10 Things that are Probably Actually Uncool that I think are Actually Probably Cool

Silly socks. These bring a smile to my face EVERY. TIME.

Clothing with ears. Not real ears, you weirdo, but stitched on as part of your clothes. Seriously, these things are not just for children.

Origami. Paper folding magic, that’s what it is.


Old books. You don’t even have to read them, they look awesome and if you line your walls it aids insulation. Warm your home with books.


Pictures. When you’re not lining your walls with books, go for pictures. People are so clever and talented and it’s the easiest way to see how.

Clutter. Minimalist living appears to be in vogue but I enjoy the journey of finding things I love and it’s an adventure I share with my mum. While I avoid buying new things  it’s still a luxury I don’t take for granted.

Banjo. I love a bit of banjo. Here’s an example I found one of my 90’s mix-tapes. Don’t judge me.

Stamps. I’m no philatelist but I am fascinated with stamps. I only have twenty-three, a third of those were collected by my great-grandmother who was post-mistress in Australia back in the late 1800s.

Taxidermy. Ok, let me clarify. I do not endorse killing animals, particularly and especially for trophies. Taxidermy though, is still an extraordinary art. Much of early non-trophy taxidermy was for learning and expressed perhaps a misplaced respect and wonder of animal-kind (and a way for the rich to impress their friends). Without photography, it was a means of documenting animals, with even some artists capturing, killing and preserving animals to then draw them. Today though, we should respect taxidermy of old as we cannot undo what has been done. There are also modern-day taxidermists ‘saving’ animals which have been victims of road-kill or have died of natural causes. After saying all that, I don’t own any taxidermy. It’s one of those things I really admire but don’t wish to own. I have a couple of vintage fur jackets belonging to my grandmother and a small vintage butterfly display – these are probably as close as I’ll get.

Word invention. Probably + Actually = Pactually.

Or Actrobably.

What’s on your list?



The Art of Absence

LOOK! *runs away*

Yes, yes, yes.

I know.

I planned to do that whole A to Z thing. And I WILL recoup. But I’ve been away on a happy knick-knack collecting adventure with my mum. So I’ll have EVEN more to offer. Possibly. Alledgedly.

Anyhoo. To get back into the swing of things. There’s this list post that is all the rage right now. It started here with Mer, found its way to Jackie and you’ll find it here with Ra. I’m completely stealing all their ideas because I’m lazy.

Here are fifty facts about me.

