The Breakfast Club

I recently watched the film ‘ The Breakfast Club’ for the first time.

Considering it was released in 1985 I am left wondering why it took me 33 years to get around to this?

Yet I admit I watched in two parts and for the first 43 minutes I had not a clue why this film was revered a cult classic.

The movie had nothing to do with breakfast, rather a group of teenagers from different walks of life enduring a Saturday morning detention at their High School.

As I near middle age I found it difficult to relate to the characters personal struggles to relate to one another and to the indifference they showed authority figures.

I did not understand, I was bored, I turned it off and went to bed.

Awaking the next morning I was determined to see the film out. Yet before I picked up where I left off I did a bit of reading in an attempt to find out why all the fuss

  • The movie was written, produced and directed by John Hughes. And John Hughes wrote, produced and directed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – my all time favourite film. My heart warmed
  • I read the film premise and came to terms with the fact that the kids would not be going to a cafe for brunch. They were way cooler, members of ‘The Breakfast Club’ – the nickname invented by students and staff for detention. My heart warmed.

And as the remainder of the film unfolded I was won over and then some.

A bond began to form between the group of teens whose paths would NEVER have crossed had it not been for the Saturday lock in. As they divulged deeply personal secrets they were forced to reevaluate their preconceived ideas and stereotypical judgements about one another, themselves and their place in the world ( yes it was THAT epic)

When I was in the UK in 2013 I ate numerous times at the ‘ The Breakfast Club’ cafe chain. Prehaps that’s why I associated the orignal film with bacon and eggs? I was only 7 when the original film came out and fell hard and fast for Ferris and Edward ScissorHands at 13 so there was little room in my life for Claire, Andy, Brian, Allison and John Bender.

But fast forward 33 years and it seems I’m ready to appreciate the mastery and wonder of the teen comedy drama. All 97 minutes of pure cinema genius.

They only met once, but it changed their lives forever. They were five total strangers, with nothing in common, meeting for the first time. A brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse.

The Breakfast Club, first viewing September 14th-15th 2018. Life changed forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

My Coat of Many Colours

'The' Coat,  Sydney. 2018

‘The’ Coat Sydney. 2018

Of late my mind has drifted, wondered back in time.

Kings Road Chelsea London to be precise.

I am 22 and I am wearing a fabulous coat that I purchased in an Op-Shop in Willesdon Green, North West London – the Borough I called home for 5 months in 2001.

I am wearing this green and pink wool number down Kings Road, Chelsea feeling very pleased with myself. In its heyday Kings Road was synonymous with cutting edge fashion and although it had long since been gentrified, 17 years ago as I strutted along the pavement I felt I was honouring a bygone era in my thrift shop purchase.

And it did not go unnoticed. A colleague who worked with me in the retail store commented one morning ‘ I saw this young women walking down the road in a coat of all types of fabulousness – and then I realised it was you!!’

This made my heart sing, my head swell. My colleague was a true Londoner, born and bred, edgy and cool.

Me, I was a from a small coastal town in NSW, population 2000 people. I had only ever been to Bondi Beach once in my life time ( 4 days before boarding my flight), so that when UK residents asked me about Australia’s most famous beach – I could say I had been.

Those were special times.

I have fond memories of Kings Road Chelsea. I worked for the High End Furniture brand ‘ Heals’ earning 5 pounds an hour, serving supermodels and listening on the tunes of  Kylie Minogue and Gabrielle. To this day, the ‘ Rise ‘ soundtrack by Gabrielle and ‘ Light Years’ by Kylie are amongst my all time favourites.

17 years ago. Seems but yesterday. And it can be when I put on my coat of many colours and indulge my taste in music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Youth is Yours

Recently I started listening to the music of Troye Sivan. He is all of 23 years of age.

I lived out my teenage years in the 1990’s – in a decade free of the perils of social media and the connectivity that mobile phones and tech platforms afford the masses.

