Would my life be more fulfilling if I watched Aussie Rules Football? (A Fiona Apple fan speaks….)

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PHOTO OF FIONA APPLE COURTESY OF PITCHFORK MAGAZINE – ARTIST Kareena Zerefos

I love Fiona Apple. You can listen to her music over and over and over and never get sick of it. I must have listened to Tidal hundreds of times yet it still blows me away upon every listen.  How cannot you not love someone whose song lyrics include:

 When all I do is beg to be loved”.

I think Pitchfork magazine summed up the how, the why and the what of Fiona Apple is in this interview with Carrie Battan.

And, at 34, the singer’s energy is coiled as tightly around a core of human emotion as it was during her Tidal days in the 1990s. She still seems so tethered to pure feeling that she has nothing left to expend on the practical and logistical concerns of the world around her…”

Battan captures for me how I would, if I could describe what Fiona Apple’s album’s are like and the emotional well (if you like) of whence they came. I’m talking like I know Fiona Apple! The scary thing about her is that she puts everything into her music, her heart, her sweat, her life, her energy, her soul and you think you that you do get to know a piece of Fiona Apple. I’m even assuming that I know that much! The truth is probably that the more you think you know of Apple the more she would be there to confound you with a clever contradiction. Yep I really like her a lot. I think she is fascinating. And I guess the reason I like her so much is that she just is who she is. She is this great artist, who you can’t really say you know despite the fact she puts it all out to bare in her albums.

I was at work today. Sometimes I work. I try to work. I do bits and pieces of this and that. This job though was quite a serious one. Temping in an administration role for an accountancy firm. I really enjoyed all the people that worked there. My interview consisted of the Office Manager driving 100 kilometres to meet me for five minutes.  She said:

I don’t believe in interviews

So that was it! I got the job…

Anyways I was at work and my boss gave me his business credit card to buy nespresso pods for the office. I was trying to make light conversation as it was awkward him standing there whilst I went through the many various screens of the Nespresso website. It was his last day before he went on annual leave.

I said: ‘You must be getting excited’.

He then stated in a tone: ‘What? -about the Grand Final?’.

I said: ‘No about going away for annual leave and then I added for good measure ‘that I didn’t like football and didn’t watch it ( so no I didn’t mean the Grand Final).

He then said ( in a very serious way) : ‘Your life would be much better if you followed football’.

I told him: to ‘get over himself – (in a joking kinda non-disrespectful way)’.

To which he stated again: ‘that my life would be a lot better if I followed a team.’ ( he didn’t say that in a joking way at all by the way…)”

So then I came home. Actually I really started to think about what he said the instant he said it. I started thinking would my life be better if watched football and had a team. Went to games and supported my side. Wore a scarf and screamed and shouted when the team got a goal. Was the fact that I didn’t have a team make me an incomplete person? I don’t know, maybe I’m weird. Give me Fiona over football any day. I’m just that kind of gal.

 

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Bali – is it just full of Bogans?

I am not the first and definitely not the last person to go to Bali. Tourism kicked off in Bali in the early 1970’s. Since the 90’s and 2000’s ( apart from the aftermath of the two bombings in the early 2000’s, tourism quite obviously fell). Bali has become a mecca for Australian tourists and a little bit cliched. Picture the first-time Aussie Bali goer with a Bintang shirt, braided hair and a stubby in one hand and you have a fairly good idea how bogan Bali can be. It’s become a cheap and easy holiday for the many but for me Bali holds a special place in my heart. Despite the persistence of tourism Bali’s culture has been particularly resilient and this is one of the reason’s I love it so much.
My first trip to Bali was with the family including my brother Kristian who is one year younger than me. We went with a large group of family friends. We did all the first time travel mistakes. Stayed in a hotel that was Bemo ride away from the main drag. Got our hair braided. Bought too much wood. The thing I remember most about this trip was room service. My brother and I discovered room service in a big way. Wow you can sign a piece of paper and you get all this food! Wow how cool! ( Lets just say Dad wasn’t laughing when he got the room service bill). He did buy a whole suitcase of shoes so he was really doing his bit for the Balinese tourist economy – (Yes he did get given the nickname Imelda).
That was the early 1990’s and I was 11. There have been many trips since.
When I was 15 Bali was a different place pre-bombing. My brother and my two boy cousins discovered Peanuts nightclub which was just up the road from our hotel. On our first night there we took off telling the parentals we’d be back in an hour. Four hours later, a few beers later and a couple of renditions of AC/DC songs up our belt (with band) we were rudely interrupted by mum and Aunty Carol who were getting worried decided to head to Peanuts in their pyjamas. Oh the horror! Aaron hid behind a huge wooden pole hoping not to be seen. Nick, Kristian and I scattered as the parents entered the club. Totally busted we all slunk back home silently in single file negotiating the uneven footpaths of Jalan Melasti.
As I got older my appreciation for the not only the Balinese culture grew as I was able to move beyond Kuta, the shopping and the nightlife. Travelling with a high school girlfriend we made friends with Dewa who took us to his village to have lunch with his mother. Dewa lived in a 1m by 2m room in Ubud in compound of similar sized rooms with a shared shower and toilet. His families house was bigger, than I had imagined it would be, but on a small parcel of land where they kept a few animals. Anneke and I were treated to an amazingly tasty meal which included chicken (we were guests of honour) and we marvelled at how warm and gracious the hospitality of the Balinese could be. Riding with Dewa and a friend of his on the back of motorbikes through the back streets and rice paddies of Ubud will alway be a highlight. Driving way too fast on pot-holed roads we stopped to watch the glow of the fireflies in the semi darkness, the night noises echoing in our ears as we marvelled at the beauty of our surroundings.
I have explored Bali, Lombok, bits of Java and the Gilli Islands and been on many different kinds of holidays. Girlie trips, best friend trips, a holiday with mum and her mates, a friend and her kids, by myself and of course several trips when I was younger with my family. This time I am heading over with my boyfriend which will be a different experience all together. He has never been to Bali, although travelling and living a lot of South- East Asia he is not in for a complete surprise. We are staying just out of Kuta and then Canggu in a Villa, moving further and further out and with every trip growing bolder and bolder, reaching deeper into the heart of Bali. I will take him to Ubud and show him Bali, it’s people and culture – the Bali that is special to me….