A new adventure, this time at home

The last time I wrote to you, I was in a different world. Nepal – an intoxicating and exotic blend of new experiences and adventure.

One of several lessons learned during my travels is the importance of taking calculated risks. Decisions that are far enough outside my comfort zone that they’d make me scared and somewhat nauseous, but not so far that they are in the realm of dangerous or stupid. The line of calculated risk is a fine one to walk. While this was a mid-trip revelation, I have now come to realize that one of the biggest calculated risks I’ve ever taken happened not on my trip, but on the very night I left for Nepal.

Here’s what happened. On the afternoon of November 5 (departure day), my boyfriend Geoff and I went to buy him a kitchen table. He had seen an ad on Kijiji, and at 4:30 p.m. we found ourselves driving to this person’s house to pick up the new furniture addition. It turns out this couple, Pam and Carlos, were not only selling this table, but dozens of identical tables. And that’s not all. As it happens, Pam and Carlos had, for a year, owned and operated a Mexican restaurant in another northern Ontario community. The business went bust, and they decided to move back to Guatemala. That meant the garage, which did, indeed, hold that single table and chairs Geoff was looking for, also held a significantly large amount of barely-used kitchen equipment.

To make a long story of debate, concern, and spontaneity short, Geoff and I bought the kitchen equipment – more than $15,000 worth of griddles, cold prep tables, deep fryers, and ovens at a fraction of their original cost.

And that’s how an innocent trip to get a kitchen table slightly derailed my current life trajectory. Funny how that happens, huh? With my countdown to Nepal now sitting at around six hours, Geoff and I hustled to move the new kitchen equipment to his friend Honas’ garage. Somewhere between then and my departure, I casually pitched to Geoff the idea of opening an incubator kitchen.

Tangent time! What is an incubator kitchen, you ask? An incubator kitchen is a space for small food businesses to grow. It’s place where basement bakers and closet canners can expand and produce their food, in a kitchen that’s both well-equipped and commercially-certified. That means they don’t have to flesh out the thousands of dollars required for industrial kitchen equipment (especially the hood!), and can sell their goods in shops (something you can’t do in Ontario unless you are producing in a commercial kitchen). I was first exposed to the concept of incubator kitchens when I lived in Ottawa, and had three good food friends who were successfully expanding their businesses in the Capital’s first food incubator. I became obsessed, did tonnes of research, and eventually wrote this feature for the Ottawa Citizen about the city’s incubator scene. I think incubators in general are brilliant – spaces to foster creativity and build community. Places where ideas can go from paper to product. I have met so many people in Sudbury with so many incredible food ideas, and thought, “hey, why not?” this city is a place in need of something like this.

Back to the story. I left for Nepal. As you know.

Meanwhile, in the other dimension of Sudbury life that was existing parallel to my overseas adventures, Geoff was being a go-getter. This is something I like most about Geoff – he is a “do something” guy. Positive, energetic, and incredibly convincing, he took my talk of wanting to open an incubator kitchen and set the gears in action.

I’d get weekly updates during FaceTime dates with Geoff, and had the wonderful dilemma of having amazing opportunities happening both in Nepal as well as at home. The problem was that I didn’t want to miss out on any of them. I have learned that great amounts of opportunity/choice can sometimes cause the greatest amount of unhappiness – it’s the “fear of missing out” syndrome, I think. So, at the beginning of December I booked my plane ticket home, ready to jump into the exciting things happening in Sudbury. I arrived on February 10, and we’ve all hit the ground running ever since.

The Motley Kitchen logo, created by Over the Atlantic, a talented and generous local graphic design team.
The Motley Kitchen logo, created by Over the Atlantic, a talented and generous local graphic design team.

Our new space is called The Motley Kitchen, and we’re opening in an old restaurant space in the heart of downtown Sudbury. Myself and the four other partners, as well as countless wonderful friends, have been working tirelessly in the past months to renovate the space in preparation for an early spring opening date.

The thing is, this whole opening a business thing isn’t cheap. Our team has incredible ideas and a surprisingly large roster of varied skills, but all the money to-date has been coming out of our own pockets. So, here’s what I am very humbly coming to ask you, readers (if you’re still there…Bueller? Bueller?).

We have launched a crowd-funding campaign in order to cover some of the capital costs associated with opening The Motley Kitchen. We’re aiming to raise just a shade shy of $22,000, and have just passed the $10,000 mark, with a dozen days left.

