Saturday, May 31, 2008

Torn but not in a Natalie "I released a greatest hits album despite only actually having one' Imbruglia kind of way

I constantly have battles in my head. Like, should I wear this extremely impractical, yet fashionable belt that is going to inevitably give me a stomachache due to tightness? Answer = yes. Or, can I actually wait until I've eaten lunch before I eat this white chocolate/brownie cheesecake? Answer = hell no. But I guess digging a little deeper, I find myself in the raging battle of age versus expectations.

I think people, well most of my friends and I, have this simmering pressure of how our life should be by the time we are 30. I feel a little less pressure living away from Australia, but if I lived in Adelaide, where my most of my friends are shacked up, using their birthing canals and owing the banks copious amounts of money, I would be feeling very third wheel. Now life in Adelaide is by no means bad, and I'm definitely not being critical or meaning offense to my wonderful friends, but if this wasn't the life I wanted to lead, I'd find it very difficult being there.

So why 30? Who decided that this was the age we were to aim for when assessing life's goals thus far? Sure, thanks to our physical make up, women feel like the timer is going to go ding on our ovens immediately after blowing out our 30th candle, but the pressure some of us put on ourselves to tick off the boxes is pretty ridiculous. Oh, and just so we are clear, the boxes are as follows:

I've done it in a pretend conversation with my mother, complete with a Family Feud wrong answer bah-baw style for dramatic effect*

1. 'Vanessa, have you met a nice boy yet'? Bah-baw
2. 'Vanessa, the interest rates are going up, you really should think about getting yourself on the property ladder.' Bah-baw
3. 'Vanessa, when am I going to get some more grandchildren?' Bah-baw (can I note she already has 7 - frankly, she's getting a little greedy).

And in that order too.

Could I perhaps be so bold to suggest that this pressure to tick off at least one of the boxes, I think you can guess which, results in such a high rate of divorce??

The reason why I am torn is because I thought my life would be different. I expected to be more mature by now. Not to still laugh at all poo jokes however bad and the desire to go to Cockfosters lessen after a year of laughing at it, but it hasn't. Dammit, I still want my picture under that sign. I thought I would know what I wanted to do with my life.

I was brought up with this rough plan; school, university, good job, nice boy, marriage, house, babies = happiness. Sounds easy enough. Both my sisters have done it successfully and happily. But I had 4 months of clarity while travelling around the world. So now I'm completely tickless and having the time of my life. Sure, I didn't expect I would be where I am now, but it's an awesome surprise. The thing is, I still get the expectation guilts.

Ideally, I'd like to throw complete caution to the wind; quit my job, travel and see where I end up. I never want to hear myself say, 'I always wanted to do this but never did' or, 'that's just unrealistic'. But it's hard to completely release ourselves from our expectations, no matter how far we run from them.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I've just back from Stockholm. The land of sea, cinnamon scrolls, 7-Elevens and ridiculously good looking people.

So there is a raging debate going on at the moment - which, by the way, I love. Thank you for contributing. I mean it. I know there are people who read my blog but don't comment. Please do. It gives me warm fuzzies. Like a cup of hot Milo when you can't sleep. Or when you see bunnies in a field. Actually, not bunnies because every time I see an animal I think about eating it, even road kill (sometimes) hmmm. Do I need to substansiate that sentence with some kind of footnote making sure you all don't think I am a freak?*

Ok, so where was I? Ah, Stockholm and the debate. Now this kind of ties in with the general theme of some of the comments of late. So my friend Megs and I were out at a pretty cool club in Stockholm on Saturday night. Think Bohemian decor with a slightly Mozart feel. Lots of gilded mirrors, booths with 'real' champagne and Swedish gangsters (I didn't know they had any, but they looked like the blonde mafia) sitting with barbies on their laps. It was an experience to say the least. Oh, and not as wanky as it sounds. A little, but not a lot.

So this bar/club thing was a weird meat market. As Megs commented, it was like these guys had been reading The Pick Up Artist and were going hell for leather trying to do their 'How to approach 101' weekly exercises. Seriously. Having said that, some were just plain weird. Like Vomit Breath for example;

Let me quickly set the scene. Megs and I are sitting down by ourselves, deep in conversation, probably about Megs' bruises from being constantly shoved by the scary Swedish girls on the dancefloor when Vomit Breath comes and sits down with us. He says nothing. He looks like Albert Bensimon. He stares. He is creepy. Then he talks, earning him the name, Vomit Breath.

Vomit breath: "Hhhhmmmmghfff"

Me: "What?"

(creepy staring)

VB: "Hhhhmmmmghfff"

(more creepy staring)

Me: "I can't understand what you are saying"

VB: "Hhhhmmmmghfff chaiohfiodh asdhio (which can be roughly translated to) Why are you in Stockholm?"

