makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I'm taking a little break from writing my novel over the summer and hoping to get lots of reading done. Here's my summer reading list:

The Strays by Emily Bitto
A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones
W is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
Letter to my Daughter by Maya Angelou
Another Country by Nicolas Rothwell
Landscape of Farewell by Alex Miller
Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
Elemental by Amanda Curtin
Eyrie by Tim Winton
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (with my daughter)

Also, if anyone figures out how to read on the sly, without attracting the attention of your children, please let me know...

Friday, December 11, 2015

Inspired by a feature in Frankie, I compiled this list:

What I did this year...

1. Wrote the first draft of a novel.
2. Went on school camp and had a great time, even with a nasty cold.
3. House-sat and spent 5 days reading and writing and daydreaming.
4. Visited Albany and fell in love with it all over again.
5. Stayed in my dream home in the forest.
6. Became totally addicted to Instagram.
7. Made a lot of hummus and flat-breads.
8. Realised that despite being an urban creature, I really do have a passion for flowers and plants.
9. Grieved the end of the baby years, but was happy about the end of the nappy years.
10. Bought myself a vintage typewriter in duck-egg blue. 
11. Discovered a love of sauerkraut.
12. Accepted with sadness the waning of some friendships and the failure to take off of others.
13. Set myself the goal of having my own studio one day, even if it is a caravan in the garden.
14. Made time to draw and paint and play with clay because it make me happy.
15. Was amazed, time-and-time-again, by my kids ability to make sense of complicated issues.
16. Watched a lot of Mad Men episodes.
17. Thought deeply about the meaning of belonging and home.
18. Put my PhD on hold indefinitely.
19. Managed to grow rhubarb for the first time.
20. Watched my daughter fall in love with reading.

Monday, November 30, 2015

I have just spent twenty minutes searching for my copy of Anna Karenina because I can't stop thinking about it. I read it when I was a teenager and hated it because of the ending; a few years later, I saw a play adaptation, only to realise as it neared the finale, why I disliked it so much. Then, I watched the recent TV drama, The Beautiful Lie, after reading an interview with the screenwriter and becoming intrigued. I sobbed my heart out at the end, but this time, I saw something else in it, which I hadn't noticed before and that I think is what drives her over the edge. It is the divide between being the selfless mother who puts the needs of her child before her own needs and desires, and the search for individual fulfillment and happiness. Anna feels she has made a terrible mistake and she cannot bear the loss of her child. I never really "got her" before, but this I understand! Perhaps, I'm mistaken, but I really want to read it again just to see...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hydrangeas always remind me of a special place where we would stay on childhood holidays in France. They make me think of the heat, the fields of wheat, barbecues, playing tennis, brown skin and wild hair. My day has been filled with sunshine and the beauty of the Indian Ocean, with laughing children and icy poles and watermelon slices, but always in my mind, there has been the darkness of what has happened in Paris; the awful unease of these dichotomies: life and death, light and dark, love and hate.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

In August, I took up Womankind's 'Creativity' Challenge and kept a diary to document five days of creativity. Here it is...

Wednesday 26th August 2015

Today was a very typical day for me. I thought about writing, I hoped to maybe catch a moment to scrawl something down, but in the end, I did not write. More often than not, the needs of three young children expand to fill the day. Despite this, my mind continually floats back to the novel I’m writing – a sense of atmosphere, a new level of understanding of a character or an idea, some detail I must include – but then it is yanked sharply back to the immediate, physical world I also inhabit. By the evening, I feel drained and empty. I need to fill up, to escape. There is nothing left to give to my writing. I sketch in my notebook, watch Mad Men on Netflix, drink some tea, read a few pages of Patti Smith’s Just Kids. The lives of the young artists in New York are in stark contrast to my own, but still I don’t envy their freedom. I am happy with my life, despite the frustrations. Tomorrow, I will write.

Thursday 27th August 2015

Today was a productive day for me. I spent two and a half hours working on my novel, while my youngest was at 3-year old Kindy. I’ve found it’s the perfect length of time for some concentrated, focused writing. I take a tiny break half way through to stretch my legs and take in some fresh air. Sometimes I run an errand, but my favourite place to go is the beach. The expanse of the ocean makes me feel centred and calm, and ready to go back to my work. I usually write in cafes because I like the noise and to be surrounded by people - also good coffee is essential! At home, I find myself distracted by the piles of washing, the crumb-speckled floors, and all the other chores that can easily fill a precious few hours.

