Did feng shui fix my hand, and did my hand need fixing in the first place? Part two

Previously on ‘Inner musings of a funny looking kid,’ I had my apartment “Feng’d” (with a bonus palm reading), where the Feng Shui Consultant prescribed a number of changes and additions that, if followed, would improve my health by 60 per cent. Here’s what actually happened… 

In the first month after the changes, I was knocked out in a Woolworths supermarket (I bet not many people can say that!), which gave me the opportunity to have my first ever ride in an ambulance as a patient. It worked out well though, I did not have concussion or any spinal injury, despite having fallen out of my collapsible wheelchair onto my head, and I was released from hospital the same day.

I did return to hospital a week later with a face so swollen it could have presumably blocked the sun, which resulted in a tooth extraction and a course of antibiotics. However, the two things were unrelated; the latter was an infection (for a change).

When the consultant returned to my apartment to check that everything was set up properly, she immediately remarked that the energy was “so much better” than since her last visit, and asked me how my hand was. Grrrr. 

I replied that it was exactly the same, adding details of the two adventures above. All she said was, “Oh well, it takes time for the bad energy to drain away.”  I feel another eye roll coming on.

      After that though, things got a bit weird, (some might say coincidental).

Predictably, I came down with yet another ear infection, and one in my foot, which was a new development. My regular GP was away so I had to see a doctor I had never seen before, who apart from giving me antibiotics (again), referred me to an Infectious Diseases Specialist. Something no one had ever done before.

Long story short, I saw this specialist, she did some swabs that had never been done before either, and the culprit was identified and dealt with. I have not altered my routine in anyway, and I have not had any kind of infections at all since, (five months for anyone playing at home), which is a record, for me. In fact, apart from a summer cold, and what later turned out to be muscle strains from making up for lost time, I really haven’t been out of action at all.   Cue mysterious music swell.

However, the strangest development of all relates to my hand. It’s open.

Not completely though, the tips of my fingers are still slightly bent, but now it opens on its own and stays that way. I can hold and pick up things with my left hand now too, (sort of). It’s baffling. I have been doing gym and Pilates for years and obviously, we have worked extensively on my hands and arms, but it has only opened in the last six weeks or so, and it did so without any changes to my exercise regime.  Surely, it couldn’t be that bracelet, could it?

Ironically though, if I want to make a fist with my left hand now, I have to kind of squash it shut with my other hand. As a result, I have also had to find new ways of doing things to accommodate my new abilities. Plus, being open must not have improved the way it looks either. 

At the dentist last week, I was asked why my hand was so “gnarly,” and I assure you the question did not come from a stereotypical surfie dude from the 70s.

All this really does beg the question: Did Feng Shui actually fix my hand, and did it really need fixing in the first place?


PS, still no sign of Mr Right, any takers? 🤣

Did feng shui fix my hand, and did my hand need fixing in the first place? Part one

Usually my hand is ‘clawed.’ That is to say, it automatically   balls into a fist and cannot unravel by itself. It hasn’t always been like this, only since I was a teenager,

Contrary to popular assumption though, it has never really stopped or bothered me. It never even crosses my mind, unless a rude person brings it to my attention, labouring under the misapprehension that I must be embarrassed by it, and in need of advice as to how to fix it.

. Interestingly, the people most likely to comment or offer advice, usually   have absolutely no prior knowledge of me and my body, or of rehabilitation and orthopaedics at all. Funny how that never stops them.

In fact, a random woman once told me my hand was “like that” because of lack of food, which could be easily “fixed,” if I just ate more. She was not a dietician, and I hadn’t even mentioned my hand.  This made me roll my eyes so severely; they almost fell out of my bum.   

In mid-2021, I started listening to a podcast at random, and it introduced me to Fen Shui.

For those who don’t know, Feng Shui is a traditional Chinese practice, which by manipulating energy forces, claims to   harmonise people with their environment. Enhancing or detracting from your luck in health, wealth, love, and many other things depending on what you put where.

Long story short, as a result I engaged a Feng Shui Consultant to come and give my apartment a once over. Reasoning that if it didn’t do any good, it wouldn’t do any harm and if nothing else, I might get a blog out of it.

I had no particular issues I wanted “fixed,” but 2021 had thus far been plagued with ear and sinus infections a plenty (I was constantly on antibiotics) and I’d already had two lots of grommets put in under general aneasthetic. So as the consultant asked me to name a goal for the consultation, I chose to focus on my health. Giving the afore-mentioned reasons for my decision. However, she suggested we prioritise opening my left hand.  FFS!

