I aimed to read 40 books this year. According to the good folk at GoodReads I’ve read 35, with a couple on the go. I might not quite get there.
Nevertheless, I will be publishing my annual book of the year awards soon! I enjoy looking back on the year and what I enjoyed and, as so often happens in reading, one book leads to another.
You can see my previous winners listed HERE.
Another moment of stillness and calm beauty. Two swallows circling around the little jetty that juts out into the Estuary. I’m nearly finished a longish poem about a journey up the estuary and the beauty of all that, but I doubt I’ll capture that as well as the swallows did this morning.
I rarely publish poems here, maybe I should do that more. Anyway, I finished this one, and thought I’d put it into that Adobe Spark format. 23 Beaver St was the address of my grandparents, in Essendon. I looked it up on Google Earth and the house is gone now, which is fitting.
There’s something refreshing about walking by water in the morning. This morning, the bay was blue-grey, the sky just grey, the wind talking of winter. It was nice to be out in it, beside that body of water.
On this morning’s walk along two local creeks, open to the sights and sounds of the world as you are sometimes at the start of a holiday break, I passed a local chicken farm and saw that it was closed down.
The shed was empty, though it looked like the pens and the wooden fittings were still intact. I had the urge to get in there and look around. I stopped to take a photo through the wire fence and the curtain opened briefly.
As a one-time surfer, and someone still in love with the sea, I’m conscious of just how difficult it is (and laughable it can be to real surfers) to try to describe to someone else the act of surfing.
So, I’ve been pretty impressed with Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan. It probably wont win my book of the year prize (teaser: full list coming soon!) but it’s just about the best thing I’ve ever read at capturing the act of surfing, and the beauty and terror of big surf.
I’ve been listening to this as an audio book (from Audible) and have been surprised at just how powerful that can be, especially perhaps, when read by the author themselves.
Highly recommended as I hone my book of the year awards! There’s a pretty good review from The Guardian HERE
Sometimes, you get surprised. I went for a walk along the beach tonight, at the end of the day, just about the shortest day of the year. I was interested to see what ‘my creek’ looked like after a week of rain. It was nice: brimming full and mixing with the bay in a kind of oily mix back and forth between the bay and the brown creek. I took some photos and a couple of videos of the beach and the waves with my iPhone; nothing special, but a nice light. But, fiddling with my phone I must have somehow taken this shot, which was my favourite of the set. A blurry, dark, brooding evocative kind of piece with a glimpse of light in the eye of the wave washing along the sand.
It’s harder to get those kinds of surprises in writing. The conscious-ness of it I suppose. Maybe that’s why so many writers (and other artists) took to drugs at some stages? To get out of the rational a little bit, and to discover something else under the surface. It’s nice to have surprises sometimes. And, you might not even think the photo is any good. You can see the rest of the set here and make a comparison. But, for me, there is something in that shot that I hadn’t seen, hadn’t even been looking for, but found somehow.
Nice to find that, right at the end of the week.