Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Condemned to Drink

I enjoy going out.  I know – big surprise.  But, (yes, there’s a but) going out doesn’t necessarily mean ‘having a big one’ or being ‘white girl wasted’.  I’m about to blow your mind.  Get ready for this…

Space for you to get ready:

Ready?  Okay, so people can actually go out and have a good time without chugging back litres of alcohol.  What!? No? 
Yep! I know right!? Who would have thought?

I’ve been out drinking plenty of times, sure.  I’ve also, however, been out completely sober simply because I felt like dancing or saying hi to someone I don’t get to see often in our busy lifestyles.  Sue me.    

When you’re a chronic clubber like me, there are always people you see out in consecutive nights or weeks.  And it’s here the interrogation begins.
“Are you drinking tonight?”
“Why aren’t you drinking?”
“Oh, sober once again are we?”

Shit, I even ask similar questions myself come to think of it. Wow.  Do I?  Why?   

Has drinking excessive amounts of alcohol become the norm?  In order to justify not drinking, must we have an excuse?  Really?   

Fun fact: Apparently beer was the first alcoholic beverage known to civilisation. Yay for beer!

But it is said that alcoholic beverages have been used in virtually all cultures through most of their recorded history (apparently).  However, in our lifetimes (and probably our parent’s lifetimes, and their parent’s lifetimes) drinking has been a social phenomenon.  Recently, I’ve noticed the continuing pressure to drink while out.  Drinking can be a social thing, yes, but does being social depend on drinking? No. 

Side note while I’m at it, I may as well mention those who attack sober party-goers.  More times than I’d like, I’ve been asked “Any danger in you smiling?”  while taking 5 on a club couch.  Sorry, but sometimes if you are sober in a club full of people who are fucked off their faces, spilling drinks on you, crashing into your shoulders, or hitting on you with dribble down their face and a slur in their words, you aren’t exactly going to be smiling.

But back to the point.  People now need to have a formulated reason ready for the interrogators to explain why they aren’t consuming a liquid that accounts for nearly 88 thousand deaths each year in the US alone.  Do you hear how ridiculous this sounds?    

Strap on your thinking hats ladies and gentlemen – extravagant excuses are needed in this century.  If you can’t think of any, the top 5 commonly accepted excuses are:

‘Sorry I have a sport game tomorrow.’

‘I have work in the morning.’

‘I’m sick.’

‘I’m on antibiotics.’

‘I’m driving.’

Majority of the time, however, these excuses will get a scoff of the face as a response, or a shake of the shoulders for being ‘weak.’ 

Are you serious?

Why do we have to have these excuses? Why isn’t “not tonight” a legit reply, or “I’m just not”, not sufficient?  Or better yet – the question never needing to be asked in the first place.    

I have to say, I can drink a LOT and I still feel the need to have an excuse when I choose to have a sober night.  (Don’t mind me – I thought peer pressure was something we left behind in high school. Evidently not).   

Not to mention the fact that alcohol is one of the worst things for your body.  Over time, alcohol can lead to the development of serious diseases such as heart disease, strokes, liver disease, cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver and colon.   

Also, just because this blew my mind – binge drinking is defined as, for women, consuming 4 or more drinks on a single occasion and for men consuming 5 or more drinks.  Heavy drinking is then defined as women consuming more than 8 drinks a week and men drinking more than 15.  Guilty, anyone? I know I am. 

That doesn’t mean I’m going to give up my Saturday nights, though.  And my point still stands.  If someone isn’t drinking, who cares?  That’s their decision.  If you choose to drink – good on you!  If you choose not to drink – good on you!  I’m still gonna party with you on the dance floor either way.


Bellis, Mary.  “The History of Alcoholic Beverages.” Retrieved from http://inventors.about.com/od/foodrelatedinventions/a/alcohol.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use and Your Health.” Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” Retrieved from http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

Thursday, 11 September 2014



“Nanna, what do you like about being old?”  I asked her; sitting across from me in a faded arm chair, walking stick perched upright to maintain her posture.  She laughed.  I loved the way the corners of her eyes would crease when she smiled; glowing still at 80, wrinkles and all.  You can tell that in her youth, she was beautiful.  “Too many to name, my dear,” was the reply. 


One of the most common things I come across in today’s living is the prospect of becoming older.  I mean, it would be a miracle to be 18 forever.  Sometimes I wish I was a vampire.  Okay, well not actually a vampire (I think I’ve been watching too much Vampire Diaries). But I wish that I was something eternal, with eternal life; a life that I could choose to end whenever I pleased.  There are so many wondrous, beautiful, scary and dangerous things in this world and I want to see them all.  I want to travel every inch of the globe and see and experience and live.  There seems there isn’t enough time. 

Getting older is scary when you’ve wasted a lot of time waiting in lines for clubs, watching Friends (or a show you’re obsessed with), making your bed or worrying about little things like taking the bin out, or cleaning the bathroom, or why that boy hasn’t texted you back.  I wonder, if you could live for as long as you wanted – would you worry?

