Wandering Home.


I, like many of you, suffer from a beautiful condition called wanderlust.

Having said that, I am fortunate to have won a geographical lottery. I can savor glorious locally made produce,  enjoy french champagne while watching a beautiful sunset on a mountain, and scale riverside cliffs without going more than half an hour from my home.

That, is the beauty of Brisbane.

For those of you who feel you have to head south to Sydney or Melbournetown to get the best of the land down under, I say you underestimate what Queensland’s capital has to offer.

So regardless of whether you’re a local, or stopping by from interstate or overseas, here is a quick run-down of the best this city has to offer.

In a 24 hours.

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Growned up thoughts….Unpublished from 2012


So as the Malaysia Diaries are taking longer than expected to type, and the intensity of training and uni is on the increase, I unfortunately have left you, my love blogless. So as I sit here on my uber comfy couch, ice pack on knee, waiting for one of my darling best girlfriends to arrive, I vent my spleen on the week that was.

I’ve had a lot of general grown up thoughts this week. So apologies, but shit’s getting political.

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Sophie


After almost 12 hours in the air, I finally landed in LA. Watching the sunrise was incredible, and there were these two islands off the coast of LA that I feel I need to know more about. After leaving Brisbane at 11am on Wednesday, I arrived in California 12 hours later at 7am on Wednesday. See kids, time-travel is possible, its just not as fun as TV makes it out to be.
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Natventure: En route


So the trip to worlds has begun, but not the fun bit. Actually doesn’t feel real yet, not helped by the epic plane ride that comes with competing over the other side of the world. Its not as small as people lead you to believe.
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Animated Natventure


Here’s a better look at me animating my natventure.
Only a few more days til I leave, so watch this space for updates 🙂

The Malaysia Diaries Episode 4: Pet Shops are Depressing


 

First and foremost. Apologies that Uni and Training related priorities meant that blogging had to take some time on the bench. And I was giving WordPress the silent treatment after it continued to eat my blogs instead of publishing them.

I’m sure you all missed me dearly. 

So lets head back to February 2012, when I was still in the land of cheap stationary, delicious food, and minimal weight gain due to maximum humidity. 

I Inspected myself upon awakening after 3 days of eating my weight in food to find that I am yet to gain a kilo…WIN…unless the mirrors here are chronic liars…

On the cards for today is more eating…and more shopping. I am impressed that there are so many quality malls so close to each other. Back home, malls are easily a 45 minute drive (minus traffic) away from each other. On todays menu, Roti. Not this Rotti. This Roti. Think like a plain naan bread, that you dip in assorted delicious…all for around $1 AUD. Today I discovered that banana flavoured Roti, tastes insane good when dipped in some unknown fish delicious paste that appears to be John West style tinned tuna thats been mashed in a food processor. Trust me, my description does not do it justice…it was actual good. I was also intrigued by the cafe decor. There were portraits of this couple all over the place. Turns out they were the king and queen. I said to my friend//tour guide, “Can you imagine walking into a cafe back home, and seeing a giant photo of J Gill and  Queen Liz on the wall, with Quentin Bryce thrown in for good measure?” to which she replied,

“I’d just walk out.”

THREADING.

It was during a visit to the local shopping centre that I first experienced threading. I had never…ever heard of it in my life, but my friend assured me that it would make my eyebrows look all perdy like. Just a bit of background. I haven’t let another human near my eyebrows since this chick at Pure Indulgence mangled them just before the school formal. Apparently she appreciate ‘lump & line‘ brows…I did not agree with her. I figured it was time to learn to trust again..

So, I get taken through to the back room, and even though everyone over here speaks English, I’m still struggling to understand the locals. I need to get out more. So yeah, this beauty therapist talks to me and asks me questions and I’m literally just like. uh-huh. yep. natural look thx…While my brain is like WTFFFF.

So then we get down to business, threading is like, ninja weaving this piece of thread around your fingers and using it to pluck or shave or something the hairs off your face. It felt kinda like a mix of the two. But. It hurts a lot less than waxing where you have to endure the double owwie of having hot wax poured on you…then having your skin ripped off.

