Sunday, January 29, 2012


I am struggling at the moment.
I am finding it hard to keep my head above the water.
I feel like I'm drowning.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blog Tag!

Playing along with Gillian at I Came to Make a Bang, and tagging myself in her post!

First, the rules:-
  1. You must post the rules.
  2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
  3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
  4. Tag eleven people and link them on your post
  5. Let them know you've tagged them!

Eleven Facts about myself:

  1. I am not a good cook.
    I don't read recipes properly, for some reason I'll always forget an important ingredient, or miss an important step. I never learned cooking in school so I don't have any of that "common sense" cooking knowledge that everyone else seems to just know. I am so lucky that my boyfriend knows how to cook though!
  2. Not many things frighten me. I am however, scared of mice and water.
    To the point where I don't go swimming, I don't enjoy baths. Showering is fine, as long as the water does not touch my face, so I'll give my face a good scrub before / after. I'm not too sure why any of this is, water just makes me very uncomfortable.
  3. Although raised as a Catholic, I am very much atheist.
    This is something that I sort of always knew but never really understood. I first started thinking about it when I was in year 7 or 8 in High School. I have done research into all different types of world religions, and religion is something I definitely do not believe in. I don't really agree with organised religion either, and I do wonder if this is something that makes me anti-theist. I'm not too sure. Still doing a bit of soul-searching on that one.
    All this being said, I absolutely loathe people who push their beliefs onto others, and I'm definitely not one to do that.
    I went through phases of thinking I was agnostic, because people seem to respond to that better than atheism. But I'm not. I am definitely atheist.
  4. I know everyone says that they loved Harry Potter when they were a kid, but I loved it before it was famous. (this statement is so hipster!)
    I don't think this means though that I adore the books more than anyone else, I just take a certain pride in knowing that I was the first of my group of friends to read them. I got the first 3 for my seventh birthday, before the 4th book was even released. My books are actually first edition copies, so that proves my statement.
    When I was in year 4 I got into an argument with my best friend of the time about whether Harry or Deltora Quest were better. She maintained DQ was infinitely better. Well...I guess we know who won that argument! (HA!)
  5. Although my boyfriend and I have never really fought, we get into plenty of debates.
    This is definitely important to me. I love being able to question and debate issues with him, and I love that we're both such passionate (and stubborn!) people.
  6. I met my boyfriend at Soundwave 3 years ago.
    While the Bloodhound Gang were playing, who is one of my favourite bands! I love our story!
  7. I am most definitely a cat person. 
    Although I don't mind little, well-trained dogs either. As long as they're not yappy and slobbery. Dogs don't understand the concept of personal space, and that bothers me.
  8. Although I have spent most of my life in Sydney, I moved around a lot as a kid.
    We moved to QLD for a brief period of time as well, when I was in yr 4, before moving back again. I've moved about 17 times in my life, and as a result (although I'm good at it) I absolutely hate it.
  9. I have issues with self-confidence and self-esteem. 
    Again, not too sure where these came from, although I have some idea. I was pretty outgoing as a kid and talked a lot, but that's scaled back quite a lot as I've gotten older and less sure of myself. I'm hoping I can fix that a bit this year.
  10. I love reading. 
    This is definitely a deal breaker for me. I don't understand how people can advertise quite happily that they hate reading, as I think it's an indication of small-mindedness. I love that J also likes reading. I also love that he reads very different books to me, because even though I wouldn't necessarily read them myself I like listening to him telling me all about the story and the characters.
  11. I almost always fall asleep in movies. 
    Unless they're really interesting, I just don't have the patience to watch films. And unless the character development is really good, I don't feel invested in the characters and thus don't care if I stay awake to find out what happens to them. 

