Saturday, August 11, 2007

Important tidbits

Semester is two weeks long now and my classes have almost settled into their final shapes & demographics (students tend to sample or surf elective subjects in the first few weeks to decide what suits them). One of my classes is 90% international students and most of them are from China's big cities. Without resorting to stereotypes, these are not the Chinese students of old: quiet, anxious and with terrible English. They're very urbane, cool, outspoken, stylish, have great English and they're not afraid to question me. Obviously China is changing... Shanghai is on my list of places to go before I die.

I had a great salad yesterday in Newtown - forgot to take camera so no photo - but it was baby spinach, fresh beetroot, fresh peas, mint, fetta and yoghurt. The dressing was, I think, olive oil mixed with that pomegranate syrup you can get from Middle Eastern shops and some balsamic vinegar. The whole thing was purple, green & white: very feminist.

I am 41 and should know better but I was seduced yesterday, post salad, into buying a dress fashioned in the new silhouette. Fashionistas will know exactly what I mean. It has no waist and is balloonish. It ends just above my knees. At least it's black. What I really like about it is that it has nice pockets - comfortable slits either side of my belly button - but this is perhaps not the best reason to buy a dress. There is a risk that in it I will look like a fat little ten year old (from behind only of course).

Today we visit the lovely Stryker, who missed out on our company and bag of carrots last week because Ruby's boyfriend was bitten by a poisonous snake (one of his pets, yes really). Ruby spent most of the weekend in hospital with him keeping a bedside vigil as he was pumped full of morphine. I didn't know that one in five people goes into anaphylactic shock after being given anti-venom, so doctors try not to give it - luckily he didn't need it but he was pretty sick. Anyway, the poor kid is now back home but has lost his sense of smell, perhaps permanently.

I got a first list of corrections from the editor who is working on my book manuscript. He's a blogger! in Glasgow. The corrections were all wonderful - it is just brilliant having someone read your stuff so closely.

My magnolia tree is almost in full bloom - this morning I cut a small branch off & put it in a vase on the mantelpiece, then I made a posy of lavender & rosemary for my round red vase, then I felt all exhausted by my domestic goddessness.


Kirsty said...

I look at other people wearing those dresses and some of them just look so cool, but I know that I personally would never get away with it. Glad to hear you didn't succumb to the grey tshirt material kind.

Re: Ruby's boyfriend losing his sense of smell. I hope it's not permanent. Have you ever read a blog called My Madeleine? There's a link on my blog roll. It's by a girl who lost her sense of smell in a car accident. Her's is coming back in fits and starts, but she documents her sense of loss eloquently and on occasion with wonderful humour.

JahTeh said...

A dress with pockets just screams "buy me". My favourite pattern has pockets but I always put them in upside down.

R.H. said...

I've never had a feminist meal, but imagine it as a chauvinist pig roast. With lots of kicks under the table.

You're an asset to Marrickville, a reason I'd move there.

Meredith said...

Kirsty I'll have a look at My Madeleine, it sounds wonderful. Jahteh upside down pockets aren't much use! RH, good god, please stay where you are - Marrickville ain't big enough for both of us.

R.H. said...

We'll enlarge it.

Matthew da Silva said...

My two units this semester are both 50 oper cent Chinese women.

Group work is included and my three group associates are all Chinese women.

One did her bachelor's at Macquarie.

Two in one class are very eager but struggle a bit when it comes to the crunch. I tend to do most of the research and most of the actual writing.

They don't have a good 'feel' for how the media works in Australia, in my experience. But they can recognise if something we do is good.

I can't comment on what the Chinese girls 'of old' are like. Since 1995, I've been to China three times and each time the Chinese women are quite frank and competent.

No wallflowers, in my experience.

BTW: if you go to Shanghai you MUST visit the museum next to Renmin Square. It is luscious for culture vultures like me. Plus it's probably the only museum in the world where you can take your own snaps. Any exhibit, any time.

Something else the West should export from the middle kingdom.

That's so pants said...

Hi Meredith

When people lose their sense of smell, you can amuse yourself by putting salt in their tea. You might like to drop that into a conversation sometime.



Meredith said...

Pants you are evil. But I would have thought salt has no smell, anyway?

genevieve said...

You have a magnolia tree, Meredith? You are a complete domestic goddess in my book.