Friday, December 31, 2010
Christopher Smart is one of my favourite poets (ticks all the boxes: complex, given to madness and visions, wildly competent with metre) and his piece for his cat Jeoffry (his spelling), from the Jubilate Agno, is one of my favourite poems. I also like cows and was reminded of this the other day when I met four - the two up there, and their neighbours across the road who wandered over to see what all the fuss was about.
For I Will Consider the Importance of Cows (after Christopher Smart)
And their ready-made suede.
For they are large and imposing.
For they have no desire to impose.
For they stare at you benignly.
For they chew their cud with care.
For they bring forth little cows.
For they share their thick milk
Hot, shiny, and capped with fat cream.
For they stand with full dignity.
For they do not resent the sun.
For they will move for the barking dog.
For they will not budge in the rain.
For they are often the perfect chestnut colour.
For their delicate feminine legs more than amply support their ponderous weight.
For their tails swing like fine chains.
For their udders hang like church bells.
For they are utterly unconcerned.
For their eyes are black and dull
Yet they notice all things.
For they are peaceful and meditative.
For they have always been.
For no time has been unhindered by cows.
For they are sacred in some lands.
For they, the cows, do not care either way.
For they live on farms.
For they are too docile to be feral.
For they are civilised and composed.
For they have an expanse of teeth.
For they choose not to bite each other.
For they prefer harmony and bliss.
For they become a vast range of foods.
For they become stock in soup.
For they are the meat in curries.
For their butter covers breads.
For their cream thickens custard.
For they are in pies.
For you can serve them hot or cold.
For they become clothes.
For young people learn to walk in shoes borne of their skin.
For older people stay warm in their supple skin.
For most people carry their goods in their skin.
For some people lay their skin on the floor, near the fire.
For they are large and can moo.
For they moo to communicate.
For they will not moo in malice.
For they are gentle and gracious.
For they graze, and sleep still on their feet.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Last week I had my toes gilded and later, hurrying to meet my spouse, stopped short at the window of a pawn shop. I've passed this store many times but have never been charmed by the jewellery in the window. To be fair, they've never displayed a gold toe ring.
It was twenty five dollars. I thought it was worth that alone for perfect match it made with my toenails.
There will be tea, at least three books and an assortment of magazines that feature little text and many coloured pictures:
I expect the occasional visitor too.
This chap showed up in the bathroom last night. Several minutes' discussion ensued as to his heritage. In the end we agreed that neither of us have a clue what kind of spider he is. Mr Multilegs was escorted gently from the premises and introduced to the enormous tree up the yard.
My only other task during this lovely holiday period is to re-educate Kate about sleeping on clean washing or on my clothes. This effort is working out great for her ...
Not so much for me.
Monday, December 13, 2010
I worked yesterday (is there anything more drear than watching Sunday slip by through your office window) and today I faced the consequences of some bad decisions not once, not twice but three times. I ask you: is it better to say sorry too late than never say it all?
I'm not certain there is a right answer for that. There is, however, the remnants of a rather wonderful Saturday to consider:
Milk, no sugar.
My new silver pendant from Etsy. I love Etsy so much that I sometimes fantasise it's a country I might emigrate to one day.
The skirt I wore on Sunday as compensation for having to spend a glorious day at work. I love the colours.
It was a $4 find at the Buddhist op shop. I only bought it for the colour, because the shape didn't suit me - at least not until it occurred to me that I should just have the skirt hemmed. Sometimes the truth is hidden, but when it comes to cute vintage skirts I believe the bleeding obvious is the often the right answer.
My hydrangea, which has survived some of the most awful attacks from my over-zealous gardening brother. (One of my brothers makes random visits to my house when I am at work and tidies my garden for me. He has nearly killed this plant three times. Each time it manages to right itself and goes on to bloom like this, although lately I fancy that it stares at me from under its leaves, muttering "You people are PEASANTS.") (But yes, my brother is fabulous.)
And I started a new journal. It was supposed to filled with sharp, tender, wry and entirely original observations and yet today - six pages in - I find it filled only with the poems I swore I was never going to write again. I don't know how that happened; I keep thinking I should file a report about it with someone.
But seriously - is it better to say sorry too late than never at all?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The holiday period is approaching. I can't quite see it in the distance but I can hear it. It sounds like a clean house, decidedly un-suitlike clothes and impractical handbags covered in roses.
I love needlepoint purses so badly that a while ago a few of my friends planned to stage an intervention. It would have made no difference. This one is a particular favourite. The woman who sold it to me insisted the original owner/maker was an airline pilot in the Second World War. Sometimes the thought thrills, other times it seems unlikely.