It does not feel that long ago, yet as I cast my mind back to a time when grunge fashion; flannelette shirts, doc martens and band t-shirts ruled supreme, it is worlds removed from the brightness that greets me each morning as I peruse my wardrobe.

Troye on the other hand grew up online, a Youtube sensation, his self-made videos amassing millions of followers, documenting his teens, those tumultuous, tender, trying, hypersensitive years. He took fans along for the ride, they journeyed together with the hope, desire and drive to emerge out the other side, basking in the glory days awarded one in their early 20’s. Looking out with fresh eyes and a newfound self belief that the world was theirs for the taking, brimming with endless possibilities and promise.

As I approach a milestone birthday, I pause to reflect on the journey so far.

And I find myself drawn to the music of Mr Sivan.

Am I having a mid-life crisis?

I listen to his 2015 award-winning song ‘ Youth’ I am painfully aware that my ‘ Youth’ has long since passed.

My youth, my youth, my youth

My youth is Yours

Troye Sivan, ‘ Youth’ 2015

My youth belongs to my many treasured friends, childhood besties and high school buddies who shone a torch-light, illuminating a pathway through the murkiness of adolescence into early adulthood.

My youth belongs to my parents, who loved me wholeheartedly and unreservedly, even though I proclaimed to not need parenting and proceeded to challenge them on anything and everything.

My youth belongs to my brother, who I failed to acknowledge as a human being during this period, yet with the passing of time and with age, I come to see as one of my greatest allies.

I will herald in the next decade of life surrounded by people who have shaped and guided my childhood, my youth, my twenties, my thirties.

Mr Sivan’s music prompts reflection, it is indeed bittersweet to say with certainty that my ‘ Youth’ has long since passed.

Yet the characters who appeared in tales of my youth, are ever-present. Together we shape the next chapter, and it is beautiful, bold and promises to be the best yet.

Be Here Now

By chance I stumbled across the documentary ‘ Be Here Now’ on Netflix. I had never heard of the Welsh Born Australian based actor Andy Whitfield, his wife Vashti, or their children Jesse and Indy.

But as I sat in my living room, on a nondescript day in May, in an instant it became clear that this documentary was to ensure I would not forget them.

What first caught my eye was the exquisite beauty of Andy. Handsome, yes, but truly beautiful due to the infinite love he displayed for his wife and two young children.

andy-whitfield-obit-gi

A shy, self-conscious man who aged 36 had dared to dream he might pursue an acting career. The documentary opened to the glitz and glamour awarded Hollywood stars who have ‘ made it’ – red carpets, adoring gazes of the masses, camera flashes.

Andy Whitfield had arrived, having just completed his first major acting role in the tv series Spartacus. A loin cloth wearing, chiselled, tanned, totally ripped Gladiator.

He was living his truth, having stepped away from the known certainties of an engineering career and mastered a self belief anything was possible

It was beautiful to watch. On the world stage stood Andy Whitfield. He moved freely, spoke eloquently, laughed fully, loved unreservedly.

Cancer. Stage 4. Three months to live.

The documentary delivered the first of many blows early. I struggled to make sense this news. In stark contrast the Whitfield’s wasted little time, united they would faced Andy’s diagnosis head on.

The unwavering commitment of Vashti supporting Andy, to be truly present to what is, not what might be, could, should or would be. To ‘ Be Here Now’ with her partner, in each and every moment. And Andy’s unwavering commitment to live by that motto despite insurmountable odds.

Fast forward to late July, and I’m attending Creative Mornings July breakfast lecture. The theme for July ‘ intention’. The guest speaker, Vashti Whitfield.

IMG_5607

I’m pinching myself that I’m in the audience and sit in anticipation for what I know will be an insightful hour.

As I listen , I come to further understand the motivation behind documenting her incredibly personal family story.

For the Whitfield’s, living a meaningful life was about having impact. And documenting their cancer journey which culminated in Andy’s passing, ensured his legacy would be lasting.

