Posted tagged ‘good times’

Sometimes things work out

Monday, 12 April 2010

We went to the shops yesterday. We had a very specific set of items to hunt down and, despite it being the last Sunday of the school holidays, we still went to a very popular major shopping centre, arriving around lunch time. This would normally result in a frustrating and fruitless drive around the car park looking for somewhere to stow the car. Should we be blessed with a parking spot, it would be outdoors and some distance from the entrance.

Not yesterday.

Yesterday, we found a car park instantly and next to the entrance. We found the items we needed in the shop where we expected to find them. It was all too easy. Where was the aggravation, the run-around? Where, I wondered, was the catch? As we stood in the queue waiting to pay, TB joked that we’d be hit by a meteorite on the way home.

Well, I did bang my knee, but that’s all.

Now, the trials of a shopping trip aren’t exactly the hell-on-earth most humans endure on a daily basis, but I’m a city-born softy who gets cranky when an advertised special on a menu is no longer available (‘Take it off the menu if you’ve sold out! Don’t tempt me with it, then tell me it’s all gone! Gargh!’). TB’s promise of astral comeuppance didn’t flatten my good mood; I was just happy to have things go smoothly, to be reminded that it’s not always a disaster or a pain in the arse.

For one, the cerebrescript and I are together again. Like any relationship resumed after a break, it was a bit shaky at first.  I had a few days of empty panic, then forced myself to just read until I started liking what I saw. Having weathered the insanely busy time at my day job, I’m now able to make a few long weekends like today. Quality time for me and the c/s. It’s even shaping up to be a permanent arrangement. An opportunity to cut back my day job hours has come my way and, I have to say, it’s very exciting. It wasn’t something I thought would come up so soon, but it has and TB is, as usual, completely supportive. It’s time I’ll be devoting to my writing, precious, much sought-after time that lets me set higher but still realistic goals in words written per week.

It’s fantastic.

So, it’s true that, sometimes, things fall into place and they’re not always meteorites come to destroy civilisation as we know it.

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Farewell Metro Arts

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Tutor and student, plotting...

As part of the QWC Christmas Party on Thursday night, we said ‘farewell’ to the Metro Arts building in Edward Street. The building itself isn’t going anywhere, of course; it’s QWC that’s moving across the river and into the future that is the State Library in Brisbane’s cultural precinct at Southbank. I’m doing my best not to equate warped, timber floorboards, brick walls made softer by thick white paint and scary stairs with the Centre. It’s the people that make it special, not an old building.
 
The Metro Arts iteration of QWC is the only one I’ve ever known and I feel revoltingly nostalgic. Charm is relative. I only visited the Centre, attending workshops and seminars; I didn’t have to work there. The first time I hauled my sorry ass up those stairs, it took me a full minute to catch my breath. A very patient woman waited, pen poised over a list of names, wondering when I’d get around to speaking mine aloud instead of hanging on the door, panting.

I learned to have food and drink with me so I didn’t have to leave the building during the lunch break. Then I learned to get off my sorry ass and get fit enough the stairs didn’t nearly kill me every time I was there.    

The QWC offices were refurbished in a way that dispelled any sense of neglect; smart glass doors, the multi-coloured spread of packed bookshelves around a lounge, a homely rug on the unpainted, unpolished floorboards. I always felt welcome. I always wondered, too, who was just behind the drooping curtain between the teaching space and the office area. Did our chatting and raucous laughter disturb an important train of thought, or was someone listening in, enjoying the sounds of writers getting to know and love their craft?    

So, last night, I walked the floorboards one last time, breathed the warehouse-smell emanating from the old bricks and beams, and said goodbye. I’ll have fond memories: the way the Story Bridge was reduced to a beautiful abstract by the malformed panes of glass in the classroom window; the gentle silence that fell on the whole space as people wrote, pens making sticky noises on foolscap, laptop keys clicking, the sound of Minties being unwrapped and quietly masticated. Yeah…good times.     

I’m looking forward to the new hotness that will be QWC 2010.    

Merry Christmas QWC and a Shiny New Year.