Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A Walk Along The River

In the early hours of the morning, the wee small ones in which the sun is just beginning to rise, a walk along the river is bliss.

A walk along the river lets you breathe.  In through the nose, out through the mouth.  It lets you focus on your breathing, the length, the depth and the sound.  The fresh air is cool from the river water and it cleans your lungs.  If you run, your breathing may be more frequent, but a pleasant walk keeps it even and steady.

A walk on the river lets you listen.  To the sound of feet pounding against cold pavement.  To the soft padding of those who run on the grass.  To the birds squawking as they begin to wake.  To the river lapping at its concrete edge.  You hear the sound of bike wheels spinning, the breath of those who walk by, and the soft voices gossiping away.  You experience the beauty, yet somehow still the quiet.

A walk along the river gives you time to observe.  Each and every person has their own way; their own style. Some jog with a friend, some jog alone.  Two young-adult women run side by side and gossip between breaths.  A middle aged man strolls along in a t-shirt and baggy shorts, while another wears proper running gear, passing him by with a puff.  A teenage girl walks her two fluffy dogs, an older women walks her staffy, and a man jogs with his border collie.  A group of old women with wide hips waddle past in a midst of conversation; each in a polo shirt, black leggings and a cap.  Along the cycle path lives men in lycra on speedy racing bikes, people on mountain bikes riding with leisure, and a man on rollar blades with elbow pads and knee pads galore.  A boy rides with no hands, texting on his phone and maneuvering around a corner with such control. A couple sprint together towards public exercise mechanisms, doing burpees the first time, skipping the next. Perhaps they are training for something.

An old jetty is falling to bits, fenced off, derelict and off-bounds.  A half-empty coke bottle sits out on the wood, a plastic bag its only company, abandoned by somebody breaking the rules.  Back on the path, some people coordinate their outfits.  Their singlet matches the laces on their shoes, their cap matches their socks, their shorts match their sports top. Others clearly don't care, like me in my white t-shirt, black shorts and bright purple shoes complete with fluoro orange laces.  Some have water bottles strapped around their waist, others carry one down by their side.  Some have Ipods in plastic cases wrapped around their arms, others clip shuffles to their pants.  You notice how everyone's step is different.  Some run in rhythm, other's change it up.  Some exhale when their feet hit the ground, other's can barely be heard.  Perhaps they run with their legs inwards, or with a little hop in their step.  Or perhaps they walk with definition and pace, or dawdle along with no particular intention at all.  Whichever way, at least they're all out here, for whatever reason, giving life a go.

A walk along the river gives you time to reflect.  Whether it be on your life as a whole, what you ate yesterday and hence what you will eat today, your career, or your choices, it provides peace.  It let's you think; perhaps you need to change some things in your life, perhaps a friendship needs some care, or perhaps your relationship is over.  Whatever it may be, walking in an environment like this one allows your brain to wander.  You might think about when you were little and used to ride your bike to Point Walter with your dad.  You might think about your first pet, how sad you were when they were gone and how somehow, you got through it.  You might think about how in primary school we all used to put drawing pins in the bottom of our shoes and pretend we were tap dancers.  You might think about what is bad in your life, but you also might think about what is good.

A walk along the river is good exercise.  You can decide to run if you like, but you don't have to.  You can decide where your destination will be, checkpoints, how and where you will travel.  And when you reach the end of the road; the walk is over and it's time to go, you will feel refreshed - maybe a little tired, or exhausted if you're not as fit as you thought - and you will be ready for the day.                

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Complicated Communication

“If you’re calling with an enquiry, press 1”
“If you need help with something, press 2”
“If you’d like to do anything, press 3”
“If you want to keep pressing numbers just for the sake of it, press 4”
“If you’re sick of the repetitive, pre-recorded voice your head is reading this with, press 5”

Or, you know, don’t.  Hang up there and then, because I know I’m not the only one that hates going through the painful task of ringing a company, only to discover the endless number-pressing phenomenon.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could ring a bank, or an office, or even the phone company themselves, and speak to a real living, breathing, human being who knows exactly what you need, what you need to do, or who you need to speak to?  Why yes, yes it would.  

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, remembering that this is a government run database, the current unemployment rate is 5.8%.  That’s approximately 710 000 people who could potentially sit and answer your prayers.  Literally…well, your calls at least!    

The reason I bring this up is because yesterday my Dad rang Foxtel, because downloading a movie wasn’t working.  After going through the various numbers relevant to his enquiry, he was finally connected to a real person.  He explained his problem and the lady then asked him for his details, claiming that he isn’t the authorised person since my mother’s name is on the contract.  “I don’t want to access my account at all, I don’t need to be authorised, all I want to know is why the movie won’t download,” he said.  My mum then had to get on the phone and give the okay (like you could tell it was her anyway) and the woman on the phone informed him that she would have to put him through to someone in another department because she didn’t have the answer.  “I can’t download a movie for some reason, it won’t process,” Dad said.  The man on the other end said that this was a known problem, a lot of other people had called about it and they are working on getting it fixed. 

