Guest post – Mums garden

My parents are moving house for the second time in my life. And while it’s a good move and a necessary one, it does mean that Mum loses her garden that she’s spent 15 years pottering around in.

Somewhere along the line Mum’s green thumb genes mixed with some recessive black thumb gene and resulted in me. I have killed cactuses.

So I asked Mum to guest post for me and show me her favourite parts of the garden.

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There aren’t many places that can compete with this view. Although living so close to a National Park does have its downsides.

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Fortunately fires aren’t too regular an occurrence.

But being that close to the National Park means native flowers and wildlife thrive. We actually do get kangaroos come up to the backyard and drink from the bird bath. [Beks note – I wish Mum had sent me a pic of that! I’m sure we have one somewhere]
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And she even sent me a pic from my old bedroom window.
It’s not quite the view I remember as there has been a few changes since I left home. But it was still one hell of a view.
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Whatever Wednesday – First Kiss

Even if it’s not Wednesday here (because I live in the future aka Australia), it’s Wednesday where this blogging challenge is taking place.
Confused yet??

Every Wednesday/Thursday I’ll be blogging about the topic that comes through my email courtesy of Shay & Alissa.
This weeks topic is my first kiss.

At age 6 I got married. Not a childhood slavery marriage but in the sand pit at Primary School we had a pretend wedding where I and the lucky boy (whose name I don’t even remember) got married, had a quick peck, before going on our honeymoon.
I wish I could remember what I though a honeymoon was. I’m sure it was hilariously off base.

My first proper kiss with tongues was in year 9. At the time our little social group had 5 girls and 3 boys and so the boys got shared out so the boys got passed around. (I tried and there’s really no better way of phrasing it. We were young, we thought love triangles were fun and normal.)

So it was all very awkward and unnatural. We asked each other for permission before holding hands. Eventually at a party it was decided that we should kiss. Peer pressure.
So we went down into the orchard and kissed. It was ok.
A couple of weeks later when we’d broken up and he was going out with my friend, she rang me and asked me if this guy was a good kisser.
I said “meh – it was pretty sloppy” or something along those lines before she announced that he was listening in on the other line.
The good old days of landlines and three-way chat. I wasn’t even allowed to have a phone in my room so this conversation was probably held in code inthe kitchen. If I was lucky I could use the phone in my parents room, but they door had to be open.

I eventually wrote a very thinly veiled story about these people with the premise being we were all going on holiday together. It started off as a romance, slipped into soap opera territory, and by the end of it became a teen slasher. I think I nearly killed every one off.

Ahhh youth.
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Stuck in my head – Crush

I actually have had a different song stuck in my head all morning. However when I went to research it (Tokyo Ghetto Pussy – Kiss Your Lips) it reminded me of an even awesomer song from the exact time frame.

Allow me to reveal my age. I recorded this off the radio, from Bad Boy Ben and the Vixen’s top 40 show.
I listened to that tape for ages. Alanis Morisette’s Ironic was number 1 and I loved that song.
I had another Alanis single (on cassette!) but not that, so I taped it from the radio.

I still remember some of the commentary. Bad Boy Ben and The Vixen had a tendency to sing along at the end of songs. They also had a little jingle for song 23 which I sang constantly at the age of 23.

But this was an age before iTunes (in case the cassette tapes didn’t give that away) and so the countdowns seemed important to me. I was that girl with the TV Hits magazines posters of my favourite girl singers Alanis, Jewel, as well as JTT and Devon Sawyer (all the teen heartthrobs). It was a far cry from the impeccable music taste I have now. But there are some songs which I do remember fondly.

So here is Crush – Jellyhead.

Somehow I still remember every word, probably from dancing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush. Yeh I was that girl.

So another weekend passes by

Without much notice.

I swear this year is flying by. Unfortunately most of last week and weekend went by with me crook. All better now but my body definitely needed some rest.
So I clocked up a few hours playing final fantasy xiii. And by a few I mean a lot.

I was always a fan of ff7 growing up.
It really was the only video game I’d consistently play. Im hopeless at racing games and most other games give me motion sickness.
So when my parents bought us kids a playstation (none of this ps1 crap, I still have our old playstation and it still works) they bought me final fantasy 7.
And it was my first foray into a game that I could find enjoyable.
I’ve played it on and off for years now.
So for a present my boy bought me final fantasy 13. Ive been pretty blown away by the graphics.
I’m enjoying the game play too.
It’s a bit linear, and it took ages to get to the level up stage.
The leveling I find as the meaty part. I enjoy developing players and figuring out what they can do.
I am really enjoying the storyline as well.

And the whole world is filled with beautiful people and their beautiful hair.
Seriously it’s making me want to dye my hair. I’ve got a teal colour all waiting to go once the red/pink washes out.

So here is a picture of a really cool sunset from FF13

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Pasta to keep vampires away

This was my signature dish when I was studying. It was during my teenage rebellion because it’s always had too much garlic in it (which I had to buy myself, as garlic was never in the house).
It’s not healthy but it will keep the vampires away. (Assuming your vampires subscribe to the common trait of disliking garlic. I like vampires that don’t like garlic.)

Step 1
Put grated cheese, crushed garlic, herbs, salt & pepper in a bowl.

Step 2
Cook angel hair pasta

Step 3
Add pasta to cheese & garlic using the starchy water as a sauce.

Step 4
Eat – preferably with white wine and big bang theory.