Most of the ‘cures’ she suggested, seemed pretty standard as far as my rudimentary knowledge of Feng Shui could surmise:

Pop a few bells here, 

Add an ox and a dragon tortoise figurine there,  

Sleep on the opposite side of the bed where the health luck is stronger,

Place a tea set next to my kettle to purify my water 

Strategically arrange some Feng Shui coins about the place,

Don’t cook in my kitchen,

And keep my bathroom/ensuite doors closed.

However, when she said I needed to get a brown coat, which I should never wear, but instead permanently hang over the kitchen chair I usually sit on, I did start to wonder if she was having me on. I had similar thoughts when she asked me to keep my slippers permanently under my bed to appease a ghost.

Yes, I did everything she asked.

For those of you playing at home; my front door faces north, my kitchen is in the Northwest and my bathroom is in the Northeast. I sleep in the East and I work in the west.   The consultant uses the coordinates of my apartment and my birthdate to make her recommendations.

The only other thing I should mention is the bracelet that is meant to foster optimal health and wellbeing, which I now wear almost always. When I got it, I automatically popped it onto my right wrist, but the consultant made me switch to my left, because “That’s where you are sick.”

It has been six month since I was “Feng’d” as my friend Kevin called it, and what has been the result?


Tune in next week to find out.



Take everything in context

A note to the reader:

I am currently going through a ‘Jane Austen’ phase, having quite recently finished reading her complete works, (except Emma. Emma simply cannot engage me). Enchanted as I am by her turn of phrase and general manner of writing, I have devised a scheme (purely for my own enjoyment and to test my own prodigiousness) to compose this blog chiefly in Miss Austen’s style.

PS, I very much hope that I have used every word in this post correctly. But, if not I’m sure someone will be kind enough to advise me. 😝

 It may prove annoying to some, and a monstrous failure to us all, so pray omit this entry should it please you, while I get this out of my system.

I am at a loss as to why it has taken me more than seven and thirty years to appreciate Miss Austen’s work. However I shall not remonstrate with myself at length as I dare say that my ability to comprehend the turns of phrase as they  existed in the late eighteenth century,  may have proven somewhat irksome, if not entirely impossible for me, should I have made the attempt  any earlier.

As it stands, I have now the happy possession of a new favourite word, ‘blockhead,” a word liberally used by Miss Austen throughout her novels to describe a person who has caused offence or done something generally undesirable by common society. Someone I might have hither too termed a fuck wit.

Conversely, one term I shall not adopt within my own musings is ‘knocked up,’ at least as it appears in the novel Mansfield Park (my favourite of the Austen collection).

  I had been given to understand that this expression denoted  a woman who is with child. So I am sure you can imagine my astonishment and confusion in reading of how the extremely unfortunately named Fanny;

“Found herself to be quite knocked up, following a turnabout the shrubbery with her cousin Edmond. “

In an effort to remain sanguine, and in light of having read the entire book, I deduce that knocked up   must have at one time at least, also meant tired.

Perhaps my powers of comprehension still require some work. Along with the advancement of my maturity level.


Disability versus dating: it’s not what you think

I am not fond of those shows about dating. You know the ones, Married at First Site, The Batchelor, First Dates etc. Why the hell would anyone want to put themselves through that? Especially on national television.

Tis one perk of looking like I do, you never see people like me on shows like that, do you? Unless you’re watching ‘The Undatables’ of course.

Luckily for you though, my aversion to witnessing the love lives of others does not prevent me from supposing that every person and their assistance animal is interested in mine. Especially as I am asked with monotonous regularity, whether I can have sex.

Fear not, this is not to be a post dedicated to my sex life.

May I begin by attempting to debunk the myth (yet again) that disabled people can/should only date each other?

Disabled bodies (and the people who inhabit them), ARE attractive to some ‘normal,’ people (just like redheads, people with blue eyes and Eagles supporters), and they don’t have to be fetishists. 

Further, disabled people can/do work and play just like anyone else, and live fulfilling and independent lives of our own.   I.e. we don’t need you, we want you, there is a difference!

Even further still, relationships between able-bodied and disabled people exist the world over, without the former wishing to defraud their partner, endure enormous self-sacrifice or display admirable benevolence.

I accept that yes, there are people out there who fit this bill, but they are not normal, they are fucked up, and should NEVER be celebrated!

