Facebook B&W Challenge

It’s been quiet around here.

Truth be told, I’ve been dealing with issues which I won’t bore you with but it involves my hair… Yes, still falling out. Yes, thin patches are becoming bald patches. No, there doesn’t seem to be any explanation for it. And I’ve been priced for a human hair topper at $900 which is money I simply don’t have anymore.

Long gone are the days where I could make a $1000 purchase and still have $1000 to last me for a fortnight.

I am looking into a good quality synthetic topper (which comes at just under a third of the price of a real human hair wig) – there are many that look quite real. Until then, hats and bandannas are going to become my best friends.

Anyway… I was tagged to do the current challenge that’s trending on Facebook at the moment. A 5-day black and white endeavour.

I figured I could commit to five days. The original rules were to take and post a new photo every day for five days, but since I really couldn’t be bothered doing that, I decided to publish some never-before-seen images from my collection over the years.

And now I share them with you.

Renlish.com - Facebook B&W Challenge

Serenity. Yi Yuan Gardens, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Renlish.com - Facebook B&W Challenge

Embrace. Bruno’s Sculpture Garden, Marysville, Victoria, Australia

Renlish.com - Facebook B&W Challenge

Solitude. Healesville, Victoria, Australia

Renlish.com - Facebook B&W Challenge

Sleeping Beauty. Boudoir shoot, 2013

Renlish.com - Facebook B&W Challenge

Challenge. Torndirrup National Park, Western Australia

I encourage everyone to do this, whether it’s take a new photo every day and post it to your blog or your Facebook wall. It’s a little bit of fun and it can be a nice walk down Memory Lane.

BEDIA: Massive catchup! Days 16 – 21

Day 16:- A first – do something that you’ve never done before and share!

What did I do that was a first over past few days? Oohh… reached a new fitness goal and finally managed to “run” 5km on the cross-trainer at the gym at a very high intensity! It took me 45 minutes of sweating and swearing but I bloody did it, thanks very much!

Day 17: Time Travel – where would you go and why?

For very many years, I was part of a role-playing group called “Viking Homeland” and, as the name suggested, we played vikings. and when I say “played”, I mean that we wrote. It was a game by email. Pages and pages and pages of creative writing steeped in enthusiastic research to make sure we got things like trade skills, tools, and even the terminology correct. It filled long and boring days at work and spare hours at home. That era of history – the birth of the UK through the eyes and deeds of these northern giants – absolutely fascinated me. I never thought there would be a period in history that I would enjoy more than my beloved Tudor period but if there was a period I would love to go back to, it would be that era.

Day 18: The Bucket List – three things that you’ve achieved

I don’t really have a bucket list. I hate to say it but I dislike the idea of making that sort of list to work towards. I set myself goals or make plans, small ones or larger ones and work towards them. My weightloss journey has taught me to have a little more patience and dedication to making things work. To that end, losing 50kg has been a major win on my imaginary bucket list.

Day 19: The Bucket List – three things that you are yet to achieve

1. Getting to my goal weight.
2. Starting my own photography business.
3. Getting a famous person to wear one of my jewellery creations.
4. Getting fit enough to participate in Tough Mudder.

Hows that? Even gave you FOUR whole things.

Day 20: Three smells that bring back memories

Polo aftershave. The smell the manbeast was wearing when we first met… December 2, 1998. Stepped off the plan and into his arms. First kiss in Kings Park overlooking Perth city. T’was nice.

Smarties and Brut. My grandad. He smelled of Brut aftershave and Smarties because he always had a packet of Smarties in his pocket for me whenever he visited.

Any sort of baking smell. My mum. She’s a wonderful baker.

Day 21: Twenty-one; photos, memories or stories from this year of your life

Twenty-one was tough for me. At that stage I had been with the manbeast for a year as a couple, but he was still living in Perth (with me in Melbourne). He couldn’t be there for my 21st birthday. It was the start of the downhill slide with my relationship with my father. Things between myself and my sister weren’t too great. I think the only good thing at this stage of my life was that I was working and earning money so I could look after myself and pay my way.

