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Like Spacfiller

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/01/2015 - 6:21pm in



I am tired on these summer mornings. The hot days and the humid stuffy nights leave me lying awake in the pre-dawn, tired to the bone. For the first few minutes I don’t want to get up and face the day. Then my bladder lets me know I have a hard choice to make so I get up. Zaida is staying with us at the moment. We have borrowed Grendells Mother and Normans caravan which gives her a room and us some space. Suzy and Rodney are watching the tennis on the telly in the shed. Suzy is obsessing over who plays who on the ipad. She and Rodney just got back from a trip to the Tennis Open in Melbourne. Tennis is their chosen obsession and I am not interested in them or it. This week I have been talking, walking and hanging out with Zaida. Prior to her arrival I was home alone with Agrippa. He played lego and nerded on the computer. He persuaded me to let him install a couple more games on the already overheating and overfull mini-mac.

A pile of books with lego and a jar of humbugs
Summer reading I’ve been obsessing over.

Last night I finished rereading Utz by Bruce Chatwin. I enjoy how he transparently mixes the biographical tale with what he imagines to be and what he observes. I am still annoyed that he was criticised for this. Story telling can be true and dull or embellished with the authors suspicions, innuendoes and bias leaving the tale to glitter and dazzle. I also enjoy Chatwins pretentious little anecdotes; historical name dropping or potted historical asides. He has been so copied since. Some years ago I read a book about Bottringer; the golems and porceline alchemy which felt like the author had decided to write ‘Utz volume 2’. I thought I would take Utz around to MJD. I would like him to read it. He might enjoy the references to all the various obscure historical philosophies and characters. He may also enjoy discussing the notion of the collector or the ‘fan’. In fact I have a mind to reread it with this in mind before I lend it to him.

Zaida has told me Carmen’s current man is a bit of a ‘useless drunk’. She can be unkindly judgemental sometimes. However in truth that did lead me to think about the possibility of a future relationship with Carmen. Such a calculating and stupid brain as mine looking to fill the gaps in my present situation. That last sentence makes relationships look like spacfiller. The bog of human kindness.

I have been kayaking with the Bonville canoe club for the past two Saturdays with Dan Arden. I have really enjoyed pushing myself through the race but I lack in technique and need practice. It is fun though, I’d forgotton how much I crave that kind of exercise where I use my open arms, my torso, shoulders and chest. Opening my upper body up and pulling myself through the water feels so clean and refreshing. The whole act of kayaking balances nicely against running or cycling. I am still running. Not as much as I imagined I was which is a little disappointing. I suppose if I keep going I will balance out my regular ability with the recorded facts. Then I will begin the painstaking task of trying to improve myself. I am considering not only the Kokoda Challenge with Sonya but also the Gold Coast Marathon with Sophia. They are two weeks apart, the marathon second. I feel that I could do it if I train hard. I can walk the Kokoda and rest then run the marathon. It would be an awesome way to finish my degree.

I am worried that when University begins again I shall find myself too busy to exercise. Having lost my licence may prove to be a bonus as I can only retain my independence of travel if I do so by running or cycling. Of course I could cadge a lift from C, J or a bus - but I’d prefer not. I have put towels in the fire-station and will also add soap and deodorant. I will do the same at a locker on the University Campus. This will allow me to get ‘de-sweated’ after my run/ride before classes. I feel like I need to prepare for training. Indeed I need a training plan. To that end I have been recording my runs and rides with Endomondo and notes in my diary. Earlier in the month I decided to try for increasing my endurance for six weeks. This should give me a measure of my distance ability. Then I can spend six weeks working on my strength. This will entail heading inland to go up and down the mountains before of after Uni. Or, I could use the gym for strength training, very dull. I imagine it will end up being a combination. After that if I am still going I will need to plan more…

It’s eight thirty. Everyone else is up and doing. I should be too. The past two days I ate so today I will fast. Coffee is allowed though.

My Best Rose

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 14/12/2012 - 6:21pm in


reading, Friends

Dear Z,

Thank you so much for your package, it is lovely and I shall treasure it.

You surprised me. I felt you were exactly the person I remembered but the lens of time and the walls of distance left me ignorant of the truth. I feel so stupid that I misjudged you and my errant timing has led us down different paths. If you’ll excuse my continued foolish romanticism. Under the shadows and sunbeams between scudding clouds; along grecian goat-paths; we recognised each other across a rocky valley and waved. Each carrying our own memories of the other. I remembered a witty and driven sparring partner who laughed at my naïve romantic ideals. When we parted I imagined you conquering the world with lovers adoring your every step. I had no idea you would remember me as anything other than a bit of a pillock you met one summer in France (see former foolish romanticism).

7th November 2015

I was just re-reading your letters to me. I realise that as a low life cur I have not responded in kind. I am sorry. I love your booklist and would like to add some of my own.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez – I owe my own tortured literary romantic unrealism to the magical realism of Mr García Márquez. Or maybe I’m just like that. I suspect I’d not be able to read this book now. At the time I drank it up and believed I could love someone forever despite what life might throw in the way.

In Patagonia; Utz; On the Black Hill; Songlines and pretty much anything by Bruce Chatwin. I have especially fond memories of reading Chatwins articles in the Sunday Times colour supplement. These articles along with, In Patagonia and other books* spurred me on to travel.

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall – I recently gave away my copy of this book to a friend who helped me during my marriage break up. I read this book because a woman I adored recommended it. The title was apt as she was an incontrovertible lesbian. Dammit.