On 21 June, I noticed a tweet by my dear Twitter pal, Tessa, that read:

“Paul’s very ill…Scared witless. Ambulances here.”

Not knowing it was the evening of her birthday, I immediately replied, sending hope that everything would be okay.

It wasn’t.

A few hours later, I was hearing the unthinkable words…

“The love of my life, one beautiful, funny, rock of a man has died.”

Since then, though we brush paths on Twitter, I observe her grief, feeling utterly helpless that, in this digital world, all we have are words. And empty words of comfort don’t do justice to a thing like this.

This is my personal attempt to imagine what it must be like to lose someone so dear – which is to say, unfathomable. It’s dedicated to Tessa, just because…I don’t know what else I can do.


Emptiness is not nothingness.
It is the absence of
That was there.
A void so great
It sucks life
Out of the air
And turns you
In. Side. Out.
Unsure, anymore
What space you occupy
What time you travel
Non-linear as the day
They left.

Black Hole

Where am I?
Who am I?
Were you even here?
And if so,
Show me the exact
Dimensions of the space
So I can stuff it full and
Shut. The. Door.

Locked Door

But no.
It’s a space where only you can go.

Never the same
For having met you.
Forever changed
Now that you’re gone.

Am I supposed to thank you?
Am I supposed to curse the day
You ever came and made a place
Where only memories
Loudly of your loss?

Time heals all
Blah blah blah
Well, fuck time.
And fuck the big bang who created it.
I’ll exist.
Right here
Beside you.
Wherever it is that you went.
Until we’re done…..

Please visit Tessa’s post on Paul, while you’re there, read the Valentine’s Day post she wrote for him last year. Send her some love…


Credit for original source images is as follows:

‘Dark tunnel – Please stay here’ by Karoly Czifra
‘Empty page’ by Shirin Winiger

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?