All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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Melbourne 2015: Day 01. I am come home

Well, after seven blissful days in Melbourne I have returned home to find the inevitable depression gripping my soul. I’ve found over the years that I will often go through a period of depression following a holiday. I guess many people do. But however deep the depression gets it will not take away the awesomeness of the holiday.

Unlike my time in Melbourne in 2013, which I spent mostly encased in the motel watching Doctor Who and playing Zelda, this time I was a super-busy bee the entire time I was there. Out the motel before nine each morning and not returning until at least six in the evening. I visited galleries and museums, stalked the city and inner suburbs and relaxed in parks, gardens and on the beach. It was a most blissful time that saw me relaxed, calm and – surprisingly – mostly anxiety and PTSD free! 

Over the coming days I will be sharing my numerous adventures with you. The text of the posts will be taken from the journal entries I wrote whilst on holiday and the pictures will be carefully chosen from the 730 photos I took throughout the week. So settle back and enjoy Addy’s Adventures in Melbourne…fun for all the family! :)

19th August 2015, 7:03pm
Room 211, Flagstaff City Inn

I’ve stayed in this motel so many times that returning here feels like I’m returning home. I first stayed here in 2008, shortly before returning to the UK, after my parents booked me accommodation so I would have somewhere to rest and recuperate before the epic flight home. I stayed here again a few months later when I returned to Melbourne and again in 2009 shortly before I became homeless. Then, throughout my homelessness, courtesy of money raised through numerous activities too traumatizing and shaming to admit to, I stayed here several times. And each time I stayed, it soothed my troubled soul and offered all sorts of comfort and solace. It is, without question, my ‘home’ in Melbourne. It is quiet. It is comfortable. It is a blissful, wondrous place that will forever live in my soul as one of my happy places. Without the Flagstaff City Inn, I don’t know where I would be in this city. It is the only place I want to stay when I come to this multicultural wonderland.

Room 211, Flagstaff City Inn

Room 211, Flagstaff City Inn

So far the day has been pretty good. My train trip was free from the IBS dramas that plagued my last trip and, courtesy of an el cheapo MP3 player, full of laughter and merriment as I listened to classic Fawlty Towers episodes. It should be noted that the train system in this part of the world is third-world in nature and has some of the shoddiest service I’ve ever witnessed in the locomotive industry! The seats are uncomfortable. The carriages dirty and dilapidated. And the toilets…the less said about them the better! But I made the most of the situation and tried to enjoy the tedious, uncomfortable start to my holiday. It was a four hour trip, but a four hour trip that – due to my perkiness and determination to have a good time – harked back to my train journeys of old.

Once I arrived into Melbourne I meandered the fifteen minutes from the train station to my motel and checked into my home-from-home. I had a refreshing glass of water before deciding to brave the chaos of the city to re-acclimatise myself with the people heavy insanity that this city offers. I didn’t spend long in the city, just enough to be happy, just enough to enjoy a plate of Lord of the Fries (an eatery that offers home cooked chips with a variety of sauces; I opted for French Canadian, which consisted of drowning the chips with shredded cheese and gravy! Delicious!) before exploring Bourke Street and Melbourne Central (a shopping centre).

Bourke Street, Melbourne

Bourke Street, Melbourne

It was in Melbourne Central that I made my first discovery; a gorgeous little book shop that is both unique and delightful. Rather than selling books, they offer them on an honor system. If you want to read a book you can take it and then return it once you’ve finished. Alternatively, you can take the book to keep, but have to leave another book in exchange. They didn’t have many books, only a few dozen, but I love the idea behind the shop and can imagine me returning here regularly over the coming days to see what books are on offer.

The Little Library, Melbourne Central

The Little Library, Melbourne Central

After an hour or so in the city I decided to return to the motel and leave the rest of the exploration until tomorrow. Truth be told I’m really looking forward to this trip. I need a break from my routine. I need a break from my mental health. I need to spend some time chilling out, having adventures and loving both life and me again. I need to be happy. And I’m hoping Melbourne still has the power to make that happen!

