A first: I had a job interview last week (that's not the first, more like the forty-lebbenth) in a gorgeous old school (architecture, oooh! Pilasters and plaster roses and carved doors, lovely nineteenth century Victorian). The first? The interview was conducted whilst I was sitting in a comfy armchair in front of a roaring open fire. Very cosy, especially given the frigid conditions outside. I likely won't hear the result for another week or so.
Had a busy week, cleaning my poor fingers to the bone in preparation for the annual inspection by the real estate agents. They need to ensure, after I've rented here for twelve years, that I'm not trashing the property, I suppose. It does mean that once a year I do a super dooper houseclean, so everything is now (very temporarily) minty fresh, tidied, dusted, vacuumed, de-cobwebbed, scrubbed. I even washed the kitchen ceiling, kind of, with the mop. I need a better ladder to get up there and do it properly, it needs more elbow grease than I can muster on the end of a long handle. And all the fabric I've had out over the last months, abandoned in front of the wardrobe, is now colour sorted and put away. I rather miss it :)
I thought drawing number 500 deserved a post all its own :)
Who knew I'd still be going after all those drawings, certainly not me, when I began. I thought I'd be lucky to keep going for a month. Still interested, still looking at all sorts of things for inspiration, still got way too many ideas to ever complete each of them. But I'll try!
I am obsessed with birds at the moment (Duh!). The owly faces have morphed into Celtic-inspired birds with curvy necks and big beaks. I am still seeing birds everywhere - on Friday on my way to work three pelicans soared over the road, flying so low that the van in front of me braked; they were probably only a couple of metres overhead. The pelicans were headed, unromantically, for the landfill beside the road, which attracts birds in vast numbers. This morning I saw three pairs of native ducks on the pond at the University, making their odd honking non-quacks. When I reached my car, there was another cheeky native bird (whose name I know not) feasting on the dead bugs on my windscreen, not at all alarmed by me opening the door a bare two feet away. I let him take his time and finish cleaning up the glass.
It has been suggested that perhaps this sudden awareness of numbers of birds in my life is due to the raven festering away in my yard, and they are perhaps biding their time whilst plotting revenge. I hasten to assure all concerned that the deceased is being treated with the greatest of reverence, and I monitor his reduction to his constituent elements with care. I shall treasure the gift of his bones.
Driving to work one recent morning, I looked right to check for oncoming traffic on the highway before making my turn. Ooh, thinks I, those are BIG ravens. I looked again: not ravens, but nine red-tailed (I think I caught a flash of red on the tails) black cockatoos, gliding over the road in groups of three. I've seen red-tailed black cockatoos, which are rare, in the suburbs once before at a friend's place, eating pine cones (or rather, the pine nuts) in the huge tree in the front garden. We had to stand well back to avoid being showered with debris as they tore the pine cones apart with those strong beaks and claws. That was in a very green, treed suburb, though, not (almost) downtown Oakleigh. It gave me a real thrill to see these nine birds, quite made me smile all the way to work :)
There's been a big mob of white sulphur crested cockatoos in the area for a few weeks, foraging, but whatever they were interested in must be about finished because where I was seeing them several times a day - and HEARING them more often, they're loud and raucous! - they don't seem to be around as much. There are corellas, too, seasonally, tearing up the grass in the parks for grubs. I once saw a mob of corellas digging holes in a lawn, so deep that they were head and shoulders down except for the one stationed on lookout duty, who eyed me from barely a dozen feet away before deciding I was no threat. I suspect that the drought and the recent devastating bushfires in Victoria is driving native birds further afield for food and water, plus with winter coming on perhaps food is scarcer, too. The pair of magpies I feed on my front porch are certainly hungry at the moment. One-Leg, the male bird, squawks a loud demand if he's hungry and I'm not forthcoming with the snacks. Mama Bird has been known to tap on the door with her beak if she thinks I'm not paying attention.
I had another rather Hitchcock-ian bird encounter on a foggy morning last week, also on the way to work. The fog kept visibility down to about 100 feet at points on my drive, particularly in the vicinity of the airport where there are open fields (the dam at the flower growers is a particularly favourite spot for ibis, there are often hundreds loitering about, just hanging out - but not the bird encounter of which I spoke). As I braked for a red light, a cacophony of squawking and cawing cut over the sound of the car radio: there were dozens of ravens, perched on every available service about the crossroads, on the overhanging arms of the light poles, the telephone poles, the traffic lights themselves, plus a few circling about unable to find a seat. It was shoulder to shoulder raven central, an eerie sight in the fog, and loud! It was as if they were gathered for meeting, shouting to be heard. I wonder what they were plotting. I hope they've never seen The Birds.
I'm 48, female, just finished a two year course in Visual Arts, and am now back in the market for a job (boo!). I worked in the library field for the better part of three decades and two years ago took the plunge from a job that made me unhappy to go back to school. I've loved every moment of it and as soon as I have enough money to tide me over being a poverty stricken student I'm going back for more!