4.57am is a totally normal time to wake up


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I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. You know the deal (or maybe you don’t and you’re one of those people that can sleep anywhere, anytime and for as long as needed, in which case, fuck you) but anyway yes, broken sleep, waking up super early (like still-dark early) then can’t get back to sleep.

I’d previously chalked it up to there now being three of us in our bed (“us” being myself, Jared and our new girlfriend of just over two months, Cherish; we’re in a polyamorous relationship) but she slept at home last night. And while I slept solidly for a few hours (from about 11pm or a bit earlier), I woke up when Jared came home just before 3am and then had a series of nightmares after that.

The first one woke me up crying (it was about my dog that recently died) and the other one was your garden variety, brain-doing-a-number-on-you type of nightmare and after that I was like right, that’s enough of that! I got up, got some water and walked around for a bit. I find if I go back to sleep too soon, I just go back into the same bad dream or something like it. But then I couldn’t get back to sleep and when I checked the time – lo and behold – it’s just before 5am. It’s like the fucking witching hour for me or something. The last few nights I’ve woken up and haven’t been able to get back to sleep, I’ve woken up exactly around the same time and then I lay there getting furiouser and furiouser about my lot in life and my inability to get a decent sleep.

So I’m currently writing this from the couch at 5.36am after finally deciding to get out of bed and give up on trying to kid myself that I’ll be able to fall back asleep. Once the sun actually comes up (yep, it’s still dark outside), I might go for a walk. In the meantime, I have my book so I’ll probably read. Ah, that reminds me of another thing I was going to write about. Well, at least on the plus side, it’s giving me ideas for writing and a quiet space to do it in. Yeah thanks, insomnia/my asshole brain. Give me my creativity back but trade it for some very fucked up sleep. I don’t believe I ever signed on to this deal.

I’m going to be in a great mood today, aren’t I?


In loving memory of Oscar


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WordPress tells me I haven’t written anything on here since December and I would believe that (they keep records of these kinds of things, I suppose). It has been awhile, I can’t argue with that. I often think of writing though, of committing my thoughts to the ether of the internet but somehow the time always escapes me. But I’m writing now… and what a doozy of a topic. I kind of want to apologise in advance for what I’m about to say – this will not be an uplifting post (spoiler alert: the dog dies at the end).

On Tuesday 3 April, we had to put down my dog, Oscar. I’d had him since he was a puppy. He would have been 14 in June, if he had’ve made it that far. Aside from family , he was my longest relationship. I had him before I met my husband, who I’ve now been with for 12 years. My sister remarked that I’ve had him for nearly as long as she’s been back in the country (she returned to Australia in early 2004 and I got him around August, I think). He’s been the furry little man in my life for so long that I don’t really know what to do without him.

Our French bulldog, Ami, passed away two years ago and, while that was extraordinarily painful, it doesn’t quite compare to this. Maybe because we still had Oscar to come home to at the end of the day (and boy did he hate copping the brunt of all our grieving hugs; he only ever liked to be touched when it suited him, kind of like his mum, I guess). Unlike Ami, we were able to have pug at home when the time came. The vet came to our house and we were able to be in our living room, holding him when he died. I remember trying to commit his smell to memory, trying to force myself to remember how soft his little ears were. Now he’s been gone for just over two weeks and I feel like that detail is fading.

I had nightmares the first few nights after he was gone. The worst was one where I dreamt he wasn’t dead after all (god knows how) but I woke up convinced he was alive and was then faced with the crushing realisation that it was, in fact, just a horrible fucking dream my psychopath brain conjured up just to fuck with me.

Aside to my brain: WHY, BRAIN? WHY?!? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? WE’RE MEANT TO BE ON THE SAME SIDE HERE! Or at least that’s what I always thought.

Anyway, it’s been a fucking brutal two and a half weeks and, on top of that, work is crazy and my personal life is somewhat more complicated than it usually is so I feel I can’t really grieve as much as I want to. Add to this the fact that I work from home most of the time and it’s just. too. fucking. silent. without him here. He was a pug so he snuffled and snored all the time and I miss that so much. I miss the little click, click, click of his claws as he’d follow me to the kitchen or the bedroom.

