Monday, November 30, 2009


Parasol Installer: Germaine
Parasol Painter: Yours truly
Reason: Why buy when you can do your own?

The scene: A street festival over run with small children sporting funkily styled paper parasols, apparently there was some kind of stall that allowed the creation of said useful articles in the fight against skin cancer.

The final straw: A yellow parasol with pink poodles wearing aqua scarves – truly, how do these kids get so good at art? I decided I must throw my hat (parasol?) in the ring.

The adult with the colouring-in urge: Your correspondent, with patient Ariel in tow, deciding to perpetrate her utterly derivative and often dire artistic skills upon a snow white parasol.

Art: I am not a good artist at all, at best I am passable, but I do have a knack for using my limited resources to produce something not too bad at all. My theory is that my tools have certain inherent possibilities that even my lack of skill can turn into something that doesn't make small children cry. Thus my parasol turned out quite a bit better than I expected, mainly due to a minimalist approach and not pushing my limits. Ariel was able to keep my penchant for over embellishment under control, and I worked with the tools available to produce a pattern that relied entirely on the shape of the brush, not my own finesse at painting.

The sequel: Smugly squiring my finished parasol through the crowd I let my success go to my head and I decided, once Ariel had gone home, to spend more time with the dye and poster paints to create a companion to the newest addition to my life. The second parasol was executed in a more freeform manner, but it turned out to admirably match the first.

Installation: Germaine was kind enough to humour me on her weekend and act as my engineering consultant; climbing onto various pieces of furniture in order to turn an otherwise empty corner of my room into a paradise of parasols.

Result: I fall asleep each night in the shade of tropical accoutrements, a very satisfactory state of affairs.

Friday, November 27, 2009

New Phone

I have a new mobile that I kinda chose because it reputably had a great camera ... I am initially unconvinced!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving thanks

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Reason: Getting back on the horse with a dear friend and valued muse

So, she is back hey? Monica’s writing is intrinsically bound up with my own because her experience of blogging was the one I followed. It is nice to read her writing again, albeit in a very different style. I particularly like her change to poetry, given that I am endeavouring to read more poetry.

In a nod to M and C getting back into the game, one of my favourite of Emily’s poems thus far:

As if I asked a common Alms,
And in my wondering hand
A Stranger pressed a Kingdom,
And I, bewildered, stand –
As if I asked the Orient
Had it for me a Morn –
And it should lift it’s purple Dikes,
And shatter Me with Dawn!

Emily wrote more than the 1789 poems in the collection that I have, and most of them are far too worthy for me, but there is this cheeky streak to her that ensures the fraction that I love, I flat out adore. I suspect that the power she found to write her difficult and daring verse rested in the fact that each poem was written for a specific correspondent and was not to be published in her lifetime. Such freedom to create, such creativity without the support of an extensive audience!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Myths and Legends

Hardback: Westwood and Simpson's The Lore of the Land
Source: A graduation gift from my Nan
Reason: The strangest stories!

One of my favourite walks was on Yallingup beach when my Dad and I riffed about a certain beachside cave being being the primal source of all surfers in Australia - and then it turned into a more concrete myth in my head, growing to include a nod to my man Attenborough ...

A slender dark woman in her forties with a pristine plait that reaches to just between her shoulder blades stands on a beach at sunrise. She has a slight middle-eastern accent and is dressed in a comfortable pale blue linen knee length dress and a graceful but small sunhat. She is barefoot and holds tan leather sandals in her hand. She has pearl studs in her ears.

She addresses the camera, Sugarloaf Rock clear in the distance.

[To camera]
It is dawn and the sand is like ice. The rising sun hits the water first, the shore and vegetation remaining dark for long moments. It is here, on cliffs frosted from the night, that we witness the birth of the spirits of the surf.

Sunlight reaches over the hill and strikes the white water on the main beach.

[To camera]
On the pristine south west coast of Western Australia, the hamlet of Yallingup holds the distinction of allowing those of us born to the earth to discover the origin of those born of the surf. Halfway along this strand is one of the only birthplaces of the surfer accessible to the observer. Today we are going to be present at the annual waking of the waves.

She turns and walks along the beach towards the cave.

Narration, camera halfway down the path from the cave.

The waking of the spirits takes place once a year in the dying weeks of the southern summer. Although most spiritual births are conceived as heralds, the spirits of the surf come only as the season most conductive to them draws to a close. It is speculated that those that emerge from the cave above us are not spirits that guide, but the manifestation of accumulated actions. What is certain, however, is that it is at dawn that they first step onto the sand.

