Random

A list of things I found brried in my yard today, after pulling up some brick pavers to make room for our garden: a collapsed tent; a small foam mattress cover; a rusted razor scooter; a broken hula hoop; an extendable mop handle; a shovel handle; six large logs; a tealight; a lighter; copious cigarette butts; a wrapper for a chocolate bar (expired in 2012); a small, colourful, inflatable swimming pool; a pair of deteriorating shoes; many pieces of duct tape; some plastic bags; a piece of carpet; and finally, the small bone which stopped me in my tracks.

Police are investigating tomorrow morning, as soon as the sun is up.

We’ve been meaning to start a veggie patch for a little while now, but the back of our unit is paved end to end in red suburban bricks. Today, I finally cleared the space to make it happen.

Which left me asking the question: what can I actually grow here?

The fences around our house create a lot of shade, so the plot is going to be comprised mainly of leafy vegetables and herbs;

  • spinach thrives in part sun when grown in Australia’s warm climate. It benefits from loose, nitrogen rich soil;
  • basil enjoys a little more sun than spinach moist, neutral PH soil. Basil plants should be watered whenever their topsoil is dry to the touch;
  • rooting vegetables like potatoes can also be handy additions to shady gardens. Potatoes prefer a lot of sun (despite growing underground), but can be grown in shade as the cost of some crop yield;
  • peas can be grown in shady gardens, but need plenty of room underneath the ground to anchor the plant. They don’t like nitrogen rich soil, so they’ll be going on opposite sides of the garden;
  • garlic can be grown in partial shade and thrives when planted deep in neutral PH soil, making it an ideal neighbour to basil;
  • onion can be grown in part shade,
  • finally, I eat so many cherry tomatoes that if I’m going to grow anything, I have to find a way to grow them too. Our garden bed isn’t going to give them the sun they need, so the plan is to pot some of these guys and move them around to make sure they get as much sun as possible throughout different times of year;
  • … same goes for chilli. If for some reason I can’t get out to the shops, I’ve got to have chilli.

That’s it. I’ll likely do a post with some pictures once the garden is all set up. For now, we just have to plan a socially distanced trip to Bunnings; we were running low on toilet paper anyway.

Birthdays rub me the wrong way. None moreso than my own. I don’t think this is the right way to feel, but it is how I feel.

Stop me if my desperate need for genuine validation is showing, but the idea of undue celebration or praise makes me sick.

That moment when you realise that the nice person in the foyer after your show is saying all the nice things about your work because they feel like they have to, brings me dread.

I despise my birthday like I despised the football participation trophies I got handed every year as a kid. I was crap at football. I knew it, my Mum knew it, the coach knew it, and my team knew it. But I was celebrated anyway. Why?

Why should I be celebrated for simply surviving another year?

After 23 of these, I think I finally get it.

We should celebrate birthdays because surviving is an act of showing up.

Surviving is hard sometimes. So to be able to do it, year after year, with a steadfast consistency is actually quite incredible.

Birthdays are the markers we can use to measure how well we are undertaking the delicate work of carrying on.

Some stand out, others are bundled up, and some skip by far too fast – but there they are. Every year. One of the only guarantees we have.

I’m doing better at surviving than I was a few of these ago. For once, I’m looking forward to the next one.

There was a time at the peak of the Dutch East India Trading Company’s rule when nutmeg was worth its weight in gold.

Now that we can pick up a jar of it for less than the price of a cup of coffee, there’s no excuse to be eating bland food.

You can make magic with a cupboard full of spices, a tin of tomatoes and a kilogram of lentils.

If we have the privilege to choose what it is we eat, shouldn’t we endeavour to make the most of it?

Since the rise of soap operas (television and radio shows blatantly sponsored by homeware brands), product placement has been a reliable way for brands to normalise their products.

Companies have been know to pay significant sums for this kind of passive advertising.

The more aware of this you become, the more often you’ll start to see coke cans perfectly rotated such that the logo points towards the camera, Starbucks logos in sweet spots of the screen, or bright white Apples on the face of laptops which main characters are tapping away on.

But with the latter… you’ll only see ‘good guys’ weilding iPhones or fiddling macbook. Apple are willing to let anyone use their products in film or television, on the condition that they are represented, “in the best light, in a manner or context that reflects favorably on the Apple products and on Apple Inc.”

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Knives Out and Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnston, while praising the Knives Out props department for their management of various clocks (digital and otherwise) throughout the film, pointed out that, “bad guys can not have iPhones on camera.”

Which is hilarious, ridiculous, and might just ruin the next mystery film you sit down to enjoy.

Sorry.

A week ago I downloaded TikTok, fully expecting it to take a firm hold on my attention.

But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s just not my jam.

It’s not that there isn’t good content on the platform, there definitely is. What stopped me was the amount of tragically unfunny videos in order to find something worth a watch.

For now, I’m more than happy to let others do the sorting for me.

Deleted.

There aren’t many apps I can say that I’m honestly afraid to download.

TikTok is one of those apps.

I’ve watched my sister and my girlfriend filter through video after silly video until they find something which sends them into a fit of uncontrollable laughter… and looks like a stupid amount of fun.

My concern is that if I open the TikTok floodgate, I won’t be able to close it.

So I’m running an experiment.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to create a TikTok account and download a social media tracker which I will use to monitor my usage over the course of a week.

Next Thursday I’ll check how much time I’ve spent and ask those closest to me if they’ve noticed any changes in my behaviour.

I’ll then decide whether I delete it for good or leave it on my phone.

Either way, I’ll keep you posted.

Hey hey,

A little while ago I mentioned that I was preparing a book pitch and the first 5000 words of a creative non-fiction text. Today that draft was due.

7681 words, way too many hours of reading, and one mad scramble later, I’ve submitted it for my first round of formal feedback. But I felt I’d be remiss not to ask for your feedback too.

This is a link to the first draft. I have my own thoughts about what I like and what I think needs to change, but I don’t want to influence your read.

If you have the time and the inclination, I’d love to hear any thoughts you might have.

You can reach me via any of the usual means, but here is a link to an anonymous feedback form which you can use if you’d prefer.

Much love,

-Luke

Tonight I cherished the privilege of once again seeing Kate Tempest perform live. This time, I saw her in my hometown of Perth while wearing the same Doc Martens I wore-in at her Festival N°6 set in the lush wonderland of Portmeirion.

Tempest began the show by ravaging the Perth crowd with highlights from her first two albums. Notably, my faviourite of her tracks, Europe is Lost.

But what made this show truly special was the way in which she transitioned transitioned tenderly into the hopeful notes of her latest album, The Book Of Traps And Lessons, which she then performed in full.

Supported by the electric homegrown rap-poetry talent Omar Musa, This evening was a gig you should be sorry you missed.

It’s a mild, cloudy afternoon. You’re on a bush trail and the earth is dry beneath you. All of a sudden, you feel a drop. Then another. The sky slides open to release a fine drizzle and the raindrops make soggy little craters in the soil.

What can you smell?

Imagine it for a moment. Can you smell that delightful, wet, earthy aroma?

That scent, which is always present when rain falls on dry soil, is called petrichor.

The word was coined in 1964 by Australian Scientists and originates from the Greek words petra, which means “stone”, and īchōr, the fluid which pulsates through the veins of the Gods.

Next time petrichor hits you remember that, like most things, it has a name.

Excellent words are worth remembering.