Z: A novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Recently I went on holiday to Merimbula. It was my first holiday with my boyfriend of four months. As someone who likes a bit of alone time (quite a bit), this was a bit of a struggle for me: spending every waking, and every sleeping, minute together; getting dressed and undressed in front of him all the time; conversing with him and only him; jut the way we do things differently.

I can’t lie, nor can I deny the fact that I had a wonderful time. The ocean, the aptly named Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, having nothing to do and nowhere we needed to be.

I did get  a bit of time to myself, in the mornings mostly, for I am an early riser and he is not. If I had wanted him to get up and join me I know he would have in a heartbeat, but I wanted that cold early morning air, the Sun rising over the east-facing balcony to myself. I did share it with a few good books, though.

The third of these I feel compelled to write about now. I finished the 360 page novel this morning, a few days after beginning. I am a slow reader and I don’t mind that: I read thoroughly, and pick up on details. I take the time to make sure I can hear the dialogue, and follow actions, and imagine scenery.

The dialogue, and scenes especially in Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler were especially beautiful. It was witty, and dramatic (when it needed to be), it explained and demonstrated ever-changing relationships, and told a beautiful, complicated story set over the European and American continents.

It was so bright at the beginning, but with delicate, dooming foreshadowing that made me nervous as to Zelda and Scott’s futures. The glitz and glamour couldn’t last forever, and it shows a terrible, twisted spiral of lives. Famous authors and other artists and name-dropped throughout, giving us glimpses into other lives and how other people coped (or did not cope) with the mad post-war world.

It’ll be fine. He loves me. There’s no real risk.

Although the glamorous scenes, so decadent, so wild, so elegant, so sparkly, are so different to how I imagine New York now to be, the themes of love, betrayal, forgiveness, mental illnesses, and more are universal and timeless, making this an exotic, yet relateable fictional biography. More importantly, it gives justification and a voice to Zelda Fitzgerald, forcing us to think of her as a person in her own right, not overshadowed by her husband, or other erroneous reports.

Book Chase: Z: A Novel About Zelda Fitzgerald




Language variety, diversity, expression, equality. I thought that these were Australian values. Well, they are. Not everybody acts on them, though.

To me, language is a huge indicator of who we are, where we come from, even where we are going. And as a linguistics student, I feel kind of entitled to be able to analyse people’s use of language, their accent, their words, their punctuation, to get a feel for them.

Unfortunately this doesn’t always work… example 1: when I thought someone was gay. I still think that that was his fault. But it put a dampener on our “relationship”.

There are times, though, when someone’s opinion can be pretty clear, and pretty hurtful.

Living in Melbourne, I hear I huge variety of accents. I love that they all come to this city and that I get to hear and see a lot of them. But the other day, at a work meeting, a girl with similar education to myself, and I were talking about different accents in Australia.

We were saying that you can’t really tell what part of Australia a person is from based on their accent. I thought it was a good discussion until she said “There’s just like bogan… or, well, country and city.”

So, apparently, everyone from the country speaks bogan, and therefore, presumably, is a bogan. I felt like asking her what she thinks my accent is then shutting her down (amid applause and firecrackers, popping champagne bottles and red roses being flung at my feet) with a witty remark.

There were three reasons why I couldn’t do this:

  1. It was an amicable work meeting. That’s not normal amicable work meeting behaviour
  2. I couldn’t think of a witty remark. Still can’t, really
  3. I was just stumped. Who actually thinks so narrowly?

Being a Caucasian 22 year old girl (girl? woman?) with a good education, I very rarely feel discriminated against, but that was one time. And it was not a pleasant feeling. Writing that has just opened my eyes – I should, and will be, more proactive in lessening discrimination, as well as pursuing my love of language and free self expression in a variety of voices for all.

Mandatory detention? For the school kids?


Please. Have a look at this.

As a Global Studies student in my last semester, I am excited to be leaving the depressing lectures and tutorials in which my classmates bag out the Australian government on issue to do with refugees, asylum-seekers… and only now, as I write these words, do I understand how selfish they are.

Yes, this is not my field, or calling, but I do have a duty and a right as a member of this class to be interested, if nothing else, in the lives of these people who suffer and have suffered.

After reading this document that tells people with health problems and temporary residency in Australian communities that their funding will be cut and that they have only three weeks to find new housing, I am so angry! Imagine having finally been allowed into this beautiful country and then being denied your right to shelter and wellbeing!! I can not, I do not want to imagine it. It is horrible, and cruel.

