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Of Recent Times

April 21, 2011

Paris

When you can’t get to Paris, Paris can come to you. We constructed the Eiffel Tower in our yard using the Hills Hoist as a base (it is, after all, situated right in the centre of our garden), using bamboo sticks that once made up a screen. I say “we” but I mostly became useful when it was time to flip the top two thirds onto the top of the Hills Hoist. Sadly no photographs exist of this tense, but triumphant part of the afternoon. Our Eiffel could be seen from far across the suburb. Here is a photo of it at dusk:

And it is rather more poetically captured here. I’m all for travelling without leaving home, we also had Proust attend the party, and a swordfight with baguettes.

Zines

I made a journey down past the McMansions of the outer suburbs and was finally released from Sydney, passed the mysterious Lake George, and found myself in Canberra for the zine fair organised by the ACT Writers Centre. Here are some of the zines I picked up at the fair, pictured early this morning: 

Though a number of them seem to have embedded themselves in my house so couldn’t be found for the photoshoot. My friends over at Take Care were stationed nearby, I swapped biscuits for pears. Why am I never the one with the healthy food? I’d done a zine workshop that morning so was a bit scatterbrained throughout the day, but managed to have a good time nonetheless. I had conversations about pet lizards, swap meets, recycled paper, and how to make baby booties.

This is the scene from where I was sitting. The highly reflective floor was entrancing to me in my fatigued state.

Awfully Wonderful

Simon has some artwork in a show at Carriageworks at the moment. It’s called Awfully Wonderful and is about science fiction. Simon made a version of the robot from Metropolis, and a Shrinking Ray, here pictured in our living room:

and then in gallery land:

It was difficult to take a good photo of the shrink ray with people using it, but there was quite a queue of people waiting to pull the lever. If you look closely one of the Shrunken Items, as well as the chip packets (I was dubious about shrinking foil chip packets, but it worked, though not to the extent the plastic ones used to shrink) there’s a shrunken apple head. I believe you can buy these as souvenirs in Tasmania, although you can also make your own.

Zines

My most recent zines are I am a Camera #15, which is a romp through Dunedin, New Zealand, and also Kingdom by the Sea, which is another zine about New Zealand. It’s about going to Oamaru, Steampunk capital of the world, where I visited Janet Frame’s childhood home. This zine is in the same vein as my zine June Graveyard, about visiting Sylvia Plath’s grave. Write to me if you’re interested in a copy, it’s $3 or a trade. (Other vital statistics, 28 pages, 11 x 11cm, 2500 words). Here it is pictured on my desk, hastily snapped:

Coming Up

I’ll be reading at Surry Hills library on May 5th. It will be a “spellbinding live show of ordinary people’s extraordinary experiences” – although I think my story is perhaps the other way around. An hour of stories about libraries sounds good to me!

Also Simon and I will be in residence in the Gigloo at the Tiny Stadiums festival. We’re the “and more”. More details as they materialise.

I have a story in the Penguin Plays Rough book of short stories, which is being launched in May at the Sydney Writer’s Festival. There’s a nifty game associated with the launch, check their website for details.

Other than this I’m kicking piles of autumn leaves, wearing scarves, planning to bake a giant hot cross bun, reading crime novels, thinking about tidying the house, listening to songs about voodoo, using my typewriter, and generally enjoying autumn, my favourite season.

How’s Krolly?

I know it was hard to have to read all that before mention was made of the long eared gentlerabbit. He’s got a new winter coat and apart from some petulant dish flipping, he’s been his usual reflective and loving self. Watch this blog for his special easter message.

That’s it for now, I hope everyone’s well,

Yours,

Vanessa.

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