Saturday, November 22, 2008

Droog extra? Fisherwoman?

It's pouring with rain. York street is a river and the concrete stairs on Stirling Terrace are efficiently washed straight into the Tourist Bureau car park by the deluge. This is very cool, coming from a woman who gets excited about the weather. I saw a matronly patron dance in the river outside HangleFeds at midnight. The taxi drivers watch her, muddy water swirling around their axles.

There is thunder and lightning, there are French refugees fresh from Esperance, huddled in a leaky van in York street, as the Southern Spring hammers down five inches overnight.

(Yesterday, in some cafe with Shark, we spy a generic white van with the 'Backpacker' insignia. "What is with this?" I say to Shark. "They are not backpackers. They are driving a mini van." "Yes," he mutters sagely. "They are one step away from the Winnebago.")

I'm not sure what this is all supposed to be about. Well, a few ideas. a) The Weather. d) Becoming a fisherwoman. c) Drinking butterscotch schnapps on a day that is looking increasingly unpromising except for a great musicians party looming this eve. d) All of the above.

All of you uni buffs know that in multiple choice questions, if you are well and truly stumped for an answer and you are sweating under the steely gaze of the INVIGILATOR, it is statistically most likely to be c). BUT, if the answer d) 'all of the above' should rear its ugly head BEWARE, think about your mother and what she would do - and if that doesn't work, just put a big fat cross on d) anyway.

I just rang Old Salt. "This is nuts. Do we have to go out?" As I keep reminding people, I am a fair weather fisherwoman. (Why does Microsoft object to 'fisherwoman' and not 'fisherman'? It is pretty sexist really, for a mindless interface.)

When I talked to the snow capped Birthday Boy at Cosi's this morning, he said, "I hear all these people who have bosses and are so unhappy in their work. I've always worked for myself, it's the only way to go." He mentioned that one of his jobs was as a Droog extra on Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange'.

We all stared at him. He's a DROOG? Fuck!
He said, "You know that scene when he rapes that woman in the snow? I was one of the droogs, in a top hat and clapping as he did his bit."

It's a less than safe life being a Droog extra, a roadie or a fisherwoman. You have to hustle for cash and get off your own arse to find it. I discovered this in the gardening round part of my life. It's not so difficult really, if you know what you are doing.

I realised, this week I think, that fishing has become my primary income and that I have officially become a fisherwoman (through CentreLink, bless them), instead of someone who just goes fishing.

Old Salt is saying, "Why don't you get some bins in your own name?" His point being that if separate fishers present their wares to the markets in Perth, the price is best with their first bin in auction and degenerates from there. So if we have two names, we make more money per bin. That's his logic. Mine is, I just like the idea of sending bins to Perth with my own name on them.

There are other reasons why I like the idea so much. One is the Hemingwayesque angle, the fishing and writing thing, that beautiful interplay of words marrying the cerebral and the physical. (Forgive me, I'm reading Hemingway at the moment.)

Writing about my other jobs as courier driver or kitchen hand don't conjure up the same kind of sexy. Henry Miller would probably disagree, with his treatise on his job at the Cosmo Coxcic Telegraph Company, probably translated as 'The Asshole of the World Telegraph Company', a celebration of the mundane within the relative exotica of Paris.

Myself, I find it hard to wax lyrical about consignment notes or the amount of marron I've boiled alive in one afternoon. When you get out on the WineDark sea at night and hear whales that you cannot see, except for their phosphorescent meanderings, and listen to Old Salt's poaching tales and experience those biblical occasions like The Night of the Flathead, when the boat is threatening to sink at midnight under the freakish amount of fish you've caught - that is a writer's paradise.

Still today, the pot belly is cranking and there's lightning all around and a bottle beside me and Old Salt wants to go fishing. My wet weather gear is, well, WET. It's only gonna get wetter. We haven't made much money this week and yet, to look outside makes me feel quite flaky. I'm just not that tough. In fact I'm feeling decidedly girly in the best sense of the word. I have the red dress hanging by the pot belly drying out and am trying to work out just which pair of high heels I'm going to wear to this party.

Old Salt rings again. "The weather's easing up. Let's go and catch some King George Whiting."
"Is it really?" This is me, who lives looking out to the South where all the weather comes from. Dammit. I like this fire. I like my red dress and its potential, (another theory, wait for it). Dammit.


  1. Have you noticed how the 'words' in the word verification process on the comments section have become more like words, and less like xcbgh? There must be some kind of new-fangled computer formula these generates words that look like words but in fact are not. This is where the Japanese car manufacturers are getting the names for their new cars, i'm sure of it. From the word verification part of the comments section of your blog.

    Oh, lovely writing.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I appear to be driving a Holden Mandoze.

  4. Mine is a Holden pongne! But if I take that glitchy bit out, will I get spammed? Inundated with Viagra salesmen who love my blog?

  5. I love reading this blog. It brings back so many bittersweet memories of not only living in WA but also of other times, when we lived by the sea when I was growing up.
    You write beautifully.
    Mark Roy I noticed the very same thing this morning.

  6. I don't know what you're talking about, consignment notes are beautiful! hahaha.

  7. Oh, and the word thing is probably so it is quicker for people to type. Notice it's heapes quicker to type something you can SAY. Isn't it nice that they're thinking of us??

  8. Nice to meet a girl who loves consignment notes, especially if you can sign them real fast and say your surname at the same time. Love your blog retail drone!