To Blog or Not to Blog



I haven’t been here for a while (hola, you ten faithful readers in Brazil who keep on visiting!) and I have no excuse, save the fact that my blogging mojo has been seriously depleted of late and I have devoted more time than I care to admit to feeling badly about my writing and being completely intimidated by other more polished blogs and writers who look edgy and are all geometric-hipster-haircuts and matte lip colour.

I’ve been writing on and off my whole life and certainly I have been published regularly in that short blasts of non-fiction/fiction here and there kind of way but it’s not really satisfying to me. It’s like making do with cheese and crackers and pretending it’s enough when actually, you are still starving; in fact, it’s like you are pretending you even like cheese and crackers in the first place.

I don’t know why short fiction has an inferiority complex but to me it does. I want the depth of a novel behind me, something I can point at and say, there, see that? I wrote that and there is my name and photo even if the same book is now wedged in the remainder bin … Continue reading

Happy Birthday Bodhisattvas!





Last night we celebrated a double birthday dinner for my Best Friend in the World and my eldest, Frasier’s 24 years, a fact that fills me with such strong emotion that I am unsure how to carry it or how to process.

It’s such a cliché to hear so many mums lamenting throughout the years about how fast time goes and since this is one of the worst things that one can say to a new mother strung out on no sleep I can proudly say, that I have never said it myself – honestly – but the fact is? It’s the icy, shocking, can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-ME truth. One minute I was running down the street with a forgotten lunch bag or volunteering on a school bus trip, breathing in the heady smell of little-kids’-feet and strawberry Chapstick for two hours and now here I am surrounded by colleagues and a Significant Other who are all quoting gloomy economic forecasts, consulting charts and obsessing about retirement. How did I allow this passing of time to happen without holding on to key moments more tightly than I did? When am I ever going to be pretty now? Why do my ankles suddenly swell for no good reason, lending that camel-feet look to every outfit? Will I soon begin cultivating an interest in supportive underwear? When exactly is my writing career going to take off in earnest– and how long can I keep kidding myself that this is even a thing? I mean how pretentious to even try, my inner voices accuse darkly, pointing out the futility of this very blog, as a feeble exercise in self-absorption. Oh and why is it only about shaved or regular slice at the deli counter now, when it used to be about looking up from under my lashes at the swarthy and romance-cover-worthy butcher?

Now the butcher seems to be only eleven and wants me to hurry up, already, between the stone-roast ham or the Black Forest. Continue reading

Top Ten Reasons for Not Exercising

Swanson Works Out


1. Every time I have “booked exercise time into my schedule” I am suddenly seduced by other more vital tasks such as liberating the toaster tray of crumbs and giving the side panels a really good going over with Windex.

2.  I persuade myself with incredible ease that buying work out clothes online is exactly the treat I need to really jump start the whole process.

3. Perusing celebrity “secrets” online is particularly deadly – the search results are endless, depressing and ultimately not applicable AT ALL to myself. It’s basically useless to know that Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Anniston both start the day by downing a liter of fresh, filtered water because that is not what makes them beautiful – it’s called DNA. (Buy a case of San Pellegrino though, just in case).

4. Music makes working out so much easier – why not construct the perfect playlist? In fact, why not test drive most of the songs by viewing the original artists performing them on youtube? (Actual time lapse: 1.5 hours oopps, no time to exercise now …)

5. Take several work out books from library to peruse at my leisure on the couch with a tube of Pringles and some Pinot Grigio; this is true research and not to be mocked. Next week really will be different.

6.  Never underestimate the power of a man who smells amazing and presses his chest hair against you just as you are preparing to get up early – in the chill air only available at 6 am. This is the worst temptation of all. Mental note to also switch to a lower, less wonderful thread count …

7.  Just before work out begins, regard self in full length mirror in most flattering light available. Squeeze buttocks till they are raised to their previous glory and feel affirmed enough to avoid exercising. Till tomorrow.

8.  Remind myself that last time I began working out in earnest, I nearly put my back out. (Do not remind myself that chiropractor also said it was important to start really slowly …)

9.  Spend inordinate amounts of time brooding over facebook friends who are posting their running stats, awards and marathon t-shirts. Would a fitbit help me? Make terrible judgements about the state of their inner spiritual lives and intellects whilst enjoying some mature cheddar.

10.  Literally forget that I promised myself to exercise. Suddenly, become so immersed in making crème caramel or cleaning out that really grimy place beneath the stove that I totally avoid the gaze of my new running shoes which are now regarding me dolefully from the door …

Not Just Another Mouth in the Lipstick Vogue





Honestly, there’s nothing like a trip to Sephora to raise the spirits after both an appalling week at work and all those sinking moments of time spent watching the current world news. (For which I can find no satisfactory method of dealing with apart from healthy, regular shots of denial). Historical justifications, finger pointing and frantic hopping trips to news sites across the web have all proved hugely unhelpful to me. People who offer compact, intellectual summary statements are exceptionally irritating because, really, nothing is that simple, is it? The best advice I have heard thus far – apart from going on a total news fast – seems to be making a relentless effort to be absolutely the best person you can be, in your own day-to-day life. It’s the only strategy that makes sense – apart from letter writing and lobbying obviously – and really, it’s sort of a mash-up of that grassroots notion of “Think Globally, Act Locally” which I also love.

But I digress. Because perhaps I could do a much better job if I had a really top-notch lipstick. Continue reading