The other day a friend of mine tagged me in a post on Facebook, and I opened it to see a picture of pens with “I hate people” on them.

This friend knows me well, and “I hate people” can be shorthand for “I’m an introvert who doesn’t want to have to deal with people most of the time” or “incompetence reigns! I cannot deal with any more stupidity today!”.

Naturally, I had a look at the online shop and found that this website makes a whole series of honest (and somewhat profane) pens, mugs and badges.

Of course my personal favourite was the “I hate people” range, but I also found a huge amount of joy in the “this meeting is shit” range.

Like, a lot of joy.

I’m not sure I would be game to actually take that pen or mug into a meeting, but really, how many times have you sat in a meeting and thought something along those lines?

The appeal of these items is clearly the brutal honesty in the phrases. Blunt, offensive maybe, but they’re honest. In most of society it is impolite, indelicate, and inappropriate to state “This meeting is shit”, even when it’s the truth.

But some days we just want to walk into that unnecessary meeting, sit through it, and then sip from our “this meeting is shit” mug, while eyeballing the boss.

One day.

You can find the pens here:

My Good Friend Agatha Christie

I love Agatha Christie. If you don’t know who Agatha Christie is, she is only the most brilliant mystery and crime writer of all time.

Well, in my opinion anyway. But not just my opinion. She is also the best-selling novelist of all time, selling in the billions of books globally, in 103 languages. Her play The Mousetrap has played continuously in London for 55 years.

If you have heard of the sleuths Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, then you know Agatha Christie. Poirot, with his funny little moustache, egg head and little grey cells, and Miss Marple, the wise little old lady with the twinkle in her eye who knows a lot about human nature.

I first read an Agatha Christie mystery when I was 13, at the suggestion of a friend. Since then I have read nearly all of her 70 plus books, and own a large rag-tag collection of most of these, predominantly sourced from op shops, second hand bookshops and eBay.

Once I purchased some from a second-hand bookshop set up in an old church at Portsea. I’d climbed a little ladder to reach the Agatha Christie section, and picked out a few I didn’t own. After paying $5 for one, I found a $5 note tucked into the back cover. The mystery!

So what do I love about reading Agatha Christie’s books? Every time I am left guessing until the very end. She so cleverly hides the truth, and then reveals it, winding her way back through all the clues that we missed or misinterpreted. It is a brain game, and I love the way she creates her intricate puzzle and then pieces it back together for you. It’s almost cheeky, the way she shows enough of her hand to lead you up the garden path, but not enough to lead you to the truth. She’s brilliant.

This is a long way of saying that I am so ridiculously thrilled to see that later this year one of the most famous of Agatha’s works is again being translated into film.

Murder on the Orient Express is a classic. It is due out in November this year, and the names in it are big too: Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfieffer, Josh Gad, and the list goes on. If you like a good old fashioned who dunnit, this is the one for you.

There are still 3 months to go, but I will be counting down! I have already conned the husband into promising to come with me, so come along too! It looks to be a good one.

Picture from Torquay, UK, hometown of Agatha Christie, which I visited in 2007


Marriage is
You eating my cake off the floor
Because I dropped it
And cried
And you saying it still tasted nice

Marriage is
Going out on a date
Without the baby
For the first time
Holding hands because we finally can
And feeling like a teenager again

Marriage is
You taking the baby
When you’re tired
Because I’ve had enough
And you want me to be happy
So many times

Marriage is
Learning to accept
That we cook the spaghetti bolognaise
But that doesn’t make your way

Marriage is
Knowing that clean shaven and fresh faced
21 year old boy
And this scruffily bearded
30 year old man
And loving them both
So so much

Marriage is
Days out
Days in

Doing the same thing
Many times
Seeing your face
And feeling so happy

The Flat Pack Relationship Test

The ultimate relationship test: putting together flat pack furniture.

Everyone should be forced to do it. Preferably an item that takes upwards of two hours to complete. Small room, large piece of furniture a must. Baby crying: optional.

Yesterday the husband and I successfully built a three door 7 foot wardrobe from a flat pack. With a baby who was a bit upset. With a drill that kept needing recharging. And with the worst set of instructions I have ever seen.

We like to think we are relatively competent people, but there was a lot of interpretation and extrapolation required with the minimal instructions. Also there were no written instructions, it was all pictures with ambiguous arrows. Cue Anna turning the instructions round and round in circles.

A snapshot of our conversations over the two hours it took to construct the wardrobe:

“Babe please go and get the baby, I can’t do this while I am listening to her crying”

“We’ve lost half the screws for the doors” “Are they under the 90kg wardrobe??!”

