“In a world where everyone is scheduling their next social media post, I like to be as in the moment as possible”
It was 3 am in the morning after her wedding when Annie Nolan looked around her and smiled.
There she was, cuddled up to her new husband, Liam, sleeping in her parents’ bed while they slept on the floor.
“Nothing had gone to plan in a beautiful, symbolic, Annie-and-Liam type of way,” says Annie, who tied the knot in Ballarat on New Year’s Eve. “We couldn’t get into our bridal suite, so we ended up walking to my parents’ house. It wasn’t to plan, it wasn’t luxury, but it was a comfy bed, and we were surrounded by family, so it seemed fitting.”
It’s this relaxed and humorous outlook on life that has made Annie a household name.
In fact, there’s probably a lot you already know about the 27-year-old from reading her popular blog, Uncanny Annie, or seeing some of her posts pop up on Instagram and Facebook.
She was born in Ballarat, is married to Western Bulldogs footballer Liam Picken, and is the proud mum of three kids – son Malachy, aged five, and twin daughters Delphine and Cheska, aged three. Annie’s obsessed with animals – she has rescued her current six pets – closely follows politics and passionately stands up for what she believes in.
When we chatted to Annie, she had sneaked away to a quiet space in her home with her pets “trying to be invisible from the human family”. Liam’s outside fixing the pet rats’ cage, Malachy is commentating his own football match and the twins are ironically talking about how much they aren’t going to talk to each other.
“It’s a house full of very different and strong personalities, with a lot of eclectic and eccentric friends and family coming through, a dash of AFL and media, and an array of rescue pets,” Annie says. “It’s a life where you expect the unexpected.”
The colourful environment makes for some great stories, and luckily Annie relives some of these for her loyal readers on her blog. What started last July as an outlet for the self-confessed overthinker and overtalker to share some of her thoughts, her blog has quickly gathered a cult following. She’s still pinching herself that she has thousands of unique visitors each month, as well as a further 55,000 followers on social media.
They’ve been there as she’s talked openly about her births, married the man of her dreams and posted hilarious photos of her day-to-day life – many of which have gone viral not only in Australia but also across the globe.
For Annie, the blog has created a supportive community where readers share stories, tips and advice.
“I’m so incredibly humbled to have lovely people care enough to write to me,” she says. “Sometimes I even get poems and artwork.”
Annie’s witty posts have led to radio and TV guest appearances, but she says she feels most fortunate when she receives messages from women she respects the most.
“I’m blown away when my favourite feminist activist says she loves a stance I took, or a parent writes to me to thank me for talking about my premature birth, or one of my favourite personalities retweets something I’ve done,” she says. “That’s when I get butterflies in the belly.”
And although there’s an outpouring of love and support for Annie’s posts, she’s also had to persist through dark moments with online trolls and harmful threats.
“I was getting a lot of hate mail for a while, some pretty serious online harassment, actually,” she says. “Unfortunately, I think that has just become part of the online world, which is absolutely unacceptable. I’m pretty fearless about deleting comments, blocking trolls and moving on.”
It’s moments like these that has made her question her candid posts and lay down some guidelines. While she’s still figuring out the balance, she says it’s smart and sensible to be cautious. She shares but she’s not an oversharer.
“I don’t post embarrassing photos that I wouldn’t like if it were me – so no poo, vomit or snot photos,” she explains.
While she’s supportive of others happily pursuing the field, she admits she does cringe at the “mummy blogger” label, saying she “doesn’t believe anyone is that one dimensional”.
And Annie certainly isn’t. Inquisitive by nature, she, instead, tends to gravitate towards blogs that shine a light on experiences different from her own such as those of Celeste Liddle of Black Feminist Ranter and disability rights activist Carly Findlay.
Aside from what we read on her blog or see on social media, there’s so much more than just an uncanny side to Annie.
Read the full story on Annie in Issue 26 of the Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine which will be on shelves until 28th February 2017.
Words by Jenna Meade. Pictures by Teagan Glenna.