Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Klarity and Kaos has moved!!

It’s still in kaos… with those odds moments of klarity… but it now lives on a wordpress platform. All old posts have been imported (bless you wordpress) so to all my followers, sometimes viewers, drifting randoms, and any quasi-stalkers, you can now read my incoherent ramblings here; http://www.klarityandkaos.wordpress.com/

Please add this to your feeds :o)

The New Blog

Monday, May 24, 2010

When you want to be the artist of your own life....

Stay loose. Learn to watch snails. Plant impossible gardens. Invite someone dangerous to tea. Make little signs that say Yes! And post them all over the house. Make friends with freedom and uncertainty. Look forward to dreams. Cry during movies. Swing as high as you can on a swingset by moonlight. Cultivate moods. Refuse to “be responsible”. Do it for love. Take lots of naps. Give money away. Do it now. The money will follow. Believe in magic. Laugh a lot. Celebrate every gorgeous moment. Take moonbaths. Have wild imaginings, transformative dreams, and perfect calm. Draw on the walls. Read every day. Imagine yourself magic. Giggle with children. Listen to old people. Bless yourself. Drive away fear. Play with everything. Entertain your inner child. You are innocent. Build a fort with blankets. Get wet. Hug trees. Write love letters. Open up. Dive in. Be free.

By Sark.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Morning After

The first thing I hear is nothing. There’s light in the room and the day is completely still. A ringing begins to echo through my ear drums with soft reverberation and I have vague recollections of standing directly next to a speaker, shouting over the bass. Before I have time to move a limb, and immediately after the awareness that I am actually still alive, railway nails are driven into the tender part of my skull, right between the eyes. The banging builds as theyre drive further into my brain and I press the heels of my palms into my eye sockets to dull the sting. I always convince myself that if I just hadn’t opened my eyes, and let the sun touch my pupils, it would never hurt as much - I need to start wearing eye patches to bed! Groaning, I roll over and reach blindly for the bottle of water on my bedside table, its unfortunately still full and now warm. Clearly I did not drink any before I slept.

The water sloshes violently down my throat in my desperate bid to lift the drought, and its not just my sore throat crying out for it, but I can feel every emaciated cell reaching to the skies. And through the thudding I become aware of the shape beside me, sprawling, and snoring, with limbs hanging from the edge of the bed. The whole room smells like stale beer, and it seems like I passed out on my left shoulder again, as its contorted and bent beneath me and does not have the strength to move. I twist beneath the covers to alleviate the intense heat of a body in overdrive, realising that I’m still wearing last nights clothes. Who's bloody idea was this anyway.

I rise on one elbow and look at my boyfriend, there’s drool on his pillow. I look at my own, and mascara and red lipstick dance together in patterns across the slip. I don’t even want to think about my face, which feels thick with grime. I need to pee. Standing from the bed, the arch of my foot lands on the heel of the stilettos I left on the floor and I curse in pain, knowing full well thats where I always leave my heels. Stumbling forward completely disorientated, I clutch the door frame and slide my body along the hallway. My eyes refuse to focus.

After I wee, I stand feverishly over the toaster, begging for the dry toast to pop so that I can chew on my painkillers and swallow my vitamin B without throwing up. I glance out the window and a woman walks briskly past with her excited dog. I grit my teeth and send all her my negative energy, but the ache doesn’t go away. I think a poltergeist has ransacked my kicthen, the cupboard doors are swung open and partially eaten food is strewn across the table. I spy a kebab wrapper in the bin... Im going to feel that later.

Stumbling back down the hall, I wonder what caused the purple bruising on my shins, and where the hell my purse is. I open the front door to bring in some air and discover my keys still in the lock. Yeah, really clever.

My gut is churning and my stomach feels tight and bloated, Im not sure if I need to wee again, or throw up.
I pull out my earrings and all the pins from my hair and slip out of my clothes. I climb back into the hot bed, gulp some more water, and promise I will never ever drink again. I fall back asleep, praying for relief. Its only midday after all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy May 17th

Today was momentous…. a little bump for the congregations of pilgrams who migrate from west to east... a mountain for me.

On the 17th of May every year I grant myself the opportunity to stop, step back, and congratulate my inner self. On the 17th of May 2007, I found truth in the idea that everything truly would be ok, and on the 17th on May 2007 and every subsequent year since, I find the strength and resolve to fight for everything I ever believe in and hold cherished.

This day three years ago I boarded that lonely midnight flight to the other side of the country. Broke, depressed, dependent, deserted…. and yet electricity humming under my skin begging to burst forth in a shower of blue sparks.

It has taken years for those sparks to illuminate the path I now walk. Three years and still, some years yet to come.

I wasn’t a girl when I came to this place, nor was I a woman. I was just a vacant body devoid of dreams and only harbouring the desire for something else. I’ve turned that ‘else’ into some and more.

You should see me now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

She's almost here

I have this feeling, that its creeping up behind me, blowing the hairs on my neck and whispering promises in my ear. It’s a serendipitous visit from an old friend and flower from a stranger, curious and endearing.

Something amazing is going to happen.

Its in the shudder of the iron before the train appears on the bend, its her soft sigh as the gull rises to the wind. You can hear it coming, if youre paying attention, like the electric crackle in the air before the storm.

Its coming.

I wish I knew what it was, this tingling and anticipation.

It must be big.

I know you can feel it too sometimes. Its validated by the sparkle in my eyes - the secret I keep that I cannot voice - as I gaze to the horizon, clutching ticket in hand.

The ticket without print. Without destination.

I stand on the crumbling kerbside, willing my future to rumble over the hill into sight, to arrive with a fanfare of colour and laughter, and to sweep my suitcase of dreams and I away.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Interview with Gary Newton

A few months ago I sat down with Gary and we talked about his role as a life and business coach. We probably ran overtime, and definately covered some interesting areas, but we shed some light on the mysteries of the coaching profession.
Then I spent HOURS editing! haha

You can find the entire interview and introduction over at Inspiration Unplugged.


To be honest, I may have been a little selfish in my endeavour to interview him, as Ive always been interested in Coaching so it was a way of having my questions answered. Hopefully you find it helpful too! 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My name is Kaye and I eat Tim Tams at midnight

With my ever expanding network and ever decreasing time, I like to play 'stacks-on!' with the things that fill (and fulfill) my life.  Ive been invited to write on the community blog Writers Rising, which is an absolute honour  :o)

Follows is my first post, but make sure you head on over there and check them out... there is some serious talent to roll around in! And read, of course.

In the darkness of the closed door and drawn blinds, my face glows in the warmth of the monitor. Its sweet touch tickles my chin, my nose, and my brow before sparkling off my eyes. It’s still late (although maybe now it’s early) and I’m still typing. Finally.

Ive been dying to write now for weeks. But every day the monitor growls at me and falls back to sleep – unenthused with what I offer to the mercy of the keyboard. Its not enough. Once upon a time I toyed with being a ‘writer’. I entertained the notion that I could write always, effortlessly, and continually and maybe, just maybe, make ‘a living’ from my pursuit. But perhaps I was guilty of dividing my attention elsewhere, second-guessing any talent (see what I did there?), and jumping on the merry-perfectionist bandwagon driven by dear old friend, Procrastination. Whichever way, Ive got plenty of excuses lined up as to why Monitor and I do not cooperate more often than we do. Oh but when we do its glorious! But mostly we are a bickering belligerent old couple. And I begin to resign myself to the fact that I can never create nor direct my desire to write… it happens when it happens. And that’s why my title generally reads, ‘Design student slash professional slash model’, more often than ‘Writer’.

I recently visited a life coach. That should sound empowering, but in my control freak/highly self-sufficient mind, to say that aloud is like standing up in a room of equally bedraggled and ashamed faces to say, “I ate an entire box of Tim Tams last night at 1am while everyone else slept”. Everyone has been there, but no-one wants to be brutally honest with a stranger. So as you can imagine, its a little confronting to say the least. Oh don’t get me wrong, aside from the nauseating anxiety thrashing around in the pit of my stomach, my coach is very good(!). But I had much difficulty trying to articulate in words and on paper what my ideal/dream life could have in it. Quite clearly the only thing I knew for certain when he asked me what I would attempt if I knew that everything I did would be enough and perfect was, “Something else”. But I don’t think I even told him that. I thought about how much I tried to squeeze into my life every day and thought, do I really have to write? It takes up so much of time, it doesn’t achieve anything, there are no rewards, benefits, goals or recognition (not by my measuring stick anyway). Had I made a mistake entirely with any pursuit of this vision thus far?

