2018 resolution – ‘Less judgement and more nuts’ ‘A Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature’.What can go wrong is what makes this film so right.

 

2018 is finally here! I couldn’t be more excited. I have just come back from 4 glorious days in Sydney, catching up with old friends, sailing, swimming and sleeping on Sydney Harbour –  afternoons dozing in a sea breeze with champagne lips – the best! Then doing it all again!

There are so many new things I am excited to dive into in 2018. I haven’t made any resolutions only that I’m not going to overthink too much and I’m just going to get out of my own way and enjoy all I have, a bit like the characters here in  Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature,  my first 2018 movie review, published for Go Movies.

Enjoy! Simmon X @theloveauthentic

Cal Brunker wanted to make A Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature, bigger and more fun so he took the most loved elements of the first movie and mixes nuts, drama and the deft flick of an artist’s eye to bring to life a little band of insurgent parkland animals, a corrupt greedy human oppressor -and turn it into a visually stunning action packed sequel.

 Stuffed on a fast food supply of nuts from the abandoned basement of Nibbler’s Nut Shop, Surly and his animal friends Andie (Katherine Heigl), stray pug Precious (Maya Rudolph) Buddy (Tom Kenn) live happy, lazy and fat in nut luxury without a survival worry in the world.

Nut feasts of every kind are just one furry paw breath away for the hunter gatherers. But their lifestyle of easy pickings ends explosively one night as the nut shop comes tumbling down in a gas explosion.

Unbeknownst to the animals their survival problems are just beginning.

Surly discovers that the local Mayor, a corrupt self-serving meanie Mayor Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan), plans to get rich by bulldozing their beloved Liberty Park and ripping it apart turning it into a hellish carnival ground full of decrepit rides bought on the cheap.

The animals strike back when they team up with some muscle in the adorable fluff ball form of a tough city mouse and Kung Fu master Mr. Feng and his army of displaced mice. Mr Feng has one outstanding flaw, he absolutely loses it when you call him cute.

Mayor Muldoon brutally enlists pest exterminators to eliminate Surly and his friends. Mayor Muldoon packs a pint-sized weapon of his own, his daughter Heather – an armed brat with psychopathic urges, a tranquillizer gun and itching trigger finger.

Heather delights in doing horribly wrong things to animals if she can just get her hands on them.

All appears lost as the animal’s face hunger, homelessness and destruction by a predator they are not equipped to battle

What can go wrong is what makes this film so right for its target audience.

A simple movie with big themes: inclusion, diversity, unity, purpose and quest and we, we’re cheering the little guy all the way.

Cal Brunker injects the drama with ever higher stakes with the completely unexpected plot twist of my favourite character, Surly’s best friend a non-speaking rescue rat named Buddy (Tom Kenny).

In his scraggly body Buddy the silent heroic outsider captured my heart as he faced off against the destructive power of corrupt human greed.

Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature is a thrilling ride with unexpected plot twists.  At one moment I sat misty eyed with shock in the cinema with my 11-year-old daughter, My thought at that moment was, ‘this can’t happen in a kid’s movie!’

As I watched this movie with my daughter I was given the gift of escaping into the movie with the eyes of a child.

My daughter loved A Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature.

The Nut Job 2 draws you into an enormous canvas of animated movie magic. There is enough colour breathing escapism, relentless slapstick smiling animal chaos and rocket fueled action married with characters we care about that makes Nut Job 2 a perfect school holiday movie.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By NatureDirector and Co-Writer: Cal Brunker

Producer and Co-Writer: Bob Barlen

Screenwriters: Scott Bindley, Cal Brunker, Bob Barlen

Producers: Harry Linden, Jongsoo Kim, Youngki Lee, Li Li Ma, Jonghan Kim, Bob Barlen

Starring: Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan, Bobby Moynihan, Gabriel Iglesias, Bobby Cannavale, Jeff Dunham, Peter Stormare and Isabela Moner.

Rated: G

 

Images not owned by theloveauthentic and are used for promotional or illustrative purposes and their copyright remains the property of the original owner.

