Tuesday, July 06, 2010


One of the good things about being busy is that it tends to ward off sickness. Check my archives; I haven't, but I'll bet you that every time I get a bad cold or flu, it's when I've stopped moving for just a moment. I finished my Winter Type school, I cleaned up my art skool office, I ran around delivering books, and then on Friday afternoon I got to my studio and thought 'here it is, I'm free for a few weeks'. I got to the end of printing some little prints for the upcoming Megalo Loupe show (opening next week, Thursday, I think), and as I was cleaning the press I could feel my body releasing itself to the germs. My lungs filled, and my energy just disappeared. Snap! Just like that.

I was a puddle of snot on Saturday. As you can see below, I rallied all my remaining energy to get through Sunday, and yesterday only just managed to drive to Cooma to deliver Bumblebee to his Grandparents before collapsing into bed with extra sore neck and shoulder muscles from all the carrying and driving and extra snot from not resting, and I've been coughing up my lung linings any time I move. I've been in bed ever since, except for a quick delivery to Megalo today of the Friday prints. I'm very surprised to find that lying quietly in bed with lots of juice and fresh fruit (I'm overdosing on fresh strawberries) is actually working. I'm getting better.

I had a conversation the other day with someone about the essentials of life... one of those priority lists: which comes first? Rent? Food? Air? She (I think it was a she... sorry if you're reading this, it's been an eternity since now and last week) said something that stopped me in my tracks. I usually put the list so:


But she said the first (or second one -- we couldn't agree whether air was a given or not) was WELLNESS. That you just can't do anything without it.

And it made me think about the books I've been reading in the last few months:

The Spare Room (Garner)
The Plague (Camus)
Reading by Moonlight (Walker)
So Much for That (Shriver)
Tiger's Eye (Clendinnen -- reading this at the moment, and will probably finish it tonight)

All books about reassessing life and death and morality and memory in the face of severe illness. I didn't read them close to each other because of any agenda, they just fell into my path. And they all say pretty much the same thing about wellness. It's so hard to function without it, and I have the utmost respect for those people who do.

Being sick and muddleheaded, I can't say anything profound or meaningful about this: I did mark a few passages in the Shriver book but I've lent it, so can't find them... I'm very much enjoying Inga Clendinnen, as she's such a humane writer. She wrote a lovely line about grieving for her brother that now will stick with me:
It is more than thirty years since he died. Now he rests quietly enough, just below the breastbone, where grief has hollowed a place for him.
I don't know where I'll head when I've finished Tiger's Eye. I would like to read something without illness... I'm tempted to read Little Dorrit because I'm enjoying the show so much and have never read the book. Did anyone else shout out loud with laughter when they saw the visual depiction of 'Mr Ef's Aunt'?

And then I have to decide what to take with me to NZ when I fly at the end of July: I have a whole day's travelling, on 4 planes and lots of sitting around in airports. What will keep me enthralled but not be too heavy? I have a few ebooks, but I like the feeling of holding a book in front of me. Any suggestions?

Here's a nice distraction: my friend wrote to me today to say BRING ON THE FLUX CAPACITOR: Today is the day that Marty McFly arrived in the future after hitting 88mph in a pimped out Delorean in 1985...
OMG! How cool is that! I haven't been so excited since we moved into Prince's 1999!
Damn. Scurrilous email rumour. Real date is October 21, 2015. Oh well, cheered me up last night, so all good.

And just to finish, and get into a different definition of SICK:

vego cat

This is Mr Padge, rolling ecstatically in a box of fresh organic vegies, nuzzling the carrots especially. He just went for it, snout first, nuzzling his way through the delicious smells until his whole body was in the box, and he was drooling on the carrots. I videoed him as well, and will get it onto Youtube or I can has Cheezburger sometime. It's truly weird, and very funny, especially when BB tells him to 'stop nuzzling the broccoli, it's not Nice'.


Mrs B said...

Nooooo! It isn't true!
Marty travels back to October 21, 2015!

Ampersand Duck said...

You are SO RIGHT Mrs B. My friend is penitent, and promises a treat to make up for it if she can find it. I will adjust the post accordingly.

Another Outspoken Female said...

What to pack for the far south of NZ in july/august - THERMALS AND WOOLENS. And you thought Canberra was cold?

Can't wait to read your NZ observations :)

Ann ODyne said...

oh god I love that Padge photo. fabulous felines, worshipped by early civilisations also.
I came here to mention Granta, The Guardian and typography, in case you have not yet noticed, this from Baroque In Hackney blogger -

'After yesterday's Oulipo adventure I'm pleased to give you this surrealist-constructivist-modernist escapade in human typography. I've stolen it from The Guardian, which says:

In 1926 the Czech dancer Milca Mayerová choreographed the alphabet as a photo-ballet. Each move in the dance is made to the visual counterpoint of Karel Teige's typographic music. Teige was a constructivist and a surrealist, a poet, collagist, photographer, typographer and architectural theorist...

Anyway, it fits my day perfectly, because I'm off to lunch at Granta magazine, for a sneak preview of their forthcoming issue, which features a beautiful typographical cover. Two different ways of giving the alphabet a personal touch ...

Ampersand Duck said...

That's a fantastic link. Thanks! Enjoy the lunch!