Monday, 31 May 2010

self portrait in words

I like to read books. A lot. I especially like the books with good characters. You know, like Harry Potter, Holden Caulfield, Franny and Zooey, Kafka Tamura or Kilgore Trout. After reading this splendid post by the delightful Kate, I decided to write about me as a character. A sort of self portrait in words, if you will.

The Woman:

Often imagines her life as scenes from a film, mostly directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet and Wes Anderson.

Must be kept artificially warm at all times - takes excessively hot showers that scorch her chest tomato red. Will not leave the house without a cardigan, even in summer.

Useless at time management - always either far too early for appointments or late. Often calls ahead warning she is running late then manages to somehow turn up just on time. Then feels embarrassed about earlier unnecessary warning. Likes to read whilst walking, even though it's slow going both ways.

Tells herself these new grey hairs look more silver or even blonde than grey, really. Often thinking about her next meal. Desperately wishes she had a prize winning novel in her but is resigned to the fact that her slightly above average intelligence is unlikely ever to produce one.

Fiercely loyal and completely biased towards those she loves or ideas she believes in. Paralysed by passion - will cry if confronted with arguments against said people or beliefs.

Public transport brings out the worst in her - feels utter disgust and contempt for fellow travellers. Realises the hypocrisy in such arrogant and inhumane thoughts. Detests them all the same. Tries to connect with every cat she encounters. Mostly succeeds.

Cannot last the entire night without going to the toilet. Blames cat for waking her up at 4.30am for breakfast. Quietly fears her bladder contains more will than her mind.

Never believes compliments from sales people, even when she knows them to be true. She does have beautiful green eyes and her bag is gorgeous. But sales people are not to be trusted.

Loves the idea of wearing red lipstick but is wracked by anxiety every time she does. Likes to cheat at card games. Does not follow recipes, uses them only as a guide. Loves puns.

27 and three quarters. Whiskey drinker. Always gives money to accordion buskers.

So, how much to I have to bribe you into including me in your next award winning novel? Anyone got J.K Rowling's email by any chance? J.D Salinger's and a time machine? Haruki Murakami's perhaps?! 

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Whatever is worn on the head is a sign of the mind beneath it


So that must mean I'm bright, cheery and very good for you?!
Here's my latest crochet project - a red delicious apple beanie...

apple beanie!
leaf detail on my apple beanie
apple beanie birds eye view

Turns out it's awfully hard to take photos of oneself wearing a beanie in low light. Curse this dreary overcast and rainy weather! Although - tis perfect weather for a bright and cheerful apple beanie!

Does what's on your head define your mind right now? 

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


I've been doing it. Handiwork that is. Stitching hands or things on hand shapes!
And in the words of my favourite 80s effortlessly cool dude Ferris Bueller - "Never had one lesson".

Can you tell?

First up was a card for my sister in law to say thanks for trusting me enough to look after her darling lil one three days a week for 5 whole months! We have our last day together tomorrow. Le sigh.

The hardest part was getting him to hold still long enough to trace his hand...I had to sing some crazy songs to distract him.

Next up is a gift for my partner Tom, who requested fingerless gloves for his birthday. He's been warned the weather will be pretty chilly in South Africa, even in the offices they will be working in, so I have embellished a plain black pair of woollen fingerless gloves with a little love for him to remember me by. So if you happen to watch any of the World Cup shows on SBS this June/July then it's highly likely they will have been put together by my man, wearing my 'handmade' gloves!

I told him he could tuck them into his jumper but he said he would display them proudly. Awwww. Now to embroider his stab vest and stencil sweet nothings on his tear gas mask. EEEK!

And before you go I just want to say sorry for being such a stranger round here lately. Thank you for all your kind well wishes on my last post. I've plunged into unemployment gloom even before it's officially started and I think I reverted to my December headspace without realising. I promise to try harder at thinking positive this time! Someone will employ me! Bills will be paid! And in the meanwhile - blog posts will be posted! So do stay tuned.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

decisions, decisions...

I often feel like I'm standing at yet another of life's crossroads. Or roundabout. Or a confusing LA-esqe multi laned highway turnoff/merge/exit. Sometimes it's just me standing there, staring blankly, sometimes I'm there with a close friend, my family or my partner.

At these times I often think of the New Jersey turnpike in the film Being John Malkovich and marvel at the crazy portal of life and the strange places it spits you out at. That, and Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken, because a choice is necessary here, inevitable even, but you can never really know the outcome of your choice until you have lived it. Which can feel a little daunting at times.
Will the next choice I make lead to happiness?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Frost is a cheeky bastard of a poet, don't you think? Is he sighing with happiness or regret? Was the difference good or bad? You could argue, knowing how way leads on to way, we can always make another choice, right? But that choice will then be informed and influenced by the former choices. Snowball effect. Rippling in a pond. Dominos are tumbling down. I'm starting to hyperventilate. And still just standing here, staring blankly.

This handy flow chart gets straight to the point though -

Image by You Might Like This via the delightful Checks and Spots

Some more food for thought via Checks and Spots comes in video form. It was an entry in a competition called u @ 50 and here I am stressing about tomorrow, next week, next month etc but this makes me ponder long term happiness. Ah perspective. Now I'm worrying about not only my future future but that of the entire world. Although, if there's no world then there's no me, so the two are kind of mutually exclusive.

