Stuff I don’t mind no. 16: Thriftshop and the state of modern music.

I’ll start by apologising for being a little behind the times. I sometimes have opinions about stuff and then forget to write about them for months at a stretch on account of being busy with my growing Benedict Cumberbatch obsession amongst other things. Anyway.

My penchant for a bit of pop music here and there is not news. Actually, nothing I have to say here is actually news, except perhaps if I self published a newspaper titled Stuff That Has Happened or Perhaps Been Thought About By and To Carlynne in which case my listening to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem on the way to work would be stopping the presses.

I do love a hit here and there. The masses make songs popular because they are fun or catchy or enjoyable in some way (and also obviously because they celebrate grinding against some bird on the d-floor and make us all feel a little bit more dirty). Every now and then, we all need a dance, and a tune to dance to. It’s helpful if the song we dance to doesn’t make its living off kicking women in the face, or rely too heavily on the repetition of key phrases such as “life, oh life, oh life-doo doo doo doo doo”, but mainly we just want a beat that keeps us moving and a fun chorus to wail while doing the dishes.

Thriftshop by Macklemore was first introduced to me by a friend at work. I dug the shit out of it immediately on account of it being just problematic amounts of fun and, delightfully, a hip hop song that scorned the usual brand and status whoring that the genre is known for and openly praised op-shopping. I then proceeded to ‘introduce’ it to all of my friends, completely unaware that everyone already knew this song as it had been thrashed by all stations for months.

I kept enjoying it right up until voting time came for JJJ’s Hottest 100, the yearly countdown of Australia’s (and by Australia’s, I mean Triple J listeners who can be bothered to vote and the few of us who continue to vote despite being hopelessly outmanned in a sea of music we have never heard) favourite songs.

Thriftshop came in at number 1, as voted by… those that voted (including me! Come at me bro). This, though, was apparently NOT OK according to lots of people who thought that this spelt various disastrous things like:

People enjoying songs that they themselves don’t enjoy

Music these days being nothing but awful dub-step and awful hip hop

Folks not knowing that they should only enjoy the lyric heavy, heady-theme laiden alt music and not the poppy fun stuff involving hooks and swears

Presumably folks relishing the idea of op-shopping, which is a gateway shopping and will lead to the purchase of both infants and ivory on the black market

There was such aversion to this song arriving at number 1, despite the fact that it getting there meant that a lot of people must actually have dug it. It seemed a portent of an apocalypse of Bad Music, that would sneak into our homes and give our children terrible haircuts and lower our IQs by repeating lines like “This is fucking awesome” in our ears as we sleep. Heaven knows most things I utter on a daily basis are Shakespearian as compared to that gutter-esque filth. I will not be debased, Macklemore! Take your gleeful and entirely dance-able espousing of the benefits of thrift elsewhere!!

I think perhaps that what Thriftshop’s success actually spells is that a lot of people liked the song, for the very plausible reason that they liked it. I think perhaps also a lot of these people could have been people like me who enjoy a variety of different musics, some of it theme laiden alt business with the dramatic synths or the seventeen part harmonies and some of it the fun stuff with the catchy hooks that make us want to flap and twirl by the sink.

I feel OK about the state of modern music because I know (just like most other people do) that when I want to find new and exciting artists I need only ask my friends and there they will be, waiting to be laid bare inside my ears. There is a crap-tonne of wonderful, beautiful, heartbreaking and ear blistering music floating around, and if some of it is dub-steppy or hip-hoppy or not your bag in other ways, common sense would suggest you steer clear of that stuff and look for what makes you sing.

And furthermore if as many people are dissatisfied with the state of modern music around the globe as claimed to be on Facebook post Hottest 100, then odds are some of them are musicians who can put their accordions where their mouths are and make some music that they, and maybe even the masses, will like.

In the mean time, I’ma keep dancing in my kitchen, because music is fun and I feel like that’s sort of the point.

