Thursday, February 24

We’re Still Those Kids

This is me and Lily in high school. We were best friends.

Lily died this week. She had Cystic Fibrosis and Insulin Dependent Diabetes. They told her she was only expected to live until she was 18. She would be 29 this month. 
It just doesn't feel real. And it doesn't feel fair. And I guess it feels like, once she got past 18, once she got older that she'd be OK. You know? Like she'd keep on going and prove them all wrong. 

I guess it's the usual high school story. You change schools and move around and slowly, you grow up. And then afterwards you only run into each other every couple of years.

But it doesn't make her death any easier. In fact, it sort of makes it weirder because you don't really know how sad you're allowed to be. 

We spent a good 3 years living in each other’s pockets. At my house or her house pretty much every weekend, at the hospital, at our families houses. And then you know, 10 years go by and you only see each other a handful of times. But she's still that girl, you know? We're still those kids.
And that’s what it is. We’re still those kids.

Those early years, when you’re tangled in the throes of discovering who you are; when everything is brighter and louder and more vibrant. And everything that everyone says is poignant. Everything is the start and end of something. Finding someone to go through it all with; someone that has your back; that laughs, cries, whispers and giggles with doesn’t matter what happens after that. 

Those years, those golden, terrifying, hyperactive, brilliant, newborn years were spent with that amazing girl who called you her best friend. And no amount of time or distance or death can ever take that away.

Since I found out, I can't stop remembering what feels like every single moment – of hanging out at her house or at mine or at school or the fair or the hospital or the car or just EVERY MINUTE. And I wanted to do something but I didn’t know what to do, I don't know what I could do.

And then I thought, I can write about her. 

I can tell people, everyone that I can, what a truly wonderful, beautiful, happy, beaming, positive, inspirational, absolute LOVE of a girl she was.
Lily Korst was just the most amazing, positive, up-beat person. She kept a website that she used to talk about living with a chronic illness but not letting it affect her life. She provided support, encouragement and information to people living with serious illness. And generally made everyone around her feel wonderful.

I visited her site earlier this week and I swear, I could hear her awesome laugh and see that beautiful smile. 

While I was reading through her entries one line leapt off the page at me...

"I know it sounds stupid but you will feel happiness again one day."
It about floored me. She was giving support and advice to a lady whose baby boy had just been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis but she could have easily been sitting beside me comforting me as I cried for losing her.

"I know it sounds stupid but you will feel happiness again one day."
It doesn’t sound stupid Lil, it sounds just like something you’d say. And when I do feel happiness again, it will be because I knew you. 

It will be because of the nights we stayed up whispering, the days we trekked through fields to that little river, the mornings we ate breakfast cake, the months we counted down until school holidays and the years I was lucky enough to spend with you.

I’m gonna miss you so much. But I know, we’ll always be those kids.


Wednesday, February 23

Some Things Were Meant To Be

It's been years since I owned a black denim skirt. I found this one on the clearance rack at Myer (hello old friend) marked down from $30 to $21.

"$21" I thought, "I don't know, that's pretty steep". (How cheap am I? Very, apparently. But it's weird because I'll think nothing of spending $150 on skin cream. But maybe that's because I've never seen my brand on a clearance rack. Anyway, probably a good time to end the bracket here...)

So I stood in the fitting room mulling it over when eventually I thought, "I've got that $20 voucher, I'll just grab it." Off to the register I went, still half unsure. Did I REALLY need it? Did I REALLY want to spend my hard earned voucher on a black denim skirt that I didn't REALLY need.

Oh for gods sake Selise, it's a $21 skirt. Just buy the thing. After some stern internal dialogue I handed the skirt over. "That's $7.50 thanks", said the sales girl. I about choked. "$7.50?" "Yep". Turns out $7.50 is exactly the amount I needed to decide that I did REALLY need it. 

And you know what? I didn't even use my voucher. I'm saving it for my next bout of retail turmoil.

Bandana: Gift

Sunglasses:  Cotton On
Shirt: Tightrope
Badges: Junk store and gifts
Bracelet: Diva
Ring: Diva
Skirt: Myer
Shoes: Rubi

Friday, February 18

Dressed To The Nineties

I am but a simple girl and need only two things: Doc Martens and a dress.

If I was allowed another two things (come on, just two?) I would choose a cardigan and torn jeans. Give me another two and I'm stuck. Maybe another two dresses. But seriously, why are you putting restraints on my wardrobe man? You used to be cool.

Hey remember that skirt that I love? Well I love this dress too. A whole lot. And hey, guess what? I got it at the same place.

Sure it wasn't cheap (there was a 6 in the price. And it wasn't at the end.) but it's awesome! It's flowy and floral (tick and tick), a great length and, this may just be the coolest part, the buttons? Are tiny baseballs! Argh!

Have a great weekend guys, I'm off to find me a fluffy unicorn.

Dress: RetroStar
Cardigan: Myer
Boots: Thrifted

P.S Big shout outs to Lustable for featuring me as one of their Blogger Looks Of The Week! Thanks guys, you've made my week!

Wednesday, February 16

Ode To Skirt

Do you love my skirt? I love my skirt. I love it a lot. I feel as though I've owned it forever but I only got it a couple of weeks ago on our whirl-wind 23 hour tour of Melbourne. 