BEDIA: Day 13 – Five favourite movies

Ok, so The Last Unicorn is obviously going to be in this list, but since you already know it’s a favourite, I am going to give you some others.

84 Charing Cross Road
Another READ THE BOOK film, only I can say with absolute pleasure that the script for this film is WORD FOR WORD with the letters in the book. Anthony Hopkins plays Frank and Anne Bancroft plays Helene and they are both superb. This is a classic film (or should be seen as one).

Synopsis: Literature enthusiast (Bancroft) in New York contacts a quaint little second-hand bookshop in Britain run by a very thorough owner (Hopkins) in order to find some precious tomes. What starts as a simple request grows into a friendship that spans many, many years. And even better, it’s a true story.

A Disney film starring Kirstie Alley and a bunch of other character actors. I adore this film. Yes, it’s a kiddie flick but it’s fun and it’s entertaining. If you have kids who don’t brush their teeth, watch this with them.

Synopsis: A career-focused dentist (Alley) finds herself in Limbo after an accident. Before she can enter Heaven, she has to prove herself worthy. Her task is to return to earth – as the Tooth Fairy. Hilarity ensues.

Love, Actually.
This one speaks for itself. EVERYONE loves this film – including just about every television station in Melbourne because they keep putting it on for Valentines Day and Christmas … and randomly through the year. The ensemble of actors is impressive enough on it’s own.

Synopsis: Several different characters with their own stories but all somehow entwined with the other. It’s warming, funny as hell and heart-breaking at times.

Becoming Jane
The film I really learned to love Anne Hathaway. And James McAvoy is divine in period costume – just sayin’.

Synopsis: The film is a dramatisation of the period of Jane Austen’s life involving the one man that was widely regarded as her love interest, Thomas LeFroy. There are beautiful little vignettes which segue the inspiration for writing her famous novels.

The Court Jester
Possibly my favourite film of all time. I can recite it word for word. Danny Kaye is probably the most famous for this role but you may know him from other classics such as Hans Christian Andersen and The Inspector General. Awesome music, awesome actors.

Synopsis: A bumbling circus performer finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue, witchcraft, and love all in order to return the rightful king of England on the throne.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Very good.

BEDIA: Day 11 – Earliest Memory

To be honest my earliest memory is not a a good one, therefore I am not going to write about it because, well… no one needs to see that shit.

So here’s a couple of pretty things that I’ve recently worked on. Enjoy…

Renlish.com - Tarra-Bulga National Park, Victoria, Australia

A fantasy edit of a photograph I took in the Tarra-Bulga National Park located in Victoria, Australia.

Renlish.com - Wind in the Willows, Ratties Cottage

I am a “Wind in the Willows” freak… this is an interpretation of Rattie’s cottage. Done on one of my own photographs again in the rainforests of the Tarra-Bulga National Park.

Both of these are available as prints in my Redbubble store. Feel free to have a look!

Brought to you as part of the “Blog Every Day in August” challenge.

BEDIA… DAMMIT! Missed one! Day 9 & 10

Ok. I failed. But to be fair, I can’t type at work and I went out last night and didn’t get home until 4am.  So… shush. Here’s days 9 and 10 together.

Day 9 - A regret.

I regret waiting until I was 32 to start losing weight.  I really do. I feel like I missed out on so much of my life due to my weight.  I know that I am only 34 at the moment and that’s still young(ish) but the things I could have done if I had the confidence that I am gaining back now… It stings a little. I know that there are a lot of people who could say that it didn’t matter and that I should have just lived my life but not everyone is strong enough to overcome their demons. After having it drummed into me year after year that I was not good enough, I believed it. I did little things to fight against it but most of the time that was just bravado.

Day 10 -  Opening lines from five favourite books.
I’m in trouble… I walked into the my lounge and grabbed the first five of my admittedly huge list of favourites… but now I have them within reach and all I want to do is read the weekend away. Fighting the urge! I have stuff to do this weekend. Dammit!

