Thursday, December 16, 2010

i bless the rains down in aaaaafrica

Now that Regent St lights are up, Harrod's has 4672893 customers/hour, and there are bon bons on every Citigroup table in the restaurant, I thought I'd get in the festive cheer and make an update.

Lately I’ve been keeping quite busy with work. This week has been rather crappy, as I have been moved upstairs to Starbucks. While I do get to enjoy skynews live all day every day (and every comprehensive update on this ‘wikileaks’ business which I don’t understand), the managers are always around so I can’t take anything and eat it whenever I want like I can at Costa- which has led me to my what I call ‘Citibelly’. The customers are also a lot ruder, and considering the level of intelligence needed to work for such a company, it seems to be impossible for them to order a coffee properly. Here is a typical sale:

Customer: “Latte”.

Kate: “Sure.”

Under breath: “Sorry, was that ‘can I please have a Latte? Twat.”

*makes latte*

Kate: “Latte?”

Customer: *waits* *points to coffee* “Is this a latte?”

Though I these twats are wearing my patience thin, I will drink my sorrows away at the Christmas party tomorrow night. With a hefty bar tab and free munchies there’s no excuse not to get in the Christmas spirit and indulge a bit.

Also being the impulsive, intrepid traveller I am, I and my partner in crime Bianca jetsetted off to Amsterdam a couple of weekends ago. By “jetsetted”, I do mean “spent 14 hours cramped in a stinking coach with a driver who had to ask for directions”. It was awesome. We spent the weekend at coffeeshops, the Sex Museum, the Vodka Museum, the Heinekin Experience, and more coffeeshops followed by kebabs and toasties when we had the munchies. I have some cool photos of all of that and the snow, but you can bang “Amsterdam” into Google images and will get the idea. It was definitely worth chucking a sickie at work for, but I won’t crap on about it.

Coming home from Amsterdam, it was an unwelcome Christmas surprise to discover that we were being evicted from our flat. Yes, my dated, mouldy, rodent-infested and almost Dickensian flat apparently needs “refurbishments” in the New Year. Can you believe it! It’s almost insulting. With three weeks until eviction date, I decided it was time to put my thinking cap on and make a plan. I briefly browsed the internet (safe) for flats or houses in the Camden/Shoreditch/hipster areas of London, but there’s not much my meagre Citi-income can manage. My next idea was to follow my strong and sudden urge to move to Dublin and work in a pub and return to my Irish roots (Aye!). However considering their recent economic collapse, I didn’t like my chances, and plus it seems a bit too cold for my low Queenslander cold tolerance.

But I’ve made a bit of a plan. Considering I’ll be young, homeless, and have a shit job in London, (not the most ideal position for someone of my age), I decided I’m going to piss the job off mid-Jan, do a bit of travelling through Europe, come home for Australia day, then spend a few weeks in Kenya volunteering at an orphanage/teaching English and doing a safari. Then I can come home and be a career bitch, or re-evaluate my prospects of success and wealth in London. Sounds like a good plan to me! I’m most excited about Kenya. I just picked up a “Beginner’s Swahili” from the library and get my vaccinations next week. I think there’s about seven of them – such fun!

Other than that, not much is happening. Though it is absolutely Anarchy in the UK – it’s snowing again, the student riots are completely out of control, tube strikes and maintenance works left right and centre, all this riff raff about some Wikileaks thing (far too complicated for my small mind to follow) and everyone went bonkers about the X Factor finale which I didn’t even follow. Don’t I look like the fool. I did receive a letter yesterday addressed to “The Queen Kate Fitzpatrick” which is a pleasant upgrade from the derisory “Baronness”. It included a letter from PM Julia Gilliard expressing her excitement for the upcoming royal wedding, as well as a couple of letters from some very creative brothers of mine who have recently graduated and are enjoying the paradise of Lennox Heads (or what remains). The most disappointing news they reported was that our neighbours of 21 years have moved. After they hit the ball over the fence. Doh! It will be a challenge to find other neighbours who are equally as tolerant to my loud late-night renditions of Khe Sahn and Ring of Fire. And I will surely miss being serenaded to sleep by scales on the French horn. Sigh.

Off to the watering hole for some drinks with Justine and Therise. And to book flights to KUNYAAAAA

I feel it is fitting to end with a quote.

Asiyefunzwa na mamaye, hufunzwa na ulimwengu

He who was not taught by his mother will be taught by the world.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

ode to burma

The other day I read that a bunch newspapers in China were censored because they featured Aung San Suu Kyi (that Burmese political prisoner chick) too prominently. What bollocks! I think my blog is having the opposite problem - I'm not featuring Aung San Suu Kyi prominently enough. So here is an ode to the Kyi-unit to remedy this dire, dire problem.

Still not prominent enough...

