Tuesday, August 31, 2010

another favourite poem

"The Relic" by John Donne

When my grave is broken up again
    Some second guest to entertain
    (For graves have learned that woman-head
    To be to more than one a bed),
      And he that digs it, spies
A bracelet of bright hair about the bone,
      Will he not let'us alone,
    And think that there a loving couple lies,
      Who thought that this device might be some way
      To make their souls, at the last busy day,
      Meet at this grave, and make a little stay?

    If this fall in a time, or land,
    Where mis-devotion doth command,
    Then he that digs us up, will bring
    Us to the Bishop and the King,

      To make us relics; then
Thou shalt be'a Mary Magdalen, and I
      A something else thereby;
    All women shall adore us, and some men;
      And since at such time, miracles are sought,
      I would have that age by this paper taught
      What miracles we harmless lovers wrought.
    First, we loved well and faithfully,
    Yet knew not what we loved, nor why,
    Difference of sex no more we knew,
    Than our guardian angels do;
      Coming and going, we
Perchance might kiss, but not between those meals;
    Our hands ne'er touched the seals,
Which nature, injured by late law, sets free: These miracles we did; but now, alas,
All measure and all language I should pass,
Should I tell what a miracle she was.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

quaranta sei

last week i celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of my twenty-first birthday - and if that doesn't make one feel old i don't know what does....

long haul textileseahorseophiles may recall that i started here:
progressed to here
and here
when i posted the peter gabriel video last week, i mused around the 80s for a while and thought of all the stuff that happened to me between the ages of 16 and 26. i will spare you photos of gawky adolescence but thought you might smile to see what the nice ruyton girl was wearing to her school dance in 1981 (her mother's frock and gloves from the 50s)
1985 i had a fancy dress party for my 21st and chose to look as elegant as possible
1986 i finished uni having led a blameless and nose-grindy 4 years studying hard (truly - just ask my Mother....)
1990 wore the 80s pavlova frock, got properly churched and became instantly Respectable*

in 2010 i am very pleased to be back on an even number - 45 looked dour, hardbitten and stingy but 46 is sinuous and curvy - much better :)

*btw notice how faithful i was to the princess diana aesthetic through the decade? i got over that when i had children and suddenly looked like this. but that's a 90s/00s story

putting the textile back in textileseahorse

well the past few weeks have seen a tide of blogging but a slackness in textiley subject matter. before the tide ebbs as it inevitably will, as life intervenes, i thought i had better show some some of the noodling i have been doing.

mostly unrecorded knitting and drawing since i finished jealousy as that piece left me a bit of a creative husk. but the creative flux seems to be waxing again and a few tentative ideas are creeping back

viz this small experiment that i think might become part of the doors challenge quilt
and i have done some silk dyeing for another alice quilt that will go with this piece of dyed and manipulated fabric

Saturday, August 28, 2010

jealousy returns

i won't bore you by telling you that i'm still sick - but i am :(

in happier news jealousy returned from its sojourn at the birmingham festival of quilts and, pinned to its back, in a plain wrapper were the judges ' comments.

i had been dreading this as my techniques are not conventional, i don't do binding or piecing etc etc.
but to my very pleased surprise both judges' comments were really positive:

judge the first: 5 x excellent 3 x good and 1 x satisfactory "lovely tactile surfaces and subtle colour combinations"

judge the second 5 x good 3 x satisfactory and 1 x needs attention (edge treatment - pffft) "a mysterious piece with some fascinating texture"
jealousy is for sale - please email me if you are interested in buying it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

toujours malade comme une grenouille

actually sicker :( i think my mistake was trying to push through and go to work yesterday although in my defence it was the last meeting with our consultant before he leaves the country and we had to wrap up the project.

but i ended up weepy and breathless lying on my office floor wondering if this was It. and feeling like a complete goose.

so i came home, took to my bed and slept for 13 hours, waking half an hour ago and feeling like i had been rolled on by an elderly obese elephant. treatment is horizontality with a feline poultice applied as often as the poultice thinks necessary.
so back to bed with the prescribed katzen and a date with lord peter wimsey

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

sick as a frog


i thought i had largely escaped the winter lurgydom but the virus i have been battling with suddenly surged and overcame me on the weekend. by yesterday afternoon i was a wheezing mess and almost voiceless

so i hied myself off to herr doktor doktor this afternoon and then the chemist where i was relieved of much cash.

and the plan this cold and rainy evening - early dinner, hot bath with lord peter wimsey then to watch the wonderful baroque, qi and bed. billthedog's gogo dancing lesson will have to be postponed, which is a pity as he was showing more aptitude for it than for the lambeth walk.

Monday, August 23, 2010

found a new blog here

i want to do EVERYTHING!


some gratuitous cat photos and a small proof that there is the eeniest element of creativity going on here. behind, and to some extent under, miss molly moth, spinster of this parish, is a background for my next challenge quilt. the theme this time is 'doors' and i am brewing a few ideas.
this background is wool and silk fibres, with some silk cocoons and angelina fibre thrown in for good measure.

in the wild and crazy spirit of the election toby cat went catawampus and decided to perch on top of the back door for a while.

and then channelled his inner shaman

Sunday, August 22, 2010

last post

for tonight, not forever :)

we played this album in the car this afternoon and it took me back to 1986 - uni, shakespeare, summer,

and this one

Facing You
We cannot tame the wind or the sea. Cannot
make them roll or blow our way. Taming ourselves
comes first, then we may laugh at them, scream at them.

