Meg’s Words

Meg’s words from the schoolhouse.

Why I’ve Been So Quiet…

Bear with me, this will take a bit of explaining. So about five years ago I was training for a half marathon. I didn’t enjoy this training one bit. I don’t like running at all and these days I only run if: 1) there’s an emergency, 2) I’m putting a cow back in or 3) the children want me to play monopoly. But I’d committed  to the fundraising event and […]

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May Your New Year be Full Of Beans

When your New Year doesn’t get off to an altogether good start, I think it’s okay to try again on say about the tenth of January. That seems a reasonable frame of time to get settled into a new year. I mean, when we start a new job it takes at least a fortnight to hit your straps. And with New Year’s Eve being such a demanding temptress of a […]

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The Not Busy Day

I’ve been a bit busy lately, which is why I’ve also been a bit quiet on the megoracle front. Today, however, has been a very rare not-busy day. The stars aligned – in the form of school runs taken care of and work balls in other courts – to send me down the unexpected delight of a not busy day. They are unusual things, these not-busy days, in a busy […]

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I would like to share with you a little bit of magic. It’ll seem at first that there’s nothing magical in what I’m saying but bear with me… Going out on a school night for a wife and mother (or father and husband should he be the chief child wrangler) is not a simple task, particularly if you live out in the sticks and it’s a fair drive to the […]

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I have just wandered past a very old cemetery in Richmond. The gravestones are at the site of a long-gone Congregational Chapel. Many of the headstones apparently didn’t survive so there are an unknown number of unmarked graves. Not many of the people who lie here lived to be very old. If I were to work out the average age (I won’t because I am terrible at maths), I think […]

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I have only just returned from a holiday in the tropics which involved swimming in sublime turquoise ocean, sipping cocktails with a really good book and not having to make beds, clean or cook. But I tell you, this day – this Tuesday in the Schoolhouse with my cup of buddha’s tears and the smells of spring outside and old books inside and the sound of nothing but my keyboard […]

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I know I’ve banged on about hormones before but I need to again in the hopes the very act of banging on again might get me through this month’s barrage of harrumph. Here’s my first thought when I woke to the rising run today: “Oh for God sake day, fuck OFF”. That’s when you know things are going to be a little grumpy. And then you realise it’s Tuesday which […]

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This is the other story that didn’t win the Country Style Short Story Competition. Most of it was written here in the schoolhouse, with some input from Kel. I started writing it just after 37 year old Olga Neubert was fatally shot by her ex-husband in Hobart in May this year. White Ribbon Day is on Nov 25th, pop it in your diaries. Violence against women is NEVER OK. MRS […]

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I’m not in the schoolhouse. I’m pretending to be because I wish I was. I’m in the Hobart library instead. Because it’s Monday and not Tuesday and the schoolhouse is unavailable and I’m really meant to be home washing windows or some such – which is what I usually do on chorey old Mondays (I tried to wash the windows yesterday and they looked fabulous until the sun came up the morning and revealed hideous smeary swashes which could – thinks I as I scrabble for an excuse not to do the god damn job again – be mistaken for wonderful window art using the media of light, water and grime. Bream Creek grime is especially hard to come by. My windows may well be gone by the time I get home, snatched up by a passing MONA curator).

Anyway, I have spent the two weeks of holidays mostly doing chores so today, having dropped the children off at school (insert fist pump emoji), and gone to an early appointment in town, I’m having a DAY OFF. I have already been for a walk around Hobart (looking drop dead eye-wateringly gorgeous today with her crystal-ice sheen), eaten an apple, had a coffee and had a quick look in a book shop (I think Anna Funder’s new novella, The Girl with the Dogs, may well change my life, it’s not in store yet though so I had to have a sneak around the literature bits in case there’s something there I’ve read which will make me feel literary and brainy).

Now I’m in the library because I needed an inspiring place to write a list and maybe a novel but of course I’ve had to have a bit of a look at Mick Fanning escape that shark (Holy God – the suspense of that wave that blocks our view) and a skulk in the stacks (there is something so scholarly about skulking in the stacks) and a bit of a ramble here. I am very parenthesis heavy today, perhaps it’s due to all the alone time and trying to get too many thoughts in order in the short time before I have to go back to school and start work again (could also be the coffee). I’ll try to relax.

