Wednesday, 30 August 2006

a near miss...isn't that a hit?

in other news, i had a car accident yesterday. was coming back from bondi junction and stopped at a t-intersection which is left-turn only. there was a bus hurtling down the road, and as our car is not very powerful i thought i had better stop as i couldn't guarantee i'd make it round the corner in time. so i stopped. but the guy behind me didn't - i don't know how he hit me so hard considering we had been sitting in stopped traffic before then, but he hit me very hard and pushed the car out into the middle of the road in front of the bus. i am amazed and so grateful to God for looking after me, because i would have been squashed if the bus had been a couple of metres closer. the damage to the back of the car is a bent bumper and the boot's kind of crumpled on one side. my neck has been very sore ever since so i'm going to the chiro this morning.

the guy was really shaken up and apologetic, and i didn't see any reason to yell at him. i mean, he didn't do it on purpose. but he was so amazed that i was so calm and kept thanking me for not getting upset. though i was a bit shaky and in a weird mood all night, it's funny how things like that happen and you think you're alright but then realise that no, you're probably not.

but isn't God good? i'm still alive! mum said that goes to show God must still have work for me to do. :)

Sunday, 27 August 2006

luxury and farewells

Well it’s the end of an era and the beginning of a new adventure for Ms Bek. She is moving to Ireland next Sunday to be with the lovely John and to finish writing her PhD. So to farewell her appropriately, to celebrate me getting the fellowship (I feel I needed at least some excuse), and to be absolutely and completely frivolous, I treated us to a night at the Hilton (at a greatly reduced rate thanks to my ‘connected’ flatmate).

I had been really sick all week with a horrible cold, and as Friday drew nearer I was feeling increasingly gloomy about it – what’s the point of spending money on doing something lavish when you’re feeling like crap? Dave said “well if you’re going to be sick, isn’t it better to do it in a five star hotel?” I took his point. But, as it turned out, by the time I got there after work on Friday the excitement was enough to make me feel quite a lot better, thank you very much.

It was just a fantastic room – our perfect little eyrie on the 29th floor. I wouldn’t have ever thought of staying at the Hilton if Dave hadn’t worked there, but I have to say it really is a great hotel. The room was really well set out, the bath soooo wonderful, the hotel staff were all exceptionally professional and friendly, the toiletries in the room were all Crabtree & Evelyn (sigh), the windows were just wide enough to sit in and gaze at the city lights from, the beds were soft and light and divine, the breakfast to die for…it was really worth it.

My mum joined us after work and the three of us drank some champagne we had brought. Then Bek and I got all frocked up, played with makeup for a while, then swanned out and went downstairs to the exceptionally pretentious (but fun) Zeta Bar where we had some delicious cocktails and compared all the different shades of spray tan in the room. We then moved on to the Arthouse to have some yummy food, but decided that rather than sitting around in a smoky bar it would be much more fun to just go and hang out back at the room.

Jackie had come up from Canberra and was going to meet us. I told her to call when she arrived, as you can’t get up to the hotel rooms without a keycard. I eventually got this phone call on the house phone saying “Um…hi it’s Jackie…I’m on level 21.”

“How on earth did you get there?”

“I talked my way up with the concierge but then got confused and got out at the wrong floor and now I’m stuck.”

After we went down and rescued her, we went back to the room with more champagne which Jackie had brought and we kicked back, chatting, watching dodgy 80s music videos and Bridget Jones’s Diary and eating chocolate. A very agreeable end to a lovely evening!

The checkout wasn’t until midday – very civilised – so we slept in, then wandered downstairs for a most delicious breakfast in glass brasserie, then I went and luxuriated in the bath while bekka checked out the spa and swimming pool. We were reluctant to leave, but as with the best ‘holidays’, it felt like we’d been away for ages once we left and I finally got home.

I’m really glad we did it as it meant I got to have bek all to myself for a day and night and to talk and hang out without having to compete with everyone else who wanted to say goodbye – her ‘official’ farewell was last night at the Rose on Cleveland st, and was also great fun, but when you’re in a big bunch of people you don’t get to talk to the guest of honour very closely. It’s weird to think she’ll be all the way away in Ireland, but exciting that she’s embarking on this new phase of life.