Advertisements

A Ghost Story – The paradox of living with love separated from the adored one’. #davidloweryaghoststory

-trip

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 2.55.03 pm

After dashing madly about the Cinema Nova in Carlton, Melbourne from the wrong pitch-black-cinema screening the wrong movie lurking out into the shadows and chatter of the right cinema – its seats filling with the right audience of media with their right glasses of red wine and roasted popcorn, I squirrelled myself away to sit back and be mystified by  David Lowery’s film, A Ghost Story.

And this big screen movie experience is definitely unlike anything I have met before.

In fact I had a really hard time what to make of it.

But through the perfect timing of an incredible birthday trip to the Mildura Writer’s Festival  mere days later – to be surrounded by friends, old and new – one, Australian acclaimed poet Les Murray (Les convinced me to eat his ‘tripe’ – a dish specially prepared at a candle lit feast cooked by Stefano, washed down with incredible wines, all on the banks of the Great Murray River.

To be honest the tripe was delicious, kind of comforting in a toasted marrow fat kind of way – I like marrow and I love lamb’s fat but I have years of child-tripe-protestations-saying NO, never ever eat tripe again! I think a cousin must have teased me about it being stomach’s lining – as an older, wiser taunting cousin does.

But here surrounded by the majesty of the Murray River I found what I needed, the space to let this movie imprint it’s haunting imagery upon me.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 3.16.48 pm

The Beauty of the Murray River.

 

Written and Directed by: David Lowery A Ghost Story

Producers: Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Adam Donaghey

Cinematographer: Andrew Droz Palermo

Starring: Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck.

A Ghost Story invites us into the tender space of young love shared by Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck and the tragic aftermath of grief as a fatal car crash leaves C dead and transformed as a ghost throughout the movie.

Landlocked by love in one state of being and one place, C remains beneath a sad and forlorn sheet with cut out holes for eyes, to witness time and his lover change without him.

Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, Aint Them Bodies Saints) had been wanting to tell a ghost story for years with the classic iconography of the bed-sheet ghost and with Affleck as no ordinary ghost he achieves that.

Lowery sets the visual tone that this is not a traditional motion picture by shooting the film in the 1:33 aspect ratio, meaning the image width is only slightly greater than its height.  This film technique enabled Lowery to create a towering presence of the shrouded ghost, a still and dominating presence within each scene.

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 10.42.24 am

The cinematography is pared back with the glare and grit of everyday realism and it is in the familiar and the known that Lowery captures us.
Through doorframes – a fascination of Lowery’s – both dark and functional, they frame Affleck and Mara in ordinary rooms of no import, but it is in their lack of adornment where the intimate confrontations and revelatory keypoints are revealed without massive movement or violence.

There is something to a movie with long stretches bereft of dialogue, we remain in the stillness as the ghost does and without distraction we sink further into the tragedy of love lost without goodbye and time moving forward where the loved one occupies no space only in memory.

In an unforgettable scene, Mara’s luminous distinctive features convey all the profound grief you thought you’d need dialogue for. In isolation, she stuffs an entire family size chocolate pie in a single four-minute take. The body of food is ill equipped to replace her loss of C.

In a later scene, we witness the profound pathos of love and of lost hearts craving connection through the ghost’s presence.

A Ghost Story

When M finally leaves their home, she embeds a lover’s note into a door frame. The repetitious scratching by a ghost without hands is both tragic and beautiful and as he seeks to unearth the note oblivious to the passage of time without him, we are reminded his sense of identity is derived from his attachment as the beloved.

As I left the cinema into the noise and bustle of my ordinary world, I was unsure how I felt about the movie, in fact I had to sit with it for a few days.

I felt haunted by the film’s imagery of tender grieving and the paradox of grieving a love torn apart by unforeseen tragedy of living with love separated from the adored one.

Through the art of film Lowery poses the aesthetic as a response of grief and catastrophe.

A Ghost Story penetrates as a poignant reminder that the blessing of our good luck is to sit in witness to an event that is possible to each of us.

Our shared humanity wants to vouch safe the journey of love and for it not to leave us ill-prepared for the space that remains in the absence of the loved one.

Read my full review of A Ghost Story by David Lowery, published here for Go Movie Review X

via A Ghost Story — Go Movie Reviews

 

My beautiful work space for the day – at Cinema Nova, Carlton Melbourne.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 2.39.54 pm

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 3.02.48 pm

 

 

 

Yikes! I’m at my first school parent’s party and everyone’s a Swinger, but me.

