500 words; nothingness

I know, I said I would post 500 words every day. Some days, however, are more chaotic than others. There are days when everything works, sure. Days when I write things and research things. Days when I get shit done. Other days are like intellectual fire-damp.

Today is a bit like that. Here are the things I have engaged with today;

– The rise of fashionable individualism and its effect on trade unionism

– The stochastic nature of airborne fluorine poisoning

– The budding cycle of avocado trees

– Lady Gaga being a man (hint; it’s in the name)

– Why people still listen to early Beatles music, despite its anodyne repetitiveness

– Why people enjoy anodyne repetitiveness

– The socialisation of labour market elasticity and the NAIRU and why people still talk about the Phillips curve as something that works even though…stagflation.

– KFC? Why?

– Pneumo-thorax tubes

– What to make for a solo exhibition that bumps in in one month’s time that I completely forgot about.


As you can see, today is shaping up into some kind of cerebral clusterfuck. 500 words can wait.


Why I don’t follow recipes

Victims of my cooking often remark on my lack of respect for recipes. I have respect for them, sure, but I can’t read them. I have recipe blindness.

Put this another way – I cannot read something that is three pages long, remember where I am up to, go back, read the same bit again, remember where I was up to, go back again, read the same bit but a little bit further, remember where I was up to, etc., etc.,.

And I’m beginning to wonder who can? Who are these rare and delightful creatures who can maintain their attention on something as endless as a recipe?

Honest to Christ, the idea of having to go back and look at the same bit of paper over and over and over and over and over again makes me want to embrace the pro-ano movement with open, wavering arms. I just can’t do it.

So I read the recipe, and then I try to memorise it, because I know I won’t be able to go back and read it again and again and again and again and a-fucking-gain, and if I do I will get confused anyway – did I already add the sugar? Perhaps I’m at the bit where I already put the flour in? Perhaps I’m at the bit where I lost my mind with the fucking endless fucking instructions? Did I eat my own hair already? Where is all this smoke coming from?

This is why I am good at roasts. And bread – there is no recipe for sourdough.


Here is my favourite recipe for everything I can cook;

Place all ingredients in the thingo together

Do the one and only thing that needs doing until it looks right


Check it

Bake it some more

Think about doing the dishes. In the morning.

There is a prequel to this recipe, if the main ingredient used to have a beating heart.

I’d buy food at the shops if it weren’t completely comprised of paint thinner and sawdust or whatever the fuck Miracle Food Co. is pushing down the ‘human chute’ this year.

Roast it is!

Six things my mother told me…


  1. You can get sunburnt from the sun’s reflection on the water.
  2. Try to make sure you can always get a job. Just the idea that a relationship might be based on need is corrosive.
  3. The jandal is faster than the eye.
  4. A cup of tea is the only treatment for shock.
  5. All waterskiers should have a solid understanding of angular momentum.
  6. All children are weird



Oh my God, fat hair!

I just had a birthday. And, after a lovely day of presents, delicious food and general flopping around in the ocean I went to bed and had a rather vivid dream.

I was in a mechanics’ workshop, trying to explain to a 19 year old manboy that my diesel bicycle was not hitting its power-band. (Like I said: dream).

Anyway, the young chap sighed, looked me hard in the eye and said;

‘It’s not working because you’re sitting on it. You are too fat, lady. You are a fat old lady’.

He delivered these words almost like a chore, as if this fact alone was so self-evident that he shouldn’t even need to push the foetid air past his shiny white teeth.

Of course, this is the point where I’m supposed to wake up in a cold, thundering sweat, freaking out about my pending mid-life crisis.

But I didn’t freak out. Or wake up. In fact, I kept dreaming. Here’s what happened next.

The young man turned away from me with the thinly veiled disgust of someone who spends an eighth of each day with his own, lonely cock in his hand. I reached out and yanked the front of his overalls. As he stumbled towards my sweaty face, I said;

‘Look here, you tumescent little turd. If you think getting a woman skinnier than me is going to work out well for you, then think again. I’m sure you spend your humid under-blanket moments lusting over some scrawny bint with the je ne sais quoi of a pair of tights filled with coat hangers but let me tell you, the only thing standing between her and a dish-rack is a thick coat of spray tan. At least a dish rack is useful’.

And then I slapped him on his greasy, stubbly little chin and fixed the bike myself.

My dream was unexpected, but welcome.

I have no time for the paranoid foibles of middle age. Fuck that shit. I’ve had a bloody good run, and it just keeps getting better. I have earned my aches and pains and they were worth every bleeding moment. The modern obsession with youth is little more than a fear of wisdom – we idolise inexperience and stupidity, to do otherwise would be dangerous.

Well, screw that. I’m only just hitting my straps.

NB. I’m not actually fat – but maybe my subconscious thinks I am so I’m suffocating it in a layer of chocolate.


This year I’m going to deepen my practice. I will reach out into more artisanal forms of whimsy. I will engage more deeply with a sense of lightness, follow essential rhythms and embrace the cadences of serendipity.

Also, I’ll get to work on that random fuckspeak generator. It’s overdue.

Sea burials for the living


Doesn’t really narrow it down, Murray.

Several years ago I wanted to start an eco-burial business. We’d just gone through the plastic procedure of death via hospitals and funeral homes (spoiler alert; a home is actually where you live) and couldn’t escape the feeling that it could be done better. As we navigated the mechanical decency of the mourning industry, I thought; why are we treating this person like an expensive piece of furniture? I wouldn’t want to be shunted around in a level box. Does everyone else?

So I started to look into other options. There are companies that offer bush burials where the dead are buried, unprocessed, in the bush. I like the idea of mourning via nothing more than a GPS locator and a can of Aerogard. But then I realised that what I really wanted was to be returned to the sea, the place where I’ve spent many of the best times in my life. Also, there’s something deliciously ‘Checkmate!’ about being eaten by a shark after I’m already dead.

Sea burials are legal in Australia, but very rare. The difficulty lies in the planning – you must ‘dump’ the body far away from shore, in a manner that won’t have predictable repercussions (there goes Nanna’s suitcase burial).

You can read more about this burial option in a recent (beautifully written) piece by Claire Konkes.

Konkes tells us that sea burials are legal but difficult, heavily dependent on weather and location. My solution would be different, a kind of tuna farm approach, where the deceased is deposited in a cage dangling from a particularly rugged piece of coastline. The cage is then lowered to the deep, where-upon animals (mostly sea lice I imagine) would nibble away at the mortal soul, finally freeing their silicon tits and pacemakers to join the ever-expanding ocean gyre of rubbish. Landlubbing relatives could gather on the cliff edge (carefully) for a service, whilst their loved one is committed to marine grade stainless.

I think this has got legs (but not for long!).