Street Angel, Melbourne

Street Angel, Melbourne

On the agenda tonight is The Day of the Doctor. Last time I was in Melbourne was the weekend of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. I stayed specifically to watch the Matt Smith/David Tennant starring special. So it’s destiny or fate or happenstance that my first night back in Melbourne, they are playing the exact same special on television. After that I’ll just chill in the motel; watch TV, read, write in my journal, merrily anticipate the numerous adventures I will be having over the coming days.

On the agenda tomorrow: NGV Australia, NGV International, exploring the city and a return to my ‘home’ in the Kings Domain.

Much to look forward to. Should be a cracking time! :)

~ All photographs are © Addy Lake ~


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Into My Arms

Day 18: A song that you love but rarely listen to

Into My Arms | Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

nickcave

Before I met Louise, the only music I really listened to was film soundtracks, Bryan Adams and Meatloaf. Music was something that hadn’t really entered my life, not in the way that film had. Years into our relationship Louise surmised that film was to me, what music was to other people. When I felt depressed, down, sad, stressed, upset, rather than slip on a CD to ease the pain, I would slide in a DVD. Film was something that offered solace, comfort and happiness in times of great, overwhelming sadness. Film had, after all, seen me through my depression filled teenage years – something music had not.

But after meeting Louise, after learning of the extent music played in her life, I began broadening my musical horizon. Where once I would walk into a shop and buy a movie, I would now walk into a shop and buy a CD. Runrig, Ani DiFranco, Martyn Bennett, The Walkabouts, Jeff Buckley; music was now beginning to play a major role in my life.

Of all that artists Louise introduced me to during the early months of our relationship, one stood out; Nick Cave. I fell in love with not only the man’s music, but the man himself. I loved his wit, his intelligent lyrics and soulful, haunting voice. I loved his compositions, his melodies and overall demeanor. From album to album I fell more in love with the man until, sometime in mid 2003, I pronounced him one of my favourite musicians.

Of all his songs there is one that stands out to me. Not only because it is one of his best tracks, but because it was Louise’s favourite. Like Hallelujah, this piece of music defines my relationship with Louise, which is why I rarely listen to it. I love the song. I love everything about it. But it’s too triggering, too close to my heart for it to be any comfort. It reminds me of Louse and everything we had together.

But every now and then, when I feel strong enough to deal, I play it.

And fall in love with Nick Cave – and Louise – all over again.


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Hallelujah

Day 08: A song that reminds you of your “first love”.

Hallelujah | Jeff Buckley

F1000017

My first visit to Berneray, an island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, occurred in February 2000. After long-terming in a backpacker hostel, myself and two friends decided to do some traveling and opted for the Western Isles. After touring Lewis and Harris we boarded a ferry, crossed the Sound of Harris, and arrived on Berneray shortly after lunch. Almost immediately we were spellbound by the island’s scenery, location and atmosphere. The following morning we sat outside the hostel, on the shore of the island, watching the sun rise over the ocean. We were all speechless, completely hypnotized by the stunning spectacle before us.

Ten months later, after months of traveling Canada and beginning college, I decided I wanted to spend New Year somewhere special. And the only place that came to mind was Berneray. It had lived in my heart throughout the entire year, a memory of happiness, of solace and of contentment. After months of traveling around Canada, making and losing friends and navigating the intricacies of a college education, I needed the joy of Berneray, of that memory with my friends, to see me through into 2001.

So, early in the morning on the 29th December, I set off on the long journey. A train ride, a bus ride, a ferry ride and another bus ride later, I was standing on the shore of Berneray’s east coast, the same spot where I had sat ten months earlier watching a spectacular sunset. I was alone. But I was happy.