“Kid in the hallway!… maybe just step over her?” “…I am carrying three heavy wooden planks!”

“Where is the Allen key?” “In the laundry somewhere on top of the pile of clothes?”

“Lift!!!” “I can’t! There isn’t enough room here for my bum”

“Where’s the kid?” “I don’t know!”

“…did that break?” “…. yep”.

At the end of the day we had one completed wardrobe, two exhausted adults, one sleeping child, two delicious salmon and veggie dinners, and an assortment of left over screws.

Drink of choice; beer for the husband, baileys for me.

But we survived, with our marriage still intact at the end of it, so test result: pass.

Burn the Bridge

I’m a bit of a pyro. I love fire. Love burning things.

There is something incredibly therapeutic about burning something that you want to get rid of. I love shredding things, but burning is next level. Emotional. I had fondue the other night and even that little candle set my heart alight with joy.

The husband really wants to get a fire pit for the backyard and I am in full favour of this idea. Imagine having my own little fire; yes to burn stuff, but also fires can be nice to sit by, and toast marshmallows.

But really it’s just about burning stuff.

The saying goes “don’t burn your bridges” and it’s meaning is clear; don’t irreparably damage something that you might need later.

But what about the bridges that should be burnt?

What about the pathways we shouldn’t go back down, the negative thoughts or relationships that lead us to our own destruction, the things that need forgetting?

Shouldn’t we burn those bridges down and dance around the flames?

The scars of the past will not dictate the future.
Burn the bridge.

Everything that was written and said to you, stabs in the back, your own misadventures.
Burn the bridge.

Dance around the flames.
Toast a marshmallow, or two.

“When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.” – Dylan Thomas

Film: Wonderful Women and Pizza

Date night!

I was unbelievably excited about this. We hadn’t had a date night in a Very. Long. Time.

The husband desperately wanted to see Wonder Woman, so I put my Spider-Man preference aside and off we went.

I have two things to say about the evening:

The first, and amusing, thing happened before we even entered the cinema. We were seeing the film at our small local cinema, and as we waited, two big islander guys walked past into cinema 3 holding pizzas.

“That is so cool!” I thought. I didn’t know you could do that. I’d once smuggled burgers into a film in my giant handbag, but a pizza? They were thinking big. I liked it.

A minute later this was shattered, as a cinema employee walked into cinema 3 empty handed, and returned a few minutes later with two pizzas. Apparently you definitely cannot do that.

So onto the second thing: the movie, Wonder Woman! Gal Gadot, action, romance, even some comedy! All the good stuff.

As I touched on earlier, I thought I would have preferred Spider-Man, but I am very glad the husband convinced me otherwise. Wonder Woman was excellent.

Gal Gadot nailed it as Diana/Wonder Woman. Whoever cast this film knew exactly what they were doing. Gadot was believable as the independent and powerful warrior, but equally as the compassionate, devastated bleeding heart.

This movie was an action film, but it was also very moving. Chris Pine plays Diana’s leading man Steve, an American spy in WW1. The contrast between Diana’s black and white idealism and Steve’s pragmatism when it comes to war makes for a film that has depth in ideas as well as all the shooting, explosions and hand to hand combat your heart desires.

Wonder Woman has been out for 7 weeks, and is still performing well, which just goes to show that a DC comic-inspired action film with a female lead and female director was a fantastic idea. About time.


Factis Non Verbis

Factis non Verbis.

It’s a Latin motto, used by schools, churches, community groups.

It literally translates to “deeds, not words”.

Benjamin Franklin said it this way:
“Well done is better than well said”.

Actions, words.

Words can be pretty, but empty if not followed by action. Theory is easy to get behind, agreeing with an idea takes very little from us. Action is harder. Action requires our time, our effort, our presence. Our sacrifice.
Theory just requires our mind. Our lip service.

Great history is full of ideas that were put into action. It’s all very well to think that slavery isn’t a great way to treat people. It’s another thing to act, to fight for your belief to be reflected in reality, for slavery to be abolished. It’s all very well to think that race or colour shouldn’t be a basis for discrimination; it’s another thing to make sure it doesn’t happen.

Words aren’t bad though. Not at all! It’s not really words versus actions. Words inspire, articulate, provide vision and direction and meaning.
But they simply aren’t enough.
Without action, words are nothing.

Martin Luther King had a dream. But his articulate words are only remembered today because they were accompanied by action. Effort.

Words AND actions.

I write this as a reminder to myself more than anything. There are many words here, but what of actions?

See it.
Say it.
But then go and do it.

Factis non Verbis.