The Nice Day

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Today, the sun came back.

We don’t throw the ball in the rain. Or the discs. This was the face that greeted me as the sun shone down this morning:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

After a couple of days of rain, the sun was most welcome. Beloved and I decided to load the dogs into the car and visit a different park, reasoning that they’d enjoy a change. Besides, Scouty LOVES the car. We kind of forgot that Harry and Zelda hate the car. With a passion. But they LOVE the park, so we hoped it would work.

It didn’t.

Scouty burst her way into the car, and waited while the little ones got organised. Harry and Zel saw their leads and were full of excitement. We popped Harry in his harness and while I settled Zel, Harry got out of his harness. Harry went back in the harness, and Zel got out of the car. Zel got back into the car, the car started, and chaos abounded.

We travelled maybe 100 metres before it was obvious this was just not going to work.

We decided to take Harry and Zel home, but when we pulled up Scouty threw a tanty. She wanted the car, damn it. Offload Harry and Zel, back into the car, off to the park. Happy Scout.

We threw the disc, Scouty ran and jumped and played for maybe ten minutes. Then she tried to climb up my legs, decided she’d had enough, and went back to the car.

In future, we’ll stick with the park across the road.

After this, beloved and I went to the Foreshore. Newcastle is so beautiful, even though the council seems hell bent on destroying it with exorbitant parking fees and the killing off of the rail network.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

It’s been a nice day, a simple day, a sunny day, a beautiful day.

Tomorrow is the Glass Awakenings exhibition. Are you coming? Have you entered the competition? It closes tomorrow!

How did you spend today?

Creative Types

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This isn’t a sponsored post, but it is a hefty plug for a mate’s upcoming art exhibition and studio.

Do you know any of these people?

blessedI’m one. My beloved is one. Lots of my friends are people like this. It’s great fun. I know candle makers and writers and designers and arters and all sorts of things. It’s a whole different take on the world, and it is good.

A friend of mine, Fee Madigan, is a Newcastle local and she runs this place, in Wallsend:

Fee does awesome stuff here, and has workshops and classes that pretty much anyone can attend. I’ve done a fused glass class and I wasn’t very good at it. My beloved is very good with it, and Fee is downright spectacular.

Fee made this:

"From the Ashes", by Fee Madigan. Image by The Naughty Corner.

“From the Ashes”, by Fee Madigan. Image by The Naughty Corner.

From The Ashes is a piece of fused glass, mounted in a chunk of Newcastle Apple Gum. The fusion process happens in a kiln. Kind of like pottery, but not really. I think it’s at a different temperature or something. Either way, the end result is generally pretty spectacular:

"The Free Ending", by Fee Madigan. Image by The Naughty Corner

“The Free Ending”, by Fee Madigan. Image by The Naughty Corner

Fee made these pieces in between running classes at Art Mania Studio. There are classes for kids, teens, adults, people with disabilities, people with prior experience, people who have never picked up a creative implement in their life. And she really does get a complete cross-section of people walking into Art Mania every single day. There’s no competitiveness, no judgement, just a total embracing of the arts.

My beloved and I spend a fair bit of time there. She buys the equipment she needs, and I wander around poking at stuff and taking pictures. It’s a fantastic space to be in. Fee gives a lot to Art Mania.

Which is why I am so freaking excited that she is having her very own exhibition! It kicks off on the 30th of January, at Art Systems in Wickham. It runs for two weeks, and also features work from three other local artists, all of whom are developing their skills and knowledge through workshops at Art Mania Studio. I’m helping out with words for the exhibition, which has involved more dinners and yacking then you’d expect.

As a person, Fee has run the gauntlet of experiences and emotions. But through it all, she has kept creating and kept empowering herself and others through art. I think this is brilliant – instead of internalising everything and getting all tied up in angst and stress, she channels it into making the world more beautiful.

Now, I reckon every person I know is either actively creative, or admires creativity.

So I had a chat to Fee, and we decided that it was time for someone from The Naughty Corner to visit Art Mania Studios.

Interested? Yes? Good!

Here’s what you have to do:

1. Check out the Art Mania Studio website.

2. Take a look at the different classes that are on offer at Art Mania.

3. Comment here on the blog, or on the Facebook page, and tell me what class you would like to attend and why.

4. Fee will pick one lucky person to join a class for FREE!

Entries need to be in by 5pm, Friday the 30th of January. Winners will be announced on Monday the 2nd of February. Remember that Art Mania Studio is located in Wallsend, near Newcastle NSW – make sure you can get yourself there!

