This space is the bom!

From truck depot to pet store to paint shop to trendy, hip, sleek salon …. to what?

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Little was I to know that history would be made when I changed my hair appointment at Applebom Hair Salon from the early hours of 8:15am Saturday 21 June to 12 midday. Half way through the counselling & artistic expression session known to most as a hair appointment, I was told, you are the last client ever to be chopped at this Salon.

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As boxes of hair products, trendy pics & positive signs of transformation & beauty were being packaged away I was forced to reflect on the time we have shared.

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Two years ago almost to the day I saw an ad in “The Chronicle Guide” offering cut, colour, blow dry and brow wax for a pretty good price & that’s where my relationship with Amanda & Applebom Hairdresser began.. We have discussed our lives, our dreams, our relationships that come & go & Amanda even styled my hair for my Samsung Global Blogging experience for the 2012 London Olympics in this very space.

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Never fear, my relationship with Amanda & the beautiful team at Applebom hair salon will continue in their new space. Always trend setters, these ladies are moving to a house with all of the cosy & intimate experiences that come with it.

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new space main room

new space colour room

Whilst I love the new space for Applebom, my mind ticks over as to the potential for this hipster, warehouse space that I see before me.

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Once a truck depot, then pet shop to paint store to hip, trendy, hair salon to ????

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I can see it now (at least I hope) this space filled with groovy, interesting, intelligent, cultured adults looking for an alternative space to meet up!

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How cool would this place be as a bar, but not any sort of bar but an experience with events & bands & art & a positive vibe filled with eclectic 30 pluses with a little something to suit all interests.

Toowoomba is growing and infrastructure is developing with easier access in & out of the place but what will keep ambitious, single 30+ people here? We need a space, we need a place, we need a culture, who is going to put their hand up to develop the lifestyle of Toowoomba, starting with this space – in the heart of it all?!

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What’s in a Date?

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According to the urban dictionary, a date is:

Two people getting together for an activity when the possibility of romance between them has been broached but not ruled out. Since the exploration of romance is the purpose of a date, merely asking someone out on a date is sufficient to broach the subject.

 

He said:  I would like to take a personal angle when covering the story about speed dating

She said:  How about we go on a date and I can reflect on the experience on my blog and you can write it from your perspective for the newspaper.

He said:  Good idea, I did not go on one date for the whole of last year so this will be something different.

She said:  Do not worry; you are safe with me because I am a professional dater….

I am so excited because in just under one weeks’ time I am going out on a date with a single guy that sounds intelligent, witty, creative and quite the catch actually.  I have ascertained this through welcomed distracting emails at work and night-time texts.  In fact, I am now impatient because the more I get to know this journalist via the advantages of modern technology, the more I want to meet him in person.  Is this one of my key flaws in finding a relationship? My impatience?……

The date is tomorrow and my impatience has beaten me.  After a weekend of partying, a near death experience with flooding in Brisbane and a very busy and stressful day at work, I am nervous and exhausted with the thought of this date.  What if I have a ‘christie moment’ and am lost for words, we have nothing in common without the comfort of our phone and computer and the date is just awkward?

I’m running late!!!  I fly out of the shower, grab whatever dress is washed (although crumpled) and quickly show my mum in passing for extra approval.  This was not a good idea because she pulls ‘that’ face of disapproval.

Do you really think that is appropriate, I mean it is a little short and you don’t want to look cheap!

What?  The dress hugs my figure (which I work hard at attaining mind you) and falls at my knees.  I would say it is classy and flattering.  I decide to ignore my mother’s old fashioned advice and iron the dress, slip it on and bam, done.

As I am ironing, mother comes in to apologise, I did not mean to hurt your feelings, Christie.  I do not have the energy for this I think and just keep ironing and say all good Mum.

10 minutes until the date starts and I have not even done my hair or make-up, well prepared Christie, good form!

Slip, slop, slap.  Done.  Ready.  Scrub up ok for a 10 minute job.

I text my date, running 10 minutes late.  During the drive to the restaurant, music plays and so do the voices in my mind.  They question everything:  me as a person, my intellect, my desirability, my single status.  I remind myself that this is not actually a date anyway really.  If we get along well that is a bonus but mainly, I am taking one for the team and going on an extended date to promote the beauty of Speed Dating with Style.

Door locked, clip, clop to the door of the restaurant.  Thoughts are:  you love dinner dates, meeting new people and speed dating is a blast, you need to share the value of this with others.  I am also really intrigued as to what the journalist will publish about the experience.

I walk in the door and see him straight away, he is writing already, a strike for being late perhaps?  I approach and apologise for being late and the hand shake is exchanged.  I open with small talk and then boom, mood and my romantic notions of a date haltered as he pulls out the notepad and recorder to begin ‘the interview’.

He says:  Well this is an interview after all, it’s work.

She thinks:  Wow, punch in the guts.  Not an approach I would have taken personally if I were going on a date with a “personal” perspective in mind but hey I’m not a guy.

