Nudie Rudie

Generic beach shot because taking out a camera at the nude beach is probably not the done thing

I am doing a storytelling course (Barefaced Stories) at The Blue Room Theatre with Margot Leitman (check out one of her stories on The Moth).

Eight sessions and at the end we will have a polished story.

Each session we have homework.

The first assignment – “do something outside your comfort zone”.

This required some deep thought.

Then I remembered the time Groover and I  – in our 20s when we had hot (ish) bods – stripped off and drove naked down West Coast Highway – at least until the adreniline wore off and we thought about all the what ifs… what if we broke down? What if we get pulled over by a cop? And we quickly scuttled back home.

So I thought okay, let’s up the ante and go for a swim at Perth’s favourite nude beach – luckily not far away – Swanborne – public nudity.

First question… what does one wear to Swanborne because clearly you can’t rock up nude – does one wear bathers?

I decided to wear my bikini, as it seemed appropriate, and with towel and sunblock in hand casually strolled down the beach.

OMG!  There are naked people there!!

First thing I saw from a distance was the silhouette of a man and let me tell you he was hung.

Second question… where do I sit?

I don’t want to sit too close to anyone else but I do want to get the Swanborne experience so I don’t want to sit completely on my own and I don’t want to sit up by the dunes as I figure the creepy guys hang out there perving, so I plonk my stuff down in the middle and undress.

Well that feels a bit weird and as I slide my bikini bottoms off I’m thinking some trimming might have been in order but it’s too late now.

Lying on the beach I’m conscious of what everyone is doing.

People are moving between groups chatting, there’s a very tanned girl to my right doing a job interview on her iPhone, and there are people – clothed people – walking by all the time.

But I can’t lie on the beach forever – for one thing I can’t stay out in the sun too long and for another – well a swim is part of the challenge.

So choosing my moment I stand up and walk into the surf.

The water is cool, the surf a bit dumpy but this is no time to get into the water gingerly.

Before long I am enjoying my swim and getting chatted up by a tanned fellow in his mid forties who turns out to be the pilot of our flight home last Sunday – I kid you not.

Anyway I go back to my towel and air dry.

I notice that I’m possibly one of the younger women on the beach – hard to tell as all the women have VERY dark tans – and also, I’m not that uncomfortable.

And I notice the men – it’s hard not to.

One guy I swear has more metalwork “down there” than the Bunnings tool section.

Another guy has tats all over his body – except “down there” and frankly who can blame him.

There are men of all sizes – and that’s when I realise that actually there are way more men than women.

Why did that surprise me?

I get dressed and get up to go and as I’m leaving the pilot starts chatting to me.

Now that feels a bit weird… chatting to a completely naked man while fully dressed on the beach.

Anyway we chat for a bit and I’m thinking well this will make a great addition to my story when…

Groover walks by!

OMG and I’m chatting to a naked man!

Anyway it takes me a while to catch up with the groovy one because by the time I noticed him he was about 20 metres away and the wind is whipping away my voice and hey, I’m not that fit so running in sand isn’t very fast but eventually I catch up with him and we walk back  and I tell him about my experience and he remembers the pilot’s name and I suggest that he might like to go in for a quick dip.

He (surprisingly) agrees and we have a little swim and then start to get dressed.

Do you want to meet the pilot I ask?

The pilot is now under his umbrella – still nuded up of course – but Groover says no.

I guess meeting a naked man on the beach is outside his comfort zone.

So this is the story I tell at my storytelling class and it goes down quite well.

The next day I decide to go back to the beach – because it was fun, there was quite a nice community feel to it and I was still on a high from the day before but it’s different.

For one thing it is much windier so there are fewer people and there are only two other women.

That friendly community atmosphere has blown away with the wind and what is left feels somewhat seedy.

The pilot is there and comes over to chat but it all feels a bit wrong.

I go home after about 20 minutes and shower.

If I go back – I won’t go alone.

Besides – I had my next assignment to do – ” to stray from my routine”.

Ah but that is another story.

Dirty blossom

Spring blossoms

I know that I take a lot of photos of flowers.

I’m a sucker for hitting my macro switch and stopping to photograph – and even sometimes smell – the roses.

You know how it is, you’re walking to the train or the shops and you have your camera.

Well that’s me.

