The 2013 list:

Start Date March 9, 2013

1. Catch the Ferry
2. Get my L’s
3. Buy a new Mac
4. Hit my 10K Glinda Goal
5. See Before Midnight at the cinema
6. Cook dinner for Luke 5 times
7. Take J to a theme park
8. Go overseas
9. Read 25 books
10. Release 5 bookcrossing books
11. Send 20 letters to friends (3/20)
12. Do yoga
13. Go on an impromptu road-trip
14. Watch 25 movies I’ve never seen before
15. Try to leave J overnight
16. Listen to every song in my iTunes library
17. Find 20 geocaches
18. Organise Noosa to Byron road trip
19. Get a community garden plot
20. Make a new friend
21. Organise a tiny forest event
22. Take J to see the dinosaurs
23. Watch 20 new TED talks (3/20)
24. Get some beauty redefined stickers
25. Take a project unbreakable photo
26. Put up 20 operation beautiful post its
27. Send in a Postsecret postcard
28. Blog weekly for 8 weeks
29. Go camping
30. Drink only water for 1 week
31. Watch a sunrise on the beach
32. Finish designing the NGF website
33. Write 10 reviews for Sam
34. Go op-shopping
35. Swimming lessons for J
36. Survive toilet training
37. Have a conversation with someone in sign language
38. Go to Perth
39. Have lunch with Elena
40. Teach J to ride a bike
41. Get some coordinates accessories made
42. Buy a picnic rug
43. Find J a best buddy
44. Go on a picnic
45. Watch 5 friends “top 5 movies”
46. Read 5 friends favourite book
47. Eat 25 meals outside (2/25)
48. Go foraging with Luke
49. Sign 10 new clients (6/10)
50. Write at least 50,000 words of my novel
51. Get 5 massages
52. Participate in book mooch
53. Get a ‘signature scent’
54. Have a BBQ by the river
55. Live in a house for longer than 12 months
56. Call Rachel
57. Call Amy
58. Call Elena
59. Find a TV series to watch with Luke
60. Write a will
61. Get a toy created from a J picture
62. Take stuff to Vinnies
63. Inspire someone to write a 101/1001 list
64. Update FF 5 times
65. Buy a picnic basket/set
66. Go swimming
67. Win a competition
68. Write a letter to myself 1 year in the future
69. Send email to J
70. Write in the ‘Dear Luke’ book twice
71. Send a message in a bottle
72. Send out a travelling teddy/toy
73. Take J on a train
74. Take J on a boat
75. Take J on a bus
76. Send Kylie a J artwork
77. Get a creative writing contract
78. Get an editing contract
79. Write an ebook for a client
80. Celebrate my business anniversary with cake
81. Give Luke a massage
82. Make flash cards for J
83. Make a virtual puppet show for J
84. Build a blanket fort
85. Try transitioning J into her own bed
86. Dance with Luke
87. Have a Facebook free week
88. Have a technology free 24 hours
89. Go to a festival
90. Paint a picture
91. Write a poem
92. Tweet every day for a month
93. Sleep for 5 hours (if this happens by the end of 1001 days I will cry with happiness!)
94. Keep a minimum of $1000 in our acct for 6 mths
95. Celebrate our anniversary
96. Exchange love letters with Luke
97. J’s first hair cut
98. Put together a photo book for J
99. Let Luke sleep in
100. Have breakfast in bed
101. Write another 101/1001 list

End date: January 5th 2016

I’m very excited today, I am IN FLOW, totally focussed on researching and planning my upcoming trip to India. My very wonderful friend Phi has once again astounded us with his generosity and, as an early 30th birthday present for the two of us, has funded (with his frequent flyer points) a very fabulous trip to India in April of next year. I think everyone needs a friend like Phi.. and not just because he’ll fly you to India for your 30th birthday!

I’m very very super excited about it, especially since I have had an imaginary India itinerary in my head since 2005 when our backpacking trip came to shuttering halt in Vietnam when we realised that we had run out of money and had to come home (I am way too much of a sucker to have ever learned how to successfully barter, and I kept giving all our money away to grubby children and poverty stricken schools!).

I am also excited because it means I will be able to cross two very big things off my list:

#29. Visit at least one new country
#65. Celebrate my 30th birthday by doing something fabulous

Technically my birthday is at the end of March, and we aren’t flying out until April 7th, but I’m still going to count it because it IS a birthday present, and we would have been in India for my actual birthday, except Luke has to work over the Easter long weekend.

