No time to waste, I have a cheesecake cooling that needs a Fiona taste test. Let’s do this

THE GRATITUDE LIST

Physicore

At then end of the 2015 rowing season – deep breath – I hated rowing. HAAAAAATTTEEEEEDDDD IT. I’d forced myself to do every single soul sucking erg (ie. rowing machine in gym aka Satan’s Sled of Self-Flagelation) throughout an epic year of criss crossing the country delivering sales offices. I was doing ergs sent by Koach Kim at 10pm Perth time / 1 am Sydney time after finishing on site for the day. I did ergs in hot tin sheds while on holidays. I had to ask nice lady gym owner to remove cat firstly off the erg seat so I could do erg and then remove cat entirely from my sight as its mere presence was JUDGING ME and my erg output. I have erged in cookie cutter gyms while muscled men carefully avoid the sweating mess that was me on the erg muttering: “FREAKIN’ HATE THIS, HATE THIS, KILL ME NOWWWWWW”. So yeah, my sparkle was dulled. And on top of that, I had the worst season ever results wise. I hit the pause button on rowing and did a mash up of other fitness classes, one of those being Physicore. Never have 8 counts out / 8 counts back meant so much pain. But I loved it. I can’t grapevine to save myself. When I do burpees, I get tangled up with feet and legs and I have fallen on slow moving gym goers nearby. I dislike jumping as a rule as I look idiotic. But the slow and controlled movements on sliding beds, pulleys that rip your abs apart and donkey kicks that crunch your glutes? LOVE IT!

ME, EARL AND THE DYING GIRL

On my way to Auckland at the end of October, I snapped on the inflight entertainment and discovered this gem of a movie. Beautiful and deeply heartfelt. So much so, I was a sobbing mess several times while watching it. Nice man sitting next me passed me his napkin at one stage so I could try and stem the flow of tears. Yeah, its full of teenage kids and its not miles away from the John Hughes movies of my much younger years but it is just heartbreaking and life affirming all at once because it deals with the truth of “Sometimes, things don’t work out for the best”. Watch it with hankies, Haighs frogs and a love one you can text at the end to tell them how much you love them.

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl-poster-olivia-cooke

KURT VILE “B’LEIVE I’M GOING DOWN”

This was a find through Double J, the 2015 release from Kurt filled with sly humour, everyday cuts of real life, guitars sounding like banjos and wisful glances in the rear view mirror of life. I laid on my lounge room floor smoking imaginary cigarettes in the darkness letting this music seep into me. I reckon you should do the same. Even with the pretend cigarettes.

VENICE

More tears, these of the overwhelmed kind when I exited the train from Milan and saw the Grand Canal in its simmering, turquoise glory in front of me. First time to Milan, first time I lost my shit over a view that will be further burnt into that inbuilt camera part of my brain. I loved Venice’s crazy-maze canals and cross-over alleys and bridges, I loved her galleries (forever grateful to Peggy Guggenheim for secreting artworks out of France as the Germans adavanced), cafes and artisan studios. I loved the second night there, humidity at choking point and thunderstorms rolled in, flash-lighting the Venice while I sat in the open frame of my hotel window near the Piazza Rialto, soaked with rain and grinning like a happy idiot at the beauty of it all. I loved my solo lesson learning to stand up and row a gondola in the canals and then into the open lagoon. I loved finding the spark to draw again simply because I couldn’t not draw what was in front of me. And wine and cheese helps the creative process – who knew? Venice, I’m coming back for you!

Im-rowing

ART

I started painting again this year. That was pretty big for me as I’d stoped since Uni. No longer having the time to design in my biz, I was mourning the lack of a creative outlet so I picked up the paintbrushes and stared down the blank canvas. I can’t say any of the stuff I produced was good but I got a real kick out of experimenting, transforming the white page into a carnival of colour – or no colour! I’ve always wanted to live like a Mark Rothko painting, vibrantly and passionately and this year I inched closer. Special love to Nicola Newman for hosting me for a weekend painting retreat where I got my oils on!

