Friday, July 22, 2022

The Elephant In The Room

There’s a woman at work… I can barely bear listening to her voice no matter what she’s saying. You’ll already know her. Yours might be a man or it might be a girl or it might be this very same person. 

That person who crawls over anyone to get ahead, who is outraged at every fucking thing and thinks only they, possibly in the whole history of the world, the solar system, the galaxy, the universe or just at your office has the wherewithal to deal with the matter at hand. 


This matter at hand may in fact not exist, it may not matter or it may just be none of her fucking business. 

Having no true power, no actual authority, one needs to committee up. A joiner. Not so much to help those lesser folk that populate the space around her, but to bring things into line. As only the insightful mind would recognise to be the correct alignment. Or perchance, it might enable a person to rub shoulders with those who do have actual authority and facilitate one in the use of their names, copiously, affectionately. 

"He’s a honey". "Oh Jonathon, I love Jonathon"!

Or to reveal (as it should be seen) the amazingness, the insightfulness, the obvious wisdom and darling nature that every fucking other person seems not to fucking notice. For fucking fuck’s sake. 

So, said person throws me under a bus. Well, not just me but all of us here, by telling the biggest boss (the one under the very biggest boss) that we are inefficient, unprofessional, probably criminal and a little bit smelly. Quite, quite smelly. 

Using me as the perfect example, for knitting inappropriately with guts and sinews on slithers of bloodied glass. 

But, she felt later, there was a moment between us. A sense of solidarity with another, also depressed by events. Me, because my colleague, in an act of betrayal, invoked a restraint, a control over me and now I’m bored to fucking death and really fucking annoyed, and she because everyone (from their gruesome tangled heap, under the bus) acted like they thought she was a fucking stupid idiot. 

A shared moment. A glance, a motherly, sad, pursing of the lips. Her lips, not my lips. 

When there’s an elephant in the room, I can’t talk to it without mentioning the big shit it just did on the floor or how it stomped on a small puppy and the owner is screaming with horror while flies buzz about, birthing maggots into the warm flesh. Naturally I don’t want to talk about that and rather, I ignore her.

But now, every time I walk by, I see these little, sad, worried glances and her mouth is Zipped. She’s not sure what to do and I think FUCK! I think it again, groaning. Fuck! Leave… me… be! 

So, next time someone says something funny or stupid I glance at her and roll my eyes, shaking my head a little and she cackles overly loudly with relief and makes me cringe, but also I feel deeply, momentarily, the pathos of her need. 

Thank fuck I won’t be getting little startled glances anymore because she thinks we’re cool now. 

But I go quickly, before it gets sticky, and I’m pretty sure I’ve let the joker back out of its box because all I can hear is her voice.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Love Story From An Old Wife

 i’m thinking I might set


in concrete
(to keep you forever)

i’ve been secretly gathering dandruff
to stir with the sand 

and swept all your haircuts
to mix with the


and fingernails
and some old nails from under the house

i’ve chopped up your face masks
and captured your breath 

it’s all in a box
wrapped in the jocks
that I found in the bin

and i’ve tied it with string

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Paul and his Bloody Cartoons