So, now I am in the zone planning and researching and getting all excited about all the things we will see. I think I actually enjoy the planning of our holidays as much as I enjoy the actual holidays, I’m strange like that I guess. I’m very excited to be dusting off our backpacks and money wallets and heading back out into the big bad world. I only wish it could be longer than 3 weeks!

So, who among my beloved readers has been to India? Any?
If so, tell me all about it! Where should I go? What should I avoid? What did you love? Tell me everything!



I was thinking yesterday about my 101/1001 list and how unmotivated I’ve been lately with crossing things off. Admittedly I have been working pretty hard on my NaNoWrimo – which is number 48 – and that definitely counts for something, but I thought it was about time that I took a stab at something else on the list. So, early this morning, just before 2am, which is about the time that Luke and I are starting to think about going to bed, we decided to take a drive to Dunedin and watch the sunrise at the beach.

Watching a sunrise was one of the things on the list but I also had to visit the beach one more time before I could cross number 42 (visit the ocean at least four times) so we decided we may as well cross both of them off in one go. I frantically made up some roadtrip CDs, grabbed T’s work in progress CD, a picnic blanket, some water, and my book, and off we went.

For those of you who don’t know New Zealand, I’ve attached a map so you can see just how much of the country we covered. We got home about an hour ago, so we actually covered this distance twice today:

Picture 1

The sunrise itself was pretty disappointing, after driving all through the night, chugging down Red-bulls and singing (badly) to keep ourselves awake we arrived at the beach to discover POURING rain and freezing cold gale force winds. It was so cold that my feet are STILL thawing out 10 hours later. So, we snapped some photos to prove we were there and watched the sunrise from the warmth of the car. We explored the city for a couple of hours, then had some breakfast at a local vegan cafe (Why don’t we have one of those in Queenstown?) did some op shopping, and then drove home again. We had beautiful weather on the way home which was nice after the freezing rain in the morning. It was a really great day, but now I am exhausted, so instead of telling you about it, I’m just going to post some pictures!





















This one’s for you Sharni!!


And home sweet home


So, that is two more things crossed off my 101/1001 list, even though technically we didn’t see the sun actually rise, because it was behind clouds, I’m still counting it, because we did watch the night turn into day, so I think that counts!

I’ve also crossed off number 13 on the list, which was to have 101 vegan meals, because as of three days ago I’m officially 100% vegan. I’ve been vegetarian for a few years now, but I have been eating vegan 95% of the time, it got to the point last week where I realised that I was hanging onto cheese and chocolate as a bit of a crutch, so I’ve eliminated them from my diet completely (except dark vegan chocolate!) and from here on in I won’t be eating any animal products whatsoever. It’s quite a feat! You never really realise how many things have animal products in them, today on the way home I picked up a packet of Salt and Vinegar chips only to realise they had milk in them! I looked through every single chip flavour in the place, and in the end the only one that was vegan was the plain salt.. very strange!

Anyway, that’s news from me. I haven’t slept in 30 hours so I’m going to bed!!

So our stuff finally arrived in Kingston on Friday.. 8 weeks and one day since it was picked up in Sydney. I’ve made some good progress with the unpacking, and this is finally starting to feel like home. I’m especially thrilled to be sleeping in my own bed again, I have really missed that darn bed, which I think is an indication that I am getting old – I remember backpacking through Asia and sleeping in some terrible places without a second thought, these days all I can think about is that crick in my neck and how I want my bed.

I am enjoying being here but I am having some trouble feeling motivated on the 101/1001 front, so I thought I would do something a little different and instead of focussing on what needs to be done on my day zero list, I thought I would make another list, a list of 101 things that I have seen or done or which I am proud of or happy about.. things that were great adventures or I have wonderful memories of. I’m hoping that seeing that list will make me more motivated to work on the things that still need to be done on the other list.. make sense?