Me: "Just for a holiday".

VB: "Hhhhmmmmghfff chaiohfiodh asdhio (which can be roughly translated to) Why are you in Stockholm?"

Yes, we had this rather repetitive conversation for about 5 more minutes until we tried ignoring him but he continued sitting there, staring. We then got up, and he followed until I glared at him. Die, Vomit Breath, die, or at least go pass out in a gutter - yes, these were my thoughts while I glared. It was movie style chick kicking ass with cat-like evil eyes type of scene.

So this scenario brings me to the point of this post. Why, when males drink, do they think it's charming or acceptable to act like a complete sleazy, weirdo, knob? It's not as if I am the most friendly, approachable person in the history of picking up. Yet whenever I'm out, I get these weird men latch onto me like I'm fucking Mother Friendly Teresa. Why? And without sounding like I have my head up my arse, they usually look like Bill Gates, but probably without the World's Most Richest Man' title. My friend Naomi used to tell me off for being too nice to people if I didn't want to talk to people. I'm a big believer that even if you are inebriated, it takes guts to approach someone, so therefore to shut someone down on the offset is mean. So I talk. I'm polite and don't lead them on and then usually, they act like a sooky child when they realise it's never going to happen. Ugh. I'm sounding all chick lit. I'm going to stop now.

Stockholm has chocolate bars called 'Plopp'. C'mon, say it out loud, it's fun. You know you want too. "Plopp". "Plopp". Haha, it's such a funny word. How's that for changing the subject? OOerrrrrrrrrr, I saw the coolest Vikingesque ship. It was built in the 1600's and sunk on it's maiden voyage - sound familiar? It stayed on the ocean floor for 333 until it was brought to shore and restored. It was truly amazing.

In other news, I had to 'sell' myself to the creative director at work. Apparently I'm annonymous and 'off the radar'. Ah, the good ole advertising radar. The only way to blip is either via kissing arse or being an obnoxious twat sporting the latest Cons. Of course, this observation has been made based on assumption. My emotionless face has let me down again. Apparently I always look 'stern and uninterested', which, to the latter, I kind of am. It's advertising for fucks sake! Anyway, I showed some passion and enthusiasm and I think I am now a weak pulse with my lips and tongue firmly safe from any butt cheeks. Woo-hoo!

*I am not a freak, I just like meat.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Moment of clarity

I had one last night. At the opera. Yes, I am very mature and cultured. It totally suited my new short hair/virgin bride look.

I have been wrong to blame Hollywood on creating unrealistic expectations of love, romance and marriage for females. I now blame Shakespeare, Italy, Mozart, the Baroque period - basically any type of prose, music, poetry, dance from the 15th century onwards. Perhaps earlier, but I can't be bothered researching it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Forgive me, I've been on a train

and I've been thinking....

How well can you actually know someone? For all you know, that seemingly normal guy you work with could love being spanked by a monkey in a apron. Ok, so that would be funny, but you know what I mean.

I know this isn't a particularly groundbreaking subject, nor am I offering anything staggeringly insightful, but I can't help but wonder. Perhaps this screams of 'trust' issues on my part, but can you really go with your gut instinct about people? Most of the time I think you can, that's all you can do, but what happens if you're gut is wrong? How often have you been wrong about people? I mean, we all want to believe that people are good, and of course, most are. But does that need for good make us blind to some of the ugliness in people?

I guess the classic example is being in an unhealthy relationship. The good we look for in people also ties in with the happy ending we all want. Or rather, the happy ending most little girls are led to believe they should look for. Man, fuck Hollywood.The crap that is fed to us about Prince Charming and happy endings is seriously nauseating. BUT, having cursed the studios and projectile vomited on the notion of romance, I would like to add that I hold a bit of hope for some form of magic, however it may appear.

So, having recently had had a series of 'why get married' talks with friends, I am seriously coming closer to the decision that marriage is an unnecessary need in my life. Yes, I am now delving into something a little deeper than how well can you actually know someone, but here I go.

So I am now splashing into the pool of commitment and doing a bit of backstroke around the edge. Yes, it's all very nice, la-di-da (I don't know why I am doing a pool analogy but let's stick with it). So, I'm swimming around quite happily, not getting my hair wet when BHAM, I'm supposed to get married. Why? To show a higher form of commitment to someone? To say, I choose you to 'spend the rest of my life with'? Hmmmmm. I get out of the pool. I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as 'the one'. Whoever made that up has a lot to answer for, and should probably be paper cut all over their body with a bunch of Hallmark Valentine's Day cards. There are people who come into your life and if the timing is right (plus a bunch of other things) you get together. But life changes, as do people and it must take a hell of a lot of work to stay on the same path as someone for 10, 20, 30 odd years. I look at the person I was 5 years ago, and while I will essentially always have the same characteristics, a lot of me isn't the same. So when you get married, you're basically saying I'm going to do my best to stick with you - this is all you can do. So why do you have to get married to make that 'ultimate' commitment to someone? Surely it's the same promise to someone, based on the same principles, the same intensity of love and meaning whether you're married or not? Just without the presents, cake and expensive party.

