Work in Progress

August 8, 2017

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, but finding it hard to commit to one book atm, so short stories are ace, and, hello, Garner). She lived in Sydney for a while, and reading her pieces brought back a lot of memories of my time there, but obviously, trying to write anything approaching the way Garner writes is VERY INTIMIDATING so I’m going to need to spend more than a few hours working on that. Thus, no Sydney post just yet. But it’s in the works.

How do you write about several years of your life? What goes in, what goes out? Sometimes you have just a feeling, a snippet of memory, a funny thing that happened. The time I went on a weekend walk with the Sydney Bush Walking Club and had to take a day off work afterwards and lie in the bath for hours, my whole body aching. The man from my choir, Tom, a lawyer, who sold me his old couch for $100, the only item in a storage container in a warehouse he was paying who knows how much for. The week when, after some news from the doctor, I thought I had three months to live. Sitting at the park at the end of Darling St waiting for my ferry every morning, embarking amongst the suits and copies of Financial Review.  Eating pierogi made by my Polish housemate, Agnieska, who came home crying one night after her shift at the restaurant, accused of stealing someone’s wallet. The old sandstone house on Darling St, split into three apartments, an open kitchen window and two little boys poking their heads in, offering us dumplings made by their mum. Walking through the lanes of King’s Cross one winter’s night with a torch and clipboard, recording people sleeping rough for the homelessness count. Water dripping down rocks. Purple jacaranda flowers on the ground. The bridge. The Spit to Manly walk. Listening to Paul Kelly and, some days, missing my home town.

I wanna see the sun go down on St Kilda esplanade

Where the beach needs reconstruction, where the palm trees have it hard

I’d give you all of Sydney Harbour (all that land and all that water)

For that one sweet promenade

Anyway. I will write about Sydney some time soon.

Hope all’s well with you!

x Iz


More about isabelrobinson

Isabel is a writer from Melbourne. She loves long train journeys, Vegemite toast and cryptic crosswords, preferably all at once.