Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Fairytales and Castles

Oh boy, I've gotta get me one of these!! I reckon a Castle Malia overlooking a lake somewhere in Switzerland would suit me just fine!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The winner takes it all...

The results of the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest for 2004 are in...and are hilarious as always. The aim of the competition is to write the worst possible opening sentence for a novel, which is not necessarily as easy as it sounds! The winning entry:

She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight . . . summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp's tail . . . though the term "love affair" now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism . . . not unlike "sand vein," which is after all an intestine, not a vein . . . and that tarry substance inside certainly isn't sand . . . and that brought her back to Ramon.

Dave Zobel
Manhattan Beach, CA
Inspiring! :)

Monday, July 19, 2004

Growing Up

My little Oscar kitty is 6 months old today!! This is what he looked like when I first brought him home:

And this is him now, all grown up and wise!!

Well, maybe not quite so wise. He still likes to climb everything in sight, and has a bad habit of jumping up on the kitchen bench all the time - it's to do with his absolute OBSESSION with food - any time anyone is in the kitchen, he assumes they are getting food for him. There is no such thing as a safe glass/bowl/plate with anything in it - turn around for 2 seconds, and he's up on the bench trying to eat it. Honestly, I've never known a cat to eat so much as he does, or to be so vocal when he's hungry (which is pretty much all the time!).

Now that he's 6 months old, it's time for a little operation...should be happening some time this week. Hopefully he will still talk to me after it's done ;)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Congratulations... my big sister, who has just accepted an exciting job offer with an engineering company in Christchurch! She'll be heading across the Tasman in mid-August, and will be on a 12 month contract with the company. A very gutsy decision - she's been hoping and talking about moving to NZ for some time, but I guess it will take a little while for it to sink in that she's really going.

I think it's a huge deal to move away from the city you've spent the last 20+ years in - and I don't think you can really appreciate what it actually entails until you've done it yourself. I know that moving to Canberra from Perth doesn't sound like such a big thing - but I remember the first little while I spent here, wondering why on earth I had moved to this unfriendly city, when all my friends and family and everything I'd ever known were a 5 hour plane flight away...But things improved steadily from the time I arrived, and now I feel pretty comfortable here - I've made a few friends, feel like I sorta know what I'm doing at work, and generally have things to do on the weekends... and it's wonderful to know that you can move to a whole new city on your own and survive.

And I know that my sis will do more than just survive in Christchurch - she will have a ball! Watch out spunky NZ men!!

But she's not allowed to pick up a dodgy kiwi accent ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


I am now officially a resident of Swinger Hill - oh yeah! Did the big move on Saturday, and I realised that I have accumulated a surprising amount of junk over the last 5 months. I guess it's just my nature as a hoarder...No, I can't throw away that [shirt that I haven't worn for 3 years/teapot that I don't use since I don't drink tea/water filter jug that I can't find a filter for anywhere] - I might just need it some time!! Thankfully the new place is just around the corner from the ex-house, so the 3 car trips weren't too much of a hassle.

Good signs already re the new flatmates - they love Oscar, which is a big relief! I've been keeping him inside the house for the past couple of days to make sure he's not gonna run away, so he's had lots of pent up energy just waiting to explode in the form of:
- "helping" with the ironing - chasing the cord and jumping up on the ironing board
- catnapping the balls of wool that my flatmate is trying to knit a scarf with
- chasing and unravelling the toilet paper
- tearing around the house like a crazy thing and pouncing on unsuspecting feet/fingers/heads.
But my flatmates have been very patient and are still insisting that he's "awwwww, so gorgeous!" which is definitely a good thing :)

We have our final inspection at the old house on Thursday. I stopped around there last night after dinner to finish off "my share" of the cleaning, and was happily scrubbing away at the shower, pondering over the day I'd had...And I started thinking about Robert's ghost stories. Suddenly the empty old echoey, shadow-filled house took on a rather menacing atmosphere, with evil presences lurking down the plughole, in the cupboard, outside the doorway, and just over my shoulder. It's amazing how your imagination runs wild once you have an idea in your head...I actually started singing songs out loud to try to lighten my mood a bit - I'm sure I scared away the neighbours, if not any malevolent ghosts!

No more ghost stories, methinks.

Friday, July 09, 2004


This is fantastic writing. Whether it's true, slightly embellished, or pure fiction, Joe sure knows how to tell a story. I'd love to be able to write like that...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Black Magic Woman

Since Robert asked so nicely (noone's ever made a request for me to write anything before!), I've decided to share with you my one semi-supernatural experience of possibly seeing a ghost. I should warn you now that it's really not that exciting a story, and if anyone has a better one, please do share it with us!

Like I said in my 100 Things list, I am a complete cynic when it comes to ouija boards, psychics, ghosts and the supernatural generally. If I had been in Demi Moore's position in Ghost, I wouldn't have believed Whoopi Goldberg for a second. (And I certainly wouldn't have partaken in that creepy scene towards the end where Sam is in Whoopi's body - ewwww!). I guess it's partly my "scientific" nature - I need an explanation for everything, and I like to be able to see the proof. And I've never really had an otherworldly experience myself, apart from this one, which I have tried to convince myself was really just the result of an overactive imagination...

