Monthly Archives: September 2011

Spain again!


I had forgotten how much I enjoy Spain.
These are the reasons:
1. the shoes.
2. The fact that it is cheaper than most of the rest of the EU.
3. The language; using it with aplomb that borders on a piss take. My favourite word at the moment is juego (it means game)
4. The shoes
5. The range of feminine douching products available, should, hypothetically, I need them. I will also have the bag it comes in (heehee)
6. The people watching
7. The wine
8. Did I mention the shoes?

SO I am in Malaga, in the south of Spain, for a conference. It s genteel and refined in parts, but also has a Miami feel to it too. The buildings down by la playa are butt ugly, the rest look lovely.

What I have done so far:
-Malaga is the city where Pablo Picasso was born. Granted, he didn’t visit again after the age of 19, but that is quite beside the point. The city boasts a Picasso art museum, which showcases his lesser known work. Nevertheless, the building itself is a nice example of Moorish architecture, and the artwork conveys (from my humble point of view) his mastery of lines. There is also his birthplace, which is another museum.
-visited the Museo del vino. Malaga, being a hot region, does sweet wines well, and I think (cannot be sure as exhibits in espanol) that Pedro Ximenez sherry comes from the region.
-visited the museo Carmen Thyssen, which houses some beautiful Spanish works, which are reminiscent of the French works from similar times.
-practiced my drawing ( fun, but should stick to day job at the moment)
-went to the beach, watched people from afar. At the beach, bikini tops are optional, I figured out.
-eaten lots of seafood. Lots of omega 3.
-developed an helado (gelati) per day habit. Must. Go. For. Run.
-had a siesta per day. When in Rome etc.
-looked at couture and footwear.
– met up with my old supervisor/ boss and his wife for beer and tapas. He is attending the conference.

I am having a good time. A great time. Mostly, I don’t miss not having somebody to share it with (I have youse). I get happy enough to hum a tango while walking in the sun.

Now, I don’t want to sound like Miss Whiny McWhinge, but there are times when I do get sad. Lonely. Nostalgic. Tonight was one of them.

However, I know these are the times when I need to make a special effort to leave my hotel room. And I do. And, most of these times, I feel better for it. Sometimes, though the tears escape. Not nearly as much or as hard as they did, but they do.

The earth mother in me says “it is quite normal”. Lady Phil says “you are doing fine, better than fine.”

I am. I am.

Oooh. I have another whinge.
I. Have. A. Chinful. Of. ZITS!!!!!!! WTF????

Please check out my tumblr, for photos


Greetings from the V and A Museum.


And a big thanks to them for their Internet.

I am safe, happy and well, thankyou. A little jet lagged still, but good.

I set off on Monday evening, after giving a 90 minute lecture. With my many thousands of saved up frequent flyer points, I managed to get an upgrade to business class.

Free grog ahoy, mateys! Good way to travel if you can get it! No cankles for me! And sleep! Sweet, sweet sleep!

Unfortunately, being a. Alone, b. Tired and c. Drunk makes me a bit….. Wistful, and a bit melancholic. there was ample time to think about things, and plenty of things to think about.

So I did what I have been doing quite a bit of recently. Had a good, long howl. Luckily the jet noise drowned out my sobs. The stewardess, bless her heart, saw me having a howl and brought me tissues and gave me a hug. A hug with the upgrade!

I don’t know quite what I was howling about- a few things probably. Not things to discuss here.

Then I had another snooze, and read my Caitlin Moran book, “how to be a woman”. Piss funny. The stewardess probably thought I was insane, laugh, cry, howl.

addition: written from Spain.
I arrived in London. Mercifully quick run through customs. Then checked into my hotel in Bloomsbury.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Phillipa the day I got to London. I was quite tangential, moving from stressful topics to topical topics to “oooh, we are in Trafalgar square!”

I love how London, for me, can go to the grandiose, to the comfortable, to the familiar. I love the buzz. I don’t love the crowds.

