Monday, January 31, 2022

The Tinder Trap

 I had a talk with my colleague today - Female colleague. We had a girlie chat. 

"So, as a writing thing, for my character, I was thinking of checking out Tinder."

I have been tossing up letting my charcter go internet dating - as as somebody who hasn't internet dated in a VERY long time, I sort of want to see just how heinous it really is out there. 



"This isn't for me, it's for my character."

To be honest, I'd probably go on as my character, not me. My protagonist has some limitations. And quirks. It would be a fun to see what she reels in."

"Well what do you suggest then?" I asked. 


"I thought Hinge was for hookups."

"No, that's Tinder. My friends say Hinge is the way to go."

"Not Tinder."

"No, you don't want to go near Tinder."

"Hinge or Bumble are good."


"Yeah, with Bumble, you're in charge."


"And how does this work?"

"I don't know, but my friends say it's good. Just don't go near Tinder. "

If you look arund the interwebs there are so many dating sites on there. If you query "Best dating sites for over 50s you get pages of the things. Elite Singles. Silver Singles. Academic Singles. Zoosk. RSVP (Meat Market). It's all too much. 

The only Tinder I've been successful on is Cat Tinder. I found Lucifer on Cat Tinder (when you trawl the cat rescue pages for a new pet). I lucked out there. 

I have quite a few friends who have met their partner on Tinder as well. They smile when they tell their stories. 

And these sites all want photographs. I don't do photographs. It's a pity Bantr which is seen on Ted Lasso isn't a real site. No photos on Bantr. Might even find my own Sam Obisanya...(yes please...)

I wonder how my protagonist would approach all of this. I know the last time I went internet dating was about 15 years ago - and I got burned rather badly, as many sensitive people do. But my main character has a bit more chutzpah than me. Would she just go out there and see what's there? I wonder how she would tackle this. Mind you she has fewer limiting factors than me. And I don't have a year to live with any luck. How would you approach dating if you knew your days were numbered? Fuck everything within arm's length, go for for quality over quantity? And dating when you're over fifty - you've gt the joys of menopause and male impotence to deal with and...

Maybe I should leave these loopy ideas for when I have more time. Maybe I should do this research when I have lost this abject feeling of dread. 

Today's song

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Movie Review: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

 Movie number 6 of 2022

The Movie: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

The Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 3.75

I took myself along to this out of curiosity, and after seeing an interview with Jessica Chastain during the week, relating how she prepared to become the larger than life televangelist. I have a dim recollection of Tammy Faye Bakker being on the television, and the news of the Praise the Lord network. And to be honest, I just don't get it, but I'm not a charismatic Christian. 

I am, however, a lover of good cinema, and this is not a bad film. 

This biopic looks at the life of Tammy Faye Bakker, from her humble beginnings in rural Minnesota through to the end of her marriage to Jim Bakker in the early nineties, and everything in between. A simple, devout Christian girl, she goes off to college, finds love with Jim Bakker and goes off with him to spread the word of the Lord - embezzling thousands of people on the way. 

The film borders on pastiche, or would border on parody if it wasn't for the knowledge that Tammy Faye really did wear her makeup like that. She was that upbeat, happy, joyful person who just wanted to love everybody. 

Although I got frustrated with this film in places, mainly due to my utter ambivalence with Charismatic Christians, this was a very cool movie, as we watch Tammy Faye turn into the reknown icon she turned into, Jessica Chastain embodies baker, but saying that, she's always been a bit of a chameleon. 

What's best about the film is it's complete immersion in the seventies, eighties and nineties with all their excesses. The shagpile carpets, the shoulder pads. The thin eyebrows. The heavy make up - it's great. 

The film also shines a light on the internal workings of some of the big televangelist movements - and I'm sitting there thinking how can people be suckering into this sort of crap - but this is showing America fifty years ago when the television evangelists were just starting out. It's mind-boggling how gullible people can be. 

Another great part of the film is Andrew Garfield's performance and Jim Bakker. It's a subtle, nuanced performance, which raises more questions than it answers about this American icon. 

