Now, I have only ever posted in order of events bar one time at EBC, so I apologise that this one shall be out of chronological courtroom (I.e., out of order). But it just happened, it’s fresh in my mind and emotion and I need to spiel.


I just said farewell to my seven soulmates (there are now nine of us brollaborating now – new addition Ryan, Aussie lad who is totally on point. However I shall continue to refer to us as the SS7 – Shukka-ing Soulmate Seven. Because I adore alliteration, and Shukka-ing Soulmate Nine doesn’t sound so sensational) (though Shukka-ing Soulmate Eight does rhyme; maybe I shall cull a member?) (Jokes; could never let one loose). And the goodbye was the WORST. Like seriously. I flirted with the idea of making like Boo and ghosting off, but the thought of leaving without eight Shukka locking-ins (the insanely fitting “handshake” between the bros; come across quite by blessed chance when Tom went for a high five and I went in for a fist pump. I went to Shukka out and it just clicked. See below) and hugs all round made my sickly stomach feel even more thuggish (I.e., ill).

Mate, I tell you. I’m usually pretty talented when it comes to pushing the emotions aside and not letting them overcome me (aside from the mass tidal wave that engulfed me over the summer), but I walked away from that busload of future falling-over foremen (I.e., aspiring trip managers) and immediately made like ET (I.e., phoned home). Fortunately Deb had her phone on loud and I roused her from her zizz to answer and hear me burst into tears (they lasted 20 seconds, as I remembered I had just met Russell Brand and perked up no end. Seriously! Russell Brand! In Russell’s Square! With a sign saying “Poppadom” behind us! SO many puns at play, I didn’t even try to take them further. It was twin Jess who spotted him and requested a pic; he was on a mad dash and extremely late so said one photo in a flash – yeah mate, subtle pun – so we giddily went to pose. Unfortunately, I decided to place the big fuck-off folder I was holding on the ground so I could do something fab with my hands in the pic, and I – literally – missed my one shot. But as I captioned on Insta: my twin got ins so it totally counts, and I was there in spirit – and at Russell’s feet. So no need to put a label on things). (Get it? Brand?). (Wrong context here but when you read on it kiiiiiiiiind of relates).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (albeit, reworded: you know how I despise repeating right as it twas): I’ve fallen cranium over back of the feet (I.e., head over heels) for all of the SS7. They truly light me up inside. I have a fair few favourite people in the world (the brother James, Uncle Cock and Beaver still top spot) but they better watch their tread as these fellas are fast coming up the charts. And I’ve known them for seven, six, five days. It’s ridiculous! But it’s real.

So it was see ya to Jess. Danni D-Day. Good man Godman. Tom (getting his beat on) (His last name is Beaton, to make that make money) (sense/cents) (mate these puns and ridiculous plays on words are just getting out of hand; I just can’t help palming them off). Lamb Chops, Ry Diddy Don, Mel Mel. And of course, Tour Guide Pat.


Yes, Pat.


Where do we begin?


I feel the start may be the best point.


When the whole Contiki thing took off, we were added to an FB group with the other ones who got through. So of course, as is the go in this technological modern day, we all got our FB stalk on. I didn’t do all that were in; just a couple that first showed up and requests went out with, but my checking’s out were mainly just cursory glances at current profile pics and where they hailed from. (The people, not the pics. I assumed they would be either from an iPhone or some sort of camera). So when PMS (first name Patrick, middle Michael and surname starting with “S” – such fab initials: whenever he comes over you could say, “Oh! Is it that time of the month?”) came up, I had a little look-see at his page and saw his PP of him backpacked up doing a leap in the air. Yup, he’s on pont, I thought. And left it at that. (Btw, that was a purposeful misspelling of “point”. You see, “pont” is French for “bridge”. So there have been many a joke in regards to the many in Paris. But we shall cross that bridge when we come to it). (Also, notice the misspelling of “look-see”? That one speaks for itself. It’s so much more fitting than “looksie” anyway). (So anytime from here on out, any misspelling is intentional as it is incorporating a pun; now that I have a laptop to jam them out on rather than my cellphone, I will pick up on all errors and mistakes in the way of words – any before now I apologise for and am extremely embarrassed about. I insist on my spelling and grammar always being on an aqueduct). (Did you get that? If you did, you get a low down Shukkaaaaaaaaaa).


