Sunday, May 2, 2010

Making a (small) difference

Every year when I have to replace the registration label on my car I thank whoever dreamed up the peel-off sticker.

I used to settle down for a good hour with a sponge, a bowl of water, a cloth and a razor blade. I’d leave the damp sponge pressed up against the window for thirty minutes while it loosened the sticker. Then I’d try to remove it with a mixture of pulling, rubbing and just plain scraping with the razor blade. I’d try not to remove any important body parts of mine with the blade at the same time.

I’d wash it carefully to get rid of all the dried glue, then I’d soak the new sticker. I’d float it onto the windscreen off the paper backing and it would always end up in not quite the right place. I’d move it and it would bunch up or fold over or twist. It was always near where it should be, but never at that point. I always tried to get it as close to the two edges of the corner of the windscreen to leave maximum vision but it never quite worked. Being jammed into the passenger seat of the car, working in the extreme corner of the windscreen didn’t help.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blowing up balloons - a secret fascination with an ancient art

I have a secret fascination with the ancient art of ballooning, a skill from the beginnings of flight, a moment where humans finally caught up with birds.

This is despite the fact that I haven't yet managed to face the moment where I hang undeneath a large canvas bag full of nothing but hot air high above the landscape in a shallow wicker basket.

A decade back I became sick of the tizz of the big city – the late night parties and the unbanned substances – the nicotine and plonk and shimmering vodka, clear as the conscience of a new-born child. In the end I galloped out of Sydney, like one of those wild grey horses that roam the Snowy Mountains – the ones that have now become far too prolific and need to be culled by gunshot from helicopters.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More silence

In a recent survey by my gym I was asked if I would prefer more music or more video—I replied ‘more silence’.

I can never work out the need to be surrounded by noise. It is definitely noise, not sound. If it was quality, interesting sound perhaps it would be more bearable, but it usually seems to consist of someone telling us in a loud voice why we should buy something we don’t seem to want at all, let alone need.

The brittle, stony landscape of the silent, high country

Why I have to pay to listen to this loud advertising by virtue of belonging to a gym which costs me a fortune, I can’t work out.