Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Daily life begins

Phew, what a week that was!

I've just written my website account of Impact7, here's where I get to be extra-curricular.

I'm sitting in my studio with the far-side rollerdoor up, waiting for my new (old) wooden map drawers to be delivered. They were supposed to come yesterday, then 10:30 today, then 12:00 today... hopefully soon, anyway. I can't do any print work until they come, because all the flat spaces are covered in the stuff that was in my metal map drawers and they're being taken away for sale at the same time. So I'm catching up on my online writing in the meantime.

It's the first day of my new life, the one where I'm only working at the uni one day a week, and the rest of the week is for my studio. A bit scary, and I'm not sure how it will go financially, but for a short time I have the pay from my recent primary school residency and that should keep me going for a little while once I stop fitting out the studio!

Here's Padge, sitting in the shadows of my new/old double glass doors; they're ready to be installed by my friend Mark in front of the existing rollerdoors so that I can have light and air and not wind and leaves.

AH! Finally, at 1:15, the cabinets come. Dammit, they put the more solid one on top of the wobbly one; I'll have to do some argy-bargy with them once Best Beloved comes back from his business trip (the next 3 weeks in this house are like revolving doors, with each of us coming in & out and always missing each other!).

Here they are, being carried in by the two roughnuts hired by the auction-house. I observed that the guy at the back might lose a toe if he wasn't careful, and he said 'yeah, I've got me Taiwanese Working Boots on'. Ah, yes, well.

So now I have lots of drawers! Huzzar, watch me fill them up.

And lots of photos of my Melbourne jaunt, over at Flickr.

I had a lovely conference, helped by the fact that a friend had let me stay in her empty Melbourne flat for the week, and it was only one tram and one train stop from the venue.

Here's the best thing that happened to me during the week (closely followed by dinners and lunches with other friends):

Len & Laura

Isn't he gorgeous? This is the little bundle of joy belonging to Laura (Lucy Tartan) and Dorian (Arty Fufkin), Leonard. I skipped a session so that I could cuddle him and he drooled all over my hand, and I treasured that drool all afternoon when I got back to the grind. He's a dear old soul,.

Len & Dorian

Here's his more serious side.

After the conference I stayed on for a couple of days.


This is the closest I got to the Grand Final: cupcakes in a show window. The whole day I was in denial about the football, which I figured was my birthday prerogative, it being my birthday that Saturday (all the fours, 44. I think my years are finally outnumbering my chin hairs). I went to a meeting of the Print Council of Australia, and after the meeting we drove around to a few exhibitions and had lunch at the gorgeous Abbotsford Convent. The city was eerily quiet; the last gallery was close by the MCG and I could hear the crowds and the whistles. At one point we were trying to find a taxi for someone to get to the airport. We found what we thought was a taxi rank, but it turned out to be a row of parked empty cabs outside a pub!

After all that I caught a tram up Nicholson Street and went to Gerald's Bar in North Carlton to meet up with a few blogging types.* The blogcall was: Elsewhere, Another Outspoken Female, Will Type for Food and Lexicon Harlot. Also joining us was an old lovey I'd lost from my past until we discovered each other on Facebook, which surprised the hell out of me (the FB bit, not the meet-up) because he's not a computery type. He happens to be a friend of WTFF Tim, and this fact pleases the hell out of me in a very Douglas Adams probability factor way. He brought his children along, and a good time was mostly had by all, I hope. Pol and the kidlings couldn't stay for dinner; AOF took us to a fab little Asian place down the road (it being her locale) and true to a foodie, the food was excellent. (Phew, you passed that test, G :) )

The next morning (Sunday) I was determined to go to the Camberwell Markets. Lucky that I was so detemined, because it was the daylight savings changeover, and I would normally stay in bed. I forced myself up, got out to the road, and lo, the trams weren't running for another hour. Bugger it, I thought, I'll walk. So I did. It was the first rain-free day for ages, and it was only 2 km.

