30 April 2011

Domestic Goddess duties. I buy a new vacuum and roast a fish!!

Today I was a Domestic Goddess. In between sleep and eating, I was doing some housewifery. Dad would be proud.

After a week of eating dangerously - who was I kidding - I wasn't going to snap back into healthy eating after the Easter break - see exhibits A and B below...

Exhibit A: chocolate hot cross bun and butter pudding, made with chocolate hot cross buns, gooey Easter eggs and duck egg custard, served with thick vanilla custard.

 Exhibit B: the food I ate on the first night in Brisbane - a balanced meal of four plates of seafood,
 A plate of ribs, and sweet potato plus salad I didn't eat, and
A plate of desserts. Glorious. The jeans I wore on Wednesday night now do not button up.
 Plus many glasses of champagne on both nights.
 ...I thought it was time I ate healthier. So I bought some organic stuff (this plus butter and dip came to $42!). I have popcorn, lentils to cook with goat in the slowcooker, kale chips and a mix to put in my porridge.
I also bought some goat, lots of vegies, and a whole fish. I met my Dad to pick up my car and we did some leisurely grocery shopping.

Meanwhile I bought a new vacuum cleaner. And it vacuums well. I rarely by homewares so this is an exciting purchase. The old one is eight years old and stopping. This one is suitable for allergies.
 I topped up my liquor cabinet modest shelf with affordable cheap alcohol.
 And I acquired a fire blanket.
I felt so grown up - a responsible 29 year old with a new vacuum, organic food and a fire blanket. No frivolous throwaway fashion purchases today. And some more homewares from years gone by.

My Dad brought me a bag of things from my Grandparents' old unit. Poppy moved into an aged care home last month and Mum and Dad have inherited all of these interesting things from their past. There's an opal ring of Nanny's waiting to be fixed and then I'll wear it.

In the bag was this pretty plate from England. It's a bit broken but still beautiful.
 And this one from Bosnia. It's a gorgeous teal and gold.
 Those ones I'll display but this one I'll use.
 I reorganised my plates at my stove and put the peacock one on display.
 I cooked some rhubarb - this bunch was so long - a good 60 centimetres.
 I cut half a bunch of rhubarb, an apple, a sprinkle of sugar and some vanilla.
 And then the fish! Can you believe I got this whole fish - as long as the rhubarb - for $5!!!
I stuffed the fish with garlic, tomatoes, leek and lemon and seasoned it with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
 And then I roasted it in the oven.
Meanwhile I cooked some vegies in the pan. Squash, cauliflower, chickory, beans and capsicum. They were seasoned with Middle Eastern spice and olive oil.
 It came out of the oven like this, and it was delicious. The fish is Australian salmon.
I am going to eat a piece of chocolate hot cross bun and butter pudding and watch Notes on a Scandal. Enjoy your Saturday nights!

Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding. The fairytale marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I got into it just like the rest of the world, despite not taking interest in it during the lead up. I've been interstate for three days, without much time to think about these worldly issues, so my interest in the Royal Wedding began at the breakfast buffet yesterday morning before work.
 I was certainly not on the Kate Middleton diet. But I teamed with the theme and ate Eggs Royale.
And then I longed to be a princess too but the engagement ring was sold out at Diva. So Sydney Shop Girl did the honourable bridesmaidy thing and sourced me one interstate. She'll have the Royal Servants Australia Post courier mail it to me. Oh the glamour.
Just like I'll always remember where I was when I found out Princess Diana and Michael Hutchence died, and when Savage Garden split up, I'll always remember where I was when Kate Middleton and Prince William got married. I watched the Royal Wedding in a public crowd, just like when I watched Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett race at the Sydney Olympics - I was sitting at Myer Melbourne for that. Last night I stepped off the plane and had to race to a concert (oh the glamour! - hardly - I was so tired and uninspired to dress well that I threw on a stretchy dress and an anorak) so I had no time to catch the wedding at home. But I arrived in the city just in time to see Kate travel by car to Westminster Abbey. Federation Square was where it was at. On the big screen. It was beautiful.
 I arrived smack on 7.51 pm, as the car took off.
 Pippa Middleton looked stunning.

 The anticipation of the dress was chilling. Or it may have been the concrete I sat on.
 It was at this moment the crowd erupted into a mighty cheer.
 I was snapping vicariously.
 And this is where I teared up. I thought about the day I become a princess and my Dad walks me down the aisle.

 Kate Middleton is stunning.

The crowd also cheered when William and Kate met at the aisle. It was so beautiful. I saw some laughing at the alter.
I had to dash off when the ceremony started but Facebook and Twitter was giving me detailed updates in 140 characters or less. Everyone was having parties.

Kate Middleton wore Sarah Burton for McQueen.  I loved the simplicity of her dress.