The future site of The Motley Kitchen (this was post taking down ugly green awnings and a painted "restaurant" sign on the window...
The future site of The Motley Kitchen (this was post taking down ugly green awnings and a painted “restaurant” sign on the window…
Bye, bye, old sign! Steve and Chris approve of the change.
Bye, bye, old sign! Steve and Chris approve of the change.

If you support small food businesses, great ideas, and neighbourhood revitalization, I’m asking you to please click through and take a look at our crowd-funding campaign page, “An incubator kitchen for downtown Sudbury.” On this page you can find much more information about The Motley Kitchen, where the $22,000 will go, and more about me and my fellow talented partners.

Natalie and I with the freshly-printed posters advertising our crowd-funding campaign
Natalie and I with the freshly-printed posters advertising our crowd-funding campaign

This blog has seen me through a lot – university cooking adventures, travel journeys, DIY projects, and personal challenges. And now it has brought me here – to the doorstep of small business ownership, to the chance to make a real difference to people who are passionate about food. If you’ve been reading for a week or for four years, please consider helping us out. I promise to take you along on the ride through blog posts, but first I need your help to get us started.

One of The Motley Kitchen bistro menu items: fish tacos.
One of The Motley Kitchen bistro menu items: fish tacos.
Curried Joe sandwich
Curried Joe sandwich
Sweet PK soup
Sweet PK soup



Saturday mornings in Swayambhu

I have hardly written anything about Kathmandu.

Outside of a slightly-overwhelmed entry at the beginning of November, the capital of Nepal remains almost completely unmentioned, both on this site and in my notebook.

There’s a reason for the exclusion: I don’t like the city that much. I’m already not much of a city person back in Canada. Sometimes it seems as though Kathmandu has stared into the depths of my soul, made note of all the factors that lead to my big city frustrations, and has subsequently made the decision to embody them all. The pollution that causes me to create a modernist art piece every time I blow my nose, the overcrowding, the daily “I almost got hit by a motorbike” encounter…

Still, I think my lack of Kathmandu-related posts is a bit of a slight. The city has been my home for about three weeks of my trip, and is my home base between the days and weeks I’ve spent travelling to other parts of the country. If I know anything about home cities, it’s that they have flaws. But they also have wonderful, redeeming qualities that force pen to paper, in a way just as magnetic as those more exotic destinations.

So here’s to Kathmandu! Thanks for being my home these past months.

What has me captured is the mornings.

Every time I’m back in Kathmandu, I stay in a neighbourhood called Swayambhu, at a wonderful, cheap little hostel called The Sparkling Turtle. The area is named after the giant Buddhist temple, Swayambhunath, that sits high on the hill overlooking its streets and alleys.

Yesterday was my last Saturday morning in Kathmandu. Saturdays are relaxation and cleaning days in Nepal, the single day off every week. The city streets come alive with bazaars, and people run the streets with wet hair, from a day of showering and laundry. I decided to wake up early to experience one last day off in my adopted ‘hood.

Swayambhu Saturday morning
Swayambhu Saturday morning

Just as we all have our weekend routines at home, so too do the residents of Swayambhu. Walking to one of the two roads that wrap its dusty arms around the grounds of Swayambhunath, I’m swept up in foot traffic. It travels clockwise, the designated direction to travel around all Buddhist and Hindu temples. Most of the people carry a garland of mala beads, reciting mantras and spinning prayer wheel after prayer wheel. Click, click. Click, click. For them, this is Saturday routine: wake up early, walk around Swayambhu, make your offerings. I’ve been implanted to observe this tiny part of their life.

One of the many smaller temples along the route
One of the many smaller temples along the route
Morning circuit, prayer beads in hand.
Morning circuit, prayer beads in hand.

The air is thick with juniper smoke, garbage burning smoke. The dust being kicked up from feet and micro buses creates a perpetual haze, one that basks the streets in that lovely golden hour lighting.


Monkeys appear as small silhouettes in the bare tree branches. One uses the hydro lines to tight-rope over the road, while others leap from tree to tree. Hairy limbs flail and grab. I hardly even flinch at the monkeys anymore, except when I go to take a photo of one, and he stares at my iPhone as if thinking “yeah, my creepy hand-feet could probably steal that.” I walk away quickly. Thuggish dogs bark and bear teeth, uncastrated anger, which I’m certain has been organized into canine street gangs.

