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Showing posts from December, 2014

Happy New Year.

From the top: Alexandra at just under 2; William at 2; Thomas at just under 2 (wearing my running shoes). Or is it at William the top, Thomas in the middle and Alex below? No, wait ...

Deck the Food Hall

(Click to enlarge.) Roz Chast's illustrations of domestic desperation are like hand grenades with fool-proof pins. There's TNT in there but it never goes right off. Her characters keep a lid on it somehow. Satire or reality? My mother has every one of those teas. Not that she's a foodie: far from it. People keep giving them to her. 'Gourmet' teas seem to have achieved a kind of exotic attraction beyond their actual composition and have become the default gift - like aromatherapy kits about twenty years ago - for old ladies who have, or have had, everything. My mother's tea collection sits at one end of the kitchen bench, in a corner near the stove. The tea, loose or in bags, is in tins with lids, tins without lids, spilling out of opened boxes, packed in unopened boxes, piled up in wicker baskets and just laying loose, a tea mountain which occasionally collapses with outcrops of organic, fair trade, single estate, sustainable, ethical and socially responsi

A case of mistaken identity. Or was it?

The boys were convinced Ishant Sharma works part-time as a security guard in Coles. They saw him there several times when we were shopping after school. But he wasn't there while the first test was on. That was proof enough for the two boys. "Why don't you ask him?" I said. "And find out once and for all?" They haven't seen him since; but we are in the middle of the second test right now. He must be in Brisbane. This incident mirrors what happened to my younger brother when he visited India years ago, and was accosted by scores of young Indian boys, who asked him if he was Australian, and then if he was Geoff Lawson; as if one followed the other logically. If you're an Aussie, you must be Geoff Lawson. * Recipe for a hot summer night: Sweet potato with chick peas and pine nuts. Peel two large sweet potatoes, cut the flesh into centimetre cubes, and cook until just tender. Meanwhile, heat through two drained cans of chickpeas. Toast hal

The Iron Horse.

Titles roll. Music. Scene one: day Tableau : the ancient shed at the end of the yard leans to the east. It was built in the 1940s, a simple rectangular steel frame with sheet-iron walls and a corrugated roof. It has one door, no window, and no light, because power was never connected. It is pitch black inside. You prop open the north-facing door to admit light. This works best in winter when the sun is further north, slanting in. Action : I enter screen left and pull open the crooked shed door. Ancient hinges complain. My eyes become accustomed to the darkness, and a great shape can be made out in the corner: a hulk of cast iron on wheels. Covered in dust, it resembles an abandoned steam train in some long-forgotten rail yard shed. Tracking shot : I somehow I drag it out into daylight. Locked-off camera : I hose the dust off the iron horse, and exit screen right. It dries in the warm air. Scene two: evening Against a painted backdrop of a line of ornamental pear trees and a