Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Toe Toe Toe

Last night, just before I was going to go to bed, I had an unfortunate accident involving my rolling wardrobe door, momentum and inertia, very bad timing and my big toe. Let's just say, I have no idea how I left my toe in front of the oncoming door, especially as I was pushing it closed myself, but the two came into contact quite hard. There was yelping and bruising and even bleeding and band-aiding and icing and all sorts of fuss and now the poor thing is all wrapped up.

This incident of toe squishage has prompted thought on a very many abstract issues over the past twenty-four hours, which I've decided to share, as I think I'm boring those around me by continuously quote odd toe-injury-spurred facts.

  • I've often wondered if the little toe is very slowly shrinking away and the human body is de-evolving it as it becomes apparent that it is less than necessary. I worry that one day people will be born without the undeniably cutest pair of the toes and wonder if any scientists or activists will soon form 'save the pinky toes' groups. I think they should.
  • On this note, if we're slowly evolving without our little toes, is it then possible that at one point humans had more than ten toes, which have since been phased out of the human genome?
  • As a little girl (and a big girl) I dreamed of being a beautiful ballerina with long graceful limbs and floaty, filmy tutus. That is, until I saw what happened to their toes! Still, despite horribly painful looking feet, I can't help but feel envious of delightful ballerinas with their neat buns and laced up shoes.
  • Toes are rather odd when you look at them for long enough. Rather odd indeed. But all legged animals have them.
  • Apparently, I was once told, it is impossible to walk without the big toe, because of its use in balance. Today I have been testing this theory, however, and finding that I can walk quite well without not only one big toe on the ground, but with all toes lifted off the floor and only using my feet. So. I actually think this theory is quite wrong. Although walking in heels without big toes may be quite challenging.

And finally...
  • Lying in bed, trying not to let my toe come in contact with any blankets but at the same time not get frozen off in the winter chill, I found myself considering last night that I should be grateful that rare, silly accidents involving toes and doors may account some of the most physically painful moments of my life. When there are other young people in the world, people my own age, who statistics state stand a high chance of being shot at, suffering malnutrition, standing on a landmine or living their whole lives in untreatable chronic pain, I think perhaps I shouldn't be too dramatic about a sore toe. Perhaps it was just a reminder to thank my lucky stars that I was born in a beautiful country, with a democratic government, parents who can care for me and friends who are always willing to help, with the option of wearing open-toed footwear instead of closed in and ready access to first aid and health care.
All Images found from Getty.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

If We Took a Holiday, Took Some Time to Celebrate

There is nothing quite as glorious as long, open holiday days on which there is nothing planned but easiness and bliss. I'm just beginning my first of three weeks winter holidays after the end of the first semester of uni, and I'm slowly building up a list of delicious, fun and simple things to do to keep me occupied.


Before each holidays I visit the library, borrowing stacks of books to read. Of late, it seems that many of these books go back unread and my borrowing appetite is unfortunately more than the time I have spare. This holidays, I've gone back to pick a few that I have already once returned and a few which have been recommended, and I endeavor to read them all before the three weeks is out.

My bedroom always seems to turn into quite the little rubbish dump by the end of a semester; with clothes, scrunched up old readings and books tossed over all the surfaces, and so holidays always mark a time for severe tidying, dusting and vacuuming. Luckily for me, I've a good season and a half of Gilmore Girls on dvd to watch during the cleaning bonanza that I've got planned. I'm steeling myself to sort through the huge amount of stuff (clothing, shoes, books, magazines) that I have stashed away in my bedroom to make it easier to move myself and my possessions in November at the end of uni.


I've been building up a long list of places which I want to visit for quite awhile now, and I am determined that this holidays I shall make the effort. From a little coffee shop whose television advertisements promise a most delightful looking hot chocolate to a small art gallery located somewhere downtown, I will be sure to post the results of my adventures.


I have many friends who live away from me during the semester who it is always a lovely treat to see on the holidays. Also, given the rarity of time off during uni, it's just nice to see all of my friends and relax and unwind.


My mother recently bought me this lovely little cookbook full of miniature goodies which I can't wait to try out. First up; chocolate and caramel cheesecake!

Also, for any left wondering, I did survive my night out alone last Thursday and really didn't have to wait much more than an hour until my friend arrived. I took some very (poor) photography of the band and of us having a fine old time on the comfy couch with our pink lemonade.
I'm planning to post a lot more over these holidays as I've become quite slack of late, so look forward to winter adventures!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

How To: Go to a Gig All Alone

So you've found a new favourite band who've got you jigging in your car-seat while you drive along.

You find out that they're going on a national tour, and opening in your town.


