Two things have changed considerably over the seven years since I began this blog, and even in the 12 months since I last made a few serious attempts at posting:
I don’t write at all about what I thought I would when I set out, which was intellectual, deeply challenging pieces on the state of the world that would beautifully complement my studies and career and help with my professional life.
Instead, I write about what I know and experience in the course of my day-to-day interactions, which is usually culture, society and family. Sure, I take a somewhat high-brow approach from time to time, because I can, and even tackle world events occasionally, but usually I just enjoy sharing the bizarre, mundane and occasionally startling events that make us human.
WordPress, being the clever-clogs they are, has evolved nicely to incorporate tablets and mobile to their free themes (thank you) so I hope this works for you on a number of levels to find the content accessible and readable. And if you like it – bonus.
What hasn’t changed is my commitment to the idea of Hegemony Heights. We still live in a world where commonsense often isn’t, and normal is a construct. Thus endeth the lecture.
In the refresh, I’ve added some conversations and made them a separate menu item even though they’re all still listed under the Home blog page. These conversations are another thing I’ve realised I enjoy writing most about – the quirky vignettes of humanity that leave smiles and occasionally tears. Under Bumper Edition, I’ve added a sub-page just for stick figure families (as you do), and finally, there are also some enhanced features down the right-hand side-bar including a Search function.
I was walking the dog along the stretch of beach where old local blokes launch and drag in their trusty little tinnies and tubs after an early morning fish in the bay. Two said blokes were pulling in the tub as I walked past them along the water’s edge.
JB: “You catch anything?
Salt 1, smiling: “Enough for lunch.”
JB: “What do you get – herring or whiting?”
Salt 2, conspiratorily, only a metre away: “Crayfish – we’ve got a few pots out there.”
JB, raising her eyebrows: “Very nice! Enjoy”
And I continued on.
Salt 1, yelling out: “They say crayfish tastes better with company?”
JB, yelling back with a smile: “Well, there’s two of you, that’s company isn’t it?”
“I’m sorry we keep walking past in front of you,” I say to the old woman sharing the ward, while standing outside the bathroom door right alongside her bed, “but my grandmother takes tablets that make her wee – she’s 98 and doesn’t mean to be rude.”
“Oh that’s okay, I’m 80 … 80 something …. I think. I’m pretty sure I’m in my eighties,” she says with an nervous chuckle. She’s had no visitors since her grandson left two days ago, soon after she’d come in after a fall at home, and I had arrived. She’s been mainly cold, continually disoriented and occasionally anxious since.
“I think all this war stuff with the thing in town last week is what’s got me down. My friend said he’d take me down, you know, to the Forts, because I didn’t have any family. But it was so crowded.
I lost three brothers in the war, you know. One was killed by the Americans. He was on a Japanese POW ship but the Japanese didn’t have the flag up and it was bombed. So he drowned, but we got him back because he was one of those men that could never stay down under the water. So we got Walter back, but we didn’t get Alan and the other one back.
And then my husband signed up – had his sixteenth birthday on the Queen Mary on the way to the Middle East. We weren’t married then of course. They all thought it was such a game. And he came home silly as a wet weak. He was an idiot by the time he came back. A 16-year-old boy. They had no right.”
“I’m sorry,” I say sheepishly, “but I really have to check on my grandmother.”
“That’s okay,” she smiles, “thank you for listening. You’re a lovely nurse.”
Originally published in Bahrain this Week 14 September 2014
Early in my career I prided myself on my ability to competently do several tasks at once, juggling many balls and seeming doing what others found at best difficult or at worse impossible. I loved the variation this afforded me in what may have otherwise been a dull position with the Australian Government. The more I was asked, the more I did. It was like a game, a test of endurance I knew I would win at all costs. Then guess what? I realized the cost and decided it was too high; I wasn’t a juggler I was a clown.
Even though I was young, in my 20s and full of energy, weekends were just spent recovering from exhaustion to prepare myself to do it all again next week. Relationships and personal pursuits suffered, so at 28, I decided to focus…
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling …. good!
Following the loveliness of Billy Joel’s magnanimous moment in 2013, let’s head to number two, which fulfils all the criteria – which, if you’ve forgotten, are:
the fan, who couldn’t be happier – either that night, for a week, a month or maybe the rest of his or her life;
the audience, who, through the fan, enjoy the experience vicariously while still enjoying the performer, and so take an extra-special memory home with them;
the performer, who, through his or her action, has consciously or subconsciously given the most wonderful gift, the willing ‘transfer of the baton’ not just of their own music – the highest honour – but acknowledging that everyone starts somewhere. And sometimes you’ve just gotta give someone a chance.
And who are we talking about? A round of applause please for Mr Michael Bublé:
He’s like an excited puppy – Bublé, that is, not 15-year-old Sam!