My Old Red Gem

This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for October. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 2: Do you remember your first car? Did you give it a name? Tell us about your first car or what it was like when you learned how to drive.

I decided to give this post prompt set another try. I wasn’t too keen on the September prompts but think some of the October ones could be fun so here goes..

Do I remember my first car? Of course I remember my first car! Is there anyone that doesn’t? I feel like many people think fondly of their first car, regardless of whether it was a rusting heap of junk or something fancy and new. My first car was a red Holden Gemini, 1981 model.. it was older than me but I still loved it. It was (and still is) the only car I ever liked to drive.

My car looked a lot like this – except mine was cooler!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of my actual old car, but it looked a lot like the above image but it was lowered, had a little spoiler, tinted windows, a black interior and a sun roof. Probably not the best car for a P plater to be driving around in, I got pulled over by the cops a few times until they realised I was a 17 year old girl and not a 17 year old boy. I know I know, massive stereotype but given the boys I went to school with.. it’s pretty accurate.

We had a lot of adventures together, good and bad.. like the time where I had a car load of friends in the car and drove out to a party in the middle of no where.. I don’t think my car was made for that type of weight. It struggled and I wondered whether it was going to get stuck on a bump or in a pothole. We made it home alive though, although I do remember having to do a roll/clutch start around a round-a-bout on the way home that night as it randomly decided to stall on me. It did that a lot, I got really good at those.

I did name my car, it’s true… her name was Ruby. Very creative I know, Ruby being a red gem. I remember friends yelling “Come on Ruby, you can do it!” whenever it sounded like she was about to stall, in hopes that she wouldn’t. She probably did.

Fortunately, when I was a learner, the stalling problem hadn’t started happening yet otherwise it would have been no fun at all trying to learn hill starts. There were many a fight between my Dad and I on those lessons. It reminded me a lot of this scene in Looking For Alibrandi:

I probably didn’t swear at my Dad though… probably. I think I’d have remembered the consequences of that.

I haven’t driven much since my beloved Ruby died and was towed away to the wreckers back in 2003, I didn’t have my licence for 10 years up until earlier this year. Since then I’ve only driven once too, so now it’s like I’m learning all over again. I don’t think it’ll be quite the experience it was last time though.

Lost in Space

This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for July. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 21: Did you dream of travelling to the moon when you were a kid? Tell us your thoughts on the moon and space travel

As a kid I really enjoyed learning about the solar system and all the things out in space, and back then Pluto was still considered a real planet. Poor Pluto. That being said, I never considered being an astronaut or travelling to the moon. Really, it’s just too scary and well, the moon looks boring. Low gravity would be neat though.

When I think space travel, I think of the movie Gravity. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be floating endlessly into space and just waiting to die, especially if you were flipping over and over and over and over. I mean seeing the earth from that distance must be awesome but there is just way too much risk involved for me to want to get off this planet.

I also think about the other planets, most notably Jupiter. I think it’s my favourite planet even though it is sort of terrifying. I remember the day I learnt that the ‘Great Red Spot’ was a massive endless storm that was bigger than the earth! It’s so creepy to think our whole planet could be sucked into that storm.. you know, if Jupiter somehow started sucking us into it.

Jupiter – the massive monster that could eat us all

On a side note, Kalliste is actually a variation of Callisto, one of the four largest moons of Jupiter, which were named after the lovers of Zeus.. for some reason. The mythology of it all is pretty cool.

So,  at this point travelling to the moon (or being one of those crazy people volunteering to travel to Mars) is certainly a no go for me. And I’m ok with that.


How I write

This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for July. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 15: What is your favourite writing tool? Do you only use the computer, or do you still love pen and paper?

I can’t recall a time I ever enjoyed writing with pen and paper. I do love stationery and enjoyed seeing the vast selection of things I could order when I worked in a warehouse but I never much liked using them. If I were to enjoy writing, it would be on a nice ring bound notebook with a gel pen. As a left hander, there are 2 flaws to this plan:

  1. Ring bound notebooks are such a pain, it causes issues trying to get close to the margin because the rings are sticking out, so you end up with a ring imprint on the side of your hand.
  2. Gel pens are a bit wet, so if I’m not careful I can end up with smudged paper and a black hand.

Not only that but I remember back at school doing my HSC (year 12 exams) and there was so much writing. I had to have a bandaid on one of my fingers because my pen was causing a blister and it hurt so badly. My handwriting also gets worse and worse the longer I have to write.

I find typing on a computer so much easier than hand writing ever was. It’s fast and easy, if you make a mistake no need for crossing out, rubbing out or whiting out; Just a few presses of Backspace and you’re good to go again. Not only that, but everyone can read what I write if it’s typed up, this is more than I can say for my handwriting.

There are also the keyboard shortcuts you can use while on a computer, I remember times at school or work where I’d try and Ctrl + C my notes on the paper… and then I’d realise I was writing on paper and I couldn’t copy and paste.

