Rainy day

Perfect for exam marking. But of course I am procrastinating. When there are exams to be marked, what better time to write a blog post! The rain is quite lovely in fact. Mermos is purring in my lap, Whitby is curled at my feet (I have a lambskin rug under my desk). They are such funny, friendly kitties. They always follow you around (even to the toilet, one thing I could do without!). A load of washing is on, I’ve sorted out the kitchen, and hung some pictures on my office wall.

On my left is a lovely print of an early drawing of a wombat family, by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur in 1804. I bought it when there was an exhibition in Adelaide many years ago of early French drawings of Australian plants and animals. It was the most amazing thing! Because Australian creatures were still relatively odd to European eyes, the representations looked slightly odd because they hadn’t worked out how draw them yet. Anyway the print sat under my bed in Adelaide for about seven years, but I took it back with me in January and found a frame for it. There is a mother wombat with about four little baby wombats toddling out of her pouch (do they have that many babies?), and a father wombat looking on bemusedly.

On my right are two prints of pages from the Book of Kells. I bought them on a trip to Ireland with the University of York hiking club in early 2004. Michael had organized the trip, so he was there, but we weren’t together yet. (We did, however, always sit next each other and talk for hours…) I remember offering him one of the posters on the train home in a kind of clumsy courting gesture. He said no thank you, he wasn’t into putting pictures on walls, he wanted to wait until he had his own place and could do it properly. (I bet he’s forgotten the entire conversation!) Anyway, here they are, and here we are. One of them is extra special to me now, because it is the Q from the Quoniam page, which Les Murray has written a poem about, and which I devoted about two and a half pages of my thesis to… (I can tell you more about that if you’re interested…)

Michael has been in the south of France all week which I am insanely jealous about. He gets back tonight only to leave again for Texas on Wednesday… Anyway, I’m very glad not to be at work today. Fridays are now my own! But the exams are calling. Wish me luck!

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6 thoughts on “Rainy day

  1. Hi Mel,
    I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am to receive your blog. Your photos and commentary never hesitate to make me smile. Your poetry is beautiful. Like my sister (sho is a journalist with The Age and who previously was the only person I knew who could do this), you somehow make descriptions of the minutiae of life (eg; lawn mowing and home decorating) fascinating. Whenever I open my email I always click on your posts before anything else.
    Thank you so much for including me in your circle.
    Warm regards,
    Romany

    PS – I also have a cat who is the joy of my life and who also insists on joining me in the toilet – I try to discourage him but he caterwauls outside the door when I close it. He also tries to join me in the bath and gets decidedly cross with the water for being wet!

    • oh, thank you Romany!

      and i’m glad you are a fellow cat lover. every day i am reminded of why i like cats so much – the little squeaks they make, the way they curl and stretch and sleep and tuck in their paws, the way they leap up into my lap and turn in circles, trying to work out the most comfortable way to flop…) after eight years or so of an itinerant and not cat friendly lifestyle, this is great! we also thought we’d never be able to have cats because Michael actually has a quite bad allergy, but it seems he can get used to certain cats because after about a week it was completely gone.

      and yes, your kitty trying to join you in the bath is hilarious!

  2. Romany, your description of your cat being cross with the bathwater being wet made me smile too! So it seems you can have the same effect…It’s a lovely picture.

  3. I’m technically allergic to cats as well – but cannot live without animals about and have gotten over my allergies where Logan and Laila are concerned. Logan will actually curl up in people’s trousers when they sit on the loo… Laila is still afraid of the flush! I’m reading a book to review today at home and have had to make Laila a place to sleep next to me on the desk to stop her trying to push the book out of its cradle for attention…

    Good luck with exams, Mel – I can’t believe you are still marking! Actually, no – friends here in Leeds are too – I’m just lucky this year!

  4. Heh, well, my students sat two different exams. The in school exam (3rd year students) was on June 2, but I only got the scripts last friday. And the take home exam (Masters students) didn’t finish till June 10, so I’m not that behind really… (And yay for black and white kitties…)

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