I have to ask, what would you do if you were eternal?

I know we would all break the law a lot more, take more risks, do more stupid things, perhaps kiss the wrong person one too many times.  But on a serious note –

If I were eternal, I would learn every language there is.   Spanish, German, French, Italian.  You name it.  Imagine being able to understand, speak and think every other language different to your own? 

I would probably jump off more cliffs, or swim in more waterfalls. 

I would raise millions of dollars only to donate it to causes (and perhaps just one or two more pairs of shoes…)

I would write many books, delving into the dark depths of my writer’s study, perhaps even invest in a quill and ink to do it like the ‘olden days’.
I would work in restaurants serving pretentious food or open a café and make it unique with funky tea cups and miniature pot plants.  I would work in crummy crammed bars, in groovy derelict ones, in banks, in offices, in golf courses.  I would be a flight attendant, or learn to fly a plane.  I would be a professional dancer. 

I would travel with bands and write music reviews and maybe learn to sing.  I would master guitar and learn piano, nail “Piano Man” on harmonica and drum solos from Red Hot Chili Pepper songs.  I would drink too much booze and maybe do some drugs on lonely Saturday nights that end up being not-so-lonely after all.

I would buy a kombi and see Australia, because what’s more awesome than the sights you see in a land you get to call home?  I would go to the Kimberly and Eyres rock and see the desert before we have a chance to destroy it. 

I would eat every flavour of ice-cream that exists, and try things like snails and grasshoppers (but not cockroaches, sorry, some things are just not meant to be consumed). 

I would dance like an idiot (and sometimes I do) and not care what people think, because why should you?

I think I would laugh a lot more.

I would visit history museums and art galleries and pretend to understand all the meaning behind them. 

I would travel to unknown places and nooks and crannies and eat a too much food and - Wait.
Hold up.
What’s to stop me? 

If you imagine it being something you want to try, you may as well.  Right? If it's something you really want to do, do it!  I guess what I’m saying is, you’re not eternal (thankyou captain obvious – I know).  But that’s the thing – you’re not.  So you have one chance to go out and do all the things on that list.  Don’t be one of those people that say, ‘life is so short’.  Life is the longest damn thing you ever get to do.  Do it right. 


And so I took another sip of my tea and looked up to catch my Nanna’s eye.  “You know, Nanna, I think I’m going to love being old, too,” I smiled.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Electronic Notebook

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon.  I no longer have a hangover, I’m drinking honey and lemon hot water and one of my glands is up.  The cat is next to me, there’s three club stamps on my right forearm and my hair needs a wash.  I just finished reading a book called The Messenger by Markus Zusak (highly recommend) and have succumbed to the not-so-unfamiliar act of looking back over my life. 
You see, writers need experience.  They need richness.  They need travel and books and tea and luscious bunches of flowers and music and every kind of flavour of ice-cream.  Sometimes I feel as though I haven’t got enough knowledge or creativity or life experience to write something extravagant, capturing, or heart-wrenching.  A bestseller, you could say.  But then I was reading through my electronic notes on my phone – you know the ones you often write when you’re drunk, or making a shopping list, or simply out of pen and paper.  And I realised, I’ve got a lot.

It’s like pieces of a diary, of a life.  Of love, and tragedy, and friendship.  Of song lyrics and bad days and good days and all the bits in-between.  The best part is, they can be a story on their own, or they can mould themselves together.  It all depends on how you read it.

14th of January, 2010 9:22PM
I’m a fridge and Ali is my magnet

19th of September, 2010 1:42PM
Dear Annabel
You make me laugh and you make me cry
All because I love you :)
You are an amazing person and I love you so much
I would hate it if I lost you because everything about you makes me smile :)
I know that not everyone thinks what I do but everything happens for a reason, that’s probably why I get over things so easily, because I always say in my head it wouldn’t have happened for nothing.  I’ve learnt that after Hannah died although I couldn’t actually find any reason for that other than gods a fucking arsehole haha :)
Anyway bit of an inspirational talk
I love you
a loving friend

19th of September, 2010 2:07PM
My heart can’t possibly break if it wasn’t even whole to start with

24th of September, 2010 9:58AM
Annabel!! Over here!! On this note!

dear miss Owen
we are pleased to say you have been accepted into our society, the society of people who are back from camp.  I missed you so much this week, you should have been in our camp group where we could have had so many inside jokes and laughed til the sun came up.
I’m really happy our lives are turning around, with Jack and Toby and Josh.  It’s all getting better from here.  Last night I had a dream of what I was going to say to a certain boy we know and I really need to see him now.
Gah. Jokes I hate that word.

So Nyway. Wtf that was meant to say anyway. *intermission* this is really hard to type on



anyway (YES) I really hope you had fun on camp even though you weren’t with me.