  1. Do your family / friends know you blog?They do. I'm not sure if they read it, or if they even care though.
  2. How long have you known your best friend?
    I have known Megan since I was 4, although we've only really been best friends for the last 10-11 years. 
    I have known J for 3 years!
  3. If you had to choose, would you rather loose your vision or your hearing?
    Ooooh, this is a hard one! I think I'd prefer to lose my hearing because the technology is there to bring some hearing back, haha.
  4. What was the name of your first boyfriend?
    Jonno, haha. (Not who I am with now...I just have a thing for J's apparently!)
    Although I was devastated when he broke up with me (As it was quite out of the blue and we had been together for about a year), I was kinda also really upset that I wouldn't get to see his mum anymore. She only ever had boys, so was pretty delighted whenever I'd visit. We got along pretty well.
  5. In the event of a Zombie apocalypse, would you fight to LIVE or do what I would do, succumb to a life as a zombie to avoid the fear and living without nice things ha ha?I think J would make me fight to live for as long as possible. But I think it would also be pretty awesome to be a zombie.
  6. Would you rather be forced to watch 2.5 men, or the Brady Bunch for the rest of your life?
    I've never actually watched Brady Bunch, so I'm going to go with that!
  7. What are three qualities you admire in a person?
    Good sense of humour, honesty, passion. 
  8. How old were you when you got your first mobile phone?
    I got it the Christmas before I went into year 7, so I think 11. It was the first colour phone on the market (Gosh, that makes me feel old!) and it was more of a security thing than a "cool" thing. 
  9. Have you / Would you attend your 10 yr high school reunion?
    I probably would. 
  10. Did you ever sneak out of the house without your parents knowing?
    Nope! I did say I was places that I wasn't though, haha. 
  11. What was your most embarrassing moment ever?
    Oh, I don't get embarrassed. 
My 11 Questions for you to do:

1. What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?
2. What inspired you to start blogging?
3. What advice would you give yourself at age 5, 10, 15?
4. What is the most meaningful present you've ever received?
5. What was something that was really difficult that you overcame?
6. If you could time travel, would you prefer to go backwards, or forwards in time?
7. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
8. What 3 things baffle you the most?
9. How old were you when you had your first kiss?
10. Favourite book?
11. What was the first movie you remember seeing in cinema?

My tags:

and if you want to do it, then I tag you too! Leave a link in the comments section so I can check it out!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

In Memoriam / 1 year on..

Today is a year since my Nan died.
It still hurts so much, and I miss her every day even more so.
There are some days where I think about her, and can't help almost bursting in to tears.

I thought I'd share with you the eulogy I wrote for her funeral. This was one of the hardest pieces I've ever had to write (the other being my Pop's eulogy).
This is incredibly personal, but I think part of keeping someone's memory alive is sharing who they were, and the impact they had on those who loved them.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!!

This poem – Don’t quit, was on a plaque that Nan had in her kitchen. As a child, it fascinated me, and Nan used to laugh as I’d recite it almost everytime I saw it. She would tell me how important it was to never give up in anything in life – that sometimes life is hard and it’s okay to rest and regain your energy, but it’s so important to stick with it, because you’ll come out a better, stronger person.

 Nan was so full of strength, beauty and love for all those around her, and especially her family. In December, Nan and Pop shared their 50th wedding anniversary. An incredible accomplishment many can only dream of achieving. They met at the Australian Hall in Elizabeth Street in Sydney City at a dance. From across opposite sides of the room, their eyes met, and locked with one another’s. Love at first sight. Looking at photos, you can’t deny that Nan was absolutely beautiful; and there were a few other boys who had their eyes on her – she danced with a few that same night, and even went out for a hamburger with one of them. But she returned to the dance, and it was Pop who drove her home. They met up and went on a date a few days later in North Sydney. At the time, Nan was also dating another boy. She knew Pop was the one when her sewing machine broke, and she asked both boys if they could fix it. The other boy had no idea, and couldn’t help her. But Pop came to the rescue, and fixed it. After about six months of their meeting, Poppy asked her the big question and they were married in Lavender Bay on the 15th December, 1960.
They celebrated their honeymoon in sunny Brisbane, and the following September, had their first baby boy, Des.  

The three of them moved to Perth, ready to establish their new family. Nan wanted to give Des a little sister – a little baby girl that she could dress up all stylishly as if it were one of her dolls. A few months after moving, Nan gave birth to another baby boy, Michael. Although they were looking at houses to buy to settle down, Nan was terribly homesick and missed her family back in Sydney. After about 6 months, she flew with Michael and Des back to Sydney. Pop missed her terribly and drove 3 days constantly across Australia to be back with her.

For a while after coming back, they lived in a two storey house in North Sydney with Nan’s sister, Shirley and her daughter Julie. Shortly after they bought their house at Fore Street, in Canterbury  and the third baby boy, Paul was born in Canterbury hospital.

