25th Oct – When I turn my computer on it grunts like a quietly spoken pig.
26th Oct – At the post office, the woman in front of me was paying her bills in cash. They totalled $2,100. It was a long wait while the clerk counted the notes.
27th Oct – Spent two hours researching and writing a blog post of about 400 words. When I submitted it I received a ‘like’ a literal half-second later. Not enough time to read even one word.
28th Oct – During the silent prayer time in church, a strange voice called out, ‘WHAT THE…’. It was an irreverent ring tone on an unsilenced mobile phone.
29th Oct – One of my young students living on a large property has trouble sleeping. Herds of kangaroos hop right up to his window and snort in the darkness.
15th Oct – Thought it would be easy to change my blog header, but, searching for a new photo to suit the long rectangle form, I found only one that had an interesting horizontal slice. Still, it’s now in place and reminding me of a very good day I once spent in Collioure, France.
16th Oct – Today I was pleased to see high up in my spruce tree an adult magpie and its fluffy-chested baby. It was some consolation to know she had one left after my dog killed her other chick last week. Bad dog.
17th Oct – At a student’s house today, her spoodle, a good dog, was sitting in a leather armchair like a person, its elbow leaning on the arm of the chair.
18th Oct – On the ancestry site today I found photos of my great-grandparents!
19th Oct – Asked a 12-year old student, a new migrant, to invent a bug and name it with a made-up name. She called it Justin Bieber.
10th Oct – This morning I typed for an author writing about an ancient document written in gold, emerald and purple. Tonight I translated a passage about an ancient manuscript written in gold, azure and purple.
11th Oct – Read that almost half the population of the Pacific region is living in poverty.
12th Oct – Got locked out when I was doing some gardening.
13th Oct – Today I completed the first draft of my first book translation. Woo hoo!
14th Oct – A Sydney teacher has just received a Guinness Book of Records award as the oldest active teacher in the world. He’s 99.
5th Oct – Heard this morning that Rwanda has more females in parliament than any other country – about 56%.
6th Oct – At the clothing shop where my son works, several members of the Rebels bikie gang came in to buy jeans, black only. And shirts, also black. And long-sleeved – “Don’t wanna look like a faggot.”
7th Oct – Today I read a blog written in three languages. http://lespetitspasdejuls.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/oh-my-god-im-a-teacher/
8th Oct – Met a girl today in the flesh. I’d previously claimed I hadn’t met her, though we’d been introduced on Skype. Can you say you’ve met someone if it was on Skype?
9th Oct – Asked 2 libraries to get me books from interstate; both of them charge $16.50 for 2 weeks’ borrowing. But I’ve also found the books for sale online and can buy second-hand copies for less than the library charges, and they won’t take much longer to arrive from overseas than books from interstate.
30th Sep – Listened to a beautiful voice singing ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ to the tune of Bette Midler’s ‘The Rose’. This can also be done with ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘House of the Rising Sun’ and the theme from Gilligan’s Island. Keep the tunes, change the words.
1st Oct – Watched one of many episodes of a documentary about the Amish. It’s unusual that so many thousands of people manage to remain separate from the rest of the Western world. But for a safe and healthy life, the price is living with motorless transport and gas lanterns and fetching water. Not to mention hands-off courtships.
2nd Oct – After watching several episodes about the Amish, I chose not to drive my car today because I have a perfectly functional pushbike. I didn’t regret riding it.
3rd Oct – An author I work for always closes the door to the room where we work in her house, even though no one else is there.
4th Oct – Read about King Solomon’s 1000 women. ‘Solomon held fast to them in love,’ the writer of 1 Kings tells us. For a thousand nights he could hold fast to a different woman each night, then start again. Wonder what the Amish think about him…
25th Sep – My son recited pi to 81 decimal places.
26th Sep – My Chinese student gave me a box of Moon Cakes to celebrate mid-autumn (in mid-spring). Normally they have a dried raw egg at the centre – that’s the moon. Mine are moonless.
27th Sep – In my husband’s car, a song title, incorrectly entered by someone in the process of ripping my CD, appeared on a digital screen in the centre of the dash, in big letters, as “Chest of Draws” instead of “Chest of Drawers” by Jenny Biddle. It’s one of my favourite songs so I looked out the window until it was over.
28th Sep – Read on a French news site that J.K. Rowling’s new novel was released in English on Thursday and in French on Friday. That’s confidence in her writing. And the translator’s.
29th Sep – At the National Portrait Gallery today, saw a new and amazing portrait of the Queen in a reflective mood, painted by an Australian artist, Ralph Heimans.
5th Sep – When the door of my student’s house opened to me, I saw her waiting, her long blond hair plaited down her back. Her mother, also with long blond hair plaited down her back, was standing behind her brother, plaiting his long blond hair.
6th Sep – In 2 books in 2 days I’ve read that I should take my time when reading, don’t go too fast, have the time to read, ask why the author chose one word over another.
7th Sep – Went to a jazz concert with my son. Never done that before.
8th Sep – At a professional development session about Aboriginal English I had a long conversation in French.
9th Sep – Today we drove to our holiday destination. Arrived at the moment of a wide, horizontal orange sunset identical to the one in the ad for this place.
31st Aug – In a café I had a choice of sitting inside with people, heating, loud music, louder voices, coffee grinding and crockery washing, or of sitting alone in a cold, outer room. Which I did. Like a hermit. It was quiet.
1st Sep – Watched a young neighbour skip rope vigorously, a cigarette firmly held between her lips. Without removing it she dropped the rope and flipped into a handstand.
2nd Sep – A violent movie is playing in this room; I have my back to it. Earlier, when I approached the armchair to watch it, my young adult son cautioned me, ‘Oh, Mum …’, and I took the hint and walked away. Not many years ago it was me warning him! Perhaps the censors should create a rating for parents like me: FG – Filial guidance recommended.
3rd Sep – Outside the library while I was waiting for someone another woman was waiting for someone; she was red black red black in a brief red top, black trousers, red socks and black thongs. After a long while she gave in to the cool air and put on a cardigan, pulling it up over the right shoulder but not the left, which was tattooed.
4th Sep – Sticker on a small tradesman’s truck in front of me: A work horse, not a show pony.
21st Aug – A Year 12 student arrived for a lesson today dressed in gym clothes with her cleavage pushed up and out like a French Madame from the 1800s.
22nd Aug – Received a letter from Germany with a Queen Victoria half penny stamp stuck on the envelope.
23rd Aug – One of my students wants to become an accountant and travel to the Mediterranean and beyond, using her accounting skills.
24th Aug – Noticed that when I shop at a shopping mall and run into someone, they are always in a hurry to get away. But if I run into someone at the fruit and vegetable markets, they are free to chat and are never rushing to be somewhere else.
25th Aug – Today I emailed a guy in Heliopolis, Cairo about some photos I have of his suburb; he was stoked and asked me to send them. This is the first time I’ve ever communicated with someone in Egypt.
16th August – Received a request to translate a very interesting children’s book, unpaid. (This is not as unusual as I wish it was.)
17th August – Snowed for half an hour. This is the first time I’ve seen snow in this city for more than 10 years.
18th August – Someone who ‘liked’ one of my blog posts was looking for postgraduates to do a survey on career prospectives. So I did it.
19th August – Spoke to an Alpaca farmer who had nails painted in a leopard pattern.
20th August – Driving home tonight I heard a meditation therapist interviewed on radio. He gave a few minutes of instruction in meditation and I did everything he said, except close my eyes. I wondered if the other drivers around me were listening to the same station.