Storm Flowers

November 30, 2008

jacaranda-flower.jpgThe Jacaranda flower rains, especially in the rain. After a couple of weeks in the sun and gently falling in a slow shower in their own slow time the flowers get to a point where rain brings them down more easily. Or so it seems. I fancy they are our storm flowers, arriving at the time our warm and humid weather hits, Sydney days at this time of the year starting out clear, humid and warm and often ending in  a rumbling and crackling storm. Or with the southerly buster which drops the temperature ten degrees in a heartbeat. Our first settlers welcomed the “buster” but I would prefer the warmth to roll on. Fortunately these colours hang around for a few weeks, making even the humdrum drive to work a real pleasure – the Australian suburban bush is leaking rivers of this purple right now.

The Hot Spot

November 28, 2008

hotspot.jpgEarly hours of the morning. My online Scrabble opponent has retreated. The novel is being tweaked. The silver music of Miles Davis supported by the driving blues of  John Lee Hooker has me begging for more. Thanks Clyde for swearing on a stack of Bibles that this was the best sound track of any movie. Damn shooting straight it is. (Some Texas talk there). Can’t go past “Bank Robbery” or “End Credits”. Someone needs to make music like this again. Or I need to get out some more.

India is not…

November 28, 2008

prabudda.jpg…a country of poverty and perverse Victorian customs lost in time and place. It is not Mother Teresa or slums, cholera or cyclones, terrorists or dodgy airlines. It is first and foremost a country of the senses. India is felt on the skin, tasted in all the mouth, heard through every pore, and smelt even when sleeping. It is spices and aromas and sensuous fabrics. If you are the remotest bit tactile India is seductive. Read more

In the Hands of Providence

November 26, 2008

providence.jpgThere is something very mystical about the Gettysburg battlefield which is hard to explain. There is a very powerful sense of uniformed men still there, lingering over the heartache, savagery, the mundane and the heroic. That is, provided you do not arrive there on a day when thousands of boy scouts are running all over the place. Read more

Iraqi Muse

November 24, 2008

nanowrimo-2.jpgI found Iraq to be a very seductive place. There is something about the country, Baghdad in particular, which I found akin my experience of some parts of India. Life is such a precarious thing in these places that people grasp it with both hands and make the most of what they have. Those who live in the face of guns, under the prospect of random and butchering death know how to live. We have no idea. Read more

Along Came the Muse…

November 20, 2008

capucine.jpg…and sat down beside her. And Capucine took every advantage of that and put the rest of us to shame with a rollicking story which is full of imagination and characters, has a beginning, middle and end, good versus bad and a whole lot of nuances, subtle and otherwise. But above all it is just a story full of pure joy. Have a look at the video over on the right hand side to hear and see her tell the story and try not to be distracted by a 4 year olds cuteness. It will be a tonic in your day. (And if a writer may just spur you to greater things!)

Cemetary Alive!

November 17, 2008

gore-hill-cemetary.jpgA quick note – the pictures tell their own story. “Spring is sprung, the flowers are riz” and the wildflowers in the Gore Hill cemetery (Victorian death lost in the middle of Sydney) are abundant and vibrant and powerfully contrast the stones they envelop. It is a great place to wander during a work day, “looking for the living among the dead” imagining families long gone and being reminded how wise the advice “carpe diem.(Photos by Chris Gersch)gore-hill-cemetary1.jpg

Out of Africa to Warm the Heart

November 9, 2008

fistula290.jpgNot everything out of Africa is grim. My own limited experience of South Africa and Zimbabwe reinforced the need to be alert to what was happening around you. Its just that kind of environment. Not much different to Soho in that regard though. On Saturday the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story on Catherine Hamlin. I had read her book some time ago but she had faded from view. But she hammered back into my consciousness as I was reminded of just how remarkable this woman is. After the appalling(yet hopeful) story of Vestine, here was a story of the poorest and most marginalised (by their fistula wounds) being given love and hope and encouragement. From a woman who is now 84! Read more