Sunday, October 27, 2013

Savoring Sarah's Story

Sarah had her book released this week. It's called Salt Story, and you can find out more about it here, on her very excellent blog called The Wine Dark Sea. I had it on pre-order, picked it up and am allowing myself to read it in smallish bites, because the urge to just devour it is strong.  If I do I'll regret it because Sarah's stories, her use of language are to be savored and not just consumed. Someone said 'you know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.' This is one of those books.

I have a great affection for certain ex-fishermen, but I've always been drawn to stories of the ocean, ships, boats. Water, along with Celtic music, is part of my basic genetic makeup, it took a long time to understand why, but some things can't be denied, a little like fisheries officers in uniform.

I met Sarah a long time ago, we lived across the road from each other. Her children and mine were of similar ages and over the years they played and went to school and made up parts of the neighborhood mob.  I remember her in the relentless pissing down pouring rain, digging a huge hole to bury her dog, the size of a small pony, one of the most poignant things I've ever seen. I can still see her practicing her fire twirling on a sultry Saturday evening, and it still makes me smile to remember it. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My payday treat this week was some magazines.  Having found that once I bought the magazines, I couldn't afford the gorgeous things in them, I entered into a self-imposed magazine moratorium a couple of years ago. (The general exception is airport purchase, but last time I flew I was replete with book.)

There's a famous line in Cold Comfort Farm (the book and the film) in which a communique from Flora, on said farm to her Aunt in the city ends "Send Vogue." 

I strolled back to work with an armful of glossy paper covered with ridiculously skinny airbrushed teenagers wearing stuff I could never afford. My untidy mind segued from Cold Comfort Farm to Dorothy Parker, a great humorist and poet, and along with Nancy Mitford one of the major influences on my twisted point of view. For Dorothy said "What fresh hell is this?": a quote I remember every working day.  

She also said "Brevity is the soul of lingerie"; and  "Men seldom make passes / At girls who wear glasses". Although I have evidence which renders the latter untrue, it has a certain metrical amusement value. I know one individual who may cite the former as empirical truth.

Vogue tells me that the New Look is - well - new again. Again.So the return to vintage has worked it's way into the fashion 'mainstream' - it's back to vintage corsetry, beautiful dresses,the silhouettes of the 50's. If only I was an uber-rich skinny teenager who could afford airbrushing. 

I can afford "The Collected Dorothy Parker", a better investment, probably.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Consumer capitalist commitment copout

Cocky cage for repurpose into a chook tractor
So my friend dropped me at the airport, and asked  'Do you have everything?'  Then we burst into hysterical laughter, because we had just unloaded a uteload of junk into her garage.  Not to mention the carload the previous day, and the bits we hid in there the day before that, on the way from the airport.  There was a circular saw, amongst other things, in my suitcase.

We have more fun at this time of year than should strictly be legal. And this last weekend it was verge collection in some of the uber-rich and super-tasteless areas of Perth. At first we thought that the two facial expressions of the residents were directed at us, as we drove slowly and examined their junk.  Then we realised that those expressionless, non-smiling women had had botox, and the ones with pursed lips just look like that all the time because it's so stressful being wealthy.

I get that it's below their dignity to have a garage sale,
Ooooh, wrought iron...
although we did observe some activity which looked surprisingly like listing things on Gumtree. I don't, and never will understand how the women who lunch for a living don't have time to drop stuff at an opshop, or call a charity for pickup of larger items.

If your house is big enough to have it's own postcode, and your housekeeper has a secretary, why would you prefer to send perfectly good stuff to landfill?  We picked up some lovely things to drop off in charity bins, rather than let them be ruined in the rain. I salute their capitalist commitment to consumerism. 

So many options for repurposing.
For that matter, no-one was playing tennis on the private courts, or lounging on the expensive up to date patio furniture,or even strolling in the landscaped grounds.  We did see some functionaries, functioning. 

The competition out there is killer.  One guy circled past 5 times while we considered options for rather a lot of wrought iron. At another places there were as many as 5 cars competing. I literally threw myself out of the car and onto a vintage David Jones leather suitcase just as a car screeched up behind us, intent on the same thing. We exchanged insincere pleasantries as I threw the suitcase into the back seat. The owner came out and went through the remnants, trying to talk up some items.  We left them to it.  

The early bird gets the suitcase.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

once again onto the verges....

My favourite time of year has begun.  I'm a bit pressed for time so I'll just give you the highlights from week one:

A nomination for second in 'best finds ever'* is this young gentleman.  He positively leapt into the vehicle, several thoughts about how he may end up.  I'd love to know why someone painted his face green, and set fire to one knee. 
*Best find ever: the church hymn board last year, in case you were wondering.

In the same pic, polo stick things.  I'm going to need 2 horses, and a 'Polo for Dummies' book, especially if my new armless friend wants to play.

50's metal chair, faux wrought iron folding chair, and circular stand in the style I call 'curly'. How could I leave them? TLC required, consider these the 'before' pics.

An electric base guitar, in case, with amp.  I'm putting the band back together.  The mannequin will have to play harmonica, for obvious reasons, probably not very well. 

A vase, English, 1890-ish. Classic Nouveau shape. Sir Christopher Dresser design.
Gotta love Google.

On the practical side, a new awning for the back veranda, to replace the ones blown to shreds this year, another easel, 2 working Dyson vacuums (for friends), a new trolley, and bits and bobs, various.  I like the unused chantilly cream maker, like a soda syphon, complete with a full box of gas cylinders. I never wanted to make chantilly cream till now.

Now, I have to put my stuff out, so that I can fit the new stuff in. Lucky I got the trolley...