When I told you I’d be Missing in Action a few weeks ago, I honestly had no idea it would be this long.

It turns out, waking up at 6.00 in the morning and actually having to eat breakfast before 9.00 am is much harder than I thought.

Not to mention the extreme challenge of learning to differentiate between the varieties of footy (ie. football) in this country.

Prior to starting in this job, my footy knowledge went like this:

  • There’s a ball.
  • They kick it.
  • It goes on for months and months and ends sometime in September.
"Dynamism of a Soccer Player" Umberto Boccioni. 1913, courtesy shooting_brooklyn

“Dynamism of a Soccer Player” by Umberto Boccioni. 1913, courtesy shooting_brooklyn

Now, in case there’s any doubt, what I just said is plain and simply un-Ostralyin.

Way worse than not attending church.

If you don’t follow a footy team (go the Dogs!), then it’s pretty much social suicide. Which, when you work at home alone, is no big deal.

But when your job is taking bookings for manic footy fans?

I’ve been learning a whole new vocabulary.

“Freo” stands for Fremantle, “The Cats” are actually Geelong, the “Rabbitohs” are Souths (which, by the way, are Manly) and no, that’s not the AFL (Australian Football League), that’s NRL (National Rugby League) and never mind The Asian Cup (what the heck is soccer, anyway?).

I’ve learned what the centre line and the fence line are, but I’m still unsure about the wing. I have been winging it a lot, though. Which is what happens when you are looking at a map of a roughly square stadium with no compass or description as a guide.

It may also explain why some fans were booked seats with the opposing Cheersquad (oops!).

Until recently, I thought Home and Away was just a bad Aussie soapie. But apparently there are things called Home and Away teams, and which team is Home and which team is Away makes a difference as to where you sit.

And while we’re on the topic of vocabulary.

You know those words you only ever read, and never have to say out loud until you’re talking to a customer?


Repeat after me. It’s Rod-ree-gss. Not Rod-rig-yooz. O.o

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more miserable…

Les Miserables.

The good thing about being Australian is, you only have to say Lay Miz and you’ll be right!

It certainly has been an education.

Not enough of one to excuse my lengthy absence, though.

The WindThat is down to a few not wholly unexpected, and yet confounding, life twists, which I hope to make known to you in due course.

For now, it is enough to say that life is in flux. And that I’ve missed you. And I’m back!

Maybe less predictably than I once was, but let’s face it, I never was that good at keeping pace 🙂

Looking forward to catching up with you all soon. xox


What’s one new thing you’ve learned these past two months?

Possum Tales

Change, for me, is always slow. Before it arrives, I’m already there in my mind, just waiting for the physical components to slide into place.

When I came to this happy little hovel by the sea, it was like stepping into a well worn slipper.

Common Ringtail Possum

Common Ringtail Possum by David Cook

The oasis, marking with finality an end to years of complicated share house living, long past due.

I didn’t care about the shabby paint job, or the brown brick walls, or the fact that my neighbours could stare straight through my kitchen, into my living room, and out the other side.

It was my home. Where I could be myself, with the only other person on the planet who’s ever seen what that really means. And asked to stay.

Six years on, why am I so restless?

I’d like to blame it on the screaming single mum, and the fact her kids have finally found their voices, too.

Or the retiree who, bless his knee-high cotton socks, still manages to get excessive joy from pruning the wildlife out of the trees.

Or the fact my house is now bursting with skerricks of unfinished things – ointments and clothes and discarded trains of thought.

“This place is too small!” It screams, everywhere I look.

But that’s just an excuse.

Recently, during a rare afternoon spent cleaning up my garden, I heard rustling.

High up above, from within a thorny hideaway, I glimpsed a gleaming bit of tail.

Possum Tail

My little Ringtail Possum has moved house!

That evening, I placed a pear on the fence by Lady Possum Tail’s home. A goodwill offering to the gods.

She took a bite, and hurled it at the ground, I discovered the next day. Shame on me, for insulting her sense of self determination!

A few nights later, when I was washing up the dishes, I spotted her sitting on the fence. A little garden sentry, looking at me, looking at her.

And I realised, it’s not the neighbours, or the house. It’s me.

This home was only ever a holding pattern. A place to go underground a while, to find strength to face the world again, on my own terms.

In her ever gentle way, Lady Possum Tail came to tell me. It is time.

What’s the longest you have stayed in one spot?

Just Breathe

Here I am, one week out chanting my ‘Change is good’ mantra, and you ask – how’s that working for you?

Suddenly there’s a sound like a record needle scratching out my flow…

Okay.  So this is what change is really like.

I decided to start my weekend off with my first ever three day detox diet, in the hope of a good energy kick for the impending job hunt.


The inspiration came from fellow Aussie blogger, Melly Williams, herself a shining example of good health and fitness.  The recipes in themselves were great – especially the chia seed dessert – so simple, filling and yum.

But after a day of no carbs (except the few I added for necessity), as my stomach lining started turning on itself and I started feeling all lightheaded – I realised something.

If you already look like a borderline famine victim – maybe detox is not the thing you need?

