We’re taking a road trip this weekend, our first in a while without the dogs and four whole days off before I start my new role.

love road trips, just thinking about it is enough to tug my heart strings.

I have a fairly standard road trip ritual:

+ Make a playlist, abiding by the following rules:

1 – The music should be communal, meaning both participants are known to enjoy any song selected and if you want to throw a little something new on there, it has to be fun with the high probability the other party will like it.

2 – If one person is doing all the driving, this rule can be bent. If you’re the sole driver, you get to pick whatever the hell you want, to make up for the fact you can’t be over there chilling out on your iPhone. Essentially, if you want to hear your music played in my car, you’d better have a licence.

3 – Nostalgia is always a great addition to any mix.

+ Check the weather at your destination. Hopefully it is going to be cold.

+ Pack the night before, using the patented Mathematical Underwear Minimum Packing Sum (MUMPS) where x = number of days on the trip and y = number of underpants packed and the equation is x+2 = y.

+ Make sure you go to MUJI and pick up their amazing travel-sized bottles of toner and moisturiser.

+ Pack your gym clothes, because you’ll be going to the gym while you’re away. No, really.

+ Pack cables and chargers for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Bluetooth speaker, camera and the dust buster you keep meaning to use to clean the car out of at least one (1) new corgi worth of fur.

+ Go to the petrol station and get Red Bull and petrol in that order of urgency. Probably also pick up a small hand sanitizer which you’ll forget is in the glove box until it splurts everywhere.

+ Get on the M5 and pick a lane. Overtake only when necessary, don’t be one of those dicks who’s watched too much Tokyo Drift and changes lanes more often then they change their underwear.

+ Don’t cry when Harley and Rose comes on the playlist, or if you really can’t help it, pop a pair of sunglasses on first.

+ Wait until your travel buddy is firmly ensconced in trawling Twitter and slightly dozy due to the warm sun and the rocking of the car, then start talking about the celebrity and maybe even personal gossip they normally wouldn’t tolerate. If they don’t appear to be reaching the relaxed state required, subtly turn the heater on low.

+ Take a detour through the tiny town, population 1,2011, you lived in when you were six. Point out the house the girl lived in who terriorised you that entire year, because almost 30 years later, you still remember exactly where it is (Hello, Kirsty).

+ Make one complete lap of the first large roundabout you come to in Canberra. Fuck it, make it two laps.

+ Discuss on a scale of one to ten which person needs to pee the most as you get lost on the way to the hotel. As a Red Bull drinker, you always get first dibs on the toilet.

+ Have that awkward experience when you check into any hotel, where you feel like the person at the desk is judging what kind of sex you plan to have in their hotel. Try and look very much like a person who doesn’t do that kind of thing. Also try and look like the kind of person who can afford to stay in the hotel. Your corgi fur covered luggage will not help this cause.

+ Get to the room and immediately assess how much complimentary toilet paper they’ve given you. Worry about whether that will last for the length of your stay. Continue to worry about this until you can casually duck into a convenience store and stock up without your travel companion noticing.

+ Hide the excess toilet paper in your luggage. Feel very satisfied and safe.

+ Hop on the bed to relax when your travel companion suggests having a nap. Instead lie very still and wonder about the hygiene logistics of using the glass they always put in the bathroom. Get thirstier and thirstier the more you think about it. Get up and drink from your cupped hands under bathroom tap. Lie back down on the bed, relieved. Wonder about the hygiene logistics of the tap you just had your mouth close to. Get up and do a worry wee.

+ Lie back down and remember you have this week’s Who magazine. Read it and get lost in the dreamy world of celebrity gossip. Slowly doze off and have your third dream in which you’re friends with Khloe Kardashian. Wake up completely relaxed and ready to have an amazing weekend.



I Can’t Wait To Find You One Day.

Yesterday we sat down and did something we’ve both be dreading: Our budget.