It was about 12 months ago, and I was living alone in my sister's unit in Perth, while she and her husband were working overseas. I am by nature a very sound sleeper - once I'm asleep, nothing short of a jumbo jet crashing into my bedroom will rouse me. (Allen's snoring has been known to have kept me awake when we've shared a room before, but once I'm asleep, even that doesn't disturb me ;) So anyway, on this particular night, for no reason at all, I suddenly woke up at about 3am. It wasn't a gradual becoming aware kind of waking up - I was jerked from sleep, my eyes snapped open, and immediately focussed. Standing in my bedroom doorway was a figure shrouded in white. I couldn't see a face or features, but I knew it was a woman, and that she had been staring at me. And this was no guardian angel - there was definitely no aura of warmth or friendliness at all.

I blinked, and the figure was gone. My heart was pounding unbelievably hard, the blood was roaring in my ears and I was shaking all over. I lay there frozen in my bed, too petrified to get out of bed to turn the light on, or to close my eyes again. I must've stared at that doorway for at least an hour before I finally fell asleep again.

She's made no re-appearance since then...that I know of... *cue X-Files music*

Monday, July 05, 2004


I am sitting at my desk at work, and it is eerily empty and quite creepy. It is deathly silent, and dark except for the pool of light around my workstation.

What am I doing at work so late? Is the CEO driving me so hard that I'm working around the clock to keep up with her demands? Actually, no - she is on holidays this week, and even when she's here, I wouldn't exactly say she's a slave driver. Well, then, am I so fed up with my flatmates and that desperate to get away from them that I've been hanging out at work until they're safely asleep? Uh-uh. I am happy to hide out in my room at home when I don't really want to speak with them. Not that I am usually that antisocial, of course ;)

My motivation for being at work at this ungodly hour is a much more primal, and pressing, one - the urge to pee.

I was in my bedroom, conscientiously stuffing my clothes into a suitcase in preparation for the big weekend move, when my flatmate poked her head through my doorway and informed me that the toilet was "a bit blocked up". Umm, okay, I said, thinking, what do you want me to do about it? So yeah, said the flatmate, it's not looking too good, so if you need to go you'll have to go outside. Hmmm. It's 3 degrees, the backyard is a freaking jungle, it is pitch dark and she wants me to go pee outside??! Does she think this is Survivor??! I headed to the bathroom, just to be certain she wasn't somehow mistaken - and sure enough, a distinctly unhealthy glurbing sound was bubbling up from the bowels of the toilet every few seconds, like a big ceramic stomach struggling to digest a vindaloo curry.

After deciding that my neighbours probably wouldn't take too kindly to me banging on their door at 10.30 asking to use their loo, I figured my best option was to make the quick trip in to work and use the nice, clean facilities here. Coz if there's one thing I am fussy about, it's toilet hygiene. And no, I'm not so good with camping ;)

And now I think it's time to make a hasty exit through the menacing black corridors of the office out to my car, being sure to not let my imagination run away with me...definitely not thinking of scenes from The RIng or the Blairwitch Project...only thinking of my nice, warm bed and my cuddly kitty...

Saturday, July 03, 2004

What About Me?

When all else fails, you write about yourself, right? It's everyone's favourite topic - themself. If you know nothing at all, you at least know your own likes and dislikes.

So, following the example set by hundreds of other bloggers, I decided to do a list of 100 things about little old me. Please don't feel obliged to read - I won't be offended if you find the list tedious and self-indulgent! Anyways, here goes...