Oscar had always been the self-appointed greeting party for anyone who visited our house but, for the last few years of his life, he was totally deaf so he couldn’t hear when anyone came in or when we came home. You’d have to go looking for him (he’d always be sleeping somewhere – loved a nap, that one). Sometimes I’d let him sleep and eventually he’d smell me or feel the vibrations of my footsteps and come looking for me. But other times I’d wake him up and he’d be so startled that he’d missed you come in, like ‘how’d you get here?!’ He’d even look a bit peevish or ashamed that he’d missed his chance to waylay you at the door as you came in.

He was a tough little guy. He was diagnosed with mouth cancer in December, I think it was. Or maybe January. They put him on chemo but it didn’t help. At the end, it wasn’t even the cancer that killed him but his breathing, his airways started collapsing and he would faint and Jared would have to give him nose to mouth to try and open his airways. At the end, he just kept fainting too much and we knew it was time. The night before we knew. That morning we knew but we thought we’d be able to have the day with him but he kept crashing. The vet was meant to come over at 7.30pm but he ended having to come around 1pm because he kept fainting. It felt funny – calling the vet to come earlier to kill him when he was already clearly dying (and nearly died multiple times in front of us that day) yet somehow this ‘vet-dealt’ death was preferable. I know it was. It just felt weird, feels weird still. Seeing his floppy little lifeless body get rolled up in a towel before the vet took him away was probably one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen. Or perhaps I’ve lives a sheltered life. I don’t think I have but obviously there are people out there having much bigger problems than a dead dog.

After that, we cried for a bit, I had a bath that was interrupted almost straight away when my sister came over in tears (she’d tried to get there in time to say goodbye but didn’t make it), we went down and had sushi for lunch and then we both got on our computers and worked. It was just avoidance, I know that, but, when Ami died, we took the day off and cried. I feel guilty, like we didn’t give him the time he deserved, like we just got on with it, like it… like he was nothing. Oh well, that’s over with. Best get back to work now. Maybe that’s why I feel so bad, why it feels like the grief is tearing at my heart and seeping out of my pores. Because I didn’t let it out properly to begin with so now it’s trapped inside me, doomed to rattle around for god knows how long.

His absence is like a ghost following me around this crypt of an apartment. Everything reminds me of him. Everything. Sometimes a particularly strong memory will come back to me and I’ll have to sit down – on the floor, on the couch, go to bed, whatever – and just cry. Big, heaving sobs because it feels like my heart’s never going to stop hurting. I can’t imagine not feeling this sad about him. I know I will. I know it will get better. But I just can’t imagine it right now. All I want in the world is one more day with him. Even one more fucking minute. Just to hug him, to tell him I love him, to rub his ears.

Anyway, I miss him and I hate the quiet he’s left behind. He was a noisy beast so it’s in the silence that you notice he’s really gone.

Vale, Oscar. You will forever be missed.

Being ok with not being ok at something (or Espanol 101)


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When we were on holiday in Europe, I had so many things I was going to start doing when I got back. Read! Not spend hours in FB/IG! Gym! Pilates! Learn spanish! Write! every. damn. day. Some I have achieved, some not so much. But one thing I got stuck into straight away was starting back up with my old Spanish teacher.


Image credit: Pinterest

We studied with her for a few months quite a few years ago but stopped when it became hard to manage Jared’s changing work schedule. I’d always wanted to start back up but never did, until we got back from our trip. It’s now been nearly four months of 2 x 1hr sessions per week and, while I wouldn’t say I’m fluent and watching Narcos without subtitles, I can certainly see some very slow, painstaking progress taking place. Next year, I’m increasing to 3 x 1hr per week as I feel it’ll ‘stick’ more.