Can you spot the monkeys?
Can you spot the monkeys?
Tightrope monkey! Click the photo to expand.
Tightrope monkey! Click the photo to expand.

There are more clothing vendors out on Saturday mornings. The bright colours of fleece leggings call out to the oranges, greens, purples of next door vegetable vendors. Behind me, a non-thug dog lies passed out in the sun.



Where I buy my oranges and bananas every time I'm in the neighbourhood.
Where I buy my oranges and bananas every time I’m in the neighbourhood.

Towering over the mini bazaar is the Buddhapark. Despite living so close by, I hadn’t been there until this morning. This is where I sit now, on cool white marble, almost in the shade. A metre away from me, a monk sits chanting, his voice punctuated by a shrill bell in his left hand. He’s reading from a Lama book, and there’s a small plastic prayer wheel sitting next to it, spinning from the light of the sun. Inside a painted brown brick building (it looks like it’s made of chocolate!), hundreds of butter lamps flicker and dance.

Buddha Park visitors
Buddha Park visitors


I’m watched attentively by three giant gold Buddhas, the statues after which the park is named. They stare unmoving at me, and at all the others who stand, eyes closed, worshiping their presence. A monkey climbs onto the donation box in front of the centre Buddha. I picture it coming to life, unfolding its legs with the cracking of stiff bones, and giving the monkey a good scare.

The three buddhas
The three buddhas

Old ladies offer yellow and purple marigolds into a gold urn at the base of the stairs. People take a lot of pictures, but don’t smile. This isn’t so much about capturing vanity as it is documenting a sense of place. Off in the distance, the smog has turned distant neighbourhoods the colour of the sky. Sequined saris glitter distractingly. The singing monk is eating an orange and counting his money.


I move on into the morning. I pull back a curtain, a door-less, nameless room filled with locals. It’s not a restaurant in the way that we know them, but rather an assembly of a half dozen tables and benches where you sit and eat whatever is put down in front of you. Tender pieces of buff stabbed with toothpicks; other parts of buff that will remain a mystery; a spicy potato broth, its red surface dipped with roti. Everyone stares when I sit down, but nods in either approval or hilarity when I ask for tea in Nepali.

An after breakfast walk: paved roads meet dirt roads. Running facets meet water pumps. Poverty meets wealth and people talk on smart phones amidst the rubble. Children play in empty lots: garbage on top of garbage on top of dirt. The monks chant on, the day moves forward. A storefront has been transformed into an informal animal market, birds and bunnies. My face twists into a grimace as I wonder if their fate is in our arms or on our plates.


Bird and bunny market
Bird and bunny market

I’m having my second Saturday morning tea, and I’ve let it sit too long. It’s milk tea, and a slimy film has formed over the surface. But I don’t mind. Saturdays aren’t about rushing, or about drinking tea quickly. Saturdays are about sitting and thinking and appreciating that this is the last Saturday like this that I’ll have.

(PS: Don’t mind the film-esque photos…I didn’t bring my SLR camera and have just discovered the wonders of VSCO cam filters on my iPhone…)

On climbing and mantras

This is an entry I’ve been meaning to write since that very first climb on my Everest Base Camp trek. Almost a month has passed since I finished that trek, but it has been just a few days since I bagged my second trek: the Tamang Heritage Trail in Langtang National Park (as always, see future post). The steep ascents and descents presented by that six-day trek – as well as the additional challenge of carrying my own heavy backpack (my organized EBC trek included a porter) – meant this trek was physically demanding in a different kind of way. And so, while trodding through rhododendron forests and over dusty, landslide ridges, I’ve been revisiting the idea of climbing: how it makes me feel, and the lessons it has taught me. So, here we go. A long overdue post.

Sunrise over Kala Patar (5,550 metres)
Sunrise over Kala Patar (5,550 metres)

Trekking has challenged me in ways I never imagined it would. Yes, the exercise-related element was expected, but what was more surprising were the temporary visits from some mental and health-wise ineptitude – the obstacles of my mind. Multi-week treks are all about repetitive action. Sure you’re seeing different, beautiful things everyday, but in the end it comes down to the fact that your days are spent walking and walking and walking. For me, the consistency of that action, as well as the altitude, wore away at buried weaknesses with a steady abrasion, until I had no choice but to deal with them on a surface level. For me, this has always involved thoughts of not being good enough, though only by my own standards. It was also the concern that I have never really been pushed hard enough in my life, and that when the time came to overcome a challenge, particularly a physical one, I would crumble and fail. Dramatic, but bear with me.