Not yet, maybe a bit more..

Maybe that last one crossed the line..........but now I'm up to date and even with my Chinese counterparts. Y-A-Y!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thunder, lightning, rain rain rain

First of all, this is a pretty cool invention. I hope both world poverty and the iRevolution simultaneously continue to progress in great bounds and leaps!

Yesterday I went and saw Oliver! at Drury Lane Theatre Royale. Oh my days it was such an amazing performance. Compared to the version of Oliver! I saw at the dilapidated Wynnum community hall when I was about 6, I’d say this one was pretty good. I had vivid flashbacks to year eight “consider yourself” performance number, humming the ‘Oliver’ tune while working in a European sweatshop bakery for a man named Oliver, and the time I was a homeless orphan in London and a little cockney boy took me under his wing to a grimy underground brothel and taught me how to pick pockets. Good times. Followed by sushi, cider, and Shoreditch, Saturday was surely a tip-top day.

I’ve also got a new job. I have been personally selected among thousands of applicants to work at Citigroup Canary Wharf, the world’s largest financial group. I will be working on the 36th floor, alongside some of the richest and most powerful bankers in the world. I will be crafting them exceptional semi-skimmed lattes and slices of mouth-watering carrot cake to feed their hungry stomachs with food and minds with banter, allowing them to continue to rule the corporate world.

This now being my 47893th job in London, I believe I have experience quite a well rounded cross section of jobs that London has to offer. From a traditional English pub, to a famous punk club, to an overpriced vintage stall, to the au courant Topshop, and now banking giants Citigroup (or “Starbucks Citigroup” if you want to be completely po-co), I’ve done it all.

Employment comes as a huge relief to me. Though it means I actually have to leave my bed each day and face the chill, it also means I can stop living out of cans. After the successful opening of discount supermarket LIDL on high street – where fireworks are sold next to laundry detergent – I have been enjoying a diet consisting largely of canned soup and instant noodles. However, I did branch out one day, y’know, thought outside the box, went out of my comfort zone, tried new things…but new things can be dangerous. This time I may have gone too far.

For 19p, it was an appealing choice. Low in sugar, high in carbs, filling, the goodness of tomatoy nutrition, as well as a quintessentially English choice.

The taste, to sober taste buds, was not the worst thing ever. It was hardly a Gordan Ramsay delicacy, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on the menu of a more standard-deficient restaurant (not mentioning any in particular…*ROYAL MAIL HOTEL*) As you could imagine, the liquid brew slid down my throat smoothly, happily filling my stomach with the MSG-coated goodness of snags and beans. However my stomach didn’t stay happy for too long. I was soon enough doubled over and clutching my stomach in snag-induced pain. But I’ve learnt that like basic hygiene and fitness levels, comfort is something that one must forgo to survive comfortably (or near-comfortably) in London.

Other than that, I’ve just been watching too much Dexter and Hollyoaks, finishing an assignment, contemplating my long term career goals, Harry Potter world premier, went to Liverpool, saw MEN at a burlesque bar, and keeping well hydrated in the evenings. Bet you haven’t noticed that I’ve also changed my typeface. It was a branding decision.

Guy Fawkes night just down the street..

My neighbourhood is a very open-minded one.

Snape kills Dumbledore.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pride, a wonderful emotion

I'm currently in hibernation and have nothing creative to say for myself, so I'm going to let another brilliant blog do the talking. It taught me a lot about the word "pride" and its inner meaning.

There are a few different meanings of the emotive word PRIDE. An old saying goes “Pride before the fall”. This pride infers smugness, conceit, or even arrogance and these human traits are never popular as they contain elements of egotism and ignorance. The PRIDE that we love and need occurs when we are thrilled that someone or some organisation does something special and we feel passionate about this achievement.

When “Advance Australia Fair” is played as they raise the Aussie flag at the medal ceremony, or when our mighty Maroons lift the State of Origin Trophy (again), we feel euphorically happy, and sometimes emotions will spill over and the eyes become a little watery. That PRIDE is the good PRIDE. There is no egotism here. This feeling is one of sharing and this feeling is often experienced as a group, so it’s personal but at the same time it’s an emotion that unites the group or community. We feel better because our SELF ESTEEM has increased.

I can still remember the times when my children were “on show” – either in the school play or scoring the try that won the game. As parents nothing compares to the PRIDE we feel when our children achieve their goals and I don’t mean just winning – I mean “having a go” or bringing some kudos to their group, team or school. As they say “the heart swells with PRIDE” and very often the memory of these moments last for many years, and sometimes as long as we live.
During the last NRL season I saw Jamie Simpson score a try and he immediately grabbed the front of his Rabbitohs jersey and kissed the club logo. Jamie is a former St. Brendan’s student who overcame some massive hurdles in his life and in doing so has become an inspiration to many. What Jamie has achieved is incredible but this brave and humble young man is extremely proud of his club and of the wonderful game of Rugby League so he spontaneously and unashamedly demonstrates this PRIDE for all to see.