Later that night I was busying myself with journal writing when some fellow travelers arrived at the hostel. One was an elderly Englishman. The other, a twentysomething Australian. Almost instantly I was smitten with the Australian’s contagious smile, sparkling eyes and cheeky sense of humor. I didn’t say much, but I introduced myself, told her I was a student and listened intently to stories from her traveling adventure. I found out her name was Louise and that she was on the UK leg of a world-traveling adventure. She had been to Thailand, Europe, Ireland and had decided to come to Scotland to look for work. She had bumped into the Englishman in a hostel in Glasgow and, after being told of the oasis that was Berneray, had been invited to come along for the New Year.

We did little but talk and flirt that first night. Eventually succumbing to our tiredness and slinking off to our respective bedrooms, no doubt to dream about the other. The next morning we got talking again and, after being invited, I accompanied them on a tour around the local landscape, stopping off at a variety of food stores to stock up for the coming days. That night, after returning to the hostel, Louise and I got talking again. We ended up playing a drinking game that had been left at the hostel and, midway through, after excusing myself for a cigarette break, we stood out the front of the hostel. A blanket of stars above us. The gently rolling sound of the surf beside us. It was then when, out of the blue, Louise asked the question that would change my life: “Can I kiss you?”

If Louise hadn’t asked this question there is no way my anxiety riddled mind would have been able to make a move on her, no matter how much I wanted to. And if I hadn’t made a move, if that kiss hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I would never have moved to Australia. I would never have managed a backpacker hostel. I would never have met Kathy or Grace or Mae. I would never have had a breakdown. That kiss, that singular moment, changed the course of my life. And, after all the chaos and pain, after everything that has happened to me, if I could go back and change it. To shake some sense into myself. To stop that kiss from ever occurring. There isn’t a part of me that would.

For that kiss led to my first relationship. Within days of meeting, Louise decided to accompany me back to Inverness. She moved into my bedsit and we began a relationship that would last five and a half years. A period of time that, for the most part, was full of happiness and joy. As we sat on the ferry at Lochmaddy, awaiting the crossing to Uig, Louise slipped a CD into her discman and popped an earbud into my ear. She wanted to play me a song, one of her favourites, to start our adventure off on the right note. I had never heard of the artist – Jeff Buckley – before. I had never heard of the song – Hallelujah – before. But I was enchanted from the moment his breath hit the headphones.

Hallelujah would go on to become the most important song in my life. It will forever be a reminder of my first relationship, of my first love, and of how quickly, and unexpectedly, life can change.

 


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Sunday Stealing: Challenge Accepted!

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes.

The 5000 question meme has been tormenting bloggers for years. I have not found anyone that has completed it.

Maybe in 10 years or so we can get it done! :)

5000questions

101. What does happiness/joy feel like physically?

I don’t remember what happiness feels like mentally, let alone physically.

If I ever feel this mythical emotion again, I’ll be sure to let you know what it feels like.

102. List five things you love starting with the one you love the absolute most.

Assisting others to achieve their dreams, hopes and desires.
Broccoli.
Cunnilingus (What? I love this! :p)
Doctor Who.
Exhilarating, inspiring, well written, passionate writing (whether it be fiction or non-fiction)

What? I thought the letters meant we had to do them alphabetically! :p

103. How many movies have you gone to see this year?

I have seen only one film in the cinema this year and that was the disgrace that was The Hobbit.

Okay, perhaps ‘disgrace’ is too strong a word. Ian McKellen was magnificent (as always), Martin Freeman was a wonderful Bilbo, it was awesome seeing Sylvester McCoy (albeit in an unfairly derided role) and the visuals (although not as stunning as LOTR) were incredible. However, aside from the ‘Riddles in the Dark’ scene; it was overlong, overpopulated, tedious, boring and riddled with conflicting styles from one too many producers.

Other films I have seen this year are: Silver Linings Playbook (I didn’t jump on the Jennifer Lawrence bandwagon, I’ve been on it since I first saw Winter’s Bone years ago) and ummmmm…that’s about it. I can’t handle the cinema at the moment and I’ve been on a TV series kick the last couple of months.

Sorry.