All that for one simple answer.  Now, shouldn’t the line have gone straight through to a person?  The first woman answering the phone straight away; containing full knowledge of her company and their current situation.  Shouldn’t she be in the loop? “I’m sorry sir, that is a known problem and there’s nothing we can do about it at the moment,” was all that needed to be said.  Half a minute on the phone and bang, the call is over.    

The last time I rang member’s equity bank, I went through about 6 of these button-pressing dramas before I got to speak to a real person.  All I wanted to know was whether I could purchase a debit card for use online (to support my online-shopping addiction, it’s really getting out of hand) connected to my existing daily account.  Twenty minutes later I am told that no, no I cannot purchase a card with that account, they are only available with an InterestME account; or something of the sorts.  But not to worry, my call wasn’t entirely pointless; the man I spoke to was happy to change my address in their system for me since I had moved house.  How kind of him! He must have failed to click save, though, because I am still receiving countless letters in the mail redirected from my old address.  No-where on their website or through online banking do I have the option to stop the mail, either.  They can spend the money on the paper, though, because there’s no way I’m going through a pre-recorded voice again, only to be disappointed. 

Reminds me of that episode of friends where Rachel tells Ross that she’s pregnant.  If you haven’t seen it, I suggest that you do.  In the episode, Ross doesn’t understand how Rachel could have got pregnant because they used a condom.  She then informs him that they only work 97 percent of the time.  Ross gets really worked up after that (which if you know his character is super entertaining).  “Ross maybe we should just talk later,” Rachel says.  Ross is hysterical, “No no, I want to talk now,” he says.  “In fact,” he picks up the phone, “I want to talk to the president of the condom company.” Rachel goes to leave, “Shhh,” Ross says and they wait for the phone to ring.  He bursts out, “Yeah I’ll press one!”  A perfect sitcom demonstrating the auto-voice phone dilemma that so many of us face. 

Once I called a company and ended up waiting for the “Press hash” signal because none of the above options concerned me.  The only thing worse than that is being put on hold with terrible background music playing while you wait.  Always happens at the doctor’s surgery, whose message tone also doesn’t even contain their opening hours, but that’s an entirely different story altogether. 

It’s moments like these you need… Minties!

“If you liked this blog post, like my Facebook propaganda for black, white and read https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200903658286575&set=a.3193947040435.146188.1018700985&type=1&theater

“If you didn’t enjoy this one, try one of my others http://annabelowen.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/dear-future-me.html

“If you’re looking for other talented bloggers, try http://www.buttonsmcsweet.com/

“If you’re more interested in photography, visit my Instagram bel_owen”

“If you hated it altogether, kindly buzz off”

‘beep, beep, beep’.  

Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2013.  Labor Force Australia, Oct 2013. October Key Figures – Unemployment rate, Unemployed persons http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0 Accessed Oct 17.
PureBloodPaul. 2013. Friends – HD – Rachel Tells Ross She Is Pregnant. The One Where Rachel Tells S08E03. Warner Bros Television. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HkqeORgn_U Accessed Oct 17.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

As The Cliché Goes

The cliché goes, “squeeze into a pair of old blue jeans”.  I could talk about a pair of old blue jeans that don’t quite fit, but I won’t.  I won’t hasten to perform a cliché; I’ll do something new, something that makes you intrigued.  I will talk about a blue flower skirt.  My mother brought it back from San Francisco as a gift; cost her 20 bucks.  It’s fitted, straight, a pretty lightish blue with printed flowers on it.  They’re faint, daintily printed onto the fabric with a hint of sparkle.  Only one problem; it doesn’t fit me.  I can't quite fit into it, it’s too big for my sister and it will probably spend the rest of its life in a cupboard shelf, never to be worn.  I lack the motivation to eat clean, to exercise properly, to be fit and to lose the extra body fat that isn't needed. This is the story of how that could change.


Last night I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t sleep because my feet were itchy.  Not like a small itch that you scratch and it sort of tickles as you do, but then it goes away.  No, I’m talking about the kind that has you tossing and turning in your sheets.  The kind that stings but itches all at once; the kind that feels good to scratch and yet when you stop it is worse than it was before.  You rub your feet together in anguish and frantically try to relieve the pain, but it doesn’t go away.  I ended up sitting in the bathroom at 2am with my feet in freezing cold water in an attempt to numb it away.  My feet were itchy because I have a rash.  I have a rash because I was taking an antibiotic called amoxcill whilst I have glandular fever.  I was taking amoxcill because they thought I had tonsillitis.  ‘They’ being the professionals we call doctors, the ones we are so easy and quick to trust.  Then they go ahead and  prescribe you the wrong drug.  Anyway, long story short would arrive at the conclusion that I have glandular fever and it has sucked. 

