It’s Been A While…

22 Jul

So, I’ve started writing again!! Almost four years after the end of this project, I’ve started a new one and I couldn’t be more excited!

IMG_3192So much has changed in the last five years, but so much has stayed the same. I am still craving that same adventurous lifestyle that I was when I began (365) Days of Sammy so long ago.

I’ve discovered that more than almost anything in the world, I love to travel! Since the summer of 2013, I’ve been doing my darnedest to travel as much of the world as possible, and I’ve recently decided to document as many of my experiences as I can.

So, if you’d like to read more, please visit my new blog – Happy Travels: A ridiculously incomplete and thoroughly subjective guide to exploring the world.

I hope you enjoy it,

Sammy x


The End of (365) Days is Here.

30 May

Well folks, this is it. I’m done! I’m finished! It’s over!

Every day, every single day, for the last year, I have done something new. Am I a better person? I don’t know. But I know for sure that I’m a different person, and that was kind of the point of the whole exercise, so I call this one a win!

As the months, and weeks, and days sped by and I came closer and closer to my final day of adventuring I thought a lot about what I could do. My first thought was to finish with a bang; to go skydiving, or get a tattoo, or steal a car. Mostly, I decided not to do these because I don’t like heights, I am totally broke, and it’s a felony to steal a car. And then I got to thinking a little more.

The whole point of starting this exercise was to try something new and different every day for 365 of them, and hopefully make my life a little fuller, a little more exciting, and just maybe a little happier. So I decided that my last adventure in the epic year long project of mine would be some a little more toned down; an exercise of reflection if you will.

So here you have it folks; my very last adventure!

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Five: Watch the sunrise from Nobby’s Beach.

I dragged my weary carcass out of bed in the dark and cold this morning, rugged up as much as I could, drove to Nobby’s Beach and sat myself down on the comfiest patch of sand I could find. Then I waited and watched for the sun to rise, and thought about everything I’ve accomplished over the last year.

I’ve gone to future on numerous occasions and been both saddened and overjoyed by what I found there. I’ve read some of the classics, and I’ve made a thousand paper cranes. I shared smiles with a hundred people in a single day, and done some really stupid things like headstands and cartwheels and the splits (which I still can’t do properly, by the way… it’s much harder than it looks) and made a tower out of all my books!

I’ve re-learnt to play the trumpet and refined my ukulele-playing skills. I’ve watched movies I’ve always wanted to watch, and some I wish I didn’t. I’ve been in a car accident, and learned how to fix my car; I know what the dipstick is!

I had a lightsaber battle, and a wizard duel with the coolest almost eleven year old I know; his name, Captain Awesome, says it all! I’ve been ordained as a minister through, and tried a whole bunch of new foods and drinks that, for the most part, are actually quite delicious (except watermelon flavoured gum. You sir, are disgusting!).

I’ve learnt what an interrobang is, and now use it on a regular basis. I’ve Googled myself, and listened to some truly amazing and astonishingly crap music (Rebecca Black, anyone?!), and Feng Shui’d my room. Hell, I’ve even seen a naked guy in a bar!

I’ve told and kept secrets and discovered how long I would survive chained to a bed with a Velociraptor. I’ve gone a whole day without swearing, or tried to at least, and I’ve ranted to Stephenie Meyer for her success in writing a character that is not only completely personality-less but completely unlikeable too.

I’ve watched the soccer (football!) in the middle of the night in the middle of the park, and gone on a five kilometre run… okay, I walked most of it!

I’ve done so many weird and wonderful and fun and sad and ridiculous and amazing things this year, and it has been amazing.

This is from my very first blog post, 365 days ago, when I began this project.

I don’t know if this exercise will have a profound effect on my life, or anyone else’s. I don’t know if it will just end up being an exercise in futility. I guess I’m just a little (okay, a lot) bored with the routine of my life, and want to do something different. So, here I go. For the next year, I will do something new, every single day, and hope for the best… or at least, I’ll hope for a change.

Let me tell you, I have definitely changed. As I sat on the beach this morning, watching the sun bring on a brand new day, I realised that I am certainly not the person I was when I began this adventure a year ago. And I might not have changed for the better, but I’ve definitely changed for good!!!

On that note, this is goodbye.


P.S: I will continue writing on a semi regular basis here. So check it out, if you want!

Hungover Wombats.

29 May

Well folks, here it is… The penultimate post of (365) Days of Sammy. The second to last brand new thing I will ever do… well not ever, but you know what I mean.

One day, TV. One day I will destroy you.

Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Today’s adventure was going to be something a little bigger, a little grander, a little more rock star, and well, a little bit more planned. But due to circumstances outside my control (namely the price of petrol and my wish not to use a crap load of it to drive to my sister’s house) I was unable to do what I really wanted today, and smash the crap out of a television á la Keith Richards.

So I went to the movies instead. But when we got there something strange happened.

‘Hi, can I get two tickets for The Hangover Part 2, please’, I asked ever so nicely.

‘Uhhh, sorry, that’s sold out’, the guy replied.

What the what?! I mean sure, I understand something like Harry Potter, or Green Lantern or something like that being sold out, but seriously? It’s seven o’clock on a Sunday evening and The freakin’ Hangover is sold out. Weird.

So we went back to my friend’s house and watched Aladdin instead… with the sing-along subtitles on of course.

Then, when I was driving home, the scariest new thing I’ve ever done (or had happen to me) occurred.

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Four: Almost hit a wombat in the middle of the road.

There I was cruising down Carnley Avenue past Blackbutt Reserve when a car came over a crest toward me with its high-beams beaming. They blinded me for a second and when my vision cleared I saw a strange shape about the size of a small pony in the road right in front of me (okay, a really small pony)

‘Holy firetruck, that’s a firetrucking wombat’, I freaked.

I couldn't find a picture of what a hitting a wombat does to a car... I can only imagine that the wombats have had them destroyed!!!

I swerved onto the other side of the road to avoid it, and managed to get back on my side before an oncoming car took me out. I then proceeded to call that wombat every swear I could think of, and curse its senility. I mean sure, the road runs past a wildlife reserve, but it’s also one of the busiest freakin’ roads in Newcastle. What the hell was that stupid wombat thinking?!

Fortunately both Elliott and I made it home in one piece with our nerves only slightly rattled, and an undying hatred of wombats

So that’s it folks. Come back tomorrow for my final adventure!


Rocking Out and Splashing In

28 May

I have a theory… yes another one… that when it’s cold, human beings are genetically programmed to want to stay curled up in bed. Maybe we’re jealous of the bears who get to hibernate, or maybe it’s just ‘cause it’s freaking cold and bed is the second warmest thing in the house (the first being a steaming hot shower… Mmmmm).

Anyway the point is, it’s really freaking cold and all I want to do at the moment is stay curled up in bed. And yet, I have persevered and ventured out of the snugly little cocoon I’ve turned my bed into, and been adventuring. Here are the last couple of days of adventures.

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Two: See The Havelocks play.

Who are The Havelocks, Sammy? The Havelocks are a band made up of a bunch of guys from Newcastle (with one pommy import) and are self-described ‘a proper band with proper songs and proper musicians’.

No he didn't pose for this photo... I surreptitiously snapped it while he was chatting up my friend!

I first learnt of The Havelocks a couple of years ago from a guy I work; remember that pommy import? I listened to a couple of their songs on Triple J Unearthed and liked them very muchly. Last year they launched their EP which I bought a copy of and put to great use when my iPod ran out of battery on a five hour road trip north. And yet, despite my enjoyment of their sweet tunes and the fact that they play a gig in Newcastle pretty much every other weekend, I have yet to see them live. But last night that all changed at The Beaches Hotel at Merewether, when I finally got to see them play.

It was a good show… Probably it would have been better had I not come straight from work and was feeling less exhausted, but overall I had fun! I have to be totally honest though; the highlight of the night had to be the security guard. He had the most amazing hair I have ever seen! It was shaved all around except for this round section in top that was combed straight up in this awesome hybrid crew cut/flattop! It was magnificent!!!

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-Three: Splash around in the fountain at Civic Park.

There’s this epic fountain in Civic Park that I love and for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to just go crazy and splash around in the fountain!

With only a few days left to go on my adventuring I decided it was now or never, so I left work this afternoon and wandered over to Civic Park with the intention of going absolutely freakin’ crazy and splash around in that fountain… the crazy part mostly coming from the fact that it’s freezing today! But I was determined to succeed. I was walking across the park when disaster struck. The fountain wasn’t on!!! I didn’t know what to do?!

I ummmed and ahhhed for a little while and then decided ‘screw it!’

I rolled up my jeans, took a breath, jumped into the water under the fountain and ran across that pool as fast as my frozen and waterlogged legs would carry me.

I got a few strange looks from the few people in the park as I did this, but I did not care. I did it. I was cold, it was disgusting, it was slippery, but I did it!

Then I walked back to my car, dried off and drove home. You know how they say that if you can’t find the crazy person on the bus, then you’re it… Well I was the crazy person at the park today, and I don’t give a damn!


Part of My World.

26 May

Over the last couple of years, I’ve really been getting into photography. I’m by no means a great photographer, nor do I have any special equipment or anything (yet). But I enjoy it, and I enjoy other’s photography as well.

