Perspectives: “I’m little too.”

Last semester I did a writing creative nonfiction class in which one of the tasks was to write a small response to a different prompt each week. Seeing as the semester is over I can now post this piece from week four. This week we had to write a scene from the perspective of our 4-year-old self, and then rewrite it in third person. This is what I came up with, I know where this memory came from and I took some liberties with the second part, but it still works (I hope)!

~

I like this park now. Mum told me I’d have fun. The grass smells nice. Green. I like green. I skip through the grass. I know it’s skipping cause Play School told me it was. Skip, skip, skipidy, skip! The sun is warm, but Mum made me wear a jumper. She said it’s windy so I need a jumper. I don’t mind though, it’s my favourite. It’s stripy, like my sister’s. She doesn’t want to wear her jumper though. She doesn’t like wearing clothes at all.

I look back to where she sits with Mum. She sits there cause she’s smaller. Younger too. Maybe she’ll skip with me soon. I hope so.

I keep skipping along as Mum and Dad watch. Mum’s smiling. I know she is. She’s always smiling. I–

What’s that sound? I don’t like it! I turn back again to see, but I only get more scared. It smells funny. What is it? No! I don’t like it I run. I need to be safe! Run faster!

* * *

It was the clearest day they’d had in weeks so nearly every family was at the park. They called it a park, in truth, it was an old oval with climbing frame and monkey bars to boot.

Four-year-old Anna had wandered a little farther from her mum than usual. Her mum sat on the rug keeping a close eye on her, but she wasn’t too worried, her husband had the camera out and was filming as Anna skipped past.

The little girl looked so proud of herself. A wide smile lit up her face as the breeze picked at her white-blonde hair, the small, uneven pigtails bouncing with every step.

She turned back for a moment with a frown. Then suddenly her dark eyes widened as a look of pure terror floods her face. The skip quickly turns to a run as she realises something is following her.

Her Dad realises too, running forward to meet and embrace his distraught daughter. Tears follow the little girl’s panic, but her Dad can’t help but laugh a little as Anna clings to him like a lifeline.

At his feet sits a Sausage-Dog. It pants steadily, it’s tongue lolling out to the side, far too happy go lucky to be that scary.

“Anna…” He shakes his head, a little bemused by the whole situation. “It’s only a little dog!”

Anna sniffs, burying her face in her Dad’s shoulder. “I’m little too.”

~

Note: I am fairly certain this is where my initial fear of dogs came from…though I am very much over that now!

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‘Letter to My Younger Self’: Perfect Tea

Last semester I took a ‘writing creative nonfiction’ class in which one of the tasks was to write a small response to a different prompt each week. Seeing as the semester is over I can now post this piece from week three. For that week we had to write a ‘Letter to My Younger Self’. This is what I came up with!

~

Dear Anna,

I’m writing this to you today to give you an instruction of sorts. That probably sounds a little ominous, so I apologise in advance, or technically, late, depending on how you look at it.

Anywho, I digress.

I’m not sure how old you are at this point. Especially as if I aimed to get this to you at a certain age – knowing my track record – this letter would reach you either too late, too early, or it would simply end up here. In my letterbox. In 2017. The latter scenario being of no use to either of us.

Leaving the technicalities behind, I am writing to tell you how (or maybe when?) to make the perfect cup of tea.

Personally, I do not remember learning. Which may sound strange, but years of watching mum boil the water, spoon the leaves into the pot, a dash of milk in the mug, and then wait probably did the trick. I can now make a solid cup of tea. My problem is drinking too early and scorching the inside of my mouth.

Trust me, we never learn.

I know that you will most definitely learn (and most likely at this point know) the perfunctory ins and outs of making a cup of tea, but there is tea, and then there is tea.

Tea: A drink; made and drunk when you’re cold/when you feel like it/to fuel the writing of assignments/to fuel writing in general.

Tea: A drink; made and drunk with love/to calm/to comfort/for others/with apologies.

The former is your everyday cuppa. The breakfast tea. The ‘I have two hours to write this’ tea. The ‘I’m so exhausted I need a cup of tea’ tea. This cup of tea is not in any way less important. It does the job. It warms you, it fuels you, it tides you over ‘til you’re next bothered to eat, it even helps to write essays. (That last one, I can assure you, does work.)

The latter you make when you know that it’s not only you who needs it. When you brew the tea to perfection, with love, for someone special, or just for someone who needs it. This tea is the comforter, the calmer of anxieties, the beginning of an apology that you’re not sure how to start.

For us, Anna, tea is more than just a drink.

Tea takes us home.

Remember that.

CC – Good Morning Call (2016)

‘Hate to Love or Love to Hate?’