Intense right?

Yet, ultimately the moment I was drawn back to my slightly obsessive and yet truly sporadic jaunts through the land of language, I stopped thinking about all these things. There was only one thing I felt as I poured whatever thoughts I had onto the screen (Im a bit new-fashioned that way, I rarely use a pen). And it was joy. And the screen beckoned me into its purring embrace.

I had stopped measuring my writing by the good old joystick (and Im not talking about circa-1998 Nintendo64). I was looking at the ‘things’ I could get for my efforts, rather than taking the one thing that I knew was guaranteed… Joy. Why would I ever do something I didn’t want to? And similarly, why wouldn’t I do something I enjoyed so much?? It may be sporadic, it may be obsessive, and it may rob me of my sleep at obscure times (she says, dimming the lights on the bedside clock that grin in agreement) but it’s FUN. I work two jobs and study a degree qualification – writing is my solace, my therapist, my meditation and my medication, my joy, and my fun. And I don’t do it for anything else.

My name is Kaye Waterhouse, your newest addition to Writers Rising. I am 25, living in Melbourne, Australia. Quite possibly everything you’ll ever need to know about me, you’ll find

Here; http://www.klarityandkaos.blogspot.com/
Here; http://www.designfits.wordpress.com/
And here; http://www.inspirationunplugged.com/

And subsequent entries at Writers Rising. Im thrilled to join you   :o)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gratitude should be a verb

Reposted from my entry at Inspiration Unplugged

Gratitude should be a verb, not a noun.

In primary school, we were taught that nouns were ‘people, places, and things’, and verbs were ‘doing’ and ‘action’ words. Sure, the act of ‘expressing’ gratitude is a verb, but gratitude is a constantly evolving and growing and fluctuating process, a unrelenting and desirable internal dialogue with oneself, a feeling of appreciation…. a ‘doing’ word.

An associate on facebook posted the following note the other day;

How can we be happy in the moment we’re in if the world we live is conditioned to make us want more.
How can we feel content in life when we are programmed to need more than is realistically necessary in order to feel bliss.
How do we strip our needs back to basics when people who expect the very thing we despise surround us.
Am I born in the wrong time if all I want is to live in a tree yet need to commercialize to climb it.
Is there a happy medium between having nothing and having too much.
How do we move forward when the destination consumes us so much we no longer like the journey.
…and my answer was so simple I even questioned it myself. Be grateful. And for the following days I thought about what it TRULY meant to be grateful, and what benefits one could see by living in a state of gratitude. It just seemed too simple to my over analytical state of mind!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie
Last week I had to fly to Sydney to work on a new interior design project for the firm. It involved 10 hour days of data collection on workstyles, on my feet carrying a laptop. At the end of each day I was completely exhausted… too exhausted to sit in my hotel room and work on my two uni assignments, due on the day I returned to Melbourne. Over the weekend, I did fly back, late on Friday night and modeled in two days of shoots from 7am until 5pm both Saturday and Sunday before flying back to Sydney on Sunday night.

It really was disastrous. I got sick, and I couldn’t shake the headaches. I lived on caffeine, and I slept poorly. My school work didn’t get done, and everything that could go wrong with technology, taxi’s, getting lost, etc… did. I couldn’t postpone the photoshoot as I had committed to a team (and to be honest I needed the money and the addition to my folio) and I couldn’t turn the Sydney project down as it my first foray into this kind of project work. And knowing that I was missing classes and submission deadlines was doing my perfectionist head in.

But over the days, as I thought about gratitude, and what drove me to do all these things (simultaneously) I realized I was in amazing position. I had a free trip to Sydney all expenses paid, I got to visit my girlfriend in her new city and explore it myself. I got to be a part of an amazing project and push my career professionally. I had secured a lucrative modeling campaign that enabled me to contribute the first of funds to my house deposit, not to mention expand my network, and I was developing an awareness of what my personal priorities were and should be. It was only the flick of a switch, and when people asked how it was going, I started to say ‘interesting!’ instead of ‘exhausting’.

Gratitude turns our problems into lessons and gifts, failures into successes of experience and knowledge, it makes the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into significant events. Gratitude is a mindset easily flipped into a positive state. You can be grateful for the bad things that happen to you as well as the good. You may be cursing that hangover, but alternatively be grateful for the courage those few glasses of wine gave you to chat up that cute person and get their number. I know I was!!   ;)
The act of being grateful rests on choice. YOU choose whether a scenario is a catastrophe, or a beautiful lesson.

A few months ago I started keeping a gratitude journal following a very dark period of existence. I aimed for three things every day that I was grateful for, even if it was as simple as ‘remembering an umbrella on the day that it rained’ or as obvious as ‘getting promoted’. A lot of the time I couldn’t think of three things… its harder than you think. On those days I wrote down what a stranger may be grateful for…. No queues at the supermarket, a warm bed to sleep in for once, a newborn child. These things reminded me that gratitude was specific yet different for every person, and those who had a lot less (in my eyes) actually had more than enough. Even if I couldn’t find my own positive light at the end of the day, I could at least see someone elses.

Its not a new concept, its not even ‘new-age’. Its just pure fact… if you are truly grateful for the activity, state or object, then what you have (or have experienced) is valuable to YOU, and enough. It is simple economics – supply will never meet demand, and the same goes for the human psyche. The more we learn, the more we realise how much we dont know, so there is always that desire reach beyond. The sad thing is most of us will never touch the wall with our outstretched fingers, because we continue to move it further away. The more money we make, the more things we want to buy, the more we see the world, the more we want to travel, the more opportunities that present themselves, the more we take on and the less time we have, and the more successful we are, the more awareness we develop around how more successful we could become. It is a cycle of events that is unrelenting and expands ripple apon ripple, unless we find one thing; gratitude.

I did it! Written Worlds 2010

Written Worlds Melbourne was a great success. I tend to ramble but hey, thats ok I guess! I had fun and I got to meet some great people. And I realised how truly passionate I am about my writing and content and how much more Id like to write, so Im setting out to put pen to paper alot more often and maybe turn it into a little job on the side.

I met some people who were truly inspired by what I had to say and told me so afterwards. I was really humbled and flattered that they enjoyed my words and were motivated to write themselves by what they saw on the screen from me. It was awesome!

You can download Part 1 of the Podcast here: http://www.freelancerunplugged.com/ (click on "Podcast" on the right hand side) and then choose Written Worlds Part 1 (and keep an eye out for the next parts!).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Written Worlds - Melbourne

Two days till Written Worlds…. not sure if Im going to pee out of excitement or fear!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Letters in your lunchbox

Sometimes…. youre having a really shit day and sometimes…. a 20x10 piece of paper can make the WORLD of difference

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Inspiring Women - The 10thousandgirl campaign

Check out the new post on Inspiration Unplugged here, where I look at the new breed of the inspired and socially responsible!

xx K

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

University Anxiety

I can’t pretend that I’m not very afraid. I’m returning to university in two weeks after a summer off, and all I can see in front of my eyes is me on the floor of my study, November last year, surrounded by unfinished work, completely numb and bawling my eyes out. Id smacked into a brick wall and yet again, failed to submit my final assessment. The clincher of such a repetitive activity, is that… I still pull a Distinction… even after flaking out on a submission worth 20% to 30% of my final mark. What does that tell me (aside from the fact that Im an idiot)? That I could do SO much better, but I cant.

I am afraid that school work will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I work fulltime, so I cant assume it would ever have been easy, Im not that naïve. But I was accepted into a double degree this year, so I am adding economics, management, accounting, law, and HR policy to my burgeoning workload. The double degree adds two years to my qualification, so for any sense of graduating before I’m due for retirement altogether, I need to increase my study load. To do this, I have dropped one day a week at work, which may sound helpful but in reality, it simply allows me to squeeze all my units into a day… that’s 9 hours of classes. And Im taking a 20% paycut in salary, a kind of stress I don’t need.