Only a person who has experienced the pain of the disease will fully understand it.  First, I had a cold, and then I turned eighteen.  This meant that I partied hard, drank too much and went to bed too late.  I developed a UTI (urinary tract infection) and that was most uncomfortable.  Shortly after that I spent a week in bed with a high fever, then my glands went up and morphed into golf balls.  I found myself hesitating to swallow because the pain was so excruciating.  It felt like a muscle being pulled to its maximum and then sliced with the sharp blade of a knife.  The nausea made it hard to sleep, and I realised how much we take for granted one's ability to breathe through one's nose.  It was hands down the worst few weeks of my life.  My mum was in San Francisco, whisked away in all its beauty, and I was bound to my bed, absolutely bored out of my brains.  I learned that taking panadol and nurofen together is really good because they react off each other and work faster.  I also learned how to perfectly time when to consume the tablets, for optimum pain relief.  (I also learned that you can take 8 panadol’s and 6 nurofen at the same time and not die, as long as you don’t have anything else for the next 24 hours). 

I watched tv, I watched shows on my computer.  I did a puzzle, I texted on my phone.  I went on Facebook, I tried to sleep.  And then I repeated the process.  I migrated from my bed, to the couch, to the mattress in my theatre room.  I yelled at my sister and her friend for sitting around on their computers on a beautiful day, because they were healthy enough to embrace it.  I cried and barely ate, snapped at my boyfriend because he loves me and then apologised because he didn’t deserve it.  I ordered my sister around and cuddled my cat because I was lonely.  I drank water through a straw and chewed on ice, blasted through 3 seasons of Breaking Bad and woke up at 2am every morning, barely able to breathe. 

The most important thing:   
I got through it.
Well, am getting through it.  Being sick muddles your mind, makes you moody and sets you backwards in life whether it be work, school, uni, friendships; whatever it may be.  It makes you realise that your health really is the most important thing.  Without it, you are nothing. 


I’m writing this because often we forget how we felt in the past, and even though we vow to change the way we live when things get better, we forget what motivated us in the first place. 

When I am healthy again; when I am fully recovered, I am going to be so fit and healthy.  I’m going to embrace it.  I will eat clean, buy some motivational work-out clothes and hold on to the skirt that I can’t quite squeeze into.  I will work-out, do aerobics, and go for runs.  Perhaps I will do some skipping, or go for a rollerblade; whatever it takes. 

And when I’ve given up, and I’m sitting on the couch with a full bag of cheese Doritos (let’s be honest, they’re the best on the market), saying ‘YOLO’ and feeling fat and unhealthy, I’m going to read back over this.  I will remember the pain that I went through when I was unhealthy and sick, and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.  I will put down the bag of Doritos, maybe get a celery stick instead and go for a run.  And in a few months’ time, I’ll fit into that old flower skirt with a smile.            

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

I've Been Busy

Today I realised that I haven’t published a blog post in almost a month!  Aside from this depriving my readers from some mild entertainment, I’ve gone against my own promise to post every few weeks.  (Sorry guys, I can’t help it, I have somewhat of a life!)  Even so, I should definitely make more of an effort to post.  But what can I say, I’ve been busy.

I’ve been busy turning 18, embracing the ability to buy alcohol, walk into a club, watch R rated movies and stressing out about the thought of voting. 

I’ve been busy putting off cleaning my fish-tank because the goldfish are happy and I’m worried if I alter their environment then they will die.

I’ve been busy getting my driver’s licence, clicking for the sake of clicking during the hazard perception test and wondering if it were even possible for anyone to be so stupid as to not slow down for the pedestrian who just randomly decides to cross the road even when the lights for cars are green. 

I’ve been busy spending all my money.  I don’t even know where it goes. 

I’ve been busy drinking gallons of coffee. Yes, gallons.  If you’re wondering where all the coffee in the world has gone, I drank it.

I’ve been busy writing one short feature article on the issue of online shopping, creating an image/word narrative about what makes up my sense of place and identity in the world, one short story including a draft, final and 300 word reflection, one 1000 word essay on two texts discussing the issue of vaccinations, 500 word dossiers each week on topics that I wouldn’t even dream of discussing if it weren’t worth 40% of my grade and a diary about my progress in writing, rhetoric and persuasion.  How’s uni, you ask? Oh it’s fantastic. 

I’ve been busy sitting online staring at a screen that tells me I haven’t been able to secure animal house tickets, and to please “wait 30 seconds” to try again.  ‘Click’. 

I’ve been busy watching how I met your mother all over again in preparation for the last season ever.  It’s been legen- wait for it –

I’ve been busy buying Dr Martens in cherry red, UK size 6 with complementary yellow laces.  Best $189 I’ve ever spent.  (The blisters on my feet don’t agree, but you get that). 

I’ve been busy being in love.

I’ve been busy eating. Lots. Too much.  Anything.  Whatever’s there.  It’s a big problem really, someone help?

I’ve been busy painting my nails for the 50 millionth time (I know what you’re thinking, geez Annabel that’s a lot of times, but believe me, I’m not exaggerating).

I’ve been busy cuddling my cat.  He and I are getting married.  June 15th, save the date.

I’ve been busy working, which means I eat too much pizza, garlic bread and wedges to last a lifetime.  Not to mention free slushies.  Hero’s Pizza guys, come check it out. 

I’ve been busy driving.  The novelty hasn’t worn off yet, and freedom tastes so sweet.  The dial reaching the ‘E’ on the fuel light really is a kick in the guts though isn’t it?  See you next Wednesday!

I’ve been busy sleeping.  It’s spring, but somehow Mother Nature still thinks it’s winter.  Someone wake me up when September ends.      

