The Ramblings of Sicko

It’s been a long four weeks. That’s how long I’ve been sitting at home doing nothing, since my doctor diagnosed me with glandular fever and told me to take time off work.
There have been some minor glitches – you know, not having sick pay, having to move house, pay every conceivable bill within that four weeks without borrowing from my parents (I sold my liver instead). But it hasn’t been all bad. I’ve been installed on a black leather couch for the past two weeks, firmly ensconced in front of the TV and feeding myself up like a prized pig. No carbohydrates after 9pm? Please. That’s the ONLY time I eat my carbs, and let me tell you – I eat plenty of ‘em. Mmm, spaghetti, garlic bread and homemade chips in the dead of the night with a fresh coffee chaser. Bring it on.
My flatmate has also been away in Brazil for the last couple of weeks, so I truly am on my lonesome. Oh, but don’t worry. I have Facebook and a DVD player. I’ve also had a rocketing temperature, which has lead to some pretty wacky dreams, let me tell you. So you see boredom is not an issue either. Quite the opposite in fact. I think I’m having a little too much fun existing in this base, directionless state.
This has been a really great opportunity to reconnect with some of my –well – not real friends. I’m talking about the kids from High school Musical (I love the way they end up banding together no matter what!), the lovable Mighty Boosh lads, the f***ing annoying Walker Clan from Brothers and Sisters, a star-spangled British cast from The Forsythe Saga, Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill, Sheldon and his band of Geeks in Big Bang Theory, and the girl on every literature lover’s hit list – Bryony from Atonement. Ridiculous little brat. You didn’t atone for shit.
That’s not even half of it. I guess the point I’m trying to make is: when you’re sick, and have a great deal of time on your hands, the rules change and life is not viewed through its regular lens. For example, pressing tasks such as deferring your uni course, lodging Centrelink application forms and supplying paperwork for your doctor to fill out takes a back seat to blogging, napping, eating, cooking, and staring vacantly at the wall. My pair of eleven-year old board shorts recently sustained a series of tears on the seat, yet I continue to wear them daily, without concern that guests might drop by and register abhorrence at being exposed so unwittingly to my underwear.
 It’s almost as if, my some magical turn of osmosis, the world says it’s ok to let things slide, because you’re sick. You expect complete strangers to give you the same latitude you’d get from your mum. Your outlook becomes skewered and narrow, concerned only with events pertaining to your minute sphere of existence. I forgot I owned a car. And you start to look forward to small, simple things. To demonstrate: my week is based around watching the Brittney episode of Glee at my best friends on Wednesday night, and supplying some “B” food. It’s actually going to be more of a party. THRILL! The dozens of small, urgent, day-to-day tasks I am required to complete to perpetuate my legal existence continue to take a back seat.
Today has been a good day so far. I got up at 7am, ate two freddos, watched Karl and Lisa for half an hour, then went back to sleep. I rose again at 1pm, ate two freddos, watched High school Musical 2, made coffee and ate mixed berry yoghurt. Ascertained my passport number from my mother, so the day is in the early stages of productivity. It’s just grown dark at 2:30pm and started to rain. Excellent, good DVD weather (LOL!). The only thing I’m lacking is a cat, which would be heavenly to cuddle up to at this point.
The conclusion of this post? There is none. I’m low on coffee and wanna watch some Mighty Boosh. Sequential plots and conclusive summaries are overrated.
Check ya later!

