27 January 2007


How good is dancing? Every time I dance it's a mini-revelation. A step away from head-on-a-stick syndrome + a victory for feeling alive.

Last night Bez, Em + I went to Castro's - the new gay club down the road from my place. It was a hoot + about as much of an escape from patriotic hooliganism as we could expect to find in the Gong on Australia Day. Still plenty of flags, but the largest was draped over a stunningly long-legged drag queen. (When did Australia Day turn into Redneck Moron's Day anyway? I seem to have missed that transition point.) It was a funny mixed crowd, at least as many straight kids as gay kids, but at least it didn't feel like the usual Wollongong meat-market. I could happily have danced there all night I think. Washing the high cheeeeez factor + terrible house music down with vodka, lime + soda. Lord I love bad taste.

It's been a double dose, with my return to energy dance. Ah, serious food for the soul. Annalise is gorgeous. Dancing with her is such an amazing way for me to engage my body and feel connected - I love it. I could do it every day. And today Henry told me that I'm "graceful". Me. Graceful. Woo!

16 January 2007

baby brain

High disclosure warning: New year brings new opportunities for navel-gazing + pondering of life, the universe + everything (as it centres around me). Anyone who’s not interested in the intimate + somewhat warped workings of my brain may like to depart Planet Claire now, because I’m about to go off on a self-indulgent rant.

I’ve been thinking.

I’m at an interesting point in my life. The first of a series of mid-way points I guess, where I realise that one phase has passed + wonder what the fuck comes next. I’m 30; I’m single; I live in a small slightly shitty city; I have an abundance of friendship + good fortune. On lots of levels I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, even though nothing has gone to plan + I’m nowhere near where I expected to be. I know myself + for the first time I feel a modicum of fondness for this person I seem to be. I could plod along like this for decades I reckon, hanging out with me mates, exercising a little creativity from time to time, earning a keep. I think I could even learn to enjoy the single life, even though I’d dig a little love + affection on a regular basis. The one big question mark is kids, + I’ve been feeling it pretty acutely over the last couple of weeks.

Aunty Ruby was late in visiting after Chrimbo. (Sorry Weeze, there was a basis to the “So what would you do if you were preggers right now?” conversation.) I had to think the whole scenario through again + I realised that I’d keep the baby if I was preggers right now. I’d be scared witless, but I’d do it. My biggest fear is missing the opportunity to have a family. And if I regret anything of the last 12 or so years of my life it’s that I didn’t pop out a bunch of sprogs early on, like I always thought I would. Now I find myself at a point where I’m over-ready to start a family but have no conventional means to do so.

Late periods have a way of kicking you in the guts + mine came straight after I’d a) spent ten bucks on the kit, + b) run into Erin in the baby-stuff-aisle at Coles. Erin is a friend-of-a-friend who is newly pregnant via donor. I found this out in the aisle mere moments after concealing the kit in my trolley. It felt like a sign that the whole thing could be done… until.

Of course the whole thing can still be done. I would like to find a way of creating the life I want for myself, preferably without slutting it around town. (I don’t think “Hey baby, wanna be my sperm donor?” is going to work for me anyway.) It blows my mind to think about the permutations + customisations that occur, the power we have to re-shape the concept of family + give it our own meaning. There’s no panic here. I’ll have my year of taking it as it comes. But at the same time I want to throw my desire out into the world, make my request of the universe (or however that hippie line works) + see what comes back to me. Keep an ear to the earth for me!

12 January 2007

scaffolded opportunities

A big, early, glamorous return to the world of blogging was planned for this week. But lo + behold… it’s Friday… + big, early + glamorous have passed me by. (Well, maybe not big. Wot with the holiday bloat + all.) Subsumed by return to work + the reality of annual report writing, aka corporate-masturbation-interpretation. It’s the part of my job I hate the most + each summer it's upon me like the hounds of hell. Dense, ferocious + unavoidable. Forcing me to make sense of scaffolded opportunities + key performance indicators. My beautiful holiday nearly forgotten against this stark backdrop of worst-case reality… but only nearly.