You are the fridge to my magnet
Ps. I love you

24th of September, 2010 10:38AM
I was just listening to wonderwall (which im gonna make you learn on guitar even though chia said it was really hard) so I was listening to it and it said, there are so many things that I would like to say to you but I don’t know how. So true.

“Im craving a burger, is that weird?”
‘not for you’ haha that’s from the hurt locker and it applies to me so goodly,
goodly is so not a word.

so your ipod tells me it has low battery. Rude.  But I better go now then.

xxxxxxx – an impressive amount.
Love Kate.

3rd of October, 2010 9:01PM
I can live without you but without you I’ll be miserable at best.

23rd of December, 2010 2:16PM
Damn who’s a sexy bitch – Dayumm girl.

7th of February, 2011 7:43AM
I’m happy :)

2nd of March, 2011 1:54PM
Hi Annabel! I don’t know how many times you’ve listened to this song but I can’t say anything because STOP SINGING. Anyways I listen to certain songs a fuckload of times so whatever

Damn, the bell just went bye :) XXXXXX love Kate WTF is with the caps in the x’s for fucks sake

“pfft im glad im not going”
“so am I cuz you always FUCK things up!!”

27th of April, 2011 3:45PM
Nick Edwards is a babe and I love him very much (this is not a hack ;) )

17th of June 2011, 8:56AM
Bohemian Rapsody
Bravery believe
Cats in the cradle
Sweet child O mine
Sweet dreams (are made of this)
Snow (hey oh)
Hotel California
Stairway to heaven
Behind blue eyes
Born to be wild
Aerosmith dream on
Before its too late goo goo dolls
Red hot chili peppers

19th of July, 2011 2:47PM
“It hadn’t been until then that I realised I had a story to tell.  Lil had a story, too.  Everyone does.  But it’s only in novels we can fully know another human being.  Real life is different.  People are lucky if they’re even fully known by themselves.”
- Joanne Horniman, My Candlelight Novel

21st of July, 2011 11:29AM
The sun glistens in the corner of the sky.  Fresh morning air lies across the landscape that blurs past.  It could so easily be an ordinary day, but it isn’t.  Is it a wonder that one morning you simply wake up and in the blink of any eye, everything is different?  Things have never been this way before, but suddenly a whole new perspective arises from the dust of last night’s dream.  You didn’t realise it before, but for some strange reason
now you do.

21st of July, 2011 11:59PM
Letter to Myself

You’re sitting on the couch of siesta and dad is watching the ‘Tour De France’ on tv which is ridiculous coz no doubt he’s been watching it all night while you were out with Kyle and Blake and Trent and Jason. Of course your sister was there and trent’s sister, but this is unimportant. You’re anxiously waiting for a boy to text you back although you don’t know why coz you don’t really care (or so you tell yourself).  Any minute now mum is going to pester you about climbing into bed because “its late” but for the moment she’s also interested in the tour de france.
“darling you better go to bed because you can’t sleep in as much tomorrow.”
how predictable.

Also, going to bed now wouldn’t make much difference because Ella coughs every five seconds which keeps you awake and you’ll just end up reading this or texting anyway.

You sort of need to pee and your socks are wet.  Goodnight mum.  See you in the morning. 

You’re actually pretty tired but cbf going to bed so fuck it.  You’ve been reading lots more books lately which have awesome imagery and has left you rather poetic.  Could be a good or a bad thing, I’ll leave that to you to decide.

Tomorrow you leave siesta park which is usually sad but you’re actually looking forward to getting back to Perth to see all your friends especially Nick and Kate and Riley.

Today you played tennis for the first time in ages.  You were still good so maybe you should take it up again, just a suggestion.

I’ve run out of things to tell you other than:
Chocolate would be good right now no make that fudge
You didn’t go on the flying fox this time, maybe youll go tomorrow
There she goes is awesome on guitar
The tour de france commentator is a loser
You need to brush your teeth.

It’s time to stop.  Let’s end with a quote
“you say tomato I say fuck you”

only kidding, we’ll try that again.
“you can do it.”
That’ll do. Goodnight, sweet dreams. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

30th August, 2011 1:54PM

5th of May, 2012 3:14PM
We found love in a hopeless place

19th of June, 2012 10:39PM
Summary of your life currently:
- semester one year twelve exam results deserve a thumbs up
- no one has asked you to the Wesley ball
- there is no decent food in the fridge
- you’ve driven a manual car twice yay
- guitar is poo but you love it
- you hate school
- you want to write a book full of life and imagery and happiness and sadness and how time is precious, which is ironic because you don’t have the time to write the book…

30th of June, 2012 3:17PM
Did he ask you out?
!@#$%^&*( YAY!
You said yes right?
I hope you’re being sarcastic
Thank god! I was about to have a meltdown.  Aw I’m so happy for you!
:) :) :)

