Straight Shenanigans.

It was a couple of weeks ago, I sat on the back of the bench seat at The Bucket List, close enough to the sea to smell the thick salty water. Melina was next to me and we were bobbing along to a free Cloud Control gig, a few buckets of Corona in, the sun shining down.

She turned to me then and asked, ‘how much do you fucking love your life right now?’.

It made me think about my birthday, and how we all took that photo together at the bowling club and I thought, these people are here for me. And all I could think was that the reason for birthdays is for an excuse to have all of your favourite people in one place.

That’s what I thought of when she said it. The BBQ that day was perfectly planned and I was afraid no one would show up. I always worry no one will show up; turns out that’s normal. Anyway, this isn’t about that day, that was a few weeks ago now. It’s just that I remember that moment, and when I look back on the past few weeks, I keep hearing Melina’s voice because; I do fucking love my life. I can’t believe this is my life. It’s like that.

Public holidays stand out in your mind, because they are continually celebrated dates. Many of them aren’t that memorable, I’ve had 26 fourth of Julys {in theory}, and I remember less than a handful of them. But there are these moments that you will never forget. Many of them fall on these memorable dates; holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. Sometimes you see it when you’re in it, sometimes it takes reflection.

I stood with one foot on each side of the makeshift wooden barrier. I looked at the monopoly-bright bills in the air. I thought, always bet heads, but I didn’t bet at all. For the first time in three years, I didn’t bet. I just… forgot. 


The first year I was in The Rocks, with Cailin. She was visiting for a few weeks and we bet, and we made a video about how you always bet heads. We laughed and we danced with marching banks in kilts {kilts?!}, we bought 4 beers per time; they came in plastic cups from the outdoor bar, which was really just a wooden lemonade stand. I don’t remember if I came out up or down, it didn’t really matter. I learned an important lesson: always bet heads. I used to favour tails.

The next year; ANZAC Day number 2, I woke up hungover. I wish I could remember what I did the night before… It was unexpectedly hot and sunny for April and Amanda and I caught a bus to a gigantic pub that I never knew existed in the middle of the eastern beaches. The Cloey had bleachers set up outside, bleachers {!}, it was like high school football as we stood and cheered, but there was more beer this time. It was a girl’s ANZAC, a single girls scoping out hot guys ANZAC with the worst wingwoman known to history… {*cough* Elaine…}. I was in the midst of moving flats and I came home to a sole queen-sized bed and dog that wasn’t mine. I had to go to work the next day. But it was no less memorable.

This year, I didn’t plan. For once. That’s a huge step for me, I’m a planner when it comes to these things. See, it’s like my birthday, it’s like, I want all those people in one place, with me!

I saw my first dawn service this year, maybe the looming reality that I will get my permanent residency this year finally motivated me to get out there. The 5:30am wake-up didn’t phase me this time. It was the early starts in Tassie and the surf mornings that trained me. We planned a boozy brekky at my house because it’s the most central house in Bondi. It started at about 10am and the rest is history. This year we chose Woolhara Hotel; we may have been persuaded. The Terrace was small but we fit. There were bleachers there too.


This year was about new friends, about bringing together old friends with strangers. At dusk we traveled to The Sheaf, a Sydney institution of which I have more stories than actual nights at. It’s surprising that we all ended up back together in the end, dancing, some of us falling on the dance floor, some of us drinking. It ended early enough to still feel late and as we piled one too many in a taxi back to Bondi, we chalked another one up to straight up shenanigans. The best kind.

It was one of those moments where I looked around and thought, well how did this happen?