Friday, October 29, 2010

Daybook #5

Outside my window, it's the perfect picture of what I want the entire world to be like, all year round (with occasional exceptional thunderstorm). The sky is blue and cloudless, the sun is warming, but a fresh, cool breeze is floating in off the bay. I'm loving it.

I have been listening to Kasey Chambers' Carnival and -- in defence of my own loud proclamations -- it really doesn't feel like country music. I'm especially intrigued by how much of the album is devoted to thoughts about sin, redemption, salvation, and saviours.

I have been wearing
lots of flowy cotton dresses, with gladiator sandals.

I am thankful that I got to chat to my cousin Annie, via Skype, all the way over in Canada. I love you, internet.

I am pondering the truth that sometimes I think a little too much about unnecessary things. I look for patterns in pretty much everything, and sometimes things just are. God has a plan; I don't necessarily need to know the minutiae of that plan.

I am reading Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. Some of you might be saying "Still?" because I'm sure I've mentioned it before. But somehow it got lost in my pile of current reading, and starting back into it is like a happy discovery. It's such a great work for addressing the bold, bare details of Christian theology.

I am thinking about writing poems. This happens whenever I receive the latest issue of Poetry magazine. Also, I am thinking about $1.2 million mansions. I kid you not.

I am creating small bits of nonsense with paint and paper.

I am hoping and praying that I will fear less and trust more.

One of my favourite things is talking to my niece and nephew on the telephone. 3-year-old niece told me today that she's "a nutcase and a funny bunny." Gold.

A picture thought I'm sharing is actually three, if you noticed. The little berry is one I found when I went out for a walk just before sunset (less romantically, I bear a number of mozzie bites as evidence). The second one is of some files I decorated for storing uni stuff. (I love paper. I love paints. I love glue. I will probably never outgrow this.) And the third is of a beautiful card I received in the mail today. It made me smiley -- thank you, Abbie!

* * * * *


Rachael -- we had a tea set like that, too (to be perfectly honest, it was Andrea's, but I think we were all kind of covetous of it).

Rebecca -- YES! If they were patchwork fabrics, I could legitimately cuddle up to sleep with them.

Katie -- the idea of framing them as is came to me, too! Thank you for making me feel like this idea is actually legitimate, and not just the crazed delusions of a paper addict.

Samantha R -- another paper-lover!

Elizabeth Fay -- I can see you wearing a fifties-style dress made up in similar fabrics to those papers :).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Saturday Inspiration #4 (on Wednesday*)

Sometimes, when I am in a museum or gallery, I get this feeling that it isn't enough to simply look at the the painting, or the sculpture, or the piece of ancient pottery. I want to talk to the person who made the artwork, or watch them drawing, or simply pick the thing up and examine it from every angle, myself, with my own hands.

That's kind of how I feel when I look at these pictures I took just now. Seeing them here, flat and two-dimensionally captured by my less-than-amazing photography, you have no idea how gorgeous these Japanese papers are. A friend gave them to me in a little bundle for my birthday, and they are individual works of art -- the kind of art you want to pick up and interact with, to feel the texture of the paper, to look at the seeping of the inks through the fibres, to hold up to the light. These papers are -- terrifyingly -- almost too pretty to use.

I wish there was some way I could wear them instead.

*I make the rules, I can break the rules... I guess?

* * * * *


Samantha -- I am exactly the same! I strongly believe that smaller parties are the nicest kind.

Katie -- squeeing is not only welcome, but outright encouraged around here. My blog is a safe place for squee.

Mitanika -- yeah, for some reason, clean-up-the-house parties are the loneliest kind ;).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend XXVII :: spring parties

It was the great weekend of partydom.* Saturday morning there was a bridal shower for a soon-to-be-married friend. Saturday evening there was an engagement party for a beaming couple getting hitched next year. Sunday afternoon there was a birthday party for a very cool four-year-old girl. And Sunday night there was a massive clean-up-the-house party at my place (a party of one which calling a party -- even though it's actually not a party -- doesn't make any more fun).

