Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tease Mother

No, not been teasing my mother, not lately. More that I reckon my mother was a tease when she was young. I never ask, but sometimes I steer things towards her talking about her youth and blokes. She met my father at the Presbyterian (how did I know an American spell checker would fix that word) Presbyterian Fellowship Association dance. My mother was brought up with religion, so I give her the benefit of the doubt. My father and his friends just went to pick up.

Then there was the guy she was fond of, a second cousin I think, who while indulging in horse play at Mordialloc Beach on a family Boxing Day picnic, hit his head and died.

Then there was the guy who lived in Hughenden Road East Kilda or Caulfield. Mother had to take a bus, a train and a tram to meet him when he snuck out of the big two storey house to see her. Her parents did not want him to associate with a scrubber from a market garden in Clarinda. She could even recall the street number and I checked the place out a few years ago and it is a block of flats now.

I feel so sad for her, the true love of her life and her real match was my uncle. My stepmother told me in a vexatious whisky laden moment, that they even did the biz. Step mother has a letter that confirms. Possibly it is not a good idea to have a younger and attractive brother living in your family house. He went onto to marry and have children. Even now, at her age of seventy plus, I think she would go weak at the knees just from the memory if she met him again. It is funny the things you see as a child that you don't see, and then many years later it all makes sense. My uncle is now crippled with back pain but still quite handsome the last time I saw him. Gosh, his kids, my cousins I suppose, must be thirty odd now. He ended up marrying Beamauris money, the local school teacher, and it seems it has been pretty good for them.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Draft post 03/12/06 Looking Foward

Not many of these left folks. Just a couple to go.

There are some promises of interesting holidays on the horizon. They are like a line graph for me. Up and down. Now ex pollie, ex NT policeman has thrown in another spanner. Canada in 2008. Cruise, train, coach and drive. Would we like to go?

Then there is the Japan option next year, although not so imperative as our friend from Japan is coming home at cmas, so we don't really have to go to Japan to see her. We are really looking forward to seeing her again.

I am learning not to stress about the cost. Whack it on the card, take it out of my estate when I kick the bucket. Life is getting short, especially for R who is a bit older than me. We were somewhere yesterday when we saw an electric train set. I remarked that I have always wanted one and I was waiting for him to pop off so I can set it up in his bedroom. He pretended amusement.

Another one over it and a Dame M tale

Golly gosh, is it infectious? Another blogger has closed down. No names. I don't want to invade anyone's privacy like in my post yesterday.

Communicated via my least favourite communication device today, the telephone. Dame M had left a message on the answer machine. She has a new vcr but is yet to learn how to use it, so she asked if we were home, could we tape Oprah. I assume everyone knows vaguely who Oprah is. I guess she was going out for lunch. I was at work, so no could do.

She wanted an Oprah show about gbh, ice, heroin and drugs taped. She had a call from her step son. His twenty one year old son is in a rehab clinic to cure himself of his heroin and ice addiction. Rich boy, attractive, not long back from an extended overseas holiday. He was in the clinic before his long holiday, but as soon as he arrived back to Australia, he was straight back into it. He was admitted by his parents last time, this time he admitted himself. One really wonders why such people are so troubled and I have my theories, but I will leave that to another day.

Another famous neighbour

Well, along with living next door to artist Albert Tucker's sister in East Malvern, and having a couple of radio personalities living in our building now, it would seem we had someone slightly famous living next door to us in Balaclava. I have seen some of his work on Channel 31, community tv, but this week he was featured in The Age's television guide, Green Guide. Actually it was his grandparents we lived next door to. They were nice neighbours. He used to stay with them at times and visited daily, as did his mother. I wrote a post a long time ago, and I can't find it now, how his 90 plus year old grandfather fell off the roof when doing some repairs. He made us a lovely letter box.

So good on you young Mr Zile and best wishes from your neighbours of the nineties.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bit Sad

AFE, aka Agent Fare Evader, aka Adam 2.0, aka Hecho En Mexico signed off his blog today. He hasn't posted much lately and was clear he had lost interest in blogging. Hopefully his words have been archived at Pandora.

I enjoyed his blog very much and I don't really agree with him deleting all his posts, but I am sure his ego is big enough to have saved them. They are all still out there.

