Here Comes The Rain Again

Ahhh the rain. I am so utterly in love with this picturesque weather. Something feels so magical about it, perhaps it’s movies like The Notebook and Spiderman that make this weather so dreamy. I am relishing being curled up in a little ball, covered in blankets, drinking chai lattes and catching up on assignments, with the rain (and Lewis Watson) as my soundtrack to the day. It is lovely, cliché and the way I like it.

c759929fa254cd517484c8fc2092bcdb.jpg

However this is not your ordinary Friday afternoon downpour. I live in Queensland, Australia and am experiencing the weather conditions that come with Cyclone Marcia and Cyclone Lam. I bet that Jan is getting jealous of all the attention Marcia is getting… Marcia Marcia Marcia! (Sorry, a little bit of Brady Bunch humour)

9df77d726b58a872b74b9c84eb07d5b5

Due to the cloudburst, school was cancelled!!!

c69cc851af7276d8dfb6722691077db6.jpg

I find it surprising how much I was hoping and praying that the weather conditions would get bad enough that school would be cancelled. I have gone past the stage of mere fatigue and onto a whole new level of exhaustion. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if people mistook me for a zombie and began preparing for the zombie apocalypse! The bags under my eyes have become designer and I will no longer be able to thank my legs in my graduation speech for supporting me! Lucky my arms weren’t by my side and were out the front to catch me when I nearly fell stumbling from class to class.

b464dacd27ac3e85aaedc631fae23625

This morning I was scrolling through every website hoping and praying that school would be cancelled. However, no websites had any updates! Do these people not understand that there are anxious school girls waiting impatiently by the computer for vitally important updates like these?! Luckily my school spends more time on Facebook updating their page then the most obnoxious twelve-year-olds and were able to spread the message of the glorious cancellation. When I read the post it was as though someone had shoved enough adrenaline up my butt to wake up a dinosaur!

nobodys-perfect-o

Now I am feeling on top of my work, de-zombified and am enjoying the rain.

9d8478e364419e5b083da058c5e79f6b

Many Clichés

Sarah xoxo

P.S. Despite my ramblings about all of the positive aspects of the rain, I would like to send all of my hopes and prayers to everyone who is being severely affected by the weather; mother nature is one heck of a woman. I hope you all stay safe xx

My First Senior Last

Throughout life, we experience many firsts and lasts. This year is my senior year in high school and I am about to experience many High School related lasts.

Yesterday I experienced my first last, the schools annual swimming carnival.

I have never been one for swimming carnivals. I have never enjoyed the stress of getting to events on time, suffering the pit of competitive angst and worry that I feel in my stomach while competitively swimming, all while the sun is beating down on my pale skin, creating sweat that turns the Sunscreen into grease and lets face it, no matter how much you put on you still get burnt.

photo 1

Well, that is how I used to look at it. Yesterday I felt a sense of superiority, a fresh breath of air, a new lease on life (and any other cliché sayings you can think of to represent my new sense of entitlement).

It was the last time I would ever be forced into the pool.

Though to me, it felt as though the swimming carnival started about two weeks earlier.

As a senior (boy, I love saying that!) I was able to participate in the organisation of things such as war cries and painting props for the house. The school is divided into athletic groups known as ‘houses’, based off of the first letter of your last name, like ‘Gryffindor’ and ‘Slytherin’ in Harry Potter.

photo 2

Two of my amazing friends and I (To protect the wonderful, lets call them Marcia and Greg) helped to co-write the ‘war cry’ that the house sings to declare that we are by far better than everyone else and are without a doubt going to win so nar nar ne nar nar. We told them all that to the tune of In The Summer Time by Thirsty Merc.

The theme of the carnival was ‘Bondi Rescue’. Marcia and I went shopping and picked out the perfect outfit and dressed up like our favourite Australian life-saving team. We were also able to model our stunning sun safe blue polo shirts, long black board shorts and zinc on our cheeks in front of the house. We were able to show the little munchkins that dressing up and participating was actually as cool and as fun as it looks!