Somewhere in Bondi, on a street leading to the ocean, a black lacquered door throbs and music and a golden doorknob beckons.

screen-shot-2014-10-01-at-3-33-08-pm

 

A band of navy Italian lace silk fringing falls from my hips, skimming my thighs. 

I suck my belly button back to my spine, check my boobies are still bound inside my bandage top, shoulder roll my men’s pinstripe blazer and reach for the curve of the golden orb.

The golden knob slips from my grasp as the door swings wide.

My confronted eyelashes tremble under the welcoming wink of an oiled navel and golden G-string.

The greeting is unexpected and magnificent.

I offer up my invitation in the sobering event that I am definitely not expected at this party. I have been invited by parents of a five-year-old friend of my daughters, our daughter’s new friends at a private co-ed school in Sydney. I don’t think golden knobs and G-strings are part of the mixing and mingling at that party.

PARTY INVITATION

On a smooth high gloss 9 by 20cm photographic card dance three naked woman, texture and movement supplied by their 70s’ styled pubic hair fullness.

Dress code: Sexy cool

Theme: 007 meets Barry White

Champagne pops my gaping mouth shut. I’m in.

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-10-21-40-pm

I pad across the wide oaked black Japanese Oak floors on my tippy toes – I really don’t want to puncture these floors with my heels – to a tram carriage, embedded flush in the cavernous rooms right wall. I discover this is the host’s dining room – the carriage sits empty and waiting like the rest of the party, awaiting new conductors and passengers.

It is  spectacular.

I am excited and nervous all at once and I shiver like Christmas Eve with silent promise for the night.

The World is Not Enough

Bond: “I was wrong about you.”
Christmas Jones: “Yeah, how so?”
Bond: “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.”

Beyond the room a sail clothed canopy hangs above an outdoor DJ, circling a tinkling bar with a throb of clustered bodies.

A dancing lunatic pulls me on to the dance floor.

I am completely ill at ease.

A handsome stranger rescues me.

I am completely at ease.

debs-woolahra-104

This shot taken of me completely at ease with friends a night before.

In fact the party is full of throbs of people really at ease. As I elbow beat off  a throng of strangers – who are now intimate with the size of my facial pores – I watch the room.

The room is full of clusters of people, really into getting to know people they have just met.

I look at the wad of business cards that have been pressed into my hand by all of my new friends and contacts at this party.

For some strange reason I feel like the main course.

There are no leery eyed stares, just people enjoying a luxurious party with all the trimmings, fresh delectable canapés, chilled golden flutes of erupting French champagne and two-legged predators with smiles of inarticulate longing.

As I walk upstairs to find a bathroom, candle lit water bowls with floating frangipani dot paths to the King size beds.

A strange little man jumps from the shadows and pulls me towards a bed.

I break free in an ugly jig to the stairs – trying to look cool and stride two stairs at a time, away, away from my creepy little leaping guy. 

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-9-47-39-pm

This party is for a select group of people, with a select group of rules.

Swingers.

Swapping loved ones and partners and sharing sexual pleasures with strangers with consent from your other half.

I’m not good at sharing and know I’m not playing. From the dance floor fringe shadows hover close and I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.

A woman I know embedded  in the shadows, watches her husband get it on with another on the dance floor. And as her loved one shows his moves to another she doesn’t look excited, turned-on or angry, she looks sad.

I turn and  head for the golden knobbed door – perhaps all that glitters is not so golden after all.

007 house rules, to kiss without telling and like 007, I leave early.

Sex, is a game best played by choice.

Remember to choose which game you are playing, before the game you are playing chooses you.

johnny

Johnny Depp.

‘If you love two people at the same time, choose the second.

Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second’.

 

Style has one rule – We are not normal, we are Exceptional!

 

The most profound advice I ever received from my longtime friend – other than, ‘Love! one is never enough’! –  Jas, aka an ex cross-dressing, gender bender with buckets of present day style was,

   ‘Love, who needs normal? You were born to be exceptional! You, We were born to be fabulous!