The documentary depicted a tight family unit, drawing strength from their steely commitment to living a fully present life. A life anchored in intention, in alignment with core values. Aware of fear and suffering in daily life, the Whitfield’s shaped their experiences around honouring the duality present in each moment, and their ability to find joy inspite of suffering and loss.

By acknowledging ones mortality the sacredness of the present moment became paramount. Be here now, and you are instantly aware of the power you have to make a difference in the present, your immediate legacy.

Just as the documentary ‘ Be Here Now’ shook me to the core, elements of Vashti’s presentation were powerful and poignant. Asked to consider your legacy upon taking your final breath, hardly breakfast conversation! Or your immediate legacy, how the person sitting next to you might recall your interaction?

I looked down at the name tag I was wearing. I’d been asked to assign myself an intention for the day.

IMG_5609

Thank you Andy, thank you Vashti, thank you Jesse & Indy. For allowing the cameras to capture moments in time that were difficult, painful, terror filled, anxiety ridden. It would have been far easier to close the door , stop the cameras rolling and attempt to make sense of your hellish reality on your terms. In your time.

But on the cameras rolled, on and on and on. And in doing so, you took us on an inspiring, life affirming journey of love and loss, reminding us that boundless beauty is on offer should we choose to focus with intent on the here and now.

‘ Be Here Now’ is streaming now on Netflix.

Please Like Me

The series ‘ Please Like Me’ might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it is mine.

I’ve served myself the entire series, twice.

I never intended to watch it again. It just happened. ‘ Nanette’ by Hannah Gadsby recently aired on Netflix. Hannah loves a cup of tea. Hannah features in Please like Me. And so as the credits rolled on Nanette it felt natural to throw myself whole heartedly into PLM, for the second time, tea-cup in hand.

I don’t like PLM, I love it. And a year had passed between viewing, but like old friends, it was ever so easy to connect again, pick up where we left off, series one episode one.

Steph Harmon, Culture Editor with the Australian Newspaper, The Guardian wrote in 2016 ‘ Josh Thomas’s Please Like Me has quietly become one of the most surprising, honest and devastating shows on television. Over four seasons, the series has traversed all manner of topics that other shows with bigger budgets fear to cover, and delivered them with sensitivity, nuance, frankness and frequent hilarity. The show has dealt with homophobia and racism, depression and workplace harassment, breast cancer and STDs. There was an abortion which, in a refreshing turn, was treated not with kid gloves but with openness and no regrets. There was commendably realistic gay sex – a lot of it. And in the second season, many of the scenes and three of the main characters were based in a mental health institution.

Sad tear, happy tears and laughter, lots of it. Vulnerability at the forefront of each performance, like quickly turns to love, adore even, a bunch of characters who resonate, glow, ‘ shine bright like a diamond’ from lap taps, tablets and iphones. Or in my case, lounge room tv, screening on demand.

This last week in June has been divine. Thank you PLM.

I look forward our next encounter, third time lucky. I know the drill, cup of tea in hand, tissue box in close proximity. Cannot wait!!

‘ Love Yourself’ Series 4, Episode 2

Please Like Me is currently screening on Netflix, Series 1-4.

Nanette by Hannah Gadsby is currently screening on Netflix

Welcome to New York , it’s been waiting for you

At the start of this month, a childhood bestie flew to North America for a work conference. But before work, there must be play. Always. And New York provides the perfect amusement park. Always.

Solo travel. Often daunting, at times overwhelming. On the flip side endless possibilities, opportunities to do absolutely anything the heart desires. Scary. Yes. Exhilarating and life affirming. That too.

Not till you hit NYC’s sidewalks is the days adventure revealed. Often you can’t help but be picked up by the momentum of the foot traffic, destination unknown.

But that’s the magic!

