Thursday 22 June 2017

First of the Month Fiction - July

I'm shutting the blog a little early so I can focus on all my tax responsibilities before the school holidays hit us. Have a great break and enjoy. (and may you all get refunds).

For newbies, write a story in 100 words exactly or one less than 30, add it to the comments and then link your blog. Mine's 100 but I've cheated with the title.

The Museum of Broken Relationships.

He knew before Valarie moved in, he'd have to get rid of it. The memories stored in his bathroom vanity. Small bottles of perfume, a hair elastic, a worn pink toothbrush. He didn't know why he'd kept them so long. Most days he didn't notice it. Occasionally an item would catch his eye and he'd finger it forlornly. The tangibility of lost romance quietened his unease. Not pain nor longing. The guilt of looking back on an old relationship a little too often for someone in love?

He picked up the perfume, inhaling deeply. He could treasure it for another week.

There actually is a Museum of Broken Relationships (there's actually THREE!) and I love that they have gift shops. I've been quite obsessed with this idea since I read about it. Anyone heading to Croatia, check it out!

An InLinkz Link-up

Travel safe and enjoy the break! See you in July.

Linking off topic with #LifeThisWeek


We lost the ipad on the way to Europe - I thought my youngest left it on the plane. We emailed Singapore Airlines in hopes of picking it up on our return flight. We emailed again when we got back to Australia, in case it had turned up since in lost property. No luck. I rang our insurer and ask if they cover it, as it was our carelessness not theft. They said they did. I found all the many documents, going back years for receipts. Once submitted, I was told they didn't cover it because we left it in a public place. Thanks for nothing, Covermore. You should have said that over the phone and not wasted my time.

Fast forward two and a half months after we lost it, and I receive an email from Denis in Amsterdam. He's found it, and asks if we can we describe it so he knows it's ours. He found it in the airport. I suspect in the seats at the baggage carousel. I offer to pay for the postage. He is going to send it and sends me his bank details. I can pay him after it's been sent if I want.

I am going to pay him in advance. My partner asked how do I know if he's really found it, or really going to send it? I figure it's too much of a hassle to be some nefarious ruse, all this emailing. More importantly, I don't want to believe there are people who would do that. I want to believe that the majority of the world is full of good people who do the right thing. I know this may be naive, but I want to think that's the truth, and so I shall.

In a weird addition to the list, I'm adding 'Trust a stranger' to the Torschlusspanik list. Partly because it makes me feel good to believe in the good in people, partly because if I found somebody's ipad, I'd do the same thing.

"Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Now, is there a cheap way to transfer Euros into a bank account?
Do you think I'll see the ipad again?
Should I wait to send the money? (I'm not going to, I'm just curious)

Torshlusspanik List:

1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)
11. Master a Masterclass (check)
12. Perform a rap song (check)
13. Trampoline adventure (check)
14. BMX Riding (check)
15. Do a cart wheel (check)
16. Ride an Electric Bike (check)
17. Astonish Myself
18. Write a book.
19. Participate in a distance event (check)
20. Climb Sydney Tower (check)
21. Dance in a dance class (check)
22. Trust a stranger

Linking with #OpenSlather and #GlobalBlogger

Monday 19 June 2017

Scent of a Woman

I'm reading Roxanne Gay's Untamed State (it's very harsh and I'm not sure I'd recommend it - not because it's bad, I just find it disturbing, so read some reviews and decide for yourself - I'm quite the delicate flower in some respects) and in it the mean mother in law says 'That perfume is too young for you. You smell like a high school tart.'. It's an inconsequential line but it got me thinking. Does perfume have an age?

I understand lilac and rose may be 'too old' for a young person, but does the reverse work? I'd never thought about it until now. I posed this question in a group and so many people agreed with her. As someone who just wears smells that I like, I was surprised how many people thought about perfumes and scent.

I discovered that the vanilla, which I sometimes wear, is considered young, whereas to me, it's a bit old lady - comfort in baking smell. My favourite perfume is the Dali original. I have a small stockpile that I wear on special occasions, as it stopped being made a decade ago. (So if anyone sees some on sale, do let me know!!). I like Frangipani and Jasmine, because they remind me of holidays. I like green tea because of fancy Bvlgari smell, from luxury hotels in holidays gone by. Clearly I get comfort from my perfumes, with the 'feelings' of happiness and well being that they connect to.