In my opinion, the hardest thing with learning another language – after simply building up your vocabulary so you know the damn words to say what you’re thinking – is confidence. It’s so hard to go from talking fluently and knowing literally millions of words to being reduced to a few handfuls and cast adrift in a sea of tenses and prepositions, which make absolutely no sense to you. Oh, and don’t get me started with the whole gendered nouns thing. What the hell is wrong with Spanish/French/German/Portuguese speakers? Just ditch that shit already – why do you torment yourselves? Or more to the point, everyone else who’s trying to learn your language?

My Spanish teacher has gotten to the point where she talks to me in Spanish and I can understand quite a decent amount (and when I can’t, I know how to say ‘que significa xxx?’ – very handy words, I tell you). It’s when she expects me to speak back that things go pear-shaped. I feel sooooo stupid. I’m slow. I have great need to write things down before I speak. I fuck up the tenses. I fuck up the matching of the gendered nouns and the plurals. I fuck up the prepositions – damn prepositions, who would have thought they’d be so difficult? Basically, I’m reduced from being someone who is relatively articulate )on a good day) to child-status. It’s humiliating.

And yes, I know this is how I have to learn and I know I went through all this as a kid to be able to speak English but DAMN if it isn’t a huge blow to my self esteem to struggle to make myself understood like this. It gives me a whole new appreciation for people who come to an English-speaking country and try and learn our fucked up language. My Spanish teacher has lived here for years (is married to an Aussie guy) and I regularly show her something new or correct her spelling or pronunciation. We laugh about it together but it just goes to show speaking English/other languages is HARD.

But then again, I don’t think there’s any language that’s easy to learn as an adult – unless it’s something that’s already similar to what you speak, like maybe Italian and Spanish or something like that. Starting over from scratch with something as essential as communication – verbal and/or written – is such a drastic thing. I can’t imagine what I’d do if I was trying to learn something like Mandarin or Russian where I also had to learn a new alphabet. Fuck. That. Shit. Not a fucking chance, senor!

There was a Nepalese guy that started at one of Jared’s bars a few years ago. When he first came on board, he could barely speak a word of English. Most communication was by pointing and charades but, after a few months, you could see the improvement. That element of being thrown in the deep end and absolutely needing to speak this new language meant he picked things up fast. Now he’s pretty much fluent, cracks jokes all the time (being funny in another language – fucking hard!) and is running the back of house team across two of Jared’s bars. He’s one of the most respected people in Jared’s business and, a few years ago, he could barely speak English.

Ok – I went a bit off tangent there. It happens. My point is: language is hard. I’m not being thrown in the deep end so I don’t see myself excelling anytime soon although I do think three days a week will give me more of a chance to practice without such long breaks in between each session. We’ll see how it goes. It definitely gives me purpose and I like it – even if it does make me feel stupid for the time being. I know if I keep at it, it will pay off and I’ll be doing conversation-only classes in no time (ha – we’ll see!).


Image credit: Pinterest

To breed or not to breed… sorry, mum, there’s not really a question here


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Image credit: Pinterest

Lately, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about children and probably not in the way my mum would hope. Last Sunday, we spent the afternoon with Jared’s family for his mother’s birthday and, as per usual, there were children cutting around. Only two this time (usually there are four) but goddamn if they didn’t make up for it. And then some. At one point, the kids were so noisy (well, one kid mainly) that I actually felt disoriented and a bit unwell. I don’t know if it’s a certain pitch they hit when they yell or what but I just can’t deal with it. It makes my head feel like it’s going to explode.

I’ve been on birth control since I was 16 and, since I was about 17, I’ve been fairly confident I don’t want children. When I say this, I get the usual “oh, just wait” spiel like and other people are in on some big joke I’m not party to. You just wait – your ovaries will explode soon and you’ll be craving babies out the wazoo. Hilarious! Well, a few months ago, I was seriously considering getting my tubes tied and every friend I spoke to about it was shocked, more so than when you just say you don’t want kids. This is permanent shit, you guys (well, for the most part anyway).

You’ll change your mind!

You’ll want one soon.

You’ll regret it.


