Memories of my grandmother

The grandmother: revered There is something about grandmothers that verges on the folkloric. I recently read this article titled “The Sacred Wisdom of our Abuelas“ and it’s not the first time I’ve heard how a person’s grandma inspires them. My husband and my most recent housemate both speak with deep love and admiration for their grandmothers, particularly the paternal ones. It occurred to me that … Continue reading Memories of my grandmother

Whatever happened to Alternative Ann?

Compliant me, defiant me I have a friend who used to call me “Alternative Ann” back when we were in high school. I’m actually not sure why, because I’ve always seen myself as a compliant, wallflower sorta gal. Yet I’ve become aware over the last year or so that I actually possess a (frustrating and often ridiculous) contrary streak. I hate hype, celebrities and the … Continue reading Whatever happened to Alternative Ann?

Is political correctness impoverishing or enriching our language?

“That’s so gay” Back in my school days, everything was gay. Science class was gay, bumbags were gay, a chip packet missing a Tazo was gay. Of course, no one says that anymore. In this day and age, it’s frowned upon to use gay in a derogatory way. Or really to mean anything other than homosexual, even if the original meaning of the word was … Continue reading Is political correctness impoverishing or enriching our language?

Under (or over) the influence

The difference between a celebrity and an influencer I’m not sure when we stopped using the word celebrity in favour of the word influencer, but I feel like it happened around the time Instagram took off. It seems that once you have several thousand followers, you’re an influencer. Which means you’re kind of a celebrity. Which means you’re famous. Which means … what exactly? For … Continue reading Under (or over) the influence

The H is silent

My first name begins with a silent letter so alliteration exercises in primary school weren’t fun. “Happy Hsu-Ann” doesn’t alliterate and “super Hsu-Ann” looks like it doesn’t alliterate even though it does. Yet the silent H is a familiar and essential part of who I am. (So is the awkward pause and ensuing mispronunciation every time someone realises they’re going to have to read my … Continue reading The H is silent

I’m an anti-slavery tour guide. Sort of.

I’ve always fancied being a tour guide for a time. Sure, it would get old pretty soon, but for 3-6 months it’d be awesome wearing the brightly coloured jacket, holding the umbrella, and taking groups of tourists around my hometown (or adopted city), providing snippets of history and local lore. The other day we put on a travel-themed digital event for some of our supporters … Continue reading I’m an anti-slavery tour guide. Sort of.

Brutality and humanity: a book you won’t want to, but should, read

Early inspiration I suppose that every writer, whether professional or amateur, has work from their past that they’re seriously embarrassed to have brought into the world. One example in particular comes to mind. I wrote stories all through my childhood and adolescence and am generally proud of what I penned, but I did have woeful phase in Year 10 where I mimicked the style and … Continue reading Brutality and humanity: a book you won’t want to, but should, read

Lost in leadership: why we need to talk about following well

Leadership I’ve written previously about the first time I was told that I had demonstrated leadership. It was both surprising and super gratifying – for most of my life it has not been a word used often to describe me. You see, I am a beta kinda girl. When other people make comments about my leading well, they mean it as a compliment – as … Continue reading Lost in leadership: why we need to talk about following well