Saturday, October 31, 2009

Soundtrack to my weekend


If this weekend were a song, it would be The Whitlams' There's No-One. I've had a pretty low-key weekend spent waking late, strolling the shoreline, listening to podcasts, reading, writing, going to church and enjoying solitude.

There's no-one to call from a country town
It's not a bad thing
I don't have anyone lovely to call
And it's not a bad thing

What about you? What would the soundtrack to your weekend be?

photo: Nowra Sept 2008

saturday afternoon in the kitchen


flowers supplied by mum; hand supplied by joanna

I've met someone new...

I picked him up this afternoon.

new coffee machine

He was bought on ebay, so we're still unsure what the future holds, but so far so good. I think I got a good price for a second hand machine. Any tips on maintaining it/making a good coffee?

My body's a ZOMBIE for you

It being Halloween and all, I thought I'd share a song that I'm loving at the moment, which happens to be spooky and awesome all at the same time. I mean, what isn't to love about a children's choir singing "my body's a zombie for you"?

The band is Dead Man's Bones. Think Arcade Fire and The Polyphonic Spree meet Tim Burton.

And for those of you who actually enjoyed the Notebook (ahem), Ryan Gosling is in the band.

So, here it is. MY BODY'S A ZOMBIE FOR YOU, featuring Edward Gorey illustrations (which I happen to have stuck on my door and mirror).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the week in pieces

x sweet peas are the bestest flowers when picked straight from the garden
x dogs are funny when you catch them eating cake
x birth certificates are expensive, but not difficult to replace
x university transcripts are also expensive, and sold in threes
x cloudy weather is food for the soul
x sending off 10 poems a stranger in a sandstone castle is not as scary as it seems
x i really appreciate my coffee machine. especially now it's dead

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oh and one other thing....



A taste of Newtown

So I finally made it to Black Star Pastry on Australia Street in Newtown. I decided to walk because the weather was so fine and I'd soon be eating cake. Of course I took my camera along to record my journey. I think the resulting photos sum up the innerwest quite accurately.

This old antique store is now an art space. I love the original sign: Quinn's. Reminds me of Medicine Woman. And of course, next to it, a ubiquitous iron fence. These oscillate between dingy + rusting, or freshly painted in gloss white/fire engine red/gun metal grey, depending on whether or not there's a yuppie residing within.


This bike was just leaning against a fence on a main road, unsecured. I love the detailed plaster work on all the old terraces and shops and the red detail on this particular building was a nice touch.


For the record, once I arrived at my destination, I consumed an orange, fig and quince cake with pistachio and violet sprinkled delicately on top ($4 for a bite sized hunk). OH YUM. Unfortunately my camera battery died before photo could be taken. This and I ate it so quick there was probably never going to be the opportunity for photographic evidence anyway.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Case closed

I think I've solved the shrinking photo dilemma...

Blogger limits the size of the photos you can upload. However, if you host your images on a site like flickr or photobucket you can post bigger photos by uploading the photos using their URL.

Photobucket allows for bigger photos (like the one below).

Yay. Now you can expect giant photos from me. No more 'honey I shrunk your masterpiece'.

Cockatoo island in the distance

Another photo test...



just testing out a method of posting photos...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

suburban dream

Tip of the old hat to 52 Suburbs, a new blog I mentioned not long ago.

Louise recently visited Castlecrag, and was even brave enough to knock on doors to ask if she could photograph people's architect-designed homes. Now that's iniative. Someone, please, just give her a book deal!

A strange sight

I was driving down pyrmont bridge road today, and I saw an old man dressed in a grey suit, with tendrils holding a claw. He was just waving his claw around at the traffic.

My first thought was - ok, this is Glebe, maybe he's just a little unhinged. That's ok.

As I was driving past him again about 30mins later, I realised he was standing opposite a costume shop, advertising for Halloween.

Can't help feeling sorry for the guy - not only was it 30-million degrees outside today, but he looked like a complete loony**! He wasn't holding any signage indicating what he was advertising, just waving that claw around...

**Not that there's anything wrong with waving a claw around.

Irony is

finding a highly organised, formatted newsletter from the local anarchists in your letterbox.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Why poetry?

People seem too polite to ask, and probably too uncertain of the answer I might give to ask the question, "why poetry?". But I suspect many people when they've heard my plan for next year - to write and study poetry, or simply learn of my interest in poetry, are a little perplexed. So I thought I'd put a few words down in an attempt to answer such a question, not just to respond to people's unspoken curiosity, but also to think it through for myself.

The truth is I don't particularly know 'why poetry' - and that's perhaps the appeal. It's a mysterious art, the power of which is in what isn't said as much as what is. Meaning in poetry is a vapour, touching on a leaf here and there, only to disappear. This elusiveness is perhaps what drew me in originally, while study poetry at school. Here were people saying things in a controlled, yet playful way with concision, and managing to convey more meaning and perhaps truth than an entire essay.