You frantically try to get your friends together to go and see them, but alas, nobody else can come.

What do you do?

You have two options:

A) You miss out, watch the band as they rise to world stardom and reminisce with your grandkids about how you almost went to see them...


B) You go alone.

Now, you realise that Option A paints a rather lame picture, because obviously it is the more lame choice. So you gather up your courage and hotfoot it along with only yourself for company to the show, ready to have the time of your life.

This is the situation I have inexplicably found myself in today. The band Yves Klein Blue have had me foot tapping along to their tunes on the radio for a few months now, but it was only this week that I connected the dots and realised that all the songs I had been enjoying were coming from the one band and that their debut album was going to be released this week. Then I did a bit of research and found out that they were starting a national tour soon. In fact, they were starting a national tour today. In my city.

I was quick to excitedly message my friends, but alas they were all either finishing off the semester's assignments or out of town! What was I to do?!

I weighed up the options, and option A (staying at home, wistfully missing out) looked pretty unfriendly. Then, one lovely friend messaged back and said that she'd be there as soon as she finished work; she'd be an hour late, but still, company!

So, in about two hours, I'm going to head out, praying that I can still score entry, and thrash about on my own to their "danceable indie jive" until my comrade can come and join me.

Now, I'm not the most extroverted kid on the block, so it's going to take a bit of courage for me to sit there for an hour alone, so I've formulated a list of tips to hopefully help me and others who find themselves in a similar position to stay cool, calm and collected and assure myself that this really is the better of the two options.

1. Wear your favourite clothes: If you're already feeling squirmy and assuming that all eyes are on you because of your solitary circumstance, you had at least better feel like you look amazing and the easiest way to do this is to don what you think is your most smoking, striking, fabulous outfit.

2. Wear something you're comfortable in: That said, don't go wearing a mini skirt that you're going to be constantly pulling down, a top you'll want to pull up all night or a corset that's so tight that you can't breathe. You want to concentrate on having an awesome night, not find yourself in the hospital because you fell on your face wearing ridiculous heels.

3. Have fun: Enough said. Make some new friends maybe, try to meet the band, definitely take your camera to capture the moments so that you can still reminisce with your grandkids in fifty years time.

I'm going to go now and find what I'm going to wear. If the band is anywhere near as fun as they look in this picture, it's going to be a great evening!
Photo from The Range Radio
Wish me luck!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Day that Oliver Came to Play

Yesterday morning, to escape the misty rain and fog, a little purple and brown butterfly called Oliver floated into my bedroom and landed on my bed.

I had to take him back outside as houses are no place for butterflies; with no fresh flowers or streams of water. I don't think he wanted to go back out; he was quite difficult to catch and it took me nearly an hour to find him at one stage, but he did pose for a few photos.

Having Oliver come to visit reminded me of my fascination with butterflies and bugs when I was a child. I was crazily into all sorts of six-legged creatures and dreamt of becoming an entomologist, or scientist who studies insects. Now I couldn't be more afraid and horrified by creepy crawlies, but at the time I would run about all over my backyard with a little net and bug catcher, playing with my little 'friends'.

I even had a pet butterfly for about a week. I found him sitting on our driveway one day when he was just newly hatched from his cocoon. He was absolutely perfect and new, but only had four legs. Butterflies need all six legs to balance properly while flying, so my butterfly could only walk around instead. I knew he would soon be eaten by ants, so I 'rescued' him and made a little butterfly house on my drawers. He was a Tailed Emperor and was the biggest butterfly I'd ever seen.

Tailed Emperor Butterfly. Picture from here.

I fed him with fresh flowers from the garden and a little container of water and was glad to see him eating and drinking. Then, after a couple of days when I was holding him in my hands, he took off and flew right across the room and back into his house. I was so delighted because I thought that this meant I had nursed my little butterfly so well that he had overcome his disability and was now fit for life in the wild. I planned to release him the next day, but sadly he died over the night.

At the time I think I was quite sad, but now that I think back on it, a week is a long time for a butterfly to live, and if I hadn't rescued him from the ground when I found him he would have been eaten quickly by birds or ants. I didn't have many pets as a child, just birds and fish, and I desperately wanted one that I could hold and play with, so I have very fond memories of the week that I spent with my little butterfly.

Today the sun is peeping back out from behind the clouds, so I hope Oliver is happy back outside frolicking amongst some flowers.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Favourite Sites for June

In winter, when it's cold, overcast and windy, all I want to do is sit somewhere warm with some hot chocolate or tea and spend hours looking at pretty pictures and making collages and scrapbooks, or reading books which will take me away to somewhere warmer. This June, I've been combining both by scrolling through some of my favourite sites and marvelling at their lovely images and sweet stories.

