Sunday, July 26, 2009

stop rubbing it in.

The Sunday newspaper, regardless of where you live, can never really be considered a serious newspaper. Always full of trivial pieces of 'information'; pictures of this weeks 'scandal' that was never really a scandal (and was old hat by Wednesday anyway) and quotations from Members of Parliament who want to look like they're doing something other than embezzlement.

Generally I try to keep away from the Sunday Herald, which my household accidentally signed up to and now can't get rid of. I don't want to look at pictures of jewelry that cost more than a house. I don't really mind if the Italian Prime Minister has been tied to a bedpost. Reports of killer starlings about to descend upon Sydney don't raise my eyebrows. If I read the Sunday Herald, then my blood pressure would be dangerously high.

This morning however, I made the mistake of looking at the cover, to be met with "MINISTER WARNS GEN Y: BEGGARS CAN'T BE CHOOSY"which sparked small irritations. For starters, doesn't the minister in question (Senator Arbib, whom I've never liked. But then the politicians I do like can be summed up as "Winston Churchill" and he's dead.) know that the established "Beggars can't be choosers" is established because "choosers" sounds infinitely better than "choosy". "Choosers" is a word an English schoolmarm in the Victorian age would have spat at disobedient pupils, yet smiled graciously when said pupils turn out to be the new Prime Minister and lead England to glory, or at least a decent scone. "Choosers" implies an individual choice has been made. "Choosy" is a word that I used to use (when I worked at the Dye place and customers from the north shore wanted to talk about the difference between egg yolk yellow and midday yellow) when I want to describe someone as a indecisive fussy bitch, but am in polite society. "Choosy" therefore, to me, is not a good word.

I realise that I am, as usual, over thinking things. But the other reason this article annoyed me is because I am one of these people who are, apparently, being "choosy" about my employment and think that there are jobs that are beneath me. This isn't true. I have applied for many jobs that I know I won't enjoy, but the lure of financial independence is louder than thinking I'm too important to work at Woolies stacking shelves, or with children, or at MacDonalds. I even applied at the wretched Supre the other day. And if they call me and offer me a job, I'll go.

The last job I held started out great but made me deeply miserable in the end. I had something to look forward to though, and that helped. Being lost in Vienna beats having to tie-dye 100000 tshirts in one day, any day. And this time, regardless of whatever job I get, I'll be able to look forward to being able to afford to move out of home and stop being a drain on my parental purse. It will be a fantastic bonus if I can get land a job that makes me happy, but whatever I get, I'll do it well, and I won't let it ruin me.

That I am 21, unemployed, living at home, doing an Arts degree does make me worry alot. I don't like that I rely on my parents for funding, and I have tried to be as frugal as possible about asking them for money. Even though I went to a school with lots of girls who only had to snap their fingers for daddy to give them a BMW, I've never felt comfortable doing this. I like to know I've worked well to make/earn something. (Which is why I enjoy shouting at my sewing machine so much.)

I don't like Senator Arbib's implication that my generation doesn't know the meaning of hard work or the value of being unhappy. Because that's the feeling I get from the article, is that people older than me feel that my generation has it too easy, that we haven't really lived because we've never seen battlefronts or had to use food stamps. What I want to know is, why do so many people feel like we have to be unhappy in order to deserve the things we get? Certain members of my family are always telling me "Life is about doing the things you don't want to do" which always sounds like complete toss.

It's more about finding the things you love and enjoy and are good at, that make all the bad shit bearable. I'm slowly slowly working out what I'm good at (ranting, I suspect, will be my crowning glory), and I know that I love cultural things that are pretentious, cooking and naps. And that's why I can do any job, and I can do it well. It isn't a question of me being choosy. It's about me being a chooser - I choose to enjoy what I'm doing.

EDIT: You know, I just worked out what it was that really annoys me: The SMUGNESS. The smarmy smugness.


Also I've now become annoyed by Generation Labels. They can just sod off - I don't fit within the descriptors of my generation, and I doubt that many people do. It's just another form of crowd herding, and I seriously intend to speak up about this in my Media & Power class tomorrow morning. I don't care how all the mature age students react. People need to pay attention to this stuff. Your age, gender, height, colour etc are not reasons for being spoken down to. And if you ignore it, they get more smug, and continue to ruin the English language.

