July 30, 2003 2:21 AM

Ancient Egypt is my true home. This may be why I am always in profile. The Ba, an entity similar to what we call soul "...was thought to spend the day assuming various forms in which it could be useful to the deceased..." ( The Book of the Dead). Updating that ancient tradition, I see that it fits my present situation perfectly. It's not the deceased I'm useful to but, shall we say, the somnolent or unawakened - such as my other half? And yes of course I spend the day assuming various forms, why else would I become a blogger?

Augustine as Ba
Augustine flies free

------ Recently I chanced upon three quotes that really struck home:


One cannot do great things, one can only do small things with great love.


Mother Teresa

...It was time to write from the wordless inside. He would use his confusion and uncertainty where he had previously used his intellect and his wit. He would cease to describe and begin to create. Note the date. Note the bravery. He was 40 years old...

Keith Ridgway on Samuel Beckett (The Guardian Review 19/07/03)

...She is a writer who refused to bore herself. Nothing is decoratively arranged to suggest atmosphere or a sense of place or to set a scene. Everything on the page is there because the narrator perceives it as doing something...

Deborah Levy on Violette Leduc (The Guardian Weekend 26/07/03)



July 28, 2003 9:32 PM

watercolour landscape

Ireland was picture-book green, glazed by the raindrops that kept falling on our heads, as you see in Natalie's not bad watercolour. Irish clouds are exceptionally beautiful and you can rely on being able to admire them every day. We were granted a few helpings of caramel sunshine, its rarity making it all the more delicious, but the day we went to Galway for the Arts Festival turned out to be deluge day. Wind-whipped sheets of rain, blasts of cold clammy air penetrating every layer of clothing. The Irish, and foreigners who have grown accustomed to the Irish climate, don't seem to mind such rude behaviour from the weather - they forgive it. Not me. I snarl and complain and shiver accusingly. But then I didn't go there for the weather. Time spent with kid brother is always invigorating and illuminating, wherever in the world it may be. At the Festival, we were in the packed audience applauding Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins) who showed examples of his cartoon strips and talked about his role as persistent thorn in the too well-fed flesh of American politics, especially irksome to the Bush family dynasty. Tom/Dan deserves all the support he can get: check out his website, buy his new book, tell him Augustine sent you!

Came back to find that Heather has given generous wall-space to Natalie too. H'm.Call me paranoid but I always have a nagging suspicion that N might do away with me. Well she won't succeed, not if my tiny fame continues to grow apace. I've been blogged by the fabulous Cynthia Korzekwa and the splendidly annoying white angry middle-aged balding man has put me on his toe-tapping 'Who Are YOU!!!' front page, while deeply thoughtful Kurt over at Coffee Sutras has also joined my little band of faithful visitors. Thank you to all. Back to the neglected gnovel now.



July 20, 2003 12 AM

Why do we crave it? What would we be without it?

Anonymity COMMENTS


July 19, 2003 2:47 PM

As a break from my habitual states of enthusiasm, excitment, anger or inertia, I decided to attempt an intellectual exercise. Below is the result, a poem in which each word is a separate link. Not as easy as it looks.

I hereby declare open a competition (everyone wins) to create linkimproems - improvised poems made entirely of single links. I challenge you to invent your own and send them to me (no attachments, please)). Then I'll post them here. The only rule is: They must be short - about eight lines max.

I'm going to Ireland tomorrow for a week. Hope to find a full box when I get back

linkimproem No.1 by Augustine


Plaid-- label--reads:

" Highland --Spring "

blue-- mountains

pink-- clouds

" Natural-- Mineral-- Water "


plastic-- bottle .



July 16, 2003 7:38 PM

Excellent news this morning: A space has been created by Heather in SoulFood Cafe for some of the paintings by Blanche, my mother (by the way, her middle name was Augustine). Here she is below, Here's Blanche still beautiful at ninety. Encouraged by me and nagged by N, she began painting at the age of ninety-four. Matisse would have loved her. She not only had panache but joie de vivre by the bucketful and a sense of colour only achieved by those who have managed to reach maturity while retaining their childlike spirit. Odalisque by Blanche She died two years ago on August 19th. We miss her every day.

The painting on the right is
by Blanche, 1999. Acrylic on paper.
35 X 65 cms


Strange dream last night:

A blogger announces that he's been cut off from his source. He is distraught because the connection is part of his own brain and he's now completely lost. In the dream, I see a small picture on the left side of my screen - a sketchy semi-circle with a few thin wires or antennae sticking up. It could be the top of the blogger's head. The feeling was disturbing and dramatic, as though such a thing couldn't possibly happen and if it did, it was terrible.