Too often do I field questions like ‘what kind of disability does he have?’ or ‘is he blind too?’ if I happen to mention I am dating someone. This is a ludicrous question and is not akin to asking what he does for a living.

Once, Damion surprised me by picking me up from lunch so I didn’t have to take a taxi home. The friend I was with, who had heard about him but never met him was introduced. Even before shaking the hand he proffered she looked at him and exclaimed, “Oh you’re not disabled!” to which Damion replied, “Nope, but we can’t have everything.”

She missed the sarcasm, but I do not miss her.

I was listening to a podcast about Helen Keller the other day, which mentioned that she once had a secret boyfriend who unlike her, was not disabled. They had fallen mutually in love, and had gotten themselves a marriage licence, but her family violently forbade the marriage and sent her boyfriend, Peter away.

It should be noted that there was no suggestion that he had any malicious intent whatever toward Helen. Nor was she, (a widely acknowledged intelligent woman), supposed to have been hoodwinked by Peter. They were fairly evenly matched economically and socially, so one can only assume then that ableism tore them apart. Have we really progressed so little in a century?

I realise that even after this rant, some humans will insist upon underestimating and undervaluing the disabled and the quality of the lives we lead, still. However apparently not all of the world’s inhabitants take this view.

On a recent outing with a Gentleman, I was fortunate to be treated to a lecture about how difficult my method of manoeuvring was to him. Unfortunately for him though, he chose to seat himself beneath an umbrella in the beer garden, upon which a seagull was perched, who promptly crapped on him.

My sentiments exactly!


I shall dance!

So, after a more than 20-year hiatus, I have taken up Ballroom Dancing again.

When I did it before, I had good hearing and eyesight, and I was far less wobbly than I am now. I was part of a class and learnt the standard steps of various dances. Keen to show off my skills whenever I was anywhere near a dance floor.

I am not ashamed to admit that I was one of those snug people who would jive at any wedding or other social function (complete with too many spins and pretentious hand gestures), just to prove I could.

Nowadays, I am visually, and hearing impaired and generally I walk with a walking frame, which I need to stand and walk without overbalancing. I was sure no dance class would admit me, (especially as various Yoga studios had declined the pleasure of my custom), but you never know…. 

Did you know there is such a thing as Chair Dancing? I thought that was just something my cousin Maria made up to stop me trying to drag everyone onto the dance floor as a child when my cuteness had warn off.   

Side note: There are some awesome examples of chair dancing on YouTube that are definitely worth a look if you have never seen it before.

I joined a chair dancing class, not really knowing what to expect.  SPOILER ALERT, it was an epic fail!

My vision impairment meant that I could not see what the instructor was doing, and my hearing impairment meant that my hearing aid/cochlear implant would only pick up conversations happening in the background, not the lesson being given in the class. I did try to remedy this, I had a support worker with me who sat behind me and would either whisper in my ear what was being said, or take my arm and do whatever movement was required. Predictably, my ego could not take it, and I quit.

You can’t really do chair dancing one on one, so instead, I do Para-Dance, which is on my feet and an I have private lessons. It is a bit like quilting with dance moves. You learn each dance, and if you come to a figure you cannot manage such as a spin, it is replaced with a figure from another dance with the same timing. Yesterday I learnt one such replacement called a ‘Cucaracha Step.’ I am not sure if they are at all related, but now I have ‘La Cucaracha’ stuck in my head.

As an example, now I am working on a routine that includes figures from Waltz and Slow Rhythm, which is technically a Foxtrot.

Fun fact: Song’s you can do Foxtrot to include, Beyond The Sea by Bobby Darrin or pretty much anything Frank Sinatra or Michael Buble have ever released.,  

I am surprised how quickly and easily dancing came back to me, although my reduced spatial perception and ability to orientate myself meant that at first, I had some trouble knowing where to place my feet,

Learning to trust my partner to steer me in the right direction was also a challenge for a control freak such as myself, who is constantly on the alert for hazards brought on by well-meaning people. Thankfully, I have not stacked it yet. , which is nice. 

Para dancing is a strenuous work out, let me tell you. I resemble a drowned rat by the end of a lesson.

However, it is most certainly a labour of love, and I will keep it up for as long as my legs will carry me.


PS, in these photos I am dancing with instructor Florence. My regular instructor is Adrianna. I will put a video of myself practising foxtrot for my upcoming exam on Instagram if you’d like to check it out

Grandparents say the darndest things

At the age of almost 37, all of my grandparents have as my Mum would say, “gone to God.” But there are still some things that trigger  vivid memories.