13th of July, 2012 12:02PM
I regretted it once again as I watched him walk away.  That was the second time I’d blown an opportunity with him.  We trudged upstairs through the wafts of cooking food and up onto the walkway.  And who was coming up the other side? He himself.  Someone called behind me, “GO!” And this time I listened.  I walked boldly towards him and watched the corner of his mouth twitch into a smile as we got closer.  I went straight to him, my heart pounding as I grabbed his neck and watched him lean down towards me. His tongue slid across mine and I could hear people yelling, but we continued to embrace. We pulled away and walked in different directions.  In a movie that would have been the climax.  We would have kissed passionately and then become a couple and fallen in love.  But it wasn’t a movie, and we didn’t

15th of July, 2012 5:30PM
99 problems but a chip aint one
^ by some stroke of genius you just made this up.
In need of a laugh? Here:
The awkward moment when a sentence doesn’t end the way you think it octopus.
Hi captain stewbing, how are gofer and dock? Permission to come aboard sir? Alrighty then.

20th July, 2012 11:47AM
Fi & Co Fashion Vintage Books

15th September, 2012 10:48AM
Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell thefingerprintsofscum

28th of March, 2013 8:43AM
A red ruby stud
A black beaded bracelet
A red one, too
A green jumper
Some brown boots
Doc Martins
A silver bird bracelet

5th of June, 2013 4:20PM
When I smell the waft of lingering cigarette smoke I think of you.  Me, burying my head into your leather jacket the first time I cried in front of you.  I was drunk but you were there, and you held me.  That was all I ever wanted.

29th of July 2013 5:40PM

29th of July, 2013 9:04PM
I don’t know what I’m doing.  I’m seventeen, and there’s no map for it.

9th of August, 2013 9:31PM
Do you ever wish that you could just start over?

4th of September 2013 10:29PM
Quote Hayley Baker “It’s just such a good song I just want to butt fuck it.”

14th of September, 2013 1:26AM
“Licking is a superpower.  Well it’s my superpower.” – Demi Spratt

15th of September, 2013 12:40PM
Ping Pong Scores
Annabel – 4
Nick – 3

10th of January, 2014 5:59PM
“I don’t believe that old cliché that good things come to those who wait.  I think that good things go to those who want something so badly they can’t sit still.” – Ashton Kutcher

16th of January, 2014 12:21AM
He acted like we never even knew each other.  Like we were strangers who had no past, no present and no future

13th of March, 2014 1:55PM
It’s an old bus.  Of course it is, on a day like this.  It pulls up to the curb, ricocheting and rattling.  The seats are ripped and stained; scratched graffiti on the back.  Paint peels off the faded yellow handlebars and the windows clatter as the old metal shakes.  I stare solemnly out of their watermarked glass.  When I get home I’m going to sit at the kitchen bench in a lonely house and eat my fettuccine from its Tupperware container; cold and slimy.

18th of March, 2014 8:12PM
I wish I could close my eyes and forget, just for a little while.  I wish Demi was still at Curtin.  I wish flights to Melbourne weren’t so expensive in the school holidays.  I wish my friends would be honest.  I wish me being honest wouldn’t get me in the shits.  I wish I was better at pool.  I wish my writing wouldn’t reveal so much about me.  I wish I could eat endless amounts of cheese Doritos and not get fat.  I wish for a kiss that makes it all melt away.

22nd of April, 2014 10:40PM
I drank a little more than recommended.

20th of June, 2014 6:45PM
It was evening and I observed a man in a blue collared shirt.  He was served his meal, at a table for two.  Alone.  He pressed his thumb and forefinger to his temple and muttered quietly to himself.  I was mesmerised.  I wanted to look away, feeling as though I was intruding in his thanks.  His lips said amen and he gathered his utensils and I smiled, looking away only to discover I was his only witness.  A silent thanks.

21st of June, 2014 11:52PM
“If I look fat let me know and I’ll just wee it out.” – Phoebe Strickland

1st of July, 2014 3:05PM
We were like strangers who knew each other very well.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

In Another Life

In another life I was a bee. In another life I was a belly dancer. In another life I was a vegetarian and a vegan and a may-aswell-not-eat-anythingan.  In another life I was a tightrope walker and an acrobat and occasionally a juggling clown. In another life I wore slippers shaped like pigs. In another life I was a witch. In another life I lived on an island with coconuts and a sandy beach. In another life I had six toes. In another life I was pedantic and paranoid and another p word.  In another life I made it to seventy without breaking a bone.  In another life I sold magic beans.  In another life I flew kites and wore frilly frocks.  In another life my heart wasnt broken. In another life I met a goblin and he taught me how to cackle. In another life I drove everywhere I went.  In another life I only wore purple. In another life I was cunning and cognisant and I drank nothing but coca cola. In another life I was a bad kisser.  In another life I hated sugar, and squirrels, and the sea.  In another life I was a yeti, living in an igloo.  In another life I climbed a tree and fell out of it.  In another life I kissed a hippie and smoked weed and painted rainbows. In another life I told lies, but only ever on a Tuesday.  In another life I ate twisties and tacos and tangerines. In another life I loved broccoli and bad boys. In another life, I dreamt of being free.    

