Kafkaworld's Blog

November 17, 2013

On Things My Children Teach Me

Filed under: family,Uncategorized — kafkaworld @ 4:48 am
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I have two children who, for my purposes, I will call DJKafka and BassKafka.  They know who they are.  DJ Kafka was here recently and commented that I never go to the beach.  I used to walk there every morning, picking up litter as I went, a win-win situation.  Since cancer paid me a visit (thanks for nothing cancer), I just got out of the habit because it was difficult enough to leave my bed, let alone plough my way through the sand to the sea.  Now I have been shamed back into my Daily Amble, for which I’m very grateful.

This is how it looked the first day I went back, and I just couldn’t believe I’d waited so long to do it.  Thanks for the motivation DJKafka.

DJKafka also gave me a CD of music from 1974, the year he was born.  It is currently on high rotation in my car.  The music is unexpected and mysteriously trippy, expanding my mind (as we termed it at the time) in rather unexpected directions.  Hmmmm.


December 24, 2011

On Christmas

Filed under: family,life — kafkaworld @ 3:27 am
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A confession – I unashamedly love Christmas.  I love it so much, it deserves a red font.

Yes I know it’s driven by consumer frenzy, cheap sentiment and meaningless, rambling hogwash everywhere you look BUT:

1.  I love that my family drive through the stinking Christmas traffic to visit and we are all together, even for just for a short time.  

2.  I love that most of them uncomplainingly endure at least two Christmas meals on one day.  They must be so stuffed by the time they reach us, but I’ve never heard a word about it.

3.  I love that it’s a day I can remember, with great joy, some of my special childhood Christmases and my Mum & Dad who went to so much trouble to make them so.  Although there was the time when they gave me a huge suitcase and waited for me to start packing.  I can’t blame them though; teenage girls would try the patience of a saint.

4.  I love that it’s about Jesus.  I am not a Christian but Jesus is surely one of my role models.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is all you really need as a guide to how to live your life.  Jesus also understood (from what little I know about him) that it’s okay to try, fail and try again (repeat ad infinitum) to live up to those words.

5.  I love the music.  Everything from Messiah,  the carols and Bach’s Christmas Cantata to Tim Minchin’s ‘White Wine in the Sun’.

6.  I love Christmas shopping.  Maybe I’m a little too intense and occasionally inappropriate parcels appear under the tree but what a joy when you get it right.

7.  I love that my own small family has made up its own traditions over the years and trust they will continue to do so long after I’m gone.  There’s such comfort in the knowledge that certain songs will be played, poems will be recited and the poodle will be sick in the centre of the carpet three minutes before the first guest turns up.

Happy Christmas.


November 24, 2011

On a Coldplay Moment

Filed under: family,life,love,music — kafkaworld @ 4:56 am

“Nobody said it was easy

No one ever said it would be so hard 

I’m going back to the start”

You said a mouthful there boys.  If only it was possible to go back to the start.  Those highly evolved people who say they have no regrets – do they really believe it?

I have so, so many regrets.  On a bad day they weigh me down so I’m barely able to function.  On a good day, I forget some of them for a while.

Today is a good day.



April 23, 2011

On The Death of a Beloved Animal

Filed under: family,Uncategorized — kafkaworld @ 8:32 am
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Not long ago, Durdlin and Burfit had to say goodbye to their dearly loved cat, Doctor Octagon, known to her many friends as The Doctor. She was old and she was sick and letting her go was the right thing to do but it must have been so very, very hard to watch her leave.    

Trying to express sympathy and comfort in my usual bumbling way, I said that  she would always be with them, padding about the house, as long as they remembered her.  Upon thinking this over later, I realized I had inadvertently touched upon the truth.

I am aging fast and have always had animals in my life, domesticated and otherwise.  If you include all the  various forms of wildlife I have attempted to nurture, I am presently being followed by a veritable menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, snakes, lizards, frogs and heaven knows what else.  It’s no wonder I never feel lonely.   

January 1, 2011

On New Year’s Day

Filed under: family,life — kafkaworld @ 8:28 am
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I love a new year.  There’s something profoundly comforting about putting 2010 in the bin and beginning afresh with a brand, spanking new 2011, as yet unscarred by my vices, mistakes and the little unkindnesses thoughtlessly littered through the months like autumn leaves.

Not that I have made any resolutions.  I gave up all that nonsense years ago as I routinely broke resolutions  so swiftly, so comprehensively that I was prone to spend the rest of the year in the depths of despond, endlessly contemplating my own worthlessness.  One small concession to A New Me this year will be my attempt to cut my procrastination down by at least one tenth.  Surely I can manage that.  Not much to ask you say?  We’ll see.

Meanwhile, there is much look forward to in 2011.

1.  The Wedding.  It could well turn out to be, simultaneously, the highlight and the lowlight of my year.  On one hand, I am filled with so much joy whenever I see James and Deb together.  Surely it is the dream of all parents that their children find someone to love and with whom to share their lives.  On the other hand, there will be people in my house, possibly dozens of them.  What if they snit at my appalling housekeeping or, even worse, attempt to engage me in polite conversation?  Ah well.  Could be worse I suppose.  Consider the social horror of being The Queen or PM.

