Monday, 9 March 2009

a poem about being ill and alone in the house aaaaall day.

3p.m creeps in through the cracks
dust crashes
into surfaces, and waits
for movement to stir it.

I step from room
to room
and marvel at the pressure
changing in my ears.

Items left behind
Coat sprawls over armchair
and waits
for arms to claim it.

High ceiling, broken-legged chairs
both equate to
naked lightbulbs.

Dirty kitchen waits like a
pavement hit
to the face;
it might happen.

Open the fridge door
stare at its insides-
three jars of maionnaise;
no milk.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

a new life in a secondhand coat

As I hurtle towards my dissertation deadline like a fucked microlite towards the hills, and the recession beckons imminent graduates into it's dead-end embrace, one thought gives me hope. My future is secure. This is a girl in love, and in love with her own self-conscious naive optimism. Of course it doesn't matter that both Keir and I are very likely to hit the breadline as soon as my final loan goes. Of course we will be fine. Of course, because we have tha powah of lo-ove. We will saddle it up and ride it off into the sunset. Me, Keir and tha powah of lo-ove, making our fortune in a wilderness of unenployment, poverty and toil....
This year will be a test of our mettle. But I am confident we will be fine.

We are going to live on charity shops.

Charity shops for plates and mugs, clothes, kettles and ironing board covers. Charity shops for trinkets, books, coats, curtains. Charity shops. And freecycle, and ebay, and maybe a jumble sale or two. Secondhand life and all the riches it has to offer, as long as you have 50p. Of course we couldn't live entirely this way. Consumables must be new by definition. But I reckon people don't go to charity shops enough. An article in the paper recently predicted that in a few years, mending and making do will be thrown in the history bag, along with glass milk bottles and Sesame Street (my predictions, not theirs). Lets not be wasteful, chaps.

Monday, 2 February 2009


Bloody, miserable, cruel snow. I love it, but today it conspires against me. Yesterday I spent all day teaching mum how to copy and paste on a computer. Today I just want to get out of the house, but I cannot. The snow has stopped the busses from running. There is no escape. So, it's monty python dvd's, tea and vegetable soup today. If things continue like this tomorrow then I will be stranded in Dorset until the busses and trains allow me to return to Derby.
My hankering to do some knitting has worsened since my return to England. Mum's near phobia of clutter means that she has chucked all her balls of wool away. I want wool. I cant go into town. I want to knit Keir a jumper to warm his cockles when he returns, because I miss him and knitting is cosy and good to do while watching monty python dvds and drinking tea.
Ahhh, I miss Australia.

Nying nying nying nying-nying nying!

Hello England, god how I hate you now.

I left Will and Helen tearfully. They have been so good to us and shown us so many wonderful things, and been brilliantly fun company too. Keir and I are already entertaining the idea of returning in a couple of years to bother them some more :) this time with driving licences (at least one anyway).

We spent my last couple of days in Sydney poking koalas and kangaroos and cockies in a koala park, and snorkelling at clovely bay, one of the best snorkelling spots in sydney. It's sheltered and calm, and the fish are plentiful and friendly. The highlights were poking strange and foreign (potentially poisonous) squishy rockpool things, and plucking up the courage to swim out into the deeper water to meet the local blue groper fish. He was lovely- almost 2ft long, flanked by smaller fish that fed in the clouds of debris he dug up from the bottom as he grazed away. He had massive blue lips and a smiley looking face, so I didnt panic too much when he came straight towards me. Other divers were swimming down to try and touch him.
I left Keir at Sydney airport after failing to not cry (I fought hard not to cry in front of the immigration woman), and subsequently spent most of the first flight getting teary eyed every time some sad music came on my ipod, or someone in a film died of cancer.

Beijing airport is the loneliest place in the world when it's 5.30am and you look homeless, have no money and have six hours to kill. You cant just buy a sandwich and sneak off somewhere to eat alone. Nowhere sells sandwiches. Or snacks. You have to go and sit in a resteraunt or cafe and be scrutinized by hundreds of chinese people. I was glad to get back on the plane, at least until seven hours in when the air con was just redistributing farts and I had watched every film that wasnt Troy or The Simpsons movie (again), including a chinese comedy which featured as it's leading comic character a cross eyed villan who couldnt do martial arts and had bowel trouble. Amazing.
So thus concludes my astounding adventures in Australialand- I've had the best time of my life, and it pains me deeply to come home again, but I have unfinished business to attend to. That is, as soon as the snow stops.

