Friday, June 25, 2010

Writing Week. I've just spent a very pleasant week in a rented holiday house much nicer than my ordinary house. The occasion was Writing Week. I was so inspired by how productive I was during the one Leanne organised last year that I decided to organise my own.

We were a pretty mixed group, very different to last year's. We worked on academic projects and marking, grant applications, crafting, web articles and reviews. Josh wrote a lovely poem. Cate embroidered gloves. Lucy wrote 7,500 "good words" on her thesis and got all her marking done.

That is what my computer saw from our front verandah. We were on the narrowest part of the Bellarine Peninsula, looking out into an estuary. Early in the mornings the sunlight would shimmer across the water, reflecting the islands and reminding me, pretentiously, of the album artwork from Kate Bush's Aerial.

We all went on healthful walks to the beach and into town. Except Mark, who shamed us by going on healthful jogs. We could cross the road to the beach and see the Mornington Peninsula on the horizon. Behind the beach path were other, more secretive paths wreathed in greenery.

We cooked huge feasts. I ate better than I have in ages. We ate a helluva lot of lentils. There was an enormous TV mounted on the wall, and we watched Midsomer Murders while eating a Devonshire tea. I tried to whip the cream using the Jill Dupleix Method, which I can now tell you is RUBBISH, however we got the job done using Lucy's ingenious Shaky Jar Method. We also watched Short Circuit and MasterChef. Short Circuit is cheesier and more racist that I remember. I enjoyed watching that uptight lady get evicted from MasterChef after cooking a plate of steaming crap.

We went into town. The bakery had good pies, and the éclairs contained real cream. There was a pub we all referred to as Fawlty Towers. Another pub was offering "Faulty Towers The Dining Experience". Queenscliff is also really into nautical-themed stuff.

We visited the op-shops. Ben is holding a bag full of glass kitchen storage jars. Mark has a nasty right-wing book about how liberals have ruined America. Lucy (not pictured) bought several jumpers, a jaunty shirt, and a Margaret Fulton book of cream cake recipes (vive la Shaky Jar!) for 50c!

I bought a small white handbag – the old-fashioned clasp style I like, and large enough to hold a book – a navy scarf with a print of giant gold chains, and a book called Impostors about people who live a lie.

I had allocated myself a tremendous amount of work to get through on Writing Week:

Of this, I finished:

Not bad. I wish I had spent more time on the book proposal and less time on Enthusiast stuff, but I did want to clear the decks of a lot of review material. I was annoyed with how little music reviewing I got done, but I was pretty happy with how much film stuff I got through.

I am already feeling depressed to be back home in my pigsty of a room, at my cluttered desk. It was lovely to see Graham again; I missed him a lot but didn't want to make too big a deal of it for fear of being a crazy cat lady.

Luckily, he swiftly de-sentimentalised our reunion by soiling himself. Have you ever tried to clean shit off a squirming cat using a moist towelette? It is like wiping a baby's arse, if the baby had long fur, and bit and kicked and scratched you viciously the whole time.

I am so jealous I could spew! It sounds like you had an amazing writing week, wish I could have been there.
Ahhh I just read this and was reminded of the peace I felt while writing in that lovely house. I need to find that again. Also, I haven't made a single thing from the cream cake book - shame or victory, I'm not sure.
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