How Meredith saves music festivals

Dirt is good for digestion

I shook the base player from Regurgitator’s hand

People are marvellous

All music festivals should encourage people to pick up their shit

Fruity lexia does indeed make you sexier

Though Primal Scream could have been more literal about it, they were pretty good

BYO policy means a world of trashy canned beers that inevitably taste the same waiting for you to not care and drink warm

Organic toilets are the straight up dopest

No one cares what you look like when everyone looks like shit

Legitimate reason to eat beans straight from the can and eat Coke for breakfast

Future husband located (feel that his being a rockstar only helps my cause)

New appreciation for ready availability of soap

A weekend without Facebook, mirrors or mobile phones surrounded by trees, music and the most a-grade peeps known to man is a fucking good weekend


Things I do less well than other people no 3*

Manage to make headphones ‘work’ for me.

I listen to music sort of all the time. Fortunately headphones exist so I don’t have to be as unpopular as the wankers who listen to their Rhianna or LMAO streaming tinnily from their phones on the tram OR suffer the crippling back problems that surely inflict all who popularized the boombox back in the eighties.

Currently I roll a pink set of $20 sony’s or something like that. They’ve got those rubbery little inner ear bits which does make listening a much more enjoyable and more-likely-to-get-me-killed-by-fixies experience BUT they will insist on sliding casually and incrementally out of my ears with beyond irritating regularity.

So as I strut along to the Black Keys or Band of Skulls or S Club 7 I also have to squish the ear-buds back in every twenty metres or so. This as I’m sure you can understand is exponentially more complicated if I have anything at all in my hands to hold whilst squishing. So I’m rocking along, minding my own business, when I feel the tell-tale tickle of my stupid buds wriggling out to the cusp of my ear where they’re held in place by only the slightest amount of touch and a good feeling and will linger for almost as long as it will take to lift my hand from pocket or shift my coffee to the other hand and then fall merrily away. This is even more hateful than the stupidly intricate knots they manage to weave themselves into whilst sitting quietly in a bag (HOW DO THEY DO THAT).

Also it seems I must wear clothes embedded with series of hooks, snags and clever little wire pinchy parts because with the slightest schaffe or flail or regular arm or head or neck movement headphones are yanked violently from my ears leaving me outraged but impotent in the face of the certainty of its happening again.

I feel like other people are able to walk and wear these things and have it not be a huge friggin deal. Like, they manage to make it down the road without grunting in frustration and jamming the buds back in their effing ears for the eff-hundredth time, or swearing brutally as one errant bud swings glibly to their waist, inevitably pulling their twin down to join the fun. Am I so uncoordinated that I am magically transmuting my awkwardity to inanimate objects via spazmosis now? Yes. It seems so. This would explain why my gloves keep falling out of my pockets.

*this is one of the grossly outdated ones I mentioned a couple of posts ago. I now have huge fuck off yellow noise cancelling, ear owning ones that have rendered all previously mentioned issues redundant, have excellent sound quality, keep my ears toasty in the icy Melbourne wind and have also given me a healthy dose of “hey look at me, I’m the shit”.

Sometimes you wanna go

As illustrated in a few posts dotted here and there, I’ve been a bit up and down over the last few months. Sure, I came home from the Christmas hols all full of pluck and vim and other sailor-esque, nineteenth century words and was ready to DO THINGS and WIN AT LIFE and BE BEEETTTEEERRRRR. And in a lot of ways, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve been busier but also more organised than ever before, I’ve been exercising in a more frequent semi-regular way, and I’ve been getting stuff done. I’m still loving my job, I rediscovered my passion for my religion: everything’s coming up Carlynne.

But not wholly (don’t worry, this isn’t going to be about how my life is really awesome but there’s this one thing where it’s not and isn’t that just the worst).

There’s a lot been going on for the last month or so, some of it concerning friends, some boys, some concerning situations at work that give me the irates, some concerning being told by lovely people that innocuous things that I do that don’t really define me or even matter are annoying and that leaving me in an emotional black hole because what do I do if someone doesn’t like every part of me etc etc.