On the Everest Base Camp trek there were climbs and then there were climbs. The first, non-italicized category, involved those first, lower altitude ascents: the 800 metre dusty switchback into Namche Bazaar, and the morning, uphill walks out of towns which always seemed to be at the bottom of mountains and valleys.

Then there were the climbs. Spread over three main days, they were a trifecta of unravelling emotions, yet eventual success.

A photo taking by one of my EBC trekking companions, Donny. This is Chris, Gopal (our guide) and I at 4:30 a.m., starting the long walk up to the Cho La Pass.
A photo taking by one of my EBC trekking companions, Donny. This is Chris, Gopal (our guide) and I at 4:30 a.m., starting the long walk up to the Cho La Pass.

Gokyo-Ri (5,360 m), climbing onto the Cho La Pass (5,330 m), and Kala Patar (5,550 m).

Each taught me something different about perseverance and my personal limits.

Looking down from Kala Patar. I get cold just seeing this photo!

The most challenging for me was Gokyo-Ri. The peak towers over the Gokyo Valley, home to crystal clear glacier lakes and Tibetan views. It was the climb we faced on day nine, just past the halfway mark of the trek. Gokyo-Ri is steep, so steep I had the sensation of climbing a ladder for most of the time.

When I look back in my notebook to the section written on this day, I am having to edit out a lot of bad words – a frustrated and exhausted entry written from our tea house window, looking up at the mountain just conquered. Spirits were high when I started out – after an altitude sickness and helicopter rescue scare the day before in Machermo, I was happy to have made it to Gokyo, another day closer to base camp. The group of us started out at around 7 a.m. Tight dirt switchbacks welcomed us to the first portion of the trail, grit blowing up beneath my feet, mingling with my saliva and crunching between my teeth. Then it was dead grass. And then, the most technical portion: big rocks, small rocks, all the rocks in the world it seemed, piled there above me. Stones were flung loose beneath hikers, rolling down the steep slope and taking the path of least resistance, which usually meant almost whacking someone in the face. I was stumbling and tired.

The thing about Gokyo-Ri were the false peaks, the half a dozen times when I looked up and saw what I thought was the top of our climb. Not so, Hilary, not so. My assumption of achieved ascent let me down, compounding on what was already a flurry of heavy breathes and aching calves. I didn’t think I could make it.

That’s when I started meditating. I had been muttering expletives up to this point, and decided to focus my muttering on something a little more productive.

And so, my official trekking mantra was born. There are three variations:

  1. You are young, you are strong, you are breathing.
  2. You are young, you are strong, you are healthy.
  3. You are young, you are strong, you are lucky.

I am not joking when I tell you that these three phrases got me through the toughest remaining days of my trek, including the following two climbs. Variation number one was recited when I started to focus too much on my shallowness of breath and the thinness of air – a time when my heart would get panicky and I could feel my pulse quicken by the second. The second was a reference to my bout of AMS at the beginning of the trip, and a reminder to be grateful that my body is fully capable and functioning. Finally, there’s the luck. I used this third mantra for days when I was feeling cranky, tired, and lazy. Because how many people get the chance to trek to Everest Base Camp, to check something off their bucket list? It’s an acknowledgement of appreciation, in the purest form.

Significant summits and points along the trek were always decorated with strings of prayer flags. Here, the view from the top of Gokyo-Ri.
Significant summits and points along the trek were always decorated with strings of prayer flags. Here, the view from the top of Gokyo-Ri. Including an incredibly happy me.

Those climbs also taught me of the amazing capacity of the human body – of my body. A little over a year agoI read a great feature in The Walrus magazine about marathon runners. Here’s an excerpt:

“Noakes proposed that the brain is wired to protect itself by pre-emptively shutting down your muscles before any part of your body reaches total failure. If your muscles are being depleted of oxygen and your heart is working too hard; or if you are becoming dangerously dehydrated; or if your core temperature is rising excessively; or if you are climbing a mountain and the amount of oxygen reaching your brain drops significantly – in all of these situations, a “central governor” in your brain acts to slow you down or stop you before you do irreversible damage. You stop not because you can’t physically go any further, but because your brain thinks you shouldn’t.”