In a world where real beauty is fast shopped, Instagram photo shopped to the beauty nutritional value of  fast food,  Jas sums up Beauty’s new dichotomy perfectly.

   ‘Today the word beauty is used to define perfect, in proportion and flawless.

There was a time when beauty was about someone’s style, their presence and charisma’.

exceptions

So with a few tweaks  Jas, aka MR Divine, reminds us beauty, real beauty and the power of feeling beautiful is not found over the counter. Beauty is found at home.

Welcome gorgeous ones,

We can all agree there are days where our reflection lets us down. Lets us down. I know. Days. Days where we are want for nothing more than to reconfigurate, recamouflage or recreate. (yes these are not words in the dictionary!)

Those days, where even with perfection staring back at us, we want to see something new.

I have watched a barrage of tutorials on shading and contouring, shading and contouring – creating features where once there were none. There were none!

It is times like this when our divine creative child stomps her plus size heels and says,

   ‘I’M HERE, I’m ready, give me the theatre of life!

     Moreover, give me the centre stage!

Pop

 

Being fabulous is all about canvassing your flaws as features. Seriously it is your flaws that define how unique and fabulously different you are. 

 Have you ever felt  the floor tilt as all the fabulous eyes of the room cast themselves towards you. They are drawn, lost in your enigmatic presence. There is nothing sexier than strutting your good self with great posture. Great posture is HOT!

  • Play up your flaws – Listen and pay attention to the indomitable wisdom of the eternally beautiful, the charismatic, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel – she who made Lauren Hutton’s gap toothed smile a beauty icon.

I will speak more of the indomitable style of Diana Vreeland in next week’s post.

You don’t need to spend money or over complicate things to be fabulous!

Here are a few of Jas’s aka Mr Divine’s favourite nips and tricks.

  • Start at the beginning Prepare your canvas, an easy way to do this is with a thin layer of mashed avocado. Allow 20ish minutes to dry then peel it off in gentle circular motions with your fingertips.
  • Then lightly rinse, the result is soft, moisturised exfoliated skin. If you have an overly pink or dry skin tone, instead of rinsing, just buff off with a soft cloth.This will leave your skin more hydrated with a slight green undertone helping balance the excess pinkness
  • Remember to pay attention to framing your eyes and honouring your lips!
  • Whether you feel the need for just a layer of BB cream, a slick of lip tint and lashings of mascara, or a well contoured face and smoky eye.
  • We never leave the house without a little tricking up.
  • First Smile! it increases your face value, and why yes, I did just quote Truvy from Steel Magnolias.

Truvy

 

  • First impressions matter! smiling and eye contact when introduced to someone, lingering eye contact and handshake if you want them to remember – not too long, stalking is not beautiful!
  • Fragrance should not assault someone across a room. We want it subtle enough that a potential paramour nuzzles in closer. Where that first kiss on the cheek already has them wet, I mean weak at the knees. Seduction ladies!
  • Dress for comfort! No grimace on your face thanks to those new heels.
  • Yes, there are exceptions to some rules. Like wearing those new heels to a venue with loud music (so we will assume social conversation is out) and fortifying yourself with whichever top shelf spirit, you require to bring out your inner spirit animal.

A sexy tip if you are seeking the simple glam of a Vargas girl, with a low-cut sweater, enhance your bosom by consuming two cups of fennel tea daily for a few weeks -to push you up a cup size!

Vargas

  • Dress boldly with eccentricity as Iris Apfel does, or enhance your femininity by stealing from the boys.
  • Match a man’s dress shirt with a pencil skirt, wide belt, pushed up sleeves and pearls – Aka Katherine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall with a silk blouse, oversized men’s pant with braces or a belt to accentuate a paper bag waist.

And remember! Style does not have to be expensive it’s just what works for you.

There are no set of rules that apply to all, so dare to be bold and creative. Have fun.

People are always confident when they are enjoying life.

 

we are outstanding

Who is MR Divine? Aka my friend Jas

An ex-gender bending, spiritual, lover of food and wine, with interests in holistic healing, nutritional medicine and who can spend hours in Thai Chemists leaving no shelf unturned looking for something cheap, trick and fabulous. Xxx

 

 

A Guest Contributor – Beauty secrets – Tips and Tricks of a Cross-dressing Beauty Queen

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.08.02 pm

As a 50-year-young woman I am excited to share a beauty secret, one I have known for 30 years!