When I witness these moments, I feel PRIDE. I am proud of my allegiance to Rugby League and I know that there are hundreds of thousands of fellow Rugby League supporters that feel the same as me.
I know that in a few years time, I will be sitting in a magnificent world class stadium in Central Queensland and our own CQ NRL team will run onto the green grass into the white light. The Central Queensland dominated crowd of 20,000 will come to their feet and cheer for their team. A team with a predominance of Central Queensland players and individually and collectively we will have that sense of happiness, relief that it is here at last. It is this PRIDE that we Central Queenslanders need to experience. The wonderful flow-on effect of this PRIDE is the massive increase in our SELF ESTEEM as a community.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

a pool of liver

Been working, been drinking, went to liverpool, and now I'm cooking dinner. It's a lamb roast. From a box. It has 26% of my RDA of salt but only 19% of my overall RDA but I'm not worried.
I hope this post pleases you Mark.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

nahhhhhhh nah nah nah

I'm not posting because I've dropped off the face of the earth. And plus I'm enjoying the bad concept film/2 minute noodles/hangover combination too much to string coherent sentences together for your convenience. Still unemployed so I might skip town and catch an unlicensed taxi to Moscow. Good idea?

Friday, October 8, 2010

my birthday lasts a week

Raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright coloured kettles and warm woolley mittens. Fosters and bogans and bands that can’t sing,
These are a few of my favourite things

Shazza and I have much in common.

Monday, September 27, 2010


In hindsight, I probably didn’t give a realistic account of what could be considered the greatest weekend of my life (also known as Oktoberfest). It was truly amazing – the food, the beer, the scummy drunken Aussies. I wish I could

Not knowing much about this ‘Germany’ fellow other than they are the world’s leading exporters of Bavarian beer, efficiency, and Jews, I decided to do a little research. I was pleased with what I found:

World War I

Also known as the Great Music Wars. Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the Kaiser Chiefs of Germany had an ongoing battle for world chart supremacy, decades of violence had gone on between the two rivals, so Franz Ferdinand released a single called “Take me out” which was an offer of peace, asking the Kaiser Chiefs to go out for a nice Bratwurst and a pint of beer with them and talk things over.

Unfortunately the Kaiser Chefs saw this single as a taunt on their military capability and athletic prowess and this ended in the unfortunate assassination of Franz Ferdinand. This resulted in the Great Music Wars of 19141918 and the defeat of the Kaiser Chiefs.

Germany was so taken with grief at the death of their leaders they called for Franz Ferdinand to have to sit in a small isolated room listening to non-stop playback of Kaiser Chief songs. After 3 days and 4 hours later Franz Ferdinand was found dead with his hands over his ears.
(Wikipedia, 2010)

On arriving to Germany, my fellow well-travelled passengers gave me various pieces of advice. One told me not to - under any occasion, even in solitary - do the nazi salute. (“What, this?” I asked inquisitively, lifting my arms up…before very suddenly being tackled to the ground) Another told me not to mention showers or yellow stars and I’d be fine.

Considering Germany a) boarders Turkey b) has towns named ‘Hamburg” and 'Frankfurt' c) is full of fat people, you could make some serious assumptions about the calibre and importance of food in Germany. And oh my cowboy boots, are those assumptions correct. Over the three blissful days of booze-filled fun, I indulged in sauerkraut, pork knuckles, huge pretzels, gingerbread, beigels, sandwiches, paninis, crepes, many a bratwurst (sausage), pimmels (chips), and probably a lot of other stuff that’s really bad for me but I can’t remember because I was distracted*.

The beer was also brewed to an exquisite standard. Of the 6 490 600 litres of beer which is consumed at Oktoberfest, I believe I consumed at least 12L of it. I can’t be too sure, but I reckon I tried Lowenbrau, Hoffbrau, the Bavarian wheat beer with a monk on the front, a Lowenbrau ‘radler’ (which is German for ‘shandy’, which is in turn slang for ‘pissweak’), Paulaner and Augustiner, while visiting about 6 of the 14 tents. Most of them had pretty cool traditional Bavarian decorations and entertainment all day long, and to keep you in form stopped every ten minutes or so to make everyone toast. The Oktoberfest toast is sung and goes “Ein Prosit, ein prosit’, then a long word which I could never pronounce so I just kind of hummed and faked it, and then you took a swig of your 1L stein. Of course, if you were playing drinking games on top of that your stein would empty even quicker, so you can see how it’s a vicious cycle. Yeah the steins are 1L each, they’re such a challenge. Everyone had stein-related bruises on their hands from holding the steins up to their mouths all day. I can hardly imagine what the poor beer wenches go through. But they get 20 000 Euros worth of tips for the two weeks, so it would be worth it. That’s incentive enough to learn German solely for that purpose. I’M KEEN.