There is an elderly tweedy man nearby who is whispering intensely into a dictaphone and feverishly writing (drawing?) on a scrap book. I have seen him before and was hoping to see him again because last time I regretted not asking him what he is working on. It appears as though he’s hurrying to record some incredible, world-saving theorem before his mind goes. Although there’s a chance his mind has already gone and he’s recording nonsense. He pauses every now and then to perform some sort of loud vocal exercise, which is clearly aggravating the small woman across the table from him. Soon there may well be a small woman V tweedy man confrontation.The library is an exciting and dramatic place, never mind sharks.

Speaking of animals, there are mice in my car. WTF? We have successfully banished them from our house and they have taken up residence in my car. I know because the milk bottles I have been hiding in the glove box have suddenly vanished and been replaced by tiny mouse poos. It’s scandalous. There is one milk bottle left, which has tiny teeth marks in it. Even I wouldn’t eat that (I was tempted). I know that queasy, can’t-eat-last-sweetie feeling and sucked in mice (‘sucked in’ is a truly awful expression, but so are mice). This morning on account of it being BLOODY FREEZING I pumped up the car heater so that by the time I’d reached Hobart there was a distinct hot-mouse smell. I turned it up more. That’s for the milk bottles you mousy bastards.

Anyway, I have to stop spouting nonsense and go and write that novel. I should be inspired by the tweedy man’s drive. He’s probably devised a plan to halt global warming while I’ve been thinking about mice. The small woman is leaving, grumpily. How to leave grumpily: thrust back chair, thump books, sigh and look around for someone to roll eyes at (not me, I don’t want to conspire on the being aggravated by tweedy man front, he’s not bothering me and I find his throat noises interesting). She’s gone. The tweedy man hasn’t appeared to notice. He is wearing a three piece suit and a deerstalker hat. I’m looking forward to my twilight years, must start putting eccentric clothing items away in preparation.

God Meg, shut UP. I’ve only got two hours for the novel and I haven’t even started yet.

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I’m posting this in Meg’s words but it’s actually Maggie’s words mostly…Here’s what she wrote on her facebook page:

“Dear peoples of the interwebs, a little story about friendship and words.

Meg and I met in January and did that thing you do when you meet someone you should have met way back and because of this odd feeling of lost time you talk to the point of rudeness to those all around because you have so much to catch up on and from this little meeting we thought we needed to see each other once a week and talk some more but perhaps mostly talk about writing, or not writing and perhaps read things to each other that we had written. And that was a really long sentence but that’s what happens when I see Meg, I talk in really long sentences and my brain does cartwheels, and then I met Meg’s friend Kel and my world got a little richer because she also needs to talk about writing and not writing and then because it was obviously meant to be, Father Terry said we three could meet every Tuesday in the Schoolhouse to write things, and now we have a key and we meet in a little house on a hill beside a cemetery and there’s views spilling every way and it’s my favourite day of the week and I’m sure we will produce much amazing work and even if it’s not amazing it will be drenched in laughter and friendship. Meg writes a blog (if you are Tasmanian you will probably all ready know it, but it’s been tarted up because she turned 40) – and there’s a new section called Tuesdays in the Schoolhouse and I’ll be writing a wee bit there too and you should all go and read because it’s real and funny and don’t you just love it when you meet the people you’re meant to meet?”

Maggie sums up what I have been trying to put into words (of course she did, she is an amazing writer, you have to read her books if you haven’t already done so), that every now and then the ducks line up and the stars align and luck blows your way on a fair wind and you meet some of the people in the world who were just meant to be your friends. And no one can stop talking because it’s important to know one another as soon as possible. And with every new bit of knowledge, your heart sings. Do you know that feeling? I hope so, because it’s absolutely bloody lovely.

We will all be very soon posting things on the “Tuesdays in the Schoolhouse” part of megoracle. I can’t wait.

Thank you May Gibbs.

May Gibbs.

NB I posted that picture because it is gorgeous and because it has three friends, luck and a fair wind. But we always wear clothes in the schoolhouse, I promise. Lots of clothes, it’s cold in there. We do frequent squats to keep warm (and a little bit fit). I feel like I’ve known Kel and Maggie since we were gumnut baby size with small pink bottoms though. I’m not interested in seeing their bottoms now of course. Although I’m sure they are lovely, especially after all the squats. I mean I love these women but not enough to want to see their bottoms, even if they do a lot of squats. Fitness squats not wee squats (although the schoolhouse loo is very low and demands a bit of semi-squatting). Am I digging a hole? A bottom hole? I’ll stop. Now.

Stay tuned for schoolhouse stories. x