It was then time to teach the little squirts how to bellow our war cry. After a few practice runs, they were nailing it and sounding fantastic.

photo 3

This was followed by a weeks worth of lunch times that Marcia, Greg, myself and a handful of other volunteers spent in the schools art room preparing props such as banners and spray painting our house slogan on shirts for the entire house to wear. Marcia, Greg and I were given the more creative task of creating the prop surfboard. We were pushed for time, but we are the dynamic trio and when put together can achieve anything.

Greg donated the surfboard and without wasting any time we got right into decorating it. We had two lunch breaks to complete this task, so the clock was against us.

In our first break we began spray painting the board and left it out in the sun until the next break to dry. This would have been a great idea if we had remembered to remove the wax off the board. We came back the next lunch break to find that not only had the wax melt off but it decided to take the spray paint with it.

40 minuets left and back to square one. We had to work smart. We got out the paint and had all six of our hands on deck frantically painting. Our heart rates increased with every second that our time decreased.

photo 4

Finally, with 10 minuets to spare we had our board painted, drying and looking fabulous. We had enough time to decorate the board with the official house slogan, sign our names on the board (like all good artists sign their work) and take a pic for instagram to document this momentous moment in history. After a group hug and we had finally stopped shedding joyous tears of pride and began to fill our hearts with excitement and school pride for the day that would follow.

photo 6

I arrived at the pool at seven-thirty in the morning to help set up. I was bestowed with the extremely important duty of blowing up balloons and setting up streamers, every bit counts. Greg, Marcia and I, looking stunning as always in our costume, set up our surfboard and prepared for the day ahead.

We were packed like sardines under the little tent that was decked-out with my decorative streamers and balloons. The rain wasn’t on our side the previous night as it had left the ground all muddy, but surprisingly we didn’t care.

The house chanted the war cry with pride and we ended up winning the war-cry competition against the other of the houses! We screamed and cheer with pride. This put us on a high for the rest of the day and lifted our spirits. Our house had never won a swimming carnival war cry before; it had always been awarded to other houses, yet the one that we had written won! This gave us a 40-point boost and granted us the honour of starting the carnival in the lead.

photo 8

The rest of the day was spent rallying up all of the youngsters and making sure they were at each of their races. Each time a kid swims from one end of the pool to the other, the house gets a point with bonus points for coming 1st 2nd and 3rd. We were determined to be the house to end on the most points.

determined

Due to my previous hatred to swimming carnivals, I felt sympathetic towards the kids that felt anxious to get in the pool, but I also had a newfound understanding as to why the seniors were so determined to get me in that pool. I felt this put me in the best position to help get as many people in the pool as possible. What was my technique you might ask? Simple. Bribe them with lollies. Did it work? You betcha!

I ended up going in two ‘all in’ races, which consist of me and some other girls from my house doggy-paddling in the same lane to the other side of the pool, splashing and giggling like the schoolgirls we are. The whole day was much more fun for me when we took out the competitive swimming component of the day and just focused of enjoying ourselves.

Just before our final race (if you can even call it a ‘race’), one of my favourite teachers (who to protect the wonderful, I will call Professor Dumbledore) sat us down and gave us an inspiring speech reminding us that this was to be our first last of our senior year. This final swim was the last time we would ever have to (or be able to, depending on how you feel about swimming carnivals) get into that pool and swim to the other side. Of course you will be able to come back and swim on your own, but not with all these people and certainly not with this same atmosphere. He urged us to make sure that we enjoyed every second of it. We all got in the pool together and make our way to the other side. It was truly a moment I will never forget.

The points were too close to call and spirits were high. United as a house, we huddled together and listened as awards were presented to those who are the best swimmers for their age. Finally, it was the moment of truth, which house had accumulated the most points and won the day?

Fourth place? Not us. Third Place? Not us.

The house huddled together. We were squeezing each others hands. The suspense was high.

First place? US!!!

photo 9

Everything in my brain turned into slow motion. It was like a scene out of a movie. Marcia, Greg and I screamed and hugged each other while jumping up and down. The house captains run up and collected the house trophy.

Greg turned to the rest of the house and began to roar the chant one last time.

All of our hard work had paid off!

It was the first time our house had won a war cry, a carnival and the first last of my senior year.

