the girl who lost her face

She had a lovely face. She would wear it all over town, and most who saw it were moved to smile or at least to look away disinterestedly. She wore it well, her face. It’s curves and smiles, it’s eyes and forehead were all in their appropriate places- she wore it well.

She had a particular look she was trying out. It was a faraway, pleased but mysterious look. It carried a sense of whimsy around the mouth and that of a thinly veiled secret hovering just above her brow.

She was getting better at it. She did it more and more. She would look at herself and think “that is it. That is my face. I can see it now”. She made the faraway pleased but mysterious look all the time.

Then one ordinary day, she woke up and something was different.

Her face was gone.

She moved around her house like one dead. She could not eat, she could not see; she had no face.

In the street people didn’t look at her at all. They didn’t understand what she had lost. She took to sitting by her window, and to feeling the soft breeze on her shoulders. She would have cried, but she didn’t know how.

She moved towards mirrors and would run her fingers juddering down the glass, trying to remember what her face would do: the way her lips would pull to one side, or a slight crease in her brow.

“Damn” she thought as she strained to recall the face she had loved,

“I thought that was the one.”


Upfield line to City

At Jewell Station a man gets on the train and stands in the doorway, looking out. A girl on the platform laughs saying “you’re holding the train” and smiling he steps back.

She lingers until the door shuts as if making sure he will stay put then she waves and walks away as our train heads the opposite direction. She is barefoot and happy and her short bob is a deliberate mess.

I watch the back of the man as he moves to a seat, and so does a guy nearby with a bike and a ponytail. He shakes his head.

I wonder why because all I want to know is if they are in love, if they’ve just spent the night and the day together, if each are giddy and sick from the other.


then i saw his hat

Yesterday I went to a café near the church I work at with a friend I know from there. Outside was a guy in a collared shirt and vest and a suit jacket wearing these really long and high buckled boots that you see and you think you know something about the person wearing them. Something like they might have friends who cross-dress and have baby pink hair or they probably only listen to Nine Inch Nails or you’d think they hate their dad but that seems too obvious.

As I sat in the café drinking a banana smoothie my friend who is around 70 asked if I thought the guy out the front was an orthodox Jew. From where he was sitting he could only see the guy’s top half as he unfolded himself from his chair and put on a wide brimmed hat and an overcoat, despite it being 20 degrees out. I said I didn’t think so and then I saw his hat and said “well I guess he could be”.

The guy and his friend came into the café. He took off his hat and said “thank you very much, I hope you have a great day” and nodded at the woman behind the counter and then put his hat back on and left again. She came around to clean some tables and she was smiling and I thought there you go-that’s how easy it is.

What not to say

In recent years I’ve sported a short, asymmetrical ‘do that has kicked ass, jabbed my eyes frequently and led to many un-PC speculations about my sexuality.

It is quite short at the back. Think a brunette Ellen DeGeneres or a female boy. My hairline unfortunately extends a decent few inches below where the hair cut stops in two ragged and hairy tooth shapes, which when left unchecked leave me looking somewhat fur collared. One of the myriad benefits of said haircut is the opportunity to regularly shave my neck. Not only is this good exercise but it also provides a nice tempering to any unlikely aspirations I might have to ever be a real lady.

I didn’t ever stop to think about becoming a woman that shaves her neck when I was younger and much more starry eyed. But there’s a lot that changes when you grow up, and neck trimming it seems is par for the course in response to the life choices I’ve made.

I was at a party on NYE and chatting to a quasi-bearded friend (male). Because I was a few G&T’s in and because my frequent razoring has left me much more attune to the plight of those amply follicled, I mentioned, in what I’m sure was an appropriate moment to do so that I shave my neck. My conversational partner was a little shocked but only, I think, because it was not something he had considered before. He also pressed upon me the importance of blogging about this, as he too was several G&T’s in, and so here we are.

What I find interesting about any of this, because of course it’s patently clear that nothing else is, is that I am often embarrassed to admit to the neck shaving. It’s not really talked about over pizza or the water cooler or the whatever else, because it seems a little embarrassing to admit. And that shits me. I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t want a hairy neck, because my do requires a certain shape to look like it is supposed to. That I find a hairy neck inherently unfeminine is a problem for another blog- today my beef is with all the crap we are not supposed to discuss.

I have a lovely friend, who after the turn of the year, asked me if I thought it was lame (paraphrasing a bit) that one of their resolutions was to make this year the one where they wound up in some sort of meaningful relationship.

