Thank You, Women Who Write

I have maintained a blog in one form or another for nigh on five years now, not nearly as long as some around these parts, but long enough to feel some sense of belonging in my own, slightly imaginary blogging community. Due to the ridiculous amount of time I spend online I’ve noticed over the last year or so, there seems to have been a bit of a shift away from the blogs I really cut my teeth on, and the blogging scene has become decidedly spiffy-er. Of course, this is both wonderful, and a little sad as I’m finding it harder and harder to find well written and interesting blogs that are about the every day delightful hum-drum, rather than a perfectly Photoshopped version of life. I feel nostalgic for my ‘old days’, even if they were considerably newer than the days of others’.

Strangely enough, I remember the first blog I ever followed, the now sadly defunct London Makeup Girl (who appears to be infrequently around on Twitter). Lydia gave concise and helpful makeup reviews from a really pragmatic perspective and with a focus on niche brands. I really adored her approach to makeup, and it was like permission to be a feminist and interested in beauty products. As strange as it seems, she really gave me the confidence to start buying makeup from counters in department stores, whereas before I was too terrified of the perfectly eyebrowed sales assistants.

It was through a comment on her blog that I also discovered Love Audrey, an English lifestyle blog to whom I have linked many times before. Franky was the exact type of blog I adored – thoughtful, fun, and willing to talk about the not quite so delightful aspects of being a student. Makeup FOTD photos in weird lighting before she became so good with her new camera, outfit shots, delicious recipes and giggly posts about heading out in London with her friends. I’ve read regularly for years now and in the last 18 months her blog has definitely changed, undergoing a major redesign that I totally adore. I honestly look forward to her posts the most out of the many blogs I follow, but I do miss the days when she was around more often!

When Franky got engaged she led me to Love My Dress, the inimitable wedding blog that I not-so-secretly read for two years before getting engaged. I know, I am almost embarrassed to admit that, but I don’t really care because the love Annabel has poured into that blog over the years has been a wonderful thing to be a part of. Love My Dress has also been redesigned a couple of times since I began reading, and there is something to be said (I’m not sure what, but hey) about remembering an old design, it’s kind of a ‘you weren’t there man’ feeling, and of being one of the original fans, even though of course I wasn’t. Annabel has recently advertised for new writing interns for Love My Dress, something I would adore to do. I began an application as well, only to come to the conclusion that I simply cannot  keep piling more work onto my plate, especially next year, even if I was lucky enough to get a place. So that may stay as a pipe dream for some time.

All of my favourite blogs are written by women. Most of them are written by women who live varied and interesting lives, which is fantastic, but quite unreasonably sad for me. Many have ceased to write, or dropped the frequency of their posting drastically because they’re out actually living their lives. How dare they. I’ve noticed the absence of their voices in my life. So this post is  a little tribute to those bloggers, as well as the ones linked to above and many, many more.

The Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha List of Bloggers I Wish Were Around More

London Makeup Girl – the blog is now defunct and so no link! 🙁 Twitter link above

Modesty Brown Loves Makeup

Belgian Waffle – who incidentally I met once, but was too shy to speak to, and having read her blog since, I suspect she was too!

Dempeaux – who lives near my hometown in country WA

The Velvet Bow/The Peach House – a friend!

Not Enough Mud

Parlez Vous Moo

Please Don’t Eat With Your Mouth Open

Irretrievably Broken

Happy Sighs

Blabbermouse – possibly the second blog I ever followed.

Blogging has given me a wonderful new creative outlet, and has kept me feeling connected to other women throughout periods of massive change in my life. I’m so grateful for women who write.

For The Love of Cake

IMG_0332

IMG_0335

IMG_0331
IMG_0339

Time for some totally unrelated snaps and another round up of dubious interest to you all. The scale of this weekend has been quietly epic, and I find myself reeling from the emotional highs and lows, that is, I would if reeling consisted of 90 minutes’ semi-inebriated blog reading.

DOWN:

My father was rushed to hospital earlier in the week and while he appears to be thankfully on the mend, I just about lost my shit thinking terrible thoughts waiting in the emergency department at 6:30am Saturday morning. Parents aren’t supposed to feel pain. They’re supposed to be mercifully invincible, at least I’m pretty sure that’s what it said on the tin. A big DOWNer for this weekend, that’s for sure.

