Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This doesn't look good...

Am I getting... clucky??

I seem to be swooning over very lame-feeling things. Well they're not lame, per-se. I just feel a bit lame for swooning...

Yesterday I sat in park in Greenwich (why yes, of Mean Time Fame) and watched a ridiculously cute curly-haired girl run around her dad about six times in a row; I think I audibly said "oh!". There was another vomit-inducing smile moment from Claire in the same park as aforementioned-child fell over (one too many Dad circuits?) and did that thing where she looked to Dad for some sort of cue (ie. "Should I start crying now...?") and Dad warded her off with a cute little "Up!" commandment.

And again, in the park of Fawning Claire, I saw a kid riding a (fricking wicked) bike with his grandparents in tow. Both grandparents had really sweet-as old bikes, and Gran was wearing leather pants, and I thought: "One day, I too shall be Gran Of The Leather Pants and Excellent Bike".

(Tangent: two dudes, both dressed very London-cool like, probably about 30, straddling either end of a see-saw, each with a very cute little boy in front of them, both singing 'Row Row Row Your Boat...' quite loudly, much to small lads' delight. I smiled at this darling little scene, but also thought "I bet three years ago when you were standing in some uber-trendy bar in central London being uber-cool you did not think three years from now I will probably be singing 'Row Row Row Your Boat...' loudly on a see-saw... but just look how much you're enjoying it.")

(Tangent of tangent: I then thought it was quite funny how easily (and appropriately) in singing 'Row Row Row Your Boat...' in the middle of a playground, simple word-substitution could end you up singing "if you see a paedophile, don't forget to scream..."
/end inappropriate thought processes.)

And I'm in the midst of one of my cooking-obsessed phases. Like, I trawl through recipe sites for hours on end, and I feel really in-charge and yet chilled out whipping something up in the warm little kitchen that is temporarily allowing me to reign over it here in west London. Sometimes I have multiple courses on the go, and well, then I just feel completely in charge, baby!

Making stupid faces/noises at the site of small humans, feeling really 'at home' in the kitchen, enjoying warm nights in with a glass of wine as opposed to cold nights out on the town... oh dear...

... should be right as long as I don't start discussing favourite colour choices for house paint or getting too excited about storage solutions.

Chicken Claire

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Words by Abby Dobson, echoing thoughts by Claire

All my lights are out
This is not my kind of bliss
My painted lips are numb
In this stranger's empty kiss

I saw shadows at your feet
My empty shoes have left me here
I knew then that the rain would come
When we watched the rainbow disappear

I'm not missing you
I'm not staring into space
I'm not blue, I'm not blue

I'm not holding on
Even to the lack of you
I'm not running movies in my head
I'm not searching for your feet in bed
I'm not sleeping in your t-shirt
Baby I'm not making tea for two

I'm not missing you
I'm not staring into space
I'm not blue, I'm not blue

And dreams will fly
Just one more night
And I'll let you go
Just like a kite
I won't turn around
I'll wake up singing again

For the first time and forever
I say a million times goodnight
It seems easier to love everybody
Than to love just one man right

I'm not missing you
I'm not staring into space
I'm not blue, I'm not blue

Monday, October 18, 2010

Problem solvered!

Icicle hands on morning runs! Oh no!

Why hello, Poundland!

Now s'all good in the Wessssside!

Trial run tomorrow...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

88 today...

Happy Birthday Grandma McEvoy.
I hope one day I am as beautiful as you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It started off a bit pooey...

I woke up and my tootsies were cold and my arm was dead because my neural system could do with some yoga. I felt London blues sneaking into bed with me. I sat up in bed (they sat next to me under the very snuggly doona). I put the laptop on my lap. I spent a good hour scrolling through endless ads for jobs; each one felt like it either didn't quite need a Claire, or Claire didn't quite need it. I put my running clothes on. Then I took them off because I realised I didn't feel like running. Then I realised I was being mopey and sitting in my bed with the London blues and not sitting in a beautiful spot in London somewhere, so I got up.

Shower, fun clothes, red lipstick and Dorothy shoes. A cup of tea, some suggested cool spots to check out from my lovely host, music in the ears and out the door. A train to the Tate Modern Gallery and a rendezvous with Brad and Luisa (the New Zealanders trying similarly to settle in London post Asia Amazingness). I remembered I wasn't the only one doing this: feeling a bit under the pump to keep up with London Life, so I shouldn't feel too sorry for myself, or like nothing will eventuate. And I was reminded of the fact that I often want things to happen too fast, or all at once, and I should just chill out and enjoy the Being A Bum-ness while its there. Some amazing photos (amongst the Bits Of Art I Didn't Really Get Or Enjoy) by August Sander were breathtaking.

I walked along the South Bank, with beautiful buildings and talented buskers, and found my way to the Borough Markets. And Oh What Joys met my eyes/nose/heart. I got a cup of mulled wine and wandered, tasting bits of cheese/garlic butter/seafood stew/pistachio turkish delight, sold by charismatic and cooly dishevelled young men, and I felt like I could pretend I was way hipper than I am just walking around amongst so much food passion. It was glorious and heart-warming.

