Domino Effect – Part 1

domino1A whole month just disappeared.

The ‘Open’ sign has yellowed and the tumbleweeds are doing cartwheels in the wind.

[Enter iconic movie track – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly].

Waa wa waaaa

So much for “I’m back!”

You’d be forgiven for wondering when I’ll take the rusted shingle down. Board up all the windows. Exchange the dream for complimentary tickets to the show.

It does feel like, in the space of a few months, the whole landscape of my life has changed.

And I’m standing on my porch, wondering how to start explaining where I’ve been.

So I guess I’ll just go from the beginning. Where the first Domino fell…

You may remember me telling you, a couple of ‘New Year’s’ ago, about my need to get a job.

LSAH-PepiBut then how I was saved from the horror of job interviews by a paid video gig that I agreed to do in honour of Pepi.

As happens in this kind of work, the project scope was extended and mysteriously delayed until I gave up all hope of any kind of outcome and decided to get a job selling tickets to the footy.

In its well-timed sense of irony, the universe conspired to deliver the long awaited (and hence now URGENT) green light for the video completion in the same week that I started my indentured labour!

So commenced a month of craziness, followed by another couple of months of tying up loose ends.

Until the time has come to say goodbye for good.

  • To video as a source of income.
  • To more than six years of self employment during which I managed to feed myself (but only just).
  • To a creative occupation that, however meaningful, didn’t really leave room for the primary passion that is writing.

So what was all the fuss about?

Lort Smith Animal Hospital is the largest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia. It was originally established to assist people of modest means in providing vet care for their animals (which included none other than hers truly and her merry menagerie).

Given its unique history in veterinary care and female philanthropy, the hospital was keen to record the stories of key people who have supported the hospital since the 1940’s.

The first stage was recording seventeen interviews, which are now part of a digital archive for the hospital.

The second was creating a short memoir on the history of Lort Smith.

At 11 minutes, the video is far from epic! But, with any luck, is enough to inspire people to want to get involved.

Now that the credits have rolled on video, the question remains whether selling footy tickets will motivate me into writing a best seller…

Of all the jobs you’ve ever had, what was the one you were happiest to leave?


  1. NotAPunkRocker says

    My last one, but that was more about the boss and not the position. My issues with my current job are all related to the industry itself, not the people, thankfully 🙂

  2. says

    Bless Aunty Lou Lou for her bold and fierce vision… and bless Margaret for saving ‘fluffy’ from getting the final chop… loved, loved, loved your 11 minute tale of this magnificent institution and it’s kooky but devoted crew. Next. Footy fanatics… go for it!!! you are just the right person to tackle it (sorry, couldn’t resist). Oodles of love to you beautiful shinning star… so good to be back, even for me!

    • says

      “Kooky but devoted crew” – hehe, yes! In fact, there was a whole discussion with one of the interviewees about whether or not people think she is “potty” (being a mad animal lover). Sadly, she passed away a few months later, but so glad we could record her stories. It was a real privilege to catch a glimpse of this very unique history through their eyes.

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing such an interesting video, I love history, I loved seeing all the old photos and hearing people’s stories. Sounds like a wonderful organsiation.

    • says

      That’s cool that you love history – I really enjoyed that part, getting to hear the stories and imagine life as it was then. And you realise how damn lazy people are (as in, I am!) these days when you hear all the stuff they achieved back then. Unreal 🙂

  4. says

    What an accomplishment, Alarna. Some of the most fulfilling jobs are the creative ones, but few get enough compensation for all their hard work. I like the video.It records an era and a sense of pride in what they were doing. Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      Thanks for watching! It’s amazing how things have changed. Every person we spoke to talked of their workplace as a family, and thought nothing of doing extra for the cause. Quite different to the days of job descriptions 🙂

  5. karenmcfarland says

    I guess I would have to say I was never so happy than to quit my job as a Food Market cashier. Maybe it’s because people are hungry by the time they check out and that’s what makes them a bit grumpy. I don’t know. But it wasn’t my cup of tea. So wishing the best for you Alarna! You were missed. 🙂

  6. says

    Hey Alarna Fabulous video and good luck on your writing adventures. I have had many jobs over the years and I can’t think of one I hated, it was more Who one worked with that set the fires of resignation a burning. But I never did get to walk out like you see in the movies.

  7. says

    Welcome back! I’ve been in and out of blogging all year, never really got into it this year — which I plan to explain in an upcoming post. If I feel like posting it.

    I hated waitressing. Soooo happy to get out of that job, but have to admit, it’s helpful when you need quick cash and a flexible schedule.

    • says

      Glad to hear it’s not just me struggling with the blogging thing. Sometimes it feels like explaining is just making excuses, but I really do want to be here. It’s just LIFE!

      Waitressing always seemed frightening to me. But some people really seem to enjoy, so I guess it depends on your personality. And, maybe, age? 🙂

  8. says

    Hello and welcome back. Lovely video. The writers’ net is spread wide to catch you as you dive in again, as writing does seem to involve a lot of down-and-ups. Glad you were able to finish the video project, for a good cause. I bet selling footy tickets will put you front row to a lot of life to write about.

    • says

      Though I am late replying, I hope you will forgive me. And let me say a very heartfelt thank you to you for your kind and encouraging words… they did reach me, and will continue to reverberate inside this empty space, ’til I take note 😉 My very best to you.

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