On days when I felt mentally worn down and my mind was telling me I couldn’t take one more step, I kept this in mind. Sure enough, my body did not slump over and stop working – it trudged forward. Our brains are miraculous tools, but sometimes they can be our own worst enemy. I trust my body so much more following the Everest trek, and know that it has the ability to be pushed and respond positively.

These mantras and the idea of putting my body to the test were put on trial this past week with the Tamang Heritage Trail. Carrying my own backpack turned out to be a completely different beast, and it weighed down on my knees and feet in a way I didn’t think was possible. The extra kilogram of yak cheese that I bought and had to carry probably didn’t help, either (but cheese is always worth it).

Whereas the Evesest Base Camp trek was made up of long days of walking with varied topography, the Tamang Heritage Trail was almost a constant up or down. Both were painful in their own ways, but the uphill was particularly steep, with an estimated 15-20 degree incline grade at some points. On one day, the trail climbed 700 metres in just over an hour.

A switchback road indicating part of the climb on Day One of the Tamang Heritage Trail. We climbed up a steeper, local path.
A switchback road indicating part of the climb on Day One of the Tamang Heritage Trail. We climbed up a steeper, local path.

At the bottom of steep inclines, I would feel my body start to utter an obligatory groan. But climbing has taught me that complaining won’t get you anywhere closer to the top. One of my new friends and trekking companions, Joseph, said it best as we were staring up at the next hill: “well, it’s not going to climb itself, is it?” I loved that statement, the sentiment of taking a deep breathe and going at things one step at a time.

New trekking friends, Toncie and Nina, climbing, of course.
New trekking friends, Toncie and Nina, climbing, of course.

In the end, the last two treks have taught me things about myself that I didn’t think I needed to learn. I can only hope that I can apply these mantras and increased physical awareness to life back at home. It’s always been a goal of mine to complete a triathlon. Maybe these new lessons can help me get there.

The phenomena of flying

Opening the shade on the airplane window, I see the sun setting on the day that never was.

For all practical purposes, it is Wednesday, November 6, 2013. This day has been a jumbled adventure of time travel, soaring across the time-space continuum.

I am in the midst of an 11 hour leg of my journey to Doha, Qatar, from New York’s JFK Airport, and have already been in transit for more than 24 hours, enroute to my final destination, Kathmandu, Nepal. Our flight left NYC at 10:20 p.m. on November 5, and arrives in Doha at around 6 p.m. the following day. In the meantime, my November 6 experience is a compressed one – 20 hours of technical time-as-we-know-it, experienced in the aforementioned 11 hours. Cool, huh?

Unless there are astounding developments in technology over the rest of my lifetime, I like to think of air travel as the closest I’ll get to teleportation. Think about it: you board this massive steel bird in one place, and through the magic of physics and time zones go soaring off the ground to a different part of the world, experiencing a massive jump through the hours of the day. You shut your eyes and maybe your window shade, and when you wake up, you’re there. Just like that.

For me, that moment of teleported self-awareness happened at about 5:30 p.m. Qatar time. For the past several hours I had seen the white light of day (day over the Atlantic, day over Europe) peeking through the space around the shade. In my dazed travel stupor, it looked like light streaming through the cracks of a door, like I could have opened it and walked out into a room flooded with inhibited sunlight.

Now its the end of the day. I adjust my positioning in the seat and yank up the shade.

Its a clear day over the Middle East, and where better to watch the sunset than from 33 thousand feet high? The orange orb of the sun slides down into the horizon, like a water droplet on a car window. I’ve always been amazed by how quickly the sun seems to disappear when you’re watching it, as though it can hardly bear the amount of attention it’s being paid. Slinking away in beautiful shyness. It disappears around the curve of the Earth – at this point of my journey, only it goes back the way we came. The sky itself is a delicate hombre of orange, pink and blue, growing into deeper shades of the latter as time goes on.


Looking down, shades of land and water appear, muddy, dark, and untamed from the recently set sun. At just after 6 p.m. the city lights appear, and a ribbon of yellow light (highway? Train tracks?) twists its way along the ground.