(Click to see full size)

Sunday, 13 April 2014

How to be Eighteen (In 18 Steps)

1. Do tequila shots.

2. Wear snapbacks and say things like “swag” and “dope”.   If you don’t like snapbacks; a Nirvana or Ja Feel shirt will do.  You can also say “lol”, “yolo,” “fuck,” “tbh,” “tbt,” “fml”, “atm,” “dem feels” or all of the above.

3. Judge everybody you see.  Girls, make faces at those girls who you think are hotter than you and whisper rude things to your friends.  Guys, size other guys up and pretend you’re about to get in a huge brawl but then back down at the last minute so that you look cool.    

4. Dance like a fucking idiot.  I’m talking throwing your hair back and forth, moving limbs ridiculously out of time from the beat and teaching people how to dougie.   

5. Go to every music festival that exists, but not before you get shredded and ripped and buy some clothes that really shouldn’t be classified as clothes.

6. Upload at least two Instagram pictures a day; comment on some statuses on Facebook that you know are gonna stir shit and tag at least three of your mates in a dumb meme that has probably appeared in your newsfeed more than five times.

7. Complain to the bouncer or the person checking your ID about how ugly your driver’s licence photo is. 

8. Claim you’re not a lightweight when everybody knows that you are.  Boast about how much alcohol you can drink in one sitting (like, four cups of vodka omg).

9. Leave your uni assignments to the last minute and then complain about how you’re not gonna get it done in time and how stressful it is and how you can’t go out at all or do anything but be locked up in your lonely room with square eyes and seven cups of coffee.  You’re halfway there.  

10. Tell people you’re broke then go out three nights in a row and spend heaps of money on alcohol.

11. Complain about having to vote and not knowing anything about politics.  Post about how awesome you are for voting for parties you know nothing about because they have a funny name,  then proceed to bitch about who is in parliament and what a shit job they’re doing.

12. Get really worked up about things going on in the current media that have nothing to do with you.  Coz, you know, you gotta care about things n shit.   

13. Don’t let old people go before you when getting onto public transport and then sit next to them and listen to music through earphones super dooper loud.  Or better yet, sit at the back of the bus and make a ruckus. 

14. Smoke even though you learned all through school exactly what it does to your body including cancer and all the other horrible side effects.  Who cares about living, right? Just smoke another ciggy and look sick in front of your mates.

15. Maccas run. Every weekend night.

16. Go to the gym and post statuses about your gym days, progress photos, the shakes you drink, how you don’t eat food or how strict your diet is.  People will love you more if you do this.

17. Get with as many people as you can and add them to your list and boast about it but then also keep some a secret and completely deny it.  Get with people you know you’ll regret getting with and then whinge about it.  Get with the really hot ones, too.  Get with them, their best friend and then their best friend and their sister and cousin and aunty twice removed.  

18. Accept the fact that our generation are disrespectful, technologically obsessed, think we are invincible and know everything.    

For those of you who don't understand satire - 
Google Dictionary defines it as: 
the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Please don't take any of the above seriously.  I am simply trying to write something that is an entertaining, relatable and clearly a ridiculous comment on our generation and society.  Enjoy with a pinch of salt. 

Eighteen year old me :) 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Crazy Little Thing We Call Life

I’ve been cheated on.  I’ve been lied to.  I’ve gone to work with my slippers on.  I’ve been kissed by people I loved.  I’ve eaten so much that I could not move.  I’ve read a book in a day.  I’ve written stories and poems and love songs.  I’ve danced until 3am.  I’ve climbed a mountain in the pouring rain.  I’ve taken people for granted.  I’ve unpacked many dishwashers and taken out thousands of rubbish bins.  I’ve cut pizza and answered telephones and told people where their tickets say to sit.  I've blown out many birthday candles.  I’ve loved with my whole heart.  I’ve bought people drinks.  I’ve put contacts in almost every day of my life since 2009.  I’ve done tequila shots.  I’ve bounced on trampolines.  I’ve sprained my ankle.  I’ve lost rings and watches and clothes.  I’ve made my bed, even though I think it’s pointless.  I’ve spent too much money on shoes.  I’ve won tennis matches and netball games and pretty much always lost in water polo.  I’ve spent way too much time looking on Facebook like it’s the morning newspaper.  I’ve lost best friends.  I’ve said goodbye to people I love, and hated it.  I’ve cuddled cats and taken dogs for walks.  I’ve blasted music so loud I couldn’t hear anything else.  I’ve watched Friends so many times I’ve lost count.  I’ve laughed until I couldn’t breathe.  I’ve missed buses and been afraid of doors shutting on trains.  I’ve jumped on a Tarzan swing and flown a flying fox.  I’ve set off my own house alarm.  I’ve tripped over in front of people.  I’ve laughed at other people tripping over.  I’ve learned to play guitar.  I’ve fought with my mother, and my father, and my sister.  I’ve told them I love them.  I've broken nails.  I’ve dyed my hair.  I’ve made scrapbooks.  I’ve swum like a mermaid.  I’ve jumped off jetties.  I’ve touched a dolphin.  I’ve slapped people in the face.  I’ve been in caves and trekked under Australian sun.  I’ve worn too many rings.  I’ve been stung by bees.  I’ve sent people letters in the mail.  I've built a walkway for Malaysian kids.  I've raised money for good causes.  I've cycled in bike events.  I've painted a wall.  I've climbed trees.  I've played hide and seek and duck duck goose.  I’ve done assignments the night before they were due.  I’ve failed at lots of things.  I’ve succeeded at lots of things, too.  I’ve cried.  I’ve smiled.  I've lived.
All in this crazy little thing we call life.        

