Oh DEAR!

Yesterday, I had one of those days. As Marnie was crying on my shoulder (and I was crying on hers) I took a picture of myself.  I’ve always thought it’s important to remember the less-good times so that the truly good times are dazzling by comparison. There’s no denying positivity is my default setting, but no matter who you are, there’s no escaping those days when it feels like life has bitten you on the arse. Life has really sharp teeth, in case you were wondering.

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Sad face.

Tutti bought me a scratch card the other day, so I dug it out, found a 10c coin and prepared to turn my fortunes around. “Hello, $100,000.” I said to the scratchie (but not out loud, because that would be weird). “How nice to meet you. Please get ready to make yourself right at home in my bank account. It’s pretty sparse at the moment, and could do with significant renovating, but I have a feeling you’ll love it there.”

I like scratching the $5 crossword scratchie, but it always goes the same way. The same fleeting blink of hopeful anticipation; the knowing prediction of the outcome.

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Damn you, Crossword. Damn you to hell.

I scratch a star. Then another. I reveal a Q, V, Y and other useless letters bringing me no closer to scratch card success. But all I need is an O, E and R and I’ll be $100,000 richer! I cross my fingers. I pray a bit. I scratch the next star.

It’s a fucking X.

An X! And of COURSE there’s no xylophone, xylotomy or xerox on my stupid scratchie. (There’s always a silver lining though, as there is in everything. In this instance, it’s that I learnt a new word. Propound. It means to put forward (an idea or theory) for consideration by others. I will probably never use it in a sentence.

Anyway. It’s silly that taking a 10c coin and scratching away at a piece of card that is probably never going to win me anything more than the amount of a coffee gives me enjoyment. And sillier still, is that whenever I occasionally buy one, I never fail to have this paragraph from George Orwell’s 1984 lingering uneasily in the shadows of my memory.

“The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was concerned, even people who could barely read and write seemed capable of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory. There was a whole tribe of men who made their living simply by selling systems, forecasts, and lucky amulets. Winston had nothing to do with the Lottery, which was managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being nonexistent persons.”

 

 

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A Celebration of Love (and colour)

Tutti, the Guru, Matty, Marnie and I went to a wedding yesterday. It was truly lovely – a celebration of life and love and a brilliant excuse to get dressed up. (Not that one ever truly needs an excuse for that. Wear your best frock to the shops to buy milk, I say. Not that I do. I went out with Marnie the other day looking horrible. “At least put some lipstick on,” said Tutti, kindly ignoring the brooch of baby vomit on my T-shirt and my hair which looked at best like a curly, fluffy hair-nest, just waiting for a sparrow to take up residence.)

Anyway. We did what anyone does at a wedding. We danced and laughed and ate things and cooed over the bride who was wearing a sparkly, almost-60s-style shift dress and looked absolutely divine. In short? We had fun. But then, we almost always do.

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Here I am with my beloved Matty, wearing my Francis Klein glasses, outfit by Et Al Melbourne and flower corsage that I found in Tutti’s wardrobe (score!) Matty’s wearing his beautiful Clifford Gordon jacket that he last wore five years ago when we got married and skinny pants by ML Denim.

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What can I say about Tutti except that she is always a colourful feast for the eyes. I recently bought her that jacket from an op shop in Melbourne for the princely sum of $12 and yet it looks a million bucks.. Love her Miu Miu glasses, Alistair Trung skirt and bright sandals by Django & Juliet.

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Tutti the beauty.

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Giving good shoulder.

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The Guru and Tutti. I had probably just said something HILARIOUS.

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I art directed this shot. “Look romantic,” I said.

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Power pose.

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Even Marnie got in on the action, partying the night away. Well, until 10pm. Which is pretty rock’n’roll for a baby.

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Here are Tutti and Matty standing in front of a chalkboard of random words. #catatonic!

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Looking alert and economic. Apparently.

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The couple of the moment. Nathan and Elly. Wishing them a lifetime of health, happiness, laughter and all good things. It’s a bit of a photographic fail from an iPhone point of view, but you get the gist. They looked gorgeous.

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On ageing…

I can’t stand it when people say, “She looks so amazing… for her age.” After all, what does age even look like? These days, 50 is young. So is 60 – even 70. All you need is a love of life: a sense of wonder and adventure; a little dash of style; a wicked sense of humour.

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Tutti, 64 and The Guru, 66

Once, 60 might have worn a faded pink dressing gown, and ‘tsked’ at the television while hunched over the ironing, before dinner at 5 and bed at 7 (maybe some still do – it’s no crime after all). But perceptions have changed. People have changed. Sixty can be as vibrant as any 30. Sometimes more so. I know people my age who might as well have been 100. But even saying that seems insulting to 100-year-olds who still live life with vigour.

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Tutti at 62

I feel sad when I hear women talk about turning 40, or 50 and feeling invisible. Just because you might have a few more lines, or because your mid-section doesn’t snap back into shape after a doughnut binge like it used to, or because your your backside is exponentially more wobbly, or your hair’s going grey, it’s no excuse for allowing yourself to fade into obscurity. There’s no need to wave goodbye to your identity amidst the bland sea of perky pouters, fresh out of school, in their uniform, bum-skimming bodycons and tragic stilettos that have them clip-clopping down the street with all the elegance of drunken giraffes.

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Tutti, 64

I once wrote a ‘manifesto’ of sorts for Prevention (the health magazine for women 40+, where I’m the features editor) and it pretty much sums up my sentiments (edited for context, below):

No one really wants to get ‘old’, but if we can, quite simply, live our best lives, then we have rendered age irrelevant. It’s not about stopping the clock, or turning it back – it’s about moving forward, buoyed by life’s many possibilities and the inevitable wisdom we pick up along the way. 