We’re trying to save for the wedding (362 days to go!) and a holiday (drive around New Zealand? Drive around … America?!) and a house deposit. So you know, not much (so much, so very, very much).

B got a promotion a month ago and I start a new role at work next week and it means money is going to be less of an issue than it is at the moment and it’s really time I stopped buying novelty tampon holders.

When we actually sat down, it didn’t look as bad as I expected! Sure, I’m going to have to get used to the idea of delayed gratification, which is a (non-tampon) novelty for me, but everything’s covered and I think we’ve actually over-budgeted for some things.

As I do every November, I kind of give up on the year and get excited about January and starting things anew, but I’m trying to force myself to use the next two months to sort through any baggage I don’t want to bring with me into 2016.

That includes:

  • Doing the C25K again, which I’ve left JUST enough time to fit in before the end of December;
  • Getting ready for a kickass summer semester at uni;
  • Fitting in a couple of little trips (Hello Canberra! Bonjour Millthorpe!)
  • Planning my 2016 reading list (First up: the entire Neopolitan Trilogy, of which there are actually four books, all in a row, then some Marie Colvin)
  • Getting all of my organisational stationery in order! (Calendar by PapioPress; notebook and 2016 diary by Mi Goals)




I’m slowly learning that you don’t have to make changes smoothly and perfectly and never make a mistake or have a bad day and it’s kinda liberating and hard work feels good.

The Wandering Wolf


I am not a huge podcast listener. I used to listen to a couple Kevin Smith did and then stopped being able to keep up with them all, and I was addicted to Serial, along with everyone else.

Lately I have been revisiting a podcast I got about 30 episodes into a few years ago, Wandering Wolf.

I used to listen to Wandering Wolf while gardening in my old house in Newtown and I’ve recently gone back to the beginning to start over, and I listen as I drive to and from work and they’re just as good the second time around.

I can’t tell whether or not you have to be a fan of Yoni Wolf‘s music to appreciate the podcast. Maybe? It certainly helps to have some idea about his background, just for a point of reference for some of the people he talks to/about, but beyond a bit of Wikipedia crib-noting, I think you could probably just wing it and enjoy.

My favourite episodes so far include:

+ Episode 4: Andy Bothwell (Astronautalis)

+ Episode 5: Amy Miller (Super funny Portland comedian and genius behind the Sorry About Your Dad podcast)

+ Episode 8: Will Weisenfeld (Baths)

+ Episode 12: Chris Adams (HOOD, Bracken)

+ Episode 16: Kathryn Beckwith (kitty (pryde))

+ Episode 20: (Open) Mike Eagle

+ Episode 22: Stephanie Mickus (comedian, can be found on the Tweets as @smickable)

I hope you enjoy, and if you do … keep wandering!

Rustic Herpes.

[Two women enter a kitchen. The first slides her hand along the bench, sweeping away non-existent crumbs. The second mimics her, but instead appreciates, not without a sense of jealousy, the quality and gloss of the timber benches].

“So the vibe we’ve really gone for, as you can see, is sort of a wholesome, rustic look.”

“Oh yes, it’s very nice, isn’t it?”

[Sound of two pairs of high-heels, slowly pacing the kitchen as though it’s a museum].


“It’s nice to be able to look out onto the garden while we eat breakfast, I must say.”

[The first woman stops and frowns at the rug, before crouching to straighten the fringe. While her back is turned, the second woman, though she is not quite sure why, has the sudden urge to see what her sister keeps in the fridge. She gently tugs the door open and finds a single plastic bottle of water, two thirds empty. Nothing else.]

“What did you do with Mum’s gramophone?”


“Mum’s gramophone. You said you wanted it because you had the perfect place to put it?”

“Oh! It’s in the formal dining room! It honestly ties the whole room together, and I think it’s just much nicer than it being stuffed in some cupboard somewhere … what are you mumbling? Come on, i’ll show you, follow me, please.”