Flying, I find I never really have a perspective on speed until you see another aircraft in the distance. The in-screen television consoles dole out estimated ground speeds for curious travellers, but those numbers remain just that, rather than a believable value of how quickly my body is hurtling through the air. Tonight there was another plane I saw at just this time, one flying parallel with a streak of pink cloud, fast and smooth, like a floating monorail.

November 6, you remain a stranger to me. I travelled across your daylight, but was not a part of it.

Discovering Printstagram

I, like many other 21st century, iPhone owning half-hipsters, am in love with Instagram. While it will never replace the photos taken on my SLR camera, it is certainly a welcome improvement to the sometimes bland and poorly lit images that my iPhone’s regular camera takes.


I’m not really big into using a lot more of the dramatic filters (I mean, has anyone in the history of Instagram EVER used the Kelvin filter?!). Answer:

Photo 2013-04-18 10 44 10 AM

Sorry, just needed to get that out of my system.

Anyways, few months ago I discovered the website Printstagram. It’s a simple concept: you log-in to your Instagram account through the site and then you can print your photos in a variety of forms, from posters to photo books to stickers.

A number of times I would log onto Printstagram, carefully filling up my digital cart with photo goods, only to forget about the screen, and mindlessly press “Command Q” on my Mac, flushing my progress into an online dumpster. I finally decided I would get serious about my order, mostly because I had been inspired as to two ways I could put the final prints to actual use. They are as follows:

1. Print photos of Norbert.
You know Norb. He’s that adorable ball of non-allergenic fluff (thank goodness) that shows up on every blog post and social media site I have. My Instagram feed was barely tolerable before I moved in with Jen, Ian, and Norb, what with all the food photography I posted. But then I added cats. And the Internet sang and the prophecy guiding me towards the destiny of “worst online person ever” was fullfilled. Now, Norbert has become the primary subject of my Instagram photos. It’s Norbert crouching next to our orchid plant this and Norbert cuddling beneath blankets that, and Norbert giving the camera a look that balances both cuteness and mischief.

So when I saw that Printstagram could create stickers out of my Instagram photos, I knew it must be done. My original intent was to print a bunch of them (I believe there’s 250 in a pack for $10) and stick them in random places around the house for Jen and Ian to find and subsequently “oooohhh” and “awwww” over. That changed as soon as I got the stickers in the mail. I’m bad at containing my excitement for things, and immediately ran across the newsroom to show Jen what I had done. Like a kid handing out  high fives, I went around and gave cute Norbert stickers to a number of my other cat-loving co-workers, thereby convincing one of them that she wanted to print her own stickers of her cat, Murphy. See what I’ve done?

And, since 250 stickers is a lot to have made of just one little feline, I also sticker-ized some other images… from scenes of my outdoor explorations, to cute photos of my family, to a shot of the massive snowbank that once threatened to take over the front door of CBC.


Since printing, these stickers have been sent across Canada (to Jen and Ian’s families in B.C.) and across the world (where Ariel and Natalie now have a good collection of cat stickers to hang up around their London flat). While the edges of the stickers cut off a bit of the image, I couldn’t be happier with the result of a $10 purchase. I’ve already started to brainstorm a whole series of ways these could be used for future projects.


2. Print photo cards of my two-years-ago European travels
One of the things I hate about iPhone photos (or any digital photos for that matter) is my tendency to never ever print them. So they sit on my computer (or even worse, on a gigantic external hard drive packed away in my closet), only to be scrolled through on occasion, rather than admired in a frame or photo album. I had a bunch of Instagram shots I had taken while travelling across Europe with my friend Gord two summers ago. These were photos I loved – ones of all those key destinations: the Eiffel Tower as shot from Sacré Couer, a night market on the bank of the Tiber River in Rome, looking down on the mismatched roofs of Florence, à la Assassin’s Creed. Printstagram printed 24 for me for $12. They are now strung up on some photo wire on the last spare wall space I have in my bedroom.

collage europe

Annnnd here's an Instagram photo of those prints...just for good measure.
Annnnd here’s an Instagram photo of those prints…just for good measure.

Yikes, is it time to move out when you have too much art to fit in your bedroom? One day my apartment will be filled with well-placed do-dads, framed prints, and my ever-expanding art postcard collection. Also: I’ve stopped hanging things up with tacks – that means I’m a grown up, right?