Six – by Karen

28 Jun

Let’s walk down memory lane – I’m going to find as many “sixths” as I can, starting with my sixth Facebook post.

On 31st August, 2008 I was tagged in photos from Beth’s hen’s day! How lovely:

Beth stitches

I stitch with Carmen and someone else

is this Tabitha?

She may have evaded the camera but her hand is evident in this amazing spread!

My sixth post on one of my old livejournal accounts, from February 28th, also in 2008:

    Yesterday I noticed that Finn seemed to be able to kick a tennis ball with his foot while sitting down. So I stood him up and rolled the ball around to see if he can kick now while standing. A few seconds elapsed while we chased the ball around the room, booting it and saying KICK! in a high pitched voice, until I realised – he was saying kick too!

I think he may have said no the other day when being fed, but Finn’s first definitely decipherable word is kick

Alas, Finn’s first word didn’t turn out to be the omen of prodigious soccer prowess we suspected at the time. Last time I took him to soccer, he stood, staring into the middle distance during the game, not actually noticing when the ball BOUNCED OFF HIM. Oh well, apples don’t fall far from trees. We have other qualities.

The sixth item in the “nostalgia” file in my filing cabinet (yes, this is a real thing I actually have in a physical filing cabinet) is a sleeve of baby photos my mum passed on to me recently. As a third child, these are probably the only surviving photos from my childhood.

Check out my mum’s glasses!

My sixth job, if I am remembering correctly, after junk mail delivery, KFC, Pizza Hut call centre, Data Entry and working for a suburban architecture magazine in a garage was… actually my first real, full-time job. I was a journalist for an industry newsletter all about telecommunications! Exciting! Actually, it was kind of exciting. It was in Balmain, in a pleasant, proper office, I could FINALLY move out of home, into a tiny Balmain flat and start making foolish spending decisions, like cab fares and clothes from that shop that was like an upmarket Tree of Life – what was it, Mary Jane or something?

My sixth home was three rooms of a small house in Leichhardt where I lived by myself for the first time. It turned out that living alone led to even more slovenly housekeeping than I had practiced with my (unfortunate) male housemate in Balmain!  Once I was burgled and the police officer asked, “was it like this before they got here?” I still burn with shame at the memory. This was also the home where my cat abandoned me for the attentions of up to four other households. That’s cats for you. I liked living in Leichhardt, eating bread and olive oil with Richard in the park, and making more foolish spending decisions, now on movies and books on Norton Street.

This is my sixth year away from Sydney. In my time in Asia I really do think I’ve grown up. I’ve made two children, stopped making foolish spending decisions (although I think I got the hang of that shortly after the Leichhardt era), and learned to value and get along with different people in a way I never could manage before. I’ve cleaned vomit from a car. I’ve battled through hundreds of tiresome culture-clashes. I’m excited to start a new life in Sydney again, but not with that itchy, “knock it all down and start again” attitude. I do want to put down roots and build something. And I want to check out all those new cafes Lee Tran Lam keeps blogging about.


6 Responses to “Six – by Karen”

  1. Beth June 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm #


    A few observations….

    You look smokin’ with your hair long Karen. You were also v blonde as a little one.
    That “someone else” is Eszter. Yes, that is Tabs.

    That hen’s day feast is the perfect illustration of Tabitha’s post from last week about her and Nathan’s skills. When I arrived on the day, Tabitha had finished the 10+ types of dainty treaties for the arvo tea. Nathan was still labouring away on his one contribution: perfect little egg sambos. The butterfly cupcakes were much admired, and everything gobbled up, but the egg sambos were the scene stealer.

    Your mum’s glasses are way-cool. Hipsters would snap them right up.

    Do you mean Sarah Jane? They are still rocking on I believe. That is such a good description of them. They make awesome unintentional maternity wear because it’s so billowy.

    • Karen June 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

      I really was having a good hair day that day. Thanks for the photo clarifications and bonus Nathan/Tabitha anecdote! Yes, that is the shop I meant!

      • Beth June 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

        Totally. You look like an ad for Pantene.

  2. Tabitha June 29, 2012 at 3:24 am #

    Ooh, I really enjoyed this. And not only because I got to see photographic glimpses of my possessions, with which I’m greatly anticipating a reunion, but also because of the glimpses of Karen Before I Knew Her. Always a treat with any friend.

    I didn’t know your expertise in telecommunications went back so far, Karen! No wonder you were Team Leader. Also, the shameful story about your house being burgled is excellent. They probably have a file on you down at the police station.

    In the first flush of earning money I also bought clothes from Sarah Jane, which I later saw were matronly and unflattering. In fact, middle-aged women may well be their target market. How odd that such a store was our aspirational clothing choice.

    I’m so excited about your return to Australia. This post got me thinking that I probably only knew you for a couple of years before you left for “Asia” (I love how you call it that) for many more years. I am stunned at the success of our long-distance friendship. Good on us.

    Re: the egg sandwiches. Beth’s story is entirely accurate. While now I see this as evidence of us being “a great team”, I remember at the time it was absolutely galling. What a shame you and Justyna couldn’t come to my hen’s day and see the spread I got in return! SO beautiful.

    • Beth June 29, 2012 at 3:58 am #

      Tabs – I stand by that dress you wore to a wedding (Karen & Richard’s wedding perhaps??) that was from Sarah Jane, that I then wore to Loosie and Alston’s wedding. That was a corker. I was trying to find a photo of it, but I then realised it was PRE-digital camera!!! Craziness.

      I remember when you got your job at 3 and you started buying fancy muesli! That made a big impression on me.

      And yes, I love that police story, Karen! That will be a funny one to tell your kids when they’ve moved out of home!

      • Tabitha June 29, 2012 at 4:06 am #

        Okay, that was a nice dress. Still a bit matronly though. I wore it to both Justyna and Michal’s wedding AND Karen and Richard’s wedding! It is now residing in Chris and Maja’s attic.

        Fancy muesli… that’s when you know you’ve really ARRIVED in the world.

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