“It’s still my favourite book in all the world.”
The Princess Bride, William S Goldman

Such an apt line. I love this book and it is one of my favourites. It’s one of the few books I read after watching the movie adaptation where I’ve actually enjoyed the reading more than the watching – and that’s a difficult thing to say because so many film adaptations need this:

Renlish.com - What the World Needs


Unless the screenplay was written by the author, as The Princess Bride was, in which case the above is not necessary.

“The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone.”
The Last Unicorn, Peter S Beagle

No explanation needed. This is my third blog post that includes this story.

“Her mother had been born in Paris, where, in May-time, even the butchers put lilacs in the windows. It was from Maman that Chantal inherited her lively enthusiasm for love.
Her father had been born in Boston, where it is still against the law for women to appear in public wearing powder and rouge. It was from Father that Chantal inherited an undermining reserve which wintered her springtime enthusiasm.
The result of this heterogeneous scramble was that Nature served her up early to unsuspecting males as an attractive little dish of French creme au caramel, and then topped it off with a lump of New England boiled potato.”

If A Man Answers, Winifred Wolfe

Ok, I know I posted the first few lines of this book but I just love it SO MUCH and this opening never fails to bring a smile. Published in 1961, it tells the tale of a pretty girl called Chantal as she learns to find a husband and keep him. For something written in the ’60s it’s quite cheeky as well as charming and as per usual, it’s the use of language – I mean, come on – “heterogeous scramble” – that tickles me.

“When Alma created the world, most of it she made into the Great Grass Plain. which was not a flat place, but rolling like a mare’s back and covered all over with the greencorn and the haycorn and the wild oats, knee-high, so that when the wind stirred it, billowing, it looked like a mare’s winter coat blowing.”
Birth of the Firebringer, Meredith Ann Pierce

This three-novel series of books is too awesome. If you’re a fan of Peter S Beagle, then the Firebringer trilogy will also be a treat. It’s a fantasy story involving unicorns but it’s more than just the pretty unicorns that flash around appearing to virgins. They have their own society (there’s more than one!) and their own laws and they’re just as human as we are. Though I know that makes very little sense. Just read them.

“This book has been compiled in the belief that girls and boys in middle and upper forms should enjoy poetry read in class or at least have honest satisfaction from it.”
A Book of Poetry, Ed. WM Smyth.

Ok, so this book isn’t a novel. It’s a book of poetry and prose. It’s actually one of my mother’s old school text books so there’s a sentimental attachment to it, but also it’s where I discovered Shakespeare and Poe and Tennyson and a plethora of other poets and writers that I enjoy reading. Occasionally I will just go to the shelf and pull out this book and stand there reading a couple of poems before sliding the book back into it’s spot and carrying on my merry way.

Brought to you as part of the “Blog Every Day in August” challenge.

BEDIA: Day 8 – A guilty pleasure… and a rant.

My guilty pleasure is actually a rant this evening.

Robin Thicke. Particularly his new(ish) song, Blurred Lines. The boy is hot and the song is sexy. And he’s 36 so no guilt over obsessing about him!

You all know him… though like I posted on Facebook this afternoon… I was surprised to rediscover him as Thicke of When I Get You Alone fame. Colour me befuddled and bemused. And then I also found out that he’s the son of Alan Thicke… aka Jason-freakin’-Seaver… as in the dad from Growing Pains.

Yes, that show. The one with Kirk Cameron.

(I feel old now.)


Blurred Lines
. I love it. It’s catchy and like I said, it’s sexy.

But some people have read too much into it. Some folks think it objectifies women and reinforces rape myths.

Guess what people, there are no “rape myths”. There is simply “rape”. And this song has nothing to do with it. The lyrics are kinky and a bit rude but in no way do they imply that this guy is going to have this girl against her will. She’s got all the control in the song. In fact at one point he states his confusion over NOT being picked by her… hello, Vanity.

