22 November 2013

Death by Doxie : We Still Miss Our Hounds

My husband and I often have a discussion which goes a little something like this:

Him - "Is there anything you'd change about Ferdi?" 
Me - "Well…his legs are a little bowed and his teeth are a little bucked and, let's be honest, he's not the smartest dog in the world. But, I guess those things are what make him endearing so…no?" 
Him  - "Which makes him the most perfect hound in the world" 
Me - "Ummmm…." 
Him - "You said there's nothing you'd change about him, right? So therefore he must be a perfect dog, the perfect dog." 
Me - "Okay…" 

I've learnt not to argue the point, as we just end up going around in circles. For hours. It's best to just admit that yes, Ferdi is a perfect hound. Looking at these photos, from our last night in Seoul, I'm kind of thinking the husband might just be right. 

(Do I need to point out those paws?)

18 November 2013

Things I Miss...

There is so much that is awesome about being back in Australia. 

The gorgeous Sydney beaches, the good wine, the nectarines and sweet, sweet corn. How my Mum can just 'pop up' to Sydney for a few days, or how I can head to Melbourne for my sister's super fun 40th without too much trouble. Being able to spend more time with friends and family, and finally meeting some of my virtual friends in the real world (and finding out that they are just as ace off line as on!). So much awesome.

But…there are things I miss, about being overseas and about having a home (we're still living in our 'cosy' serviced apartment and most of our stuff is still in storage somewhere). In no particular order, here are some things I miss right now:

Ferdi and Elfi
Namdaemun's ribbon shops (but finding this Australian website has eased the pain somewhat)
My scanner (you don't realise how many times a day you scan and email something until you have to walk to Officeworks every time you need to do it)
An internet connection that doesn't drop out every few seconds and can cope with having 15+ tabs open at once 
Mandoo! Soup! Noodles! Soupy Noodles! With Mandoo!
My husband having his own office (right now I'm hearing every word of his midnight conference calls…)
My washi tape stash 
Our books
Watching movies on long haul flights
The cold (I know this sounds crazy - I'm loving the beautiful early summer in Sydney but I'm also strangely missing that sudden drop below zero in Seoul...) 
My tote bag collection (I didn't bring any with me, but I refuse to buy anymore as I have too many…can't wait to break them all out of storage; I miss this one the most)
Not having to worry about my purse / backpack / camera being pinched 
Muji, Uniqlo and all the cheap but good 'Made in Korea' stuff (knits and socks especially)
Having only a short flight between me and two of my favourite cities in the world 
Everything being new and strange and kind of wonderful because of that...

11 November 2013

My First…Rebellion

I'm playing along with the hilariously talented Kerri Sackville today. She's started a new blogging challenge about firsts, and today's theme is 'My First Rebellion'. She's written about her's here. But read mine first so you don't make unfair comparisons. Okay, good, thanks…

Well technically this isn't quite my first act of rebellion. Although I was a pretty well behaved kid there had been little things before this. The odd bit of port pinched from the parents stash. Sneaking out at night for a moonlit walk*. That final week of year twelve when we staged daily events to protest the banning of 'muck-up day'.

But that all just seemed like harmless fun, and it was done as a group. It's easy to rebel when you're part of a pack; when you feel that truth, beauty and your god given right to throw eggs on the final day of high school is on your side. 

No, my first real rebellion was a solitary act. In a strange way it was kind of the first tangible sign that I had my own thoughts about the world and the way it worked. That I'd considered all the very worthy, very important stuff my parents taught me growing up and had reached a slightly** different conclusion. 

My first real rebellion was getting a job at McDonald's. 

When I was little, my Mum and Step-Dad were what you might call hippies. Middle class sure, but a very-left-leaning, grow-your-own, build-your-own, change-the-world kind of middle class.

We're talking an early childhood of communes, marijuana plants in the backyard, and friends who built mud huts in Warrandyte way before the word 'sustainable' was part of everyday PR speak. On weekends we made banners and marched for peace or workers rights or both. On school holidays we drove to Nimbin and fought off leeches and hungry baby goats (aggressive little critters). Or we got dragged to festivals in the middle of the Victorian bush, where there were teepees and nudity and mud. And drumming circles. (I still have nightmares). 

You can probably gather from all this that McDonald's was a very dirty word in our household. It was a sign of all that was wrong with the world - greedy capitalism, factory farming, American cultural imperialism, wastefulness, and just plain bad food. We did not eat there, ever.

(Side note - on the other hand, my Dad took us to Red Rooster every other Friday night and I ate pineapple fritters and drank coke! Coke! It was so great!) 

So I was 18 and studying at Swinburne Uni, and I wanted some extra cash, and I heard that McDonald's Hawthorn was hiring. How convenient, I thought. So I applied and I got the job.*** Cue general ridicule and mirth from the family. They laughed at the uniform, the terminology, the 'training'. 

