That summer of Saucony

SOME DAYS it rained, that summer of Saucony. I took long walks on the clifftop paths. The grey-green sea broke against the rocks in rolling swells and sent long, foamy washes into the coves, and the beaches were closed for days at a time by dangerous currents and sudden blooms of stormwater. That didn’t stop the…

Cardiometry

Darren, in a neat shirt and slacks, with an ID lanyard around his neck, a bright red chevron that signifies his membership of the cardiometrical brotherhood – they are still mostly men – Darren will pass a plastic-covered sensor over your upper left chest, where your heart is supposed, in the sense of thought, to…

Nutella donuts

The natural history of the Nutella donut

Ground Zero for Melbourne’s Nutella donut boom was a quiet northern suburbs street that runs off Sydney Road opposite Fawkner Cemetery. Among the brick veneer and weatherboard bungalows built by migrants from Italy and Greece in the 1960s and 1970s is a row of shops, empty-looking except for the milk bar in the middle, Jimmy’s…

boarding pass

Boarding Pass

The people were queuing up to board, some through the front door, some through the rear, according to which line the flight attendant checking our boarding passes had assigned us: in theory the two queues would never meet, dissolving somewhere in the middle of the aircraft: “Row 19 – board through the rear door, please.…

The Life of Knives

The knife came in a special black cardboard box with the blade wrapped in newspaper and slipped into a protective vinyl scabbard. The steel was clean and bright, stippled along the spine as if it had been beaten with a small hammer, and engraved with Japanese calligraphy. The cutting edge bore a watery swirl, like…

The Sketchbook Project Draws the Line …

Jo Buckland can’t remember what she drew in the 36-page sketchbook back in 2010. When a friend told the then 20-year-old Victorian College of the Arts student about a crowd-sourced art project based at the Brooklyn Art Library in New York, she sent away for one of the $US25 A5 sketchbooks on offer. When she…

The Dead Ball Men

“Do you see how beautiful the stadium is,” the father said. “The flawless emerald rectangle where the players assemble, the crowd hushed, the giant screens replaying the game in hallucinatory slow-motion, like our dreams projected on the night sky…” On Friday evenings they were swept along in the crowd hurrying towards the glow of the…