104. If you could have 3 wishes…but none of them could be for yourself, what would you wish for?

1) That my sister receives the help she needs in order to become the amazing human being she has the power to become.
2) That the people I love and care about (including those from my past) live the long, happy, healthy, productive, awesome lives they deserve to have.
3) That the world becomes a more loving, caring and compassionate place – free of the sociopathic narcissistic behaviour we’ve been fostering for decades.

105. In what ways do you relax and de-stress when you are really tense?

Ummmm…I’m afraid I can’t really answer this now as yesterday I worked my ass off on next week’s Thursday Thirteen post, which happens to be on this very topic!

So check back on Thursday…mmmkay? :)

106. How much money would it take to get you to sell your blog address?

I would never consider selling my blog, not even for ten squillion dollars. I don’t do this for money (hence the complete lack of advertising on the blog) I do this for me.

There are always more important things in life than money.

107. Have you ever been hunting?

Nope. Never will be either.

108. Have you attempted this 5000 question meme in the past?

I’ve never heard of this magnificent meme until today.

However, to quote one of my favourite sitcoms…challenge accepted! ;)

109. What do you think of cloning?

It’s one of the most annoying and uninspired science-fiction tropes in the history of the genre.

As for in reality…why, just why?

110. Do you read or watch TV more often?

I probably read more than I watch TV because, as I have frequently mentioned in the past, I don’t receive television reception so am unable to watch anything on the hulking great beast that sits in the corner of my lounge room unless it’s played through a DVD player.

And that’s not watching TV, it’s watching a DVD, which is something completely different! :p

111. With all this talk of terrorism going around are you willing to sacrifice rights and freedoms for increased safety?

I’m a socially isolated, mentally ill, (ex)homeless man…do you seriously think the world gives a rat’s ass about my rights, freedoms or safety!?

112. What is the punishment you would come up with for Osama Bin Laden if you caught him alive?

Irrelevant question as the man is now dead.

But if he wasn’t?

I am not nor have never been a man driven by vigilante vengeance, so I would turn him over to the relevant authorities to decide punishment.

113. Have you ever named an individual part of your body?

Yes.

What? It’s a closed yes/no question. It’s not asking for me to tell you what I’ve named my various body parts! Which is your loss…just think how much more interesting this answer could have been if someone learned how to ask questions properly! :p

114. Have you ever been on the radio or on TV?

This question was in last week’s Sunday Stealing. Just saying.

115. Have you ever won a lottery, or sweepstakes?

Nope! :(

116. Have you ever won a contest or competition?

Throughout my life I’ve won only a handful of things:

1) Age 7: Three books for painting the local Church (or to clarify, for painting a picture of the local church).

2) Age 15: A book for entering a competition in Doctor Who Monthly (ergo, it’s not a leap to suggest the book was Doctor Who related!)

3) Age 16: Another book for entering a competition in Doctor Who Monthly (ditto!)

4) Age 20: The ‘most insane backpacker award’ for skulling a concoction made up of: beer, wine, whisky, vodka, coca-cola, milk, nuts, wood chippings, ash, cigarette butts and hair (it’s safe to say that I was completely drunk at the time and this wasn’t an actual award)

5) Age 27: $480 from a $1 stake on a pokie machine (I won the jackpot on the very first press of the button)

from The Sunshine Award: I dont’ win many awards, so when I do I feel happy and humbled

12

Me, skulling the aforementioned concoction (and wearing a ridiculously yellow T-Shirt!)

117. Have you ever watched The Joy of Painting show with Bob Ross
(check out this link if you don’t know who he is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ross_(painter)?)

I have never heard of this show nor of the allegedly famous host. I will however say…freaking awesome hair! I want me some of that! :p

118. Do you know what your grandparents and your great grandparents did for a living?

Although I’m not 100% sure, I seem to remember my grand-father used to clean Nelson’s Column (the statue, not the entendre). I have no idea what my grand-mother, other grand-parents or great-grandparents did for a living.

So I will say they were demon-hunters and leave it at that!

