Stories

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The House on the Highway

Steve and I spent the first two weeks of October at his grandparents’ house in Queenscliff. Staying there, in that house full of handwritten letters, flowery tins and shelves of old books, I couldn’t help but mentally revisit my own grandparents’ house. Something about the smell. Something about the era. Though my grandparents and Steve’s never met, their very different houses share certain qualities. My grandparents, Mum’s parents, lived in Mt Gambier, on the border with South Australia, right on...

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...