He has lost the inspiration to blog. I have come close at times. It is only comments that keep me going, knowing that someone is reading my nonsense. But if I ever do disappear, it will be quick and clean and not a slow painful death. As sweet, as sexy, as interesting, as nice as AFE is, I really wish he had killed his blog earlier. Harsh I know, but I am feeling sad about the demise of his blog.

The restless natives

Today PM Howard made a significant announcement on Aboriginal policy in the territories, the territories, specifically Northern Territory, being areas that the federal government have overall control over. You can read it here. I instantly think the laws are extreme but gee, everything else has been tried. I will listen carefully to opinions from all angles over the next couple of days. R says it will make no difference. The aborigines will do what they want regardless.

I am not so sure. I think a bit of colonialism and control might be the thing that is needed. But god forbid that the government repeat actions and results of the past. These are lost people. It is our ancestors fault. But Australia is now, 2007. White fellah ain't going to go away.

First problem I see, trying to stop young Aboriginal men having porn magazines to jerk off over. Seems very extreme to me. Ah, perhaps they will have exchange to street node or wireless broadband to download stuffs. Can probably do it on their mobile phones. Do they need G3, whatever that is.

Slap on the pancake

Back in the eighties I had some skin imperfections removed from my face. Just some stuff done by my local doctor. Looked not nice while I was healing. I dabbed a bit of makeup on the healing wounds and presto, I became a makeup user. I am old now and I seldom bother. There are too many imperfections to fix with a bit of makeup. Revlon, oil free, warm beige if you are wondering, with a dab of Revlon oil free bronzing powder over the top if I am am going all out. You will not notice it but you won't see the imperfections either.

I was going to put a link to someone's blog here, but I won't, because she might think that I think her makeup is bad. Not at all, her post was just a reminder.

The recall was Indira Naidoo's debut as a newsreader on our ABC. While over a few days it improved muchly, the first night her make up was so so bad. Clearly the ABC make up department had never had to do the make up on an ethnically Indian person. I have a vivid mental image of that first night, but I cannot put it into words. Suffice to say it was execrable. Her make up is now excellent on tv and I bet she wished she had done her own on those first few nights.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


We have lived here for almost five years now and exchange pleasantries with our immediate neighbours when we see them on the very odd occasion. Last chat was in the lift with the young man who was thirteen when we moved here but he is now learning to drive and I suppose eighteen. An L plate is often to be seen on their Mercedes. They are a rich family from Hong Kong.

Me: Issey Miyake?
Him: Sorry?
Me: Your aftershave. Issey Miyake?
Him: No, but I can understand why you think so. It does smell very similar. It is (I forget).
Me: It is nice.
Him: Thanks.
Me: See ya then.
Him: Bye.

Lift conversations are invariable brief, but he is not a gay is he? What do you think?

OAM update

Seems this bloke was not quite as obvious as I thought. He is the recipient of an Order of the British Empire gong, an OBE, and two other medals as well. He twice escaped from a European POW camp.

Draft Post 29/03/07 On racism, yet again

This was going to be quite a good post with some serious polishing. I have day to day experience working with many races of people and it is a good and educative experience. I have foreign born workmates who experience racial discrimination on a daily basis. I cannot imagine what it is like for them. Anyone who says they are not racist in some way is a liar. This fact needs be realised before you can move forward.

I confess to being racist. I am never deliberately unkind to anyone, so my racism is not overt. It is the more subtle kind. I resort to stereotypes about people who I don't know and who come from another country, well, I resort to stereotypes with fourth generation Australians too.

I make a joke of racism. 'You gyppos really are shifty gits', I say out loud to an Egyptian workmate. It is a joke, he knows it and I know it, but is it? And what is the long term effect of hearing this often?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Further thoughts on yesterday's shootings

I am killing stone dead the thoughts that I am having about the good guy who was fatally shot yesterday. Ignoring what I have heard, Hawthorn, solicitor, 4WDer, always ready to tell you how good he is. Blocked.

I heard suggested today that he ought to have a state funeral and I thought it would be quite appropriate. Many who have done less have received one. Also suggested was that we taxpayers, should pay for the flights and accommodation of the parents of the Amsterdam back packer who also tried to assist and was shot three times, although his condition is improving. Quite so.

You know, we have to deal with this as a big and extraordinary event. This does not normally happen here. If we accept that it does and are ho hum about it, we are on a slippery path to somewhere not very nice.