Anyway, by the end of the film, as we know in real life, Tammy Faye divorced Jim, remained, became a gay icon and died at the age of 65 in 2007. But the film doesn't go that far. 

What I took away from this was Jessica Chastain's excellent performace is possibly going to get her another Oscar nod and some people are very, very gullible - but maybe that's because I'm very sceptical about the charismatic Christian cause (I'm sure you all know my views on Hillsong Church...)

This is an interesting film. Not for everybody, but worth the ticket price for Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield's performances. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Sunday Stealing: Blabbermouth

 I'm going to break with tradition and do this on the Saturday. I'm actually at work (again) and I'm taking a break for a bit. Seems a good thing to do as I decide what to do next. 

Questions, as always, provided by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. January usually has ample amounts of snowfall in parts of the world. Did you ever make snow cream as a kid?

Snow cream? I'm Australian. It's Summer in January. And it doesn't snow here - well, only in the hills and only for a day once or twice in a decade. So no. 

2. January is one of the months with 31 days. What are you going to do with that extra day?

At the moment, all I do is work - we're at the stupid end of a project. So I will use it for working this year. 

3. In medieval times superstition dictated that the 1st day of January was significant for prosperity, or lack of it, in a person's life. Farmers put a flat cake on the horns of a cow and they danced and sang songs around the cow until the cake was thrown to the ground. If it fell in front of the cow that meant good luck; it if fell behind the cow that meant bad luck for the rest of the year.

Do you have strange New Year customs in your household?

In a word, no. I do tend to go to the movies with a friend on New Year's Day. We just seem to do that most years to escape the heat. 

4. On January 14, 1986 motorists were required for the first time to wear seat belts? Do you always buckle up? Why or why not?

Yes, I always wear a seat belt. It's the law. It's been the law since the mid-seventies over here. It's also a $150 fine and 3 demerit points off your licence if you are caught not wearing one. Other than the safety aspects, it's too costly not to. 

5.. Have you ever blabbermouthed something to a significant other that in hindsight you really should have kept to yourself?

Never had a significant other, so never blabbermouthed something to them. And I'm pretty discreet with my friends. I know the value of keeping secrets. 

6. Have you ever written anything on your blog that you wish you could take back?

Not really. I've had one big issue once, but I took the blog down, used it as a major learning and been very careful ever since. I tend to write things that I would say to people's faces, and if people get offended by other content, then so be it. 

7. Are you the blabber or the blabbee? Tell us your most embarrassing blabbermouth moment.

I'm not really a blabbermouth. I talk, but I also listen. Not a relevant question. 

8. Who is the biggest blabbermouth tattletale in your household?

I live alone. Not a relevant question. 

9. You are the Blog Paparazzi! Which blogger's real photograph are you most interested in getting?

Sorry, don't have time for this today. 

10. If you could hire the loudest and most skilled blabbermouth in the universe to do your talking for you and advertise it well, what message would you like to spread to humanity?

For heaven's sake, be kind to one another. That's my message. 

11. Are you always on time or just a tad late?

I'm pretty much always five to ten minutes late. But I'm there on time for the important things. 

12. Is there someone in your life that irritates you regularly about not being on time?

Ah, yes, my kid brother. He's normally a little late, but we say he runs on Mumbai time...

13. Can you think of a time when you were late for something and it was REALLY a big deal?

I've missed a couple of flights because I've been held up in traffic (or drinking down in The Rocks in Sydney with friends) That could have been a really costly mistake. I managed to get home okay. But it was stressful at the time. 

14. If you were on your way to work and had five minutes to get there, would you stop in the road to rescue a crossing turtle?

Of course I would. Life over work always. 

15. Have you ever had to actually punch a time clock? 

Only once and that was at my first job in the eighties in a department store. That was the last time I punched in. Never again, I say. 

Today's song:

Friday, January 28, 2022

Friday Night Out

 The Venue: The National Gallery, Victoria

The Exhibition: Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto

Friday nights at the Art Gallery are a bit of an enigma in Melbourne, well at least it was pre-COVID. 

