1) What was I doing ten years ago?
I had just started my first 'real' job and re-moved out of home (I'd been asked to leave home at 18 and allowed to move back in at 23 after I got back from overseas).
Looking at it now, it was a significant year… that year I met some wonderful people who are still my friends, did a lot of stupid things, made some poor decisions, grew up a lot and learnt heaps about myself, and met the man who introduced me to my husband (he’s now my brother-in-law).
If you’ll allow me, I’ll just recollect for a moment (tilts head to left and looks skywards).
I was living with two people I went to Uni with – a guy and a girl. The guy was a frustrating individual (think OCD, HDD and Tourette’s all in one person) but a talented photographer and the girl was a twisted warped excuse for a human being who happened to be a rower. Of course I didn’t know this when I moved in. But the frustrating photographer began to grate on the twisted rower. So rather than moving out herself, she decided to begin a reign of harassment against him including playing loud music at 4am when she and her Neanderthal boyfriend got up to train, bagging out his job, making cruel and unkind comments for no apparent reason and generally being a bitch. When I asked her about it she said she had nothing against me, and that I was welcome to stay in the house (which ironically the guy and I had found). Anyhoo, it all came to a head one day – photographer was trying to vacuum and she kept pulling the cord out of the electricity outlet. He’d come to see why it wasn’t working. He’d plug it in and walk away. She’d unplug. Eventually they were facing off and she hit him. He called the police and she called her coach; petrified she’d lose her scholarship. Anyway, the police came and mediated and got agreement that she would move out in a month. Not before her Neanderthal arrived with a car-load of male rowers to try and intimidate us. Photographer didn’t press charges, knowing that she’d lose the scholarship (he was a sweet-natured frustrating photographer at heart). And for the next month the photographer and I lived with our parents rather than cross paths with her. Which was hard for me because my job was 100m from my door. SO she left – didn’t pay a whole lot of stuff and left the place filthy. I subsequently moved on, didn’t see the photographer, but was really close to his then girlfriend so we re-told the story often and composed what we’d say to her if we saw her. Which we never did. Which was odd being she still lived in Canberra.
Fast forward to late 2007 when I attended the inaugural (and so far, only) craftanoon held in Hackett. I had been looking forward to it for ages thinking how great crafting get togethers seem to only happen overseas. I knew that Kathreen Rickson (of whip up fame) would be there and it’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to being a groupie. So I turned up, met Kathreen and her daughter and some other lovely people. And then the rowing skank turned up. She recognised me, smiled, then must of realised that I would not be similarly pleased to see her and her face fell. My immediate reaction was to get the hell out of there. But I’d looked so forward to it. And there was Kathreen. And people with sewing machines. And ideas. So I stuck it out for a while and tried to ignore her. I’d nearly bitten my tongue off from suppressing witty and catty slurs against her. I didn’t want to seem small and bitchy in front of godess Kathreen. But she’d sucked all the pleasure out of it for me. So I just left. Anyhoo. Hardly a story of hardship and suffering, perhaps more impotent rage management.
That year I also met (through internet dating – but that’s another story) a man called James Brown. Not the Godfather of Soul. In fact, he was a tall, muscular, fair-skinned, blonde ex-military type. James Brown loved to exercise, and did not drink or smoke. He was as close as I came to finding my complete opposite. But the thing that struck me was that he chose to stop drinking. I was at the height of my drinking then, and I couldn’t fathom how anyone could voluntarily choose to live their life sober. He told me some sob story about ‘losing control’ and I couldn’t understand it any more than I could if he were speaking Mandarin. Needless to say, the relationship was not long lived. But he was a lovely guy, and I wish I could meet him now and tell him that I understand. And that I wish I’d been ready to listen to him then and saved myself a few more years of alcohol abuse. Having said that, he also said I should exercise and stop smoking, which I've also chosen ignore.
2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today? Go for a walk (done), iron, fold clothes, clean the bathroom, cook dinner. I’m on maternity leave so they aren’t really ‘non-work’ as I consider what I do here at home to be work. I probably won’t do any of those things though. Just surf the net. Or watch Foxtel.
3) Snacks I enjoy? On-again-off-again chocoholic, hommus, hot potato with sour cream, cheese, mushrooms and chargrilled sweet potato, chocolate icecream – I could go on and on and on and on…
4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire? Anything I want. Pay off houses and travel for me and family. Definitely not work. Lots of random acts of kindness. Sponsor guerrilla gardening initiatives. Fund programs for addicted mothers. Buy lots of plants.
5) Places I have lived? Canberra. Many suburbs, always Northside.
I had 10 months in England in 1996 where I lived for 3 months in Elton near Peterborough and in 2001/2 I lived in a hotel in Brisbane and Coolum for six months while working for PMC on CHOGM.
6) Jobs I have had? Retail (shoe shop), café staffer at Cockington Green, Carer for an elderly lady in England, Synopsis Writer at Media Monitors, Political Information Analyst, Public Affairs and Research/Information Officer for the Minerals Industry Association, Media Adviser to a Senator, Media and Publications officer for CHOGM, Public Affairs Officer at the Department of the Environment and now a policy officer for the Department of the Environment where I managed a database on threatened species information. Also currently the Minister for Treasury, Family and War at home.
7) Peeps I want to know more about? Everyone. Everyone has a story.
* From Frasier Episode "Dad Loves Sherry, The Boys Just Whine"