DON’T-LET-ANYONE-DULL-YOUR

ERIKA NAPOLETANO

I love everything written by this woman, ever. Get on her email List and in the meantime enjoy this (youre welcome).

THE DIVA TEAM.

I have done approximately 3,467 things wrong in building Diva Works this past year. But the best thing I have done was – somehow – trip over the smartest and most amazing woman and entrench them in my business. I don’t even ask them to join Diva as I was so scared they would say no, so I just threw work at them and let ‘em rip. If you want a hot tip in business building it’s this: employ people who are better at stuff than you. And then chain them to something big and heavy so they don’t leave. Never, would I have ever suspected I would have a team a Divas to collaborate with. I’d always fancied myself as a lone penguin. But I’m a nicer, kinder person for expanding. Fiona H, Anastasia, Trudy, Lisa, Fiona L, Celeste, Nicole, Desi, Tracey, Diana, Amber and Roslyn…I’m so grateful I tripped over you all and you’ve become Divas, I love youse all!

fine dining for everyone

THE ATTITUDE LIST

Politicians. Everywhere.

I can’t even….But yet I must. In case you’ve turned away in aghast sometime over the past 5 years, let me bring you up to speed:

TONY ABBOTT: He was the minister for women. Let that just seep in for a moment. A man who was in charge of a portfolio affecting 51% of the population and didn’t even attempt to understand what it means to be a woman in modern Australia. Good news! His portfolio and prime ministership was yanked from him. Bad news! He’s still sniping from the back seat. Someone get him a seat on a long haul flight between Anne Summers and Lowitja O’Donoghue and let the learning of Tony Abbott begin!

SALIM MEHAJER: The bottoxed buffoon and all his local government sycophants look like they almost might get their comeuppance in 2016. He’s delusion enough to think he’s a victim of the tall poppy syndrome. Nah. Us Australians have just had a gutful of dickheads.

DONALD TRUMP: Taps into the most vile and baseless fears Americans have…and says it out loud. Somewhere a village is missing their idiot and we have this clown as a candidate to lead the still-most powerful nation on earth. He won’t win but he’s doing a bang up job of driving deep wedges into the heart of America.

CLEANSES.

Ah HELL NO! I did one for two weeks for my naturopath Vesna. Love her, hate cleanses. I’ll never do another one for as long as I have breath in my body to bin protein powders. I love food. And wine. And cheese. And dairy. And cheesecake. And sugar. And salads. And grains. And vegetables. And protein. And ripe, juicy strawberries So new food manifesto: Eat well. Eat in moderation. And eat the damn cheesecake!

TERROSITS.

Fuck them too. Too many people were displaced, injured, killed, had limbs stripped off them, tortured, forced into unseaworthy vessels to make a new life in god-knows-where and had their lives irretrievable derailed by some fool and some cover story about “my religion is better than your religion”. To hell with all of that, terrorists are small-minded, scared and angry people who are just looking to create mayhem and inflect pain as they have abdicated all feelings of compassion and love in their own lives. There are approximately 443,890 terrorists in the world and 7.3 billion of us who aren’t. That is a comforting thought. My long term solution for weeding out terrorists would be to hand Chad over to them, removing all peace loving people first and any stray giraffes and let them blow each other while the rest of us watch movies with Amy Poehler in them and hang out with their nieces making cheese & spinach triangles.

GLUTEN FREE BREAD

Nope. Or, just kill me now.

DATING PROFILES WITH MEN HUGGING TIGERS IN CAGES

I don’t often wish violence on other people but when I do, it’s for the men on dating sites who populate their profiles with photos of them hugging tigers shackled in cages. Please let that tiger bite off the face of that grinning idiot, I silently pray. Let it be so.

And so dear reader, as this year winds down and I lick the last of the cheesecake mixture off the beaters, I also want to thank you for taking time to read my sporadic posts. I know we all have the same 24 hours of Beyonce and I want to send me heartfelt thanks for spending some of that time reading my missives and not dropping it like its hot.

Be kind to you, yours, strangers who don’t freak you out and small furry animals.

Love, Fiona xx

P.S.

Here’s one of my fav tunes of the year