For instance,  I cannot hear the song ‘Always’ by Jon Bon Jovi  without bursting out into hysterical laughter Despite the song itself being about unrequited love and the crippling sense of loss it brings. Now, this is not a reflection on Mr Bon Jovi himself, (I am sure he is a lovely chap) nor is it because I am unfeeling. On the contrary, I know this pain all too well. No, it is because of my Grandma (Dad’s Mum), who died when I was 13.

One day, while I was sitting in her recliner watching Video Hits (kids, just ask your parents) she came bustling into the kitchen/lounge room fresh from feeding the Magpies and exclaimed “Oh my God Nini, leave the cat alone.”  For the record, I am not a cat person, but I wish them no harm. More importantly though, Grandma did not actually have a cat. Of course I tried to educate her on the finer points of popular music, but she wasn’t having it, and that was the end of Video Hits in her house! In the interests of full disclosure, I may have been singing along with the song and adding my own special blend of vocal gymnastics to the mix, but it was definitely Jon who was the problem, honest. Hey, it’s not like he’s a world-famous best-selling artist or anything, give the guy a break.

Then there is my Nonno (Mum’s Dad, who died when I was 15.) To this day, I still have the overwhelming urge to rush next door and find him to show off any new outfit I may acquire. I used to do this constantly as a child. Looking back, I’m sure he had absolutely zero interest in discussing the merits  of an A line skirt over a pleated one, but still whenever I appeared he’d stop whatever he was doing, give me his full attention while I displayed   

 My new find from every conceivable angle, and then say in his heavy Italian accent, “Veeeeeeery nice!’ with much more enthusiasm than many of the creations deserved, now that I come to look back on the photos, hooray for 80’s and 90’s fashion. Purple stirrup pants made of tracksuit material anyone?). 

This (complete with the attempted accent), is still how I describe things in daily life, which does confuse many.

The only Grandparent that I have no memory of though is my Grandad (Dad’s Dad), who died when I was four.

Untill now that is.

The other day while hanging out with Dave, my two-year-old nephew, I had the opportunity to eaves drop    on story time with him and “Grandad,” otherwise known as my Dad. They were reading the collection of Cocky Circle books I had amassed as a child, such classics as ‘The Train That Ran Away,’ ‘The Very Scary Ghost’ and the unforgettable ‘Tom’s Trousers,’ among others. Not sure what compelled me, but I couldn’t resist curling up on the couch next to them and joining in. further, even after Dave had fallen asleep, and despite Mum’s not so subtle hints that it was time for ‘Auntie Nina’ to go home, I could have stayed there and listened to those (really quite lame) books all night long. It was so weird; it was as if my Grandad was reading to me. I think I enjoyed it more than Dave did. Was I creating a memory by proxy?

In case anyone is interested, the photo attached to this post (Circa July 1985) is one of my favourite photos of all time as it is the only photo I have with all four Grandparents. Grandad and Grandma are in the foreground and Nonna and Nonno (who is holding me)are facing the camera.   


PS, if you want some Nonna-ness see the post ‘the meaning of tough.”

Possibly, I’ve been reading too many self-help books lately…

This year has been very much a year of self-discovery and reflection. I re-joined a gym, started a para dance class, and I continue with Pilates. I have also been working hard on my image of late and in particular my self-esteem. I am listening to affirmations and being kind to myself.

To use the words of the great philosopher Kim Craig (nee Day I have decided that when it comes to me, “what’s not to like?” sort of…

This might explain why a while ago I decided it was time to put myself out there again. dum dum DUM!

I have forced myself to admit that, ok some elements of my being  could be better, but overall I am not tooooo bad. Right?

It’s called, fake it till you make it.

I mean, I am occasionally quite witty, I have moments where there is possibly intelligence, I am loyal, and I can talk the leg off a chair (I choose to believe this makes me charming). In short, ‘I am a pretty fun hang!’

That’s not to say it doesn’t still hurt when I get a completely unprevoked message from a guysaying “you are a fucken pig. I wouldn’t touch you with a 10 foot donkey dick” Yes this did happen) or when a person pretends to be interested, gets his ego massaged (not a euphemism), and is never seen or heard from again. At least I can recognise it now for what it is before too much damage is done. Hooray for blocking.

For the record, I feel the same as the eloquent person mentioned above, but in reverse, as it turns out.