It was pointed out to me that at the recent Writers Festival, there was a focus on fragrance, writers using smell as means to draw the reader in. One can't forget the first volume of Proust's work, the surprisingly hilarious Swann's Way, has the smell of a tiny cake leading to a book worth of memories. The last book I read, The Nest, talked a lot about a character wearing Nina Ricci's L'air du temps, signifying a very New York thing at a certain time and for a certain age. It is definitely in fashion in literature.

It's funny how such a faint ephemeral thing can govern so much.

Do you get too old for a perfume?
What are you currently wearing?
Do you have a signature perfume?
Have you actually thought about it?

Linking with #MLSTL

Saturday 17 June 2017

Lights out - end of VIVID

Over the last three weeks I went to VIVID eight times, with and without the kids. Sometimes with friends, sometimes solo. I went to two VIVID concerts and dined at The Burrows, the VIVID pop up. I love VIVID. It makes me go out at night, it makes me enjoy the week nights, instead of sitting around watching tv, waiting for the weekend. It makes me love Sydney.

I am always a little sad when it is done. The only things I had left to see was the Airport installation and the Zoo (I'd rather spend my money on dinner than paying to see the lights, though I have friends that rave about the zoo, so I acknowledge I may be missing out)

These are the photos I took at Barangaroo, Darling Harbour and the Gardens, that I never had time to post.

All bubbles have a way of bursting, and all fun comes to an end. But why? Why does my behaviour fall back into dull routine?  

Good thing the school holidays are fast upon us, as I can fill the days with fun and exploration. 

Do you get sad at the end of a festival or event?

 For three weeks I was loving life. Now, it's a little meh. But I had dinner out with friends and slunk off to Sherlock Holmes yesterday so I really am still loving life a little. It's just not as colourful as it was.What are you loving at the moment?  Linking with #WeekendReflections because there are plenty of reflections on the water, but also on the glass in Bulletin Lane. Also linking with #MySundayBest #InspiremeMondays #WordlessWednesdays #GlobalBlogging #TravelTuesday #PictorialTuesday #LNRseasons #OutdoorWednesday #WednesdayRoundTheWorld

Wednesday 14 June 2017


A quick one, to let you know I'll be shutting the blog early on the 24th, with tax time and the school holidays pending, and as always, First of the Month Fiction will remain open for the duration, until the 20th July.

While wandering around Vivid, I was struck by the beauty of the reflection and reminded from a line in a Katherine Hepburn movie (I think?) ' There once was an old man in China who drowned while trying to kiss the moon in a puddle. He was drunk, but he still made beautiful poetry'

 My point and click didn't do it justice but it was a stunning low orange moon on Sunday night.

Linking with #WeekendReflections #TPThursday #ThroughMyLens #MummyMondays #THeRandom #WordlessWednesday


I can't write about my first concert, as I have no idea what it was.I'm old. Who can remember that far back into the last century?

I can write about my last concert, because it was last night. Beth Orton at the Opera House for Vivid. It wasn't really my type of music. It was in 1997, but that was twenty years ago and I've moved on, musically speaking. It didn't help that I mixed her up with Meredith Brooks, who was kicking around the same time, all those years ago. A lot of people seemed to enjoy it, and she almost filled the concert hall but for me, it was a waste of time.

So I will talk about my second last concert, the Thundamentals at the Enmore. Love the venue, we were right up the front, and they're a lot of fun. Got quite a workout jumping around. I did get a little weirded out by their constant talk of our need to love each other - I wondered if they were some sort of christian cult, but no, just trying to encourage peace.

A man at the bar complained to my friend that he felt old in the crowd. She asked him how old he was, and he replied 28. She's only just 40, so I kept very, very quiet. Safe to say I was probably the oldest person there, but it didn't matter, and no one seemed to care. And best of all, neither did I.

What was your first concert? Can you remember? More importantly, do you still go to gigs?

Linking with #FortheloveofBLOG

Tuesday 13 June 2017

VIVID Rocks! - what are you waiting for?

Time is almost up - VIVID ends this weekend (17th) so get out and explore. The Rocks Precinct is lots of fun this year with plenty of interactive and immersive installations.

This one was my favourite - it's at the Overseas Passenger Terminal (but if you have kids with you, you will be hit up for massive fairy floss!)

Lots of fun for the little people and the tech savvy teens.

Take some photos on your camera and Cannon will kindly give you a large printed copy of one of your VIVID pics. You do need a memory card though.
Cannon  HQ

The interactive building projection at Cadman Cottage is great fun, Dance on keyboards to create the film.

