Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A Note from the Management

Hi everyone,

Well, I see that my readership stats have gone through the roof.  I always wanted to have a public; it seems I've got one!

By way of a quick update: I've edited the post on taking the girls to Melbourne; Mrs T felt it might be better not to have the girls' pictures in it, and she's probably right, so they've been removed.

Also, I can't help but think some of the reading has been particularly drawn by some of the more personal posts, rather than by any literary merit at my end.  The thing is, the personal stuff wasn't really what I had in mind when I started this blog.  I've been umming and arring this afternoon about taking it down, and as a compromise, I'll leave the more personal material up till tomorrow lunchtime (or evening, depending on how busy the day is) and then remove it.  If you have a desperate yen to print them / email them / have them tattooed on a bicep, this might be a good time to do it.

Looking forward to posting more soon.  If I get a few hours, I'll hopefully finish the third (and final) chapter of that short story.  The first two bits actually came out sounding good.

Out of interest, did anyone like the poetry?  I don't know that it's really me.



Monday, 22 August 2011


This post has evidently vanished.  I think the internet has blown a flux capacitor.  Or something.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Friday evening

Unfortunately, I had to delete this post.  It was causing interference with my disgronificator.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Adulthood, maple syrup, and the discovery of the supermarket

I don't think I truly discovered supermarkets until I was 24.  Of course, I'd been into them countless times as a child and as a young(er) adult.  The difference was, most of the things there were simply out of financial reach.  I grew up in a fairly average middle-class home; often money was rather tight.  This continued when I went to university and became a permanently short-of-cash student.  When shopping, everything had to be bought as cheaply as possible.  The heavy bias was to generic brand everything, and for quantity over quality (and indeed, over nutitional value).
I only began to see things differently when I was 24 and finally entered the workforce as a articled clerk.  Clerks were never well paid (reputedly it was one of the lowest salaries in the entire job market), but to me $350.00 a week was a fortune.  It allowed me to explore some of the luxuries that the supermarket had to offer in addition to the usual ultra-cheap groceries I still bought.  And that lead me to maple syrup.  At that time I had just come to have a pen-pal in Canada (who is now one of my closest friends).  Maple syrup seemed to me the height of exotic.  It helped me feel a sense of an outside world.  Not, it should be added, a sense of the world opening up for me; just that of a few cracks of light opening in my shell.

I thought about this the other day when I saw a bottle of male syrup at Safeways (picture attached) on a rainy afternoon, like there were a lot of at that earlier time in my life.  Sometimes it's good to be reminded of how locked-away are the places you've allowed your mind to live.  How much you can long not to be trapped in them, and how easy it is to allow that locked-in place to become permanent, such that you don't notice it anymore.  And how exhilarating, frightening, rewarding and joyful it is when you step out of your cave, to broaden your horizons and begin to see if your dream is around that next bend.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

To Joni

To my dear wife ... Joni ...

We reached Melos after 85 days wandering
Finding the sea as the ancients had said
Wine dark, serpent haunted.

We rounded Malea on the 91st day.
Without fanfare, without cheers, with mourning.
We forgot where we had come from.

On the 96th day we rounded Cape Bojador
The end of the world, my world, was close.
I began to wander.

We wandered a long time, years
In that Atlantic expanse
Iron grey, rolling, unmarked.

One month drew into another
Blurring in a grey eternity
I threw the compass away.

After many years the sun showed itself
Face roasting in a blood red sky
Stripping scales for new skin

Night came, and 11 tiny white stars
Stood still in a velvet black
Cool air came with a burgundy coloured dawn

Mid-morning found green hills
A beach the colour of honey
A woman knee deep in the waves.

The winds died away for the last time
And I knew that I had never been lost
I had been looking for Ithaca