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Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Ideas are bubbling away.

I’m dreamer. Always have been. But during exams it seems the dream-o-meter in my mind works overtime.

I think about my summer holidays. Shopping. The beach. Going out. Birthdays. Parties. Work. Cleaning. Fashion. Blogging. Intern-ing. Christmas. Europe. Writing. Secrets.

…and the list goes on. A long way on.

Right now I should be studying or writing my essay. But I missed SkippingStones and writing just for fun. So below I finally updated my review on Let Me In – the first negative review on this blog.

Who knows what my next post will be about, I sure don’t. I’m not short of ideas though! If you have a request for a topic in particular leave a comment and let me know.

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Now for a dose of poetry:

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and sails of your seafaring soul. If either be broken, you can but toss and drift or else be held at a standstill in the mid-seas.

For reason, running alone is a forced confining. Compassion unattended is a flame that burns to its own destruction.

~ Khalil Gibran

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A bit of cute:

Meet Tess. She is my friend’s Groodle. Isn’t she adorable? A cross between a Golden Retriever and Poodle, she’s very energetic with a dose of crazy. I love this picture because it encapsulates her cheekiness and kookiness.

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Last thought for the day: I am thinking of starting a new blog, or transforming this one and putting more of my identity to it. Give myself a name and getting my writing ‘out there’. I haven’t worked on building a readership or creating a niche in the blogging world but it’s something I’m thinking about.

What are your thoughts?

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This is the second in a series of posts of the about my latest attachment to something. Click here to see my first post about the series The Good Wife. As said in the first post, it’s nice to share the good things in life.  

In this installment, I bring to you music by Mumford and Sons.  

  

From their official website:  

Since they formed in December 2007, the members of Mumford & Sons have shared a common purpose: to make music that matters, without taking themselves too seriously. Four young men from West London in their early twenties, they have fire in their bellies, romance in their hearts, and rapture in their masterful, melancholy voices…  

With each release, the music of Mumford & Sons got brighter, bolder and brawnier, with an increasing focus on their empassioned and intimate lyrics.  “What we write about is real, and we sing and play our instruments more passionately cos we feel like we need to. We love honest music,” says Winston.  

Then came the time to record their debut album…[it] begins with the extraordinary title track, Sigh No More, a statement of intent that references the romantic language of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, as they sing: “Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you / It will set you free / Be more like the man you were made to be.”  

I found their music when someone played me a few of their songs and I saved the name in a draft text message (because that’s what I did with my previous phone). Soon enough the drafts folder had filled up and I finally decided to investigate the songs and bands I had initially stored. I was captivated when I listened to the lyrics and passionate story telling of this folk rock band.  

The members of this band are Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane, and I sincerely hope that when they tour Australia next time (please come back!) I will be able to attend one of their gigs. Unfortunately I missed out earlier in the year. If you want to know more about this band, here is an article by The Herald Sun profiling the band.  

Mumford and Sons in concert at the Dot To Dot Festival, Bristol. 2009.

 

These are some stand-out lyrics and the links will direct you to a YouTube video of the song:  

Oh tell me now, where was my fault/ In loving you with my whole heartWhite Blank Page  

You desired my attention/ but denied my affectionsWhite Blank Page  

Align my heart, my body, my mind,/To face what I’ve done and do my timeDust Bowl Dance  

In these bodies we will live,/ in these bodies we will die/ Where you invest your love,/ you invest your lifeAwake My Soul  

Spare me your judgements and spare me your dreams, Cause recently mine have been tearing my seamsThistle and Weeds

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It’s been a while since I have posted, but let me tell you it was worth the wait. I present to you a short story by my gorgeous sister. Next week I will review the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl.

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Layers of time eroded by my hands to reveal a piece of the past. Harsh sunlight exposing two skeletons imprisoned in an embrace. Feeling as though I am intruding on their privacy, I photograph the find. The exact date undiscernible as yet, an estimation of 4,000 years old. Awe lights up my face. To look upon these bones, unscathed by time, fills me with infinite thoughts, feelings, and emotions I cannot identify.