So other than that, I haven’t been up to much. As soon as I got back I got into jobsearching (which for the record is quite difficult when you don’t have internet access or a printer) and have about 7 job possibilities so I’m not too worried at the moment. Poor, but not worried. In fact I was at a job interview on Friday, and I found the King’s College orientation day in a series of tunnels nearby. Tunnels. Open day. King’s College. Amazing. Oh yeah so if you find yourself signed up for King’s College Gynaecology Society, I will be in the opposite side of the earth giggling into a cupped hand and admiring my own hilarity.

So I decided to detox after Oktoberfest as I felt royally sheizenhousen after putting my body through that ordeal, however it hasn’t really worked out considering I’ve been out drinking for the past four nights. I’m going to take a break this week though and preserve my liver for next weekend which happens to be my birthday weekend! Oh how lovely! Yet simultaneously depressing, as nobody will know where to send their birthday packages they have for me**. I plan a bit of a bender which may or may not include drinking by the Camden canal, club NME at Koko’s, Barfly, Proud, happy hour at the cocktail bar, dancing on tables somewhere, NRL grand final at 7am Sunday, and the infamous once-in-a-lifetime journey to The Church. Come if you can!

*distracted being synonymous with ‘very drunk’

** Flat 56 Crowndale Court Camden NW1 1TY would be an option.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

das land der bier und nudists

So last Thursday, with a mind as open as limitless as the tangent of fx= 3x²y, I climbed aboard the Busabout prison van to serve my sentence at the Oktoberfest concentration Camp. From this moment onwards, I suffered pain and infirmity at the hands of a selected few ‘guides’ (as they called themselves). Oktoberfest is definitely a memorable experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life, as now that I know what pain feels like it makes the painlessness of normal life simply blissful. Eighteen long, uncomfortable hours were spent on the bus, and the most disturbing part of it was being subjected to the torture technique of ‘Austin Powers’. While the Guides planned the future torture to come, we feeble prisoners whispered amongst ourselves of the crimes we had committed to be there – enjoying our youths, having an open mind, being free agents – and the dreaded agony which loomed before us, which rumoured to include the infamous Camp Thalkerchin shower chambers.

Arriving at the living quarters, we were stripped of our identities and branded with an orange wristband, then changed into our debasing uniforms. The men were subjected to uncomfortable leather overalls (‘ladenhosen’), childishly long socks and simply humiliating shoes. The women were burdened with ‘durndls’, consisting of off-white low-cut blouses, hefty and unsightly-patterned dresses, and stockings and shoes. And how the Guides laughed at us! The humiliation was nearly too much to bear; some broke down and cried, while others tried to foster revolutionary fervour and remind the enemy of our common faults: our nationality. The ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie’ chant was quickly quelled by the Guides who reprimanded the rebels for their actions.

We then were piled back onto the prison van and transferred to a camp called Munich, a mean trick as all the signs were in a foreign tongue which none of us spoke. We were shepherded into the first torture tent called The Hoffbrauhouse where we were given our first dose of the Yellow Poison. This deathly liquid is the most common form of torture at the Oktoberfest Camp and is administered in huge 1litre doses. The first night they tested the waters, giving us a mere 1-2L each, while on average prisoners are generally given 6-15L per day. The adverse side affects we suffered from the initial dose gave us a preview of what was to come for the next few days: dizziness, headaches, loss of ability to speak, loss of decision making abilities, loss of balance, vision impairment, and acting completely out of character. Those prisoners lucky enough to retain some of their abilities were able to get on the Busabout prison van back to Thalkirchen, but a couple including the pitiable yours truly were completely bowled over by the Yellow Poison and the foreign surroundings, and was forced to negotiate the Autobahn or the train lines which previous prisoners had slaved away building for us. On arriving back at the Camp, the scene was dire: the majority of the 70 000 prisoners were stumbling and swarming about, completely inebriated by the Yellow Poison, not knowing what they were doing, yelling out infanities, stewing in their filth, speaking in tongues, dancing, kissing, hugging, crying, fighting…it was a sad day in the history of humanity.