Jimmy is wonderful, suggesting that he take up the slack on rent, and he has picked up a second job. Im still modelling and that is still bringing in income, but I’m exceptionally strapped for time, so it’s a little hard to shoot. And you know, it sounds like I don’t want any of this – but I do want to go back to school and learn and graduate and apply my skills every day. I just keep seeing that girl on the floor, hanging onto the chair with white knuckles and wondering why she is there again. Here again.

2010 was supposed to be my year. Yet it just seems more like the year where I hang on for dear life, with my nails, on the bridge, over the river in the ravine.  God I hope I remember how to swim...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To be lost

"Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was. "Light! Give me light!" was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour".

                                                                     Helen Keller.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Denial is not a river in Egypt

I’ve had some interesting comments following the new life of Inspiration Unplugged. Mostly from people who had no idea I was a writer (or blogger, take your pick). I’ve had positive feedback, and that’s kind of nice for someone who never really told anyone about her ‘hobby’. But then I wonder why I’ve never told anybody about something I’ve done all my life? I’ve always been writing, in fact I think I have some sort of obsession with the formation of words. I’m weird, but mind you, so is every other writer out there.

When Im not writing poetry or short stories or sad ramblings or epic twitter & facebook updates (yes, these count!) then Im writing lists, plans, objectives, goals, ideas, introductions, thoughts, quotes and every other little thing that can be on paper or .doc format. I always have done, and notebooks with little ramblings and lists are stacked all over my study, and mostly they don’t make sense. But I need that paper and I need that pen… or my Outlook (in fact Im typing this post into an email as we speak… please tell me somebody else does this!?)

When I was an angst-ridden teen, Id write letters to myself, and to my parents. When I first fell in love I spilled everything onto paper, and when I fell out of love I spilled again. I’ve written hate letters and love letters and poems and short stories and have two of those wonderful little things we called the ‘unfinished novel’. But I’ve never gone, “Hey, I’m a writer”. Ah Kaye but why? I don’t write for a profession, in fact I’m supposed to be a designer, and as a passion I am nowhere near as prolific as some passionate writers. As a rule I generally cant write more than 1000 words… ever, unless its an essay for uni and then well, Im just the Queen of Bullshitting to get to my word count. But I still get really good marks. See? Weird…. And now if I include Inspiration Unplugged, I have a daily planner, three blogs, two twitter accounts, two facebook accounts, a really cute journal, and a university degree to get through. There’s no escaping the truth of the matter – I'm a wr.... wrrrrr... wrrriii

Ive given up trying to pinpoint why I have this word-diarrhoea, my partner thinks its because I have a million cogs turning in my head and the only way to organise them all is to get it out on paper. You’d be surprised how well I sleep after I babbled some useless guff into the notebook on my bedside table. But the more I try to analyse it, the more it doesn’t make any sense, and then I write about my confusion and Im back to square one. Hell, I dont even know if Im any GOOD, maybe you folks are just being nice, but Im pretty sure that Ive worked out that I enjoy doing it. So these days I just go with the flow. Sometimes I won’t write for months, and then write non-stop for a week… it’s just how I do it. In truth, if I was a professional writer, I’d be fired.

So when the crew behind the scenes at Freelancer Unplugged put me forward as a speaker on the panel at the Written Worlds event, I thought I was going to hyperventilate. I truly said to myself, “But Im not a writer!”. But what am I doing now? Writing about it.

Again, Weird.

Im trying not to think about that event too much, yes granted most of the time you cannot get me to shut up, but in front of a room of 50 people?? There’s that voice again, “But Im not a speaker! And what’s worse, I have to speak about writing, and Im not a writer!”. Its enough to give any writer a heart attack.

Written Worlds Event - Melbourne

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Letting people go

Jimmy’s grandma died on Wednesday. Bless her soul, at 93 she was still living on her own and self-caring; such a woman to admire, a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Early afternoon, she was weeding the garden in her yard when she collapsed, found by the neighbour who called for an ambulance that rushed her to the local hospital. With a heartbeat, and breathing, they tried to make her regain consciousness to no avail. Anna told me that she died how she (and probably most people) have ever wanted.... ‘you couldn’t have written a better script’. There was no riddling of cancer, or horrific accident, or slow hospitalised wasting away. Just a sudden bright flash, and a massive stroke, collapsing with a handful of weeds clutched in her palm. The doctors doubted if she even knew what was happening, the stroke was so severe it dominated her brain scans. Life support was switched off that evening, surrounded by the whole family.

And it got me thinking (as any death does) while I was standing by her side. She was such an institution in the family, and to see her entire family gathered around to grieve is possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed to date. It may sound strange to call such a spectacle ‘beautiful’, but these were people I had never seen cry before.... The shock of mortality had drawn everyone into a stunning web of love and support. The tears, while sad and longing, still spoke of a woman they all admired so much. In the waiting room, after the computers and life support systems went black and her heart beat began to fade away, there was laughter. They began to share stories about how strong she was, her uncanny character traits, and the fact that her Grandson, far away, was preparing to be a father for the first time, and grandma was simply making room for the next little addition to her kingdom, another great grandchild. They shared stories about her life, and how she chose this death, and they made plans to share the news with the world. Everyone was so organised amongst the grief. I wasn’t sure if it was because of her age (every extra year was a gift) or that was how they grieved, but I watched in wonder at this amazing family dynamic. The usually quiet family members took charge, the ‘rocks’ of the family broke down and let the pain go. And I wondered how my family would ever cope with such a thing.... time will, unfortunately, tell. I can only hope the passing of any of my eldest family members will be just as beautiful, surrounded by those you love, who can kiss your softened face goodbye, happy in the knowledge that there was no suffering, and only a celebration of life.

All my love Grandma Dot.


Friday, January 15, 2010

What to do when you’re having a bad day;

Picnic lunch with a girlfriend, complete with turkey and cranberry wraps, hams and salad, and cold watermelon, and a bottle of chilled vino…. in the sunshine, by the river in the city!

If only it was for the entire afternoon, not just my lunch break!

Bad day begone! :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Aerial departures.

Its so beautiful down there; miles and miles of hot scorched land, peppered by trees and carved by property lines. The salt plains, dried out dams, and parched grass spread out across a fawn coloured patchwork in an intricate tapestry of earth.

I knew it was a hard life down there, sparse and unrelenting, but I wanted to be as close as possible. Nose pressed to the glass, it had quickly become my favourite part of the whole cross continental journey. I wanted to take a photo but gave up on the idea - nothing was going to capture my sense of awe, and my measly camera would not portray the depth and vastness of my field of vision.

I swallowed the lump in my throat but it rose again. Its not the way I wanted to leave, but if it had to be that way, then so be it. There are some things you have to fight for, and others that you let go.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Years Resolutions - The ol' Cliche

Easily the most blogged topic on January first? Well I waited for one on my compatriots to allude to New Years Resolutions on Inspiration Unplugged, but nothing happened! Im not sure if they’re not the resolution type, or if its been so hounded by mass media that its become a dirty word. Every chemist I drive past has specials on quit smoking packs and slim-fast shakes. My old gyms (yes, I have several) send me promotional material on helping me to conquer my resolution for weight loss. Wait, I have a resolution for weight loss?!

Oh its been an interesting year. Ive made lots of new friends, and gently extradited those who broke the rules. Ive had doors opened wide professionally, and waited for things that never eventuated. I made resolute choices that I never followed through, and things happened that Id never planned. And yet TwentyTen arrives, as much as I tried to slow its approach. I love the New Years & Christmas period because it means I spend time with those I love, work falls quiet, and it gives me a chance to pause and reflect on the year that has been. Looking back is as important as looking forward. Im not big on the making of new years resolutions ON new years eve, but I have goals, and I think that this time of year is the perfect opportunity to reassess them. The first few weeks of January are my quietest... so off I go.

I think people dont make new years resolutions, or pass them off as rubbish, because year after year they fail to meet them, and the next year they find themselves wanting that elusive ambition from the year before. Everyone has goals and ambitions and dreams, no matter how big or small. Perhaps they view resolutions as a waste of time, as something else that gets in the way and is inevitably failed, so why set yourself up to seek immediate gratification when all you’ll get is immediate loss? Herein lies the problem to why people never achieve the things they dream of; Buying that house, travelling, losing weight, quitting smoking, salsa classes (that one is my own). Some people make their resolution ...and they naturally don’t follow through, but it isn’t about counting down to midnight then deciding what you will do for the next year (or your life). Those ‘new years eve resolutions’ are goals that we have set with no thought put into them.