We cannot tame those we wish to love. Cannot
make them roll or blow our way, but we can laugh
with them, scream with them, or break them in the taming
we try, which should be the fixing of ourselves.

We cannot tame love, or the wind, or the sea, we are not
here for long enough. There will always be these things.
Our joy comes from being the flash, the spark in the eye
of forever. Forever is grown too old to laugh and scream.

John Siddique Recital Salt Publishing 2009

you've got to get in to get out

something to cheer us all up - i am a big genesis fan going waaay back and i was very chirked to find a poem by john siddique using a 'lamb lies down on broadway' lyric as its title

You've got to get in to get out
The world will impinge into your need
for silence, into the your prayers. In the hardest seconds
of your life, your neighbours will be drunk,
booming hip-hop through thin inconvenient walls.

At the lighting of your candles, in the moment
you need to focus - the apex of your flame,
the voice of the Holy Spirit, someone
will be vacuuming, talking, ringing up change,
a bin wagon bleeping as it reverses, builders
swearing into the distance you put by pulling into
yourself. It sounds like they are calling your name.

John Siddique Recital Salt Publishing 2009

curiouser and curiouser

well, everything here in oz is discombobulated by the most extraordinary election that has resulted in the following (for those who weren't following my facebook commentary last night):
  • a hung parliament
  • balance of power spread among five white middle class men whose views range across the spectrum
  • the youngest ever MP (who is 20)
  • the first Aboriginal MP
  • first Green MP
  • bizarre local swings all over the place with the only clear solid swing nationally to the Greens
  • the loss of 2 of the more extreme right wing MPs (hurrah!)
  • the last Senate seat in Victoria going to the DLP - a splinter of the ALP whose origins are deep in the murky sectarian 50s and represent right wing Catholic Labor
as a consequence i have just about lost my voice and need a lie down in a darkened room with a cold compress. will stagger back later.

Friday, August 20, 2010

why is it that as i press 'publish post' that a smorgasbord of bons mots is laid out before me???
i am encumbered by a cold so don't expect sparkling repartee in this post :) the last week has been a blur to tack onto the blur of previous weeks: the federal election is tomorrow which fills me with despair as i do not think people vote unselfishly. although i have been wearing my ampersand duck chicks rule t shirt at every opportunity.... i just hope i'll be able to wear it after tomorrow

i spent the earlier part of the week in perth which is a gazillion miles west of melbourne - just over a 4 hour flight. my days were filled with meetings so i didn't get to see a lot of the city although on my travels between meetings and hotel i happened to fall into a very good bookshop.... i also did 3 radio interviews including a last ditch one as i was in the queue for the plane at the gate lounge.
in between all the work hurly burly the scrumpster and i took w for a drive on sunday - our first stop was a beach just past anglesea where the tide had washed up a wealth of cuttlefish much to w's joy. all the way down the great ocean road there were alternating rain showers and rainbows

we ended up at cape otway where the blusterousness was extreme and we took careful note of the warning signs.the scrumpster ascended the light house but w and i looked at the staircase judiciously and retreated. we were rained on and had our hair blasted into medusiad curls but it was great fun and i didn't think about work once :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

a favourite poem

Sonnet XVII: I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, topaz

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

Saturday, August 07, 2010

new toy

if you go here and feed it some text from your blog, latest essay, shopping list, whatever it does gizmo-type things and tells which famous writer your style most resembles...

after a controlled experiment using a range of blog posts apparently i write like mary shelley, kurt vonnegut and james joyce - how cool is that?

thanks to celia for leading me to this toy :)

Friday, August 06, 2010

friday notes to self

  • announcing that you're going to be creative today immediately sets off an irresistible chain of events that lead to washing up and other forms of housework
  • cossack dancing (however modified) across the kitchen causes undue perturbation in the cats and worrits the dog
  • grrrr having decided i want to prime a canvas now find i don't have the right sort

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


i spent a happy time in the tarrawarra art gallery this afternoon - for the first half hour i was completely alone and could sit in the middle of the room and just look and look and look at the paintings.

I saw the landscape exhibition and although i was a bit surprised that there were only ten paintings on offer it meant i could sit in the middle and gaze and work out why i liked the paintings i liked and why i didn't like the ones i didn't.

on the like side of the ledger i discovered a new to me painter - philip wolfhagen - a tasmanian artists who paints darkly luminous landscapes using oils in beeswax.

there was also tony clark, fred williams and arthur boyd on the bright sunlit uplands of my like paintings.

on the Other Side - sidney nolan x 2 - a painter i have never warmed to. he always seems angry and cold. ben quilty - clever but a bit too clever and 2 other painters whose names i didn't even record so lukewarm was my response to their art.

none of this is a quarrel with their technique or expertise just my personal preference :)

and outside was plenty of scope for cunning photos
back to work tomorrow to keep fighting the good fight