It’s so hot where I live – in Melbourne- right now. I mean to say, it’s not the hottest it gets, but there’s been a slew of days over 30 degrees and the heat is stopping people like me from doing the sorts of busy-making things we generally like to do…
Crochet, for instance, can only be attempted if the aircon is blasting wildly. Going for drives is an early morning pursuit because my old banger does not have air conditioning and tends to chug in the heat and threaten to break down. Being in the garden? Pretty much out. Moving around generally? Nope.
Even my computers can’t face the heat. My MacBook Pro overheated and now can’t find its hard drive. My little MacBook Air is making a noisy whirring sound too and freezes up after 15 minutes of use. Ugh. Dammit.
*Adds new/second-hand computer to ‘To Buy List’*
Still, there is just one more hot day before we get a spell of milder weather, so I am limping to the freaking-boiling-finish-line with a forced smile on my face. Roll on Monday.
One good thing about the hot weather, according to me, is that it forces you to slow down and do quiet things like reading and watching telly.
I had never watched Gossip Girl, up until now, but it is a rad sort of scheming, glam, upper-East-side-soap-opera-type show and I am loving the escape of it all.
Weirdly, there are parallels between Gossip Girl and the book I am reading about Joan. I know you might find that hard to believe, but I’ve just started reading the bit about when Joan Didion interned for Mademoiselle magazine and lived in the Barbizon Hotel (in New York).
If you’ve watched Gossip Girl, you will know that there is much spending time in NY hotels, and that rat-bag-rich-girl Blair Waldorf spent some time interning, and then working, for W Magazine on the show.
Joan Didion was a guest fiction editor (a kind of fancy intern) at Mademoiselle in 1955. While you might think that interning for Mademoiselle Magazine in the fifties would be a fairly girlish, lipstick-focused type of thing, actually it was very far from that, according to my book.
Not only did the interns aka guest editors have the opportunity to interview respected writers like Gore Vidal and TS Eliot, they were invited to visit the press room of The New York Times, go to fancy dances on the rooftop of the St Regis and tour the United Nations, amongst many other caviar, champagne and literary type things.
Basically, Joan Didion’s internship was better than Blair Waldorf’s, and a good 50 years or so earlier, too.
(Sylvia Plath also interned for Mademoiselle and spent time at the so-called ‘Doll’s House’, The Barbizon. And this is a great piece by Meg Wolitzer on the guest editors of Mademoiselle, in case I’ve piqued your interest!)
Apart from the Gossip Girl and the Joan D, I’ve been making a chicken curry (I know. I am nuts. It’s too hot!) from a Valli Little recipe. It has a bunch of fresh curry leaves thrown in there for good measure – along with some hefty hunks of potato and chopped tomatoes – and I can not tell you how much I love the smell of fresh curry leaves!
I met Valli at the Perth Writer’s Festival last year – thanks to Michelle – and she was lovely and clever and elegant and kind (in case you ever wondered about Valli!)
I’m really trying hard to read more this year, in case you have not noticed my many book posts on Instagram. So far I have finished the Jason Byrne book (ace!) and The Girls (good but depressing!) and Our Magic Hour (great, sad but hope-filled!) I am still reading Travels With My Aunt (just a chapter every few days, and I am really enjoying it), as well as Joan. And I am about to start this book, which I am super looking forward to.
I am doing the Good Reads 2017 Reading Challenge and have set myself a goal of 26 books over the year. I know I can do it. I just have to CRAFT less and WATCH less.
I’m trying to buy all my books at Readings or at op shops/markets, because I am trying to be more conscious about where I spend my money. Readings have supported my work and stocked my books really consistently for the last 8 year or so – as well as that of many of my friends and faves. I appreciate their efforts so much and it has not gone unnoticed. They continually support local writers and have a smashing range of quality books. Shop there, if you can!
Apart from all that – I have been doing a bit of air-con-windswept crochet, but it’s tough going in the heat. I am joining the granny squares as I go which means pulling the growing blanket near to me as I work. It’s just not a lot of fun on a hot day, to be frank.
How about you? What are you doing? Is it hot where you are? Have you been watching or reading or making things? Are your computers broken too?!
PS: Don’t forget time is running out to sign up for my ace new eCourse!