Image credit: Pinterest

But I haven’t wanted a child in 17 years so why would I start now? I am one of those people that really doesn’t like children very much (and has felt this way for quite a long time) so why would that change all of a sudden? Are hormones really that powerful? I don’t know. Maybe they are. I don’t look at any of my parent friends and think, “Gee, that looks like the life for me.” They look fucking tired, miserable or stressed (and sometimes all three) or their kids are little assholes. With the exception of maybe one or two, it looks like a downright deplorable situation. Yuck. In fact, I coined a new term over the weekend; children are now only to be known as fun prophylatics. You like it? I think it’s hilarious and also perfectly on point. But I suppose some of us have to be adults and continue the species.

I’ve since given up on getting my tubes tied. Apparently, it’s not a great surgery for women to have (much easier for men to get the snip, which I know Jared would never agree to) plus I would still get my period, which I like to avoid at all costs. I suppose I’ll just plod along with the pill. At 18 years, it’s the longest committed relationship I’ve ever had and it’s with a pharmaceutical that keeps me good and barren. And I’m ok with that. Well done, Microgynon whatever number you are. Pat yourself on the back. You did good.

And to all the people who like to trot out the old ‘but you’d make a great mother!’ line, I say this: no. I’m an ok mother to my dog but I’d suck at being a parent to a real life human. No patience. Intense desire for peace and quiet. Lust for fun and freedom. Prone to flights of fancy and spontaneity. No, that’s a lie. I’m very much a plan-it-out-three-months-in-advance type of gal. But hey, a kid’ll fuck that shit up too. And yes, of course I know having a kid makes many, many people very happy, even if it does make them tired or occasionally miserable or nostalgic for their old life. But I don’t think it would make me happy. I think I would be one of those women who would regret it and, knowing how dismal my pokerface is, any poor fucking kid I popped out of my vagina would definitely know it. And that’s not fair.

The End.



Image credit: Memes.com

Not that I’m advocating cannibalism, you understand


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After nine weeks of holidaying in Europe, I resemble a woman in a Rubens’ painting – dimpled and delicious. If you were to flay me, you’d peel back layer upon layer of pasta, cheese, cured meats and baked fish and Greek salads beyond measure, until finally you come to an excellent steak frites and possibly the best rice pudding I’ve ever eaten.

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This me now. Except I’m brown skinned. Image credit: Art.com

Not that I’m advocating cannibalism, you understand. I just want you to appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into this layer of pudge that now insulates me against the brisk Sydney winter. It’s almost a shame to strip it away what amounts to 63 days of food memories and quite a bit of well-spent money. I slaved for this human pork belly. Do you know how many times I ate until I felt ill simply because it tasted just too good to stop? It was hard, you guys. Some sympathy would be nice.

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Me from various angles. Again, still brown. Image credit: Art.com

Ha. Just kidding. I know I’m not going to get any and nor should I. I had a glorious holiday on which I ate, drank and grew fat and jolly and now I have to face the consequences of my actions. I’m ok with it. My clothes actually feel nicer all snug and close fitting. Some of them that others. Others are just plan unwearable. But still, it was worth it. I regret nothing!

The value add 


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Image credit: Picture Quotes 

I have a very real fear of being considered boring. Not real in the sense that I am boring, just that I worry about being considered boring. Which is weird for me because I also like to think I don’t worry much about what others think but clearly I do. I’m a woman of contradictions, ok? I’m not afraid to admit it. 

I’m brought to this conclusion by the events of the past two days (and also the rest of my life leading up to now 😉). We’ve been staying at the chateau of cognac house Pierre Ferrand and, during our stay, we’ve had to go on tours/socialise with people we’ve never met before. As a rule, I’m not a huge fan of big groups where I don’t know anyone so my first response was to quietly freak out and retreat into my shell. The introvert in me won the first round. Then the performer came out… I’ll explain why. 