But I was earning a decent hourly rate and kind of having fun. And I turned out to be pretty awesome at the whole fast food thing. I got little promotions and I won some awards. One year, I won 'Drive Thru Crew Member of the Year'. Go me. And I remember xmas day, my Mum and her best friend rolling about laughing, literally in tears of laughter about this award. And it pissed me off. Because by that stage I'd realised that my silly casual job at Maccas was turning out to be something more. 

As a shy introvert, working at McDonald's gave me confidence. That job taught me how to make small talk, how to deal with all kinds of people and situations I'd never encountered before. It showed me I could be witty, funny even (who would have thought!); and that working in a team didn't always suck. 

As I continued with my studies I continued to work for them, and slowly, slowly I showed my folks that McDonald's maybe wasn't as evil as they thought. As a manager I helped give training and a career to kids who may have slipped through the cracks otherwise. Later, McDonald's gave me my first 'real' job in the area I'd studied to work in. And it's been thanks to McDonald's that we've enjoyed the past six amazing years of overseas adventures.

And, best of all, it's this first act of rebellion many many years ago that eventually led me to my husband, my best friend, my partner in crime. Kind of awesome, the twists and turns of life. 


*Seriously. I was such a nerd / good girl that my friend and I used to sneak out at night just to go for a stroll in the moonlight. We'd sit in the park and eat Aero bars, dipping them in yogurt. Party on. 

**Note the slightly. I am still left-leaning. I still believe in equality, fairness and human rights. I believe in public services and the power of education. But I also believe in personal choice and the free market, and that some times for some problems government regulation isn't actually the best solution.

*** Yes, I was hired, by McDonald's, at the age of eighteen. 

06 November 2013

Frocktober : Week Four

I've been avoiding this post, just a little, because really - who wants to put a collage of ten goofy selfies on their blog? Not me. But here it is. Frocktober, the last ten days. (In case you're wondering, it's not too late to sponsor me. Go ahead, click on over, cough up a fiver or two for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. Thanks.) It's been six frock less days (well, not completely frock less. I have frocked up for dinner most nights). Have I missed it? Well...yes and no. 

Yes because it was fun being a part of something; it was ace getting those 'you've received a donation' emails. And yes, because I always like having a little project to do, something I'm committed to and accountable for each day. And yes, because we raised just under $1300! So great and way beyond all my expectations. Thanks again for all the support! 

But also no because it was harder than I thought it would be. Which sounds so stupid and kinda lame. I mean, I'm complaining about wearing a dress everyday? Get a grip lady! But it was tricky. No 'uniform' to fall back on; having to actually think about what to wear each day. And don't even mention the often uncooperative weather (it was a very windy month here in Sydney!). (Clairey Hewitt wrote a bit about this too, about the surprising challenge of wearing a frock every day for a month.) 

And then there was the whole selfie business (which stupidly I hadn't even considered when I signed up). Taking and posting a photo of myself every day was something very far outside my comfort zone. But I did it. And towards the end I didn't care so much about my weird looking knees or my shiny, frowny face. I felt a bit more comfortable in front of the camera, I had a bit of fun. And I realised my legs are pretty ace, actually. I might even do a few more 'what I wore' posts. Might. Quite surprising what a journey a month of dressing up can be. 

Frocktober also forced me to have a good, hard, honest look through my frock-drobe. I've rediscovered hidden gems and I've parted with a few frocks that really just weren't me. I've also re-embraced a bunch of frocks that were relegated to the 'too booby' pile while we were living in Korea...

Korean ladies love tiny skirts and super short shorts; they'll wear bottom bits so small you sometimes think they've forgotten to put pants on. But their busts stay very well hidden - even the lower neck area is a no go zone. In the early days of moving to Seoul I made the mistake of wearing a tee with a slight scoop neck, and I've never felt so conspicuous and so uncomfortable. From then on I was pretty cautious about my necklines, and a lot of frocks became unwearable for a few years. But - in Sydney these same frocks look positively chaste! So welcome back, booby frocks! 

Outfit details: 
22. Frock - Totem / Sandals - Zara 
23. Denim Sack of Awesome (number six - and yes, I know technically it's chambray) - French Connection / Sandals - ALDO / Bangles - Kate Spade 
24. Frock - made590 / Heels - ModCloth / Movie star hair - Desmond & Molly Jones
25. Frock (well, more a tee shirt really) - Threadless / Sandals - ALDO 
26. Frock - ModCloth / Heels - Anne Klein / Really messed up pose - A crazy day
27. Frock- Threadless. That is all. 
28. Frock - Ganni via asos / Belt - Sportsgirl (I think. I bought it years ago.) / Heels - ModCloth 
29. Frock - H+M / Blouse - American Apparel / Heels - Hoehyundong Underground Shopping Centre 
30. Frock - ModCloth / Heels - Nine West 
31. Frock - ModCloth / Cardigan - Marks + Spencer / Heels - Midas / Brooch - Samah Designs on Etsy / Goofy Grin - Thanks to you!