His loss really, he does not get to look at my “radiant smile” or my   (if I may say so), cute little ass. So there

Today, the following passage came across my desk.

The 400+ year old Japanese art of kintsugi (golden repair) or kintsukuroi (golden joinery) is a pottery repair method that honours an artefact’s unique history by emphasizing, not hiding, the break. 

An art form born from mottainai — the feeling of regret when something is wasted — and “mushin,” the need to accept change: the cracks are seamed with lacquer resin and powdered gold, silver, or platinum, and often reference natural forms like waterfalls, rivers, or landscapes. This method transforms the artefact into something new, making it more rare, beautiful, and storied than the original.

Why is this art also important for us as humans?

you probably don’t expect other people to be perfect.

We are often relieved when others are truthful and yet we are afraid to expose ourselves. We feel the things that happen to us intimately and physically. On the other hand, what happens to others functions more like an instructive tale, because the pain of failure isn’t our own and the distance gives us perspective. We all understand in theory that bad things can happen. But we also feel really bad when they happen to us, and condemn ourselves.

Vulnerability is courage in you but inadequacy in me: however like the kintsugi crafters who repaired the shogun’s bowl with gold long ago, imperfections are gifts to be worked with, not shames to be hidden.


turn the ordinary into extraordinary

When we expect everything and everyone to be perfect, including ourselves, we not only discount much of what is beautiful, but we create a cruel world where resources are wasted, people’s positive qualities are overlooked in favour of their flaws, and our standards become impossibly limiting, restrictive, and unhealthy.

The kintsugi approach instead makes the most of what already is, highlights the beauty of what we do have, flaws and all, rather than leaving us eternally grasping for more, different, other, better.

After all, our cracks are what give us character. And let us shine!‘

Andrewa Mantovani (Adapted version)

 It reminded me that I am allowed to recognize, but still cherrish my flaws and turn my percieved  lemons into lemonade. On purpose, without apology! Whether I can actually keep, doing it is another thing entirely.

Totally love Japan and Japanese culture. So forward thinking.

I could happily eat Japanese fare every day for the rest of my life. Except perhaps the chicken heart, I recently tried at a local sushi bar. But that’s another story for another blog.




Do as I say…

You have probably heard the story of American Gymnast Simone Biles, who recently withdrew from the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games to focus on her wellbeing, despite carrying the hopes of a nation on her shoulders.


I am ashamed to say that when I heard the news, my immediate thought was, “wow, her team must really be pissed.” What I should have been thinking was, “good on her,” because perhaps if I had this mindset, I would not now be missing a tooth.


Please do not misunderstand me, I am in no way comparing myself to Simone, nor have I taken up competitive gymnastics. A good thing too, considering I can break a leg just doing the Macarena, a very non-leg related dance (true story).


No, what I mean is that I wish that like Simone, I could be brave enough to make myself a priority when I need to.


If I am honest, I thought I was already doing this. I mean, I recently had my eyebrows tattooed with Henna, (among other things); because a Feng Shui Consultant told me, it would help balance my life. Isn’t that the same thing? Apparently not.


But back to my tooth…


A few weeks ago I noticed my tooth was sore when I bit down on it, but I ignored it. I was due to have yet another grommet put into my ear in a few days time, which would mean a day off work, and a string of persistent ear infections and the subsequent antibiotics they required meant, I’d already had a few days off here and there this year.


Gradually the pain got worse and worse, but come hell or highwater, I wasn’t going to let it  stop me from working . I even cancelled a dentist appointment to achieve this.


Until, I was in the world’s worst kind of physical pain (no, I have never had children, why do you ask?), and my face and neck swelled up to such an extent, I could probably  have strapped a basket to myself and taken off with some tourists, before their delicious champagne breakfast.


Do not try this (ignoring tooth pain) at home kiddies, because you will end up in the emergency department on IV antibiotics, and the dentist will remove your tooth (while chastising you for not coming in sooner), because you also have an absyss! Oh, and you’ll need a few days off


Ironically, I was not scared of the dentist, or of the needles, or even going to hospital. I was afraid of letting people down, the only thing that does not actually hurt and was not an actual possibility.


For the record, the team I work with have never given me a hard time for having to take time off because I am sick, in fact, they encourage it. Furthermore, when someone I care about seems to be working themselves sick the first thing I do is nag them to take a break. Even going so far as to threaten, “if you die, I’ll never speak to you again!”


I’d like to think I’ve learned my lesson, but eventually the hole will heal, my tongue will leave it alone, and I’ll forget about the pain, so I won’t make any promises.