REAL New Years resolutions (or whatever we decide to call them) take time to conceive... you cannot simply want the change to happen and it comes true... Goals are not achieved by your fairy godmother. They are reached through eons of hard work and perseverance. And yes, you may go off track, lose motivation, but you will never fail. You can never fail to quit smoking... because as long as you are smoking – you have the ability to quit!

Maybe people struggle because they’re CALLED resolutions? You’ve resolved to do something and suddenly that’s it? Not bloody likely. Don’t think for a second that just because you have a resolution, that the hard part is over. Maybe we should rename the whole concept. Why do people plan on eating a healthy diet and then fail? Because they made a resolve, not a goal. Goals are S.M.A.R.T (yes, you’ve probably all heard that before, but its TRUE!). If you cant cook, then learn. If your cupboard is full of crap... clear it out before you start. Plan recipes, shopping lists, packed lunch etc. Don’t make excuses, make a plan.

And you have to understand that your goals are allowed to change, you have permission to change your mind, change your plan, change the track. What you want now may not be what you want in 6 months time and that’s ok. As long as you are still reaching for them, they can be anything you want whenever you want. Have yourself a mid-year NYE shindig, and set your goals again. Or take some time off to regroup... refocus.

So i think new years resolutions are fabulous if the time and effort are put into them. Hell, if you want, you don’t have to think of anything until April! Its still a resolution/goal. You don’t just ‘come up’ with something and hope for the best – you put the wheels in motion to get it. Lose weight? Personal trainer, gym membership, training partner, get a dog, cancel your parking on the 1st floor and go to the 8th floor and take the stairs. Get off the bus 3 stops too early and walk the rest. Whatever! just make a plan before you make the resolution.

And so i hear all this talk about goals for 2010, in the media, in advertising, online and from my friends, and slowly in my head i am working mine out. Ive got resolutions for travel, work, school, and personal fulfillment. That part is easy because Im one of the lucky ones who know what they want... the hard part is planning how to get there, and how to tackle the obstacles when they (certainly) come. How are yours going? Hit me up if you’d like help, I’ve been doing them for oh, I don’t know… 15 years?! and I’ve made some mistakes I fortunately wont repeat, and some otherwise awesome progress.

And um……. know any good Salsa classes?? Happy New Year.

Non est ad astra mollis e terris via - There is no easy way from the earth to the stars

Monday, December 14, 2009


Having been an avid participator in Freelancer Unplugged, a networking forum for freelancers of all professions, I was asked to co-author an Inspiration blog, where all my worldly thoughts could have a home (as well as on my K&K blog). It’s a wee bit of an honour, to be asked to contribute to something that will ultimately help other people by talking about things that Ive been through socially, professionally, and emotionally. Especially when for the most part I just consider them personal ramblings. Its not until someone says to you, ‘Oh hey, I read your last blog post and it made me cry’. That shit really makes you go ‘wow’, its amazing how a few words can affect someone, especially when you are telling the story of their own life and you haven’t even realised it.
Feel free to check it out… and be inspired!!


Monday, November 30, 2009

New Lives

For the men who can finally rid themselves of the dragons.

At dawn she finds me
Floating in a dark ocean
The heat curling from my toes
The cool rivulets running across my chest
She asks
Why am I in the bath at dawn

She forgets
About a time in the night
When she told me I was filth
When she spat words on me
And the ice whispers singed my skin

The hate floats on the surface
An oil slick of grime and patronising spit
She kneels and drags her fingers through the oil
I watch
The hand slip across my leg
And its wake of contradiction

She asks
Why I take her hand from the water
And hold it to the cool
To wash her free
From the excess of my body
Filled with lust. And my disgust
She knows
I am protecting her from herself.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Beautiful Things - Vol. 2

A sneak peek... now see the rest HERE


On being 'Outdoorsy'


Something quite unusual has happened in the past year, and I’ve suddenly picked up on it after returning from the weekends’ hike.

As my life gets more and more crazy, my desire for simple pleasures gets greater and greater. The more I work 12 hour days, study till dawn, and take on freelancing modelling & design projects on the side, the more I want silence. Normal right? Sure. But where do I find it? 3 hours drive plus 9 hours/25 kilometres of hiking away!

I remember always camping as a kid. Mum and Dad would spend a few days packing up the 4WD, then we’d roll (in convoy with other families, or on our own) to the varying reaches of Western Australia; Augusta, Albany, Kalbarri, Pemberton, Denmark, Lancelin, Dongara, Binningup, Payne’s Find, Coral Bay, Exmouth, Monkey Mia, Geraldton, Shark Bay…. and all the little towns in between. The car would be full of portable CD players, cd’s, books, gameboys, lollies & chips, pushbikes, siblings, and sometimes the dogs. Every school holidays, we’d be off somewhere for a weekend, week, or two… and it was great! But as I got older, I wanted less tents and more caravans, then less caravans and more hotels, then less driving and more flying. Until eventually I phased the whole camping thing out. When I moved out of home, I spent most of my time with people who had never ‘camped’ – and who had no interest in it. And I’d never really appreciated the value in it anyway, even when it vanished as a pastime.

Just after I’d moved to Melbourne in 2007, a group of us decided it would be cool to drive to Lakes Entrance to camp. NONE of us had any camping equipment whatsoever, we borrowed it all, and most of our food was actually er, alcohol. I was handed a tiny tent, and was the first to set it up… I was so proud! I even took a photo with my phone and sent it to my mum haha.
I remember how broke I was then, but we still had so much fun…. disrupting the town and the campsites. That was my little reminder to me… I didn’t need trashy nightclubs, 3am taxi’s and 4am kebabs to feel alive and to disconnect myself from the chaotic world.

A few months into dating Jim, he invited me down the Wilsons Prom for a weekend away. We loaded up the old Cortina with Jims archaic and well used collection of hand me down camping gear, along with a canoe, and drove the three and a half hours to the southernmost point of the Australian mainland. It was winter, it was freezing, and it rained. And I had possibly the best weekend ever. Jimmy said that I passed the ultimate test… I knew how to pitch a tent. We brought the very best wine with us, and sat under the verandah in the rain, drinking by candle light and telling stories, before curling up under a pile of doonas and having an amazing early sleep, waking to a dawn of kookaburras, wombats shuffling by, and visiting rosellas. Then we took the canoe out onto the inlet, laid back and listened to nothing but the waves lapping against the hull. There was never anything so quiet. And I think I got hooked again. Thankfully these days we take the X-trail down… it’s a lot more comfortable for over 3 hours of driving.

Our next trip down was with massive packs. Jim had talked me into my first hike… a 12 kilometre overnight hike to Oberon Bay. I made a video of my struggle – its on my Facebook. It was very funny, and very hard work. But there was a strange sense of achievement, that I had walked that far, over, up and down granite hill faces, spent the night listening to the waves on the shore, and then hiked back in the morning. It was a physical barrier I had never pushed before. Sure, I work out, I ride my bike sometimes, and I go to the gym… but when you’re hiking you don’t have any choice, you cant just stop and go home. You cant take a shower, or crash on the couch… You just have.to.keep.going. I pushed through until it didn’t hurt anymore. Oh don’t get me wrong though… two days later I could barely walk, but I knew that I had achieved something pretty awesome.

We’ve been camping a few more times since then, and Ive started asking for it more and more. Jimmy still laughs when I get down there, the campsite is set up, the food is cooking, the wine is open… and Im standing in front of him asking what we should do next. ‘How about nothing?’. But I can’t do NOTHING!? Are you crazy!? I have to do something!!! It always takes me a little while to realise that there is nothing that needs doing… it’s supposed to be that way. Our list of achievements for the day might read; kick the football on the beach, and walk up to the lookout.