It’s all very dramas and probably would make for very boring reading, so to summarise,

busy+stressed = not sleeping = exhausted+emotional.

A lot of sitting and watching Dr Who today helped, but what also assisted was having dinner and wine last night with pals at the boys house, dinner and wine with my housemates and my friend Jess tonight and talking to my mate Oz on the phone for his birthday. I love Oz; he is one of my favourites of the species. As are the housies, the pals and Jessie.

I realised last night as I contemplated the mental health day I was taking on the morrow, that I was feeling a little lonely. This is partially laughable, as I have friends in ridiculous and wanton plenty, thank God.

But it’s also just something that happens, I think, when you’re full up and perhaps not used to being so, and you’re surrounded a lot of the time by lovely people, who, though lovely, are still relatively new to your stuff and you somehow fall a little out of sync with normalcy and spend a lot of time in your own mind, going over the things that people have said are wrong with you over the last little while and remembering all you’ve got to do when you wake up.

So, what’s necessary here is a reminder that there is life abundant outside of my mind, and  it’s gorgeous and erratic and brave and some of it is in the voice of my dear friend who turned 32 yesterday, and some is in dinners with beloveds and some is in the lightning that lit the sky and tore it apart tonight.

And I am thankful for these things.

When I turned 30, I had a couple of parties (because that’s my jam) and as indicated in a couple of the posts I’ve self indulgently linked to above, both were populated with insanely wonderful people. I meant to write some of this then, but as I got busy (read distracted) I let my little tribute fall by the wayside. So because tonight I was reminded that my friends are to me like oxygen, here is a little something something that should have been written around four months ago.

I know the greatest people that walk the earth. I have not verified this fact by any mathematical or anthropological study, but feel certain of its truth. This is mainly because for such magnificent people (for instance Caz, fierce and passionate and courageous or Paul, who is funny and loyal) to be placed in such quantities at points around the globe would surely be a statistical impossibility. The people I know (like Adam, who is HILARIOUS and brave and outstandingly loving and supportive of his wife and children) are so much around me, and so much good, that I worry sometimes for their safety. It cannot last, someone being so surrounded by such goodness, surely. The world has taught me that.

Surely such riotously excellent individuals as Kate, and Josh, and the NSP, and Erin and Joe and Jess, all gentle and wise and love to me, SHOULD be spread out. I have too much, I am greedy and spoilt for choice.

I went tonight to celebrate with friends, and they came to me and they talked and laughed and stayed with me and they lifted me and warmed my heart because somehow, for some reason, they love me too, and I hold the unmitigated honour of being associated with them.

So I don’t know the reasons or the statistics, really, or the magic of why I’m loved so, but I will try to retain the sense to revel in it whenever I can.


Ps I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I couldn’t possibly mention all the people I love, it’s too much (just FYI my big brother, little brother, their wives, partners and children are all just IDIOTICALLY, UNNECESSARILY COOL and my mum should win awards). I will rest assured in the fact that as I have no internal monologue, if I love you dearly I will at some point have told you so.

Pps. Just to reiterate, Adam “Beat” Ganglen, yo. Fo sheazy. Top shelf.

To the Church, from a cynic, on the occasion of her confirmation.

Dear “the Church”,

I was born into you, raised by the faces of grown ups that smiled at me, collections of casseroles after church and of course obligation. You introduced me to The Lord and to your people, well meaning individuals who dressed neatly and said things like “Jesus came into my heart” and “I have a calling to go to Africa”. I learnt to raise my hands in worship and to try earnestly to remember how bad I was when instructed to think of the cross.

I went to many of your incarnations over time, and at some point along the way, I began to wonder what was actually going on.

