Archive for the ‘Doings’ Category

I left this milestone a little late…

Sometimes I think folks forget what it’s like to learn to drive.

You’ve spent your entire life until this point being kept away from devices that can injure, maim and flatten. Then you reach some arbatrary age and somehow it’s decided that giving you an object that can not only do all the aforementioned features but can do them to yourself at the same time is a good and logical idea.

I was skeptical, but then walking the 6 or so ks from Phil’s house to the tram(25 min), which will take me to the train (50 min usually on a Sunday so I get to socialise with the weekend public transport weirdos) gets pretty old pretty fast.

Infact it got old so fast I may never of actually done it, the mear thought of having to spend such a prolonged journey with the great unwashed rendered me unable to leave the house.

Then there was the indignity of having to request lifts from my little (by 6 years) brother.

And that very embarising occasion where by I got myself into a discussion regarding cars with a person involved with Top Gear Australia, only to be asked “what car you got?” and having to answer ” um… I can’t drive. ”

Yeah, awesome.

So I told myself I’d learn to drive and self added that while I’m at it I may as well learn how to drive a manual. Because when have I ever made things easier on myself?

The first hitch was that the only manual car I had access to was my grandmothers (who is fairly awesome – but due to her being fairly awesome she also has a life and I didn’t think she would appretiate her car disappearing every time I got the whim for a driving lesson). So my lessons were sparse and sporadic. I learnt very little.

So cut to a few weekends ago where my dad informs me that there’s a Saab in a nearby car lot going for $5000. I really don’t like SAABs, to me they’re more boats with wheels than propper road transport. I wasn’t going to turn my nose up at a bargan, however on closer inspection the boat based description was accurate, right down to the water damage. What had really caught my eye was a spunky little black hatch on the other side of the car lot. It was all shine and leather seats.

So for the past few weeks I have been owning and driving my own car. Being taught tag-team style by my brother, boyfriend and father. I can make it go (and stop)! And I’m getting good at getting it aroud corners. Those teaching me have complained of motion sickness, boredom and (my favorite) of being strangled by the seatbelt because my breaking is occasionally sudden.

At this stage I don’t really feel like I’ll ever actually be able to drive, but I have been assured that will pass. As will the fear of other cars and speed humps.

When things were blue

Way back when I was in Barcelona in April last year I suffered from a serious bout of home sickness and loneliness. My tour had ended four days earlier, I had spent the previous three wandering to places I had visited with the tour and wanted a better look at. That morning though I woke up and suddenly really didn’t want to struggle though that day.

I really struggled with not being able to communicate with others properly. To understand and be understood. I had just past 2 weeks of misunderstandings and apologetic smiles, I’d had enough. I guilted myself out of bed (you’re in Barcelona! get your ass out of bed), narrowly got in for last servings of breaky at the hotel. Moped along the Moll d’Espanya and around Bari Gothic feeling entirely miserable. Miserable that I couldn’t speak, miserable that I was alone, miserable that I was miserable, ad infiatum…

My last few days there were a compete sook fest. Here’s a photo of me at a cafe in Port Vell looking like a prize emo.

Self portrait at Starbucks, Port Vell

I wandered around that beautiful city in a complete daze.

And at the airport, I was relieved. I was going home. This horrible feeling in my head would have no reason to be there and I could go back to normal.

29 hours of transit later and I feel worse. Much worse. And everything hung on me, everything made me feel worse. The customs men told me off for the undeclared half of a mars bar in my carry on (the other half was eaten in Singapore). My parents mucked up the time my plane landed so there was no one to pick me up. My room had been packed up and prettified for the impending house sale. Phil was away in South America and I felt like I had no home any more.

So, I spent  a good 2 days in bed. Even if I wanted to be awake I couldn’t be. Turns out I get terrible jetlag.

I think the biggest thing about this very short phase was how much I didn’t want anyone to know about it. Even afterwards, I was complely convinced of two things; that talking about it would make it ‘real’ and a problem, and that people would look down on me for being depressed. I mean really, what did I have to be sad about – I was on holiday, in Barcelona and I’d just bought 3 pairs of awesome shoes.

It was embarrassing.
I mean, there are folks out there who don’t  even know how to spell Barcelona.

I didn’t talk to anyone about it, just slept, ate and floated around my house. Went to work and floated around there too.

Then one morning I went for a run.

The sun wasn’t up yet, the sky was clear – I could see the stars. I ran along the beach and the bay was glassy, there was no wind, no chill in the air. It was my first run since coming back.

I absolutely glided along the pavement, I may as well have had wings. And when I got back home, I was sweaty and tired but my funk had gone.

Just like that.

• • •

This post was originally inspired by the Plinky Prompt “If you could get any tattoo for just a week, what would it be?”. At around this time I was reading Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. The story has a small tangent about a Jewish folk tale . The crux of which is the the question “What object can make a joyous man miserable, but a miserable man joyous…” and the answer “A ring with the engraving ‘gam zeh yaavor 'This too shall pass'‘ (This too shall pass)”. The phrase became a bit of a mantra for me at this time. The tattoo would be the previously mentioned Hebrew phrase around the base of my right hand index finger.

Leftovers (or Tess’ insane brain)

I love going out to eat, and I do quite a bit. It’s one of the perks of being a twenty-something-spoilt-rotten-gen-y-brat-with-a-disposable-income.

Lately I’ve been intriuged by what’s left on plates at the end of a meal. As a kid, mum would absolutely insist that I eat everything on my plate. These days Im not growing so much, and serving sizes kind of are. So I feel a little weird leaving stuff on the plate when Im done, especially when I’ve paid for it. There’s this little fight inside my brain; the parts of me that my mum made and my being cheap vs. the parts of me that aren’t hungry, backed up by the parts of me that value my being on the non side of fat.

To cope with this very important internal conflict, I occasionally take a photo of my leftovers.

BeansPoached Eggs

An unforeseen bonus from this little slice of crazy is that I remember my meals and the venues better. Actually, the whole day falls out of my memory clearer , I don’t even need to be looking the photo.

PS: Hey yay! Im writing in my blog! What the hell? Friend of mine said she’d link to me if I updated regular like. I promise to try.

After writing this, the police came to my door and smacked me with a restraining order stating I was not to come within 50m of an analogy ever again.

You commit yourself to a goal over the weekend, lets say carving a totem pole out of wood. So diligently over the next few days you sit and you work, there are eyes, a few mouths, a set of wings and even some fruit. Then on Sunday night your chisel runs out of battery and due to you having a problem with your brain being missing you hadn’t saved your totem pole.

So, I lost my blog post on Barcelona.

Happily the canoe I was also carving this weekend is almost to a stage where I’m happy with it. To combat Melbourne’s unique take on winter, Red Paper Crane is now a sunny yellow.

The Native Americans would be so proud.