A Life Less Ordinary

I have just come back from an amazing few days, launching my book in Brisbane and Sydney.


Firstly Brisbane, ah you beautiful people of Brisbane.  I got quite emotional in Brisbane.  The author asked to launch my book, Susan Johnson made the most amazing speech, and my friend Georgie’s hubby Andrew was there with his professional camerary (new word) eye, and he snapped this shot, capturing my emotion:


With Susan:


The wall of BSRC!


Thank you so much to the big crowd that turned up to see me. People I knew who I saw again.  People I have known for years online through parenting forums and Bowel cancer forums, and readers of my blog.  Some friends of friends, a daughter of a friend, some people who just saw the incredible display of my book that Riverbend books put up and came in because they wanted to meet me.  There was a beautiful lady, who was frail and had lost her hair to cancer…I asked how she knew about me and she said she just walked past and saw the launch advertised, and really wanted to come.  She was tired from the shitty ravages of chemo and years fighting the stage 4 cancer monster, and she stood in line for me to sign a book for her.  No wonder I cry.  Brisbane, you moved me in so many ways!

The next day it was on to Sydney.  My publishing company housed me in the most incredible of hotels, the QT in the heart of the city.  If you have got a quirky bone in your body, and you like five star luxury thrown in, you must stay at this hotel.  Gazbo and I rode the elevators several times just for amusement value, as the music changed according to how many people were in the elevator.  You get things like “one is the loneliest number”, and “are you lonesome tonight”.  If you stop at a floor and someone else gets in, the music stops and starts up again with a rousing rendition of “it takes two baby”.  If there are a few in the elevator it generally plays party tunes, with “I feel goooood, like I knew that I would” (ear worm, anyone?).  As you get out, it says things like “hasta la vista baby”, and “may the force be with you”.  I shit you not, funniest thing EVER.  Here are some hotel pics for giggles – I’ll never stay anywhere in Sydney again but this place, that is my vow.

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Arriving at the Sydney launch my nerves finally got the better of me, despite having already done two, and I had a bit of a panicked meltdown on walking in.  The crowd was much small in Sydney than in Melbourne or Brisbane, quite a number had not been able to come at the last minute etc, but it was a fantastic crowd.  I knew that there was so many people there I was beside myself about seeing and meeting.  I mean, picture this.  At Sydney alone there was my Sydney based editor from Essential Baby who has been an enormous supporter of my work over the years and a great friend, but I had never met her!  Another friend of hers, and mine for years…but we had also never met!  Waves to Ms Prue and declares the Chanel red lippy the best ever :)  There were several other Sydney based members or Essential Baby parenting forum from way back in the day we first started having our babies…..some of these friends go back 15 YEARS….some I had met, some I had not, but still knew SO WELL.  There were friends from my Down syndrome network, several of whom travelled great distances to get there, and to my delight quite a few people from my Bowel cancer support forum.  There was my Sydney based publisher Jeanne, and her beautiful young daughter there selling my books.  There was our producer of our 60 minutes segment, Gaz, and his gorgeous wife Bec, and there was of course the beautiful, and genuine Tara Brown – the only way I can describe this lady is all class…and she was there to make a speech about ME!  A magnificent speech it was too.  And guess who else?   OMG, blogging ROYALTY, BabyMac and Mrs Woog.  I don’t follow many blogs myself, but I have loved both of these women for years because they are funny as buggery, awesome, and they keep it real.  There are certain people who you read their blogs and feel like you know them, and know you would just sit right on down and crack a wine and crack on with the conversation like you had known each other for years.  These two women are that to me, and FUCK A DUCK THEY WERE AT MY BOOK LAUNCH.