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blogging for confidence

Allow me to be all introspective for a post. I was doing my usual blog reading / blog discover this morning and I kept stumbling across similar themes. Blogging for confidence particularly struck a nerve. Since this blog has just turned 1 (happy blogday to me!) it was a topic that I wanted to explore and write about.

I have always been the shy girl. The girl in the corner who dressed a little bit differently and thought about different things.
The girl who felt like Daria except not as smart. The loner in the corner of the library.
The girl who dressed in all black and read Anne Rice novels, when no one else was reading about vampires.
I wore headphones as shoelaces and got in trouble for wearing (fake) doc martins instead of school shoes.
I’ve had pink hair, purple hair, green, blue, and even tried polka-dots once. I’ve gone from a shaved head to nipple length hair and every style in between.
I always preferred to set myself apart. In my own head it was easier to accept that people didn’t like me because I wore too much eyeliner than they just plain didn’t like me.
I have struggled with my mental health. There have been some terrifying lows which I shall never forget.
High School was not easy.

It made my stronger, but I constantly look back and wonder why I had such a hard time.
Therapy helped.
But what has really helped is blogging.

Writing about things helps me stay on track. It helps me be a “proper grown up”.

It helps me get some perspective and some purpose.
There’s a strength I get from blogging.
It gets me out of the house. It gets me looking at the world in different ways.
I appreciate the beauty of things more.

If I was left to my own devices I could quite contently never achieve anything. I could sleep for days, never communicating, never seeing sunlight, living in my own little world with no one to bother me.
But that’s not good for me. I’m sometimes not the best company for myself.
So blogging, even if it’s just what I ate, what I wore, what I knitted, what I listened to, it makes me think about what I’m doing.

It makes me live.
And I’m very grateful for that.

This is why I blog.
Blogging has definitely got me out of my comfort zone, doing things that I never would have done before.
Hell, it turned me into a knitter.
I guess that’s why I relate so much to this challenge. Because I know how much blogging has helped me.

I may just try one or two of these challenges.

A taste of growing up

Or fish cakes.

The recipe is from a cook book I gained custody of by being the first to leave home.

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I would have flicked through this book so many time growing up. For inspiration or out of boredom or just in search of something to cook.

My signature dish growing up was the chocolate cake. It was always good for impressing the rellies when they came over.

But the fish cakes I remember as a family favourite.

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Super easy, it’s mashed potatoes with tinned tuna. Rolled into breadcrumbs and then fried.

It’s a really simple recipe which is gentle on the stomach (part of it’s appeal this week.)

I only wish there was a couple left over to put in a sandwich. But they went pretty quickly. They’re good cold from the fridge as well as hot.

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Dianne Brill – an inspiration.

My best friend growing up and I used to spend hours at the local library.

I was always an avid reader and would go to the library on my first day of school holidays, take an hour or so deciding how to best use up my 10 book allowance, and then beg my mum to take me back 2 days later when I had finished reading them all.

I loved Enid Blyton, Judy Blume, Ann M Martin, Lucy M Montgomery, all the books you’d expect a young girl exploring adolescence to read.
Always novels, and all about growing up, finding friendship, and exploring the world.

It was never non-fiction. It never really interested me. I would learn things at school and when I got home I wanted to escape into worlds which were better. There wasn’t much to imagine in non-fiction.

When I was 11 and about to hit puberty I found a book left on my bed. That was it. That was the birds and the bees talk. The reassurance that everything was changing but was going to be OK. Like most everything else in life, I was going to learn it from a book.
I don’t even remember what book it was, I only remembered that it was slightly scary and hilarious and not at all like Dolly or Girlfriend magazine.

So the next time my best friend and I were at the library, we thought that we’d look up similar books. If my twelve year old’s memory is correct there was a whole section on Women’s Self Help (which seems slightly unlikely nowadays but vaguely possible that the Dewey Decimal system would allow such sexist language).

And we found this book, “Boobs, Boys, & High Heels”. The title was naughty enough to get the interest of two 11 year old girls and it had a bright pink cover.
Win!
It was a how to guide on attracting GGs (Gorgeous Guys), walking in HH (High Heels), and most importantly how to get dressed in just under 6 hours.

We borrowed this so many times by the time we were teenagers (and still borrowing it well into our late teens) the pages were dog eared from reading it so many times.

Years later and I always had this vague recollection of some of the tips, tricks, and Brill-isms that had permeated my teenage years.

Eventually I tracked it down on Amazon, and after paying too much for it and amidst all the scathing reviews, I bought a copy to call my own.

I sat down and read it cover to cover. And it made a lot of things very clear.
For its frivolous subject matter it was influential in shaping so many things.
My writing style, my love of shoes, my reluctance to never buy yellow lingerie,

But the message that it sung the loudest was self-acceptance.
Whatever size you were (it has diet tips for slimming down and slimming up), whatever lingerie/shoes/boob you wore, whether you had a GGor not, it didn’t matter.
It said that you were ok.
You could be a Brill Babe because you were awesome.

I’m still often curious as to whether or not anyone else used to read it, or even if it’s still at the library.
But it influenced two little 11 year old girls to be themselves through an awkward and confusing time.

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15 – Muse Unintended (135)

I saved this song until last because I wasn’t sure what I was going to say.
I must have written this in my head a thousand times, with a thousand different ideas.
About how it was the first muse song I ever loved.
About how it had taken me through so much heartbreak. Continue reading 15 – Muse Unintended (135)