The reason why I wanted to go so much is because of Michelle de Kretser and The Lost Dog. The markets are something Michelle would talk about both in the book and in her phonecalls to me. It's been years since then, but I got talking to Deborah Williams at the conference (one of her dog prints is on the cover) and that got me thinking about the book, and the markets, and I really wanted to go.

I wasn't disappointed. They are great markets, and I found all sorts of things. I came away with little funky hair clips, a magnifying glass, some postcards (of Canberra in the 1960s!)... yes, lots of LITTLE things that will slip easily into an already overstuffed bag for the plane. And then I found these.


OOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH. I loved the one on the left, mainly for the liquid-paper splatters all over the top ribbon cover. Then I saw that the right-hand one had a lovely hard case. I walked past them, and five minutes later came back. How much for the right-hand one?


I went all wobbly. It didn't seem dodgy, just didn't have a ribbon, but that's easily fixed (scroll down that link). So I bought it, gentle reader, and lugged it back on the tram to the flat. And then proceeded to rearrange EVERYTHING so that I could carry it in on with me on the plane. Hold that thought.

On the way out of the market, I stopped and talked to one of the stallkeepers about something and noticed his dog, who is obviously a seasoned vet at these markets:

camberwell gus

When I found out his name is Gus, I went all wobbly again. You see, Michelle's dog, who was the inspiration for the story, and who is featured on the cover of the book, was called Gus. And that's why I was at the market. Man, some days are just like novels.

I need to stop, only because I've spent most of the day on this computer and my new drawers are calling out to me... but I just wanted to bring you back to my typewriter. I now have 5 typewriters, all with their own charms. This newest one gave me a big surprise when I got home. I opened the lovely hard case, and in the little pocket inside the top lid, was the ribbon, nicely wrapped in a freezer bag, and THE MANUAL AND THE 1984 RECEIPT OF PURCHASE. I am very fond of 1984, it was a year to remember, not always for good reasons. But I do find that most of my significant objects were made or marked for years that have personal significance for me, and I guess this one joins the club. And was a bargain to boot. I haven't seen a working typewriter under $100 for a couple of years now. Yay! Must have been the birthday germs.


*I have to apologise formally to anyone I didn't contact while I was in Melbourne. It was a very intense week, and energy levels fluctuated. I knew it would be so, which is why I issued such a lame blogmeet callout. I also meant to ring people, that didn't happen. I'm back in February, so let's do something then!


genevieve said...

well, I feel bad I couldn't buy you a birthday drink BECAUSE of the foozball. Your studio sounds brilliant, will look forward to catching up in Feb., and now I'm going to have a speccy at Impact7.

The Elephant's Child said...

Oh wow. What a full on time you have been having. Love the small person, love the markets, love your new doors to keep rotten Spring winds out. Just in love really.

ronnie said...

as if it wasn't bad enough that I was actually out in that goddam melbourne lightning and thunder storm (trundling up toorak road..... drenched and not a little trembly at the thought I'd be fried alive at any moment).... I notice my moniker on your impact 7 report.... have now decided I will only appear in public with paper bag over my head....

ps happy belated birthday

Cat Drawings said...

Love the new doors. It's going to be a magical studio.

I have an exceedingly ancient type writer. It's a portable and I'd say it's twenties or thirties. Will send a pic. Was a present from my brother and I love it.

Another Outspoken Female said...

Great to see you. Most relieved the dinning option came up to scratch :)

two blue shoes said...

Oh! The market! It's a wonderful institution, and is possessed of some sort of filmic quality of synchronicity or fate or coincidence... So many lost things find their owners there... Loved your typewriter story. And wondering if the magnifying glass wasn't my grandmother's!

Ampersand Duck said...

Hello! If your grandmother has a pile of lovely brown plastic-handled magnifying glasses, then yes, it was her. And she knocked money off the price (or maybe she does that to everyone ;) )

I have to go back again when I wasn't in a hurry. It was such a good market.

TimT said...

It was a great night out in Carlton.

I only discovered the day after that Tim Sterne had posted on his twitter, 'I'll be in the city tonight if anyone wants to catch up' or words to that effect!