These parties reminded me of the excellence of cake and of good company. They also reminded me that, whether four and just a small person, or grown and soon to be married, most girls will always love flowers and being a princess for the day.

*Sadly, the word partydom looks a lot like martyrdom. Please don't make that correlation.

* * * * *


Elizabeth Fay -- <3 <3 <3

Simplythis -- and I'm glad you were a part of my day. Roll on America Day! ;)

Mothercarey -- the kids did like the sushi, yes. Although J kept wanting to try the "sparkly" one -- the orange caviar -- and was convinced that one looked good :). I'm not sure what James was reading in those pictures; I should've asked.

Asea -- yes! I'm busy formulating school-related thoughts :). Oh, and thank you for your email -- will reply soon. I was just concerned I didn't have your current email address, but apparently I did :).

Katie -- the cuteness was quite incredible. I've seen the plover chicks every day since then, and they're already losing some of their fluffy. Nooo!

Rebecca Simon -- :D

Samantha -- it truly was a lovely day! The chicks are plovers; so adorable.

Bohoharri -- yay! It made me so happy to get your comment! I'm having a facebook break to keep me focussed and cut down on emails but I'll be back, I promise. And I will be email you about WA but looks like you'll be back by the time I get there, yipppee!

Chantel -- oh, it's one roomy handbag.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A day in my life

* * * * *


Mothercarey -- always the same :).

Asea -- your life is insanely busy!! I hope your birthday was awesome. Did my email get to you okay? I'm scared I don't have your current address. Oh, and I'll answer your school questions in a post specially for you.

Katie -- I'm kind of scared at how close Christmas is. :|

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chocolate Santa says hello...

...while he still has a face.

I've composed several posts in my head since Monday, but lately my evenings are as full as my days, and tonight -- Thursday is my official buy-dinner-and-go-slow evening -- I find that my brain has switched itself off almost completely. So until the wires are warmed up for a jump-start, I'll just leave this little hello and a picture of my new friend, Chocolate Santa. My sister Lauren brought him over with a Merry Christmas! -- officially first Christmas gift of the season? I guess it's irrelevant, because he won't be around -- not in one piece, anyway -- for long.

* * * * *


Rebecca -- If only there were more than seven seasons!

Katie -- so true! Maybe those moments are all the more special because they're so rare.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Total Crackpot Day

October 20th is Big Block of Cheese Day -- or the day on which the episode of The West Wing titled 'The Crackpots and These Women' was originally aired in 1999. You'll have to watch the show yourself to find out where Big Block of Cheese Day comes from (and why Toby Ziegler calls it Throw-Open-Our-Office-Doors-To-People-Who-Want-To-Discuss-Things-We-Could-Care-Less-About Day). I'm definitely going to try and find some time on Wednesday to squeeze in a West Wing episode, in honour of a show that I'm going to actually call the best television program ever.

It's probably the most quotable show I've ever seen. It's like a novel with a wide cast of brilliant, lovable characters who all have command of snappy, intelligent dialogue yet somehow manage not to be annoying. It taught me everything I know about politics (albeit with a decidedly American bent), gave me a deep-seated understanding of the rhythm of iambic pentameter, and will continue to make me compare all real prime ministers and presidents to the completely fictional Jedidiah Bartlet, entirely to their detriment.

* * * * *


Caitlin -- thank you for the hugs and the kind words -- and yay indeed about the sovereign Writer who's got the whole story under control!

SandieT -- thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment! It's always a delight to meet WM subscribers (the final issue is literally going to press as I type).

ElizabethFay -- I just have a strong liking to you, generally and specifically.