I of course hushed them right up quick smart because to talk openly about one’s desire to find companionship can only mean that one is desperate and one can of course only find said coveted companionship when one is certainly not looking for it and doesn’t want it at all.

Actually I told my friend that they are excellent and brave.

We are often of the understanding that to talk out loud about being lonely, or looking for love is a little bit uncomfortable. Where did this idea come from? I know people who’ve been advised for years that they will find “the one” (please) when we’re “not looking” (honestly).

In a lovely paradox, we are supposed to soldier on happily in our singledom, knowing we’ll scare secret spouses-to-be away if we admit we’ve spotted them skulking in the underbrush, but we can’t ever talk about how happy we find our soldiering.

We are not allowed to say

“I am lonely and I find it entirely shit” but in equal and confusing measure

“perhaps I am super happy alone and get a lot more done”

is also off limits.

Similarly a parent is not supposed to say that sometimes they wish they hadn’t had children so they could play x-box all day.

Maybe it’s just the truth that is uncomfortable.

I am aware that there is often a time and a place for certain conversational topics- I will never, fucking EVER condone the Facebook over-share and I will probably not ever start a conversation with the words “I bleed monthly from my vagina and what do you think about that”- but, I don’t like the mystery and the hoo ha and the connotations that to admit certain things, to utter them out loud is to conjure the lord Voldemort of awkward societal topics. What’s the worst that can happen? Your friends might find out that you get gassy from eating apples? That you took secret pleasure from the getting the black shit out of your nose post-camping? That as much as I pretend to be still fairly keen and am afraid it will make me look like an unfeeling, unwomanly monster, and as much as I adore my nieces and nephews that I remain completely unconvinced that children are a thing I would ever want to grow in my body?

This is how the church ended up being a place where people are uncomfortable and ladies body parts got all the worst curse words.

I demand truth, for goodness sake, and the truth is this.

I am sad sometimes because I am alone. I am happy sometimes because I am alone. I don’t think I want children. I love, LOVE, sitting around and not doing anything. I hate it when you get lyrics to songs wrong. I like unhealthy foods. They taste good. I have kissed a grand total of one boy in my life, but have really wanted to kiss around six or seven. I am sometimes afraid of dying but most often I’m afraid I’ll not live well. Beans have been known to give me gas. I shave my neck sometimes, and bleed monthly from my vagina.

Try it.

You might like it.

The Hit List

A summation of stuff, 2012 style (Because I need to remember things sometimes so I can keep my shit together. The asterisks are for what took me a little by surprise):

Dated, both speed and real (with dude)*

Played golf

Fell in love quite a bit

Got punched soundly in the heart a few times

Crossed a mountain range

Visited my beloved Vincent in the Musee D’Orsee

Met Berlin. Approved.

Took a lovely rolling bike tour through Barcelona

Walked five days of the Camino/had five of the best days of my life

Saw Stephen Fry perform for five pounds (bargain)*

Was tattooed by a Bulgarian

Ate and enjoyed capsicum and lasagna. Presumed I must be growing up.*

Met Doctor Who and became an infinitely better person

Met so many excellent people it is a little ridiculous

Became a member of a church* and

Learnt to like Christians*

Saw Sufjan, Death Cab, Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Beck, Cake, Beirut (x2), Sigur Ros, Regurgitator. I remain as enamoured of music as ever

Increased tattoo coverage by 250%

Remembered countless times why I hate slow walkers but more times why I love humans

Was told off by a parent for swearing at the age of 30*

Felt thoroughly mediocre more times than I’m happy with

Was selfish, and lazy, and mean and was reminded why those are shitty ways to be

Met my new neiflings who are only two months old but are already strong and mighty and beautiful

Learnt that I am ok

Learnt that sadness is not the end of me


Went to two music festivals

Drank a lot

Wrote some

Wanted to write more

Committed petty acts of vandalism







Danced enough for several lifetimes

Watched the world not end: was pleased, though not surprised.


All in all, not a bad drop.

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 am average at no. 453: Music Festivals.

OLD PERSON CONFESSION: I have never been to a music festival before. I always wanted to, you know, ten years ago when Big Day Out still looked remotely interesting but it has never worked out. Until, that is, last weekend.

Harvest was the first festival happening near me with a line up that I felt justified the expense. So rock, right?