Questioning the things your people said to me on a Sunday led to my feeling misrepresented and disconnected from and by you. Now this is nothing new, but led incrementally to distaste for you altogether. I am sorry, church, but I met too many people who didn’t understand what it was they were enthusiastically espousing and who blithely assumed that their truth was the only truth.

Added to this was your not insignificant betrayal of many people I know and love, including some in my own family.

I felt your denominations were irrelevant.

I wanted to be a part of the kingdom, not a man made institution that often seemed entirely removed from the world it allegedly wanted to help.

I kept attending a variety of your faces but always looking for what was wrong and the little that was right, my ear tuned for the mistakes that would be inevitably made and my cynicism about the whole palaver at the ready, should I need it.

I began working at Brunswick around 15 months ago now. I had concerns at first, though the job and my subsequent involvement in the regular meetings of your group here came at a time when I was ready to find a solution to my sparring with you.

I have to say, your little group here in Brunswick are lovely. They have been so outrageously welcoming and full of encouragement it quite literally shocks me. I often shake my head at my good fortune, and marvel at the lack of all that I despised about you before.

So Brunswick has taught me that while a congregation can be different from my experience and challenging in its views, it can also be heartfelt, authentic and gracious. I started thinking about membership a little while ago, mainly as a response to your people here.

That was shortly before I fell in love with you.

I went to a conference a few weeks back. I was scared of it, to be honest, on account of all the Christians that would be in attendance. We both know that I am not their type of people and they are not mine.

On arriving however, I found around 70 young people whose guileless friendship inspired and floored me and around whom I felt I was my most authentic self, cynicism and all.

During the week away I learnt a lot about you, and how you are, in your Uniting form, committed to the most basic and beautiful and important and life giving things imaginable.

I also realised with a shock, while watching Ken Sumner lead communion, that though I’ve never been someone who is ashamed of her faith, though I’ve not been afraid to talk about it, I have been so concerned about removing myself from all that I dislike about Christianity that I had at some point forgotten nearly all there is to love.

I had grown so competent at pointing out all that is wrong with you, that I had smeared my cynicism over all that was right, obscuring the possibilities you’ve been holding politely for years as I railed against your obsolescence.

I am sorry to say, I had let myself grow embarrassed of not just you but all connected with you.

As I watched Ken tenderly speak of this gorgeous tradition and remembrance, I realized for the first time, that I can actually embrace what I believe, and not become something that I hate.

I can celebrate with friends who believe and friends who don’t, because to celebrate my faith is to celebrate something both unique and beautiful and only found here, in me, and something that is a part of the ancient, the holy, the transcendent and the joyful. I don’t need or want to separate them any more.

So church, I am writing to apologise I suppose. I wanted to explain that though I have insulted you, and though I thought I had good reason, I want to give us another try, if you’ll have me, for in you I now see the face of my father.

I know you’re human, and fallible and sometimes dirty and broken and wrong, but you have the capacity for great beauty, and courage and wisdom and the ability to walk around in the mess of our lives, finding the lovely parts and making them shine and I’ve always been the type to believe the best about things anyway.

Lastly, I don’t think that church membership is the only, or the best way of doing life. But I have been placed in a fortunate position inside your monster, and believe that those that can unite to try in a corporate sense to fight for justice and mercy and love, to join the monster in its challenge against the empire, should do so. For me that means no longer pointing the finger at you in accusation, looking at myself as a part of this magnificent story and making sure that the change starts here.

With love,


So excitement

This year I’m going to get fit! I know, right?!

Also I’m going to try and be hella creative.

And I’m doing a couple of cool things like blogging for the uni mag and making a monthly soundtrack for my friend Doyle’s life and then writing about it.

Combine all that with a shit-load of excellent people, a trip to Europe and a few ideas up my sleeve for work related projects and I’ve got myself a pretty ok 2012 lined up.

2011, what have you done for me lately?

