Monday, November 29, 2010

strange writings from my room

I've been cleaning my room, which is inordinately satisfying.

The unexpected thrills include coming across bits you forgot you wrote and feeling like you're reading the work of a stranger. It's weird.

Here's one poem... yes, let's call it a poem... that I found. I think I must've written it last year some time.


everything is charming everything
blood guiding blood
(dark magic of the theatre)
we expect a new person
like the buxom blonde in
the box, chopped up and
restored at the wave of a wand.
But people are not
made new but
a paler shade of
life. Yes?
We want new. We want
miracle oracle
sublime molecule.
We get the washing up.

by Hollie Chastain

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Because I was thinking about him, I thought I'd just google my great grandfather, Harry.

What I didn't know was that he ran the local theatre in Moonee Ponds, and was really passionate about independent, suburban theatre.

And then I found a newspaper report about a time he was kidnapped!
MELBOURNE, March 22, 1932
Three armed men held up Harry Gyles, manager of the Moonee Ponds Picture Theatre, near his home in Ascot Vale last night. He was bound and gagged blindfolded and taken back in a car to the theatre, which was entered with his keys, and robbed of £36. The thieves then drove Gyles back to the place where he had been held up and cut the bonds on his legs. He managed to tear the bandage from his eyes and reached home, where he gave the alarm. No trace of his assailants has been found.
Talk about dramatic!

Apprently he was also a performer (a singer), did magic tricks and yes, also played one game of football for Carlton when he was 16.

He was also the President of Rotary and the Mayor of Essendon.

What a man!

The big move

image from the Design Files' 2011 Melbourne Calendar

Most of the people who read this blog and see me faily regularly already know, but it's probably about time to tell the world... I'm moving to Melbourne next year!

It's quite a big move, because I'm leaving my job in radio and going back to working for a Christian student organisation. It's called Cross Cultures, it's for international students, and it's all about making friends and meeting Jesus.

I'm pretty excited about spending the bulk of my time caring for people, reading the bible with them and talking about the meaning of life. It's something I love doing.

And yes, moving to Melbourne full stop is also exciting. I have a suspicion it won't be as amazing in real life as it is in my head - I think that's probably a healthy suspicion. Having said that, I'm looking forward to being in what's generally known as a town with a creative, entrepreneurial spirit. It seems to have quite a strong identity, stronger than any other capital city I reckon.

I've noticed that when I tell people about my move they usually say something about how Melbourne is a creative place, and reflect on what they think "Melbourne" means and whether I'll fit in.

Melbourne seems to be quite parochial, in a good way, like it's proud of its culture. Lucy from the Design Files launched a calendar based on Melbourne neighbourhoods this week, illustrated by Melbourne's best artists. It's a good example of how Melbournites dig their own city. Another is Able and Game's tram stop calendar.
I've just found a place to live as well. yay! I'm going to be living in the inner north. My aim was to be close to work and church and uni, but also to be as near to Gertrude Street, Fitzroy as possible.

Where I'm living is a couple of suburbs away from where my great grandparents lived. My Great Grandad was the Mayor of Essendon and played football for Carlton. I kind of like the idea that I'm returning to my roots, and am looking forward to learning more about my Dad's side of the family. Apparently I have to go for Carlton in the AFL, although Dad's mum's side barrack for Essendon. Ahh the politics.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A tree planted by the stream

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

summer blues

These hot summer nights call for some smokin blues, I say. And this guy's got the goods. Justin Townes Earle's touring Australia next year and has a new album out. This is little video of him talkin' and playing a new track off his new album (Harlem River Blues), called Slippin and Slidin. Winner.

via James Bradley

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The other reason my Dad is awesome

He gives me petrol vouchers in envelopes with love hearts.

I know. Pretty spesh.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why my Dad is hilarious and awesome

Mum: the computers crashed.

Dad: what do you mean crashed?

Mum: it's crashed.

Dad: but what about my iTunes tracks?

Mum: it should be fine if you've got them on your iPod too.

Dad: but I downloaded a few yesterday. Maybe they're not ok?

Mum: did you buy them through iTunes?

Dad: they were free but yes, through iTunes. I hope they're ok.

Me: what were they?

Dad: washington.

Me: sorry, what? As in Megan Washington - W A S H I N G T O N?

Dad: yeah I saw her on the arias. The whole thing was awful but she was great.

So yeah, my dad likes washington. He also likes being hip in other ways, like using facebook and watching Australian idol. True story.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

They Draw and Cook

They Draw and Cook - "recipe renderings by artists and illustrators"

Friday, November 5, 2010


Sorry for the double up on the last post if you view this blog in a reader. I thought my post had been lost, so rewrote it only to discover it was there the whole time... mysterious...

Unconditional Love and the Iraq War

Some of you have said you'd like to get into the radio show This American Life but haven't known where to start.

If you're still keen, I'd recommend you listen to a recent episode called Unconditional Love, which tells the moving story of a Romanian boy adopted at age 7 and how he's struggled to be loved and love others, as well as how his adoptive family have perservered with him through intensely difficult circumstances. Might sound sappy, but it's a really interesting look at how integral relationship is to being human.

Also, I recently listened to an episode called Iraq After Us, which probably isn't the best place to start if you're new to This American Life, but if you're at all interested in hearing about the Iraq War through the eyes of Iraqis, give it a listen. I feel like I know nothing of what's gone on the last seven years in Iraq, but this episode gave me a glimpse of what has taken place from the perspective of those whose voices we haven't been privileged to hear from before. The reporters spent a month in Iraq collecting these stories

You can podcast all their episodes.

the muesli diaries

I deal with the important things on this blog. A while ago, I filled you all in about gender-specific bread and drawing on that same concern for your palette, I have undertaken research into muesli.

This is a big thing for me. You see, as a kid I didn't like milk, which meant all forms of milk-drenched breakfast were out of the question. But a few months ago, in a moment of abandon, I decided to take a bit of a leap and try muesli, milk and all. And I liked it. Amazing!

Over the last few months, I've been doing my research into the world of muesli in order to report back to you that the best muesli on the market is....

Table of Plenty's Velvety Vanilla and Heavenly Honey. Velvety Vanilla has macadamia nuts and cranberries! And Heavenly Honey is basically cinnamon flavoured. SO delicious. And actually not that bad for you, because it's only semi-toasted.

I was pleased on the weekend to discover a fellow lover of these mueslis. We were talking about muesli over dinner, as you do.