Overall, I think typing is far superior to handwriting and it allows a wider audience to see and understand what you have to say.

Celebrating the 4th – Australian style

This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for July. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 5: Tell us about your July 4th celebration.

So, obviously, it isn’t day 5. I was going to skip this prompt because, as an Australian, the 4th of July is just another day for me. For some reason though, this year I had two 4th of July/American themed celebrations. Considering it isn’t a day of much significance here that was a bit odd so I figured I’d tell you all about what I did and you can laugh at the stereotypes we have of Americans.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take too many pictures as I didn’t see much use for them – until now – and well, most of the food was deep fried into oblivion. I do wish I’d gotten a photo of the spread at work though, it was quite cute.

So, on Thursday afternoon at work I was telling one of my colleagues how I was going to a 4th of July party on Friday which had, what we consider, American foods. I wasn’t sure why we were doing it but one of my friends has a soft spot for all things American and was hosting the show. He had a full menu sorted for us and there were, seemingly, never ending alcoholic slushies. So, win win. My colleague kind of rolled his eyes and couldn’t work out why we were celebrating another country’s holiday, then 2hrs later my work was hosting a 4th of July afternoon drinks.. coincidence? Considering he arranges these things, I think not.

I was prepared then for endless eating of pizza, burgers and hot dogs.

And that is how the work events started, we could grab a drink and then swarm down on the food. We had mini hotdogs (with ketchup, American mustard – is American mustard, just called mustard in America? – and bacon.. mmm bacon), beef sliders and pepperoni pizza. All of them really well made and the rolls were delicious and surprisingly filling, I had a few and felt fine and then 15mins later thought I was going to explode.

After that I left work, and struggled to walk up to Jarrod’s work (so.. full..) where we were getting a lift out to the party.

We arrived at the party and were promptly handed drinks (our host is good like that) and started snacking on some chips.. probably a bad idea considering the plethora of food to come.

While we waited, we got to watch our chef for the night (sort of) preparing a bunch of things for us, starting off with jalapeño dip which scared me immensely, especially when he also started adding avocado and sour cream.. Funnily enough it tasted pretty mild and decent, all things considered. Meanwhile the slushies flowed, right into our bellies, mmm blue.

We then started on the cheese kransky’s, I’m not sure if this is an american thing or just because we wanted cheese kransky’s, either way. Delicious.

Then came the Frickles, I actually had no idea what a frickle was prior to the party, I sort of wish I didn’t know now. Although I like pickles, I do not like frickles, well not these ones anyway. I don’t even know what I didn’t like about them, just.. no.

Our Frickles looked and tasted like this, which is apparently a good thing

Our Frickles looked and tasted like this, which is apparently a good thing

One of the more interesting things of the night were the deep fried chicken wings. Normally you wouldn’t call a chicken wing interesting, but our host had accidentally used icing sugar instead of flour in his batter so they were quite sweet and unusual.

These were followed up by corn with a nice butter, ribs and more sliders with chipotle fries.. except the fries had paprika in them, which was a sore point for our chef. I barely got through the sliders, they were the best thing of the night too I was just so full by that point I couldn’t eat another thing.

All the while, we watched/listened to a flash back friday music video show (which I was surprisingly good at guessing/remembering the years the songs came out) while drinking, chatting, fighting for the couch (once you get the couch, you basically can’t move, otherwise someone else will steal it) and having a good time. As far as 4th of July is concerned, it was pretty decent.

So, tell me, how did we do in our many courses of American food? Was it sort of accurate, not at all or completely? What did we miss that you’d suggest?


This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for July. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 2: What brings joy into your life?

Joy isn’t a word I use very much, I can’t recall a time where I thought of a situation or experience that I considered to be joyful. I think of terms like fun, excitement, excellent, etc but joy rarely comes to mind. So before writing this I had to think of what I consider joy and joyful to be, I may even have looked up the definition to help me out. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of joy is actually the Happy Happy, Joy Joy mind-washing helmet from Ren and Stimpy.

Ren and Stimpy wasn't weird, at all.

Ren and Stimpy wasn’t weird, at all.

If I think about it seriously though (and stop looking at that gif) there are a lot of things that bring me joy, most of which can be directly related to Jarrod. When he picks me up after work and we drive home I sometimes think that if someone had asked me 5 years ago “where do you think you’ll be in 5 years” I can guarantee my answer wouldn’t have been in a loving relationship, where I feel safe and comfortable and happy. It probably wouldn’t have included living in my own house with mortgage being my only debt, I probably would have had no idea and been more worried about the unpredictability I used to go home to every day.

So, I feel joy in coming home with the man I love every day to the house we’re slowly making into our home, the home that I sometimes still walk into and think “hmm, is this really mine?” because it sometimes seems like an impossibility that this is the turn my life made. It brings me joy to know I was able to get a second chance and turn what I had into something a lot more amazing.