A Coburger Guide to the 3058

I first came to Coburg seven years ago, crawling out of the Bell Street train station early on a Monday morning, desperately looking for any possible way to supress the hangover I was nursing. After a quick freshen up – a term I’d use loosely for my attempts that morning – at a friend’s house, I ventured onto the streets (Sydney Road specifically) in search of delicious carbs to soak up the excess alcohol floating about in my system. From the moment I began looking about, I fell in love – and not just because there was some form of bread from every culture on earth within walking distance; I was excited by the view of the city skyline from the Bell Street Sydney Road intersection, the bustle of the community living their life and the energy of the suburb, like nothing you’d ever find in quiet old Adelaide. I was sold, and a year later I was calling this place home. I quicky realised that the area had a personality all of its own; I had never lived somewhere that felt like it was so alive in every aspect and so distinctive from the places around it – a very Melbourne way for a suburb to be, I soon discovered. I was in love with Coburg, quirks and all. 

But, after six years, two apartments and more Labneh pizza than one person should healthily consume in their lifetime, I need to say goodbye. Look, I’m not exactly going far, in fact the new place is only a 12-minute drive, but in Melbourne terms that may as well be miles away.  

All of this change got me reminiscing about this place that I’ve called home for the past while, thinking about just what makes it unique and what it means to be a local, so I began to construct a list. It’s certainly not comprehensive and without being exclusive, I’d hazard to guess that any long-term resident (colloquially known as a Coburger) could relate to the following…

  1. You have a go-to favourite out of Afghan Charcoal Kebab and Melbourne Kebab Station (but you know that the kebabs are actually better at Muzzys…)
  2. You’ve witnessed a crime unfolding right before your eyes 
  3. Despite point number 2, you’ve always felt safe, even walking home late at night
  4. You’re not ashamed to admit that you’ve witness pigeons banging in Victoria Mall more times than you’ve had sex yourself
  5. You’ve encountered (and are probably friends with) a person who spends more money caring for their rescue greyhound than it cost for your parents to raise you
  6. You’ve developed multiple theories about the true operating nature of the many jewellery stores along Sydney Road
  7. You’ve lay awake in bed on any given night of the week listening to the sound of fireworks and just wondered “but why?” 
  8. You’ve visited the Bell Street doctor for any completely random ailment and always walked away with a painkiller prescription that you’re not sure if you want or need
  9. You’ve wandered along Merri Creek after a heavy rain and spotted a bike lodged in a tree
  10. You know that it’s a dead heat between Coburg Charcoal King and Tasty Rooster for the title of ‘World’s Best Chips’ and so you often grab a serve from each, just to cover all bases
  11. You know exactly where this photo was taken:

  12. You have at least one “classic story” involving an incident that occurred in the number 19  
  13. You love the idea of the Farmers Market and think it’s damn nice, but your wallet sensibly draws you back to the Coburg Market for fruit and veg every time  
  14. You know that the Post Office and Woodlands are both a great choice, but you’ve gone out of your way to get a vanilla slice at the Drums
  15. In the same way that Australian’s broadly stick to a made up story about Drop Bears, all Coburgers spin a similar yarn about Bin Chicken Island 
  16. You always carry cash on you just in case you get home late and need to make a stop by Uncle Joes
  17. You do wonder how so many local businesses have managed to defiantly stay ‘cash only’ – but then you quickly remember where you are
  18. You’ve wandered past a group of people anxiously waiting to begin the Pentridge Ghost Tour and you’ve probably got at least one friend who had a relative locked up in the very same prison some years ago
  19. You don’t line up for fancy overpriced food at excessively hyped city restaurants, but you do line up to get into the Olympic Swimming Pool on a hot day (or you’ve set your alarm to make sure you’re right at the front and avoid the rush) 
  20. You learned never to ask if or why there are more helicopters around than usual.

Without a doubt, there is so very much that I have missed. Everything shared is out of so much love and respect for this special part of the world, for its people, places and community spirit, something that I am truly thankful for and will miss with all my heart. 

Aldi Special Buys Saturday: A Cultural Phenomenon

Dear reader, friend and foe, I recently experienced a cultural phenomenon I thought only existed in American movies and pre-online shopping myth. I was caught in a throng of thirsty bargain seekers, early one morning out the front of a suburban Aldi, anxiously awaiting access to their famed special buys range.

