Friday, 26 July 2013

Street Talk: Kristen At The Elephant Bean Cafe.

I am signed up HERE for a thing called Dry July. It's when people stop drinking for a month and raise cash via social media for people living with cancer.

The funny thing is, every month is Dry July for me. HA! The money I raise will go to the Nepean Cancer Clinic, where Dave was diagnosed and treated for his Non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2008. I only mentioned it for the first time the other day on twitter and some wonderful people have already donated $586 - THANK YOU! (I'm crap at asking for things.)

My friend Shae said on twitter that "Nobody likes #sobertweetfriday." So we decided to make it a thing. Today on twitter, Insta, Facebook or your blog, we want you to think of something simple and beautiful and tag it #sobertweetfriday. A photo, an update, a tweet, anything. I like when people have fun stark naked sober. (Mine is going to have something to do with eating cupcakes on a beach with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face.)

::

So this weeks Street Talk is the gorgeous Kristen, barista at the Elephant Bean Cafe in Katoomba.


 I walked in and ordered a skim latte and asked if I could please feature her in my blog and she said yes! I never know what to say when people say yes ... nothing is planned. Told her straight off the bat that her top is the most beautiful colour green. She thanked me, said she's trying to wean herself off black. Me too! She'd just been up to the Gold Coast where her family lives, said it's hard to wear all black in the Gold Coast.

I told her I've been trying to get off black since I went to India last year and was so impacted by the stunning colours.

Kristen asked if I knew about the Festival of Colours in India, held every March where people wear white and literally throw scented colour powder at each other. I said no, but it sounded bloody cool.

Somebody came in to get served so I stepped aside and looked around.



It's usually always packed but it was right at the end of the day. I said I reckon the Bean is the coolest cafe in Katoomba and Kristen agreed. It's like you walk into another realm when you come through the doors.

Kristen moved from Canada to Australia when she was twelve years old and it broke her heart which didn't mend for many years.

"Actually, it led to some pretty big depression as I grew older. It was just so hard, to be away from everything I'd ever known. I pined. I just wanted to go back ... and I did, years later. But after living back there for a while I realised that I had to come back to Australia. It's where my family is."

I told her about all the schools I went to and how important it is for me to send my kids to as few schools as possible.



There was a Cat Power song playing as Kristen and I talked to each other. Called "Real Life" ... it has some pretty provoking lyrics to it.

I met a doctor, he want to be a dancer
I met a mother, she want to be alone
I met a preacher, he want to be sinister
I met a kid, he want to be unknown

Real life is ordinary
Sometimes you don't want to live (Want to live)
Sometimes you gotta do what you don't want to do
To get away with an unordinary life.

The guy with the dreadlocks who also works at the Bean came in at that moment with industrial headphones on because he hated that song. It was hilarious.

All these themes and undercurrents, Hindu traditions, conversations .... could only happen in the Bean.

Realms, I tell you.


I wish I spoke to her more. About her belief systems, future plans, why she liked the mountains and isn't she worried that the skin won't grow back in her earlobe if she ever decides to take her tribal earring out? And how cool her necklace is. And glasses.

I thanked her profusely.

"Thank you for trusting me!"

Because that's the thing when people agree to talk to me ... they are giving me a little bit of themselves and it's up to me to not misquote or offend or insult. And then, they're part of a section of this blog alongside a whole host of other people I've spoken to. Kind of, entombed in here. What must they think? I keep waiting for someone to contact me to be taken out, but nobody has yet. I met Jo again in the supermarket and we stopped and chatted and I introduced her to Rocco. I loved meeting Jo. I love meeting everybody - a lot of people say no when I ask them which makes me feel like a fucking idiot but I keep asking anyway. I do most things in my life in spite of myself. It's how I stay alive.

::

Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face
26. Gary The Missing



                                                                                                                   - image


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Legs Eleven.

Last week I took Max to an interview at the high school he wants to go to next year. Neither of us were prepared for how intimidating it would be ..... the place was as big as Hogwarts. Max whispered:

"Mum, I feel so small."

I whispered back:

"Me too mate!"

