ode to my favourite oaf

Last week I was on holidays, I stayed at my Mum & Dad’s and like every other time I visit, I took my dog for a walk. He turns 11 in March, is starting to sprout a few grey hairs and is getting a bit slow in his old age. He’s as handsome as ever.

JD was last pup born into a litter of 8, we kept a few and sold the rest to friends and people who were interested in their breeding. We had a theme of that litter, Mum & I were on a bit of a pirates of the Caribbean kick so he had a sister named Keira, another named Orlando & he was JD – short for Johnny Depp. I picked him from the beginning, later, on one of his last trips to our place before he passed away, my Pop picked him as ‘the best in the litter’. Pop wasn’t wrong.

JD raced under the name “Macconville” which was a wink at a tall story that Pop used to tell my cousin Amelia and I when we were little. He had a bit of success but developed some bad habits racing; like stepping before he jumped out of the boxes, and doing a left turn to wipe out half the field. We tried a few things but Dad retired him after a bit of deliberation.

JD’s mother was a bitch we had since she was a pup, GC (Short for Golden Child..another inside joke that wasn’t ours) she lived to the ripe age of 16, gave us a lifetime of happiness, and two pups that we kept as pets when they finished racing, Jd, and his sister Arizona.

It’s no secret that I love my big moronic black and white dog for many reasons, but it’s because of his heart that I love him most.

GC passed in 2012, and only about 8 months later, Arizona passed away too. She was only about seven and my dad loved that dog as much as me, I mean, when she got pregnant, dad built her a new brick kennel, just because it was Arizona.

JD had gone from living with his mum & sister, to just his sister and now he was alone and it really hit him hard. He went from acting like a giant puppy– big smile, massive appetite & would nearly knock himself out to be around people, to a dog with the world on his shoulders, when I’d call out to him or go to see him, he’d barely lift his head up from the bed.

It was pretty heartbreaking to see to be quite honest. I’d just moved back to the hunter after a brief stint living in Melbourne which didn’t work out, due to complications with my job in Melbourne, the position I had lined up in Newcastle fell through & I was unemployed. Seeing my baby who was always the sunshine of my life like this sucked. Thankfully, I had a lot of spare time on my hands, I went down to his little yard & kennel pretty frequently and he would barely get up to see me.

I used to walk him a lot when I was in high school and didn’t work full time & I admit I’d gotten really slack in the past few years. I chucked his lead and muzzle on and took him for a trip around the block, not too far because although his breed means he’s trim, he’s a fatty who has lost a lot of fitness in his retirement (he deserves it).

He got a bit spooked when a truck drove past but other than that the whole time he was wide eyed and kept rubbing his head either against the back of my knee (concussion of the kneecaps as my dad calls it) or on the grass. He kept looking up at me with his big smile like he couldn’t believe how lucky of a boy he was. Even as a puppy he would drop to the ground to roll in the grass, but I hadn’t seen him do it in so long. It was beautiful to see him happy again. As the weeks went on, I kept walking him every day, going a bit further each time, I threw him in the back of the car and took him for drives to the park & let him explore new places. Gradually his mood came back to the beautiful boy he used to be.

It’s probably arrogant to think that humans are the only ones capable of emotional damage cause by grief and how much a small act can pull someone out of a deep depression, I know he’s a dog, but that’s essentially what this was.

In 2014, another dog of ours Katie, broke her toe racing. She could have continued racing after it healed but Dad decided that he would love a friend for JD and that day my little boy met his soul mate. As a proud dog Mum, this makes me happier than I ever was watching him win races.

 Below is a picture that I considered not posting anywhere because I’m breaking out, in ‘house clothes’ and I’m pulling a weird face, but then I remembered that JD loves me no matter how I look, just like I love him no matter how he feels


Don’t you wish our generation made anything worth saving?

Made anything that lasts longer than the life of a match?

This morning I woke up as the sixteen year old version of myself. I fell in love all over again with my first flame. There’s always been a pilot light burning, but today it reignited to something massive and something I can’t ignore.

I’m not talking about an insignificant male. I’m referring to four non-smokers with vastly different dietary habits who love nothing more than the feeling of clean socks. I’m talking about The Band As Weird As You Are. I’m talking about Harris. I’m talking about Devoto. I’m talking about San Souci. Of course I’m talking about MATT WHALEN.

I fell in love with The Matches again and let’s refer to the old cliche for a moment: “you never stop being in love, you either always will be or never were”. It’s absolutely true. I never stopped.

I discovered The Matches at a very vital time in my life. I was a lot like a candle in the wind, I struggled to find where to turn to, where to lean. I was still trying to work out who I was as a person and most importantly accepting the person who I was.

I’m really not meaning to use all these fire metaphors by the way.

It was The Matches who taught me that when I belong to a song, salty eyes, I belong. That no matter how my demons try to drive them out they will not disappear. That we’re all just trying to get a better look at what’s beyond the tall grass that grows around this town. That my thirst for wandering is shared, I gotta be on the road again to destination nowhere near. That there’s nothing wrong with the company I keep being the reflection of a borderline creep. That what I’ve learned about love, I definitely stole from rock and roll.

