Thursday, July 14, 2011

What If You Had To Stop Doing That Thing That Makes You You?

Last week I had an ache in my right foot. It was painful to walk, even more painful to run. Luckily, after a few (of seemingly very long) days, it subsided – but it did get me thinking: What would I do if I couldn't train? And then almost like someone upstairs was reading my mind, this story popped up on Elle about a runner who was forced to stop due to injury. And while it's a story about running, it's also a really honest, thought-provoking account of what happens when you have to stop doing something you really love.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On The Couch: Goodbye Harry. It's Been A Blast

Tonight I'm going to see the final Harry Potter film. I've had the tickets booked for weeks and, like a kid before Christmas, the excitement is borderline unbearable (so apparently is my constant chatter about it). But this time, the thrill is bittersweet because it's The Last Time. Spanning more than a decade, my relationship with Harry Potter has far outlasted any of my actual relationships, so I thought on the eve of this final chapter in our 13-year history, I'd celebrate some of the magic Harry has brought into my life...

When we met... I was at high school and my favourite English teacher Mrs Matthews told us about a new book we simply had to read. It was about a wizard. It wasn't in the curriculum, but she'd ordered 25 copies for the library. "Just get through the first few chapters and I guarantee you'll love it," she assured us. She needn't have worried. I loved it from the first word.

When the last book came out... My sister and I lined up outside K-mart before it opened and bought one copy each. Both hardback. (Mum nearly had a fit about the price.) Then we read them together, checking in to ensure one wasn't further ahead than the other. Then I stopped to do something and my sister "accidentally" blurted out who died. I spent the rest of the day reading, taking a brief break every now and then to shoot my sister a death glare. Good one, Lucy.

I went to uni... And found possibly the only other crazy Harry fans at the University of Technology, Sydney to form a friendship with. While other uni students drank beer and debated politics, we got drunk and quizzed each other on the books' most intricate details. They really were the best of times.

One birthday... I asked (no, begged) my parents for the Harry Potter Lego castle. It was $110. Dad told me to grow up. Lucky Lucy knew exactly how much I wanted it (and maybe still felt guilty about the whole telling-me-who-died thing) and she coughed up the cash. I spent all morning putting it together and... It. Was. Awesome.  There was even little Lego characters and a detachable shark head so I could relive all the action of the Tri-Wizard Cup. Like I said, totally awesome.

My 21st birthday... It was a Potter Party and I went as the very loveable Luna, complete with radish earings. There were snitches and wands and Griffindor flags –and, best of all, there was a carefully crafted Sorting Hat cake made by my dad, and it blew all those Women's Weekly cakes out of the water.

What are your favourite Harry Potter memories? Did you ever lay in bed at night hoping a bearded giant would break into your room and say, "You're a wizard, Alice." (Or maybe that was just me...)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Duff's Got The Stuff.

Daily Mail

Back in 2003, I kissed goodbye any chance I had of ever being considered truly cool when I purchased Hilary Duff's first post-Lizzie McGuire album Metamorphosis – and then proceeded to sing So Yesterday to anyone who would listen.

But regardless, I've always been a big fan of the Duffster. And not just because the lyrics to her songs are so deeply felt out (I mean, "Why not take a crazy chance, Why not do a crazy dance"...) Also because, after admitting she struggled with an eating disorder, Hils has got her health back on track with a very balanced attitude to life – and boy does it show! The former teen queen has been flaunting her revamped beach bod Italy this week and it looks like those gym sessions have been paying off – she looks trim, toned, but not too thin. How refreshing.

And even more refreshing, Hilary admits that, like everyone, "I go through stages where I feel super motivated and want to work out every day, and then I won't work out for two or three weeks and I'll feel like s***. Then it's time to hop back on the wagon again."

Gotta love her. So rich. So famous. Yet somehow, so goddamn normal.