Long Highway / Paralysing.

In 2011 I spent four weeks driving around America. I made a pact with myself when I got back: I would always have enough money in my bank account for the price of a flight to America. Just the flight. Enough that if I felt like it, I could book something at the last minute or buy flights when they were on sale.

It never happened.

Sometimes I wonder if a lot of my life choices in my thirties are being driven by having to be so responsible in my twenties.

I suppose I don’t feel like I need an escape plan anymore, but mostly I think I got tired of always being on top of everything. Which is stupid, that’s life.

I miss being on the road. I miss the feeling of being in a car and no-one knowing exactly where I was, except for the people in the car with me.

I think a large part of what I love about travel is the lack of constraint.You can have a map, you can know where you’re meant to spend the next night, but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you turning off at the next exit just to see what’s there, disappearing from any expectation.

I remember standing on a straight stretch of road in Arizona and trying to guess how many miles it was to the next bend in the road, near the horizon.

The black tar was the only sign of civilsation until some helicopters rose from somewhere in the distance.

It felt ominous, we quickly got back into the car until they passed overhead, like there was some kind of danger in being seen in the middle of nowhere, standing in the middle of a highway, doing nothing but staring at the horizon, amazed at how long it would take us to get there.

highway

Sweet Baby Cheeses!

You know that thing where you’re selling your house for $1.4 million dollars and the real estate agent says, “Darling, this place is fabulous! You have taste! Now, our photographer has taken some snaps and let’s face it, it’s hard to get a bad shot of such a gorgeous house, but let me know if you have any photos you’ve taken yourself that you’d like us to include!”?

And you think to yourself, “Well actually, there is one I’d like to include!”

cheese

Because everyone likes a fine selection of cheeses.

One Man’s Dream Is Another Man’s Nightmare.

This one is advertised as being a ‘renovator’s dream’ and mostly I have nothing to say about it because I want to scrub its depressing existence from my mind and eyeballs with some kind of strong cleaning chemicals that don’t get a look in at this place very often by the looks of things.

Also?

A blanket, no matter how closely you colour-match it to your walls, is not going to disguise the fact that you’re missing part of your ceiling.

We can see it.

roofmissing

Bali In My Belly.

You know when you go on a holiday to Bali and the water is just as blue as in the pictures and you wear a sarong for the first time in probably a decade (it’s actually been three decades, but that’s a scary thought, the kind you don’t want to have in Bali) and you lightly dust your freckled décolletage with bronzer each morning because you’re a little more careful with sunbathing these days, although a few hours here and there in Bali won’t hurt, will they?

You have the time of your life. Three weeks away from the kids, you’re acting like teenagers again and the sex is quite good the one-and-a-half times you’re both in bed at the same time. Though, for someone who stopped love making half-way through because he was sure he had “Bali belly” coming on, he sure did fall asleep quickly. Oh well, he’s tired, he works hard and it meant you could stay up and have a few more white wines than you could have had normally and that Jennifer Garner movie was the type of thing he would’ve just complained about anyway.

You buy the kids some white shells on leather straps and make a list of how many bottles of gin you’re going to need to remember to get duty free and you lie on a banana lounge and use a book and sunglasses as a prop so you can watch a family of Russians flopping in and out of the spa.

Does the daughter, is it the daughter? Sometimes she seems to treat that older man like a father, but she’s far too old so be sitting on his lap in the spa in her bikini, so is she his girlfriend? Anyway, does that tattoo on her back actually say ‘BITCH’? It does! Where’s your phone, you need a photo of this to show the girls.

Some people!

You wonder how cheap it would be to get some gel nails done before you go home.

When you get back home, you tell everyone it was fabulous, yes if they’re thinking of going themselves, they should talk to you because you really felt you got a grasp on the place.

He goes back to work, you do a few little crafty projects with some picture frames to house the photos you took of the beaches. So blue!

You start to feel despondent. That gin you were going to give to Linda just keeps disappearing. If you spice it up with a little lime, it takes you right back to Bali.

He doesn’t want to talk about the holiday anymore, he’s busy at work and just wants to put his bloody feet up for one bloody minute at the end of the day and not have to think.

Then you see something so perfect, so … majestic and you must have it. If you have it, every night you’ll dream of Bali, it’ll be like you never left.

You buy it and it gets delivered and it takes three men to carry it in and he’s really bloody angry when he sees it and has to put it together, but you don’t care.

It’s beautiful.

dolphin

Faux on Faux

photoshop

It took me a really long time to figure out what was wrong with this room.

Until recently I had no idea that if you’re fancy, you can hire people to style your empty home and put lovely matchy matchy furniture in it for the real estate photos.

I just thought there were a lot of people out there who didn’t own much stuff and had really, really hygienic homes.

I actually started to want to be those people, who, if they existed, I imagine would be the type who don’t scan IKEA catalogues for the cheapest item on each page, but look at the entire faux room setup and just buy the whole thing.

I wanted to be them and their relaxing Saturday morning coffees from the plunger on their special bay trolley in their shiny kitchens, their white teeth gnashing as they smile at their Labrador.

Fuck them and their love of bushwalking and ability to keep their clothes clean all the time.

The above house, however, wasn’t fancy enough to have a stylist, they just had it Photoshopped Uncanny Valley style and no-one will ever buy it because it’s just so goddamned creepy.

 

9 out of 10 vets agree …

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Recent scientific studies have shown that Delilah is at least 12 times naughtier than the average three-year-old human child.

Her latest trick, which is illustrated above, is to jump over the small fence that blocks the side of our house. It is short enough for her to get over, but there’s quite a drop on the other side (when I say quite a drop, I mean I can step over it, but I’m not a corgi) and she can’t get back.

When it rains, and she’s been put outside for the night (she has an entire outside laundry to herself and a porch with coverage, it’s practically the Hilton), she knows she will look particularly cute and sad if she gets wet and looks at us from under those super long eyelashes of hers.

Her logic is that we’ll let her sleep inside, which we did for a couple of nights in the recent crazy Sydney weather. Never again. She was like a kid hopped up on sugar and wanted to play with her squeaky ball at 3am, or jump into bed with B and growl at me when I try and remove her, because she thinks B will protect her from me (usually true).

So she jumps the brick wall and barks and barks and barks and we have to get up and go out in the middle of the night in the rain and rescue her because we can’t just leave her and she knows it, hence the look on her face, above.

Thankfully, she only seems to do it when it rains.

For now.

Besides trolling us and The Wuz, her favourite naughty thing is hot chips, which obviously we don’t feed her.

It all began on an off-leash walk. She comes when called maybe 60% of the time unless there’s something more interesting going on. Like a dead cat to roll on (it happened), or another dog, or a light breeze.

On the night in question we called and called and she wouldn’t come, so I went to investigate and found her scarfing Oportos hot chips which someone had spilt on the ground. As I approached, she gobbled faster and faster and by the time I managed to haul her off, there weren’t many left.

She trotted after us for about ten metres, then stopped, gave us a look that said, ‘I’m sorry guys, but I love them more than you’ and raced away to finish them off.

That was months ago and she still visits that one spot every time we walk past it, just in case chance should have it that more hot chips magically appear.