(Thusly named as I have many layers, am rotund and also smell.)(more…)
You may have noticed that there’s been scant – well, no – posting here in the past couple of weeks.
That’s because I’ve been overseas. On holiday.
See? That’s me in Japan.
While in Japan I read airport novels (hello, James Clavell, after many years of avoidance) and walked a hell of a lot. So there’s not been much in the way of reviewing or writing.
That’ll change soon as I’m home (now) and in need of distraction. Expect more soon.
(Though let me preface any future content with a lamentation that there’s no Family Mart near my house. Because if you know, you know.)
Here’s a photo.
Yeah, it’s a pretty good one, right?
I took it during one of many long walks around the Cooks River, in an area known as the Greenway, which cuts through the Inner West of Sydney.
Turns out that I wasn’t the only one who thought it was OK. It was selected as the best adult community photography in the Greenway Art Prize last week, and I had to give a speech and everything.
I’m still pretty amazed, but there we are. It’ll now be part of an exhibition which will tour a couple of places with real artists’ work, so if you fancy, you can check it out in person.
So it’s been a bit quiet around here of late.
This is because I’ve been moving house. I’ve moved out of the house I used to own, which I thought I’d live in for a long time. Obviously, a couple of years is a long time if you’re the kind of renter who moves (or is forced to move) every couple of months, but you’re forgetting that I’m a) a curmudgeon and b) a hobbit so I’m pretty fond of my holes.
I like holes. Comfy holes. With all the things. Where I know where they are!
Anyway, I’m typing this on a laptop in a room full of boxes and cat toys. That’s pretty much the whole house: cat toys and boxes. But it’s a new house I’m renting – a shopfront and flat upstairs, ensuring that I finally have discovered a Pulp cliche.
I’ve always been interested in the Japanese poetry known as haiku. Something has always appealed to me about its brevity and imagery; it’s a distillation of feeling when it’s done well. When I had to write a recollection of my time in Tokyo as part of a touring taiko group, I nicked one of Bashō’s poems to convey the way I felt.
In my new clothing
I feel so different, I must
look like someone else
I’ve had an old Penguin edition of Bashō’s haiku for years now, and I come back to it pretty regularly. It’s a tale of travel, of change, and you can read more about it here. If you’ve never read it, it’s definitely worth a look. (Handily, there’s a PDF version to be found here, with links to further reading.) But flipping through it recently, I was reminded of the power of brevity.
Brevity is something which I don’t have a great handle on, which you will recognise if you’ve read some of the reviews on this blog. So to counter that, I’ve started a new project. I must be serious about it as I registered a domain name and everything. Don’t worry, I’ll still be writing here, at the usual length. But the new project, 575 Reviews, is my attempt at combining brevity and review.
Each day, I’m aiming at writing a single review of something. A book. A film. An album. A play. Manga. Snack food. The terms aren’t really set, beyond there being a picture and a review. There’s not much there now, but it will build, and it is linked in my linklist so rather than spam this page with continual mentions, I’ll let you check it out yourselves.
Here’s a sample, though, a review of Nico’s album The Marble Index (itself named for a passage in a poem) in three lines:
Bleak, black-clad death-songs
Harmonium wheezes on
Goth make-out classic.
Not exactly Bashō, but it’s early days. I hope you’ll join me there, sometimes.
You might have noticed posting has slowed a little recently.
This is due to a couple of things – mostly though it’s due to my work moving offices. To home! I work from home now, so it’s taken a while to get everything set up.
As you can see from the above, though, the move is complete. And as soon as I’ve finished my work issue deadline (tomorrow, with luck) I’ll be back into it.
A quick note: it’s been a little slow around here for the past couple of weeks as I’ve been out of the country. I had intended to schedule some older review reposts but as ever, the lead-up to an international trip hammered pretty much everything that wasn’t work, or directly related to making it into a seat on a plane.
The trip was great.
The return hasn’t been so great. I’m currently knocked out with some kind of weird fever. Just as I was feeling smug about not being struck with norovirus, too!
Anyway, posting – including reviews of the books I’ve finished in the meantime, though I read far less than normal while I was, you know, overseas seeing new things – will come soon. When I can stand up and not immediately feel like I’ve been hit with an axe, that is.
I’ve finally pushed captainfez.com back somewhere. I’m sure it’s annoyed at being pressed into service again after so many years, but that’s tough.
This site will (eventually) contain a bunch of my older reviews, as well as links to newly-written stuff – and maybe even the odd round of navel gazing.
My general torpor was interrupted when I found I could no longer find some of my reviews online without making use of the Wayback Machine. So I figured that it would be fun to rescue some of them from the gaping abyss of unpaid hosting bills.
I’m not sure how many of them are really worth reading – especially as I like to think that my writing has improved in the years since they were written – but I hope that you enjoy them anyway.
If you are here because you used to read |lukelog| I am pretty amazed that you even remember me, much less tolerate my lax update schedule.