And lastly, I’ve been busy coming up with an idea for a blog post.  So here it is, done and dusted.  Sorry if it’s not some of my best work, I’m a lil’ rusty.  I’ll think of something better soon.   Until next time, stay tuned :)

Xo Xo,
Too busy to think of a good sign off phrase.

Ps. - DARY.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Dear Future-Me

Dear Future-Me
First of all, never ever ever drink alcohol ever again.  Ever.  Your singing voice will get progressively louder and even more tone deaf.  You will then proceed to conduct something that you would like to call dancing – but what really should be called: ward off as many predators as humanly possible.  You will then wake up in the morning with no recollection of what you have done, embarrassing or otherwise, and will probably have a sickening stomach ache, or perhaps a very sore head. 
If this does happen again, however, drink some Berocca and pray to god that it will save you.  There are no promises though. 

Dear Future-Me
Make sure you put bandaid’s on your ankles tomorrow before you wear your new vans, otherwise your day will consist of the following:
- absolute agony when walking
- embarrassment because you start walking on your tippy toes, legs angled outwards and slightly squatting, in order to avoid the scraping of the shoe against the heel of your foot  (people may even begin to stare at this point)
- bloody socks that used to be white but now make you look like you’ve been walking for miles (and also like you don’t own a washing machine…)

Dear Future-Me
When you come home from somewhere and are feeling slightly peckish – slow down and have a good solid think about what you are going to eat from the fridge.  If it looks like mince that your mother has made in preparation for a lasagna then:  WARNING. DO NOT EAT.  She will get very very angry and then it will result in a day of house cleaning.  Never eat anything from the fridge that you find even slightly unusual, and you shall keep your head, your eardrums, your dignity, and save a hell of a lot of jokes about your stupidity in days to come. 

Dear Future-Me
Also on that note, don’t eat that Freddo.  Put it down.  Your hips, thighs and buttocks will thank you later. 

Dear Future-Me
Next time you are out shopping and you see a ring you like, make sure it is close to the right size before you put it on your finger.  Otherwise, you will spend the next ten minutes panicking because you can’t get it off, pop your knuckle out, almost dislodge your finger from your hand, end up having to purchase the ring (which you didn’t even really like in the first place) and be forced to wear it forever.  It may even begin to cut off your circulation, resulting in an extremely embarrassing visit to the hospital.  

Dear Future-Me
Before you run around the house in a frenzy looking for your glasses (because you really need them to look at that vine video that probably won’t even be that funny – but then again could very well be the best thing you’ve seen in your life), and before you yell at your family members so loud that you awake the spawn of Satan, make sure you pay a visit to a little place I like to call - the top of your head.  I hear glasses like to chill there.    

Dear Future-Me
Pay very close attention to your mobile phone.  It can play tricks on you.  Sometimes, you think that you are texting the right person, having that intense convo about ‘that person who did something to someone that someone else got mad about and then the other person got annoyed and now they are the worst person ever’, but you are not.  Sometimes, in some random act of misfortune, that text message that you have so thoughtfully constructed, will actually be sent to the person whom you are talking about, and not the one in which you intended to send it.  If this happens, follow these steps. 
1. Get a shovel
2. Dig yourself a nice big hole
3. Just sit in it for a while
4. Your work is done

Dear Future-Me
Further, if you are sitting in a lecture at university, make sure your mobile is on silent.  Here’s why.  If your phone is on loud, the lecture is extremely boring, and there’s that one kid sitting at the front that just won’t stop butting in, you may decide to leave early.  This is a bad decision.  Somebody, somewhere, will sense that this is about to happen.  You will stand, ready to leave, and that somebody will text you.  It is then that 300 heads will turn your way.  You will bow your head and pretend like it didn’t happen, then begin to walk out of the lecture theatre.   It is at this point that whilst everybody is still looking at you, you will trip on the stairs.  This will be followed by laughter and an extremely red face on your part.  Proceed to get out of there; briskly.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect 200 dollars. 

Dear Future-Me
Think before you speak.  This may seem basic, but there are many instances where this lack of thinking can result in horrifying consequences.   For example, don't put your hand up to ask the teacher something, and end up blurting out the word "mum"
It can also cause the most awkward of situations with regards to conversation e.g.
“Hey how are you?”
“Yeah I’m good thanks, you?
“Great! You?” …
Or, even better, the classic
“Yeah good thanks”
And the crème de la crème of not thinking;
“So how’s your boyfriend/girlfriend?”
“We broke up yesterday”
Try to think, and escape the awkwardness while you still can!

Dear Future-Me
Always eat your brocoli, do your chores, drink lots of water, take your vitamins, don't stay up too late, love your family and treat people how you would like to be treated.   And lastly, don’t forget to stand in front of the mirror and smile.  If you can’t do that, pull an ugly face. 
Life could be worse

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Thing About Things

The other day, a friend and I were talking about the word thing.  Actually, we were talking about relationships, when she turned to me and said, "Oh so did you have a thing?" To which I replied; "What even is that?"
I mean seriously, what does that even mean?  If you think about it, the word 'thing' is probably one of the most used words in the English language, with an extremely broad definition.

