Love Hurts (But It’s Not My First Time At The Rodeo)

I love good whisky. A top shelf single malt just makes me feel like I’ve swallowed a campfire. In a really great metaphoric way, it just feels so right. I love it so much that when I drink pretty much anything else, it almost hurts. Look, it’s not that I need it, I just know that something better exists.

Whisky is clearly being used as a bloody metaphor for love here. I’m not lonely or sad without it, yet I yearn for it, because I’ve had little glimpses of what it could taste like. 

When you just stumble across a babin’ stranger in real life, it hurts to then find yourself scrolling and swiping endless gym selfies and best man suits on Sunday night Tinder binges.

When you were once, even for a brief moment, someone’s universe, when you have made love with someone, it hurts to find yourself being anything less.

Now. You’ve had the hurt, let’s end on a high, eh? 

So. It’s midnight and in the moonlight we stand holding hands at a crossroads. Not a metaphor but an actual fork in an actual uncorrugated red dirt road. We’re at the Harts Range Rodeo in the NT, a few hundred or so Ks from the QLD border. I squeeze his hand we pash the pash that all future pashes would be measured against. 

Rewind a few hours.

Kids in well worn RMs and wranglers lean on the rails like pros, bemused at us town folk from Alice Springs in our clean hats and op shop boots. I sit in the stalls next to a babin’ stranger with a black hat and a five o’clock shadow. We exchange pleasantries as we watch the dust kicked up by mighty hooves glow gold in the setting sun but when I return from buying some overpriced hot chips he’s gone.

But this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo – again, not a metaphor, it was my third. That night before the bush dance I swap my jeans for this blue dress and saunter up to the shearing shed.  Some old girls teach me line dancing til I wander out back to where a bush band was playing. In the flickering bin fire light I met the eyes of none other than the man I’d like to call The Stallion if it didn’t sound so bloody pornographic.

I said ‘come here’ with a sideways nod of my head, and he said ‘nah, but I reckon you’re a babe’ with a wink.

I kept alternating between the D floor inside and being outside with him, each time he’d initiate some kind of physical touch with confidence and respect, a hand on resting on my hip here, the small of my back there, touching my elbow to emphasise a point there, nothing major but it was so effortless. After I’d had a good dance I held his hand and asked him if he wanted to leave by raising my eyebrows –  and we wandered down the road.  

At the crossroads we pashed. I whispered (using actual words) ‘your swag or mine’ and he led me along a path between the spinifex to his double swag. (Score! Double swag!) He politely and pragmatically folded my blue dress and put it between the canvas and the foam. 

Now let’s fast forward a bit, but you can imagine why I called him The Stallion and why I occasionally dress like a cowgirl… to where we’re snuggling incredibly close with the canvas pulled up to our necks, tracing each others’ faces with our fingers and giggling softly. Get ready for the greatest piece of pillow talk in my own limited history.

“At one point there” said The Stallion, “I was on my back looking up and all I could see was your naked body in the moonlight and about a billion stars behind you, and all I could think was ‘RIGHT NOW, I AM MAKING LOVE TO THE UNIVERSE.” 

When you’ve been loved like that, farewelling it doesn’t actually hurt – it’s a bloody gift that gives you a taste of what it might be like.

Love hurts when you can see it but you can’t quite hold it.

When you yearn for something you know exists somewhere.

So, if there are any babin’ strangers that wanna bump into me after the show, I’ll be at the bar.

You know what to order.  


Dear Readers,

This was a story I wrote to be performed at The Moth on Monday night, hence all the gestures. My name didn’t get pulled outta the hat this week, but it was super fun editing and writing this piece, so I thought I’d share it with y’all anyway and that some of y’all voted for it (thanks for that!). If you’ve never been to a Moth Story Slam, do yourself a favour and get the hell on down- they happen in major cities all over the US, the UK and in Sydney and Melbourne. 10 people tell their true stories in 5 minutes based on a theme. This month was ‘Love Hurts.’ I’ve sent away for the audio so y’all can listen to my story from last month, about a date I haven’t written about here. Exciting times! Audio! Mixed media! 

