Friday, 10 February 2017

The Return

    I am most definitely a nostalgia queen, but then who isn't? I think most everyone has one or two welcoming memories that brings warm, sweet comfort. My nostalgia not only lives in memories of things that happened. I am still to this day drawn to the books I read when I was a kid.

    Age should never be a determiner of when you have to put down a book. I think about Wendy from Peter Pan and how Mr Darling condemned his daughter to 'her last night' in the nursery. This was a choice that needed to come from her and not a fitful parent who he himself had forgotten how to play.

    I believe that one can grow up [mature] and still be imaginative and have the desire for play. This is an aspect that I believe grew from my generation. People growing up with computer games, and those game developers growing with those people. And we have adults with a love of collecting dolls, and vinyls that represent elements of their past. We revisit the books that we loved reading when we were children. Or, for the first time as adults we read the children's books that we might have first missed.

    At the moment I am rereading two old favourites. First there is Fourteen and Holding which is authored by Candice Ransom. I have been reading this while I do my daily 20 minute exercise quota on the stationery bike. It gets a bit boring trying to bike ride and count the number of bricks on the wall in front of me. So, I read a book instead – it makes the time pass faster. I was about nine years of age when I first read Fourteen and Holding, and while at the time it was hard for me to try something new, it became an enduring favourite to come back to many times over.

    The other past favourite that I've got on the go is Emily Climbs, by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I'm reading this one at the end of the day. On hot nights, such as it is now I like reading the Canadian descriptions and picturing myself walking around in the world that Emily inhabits. Emily Starr is lesser known than Anne Shirley from Montgomery's books, but she is one of my personal favourites.

    I put it to you, what were your favourite books from childhood?

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

World's Greatest Shave

    Last year I did something that felt rather bold. I shaved my head! That act alone was bold on a personal level. But what made the act truly great was that it was a fundraising effort for the Leukaemia Foundation: World's Greatest Shave.

    This year I'm at it again, participating in the World's Greatest Shave. There will be one difference. Since my hair is still on the short side I decided to... 
dye my hair pink!

Concept photo – imagining me with pink hair.

    Are you interested in sponsoring me, but want to know more about the World's Greatest Shave? Well, here's the word...

    By sponsoring me to dye my hair pink you are in fact giving Aussie families facing blood cancer the emotional and practical support they need. You will also help fund vital research so more people survive blood cancers like lymphoma, leukaemia and myeloma.You may not know it but blood cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in Australia, claiming more lives than breast cancer or melanoma. And every day another 35 people will be diagnosed.Sponsoring me just $52 will help ensure someone being treated in hospital gets a personal visit from a highly-trained health professional so they get the extra support they need. No matter how much you give, it’s an extraordinary way to make a difference.

It's going to be pink!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Through One Lens

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano
I was alone with my camera. Well, not really alone. I am never alone with my thoughts.
This week personal anxiety was taking a massive toll in my heartland. Fears about the future. Fear of people. Fear of taking a leap.
I stepped out on a Wednesday. Neither hot, neither cold. Neither grey, neither blue. Somewhere in between.
A bee is flying amongst the flowers. He, she, it, makes a solitary figure, but if I pull back the lens I see that is not so. There are many hovering bees all around. I’ve heard about the bees disappearing. It makes me glad that I have flowers in the garden. I should plant more flowering plants then. For the bees. Do bees enjoy the flowers the way humans do? Or is it just another day at the office for a bee?
I leave my street and head toward the shops. I see a ‘no u-turn’ sign. I am near the school. Why do people ignore that sign? Do they think the law is merely a guideline? Or do they think that rules only apply to others? There is symbolism in that sign – you can never go back. That’s sad, but it can also be a good thing. Got to keep moving forward.
Cross the street and nearing the tracks. A woman walks slowly in my direction, hunched forward on a walking frame. You know those frames that double as a seat. Those seats must be nice for resting. But I notice how hunched the people are that use the frames. 
The woman is stooped with white silvery hair that makes me think of angels and baby lambs. Her skin is feathery and delicate. She has elegant white leather gloves on. Gloves are disappearing, along with the bees. I compliment the woman on her gloves. But what I really wanted to ask was ‘can I take your photo?’. But I am too scared to ask. An opportunity lost. Too many of those. It hurts my heart.
Past the tracks and another sign is before me. I stop to read it:

Because when you
& look around,
this life
is pretty amazing.

