Friday, July 31, 2009

Like Kind Women-Alike while liking the Queen

Yesterday I went to get my citizenship papers.
I am not fond of ceremonies, especially because there is never a guide.
An outline, a tour book page, a run down of the schedule. I am happier when I know what is going to be expected of me. I like instructions such as; 'Parking behind the building in the two hour lot, as the ceremony should take approximately no more than two hours, but not less than one hour'.
I like to know what to wear, and if I should eat before arriving. I want to know if I can take photos or if my purse will be searched.
So you see, instruction-less I went with a bit of trepidation.
Although Derby pulled through, I tried to hide away, to just pop over to the Mayors office on my own (the Mayor here is the Mayor of Kingborough, which is a big part but not all of Hobart)-but Emma aka Dirty Cheetah, and Eloise aka Eliza Hornberry descended upon my house with both cake and fanfare.
Emma went with me to the ceremony (she of course knew all about the Mayor who was a practicing Pediatrician before becoming a Mayor) and after work Eloise came over and we ate too much, and there were joke presents all around. The cake apparently is quite important, many an Australian woman has made or broken her reputation upon the making of this cake.
But don't think us backward living here, the cake came from a shop.
I had been joking (to anyone that would listen) that I expected to be given the baby native animal of my choice, this alas was not true, but they did give me a nice native plant. Perhaps Australia does already know me well...
Does anyone notice a theme regarding the people who were all given papers yesterday?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"...then I bedded back down, because I was sleepy..."

I have been healthy most of my life-a few random events like a kidney infection, or the time I got e-coli because I didn't wash my vegetables properly when I was on a juicing bender. I do, however, take mental days. I think of these as 'Grey Garden' days, because they involve not answering the phone, not answering emails, and flitting from project to project. I read a bit, watch a movie that will get constantly paused as I think of something I want to look up, or if the sun comes in and I want to lie in the warmth while reading a passage of some book.
This might seem attributed to the fact that I am a bit isolated here. No, I have always taken these days, even in school I would have the urge to cut on my walk in, and I would just get on a bus and ride until I saw something interesting out the window, then I would get off and explore. When I was older I would call in sick, and go sit up by the carousel in Griffith Park, well sick from my day job, my cash money job I would always go for, because there is something too irresistible about cash money. In Seattle I was so busy that mental days were always confined to after work or a Sunday.
The quality of these days have changed, now they are not about being out so much as being in. Sometimes, I do find the language barrier, the cultural differences, too much when Zok is away. This happens in Sweden as well, I will hide away in our room, with a stash of Godis, only coming out for a movie break to get a cup of tea. I try to combat this tendency by making lists of things that need to be done, or places I could go that I haven't been, or some craft to attempt. My brain though as sleep is contemplated can sometimes dispel that list away, as useless, or wasteful, this is when I become convinced that bed is where I am safest.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"...The balled pulp of your heart confronts its small mill of silence..."

Winter continues on with high tides and bright, harsh, light that suddenly is gone replaced by an equally harsh, darkness.
I have to make mulled wine, split-pea soup, and of course peanut butter cookies to stave off this darkness, then I have to eat yours, because Monster has no appetite. (I think he is trying to slim down after seeing himself on the large screen, and frankly who can blame him)?
I had a moment, but then I got over it.
I desire to hibernate yet my dance card is full.
I went to visit the seal but he was not there.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Now we go steady to the movies I always get chocolate stains on my pants"

I try to do my best to describe my life in Tasmania, or mostly Hobart, mostly just Australia in general.
Sometimes though I think pictures are the means to impart my experiences.
I can not photograph for you, the deep black of the night or the brilliance of the stars as I come home, how I marvel that I can't see even the passenger side of my car as I drive, or how because of this full blackness, I expect the Headless Horseman to appear in my rear view mirror.
I don't think I can explain to most people what it is like to get home after dark, if for some reason a fire couldn't be left to smolder, the compulsion to get the fire going, even if this means forsaking sleep. A compulsion brought on by the fact that the warmest room (not your bedroom) is at best about fifty degrees Fahrenheit.
That is what happened today, a day where I was out all day, due to Derby which can eat a girls life up, like, well, I don't have a metaphor handy, but time seems to be against me, as I am always running late and pushing some errand until the next day.
I then met up with some nice people to go to another movie at our 'gold class' cinema. The time before that Zok and I went, I tried unsuccessfully, to describe why this is worth the huge price inflation, especially as a large perk is meant to be the ability to buy (even higher priced items) to eat and drink. These, however, can be pre-ordered and delivered at intervals during the film. Tonight the movie was a popular one, and as we bypassed the very large, very loud group of people (lined up to go to a regular showing) we whisked into what is not unlike a private airport lounge. At this early point, I was feeling that my (husbands) money was well spent. I also noted something that I wanted to mention-the cloth napkin sitting on the stand or table next to the chair. This napkin is wonderful to ward against chocolate slash food stains.
The seat is a recliner, squishy and again like a first class plane seat, the chair basically reclines to a horizontal position.
I was grateful for the napkin, as mid-way through the movie I went to drink my hot chocolate with Baileys, which I think my Monte would have approved of, although his ability to tolerate the fact that the employee who delivered it was wearing a witch hat...well...
Please enjoy your photos of downtown after 9 p.m.
Please note that this area is actually crowded enough by day to be annoyingly so.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"That Friday made the last of our fine days for a month."