It was a vacuum cleaner that I was seeking, you see, which prompted me to awake early and arrive at the store promptly by 8.20am.


As I pulled my car into the carpark, through the haze of a light early summer rain I could already see the crowd growing. I managed to park close to the entrance, initially deciding that the safest option would be to shelter in my car until the doors opened. As the numbers of shoppers arriving increased, I started to grow nervous; what if they too were searching for the perfect vacuum cleaner to fill the void in their life? A void yearning to be filled with a Dyson but operating on an Aldi budget. These people were suddenly my competition and I needed to cement my spot in the line to ensure that I could claim my dust busting prize.


I slid out of my car, attempting to join the crowd without notice. I spotted a number of people with sack trolleys; this was not their first special buys rodeo. At first, I assumed that they would not be my competition – “who needs a sack trolley to carry a vacuum cleaner?” I mused, “surely they must be after a bigger prize.” I then began to doubt my judgement, wondering if perhaps they were planning to buy vacuum cleaners in bulk. I began to regret not squeezing in some fitness training to prepare for this event.


Talk of dogs and vicious dog breeds is shared between three of the most dedicated and practiced looking bargain hunters. They speak loudly, clearly an attempt to assert their dominance. It seems to be a strange topic to bond the trip however other shoppers listen in with genuine interest, working to interject when they can; perhaps in years to come, anthropologists will discover that in times of crisis such as this, humans attempt to bond by sub consciously bonding to stand united – or we may never know the motives for this bizarre bogan dog chat.


A woman who we will assume is named Beryl mentions the low prices of bananas that she spots through the window – an attempt to ease the tension or a genuine observation, we’ll never know. I’m not even sure it is a good price for bananas. You’d hope that by age twenty-nine I would know what a ‘good price’ for bananas is however I’m just not at that level yet.


A woman is jostling to inch in front of me, using her trolley to poke me out of the way. I turn to give her a look that I hope gently and politely says “fuck off this is my turf”. She points upward to indicate that she is moving because of the rain however to me the fall seems minimal; she is being sneaky and manipulative and as threatened as I feel for the fate of my vacuum, I have to admire her ingenuity.


The doors open and for a moment I think that it will be calm, but the crowd begins to rush, so I too pick up the pace.


A man who we can assume is called Davo has led the pack, he’s charging through with his sack trolley, bouncing quickly despite his weathered appearance; “Grab the washing machine Beryl, I’ll get the upright freezer” – of course he and Beryl are a team. They seemed to hide it well outside, a strategy that I pause momentarily to admire and note for future special buy Saturday expeditions.


I grasp my prize, the 2 in 1 stick vacuum of my dreams. I hold her tight as I walk around the store and an older Greek couple holding the same vacuum cleaner catch my eye. We both exchange a look which says, “you did well fellow shopper, now let’s hope to shit that this is worth the $70 price tag and early morning jostle or it’s back to the dusty drawing board for us.”


Before I leave, I grab three lemons; at the time it seems like the logical thing to buy with a vacuum cleaner. In retrospect, it seems ill thought out. My ability to confidently hold this combination of items is non-existent.


The checkout boy has bathed in after shave – slightly fancier than Lynx Africa but still reminiscent of school busses and shopping malls at 4pm. He has tattoos on his arm – batman and comic characters and stretchers in his ears. This shit wouldn’t fly at Coles or Woolies but this is Aldi, the bad boy of supermarkets. Their staff sit on chairs, anything goes at a place like this.


I exit the store to see a guy with a washing machine load it into the boot of a hatch back, it protrudes out the back, but he has an innovative solution. Packing tape is used in a futile attempt to close the boot and keep the item in place. I hope for his sake that the police aren’t nearby, but considering the suburb, I don’t think his odds are great. I sigh and hope that he doesn’t hurt anyone or ever reproduce, lest his DNA be carried on to another generation.


I leave with cleaner, happy and proud. I fought the good fight, I won myself a coveted prize and you know what? Now I’ve done it once, I’ll probably be back for the snow wear sale in May.

