Monday, July 23, 2012

2/100 (letter to a piece of plastic pipe)

Dear S-bend under the vanity sink,

There are only brief spaces in time that I actually feel like a grown-up. I may be in my early thirties (ugh) but most of the time I feel as though I'm stuck somewhere between about seventeen and twenty-two.

However, there are occasional moments that my psyche has somehow determined to be marks of maturity.
Filing my tax return is one of them. Buying jars of vitamin C tablets is another. Leaving the house before 8am for social appointments or work also gives me that no-longer-a-teenager vibe. And the other day I felt that unexpected grown up mood when I went all plumber-fu and pulled you apart in order to remove whatever was blocking my little vanity unit drain.

You're just a piece of plastic pipe, bent into a weird gravity-defying shape. I don't know why pipes exist like you anyway. They make life difficult for girls like me, who invariably hover over our bathroom sinks doing facial scrubs or straightening our hair. And though girls like me try to be fastidious about not letting the insoluble detritus of tooth-brushing and face-scrubbing and hair-straightening slip through those tiny pizza-slice-shaped gaps in the plug hole, of course stuff gets through. Obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be writing a letter to you right now.

And I write not to remind you of what a pain you can be, just sitting there whitely and plasticly, catching stuff that you should let go of, causing blockages and weirdness, and reminding me that I'm a girl and not a manly man. I write to thank you.

Because I put aside my natural ineptitude for DIY and instead I tackled you head-on. I pulled you apart, emptied you out, ran some bleach and baking soda through your system, and narrowly avoided turning the tap on to rinse out the pipes attached to you (this would have been an altogether different letter, in that case). Then I put you back together, tested for leaks, and saw you ran like a dream. And didn't I feel grown up. So thanks, lowly s-bend. For just a second, you helped me act my age.

Of course, then I went and ruined it by taking weird self-portraits in the bathroom mirror. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

Yours (just a little smugly),


* * * * *


Andrea -- we are book brain twins currently! You'll have to blog your responses to the books you're reading :).

Katie -- oh no, your world does sound particularly busy! I hope you survive through the rest of term okay.

Caitlin -- I'm reading Hard Times, and loving it just as much as I did when I was younger. I honestly think it's my favourite Dickens, even though hardly anyone else seems to like it. Narnia exhibition? Sounds amazing!

Bloss -- loved your comment, as always! Ooh, you have to try more Dickens! David Copperfield is brilliant. So too is Hard Times, the one I'm reading currently.

Staish -- you are welcome.

Meaghan -- goal for tonight: de-sting eyes by not staying up too late. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A fly-by hi:

1. a pretty mess of spools left by the kitten; 2. chicken and mushroom gozleme which tasted amazing; 3. the Old Museum; 4. winter sky.

It is a week for tired eyes, hyperactive music students, testing out my vintage crockpot, running rather behind, and falling in love with Dickens all over again. You?

* * * * *


LivingInTheShadowlands -- thank you, lovely lady.

TheLittleBlueFishy -- :D

Carla and Alastair -- you're so right -- it was super exciting! I mean, how crazy is it that you can just bring home a new family member?! (And of course it wasn't "just" but... you know what I mean).

Andrea -- lol!

Sarah -- I'm glad you like the new colour scheme :). I'm enjoying it, too.

Caitlin -- craftycrackpot -- You nailed it; he really is such a little gentleman!

Elizabeth in Alaska -- it was a special day for sure. And re. winter in July: I still find it hard to grasp that you guys get to have Summer in July. It just seems such an oxymoron! I get the wintry December, perhaps because it's so culturally recognisable, what with Christmas and all. But not summery July!

Asea -- your comments made me so happy!! Yaaay! I've been thinking of you lately and wondering how you're doing. Your "what comes next" sounds like a delightful nerdy dream come true. Amazing! Though I admit your boosktore dream also sounds absolutely incredible, and if that actual dream comes true for you, too, then I will be so happy -- except for the witness protection part, of course.

Meaghan -- I love that you are my friend and put up with my bloggy strangeness (like personifying months and what-have-you).

Samantha R -- family's totally a treasure. And you're right about gaining a lot in spite of losses. Those challenging seasons can reap so much fruit.

Lauren -- we wish you could have been there, too! Oh well, it's not every week you move house. I hope.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We're always better when we're together.

Thirteen years ago today, a new little person joined our family. He didn't come to us in the standard way. True, he didn't have teeth (as is the usual) but he could say "mum" and was already crawling and beginning to toddle. I wrote about it recently:

"He came to us unexpectedly. After lots of doors had been closed in our faces, finally one was open. We held our breath and kept our hearts in check. Then, just seven days after we were told yes, he was there, in our house and in our arms. I remember sitting with him that first afternoon on the swing set under the silky oak tree. From way out behind the railway track and the low curving hills beyond, the afternoon sun sent sharp slanting beams of light across us. Cuddled in my lap, rocking with me on the swing, was this chubby, quiet, smiling eighteen-month-old stranger. Yesterday he had not been my brother. Now, suddenly, he was."

