Category: Things I Miss

Things I Miss has now evolved into Timeless Thoughts, Tara’s and my monthly linkup, which was born from this segment and Tara’s Nostalgic Notes column.

Things I Miss was an occasional segment about things that I missed. It included places I have been, things I bought as a child, things I used to do, things that have become obsolete or are no longer produced like old television shows, foods, toys, and the like. It brought back humorous or nostalgic memories, and every time I suddenly remembered something from the past that I hadn’t encountered in a while, it usually ended up here.

This is my last ‘Things I Miss’ post, because Tara and I have launched Timeless Thoughts, a monthly linkup we will be co-hosting for the same purpose! It will run on the first Saturday of each month, starting on 5th September, and will be hosted by Tara first. This post is a therefore a little bittersweet, but should not be misinterpreted as a sad one. 🙂

I’ve mentioned it in passing, but I don’t work at the same company as Nick anymore. Although it was a difficult decision, I decided to move on.

Even though I still work close by, I miss working in the same place, though not just because I got to see him every day. I still see him every day anyway. We hardly saw each other at work. We were never working together in the same team, apart from a hackathon (which we won first prize for).

We had the obvious ability to see each other, even if we could only glance from all the way on the other side of the room. We had lunch together and still said hi to each other while walking around the office.

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It’s been a while since I have written a Things I Miss post, and I have been thinking of so many things lately. I find that when I talk to Nick, we always come across things from our childhood or from our past, and we start a lot of sentences with “Do you remember…”

Today, though, I’m writing about something that I completely forgot about until recently when I was chatting with my friend Rachel. It’s called A Letter to a Domain, and was a series of letters I wrote on an occasional basis (basically any time I felt like it), starting in 2009.

The quaint thing about these letters was that I wrote them to various domain names that I owned: expressing my thoughts about them, their purpose or their planned purpose, or even ones that I had let expire and wished I hadn’t. As a domain name addict, the letters were amusing but fitting to my personality, and I was even more amused that people enjoyed reading them.

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It wasn’t until late last month when we had our work hackathon and a lady already in the elevator saw the balloon letters reading “HACKATHON” that I remembered that ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books existed, and were one of my favourite “genres” of books to read.

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I am pretty sure this was an Australian thing, but it’s something that was at almost every school tuckshop/canteen/kiosk. I can’t remember what got me into them, but I remember being drawn to the name when I saw it printed on the canteen menu, and then seeing a box of them labelled “carob buds”.

They were little yellow flat circles, like giant Smarties or M&Ms, with a vague “droplet” shape, but with a flat bottom. Carob buds were made from carob powder from the carob tree, the tree’s pulp as sweet as, and similar in flavour to, chocolate. I found personally that they had a milky sort of taste, a bit like white chocolate.

Coloured carob buds
Coloured carob buds

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When I was in primary school my mum often gave me fruit to take to school. She really put an effort into making sure I had my serving of at least one fruit daily. Only if I was really lucky would I get something like chips or cookies as a snack, but even so, my mum would always make sure I had my fruit when I got home from school.

One of those lucky days, I got to take snack noodles to school. I particularly remember the brand of snack noodles called Mamee, which I believe is originally a Malaysian brand, but was also manufactured in Indonesia. Snack noodles look like two-minute noodles but they are fit for eating and don’t need to be cooked. You just eat them like a crunchy, curly snack.

I found this amazing.

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I don’t quite remember if this was a trend across the globe, but when I was in primary school, around 2001, I started at a new school and made some new friends. I was very close with a group of girls in my year group, and this thing called “profile books” went around.

Essentially, profile books were physical notebooks that contained your friends’ profiles, and I guess could be seen as a form of scrapbooking with your friends as different contributors. The idea was, you chose whatever notebook you liked, and you gave it to your friend at some point during the year and they would write their profile in it. They could include their photo, any “gifts”, draw something for you, but most importantly it was about sharing all their personal details like name, birthday, phone number and address. When I think about it, it’s a bit like an expanded address book or autograph book.

I really enjoyed writing my profile in my friends’ books. I loved handwriting, and I loved getting creative, and I loved to share things about myself (clearly that hasn’t changed, now that I have a blog). Every time someone in my year group got a profile book, I considered it an honour when they asked me to write in it.

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Does anyone else remember paper dolls? I remember buying paper doll books when I was younger. The dolls were literally just sheets of card, sometimes with a foldable tab at the bottom for it to stand on the table, and without any of the paper clothes, was just a girl in underwear. I remember most paper dolls being nice designs, watercolour-paint style, rather than being exceptionally cartoony. They were well illustrated.

PaperDolls1

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Festival cookies were something I discovered back in high school when my mum still made packed lunches for Brandon and myself, and had an endless supply of snacks and fruit for recess/morning tea. I’m not sure where she bought Festival Cookies from (probably the local supermarket), but they were delicious and I am not sure if they are still obtainable now. They are probably hard to get in Australia, because a quick internet search shows me that they are from Europe.

Lime flavoured Festival Cookies
Lime flavoured Festival Cookies

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It is hard for me to choose a “favourite band”. My music taste spans various genres over a number of decades, so while I have no problem saying I love Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), I am equally happy to say I love the classic psychedelic rock sounds of Pink Floyd, or the disco falsetto of the Bee Gees, not to mention the Froot-Loops-and-chocolate-milk sound of Hey Geronimo in the current decade.

One band I can easily call one of my favourites is Armor For Sleep. I generally regard them as my favourite band, when asked, but they are my favourite disbanded modern band. When asked about my favourite band, I’ll probably not hesitate in saying Hey Geronimo — they’re still around, though.

Armor-For-Sleep

Armor For Sleep was an emo-punk rock band, around from 2003 through to 2009. They sort of disappeared after their third and last album in 2008, titled Smile For Them. There was an announcement about it being the end of the road… but I honestly don’t think anyone saw it coming. You usually see bands disappear for more than a year before making the assumption that the members have gone their separate ways. Armor For Sleep felt they owed it to their fans to have a farewell tour, and did in late 2012. I didn’t travel to the United States just to see them for the first and final time, and honestly, I sort of wish I did.

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Postcard from my friend Kim, from her trip to Ireland
Postcard from my friend Kim, from her trip to Ireland

If you’ve had a penpal, chances are, you’ve written “Write back!” at the end of your letter, before you signed it with your name, or wrote “PS. Write back!”, which may or may not have been followed by PPS, PPPS, and lots of post-post-post-post scripts, with extra notes, usually intended to be amusing.

I haven’t ever had someone I wrote to regularly. It’s been a while since I’ve handwritten a note that is more than a postcard – which is usually limited to a few sentences on the back of a picture of one of the wonders of the world, or a colourful or scenic tourist attraction. The novelty now lies in those postcards, and receiving mail from the multiple pieces of jewellery you ordered from Etsy or the second-hand bits and bobs you bought for your computer, or the clothes you spent a little too much on, just to get free shipping.

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