Tonight, armed with a couple of friends, we embarked back into the Art Gallery for a night of music, culture and getting back into it. Sure, we turned up looking like drowned rats, the inclement weather soaking us through as we made our way there, but we all go there at the prescribed time and went into the Great Hall. 

It was lovely to be out. As they appear to be keeping numbers capped (and there is, of course, the mask mandates) we got some drinks and snacks and had a chat then went wandering around the Gabrielle Chanel exhibition, which is currently installed until ANZAC Day. 

In this COVID ridden world, I've found I'm really no longer good with noise, or people for that matter, but thankfully, it wasn't overly busy. 

I really enjoyed the exhibition, which looked at the clothes, origins, luxury items and influence of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. It's an immaculately curated exhibition, with many clothes from the twenties and thirties. For somebody who only has a limited interest in clothing, it held my attention. You can appreciate the design and craftsmanship at a level we really don't see that often anymore. 

And we also took in the Bark Ladies exhibit on the other side of the hall, again, a fascinating look at some aboriginal art hailing from Yirrkala, 700 kilometres east of Darwin. It was a very different experience to the Chanel, but very engaging. 

And after a few hours of eating and people watching and talking, we went home, all of us tired after a long week, and all of us rather discombobulated after spending a night in a noisy, people-filled environment. Still, it's small steps coming out of COVID, and it was just nice to be out with friends. 

I'd love to return one night when there are fewer people and less duff-duff music (which was just a little too loud for my liking.) I'd love to see this reflective ceiling again. It was pretty cool.

A successful night, it was, even if this being out and about on a Friday night still feels so very foreign to many of us. We traipsed out into the steamy Melbourne night, feeling like we'd had an adventure. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Movie Review: Spencer

 Movie Number 5 for 2022

Movie: Spencer

Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 4

It's been a hot and humid week and being the worst of the cloying days on Invasion Day, a trip to the cinema seems a great antidote to my hot and cloying flat. So I took myself off to see Spencer, more to escape the heat than for the will to see it. 

There's been a lot of hype over this - Oscar buzz as well as general comments about the choice of actress and the appropriateness of this movie, which comes out of a German production company, and filmed almost exclusively in Germany (Which, lets face it, looks a lot like the Suffolk countryside.)

The movie takes place over the three days of Christmas at Sandringham after the separation of Charles and Diana. Diana's star is on the rise and she's just a little unhinged. Well, it seems a bit like that. 

What comes out of this film is a claustrophobic sense of dread as Diana endures these days with the family, the strange rituals she has to partake in, her love for her boys and her need to break free from this very strange, very public family. Adding to this, the music accompanying this was excellent. 

The star of this film is Kristen Stewart who is incredible as Diana. She embodies the woman and appears to have every nuance of the late princess down pat. The Oscar buzz around her performance is well deserved as she carries this film to the end. 

Other notable performances include that of Timothy Spall (who resembles a sharpei now that he has lost a lot of weight) who plays the Queen's butler with glee. He's a disturbing man. Sally Hawkins plays Diana's dresser, Maggie, and her scenes with Stewart give some light relief to a film about a woman in distress. 

Talking with Jay and Cleo tonight at the gym, they could not see why I would want to go to this film, seeing it is all conjecture - and I get that. However, this representation, though it may not be plausible, is excellent. The music, the cinematography and Stewart's performance are worth the price of a ticket alone. 

This definitely isn't a film for everybody, but there is a hell of a lot to like in it. Me, I admire it a hell of a lot, mostly for it's portrayal of a woman on the edge and the impending sense of doom. 

And I'd put money on Stewart receiving an Oscar nomination. She's earned it. 

Today's song: 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Non-Event

<contentious issue>

 I'm working today. 

I'm working mostly because I have a stupid amount of work to do at the moment, but there is a little part of me which is working on a public holiday in protest. 

Yes, I'm one of those who do believe we should change the date of Australia Day. 

As a national day, it's become too contentious, especially for the First Nation people. Australia always was, always will be Aboriginal Land. Never ceded. 

We are the only country which celebrates a mob of convicts invading another land and imposing Colonial rule. Every other country celebrates the day they became a republic (Think India, Canada, the United States to name just a few of over a hundred countries). Or the celebrate some other culturally appropriate day - such as Waitangi Day in New Zealand. 

And it would be a bit rude to celebrate Australia Day on the anniversary of Captain Cook running into our great land  (19 April 1770 was that date - but that's a bit too near to ANZAC Day, if you an get past the Colonial overtone - which I can't). 

We don't celebrate the day we became a Federation - 1 January 1901 - oh no, that would interfere with the hangover recovery. We could do what New Zealand does and have 2 January off as well - celebrate that way. That would be too easy. 

And Australia Day wasn't made a big thing of until the 90s - before that, if it fell on a weekday, it was rolled into the weekend and little more was said about it. 

Nope, now it has become a bit of a juggernaut - the day we are supposed to have a barbeque, go to the beach, play cricket, drink beer all while wearing your thongs as you sit on an esky. 

Sorry, I'm not buying it. 

If it's not Australia Day for all Australians, then it's not a real Australia Day. Seeing one in four people now were not born here, and we pride ourselves on being multicultural, I can't see that Australia Day is truly representative of who we are as a nation. 

About the only non-contentious thing about Australia is the Lamb advertisements which come out at this time of year. They can stay. They're hilarious. 

As for changing the date - well, I say let's become a Republic and use that date to celebrate being Australian - maybe make the date in early February to take advantage of the weather. As the current set of politicians aren't capable of much more than being rorting, corrupt arseholes, the issue of the republic will be kicked into the long grass for another ten years or more - well at least until Queen Elizabeth II has shaken this mortal coil. 

But this is my opinion. I'm not shoving it down anybody's throat. I'm not out on the street protesting about it being "Invasion Day", even if privately I call it that myself. 

I just choose to do a day's work and ignore it all together to show my solidarity with the First Nations people. 

In a world where we should be coming together, Australia Day is ripping a lot of the community apart. 

Scott Morrison says we are a united nation - see his article in today's Age.   To Mr Morrison, I say, "Read the room you tone deaf wanker." Grace Tame's side eye speaks for me.

(Photo from The Age.)

I rather liked this from the Betoota Advocate:

I know people aren't going to agree with me, and that's fine. 

I'm going to go back to work now and enjoy the quiet of working without being interrupted and continue my minor protest in peace. 

</contentious issue>

Today's song: 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Vet Visit

Today was the annual vet visit. 

This is the second time I've taken Lucifer for his annual check up.

We go and see Dr Chris at the vets down the road. 

I don't know why Lucifer doesn't like him, he's perfectly lovely.

After getting the boy caged - something he's not overly happy about, we made the five minute drive down the road. He yowled a bit. So be it. 

We sat in the nice cool waiting room for a while, where he remained quiet, but on gaurd in his cat carrier. 

Then Dr Chris turned up and ushered us into the room. 

"Ah, Lucifer, how are you my friend?"

Lucifer says nothing. He just stares from behind the bars. 

"I think we should leave him in his carrier until you've got all your stuff," I said. 

"Not a bad idea, I remember him well. Character cat. " said Dr Chris, who got his needle ready and found a towel and a pair of welding gloves. We were prepared. "How is the lad?"

"He's fine. Nothing wrong with him. Doesn't eat much, he's not food driven. He sleeps most of the day and he gets the odd dingleberry and throws up every few months. Typical cat really. Healthy as a horse. "

"And what do you want done today?"

"Well, just his needle, and if you could clip his toenails and give him a check up, that would be grand,"

So we weighed him. We put the cat carrier on the scales, and took a measurement. 

"Release the Kraken?"

"Yep, release the Kraken."

He wouldn't come out. There is a trick to getting a cat out of their cages. Dr Chris says they're liquid. He tried to pour him out. It took a bit, but finally he scrambled out, only out so he could cower in corner. We then put the empty cat carrier back on the scales. 

Lucifer is a whopping six kilos of small black panther. And he's not fat.

"Okay," says Dr Chris, "I can see he's stupidly healthy."

"I told you that. Is it needle time?"