Anyway, back to Touch Swindle (I.e., Pat-Trick). (Even more comme il faut when taking into account his last name too. Sorry you cannot enjoy that one as I do not include last names of my characters).


So. It kicked off last Saturday late afternoon, when Jess and I were staggering up the Parisian hostel stairs to have a nap before round two ruckuses. About the flight between level one and two (of stairs, not an aeroplane) we bumped into Matt. And he wasn’t alone; Pat had arrived in France. And was in company. We were in business.



One thought flitted though my mind. I think your life just changed for good.

(I keep backspacing some of this then rewriting but then rejamming it in; I mean, popyarns is all about honesty. Even if I sound like a tossery twat on occasion, I solemnly swore I would be true to what I wrote about. And if I shared the whole Milo meltdown, I can divulge anything really. So here we go. Please don’t make like Judy and judge).



After a stock of openings (I.e., exchange of introductions), Jess and I carried on up, the two lads went on down (stairs). As I lay down to kip I found I was suddenly not so Beaurepaires (I.e., tired); I was suddenly all warm and tingly. “Pat’s really hot,” I said to Jess. (She agreed).


I wanted to go back downstairs. The boys were in the common room area having a yarn, and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to be around Pat. Jess and I started discussing changing our plans to picnic at the Eiffel the following night rather than that one as scheduled, and instead Bro Out at the bar downstairs. “Shall we go down and tell them?” I asked. She agreed. I was down like a shot.


We burst into the room with much fanfare and delivered our decision, pending their approval. (By “their” I mean Matt, Tom, Nick – lovely, lovely guy, another Aussie – and of course, Pat).


Now, I’m quite one for eye contact. When I’m talking to someone I make a viaduct to always look into their eyes and engage students (I.e., pupils). (Did you just click on and get a Shukka in the previous pronouncement?). But I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t look at Pat.


(Later on he told me he thought it was because I didn’t like him. He noticed my optic-locking with all other but him. Oh mate, was he off the overpass). (Ok, stopping the bridge/pont puns for the rest of this. I don’t want to have you harbouring any annoyance towards me meaning I have to bridge the gap). (And don’t want to get mooring but with a “B”). (Boring, I’ll spell it out). (Ok. Stopping now).


I was aware that it may be quite obvious so I moved from my reclining on the rug to sit on the couch next to him. It won’t be so apparent that way, I thought. But I realised my mistake as soon as I settled on the sofa; now I was in very close proximity. And it was affecting me quite substantially. I was conscious of every movement, every word he spoke. I’ve cracked it, I thought. I need to go to sleep.


An hour later Jess and I arose and did the female equivalent of “suiting up” (bobby-pinned in buns, flung on foundation, yanked on our newly gifted-to-us English rugby tops) and headed back down to the bar. And Pat.


I won’t go step by step and play by play of what has happened over the last week (only a week! That absolutely amazes me what with all that has occurred and all the insanely strong bonds I have made), but I feel like I may have found my future.


Does that sound melodramatic? Fast and forward and – frankly – foolish? From the outside looking in? Yup. From myself in detached, removed sighting? Oh, absolutely. But I’ve never felt like this. I thought I had, I truly did. (I did do that sharing on Jaas and declared it then. And no doubt, that was insanely strong in feelings and what not too. That still loitered about queue recently too, if we’re being upfront (that was a fab pun there; totally unintentional and only picked up upon on a fleetingly fast reread. Then I realised I’d put “queue” instead of “quite” and was actually a mistake. Apologies. But am leaving it in as the disappointment of taking it out is too devastating). But this is that but two-point-oh).