The surface of this land is lifeless. Beneath a blanket of red earth, a treasure trove awaits. It is difficult to comprehend the age of the earth, the millions of years for which life has existed, the millions of years that humans have existed. To grasp the insignificance of the individual gives me freedom. I am a microscopic part of the big picture, one person among the billions who have existed.

I realise sadly they will never be remembered. Their story, their love. Who are they? Imagination does not satisfy. I stare hungrily at the remains, thinking in some strange way that staring at them long enough would tell me what I need to know. The boundaries of time provide barriers almost too large to overcome.

I don’t notice him until he’s right beside me, a presence barely tangible against the attention held in my mind by the skeletons. I remember how to smile. Not a word is spoken, he hands me an object and leaves. I get back to work. Slow, steady work. As the minutes ooze by, I remove more and more dirt from the find, revealing the white bones. The skulls are now completely exposed. I take pleasure in quiet work, the vast openness of the site muffles any sounds.

Looking closely at the bones, searching for answers, I realise there are minuscule threads of fabric wedged into their necks. Leaning closely to investigate, I hear a rustle behind me, and turn around to find my answer. A scroll lies between the feet of the skeletons. I have always been fast at reading, deciphering the hieroglyphics is no problem. Realisation dawns, and I look around frantically to see where he is. But the site is empty, the disturbed dust gently falling back to the earth. He is gone.

I look around once again and see, for the first time, the flowers he gave me before. A cluster of striking red roses, bright against the dull red colour of the earth. Memories re-surface; the endless stares he gave me, his seemingly innocent interest in my work, in carrying my equipment for me… But it is too late. He is gone.

Looking at the scroll lying between the skeletons, I whisper in my mind I will remember you. Looking at these spoils I do what I’ve always done. I continue my treasure hunt.

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He looked over across the metres of land that separated them. Silence as she works. Two years they have worked together. She has found something, her expression betrays her awe. Hazel eyes devouring up the sight.

Re-focusing on his hands, he realises he has uncovered an object. Hoping to receive that identical look of awe from her, he dusts off the red dirt and a scroll is revealed. His heart sinks; it is nothing of value. Something is recorded on the scroll in a style of hieroglyphs he has studied previously. Knowledge from the past, rusty and unused, strained to comprehend the muddle of pictures and contours filling the scroll. ‘Record of death’ Curiosity awoken, he reads further on… ‘Female and Male. Condemned to death on the 2nd day of the 9th full moon. Found dead in cell. Cause of death: Strangulation’. He discards the scroll from his thoughts, mind turning to the inevitable passing of time. His eyes turning to the gift he bought for her.

The flowers will soon dry up, so will his courage. The walk over is quick, as if the two long years of anticipation meant nothing. On the way, in the split seconds before he arrives by her side, he becomes aware of his surroundings. The sun, high above on its throne of blue, looking down on him with warmth and encouragement. The dusty, silent site divided into taped-off sections, each holding a piece of history. The tranquillity of this world, which can be shattered in one moment.

Unnoticed, he pauses to appreciate this instant which will soon become a memory. But will he treasure that memory? He turns to her, a question in his eyes.

A smile! But her eyes are vacant. He knows, at that point, that she lives in the past. Acceptance stifles the brief moment of anguish and doubt. She stares at the skeletons with a fierce longing he cannot comprehend. Unnerved, he hands her the flowers anyway. She turns away immediately, back to her work. It doesn’t matter. This is the end.

Back turned to her, he begins to walk away when a flash of creamy-white among the red, dusty earth catches his eye. The scroll. Of course. He walks over to her one last time and places the scroll at the skeleton’s feet. By the time she looks around for him he is a speck in the distance, watching, waiting. She returns to her work. She has what she wants.

The sun beat down on the barren land, shrivelling the flowers, forgotten by her side. He shivers. No comfort from the sun. No warmth from the sun.

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*I took this picture of the harbour bridge in one of Sydney’s usual, beautiful sunsets. Enjoy 🙂

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Alex Perry 2010

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This year the fashion festival was glamour for the everyday girl. It was bigger and better than last year, with many freebies and fun stands to get yourself made up and captured in a mini-photoshoot.

I went with a few friends and we loved the show! Two lucky ladies got the chance to attend the Myer Miss Shop show and I’m sure they loved it.

