Tea Break

She puts on the kettle
and we sit down to tea
when I’m done in the bathroom
and the washing machine
is still on its cycle.

The kitchen is worn but clean, as if the
imprint of
Mrs. Willis’ habits
had scoured it back,
a frying pan
with the surface going.

They’re on their way out,
Mrs. Willis and her kitchen.
Anyone can see
the decline in her,
even if few people do.

She’s already sitting
when I come in,
a plate of biscuits and
the strainer set in place
on one cup.

It’s disappointment that has brought us here,
and accommodation.
This is what we’ve come to.
Her leg hurts.
There’s a neighbour who pops in.
She asks about the kids.

This work gets harder every year –
my knees on the tiles,
the webbed pads of my hands,
recalcitrant vacuum cleaners.

A cup and a biscuit
and the buzzer goes
on the washing machine.
I get up to hang out the clothes.

Movie List 2012

Here’s a list of all the films I saw in 2012. (r) indicates a repeat viewing. (*) indicates a movie that had an especial impact on me.

  1. The Lady Vanishes
  2. The Iron Lady
  3. Country Strong
  4. The Rose (r)
  5. Wedding Crashers (*)
  6. Down and Out in Beverly Hills (r)
  7. Beaches (r)
  8. The First Wives’ Club (r)
  9. Team America: World Police
  10. Jurassic Park (r)
  11. The Sugarland Express (r)
  12. The Muppets
  13. Raiders of the Lost Ark (r)
  14. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (r)
  15. The Colour Purple (r)
  16. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (r)
  17. Arrietty
  18. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  19. Pineapple Express (*)
  20. The Descendants
  21. The Rescuers Down Under
  22. The Fifth Element
  23. Star Wars Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith (r)
  24. Constantine
  25. Bad Teacher
  26. The Artist
  27. A Cat in Paris
  28. Cries and Whispers
  29. La Vie En Rose
  30. The Empire Strikes Back (r)
  31. Fanny and Alexander (*)
  32. Let the Right One In (2008) (*)
  33. The Help
  34. Shame (2011)
  35. A Taste of Honey
  36. Iron Man 2
  37. Private Benjamin
  38. My Beautiful Laundrette (r)
  39. Tales from Earthsea (r)
  40. My Own Private Idaho (r)
  41. The Black Stallion (r) (*)
  42. Nashville (r)
  43. John Carter
  44. A Separation (*)
  45. Pride and Prejudice (2005) (r)
  46. Saturday Night Fever (r)
  47. Hanna
  48. Ad Nauseum (r)
  49. The Hunger Games
  50. A Bug’s Life (r)
  51. Vanya on 42nd Street (*)
  52. The Avengers (2012)
  53. Carrie (1976) (r)
  54. Purple Rain
  55. The Dictator (2012)
  56. L.A. Story
  57. Hugo (*)
  58. Vertigo (r)
  59. The House of Mirth (2000)
  60. Duck Soup (r)
  61. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (r)
  62. Dumbo (r)
  63. Bambi (r) (*)
  64. The Lion King (r)
  65. I Don’t Know How She Does It
  66. Crazy, Stupid, Love.
  67. Pinocchio (1940) (r)
  68. A Man Escaped (*)
  69. The Great Dictator (r)
  70. Snow White and the Huntsman
  71. Brave (*)
  72. Magic Mike
  73. Frankenstein (1931) (r)
  74. Flash Gordon (r)
  75. The Cat Returns
  76. Red Dawn (1984)
  77. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  78. Pather Panchali
  79. Brazil
  80. Chinatown (r)
  81. The Truth About Cats and Dogs
  82. Joyful Noise
  83. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  84. Because of Winn-Dixie
  85. Meet the Robinsons
  86. Grave of the Fireflies
  87. The Beaver
  88. Higher Ground
  89. A Hard Day’s Night (r)
  90. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  91. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  92. Beginners (r)
  93. Planet of the Apes (1968)
  94. La Dolce Vita
  95. Pulp Fiction (r) (*)
  96. The Town (r)
  97. The Wizard of Oz (r)
  98. The Master
  99. Argo
  100. Beauty and the Beast (1991) (r)
  101. Casino Royale (2006) (r)
  102. Robot & Frank
  103. Blue Velvet (r) (*)
  104. Before Sunrise (*)
  105. Before Sunset (r)
  106. Weekend (2011)
  107. Prometheus
  108. Tokyo Story (*)
  109. Sunset Boulevard (r)
  110. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  111. Shame (1968)
  112. All the Way Through Evening
  113. A Star Is Born (1954)
  114. Home Alone (r)
  115. Manhattan Murder Mystery (r)
  116. Skyfall
  117. Home Alone 2 (r)
  118. Cinderella (1950)
  119. Bran Nue Dae
  120. Les Misérables (2012) (*)
  121. Wreck-It Ralph
  122. Young Adult (*)

Book List 2012

Here’s a list of all the books I read in 2012. (r) indicates a repeat reading. (*) indicates a book that had an especial impact on me.

  1. Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin
  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (r)
  3. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
  4. Wildwood by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis
  5. Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark by Brian Kellow
  6. Sontag and Kael: Opposites Attract Me by Craig Seligman (r)
  7. Fairy Tales: A Selection by Hans Christian Anderson (*)
  8. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
  9. Contemporary Indigenous Plays by Cleven, Enoch, Milroy, Narkle and Harrison
  10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  11. Collected Early Poems 1950-1970 by Adrienne Rich
  12. The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
  13. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  14. Rawshock by Toby Fitch
  15. The Complete Prose Tales by Alexandr Sergeyevitch Pushkin (translated Gillon Aitken)
  16. The Wattle Tree by John Bell and Ben Wood
  17. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
  18. On Writing by Stephen King
  19. Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser
  20. Ella by Alex T. Smith
  21. Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds
  22. White Noise by Don DeLillo (*)
  23. No! by Marta Altés
  24. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  25. When the Lights Go Down by Pauline Kael (r)
  26. Being an Actor by Simon Callow
  27. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  28. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (r)
  29. Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones
  30. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  31. Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino
  32. Ambrose Goes for Gold by Tor Freeman
  33. Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester
  34. George Flies South by Simon James
  35. Beethoven by Barry Cooper
  36. This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
  37. The Manchurian Candidate by Greil Marcus
  38. Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott by David Marr
  39. The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
  40. Rome by Robert Hughes
  41. Peggy by Anna Walker
  42. The Wizard of Oz by Salman Rushdie
  43. The Witches by Roald Dahl (r)
  44. Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
  45. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (*)
  46. Selected Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (translated Joyce Crick)
  47. Poems and Prose by Gerard Manley Hopkins
  48. Going Steady by Pauline Kael (r)
  49. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
  50. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  51. Selected Poems by John Donne