We were led into an office where a man in a suit directed all of his questions to Max. I sat there, willing myself to not interject, to not answer for him. Max fumbled a bit, repeated himself, then really listened to the questions and answered them as honestly as he could.

At one point, right in the middle of an answer ..... Max visibly sighed, straightened himself in his chair, and apologised.

"Look, I'm really sorry that my voice sounds so funny it's just that I feel really nervous."

I tear up even typing that because you know what that is? That's the sound of an eleven-year old boy owning and naming his feelings in the middle of a highly stressful situation. I almost burst from pride and love. The interviewer quickly responded beautifully, really respected what Max had to say, and everything ran smoothly after that. (We hoped.)

A lot of people grow up not even being aware of their feelings and why they feel them, let alone identifying and naming them. It's one of the healthiest, most beneficial things we can teach our kids. A true pathway to understanding yourself.

Yesterday Max got the letter in the mail to see if he was accepted. He tore it open and he is, and he buried his face in his elbow to cry. I've never seen him cry from relief and happiness before. It is a joy to get to be a part of his life.

Max woke my heart up from a big slumber, all those years ago. Sometimes I lay down next to him at bedtime and my heart grows warm like E.T. and Elliot. Max teaches me more than I could ever teach him.

I am so lucky. I am so lucky. I am so lucky.



(But I can still teach him a thing or two about handball. ACE!) 


Friday, 19 July 2013

Street Talk: Gary The Missing.

Things go missing all the time .... socks, school jumpers, keys, minds.

Sometimes people.


There are posters of 23-year old Gary Tweddle plastered on every main street in every town in the Blue Mountains. Everybody is talking about it, hoping for a happy ending. He was last seen in the early hours of Tuesday morning, after a work function at the Fairmont, Leura finished at midnight.

We go to the Fairmont all the time, it has a gym, pool, play centre. It's really not a place where you think people could get lost. But Gary has, his family and friends are worried sick. There's a forecast for snow up here this weekend. I just really hope he's lost his way and stayed put, well away from the steep gullies and cliffs. Gary is young and fit and has every chance of being found alive. If you have any info, no matter how small, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

::

Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Why Amanda Palmer Is A Fucking Badass.

Singer Amanda Palmers' naked breast accidentally made itself known during a Glastonbury performance. The UK Daily Mail wrote about it under the (shaming) headline, "Making a Boob of Herself!"

This is her response.

 
Blah blah blah feminist! Blah blah blah gender shit!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Street Talk: The Luna Park Face

There's a very distinguishable face on the harbour of Sydney, one whose teeth welcomes loads of people every day.


Built in 1935, Luna Park has had many faces over the years. This one is the eighth.



Perpetual surprise

Based on Melbourne's Luna Park face, "master of fairground art" Arthur Barton redesigned it to resemble Old King Cole. He's easily seen from a lot of streets around Sydney and plays a huge part in memories of a lot of Aussies.

                                              Chipped

I remember coming here when I was seven, right before the Ghost Train fire in 1979 killed six children. The Park got closed down for a good while after that.


Max has been a few times. I accidentally took him on the Wild Mouse when he was little - he's always been tall, and I didn't realise how scary it was. (The automatic picture at the end, he was TERRIFIED. I still feel bad.)


I can't go on scary rides anymore, something about your inner ear and getting older makes you feel off-balance and sick? Hand me my cane my hip is achy.

Ok so technically the face doesn't talk so this isn't a proper Street Talk. (I wonder what he'd say if he could? Probably, "MAN MY FACE IS SORE.")

I have a migraine and the kids are kicking my arse at the end of the school holidays and I've committed to writing here every Friday so I'm taking some creative liberties. I'll get back to normal I promise ... I've some interesting streets in mind to walk down. So many people out there, all with stories.

::

Friday Street Talk is an unfolding art project. I'm so grateful and blown away that people (and on occasion, things) ... say yes to talking with me, trusting me with some snippets of who they are. It keeps changing.  Previous Street talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Things From My Google Machine: An Angry God, Storytelling, and the Burning.