It was a blast! Highlights:

  • My gorgeous sis. I say it so often, I know. But seriously, two weeks together + she didn’t kill me or even need a day off. (She did, however, inform me that I’m weird on a regular basis. As if this was previously unknown.)
  • The landscapes. Stunning. Finishing the walk to Wine Glass Bay, complete with several thooousand steps. I wish we'd been brave enough to swim even if it was in undies + 12 degree water!
  • The fruit. Yummy. Eating a whole punnet of raspberries in one sitting. Omigod, why have I never done that before? (Yes, I am serious, this is a highlight.) The food in general. Delish, local, top quality, salt + spice squid, potato rosti, alcoholic ginger beer... what more could we ask for?
  • Hobart. How much do I want to live there? Lots.
  • The wildlife, even if 90% of it was squashed on the side of the road. We went on an amazing excursion to visit the fairy penguins in Bicheno. I saw a handful of echidnas and a lyre bird ran in front of us while we were visiting the huon pine forest. Amazing.
  • Two new frocks. Woo hoo!

I'll aim to get some photos up on Flickr soon.

I thought I'd get back + capture new year’s resolve. Get that giant energy bubble down + recorded for posterity. Tell y’all about big plans + inventions. But when I reach the page the energy has dissipated somewhat. And why shouldn’t it? The weeks follow each other, #1 follows #52. Suddenly it’s not new anymore. We’re into double digits, soon January will be halfway + then the downhill slope... it will be June, I’ll be 31 which is nowhere near as good as 30, + we’ll hit the chrimbo rush again. Wo… sounding maudlin after a post-work beer… not what I mean to do. But why is the nye (new year energy) so hard to maintain?

I’m an ny junkie. I fall for it ever year. Two weeks of buzz followed by the slow downward spiral. My mate Ethan mirrored my thoughts in conversation the other day, talking about coming home with big plans + then watching the energy slip-slide away. Maybe we make the big plans because we’re momentarily freed from work + anything seems possible. (Or is that just the annual report talking? I don’t usually feel shackled to my job!) Over summer I find time out for thinking + writing + exploring options, + I'm sure that's got something to do with it... so the challenge is to keep finding that time!

And then there's the resolve. Bugger the big stuff... this year I am resolved to:

  • Attempt karaoke.
  • Avoid overdue DVD fines.
  • Dance as frequently as possible.
  • Give up boys, unless a stunningly RIGHT opportunity comes along. Definitely give up worrying about boys.
  • Reject the plucked chicken look + grow my pit hair. (I don't care if you think I'm a smelly hippie or that I don't "look after myself".)
  • Stop being anal about spelling + grammar, except when being paid for it. Avoid finding fault in emails, menus, real estate advertising... the list goes on. Accept that contemporary language use is a bunch of a55 + let it go.
  • Teach myself beer appreciation. (Obviously I have the basics down, but I'd like to learn the theory!)
  • Remember, above all else, that I have the power to choose my attitude + aproach to life. Remember that approaching things positively means experiencing things positively.

What are your resolutions? Do share.

Here's to a year full of positivity, friendship + fun!

09 January 2007

annie's owl cosy

Garish crochet
maroon and black
Eyes ringed with white
Small circle of green behind each bulging black eyeball
Four eyes! Two-headed monster!
Sweet small beak, one for each face (the subtlest part)

Generous lining. Black.
Four white circles where the eyes are
empty ghosts in reverse
Maybe the maker had warmed up by the inside
Meticulousness when turned inside out
Neat perfection that comes with practice

Frill along the edge, each stitch fanning out in a graceful scallop
Remember to ask Carolyn which stitch: Double? Treble? Treble.
Distant memories of crocheting mushrooms
(fat child fingers around tiny hook, intricate instruction, ears straining)
don’t hold up to detailed investigation
Inside out, the frills become small red tongues, poking out from the blackness

Little bird, angel of the morning
Protect me
Bring dazzle to my cup and warmth to my belly
Bring smiles to the faces of those feline girls
with their languid stretches and caramel kisses
Guide us to the morning’s first laughter