To the Lighthouse


“That was the country he liked best, over there; those sandhills dwindling away into darkness. One could walk all day without meeting a soul. There was not a house scarcely, not a single village for miles on end. One could worry things out alone. There were little sandy beaches where no one had been since the beginning of time. The seals sat up and looked at you.” p 64.

I began reading To the Lighthouse about a month ago, with the expectation that it would be a difficult read. Written in Woolf’s characteristic stream-of-consciousness style, with no real plot and a lot of introspection, it sounded like a nightmare. But I was inevitably drawn to it, for the challenge, for its praise, and for my fascination with Virginia Woolf’s prose.

I’m 19 years old. The wonderful Margaret Atwood also read To the Lighthouse for the first time when she was 19, for an English course on the “The Twentieth Century Novel”. To put it lightly, her first impression was somewhat similar to my own:

“Why go to the lighthouse at all, and why make such a fuss about going or not going? What was the book about? Why was everyone so stuck on Mrs Ramsay, who went around in floppy old hats and fooled around in her garden, and indulged her husband with spoonfuls of tactful acquiescence…Why would anyone put up with Mr Ramsay, that Tennyson-quoting tyrant, eccentric disappointed genius though he might be?…And what about Lily Briscoe, who wanted to be an artist and made much of this desire, but who didn’t seem to be able to paint very well, or not to her own satisfaction? In Woolfland, things were so tenuous. They were so elusive. They were so inconclusive. They were so deeply unfathomable.”  – Margaret Atwood 2002.

So it’s easy to see why some people begin to read To the Lighthouse, and put it down in baffled disinterest. A WTF attitude, if you will. To be honest, I read the first 40 or so pages of the book then didn’t touch it for weeks. A change came with my visit to the UK, my birthplace. It took a few weeks of time by the sea, amid hedges and rugged coastline, and fields of wildflowers, and suddenly I was in a headspace to tackle this violently vivid world Woolf had conjured. A very impractical and expensive way to get in to a novel, but I digress.
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WTF, Miranda?

A little while ago, I read an article on the Sydney Morning Herald website about Australia’s favourite ex-Victoria’s Secret model, Miranda Kerr. The headline link was something like, “Kerr on Alpha Females.” My inner sadomasochist cackled, barely audible over layers of plastered bunny gifs and puppy pictures, “Go on, this’ll be a hoot.” Well, didn’t I get a surprise. This WTF Wednesday, I’m writing about something that happened almost two weeks ago, because that’s how long it’s taken me to be able to think about it without entering a state of brain-melting despair in which I have to fight the urge to beat my head on the keyboard.

In an interview with online magazine The Edit (put together by staffers at luxury fashion site net-a-porter,) Kerr spoke about her marriage to Orlando Bloom, and what she’s doing differently in her life that makes that relationship work. According to Miranda, her past relationships failed because of her tendency to “… feel that [she] can do it on [her] own,” and that “… that is generally a mistake.” (p13, The Edit, June 20, 2013.)Fair enough, most people do better when they can share their life with somebody else, no man is an island, blah, blah, blah. But it got worse. Continue reading

Aussie Politics – WTF mate?

It’s WTF Wednesday!

So i’m writing this post for two groups of people:

  1. Non-Aussies baffled by how ridiculous our political situation seems to be
  2. Equally baffled Aussies who just want to know, in layman’s terms, what the hell is going on.

I kinda feel like right now, every other democracy in the world is lol’ing and/or rolling their eyes at how silly Australian politics is. Equally, I feel like a lot of Australians have completely switched off. Three leadership spills in two years and Prime Ministers changing like the wind? It might be easier to throw in the towel and ride your kangaroo in to the sunset, but I believe that in a country where voting is compulsory, it’s super important that we don’t just become disillusioned by politics. So WTF is actually going on?

“It was the glasses but then it was the Redhead and now it’s the glasses again.”

Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd.

The basics – a timeline

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New shiny things!


Happy Sunday everyone! If you haven’t already, please follow Guide to Nothing on Twitter for updates on every blog post and the odd witticism. @GuidetoNothing

Desert Island Survival Song Week was a blast, we hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it! You can read the final post here, and find out whether we succumbed to island-induced insanity.

 Song of the Day has been a wonderful exercise for Magpie and I. Writing almost daily flexes our writing muscles and makes writing easier and more enjoyable. That said, we’ve been doing music a lot, so we’ve decided to dial Song of the Day back for now.

☺It is therefore our pleasure to introduce MUSIC MONDAYS! All of the fun of Song of the Day but in a slightly less intense incarnation.

☺We are also excited for WTF WEDNESDAYS – A new category that will feature explanatory and/or acknowledging articles about shit that confuses people. This is gonna be really informative, so get excited! The first WTF post will be up on Wednesday 3rd July.

☺Outside of this, Magpie and I will continue to lovingly post several times a week on this, that and everything, with the hope that our amorphous guide will expand to wondrous extents!


Peachy x