The flood

  

Hooray! I have just moved back into my flat/studio, and in light of the fact that I now have furniture and room for spontaneous (and horrible) dancing I thought i’d recount the story of the day my house flooded with muddy crap-water.

One rainy afternoon in May of this year I came home to find my Mum frantically sweeping water away from the door to my room. I occupied the lower level of the house, and sprang to action when the reality of the situation hit me – it might actually flood. We swept away water and threw down towels and sucked on hoses in a futile attempt to syphon the water away from the main exits, only to have the water come from all sides. Shortly after we gave up the water rose up to my thighs. It’s a strange feeling seeing the space you live and work in in a state of complete chaos, and I couldn’t help but laugh as my flooring started floating while I waded through water trying to pick what I needed to save first, all while our big bulldog bounded through water after us because he wouldn’t leave us alone. People who drove large cars went ‘sightseeing’ and with each asshole that drove through the street these waves of muddy water came through the house. There were multiple garden gnomes floating in my bedroom by the time the waters reach their peak, as well as a mound of freshly mown grass creating a floating island for insects clinging to life. I managed to rescue a lot of my possessions before the water came up too high, but I did lose a lot of things too.

The biggest challenge for the past few months was not the fact that I had had a forced purging of my belongings, but the fact that I had to move upstairs with the rest of the family. I stuffed myself and my belongings into my little sisters room and patiently waited with the promise that downstairs would be back to normal soon. Insurance took months. Months of hassling and trying to hurry up the insurance company. Months of living like that hunchbacked lady in her junk heap in The Labyrinth.

Yesterday I finally got the all clear to move back downstairs, and it was like ‘moving out’ all over again. I am deliriously happy. It’s bliss having my own space again, and it’s amazing that having a dedicated studio space to write and sculpt has had such a big impact on my motivation.

So what have I learnt?

Everything can be replaced, except your favourite and very expensive mattress – get that shit to safety stat.

I prize my plants over most things I own

Having space is a luxury not to be taken for granted

Insurance is worth it, but it can be a GIGANTIC fuckaround

Most people who own 4×4 cars are assholes

Do not frolic around in the gross water when all hope of saving your belongings is lost, because you will get a wicked ear infection.

Mad Plant Mondays

Madplant Mondays (2)

Welcome to Mad Plant Mondays! Mondays are now a day where I make a COMMITMENT to post EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. ISN’T THAT CRAZY?

Ok, so it’s not that crazy. But it’s something that i’m planning on taking seriously, like i’m making a date with myself and refusing to cancel. Which, now that I think about it, it just life in general so let’s scrap that analogy and pretend I said something more profound.

So yes, what will I post? No idea. When will I post it? Mondays, at the very least! So prepare for more random prose interspersed with lit reviews, how to’s, playlists, and so forth.

If you have any suggestions as to what you’d like to see on Mondays, let me know. Because clearly, i’m all over it.

A x

This is not a hobby

Madplant Mondays (3)

Incidentally, i’ve put on my sass pants for this post. I don’t know where they’ve come from, but I promise to remove them in time for #pantsofffriday.

I am an eternal hobbyist. I start new projects, stop halfway through because I lose interest or pick something else up. Some might regard it as a bad habit, but I look at it as me having got what I wanted out of it. At the moment I am doing pottery, and I have been doing it for over six months and am still interested in it. Before that I had a go at henna, fire twirling, skateboarding, soccer, painting, photography… It really just goes on. One thing that i’ll never include on my list of hobbies either accomplished or abandoned is my writing. I understand that writing might look like a hobby or a luxury to some people. It’s really not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun, and I love being able to talk to other people and write absolute bullshit that I can stow away deep in my writing folder and dig up in a few years time and cringe/laugh. I have always loved to document because ultimately I don’t trust my memory enough to recall things exactly as they happened. This is something i’ve been doing since I was 9 years old, and it’s not a hobby. 

It’s ok if you don’t really understand what i’m doing, because sometimes i’m not sure if I do either. All I need from my readers, family and friends, is understanding that I am doing my best to get where I want to be. For me my writing is a very internal process. All my introversion, fretting and stagnation is part of the gig and no matter how much I stall, cry, or busy myself with other things, my writing isn’t going to be a hobby that I lose interest in. I’ve been journalling since I was 9. No matter how much I push it down or cast it aside and pursue other things, it will always come back as a burning need to type away at my computer or scribble on the back of receipts.