I have come to think that appreciating nature has to have the inclusion of appreciating a landscape in all its differing aspects, and seasons.
When I was younger I really was the girl who would drive (spontaneously, usually after working at a club, so about 3 a.m.) to the Grand Canyon, drive up to the edge, look over and exclaim 'Beautiful'! and then go to breakfast.
Later, I became the girl who would ride a mule to the bottom and stay at Phantom Ranch, now, I think I could walk most of the way, and camp.
I do not grow tired of visiting the nature reserves, and parks here in Tasmania. They are ever changing and never disappointing. Okay, well to be honest I would not mind if the platypus would keep to a schedule so I could see him whenever I wanted but perhaps he knows that I will come all the more often, because seeing him is always a surprise.
The sun is bright but the air is cold. The skating rink is even colder than the outside world, and I doubt my nose will stop running until spring arrives.
Tasmanians seem to get a bit flaky this time of year, and our skating numbers are down. I am devising plans for myself though, as there is more than one way to achieve a goal. (I have to admit that most of us here on the island have wood burning fireplaces, or the more efficient fire box, as our only heating source, so one does have to combat the pull of the fire, and the dark of the night (5 p.m.), to go out).
Zok of course does not feel he is missing out on anything when there is snow. He has spent too much time over these last years in Sweden to be impressed by our short snow falls. He does however miss running a fire 24-7, which I do not do, I am stingy with the wood, mostly because new wood delivered means horrendously large, furry, spiders.
Soon I will have to decide if I want to face that fear or freeze to death overnight like the little matchstick girl...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Daisy, Daisy, Give me your answer do"

The Hobart Theatre Royal is going to be 175 this year. Tasmania as a state, boasts many firsts for Australia; first Pub, first neon-lit building, and this the first (and still running) theatre. The theatre is rarely mentioned without the comment that Laurence Olivier did once perform on this stage, now I suppose that would normally only impress theater folk, but I love, love, love Vivien Leigh and therefore I love Laurence and am indeed impressed with this fact. I don't know the details, because I have made up my own, and they involve Vivien looking out on some of same views I now look at.
I have seen about five shows here (Zok has seen the one that feature Latrina our Roller Derby coach). I love this theatre, as was stated during this recent night, the building itself is almost a character. There are stalls on the top level, wood benches, which I have only heard described in old Victorian literature. This night was called "A Naughty NIght of Nostalgia", and featured local performers. Including a young boy who apparently went to the elementary school up the block, who is in 'Billy Elliot' which is being performed on stage on the mainland. He choose to sing 'Ben' by Michael Jackson, which honesty made my eyes well up.
I was invited to this shindig by my lovely neighbor Sue, and I got to meet her equally charming mother; Norma. (Here comes the Tasmanian small town bit) Norma's second husband was a producer of plays, so many of the people there were old friends. When we were up on the stage having champagne, and mingling, Norma would introduce Sue, only to have that person after a minute say, 'Did you have children at such and such school?', and then Sue would say 'Oh your so and so's Mom!', or my favorite was when I was introduced to Sue's son's kindergarten teacher (he is 34 or so now).
My favorite historic fact was that the founder of the (still working) Cascade Brewery helped start the theatre, and the brewery still supports the theatre.
That is amazing.
Lastly I have to comment that during the crush of the night, I noticed that some elder people, like to use their canes to get through a crowd. Quite vicious actually...
My favorite part was that I got to wear my funny, furry hat. I had to partially ignore the sing-along which apparently is as common as beer to an Australian night out, as there was much, much singing at Aumas as well.
I can not sing. People never believe that, yet when they force me to join in, they start yelling 'you are flat!'. Honestly. Zok normally protects me from such behavior, but he isn't here.