(did that make any sense at all? i think mostly i'm railing against protestant work ethic, catholic guilt and the fact that politicians have it all too cushy.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

on the subject of sleeping

I deal in acts of social altruism: I use an ipod to stop me eavesdropping, I drop out of film courses that may or may not have the potential to make me a bit over anxious and thus overly rude to people who have done nothing wrong except wear leggings because they are misguided little lambs, and I spend a good deal of my time asleep.

The sleeping thing is becoming a bit of a problem. On Thursday, I fell asleep in the sun at uni for two hours. While this was very lovely, I woke up slightly sunburned and disinclined to do anything for the rest of the day, except eat something. Unfortunately I decided to have the spiced veggie wrap, which is always way too spicy, but I am way too stubborn to be beaten by a veggie wrap. So, sunburned sleep and scowling at my veggie wrap, I went to the film lecture.

And then I came home and went back to sleep. It just seemed easier.

Except for the fact that I appear to have developed a few habits that are, perhaps, slightly odd. Not perverse or anything, I promise. Its just that, apparently, I curl my little hands into fists in case someone tries to attack me in the middle of the night and I have to defend my teddy bear's virtue. I think I mentioned this a week or so back? It's been getting steadily worse though. I was discovered curled into a very tense little ball, and when my mum tried to wake me, I kicked out, caught my foot on my teddy bear and ended up in a very undignified pile on the floor. My mother merely said "remember to buy milk today" and left me to my own devices. It was then I noticed that my teeth hurt. I've been clenching and grinding them in my sleep.

Perhaps I'm channeling Otto Von Bismarck in my sleep. He always seemed like a very stressed individual.

The final sleep habit that I've developed is the most embarrassing. I thought I'd fixed it when I purchased new bedsheets, but alas. What happened with my old bedclothes was that, because I've had the same Minnie Mouse doona cover since I was about 6, all the buttons that keep the quilt inside the quilt cover had come off. And this winter, it's been very cold. And I'm very wriggly when I sleep (or I used to be, before I turned into a human claymore mine). And that's why I kept waking up inside the quilt cover and had three very embarrassing incidents in which I couldn't find my way out of the quilt cover and knocked my head on the bedpost. And that's why I bought a new quilt cover, (I could have sewn new buttons on, but the new cover is pretty and warm. Besides, the other one is 15yrsold) and the morning Casper reenactments stopped.

Until this afternoon, when, weary from trying to explain to my Subject Advisor, that "Yes, I know I'm absolute pants at history, but I'll be less pants at it than I would be at having to work with people in the film course, because that relies heavily on group work and do I look like a team player to you? No. I am a lone ranger. Watch me being lone and rangy." And then I promptly tripped over my own shoelaces and he remarked that perhaps I need looking after. So, yes, I came home and managed to churn through a chapter of an e.e.cummings biography before nodding off.

When I awoke, all was dark. And fabric-covered.

I was inside my new quilt cover.

After much cursing, I emerged from my quilted prison. I buttoned the cover back up, and then with crushing shame realised that all the buttons had been done up when I first curled up on my bed. I must have undone them in my sleep. This causes me great concern, as I fear it might be the first step to utter madness.

My family, when I told them, laughed a lot. Claudia suggested that perhaps I relax before I go to sleep. My father suggested that perhaps I take up narcotics again. My mother patted my head and made her "you are a mad duck face". My brother burped.

There you have it. The highly embarrassing and uninteresting habits I have when sleeping. I have no idea what's wrong with me, and I'm too scared to ask Freud.

I'd say that I should simply stop napping, but I don't really think I can. It's my own form of social altruism, remember?

(There's a school of thought that says there's no such thing as altruism. To them, I say "I like napping. I dream of electric sheep and Lizzle marrying fish".)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

back to school

I meant to spend today taking photos, unearthing my bedroom floor from whatever semi-sentient thing has taken over, working on my Mozart piece and finishing my book.

Instead, I spent the majority of today asleep under a tree using my book as a pillow. Sydney is having its usual winter weather wimp out, in that the weather goes "UGH! So many people in BLACKGREYPLUM clothes. This will not do!" and chucks a spree of 20 degree plus days, which means that nearly everyone strips down to their singlets and short shorts. Then the weather glares at people like me, who are glaring at the weather, because "its winter. I want to be cold and wearing my wool dress, thank you." Today though, I gave up and removed my stockings. The paleness of my legs worries me. It's like looking at two pieces of chalk. I know that I'm not uber uber pale, but I think because alot of people are so violently orange that sometimes my lack of melanin seems odd. It's not.

What was odd, however, was how I managed to eat two punnets of strawberries and still be grumpy. I worked out a reason for this whilst working my way through another punnet of strawberries - it's because Australian strawberries, despite being the size of my head have no flavour unlike their European counterparts. There are also, on average, 9 strawberries the size of my head in one punnet. Which means that I ate roughly twenty seven strawberries today and possibly accounts for the tummy ache I got, and the nap I had to take in order to get rid of the tummy ache. I live such a hard life.

University went back this week, which was a bummer. I'm not taking any English subjects this semester which fills me with dread - what will I complain about without John Donne? Will Shakespeare get a big head without me there to point out his flaws? The reason that I'm not taking any English is that I'm not allowed to. Having completed enough credits last semester, I was expecting to be ushered into 2nd Level English (and hoping for a trumpet fanfare). However, it turns out that I've been moved to UNSW's new Bachelor of Arts, which only started this year. And because the new BA Program came in this year, there are technically no upper level courses available**. My student advisor Michael laughed alot when he told me this.

Michael also declared that I had to declare a Major and Minor. So, I did declare English as a Major and Critical/Cultural Studies as a Minor, mostly because nobody at UNSW seems to know anything about C/CStudies, and I enjoy that sort of thing. Plus it sounds vaguely more useful than bloody Metaphysics. Michael agreed with me on my final point and proceeded to tell me all about his one man war against the philosophy department.

So this semester will see me attempting three subjects, "Media Society & Politics" "Women & Gender" and "Working with Image and Sound". I have to admit I have little or no idea what to expect from any of them. I'm slightly terrified of "Image and Sound", as it involves lots of practical film production stuff - I predict there'll be a whole bunch of 'experimental' films being made which will rival "Paper Soldiers" in frustration and fury. "Women & Gender" will probably involve cliches and granola. "Media Society & Politics" will probably focus alot on the triviality of Australian Media.

Signs point to awesome term. Kissinger nowhere to be seen.

Despite today being Wednesday, I haven't actually had any classes yet. For some mad reason, Gender Studies has put back the classes until next week, which was the reason I was asleep under a tree today when normally I'll be in class. Tomorrow I have my two other lectures, but tutorials don't start till next week. It's a bit iffy. And despite being a slacker and only doing three subjects, I'll be at uni four days a week, a weekly total of 15 hours.

All this entry was really , was a way of longwindedly saying that I have to get up very early tomorrow morning.

**This has also befallen my poor friend Alan, a mad arts/science student. They told him he couldn't take English or Physics this semester. I think he nearly cried, then decided to take Linguistics and Electrical Studies. I think he may be building a Frankenstein Monster. Or a TARDIS.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

all the notes in your heart.

(my cello)

Saturday morning I make my into town, to The Music Practice for my quartet session. I play Cello, my father plays clarinet, tiny little Jan also plays clarinet and Canadian Mike plays Bassoon. Poor Alison has to look after us, and try to make sure that we don't slow down too much, or completely maul whatever it is we're working on. At the moment it's a Mozart Adagio. It was my first week back today because my Cello had a problem with its fingerboard, which made it sound like there was a very enamored bee accompanying me. So my cello, in its sparkly new blue case, was sent of to Edgecliff to be seen to. I'm very pleased to report that it now sounds like the beautiful full blooded beast it is. And it turns out that I own what is called a "ladies" cello, as its not quiet 3/4, not quite full size. It's a beautiful red colour, and its new sound is just begging for me to learn the Bach Cello Suites.

this is my very favourite cellist, Peter Wispelway. There's a recording of him playing these Bach Suites where you can hear him breathing, the clack of his bow and the tap of his fingers all underpinning the incredibly beautiful Bach music. There's something very intimate and personal about it that I love - the cello is a much more intimate instrument than the other strings in my opinion. I played (at knifepoint) for eight years at school, but it's only since I came back from Europe that I've picked it up again, and to my surprise I've turned out to be much better than I thought - and now that I own the sheet music for the Bach, I think it's going to be one of the best things I do this year. I'll let you know how I go, and maybe try to put a recording up if any one's interested?

While we're talking about music, the darling Renate, who is my Norwegian e-pal, asked me what music I'm listening to at the moment. So I thought I'd do a proper music post, so that I can link it to a bunch of forum people and get my hand back in at it. Alot of this will be old stuff that you've probably heard, but I refused to do a Top 10 albums last year, and got yelled at, so consider this a sort of apology.

Voxtrot - Trepanation Party
Voxtrot have kind of always been a band that I like to listen to best on Sundays. Because their music is sort of quietly bouncy, very gentle stuff full of romance and whiskey (they have a song called Whiskey that's just heavenly) but "Trepanation Party" is darker and disco-y-er. It's like the band went so some hipster club in LA one Friday night and spent the entire time sitting in a corner, nursing a drink (because they could only afford one drink because hipster clubs are overpriced) and wondering what the hell they were doing there. And then on Saturday night, instead of going out, they wrote this song. I may be projecting slightly, but that's what this song sounds like. Lead singer Ramesh has such a gentle voice that to hear him sing things like "everyone i know is losing their mind, everyone i know has a really good time" and "how does it feel to be one of the beautiful people" sends a shiver up my spine. I can't wait for their new album.

Orphans and Vandals
- I Am Alive, You Are Dead (album)
I have been curled around this band protectively for over a year now. I saw them supporting Broken Records and the Twilight Sad last year in London, and decided that I didn't want anyone to know about them ever because their words and music is spectacular and epic and intimate. And then their album (which shares a title with my favourite biography ever) came out and I knew that I had to share this with the scant few people who read this thing, because I Am Alive, You Are Dead is the most real thing I've heard in years. It's not rehearsed and there are mistakes and it's all so endearing that it's like the musical equivalent of long conversations with people you love. The songs are primarily odes to Europe, London in particular, and fill me with nostalgia for a city that I found big and overwhelming and unfriendly. My favourite song would have to be '"Mysterious Skin" which was the first song I ever heard from Orphans and Vandals. It's a letter to Arthur Rimbaud, in which singer Al Joshua goes on a quest to Paris, to Charleville where Rimbaud was born. The song is interspersed with observations of modernity, the fickleness of life. At over ten minutes, it's emotionally draining, but beautiful. Other favourites are Terra Firma, because of the casual elegance of the lines "this town is like Jericho, the walls will come down if I tell them to" I don't know, there's just something so very genuine about this band. The gentle strings, the drumming that underpins every song like a heartbeat, and the ease with which mistakes are made and ignored. I love the evilness of "Metropes" which casts a devilish air over "cocktail parties for the rich and influential/walking on my hind legs feels unnatural", adding a cruel undertone to London nights and social circles. That this band choose to sing about sex like it's just sex as opposed to a toll for advancement also endears them to me greatly. This album is diverse and raw and honest and I think you should go listen to them.

- 100 Broken Windows (album)
Is there a post where I haven't mentioned this band? I don't think so. The 100 Broken Windows album was Idlewild's second full length album, and has always held a very special place in my record collection. As much as I love their later folk-ier stuff (and the crazy dance track No Emotion, complete with pinata), I adore the way this album ebbs and flows between teen punk and indie rock and mellowness - it sounds like a band coming into their own and working out who they are without losing their sense of humor. There's energy in this album, semifrantic energy that's even visible in the slower songs, like "Bronze Medal", which always puts me in mind of winter nights. Most of the songs use repetition in such a way that you don't really notice the repetition until Woomble starts singing about it - which may or not have been intentional. But what I love about this album the most is how literary it is, how intelligent. I love Woomble's sneering "i bet you don't know how to sell conviction" in "These Wooden Ideas", which is the only song about post-modernism that has accurately captured the bullshit of postmodernism and mixed it with the fun of po-mo. "Roseability" has probably inspired hundreds of people to read Gertrude Stein (although I still haven't because, well, I'm recidivist like that). This is a gem of an album, perfect for winter walks and an even more perfect soundtrack for trying to write English essays.