119. Is there anything really interesting in your family history?

Other than the fact my great-grandparents spent their days (allegedly) hunting and slaying demons?

My grand-father once met Winston Churchill, one of my great-aunts spent the better part of her life in a psychiatric institution (courtesy of Post Natal Depression), one of my relatives fought at the battle of Culloden, one of my great-great-cousins was a school teacher (what? I find that interesting) and us Lake’s have infiltrated virtually every corner of the world; UK, US, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Russia, South America, New Zealand and China!

I can neither confirm nor deny whether this global infiltration has anything to do with a generations old plan for world domination.

120. Is there anyone you trust completely?

No. There is no-one I trust in this world, let alone trust completely. Trust leads to abuse which leads to pain…with a helluva lot of betrayal thrown in for good measure!

trust


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Day 08: Love, lust and lots of kisses

It’s been so long since my last kiss I don’t remember how to do it any more. But as my abuser (always the most trustworthy of sources) described my kisses as “atrocious”, “sloppy”, “cringe-worthy” and “worst ever”, perhaps my lack of lips to lock is for the best.

Today, for your amusement, and in no particular order, I present eight of my more memorable kisses.

kiss

“Unless you were born on another planet, have a bizarre hatred of Spider-Man and/or suffer from an allergy to water, you will have re-enacted this scene.”

1. The last time I kissed someone…

The last kiss I received was on 4 February 2009. It was one of those bitter-sweet, over-flowing with emotions kisses that come when you know it’ll be the last time you see someone. The sort of kiss where you lift the woman into your arms, cradle their posterior as they wrap their legs around you and nearly topple to the ground through lack of oxygen as neither of you want it to end. But, of course, it must. So you tear your lips away and utter a pained ‘goodbye’ before watching them walk out of your life, leaving only memories and vanilla lip-gloss to remember they were ever there in the first place.

2. Homage

Unless you were born on another planet, have a bizarre hatred of Spider-Man and/or suffer from an allergy to water, you will have re-enacted this scene with someone you love. How far you go will depend on how authentic you want the experience to be. Fortunately for me, given I don’t look all that hot in skin-tight spandex, I didn’t have to wear the full costume. I did however have to hang myself upside-down from a wall, in the pouring rain, whilst being blinded by a mask (which she ordered me to wear!)

Sure, I nearly broke my neck, but goddamnit I’d do it all over again for a kiss as spectacular as that! :p

3. What the hell am I doing?

We hadn’t exactly chosen the most romantic of movies for our first ‘date’, so perhaps it was the months of boiling over sexual tension that fuelled Kathy and I’s first kiss minutes after leaving the cinema. On some random Fitzroy street we stopped, stared at each other for a few heartbeats and then, whilst fighting back insane anxiety, I cradled her face, leant forward and kissed her. I was shaking. She mistook my chin for my lips (and she had the gall to say my kisses were ‘sloppy’!) I seized a surreptitious butt squeeze in case I never had the chance again. She nibbled my top lip. Then I lifted her off the ground in one of those ‘what the hell am I doing?’ moments.

Regardless of what Kathy did in the following months, including giving me a complex so severe I doubt I’ll ever kiss ‘confidently’ again, I’ll always cherish this beautiful memory.

4. “You taste like cheese,”

The first time I kissed Samantha was in July 2007. In my post One Night in Adelaide, I described it like this:

Given all that had happened, given all the alcohol flowing through our system, given all those pheromones and chemicals, it wasn’t long before we were lying beside a bush with lips locked firmly together.

Courtesy of her orange flavored lip gloss, the ice-cold air and the vodka she’d been consuming all night; kissing her was like taking a long, slow drink of a perfectly brewed alcoholic beverage. As she pulled back, her eyes lingering in the empty space between us, she whispered “Cheese,” and returned for more.

It was me who came up for air next, cradling her head with my left hand. “Cheese?”

