December 31, 2013


I am so exhausted.  I have downloaded an iPhone app. that promises to make a decent runner out of a couch potato like me, in just 8 weeks.  I have never been a runner, I'm much happier in the water.  If you'd like to picture me "running", imagine a pear-shaped (not designed for running people!) woman with an angry bright red face, bitterly shuffling alongside a man who springs along like a gazelle and has to keep jogging in circles to fill in time while his wife catches up.  Yesterday Alex and I went for our first jogwalk under the guidance of iPhone.  It was hellish.  I ate a pizza with jalapenos on it just before our jogwalk and it didn't help matters.  My thighs are in total shock.

The other reason that I feel exhausted is that it has been a very intense year at work.  Not just for me, but for all of the women who I work with.  And when you get to the end of a year like this and finally pause, your body and mind finally experience all of the exhaustion and stress that's been kept at bay so that you can keep doing what you need to do.  I absolutely love my work in family violence though. Exhaustion is an unavoidable consequence of rattling the cage for a living.

Here are a few pictures of life lately.  

A muggy grey sky.

A dog's domain.

A picnic in the bush with a friend.

Where we found this old beauty.

Lots of gravitating towards the lake.

Beer and almonds on a hot day in Collingwood.

This is some amazing graffiti that we discovered in a very unassuming suburban alleyway in Ballarat. It's amazing because the Dirty Three are phenomenal and I consider Warren Ellis' violin to be the most beautiful I have ever heard.  The last time that I saw the Dirty Three, they played at about midnight at the Meredith Music Festival.  After a rainy and dreary night, the clouds suddenly parted to reveal the moon and listening to them play in that place was like a spiritual experience.  Alex saw them at the same festival years before, playing with a lightning storm crashing around behind them.  Dear lord.

Here's an old song by the Dirty Three.  They are best enjoyed loud and quite drunk and if possible under the stars.

This was a muggy day sitting on the boardwalk at St Kilda, watching buff guys sans shirt endlessly parade past.

This was Christmas Eve after we did some tequila shots and decided to trawl for Christmas lights.  Have you ever noticed how people in poorer suburbs tend to put more effort in?

There are lots of baby swans at the lake at the moment.  They're very cute.  There's also trash.

And finally, here's some music that I've been listening to lately.  Flume is new to me, but the others are old favourites.

Sarah Blasko is a woman who I love very very much.  Her music is beautiful and if you ever have a chance to see her play live, please do.  None of the recordings do justice to her plucky, funny, striving and earnest self.

Augie March are one of my favourite bands.  Their album Sunset Studies was released in 2000 and I never fail to be moved when I listen to it.  This song isn't from that album, because they weren't that successful at the time.  It's beautiful nonetheless.  Glenn Richards - the guy with the wonderfully ugly face - has a way with words.

I cannot find an official video for this song, so please enjoy the bird montage.  This is Bill Callahan.  I love his voice and the way he thinks.  Alex and I saw him play at the Barbican in London while we were painfully jetlagged and our heads were lolling on our chests.  He wore a terrible suit and it's one of my happiest memories.

Trying to choose a Bonnie 'Prince' Billy song to share with you is a bit torturous because he is so prolific and at the risk of sounding like a total knob, I think his music is stunning.  This is one of his more cheerful songs.

I wanted to share this with you because it's really fun.  Flume is killing it in Australia at the moment. This song is really cool, but I also love the way that the guy in the video moves.  Beautiful dance is a beautiful thing.

Ok, I'm off to read A Room With A View in the bath.  I forgot what a clever man Forster was.  I love finding people from the past who challenged social structures.

December 9, 2013

Spring didn't spring really

It's summer now, but apart from a handful of randomly hot days, it's just not happening like normal.  Usually, by this time of year we're well and truly unfurled in the warmth, like so many little flowers.  And soon we should be cursing the heat and loitering, hassled, around whatever form of cooling we can afford.  Not so.  It is still rainy and cold.  And I wont lie to you.  It's depressing.  I'm really over this rubbish weather and we're making plans to move 'up north'.  It's about time for a large scale adventure anyway.

Here are a few photos from this spring.  Do not be fooled by my photos.  It was not this sunny most of the time.

We travel back to the old hood to get our hair cut because we haven't found a hairdresser that we really like here in Ballarat.  In Collingwood there's a hairdresser we trust whose name is Jens.  And so now getting a haircut is known as 'getting a Jens' in our house.  The reason I'm telling you that, is to explain that the next photo was taken on Gertrude Street (Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia) when we were last getting a Jens.

The canola fields around the Hepburn Shire looked pretty ace when they were blooming a while back.  

I choose to interpret this graffiti as a clever commentary on the pitfalls of locating your sense of self in your appearance.

This is the facade of what was formerly the Ballarat Coffee Palace (a palace for coffee, imagine that?!) during colonial times and what is now a boarding house for the poor, lonely, abusive and abused.

These were delicious cocktails, had at Cookie (Melbourne, Australia).

This is Cookie.  The bartenders here tend to be smug and unlikeable.

One night I stayed at my Nan's house, and this is a snapshot of the bedroom that my Mum and my uncle grew up in.  Support anti-vivisection people!

We went away for the weekend to Echuca, where it's warmer and dustier than Ballarat.  This was the Barmah Anglican Church.

That's a strawberry milkshake being had.

This is the Barmah Forest.  It was very beautiful there.  We were alone in the bush with our salad rolls and it was pulsating with heat and energy.  Like the bush in Australia does sometimes.  There are some places we go to where I feel like I can sense the Indigenous people that have lived there.  And this is one of them.  So I'd like to give a shout out to the Yorta Yorta people for letting us enjoy the land that they have been custodians of for thousands of years.

A farm on the edge of the forest.

Echuca is an interesting town I think.  Like in Ballarat, the colonial architecture is still very visible.  Colonial architecture gives me mixed emotions these days.  I feel a sense of sentimentality because colonisation eventually led my family to this beautiful country.  But I also understand what colonising has meant for the Aboriginal people.  This is a pub in Echuca.

And these are our feet on the cracked earth.  With a bit of bird poo for good measure.

I have spent most of today watching interviews with Sia Furler on YouTube, because that's what you do with days off work.  She is a real gem.  Very Australian sort of chick.  Here she is.

December 8, 2013

A musical ode to moody brunettes cos I am one and always will be

Something about grungy brunettes refusing to be graceful (in the Swan Lake way) and easily palatable hits the spot for me.  So much.  Hazarding a guess, it might have something to do with being the tom boy brunette sister of two blondes obsessed with classical ballet.  So this is a musical shout-out to some of the chicks who have been fuelling my indignation for years now.

Thanks Veruca Salt.

Thanks Magic Dirt.

Thanks Little Birdy.

Thanks Tegan and Sara.

Thanks Yeah Yeah Yeahs.