This is a short post (well, you can obviously see that, but by pointing it out I’m making it slightly longer…ok I’ve lost the purpose of this sentence, moving on).

Enjoy the pictures (even though the quality is not that great) and I will see you shortly. Write to you. I can’t actually see you (little voice in head screams *enough* you’re not funny anymore!).

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Surprise Surprise!

Alex Perry Show 2009 Rosemount Fashion Festival

I’m not in the habit of doing giveaways but I thought it would be a nice gift to show appreciation for the support you’ve provided and perhaps to get a few more people commenting and interested in dear ol’ SkippingStones 🙂

What’s the prize?

2 x Tickets to a Show and Glass of Wine on Saturday 28th August, 4pm at Sydney Town Hall, NSW. This is part of the 2010 Rosemount Fashion Festival. I went to one of the shows last year and found it very exciting!

Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival Myer Miss Shop Show:

“Join Ruby Rose at this exciting event as Myer celebrates Miss Shop’s 25th Birthday! Check out the latest looks and new brands in the Miss Shop department including Milk & Honey designed by Ruby Rose, Miss Shop, Blue Juice, Tokito, All about Eve, Minty Meets Munt, Motel, Quirky Circus by Mink Pink and more!
Ruby Rose will be personally styling her Milk & Honey collection before making a guest appearance on the catwalk.”

Alright I’m in! Now please tell me, how can I win?

Send a meaningful picture + quote combination you have created and/OR finish this sentence in 25 words or less: “The language of fashion is…”

Send to skippingstones@live.com.au or post as a comment.

One last thing. You can follow me on twitter if you so wish. Or at least check it out 🙂

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Fictional Power

Fictional Power: here is something different to delight the imagination today.

This story was written by my talented and gorgeous sister, who wants you to know that she wrote it over a year ago for an assignment and ‘it really isn’t that good’. I happen to disagree and believe you will enjoy it as much as I did. So please leave your comments and feedback for us.

Coming up: I have a few ideas for the next few posts, including finally sitting down and actually writing a full-blown post like I have in the past. In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this story.

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They put me in Isolation for my actions. A living hell where  only a basic survival  is granted: food, water, sleep. I can watch TV, exercise or read if I choose; all solitary activities. I survive. With no-one to talk to and only an oppressive silence threatening to stifle me. Muffled noises reverberate through the walls. Nothing discernable, however. I am overwhelmed by a sense of restlessness and purposelessness, a conflict between conviction in my actions and yearning to go back in time and undo them absolutely. The harshness of this punishment forces me to remember better times. One particular memory lingers like a pleasant taste in my mouth. Closing my eyes I am alive again.

A cool, gentle breeze flows through the greenery, gaining momentum, buffeting branches and finally speeds away from the trees and collides with our faces, joining the sound of our laughter.

A rusty bucket hangs off one side of the porch, a box full of assorted tools, a piece of cloth hanging from the ceiling and other objects marking our presence here. They scream out Home! to us, creating a sense of security folding around like a warm blanket, protecting us from the wind and excluding all others.

We come out here every evening when the day’s work is done, and the sun’s warmth is just beginning to fade. I couldn’t imagine a day without this unquestionably necessary gathering of ours. 

These memories are always to be recalled with fondness, for I was one of them. I had no choice. Until old enough to question, to challenge and realise the enormity of the sacrifice I had unconsciously started to make. Something that had the potential to engulf my entire future, snatch away my half-formed dreams and aspirations and throw them out into the seething wind to be blown away forever.

Teenage rebellion, they called it. A phase that would soon pass. Petty. It took a letter to make them understand, enclosed in an envelope thick and laden with potential. A letter bringing tears of happiness to my face, but which saw me assaulted by looks of anger, disappointment and contempt. A letter of acceptance.

They put me in Isolation for my actions. For refusing to carry on the family business. For rejecting to do what generations before had done simply because that’s the way a Family works. Four white walls surround me in this Isolation. No calls from them, no mail, and no contact. Nothing penetrates these barriers of disappointment. I wanted to ‘distance the determination of my true identity from our family’s history and the expectations that come with it’. They replied contemptuously that sending me to school was a bad idea. Yes, I told them I was doing this for me. To find out who I really was. But these white walls, they contain no reflective surfaces. In Isolation I cannot see myself.