For example, I could turn to you and say; "Hey can you pass me that red thing?" or I could be like, "He's really good at guitar, that's his thing."
Next time I want to skip out on some plans that I didn't really want to make, I don’t even have to give a proper explanation because "Sorry I couldn't come, I had a thing," is apparently sufficient.  It could also be used when a girlfriend comes out of the bathroom at a club going, “Oh my god I just saw his thing.”
Or if you want to admit that you like someone just be like, "I guess you could say I have a bit of a thing for him/her."
There’s also, "Do you guys have a thing?", "They had a thing, but they broke up", "Yeah there's just lots of things everywhere”, "Things just got super weird" and
"Where is the thing?"

Do you see what I mean!?  The word is flimsy.  You can pretty much chuck it anywhere and it still makes sense.  It can basically be used as a substitute when you don't know what real name of something is. (See, I just used it again…)  Because the word has so many different meanings, it can get super confusing when you’re trying to talk about something specific.  This takes me to the part about relationships.  

Alright, so imagine one day a girl sees a guy she likes from across a crowded room (cliché I know, but just bear with me).  They strike up a conversation, perhaps they kiss.  After that they begin to see each other a few more times, but it’s only casual.  Neither of them really knows what is going on because they haven’t defined anything, but people begin to notice that they are close.  As the girl’s friends notice, they begin to ponder, so they ask, "Hey, so are you guys going out or what?"  The girl, let’s call her Keira (I just like the name) doesn't know how to respond so she says, "Oh, I don't know what we are… I mean we just…we have like.... we just have a.... a thing!?"

In this case, the word has been used as a substitute.  She didn't know what to call her relationship, so she just said ‘thing’.  Now, if I haven’t lost you yet, here’s where it gets really confusing.  The main issue now is; the definition is corrupt.  People began to say “thing” as a means of defining a relationship so often that an entirely new definition evolved. There is no longer a way to know exactly what they are talking about!  Do you mean that you are going out as a "pair" who are in a relationship?   Or do you mean that you don't know what is going on between you? How is there a way to know!?  I could try and explain it to a friend, but I would say the word ‘thing’ so many times that it wouldn't even sound like a word anymore.  

If I, personally, ever say “yeah I guess we have a thing,” I mean that I have no idea what to call it.  My friend, however, might think that I mean ‘we are getting together but we aren't exclusive we don’t really know where it is going or what we want to get out of it but for the moment we are both happy and we both understand that we are allowed to get with other people but we probably shouldn't because it would make the other person upset’. Ah. Deep breath.

In my opinion, ‘thing’ has too many definitions.  It can be an object, personal belongings, an adjective, matter, a subject, an area of interest or knowledge, an event, a substitute for a noun, a romantic relationship, a way to describe falling for someone, a place, a happening, a group, groups of groups, a group of belongings, a group of places, a group of names, or even a 'thing' itself.  Dear lord, now even I’m getting confused… 

Which is why I propose to you: the addition of a new word, one that could be used instead of the word “thing”.  One that only describes an unknown relationship, so that Keira could tell her friends that she wasn't sure what she had with the guy she liked - using only one simple word.

This means that we need a word to go with the definition:
 “A word used to describe a relationship when you don’t really know what is going on between the parties involved.”

Any ideas? I’ll chuck you some of mine; let me know what you think!  (Hint: Try to imagine using the word in a sentence).

1. Flimby (derived from the TV show ‘Friends’, Flimby is a word Phoebe uses when she can’t remember the real thing)
2. Stuff
3. Tie
4. Gadget
5. Phenomenon
6. Fixation
7. Feature
8. Stunt
9. Quirk
10. Knack

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

True Inspiration Is Impossible To Fake

For those of you who don't know me, creative writing is one of my greatest passions.  I was sifting through some old stuff the other day and stumbled across a story that I wrote under timed circumstances for one of my year 12 examinations last year.  If you're in the mood to delve into a story, whether it be to escape something going on in your own life, or simply because you are bored out of your brains, I encourage you to read on.  The exam question that I was given was;

"In a form of your choice, use the following sentence as a stimulus for a response:
True inspiration is impossible to fake"

I had only one hour allocated towards this question, including time for planning and an explanation of what it was that I wanted to achieve.  Below is what I wrote, which is the exposition of a story.  Examiners understand that this is our first time writing the piece, and therefore take into account the fact that it is only a first draft when they are marking.  I received 100% for this story; something I was extremely proud of.  I hope you enjoy! And hey, if you have any suggestions as to what I can change - or even where you would like the story to go, leave a comment below and I may write another installment soon! Stay tuned.  

