Friday, February 27, 2009


What did your Grandfather teach you?

On 702 drive this afternoon, that's the discussion topic. I've never had a grandfather, but I loved hearing a few of the people's stories.

The funniest was a boy who's grandfather taught him how to roll cigarettes... at age 6!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Photo time

I just posted some photos at The Land Itself, my other co-authored blog.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Book culture

What are your book habits?

I'm a total flicker - I flick betweenchannels on tv, and I flick between books. I usually have up to 15 books on the go at a time.

At the moment I'm reading a few poetry anthologies (Yeats, Eight American Poets), a book on writing poetry, The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, a book written from the perspective of someone with an eating disorder and the bible. There's probably others, but right now they're all piled up next to my bed and I can't see them...

I wish I were a one book at a time person - because I think that's actually more satisfying, but like with my tv flicking, and blog viewing, I'm pretty erratic!

What about you?

The Harsh Recession Lifestyle

I just caught a bit of Insight on SBS, which was doing a recession special.

Jo and I were both quite shocked by the head of some retail organisation saying how the recession had forced her to start using her kitchen again. As in - she is cooking. WOAH get out! Cooking? How quaint.

She also said people are now buying more staples - like rice and potatoes. RICE AND POTATOES! What new fangled carbohydrates

Is this true - have you been stashing potatoes away for the winter, and actually turning your burners on for the first time in years??

Turns out I've been a freak all along.

Monday, February 23, 2009

How not to relax

I think I have information overload. I feel stressed from reading too much, browsing too much and thinking too much. This is not good.

My problem is I have a voracious appetite for new things: ideas, images, words being the mainstayers. I seek them out aggressively - I read blog after blog, book after book, browse flickr till my eyes hurt.

It's my way of relaxing/escaping/being energised, but and at the end, I feel exhausted. Inspired - but exhausted.

Is this anyone else's experience?

It's probably a cliche to say it, but I think my(our?) generation really does have to navigate a sea of information, which churns and churns. It's wonderful, (and therefore addictive); makes you feel part of something bigger than yourself. BUT it's also actually really tiring.

I'm still trying to work out how to actually relax.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Andrew Bird

Photo credit: Cameron Wittig

I can't recommend this Chicagoan's work highly enough. He is a singer/songwriter/masterful violinist who creates a stunning blend of eccentric pop sprinkled with violin, whistling and artful harmonies.
I don't own his most recent album "Noble Beast" - I can't afford to buy it at the moment, but I have downloaded 5 of the songs with some free vouchers I received from iTunes. This album, like his others is a lovely place to be. In some ways it's easy listening - what with so many stirring melodies and calming harmonies, but his lyrics are fantastically clever. He especially loves science and history references.
If you like the Swell Season (as I know many of you do), I think you'd be charmed by it. Glen Hansard is very different from Andrew Bird, but if you like that kind of clever, beautiful 'pop', you should like Andrew Bird.
You need to check him out!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Bakery

One of my favourite blogs is Design for Mankind. It's author is Erin Loechner, who's just started a "blogging for dummies" blog called the Bakery. She says she gets asked all the time how to make blogs work, and this blog is her answer to those questions.

So if you're a budding blogger, check it out here!

Friday, February 20, 2009

New blog project

I'm excited to reveal my new blog project The Land Itself.

It's a collaborative project between one of my closest friends, Jane, and myself. Jane recently moved to Broken Hill, and we thought a joint blog would help us stay in touch.

Then we started dreaming the possibilities, and thought it would be fun for others to read as well.

We want to focus on sharing what we know of where we live, and who we are with each other. So Jane will post photos of her new home, and stories about life there. I will do the same, plus some of my poems.

It's inspired by a wonderful project called "A Year of Mornings". We don't expect our blog to be anywhere near as beautiful, but hopefully it will be as personal and say just as much.

So, welcome to The Land Itself! Go check it out. Pictures coming shortly..

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Franz Kafka

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Poppytalk Handmade

Hope it's okay by Michele Maule

If you've always wanted some cute, handmade art, I recommend checking out Poppytalk Handmade.

It's a virtual online marketplace, where each month or so a different theme or set of artists' work is displayed. This month's theme is "affordable art".