(was going to post all the photos but having trouble uploading to blogger this morning - click here if you want to check them out, as well as pics of the farewell at the rose)

Friday, 18 August 2006


it's a great thing to share good news with lots of people, because then you get all sorts of lovely, affirmative emails congratulating you, and people cooking you dinner and buying you flowers and whatnot.

one of the great things about being awarded this fellowship is that it crystallises what i want to do. i was floundering a bit in recent times, not having written seriously for a long time, wondering whether i was just kidding myself about this whole writing thing. my counsellor has been saying "you're going to be a really successful writer, i can just tell" - but as she's never read anything i've written i have no idea what she bases that on. and i'd just look at her and think 'well that's all very nice, but how exactly is that going to happen when i've hardly been able to write more than a page for the last several months?'

(actually the conversation went like this:

Counsellor: I think you're going to be really successful. You know, like that woman...that woman who writes books...

Me: JK Rowling?

Counsellor: no, you know the ones...the books about the boy...

Me: Harry Potter?

Counsellor: yes, that's the one!


i even thought maybe it was time to reassess whether writing is the thing for me at this point in time. maybe i should go back to working in theatre, i should go to NIDA and study stage management and start off on a whole other career course. last week i went back into my office after lunch, feeling defeated, threw my hands up in the air and said, "Lord, what am i supposed to be doing?!!!"

within an hour, i received the email from varuna.

i think i'll stick with the writing for the moment...

Monday, 14 August 2006

for those i didn't email...

there is a place called the Varuna House in the Blue Mountains, which offers a program of fellowships for writers. These are basically 3 week retreats for uninterrupted writing - they provide a bedroom and workspace and meals and all you have to do is write. They are pretty competitive to win, and apparently publishers keep an eye on the writers who go there, so it's a pretty amazing thing to get awarded a fellowship.

Now that I've talked it up, can you guess what I'm about to say?

I WON ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I sent them part of the piece i wrote for my thesis and...I won a Varuna Fellowship.

So I may have a book out one day soon after all... :)


it might be a little crass to bring this up, but ever since it happened on the street half an hour ago it's got me wondering. i can accept that guys will check women out, i can understand them thinking "phwoar" kind of thoughts in their heads, and although totally stupid (and potentially dangerous), i know about the mentality of a bunch of guys trying to bignote themselves by passing comment on people who walk past. but what on earth possesses a lone man, as he is walking past a young woman (ie, me) to say "noice tits"? what on earth did he expect me to say? was it supposed to be a compliment, or was it supposed to embarrass me? was he just stating the obvious (pardon the pun)? did he not realise he had spoken aloud?

as it happened, and as you'd expect, i just kept walking. it is, however, making me question whether to wear this jumper to work again...

Wednesday, 9 August 2006


i like doing surveys. i like doing those meme things where you tell everyone random things about yourself. and, yes, i liked doing the census last night. dave, on the other hand, went into autorant mode and got cranky about the government being nosy. despite this i did manage to get him to fill in his bit of the census so i felt like i achieved something.

so i'm a nerd. i like statistics. even when they don't seem to mean anything, i just have a curiosity about these things and finding patterns in random data (not enough to be really passionate about it, you understand, it's more a passing fancy). in a very dubious segue, saw this (via neil) and although the stats are US, it's a pretty nifty little thing, if you've ever been remotely interested in things like how popular your name is. good for procrastination.

so, in news just to hand, we discover that 'rebecca' was the 13th most popular name in the 70s. it was 82nd last year. also the spelling 'rebekah' had a big spike in the 80s and 90s, which probably has less to do with people wanting the biblical spelling as just wanting something that looks a bit 'different' (along with everyone else...remember my fondness for this site?) however, it disturbs me greatly that the spelling 'rebeca' is becoming more common...

Tuesday, 1 August 2006


am sick in bed today. but this has given me a chance to finish reading stardust again, which is one of the most beautiful and satisfying books i have ever read, a perfect sick-day book that is not too hard to get into and transports you. it taps into the childhood joy of fairy stories, but with enough richness and darkness to satisfy an adult reader (though having said that, most fairy stories are actually quite rich and dark, you just skim over those bits as a child because you don't fully understand them).

i love neil gaiman's writing and wish my imagination could be crystallised on the page as perfectly as his. he just has such a simple yet effective turn of phrase, a light humour that is diffused throughout, and handles violence and romance equally well - not too heavy handed with either, and gives you just enough to unsettle or satisfy (depending on your bent).

i also love neverwhere for the same reasons, but it's a very different beast...maybe i should read that again this afternoon.

i also remembered i have book 4 of the original illustrated version that heath loaned me, with charles vess's luscious illustrations. i think my favourite is on p52, with tristran and yvaine at the fair. can't find it online to show you, you'll have to seek it out for yourself. i wanted to quote my favourite passage as well but that will give the game away if you haven't read it - so go read it!!!

i think i need to go back to bed.