An open letter of love to coffee

Dear Coffee,

Let me recount the ways in which I love thee.

Ours is a passionate relationship. I remember the first time you lured me away from my first love of hot chocolate. It was a lazy, sunny afternoon and all it took was a knowing wink from a Barista to introduce me to your kiss via a mocha and the beginnings of a passionate affair were planted all over my post-teen moustache.

Soon the tingle of your touch was being desired more and more. I longed for the jolt that arose within me when we met. As my passions for you grew, I found myself spending more time and more money in your presence.

Before I knew it, I had turned my life upside down for you. My career, weekends, cash flow and concentration were all directed at your rich caramel complexion. I even upgraded my underwear which is a decision I still don't quite understand.

Secure in your arms, we travelled the world together. We danced hand to lip across the cafes of Melbourne, Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, US and Canada. You introduced me to exotic flavours from Timor, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Guatemala and beyond...

You never flinched when I made efforts to spice up our love life. Bringing in the Aeropress or the Cold Drip, playing with the grind and experimenting with different profiles.

I always swore I wouldn't end up with you, but here we are, some 15 years later. I once thought we would get married, but in this backwards country, love between man and beverage still isn't validated. Maybe after they legalise polygamy and objectphilia we have our space.

I fear that things have dulled. I notice myself considering new temptations. I confess on lonely, cold nights to flirting with herbal teas and I even found myself googling Kombucha to find out exactly what the heck it is (turns out it is old seaweed, mashed seagull all fermented in old teabags).

Why is this? Have we become set in our ways? We never really stray from the same couple of order positions... strong flat whites , the occasional magic on special occasions and public holidays. Maybe we should look to change things up? I hear nitro cold brew is exciting. But then they said the same thing about carrot leg jeans and that just ended up looking like my thighs were pregnant.

Maybe it is social media's obsession with you? It seems you are always first. But what if you are suddenly second?

In my old age, others will beckon me. Tea, Soylent, probiotics and wild seal milk (it will be a least my fund manager thinks so). 

But they are not for me.

I will still chase the hard edge of your cup on my lip and the following feeling in my stomach that is a mixture of love and the natural laxative effect of your presence.

An Open Letter to 2017

Dear 2017,

I noticed this week Taylor Swift celebrated your performance in her personal life. The girl gives you a simple shout-out and the whole internet responds like Kim Jong-un simultaneously finding out that this week's doughnuts have run-out and that flat-tops haven't been cool since '91.

Granted, on a global level, this hasn't been the greatest year for humanity. Trump took office, global terror events become a monthly occurrence, news continually broke of abuse and inequality, North Korea hit puberty and Tom Cruise continued to release films.

That is just a year, is it not? Which recent year hasn't had its share of scandal, despair, fear and horrible computer music released to help humans dance like monkeys for imaginary ego-bananas? I am sure that even during the war and depression years at least a handful of people were sitting down with a whisky or cup of tea on December 31st and looking back thinking "Yeah. Not bad!" 

So once again Tay-Tay proves that the haters are going to hate, hate, hate as the rest of us look towards 2018 and shake off the year that has been.

I am at peace with you 2017.

We didn't quite scale the heights that the list in my notes app on my phone had hoped for. But we didn't do too bad either. Sure - I didn't finish the feature script, enter Tropfest, commit to fortnightly date nights or start the cold brew business, but you and work and life admin. 

I will always remember you for our ten year wedding anniversary trip to the Four H's (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An and Hong Kong). I will also remember you as the year I got adult about our financial situation dotting the I's of investments and crossing the T for total and permanent disability insurance (among others). You were the year a reputable University let me teach and decent web publication found my written words coherent and interesting enough to publish them a bunch of times. I managed to ride a Gran Fondo and I even tried stand up paddleboarding. Sure I didn't quite nail the weekly new recipe but I did start reading 'Infinite Jest'. If I have finished it by 2027 I will be doing well.