Siesta Park Holiday Resort, Busselton. 2011. Tarzan swing.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

By The Candlelight

Candles flicker at the end of the soap-sudded bathtub.  Some have company; most are alone.  Bubbles prickle and whisper and pop.  A naked body with one silver chain, battling the thoughts within.   A time when thoughts bounce around your head, tasting the temptation of letting themselves free or otherwise remaining forever in secret. 

The bubbles begin to disappear, revealing the bare skinned body to the empty room.  A naked soul.  For none to see.  The pen meets paper but the thoughts won’t come.  There are no words.  

A pen lid.  Submerged in water.  Drowning in words; dispersing splotched ink.  Swimming in a sea of what could be written.  But never to be seen.   These crispy, yet soft damp pages, of thickness and trust.  Will one day turn to dust.  

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Birthday Cards

Dear Readers,

Yesterday was my mum's birthday (for her sake, I will keep her age in discretion, but I will say she doesn't look a day over 25 :P).  I was lying on my bed the night before, pen poised over the page of the card that I had made.  What should I write?  I didn't want to do the generic thing and write 'Happy Birthday I hope you had a great day, it's lovely to celebrate with you, thanks for being a great mum, yadda, yadda, yadda," because, whilst true, these words simply are not special.  They are some regurgitated pleasant words that, in contrast to much of my writing, seem hollow.  

So, I decided to embrace my inner creativity.  For my Nanna's 80th birthday this year, I was expected to write a speech; being the oldest grandchild.  Instead of making a corny speech filled with words previously said ("we are so lucky to have you in our lives, we love you, what a great way to celebrate a milestone blah blah blahdy blah"), I chose to write something a little more creative.  *Ding ding ding* went the fork against the glass; and I rose from my seat.

"In our hearts there live the memories.  Those that we cherish and love to death.  

There’s picnic’s down at the rivers, three children running around the wharf's of the yacht clubs.  There’s endless games of hide and seek (or just running away from each other) through the Lisle Lodge gardens, with winding paths and echoing giggles.  There’s perfectly shiny orange nail polish spread delicately onto the ends of dainty fingers; and lipstick to match.  There’s many Christmas Days, wearing those ridiculous hats and smiling amongst seafood and salad.  There’s Easter’s with special white chocolate Lint bunnies given every year.  There’s the old fashioned telephone that sits on the wall, the French magazines and comfy cushions.  There are Nanna’s famous chicken sandwiches and piles upon piles of books collected over the years.  There’s the memories we can’t quite remember; with kiddy pools and puppy Hugo.  There’s the colour white.  There’s fancy hats and not-so-fancy hats.  There are stories about the bus.  There’s the wisdom and the warmth that Poppa Billy brought into our lives.  There’s music and dancing and hugs and kisses and speeches.  And of course, there’s this moment here, spent on your 80th Birthday, Nanna.  
May we never forget them all.

This way, these words mean something.  They required thought, they required memory and they required proper punctuation and grammar.  I hope that they stuck in the minds of my family, took root and began to grow, fueling their own flourish of memories from times spent with those they love.  It's interesting for people to see what parts of them get noticed, what things other's remember or cherish about them.  So for my mother's card; I wrote a poem that goes exactly like this:

Fluffy dark hair and a big toothy smile on a petite frame filled with love. 
The smell of nice perfume. 
An eagle, swallow, blue wren or even a dove. 
A ‘huggy woo woo’.
An added ‘achooooweee’ on the end of a sneeze and; 
‘I need to do a poo’.  
Green tea that sits on the counter, growing cold.
A steamy plate of coiled spaghetti topped with meaty tomato bolognaise. 
“God I’m getting old”.
Washing hung on the line and no dishes in the sink.
Beds made, cat tray clean.
Who would do all those things if it weren’t for mum, you think?
And for god’s sake take the bin out - it honks like no tomorrow!
You’re always there to listen,
Or to hug throughout our sorrow.
With hugs and kisses for your daughter teens.
And poems and words and crystals and crosswords. 
And “does my bum look big in these jeans?”
You’re not afraid to curse and swear
But we love you all the same,
For it’s you, our dearest Mum, who never forgets to care.

