Sunday nights always have a feel of uncertainty mixed with anticipation but tonight, nothing. I’ve been unwell for two months now and my bloods came back to let me know I’m very iron deficient again. This isn’t anything new, I have been anemic or iron deficient for extended periods of my life and last year I thought I had the all clear. Not so much, it seems.

I’ve done all the things: I’ve found this equation called the Iron Protocol, I have medications and cast iron skillets and I’ve had to be okay with eating red meat. But I’ve only known about this a few days and somehow knowing makes it worse. I’m not trusting myself to make decisions. I’m so irritable I’m driving myself bonkers. More to the point, the ongoing loves of my life — reading, driving, fashion, music, my phone — I am struggling to make decisions about that. I can’t settle on a podcast, books, the idea of driving somewhere exhausts me. …

Years ago my brother and I were in an airport hotel in Melbourne and he decided that we had to spend the evening watching the now-defunct Pyschic TV. It was on one of the home shopping channels and it seemed ridiculous. The first segment we watched showed a lady who channeled the energy of pets who had died and had messages for their owners.

I said this was dumb and could we please change the channel, but hey, younger siblings always get what they want.

As the more sensible people came back on I started thinking the thought anyone who has ever watched stuff like this while overtired and/or tipsy: hey, maybe I could be pyschic. Here’s why: the readers and mediums and stuff were just giving out really excellent advice like: find a second job to pay off your debts, or join a night class to meet a new man, or focus on the positives each day. …

I haven’t talked about it a lot, though it’s in my bio: I read tarot.

Yeah, I know, it conflicts with my Christian life, but does it? (That may be another blog for another time.) For me tarot isn’t about fortune telling or predicting the future. It’s about picking a card and making meaning from it to explain how life is working in the present. I work hard to practice mindfulness (read: I am hopeless at it), but tarot brings grounding to an otherwise confusing life. Before tarot I would poll my friends or check in with ones I thought had insight. …

Everyone loves the idea that they’re off the beaten track. They’re forging their own paths. Or, if they don’t love being a trailblazer, they probably like them.

My life changed by a little orange postcard. Reasonably well designed, the postcard had some details about a program at a bible college. It was the last dusty postcard on the brochure table at church, and I took it home and Blu-Tac-ed it to my dressing table mirror. …

CW: sexual assault

I sat down to write an essay I planned. I’ve got the notes, it was all outlined, and then for whatever reason I typed some horrible lines about some truth I’d rather not deal with, and now, look where we are, an essay about something completely different.

The truth is this: I was sexually assaulted once on a date and I did nothing about it because it wasn’t until three years ago that I thought about it being anything but me leading a man on somehow.

Back track.

Everything in my life was about NOT HAVING SEX. There’s plenty of good reasons why: I was really involved in church, youth groups, ministry, I consumed a lot of right-wing Christian narrative, I knew people getting it on and I couldn’t see the actual point of it. …

Let’s call it something different:

How to Write Gooderer

It’s been a big day: a birthday party for my daughter’s friends, my son is all sniffly and I have a serious case of can’t-eat-anything-anxiety which is kind of the worst. Someone is snoring but I think it’s probably the cat, she’s the loudest one of them all.

I have never liked the quiet. As a quiet person I found silence deafening and I’m well-aware of my loudness — my heavy footfalls, the way I knock stuff off ledges, my too-loud laugh. I’ve been filling my house with lo-fi music, a make-do since COVID happened and footy was cancelled, which has always, my entire life, been the soundtrack to the weekend. There’s a plane going overhead, but I read somewhere that a lot of those planes just have mail on them now. …

Today has been topsy-turvy, then again every single day for months has been topsy-turvy.

A friend of mine came around and I said to her how I was starting to feel much closer to myself than I had for years, and then, the next day, they shut the state borders and we had to stay inside. My entire life has been about jumping between the two State borders between my home state and my home town, thousands upon thousands of clicks around the bends of the same damn highway. Then, one day, it all changed, and in my mind’s eye I saw my favourite place in the world. Who knows, maybe this will blow over soon and I can get back to the Bool for Windy August, Windy September, Windy October… (look, it’s 24/7 windy). Despite the world changing, I haven’t drifted away from who I am. …

This story is 100% true.

The year was 2006.

My best friend and I decided to go to a Christian worship event disguised as a concert. We didn’t know it would cost money to get into the church auditorium — it was $10 a ticket and between us we had $6 and two Metrotickets. I had money on my EFTPOS card but they didn’t do cards for small amounts. After some back-and-forth with the security guards (yes, legit fake-ass security guards) who wouldn’t let us in at all we decided that we’d call it a night.

But then we remembered something very important. The church was next to the bus interchange. We decided to go into the city and have a night out at the casino before my friend’s mum came to pick her up. We chatted all the way there, ate wedges, had a go playing two-up (back when the casino still had two-up nights) and won some money. We ended our evening out by sitting on North Terrace, scoffing down frog cakes and talking about boys. Quite frankly it was one of the best nights of my life. And probably way better than the “concert” we didn’t end up getting to see. …

Just before I started my final teaching placement I bought myself a Swarovski necklace. It is a tiny danging pink crystal and it cost a flat $100. It was the first piece of jewellery (fine jewellery that is) that I bought myself.

I thought I’d wear it all the time, but somehow, probably in 2013, it got all tangled up and lived in my make up travel case until a few months ago.

Tonight I spent half an hour untangling it.

It was hard work. Easier if I didn’t look at it too closely, but still hard.

10 years.

2010 was my favourite year. I was 24 and happy. I had some great jobs, one nice boyfriend, a very best friend I saw at least once a week, a really active social life. I went for walks along the beach on Tuesday with my friends from gym. I learned to run (literally). …


Lisa Birch

I like books, rubber ducks, 90s pop music and putting words on paper. Wrote a thesis on romance. Tea and learning tarot.

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