So, without further ado, here's Carla's interview. She's a magnificent writer, so you are in for a treat.
Hi Carla, sorry it took me so long to get to you with questions, you've already completed yours! Impressive. I just wanted to read your blog a bit and make it a bit more personal.
I do have some questions in mind but I want the interview to be a bit more organic and conversational, so I'll just feed you one at a time.
You mentioned you are in Uni getting your Master's and you are a mom with two young kids. How do you do it all?
The kid's part is relatively easy. Once they can wipe their own tushies and open a pack of cornflakes in the morning everything else is chocolate brownies! (well forgive me- but I like chocolate brownies better than a piece of cake.)
Business...well to be honest I just halved that workload recently by selling one of my cafes earlier this year. I'm not sure if I had the seven year itch with them...but I'm glad that I made the decision. My hubby who works in the technical-sphere said he has noticed a huge difference in me on the scale of calm to frazzle.
I was tired of frazzle.
As for the studies, it would have been easy at that point to sit back and enjoy some quiet time, but instead I applied for the post-grad masters course in writing because I felt that it was time to release a dream that has been sitting dormant inside for awhile. I'm not sure if it's a win or a fail yet... but if you want something bad enough you simply find or make the time for it. I truly believe in the old adage that we can only be the best mothers and the best wives and the best friends that we can be when we are happy within ourselves.
Plus the kids get a big kick out of sitting down to do our homework all together...
I can't believe I left out the cafes, especially since I worked in a variety of them for EIGHT YEARS! That makes that Xanax super super important. Three of my four parents were in school at some point during my childhood, but we never did our homework together - lucky kids!
Eenywho, on to my next question. I studied abroad in Australia (Melbourne Uni, even!) and have long wanted to live abroad again. If you could pick up and move anywhere with no drama, where would move and why?
Feel free not to use the you-tube link... I'm a little mad for Colin Firth so I thought I'd share (perhaps overshare!!!) LOL
When did you live in Melbourne?
Great question by the way!
I'm enjoying the way you are doing this... it allows me not to think too much ahead and it does feel very conversational...
Oh the link is a keeper. I LOVE Colin Firth as well. One of my life goals is to make a man with an accent fall in love with me.
I was in Melbourne from February-June 2003 - almost seven years ago! My little sister spent her semester abroad at Bond in Queensland, so I got the chance to visit her this past April. As lovely as the beaches were, I'm a total Victoria snob.
You mentioned crisscrossing the globe - do you have a top five foreign locales that everyone should visit? Did you do much of this traveling with your kids? I also lived for year in England when I was growing up and me and my large family drove all over Europe. So while I can say that I've been to Venice and Paris, it was as an 11 year old with all my siblings - I imagine it would be a different experience today!
I feel blessed to have been able to travel, and I understand the importance of exposing my children to the greater world in which we live. They are by now pretty good travelers having journeyed across Australia and having done four trips abroad to such far away places as China and Japan.
I find this an interesting question…particularly since what is foreign to me may not be foreign to you. And I’m intrigued that you have asked me for five places, not one or three but five, so let’s see if I can give you a place to visit, somewhere. I have been, somewhere to satisfy each of your senses…
Beijing is for me the ultimate in contradictions, it's all high-tech lightning speed nestled beside ancient hutongs and revolutionary scars. It’s all about the sights. The bustle of humanity, the snaking Great Wall, the immensity of the soul-breaking Tiananmen Square and the most delicious of them all, The Forbidden City- home to the Dynastic Emperors and their hundreds of Empresses and Consorts and Concubines and a mind boggling array of offspring. The grounds of which are now visited by Chinese tourist families, who sightsee the magnificent ancient ways of privilege and excess, holding the hands of their single children tightly.
Pentecoste Island, Vanuatu
The smiling and happy island girl had a shell and the stub of an old grey-lead pencil.
It was a lesson in the material nature of happiness given to my daughter, like a gift wrapped in banana leaves, that touched all of our hearts.
In Rome I was taken to a restaurant that screamed so badly of cliché it almost made my eyeballs bleed red, white and green. From the expected check of the table cloths right through to the stubs of melted candles stuffed into old bottles of chianti, still in their little straw bikinis. The waiter seeing that we were foreigners took it upon himself to organize the menu. He said it would be traditional. I wasn't holding out for too much.
But what followed was a meal that was operatic to the palate.
Simple pane, bread slices drizzled with olive oil, melanzane- vinegared slices of purple skinned eggplant, forkfuls of mushrooms clinging to tomato drenched tagiatelle, tender osso buco scattered with shavings of aged romano cheese and flat leaf parsley, and limone gelato so glacial and lemony-brutal that our lips remained puckered in ecstasy till the following morning.
New York City, U.S.A
Traffic and music and words and food and art that’s the hiphop-techno-crunch-folky-
Don’t worry, no probs, we’re in no hurry! we say wide-eyed-petrified from the back seat.
This is how we do things in New York.
On any given summer evening there is a smell that wafts, tantalizingly over the suburban fences of my home town, Melbourne.
Can you smell it? Come stand at the front of my house, yes, right here on the footpath. Lift your nose to the air, breath it in deeply. That’s the inhalation of Australia.
It’s blended gum leaves, fresh cut lawn, and steaks grilling on the bbq. You can almost taste the potato salad and smell the coconuty sunscreen on the children who are running around in their bathers eating sausages in square bread squirted with tomato sauce. The salty air of the ocean is twenty minutes to one side and dark mossy smells from the foresty mountain ranges are twenty minutes the other way. And in between, is the brackish upside down river that courses through a city so multicultural that it simply smells of the foods from all nations.
I mean, am I right or am I right? The lady spins a yarn. Thanks, Carla! It has been a pleasure.
ETA: Sorry the font is and has been all kinds of wonky, I've been trying to figure it out, but why deal with html at home when I get enough of it at work? Not that I'm drowning in it or anything, but a little goes a long way...