So today’s activity was intended to both for my love of photography and, well let’s face it, my love of attention!

Day Three Hundred and Sixty-One: Document an entire day in photographs.

Also, make a really awesome slideshow!

Here is my day in photographs. I basically just took one when something that seemed like it could have been of import happened. If you hover your mouse over the images you’ll see some handy little captions. Like magic!

I also came across this today, and since I freaking love Disney and a cappella groups, this is basically the greatest thing I’ve ever seen!

Today was a freakin’ fantastic day!!!


I Like to Move It, Move It!

25 May

Awww shucks...

Largely due to my complete ineptitude at anything involving any sort of hand-eye coordination, I have avoided most sports or forms of exercise where there are other people in proximity to me throughout my life.

I remember playing touch football in primary school, but I think I only got on the team ‘cause my Dad was the coach. Most of my memories of playing touch footy involve Dad yelling ‘Forward! Run forward! Not sideways. FORWARD!!!’ It’s no surprise now that when I watch football I find myself yelling the same thing.

I started dancing Salsa a couple of years ago and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, I pretty sure my dance partners weren’t so keen… I can’t think of a single time I’ve danced where I haven’t trodden on someone’s foot, or over spun on a turn and almost fallen over; I’m probably the only person to ever get a black eye from dancing Salsa. Please remember the first rule of dancing; keep your face away from elbows! Actually, that should be the first rule of life.

Anyway the point is, I am extremely uncoordinated, clumsy and really, a danger to those around me. Which makes today, my three hundred and sixtieth adventure, that much more daring.

Day Three Hundred and Sixty: Try Zumba.

Well, Zumba was just as awesome as I thought it would be and a great workout too… I don’t think I’ve ever been at the gym and a) smiled through most of the class and b) had to shake my T and A like I was at Fannys!

The best part was that I didn’t look like a total spaz the whole time. Maybe it’s ‘cause I’ve been dancing Salsa for a while or perhaps it’s just that I’m slowly overcoming my sometimes crippling clumsiness, but I actually found it fairly easy to pick up most of the moves and while I definitely found the class itself hard in the way a workout should be, I didn’t feel like I was a complete ‘tard. So yay that!

Not this kind of ass.

It was sooo much fun, and I will definitely be going back next week to Zumba my ass off… literally I hope!


Miss Turnbull’s Opus.

24 May

For all the years I’ve been at uni, close to six years all up, I have been reading Opus, the Newcastle Uni Student Association (NUSA) magazine. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s controversial, sometimes it just plain irritating. Nevertheless, I’ve been reading and for the most part enjoying it. Well, today I took the first step to putting my own stamp on Opus.

Day Three Hundred and Fifty-Nine: Submit an article to Opus.

Almost five and a half years after picking up my first Opus in O-Week of 2006, I am submitting an article. It’s nothing amazing. I don’t think it’s going to win me any prizes. But I like it, and I want other people to read it and hopefully like it.

Some of you may have read it before; I posted it a couple of months ago on my other blog. But if you haven’t here it is.

Could you Leave Me with a Scar?

“Is that where – ?” whispered Professor McGonagall.
“Yes”, said Dumbledore. “He’ll have that scar forever”.
“Couldn’t you do something about it, Dumbledore?”
“Even if I could I wouldn’t. Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee which is a perfect map of the London Underground”.

JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 1994, p22.

Scars. Like a photograph, or a letter, or any other trinkets, they remind us a particular person, event or place. Whether negative or positive, scars are a form of memorabilia that one will carry with them for the entirety of their lives.

Scientifically, scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin (or other tissue) after injury. A scar results from the biological process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues of the body. Thus, scarring is a natural part of the healing process. With the exception of very minor lesions, every wound results in some degree of scarring.

“… every wound results in some form of scarring…”

Throughout my life I have collected plenty of scars, some visible all the time, some visible only when I’m barely clothed, and some completely invisible, caused by wounds that were equally as invisible. Every wound, physical or emotional, results in some form of scarring.

My scars tell the story of my life.

More than the photos I have, or the songs that mean something, or the keepsakes I’ve collected over the years, my scars will be with me forever; a constant reminder of all the tiny insignificant moments in time that have shaped me into who I am today.

JK Rowling is right; scars are useful. While I don’t have a map of a train system on my left knee (or my right knee, for that matter), each and every one of my scars, visible or not, provide a map to who I was, who I am, and who I may become.

Excerpt from a discarded Creative Non-Fiction assignment.

Hope you enjoyed it. And I really hope that the gang at Opus enjoy… Who knows, I may be a published author sooner than I thought! Or not…