Someone I know received an Order of Australia Medal. These I think are substitutes for imperial honours that used to be awarded on our Queens Birthday holiday, even though it is not actually her birthday and the majority of Australians wish that she was not our ultimate ruler.

This chap would be around eighty or more. He was secretary of a union for many years and upon retirement at the age of sixty five, continued to contribute greatly to the industry with which he was involved, purely as a volunteer. I have never had a problem that I needed his help with, but many have and he has helped many, including financially. Do the wrong thing by him though, and you will become persona non grata and a subject of the vilest adjectives.

I consider his award well deserved, unlike the many who just receive the award for doing their jobs. The terms for judgement should read something like, 'for duties and efforts above and beyond the normal job description'.

One thing for sure, yours truly will never get one, well certainly not work related.

Monday, June 18, 2007


I am sure we would all like to think of ourselves as people who would help someone in distress. One poor chap did today and died as a consequence. While I may have had a brother wrestle when I was a kid, I have never physically fought against anyone. I would not feel confident to physically tackle someone who I saw doing wrong. Not quite true. I have in the past but only after making a quick judgement of the person, and it was with words, not physicality. But it would seem that was all that this dead person did.

From what I know of today's incident, I would have left it well alone. There are times I have intervened and times when I haven't.

But if you don't, what do you do? Well the first thing is call the police if there is physical violence involved. Then observe and note. While you may not be the hero of the day, you could be the person who solves a crime by your observations.

In fact, for situations like the one today or just maybe something much more minor, if it is a breach of the law of a serious nature, call the cops. That is their job and theirs to prioritize as society dictates.

It was an awful thing that happened to someone going about their business today. He just tried to help a damsel in distress.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


We visited Heide today. A strong latte was a double shot latte and charged accordingly. I shivered at the last mouthful.

As I have mentioned it the past, we lived next door to the artist Albert Tucker's sister. She was a nice old lady with powder on her face and a pretty shade of blue eye shadow to match her blue eyes.

I never forget when we visited her in hospital after her stroke and her hair had turned grey and she had hair all over her face.

I never forget her hesitation in showing us a picture of one of her daughter's husbands. After putting it forward, and then withdrawing it, we eventually saw that her son in law was Indian.

I never forget either the macabre paintings that she had on her walls. They were Albert Tucker originals and worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There was one picture we recall well, Tucker's Sister, a picture of our neighbour.

The Tucker exhibition at Heide, The Goddess Grins, Albert Tucker and the Female Image was interesting, but alas no Tuckers Sister. I need to speak to the curator, but I expect her daughter, a very nice person, has the painting.

Heide is very good. There was some interesting artworks to see, including photographs and I just love photographs.

You seem to step from suburbia to rural just by crossing one set of traffic lights. The parkland along the Yarra River is to be treasured.

Heide 1 is closed for repainting. It was the original house where John and Sunday Reid lived before they built their ultra modern and brutalist style house come art gallery in the sixties. It is hard to imagine how it worked as a house for living in. It did have a monstrous fire place though. It is now Heide gallery 2 and Heide gallery 3 is purpose built exhibition building.

But just wandering the grounds is pleasant enough. There are modern sculptures. The remains of the kitchen garden. The very slow moving Yarra and ubiquitous ducks. A mix of old exotic and old native trees. Very nice on a Sunday morning.

Old stuffs meeting new stuffs.

Not too many post and rail fences within a fifteen minute drive of Melbourne City.

Nothing like a nice duck.

Reo, concrete reinforcing welded together in nice regularity.

Some of the buckets have Beatles song titles on them, in reverse. Stick your head inside the bucket to read correctly.

There are one hundred of these buckets spread over the property.

This shelter has some weird planes and angles, but it very practical too.

The cows below are made of corrugated iron. They are quite old but have stood the test of time very well.

A friend?

We see quite a lot of Dame M's tenant. He is a nice guy around our age and good fun. But we only ever see him in a Dame M social context.

I would like to more friendly with him, but I really don't know how to. We are a couple and he is not. Although he was part of a couple not so long ago, we did not like his poncy b/f and now neither does he since he has him in court.

Say we were to invite him for a meal at our place. It would be all ok, but it would be stilted.

I have discovered by the photoshopping that he did while making a birthday card, that he knows his way around a computer. Perhaps I should just ask him for his email and connect with him that way.

Or perhaps I should just accept how things are and leave it at that. I do that mostly nowadays, but I never used to and by making a bit of an effort, we now know the people we know.