3 – 4

3. Losing someone you love is painful.

When I was 3 – 4, my best friend was Big Bird, or Biggy as I liked to call him. He was my constant companion, stuffed under my arm wherever I went. I loved that little guy with all of my toddler heart. One day I went to pick up Mary from school with my grandad, Pete, who was visiting from Tamworth. We waited at the netball courts and in my excitement about Pete’s visit (he was one of the sweetest, most gorgeous men I’ve ever known) I left Biggy there.

When I realised, we rushed back, but alas, Biggy was gone. I was heartbroken, no amount of hugs and kisses from parents or grandparents made it better and I mourned the loss of that little guy all the way from Orange to Kempsey where we later moved and I made a new best friend, Joshua the teddy bear.

4. You will always be melodramatic about death.

The first time I consciously remember thinking about death was during these years. I was in my front yard, climbing a tree and my bright blue gumboot got stuck in the fork of some branches and it was snowing and I thought to myself, ‘I am going to freeze to death. No-one will ever find me here. Farewell cruel world.’.

I was probably a foot of the ground and after a few seconds of tugging, my boot came loose and so came to an end my first brush with death.

Today’s question about turning 30 comes from @sirtessa: ‘Are you relieved to not be ‘young’ and subject to all the pressures of the media now that your age begins not with 2?’:

This is a tough one. I spent a lot of my early twenties not feeling young at all, I felt like all I did was pay bills and rent and make sure there was food in the house and sheets were cleaned and washing was put away.

In a way, I hope my thirties are a lot more carefree and I’m sensible in other ways, rather than just practical ones.

I’m glad that with age perspective does seem to come. I don’t care how I look compared to other people so much anymore, I’m not as hard on myself.

Having said that, I’ve had far too many conversations with people about what’s expected of women by the time they turn 30. I don’t have kids, a mortgage or a marriage and I’m tired of talking about all three already, whether it be people reassuring me that it’s fine not to (I know) or telling me to make sure I celebrate my thirties because I’m entering a new decade with none of the above.

I think each age has its trials, but I think maybe you care less and less about the socially-constructed expectations the older you get.

0 – 2

1. Animals are as much part of the family as people.

My first pet was a kelpie called Hector. Why the old-fashioned name, you ask? My dad is a stock and station agent and bought Hector for work. Hector was a sheep director.

‘Hector’ was the first word I ever said. I have said many other words since, talking before my older sister did and rarely shutting up since (including one very ungracious incident in year 3 when I called my younger sister the c-bomb without realising what it meant. There’s nothing quite like having your mother quietly tell you at the Orange ANZAC Day parade that that word is a not very nice expression that technically means vagina.).

Hector went to live with another family when Dad realised he didn’t have the workload to occupy the mind of a very smart and athletic dog. Many, many years later we ran into the farmer who we’d given Hector to and he brushed away a tear when he told us Hector was a much-loved member of their family and had passed away at a very old age.

2. It’s possible to toilet train yourself.

I know because I did it. Legend has it that my parents were toilet training my older sister, who was born 17 months before me when they one day discovered that their child genius (me) had obviously been watching and had decided that none of this bribery and in-depth discussion about bowel movements was necessary. I needed to get shit moving, so to speak and was fairly confident it wasn’t all that hard to drop trou’ and throne up.

I like to think they found me perched on the potty one day, elbows on knees, deeply engrossed in a Little Golden Book.

So there we have it. Between birth and two, learning was fairly rudimentary in Julia Land, but I think these two lessons really set me in good stead for the coming years, and certainly made me more pleasant to be around.

30 Things Before 30: Update #1

We are past the three month mark of this project and I have been distracted from writing about it because I’ve been busy doing other things, like discovering that in certain instances that I actually like Brussels sprouts, also Brussels sprouts are called Brussels sprouts, not brussel sprouts. That one had me mouth breathing and drooling at the same time.

Let’s have a look at the first five things I had planned for my last year of being 29:

1 – Learn how to touch type: I’d actually forgotten about this one until today when I found myself agog because my iPhone was causing my web browser (the ever dependable Internet Explorer, *blank face*) do strange things and I thought to myself, ‘Gee I wish I had a better grasp of technology so I could understand what’s going on right now’ and then I realised my phone was pushing keys on my keyboard and suddenly I had a really good grasp of what was going on: I am incredibly technologically incompetent. All of this is just padding to say that I have not learnt to touch type yet.
Progress report: currently a fail, with room for improvement.

