General Musings

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The House on the Highway

Steve and I spent the first two weeks of October at his grandparents’ house in Queenscliff. Staying there, in that house full of handwritten letters, flowery tins and shelves of old books, I couldn’t help but mentally revisit my own grandparents’ house. Something about the smell. Something about the era. Though my grandparents and Steve’s never met, their very different houses share certain qualities. My grandparents, Mum’s parents, lived in Mt Gambier, on the border with South Australia, right on...

Advice to My 12 Year Old Self

Well hello there loyal reader, It’s been a bit quiet around these parts of late. Just the Friday quote and not much else, which is what comes from working on ‘other things’. As a wise writer-and-blogger friend of mine once said, a blog can be a great outlet for a writer as long as it doesn’t become all that you do. Perhaps I’ve taken that advice somewhat too literally. Anyway! I am still alive in the world and still writing,...

Used To Used To Used To

I’ve spent this week in Vanuatu on a short-term work assignment. It’s been great revisiting an aid program I used to be a part of, a program that brings the churches in Vanuatu together to work on development projects. I know the people involved, and it’s nice to catch up with old friends, but also strange, because I’m just dipping my toe in the water and then leaving again. I’m not around for the long-term. The people here know that,...

The View from Bed

Eerrrrrgghh. I’ve been struck down by the delightful ailment known as ‘strep throat’. So close to the end of winter, I was starting to feel pretty pleased that I hadn’t been sick when almost everyone else I know has been. ‘I’m so tough!’ I thought. ‘It must be the pure lifestyle I lead!’ BAM. Struck down. Thank you very much, powers that be. I think I needed that. I’m not great at being sick. I mean, who is, really, but...

The Secret Society that Meets in the Garage

Bonjour mon amis! Comment allez-vous? That is quite possibly highly incorrect, but there you go. I’m watching Julie and Julia (have you seen it?) and feeling in a French-y mood. It’s about butter and blogging and persistence and female friendships and Brie cheese and fitting in your passions around soul-destroying-but-necessary pursuits. After a slightly frustrating day where several things went wrong, it’s really hitting the spot. Sometimes there’s nothing better than watching or reading something that you’ve seen/read before. I’m...

Work in Progress

Hello friends hello, How are you doing? I am good thank you very much. I thought I’d just check in and say g’day, rather than write a finely honed blog post about some kind of current issue (as is my usual practice – NOT!). I started working on a piece about the years I lived in Sydney, from 2011 until 2013. I’ve been dipping in and out of Helen Garner’s The Feel of Steel (have been trying to read other things,...

Ode to SeaChange

It’s no secret that I love SeaChange, an Australian TV show that aired in the late 90s and early 2000s on the ABC. After my teaching article was published in The Age, I was reminiscing about the first time I saw my name in print. When the last episode of SeaChange aired, I furiously wrote a poem called ‘Ode to SeaChange’ and sent it to the Green Guide (which is the TV lift-out section of The Age, if you’re not...

A Strange Thing Happened on the Weekend

Hey crew, I had an article published in The Sunday Age, about my teaching experience. I wrote it in Sri Lanka, and I sent it to the opinion editor back in May, but they only published it this Sunday past. Which is fine, great, but I didn’t know until 7pm on the Sunday…didn’t even buy a copy of the paper! Oops. My two favourite things about the article are a) The cartoon Matt Davidson did to accompany it. It does...

Quote Friday #1

I’ve decided to do a thing. Every Friday, I’m going to post a quote on my blog. I love quotes: I have them stuck to the wall of my office, scribbled on receipts in my wallet, etched on to my brain (not really, but y’know, go with the metaphor). These quotes may be from wherever. Books. TV shows (I hope you like West Wing. And SeaChange). Inspiring people. Psychoanalysts. Things my Grandma used to say. They may be dark, or...

The Fig Tree

I’m nervous as I write this. I’m not sure what’s going to come out. Do you have days where you feel prickly and irritable and angry? I feel like an octopus, ready to lash out defensively at anyone or anything that tries to get too close. And I feel tired. Tired at the constant justification of my existence. Tired of conversations that go like this: “What are you up to at the moment?” “I’m writing a book.” “Ah! Cool. So…what...