Since I arrived at Zoo station I’ve been strategically reminding the higher ups that we have no public toilets at zoo station. At least twice a day someone asks me for them. At last some Covid rebuilding money became available and last week this nice little building arrived. I couldn’t resist making a celebration out of the whole thing with a bit of ribbon cutting and doughnut eating. (Yes that’s me in the mask)
A young Muslim woman in a black head scarf came though the station this week. She was modestly covered in a black tunic and black jeans. Except that the clothes were torn and held together with vast numbers of safety pins, she had a lock and chain round her neck and she was sporting a pair of black platform women’s combat boot with chains and other metal bits. (See above)
A nicely judged mix of modest and edgy, I thought.
Back in 2010 when I was doing my blog about Flinders Street Station, I learned about the Perch. It’s the steel railing in the station concourse against the window between Platform 3 and 4 and Platforms 5 and 6. Here the train drivers perch on the rail and hang out while waiting for their next driving shift. “I never go there” said a woman train driver back then – “They just talk filth and give number ratings to passing women.” Myself I doubt it was ever that exciting.
But this week -a mere 9 years – later I went through Flinders Street Station and discovered the Perch was entirely occupied by women drivers. What a change! I wonder if they were also talking filth and giving number ratings to passers-by.
Yesterday at the Post Office Hotel, Chaosium publisher Michael O’Brien launched my latest book. The occasion glittered most satisfactorily. Michael O’Brien said “It’s called ‘Shadow in the Empire of Light’, has been described as like “modern Jane Austen with magic” (by critics) and “with Bridgerton overtones” (by me)”
Available from Simon & Schuster: https://www.simonandschuster.com/…/Jane…/9781781088340/
Or direct from Solaris https://rebellionpublishing.com/product/shadow_in_the_empire_of_light/
The day after the very contested Australia/Invasion Day I see my local possum climbing out of the bin holding a piece of vegemite toast in his mouth. It all seems vaguely symbolic though I’m not sure what of. Is this a You Beaut Aussie battler possum celebrating our great country’s favorite snack? Or is it symbolic of the degradation of our native fauna by invader culture?
Both at the same time maybe
Or maybe just symbolic of the opportunistic nature of hungry possums.
The lovely people over at Fantasy Hive have hosted me for an Author Spotlight
Even if you don’t want to read about me, go over and take a look at the site. They cover all kinds of good stuff such as Cosplay and Gaming and they also run the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off every year.
A young man is sitting on the station wearing a mask – a paper mask showing the face of a cheerful pug dog with its tongue hanging out. I’d already noticed him waiting through two trains and now he’s put on this mask. Definitely time to ask. “Are you O.K.?” He pulls up the mask. “Yes I’m fine,” he replies cheerfully. In the face of such cheeriness, I feel a need to explain my officious behavior. “Sorry, it’s just that when you work at a station you need to look out for people’s um… mental health,” “Sure. I don’t blame you for asking,” he replies, smiling and putting his mask back. So that’s that. He seems sane enough. But he’s wearing a pug mask. On an ordinary weekday. The mystery is solved -sort of – when the next train came in and a young woman gets off and greets him. She doesn’t acknowledge the mask, but she seems pleased to see him.
This week I’m over at Sue Bursztynski’s site The Great Raven reviewing Fly by Night and Twilight Robbery by the wonderful Frances Hardinge. And here is the link. https://suebursztynski.blogspot.com/2020/11/two-books-by-frances-hardinge-guest.html
Earlier this year but still during lockdown, work sent me over to the gritty industrial west of Melbourne to a station where I’d never been before. I’m from the middleclass eastern suburbs and grew up regarding this place as very much the wrong side of the tracks. On this cold misty morning it’s all grit and grime.
Against a cold grey sky huge trucks roar as they belt over the bridge above. Derelict wheat silos loom across the tracks, rotting industrial machinery strewn at its feet. The only other person in sight is a man in a black hoody crossing the weed pocked car park. Of course. Maybe a drug dealer? Here be dragons.
Except that someone has decorated the platform with planters of flowers. And I’m somewhere new! During the Covid lockdown I’m somewhere new. Woo Hoo! As I watch the man in the black hoodie begins to skip.