Some things I did in London
– met with Skinny Latte (philippa) and met her lovely husband Tom. SL is like my sistah from another mister, and it felt like no time had passed since I last saw her. We had dinner at a lovely authentic Italian restaurant (most restaurants are chain ones and the food questionable. The night ended with some ice-cream, quite drunk, and bundled into a taxi.
– met with my friend Sarah, had dinner and a lovely chat. Night ended again with me being bundled into a taxi. Re- acquainting myself with my old mate, Fruli.
– having some beauty treatments at the Aveda spa, the most relaxing facial ever, followed by a healthy but posh lunch in the adjoining cafe.
– going down Oxford st after that, which cancelled out some of the relaxation. Seriously, I got hip and shouldered a few times. Never again.
– seeing my mate Daz and his wife Siobhan in Covent Garden. Having to negotiate the hordes of ugly, badly dressed folk near the station on Saturday night (theatre/pub night). Trying chilli beer.
– going shopping on Kings road in Chelsea, home of my favourite shop, Anthropologie. Parted with some cash. Bought some investment shoes.
– going for a run around the circuit that is Regents park, being distracted by the gentility of the surroundings, and getting lost. Note to self: bring more cash than 3 quid.
– long phone conversations with a special friend back home. There are two people and one canine that I particularly miss.

Anywho, today I flew to Malaga, in the south of Spain. Full of rich people and pommy retirees following the sun. Lots of grey hair on the flight. It is quite fitting that a geriatrics conference should be held here.

Traveling alone can be quite a scary thing. However, what I fear is not what one would think- I am not particularly scared of being mugged/otherwise assaulted/kidnapped or blown up. Perhaps I should be more afraid of these things, but I am a seasoned traveller.

I am most afraid of myself, more specifically, what is going on in my head. There is a great fear of feeling lonely. Of what will happen when I get home. There is guilt. There is anger. Lots of unpleasant emotions that might threaten to send me home prematurely, howling all the way back. I fear being paralyzed by my feelings.

Yet I realize that these feelings pass, and often give rise to greater understanding of myself (shining the torch into the crevices of the hole I alluded to in a previous post). I feel braver for facing them. I am certainly not paralyzed, on the contrary, I am doing a brave and proactive thing.

Tonight, for instance, I was feeling a bit bleh, having been reminded of things at home. I was going to have a night in with the proceeds of the minibar (peanuts and Rioja for dinner, anyone?) but decided to head out instead. I was rewarded with a beautiful night, seeing the grand marble architecture all lit up at night. I found a restaurant, sat down and enjoyed a great (and cheap) seafood paella, eye candy waiters and some wine. While I was eating, a fellow on the street (probably an itinerant gitano) broke into a flamenco song, a capella, complete with hand clapping.

After dinner, I had some home made helado (ice cream), which I ate with aplomb and got all over my face and fingers. I then wandered around the main street and did a big belch in appreciation of my meal. Nobody with me to rebuke me for a belch. I romanced myself tonight. I feel good. Alone, but not lonely. Not now.

The A to Z of me.


Got this from I would appreciate if you all did yours!

A – Age: 32 and a half. Old enough to harness my mojo.

B – Bed size: Queen. Of course.

C – Chore that I hate: Ironing. I am a sweep/mop person.

D – Dog: Candy, the cheeky staffy.

E – Essential start to my day: Coffee. It is the essential THING in my day.

F – Favourite colour: Hmmmm. Deep red, or dusky pink.

G – Gold or silver: Rose/yellow gold. Will wear silver or white gold. Anything precious.

H – Height: 165 cm. Fairly average.

I – Instruments I play: None. Coudn’t afford it as a child. I enjoy singing, though, that is my shot at musicality.

J – Job title: Consultant Physician and PhD student. Sounds very stately, no?

K – Kids: Hmmm, no. Long story. Enjoying being “Auntie Ciwwa” to friends babies.

L – Live: Melbourne. Brunswick. Go Brunswick!

M – Mother’s name: Jill

N – Nicknames: I call myself Cilla. Others call me Cil. Some even call me Cillza, Cilla Billa. I am quite partial to Cilla Gorilla.

O – Overnight Hospital stays: None. A few day surgeries – wisdom teeth, ingrown toenails, endoscopies.

P – Pet peeves: Tony Abbott. People with their heads up their arses. Snobs. Fuckwits. Fuckwits who think they are smart.

Q – Quote from a movie: “Stay Gold”- The Outsiders. Can’t really think of another off the top of my head.

R – Right or Left handed: Right handed.

S – Siblings: Younger sister, Younger brother. Me = black sheep.

