Archive for ‘think’

8 December, 2012

Bukowski and Waits

(Charles Bukowski read by Tom Waits)

As an Australian who has lived in London but not in North America, I am only now getting to know the work of Charles Bukowski, David Foster Wallace and a host of other great American writers, poets and essayists.

Tom Waits, on the other hand, needs no introduction.

This is a lovely little film of some of Charles Bukowski’s wisdom, read by the inimitable Mr Waits.

6 November, 2012

School’s Out

Lots of sleep and general idleness.  Family and friends, old and new.  A spring wedding.  Quiet introspection and contemplation.  Watching, waiting, just being.  Savouring unscheduled, unstructured no-study freedom!  Good coffee.  Summer lightning.  Splashing through puddles.  Liberal lashings of Frédéric François, Mark Linkous and a touch of Paul and Art.  Hamstrung by my camera’s departure to that big electronic junk heap in the sky.  Paul Auster’s Leviathan and The New York Trilogy and Henry Miller’s Big Sur and the Oranges of Heironymous Bosch – all roads lead to Thoreau.  Thinking about lightness v heaviness and Milan Kundera.  Sloe gin cocktails.  Looking forward to the next Paul Thomas Anderson film.  Perservering with the guitar.

21 July, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr Thoreau!

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.  With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor.

~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

One of the many pearls of wisdom (and I note the inherent contradiction with the subject of many of my posts) from my favourite semi curmudgeon / hermit who also celebrated a birthday recently.

29 April, 2012

Book Spine Poetry

Here’s my belated book spine poetry contribution:

Book by Book, by Michael Dirda

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

The Rest Is Noise, by Alex Ross.

See more book spine poetry here.

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9 April, 2012

Easter Exultet

Shake out your qualms.
Shake up your dreams.
Deepen your roots.
Extend your branches.
Trust deep water
and head for the open,
even if your vision
shipwrecks you.
Quit your addiction
to sneer and complain.
Open a lookout.
Dance on a brink.
Run with your wildfire.
You are closer to glory
leaping an abyss
than upholstering a rut.
Not dawdling.
Not doubting.
Intrepid all the way
Walk toward clarity.
At every crossroad
Be prepared
to bump into wonder.
Only love prevails.
En route to disaster
insist on canticles.
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane.
Nothing perishes;
nothing survives;
everything transforms!
Honeymoon with Big Joy!

~James Broughton

30 December, 2011

Summer, Evelyn and Macarons

It’s summertime. And there’s nothing better than gadding about in the great urban outdoors, taking afternoon naps or putting up one’s feet and retiring with a book and the occasional snack.

Currently reading: Brideshead Revisited
Currently savouring: a home made pandan flavoured macaron

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4 December, 2011

What I Have Been Doing

Getting finger bunions and whittling down my ‘to read’ pile.

6 October, 2011

On Design

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.

~Steve Jobs, Wired Magazine, 1994

11 July, 2011


Lovely Granada! City of delights! Who ever bore the favors of thy dames more proudly on their casques, or championed them more gallantly in the chivalrous tilts of the Vivarambla? Or who ever made thy moon-lit balconies, thy gardens of myrtles and roses, of oranges, citrons, and pomegranates, respond to more tender serenades?

-Washington Irving, Recollections of the Alhambra

On a chilly, alpine grey day in the Southern Hemisphere, this terracotta urn and these three floating roses, put me in mind of that beautiful, faraway castle on a hill.

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3 May, 2011

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

~ John Keats, To Autumn

Gorgeously filmed as it was, I did not love Jane Campion’s Bright Star. However, John Keats’ poetry remains beautiful and ageless… and a perfect hymn to my favourite season.