Bloc Party - One More Chance // Intimacy (album)
As I'm a cultural studies student at heart, Bloc Party provide me with hours of speculation and interest. They're one of the few bands to tackle the post 9/11-7/7 culture of fear and isolation in both grandiose and intimate ways. Their music is always epic. But "One More Chance" is. Well. A bit flat after too many listens. It's a lovely idea for a song, the desperate lover trying to get back into his partner's good graces, but I'm a little over all the 80s music that's around that moment (hinthint, Lady Gaga and La Roux.) Still. It's probably a good songtoexerciseto, and I suspect that it will grow on me, the way Bloc Party tend to. Kele's voice sounds fantastic on it, and the video is pretty awesome. Until that happens though, I think I'll continue listening to the mad genius that was "Intimacy". From the opening thunderstorm of "Ares" to the operatic "Zepherys" to the vicious "Talons" this album is mad in the best of ways. It's music for the dark streets and rainy nights. It's simultaneously a portrait of global paranoia and a detailed breakup. You know what this album (and Bloc Party in general, probably) is? A perfect example of GLOCALISATION. HA. I think I've just decided to write my thesis on Bloc Party. Oh, I overwhelm myself with my intelligence. But seriously, go listen to this album. It's a rollercoaster of techno beats, ravishing guitars, intertextual imagery overload and e.e. cummings makes an appearance. What more do you want? (Apart from a decent explanation and review of this album, I mean.)

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (album)
It either takes balls or French finesse to take your album title from one of the greatest composers in history. Seeing as it was French indie band Phoenix, I'm guessing they have oodles of the latter. (And considering they're an all male band, probably the former too, but y'know, 'it takes balls' is very American and I suspect the French would sneer at it). That they also make reference to composer Liszt is cunning yet verging on twee. Happily Phoenix has far too much cool to be twee. The slight hint of French accent adds a jauntiness that conjures up images of ray bands at the Lourve. This is an album you should listen to on sunny days lying in the park with a crisp white wine and a copy of Mozart's biography. I think there's a harpsichord (or a spinet?) involved at some point. "Rome" is a very clever sweet extension of the old "Rome wasn't built in a day" and "Lisztomania" is one of my favourite songs (and videos) of the year so far because of it's summery nature and jangly lyrics. I don't really want to go into massive detail with this album as I know here's been a lot of talk about how this is the *breakthrough* album for these guys, and I don't really see it as such. It's just lovely music that seems like the soundtrack for a movie I haven't seen yet but really want to.

The National - Ashamed of the Story I Told (Polaris cover)
Another band I'm always raving about (I should throw in an Editors song, just to complete the trio) The National continue to surprise me and tear at my little heart strings. This is a cover of a Mark Mulcahy song, part of a tribute album to Mulcahy's late wife (I know nothing about Mulcahy's work - now I'm furiously researching it). Considering The National contributed/put together the AMAZING Dark is the Night compilation earlier this year, I can't wait to hear the entirety of "Ciao My Shining Star" to see who else is contributing. But in the meantime, this is just beautiful, and perfectly suited to The National's style. If you haven't heard them before, go out and buy "Boxer" right now - their songs are portraits of the mundane - and the moments when the mundane becomes magic. There's much drinking, hiding in corners and wondering when it all when so wrong (but how did it go so brilliant). And in "Ashamed of the Story I Told", the strings are so gentle, the piano chords like drips in time, and the drums (which are sort of The National's secret weapon) will beat in time with your heart. And over that all, Matt Berninger sounds like a man quietly, calmly losing his mind. The song ebbs and swells with sadness - like when you know you have to so something that you really don't want to do, even though you know it's bad for you. It's a song about goodbyes, ones that hurt, ones that are one sided. I put this song on repeat yesterday and felt the earth spinning. That's The National for you. Now, when is their new album coming out?????

