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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Turkish Delights

A few of the many wonderful moments I had in Turkey!

The things that delighted me the most:

Apple tea
Floating on a turquoise crystal sea
Bohemian jewelry
Lentil soup
Giant peaches
Gypsy music
Fruit wine
Crumbling stone amphitheaters
Freshly baked bread
Belly dancing

Treasures I picked up along the way:

Alis volat propriis: She flies with her own wings. - Latin  motto

"The beauty of our life is the fruit of love
In this meeting I hope you and I can share
The beauty of our art, our history and our culture
As we are all branches of a single tree, all travellers
And in reality it is the fruit of love
That brought the branch into being" - Shop owner, Konya

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” - Jack Kerouac

Some funny bits:

That time when... Mustafa, an old Turkish man playing a guitar in a tea shop, handed me his business card and asked me to email him. He introduced himself as a Wealth Manager. 

That time when... I was eating a roll of Menthos in bed and a worm found its way into my mouth. After 2 hours of hysterics and swearing off Menthos for life, we discovered it had come from the aircon above me. 

That time when... I slipped on my sandal walking out of a fish market and made it look like a pirrouette.

That time when... I was pulled up to dance at a Turkish folk evening and was trying to hold my top from falling down (unsuccessfully) while keeping beat and having a conversation with a traditionally dressed dancer. 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A F'Amazing Playlist

I knew the quivering needle just above the last stripe on my reserve petrol calibration was etching towards a bleak empty. When it starts making friends with the white stripe at the bottom, that’s when you know… you’re in kak.

I must fill up today. I WILL fill up today. Oh shit, what is THAT noise?

A sound I can only compare to nuts and bolts being thrown in a meat grinder, bellows from the front of my car… and its only when I see the newspaper guy looking at me with a “Girl, I don’t know if you gonna make it home” kinda face that I really want to kick myself. If one could kick oneself of course, I’m only a beginner yogi at this stage.

My brakes are shot. And the chore of having them checked and facing another bill that deprives me of a long overdue roots touch up, sends me into immediate depression. I’m talking Eeyore morbidity here. A slight over reaction, some may say but when you look at the bigger picture errr, perhaps not.

Penny: Well, first of all… the petrol attendants are on strike, so fuck, you know, what are you supposed to do about that?

Penny consoles me as I begin a ranting monologue of complaints and conundrums.

Carly: I know Roomy, and 3 grand… that’s how much my brakes are gonna cost! So much for this month’s grooming budget. Hope My Man is okay with a 70’s porn star esque bikini region. 

Penny: How are we supposed to just be normal people?

Carly: I’m never going to be normal… Normal people don’t leave their car licence expired for a whole year. A YEAR. Normal people have a proof of residence, they go to the dentist, they understand how to do a tax return and they absolutely don’t wait 2 months to get vacuum cleaner bags. 

Penny: And when are we supposed to do all this stuff? Now I must go to home affairs in my “lunch break”? Like that’s an outing that’s gonna take 20 minutes.

I walk upstairs and open my laptop and it stairs back at me blankly. Sulking. And I deserve it.

Please… just give me something. Just START. The people who make it in this world are doers Carly. Just do SOMETHING.

Nothing. Not the tiniest electric spark in any of my 10 typing fingers.

I’d been meaning to write the most unbelievable, sensational, transforming, career changing travel article for 2 weeks now. So far, nada. I feel as inspired as a turnip… and we all know that turnips are just downright dull.

Ed: You’re going to write the most amazing story; I can’t wait to read it.

Carly: You’re my best friend and you have to say that, and I love that you lie to me so eloquently even when we both know I’m stuck in a rut the size of Gibraltar. 

Ed: First of all, that’s my saying. Second of all, I think you are underestimating yourself; you could so be in there. 

Ed points at the Travel Magazine I’ve been studying for the last 2 hours. Analysing every page of content, planning the perfect pitch for the editor… who I plan to make fall in love with every delicious word I engrave on her inbox.

Carly: When I asked for her contact details, do you know what they said to me? They said you’re pitch better be fucking amazing. The guy said “fuck”. In an email!!! And he’s right; look at this… this is Fucking Amazing. 

I show Ed an article written about a nomadic family that has been travelling the world for 13 years in a vintage car.