The (almost) Relationship Ending Fart

Three days ago I involuntarily unleashed a sound and scent from my body that caused me to question my ability to love myself. I couldn’t even begin to think about how it affected my boyfriend who was standing a mere meter away. Sure, I’ve farted in front of him plenty of times before – hell; I’ve probably even farted on him, but this fart was different on so many levels.
Never before have I released gas that would have caused an echo if we were in a canyon. The noise rung out for longer than it takes for most British royalty to be announced – in fact that fart itself probably deserved its own royal title – it certainly was impressive. Though I can’t say my boyfriend felt the same way and as soon as the last note rang out I could feel a change between us – and it wasn’t just that the temperature had risen thanks to an increase in warm gasses, no it was something more complex than that. At first I didn’t think too much on it – he was on his way out the door to work but as I went to kiss him and he pulled away exclaiming “god it even smells bad too” and promptly walked out the door, I started to think that something was truly wrong.
As I continued my morning, spending far more time thinking about the fart than I should have, I began to wonder, would this be the gas that broke the camel’s back? Had my flatulence caused an irreparable rift between us? Would he ever be able to hold me tight again without being worried that he would squeeze another one out, producing further discomfort for his airways? I almost certainly ruled out ever being proposed to at that point – what if when gently placing the ring on my finger he gently tugged on it by accident?
Sure it was his idea to have Indian food the night before – so he couldn’t really blame anyone but himself. Everyone knows that Vindaloo is the ultimate wind breaking dishing, he really should have had a bit more foresight when jumping on Menulog but I guess I couldn’t lay the blame on him entirely, I could have held it in for a few more moments, though the sheer relief of letting that beast rip certainly can’t be put into words – despite the stench it caused.

He isn’t innocent either – I mean love is all shaved legs, tidy lady (and man) gardens and sweet smelling perfume when you’re first trying to impress each other but as soon as you shack up that seems to go out of the window. Never have I lived with a man who sheds so much body hair all over the house – I know the local plumber just as well as I do the guy at the bottle shop (which is pretty well, in case you needed clarification), my last live in boyfriend had less body hair than a baby dolphin and now I share a home with a yeti. He may be an adorable one, but he’s a messy yeti none the less.  Staring at clumps of man hair in the shower is gross. As is having to yell for him to bring you toilet paper because you’re stuck on the loo with none, as he neglected to replace the roll after his last visit – so maybe he deserved the fart. Yeah, unbeknownst to me at the time, it was a revenge fart – for all the times that he’s been an icky manly man. One time he even drooled on my pillow, so yeah, he deserved to suffer through that stench – and instead of being ashamed of my fart I decided to Google the world’s longest fart. I’ve got a bit of training to make it to the 2 minute, 42 second world record but luckily there are plenty of useful food options within a short stroll.

P.S somehow he still loves me…which I think says a lot about him, but I’ll leave it up to you to work out what that actually is.

Interview with Toby Oliver

Originally published on Scenestr.

‘Get Out’, the hit directorial debut from comedian Jordan Peele has received rave reviews, wowing critics both here and in the US.

Mixing both horror and comedy, the film presents moments of true spine-tingling fear mixed with well-crafted jokes to create a thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and thought-provoking piece of film.

Behind the scenes, the film had a distinctly Australian presence in the form of cinematographer Toby Oliver who worked on ‘Get Out’, helping to create the stunning visuals that bring the story to life. Being that the film has been an absolute run-away success has meant that Toby has, in his words “taken the industry by surprise in many ways”.

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Jordan Peele – Image © Universal Pictures

Having entered the horror genre first by working on ‘Wolf Creek 2’ and then working on a number of films for Blumhouse, the production company behind ‘Get Out’, Toby helped to create a mood that in the film that was genuinely creepy.

While Toby thought the script was “pretty good” after the first read, he never could have anticipated how successful the film would end up being. “[Director Jordan Peele and I] were on the same page as far as the visual treatment for the film and we just took it from there. But we had no idea it would be such a huge success – of course it had the ingredients but it really has just taken off.”

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Image © Universal Pictures

Toby believes that the success of the film has a lot to do with the timing of its release. “The social issues that Jordan tackles in the film and the lingering racism that exists in the US and elsewhere is the key to the movie’s success. The way that he is able to wrap up the discussion into an entertaining piece of work with elements of comedy, thriller and horror genres while tackling these issues without it seeming too heavy-handed is very clever. While it was all there in the script, the proof was in the pudding once Jordan got into the editing room and structured it all together. I do think audiences are ready for this kind of storytelling.”

