This gallery contains 14 photos.
Writing requires CONTEMPLATION
It isn’t enough to perch yourself before the empty page, with all the other hours spent consuming an endless stream of stimuli.
Instead you must make space.
Space in which to sort and digest all the detritus the brain has managed to grasp, to make order of it and to bind it all together.
Only then, once the soil has settled, can the seedlings of great ideas germinate, and your real writing begin.
Hi there fellow travellers.
The energy I wrote with previously has dissipated. The grind that is the road is wearing us down; the endless coffees, the nights of half slept sleep, the static interference on the radio, and the untimely flat spell plaguing the east facing beaches of this country. Even the weather has colluded against us – a fuggy iron pall of cloud and sleet settling above.
When we started this blog/journey I made a number of statements about freedom and the shackles of civilisation. Those statements were all very high minded and ideological, and we might actually have stood a chance if A) we had no timeframe, B) had no destination, and C) weren’t absolute debased whores when it comes to our reliance on technology and our worship of the Google.
Hi folks. Welcome back to the great South Eastern tour of roadside coffee and highway truck stops.
We write to you coming from the imaginatively named ‘First Rest Area’, someway south of Sydney on the Hume Motorway, where we have stopped for some respite from the harsh reality that is holiday traffic.
We all know the YES, AND! method, don’t we? – where you say yes to whatever is going on and then add to it.
Mary: “I saw an Alien last night”
You: “Yes, it was green and scaly?”
M: “Yep, the scales were like armour!”
Y: “I bet your sword couldn’t even pierce it?”
M: “Had to use my magic instead!”
There’s something about melancholy that turns me in; that opens the inner eye and closes off the outer world. I peer over all the rifts and valleys in there, with their craggy peaks and sharp edges. It’s not exactly a nourishing landscape, but I take a loathsome solace in scraping and abrading myself over that martian surface. Continue reading
He sat back in his chair and steepled his fingers, considering his words. Then he gave an oily smile and said, ‘It’s not a scam at all Jennifer. We are simply helping people to reclaim their money – for a small fee of course’. His smile was smirky about the edges. Continue reading
Putting together a history from one’s own knowledge is like crossing a stream, jumping from stepping stone to stepping stone, conserving momentum and only hitting the high and dry rocks of the things you know. This is an ill considered manner, where nuance is lost and veracity is only proven if the rock can support enough weight to get you to the next stone.
Perhaps a better way to put together a history is to build a bridge. It requires planning, a careful sighting of the beginning and ending point, the meticulous selection of stone, and the ability to fit them together like a grand jigsaw. Continue reading
There’s nothing quite like an autumn morning at the beach – The crisp morning air flows across dew covered lawns and past the steady drip-drip-drip of leaves shedding droplets. It travels over the dunes, where it teases the waving seed heads and is steadfastly ignored by cold, heavy sand. From there it sweeps over the barren beach, over the clumps of weed and sticks washed up by the last high tide, and out to sea, massaging the lumps of energy that roll towards the shore. As the waves stand tall, watery fingers project out from the lip and grab at the wind, but the wind only skims the fingers, peeling off a misty spray. At this point of morning the sun is only just beginning to peek over the horizon, but already it promises to send the chill wind packing.
I went to the servo this morning to fill up and popped open the fuel tank. I looked down feeling perplexed – something was wrong – then it dawned: there was no fuel cap.
Instead all I saw was the mouth of the fuel tank agape in a dismayed O shape, as if it were shocked by the loss of its pacifier.
I thought back to when I last filled up, trying to remember anything odd about it – cause losing your fuel cap is more of a Beagle thing to do, rather than a Rouben thing.
Time passed in my mind, creeping like the winter chill across a barren field. Nothing living stirred there.
15% Inspiration, elation, and feeling like God’s own weapon on Earth.
84% hard work, consisting of sitting in a chair despite the day outside, the surf, the news, an entire season of Game of Thrones, facebook, a house that needs cleaning, friends, online shopping and redtube….
1% crippling self-doubt*.
* this can range as high as 100%
Forget Cirque Du Soleil – the Four Seasons is the greatest touring show ever put on. It’s a perpetual daily show, one that is commented upon and speculated about by all walks of life. From white smiled TV anchors, sunday drivers, tradies, suburban soccer mums, pessimistic farmers, optimistic surfers and all the way to people with crappy conversational skills.
Of all the majestic acts in the Four Seasons lineup, Spring has to be the shiniest jewel in the crown. Continue reading
To the Dude who sells The Big Issue in my neighbourhood:
Look, I have no issue with you as a person.
I pass you a couple of times a week when I buy groceries – we usually say hey to each other – and I walk on pretending not to notice the copies of The Big Issue laid out next to you. Continue reading
I awoke feeling really zapped, which was weird because I’d had a good sleep, though not weird when you consider that’s how I feel most mornings.
Whatever. I had to get up and get on with it. Such is life. (Note to self – that’d make a sweet tattoo).
I get to work and while carrying last night’s left over Taco provisions through the car park, I drop the towering glass jar of Taco sauce (the integral player that ties any Mexican fiesta together).
The humungous jar loses structural integrity upon impact. The aftermath looks like the Waco Fertilizer plant explosion.
I sigh and resign myself to cleaning it up in a wee bit. Continue reading
ARE YOU A MIDDLE-AGED WHITE MAN?
HAVE YOU RECENTLY RETIRED?