The Yoga Family

Those who can’t do, teach. 
This refrain is surely to the infuriation of competent teachers everywhere. 
After all, if they couldn’t do, how could they teach? I couldn’t think of anything more terrifying than putting my hand up to teach something I have absolutely no idea about. It’s tantamount to social suicide. Such self-sabotage can hardly be so main-stream as to apply to all teachers.
 I pray I never encounter, for example, a body-attack instructor who has no idea what they’re teaching. Can you imagine the entire class jiggling around like a bunch of incontinent wallies for an entire hour only to find their teacher was a clueless poser and they’ve gained next to no fitness benefits?
No, I think we need to make the concession that teachers, occasionally, do know what they’re on about.
And moreover, it isn’t due to failure at “making the big time” that they teach.  In fact – call me crazy – I find it conceivable that some people are simply passionate and generous enough to want to share their time and experience with others – and sometimes for free! Could it be that they encounter some type of – what is that phrase – personal satisfaction from what they do?
I recently encountered such a person.
I recently spent six months living in Maleny and, being the new kid in town, I was keen to extend my social network.  A friend invited me to join her women’s yoga circle, which I gladly accepted. The cost?  Nothing. Should I bring a plate? No. My city-bred alarm bells begin to sound. Something for nothing?  Hmm. I rationalized that perhaps the quality of instructing wouldn’t be anything fabulous.
The class was held at the instructor’s home, and was attended by about six other regulars. By the ease in which they performed the various poses or ashtangas, it became apparent these were no amateurs. The instructor, who resembled an ideal of feminine physique, effortlessly moved into poses that would strain the most rubbery yogi.
My clumsy attempts were given warm praise, and I was eagerly embraced into the Yoga Family fold. I was emailed class times, missed when I didn’t attend, and encouraged to come whenever and however possible. People who barely knew my name literally felt sad if I didn’t show up.
The instructor, who is waiting for her own studio to be built, puts considerable effort into sharing her knowledge with a bunch of strangers twice a week. For the love of it. At no cost. She is sad when people don’t attend.
I don’t know if yoga is for me or whether I will continue. But knowing the noble art of teaching and giving is alive and well did my soul the world of good. It was a relief to be reminded that greatness can be found in ordinary people who succeed in doing small things greatly.
Kudos to the Maleny Yoga Family.

The Acumen of Paddington

I have always had a fascination with language.
The power of context, style and content over a reader has always excited me, and driven me to want to learn about it more.
I consummated this love recently by applying to be accepted into a Communications postgraduate course – while never having completed an undergraduate degree.
There was, of course, challenge in this pursuit – essentially, employing my treasured skills to concoct a letter fabulous enough to convince professors that I should bypass an undergraduate degree.
It was fun, cheeky and incredibly irreverent. And it worked.
Once the novelty of my acceptance wore off, it was replaced by a harsh reality: I actually had to complete the darn thing. 
And for anyone who has done postgraduate studies, you’ll surely agree: you cannot fake it.
Not that I faked the letter – but there was a certain element of “sleight of keyboard” involved.
Faced with producing evidence of my knowledge in the form of references and bibliographies, I began to feel bitter and trapped, and lament the narrow edicts of modern academia which makes me prove my knowledge. The cheek of them.
If only my professors subscribed to the writings of the great Swami Vivekananda , whose teachings on man’s pursuit of knowledge purports that all knowledge is inherent to man (and presumably woman), and that the infinite library of the universe is inside your own mind.
Come on. You can’t get any more cutting-edge than that. But alas, it isn’t enough to persuade the referencing-dragons at my university.
So, I do the only thing I can do to feel better of the situation. I shut my laptop and read Paddington Bear.
Do not be fooled into thinking that such tales are only for the simple-minded (although I won’t deny I’m often incredibly simple-minded). I’m not the first and won’t be the last to suggest children’s literature conveys concepts of profound wisdom to the reader.
Take The Adventures of Paddington Bear. What a clarifying tale, and one which celebrates human nature at its simplest and most natural. The Browns see a lost Bear at Paddington station. They like it. They adopt it. Paddington begins a new life. He makes amusing mistakes. He does his best to put things right. The Browns love him in spite of the fixes he gets in. They have many adventures together. Oh Paddington! The End.
What themes are apparent in such a book are: unconditional love, spontaneity, acceptance, celebration of the spirit, simplicity and joy in small things.
And overall, an unshakable belief in happiness.
Sorry, I haven’t referenced these findings.
So whenever I’m feeling the weight of being a contributor to the sum of human knowledge, I read Paddington Bear and immediately feel humbled and gladdened that wisdom can be found in the  most simple and delightful things; the wisdom of a Bear who carries leftover breakfast bacon in his suitcase and unwittingly worries the life out of poor Mrs Brown.
That, and develop an immediate craving for sticky cream buns.
After all, a Bear has got to eat.


Welcome to Julie Loka, a blog devoted to celebrating the good, great and entirely absurd aspects of life as seen through my eyes. I cannot spend another moment silently watching the ordinary, touching and often farcical going-ons around me without offering my two cents worth and contributing to the beautiful science of objective observation. It’s a physical impossibility. Kudos to living in a society where we are free to listen, watch, observe and comment without fear of violent retribution (unless you are Kyle Sandilands).

Your journey through this Loka will take you to the very brink of unreality and back, hopefully with some uplifting pit stops along the way. I hope that this glimpse in my world will be as enjoyable for you as it is for me.

Drop in again soon!