Friday, May 26, 2006

The last two weeks

Wrote this Monday:

Had a really good break down at Phillip Island last week. Did lots of riding around the island on Karen's bike, while she was at work.
On Tuesday I rode to Cowes. On Wednesday I rode to Churchill Island (where I took the photos of the Moonah trees), and had a talk to a really old cockatoo and held a guinea pig and walked around the island. The first farm in Victoria was on Churchill Island, and my dad says he did a heap of work there when he was studying at Burnley.
On Thursday I rode across to San Remo and walked along the beach a bit. One the way back to Karen's place I tried to find Auntie Elsie's old house in Newhaven, where we used to go for holidays, but I couldn't find it.
Thursday night, after tea, we went to the Isle of Wight (the pub in Cowes). One of the locals, who was really drunk, came up to me and asked, 'You rockin'?'
I said, 'Um, dunno. What do you mean?'
'You know. You rockin'?'
'You mean, do I play rock music?'
He started nodding and said, 'Yeah!'
I said i wasn't and asked if he was. He kept nodding his head and said that if there was more rock and roll there would be no war in Iraq.
Friday morning I went to the Koala Conservation Centre and saw about eight koalas. Saw some wallabies, blue wrens and kookaburras too.

When I got back to Melbourne Friday evening my phone was almost flat, so I plugged it in to charge it. Some reason it wouldn't charge, and ended up going down to 0% power and shutting down. Then James turned up because we were supposed to be going to see The Living End, because he'd gotten free tickets from work. He decided he didn't want to go anymore though because his stomach was playing up, so I had an extra ticket. Called my brothers (my parents' number is the only Melbourne number I can remember off the top of my head and all my other numbers were in my dead phone), but they were both out. So I started stressing about what to do with the tickets. I ended up going down to the steps at Flinders Street Station and giving them to some punks so that I wouldn't have to worry about them. Then I went home and relaxed with Ned and Ray.
Got up early Saturday morning because I figured the battery of my phone must have gone so flat that it was beyond recharging, and I had to get a new one because the security codes for work were in it. The guy at the Telstra shop reckoned that it was charging, but that the whole phone was stuffed from water damage. They didn't have any spare batteries though, so I tried another shop that did, and the phone still didn't work. So I ended up getting pretty stressed out again, thinking about how I was going to have to buy another phone the next day, as well as some new shoes (I've had the ones I have now for almost two years, and my toes can stick through) and some warm clothes.
On the train to work I thought a bit about how I'd only just gotten back from my break and was already wearing myself out needlessly. Thought a bit about the origins of shabbat (sabbath) in Judaism:
And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness; and the children of Israel said unto them: 'Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'
Then said the LORD unto Moses: 'Behold, I will cause to rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or not. And it shall come to pass on the sixth day that they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.'
And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel: 'At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt; and in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that He hath heard your murmurings against the LORD; and what are we, that ye murmur against us?'
And Moses said: 'This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against Him; and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.'
And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel: Come near before the LORD; for He hath heard your murmurings.'
And it came to pass, as Aaron spoke unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 'I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying: At dusk ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.'
And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew round about the camp. And when the layer of dew was gone up, behold upon the face of the wilderness a fine, scale-like thing, fine as the hoar-frost on the ground.
And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another: 'What is it?' - for they knew not what it was.
And Moses said unto them: 'It is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Gather ye of it every man according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, shall ye take it, every man for them that are in his tent.'
And the children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
And Moses said unto them: 'Let no man leave of it till the morning.'
Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and rotted; and Moses was wroth with them. And they gathered it morning by morning, every man according to his eating; and as the sun waxed hot, it melted. And it came to pass that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one; and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
And he said unto them: 'This is that which the LORD hath spoken: To-morrow is a solemn rest, a holy sabbath unto the LORD. Bake that which ye will bake, and seethe that which ye will seethe; and all that remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.'
And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade; and it did not rot, neither was there any worm therein.
And Moses said: 'Eat that to-day; for to-day is a sabbath unto the LORD; to-day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.'
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that there went out some of the people to gather, and they found none.
And the LORD said unto Moses: 'How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws? See that the LORD hath given you the sabbath; therefore He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.'
So the people rested on the seventh day. And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna; and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
And Moses said: 'This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.' And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Take a jar, and put an omerful of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept throughout your generations.'
As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat the manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan. Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.
So was thinking about how we need to take a day off from worrying about stuff (often it's Saturday or Sunday) and decided not to worry about getting any of that stuff the next day. Also thought a bit about how the telephone companies try to make us think that we're disconnected spiritually if we aren't connected to a mobile phone network.