Pat and I have so much in common. Ridiculous, ridiculous amounts. Both big and small. Like, he’s an old St Peter’s (Auckland boys, not the Waikato one) lad, (I’m not, but Baradene is in line), his DOB is the same as the brother Mikey, his middle name is Michael (as is the brother’s Christian), his mum’s name is Rose (as is my middle), we have a very similar track record in terms of academics and life actions, our favourite Friend is one and the same (that one’s not so breathtaking; I mean, whose isn’t Chandler?), his fam have a bach in Cook’s Beach (the Wortmans don’t. But camping at Hahei a few k’s round the road and over the hill is also in queue), he’s an engineer and I can be very civil; it goes on and on and on and on.


You may read that and think, Well those things aren’t that prodigious really, but to me, they are. I am a big one for little “common” signs, and there are eons blazing.


I’m not going to go gushing on like a burst pipe. (Though my mind is flooded and joshing out with waves and currents and ebbs and flows). But this is weird mate. It’s pretty gosh darn fucked up. What on globe is happening to me?


The elusive “they” say that things all happen for a reason. All choices made and paths trod down are kismet, fortitude, predestination – all that tosh. Maybe that’s why I went through intense turmoil all summer? Fell to pieces a fair few (hundred million) times? Because it led to this – meeting a bunch of people I adore, with one I feel rather strongly for? (And now I’m getting all poetic with unintentional rhymes and what not; I need to get back to blunt and blurty. Coming soon, I dance) (Get it? Prom(ise) ).


Hey, I know you are possibly sitting back eating your cereal or downing a single shot trim latte in a glass (extra hot please) and thinking, She’s known this lad for six days (What the FUCK mate); she’s in Paris, now in London, she’s been putting in a solid partying effort and has probably been sober a mere minority of the time. She’s swept up in the moment. 


Well, maybe. But I genuinely don’t think so. (Though if it is the case, I will gladly keep clutching this broom). It’s too overwhelmingly real and, well, heartfelt. There’s a lot more I could say (but alas for you, I’m keeping some of it under tortillas) (I.e., wraps). And last night we had a good solid drunk conversation and sort of set things straight as to where we are. (We had to repeat it this morning when not under the influence. But fortunately, inebriated us did a good job of ironing out the dets). (This is where the “label” pun of the beginning comes into play).


Maybe Pat will finish training and come back and it’ll kick off, with him seeing me between his tours. Maybe when the season is over, we’ll decide what the go may well be. Or maybe, he’ll hustle off with someone on one of his rounds and I’ll meet my future hub in a bar in Dublin this weekend. Who knows? (I like the first two options though. And that must mean something if I’m willing to miss out on the Irish lilt).


And you know what? That’s exciting. You truly don’t know what way life will go. (Unless you can for-see the future. Then you may very well. But for the majority of us, we are lacking psychic capabilities, and the to-come is a big unknown). I’m not forcing it, I’m not pinning all my hopes on it (though a good portion of hope is being tacked upon it, I must admit), but I am looking forward to seeing what shall happen.


And for June 2nd. When my Shukka-ing Soulmate Seven return.


Right now I am detoxing out in Christina & Co’s flat (stories on these five fine females to come). They have hustled off to Amsterdam for the weekend so I am on my lonesome. At first I was saddened to be solus as I am missing my SS7, but now that I’m showered, set up with my home office and ticking off some to-do admin I am extremely untroubled. Especially what with 127 ComedyCentral’s Friends marathon running (yesyesyes – both in excitement of the show and that fab pun that ran on from it). (I never realised how many puns are embedded throughout each episode; I’m in a full on state of elation and giggles). So I’m just going to have a Standard Evening in.


It’s a Lush Life really.


(Can I just clarify that in the above pic, although it appears I have shorn off all my hair and dyed it a muddy brown, it is actually just looking so as it is freshly washed. I’m not sporting a brunette Draco nor slick Scott Disick).






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