Off With the Wind
She’s wearing her paisley dress.  The black one with the printed flowers carefully placed on the fabric.  Her moon shaped earrings dance down from her lobes and her blonde braids shimmer in the dusty sunset.  They’ve just passed through Geraldton, licking the last crumbly bits of pie pastry from their fingers as they leave behind a chapter of their lives.  Pearl is carefully poised in the backseat, her cheeks a chubby strawberry pink as she giggles.  She’s two days away from her fourth birthday and you would barely believe it.  Leon’s behind the wheel of their faded blue ford mustang and they travel on, listening to Savage Garden and alternative jazz, heading to absolutely nowhere at all.
                They don’t have two dimes to rub together, but they have a box of fruit in the trunk and smiles on their lips.  As the glow of the fire provides light, Leon sets up the tent.  His arms are muscly but he feels tired and weak.  He stops briefly, staring into the fire and remembering a life he left behind long ago.  He doesn’t miss it.  The mother’s name is Tori, and she lives like the wind.  Once she was Jessica, but not anymore.  She sits on a log and strums a small red guitar with her turquoise nails.  The sound of the chords flows through her and tells a story of the past.  She plays solemnly from memory, a skill she’d learned from her father at a very young age.  Leon sits next to her, mesmerised at how she is inspired by the smallest of memories.  He inspects her golden breasts, her beautiful aura and her glistening eyes.  He cannot sing, but he sings with his heart and the gentle whisper of their love.  Pearl is asleep in the tent, dreaming of starfish and coral in a faraway place, and it’s then that Leon realises, true inspiration is impossible to fake.  
The morning comes, laying a blanket of dew over the Australian bush.  They slink out into the sun and boil water on the billy.  Tori changes into tie-dye pants and a white lace top, her green glass nose stud shimmering in the light.  They’re after them; she knows.  Ever since they left they’ve been after them.  But she doesn’t care.  Life is simple and happy.  They peel juicy oranges and crunch on granny’s apples, toss sand on the fire and they’re off.  To the beach, they decide.  To play with seashells, and frolic with sand and salt and bliss.  Pearl runs and stumbles, her toes tripping her wobbly body by digging into the cool sand.  Tori lets the waves wash over her ankles; bits of salty froth sticking to her seahorse tattoo.  She closes her eyes and breathes in the air.  She’s a good mother, she tells herself.  Letting Pearl be a part of this strange Earth and all of its wonders.  Still, her fourth birthday screams school, and Tori can’t help but wonder if they should try and settle down.  But as she glances back at Pearl, sitting covered in sand and building a castle of blobs, Leon scoops her up into an embrace so strong she forgets all her worries and laughs them into the breeze.

That’s what life is like for them now.  Once there was sadness, once there was pain.  Once they used to be prisoned by the problems and mistakes of those around them.  But they learned how to escape.  They learned how to smile and to kiss and to dance.  They learned how to forget, how to light a fire without a match and how to butter bread without a knife.  They learned how to run, how to play, how to be parents and how to simply just be.  They learned how to be inspired by the land upon which they live, and how to follow the wind.          
             They pile into the mustang, brushing sand off their feet and salt from their hair.  It’s about 2o’clock when they look at the sun, for they don’t have a clock or a watch.  They’re in desperate need of some money for petrol and food, so they roll in to the next dusty town they come across, which doesn’t appear to have a name.  The breeze has dropped, leaving a muggy lingering heat that radiates around them.  Tori shades her eyes from the sun to soak in the surroundings before gently lifting her daughter from the back seat and into her arms.  Something doesn’t feel right about this place.  They stroll up to an old wooden diner and the bell tingles when they open the door.  Rows of freshly baked cupcakes are lined on the counter and a slushie machine with only one side working churns at the end.  Tori’s eyes scan the room for a place to sit, but instead they find something else.  Her jaw drops open and the eye contact is menacing.  She’d recognise that face anywhere, for it’s her mothers.       

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Dilemma Of The Day

Ever been in a situation where you just don’t know how to deal with what’s happening? A moment where, in theory, you should be pinching yourself ‘right-about-now’ and waking up from a bad dream?  If not, you should consider yourself lucky because I experienced something like it today, and I can tell you now, it was not pretty.
I stood in front of the mirror at about ten o’clock this morning and looked at my hair, which was fluffy and stubborn since I'd washed it the night before.  Big bulky bits gathered around my scalp and no matter how many times I smoothed them over, they just bounced right back up.  Thank god for hair straighteners, right?  I wanted to look nice because my Grandpa – Mum’s dad who turns 80 next week –is visiting us from Queensland, and we were heading up to Kings Park for coffee at the Botanic Gardens.  My extremely fashionable and gorgeous Nanna – Dad’s mother who is recently widowed – was also going to be joining us, which meant that I had to choose a respectable outfit. 

Something you should know about my wardrobe is that it is pretty limited.  Somehow my money deteriorates as I continue to spend it on clothes, yet the contents of my cupboard doesn’t seem to get any bigger.  Go figure.  After much speculation and seeked advice from my thirteen-year-old sister, I chose my black blouse, Levi’s denim jacket and groovy white scarf.  We ummed and ahhed about my pants, but eventually I chose the velvet maroon cord ones over the slightly see-through black and white striped leggings.  (I mean, leggings as pants – what was I thinking!?)  Convinced I’d made the right decision, we left to pick up my Nanna from her home in Mt Claremont.  