Maybe – here’s a thought – maybe what you really need is to Eat. More. Food!

So, one failed detox later, I’m sitting at my computer clicking job ads.


I’m not sure if the slightly sick feeling is from the detox or the job hunt.  But as I click on one job after another, I feel my determined ‘can do’ face slide into a familiar queasy mope.

There are certain key words that keep repeating themselves…

“Vibrant, outgoing personality.”

“Ability to multitask.”

No.  I’ve been down that road before.  It never ends well.

I quit searching the Administration section and decide maybe Customer Service is the way to go after all.

I manage to find two jobs that require “listening skills” and “attention to detail”, wade through the lengthy online application form, multiple choice questionnaire and the resume upload.  Oh, that’s right. Cover Letter.

How many ways can you say you’re eager, keen, delighted…goddamn desperate for a job?

The letter ends with something about being an asset to the team.  I finally upload and submit.  Phew.  A good day’s work in there already.

Several days later, and I’m at it again – I notice the two jobs I applied for have already readvertised.  Hmmm.  Guess I need to work on my pitch.


This is usually the part where I curse the day I ever enrolled in that Bachelor of Arts.  Why didn’t I choose law?  Or counselling?  Or teaching, even – I could have been a good teacher.

At least I thought so, until I read fellow job hunter Anna Fonté’s post about the realities of teaching.  No.  I definitely could not have done that.

But why did I always choose meaningful over skilled?

There’s no answer to that question.  Except that was what I needed to do.  And now, here I am.  I’m exactly where I need to be.  Right now.

If you’ve ever doubted that, or need some reassurance about the direction that you’re heading in, read Nina Badzin’s post, on her journey towards the right path.

There’s something so very practical, and encouraging about her story of becoming a blogger and freelance writer.  She reminds me when I need to hear it most – that nothing is ever wasted.

Change is not going to be easy.  It never is.  And so I tell myself.

Just believe.  Just breathe.

Is there any change you’re finding challenging this year?  What gets you through?

Return of the Pep

You know that feeling when you’re staring down the barrel of another year, and you wake up and realise it’s already here?

That’s me this year.  Somehow, 2012 got away from me.

One minute I was looking ahead at a glistening oasis of holidays…

Apollo Bay Pan

The next, I’m scowling at the pile of unaccounted for receipts sitting where I left them from the year before.


Where did it all go?

Okay, so I have some photographic evidence of a holiday…

The camping trip that was downgraded (or was it upgraded?) to an apartment by the beach.

Apollo Bay Apartment

(Some dubious iPad quality photos).

Xmas lunch

A chilly Christmas with hers truly and some friends (who won’t be photographed).

Me and Ms

And that promised ‘Aunty outing’ to the zoo – my Christmas gift to the neephs.

Kids at Zoo

My photos of New Years Eve didn’t really work out.  But I can tell you as I sat with Ms, sharing sangria and tapas, that ours wasn’t the only table wildly entertained by the 9pm city fringe scene.

The group of girls, all wobble between the their too high heels and too short shorts, as they hurried for a tram.

The noble beer wielding knight, dragging his girlfriend up from the middle of the road, as they staggered to their next venue.

The pulp fiction pin up with the guy no one remembers striding by…

Then there was the crowd at the kooky bar we later frequented.  Frat boys in glittering top hats, big bottomed girls and Gangnam Style Indian boys (along with the rest of us), doing our best to groove to the most non-rhythmic and unrecognisable tunes from the eighties, nineties and now.

We all deserted it before midnight in preference for fireworks on the beach.

The highlight was returning to our hotel bar just in time for the DJ to play Dear Pepi’s favourite song – the one we threw the squeaky toy to, singing “Return of the Mack Pep”…


Now, as I stare at my pile of receipts on the thankfully sunnier side of 2013, I realise the reason for the blur.

26 December marked three months in the absence of fur!

Yes, Pepi was just a small scrap of dog.  But sometimes you don’t realise the space they take up until they’re gone.

He was the reason for some complicated work-from-home employment decisions.

He was my excuse reason for escaping social engagements and family obligations.

The reason for my choice of “pets welcome” hovel home.

If you let me, I’d probably say he was the reason I didn’t travel or achieve anything more in my life.  But seriously, how much can you pin on one small dog?

The truth is, in three months of deafening quiet since his absence, my mind has roamed anywhere except the places that it ought to be…

This is more than a New Year.  It’s the end of an era.
It’s time for change.

2013 is a year of no more excuses.  Time to quit hanging on the fringes, time to get back in the flow of life.

So, as well as blogging, I’ll be on the search for an uncomplicated job with a workplace and a break out room.  I’ll be working on a change of residence.  Maybe planning an overseas trip.  And one of these days, I’m pretty sure, I’ll get back to the gym!

Not New Year’s resolutions, as such, but definitely a new theme.  And a new direction.

Pump up the world…
watch my flow…
here I go…
(Return of the Mack Pep)…

Mark Morrison (1996)

What’s your theme this year?  If it were a song, what would it be?