The beauty secret is my friend Jas.

Jas is and has been my mirror and my accomplice in keeping it ‘pretty’ when life was hard and my mirror and accomplice when life was full of fantastically horrible ideas and adventures.

I met Jas when he was 15 as he sauntered in to take on the position of apprentice chef in an Art Deco Hotel in Auckland. At the time I lived upstairs with my then boyfriend, one of the Hotel’s two Managers.

Jas and I became instant friends, downstairs in the Hotel kitchen over shared sneaked-breakfasts of still-warm, metre-long-crusty-bread-sticks, halved, smeared with lashings of butter, sliced hot eggs, crusted in rock salt, garnished with globs of freshly made hollandaise – deeelicious!

 

Daz xxx

Every girl or 50-year-old woman should hang out with or at least have one of these friends in her world, one of these friends who helps her to look her absolute best.

In his opinion what he thinks is your absolute best may differ from yours.

He convinced me once to don Black hot pants, a madonna Vogue bra, and a blonde bobbed wig with thigh high suede boots for a club night out in Melbourne but equally he loved me wearing red suede flat shoes, no make up, my natural curly hair and a simple tee shirt dress out to club nights as well.

There is safety in having a wonderful man like this growing up, partying in clubs – you never have to worry about any mistaken sexual signals.

He is gay and I am straight. 

Fun times, simple.

Jas knows how to dress as a woman, so he gets it, he gets what we need to do to get pretty, to get ready to go out.

He loves me being and feeling my best and he has amazing beauty tips – amazing beauty tips, I never thought of, that work!

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.52.07 pm

This is Miss Gay Venezuela 2015 receiving her Beauty Queen crown. Beautiful.

 

So I asked Jas to write a piece here for me and for you all – his secret little nips and tucks that make us look our absolute best … natural with a little help.

Fun times, fun secrets.

Like the transformative wonders of a rolled pair of socks for your cleavage or his new tip, the restorative features of ‘fennel tea’.

He sent me an early morning confirmation email today

Ok sexy tits,

   ‘Just came up with an idea to centre my first piece around, so now that I have a starting point, I most likely will start filling in the blanks latter today’. 

Grab your seats and your socks, because he has agreed to share!

What tips and tricks do you have? Do you have a best friend like Jas in your life?

I’d love to hear!

 

 

My Mumma said, you are enough. ( Fast Non-Fiction, a 1 minute read)

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 1.55.20 pmThe irony of freelance writing and pursuing time for creative fiction.

It’s crazy, the busier my freelance writing world becomes, the more productive I am with my own fiction work. Go figure! But backstage my unworthiness gremlin slips in and tells me I cannot pursue busy success and write with a true voice at the same time.

Since October 2016 I have been freelance writing for Australian Fashion House, Swish Plus Size Fashion  Writing for others keeps me accountable and I love it.

So after a work period of crazy busyness and accepting some incredible writing opportunities  I forgot to slow down, get still and I slid off balance, just like the little gremlin prophecised.

I was tired and luckily I didn’t fall back on patterns of my past. I no longer sucked down my feeling by escaping into food or wine or more activity, in moments like this I did what I do now – I called my mum in New Zealand.

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 2.10.10 pm

My mum keeps it real and I know she secretly she loved it when ‘A’ I said,

‘Mum I need your advice’ and ‘B’ I stopped speaking long enough to listen,

The words tumbled out all together.

Anxiety was decapitating my self belief and I was running about like a headless chicken in search of the sun. 

‘I have a ball in my chest where I’m not sure how to breath about my writing. I think I have set it way up high on a pedestal and I don’t know how to reach it’.

My Mum said,

‘I knew you were  doing this, you have done this before, you have been running around, being here, there and everywhere and you need to get still. You need to sit down and talk to yourself.’

I really, really wanted to interrupt her wisdom with defence, to delay the inevitable. Although she offered what I needed, my defence, my safety, was reluctant to hearing.

I inhaled hard, bigger than a chicken breath, kicked my inner voice ‘know-it-all’ to the curb and listened.

