Monday, 19 May 2008

Iconic Losses Part II

Iconic Losses

It was a tranquil, golden morning on the drive to work that day. Smiling at the morning show radio DJs' banter and thinking of nothing in particular, I pulled into Albany Village. The autumn leaves swirled across the car park as the early morning sunlight reflected off the children's swings in the park... Why is it so quiet?


I rounded the back of the back of the North Shore Library Building as I heard the gunshot. Greeting me in this usually benign "Village" car park was the sight of a police car and five men dressed in black marauding around the car park toting gleaming black rifles. Snatches of "Elephant" dashed through my mind's eye as my pre-caffeinated logic tried to figure out what on earth was happening. I only wish I hadn't. I only wish I had not been so brutally let into the reality of that morning.

It was 8.40am and the North Shore Council, in it's infinite wisdom, had thought that now would be an excellent time to strut around a public place where people were arriving for work, walking their dogs and arriving for their classes, shooting point blank the roosters and chickens of Albany Village. I got out of my car in a state of shock only to turn and see not four metres from where I parked, a trigger happy council worker bending to pick up his spoils, a rooster I had once nicknamed Elvis for his shaggy legs that looked like flared trousers. He flung this poor, helpless and now definitively dead creature in the back of the unmarked ute and went back to his morning sport.

These chickens have been an integral part of the identity and charm of the Albany Village for over thirty years. They are part the last bastion of rural tranquility in the increasingly urbanised Albany area but appear to be falling victim to a bun fight between the North Shore Council, Albany Village Business Association and the SPCA. But is the solution a dawn execution of these poor birds? It was a harrowing and pitiful sight, especially for those like myself who are hopeless sentimentalists and get very attached to living things in my environment. I say either leave the chickens be or for goodness sake come up with a better solution.

See above for a video of the events.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Some of my favourite sentences: Part I

Do you ever read a sentence in a book or a line in a poem and stop, your breath taken away by the beauty or resonance or truth of it? I know I take great delight when I find these nuggets of pure literary gold, so I have decided to gather them all together in one place so others can appreciate them too. Here are a few of my favourite sentences/lines/phrases:

"A gossamer blanket of coal dust floated down like a dirty blessing and gently smothered the traffic."

From God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (p.86)

"Then a pair of taxis went head to head in a distant country so suddenly I didn't see the difference but it was a wide white threshold."

From 'a woman, a rose and what has it to do with her or they with one another?' by Michele Leggott in as far as I can see (p.36)

"I go to libraries because they are the ocean"

From 'perse' by Michele Leggott in as far as I can see (p.12)

More to follow...