Monday, 17 September 2018

hasty late night last minute festival of dot pointage

It's a race! How many dots can I get points against (or should that be how many points can I manage to dot) before falling asleep!

    In soviet russia, blue suede shoes step on you.
  • Last Friday the day came, as I always knew it would, when I arrived at work dressed in my active wear for bike riding* and not carrying the clean, sober and neatly pressed change of business attire, as specified in the "Personal Presentation Policy" because I packed the bag and then left it behind. So I tried to cobble something together out of what I had on and the things in my locker. I didn't think it was going to work and then I remembered the strange cupboard under my desk. Strange cupboard delivered: among other things it contained trousers, with only a small amount of cat hair on them, a jacket, and best of all, a pair of blue shoes. The pants and coat were also blue and counterintuitively but interestingly, when I dressed myself in this monochromatic garb which I would not have willingly selected, I felt not like a nun or a volunteer at a Liberal Party election night function but instead rather like a member of some People's Army or other. Cosplay is an important part of life and unintentional cosplay is best of all. There is nothing quite like it as a stimulant to making it across the finish line of the working week and this one had felt twice as long as usual. Because of reasons 

makes my blood boil

  • The last time I got in a hot bath it was really a bit too hot and I felt kind of sick all night and most of the next day. My doctor has moved her rooms to a terrace house in Carlton and I have a new appointment time: 8am on Tuesdays. Last week was the first time in the new place, which is the fourth since I started with her, and it was quite strange, possibly because she sort of invited me to feel anxious about it. I certainly did my expert utmost to contribute extra anxiety to the situation by getting up at half-past-five and going to the pool to swim some laps and taking a sauna then going to get coffee somewhere i've never been before and having to eat an almond croissant for breakfast, and not figuring out exactly where the street number for the new rooms was located in that very long street until ten minutes before the appointment time. So when I got there (bang on time) I realised that even though I've known for weeks that this change was coming I hadn't told anyone at work that I would be in later than usual that day and every Tuesday from now on. Symptoms, man: the unconscious is such a wellspring of amazing creativity. I really, really love it ( "it", "that", "es", "id.") 

  • Saw this

  • Workplace food. After all this and after craft camp I felt kind of terrible, bad enough to think seriously for a few minutes about maybe fasting for a few days. That wore off

Thinking about fasting is not the same fasting, no not at all. It is important to remind oneself of the truth of this. Likewise, while I have downloaded the Couch to 5k app, so far I have only thought about putting it to use.

  • Saw this too  Leonard was with me when I took this picture and he said it was a good idea and that we should take pictures of interesting clouds we see when we go on our road trip the two of us are going to take in the school holidays. I wondered whether he was aware at all of how cute this suggestion was. I feel fairly sure that he might have been quite aware but also that he might grasp that consciously cute kid stuff doesn't garner a lot of enthusiasm from me. I am a little curious about what he might consider to be an interesting-looking cloud, though. 

*ie jeans with pyjamas underneath

Sunday, 16 September 2018


I think I'll take Leonard to yoga with me tomorrow, rather than skip it - and he appears to be quite keen. Today, as we drove down the road from Comadai to Diggers Rest, I was talking to him about my yoga group and describing to him the other people who will be there, and when I said Sandra is from Ireland, he said 'Wait, there's a country called Island?' In the one or two minutes it took to share his amusement then clear up the misunderstanding and confirm that yes there is a country called Ireland, I thought, well right here is a choice; I could go either way with this.

Here's a fork in the road. I can plant a seed and actively cultivate an identification with something understood as Irishness, or I can leave it unsaid, and wait and see what happens in the absence of a directive of that kind. It was startling to suddenly realise that this young person just doesn't understand himself as having a blood connection to a far away but familiar place. Or, maybe, what startled me was noticing how much everything that I do and think is done and thought through the lens of that understanding. Well, children Len's age are just beginning to be developmentally capable of forming a concept of the past as something that caused the present and at some point he'll need to explain to himself just how this applies to the fact of his own undeniable presence in the world.

I did say to him 'You're a little bit Irish', without being able to explain this at all satisfactorily. I know it was an unsatisfactory explanation I gave because it was obviously very boring. But I also don't exactly know what I meant. Obviously the St Patrick's Day kind of Irishness, not even tribal, just a particularly pissweak kind of globalised identity-mongering triggered by not much more than happening to have an Irish surname (which Lenny does not) is just a complete embarrassment, and while I have Irish citizenship, and many first-degree relatives born in or living in Ireland, and a great fondness for Ireland, I was born and grew up in Australia and that's the end of the story. I would never call myself Irish and it sets my teeth on edge when I hear that claim made by people kinda like me. And yet, I think the psychic universe of the Irish diaspora in Australia is still everywhere, permeating everything; it's often silent, or unrecognised, but it's there, in the fabric of the culture.  The memories and mindsets and energies and struggles that carried my relatives here and shaped their family life and relationships, and defined the upbringing of their children, are the same ones that embedded Irish experiences and ways of seeing into the life of the Australian community, and because of this, I've lived with the memory of Irishness shaping my feeling of belonging in Australia, a post-imperial Australia, without this country being the be-all and the end-all.

I hope Lenny will take better care of his Celtic skin in the sun than I have done with mine. In complete honesty, I am reckless. I love that moment which comes with the start of every summer when I glance at my forearm or look in the mirror and see that my freckles have woken up again. What I should be thinking of at these times is not how great it feels to be pulsing with warmth and colour again after the pallid misery of winter, but of the people in my family who survived into old age and and how the skin on their hands and arms and faces eventually looked. I had almost black hair when I was young and I am a little more olive than Lenny, who freckles big and orange, and is probably going to have a string of adolescent summers where his nose has more freckle on it than unfreckled area.

my grandmother's passport

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Still in Lancefield and still having fun

Lovely day yesterday and no reason to think that today won't be just such another. I can hear other craftcampers talking in the kitchen, magpies and bellbirds and miners outside. I'm still in bed.