‘You are enough and whatever you write is enough’

‘Write what you have now. It doesn’t have to be perfect’, she said.

She laughed and then said,

‘why don’t you grab a pen and write about how much you hate me’.

A joke between us from my overdramatic stomps as a teenager when feeling the whole world had wronged me and my mother was the only thing that stood between me and experiencing more of the whole, wrong, world.

I would stomp off into my room and begin writing, but I never wrote hate letters or notes to my mum, I wrote stories. Stories that I escaped and poured myself into, where I created exotic, teen-girl-wanting-to-be dramatic, free landscapes outside of my teenage-tiny-bedroom walls.

As a teenager I wrote from a ball of desire and anger and a need to escape.

I like writing from that place.

And like my mum said, I am enough exactly as I am.

I need to sit, get quiet, be a little bit headless and be more in that heart ball of desire bursting in my chest.

I love writing from that place.

How do you find stillness in your world? I’d love to hear your methods for finding that spot for yourself.

Xx

Much love,

Simmon

I like doodling in bed too, it helps get me still.

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 1.58.42 pm

Some of my freelance work published by Swish Fashion 2017

memoir

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/an-inspirational-swish-mum-overcomes-body-shaming

Profiles

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/anita-carmody-stays-loyal-to-manufacture-in-australia-plus-size-fashion

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/stories-for-women-who-have-achieved-success-in-their-field.-plussize-empoweringwomen-mothersday

 

#women #mothers #nonfiction #growingup #swishplussizefashion #50pluswoman #mentalhealth #parentingadvice #worklifebalance #writerslife #freelancewriting

Body shaming, plus-size and grace in action with cake.

An inspirational mum, Carrie Strongman is a woman who’s attitude embodies an unapologetic confidence in being a beautiful plus size woman.

She also happens to be my mum.

My mum is plus size and has always shown me how beautiful her curves are.

If as a child, my raised eyebrows teased her as she sashayed past, she would tackle me with kisses until I surrendered out loud just how beautiful she was.

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 9.55.08 am

My mum pictured above with my two daughters Saskia and Scarlett

I love these memories of my mum, from them my mum taught me how to love boldly, with strength and out loud.

My mum is incredibly independent, fearless, creative and intelligent. My mum with all her strength is also one of the funniest and wittiest people I know.

But I remember one moment wishing I could be her strength when two Parnell Village fashion-retail sales-women tried to shame my mother because of her plus size.

Parnell Village in one of Auckland’s most affluent suburbs with historic, cobblestone- paved charm, remains one of my favourite places in Auckland.

My mother grew up on her father’s sprawling Waitakaruru dairy farm before moving by herself at the age of 13 to the city of Auckland to study and board at New Zealand’s prestigious all girl’s Queen Victoria School. Situated in the equally affluent suburb of Remuera, a 30-minute walk from Parnell Village.

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 9.55.20 am

My mum in her Queen Victoria day uniform

In my teenage years, my mum and I would travel from our home in the Coromandel Peninsula, for special mum and daughter days out in Auckland city. Together we would shop, lunch, visit family and visit sites from her teenage years like the Auckland Art Gallery, a favourite.

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 10.11.36 am

The beautiful Coromandel Coast where my mum and I grew up X

My mum would then take me to one of her favourite cafes in Parnell Village for hot chocolate and cake.

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 10.06.21 am

The nostalgic charm of Parnell Village, Parnell, Auckland.

The first and last time I saw my mother experience body shaming we were about to get hot chocolates in Parnell Village. I remember this detail because I didn’t want a hot chocolate after our encounter with two-fashion retail sales woman. I wanted to leave and hold my mum.

The doorway into their store was abnormally narrow, I glided in and then mum confronted by the fact that she could not fit easily through the door turned herself sideways and shimmied inside.

My mum smiled and looked up at the two women, I smiled too.

Then mum said, 

‘gosh that was a tight squeeze, I almost couldn’t fit in’.

The sales woman from behind her counter said,

‘well perhaps people like you shouldn’t squeeze themselves in here. There is nothing for your size in here.’

They turned and grinned at one another and smiled without any warmth in their eyes.

