Saturday, 31 January 2009

Pet Rock

Yesterday night I went to watch Mamma Mia at a friend's house. Yes I know the editing is awful in this movie and the lighting too - but somehow I still love it and every time I see the old woman throwing her bundle to join Dancing Queen it makes me want to hurl my handbag across the room and kick up a leg as well.

Anyway the host of this knees-up has recently had a gall stone removed and we had been discussing it on the telephone earlier in the day. Apparently it was quite a rock and she was wondering what she could do with it. So in I waltz that night with a cushion for the movie and a bag of miniature googly eyes for her stone. Honestly the thing is just begging to be a pet rock - perfectly rounded like an egg and dark as charcoal. Of course she laughed ( probably not good post-op) but everyone else's face crumpled (in horror I suppose.) Just a little reminder I suppose of just how bent my imagination is - and yes it means people frown at me sometimes ( I recall a hair bracelet incident from a few years ago garnering a similar reaction) but you know, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Other than fashioning pet rocks out of operation leftovers, I have been fighting the world of html trying to create a simple but functional web page. Results soon - hopefully.

Have a day ( or night depending on where you are.)


Thursday, 29 January 2009

Ich bin zuruck!!!

Goodness, I have barely created this blog and I am already neglecting it.

I blame it on Syria.

While I was there I had no idea whether or not my blog would work (on account of being rudely denied access by State Internet police) hence I figured my time was better spent smoking grape nargileh and eating haboob.


Now sadly I am back in Switzerland so I have no excuses. Watch this space for pictures of Syrian delight over the next few days.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Breakfast by the fountain

I have no idea whether this entry is even going to publish as I seem to be able to write a post but if I try to view my blog I get a nice message from a very serious sounding Syrian cyber entity telling me that access is denied. This does not actually come as a surprise given how tightly the Government regulates the internet so I will just try to publish this and see what happens.

Right now I am in an internet cafe in Damascus having spent the day wandering the souks, buying up on 15 flower tea and trying to coax ragged looking persians out of courtyards and into my adoring clutches ( no luck - but a few tentative feline smiles I do believe.)

I had my breakfast of eggs, bread, olives, homous and labneh sitting by the fountain from my story. Of course the fountain in my story is an elaboration but I can verify that my inspiration is shaped in the curve of a woman's eye, dwells in a starry-skyed courtyard and is home to at least four singing goldfish. Of course none of this will make much sense to anyone right now - you will have to wait for the story ( all one of you - heh heh).

I am glad to be back here in Syria although the mood is quite sombre and guarded when I compare it to last summer. Understandably so. I have seen billboard-size pictures of the suffering in Gaza with messages of hope from Damascus to the Palestinians. I have seen Israeli flags drawn on the ground for people to walk on. I have read interviews with Israelis who have lost loved ones to rockets.

It is almost unreal to think that in a place not very far from me right now there is such devastation and suffering being endured.

It saddens me.

Friday, 16 January 2009


So tomorrow I am Syrian bound - to see the fountain fish, eat pistachio nougat, walk the souks and feel that rush in my blood which Damascus seems to give me.


Thursday, 15 January 2009

When the monster bites......

Today I received an email which felt like someone had taken a bite out of my heart. Really it is the only way to describe it. Like cookie monster had come up and gone CHOMP! and if I had turned around from my computer quick enough I would have seen his furry blue bottom making a run for the exit. Still after a cup of tea and two hours teaching the past simple to my evening class ( who funnily enough i also call ' my monsters') I am already feeling a little better.

On the writing front , I have had an email from Mike Allen, editor of Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, that the contract for my short story 'The Fish of Al-Kawthar's Fountain' should be arriving in the mail soon. Hooray

I also have to write a bio for Swimming Kangaroo publications to go in their newsletter. I think this can wait until after my return from holidays. I am off next week to Syria for some fattoush and nargileh. I think it amuses/ alarms my mother no end that she has a daughter who goes to Syria ' to relax'. But there you go. It's all true. Well, I like the markets there and the food and the way I feel as if Ali Baba might truly exist in one of the cavernous, colourful, incense-soaked souks.
Besides it seems that Syria has been chosen as my current muse - since 'The Fish of Al-Kawthar's Fountain' was actually inspired ( in part) by a Damascene hostel - so I think it is only appropriate I return to see if she has any further stories to impart.

Have a day


Thursday, 8 January 2009

And so it begins

New day. New blog.

I can't think of anything remotely profound to say to start my blog so I shall start with a weather report because we English speakers do so like our weather.
The weather in Basel today is bitter cold. The weatherperson has promised heavy snow and the sky looks very much like it is going to oblige. I hope so - I was born in Australia so I still squeal with delight when it falls (much to the displeasure of my scowling fellow townsfolk. ) As I type I am still wearing my pajamas which are toasty warm and I have a feeling that when I do eventually go to work today ( I teach english at a school) I shall be wearing my pajamas under additional layers of clothes - I can blame the excess bulk on all the chocolate I ate over Christmas.

As I always used to say to my good friend -the clover

Have a day.