I volunteered to walk in and collect Nanna –she lives at Lisle Lodge –and I often enjoy walking through the gardens there, as they’re colourful and full of life.  She greeted me with a big happy hello and proceeded to show me how she had rearranged her furniture – all by herself, I might add – and began explaining where picture frames were from and why particular colour choices had been made.  I smiled and nodded, always interested and polite when she has something to say.  I nonchalantly brushed my hands over the back of my pants, attempting to pull my shirt down, when suddenly I felt something that wasn’t quite right.  My eyes went wide and I tuned out as I tried to figure out if what I feared was indeed true.  It couldn’t be; I had to be wrong.  I froze in pure horror.  The blood rushed to my face and I found myself nodding, switching in to auto-pilot and pretending that everything was a-okay. 

“After you,” I said to Nanna, gesturing for her to walk before me on the pathway.  “Oh no my darling, you go ahead because I’m slow.”  I didn’t argue, but I was shy as I walked in front, afraid that my dilemma might become all the more real.  I tugged my shirt down as I squished myself into the car next to my sister.  “I have a problem,” I whispered to her.  She asked me what, but in the confinement of a vehicle, I couldn’t say.  “It’s really bad.”  And then I began to laugh; a wild hysterical chuckle.  She awkwardly laughed with me, but she had no idea.  Only I knew what was wrong, only I knew just how bad it was.  The only thing I didn’t know was what the hell I was going to do about it.  It was one of those situations that you just have to laugh about, because if you don’t laugh, you will most likely cry. 

My family were probably wondering what the hell was wrong with me.  I had got the giggles and I couldn’t stop.   I felt sick in the stomach, wondering how I was going to get out of the car without anybody noticing.  I prayed that maybe Kings Park wouldn’t be too busy and I could slip out without anyone seeing me – but of course I was in no such luck, and it was packed.  I turned to my sister, “Tell me if you see anything,” I said, climbing out of the car.  She shook her head and I felt a giant wave of relief wash over me.  We had to walk to the café though, and I squished my legs together in an attempt to hide my problem, when in reality I was probably making it all the more obvious that there was something wrong.  The whole time thinking ‘Dear lord, why me?’   

Once we got to the café, I grabbed my sister’s arm and yanked her in to the toilet with me.  She was giggling then, but she had no idea what the problem was.  I knew she wouldn’t be able to contain herself when she knew the truth.  We crammed into a cubicle and I turned around.  “Are you ready?” I asked her and she said that she was.  With the green light, I lifted up the back of my shirt to reveal a hole in the back of my pants.  Not a tiny, unnoticeable rip – no, of course not.  I’m talking a giant gaping hole that reveals black underwear, skin and all.  “Oh. My. God,” I do believe her words were, followed by hysterical laughter, which I couldn’t help but reciprocate. 

So there I was, up at Kings Park with not one but two grandparents, however many children and families there are there during school holidays, my mother, my sister and a huge hole in the back of my favourite pair of pants.  But you know what, I’m going to choose to look at the positive side of this.  Thank God that I was wearing a long black top, thank God that I didn’t tuck the top in, thank God that I was also wearing a denim jacket that could be tied around my waist if needed.  What if I had been wearing a t-shirt, a midriff or a singlet top?  Let’s just take a moment to think about that…

Next time that you’re in a situation where you find yourself thinking ‘things couldn’t be any worse’, try to think about the positive aspects of the scenario that life has thrown at you.  Maybe you'll even be able to laugh about it.  I guess I should have chosen the striped leggings after all.  Either that, or I should stop eating so much chocolate, stop sitting around watching ‘Friends’ all day on my laptop, stop trying to wear pants that are clearly too small for me, get my lazy ass up, and go for a run!

These are my pants just to prove I'm not kidding.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

A Long Lost Letter

Today I found a letter that I once wrote to a close friend.  It seemed relevant because today I am also getting my hair dyed, although this time it will be a mixture of blonde and red, and I also have a cold.  I can't even remember what was going on in my life when I wrote this letter, but I will leave it up to your imagination to decide what it means for you. So let's take a trip to the past; a time when things were different.  

Today I am getting my hair dyed.  Today I’m going to start fresh.  I’m sick of worrying – I’m sick of a lot of things actually.  Like my sickness, for example.  I want to do well in exams, but feeling both physically and mentally sick doesn’t help all that much.  Today I feel sick and tired.  But tomorrow I will feel happy and new and awake.  Today I don’t have to make any decisions about anything, however I will say this.  Last night I did cry, after you left.  But not for very long.  It didn’t help.  I didn’t expect it too, but holding it in wasn’t doing much good.  You of all people know what it’s like to have someone taken away from you – out of your control.  I thought you’d understand why I want to fight – even though yes, I will most likely lose.  Today I am a naïve high school student, someday I want to be a writer.  To not worry about boring shit or annotating pictures, but to write about what I want or how I feel with intellect and passion, like I am now.  I would also buy pens that last longer than ones found under classroom desks, but you can’t always get what you want.  Someday I want to fall in love for real, not just teenage lust/love.  And I want to be loved.  Today I’m just wanted by horny 16 year old boys who claim to love me, though I know they won’t last.  Today my best friends talk more to my previous loves than they talk to me, and I don’t have many places to turn other than a sheet of paper.  Tomorrow I will wake up with blonde hair and a smile.  I will look in the mirror and say I’m happy.  And I’ll believe it. 