 

I still have feelings of sadness in my heart recounting this. I remember being so unprepared for their raw and unmasked meanness, I couldn’t believe that well perfumed and well-dressed people would say such mean things out loud.

For a moment, I saw a vulnerability in my mother that made me want to come back one day and buy that shop and fire those women. I was 14 years old and I just wanted to protect my mum.

I don’t remember what my mum said but I remember the proud carriage of her posture as we left.

I wanted to leave Parnell Village but mum hushed me and sat me down in the café directly in front of their store and ordered my hot chocolate, her coffee and two French pastries.

We sat and my mother told me to enjoy our lovely waiter, our lovely steaming drinks, our pastries and the beautiful day.

A powerful lesson I learned that day from my mum.

Their meanness did not define us or how we enjoyed our day.

The meanness of the two fashion sales women was their problem and not ours.

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 9.55.41 am

My mum and step dad pictured here together in their hometown of Coromandel

I love my mum out loud.

#family #growingup #prejudice #bodyimage #women #writing #nonfiction

I am blessed and grateful to be the daughter of a woman who has taught me how to remember to love myself fearlessly and out loud.

And to remember most importantly that with all the energy and strength I give to others to remember to love myself first.

I love my mum.

Our loneliness kills( fast fiction, a 1 minute read)

In this carriage between platforms, how far will you travel not to return?

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.05.21 pm

Nobody looks on a subway train. In a carriage you stand packed with your loneliness, where you jostle and touch without introduction. Each one of you escaping hello.

Nobody looks on a subway train  – you look up and then look down.

For if you looked on a subway train you would see me then, my hunger waiting. 

Nobody looks for the beaded cling film above my lips, or the tell of the subway-sulphur-stench, the acrid miasma of a predator in waiting.

Beads of sweat stream from my ears to my tongue, an inherited trait not unlike that of your desert lizards. Theirs built for survival against the searing heat and a desert lack of moisture. 

As Is mine. But as you shiver blue lipped before me, I rejoice. For I feast in times of plenty and that time is now.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.05.45 pm

But it’s your belief that you are a worthy opponent that entices me. All your awkward shivering a guise, you think. Your smile cleaves a path towards me, armed from a lifetime of exceeding the parochial aspirations of others. Tears undress the beat up pretty from your face, but your smile – your armoury – your smile hurts people.

     ”Ten thousand, hes’s dead”, you say.

You expect my retreat and I stay.

To survive you must retreat, but you stay.

monica

 ‘I smell weird’ you say.

My tongue worms from side to side, then smothers my lips thickening in my throat.

I am these things and more” I say. 

There’s weird and there’s smell weird and there are many freaks in here, and I am all these things and more, I say.

 

 

Thanks for reading X

All images with many thanks to Pinterest.

How do you find love, passion and yes, more sex, now that you are single?

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-10-14-33-pm

High noon blazed across the barren landscape of my bedroom. My opponent and I stood stiffened spine to stiffened spine. Now that I was single, the bedroom showdown had begun.

Like a cattleman’s whip loneliness stings my curiosity and I turn to the brutal crack of reality.

My opponent turns low, palms sweating, hands drawn and twitching, matching my speed, my centre-part and right-cheek mole.

Yep I’m playing Cowboys and Indians, in my bedroom mirror, alone.

Single and no chance of any Cowboys or Indians on this horizon. Not anytime soon. Damn!

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-9-47-39-pm

What was my first thought when I found myself ‘single’?

I would like to say my first thought was gracious and altruistic.

It was not.

It was, ‘Oh no. No more sex for me’.

cropped-screen-shot-2014-09-04-at-6-36-02-pm3

Then I remembered the ‘super secret’ tucked in my bedside cabinet. 

Sunlight probed the tortoiseshell cabinet and with one lone-fingered-nudge the drawer shuddered open.

To reveal one bar of chocolate and one gaping space. My vibrator! Gone!

Between moving house, tossing the – ‘things that no longer spark joy’, down-sizing my relationship status and child -proofing mummy’s side of the bed-I had rubbished my vibrating friend.

I tore open the chocolate bar and popped it sideways into my mouth.

On my tongue the sweet slide was … wanting.

