Tuesday, 27 November 2012

#fmsphotoadaynovember 8. something you do every day

no photo for this one: fallen off the instagramwagon a little bit, and in fact the blogging wagon, again. but don't worry & never fear, for i'm on it.

something i do every day is to lament the general lack of interest of my creative brain in stuff and things. i've loved writing blogs here over the past few years, and i just don't seem to be channeling that need to communicate and create, to write things that make me feel less alone in the world. i wonder, is it working full time? is it having my boyfriend here to tell all my things to, whenever i feel the need? i do find joy in works, in that i love to reflect upon the things i know, and the parts of my life, and the spaces all around, where other things might be or have been.

more to the point, something i do every day is to lament my lack of communication with my global family, the loves of my life who are scattered here there and about the place. i've started writing letters, and i think that i can be happy with that as a start. sending little pieces of homemade hand-written love across the world.

this is another thing i do every day:

#fmsphotoadaynovember 6. a favourite thing

i am well aware that it's a little bit gross to post a picture of your boyfriend as your favourite thing. i mean, what am i, a teenager? what's next, those nonsense sums you do to work out how compatible you are with someone else as a percentage? don't i know boys have boy germs?

having a boyfriend, or a partner (as the grownups call it) is one of those funny things in life. i've had a few different ones so far, and a list of a great many who i'd have liked to call my boyfriend. after my last one didn't work out, i decided to settle into singledom in whistler, a place where (i believed) relationships based on love and mutual respect could not flourish, unless you are kate and phill, or mark and lisa.

actually, more relationships happen than you'd expect, but there's also (and excuse my bluntness here) plenty of whoring about. an excess of endorphins, alcohol and party drugs, combined with a general sense that nothing that happens in a whistler season is applicable in the real world, leads to many many walks of shame.

i barely ever dabbled in walks of shame myself. i instead fell in love with the snow, and the place, and the lifestyle filled with friends and extreme sport activities. wholesome stuff, you know? i sat back and appreciated the cuteness of boys in outerwear and toques (for boys they all were), did whatever i wanted nearly all of the time, and liked the freedom of it. no walks of shame, just tired and slightly drunk walks home from the hill or the bar or a potluck dinner, filled with shiny joy at falling snow and at the good in simple things of life.

the happy thing that happened next was that a person came along who i really quite liked, who for some reason also seemed to be quite liking me. and the very best part was that i still got to do all the fun stuff that i liked, without compromising my freedom or my friends or my energy and space. the second-best part was that he laughs at my jokes. if they're funny, anyways.

we had a lovely summer, followed by a tough winter when it became clear that due to my ankle injury i would not be one half of the most awesome snowboarding couple of all time. that was a struggle and somewhat of a black mark, only in the way of it necessitating the painful readjustment of expectations. not always so good at change, me, but i beg my humanity as an excuse there.

there were other bumps, like his inability to procure another visa for Canada; the making and breaking of plans, leaps of faith where people put others on planes not knowing when they'd get to see them again... just the regular stuff people do when they're in love and live in different countries.

anyway, not to spoil the whole story for you or nothin', but he's here now, in my house and my proximity, and my arms and my thoughts and all the places. i'm happy in a way that (mostly) makes allowances for the fact we've never lived together before and both have quite the propensity for moods, of all different sorts. true to form, i try to make him think what i think, and he just thinks what he wants to think; i keep trying to make jokes he'll laugh at and he keeps only laughing at the ones he actually thinks are funny; i keep forgetting my toothbrush when we go places and he keeps packing it for me; i keep making plans and he keeps up with me.

he really is a favourite thing, my person. and i still like him, and he still likes me, which i think is something of an accomplishment. and that is all i have to say for now about one of my favourite things.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

#fmsphotoadaynovember 5. 5 o'clock

this is boolominbah. it is an old building. it used to be a private residence, but since then it has been a functioning part of the university where i currently work, UNE. it is divided up into offices and special rooms for meetings, and a place to eat (that is varying degrees of tasty), and to get coffee.

i've been reading stories about it which have come across my path while working on a project, and the one that keeps striking me is that most of the university, in its first incarnation as New England University College (from 1938 to 1954 in fact), fitted into this one building. Granted, it is a big building, but students lived, ate, studied and hung out here. How did they all fit in??

Another element that interests me is its life as a private residence. i imagine servants and dressing up for dinner and etiquette in manner of Downton Abbey.

these are just some of the things i think about as i walk past this building every afternoon at 5 o'clock. one day i might make jennifer take me on a heritage tour. then i would definitely have more to share.

#fmsphotoadaynovember 4. TV

i know, it's not a tv. i know that.

i've watched a lot of things in the past few years. i used to be a reader, and a writer, and that's what i want to be again. so i'm avoiding TV. not quite in the way you might attempt to avoid someone in the supermarket (never works, by the way). more in a way you might aim to avoid a bakery if you were trying not to eat wheat anymore.

the books above are not at all high-brow. i know this. these are the books you might read on holiday, or on sunday night when you need something mindless before you go to sleep. Miranda's Big Mistake, and Jill Mansell in general, was introduced to me by ellie, and i tell you, they are simply delicious. over the years i believe i've read them all. they have a reliable plot, they inevitably have one character who is a curvy size 14, completely happy with her body, and drives all the men wild. they have a set up where the main female character meets the man she will eventually end up with in some scenario where they are enemies, or have a falling out, or some such. but as the book progresses, they gradually come around to the realisation that they love each other. the side plots are equally concerned with those girls getting their man too, and i tell you, they're just wonderful.

i'm working up to more impressive books. i think i'll read some fantasy next, on my way to literary merit.