Many Clichés

Sarah xoxo

Inspiration To Inspire You

The first days back are tough for everyone. Going from what I call ‘Holiday Mode’ (which includes not knowing what day it is and eating cookies for breakfast)

ONE

and having to return to what I call ‘Full Time Mode’ (involving always knowing what day it is and never being able to eat cookies). It seems that holidays end as abruptly as they started.

TWO

On the first day back it always feels as though that glorious time off never happened. All of the rules and regulations come back into play and it just makes you feel…

THREE

Just as one will purposefully try to forget things like an unwanted visitor is coming over to interrupt your holiday time I purposefully tried to forget that school would come to interrupt my holiday time.

FOUR

As an attempt to prolong the inevitable I have roamed though the plethora of inspirational pins that Pinterest has to offer and I thought I would share with you my top 5 favourite Inspirational pins. So if you are experiencing the same horrific cookie deprivation that I felt, you too can be inspired to persevere (or it will at the very least distract you for a little while).

Here we go!

  1. Ed Sheeran is a prime example that you get nowhere without persistence, determination and all of those other positive qualities.

no. 1

He also reminds us that it is important to enjoy the simpler loves in life.

no.1.2

  1. There is never a perfect moment

While sure, some conditions can be better than others, an excuse can always be found to excuse yourself from any situation. It is much better to just do it.

no.2

  1. If minions don’t strive to be perfect, why should you?

no.3

  1. Wether you choose to admit it, it feels darn good to succeed, ESPECIALLY in front of the Naysayers who said nay.

no.4

  1. KEEP CALM and CARRY ON

Most people see this and see a cute brand and think of the many hilarious parodies that have been made. However it is also some of the best advise you will ever get. I can probably only count on one hand any situation that wouldn’t be improved by just keeping your cool and soldering on like the total awesome badass that you are (That list includes someone stealing your ice-cream, they stole your cool and therefore they are not allowed to carry on).

no.5

Many Clichés

Sarah xoxo

The Baking Disaster

I love to bake. I love the sweet sweet aromas that fill the house, the smiles on the faces of people as they enjoy that first bite PLUS you get to be the first lick the bowl. What’s not to love? Paragraph 1 I am certainly no Betty Crocker but I can make a mean chocolate chip cookie. p2I decided to use my holiday free time to bake some Honey Joy Cornflake Cup Cakes (a personal favourite of mine). I prepared all of the… Preparations, slaved away over a hot stove, did all of the cleaning up, filled the house with those sweet sweet aromas and left it for a few minutes to set. There were high levels of anticipation… p3 p4When I came back, my delectable delights had been inhabited by monstrous beasts, otherwise known as ants. The true enemy of any household. p5 Upon discovery, I was extremely upset. All of those ingredients and all of that hard work just gone to waste. Now I realise that though the Ants were very selfish at least they were able to enjoy it and isn’t that it really all that matters…? p6 Many Clichés Sarah xoxo

DIY Clothes Line Photo Display

IMG_9800In my free time between watching BBC’s Sherlock and obsessing over how exactly it was that he survived that fall, I have spent hours and hours pouring through the inspiring, creative and quite frankly seemingly impossible projects that Pinterest have to offer. However this charming project that I have created is fun, simple and with some added flair can be extremely effective.

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 1.03.08 pm

For Christmas, I was very lucky to receive an Instax Fujifilm Printer. The nifty device is able to print Polaroid photos right from your smartphone. I am quite the shutter bug and having the freedom to be able to take photos on the go via my iPhone, edit them and print is a real luxury.

As my photo collection began to grow so did my hunger to display my photos for all to see. As we all know, the best thing in the world is…

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 10.09.41 am

With the assistance of my darling mother, I decided to try my hand at this simple yet effective craft to help display my photos.

The ingredients-

  • Photo Frame
  • Twine
  • Hammer and Nails
  • Decorative Paper (the size of the inside of the frame)
  • Pegs
  • Your beautiful Photos

The great thing about this project, is that it is extremely flexible in that you can have it as large or as small as your heart desires.