Here we go:

  1. Moved to Melbourne and made a whole new life for myself.
  2. Went skydiving – twice!
  3. Married Luke (even though it terrified me)
  4. Had very close friendships with my inner circle
  5. Hosted an ongoing weekly dinner party (Sunday Night Dinners!)
  6. Did a Melbourne – Perth road trip and lived in a tent.
  7. Scuba Dived in the Great Barrier Reef
  8. Visited Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  9. Did a motorcycle tour around rural Vietnam
  10. Moved to New Zealand
  11. Went Bungee Jumping – twice!
  12. Went to the Fire Ball Festival in Thailand
  13. Became a Feminist!
  14. Saw the Plain of Jars in Laos
  15. Went back to TAFE and did my VCE
  16. Did a UniPrep course at UNSW
  17. Got dreadlocks
  18. Pierced my nipples (lol)
  19. Went whale watching
  20. Went to an AFL football game
  21. Rode an elephant in Thailand
  22. Did a Great Ocean Road road trip
  23. Experienced the killing fields in Cambodia
  24. Went snorkelling in Mexico
  25. Got matching tattoos with my best friends
  26. Got matching tattoos with my husband
  27. Saw my godson be born
  28. Watched Rachel and Nick be married
  29. Participated in A&C’s secret wedding
  30. Lived in a crazy party house (twice!)
  31. Participated in a drinking competition (well many, but shhh)
  32. Went horseriding on the beach
  33. Went skinny dipping
  34. Had a surfing lesson
  35. Became a vegetarian
  36. Saw Pearl Jam live
  37. Went to The Big Day Out (a few times)
  38. Saw Ani Di Franco live
  39. Stood up to Elias and left PE when I was being bullied
  40. Saw Counting Crows live
  41. Went on an international business trip
  42. Camped in the rainforest
  43. Mended things with Theresa
  44. Supported Ashleigh when the rest of the family wouldn’t
  45. Gave money so that the SA group could buy a birthing pool
  46. Donated blankets and Mosquito nets to the kids at Umphang school
  47. Wrote to the Talsico sponsor child
  48. Sponsored 2 children at the Umphang school in Thailand
  49. Kept a travel blog when we were backpacking
  50. Sang Karaoke
  51. Took a chance on L
  52. Danced in public
  53. Saw VNV Nation Live
  54. Went to a Grand Silent System Concert
  55. Went to Cirque Du Soleil 3 times
  56. Saw the Phantom of the Opera
  57. Took Mum to see Mamma Mia the show in Melbourne
  58. Saw Priscilla Queen of the Desert in Sydney
  59. Went to the Ballet
  60. Went to an underground film premiere
  61. Saw the Dalai Lama
  62. Camped out for tickets
  63. Went to a Metallica concert
  64. Saw A Perfect Circle Live
  65. Won a sports trophy (first place!)
  66. Stayed up all night
  67. Saw the Franz Josef Glacier
  68. Went to the Baxter Detention Centre protest in 2003
  69. Went to an Anti war protest
  70. Bought organic fruit and veg every week from a farmers market
  71. Submitted an article to Susie Orbach
  72. Wrote letters to the health minister about the Maternity services review
  73. Helped get a pedestrian island built on a dangerous road in Sydney
  74. Made a submission to the marriage equality review in favor of marriage rights for same sex couples
  75. Took my grandmother skydiving for her 61st birthday
  76. Sent Chris care packages when his Dad got sick
  77. Gave up smoking
  78. Photo of the day with my Mum
  79. Went kayaking on the Mekong river in Laos
  80. Volunteering at the Oxfam store
  81. Went caving in Thailand
  82. Supported R during her secret B.A.
  83. Gave anonymously to the homeless person in S.C.C
  84. Took care of my Big Issue Man
  85. Took Mum to John Edward – Twice
  86. The whole Beautiful girl with the long blonde hair story
  87. Painted our car with peace signs and funky designs
  88. Road trips with Mum and Debi
  89. Visiting the Blue Mountains
  90. Paddle Pops in Port Douglas
  91. Started the friend book with Rachel
  92. Floated down a river in an inner tube in a National Park in Thailand
  93. Lived out of a backpack for 6 months
  94. Kayaked through the South China Sea for Outward Bound Singapore
  95. Pulled Nasifah out of the pool when she had been pushed in and couldn’t swim
  96. Made a wish on a shooting star in the desert
  97. Drove across the Nullabor
  98. Made a speech at uni even though I was terrified
  99. Giving out care packages to the homeless kids in Cambodia instead of money
  100. Volunteering at the Youth Refuge for a year
  101. Started 101/1001 and continue to challenge myself

Wow, that was much harder than expected! (I started this list days ago!) But definitely gives me motivation to get back on track with 101/1001 so that next time I try and do a list like this I have a lot more to work with!

