Monday, April 11, 2011

Random

Edit edit type type think think think.

Except when I go out with friends, I'm living on rabbit food and microscopic servings of lean protein, and have now lost two of the three kilos I put on over the summer while I was finishing the Adelaide book, so it's not like it's not working, but oh my goodness how I hate dieting. It makes me want to maim and kill.

Madam has just managed to somehow take her collar off over her head. The collar she's been wearing for, like, ten years. No, I don't know how she did it either.

Far too late in the process of hanging out the washing a little while ago, I discovered a redback in the peg bag. I found a much bigger one in the laundry the other night (this is a very old and, erm, unreconstructed house, and the laundry is a shed out the back) so sprayed about half a can of Baygon in there and shut the door for a day or two. When I put my hand in the peg bag today to grab out a couple of pegs to hang out some washing with, I thought, Gosh, I hope there's not a redback in there, har har, better check (for I was once frightened nearly to death by a three-inch gecko that suddenly scuttled out of there and over my hand), so I had a quick look and saw nothing. But then, after I'd rummaged around in there a few more times for more pegs, I accidentally dropped the whole thing on the ground, and out staggered this rather little but unmistakably scarlet-blobbed critter who had obvs been affected by the spraying and had crawled into the bag for protection -- clearly with some success, for it must by then have been the only living insect, yes yes all right arachnid, in the laundry. Lucky for me it seemed too sick to want to sink its fangs into anything much. I put it out of its misery sharpish, which helped a bit with the whole maiming and killing thing. But anyone who touches either of the humungous pet Golden Orb Weavers who have taken over my little front garden, or either of their even more humungous Golden Orbs, is going to be in very big trouble. (Maim, kill etc.)

Edit edit edit read read read.

One of the many horrid side effects of all the rain is that there are now at least half a dozen hitherto unsighted species of weeds in the back yard, as if it wasn't already bad enough.

Now that I'm at the stage of answering my editor's queries about the manuscript, I can see that yet another trip to the sodding library is inevitable, in order to re-borrow some of the books I finally took back.

I thought the movie of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest was much better than people have been saying. Much much better.

Type type, work work work.

Now excuse me while I chew off my own thumb and eat it.

27 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Not only new weeds and Shelob sized vicious spiders, you can also add mould to the list of gifts brought to us with the rain. Nonetheless it was a)overdue, and b) welcome.

David Irving (no relation) said...

Jesus Kerryn, you probably don't need to be on a diet. Do you feel unwell? Have trouble walking any distance?

I could stand to lose about 20 kg, but fuckit. I'd rather be fat and happy than not quite so fat and miserable. Life's too short, etc.

Suse said...

Oh I do love a good random newsy post. Except for the bit about the redback, that is.

*shudder*

Barbara Temperton said...

I've just moved into a house popular with white-tail spiders, so I sympathise. Nothing like a lurking nasty to put you off cooking quiche!
Thanks for the laugh, Kerryn. I'm with you 100%, tackle the nasties and preserve at all costs the golden orbs.
My daughter, Shannon, took this pic of one that lived in our back yard in Geraldton. She was a beauty: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=440362769835&set=t.1287600952&theater
Once I thought she'd died from the heat, was all shriveled up and immobile, so I put the sprinkler on her hibiscus shrub and gave her a gentle shower, and hallelujah ... she was the Lazurus of Orbs. Was still there when we moved last December. I hope the new tenants are as fond of Orbs as we are.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

DI(nr), sad to say, the diet is all too necessary, and I'm going by the BMI rather than girlie standards here. I have no doubt that I would feel a great deal better if there were less of me, which is probably true of many (or even most) people in the western world. Also, I hate to bring it up, but women do get judged differently.

Barbara, I tried to look at your photo but I got a 'this content is not available' message. It seems to be on Facebook so I wouldn't be able to see it unless I were a Facebook Friend of the person concerned. (I think that's how it works.) One of my two orb weavers disappeared, along with its amazing web, after some very heavy and protracted rain a few weeks ago but popped up again, Lazarus-like as you say, the next day with a brand-new web in a more protected place.

Red Horse said...

Many of the spiders out my way have a single curled leaf in the centre of their webs, to shelter in. I'd love to know how they go about finding that single, perfect, rolled leaf. And then how on earth they lug it back to the centre of their web...

Red backs, white tails - are they actually all that dangerous? I'm not having a go, simply asking a question to which I don't know the answer.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Red Horse,here you go. (Click on the text where it say to click, not on the image.)

Barbara Temperton said...

I've put the image on my blog, Kerryn. You should be able to see it there http://barbaratemperton.blogspot.com/

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Thanks Barbara. Can't really see how big it is as there's nothing to scale, but it looks pretty hefty to me. The bigger of the two in my front garden is obviously catching plenty of insect life -- her body is completely spherical and seems to be getting bigger every day. Her web is an amazing feat of engineering and I fear for any small bird who might be dumb enough to try to fly through it.

Kate H said...

A while ago we were at a friend's house with our dog, who dug up a half-chewed old tennis ball from their garden. She dropped it at my feet and I picked it up and threw it for her. The second time she bought it back and dropped it, out crawled an enormous redback.

I have no idea how she, or I, avoided being bitten.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Kate, I understand they're not actually aggressive the way some spiders are. They're far more likely to scuttle off and hide if disturbed than they are to sink their fangs into you. Just as well.