How very Ferris Buellerian.
I was on my way to visit the vinyl shop. I change my mind.
There is a dog. He is sitting patiently waiting for his person. Only he is not a he. I later discover he is a she, after reading the collar – Trish. Trish the gorgeous. Trish the tender hearted. Trish of the honey brown amber.
I kneel to take a photo. Trish stands and walks toward me expectantly, with the heartbreakingly beautiful trust of a dog to a human. She is only held back by her tied leash. If that leash wasn’t on her there would be nothing that she couldn’t achieve.
I enter the op-shop, not far from Trish.
A woman hovers near the children’s literature near the front door. She asks me if these are the children’s books, then explains that she’s never worked here before. I say ‘yes’. Never be rude, even if the answer appears obvious. It hurts when people make me feel stupid, and refuse to give an answer. I don’t want to do that to others.
In the op-shop I find a wonderful book on three dimensional graphics. Perfecto! I was recently making something with paper. The whole family has, really. I start something wonderful, and the girls follow my lead. My interests become their’s. They become me, and I become them.
One of the women working in the shop speaks to another, commending the work of another, “That young one did a good job organising this area.” The other responds, “Did she?” Tone polite, but questioning. Perhaps she can’t see it, or doesn’t really have any further to say.

I wait to be served at the counter. I stare at a wall of plates and bowls. I want to take a photo. I want to ask permission. Fear kicks in, and the only photo I have is the one in my mind.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Finding the Words

There are things I wanted to say in the past few days but have truly struggled to find the words to express such things. Another thing blocking my ability to write was not having something to say that could either solve or sooth a situation that is dividing a massive nation. I am in deed referring to the 2016 US election. What could one person say, really?

Politics should never be treated as a joke, because getting the job of protecting all your people and finding social and economic solutions for those people is a seriously important job. So, how did it happen that a self serving, mediocre business man [I use this titles ‘business’ and  ‘man’ rather loosely], with the attention span of a… Wait! What was I saying? Yes, well… how does someone like Donald Trump alienate so many Americans and still get a majority vote? There are a hundred bullet point answers to this question, which I’m not going into because people that are ten times more qualified than me have already covered it.

What I can say is this, for any country, and not just America, this is a wake up call to what happens when the people are so disillusioned by past and current governing bodies that they would grasp at any person offering an alternative lie.

Like any country trying to support itself, America needs help, but I don’t think it can come from a man who promises destruction to those who simply said no to him. People can improve themselves, sure, if that is a personal motivation for them, but I do not see Donald Trump as a person willing to put aside his insecurities and contempt to be the leader that America needs. Winning votes is one thing. But telling angry, frustrated tax payers what they want to hear is nothing compared to the truth – that there is seriously hard work to come for the President Elect – a man who seems to be trying on different roles like he’s working through a bucket list.

It was a painful week for American’s who had hoped for another outcome, and a disappointment to friends of those Americans. Many people discovered that while democracy is fair, it doesn’t always feel right. And yet what we can learn from history is that time doesn’t stand still. What is fact now can change tomorrow. Donald Trump isn’t president yet, so until then anything can happen. He may still take the oath, but with his history of wrongdoing it is only a matter of time before he messes up his own place setting in the white house. The people have voted, but they can vote again, and again. And they will.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016


This scene from Gossip Girl was pretty much sums up my day yesterday…


Three Things

Trump is president elect.
The cat hissed.
I am eating chocolate.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Swiss Army Man

    I must admit being drawn to things a little left of centre. I am a fan of such shows and movies as Doctor WhoBlack Books, Party Down, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and almost anything that came from the imagination of Wes Anderson and that just says all you need to know about that.

    So it comes as no strange thing that I should be so very enthusiastic about this treat of a film - Swiss Army Man. It looks disturbing [in a most excellent way], magical and beautiful, and I can hardly wait to see it at the cinema. We need more films like this, yes.