It's not really that cheap (ie. i still can't afford most of the art), but it's relatively cheaper than buying most original artwork.

I look at what they're offering for inspiration, and because it's simply aesthetically pleasing.

lewas designs wall decal: dandelions

How cute are these dandelion wall decals - you just stick them on and peal them off! You can also get them in laptop size!

I also love the Poppytalk Blog.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stimulus Package

Another slightly irreverent poem (if I can call it that!?)

Stimulus Package

I'll payback that loan
and get a new one

Open a savings account
and make a withdrawal

Register my car
and back it into a pole

Dine at an establishment which serves
chilled soup in a shot glass

Buy reams of organic Australian yarn
manufactured in China

Upgrade my bike
so it looks retro

Buy a star
and look for it among the skyscrapers

Fly to Bali
and pose next to the bomb memorial

Build a toilet in Ghana
and put the picture on the fridge.

Monday, February 16, 2009

23 and ok about it

I'm turning 23 this week and it's about time. When I was a teenager, I always thought my head was somewhere in my early 20s, and my body/life needed to just catch up. Now at 23, I feel like I'm properly into my 20's.

At 21 you're only just finished uni, while 22 just doesn't sound like "mid-20s", but 23 - now that's definitely "20-something", which is how I feel.

For those of you who are a bit older, you'll probably think I sound deranged. Well, yes. There is that.
Photo: the Govenor of Massechussetts' birthday in March, 1953.

The weather again

Well the sun came out for a good two hours or so. That was real nice - I walked to my meeting and back, just before it started pouring.

Still wish I was in the country though, lying on some hay, or at least out in a field somewhere...

photo by fixed image on flickr

Where I Want to Be Today

On a cold, wet and grey day I'd rather be among the hay.

Where do you want to be today?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Given the chace

Given the chance, I'd fly away
like a bottle green balloon,
glistening in the sun
perfect and round.

Given the chance, I'd buy
the largest piece of chalk ever
and draw a single, continous line
around every metre of pavement in Petersham.

Given the chance, I'd always eat
mango, blueberry and kiwi fruit
on a bed of crunchy meringue
drizzled with cream

Given the chance, I'd enter
every competition on the Lifestyle Channel
and own every Nigella cookbook
and novelty apron available.

Given the chance, I'd borrow every
issue of Frankie, Notebook and The New Yorker
from Leichhardt Library
and never return them.

Given the chance, I'd wear
only stripes, horizontal,
and always French-style
with a neckerchief and beret.

Given the chance, I'd work out
what's stopping me.

What about you?

*Photo by Marlen Chen on flickr

Friday, February 13, 2009

Feminism and all that business

Oh boy... am I over reading about cute valentine's crafts you can make for your significant other...

Judging by the number of posts on design/craft blogs about the subject at the moment you'd assume 99.5 % of their readership is in a relationship, which I highly doubt.

Where's the angry riotous feminist grrl power gone?

on that subject - apart from a tiny minority of people who are really are feminist activists, and teenage girls who in their own way are redefining feminism by willingly moulding themselves into objects of male pleasure, I think there's a reversion to some old-school "pre-feminist" (that term really isn't working for me, but I can't think of anything better?) values among women who grew up in the 80s and 90s.

What I see in the blogs I read is a concentration on family, love, acts of service, getting married, commitment and fulfilling the role of wife/mother to perfection. Articles on knitting for your family, baking, cooking, organising romantic getaways, making memories etc. The medium itself is being driven by these values: blogs authored by couples and blogs like Smitten, which discuss relationships in a radically frank way, but are really all about good old fashioned love.

Did anyone else read much about feminist rocker Ani Difranco's recent album and aussie tour, and how she's morphed into a mother-figure quite in love with life? I reckon her own journey is probably quite representative of a lot of women from Generation X/late Gen Y, who went through the struggle to define themselves as independent and career-driven, who are now settling down and secretly loving it.

And what's with all these movies about brides?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


You probably all knew and will think I'm completely backwards for not knowing this, but I just discovered Listmania! on Amazon.

I typed in "books on writing" and "books on writing poetry" into google, and up Listmania came. What a great resource. Basically anyone can create a list of books under a particular category.

There are a number of lists created by people pertaining to writing, which is great news for me...

However, if you too have a recommendation please still comment!

