Category: Life

  • Who’s going to do it?

    This can happen: you find yourself up on a stool tonging moss from crevices in the aluminium windows, and I’m talking inside the house. It’s in the order of nose-picking — wrong and thrilling at the same time. Fired by that novel experience, I got out the sewing machine to hem the new bed cover. […]

  • Domestic warmth

    He seized the base of the disintegrated log basket and thrust it into the fire. She urged him to move over so she could also watch the woven cane blacken in the flames, then she ran for the camera. He remonstrated with her as she opened the  door and fire roared back from the gust […]

  • Decadence

    Northeasterly rain: the wet, persistent, three-day kind. I’ve strung the washing up under the house, wiped the windows off for the second time, split some firewood, and huddled up to the wood burner; even the fire slouches along in this weather. I wouldn’t mind something to snack on — something reminiscent of warmer days — […]

  • Polly still doesn’t get it

    And then this morning I read that military spending worldwide has increased 45% in the last decade. A tidy sum at 1,226 billion dollars. (Curiously enough, now I look for the BBC page, it’s been removed from the headlines, as if it’s just too embarrassing to leave lying about.) What kind of malevolent energy does […]

  • Osu

    This is Polly, got up in the top half of my gi. I wrote something for the recent pecha kucha evening (12 speakers, each with 2o images addressed for 20 seconds each) about the interface of writing and karate. I said that each might be seen as a way of containing and giving shape to […]

  • 6-foot dialogue

    I know I’ve used this image already but there’s more to be said about the feet, of which two are engaged to be married, two are homeless overseas, and two belong to the parents of the other four. One of the parents was discussing with another parent recently the states of daughterhood and motherhood — […]

  • On the road to strange?

    October 2007. Returning from a rainy bush walk on the Mississippi, I cheered myself up, and tested my knees, hips and footing, doing what we used to call a Dutch leap. One of the Middle Eastern contingent exclaimed (I paraphrase), ‘Omg, you can use your body. You bike and swim, and walk for miles.’ (Next […]

  • Engagements

    Three occur to me, from this week: the new washing machine with our taps and plug (R.I.P. the trusty friend that washed perhaps 5,000 loads in her 19 years); myself with a ball of wool and the 6.5s (Knitting for Africa); and the one that’s fully engaging heart and mind … momentously, wonderfully, marking a […]

  • Taking what’s near

    I sat out on the door-sill of the old shed, under the grapevine, to read through the newly arrived book contract, feeling the thrills of hope and desire (that word again) that accompany a new venture. Ker-thug. A brown leaf, large as a hand, and as gnarled, dropped onto the open pages. And a second. […]

  • Devices and desires

    In the interests of beautiful feet (the material version thereof), I was shopping for a new piece of sandpaper. Banish ‘callous’ heels said the tiny print on the box, and believe me, by the end of summer, mine are ruthless and I want them gone. I was in the 1,2,3-dollar shop, shushing my qualms, for […]

  • In the web

    Before one daughter photographed the other photographing this obliging Pisan dog now introduced to you, they had spent the entire night walking round and round Siena, there being no room for them in the inns. NZ girls WOOFing in Italy. At any moment, however, they were only a text message away from home. I think […]

  • Sunday

    … and the darkness has not overcome it.

  • Saturday

  • Good Friday

    And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock;and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mark 15:46

  • Bring on the dogs

    A bit gloomy today. Springing out of bed early (hooray for daylight-spending!) and swimming failed to work their usual magic. The postie brought tripe, I wrote half a page of tripe, and nobody emailed. Didn’t want to blog, probably ever again. But gloom, like the fudge that arrived today from Edinburgh in an paper bag, […]

  • Autumn losses

    We live in the midst of death, and many life-forms die because we live. Think of all we consume, and of the lives we interrupt inadvertently — on country roads, with the cleaning rag, underfoot. Yesterday I heard a terrific thud and, heart pounding, looked out into the vege garden. Two thrushes among the spinach: […]

  • Supernature

    We tried these at work early in March. They didn’t taste quite foody nor the jam exactly jammy so we applied one to the windowsill — an offering to the birds and insects, the sun, rain, moulds, microbes and spirits of the air. Four weeks later: I doubt if many of us stand up so […]

  • Ert or inert?

    Whatever she is doing or not doing, a cat is a cat is a cat (and we call this one Biddy). I wonder if the same can be said of a person. If you stopped thinking for a few minutes, and laid aside every habit, tic, job, expectation, should or ought — each veil or […]

  • Messengers

    Beautiful feet. They’re to be found in the work place, on the radio, among your friends and family, via the internet, on your street and, if you’re blessed, in your own home. They might be buffed and trim, cracked and calloused, or hidden away in shoes and socks. They belong to people who are glad […]

  • Time in the intertidal zone

    My challenge today: to make this dead fish marry the idea of time accelerating. Is it merely an idea, or are the days, weeks and months racing by at rates previously reserved for seconds, minutes and hours? Of course the explanation might be a purely mechanical: a month in 2009 is roughly 1/600 of my […]

  • Herbal Heaven?

    I collected this stupefied fellow off a magic mushroom. The fly agarics, or amanita muscaria, have proliferated in the recent wet spell, daubing enough insanity around the fringes of the local park for the whole city to take leave of their senses. (Some already have, but the Stadium is another matter.) Anyway, Cicada was ready […]

  • Afloat

    It’s strange how happiness comes along and catches you up. Sometimes you can make it happen (swim out of your shoes; here I am at Lake Alexandrina; the ducks moved aside) and other times it comes all by itself and lifts you into the heart of your work or play; it makes your son laugh […]