a Thing

i’m currently nursing a Thing for gillian welch, who i’d heard before, but finally chased up this weekend, after hearing her name on twang.
and it’s not helped that i’ve just seen that she’ll be in europe when i am. luckily (?) i’ll be in herrang, then, so there’ll be no conflict.
sheesh. swing over good goddamn music? am i on crack?

i’m listening to all her 4 albums back to back. i can’t really decide which one i like most, but i think it’s time (the revelator), or perhaps hell among the yearlings.
it’s the only thing to have kicked natalie merchant out of the cd player.

now i’ll chase two soundtracks – the o brother where art thou one (which i’ve lusted after for a while) and the songcatcher one (loved the music, kind of got bored in the film).


well, i’ve finally received the official Werd from the grants people. i’ve been given a wad of cash to go dance all over europe. kewl.
and today i spent another fat lot of hours figuring out the logistics of four countries in one month, with different dance camps in three of them. then there’s the wedding, visiting a friend’s new baby, catching up with assorted relatives and making time for expat friends. phew.
PLUS i’d also like to get to hay-on-wye for the first time ever. it is, of course, the home of a jillion book shops. and half way between wales and england (two key points on my itinerary)… in fact, i’d really like to go… might see if i can collar a likely cousin into taking me, as it’s not exactly the most convenient place on earth. and i’d like to go to the brecon beacons which really blew me away last time i was there…
maybe i’ll do some hostel-hopping in the uk… sidestep london (and the swingers there) for some loveliness…

this is me


aren’t i cool?
this is me when i’m between 4 and 7 years old. probably at the 4 end. we lived in fiji during that time, and we were hippies. well, sort of. that van covered in hindi advertising was our family car. it was eventually painted red, and was notoriously unreliable. it was small and had brown seats. i’d like one now.
note my blonde hair. i haven’t been blonde since puberty hit.

we were in fiji because dad took a contract at USP, and we left england to go there for three years. mum was a social worker, but there weren’t jobs for her in suva. so she was a housewife til she went nuts with boredom and started running playgroups, teaching people to ride horsies and so on.
i have quite clear memories of fiji, aided by photos like this one. my uncle ziggy was in fiji, visiting from england for a while when this one was taken.
that fence in the foreground was built by my dad to keep my brother in the garden. he was 3 when we left fiji, and for the first 3 years of his life he was an escape artist.
he had to be caged in because he’d escape, go wandering all over the neighbourhood by himself. not so safe. increasingly unsafe for a white kid between 1980 and 82.

Here we are together, on a beach in fiji, a bit older. i remember that day – we were on a little island with The Mother and a photographer/graphic design friend of the family. just a day trip for a bit of beach time. i loved those green togs.
this last photo is of us in brisbane. i was somewhere between 11 and 13. probably at the 11 end of things. he was between 7 and 9. it was a school photo day – why else would we be wearing our uniforms?
that’s all i’ve got to say – just showing some photos…

i’ve got this thing about soap

i love it. but i’m very particular. i love only 100% all natural soap. no artificial colours or perfumes. only the very best essential oils. no ti tree, or other melalucas (allergies, man).
i love this stuff more than anything. i like it that the perfumes are only strong enough to surround you in the shower and then to linger only for a moment once you’re dried off.
i love good soap so much.
i always only used perfect potion for a great many years. then i experimented with sorbolene soap, and some local hippy stuff when i moved away from brisvegas and perfect potion. but now The Mother ships it to me by the tonne. she sends local, hippy soap from tasmania to me in the mail. she secretes it about her person when she comes to visit. she stocks the downstairs bathroom with it for my bathing pleasure. oh, remember the cinnamon one? do i. i loved it so much i stole it. i took it home to melbourne with me. i really did.

i love good soap. i really do.

yer what?

it was only recently that i discovered that the bit in your ear that gets blocked up is not ‘yer station tube’ but the ‘Eustachian tube’.
i’m only mildly disappointed that there are no trains involved.

nearly 30 years of ear infections from swimming too much and living in tropical climates and suddenly things change. it was truly a revelation. thanks, dr flowers, thanks.

you might also care to know that my father and his mother (the nanna) refer to their ears (or anyone’s ears, really), as ‘yers’. i don’t know if it’s a Welsh thing, or a trying-to-be-a-toff thing, or just a weirdo family thing. but i know i’ll be surveying welshies when i’m there for the wedding in july. my readers need to know.

What’s a PhD?

The short answer? A PhD is a big long essay. More like a book than an essay. An academic book. An academic book that has do fulfil a whole truckload of requirements, the biggest of which are a) contributing new knowledge to the field and b) demonstrating a clear and excellent understanding of the literature (stuff that’s already been written) in the field of research.

The long answer?…

Continue reading “What’s a PhD?”

What exactly am I doing in my PhD?

Well, firstly, I’m doing my PhD thesis on swing dancers. Mostly Melbourne ones. I’m framing them as a fan community (a la Henry Jenkins, Matt Hills, Camille Bacon Smith, etc), and am most interested in their media uses. This media use is centred on the internet and online technology – I’m interested in talking about how swingers use online media in their face to face fan activities. I also talk about swingers as performing their fandom. That’s an idea I’m borrowing from stuff Matt Hills suggested, which dove tails nicely with Judith Butler’s work, and I think there’s one guy – Kurt Lancaster – who’s into this, that I should follow up.

Continue reading “What exactly am I doing in my PhD?”

i want

to make a page that’s static – it’s time for me to learn how to do websites properly… and of course, this in no way coincides with the need to start the next chapter, or to plan the research trip fully