Dear Friendly Book Store Lady,

Dear Friendly Book Store Sales Lady,

I want you to know that your words are on repeat in my mind, going around in circles, lapping like waves, just swirling around in there. They have been ever since we spoke. I may have been the fifteenth or fiftieth person you spoke to yesterday, ours may have been one of the many interactions you participated in, one of many snippets of conversation that you may or may not remember. But I tell you this because I want you to know that our meeting was significant for me. I will not forget you, lovely book store lady. Your words came at just the right time.

Our exchange went something like this:

Me: “Hello”, placing the book on the counter which you pick up and scan, looking momentarily at the cover.
You: “Oh you’re much too young to know about her, aren’t you? She was around when I was younger, you’re just a baby”. I pass her my bank card.
The book was Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”.
Me: “I’m not really a baby. Actually, it’s birthday today. Another year older”. Tapping my fingers on the counter top after entering my pin number. Feeling awkward.
You: “Oh happy birthday, love! How old are you?”
Me: “Twenty seven”, sighing a little.
You: “Really? Oh you are a baby then! Only twenty seven!”
Only twenty seven, I thought. And then you proceeded to dispense the following advice, which I had read somewhere before or heard someone talk about or seen somewhere on TV, yet now that it was coming from the lips of a stranger to my own ears, live, as it were, it seemed suddenly real and true and important.

You told me this: to enjoy my twenties, look forward to my thirties, relish my forties and embrace my fifties and all the years hereafter. You told me to have fun and be happy and smile and love my twenty seven year old self, because years from now I’ll look back on photos and wonder why I thought I was ugly or overweight or unimportant or inadequate, or all of the above even. I smiled as you offered me the words, feeling slightly embarrassed but thankful all the same.

And then you said it. You, a complete stranger, as I picked up my paper bag package and left the store, gave me this: “Keep smiling.” You said. “You’re beautiful”. Beautiful. The word ebbs and flows.
You, lovely bookstore lady, you are beautiful. I have written it down. I won’t forget. I will try and remember when the photos are taken, when the comparisons are made, when the world around me turns dark and tinged with blue and heavy. I will remember one year from now and a year after that, I will revisit our chance encounter. I will bring back the words and let them wash around me as they have done today. Thank you. You made my decade.

Yours truly, (and gratefully),


Dear Ernest

Gosh you are cute.  You are so wonderously cuddly I am content just holding you and patting you and marvelling at your ceaselessly sniffing nose and gorgeous floppy ears.  I know you must be missing your mum and dad and brothers and sisters but at least you don't have to fight for the carrots at meal times or strive to get anyone's attention any more.  Your new Dad is currently constructing an extravagant and luxurious bachelor pad for you outside.  It's going to have two stories and things to play with and all sorts of coolness.  Are you excited?  We're excited.  I love when you do that thing where you jump in the air really high just for the hell of it - not needing to get over an obstacle or anything, just a random leap in the air because you can.  I think I can learn alot from you, little one.  Oh what fun we're going to have!

Just one thing, it's simple really, not so much a command or complaint, more a polite request or suggestion.  If you could perhaps just attempt to refrain from crapping in the corner (you know, the one where all the internet/television/speaker/unidentifiable cords are situated) it would make my life slightly less difficult and you would be pretty much perfect. 

Yours truly,

Kirst (Mummy)


Dear (returning and hopefully generous) Customer,

Thank you, sir, for telling me that I made the best flat white coffee you’d ever tasted.  You really did make my minimum wage working day. 

(But next time you should just give me a tip).

Yours truly, (and honestly)


Dear Sister,

I love that you are in love, that you are happy, that your dreams are coming true, that your day was as close to fairytale endings as it gets.  I now dispense with things I often leave unsaid (though I believe you know already; I do not underestimate the divinity of sisterhood...)

I love that you invent your own cupcake flavours and kindly enforce the sampling of them, your fierce love of chocolate, your culinary successes (and hilarious misadventures), your passion for new found flavours and experimentation.