One hundred useless facts about me

1. I have blue eyes. Everyone in my family does too, except my mum, whose eyes are brown.
2. I turned 25 a couple of weeks ago. I used to think I would be married by the time I was 25 - not even close!!
3. I was born in Sydney, but my family moved to Perth when I was 3 years old.
4. I moved to Canberra in Feb this year for a 12 month transfer with work.
5. I have a law degree and a science degree from UWA.
6. I never intended to actually use the law degree, but I've been working as a lawyer for the last 2.5 years.
7. I majored in Pharmacology in my science degree.
8. I chose to do Pharmacology coz I thought it sounded cool based on the name.
9. I made a lucky choice, coz Pharmacology was really interesting, but I have probably forgotten all the stuff I learned about drugs now.
10. I would like to go back to uni and study forensic science.
11. I used to watch the X-Files years ago, and I thought Scully was very cool.
12. I am the youngest of 3 sisters. One sister is also a lawyer, and the other is an electronic engineer.
13. All of my immediate family live in Perth.
14. None of my extended family live in Perth. My mother's side live in Narrabri, NSW, and my dad's side lives in SA.
15. I am 3rd generation Australian. One of my mother's forebears came to Australia as a convict with the First Fleet. My dad's family came from Scotland.
16. None of my grandparents are still alive. My dad's parents died before I was born.
17. I have been on two big overseas trips. The first was to Europe when I finished uni, and the second was to LA/western Canada/Hawaii at the end of last year.
18. I really want to travel more.
19. I'd like to live overseas for a while, maybe in Switzerland or Canada.
20. I am really interested in languages. I took German classes for 18 months and have just finished a semester of French. I'd also like to learn Russian, Latin and maybe Spanish.
21. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I finished school.
22. I thought about doing Vet Science coz I love animals.
23. I still don't know what I want to do (but I know it's not Law).
24. I have a 5 month old cat called Oscar who is ginger and white, and is very affectionate and energetic.
25. I wish there was something that I excelled at.
26. I own 3 guitars.
27. I took guitar lessons when I was at school, and I still pick up a guitar every now and then.
28. I also took flute lessons when I was at school.
29. I'd like to learn to play the saxophone and the piano.
30. I love music. I can't walk past a CD shop - I have to go in to have a look. And I rarely walk out empty handed.
31. I have pretty varied taste in music. I like most music that's not heavy metal, country or inane boyband/girlband/crappy teen music.
32. My CD collection is one of my most prized possessions.
33. My book collection is another one of my most prized possessions.
34. My mum used to read me books when I was little, and I think I got my love of reading from her.
35. My favourite books as a kid were Enid Blyton's books, and the Chronicles of Narnia.
36. I still read lots of fantasy books, but I try to read more widely.
37. I like watching movies, too.
38. I like foreign films and "alternative" movies - not the Hollywood schlock.
39. I don't really like watching sport. I will watch tennis or cricket, but that's about it.
40. I don't like playing sport either, because I am too uncoordinated.
41. I do like swimming. I grew up with a pool in the backyard and the beach 5 minutes down the road, so I love water.
42. I love to drive.
43. I usually speed (it's so easy in Canberra where there are no speed cameras!)
44. I drive a 2002 red Holden Astra.
45. I like to indulge in long, hot showers.
46. I love food and I love eating out. My favourite types of food are Italian, Thai and Japanese.
47. I am a bit of a chocoholic. Tim tams, chocolate yogo, chocolate milk, chocolate icecream, double chocolate chocolate chip cookies...mmm. And Lindt and Guylian chocolates are just divine.
48. I can't stand eggs.
49. I don't like mushrooms, pumpkin or asparagus either.
50. I have never tried oysters, mussels or clams. I don't really like seafood (apart from fish and prawns).
51. I hardly ever eat red meat.
52. I admire people who are vegetarians.
53. I have thought about becoming a vegetarian but I don't think I have strong enough willpower.
54. I have pierced ears.
55. I don't have any other piercings, but I have considered getting a nose ring or another set of ear piercings.
56. I've also considered getting a tattoo but I think I am too much of a wuss to be able to stand the pain.
57. I have never been into hospital as a patient.
58. I've been under a general anaesthetic once, when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I was crying when I woke up.
59. I've never broken a bone.
60. I have never been skydiving, bungy jumping, abseiling or white water rafting. I've been snowboarding once and I really suck at it.
61. I hate public speaking.
62. I wish I was more articulate.
63. I hate being the centre of attention.
64. I hate going to parties where I only know the host.
65. I like drinking red wine, white wine, cider and spirits (but not all at once!)
66. I don't really like champagne.
67. I used to hate beer but I am working on developing a taste. I like lighter beers like Belgian beer, and some of the boutique beers like Corona.
68. I am much more outgoing when I've had a few drinks. My drinking type would be "friendly affectionate" (much better than obnoxious or violent, IMHO, but can still cause problems!).
69. I usually dress pretty casually when I'm not at work.
70. My favourite and most worn shoes are a pair of Skecher skate shoes.
71. I wear suits to work.
72. I don't like wearing makeup.
73. I don't wear much jewellery.
74. I am lost without my watch.
75. I like spending time on my own.
76. I wish I was a good writer.
77. I'd like to write a fantasy novel one day...
78. I wanted to be in a band when I was younger.
79. I still think being in a band would be pretty cool.
80. I am more easily intimidated by women than by men.
81. I hate chauvinistic men.
82. I think Sam Newman is an absolute prick.
83. I am overly sensitive.
84. I cry really easily, often when I really don't want to.
85. I hold grudges.
86. I can't pretend to like someone that I don't like.
87. I wish I was funnier, or could fill awkward silences more easily.
88. I can be lazy and I often procrastinate, but when I do something, I do it properly.
89. I sleep in on the weekends unless I have made specific plans.
90. I wish I was artistic, but I couldn't draw or paint to save my life.
91. I believe in God.
92. I am very cynical about the supernatural, although I think I have seen a ghost before.
93. I like wearing perfume. My current favourite is Ralph Lauren "Romance".
93. I am attracted to guys who smell good.
94. I like guys who are quietly confident. I hate loud, domineering guys.
95. Sometimes I think that everyone is selfish, and that people generally suck.
96. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the kindness or thoughtfulness of other people.
97. My male and female friends are about equal in number.
98. I am grateful for all my friends.
99. I believe that everything happens for a reason.
100. I am very impressed if you made it this far!!

Back to cleaning the house, now...