They lived at Fore Street for about 12 years, before buying their current home in Fleet Ave, Earlwood, where they’ve lived for over 30 years. The Fleet Ave house was renovated and extended and built up to make it the home it is today – a place where anyone can drop in and instantly feel welcome.

Nan loved her music. It’s funny because you say that teenagers are notorious for blaring their music, but whenever anyone visited Nan’s place, they would be subject to her blaring her favourite singer – Nat King Cole. Of course, she did listen to some other singers – Paul was always having to build cabinets to hold all her cd’s – to this day, it’s the largest music collection I’ve ever seen.

As I mentioned earlier – Nan had such an encompassing love for her family, and this was reflected in her home. Photos of every family member adorned the cabinets, and shelves, and every piece of artwork that every child drew, or every piece of writing that was ever written was kept in a special place and deeply cherished.

As a child I spent all my free time over at Nan and Pop’s place – after school, in the holidays, on weekends. Nan would always point at people in pictures and make sure that I understood who my family was and how important they were – a reflection on how deeply she values the people in her life. Every year when any of us got our school photos she’d be the first to own a copy – although she hated being in photos herself, so none of us were allowed to take photos of her! Every-time a camera was pulled out that hand would fly up in front of her face almost as quick as a ninja!

Some of my best memories include Nan teaching me how to cook and how to sew. I always hoped that one day I could be even half as good at cooking as she was. In the afternoons, when we’d walk in the door after school Nan would call us straight into the kitchen where she had already prepared potato chips in carefully measured zip lock bags (so that everyone got an equal amount), an ice-cream cone would be ready in the freezer, and a can of drink chilled in the fridge. Sometimes there’d also be a snack-sized chocolate bar. She knew how to spoil us!

This was a part of who Nan was – very well prepared and always making sure that everyone was well fed. She would always say to us “You can never say to anyone that Nan ever let you go hungry!” Even when her sons were young boys and she was at work at the hospital, she would spend Saturday and Sunday making sandwiches for everyone during the week, and freezing them so they’d be ready to eat with minimal fuss.
Nan was an amazing sewer, but she was always so modest. She’d panic whenever someone gave her a pattern, even though she was perfectly capable of sewing anything you threw at her.  Although Nan had her three boys, and didn’t get a baby girl, there were still Granddaughters and more baby nieces who were yet to arrive to dress up. If you look at any photo of my sister and me from when we were young, we’ll be wearing clothes made by Nan. Almost every pair of pyjamas I’ve ever owned were lovingly hand-made by Nan, with the most intricate detailing of little flowers and lace. Most of my childhood was spent in her sewing room with her. When I was about 10, she spent months with me teaching me and my sister how to sew our very own signature bears, to use when we graduated from primary school. 
Nan was good at teaching, but she was also pretty good at learning. Everyone knew not to bother trying to call the house on a Saturday, because the phone line would be stuck in the back of the computer and Nan would be surfing the internet. When I’d visit on a Monday afternoon, Nan would share with me stories and pictures that she’d found on the web and printed that were “absolutely beautiful”.

I think that was probably one of Nan’s favourite words – beautiful.
It’s a good word to describe her; she never said a bad word about anyone....she never really said any bad words actually. And although I’m told she never really got up to any mischief, I was absolutely shocked when she told me that she was kicked out of her school, St Francis of Xaviers’ when she was a young girl. I couldn’t believe that Nan would even be capable of doing anything expelling-worthy. And it’s true. She wasn’t. Her sister, Shirley was caught smoking on Good Friday out the back of the church by one of the nuns who taught at the school. And as Nan was her sister, they expelled the pair of them!

And even though Nan was incredibly well-mannered and would never swear herself, she was quite  happy to listen to R-rated comedians such as Kevin Bloody Wilson and Rodney Rude. She would always say to me “Michaela, it’s okay to listen to the words, as long as you don’t say them yourself!” Nan had a great sense of humour  - she introduced me to the Chaser’s War boys well before they were ever controversial and popular, and she loved the foul-mouth granny on the Sharon Tate show.
Nan’s laugh was full of delight – it was hard not to laugh or smile along with her.

Nan and Pop's dog, Angel, and the bird, Gizmo playing
What was always guaranteed to make her laugh were funny stories about animals being kind to each other. Nan was very much an animal lover – I’d say everyone who has ever met her would know this; even the checkout workers at Big W and Woolworths in Campsie – because every Saturday without fail she would buy a new toy for the dog and bird to play with. There’s probably more animal toys at Nan and Pop’s house than there is in any pet shop in Sydney. They say that the way a person treats animals reflects on the way they treat other people.

