A sign

I spied a sign glinting past, train-side: “refute greed”. Hand-painted, beneath terrace window: dusky golden hour flickering across my eyes.


A Cold Australian at the Globe Theatre

A cold Australian at the Globe Theatre in London, January 2010 from Annalise Friend on Vimeo.

I have loved Shakespeare through high school, a double degree in English and Creative Writing, postcolonial theory and such notwithstanding. It was exciting to go to this reconstructed version of the Globe Theatre and be in the city where this stuff happened. Weird, in a way,for that history-in-place to be just normalised. But we all have our histories around the corner …


Travel Brings Out

Travel can bring out every pore, pimple and scar.  All the afraid movements, the small double-checks of the passport and wallet.  It can amplify the street hawkers the peddle peddle peddle for a Euro, the begging beings. The layers of wealth and the sore and the oblivious and the daily.  Daily routines of a Metro in the snake holes of a tunnel through the lines trudging stairs, lines of puffy jackets boots flat to the stair.  Travel can expand the sense of the poor and the fat, the true gloating of the franchises.  The networked brush through the commuters to eat free lunches in foyers and be fauned on by a Spanish chef who keeps adjusting his testicles.  Loud Russian voices speak of an ugly veil of selfhood.  

Also, though, travel can bring a great pride in navigating.  In absorbing and also deflecting.  In the strength of the upper back against a sagging bag.  The sudden pangs for a home accent while loving fast attitude of the other.  

I have a new god and her name is Loli Cortes

Conduit, creator and conductor of universe.  Fierce deft form housing pure condensed essence.  Practiced choreography takes off into cry of the arms; footwork impeccable.

We watched the Patrimonio Flamenco in a small municipal theatre in Granada, up in Sacromonte.  Cobbled jolty streets wind white-washed up mountains.  Allhumbra opposite glowing is the backdrop through the large window.  

There’s So Much I Can’t Word;

let alone write.  The feeling-world of change inside my mind and it’s window on a year.  Window on travel, on my habits and values, on the immensities of population and poverty.  The sizes of scale; the healings and washing through of loss and newness.  There’s so much inside cells of my hands that I am trying to speak.  So, when I can’t, I watch it.  Watch the left hand field the right side of the brain.  Watch the reflections on the choreographies of listening to a foreign language.  Watch musings on the gestures of conversing people.  Watch the effect of European grey on my pupils.  Watch watch watch the regressions of an interior.  Watch watch watch the judgements and accumulations of conditioning brought sharp through travel.  Watch class values and culture values and ethnic values.  Watch the shape of people in relation to grey old.  Buildings of crumble, selective history, visible wearing.  Watch the addicts of television in little cubby rooms given up, temporarily, giving up, for a while.  Watch the old.  The old are visible in Europe, and they watch mucho television.

San Sebastian, Barcelona, and Don Watson

Don Watson kills me with his writing.  A sure, flat death.  I have been reading American Journeys whilst on my own European one and I am annihilated by his book.  I am at that stage of the inspiration cycle where there is no point, for moments, in writing at all, no point in responding to such a glorious death by words.  I can feel that my writing self is thrilled by this inspiration and will live off such a generous chunk of sculpted reflection.  But, for now, I mourn finishing his book and want to start again to be wrapped up in his voice.

Barcelona’s mix of design, thieves, designer thieves, hippies (or ‘kinkies’) or designer hippies, buskers, busking thieves and of course all of the city workers and kids like everywhere else had a funny effect of making me less interested in alternative culture, or in some of the unconsciously vain aspects of it.  Gaudi’s buildings drawn into the sky dripping with layers of stone topped with fruits made sense of a new kind of chunky.

San Sebastian’s in winter huddle, which is probably a good time to visit a tourist destination.  I have reached a bit of a threshold with church-visiting, but am enjoying close mountains through which to feel the history of borders and invasions, holdings and burnings.