I found it at RetroStar so, you know, maybe I used to own it and then I donated it and then found it and fell in love with it again. Only I didn't. I mean yes I fell in love with it but no I didn't give it away because that would be just crazy.

You know the best part about it? It's a home made job. There are threads hanging and elastic showing and uneven stitches but that just makes me love it all the more. In summary: I really love this skirt. Even though I look like I'm giving you the death stare in that picture. Apparently that's what I look like after I've spun around in circles real quick.

You know what I also love? Sushi. But not just any sushi. This particular sushi.

Sunglasses: Cotton On
Top: Target
Singlet: Myer
Skirt: RetroStar
Shoes: Rubi

Wednesday, February 9

Cooking With The Captain

Our friend The Captain came over the other night. We cooked up some crazy good food. Because that's just what we do. We also drink beer (and cider, depending on the mood) talk smack and generally have the most fun ever.

We made Barking Chupacabra's™* chorizo, prawn and black bean tostones with passion fruit habanero salsa. Which. Were. Incredible!

We had a general idea of what we wanted to achieve and just sort of winged the rest. Which is how I ended up separating passion fruit seeds from the schmutz around them, one by one, by hand. I had the brilliant idea to toast them and sprinkle on top of the salsa. They turned out AMAZING** but my lord what a process!

The tostones themselves were made by frying, smushing and re-frying plantains. Delicious, again.

The prawns were marinaded in lime and tequila and fried off with the chorizo.

The party reached a whole 'nother level in the drink department though. This is an Habanero G&T. Or the Barking Chupacabra House G&T. Harmless enough, right? You'd think there'd be an element of warmth to the after-taste, a little tingling on the lips maybe?

No. No, see what happens is: the bubbles from the tonic capture the capsaicin of the habanero and deliver it POW! straight up your nose and into that lovely fleshy part where your eyes, nose and mouth meet. What happens then is a whole lot of sneezing, coughing and eye watering. Followed immediately by a fit of giggles and the next mouthful.

What can I say? We really know how to party.

*Barking Chupacabra is the name of our inevitable restaurant.

**Dry toasted passion fruit seeds, if  you're curious, have a delightful nutty flavour to them. They're sort of like pop rocks on account of when you crunch down on them, they crunch a couple of times. Does that make sense? Because that's what they do.

Tuesday, February 8

I Am Not Afraid

 Mood board assessment piece

It's raining. With all of the flooding and cyclones I'm afraid to say that I love the rain. But those of you that know me (lucky things) know that I do. I really, really love the rain. And I shouldn't be ashamed to say it because I love the rain, I don't love flooding and devastation.

The rain is a little bit cold today. And that excites me because it reminds me that soon it will be cold for reals. And I will be able to wear clothes that I like. And layer them up, up, up!

Today I am wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Yesterday I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt (same jeans, different shirt).

More of the mood board

Soon I will be wearing socks and scarves and tights and cardigans. And boots! I saw some in the store last week. If you can get a hold of the security tapes there's some quality footage of me performing what is known as the rare "Boot Appreciation Dance". Powerful stuff.

Thursday, February 3

A Change Is Gonna Come

You're right Sam Cooke, a change sure is gonna come. Or really, it already has. There are so many changes going on right now it's hard to ignore.

You've probably noticed that it's been a little light on the posts around here lately. I've been thinking about that for a while and I think I've formulated what I want to say enough to get it down here.

I started my blog in January of last year. The 4th to be exact. And I posted every day for a year. A new outfit every day. I loved it. The challenge, the accountability and, who am I kidding - the praise! I was working in the city in a corporate office that was surprisingly cool with my print clashing, boundary pushing, skull wearing ways. I had an audience every day - off and online.

In November I accepted a job as a writer. Contracting to a company in Melbourne, I now work from home. And I do work. Believe me. I'm flat out each day and contrary to sly comments - I do not wear my pyjamas, watch daytime TV or slack off and search pictures of cats on the internet. Working from home is tough. The discipline required to sit at this desk for 8 hours a day. The crazy-making that comes with being holed up alone inside. The only thing easier is the commute.

Don't get me wrong. I don't regret the change and I know how incredibly lucky I am to have this opportunity. I can pee with the door open, listen to music as loud as I want (though it usually interferes with whatever I am trying to do so most often I listen only to the soothing sounds of a lawnmower, barking dog and the clicking of my keyboard) and eat a free lunch.

But with this change in career has come another change. I don't feel like blogging. I don't feel like putting together an outfit, sitting in it at my desk for 8 hours, taking a picture of it, taking it off and doing the whole thing again tomorrow.

And I've been beating myself up about this. How could I go from 100 to say, 20? What am I without my blog? What am I without seeing how many different kinds of floral I can wear in one go?

But here's the thing. I never set out a charter. I never said I was going to post every day. I never promised anything to anyone except maybe myself. I have no obligation to do this if it makes me unhappy. And it's not so much that it makes me unhappy. More it's not as much fun.

So what I've discussed with myself today, in our daily staff meeting is this: Hey, you can post whenever you want. Post 43 times a month or once a week. Keep commenting on the blogs you like, if you feel like it. Because really? There are bigger things in the world than whether or not you feel like adding pictures and words to the gaping hole that is the internet.

Lighten up, kid. Go look at a picture of a cat.