That’s definitely true for Nan – she treated every living creature with complete compassion, adoration and understanding.
Gwen Margaret Smith was a fantastic wife, mother, sister and friend to us all. She was an amazingly strong woman who never gave up, regardless of how difficult something was – not even at the end. She’s at rest now and although we’re apart, she will continue to live on in our memories, and in our hearts. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jury Duty!

Today I performed my civil duty, and turned up to the Downing Centre in Sydney for jury duty.
The summons letter states you should dress smart-casually, so I went with this:

Skirt = JAY JAYS (like, 4 years old)
Blazer = ASOS
T-shirt = SABA
Handbag = JAG
Acorn Necklace = birthday present !

So, I wasn't empanelled, but I thought I'd share my experience of the day anyway, in case anyone has any questions, or you get summoned yourself and want to know what to expect!

Just a quick note though, I am in NSW, and it is my understanding that the experience differs slightly from state to state. 

SO! Once arriving at the court and going through security and all that, they ask for your panel number (I was panel G), and direct you to a courtroom. 
Once there, someone checks your summons letter and some ID. We lined up for a bit, and then when we got to the front the lady told us how long our trial was expected to run for. 
On the summons letter, it stated my trial was expected to run for 2 weeks. The lady asked if I had a problem with doing a 4 week trial. As you probably know (because I keep talking about it!) I have flights to Bali booked in Feb, so 4 weeks is pretty much out of the question. I wrote this down on the back of my form, and stated I was quite happy to do a shorter trial. 

After they got through everyone (There was about 30ish people in my panel? Maybe more?), the lady ran us through what to expect for the day. 
We then headed downstairs to the jury waiting room. Which is basically a room with water, tea and coffee and lots of chairs. 
At this point, I was SO GLAD that I brought my book, because there was a lot of waiting around. My juror number was called, and I had to go to the front and speak to someone else about my request for a shorter trial.  I was advised I was put in the pool for the 1 week trial. Cool. 

More waiting around. 

Finish my book, and start getting slightly impatient. 

Then, our panel number is called up over the speaker. The lady said that sometimes cases get postponed or don't go ahead or whatever, and for that reason sometimes potential jurors are not needed. "So Panel G, you are dismissed for the day, thank-you for your jury service. Don't feel disappointed, because it is still so important that you have shown up today. Expect your travel cheque in the mail next week, and you won't be called for another 12 months. Thanks"

I was pretty disappointed I didn't get to serve, I won't lie. 

But on the plus side, I did get to finish the book I was reading: 

This book is the sequel to the Bronze Horsemen. 

AND I highllllllly recommend it to anyone who likes reading. 
After I finish the pile of books by my bed, I will be buying the next in the series. 


Sunday, January 15, 2012


So I've only been op-shopping a few times in my life.
Generally I'm pretty hopeless at it, and grow very impatient. I grow impatient in normal stores, where the clothes are all laid out in size order and by colour / style. In op-shops, the clothes are maybe in order of "shirts", "jeans", "dresses" etc. I get bored hunting through so much stuff that doesn't fit me / look at all good.
And I wish I was better at it, because there are some amazing bargains to be found.

But the other day, I went op-shopping to my local Vinnies with my mum.
And grab a bargain, I did!

I grabbed this great Portmans blazer, and Portmans shirt, for $20 for both!

And they're both in excellent knick too!
I start back at work tomorrow (bleurgh), so I'm looking a bit forward to being able to wear them!

And in other news...

My passport arrived the other day as well!
Less than 4 weeks until we head to Bali!
I'm super excited!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Latest Looks


Keeping it cas'.
1. Black denim shorts. 
Frugal tip: These were once my fav pair of skinny jeans. But they got a hole in them, so I hacked them up and rolled up the ends for hems.
2. White 'Boat People' shirt. 
Bought this one at the Marrickville festival I attended a while ago.
The picture is of the First Fleet, with 'Boat People' written underneath it.
Cool and topical.
3. Laura Jones red leather computer bag. 
Christmas present from my darling mother.

