As I strolled on the sand, a strange brownish bird flew past me and landed at the edge of a flock of seagulls resting on the beach. Instantly they all stood up and turned their backs to it, then moved away. The outcast walked up the sand to be alone. I couldn’t get closer without it fearing me, so I took a photo which reveals it is a seagull with a sand-coloured affliction.
A horde of seagulls followed a woman who I thought was a man as she dug through wheelie bins, pulling out recyclable bottles and throwing them into a shopping trolley. Occasionally she found a bit of food to throw to the birds that followed her from bin to bin through the park.
Today at the beach the high tide line was composed of tiny shiny beetles, like Christmas beetles. Some were still alive but waterlogged. There were millions of them.
On the news this week I heard that Caroline Kennedy has been nominated as the next U.S. ambassador to Australia. We haven’t had an ambassador for a couple of years and now we’re getting Caroline the daughter of JFK. Now, that made me listen twice!
Closely observing what goes on around me, I’ve picked up on things that make me look twice, think twice. Here’s a good place to write them down and read them again when I’m feeling like life is unchanging and unamazing. Every day I hear or see something unusual, something to remind me that I don’t know everything. Writing about one unusual thing a day during this Christmas week won’t be a private pleasure because I’ll share them with you.
I read about a new acronym that suits people who don’t like to party: JOMO. The Joy of Missing Out. A special kind of joy for those like me who have the strength to say No when exhausted from Christmas activities.
After a very quiet year in my writing life, I’m coming back to blogging to practise writing about life in a manner suitable for you, dear reader, to read.
Almost ten years ago, at the beginning of January 2012, I began a blog and wrote:
To my surprise, in my summer years, I find language and words filling my life. On any day, I spend hours dealing with language.
Now it’s almost the beginning of January 2022, and I’m still surprised to find language and words filling my life. I translate French stories, an activity that occupies my mind for a few hours every day. Rarely a day passes without me translating something fictional, and rarely a month passes without me submitting my English version of a great French story to a journal or two. But while for many years I’ve submitted and often got a Yes response, this year I’ve submitted and got silence…
This silence is unusual, but it’s a good way to introduce the first blog posts of this my second blog. My old blog began with a weekly list of unusual things I had observed each day, and since life and people have not stopped throwing up unexpected words or incidents, I’ll start 2022 with this decade’s unusual observations. But, first, a little writing practice over the Christmas weeks, leading up to January.
Let me begin with yesterday.
I saw a lone turtle walking away from the water in my local pond, and a magpie lark and a noisy miner were swooping it. My son took it back to the water, where it instantly dived down to safety.