Last week we had a bit of a stalkers look at Kirsty and her history. This week it’s my turn...because I have never stalked anyone on Facebook...ever….except this one time (AVO is still pending)…
Well my story is a little similar to Kirsty In the sense that I am not a Cairns local, but migrated to the warmer tropical climate with the family in tow. I was born and bred in Albany, the great southern corner of Western Australia, that will probably explain why I can’t spell.
Albany is a stunning coastal town with the most amazing beaches and a great place to grow up. In a small town meant never have to apply for a job. Word of mouth, friend and family made for some great work opportunities including managing, at the time, one of WA’s largest Paper Arts & Crafts Store with a great friend who taught me a heap about the retail & paper craft industry over a period of 5 years. I was also lucky enough to land a job as a Dive Shop manager and gained my Dive Masters Certification. I loved meeting people, but not ones that wee’ed in their wetsuit...all time pet hate.
It was here that I met my husband Kym who by accident as he ended up at the “wrong” Dive shop. He was supposed to go to the dive shop on the hill to see the blonde...he went to the dive shop down the hill and meet the brunette. And he is still cursing about today. Meh..not my fault you can’t read a map.
I said I would never be seen dead with a guy with tattoos, signs of a mullet, had kids or smoked. And like Kirsty, it was actually my Mum that encouraged the relationship. As it turned out he quit smoking, got a haircut and his two boys were absolutely gorgeous. As for the tattoos I am still working on that - a green pot scourer and bleach—I will let you know how that goes. We were married in 2004 and unless Channing Tatum comes and whisks me away, he is stuck with me for a bit longer (his hall pass is Stevie Nicks...yep...knock yourself out there!).
So this is how I became a “back Up” Mum to Mike & Dan (who are now 19 & 21….yep I feel REALLY OLD!!) who I hold solely responsible for the feeling of wanting reproduce my own spawn. Mike and Dan were (and still are) gorgeous, kind & easy going, and that’s what I thought all kids were like………. till we bred our own.
And this is part were Toby comes along. 7 weeks early, & a plane trip with RFDS in the middle of the night. Nothing like a bit of a drama. Thankfully he was all fine which then had us thinking about our next stage in life. Leaving Albany!!
This was a biggie for me as leaving the comfort, security, family & friends of your home town for 31 years was a bit of a hurdle to jump, but also one I was itching to do. My sister and her partner were already living in Cairns, we had visited and loved the humidity and couldn’t wait to migrate north.
So we moved from a one side of Australia to the other. We had grand plans of taking our time travelling over, being your happy-go-lucky-tourist family. But a teething 8 month old who slept all of 4 hours a night had other plans. We made the trip in eight days, consumed 15 packets of Milk Arrowroot Biscuits and I NEVER want to see another portacot again.
Straight away we fell in love with Cairns, the beautiful greenery, the laid back nature and the fact we didn't know anyone. I missed our friends and family dearly, but also loved the fact that no one knew me, I felt like I could give anything a go and no one would judge me.
We had only been in Cairns about 10 months when I started ‘E is For Eggplant”, a small markets based business creating handmade stationery & home décor. I started doing the Tanks Markets & meeting wonderful people - the social side of the markets far outweighed the $17.20 profit and it was perfect opportunity to get out of Mum duties (whoops that was my out loud voice..).
In the meantime, my sister and her partner moved to Broome, (my parents can never complain they have to visit the kids in dodgy parts of Australia...hello Broome & Cairns!!) which was a bit sad but meant I could pretty well have open season on all her friends (who I think secretly like me better than her—I have always been the smarter one). And this is when another child just popped along; actually it was just like a pop. An hour and half labour time and all the sudden here was child number 2, Miss Neve Alice Hall, drama queen extraordinaire (god only knows where she gets that from?).
So here I was with 2 monkeys, still trying to do markets and at the stage of stocking some of my products in retails stores. As awesomely supportive as Kym is, he still doesn’t cut the mustard when it came to matching colours and sticking earrings together.
Enter stage left, Kirsty Boyce, who also had her own small business and trying to keep up with the balance of motherhood & work. It was over a few West Coast Coolers & a dry crusty Ham sandwiches that we came up with the idea to combine our businesses. I am not sure if it was the gourmet sandwiches or the quality beverages that tempted her to the dark side, but 18 months later she has finally worked out that I am the better singer and possibly, the better dancer. Essentials for a small business partnership.
What I love about Cairns is that 8 years later, not being a “real” local, I still think that I don’t really know that many people here. Though I must admit I now wear a bra going to Smithfield Shopping Centre. I am a big believer in the fact that we are here for such a short time, why not do all you can to make it the best time?
And that is why I am loving Eggplant & Poppy. I used to be scared of the thought of failing, and worried what people will think, but if you don’t give something a go, you haven't even given yourself the chance to fail or fly. And is failing that bad? We are not playing for sheep stations, E&P is never going to make a million dollars but we are having an awesome time doing it and meeting some wonderful people along the way.
My Mr & Master Hall
Another fine example of my culinary talents!
Typical day at the markets back in E is for Eggplant days....
Toby & Neve
Wide angle lens at its best :)
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