I haven’t been posting much of late. With my replacement being trained up at work, I don’t really have a lot of free work time to be updating during the day and the last week my Mum was visiting from QLD and I have a friend in town from Amsterdam so most of my ‘home’ time is taken up catching up with the two of them. We also have 9 days left in the country so we are frantically trying to sell the last of our belongings and organise ourselves before next Monday.. eep is all I have to say about that though, because if I start going into it my head could just explode!

In 101/1001 news, I am a little bit closer to completion on a few of my tasks which is nice. I am almost half way through # 69 (Get rid of 101 things that I don’t use or need) It’s been surprisingly easy considering we are moving house. My favourite part of that challenge was giving my boss’ son one of our old guitars. He has been coming into the office after school once or twice a week for the last couple of years so we have spent many an afternoon chatting to each other about the world. He is 14 and absolutely in love with all things musical so when we were talking about getting rid of one our electric guitars he seemed like the perfect choice. The day after I had given the guitar to his Mum to give to him that night I came to work to find this:


He had picked the flowers himself at a reserve where he likes to walk sometimes, and the note was so beautiful that I almost started my Friday morning crying at my desk. He talked about how he couldn’t believe I had even wanted to talk him all those times and how I was so nice and friendly and how lucky he thought was just to know me *sob* he said that he had really mixed feelings about me moving to NZ but that he was really excited for all the great things that were going to happy to me in the future. What a wonderful kid! I wish I could bundle him up and take him with me!

I have managed to cross off two things on my list completely this week:

#90. (Sell/Give away clothes that don’t fit anymore); I have sold a few of them on a forum I frequent (making about $400 which was nice!) and the rest are all packed up ready to be taken to the Salvos next time hubby has a day off work.

#62. (Say yes to more social situations); while technically this is an ongoing challenge which I will keep at for the duration of the challenge (and my life) I feel like I have done well enough at it so far that I can justify crossing it off. Last week was a big week for me, I had dinner planned with someone every single night of the week, so when Friday night came around I was really looking forward to settling in at home with a movie and some chocolate. When my old friend called in the morning asking me to come to a super indie movie opening with him I almost declined, but remembered my list item and said okay. I ended up in a strange suburb in Western Sydney watching a premiere indie thriller movie in a ramshackle theatre with 30 super cool bohemian film students (or ex film students), I ate free popcorn and got to watch the newest short film project from this years Tropfest winner – on her personal mac, in her office, with headphones, while everyone else downstairs played movie soundtrack trivia – I drove the streets of Sydney with my old friend for hours laughing and chatting and talking and ate a midnight dinner with him in the front seat of his car before getting home a little after 1am.


All in all it was a wonderful night, and although I could barely keep my eyes open when I got home, it was well worth it!

And, since it’s something I would normally say no to, and since I had been out for dinner with someone every night last week, I’m counting that as a successful cross off.. I will continue to work at it though, and will report on any other significant progress as it comes up.

Yesterday, while at lunch with my family, there was some contention about the ‘meals outside’ issue. We ate at a beach side restaurant, with walls so open that I thought it could almost count as a meal outside (#99) There were five of us at lunch so I took a vote, two considered the seat to be outside while the other two said it was inside (darn it) I was supposed to be the tie breaker, but I figured I wasn’t a reliable unbiased source so I took the tie to count as a no, which means my tally still sits at 5/101. It was still a great lunch though, and it was a spectacular day in Cronulla yeasterday, almost beautiful enough to make me not want to head to chilly Queenstown next week.. almost.. but not quite!


After family lunch I spent the afternoon with my Mother. She flew back home this morning and it was the last time we’d get a chance to spend time together for quite a while (what with me moving to another country and all). We saw a movie and spent hours in Nulla Nulla cafe downing coffees and chatting away. It was so great, except that spending time with her just makes me miss her even more once she goes home again.

Anyway, that is the update from me. Back to packing and cleaning and organising our lives…

So, today was the Triple J Hottest 100 songs of all time, which was equal parts excellent and frustrating, but I’ve been meaning to do my own hottest 100 list for a while, it’s one of the things on my 101/1001 list (can you tell I have a thing for lists?) so I thought I’d use today’s countdown as inspiration to finally get my list down on paper (or virtual paper at least).