I was captivated by Pippa Middleton. Stunning. 
Prince Harry is so dreamy. I wish he knew I existed. I'd make a good princess.

27 April 2011

Online deception - the one that never was

I have wanted to tell this story here for a long time. I've told some people in my life about it and I've written about it in a newspaper following submitting it for a journalism assignment. It's not a new story. But it has always been hard to find the words, to revive the memories. Last week I read an article in the Age Good Weekend supplement (originally from The Guardian). It was about creating false identities and illnesses online - Münchausen by internet to be specific. I read it on the train and felt a shudder shoot through my body when I'd finished the article. I became ready to share this story of mine. It's a long one. So stick with it.

I have only loved three men with all my heart. The one in the last year, one I'd rather forget, and the one I wrote about here and here. He came into my life on Monday 30 August 1999. I'd taken the day off school to listen to radio the debut of the rather appropriately titled I knew I loved you by Savage Garden. I knew I loved him during our first phone call on 10 November 1999, the night before my year 12 history exam. We met in person on Friday 14 January 2000. And I knew I loved him a million times more in the nine days we spent together. We kept in touch, on and off, on his terms, for five years after we met. And in July 2005, the one I still loved wasn't.

‘You’d better watch out for the quiet ones’ was a regular saying of his. He said it to me; he said it to my mother. I wondered what this meant, but did not overly focus on that detail because, to me, he was the world. He was a quiet one, and perhaps that was the reason I found him in on ICQ.

We chatted online for four months before he told me he was beginning to love me. I convinced my parents that this guy wasn’t some 70 year old paedophile (but how did I really know?) and they said I was allowed to give out our home phone number to him. He called me every night for two months, we would speak for up to seven hours at a time. The calls were about our day’s events, how we both loved each other, and how we both had unusual traits about us which made us perfect for each other. We spoke of our future. He sent me generous birthday and Christmas presents - an Opal necklace, a Savage Garden clock (a feat for a Marilyn Manson fan) and a CD of his favourite band, Coal Chamber. I bought him a lava lamp and would write him really long letters.

We arranged to meet in January of 2000 – he came from interstate to stay at my house for nine days. A big expense for an apprentice wage. He had 11 piercings and a penchant to dress like a gothic punk rocker meets the Australian cricket team. My parents, as strict as they are, though reluctant to have a stranger in their home, liked this guy as he was polite, respecting, and taught them how to sharpen their kitchen knives properly.

He was everything I hoped he'd be. Funny, cute, alternative, had a job as a chef, into cool music, smart. Different and eccentric. Gave me confidence. He was a myriad of firsts for me. I felt accepted. And loved. I still remember him and the time we spent together so vividly. He was willing to hold my hand and kiss me. Unafraid to touch me - he knew he wouldn't catch my condition. He accepted me and loved me.

When he left to go home I was devastated. Absolutely devastated. I've never seen him again.

After his stay, we remained in touch via the phone and the internet. We couldn’t continue our romance because he told me he was to become a father. He was also grateful for my online support when his mother died. He called me at ridiculous hours of the night, just to talk.

To be honest, this guy fucked me over. I was 17-18. Impressionable. Naive. Wanting to be loved.

Before we met, he told me he was going to be a father - in early January 2000 he found out his ex girlfriend was pregnant. We spoke for hours that night, we were going to make things work. He cried. I cried. Then I stupidly honestly told my parents, who flipped out. I remember the next day, my Dad was so angry. "He's not Jesus you know", Dad said about my love for him. Still, my parents let him stay after seeing him when he arrived at the airport.

When he left, he got back with his pregnant ex girlfriend. He told me about how badly she treated him, and if she wasn't pregnant we'd be together. And sometimes she'd be logging onto his ICQ account. The baby arrived, a daughter. I sent a card and a dress. He'd tell me stories of what progress she was making - milestones - first steps, pre-school, school. He'd tell me how his girlfriend left him with his daughter to be a single father.

In March 2000 his Mum died. I sent a condolence card to his house. He told me not to talk about my dog that'd just died because it upset him too much.

He told me he still loved me. He told me he wanted nothing to do with me. Then he came back. Months apart. Time after time. Calls at all hours. For six years. I remember saying to Mum that I feel he and I will always have a connection.

I had no reason to disbelieve him. Except for four things. Before we met he sent photos of himself that really looked like him but were actually of a musician. After we met he'd send me poems he wrote, and just by chance (reading a music magazine) I found out they were Marilyn Manson lyrics. I never saw photos of his daughter. And his phone would often go dead when he called me.

Six years after we first chatted online I found out that everything he ever told me was a lie. In July 2005, his then girlfriend called me soon after his phone had gone dead. She'd called before, maybe a year earlier. This time in 2005, the first thing she asked was how I knew him. She was angry. She said my number was all over his phone bills. That he spoke about me a lot.

