Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I lay awake quite happily in the small hours, watching the moon over the water, petting Suscipe and pushing colours around in my head - if I added yellow oxide it would go this way - if I lightened it - no, no, too pink. When I got up, I loved the new colour just as it is.

Fox Red, for the central room. Walls yesterday, woodwork today.

Thinking about colour is utterly soothing and engrossing, like really listening to music (which I also did, it was a long night). I think anything elemental, maybe because it takes us out of ourselves which was exactly where I wanted to be. I do bore myself so.

Chanting last night, about an hour in we suddenly found our voices and sounded much better. A delightful absence of fluting sopranos.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Broken Toe

AND I dropped the outdoor table on my big toe as well.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


With my usual blind enthusiasm I started on three incompatible projects this morning, in the teeth of heat and a blinding sirocco. I pinned all the clothes I am altering, took down all pictures and power points plates in the living room ready to paint, and removed three sections of skirting board - one had always needed scribing and had been irritating me for four years, and the others needed to be cut down to better fit with the new casing to the doorway to the porch.

I must be getting older AND wiser, I forbore to open the paint and instead devoted myself to preparation, spackle, sanding and the carpentry. It all looks dreadful of course, and will into tomorrow, but at least it will be properly done and I have not worn myself to a frazzle, which was good as Felix and Ghazi came over, she bearing the official announcement of a large prize quite independent of her full scholarship to Paris next year. We had official English scones and tea to celebrate, it is a wonderful achievement, the competition was nationwide.

The wind has already killed some of the little plants I put out two days ago, You might as well scorch them with a hairdryer - it is like standing in front of an open oven. I have put my seed trays into plastic bags to keep them from drying out.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Colour Dance

I have just painted the door reveals and hall trim a most interesting dark sludgy green. I had altered the dado rail in the hall to accommodate the Troll Garland, which is getting a change of venue, so slapped on a coat just to test the colour.

Of course it means all the other colours have shuffled up and now look different. The woods look richer, and the walls a little garish. I see more painting coming. I want to find a sort of putrescent milk chocolate, or mix it.

It is all making me wonder if white for the bathroom is too tame. Taupeish white, if it isn't too cool for the walnut and teak - Hardwick White maybe.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Read into it

My mother sent me this photo of my incredibly young father with his first-born. All the things I notice:
he is so thin!
the pipe looks so strange
he is holding Colin with surprising competence
the brussels sprouts in the background symbolise fecundity
the pole and resistors are harbingers of the communications era
the low stone houses and walls show timelessness and community
the way his hair is standing up demonstrates a stiff North wind
Colin looks like a rabbit

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Isn't it Beautiful?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Whacking Away with my Wonderbar

The old fence is down, and the new posts are in. Tomorrow, the rails, very pleased and excited.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Free-Floating Anxiety

There is a name for my malaise - Waking-Up Syndrome, the guilt of realising how much harm I do just by existing.

We are relatively green, with a lot of room for improvement, mainly travel. We don't have central heating or air conditioning, have insulated at last and it does make a difference, we have skylights, use cold water for washing and have a clothes-line, have planted trees, use cloth shopping bags (thanks Angela!). We compost and recycle.

Should: stop eating beef.

A Happy Day

I woke unnaturally cheerful this morning after a wonderful evening, and watered the garden in such cold I can still barely type. Ashraf and Miriam came to dinner with Kristen and William (Jamie is still in Dallas) and somehow it just all went well. Leftovers mean crab-cake for breakfast, but we are shooting for the S.P.C.A. at about 11 so I won't graze all day. I gave William the leftover chocolate cake - the flourless Josceline Dimbleby recipe - to give to Felix, with some of the irresistible praline. Pasta primavera and mache salad in the middle.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

As Above

All it took was the Great Australian Bite to turn this crust into geography.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I have had a rather blissful couple of days while Stefan is in Las Vegas, eating chicken liver for breakfast, finishing the floor, routing my wardrobe, drawers, bathroom cabinets, kitchen and sideboard so that everything is folded, ordered and re-organised. Except my files and office...

I even have two empty drawers in the kitchen, although one is turning into the Things we Rarely if Ever Use drawer for the turkey baster, grill handles, sushi mat etc.. The other is the Sweetie Drawer.

I buggered my back doing heroic weeding in the front paddock and shifting logs, so slept in this morning with heated pad and a new copy of Vogue from Mary. The most energetic thing I did was clear the silly little vents in the kitchen tap filter with a needle. We certainly are getting enough iron.

New fence next week - I can hardly wait.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What a Dump

Though it isn't a dump. I know perfectly well that my own inner Dump is colouring an innocent place, innocent day.

It is only 6.45 and I have already put the second coat of seal on the table and started watering, because I have been bleakly wakeful since 5 o'clock, despite an eventful yesterday. I went into the city to protest on the Olympic torch route, thousands of people hobnobbing happily whether we were carrying red flags, orange or green, which restores my faith in civility within dissent. However the mayor was worried enough to change the route, so I heard from Stefan via cell-phone (he and John were watching on television, too much fun to work) that the runner had jogged smiling into a warehouse half an hour previously and not come out again.

So I gave it an hour then went to Bloomingdales.

Lynn, who had not been expecting to see the torch at all, ran into it twice.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Why, oh why? We took Mary out for her birthday dinner - not late, because she leaves for Pasadena so early - then Zany came over and we got all excited about various projects, and I got to bed at about ten. Set the alarm. Took a tablet. Read a little.

By midnight I was lying there with my senses crackling. By two I put my iPod on shuffle and then creaked towards the dawn in song-length increments.

We are filming in Tiburon this morning, "Hand-held, cinema verité look please!" First time on about thirty years.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Om Pa Pa Encore

Chanting last night, the first class I have found in years of searching, and local too. I just slipped right in.

A late start for the shoot this morning so I luxuriated in bed, enjoying the lilac on the bedside table, geraniums outside, Suscipe sweetly asleep beneath the telescope, and the elegant satin and chiffon pyjamas Carolyn gave me, which Annie gave her, which someone else gave Annie - is there something I don't know about these garments? I love them, and they are very flattering, classic, with modest pockets perfectly placed on the jacket.

I cut and fitted the grid walnut panels not only for the side of the fridge, but for the side of the shelves on the other wall and am totally ta'en on with them. Need more paint before I can fix them permanently, but will post photos then, because I won't be able to stop myself.

The new door casings/ductwork under the projector work perfectly too, the exposed wires had been irritating me for the past two years. They need filling and painting, and I think I'll repaint the bathroom while this energy is upon me.