happy birthday to she

If were to get really serious about my one woman green office crusade, I should probably divert my attention from the lack of bike lockers/parking, or the fact that the printers are default set to single sided in colour, that the air conditioning is approaching the glacial wind of the interior of Singapore Airport, or that people can’t recognise tuna cans as recyclable – and move on to the desk day calendars.

Do you know these items?

Well, most everyone at my office has one of these. I don’t know what you’re actually meant to do with them and, frankly, if they were to compete with the two iphone calendars, the gmail calendar, and my physical diary to try and tell me what I’m meant to be doing on a particular day, they’d be in trouble. No one seems to use the damn things.

But I digress.

Anyway, for those not blessed with their own 2m x 2m cubicle, these little calendars feature a small quote at the bottom of their redundant day schedule. Today’s quote is “you can never be too rich too thin or have too many books”. Ideally, this is meant to spurn me on to greater productivity, rather than send me in to a spiral of depression at the fact that I am moderately middle class, cushioned for the pushing and have put about 10 boxes of books in storage in Melbourne where they are probably getting mouldy.

But I digress.

Sometimes I like a good quote. A dear friend made me a beautiful set to take with me to Papua New Guinea once and I literally lived on them as means of inspiration and thoughtful recognition that my world was much bigger than myself. And another friend and I used to get up for morning run together and drop a quote off at each other’s houses as proof that we’d been up and about at the times we said we were going to.

So, yesterday, which was coincidentally another good friend’s birthday I was oddly reminded of other words of wisdom.

“I’m the kid that made delinquency an art

Last name, Simpson, first name, Bart”

Please blame this on Michelle, for she is wearing a Bart Simpson helmet. Seemingly at odds with her delicate cycle chic style, either way, the lid is working for her and she is a. wearing it and b. rocking it so I c. don’t mind one whit that it conjures such a funny little character. In fact, from side on, I can’t really tell what’s on her lid and so presumably it meets the Australian standards and she must have a small head!

Then, oddly enough, I’m thinking about Tony Hawk. “The irony about selling out is that they only call you a sell-out when your stuff finally sells – I’ve had products bearing my name since I was 14, but nobody was buying them then.”

All this because Graeme is wearing nice, neat and – quite difficult to find – kit with no branding. It’s hard to find nice man lycra without branding. Or at least, I believe it must be judging by the crowd at Espresso Garage. It appears that most stores must sell Lampre and Mapei, but less sell plain.

I appreciate this, because plain is sometimes not as much fun, however, it is certainly restful on the eyes some mornings. Like yesterday.

Anyways, all this is a total digression because I have to get back to work, so that I can leave work and go see the film for Bike Week.

In the meantime, please think of a kind friend of yours who is having a birthday somewhere here, somewhere there. Then send him or her a nice quote, via email or text message or carrier pigeon as you prefer.

I have a whole desk calendar of options for you if you’re looking for inspiration. I shall filter out the really random ones about Windows (like, are the calendars sponsored by Microsoft?) and the weirdly unexciting ones by unknown and the strangely ominous bible ones. Sure we’ll find you something sweet to send your friend.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.


  1. Try the NZ company – GroundEffect. Fantastic service, bullet proof clothing. Not a brand name in sight!

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