Now back to my 25km saga. Jimmy had begged to go hiking again and I’d agreed. He didn’t tell me that the trip was 25 kilometres, fortunately for him, I didn’t find out the distance until we’d returned. And so we set off from Melbourne at 9.30am, arriving in Tidal River (Wilsons Prom) by 12.30pm. We could see it had been raining, and the sky was a heavy grey, but the air was fairly warm. We started off at 1, glad to know that wearing shorts and singlets paid off, as we watched other hikers peeling off jackets and beanies from the heat of the hike. 4 hours later we arrived at Little Waterloo Bay, a secluded grove of trees and sheltered campsites, wedged between a steep rock face, and the beach. Thankfully, all the hiking destinations have toilets! We found a well-drained, gently sloping spot under some trees, set up tent and cooked our dinner… ravioli, pasta sauce, tuna, chickpeas, and vegies.. oh it tasted so good with our bottle of red! Then it started to rain so we piked early. And it rained and rained and rained…. and rained… nonstop till dawn. We awoke dry and free from mosquito bites (yay for the new hiking tent!) but very very sore. We’d forgotten the inflatable mattress, only packing the high density foam. Ohhh the pain. And the rain wouldn’t stop… it drizzled… incessantly. Our dry clothes were soon wet as we packed up all our gear, but our situation was infinitely better than the foolish people who had opted for the flat piece of ground which you, by taking one look at it, could tell regularly flooded. We walked past their tents and they were almost 10-15cms underwater! The poor bastards were standing around like drowned cats, looking very very upset. Packing up, we began the hike back and I somehow found the strength to push through the pain and climb all those damn hills! It drizzled non stop and we were soaked through, rain dripped off my hat, and my shoes squelched from the water and mud inside them. My back muscles burned and I had shin splints but we kept on going, the sand in my shoes rubbed against my wet socks and blisters formed on my heels. But I was determined to make it back in better time than it had taken us to get there. We got back to the overnight carpark by 3.30pm, and we were back in Melbourne by 6.30pm. Thanks to the car heating, we had thawed, and both of us had taken turns having a nap. We’d stripped off the wet clothes and jumped into our spares… next time we might take lightweight raincoats though hehe, and remember our inflatable mats. And we’re going to buy hiking boots, instead of sneakers whose delightful ‘ventilation’ panels let in a lot of water!

Aside from the landscape being incredibly beautiful ESPECIALLY during the low light and the drizzling rain, there was something completely uplifting about the whole experience. We hiked for maybe half an hour at a time without saying a word, all you could hear was the soil crunching, birds, and the ocean far away. And once you can push beyond the pain, your mind drifts elsewhere… sometimes I thought about work, and school, and relationships and money… you have a lot of thinking time out there! But other times it was blank. Blank, but not lost… just calm. And I’d study the water dripping off the eucalyptus leaves, or the bullants charging up to the giant humans with all the bravado of ancient Knights of King Arthur. There were birds and lizards and wombats… and kilometres of views to swoon over, but most importantly there was nothing but us and the knowledge that we were completely isolated from a world of ‘perceived’ troubles. It all kind of washed away with the rain. And if it wasn’t raining, it would have dried away in the sun. And if there was no sun, it would have burned away through our perseverance. We had no choice but to push on, and that drew all our focus into a gorgeous little vortex where nothing really mattered… at all.

Jimmy turned to me at the end of the hike and could see the pain on my face. He asked me, “Would you do that again?” I said,
Now we’re planning our next one…. three days and 36 kilometres. I’ll need some rest first! But I can’t wait. It’s a pretty healthy thing to get addicted to I think…

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fashion Shoot - Nov 14th

POW. I just worked with the most amazing team! After ridiculous amounts of facebook correspondence, sample themes, fittings, reference images etc etc, we finally met on the weekend to create some fantastic shots.

9am till 5pm we worked, multiple outfit, hair, and makeup changes.

Id just like to say how professional, dedicated, passionate, and cohesive the team was!
Stylist: Desiree McPhee @ Styleid
Hair: Ross Joseph
Make up: Shella Ruby
Photographer: Vendula Pribylova
Model: Kaye (me!)

Just a sample;

Monday, November 9, 2009

Old Blogs - May 19th 2009

I cant believe I almost went...

That International Phonecall
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:33pm

These past few days, the world has slowed. And warped. And my brain has nearly fallen out of my ears with the intensity of information Ive had to process.
The weekend just passed, marking my two year anniversary of living in Melbourne.
It was also my one year anniversary of being (blissfully) with Jimmy and, our Housewarming party.

And on Monday morning, I arrived at work in Melbourne to a new job option... in London.
Are you serious? Yes- Absolutely completely serious. A role had become available in the UK, and they were looking to fill the vacancy internally. And my skillset is perfect. I cleared it with my Regional Talent and Training Manager, and put in my expression of interest.

And they came back to me!
I was the only internal person who put their hand up. I was as good as gone, once the obligatory videoconference internal interview was done, and the HR paperwork sorted, and provided I could get my visa and flights sorted asap... they need me there in 4 weeks time (!), and would put me up in accommodation until I could find my own place. Someone would meet me at the airport, and there would be a two week handover from the exiting staff member. I would be there for 1 year on a maternity leave contract, but had access to an ancestry VISA so could essentially stay for ages if I decided to. Jimmy and I talked it over, and he would even come with me, joining me after a few months, once I was set up. It was a dream come true. To further my career AND travel.

So then... I turned it down.

I mouth those words when I type it. I.turned.it.down.


I thought about it. I wrote about it. I talked about it. I cried about it incessantly because I couldn’t stand the internal pressure in my head to make the goddam decision.

Why? Because right now, Im actually happy. My role mightn’t be perfect right now but that is only a small part of all the pieces that have fallen into place. I have a solid mapped career path, I have a stunning boy to come home to, a stunning house to come home to, a degree that Im acing, I live a decadent lifestyle where I can almost do and buy what I want, and I have a solid group of friends. The same unrest and resentment that sent me on that last minute flight from Perth to Melbourne two years ago doesn’t exist anymore. Sure I want to travel, but I don’t want to do it this way. I don’t want Jimmy to give up the job that he is doing so well at, or to sell the car he loves, or to give up the house we only just ‘warmed’! I don’t want to have a going-away party only 4 weeks after the moving-in one I just had!, and I don’t want to spend 3 months in London without him. I don’t want to live in a share house on the bones of my ass on the outskirts in London because I wouldn’t be able to afford anything else, and spent 70% of my time in inner city London writing tenders and bidding for architecture work.

Maybe I’ll do it in a year. Who knows. Maybe I’ll study overseas instead, or just backpack. Doesnt matter. I’ll go, but now isn’t the right time. Why, when Ive just properly patched all the holes in my leaky boat, would I rock it? Im not going to go just because the opportunity is there – it’s got to be just right.

And right now, Im staying put. And Im really happy I made that decision :o)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thats a wrap

Bali was a-MAZING. I cannot believe I haven’t had a real holiday in 5 years... I shall never leave it that long again! Jim and I are already talking about the next little trio of Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos!

It was 7 days of cocktails, sunshine, shopping, exploring, awesome food, nightlife, sunsets, cuddles, sand, adventures…

and 3 days of Bali Belly. But I can still say IT WAS WORTH IT. We stayed in Nusa Dua, which was a very good idea because I found Kuta too feral. The locals weren’t as nice and there were too many drunk foreigners stumbling around in the middle of the day. Id rather stay in Nusa again, or Seminyak. And Ubud is definitely a must for anyone.

