Saturday, October 19, 2002

I am quite fascinated by people's internal landscapes. What I mean by this is what people see in their mind's eye when they hear a particular song, smell a certain smell or hear a country name.

I am at Paul's place in Maidenhead. Paul is a good friend of ours and was also Ian's best man. We are in London this weekend to see The Whitlams but we also wanted to spend some time with Paul so we are staying at his place.

I digress.

We were having breakfast earlier and I had put on 'Automatic for the People', REM's epic album I will never tire of hearing, when 'Sweetness Follows' came on and I was immediately transported to midwestern America. Bear in mind here that I have never been to the midwest but what I saw in my mind's eye were long stretches of road, towns where the streets are wide and the houses large, Texaco service stations and roadside diners where you can get 3 times as much food on your plate that you can possibly consume.

I have no idea why when I hear that particular song I see the Amerian midwest but I suppose that is something peculiar to my mind.

What do you see when I say 'white picket fence'? Or where do you go when you catch the smell of coconut tanning lotion? OK, that is far to suggestive what about the smell of jasmine in the evening? What do you think of when you hear the song 'Love Me Do'?

I ask this cause there are things that bring back warm and fuzzy feelings, memories distorted by time and distance which I have moulded to leave me momentarily pining for the days of my childhood. But when Ian experiences the same trigger he has a compeletely different reaction - usually an adverse one. Take trifle for example. It reminds me of family parties where too many Aunties brought their unique version of the stuff and my cousins and I would eat only the custard. To Ian, trifle means school dinners which most English people remember with disgust and the odd few who find them utterly comforting.


C x

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

I have been known to have an opinion on the odd thing. I'm not a ranter [much] and I do try to take things in my stride [not really] so in an attempt to keep a balanced perspective [vent my spleen] I will note a few of my pet peeves [things that drive me completely potty] here.

Starbucks: In a word, utter crap. OK, so that was 2 words but please, is there anything else in the world so banal and inconsequential as an American coffee [and I use the word coffee lightly] chain that is present on most street corners in every town, city and village in this country serving warm and milky cups of excuses for coffee?

Now I realise that it is not just Starbucks itself that is to blame for the proliferation of this liquid shit - it is the consumers of it who seem to have utterly missed the fact that just over the Channel and beyond lie the best little cafes and subsequently therefore, the best coffee in Europe! No, instead they slurp their way through billions of cups of the [expensive] tasteless shite because it is a: American b: convenient c: cool? or d: but it is good coffee I am limply told when I ask ‘Why do you drink it?’.


Honestly, if another person excuses their consumption of this muck by declaring that it is good coffee I will grab them by the scruff of their neck, stuff their faces in a packet of Lavazza and force them to inhale, hard.

What is wrong with these people?!

I think that may be enough for today as I feel remarkably better.

Tomorrow I might tell you why I think George Dubya Bush is bad for the planet.

C x

Listening to: 'Teach Yourself Spanish' - Disc 1, Michel Thomas
Reading: 'Maybe the Moon', Amistead Maupin

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Nanette called this morning and we talked for an hour and a half. It was so nice to hear her voice, all her news and happenings. I miss her so much you know. I would love to just 'pop' over hers and sit down with her over a cup of coffee and talk and talk and talk. I'd even settle for just hearing her voice without the audible sizzle and pop of the phone line that seems to thin her voice with every inch of optic fibres it travels through.


However the phone calls have to do for now as I let go more and trust that she is a great woman who is doing amazingly well at being a first time mum. I, on the other hand just look forward to the next time we can sit down with that cup of coffee.

Miss you Fuzzy...

C x

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

I promised to tell you about my long misplaced friend Caroline didn't I? It's been a week of reconnections which began with a quick look at, a website dedicated to reuniting old school friends (or put you back in touch with the miserable cretins who made your school life hell forever ensuring that being within a five kilometre radius of your old high school made your eyes bleed). Take your pick.

I digress.

Caroline and I met when we both enrolled in the Tertiary Orientation Program at Swinburne TAFE in Melbourne. The idea of the course was, if you passed with the marks required, you were guaranteed a place in a Degree course at Swinburne University. I enrolled because I wanted to figure out what to do with my life and I thought it would give me direction. Caroline enrolled because she wanted to eventually become a Solicitor so she could represent the underdogs in our world. I'm proud to say five and a half years after we met, Caroline is about to begin her articles with a large law firm in Melbourne. Me? I finished the course, got a place then realised I had no idea what I wanted to spend five years studying to be so I went back to work.

I still don't know why Caroline and I made a beeline for each other that first day at Swinburne. We talked about it later and decided that the rest of the class were complete nutters and we were not. How incredibly modest of us huh? Anyway, gravitate we did and along the way we collected Gary and between the three of us we managed to cause a string of little uprisings when, surprise, surprise, we refused to follow the party line. What this meant was when we were asked what we thought about anything in particular, and we did not respond 'parrot fashion' we were asked the question again and again and gently prodded towards the accepted mindset. Needless to say that effort failed miserably and we continued to answer as we saw it gathering members as we went along much to the annoyance of our lecturerers. It has to be said that most of them had taught the course subject matter for thirteen odd years so a little bucking of the system was well overdue!

I suppose the other thing that drew us together was our faith. At that stage mine was a little more pronounced and Caroline's somewhat latent but it was the substance to our relationship which feeds it to this day.

We lost touch in the intervening years but I found her just before our wedding in January last year. It was so great she was there after all that time and even though we hardly got a chance to catch up it was lovely to see her. But again we dropped the ball and lost touch. I put her home number into my mobile here in the UK and she lost my email address. However one morning last week in a fit of nostalgia [and an ever pervading feeling that I was floating around this life with no anchors] I called her and once again reconnected. She has email now and whatever your thoughts are on that particular method of communication, it has helped me keep in touch with many friends back in Oz.

Funnily enough those I am closest too hardly ever email me nor I them. I can see Caroline and I going to same way. And I think that is a good thing.

When all is said and done however, I am glad to have found her again...

C x

Listening to: 'Daybreaker', Beth Orton.
Reading: 'The Night Listener', Amistead Maupin