I wonder what went on in his little baby mind. I wonder how it felt to be whisked out of his foster family -- the only family he had really known -- and into a new one. In this new family, Mum had a different face and there was a regular ongoing circus of three big sisters and one big brother, all looming close and ready to cuddle, to tickle, to laugh, to play. He loved Dad's beard right away, and was all smiles and appreciation. But he resented the mummish things Mum had to do for him, and it took a while for his truest self to come out, the self that loved to wrestle and growl and was all-boy. We didn't know how much of him had been held back, waiting -- perhaps tentatively, perhaps in shock -- until he truly settled in to this mad new world and his personality could relax and ripen.

It's crazy now to think of it, that in one day someone could join our family and our history would be different because of it. But every year on the ninth of July* we take time out to remember it (tonight, with Tain's choice of Indian) and make cheesy toasts in honour of Tain's adoptaversary. We are so glad he's here.

*So I guess July-in-New-South-Wales has been good for at least one thing, after all.

* * * * *


Katie -- it's nice to know I'm not the only one who finds July a bit of a nothing month. And it seems such a great month to be an American!

Elisabeth -- turning to letter-writing is a brilliant way to work yourself out of a corner when writing an article. I might have to try it myself when I get stuck!

Caitlin - craftycrackpot -- hopefully soon there'll be a real letter headed your way, too. I've embarked on my huge pile to reply-to, so I've made a start!

Hannah -- you're delightful. xx

Carla and Alastair -- Carla, I love your blog comments! And you should keep your eyes peeled, because I just might write one of my blog letters to you. You've inspired me!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

1/100 (a letter to July)

Oh July,

Dear seventh-month-of-the-year, I have to apologise. Quite honestly, I haven't always thought of you with kindness. Actually it's worse than that. Mostly I have never thought of you at all. And if it's a sad thing to be thought of with distaste, it's a million times sadder simply not to be considered in any way. And this is what I have done to you, July.

It's not that you are so very worthless. It's just that... the other months have always had so much going for them. Sure, December is either stifling or sticky, but it has Christmas. March brings Autumn with it. April gets by because it sounds pretty and, well, September actually is pretty, you know. And while we all know that (with a consistency that follows through year after year) August has the most disgusting calendar pictures ever, it also has my birthday, and I quite like birthdays. So there's a lot of competition right there, July. In the lineup of good months of the year, you barely even rate a mention.

You're just there, July, in the middle of Winter -- neither the relieved end of something, nor the exciting beginning of a new season. If I look back and consider your presence in my childhood, mostly I remember chapped, dry winter hands and that terrifying moment after stepping out from the bath into the breath-stealing air.

July, you have kind of been a nothing month to me, and for that I am sorry. But I'm also happy to say that my perception of you is changing. I don't want to be discriminatory or anything, but I like Queensland July better than New South Wales July -- and that's saying something, because Queensland and I have had something of a rocky relationship. But you, July-in-Queensland, you are quite lovely. You remind me of Autumn in New South Wales, which is special because I have always loved Autumn.

You're a month of dramatic moods, July. You are beautiful, brilliant, and crisp. Your days are bright, bright blue and clear skies. Your nights are cold and cosy, sharp and bitter. There are whole weeks of heavy grey rain that turns the ground to chilly swamp and sends us all a little bit crazy. But that also gives us the chance to wear ugg boots, cover our laps with quilts (and kittens), and sip chamomile tea. You have dolphins, July. Dolphins. I saw them carving and leaping through the water last week while I was sitting with a coffee in one hand and a textbook in the other. It was quite amazing.

I guess what I'm trying to say, July, is that I'm warming to you -- even though my feet are cold.

(Newly-developing) love,

* * * * *

(This is the beginning of my new creative blogging project, picking up where the last project finished off. 52 pictures gets replaced by one hundred letters -- to anyone (or anything). I'm excited!)

* * * * *


Andrea -- once a week is a lot easier to keep momentum than once a day!

Lauren -- thank you :D

Friday, July 6, 2012

Project 52: fifty-two


(You can see all the posts in the project by following this tag.
And now I'm cooking up a plan for my next Project 52-esque endeavour, so stay tuned.)

* * * * *


The First Rose -- wow! Congratulations on this awesome milestone! You must be relishing in the feeling of being done... even though it looks like you haven't got too much time left in your schedule to sit breathing long sighs of relief. Your Summer looks to be amazing. Enjoy!

Andrea -- haha, among "the best in the web" according to one blog, that is. :)

Katie -- I have pondered this very dilemma myself. There would be so many more hours in which to Do Things if sleep wasn't so darn essential!

Abbie -- you're absolutely right. I guess if life is a journey, then it makes sense that we feel like we're always on the move?

Thelittlebluefishy -- if your own cafe dream ever comes true, please let us know so we can all haunt your delightful haven of bookishness and coffee! Wouldn't it be the best?

Meaghan -- and you are delightful.

Rebecca Simon -- don't tempt me!! Okay, and by "don't tempt me" I probably mean "don't make me think more about opening this cafe because at this point the only way I could do so would be to rob a bank in order to finance such a project and I'm sure that wouldn't end very well..." So yes, a happy dream! But who knows what's in the future? (I'll let you know if I get the little ebay store happening, though; I'm thinking end-of-semester project?) Oh, and contentment is always an amazing goal to be working towards. God bless you in that!
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