By way of a mini-update: my dating slate is completely clean. The bloke who stood me up (who features in the audio story you’ll hear soon) cooked me dinner for a third date and I realised we had different senses of humour, different ways of conversing and just weren’t a good match. I thought it might just fizzle out, I thought he might have picked up on my less-than-enthusiastic vibes but today he asked me out to the movies. I just then sent what I hope was a gracious farewell text. Hurting someone also hurts. Man, love eh? What an absolute doozy!

3 dates with one guy is the longest I’d had since old mate six dates. Anyway, all the dates I’m going on now are first dates – including two tomorrow. I’ve also got tickets to a singles party in Prahran (!) and speed dating in Northcote this weekend (!). So there’ll be some new stories soon I promise! Also some very deep ponderings about entirely changing the way I approach the whole dating game. 

Stay tuned, oh Readers Dear!

Kindest of all the Regards,





Lying on a picnic rug in the sun at a music festival on a cider farm in a forest.

I saw you standing there

With your fucking Ned Kelly hipster hair.

I thought I saw you maybe looking at me so I put my Blunnies back on and wander over.

G’day, did we go to primary school together? Yeah, hi! Wondered if it was you under all that beard. I used to have the biggest crush on you in Year 4. Ha! Nah I don’t remember you kicking me in the face at soccer. Ya drew blood? True? Classic!

We talk through one band then another.

We face the stage and stand closer so we can talk into each other’s ear and sometimes our shoulders touch. Once, when you laugh, your hand gently holds my elbow for a second. A tiny pale faced singer in a white tunic sings over and over

If you feel like taking flight…


We talk until it’s twilight. We talk until it’s dark.

We talk until we need to go to the loo then sit down somewhere. On the back of the composting toilet door someone had written in blue crayon

There will never be a more opportune moment…


We wander away from the main stage, past the pond and paddock with the big old oak tree in the middle, up to a little wooden shack with a band on the veranda.

There is moonlight on the paddock.

There are songs about stars.

There’s a fucking string quartet playing.


There was space between us on your picnic rug.

As the string section lifts us up

My fingers brush yours as you pass the tin cup.

My first ever whisky. Warm and tingly and lovely in my mouth, my throat, my chest.


We look at that old oak tree.

Then we look at each other.

We grin.



Welcome Strangers

blogging out bush

Blogging out bush somewhere off the Stuart Highway

Dear Readers,

Welcome, welcome to you, you fabulous New Readers! Who knows how you stumbled across this place? Perhaps you’ve been trawling WordPress? Perhaps you saw a note on the back of a toilet door at a hippie festival in a riverbed near Alice Springs? Perhaps one of my fabulously intelligent and physically attractive Dearest Readers directed you here? Perhaps you really genuinely want to know about edible dates that grow in arid regions!

For whatever reason, I’m so glad you’re here. Apologies for the lack of medjools. Come on in, grab a cuppa (if you’re into that kind of thing) (FYI I’m not) (so if you’re considering asking me for a coffee date, make sure there’s juice on the menu) settle in and let me show you around.

You can find out more about me and me blog here 

You can start from the very beginning here

You can read about my disastrous dates in the desert here, or about my mishaps meeting men in Melbourne here

You can read the one good poem I ever wrote about Alice Springs here or skip to the erotic bush poetry here (you dirty thang you!)

Thanks for dropping by, I do hope you enjoy your stay. I’d be ever so thrilled if you joined me on the ol’ book of faces or subscribe below.

Kindest Regards,


Don’t Tell My Mother I Write About Sex On The Internet (Motorbike Man Pt 2)

I’m on top of a hill at sunset with a man who rides a motorbike. After we got the ‘hello, how are you’ out of the way he gave me a pair of gold earrings with delicate fish engravings.