Samantha -- it was a beautiful interlude in my day. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wind-swept bay:

Today I turned in an essay I've been bothering around with for a fortnight. Once it was done, I felt that sense of finally-at-last-and-I-should-probably-catch-up-on-other-things. But the day is grey and the air is stuffy -- and I felt fractious, like all I really wanted to do was curl up on the couch and sleep but there was no legitimate reason to. I kicked about grumpily for an hour, having found an excuse to call my mother and both my sisters -- and finally I decided I had to get out of the house.

Ostensibly, I went out to fill up the car, but I grabbed my literature readings for the week as I went, and after getting the fuel, I bought a drink and drove out the Point. I parked the car facing the bay, where the water was swirling angrily under a grey sky. It was storm water, that strange mix of brown and grey, with scrappy white where the furious ripples would leap at the mangroves and then recede, never quite getting where they wanted to go.

I wound down the windows and folded myself into the passenger seat, paper in one hand, drink in the other. The brisk collision of that damp-earth rain smell and the thick salt of ocean air made me feel more awake than I'd felt all day. I sat there with faded folk music coming low out of the car radio and rain hitting the windscreen while I watched jet skiers wrestle their machines to shore and read some of Five Children and It (yes, I get Edith Nesbit for uni homework; I know!) -- in between staring out at the water. It hit me suddenly that this was a movie moment. I don't know how else to describe them, those snippets in time where you get to slice through the fabric between your life and someone else's, and look down on things as if you were not part of it all, to -- just for the moment -- see your life for the story it really is.

For me, those moments usually only happen when something is different, when there's a little rift between the humdrum ritual of every day. It somehow provides a breathing space to actually notice. I'm always thankful whenever it does occur. It's good to be reminded that this is all a script in the hands of an amazing writer.

* * * * *


Asea -- I haven't yet had a chance to dip into the delicious archive of Russian children's literature, but I'll be sure to post an update when I do.

Katie -- absolutely yes! Me and that handbag are practically married.

Staish -- and I love you! Haven't started Route 66AD yet; you wanna read it first cos I might be a while?

Samantha -- secondhand bookstores have so much promise!

Mothercarey -- I had not noticed the sheer number of mouth-centric products! I guess mouths are important to me?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The bottomless handbag of wonder:

Some of you expressed disbelief that I could fit all that Stuff into a regular-sized handbag. But I'm here to prove to you that my bag is not -- as some of you supposed -- the size of a small semi. I've tucked that book in next to it for some perspective. No, I think it's just a very space-efficient handbag with about a trillion sections and pockets to keep things in. And let me tell you: I love this bag. I looked for one like it (and in that exact colour) for a long time and then stumbled across this one -- in an op shop in Launceston TAS, of all places. It was an Esprit creation, brand new and still in its packaging, and I took it home for ten dollars. That was at least eighteen months ago and the bag -- which goes everywhere with me -- still looks as good as new. It is quite possibly my favourite thrift store find EVER.

* * * * *


Elizabethfay -- maybe I'm addicted to breath mints? SO GOOD TO SEE YOU TODAY.

Staish -- Route 66AD is a travel journal of one guy's road trip through the most awesome sites of the ancient world. I'm excited to read it :).

Weekend XXVI

Except for the insistent presence of lectures and the necessity of essay-writing, my whole week felt kind of like a weekend. Every day there was some new happy thing lined up which tended to involve friends and coffee. It made for a busy week -- and a week in which not a lot of housework got done -- but a very happy one, especially since it helped distract me from the fact that some of my family had flown back home to WA.

So when the weekend arrived and I had nothing lined up, I really didn't mind. Housework was calling my name, anyway. But on Saturday morning I got a happy little text message from a friend: did I want to have coffee and poke through secondhand books at a bookfest? So we went and trawled through piles of pre-loved books (those are my finds above; I've since removed old library labels and cleaned them up) and then we sat in the treetops -- or what felt like it -- and marvelled at winter's little return trip and the rain and the swirling wild wind. It was so nice.

* * * * *


Samantha R -- yes, I'm a definite fan of Palmer's Cocoa Butter! I love their stuff!