Toby has worked on a number of horror films recently for Blumhouse, and while mentioning that he wasn’t traditionally a fan of the genre, he has found that it is a great genre to work in as a cinematographer. “Visually it has incredible scope to create pretty powerful images because the impact of a horror experience comes from the visuals – what you see and what you don’t see”.

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Image © Universal Pictures

Likewise, having previously worked in the Australian film industry provided useful knowledge about what it takes to work on tight budgetary constraints – ‘Get Out’ had a small budget of only $5 million and a main shoot of only 23 days – constraints which Toby believes encourage resourcefulness and discipline: “You think of smarter ways of doing it which can sometimes be better than if you had a much bigger budget… In ‘Get Out’ it meant having to consider ways of doing things efficiently, especially the lighting – it’s a real balance. As a Director of Photography you have to make some compromises and at certain point just let the Director start shooting.”

Finally, when asked about the future he explains that the success of the film has opened up a lot of opportunities; “it’s been a great ride with ‘Get Out’.”

Snag a Snag: The Lazy Girls Eating Guide

Today I stopped by Bunnings just to get a sausage. I wandered in the door to make it look like I had a legitimate reason to be there and all I did was pat a dog (yes, people can and do take their dogs to Bunnings, note to single men out there, take your dogs to Bunnings, it is an excellent place to pick up).

Once I felt like I’d done enough to disguise my reason for visiting, I jumped in line, surrounded by people balancing bags of soil, new plants to shove in their garden and genuine power tools. There I was, empty arms, free hands ready to grab the snag as it was placed in front of me. I certainly didn’t feel even a pang of guilt (okay, maybe just a little…)

You see, the only thing that I’d achieved so far at that stage in the day was getting out of bed, showering (the thoroughness of which could be questioned) and meeting a friend for brunch. Yep, you read that correctly; I ate fancy hipster brunch (I paid $14 for a toasted sandwich that, granted, tasted like it had been carefully constructed by heavenly angels) and as that substantial yet probably overpriced jaffle was still digesting, I took a detour on my way home just so that I could shove a charity snag down my gullet too. $2.50 is what I directed towards the Mile End Rotary Club (I’m not sure of their profit margin, maybe they only made 50c out of that interaction, maybe they pocketed $2).

I think guilt and shame were probably the two biggest things I felt at that moment, closely followed by confusion as to why I felt so strongly about having consumed a sausage in any way at all. Surely I had more important things to be concerned about? Nah not really, it was a Saturday afternoon and I’m a middle class white woman. Sure there are still plenty of challenges facing us but I have a strict “feminism in business hours only” policy (I’ll explain it some time, but it’s the weekend now so I can’t) so I was feeling fairly care free.

One thing I do know about myself is that regardless of how full I am, there are certain things that I will always make room for in my stomach; brie, double brie, triple brie, vintage cheddar with pickled onions, chocolate covered pretzels and Bunnings sausages. So help me God if all of those things are readily available in the one location at the one time.

Should I feel ashamed about the power that my tastebuds hold over me? From an ethical stand point, probably. From a social stand point though? Nah, get stuffed. Life was made for living and Bunnings sausages were made for binging on. There’s just something about them that makes them way better than the snags that you’ll consume at a family BBQ but I just can’t put my finger on it…oh yeah it’s the relative anonymity (if you choose a Bunnings far away enough) and the lack of judgment from Aunty Joan; “If you eat another bite you’ll never look good in a white dress dear.” Oh shut it sugar, at least I’ve still got time to fix myself, you made that mistake 20 years ago sweets – and it wasn’t your ass that was the problem, it was your face. Yeah.

Despite the fleeting confused feelings earlier in the day, at home later I realised; when you can make a microwave meal without double checking the box instructions then you know you’re in a special place in life. You’ve been eating meals of sadness just long enough to be aware exactly how they should be prepared but not long enough to just hit up eat now or Uber Eats every day (that’ll come in about three months time).
I’m not stuck in that place forever but that’s where I found myself today. And shit, they’re getting so good at making meals in a box that I rekon I’ll just stay home and dodge queues at the hardware store – especially if someone starts a delivery service where an average looking guy brings over a dog and lets you pat it and suddenly you think he’s an absolute hunk.


