A decade and a half ago, I worked on the door of a Melbourne city night club. Most of the bouncers were greek, most of them did martial arts, and all of us indulged in a bit of philosophy as we scanned the cold concrete of Swanston Walk. I'd just copped one of life's king hits. The guys were a little further down the track. It was winter, and 3am, for about six months.
"You become what you contemplate" said Number 8, and he went on to describe the rigours of waterfall training. Middle of winter, no clothes, standing under icy water for as long as you can hack it. I'd just been kicked out of Japan in the clothes I stood up in and my nightly method for keeping warm was a bottle of wine at home at Prudence (when it was still a share house), a double straight scotch at The Public Bar, a martini from Rue Bebelons and 42 cafe lattes from the bar upstairs. "We're freezing our arses off already," I said. "Don't you think we should be contemplating Hawaii?"
Number 8 didn't answer. Number 6 had come down the stairs and they were re-enacting the sparring session that had prevented Number 14 from showing up for his shift. He was officially at home with some kind of 24 hour stomach upset, but he was actually at home with his feet up and a bandage over the point that had been stabbed with a screwdriver earlier that afternoon.
About three weeks ago, after my literary hari kari episode at the Albury Regional Art Gallery, I took a look back at this blog and had a think about just what I've been presenting. For some months now, I've been seeking refuge in the portal to sweet things that is Penelope Durston's www.misspenpen.blogspot.com . All those scrubbed nordic cosy but cool crafters, vintage lovers and luddites, pretty painters and makers. I want to be like them, but nothing I make ever lasts longer than one wear and it quite often falls apart during the first wear. This is not too terrible in a necklace, can be disastrous in skirts and generally feeds my omnipresent sense of dissatisfaction. I have been trying to draw a few sweet little people with big heads and colour them in loose pale pastel water colour. They are not nice to contemplate and actually more frightening than my most nightmarish black pieces.
My major achievement has been changing the background colour of this blog from black to white. Then thinking about that for a few weeks.
Joe and I have been on the road, to Canberra and Melbourne, for time with art and friends and family. And the Royal Children's Hospital. That linoleum lined chestnut. We spent Tuesday night in a very special house, and, inspired by the warm-ality, I started to make this piece straight after getting out of the car when we got home.