I’m 50,000-words into my novel and my pace has slowed lately. I’m digging deeper into the ideas that the novel explores, and trying to understand my characters and their psychological motivations more fully. I’m reading a fascinating book on psychology and writing, and I intersperse my writing sessions with reading a chapter. The scenes I’m currently developing are very intense, and I’m forcing myself to revisit the darkest of times in my own life to express what my characters are enduring. It can be painful to get the right words onto the page, but even more so, to access the emotional depths necessary to breathe life into your characters.

Friday 28th August 2015

I have to heavily guard the time I carve out to write because it is so easily lost, but today I sacrificed my writing morning to help out in my eldest son’s class. Another love of mine is ceramics and I am helping the 5- and 6-year olds to make eggcups from clay. They are so sweet and I find it fascinating to observe the different ways they approach the project: some wait for instruction, some observe and then quickly figure it out for themselves, others go off on a limb to create their own design. When my children were really little and all at home with me, I went through a stage of feeling extremely frustrated, but I came to realise that our days could be filled with creativity, even if I wasn’t able to write as often as I’d like to. We spent the hours making, reading, cooking and playing, and I tried to celebrate this and document it through my blog. I came to the realisation that all creativity is linked and everything feeds into everything else. I find cooking incredibly relaxing and creative, and I often have moments of clarity about my writing when I am busy in the kitchen. I believe the important thing is just to throw yourself into whatever you are doing, approach life with a creative mindset, and above all, don’t panic about creating. Panic is definitely the enemy of creativity!

Saturday 29th August 2015

Today we drove out of suburbia and into the rural surroundings to drop off three roosters that we couldn’t keep in our tiny garden (we have five hens).  The landscape alters quite suddenly and I am always surprised by how different it is only twenty minutes away. The children scream out: “cows, sheep, horses, kangaroos!” I feel a strong connection to the landscape of Western Australia, even though I spent most of my childhood and early twenties in the UK. I have a theory that there is some deeply ingrained memory of the colours and smells and sounds and scale of this place from the first three-years of my life. Place and belonging are the major themes of my novel and preoccupy my thoughts. It can be hard writing about a landscape that you are not immersed in, and so I try to soak in as much as I can: the light moving between the trees, the pelicans silhouetted against the stormy sky, the beehives gathered in the front paddock of a property we visit, the majestic way the kangaroos hold their heads, their forms blending in and out of the landscape. I wonder why it is that this place, so far away from the land I should call home, has such a pull on me. I think about my plan to get away and spend a few days in the forests of the south-west, where my novel is set.

Sunday 30th August 2015

Sunday is often the busiest day. Long gone are those lazy mornings in bed, eating toast and reading the paper, followed by a meander around the markets and a pub lunch. Despite this, we started the day slowly and I crept off to drink my coffee in the sunshine and write down a few observations in my notebook. I can feel the frustration building over the need for a decent stretch of time to write. I try to gather emotions, ideas, and images, so that when I do finally have a few hours to work, I’m bursting with inspiration. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The worst thing is feeling unmotivated and uninspired in the sacred time allocated to writing. If this happens, I either force myself to write, beginning with notes that frequently become prose, or I read something relevant or plan scenes. Writing is hard – it feels like you are creating a whole world from nothing - but it is also thrilling. I found an old postcard recently, which featured a quotation from the playwright, Gill Adams, and it rang true for me:
Writing is not a job nor a hobby. It's an addiction without a cure.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