If you miss out on the competition, you can still go and check out Fee’s incredible work at Art Systems Wickham. Opening night is the 30th of January at 6pm. Kids are welcome. You might even bump into my beloved and I!

OK, what are you waiting for? Go and check out the classes!

Seeds

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I always thought that when I was grown up, I wouldn’t be scared of the dark. I thought that I’d be able and competent and worldly and clever. I’d have a keen sense of fashion and a high powered career and wear high heels to match the career.

I’m pretty sure I’m a grown up now.

I’m still uneasy in the dark and I’m scared of spiders and frogs. I leave a light on when I’m home alone at night, and sometimes the TV, too. I’ve avoided teaching for years and instead of being a principal, I’m now considering re-entering the world of teaching on a casual basis. I don’t wear high heels and my fashion sense is best described as second hand lesbian casual.

I’m grown now, but still the same.

There’s been a mysterious flurry of seeds in our back yard.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

They’re scattered like hopes amongst the grass and the pavers and the dog poo. They won’t sprout in our backyard, and I have no idea what kind of seed they are. There’s a lot of them, though. I’m not sure if I am the only one who has noticed them, but they’re there.

I have some strange little habits, little things that I do. I like to put them on a slow release schedule, so that by the time people discover them, they’re committed to the friendship and it’s too late for them to back out. Next thing they know, I’m immersed in some bizarre project that absolutely needs all of my attention, or peg order matters on the clothes line, or I talk about things that don’t fit the conversation, or I get undone by anxiety. These things have always been a part of me. I’ve always been this way, a little bit… odd. But for some reason, it works for me. I wouldn’t cope with being normal. Not really. Not when there are songs to transcribe or toenails to be scared of.

But you see, the thing is, these little things, these little seeds – they all point to something. And I didn’t find this out until mid last year. So I’ve kept it a bit under wraps, while my beloved and my family and my friends and myself got used to it.

It turns out, the way I can do music stuff isn’t really very common. And the anxieties and the jigging and the need for routines. The tendency to get stuck when things become emotionally uncomfortable. The tiredness in group settings. The absolute MUST when it comes to removing tags from shirts. The animal whispering. The writing.

I didn’t know they were seeds.

Seeds that fell from one tree that had grown with me, my entire life.

Aspergers.

It was a relief, to be honest. Because it means that there’s hope – I can learn how to manage the anxieties and the things I usually avoid. I can work out how to compromise, and I can explain why I need to be met halfway on some things.

It’s also very strange, though. It answers so many questions, and removes the weight of guilt I had over feeling so totally useless because I couldn’t manage work or crowds or the unfamiliar. But I don’t ever want to be someone who needs allowances or special consideration. I just want to be myself, and adapt to whatever that is. The thing is, life is all about adapting – compromise and give and take and other people. I don’t know why Aspergers or not needs to be offered by way of reason. Shouldn’t we all just be decent?

But I digress.

This is almost another coming out piece, isn’t it. Another chunk of my life, another big change of pattern, of growth, of seed. The point is, though, that none of us know what seeds are inside another person. Or how they got there, or what they will grow into.

The best we can do is encourage growth.

So, with all this out in the open, I have to say it:

Let’s grow.

seeds

Very Uncoordinated.

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There are some things that I have accepted will never be on the agenda for me: Rock climbing. Ballet dancing. Running along the top of a moving train and jumping from carriage to carriage. Just little things, that I am pretty sure I don’t have to coordination for.

Well, now I can add one more to the list: Truck driving. I will never be a truck driver.

I’m a very good driver, so that isn’t the issue.

The issue is more the getting in and out of the truck. Those things are frigging huge. And judging by the way I carried on once inside the truck, I have to tell you that I don’t see this as a profession in my near future. Look at me, I’m in a truck!

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

And now we have arrived at the reason why I was trying to clamber into a truck.

I had just had my eyebrows waxed and tinted, and thought I’d go for a drive afterwards. Blow away some cobwebs or something, I don’t know really. But I did. And I thought to myself, “I’ll just go and grab a coffee from Hungry Jacks”. So I did. It was in the drive through bit, just after I’d payed, with several cars behind me, that my car BROKE DOWN. It just stopped. And wouldn’t restart.