First off, very exciting. Yes. We all piled in to Kate’s car and sang along loudly to various, sunny-day-we’re-going-to-Harvest tunes, languidly cutting our way through the spring air. So exciting, all the way to Werribee where it was exciting in a 45 minute long traffic jam (spicing up the traffic jam portion of the day up nicely was meeting a car full of young hippie folks and gratefully accepting mouthfuls of mango, proffered by one through the car windows. Young hippies were also gracious enough to lob handfuls of large and scratchy red glitter into the backseat, and to plaster some to Paul’s face after licking it. Bless).

Harvest itself takes place in a super pretty and super large garden. They’d made good use of the space and there was whimsical decorations and performance spaces and delicacies galore which I had intended to like, thoroughly enjoy, and sprawl under and imbibe but after some wandering and a little art session,

Mine and Kate's attempt to fight nuclear weapons.

the Silversun Pickups were on, and like, you go see the Silversun Pickups. And then you know, you get ice cream and you try to sit for a bit but then Mike Patton is yelling in Italian. You don’t ignore that kind of thing. So you wander back to the Great Lawn along with hundreds of other nomadic, dirty footed, sunburnt crazies, but then after he’s jumped around a bit and made Italian pop songs seem just ridiculously edgy, you realise you’ve got fifteen minutes till Cake and you still need to find a toilet and fill your water bottle and pay a dollar to put more sunscreen on because direct sunlight man, what a bitch, and by the time you make your way to the Windmill stage you’re missing Love You Madly which is your favourite, by the way.

So I’m watching Cake, and having just the best time, partially aware that it would be better if I hadn’t misplaced all my friends- the last two on account of the involuntary run I broke into on hearing the aforementioned song, when I of course begin to quietly panic about Beirut, starting in fifteen minutes. I send around a few messages and after five minutes manage to track down three of my companions and we join the large migration spilling back onto the Great Lawn and find a spot to sit and wait. I am by now quite stressed. Several of my group I haven’t seen for a few bands now, and I am plagued by the feeling of disorganization that must haunt the parents of small children at all times.

Beirut are marvelous, I adore them and they are marvelous. They are, I think, a little lost on such a huge stage and their music is perhaps suited to a slightly different venue (SERIOUSLY, I ADORE YOU, BEIRUT) and so when after they had finished and I was continuing my resolute possession of the piece of lawn and my friend Josh found us and was fucking happy out of his mind on the amazing time he’d had at Cake I got a bit pissed off. Josh. Shut up about what a great day you’re having.

I’m a jerk, it turns out.

People were leaving the lawn for Ben Folds, but I refused. No. No more seeing half of bands and watching the time. No. I will sit here for hours, surrounded by banana peels, water bottles and pot smokers. I don’t care.

Soon though, I actually didn’t care because Beck obliging came out and rocked all of my socks off. So that was nice. I don’t usually dig on the mega-skinny white boy thing but, damn. That man. Damn.

Then he left and I remained, parked on our bit of lawn dotted trash heap, aware in my viscera that Grizzly Bear were beginning to play somewhere tantalizingly close by. I just couldn’t do it. After constantly moving for the first two hours of being there, the only thing keeping me sane was my little patch of grass and forgetting everything else.

the magic lawn part we fiercely possessed and lots of legs

How, do people do these things with poise? How do you decide to watch one band that you love knowing that you’re missing another? How are you perched in trees and not stressed out of your mind about locating your similarly tanned friends and getting to some tent or other?

I don’t know if I like music festivals. Or at least not ones with a phat and tasty lineup. Too many treats and Carlynne gets cranky. Others blithely swan from stage to stage or sit in a giants bird’s nest between shows while I am tapping my invisible watch and internally screeching. I’ve always wanted to come to one of these, and I imagined myself bathed in the glow of all of my favourite music, and drinking in the sunlight and laughing with my friends but in reality THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEWHERE TO BE AND THE BEER IS CRAP AND SUN IS HOT, YOU GUYS.

In summation, I’m too old for this shit.

Lest you think it was a crappy old day, I will remind you that I saw the Siversun Pickups, Mike Patton, Cake, Beirut, Beck, and- Oh my goodness, Sigur ros*.

So, Cat Lady whining aside**, I saw some amazing bands, got a mango bite, and, not to be too tacky, may or may not have made my way with a couple friends into a backstage area where we may or may not have drank Moet with the string section of one of the bands and helped ourselves to said band’s leftover fruit and condiments. It wouldn’t do to name drop, but

Maybe I’m not too bad at this after all…


*If you can, ever, in any way, using any means, please- see them live. You don’t understand. If you have ever wanted to go somewhere else, Narnia, Middle Earth, Neverland, whatever; do yourself a favour and watch this band. You go away, and you’re somewhere quiet and beautiful and cacophonous and dark and heavenly and you forget that you’ve been standing for six hours and that the group of four who graciously pushed their way immediately in front of you after the band started haven’t stopped talking the entire time, or, that you’ve ever had a real problem in your life.