Asea -- funnily enough, the hair clips are sort of "just in case" -- I rarely use them -- and the multiple chapsticks say more about my state of mind than that I actually use three different flavours; I just tend to toss stuff in without checking to see if I already have similar supplies in there ;).

Simplythis -- Oh now I really want to see what's in your bag!

Bonnie -- somehow I manage to get it all in there :).

Rebecca Simon -- yes! It's Lovely; you get a gold star! Oh, and just because you asked, I'll post a picture of my handbag. :)

Heartscribblings -- well thank you! So nice to hear from you :). And yes, the demand for handbag pictures shall be met! :D

Saturday, October 9, 2010


As a little girl, I remember being incredibly intrigued by hiding-places-for-stuff. Because this has never faded with time, I like to think -- I hope -- that it's more than just being a busybody and, rather, has something to do with the fact that people's things reveal just as much of their personalities as what they actually say or do. I've always loved browsing others' bookshelves, and was mesmerised when, as a young teenager, an older girl friend let me look through her collection of journals and sketchbooks. (Her recorded memories inspired the recording of my own for years to follow).

All of which explains why, when I saw this what's-in-my-handbag meme floating around the internet, I had to have a go. Please take part -- I'll show you what's in my handbag if you show me what's in yours (oh, and, while I basically just tipped everything out and arranged it into pictures, I've thoughtfully decided not to include scrunched up tissues and old receipts; aren't you glad?).

The contents of my handbag include:

1) tiny cosmetics purse (+ cute birdy zipper tag)
2) striped notepad (thank you Caitlin & Tegan!)
3) Nivea Strawberry Kiss lip balm
4) Perfume tube (from Abbie)
5) Elizabeth Arden perfume (Mum!)
6) Broken crystal bag gems too pretty to throw away

7) Darius Bell & the Glitter Pool by Odo Hirsch
8) Of This & Other Worlds by C.S. Lewis
9) Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson
10) A cute journal from my mum
11) Moleskine small planner, week to page
12) Pens
13) Tissues

14) Cobalt 5 gum x 2 packs
15) Burt's Bees lip balm
16) Eclipse mints
17) Palmer's Cocoa Butter moisturiser
18) More pens
19) Listerine mint strips
20) Pain relief pills

21) Small cosmetics purse
22) Compact mirror
23) Nivea shine lip balm
24) Hair clips
25) Small tweezers
26) Bobby pins
27) Combs x 2
28) Digital camera
29) Phone
30) Tupperware Shape-O keychain
31) Despicable Me ticket stub

Believe it or not, I don't carry around a suitcase. All of this fits in my everyday handbag :).

* * * * *


Simplythis -- and it's actually hard to articulate tragic moments like that in a way which expresses the sense of surprise and shock at being part of something but not downplaying the sadness of it.

Meaghan -- I didn't have goosebumps, but definitely feathers in my stomach.

Eweight -- mission accomplished!

Elizabeth Fay -- and I love you right back!

Samantha R -- so true. Good call.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Can you hear screaming?

I was only a couple of kilometres from home, sitting at a red light, when an ambulance came screaming up behind the traffic. Like a slowly-unfolding fan, the cars all slid to the side of the road and the ambulance roared through. I might have forgotten about it by the time I reached the servo if I hadn't seen the swirling lights of at least six -- possibly more -- emergency vehicles clustered around the nearby shopping mall carpark. The sun was on its way down and the flashing red and blue was like an eerie disco light show. I had terrifying thoughts of crazed gunmen.

As I filled up the car, the older lady on the bowser at my right asked me, Can you hear screaming? I paused. There was definitely some screaming -- but it didn't seem to be coming from the mall. Maybe it's from the playground? I offered -- hopefully. The woman turned and stared.

To my left, a guy in business clothes wrestled with the petrol pump, the pink personalised licence plate on his car a seemingly out-of-place detail. Do you know what's going on? he asked. I shrugged. Scary.

