and goes to work. In a toilet. Handing people paper towel, wiping their skid marks for the chance of a dollar.

Last night we walked past a tittie bar and this really angry, young drunk guy was refused entry and shouting at nobody. He was FURIOUS and I wondered if this is how mass-murderers are made, isolated and ignored.

This is Gloria. She cleaned our hotel room every day.



Gloria is from Jamaica. She's been a maid at that hotel for 24 years. If there's a power outage in the city, she walks from her place in Brooklyn to work midtown and back. She told Dave and I to have safe travels home. To keep talking to people. She said that some people were so lonely in the world with nobody to talk to, and I said I know, Gloria. I know.

"My sister - she die. My brother die ... and then my uncle? He die. They all die in the past few weeks."

We said we were sorry. That my dad died a few weeks ago, and then our dog died. Straight away she nods.

"Yes. When a dog dies in a family, it is to help guide the dead person across the way."

We walked off and had to put our sunglasses on quickly. When I get home I'll sign up to some kind of community thing to visit people. The people who have no people ... I'll take my boys in and watch strangers faces light up and Rocco will careen down the hallways and Max will sit and soak it all in.

This one person did me undone ... I didn't catch her name. Just walked passed her in the high end of town. Her hand was in a splint, sat there with a puny sign saying "Every little bit helps." Her face was stony. It only changed when she realised it wasn't one dollar I pressed into her hand, but twenty.

"Oh my god thank you so much, oh thank you." She cried from relief and I cried from something else. Told her to take care, told her that people care.

I walked off and imagined a tidal wave of water suddenly cascading through all the streets and fancy shops, sending clothes and shiny stuff swirling.

Cardboard signs getting ripped from grubby hands. Chanel earrings getting ripped from ears.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Does My New Skull Tattoo Make My Chanel Earrings Look Hardcore?

I went into Chanel 5th Avenue but I didn't WANT to go in to Chanel 5th Avenue. High end shops make me feel inferior and angry.

Given the once over by a sales assistant. Disdain on both sides. Two years ago Dave and I came to New York together and he bought a nice suit from Yves Saint Laurent. To balance his guilt, he dragged me into Chanel to buy ME something but I didn't want anything. Ended up buying the cheapest thing there, a pair of sandals. Also some earrings.

We got home and I broke the sandals and lost an earring - I seriously cannot have nice things.

Packing for this trip, Dave's like, "Hey let's take those broken Chanel sandals back and exchange them." Which just seemed like the logical thing to do. (I could never throw them away so they've sat in my cupboard for two years.)

There was no way I was walking into Chanel with broken sandals like an underdressed slack-jawed yokel. Dave doesn't care about high-end shops ... just walks in and starts talking to the doorman, the sales assistant - ANYBODY. And I stand back and feel shame. 

Chanel offered a full refund on my sandals, so I had to walk around and pick something else and it made me feel angry. All the pretty things in the exclusive shop. I chose some new earrings and a necklace as quick as I could. Asked if I could take a photo and the lady said yes and then right as I was about to take it, security came up to me and said "MA'AM YOU CANNOT TAKE PHOTOS IN THIS STORE."

Everybody looked so I stood there like an IDIOT and almost said "Mate, I don't even want to BE in your store." 

If you ever want me to do something? Tell me I'm not allowed to do it. Stuff your rules, Chanel.

Behold, forbidden pictures.





Thing is, I'm quite partial to my new Chanel earrings and necklace and I'm disgusted in myself. A few months ago I was in Africa for World Vision documenting a food crisis and now I have pretty shiny things in my ears and neck. What would Cate Bolt think of my new Chanel earrings? I daresay she'd sell them in a Foundation 18 auction quicker than you can say "materialistic wanker." And I just might.  Or I might not.

God DAMN you Chanel.

Next logical thing to do on this trip that will not end ... is get the biggest tattoo of my life.

Sure. My friend Morgan recommended Daredevil Tattoo over on the Lower East Side. Dave went there for his last week, and he took me in yesterday for mine. Which I tried to back out of, because my headspace at the moment is not great and I just thought what a waste of money it was to get a tattoo that will end up being cremated or rotting in the ground because one day I'll be dead.

Welcome!

The very cool and talented Diego Mannino drew up a design based on what I wanted and BAM. Starts the tattoo.

He had done one long line of the skull outline and I thought, maybe I could just have that? One long line, symbolising my big wait at the Empire State the other day? No. I just sat there for an hour and a half while he drilled needles and ink into my skin.


ARGHH, ME HEARTIES!


Diego is such a lovely and talented guy ... I even met his wife Lolly. You can contact him HERE and his blog is HERE. If you're ever in the market for a tatt while in NYC, he's your guy.

His favourite Australian band is the Saints - so cool. Dave and I told him we'll sponsor him to come to Australia to tattoo all our friends. Mum? You in?








There's my girl.
 

So I'm freshly tattooed wearing Chanel, walking around NYC and have been really, really ready to go home for about a week now. There was this kind of emergency that impacted my children so my sister Leigh took a four-hour trip yesterday afternoon to go pick them up and now they're at her house, waiting for us to get home. Sorry kids - mummy's wearing Chanel getting a new tattoo because mummy is forty years old! I feel like the mother from Flowers in the Attic. I feel like a mother who doesn't care. Leigh, I owe you. I OWE YOU SO BAD. Thank god for my family. I love them. I'm planning some kind of trip that we can all go on. Me and mum and my sisters. And you. Do you want to come? You should come. Did you know your comments single-handedly helped my mother keep her head above water the other week, as she lay next to her husband waiting for him to die? Yeah. Blogs can do that.

Leigh text me last night telling me she'd just tucked Rocco up in bed with some Mario toys and a weeny puppy dog toy. And she told me that if he shits in her house, she will kill me.

We're flying back tomorrow. There will be one more blog post while I'm in America, something I've been working on since I've been here.

Jim would have been proud of it.

What did I do during said emergency yesterday? Why, went to see a Broadway show of course! I rang my other sister Linda and told her I didn't WANT to see a Broadway show. I don't want to do anything. The whole reason I came to New York is because I didn't want to be anywhere, so I may as well not want to be anywhere in NYC, right?

She replied back that there's no point trying to enjoy myself anymore, and to just eat my way through the remainder of my trip.

My sisters are the boss of me.




::

I have been flown to NYC for BlogHer 2012 courtesy of Maybelline NY .... the makeup counters are AWESOME over here and I keep adding to my collection. Especially the Tattoo Eyeshadow.




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