There was this guy, in his 40’s? His girlfriend was a little older and had a daughter and son I think. Yep. The girl was teenage and they were all good mates, I don’t remember the boy really. They all got on. An ordinary crew in a bog ordinary crappy suburb, but mostly harmless enough, muddling through. Mum was agoraphobic, quite obese and slept and lived pretty well in the lounge room. Her mattress had been set up in there. Glenn, the boyfriend, was one of those wiry, fast moving people, funny, vain, needy… but not a lot of these things. Just a bit of a dick.
So one day the missus, the girlfriend I mean, buys an ounce of pot… oh and they’re poor. She’s on a pension and rent assistance. Glenn comes around but he’s bought an ounce of pot and he starts at her, you fucking idiot I told you I was buying it… now we’ve got no money, you’re always fucking doing stupid shit, useless… and he’s in a state. We only know what she said because of him so who knows really. I don’t remember. But he grabs a knife at some point and stabs her in a rage, down through the Plender gap, between the collar bone and the neck. The tip of the knife breaks, it must have hit a bone rib. Come to think of it, it did.
Not funny at all. She’s not doing well, unconscious and he’s not either because it’s just something that happened and so he sets fire to the bed. 
But he’d taken a call from the daughter before. I think she worked with him or something, or worked near his place? Anyway, she’s left her mobile at home, could he bring it over later. Sure. And he does.
He’s remembered the phone, maybe before he’s killed her mum, (or thinks he has, but she had smoke in her lungs so it was a combo) or maybe he grabs it before the place goes up.
He leaves. Glenn’s got an old EJ Holden or was it an old Ford? Red. Green? One of those. He gets in and drives a few doors away, watching the house start to go up. He waits until the fire brigade’s nearly there then takes off like Mod Squad. Seriously, he takes off with a screech.
Which a local notices because he’s thinking, oh hey, cool old EJ! Or Ford. Cool green EJ. Screeching off when the fire brigade turns up… huh.
Glenn drops off the phone to his formerly step daughter, poor love just lost her mum and he’s a great mate in times of need. Stuck by the family. Solid. 
My guess is he grabbed the pot before he left too.
So on and on. The police know she’s been stabbed and so the fact that she otherwise may have accidentally set fire to her bed is mute. A piece of knife is there, left in her body. They set up an under cover operation which dribbles by for months. Six months. A chance meet up at the pub, a bit of chit chat over a beer… they coax him into thinking he’s a bit murky and it appeals to him. They do a small ‘deal’ with a uniformed officer, Glenn’s not supposed to have seen it of course. Shit! Don’t you fucking say anything. No, no, no way! He’s excited. They get him to drop something off… it’s nothing, never mind, you’re going that way anyway, you’ll like this guy… just keep quiet. Glenn will.
A bit here and a bit there and Glenn thinks he’s the dude he always felt he was.
Next step is to join up for some serious dealing but they want to be sure he’s clean. We can make things disappear so just tell us, we couldn’t give a shit, just can’t risk bringing the police’s eye on our operations. Tell us, we’ll deal with it, end of.
So Glenn goes into an office for what anyone with any familiarity with police interviews, even just from television, will recognise as a full, formal, police interview. 
So tell us the facts (as the officer/ scary, big time drug dealer who has police on the payroll indifferently does something else at the desk, because he doesn’t give a shit. He’s done worse). We’ll… Glenn is very nervous to tell this massive, massive secret that’s been burning inside him. He wants to tell. I killed my girlfriend. He’s fidgeting, a bit shaky. Quiet. What’s that, say it louder for the camera and microphone will you Glenn? I can’t remember but the copper managed to de a bit dismissive without appearing odd. Fuck, what happened, mate? Shit! It was stupid, we just had a fight about some pot…
So, you argued, yes. You say you stabbed her, yes. Where? Here. What kind of knife? This kind. Where is it now? I buried it. We’ll have to move it can you show us? Yes. You say it broke off, how much? The tip. Then you set fire to the mattress? What else…
On it went. 
So they drive to the location of the knife (not the big-wig dealer, just the minions) but dig around and can’t find it. Though it was found it later.
Meanwhile, naturally, in the normal police world, Glenn’s been interviewed, but says he hadn’t seen her since the night before. But, shit!, he took a call at the house, he gave the girl her phone, he screeched off. 
So he goes to trial (wiener, his massive testicles are selective in their manning up). Obviously it’s not going well, but he’s cheerful enough. It’s been awhile and compiling a case takes it away from emotion a bit. He loves the fun of it all, the high court is beautiful and important. And it’s all about him. True. But then you’re at the cold face of it when the kids are there and they’re talking about her. 
I’m with my mate and colleague Paul Constance, Connie. He’s so funny, relaxed, always matey with everyone, easy company. He draws cartoons all of the time and I’ve used one to make a rug, but, later about the cartoons…
We’re in the Supreme Court dock, which is elevated for a sense of solemnity as they did when it was built, waiting for it all to begin so still people milling about. Glenn says to us, You get the feeling you’re not so much being ‘Defended’ as being ‘Represented‘ by your lawyers. I laugh and say Well, you’re not giving him much to go on, Glenn. Paul and I laugh and Glenn’s smiling too. He knows he’s funny.
Later, upstairs at the cells, Glenn’s barrister comes up to talk to him. There’s no privacy, it’s an old building and client confidentiality wasn’t a factor in the building. Glenn’s behind a barred window and his barrister is in the corridor. So Paul and I can hear when glenn asks his barrister (now a county court judge) How do you think I’m going? The barrister says, laconically, Well G., considering you gave the police a full confession and led them to the murder weapon, I think you’re doing ok.
Paul and I cracked up. Quietly because we’re not meant to be listening, though nobody would care. We completely lost it and couldn’t draw breath. Hysterical giggles that make you almost sick. And Paul’s milking it, glancing at me and setting us off again. I’ll have just pulled it back in when he shows me a cartoon he did of the whole thing and it’s off again, out of control, it’s so funny. 
But we have to go back down to court. I won’t look at Paul but he’s trying to catch my eye. Stop it I say, laughing. Paul! Bugger has brought the cartoon and slightly opens his folder to show me. Stop It! We cuff young G., the small, murdering, vain, wanna be, and head down. 
Next up is the pathologist, going through what the length of the knife would have been, or how far it penetrated, the fact that she wasn’t dead when the fire took off, the marks on the rib, the size of the cut, across, and how that changes with stretching as the knife goes in and how the fire damaged the body but only, in this case, on the surface. The children are there, the extended family, listening to how their mother, sister, friend died, having already heard Why. And Paul and I cannot dare to look even in each other’s vicinity. I can’t even see him out of the corner of my eye or I’ll break out into uncontrollable laughter and probably wet my pants.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

My Next Door Neighbour’s Family Treasures, Again.

These embroidered cloths are from this home in Dunblane, Scotland. The same people responsible for the horse shoe jumper posted some time back (pictured below).
Young women were required to have a basic repertoire of needlework skills and produced embellished tableware, bedding, undergarments and children’s wear for their families. Starting before marriage with their ‘hope’ chest and with school samplers, these amazing skills we now cherish.
I’ve always been hugely inspired by what my foremothers considered the ordinary, basic skills of their domestic life. 
We watched our grandmothers and the old women knitting and ‘doing’ the whole time and thought nothing of it, not realizing the incredible structural engineering and intricacy of such ordinary crafts. Obviously we do understand it. 
My ‘if you were stuck on an island and had to choose one book’ is the Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese de Dillmont


Monday, October 05, 2020

New Swan Bag

 I’ve had this on the go for some time, waiting for hardware in the post and then needing something else and waiting for that. Maybe three times and I still need longer rivets to put the bottom thingys on. It’s made from a big canvas work tapestry found at the op shop, some roll-up plastic cutting boards for stiffening inside the base... which I kept not buying because they were too much money (I want to use what I have if I can, or make do if I can). Very strangely, one morning walking to the train station, I found three scattered on the road. True story. Lining is stuff-sack scraps from camping days. Washable, nylon. Because bags get disgusting. And a couple of really old stash (possibly Mum’s or even Grandma’s stash) zippers.

I need a bag I can sling over my shoulder or use with smaller handles. I bought a gorgeous camel hide back pack but it’s a pest to take it off every time you want something. So this has detachable handles. I can roll up the spare/s and put them in the inside pocket.

Saturday, September 19, 2020