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Day 3: a book you love.

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I wonder what would have happened if that summer never did. If I could wipe away those few months of sun, or could have painted them the dark, cold grey that now imprints upon my memory.

I wonder if I would be as wise as I now am, would I be as indifferent and aloof? Or I would have stayed naive to the dark undertow of my relationships and let it filter into new ones? The nasty whirlpool of overlooked possibilities that whirled into bitter fantasies.

God I wish that summer never happened. Wiped off the map, cleared from the calender. Each regretful tear that rolls down my cheek feels like an acid burn, reminding me of how my rejection burnt them.

I forget which hurt more. Whether it was him taking that piece of me that never belonged to him, forcing his hand and then forcing mine. Making me cry like he swore he never would. Or whether it hurt more when he rejected me for rejecting him. Losing my best friend, years of secrets and memories and love that suddenly lay in a pool of tears and alcohol.

I had to learn to forget the lazy beach days, singing in the car to ‘Summer of ’69’. Forget all those nights backstage at gigs, hanging with drummers and dancing with scantily-clad groupies. Forget the evenings we would call the homes of our respective mothers to see who was putting on the better dinner. And I could say goodbye to anything else.

Goodbye Summer, I wish I had never met you.

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Therese Rawsthorne ‘Don’t Look Back’ white cotton shirt, Simone Perele ‘Muse’ coral and pearl bra.

There are a few ways to spend a casual Saturday night. Mine was spent couples dressing with two of my very best friends, drinking far too much, drinking something that tasted like a pepper pot had fell in it, discussing the benefits of owning a condo on Mars, being approached to ‘snugglebum’ within 15 minutes of being out (admittedly, not me), finding a guy who looked like he was the hottest jesusesque guy ever, finding out that guy is friends with a douche, avoiding couples, being chaperoned, sitting at tables with drunk strangers and avoiding breaking into a verse of ‘Drunk Girls’ by LCD Soundsystem, achieving everything by midnight.

It was just a casual Saturday, ya’know.

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NEW YEAR. NEW ME.

I spent the end of 2010 killing off the dead weights that were holding me back, chaining me to a past I loathe to give the time of day. They were memories, objects and sadly, people. People who I hadn’t yet learnt were toxic.

So, I did this to all of it…

It was all piled together. Collected throughout the holiday period and mentally organised into a well-stacked bonfire with lots of filling to make sure it burnt right down to an ash so fine it would be near untraceable. What I needed more than anything.

Come NYE, whilst making a punch so pink it would stain your whites far better than any beetroot juice, I prepared myself for my own personal countdown. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…and it’s gone. I was entering 2011 new and fresh. No more making excuses for others poor behaviour, no more getting angry about mindless girls who don’t understand what it means to simply not care. And no more settling for second best.

 

And I know. We’re only 6 days in and I did say the cut-off for all my negative thoughts of past experiences was December 31st, but it’s happening. They’ve stopped. Bar one small slip to memories of TDD and all his childish, lame excuses which had me bending over backwards to forgive him, I’ve let it all wash past without as much as a splash disturbing me.

So if you’ve played cat and mouse with me for three years and made me drive to Newcastle, don’t bother calling me this year. If you used me to find out intimate details about family friends and then sold me out so you don’t blow your chances when you get caught snooping, yeah you can leave me be from now too. Oh, and if you’re a person who sends out people to intimidate me in public for zero reason then you can move on too. Because all of you and your memories are nothing but piles of untraceable ash that haven’t blown into my 2011.

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I hardly ever see my Mother lost for words. Actually, I never see her without something to say. She’s one of those people that can (and will) open her mouth and mind to share whatever has passed through the channels of communication that run all through her system. Blessing and a curse, blessing and a curse.

She took my younger sister and I out the other night to the joint launch of Charlotte Smiths ‘Dreaming of Chanel’ and ‘The Blood Countess’ by Tara Moss. It was just a regular mid-week girls night out, you know where you have a G&T or two and you put on a pair of amazing shoes and play Diana Ross in the car really loudly.

It’s not an irregular occurrence for my Mother to bump into people she knows at these events, and so walking through into the Carrington ballroom I didn’t pay much attention when I saw the glaze of “I know them” wash across her face. I should have paid better attention.

