May Discoveries

It’s been cold here where I’m living, and it’s been reminding me of my time living in Germany. Memories of crisp, blue skies but by the end of a 30 minute walk, your ears were burning, fingers frozen and a nose frozen solid that you would fear it snapping and falling off at any point.

It’s the time of the season where the wool socks are coming out, the hoodies are being dusted off and blankets are at the height of their popularity. It’s hopping in the car about to drive to work and discovering a thin layer of frost had made it’s home on my windshield. So on goes the heating at full blast for a few minutes, pull out the ice scraper to scrape away the ice.

So with the colder weather setting in, I’ve been discovering new things. I’ve jotted them below, because I wanted to share them with you. So join me on this month’s discovery?


Lake Seppings (Tjuirtgellong)

This 2.7km fresh water lake is known to be an excellent bird watching spot in the Great Southern area of Western Australia. The local Indigenous people, the Manang Noongar, call this are Tjuirtgellong (which means “The Place of the Long-Necked Turtle”).

I discovered this the other day when I needed to go for a walk and get out of the house after a rough week at work. On a beautiful day, it is a pleasant place to do a complete walk around (which took me about 45 minutes).

Bletchley Circle: San Francisco

I first discovered Bletchley Circle last year, and I was attracted to the strong female characters, the use of decrypting codes and determination. The title references the codebreakers trained at Bletchley Park, and who were instrumental in the WWII war efforts in the UK – and yes, there is tension between how accurate historical fiction should be – but the show has been an interesting perspective on

Bletchley Circle: San Francisco has been a spin off that has paid tribute to the original – it retains that determined, spirited, strong characters determined to solve mysteries and right injustices – but it has it’s own flavour which is makes it more than just a spin-off.

Kate Miller-Heidke’s “Zero Gravity”, Eurovision 2019

Eurovision – a week long of camp, glitter, over-the-top, political infused songs as countries compete to win a music competition – is something I quietly enjoy. Australia has had a long history of loving Eurovision, and in the past 3 years managed to be qualified to take part.

Eurovision has had a long history of political messages within their songs; not surprising as it started post-WW2 as a soft-political move to encourage unity within a fractured Europe. As someone who has been (a little bit) interested in politics, Eurovision is a fascinating machine for me. Even if you are not interested in the political side of Eurovision, and would rather watch it for the music (and that’s okay), there’s no hiding the fact that Eurovision can bring a bit of hope and unity through music.

This year’s entry – for Australia – is Kate Miller-Heidke, who has had classical Opera training, released several pop albums and was recently one of the creative force’s behind “Muriel’s Wedding; The Wedding”. Miller-Heidke wrote her entry around her experience of post-natal depression and the feeling of “weightlessness” following the birth of son, Ernie. You can see Kate Miller-Heidke’s performance of “Zero Gravity” in this year’s Eurovision Grand Final below.

“Story of My Life: How Narrative Creates Personality” by Julie Beck, The Atlantic.

I’ve been teaching my English students about narrative devices and themes. As such, the role of narrative has been in the back of my mind. As a writer, I tell stories and narratives are an important part of telling stories with a beginning, middle and end. Yet can we apply narrative to life stories when life doesn’t play in the three-act narrative structure we are all familiar with?

This month’s reading discovery was Julie Beck’s article in The Atlantic, on how narrative creates personality as well as the process of story construction. It’s a fascinating read, I’ll leave you with a snippet from the article:

So narrative seems like an incongruous framing method for life’s chaos, until you remember where stories came from in the first place. Ultimately, the only material we’ve ever had to make stories out of is our own imagination, and life itself.

Storytelling, then—fictional or nonfictional, realistic or embellished with dragons—is a way of making sense of the world around us.

Julie Beck, Story of My Life: How Narrative Creates Personality, published in The Atlantic, August 10, 2015.

What have you discovered this month? Let me know in the comments below.

Yours,

Sophia
xx

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