I always associate the word “detention” with being a naughty child in school (never one to go against authority, I was never in detention, thank you very much), so why do we hold these blameless people there is such terrible conditions? What exactly is their crime to deserve being held in a prison for an indefinite amount of time?


A Return to the Familiar

Familiar. Adjective. From the mid-14th century. Denoting intimacy, friendly footing. From he Old-French famelier. Of or pertaining to one’s family.

Right now, that is what I crave.

On the outskirts of Paris, in a hostel that has a push-button shower and smells all over of cigarette smoke, I long for home. I am positively pining for it. But it’s not just the hotel and it’s think blankets, or the rainy weather that make me want home and all of its little familiar things around me. I just really love home.

Little Women is one of my absolute favourite books, and I quite enjoy the two film adaptations I have seen. The 1994 version sees Amy, lately back from Paris, showing her artwork. Sadly she says that she meant to paint some famous landmark but that she could not get Orchard House out of her head. I feel like that’s me.

(As the youngest member of a family endowed with four daughters, and having been spoiled a bit, yet having an independent streak and a wish for artistic talent, I feel like I identify with Amy quite a bit)

Away from home in a country and city I have been excited to visit, a feeling tugs at me, urging me to go home. Recently I felt unnecessarily panicky at the thought that something bad had happened at home, and I was racing to find out what it was. Turns out, it was nothing, but I had such a strong feeling, a real need to be home.

At the last airport, when flying from Florence to Paris, all that I wanted to do was to turn the nose of the plane in the opposite direction and command its pilot to fly every passenger to Melbourne, home. I was almost in tears at the thought of yet another change, and the continual sight-seeing. Sight-seeing is so interesting, educational, and beautiful. It’s also cruel, environmentally harmful, and artificial. When I go to look at some famous landmark, I may enjoy it, but all I do is look. I need to interact with something to really appreciate it.

One of my favourite activities in Rome was when my friend dropped her sunglasses into a crypt. Sure, I got my clothes dirty and skinned my shin trying to get them out, but I actually did something. I remarked to a friend that I felt like an archaeologist, and his reply was skeptical to say the least. I stick to it though.

When I was on a four-month exchange in Asia, despite the cultural differences, it being my first time overseas alone, the amount of time I travelled, I got to put down roots which made me feel like a person. I had university classes, a routine, I made a good circle of friends, and I got to know my way around, I even got a personal Uber driver (oh how I miss those days and discounted trips to the airport).

So, I guess that I am looking forward to actually being a part of society again. Functioning in the fabric of life, and not the tourist sector. Knowing that the cafe I have my lunch at is going to be worth it, having a car if I need it and not needing google maps every time I go out the front door. I look forward to having my family around me, and not needing to worry I will offend them if I use ‘tu’ instead of ‘vous’, or even vice versa.

I am excited for home and the love and familiarity.

Side note

“The noun meaning “demon, evil spirit that answers one’s call” is from 1580s (familiar spirit is attested from 1560s); earlier as a noun it meant “a familiar friend” (late 14c.). The Latin plural, used as a noun, meant “the slaves,” also “a friend, intimate acquaintance, companion.”” This is another etymological explanation of the word ‘familiar’. Always happy to share the fun facts!


I have hinted before (and very broad hints they were) that I have a friends with benefits. A friend with benefits who makes me question myself, what I’m doing, where I’m going. Well, that’s all changed. We’re not seeing each other anymore. I’m moving on, and so is he…. or so I thought.

An identity crisis made me think that we weren’t seeing each other anymore. Unfortunately, that is all I can say about that. But, believe me, it was a big issue and I got pretty angry about how I had been treated. I’m not sure if I have the right to be so angry and hurt, but I am. It has led to some very tumultuous months for me, and, I guess, for him.

For starters, we both left Australia to go to different continents.

Then, I’ve been on a few dates.

Lastly, I had a brief interlude of FWB again with someone I never thought I would do it with once, let alone going back for more.

Bottom line is: with the crazy emotions, the lack of contact, the moving on (honestly, my last two posts have been about getting my hair cut because I need change in my life and not to be looked over or forgotten. Talk about crisis), I thought we were done.

Imagine my surprise, if you will, when I received a message from him the other day, casually asking if I want to catch up because he is back and ran out of money lol.

