Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Number Two

Well, Number Two is finished (for the moment). Got to that point at which I knew it was done - was the way I wanted it (for the time-being). Enjoyed a day of feeling pleased with the way it had worked out, before beginning to wonder about Number Three. Celebrated this by going for a wander around the town and to have a look at the effects of a recent king tide: it ate several metres of dune and closed a road by throwing rocks across it (and the walking track). Pretty awesome. Glad I wasn't in the car at time. Glad I wasn't walking there at the time.

Am going to be travelling around a bit for a short while now, so may seem a little distant from blogdom at times, but will try and post (and visit blogs) when I can.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


I listen to a range of music when I'm writing, but a lot of Daft Punk has played while I've been going through the later drafts of Number Two. Interesting that these guys are French because, apart from them, I particularly enjoy listening to French-speaking artistes when I'm writing (other times too, but they have preference over other musos when I'm writing). The reason for this is because I love the music, of course, but also, because the lyrics don't muddy the words in my head (my translation skills being way too slow - well, almost non-existent - to register more than the tone if I'm doing something else). Some of my favourites are Paris Combo, Les Croquants, Les Petites Bourettes, Emilie Simon, Georges Moustaki, Carla Bruni, Camille, Souad Massi, Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel.

Jacques Brel has been a favourite for many years and Amsterdam is one of those songs that's always had a big impact. Thought I'd track him down via YouTube the other day, when I was in need of inspiration. The gutsiness of his voice and the grittiness of his words were just what the moment needed. (The clip finishes abruptly, but still...)

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Having chosen to chain myself to the written word these last few weeks, I've enjoyed those crazy little diversions which crop up every now and then. Things which I wouldn't often pay much attention to. We've had a small flock of 7 or 8 juvenile rosellas move into the trees at the bottom of the garden for the last month. One of my favourite birds. Beautiful plumage! The adults are a stunning blend of blue, crimson, flashes of green. (This superb image below uploaded from Flickr with thanks.)

However, their presence has disconcerted the wattle birds who usually live there. The wattle birds are not only territorial, but have to be one of the grouchiest. Even their call sounds like a repetive 'Grouch! Grouch!'

While they'll usually chase other birds out of their territory, like most bullies, they're easily scared and the presence of the rosellas has sent them scuttling to the lawn outside my window... where they've discovered the pear trees and the blackbirds and sparrows and starlings and honeyeaters. Having been displaced, they now spend all their time chasing the other birds out of this end of the garden, protecting whatever bits of fruit are lying on the ground, perching in the tamarillo to keep a fighting eye on their fiefdom.

Or were, until a couple of rosellas came up to graze. Didn't hear a peep from them then. Managed to get a couple of shots, until I figured it was time to stop staring out the window and get back to the words... or even a little bit of Monty Python.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Dirt Music

Every once in a while I come across a book that I know I'm going to enjoy reading a second time. I don't let it happen very often because there are so many good books out there waiting to be met and there just isn't enough time to meet them all as it is.

E. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News was one of these. When I read it, quite a few years ago, I knew I was going to indulge myself in a second reading and I did. Enjoyed it as much, if not more, and just wanted to soak it all up all over again.

Tim Winton's Dirt Music was another. It's prose to swim in. Beautiful stuff. The sort of writing you just don't want to come to an end. Recently, I found myself craving a third read and... yep, it remains a wonderful novel.

Still haven't picked up a copy of his latest, Breath, but must do this soon.

Friday, 1 May 2009

May Day

Hey, it's May Day. Thought I should celebrate with a twirl of the Maypole, a little Morris Dancing and a slice of a Mummers Play. Very Snowing and Greening.