When all was done. I was legit impressed. Minimal redness, and she didn’t mess up the natural shape, I once again had manicured brows, and it cost me a whole lot less than it would back home.

 

After an afternoon nap and a magnificent haul of cheap clothes and toiletries, we headed off to one last family dinner. We went to this amazing lakeside restaurant as my friends Dad flies out tomorrow and she heads back to Australia a few days later. The place we ate at was called steamboat and holy damn. If there is one of these in Brisbane…or even Australia…I need to be notified immediately. Essentially you sit down and are brought out plates of raw meat, dried noodles and other assorted deliciouses. In front of each of you is a pot of boiling stock (we got chicken), and its like, DIY food. You throw in any combination of the food in front of you, and when it floats to the top, its good to go. Genius. New food fave. Golden mushrooms. Yay for being a grown up and learning to love veggies.

After dinner we wandered over to the nearby pet store to take a look at the adorable pets. I got to see my first ever hamster, which was not only delightful but also a prime example of how sheltered and unworldly my upbringing has been. For anyone else out there who has never seen an actual live hamster, they’re like, rats without tails, and they stand on their back legs like Meercats and bounce around like Hamtaro (who funnily enough IS a Hamster). I also got to see adorable kitties and puppies and pigly‘s, but with every pet store (Australia included) the longer you stay there, the more you notice and the sadder you get.

There was this adorable little Sheltie looking pup who was so playful and quite enjoyed bouncing around in his cage and chasing my fingers as i stuck them through the bars. But his cage was so little and he hardly had any room to bounce and play. Behing his was a glass cage with a mere 3 guinea pigs. Although. Having said that, a good clean out of their cage wouldn’t have done any harm. The poor little piglies were walking around in a sea of poops.

Next I visited the Kitties. When I was a little girl I wanted a ginger kitty more than anything and I wanted to call him Jess after Postman Pats Cat (I am aware that Postman Pats Cat was indeed black and white…but I wanted a ranga kitty). Mum couldn’t find one, so we adopted quite possibly the grumpiest tabby from the RSPCA and I loved him so much that he ran away from me twice. Nearly 20 years later, at this store, there was not one, but three ginger kitties. My inner child died with excitement. Until I saw the conditions the kitties were in. Once again the cages were pretty small, but the kitties were so friendly. I looked a little closer and noticed that one of the kitties had super scabby ears, as I tickled his fur through the bars, I could feel the rest of his poor skin was dry and crusty too. Even the other Kitty was getting a bit of skin crust growing on his ears. I wanted so badly to take them both home and get them treatment, but there is no way I could have afforded two cats, and then been able to get the two diseased cats past Australian “Fort Knox” quarantine and back to my house.

I decided to catch up with the other guys who had moved to the back of the store. They were hanging around this Golden Retriever who was already too big for her cage and was unable to stand up anymore. As I stroked her head she looked up at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen in my life, longing to get out of that cage and come back to my home, wherever that may be.

I like many other visitors had to say goodbye and leave her and the other pets behind. On the way out I grabbed all the change I could find and donated it all the the SPCA donation box near the door, which realistically is all I could do. As we walked back to the car i daydreamed of one day owning my own house and saving all the pets and letting them live with me in my big happy pet house.

Serious point. If you are looking to get a new pet. Don’t get one from a pet store. Unless its a little pet like a Guinea Pig or a Rat. If you want a cat or a dog, go to a breeder or adopt from a shelter.

Luckily dessert helped me take my mind off the poor pets. We had these awesome Snow Mountain looking Fruity Deliciousnesses. Its like, a pile of crushed ice, coated in sugary sauce of fruity awesome. I tried to ignore that the guy making it was using his bare hands to handle my ice, and the fact that he wasn’t wearing shoes, and the fact that my GP had sternly warned me to avoid tap water and ice while in South East Asia. I also chose to ignore that my GP is from India and knows a little something about undrinkable water. Thats why I’ve been taking self-prescribed anti-gastro travelling pills right?

Oh well, hospital cover is included in my travel insurance policy so I’ll be fine…..right?

Queensland Health needs to take a long hard look at themselves.