So, next time you are about to write in a card, even if you're not a particularly creative person, think about the things that remind you of that person, the reasons you are happy to have them, things that make you laugh.  And perhaps, they will cherish that card and hold onto it forever. 

Lots of Love,
Annabel xxx

Monday, 17 February 2014

A Letter To Two Years Ago Me

Hey there chickadee,

First of all I just want to say don’t dye your hair red.  No matter how much you want to, don’t do it.  Actually, stop dying it altogether and see if it will grow.  Secondly, don’t stop writing.  Ever.  I know you feel like you’re not good enough now, but you just have to stick by it and believe. 

In about 4 months you’re going to get a boyfriend and he’s going to cheat on you, but don’t worry, you get to meet your soul mate this year.  Your final year at school is going to be tough but you’ll love every minute of it; even the bad parts.  Don’t work too hard, you’re going to get in the 90s (I know, I didn’t expect it either!).  While I’m at it, try not to eat too many packets of Cheese Doritos, you’ll put on like 5 kilos!  But you will get into Curtin studying writing and you’ll absolutely love it.  First year will be hard, but you’ll get there.  I promise.  

You’ll have some of the greatest friends in the world; some you didn’t even expect.  Your dreams of becoming a mermaid are going to come true as well – sort of.  You’ll know what I mean.  You’ll lose your best friend, and it will hurt like hell.  I’d like to say that you’ll get through it, but I’m still working on that.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Your cat still loves you to death, so you’ve got that at least.  

Mum is still working hard, your sister now has a boyfriend and you’ve started cycling with Dad again (could be a disaster, who knows).  You’ll enter writing competitions, become a writer for Curtin Uni’s magazine and your blog will reach 4000 views.  Sometimes you will feel like giving up and letting things work themselves out.  Don’t.  Don’t wait for things to happen.  Make them happen.  Hang in there, gorgeous, you’ve got talent.  Use it.  

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Run For Your Life

Running is a lot like life.  For starters, it’s a journey.  A long one.  If you look at the distance as a whole, you become overwhelmed.  There is too far to travel, too much to cover; your mind cannot comprehend it and you become more exhausted.  But if you focus only on what’s right in front of you, it becomes manageable.  If you can just make it to that pole, then to that shadow, where the two ducks are sitting, passed the man in the blue sneakers, to that third tree; it doesn’t seem so huge.  Little by little.  Take each piece one at a time. 

Sometimes you will run with some friends by your side, perhaps a lover.  Sometimes you will run alone.  Sometimes you will trip over – and yes, it will be embarrassing, but you will get over it.  Sometimes someone will be there to help pick you up, but sometimes you will have to do it on your own.  You may pass people, those you only see for a brief amount of time.  Others you will see a lot more of, perhaps even jog near them for a while.  And some will be there every day, just like you.    

You might hurt your ankle, or pull a muscle, but if you take good care of it, or take it easy for a little while, it will heal.  Sometimes breathing will be heavy, difficult, like knives in your chest when you heave.  Others it will be steady, controlled, fresh air filling your lungs and making you feel more alive.    Sometimes your legs may burn and it becomes harder, but you have to keep going.  You cannot stop because if you do, you’re not sure you’ll be able to start again. 

Nobody said you couldn’t slow down.  A slow jog is sometimes what you need to regroup your energy, to figure out where to go next.  A sprint may come when you least expect it; or perhaps you’ve been preparing for it for a while.  If you need to, you can walk.  Just keep strolling.  Feel free to wander; it’s not always about how fast you can go.  Sometimes you simply need to enjoy the ride.     

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

In Another's Shoes

I’m sitting on the picket fence.  Balanced precariously, deep in thought and scanning the street.  I watch the cars go by, twitching ever so slightly when they do.  It would be so easy to walk out in front of one by mistake; to feel the hot granite on the pads of my feet.  A fly buzzes around my face and I swat it away, agitated that it’s ruining this time for me.   I get distracted with it and try to catch it, or at least injure it in a way that makes it squirm around in circles next to me.    

I’m locked out of the house and I’m hungry.  Half an hour ago I was inside in the cool, then I made the mistake of leaving; forced to wait with patience I don’t really possess. 

I could go for a massage, around my shoulders and my temples; soothing into my skin and relaxing the muscles that are now spasming from sitting on the fence.  I would close my eyes and grin; maybe even softly purr my thanks. 

Suddenly I feel sick and I heave, losing my balance and falling; landing square on my feet.  I choke and splutter over the grass and then stagger away onto the pavement.  For a moment I still feel sick, but then I swallow and feel my strength coming back.  I have no idea when I’ll be able to get back into the house so I decide to go for a run around the oval, my feet padding against the grass, the sun warm on my back.
I become exhausted and plonk down onto my back, staring up at the sky and the trees and the birds.  My ear twitches.  I stretch out and yawn, flipping onto my stomach with bits of dry grass sticking to my back.  I wonder what it would be like to fly.  I wonder why the kid across the oval is kicking that ball.  I flinch when another car speeds passed.