#fmsphotoadaynovember 3. breakfast

i don't have so much to say about this one, except to note that the perfect breakfast has many different elements to it. in my humble opinion the most important element, the part that ties everything together, is a soft to medium poached egg. you cut it open and watch the yolk ooze everywhere. then you mop it up with toast, or bacon, or mushrooms.

this photograph is of my birthday breakfast this year, in gloucester NSW, on the way back from seeing Mumford & Sons (amongst many talented others) at their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover show in Dungog.

I woke up, and my lovely was laying there next to me, and the weather had cooled off, and then we got coffee, and then we drove to gloucester for breakfast. and it was nice.

#fmsphotoadaynovember 2. colour (coffee)

i have this sort of dependent relationship with coffee. sporadically i give it up, having become alarmed by my dependence, by the sometimes unreasonable expectations i have of the relationship, and also sometimes it's because i've read some sort of literature that convinces me it's killing my body very slowly from the inside. quite separate to that, announcing you've given up coffee always elicits some sort of reaction, whether it's horror, puzzlement, or on some rare occasions, you get someone who supports your choice (someone who has clearly been reading the same things you've been reading. someone who likes to rant in tones of superiority about health benefits).

my point being that coffee is one of the enduring loves of my life. my favourite coffee comes from melbourne, where the italian influence in carlton (which backs onto University of Melbourne, that place i went once) makes everyone a coffee conniseur, with an opinion on everything. i knew a guy who took a coffee course once, whos family started a cafe, and this apparently made him an expert on coffee. what a drag! everywhere we went together, my eyes would be rolling back in my head with the joy of the delicious coffee and he would, without fault, find some element to criticise. every. single. time. i think there were 2 cafes where he approved of the coffee, and one of those was his sister's place.

we're not friends anymore, but rest assured the fall-out was not only about coffee.

my favourite coffee drinking times have been worldwide. annica made a damn good coffee in whistler, and always seemed to have a sixth sense about when i really needed one. in highschool, kat and i used to drink too much coffee at caffiends in the mall. height of cool = a big betty blue sized mug of milky coffee.and hanging out outside, where people from other schools could watch and be watched. i drank a solid amount of coffee at uni, between castros kiosk, where the lovely opperman girls both worked at the time, and a cafe on lygon st in carlton, name of which has been lost to me (but i can tell you exactly how to get there).

i've had long cups of coffee on my own in creekside starbucks, cursing my ankle and trying not to cry about missing pow days, i've had coffee on the go, rushing to work or a lecture, i've had coffees with friends in need of a chat, i've covered all the problems of the feminist world over several lattes (yep, it takes several). i've had awkward coffees, when you're relived it's an easy temperature to drink and run.i've had coffees right before awful, sad and tearful goodbyes to loved ones. i've had bottomless coffee from southside diner in whistler, and let me tell you, that will wire you right up.

i often think about the taste and the smell, but the colour of coffee is one of those lovely ones, a warm and comforting colour. there is nothing so reassuring as a good cup of coffee.

the end.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

#fmsphotoadaynovember 1. something beginning with 'c'

clouds persist. the australian girl inside me, no matter how i squash her, waits and looks for clouds in the sky. a day of fluffy white clouds, a thunderstorm approaching, or wisps spread sparingly across the sky.

i learned about clouds early. i even learned their names, although now that knowledge has fallen away for other things to slot into order. between growing up on a farm and being dragged to dusty gliding competitions, i learned to revere and despise them for the happiness they offered, or took away.

i often wonder how i spent my days before i had things to worry about (probably until i was 10 or 11), but i suspect that there was some green grass, a shady spot, and a pillow to lay my head so i could watch the clouds go by. and a book. always a book.

there are photographs of us in year 12 on our final day of highschool, dressed in full uniform (as i rarely was), laying on our backs in the park, giggling with the sensation of equal parts joy and fear. i imagine us laying there, looking upwards with heads too full to notice fluffy white, set on bright blue.

and now, every time i drive home in time to catch the sunset, i stop to take a picture of the light caught by those tiny water particles, the ones that reflect the oranges and pinks. my collection of cloud photos is growing in size, in case there comes a day when i leave all this and go somewhere without clouds.

a daily challenge: november

i'm keen to start writing again, i just don't know where to start, having both not enough and too much inspiration. a good friend jenny suggested i use fatmumslim's 'photo a day' (of instagram fame) as my prompt, an idea borrowed from another blogger. and it can't hurt, right?

so i'll still be playing along on instagram, but the plan is to also be playing here- to re-post the photo, along with some words. i might write prose, or a poem, or a dot-point list. the only rule is to write something every day. my posts my not go up daily, as on the weekends i have desires and tendencies for escaping to mum's, where the internet is reminiscent of dial-up and therefore wears at my generation Y patience.

here's the list. wish me luck.