2.  Graeme Murphy’s reworking of Romeo and Juliet, the ballet.  I cannot wait.  His takes on two other dinosaurs of the ballet, Swan Lake and Nutcracker, are brilliantly original and exquisitely choreographed.  He knows all about the expression of emotions through dance, and the current dancers of the Australian Ballet are well able to accept any challenges he throws at them.  AB are in a golden period at present and it’s not just the principal dancers who are so outstanding.  There is a great depth of talent, right down to the corp, so that whichever cast you see, somebody will be fabulous.

There will also be obstacles and idiocies and hurt in 2011, aren’t there always?  But I’ll worry about them another day.

October 6, 2010

On the other hand

Filed under: family — kafkaworld @ 8:36 am
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despite being totally adorable (see below), it was Cherub the Elder who introduced me to the evilly addictive, time wasting and brain devouring cancer that is Drop7.  He suggested I would enjoy it, so I downloaded the app from iTunes and thought no more of it.  Then, one night while waiting for my gentleman friend, 2 cats and 2 dogs to come to bed (don’t think about that if you are eating), I thought I’d while away a few minutes with Drop7.  THREE HOURS LATER, I was still in a frenzied trance, knuckles white as I gripped my phone desperately trying to better my previous score.

Those three hours literally flew by, and I woke the next morning, in the grip of sleep deprivation and looking as though I’d been on an all night pub crawl.  I try to avoid Drop7 now as I know it will snatch away years of my life if I play too much.  Of course, a sensible addict would just delete it and remove the temptation.  I’ll let you lnow if that ever happens.

Thanks cherubs.

October 4, 2010

Cherubs and why I love them

Filed under: family — kafkaworld @ 7:08 am

One night last week, I received this text from Cherub, the Elder.

“Family says no in regards to you moving to Melbourne … we can dog sit as much as you like and stay here”.

I cannot tell you how touched I was by this somewhat bossy communication.  It’s funny how family life potters on and on and you think oh yes we all love each other  I suppose but everyone’s so busy living their own life and so we try not to bother them all too much and vice versa I suppose.*

So when this little message popped up, I went all warm and gooey to think they cared where the hell we lived, and that feeling floated me through quite a few days of mundane houswifery (which I can assure you is a word because I just looked it up).  Thanks cherubs.

*  My punctuation has recently gone to hell.  I choose to believe it’s because I’m experimenting with Joycean form and ideas.

August 17, 2010


Filed under: family — kafkaworld @ 9:28 am
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Good dog

I arrived home on Sunday night to the news that we had a new dog.  Surely not!  We already have an aging psychotic poodle who has been on death row for three years but the bus never comes to take him away, and an attractive but very large Newfie who’s main function is to be in the way as much as possible.  They both eat a lot and spend a fortune at the vet and the doggie hairdresser.  Why would my (until that moment) gentleman friend have brought another one into the house?

My fears were unfounded.  You can see the dog in question on the left.  He starred recently in an exhibition at the NGV in Melbourne and I fell in love with him.  My offer of ten dollars to take him home was scornfully rejected by the gallery attendant.  Hmmpphh.

The painting is called ‘Dog Lying in the Snow’.

August 5, 2010


Filed under: domestic bliss,family — kafkaworld @ 7:53 am
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Signs of activity

As our neighbours have been quick to notice, there is serious action happening in our backyard, or as we like to call it, the bottom forty.  Shrubs have been razed, trees pruned, water tanks installed and a mighty construction (well, more of a little hut really) has arisen from the ruins of the lawn.

All this is because there is to be a wedding in the family and the happy couple have foolishly requested the use of the lower forty and environs in which to plight their troth followed by a family knees-up.  Excited?  You bet we are, but there’s so much to do.  Seedlings to plant, weeds to be wrestled and cats to be locked up in cupboards.  Yes of course they enjoy cupboards.  How do I know?  I just know.

So this is a photo of the Father Of The Groom’s tools after another day of pottering about.  The knee mat is a nice touch – poor old thing is a martyr to his kneecaps.  If the photo was a little larger, you’d be able to see the deck chair where I sit and issue orders and helpful criticisms about plant placement.

“No, that’s too far to the right.  You’ll have to dig it up again.  And the purple ones are supposed to be under the palm tree”.

Sometimes I have the distinct impression that my efforts are not altogether appreciated, but he usually comes around to my way of thinking … eventually.

July 9, 2010

Addendum – Bangarra

Filed under: dance,domestic bliss,family — kafkaworld @ 7:59 am

I just received this email and could not resist putting up the beautiful photo from ‘Riley’.  Watch the doco on Sunday if you’re interested.  I’ll be recording it as I will be interstate this weekend – again.  What a good time I’ve had, tripping around the country, popping in and out of art galleries and theatres.

Many many thanks to James and Debbie, who have been dog and cat sitting for us for no reward apart from the occasional punnet of strawberries and a lot of unsightly dog hair.

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