Isn’t it funny how things turn out? For a few years now I’ve been thinking and saying how much I would love to work at the State Library or similar running cultural activities. I’ve never very actively followed it up, and have been caught up¬† in the shittiness of my current job (see whinge posts below)

However lately my working life has started to improve, I am starting to feel like I have a handle on things and am really getting my teeth into stuff. It only took a year, but I am Amazing! (my new positive affirmation) and I can do it! I have things to achieve in this role, big whopping things that can really improve libraries and students and my own ambitions. It’s exciting stuff.

And out of the blue I am involved in a Brisbane City Council community arts project AND the Brisbane Festival! Knitting is just so hot right now, and the snb is up for grabs. When I started this blog I posted that I wanted to dredge up my dormant creative soul, and I guess the universe agrees. In commemoration of this surge of positive energy I have created a new category called booyah!

Now I just have to read this post every time I have a meltdown over the next few months from overcommitment, remove the pencil from my eye and remember I wanted this to happen. Here’s to a plethora of Booyahs in future posts

So I have driven through the Clem7 twice now. The official verdict?

Despite the radio silence on the blogosphere, I have actually been quite busy.

And the most exciting thing is that I finally (with the help and support of Betsy, lots of other snb friends and an unfortunate amount of cake) got my loom all warped up and weaving!

So please meet Barbara, the new lady in my life. She’s a 4 shaft tabletop loom that I scored for $55 on ebay, and who languished in my garage for a year until I got myself together and set her up.
So far one of the best things about dipping into the world of weaving is the language- every part has wonderfully strange yet evocative names. See the white pine that doesn’t match the rest of the loom? That’s because Babs didn’t come with a handtree to hold the reed to the beater, so we had to make one. Impressed??
Besides opening up a whole new world of linguistic delights, weaving has also made me a regular visitor to Bunnings, to make wooden bits for the loom, such as the handtree and also a warping board and other bobs.

So, after warping up for half a day (what a process!) I am now working through my first ‘test’ piece in a delightful high vis safety orange 4 ply cotton of which I have a large cone.

Views from side (to see sheds) and rear. Note handy little shelf for snips and cups of tea

Babs is a nice light weight, which means I can move her around myself to the table or the floor (my preferred spot) to work.

The first year plan is making scarves and exploring different weave patterns. I’m looking forward to many happy hours of listening to Joanna Newsom and weaving with Barbara. Welcome to the family ūüôā

OK, confession time.
Jane Brocket was discussing how she read An Education ‘in one ‘gulp’ or ‘glorious go” after seeing the movie.
Which reminded me of the last time I did such a thing. It’s pretty rare these days for me to read in one gulp. Is it as I get older and have more to do I just don’t have the leisure time? Not really. I think it’s been an awfully long time since I’ve found an easy to read ‘unput-downable’ book. I guess my standards are getting higher, like when you’re too old to appreciate Milo straight from the tin. Which kind of sucks.

So here’s the ugly bit- the last time was about 2 years ago…. and it was Twilight. *cringe*
I didn’t like it. I felt very very dirty. But I couldn’t help myself. It was like reading rough cut vampire Mills and Boon crack. It was dirty sex with a strange man.
I read it because I had a pretty good idea it was awful, and I believe you can’t thoroughly deride something unless you’ve actually experienced it. So I am immensely qualified to say what I like about Twilight and Twihards, which I do freely whenever I encounter it. But I can’t deny it was very easy to read.

But back to the main point- I’d really like to find some books worthy of a ‘glorious go’. I’d like to find some more experiences of feeling gritty and tired and slightly detached after reading all night, with that lingering feeling of immersion in that other world that completely consumed you.
If you find a book that good please let me know.
Especially if it doesn’t have any vampires or emotionally retarded girls who think stalking is a valid display of affection.

There much talk about the ‘Corporate Jungle’ and how to survive. Fine and dandy.