T – (Original post didn’t have this)….Training?: Running, pilates type exercises. London Marathon looming in Distance.

U – Underwear: Berlei Bras (Can’t go past them), Cotton bikini briefs. I go for comfort and practical style

V – Vegetable you hate: Don’t hate any vegetable. Even like brussels sprouts!

W – What makes you run late: Everything. Sleeping in, listening to radio, reading things, lingering over breakfast, applying maquillage, arranging coiffure, choosing couture.

X – Xrays: Had an x-ray of arm when younger as I sprained it. Have had a couple of CT scans of sinuses. Had an OPG for wisdom teeth, and they xray my teeth when going to dentist. Oh, and had a fluoroscopy of my bladder when I was younger. I have had my share of rays.

Y – Yummy food I make: Lamb roast, baby.

Z – Zoo animals – elephants, especially baby ones.

Spring into Shape 1 – 8.4km- 58.05


Yesterday’s run was a training session with Val (Girlsup4fit). A warm up, a few drills, then strides, then 4×500 metres with 60 sec recovery. She did not want to flog us too much, as most of us had returned from breaks or were racing the next day.

I had not run more than about 6km since the (fairly average effort of) Run Melbourne 10km. Hence, today was about going the distance. I had hoped to go in at under an hour, and hold fairly even pace. Maybe even to beat my 58 minute playlist – as an outside chance.

The day was perfect for a run, if not a little humid. Overcast, cool, with a light breeze.

I felt fairly comfortable throughout the run. I only walked while drinking water at the drink stations. I managed to power up the hills (there were 2 big ones, one each loop, at the back of Birrarung Marr). Those hill sessions with Carol helped. I used my arms to propel up – I drummed my forearms.

I picked up the pace after about 7km. Or it felt like a pickup in pace – hard to tell at the end of a race.

By my watch I crossed the finish line in 58:05, just as my playlist was finishing. I only had vague nausea at the end; will have to empty the tank a bit better next time to have a full-on near-spew. I crossed the line, put my foot up on the crate to take my timing chip off, and then, d’OH! I realised I had forgotten to affix it with my excitement to get to the toilet (again) before starting. This is not the first line I had done such a thing!

That works out to 6:54 minute kms. I hope to get it a bit faster per kilometre for the upcoming 12.7km events. This works out to a long easy run pace of about 7:30minute kms or so.

Afterward, I got some of the drink they were offering up, and headed off. I was craving carbohydrates, preferably in Pancake form. I headed down to Monsieur Truffe, a new cafe/chocolaterie that has opened up in East Brunswick. I had some ricotta pancakes with strawberries and hazelnut praline. It was yummy, if not a bit small.

Then home, shower, nanna nap.

Tonight and tomorrow will be filled with packing. I am doing a 90 minute lecture tomorrow afternoon, before heading off to the airport in the evening. How exciting! London, here I come!



More random stuff – favourite songs of the moment.


1. Fragile Bird, City and Colour.

I remember listening to this lots of times on JJJ and enjoying it. I have downloaded it off itunes, and had a good listen to the lyrics. Simple, haunting, beautiful – they resonate with me, nearly bring tears.

2. How come you never go there, Feist

Another JJJ pickup. I love the soft voice and big band. I have downloaded this song, and 1234, which you will know off an Apple advertisement.

Random stuff….

  • Did I tell youse, I am off overseas next Monday? UK, Spain, Sweden, Iceland? Heeee.
  • I went for a run yesterday, outside of my normal ‘hood. An out and back, slight incline on the out. Just over 4km in 25 minutes. Great, but need to find my long run pace.
  • A conversation that I had with Man-Cake PhD student today.

                            MC: I am tired, man, I have a cold.

                            Me: That’s no good.

                            MC: No, it’s no good, dude. What do I take for it?

                            Me: A…nice….big…..cup….of….

                            MC: “…harden the fuck up?”

                            Me: Yes.

                            We laugh. He knows me well.

That’s all I got for the minute.

addit 1213 hrs. I have another phrase, related to a recent post.

If you have two diets, you will have two weights, but be stuck at one of them – not the you will be happy with, either.

I used to have a “good” eating plan and a “bad” eating plan. This set me up for failure. Now, I make a mental note if I have really gone off the rails, but mostly I don’t worry about it.