Sunday, 19 February 2012

Portraits & lemon wheels distract island resident

I took this dodgy photo of Lyndal
Grizelda has gone away for the entire weekend, left Friday morning and won't be back until Sunday night. I consider this to be incredibly excellent, good fortune on my part because I have been in need of uninterrupted time to work on my manuscript. All week I've been excited about having all this time, so excited I have named this weekend My Island.

I planned to spend every waking moment from Friday after work until Sunday night in a deliberately blissful state of writing reverie but as it so happened one or two things popped up. The first thing was work, stupid fucking work, I ended up working until almost eight at night, until Spencer came in the office door with a Rolling Stones poster and the pronouncement that he was bored and sick of waiting for me to finish. We had planned, earlier in the day, to travel together to official distraction number one.

Official distraction number one was having our portraits taken by the excellent photographer Lyndal Irons, who happens to be a friend of ours. The portraits were Lyndal's idea, not mine. When we got to her house the lounge room was transformed, huge light panel thingos and boxes that look like amps but aren't,  they were giant light-controlling box things. We all sat in the back yard drinking beer and yammering in our way until Lyndal called us in one at a time to take her shots. I don't like having my photo taken, I'm not at all photogenic, I'm all surface, no shadow, unlike Spencer who has more angles than a geometry lesson, but when Lyndal asks me I'll do it.

It was odd just sitting there, occasionally being directed to turn a little this way or another. Lyndal looked busy, changing settings on everything from her camera to the giant light-controlling boxes, moving big things on stands around. I have no idea at all about anything to do with photography, except this, when she works there is a beautiful intensity about her. She becomes transformed and it's mesmerising.

Official distraction number two came the next night. I had two to choose from, one party where Spencer was the dj and I'd know about a billion people. The kind of party that I might easily find myself still at as the sun rises or a party at Mr X's house where I would know almost no one and would most likely stay well within the limits of tame. I chose the wrong party if my purpose was partying. I went to Mr X's house to help his lovely housemate celebrate her thirtieth birthday. It was a mild party, the housemate's friends were over-groomed and simultaneously over-confident and embarrassed. The embarrassment became evident when the housemate declared it was time for an air guitar competition. There were grown men hiding behind the lounge to avoid being called up to compete. If I had declared such a competition at my birthday party a few weeks ago I'm fairly confident that at least three pieces of furniture would have been destroyed in the resulting mayhem. As it was Spencer, Madam Squeeze and  AHC performed a five minute interpretive dance piece, with moonwalking, P Street and E from next door waltzed mightily into the refrigerator, Abdullah did something entirely unexpected and I injured myself jumping around with a bucket on my head, and at least three highly shocking yet hilarious events occurred before midnight.

At Mr X's tonight three sets of people competed in an abashed manner and then rejoined the herd as quickly as possible. The poor birthday girl tried getting everybody to do it at once, and then tried to do just general dancing but nothing would work. They all stood there hoping not to be noticed. I felt sorry for the poor girl who is obviously quite a bit more fabulous than her general network of friends.

Around midnight a serious case of the yawns set in, just as Mr X reappeared from the kitchen with a mug of gin and tonic that included a whole wheel of lemon. I suppose I might have stayed and talked merrily with Mr X and the small band of people I have come to know but the yawns got hold of me mightily and skulked back through the back streets to The Peach. I wrote for a few more hours but now I'm giving up for the day. It's three in the morning and I've run out of steam.

I'm hoping tomorrow, with no scheduled official distractions, I can get back to island living.

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