Monday, July 21, 2008

Postcard from Tasmania

I think I am in love.

With a place, mind you, not a person (although the people here do seem mighty fine, in their dashing coats and rakish scarves and beanies). It is seriously beautiful. Even the cold -- which everyone is complaining about -- is part of the charm. I have a sneaking suspicion I was born for this kind of climate. The coldness is not of the paralysing variety; in fact, it's downright invigorating and I find myself craving its freshness.

And the trees. And the old buildings. And the City Park...

We are in an apartment three stories up which looks out over dozens of uneven rooftops and chimneys, into a valley dotted with houses and sunshine, and across to the mountains. The street itself is right near the town centre, and bustles in the nice sense, lined with bare-bones trees and brick-fronted buildings that date back to forever ago. Every quarter hour, we hear the clock on the tower chime out and it's a comforting, rich sort of a sound.

Our days have been spent -- so far -- in exploring the town and the surrounds. We spent one happy afternoon in the museum and gallery (haven of inspiration!!) and another investigating myriad little stores that seem so much more fascinating than ones back home. The bakeries -- oh my! And good food here seems so extraordinarily cheap. Oh and there's a children's bookstore that fairytales are made from. It had its own castle, fairy dell, wormhole, forest room, candyland, and playhouse. I'm not kidding.

Also, people smile. Just random strangers smile at one. At first I thought maybe I had the word "Queenslander" tattooed on my forehead. Then I decided that people are just nice around here. It's very pleasant.

In moments when I can, I steal my sister's camera and take pictures so I can share some on my return. I am also writing in my journal, lots, and that's unusual and fun.

I will reply to comments when I get back, because I'm on a library computer and it's being as quirky as one expects library computers to be. Suffice to say, this is a Very Nice Trip indeed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back from the wild... for a moment

Back on home soil for a mere thirty-six hours before heading off again for many, many hours, the precise number of which I am just a bit too lazy to add up.

It's been a whirlwind five days composed of multiple hugs with multiple relatives, lots of reminiscences, and the overwhelming understanding of what it is like coming back to a place where you have a history and where everyone knows everyone else. One evening, as I lay on the familiar bed in the familiar guest room at my grandparents' place and stared up at the familiar green and tan of the fern-covered wallpaper, I wanted to take a picture. Yes, of a corner of a room. I got out of my bed and ran my fingers along the wall, looking for the place where my uncle once wrote a verse of precious scripture in biro, somewhere among the tiny scribbled declarations of young love and teen humour. And I was struck by the delightful restfulness of knowing a place and a neighbourhood inside out. Living all over the country and soaking up new experiences is a wonderful thing, but so is being rooted deep into a community.

On the long journey home, there was lots of time for reading. Normally my consumption of books is a chapter or half a chapter here and there; having a few solid hours to read (in between family convos and laughing at my dad's crazy show-off dancing-whilst-driving routine) is like a giant revolution for my brain.

I read some more of Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz and decided I would really like to be a hip and snappy American thirty-something capable of spouting brilliant reflections on life and love and faith. Then I realised there was no hope of that and instead I ought to be the best me possible and just love Jesus and people more. Which is pretty much likely to keep me busy the rest of my life.

I don't agree with all of Miller's (Donald's? Mr. Miller's?) statements but I love how his 'emergent' thinking is really just a back-to-basics look at what Jesus was and is all about. Plus, he really cracks me up. Anyone who can talk passionately about the gospel and make me laugh at the same time is super in my book.



JessieSue -- You're so sweet; thanks for your kind comments. Are you newly blogging? Yay! I'll be bookmarking your blog :).

Bethany -- we did, indeed, get to visit the cutie herself! And she's grown up so much in just two months! And thank you for the tag -- I'm honoured. Answers coming soon!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Off into the wild blue yonder

Off, off, off into the horizon, along the coast, and across the seas. That's to be my family and I over the next few weeks, and I am looking immensely forward to it. I've gotten past the part where I feel like spinning out and I am thinking now, instead, how delightful it will be to have a few weeks where the only work is making one's bed, washing up, and deciding what to do in the daylight hours. Sounds grand, if you ask me.

I had dreamed of having the funds to purchase a replacement camera (my old one having died unceremoniously and at only middle age) before we headed off, but that thought remains, alas, a dream. I will simply have to abscond with my sister's camera every now and then and take some shots to share with you on my return.

I might get to pop in a few times while away, but I'm not entirely sure and therefore I make no promises.

Instead, I will leave you with this sobering contemplation: if they say evolution is true, then why is humanity still consuming cauliflower? This ultimate and final disproving of Darwin's theory came to me tonight at the dinner table. Three guesses as to what I was eating.