DO YOU LIKE WINE AND GOLF?
ARE YOU A LITTLE OVERWEIGHT?
Then join the SPORTS SANDAL™ association today. Continue reading
I never knew what it was about that tree, why it wanted me or what curse had befallen it, but I could always sense its foul intentions as it slid past my bus window on the way to school.
It was an imposing tree – its trunk thick and covered in black bark and its long branches bare and skeletal, even as the trees around it bloomed. The branches were twisted and knotted, as though each agonizing shoot of growth was wrought through torture and taint. The few leaves that sprang up in hope from its boughs quickly yellowed and fell, only to spread its darkness further.
A joy of being a local kid in a small town is knowing all the shortcuts – the nameless alleys and strange little linking walkways that adults and their fancy cars aren’t privy to. I remember strolling along one of these aforementioned alleys, one which happened to run along the back fence of some of the town’s more affordable housing. The fences were low – low enough so that even at the burgeoning age of thirteen I could still see over them without a tippy toe.
I swear I wasn’t peeping.
There are small patches of this fair earth, precious patches, patches special for no other reason than the peculiar symptom of having never had a human foot upon them. That may be because of isolation, or simply because they are sheltered by their own plainness – but it is still a precious rarity in a world where human life saturates and conquers almost every habitable corner of the crust. And if you do find yourself upon one of these lonesome places, you can stand there pondering, wondering, and more or less contemplating the fact that everything you dream, think and do has almost certainly been dreamed, thought and done before by an innumerable cast of predecessors – all except for standing on that patch of hallowed soil, an uninterrupted link between you and the universe, from now to the beginning of all existence.
How about that.
Jonty and Myles sat out in the sun, rolling about in the dust and talking about general cat life, licking their paws and play fighting.
‘Jesus’, said Jonty, ‘You know what happened this morning?’
‘Well there I was sitting by my bowl, you know, waiting for my due. Then the rough Hindwalker – the big one with the patchy fur on his face – he trots in, looks down at me and makes one of those dullard noises they make – one that doesn’t even mean anything. I mean, it’s just a noise, what am I supposed to do with that?
I have a secret wave, one I only ever surf by myself.
It’s always a solid 8-10 foot and the emerald green lip pitches so thick and heavy that the world descends into darkness when I’m in her belly. I tell my friends about it, but they just laugh at me and think I’m winding them up.
Well screw them, it’s their bad luck.
MY STREET’S A DEAD END…
Not that anyone ever died there, not since I’ve been in residence anyway. Except for the leaves that is. They drop off with a regularity that comes about all too quick, although probably not quick enough for the old woman at the end of the street.
She spends a lot of time on her lawn, always staring down, standing with feet lined up just so against the juncture of grass and concrete. It’s as if she is unable to comprehend the concrete’s edging, as though it’s making some grand statement she can’t quite understand. The whole while she has this bewildered look on her face, like she was told over breakfast that her whole life never really happened and her memories belong to others.
A storm gathers, dear readers.
The air may be still and clammy, but the pressure is dropping fast. The animals know – they’ve always known. You can read it in their eyes as the fear presses in on them. You may even feel it yourself, if you can but for a moment, rise above life’s distractions.
Imagery of the Australian Charater
Late night at the supermarket is the witching hour of consumerism, when the disorganised mix with the disenchanted and the dark has driven the masses to their beds. Teenagers with dirty hair and pimply faces arrive in universally prescribed groups of three, magic threes, hunting refined sugar. That holy trinity always consists of a lovesick young couple and a training wheel, invariably the guy’s best mate. These are the formative years of romance, and any parent whose son or daughter still roams in triplets should rest easy. The moment that training wheel becomes a third wheel is the day their child has fallen from the innocent fog of youth into the steely world of carnal knowledge. Continue reading
It started out like any other summer’s day in Adelaide. The sun was baking the sidewalks and aside from a few lazy thermal whirlys the air barely stirred. It was mid morning on that scorcher when my mate, Timmy Mac, piped up with, ‘Hey Roub One’ (Roub One = Me), ‘we should go for a snorkel at Noarlunga reef, or what Bruss?’
Mac, like me, had picked up a bad habit of throwing ‘Or what Bruss?’ on the end of most sentences from our mate Goodge. It had started as a bit of a joke, but like most noxious weeds, it quickly took root.
I was lying on the cold bathroom tiles in my jocks watching a line of ants march past me. As I pondered what on earth the ants had found to eat in our barren pantry, it occurred to me that a swim mightn’t be such a bad idea. Continue reading
The old surfer sat on his own in the calm evening waters, perched on his surfboard with the ease of years of practice. The sun was not too far from setting and the only wind was an occasional puff, ruffling the otherwise oily waters. The waves were somewhat inconsistent, and shoulder high at best, certainly not pushing the old boy’s boundaries, but worth a paddle.
Once upon a time war drove progress. But now the battle lines have been redrawn and more and more we see sport forging scientific development.
These advancements have generally been seen in sporting leagues with major financial backing, like the Northern-Hemi Premier League and the American Football League (formerly the NFL). But this year the world’s attention is focused solely on the upcoming 2032 Australian Football League season. All it took was one leaked photo and two tails. Continue reading
It’s not alarming like pins and needles, nor is it uncomfortable like a blush. In fact, it’s almost like some kind of small euphoric rush of electricity, one that fades out as quickly as it springs forth. If it were a sound it would be a brief fanfare of celebration Continue reading