My grandparents always used to say that to me when I misbehaved as a child. Which was often. Qld Health, I am angry, and I’m also disappointed. So you’ve got double time in the naughty corner.

For those of you who haven’t been following my life closely, (And I assume its either because you’re a bad friend, or because you are solely a reader of my blog, in which case. Congratulations and welcome) I have a broken nose. Long story short, cheer related incident. Lots of blood and many laughs afterwards, especially after the codeine kicked in. They all stopped pretty soon after the hospital incompetency began.

So far. I have been to four different hospitals, had my referral lost, had my referral ignored, dropped several hundred dollars (only to get a measly $31 back off medicare) and seen countless doctors who are more than happy to poke my face, confirm that yes, I have a fractured and crooked nose, and then palm me off to someone else. It took them so long to book me in for a re-set that by the time I got in to see the specialist, all he could do was poke my face again, discover my nose has healed too much, then casually announce that I now need major surgery to get it back where it was… and that will take 3-6 months.

In fact. I might not even qualify for surgery as there is a risk that I may break it again.

Ignoring the fact that in the 8 years I’ve been cheerleading this is my first and only broken bone.

So here I am. Crooked and pissed off, and thinking that maybe I should just cut my losses and go for a surgical holiday in Thailand when I retire…and just sleep with my mouth open like a walrus til then.

In the meantime I have a couple of suggestions for the health system so that next time this can get sorted quicker, and anyone else unfortunate enough to hurt themselves doesn’t have to go through this crap.

1. The health department needs to burn their fax machines…and get email. Just like everyone else who lives in 2012. Then maybe next time you won’t lose my referral and it won’t take you 3 goddamned weeks to get me to see a specialist.

2. Medibank. When I pay you $40 a fortnight for a level of cover that takes care of knee and shoulder reconstructions, you should 100% definitely cover ALL minor breaks. Broken noses. Yeah. More common than reconstructions…And easier//cheaper to fix when you book your friggen clients in before their nose fuses over on the left side of their face.

3. Why in gods name is there only one guy, and one department, in all of Brisbane’s public hospitals that can fix broken noses. See above. They are common. At the end of the day, I didn’t even get seen in Brisbane, I got palmed off to Logan. Boxing, Football, and drunken fighting are so very popular that I can imagine every second person in the emergency room on any given weekend has a broken nose. Why then. Is there only one doctor?

4. Perhaps if parents pulled their fingers out and brought up children in a well disciplined environment that values education there would be more doctors to fix aforementioned problems and better politicians and economists to ensure that the health department gets adequate funding.

5. And finally. If you are a smoker, an alcoholic, an over eater, an under eater, suicidal, or a drug fiend. For gods sake get out of public health. Go. Get out. Get private health insurance so that you may get so sick of forking out time and money on retaining what little health you have, you might just take care of yourself and save everyone some hassle. Tax payer dollars should be reserved for those who look after themselves, and so public hospitals and doctors should be reserved for those healthy self respecting people who are unfortunate enough to have bad things happen to them. I spent all day, in a waiting room, with wheezy fat people. Who had a darb out the front before coming in to wait around me. Of course you’re sick, you’re not looking after yourself. I and many others eat right, exercise, and as such, are in good health and therefore more entitled to health funds.

Our health. More valuable. By far. Go to the back of the line.

End rant.

I am fricken amazing… See below for proof


I was having lunch with a dear friend of mine earlier this week when she said something that inspired me to write a blog. I don’t remember her exact words (cause i’m neither a wizard nor stenographer), but it was something along the lines of how awesome I am, and that I’m lucky to have such an exciting life. My reply was something along the lines of ‘Yeah right, my life’s pretty standard.’