Sometimes I think I catch a glimpse of others inside Isolation. When passing a busker on the street, a ragged-looking man whom people avoid making eye-contact, I recognise a fellow inmate. He is singing, calling out, but the silence stifles his sound. For these white walls work two ways. Nothing, no noise, can get in or out.

Today in Isolation someone kept me company. I was at a popular café frequented by swarms of attractive, office-attired coffee-junkies, and there she was, a rather obese woman hiding in the corner. A group of young women and men sitting nearby had obviously honed in on her as an ideal target. I could not hear what they were saying, but it was evident from her hurt expression that she could. One of the group, a thin girl plastered with make-up and indistinguishable from the others, snickered something to the group. The instant the words escaped her mouth I knew from the woman’s reflexive shrink that their mark had been hit. Sensing triumph, the predators hungrily examined her downturned face and something snapped. A transformation as fierce and startling as the roar of a lion had taken place. Her face took on an almost vicious determination. With body language oozing composure, she smoothly got up from her table, confidently striding to the door and walking out, the wind from outside rushing in and catching her up inside a whirlwind, revealing a beautiful, formidable being. As the stunned group watched their prey escape, the door shut, and among the whistling of the wind I heard the clang of metal doors being opened.

Unknown to her was the fact that this whole episode -happening in a matter of seconds- was being observed by me.

Suddenly I was ashamed of my self-pity, of the walls I had myself constructed with bricks of self-doubt and uncertainty, cemented together by the pain and self-blame of the estrangement from my family. Unknown to her was the key she had given me, blown straight from her smiling eyes and serene face to me, by the blustering wind, the free wind.

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City2Surf 2010: UPDATE

It’s the annual event, the City2Surf, where masses of people run, walk, skip and strut approximately 14 kilometers from Sydney CBD to the famous Bondi Beach.

Right now I am at the ‘back of the pack’, briskly walking with some friends and praying that ‘Heartbreak Hill’ isn’t as devastating as it sounds. This is my first time entering the race, which raises funds for chosen charities every year.

I will update you about the day in the next few days, including the moment I crossed the finish line, any celebrities I managed to glimpse, the general atmosphere and any obstacles along the way.

Click on this link to see what all the excitement is about. It’s the largest race in the world!

UPDATE:

Well I did it! Along with two other friends, this first time-participant has achieved the same glory as approximately 80 000 other people in saying they completed the 2010 City2Surf. To be honest with you, it went by fairly quickly and I enjoyed every minute of it (well, minus the long queue to catch a bus from Bondi to Bondi Junction train station).

The weather was sunny, cool, bright and perfect for the race. Organisers recommend bringing warm clothing for the start of the race, especially for those in the Back of the Pack (we have to wait until the ‘real’ runners finish the race). Perhaps I overcompensated by wearing an old red turtleneck (skivvy) with a singlet, City2Surf top and jacket; but as the race progressed we had the opportunity to throw out our clothes onto the ground to be later picked up the the girl guides and donated to The Smith Family.

By the time we crossed the START line we had already walked a few hundred metres and as everyone passed the starting mats, a wave of excitment filled the air. For those that participate non-competitavely, the crowd is part of the entertainment as groups parade their costumes, or raise awareness about a campaign, with some businesses using the City2Surf as an advertising platform. I was amazed by the number of parents who took their children in strollers and ran through the crowd at the same time.

The best features of the race were the beautiful views which coloured the course, the rush of crossing the finish line, and the time spent with my friends as we encouraged each other and appreciated the beauty and buzz which surrounded us.

The most difficult part was not Heartbreak Hill, but the last kilometre of the race. By this time we just wanted to finish already, the crowd was getting thicker and it was getting harder to weave in and out of the groups. So we decided to run down the last few hundred metres and happily pick up a participation medal along the way!

While waiting for the bus to Bondi Junction we spotted former Australian Champion surfer Layne Beachley.

Altogether it was an amazing experience and one I hope to repeat next year and in the years to come.

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