Sunday, 27 April 2008

Olympic rant

 These anti-China protesters are annoying. Agreed, China does have a dodgy [to put it mildly] human rights record, they're evasive, controlling, and the poor Tibetans are being treated terribly etc etc. Yes, just before the Olympics is a good public moment to air all those issues, thumbs up for free speech!

However, to seriously suggest that entire countries should not take part is unfair on many levels, but most importantly on the athletes who've been training for literally four years with 2008 in mind. This isn't an event that happens every year, a delay of 12 months would be bad enough, 48 months is a very long time. 

The protests should have taken place seven years ago when the Olympic committee was choosing the country in 2001. Now, it is only a question of airing opinions. The violence that has surrounded the Olympic relay puts the world to shame, with people in the 'developed' countries proving to be unable to respect boundaries. Having processions I can totally understand, there are some serious human rights issues going on, but to go to the extent of disrupting the relay, requiring the flame to be put out, is really a bit much. 

The Flame has a symbolism beyond that of just the Beijing games. It doesn't belong to any one country, and is supposed to represent Olympic values, like friendship, solidarity and fair play to name a few. Seems like there isn't much of that going around. 

If you really truely feel strongly that something should be done, boycott all Chinese products, not the Olympics. The world happily exploits the ultra cheap goods that come out of China without a second  thought, but have a huge moral dilemma with China holding a sports event? Rubbish.  Hypocrites.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Old Friends

Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly 
How terribly strange to be seventy - Simon and Garfunkel

There are so many horror stories of friendship turned arsenic: gruesome and bloody backstabbings, smashing of trust with blunt instruments, unauthorised sharing of top level secrets. Despite going to an all girls school, I managed to float through school observing and generally avoiding some ridiculously complicated friendship politics. The clean up squad was more my thing - once the missiles were spent, voices reduced to a raspy croaks and tear ducts exhausted, peace troops would be needed to clean up and sort out. That was quite fun, talking to both sides, investigating the situation, finding middle ground, clearing up what was invariably a small, deadly misinterpretation of words. Blimey, the energy wasted on drama!

There are a few people who fall into the park bench category for sure.
Swallow and Glitch are utterly easygoing, happy go lucky, solid, up for anything [not always a good thing with me around] and total soul mates in a non-cheesy, kind of way. Coaster is rather more complicated: the image of a vertigo inducing, erratic yet strangely reliable roller coaster springs to mind. While on it, there are moments of panic and illness, but being on the ground involves being lost and without a compass, even though I often disagree with his sense of direction. Yea, its complicated. Birdboy probably be there would too, but thats a situ still floating around in midair at the moment.

There are potentials that hover around, new friends, old friendships that would be missed terribly if they were to dissolve, but those are constants necessary for all to be right in the world.

Long distance close friendships are tough. I miss how easy it is to be with them, the short hand which cuts through explaining, the instinctively knowing when something is up without having to be told/tell. How we always, always end up having a good time getting ourselves into and out of crazy situations, laughing all the while. Even the shittiest day turns around. 

In a way, the worst part is not being able to share the good stuff. Dancing in the rain, rolling in the hail, funky concerts, beautiful Victorian buildings with ivy curling up its walls, impulsive drives, walking through the city and randomly stumbling across a jazz band in a courtyard, little country towns out of Enid Blyton, candy stores, stationery warehouses, chatting to interesting strangers, in a club, dancing to that song you know they'd go crazy for if they were here, even or perhaps especially, just feeling happy for no reason. 

Feeling a little friend-sick. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Don't want to be my winter

It's finally arrived. That constant chill, hanging out persistently even on the sunniest spots of the pavement. Jeans and t-shirt weather has long gone, shorts rejected and stuffed into dark corners of the clothes shelves a week ago. Fingers and toes starting to get numb during the day. Finally gave in and took down all the neatly packed away winter coats, socks, beanies. So much wool. So much weight. Still resisting the electric heater: semi denial.

Last winter was a bit of a disaster overall, which might have been expected considering it was the first for this particular sunny islander. Wasn't expecting just how utterly cold and harsh and actually quite miserable it was. Finally understood
seasonal depression. After nineteen years of taking it entirely for granted that going outside meant sun and warmth and comfort like a hug, suddenly its just not there. Unimaginable. In school, the crazy girl who'd choose to stay in the sun for hours if need be, that was me. Fortunately its largely sunny down under, cannot begin to fathom living in a gloomy country for more than a few weeks.
On a brighter note, seem to have got a grip this time around. Touch wood. Use a support system, keep the neurons whizzing. It's a case of watching the extremes, keeping the slips from turning into slides. Sleeping in is okay, eighteen hours a day for three weeks straight, mmm, not so much. To be fair, it was a accumulation of a kazillion different badly timed factors/incidents/judgements, as such things tend to be.
Autumn is so pretty. Trees turning a whole range of warm colours. Crispy, curly leaves floating down. Just the right temperature: cold enough to feel minty clean, but warm enough to be snug in a couple of layers. And you can still feel the sun properly. The campus is basically a garden with a few buildings built on the sidelines, so it's gorgeous in the summer, breathtaking in the autumn, bare and harsh during the winter.
Game plan is to breathe in as much as possible while its good, avoid intense Snow Patrol songs and laugh lots.