Conditions didn’t improve in our living quarters. Our tents consisted of a thin and worn material stretched over the cold, dewy, Deustch (Deustch, as a matter of interest, is a German word for "fat nudist") grass as we struggled to find warmth in whatever scraps of materials we were permitted. But that torture didn’t last long, as a Greater Torture was soon forced upon us: a 5:45am rising time. Our breakfast rations included pieces of bread with plastic cheese in between, a meal that some would consider fit only for animals, but ney was fed to us. At ridiculous o’clock, dressed in our ridiculous uniforms, we returned to ridiculous Munich and were herded through to the Oktoberfest Camp where our patience was tested in a queue, a unique form of torment which is unheard of in most of Europe, especially in London. After the horrid queue, we waited in some kind of a chamber with long tables and chairs, were fed rations of salty and doughy pretzels until suddenly the clock struck midday and it was once again time for the Yellow Poisen. Female prisoners dressed like us (no doubt who had committed the severest of crimes to earn such grim penalties) administered these doses, and my, they were high. Some people were given 6L in only a few short hours. Some were lucky and only escaped with half doses. I think (though I can’t remember properly, I was quite affected by the Poisen) that I suffered about 6 or 7 litres of Poisen that day. Before I was completely knocked out by the Juice, I do remember consuming tainted chicken, pork knuckles, sauerkraut, and pretzels, as well as conferring with Japanese spies, standing on tables, and yelling out the Prisoner’s Cry of hope, ‘Ein Prosit!’.

The next day followed much the same. Some selected few were taken away to a faraway castle for more torture – undoubtedly these prisoners were suspected spies and were keeping information from the Guides. I and a few other prisoners were tossed into the Hoffbrau torture tent that day, where we cleverly avoided the infamous and highly dangerous pig pen. The aim of the pig pen is to cause the sufferer as much pain and humiliation as possible by ripping of whatever underwear they are wearing and tossing it atop some sort of statue. Drowsy from starting the Poisen far too early, I retired to Camp Thalkirchen early to toss and turn in the utter coldness and lonliness of confinement.

Finally the last day. You’d think they’d go easy on us, inflict us with lesser punishments or even let us off the hook completely. Ney, my friend. These people have no consciences, no morals, not even a scent of decency in their structures. They are the most malicious collection of cells you will ever meet. We were taken to not one, not two, but up to six tents for injections that day. Then while still feeling the adverse affects of the drug, piled unto the Busabout Prison van to suffer the same eighteen hour ride home, - home to Freedom. Many of us awakened to notice our cash had mysteriously disappeared, our clothes were in a terrible state, our bodies were weak and sickly, our skin oily, our statures 5kg the heavier, and our morale had reached new lows. One last torture called ‘It’s complicated’ (also known as ‘death by rom-com’) and we were nearly free. At last we stumbled out of the prison van, having served our once-in-a-lifetime sentence at the Oktoberfest Camp, back to London. Perfect, sunny, happy, simple, London. London full of people more than happy to help you. London full of people that speak perfect English. London where jobs are readily available and stable. London where living costs are so low. London where it is not acceptable to wear ridiculous durndls and ladenhousen. London where it is warm. London where it is sober.

So that is it. Friends, family, future employers, cyber stalkers, computer software programs, and small children banging away on a keyboard who ended up on this page...let it be known.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Das ist life, jah!

What do the words ‘unemployed’, ‘noninterventionist’, ‘abroad’ and ‘slightly magnetic’ have in common?

Other than a shitload of syllables, ME.

Once again, I’m unemployed and off to another country to indulge in the 200th celebration of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and some sheila via the four Greatest Gifts to Mankind: Malt, Hops, Yeast, and Water. I’m lugging myself into a coach (also known to the layman as a ‘bus’) to some small country town called Munich to freeze my plaits off, wear drindls, eat sausages and giant pretzels, and down one litre steins of Lowenbrau and my arch enemy Bavaria beer. With my extensive knowledge of the German language, wars, cuisine, and culture, I believe I will fare quite well, and there is definitely NO NEED* to check up on me this weekend. Repeat, NO NEED**.

And to disappoint all you sceptics who are brimming with impatience to shriek in my face with a big sneering grin ‘I TOLD YOU SO! I KNEW YOU’D FAIL!’, I didn’t get fired as such. In fact, I’ve never been fired as such. I’ve been alerted via text message to hand in my uniform, I’ve been informed that my role is no longer available, my fictitious three month trial period has been discontinued – and this time, there is simply no job for me when I return. So, as I learnt in my third ‘dismissal’, ‘London’s tough’ (a phrase containing the words “no” and “shit” comes to mind).

No use crying over spilt milk. Nod is as good as a wink to a blind man. It’s not worth a brass razoo, a cracker, a pinch of goat’s shit, a rat’s arse, a row of beans – tuppeneny or a two bob to get as toey as a Roman’s sandal, to crack the shits, to get as mad as a cut snake, a hornet, a maggot, a meat-axe! I’m onto bigger and better things. To get bleary-eyed, pickled, sauced, screwed, soused, sozzled, three sheets to the wind, under the affluence of incohol, pissed as a fart, a cricket, a newt, a parrot – as full as a bull’s bum, a fairy’s phonebox, a seaside shithouse on a bank holiday, a pommy complaint box…I’M GOING TO GET SHITFACED.

