Stories

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A Jasmine Mentality

On Sunday morning, I got up at 5.30am and drove a car load full of stuff to the Camberwell Market. My friend Zoe and I had decided to have a stall to rid ourselves of some unwanted items, and, let’s face it, to make a bit of money too. The choice of mid-winter for said stall was my doing, and possibly one of my less intelligent ideas, but there we were, setting up our trestle tables in the dark in...

Fake It Til You Make It

I had big plans for this week’s blog. I was going to write about the state of the world, about how to forge ahead when everything seems dark and sad, about the light and shadow that exists within each of us, about the time I got into a white van in Sri Lanka and what happened next. It was relevant, trust me. It was going to be VERY inspiring. But I’m going to leave that for another post, because what...

Confessions of a One-Term Teacher

Hi guys, How are you? Long time no speak. What’s been going in your life this past…er…four months? Is that how long it’s been since we spoke? I think it’s about that. It’s been a tumultuous time for me, if I’m honest. In fact, the last one and a half years since getting back from Nanjing have been a bit strange. Life is not necessarily a continuous uphill passage of achievements, constantly improving, constantly gaining new heights. I’m sure you...

9.17 Wendouree Service

I copied one of my favourite writers, Helen Garner, by taking the train to Ballarat and writing about what I saw, or what made me laugh. I take my seat on the 9.17 Wendouree Service. I have two older Aussie women behind me, chatting comfortably, and two young women in front speaking softly in Mandarin. They have coppery coloured hair, Asian hair dyed blonde. We pass the Melbourne Eye, long a topic of derision, and I tune in to the...

Glen Waverley Antique Bazaar – Part 2

Reader, I went back. On a cool and sunny Tuesday morning, I got back on my bike, literally, and rode to Richmond Station, but not before calling the Waverley Antique Bazaar to double check they were open. ‘Are you open today?’ I asked the young woman that answered, feeling embarrassed, knowing that the fact that she had answered the phone meant that yes, they were. ‘We’re open every day’, she said tersely. ‘Right, thanks. It’s just that I came last...

Glen Waverley Antique Bazaar – Part 1

It was a biscuit-tin sized hole in my life that compelled me to make the journey to Glen Waverley. I’d been cooking biscuits and cakes for friends and family and had nothing suitable in which to gift the baked treasures. A Tupperware container seemed cold and callous. A plastic plate with some Glad wrap over the top was just plain shabby. The only tins I could find in op-shops were rusty inside and out. If it was biscuit tins I...

The Guy Pearce Couch

Once upon a time, two years ago, Steve and I were on the lookout for a couch. I’d just moved from Sydney back to our flat in Melbourne, our former housemate Nic had moved out with his couch, Steve and I were about to get married, and there was a big space in our living room needing a cosy piece of furniture on which to snuggle up and watch telly or read a book. If it could double as a...

PNG and Me: A Love Story

Have you ever had a passionate relationship with a place? As if that place is a person? Sometimes you want to be with them all the time; other times you hate them and want nothing to do with them; then, you get back together for a make-up hug and everything is OK again. For me, that relationship is with Papua New Guinea. Like a tumultuous love affair with someone just a little bit dangerous, but all the more attractive because of...

Down and Out in Bath and London

Once upon a time, two Australian girls lived in a cupboard above the stairs, in a town called Bath, in a country called England. The girls were best friends. One was Liz and the other was Isabel. Liz and Iz. This is a true story and it happened ten years ago. Liz and Iz met at high school, and afterwards, went to Melbourne Uni together. After the first year of their Arts degrees, they decided that they needed to go...

On Fathers, Failure and Facing Your Fears

I was 30 years old when I got my driver’s licence. Yep. And when I say licence, I mean the probationary kind, the kind that allows you to drive a car without anyone sitting next to you. Not the full kind. I still don’t have that. I know, I know. This is unusual. This is bizarre. But for me, getting my Ps was a really big achievement. Can’t any idiot drive a car, you ask? Well, this idiot had more...