It took another five minute to catch him. He's a bloody strong, healthy, slippery bugger. 

Once he was wrapped up like a burrito, one of the vet nurses was called in to hold him down, where he struggled as he got his shot. 

And it was decided that a full check up and the nail clippings could wait as he'd never oblige. No need to upset him more. He uses the scratching post so he gives himself a manicure regularly.  

"I have checked his teeth. They're fine," he said after Lucifer gave him a half hearted attempt at a bite. 

We put him back in his carrier. He went in willingly. 

Five minutes and a hundred dollars later, we were home. 

I fed him his dinner as soon as we walked in the door - and we are friends again. 

Still, it's the best laugh I've had in a while. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Airline tickets

 I'd forgotten how easy it was to buy an airline ticket. It's really not that hard, you just get online, type in where you want to go, fish around for when you want to go, pay some money, and you're done. Easy - not really that expensive if you're using airmiles, which, after two years of accumulating them, I have enough to go to London Business Class. 

I'd like to be a bit more excited about going away, but I'm going to Canberra in a fortnight. I'm going to Canberra for a funeral.

See, one of my favourite people on the planet died today. She was my aunt and I've loved her all my life. She was a quiet, humble woman, and despite her achievements of which there were many, and despite the fact there were aspects of her life which were incredibly hard, she kept a sunny countenance and just kept on keeping on. She also had a wicked sense of humour, a steadfast sense of right and wrong and a very loving heart. 

She was a midwife, a very skilled midwife, tending firstly to the women of her district when she lived down near Keith, South Australia (Family lore has it that she gave birth to my cousin Mel one night, then went and helped another woman the following night). Working until sixty-five, she continued being a midwife, heading up the birthing unit at one of Canberra's largest hospitals for many years.  She received the Order of Australia for services to midwifery fifteen year ago. 

She raised five kids, at times on what appeared to be next to nothing. I'm the sixth child by proxy. Well it feels like that. Calling two if my cousins this afternoon after receiving the news, their first question was, "You'll be there?"

Of course I'll bloody be there. 

Over the years, she's been a constant. I've always called her every couple of weeks to see how she's been doing. If I've been in Canberra, I've made sure I visited. When I was living overseas, I made sure I dropped her a line to let her know how thing were going. She was that aunt. A bit of an enigma. I loved being around her calming presence. She had the uncanny ability to make you feel loved and important, and for that I will always cherish her. 

Rest well, Aunty Marg. 

Today's song

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Sunday Stealing: LEP + 2

 Running late with this and it's been a really busy weekend. Swimming, working, lunching, going here, there and everywhere, it means I've got a late start on the blog post. 

Questions, as always, have been sourced by Bev at Sunday Stealing

 1. Would you rather be the guest or the host?

 The guest - less cleaning involved. 

2. What do you like to wear when you feel fancy?

 I have three strands of a  full Pandora bracelets. I put them on, along with make up and clothes that I don't normally wear. Saying that I really don't have many fancy clothes. 

3. How often do you try something completely new?

 As often as I can. Still, being older, that means I don't try new stuff as often as I'd like. 

4. Do you enjoy weddings?

 Not really. It's hard to enjoy something you doubt will ever happen to you. 

5. Have you ever had something customized?

 Other than having the odd piece of clothing taken up or in, not really. 

6. Do you cook spontaneously or meal plan?

 A bit of both. I do meal plan at the start of the week, but then that will often go out the window. 

7. Books you like to read over and over

 Okay, what have I read a few times over is a better question. Here's a few:

  • Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  • Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Harry Potter Series
  • Louis de Bernieres' Captain Corelli's Mandolin
  • Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North
  • Ian McEwan's Atonement

8. What are you really good at?

 Starting arguments from ten miles away. Really good at dropping a bomb then people start arguing about it twenty minutes after I've left the room. 

9. Do you sleep with windows open or a fan on?

   I have the window cracked open all year round and in summer, the fan stays on. I like sleeping with air around me. 

10. What is the easiest recipe you know?

 Scrambled eggs. Eggs, butter, a slosh of milk and some parsley. Easy. 