And what, you may be wondering, am I doing to ‘maintain homeostatis’ as I so gently phrase handling the mature responsibilities of paying rent and feeding myself? Well I have two interviews next week and have pestered many a pub and caf√© on Camden High Street on my way home. I’m also writing for a music website (I’ll post it later) and looking into part time work and shit like that that Other People (who aren’t Me) do. What else have I been doing? Drinking! I had sweet shifts last week (work has been great, really) and managed many-a sneaky pint in with my various Londoner (well mostly Australian) friends who I’d love to name them all here but I’m momentarily distracted by the name “Smith”. Oh and my beloved Justine came down for a night! I won’t go into what mischief we got up to, not because it was one of those nights where I talk shit and would rather forget it, but because I simply can’t remember. Ah, the spirit and vigour of youth.

Well now my NI number has finally come through (meaning I get a whole 2 pounds off tax when I get paid) I am visiting my local GP until he (or she, I understand how this whole ‘feminism’ and ‘gender equality’ thing works) either finds something wrong with me or praises me for taking good care of myself. Either way, I’ll make a drinking game out of it. So, until I return from das land der bier und mein kampf with a head full of lead, 10kg heavier, and a great contempt for public toilets, auf weiderstein!

*As a sidenote, my number is 07583301557

**The dialling code from Australia may or may not begin with 00 and end with 11

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Moving in the right direction

Bonjourno senor

Since my last post, I have been inundated with many questions from my scores of adoring fans…Kate do you realise what haggis actually contains? Can you tell me where job centre is? Excuse me miss, can you please get down from the marquee? But that’s not an accurate cross section, so here are the more frequently asked ones, answered for my little darlings peace of mind…

Why haven’t you posted lately?

Because I’ve been busy doing other things, like setting the world record for Most Sausage Rolls Consumed in a 24 Hour Period (10 if you were wondering) and maintaining homeostasis.

Have you got any tattoes in Camden yet?

No. But I’ve met a very nice young DIY tattooist who has a home studio and is willing to cut me some sick rates on a Southern Cross on my back, maybe Carpe Diem around my neck, and a Julia Gillard caricature on my arms.

How are you?


What are you eating?

Eggs, mainly. Because there are so many ways to cook them (runny, on toast, in toast, scrambled, boiled, raw, the one where I put stuff in with it and mix it around the pan, etc). Obviously sausage rolls as well, and also I have indulged in green tea, a quite poorly crafted sub (slow service and untesselated cheese as well – definitely not returning), and any rotten fruit or vege I can negotiate from Yousef (“rotten” is quite an abstract, concept word here).

Have you done much sight seeing lately?

Though the prospect of immersing myself in busy places of interest (interest here is a strong word) with mind-atrophying brainless tourists and overpriced food outlets is very appealing, I’m momentarily distracting by twiddling my thumbs.

How is work?

GREAT. This is the first job where I can swear and yell at the customers. Are these the toilets? What else would they be dipshit? Can I have your number? Fuck off twat. I want two JD and coke. WAS THAT TWO JD AND COKES PLEASE? Though I’m paid at minimum (or below) wage, 5.75/hr, and tips are pretty bad, it’s lots of fun, and I feel myself getting more ‘cultured’ with every Polish gothic metal song my ears are greeted with.

When are you coming back?

I don’t know.

Can you please lend me a pound?

Funny that, I was going to ask you the same question mate.

Have you made many friends?


Many plans to travel Europe?

Yes, actually next week I’m heading to Oktoberfest in Munich (which happens to be a part of a small relatively unknown country called GERMANY). I also have unplanned plans to scope out Brighton, and maybe Dublin and Belfast after my birthday sometime. Hey it’s my birthday in two weeks!

Are you homesick at all?

For Brisbane? Yeah right.

Did you get my letter?

No, I didn’t, you’ll have to send it again.

Flat 56, Crowndale Royal Court, Crowndale Road, CAMDEN NW1 1TY.

Your credit card is declined, did you want to pay with cash?

Ummmmmmmmm…I have some money outside…my friend out there – in the urine-stained poncho – he’s got my coins….i’ll be back in a tick………….

I’m looking for Her Majesty Kate Fitzpatrick?

Yes, that’s me. What are you looking at? Get back to work my royal subjects and make my kingdom as clean as possible.

Who put the bop in the bop-she-bop-she-bop?

I did. It’s there for a reason.