I have a thing about people who come to events, parties, dinners, etc. and, in my words, “don’t add any value.” Yes, I’m aware of how bitchy this makes me sound and yes it’s mean but I can’t help it. Despite being an introvert myself when surrounded by strangers, I always have this phrase in the back of my mind and it’s a rare social event that this mantra doesn’t force me to be more social, despite lacking a natural inclination to do so. Back to that fear of being considered boring. No one puts Nat in a corner, if you will. 😉

So, on our first night in Cognac, we’re surrounded by boozing Brits, Americans and various other strangers and most of me wants to hide in my room (to be fair, I was also quite tired) but the other part says, “No, you’ve got to get out there and be fun. Get on, hop to it.” And so I did. I jumped in the fountain with everyone, balanced a wine glass on my ass, challenged people to boules and upped my banter game to 11. When my social energy ran low, I went and sat in our room and headed back down when I felt recharged. I often feel like there’s a fun me and a quiet me and, on that night, the fun me won. 

Last night, we were at dinner with the owner/master blender of the cognac house, his mentor and one of his distributors and the distributor’s wife. The conversation around the table was in English so I was thankfully able to participate but the distributor’s wife didn’t say much. I think it may have been more of a language barrier thing or maybe she was tired (they had a full day of tours and tastings) but this is exactly what I fear for myself when I’m out and not “on”. She was fine when you specifically engaged her or asked her a question, which I did a few times, but aside from that she was very quiet. Which, of course, she’s allowed to be. She’s not there to entertain anyone or be their all-singing, all-dancing ra-ra girl and she was a-ok with that. 

But the thing is… I’m clearly not. Not for myself anyway. And, if I’m honest, usually not for others when there isn’t a good excuse. So it’s a very rare day when I won’t be able to somehow pull myself out of my shell to work my supposed charms in a group setting. Because, for me, one of the worst things you can be is boring and I often don’t care how much it costs me. 

The terror of the road


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Image credit: Shear Comfort

I have to confess: I’m one of those half-adults that never learnt to drive. Cue shock, horror and possible unsubscription.

When I was growing up in Jamaica, learning to drive wasn’t the right of passage it is for many teens in developed countries. Not many families had cars and, even if they did, you often had to bribe officials to get your licence. When my mum’s Australian licence expired, she refused to bribe anyone to get new one but she still drove around so we ended up just lived in fear of getting pulled over by the police and her getting in trouble. And most likely having to pay a bigger bribe to get out of said trouble. I learnt to drive in the back streets of the rural area where we lived (inc. reversing up a long, steep driveway) but never drove on any main roads. Actually I lie. Once I ended up accidentally having to drive on a main road for about 5 seconds – it was fucking terrifying!

Anyway, it seems I haven’t lost my talent for digression. When I moved to Sydney, I was the right age to get my licence but I lived with my grandparents. I knew if I learnt to drive I would end up becoming my grandpa’s chauffeur and I didn’t like my grandpa so I refused to get my licence. Yep, I refused to learn to drive out of spite and, honestly, I regret nothing. Fast forward sixteen years and here I am. On my third round of L plates, wondering if I really and truly need to learn to drive.

See, I’ve sat the computer test three times but never actually taken my driving test. The first time, Jared had a manual car, the lessons were hard and then the guy was a creep so I gave up and my Ls expired. Eventually, I sat the computer test again, can’t remember why I didn’t bother learning properly that time but, either way, my licence expired again. This time, I’ve sat the computer test and done lessons with an instructor, Jared and my mum and I’ve got the test booked in for 2 weeks’ time and I’m fucking freaking out.

You see, in Australian teen drivers have to keep a logbook and have 100 (or is it 120?) hours of driving time before they can sit their test. When you’re over 25, you don’t need a log book and the hour limit doesn’t apply to you. You can basically sit your test whenever you’re ready. And I don’t feel ready. The thought that I might be loose on the streets behind the wheel of a moving vehicle is a terrifying thought. I don’t think I’m an intentionally unsafe driver but I’m definitely not super confident. And driving on the road and seeing how other people – supposedly qualified drivers – drive is definitely not making me feel any safer.

It’s scary out there! People don’t follow the rules and driving takes so much concentration. I find it hard to stay focused when something is really monotonous so I’m worried I’m going to zone out on a long stretch of road, go through a red light and… let’s just end this nightmare right here. Gah! I live in the city. Why do I need to drive?! Also, I have a husband who is an excellent chauffeur. Then again, he has said I can get a Mini Cooper if I get my licence… so there’s that little incentive. But then again, it means I have to learn to drive. Ahhhhh… being a grown up is full of tough decisions, you guys.

