Thursday, January 24, 2013

SoJo, NoJo, GheTTo

Collingwood is so hip it had to been subdivided.  I live in a little corner called Ghetto Collingwood.  It's near the flats, the Tote and more empty shops than you can poke a stick at.

It is not without its charms. We have the Keith Haring mural, and the awesome Collingwood Technical school.  If I were rich I would buy 'D Block':



The flats are surrounded by big gum trees, so we have plenty of birds and wildlife.  Our friend Keith, who has his home and studio across the alley from us, has a theory that Ghetto Collingwood is quite safe from theft because thieves don't shop in their own neighbourhoods.  So far this has proved correct.  I once left the key to our car sticking out of the boot lock, with the car parked in the street, for nearly 48 hours.  Whoops.  But no one took it.

But it's also quite ghetto.  A few weeks ago someone pooed all over the fence near our carport, and left a pile of dirty toilet paper.  The junkies shoot up on the park bench across from our house.  And Jason is convinced that our milk bar is actually dealing mainly in drugs.  I was skeptical on this point.  But there are always little groups of people waiting just around the corner from the milkbar, or behind the trees, arguing, "No, you go in this time!"

Home sweet home!



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Safety first

I think I used to be quite reckless. I often hear my injured patients' stories and think, "Yeah, I can see why you did that."  But the years are taking their toll and I'm more cautious than I used to be.

Here's some advice from the front-line:

1. Turn off the lawn mower first.
2. Hold the beer bottle OR ride the skateboard.
3. Wear shoes.
4. When you want to stand up to get some air, don't.  Lie on the ground.
5. Turn off the blender first.
6. Knives go in the dishwasher pointy-end down.
7. Wax now, pay later.
8. Stop. Chew. Swallow.
9. Don't punch the wall.
10. Climbing a pool fence is a one-way ticket to impalement. If the gate doesn't open, give up.

Monday, January 7, 2013

So long 2012 and thanks for all the books.

It's the season for 'best-of' lists.  But I am not a Professional Consumer of Culture.  Far from it. If I were to list the top 5 films of 2012, it would be a list of the 5 films I saw in 2012.  I am the person best-of lists are made for.

(Actually, I did watch some great movies last year.  It's just that they are movies everyone else saw 20 or 30 years ago: Apocalypse Now, the Die Hard quadrilogy, Running on Empty, Footloose.  No wonder Jason assumes I have never seen any movies, ever.)

Nonetheless, here are my top five favourite books of the year . I really did read a lot of books last year, so a top 5 list seems fair.  When I remember my favourites, I remember not only the stories, but the act of reading them.  Where I was, what I was doing, drinking, smelling.  It is a strangely dual memory, the story and the reading of it intertwined.  

So perhaps they were good books, perhaps I was just in a receptive mood at the time.  Taste remains a mystery to me.

5.They shoot horses, don't they?- Horace McCoy
(read at Victoria Park whilst Jason watched the VFL game)

4. The Women in Black- Madeleine St John
(read in a resort in Yallingup, WA)

3. My Brilliant Career- Miles Franklin
(read in a tent on the Jatbula trail)

2. Crossing to Safety- Wallace Stegner
(read in Mina-no-ie, with the vegie lunch + sparkling apple juice)

1. The Forrests- Emily Perkins.
(read on the couch, under a blanket in winter)