We are now entering the crazy season (yes, it does start this early), and I am bracing myself for it. The last quarter of the year is always ridiculous, and I can see that this year will be no exception. But right now, I'm still on a high from a week away, breathing in briny sea air and then swooning under the soft light of the forest. Of course, holidays tend to make you wonder about alternative, better ways of living and to indulge in the fantasy of a move that would mend all that needs mending...I'm under no illusion, but I do want to hold onto the idea that it's okay to stop and jump off the treadmill, if I need too. I've resolved to slow everything down, especially when it comes to the children, and also to declutter on a grand scale. Here we go...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Over the last month or so, my head has been a big mess of ideas and revelations and questions. I've been doing a bit of writing, not as much as I'd like, but I just haven't felt inspired to blog. I'm waiting for everything to settle again, so I can see with more clarity. I feel like I'm in this really strange place at the moment, moving out of the baby-growing years, while a lot of my friends from school and uni are just starting out on their parenthood adventures. And yet, I'm not free to get stuck into the next stage of my life, whatever that will entail. I guess I'm searching for some purpose or meaning, and trying to pin down all these swirling ideas. I keep dwelling on this quotation from Parker J. Palmer:

"Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear. Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am. I must listen for the truths and values at the heart of my own identity, not the standards by which I must live - but the standards by which I cannot help but live if I am living my own life."

Saturday, September 5, 2015

This week I:

  • wrote a creative diary for the Womankind 'Creativity' Challenge. It was insightful, especially because I didn't get to do much writing during the five days it covered! 
  • cried and then got angry about the crazy stuff that happens in this cruel world. Decided briefly that I should do something different with my life, like become a human rights lawyer. Then realized, I'd be awful at that and resolved to stick to writing.
  • caught another f**king cold
  • went to the beach with my littlest boy and lay on the sand in the sunshine, even though I was wearing boots and several layers and a scarf. It felt divine.
  • watched a lot of Mad Men, while eating chocolate and drinking tea and trying to keep warm. 
  • got passionate about grammar.
  • read Patti Smith's Just Kids in little delicious bites because I love it and I don't want it to end.
  • made tomato pesto and hummus and pumpkin dal and pizza and chocolate chip cookies and apple cake and banana splits and endless cups of coffee. 
  • felt so happy and so sad.
And now, the kids are back from swimming, so here we go again!

Monday, August 3, 2015

One of our chickens died last weekend. I noticed that the other chickens were pecking it and keeping it away from the chicks. There was something wrong with its comb and it didn't seem to be eating. We took it inside to keep it warm, and tried to feed it, but it grew weaker and weaker, and slowly fell into a sleep. My daughter was really upset, especially because it was the "mummy chicken", who had been so broody that we had acquired some eggs for her to hatch. We told her the chicks would be fine because they have three other, extremely protective, mummies. Then a few days later, my daughter was a little distressed - she seemed to have forgotten about the sick chicken, and was then surprised and sad when I told her that it had died. My youngest wanted to see what it looked like when it was dead and was disappointed because his dad had already buried it in the garden, underneath a plant. My middle child suddenly grew very indignant, on the way home from school one day, and demanded that we get another chicken to replace the one that had died. When I pointed out that we had 5 chicks, he said: "no, we need another mummy chicken, just like the other one".

To be honest, I'm not overly fond of chickens - I like the eggs they lay and I like the sound of them scrabbling about in the garden, but I don't really like picking them up - and yet watching this chicken fade away, while my children watched on, filled my eyes with tears. Obviously I was sad because they were, but also it made me remember the other times when pets have died, and to feel again the way I did as a child when confronted with death.

I've been having some trouble writing a certain part of my novel, which involves the childhood relationship between two brothers and a girl who lives with them. I don't know why I find it so hard - there are far more "difficult" scenes in the book - but I'm struggling to plunge myself back into that way of viewing the world. I'm reading this fascinating book about psychology and writing, and I think that perhaps there are some feelings of sadness and anxiety associated with my childhood, which make me wary of mining these memories. It hadn't really occurred to me before, but so often issues faced by my children force me to revisit similar situations or emotions that I'd long ago forgotten. Sometimes, it is more than just empathy; it's as if I'm experiencing something again, but with a greater understanding and objectivity. Once more, I'm realising why writing a novel can be painful.