The girl at drive through told me to pump the accelerator, because that’s what she does. I did so and the car stayed still. Then she called a manager to arrest me or some shit. He shoved my car through drive through (straight past my coffee, by the way), and left me in the waiting bay. As he walked back into the store, I tried to turn over the engine again. It started! The manager came back with my coffee and laughed when he heard the engine running happily. I thanked him, and left.

Turned right, and was about to pull onto the express way, and the car STOPPED AGAIN.

So I called roadside assistance and waited. They decided to send me a tow truck, and I asked them to just tow the car back to my house so that I could work out what to do from there.

Then a big truck came. It was freaking HUGE. The driver told me to jump in the front seat while he loaded my car up. So I scampered round to the passenger side, coffee slushing in my tummy. And I kid you not, the door was level with my head. I had hold on to the “Oh Jesus” bars (that’s what the tow truck driver told me they are), and haul my rather large arse up the ladder.

This was possibly one of the most undignified movements I have ever made. I remember pointing my arse outwards, and giggling like a loon. But I did it!

That’s my car, coming onto the tilt tray behind me.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

And this is inside the truck:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

The driver got back in the truck and immediately started explaining to me about the best way to get out of the truck, and what I absolutely should not do when trying to get out. Something tells me he saw the arse poking and giggling. He then told me he didn’t have medical cover for me, if I landed on my face. For the entire duration of the trip, he explained the exit procedure.

I really think he must have seen my entry performance, and was left questioning my abilities.

So there you have it. The reason I will never be a truck driver: getting in and out of it requires more coordination than I have.

Plus, I’m just not cool enough. I’m yet to see any truck driving mates post selfies like mine.

Over to you – do you have coordination issues? Have you hitched a ride in a truck? Did it smell funny?

They Don’t Just Sing

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If you know what movie that line is from, then you can probably guess what this blog is about.

Last week, my beloved agreed to watch the movie of my choosing, on the condition that I sit through the movie of her choosing. We have very different tastes when it comes to all things cinematic – she tends to err on the side of crap like Rocky, while I have more a more refined tendency towards movies that really don’t go anywhere, but explore characters beautifully.

Eagle vs Shark is one favourite. Best In Show also rated highly for me. Both of these were resounding failures when I showed them to my beloved, and since then, movie selection has been an ongoing drama.

But back to last week.

My beloved selected Pump Up The Volume. It was OK. It had decent music. But I will never understand why adults get cast as high school students. Are we not meant to notice the copious amounts of chest hair? The excellent vocabulary, when in reality most teenagers will offer you a grunt when it comes to communication? My attention drifted during the screening, and I ordered the movie of my choice online before the opening scene ended.

I waited patiently, reminding my beloved of my choice every few hours.

I asked the folks on The Naughty Corner Facebook Page what their worst case scenario would be, and the answers looked a bit like my beloved’s top ten films of all time:

  • Xanadu
  • James Bond
  • Leon The Pig Farmer
  • Back to the Future
  • Anything Star Trek/Star Wars
  • Hansel and Gretel

And the list continued.

Imagine my delight when the movie I selected was nowhere NEAR any of these things!

Ready?

Cue drumroll…

The film I selected for my action-loving beloved was….

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Spiceworld: The Movie! YES!

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

She was less than thrilled. Huffed and puffed. But to her absolute credit, she did indeed sit through it. She even laughed. She even might have enjoyed it a bit.

I have to confess here that while I can recognise that the movie is pretty bad, it is actually quite funny. It’s also got some great cameo performances in it. And Mel C.

Source unknown, but so freaking true.

Source unknown, but so freaking true.

It’s her turn to choose next, and I know payback is indeed a bitch. But it’s OK. I’ve got my next film ready to go, too.

So, have you seen Spiceworld? Did you LOVE it?

Things to make me smile

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After accidentally offering a full frontal flash to an innocent bystander in the quest for relaxation, my second pamper session occurred yesterday. I had a pedicure. My friend Mrs Cuppy gifted this to me for my birthday, and I finally got to use the voucher yesterday.

Upon receiving the gift, I immediately set about growing the heck out of my toenails. Here is the before photo:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Now, Mrs Cuppy had been very specific. I was to get my nails PAINTED. I immediately repelled at the very thought, then I decided to take Mrs Cuppy up on the challenge. Not only would I get my nails painted, I would select the brightest, most girly colour that they had in the place. I snickered away to myself at the cleverness of the idea. For some reason I saw this as beating Mrs Cuppy at her own game, obviously forgetting that any nail polish was actually conceding defeat.