I hope that keeps all of you eager beavers settled for awhile. This week I’m busy working, sleeping, a little bit of studying (up to week two yee haw) and consuming bulk pints most nights. Staff drinks after work are keeping me in form on the weekends and through the weekdays I have accumulated a network of various drinking partners for different nights, ranging from a famous convicted graffiti artist to a German cupcake vendor. Sadly two more of my friends are heading back to their countries having served their sentences in London, however one more has come over, and my good chum Justine is coming down from the mid and/or highlands on Friday. Now having mastered the modern ‘convenience’ of the gas stove, I must focus my efforts on conquering the ‘broom’ contraption, while simultaneously putting my nasty hangover to the back of my mind. Ah, multitasking, a women’s worst nightmare.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A misst ye sae muckle!

Guid mornin, hou ar ye?

Welcome to my wrap up of the Land of the Gaels, the country which in fact shares the same island with Britain (yes I sealed my MENSA application yesterday), is abundant in ginger-topped outcasts and chlorophyll, and deep fries everything from their mars bars to their first born children.

Well before we kicked off on a lengthy, uncomfortable, and little-planned eight hour bus trip, my partner in crime Jenni of the Sky, Thane of the Pavement, and I and a few others embarked on a night out on town. Like many other of our cultivated nights in London, it started with cheap cocktails and free kebabs, and ended at a people-powered revolving dancefloor at a heavy dub and bass underground club at Shoreditch, where the only evidence of orderliness, staff, or security was a man at the door holding a shovel. Somewhere between these two extremities we danced on a bar while our friends in a band played. Totally not gloating though. But it was a bar. And a revolving dancefloor. In a club. Revolving. Ingenius.

After a swift recovery, some speedy packing and some nifty negotiating, we were soon on our way to SCOTLAND. Where the main exports are sheep, silly accents, and WHISKY. All of which I’m pleased to say we experienced in our weekend abroad. Arriving in Edinburgh in the middle of the Fringe Festival was mind blowing; I can’t believe I ever tried to defend Brisbane as ‘cultured’ and ‘refined’ when I arrived. Flyers and pamphlets were flung into our faces left right and centre in the most inventive of ways, while castles lined every skyline; and what excited me most of all was that I finally found where all the young people are hiding. Not in London, no, everyone’s old and worrying about tax and the economy and Katie Price’s new scandal. All the young people are busy in Scotland being ridiculously good looking art students. Though this is not true for everyone, we (in our good faith and sense of adventure) witnessed a bunch of unfortunate looking students performing improv for one of the most painful hours of my life. We were seduced by the witty title of ‘Edinburgh Fridge’ however it takes more than a pedestrian pun to pull off an hours’ improv about ‘The Esoteric Superior Paradise Process’ and ‘Michael Jackson Mischevious Harry Potter and the Troublesome Teletubbies’. Luckily our spirits were soon lifted by some classic Bells’ Whiskey and musical comedy. The walking tour was also really good. I thought Australia’s 200 year history of convict settlement and bogans was pretty impressive until I heard about Scotland’s history and the Scottish Enlightenment. Yeah there’s heaps of stuff about English Rule, pirates and Vikings, Loch Ness, Crown Jewels, haunted castles, and giving the keys of the city to a dog…but most importantly and notably in Scottish history (though has been overlooked on Scotland’s Wikipedia page…this may need fixing…) Scotland is where Harry Potter was imagined. AND WRITTEN. So there was pretty much no other option for Jenni and I than to spend our afternoon trawling through the cemetery where JK Rowling found names for her characters, dining at the caf√© where she wrote it, and wondering what spells would keep us warm from the cold.

The next fine sunny day we made our way to Glasgow, which I found to be hardly as impressive as Edinburgh as it chiefly reminded me of Brisbane and Queen street too much. I think we definitely saw the ‘best of’ Glasgow though – that is, the ‘best of’ the inside of a pub where 10 pounds (10 Scottish pounds mind you) got us five pints and two cocktails. That said, two of the pints were bought for us ‘because it’s nice to see a new face in this pub’ (read: we haven’t seen a female in this pub for a few years)(the pub was similar to a TAB)(yes we drank cocktails at the TAB, what are you looking at?). But then, our main agenda in Scotland: BLINK 182. With a median age of 14, the crowd was made up of fat, sweaty, Scottish emos who seemingly hadn’t showered in a few days and all ate Chinese for dinner. It was pretty rough, a few people fell on me from the sky and I have quite a few bruises, but my God blink were awesome! They played all the classics, and for the encore, Travis Barker played drums UPSIDE DOWN. That’s like, revolving, but in a whole nother direction. Revolving. Again. Ingenius.

With that we spent the rest of the night at the very cold Buchanan Bus Station Hostel before an eleven hour bus ride home. Which was followed by an hours’ bus ride home, an hours’ frantic packing, another hour on the tube to Heathrow, a dramatic and somewhat uncalled for staged scene at the security gate, and then an eight hour flight to Singapore for young Jenni as she leaves this wondrous country of Tea and Scones. Though good effort for her, three countries in one day. She’s a woman of nerve that Jenni.