Just SOME pics;

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wherever you are...

love Pictures, Images and Photos

I realised today that my heart will always lie in two places. I awoke from the weirdest yet most beautiful dream, in which I found myself face to face with a man I once loved. His new girlfriend was by his side and Jimmy was by mine. A silent understanding passed between us, in the way that we always could speak a million words ... through the eyes.
I smiled at his girlfriend, and introduced myself, happily chatting about the day, while he quietly observed. For whatever reason, I knew they were very much in love, and it was ok. I think he was a little taken aback, but gradually warmed to the pleasant scenario that seemed to be unfolding. I wrapped my arm around jimmy’s waist, brought him into the fold of conversation, and they shook hands.
There was something very peaceful about the dynamic that flowed between us. Almost like an energy that linked all four of us in a place outside of time. He could see quite clearly, the person I had evolved into, and the quality of the man in my life, and it made him happy. And I could see that he was loved and in love, and it made my heart swell.
When I woke up this morning, I knew that while my heart and my love belongs to Jimmy (now, and for a very long time), I will always care for that man in my past. I will always wish the greatest dreams and happiness for him. While I wont miss the relationship, the two of us seemed never destined to be together as the people we were, I will always miss him as the lovely person he is as a companion, and a friend. And that is why my heart will always be there for him, in a place locked in history. Side by side without competition, with the ever growing adoration that I have for my Jimmy. One part will never quash the other, as they are not the same, but two different types of love – one in my past, one for my future.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dear Racegoing Female;

Dear Racegoing Female,
I only hope today that you have thought of several things;
If you have to think about the colour of your undies, just in case someone might see them when you sit down, uncross your legs etc... then that is NOT a modest hemline. This is not a nightclub, this is a fashion institution, you can be incredibly sexy with a hemline just above the knee.
If it looks like the saturation levels on your digi camera have been turned right up, you picked the wrong colour fake tan, and should fire your beautician. A fake tan is not just a fake tan, it is a wax, an exfoliation, and a thick slathering of moisturiser... THEN the tan on top. Leave the domination of oompa loompa land to Willy Wonka.
Fascinators should fascinate. Hats are not an afterthought, and will make or break your outfit. Sure, make it yourself ONLY and ONLY if you know what you are doing.
If if you think (even for a second) that those killer heels are going to be your arch nemesis by this evening... dont wear them in the first place! The only thing that shits me the most is stillettos slung over your shoulder and bare feet. Harden up, or wear flats. You are putting our sex to shame by stumbling aroound in pretty pink toenail polish and crusty dirty feet.

Thank you, have a lovely day, and please make a concerted effort to see at least one horse belting around the track :o)


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Spring Buzz

Alright well Im pretty excited… so excited that I think I might wee myself.

Aside from the fact that I am shooting with Terence Bogue this weekend (who I absolutely adore – see post below about his latest exhibition), I am engaged to consult on the interiors for luxury townhouses in the upper-class Melbourne suburb of Brighton, and my first site visit is this Sunday. The film I acted in is released in 6 weeks (if editing goes to schedule) and Ive just applied to upgrade my Interior Design degree at Swinburne to a double degree in Design & Business. Not only that, but I fly out to Bali on Monday for my first holiday in over 5 years… and 1 week after I get back, I fly to Perth for my dad’s 50th birthday!

Its all crazy busy in this neck of the woods but as my mum would say, this family doesn’t have it any other way!

So I’m very excited and a little apprehensive about this design consult, it will be my first time working with this client and I’m not sure yet of the brief or extent of the works required (hope to have this all answered on Sunday). The upside is that the commission is hourly so if the scope changes, so can my fee! We have our first meeting on site on Sunday, where I’ll determine the extent of the brief, outputs and timeframe, and his own aspirations of course. The townhouses are aiming for market presence by late November/early December so it’s a short sharp response time (sigh – so strapped for time with bali and Perth in between!). I’m breaking it down to four stages with project control points so that we don’t get off track or blow budget; Site visit & client briefing, Research & Brief Development, Conceptualisation & Prelim Proposal, and Final Proposal.

It’s a very small piece of work for a development that is 9/10ths complete, but it is very exciting nonetheless! Its times like these that I am extremely grateful that I work in the architecture & design industry as well as study Interior Design, as I find myself every moment using more knowledge from my day to day work experiences than anything I have learnt in class! The hardest part is to not get too far ahead of myself, and keep out the million-odd ideas that are bustling for attention before I even see the site!

I’ll keep you updated as to how it goes. x

Quarter Century... and all that Jazz

Ok so Ive officially slipped out of the 18-24 bracket… and into the next quarter of my century.
Ladies and Gentlemen… I am 25!

At 25 you start thinking about getting a real job with a future, not waiting tables. You wonder how you are going to get a house. Should you start saving or something... how does one do that? You are happy and healthy, but maybe you party too much. You buy an iPhone then say why did I just spend so much money on a device that’s about to be outdated?. You start sucking at video games. You start dressing better and you don’t get as many traffic tickets. You try to grow a plant but it dies. You’re on the cusp of acting like a young adult, but still have frequent lapses of judgement (though thankfully less than before). You wish you could take back all those times you didn’t want to nap when you were a kid - because now you’re always some kind of tired. You watch the same movies you watched when you were younger and can finally see all the drug/sex/cult references as clear as day. You find yourself starting sentences with ‘The youth of today...’ and you start to groan when you stand up from kneeling. You start going to festivals ‘just for the music’. You find it harder to decipher the difference between boredom and hunger. You keep some people’s phone numbers in your phone just so you know not to answer when they call. You tend to say OMG, LOL, and WTF a lot less. Your insurance premiums, excess, and age-levy all go down...you can even rent a sports car! You start to convert the cost of all your shoes into a percentage of a deposit on a house/car/boat. You get a side of salad with your parmi at the pub, instead of chips. You now know there are more varieties of wine than ‘red and white’ and you buy bottles, not casks. And you can now maintain intelligent (and interesting!) conversations with your parents... And yet, you’re still despised by the 30-somethings every time you mention your age... Its a tough life...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sunday May 18th, 2008

Written over a year ago...The day after my 1 year anniversary celebrations in Melbourne ... and that was the night I met my Jimmy....
And he called me the very next day :)


I sit here in the aftermath of last nights house party. Im hungover as fuck, but ridiculously content. Momentous occasions like these tend to give rise to contemplation...

Holy shit. One year. One year ago I sat alone in a room in Prahran. I was tired, emotionally drained, and in shock. I had just gotten off the plane, with a suitcase of clothes (but no warm jumpers). Hell, I got on a plane without a plan, no money, one (almost maxed out) credit card, no job to go to, and no real idea of where (or how) I might live. I took a massive risk, at a time when I was probably classified as emotionally unstable.

And look at me now! I dance, drink, party, love, laugh, see, do, breathe, eat, play, work and live all that is Melbourne - and all it has to offer. I show my friends and family around my city, and they can see for themselves how it has affected me... Im successful....and Im having a damn good time!

Though I should probably lay off the Tequila... shooters are fun but damn theyre dangerous! hehe but hey, at least I outlasted a certain housemate who passed out at 8.45pm (outlasted him by nearly 8 more hours!)

Its 2008 - and its MY year.

Drugs Are Nice

An old blog entry of mine from August 28th, 2008

"After our last breakup, Andrew goes off to live in the forest and work on this 33rd soundwave-emitter that only aliens can hear. Why he wants to communicate with space creatures, I dont know. Id be scared to be out there in the woods, sending out intergalactic invites to a party where only one of the attendees would be human. I guess, objectively, I have to say Andrew is crazy. But Andrew always does what he wants, what he believes, while millions of other people never do, even once in their lives. Its too hard. And they dont give you health insurance for that - for living your dream. Andrew is brave and odd, and I do appreciate that - from afar. Every time he's near, I get so hostile. I guess I want all the bravery for me."
Drugs Are Nice - Lisa Crystal Carver

Ive taken to reading alot lately. Losing myself in fucked up worlds. This book is particularly good. Her world is particularly fucked up. And its a true story.
Im dropping into Mag Nation and oggling the rows and rows of design publications, Im enthusiastically studying my uni readings, learning all that I can absorb. Im re-reading the books on my shelves. Im devouring words like a starving child, and regurgitating ideas onto page like that child, fed too quickly.
Im writing alot lately too. I cant concentrate on my work. My desk is littered with sketches and scrawled post it notes and drafts of ideas and concepts and quotes and readings. Maybe that is why Im pumping out the stories on my laptop, why the facebook notes come thick and fast. A million thoughts and ideas stream through my conscious, like Im feeling my way through a fog of words. And its the best feeling in the world.

Today, it is 2 years since I broke up with Luca. So much time has passed. Even how I came to remember this fact was purely by accident. Every now and then I wonder how he is or what he is up to these days, but mostly not at all. Im so SO very proud of myself - where I am, who I am, where Ive been, the life I live, and the people I have in it. Im even proud of the shit I dragged my sorry ass through, because of it I am infinitely wiser, stonger, more determined, more focussed. And Im having fun! I spent one long sad year wading around in a black hole of depression, self pity and denial, 6 months Perth, 6 months Melbourne. Then a further 6 months working out what I wanted from my life, who the hell I was as an adult (believe it or not, I actually didnt know) and appreciating all those things Id always taken for granted. As I eclipsed my one year anniversary in Melbourne, I fell in love again. And a few more months on now, and I dont recognise myself in the mirror - I am nothing like that messy unstable state of affairs that boarded a plane in May 2007. I dont punch that mirror, instead I take a twirl and admire what I have created for myself. All the wonderful things I have now, would not have come my way until I learnt to change the things I would not accept, accept the things I could not change, learn, grow. Become.