But then I started thinking about all the stuff I am doing, one by one, and then I was like ‘Hey. I am pretty impressive.” And so over the last couple of days I’ve half constructed a list of impressive stuff I’ve done this week, and yeah, I feel good. And to be honest the only thing that I would change about my life right now is that I’d add having this guy apply for permanent residency in my bed…or this guy or even him.   So if you’ve been having a crap day//week//year, just make a list on a scrap piece of paper (or on the internet) and even include all the stupid little things like finding 5c pieces that you don’t think even count. Cause it counts. It all counts. pennies in the bank 🙂

This week I

  • Got neglected by the Easter Bunny and didn’t make a scene.
  • After years of being tickle-tortured I discovered one of my work buddies is as ticklish as me. Bwah ha ha.
  • Finally scored a night off training. I celebrated by running til I couldn’t breathe.
  • Express posted my inspirational friend her inspirational present. And prayed every day since that she gets it before she leaves for worlds.
  • Set up a monthly World Vision donation.
  • Resisted the urge to spend ten grand on a piece of toast.
  • Returned to crack of dawn swimming training && survived.
  • Had breakfast with my dearest friend and had an incredibly loud conversation about our sex lives.
  • Stayed up til almost midnight catching up with another friend….talking about our sex lives.
  • Noticed a common trend in my conversations.
  • Watched all of Geordie Shore (<3 Charlotte…Although her && the parsnip hit a familiar nerve)…then returned to reality.
  • Joined the AGT team && got to perform for  TV.
  • Gave myself a DIY spray tan and didn’t turn the bathroom orange, or make a total mess of myself.
  • Applied for a big girl job.
  • Did my first breakfast show without any notes or deleting any talk breaks.
  • Bought a rad bikini for my annual 21st.
  • Made a mental wish list of BM stuff I want
  • Scored myself a lot of chicken for $20
  • Came to the realization that Kmart is my favourite shop. (They have soooo much cheap house stuff)
  • Bought Easter eggs for $1.65…from Kmart.
  • Thanked god a million times for how sweet life is right now, and that my hard work is paying off in so many ways.
  • Made an effort to thank everyone who has helped me out this week.
  • Finally returned to tumbling (oh how a week can seem like an eternity)
  • Ate my weight in fish oil tablets so that my body can have super healing powers.
  • Waited patiently for my wolf hat….

I am a bad person


And to be honest a terrible bloggger. 

and student

and employee

and a bit of a shit friend too. 

It has been lord knows how long since I last posted, and if it weren’t for wordpress eating several of my attempts to please the 2, perhaps 3 people who care about what i write, this may not have been such a mass issue. 

Long story short.

I’ve been busy.

Insane busy. 

Apparently juggling 4 jobs, a degree, training commitments, dating and seeing friends results in one forgetting to do things such as sleep or pay for your health insurance. 

Speaking of. 

If anyone knows of any awesome providers that are cheap but offer rad extra’s like mass amounts of physio…comment below. ASAP

Speaking of being indecisive. 

Apparently there’s an election on tomorrow. 

And to be frightfully honest, I don’t actually know who to vote for. 

I’ve had several chats with several people over the last few days and so far the best choice is to draw a box at the bottom of the ballot and vote for Batman

In all honesty, I don’t know who I want running this state, cause I have absolutely no idea what’s in it for me if I vote for (insert candidate). I sure as hell know what they won’t do, cause every goddamn ad and campaign is focused on throwing hate and telling me how rubbish the other guy is. Rather than telling me what you’ll do for me. 

Good mate of mine put forth the idea that voting for Bob Katter might be a go. Seeing as how he’s the most socially backwards guy in the race, it might be amusing to see how badly he makes a mess of the place. Sounds like a plan. Vote for the worst possible guy, skip town, and watch on from a distance. 

Batman would make a good Premier. 

In other news. 

I’m in a similar position with this whole Kony 2012 thing. Not sure if I wanna donate money to a guy who was caught masturbating in public,  has a fetish for knocked up women, and whose son’s middle name is danger. I DO wanna buy him a drink though, with a possible hi5 for being an utter nutcase and all round good entertainment value. 

I think I’ll just carry on giving my dollars to World Vision. 

Highlight of the week. 

Bought a wolf hat. 

Life is good.

Til next time

Nat ❤

MALAYSIA DIARIES. Episode 2: A Chinese Wedding.


