366 unusual things: days 24-28

24th Jan – A visitor arrived at the Housing flats but, before getting out of his car, was assailed by a tenant spewing the loudest tirade of abuse yet heard in this street.  It was about money paid as maintenance for her 2 granddaughters – $50 a week.  Her vocabulary was quickly exhausted, so for about 10 minutes she repeated two obscene words several times in each sentence.

25th Jan – I noticed when I knock on a door gently to wake someone, only the knuckle of my middle finger does the knocking.

26th Jan – A manuscript appraiser suggested I break up my translated text using a dinkus.

It’s a tiny design dividing otherwise undivided text.  I like this one.

And below, here’s one in place.

Dinkus in  ‘Almost French’ by Sarah Turnbull

27th Jan – My breakfast-on-the-deck was better than usual:  I saw a possum curled up in a corner of the roof guttering.  Turned out she was hiding something…

A possum hiding something...
And then there were two!
Possums uncurled and stacked

28th Jan – As I drove onto the bridge to cross the lake, I had to slow for 15 horses and riders and a black and white sheepdog in my lane.

366 unusual things: days 14-18

14th Jan – I tried to tear up some poorly framed photos I’d had printed for 10 cents each.  How disappointed I was to feel the photos resist my cranky hands. The Kodak XtraLife II paper has a top layer of plastic that won’t be torn.  To destroy it, I had to go in search of a pair of scissors and then cut, cut, cut.  Where’s the satisfaction in that?  Tearing up a photo, especially of an unpleasant face, is one of the great pleasures in life.

15th Jan – Watched Gone with the Wind for the first time in 30 odd years.  In the hospital scene, some long dark shadows cast onto a wall didn’t move exactly as their owners did.  The shadows seemed to have been filmed and attached afterwards.

16th Jan – My husband uses an old wardrobe in the shed for tool storage, and the possum uses it as a hideaway:

Possum in the tool cupboard

Jan 17 – I received a letter from Germany in an envelope made from a paled scan of a letter I’d written myself.

Jan 18 – My lady butcher’s hands are red, like she’s had them deep inside an animal’s flesh.  But they are that colour even when clean.  I said, ‘Your hands have been working hard,’ and she said ‘Yes, I have ugly hands.’

366 unusual things: days 8-12

8th Jan – Tonight I found the very first comment on my blog.  It took 8 days.

9th Jan – I was having coffee in the far back corner of a café when a short European man dumped a heavy cardboard box on my table.  I jumped.  He went off to speak to the manageress.  I took a peek and saw 8 plastic boxes full of honeycomb.

10th Jan – I saw a bike chained to a rack, its front wheel twisted by vandals. But something about its melted form was worth remembering.

11th Jan – The Housing tenants are sweeping their path, hosing the gutter, picking up rubbish and putting away the seven chairs they usually gather on to smoke and drink and abuse passers-by.  A 9 year-old girl picks up debris while her corpulent grandmother holds open a large plastic bag, a cigarette dangling from her lips.  The authorities have visited.

12th Jan – A Swiss friend made une tresse, a plaited bread roll, for me.

366 unusual things, days 6 & 7

6th Jan:  I put out seed for wild rosellas and a rat came to nibble on the leftovers.

7th Jan:  Outside the most expensive shoe shop in Canberra, an old Chinese lady sits behind two Styrofoam boxes, one holding large bouquets of hydrangeas, pink, purple and blue;  the other holds herb bunches.  She counts her cash, moving her toothless jaw in and out.

366 unusual things: days 1 – 5

Every day I see or hear at least one thing that makes me look, or listen, twice, because it’s not something I was expecting.  Here are the unusual things I’ve seen so far this year, this leap year, when there will be 366 days.  A bonus unusual thing.

1st Jan:  The housing tenants across the street welcomed the new year with coprolalia.

2nd Jan:  A thin dirty woman in a mini-skirt, ankle socks slipping into her clogs, was walking past the video store, hugging the glass wall.  She stopped to pick up a dead half-cigarette, pulled out a lighter, lit the cigarette and smoked it.

3rd Jan:  Neighbour no. 1 phoned and neighbour no. 2 emailed to tell us that neighbour no. 3  is a police informer with a gun.

4th Jan:  My son’s new employer, a jeans shop owner, wants him to wear their $300 jeans.  They’re made with special bacteria and can’t be washed.  The bacteria eats the dirt.

5th Jan:  A pretty twentyish blonde girl serving me at the car repair place bent over to write down my details.  I saw ‘Joshie’ tattooed in beautiful black copperplate across her left breast.

Fertile Ground:  In a long crack in a short concrete wall, a Johnny-jump-up grows, unwatered and ignored until now.  Years ago they grew  in a pot plant near the little wall, a very poor specimen which I abandoned.  Hope reigns.