The steps to creating your own Clothes Line Photo Display

  1. Place your paper in your frame

I bought a $25 frame from my local shops and found some decorative paper to go inside the frame to act as a backing for my photos. I tried to pick a paper that was fun and colourful, but not so bold that it takes attention away from the photos. The colourful polka dots worked perfectly for me.

IMG_9781

  1. Choose your measurements and hammer in the nails

With the frame I bought, I was able to fit 5-6 photos on each of the three rows. Hammer the little nails into the sides of the frame, leaving gaps big enough for your photos to fit and ensuring they are all even lengths apart.

IMG_9780

  1. Twine Time!

It is time to feed the twine through the nails and create rows (that look similar to those on your clothesline). Pull the twine reasonably tight, there is no need to leave excess twine for the dip in the middle, as the weight of the pegs and photos will create it for you.

IMG_9782

  1. Hang it up on a wall

Now its time to pick a spot on a wall, any wall and using the hammer from step 2, nail it in.

IMG_9785

  1. Hang up your photos!

Using pegs and starting from the middle of the line going outwards to the end of the frame, hang up your photos.

Tip- add some flair by using colourful pegs!

IMG_9800

Ta Da! There you have it. Now you (and anyone fortunate enough to be able to set their eyes upon it) can adore your photos and you can enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and sense of a job well done.

Many Clichés

Sarah xoxo

That’s so punny!

A conversation that I had with my brother and his friend. 

Me: Would either of you like a drink?

The friend: Sure! What do you have?

Me: Well, we have water… juice… the only UDDER option is a milkshake!! Get it? Milk? Cow? Udder?

My Brother: That joke was UDDERly disgraceful.

Me: Jeez, stop MILKing the joke.

Please pardon the CHEESY nature of that post.

Many Clichés

Sarah xo

“Fair dinkum” Mates!! How about a “fair-go” for modern Australia!

Greetings fellow cinephiles! For an Australian girl, I find that I don’t really watch that many Aussie movies, although after my ‘fair dinkum’ movie marathon, I have been pleasantly surprised.

Australian films ‘The Castle’ (1997) and ‘Any questions for Ben’ (2012) are completely different films produced by the same company. They offer viewers a thought provoking snapshot of Australian culture and character. I found both movies to be iconic in nature and they led me to ask the question… “Which movie best represents modern Australia?”

After much contemplation, and a cheese and vegemite sandwich, I came to the conclusion that ‘Any questions for Ben’ better represents modern Australia than ‘The Castle’. As the world advances, Australians have been growing with it and our values are developing to keep up with the rest of the world. As a result of movies such as ‘The Castle’, Australians can be often perceived as ‘uneducated bogans’. This of course isn’t true. In this day and age, it is very rare to meet people like Darryl Kerrigan. ‘The Castle’ has cleverly pieced together a plethora of Australian stereotypes, making it entertaining yet so exaggerated that it largely misrepresents the Australian character and culture today.

In saying this however, the core Australian values depicted in ‘The Castle’ are like legacies that have been passed down from generation to generation, those such as mateship, giving people a fair-go and generally having a relaxed attitude towards life. Both films have used Australian slang such as the term “location, location, location” when talking about housing. It is a perfect example of how slang is still used in everyday Australian life. These core Australian traits and values deem ‘The Castle’ to still be a relevant movie.

The Castle’ depicts a Melbourne family that is happily living their life next door to the Melbourne Airport. However, the government and airport authorities demand that the Kerrigan family leave their beloved home because of airport extensions. The family decide to fight for their right to stay in their home. ‘The Castle’ is rich with our famous Australian values such as ‘a fair-go’ for all and mateship through helping our neighbours. When Darryl found out his home was being taken away from him, he immediately went to check on all of his neighbours, the ones that could and couldn’t help themselves to get through this appalling situation. This movie contains beautiful scenic pictures of the Australian landscape, both 1990’s suburban and rural. It is a film that everyone should see, especially if you are Australian. Many reviews of the movie state “it is a hilarious movie that reminded me of my grandparents” (IMDB user reviews). There were several elements of the movie that I recognised in people I know, which made me laugh out loud J and smile knowingly. My Grandparents are hard working ‘battlers’ who value a ‘fair-go’ for all and appreciate even the smallest of things. These are some of the values that are expressed in ‘The Castle’.