Monday, 1 July 2013


Sitting in usually uncomfortable fluorescent light which is now strangely romantic. 
Ice in a cup of yellowy tea glistens; making the liquid cool.  A small teacup of beautifully salty pistachio nuts that are half cracked open sits daintily on the edge of the coffee table as I write. 
Soft music, clean hair, and a small slab of lemon cheesecake fudge. 
A flashing phone with an incoming call from a close friend.  Bliss.  

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Open Sesame

My name is Annabel.  My star sign is a Leo which means I am very stubborn and I look in the mirror a lot.  I'm also extremely loyal, to the point of insanity, and ridiculously ambitious, unless it is a lazy day.  If it's a lazy day then I will sit in bed until the cows come home, watch Friends or Vampire Diaries (which I insisted was stupid until my friends made me watch an episode and then I was hooked - classic me) or Gossip Girl over and over again and sip coffee out of a cat shaped mug.  My favourite animal is the cat and my favourite cats name is Poopsah.  (I'm just kidding - his name is Prince, but I call him Poopsah - don't ask me why because I have no idea).  He sleeps on my queen sized bed and covers the quilt in clumps of black fur.  He also doesn't mind hogging the pillow or sleeping on my side of the bed.  As I sit here in bed, I look around at my room.  I believe you can tell a lot about a person from the contents of their bedroom.
I'll take you on a journey of mine:

There's a round lamp on the bedside table and a glitter lamp next to that.  A red electric guitar, some hanging lanterns and a pair of patterned shorts.  A typewriter that doesn't really work and an old television hidden nearby.  A forgotten empty bottle of Rekordling - premium apple flavour - and a silver chain with a key.  There's a vase of flowers and a plaited piece of ribbon.  On top of the shelf that sits on the floor lives my tv with an aquarium inside, home to Ariel the mermaid and all the rest. I used to have three fish but one of them died; only Sparky and Marvin live on.  I hope they got to say goodbye to tiny little Asher, may he rest in peace.  Next to that is a jar of paintbrushes and a bottle of orange nailpolish.  Assorted shelves attached to the wall hold an array of knick knacks - a bottle of Kate Moss perfume, an old camera, a shell, some blocks that spell "LIVE", three old keys, a bamboo 'Sabah' cup and a small china teapot.  There's a clay dolphin, a row of linked elephants and a bottle of sinus clearing blend. On the biggest of shelves there is an assortment of books, 'ACO' canvas's and three fancy cats.  On the top you can see a dreamcatcher, a globe, blue sunglasses, tigga, piglet and pooh, a rubix cube, two die and an orangutan plush toy.  There's a netball trophy, a san francisco hat, juicy coutour cup (pink), a ukelele and a fur real friend's cat.  There's yellow and orange pencils, the ace of spaces, a bratz doll named Yasmin, Paddington Bear, a 'Where's Wally?' book, a rainbow slinky and a purple pig money box.      

If that didn't give enough away, a little more about me would have you know that my hair is half blonde and half red, I want a pair of Doc Martens and a silver bird bracelet. On my 18th birthday I'm getting a red ruby stud in my nose and a tattoo on my ankle.  And finally, when I read books I read them quickly, but I savour every word.  I hold them clean and crisp in my hands and turn each page with just my fingertips.  If it's a good book, I can read it in a day - and hardly put it down.  Even when I do, it's not long before I pick it up again. Sometimes I get into moods where I don't feel like doing anything at all except reading.  And sometimes even that feels like an effort.  The words and skill of the writer - the endless quotes I want to capture and copy; they're overwhelming.  My mind races with imagination - what I could do, what I could create.  But it's the doing part that is the problem.  Sometimes I believe that I can do it, but sometimes I believe that I can't.  The ideas burn out, shrivel up and dissipate.  Sometimes I feel lost for words.
That's not what you want as a writer.

Quirky Qwerty

So I'm new to the world of blogging, and am yet to discover the do's and don'ts or the tricks of the trade, but I sure know how to touch-type.  After all, it's something we learn at a young age nowadays.  Almost gone are the days of letter writing, touching the tip of a ballpoint pen to the surface of crisp paper.  Newspapers are on their way out, over-taken by the driving force of the internet.  Schools and universities utilize laptops; I can't remember the last time I submitted a hand-written assignment.  I guess it's difficult not to follow suit.

Whilst I do enjoy the act of physically writing - I keep a daily diary for my ever-flowing thoughts - typing on a computer has simply become more efficient.  My ideas are more swiftly written in words for myself or others to read, and if I make a mistake there's no mess about it, we are programmed to simply press 'backspace'.  If I want to share my thoughts with the world, I can simply jump online and do so.  All I have to do is place my left fingers on the keys "A, S, D, F" and my right on "J, K, L, ;" and away I go.

With that being said, I'll leave a challenge for you:
Draw up the shape of a blank keyboard and see how many of the keys you can remember without looking.
Also on that note, try to say the order of colours in the word "Google", a site I'm sure you visit at least once a day.  You'll be surprised.