My IdeaLife

My Kingdom for a Kiss Upon Her Shoulder

It's been 18 years since his blood warmed our hearts and his, but his voice remains and still inspires...Read more...

The love of your life

Is it a man, is it a career, no it's superbaby!...Read more...

A lifetime of beauty in a song

Middle East (the band not the place) have somehow condensed the human experience into this soulful song: Blood...Read more...

Superwomen have it all by NOT doing it all

Superwoman really don't exist, it's more like Insanitywoman, so stop pretending and start outsourcing...Read more...

Tuesday 9 January 2018

My kingdom for more life for you

My friend lost a battle today with a futile dysfunction that had no place occupying her body and her blood. It seems leukaemia is a determined disease and at last it has won, but to what end, other than breaking the hearts of everyone who has ever had the good fortune to know my friend. 

For no good reason this purposeless disease has left three beautiful children and a husband lost, and a mother having to say goodbye to her daughter, and this one friend bewildered and shocked at a world without her in it. 

I am new to this, I’ve been lucky so far, everyone has got well again, even she was well for four extra years thanks to her sister’s bone marrow. But here we are, the world seeming upside down and back the front. So many have been through this and lived with it, and I dare say I will too, but it is surreal and wrong and I wish it were a bad, bad dream.  

Kim Edwards, 16th July 1966 - 6th January 2018

I want her back and I didnt even see her every day, I can’t even imagine her family’s pain if this is how I feel, but thus was the depth of her. I know everyone says when someone dies that we almost canonise them, but she was always angelic to me. She was patient and kind, and generous, so generous. She didn’t judge or hold grudges, she was different to most. She was an extraordinary human being. And I feel so honoured that I knew her, if only for twelve short years. And they were too short, but I treasure the memories, the pragmatic and open way she spoke. Her laugh, her huge heart and the way she coaxed you off the edge with a simple ‘right?’ at the end of her sentences, gently pushing you towards a smarter thought. Thoughts that came so naturally to her. 

I am angry though, so angry that they couldnt save her, that “they” didnt deem her acute, she was acute to us! She was so acute whoever didn’t think so, so acute to us St Vincent’s, and your b/s about not enough beds! And hey, you think she may have been acute now that she didnt make it? I know she wouldnt approve of me being mad, it was not her style, but I would fight for her if she’d let me, and I’ll fight now, I’ll rage against the universe that decided this was a person that’s time was up. 

But you did fight my darling friend, you fought so hard, and now you can rest. And I hope you were at peace as much as this nonsensical proposition could leave you with. I miss you so bad already and we live in different cities. But I always relied on your next visit, our next wine under fairy lights, or you sleeping on our couch and being gorgeous to my boys, as only you, in your natural confidence could. You were so comfortable in your own skin, you put everyone you met at ease in theirs, even 7 year old boys were taken with your charm. 

I would do anything to have been able to comfort you as you did me, and save you the way you saved me. O if only, if only I could have brushed the hair from your face and made it all go away. O what I would give, what we all would have given to give you more life. 

There are no more words that can describe the hole you have left my darling, beautiful friend, Kim. I will miss you forever, I love you. I will try to live in a way that honours you and the inspiration you have been to me and to so many. Rest now, rest. 

Update: I am riding 40km in gear Up Girl to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation, would appreciate anything you can give to support: please donate here and stop this senseless disease:


Friday 17 November 2017

The UnData Project

I just finished reading 'The Undoing Project' by Michael Lewis, and like 'Moneyball' and 'The Big Short' before, it was remarkable, even quietly life changing. I knew a little about Behavioural Economics, specifically the human brain's preference to work in sub-conscious mode and I had heard of some of the biases we use to make decisions, but I had no idea how ingrained, nor universal it was, I thought it was just me! 

In short we are a mess of inaccuracy and emotion, that is baked in to brain design - no one is immune. The two psychologists that delivered my relief, Danny Kahneman and Amos Tsversky, are beautifully brought to life by Lewis, who has a talent for pulling you inside the hearts and minds of his subjects. As such, the ending creeps up on you and had me in sudden floods of tears, such was the force of the journey of these mens' lives. 