Ageing is inevitable: there will always be that day when you find another grey hair, or your knees start to creak or you realise your eyes are suddenly more prone to crow’s feet than sparrows’. But if people can be inspired to embrace every aspect of their lives with vibrancy, humour – and youth (no matter how many candles on their birthday cakes), that in itself is setting a brilliant example for future generations to aspire to. After all, ageing ‘youthfully’, isn’t just an ideal – it can be a reality.
 
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Tutti and The Guru frolicking in the garden

Of course, I’m lucky to have parents like Tutti and the Guru as role models, doing their darnedest to age disgracefully, with more colour and layers of eccentricity year-on-year, but if you need a dash more inspiration, check out photographer Ari Seth Cohen’s blog Advanced Style.

There’s something about those fearless, fashionable, savvy New Yorkers that makes you want to leap out of your easy-chair, fist pump the air triumphantly, and live every day that passes with even more fabulousness than the last.

 

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Big Kids

Happy Friday everyone!

Here are a few pictures I took last weekend when Tutti the Guru and I went to the first Mother Artist Network Forum at the Museum of Contemporary Art, hosted by two extraordinarily impressive women, Lilly Blue and Jo Pollitt, who besides having children, day jobs and a million other of life’s bits and bobs to juggle, are also the creators of Big Kids Magazine, inspiring creativity and a passion for the arts in little kidlets (and big kidlets) everywhere. (Phew! That was a long sentence!)

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Whose shoes are whose?

Issue six is out now and you should totally buy it. Why? Because it’s amazing and beautiful and because Lilly and Jo work their butts off to produce it. (I can confirm, they are both 100% butt-less, and it’s all for the love of the magazine).

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This is ISSUE SIX of Big Kids Magazine

Anyway, the Mother Artist Network Forum (which also included mothers-and-artists Emma Magenta and Emma Gale on the panel) was an absolutely fascinating, inspiring discussion about art and motherhood.

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Living, breathing art. Someone should install Tutti and The Guru at the MCA.

For example: What does it mean to be a Mother and an Artist? Is your practice enhanced because of, or despite having children? Are the two inextricably linked, independent of each other, or a little bit of both depending on the day? Is being an artist a luxury? A right? Or essential and unavoidable if you’re inherently creative and passionate about making marks on a page?

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Tutti: Is she a mother, or an artist, or an artwork? Or all of the above?

It certainly brought into focus a whole lot of issues I’ve been thinking about in the lead up to becoming a mother myself – not least how this next chapter of my life is going to manifest creatively…

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Pop art and stripes

After the forum we stayed for the Launch of Big Kids magazine Issue 6 (which, as already mentioned, is utterly brilliant).

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A marriage of multicolour

Then Tutti, the Guru and I did what any sane person would do. We found a colourful floor and lay on it.

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Where does the floor end and Tutti and The Guru begin?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m back after two weeks away. And I’m grumpy.

Hello loyal, lovely (and HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE) readers who I have callously neglected for the last two weeks. “Where have you been?” I hear you ask. “What have you been doing?” You plead. “PLEASE fill us in with all the minute details of your illustrious life!” I hear you cry (er… in my head… as I watch the tumbleweeds roll softly by).

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It might as well be a tumbleweed. AKA The innards of one of Tiggy’s toys. There is fluff EVERYWHERE. I am going to have to teach her to use the vacuum cleaner.

In truth, I’ve had ten glorious days off work. I’ve been the very personification of the Spanish proverb that goes, “Isn’t it beautiful to do nothing and then rest afterwards.” And it is, I tell you. It really, truly is.

For the first five days of my holiday, Matty, Tutti, the Guru, Tiggy and I went to Sky Cottage in Jervis Bay, a gorgeous, simple, two-bedroom cottage, just a five minute drive from Hyams Beach, which according to the Guinness Book of Records has the whitest sand in the world. It was glorious. We lazed by the sea, watched movies, had barbecues at night by the bonfire and played an epic game of Monopoly that spanned three days and ended predictably with The Guru making appalling deals, and Matty monopolising the board until he owned everything and had mercilessly bankrupted everyone with his exorbitant rents.

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Tiggy, contemplating some of life’s big questions at Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay

I just realised I didn’t take any photos of anyone except Tiggy, so you will have to look to her to see how much we enjoyed ourselves.

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“Nothing to see here,” says Tiggy. “Move along please.”

Then we drove back to Sydney, and I spent another couple of days mooching about, and yet another couple, having succumbed to a boring cold that saw me lying in bed listlessly and coughing pathetically.

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Just imagine this is my face, I’m coughing persistently, and being incredibly self-pitying.

Then Sunday night (when I’m writing this post) rolled around, and I had all these grand plans about the fun I would have, and yet somehow, the hours ticked past, I ate a couple of sandwiches, tidied the bedroom, ate some cheese toast and fell down an appalling internet rabbit hole while trying to help Matty change his Apple ID region from UK to Australia. I went round and round in frustrating circles, unable to solve the problem and yet I persisted in vain for over an hour until I started weeping pitifully and declared my Sunday RUINED. And then I made plenty of these faces, a few of which I have captured for you here.

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So there you have it. I may be whinging and whining like a dog in the rain, but I’m back, good people of the internet, and I look forward to seeing all your lovely faces back here again. Now THAT will cheer me up.

Love ya!

Ceci xx

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