So, you can imagine, right?  I’ve walked in, and we were quite late due to traffic in Sydney, and I just see all these people, and I don’t now how to describe it, but it was like walking into a room where every single person in it was like someone you had idolised your whole life?  The problem was that the official proceedings were to start soon, and I wanted to talk for several hours to every single person in the room.  I was trying to work out how to honour them, what they meant to me and how much it meant for them to be there, in a few snatched minutes with each one.  And so, I kind of lost it.  When I finally did walk into the room, after hiding in a panicked fashion behind my publicist Kelly for a few minutes and downing a champers to calm the nerves (some of which I tipped down my ample cleavage) I was ok, but I was crazy for a while, darting from this person to that person, and back to that one, and a few snatched seconds with that one.  My darlings who were there, if I seemed scattered and insane that is because I WAS.  The smaller crowd made it easier to chat to more people though, as the signing lines for the books were over an hour in Melbourne and Brissie, Sydney only took half an hour or so.  I want to see you ALL again.  Sydney, we will be back (you’ll find us at the QT, in the elevators….).  Some images from Sydney:

Our 60 minutes people.  Tara, thank you so much for everything, and Gaz Mark II, we love you and we so loved meeting Bec.  Please make good on that promise of a beer next time you are in Melbourne.  We consider you friends:

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With Amber, and Di, and some of the EB girls:

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A couple of my fellow cancer fighting warrior women:

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These are all the pics that Gaz took, but I know I got photos with all of you…..can you send them to me please, so I have them?  It was an amazing night, and I love each and every one of you.

Gaz was only staying one night (I had a further night in Sydney), so we got up in the morning and flew down George St, to Circular Quay, so we could get the obligatory harbour shot!  You are a beautiful city, Sydney :)


On the way there, we popped into Dymocks in George St.  This is a department store of bookshops, goodness me!  I knew my book was in there, as Kelly and I were going there later to sign some.  So, Gazbo and I wandered in the front door on George St, and we walked through half the store without seeing my book.  Then we came to the centre of the massive store, and it was right where the escalators came down from the big Westfield shopping centre that we saw it.  My book, in quite possibly the most prominent display position in the whole store.  Gazbo and I stood there and sort of had a moment.  I mean, how can you believe that something like this has happened to you?  A book that I wrote displayed right in the middle of a major bookstore.  Here I am, with my top inside out and all.  I’m an author and shizz, who needs to wear their top the right way in? 😛

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And honestly, if you are flashing enough tit, who looks at your seams anyway?

In one more startling bit of news, at the Sydney launch the night before Kelly and Jeanne told me that my book is the number 10 bestseller at Readings over all.  Like, OVER FUCKING ALL.  Not as a biography, or memoir, or niche book, but, ya know…overall.  We ran home and goggled it on our phone, and sure enough:

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Glad to be back, even if back means back in the bloody chemo chair at 10am next Monday.  Let’s hope I live long and loud, as I reckon I have another book in me.

Promise more regular blogs from now on, I have tons up my sleeve….I’ll try and keep them a bit shorter!  Love ya’s!

13 Comments on “A Life Less Ordinary

    • Thank you Louise. I am so not looking forward to it, but my pain is telling me that I need to do it, so it kind of makes it easier if you know what I mean. I feel quite well, as in not sick, but pain…not so much :(

  1. Wow Julia this is all so amazing, I have been following your blog since meeting you on the U.K based beating bowl cancer forum. Bless you, there have been the ones I have been in a deep dark place and your words have lifted me back up into that place where I can fight this shitty diagnosis. Xxxxxx

    • Hi Sheila, so lovely to see you on my blog, all the way from the rainforest. I hope you are doing ok, I have not been keeping up with things on BBC. i will make a bigger effort, promise xx

  2. Wow, what an adventure. I’m so happy that you’ve had time to enjoy all the excitement of the launch. You continue to inspire people everywhere. Whilst you were fangirling (if that’s even a word), Mrs Woog and Babymac, that’s exactly how I felt as I lined up in Melbourne.

  3. So happy to see you so happy and launched by other fabulous women. What a fabbie time you have had. Just hope it hasn’t exhausted you beautiful. All the best for bloody chemo xxx

    • It’s been ace. Having a nice family weekend now. I am doing ok, on prescription steriods at the moment and they have the advantage of keep you quite awake (including at night unfortunately!) I will have a good few days rest after chemo, got all my ducks in a row and people to look after me and the kids xx

  4. Lady, there was so much love in that room. It was amazing to be a part of it xxx

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