I’d recently started on season four of the Netflix series ‘ Chefs Table’. An episode featuring Christina Tosi of Milkbar Bakery fame, with it’s all American focus on sugar, butter and more sugar, gave me a tooth ache. But like all good sugary products, I love longed for more!! I imparted the discovery of ‘ crack pie’ and ‘ cereal milk’ panacotta to my bestie & let the city of NYC do its magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To provide balance to the sugar high ‘ MilkBar’ would inflict ‘ Humming Puppy’ Yoga was prescribed as the perfect antidote. My bestie and I have long been fans of ‘ Humming Puppy’ Sydney. It provides the perfect escape from the everyday that is city living : fast cars, endless office deadlines and concrete skylines. I can only imagine that ‘ Humming Puppy’ NYC provides this oasis and more. For its been said you travel to NYC to feel alive, energised and inspired. You travel to Sydney to sleep.When comparing the energy of the two cities, I’d agree.

What else did my bestie do on her travels? I can’t wait to catch up with her and find out. For its true that NYC provides the perfect canvas for a solo adventure. With an open heart, the city will reveals itself to you, befriend you and offer up experiences that appear tailor-made. Timeless memories and magical moments.

Welcome to New York, it’s been waiting for you – Taylor Swift

 

 

Memories in Music

Last night as I left my local supermarket, a song heard over the shopping mall sound system, though faint and almost undetectable due to the 5pm rush hour traffic,  transported me back to the United Kingdom, January 2002.

I’ve been there ever since!

London, January 2002. I was 23 and embarking on another year abroad. No clear road map, little direction and even less money. Yet I was convinced I would build on the life skills I had mastered in 2001, when aged 22, I had boarded a one way flight to the United Kingdom with my 19-year-old best friend.

London, January 2002. The epitome of cool, I was going clubbing with my friend Ali, the ‘ beautiful person’, whom I had befriended whilst backpacking through Barcelona, Summer 2001. We were venturing to ‘ Fabric’ nightclub, East London. I would be out of my depth, my home town of Wollongong, on the South Coast of NSW, population 400,000 had no prepared me for the drum and base, dupstep, house and techno scene that was London, United Kingdom, population 7 million.

Not one to show my fear, I bedazzled my face with two tiny fake butterfly tattoos and headed out into the night. With Ali by my side, we could do anything!!

16 years ago. A bouncer, a door, an entrance to the unfamilar. Music, drum and base, pulsating through our tiny bodies, exiting through our extremities, finger tips, toes. Unable to fight the compulsion to move, we danced and danced and danced.

Last night, on the streets of Waterloo, I stood with a bag of groceries – olive oil, brown onion, can of chickpeas. But little did people know that a song, barely detected over the shopping mall sound system had transported me some 24,000km to another place, another time.

‘ World of our Own’ by Westlife

 

And as the title of the song suggests, it contains a lifetime of memories, moments in time that are mine, moments that have been enhanced by the smiles, laughter, tears and awkward dance moves of people I treasure most.

Memories in Music, the soundtrack to a life half lived.

A treasure chest to be revisited, over and over again. With new additions to be added as the years progress, as I evolve, change and grow. I can hardly wait!!

We got a little world of our own
I’ll tell you things that no one else knows
I’ll let you in where no one else goes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner Date

I did not take a photo of a truly momentous catch up that took place on the weekend.

A meal with four women, a tight-knit circle of lifelong friends that have wrapped me in unending love, support, wisdom and wise counsel for some 30 years and counting.

To the onlooker, our waitress, fellow dining patrons, it would have appeared unremarkable. A table of five, sharing a meal, a few drinks and dessert over conversation. A Saturday night text-book restaurant experience.

To the onlooker that is. But the significance of the occasion was not lost on me.

In the hustle and bustle that is daily life, days, sometimes weeks can pass without contact with these precious gem stones. The occasional text, phone call, often scheduled and made whilst driving, hands free, the only time busy Mums and business women seem to be able to chat without interruption.

And the day-to-day grind can be a hard slog, project managing families, children, complex careers whilst prioritising the complexity of the emotional, physical and mental wellbeing of loved ones, themselves if they are lucky.