Time to celebrate? Indeed. I have much to celebrate; Great job, great house, great boy, great health, great friends, great family, great degree, great city. I owe Melbourne alot.

"...I examine the situation as I shower and dress for the first time in three days. Maybe all the dumb-looking stuff we do is really smart. If it werent for my dumb problems (and his), we wouldnt have created these shows, we wouldnt always travel, we wouldnt have so many funny stories to tell. Having an unfillable hole inside is a great catalyst. Youre always trying new things to fill it. People with holes look good! Look ready for action. But then sometimes your home alone, and there's nothing new to try, and there the hole still is. "Hey", it growls, poking you from the inside, "Im still hungry". I get tired of it! And now, here, I fear Jean Louis is getting tired of it, too - of my hole, which Im beginning to think is a little bigger, a little hungrier, then his. Other times I think there's no hole at all - Im simply happy and in love, and I just cant stand to see myself as simple or the same as other people, so I make up all these complications."
Drugs Are Nice - Lisa Crystal Carver

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

'Shifted' Exhibition - Terence Bogue

Review in todays The Age on an exhibition by Terence Bogue (featuring me as the model!) He creates such beautiful imagery and is such a lovely lovely person to work with!

Grabbing our attention
September 23, 2009
The Age


Other photographers identify something stunningly beautiful. Terence Bogue captures it with mastery at Shifted. His images of a woman's shoulder blades and hand remind me of the classics of American photography. But his tender marble-like pictures also have an austere touch of Canova, silky but statuesque, sensual but chaste. Under the title The Itch, the sense of anecdote and perhaps erotic temptation arrives at iconic tranquillity.


Terence Bogue


Botanical Gardens Photoshoot

Sometimes, when you work with an RMIT student photographer, you find a gem!

The rest of the images are here

(click to enlarge)

Photographer: Stephen Amando Lukman

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dear You

I could say that I'll always be here for you,
But that would be a lie and quite a pointless thing to do,
I could says that I'll always have feelings for you
but i've got a life ahead of me, I'm only 22,

Since you've gone I've lost a chip on my shoulder,
Since you've gone I feel like I've gotten older,
And now you've gone it feels as if the whole wide world is my stage
And now you've gone it's like I've been let out of my cage,

You always made it clear that you hated my friends,
You made me feel so guilty when I was running around with them,
And everything was always about being cool,
And now I've come to realise there's nothing cool about you at all,

Since you've gone I've lost a chip on my shoulder,
Since you've gone I feel like I've gotten older,
And now you've gone it feels as if the whole wide world is my stage
And now you've gone it's like I've been let out of my cage

Since you've gone I've lost a chip on my shoulder,
Since you've gone I feel like I've gotten older,
And now you've gone it feels as if the whole wide world is my stage
And now you've gone it's like I've been let out of my cage

~ Lily Allen

Thank you for ripping yourself from my world (quite grandly I might add), and allowing myself to find Me. Without that loss I wouldn’t have grown, learnt, changed, evolved, and fallen in love with the person I am (and should have always become if I hadn’t lived beneath your shadow). It was never your intention to throw darkness across us, in fact I switched off the light most times myself to hide safe with you, but always we lived in limbo between two strange places. Oddly I am grateful for the ache, the sorrow, and other such gifts you gave me…. because, well, just look at Me. You even said it yourself, many months later by lonely text message “…You have matured into a beautiful person…” Everything I lacked as a person, I gained by losing you. Thank you always.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I am decidedly one of those people who has so many options in front of them that they want to do them all.
Opportunity lies before me, there is so much knowledge that I have access to, and people who could help me get there, and I don’t want to miss out on a thing. I want to try everything once, and see or do things that open my eyes. I want to take on more, go places, be someone, do envious things.

I worked 70 hours last week.

Time to turn down some opportunities!

Before they turn me into a shell, incapable of all the things I mentioned above.

Is it possible that life could be TOO good?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Letting the good times roll

And as Kate says over at the Monday Project "Life Is Peachy".

Hmm, I really should stop trying to find content for this blog and just enjoy the 'silence' for a while.

I wish you could see me smiling.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

HDC005 Contemporary Design Issues, Winter Term 2009

6. How are the short and medium term needs of refugees being addressed by contemporary designers? Explain with reference to 3 examples serving the needs of displaced people during political upheaval or natural disasters

The number of people displaced by natural disaster and political upheaval is on the rise. In 2008, the figure stood at 42 million for those forcibly uprooted by persecution and conflict, and of this number, 80% were considered to live in developing or ‘third-world’ countries (UNHCR, 2009). And this figure does not take into account those forced from their home by natural disasters; floods, earthquakes, and the like. The US Dept of Homeland Security for example, estimated that more than 800,000 people were made homeless after Hurricane Katrina (Wortham, 2007). Across the globe, humanitarian effort is desperately seeking to find faster and more cost effective methods for housing these populations both during displacement, and also once they return to rebuild their nations, by socially and environmentally sustainable means.

The challenges that lie before our contemporary designers are almost as numerous as those that burden the refugees themselves. There are cultural barriers and geographical isolation barriers, a distinct lack of materials and resources (or high costs associated with sourcing) and access to basic necessities including power and water can be heavily restricted. The most effective emergency shelters “make use of inexpensive, readily available materials, and require minimum tools for a quick build” (Wortham, 2007). But designers must design not only provide shelter and safety, but fight disease, educate, locate loved ones and reunite families, and create a sense of community solidarity. There is an ethical obligation to build with environmentally sustainable initiatives, and a moral obligation to rebuild not only houses, medical centres, and schools, but homes and communities.

In recent years, there has been ever increasing discussions on what constitutes a safe and inclusive environment for displaced people, and how the people themselves adapt to temporary housing. We’ve been encouraged to rethink how we provide humanitarian building aid, and the longevity of the communities that develop. Cameron Sinclair of Architecture for Humanity (AFH), in his interview with Paula Antonelli in 2005, stated that “You have to be really part of the community. The way that we have always tried to work has been as an equal partnership between the community and the designer”. There has been a gradual shift in focus from meeting the short term needs of refugees in ad-hoc tent-villages, to the design of transitional housing, that is, shelters that can become homes, and have the durability to form the foundations of a new life for occupants.

Non-profit organisation ‘Architecture for Humanity’, in conjunction with regulatory bodies such as the United Nations council, have been exploring these concepts since its inception in 1999. One of AFH’s ideals, is that in building for refugees and the homeless; “Designs that are scalable, built using local materials or can also be used as core housing – as a hub for basic services like sanitation, communication, supplies – that basic dose of shelter, are key” (Stohr, 2006). In Stohr's book, Design Like You Give A Damn, she goes on to say that “houses that use local materials – helping revitalise economic development – are particularly useful”. Therefore it is imperative that the reconstruction of communities begins at this ground level, to encourage the long term stability of the culture or people. Unfortunately in some instances, using the indigenous skills of the displaced, or local resources, are not always possible, be it a cause of natural disaster, or segregation from a mainstream economy, such as in civil war.