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-10-00-14-pm

I know vibrators have limitations … they come without Ryan Gosling six-packs and their midday shadows will never loom tall, with Clint Eastwood smiles, swaggering ‘do you feel lucky, well do you?’

clint

I needed a replacement. But how? I was enroute to Uni and my morning class with hot lecturer.

A little bit of History: Today more than 70% of women own at least one vibrator. 

Just think, we owe our favourite buzzing companion’s invention, to the over worked hands of 19th century Doctors. 

Medical hand jobs were the only cure for 19th century ladies suffering from Hysteria. 

Unable to keep up with the demand and with chronic hand fatigue – Doctors required assistance.

Ask and it will be given – a gift from the gods.

Squished on a peak hour train, fast-track to Uni, between Miss Unfriendly and Mr Too Friendly a sign from the gods’ flutters on my nike airs.

The newspaper’s red letters leap – SALE/BUNNINGSsavings on bulk purchases of AA batteries.

A grinch like grin stretches the slick of my Chanel lacquered lips and sneers off all leery lurking commuters.

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-10-11-36-pm

My eyelashes batter off the armpit tendrils of  Mr No-Deodorant-Wearing, Hairy Armpit.

I whip out my phone and tap purchase.

I raise my phone triumphant above my head to screen save my checkout basket.

Lit from above, an unearthly fluorescent-pink-sheen illuminates myself and all my fellow commuters.

We stand, bathed pink, by the formidable full screen selfie, of my new vibrator.

I wish I were Spock calling Scotty, ‘Beam me up Scotty, to a galaxy far, far away’.

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-10-05-18-pm

The number one reason I found myself single: I forgot to love myself first. She loved life and it loved her right back.

screen-shot-2014-09-04-at-8-30-33-pm

Once I remembered who I was,  I forgot about looking outside of myself for love. 

In being alone I remembered I loved being me.

 Yes I found love again but if we want more love, passion, pleasure and sex in our lives, we must learn to love ourselves first.

 

  All images from Pinterest. You can find me on Pinterest here.X

Whangamata, New Zealand a surf beach like no other.

Snug in bed I smile back at the smiling majesty of Whangamata Beach stretched out languid below me. Patrolled by the sleeping giant of the Coromandel ranges the roar of fickle waves surge in snatching pockets of once crunchy-dry sand-grains.

In bed I sit in awe as the entire ocean front retreats on the horizon leaving nothing but wave print rivulets on the sand.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 4.10.41 PM

Ruled by a circadian rhythm that ebbs and swells with the moon, the beachfront at Whangamata is tidal theatre.

As the waves depart the sand holds its breath, knowing the wet embrace of a never ending repeated return.

Fickle the waves are and best you remember this at Whangamata.

Whangamata all crunchy white sand and pumping waves is home to one of the world’s most legendary surf breaks.

And there’s one other incredible challenge at home off this beach. Perched offshore there beckons a local, an island –  vigilant and wild, a temptress mocking your bravado. ‘How brave are you? She sings, a siren daring you to run the gauntlet of an empty tidal beach, ‘jump in, she says,  just do it’.

wp-1476406525193.jpeg

Offshore dejected waves rumble and collude with her ‘go on, jump in, just do it!’

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 10.59.58 AM

Non locals beware, an emptied tidal beach looks placid and calm shimmering like a hypnotic giant ice skating rink made of sand, but the dangers in the return.

The danger as all locals know is getting caught unawares by the turn of the tide.

Off the emptied shore the island beckons, run to me, you can make it, touch me, snap a bough from my cover and run back to shore, before the tide returns, run back to shore a hero.

Whangamata Beach is tidal with one of the best surf breaks in New Zealand.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 4.07.03 PM

Did I run the gauntlet, of course I did. As a kid.

Terrified – all high lifted knees and jerked elbows – adrenalin pumped full of joy. My head armed with pre-race real life stories, by  heroes who reached the island and returned.

The fact that the ocean was bursting to return was a given- Of course we knew we had to beat the ocean, and not one of us thought drowning an option. Not yet anyway.

Will I do it again?

No.

As a kid barefoot-nimble ignorance is bliss.

#surfwhangamata #taniwhanz #surfbeach #fishandchips #oysters #newzealandsurf #ilovenewzealand #ilovewhangamata

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 10.59.45 AM