Inside the service station, as I paid for the fuel, a guy in butcher's garb leaned forward, nudging himself into the conversation. Do you know what happened? I asked. He nodded and pulled a face. Apparently some guy had a heart attack and drove his car into Suncorp.

It sounded too unreal to be true.

I went to get back into my car. The businessman was still wrestling with the fuel pump. The old lady hovered near. I heard what happened, I said. Apparently an old man had a heart attack and drove into the bank. The guy's eyes widened. Thanks for letting me know, he said soberly.

Then the three of us got into our cars and drove off to our respective lives, back to being strangers with no connection other than that we were in the same place at the same time, wondering. And I thought about how tragedy -- even a seemingly tiny, personal tragedy -- bonds random people in random ways.

* * * * *


Caitlin -- and much love back to you. Your party is tomorrow! Hurrah!

Rebecca Simon -- thank you, Derek. ;)

Asea -- people-watching is the best!

Rachael -- don't you just love little people?

Nan -- how lovely to receive your comments!

Meaghan -- I wish you had been there with me. Granted, though, I probably wouldn't have noticed because I'd have been too busy talking to you. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I had a friend who called it the mashed-potato hour.

She was surprised when I questioned her on its meaning. Doesn't everyone call it that? she asked. No, I told her. Turns out it was a family phrase that she'd thought to be universal. "It's that hour before dinner when the kids are tired and need a bath. Mum's cooking dinner and is frazzled because the kids are pulling at her skirt, and Dad's grumpy at the end of a long day. Once you're finally done with it, you feel like a mashed potato."

I was at the supermarket today, at mashed potato hour. It's a small store with only a few aisles, and as I entered, I heard the unmistakable thunk of kid hitting floor. It was followed by the wail of a small child more incensed with wrath against the ground than hurt for actually falling onto it. I passed the kid, a girl, and as I went by, she roared, "WHEEEEERE'S MY BAG?" Just beyond her toddled an even smaller person, a maybe-two-year-old boy, who -- in bizarre discord with the epic rats' tail hanging down the back of his neck -- was looping a tiny pink handbag over his arm. "Don't worry," said the mother, bending over the girl, "your brother picked it up for you."

At the checkout, another child was screaming, this time from a reclining position in a stroller. The girl's mother was talking far too loudly to her other daughter, who hung in the trolley seat, kicking her legs. "Claire's tired and she's hungry, so please stop talking to me and just let me get this packed quickly so we can get home." "I'm hungry, too," the girl said -- not complainingly, just matter-of-factly. Then she bent over the trolley pushbar and began making faces and chattering to the screaming child in the stroller. The crying stopped and the kid began to giggle. The more Claire's sister waved her fingers, the happier Claire became. The mother straightened, from loading the shopping. "Look what you did, darling! Thank you."

Apparently even preschoolers can make hashed browns out of mashed potato. It made me happy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ask the audience:

I'm looking for a fresh way to share pictures -- especially with my long-distance family and friends -- in a way that's closer to a blogging platform with a frequently-updated feed, and less like Flickr's more static page. This blog is really about life and faith and writing, so I don't want to pepper it with single-image posts (plus there's the fact that doing so might make me lazy and forget to actually formulate real thoughts with real words).

So: any suggestions for an alternative? Tumblr? A second blog? Something different altogether?

Your input is valued so much that I'll send you imaginary caramel-crusted donuts if you share your suggestions (the imaginary donuts are sugar-free, but they don't taste like they're sugar-free).

Weekend XXV :: in pictures

* * * * *


Simplythis -- And I think I stole the Daybook idea from Rowannrose :). YAY! I'm so happy your little blog is bouncing again!

Staish -- looking forward to our breakfast date! I need news on your life. xx

Eweight -- <3

Samantha R -- You're so right: there can be a huge blessing in online friendships. Without the internet, I would never have met some of the most amazing people! PS. You are the best commenter ever!
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