Artist Audrey Kawasaki's collection of work contains some of my favourite pieces of art. Her paintings on woodblocks are intricate, ethereal and enticing and her website is beautifully done to match.

From one inspirational site to another, Australian designer Alannah Hill's website really is the sweetest and my dream wardrobe would house many of her pieces. Her designs are always intricate and very feminine with lace, bows, buttons and headpieces. At the moment her site features this year's gorgeous winter collection and is filling me with excitement because in the next couple of weeks I plan to take a trip to Brisbane and wander into her boutique to quietly stand in awe of her beautiful clothing.

Princess Skye from The Princess Portal, has recently started her new site, The Lost Princess, and it's quite charming indeed. Full of lovely short stories and pretty pictures, it's too difficult to sum up this site in words; I suggest you take a look yourself.

Ps. For those who were wondering, the immune booster tea worked wonders, although as I got my sense of smell back, the taste also did become that little bit stronger! An affordable price to pay for good health though, I think. I give it five stars :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Grant Me Immunity

I've been a bit under the weather for the past few days, not with anything serious, I've just caught the good old winter cold that's going around. I've been cheering myself up, however, with some Immune Booster tea, which I brought on Thursday.

A lovely little tea shop; Coffee, Tea or Me, opened up in my city about six months ago, and I've had to be very careful to limit my visits, otherwise I might go a little tea crazy! So as much as getting sick wasn't on my to-do list, any excuse to buy new tea is always welcome!

immune booster - a blend of organic herbs that are commonly used to boost the immune system. It contains Echinacea that facilitates healing and stimulates the immune system and rosehips that are high in vitamin C also contains rosehip, yarrow, cinnamon, calendula, orange peel, alfalfa

It's got a lovely taste and I've been having fun seeing if I can taste all the ingredients. My mum bought me the little tea set for one for Christmas, but I hadn't used it until this week because normally I get lazy and just sit the leaves in a strainer over the cup!


Ps. If you're ever feeling ill, or in need of a boost, Coffee, Tea or Me deliver worldwide.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jack Frost Has Come to Play

It is becoming quite cold very quickly this winter. While it does get fairly chilly where I live usually, it is rare that so early on in June can you see your breath or discover your car covered in frosty ice in the morning.

Early this morning, however, I discovered that my car, Roger, was covered in a thin layer of white crystals. I quickly went outside to take some photos of the first frost of the year before hurrying back, immensely grateful that my parent's paid for good heating in our house.
I am reminded of the first time I experienced snow in Japan at the beginning of 2005. I was amazed the first morning I woke up there to open the shutters on my windows and look down to find the prettiest frost on the the roof below.

I still remember having the best fun playing in the snow with my little tour group of Australian teenagers as our Japanese guides looked on as though we were crazy. We would sink up to our waists in pure white snow, and throw it at each other's faces. We were taken to see a frozen waterfall in the mountainous regions near Nikko.
My host parents had the most amazing bath which was filled with beautiful hot water and then dyed a different colour each night! My host parents would encourage me to stay in for at least an hour after dinner, as is the Japanese custom, and I didn't take long to make the adjustement. I have often longed to return to visit that bath on long cold nights here in Toowoomba, and wonder what colour my old host mother was dyeing the water each day. It really was lovely at the end of each long day travelling. What are you winter memories?


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Would You Run Away With Me?

I would very much like to run away and live here and never, ever come out.

image from the beautiful flickr of zug55 here.

Rokokoschloss was built in the early 1700's in Dornburg.

Want to come along?


Monday, June 8, 2009

Evil Under the Sun

I have a confession to make.

Until today I had never seen or read any Agatha Christie, ever.

This may not register on anybody else's interest radar, but my grandmother was shocked, and, after witnessing the 1981 version of "Evil Under the Sun", one of the Poirot series, today, I was a little too.

Yes, it was formulaic, and no, I'm not sure I could sit every week and watch an epic two and a half hour film with the same main, undeveloping character, as my grandmother seems to do, but gosh darn I had fun trying to figure out who'd killed the skanky, evil lady and how, and laughing at the insane costumes which didn't seem to quite belong to any one era.

Unfortunately, I can't find any pictures which really give a good enough picture, but this is the cover of the DVD. On the right is the promiscuous wife who justifiably also doubles as the obligatory corpse. This outfit is typical of the character, a body suit with multi-coloured oval dots and a matching turban with smaller dots. Then to her left was the man who wanted to write her biography and was never seen not in a sailor suit of some description. Of course in the middle is old Poirot, who was quite amusing in himself. Then the corpse's arch-nemisis and, coincidentally, the owner of the hotel that everyone happened to have 'independantly' decided to holiday at and finally the young man-hunk with whom skanky deadlady was having a rather obvious affair with, in front of both their spouses.