Therefore, just do as I say, not as I do, and keep all appointments with your dentist!



That time a lady dry humped me at the supermarket…

I have heard some lucky people have this thing called personal space. Does anyone know where I can get some?

It’s certainly not available to me at my local supermarket!

Sadly, I am used to a lack of personal space. If I am out in public people usually take this as an indicator that I am up for, and should appreciate, any and all interaction .Obviously. I mean why else would I bother going out? Other than to be patted on the head by a complete stranger, that is?

So yesterday I was standing alone (except for Cecily) outside said local, minding my own business and in no way blocking anyone’s path, (I checked several times). A woman came up behind me and grabbed my walking frame’s handles and while shaking us both said “come on, push push , you can do it!” then she let go and walked into the store with presumably her partner, giggling as she went. The whole incident lasted about 20 seconds.


Now, in case you can’t picture it, for her to be holding Cecily’s handles while I was, she had to be close. Very close, as in, pressed right up against me. That’s right, I was pretty much being dry humped by a complete stranger.  FFS, she could at least have bought me a drink first! I’ve had boyfriends who weren’t even allowed that close.

Before you ask, and I know you will, because everyone already has…

·         No, she wasn’t high or drunk (I could smell her breath)

·         No, she did not seem to be intellectually disabled (and why is that relevant?)

·         And no she was absolutely NOT being sweet and trying to help me out (stop using this excuse!!!!)

She was just a pudgy self-entitled  middle-aged woman who thought she was funny

It’s not the first time I have had an oddball encounter there either.


Recently, while out grocery shopping with my Mum, an old man presumably thought he’d do a good deed. 

I was seated, so He got down to my level (which meant he was in a half crouch right in my face), then, seeing the basket of groceries in my lap   said (and a cutesy baby voice) “Are you having a good time spending all mummy’s money?”

FYI, I’m 36.

For the record, on both occasions I chose not to say or do anything in response, mostly out of incredulity. You may think I should have put each in their place, but these microagressions happen to me daily, and doing the weekly shop is exhausting enough as it is. 

Plus, it’s not my job to teach you that while it’s hip to be a square (that song was just on the radio), it’s not cool to be a tool!

Bugger it, from now on I’m shopping online!




Some nonsense about nicknames

Not sure if I’ve written about it before, (And I can’t be bothered checking), But I have been asked a few times lately why my walking frame is called Cecily? Plus, I have made the commitment to blog weekly, and I had nothing else to write about this week, so since you asked…

The name was given to her by an ex. The same ex who convinced me I needed her. He is himself a wheelchair user, and of course his chair has a very cool name, with a wicked story behind it, but it’s not my story to tell. Sorry. It’s a shame really, I bet I’d tell it so well.

Anyway, he was adamant that as we (the walking frame and I) were destined to be constant companions and lifelong friends, she needed a name, and ‘Cecily’ was the name that stuck. Hey, I said his story was wicked, not mine!


It’s actually quite strange that I never thought of giving her a name. I mean, every single one of my toys needed to have a name. For example, my care bear, (yes I was a child of the 80s), had a rainbow on his tummy. Therefore he was called rainbow (see what I did there? I had a doll with pink hair, a straw hat, overalls, and freckles. So   naturally, she was called Fanny Freckle-face. I also had a cabbage patch doll called Tanya, but she came with that name.

I’ve always been a magnet for nicknames too. As a baby, my grandad, (dad‘s dad) gave me the moniker ‘Ninimeany,’ and various other members of my family called me Nininoo (I wasn’t super fond of that one).

In Mid primary school I earned the nickname ‘Barina.’, this was because at the time I was able to do this really disturbing noise (part cough, part burp) that sounded like a car horn, (which I did often for laughs). At around the same time, an advert for the Holden Barina was constantly on the telly. The jingle went “beep beep, cheap cheap, yeah!” Ah, the memories.

For the record: No, I can’t recreate the noise for you…I just tried.

On school holidays as a pre-teen, I used to watch the English teen drama ‘Grange Hill.’ In it, there was a character called Bridget. I can’t remember anything about her, or the actor who played her, but she must have been awesome as I really wanted to be her. I insisted everyone call me Bridget. No one ever did.

After that I decided I wanted to change my name to Gemma. This was because there was a much older girl in my dancing class with that name and I absolutely idolised her. I settled for using Gemma as my confirmation name… How embarrassing.