"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be be lived forwards." Søren Kierkegaard

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Last week, I read this incredibly interesting and thought-provoking interview in Dumbo Feather, with the author and journalist Sali Hughes. It completely altered my outlook on make-up. I don't consider myself someone who is very interested in make-up. I was never the teenager who spent hours playing with cosmetics and trying out new looks, although I did have a few friends like this and I loved it when they did my make-up. I wore concealer and mascara and sometimes eyeliner. If it was a really big night out, I might put on some eyeshadow or blusher, but I didn't like the sensation of foundation or lipstick - they felt too heavy on my skin and too much like a mask. I've only ever had my make-up done by a professional once and I hated it. I looked like someone else and definitely not someone I wanted to be! Over the years, not much has changed, but I have come to realise that the make-up that I do wear plays a crucial part in enabling me to face the world each morning. Since becoming a mother, there have been only a few days when I have left the house without mascara. I recall shortly after my daughter was born making a little promise to myself that I would always wear mascara and always paint my toenails. It was as if these two things signified that all was well and I was coping with my new role. I guess they represented some continuity with my pre-baby life. Sali's stance on make-up made me realise that it is not about hiding or deceiving, but about enabling and strengthening.

I particularly like what she has to say about make-up and illness. It made me think about how as a child, I noticed that there was a hairdresser at the hospital. For some reason, I found this strange and fascinating - I couldn't really understand why someone in hospital would want or need to get their hair done. It also made me remember how my mum, maybe a week before she died, asked me to paint her toenails for her. She always had really soft, beautiful feet with immaculately painted (usually red) toenails. Even though she was pretty much confined to her bed by this stage, it was still important for her to keep this significant part of her the same. I have many memories of us doing beauty treatments on each other, even if it was just rubbing face creams in or applying face masks. She would often ask me to brush her hair because she found it so relaxing. I love it now when my daughter brushes my hair, although unfortunately she's not so keen on the reverse! I can see that these beauty treatments, this shared preening and pampering, creates bonds and is an important part of our connection as females. Just before she died, my mother said: "Now don't throw all that stuff away," gesturing to her make-up, "there's some really great stuff there, some very expensive brushes and lipsticks." I still have them all.

Finally, Sali's perspective on make-up, as a way of playing and expressing, has led me to rethink my approach to my daughter and her interest in make-up. She is often asking to "play" with my make-up and I generally feel reluctant to let her because I don't like little girls wearing make-up. It freaks me out and makes me think of those frightening child beauty queen pageants. But, of course, she doesn't see it like that - she just sees it as colouring-in for the face. Most weekends, my kids will find some way to get their faces painted - they are the type who insist on waiting in a queue at Bunnings for half an hour - and I think for them, there isn't much difference between this and trying out my lipsticks. With this in mind, I gathered together a few cosmetics in a little bag and gave them to my daughter. She has been drawing on herself, her friends and her little brothers all week. Mostly they have looked like members of Kiss the morning after a very big night, and sometimes their little faces have glowed all over with the sheen of peach lip gloss, liberally applied to their entire face! This morning, I found my three year old, tasting the make-up, which I think is perhaps taking the experimentation slightly too far...

Anyway, it was a really great article in a magazine full of really great articles. Do yourself a favour and buy a copy.

Dumbo Feather 
Sali Hughes

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Oh hey there stranger, I've been a little absent of late. Got sick, went on school camp, stayed somewhere special for the weekend, washed three suitcases of dirty clothes....Phew! It was so good to get away. I totally needed a change of routine and some open space, but most of all I needed the perspective on life that a few days away gives you. I'm trying to hold on to it and make some changes. It is so easy to fall back into old habits and forget those revelations made possible by distance. Here's what I decided...

  • We need to spend more time outside, just letting the kids explore and play in an unstructured way. It makes them so happy and it makes us happy too. Nature is IMPORTANT.
  • Everything and everyone should just slow down.
  • I want us to live closer to school, so that we can ride or walk there. I don't drive and I don't want to drive, and much as I love our suburb and the people who live here, I'd like to be more central and closer to the beach. 
  • I want to be fully present for my kids, in the sense of really listening and engaging with them when we're together. I'm a huge daydreamer and I struggle with this, especially when they are all talking to me at once!
  • I want to start making ceramics again. Writing makes me buzz and feel so very alive, but making things from clay leaves me calm and satisfied. Both are necessary!  
  • Less toys, better bookshelves, that is all.
  • Getting away is good. We should do it much more often...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

One + Four = Life

Once a week.
Four photos.
To document your life.
One + Four = Life

Briami/Ficus/Cat Girl/Elegant Sleeper

My Instagram
Meet Me at Mike's

Sunday, May 24, 2015

One + Four = Life

Once a week.
Four photos.
To document your life.
One + Four = Life

Clay leaves/Chicks/Lemons and rain/Chai with my little boy

 My Instagram
Meet me at Mike's

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Three moments to show you where my head's at...

