list 1: suburbs I have lived in

  • Northcote
  • Glenroy
  • Collingwood
  • Burnley
  • Abbotsford
  • Brunswick
  • Albert Park
  • East St Kilda
  • Prahran
  • Elsternwick
  • Port Melbourne
  • Thornbury
  • Forest Hill

Apart from a short stint in Sydney for work 20 years ago, I have always lived in Melbourne.  Every suburb has a story, but, for here, some highlights:

  1. Prettiest: Albert Park.  Every morning I delighted in the changing colours and mood of Port Philip Bay as I walked to the No. 1 tram.
  2. Worst: Albert Park.  Share house from hell.
  3. Lived alone in: East St Kilda, Elsternwick, Port Melbourne, Thornbury…13 years all together.  See No. 2!
  4. Grew up in: Glenroy, Northcote before that.
  5. Best: Prahran.  I loved Prahran. I was unemployed for 3 years, but I had some of the best times there.  I walked everywhere: the Prahran market (where I bought and cooked beautiful fresh food every day), the Astor Cinema, Chapel Street, St Kilda beach.  I miss the inner city terribly now.

brand new

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A brand new year. Usually the thought of the whole span of 365 days sitting unwritten in front of me in my new diary and calendar fills me with a mixture of panic and fear, not knowing what is ahead. Loss? Sickness? Huge changes to work or home or relationships?

But yesterday was just one day and it wasn’t a bad day, and tomorrow, God willing, there will be another day for me to live. As for today, I just lived it without really thinking too much. I slept late, did some housework and tried a new recipe for pancakes.

So, perhaps that’s my one resolution for this year: just live in bite-sized pieces. Day by day.

 

a little treasure

McAlpin1

I found this sweetie on e-bay a few weeks ago, just in time for my birthday. I learnt to cook from my mum’s copy of this little book and used to spend ages poring over the pictures and recipes. I’m going to enjoy baking some tastes from the past.

Update:  Mum says she got this little book in 1955 or 1956 when her home economics class went on a school excursion to the flour mill’s kitchen.

useful :: beautiful

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“If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris, British artist and designer, 1824-1903

Often quoted, these are still words worth contemplating. As I begin to find a new way to live, this is as good a place to start as any. What if useful and beautiful didn’t just apply to things, but to daily thoughts and behaviour? What if sustainability didn’t just apply to how we conserve or deplete the world’s resources, but to how we conduct ourselves emotionally and physically?

this is why…

For four years, I had a friend at work who wrote sad and beautiful stories and taught himself to draw.  We talked about the creative life and he began to ask me why I no longer wrote or painted as I had done when I was younger.  He used to catch me out looking at beautiful textiles and quilts on the work computer and ask me when I would start making a quilt instead of just dreaming about it. No quilt eventuated. I am a procrastinator.  After a while, whenever we met he would greet me with a cheeky grin and ask: “Where’s my quilt?”

A year ago this week my friend died. He was 31 years old.

So here I am, writing this blog about doing, not dreaming. I think it would make him smile.