August 11, 2011, 5:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized






hitting the books (it’s 2011)
March 2, 2011, 8:54 pm
Filed under: f-f-f-fiji, the beginning and the end

I wanted to recommend this beautiful piece of Australian literature by Craig Silvey. Jasper Jones is about  prejudice, misunderstanding, race, things lost, things found and the small town experience. It was the first book I finished in 2011 and I sincerely hope that it has set the bar not only for my own reading habits this year, but for Australian teenage literature also.

I slacked off on reading last year. Despite having so many opportunities to just sit, relax and read a book in 2010  (on the beach, on a mat, in bed, in the sun, on the couch), I have to say I did not seize them (note previous post about using alone time constructively).  In 2009 I listed all the books I read and the total came to 13. In 2010 I only read 6. When I tallied them up I was shocked/dismayed/appalled but go easy- living island life has been as thought provoking and entertaining as any piece of literature and I’ve connected with people and places through performance,  weekend getaways, fashion, food, kava, and rum. (in no particular order of frequency or importance.)

Reading isn’t a popular activity in the Pacific. Information is spread by word of mouth, radio is the best form of communication particularly in a country still based strongly on village culture and stories are still told through cultural dance and art. Recreational reading, reading for work, reading reports- it takes a long time, there are other things that need doing, and (particularly with reading for work or reading reports) there are other ways to connect with people and resolve problems or issues within the community. Speaking with a friend last week we identified the above points and then went on to discuss a culture of not reading versus the nature of  work done by NGO’s and UN agencies. We talked about the ‘high tech solutions for low tech people’ that most of these agencies adopt instead of making their message as clear and as simple as possible using the basics. What happened to simplicity? What happened to taking advantage of already existing, and well functioning, infrastructure to solve issues or in this case, when did we stop talking to people and start handing them 50 page reports with pretty covers and binding knowing they aren’t going to read it? (furthermore, since when were reports the ‘action’ part of development?- that’s another ‘post’!)

Going back to recreational reading, the University of the South Pacific is this year strengthening its Literature department- it will be interesting to look at the kind of literature being promoted through the school (I am trying to get my hands on a syllabus) and how literature, as well as the course itself, is being promoted and marketed to students in this region.  Will USP work with high schools in the region to promote recreational reading and therefore an interest in literature? Will it encourage students in the region to critically engage with literature or be passive participants? What themes will the school explore more thoroughly (postcolonial? diasporic?) and where will this literature come from- Pacific? Australian? American? Indian? In a region where literacy levels are low and access to books and reading materials is limited, is there need for a Literature department?

I hope so.

right in front of my face
February 26, 2011, 1:29 am
Filed under: dear diary

I finally have internet again- thank you service provider- which means that I can re-commence polluting the internet with other peoples pictures and stories and maybe even adding some of my own. blogging is so stop and start. people make new years resolutions about this stuff- wordpress even has a ‘post per day’ or ‘post per week’ challenge. challenge being the operative word in my case where i tend to deprive myself of alone time while at the same time craving it like my diabetic friend catherine craves pickled onions and green olives.

I’m jealous of folks who update their blog every day or even every week, mostly due to the fact that this means their quota of alone time is larger than mine.  Truthfully, I think it’s just that they use their alone time more effectively i.e. don’t watch 10 episodes of Sons of Anarchy in a row and actually have the capacity for reflection and use their brain outside of business hours. Hmm- that assumes that I use my brain during business hours which is debatable.

My AYAD post finishes in about six weeks- I haven’t been this excited since six weeks before my AYAD post began. I love living in Fiji, I’m engaged to Island Boy and have met a bunch of fun people who continually challenge me to misbehave (and vice versa), but it’s also been a tough twelve months, particularly at work and I can’t wait to publish a tell-all post on my last day. It’s amazing the number tasks on my daily work agenda that have been classified as ‘capacity building’ and it’s incredibly disappointing when your secretary…. oops, let’s wait six weeks!

So, I’m back. More soon….

oh yes- that one please.
November 11, 2010, 1:11 am
Filed under: f*shion, loving the shit out of it, snap happy, wild things

hello girl in photo with boyish styleZ. the fringe, the pink nails, the cigarette, the big grey scarf, the tailored blazer, the gold faced time bling, the urban cullotes, the legs, the peep toe lace up’s- oh no you did not just lay in bed last night conjuring up in your head the above look/outfit/ensemble from all the crap in your wardrobe (sans blazer and shoes) and come up with THIS.  please give me tips on how i can be you. xx

i like this
November 2, 2010, 11:01 pm
Filed under: b&w

nostalgia alert
November 2, 2010, 10:32 pm
Filed under: dear diary, snap happy, the beginning and the end

I just came across this still from the 1954 film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and was flooded with memories of watching it at my grandparents farm when I was of early primary school age. My grandfather was an avid collector of John Wayne movies and our holidays were spent thinking we liked them too, falling asleep half way through and then waking up to Nan having made fresh salad sandwiches on buttered white bread.  Every school holidays we would convince ourselves that we loved John Wayne. We loved the West. But we didn’t. Not even close. Then one day we were ploughing through the video cupboard and came across a gold mine of old school Looney Toons cartoons (think black and white Porky Pig), Three Stooges (Pop liked Westerns, Dad liked slapstick) and the ultimate of ultimate- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It had everything we wanted- costumes, music, love, kidnappings, town vengeance, babies, shotgun weddings, and a group of men dancing and singing as they raised a barn from the ground.

The image of those seven babes in the arms of the seven bro’s reminds me of waking up at 5am and racing to the kitchen to sit with my grandfather, in trousers and a white singlet smoking Camels and sipping sweet black coffee while my grandmother, in her carpeted kitchen, shuffled around boiling eggs and inhaling Alpine Menthols. I can smell hay, and home cooking, and stale cigarettes, my grandmothers nerves, the green poop that came out of me after eating loads of bubblegum icecream and gumboots and diesel. I learnt how to ride a bike there, my grandfather bought my sister and I a horse, he took us for counter meals and bought us FADS so that we could have a smoke with him. Then we’d get tired and go see Nan for some old time dancing in the lounge room to Frank Sinatra and the soundtrack of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. xx

she comes bearing fruits
October 14, 2010, 2:27 am
Filed under: f*shion, snap happy

Since embarking on island life I have begun to embrace the idea of wearing a bit of colour and experimenting with new patterns. Seeing what designers like Stella McCartney & Jil Sanders are putting out for Spring/Summer 2011 is inspiring me to take a trip to the tailor.. xx