Writing is so much more than a hobby, it’s a passion. It’s not something I will ever be able to put down and not take up again. There is enough self doubt and anxiety surrounding putting parts of yourself out there in the art world, without feeling the dismissive attitude that is so prevalent when talking about artists. It’s not a luxury, it’s not the stuff we do in between the important things. It’s hard work, and it’s real. 

23 and still afraid of being home alone

I have the house to myself for an entire week. My family have set off on a whirlwind motor home adventure up towards Mackay, leaving me to look after the house. I haven’t lived on my own for more than a night in over a year, and the prospect of being able to work on my own schedule with no distractions for an entire week is a dizzying feeling.  Unfortunately living alone has also turned me into a complete psycho. Did I mention that it’s only been 24 hours so far?

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Making friends as an adult

 

Friends are good to have. Whether it’s a flat tyre, babysitting, or someone to ring up crying about the itchy red rash you’ve got crawling up your leg, it’s comforting to have someone there to bounce ideas off. In school most of us spent a lot of time cultivating friendships, and the good thing about the school week was that it meant that maintaining these relationships was relatively easy, because you’re all pretty much stuck there together.

Once study is over it’s a whole new game, people get jobs, have kids, and that’s when it gets harder. Plans get cancelled, things pop up, and suddenly you realise you haven’t seen your best friend in over three months and have only chatted via Facebook or tagged each other in video posts of dogs and their unlikely friends. Which is so damn cute, but not at all fulfilling when it comes to making real connections. What feels like “chatting” with a friend through instant messenger just doesn’t fulfil that need most of us have to be social, and when something like a concert comes up and you’re absolutely stumped as to who to take, it sucks. The friends that you used to have are just names in your facebook feed, and not people you would really want to hang out with anymore. That’s when it’s time to reach out and make some new connections.

So how do you go about building up a new social circle to scratch that itch we all have to make connections and find our own little community? Assessing hobbies is a great place to start, as the people you meet whilst pursuing those hobbies are likely to enjoy them and you’re already starting with something in common. The upside of making friends at an older age is that you’re more likely to have a friendship based on common interests and as a result are more likely to be strong and long lasting connections. The need to make friends is a good chance to sit back and evaluate what really makes you happy, and the kind of people you want to meet.

Something that really opened up opportunities for me to meet new people was the pottery class that I took on. It was an 8 week program for wheel throwing so it offered that repeated contact that we would get with a school class in a setting where people let their guard down – because we were all fucking up and making wobbly penises out of spinning clay – it’s a great ice breaker. While i’m still making phallic shapes on the wheel past the conclusion of my workshop, i’ve met some really interesting people. 

I’ve also found volunteering to be a great way to meet like minded people. I’m very much into ocean conservation and animal protection, so joining conservation groups has been a great way for me to meet people that I already have a lot in common with. Most volunteer groups have monthly meetings/events, so it’s a great way to get to know people that you are sure to see regularly.

For me, the realisation that it was time to reach out and put in some effort was the hardest part. So go and do what you love, and talk about it often. The people that you’re supposed to connect with will be there, and they’ll most likely be looking for exactly the same thing. If a dog and a duck can become best friends, surely there’s hope for us.

Are you ok?

  
So today is RU OK day. It’s a day in Australia where people are encouraged to reach out to friends to check in and make sure that they’re coping mentally. I think it’s a great initiative. That being said I think we should be checking up on people all the time, not just on one day a year.

Today was particularly poignant for me in that I lost a friend to depression a couple of months ago. It was sudden and unexpected. I didn’t know that she wasn’t ok, and i’m so so sorry that I didn’t ask.

I don’t write a lot of poetry, but when I wanted to express my sadness about M this seemed like the most natural way. She was happiness. She was cheeky and always welcoming. She was the kind of person I wanted to be. A few lines just don’t seem enough. I could write about her forever.

Everywhere

Greeted by blank stillness,

in the hazy comfort of a quiet morning.

forgetting is impossible when i’m awake,

because you are everywhere.

Standing at our secret cliff,

gazing in awe at the ocean below.

Sitting at our hiking spot,

dipping your legs in cool bottomless water.

I can’t forget your lover’s face,

when he said goodbye to you for the last time.

Or the queer calm,

when we drank without you in the hours after.

A quarter of a lifetime,

was nowhere near enough for you.

But we’re never really apart anymore,

because you are everywhere.