The only place open to eat was at the Casino bistro with the soothing sound of poker machines in the background. He was lovely, polite and our conversation was the best I’d had on any internet date. He was impressed to learn that I knew what Sofism was and I was impressed to learn that he was the first guy to ride to some ridiculously high Himalayan mountain on a ridiculously small motorbike. Adventure man! My dad would approve.

I wasn’t immediately attracted but I thought all this good conversation should lead to a second date. He cooked me butter chicken from scratch.

Gift giving + motorbike riding + conversing + cooking = fairly sweet so far. Then three things happened:

1. He asked me to go overseas and meet his family

2. We slept together

3. He told me he loved me

Let me awkwardly elaborate further on point number 2* in a non-erotic manner.

I snogged him after dinner in a lull in the conversation. Was I bored? Was I genuinely attracted or just curious? Had it been more than two years since my last sexual encounter, was I just really hot for it? I can’t recall my motivations but the result was wet, sloppy and uninspiring. Undeterred, perhaps confusing urgency for passion, I went wandering with my hands. He grabbed them and led me to his (single) bed.

My Dear Readers, normally I’d agree with the ‘It’s not the size that matters, but what you do with it,” but nothing was being done with it and I had to ask the dreaded “Is it in?” Poor fella, I know it’s hard to hear but I genuinely didn’t know. It was tiny and remained flaccid no matter what I tried. Despite this he continued to assure me ‘I’m OK sweetie, I can go all night.’

Now, I don’t really mind what I’m called in the bedroom, I don’t even mind having my breasts referred to as ‘Mary Kate’ and ‘Ashley.’ Hell, I’ll even call your triceps ‘Des’ and ‘Troy’ if it boils your potato. ‘Babe,’ which I abhor in daily life, makes me feel a little bit naughty in the throes of passion, but ‘Oh, sweetie!’ made me feel like I was out to high tea with my grandmother.

So I’m being referred to as an endearing aging pensioner and I actually cannot feel a thing. I fake it so it’ll stop. Before I ‘get there’ he cries ‘I love you!’ repeatedly.

We had lunch a few days later. Conversation was strained. He again asked me to meet his parents. I told him I didn’t think it would work between us. I left a real nice hat at his house.

*Seriously, don’t tell my mother I write about sex on the internet!

Motorbike Man Part 1: Montage Soundtracks & Sunsets

It’s true. I’m running out of old dodgy dates to write about. I live in a real and metaphorical desert. The real desert is a dateless, barren man-scape and the metaphorical desert is (conveniently) drying up too, all the stories have been told, evaporated into the blogosphere. Leaving me with nothing almost nothing to write about. Almost nothing. I could always:

– Blush over my newfound crush on Ricky Martin in a bizarre new twist in my reality television addiction

– Gush over the sensational run I went on last night- the standard loop along the beach and backstreets. I did lunges, squats and shadow boxed in unlit corners, with Kanye and RATM as the soundtrack to my very own training montage. Down near the old jetty is a clear, wide asphalt turning circle for trucks. I pelted around the edge and down the middle, my heart pounding, my head tilted upwards taking in the Milky Way as my stride and speed increasing in time with the music…

– Giggle girlishly at my early stages of a steady relationship with the local gym. It’s still in that exciting phase where I get dressed up beforehand and make a special playlist for the occasion! We’re still getting to know each other so we’re not bored of each other yet, I still get nervous and clumsy sometimes but I feel elated and exhausted afterwards!

– Rant about the physical, political, social and emotional aspects of working in a remote Aboriginal community where the most irritating aspect is the other white people

– Mark the miraculous and dramatic start of winter, which began with a Wednesday hail filled dust storm! It’s so nice to be occasionally cold outside!

BUT NEVER FEAR, OH READERS DEAR! There’s one last story stacked away in my backpack of broken hearts! One last Alice Springs online dating fail! You’re saved from my political ranting, exercise obsessing and Ricky Martin swooning! I’m temporarily saved from going on more bad dates just to write about them!