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, tested his ‘Paper log’ sustainable shelters in Japan in 1994, after a series of earthquakes destroyed housing for hundreds of thousands. Ban’s philosophy centred around the accessibility of materials, speedy and economically viable construction, and the environmental impact of material selection, but he also placed great emphasis on the potential beauty in such buildings. In simple terms, “Refugee shelter has to be beautiful. Psychologically, refugees are damaged. They have to stay in nice places.” (Shigeru Ban, Time)

In the instance of their ‘real-life’ scenario in Japan, the foundations for each house were beer crates weighed down with sandbags, the walls made from cardboard tubing (similar to that which would be found produced en-masse in the textiles industry) and the roof was a waterproof tent material. Between each tube in the wall, double sided and sponged tape protected the occupants from moisture and drafts. Each residence of 52sqm would cost less than US$2000 to produce, be environmentally sustainable and swift to erect. In subsequent building missions, the cost of construction may even decrease, based on the recyclability of some of the components. (Shigeru Ban Architects, 2008)

An impressive feature of these short to medium term paper tube homes, is their adaptability to various locations and refugee types. Shigeru Ban has designed with the occupant in mind, with the understanding that the situation for every refugee is different, that certain cultures call for different styles of living, and that the accessibility to resources may be scarce. In 1999, the paper tube construction was tested out in a case study involving Rwandan civil war refugees. It had come to the attention of the UN that the aluminium poles given to refugees to construct their tent housing, were being sold by the displaced, who instead cut down their own timber to provide the rigidity required for tents. With the potential for millions of refugees to undertake this practise, an alternative and more sustainable material was found in Shigeru Ban’s cardboard tube construction. Paper tubes could be manufactured nearby, on relatively simple machinery, and so transportation and construction costs were kept at a minimum. (Shigeru Ban Architects, 2008)

“The good thing about paper tubes is that they are readily available in various thickness and diameters. The weight they can support depends on these two things. theoretically, I can make buildings a few stories high, but I haven't yet been given the opportunity”, (Shigeru Ban, DesignBoom)

Other such adaptations of Ban’s designs, included larger floorplates for Turkish refugees with traditionally larger families, and where there was absence of beer crates, the rubble from destroyed homes formed the foundations. To provide greater insulation, the tubes were filled with shredded paper and fibreglass. In India, the climate meant that structural changes need to occur to discourage mosquitoes, to encourage cross ventilation, and to allow the cooking of meals within the shelter.

In 2005, Vestal Designs designed the SHRIMP housing project (Sustainable Housing for Refugees via Mass Production), a modular flat-packed style of housing that can be shipped to locations all over the world en-masse. The strength of this design lies in its capacity to be manoeuvred into difficult regions, as Vestal Designs have based their dimensions around the international standard for shipping containers. This then becomes a game of numbers... a container ship can potentially carry 6,400 containers, and each container can fit four flat packed shelters, capable of housing four people each, meaning that a single container ship could grant the arrival of shelter for over 100,000 refugees. (Vestal Design, 2008) SHRIMP housing also comes complete with pontoons and pressurised air canisters, allowing for water deployment. This means the container ships do not require a port to deliver the shelters, and that they can be transferred to flooded areas or areas where roads would have otherwise proved useless, utilising other methods of transport such as rivers to gain access to displaced people. Conversely, where access to potable water is scarce, each facility comes equipped with a roof fixed water distillery. Once cleared of their need for use, and communities begin to rebuild their long term housing, they can then be flat packed again, and shipped back to a base for storage.

Arguably though, one of the downfalls of the S.H.R.I.M.P design, was its initial reliance on timber products. And although manufactured from Sustainably Farmed Wood, the cost of production off-site, and the carbon footprint of mass production in factory situations, means that financial savings of large scale deployment are negated. While timber SHRIMP units can be reused by the process of retrofitting and recycling of components, greater durability and less environmental impact has been explored with the use of second-hand shipping containers themselves as the materials. (Vestal Design, 2008)

In 1999, Architecture for Humanity hosted a competition that called for the design of housing for the refugees of Kosovo, who were returning to a war-stricken region to find most of their homes had been destroyed. The aim of the competition was “to foster the development of housing methods that would relieve suffering and speed the transition back to a normal way of life” (AFH, 2001). The key here was the capacity for transition, rather than short term solutions. One such entrant (receiving an Honourable Mention) was the Pallet House, by I-Beam Design. I-Beam later proposed a similar design for tsunami-hit Sri Lanka in 2004.

“The people of Kosovo, like most people, had a strong commitment to their homes. As the various relief agencies working in the area predicted, people headed home at the first opportunity. Refugee-style camps in Kosovo were not thought to be possible or desirable. With the end of hostilities, three quarters of a million people or more were spreading out to towns, villages and farms all over Kosovo.” (AFH, 2001)

The Pallet House was an excellent example of transitional modular housing. It was a stable alternative to tent-housing, and could “transform a temporary living condition into a permanent home” (I-Beam, 2008). The primary material was shipping crates or pallets, whose weight was negligible when it came to shipping emergency supplies to a region. One 4.8m2 permanent multi-level home, could be constructed out of roughly 100 crates, lashed or nailed together, in just a few days and for less than US$3000 (I-Beam, 2008).

The design in its modularity meant that it was a flexible solution for refugees, and had the capacity to adapt to different cultures and family types, and could be added to over time by the occupants. There were multiple configuration options, and the shelters could either be covered with tenting or plastic sheeting, or the pallets could be reinforced and filled with concrete or rubble, once these because readily available. Occupants could even add plaster or clay walls, and decorate how they desired. These transitional homes could essentially morph into structures of permanence.

“Some of the designs that came from the Kosovo exhibit were fascinating because they played on this mass customisation. They utilised local materials and technologies, plugged them into a system that was pre-existing, and introduce new technologies in order to provide clean water, energy, and a clean place to sleep, all basic life needs” (Sinclair, 2005)

Humanitarian design in the modern era means to look beyond provision of emergency housing and medical supplies until displaced people can ‘fend for themselves’. There is much emphasis on how we rebuild entire communities with economic efficiency, and how we plan for the long term future using intelligent design. In his interview, Sinclair gives the example that in South Africa, the average cost of a traditional medical clinic is around US$150,000, but this was dropped to a mere 15% with smart design parameters, viable materials, and most importantly an understanding of context. AFH was not only able to provide facilities that dramatically increased the numbers of people that clinics could support, but allowed for more resources to be spent on employing medical staff, and purchasing supplies. (Sinclair, 2005) Such on flow effects of humanitarian design are indicators that efforts from various agencies and agendas (education, shelter, medicine, sanitation etc) are converging in a new manner of refugee aid.

Critically, the dominant drive for refugee populations is a return to the life they once had, to their homes and communities where they felt safe. And safety is not just about a lockable door, but community spirit, trust between neighbours, and for the people providing aid and assisting them to return to their lives. It is important that designers working on humanitarian projects look beyond physical needs, to the rehabilitation of a people.

While prevailing factors for design and construction will always centre on modulation/customisation, sustainably sourced and recyclable materials, and speed/ease of supply, humanitarian designers must engage with the cultural and familial needs of a community. Not only must their homes be restored, but so must their faith, dignity, family network and prospects for the future. The key, says Kate Stohr (2006), is simplicity, “Simple construction technique is what works – it’s not typically high design”. Sinclair follows this up by stating that “truly responsive care goes far beyond providing a basic means of survival... if we treat it as a birth and rebirth, then we’re focussed on creating and generating life. This is where design should play an incredibly important role.” It is when the designer looks beyond the physical design itself, to the population she is designing for, that we see the greatest service to displaced people. Humanitarian architecture built with the intention of transition, has the capacity to be the building blocks for dynamic new villages, town and cities. It facilitates the growth of families and communities from the very first instance of their displacement.


Sinclair, C & Stohr, K (eds) 2006. Design Like You Give A Damn; Architectural Response to Humanitarian Crises, Architecture For Humanity, Metropolis Books.

Antonelli, P (2005), Safe: Design Takes on Risk, MOMA, New York (Design Like you give a damn)

Architecture For Humanity, Transitional Housing for Returning Refugees: Kosovo 1999-2000, http://architectureforhumanity.org/node/719
Retrieved August 1st, 2009

Design Boom, Shigeru Ban: Paper Loghouse. http://www.designboom.com/history/ban_paper.html Retrieved August 2nd, 2009
I-Beam Design, 2008. Humanitarian Projects.
Retrieved July 27th 2009.

Irwin, T, 2009. UN refugee chief cites pressing needs as those uprooted tops 42 million. The UN Refugee Agency. http://www.unhcr.org/4a37c9076.html
Retrieved July 26th, 2009

Luscombe, B, 2000. He Builds With A Really Tough Material: Paper, Time Magazine Online. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,997495,00.html
Retrieved July 26th, 2009

Vestal Design, SHRIMP Refugee Housing, http://www.vestaldesign.com/design/shrimp-refugee-housing/
Retrieved July 28th 2009

Wortham, J (2007) Instant Housing and Designing for Disaster, https://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/multimedia/2007/10/gallery_instant_housing
Retrieved July 28th, 2009