When she calmed down and found out I was not a threat and didn't know about her (I'd always ask if he had a girlfriend and he said "no, why do you think I'm calling you?"), we got to know each other.

She revealed some truths. There was no baby, his mother was not dead - she actually lived with his mother. The mother of his 'daughter' was a woman he'd met once - and when we contacted her, she was as freaked out as we were.

He seriously fucked me over. While he hurt his then girlfriend - she left him after he 'accidentally' sent me a picture of his penis to my phone - he had shattered six years of my life too. Before I told him I found out his lies (I told him by writing a letter to both him and his parents) he would call me while his then girlfriend was in the other room. Once he called me on my mobile while she was on my home phone.

The only things I really know about him is his name, age, occupation and location. Oh, and that his warning about the ‘quiet ones’ rang true. This ‘quiet one’ was telling similar lies to other girls he met online, though none quite as large has those he told me. He had my love, so I trusted him, but he also had the distance between us in his favour, which meant that I’d probably never find out about his real identity. And he had the benefit of a saved message history to keep track of his lies.

I took it surprisingly well.  Of course I was angry, hurt, numb and sad. I can't say I grieved for the man who wasn't - I spent years before that grieving that we weren't together. I can't believe he won my parents over and that he wasn't a murderer. But on the upside I was excited to have a topic for my upcoming journalism assignment.

I asked him why he did it. Why he maintained the lies to me for six years. He said he wanted to be better than he was so I'd love him. I realised he was so unwell, aside from his drinking and drug use. A pathalogical liar. I was lucky my emotions were the only thing he harmed. Looking back, he was a regular impersonator and chameleon - wearing make up to look like his idols.

I've become friends with his ex girlfriend. We met when I was interstate in 2007. She's lovely. We had a few things in common because of his interests - books, music and sayings. We recently saw him on Facebook, looking well beyond his 30 years - so washed up. He has a real baby now. Neither of us have contacted him.

I often wonder if I hadn't found out the lies would I still have put myself through the hard times he caused with his toying? Finding out was a good thing. About a year after I found out his lies he called me at 3.00 am. I told him that I loved not having him in my life and never to call me again.

Even though this awful thing happened to me I am still so willing to form online (often to offline) relationships and trust people I meet on the Internet. I am always cautious though. You've got to watch the quiet ones.

In 2000 I wrote this poem. And it now reminds me that his lies being revealed meant I was no longer alive just to please him.
draw a life, name it blue
because sometimes it’s that way
and place me in the corner
I’ll be the one you can play with
when you’re sick of it all-
looking for something more
and I’ll obligingly return
when you tire of me
I’ll bathe in misery
to have the smallest part of you
do you want me for my plumage,
or for the idea that
I could make your mind

26 April 2011

Melbourne bloggers meet

In the spirit of meeting new people, I headed off to a bloggers meet a couple of Saturdays ago. It was sponsored by Nuffnang and hosted by Danimezza and Hello Blogger Events. It was at the Emerald Peacock - such a glamourous venue.

About 25 bloggers came and they were all so lovely. I so enjoy the new social life blogging has afforded me - both online and offline. There is always something to do.

Thanks to Danimezza for the attendees list:
Back Row: Kelly, Sharnee, Prue, Calvin, KirstieDanimezza.
Second Row: Mands, Shy Lady,  Nicole, Rhi, Emma, Karin 
Front Row: Emily, Carly, Emma's Beau, Cintia,

Here are some pictures from Hello Events' Flikr.

This is me and some of my favourite ladies of the night, Sharnee and Prue. I adore this photo <3
I hit it off so well with Sharnee and Prue, and can't wait to see them again.

Here is Nicole from Mastiff Maiden. We also got on so well.
Me posing near the birdcage.
I also spoke with Scathing Weekly who reads this blog and was so very lovely, and another lovely blogger Karin from Sleep Deprived Mum. My Poppet Shop had pretty business cards.

Something funny happened in the toilets. I am so naive about drugs and I think I heard some drug use (not by those at blogger meet):
Girl outside toilet: 'Let me iiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnn.'
Girl in toilet next to me: 'No.'
Girl outside toilet: 'Let me iiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnn. What are you dooooooooiiiiiiiinnnnnnnggg?'
Me on the toilet: 'She's probably doing a wee like I am.'
Girl outside toilet: 'No she's not.'

Tee hee :)

These pictures are taken on my camera.

We ate stacks of pizza. This was three cheeses.
 Mum stayed a while. She worried about me teetering on my heels.
 Sharnee grinning.
 My Rekorderlig made me very excited.

The beautiful Cheryl from Business Chic and Random Shit Chez stopped by. So good to see her!
 I modeled her business card on my shearling.
I had such a good time. Interesting people, fun photos, glamour and drinks. Thanks Nuffnang and Danimezza :)


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