I am one week away from qualifying as a teacher, and whilst in itself this is an UP, I am so enormously fatigued by the whole experience that my enthusiasm for having any career that does not involve laying in bed is at an all time low. This is really a dreary post, I do apologise.

The requisite teenager type whinge: because my Dad has been unwell, I haven’t had the opportunity to drive anywhere as I need someone with a license to accompany me as a condition of my learner’s permit. This is a serious drag, I was just getting the hang of the whole ‘driving’ thing, and I confess I am rather less willing to put up with general public transport goings on. My life is dragging before my eyes.

I have to fly to the other side of the GD country (Sydney) to submit my application for a Polish passport. Quite inconvenient, given the size of Australia, and also quite expensive. A nice little surprise too, don’t you just love it. I wish my agent had mentioned it at some point, you know, in the whole freaking year we’ve been working together.

Mr Hello is STILL IN ENGLAND which is entirely expected, but becoming rather less acceptable every day. For god’s sake if you ever want to have some kind of pleasant life, do NOT for the LOVE OF CAKE get into a long distance relationship. Your perception of everything becomes skewed by constantly looking through god-this-is-boring coloured glasses. Three weeks and three days. Come at me bro.

UP:

3 WEEKS AND THREE DAYS.

ONE WEEK until I have a bonafide career. Soon the whole “gizza job” debacle will commence, but ho, delightfully not a problem for a few more weeks.

I haven’t looked at my bank balance for a few days so let’s pretend I am rich! Huzzah! Cake for everyone.

I went for a drink with A, my mentor teacher on prac and had rather a nice glass o’ wine. It really is pleasant meeting new people and getting to know them. I really enjoyed myself and the show was wonderful. It was Those Who Fall In Love Like Anchors Dropped Upon The Ocean Floor at The Blue Room Theatre in Northbridge. Utterly charming, a lovely and innovative set and delightful performances by all. Definite thumbs up.

Another pleasant thing happened that night, come to think of it. I had been telling A at school that my favourite play of all time is in fact The Crucible by Arthur Miller, and that I’d seen a wonderful production of it at the now-demolished Playhouse Theatre in Perth. I also saw the production starring Richard Armitage at The Old Vic in London earlier this year – production in the round, totally delightful – and lo and behold, A’s friend who was with us was Mary Warren in the Perth production, alongside on of the stars of Those Who Fall in Love! How weird is that? Spooksville if you ask me.

On that note, this is where I leave you. I am not at my finest right now, but if I can eke out the last of my motivation to last this week, I will make it. Time for a cuppa.

In Which I Try to Be a Blogger

There seems to be, in my humble opinion, a certain type of status that comes with being a ‘blogger’. Not a person who writes a blog, but a blogger. I am rather susceptible to a bit of the ol’ green eyed monster every now and then when it comes to other peoples’ blogs, I won’t deny it. But every now and then I brought firmly back to earth, and to the knowledge that when comparing those who have blogs and the ever jealous making bloggers, I am most certainly in the former camp.

Take these series of photographs, for example. Several days ago I thought I would try out a modest photoshoot, to see if I too was capable of having swoon worthy photography gracing the pages of this here weblog.

awkward2

Nope. Can’t see my face, too much shrubbery, and plus…that’s a decidedly strange pose you’ve got going there girl.

awkward1

Also in the NOPE pile. Firstly, it’s an unflattering angle of a new top I dearly regret impulse buying, and secondly, that stupid look on my face is clearly the results trying to look natural while I fake brushing my hair off my face. 

awkward3

Too far.

awkward4

Too close. Plus a slightly deer-in-the-headlights-what-have-I-become look about me. Dainty finger pose too.

ok1

This one I admit, is acceptable. I like that my face seems to realise what a ridiculous thing I am trying to do. The top looks slightly better, and I’m doing something rather attractive with my shoulders. I like it. I like my one average photo!