I suppose I can get my licence and keep driving with supervision until I feel more confident. But – PLOT TWIST!! – I can’t drive Jared’s car if/when I move up to a provisional licence because his car is on a forbidden list for P Platers (i.e. it’s too powerful). So I suppose I’ll just have to get that Mini Cooper then… 😉


Image credit: Everything Bikes

Day two!


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Image credit: Inspiration Boost

After posting for the first time in ages, I felt awesome. Energised! I went to bed later that night and my mind was whirling with ideas, which was annoying because I was tired but it was still better than having no ideas. Three years ago, when I first started this blog, I struggled so much with what to write about. I would trawl through the Daily Prompt desperate for ideas. I kept a list of links to appealing prompts saved in my phone to bust out when inspiration failed to strike me. And, back then, it failed to strike me often.

It took awhile but one day I noticed I hadn’t used those prompts in ages. In fact, nothing grabbed me when I looked through them. I had heaps of drafts lined up in WordPress and ideas would pop into my head on the bus, in the shower, before I went to sleep (which is where I got the idea for this post along with two others). It’s like your brain builds a natural curiosity about things or starts using writing as a way of thinking complicated (or sometimes very mundane) things through.

Not to say that I think it’s going to be easy from here on out but I definitely want to try and commit myself to writing more frequently. I might be busy but I’m not that busy that I can’t spare 30mins or an hour to do something I love. I can’t work all the time and do not much else. I tried that for six months and it fucking sucks. Take it from me, guys. Make the time, you’re never that fucking busy. You think you are but you’re not. And fuck, maybe you are but still, you can’t spare even 10 – 20 mins to do whatever it is you really enjoy? Go for a walk, watch your favourite program, play with your dog, whatever. You’ve got to have some ‘you’ in all that ‘them’.

So I have two more ideas for posts and we’ll see what else comes to me. There are other things I want to do besides write, like, I don’t know, maybe exercise. That’s fallen by the wayside as well. But let’s just start small. Baby steps. One day at a time. Plus I’m not super keen on getting back to exercise (to be honest, I’m that unfit I’m a bit worried) so we’ll just focus on the writing for now. It’s much less taxing. 😉

So, I’m alive


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Image credit: HippoQuotes

I promised myself I would do some writing tonight and it seems I’ve succeeded. I did watch an episode of American Horror Story first but, you know what, that’s ok. I’m here now and that’s what matters. I haven’t posted anything in three months so, for me, the main thing was that I didn’t come home and just get back on the computer and do more work. There have been so many nights where I’ve told myself I’ll write something, anything but then I start with just a little bit of work and next thing I know it’s midnight and… fuck! It’s happened again.

Back in November, I started doing the social media and events for two of Jared’s bars and, at the time, I naively thought I’d be able to do that part time and keep working for my other bosses (albeit reduced hours). Oh boy was I wrong. The social media is fine but the events… They’ve spiralled into so much more than a full time role. This week I’m actually training someone to start helping me because it’s too much for one person. It’s a good problem to have; too many events. And I’m loving it but, god, it’s been a full on six months.

I’ve been working some very long days. For the last I don’t even know how many weeks, there’ve been many nights when I’ll come home and get straight back on the computer to work and won’t get to bed til midnight or 1am. Then I’m back on the computer – back at work – from 9am or 10am. I hate it. Not the job, mind you. Just the workload. The lifestyle. The fact that I literally go from work to bed with no me time aside from maybe watching TV while eating dinner. It sucks but it should get better soon. Even if it doesn’t get better before we go on holiday, it should at least get better when I’m back and the new girl is all trained up and we have our systems in place.

Oh yes. The holiday. The light at the end of the tunnel, our belated honeymoon. Nine weeks of European bliss.