The practice of writing poetry is elusive too - ideas and phrases arrive without notice. It's an exhilarating thing to watch something come to life in words. This quote I recently read on Edward Byrne's blog expresses this "recklessness" of composition well:

“At every moment the poet must be ready to abandon any prior intention
in welcome expectation of what the poem is beginning to signal. More than
intending, the poet attends. Attends to the conspiracy of words as it reveals
itself as a poem, to its murmurs of radiant content that may be encouraged to
shout, to its muffled music there to be discovered and conducted. Revision is
just that, and it begins before the first word is even written . . . .” —From
Dean Young’s “Beyond Intention: Poetry and the Art of Recklessness,” Poets &
Writers Magazine (Nov./Dec. 2009)

the waiting game

I'm going through that time in life again when many paths stretch out before me, and it's hard to know which one i'll end up on.

My job at Christians in the Media ends at the end of the year, and I'm excited to be doing something new and different next year. I posted not long ago about my plan to do a Masters of Creative Writing at Sydney in the evenings, and this is still my plan, but it's been harder than I thought to find a part-time job to complement my studies.

So i've bitten the bullet and applied for a full-time journalism job. It's the kind of job that if my shifts were right, I could probably do a subject or two a semester on top, but it's not ideal.

And that's if I actually get the job. It's a difficult dance, the applying-for-jobs-during-financial-crisis jig, and it's difficult knowing what to apply for and when. Just gotta sit it out and see what happens.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Hello Max Wanger. He just takes the most beautiful pictures. If I could learn to capture light the way he does, and make everything look so dreamy, I would be a happy girl.

His stuff's been all over the web since he took the engagement photos for Joanna Goddard (A Cup of Jo) and just last week the photos he took at her wedding were made public.
I particularly love this photo from their engagement.

image: Max Wagner from A Cup of Jo

Ghosts of shops past

Walking home from church today in the muggy half-light, planes roaring overhead, I wondered not for the first time how and why Parramatta Road is as it is.

There are just so many dead shops full of stock. Some are thriving (like the patisserie "Croissant Show" - for obvious reasons) and many are boarded up, but the ones which perplex me the most are those that look like a shop - albeit an old, poorly run, shop - but never open.

It makes Parramatta Road feel like a graveyard of entrepreneurial hopes. Thinking about all the onetime shop owners who would've proudly taken a lease, injected a heap of capital into their retail fantasies, and then seen their business slowly die, is quite sobering.

There are many reasons why shops on the main road don't do well - lack of parking is surely the most critical. I wonder if "the varicose vein of Sydney" will ever be revived, and if so how?

Friday, October 16, 2009


It annoys me that when I go to upload long photos like the ones below bloggers shrinks them to fit in the margins...

does anyone know how to make it so I can post photos of any size??

balmain > cockatoo island

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I'm not usually squeamish, nor am I scared of many things.

But when jo told me there was a mouse in our kitchen, I was pretty disgusted. But I was more disgusted when I woke up this morning to see a tail hanging out of a shoe box on the floor....

Jo set a trap to catch said mouse and it had succeeded.


There are some days I really really really dislike living in an art deco apartment in the inner west.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

what's your favourite flower?

At the moment, mine is ranunculus... I love their billowing petals, dark centres and interesting leaves.
photo: paperpony

New favourite song

Blue Skies by UK band Noah and the Whale.

Such a cute video clip too. Check it out.

Monday, October 5, 2009


among the gums furthering feathers

dense in the undergrowth letters to
another world whisper of love tied

to a finger wrapped around the trunk
of this tree and the moan of that

loveless ringless kingfisher boasting
of his catch; coffin bearing bark blown

over dawn-struck earth, webs of long
gone spiders


Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Rizzeria/TwoThousand

A few months ago I posted some of my favourite Sydney things on this blog. One of them was the Hopetoun Hotel, which I learned this week is going to close (BIG SIGH). Gah it's all due to annoying council red tape, but hopefully someone will buy the place and keep its integrity while meeting the council's conditions.

Anyway, side point. There is actually site out there that gives all of Sydney's secrets away, weekly. It's called TwoThousand. There's also ThreeThousand (Melbourne), FourThousand (Brisbane) , FiveThousand (Adelaide) and SixThousand (Perth).

Of course it's not your average tourist guide, but a 'snapshot of Sydney subculture'. They recommend all sorts of fun and hidden things from shops and cafes to public parks, and sometimes there are some absolute gems.

Such as The Rizzeria. Wow. I feel like I've been living under a rock. I had no idea there was a cheap, friendly old-fashioned printing press a stone's-throw away in St Peter's. I'm sure many bespoke band posters I've seen and wondered 'how??' were printed there. They run mastercourses, and do Gocco prints.... how rad.

They have a flickr stream too, where this image is taken from.

52 Suburbs

Definitely a "wish I'd thought of that" moment...

I just came across a great new blog called 52 suburbs. It's one girl's attempt to photograph 52 different Sydney suburbs from an artful perspective.

I read about it on the Inside Out blog (also a great read). So far the photographer's only visited 4 suburbs, but the photos are stunning and arranged perfectly.

The Camera commandos photo challenges I'm involved in each season with some friends are similar - we try to capture a place in a limited time with two themes guiding us - but we don't really document our finds as nicely. Maybe we should start a blog for it?

Check out the beautiful photos of Wahroonga, Lakemba, Potts Point and Cronulla here.