As for me, I did get fired from my Earls’ Court job. No matter how much I tried to be posh, my inner bogan shone through. You can’t polish a turd. Or you can take the girl out of Wynnum, but you can’t take the Wynnum out of the girl. But on the positive side (of my being bankrupt and unable to afford rent), I have a new job at The World’s End and the club underneath called The Underworld, where some really small local-you-probably-haven’t-heard-of-them bands have played like Nirvana, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Babyshamles, Goldfrapp, Pete Doherty, and others. Really underground, really indie. You wouldn’t understand. Though it’s mainly an extreme metal club – this week on of my favourite bands Motion City Soundtrack are playing which is I dunno TOTALLY AWESOME! Not being good with names, plus working with a bunch of generic hardcores, I have been identifying my co-workers by their earring size and distinguishing tattoes. There’s Spiky Stud, Gaping-Holes-In-Ears-Mike/Mark, Middle-Nostril, Fat Man with Naked Girl on Arm, Fat Man With Long Grey Hair, and Dreadlocks from Melbourne.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Mainly getting fired, running away to Scotland, and working in a hardcore pub. And also being extremely disappointed and worried about the lack of certain and stable government in Australia. At least with a hung parliament I kind of feel that my vote actually counted in the bigger scheme of things. My vote which I threw into the ballot box while singing Khe Sahn. My vote which I may or may not have been decided by a Magic Eraser. My vote which was definitely below the line. Australia, aren’t you glad I vote?

Well keep me updated, yeah? And as they say in Scotland,


My vote needed to be well documented to properly count.

Like hurling in Ireland and eating in Germany, Quidditch remains Scotland's national sport. This is the training pitch.

Casually trawling through the cemeteries of Edinburgh.

Oooh...aah....well I never!

In one of the best stories I've heard in years, this dog was given the keys to the city to save him from being murdered. A real life Lassie. As you can see, hundreds of years later, people from all over the world take a pilgrimage to this statue to pay their respects to a beacon of hope in a world full of misery.

MMM DEEP FRIED HAGGIS.. marginally better than Meadow Cakes

If you're gonna buy it, deep fry it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

le crowndale cafe

While I conquer the washing machine and recover from Scotland, I thought I'd make an update on how I am getting along, as few people believed I am capable of feeding myself properly or even working a gas stove for that matter (turns out gas should be turned OFF if not in use).

Now that I'm unemployed again (The Courtfield and I went our separate can take the girl out of Wynnum, but you can't take the Wynnum out of the girl) the challenge has arisen to feed myself creatively yet on a tight budget. And I embraced this challenge head on and you will be pleased to see that I have come up with a delectable range of foods for any occasion that would nourish a growing young girl such as myself. So sit yourself down at le Shitspatrick Steakhouse and take a look as our finest chefs prepare you London's greatest dishes which are up there with Jamie Oliver and that other fat British guy from Masterchef.


on Crowndale Mansions

**All meals are served with natural garnish freshly picked from the courtyard gardens (garnish subject to dirt and forces of nature) **


Black tea with wholemeal bread crust 67p

A la raw Toaste – a matured slice of bread wrapped in oxygen, lightly garnished with happiness 75p

Room temperature water (options available: still, fresh, tap, toilet, recycled) 25p


French toast (no milk – lactose intolerant alternative) 1.50

May-or-may-not-be-off crispy garden salad 67p
A lucky dip of various leafy greens found in the Crowndale gardens garnished with natural dressing.

Medium-rare scrambled eggs $1
Taking runny eggs to a whole new level. Ideal for the adventurous eater or egg enthusiast.

Soup of the day – now with no ‘bits’! 90p
A vegan and gluten free alternative

Complimentary leftover balls
a delicious variety of bite-sized pieces of food served at room temperature served on cutlery and plate glazed in residual protein-synthesizing-saliva and lingering sauce

Baby food puree 70p
contains all essential vitamins and minerals essential for a growing human being pleasantly packaged into a small calorie restricted easy to digest meal

House Haggis 50p
best not to ask


Tea with milk $1

Milk with tea $1

Chewing gum 80p


Banana bits

Watermelon dregs

Meadow Cake

All meals are subject to seasons and income. Some food may contain traces of mould. You may remove/scoop out the mould yourself or ask one of our friendly chefs to do it for you for a 80p surcharge.

Tips are welcome. All meals are suitable for children. There is no free wifi. Unisex toilets are located on the right hand side of the kitchen sink.

I will update with Blink 182, revolving dancefloors at Shoreditch, getting fired, Edinburgh Fringe, Glasgow, Jenni's sad farewell and other stories from the vault soon. Living, working, AND STUDYING in London gets very tiresome you see.