Frolicking with friends

After state border closures and COVID lockdowns, a couple of weeks ago we enjoyed a weekend reunion with three longtime friends from Sydney.

My husband relished the process of planning logistics and implementing the three day itinerary. Food, drinks, laughter, reminiscing, and fun buoyed up the Winter weekend.

On Sunday night we all joined Brisbane based friends for dinner in a restaurant and bar converted from a American World War II aircraft hangar.

Following dinner most of us headed southwest on Ann Street from Newstead to Fortitude Valley, stopping off for roof top cocktails at Maya Mexican.

After this, we continued along Ann Street to Fluffy at Cloudland for drag shows and dancing. As can be seen in the picture above the staircase is a perfect feature for performers to access and exit the ground floor stage.

Apart from a minor hiccup with not being able to pay for ferry travel with a credit card, the sojourn in Brisbane was heralded a resounding success.

David Harvey Lawrence

Other than the 1969 movie of Women in Love starring Glenda Jackson, my knowledge of D.H. Lawrence was virtually non-existent.

To a naive closeted teen, it was shockingly titillating to watch the fire lit nude Oliver Reid and Alan Bates wrestling scene. Especially in a house where sex, intimacy and relationships were never raised let alone discussed.

Inspired by Merchant Ivory’s productions of Maurice and Room with a View, I had spent the 1980s and 1990s devouring and revisiting the writings of E.M.Forster.

Today, 26 June 2022, as I dived into the novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover, 1928, I was pleasantly surprised to find the read enjoyable.

Googling the author, Lawrence, delivers prolific offerings of poems, short stories, travel books, novels, paintings, and non fiction during his short 44 years of life, 1885 to 1930.

Here begins a new obsession.

The photograph is a screenshot from When D H Lawrence’s unlovely paintings were confiscated by Scotland Yard

Splits

On my birthday in October 2018, I received a young monstera deliciosa plant from our family in Swindon, UK.

The scale of the beautifully shaped leaves has steadily increased. Only one of the perfectly formed leaves has been shed.

As if practicing it’s instinctive development we have been teased with a leaf with one left split, the next with a right split, followed by a leaf with three left splits.

This week we were delighted to welcome our newly unfurled leaf with three left and four right splits.

Feeling at home

We recently spent a delightful evening, dining at a new Italian restaurant, Sasso in Woolloongabba.

From arrival and being shown to our table, I instantly felt at home. The staff were attentive, friendly, approachable, funny, and cheerful.

Upon reflection, I wonder if I felt so comfortable because there were similarities in the way I’m described at work; caring, cheerful, empathetic, funny, helpful, supportive.

Excerpt 3

This is the last one until I have written significantly more.

Unable to sleep, Altair mulled over the strange evening of hushed conversations, and nervous glances between worried faces. Hannah and a stout lady with a mousey brown bob and oversized glasses, introduced herself as Angela sat in the bay window. A tired drop leaf table between them held steaming mugs of tea.

The woman wrote ceaselessly in a spiral bound lined page notebook with a biro topped by a spring mounted bobbing pig.

Angela wore a beige pleated knee length skirt, American tan tights, olive green acrylic sweater and brown sensible lace ups.

Excerpt 2

After breakfast, Sax turned the bedrooms upside down, doors and drawers could be heard banging, the beachball was nowhere to be found. He cornered Altair and Cam in the bathroom while they were brushing their teeth. Slamming the door made the panes in the sash window rattle defiantly.

Altair jumped, heart racing, they turned around, fingers of both hands tightly clinging to the edge of the pedestal basin behind them. Altair closed down like a crocus at night, withdrawing into themselves. They knew the tirade would end eventually. Cam hauled himself up onto the toilet lid, head down turned slightly toward the window, smirking.

Excerpt

As usual, Sax chain smoked his fags. Altair glimpsed the flick and lift action of Sax’s right hand. Imagining, coarse, nailless, nicotine stained, sausage fingers ascending to bristle stiff, grey, pencil moustache topped lips. Drag, hold, exhale; billowing smoke adding to the polluted atmosphere.

Heartfelt bird tributes

Caribbean flamingoes
Standing, wading, feeding
Oblong, 2020,
Kringle prezzy, cushion.

Pink and grey, tin galah,
Gaze fixedly at all.
Cherished birthday gift from
My love with love to me.

Framed lesser flamingo
Drawn in solitary stance.
Commemorating five
And twenty years as one.

Pink plastic flamingoes
Planted on long steel legs.
Christmas token of love;
Future, past, and present.

Dirty, fake, authentic

I feel slightly dirty, tainted from being drawn into binging Byron Baes on Netflix. The mostly self interested, egotistic personalities are at first cringeworthy. Skewed perspectives, judginess, assumptions about the actions and desires of each other, and much throwing of under the bus served as the catalyst to wanting to see how events play out.

One of the reality show’s stories follows musician and singer, Sarah moving across the state border from Goldie to be among fellow creatives in Byron Bay.

Sarah inadvertently causes friction while ping ponging from Nathan to Elias to Nathan. Elias confirms Nathan’s reputation of being a ‘fu#k boy’ to Sarah. Nathan is unwilling to accept this insight from one of his bros.

Elle, Nathan’s housemate, cattily describes Sarah as fake. When challenged by friends, she flatly denies the comment, changing it to not being authentic.

It appears never the twain shall meet where conformity is required to fit in with the floaty neutral set of Byron’s female upper echelon. Sadly for Sarah, the colourful, loud, figure hugging attire of the Gold Coast is seen as fake.

There I am thinking, we are evolved enough to be able to celebrate diversity, self expression, and authenticity.

Calm; not panic

There was a time when looking like a shag on a rock would have the opposite effect of self effacement. It would have instilled discomforting anxiety and a draining of self confidence, lasting for days later.

The other day, two teams congregated around the door to the meeting room. Spilling out into the breakout area, groups of twos, threes, and fours stood chatting, waiting for the occupants to vacate.

I know the majority of my colleagues by name, a few I count as more than acquaintances, having worked with them for coming up to three years.

I invested my energy in striking up a conversation with a relative newcomer, they having previously sought me out for a non work related discussions. Within seconds they walked away abandoning me to my solitude.

Maybe I had not done enough to engage with them, to deepen our relationship. When working from home they often requested my help through Teams. I am always happy to assist everyone where I can.

There was a fraction of a second of realisation, I could not escape to the contents of my mobile phone, it was on my desk downstairs. In the present moment, I calmly gazed, taking in the twenty or so people; not a hint of a blush, sweat or wish to take flight.