It was sunny and I was walking to my nearest cafe to get a coffee. I was listening to Beyonce and walking with that swagger you get when the music is moving your arms and legs in a way that does not happen when you walk in silence. That is not totally true, i walk with songs simply playing in my head, without earphones. I was in a good mood. The exact moment that I walked out of my house and was at my letter box, fiddling with my earphone cord, I had seen not one, but, two dogs being walked by their owners ( both owners in jogging gear and both said good morning). It is hard to be sad in the face of such cosmic serendipity. I also was totally struck dumb with the beauty of these flowers simply gushing colour. This was why when the guy in a blue hoodie stopped at the lights with me and said hello, I said hello back. I could hear him over Beyonce. ”Warming up.” He says. I nod and smile. His hands are pushed into his pockets. ”As my dad would say, ‘Nice weather if your a lizard. Thats a pretty obvious dad joke.”
‘It sure is.” I say.
The light goes green. ”Have a good day.” He says affably.
”You, too.” I say and mean it.
There people in my life who I would never have known existed, had I not taken social risks. I used to wonder why I was never part of any clique or group, all through highschool. I saw my sisters go through high school in very different circumstances. They seemed to fit in and make friends incredibly easily. At least easier than I did. There is a lot to be said for not peaking in high school. I am so grateful that I had so much left tucked under my teenage sleeves. On Tuesday I went to see L7 with my friend, Miranda. The gig was amazing. We had fun. The band were fully energetic and rocked as hard as i imagin they did back in the 90s. It made me marvel at how things turn out. When I was living in Kensington with my first boyfriend, Miranda also lived around the area. We never met or spoke to each other. Miranda saw me around and she was always fascinated by my cool out fits. She wanted to be my friend. I looked like someone who could be her friend. She saw me standing on Train platforms and walking around the supermarket. Ten years later, here we are: friends and creative collaborators, at a punk rock show. Ouch My Face were the support act and I was so thrilled for Miranda to see them for the first time. Celeste was so great in her role as vocalist and guitarist. I love how she can swap from her sweet and adorable talking voice, to her singing voice that is full of shout and mayhem.
The next day I will read that a woman was groped by a guy, at the very show I was at. She was groped by a guy who was there with his girlfriend. The woman had been chatting happily with the couple as they waited for the show to start. When the girlfriend left for a drink, the guy showed his inherent self entitlement to women’s bodies. He shoves his hand up the woman’s skirt. He did this at a show where most of the songs are about woman being strOng and tough and fed up with the stupid bull-twang that men dish out. It happened while I was having a great time with my friend. I wish I had been there. I wish I had known the woman and been able to put my bony elbows to good use. I’m short so i can easily elbow a groin when required. It would be nice if that was never required. It would be pretty damn amazing. Perhaps one day I will sleep the sleep of someone not drowning under a sea of insidious racist and capitalist patriarchy. I eventually decide on a spot for my signed L7 poster: on the wall that is to the right of the front door. Now, all my housemates can see it as they walk in and out of the house.
Yesterday evening, thanks to daylight saving, I was able to sit in the backyard with Merlin the cat and finish my book. The first novel in a series of six: Dr Pimms, Intermillenial Slueth. I was given the first two books to read by the editor of Echo Publishers herself. I was hooked by the mention of, ” Archeology, feminism and lots of tea drinking with cats.” I hardly ever read genre fiction. I started reading the first book on a train on Tuesday. I was pretty excited when I had my first meeting with the editor of Echo, Angela Meyer. When I won the Writeability Fellowship in September, I had cautiously requested her as my mentor for the 6 hours of writerly guidance. We met at The Moat at 5 and talked and laughed and planned until 8pm. Talking over my ambitions and goals for the writing project I chose to focus on, was inspiring and gave me that tingly brain feeling you get when something you have worked hard for, is starting to move a bit more towards completion. It is so easy to feel stagnant and down on yourself when you feel you are not reaching goals as fast as other people. Comparisons are poison to the creativity and drive.
I went home after the meeting with a concrete action to carry out ( pitch) and two new novels to read. Buzzed on fizzy wine as I walk home by moonlight, the possums making there creepy sounds and the a bat doing their own version of creepy screeching. I feel happy.
skilled archeologist and knowledgable Egyptologist Elizabeth Pimms has to go home to Canberra and look after her family after a family tragedy. She has to leave her dream job in Egypt and take on a job at the local library to financially support her siblings and grandparents. The story is sprinkled with facinating bits of information and history that I did not know. One of my favorite parts is when Elizabeth is talking with her male friend and has to explain to him who it was that really did discover the double helix. It was not Crick and Watson. The person who first photographed the double helix was a woman called Rosalind Franklin. The photographs were stolen and shown to Crick and Watson who seemed to be quite without qualms about taking all the credit and leaving Ms Franklin out of any of the credits or getting her permission. Elizabeth comments.
”I call it being Franklined – when someone else claims credit for your work, but, they probably wouldn’t have if you were a man.”
And with this Ms Pimms, completely wins my heart.