Camera focussed on a sandy path that leads from a shallow cave, so shallow it seems merely a rock. The early morning mist clings to the limestone outcrop.

A shape emerges from the obscured rock and leaves the mist behind to stride down the path. It is recognisably human and holds a surfboard, a leg rope connecting the board to an ankle. The creature is entirely black; covered from head to toe, and over the board and legrope, in what looks like a thick black skin.

Our guide turns from watching the surfer make its way down the dune and addresses the camera.

[To camera]
Each spirit emerges entirely cased in a black rubbery birthing suit that sheds rapidly once the salt water of the ocean is encountered. As the birthing suit sloughs off the new spirit, the onlooker first observes the shape of the year just past.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Hey Craig! It is quite thrilling to receive an email asking where my writing has disappeared to; being missed by a reader is a great thing. The style, motivation and topics of my next era of writing is still nebulous, although that being said I have been a little inspired by two very different theories ...

During my thesis year I based an entire Post-Modernism essay around the concepts of orders of magnitude from this talk by Richard Dawkins. Although not beloved by my lecturers I treasure the piece, and it was forcibly brought to the forefront of my mind when I read this piece from the New Perspectives Quarterly. I could see the concepts and words of my Post-Modernism essay mutate before my very eyes, the newly encountered ideas changing the nature of the old ideas, leading me to my favourite contemplation – words, and how they hold back the dark.

In moments of extreme introspection I wonder if, when I write, do I patiently cutting the white page into letter shaped holes through which to see the dark? Do I take the raging, battering dark and persuade it to crouch, waiting, on the page? Do I take the dark and whittle and carve it until its true shape lies free on the white? Do I capture the more bearable currents of the dark in the closed rock pools of letters, letting the black become still water between the white channels carved from the paper? The light meets the dark; white edges keeping the black corralled, formless grey at the point of meeting. Or is it rainbows that line the space between the light and the dark? Perhaps some people see their life as the grey between, others the colours of the spectrum leading from dark to light? Perhaps some people never see both the dark and light at once, sitting only to see one, allowing it to become their only horizon.

Time to try and capture that magic again.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Publications: Grazia and The Big Issue
Source: The Mainstream Media and The Alternative Media, both $5
Reason: To know what those on either side are thinking

The Big Issue and Grazia are my favourite magazines, and I read them from cover to cover, except for one section in each. I never read the one serious story in Grazia because I read Grazia for the fashion, and the worthy news story is always stuck in the middle of the mag, laughably out of place alongside the articles encouraging vapid consumerism. In The Big Issue I never read the CD/Music reviews because, unlike all those music snobs out there, I don’t give the proverbial about what other people think about my music. Both publications are obsessed with the Michelle and Barack though, so that’s something.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Perks of the Job

Postcard (L): Red Shoes from Ely
Possession (R): Glitter Shoes from Nine West
Reason: On the scale of a girl’s life, the point at which one has enough shoes actually sits beyond the point of death

‘Twas the Friday before the Month o’Christmas Parties and I had to sate the hungry maw of my wardrobe. I have finally embraced the reality of my work uniform being a pretty dress and high heels, and now I can only really justify a purchase if it can hold its own at the theatre after coming straight from work. Thus the fabulous red shoes on Ely’s card are conjured into existence in a slightly different colour, but with the same pizzaz; ready to convey me through the Festive Season in tinsel-ly style, if not in comfort.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bad Tea

Prop: taken from the stage of Papercut
Source: 3rd Year Contemporary Performance at WAAPA
Scene: Love Letter to the Broken Hearted

Marisa Garreffa told me the first time I gushed about a show of hers that she just wanted to help everyone “find their inner clown”. Tonight I heard her laugh with abandon at the jokes that she surely knew were coming – she collaborated on and directed the piece after all. Laughing at your own jokes means a healthy approach to one’s own genius! Papercut was truthful and kind, paralleled by the punter on my right who felt sorry for me in the theatre by myself and chatted to me as if I were a long lost friend; thus it was a night of gentle thoughts and good manners.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Aloha from Hawaii

Postcarder: Gidget, sometimes known as Woodsprite
Source: Hawaii
Scene: Orange and Hot Pink sunset, coconut palms, glitter. The glitter really sells it.

Gidget is a surfer, and my favourite pieces of writing from her are her love letters to the swell. I relish the delicacy of her descriptions, arising from a spiritual and technical experience of the liquid forces that carry her each day. I have had my fair share of waxing lyrical about the watery depths, but I never do it as much justice as those who should have been born with gills!