“You taste like cheese,”

“I haven’t eaten cheese for days,”

I went to kiss her again, only to have her pull away with a sudden, drunken laugh. “Fuck, why do you taste like cheese?”

Given I still can’t explain why I tasted like cheese – though I suspect alcohol played a part – it’s a good thing Samantha didn’t have a lactose intolerance. We remained in that state of perpetual kissing for a good half an hour until neither of us was feeling the cold around us.

kissing

“On some random Fitzroy street we stopped, stared at each other for a few heartbeats and, whilst fighting back insane anxiety, I cradled her face, leant forward and kissed her.”

5. “You taste like hash browns,”

The last time I kissed Samantha was in April 2008…but I won’t tell you about it just yet for I’m writing a post about that day and don’t want to spoil the surprises :p

Rest assured, hash browns were indeed involved! But what did we do with them? And do you really want to know? :p

6. German lessons

Normally I’m an exceedingly dutiful employee. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t even consider bending the rules or using a position of authority for such illicit gains, but when presented with a woman as beguiling as Annalisa, even the most straight-laced of managers can find themselves doing things they would later never regret.

Six days after arriving in Alice Springs during a period of hypomania, I was, of course, feeling hypersexual. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the rather hot German backpacker Annalisa caught my eye. After hours of flirtatious conversation washed down with copious amounts of the amber liquid, she and I found myself in the only place I had to be private at two in the morning; my office.

Cue hours of exceedingly naughty kissing that would make the current manager want to scrub their office down with hospital grade disinfectant!

7. That’ll show ’em!

Louise and I shared so many incredible kisses that picking out one or two from the tens of thousands we shared is almost impossible. ‘Firsts’  aside (first kiss, first kiss in Australia, first kiss in the shower, first kiss in public, first kiss used to dislodge a rogue piece of spinach etc…) one of the most memorable occurred in early 2001, not long after we met.

I was filming a short film as part of my college course when Louise came wandering to the set to have a peak around. After greeting her with a bashful peck of the lips my cameraman (and fellow film student) urged us to kiss with a little more ‘oomph’. Given we were still in the early days of our relationship I was somewhat nervous when it came to PDAs so hesitated; knowing full well this kiss would be recorded for all eternity and no doubt played for my entire class several (dozen) times.

Louise, however, didn’t hesitate. She grabbed my shirt and yanked me forward, immediately planting a kiss that wouldn’t have looked out-of-place in an R rated movie. Hands were grabbing body parts, teeth were biting lips (and necks), blood was flowing to various body parts and if it lasted a few more milliseconds nudity would have been involved!

Minutes after sending me into a tizzy and steaming up the lens of the camera, Louise broke away from the kiss with a naughty grin, turned to the cameraman, and said “did you get all that, or do we need to go again?”

We did go again, only this time we waited until I returned home several hours later. For obvious reasons! :p

8. The first time I kissed someone…

My first kiss occurred on the 30 December 2000. In a Sunday Stealing post, I described it like this:

I was twenty-two (yeah, I know…it’s all part of the perils of being socially anxious!)

Whilst studying at Inverness College I decided to visit the island of Berneray (in the Outer Hebrides) for a quiet, uneventful New Year. On my first night there a woman named Louise appeared out of the darkness and I was immediately enchanted by her hypnotic eyes, heart-warming smile and excellent posterior.

After a fair amount of flirting throughout the first twenty-four hours we found a drinking game stashed away on the hostel bookshelf and began playing. Somewhat tipsy we took a break and I went outside for a cigarette (at the time I was smoking cherry menthol rolling tobacco with liquorice papers) and she stood there staring at me with a cheeky grin on her face.

“Could I kiss you?” She said, awaiting a response.

Nervous to the extreme – but desperately wanting to lock lips  – I nodded yes and she took a few steps closer, tossed the cigarette to the ground and threw herself upon me as if suddenly possessed by a voracious kissing demon. After a few uncertain moments she pulled back and looked at me, completely aware my entire body was shaking uncontrollably.

“You’re shaking,” She whispered, rubbing my arms.