Its my first day here in the house and already there’s been comments on my excessive sleeping. They ain’t seen nothing yet. Personally I am quite impressed with my slothing abilities, and if anything, others should be inspired by the example I am setting. Today we headed to the wedding of my friends boyfriends friends friends friends friends friends. Jokes, they’re close. We headed out into the suburbs of KL to the Brides residence, where the groom && his peeps have to pass a series of tests && get past the bridesmaids && the father of the bride.  In the end the guy gets the girl, happy happy joy joy, lots of food for everyone. Their initial offering was a giant roast pig, glistening in its deliciousness. My friend and I watched on as the boys ate weird stuff, danced to ‘sexy and I know it’, promised the Bride the world, and emptied their pockets for the Father of the Bride. In turn, I was being watched with varying degrees of judgment for being the only uninvited overdressed white girl at the house. Apparently that’s what you get for being a blonde western chick in the suburbs. Once you say hi, everyone is perfectly warm and welcoming, strangers walking down the street continue to judge though. In all honesty I’m not that used to having judgment rained down on me, quite often I find that I’m the one passing judgment which really suits me perfectly fine. Randoms throwing chat to each other about you in languages you don’t understand is also pretty interesting. But I maintain that they were just conversing about how awesome I am.

There are several things about a Chinese Wedding I like the sound of. Not only do I enjoy the idea of scoring mass bribes from the groomsmen (although in all honesty I think the Dad just kept the money…which would sit pretty well with my step-dad, mum would just return the money. bless), but I also love that the groom and his entourage bring with them an epic delicious entire roast pig. Like an actual whole pig. It had the most delicious crackling//skin ever. *drools*. I was also pretty stoked to experience my first “home cooked meal”. Even though my every move was being watched and judged as the other guests tried to figure out why I was there, I was provided with food, chrysanthemum tea (awesomely good), pig, food, tea, food, tea..and so on.

On the way home I spotted yet another baby wedged between its parents on the back of a motorcycle…yet to get a pic…but I will. Apparently several families can’t afford cars && their only mode of transport is motorcycles, which is fair enough, but god so dangerous. Especially since no-one wears more than a helmet. It kinda made me feel lucky to live in a country where we have a minimum wage and a government that gives some assistance, even if the cost of living and god forbid parking in Australia is ridonk.

After another mall trip and a cat nap (I told you I sleep a lot), it was time again to fix my face and head to…you guessed it…another mall. Malaysia is all about shopping, and which mall is bigger and better and shinier than the others, so each one is a different adventure and trying not to get lost is a challenge. My friends were heading to the wedding dinner, so I headed to play at KLCC until the afterparty.

Once again I played the role of overdressed white girl as I explored the infamous mall located at the bottom of the beautiful twin towers. I discovered many things, such as paid restrooms (not that much better…but drier…and they do give you free towelettes). I observed that Malaysian malls have plenty of food && classy clothing stores, but hardly any newsagents, drug stores, and dirt cheap ‘cut the labels off’ clother like Ice && Supre. I eventually did find a Chemist, and yes I’m about to go into information overload, but for whatever reason, there are next to no tampons and aisle after aisle of lady pads and even full brief nappy type things. As someone who doesn’t live in the middle ages, and values comfort and lack of tell tale scent, I don’t understand this. Please explain.

Oh and for a country where everyone speaks English, I may or may not have had some difficulty ordering food. Apparently “Bottle of water” sounds an awful lot like “bolognaise”, and so I was stuck with more meals than I wanted to eat while in public. I tried to explain this to the cashier…but to no avail. We regressed into using hand signals and I eventually ended up having to talk to the manager//supervisor cause she had no clue what was going on. He did throw in a waffle, so in the end. WIN.

10 pm finally arrived, shops closed, and I power walked back to the dinner and avoided eye contact with EVERYONE. Dinner wasn’t quite finished, but there was a spare table so I managed to score a last minute  dessert invite. Apparently its Chinese tradition to ‘out cheers’ each other by making as much noise as humanly possible when its your tables turn to congratulate the happy couple. Another tradition. Scotch. Lots and lots of scotch.  Affectionally referred to as Chinese tea. I have never seen so much Johnny green in my life, and especially not being skulled rather than savoured. I also learnt how to say “yo mamma” in chinese. A;; in all…good night.

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An actress' guide to love, life and making it BIG in an even bigger world.

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