Happiness as Anarchy #250: Big Bad Banksia Men

Banksia plants are terribly interesting, from the dark green of their upper leaves, to the soft pale green of the underside, their knobbly trunks and intricate, large flowers. For such a spiky looking tree, the inner part of the flower stalk is remarkably soft like velvet. I spotted a coastal banksia recently with curious lumps on its flower heads – some kind of disease or parasite, but aesthetically very pleasing.
(Big Bad Banksia men are the villains in the classic Australian children’s book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.)

Happiness as Anarchy #249: Trailer Acrobatics

The last of three trips of things from under the old house had a trailer filled with furniture, a large bag of rubbish and some cinder blocks. We didn’t need to unpack, just to take the trailer off the car so I can nip off to work tomorrow. Thinking (foolishly) that it was balanced, I straddled one of the front bars and pulled it off the towball, which shot me into the air and left me suspended off the ground like a performer in a removalist circus act. Lucky I was holding firmly onto the handle or I may have been catapulted over the fence. Twas quite hilarious for both me and my young helper. In hindsight, there is no doubt that the blocks in the back of the trailer were significantly heavier than the furniture in the front.

Happiness as Anarchy #247: Meeting Real People

I’m always curious to find out how real people are. Especially famous people. It’s hard to tell if they’re putting on a show or if the show is genuine. This question accompanied me on my drive to Melbourne this morning to meet Amanda Palmer at a workshop for artists. How would she be in real life? As real as she seems in her book (that I’ve read twice) or not?
There was not even a sniff of disappointment – she is a very grounded, strong, warm person – very real. I’m delighted to have spent a few hours in her company.

Happiness as Anarchy #246: Stevie Wonder on the road

Cruising the highway on a long weekend requires some funky music. My 14 year old took it upon himself to select the music for today’s cruise to the beach and we ended up with two hours of Stevie Wonder. It is excellent driving music – funky, interesting, happy and energetic. I think I need to give Stevie some more airtime in my aural life.

‘Sir Duke’ is one of my favourite tunes, and I like live this version – it’s slightly rough around the edges, but has a real energy to it.

Happiness as Anarchy #242: Library Books

I love borrowing a real, hardcopy book from the library. I like the feel of a book in my hands and the flexibility to read almost anywhere. Physically going to the library to find and borrow the book is also a pleasure. One stumbles across all kinds of fascinating books as the eye roves the shelves. Books that haven’t appeared in a catalogue search because the search terms weren’t quite right, or their title didn’t grab your attention like a well-designed spine might do. Today’s expedition to library for one book resulted in four.

Happiness as Anarchy #241: Stashed Cash

My house is still a pile of boxes that need unpacking and sorting (it’s only been 6 months since I moved!) and I will confess that the mess is becoming more irritating as the weeks roll by. Mostly because I spend so much time looking for things. Small things, big things, old things, new things, important things and trivial things. I swear I went through every box (some of them twice) looking for my business cards and just when I was about to give up in a cloud of grumpiness, I found the magic box sitting quietly in a corner. In addition to finding the sought after cards, I found two hundred dollars in a pencil case. Hurrah for the joy that the chaos delivers!

Happiness as Anarchy #240: Storms

I love the rumble of thunder, the flash of lightning and the smell of rain on hot earth. I could happily watch the show for hours. Is it the electricity in the air that jiggles all my atoms around? There’s a possibility that negative ions in storm, and interestingly in the shower, make you feel happy. In digging around, I found this interesting article on storms, ions and psychology in the science magazine Nautilus.