* Am up sharp pointy end of Adelaide book, lurching from one paragraph to the next as deadline looms. One's student days come back to one at times like this: have vivid memory of sitting on my bedroom floor in 1971 crying over Philosophy 1 essay requiring all-nighter (FAIL) and of the four other long-essay all-nighters -- on Trotsky's Literature and Revolution, American Southern Gothic, medieval church music and psycholinguistics (not together, though it's an intriguing interdisciplinary proposition), and all the all-nighters writing lectures over the years, and wondering why the bod won't do that any more, just because it's in its late 50s and I don't feed it properly or give it enough sleep and exercise. Text yesterday from younger sister: 'Don't make yourself sick. Better the wrath of your publisher than the wrath of Mother Nature.'
* Wonderful piece by John Birmingham on what the Brisbane floods are telling us about human nature here.
Delicate, porcelain-skinned little vegan girls in bonnets with flowers muscled their way into the thickest, filthiest torrents of river mud next to bogan footballers, Army engineers, and tough-looking tattooed lesbians. This being West End there were travellers, too. Three French backpackers somehow managing to make their accumulated filth look stylish. A couple of Americans who'd come to Australia to surf and instead found themselves running wheelbarrows of grey, stinking ooze down to the water's edge from where it had come.Gorgeous.
* New post at Read, Think, Write on second-guessing the publication process if you're interested.
* Garden spider that spins its gorgeous orb directly across path from front gate to verandah every non-wet and non-windy night is twice the size it was on Christmas Day when my friend R came to dinner and as she was leaving I had to take the torch out to show her why she needed to avoid the path and jump off the edge of the verandah in order to get to her car. Goddess knows I too have put on a kilo or so since Christmas but doubling in size in less than a month is awesome. I know for a fact that the insect pickings in that part of the garden are pretty good; the other night the web snared an entire moth. (No doubt the spider equivalent of a tub of Sara Lee Irish Cream and no I can't believe I bought it either. I'm as shocked as you are.) It's all a bit red in tooth and claw out there.
* Speaking of claws, the tortoiseshells are well, as is Papa Cat, who will be 84 on Feb 1. I'm told that for the birthday dinner we're having Chinese, which my adventurous ma taught him to like at the Silver Dragon Restaurant in Rundle St, Adelaide, circa 1955. Sadly she is now long gone, but his pleasure in Chinese food lives on.