Moss part I. Southern forests, Hastings Caves State Reserve. June 2011. This is a lovely poem, that kind of sums a lot of things up for me. Napoleon , Miroslav Holub Children, when was Napoleon Bonaparte born, asks teacher. A thousand years ago, the children say. A hundred years ago, the children say. Last year, the children say. No one knows. Children, what did Napoleon Bonaparte do, asks teacher. Won a war, the children say. Lost a war, the children say. No one knows. Our butcher had a dog called Napoleon, says Frantisek. The butcher used to beat him and the dog died of hunger a year ago. And all the children are now sorry for Napoleon. Moss part II. Southern forests, Hastings Caves State Reserve. June 2011. On another note, I spent all day as parent help in kindergarten yesterday, which was good fun. Henry did me proud and was easily one of the top three behaved. It seems that he is always very good in class! He is also a very popular lad, which never hurts. Moss par
E is for...? Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay. August 2011. A good week’s reading had this week, packed with quality. First up is Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs . An interesting exercise in creative writing, Black Dogs ‘mashes up’ the concept of a constructed autobiography. The story revolves around a frightening event which changed the whole life of the narrator's mother-in-law, and ripples throughout a family (continuing through to the extended family). Compounding the effect, the experience was not shared by her husband. Thus set in transit is a conflict of one partner’s pragmatic, scientific and materialistic beliefs set against another’s faith-based, spiritual journey. So, in spite of an enduring love and attachment, the couple part and pursue their own lives, shuffling children between the two worlds. Constructed in flashbacks (and flash-forward’s, and assumed reconstructed events by the narrator), the human interest is never overwhelmed by subtexts that include exploration of
They only come out at night. Elizabeth Street Pier, looking Northwest towards the mountain. June 2011. The problem of memory. When we remember, what is it that we are remembering? Are we remembering it as it is (was), or are we remembering is as we would have liked it to be? Obviously we remember it as we remember it, which is not the same thing as it was (is). So is memory an act of reconstruction? When we reconstruct, we are bound to smooth out the edges, fix the loose seams a little bit. We reconstruct with the benefit/ deficit of hindsight. The 'in-between' bit - our experiences between the initial act, incident or occasion and our reconstruction - must inevitably influence the act of reconstruction. Hmmmm.
Five boats. The Derwent Estury, looking towards Howrah from the direction of Sandy Bay. August 2011. I need to know what I need to know, but I need to know much more than I need to know because a lot of what I need to know I don’t know what I need to know. I don’t know what I need to know because I can’t know what I don’t know and I can’t know what I don’t know if I don’t know if I need to know (or to not know).
Ezra has a seeming insatiable desire to climb. They say that the most famous three words in mountaineering can be attributed to George Mallory, in his response to a reporter's question as to why on Earth he wanted to climb Mount Everest. I expect that Ez would say the same. Because it's there.
This is a local street for local people. Nixon Street, Sandy Bay. July 2011. As usual, I was the first in at the office this morning. As I approached the door, key trembling in my hand, little did I know what hellish scene awaited me. Thus, when I press you to employ your mind’s eye, my use of the word ‘scene’ denotes an odorous vista, not one of the aural or visual variety. Imagine four, nay five homeless people with i) no access to bathing facilities; ii) no access to washing facilities; iii) incredibly poor diets and iv) chronic and explosive dysentery. The stench that greeted me this morning can only have resulted from the aforementioned unfortunates, who must have attained access to this office overnight, and suffered the most appalling nights. Every window, door, entrance, exit and Christ-knows what else is open at the moment; but if you’d like, I’m happy to arrange a meeting with you out of office ASAP...
Mushrooms: the great all rounders. The Hastings Caves State Reserve, Southern Tasmania. June 2011. All right. Four things that you wouldn't know: 1: Henry says "va m illa" instead of "va n illa". 2: Ezra is seeming addicted to skin-on-skin contact. 3: Jen refused to blow her nose in front of me for a significant period of time after our [ahem] courtship . 4: I don't like eating in front of other people.
Nice location. Clifton Beach, South Arm Peninsula. June 2011. Sunday Top Five already? Christ almighty the days seem to be going by more quickly! My Top Five Sore Bits As I Type! Stomach Left thumb Left knee Right shoulder Pride Across the cliff face. Clifton Beach, South Arm Peninsula. June 2011.