I feel awkward and unprepared.  I know how to drink, eat, flirt and banter but I was not prepared for this, maybe a coffee would have been a better idea.  The questions begin – who, what, when, where and why?

She thinks:  What would happen if dates came with a clip board of questions and a recorder to all dates?

Wine has arrived, phew.  Drink, relax.

Questions over, notepad and recorder away.  The date begins.  We talk about love and life and heartache and what experiences each of us have had.  This I am more comfortable with.

She thinks:  Am I revealing too much, will he print this?  Have I just opened myself up to public scrutiny?  Do I care?  It’s not like I am alone, everyone has experienced love and heartache, not in the same way that I have or even as much as I have but they still have.

The date is coming to an end and I have work waiting for me at home so I kindly wrap things up.  The bill is paid, we shake hands and that is that.

I drive home lost in thought.  Personally, I would have preferred a speed date because then I would have had several ‘dishes’ on my date menu and could decide which one/s I wanted to see again.  That is the value of speed dating as opposed to online dating, pubs or longer dates.  You are guaranteed whoever you are speaking with is single, approximately your age and in person you can tell if you have chemistry and want to see them again.   I would have circled the Journalist from the Toowoomba Telegraph if I met him speed dating but would be curious to know what other dates I had lined up that I matched with.

I also wonder what his perspective on our date will be?  A males perspective of a date is something I would read about.  I look forward to receiving a copy of the Toowoomba Telegraph on my doorstep when the story is published on Sat the 9th of Feb.

Let’s hope that love is found in Toowoomba this Valentine’s week when Speed Dating with Style returns to Metro Café on Railway Street from 7:30pm on Feb 16. http://www.speeddatingwithstyle.com.au/

Toothbrushes and silence….

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What is it about the sight of two toothbrushes that can make a grown woman cry? How many spares can you throw away before your heart just says enough?  The silence!  The knowledge that only one remains and you no longer have to think, “wait which colour was mine?”.  You no longer have the other coloured toothbrush to watch your back, to join you on an outing, to laugh and play with.  Goodness I sound like an old woman that should invest in cats (as my friends have suggested).  Shame I don’t like pets! 

You scan many blogs seeking a purpose/reason for writing and think who reads this and what is so different about my opinions, photos, ideas and reasoning?  Will it make any difference to anyone or is it just a cathartic response from me at the end of another month relationship.  Do I want my dirty laundry aired on a writing site?  Yep.

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What happened this time I ask myself once again?   I will never know.  How many other toothbrushes will join them in the bin? Why is Christmas only for children?  Adults are often alone…..

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The main toothbrush will soldier on until the end!

 

Unlocking the door to sensual happiness

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Age 32.  Single.  Fun. Intelligent.  Educated. Strong minded.  Independent.

Work bores me.  Living back at home stifles me.  Men hurt and reject me.  Lack of purpose destroys me.

I need affection, attention, pleasure, company and excitement.

I am about to embark on a journey of self- discovery:  sensual and sexual.  Stay tuned to discover what “needs” will be met and how I find the key to unlock my door of personal happiness, fulfillment and life purpose…..

Splinter my heart and watch me grow!

My hand was full of snotty tissues last week!  My head was pounding and eyes puffy from yet another form of rejection from the male species.  I am not sure once again what happened here.

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FLASH BACK

We met for coffee after meeting on the internet.  Although not immediately attracted, conversation flowed freely and we seemed to have a lot in common.  After the stage play that I had previously organised to go to alone, he invited me out for a wine.

Actually due to my inquisitive nature and desire to look at pretty views, I agreed to go back to his place to check out his “pad”.  This was my first mistake.  I was enjoying the view, the company and the lovely wine and one thing led to another and then, all of a sudden, I knew that I wasn’t going home any time soon.

Ow well I can stay and play I thought and all of a sudden it was bedroom time!  Woah boy what is going on here I thought to myself midway through what could have been a bit much. I pulled up stumps and tried to sleep… to no avail.  I tossed and turned.  No, not going to happen so I made the dash for the car and left most things behind in my mad rush to escape.

We continued to communicate throughout the week and arranged another dinner date and a trip to my home town for festival weekend.  All was good as far as I could see.  We hit it off, were intellectually on par and he was looking for a relationship.

Unfortunately, I drank too much at our dinner date.  I pass out and feel rather seedy about the whole experience the morning after and he then decides to go in for the kill.  Unfortunately as hard as I try I am not attracted to him and don’t want to just jump into this before getting to know him better.  So, I pat him on the chest and say, can we hold off this for a while.

Ok, he says, but I don’t know whether it was.  We drove to the festival, hung out, laughed, chatted and all was good until he dropped me home, to my parents’ home.  This is not a good look for a 32 years old, independent woman but hey it’s only a stop-over and that is a whole other story all together.

After that weekend, the texts dry up and I get that knotted feeling in my stomach thinking this guy is going to pull the plug before we even got started.  I was right of course and the expected TEXT comes my way:

Hey, I’ve got to be honest.  I’m really not sure we are going to go anywhere.  I’m happy to stay friends but just don’t feel there is a strong connection.