“Sorry, it’s…I…well…I’ve never…kissed anyone…before,”

She smiled sweetly and started kissing me again, much more slowly, not caring one bit that I was doing my best vibrator impersonation.

kisses

“As she pulled back, her eyes lingering in the empty space between us, she whispered “Cheese,” and returned for more.”


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Saturday 9: Pour Some Sugar on Me

Saturday 9 is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Crazy Sam Winters (she added the crazy, not me!).

Every Saturday there will be nine questions – sometimes they will be around a common theme, other times completely random – to be answered however we like.

Def

1) Do you have a favorite “hair metal band?”

I’m not really a big fan of this type of music. In fact, I think I’m the only human being in the history of humanity who thinks Spinal Tap is incredibly overrated and not all that funny. If I had to choose a favorite it would be Europe; because they are responsible for The Final Countdown :p

However, I’d much rather listen to Deaf Shepherd than Def Leppard any day of the week :)

2) Def Leppard got their start in South Yorkshire, England. Have you ever been to the UK?

I spent twenty-three years, nine months living in the UK.

Although some people are highly critical of the UK it is actually a quite wonderful place. Yes, it has it’s faults; a random ability to grind to a halt with the appearance of three flakes of snow, a knack of forgetting that everything north of London exists, Jonathan Ross and a nationwide belief that Marmite is better than Vegemite. But it’s love of prawn cocktail crisps, the law that states if it gets hotter than 21.3 degrees you have to strip down to swimwear, John Virgo, the fact people travel to the country from all over the world in the hope to see a real-life dinosaur in the wild and hedgehogs, often beat the countries flaws into submission.

And that’s even before taking into account it was the British who brought us the television show Doctor Who, the phenomenon that was Harry Potter and One Direction.

3) Who would you rather chat with, one-on-one: Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince William or Prince Harry?

If I had to choose from this rag-tag assortment of misfits, it would probably be Prince Philip, partly because the guy is rather awesome and partly to see what sort of politically incorrect statement he would make about me.

However, I’d much prefer buying the Queen a pub meal or share a few beverages with Pippa, purely because they seem far more interesting than the above quartet.

4) Do you use real sugar, or a sugar substitute?

I rarely – if ever – use sugar. In my days of non-poverty I would use real sugar as I hate the taste of sweeteners (one of the reasons I find ‘diet’ sodas so unappealing) but these days, although it’s not all that expensive, it’s an expense I don’t really need as I can live without it.

5) Valentine’s Day is big for candy sales. Did you indulge in any Valentine-themed, sugary treats this week?

After an insanely bad bout of anxiety at my Hearing Voices Support Group yesterday I purchased a Cadbury’s Creme Egg. Partly because chocolate is supposed to help people relax, partly because it was on special at Coles and partly because I used to rather like Cadbury’s Creme Eggs.

But this wasn’t Valentines themed, so it doesn’t really count, does it?

FYI, I don’t do Valentines Day. If I care about someone, if I love someone, I’m not going to wait for a single ‘consumerist’ day to show it. I’m going to divulge in random present giving, surprise dates, spontaneous massages and all sorts of lovey-dovey shenanigans on any of the 364 other days of the year!

6) Do you regularly balance your checkbook?

I don’t have a checkbook so, nope.

7) What was your last impulse purchase?

The aforementioned Cadbury’s Creme Egg. It was a stupid thing to do as it was far too decadent an expense.

8) When Sam was a girl, she had nightmares about snakes under her bed. When did you last have a bad dream?

I wrote recently of a rather random dream that saw me being whacked with carpet beaters wielded by rather angry women. Not sure if this would count as a bad dream though! :p

Because of my PTSD I am generally afflicted with half a dozen dreams a week revolving around the various instances of abuse I’ve received in my life. They are terrifying, upsetting, unsettling and something I would never wish on my worst enemy.

9) We’re ordering pizza. Do you want deep dish or thin crust?