Of course my list isn’t a hottest 100 songs of all time list.. I don’t pretend to have enough knowledge to compile a list like that, my list is more a list of songs that have influenced my life or that have meaning to me. So it is more of a Hottest 100 songs of me.

Anyway – here goes! Even though I will have changed my mind by this time tomorrow!

100. A Perfect Circle – Pet
99. The Doors – Light My Fire
98. Fiona Apple – Slow Like Honey
97. Fischerspooner – Emerge
96. Incubus – 11am
95. Metallica – Enter Sandman
94. The Prodigy – Breathe
93. New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
92. The Grand Silent System – At Close Quarters
91. Muse – Supermassive Black Hole
90. Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun
89. Tracy Chapman – Bang Bang Bang
88. Augie March – There is no Such Place
87. System of a Down – Chop Suey!
86. The Cruel Sea – The Honeymoon is Over
85. The Doors – People Are Strange
84. Tori Amos – Me and a Gun
83. Something for Kate – Electricity
82. Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi
81. The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
80. Silverchair – Tomorrow
79. Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough
78. David Bowie – Life on Mars
77. Dire Straits – Romeo & Juliet
76. Mairi Campbell & Dave Francis – Auld Lang Syne
75. Crowded House – It’s Only Natural
74. New Order – 60 Miles an Hour
73. Editors – The Weight of the World
72. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
71. Simon & Garfunkel – Mrs Robinson
70. U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
69. Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life
68. The Tea Party – Walk With Me
67. Damien Rice – The Blowers Daughter
66. Smashing Pumpkins – Perfect
65. Hilltop Hoods – Nosebleed Section
64. The Cure – Lovecats
63. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
62. Coldplay – Yellow
61. Smashing Pumpkins – Lily
60. Rammstein – Du Hast
59. Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile
58. Tool – Eulogy
57. The Verve Pipe – Colorful
56. Gerard McMann – Cry Little Sister
55. Tori Amos – Silent All These Years
54. Pearl Jam – Daughter
53. Death Cab For Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark
52. Apoptygma Berzerk – Until the end of the World
51. Nine Inch Nails – Closer
50. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under the Bridge
49. The Lovemongers – Battle of Evermore
48. Ben Harper – Diamonds on the Inside
47. Smashing Pumpkins – Today
46. Bernard Fanning – Watch Over Me
45. Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box
44. Jack Johnson – Better Together
43. Eddie Vedder – Let my Love Open the Door
42. Pulp – Common People
41. Urge Overkill – Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon
40. Apoptygma Berzerk – Eclipse
39. Joshua Radin – The Myth of Us
38. Gary Jules – Mad World
37. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Henry Lee
36. V.A.S.T – Touched
35. The Smiths – Girlfriend in a Coma
34. Radiohead – Paranoid Android
33. Nine Inch Nails – We’re in This Together
32. Juno Reactor – Personal Jesus
31. Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet With Butterfly Wings
30. Paul Westerberg – Dyslexic Heart
29. U2 – Dancing Barefoot
28. VNV Nation – The Farthest Star
27. Ani Di Franco – Two Little Girls
26. Counting Crows – Perfect Blue Buildings
25. Powderfinger – My Happiness
24. Covenant – Dead Stars
23. REM – Losing My Religion
22. The Tea Party – Stargazer
21. Cranberries – Zombie
20. Radiohead – Karma Police
19. Mike Doughty – I Hear the Bells
18. Jeff Buckley – Grace
17. Cure – Just Like Heaven
16. Pearl Jam – Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
15. Powderfinger – These Days
14. Live – Iris
13. Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
12. Jackson Browne – Running on Empty
11. Johnny Cash – Hurt
10. Pearl Jam – Jeremy
9. Tori Amos – Crucify
8. Ani Di Franco – What if No-one’s Watching
7. Wolfsheim – Once in a Lifetime
6. Eddie Vedder – Throw Your Arms Around Me
5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms
4. Joshua Radin – Today
3. VNV Nation – Beloved
2. David Bowie – Rock n Roll Suicide
1. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