Ed: That is pretty Fucking Amazing. But who knows…

Carly: I’ve dried up. 

Ed: What? 

Carly: Ed I’ve dried up. I used to have all this repressed creativity, in vats and kegs and boxes. There was a warehouse filled with the stuff. And every now and then when an opportunity finally presented itself, a little dude would go down and open any one of those storage units and Bada Bing Bada Boom, wondrous multi coloured ramblings would explode out of there.

Ed: You should really run background checks – sounds like that little dude was taking acid. 

Carly: Well he’s gone on strike now too! I mean, do I look like someone who knows how to pump my own petrol, or generate some essential product they’ve labelled Fucking Amazing from thin air?

Ed: Is there a right answer to that?

Carly: No.

Ed: You know, someone once told me that creative souls such as us need to play more. How can we sit behind desks for 8 hours a day and expect to step out of the box.
Carly: I’m so in the box. I am the box.

 Ed: So get out of there kid.

I couldn’t stop thinking about what Ed had said. That we should PLAY more. The thick stony barriers in my mind were so unmoving; I couldn’t imagine what sort of playing I would even do. With all the to do lists, the chores, the brake pads that need replacing, the drying machine that needs servicing, the yearly check-ups expiring, the debit orders and memberships and calorie logs a suffocating cloud of strangling realness… how do grown-ups, or trainee grown-ups in my case, just play make believe?  

I close the glossy magazine and as my fingers slide along the Fucking Amazing cover I begin typing. It’s a list of things I really need to do, to save all the barrels of imagination in my cellar and get my little dude in rehab so he can start hauling them out again:

1     Get dirt under my fingernails

2       Spend an hour swinging (on a swing you perv’s)

3       Re-read my favourite Roald Dhal book

4       Do some finger painting

5       Climb a tree

6       Host a tea party

7       Go one day without looking at a single clock, watch or alarm.

8       Ride a bicycle

9       Bake cookies

10.  Write a love letter

As I finish I realize that I’m smiling like… well, like a little girl. I feel so excited and can’t wait to remember what it’s like to feel unrestricted, uncensored and unstructured. Maybe being a grown-up is as over rated as everyone keeps telling me it is, maybe the greatest gift we have in our creative basements is the ability to unravel ourselves and see the world as a child would. The way we used to. Without a grid of looming responsibility, expectations and order shackling the Fucking Amazing that we all have the potential to cultivate. If we allow ourselves to get dirt under our fingernails or paint on our faces, once in a while.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Hindsight is 18/21

There are folks who would throw the term “soul mate” around like a Frisbee. In saying that, throwing a Frisbee takes more skill and thought than you would imagine, just one of the many reasons I am adverse to recreational activities that require any kind of concentration – isn’t that, by definition, supposed to be your non-thinking down time? Is that not why we have invented wine, cheese and afternoon naps? That’s a whole other tangent. So maybe not a Frisbee, maybe a… it’ll come to me. 

I think if we had to look at the amount of people who believe in soul mates and then within that group, the amount that believe in say… reincarnation, past lives and time travel. We’d really be looking at a very small group of wacko’s. Eek, I may be one of them. 

You see, I KNOW I have not one, but two soul mates, that I have the pleasure of travelling with, from lifetime to lifetime. Sometimes I like to think of all the other lives we might have lived together:

3 travelling gypsies – telling fortunes, dancing and singing to tinker tambourines and wild night bonfires

3 Arabian princesses – all of the camels in all of the world, not enough for any of their hands. 

3 streetwise alley cats – hosting poker tournaments behind trash cans or sharing the last few drops of wine from a discarded bottle outside a Parisian cafĂ©. 

3 seasoned bank robbers – the only ones in all of history, still at large. Last seen leaving the scene of the crime in a vintage car headed for the border of Mexico. 

3 cavewoman – grunting and gauwing over how stupid cavemen are, while braiding each other’s hair, rocking a raspberry smoothie and inventing the wheel. Or fire. Or language.

I have no doubt that these are the kind of adventures we had together. I’m sure Alex and Lee would agree… though we don’t always. Agree, I mean. Isn’t that what soul mates are for? To help you learn the lessons you need to learn in a lifetime. To guide you, challenge you and stand by you when you are facing a storm or a battle or a crusade. Or worse… a bad break up. 