** Not quite done yet: pot- I don’t like the smell of it. It could be an age thing, but I don’t think I ever have. And, maybe it’s just me but is it polite to spark up a doobie in close proximity to my very pregnant friend Amber? I don’t know if it is.

And speaking of polite, if you want to talk, go sit in the fucking birds nest and talk! Don’t waltz in late, nearly knock me down with your little back pack and have a chat about how much you love the band that you’re missing because you’re talking over them. “Sigur Ros, is my happy music. They sound sad, but they’re also like, happy? You know?”. Honestly. Point me to my armchair.

Hello, friends

How are you?

Just so you know, a few things have happened to me recently.

I know, I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath, but then we’ve got to keep moving; something else is using the Internet in ten minutes.

They weren’t super exciting things involving promotions or monkeys or super dramas things like my brother being kidnapped by terrorists and forced at gunpoint to construct a nuclear device. Just some things (one of them was making friends with an amazing Irishman -no, it wasn’t like that- another was walking over a mountain range -yes, it was cool and it does make me a little better than you) that have added up to me being a slightly different me than I was.

What they have wrought, in their little subtle-life-altering-Frankenstein-ie way, is Carlynne 3.1(the birthday came later but we’re pretending it’s all been timed really well).

Carlynne 3.1 doesn’t apologise for herself.

Now- to be clear, this is not in a douchey way. If I tread on your toe or diss your woman I’ll apologise the crap right out of you. Goodness- if I’m playing music too loud on the tram, please tell me! Because that is so impolite and I’m so sorry.

In the past though, some of the stuff I (and I’m sure actually a lot of other schmucks) have been apologizing for and the ways I’ve been sorry are things like this:

Feelings of noticeable discomfort around people who could reasonably be described as ‘Hipsters’ as am convinced that I am not quite as cool (I have too many emotions, and don’t wear t-shirts as nonchalantly), and they will see me as not as good, which they should be spared from, sorry cool people that I’m not cool-


Concern over certain items of clothing accentuating my wobbly arms, wobbly belly, large boobs or big frame and as said accentuation means that people will see them, I feel badly as these wobbly bits are obviously something that no one should be forced to look at I’m sorry world for the bits I will cover them all up for ever-


The certainty that all conversations I engage in are mostly my responsibility and that I need to be the most entertaining/sincere/wise/funny/lighthearted person ever witnessed and when a conversation veers off course or stalls or seems awkward that this is all self’s stinkin fault because of self’s failure to be one or all of the above; sorry chat buddy for not being radiant and wittastic constantly I’m sorry

And so on.

That’s a bit shit.

Carlynne 3.1 doesn’t care. She does not need to be intimidated by anyone, because this is all bullshit. She is a person just like all the other people are and this is ok even when she laughs too loud, or likes a Justin Beiber song, or plays with her iPhone in front of the ones in the great jeans and scraggy hair*.

She has realized that how she appears to passers by, friends and loved ones does not matter, that they will love her anyway if they matter and that she is fabulous and, it turns out, beautiful**. She has never allowed herself to say this aloud before.

Carlynne 3.1 knows that there are at least two parties involved in the conversations she is a part of (save for those she has with herself, and those are another story, for another blog post) and that if things don’t run as perfectly as the script she sees in her head that this is OK too. Also, she refuses to let silences be awkward. They are simply a lack of noise***.

So that’s some stuff.

Let’s move on now, hey?




*Carlynne 3.1 does not wish this post or any comments herein to be seen as an indictment on those of a Hipster persuasion- she has nothing against that lifestyle whatsoever. She has Hipster friends and an argument can easily be made, thanks to the nebulous definition of the Hipster, that she is in fact one herself, from time to time. You know, when the mood arises.

**The secret to this step is not a diet, or a tummy flattening undergarment, or a facelift- it is much simpler. It is deciding to believe it. Voila: Instant confidence. Who knew.

***Seriously the other day I interrupted these two dudes I barely knew as they were very clearly finishing a conversation and smiled benignly at them for around four minutes as they finished talking and prepared to leave the area. They looked politely at me from time to time, wondering why I was watching their boring chit-chat. I was quite comfortable there. Quite comfortable.