I beg to differ!  There seemed to be a strong connection my friend when you were lying basically naked beside me the weekend just gone.  Was it my facial expression when you removed your shirt/pants?  Sorry but I am not used to bedding excessive skin….

The text hit me hard though.   I cried quite a bit and why?  Was it the guy or the rejection?  I enjoyed dating, I enjoyed the conversation, a person to enjoy life with (if only for a moment) and that is what I seek.

I don’t want children, or necessarily a marriage as I imagine I may become bored with all of that normality, however I am lonely and do seek companionship.  I am fun and intelligent and not too bad on the eye so what the hell is the problem?

This experience and a weekend of thinking has led to my latest blog experiment which will be revealed in my next blog…..

Ditched for a Bitch….

It’s Saturday and unfortunately I have to work!  It is blowing a gale and at 8:20am I am already running late as eager beavers wanting to graduate are already chatting up a storm with my colleague outside the graduation hall.  I arrive and my colleague is flustered trying to erect the large tent by herself while others watch on.  I try to appease the situation through my light hearted banter and after a major tantrum of kicking signs in, we get down to business handing out plastic memorabilia, pens and other crap that will soon be going to bin land.

All is rather ho-hum but I am enjoying hearing the stories of some of our graduates from many walks of life.  In walks South Africa’s version of George Clooney who tells me about his trip to Australia to graduate and adventure holiday.  This guy is smart: he has two Masters’ and was considering progressing to his Phd.  He tells me that he does not have much of a life really, all work and no play makes him a dull boy I say.  I asked him the question, ok so why do you want to do your PhD?  What do you want to remember when you are on your death bed?  A PhD or all of the fun that you had after your second Masters degree?  He considers this, gives the PhD idea the flick and thanks me for the contribution I made to his life!

The conversation merges to other topics including him telling me that when he asked the taxi driver last night for advice about a good place to visit as a bachelor, the driver suggested a brothel or the most popular pub.  I laughed initially and then offered some more upmarket suggestions and one of these I agreed to take him to after graduation…..

At 6pm I am a bit nervous!  What the hell am I going to talk about with this mature South African?  I suck it up, arrive at the venue and order my wine.  He joins me and looks pretty good actually in his casual shirt and pants.  After hours of laughing and wine, I was off to a party so left him there thinking that was the end of it…………

However, the next morning I woke up early and called the motel that I knew he was staying and luckily caught him as he was checking out.  We chatted and exchanged some details and after emails, we agreed to catch up again before he flew home.

He organised everything:  more time off work, an extended visa, I had researched accommodation and fun activities to do and all was set until he called me the night before we were meant to rendezvous with a sentence that both confused and created tears in my eyes:

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Christie, I can’t see you tomorrow, I can’t find anyone to feed my DOG!!!

I said, say what?  And he repeated the phrase.  I thought to myself, well this is a first; I have been ditched for a bitch.

Through the lens of the self-conscious

 

It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me. ― Stephen Fry, Moab Is My Washpot

Yesterday I organised a photo shoot for the Samsung Global Blogging gig at the Olympics.  Luckily everything fell into place – I already had a hair appointment, my friend who does make up was able to fit me in for a quick brush over and a friend I made only last week agreed to take my photos during his lunch break.  Everything was swell and I was enjoying the pampering and life of a celebrity…..  How hard would it be to be gorgeous if you constantly had a make-up artist, hairdresser and photographer at your door step as well as a chef and personal trainer?… gee even I could be a model….except for the fact that I felt anxious in front of the camera. 

Photos lie:  Why is society so wrapped up in appearances and who has the right to distinguish between beautiful and not so beautiful?

I could not really relax during the photo shoot having a camera lens focusing just on me like a target! My mind was thinking 1001 things, mainly thoughts putting myself down.  I tried to think throughout the photo shoot be confident, sexy, smile, relax but why was I not having fun with this?  ….. and then it kind of dawned on me!  I was feeling really overwhelmed about the experience ahead in London.  Although I know that I should be totally looking forward to it (which I am) I can’t help but feel a little anxious.  I am going over there with another blogger but her background is model and presenter and I am just an everyday girl who struggles with life, love and confidence.

Every time I go to tweet or blog I think what do I really have to say that people are going to want to hear?  Not only did I feel overwhelmed at the photo shoot but this experience also conjured up some difficult memories from the past of how photos lie and can impact your future.

I will always remember a shocking photo when I was in year 6 at school that I was never able to live down.  One of the students in my class took home the class photo and apparently his mother said I looked like a witch and this stuck!  From that day forth at school I was called a witch and a ghost and all sorts of terrible names to blow my confidence and unfortunately at that delicate age it did.  My self-esteem dropped so much so that I grew a bit of a complex about who I was, what I was good at and who I wanted to be…..leading to another story all together which I will raise at another time but isn’t it interesting to note that one silly photo in primary school can impact you so much… but only if you let it.

Eventually I did relax and later when we looked through the photos I thought to myself, see not so bad at all….