So I ended up spending yesterday tidying up my room, and putting up photos, and hanging leaves from the ceiling, and making prayer flags with Ray and Ali to decorate their apartment. In the evening Emma and Koos brought Jackson over because Emma was going to have her baby. So we looked after Jack, and Oscar was born at 10pm.
Wrote this very early Wednesday morning:
Today after prayers there was this guy nodding off in the laneway, and Gin asked if I could go out and keep him awake while she made him some coffee. So I went and sat with him. He was saying his ex-wife owed him money and he was really angry at her. Gin came out with the coffee and he said he'd taken a whole heap of anti-anxiety medication just before he'd injected. He kept nodding off, so we put his bike inside and got him to get up and come for a walk around the block. We had to keep steadying him, and keep him moving so that he didn't start nodding off. When we were almost back to our laneway he leant against the wall and didn't want to go any further. I think at that stage he was wanting to go and get another hit. He started nodding off again pretty bad, so we got him back up, and brought him into Credo to have a sandwich. I sat next to him on the stage and he tried to play 'Stairway to Heaven' on the Credo guitar, while I tried to make sure he kept going and didn't fall asleep. Gin made him a peanut butter sandwich and got him some cordial. After a while of sitting there with the guitar he started to nod off pretty bad again, so that we couldn't keep him awake, so we got him up again, and he decided he wanted to go to his mum's place on his bike. The chain had come loose on his bike so I helped him get it back on. He didn't seem to be in a very good state for riding though. We asked if he wanted us to try and help him find Foot Patrol (the mobile needle exchange in the CBD) to look after him. He said he did, so we headed up toward Russel Street, with him singing Hillsongs to us. When we got there it turned out he wanted to get a hit there, so he was calling his dealer on one of the public phones. The dealer wasn't going to turn up for about twenty minutes, so he went and got an ice cream and then we asked if he wanted to come back to the office and call some crisis accomodation places. We were about halfway back when he changed his mind and wanted to call his dealer again. He said goodbye and headed off around the corner, using his bike to support himself. He didn't look like he was going to get very far, so I kept an eye on him and Gin went to get Foot Patrol's phone number. The guy ended up collapsing against a wall, so I sat down and made sure he stayed awake by telling him over and over again that he was about to drop his ice cream, and had better eat it up. Gin got back and called Foot Patrol, but they were about to change shifts, so we decided to call them back later. The guy got up and started crossing the street, not looking out for cars, trying to get to a public phone. We followed him over and noticed there were some cops headed straight for him. They didn't pull him up or anything, but they were obviously keeping an eye on him. After he'd called his dealer again we told him that they were watching him, so it probably wasn't the best idea to do a deal, but he seemed to reckon they're always watching him, so it didn't make any difference. He said he was going to go down to the corner to meet the dealer and we said we didn't want to meet him, and he thanked us for hanging out with him, and said that he reckoned he was a pretty big hearted person. His speech wasn't very clear, so I thought he was pretty down and saying that he was a pretty retarded person. He headed down to the corner, and we decided to do a block and keep an eye on him until Foot Patrol could come and look out for him. When we went past him he was asking people for change for the phone. At about seven thirty we called Foot patrol and they said they'd keep an eye out for him. Then we went and met Tomsy and Naomi at the Exford. They'd been waiting since about 5:30 or something. There were B52s and Boomtown Rats and Clash videos playing. Then we went to a cheap Chinese restaurant and had some food.
It turned out that Ali ended up having to get an ambulance for the same guy later in the night. Nathan's blogged about it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Moonah trees

Took these on Churchill Island yesterday morning. Will possibly edit them and repost them when I get back to Melbourne, because I think I'm going to get my own computer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Halls Gap

Here's some pictures I took on the weekend. If you want words, read Nate's blog.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Credo retreat

Yesterday afternoon everyone left for Halls Gap, for the annual Credo Retreat. A lot of the people who are part of our lunch community don't get any other opportunities to get out of the city.
I couldn't go last night because I couldn't get out of work.

I'm going up in about half an hour with Brent, Mark, Robyn and Rachel.
Next week I'm on holidays, and will be down at Phillip Island, saying hello to the penguins for EcoPaul. So, until I get back:

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Here be pigeons

Yesterday I walked to CERES, to see if I could get a recycled bike. On the way there I stopped at a park, and sat down on the bench to check where I was in my street directory. As soon as I sat down was surrounded by pigeons, some of which I landed on me. It was all quite wonderful. I suppose they're used to people feeding them when they sit down on that bench.

When I got to CERES, it turned out that the bike workshop is only open Fridays and Saturdays at the moment, so I'll have to go back there some other time.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Beatboxing Dan

Last night we went to the Vegie Bar for tea. On the way home these people reckoned I was someone called Beatboxing Dan. Hurrah.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dumb poverty

As winter sets in, this poor woman has no clothes to wear because she has spent all her money on jewellery.


Today I went to the Credo writing group for the first time. I've been meaning to go all year, but have always had other stuff going on Friday afternoon, or been too tired or something. Today we were writing haiku. I wrote two about the Comedy Festival:

In the street
people queing
for tickets

Drunk people
in our laneway
at night
and then I wrote two more:
It's getting colder
and our heater
is beneath the window

Less people
at lunch:
it's pension day

Monday, May 01, 2006

The train crash

Friday afternoon I caught the bus out to Ballarat, for Stack's party. When I got to Ballarat I went and hung around at Tab's place for a bit, with Tab and her sister Tori and Tori's egg, which is called Kate, and her cat, which is called Santa.
When Tab was driving me back into town, Nic (Stack's boyfriend) called me and said, 'Are you alright?'
I said, 'Um, yeah, why?'
He said, 'The train from Melbourne to Ballarat got derailed at Ballan.'
I said, 'Oh. Okay. Well I wasn't on it. I was on the bus. Should've told you. I should have said, "The train that's going to get derailed, I'm not going to be on it, so don't worry."'
When I actually read the news, it turned out that it wasn't the Melbourne to Ballarat train anyway, it was the Ballarat to Ararat train, and it was actually derailed near Trawalla.