Friday, June 02, 2006

Shopping, Dandenong, Conflict - all in one entry!

I'm gearing up for two work trips - so, the first thing I've done is go out and buy new electronic gear - a digital notetaker, a 1G flashcard - because that always makes me feel more organised. (Stop laughing Gibah!) Then I think of what I'll take to read on the 'plane. I used to have this rule, you get to buy a new paperback at the airport bookshop just because you're there. But this time I'm thinking thesis reading, so I might break that rule. Then I think of what knitting projects to take. Yes, I said project-s. Because every knitter knows you need at least two - one that you can do with your eyes shut and the other that requires the concentration an empty hotel room can give you.

Of course, before I can actually begin a new knitting project, I should finish girlchild's cardigan. Which I may do. Particularly if I head right across town to this on Sunday by public transport. Yep, that is mad, I know. From Belgrave to Coburg by train and bus. On a Sunday. I should drive. I really really should drive. On the other hand, it would be, oh about two hours of knitting time there and two hours of knitting time back...okay, I should drive. The Anti-Blogger, who will be there, will give me a talking to if I don't.

I started writing my second short story for my young adult short story collection last night. My idea is that each story will about a character mentioned in another story. Not exactly a continuous, linked narrative a la the Alvie Skerritt stories, (published as The Wild Sweet Flowers by Marion Eldridge, UQP, 1994)which I just loved, but more discontinuous and tenuously linked. I can't claim to have thought of the idea - the girlchild suggested it - but I do like it. (I was going to do the Emily story - Emily is the girlfriend of the main character in the first story - because writers in one of my writer's groups suggested that a lot was left out of Jezz's story. But that's pretty tame compared to having the whole collection linked in the way the girlchild suggested. Clever girl!

Still haven't captured the Cappucino vest for posterity. Oh well. Not a good time to ask the Accountant for favours when he's had to witness all this shopping coming through the door! We had lunch together before the shopping. I do love Dandenong although I find it amazing that The Accountant has worked there for over twenty years.

Things I love:
the parking spaces at the Myer carpark are WIDE - this is important to me
the one armed flower seller at the market - although there's always an awkward giving money, getting flowers moment and I try to have the correct change
meeting The Accountant for lunch
long, lanky africans leaning against bus shelters
the spkey haired dude in Dixon's
the queue outside the fishmongers at the market - it's got to be good, right?
The Super Savers which is warehouse sized & has a pretty good book section
the every so often random cd and book warehouse sale where I pick up all sorts of books in an initial fever of consumption and generally leave with one title
the coffee and baclava at the Lebanese joint which freezes yesterday's pidis and pizzas and sells them frozen and cheap to the delight of the boyman who proceeds to demolish them - or did, until our microwave ceased to function.

Talking about things one loves, I listened to a radio programme ages ago about a book on learning through conflict - I don't think that's what it was called, by a woman called Deidre Coombs - oh, okay, I'll go and look it up - Deidre Combs, actually. Anyway, what I remember from this interview was Combs saying that it was impossible to feel good about something and angry at the same time and if you were in conflict with a loved one, you should stop and just list five things about them that made you happy or that you loved and that would automatically put your anger on hold.

Now, I am not saying I do this regularly. But I did do it after listening to the interview and I have to say it really does work. I don't know how to apply to it to the anonymous ebay seller who recently ripped me off, but in other circumstances - so long as I've actually remembered to do it - yes. Way to go. Not that I don't like conflict, because I suspect I do, but every so often you want to just short circuit this cutting comment, that deeply offensive remark or an unforgiveable throw-away line that will come back to haunt you for the next three decades.

Back to...something...ebay, perhaps?


Gregory Brett Hardy said...

I notice you are beginning to enjoy the linking of the word 'here' Catherine... how to do that, I wonder?

And I won't laugh. Promise.

Gregory Brett Hardy said...

Ha! Couldn't help myself...

Chuggles said...

Didn't your mother ever tell you to respect your elders, Gregory? A wool expo? I didn't even know they had those, Catherine. I'm going to the Good Food and Wine show on the 16th. That is a fun day out. Ooh, by the way, i've taken up crocheting, but i still can't get the hang of knitting... does that sound right to you?

Cattyrox said...

Some people crochet, some people knit, some do both. I can do both but can't read a crochet pattern at all at all. Weird. Yes, there are wool shows. The biggest is the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show in July with wonderful wools, yarns and raw fleeces. Yabby pies from the Maldon yabby farm and other good things to buy. What are you crocheting?