Marilyn, (my mentor, delightful friend and surrogate big sister), once told me that to be a big sister was one of the greatest gifts she’d ever been given. I’d never thought of it that way before, that I was given this unique opportunity to be a “big sister”, the only one in my whole family. It’s not a title that I ever even thought about, mostly because the 2 other stooges and I have always felt like old friends. Old friends that just totally get each other’s sense of humour, style, quirks and irks. 

Now more than ever, I realise what an honour it is, to hold this esteemed position. To be able to give guidance for the road ahead, and empathy for all those damn tyre chewing potholes along the way. Alex (18) and Lee (21) are so capable, fantastic, sparkly and special that I kind of have the easiest job in the world. If I look back at the corner of 18th and Freedom Ave or worse, 21st and Future Rd – the relief that comes with standing in my shoes, right where they are planted now… is overwhelming. Here are some things I wish I’d known back then: 


1.     Bryan Adams, is a big fat liar. You are not 18 til you die… so LOVE the 18 year old that you are right now. You are going to look back at photos in 10 years (ahem) and think – god I’d kill to have that metabolism again and not have to have Botox be a regular talking point. Love the skin you are in, in fact… wake up and just give yourself a little snuggle every day.
2.       You are way too young to know what or who you are, so… don’t get married, don’t freak out if it seems like everyone else has a perfect plan (they don’t) and don’t feel like your feet are covered in cement. You are the most free you will ever be in your whole life.
3.       Let the right people write on the slate of who you are. Ditch the parasites in your life, don’t feel bad if you drift apart from some people and welcome new energy into your kinesphere.  What’s the clichĂ©? A reason, a season or a lifetime? Trust me, you’ll soon realise how true that is.
4.       If you think you know what a hangover is. You are wrong. Someday you’ll have 3 glasses of wine and need to take a concoction of Corenza, carbs, liver supplements, all the waters of Nazareth and sometimes a sick day to recover.
5.       Let your “Give a Fuck” button break, seriously. Get up on that table and dance like its yo’ JOB, wear whatever you want, say whatever you want, piss people off, stand out and just revel in all the bravery you’ve got. You don’t realise it, but that’s what makes you a leader and inside – it’s what everyone wishes they could do.


1.       People will tell you you’re a grown up. Newsflash, you really aren’t. Everyone knows, that only really happens after you’ve had a quarter life crises at 25. You’re good for another 4 years, so that should take some of the ever mounting pressure off of you.
2.       The true definition of a degree: A piece of paper that says you are not a complete dumbass. Don’t get caught up in what you study, chances are you’ll end up doing something completely different one day. You never know how or why what’s happening right now, will feed into your journey. Nothing is ever a waste, nor is anything worth killing yourself over. It’s really simple: do what makes you happy.  There are no rules in life, only chances, intersections and dreams waiting to materialize.
3.       There is no rush to the isle or the maternity ward; we are not living in the 1950’s. Find out who you are as much as you can before you bind yourself to anyone else. Learn to enjoy your own company. Learn to like yourself and all the talents I’m sure you don’t even realise you possess. Really understand the value that you bring into a relationship and into the world, if you don’t believe it – it’s hard for someone else to.
4.      Say Yes – to as much as possible. To travel, to new adventures, to any invitation that requires you to step out of your comfort zone. Just do it. I guarantee you’ll regret what you didn’t do before you had a bond or a stable job or you started taking your taxes seriously.
5.       Prepare yourself for the weird paradigm that will start taking place. Slowly at first. You parents will start becoming your friends, and as you get older, you’ll start realizing just exactly what they went through as young adults. It gives you strange insight and understanding. It’s a bit of a mind fuck, but it’s kind of awesome. 

A boomerang! That’s it. 

I guess if you are going to throw the term “soul mate” out there, it should return with the gusto and trust that it was sent out with. Because a soul mate is a truly unique and special title, given to those who are willing to ebb and flow through every wobbly gooi that you’re capable of giving. 

I may be the Big Sis, but I’m pretty sure I learn something new from my two sidekicks every day. Also I think I may have been the little brat in a few of our lifetimes together, as there are moments when they are clearly just wiser, stronger and more open to life’s beautiful graces than I would know how to be.