I loved these blossoms when I walked past them.

They grow right alongside Stirling Highway and they look beautiful.

Unless you look closely.

And then…

Get out the spray and wipe!

Dirty blossom.

Ah well I guess most people don’t view the world through their macro setting.

And maybe that’s a good thing.

Maybe sometimes it’s good just to walk by and not look too closely.

Maybe LSL wasn’t such a good idea


Y’know when I applied for Long Service Leave I thought it would be a good idea.

Distracted by home life, I wasn’t able to concentrate and right now, work needs someone on the ball.

The leave was sitting there, the timing worked and I could concentrate what was left of my brain power on my kids.

But today, as I wandered about my house trying to find something to do, I realised that for the first time in a long time, I was bored.

I don’t think I’ve been bored for a very long time.

Life has been too busy.

And with boredom comes lethargy.

Finding the motivation to even go for a walk, let alone do the shopping, vacuum or any number of household chores seems as impossible as climbing a mountain.

The girl needs a project.

Limestone wall

See!  So bored I’m taking photos of limestone.

The philosophy of weeding

Sunlight through winter trees
Sunlight through winter trees
Sunlight through winter trees

On Wednesday, the weather was clear and bright.

The bluest of skies, the sun glinting through the trees.

I spent the day gardening.

Weeding can be therapeutic, don’t you think?

Firstly the physical act of pulling out a plant is satisfying.

It’s like you are removing all the imperfections of your own life.

Take that unpaid bills!

Poor game of bridge!

Annoying kids!

Nagging husband!

Fat thighs!

Then it is so good to look at the garden bed, smooth and perfect at the end.

Of course, as the garden bed becomes more and more perfect, you become less so.

Dirt marks your face and streaks your clothes, your nails fill with mud and crack, your knees start to ache and your back protests.

It makes me think that whenever I see perfection, I’m really looking at hard work.

That somewhere, like The Picture of Dorian Gray, there is a dirty, unkempt, maybe injured person – the agent of the perfection before you.

Nothing’s perfect.

And perhaps the most perfect looking things are the least perfect of all.

Even now, when I look at my newly weeded garden beds I can see the stubborn shoots of the odd weed poking their way out to taunt me.

I think I will let them grow.

For now.

Maybe life shouldn’t be perfect.

When the ordinary becomes extraordinary

I took this photograph of the Fremantle Prison wall back in April.

I love it.

I love the way it looks like a map you’d find in the front of a fantasy novel with places like Midkemia and Great Kesh written in a cursive font as if by a ancient map maker.

Even the edges seem shaded to denote a high rainfall area or maybe a high population.

I like the little oblongish bit at the bottom that looks like an island.

Or maybe it could be the surface of an ancient gourd, uncovered from a buried civilisation.

Or maybe not.


It’s just a wall.

But sometimes isn’t it nice to dream that things are more than they are.

On the couch

On the couch

Most nights, unless I’m at bridge, at some point I will be on the couch.

This couch in particular.

(not the Alpha couch)

Wearing this same fleece.

In fact I’m wearing it now.

Oh and those ugg boots, now with an interesting nail polish stripe across one toe.

Which yes, I am also wearing as I type.

Quite often I’m watching telly, some downloaded movie or television show.

Endless episodes of House, Six Feet Under, Dexter or Project Runway.

Sometimes I’m catching up on Masterchef…

Other times I curl up with a book.

Tonight I am blogging and I have Masterchef on the telly – Sunday night’s episode – love the invention test.

Groover is at rehearsal, Hugamuga is hiding away avoiding study and Dippity is on her computer chatting with strangers on one of her role playing sites.

I’ve watched Time Team for a little Archeology fix.

I love watching them using their little trowels – it is JUST like what we did in York – except wetter and muddier and colder… and older.

I’ve made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the Biggest Morning Tea at work tomorrow… and I didn’t even burn them!

So really no news my friend just a little window into my life.

Hmmm not that exciting.


Feeling meh

Sunrise at Cottesloe Station

For some reason tonight it feels like the long dark teatime of the soul.

Sunday night.

Work tomorrow.

The end of a weekend.

I played Theatresports tonight and even that didn’t help – and sorry guys – I was crap.

I guess I’m not that good enough of an actor to fake how I feel onstage.

I feel meh about everything.