With a title like Good Morning Call it is quite hard to gage just what you are in for when it comes to this Japanese drama tv-show, nor are you able to predict both the levels of awe and frustration you feel while you watch. Take what you know western drama shows to be like, and then, forget it completely. To put it lightly, JDramas completely flip the concept of the ‘western’ drama tv-show, and then some. This being the first Japanese drama, or ‘JDrama’, I’ve watched, whatever expectations I had – if any – were definitely blown away in a whirlwind of screaming girls, borderline ridiculous facial expressions, and a protagonist pair which I honestly hated to love. Setting this aside, Good Morning Call (2016) brings you a selection of fascinating characters in a situation which seems to go from bad, to worse, to unbelievable…with a side of solid humour, but hey, that is this part of the genre.

Meet Nao (Fukuhara Haruka), high school girl, just moved out of home to live closer to her new school, and hopelessly in love with one of the ‘top three’ Uehara (Shiraishi Shun’ya) – the ‘top three’, we soon discover, are the three most popular and handsome guys in the school, one for each year. Uehara has just moved out in order to live alone, away from his older brother and his fiancé. It is here that things start getting crazy: one rental agreement fraud, a suspiciously smug looking elderly realestate agent, and a reluctant decision made by two almost strangers later…Uehara and Nao are living together. This turn of events leads way to not only the slowest burning love story between two teenagers, but also to the introduction to a character who makes you question why Nao likes him at all. It doesn’t take long though before Nao finds herself almost hating her new housemate, and you finding yourself wanting the secondary love interests to ‘get the girl’, even though you know there is no way they will.

After finding at watching some other JDramas as well, (one, Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo (2013) is very similar in premise), it is easy to see this plot line as a popular trope. This is understandably so, you can’t help but get sucked into the series of endless mistakes being made by Nao in her persute or Uehara, or even get on board with the cycle of rejection her childhood friend Daichi (Sakurada Dôri) endures at the hands of his unrequited love for Nao. It is here you realise you beginning to not really like Uehara at all, as the main love interest he is surprisingly standoffish, quick tempered, and in some cases just plain rude, redeemed only – in the eyes of Nao – by his handsome face and popularity. Daichi, on the other hand, is doting, kind, and for one he actually likes her. So while you know that Uehara will always have Nao’s attention, you can’t help but sympathise with Daichi, and even after just one episode, you can tell this will be a somewhat frustrating show to watch.

Yet, somehow, you still want to know more…

After just one episode with a love sick female lead, and an almost unlikeable love interest you can see there is still a certain charm to the show which you don’t see in ‘western’ drama shows, and it is this which draws you in. You’d expect the main character to be likeable, tolerable even, but Nao – though sweet and good intentioned – is completely oblivious to the feelings of those around her in her persuit of Uehara, and you find yourself endlessly frustrated by her antics. Uehara on the other hand isn’t much better, as a love interest he is almost unreachable, and increasingly more rude as time goes on, even if it is provoked by Nao’s occasional stupidity. It is here you find yourself completely invested in the fate of the side characters: Daichi and his love for Nao, her two similarly clueless best friends, and the guy who works at the Ramen Café. Not many shows could manage to hold an audience with such a frustratingly unlikeable main pair, yet Good Morning Call (2016) has cleverly collated humour, charm, loveable side characters, and the pull of such a ridiculous premise to keep you watching.

‘Notes of a Childhood’: Early Days, the Best of Times

Last semester I did a writing creative nonfiction class in which one of the tasks was to write a small response to a different prompt each week. Seeing as the semester is over I can now post this piece from week one. This week we had to write a ‘Notes of a Childhood’ poem/list. This was my take on the prompt!

~

At first only Me; Mummy, Daddy, and Me.
Two years of quiet and then,
Half the attention but double the fun.
I talk to Mummy’s feet now,
As my sister has her arms.

England now.
Waking up in the dark for school,
Immaculate uniforms,
Shirt, skirt, duffle coat, and a beret of sorts to boot.
Socks drying in the microwave? …socks no more.
Porridge with golden syrup – hello dentist!
Or maybe Maccas if we’re running late,
Driving those narrow, winding lanes.

Walks, so many walks.
To ‘Plaxtol Disney Land’, the ‘Sheep Walk’, and more.
If not in the garden, then what is the point?
– Grass fishing
– Hide and seek
– Tea parties with teddies
– The trampoline

Despite this,
Such endless bickering,
Sisters, hey?
Poor Mum…
When will it stop?

They read us Harry Potter each night.
My favourite part of the day!
“It’s Her-myon-e not Her-meowne!”
(Dad never really got it right; I think he meant to, just to annoy us, to make us laugh.)

Back in Australia.
We pick out Dad’s shirt, tie, and cufflinks for work each night.
Our choices perfect…
Nearly every time!
My favourite was the purple shirt, Evelyn’s the white.

I read Harry Potter myself now.
Now finished in one weekend to avoid spoilers.
Dumbledore’s death rudely revealed to me in a school assembly of 2005
…I’m still bitter about that

More walks with Mum, and now a dog,
A groodle called George,
He’s a massive softie.
Always lots of grumbling on my part,
But reluctantly happy in the end.
“That was the best walk Mum!”

First time I see Dad cry,
Part of me hopes it’s the last.
New town, two houses, separate families.

“Things can only get better!” I say to Ev, she could never cope with change.

Me however, being older, I had to.