New Year New Me? Nah, Same Me, New Date

“The Final Countdown” by Journey is blasting from my tiny iPad speakers and I have no one to blame except myself. I was the one who selected the “Ultimate NYE Party” playlist from the plethora of options on Spotify and it’s a decision that I’m sticking with, despite the current outcome.
2016 is at a close and it’s a year that most people would rather forget – at least based on what I see on my Facebook newsfeed that is. I dunno though, as a whole I don’t think it was so bad. I mean, sure we as a society (all of us) made some pretty horrific moves in the political sphere, the time came to say goodbye to some of our heroes (Bowie hit me the hardest in case you were wondering, after that it was like “oh yeah that sucks” for the entire 11 months) and the power went out a few times but personally I don’t think the year wasn’t so bad.
I mean sure, you can look at the negatives or you can find the small victories – for example, I just read an article about a woman the same age as me who has NEVER BEEN DRUNK IN HER LIFE and DOESN’T DRINK ALCOHOL because she chooses not to. In the article she listed all the positive things that have come of this and as I contemplated that, I nodded and thought “I could do with a drink”, I mixed myself a Kahlua and milk and thought “good for you, but that’s not for me” AND I HAVE THAT FREEDOM so that’s a small win.
I hate to sound like an advice column and I hate to give advice because I hardly have anything figured out, so why should I tell you what to do? That being said, I do know a few things for sure; a year is just a way that we arrange our time, it shouldn’t dictate what you are capable of, what you can achieve or how you feel.
I’m pretty stoked with the shit that I achieved this year but that didn’t stop me having times where I felt useless, like a complete failure, continually anxious and like hiding under my covers and not coming out ever again (and yeah, lots of people I know are surprised whenever I mention this kind of thing, I promise that they ridiculously high and positive personality that you see most of the time is genuine, but so is the other stuff, no person is one dimensional). But I didn’t say “I’ll be better next week / month / year” I chose to feel better when I felt better, to work towards the end goal of healing myself rather than healing myself by an end date. “New year, new me” now we all know that’s a bit bull shit – while your problems won’t be solved in a single moment and yes, things do take time, the ticking of a clock and the flip of a calendar isn’t the kind of time that I’m referring to.
How do you solve the entire worlds problem without having an end date, I hear you ask. The answer is that you don’t (and if that’s what you’re worried about then you’re only going to put yourself through more suffering, trust me, been there, done that, cried myself to sleep heaps of nights) but you can surround yourself with absolute legends and just look after yourself and the ones you love. You rock and you should know that.
Now, time for things to get personal with a little roll call to the folks who rocked my world this year:

  • Ew. Gross, yucky, I LOVE YOU. That’s all.
  • Ma & Pat. You are the coolest folks, so motivated & a wicked inspiration, the true embodiment of turning your passion into your job and still winning at life.
  • Best. Brother. Ever. Always there to lend a hand and share a bottle of red.
  • All the Norton Clan. How did I get so lucky?
  • Emmy bear, you resilient little girl, hold on through 2017. The real world is better than High School.
  • Stacey, Hannah, Moe & Linda, the people who I have known for the longest time who have stayed through all the changes I have made in the last year or two and have always encouraged me and checked in. That I do truly appreciate.
  • The Raucous Caucus crew – I felt so lucky to get to try writing for TV in 2016 and have the opportunity to realise that this is something that I am (kind of) good at (maybe) and want to pursue in the future!
  • The work girls – you made that place bearable and will forever be grateful!
  • Bec Taylor – you get a mention because you told me to write this. You’re the kinda girl that pushes me to be a better citizen of the world, you rock.
  • Comedy people – people I met through comedy, performed with, drank with or anyone who laughed at something I said or did this year, even if that wasn’t always my intention, you guys make my dreams come true.

That’s all, whatever you do tonight remember that it’s just another night and like every other night of your life it certainly deserves to be great!

Embarrassing tales of Christmas’ past.


Merry Christmas my loves, at this time, this precious beautiful time of year, let us all take a moment to remember the special moments of festive seasons past. I hope my reflections help you too, to reminisce about the times that you wished you could swap families, go into witness protection or simply disappear, never to be heard from ever again.