So it was a bit of a let down really, when I put two and two together and went home with these toes:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Why, yes. That is a particularly fluorescent shade of pink.

But you know what? I kind of like it. In fact, Mrs Cuppy has now challenged me to have a monthly pedi. I’m going to convince her to take part in this with me, she doesn’t know it yet. But it’s coming.

Anyway, the gloom that was swallowing me up earlier this week has started to lift. Mainly because I’ve forced myself to get into doing things that make me feel good. Massage, hydro, pedi, time with friends last night – all totally worth it, and all reminding me that in turn, I’m worth it.

Today’s dose of special? Well… a trip to the dentist. But wait, it’s OK, I got to suck on happy gas. Then I came home and my beloved and I played with our fur babies. Check out the joy on Harry’s face, the smugness on Zelda’s and the focus on Scouty’s!

Spot the disc... it's above her head, just higher than the washing. Image by The Naughty Corner

Spot the disc… it’s above her head, just higher than the washing. Image by The Naughty Corner

I have conquered you, squeaky toy. Image by The Naughty Corner

I have conquered you, squeaky toy. Image by The Naughty Corner

JOY! Image by The Naughty Corner

JOY! Image by The Naughty Corner

That’s about it, really. I’ve said it before: Life is good. Maybe shitty times are there to remind us of that.

The Flash

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It’s been a long week.

My head has had a tough job, managing a million thoughts that aren’t all helpful. It’s times like these I feel like my head is kind of like a Coke bottle, that has been shaken and shaken and has swollen, full of gas, desperate to spurt all over the place. I’ve been fortunate enough to line up a few things to gently undo the lid, allowing some of that gas to siphon out. I finally got the all clear to get back to hydrotherapy; my beloved and I went out for dinner last night; I’ve got a pedicure booked for tomorrow (a gift from Mrs Cuppy); and today I had a massage.

See? Little lovely bursts of gas to relieve some of the pressure from my ever-swelling cranium.

Here’s the location of the massage I had, thanks to the lovely Mel at Hunter Massage:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

I love it there. You don’t get the screeching whale background music – instead you get real waves patting the shore. There’s no oil burners or air fresheners, it’s just salty sea air. Awesome. And if you are a bit like me, and like checking out memorabilia, the Hall in the Surf Club that Hunter Massage is located in is lined with old photos, honour boards, articles – it’s great.

I imagine that it’s the kind of stuff that lures many people further and further into the surf club, and encourages them to get involved in the community.

Anyway, Mel took me to her quiet corner, that is screened off and marked with signage. It’s so discreet that I had no qualms in stripping off enthusiastically and flopping down on the massage bed while I waited for her.  The massage started, and I apologised for my hairiness of leg. Then I remembered my lengthy toenails (more about that later), and apologised for that, too. Grooming has been somewhat left by the wayside – as I said, fizzy pressure head.

I then sunk into that relaxed silence, closed my eyes and drifted way as Mel did her thing. It came time to roll over, and I told Mel I’d stand up and turn around instead of just rolling. She turned to walk away and being one who tends to act without thinking, I leaped up, went to stretch and found myself offering a view of my nakidity to a lone man, who had been tempted past the privacy screens and signs by the lure of surf club photos.

Mel said hello or excuse me or something to the man, who immediately turned around and saw Tits Magee diving back onto the massage bed, one leg in the air and the other leg still planted on the ground. My boobs were pancaked onto the bed while I giggled like a loon. The man spluttered and apologised and huffed and puffed. Mel was pointing out the signs and the screens and explaining to the man where he had gone astray, as she gently ushered him out. Me? I was considering how much he might have seen.

I had stripped down to my (bright red) undies.

I’m pretty sure he even got an eyeful of my nipple bar.

The massage continued, with fits of giggles bubbling away.

Tomorrow is the pedicure. I’m pretty sure I won’t need to be naked for that one, so my chances at accidental nudity are reduced. But I have a surprise for the lucky person who does the pedi. I’ve been growing my toenails since I received the voucher.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

So, tell me: am I the only person this kind of thing happens to? Have you ever accidentally given someone a flash of full frontal nudity?