L is for Letter

Dear Google,

I like you. I probably shouldn’t, as people like to tell me about how you are collecting our information and selling it to the NSA/KGB/KAOS, but I do. I like my Android tablet, and I like my Android phone, even if it’s my second phone after some @#^%( stole my handbag last year, for which I bid them suffer from fecal vomiting.


There seems to be a flaw in your otherwise genius operating system. The flashcards you use on the Android tablets are nifty in theory, but most of them don’t work in Australia, which is annoying. One of the few that does, though, is the news card.

Well, I say it works. It provides me with information certainly. The problem, dear Google, is that it provides me with information on one topic and one topic only – The Kardashians.

Here’s the thing, Google. You keep telling me that this news is based on a search I did. Google, I did not. I didn’t even know what a Kardashian was until two years ago, and since then I’ve been working hard to rid my consciousness of this knowledge, using a device I call tequila. But every morning, without fail, there you are telling me about Kim Kardashian’s butt selfie, or Kim and Kanye’s baby, or someone getting married/pregnant/involved in a sex scandal.

Google, let me make something abundantly clear to you. I DO NOT GIVE ONE SINGLE SOLITARY MOLECULAR FUCK ABOUT THE KARDASHIAN FAMILY. Please make it stop.

Warmest regards,


C is for Coffee Grinder

In my first year in Melbourne, back when I was an itty bitty 17 year old fresh off the boat plane from Tasmania and starting out at university, I lived with my aunt and uncle and cousins in Pascoe Vale. Sometimes, just for a change of scenery I’d jump on the V-Line and go out to the country, to Euroa where my Mum’s friend Carmel lived with her King Charles Cavalier, Lucy. Later, when I moved on campus I would go out to visit mainly to sober up long enough to study and write essays, although since Carmel is Irish this never entirely worked. (Lucy is basically the only thing I can say with an Irish accent. She was the sassiest dog ever)

I used to have amazing adventures in Euroa. Back then my grandfather was living in Euroa too, and once when he found out I was in town turned up on Carmel’s doorstep begging me to come round. His partner at the time had decided to hold a funeral for her garden scarecrows, overseen by my great aunt Joan, and he wasn’t putting up with this crap on his own. Naturally I went, mostly out of curiosity – it was around this time aunty Joan shaved her head for the hell of it – and I swear to God they played ‘We’re All Gonna Die Someday’ as the scarecrows got cremated. I thought I was going to die from trying not to laugh. The barbecue was tasty, though.

Another time Carmel had helped to organise a Catholic Women’s League function (or some such, she was involved in All The Things in Euroa), at which there were twenty women, Father Joe the priest, and me. While all the ladies gossiped and drank cups of tea I snuck off to watch the football. About ten minutes later Father Joe did the same Watching Richmond play football on the TV with a priest has now been scratched off my things to do list.

Mostly though I remember catching the train back to Spencer Street on a Sunday afternoon, listening to Parachutes on my discman (shut up, it was 12 years ago), staring out of the window at the wattle in bloom and always feeling better about things than when I caught the train up on the Friday night.

Carmel moved back to Ireland for twelve months last year, and decided to stay. She came back to Australia to sell her house (and bury Lucy the dog), and sort out her possessions. She called me for my birthday earlier in the year to tell me that she had something for me that belonged to my Grandma, a coffee grinder.

“What coffee grinder?” I asked my Mum. Grandma didn’t drink coffee. I knew this because the only coffee you would ever find at my grandparents house was International Roast, which is made of sadness and tastes like broken dreams.

Mum started laughing. The coffee grinder wasn’t my Grandma’s, it was my Mums. When Mum married my Dad they got a new one as a wedding present and so Mum gave the old one to Carmel, who she was living with at the time and had been for many years.

Carmel finally got her house sold, but stayed long enough to come to my brother’s wedding in Vietnam. While we were sitting around waiting for course seven of Vietnamese delicacies to appear, she leaned over and reminded me she had my grandmother’s coffee grinder, and I promised to come and collect it from her at her farewell party around the corner from my house a few weeks ago.

Through a combination of being a bit sick and Incredibly Fucking Stupid, I managed to completely miss the party. I called Carmel to apologise profusely and find out when she was flying out so I could come to the airport and wave her off on her trip back to Ireland. “Oh good,” she said. “I still have your Gran’s coffee grinder.” Soon after I got a phone call from Mum, very amused, to remind me that I still had to collect Grandma’s coffee grinder.

Auntie Carmie flew out of Australia tonight bound for Dublin via Abu Dhabi. I caught the Skybus out from Spencer Street, where I used to catch the train to Euroa from all those dozens of times, including one memorable time my brother and I had to hotfoot it from the MCG after Richmond won their semi-final back in 2001, Tonight was much more sedate. I even had time to notice that the cars are back on the Southern Wheel for the first time since the Great Melting Incident of 2007.

I found Carmel in the checkin queue with her Euroa friends Chris and June waiting on the side. “I have something for you in the car,” Chris said. “Carmel said it was important.”

And so, Carmel is winging her way home to Ireland, and I’m sitting in my kitchen looking at a 30 year old coffee grinder and hoping to Jeebus that when I plug it in in the morning that it doesn’t explode or set fire to the apartment.

Auntie Carmie, thank you for the coffee, the home-away-from-home, and the love. Bon Voyage.

A is for anniversary

Last week I watched A Fish Called Wanda for the first time. It’s one of those movies that everyone talked up to the point where I was too scared to watch it in case I hated it.

I call this the Glee Effect.

Luckily I did enjoy the movie (although I’m sorry, but I can’t handle John Cleese in a romantic role, I just can’t), but half way through I started thinking about Monty Python and the time I had to have a biopsy on a lump in my armpit and for reasons beyond my understanding the only thing in my head while the surgeon was hacking at it was ‘Eric The Half A Bee’ by Monty Python. Even when I hear it now, I get taken back to walking down to Cabrini Hospital, and lying on the bed. I suppose something had to drown out the surgeon’s tools and the little tiny voice in the back of my mind that wondered if it was cancer or not (it wasn’t).

WordPress has just informed me that this blog (in its various incarnations) is five years old today. So, happy birthday blog.

H is for Hello


It appears that the last time I wrote in here it was spring. Sadly now it’s coming into autumn, there is less daylight and I am wandering around the apartment muttering “Winter is Coming”, suggesting I watch too much Game of Thrones.

I’m going to try and write in here more often, since I just realised I’m turning 30 in a month and such things should be documented.

Here’s a quick catchup:

  • I moved – I now live a short stroll from the Astor Theatre. (It was the first grownup decision I’d made in about the last ever, but I’m glad I did it)
  • I still work at the company that must not be named – when I started here it was like high school and everyone was making friends but now it’s like Survivor and people are slowly being voted off the island.
  • I’ve only read one book so far this year. I know, I’m freaked out too.

More shenanigans, as they come to hand.

S is for Sunshine

Now that we are well and truly into spring (allegedly), I can leave my balcony door open during the day and not feel like I’m looking for the South Pole. It’s part of my mental checklist to reassure myself that summer is coming.

The downside to this is that I can hear the random conversations that float past the house. Sometimes it will be bogans from over the hill on their way to the train station or the pub. Often it will be in another language, but is still easily identified as an argument. Once it was a crazy drunk man hurling the C-bomb at parked cars.

This time it was my housemates screaming that they’d gotten tickets to the finale of the Twilight movie.