No matter. It is a wonderful purse.
These grand old purses frequently include a small coin purse of matching taffeta tucked inside. Not this one. I like to think the owner stared defiantly at her needleworking mates, squeezed her mouth very tight and declared, "The hell with your taffeta! My coin purse will have roses too!"
And it does.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I buy something from the Cat Protection Society Op Shop whenever I can, partly because they have good loot but mostly because they do a sterling job in caring for cats. For many years I was the chief carer of Chloe, a lovely talkative calico cat who was also entirely deranged. She once took up residence in the wood cooker and could be rarely persuaded to step outside. At the height of that particular bout of madness she even took to taking her meals in the oven.
Once she moved into a disused factory nearby and no amount of coaxing, fish snacks or warm cosy beds could keep her home. She seemed to adopt a strange new homeless cat persona and would take off, back to her cardboard box in the factory, as soon as my back was turned. Eventually some nearby workers, unaware of my efforts to keep my cat in her own home, assumed the mental cat was a stray and took Chloe to the Cat Protection Society. I didn't know where she was for two frantic days. I called vets, some entirely uninterested police stations and a lost cat service. I tried the Cat Protection Society in desperation. The lady who answered was very kind. "Yes, I think we have your cat," she said. "We certainly have one who talks a lot! !" When I arrived to collect Ms Fruitcake I found her in a very swank top floor cage apartment, laying back and smiling like Lana Turner might if someone turned her into a cat.
"She's treating it like a spa holiday," another nice volunteer said. Chloe greeted me with mild condescension, as if I was a service worker she might have employed years ago but could could barely remember.
For all Chloe's lunacy, I was grateful for her safety, and grateful too that she had been cared by people who liked and understood her so well. As discussed yesterday, Mr Zucchini has a new home but here are others who are in need of some assistance:
It saddens me that I can't gather up all the Darias and Soda Pops and rush them all home to live with me, but it's nice to know that they are being cared for with patience and kindness.
And here's Chloe in the early stages of her mind-over-matter phase, sleeping on rocks.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
My apologies for the delay - I was trying so hard to post regularly. Sadly my day job was dishing up twelve flavours of stress and unhappiness for a few days; happily it is mostly resolved now.
In my last post I said I'd talk about kindness and I intended to hinge this on Mr Zucchini, the optically challenged homeless cat. Mr Zucchini was in need of kindness soon.
I've have been the recipient of a lot of kindness this week - nice friends who excused me when I wasn't' able to make dinner, sweet colleagues who called with genuine concern in their voice to help with an ugly workload. It makes a difference. Today my boss kindly gave me the day off so set about issuing my own forms of kindness in the form of some comfort food
and a bit of human contact.
Summer has started in earnest so while I ate my body weight in Vegemite toast, I sorted out the clothes that afford the most comfort in Sydney summer humidity. So tomorrow I'll be wear this
.. a polished cotton Jigsaw shirt dress the colour of rockmelons, fresh from the dry cleaner's plastic. Shoes undecided but I'm hoping for something that mismatches my angel-wing toes completely.
And this afternoon, I went to check on Mr Zucchini and to my horror his photo had been taken from the window. My fear was short lived - the nice woman at the Cat Protection Society told me Mr Zucchini went to his new home on Saturday. He was very taken with his new owner and jumped from his cage straight to the their neck. It sounds like the start of a beautiful relationship.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
No amount of lacquer, threats or patience would persuade my hair to adopt that soft tousled perfection.
But I can guarantee that this is the bag in which I take my clothes to the dry cleaners. It's also a very handy fleamarketing bag, and one that interests a lot of people. Its origin is a frequent topic. Sometimes I say I bought it in a market in Ohio, other times I claim it was my mother's, depending on how irresponsible I feel. In fact I bought it on eBay for four dollars. The postage was eighteen dollars, and that satisfies me enormously.
I didn't look like this today either, which is simply unfair.
That smashing, early Wonder Woman pose on the right is expertly executed by Norma Shearer in The Women, one of my all-times favourite films. If you haven't seen it you must, not only for the razor sharp dialogue but for the fabulous clothes.
I have limited patience with films unless everyone gets to the point very quickly and has an interesting wardrobe.
It is ridiculously wet in Sydney at the moment; I have a range of early summer frocks hanging sadly in my wardrobe, waiting for their break while my black trousers are working overtime. Tomorrow I might wear a boxy jacket I bought at an op shop and if I do, it will give me the opportunity to rabbit on about unexpected kindness, how much I like pockets and this bloke: