We are approaching the end of the year and that means one thing for sure: the personal yearly wrap up. I am a long-term indulger in the end of year wrap up.

It’s when everyone starts retrospectively making sense of all the shitty things that happened this year. Turning poop into flowers. Twisting sadness into silver linings. Casting light in otherwise very dark forgotten corners.

It makes us feel in control of our lives and the things that happen in them. It creates the illusion that we sit in the driver’s seat of our world.

It’s going to take some…


As a little girl I never dreamed of getting married. I didn’t look to marriage as an achievement in itself. It seemed a natural life event that happens to people when nothing else more exciting came up.

Not going on an expedition to the Arctic? Not pursuing a scientific breakthrough? Not part of the board of directors for a large corporation? Not interested in a life of alcoholic artistic pursuit?

Marriage will do. Marriage is something to do.

And those jokes about wives and husbands that you find on hallmark cards? Gross. …


I’ve been hoping that I would arrive at the time in life when decision making became straight forward. I’ve always assumed that there was a magical age at which the answers became clear.

I’m devastated to realise this seems increasingly unlikely. I’m grappling with the knowledge that in actual fact, no one knows what they are doing with any more certainty than the rest. I’m unsure if this is comforting or disappointing.

Of course there are some who appear to know. Those who subscribe to decision-making frameworks. There are others who swear by their intuition, or their gut feeling. …


Some people spend money on nice new cars, some people buy dresses and sexy lingerie and some people do other far more sensible things with their money. For me, there is nothing more fulfilling than spending money in a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.

I value experience above all else. Long lunch beats new shoes every single time. Dinner with a friend trumps cooking together at home without doubt. Breakfast and coffee without having to deal with dishes is the dream.

I am often genuinely confused when staff at restaurants tell me how easy it is to make something…


There are many things to be angry about lately. None have compelled me to turn keyboard warrior like the Morrison government’s plans to double the cost of humanities courses at university.

As an arts graduate, some-time-farmer-cum-hospitality-professional-turned-student-teacher-who-(currently)-dreams-of-being-a-sommelier, I feel well placed to offer comment on the government’s disheartening and downright dangerous proposal.

Australia has a long-held contempt for intellectual pursuit and proudly defines itself as a nation that is not interested in discussing politics or complicated matters. Any attempt to discuss ‘issues’ with mates at the pub or over dinner is routinely shut down or shrugged off in the interests of…


The last two weeks have drifted by in a not altogether unpleasant blur. After begging for more time for the duration of the year (read: my life), the sudden arrival of unmarked time ad infinitude has somehow stumped me completely.

Perhaps, the true value of free time can only be harnessed when we know it won’t last forever? This has proved to be the most relevant story for me so far…

Educational theory makes the claim that humans are often their most creative when presented with possibility within limits.

For example, give a child a blank page and tell them…


“To give someone good advice is to show a complete lack of respect for that person’s God-given ability to make mistakes. Furthermore, other people’s actions should retain the advantage of not being ours. The only possible reason for asking other people’s advice is to know, when we subsequently do exactly the contrary of what they told us to do, that we really are ourselves, acting in complete disaccord with all that is other.” (Pablo Pessoa in The Book of Disquiet)

All of a sudden, what everyone else is ‘up to’ has become primary business for onlookers, rather than just an…


If you’re anything like me and wholeheartedly over the plethora of productivity porn clogging up your socials, then I’ve got some good news.

Get this book and stay in bed.

I don’t tend to pick up overt romance novels. To my mind, what use is fictionalised romance when the simple heartache of everyday life brings enough drama to existence?

In this case though, a copy of Salt on my Skin was forced into my hand by my aforementioned book-wielding friend as I went to purchase a different book at the bookstore.

Have you read this? she asked excitedly.


(with a side of Shobbrook)

About two weeks ago, I decided I was going to focus on my job and dropped three out of four study units for my masters of teaching. Before I did that, I was on track to finish this year.

It’s Monday today and I’ve spent the morning begrudgingly trying to catch up with the single unit of study I kept. I flick between the multiple tabs I have open in my browser: clothing I don’t need sitting in an online shopping cart, obscure Italian wines I can’t afford and an online tutorial about the accreditation process for casual teaching.

I…

Anais Gschwind

Not an expert

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