In that in between time when I'm still asleep but not quite awake, I had this vision of getting off the bus, walking down my street, through the garden gate and into my house. No pram, no children, just me. And it filled me with emptiness and dread and my eyes with tears. This was me coming back from taking the children to school, to a quiet house, and facing the "what next?" that is hovering at the back of my mind.


My 5 year old is snuggling into me on our journey to school. His hair is freshly washed and I am stroking the fluffy golden curls, when it hits me that one day, in the not too distant future, he probably won't let me do this, certainly not in public and eventually perhaps not at all. I am filled with sadness and the desire to hold on to every detail of this precious moment.


My daughter tells me that she doesn't know if she'll have children, but if she does, she's only going to have two and she'll get someone else to look after them because she's going to be a mum who works...and drives. Ouch.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

One + Four = Life

Once a week.
Four photos.
To document your life.
One + Four = Life

Day-trip to the hills/Wet avocado tree/Watching the "lava rocks"/A day of writing & cooking 

My Instagram
Meet Me at Mike's

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It all feels a bit Groundhog Day at the moment and I'm wondering how to slow things down and shake things up and find a better way to live. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to do the good stuff  - we're in a rush to get to school, a rush to get chores done, a rush to get back to school, a rush to get home, a rush to get dinner cooked and consumed, a rush to get the kids to bed. There's part of me that just wants to jump off this treadmill and run away, but how? And besides, I have this feeling that it's not where you live; it's how you live...That's the tricky part.

Anyway, here are a few links related to two of my current obsessions: ceramics and cooking. Enjoy!

Keiko Matsui Ceramic Artist
Ruby Pilven Ceramics
Elke Lucas Cermaics 

My Darling Lemon Thyme
Anna Jones
The Vanilla Bean Blog

Sunday, May 10, 2015

One + Four = Life

Once a week.
Four photos.
To document your life.
One + Four = Life

Pie with leaves/Chalk/A little escape/Mother's Day beads

My instagram
Meet Me at Mike's

Sunday, May 3, 2015

One + Four = Life

Once a week.
Four photos.
To document your life.
One + Four = Life

Small boy playing air guitar/Sushi for 100+/BYO mirrorball/Our cat 

 My Instagram
Meet Me At Mike's

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Yesterday evening, I experienced that rarest of occurrences between the parents of young children: a conversation that wasn't about the kids, their school, or our house (and usually what needs to be fixed). Amazing! And one of the things that we talked about was writing because he'd noticed, when trying to find a file on our laptop, that during my morning of writing, I'd opened about ten documents. What he wanted to know was how did I decide what to write about on a particular day and was I writing in chronological order. Over the last month or so, a couple of friends have asked me about my writing habits, and seemed quite surprised by my answers, which has made me realise that there are many ways to write a novel. What might seem natural or obvious to one writer is anything but to another. This may or may not interest you, but I thought I'd share my process...

I write in longhand in notebooks and then when I have my next opportunity to write, I type my scrawled words onto my laptop. My novel is currently divided into characters and within these sections each scene has its own title. This is just for my own purposes and will probably change once I have the bulk of my first draft and can start playing. I have a clear idea of the plot (although not the end yet...) and of the part of the story each character will tell. I know what the major scenes will be, but the other ones are largely a mystery to me, until I put pen to paper and something almost magical occurs. Often, when I sit down to write, I have no idea what I will write about. There's the briefest moment of panic and then a word or an image or a sentence creeps into my head and I'm off! From time to time, I compile a list of scenes that I need to write and this can be great for those mornings when I'm feeling creatively sluggish. Then, I have to force myself to begin, perhaps with just a few notes that will then generally flow into sentences and paragraphs and pages. Surprisingly, they can be the most productive sessions.