I could say something calming and reflective here about how during this process I realised that I don’t need to strive to replicate other peoples’ blogs, because we’re all different and rah rah rah unique gifts rah rah. But I won’t, because if I am honest, I do wish I had a shiny pretty happy blog. I do wish I knew how to take great photos of my carefully curated life, but I don’t. More to the point I honestly probably wouldn’t, either, even if I had the requisite skills.

I feel very much a part of a huge blogging community, having blogged in some way or another relatively consistently for four years, but more so because I’m a consumer of blogs. Maybe my best role in the blogosphere is to support others who do it  better. To put some love out there for people who plan and publish content more regularly than I. I don’t feel bad about that in the least, and so for now, I’m reminding myself to be pretty content with my one average photo, and my average little blog.

 

Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis: Race Report

Because I am what is known as a totally very serious runner don’t you know, I thought it would be vital for my loyal blog following to get an in depth report of my longest fun run to date. Jokes aside, what is a personal blog if not a space online where I can reflect on my life? I’m really proud of what I achieved today, and so lucky you, you’re going to hear all about it.

I spent yesterday dithering around and relaxing, which was much needed after an intense week at school rehearsing and then with 2 performance nights for my lovely drama girls. I felt pretty relaxed about the run, but a little bit nervous that I hadn’t managed to get out and train as much as I had liked, partly due to school and partly because of my recovery from shin splints. So I decided to myself that I wasn’t setting too many goals for myself, and was just going to take it as it came, so to speak. In my secret part of the brain – you know, that bit where you lie to yourself – I hoped to do the full 8kms without walking, and in under an hour.

IMG_0572.JPG

I got to Perry Lakes Reserve at about 8:15, for a 9:15 start, as they’d cautioned crowds and for some strange reason I really wanted a race T-Shirt! I’d walked there, so used it as an opportunity to get a nice slow warm up. I’d had a niggle in my right ankle on Saturday, and I could feel it again this morning, so wanted to give myself as long as possible to get warm and prevent a further flare up. The walk took longer than I expected, but in spite of that I was ridiculously early and found myself at a loose end after the ordeal of the 30 second encounter of checking my name off and getting my T-Shirt. Glad I listened to their advice about crowds….er….

The crowd did perk up after a bit, and very soon it was time for a group warm up and we headed over to the starting arches, which were weirdly inflated, but resting on the ground. I don’t think they were quite ready for the hordes to descend! In terms of organisation, it would have been great for the MC to spell things out a little better for the racers, by pointing out exactly where the start line was. I managed to get to the right spot by following the crowds, but when you’re psyching yourself up for a run, feeling like you don’t know where you’re going is not the greatest!

IMG_0574.JPG

The route was fantastically well marked, however, and this is the time where it can be quite helpful not being the fastest person there – you just follow the pack. There were heaps of helpers dotted around the course as well, armed with high fives and smiles – I never realised how much they actually help! I got a little cheer from the waiting 4km route crowd as I made my way past the half way mark, which was totally invigorating. At the very least, it made me too embarrassed to stop and walk – I just had to keep running!

Get ready for a photo of me looking SPECTACULAR mid-run:

IMG_0575.JPG
believe it or not: I was trying to *not* look as bad as I felt

 

IMG_0576.JPG

I found the second lap a lot easier, I found my stride and started to enjoy it more. Even though I walked part of the second lap, I used my Run Keeper app updates to keep me on track. I started the race with an average of 6:10 per km, which was great but I knew from the beginning was unsustainable. By the last couple of kilometres my average was up to 7:06 and I really wanted to try and get it down into the 6 minute range again by the end. Alas, not to be, but at 7:03 I’m not too disappointed. I was suffering terribly with blisters on the soles of my feet by then and so just remaining on the trot was a win!

IMG_0578.JPG

IMG_0580.JPG
The best lollipop in the whole world. Much needed.

I really pushed myself for the last 300m, and went from a shuffley jog to a proper run home. This is something I’ve taken from my primary school days – even if you’re at death’s door, you bloody well run it home. Finish strong. I was chuffed to bits to make it under the hour, and it felt great to raise a bit of cash for a worth cause.

Stats:

8km in 56:34

Average pace per km: 7:03 ~ PB!!

Course: Flat route around Perry Lakes Reserve, Nedlands Perth.