Tag Archives: mandurah

The Top 10 Things that have contributed to my insanity

The Maniac's Portrait

portrait of a maniacal woman aka, me

You can either: pay no attention to the self-indulgent ramblings of a self-confessed mad woman, or you can go right ahead and find out what brought me to this point. Curious?

1. The insane way that my father had of handling my insane need to have a pet dog: There has never been a child more hysterically desperate for a pet dog than me. The closest I got was a bright blue tinsel haired stuffed toy with googly eyes, that I used to mess around with in the car and try to make the people in the other cars think was a real, living, dog. When we went out as a family, if I saw a dog, I was a crying, begging, somewhat delusional freak who made a massive fuss about how “the dog has no family! it’s starving! it has nowhere to go! we have to SAVE IT!!!!”. In reality the dog would have a collar on and its owners would be like 50 feet away – and probably casting worried looks my way and saying things like “quick Marge put the dog in the car and let’s get out of here!”. Interestingly, and I only put this together recently, My dad used to always, and I mean always hum or whistle the exact same song for years, and years without relief. The song was: How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? Say what? Was he an evil genius? Because that is torture my friend! So Dad, thanks for always feeding my feverish desire for a dog without ever providing one. Great job!

2. Rhett Halse and Beethoven’s 5th: In the fifth grade, I went to school with a boy (quite obviously) named Rhett. My only memory of Rhett is that for the duration of that year, he sat near me, and incessantly hummed Beethoven’s 5th, but not all of it, just the part he knew. The part that everyone knows. Da-Da-Da-Dahhhhh, Da-Da-Da-Dahhhhh! This he did, over and over. Not just in the comedically strategic places that modern television producer’s would insert it for effect: like the announcement of extra homework, or someone being sent to the principal’s office, he just did it all the time. At first I just sort of had this need to hum the next part, so maybe he could move on. Then I started to get a little bit gaga. Then by the end of the year the desperation to finish the symphony was making my head explode. So Rhett, you are indelibly linked with Beethoven’s 5th and that way, shall never be forgotten.

3. My highschool principal Mr Patterson: Going to school every day during Mr Patterson’s tenure was like being stalked in the corridors of the Death Star by the horrifying sound of Darth Vader’s deep breathing. I found it especially intimidating to have him stand behind me in class, lean down and speak into my ear “can you tell me what you’re doing?” (at the moment I’m pissing myself was not the appropriate answer) and when it was in maths class, I most certainly could not tell him, since I honestly did not know. He also exercised amazing mind control over the student body. School assemblies were no longer a simple file in, take a seat, kind of affair. There was a tremendous amount of training involved so that we, as a collective, responded to his commands “prepare to sit” (tortuous pause) “sit” and “prepare to rise” (tortuous pause) “rise”. Mr Patterson also thought of himself as an innovative kind of principal, as evidenced by his compulsory class named Thinking Lessons. I always wondered if the board of education took that as a declaration that in all our other classes we did no thinking of any kind.

4. The loss of a major food group and consumer innocence for all time: Having survived highschool (perhaps aided by the replacement of Mr Patterson as a principal) I went on to university where I lived from measly pay check to pay check and dwelt only in the realm of shared housing. One day I was enjoying a humble lunch of instant noodles when my housemate, Michael, came home and declared himself “starving” while eying the steaming bowl of leftovers I had on the counter. Since Michael often cooked dinner for me (real dinner with actual vegetables and nutritional content) I offered him the extra bowl. However, Michael was very particular and always read every single label in the entire grocery store before ever buying anything. Ever. So I continued eating my delicious noodles and he started to silently read the empty noodle packet. “What’s RNA?” he asked. “What?” I asked, while spitting my mouthful of noodles back into my bowl, I did not like where this was going. “What’s RNA?” he repeated while I sprang into action, snatching the packet out of his well-mannered little hand. “F*ck me there’s RNA in my noodles!” I screamed at him. He looked on helplessly (obviously his long days of label reading hadn’t taught him everything) so I explained that RNA works hand in hand with DNA and is a genetic type thing that I don’t want to be eating. Gross! I was on that day robbed of one of the five major food groups the student can afford to eat: tinned beans, instant noodles, potato chips, complimentary nuts in bars, and fish sticks (which I already did not eat, being vegetarian at the time), and am now also a paranoid reader of labels.

nuts, yes I am

nuts? yes, thank you, I am

5. The British Royal Family: Let me be clear, these people drive me positively wild but not with delight! I think that it is completely humiliating in this day and age that people still buy into the concept of royalty. Do you know that by my birth as an Australian I am automatically one of their subjects and worse than this a commoner? And they don’t mean common, as in, there are a few of them, and millions of us… they mean inferior common. They mean that and prove that daily by the myriad of ridiculous rules of how we are allowed to communicate with and approach them. How precious can you get? Do you realize it was a major scandal when a senior member of the British media, an icon, and respected journalist, announced the death of the Queen Mother while not wearing a neck tie! For God’s sake!