Putting the emotion aside for a second, the book is especially relevant to my everyday work in marketing. I am lucky to have now lead the marketing for two digital native companies, eHarmony and Pandora. For the poor digital natives that have invited me with high hopes, to many a predominantly 30-something male lunch or dinner, I have let them down sorely. Asking questions about digital and data they not only don't have the answers for, but are offended by the very thought of. I mean who questions digital and data, especially from within? Well unfortunately for me and them, me! But I am passionately consumer-focused and I have not seen the sort of marketing blindness I have recently since the literally "blind" or more accurately "high" days of 90s advertising. 

Basically measureability has become the small god of marketing. If you can't measure it, it may as well not exist.

The irony of all this is that the proponents of digital are the first to say that Marketing has been 'Moneyballed'. Unfortunately though the premise for their data and the countless ad-tech salesmen selling solve-all algorithms to marketers, is that customers don't act like computers. The purchase decision process has not evolved alongside the marketers' ability to process big data or deploy machine learning. We are also not online every waking hour, easy to forget when your day-to-day is, I know. Making these broad-based assumptions and extrapolations to understand the consumer, feels lazy to me and seemingly, given recent revelations around some programmatic advertising, a fast way to a quick, albeit ineffective, buck. 

Instead we need to understand psychology to make sense of post-action data. Humans are not one-dimensional, they are complex and irrational. The good news is that marketers pre-digital know this well. GenX, the only generation that is digital/analogue ambidextrous, not only understand digital and it's opportunity, they also know how to get a thought wedged into someone's mind with a catchy tune or a message subtly placed repeatedly on their way to work. They know that positive emotion is the biggest drivers of advertising effectiveness. There is a world of joy beyond the rationality of ultra-convenience and personalisation. 

Of course in this day and age customers expect a certain level of relevance and at a base level we have to use all the data we can deploy to make our messages right for that customer, so right it adds a little bit of convenience to their everyday lives. But that will only get you in the door, it won't keep customers coming back, and it most definitely won't create a step change en masse. To create something that stands out in the mess of ads chasing us around online and offline, you need to 'surprise and delight'. A funny little concept that even pre-dates millennials. 

'Surprise and delight' doesn't have to be full blown disruption either, it can be a song they hear and desperately swipe to shazam, it can be a killer line or simply an inspiring association. Of course if you do have the means, a new dopamine-driving app or UX change can supercharge you onto a new level of growth, but that is usually reserved for the few, despite every "entrepreneur" talking about the "uber of..." every chance they get. 

When my suggestion of a more human-focus in our approach was rudely dismissed by a 30-something self-proclaimed AI entrepreneur at another cliche-filled lunch, (this time blockchain was somethign every marketer needed to know about it...stat) initially I was confused and offended.

But then I stopped and I just felt sad. Sad that they will never experience what it feels like to truly inspire an audience, or understand the human condition to a point where they will create something that actually does have the ability to change the world. Beauty is not in 1s and 0s, beauty can come from it, but only if you search for it in the data and yearn to invent rather than iterate. 

Beauty lies for all to see in the human spirit. In the every day, in a look or a gesture, in a memory, in love and in human connection. Brands need to find a way to promote the human spirit even in the humblest and simplest of ways to be truly relevant and to have any chance of becoming a part of their customers' life story. When my 8 year old started singing "must be Santa, must be Santa..." yesterday, I desperately wanted to contact the marketer who created the ad, as it has become a part of our lives within a week of launch for the simplest of reasons.

And before I get relegated to a "vintage car driver in a 747 cockpit", lamenting the passing of the good old days, the closest thing to longitudinal studies in advertising proves that this approach translates to much higher revenues. My own case study results backed this data in real life and I got to experience a rare and elusive moment in my career where I created a huge step change using emotion, music and an integrated approach, after years of rational digital only. 