Editors - A Thousand Pieces
Ok, ok. An Editors song. Part of what annoys alot of people about Editors is the whole Joy Division/Interpol thing. For me, this has never been annoying. I love Editors over the other two bands because the music has always had what the other two lack - a kernel of hope. It's that feeling that even when you've fallen over and don't want to get up, you know you're going to be able to. There's a ferocity to Editors that you only really begin to understand when you see them play live - its in front man Tom Smith's mad scientist dancing, Chris Urbanowicz's commanding guitars, Russell Leetch's body shaking bass, Ed Lay's frantic drumming. This is a band that crept up on me and demanded that I hand myself over. And the song "A Thousand Pieces" is the closest they've come to replicating that live ferocity. This song postively snarls determination - its a sort of war cry for love and loving and wanting to be loved - when Tom howls "don't pick up the pieces" I can feel my whole being burst into a thousand billion pieces. It's about reaching out, it's about trying and it's sort of almost kind of a second "Bullets" for me, which is my favourite song ever. It's the machine gun guitars, the way the song is so anthem-esque that I just want to see them play it live and watch people's faces be filled with wonder. (Sorry, I'm gushing.)

Faux Hoax - Your Friends Will Carry You Home
I don't know anything about this band, except that I love this song and it's James Joyce-like stream of consciousness style. I love the quiet bassline. I love the shoutyspoken lyrics. I love the write up it got on "Said The Gramaphone" which has much better writers on it than I could ever hope to be. But most of all, I love the imagery that this song presents - that of my friends doing what they always do - getting my sorry arse out of trouble.


There, apologies for the gushing and complete lack of musical professionalism that I used to display. I sort of prefer writing about things I love. Which is why the new PATD song is still unlistened and unopened in my inbox, along with a shitload of other stuff by boys with pretentious haircuts.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

these walls will come down if i tell them to.

The attacks of the Blue Meanies just keep coming.

until things improve:

1. What are your current obsessions?
The 1940s (the fashion, the shift from war-time to peace to cold war), Merlin (the television show and the books by TH White) sewing my own skirts in the morning to wear in the evening, dreaming about how to redecorate my room as it seems i'll never be able to move out and be an independent adult, books by the irish.
2. List three things you must do.
- have my spanielravaged blue shoes repaired
- organise a folio of my 'best' writing
- attack the reading list for this semester's english course
3. What do you see outside your window?
dark dark storm clouds and a winterstripped jacaranda.
4. What is your favorite colour?
Red and blue. Preferably red lipstick and blue smarties.
5. Your weakness?
Pimms and not speaking up when I should.
6. Which animal would you be?
A grumpy grizzly bear that roars all night and sleeps all day and is suprisingly nice to children
7. What would you like to learn to do?
Swing dance, speak German and play the jazz trumpet. so that I could go to Berlin and do all three at once.
8. What do you never want to happen in life?
I never want to suffer through another accounting lecture.
9. What is on your bedside table?
A precarious tower of books, my glasses, a packet of chewing gum, my cache of tablets, hair elastics and my ipod.
10. What's the last thing you've bought?
Casablanca on DVD and a hot curl roller set.
11. What's something that you want to buy?
That fabulous little 1940s suit on etsy. That book about Elephants that I saw the other day, or some vintage bowties to wear as hair clips. A popcorn machine. Colourful mixing bowls.
12. What's your favorite childrens book?
The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, The Hobbit, Anne of Green Gables, David Copperfield, The Three Musketeers (I was a precocious voracious reader as a child. They gave me The Handmaiden's Tale by Atwood when I was in year 6. It put me off children for life)
13. Who do you want to meet in person?
Roddy Woomble from Idlewild, or Fyfe Dangerfield from Guillemots. I think our conversations would be awesome and rambling.
14. What did you want to be as a child?
A success.
15. What did you dream of last night?
I dreamt that I was stuck inside the song "Tiger Tiger' by Bishop Allen, and that everyone I knew was imitating the action of the tiger.
16. Do you prefer day or night?
The space between afternoon tea and supper.
17. What's your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet?
At the moment? My blue lace gress from Glasgow, or my red french maid skirt.
18. What's your plan for tomorrow?
Play with my quartet in the morning (my cello has been fixed! yay!), wander to the MCA, try to read some James Joyce, learn how to use my new hot rollers.
19. If you were going on a long trip (you don't know where you're going), which 10 things out of your wardrobe would you take with you?