I love that you tell me how it is, or the way to wear it or what to do and when to do it with pin point accuracy and unfaltering honesty, straight up but sensitively, understanding my inhibitions and inexperience.

I love that, despite our different styles, tastes, loves and loathes, we laugh uncontrollably at the very same stuff that no one else gets (which leads to more uncontrollable laughter and further confusion to those unfortunate few in our vicinity).  I'd say its a vicious cycle but its not.  It's beautiful and I love it.  Lets never, ever stop.

I love that we are close.  So close.  (Geography, Schmeography).

I love that I was there with you.  That I was privileged to watch, as you embarked on this new and exciting adventure.  That I saw two people so in love and embued in happiness it was inspiring.  (And perspiring come to think of it.  It was hot up there, in front of all those people, wasn't it J? Love you too).

Thank you for the most awesome day.

I loved it.

(As I love you).

Yours truly,


Dear Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding,

I fear that our relationship is a somewhat unhealthy one.

We've been spending a lot of time together lately and I fear its just too much too soon.  Would you consider some time apart? It's just I dont want us to get sick of each other, and ruin a beautiful thing.  (It really is beautiful).  You make me feel so incredibly good, yet so unbelievably bad and all at the same time.

Oh what am I saying?

It's not you.  It's me.

I love you.
('til Sunday...)

Yours truly,


Street Statements

Taking it to the street.

1. Barcelona
2. Paris
3. Amsterdam
4. Berlin
5. Melbourne
6. Granada
7. Oxford
8. London


Dear Richard,

We havent been spending much time together lately.  It's hard with the weather being so unfriendly.  Winter's come one month early with it's cohorts wind and rain.  It's just so cold outside, so I've been taking the bus a bit.  And Sam's been driving too.  I hope you understand.  While its fun sitting snug inside while the rain hits the glass and I get lost in my latest love (a book, a song, an imaginary life), it's just not the same without you.

Do you know how special you are to me?  When I get to missing London all I do is visit you.  I fix your flowers and remember our times spent by the canals and cobbled streets, in the sun and snow, with our friends or just the two of us.  Getting up to mischief.  Wandering.  Exploring.  Dreaming.  You know it's summer over there.  It's been more than a year since we left.

Winter has its own beauty though.  The leaves are rather beautiful.  Amber, red and burnt pumpkin, shades of rust and lemon, tossed together, strewn about like the remnants of some bygone celebration.  And what better excuse than a rainy day for cups of tea and crafting?  A trip up the mountain's on the cards too. 

Still, with winter being in charge now, with essays and readings and coffee making, reaquainting myself with needles and threads and planning winter weekends away, I haven't forgotten you.  I wanted you to know that. I think about you lots.  I've got plans for us, don't worry.  Tremendous, extraordinary, spectacular plans to get lost in, once winter's melted away.  We'll go searching for the wonderful.

And I promise, next time the sun comes out, we'll spend the day together.  Just you and me and Christchurch, the broken and the beautiful.

Yours truly,



Oh To Be Back...

It's Glastonbury time in the UK (much to my dismay).  The four days I spent at Glastonbury back in 2009 were amongst the best in my life.  If only I could live there, in that crazy mixed up circus of awesomeness, with tripsters and teepees, mud and music, sun and strangers, and dancing in the dark (literally.  Bruce Springsteen played.  Epic.  And Neil Young? Don't get me started - dream come true.)  Apparently the powers that be are putting the festival on hold for 2012, due to Britain's Olympics Extravaganza.  So...2013 anyone?  I'm SO keen... Here are a few snaps I dug out of the vault (read: hard drive in dire need of organisation) to aid in my moments of reminiscence...

Time of my life.

Other Autumns Ago

I miss London.  Alot.  Anyone who knows me well, knows how much that place got under my skin and into my heart.  In my moments of melancholy and nostalgia, I delve into my photographs, that I might, for a moment, be transported back, to other Autumns...

Oh London.  How I love you.  Until we meet again, my friend...

