Thursday, 8 March 2007

Daily update

Today I menstruated and did not write any words.* But I did a bunch of other work-related stuff, and took a pleasant walk over to the Paragon Cafe (the images don't show the lovely angels on the walls) to do some reading there, so I don't feel too bad.

Also, it occurred to me that I forgot to post a picture of one of the most important elements in my working space/routine: my lucky tshirt! (Which I wasn't wearing today: possibly this was a contributing factor in my failure to write words, but the tshirt is getting a bit tatty already and has to be kept for emergencies only...)

And the final thing that happened today was that I discovered that the bottle shop*** opposite the Paragon sells Whitstable Bay ale,**** which is (a) delicious and (b) evocative for me, as I grew up about five miles from Whitstable. This is extra good news because the bottle-shop opposite Flinders Street Station where I used to get English beer has been taken over (by a McCafe, just to add insult to injury), and I wasn't sure where or even whether I was going to have any beer to drink for the next four months. It's hard to get English-style beer in Australia, especially as there are beers here called 'bitter' and 'pale ale', but they are all, in fact, varieties of lager (a word which doesn't seem to be in use here), so I can't even name what it is I want ('No! Not Victoria Bitter! Bitter! No! Not Carlton Pale Ale! India Pale Ale!'). Not that I'm going to complain too much, since there is, of course, plentiful, delicious, and often really quite cheap wine all over the place (lots of bars and restaurants sell nice wine by the glass, something which rarely happens in the UK).

*Oddly enough, there was originally going to be a chapter in my PhD about menstruation-as-inscription, but it didn't really come to anything, though in my early researches I did discover from Pliny's inimitable Natural History that if you wanted to cure your fields of a certain blight you should get a naked, menstruating virgin to walk round them. But then, as Amy Richlin pointed out in her essay 'Pliny's Brassiere', Pliny wrote much of the Natural History with his wife's bra** on his head, which can't fail to undermine his credibility with the modern reader.

**Technically 'breast-band', I think - I don't have the book to hand, so I can't look up the Latin word. The essay is in Roman Sexualities, ed. Hallett & Skinner, for them as are interested, though.

***'bottle-shop' = 'off-licence'.

****Huh. I didn't know they got the hops from New Zealand. So it's organic, but drinking it in Australia means I am actually consuming the maximum food miles possible for someone not currently on a space station: if they're shipping the hops from New Zealand to the UK to brew the beer, then shipping the beer to Australia, this beer has basically circumnavigated the globe.


nixwilliams said...

we grow hops in tasmania, too - i know that much for sure. though it's still overseas, isn't it?

Toft said...

I think it says something about me that not only was my first response to Pliny wearing a bra on his head while writing the Natural Histories was not, "Pliny the Elder wore his wife's bra on his head?!" (which makes no less sense than the rest of the Natural Histories), but "Pliny was
married??"* but also I accidentally created a blog in order to tell you that.

*Which I'm pretty sure he wasn't. *makes note to find and read article*.

I went and saw Judith Butler give a lecture the other day on transgenderness and 'the rhetoric of melancholy'. It was interesting, but struck me as very odd and inconsequential, and I don't know if that was because I completely missed the point or not, which is frustrating. I was going to post about it but I forgot. *shrugs*

Ika said...

Gah! Judith Butler was in England when I wasn't!! ::is cross:: It would have been fun to hear her talk about transgender, I think - but the reason I think that is because I'm really interested in the ongoing difference-of-opinion between her and Judith Halberstam over imitation and melancholy, which might sound inconsequential if you're not interested in all the tiny implications of that stuff...

(And let me know whether I've just hallucinated Pliny's wife - I have a really strong memory of a quote which mentioned her, but the essay is a bit multi-levelled and I might have conflated a couple of different things there.)