The stats.


half completed “before 30” to do list

turned 30 (with minimum freaking out)

tagged one wall, one post box, one toilet (raging against the machine, you see)

embroidered one beard, one wolf, one banjo

attended 9 weddings

got significantly drunkish, quite a few times

procured a new mac

made a butt-load of new friends

got heart broken by A Song of Ice and Fire

discovered Chuck, Community, GoT, Big Love and a previously undiscovered depth of devotion to Grey’s Anatomy


Harry Potter wand


all the dancing in the world and finding shapes I didn’t know I could throw

my family, extended

rooster cardigan, cat vest

my dear, dear, dear friends


I should not be surrounded by good looking/intelligent/witty young men. Bad.

new friends are THE SHIT

I can hold down a job. For a year!

embroidery is quite soothing, for a bit

music will always save my life

I know some stupidly, extravagantly wonderful and loving people.

death is often completely shit

it IS possible to have a mental break down over gingerbread

I continue my streak of being an occasional but thorough douche

the viewing of various 19th century novels-turned-movies is better done without the aid of much blueberry vodka

I can get good marks

I have the power to not like boys but said power is wily and precocious

failing subjects does not feel nice but feels better then losing ones mind

beauty is a drug

music is a drug

coffee is, of course, a drug

I do not wish sadness to be a drug

family, ay? Who knew.

I am addicted to sugar and will find giving it up hilariously difficult

George R.R. Martin is NOT TO BE TRUSTED

the power of a good playlist should not be underestimated

my ability to be envious of others talents and creativity is substantial

my ability to justify the spending of money on music, tv shows, vintage back packs and food is the stuff of legends

If I don’t think I’m wonderful, who will?

though-all of my beloveds seem to retain a steadfast belief in my wonder, even when I do not

I need to write more

to forgive is such good therapy

I’m ok, I think.


Another year, it seems. Lovely.



what is it good for? (Christmas edition)

I dig Christmas. It is the time of year when the two warring halves of my personality are most at odds, but when my perky, carol loving side beats my surly inner hipster down with tinsel and candy canes until she limps off mumbling about how happiness is so mainstream now.

I love the food, I love the cheesy decorations (within reason people-I’m watching you) and the carols and stupid Christmas movies and TV specials. It is a shiny, lovely, sprinkly time of year. Why anyone would want to declare a war on such a magic-fest is beyond me.

I don’t really get the whole ‘War on Christmas’ thing. Probably because in Australia we don’t seem to be that fussed about it all so its import has sort of sidestepped me a little. It’s also probable that I don’t get it because I don’t need to.

The first time I really thought about it was while laughing my ass off in that Community episode where they’re really over the top about how to be culturally sensitive at Christmas. The dean was taking incredible pains to not be offensive to those who didn’t celebrate Christmas (Merry Happy!) and Shirley changes the words to Silent Night (sleep in relative ease). It’s classic.

Obviously part of why that is so funny is that it verges on the ridiculous to remove everything that could be conceivably offensive to anyone and in the case of Silent Night it left them with bland and meaningless (and HILARIOUS) words to engender some sort of vague holiday spirit. I thought “hahaha, how true. It’s a little ridiculous to care so much about religious sensitivity. How much of a big deal could it possibly be, if I say the word Christmas. It’s all a bit silly”.

I know it was an exaggerated situation, but according to some American contacts I have and some footage I’ve seen of certain American talk shows, this is the reality a lot of Christians are facing. Their children can’t say Christmas at school any more. Their malls display the generic and inoffensive “Happy Holidays”. The Christ is being taken out of Christmas. Bum bum buuuuum…

To that I say: Hooey. Bull, baloney, hogwash.

If you are a Christian, if you believe that Christmas marks a day (note to remind you that Christmas was originally a pagan festival, usurped by the Chrishies to celebrate the birth of Christ- he wasn’t actually born then) for the rememberence of when your loving and immense God became flesh and dwelt among us, then no rebranding of the arbitrary day chosen can take the Christ out of it. Let me tell you a secret.

Words only have the power that we give them.