Just nearby is this entertaining creation

In Argyle Place there is the fabulous Gullivers Travels, where you control the action. Light up hopscotch and a little further along, the wonderful Undercover World.

 So what are you waiting for?

Linking with both #RubyTuesdayToo and #BlueMonday  (& apologies, I'm not able to comment on your page? It's wanting my email when my email is there??)

Monday 12 June 2017

Line in the Sand

We read the book The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix for book club. In it, one character discovers his partner has gone behind his back and taken great risks financially, leaving them in ruin. In that moment, he decides he doesn't love this other character anymore. I really liked this moment described in the book - it was as if, suddenly in a single moment, he was looking objectively at the partner and their relationship. However, I didn't know if I believed it. I felt if you'd made rationalizations for bad behaviour throughout your relationship, I don't know if you'd stop doing it so suddenly. Or maybe it is the tipping point? I tend to think you'd draw a line in the sand, not to be treated this way again, so the ongoing dynamic would change but not fall out of love so immediately. You'd just make up yet another rationalization so as not to disturb the overall relationship. I do think a physical betrayal would be different, but a fiscal one or verbal one like the one in the book would be added to the pile and rationalized again.

I often justify the bad behaviour of people and give them the benefit of the doubt, as I'm sure they do of me. I'm very surprised people can unfriend people on Facebook over matters, or cut people out of their lives. Maybe this is a fault in me. I did only a year or so ago decide to shut people down if they insulted me. Those 'jokes' friends make, that used to annoy me but I laughed along with them anyway. Now I just say 'don't talk to me like that'. As simple as that. I have no idea why I didn't do it sooner. Probably because I was the chief culprit, mocking myself and my achievements for the entertainment of others. I was well into my forties before I decided I needed to stand up for myself because no one else would. (Thanks Kanye!).

There is a quote I wanted to end with that was along the lines of 'fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me' but about allowing someone to treat you badly. I can't find it and can't remember where I read it (yes, all my books are dog eared with quotes and ideas for blog posts). So I will leave you with this quote by Stephen Covey which I liked: "I teach people how to treat me by what I will allow".

For the record, I didn't like The Nest, but it's not really my sort of book, but the rest of bookclub did (so take that recommendation as you wish) however I did really like this one paragraph in chapter 37 when this moment occurred, and I've been thinking about it since (so for me, that was worth it). What prompts someone who's been treated badly for years to leave? Can it happen in a single moment? (Most people I know are still forced into it). Or do you wake up one day and decide you will no longer put up with it?

Linking with #FortheloveofBLOG #OpenSlather #KCACOLS

Tuesday 6 June 2017

What will you do with the extra day?

There's a public holiday day coming up on Monday (I was completely unaware until I read the prompt for #Lifethisweek). Normally, while not wanting to deal with the out of Sydney traffic, we might get a boat to Ettalong or Patonga for a holiday lunch, however we are currently a little housebound with this guy. Still too small to leave for more than a few hours.

As the whales are back in Sydney and putting on quite a spectacular show, I think we might try and repeat our whale watching cruise, which we loved so much last year, weather permitting. While in town, maybe swing by the Botanic Gardens for another peek at the #AllaboutFlowers exhibition.

Otherwise, I suspect it will just be a movie - given all the blockbusters are heading our way.

Have a great weekend, everyone, Drive safely and enjoy!

Bathe my soul in colours

Kahil Gibran ends that quote with  'let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.' There is something joyful about colourful displays that lifts the spirit instantaneously. I suspect that's why I love VIVID so much.

 It's a joyous immersion into colour.

I was mesmerized by the Voxelscape,which is apparently more than 9000 globes that ebb and flow in colour and patterns. The VIVID district in Chatswood is well worth a visit this year.

There's plenty of interactive fun for the kids, with light up drums and many interactive walkways. Not to forget, of course, plenty of good food to eat. 

There are market stalls in the mall, and the mini film projected with a 3D pit reflection pool installation accompanying it.

This VIVID you really will be “Walking through darkness with thoughts full of colors".
(Prajakta Mhadnak)

These last few weeks, I've been loving my life - spending the nights meeting friends and roaming the streets. #LovingLifeLinky

Linking with #ScenicWeekends #SundayBest #WednesdayAroundThe World #PointShoot #TravelTuesday #PictorialTuesday