Watching Louis C.K. makes me want to be a stand-up comic. I definitely have the inappropriateness, but certainly not his - finesse? He's an artist, his routines his instrument. SO GOOD.

I LEFT SHIT ALL OVER THE FLOOR ... FUCKEN CORN AND WHEAT AND SHIT
(Is it just me, or does everyone fall into YouTube wormholes at 2am when you KNOW you're going to regret it in the morning?)

Ten Great Contemporary Works Of Political Art - "Some artists operate on a different wavelength, channeling the injustices, imbalances, and harsh realities of their daily lives or the lives of those in need to create their art."

Female Masturbation? There's an App for that. 

Speaking of Apps, my amazingly talented friend Beth from BabyMac has now launched her third edition of Beverley Magazine. Her equally talented husband Rob has now launched his own, and named it Bert. "A place for the passionate, the hand-made, the sustainable."

On Brainpickings: How to Stay Sane. (The Art of Revising Your Inner Storytelling.) - "We are primed to use stories. Part of our survival as a species depended upon listening to the stories of our tribal elders as they shared parables and passed down their experience and the wisdom of those who went before."

Lastly, this post from one of my favourite writers, Justine Musk. "Soul on Wings" ... gave me both goosebumps and tears. (Also reinforced my ambition to one day make it to Burning Man.)

So many things to burn.






Friday, 5 July 2013

Street Talk: Teena, Saver Of Dogs.

I love people who love dogs, and I love people who volunteer. Teena is both!


I met her today at a shopping centre on the Central Coast. She was busy organising all the knitted dog jumpers, talking to people, taking donations. I had both boys with me so I led them in the direction of the chocolate machine and stopped to chat with Teena for awhile.

"I've been doing this for years - I'm at this centre for a fortnight, then I'll move on. The people at Doggie Rescue go into the pound and rescue dogs from death row. We wash them, get them ready for some new owners. It's very rewarding."

I tell her that our dog died last year and we're still not ready to get a new one yet, but when we are, we'll check them out. But I worry about a dog attacking the kids, so wouldn't I have to train it?


She looked at Rocco chomping on a Crunchie, then looked back at me.

"You must train the kids."

She showed me photos of her own pup, SO cute. I asked her if she liked cats?

"Oh I love them too, my daughter's got a cat."

I thanked her then walked off to these guys winning about fifteen chocolate bars. GREAT.


"CAN WE GET A DOG CALLED FRANK MUM?"

Soon.

Have you ever rescued a pet?

www.doggierescue.com

::

Friday Street Talk is an unfolding art project. I'm so grateful and blown away that people (and on occasion, things) ... say yes to talking with me, trusting me with some snippets of who they are. It keeps changing.  Previous Street talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier



Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A Bout.

A few months ago in the mental health unit a new girl arrived one day and nobody wanted to talk to her. We were all too busy being fucked up. I had a little chat with her before I slumped into my bed in the middle of the day like I always did. She wasn't actually a girl - maybe in her early twenties with thick short brown hair. She walked around like a lost puppy.

After dinner we were all watching television and she got up to go to her room. Five minutes later she walked back into the common area completely starkers. Naked. She walked past us all and then came and sat next to me. I kept watching TV. Some people sniggered. I felt sorry for her. One of the nurses came straight over and held out her hands.

"Come on sweetheart, we don't do that here."

They walked off in search of clothes; soon she came back out like nothing had happened. She reminded me that we all need to be seen. I wonder if she's ok. I wonder if anybody from in there wonders if I'm ok.

I've been so frail I almost broke again. Nearly had to go back in - twice. Didn't. Success!

Somebody told me to just stay alive. Somebody else said to just let go. Something struck my forcefield so hard and for so long. Still. It's not the black dog - more like the black plague.

It's impossible to think ones way out of the human condition.

Today I sat outside and felt the warmth on my back for the first time in a hundred soul years. How amazing is the sun? And the moon - if you have a problem or feel bad, wait for night, then go outside and stare at the moon.

The sun makes you feel alive again, but that moon? It tells you who you are. It sees you. Everybody needs to be seen.


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