[The women exit the room, hand-in-hand. Well … not exactly hand-in-hand, the first woman grabs the wrist of her younger sister and tugs her down the hallway like a toy on a string].

“See! Isn’t it glamorous!”




“You know it’s May, right?”

“May? Yes?”

“It’s just …”

“Just what? Is there something you have a problem with?”

“Well, the room is lovely, but the Christmas decorations…”

“Which Christmas decorations? Where?”

“… the ones hanging from the ceiling?”

“I don’t see any Christmas decorations and I really don’t like your attitude.”

“The baubles! Up there! There must be fifty of them! It looks like the room caught a venereal disease!”

“There is honestly no accounting for your taste, Kate. It’s called frou-frou. It’s French. Perhaps if you owned your own home, you’d understand a little more about decorating.”

[Sound of one pair of high heels leaving the room].

The Wedding: Part 2 – Slowly Getting Better

When we got engaged, it was a whirlwind of amazing things.

A ring! A Queensland engagement party! Wedding ideas!

And then I decided I wanted a second dog and to buy a house and for the last couple of months we’ve been adjusting to having two dogs (Snoopy is a fraud. He does not act like any 12-year-old dog I’ve ever met. He is way more work than Delilah) and B has been trying to talk me out of buying every house I declare that week’s dream house.

Suddenly two months have gone by and all I have to show for it is a really long Etsy wish list of decorations.

Well, that and a date and a venue and, in my case, about half my body weight to lose.

It has been pointed out to me that I probably have more than enough things to occupy my time in the coming year without also buying a house.

(But honestly, I really did find our dream house the other day. Like, The One).

It’s not quite Mum and Dad’s farm, but it’s going to be just as beautiful.





Blood Roses

This year is still proving … testing.

I don’t really know what’s up, which is probably part of the problem, I’m used to being able to pinpoint what buoys me or what weighs me down. This year I feel like I’m caught in a bit of a rip, which is fine, because anywhere I might land seems lovely!

Maybe it’s just being in the rip. It’s exhausting paddling away.

Luckily I have B on the support boat, yelling encouragement and keeping an eye out for sharks. I wonder how far I can take the ocean analogy? B offers to pee on my leg when the bluebottle stings of life get too much? Something definitely just got too much.

Anyway, I’ve been making an effort to make home as stress-free as possible, somewhere I like being.

Woolworth’s had bunches of roses for $10 the other day and I couldn’t help myself. I’ve really fallen in love with roses, after having three thriving bushes of my own in our front yard last summer.


A lot of people ask me about the Ronald Reagan bust. It’s by a guy called Frank Kozik. You may know him from such things as Labbits (another thing that never fails to make me happy) or any of a bunch of other Kid Robot things. The Gipper busts ran in limited editions of 50 in a bunch of colours a few years ago now. I spent more on it than I’d care to remember, but I paid for it with a work bonus, so it seemed like an apt capitalist indulgence.

The record is by a group called Divorcee.


I also tried to do something with the outside of the house.


The table is from Ikea, as are the cacti.

The angry yellow rhino is from Kmart, as is the candle,

The swizzle sticks come from old casinos in Vegas and the lime comes from our very own lime tree!

We tried to enjoy a late G&T on the front porch the other night, but basically living on the M5 doesn’t make for relaxing at the time of day, but late summer evenings will be much better, I’m sure.

Mindy and the Truck Stop.

“G’day Mindy, this is Tom I was telling you about. He’s going to take some photos for the website so we can pop the house up this arvo. We might just go from room to room and you can tell us a little bit about it so we can write a good description for it too.”

“Well, I think the real selling point is that it’s a family home, you know? There’s lots of space.”

“Nice, nice. It is big, isn’t it? How many bedrooms is it?”

“There’s four.”

“Okay, nice, that’ll look good on the website. So, how many kids did you have?”

“Sixty four.”

“Sorry, four did you say?”

“No. Sixty four.”