I realised today that i am 38 days closer to day zero and that progress on my list hasn’t been going so well. It hasn’t stalled completely either which is good but things aren’t moving along as nicely as I would like. I suspect it’s because I kind of feel like my whole life is on hold at the moment until the move. Anyway I decided this morning to take a bit of a look at the list and see if there was anything I could do today and I found two things that I could at least get started on. #47 (make a list of 101 things that make me happy) and #41 (Write a list of 101 places you want to see before you die). I started both lists and have managed to complete one. The other will stay safely in my drafts until it’s ready to be unveiled but for now here is:

#47. Make a list of 101 things that make me happy

1. Brunch with my husband in the sunshine
2. Starting a new book by a favourite author
3. Waking up without the alarm/sleeping in
4. Hot chocolate by the fire
5. Being able to see the stars
6. The sound of waves crashing on the beach
7. Photo of the day with my Mum
8. Holidays
9. Laughing until I cry
10. Friends visiting from interstate/overseas
11. Long emails from friends/family
12. Catching up with friends for coffee
13. Sitting on the grass in the sunshine having a sandwich and reading a book
books sunshine
14. Freddie (my lovesac beanbag)
15. Planning my next holiday
16. Putting “pins” in my Places I’ve Been Trip Advisor map
17. Having a clean house
18. Reading through my travel journals
19. Visiting a new country
20. Seeing something in person that I’ve read about
21. When my husband’s wedding ring catching in the sun
22. Home made dumplings
23. Taking photographs of beautiful things
24. Talking to friends on the phone
25. Making lists
26. Having savings in the bank
27. Buying plane tickets
28. Being a vegetarian
29. When my dreadlocks are neat and tidy
30. Writing
31. A new episode of a favourite TV show
32. Hearing my husband laugh
33. Roadtrips
34. Using my imagination
35. Hugging people hello who I haven’t seen in a while
36. Going out for meals with friends
37. Walking around and listening to my ipod
38. Waking up in the middle of the night and realising I still have hours to sleep
39. Dancing around my house when there is noone else around
40. People watching
41. That feeling when I’ve just had a really incredible dream
42. Doing nice things for the people I love
43. Buying books
44. Massages
45. Making it home just before it starts to rain
46. Listening to the sound of rain on the roof as I’m falling asleep
47. Re-watching a favourite movie
48. Planning future adventures
49. Christmas at Mum’s place
50. Having my four besties in the same place at the same time (rare!)
51. Seeing old people holding hands
52. Finding the perfect present for someone I love
53. Making mixed cds for people
54. The smell of fresh babies and puppies
55. Getting money back when I do my tax return
56. Reminiscing about happy times
57. Walking with a friend
58. Watching people who are in love
59. Finding a really great song
60. Freshly cleaned sheets on my bed
61. Finding a restaurant with great vegetarian food
62. Getting mail
63. The smell of really great coffee
64. Crossing things off to do lists
65. When people ask me for travel advice
66. Naps
67. Getting a new high score in Bejewelled Blitz
68. Having a seat free seat next to me when I travel
69. When my husband picks me up from work and opens the door for me from inside the car
70. The smell of wood fires
71. Being snuggled in bed when it’s cold outside
72. Putting clothes on straight out of the dryer
73. Visiting art galleries
74. Feeling inspired
75. Feeling the vibe when everyone is happy and having a good time
76. Having the solution to someones problem/question/need
77. Getting lost in a daydream
78. Making a difference
79. The feeling of anticipation before a good night out or a holiday or a visit from a friend
80. The smell of jasmine at dusk
81. Summertime, when the sun sets really late
82. The smell of vegetables stir fried in sesame oil
83. Feeling connected to the people in my life
84. Being able to inspire people
85. Finding little ways to show friends and family that I love them
86. When people trust me enough to confide in me
87. Saying I love you at the end of a phone call
88. Having a really great word in Scrabble
89. The smell of my knotty boy dreadlock wax
90. Tasting the food on someone elses plate when we go out for dinner
91. Dessert
92. Lying on the floor in the dark and listening to music
93. Making other people laugh
94. When my backpack is right there on the baggage carousel when I get off a plane
95. Getting new stamps in my passport
96. Remembering past adventures
97. Seeing my friends happy
98. Feeling passionate about world issues (although the picture is of tears it really does make me happy)
99. Learning new things
100. Unexpectedly hearing a song I love
101. The fact that I have so many things that make me happy!