To accept that I know that I am more than this, and there’s a reason I exist.

To know that it’s high time I left that shadow deadweight in the meadow.

The Matches released two new songs this morning. The Crucial Comeback and The Life of a Match. Expectations were high although I was wary. Crucial Comeback sounds like it fell off E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals but it’s The Life of a Match that’s got me lost for words.

The only way I can describe how this song feels is that it’s as if I wrote it myself. I absolutely didn’t but from the first bar of strings something grabbed hold of my chest and didn’t let go. I’m not ashamed to admit that the emotion was a little too much upon first listen.  The bands on all my shirts had all since broken up has been my life since July 10, 2009, but it’s not that lyric that’s taken the wind out of me today.

Don’t you ever wish our generation made something worth saving?

Yes. Yes, I bloody do.

My heart is heavy. Just like when I was sixteen, The Matches manage to speak to me right down to my core; where my fears lie. There are nerves that have been triggered today and I’m in no way surprised that it was through a Matches song.

I live in the bubblegum generation. Where trends, songs and people are kept for as long as it takes for a new flavour to come along. Longevity doesn’t exist. Commitment is long dead.

I’ve found myself playing “The Cool Girl” one too many times, pretending that I could be alright with the idea of being replaced the second a blonde with longer legs walks past. I’m not okay with that. I have value that doesn’t rely on somebody else’s ability to see it, but holy moly it’s insulting to find out that somebody doesn’t see you as someone valuable enough to be exclusive with.

I wish our generation was taught to create something worth holding onto longer than the life of a match. We never used to live in a world so disposable. We are more than this.

The Matches are yet again inspiring me to become more like the person I want to be. I’ve never been cool so I’m no longer going to be the cool girl. I’m awkward. I care way too much. I’m so in love with a band I got their lyrics tattooed to my hip, and it won’t be the last tattoo of theirs on me.

I get obsessed over little things and big things. I’m a mess of a human being. I am madly, head over heels in love with a band you’ve probably never heard of and that makes me feel sorry for you – because they’re as weird as I am.

…and I belong.

However rare true love is, true friendship is rarer – La Rochefoucauld

Stability is something that has been missing for the last few years of my life. My boyfriends sucked, I was working in jobs that I kind of enjoyed but didn’t love, I was barely able to stand on my two feet and my living situation was the furthest thing from what I desired. Three years ago my ex-boyfriend and I had split up – him leaving behind emotional damage that I never dreamed of impacting me the way it did, I’d left a job in an industry I had my heart set on working in since I could remember and had no prospect of ever working in it again and I moved states to find that running away isn’t a really good solution to your problems.

I’ve spent the last three years trying new and different things. I worked as a photographer and travelled around NSW. I lived in Melbourne and worked as a travel agent. I even worked for the police taking 000 calls whilst living on the Central Coast. Living on the Central Coast was great, all the other stuff not so much. It’s been rough.

Thankfully, and I’ll draw inspiration from The Beatles here, I get by with a little help from my friends.

I try to stay connected to my friends. I could be fourteen hours away but I’ll be there for you in every way that I can. I’ve had a lot of practise with long distance friendships especially when my closest, most dearest best friend and I have lived apart for almost longer than we’ve lived up the road from each other.


I’m a gypsy you see. Her gypsy days are over. We were on the phone last night and I came to the metaphor that we’re both jigsaw puzzles, she was lucky enough to be dropped into the lid. I was dropped on the floor and bits are under the lounge and seriously mate, this is going to take forever to clean up.

We’re both busy. We’re both 24 and have so much going on. We’ve got this covered though. Putting aside an hour (or three) a week sometimes is the smartest decision I’ll make in an entire month. Sometimes life gets in the way and it’ll be three weeks since we’ve spoken but we understand each other. I am rich in ways that you could never imagine for having someone like her to be the peanut butter to my jelly.


I’d known for a while that if I was to really dive head first and give this radio dream a chance to bloom, I’d need to move to rural Australia. I was discussing this with another of the gems I call my closest friends towards the end of last year, he reminded me that I was particularly lucky because thanks to moving to Victoria, the friends that I had before and still are close with now proves that they’re stronger than most. My friendships aren’t fickle – which made taking the plunge out of my comfort zone to a town that is a lot like Kurri Kurri, only further away from Charlestown Square than I’d prefer. The fear was taken away.

There’s a comforting feeling getting a message, or a phone call from someone who’s six hours away and they want to specifically talk to you about something that’s troubling them, or want to make sure you’re the first person to know something wonderful.

Another thing about the people in my life that I love are the new ones you meet and feel like you’ve known them your entire life. Accidentally let something spill out of your mouth that was a bit risqué and all of a sudden you’ve got two new soul sisters in your horde.

One can never have enough friends, and as much as my heart is full, I’ll always have room for more people who are as supportive as the ones I have around me.

To the ones who let me know when I’m on my high horse; the ones who help me into the saddle; the shoulders to cry on; the ones who give me the advice that I really need to hear but don’t want to; who share my success; who remind me that my failures aren’t final; who love me for the person I am:

All of me, loves all of you.