It's a palindrome, so you'll need to watch the entire 1:45 to understand the full message. And that also means that if you don't have sound then you'll have to read each line, then read them backwards in order to see the true meaning!

And on a final note I shall leave you with this to consider. A most excellent piece of street art spotted tonight at the top of my parents street in Bondi, albeit fuzzily captured by my iphone. Apt, I think, considering all that's been going on in my head right lately.

I love it. I love that it's quoting the 1998 Spice Girls song Stop.

I'm going to stop, make my happiness decision with a human touch, and be on my merry way. And if life spits me out at the New Jersey turnpike again, well, I'll just have to dust myself off and crawl back down the crazy portal that is life, right?!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

thanks mum

My mum has put up with a lot of crap over past 28 years...

Since I was this little (and even littler really)

Until I was this big.
Congratulations Mum, the crap stops here!*

And yet she still thinks it's hilarious to take photos of you sleeping in the car...
so I guess it goes both ways eh mum?!

* Sorry I can't actually guarrantee the crap stops here. In fact I'm pretty sure it says in your contract the crap is never ending. Sorry about that. Thanks for putting up with it all the same. Also, you know it's not my fault!!

Sending my love to all the mums out there who put up with the crap on a daily basis. I think you are all cussing amazing. I hope I can be as strong, supportive, patient, kind, nuturing and cook as good as you one day. Thanks for being such great role models.

Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, 7 May 2010

leaf studies

Episode 3 of the 2010 Harvest continues!

And it contains some of my all time favourite greenery - gum leaves, soft spongey moss and sillouettes at dusk.

I wish I had a backyard like this...

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

tea break and breaking news

Let's take a quick break from the 2010 Harvest episodes for a moment shall we? I have some news.
First - a cup of tea and a biscuit.

tea break

mmm anzac biscuits

You'd be correct in guessing that those are still harvest shots. But how hilarious/retro/kitsch is that crocheted owl tea cosy?! My nana made it and EVERYONE hated it and yet it still survived the decades and continues to grace us with its presence at tea time. I'm also glad that Anzacs biscuits have survived the decades since the first batch popped out of the oven. These ones were particularly delicious, THANKS MUM!, and my brother and I ate more than our fair share when we thought no one was looking.

Now for my news. I'm not sure whether it's good or bad nannying days are numbered. My sister in law has got a spot for my nephew in a daycare centre now, and even though he is 3 months younger than what they'd decided was a better age to cope with daycare, they are worried they won't be able to get him a spot when the right time comes.

So I won't be needing my bottomless carpet bag or flying umbrella for much longer. I will however, be needing a new job. bugger! Which is fine and perfectly reasonable for a women of my age and skills. bugger bum poo! I am sure I will find my dream job advertised on Seek, with a ginormous salary to boot, and they'll probably hire me even before my interview - as this is my new resume/career plan, a la David Shrigley.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

cloud studies

Episode 2 of my harvest shots.

We had some glorious weather over the week - but also some serious rain. 30 mms over night on the Saturday evening. But you can never complain about rain in the country, even if it's spoiling your productivity plans. Olives have to be pressed within 2/3 days after picking otherwise they start to ferment which wouldn't make tasty olive oil. Thankfully we weren't washed out of the grove for too long and after a leisurely breakfast we were back picking olives by 10am. Just in time for morning tea break!

I just get blown away by all the different colours in the sky sometimes. I'd love to know what all the clouds are called too. I'll put learn cloud names on my To Do list, next to learn all the capital cities of Africa. (I can do Europe already, smart huh!)

And for those who are wondering what happens next, after the olives are all picked - I am working on my 'school project - How Olive Oil is made' blog post! Just need to check up on some technical details...wish I'd paid more attention now, don't I?

Honey, I'm home!

 *Over 10 hours round trip of driving later...*

Home from the Farm. Sigh. I could definitely spend more time in the countryside... I'd be a weather beaten farmers wife any day. In fact I'm ridiculously brown after just one week. And sad about taking my Blundstones off. They were the first thing I'd pull on as I stumbled out of bed each day...I'm dreaming of living the good life with a sheep or two and some pigs and a dairy cow. I rather fancy myself as an Australian version of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. River Cottage Down Under! I'd churn my own butter, grow our own vegies, pluck my own chickens...well, I did say I was dreaming!

But did you miss me?! You know I missed you! But I was brave, and lasted over a week without internet or mobile access. Impressive stuff, no? There was much to keep me busy/distracted at this years harvest though. There is never enough time in each lovely day spent in the countryside...

I have a million and one photos to share from the harvest, as you can imagine. So I will try and stagger them over a few posts, so as not to overload you all at once. And then back to my (ir)regular posts of crafting antics and adventures in the city!

But for now I present to you my shots from the East Ridge Olive Grove 2010 Harvest!

**Storm clouds roll in but we're not scared...**

**A crate full of olives! Just one of many!**

**Brumiracking with the olinet, 
i.e shaking the olives off the bigger trees and catching them in a net!**

**There is always time for a quick pat.**

**Handpicked by Vicky, her motto was "No Olive Left Behind!"**

**Cuddle time. Harvesting is tiring work!**

**My excitable brother**

**Obligatory family photo...**

**Those nails, much like those olives, 
were wrenched from their branches uncerimoniously. 
Such is life.**

And if you like what you see, you're more than welcome to join us for next years harvest! Stay tuned for more rural themed shots...
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