I'm not writing chronologically because I find this really boring and because I'm not yet sure of all the details. To dip in and out of time and place and character's heads seems to be the way I solve some of the "problems" of the narrative. That said, I'm still not entirely sure how the story will end. I'm holding back on this partly because I don't completely know where my protagonist is heading (it's a cliche but I guess I'm on the journey with her), and also because this tension is feeding my excitement and sense of curiosity, and pulling me on through the writing of the first draft. I've written around 35,000 words, so I'm half way. It's getting harder because I'm writing the more difficult scenes that I've avoided up until this point, and also the ones that connect everything. It feels like I'm going deeper into the story, unearthing the details of the characters' lives, and the more subtle elements of their interactions.     


Sunday, April 26, 2015

One + Four = Life

Once a week.
Four photos.
To document your life.
One + Four = Life

Ate himself to sleep/lunch by the sea/ playing with clay/all my kids at school & feeling strange

Meet me at Mike's
My Instagram

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I have spent the last three mornings working on my novel. It has been amazing! I have written a tricky scene that I've been avoiding and added a fair bit to my word count. Most of all though, I just feel so much more connected to my work, with a stronger sense of the whole novel and the direction it is taking. I was a little lost when I left all three of my children at school on Thursday morning, and wandered off on my own. I walked for a while and let this new emotion sink in. I'm a bit nervous and very excited. This is just a tiny glimpse of the future, but it's the beginning of something new for me...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Towards the end of the holiday, we went to have morning tea with a friend, who happened to mention that she'd just given her 14 year-old daughter a copy of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. This is one of the few books that I have read for pleasure (rather than study) more than once. I know someone who has read Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin six or more times, and another person who rereads The Lord of the Rings Trilogy every year. My daughter is currently obsessively rereading Harry Potter, dipping in and out of the books, making connections, and folding the corner of almost every page because she likes its contents. But I'm a greedy reader and an out-of-control book buyer, so I've never been much of a re-reader, unless of course, I've needed to write an essay on a particular book. Anyway, this snippet of conversation with my friend and her daughter made me think about the books I read as a teenager and the ones that were really important to me. Those that stand out also happen to be books that I've read two or even three times. Here they are:

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
It has the most amazing voice that draws you in from the very moment you start reading, and it displays so brilliantly that awakening to the double-standards and general ridiculousness of the world, which you experience as you move from childhood to adulthood. While I really liked this book, it led me to read For Esme with Love and Squalor and Franny and Zooey, which I loved even more.

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
This book blew me away. I read it for the first time on Christmas day, when I was about 17. My grandma had just died and we were at her house and I was miserable. Plath's novel articulated so well the anxiety I was experiencing about my future and the pressure to make decisions. I will never forget this powerful image:

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” 

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
I was obsessed with fashion magazines as a teenager and I had a very unhealthy sense of self-worth related to my body image. My mum gave me this book and it was a revelation. It changed the way I viewed the world. No kidding. 

“The beauty myth of the present is more insidious than any mystique of femininity yet: A century ago, Nora slammed the door of the doll's house; a generation ago, women turned their backs on the consumer heaven of the isolated multiapplianced home; but where women are trapped today, there is no door to slam. The contemporary ravages of the beauty backlash are destroying women physically and depleting us psychologically. If we are to free ourselves from the dead weight that has once again been made out of femaleness, it is not ballots or lobbyists or placards that women will need first; it is a new way to see.”

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
What can I say? I am a hopeless romantic and I love all the frustrated passion and the elemental imagery. I think reading this novel sparked my obsession with old houses and tragic love affairs and the connection to landscape and belonging. All these things feature in the novel I'm currently writing. For a teenager, feeling everything in such a heightened state, this dramatic tale transcended the petty squabbles and concerns of my day-to-day reality, and spoke of more universal themes.

“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Healthcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” 

 I also read a lot of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Jilly Cooper (oh yes!) - to be honest, I just read anything I could get my hands on - but these are the books that left far more than a fleeting impression. I wonder what I would make of them, if I read them now, for the very first time...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

One + Four = Life

Once a week.
Four photos.
To document your life.
One + Four = Life

Waterlilies/Paperbark Forest/"Snail Park" in a wheelbarrow/First swimming lesson

My Instagram
Meet Me at Mike's

Sunday, April 12, 2015

One + Four = Life

Once a week.
Four photos.
To document your life.
One + Four = Life

School holiday creativity/a little celebration for turning three/trying out grandad's camera/my new 1950s typewriter

My Instagram
Meet Me At Mikes
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