Our tale begins with a sunset on top of ANZAC Hill- where grey nomads shuffle out of their caravans and high-schoolers make out in their parents cars. Tradies perch casually on the front of their utes, chowing down Maccas after a shift. Tourists point their enormous lenses towards the fading sun, disappointed at how green the ‘Red Centre’ really is after rain. Small children proudly point out Mt Gillen in the distance and their primary schools below them to their visiting relatives, who are too tired to take in the beauty of the changing colours on the rocky ranges, the suburban pools, playgrounds and Jacarandas.

Mt Gillen, from ANZAC Hill

The low prowl of the only Harley in town interrupts our collective peace. I take a seat and get busy trying to look busy and unfazed.

‘I’m the one in the red dress,’ I text.

‘I’m the one with the motorbike helmet,’ he replies.

I turn around and try to appear unfazed.*


Ha! By the way, welcome to any new readers! If you’re new here, this is who I am and this is where I live. Thanks for dropping by, subscribe over there on the side, comment your heart out down below and join me on the book of faces. There, now we’re acquainted!

*Why did I feel the need to appear unimpressed? Why hide my excitement? Why try to be cool? I think maybe from now on I’ll try to be less cool, less busy and generally be OK with being fazed.

Jack Monetti Discovers Art

I’m walking along the Beachville beach with an Italian engineer. There are lots of things about that sentence that may excite you. Potential Italian homemade cooking, for one. So why, when he asks me to take of my sunglasses so he can look into my eyes, do I cringe internally? Why don’t I want to run into the sea with him right then and there and frollick like the other lovers do? Let’s backtrack.

It’s 2012 and I’ve just moved to the Pilbara.  In an effort to prove to my housemate Jackie how easy online dating was, (and to satisfy my own curiosity) I log back in and suss out the local talent. Once again ‘lives within 200kms’ is my main searching criteria. Once again it unearths the same beer, bike and car loving guys. A few stick out – Jose_inK-Hole lists his favourite book as ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude.’ He has a favourite book! Fantastic! He reads! He has a curly black haired Spanish god of a headshot. We chat, but never meet.  His schedule of 8 days on, 3 days off, 12 hour shifts combined with the bus timetable from his miner’s camp all becomes too hard. So I never found out if Jose was a literature loving Spanish god or not.

The next fella had a well written profile. Complete sentences with monosyllabic words are such a turn on. We arranged to meet up that weekend. His name was Jack Monetti.* What a name full of mystery! Outback Jack? Mob boss Monetti? Intrigue increased.

Monetti’s first mistake was arriving 45 minutes early. Few things annoy me more than people being early, mainly because I am consistently late. Second mistake: texting me three times between arriving and meeting me. Cool your jets Monetts! His third mistake was eating lunch before I got there, even though we were meeting for lunch. So our inevitable awkward silences were made even more awkward by him watching me eat.

Monetti is quick to tell me how much money he earns and that he has an investment property in Perth. Neither of these things impress or interest me, so I pull out one of my top three conversation starters (when I get really desperate):

  1. What would you do with a million dollars?
  2. Who would be on the bill of your ultimate music festival?
  3. If you could pick one super hero power, what would it be?

“One million dollars?” scoffed Monetti, “No one can do anything with that much. Ask me what I’d do with ten or a hundred million, then I’d have to think about it.” If you weren’t already thinking “What a douchebag!” then you will when you hear his answer to the second question: “Oh, I don’t really know, I like all kinds of music.” Puh-leeeze. I didn’t bother asking the third question, I didn’t care what lame superhero power he chose.

Monetti was fascinated about my work in the “Arts.” Ecstatic to discuss what “Art” was. I was less than ecstatic about him, but he’d driven all the way out here so I thought I’d stick it out for at least an hour. For some reason I suggested a walk along the beach, forgetting that for some people this isn’t something you do every couple of days for exercise, that for some people it’s only SUPPOSED TO BE THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU DO WITH SOMEONE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX.