What happens when you capture some real emotion in your advertising - pre-spike was SEM and display advertising only
You will only understand the power of a human approach, if you delve into the immeasurable world of emotion, the irrational architecture of the brain and lean into its perfect imperfection. I don't think it is beyond data science, I just think it is outside the comfort zone and definitely not an easy fix, but if an art director can become a dashboard creating, tableau super-user anything is possible. 

A variation on this post first appeared in CIO Advisor Magazine

Friday 5 May 2017

My first recipe post: Steak a la Morning Fresh

I have written many a shame-driven post about my failure at housewifery. At some point though I have to admit it is so bad it's funny, and I'm just grateful I've married a modern male. Not sure he finds it funny but you can't have everything. 

So this one busy weekend I noticed that our grill plate was filthy and somehow this time I decided to take some action against dirt and grime. Reaching for some dishwashing liquid - I did what every time-poor person should do - soak a baked-in grime situation until the hot water and detergent take some of the edge off what would have been a long scrub. 
Problem with this decision is my life is so full, if a reminder of some description, usually in the form of a calendar alarm, doesn't exist then follow up action becomes equally non-existent. So it was in this instant. When my husband sat down to enjoy his $20 eye fillet two nights later, my brain still had no recollection of my mini-foray into housewifery. He had commented on the bubbles he'd seen form as he cooked his steak, even this had not prompted my memory. It was not until the words "this tastes like soap", that the correct neurons fired to trigger a conscious memory of my dismal unfinished effort to clean the grill plate. At this point I started giggling, unfortunately he most certainly did not. 

Here ends the directions of my first recipe post - how to caramelise expensive steak in dishwashing liquid and live to tell the tale. If you are worried, I am still married, just, not sure how or why, maybe I keep his ordered life interesting and somewhere buried deep down he appreciates that... I mean who doesn't love bubbles?! 

Saturday 26 March 2016

A truly scary soccer mum!

Today I was kicking a football. This is not that normal for me, growing up I wasn't some undiscovered football talent, more a shiny lycra-clad jazz ballet student, the tightness of which once had me banned from liturgical dance (I know... it takes a lot to share that, be kind). 

But the last two weekends I kicked one back and forth between my five and six year olds and my hubby. And each session I kicked at least one of them in the guts. No I am not a psychopath masquerading as a mother of two, I am seemingly just an effing good shot. And I love it. I love the feeling as you look before you kick, it reminds me of playing pool when you get in the zone, but it's more accurate cause you don't have a 4 foot piece of wood between your body and your brain. 

So here I am kicking away, hubby saying "go easy" or "that was too high to count for a goal" as I belt it around a field loving myself silly. Loving it most of all because I married Mr "I played cricket with Brett Lee" and "my golf handicap is 6", while all I can lay claim to is almost injuring our 6 year old by kicking the ball so accurately that I still managed to knock him off his feet while he was mid air. Luckily he landed such that only his knee was slightly hurt, what I can I say...I have a killer right foot, and my hubby is basically jealous that he couldn't hit the target, ie. Me from 20m out. And let's be real, there was some serious intention there and he still missed! I, on the other hand, am mortified at hurting the little people but seem to not be able to control my aim. Although when hubby was the target mortification turned to glee, his hand eye co-ordination was all that saved him, but not every time. Score!

Seriously, for a second though, running around with three boys was so fun and I reckon we'll end up doing it most weekends, even if it's just for me to get a chance to smash hubby in the head with something hard that won't kill him. Beats the iPad, getting out and about with the little people and an inflated piece of leather, kicks the shite out of screen time. Do it peeps, do some rolling around in the grass screaming and holding your shins, or preferably cause someone else to, I highly recommend it. Nx 

Him getting me back... 

Thursday 22 October 2015

Hand me the tissues! #theBacheloretteAU tearjerker

Wow, ok so I have written about the Bachelor franchise once before when I was so relieved Tim "Bryll cream" Robards chose a real person with some level of substance over what could only be called a walking plastic mannequin. Although the next series had some interest with Laurina "self awareness of a knat" Fleure, and her infamous #dirtystreetpie moment in the limelight, Blake's inexplicable weirdness meant it never made it to this hallowed place. Even gorgeous Sam, from earlier this year although the most intelligent and normal of the Bachelors so far, didn't grab my heart. But that little closet bogan with the same name, that fell for that weirdo Blake, has seemingly won the hearts of more than one guy tonight, even Osher's hair seemed to soften.