It’s not like Jesus is Tinkerbell-ing every time someone says “X-mas” (note to remind you that the X in X-mas means Christ, so calm your farm) or “Seasons Greetings” and one day he’ll cease to exist because enough people didn’t believe in him (quick everyone! I DO believe in Jesus! I DO believe in Jesus!). If THIS is the God you believe in, you should exchange him for another because he sounds useless.

To that I also ad: I don’t care.

I don’t care if no one calls it Christmas. I don’t care if all nativity scenes blow up. They could send tanks into the streets with huge pointy guns pointed at my face that will shoot me in my face (which, btw, is similar to the experience of a lot of Christians in other countries who could conceivably cry religious persecution) if I so much as think about baby Jesus and it still can’t change what it’s about for me. I choose to celebrate the birth of Christ, as a reminder that love moved to be near us in the form of a wee baby and then went on to show us the importance of peace and a completely counter cultural, revolutionary way to live.

Christians! Think for a moment about what you’re fighting for! This time of year, the decorations, the Christmas specials, the ridiculous, heart attack inducing quantities of pudding don’t equal Christmas. It seems extraneous to have to say this after the millions of Christmas specials that have taught us, ironically, the true meaning of Christmas.

There is a reason everyone rather hypocritically decides that at this time of year more than any other time of year is the bit we should be nice and forgive our brother-in-law for backing his car into ours. It’s because Jesus came to show us how to give of ourselves and by doing so, changed everything. That, overly pedantic and petulant brothers and sisters is what it’s all about.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, that’s cool! It’s fine. I don’t celebrate Hanukkah, or Eid al-Adha or any other non-Christian religious festivals, because it wouldn’t make sense and because they don’t mean anything to me. My fellow believers: same goes for everyone else. Similarly if, like my wonderful big brother, you think that the Christmas story is a load of hogwash, that’s fine too. It does seem ridiculous.

If you do celebrate Christmas, and you believe Jesus to be the (I’m sorry) “reason for the season”, perhaps a lovely way to celebrate is by being kind. And loving. And by reconsidering your four hundredth Christmas purchase and maybe doing something more necessary and helpful with the money. And by perhaps thinking about the many other ways you can expend your energy in loving the unloved, feeding those that are hungry and fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves as He showed you and in doing so, worshipping a God who cannot be hurt by people’s refusal to speak His name, and who does not care about tinsel, or shopping malls, or carols or presents or pudding or the word we’ve given to the day we celebrate His coming to us.

Accidentally Relly St

So a couple of weeks ago I got respectably tipsy with a bunch of my cousins in a shed in Port Lincoln. Novelty hats were found and donned, arms were thrown around shoulders and the lyrics to Livin on a Prayer were proudly screamed into Strongbow bottles. We kicked things off quietly, I thought- I certainly had no idea that six hours later I would be swaying gently on the back of a ute as one of my cousins cavorted with a cut out horse- with a glass of wine over lunch and then essentially we didn’t stop.

My family is fun.

Not uncommon, I’m aware, but you see I didn’t know this. Don’t get me wrong, I’d always liked them when we managed to see each other, a couple of us used to live near each other and so were friends when we were younger (six hundredth viewing of Wayne’s World, anyone?), but things change, people grow up and move and mortgage things, or something, and you end up being one of those people who knows she has an extended family, but can let four year periods pass where you don’t see any of them without even thinking about it.

I guess I’d always thought that those immediately around me were my family, that the people that take care of you, that listen to your shitty stories and laugh until they pee a little with you mean more than people who just happen to have similar genes (for additional points, guess who spelt this word like the denim garment on first draft?). An on purpose connection surely means more than an accidental one.

I have, though, on occasion been jealous of those families that dig each other. My mate Amy always sees her cousins when she visits Melbourne and they laugh hysterically and get each other and it baffles me. My old housemate has cousins that are like sisters to her. How does this happen?

