Sunday and it’s a cold one.

This week has marked the coldest week in Queensland since I arrived here in late 2007. This makes me very happy and also very sad, as I know this sublimely cold weather will not last very long in Brisbane. Nevertheless, I am currently loving the small snap freeze of winter in June – when it is SUPPOSED to be – here in the Southern Hemisphere, and I am looking forward to heading south in a few weeks for more of the same. As I remarked to my long suffering husband just recently, I have not experienced a proper winter since 2007. This, for a woman who prefers full clothing coverage – of the blues jeans, white collared shirt and black jacket uniform, is a disaster for someone living in a subtropical climate such as Brisbane.

Well, my interviews on Friday were rippers! Really unguarded, open interviews with my participants, where it was a conversation as much as an interview. In my opinion, these often generate the richest data, because it’s through the unguarded response to a chatty comment that is often the closest to the truth of that person.

As we saw on the news in Australia just recently, a silly young girl called Kim Duthie slept with a few guys who just happened to be AFL footballers, and then did some silly things to get media attention for it. She attracted media scorn and approbation when she admitted (still on camera but thinking she was off camera) to the presenters that she had lied about her most recent claims (of having lied about sleeping with them – it’s a double lie, meaning she was telling the truth about sleeping with them. Confused?). This off-hand remark  and the way in which it was uttered, in its simplicity and apparent artlessness, was the killer moment. The unguarded moment. Check out her arm clutch of the guy she was sitting next to – ancient unconscious feminine wiles at their most primal.

Anyhoo. I’m not really interested in her story. What I AM interested in is the story of my two participants. Who are rich and beautiful and exciting and flawed people. One who is a young, vibrant, big-voiced soprano with a huge future ahead of her if she wants it, and another whose teaching is subtle, assured, enriching and a wonderful example of full engagement with the student and the act of teaching. A superb glimpse of a rewarding teaching and learning experience.

And in other, unrelated news, today I finally bought my husband the 19th century mahogany chest of drawers I have been threatening him with since I married him. Why now? Because even though I am saving money, and paying off the credit card, and doing all the good things that should be done to buy a house, I am struggling to call our house a home. The pennies will take care of themselves, which they are, but the big dollars are harder to come by. So, in a way I’m accepting that we may never have a house to call our own. Certainly not until I find a full time job. Then it will be easy. So, for now, I need to feel like our home is a sanctuary for us. And while we continue to live out of boxes and can’t put our clothes away, I don’t feel like this house is our home. So, I did it. I bought him a big but not enormous chest of drawers, with age and beauty and dignity. It’s only late 19th century and mahogany veneer on the drawers, but it is beautiful and finally our bedroom can feel like a proper bedroom. And it was no more expensive than a brand new chest of drawers. I had been looking for an affordable chest of drawers for him for years. As hubby said to me: why now? And I said: why not? We’ve never been able to afford it before, we’ll never be able to afford it again, we can’t really afford it now, what with our current credit card debt, but hey. We’re not travelling this year, so really, we CAN afford it. If we really want it. So there. But no Xmas gifts for you this year!


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