Lifestyle republic


Spring came two weeks before the calendar this year, the ricepapery flowers of the tea-tree popping out on the cliffs, the currawongs braying over their nests in the pine trees, and the river breaking through the dune bar and spilling into an ocean dotted with whale pods heading south.

Up at Cafe Gosh! though, they reckon the sea’s a bit of a nuisance. There seems to be a lot more saltgrit and damp in the air than they remember at Costa Lacuna. Jill’s been vindicated, coz she told Jeff when they were opening that they’d need alloy fittings or there’d be trouble.

Being a real venue-design boffin Jeff demanded they get the Torben Orskov Z chairs he fell in love with when he was last in Copenhagen. Torben Orskov‘s great stuff but not when it’s Tandoori-rusted.
Anyway, now their whole terrazzo situation’s buggered. It costs them a fortune in fish-oil & H2O to hose the salt off it three times a day, and they’re going to have to replace the whole lot with some tawdry everyman-sheik from Ikea. And to top it off, the locals around here insist on calling the terrazzo a beer garden anyway!

But when was the last time you saw a beer garden with Palermo pavers at $106.00 a piece!
At Cafe Gosh! they’re into VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY, a la Ruth Ostrow. What a goddess that woman is! If only we could all slip so effortlessly out of the kidskin Guiliana headkickers and go barefoot with a nice piece of embossed Batik for coverage. You have to admit she’s gifted — she’s made even the hippy-abused sarong a fashion-pass. Who else could do that? And who else could make religious deities sleek, and meditation a come-hither activity?

That’s the great thing about living on the coast these days. People like Ruth. Thanks to her, now we’ve got FACE as well as SPACE. Yeah? You can choose. You don’t have to get around in a pair of Sapphire Coast bowling shorts if you don’t want to. You don’t have to wear a fruit hat to be acceptable like my mother felt she had to. Poor dear. Nup, you can have the best of both worlds, you can lose the reverse-beeps and vespa-jams on Flinders Lane, do the sigrid, but still keep your cultural dignity.
That’s the thing about VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY — if you wanna eat tinned tuna and birkenstock-it to the shop — well it’s your choice. It’s just Shack Chic.

It’s not a depressing lack of k making you bungalow-stranded.
And let’s face it, the style’s in the power after all. Anything can look good so long as you’ve chosen to wear it of your own free will. As William Blake, the original Sacred & Naked guru, said: No bird can soar too high as long as he soars with his own wings.
Jill reckons that’s the thing about John Howard you can admire. As opposed to that ‘burby-oaf’, which is what she calls Mark Latham. Howard’s in control, she says, he’s not playing catch-up, not pandering to spindoctors, his radar’s better than the lot of them anyway, she says.
I don’t think I would’ve been able to avoid spraying my possum-liver panini all over her polar fleece if she’d gone so far as to say he was soaring with his own wings.
But she didn’t. In a strangely inadvertent comment on the state of our democracy she just said he was a man in control of his own destiny.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that for the Somalians our local Rural Australians For Refugees group have been showing around for the last week. They are the personification of INVOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY. I’m sure the folks at Gosh! are dead-envious of their to-die-for posture but then again, the Somalians have got no clout and so to them it’s a slave aesthetic after all. But all it would take would be some autonomy and the Gosh!-set could see them as pure glam. Hasn’t anyone here got a heart?
They’re having the Somalians up to Gosh! for a storytelling night on Thursday. Good for biz, the nights are so quiet at this time of year.

Jill’s and Jeff’s boy Goader is excited coz he’s into percussion. He’s hoping they bring their bongos or whatever. I told him that it was unlikely, that they are hardly in the mood to be dancing at the moment, but his mother butted in and said that music’s not just about happiness. People love sad songs, she said. Sadness is beautiful.
Goader scowled but Jill was off, fishing around under the register for her Vika & Linda. She couldn’t find any so she put on The Carpenters.

Well, there’s Sad and then there’s Scary-sad, Goader said.
Having been to the land of Anorexia himself as a prototype metrosexual 12 year old he just finds that whole eating disorder thing a bit squeamy. He got Jill to take it off and put on John Butler. Jill doesn’t mind John Butler, though i wouldn’t call it sad. But he’s an Aussie boy, and at least he’s eating.

With VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY you must open your heart to what suffering can teach by choosing to pare things back. How can you see your divine self for what it is if you surround yourself in clutter & avarice?
With VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY you open a new inner window onto transactional intimacy. There’s so much joy to be had in the simple things after all.
Somedays Jill takes the puce Forester out into the bush and absolutely swoons. All the micro/macro vistas, the cirrus & cumulus, the cherry heath flowers, the watercolor palettes in the foilage. It’s a gift, she says, once you realise it. We’ve had so much rain in the last few weeks that you can hear the Falls gushing from far away down the bushtrack as you approach.
Somehow though i don’t think Jill would’ve noticed that, not with Your ABC rabbiting on in her headphones.

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