Archive | June, 2011

The M-word.

19 Jun

I have a problem. It was first noticed  in year 9 biology class. It sounded like someone was screeching their nails down a blackboard…I honestly felt like dry-retching. This physical reaction continued throughout the next few classes. I had no idea what it was. When we changed topics from bacteria/micro-organisms to human biology… all adverse physical reactions (ie. Sweating, hot flushes etc) disappeared.

It then dawned on me, one day whilst watching Jamie Oliver’s cooking show. The sudden onset of nausea reappeared, however only when Jamie mentioned a certain word….

I can’t bring my self to type it. But, i’ll let you fill in the blanks M_IST” – Clue: it rhymes with hoist.

The mystery had been solved. All those times  felt violently ill…Mrs Chamber’s in Yr 9 Biology “Bacteria needs a M_IST environment to thrive”… Art class; “Make sure the clay is nice and M_IST”…

I started to notice the word everywhere. I also began to realise that there were other words that I could not stand.

– Panties

– Soggy

– Ointment

– Purple (think it is just such an UGLY word for such a nice colour)

My school friend Murphy, soon learnt of my physiological aversion to these words. As a joke (definitely not a funny one) she began writingthese words (in permanent marker) all over my drink bottle, folders, pencil case etc. She also went a step further, to combine my most hated words “Soggy, M_IST panties”. I actually thought I was going to be sick. I couldn’t escape.

To this day I still can’t escape.

I love cooking, yet the word haunts me every time; “Excellent cake nix, its so ‘M_IS_””.  Admittedly, I have not chosen the prime career when it comes to my allergic reaction to the M-word. At work, I am surrounded by the word everyday (I work at Tip Top Bakeries), “Nikita, I want the brand communications to really reinforce how “M_IST” the bread is.

I joined the facebook group “I Hate the word M_IST” – there are hundreds of people out there with the same phobia. Now, I don’t feel like such a freak.

Hmmm…..I just realised I maybe shouldn’t have posted this. Please respect my wishes and when in my presence, never mention the M-word.

thanks you.




Falling. Stacking. Tripping. It hurts.

6 Jun

It hurts – physically, emotionally and sometimes it can also hurt you socially. I will explain further to that point in a minute.

I fell twice in one night on the weekend. My right heel got caught in the left lace (yes, my heels had laces- think SJP in Sex & the City) and I fell in front of all the diners of a classy restaurant. Stifled laughter, a few snorts …. followed by superficial ‘Are you ok?’ ‘Do you need ice”..”ooh, your knee is blending’.

These are what I call ‘pull your head in moments’. It always happens when you are strutting your stuff, feeling on top of the world. Out of nowhere you trip on your own feet (moments like this, I wish I only had one foot).

Memorable stacks in my life:

1. I was six years old & at Coffs Harbour beach resort: Got $2 from my dad to buy an ice-cream. Donning a big smile and slightly salivating, I walked with my Peters ‘heart-shaped ice-cream’ on the edge of the pool, to get to my beach chair. Before, I knew it I was submerged in water. I had stacked it into the pool….with the ice-cream. I still remember the pain. Hotel guests, pointed at me. Even my parents were laughing at me. I cried. To this day I am still scarred. I am yet to eat a heart shaped ice-cream. It hurt me mentally.

2. First year Uni:  I walking down the main avenue at Sydney University. It was Autumn. A massive maple leave swooped down from the tree and some how got attached to my face. I couldn’t see. I freaked out. I stacked it. Books, pens, other sanitary items spilt everywhere. My bonds underwear was on show. I was mortified. What are the chances of a giant leaf hitting target on my face? It hurt me physically

3.Second year University: against the warning of my ‘friend’, I decided to take a ‘short ‘cut’ down the steep hill. I started running down it, I couldn’t stop running. Gravity got the best of me and I literally stomach-surfed my way to the cafe. I was literally covered in mud. My ‘friend’ Miracuriously disappeared. Five years on, I am still yet locate her. It hurt me socially.



Dust yourself off, get up and keep walking.

Fast or slow paced – What’s your cup of tea?

1 Jun

On the weekend Mr J and I went to Kangaroo Valley for a Foodie Tour. It was excellent. (FYI: We saw not a single Kangaroo, but a huge amount of wombats!) We went to Yarawa Estate and picked fresh lemons, avacodos, oranges and these wierd Japanese grapes.  We had wine & cheese. Had homemade pies at Jing Jo (website) and continued to Kangaroo Valley Olives and saw how olives are made (FYI: no such thing as ‘black olives, they are injected with dye’). Favourite stop was the fudge store- a man who used to be a retail manager at Woolies, just extracted himself and his family from the city smog and re-planted his in the small town of Kangaroo Valley. Needless to say, after countless ‘taste testings’ we boarded the Foodscape on massive sugar high. 

Let’s rewind back to the first stop of the tour – The Berry Tea Shop (website). It is run by an Italian woman who came from a family of Italian coffee lovers and had a cafe in Sydney. She married an englishman. After living the crazy life of owning a cafe and an Italian restuarant, she traded it all in to live with her husband and create a gorgeous Tea shop in the quaint country town of Berry. 

The whole experience led to me contemplating 2 things…
1. The decision so many people make to leave city life for the country (Will save this for another time, but if you get a chance listen to the ABC Conversation Hour podcast called ‘Living on an Island” website)
2. How the rituals, pace & mindset underlying the consumption of tea and coffee differs immensly.

Mr J was quite uneasy about the fact that he had to forgo his daily morning coffee for tea. He was literally captive. The kind lady at Berry tea shop, gave us a prviate talk on all the teas. Meanwhile, Mr J’s eyes darted out the window in search of the nearest coffee machine.

‘Let’s have a cuppa’, ‘Going to make myself a tea’ ‘Have a tea and relax’…these are phrases that we link to tea.

I personally, punctuate my day with a cup of tea- one in the morning, one mid-morning and on the afternoon. “I’ll make a tea after I finish this..” or “Before I start this let me make a tea” It’s a reward or psychological relaxant after/before completing small milestones. 

Brewing a pot of tea, and sharing it with friends. High teas. Tea Parties. It makes me happy.

The ritual behind tea, is comforting. Tea soothes, calms and relaxes. The jiggling of the tea bag/tea leaves, watching the milk swirl its way through. Its therapeutic. 

‘The buzz’, ‘I cant function without it’, ‘I need it’ …these are all phrases that our city life implictly links to coffee.

 Coffee, on the other hand takes is usually consumed with great speed and intention. It is linked to productivity, on-the-go, rush hour. Furiously sipping out of the take away cup nozzle. Coffee cups are symbolic of living in the city, communiting to work and being ‘supercharged’. Celebrities are always photographed with a ‘Starbucks’. It’s cool. 

Flirting with the barista. Holding the styrophone cup. Frantically, walking to the office. I’m on a mission. It makes me happy.

Coffee or Tea. Both Hot. Both can be taken with Milk. Yet, very different.

Just something to think about…over a cuppa.