Thin crust. Preferably wood fired. With fresh ingrediants…and I mean fresh, not fresh then frozen, fresh!

Sorry, I’m rather picky about my pizzas :p

wood fired pizza


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Thursday Thirteen: I am worth loving too

Last week, boldkevin launched the ‘I am worth loving too’ challenge on his blog Voices of Glass.

“Get a pen and paper (or pull up a blank word file on your computer) and compile a list of songs which remind you how loved you are and/or remind you that you are worth loving.” [Read the full post]

So for today’s Thursday Thirteen I’m sharing sixteen of the songs that remind me I am worth loving because – quite frankly – I’m an amazing human being, even if I don’t see that most of the time!

Why sixteen songs for Thursday Thirteen, you ask?

Well, what CD these days doesn’t come with some bonus tracks? Beginning with the only tune that could open my compilation, courtesy of the single greatest moment in contemporary cinema history!

Applejack – The Triangles

Many years ago, this song used to play on community radio station 3RRR virtually every morning. Usually when my girlfriend was partaking in her daily yoga session. Thus, not only is it the happiest song in the history of music, it will always remind me of watching my girlfriend perform the downward dog every morning :p

I am the Doctor – Murray Gold

This piece of music defines the character more than any other theme in Doctor Who history. It is, quite simply, magnificent.

Somewhere Only We Know – Keane

This song is a principal track on the soundtrack to my Inverness Chronicles and constantly reminds me of my imagination and creativity; two aspects of my personality that I am immensely proud of.

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

A song that reminds me of good times whilst backpacking, good times whilst in a relationship and my love of creative cinema. If you haven’t seen it, just watch Shaun of the Dead; you won’t miss this song!

Victoria’s Secret – Jay Semko

Due South; a TV series I adore with a fiery passion. This track, featured in the episode ‘Victoria’s Secret’, scores quite possibly the greatest ten-minutes of television I have ever seen in my life.

Hearts of Olden Glory – Runrig

I have no words to describe my love of this song; nor how it endlessly reminds me of my love for my adopted homeland.

Stronger – Britney Spears

This song is one of the tracks that received heavy radio play whilst I in Vancouver at the beginning of my Canadian odyssey. Forever more it will remind me of my inner strength to beat down my fear of flying and my constant desire to push myself whenever I can.

The Song That Goes Like This

After breakdowns, assaults, mental health chaos, severe anxiety and a shedload of other painful crap…I still managed to find the confidence to see Spamalot during a weekend in London, 2008. This musical – and this song – fills me with immense joy.

John Simmers – Wolfstone

Whilst writing a very difficult scene (in which a character kills her sister in order to protect her daughter) I needed a simple piece of piano music that the sister is playing as her sister approaches from behind to commit the terrible act.

Like Somewhere Only We Know, this song will always remind me of my love of writing and my deepest passions.

Song from the Sixteenth Floor – Paul Kelly

A song that features heavily on the soundtrack of my first relationship, bringing back memories of stolen love-making sessions in my parent’s house, the long wait to come to Australia, and the joys of beginning anew in a foreign land. I cannot hear this song without thinking of the love Louise and I shared.

Georgia on my Mind – Ray Charles

Another piece that reminds me of my writing; in this instance writing the suicide of a principal character.

Australian Idol – Kate Miller-Heidke

Port Fairy Folk Festival…watching KMH with my parents during their visit in 2006…a time when I was happy and loved by my girlfriend and social network; all things I think of when hearing this song.

Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations

This is another song that reminds me of when I had a social network; in this instance, a random karaoke session in Inverness. It’s also a pretty awesome song that cannot fail to make you smile and sing along!

Bonus Track #1: Into My Arms – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Louise. Enough said.

Bonus Track #2: The Legend of Zelda (Orchestral Theme)

One of my favourite pieces of music of all time! If I’m feeling down, low, depressed or just not quite with it, playing any Zelda game lifts my mood and reminds me that from time to time we need to allow ourselves to enjoy things we love, regardless of how other people may view such activities.