I’ll be honest – August was not a great month for me! As I’ve mentioned previously it’s been punctuated mainly by injury, which is especially because it stops me from doing as many hobbies and side projects as I like to fill my time with. That said, there have been a few exciting things going on which I can’t wait to share more of over the next month! Here’s my recap for August.
“A monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw.”
What I’ve been grateful for
Although I’m feeling a bit crappy right now, I’m very thankful for being able-bodied and pain-free most of the time. I know there are people out there who have to deal with chronic conditions that make life difficult, and experiencing some of that in short bursts always makes me feel grateful for how easy I have it the rest of the time. I really need to work harder to maintain and improve my health, because times like this show how important and taken for granted it is.
Everyone who has put up with me shuffling around like a zombie and generally being a bit useless. Especially The Boy who has had to take over all the cooking and cleaning whilst I’m being an invalid. I’m not sure that my patience and sympathy would last quite so long if the situations were reversed.
What I’ve been thinking about
After completing my letterpress printing short course (more on that later), I was a bit devastated that there isn’t anywhere available to keep improving my skills, so spent a good couple of weeks seriously considering buying a press and starting a little letterpress business. Unfortunately now that it’s so trendy, prices for these antique machines (they were built up until the 70’s) have shot up, and due to their weight, size and fragility it isn’t something you can easily send via Australia Post. After some thought and research I’ve decided that I’m mostly just interested in doing my own experiments and printing my own designs – doing it as a form of income would kill a bit of the fun for me, just like it would for calligraphy or illustration. I’m still keeping an eye out for a small press that I can pick up locally, if I can find one for a good price…
I’ve started working on a big project, which I was going to keep semi-secret until it’s a bit further along, but I hear it’s better to start generating buzz early so… along with a couple of friends, I’m starting a zine! For the uninitiated, zines are self-published works which can run the gamut from scrapbook style, photocopied punk affairs to rather polished publications that are basically indie magazines. We’re aiming to lean towards the latter end of the scale, with the focus on creative people and fun DIY projects. In addition to handling the digital and social components (which I’m woefully behind on), my contributions for our first issue will include a beginner’s calligraphy guide and maybe some simple recipes. More on this project and my co-conspirators soon, and hopefully I’ll actually have a website up by then!
In researching for the zine, I’ve seen the sentiment echoed amongst independent publishers – print is not dead, it’s just evolving. Maybe people are less interested in getting a daily printed newspaper or gossip magazine, preferring to get that kind of instant, disposable content from social media and blogs. But high quality, less profits-driven and beautifully written and crafted independent publications are on the rise, because in this world where there are so many things which are disposable or clickbait, having something solid and considered is a rarer and more valuable experience. With a lower barrier to entry than ever and online stores replacing the need for a traditional publisher, some really awesome stuff is surfacing, if you just know where to look.
What I’m excited for
I’m going to a Harry Potter themed party this weekend, and my (not so hidden) inner nerd is incredibly excited for it. I’ve gone all out making Hogwarts robes with Slytherin green lining, and need to go hunting for a good twig to fashion a wand out of. Expelliarmus!
Later this month I’ll be attending Eat Drink Blog, a conference for food bloggers, which is being held in Brisbane this year. I had an amazing time at last year’s conference in Perth, so have very high expectations! I’ll be flying over a day early, so plan to spend some time checking out GOMA and exploring the city. Also exciting (to me) is that this trip is mostly free – free conference with some meals, flights using up my points, accommodation with a hefty AirBnB discount. I’m no seasoned travel hacker, but I feel pretty proud of my efforts.
What I’ve been doing
A lot of lying still, napping and reading magazines. Normally this would be very enjoyable, but when you’re doing it because doing anything else is painful, it loses a bit of its shine. I hope to be doing this in a more intentional/recreational way this month rather than out of necessity.
Not exercising, again due to pain, which is especially problematic because one colleague keeps my workplace well-stocked with ice-cream, chocolates, lamingtons, pineapple tarts, biscuits and occasionally cake, and I get suckered in every time. Every day I resolve to not give in, but it hasn’t worked so far. Thankfully I’ll be back to exercising at least a bit again this week now I’m recovering, although I think I’ll need to do a lot more than that to cover ice-cream o’clock and those pineapple tarts.
Keeping my kitchen window greens (spinach, rocket and raddicchio) alive, with the occasional haircut. As the weather grows warmer they’re going through a growth spurt, and are probably ready to be culled back further. The seedlings that I transferred to an outside pot have surprisingly shot up after a shaky start, so I have high hopes for nice salad crops this spring.
What I’ve been reading
I’ve almost finished Walden! The descriptions of nature are lyrical but kind of tiresome, and they make up a good half of the book. But every time I feel like giving up it comes up with another brilliant nugget that keeps me going.
“This spending of the best part of one’s life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it reminds me of the Englishman who went to India to make a fortune first, in order that he might return to England and live the life of a poet.”
This article about the historical rivalry between Coles and Woolworths, and the effect it’s had on smaller grocery stores and suppliers, is fascinating if terrifying for the future of biodiversity and food security. A long read, but well worth it.
What I’ve been spending my money on
Pretty much just magazines, as listed above. I am however eyeing the Spring selection of short courses at CIT – maybe painting or pottery?
If you’d like to join us or see others’ posts in this monthly series, head on over to helario.us for the master list.