Tag Archives: travelling

Retreating

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Second full day of a research retreat at Strathvea, a guest house tucked away on a ridge up above Healsville. Encamped with a small group of colleagues from the nonfictionLab, we have spent the first day presenting creative nonfiction work in progress, looking ‘inwards’ at what draws us to the work, the material, the idea. Today we start what you might call the ‘academic’ writing where we now look outwards. What is the work about, how? What theoretical framework does it use, or what is the problem it is attending to? How and why should it matter to others, as an idea?

It is intense, and that everyone had gone to bed by 10pm the first night I think reflected the effort of this sort of all day concentrating making and then hours of listening, critiquing, testing. I am working on the first small scale version of a video series with the working title About 7am. It will take a year to make, simply because I need to film something everyday for a year, and May is done so I’m using that material to begin to sketch the work. Yesterday I heard some great writing, and today we are to write and then share around 500 words of that. I’m hoping to bring some of the essayistic that I heard yesterday into my writing today. Though as I sit by the window watching the crimson rosellas and king parrots run through their through daily protocol of access to the seed table, I’m feeling a bit intimidated by expectation, the quality of yesterday’s writing, and of not knowing where, how to begin from the list of what now feels like flimsy in my mind.

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Dopplr

Dopplr is a social site that lets you share your travel with others and it works out your carbon footprint. I’m not sure what it means to see that someone else is travelling, though I guess if you see people travelling at the same time to the same place, or who have gone to somewhere you’re new to, that could be handy. Still, interesting combination of social software, maps, and the green economy.

Ah, from the email after I subscribed:

Dopplr is all about serendipity – meeting up with friends and colleagues on the road or in people’s home cities. So we encourage you to invite travellers you know to join too.

and

Dopplr gives you email alerts about coincidences in your trusted network. If somebody is coming to your town, or happens to be travelling where you are, you can get an alert in your inbox. Initially we’ll send you weekly alerts; you can change your email settings at http://www.dopplr.com/account/email

Two Trains Travelling To and Fro

This is another lumiere rhizome. One was shot while travelling from Paris to Brussels on the TGV while the other is the return journey a few days later. I really like travelling on trains. Much more room than on planes (well, I guess I might not think that if I travelled first class, but like that’s ever going to happen), and you get to see sky and land and sometimes places too.

Two Trains

Brussels Non-Place

My second visit to Brussels. I caught the train from Paris, and as someone from a large country (like Canadians, North Americans, etc) the idea that I can get on a train and only 90 or so minutes later I”m in a different country, different language (well not quite, Brussels is bilingual with French and Flemish), and in many ways a different culture. Well, that’s just thrilling. Dammit.

Once in town I had a lot of time to kill. I’m staying with friends here, but they’re not home for two hours. I have no intention of sitting on their door step for two hours, after twenty six hours of travelling, so am sitting in the mall at Bruxelles-Midi (an exemplary Augé non-place) in a Häagen-Dazs having very bad (very bad) coffee, a too chocolaty milkshake (but I guess it is Belgium) listening to pop music. Why here? It was the only place I could find with an available power point as the PowerBook is dead as. So, I drank my not good drinks, keep trying to finish my presentation, before arranging to get to my friends J and N’s. It was very grey outside, dull, the sort of colour if you were a set director (and cynical) you would ensure if you wanted to suggest a city of bureaucrats.

This is where I’m a poor traveller. I should have locked away my suitcase in a locker, caught a train the short distance to the city centre, and just hung out in the medieval square there. But I was tired, wannted a shower and a shave, and needed to finish my presentation. Saturday is the declared relaxing day where I’ll see something local before saddling up for the long voyage home.

On a Jet Plane…

Got Jim White’s “Transnormal Skiperoo” which came out October one, Jenny Owen Youngs‘ “Batten the Hatches”, Joe Henry’s “Civilians” and Mary Gauthier’s “Between Daylight and Dark” as new company on the iPod, still deciding what book I need to read, and a presentation to write. Today I leave for Brussels. A good near eight hours to KL, then eleven or twelve thirteen to Paris, and a couple of hours on the train.

Blogs and Participation

OK, it is that time of the semester, you need to write a blog post that looks at the criteria you established in the first two classes (about participation and your blog) and see how they’re travelling. How would you assess yourself to date against what you said you would do? Is there anything you said you would do that you now realise is irrelevant, or not very important? Something that you now realise is really important and should be in there? These are to be written in your blog and should be done by this Friday please.