The end!
I really enjoyed making this list, in fact I challenge you to do the same if you can. It’s heartwarming and kind of exhilarating to realise that our happiness (well mine, anyway) depends on so little. Not lots of money or extravangant things.. just simple every day stuff.


There is something really wonderful about coming to Melbourne. I find it so empowering to return here year after year. Though I only lived here for 5 years, it feels like home. Right now I’m holed up in my hotel room, a little seedy, with a view of another persons window less than a metre from mine, but just a few steps from degraves street – the hip coffee hub of town – and just a few minutes walk from ‘the clocks’ at Flinders Street Station, the ‘meeting place’ for friends and lovers alike.

Although I lived here for such a short time, those years were so filled with life. My Melbourne years were very much my ‘coming of age’ years and I will always treasure them. Most of my current day friends are friends I met through my first Melbourne job where I was receptionist in an international student accommodation building for 2.5 years. I still have friends all over the world from that job, not to mention that I met my 3 closest friends in those walls (room 519!). Of the 20 guests at my wedding, all but seven of them could be traced back to that job, and the people I met there.. in fact if I had never met them, I wouldn’t have met my husband. How different life would have been without that job.

When I first moved here I was running away from my small town upbringing, I craved the anonymity of a big city, the freedom to discover myself without a whole town watching. I moved here with my friend K and her 3 year old son D. I’ve no idea why they agreed to come with me but I’m so thrilled that they did. We shared a house in the suburbs our first year here, when I wasn’t working nights, or studying at TAFE, I would come home and read bedtime stories to D and he would fall asleep in my arms. But I was working in the city, and studying full time as well and making new friends in town and K was feeling abandoned. When our lease came up for renewal K decided to move in with her folks and so I moved out on my own in Richmond into a tiny flat in a crumbly old building. I loved that flat and it became the scene for many a party over the next few years. What started out as just my little place turned into the crash pad for a cast of thousands, soon there were three of us living there full time (the two gals from 519 and I) and various boyfriends and friends and interstate visitors pulling up a patch of floor whenever they needed to. There was always people, and music, and drinking and love in those four walls. The three of us – three girls, all out of towners and the very best of friends – were inseparable, we did almost everything together, and the times that we weren’t together we would be texting each other frantically about whatever it was we were doing. We were so close that when they went home to Perth for summer holidays, I would go with them, meeting their parents, partying with their school friends. It was heaven.

These days the three of us live in three different states. We see each other once or twice a year if we are lucky, though I still consider them my very best friends. One of us is married with two young daughters, it’s incredible to believe that we were once these three young girls, so lost and trusting and full of life, living at full speed every single day, drunk on freedom and passion and $5 bottles of pink ‘champagne’.

So coming into Melbourne – the skybus trip from the airport to Spencer St station specifically – brings back so much of that for me. Not to mention the years that came after, the early years before my husband was my husband and was just the cute boy I had a crush on, Melbourne was the scene for the first couple of dizzying years of our relationship when we were so desperately in love and lust and totally intoxicated with each other. Our first home together was a high rise apartment with city views which we shared with various people from the big hearted pommie boy stoner turned marathon runner to the crazy but lovable psycho girl and her equally crazy (but remarkably less lovable) boyfriend who would scream at each other in massive arguements long into the night. The parties we had there, with countless people smoking and drinking on our ginormous balcony – almost as big as and running for the entire length of the apartment, New Years parties, Australia Day parties, Orphan Christmasses for the people we knew whos families were a world away, or not worth visiting; Birthday parties and farewell parties and ‘oh look, I got a great deal on ecstacy’ parties.

My life here was always so varied and interesting, from drinking competitions with the USA frat boys to dancing up a storm in a dark and smoky goth club, my Melbourne years shaped me in a way that no other phase of my life has to date and I think that no matter where I go, no matter how many cities I live in or countries I move to, I will always think of Melbourne as my true home.

And what better place to do number 12 on my list “take a trip by myself”. I have left hubby at home for this little holiday, choosing to explore the Melbourne of my past without him. I’m here to eat at my favourite restaurants, meet with old friends, and wander the streets and I reminisce about my history here. It feels good to be here on my own, free to do as I please, and free too, to miss him a little as I go about my day, I think that’s so important in a marriage, to long for each other a little, it makes going home to him something to be treasure just a little bit more.

