October 2007


Listening to: Coffee + TV – Blur

Argh! I’ve just taken a little lunch break (my assignment is actually progressing at last) and have been torturing myself by looking at London rental properties. It’s completely exhilerating – seriously, I think my face is actually flushed after seeing the words “close to Tesco superstore”, or this:

Clapham Tube Station, I think

Exhilerating, but disheartening. My lunch break has stretched into two hours, and I have concluded that I am going to have to couple up with someone if I am ever going to afford that kind of rent on a studio flat (even if I resist converting the price tags back into Australian dollars, they’re slightly alarming. Does anyone know any wealthy bachelors who disdain sunshine?). Studio flats above shops, studio flats near Tube stations, studio flats with manky carpeting which boast “neutral decor” (when did neutral decor become desirable? Yuck). I don’t think I have the words to express how badly I want to go, how much I want to live in a country I wasn’t born in. I think it’s a sign that things are calming down a bit here, because until a couple of months ago this was all I could think about all the time, too.

Today is deliciously grey and rainy, too, which is perfect weather for thinking of England.

Listening to: Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan

My mother is sitting upstairs singing tunelessly along to this (Like a Rolling Stone requires shouty tunelessness).

Anyway, what I wanted to say is write this down in your diaries: 4th of November, Glenelg Primary School, Adelaide Vegan Festival! Cool, no? I’m excited. I saw a flyer for it at uni the other day (!), and have written it on our calendar in pen.

Mum and I have joined the knitting group at the public library where I work – today was the first one. It was pretty cool (actually, really cool), but now I feel hopelessly inadequate. That thing, where you sort of flick your wrist a couple of times and have miraculously ribbed a whole row? I don’t have the faintest idea how to do that. I had thought that teaching myself continental knitting was going to be the answer, but no – they’re doing it the English/American/right-handed way, just really, really, really efficiently. I will have to study them closely over the next few months. Anyway, it was nice and chatty and I scored points by having free access to the photocopier.

I made Knitty’s Urchin yesterday – I had to adjust it all to fit my gauge, and it ended up pretty big, but I like it. It would be perfect if I still had my dreads. It’s very warm – maybe I should move to Aberdeen or somewhere instead of London, because I’ve been amassing a lot of lovely but totally unnecessary cold weather gear lately. I will edit this and add pictures later this evening.

P.S. C., we may have to get some of these for ourselves.

Listening to: Change of the Guard – Steely Dan

Hi there, dear reader. Sorry about the lack of updates – I have barely had a moment to myself lately (upset parents are hard work, even when sharing baby-sitting duties with a sibling. My mother hasn’t taken a breath in four or five days – she just keeps talking. But it’s good for her, and I’m glad, really). Some nice things have happened in between all the other stuff, though:

– I spent a couple of days in Melbourne earlier this week with Rad and her partner, which was (a) exactly what I needed, and (b) wonderful in itself. I had such a nice time! Wandering, talking and eating are three of my favourite things, and I fell a little bit more in love with Melbourne. Thank you!

– The week before that, everyone was away and I got the house to myself. I did stacks of sewing and watched two whole seasons of The Gilmore Girls (44 episodes!), and I didn’t really have to think about anything. I also managed to photograph two of the fruits of my labours:

Pattern from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing

From the same book, but bigger.

Also, I promised ages ago that I’d post a photo of my sock, so here it is:

Knitty's Universal Toe-Up Sock Pattern

It’s a bit tight across the top of my foot now, but the toe part fits really nicely. I used some second-hand 5-ply and 2mm needles, so I guess a not-very-stretchy fabric is to be expected.

– We saw Forbidden Lies a couple of nights ago and really enjoyed it. Quite apart from the subject matter, which was really fascinating, I thought it was just a really well-made documentary – the pacing was great, the unravelling of each twist in the story, and even though Norma Khouri was a pretty unsympathetic character (although, having said that, L, T, Mum and I all had slightly different takes on the guilty/not-guilty question) you could also see her appeal and that made the whole story so complex and interesting. I very much recommend it.

– Facebook is fun! I like all this reconnecting with old friends stuff, even if just to say hello.

The parent stuff is getting trickier and trickier. Everything is moving very quickly, and this evening L, T and I had dinner with Dad and he told us that he’s moving interstate to live with his “friend” (yes, very coy) at the end of next week. This is mainly a relief at this stage, because his living so close by has just been too hard for everyone, but, you know, wow. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. My mother’s needs have been the more pressing issue lately (I don’t mean that bitterly, because, you know, fair enough, but it has been all-consuming and exhausting) and I haven’t had time to figure out my own, but now that I’m over the initial shock of them splitting up at all…I don’t know. Is the loss of my relationship with my dad a big deal? It probably is, right? I don’t know. I was going to move out eventually, anyway, so I’m okay with losing the day-to-day stuff, I suppose. And having a long-distance relationship with my father? That’s wrapped up in all sorts of complicated childhood baggage, and I kind of think it serves him right if we lose touch. (I have a counsellor, but we don’t actually talk much about the separation because we’re working on my self-esteem issues. Right now, we’re un-repressing my anger towards my parents for all the times they up-rooted me when I was growing up. I’m supposed to be spending this week communicating these feelings to them, which is ridiculous timing.) Somewhere underneath that lurks the fact that he’s my dad and I love him.

I am also pissed off that he’s taking his record collection with him.

So anyway, that’s me. One last thing: Rad and I were talking about musical guilty pleasures, and this is mine:

I feel that it’s probably somehow morally wrong to prefer this version to Sam Cooke’s, but there you go. (I don’t even like anything else Beverley Knight has ever done.) Oh, I also rather like this and suspect it’s not very cool. So I guess my secret musical shame is that I’m really boring. Don’t tell anyone, will you?