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Home sweet home

Finders Keepers in Hawthorn has moved beyond its Covid-19 lockdown takeaway-only status.

Right now four tables are available, right beside the rumbling traffic. I grabbed one. Sank in. Didn’t notice the traffic. Worked. Worked well. Home.

Building a streak #2

Here’s what Seth Godin posits: blog daily. He does it. In the past I have also. Lately I’ve had little to say. Or rather, in 2020 I’ve had little to say to the world. But what about to myself? The instant I wrote those five words, with their question mark, right now, I knew I’d found something to go with. For me, you see, blogging isn’t primarily about communicating…

Building a streak #1

“Do the work every single day,” Godin advises. On the one hand, what a cliche! I remember Bryce Courtenay lecturing me: “Bum glue.” On the other hand, I work every day, but lately, the days haven’t felt right. I sat down but haven’t worked solidly. I’ve been distracted: fire, plague, coup d’etat. Well, Andres, forget all that. An afternoon. Ambient…

Summer is here

Seth Godin’s The Practice: Shipping Creative Work bristles with fresh ways of looking at creativity and work. My last month of spring was mediocre, so let me reboot for the first month of summer. Towards the end of the book, he sums up one strand of thought. “Build streaks,” he advises, by which he means establish, by hook or by crook, regularity of work. I dive back into 1958…

Clenched fist

It seems impossible to impose order on life right now and order is necessary to focus on the work. No doubt this is partly due to emerging from lockdown. Suddenly the respite from life’s everyday imposts vanishes. But this is not just a post-pandemic issue (needless to say, the pandemic is still here, it’s just that in Melbourne we’re protected from it, as least for now). Something more…


A Tuesday, blue sky outside, the best of Melbourne’s spring weather. Shortly I’ll catch an early train eastward, to dine at an early hour with a friend. Today had no plan. This week had no plan. November has been unplanned. Yes, I’m drifting. Weighed down by a compulsive personality, the drift isn’t my default state, and I know I should be concerned. A week, so I believe…

A Thursday

I can’t draw but scribbled the image below (clouds, lightning, rain) during a Zoom last night. I’d imposed a self blackout but had somehow convinced myself Trump would be out on his ears, swamped by a blue wave. But the results looked like 2016’s. Leaden dread bore on me. Today, on a Thursday in Melbourne, hope is a babe waiting to be delivered.

When sci-fi isn’t

I read quite a lot of sci-fi and a staple of that is the tale of a dystopia. Climate-change-related dystopian novels have rained down on us over the last few years, but here’s a twist, courtesy of this Grist article, “With the world on fire, climate fiction no longer looks like fantasy.” As an academic quoted in the article puts it, quite aptly it seems to me, “in the near…

Magic from Nicholson Baker

Listen to Nicholson Baker from his magical book about excavating a nation’s dark secrets, Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act … listen (p. 225): “What do I really want from a book? I want truth in every paragraph. I want surprises. I want a sense that everything is not hopeless. That we can do better. I want a sense that life is a complicated…

Inner bastard

My mind, that inner bastard, is never satisfied. During periods of low productivity, it rages, hypercritical. Yet when I labor solidly, and words blossom, that internal ingrate lashes me: “why do you slave away, why can’t you be contented, why not relax like everyone else?”

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