Category Archives: Sunday Mail South Australia columns

Sunday Mail South Australia column: Sunday 8 January 2012


At some point, clearly when I wasn’t paying attention, Cinderella moved into our house. Moved in and sort of took over.  But what’s worse is that like a foster kid in Summer Bay, Miss C didn’t come alone. She brought her posse – Snow White, Belle and that mermaid chick with the red hair – with her.

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Sunday Mail South Australia column: Sunday 13th November 2011

The cast of Mad Men. Apparently…

As most of you know, I’m from Brisbane. What does that mean? It means that for pretty much my entire life I’ve spent Christmas Day in somebody’s swimming pool; I have a friend of a friend of a friend who knows the drummer in Powderfinger; and I’ve been obsessed with South-East Queensland introducing daylight saving for as long as I can remember.Continue Reading

Sunday Mail column for Sunday 23 October 2011: the one about your Year 12 grades


Despite the fact that it was twenty-two years ago (good grief, I’m just going to pour myself a stiff drink and contemplate that for a moment) and my hair made me look like Jon Bon Jovi, I can still vividly recall how I felt during those last two months of high school. Excited, of course. But also terrified. Terrified at what did – or didn’t – lay ahead. Terrified at whether or not I would cope at university. That’s assuming I even got a high enough score to get into the course I wanted to do. (Guess what? I didn’t). I remember being terrified knowing the group of people I’d spent the past five years with were all heading off in different directions. And that I’d kinda taken it for granted that all those faces – some loved and some loathed – were no longer going to be a part of my daily life.Continue Reading

Sunday Mail South Australia column for Sunday 2 October 2011


I learnt a major life lesson this past month. And it involved steak, mashed potato and a mariachi band. Sort of. In a way. Stay with me.

I’ve spent the last seven weeks on the road, travelling around the country doing a series of author-speaking engagements in regional shopping centres. I know. Look out J. K. Rowling, I’m coming for you. One food court at a time.  But the truth is the whole experience was terrific.Continue Reading

Sunday Mail South Australia column for Sunday 11 September 2011

Look what a difference a beautiful dress made to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman … (let’s forget she was a hooker …)

It was easier when I was younger.  Forget shops. Back then when I longed to get my hands on a fabulous frock all I had to do was head straight to mum’s wardrobe in the spare room. At the age of five I would regularly struggle into a dress I thought was the most glamorous thing I’d ever seen. It was a long, slinky, black number with a red sequin diamond on the front – very 1977.  Very Ginger Grant from Gilligan’s Island. Sure when I pulled the material over my head and smoothed it down I was swimming in black but I didn’t care. Instead I swished around in that dress, mum’s cork platforms on my feet, catching glimpses of myself in the mirror whilst pretending to mix martinis and make small talk with my dear friend Baby Alive. This dress-up ritual, which occurred whenever mum and dad were out or asleep or watching Bjorn Borg play tennis, lasted right up until my brother caught me. He somewhat harshly pointed out that in his opinion I looked like Klinger from MASH.Continue Reading

Sunday Mail column for Sunday 21 August 2011


I haven’t seen a movie this year.

Okay, that’s not entirely true.  Yesterday I curled up on the couch and watched that cinematic sartorial masterpiece Pretty in Pink (is it just me or did James Spader looked 38 even when he was 18?).  And just last week Brad convinced me to watch a made-for-TV adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, which taught me two things:  1. Oscar Wilde clearly took a lot of drugs and 2. No, that’s about it. Oscar Wilde clearly took a lot of drugs.

But the thing is, I haven’t seen a movie this year at the cinema.  I haven’t gotten dressed up (“dressed up” being code for wearing something other than trackie-daks) and left the house and bought some popcorn and paid an exorbitant amount of money for an adult ticket and sat in a cinema and been glued to the previews and watched a movie on the big screen.Continue Reading

Sunday Mail column for Sunday 10 July 2011. The one about emoticons …


This week I had one of those awkward realisations. You know the ones. Those moments when you clearly see something about yourself that is rather shocking. Uncomfortable. Lame.  It could be that moment it dawns on you that you look completely out of place shopping at Sportsgirl because you look – what’s the word? – oh yes, old.  Maybe it’s when you see a photo of yourself and realise that yes – wearing that poncho and with that fringe you do actually look like your Uncle Frank. Excellent.  Or maybe it’s when it occurs to you that you are the only person left in the world still watching Desperate Housewives. And so it was this week, when trawling through some recent emails, I realised I’d become someone I despised. It appears that I’ve started using emoticons.

Oh yes, yes I have.Continue Reading

Sunday Mail Column for Sunday 19 June 2011: The one about Georgie and Red Nose Day

I debated writing this column today.

Mostly because in some ways it defeats the reason  – or one of the reasons – why Brad, Ava and I moved here, to Adelaide, in the first place. Why we packed up our belongings in January and redirected our mail and moved across the country leaving behind all our family and friends in Brisbane to come here where we knew no one. Or, more specifically, where nobody knew us.

Of course Brad’s job and the wineries and the restaurants and the festivals and the markets and the Adelaide Hills were all big drawcards. (And frankly the Roasted Berkshire Pork Belly with green apple, wombok & dill salad at The Pot on King William Road should really be part of your tourism campaign.) But mostly Adelaide represented a fresh start. A chance to have some breathing space.  The City of Churches, we decided, would give us some time to heal as a family of three.Continue Reading

Sunday Mail South Australia column for Sunday 29th May 2011: the one about small talk

I suck at small talk. I do. In fact faced with a choice on a Friday night between giving a speech to 1000 people or going to your neighbour’s birthday BBQ where I know no-one and have to “mingle” – well, mic me up baby because I’ll take the speech every time.  (Actually if the third option was to be sitting on the couch, in my pyjamas and slippers, eating Thai takeaway while I watched Roman Holiday – well let’s just say Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. I relish my inner-Nanna. )

So back to my whole “me no speaky small talk” dilemma.  So how can I prefer speaking to 1000 people over having a tete a tete with one?  Easy. Public speaking is really just a one-sided conversation. Nobody is actually talking back. This, according to my husband Brad, works well for me. Like when it’s just me – at home – talking at him.  Or his back.  Or at, say, the space where he was sitting until he moved to the bedroom to get away. From me.  I also tend to leave ridiculously long phone messages for my girlfriends. Messages which are so long that Brad has been known to assume my friend was actually home, on the other end of the phone, you know, listening or something.  I give good monologue.Continue Reading

Sunday Mail South Australia column for Sunday 8 May 2011

I had an odd experience last week.  It was my birthday and to celebrate I went to do one of those “Egg Timer Fertility Tests” to get the tintacks on the state of my fertility.  I know. Good times. Don’t tell me I don’t know how to celebrate a birthday. Next year I think I’ll really let loose and book in for a root canal.  As for the “Egg Timer Fertility Test” it was no biggie.  Although I was half expecting the doctors to tell me my eggs had taken on the shape and consistency of those Chicken-In-A-Biskit snacks.Continue Reading