  1. Paris
  2. Barcelona
  3. Rome
  4. Dubrovnik
  5. Sailing the Croatian Islands
  6. Mykonos, Milos and Santorini
  7. Sicily and then a road trip from the Amalfi Coast up to Florence and then back across to Milan.

I cannot fucking wait and thankfully there are only 5.5 weeks until we fly. It can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned. It’s starting to get that chill in the air here and little old me will be quite happy to ditch winter in favour of an endless summer. We’ll be back mid-August so we really won’t see too much of winter this year, thank fuck. If we ever become super rich, that will be my request: travel the world so we never see another winter… unless it’s by choice. Fuck. That. Shit. I want to spend my days in as little clothing as legally possible and winter ain’t gonna help me achieve that life goal. No siree, bob.

So yeah, that’s been me for the past six months but I want to do better. Just typing this now makes me realise how much I’ve missed writing. I feel a bit rusty but that’s nothing a bunch of good ol’ practice won’t fix. I just need to make time. Fuck, it’s not like it takes long.

A friend asked me the other day if I was going to get back to my writing once work settled down and, at the time, I thought no. In that moment, I think I just desperately wanted to have just some free time to do absolutely nothing. Maybe to read. Anything. I hadn’t written in so long that it felt like an impossibility. But look at me now! I’m fucking flyin’, Chop! Sorry, that’s Chopper reference. I’m pretty sure it will only make sense to Australians or people that are familiar with Eric Bana’s early work. Watch the movie. You won’t be disappointed.

Anyway, that’s enough from me. I’ve kept my promise to myself and I’m happy with my effort. Now I just need to keep it up. It’s the follow through has always been the tough bit for me.

Representation matters


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Image credit: TES

I read an interesting article on Facebook the other day. It was about the movie Rogue One and the effect the accent of Mexican actor Diego Luna had on a woman and her father, who is also from Mexico and has a similarly heavy accent. If you want to read the article, do so here.

I don’t have an accent, but as a brown person who, as a child, rarely saw people that looked like myself on TV or anywhere else that matters, I teared up reading this article. It might seem like a little thing but representation does matter. When children don’t see people that look like them held up in the media as someone pretty or valuable or even just normal, they grow up feeling like outsiders. They feel different from everybody else, like they don’t exist.

For me, the saddest part about this is that I grew up as a mixed race brown person in Australia where everyone (well, not everyone but the vast majority) was white. When we moved to Jamaica when I was 10, I thought, ‘Finally, I’ll be like everyone else!’ But the opposite happened. People in Jamaica considered me white. I wasn’t one of them. I was a white person as well as a foreigner. An outsider squared. The only upside was that I found other mixed race children to hang out with and also brown skin was considered more desirable than darker skin so I traded up in that respect. Still, I was too skinny to fit the ideal Jamaican body type so I suppose I broke even in the end.

I don’t know how much different my life would have been if I was born looking like everyone else. When you’ve never looked like everyone else, you can’t possible imagine what it would be like to fit in. In the same way I’d imagine that if you’ve always been one of the majority, you can’t really see the privilege your skin colour, your slim body or your accentless voice gives you. Not that this is anyone’s fault. It’s just the way the world is and it will be a long time before anything changes in a major way. But it made me smile that something like this got so much traction, that people were moved by how happy one person was made because he saw a hero on screen that looked and sounded like him. Imagine how a young boy or girl would feel if they saw someone that looked like them featured in a magazine or in a movie and as a major character rather than just the sidekick to the hero? And it’s not even just a race thing – it’s a gender thing, a plus size (not sure if I like that term but oh well) thing, a sexuality thing. There are so many ‘things’ that can automatically dump you in outsider territory besides just race.

Yet with all I just said, I like enjoy different nowadays. I like being ‘exotic’. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But then again, I can’t, can I? I’ve just learned to love the things that make me look different from everyone else. I’m sure some people with the same experience still wish they could fit in and look like the people around them. And I think that’s sad and I hope one day they can embrace the things that make them different. Because the world is a better place for diversity even if Hollywood and fashion magazines and TV shows are only just starting realise it.