When I get up, which I'll do soon, the only and mild difficulty will be in choosing which incredibly fun thing to do first. Don't get dressed and go straight out to the studio and start sewing? Don't get dressed and loll about in the living room eating fruit salad? Get partially dressed and go out to the back yard and do some yoga in the sun? Get completely dressed and go for a walk, which may or may not include coffee and raisin toast but will definitely include looking at people and houses and horses and daffodils and tractors and squinting in the windows of the ex-Mechanics' Institute Lancefield hall which looks like a building destined always for the collective having of fun inside of it. Who knows, maybe today will be the day that the huge three-storey Victorian monster on the corner of Chancey St and Main Rd, which carries the inscription ANTIQUES CENTRE OF VICTORIA, will be open for business. I am aware that whenever I do at last get to go inside and check it out, it'll be underwhelming, but just the same it will be momentous too. What I would love to do would be to get up to the top floor and look out the windows. Lancefield loverlooks over a valley bounded to the north by a spur of the Macedon Ranges. As I've said before, I understand it really is the antique centre of Victoria. There was a greenstone quarry at Mt William. Burke and Wills camped here, and there's some connection with Breaker Morant, not sure what exactly but if you care to know you can of course find out on your own.

I went for a walk yesterday morning and while I couldn't feel my hands after a few minutes, everything was so beautiful.

I went to the bakery for a coffee and because the minimum eft purchase is $10 I had to also buy a jam doughnut, a hedgehog and a caramel slice. I'd eaten all of those by dinnertime last night, along with pretty much all of a big bag of salt and vinegar chips and quite a lot of chocolate and olives (together), in addition to the usual delicious and lovingly prepared sit-down hot meals. I'm hoping this blow-out is the reason why the last thing I made yesterday, a cotton skirt, is tighter in the waistband that it should be.

When you're having fun and you know you're going to leave and go back to ordinary life at the end of the day, it's hard not to let that knowledge affect your enjoyment of the present. This is a topic under productive discussion with my doctor at the moment. I realise, now that I'm thinking about it, that pretty much any such aspect of experience that she and I talk about is therefore inevitably thought of by me afterwards as a kind of symptom and maybe as a symptom which is peculiar to me, or is experienced overly intensely by me. This one, though, this feeling sad that something good will end while it's still happening, I think lots of people are plagued by it. Talking about craft camp at work some time back, a colleague gave me the brilliant suggestion of taking an annual leave day at home when I get back, to taper the re-entry; and so that's what I'll be doing. Home tonight, but no work tomorrow.

Friday, 7 September 2018


Well, it's craft camp time. 

It's 11 o'clock on Friday night, I got here, and also, I am in bed, and also, I got the Princess Room. Fuck yeah! (Thanks K.)

Just being here makes me really happy. Making things is a lot of fun, but this is also a holiday. I felt on holiday before I'd even got onto the freeway. I stopped at the servo in Bulla because I had to use the bathroom, and it was a horrific bathroom, and then I bought a cardboard box of chips from the bainmarie, and I ate those driving on the dark highway, listening to Venus and Mars. They weren't good chips, or at least, most of them weren't good. One or two still had a bit of the life bestowed by hot grease to quicken them, but most of them had gone hard and dead. I ate them all anyway, because they tasted great. Mainly it was salt, but there was something else too, some taste I couldn't identify. Night is very black in the country and I'm just not used to speeding along in a car when you can't see everything around you darkly outlined in soft yellow light. But it's not a long drive, and every so often, the lights of aircraft heading for Tullamarine shine above and inside the clouds and it looks like red and green and white UFOs coasting across the sky.

About ten minutes before you get to Romsey there's a road signposted 'to the historic Coach and Horses pub.' Every time I go past, I think about this Coach and Horses pub, which in daytime can be glimpsed for a second. I think it might be a large bluestone boxline building. I imagine it, firstly as a  gem of a pub that is amazing beyond all my wildest dreams, but I can't make that last for long, and then I picture it as a pub that is more sad grim and depressing than any pub I've ever seen or heard described or imagined. This image doesn't last either. I want them both to be real.

Any time I felt like it I could find out what's really there. It's only a minute off the main road. 

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Full moon, tangelo season, Hamlet act V scene ii

So again corpses littered the stage but there was nothing very grand about any of it. I suppose it's a good thing that immigration has been taken off of Peter Dutton, but, see earlier remarks about there always being a worse one ready to pick up where the last one left off, etc. In line with this assumption, expect the absolute worst from Scott Morrison, who has never yet missed an opportunity to demonstrate what a gigantic piece of gutless shit he is.

The insane bloodletting always reminds me of Hamlet but the driver of the action this time was more of a Richard III type, or an Iago, if such comparisons can have any meaning once we've dispensed with the core Shakespearean requirement of self-awareness and articulacy for an interesting villain.

Demand me nothing; what you know you know. From this time hence I shall speak never a word

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Light in August

I have so many dot points inside of me but I don't think I can get them out right now.  Just pictures then

Livin my best life

This is an Australian ninja warrior obstacle course. Leonard is addicted to this purgatory of drivel.

Lunch at 3:45pm alone on the always deserted south terrace

Just at this time of the year my homeward journey takes place at the time when the light in the sky is quite beautiful. I often photograph it and I like to get trees outlined against the sky wherever that is possible

Sunrise at the end of winter

oh jeez