brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (dodo)
A terrible thing has happened to me.

My favourite grown up book store in Melbourne is called Readings. On my last visit there I bought a beautiful illustrated ABC for a child, a Leonard Cohen DVD for exactlyhalf (DVD of the concert we went to!), CD of the same for my dad, and the final installment of an Australian fantasy for myself (excellent series by Alison Croggan, a Melbourne poet. Plot is a trifle derivative, but the prose and characters are lovely, she has the opposite of race fail (and it's taken me this long to appreciate how great that is) and features some quite beautiful poetry/song) 
While I was there on a Tuesday evening it was full of all these urban looking people were drinking red wine from tumblers to celebrate the launch of a picture storybook. One such lovely person was one of exactlyhalf's oldest family friends, and being there was like a glimpse of heaven - books, music, red wine and lovely company.

Anyway, I've loved this store for a decade. And given the context of its being a bookstore, it's pretty obvious how the name should be pronounced, only...

I CAN'T STOP CALLING IT RED-DING. LIKE THE EFFING CITY.

DAMN

The truly embarrassing bit? I teased exactlyhalf mercilessly the first time he did that on a visit home. I've done it EVERY SINGLE TIME I've referred to it. Oh the shame *exaggerated woeface*

Melbourne

Mar. 28th, 2008 09:48 pm
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (fire)
- fulfills all my coffee fantasties
- is full of wonderful people
- rains a surprising amount for a city in drought

Now we are watching the Twin Peaks pilot in my sister in law's apartment, newly adorned with ikea shelving (assembled by yours truly, as my muscles attest)
brightlywoven: (harriet)
Sitting in the beach house, catching up on Kermit (a somewhat aged key lime iBook). We had a packed Easter weekend, seeing somewhere between 30-40 relatives in 3 cities over 3 days. It was great fun, especially meeting the new baby cousins, seeing Dad's new house (and new puppy, Dobby!), and hearing the Big Family News.

Now we are relaxing with chocolate, wine, walks and games at the beach house. 10 minutes ago a stunning rainbow came out to frame the sea and the lighthouse that stands on pumpkin-scone coloured cliffs. Back to the city in a few hours - let the brunch-coffee madness begin!
brightlywoven: (harriet)
[profile] exactlyhalf and I are now in possession of tickets to Australia in Easter. This makes me very happy. It's 1 year (minus 6 days) since I left, and I'm starting to feel a little twitchy. (Or maybe that's the sleep deprivation making my eyelid do that. Anyway, it's irritating). Hopefully the Easter school holidays will allow us to catch up with many teaching/student friends and family.

Now, back to work (while I eagerly await [profile] emily_shore's insights into the NH primary - go Hilary!)

Victory!

Nov. 24th, 2007 12:36 pm
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
How sweet it is.
I'll write more later, but an emphatic victory to the ALP, and John Howard looking set to lose his seat. www.theage.com.au to read about the 'ruddslide'

Politics

Sep. 16th, 2007 10:37 am
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
I have been following, with increasing glee, the Australian political situation, and the current state of play is quite delicious.

A short historical essay )
Something, however, has happened. The new Labour leader has done what his 3 predecessors in opposition could not: got attention. People listen to him. President Hu listened to him last week, as he addressed the APEC conference in Mandarin. He's 2 decades younger than Howard and energised.

More than this though, is that Howard is suddenly on the nose. All year, polls have been worsening. Howard now appears to be struggling to retain his own seat (on current polling he will lose it to an ABC journalise). In this last week, we saw Howard's own cabinet almost turn on him. This is significant, because Howards logic defying success has seen him somewhat deifed by his party. They see him as unstoppable, so no-one has wanted to see leadership change. His deputy, who was promised a hand-over in the 3rd term, has looked increasingly desparate as it becomes clear that Howard will *never ever* go of his own accord, and has been consistently too popular to be pushed. Yet in this last week, when the Foreign minister was asked to 'sound out feeling' on his leadership, not one member of Cabinet would say they wanted him to stay.

Every day the Australian press reports still more shambolic displays of desperation. The election must be called before the end of the year, and with each poll things look worse for the government. After 4 painful elections (the last two seen in utter despair), I am finally allowing myself to hope. Even to dream that Howard, the man who has disregarded all values in clinging to power, will go out in the most ignominious way possible - losing his own seat, as well as his government.

And if this sounds like schadenfreude, I will say this: over 11 years, I've become increasingly ashamed of my country. Howard has chosen the worst aspects of its people to reflect. He has made it backward and insular looking. He has made it a place where opportunity belongs only to the rich (and hopefully white). I do believe that an evil leader can make a people evil. I want to see my country heal.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (biscuit)
Osama bin Laden gets within a few metres of George Bush, while driving in the Canadian motorcade. Police wave beared figure through 2 checkpoints. His driver turns around when he thinks he probably shouldn't go any further.

Sydney's 'Ring of Steel' is proven not to be so impenetrable, and a group of comedians become legends in their own lifetime.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/09/06/1188783415730.html

(It's hardly their best work though. A few years back, these guys asked Americans to identify Iraq/Iran/North Korea and France on some 'maps'. People enthusiastically agreed that Iraq was 'bigger than they thought' when shown a map that had 'iraq' printed on Australia.)

Squeee!

Jun. 22nd, 2007 03:12 pm
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (biscuit)
I am much to old to be squeeing about this but...

...I just appeared on the news with Jason Donovan!

Jaaaason! )

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brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
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