“They’re all here, come through.”


“Oookay. Um. Okay. Well just … um, Tom if you could just take a quick snap here, maybe just try and crop … okay, I think you know what I mean. Maybe just focus on just the cupboard and window if you can. Try not to … you know, just we don’t want too much wide angle maybe in this room”.

“Some of them are a little camera shy, especially Baby here, so if we could make this quick…”

“Let’s make this very quick! Ok, maybe let’s head outside, it’s starting to feel a bit warm in here. Is anyone else feeling warm?”

“Oh yes! The backyard! Now, the backyard is special. The girls needed somewhere to play, so we’ve done something very nice out here.”


“This is … this is just concrete pebbles. And sheds. And dead wood.”

“The sheds are for privacy. Nosy neighbours.”

“And what’s that green thing over there? It kind of looks like … a truck stop or something.”

“Oh yes, we love truck stops! We wanted it to look just like one of those! Maybe you could put that in the ad? Private backyard replica truck stop?”

Katoomba, August 2015



It’s no great secret that I have a love-hate relationship with Sydney and sometimes I just need some space from it, so I can tolerate it on my return.

We’ve been breaking up and making up for almost 10 years and I’ve started plotting ways to leave, for good. I’m sorry Sydney, it’s you, not me.

On Sunday and Monday, B and I both had time off work, which almost never happens two days in a row anymore, so we decided to go to the Blue Mountains for the night.

The Blue Mountains is one of the many places we’re considering moving at some point. It has the advantage of being within a commutable distance from Sydney, as well as being somewhere you can see the stars (which is actually on our “must have ” list for future moves).

We stayed in an amazing Airbnb place B found. I love that Airbnb is competitive price-wise with motels, but allows the luxury of a much more informed choice and far nicer accommodation. Gone are the days of hideous matching art works over twin beds, which are clad in doonas patterned to hide all manner of stains.

We stayed at a place in Katoomba called Little Burrendong, which was a studio built over a garage in a lovely backyard. The space was so well thought out and furnished perfectly. Were I not a collector of books and the owner of a small fur family, I could easily live somewhere like this.






I really like Katoomba. It’s a little far to commute from to Sydney every day, but I would move us here in a split second if we worked from home, or only part-time in Sydney. It’s big enough that it has everything you could want, but there’s so much space, and it’s so quiet at night and the bush is stunning.









The next day we stopped in on some of the other villages on our way home, so we could get a bit of an idea about what they’re like.

Breakfast was at Wentworth Falls.



Then we spent an hour or so in Springwood, just wandering.



I was sad to get home, luckily there were three furry faces waiting there, happy to see us and have cuddles.


“It’s too big”
“It’s not too big! It’s actually smaller than I’d like.”
“What the hell do we need four bedrooms for?”
“Are you joking?”
“No, I’m serious. It’s ridiculous. Give me one good reason why we need a fourth bedroom.”
“…Uh, for my scarf collection, duh!”


The Tail of Snoopy

Dogs are like tattoos, once you have one, you immediately want more; however, unlike dogs, tattoos don’t need to be walked, fed and they don’t pee inside.

After we bought Delilah, we discussed getting a second dog, not straight away, not even in the medium term, but we decided that at some point, we would like a flock of corgis.

We knew we weren’t ready for another puppy yet. Puppies are no walk in the park, unless you’re actually walking them … in a park, so we wanted to wait until the time was right, maybe when we next move and are settled down in one spot.

Still, we started to sense Delilah might respond well to a buddy. When we lived in Newtown it was dogs galore, all the time, but in our new neighbourhood, we don’t see many at all, not even in the dog parks. People just seem to have dogs that stay in the backyard and we can go for weeks without even meeting another dog on a walk.

So we thought about what we wanted to do.

And we decided on this: we wanted to find an older dog. An older rescue dog, a dog that might have trouble finding new owners because of their age, a sweet, old guy looking for a retirement home.

