‘It could be anywhere’: Celia Pacquola on losing vibrators and saving Stephen King

The Rosehaven writer and comedian reveals what she’d save in a fire, what she regrets losing and the importance of shoes

One of Australia’s favourite TV shows wraps up this winter. On Wednesday the final series of Rosehaven begins on the ABC, five years after duo Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor first brought it to the small screen.

Real-life best friends Pacquola and McGregor wrote and star in the series, which follows the story of two unlikely real estate agents in a small Tasmanian town. Pacquola has a lot of happy memories from her time working on Rosehaven, stretching back to the road trips she and McGregor took around the Apple Isle back in 2016, looking for the perfect spot to set their offbeat comedy.

Here she tells us about a book she found on one of those trips and the story of two other important belongings.

What I’d save from my house in a fire

It would have to be some of my books and notebooks. I love books in general but I don’t really keep them, unless it’s a Stephen King – I’m a big Stephen King fan. Otherwise, once I finish reading a book, I’ll pass it on.

I only discovered Stephen King right when we started working on the first season of Rosehaven, actually. Luke and I were in Tasmania and he was telling me about how much he loved the book, It. At that time we were scouting locations; driving around Tassie seeing if we could find a place that felt potentially like Rosehaven. We walked into an op shop and there was a hardback copy of Stephen King’s It for $1. I was like, this is a sign! I read it and I loved it so much.

So if I had to choose one of the Stephen King books I own to save, it would be that one.

My most useful object

I’d probably say sneakers. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything productive or anything worthwhile without shoes on. I need my feet to be covered and it’s always with sneakers of some kind. Even though I often go out with the intention of buying “grown-up shoes”, I always come home with more sneakers, hoodies and T-shirts. Comfortable things. I’m really big into comfort. I think my happiest place is cosy.

But particularly with lockdown, even though I never left the house, it was always very important to me to put shoes on every morning. It just meant the day had a start and an end.

Item you most regret losing

When I was about 19, I went to Sexpo with a boyfriend. He wanted to go and I went, “Yeah OK, I’m not frigid!” because it was the early 2000s and that’s how we spoke.

At Sexpo I got a show bag and in that show bag was a large purple vibrator. I’d never owned one before and I’ve never owned one since but when I was 28 I realised that I didn’t know where it was. I’d moved house a bunch of times and I had no idea where the thing went. And I’d lived with my mum twice in that time. She’s moved house since and I don’t know if she found it one day and threw it out and never told me.

I don’t regret losing it because I miss it – I gave it a shot but it wasn’t really my thing – but because it could be anywhere. So I’m continually expecting to find it in very awkward situations, like Christmas lunch or on a driving test. With any kind of sex toy, you just feel better when you know where it is. Vibrators and children – best to know where they are at all times, I feel.


As told to Katie Cunningham

The GuardianTramp

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