Beachville: you see romance, I see fun fitness times…

So when Monetti asks me to take of my sunnies so he can see my eyes, I cringe. I don’t want him to see my eyes. I want to keep these windows to the soul slammed shut! I take them off for two seconds anyway, and he just says ‘Wow,’ in a manner that I’m sure is attempting to be flattering, but just seems creepy.

Monetti texted me five times that evening, one time to say ‘So I looked up art on the internet, apparently people just spray paint on street walls and they call it art these days! Smiley face.’ Ten minutes later he texted ‘Did you get my last text?’ I neglected to engage with Monetti’s deep insight upon discovering art in a Google search, I also neglected to tell him I’d previously managed a graffiti art project and was passionate about its legitimacy as an art form. I simply politely informed him of my intentions to not see him again. It was my first (and last) online date in the Pilbara and I haven’t checked my profile since*.

*It wasn’t really, it was some similar Italian sounding last name.

**This is a lie, I check it every couple of months, just in case…

Saturday Night in Beachville

While y’all can’t decide which hipster bar to go to I’m deciding between shouting at American Idol judges or shouting at Fashion Star on TV to write to you, my dear readers. Now that I’m back west I have nothing to report other than that I’ve joined the Darcytown gym. I now spend my evenings in a confined space with a bunch of intimidatingly large, tattooed, huffing and puffing triangular men. It’s become too hot to keep jogging, lunging and squatting my way around the oval with the Boot(y)camp.

Since I have nothing to report on the dating front, I’ll re-open the vault of endless stories of bad online dates I had in Alice Springs.

The beautiful, but unfortunately devoid of decent men, Alice Springs

The beautiful (but unfortunately devoid of decent men) Alice Springs

I had committed to ten online dates, by date number four I thought I might as well get some decent meals out of the experience. I’d forgotten that a dinner date locks you into a least an hour-long date as you order, wait, then eat your food. So I went on a harmless enough dinner date to a decent enough Chinese restaurant with a mildly attractive electrician.

The great thing about internet dating was getting to meet people I would never usually come in contact with in daily life. Then again, I met different people working for the Census, and I got paid for that! Through online dating I learnt about a lot of different occupations and learnt more than I ever want to know about cars, motorbikes and the alcohol content of different brands of beer. The men I dated were outside my social circle, were interested in different things and were generally really different from my friends. The problem was, I actually like my friends! I’d rather date people like them, who are interested in SOME of the same things as me so that we have something to talk about. There’s gotta be some car, bike and beer loving women out there for those other guys.

Anyway. So I’m at harmless restaurant with decent guy who has amazing bone structure in his face. I mean, his jawbone and cheekbones were incredible. He’d been in town for a few months, hadn’t made any friends, didn’t have any ‘pastimes’ or ‘hobbies.’ Not even bikes or beer! He just went from his job on night shift straight home to sleep. Our conversation consisted of me asking him a question and him answering it, often with a yes or no. No offerings of anecdotes. No return questions. I got sick of interrogating him and monologued for a while. I told him about the Flashmobs I organized and invited him to a first rehearsal the following day. Our food came and we ate in silence. He grinned at me whenever I looked at him.

He must have been perfectly happy with the ‘comfortable’ silence, as he asked me out on another date. My desperation should come as no surprise to you by now, dear readers, when I tell you that I accepted. The next day he rocked up to rehearsal, but sat in a corner and watched. When my friends asked who the guy in the corner was, I explained he was a guy I met on the internet but I didn’t introduce them. I knew it was over. Who comes along to a rehearsal just to watch? Either join in or don’t come! His failure to grasp the inclusive and participatory nature of Flashmobs was the final straw. We parted with the usual ‘I just don’t think we’re compatible’ text message. Sometimes good facial bone structure just isn’t not enough.

Until next time, dear readers, here’s hoping I bump into and American Idol hating/secretely loving, participatory dance appreciating kind of guy with appropriately sized shoulder muscles at the gym. Ha!