11. Are you comfortable starting conversation with strangers?

 Yes. One of the joys of coming fron the country. I can talk to anybody.

12. Do you prefer quiet, or ambient noise when you relax?

 I like the quiet - but when I'm working, a bit of ambient noise is good. 

13. Who is your most adventurous or exciting friend?

 That is probably Reindert - he's been and done some amazing things. 

14. What do you eat when you can’t decide what to eat?

 Baked beans on toast. They're filling and not too bad for you. 

15. Do you have any funny pet stories?  

Plenty. I own a cat. 

Today's song:

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Gloria's Birthday

Gloria always celebrates her birthday, and I always attend Gloria's birthday if I am in the state. Having a birthday mid-summer, most people are back in town, or nearly back in town, we make the effort, as we all love Gloria. Gloria is the type who you can hear five minutes before you see her. 

Because Gloria celebrates her birthday every year, I've got to know her friends over the years - people, who for the last nearly 20 years, I've met up with at Gloria's birthday bash, which used to be held at a Cambodian place in Docklands, but this year, was at an outside function place in a Kensington pub. 

There was the obligatory cake, sourced from Brunetti's - this year it was a pistachio mousse cake - glorious stuff. 

COVID has made me shy, people-weary. I'm not used to being around each other any more, but as this was a big birthday, we all made an effort. That the even was outside, even better, considering most of the people there were well over 60, this was a big factor in going. Nobody wants to get COVID. Especially if you're over 60. 

It was also nice to see people I only ever see at Gloria's birthday. Becky, who I worked with for a few months years ago who's a member of Gloria's coven.Jerry, Gloria's best mate for 35 years. Rich and Joy, who came down to Melbourne from Sydney especially. Another couple, Kevin and Circe travelled from Albury. I'd heard a lot about Circe over the years - know all about her from Gloria, but had never met her before tonight. We had a lovely chat about books, and feminism and the Craft. We held hands. I don't know why - it's not something I normally do. 

"Are you a lesbian, sister?" she asked. 
"Are you sure, sister?"
"Yes. But I don't see people a gay or straight. We're all people, and if we're friends of Gloria, you can't be too bad."
"How about I be lesbian by association?" **
"That will do."

Mind you, when I hang out with Gloria and her mates, I'm gay by association, and there is nothing wrong with that.

(** Whenever I hang out with Gloria's friends, I use this line. I fit in with her mob as a member of the craft - a lightworker - a witch. It's one of the few places I can talk freely about this stuff.)

We bid farewell around 10.30. I was knackered after a warm night, with people, talking for three hours straight. 

There is more to this story. Lots to think about. Like why am I not practicing the craft? This is what happens when I hang out with a mob of witches. And it's okay.

But as it always happens at Gloria's birthday, I get thrown into a life for a night which I sort of covet, and identify with. I think it's that I love being surrounded by the love and acceptance I find amongst her friends - a group of rag-tag, funny, interesting misfits who are happy in their own skins. 

And there is a lot to appreciate in that. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Like a bat out of hell

 Ah, Meatloaf. 

I can't say I'm overly surprised. You never really did look that healthy, especially in the later years. 

And despite the fact you conceived one the the three albums I never, ever want to hear again (Yes one of those albums is Bat Out of Hell. The other two are INXS's The Swing, thanks to a school ski trip in 1983 where the only cassette we had, and played, was that bloody album. The other being that travesty, Hooked on Classics, which my mother played for what felt like years on end.)

Anyway, I'm sad your gone. 

You were a good actor. Heavens, I think of Fight Club and I think of you. Because Bob with the bitch tits is one of my favourite bits of what is a great film, made greater by your presence.

And of course, you were the original Eddie in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Gotta love an ex-delivery boy who ends up ina meat grinder after being disposed of by an ice pick. 

So I wish you well on your way, Michael Aday. You appeared to be a genuinely nice bloke, even if you were heavily criticised that time you came and sang at the AFL Grand Final that year. Probably was as bad for you as it was for the crowd. 

But now you're gone, what worries me is that people are going to be playing Bat Out of Hell for the next while. 