The difference between this first Bachelorette series in Australia and the three preceding Bachelor series was being able to witness for the first time what some describe as love at first sight. She literally melted when she met Sasha and their first kiss was insanely sexy - and I've been married 10 years, I know what I'm missing. He kissed her with pure lust, no awkwardness, no second guessing, all in. It was natural and as real as two people with six cameras on their every move, can be. 

So as Sam shook out her fears in her final speech, and choked up as she explained she couldn't understand why she had been hurt so many times ... until she met him, and then it all became clear that she had been waiting her whole life to meet him and f#*k it, I melted then too and forgot about the cheesy mermaid dress, the constant need to travel by air effing everywhere, the thickness of so many that have graced the rooms of the classless, over-dressed waterfront mansions, the banal date surprise speeches - I did all this for... xyz, when we know there is an overworked and underpaid production team shipping in a multitude of plush 2-seaters into places that sofas are just not meant to be. And the constant cheese platters that dont get touched because dairy...doh! Sam's speech, Sasha's "I want to jump your bones this instant"-ness, brought not one, but two tears to my eyes and spilling down my cheeks. 

It seems living with a male that rarely speaks unless yelling at a sporting match, four forceps, many stitches, and many more sleepless nights have not cured this romantic heart. Whatever happens now doesn't really matter because for that moment those two people fell into eacho ther seamlessly and it was a beautiful thing to witness and when I read the truth beyond that moment tomorrow - maybe I will feel foolish, but maybe just maybe, there is love at first sight and I'm really hoping those two make the most of that. 

Go Sam and the best on-screen kisser I've ever seen - Sash! xxx

Tuesday 22 September 2015

My True Social Club

It's been a while since I've been to a local live gig. Pre-minipeople I was a regular at the Annandale, the gaelic club, the Hopetoun and my local The Hollywood. I tried relaying my satisfaction tonight at being in a place that reminded me of the venues of old as I surveyed the surroundings and the felt-hatted clientele of the Newtown Social Club. My 20-something team members looked down at me (somehow I have hired two girls that are both over 6ft) blankly as I reminisced having not heard of any of the classic venues I mentioned. But there I was loving the black everywhere, the eclectic and fascinating crowd, the friendliness that you never find east of the city and I know that even though I'm not the young carefree single swaying into the eyes of the lead singer _ i am at home in beards, pink hair, tattoos, Fedoras and freaks. They are my people, their weirdness is their beauty, their open hearts irresistible, and their creativity their ticket to never a dull moment. Thank you #RollingStoneLiveLodge and gorgeous #Pandora girls for dragging me out of mummyland into the beautiful black filled with the music that is our lives...

Saturday 30 May 2015

Lover you should have come over - dedicated to Jeff Buckley

18 years ago today I woke to find the only musician that still adorned my walls had died. Music transcends time and it seems like yesterday his flowing, blood-driven voice wrapped itself around my open heart.

I was a backpacker just settled into my first share house in London, my room not much larger than a walk-in robe, lit up with his beauty. At work that day I mourned in isolation, as the middle-class English girls had no clue who I was talking about. Luckily the music journos of the day did and every major newspaper in London had full page spreads set aside telling of the untimely loss of Jeff Buckley. 

Like so many that felt as though he had let them inside his soul, we cried at what we would no longer feel. Without him serenading us, understanding the depths of our heart, it would ache restlessly. We cried because we felt his pain, we knew he'd been abandoned by his father, Tim Buckley, who's own death at 28 meant they never knew each other and met only once for fifteen minutes. We knew his depth threatened to engulf him and fame overwhelm, but we never imagined that he would drown, we all thought he would float and keep singing. 
He will always be my dream brother, and the lines in my head will remain for him, from him.
"So I'll wait for you and I'll burn
Will I ever see your sweet return
Oh, will I ever learn?
Oh, lover, you should have come over
'Cause it's not too late"

Jeff Buckley
November 17, 1966 - May 29, 1997


Listen to him here or to the live interview and performance below

Monday 17 November 2014

Actor transforms grown woman into hysterical teenager!