2 – Complete a 365 photography project: I lasted about a week and gave up; however in that week I took some photos I liked, so I might post them here at some point. Instead, I’m doing the #febphotoaday project, and only using my iPhone and Instagram, which has been really fun. I am such a sucker for the X-pro II and Sutro filters. Once an underexposer, always an undexposer. Here are some recent Instagram photos that weren’t for any particular project, I just liked them:

1. Porch gin/2. Waiting for a porch gin partner-in-crime/3. The infamous “I collect records because pussy hates me” sticker, from the good folk at Chunklet/4. Waiting to go to the gym/5. The entrance to GOODGOD, where my brother-in-law, Joel, held his recent 30th, an event called Pimpish Behaviour/6. Me on my way to Pimpish Behaviour, acting all pimpish/7. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right aka Stanley Cat and Wuz/8. Prada.
Progress report: Total fail, but I can live with that.

3 – Drink coffee and eat pie at an American roadside diner: Bam! I passed this one with flying colours. On our second day in LA we went to The Original Pantry Cafe on South Figueroa, and I had my first diner coffee and it was both gross and amazing. I loved Original Pantry, it was the perfect first quintessential American experience to have:

The pie had to wait until Seattle, or North Bend more specifically, where we went to Twede’s Cafe, which David Lynch used in Twin Peaks.

We ate cherry pie and it was fabulous. I took an extra slice and ate it in a creme brulee scented bath later that night in Seattle, after we’d had to suddenly switch hotels.
Progress report: A+ effort!

4 – Celebrate Halloween in the US! Yeah! Another win! Sadly, it was a bit of a disappointment. We were in Salt Lake City, which I actually quite liked, were it not almost completely devoid of people. The extend of my Halloween experience was almost OD’ing on the Halloween edition Candy Corn and driving around the city trying to find even a single trick-or-treater, which I failed miserably at.
Progress report: a win, on a technicality.

5 – Shoot a gun: Done! In Vegas we shot machine guns and handguns, which I wrote about in length in this post here.

I’m not going to lie, I had mixed feelings about it and didn’t love it as much as I expected to, though I think that might have had more to do with the men supervising us than it did the physical act of shooting. I would shoot a handgun again in a heartbeat though.
Progress report: A-

So here we have a total running score of 3/30 with eight months to go!

30 Things Before I Turn 30

Today I turned 29. At about 3pm, Mum will be thinking what she tells me she thinks every 5th of October … that at this time x amount of years ago she was eating fish and chips. I guess the emotions would be too strong for her to be thinking about how her favourite child was born on this day, and she probably thinks about her favourite child every day, regardless of whether it’s my birthday or not.

29 seemed like a bit of a non-event, but when my friend Lucy turned 29, she decided to make a list of 30 things she wanted to do before turning 30. I love this idea and I’ve had a really good time reading about the adventures she’s had so I decided I’d like to do the same. At first I thought I’d make a list and carve it in stone, then I realised I’m a person who needs flexibility, there is no saying I’m not going to decide I hate item number 23 by the time I get around to doing it, so I’m not going to write out a definitive list of all 30 things here.

Mostly I don’t want you guys coming back to me this time next year and saying, ‘What happened to number 13: eating peyote and weakly vomiting into your own hair while you crawl around in a patch of dirt in someone’s suburban backyard, the closest approximation to Joshua Tree you could find?’ Maybe I’ll have too hard a time finding a peyote hook-up, who’s to say? I think instead, I’ll post things in lots of five and see how I go.

My first five range from completely mundane to amazing:

1 – Learn how to touch type. Sure, this is going to mean I’ll have to stop making ‘All my friends are in IT but I type with two fingers because I’m a Neanderthal, yuck yuck!’ jokes, but on the upside, I’ll be able to touch type!

2 – Complete a 365 photography project. I’ve barely used my camera this year, post-shooting the Swans. Either Michael Gira and Christoph Hahn really did steal my soul, or I got lazy (typically I would say I got lazy, but when Christoph smiled at me, I fell over, so I really can’t be sure I still have a soul).

3 – Drink coffee and eat pie at an American roadside diner. No big deal you might think. Well think again suckers, I don’t drink coffee and I love conforming to a good cliche!

4 -Celebrate Halloween in the US! Sure, I’ll be in Salt Lake City, but maybe this way I can kill two birds with one stone and also mark off number 11: become someone’s sister wife.

5 – Shoot a gun.

Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes for my birthday, you’ve made having a mid-week birthday pretty special 🙂