Does anyone feel the need to change my mind?

P.S before I get any emails, no, I am not going out with someone. No, I don't have anyone I mistrust in my life, this post is just based on a collection of recent thoughts on public transport, conversations and natural cynicism.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

That special something

Do you know what I love?

No, no, other than food.

That special something that makes you connect with someone to form a friendship. That thing that connects you with someone in a totally platonic way but is so special that no matter how much time you've spent apart, the spark that drew you to the person in the first place remains. Ands there's nothing better than picking up where you left off. Too many people get caught up between mistaking acquaintances for friends. Mostly, it's people you work with. The true test is when that commonality is stripped away, whether you can take it to that other level.

I wonder what it is that draws you to your friends. The most obvious answer is a common thread of interests or way of thinking. But when I think about my friends, most of us have quite diverse lives and at times, a completely different, unparalled way of thinking. So I'm not sure that's it. Can it actually be explained, or is it just one of those beautifully strange things.

Living away from friends is often a great test of true friendship. People get caught up in their routine and when you're away from the everyday events, you actually have to make a real effort to stay in contact. Days too easily slip by, events not shared, and soon, months have passed. I totally understand lapses in communication, as sad as it is, and as much as it sometimes disappoints me, it's just a part of life. But I look forward to seeing some of my strangers again. I know if that spark is strong enough, we'll pick it up again just as we left off.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I realise I totally contradicted myself in my last post.

Sorry about that.

Although, I still meant what I wrote.

But it's my blog so I guess I can do what I want - HA!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Judgement Day

I know it's wrong to judge. Wait, no, I take that back. Because is it actually wrong to judge? We all do it. Anyone who says they don't is lying. So why are we taught that we shouldn't? Surely it's just another branch of expressing or formulating an opinion. It's wrong to look down on others. Agreed. But if judging is making a call on whether something is right or wrong, then I think it's ok.

So all this has stemmed from a good old work night out. Booze. Workplace flirting. I don't know, boredom maybe - it's not a good mix. And I'm talking about those people 'in relationships'. I'm the first to admit that you never know what goes on behind closed doors, but why are people so fucking stupid? Why would you purposely hurt someone you supposedly love for a bit of booty? Do people not care? God, it irks me and in this judgment call, I completely look down on them. It makes me disappointed in people and puts another dent in my already skeptical ray of hope when it comes to faithfulness, trust and respect in a relationship. Of course not everyone is like this. I realise that, but ugh, enough of it goes on not to make you want to judge. Or is it just me?

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Ah smiling. That old chestnut. Life's official representation of 'happiness' and also the cause of me wanting to seriously hurt people at various social situations from about the age of 14 onwards.

People: 'Why don't you smile more'?

Me: 'Because I don't have a naturally upturned lips dipshit'.

Argh. Why do people have the need to say this to me. My favourite is when I'm out and some dickhead will come up to me and say:

'You have such a pretty face, why don't you smile more, aren't you having fun'?

Or sometimes it's more succinct:



What is the point of saying this to me? Am I going to turn around and say, 'geez, I can't believe I haven't been constantly smiling since I arrived in this fine establishment with so many sleazy and leering men like yourself. But thanks for pointing it out. Wanna shag?'


I'm still waiting to think of a comeback that is cutting, witty and will not result in some kind of violent stalker. Hmmm.

But despite the word 'smile' being the sometimes baine of my existence,it's kind of an interesting thing here. Smiling at someone and them smiling back is one of the nicest feelings you can have when it's spontaneous, natural and felt. A girl smiled at me on the tube the other day and I smiled back. And I felt good. Then, feeling inspired, I looked around for another smiling target. The closest person was this old dude with those broken red capilleries around his cheeks and spiky white hair. I suspect he had that yucky old man smell, but undeterred, I smiled at him at a totally non condescending but in a hey, I am the youth of today and I am smiling at you with respect old man, kind of way. He glared at me for a bit and then went back to his paper. Oh well.

Smiling is lovely but it's not the only sign of happiness. Why do you have to have to smile for people to know you're happy? Damn my naturally snarly mouth.

This week has been the most amazing week of weather in London. It's been warm, and I fear, I am turning into a Londoner. I can't stop gushing about the weather and I actually find 24 degrees kind of hot. I know, I'm embarrassed. Today I walked to Borough Markets, picked up some cheese, bread and friends and then went for a picnic in the park with the frisbee. I really want to be a awesome at it, but due to my bad hand/eye coodrination/blindness as well as my inability to do the frisbee 'flick', I kind of suck at it. But everyone else sucked too, we all maybe caught it and threw it straight twice.