I started the hunt. I found one old gentleman, a corgi cross, who’d been in a foster home for over a year. Turned out he was a bit bitey, so we crossed him off the list.

I tried to convince B that adopting an older Papillon didn’t even count as adopting a dog, because they’re basically just a set of fluffy ears.

One day I was scrolling and a saw a guy.

I scrolled past.

I scrolled back.

I clicked the link and read a little about him.

I scrolled some more.

I scrolled quickly back and copied the link and send it to B.

The link was for a old beagle … an old, old beagle, all of 12 years, which is 64 in beagle years!

His name was Snoopy and in the pictures he was relaxing in the sun.

Now, I know beagles, the dog I grew up with, Bill, was part beagle.

I knew they have noses like magnets for smells, that they are water dogs and hunting dogs and that they’re sturdy and like to eat (like corgis!) and that they have soft, floppy ears and have a nice temperament and a deep bark.

I emailed his foster mum. She was a bit cagey about the details, and had only had Snoopy for three weeks herself, but we arranged a time for me to meet him and bring Delilah along.

On Thursday, in the pouring rain, I loaded Delilah into her carrier and we headed to the Central Coast. It was a stressful drive and traffic was awful. Just as we reached the outskirts of Gosford, Delilah managed to unzip her carrier and suddenly popped up next to me like, “Hey! How’s it going? What are you doing?”.

We went to the meeting spot, a horrible little park with nothing besides a grim toilet block, a graffiti-ed basketball court and a sheltered picnic table. Three young guys stood around a car parked outside the toilet block. I started to feel like I’d made a huge mistake.

A few cars drove up slowly and did U-turns and left.

Finally a black car came to a halt, and in the back was the face of a curious beagle, ears pricked.

It was Snoopy.

We introduced the two dogs, Delilah was far more excited than Snoopy, who sat near his foster mum’s feet at stared off into middle distance.

She told me a bit about him, there’s no obvious history of physical abuse, but he shows behaviours that suggests he was yelled at a lot.

We sat in her car and filled out the transfer of ownership forms, both dogs in the back.

She gave me a quite substantial discount on his advertised price, because he was so old and she didn’t expect much interest in him, then she handed me his leash and he was mine.

I loaded both dogs into the back seat, Delilah into her carrier, but  Snoopy moved up to the front passenger seat, sat down and stared quietly out the window.

I felt a pang. I remembered one afternoon many, many years ago when my family first adopted Bill. He sat on the seat, staring sadly out the window the whole way home and it was weeks before we even heard him bark.

This wasn’t going to be like getting a puppy, there were heartstrings involved in this one.

We began the drive back to Sydney, Snoopy alternating between looking out the window and trying to sleep.

I chatted to him a bit and gave him a few pats.

We were almost home, heading through a tunnel in slow traffic and I had my hand resting in the gearstick.

Suddenly Snoopy sighed, and shifted closer and rested his head on my hand.

Here was a guy who needed us.


It’s only been a few days now, but Snoopy is doing much better.

He’s shy and scared, so he never leaves my side, but at the same time, flinches when I pat him.

Delilah likes to jump on him and Wuz, after a brief moment of “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT AND WHY ARE THERE TWO OF THEM?!”, doesn’t seem phased at all.

Snoopy has quickly chosen a place, on the couch, under the heater, so we spend time there and I watch TV or read and he just chills.

He’s really enjoyed going on walks and has sudden bursts of excited energy where he skips along.

Last night we went to an enclosed dog park and he and Delilah both made a beeline for a giant muddy puddle and splashed around.

From the word go, they’ve taken to sleeping curled up together and sharing a bed.

He’s not great at always making it outside to pee, but for now we’ll put that down to living in his third home in three weeks and being nervous. He’ll sort it out.

It’s a very different relationship to the one we had with Delilah. We needed her, whereas in Snoopy’s case, he needs us.


And then there were two.