Settling into third row seats, I somehow missed the fact my Mother had seemed to stop breathing. She grabbed my hand, held it tight and we sat anticipating the night of fashion conversation and vintage fashion that was to parade out. Both authors introduced their respective works, and thanked all those who had helped in their creation. As Tara began to read from her latest novel she digressed to share with the attendees the inspiration for the character of Great Aunt Cecelia. My mother gripped tighter as the Muse stirred in the seat right infront of me. She nodded polite recognition, the conversation went back to fashion. My Mother however, still had my hand.

As the a beautiful collection of vintage Christian Dior, Chanel, Victor Kosta and Cecile Crawford made their way down through the seats, the Muse knocked the glass of champagne that sat next to the leg of her chair, liquid spilt across the floor and headed straight to my feet. She turned quickly to offer her apologies. I handed her the glass which I had been quick to snatch up from spilling anymore and like that, we were settled back just as quickly to finish watching Smiths poor puppy Sydney relieve itself at the feet of his Chanel-clad model partner.

It wasn’t until we were back in the car that my Mother finally opened up…

Chanel pink tweed suit with vintage Chanel earrings and brooch, Cecile Crawford silk and mink dress, 1940’s French velvet applique slip dress.

 

… When I was a little girl, my Mum had a close friend named Yvette. She was Lebanese and from what I can tell from photographs, she was one of the most beautiful people ever. My Nan speaks so highly of her, there is many a funny anecdote and I still have a clutch of beautiful toys and books that she gifted me when I was young. She died of breast cancer before I was of an age where I could have formed a proper set of memories, conversation and the like. But she was always a constant feature in the picture albums and spoken memory that I know how deep her relationship with the women in my family ran. When my Mum had breast cancer 13 years ago, she fought for herself and for Yvette. When she attended Yvette’s funeral, she bought her an Anthea Crawford tweed jacket, unmissable with it’s jade green and fushcia pink check on the black knit.

Yvette had, along with my Grandmother, taken me out for lunch the day my parents got married. I was only 18th months old. This story has been relayed to me one thousand times. I know what I wore, I know what I ate. And thanks to a casual book launch, I have know met the woman who made this meal. By some weird instance of coincidence, or fate, or destiny we had come face-to-face with Yvette’s older sister, the Muse.

Years had passed and my Mum had recognised Yvettes face in her sister. Turns out she had been thinking about Yvette that whole week. My Mums oncology check up was the following week and she had thrown the tweed Anthea Crawford on the backseat as we were leaving the house in case it got cold. She had only ever worn it that one day at the funeral. And then suddenly she found herself sitting behind her older sister, nearly 15 years later.

Whereas I was suddenly hit with a ball of energy, bowled over by the fact I had had a ‘moment’ with the woman who had cooked me lunch the day my parents got married and had known me and held me when I was mini-sized, my Mum lacked the same enthusiasm. Whilst I wanted to race back in, run up and introduce myself and tell her that thanks to the Lebanese cookbook she wrote I can make perfect traditional falafel, my Mum just wanted to go home and sleep.

It seem that sometimes coincidence isn’t easy to take, and things do hit close to the bone. I’m still stunned that out of nowhere, suddenly, a person can be hit with such a massive emotional field of memories. And I now know why my Mum saved telling me til I was safely on my way home in the car where I couldn’t rush forward and spill forth with those happy childhood recollections that are now underlined with the hardest memory of all, loss.

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Girls Night In, 2010.

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I wish my school tie had actually been pink. Life is never fair.

Happy Birthday to the worlds most exasperating sister, who also happens to be the most loved.

So yum. So so yum. So yum I drank two very quickly. And had me eating fresh basil leaves.

It’s amazing what a little bit of persistence and a bread knife can do!

This is my Mum. Super tired in Thredbo after a long day of getting facials and massages.

One of many food and beverage pitstops taken by Ali and me whilst traversing the Supertrail.

Supertrail is in sight!

Monday night Jenga at Station Bar roolz.

Eww.

To remind me that if you want it, you have to carry round your own.

This pretty much cemented how little a sense of humour my mother has. I guess the person driving her car had just crashed her other one…

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