Last year, I made a wee note for myself as part of my list of things to do before I was 30, because I saw people like my housemate, and my friend getting on with their fam and it struck me as odd that my family connection for the most part stopped with my mum and brothers. Then of course after I made the list I forgot about it, and like, did things normally (read: in a manner both slovenly and oddly frenetic) and let nearly a year pass without anything happening. Because that’s how I roll, yo.


Then, my Grandma. I hadn’t seen her in a while, and she’d moved back home to Port Lincoln where she used to live, and then in the space of just over a day, she got sick and she died.

It was pretty strange.

(This will sound dumb, which I know is something you’re not used to from me, but I am not the person that this happens to. Which is exactly what I thought back when I was 13 and my Dad moved out or back when I was 19 and my Uncle Rick died. Out of the ordinary, dramatic things don’t happen to me, they happen to People That I Know, Friends of Mine; generally Other People. I did not, and still do not, I think, understand what it means that I no longer have a Grandmother because she stopped being alive. And just as I processed my parents marriage breaking down by confessing it to my school friends in quiet, giggly whispers and imagining the wonderous things my Dad would buy me now we were a “broken home”, I absorbed the reality of my grandmother dying with the quick, no mess no fuss “let’s just get on with it then” manner which I’ve realized is how I do things.)

So one day I’m at work, telling clients not to be racist and then the next I’m in another state, feeling bad that I haven’t cried yet, and then the next I’m chasing bottles of Moscato with bottles of cider and just the worst shot I’ve ever had in my life (sorry Mel) with a bunch of people I barely know.

The whole drunken day was quite the surprise for me, and just beyond surreal at points. My cousins Mel and Catherine were distant memories of mine, two small girls, one blonde, one brunette, filed away from a time when we were all too young to care that the others existed until I entered my uncle’s house and saw them on the couch, looking for all the world like two grown up women.

(Catherine didn't know what time it was.)


And they have jobs and opinions and long pretty hair and stuff and I was initially intimidated because the idea still had not occurred to me that maybe, just maybe my family could be one of those ones who enjoy each others company and I of course assumed they’d think I was a douche.

That was before Catherine started pouring me tumblers of wine and I knew we’d all be ok.

(there was something over there)

And we’re out in the sunshine, them and me and my other cousins Ro and Kelly talking and laughing and drinking and I realize that I like my family. That it’s been hours now since I felt remotely uncomfortable (I was so comfortable that though I paced myself and actually was significantly less drunk than others I could name- I’m looking at you, Ro- I still joined in the loud singing and mad dancing to mid nineties pop BECAUSE THAT’S MY JAM). I realized that my cousins had become my friends, either again, or for the first time.

throwing some shapes


I realized that I was one of those people.

A couple of points- My cousin Kelly is the shit. I love her and her wife Ro and they will come and visit me in Melbourne I hope. Hoorah! Hilarious, kind and accepting ladies.

Mel and Catherine exceeded all my expectations. I didn’t have any really, aside from my usual unvoiced certainty that people that aren’t nutbars won’t like me. Turns out they are nutbars so we’re ok.

The Uncles and the Aunts, are all crazy, and a little inappropriate when drunkish (stern looks towards my mum’s brothers). Albie and Helen were effing guns of hosts and I felt loved instantly by all, which surely, is a convenience that you should be able to go to your family for.

Uncle Albie. A good man with a penchant for impropriety.

So. It’s shit that it took my Grandma dying to bring us all together. It’s shit that she didn’t see us falling about laughing or hear us screaming lyrics raucously from her position inside with the grown ups for she would have loved it.


But this time taught me a number of things, mainly that life can actually, just, end and so now would be the time to love those about you and find the ones that aren’t about you to love, but it also taught me that family is kick ass. The only real thing we all had in common aside from Bon Jovi, was our connection to a lady called Merle Ransome, and though we are not a part of each other by choice, we are a part of each other. And this is a real, solid and wonderful thing.