So casual, so cavalier. I didn’t reply because I am overseas still, and that costs money that I don’t want to spend. But I wanted to reply in some way, to show no hard feelings. (Because suuuuuure there haven’t been any) So, I used the trick up my sleeve and added him on facebook and sent a message through messenger…. but he has not replied yet.

While I’m waiting on him (he doesn’t use facebook much as far as I know), I just have to think: what did he mean by ‘let’s catch up!’ That was what we always used to say, and he’s gone right back to it. Hopefully it is nothing less than a catch up, and we can finally talk face-to-face. Anyone out there with anything slightly similar? I am still feeling so confused, I just hope it can be amicably resolved.

My list

If you don’t know from previous posts, I have an obsession with my hair.

First, I need to update you on my last haircut – it is a rollercoaster if ever I knew one. After a lot of discussion, which escalated to arguments, with myself, I got a cheap haircut on campus. And not just a haircut: a fringe!

Or bangs. For me it was more of an explosion, I was so excited.


The hairdresser cut a very thin fringe that poked up every which-way, and highlighted my grey hairs, which stuck up above the rest somehow. So, when I got home I did a bit of research, then took my scissors and hacked maliciously at it. It was fun, rather terrifying, and, strangely enough, I am happy with the result.

I am still engaged in growing my hair out and I have challenged myself to grow it faster than my friend is growing hers. She doesn’t know this, but it will give me great satisfaction to achieve it. Being overseas and therefore without my stash of hair products (including kitchen products), my hair-growing habits have turned to researching how to grow hair long and strong (which, I know, doesn’t actually do anything except make me eager to do those methods suggested).

But, it is time to make my own list. I’ve done enough research, enough repetitive reading, to make my own list with my own needs. Hopefully, this gives a few clues to others too!

  1. Don’t use avocado. As a student (or normal human being), it’s hard to afford this kind of thing. There is rosemary and lavender in the garden outside, and I always have a bottle of eucalyptus oil on hand. I suggest using things close at hand, doing a bit of research on them, finding out if they will actually work (rather than harm), and use it to your advantage.
  2. Take time. Obviously hair doesn’t grow overnight. Well, you know what I mean. Little things, like brushing your hair slowly, and not scrubbing it to dry, are so useful and should be part of your routine – not only for long hair, but for strong and healthy hair.
  3. This is similar to the first but I find that I’m kind of running out of things already! So much for all the research. This tip is: while buying hair products is fun, look into homemade alternatives. Usually cheaper, and always healthier, and pretty fun to concoct, homemade alternatives are better than bought. I keep them in jars in my room, and feel good about the fact that it’s more environmentally friendly than buying packaged goods.

Honestly I think that they are all the tips that I have. They aren’t much, but I think that it is important not to get sucked into the big consumerist ideas. True, a lot of my hair products are bought but I will not be restocking them. I have a homemade dry shampoo (with coco and cinnamon, it smells delicious), and a hair mask of olive and eucalyptus oils. I use the rosemary and for a steam, and I use other herbs for facial steams.

So, enough talk about my hair! I hope that this is helpful to someone! Remember: don’t buy into all the fancy packaging, all the lovely smells (you can make your own though!), and have fun doing some experiments of your own!

Hypocritical much?

The title is an attack on myself. This post, when compared to my last one, is very hypoctrical. You know that Greek guy, Hypocrites? (pronounced Hip-oh-kret-ees) Well, I’m his mother.

The word hypocrisies? It should be hypocrisis. Not that there’s a hippo crisis. There could be, but my own dilemma has turned my thoughts to myself in a selfish, artificial way.

The source of this dilemma, this conundrum? My hair.

I reeeeeally want a haircut. I would like to get a haircut. I’d love a haircut – I need a haircut!

Soon I will be going to Italy and I have heard a few times recently that, upon meeting me, people tend to thing I’m a goody-two shoes who sits home and knits. “Really boring”, one girl said. “A good girl”, a work colleague said. “Kind of quiet”, from another.

While I honestly do sit home and knit sometimes, and I’m more of an introvert than an extrovert, and I hate getting into trouble, I want to be someone who looks exciting and fun because I am fun.

But – I am scared. I don’t want to be passed over because I look boring. First impressions are big in this society – seeing someone’s face on a display picture on Facebook can define one person’s impression of another. I don’t want to look boring, I want something happening on my face, something that makes me stick in people’s mind.

I want a different look and my hair is something that can do that.

Even though it is superficial. Even though it *gasp* costs money. Even though it’s all of that – it’s just a haircut.

Buuuuut…. I want one.