Dinner with friends.
Wearing Sportsgirl dress. Nice for summer. Love the crochet back.
Nails: ChiChi 'Punk Off' with O.P.I Black Shatter applied as a top coat, horizontally. I've found applying horizontally, as opposed to vertically up the nail, creates cooler 'shatter' patterns.


 a) waiting outside factory theatre
Unwashed hair and numerous applications of hairspray with a little bit of teasing can create hair that looks as if it were intentionally messy.
Red lipstick, black eyeliner is always classic and takes about 2 minutes to apply.
Great for when you're feeling ugly as hell and have no time to look pretty!

b) sitting on a train
Sunnies are excellent for sunny days. They block the sun out of your eyes, meaning you can see things better. Get dark shades and you'll be able to watch people on the train without them knowing.
Frugal Tip: A Large Diet Coke from Hungry Jacks costs less than $3.00! This is cheaper than buying a bottle! And, I'm pretty sure there's more in a Large than 600mL. I could be wrong about that, but it FEELS larger. Bargains all round!


Monday, January 9, 2012


I taught myself this yesterday. 
Feeling pretty awesome about it, I won't lie. 

I know the images are pretty shit quality, but honestly, who gives a fuck. 

Back in November, 2010, I posted saying I wanted to learn how to do this, and now I have!

It's rare for me to feel so accomplished, and so proud of my body and what I can achieve, so I'm just going to dwell in this moment for a second more. 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eulogy for My Dog.

We lost our little doggy, Titan yesterday morning. 
My sister called me at about 9.30, her voice choked with tears: "Michaela, oh my God, Titan died". I didn't want to believe I just heard her. "What? I can't hear you? What happened!?" 
She told me he'd been hit by a car. But even that was a bit hard for her to get out. 

I promised I'd be over right away. 

Death is strange, in that you can feel its presence lingering, after it's been. 
My beautiful, full-of-life, puppy-dog sized best friend was gone. 
My dad's big house seemed even larger without the little fluffball around.

We've had Titan since I was about 5, and was in year 1 at primary school. 
Which is a fucking long time. 
He's only a year younger than my brother.

And even though for some it will be hard to understand, because he's "just a dog", he was with our family through it all. 
He was with me when my parents divorced. Comforting me in his own little doggy way. 
He was always there, sitting beside me. He was able to instantly make you feel better. Partly because of how fucking adorable he was. He'd look up at you with those gorgeous black eyes, and melt your heart. 
Well, he would when you could see his eyes. They were always covered by so much fur and fluff. He actually was a little fluff-ball. 
Titan had two names. Titan, was obviously one of them. But the name we used more often was "Scruffy". 

"Come here Scruffy-Dog. We love you Scruffy. What have you been up to Scruff-ball? Come on Scruff!"
People refused to believe us when we told them how old he actually was, because he looked like, and had the energy of, a little puppy.

He was always super excited whenever any one of us would come home. He'd jump around and wag his little tail, with his little "woof", whenever someone picked up the keys. Because he thought we'd be going on an adventure. 
He sat by my side when I was killing myself over the HSC, and he sat by my side at times when I actually felt like killing myself.
He has been with me through all of it. 
And not only that, but he has helped me get through it. 

As he got older, he started to lose his sight and his hearing, and we think that's why he didn't hear the car. He loved adventures. He loved wandering up and down the street, finding a new tree or bit of grass to mark his territory with. There have been a few times we thought he'd just forget to come home, because he'd get excited about the next tree that came along on his journey. 
But he never did. As he got older, he started wandering less and less. He'd wander down to the front yard and just chill there. Then wander back up into the house. 

He was always so welcoming, and so accommodating. We've had a few cats over the years, and never has he had a problem with them. He'd always wander up and sniff them and try and play with them. The cats weren't always happy about that. 
He loved visitors, and children, and pretty much everyone who he met. He wagged his tail, licked their hand and made them his friend. 

He really was man's best friend. 

I balled my eyes out, as I walked to J's that morning, after visiting my sister and my dad. I continued crying for the next hour or so. 
To be honest, I'm still crying.
This poor little dog was taken in such a horrible way. Ripped away from our family, before his time. 

I'm devastated I didn't get to say goodbye to him. 
Devastated that it's even time for goodbye. 
Devastated, and angry. 

He was such an amazing companion. 
My gorgeous little Scruffy dog. 

I love you. 
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