First of all, let’s go back to last Christmas, when you (okay, me) got drunk with some of your aunties. One of them revealed that she can read palms (knowledge passed on from generations before) so you were keen to know your future and held out your hand. After gazing at your palm for a moment she declared, in front of family that “you are a very sexual being” – a conversation best reserved for friends rather than family but one which you survived none the less.


Now let’s kick back to a couple of years ago, when you had an afternoon Christmas lunch with colleagues. What a grand old time it was. Drinks and merriment were shared. On the way to catch the bus home you bumped into some old mates (friends of friends to be precise) and they convinced you that tequila shots and a strip club at 6pm would be a great idea. By 8pm you had vomited out of a taxi window and declared, in front of your parents at their work Christmas party “I’m gonna use my University degree to become a stripper” – I am not proud of my actions.
I believe at some stage that night I vomited on a cat.

Aged 21. Hungover.



As an incredibly self conscious teenager I believe there was a Christmas spend it a cousins backyard swimming pool in which I didn’t realise white bathing suits could lead to embarrassment. Lest we forget.

At some stage in my teenage years I had two UDLs while hiding in a bush at the Stirling Christmas pageant and genuinely believed I was drunk. That in itself is incredibly shameful.

Prior to that, aged 14 I chucked a tantrum because I received a t-shirt that I didn’t like. It was the 2000s so of course it had a sassy slogan on it. The t-shirt said “it’s all about me” and I sulked – not at all comprehending the irony of that situation.

Aged 19. Beginning to lose self-awareness.


There are probably plenty more festive moments that would haunt me if they unexpectedly popped into my head, so I choose to block them out, thanks to selective memory and years of therapy. In order to keep up the tradition of making a dick of myself at Christmas time I intend to use the following joke on as many people as I can at this afternoons work Christmas party before they tell me that “perhaps you should come back when the office re-opens next year” – here goes (feel free to adopt it for your own use should you have the same end game):
What does your job have in common with Christmas?
I don’t know Alicia, what could that be?
You do all the hard work and the fat, rich man in a suit takes all the credit.


Thank you and good night x

Ten Thoughts I’ve Had While Moving House

Hello Internet, I am moving house! Probably not news if you’re my Facebook friend though, since I’ve posted about 50 million status updates attempting to give away my furniture over the course of the last five weeks but that’s beside the point (however if you’re after a queen sized bed frame or a lounge, hit me up!). I digress.
Moving sucks. It sucks the big one. I’ve only been in this place for three years but I managed to accumulate so much crap (okay a lot of it was left here by my ex – a.k.a he of poor taste and excessive amounts of novelty aprons) SO. MUCH. CRAP.
I would estimate that I’ve taken around 25 garbage bags worth of stuff (that is probably not actual crap) to the op shop and chucked around 10 bags straight into the bin. Aren’t humans terrible consumption machines?
Once again, I digress. So here are some of the things that have popped into my mind as I’ve trawled through it all…

  • I don’t have much stuff, I can totally fit my entire life into my Ford Fiesta.
  • Actually would two moving vans be excessive? Better make it three for good luck.
  • I’ll need to get rid of some clothes, this should only take an hour or so…*five hours later* “can someone please cut me out of my year 12 formal dress? It seems I gained some weight at some stage in the last seven years”
  • Ohh look it’s the diary I kept from the age of 14 to 16, this should be filled with all kinds of juicy memories…*three hours later* “Okay, I was either the most boring teenager in the world or incredibly paranoid that my parents would read this…I’m hoping it was the latter”
  • OMG I loved this top when I was twelve, I wonder if it still fits. Yep, fits. I sure was a chubby twelve year old. Tie dyed dolphin t-shirts are cool, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
  • Hmm does out of date medication still work? And is it okay if it has someone else name on it?
  • I wonder if old Kinder Surprise toys are worth anything?
  • PAUSE – sorry, I zoned out for a bit, I was watching the Spice Girls movie on VHS. I still have a video plays – how crazy is that?!
  • Who was Richard and why do I have a pair of ladies underwear with ‘his’(?) name on the tag?
  • Hmmm do you think people would pay actual money for an urn full of Grandma’s ashes? Also, why do I have an urn labelled ‘grandmas ashes’ – both my Grandma’s are alive…


I Tried The Curry at Snowtown Servo (So You Didn’t Have To)

Have you heard about the curry at the Snowtown Service Station? No? That’s tragic!