As for the objectification of women… perhaps. The uncensored version of the music clip has three girls prancing around nude except for g-strings. It’s out there for everyone to see. The TV version has the girls still running around in skimpy plastic outfits that pretty much leave nothing to the imagination. However, what is so different between this and, say Justin Timberlake’s “Sexyback” video where you get the clear impression that a woman IS being raped at one point. No one complained about that!

Suddenly three pretty girls happily bouncing and jiggling around in the nude (with no one touching them at all) doesn’t seem so bad, eh?

Renlish.com - Robin Thicke

Brought to you as part of the “Blog Every Day in August” challenge.

BEDIA: Day 6 – A favourite quote and why it’s special.

“No, no, listen. Don’t listen to me! Listen!” - the butterfly, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.

These words have always stuck with me. Ever since seeing the movie, ever since reading the book, the butterfly’s almost desperate warning has always been a favourite quote.

I think I originally liked it because of it’s contrary nature; “Listen! Don’t listen to me, Listen!”

As I grew older I started to realise it was more a case of not just being contrary but reading (or listening as it were) between the lines.

The whole butterfly scene is extraordinary in it’s brilliance but you really only get it if you’re paying attention. I’ve read the book and seen the movie hundreds of times and I still find little nuances.

UNICORN: Butterfly, have you seen the others? Where have they gone? Tell me which way I must go to find them!

BUTTERFLY: No, no, listen. Don’t listen to me, listen. You can find the others if you are brave. They passed down all the roads long ago, and the Red Bull ran close behind them and covered their footsteps.

UNICORN: Red Bull? What is the Red Bull?

BUTTERFLY: Hold tight. Hold tight. Hold tight, hold tight. His firstling bull has majesty, and his horns are the horns of a wild ox. With them, he shall push the unicorns, all of them, to the ends of the earth. Listen, listen, listen quickly!

UNICORN: I am listening! Where are the other unicorns, and what is the Red Bull?

BUTTERFLY: Listen, listen! (laughs) The king is in the counting house, counting out, counting out, counting… It’s you or me, moth! Hand to hand to hand to hand to hand to hand…

See the film or read the book, either way, if you’re a lover of fantasy you will like this story.

Brought to you as part of the “Blog Every Day in August” challenge.

BEDIA: Day 5 – Something you wish you did really well.

I don’t even have to think about this one.

Draw. I wish I could draw. Even if I couldn’t do anything except with greylead.

OMG. If I could actually draw the pictures in my head I would be SO DAMNED HAPPY.

Don’t get me wrong, my doodles are drawing, yes, but they’re not DRAWING. I have epic scenes and characters all in my noggin and the closest I can get to bringing them to life is through photomanipulation.

I have had the occasional spark where I’ve managed to cobble a drawing together (usually using the grid reference technique) but I just don’t have the innate talent to REALLY draw. I am a firm believer that anyone can learn to do anything but to be really good at it, you have to have the ability already as part of your genetic makeup.

Me? Nah.

Renlish.com - Figure Drawing

Close, but no cigar. This was a drawing (done in Photoshop) for a school assignment where we had to create drawn illustrations for a fairytale. I chose The Little Mermaid.

Brought to you as part of the “Blog Every Day in August” challenge.

BEDIA: Day 4 – An embarrassing moment

This is a tough one. My life is filled with embarrassing moments that I just put down to life experience.

I mean… I could talk about being at an all-girls college and getting… um… leakage… on my school uniform that EVERYONE decided to point out to me. I could talk about the time I fell flat on my face in the middle of a group of people and then got up like nothing happened. But these sorts of things happen to everyone and as annoying as they are, the embarrassment is short-lived and doesn’t really come back to haunt you. There’s nothing that really makes me cringe.

Oh, except for that time when, at the end of a particularly busy day at work, I announced to the team:

“I’m gonna go home and have me some angry sex.”

Crickets chirped.


Yep. This.

I don’t know. Sometimes I lose the wifi connection between my brain and mouth. We were talking about rude stuff earlier in the day and having a laugh – but that was about OTHER PEOPLE, not any of us on a personal level. Just one of those moments where you carry the joke just slightly past its use-by date.

Brought to you as part of the “Blog Every Day in August” challenge.