You have been an OK year but I acknowledge that many others elsewhere haven't seen you that way. Theirs isn't the middle class, western white world that I inhabit. I don't know why I get to live this reality and others don't. I don't know why something like a Taylor Swift has to exist in the world either. I don't know if 2017 will end up being a relatively quiet, peaceful and prosperous year compared to the ones ahead. I do know that tomorrow we say our goodbyes. Your cousin will be along to take over and all I can do is make the best of what they have to offer. Anything else would be a rude waste.

Farewell 2017. Maybe in some distant future, a primary school will dig you up in the form of a time capsule and I'll be there looking over your corpse with nostalgia.

Until then,



An Open Letter to Gary Ablett Jnr

Dear AFL star Gary Ablett,

I write to you regarding your remuneration for the 2018 AFL season, in which you intend to play with the Geelong Football Club.

It’s an exciting and romantic prospect. A bit like your Mum and Dad getting back together after a divorce. One day you realise that the tanned Argentinian Tennis coach (Gold Coast in this analogy, and yes, you are Mum) wasn't the love, set, match you’d thought it’d be, compared to the strong, familiar arms of Dad (Geelong).

Please understand I am in no one way affiliated with the club, I’m not even a paid member. I am just a keen supporter who drives past Kardinia Park each day, dreaming dreams and pontificating schemes.

My biggest concern is this thing may not happen for financial reasons. So I propose to outline a case on why you should play for free. If you agree, this will allow Dad to pay out the Tennis Coach your share of the house you built together…confused? 

What I’m suggesting is Geelong pays out your 2018 Gold Coast contract in cash, fruit from Frank Costa or the tears of Joel Selwood (which are so rare they are worth more than BitCoin) or a combination of all three, and you come play with us for free. Good idea right?

Here are some compelling reasons why playing for Geelong is worth doing for nothing.

Geelong is cool now. Our coffee is off the hook, our restaurants are now on lists and we even have a brewery now so people with beards to work. My mate Mike opened a barbers shop and he’s got tattoos! Not that you’d need his services, but he has assured me if you come back, Get Shorty’s will start offering head polishes. 

I know you are a man of God, so we have you covered there. My church will put you up and even offer you the comfort of an upgraded massage physiotherapy chair to aid recovery. Should you have a Sunday game, we’ll be happy to move a service to match your schedule.

Your friend Zac Smith is down at the club. Who wouldn’t want to work with their good mate? Personally, I wouldn't - my mate Mick is the only person I know who is taller than me so if he were around my office, I wouldn't have that strange tallest-person-in-the-room-power I’ve become so used to.

In regards to your number, we have a few options. Cam Guthrie feels he has made the number 29 his own and won't give it up. He feels the same way about his hair though. Nakia Cockatoo could move down a step to Andrew Mackie’s vacated number 4 giving you access to Senior’s number. But if you're like me, you don't want to dress too much like your Dad so can I suggest we give 00. It’s unique. Plus if you get mud flecks in the middle of each zero it would look like intimidating eyes.

Post footy, your employment prospects are looking better down here than when your old man and Billy Brownless were kicking around. Our major employers are now the likes of Cotton On Group. I know Joel has a sweet gig out there as an ‘Ambassador’ so I’m sure they could hook you up as Visual Merchandiser and throw you a few free pairs of carrot jeans.

Housing is much more affordable down here compared to the major cities, but a man of your means could afford anything along the Great Ocean Road. You could afford to buy the entire great ocean and its associated road if you wanted! Living down there seems to have worked for Danger. He may not like someone getting in on that football-recluse-from-the-sand-dunes vibe that he has going on though.

Ford will hook you up with a car too. They still sponsor the Cats. I was thinking something low profile and unsuspecting, so you can get to and from the Aldi carpark without getting noticed. Maybe a Fiesta? Or even better still a Transit, so that you can be designated driver on Taco Tuesdays.

The best reason why you should choose to play for free? Because it would be revolutionary for a player to play AFL in 2018 purely for the love of the game and club. But then maybe that’s the romantic in me. I’m hoping there’s one in you too.