I’m bored so I pick myself up and stroll back into the gates of home; listening to the dinging of a bell.  I perch on the front deck.  She should be home soon.  She’ll open the door for me and I’ll sprint in, munch on some food and collapse on the bed in the third room, stretch out and fall asleep, dreaming.    


If you didn’t pick it up,
this is told from the point of view of a cat.
Now read the story again :)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

When We Were Little; a 90's Kid's Trip Down Memory Lane

When we were little, the boys sat on one side and the girls sat on the other, because boys had cooties, but so did girls, and only the ‘tom-boys’ were cool enough to play soccer with the boys at lunch time. 

When we were little we watched Postman Pat, Noddy, Blinky Bill, and of course, Round the Twist.  There was the old Playschool, the good quality Bananas in Pyjamas, Thomas the Tank Engine, Pingu and Brum.  We watched the ones you might not remember – Budgie the Little Helicopter, Johnson and Friends, Gumby and The Trap Door.  And we loved them all, even though some may have creeped us out at the time.

When we were little, the girls played Mildred Hubble, The Saddle Club, Charmed and H20, Just Add Water.  Because yes, we were that lame. 

When we were little we collected CD’s.  ‘So Fresh’ was one of the best.    

When we were little it was still baa baa black sheep and ‘vegie monster’ was cookie monster and he ate cookies, except he didn’t actually eat them because crumbs just flew everywhere instead. 

When we were little we would fall asleep on the couch and wake up in our own warm cosy bed.

When we were little we sat on Santa’s lap at the shopping centre, telling him what we wanted for Christmas while we bounced with excitement, and somehow didn’t notice that his beard is clearly fake. But we believed because we were young and naïve, and why couldn't a fat man in red slide down the chimney to fill our stockings with gifts and our hearts with joy?
When we were little The Easter Bunny seemed legit, and the tooth fairy would leave us gold coins under the pillow or in a jar of water. 

When we were little, computers were chunky and bulky and to connect to the internet you had to ‘dial up’, listen to that awful noise it made and then you couldn’t use the phone.

When we were little, jumping off the swings whilst you were swinging pretty high was considered “living on the edge”.

When we were little we played Gameboys, with Pokemon and Mario, and the first ever Playstations, with Spyro and Crash Bandicoot.  Then Tamagotchi's were invented and we hung them around our necks from sexy lanyards.    

When we were little we spent more time outside and less time on electronic devices.  We played hide and seek and 44 home and sometimes even Wavo. 

When we were little the classic Nokia’s had snake.  It was a simpler time. 

When we were little, staying up passed 10pm was a treat. 

When we were little we weren’t allowed to have bare feet in the playground sand because there might be syringes, although I’ve never actually seen or heard of a kid stepping on one. 

When we were little we played marbles in primary school, trying to collect the most out of anyone; especially the big colourful ones. 

When we were little, it didn't matter who was dark skinned, who was white, who was Asian, who was skinny, who was fat, who had glasses and who didn't.  We were all the same.  

When we were little, that annoying tune from the Mr Whippy van was the most exciting thing in the world (and for some of us, it still is). 

When we were little we all were a part of, attended a, or heard about a primary school ‘wedding’, binding two little kids together in ‘holy matrimony’ (I doubt we could even pronounce that back then). 

When we were little we couldn’t step on the cracks or we would break our mother’s back.

When we were little we believed that if we pulled an ugly face and the wind changed, we would stay that way forever.

When we were little we didn’t have to worry about money, a job, what to study at university, the ending of relationships, or a broken heart.  We didn’t have responsibilities and dinner would always be on the table for us without a second thought.  We didn’t have to pay for fuel or watch what we ate or pick what to wear every day.  

And when we were little, we just couldn't wait to grow up.   

Budgie the Little Helicopter 


 Johnson and Friends 

The Trap Door 

Saturday, 11 January 2014


She stands on a jetty, the wind blowing wisps of blonde and brown hair around her face.  In her right palm she clutches a silver necklace tightly.  She lifts her arm into the breeze, pulling it back, ready to throw.  Then she stops.  She slowly brings her arm back down and opens her hand.  It reveals a silver heart, from which two chains fall, silver balls on the end of each.  She gingerly touches the smooth, cold heart, grasping it in her fingers and running them down the chains to the baubles.  Then, in one swift, unthinking motion, she hurtles it into the sea.  She waits for the “plop” and then she turns around and sprints away. 

With a sparkling green mermaid tail she dives into the sea.  She opens her eyes underwater and swims as fast as she can to a point beyond the jetty.  She lifts out her hands and begins fossicking in the sand, clouds of murky clusters rising around her as she moves along the ocean’s floor.  The idea is that if she can find the necklace, if the sea doesn’t swallow it whole; lost for all eternity, then it is meant to be.  And if she can’t, well, then she just has to let it go.