  1. I’m lazy. I often don’t tidy up after myself due to the following circumstances:  a) I might/will need it again soon b) I haven’t got time to pack it away properly c) I can’t be bothered. However, when I’m in tidy mode I am an organised machine.
  2. I usually only lose things because someone else put it away.
  3. I have always chosen security over experience. I don’t take risks.
  4. On three occasions I’ve had friends who’ve envied me simply because their parents liked me. I only learnt this years later.
  5. I have only ever travelled overseas once and have collectively seen more of the UK and Ireland than I have of Australia.
  6. My family are big on nicknames. I still answer all of them. When I was ten, my dad sent a letter to me using my nickname and I was mortified that the postman had seen it.
  7. I hate arguing and I have never shouted in anger.
  8. Oysters make me gag. Up until my teens, so did green beans.
  9. I don’t drink enough water and too much alcohol.
  10. I am always working on a project of some kind. I’ll probably finish half of them. This month it’s crochet.
  11. I like clothes but I don’t like shopping for them.
  12. My favourite footwear is socks but I shoe-up at appropriate times.
  13. I once ate a meal after I removed someone’s hair from it.
  14. I have to cut up fruit before I eat it because eating a bug or discovering rotten flesh would put me off fruit for months.
  15. I like people to say what they mean, even if it hurts.
  16. I cannot stand talking on the radio – interviews or any form of commentary. If you want me to listen, you have to be mega interesting.
  17. I listen to Christmas music all year long.
  18. I’ve never broken a bone.
  19. I won a drawing competition when I was eleven. I drew a guinea pig and won an illustrated book of Aesop’s fables.
  20. I would love to be able to sing. Like properly and in tune.
  21. I would rather speak in front of thousands than play the piano for one person.
  22. I have an aversion to nail polish on my own finger nails and I don’t understand why people want fake nails.
  23. I always carry and X10 magnification lens and a tape measure.
  24. Sleeping during the day makes me feel ill so it takes a decent flu or migraine to make that an option.
  25. I don’t like skivvies. My mother used to make us wear them over our bathers to protect us from harmful sunrays. In Australia, this is a good thing, but instead I recommend a button up shirt. What’s worse than wearing a skivvy? Removing a wet one.
  26. I have no criminal record. Not even a parking ticket. I was once chastised by an off-duty policeman for jay walking. I suspect he wouldn’t have approached me if I was a 6’6″ rugby player.
  27. I have been teased for being white. Or at least, whiter than everyone else.
  28. Time has always moved too fast for me, even when I was a child.
  29. My greatest fear is to lose those I love.
  30. I’ve only ever had two jobs in my entire life. The first I had for 13 years.
  31. As a youngster, my mum was furious when she found out I saw the original Mad Max film at a friend’s house. I don’t remember it. However, the 1959 Disney movie The Shaggy Dog gave me nightmares.
  32. I loved my Barbies for their hair. I cracked the necks of two Barbies with over-brushing. I did not become a hairdresser.
  33. One day I hope to get a dog, I hope the cat will approve.
  34. Our first family cat was slightly psychotic and used to ambush my mum when she got home from work.
  35. I’ve only ever lived in two houses – the one I grew up in and the one I’m in now. I’ve house-sat three times.
  36. I own fifteen bibles/prayer books, fives crosses and two sets of rosary beads but I’m not religious.
  37. My skin is hypersensitive. Light touch will tickle me and/or make me itch.
  38. When I was three I was stung by a bee because I thought it was lovely and wanted to play with it.
  39. I have more types of sugar in my pantry than I do tea – white, raw, brown, castor, demerara and icing. I only use them for cakes or desserts.
  40. My favourite meal is my dad’s chicken roast.
  41. I have a tendency to accidently switch words around in sentences.
  42. My closest friends are my family.
  43. I prefer baths to showers.
  44. I’m a pyro at heart. I love candlelight. If there’s something to be lit, I’m lighting it, if there’s something to be stoked, I’m stoking it. I always volunteer to light the candles on birthday cakes.
  45. I dislike that burnt charcoal flavour. I take my bread barely toasted and even avoid marshmallows cooked in an open fire.
  46. Our cat sleeps in the bathroom and has five cat beds dotted around the house. Sometimes he uses them.
  47. We’ve never bought a television, we’ve only ever had hand-me-downs.
  48. I have tinnitus – my silence hums.
  49. I love, wonder and am mesmerised by nature but struggle with gardening.
  50. When I choke on something, or after food preverbially ‘goes down the wrong way’ I always sneeze. Always.

So. What fifty facts don’t I know about you?

F is for Faux

I’ve noticed there’s an A-Z Challenge for the month of April and most of those participating are already up to F. Or G.

True to form – I’m late to the party. Gifted with procrastination skills, I’ve spent much time wondering if I should join in.

I’m not going to make it now, but rather than failing I’m going to fake it – make up my own rules and pretend this was my intention all along. I may extend the challenge beyond April or I may lose interest before the letter Q. I may blog random posts in between or I may start with the letter K so you won’t know where I’m heading next.

Feel the anticipation!


Except I’m a control freak (and Virgo) so only alphabetical order will do.

Anyway, I’ll be calling this:

Wally’s A-Z of Knick-knacks

I should have 26 – let’s see if I can conjure a tale or two.

Forty Reasons to be Cheerful


  1. Love
  2. Friends
  3. Family
  4. Books
  5. Music
  6. Freedom
  7. Contentment
  8. Snow
  9. Sunshine
  10. Leaves
  11. Kindness
  12. Cuteness
  13. Art
  14. Creativity
  15. Writing
  16. Smiles
  17. Laughter
  18. Pillows
  19. Silly Socks
  20. Respect
  21. Writing with your favourite pen
  22. Experience
  23. Sharing
  24. Discovery
  25. Pets
  26. Colour
  27. Eccentricity
  28. Giving
  29. Letters
  30. Sonder
  31. Connections
  32. Compassion
  33. Lighthouses
  34. Rivers
  35. Moonlight
  36. Sanctuary
  37. Hugs
  38. Wood-fires
  39. Cosy
  40. Gratitude

Post inspired by Graeme Koehne, and his fanfare, ‘Forty Reasons to be Cheerful’.

NB: There are more than forty reasons.

Feedback Therapy

Through my working life, I’ve handled and had to respond to the odd letter of complaint. So, here are a few tips on the basis of my own experience.

Don’t write a letter of complaint. Give feedback. A letter of complaint sounds like this: whingy, whingy, whine, whine, I’m the centre of the universe, mehne nah nah, poo poo. Feedback though, feedback is reasoned and calm and logical.