I've always been quite proud to admit I've never been an hysterical fan. When I watch young girls screaming and crying as some slightly talented teenage boys lip-sync in front of them, I often find my top lip involuntarily lifting in disdain... that was until last night... 

This was me inside a slightly older body with darker hair... (key word slightly)
I am lucky enough to work for a corporate sponsor of the Sydney Theatre Company and I therefore get to attend a few opening nights a year. Now this particular opening night was almost going to hit the scrap heap of many of my social possibilities, in favour of sleeping, so as to deal with mr 4 and 5 the next day. Knowing it was Cyrano de Bergerac and Richard Roxborough I thought, in my constant state of exhaustion, "drag yourself along" and so I did. 

As usual the luminescent Cate Blanchett floated past me at the pre-show function, and as in the other few times I have seen her, I admired her Grace Kelly-like elegance, but coolly continued my champers and conversations with my colleagues (that wasn't the case the first time I saw her by the way). 

Looking forward to what turned out to be a great production, I had no idea that the state teenage girls seemingly often find themselves in was my destiny in a few short minutes. The whisper of one of the gorgeous STC staff produced such an effect as the words "Robert Redford" were matched to some other words, namely, "do you know who's here with Cate?". 

My jaw dropped in shock "Nooooo" left my mouth around 4 times as I struggled with this reality, my breath and adrenaline. And there I was morphed within seconds into a fluttering teenage groupie out of control and hell bent on seeing, talking, touching this actor prior to fainting.  

Now just to be clear, I am not the type that gets giddy, I mean I would be completely giggly if Gerard Butler or Ryan Gosling were having a drink within metres of me, but I would probably approach them more for the selfie-fame than because I literally couldn't stop myself. 

Robert Redford on the other hand represented something altogether different, I mean he's in his 70s so it wasn't lust, it was more like my life flashed before my eyes. Don't get me wrong I'm not that old, but I am lucky enough to have a Mum with amazing movie taste and I watched Robert Redford and Paul Newman from a very young age. 

Of course I became Katie in the 'The Way We Were' hopelessly in love with Hubbell, I was also Karen in 'Out of Africa', jelly in Denys' hands, and later after I was married I was Diana and Annie, tempted away from monogamy in 'Indecent Proposal' and 'The Horse Whisperer' by his easy confidence and determination. The guy has been every man I wanted and couldn't have, stringing me along for years and there he was the real representation of my fantastical romantic history, just standing there. Shiiittttt!

Alas social etiquette kicked in and I was held down by two STC staff...well not really but that's how it felt as I was being drawn to him like metal to a magnet. Instead I had to stand still and pretend I was so important myself, being a fellow "VIP" (as if!), that Robert Redford was nothing to me. 

As I walked away from what I knew was my one chance to make a complete ar5e of myself I was philosophical about not getting to hear his unmistakeable voice ... comforting myself that it was for the best and it may have smashed my fantasy about the legend with a less than extraordinary reaction to what would have been a huge foot in mouth moment from me... then I metaphorically slapped myself in the head and began to figure out how I could get another chance! 

So Robert Redford you still may have to endure 2 minutes of raving compliments at some time in your not too distant future. Hopefully it will be fun and flattering - well I can only continue to dream! "Looooooovvvvveeee yoooooooooouuuuuu!" ah argghhh arrrrrrrr *cue hysterics* 

Monday 15 September 2014

Yoga - girly pastime or extreme sport?

My gorgeous svelte neighbour got me into Yoga earlier this year and I thought I would go along to relax and chill-out. You know get in touch with my inner self and all that palava, I mean I was kinda desperate being a corporate tragic with two boys under five. Half way through I was dripping with sweat trying to get my arms behind my ears with my arse in the air. It was FULL on. 

Downward facing dog - more like downward facing agony with breathing added in so you don't die. I was shocked! 