A quick and innocent Google search of the term ‘Snowtown’ inevitably returns a Wikipedia page detailing the gruesome murders and decaying corpses, an IMDB link to the film that dramatized them and numerous news reports with in depth information explaining exactly how it all unfolded. Not a single page mentions the absolutely top notch curry and fried chicken that can be found at the Snowtown Servo. I believe that this is an absolute travesty that needs to be rectified post-haste so I took one for the team and ventured (far) past Gepps Cross to retrieve curry so good that it should be consumed by the barrel full.
An hour and forty five minutes from Adelaide’s CBD is where you’ll find this curry and do not doubt me when I say that is worth every mile. Sure it may seem dodgy and mates, please don’t get your expectations up – a road side BP is what I’m talking about but it is the roadside BP of your dreams (if your dreams include bathrooms that may or may not have been cleaned since Snowtown was last in the news…). The curry though? It’s good enough to kill for – I shit you not.


I know I’m not alone in thinking this either; the only way to discover a gem like this is through word of mouth and I’d had at least three people tell me to get my ass here before I finally committed. Need any further convincing? Just ask anyone who regularly drives out to that side of the state what they think of the curry at Snowtown – it is known.
If you’re like me then you may be thinking; “I am a sensitive little first world flower, is a road side truck stop really the best place to eat a volatile curry? What if it doesn’t agree with my gentle stomach and I find myself 50km from anywhere with the feeling of severe regret hitting my belly?” Well fear not petal, for I have pushed the limits here many a time. I have stopped and eaten and then put left over curry in my car only to continue eating it a few hours later. Chicken too. And much to the disappointment of many, I am not dead yet.
I’ve tried the butter chicken, the lamb madras, the mango chicken, the cashew chicken and the beef Vindaloo (and likely more…) like I said; it’s been…a few visits. Every single item tastes as if it were made carefully by beautiful Indian angles, brought down from the heavens to allow the folk from the mid north the chance to once and for all know true happiness.
Add to that the fried chicken. Yes, fried chicken. Ten points already for providing those passing though with the greatest food known to mankind however delivering in terms of quality? Bloody legend status that is. Crunchy on the outside featuring delicious flavor whilst maintaining a moistness that can only be rivaled by…well, I don’t feel safe mentioning when children could read this.
When it comes to the food, it’s all bang on here. Even if it wasn’t I probably wouldn’t bring it up for fear of retribution. Despite the fact that the towns’ reputation is due to crimes committed beyond its own boarders, I just wouldn’t want to risk it.
I’m certainly not the first to say it – in fact I definitely stole this from my boyfriend, but why is Snowtown not famous for its curry?!

I meant to take a photo of the curry…but I took it home and ate it before I had the chance.

I Have Embraced.