Any questions for Ben’ is about a twenty-something year old named Ben who is an up-and-coming marketing guru, always changing jobs and relationship partners. One day he speaks at a careers event at his old school, which is also attended by Alex, an old classmate. This sparks a mutual attraction between the two, and Ben starts to question what he is doing with his life. He goes to those around him for guidance and support, although he realizes only he can control his own destiny. This highlights the Australian value of freedom of choice and mateship. This movie also contains lots of scenic pictures of modern Melbourne and some iconic Australian events such as the Melbourne Cup horse race and the Australian Open Tennis. The film has been described as “light, fun although missing the Australian essence shown in other films”. (IMDB user reviews) I thought the movie was accurate to modern Australia though it missed the quirky Australian humour other countries have come to know and love. It is still a brilliant movie that depicts how Australians have evolved and developed.

Let me just throw another banger on the barbie then I’ll explain why ‘Any questions for Ben’ better represents modern Australia than ‘The Castle’.

In the past Australians would have one house to live in, and one job to work at for the rest of their lives. This is the kind of Australia depicted in ‘The Castle’ where the Kerrigans’ had established their lives and were not looking for change. They valued security, hard work and persistence in setting themselves up for the future. In modern Australia attitudes to change are more flexible. Young Australian’s, such as yours truly, are estimated to change jobs at least seven times in a lifetime! Ben is open to change in his life as he questions his life path. He is valuing freedom of choice and risk taking in his search for happiness. Also, Australians in general are more educated than in the past, and have a deeper understanding of the ways of the world, largely opened up to them through media and technology. They are prioritising which values are important to keep up. It could be said that Australians are transforming into Americans. As a result of this, children grow up watching American television shows such as Seinfeld, Gossip Girl, Everybody loves Raymond and Friends. Kids are highly impressionable and act like their favourite character from their favourite show. More importantly they pick up on the values shown in these shows.

As a result of older movies such as ‘The Castle’ Australians are perceived as ‘uneducated bogans’. In television programs such as ‘The Simpsons’ Australians are shown as people who ride their kangaroos to work and are very gullible. This is doing harm to the image of modern Australia within the global community. While most Australians don’t take any offence to this depiction, because it is in the Australian nature to be able to laugh at ourselves, it is completely inaccurate. ‘The Castle’ stereotype is hard for many young Australians to relate to because they have not grown up in that environment. The hilarious one liners such as “tell him he’s dreamin” or “that is going straight to the pool room” is lost on youth today because they are growing up watching American television.

Hold on, I just need to remind my nephew to toss his candy wrapper into the trash can. …oh surprise, he understood that!

While many of the Australian stereotypes are inaccurate, the core values are still in our hearts because they have been passed down from generation to generation, and are practiced in everyday life. It isn’t a mystery why Australians are known as the friendliest people. We might be evolving and maturing, although the core Australian values such as always giving people a fair-go, being able to laugh at ourselves and being laid back have always been an extremely important aspect of our culture. Even in the film ‘Any questions for Ben’ Ben learns that those values are important. Similarly, it is important that ‘The Castle’ is a movie that is recognised world wide, because it of the rich values depicted and how the Australian past and has had a large contribution to what Australia is today.

While these films are quite different, both films express mateship. The oxford dictionary describes mateship as ‘companionship or friendship, especially between two men’. Both of the movies highlight this Australian quality. Darryl Kerrigan (The Castle) doesn’t just fight for the right to keep his house, he fights for all his neighbours. Even though Ben lives a life that is constantly changing, he keeps his friends close, and when he was questioning his life, he turned to his family and friends for support and guidance. This shows that Australians still value mateship. Pavlova anyone?

Both of these Australian masterpieces are definitely worth seeing. They are funny, light-hearted, well written and have extremely talented actors. ‘The Castle’ is a classic movie although it is still out-dated, while ‘Any questions for Ben’ is modern and relatable. I urge you all to go and watch these movies then contact me, because I want to know what you all think!

Many Clichés,

Sarah xo