Caitlin -- siblings' sayings are the best ever. If only there was time enough to record all of them!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Overheard at the dining table:

A game of Guess Who is in progress.

brother: Does your person have eyes?
mother: Ask another question, darling. They all have eyes.



Caitlin -- I know quite what you mean. Somehow those day-to-day little moments that we often forget to talk about, are actually really fascinating.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Beginning of the Adventures of Miss Inflexible Homebody

Chapter One:
In Which Our Intrepid Heroine Finds Herself With Surprisingly Itchy Feet

There once was a girl called Inflexible Homebody. She was kind of obsessed with paper, wrote multitudes of stories, liked organising things, and her desk drawers had a habit of getting filled up with Stuff. Mostly paper stuff.

She liked adventures, but particularly the sort that she read about in books, which was a good way of keeping them organised. She could, quite possibly, spend all her days enjoying such adventures. And she would have, if she had not had brothers and sisters who liked adventures of the kind found out of doors, in trees, relating to wild cows, and climbing windmills.

Inflexible Homebody's penchant for the world of words and quiet afternoons inside continued into her teen years. She might well have become a hermit if it weren't for her father's gypsying ways. As it turned out, she got to travel a lot and lived in many unique parts of Australia, which was pretty cool.

The time came when Miss Homebody was actually more of a woman than a girl. She kept following her gypsy father, and the real-life adventures consumed a lot of time. It seemed that there was always someone in some state she had once lived, who was turning twenty-one or getting married or having a baby. And so Miss Homebody ran hither and thither and quite liked it, especially if she knew it all well in advance and could be organised beforehand.

However, home is home and she loved it. On the rare weekends when she could actually be there, she thought nothing would be more wonderful that tidying out her desk drawers (which still filled quite mystically with Stuff), eating lunch late, and reading a book whilst curling on the couch.

When her family suggested having a holiday, she would say, "Life is a holiday. Why don't we stay home once in a while and just do the stuff we never get to do normally?" She was thinking of things like tidying out her desk drawers and reading a book whilst curling on a couch. Her family rarely agreed with those thoughts, however.

In fact, they poked fun at her inflexibility. The worst of it was that Miss Homebody realised their teasings was all true. But there seemed little she could do about it. After all, who can help their personality?

But then, when Miss Homebody was getting nearer being really grown up and further from being a teenager, something began to change. In the books that she read on those rare Saturday afternoons on the couch, she started to notice how wonderful all the Places in books were. Places north and south and Places where people had strange accents and homes carved out of rock and ate food they'd taken from the blue seas and the green mountains.

Curiously enough, Miss Homebody began to feel drawn towards the idea of seeing these far-off Places someday. At first, she wondered if she were quite sane. Miss Homebody, with itchy feet? It was impossible!

But no, the feelings remained, and when friends and family began to travel to these far-off Places, Miss Homebody sat drinking in their tales and dreaming of seeing these Places for herself. It was wonderful -- and very very curious.

So now Miss Homebody finds herself with a new thirst she never imagined she'd feel -- a desire to see wonderful Places, someday. She doesn't know if she ever will see those Places, and if she does, the time is probably far, far away. There would have to be miracles before it all happened.

Chapter Two remains to be written. But for now, it is enough (and simply remarkable) that Miss Inflexible Homebody has itchy feet and dreams of Places.



Bethany -- Thank you! Wasn't the portrait of Dad the cutest?

Suzanne -- ha ha! Thank you! Inspiration from little bros is the best :).

Simplythis -- what a fun idea! I want to paint a wall right now, thanks to you.

Caitlin -- Oh you noticed its disappearance :). I had thought maybe no one really wanted a moment-by-moment account of my days so I whisked it away. But I'll put the micro-blog back just for you!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Illustration Friday: fierce

It's been a long time since I picked up paints or pencils or anything. This afternoon, restless, I felt inspired to begin again. I didn't know where to start so I found this week's Illo Friday prompt (spot the prompt word!) and dug in.

My littlest brother, who is ten years old and has down syndrome, has been drawing these wonderful piratey people lately. The drawings are actually of my dad, who is more gypsy than pirate, but the teeth have something wondrously piratical about them:

It's the teeth that inspired me with my little painting. I wanted to use teeth like that somewhere! And what could be more fierce than a pirate awakened from his beauty sleep? Rarr!

Materials used: acrylic paints, metallic paints (you can't see clearly, but the cutlass is shimmery gold), and a good old Sharpie.



Princess-mia -- sadly they weren't at the function, so I have nobody else's wonderful remembrances to borrow!

Harriet -- Thank you my dear! I can't wait for you to immerse yourself back into the world of blogging. I want to here everything.

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