And at times when doing planks and upward dogs, downward dogs at speed I took the option of collapsing on my face to recover, the instructor said it was ok and that I was in child pose (she was being nice!)

Although you wouldn't know it to look at me now I was once a rower, I even did surfboats for a season, so I have subjected myself to all sorts torture many times over (6km erg tests are the worst). And unlike the one person in the world that stopped rowing in a race, that happened to happen in the Olympics, I'm like the other 99.99999% of them and never have. So being done in by Yoga, was a little bit of a surprise, albeit (eventually) a pleasant one. 

There is a reason, I discovered, why there are Yoga studios popping up on every single street corner, it is a weird juxtaposition of spirituality and physical exertion that makes it so amazing. What other sport do you feel like your inner being is being worked on while your hamstrings scream in agony. It is completely illogical and completely effective. 

The eagle pose - note the sweat people - hardcore.... 
I was lucky enough to be at a resort for two weeks that had Yoga most mornings so I went along and found that my downward facing dog started to get less agonising even within an hour and a half. I also noticed my shoulders that normally are attached to my ears dropped a little more after each class. My 'question mark' body normally curved around a device was straightening out and turning the other way (?) and it seemed that maybe some more blood was getting to my brain. 

Look my point is quite simply if you are a hardcore cardio tragic and you think Yoga would be too light for your amazing VO2 then think again, it will be right up your alley and it might calm you down at the same time as working the crap out of your bunched up muscles.

Do it peeps - it so rocks, even for rowers, runners, spin-junkies and any other psychotic sport-types. Namaste!

Update: Discovered hot yogi that can only be described as a walking muscle at my local - even happier now!

Tuesday 19 August 2014

How to do the celebrity intercept with substance and no style - Marc Newson

This celebrity behaviour started a long time ago, I think it is somehow related to one of two things: I'm either out of touch with reality so badly that I think they would actually want to talk to a stranger, or the one I prefer, that my reality is they are just human, like me and so why wouldn't they chat to someone friendly with a big smile???!!!! (I think the words "like me" are what's wrong with my justification)

Would you say no to this look? It was 14 years ago but I'm sure I recognise it...
Yet it is what it is and no amount of working out 'why' is going to stop me it seems. The following is the story of my first celebrity intercept, yes this is where all the craziness started, and how I have times be labelled, wrongly I might add, as a stalker (thank you Joe Hildebrand!). 

It all started back in the year 2000, I was heading to a gala evening celebrating the lighting of the Opera House for the first time, this was the father of VIVID. A man I had admired due mainly to his creation of quite a few biomorphic metal objects, was going to be there as he had designed the lighting. And as I had designed the event identity nothing was going to stop me from talking to this gorgeous fellow designer, marc newson. Think gluon, orgone or as I did at the time, embryo...

I think he was wearing orange - can't believe I remember that, I think he was single too. I unfortunately had my then boyfriend there with me, but this was a minor moral bump that I happily skipped over as I approached my idol. "I loved him way before I'd even met my boyfriend" I rationalised. 

I started quite normally explaining my bower-bird-like attraction to his bright shiny objects (we're talking furnishings at this point people) and that I had designed the identity on the flags all over Circular Quay with his 'neon' signature within it. Which he did confirm was a designed identity rather than the real thing, "Oh yeah of course", like I knew that, arggh, it was going well...not. 

Just in case you thought this was a work of fiction. 
Just when it looked like I had escaped an awkward moment, out of the blue and with little context I blurt out "So are you making any money yet?". This does cause him pause, I suddenly see myself through his still, wide eyes and time slows as his thoughts form in a bubble above his head "wow, gold-digging and proud of it, interesting", his turn to spin a little white lie, "a little yes..." 

Mortified by now I try to start explaining at high speed, "Sorry, no, it's just that I watched a documentary a few years ago and you said there was no money in Industrial design and I studied Industrial design but have never practised it because yes there seems to be no money in it, nor any jobs and of course I'm not as talented as you and I was just interested because I only earn..." and on I went, I can't even remember the rest as it blurred into pure desperation transformed into lots and lots of words.  