Books about writing

I've been trying to write more regularly of late, without being highly critical of myself. So far, it's been fun and liberating.

However, I'd quite like to learn more about writing, both poetry and prose. Does anyone out there (Ali perhaps?) know of any good books to read about either subject. I think poetry's probably my main concern at the moment - I have no idea about technique and structure etc. I just write. But even if I end up abandoning orthodoxy, I'd like to know what I'm abandoning.

** I should add I started reading "The Poet Who Forgot", and that was really inspiring, but apart from what I learnt by osmosis, it didn't really give me technical advice.
I've also just been trying to read more poetry in general, and that's been good, but once again I'm just learning by osmosis.

Aren't these ceramics stunning? Saw them on Pia's blog. Wow. The artist is Jette Arendal Winther.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Fires

I've been reading the newspaper, with tears streaming down my face. It's just horrific. I cannot imagine discovering your entire family is dead, or even just one member.

Strangely, the photos on the ABC are both eerie and beautiful; the scenes are mesmerising, and yet you know the devastation that the fire has wrought.

If you can, donate here on the Red Cross website. Also, they need blood donations.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I'm pretty excited about a new blog project I hope to go public with in the next few weeks. The reason for the delay is it's going to be collaborative, and my partner in crime is moving at the moment, and we can't start until she's arrived and settled.

But I'm pretty excited!! More information to come... sorry for the secrecy

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Power of Now

I was at the pub tonight after church to farewell one of my dearest friends who is moving to the country. As I was sitting there, feeling both sad (for me) and excited (for her), I looked up to a mute television screen in the corner of the room.

In a surreal moment, I could see people speaking of the horror of the victorian fires, their faces shrivelled with pain, all tears and red cheeks, but I could not hear their voices.

At this moment, I came face to face with a dilemma which faces us all: to give our attention to the immediate, or the removed.

I soon looked away from the tv screen, and resumed my conversation with the people around me, focusing on farewelling my friend.

Back home now I realise that there is nothing much I can do for the people caught in the tragic situation down in Victoria, but it shocks me that I could move so easily between the two situations- one immediate, one removed.

I wish I could deeply feel the pain of the survivors and witnesses and do something about it.
I wish I thought "I'm hungry" less, and "they're starving" more.
I wish I thought "I'm tired" less, and "they don't have a bed" more.
I wish I thought "I can't afford that" less, and "they can't pay the rent" more.

It both scares, and saddens me how arresting the immediate can be. I don't want this to sound pious, but this whole situation reminds me why I trust in Jesus Christ, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross. Jesus is the only person who has ever been able to balance this tension perfectly, in the ultimate act of selflessness, by putting the long-term gain of others, before the immediate pain of the cross and alienation from himself/God. I am so thankful for that.

** Of course people make selfless decisions all the time, but I guess Jesus' whole life was an act of selflessness, from his entry to earth in the first place, his relinquishing of his "rights" first through giving so much of himself while on earth, and secondly through his death on our behalf.

An open letter

Dear world,
Please slow down. There is too much going on. Too much death, and too much heat and too much activity for my liking.

Friday, February 6, 2009

How do you wind down after a big day?

I like to:

-go to the library
-follow a photoshop tutorial
-read poetry
-lie on my bed thinking
-read blogs
-process by rambling
-listen to anything melancholy

I don't like to:
-watch too much tv

What about you?

Teatowel of your dreams

How cool are these? Poetic teatowels... by Stephanie Radenac.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I succumbed...

And created a blog list...!

Argh the politics...

Anyway, it reveals I read a lot of design/craft blogs, and read quite a few blogs by mothers. Weird huh

Beans on Toast

I wrote this a few weeks ago when on holiday. It's inspired by what I read about Harvey Cushing.

I wanted to tell you,
to hear about it all
but i couldn't.
Not when the cancer was still there
threatening to kill us all;
one false move
and we'd be gone.

When you died
the brain still flowed with blood,
still played tricks on our eyes
veins veiling lumps of death.
It needed me:
I was there
with my clamps, ready.

In the summer,
when the light faded
and I dreamt my body
was a riverstone,
passed over by a current, unstoppable -
Then I would send you away
with the children
and I would
eat little more than beans on toast,
and feed on the silence.