6. People saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”: Yes, where am I losing you? People invented guns, that is what makes me so suspicious of guns. People didn’t invent guns to go shoot clay pigeons. They invented guns to kill and maim more quickly and efficiently. They wanted to get better at warfare. They later found other things that guns might help out with – humanely destroying injured animals and such. But they didn’t invent guns for that reason. They invented them to kill humans. Yes they did.

7. A cockroach ran up the inside of my trouser leg on a crowded inner city bus: and all I wanted to do was rip those trousers off, scream and shout and shake them all about. I have never gotten over the horror.

8. The suspicion that the internet was invented by nerds as the greatest act of revenge in the world, ever: Think about it. Nerds invented the internet. Nerds got rich off it. Regular folks have never been more frustrated with their computers ever before; the usage of the internet has robbed companies of time and productivity that may never be able to be accurately measured; pornography has never been more easy to access; the internet allows us to spend vast amounts of money more rapidly than any other method including gambling because that is now also a major part of the online lifestyle; and we go crazy when the internet goes down, even for a few minutes, and when anything goes wrong, who do we call, the nerds – so they have never been more needed in their lives.

9. The perpetual neediness of facebook: The fact that every time I select ‘log out’ of facebook, the panic box comes up and says ‘you are not logged in, log in to continue’. Chill out facebook! don’t be such a Needy Nelly.

10. The suspicion that Where’s Wally and Freddy Krueger are the same person: I have a side by side picture, but I don’t want to get sued. But they both wear stripey jumpers, hats, and pants and I wouldn’t go to sleep now if I were you, Bahahaha!!!!!



Living & Creating: Starzyia Spring Smilebox, 2012

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My Spring smilebox for 2012, this features some seasonal pictures of Mandurah, Fremantle, my garden, my birthday, and my beautiful dog Fizzy

Now it won’t be long before I start taking my summer pictures, can’t believe how this year has flown by!

Our Town…. awh shucks, the second biggest city in Western Australia.


the old bridge

I live in Mandurah, Western Australia. It used to be a country town, it is now the second most populated city in the state but in spite of population growth, the rampant sprouting of malls and fast food outlets, and on the surface appearing rather like an outer suburb of Perth, we have kept some rather quaint or quirky relics from our days as a ‘country town’.

Take, for example, our iconic bridge, known as The Old Bridge… because, there used to just be this one… then when I was a kid, we went to the grand opening of The New Bridge… very imaginative naming as you can see… it will get very confusing when the old bridge is reconstructed or replaced and becomes The New Old Bridge!

It is the law in this fine nation of ours, that vehicles must give way to pedestrians… but there are signs, posted at strategic points around Mandurah, that in direct violation of this, inform you that “pedestrians must give way to traffic”.

Our roadwork crews are the smartest and most helpful in all the land, for two or three months of this year, there was need for a detour in my suburb while a roundabout was built… no big deal, just drive the scenic route following the detour arrows… until you reach a T Junction… where they helpfully posted a detour arrow right, and a detour arrow left… very nice of them not to recommend I drive through the T junction and into someone’s house… I mean, without the sign we might all just drive straight ahead!

As much as I have often had to correct my overseas friends, that they shouldn’t expect to come to Australia and see kangaroos here, there, and everywhere… I must confess, the city rangers were once called out to retrieve a kangaroo that was swimming in one of the local canal estates, and a kangaroo did once race my school bus down the road.

You can park your car at the top of the beach, get out, stretch, smell the salt air, feel that tingle of excitement… and there really is nothing more exhilarating than psyching oneself up to walk down the path to the beach wearing shorts and flip-flops while being reminded by prominently posted signs that snakes inhabit the sand dunes… and they are a protected species. Protect me!

As the city has grown, the horse paddocks and farms around us have been stripped away, replaced with suburbs and ‘lifestyle communities’… but one crazy old relic of our country days remains, and can be heard crowing his little head off at four in the afternoon every day. I love that nut job of a rooster.

I have to lurk in my front shrubbery like a peeping Tom to get mobile phone coverage.

And finally, my mum and I, visiting a local cafe, ordered a classic Australian dessert, pavlova… only to be served baklava by a Chinese waitress who couldn’t understand our accent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mum laugh that hard, except for the time my dad quit in the middle of creating his voicemail message so that it said “please leave a message for ‘oh bugger it'”.

So come and meet us, we may be a city, but we still have village idiots, and very scenic and spectacular beaches and waterways for you to enjoy.





A Very Special House Guest


Little Ted

I am very, very blessed to have Little Ted as my house guest. Ted is a miniature crochet teddy bear who travels the world for my wonderful friend who is not able to take the same journeys. Ted has been to New Zealand, the UK, Europe, and is currently dozing in a hammock in my backyard. I made the hammock for him using one of my eye masks.

Ted has very powerful medicine for the soul… he just uplifts your spirits, and he spreads this joy and happiness to all who encounter him. I’d be willing to bet you are smiling at the thought of him right now.

Ted poses with his brand new surfboard

Yesterday I took Ted to the beach, with his brand new handmade surfboard, he had a wonderful time. I will show you how I made his surfboard in my next post.

When Ted’s holiday is over I will make a musical montage of all the pictures and share that with you here.

So have a happy day, smile, share the love…. and we send you love from sunny Western Australia, xoxox Starry and Ted