Friday, 23 January 2009

The Great Ocean Road, and finally some bits about Rawson

In the company of Will and Helen and Keir and Jack, I have experienced the following:

* Wallhalla, a tiny mining town, now mostly uninhabited except for a few happy campers and a smattering of holiday homes. Keir and I almost got lost on a walk that is apparently impossible to get wrong. Near fail.
* Feeding wild parrots by hand every morning, and befriending large flocks of cockatoos and galahs. Cockies are great, they are real clowns. Specially when they put their silly hats on.
* River swimming, rock diving and rope-swing spazzing into the water. Also a bit of snorkelling but I got the heebie jeebies doing it in murky river water (I was convinced there be monsters)
* Swatting shitloads of march flies.
* Spotting a tiger snake (they're nasty)
* 4WD riding through a river and down the bumpiest, steepest dirt track ever.

* Kayaking in the surf. Almost being killed by kayak in the hands of Keir (he didnt mean to). Suffering several bumps and bruises as result of kayaking, including a smack to the head after falling out on a big wave.
* Bodyboarding with success. Resulting injuries included bruised ribs and friction burns, and a very nasty raw blister on my foot (damn surf shoes)
* Rockpool pokery. I found seastars in many colours and sizes, sea anenomes which I duly poked, and a luminous orange sea sponge, among other things.
* 'Fossicking' for shells. Beachcombing, in other words.
* Koala spotting in eucalypt forests. We saw loads. They are very cute, and slow and sleepy. They are my new favourite animal and I am determined to have snuggled one by the time I fly home.
* We saw an echidna crossing the road. Insert joke here.
* Walking through rainforest.
* A proper reet good barby with some of Will and Helens mates. There was steak, and king prawns, and baked bananas with chocolate and ice cream and beer and, and, and......
* Visiting the Twelve Aplostles. Well, the ones that are left anyway. It's a pretty sight, that bit of coast.
* (EVENTUALLY) learned how to play the card game 500, after much grumping and holding back of flappy girly emotion.
We are now back in Cheltenham, and off to Summers later today for a couple of nights. My cousin Adrian works at a bar near there so we are going to see him for a few bevvies, and the beach there is home to a pod of dolphins which, in the early morning or late evening and if we are very lucky, we might be able to swim with. There is a pier a bit further along the coast where we can go snorkelling for seahorses. Woop!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Another recap

Finally it is time to recap.
I've been bored in Sydney, staying in Glebe village which is known as a 'bohemian travellers retreat'- of course, the minute the word 'bohemian' gets slapped in there, it conjures all sorts of disgusting images of tanned european backpackers languishing on beanbags in chai cafes. Not far off. Perhaps it is envy that causes my distain, those people clearly have a lot more money to chuck at that endless road of thai resteraunts and quirky cafes and eco shops and feminist secondhand bookstores, and actually it is a very nice place. Especially compared to the mental Sydney central, which could be mistaken for Beijing if you are going on the chinese to western faces ratio. which is about 100:1.
In Sydney I have:
* hand fed a turkeyheron (real name, sacred ibis)
* seen in New Year
* gawped at the opera house and harbour bridge
* visited the Rocks market and Glebe market
* done lots of swimming in a salty swimming pool
* been dashed against the sands at Coogee beach
* met a really bloody huge stick insect
* been round the wildlife centre and the aquarium, and met a Dugong (sea cow) and many other fishy things

The flight from Sydney to Melbourne was relatively pain free except for the HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN on board, who invariably all wanted food/drink/to get off/to see daddy/to generally piss me and Keir off by kicking seats and snapping seatbelts. We are not having kids. A puppy will do just fine, and be far less irritating.
We met Soph and Gem in Melbourne and blagged free entry to the melbourne museum, cos we're students innit. We learned about the human reproductive system by looking at actual dessicated preserved testicle tubes and penises and vaginas which made Keir very upset. The natural history bit was easier on the eye, with wonderful aquatic specimins including a picture of a blobfish, which looks like a sad old man with a bulbous nose.
Oh, and we went geocaching with the girls- it's fun! This one was stuck with a magnet under a statue thing in the park.
Melbourne is a twee/secondhand/indie haven. We came across little cafes and pubs decked out with old rock and roll pictures and higgledy piggledy furniture, advertising live bands despite the seemingly impossible size inside. Today we came across a secondhand bookshop that sold Playboy mags from the 70's. I've got one for the amusing articles and classy porn film reviews, as well as the manly manly cigarette adverts. We stumbled on the Lost and Found market too, during a hangover/geocahe fail day, a three floored building chock full of old stuff, relabeled 'vintage' and sold on at well above charity shop prices, much to my annoyance. Inside it looks like the mother of all jumble sales, except everything is desireable on one level or another. I spent far too long drooling over old bicycles, typewriters and cabinets full of costume jewellery and old cameras. I do love old things.
I will get around to posting about my adventures in the wilderness soon, tomorrow we are setting off on the great ocean road, and I will be off the radar for another week or so. I will finish this off when I return. x
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Wednesday, 14 January 2009


We have returned from the bushy mountains. I don't have time to recap as yet, but I will do so soon, prhaps while Keir and the gals explore the exciting world of Neighbours on friday. x
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