Micro memoir, going back to the actual movies and the limits of my indoor jungle. Here’s some different things I’ve been thinking a lot about this past month. Maybe there’s something here to interest you too?

MICRO MEMOIR – WHO KNEW?!

It was such a pleasure to stumble upon Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly this month, a memoir written in a series of 52 super, super short stories. I’m a big fan of flash and micro fiction, so I was really interested to see how the concise form would translate to non-fiction storytelling. If this memoir is anything to go by, it works brilliantly. Fennelly’s collection of micro-memoir stories packs a great punch, and was the perfect read for me as I find myself struggling to focus on anything longer than a few pages at a time at the moment. It’s also incredibly inspiring – I normally avoid biographies and memoirs but I found this format utterly compelling.

MY OCTOPUS TEACHER

Have I ever told you about my firm belief that cephalopods will eventually take over the world? My friend Georgie and I agree on this fact, but where I will welcome our eight-limbed masters with an open heart, basking in their glory as a humble servant, Georgie is convinced their domination over us will be a disaster and that they must be stopped at all costs. It’s why she always orders the octopus while I’m a vegetarian. In any case, this is a documentary about one man’s friendship with an octopus, and it is an unexpected delight! I cried! Highly recommended. On Netflix.

GOING TO THE ACTUAL MOVIES AGAIN!

I saw THREE, count ’em, THREE movies at the actual cinemas this month. Yes, we were all socially distanced, and yes, I wore a mask through them (mostly).

The Australian feature debut for director Shannon Murphy, Babyteeth, was unexpectedly moving; a story about a terminally ill teenage girl’s acceptance of her own mortality despite her parents’ inability to do the same. Flawed yes, but it deserves its acclaim. It left me wondering why Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn aren’t in bloody everything.

Next was (as mentioned last month!) Bill and Ted Face The Music, the long awaited third instalment of the Bill and Ted story world. It was everything I expected – silly and weird and stupid – and I had a smile on my face the whole way through. Me and my friend Mike enjoyed ordering pizza and choctops and wine as we watched this in the Dendy Lounge, and I sort of lost track of how the time travel worked and exactly what was going on, but it didn’t matter at all. The Wyld Stallyns finally write the song that unites the world, with a great deal of help from their equally music-loving daughters, and all is finally well in the universe. Station!

Third was much-hyped Tenet from Christopher Nolan. To be frank, I’ve not seen much of Nolan’s work – I’m not keen on war movies, or space movies, or espionage movies. As a friend described it, pictured on the Venn diagram of mine and Nolan’s interests, you would have two seperate, unconnected circles. Nevertheless, I wanted to see a big ‘cinema’ movie at the actual movies and this was it! I enjoyed the slick spectacle, but yes, like everyone else, could hardly understand much of what was said as the score overpowered almost every scene. A deliberate tactic to unnerve the audience, maybe? I came away wondering why Kenneth Branagh was not cast as an awful baddie in more of these big-budget endeavours, and what could have been had the story been centred more firmly around the friendship between John David Washington’s protagonist and Robert Pattinson’s ally. In any case, it did help me realise I understood the time travel logic in Bill and Ted infinitely better in comparison to whatever was happening in this story, though I am more confident in Nolan’s science. Also, how much do you want to drive a plane into the side of a hangar while it explodes gold bullion from its’ arse? I really never realised this was something I would heartily enjoy watching, but there you go.

MY OH-SO ON-TREND PLANT ADDICTION

It’s far from a new thing – I’ve always been a plant lady. I blame my mother who, when I was a child, grew an extremely long and luscious devil’s ivy which she secured up and over the large archway in the middle of our living room. It went all the way down the other side! Dad had to pull it down when he repainted and Mum never replaced it. Then Dad chopped down the gorgeous full-grown frangipani tree in the backyard. I have never really recovered from these traumas, so assume my ever-growing collecting habit is a sort of coping strategy… I have had so many succulents and peace lilies as well as devil’s ivies over the years, and see that African violet in the picture? It’s the big looking one in the bottom corner. That was a housewarming gift I’ve managed to keep alive for coming onto ten years now. It’ll actually need to be divided soon to make at least two new plants. There’s a metre tall jade tree I rescued in a pot on the verandah, which I have bike-chained to the pillar (Mum had her beautiful potted orchids stolen from her front verandah years ago and I am not making the same mistake – Mum really has had a rough time with plants now that I think about it…)

Anyway, I guess like everyone else during this wretched pandemic, my collection of green lovelies has exploded in number as I look to find ways to be closer to living things. Now there’s peperomias and monsteras and prayer plants and syngoniums, and a good friend’s boyfriend has taken to propagating his collection with gusto, so I have been the lucky recipient of several beautiful little specimens as a result.

Plant parenting is extremely addictive, and heartwarming and also weirdly depressing (not because of my mother). My beautiful indoor plant collection has reached its limits; while the bursts of green in my living room and bedroom are greatly appreciated, they also make me painfully aware of the tiny space I call home. Coupled with the nosey chainsmokers who’ve moved into the apartment next-door, all I can think about is how long it will take me to keep socking away the dollars until I can move to somewhere bigger and more accommodating. How long will that be? I have no idea, but fingers crossed…

Stay safe, lovelies x

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