Back in the Game

I got this stunner of a book selection for the grand total of $9.90 at Borders on Sunday.  You will often find yours truly browsing the sale section at all good bookstores, new and second hand alike, in attempt to bag myself literary bargains that I otherwise would never be able to purchase.  I couldnt believe my luck when I managed to snag a couple of gems I've been wanting to add to the bookshelf for a mere $2 a piece and I even picked up a writers yearbook (albeit a year and half out of date) for the measely price of $1 - I figure the majority of publishers details wont have changed, and besides, it contains some great advice from successful authors on making your work stand out to publishers.  Maybe its meant to be, right?  This is the kick I needed to get back in the game and start sending things away in an attempt to realise my dream... (in the no nonsense words of my charming great uncle "if you dont dont get").

So.  Now I've got some inspiration and some information.  All I need now is to make my drafts pile lighter and for the final pile to come into fruition... I'm working on compiling a portfolio of work for the Creative Writing paper next semester and am thinking about posting some of my pieces on here to step out of my comfort zone and get some "sharing" practise.  Watch this space...

(PS the fourth one down is Ondaatje's English Patient - forgive my amateur photography...)


Dear London

God I miss you.

Some days I wake up and the moment before I open my eyes I imagine I am back with you, about to leap from my blankets and mattress and greet the day with enthusiasm and excitement with the thought of exploring the corners of you I am yet to be enchanted by and revisit the ones that feel like home.

It was fun, wasn't it?

I try and explain to others what you did, what you've done to me, how you've challenged and changed me. But I fear now the repetition of your wonder leaves me somewhat saddened that no matter how many times and in how many ways I try to explain it, no one ever really understands. 

You bestowed upon me the belief in myself to develop my own style - from the way that I dress to the music I dance to, the company I keep and the dreams that I constantly conjure, the thought clouds and imaginings that some day may (thanks to you) become matters of fact.  I arrived in love with your air of anonymity, and the simultaneous, seemingly contradictory quality of feeling like I didn't have to be an anybody here, I could be someone.  I left with that notion in my heart and a tear in my eye. 

I miss the way you made me ride your slippery streets after winter snow and rain and the smell of curry wafting tantalisingly down Globe Road.  I miss Friday afternoon leading into night drinks at the Camel after work and Brick Lane bargains and bagels and feeling like I could be one of those girls on Sunday wearing vintage heels and bright red lipstick and kissing every minute of life with it.  I miss riding my darling bicycle Richard alongside the canal and dreaming about what the insides of those house boats look like and how I'd decorate my own with thrift finds and cupcakes and polaroids of my travels.  I miss strawberry beer and hoolahoops, steamed buns from China town, the Camden falafel bar and even, dare I say it, the aisles of opportunity at Asda. I miss taste testing at Borough Market, train trips to the countryside, meditation classes and open mic nights, thrift store bargains from Islington and Hammersmith, exploring Shoreditch's bars and brews.  I miss calling it the "offie", the "chippie" and inserting "innit" into conversation at every given opportunity.  I miss my family of friends, and feeling like a local watching fireworks at Viccy Park, (even just calling it Viccy Park), moving with the masses on Oxford Street and watching the Hyde Park rollerskaters.  I miss cold weather at Christmas time and the lights, all the lights, all year round and everywhere, West End theatres and Covent Garden buskers, and evenings spent roaming the pavement in wonder and amusement with a camera in my hand.  I miss the man selling coffee from his kombi at Notting Hill Market, cheap film nights on Whitechapel Road, the museums, the galleries, the epitaphs, sculptures, statues, monuments, the incredible tangible history I am yet to really fathom (and I hope I never do).

I miss you.  All of you.  With all your eccentricities and contradictions, with all your crazy beautiful changes of costume, with all your ups and downs, comings and goings, has beens and yet to becomes.

I miss you so much, my dear and loyal friend.

I'll be seeing you soon.  Save me a seat in the front row of your show.

Yours truly,

Kirst. xo