JahTeh said...

If you want maiming and killing stories, try me on Thursday after going to the Diabetes Management Consultant who charges up front to tell me I'm fat and how to get rid of it. There will be blood and swearing.

WV is dopack. Yes, I will fill my bag with chocolate eggs.

Casey said...

Have you read the latest Monthly?

The piece on Marcia Langton? If find it....random. Randomly weird.

I'd be interested in your opinion Pav.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Casey, have mag, will read, but first I need to file copy about novels I haven't yet finished (by today), address the many editorial changes to the ms of the Adelaide book (by tomorrow) and do some preparation for my Wheeler Centre Thea Astley gig next week (by Monday). Peter Robb struck me as a very strange choice but flicking through the article I see he's known her for 40 years so that will be an interesting perspective. One thing that caught my eye was his summary of her take on Baz Luhrmann's Australia: 'whose true and careful picture of the Inidgenous society she valued and whose epic schlock she loved' -- which (apart from not knowing whether the 'picture' was 'true and careful' but am glad to see Langton thinks it was) was pretty much exactly my own view -- I think that movie has been massively misunderstood and misread. Which is not what you asked. But will read article. Eventually.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Casey, don't forget I've been out of academia for a long time and I don't know what's feeding or characterising the debates or what positions are being taken. (I must say I can imagine her problems at Melb U all too easily, though, in fact I wince at the very thought.) But here's one thing that strikes me as weird: if the Monthly wants to feature Marcia Langton, why don't they get her to write for them, instead of getting a high-profile white male to do it?

Also, speaking of schlock, I would have edited out 'I flew too close to the flame of her anger' (Jesus Christ, I mean, why didn't he just write 'her dusky bosom heaved with passion' and be done with it?) rather than highlight it in a box. But hey, I'm a woman.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh God, Casey, it just gets worse and worse. All this wild animal stuff is so offensive on so many fronts I can hardly believe my eyes.

Casey said...

"'I flew too close to the flame of her anger' (Jesus Christ, I mean, why didn't he just write 'her dusky bosom heaved with passion' and be done with it?) "


YES. I THOUGHT I'D GONE NUTS from ARGUING TOO MUCH ON BLOGS OR SOMETHING.

That, that and when she reduces him to a quivering heap. I was wondering what I was actually reading....and whether I should be there in that room, on that evening, with her heavingness.

Seems you and me are the only people in Australia that liked Australia. Although, I would hardly call it a "true and careful" picture...I mean that Hugh Jackman, well thinking about that, why, I need to go get it out again now just to check the carefulness of it all. Also, Nicole got preggers on that pic. Something in the water she said.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I have no idea whether it was a true picture -- though my ideological position on this matter is that if an Indigenous person says it was, than s/he is better placed than I to tell -- but I think it must have been a careful one. Luhrmann is far too intelligent to have been careless about something so important.

Have now read more of the article, to the detriment of my mental health on several fronts, and am finding it actively offensive. It's crying out for a feminist fisking. (Could you fit such a thing into your thesis somewhere?) Example: '... she constantly surprises with heart-melting leaps into candour and openness These are no more or less than signals of trust, when the armour clatters to the ground and the delicate hesitant sensibility of the young girl glows in her words and intonation.'

JESUS CHRIST, SHOOT ME NOW

Casey said...

ROFL ROFL ROFL

See, I just needed to share it with someone. I tried Mark, but he reckons he threw out his Monthly. I reckon he just couldn't bring himself to discuss it without vomiting.

"(Could you fit such a thing into your thesis somewhere?)"

Dunno. I'm doing a paper at a conference soon. I will shove it in. I think I'm gunna be ruffling a few feathers as it is. So what's one more outrage here and there...

eeeewwwww. The door person says: "moiss"

eeeeewwwww

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

And also, while the blood-dimmed tide of outrage is at the flood (competition: which literary classics does that remark mash up? Winner gets a deep-fried Cadbury creme egg from Yorkshire as per yesterday's Age), JahTeh, yes, don't you love it when people tell you you're fat, as if you hadn't noticed and they were doing you a kindness pointing it out? 'Fat? Moi? Why, so I am. Quelle surprise. Yessuh, I will do something about it straight away, and I know there'll be nothing easier than losing eleventy kilos, even though I've never tried it before.'

Casey said...

Is it Yeats, Second Coming and is it Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare?

Do I get half an egg if I get it half wrong?

Frances said...

Here's a random from me, if I may, Kerryn.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/56470.html


Outrageous article from Bob Ellis.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Casey, one deep fried creme egg for you. Yesterday there was a close-up of said egg, but it has, disappointingly, been removed.

Frances, that article you linked to made me so enraged I had to go and do a bit of pruning. Symbolic displacement activity.

David Irving (no relation) said...

Made the mistake of skimming the Ellis piece. What a turd he's become.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

DI(nr), IIRC I always thought he was, right back in his Nation Review days when I were but a whippersnapper. But he just gets worse and worse.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

The comments thread there is really good, though. Restores one's faith.

Among Amid While said...

I slept for 3 months (well, only at nights, really) in a bed with several redbacks underneath it, without coming to any harm. I never saw them anywhere other than underneath it.