What I’m looking for is some kind of guide to stumbling through the nightmare that is a large government organisation without¬† sinking into the bog and slowly suffocating.
If you thought this post would have the answers: sorry, can’t help you! I am fumbling through the muck myself.

In the past year I have¬†moved into ‘middle management’ at my organisation, and I find that the higher I go, the deeper my cynicism and fatigue with the whole system. Seeing how it really works is terrifying!
So when I’m unable to function¬†because incompetancy and dishonesty has waddled up and slapped¬†me in¬†the face *again* these are some of my coping mechanisms, feel free to¬†try them if you like:

  • read food blogs, like Joy¬†the Baker¬†or The Julie /Julia Project¬†(now a movie, the original blog is still fonking himilhilarious and also contains many gripes about working in government, plus butter)
  • tweet it out
  • office stationary origami- I like to make pinwheels out of coloured postits
  • have a really big cup of tea and take your public service right to a 20 minute rest break

The trick is to distract yourself, remind yourself there are better things in this world and shake it off. Then look at the best way of cleaning up the mess and making sure it doesn’t happen again.
You could try to stab back or just give up and decide it’s not worth trying in this place anymore, but that, my friend, is the express ticket to¬†becoming the¬†same bureaucratic moron who just drove you nuts.

The last resort,¬†if you just¬†can’t take the crap and can’t turn off your brain,¬†is best phrased in the advice¬†given to me by a HR manager (on her last day as she flew the coop) “Get out! Find a secondment¬†and walk away before you go crazy too!¬† This place is full of crazy people, and they aren’t going anywhere!”

Jumspstarts that revive my shrivelled mind:

  • French Earl Grey tea. I could sniff this stuff all day long. If angels farted this would be what it smells like
  • Big blue skies that go on forever
  • Winding roads through rainforests or bush
  • Those yellow daisies that grow by the side of the road and in fields
  • Watching guinea pigs eat – squee factor of 50+
  • The Psychedelic Furs

When my mother died a little while ago the house was innundated with flowers, most of them lilies, being the flower associated with funerals and death. I have to say I am not a great fan of lilies to begin with, and a houseful tends to get on the nose. As DH said one day when he walked through the door- ” did someone burn plastic in here?”

Perhaps they make a good metaphor for life and death, as they start looking strong and vibrant, but when they die they don’t dry and fade, they rot. Fast. Usually leaving a few stains for good measure.

So while I was mourning surrounded by floral tributes to decay and death, I really appreciated 2 wonderful bouquets I received from mum’s friends which made a far better tribute to the passing of a beautiful life, with not a lily among them.

The first was an amazing bunch of long-stemmed pink roses from a friend who runs a florist that specialises in roses (here’s a plug, they are wonderful). They smelled (or smelt? the dictionary seems to think either or) glorious, and lasted a long time, slowly fading away. Their soft beauty was a real token of life’s transience, in an uplifting way.

The other beautiful bouquet came about 3 months later, excellent timing in fact. When Mum died it was so busy packing up her things, planning the funeral, talking and corresponding with people, staying upright, that I didn’t have much time to be really sad. It hits you a while later when everything settles and you realise that the ‘event’ is over but you now have to live with this hole inside you for the rest of your life. So these delicate hydrangeas were a gentle breathe of relief.

Needless to say, if someone you love dies, I sure as hell won’t be sending you any stinky lilies

2010 is the year of rebooting my creative self, who has been on hiatus for a couple of years now.

Life came up and booted me on the bum, and my creative well burbled ‘I’m not taking any of this shit, I am an artiste‘ and dried itself up.

I certainly never stopped appreciating beautiful things, but was quite content to look, touch, taste, smell, hear and marvel, but that has been it

No more! I am splendiferous, and¬†I will…

  • learn to weave
  • push myself to grow and create
  • stop using patterns (or modify existing ones)
  • embrace my stranger urges
  • no longer be afraid, or tired
  • leave things in my head
  • post once a week