... and I just felt immensely happy sitting down to this sexy little spread: home made pumpkin soup (bloody brilliant batch, I'm not going to lie), blue cheese, and baguette and mushroom pâté (*dies/goes to heaven*) and a glass of Australian red wine in a suitably-sized glass. And Stephen Fry is on the telly.

Claire, calmed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Some initial London matters...

~£~ Absolute silence on the Tube from the airport… I almost felt the need to pull out a “would you rather..?” with my fellow Tubers just to break it... and it continued as I walked across the Thames on the Putney footbridge. It was a Sunday morning, yes, and it was cold, yes, but still: I felt like a Mum who'd just escaped into the bedroom after 4 months of non-stop noise from needy, overexcited children.

~£~ Cold, crisp air. No sweat. No sweat?! How will my body cope?! I'm wearing Burberry instead of Eau de Stinky Lass. It's a nice feeling. But this also signifies the sudden downturn in Vitamin D levels, the fading of my glorious (OK, mild) tan, and a step towards potential seasonal depression.

~£~ Space. Footpaths that are straight and clean and not a series of potential ankle-rolling opportunities. It's a runner's dream, especially when combined with aforementioned cold air (although gloves will need to be purchased).

~£~ Decreased smile factor, as predicted. Am trying hard to give a grin to all fellow runners in the morning. Why are we so afraid of projecting happy vibes towards fellow people on the street? Why is it OK to stare and smile sexily in bars but we freak out about doing that in public spaces without smoke/alcohol/sexy lighting/sexy dresses?

~£~ Being back in The West and freaking out, pretty much on arrival, about lack of plan. Wishing could keep aforementioned freak outs at bay, but feeling definite need to make a fucking life plan or something. Feeling stupidly relieved by acquisition of phone and laptop. Actually not even ashamed about laptop- feel like have small child that I need to look after and take everywhere with me and treat with love and devotion.

~£~ Perving on London boys and girls and their amazing fashion. Cool glasses (damn why aren't I blind), great hair, careless chic, tight tights. I'm feeling bright colours at the moment, combatting potential winter blues (read: greys, blacks, boring browns.)

~£~ Drinking wine out of big glasses. Not glasses like the sexy Londoners are wearing, that would be entirely impractical. No no: big, voluptuous, sparkling beauties. I could be drinking corgi urine out of them and still be having a thoroughly lovely time, I think.

~£~ Initial attempts to carry out romantic notions of sitting in coffee shops and using laptop to boast about carrying out romantic notions of sitting in coffee shops with laptop thwarted: internet not working here, internet not free there. Come on London, you're making Asia look much better than you!

~£~ There is a man sitting across from me who looks like Zac Braff. That's a bit cool.

~£~ Update on the Rushdie situation: Midnight's Children- finished. At about 5am on another shitey sleep night. Saw a picture of Salman in the paper in London the other day. Pretty much like seeing my best friend.

~£~ I think it's almost time for me to step away from dot points for awhile. I do love them so, but I'm beginning to feel a bit cheap and nasty. Would my life feel more substantial if I embraced The Paragraph?

Love Cold Claire, warmed only by the razzle dazzle of the lights of the West End and lots of wine.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Some grapes and gripes in the final days of Asia

I am...

+ In Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is busy, filled with young people, come cool street art and good good food.

+ Lucky to have spoken (or typed) with some special people today, including Simon, my Grandma, Maura, Tim, Rodney and Jono.

+ Spending lots of chilled out time with Maryke, beautiful cousin and excellent friend. It's a good reminder of how special family is. And of her slightly evil laugh when something misfortunate happens. We are spending time pining happily for Adelaide beach, space and people.

+ Feeling ready to put my bags down for an extended period of time.

+ Revelling in doing not much and not feeling guilty or anything about it. I could go and see some more of Java before I head to Jakarta at the end of the week, but to be honest, can't be bothered, am happy to

+ Actually looking forward to feeling a bit chilly.

+ Ready for some high heels, red lipstick and a glass of wine.

+ Not too poor to keep going!

+ Feeling a bit excellent for having almost finished 'Midnight's Children' by Salman Rushdie. It's not an easy read, I'm not entirely sure if I like it all in all (although there are some excellent sight and smells painted by his crazy roaming narrative, and he does use the word 'farts'). BUT I feel like I'll be a better person if I can get through it, and I feel a bit good carrying around a large large book and being all "Oh this? Why yes, I AM currently reading Rushdie...(just don't ask me what the heck's going on)"

+ Still loving Asia and already having thoughts about coming back. China next perhaps? Return to Cambodia with the family in tow?

But also...

- A bit over feeling silly/naughty/crazy/underdressed for running around the place.

- Ready to wear some non-conservative clothing.

- A little bit scared about my lack of plans (but excited by the possibilities).

- Sending paperwork here and there and feeling like it's mostly bullshit. Can't one country just say to the other country "Yeah, she's an alright physio, give her a job I reckon" and that be the end of it?!

- Materialistic at the heart of it all, probably. Asia has given me a LOT, but I don't seem to have lost my desire to hoard large amounts of clothing and wear something different every day. This does not fit well with the 'clothes on my back' lifestyle.

- Desperately missing having a big old sing and dance.

In short, life's great: I have two legs and two arms and people who love me and I love and no responsibilities and lots of possibilities.