“My body is the only thing that I truly own…I will strive to make it perfect in every possible way” – that’s something that I jotted down in a note book; I think I was eighteen or nineteen at the time.
While I was lucky enough – and yes, luck did have a lot to do with it, to spend a number of my adolescent years relatively unaffected by body image issues, as I hit my late teens looks became the primary focus of my attention.
Sure there are some unpleasant memories that are etched into my mind, staying there while other flashbacks fade away – like the time when I was eleven and my Grandmother (with no purposeful malice, I would never hold it against her) implied that perhaps holding back on sugary treats would help me develop a more delicate feminine figure, once again, at age eleven. However on the whole I had the perfect outlook on food, fitness and wellbeing, thanks in part to a mother who was an excellent role model – balanced, realistic and driven by goals external to the way she was perceived by others. How lucky.
This wasn’t necessarily a shared experience by my friends – I recall spending time with my mates when I was younger who would be shamed by parents for taking an extra serve of dessert, for getting giddy on a sugar high at a sleepover and who had “healthy eating for teens” books not so subtly added to their bookshelf. While healthy eating is of course important, the heavy focus on it in their lives has had flow on affects which I’ve witnessed firsthand as we’ve all grown up together.  Never having been responsible for raising women, I can’t at all judge, however something about this seems wrong.
As I finished high school, the “puppy fat” that I’d carried all through high school that had concerned me only occasionally and very mildly was brought into attention and focus, not by my peers but by their parents. Older women who should have known better. Every time I stopped to chat to my mates mum (it was always the mum) she would comment on my new figure and always ask the same question: how did you do it, how did you lose the weight?
I was baffled – first of all I didn’t even realise that I had weight to lose. Second, I had no answer for them. I hadn’t lost weight at all (that I knew of, I didn’t really weigh myself a whole lot that I recall). I’d grown taller – a lot taller and slimmed out I suppose but for them, that wasn’t good enough. “Surely you’ve cut something out, have you been exercising more?” Maybe? I’d started working in a cafe and moving more, I was spending less time behind a computer than I had while at school, but I’d discovered alcohol with all its accompanying calories, so I guess it all balanced out.
The “things that my body was doing” were completely out side of my control however all of a sudden they were the core focus of every woman I came into contact with. I began to become aware of my body in a way that I really never had before.
During this time I burned my arm as I accidentally poured a pot of boiling hot water over it. The pain was incredibly intense, like nothing I had experienced before and it hurt for days but I remember thinking, as I walked down Rundle Mall to get a train home, tears rolling down my cheeks, nursing my still smouldering arm; “I don’t want to be known as the girl with the burnt arm”.
It took at least three months for it to heal fully and I was conscious of it for every second of that. It probably went unnoticed by others.
For me, the point when my body started to become a talking point for others was when it started to become an issue for me. I’d never looked at other women and compared myself – until then.
I started looking at the women in magazines who were there as the “token larger lady”, at the way their stomach sat and related most to them. It was weird to relate to someone who was there as a “token gesture”.
I am happy to say that now I have what I consider to be a pretty damned healthy relationship with my body, thank you very much. But that doesn’t mean that every day is great. I still compare myself physically to almost every woman that I meet – even if it is mostly subconscious, and I am sure that I am not alone.
I don’t know if it would be any different if I hadn’t been so drilled by my friend’s mums when I was younger or if my body and those of my friends hadn’t been such core topics of conversation for us over the years. It’s not just our size that gets spoken of – I once had a doctor (yes, a trained medical professional) comment that the needle marks on my arm from years of blood donation (I’m up to 56 donations now – humble brag!) may make others think I am a junkie! Um sorry what?! Firstly, why should anyone have a right to make opinions on me based on my body and secondly I don’t think “junkie” would ever be the first thing that springs to mind when anyone looks at me.
With a notoriously healthy appetite, food has become a part of my identity in an incredibly positive way however I do consider what others thing about my eating habits – does a judgement thought cross their mind as they see me shove yet another chunk of cheese in my gob?
I don’t wear a bikini at the beach or pool – why give people another area of me to judge, is what I think. That being said, I recently filmed a very short scene for an ABC iView series where I can be seen in just a bra. I doubt that anyone in the vicinity knew that I refuse to wear that little at the beach but was okay about it potentially being seen by all of Australia (we can only hope!). The thought played on my mind a little bit but it was also accompanied by a newly found attitude of “oh well fuck it” – because recently I was able to catch the film Embrace.

Embrace is without a doubt essential viewing for every woman and girl but we should also show it to the men and boys in our lives. It helped me to pause and re-asses myself. As I watched, I cried and mourned for all the time that I have wasted across the course of my life and in turn the many many more hours, days, weeks and even years lost by my friends who have battled body image demons on a level that I could never even begin to truly understand.
Not a week goes by where I don’t see something in day to day life, online or in the media that concerns me in the way that we discuss bodies – our own and others. I recently witnessed a grandmother casually commenting on her young, growing and developing granddaughters body – how do you tell someone like that to be careful – that it won’t be the shopping trips, movie dates and long lunches that her granddaughter will remember her for but the feeling of being not good enough?
At twenty-six I know now that I own more than my body, I know that I own my mind, my strong determination, my humour, my power to be me and everything that encompasses. Perfect isn’t a word I would ever use to describe any aspect of myself or my life and I can’t see it ever being, because I’d rather use stronger words – ones like “exemplary”, “extraordinary”, “incredible” and, though more practical and far less glamorous, capable is the word I love most. I am capable of achieving everything that I can dream of and so much more and for that, I am thankful.

Please please please do go see Embrace because what I feel, I want you to feel too.