Sitting around the table on Saturday night was a group of women giving a collective sigh that we had pulled of this catch up. One of 2018’s greatest achievements? Most certainly in my books!

And I feel a shift, a deeper understanding and appreciation of just how special our time together is. In the craziness that is the everyday, our ability to connect , despite all obstacles, is undeniable. It is a precious, precious thing, fluid and flexible, accommodating and inclusive. It demands we are the best version of ourselves, and supports and nurtures us as we stride confidently towards our uniquely personal goals and dreams.

Saturday night dinner date – unremarkable to the onlooker.  Yet those women who  shared my table are nothing short of amazing to me.

Ode to Kesha

 

Just as my sudden appreciation of John Mayer’s music took me by surprise earlier this year,  my adoration for female vocalist Kesha has floored me. It’s taken all of 10 months to come to terms with why I feel an affinity with her 2017 album ‘ Rainbow’

It was August, 2017, when a best friend from Queensland landed on my doorstep for a girls weekend. With her she brought her unrivalled enthusiasm for coffee, cake, shopping, fancy dinners & music. And Kesha was top of her play list.

Familiar with her early music, I was not a fan. But my besties whole-hearted lip sync rendition early on Saturday morning, complete with rolled up newspaper microphone, of the ballad ‘ Praying’ that streamed via YouTube made time stand still.

Gut wrenching lyrics, calculated and crafted with a clear message – that Kesha, a victim of sexual harassment, refused to be silenced by her perpetrated. She would have the last word.

‘ Cause I can make it on my own,
I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring fire, I’ll bring rain
When I’m finished they won’t even know your name’

Using her undeniable gift for song, Kesha war cry is a resounding message of hope. From the darkness she has emerged as a women assured of her power, of the don’t fuck with me variety. Reliance in abundance, she has channeled all of her resources into moving forward. Her voice a weapon, disarming and shaming her perpetrated, but in a testament to her character she croons ‘ I hope find your peace, falling on your knees, praying’

Experiences in 2017 were challenging and for me the song ‘ Praying’ became a firm favourite, as I continued to pick myself up and move on from situations that left me feeling depleted. And always there, always encouraging was Kesha’s music.

Confessing this to my Queensland bestie recently ‘ Whatever  gets you through!’ her response.

So thank you Kesha, life is again looking peachy, I see ‘Rainbows’ and I’m ‘ Learning to let Go’.  Thank you for strength of character, for continuing along your path, when it would have been far easier to retreat from the public eye. To remain silent.

No, still steadfast, still bold, your lyrics a reminder that all one must do in trying times, is stay true to themselves and trust that all will be well.

‘ I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters I can breathe again
And you said that I was done, You were wrong and now the best is yet to come ‘

Dedicated to my Queensland Bestie Lauren – Happy Catch Up with A Mate Month 2018 xxx

Catch Up with A Mate Month 2018

Catch Up with A Mate Month turns Seven!!

Catch Up with A Mate - Winter 2018

Catch Up with A Mate – Winter 2018

Hard to believe that 2555 days ago I decided that in June of each year I would devote my attention and time to fostering friendships, with old and new friends alike.

It was with nostalgia that I looked over the stories from June, 2011. So lovely to be reminded in words and pictures of the people who light up my world. A tug at the heart-strings, missing from the celebrations will be my fur best friend Flora, a founding member of the friendship movement that began 2555 days ago.

Determined to honor her memory , I’m going to commit to writing a blog post each day. For a blogger whose commitment to writing can best be described as sporadic, that is going to be a tall ask!

But a certain reader remarked earlier this week, ‘Blog writing, you hardly do that anymore”… and well,  it got me fired up. The desire to write returning with vengeance of the ‘I’ll show you’ variety! There are stories to be told. About what, only time will tell. Its going to be an unforgettable, quite possibly unremarkable month.

Cannot wait to tell you about it!!

P.S For old times sake, why not take a look back to the month of  June 2011 – Catch Up With A Mate month in its infancy. Bless xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 118 other followers