By now he was smiling, amused by my lack of filter, I can only presume, or maybe impressed by my ability to verbosely back pedal, seemingly make logical sense at the same time as flirting. Our conversation was just levelling out and he was kinda getting friendly, he even complimented some brightly coloured thing I was wearing. Well that's what I was telling myself, when my boyfriend wandered over. Celebrity intercept almost turning into groupie evening foiled, damn. I did the polite thing and introduced them and in true rock star celebrity-style Marc moved pragmatically on. Let's face it there were probably ten of me at every event he went to, and the other nine were quite possibly a lot cooler, inconceivable!? 

The celebrity lesson here? No it's not "don't ask celebrities how much money they make", and it's definitely not "leave them alone you groupie weirdo", I'm sure he was at least entertained. It is without a doubt - if you are going out with someone and you realise you want to go home with Marc Newson instead, chances are you're with the wrong guy. We broke up soon after, but unfortunately not as a result of me running off and living in London on a Lockheed Lounge. Damn!

Fortunately for you there are more stories like this to come - so stay tuned and if you follow my tips I'm guessing you may learn from my mistakes and end of bagging Prince Harry or something... but probably not if you have a couple of kids and are married... we can just dream. 

Thursday 31 July 2014

How to do the celebrity intercept so they never forget you (but wish they could)

I am one of those annoying members of the public that more often than not will say g'day and start a conversation with a celebrity I admire. Sometimes I get a picture of reality that stops me (and I don't mean a selfie!) but if I've had a such red flag appears and off I pop.

Not sure if it is my alcohol sozzled brain or just the nervousness I can't fully shake but usually if I do end up striking up a conversation with a famous person, more often than not I say something somewhere between plain embarrassing and truly startling. 

My latest was closer to startling though. Over the weekend when engaging in what was a conversation going in a seemingly charming way with Hugo Weaving, I suddenly stated that Shakespeare's writing was "so bad". Now on its own it was a statement that would silence any room, but I happened to be talking to someone who had just come off the stage and out of the character, Macbeth. 

Hugo Weaving and Andrew Upton as happy as only two thorns between two roses could be...
What I was trying to say obviously in an incomprehensible way was how dirty his writing was and the context was I was surprised that students studied Macbeth as a result, at this point Hugo's smile was replaced with a wtf-type expression, "bad?" he almost exclaimed, and then upon my back pedalling explanation "what's wrong with sex?" he almost barked, at this point my husband was shaking his head and I was saved by another Hugo-admirer who probably thought Shakespeare was quite a talented bloke. Needless to say even with the screams of nipples, loins and blood the play was amazing, but not as amazing as this particular celebrity intercept by me. Bravo!

The one before that was with a man made of equal parts crazy, intelligence and generosity - Joe Hildebrand. Generous 'cause he publishes my better opinion pieces, thank you Joe!!!!! and says things like "I like your blog"... *writer faints from shock*. 

When I was lucky enough to steal half an hour of his time for some real writer to try-hard writer advice, he went so far as to confirm on the phone to his producer, in front of me no less, that I was definitely a stalker, but a well-dressed, articulate one so it was all ok. She was obviously worried for him...when I expressed regret at ruining his life with my so-called stalking (just because Joe, his producer and my husband say it, doesn't mean its true), he gorgeously said "yes poor me, having to deal with adoration from intelligent, attractive women, its terrible". I instantly forgave him as any good stalker, I mean grateful fan would. 

In any case I think I almost made it out alive from that encounter, and by alive I mean with some shred of dignity left but only just and Joe's too kind to correct me on that one... well I'm hoping he is?!

Then there was the brilliant Claudia Karvan. That started well as I am a complete sucker for most of her series', lately Puberty Blues had rocked my world so I was keen to chat about her fantastic character in the show. I was such a fan I couldn't remember her character's name, nor that of her husband in the show who's character I also adored. She responded well to this as of course she quite liked the character too and told me how teenage girls have been expressing disdain over her characters' fall from conservative grace. But as she patiently filled in yet another blank that of her previous series name, Love my way, and that of its creator I think some level of awareness came over me and I moved on and away from the poor woman. Here's a tip, if you are planning on approaching a celeb do a quick wikipedia scan in the lead up, or just don't be so busy you cant remember what day it is let alone details about TV series!