July 15, 2003 10:34 AM

Do you think I'm a cute, loveable, ineffectual creature? Well you're wrong on all counts. I can be angry, extremely angry, justifiably angry. angry Yesterday's Independent had a story about the letter which Robert Kelly has sent to 10 Downing Street: "Mr. Blair, I hold you personally responsible for my son's death. You should stand down." 18-year old paratrooper Andrew Kelly was killed in Iraq and his father blames the Prime Minister for his son's death in an 'unjustified' war, calling on him to resign. Mr. Kelly is not a pacifist but believes Blair was guilty of an inexplicable decision in sending British troops to war against Iraq. He says : " is not a letter of hate or anger - it is just a letter of feelings, very strong feelings. My son would be here now if war hadn't been declared." extremely angryWell, I am angry on his behalf and on behalf of all the other innocents of whatever nationality, race or religion who lost their lives, or limbs, or minds, or homes, or families, or futures, in this most unjustifiable of wars, whose after-shocks and chaos could have been predicted but were ignored. Just as Mssrs. Blair and Bush & Co. continue to ignore or respond only with lies and rehearsed platitudes to all those who cry out in sorrow and fury at the wrongs committed in the name of 'righteousness'.



This remarkable AP photo of Tony Blair's shadows, published in The Independent on July 12th inspired me to speculate on what his three alter egos might be saying. Anybody want to offer alternative captions?

Tony's shadows


July 13, 2003 2:32 PM

The amazing Soulfood Cafe, which I discovered thanks to the brilliant Cassandra has put us on its front page! And that's not all: the Cafe's owner and life-force Heather Blakey is making space for us in its Artists' Loft. So look out Australia, here we come. Augustine sets off 'Amazing', 'brilliant'... what banal adjectives to describe some of the wonders I'm happening upon in the extraordinary blogging world, where firm friendships are formed between kindred strangers and where a light bulb goes on in your head merely at the click of a link. If I fail to give due praise, brickbats, or descriptions of those sites which enter my mental screen, that's because this blog, as you know by now, is the work of an alter-egoist or egotist. And if you think that's shameful, maybe it's because you're not listening to your own little Alter-You crying "Let me outta here!"

I'm glad to see that Robert Paterson is following my example and will allow his dog, Jay, to have a dogblog of his own. Jay the dogThis raises an interesting question: will Jay's blog be Jay's alter ego speaking and if so, would the alter be, for instance, a cat? Or will it be Robert's alter ego - in that case, a dog? Wait a minute, that could be misinterpreted - some stupid people use 'dog' as an insult, as in: 'she's a dog'. Let's be clear: I intend no insult to Rob Paterson, another kindred soul whose insightful blog I regularly visit. Here's a picture of my new buddy, Jay, from Rob's blog where my picture appears too.


July 11, 2003 2:10 AM

ConversationNatalie was having dinner with two close friends in a restaurant last night. They were discussing visual versus verbal. Surprisingly, she was presenting my point of view for a change. Of course I was there too but could not be seen or heard above the noise of their conversation and of the boisterous adjoining tables. As usual in the three-dimensional world, much too much is going on and not sufficient attention is paid to amazing things like, for instance, the perma-smile on the face of a waitress. They did notice but did not realize its relevance to their discussion: the image of that smile is now fixed in their memories whereas the words spoken around the table.... where are they now?



July 9, 2003 5:23 PM

I've done it: moved the gnovel over to a new page. Click on Augustine's Graphic Novel here or on the left-hand index and you're there. Comments please. If you have nothing to say, I won't mind. Yes I will. Meanwhile, here's an onion I drew to liven up today's post. The significance of this object will soon become clear in the gnovel.



July 8, 2003 6:51 PM

Wondering if the graphic novel should scroll down or sideways? If it's sideways then I've got to transfer it to a new page so it'll have enough room. Maybe I should move it to my archive which is empty at the moment. Then I can continue with the blog over here. But will I have anything to say in the blog if I'm putting everything in the novel? If I continue with the novel here then I can't put the latest post first, it must read sequentially. So you'd need to scroll down and down and down. Which means moving over to the archive all that's on this page so far..... Suggestions anybody? Oh never mind.


July 5, 2003

I realized that it takes me longer than expected to create an installment of my opus. So I'll insert just one frame from it today. But the key is that there will be two parallel stories running simultaneously - one fiction, one fact. Born hungry

July 3, 2003 12:13 AM

We've reached a compromise. N says she'll stay out of my way if I insert some of her homilies into my blog now and then. She seems to think I need her counselling and that without it I'll get distracted, never finish what I start etc. etc. Look who's calling the kettle black! Anyhow, I've agreed to feature her Seven Steps today. Spoken all together they sound like: EEEEEEH!

7 steps to creativity