State facts, not emotions. Avoid words like ‘disappointed’, ‘devastated’, ‘upset’, ‘angry’ or ‘shocked’. Avoid exaggerated phrases like ‘I just couldn’t believe that’ or dramatising rhetoric. On that note, there’ll be no name calling. You know this already, right? Good.

Find calmness. This isn’t easy. The whole reason you might write a letter/email of complaint feedback is because you are, at the very least, quite annoyed. There are a couple of things you can do to ensure calmness. Firstly, write the letter you want to write. Let it pour out of your head like sewerage into a treatment plant. THEN treat it – throw it out, delete it, or set it aside. THEN, write the letter you should write. Secondly, get someone else to edit your letter or even write it on your behalf.

It’s not about you. I mean, it is about you, but you are giving feedback to prevent this from happening to someone else. Yes, really. You are the Good Samaritan trying to help. Thinking like this helps to distance you from the initial situation and makes it easier to sound rational and not whiny .

c040d166db35f50da0264149abfbff7cWas there malicious intent? It’s a good question to ask yourself before making a complaint giving feedback. Has someone been a complete arse, or was this likely to be an honest mistake, an error of judgment or badly managed? It’s usually not the former. It is not in a business’s interest to annoy people, inconvenience people or give poor service and if that is their game plan, don’t expect a decent response to your feedback. In that case, you may need to take your complaint feedback to the next level.

Find the plus side. If you’ve had good experiences mixed in with your bad experiences, mention those too.

Get perspective. Is your grandmother about to die due to her appalling hospital care, or are your monogrammed slippers two days late on their delivery? It’s okay to be annoyed but one must have perspective. Recognise when something is merely annoying but not a matter of life and death. Think about what is happening in the world right now. Read the news. Think about a terrorist attack in Jakarta, an earthquake in Nepal or the death of a loved one. Get perspective.

Move on. Is the argument worth your time and /or money? You may even decide they’re not worth it. In the wise words of Elsa, let it go. And if you can, well done you.

Sometimes, simply writing the letter is all the therapy you need.

Scent Memory

It’s been a busy week, so I’m using a list-post prompt provided by the wondrous Rarasaur.

“Things I associate with smell”

The smell of freshly mowed grass is summer. It’s backyard cricket, it’s family picnics and barbeques. It’s holidays and weekends. It’s the day after Christmas.

The scent of paper and books and stationary is contentment. Solitude. Joy.

My grandfather’s shed was a mix of oil and turps and solder and saw dust and oil paints and was either cold and damp or hot and humid. It is a difficult scent to explain but when I find a scent like it, it triggers strong memories. Like stamping fake letters with his drill press and posting them, playing games, watching him work, his voice and patience and his desire to teach me about electronics and stuff I was too young to understand.

The smell of hospitals and veterinary clinics and dentists remind me of anxiety and nausea.

The unique scent of those we love is contentment and sanctuary.

Coffee reminds me of yumminess. It is mornings and tiredness but it’s also sitting together and chatting. Of course, it also reminds me of blogging.

nanopoblano2015darkI’m late with my post today, but I have great excuse!

Don’t forget to visit Ra’s small community of Tiny Peppers participating in her version of NaBloPoMo. Click on the icon, and peck a crate to visit a random post.

If I haven’t reached your blog yet – I promise I will!


skipRarasaur is so full of enticing challenges I can rarely keep up!

This one is a list, an ever growing list of things that remind me of who I truly am.

  1. Leaves
  2. Stripy socks
  3. Puppets and muppets
  4. Small things that fit in your palm
  5. Wallyism
  6. Autumn
  7. Storms
  8. Jonquils
  9. Pictures
  10. Organisation
  11. Alphabetical order (and the temptation to order this list accordingly)
  12. Cat whiskers
  13. Cat peets (paws+feet)
  14. Word invention
  15. Standing in the rain
  16. Over thinking
  17. Skimming stones
  18. The tortoise, not the hare
  19. Making something from nothing
  20. The beauty of imperfection
  21. Incidental Music
  22. Stationary
  23. Paper and Parchment
  24. Pencils, pens and paints
  25. The history of objects
  26. Collecting/hoarding
  27. Churches
  28. Dogs and cats
  29. Handwritten Letters
  30. Joy hidden in the mundane
  31. Libraries
  32. Words
  33. Procrastination
  34. Half finished projects
  35. Graveyards
  36. Skipping
  37. Pianos
  38. Cartoons and animations
  39. Clocks
  40. An open fire
  41. Window seats
  42. Markets
  43. Cinnamon
  44. Happy hands
  45. Green and ochre
  46. Old books
  47. Attic rooms
  48. Stars
  49. Feathers

Anything I’ve missed? Anything you relate to?