Think she is looking to be saved by someone!
Now sometimes my celebrity intercepts are not complete trainwrecks, like the really fun conversation I had with Wippa at a charity weekend away, he actually seemed relieved to be talking to someone that evening. Woohoo. Maybe I'll ask him if I can mind his new pet piglet one day just to push our interactions into the norm of my other celebrity relationships...hmmm there's more where these came from stay tuned for more examples of how to make friends and influence really influential peeps or more accurately how not to!

No celebrities were harmed during or prior to the production of this blog post...well not physically any way, there is a chance they have been mentally scarred but they haven't contacted me to confirm that...yet...

Tuesday 8 July 2014

A lifetime of beauty in a song

I can't say that this song is going to make your day because it makes me sad yet it inspires me at the same time. But It somehow captures a lifetime in minutes and I am at the same time grieving the end as much as celebrating the wonder of what is now and possible. 

Because life in all it's forms always contains at least elements of beauty. The unique outlook each individual has, what they see is what no one else ever will. We are all watching our own movie and whatever scene you are up to, one thing is for sure it is yours and yours alone, to cherish and keep, locked in your beautiful mind. 

Townsville has obviously been harbouring some deep, mesmerising souls in 'Middle East' 

Saturday 24 May 2014

Five years of Fun... gone in a heartbeat!

It seems like only yesterday I was lying in bed begging my husband to unwind a painfully cramped foot nearly every night...At the same time my frowned upon but life-long love of tummy sleeping also came suddenly to a non-negotiable end, replaced with the unbearable side sleeping position, that five years on I now love. 

But all the woes of being heavily pregnant melted away upon first seeing my perfectly-formed firstborn through a 3D ultrasound and recognising my father's and my distinctive nose recreated again (poor thing!). That feeling of wonder and ignorant joy will always be with me, and is easily recalled despite the five years of exhaustion that followed this new human's arrival into the world. 

He was the sort of baby strangers were drawn to with his ocean blue eyes staring intently back at them, drawing in information from the start. Now he is a little man, as thoughtful, sensitive and intelligent as he was as a baby, but with a hardcore Lego habit and energy that could light a city. 

Happy fifth birthday M - the first huge love of my life xxxx

Monday 3 February 2014

LOST...RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967 - 2014

As we watch another star at the height of success fall, none of us really know what happens within a mind capable of creating such art. We just sit, confused about what lead to the world's and indeed his gorgeous young family's great loss. All we can do now is remember, and this scene below although not his most acclaimed, has long been my favourite. 

We will deeply miss this force of nature that was Philip Seymour Hoffman. 

Friday 24 January 2014

Leukaemia meet a supermum, gorgeous friend and unassuming genius... now get lost!

Your hair's a little shorter now
but your smile is unmistakeable
Your resilience is being challenged
by life's great enemy and its barbaric cure

Bravery awe-inspiring
vulnerability only showing how strong you truly are
Bandana as cool as your even temper
If only those who saw it knew that being you, even now, is lucky!

I'm sure I've bumbled through my visits 
the fear and helplessness sneaking into my eyes
as I desperately hide myself behind an inane story about work

But I know you see me
I know your insightfulness
nothing escapes your astute eye
even poisonous chemicals won't take that from you 

You are a rare one, sharp as a tack, 
Loved by so many
Feared by some I'm sure
but I will be there to help you strike fear into this cowardly disease
and I know there will be many of us trying to beat it away from you

I wish I wish I wish I could take more of the battle on
but please when you think you can't stand, on those inevitable down days
remember all of our love will be there to hold you up 
so you can see the light at the end of this 5 month tunnel. 

And in case you don't know - you are my hero...
and I'm so honoured to be your friend.

Dedicated to an amazing woman bravely fighting Leukaemia... please sponsor me in the World's Greatest shave... I'm colouring but will shave it all off if I get over $2k!!! VISIT