For the last two days I’ve been asking everyone if they knew that a baby echidna is called a puggle. I have been reading (and buying) A Family Hour in Australia, by Tai Snaith, and Learning Facts and reading this beautiful picture book to everyone in the library, including my boss and twenty-four-year-old boys that I trap in corners.
Today at the cafe my boss was telling anyone who’d listen that a day like this on the ski slopes would be called a ‘bluebird’, because of the clear blue sky. Sharp light on the communal table to my right, fracturing water glasses and making the vase glow. It took a half hour for me to warm up today, from my mouth stretched into a rictus against the wind to my toes chilled inside the thin leather of my shoes. The grass on the shady side of the streets through North Fitzroy was iced in frost, I could have skied down Gold St to work.
One of the aforementioned boys was the picture of misery at the prospect of having to read ten whole books for our Recreational Literature class. I want to know, why take it then? Ten books at my usual pace would take me a month, and we have three. He didn’t think he’d manage, even after I’d handed him Northern Lights, conveniently forgetting it hasn’t been published recently enough to count for this assignment. He should read it anyway.
Might be a bit booked out after yesterday actually, after work at the library and going to Dymocks, then picking up books from Flinders Lane and Swanston libraries, and buying for myself from Readings State Library and Carlton and the bookshop my friend A works at in Northcote. One of those was Consolation, by Anna Gavalda, one of my favourites that I finally decided I needed to own.
I’m not above buying books for the library that I think we should have because I like them, because fuck me if I have to buy the new Martin Amis for the very rude person who wanted to know why I wasn’t going to — I read a comprehensive review that said it wasn’t worth it; the patron informed me that Amis was an award winning author and hadn’t we just bought his biography too? The review had pointedly noted that Amis wasn’t a literary award winner, and there is a world of difference between buying someone’s bio and buying their work. Especially when you a are a library that specialises in biographies. The patron stalked off after I apologised and put it on order - I will order just about any suggestion that I can get a hold of, the library is run for the members after all - and another staff member leaned towards me and murmured,
As though that gives you licence to be rude.
One of the things we learn at Uni is “Every book its reader and every reader their book.” Which is a lovely sentiment, but I’m not sure what it means in regards to Twilght or when I’m up to my ears in Swedish serial killers (a dollar for every “new Henning Mankell”…) or cats who solve crimes or yet another anglophone woman goes to the south of France and renovates a chateau and finds herself, with recipes!
Were you, by any chance, in the south of France? Sometimes is it Tuscany.
Some literature slips in, along with two-Dad black swan families and communal-living sugar gliders and nocturnal hairy-nosed wombats. And otherwise pedestrian romances that I would pass over excepting that they are woman-meets-woman and set in Melbourne and I get such a kick out of place names I know, have been to, live in. And the lesbian sex.
And PUGGLES. Omigosh.
Why I Eyes Ya - Tai Snaith & Lucy James
I’m not even a cat person, I am an internet person though, and im a sucker for anything that cleverly references and plays with internet culture. Bring female stereotypes into the mix and cultural signs of new modern women and I’m there.
I feel really conflicted by twee culture, knitting,
cupcakes macaroons, cats, Pinterest etc, I really want to hate it, but I keep getting distracted by all the pretty colours, plus so many of the people contributing to this scene around Melbourne are friends, and I know them to be witty and clever. Why I Eyes Ya seems like a self aware nod to this culture. Tai & Lucy know that they are playing with roles of crazy cat ladies, and do so with a heavy dose of irony. The tampon on the cat toy was fantastic. Tampons in the context of a show at Craft Victoria with cats is great, and is one of the elements (along with some hideous cat/human hybrids) that made me really dig this show and stopped me getting a toothache.
I bought a plate too.