Don’t feel like reading or eating or watching telly… just want to be held and hugged and comforted.

There there… it’s alright.

Sometimes you just need to go to that place where someone loves you.

Maybe it is harking back to being a small child, climbing into your mummy’s lap and being rocked.

I want my mummy!

I am at that point where either I will wallow in my discontent or pull myself together and “get on with it”.

C’mon girl – make a cup of tea and put on Glee.

Everything will be okay.

(she says reaching for the St John’s Wort)

The story of the orchids


The other day I was buying a few essentials at my local deli. It was a Saturday morning, a beautiful day outside and I had all the time in the world.

I mooched along the aisles selecting a yummy thing there and a gorgeous thing here and ended up at the checkout with a bigger basket than I expected.

The check out is right near the most beautiful flower display and of course it was chockablock with roses and chrysanthemums – Mothers’ Day next weekend.

Well I thought, I’m a mother aren’t I?

And I love fresh flowers in my house.

I know there are those of you who prefer the living variety.

Well good on you.

They are nice as well but a bunch of flowers brings joy to my heart.

So bugger it, I thought, I’m going to splurge.

Ahhh but what to buy?

Do I get roses or orchids or chryssies…. I asked the girl who said the orchids last the longest.

(incidentally they were also 3 bucks cheaper)

So I bought orchids.

Are these a gift?

No, just for me.

The girl gave me a four dollar discount.

So I should feel good right?

Lovely flowers, a discount… what more could I ask for?

Well here’s the thing.

As I walked my way back up the hill the niggles started.

Why did she give me a discount?

She’d just told me the orchids would last longer… were they old orchids?

Did I buy dud flowers?

Now you’re probably reading this thinking – is she mad? Go and have some St John’s Wort IMMEDIATELY!

And by the time I turned the corner into my street I was thinking the same thing.

The flowers are beautiful.

They fill my heart with joy when I see them.

And I will NOT look a gift horse in the mouth but say yes to the universe when fortune favours me.

Yes please!

The Alpha Couch

Picture of our sofa with Groover lying along it with the remote on his chest

Last night at dinner we were discussing dominant partners in the couples we know.

It’s pretty obvious (mostly) who calls the shots.

Now I think Groover and I have a pretty equal relationship but it turns out I’m wrong.

Very wrong.

Yeah, we’re pretty equal… says Groover, as he forks in another mouthful of steak and salad.

(still on the low carb diet)

Cough splutter… from our daughter.

I’m sorry… says I.

You don’t think that’s right?

Er no, she says, Dad’s the one on the alpha couch.

It seems that pecking order in our house is down to the sofa you choose in the lounge room.


Love over gold

I was searching for a CD tonight.

And this is what my poor eyes saw.


I really hate the fact I need my glasses to find a frigging CD.

You see I knew I had Love Over Gold by Dire Straits.

It was one of the first albums I ever bought.

Yes on vinyl.

I think Complete Madness was the first and then Love Over Gold and that’s because a young man was obsessed by Dire Straits and he took me to the concert (at the Entertainment Centre… remember that?).

He was really into guitar playing and would play me guitar and Dire Straits and I thought he was sweet, although I wasn’t really into him.

I liked the music.

It felt rather cool at the time I thought.

You are probably spitting your coffee over the screen at this point but I did think it was cool.

I liked Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Madness.

I was 16.

Anyway Love Over Gold was one of the first CDs I bought too.

I started buying CDs long before I had a CD player.

I could see the writing was on the wall.

And when our CD collection was stolen in 1994 I felt sure I would have insisted on buying Love Over Gold again.

Dire Straits and in particular this album was a favourite.

For goodness sakes it had only 5 tracks and one of them was more than 14 minutes long.

And one of them was Industrial Disease.

I knew all the words. 


The other Mark Knopfler CD I really liked was the soundtrack to The Princess Bride – my favourite movie.

So why was I so keen to find it?

Well today I heard a track and I could have sworn it was a Dire Straits tune from this album with new words.

Can’t remember the words or even the artist as I was so indignant that they should steal Mark’s work!

So I thought I’d better listen again to his fantastic guitar playing and remind myself.

Of course as I can’t compare them it is a moot exercise but I am enjoying the journey back down memory lane.

I’m 16 again (and saving myself for university).