My blue coat, my glasgow dress, my wednesday adams dress. my boyfriendbuttonup shirt, my faithful black top, black/blue stockings, my bluethriftstorefabric skirt, my deadbambi skirt, clean underwear and my black flats.
20. What would you like to have in your hand right now?
Lots of strawberries, or a kitten.
21. What is your must have at the moment?
Red Lipstick. It brightens up everyone's day, according to the boy who complimented me in JBHIFI.
22. What's your favorite tea flavour?
Lapsang Souchong or Peppermint
23. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
The Lakes of Alberta in Canada
24. What colour is the sky where you are?
Very grey, with streaks of sunset peaking through.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sacre Bleu

I've been feeling blue recently, because it seems like I can't put a foot right. So today I had a blue day; and wore a blue skirt, blue shirt, blue scarf, blue stockings and blue coat. I would have worn my blue shoes, but they were destroyed in an act of CockerSpanielTerrorism. I took a photo, but my hair is giving me grief at the moment (not to mention my skin. eurgh.)

If I thought wearing blue would improve my mood, I was quickly proved wrong. So after two hours in Newtown (which is nowhere near as cool as it likes to think these days) I stomped home and resolved to move to outer space where, I'm presuming, I won't have to deal with pedestrians stopping in the middle of the street, or people asking me for money, or bloody strollers. Just because you own a baby and a stroller does not make you the Aston Martin of the sidewalk.

This was a reaffirmation of a thought I had on Sunday, when my brother and I went to Rozelle Market. After I bought a lovely little hat, we then dodged strollers, toddlers, overly pregnant women and a CAT ON A LEAD (???) to get to a patisserie that I had read about and wanted to investigate.

The investigation concluded that while Adriano Zumbo's patisserie is teenytiny, and that you wouldn't have been able to swing that poor cat we saw that was ON A LEAD, our purchase of 18 Macaron's was possibly the best food choice I had made in ages. Even if the girl behind the counter looked at me oddly when I royally proclaimed "oh, two of each flavour please"

The green ones, Pistachio flavoured, were my favourites. And the peanut butter. And the mandarin. And the glitteryone. I now have to learn the bicycle route to Balmain from my place, so that I can justify buying many more Macarons. I should just learn to make them, but I suspect it will involve serious amounts of washing up, and that I can not abide. I hate washing up almost as much as I hate, well, everything else, let's be honest. So cycling to Balmain it is. I could get the bus, but cycling means opportunities to alarm people with strollers.

Because the weather has been so gross here in Sydney, I've been getting a lot of reading done. I tore my way through Mallory's La Morte De Arthur 1 & 2, mostly so that I could shout at the television when Merlin was on. And then I reread The Annotated Alice by C.S.Lewis, which is the sort of overly detailed thing that someone as easily distracted as me loves. I found our old copy of The Once and Future King by T.H. White, and devoured that in fits of giggles on the train (and then watched more Merlin). Now I'm alternating The Crimson Petal and The White by Michael Faber, (which is wickedly funny, clever and raunchy) with Paris to the Moon by Adrian Gopnik. This book has become my morning coffee book.

Full of lovely stories of an American raising his son in Paris, this book is love letters to Paris, and insight into why so many people fall in love with France. If you can get hold of this one, do. It's lovely.

So what happens when I'm not indulging in pastries, or scowling at things, or reading? Well, I'm quite often to be found napping. I find that this pastime keeps me out of trouble, keeps me from dwelling on the petty things that tend to send me into dramatics. Although I noticed that recently my hands have been so very very very sore. I worked out why when I woke up in the middle of the night to find that my hands were clenched into fists. Presumably I have taken to doing this incase of nighttime warfare. I don't know. My father said "that tells you everything we need to know about you, Madeleine."

In response I scowled over my book, crammed a pastry into my mouth and went to have a nap.