Thursday, November 25, 2004

Nice evening

Warm evening, gentle breeze blowing, sitting at tables under huge oak trees drinking a Hoegaarden or two (Hogey to those in the know I believe), eating chicken and chips and surrounded by office workers knocking off and a sports team.

Where are we?

Yep, belgian beer cafe bluestone . It is not so cheap though, three beers each, chicken and chips to share equals $48 for two of us. Don't live in the past my partner constantly reminds me.

I love the way Melbourne has institution type places and activities and keeps inventing new ones.

I am dumbass

Ran into W today in Chapel St.
He said he has just seen R, someone I know to say hi to and that is all, having lunch at Red Orange.
I said I thought he moved to Sydney, are your sure it is him?
Given R only has one leg, that was a pretty dumb thing for me to say.

Small world

Tram coming, make a dash, caught it. Tram starts with a jerk. I fall a bit. Land on lap of next door neighbour who I had no idea was on the tram. Tis a small world.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Not something I have suffered from badly and any that might 'arise' had completely dissapeared by the age of 35 without scars. As in a previous post about noses, you seldom see bad acne in, or is than on, young Australians.

But boy do some of the overseas, especially Asian, students have it. I feel like going up to them and telling them that there is now good medical treatment for it. Please, no matter the expense, avail yourselves of it while you are here in Oz. You will be thankful later if life for the lack of scarring, if not now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

May as well finish the book/grandmother tale

I don't know much about her origins except she came from Tasmania where her family had extensive land and she had an Italian family name. A house in the developing suburb of South Oakleigh where my grandfather lived was not to her taste so my grandfather rented a house just off Prospect Hill Road complete with croquet lawn for many years. Lorne Grove comes to mind.

She was an accomplished musician and taught music at a uni, and although I don't know which one, it was probably Melbourne Uni. Many of her students found her good company and she was invited to very 'bohemian' parties. The lifesyle must have appealed as she subsequently ran away with a seventeen year old student, leaving her husband and four sons, the eldest being my father, to fend for themselves. She married the student and they lived together in Balmain overlooking the docks until she died at a reasonably old age.

As each of her sons turned 21, she wrote to them, half explaining her life, half asking for forgiveness and understanding and leaving any future contact up to them. They all did, to a greater or lesser degree and my father, through my mother, as the oldest probably had the most to do with her. One Uncle used to refer to her as the Donelly St (Balmain) woman.They did visit us at our farm in Gippsland a couple of times. Not sure how they got baby Fiat over the mountains, but they managed. It was good to meet her at least. After being impressed by the tv show Love in Cold Climate, and later the book, we kids have for a long time referred to her as 'the bolter'.

My grandfather subsequently shied away from educated women, and married, a woman who used to always have the smell of beer on her breath and a Craven A in the corner of her mouth. They too visited us at our farm and it was always interesting for us kids to get up in the morning to see if nanna had made it to bed or passed out on the kitchen floor. No matter, she and my grandfather got on very well for the rest of their lives. Can't say the same for her and my mother who used to fight terribly. She thought my mother was uppity because she came from a church going wowser family who lots of land in the Clayton/Oakleigh/Bentleigh/Springvale area. My mother detested the way she smoked and drank so brazenly. My mother both drank and smoked too, but not openly.

The connection to my cleaning up the book shelves? Well, I came across, as mentioned a post or so ago, Wind in the Willows and Sydney nanna had always sent us kids a book for our birthdays. One was Wind in Willows, another, The Magic Pudding, another Piccaniny Walkabout, another Our Sunburnt Country. With the exception of Wind in the Willows, I think they were always books by significant Australian authors. I now appreciate what she was trying to do and if that was an appreciation for Australian literature, then it probably worked.

The bookcases

I spent some time tyding our bookcases today. You know, the retentive way of doing it. Descending height order, paperbacks together, reference books together. Visually it looks a lot better and cleaner. I chucked some stuff out too. All those Chinese cookery books for a start and the several salad preparation books. Partner makes wonderful stir fried Asian food and so do many restaraunts, why bother cooking Chinese at home? Will still keep the PWMU cookbook though. It has no cover and is obviously well used but it was my grandmothers. Holiday brochures for a villa in Spain went. It was a bright idea of partner's bro in law that came to nothing. Interestingly, in these www days, I thought it would be so easy to get recipies off the net for anything. But it does not quite seem the case. This week is christmas cake baking week and I can't find a recipie I used to use, so I looked on the net. There were plenty of recipies, but many with imperial measurements, which I can't remember now. One that had chocolate in it as well. I did find one that was close to what I wanted and it should be ok.

A few books I no doubt bought cheap are going. The Road Coad booklet from 1979 is off, and quite a few other irrelevancies. The 2002 Green Guide feature on digital cameras is way out of date, but still useful, so I kept that along with the 2003 Idea catalougue. I have a collection of Ikea cataglogues and I am sure they will provide a laugh at some future point.

There were some serious treasures I found too. My Humber (it's a car) owner's manual is going to go on ebay as will William Yang's Sydney Diaries. Both should be worth a bit. Noticed that I also have Joan Lindsay's post death publication solution supplement to Picnic at Hanging Rock. There are hundreds, if not more, gay novels published each year, but when there was maybe one a year, I bought them all and kept many. I found my beautifully illustrated copy of Wind in the Willows too.

This one is really all over the place, sorry.

Next time I post about books it will be about my almost unknown grandmother.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Yes, I am that old to remember them and go to their concerts, but really their music was a bit dirge like. My sis and bros are going to see them Friday night. Hope they have fun.

Really I would rather lie back on a couch and listen to the brilliance of some trance music or the latest Indian DJ's mix of one of their own compostions. Does that mean I am hip, gay or in denial? I know little about Indian modern dj stuff, but what I have heard, I like a lot. Is it Panjab DJ or Punjab DJ?

Intense tv

In Melbourne town it is just after 11pm and I am having a week off work. On 'my' ABC is now a repeat of a show called Wildside. It used to be on at a prime viewing time, early Friday night, and I would sit glued to it, totally immersed. There is little in my life that does not let my mind wander and think about other things when I should be paying attention. But that was one tv show that required total concentration and immersing. Some British cop murder/mystery type shows almost get me there too. Looking at the show as I type, it probably is quite contrived, the camera swings all over the place, scenes jump, many talk at once, colours are not strong, lighting soft. Yeah, I understand that, but still a damn good show. I cannot watch it a second time though. It is just on in the background.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Australian Idol

Not watched it but you can't help being aware of it and know who the finalists are.

I did at some point catch Casey Donovan singing and she certainly had a good strong voice. In tune too. And you must certainly agree that big girls can look good.

Anthony Calea is vaguely cute and I suppose he can sing ok. But for all you lusting gays, remember what happens to cute young Italian boys by the time they are thirty (sorry about the racial stereotyping).

They both seem like nice people and Anthony can put on a nice natural smile, while Casey is not a natural smiler.

I hoped Casey would win and she did. Not heard what that sang for the final yet, but it sure was a lavish event at the Sydney Opera House

She was very tearful in victory and he generous and charming in losing. Well done kiddies. Now go and make lots of money from it. Think you've earnt it.


Or as our friends across the pacific call them, cell phones. I have once, years ago, been guilty of using a mobile while in the control of a vehicle. I have since realised that I cannot drive properly and talk on a mobile. I recognise that possibly some people can, but most cannot and if you people out there persist so brazenly and so carelessly, I will be forced to make a visit to my local arms dealer and purchace a kalashnikov and shoot you. You are warned.