I saw this meme over at Carly_Grace’s blog today and thought I’d give it a go.. with 26 minutes left at work today it seems like the perfect thing to fill out my afternoon.

8 Things I’m looking forward to:

  1. Spending the weekend in Melbourne
  2. Moving to New Zealand
  3. New Moon *blush* (how embarrassing!)
  4. Seeing my husband
  5. Meeting Ben
  6. Having friends visit our new house
  7. Having a baby
  8. Working through my 101/1001 Day Zero Project list

8 Things I wish I could do:

  1. Travel to every country
  2. Win lotto
  3. Change the world
  4. Get a puppy
  5. See my friends more often
  6. Make everyone happy
  7. Get a BFP
  8. Write a really great novel

8 Things I love:

  1. My husband
  2. My friends
  3. My family
  4. Freedom
  5. Adventures
  6. Chocolate
  7. Learning
  8. Being an activist

8 Things I did Yesterday:

  1. Had an afternoon nap
  2. Bleached a few of my dreadlocks
  3. Procrastinated
  4. Tweeted
  5. Watched ‘Before Sunrise’ (love that movie)
  6. Had lunch with my little sister
  7. Bought some erotic fiction from book depository
  8. Looked at a friend’s photos of the Ferret races on the weekend

8 Shows I watch:

  1. Mythbusters
  2. Serial Killer Sunday
  3. Pushing Daisies
  4. Grey’s Anatomy
  5. The Gruen Transfer
  6. The L Word
  7. True Blood
  8. Media Watch

8 People I tag:

everyone who reads my blog (that probably isn’t even 8 people haha)

Our New Zealand holiday continues. We arrived in Queenstown yesterday afternoon and today we saw our new house for the first time. It’s exciting, and terrifying all at once. I am no longer worried that the house will be falling to pieces or will have rats in the bedrooms (I worry about some strange things – I know!) but now I am worried about not being happy here. It’s a silly thing to worry about, happiness is so subjective and so dynamic too. It’s not really something that can be measured or compared. I’m just a worrier I guess, always have been, and that’s not likely to change overnight!

I was able to tally up a few partial completions on my 101/1001 list today which is great. Hubby and I ate burgers on the shores of Lake Wakatipu today. It was bitterly cold, but wonderful and refreshing at the same time.. we discussed whether or not the meal could count as a picnic (Hubby thought it could – his definition of a picnic being a leisurely meal outdoors, but I decided that it was probably cheating.. a picnic for me includes either one or both of the following: a meal eaten outside on a blanket, or home made meal eaten outside: our meal today included no blanket and was burgers and chips from the local Fergburger restaurant), in the end it was decided that since it was my list then my interpretation of ‘picnic’ was most valid and so lunch today didn’t count as a picnic, meaning it couldn’t work towards #22 on the list (Have 2 picnics by lake Wakatipu, one during the day and one by moonlight), but it did still count against #99 (Eat 101 meals outside)so I’m still happy with that. Once we had finished with our meals we fed the ducks which was fun, they swarmed around us fearless and flocking.. it was eerie and delightful all at once.



Today, I was also able to put a mark against #42 (Visit the ocean at least 4 times) when, while driving from Franz Josef to Queenstown yesterday afternoon we turned a corner leaving lush green rainforest behind us and found ourselves face to face with the most turbulent ocean I have ever seen.. it was a gray day yesterday, overcast and rainy and windy, and the dark beach with the gray waves crashing violently on the sand really was a sight to behold. Strangely enough the length of coastline, about a kilometre in length was framed with piles and piles of pebbles and rocks, columns balancing precariously in spite of the crazy wind and the crashing waves.. it sure was something! I like to imagine that it is some kind of strange freak of nature that puts them there, the wind picking them up in the black of night and stacking them high.. though more likely it is bored children and thoughtful travellers. Either way it was quite beautiful and absurd.



Tomorrow we head to Twizel, and then on Friday back onto Christchurch for our flight home on Saturday. I thought I would be feeling sad about going home, but I’m feeling quite good about it. Not much need to be sad I suppose since we’ll be back in a matter of weeks. In the meantime there is lots of packing and paperwork to do.. I think that is the main thing to do when it comes to an international move; packing and paperwork. I’ll probably get a bunch more photos in the next couple of days, but until then, here are a couple of my favourties from the past couple of days.