Now, I'm sitting in my beautiful, airy kitchen, drinking wine, listening to music and eating biscuits. Later, I'm going to make some muesli, watch a dvd and read a book. I can't wait!!!!! My surly face is happy. On the inside, of course.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Cinque Terre

Scene: My work kitchen. Tuesday after bank holiday weekend. The mood is peppy. There is no milk in the fridge. This slightly affects the peppiness. But the people of the kitchen overcome this through optimism. They line up for the kettle, busily putting tea bags into cups. Waiting for the moment that the milk will appear. And it does. Those hippies with their ‘Magic Happens’ bumper stickers were right. Crazy Brazilian kitchen workers dart around in the background shouting out ‘Oh miii’ and ‘Si’ every so often. They probably say more stuff but I don’t know how to type it. Plus I’ve forgotten. There is random talk of football. Yawn. Girl crush laughing her slightly annoying high-pitched laugh. Ding goes the microwave. Dialogue begins.


Kitchen person (non descript, make him or her as hot or interesting as you would like as I am merely using this person for what would otherwise be a monologue)

Me (slightly tanned, probably a little chubbier than last week, jeans are looking a bit tight. My right eye is a little red from lack of sleep)

KP: How was your weekend?

Me: Amazing

KP: Really? Why?

Me: Well, I went to the Cinque Terre

KP: Please tell me more and I will not interrupt and ask annoying questions that disturbs the flow of your narrative…

Me: Sure. Well, here I go. Vic and I flew out on Friday morning to Genoa. I spent most of the flight playing elbow war with the dude I was sitting next to. He was lucky his arm was sweaty and I am a germophobe, otherwise, I would have opened a can of elbow whoop arse. We had been in Genoa all of maybe five minutes when we ate our first pizza. Maybe another half an hour later when we ate our first gelati. 15 minutes after that we ate our 2nd ‘sandwich gelati’, 20 minutes after that, we ate two more serves of gelati. But in our defense, all would be categorised as top 5 gelati experiences and the last would sit as best gelati ever eaten hands down. Oh and then there was the rose flavoured one. We then discovered the delights of buying a drink and getting a plate full of food with your order. Being the gluttons we are, we spent a good 10 minutes bitching about how everyone else had received a bowl of fries and we hadn’t. Because, you know, we hadn’t eaten enough. Re read the last sentence (minus the bit about the fries because we got them the 2nd time around) because we had another drink and um, another plate of food…..Oh and we may have also had dessert too in the form of a nutella pastry (wow, it looks like A LOT more food when in written form).

The next morning we caught the train to Riomaggiore, the last village in the Cinque Terre which was where we were staying. Because we hadn’t eaten in about 5 hours, we immediately ate breakfast and then bought some pizza for good measure. Sufficiently full, we started the trek between the five villages which, from Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare is about 9km. The coastline is truly beautiful. Imagine if you can, the bluest sky that meets a turquoise sea, stretching as far as the eye can see. Matchbox villages the colour of gelati, crammed and dotted on the top of the cliff face and vineyards sprawling further inland, weaving their way through the hills bearing olives and grapes with rosemary bushes and orange blossom providing the most delicious smell.

Insert dramatic sigh here. In fact, I’m probably looking wistful. Wait, I’m looking wistful out a window of a second floor rustic farmhouse. There’s a hand carved oak desk in front of me with a jam jar filled with daisies and a typewriter with paper ready for me to write poetry. I digress.

So, just to fast forward a little, there was more eating, more gelati at each stop and then another buy a drink and get a plate of incredible food at the last town of Monterosso. We then caught the train back, managed to miss our stop and landed in La Spezia which was lucky because that gave us time to make room for an amazing meal back in Riomaggiore. I feel I am being repetitive, so let’s just say it was thoroughly enjoyed, so much so we went back the next night and saw a famous person whose name I don't know to fully brag. Milan was a vacuous hole, but Bergamo, an hour from Milan, was stunning. It was perhaps one of the most pretty towns I’ve been to in Europe.

My time in the Cinque Terre made me ask myself, if I saw places like this every day, would I take them for granted? Would they still appear as magical? Would I feel the need to stop and have a moment to take in how lucky I was? Is it the mundane that makes beauty all the more special? Perhaps. But why should we deprive ourselves of not waking up everyday to magical places, just because we need something worse to fully appreciate it? It doesn’t seem right. Sure, there’s life, routine and finances to take into account, but it’s such a human trait to surrender and become a martyr to reality. It seems wrong.