Oh yes, the possibilities of different motives and alibies where endless and easily kept me from my rather urgent need to write my essay for over three hours. Also, corpsey and her enemy kept trying to out-do each other with their evening outfits, we couldn't decide which era it all seemed to suit, but whenever it was, it was obviously a time when large sequins were very, very in. The ladies all donned very, very large hats and the cutest little one piece bathing costumes while the men were always dappering it out in their smartly cut suits. It was the kind of film which makes me dream of becoming a costume designer.

In the end, I don't think I'm going to make it a regular hobby, but I'm fairly sure that I'll return to some Agatha Christie goodness again.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Highlights and Lowlights

The two highlights of my Saturday couldn't have been much different.

Notes on a Scandal is one of the most fantastic movies I've seen in a long time; I sat down to drink some tea when my parents put it on yesterday afternoon and before I knew it, an hour and a half had passed and the film was drawing to a close.

Here's the trailer, I definitely recommend it.

On a completely different note, my mother and I have been much excited to find the newest series of Australia's Next Top Model is being uploaded to youtube. My mother is the most unlikely fan and we get far too involved in the show's politics. Because in Australia the girls are allowed to be as young as sixteen, there have been some rather nasty cat fights and a lot of tears and tantrums and it can be hard to keep up with who's on who's side from week to week.

We picked our favourites in the first week have been barracking one-sidedly ever since.

My favourite: Claire - the blonde sitting on the left - has the most exceptional compsure and maturity for a sixteen year old. Mum's: Maddie -sitting groundlevel in the middle with the crazy beautiful blonde hair - unfortunately got eliminated a couple of weeks back.

Anyway, all this viewing has left my essay feeling a little rejected, and as there's still a good few thousand words to write, tomorrow I'll be taking my extra day off and getting down to business.

I hope you find something lovely to start the week with,


Saturday, June 6, 2009

close your eyes, make a wish that this could last forever

This morning I awoke to the sounds of an early morning thunderstorm and the dark, yellow tinged light that comes when the sun rises behind heavy clouds. This weekend lasts for three days as we celebrate the Queen's Birthday in Australia and it so far has been a very relaxing one.

I only had one hour of work this Saturday; school is nearly finished for a lot of my students and so they'll take a break for the holidays, and I've spent the rest of my time off gradually writing a reflective essay for uni, watching films with my parents, cooking delicious creamy carbonara and reading Oscar Wilde. I'm slowly working my way through The Picture of Dorian Gray, however this poem, The Harlot's House, is what first attracted me to his works and is definitely one of my favourites to come back to.

We caught the tread of dancing feet,
We loitered down the moonlit street,
And stopped beneath the harlot's house.

Inside, above the din and fray,
We heard the loud musicians play
The 'Treues Liebes Herz' of Strauss.

Like strange mechanical grotesques,
Making fantastic arabesques,
The shadows raced across the blind.

We watched the ghostly dancers spin
To sound of horn and violin,
Like black leaves wheeling in the wind.

Like wire-pulled automatons,
Slim silhouetted skeletons
Went sidling through the slow quadrille,

Then took each other by the hand,
And danced a stately saraband;
Their laughter echoed thin and shrill.

Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed
A phantom lover to her breast,
Sometimes they seemed to try to sing.

Sometimes a horrible marionette
Came out, and smoked its cigarette
Upon the steps like a live thing.

Then, turning to my love, I said,
'The dead are dancing with the dead,
The dust is whirling with the dust.'

But she--she heard the violin,
And left my side, and entered in:
Love passed into the house of lust.

Then suddenly the tune went false,
The dancers wearied of the waltz,
The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl.

And down the long and silent street,
The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet,
Crept like a frightened girl.

Today I shall go to a Tupperware/morning tea party, be visited by a friend for a hair dyeing session and continue writing my essay.

Relaxing weekends are my favourite.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

trentième heureux

I think thirty posts is a fair milestone, no? I hope you do too, because this post just happens to be number thirty and I a little bit proud.

Today I shook hands with a stranger, looked them in the eye and convinced them to buy me hot chocolate without even asking. I felt bad for a crying friend and I went shopping with my mother. I sprayed ten tester cards with one perfume to put in with my clothing and make me smell pretty for free. I explained about leftover liquid pity obsession and I daydreamed. I searched in vain for the perfect red knitted beret and I made a new friend. I wished I had yoghurt and time to visit a good library.

I did a lot more, but these seemed to stand out.

I really enjoy this picture.