I hate that album. 

It's not the music. Individually, some of the songs are okay. Two Out of Three Aint Bad and Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth I really like. 

But if I hear that album from end to end again - an album that takes me back to the worst job I ever had, back to the sub-basement of John Martins department store in the eighties, I don't quite know what I'll do. Over thirty years on, it is still the album which I associate with Room 101, the torture chamber in George Orwell’s 1984, which was named after a conference room at the BBC where Orwell would have to sit through tortuously boring meetings...

The album, to me, is the pinnacle of torture. 

You, however, seemed like a good bloke, and may you rest in peace. 

Just take your Bat Out of Hell album with you.

Today's song:

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Tuna for breakfast

 Breakfast today was a tin of tuna. Yes, I know, tuna for breakfast - I'm busy and need protein. It's quick and easy. 

Not that there's anything wrong with having tuna for breakfast. If I had more time, I'd boil and egg. I might do that for morning tea. 

But what I find most amusing  about having a tin of tuna for breakfast is the response of Lucifer. 

It appears that anything which comes out of a tin belongs to him. 

He's all over me like a rash. 

Open a tin and he's by my side, jumping up, clawing at my trousers wanting something. Doesn't matter if it's baked beans, tomatoes, beetroot or lentils. If it comes from a tin, he wants it. 

But he seems to have a rather special tuna sense. It seems all the tuna belongs to him, and it he doesn't get tuna, he gets very needy.

An hour after the tuna has been eaten, he's sitting in the window looking at me like I've skinned his puppy, demanding treats. It's like tuna is cat crack. 

Cats really are strange creatures. 

Today's song:

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Wordle

 The last thing I do before I go to sleep is the new day's wordle.

Wordle you ask?

Like Grease is the Wordle, or the Wordle was with God, or ...

Nah, Wordle is this little silly puzzle that's taking over the internet and it's a bit too addictive. 

What you are provided with is six lines of five boxes. 

You have to guess a five letter word and press enter. 

You make your guess. The boxes (and the keyboard below) mark up your corrections. The box goes green if the letter is in the right place. The box goes yellow if the letter is in the word but not in the right spot. And the square greys out if the letter is not in the word at all. For ease of use, it also greys out the keyboard below the game. You have five tries to work out what the word is. 

All I can say is that the game is stupidly addictive.  

So much so, everybody's playing it. And posting their scores on the internet:

And it appears I'm getting better at the game. 

I posted my scores for a few days, but it's pointless. Is it envy, bragging (okay, that last game is bragging) or just something we do during this neverending pandemic.

Regardless, the new wordle, which is released at midnight is the last thing I do before I go to sleep at the moment.

We really are strange creatures, we humans. 

Today's song:

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Things I learned today

 I have worked an eleven hour day today. Started at 8, turned the computer off at 7 pm. 

Unfortunately this has become the norm.

And it's shit. 

And it's not fun. 

And it's going to be like this until at least the middle of February, and not much better, but a bit better after this. 

And walking make things better afterwards. I got out for half an hour, dropping my old neighbours mail off to them

As does book group - even if I was slumped in my reading chair answering the questions about a conflicting book. 

But I learned today that with a good team, you can do just about anything. 

That's it. No more. Sick of being in front of a computer. 

Today's song:

Monday, January 17, 2022

Little things that have made me smile

 I need to count my blessings, and I'm looking at what has made me smile over the last few days. 

Firstly, I got reacquainted with cider on Saturday. Barney and I went down the pub for dinner, seeing Blarney and the boys are over in Tasmania and the friends are taking turns to keep Barney company. 

It was a warm night. We had a good pub dinner. For a second drink, seeing I wasn't driving (we went to the pub spitting distance from my house) for a second drink I ordered a pint of cider. 

It was a bit of a dumb move, but as I wasn't driving, I couldn't see the harm in it. 

I like cider. 

I really like cider.

When I say I like cider I put on my best West Country accent and close one eye. 

Unfortunately, cider has this effect where it turns me into a rather loud, sorta funny person who's quite fold of saying thing as they are in my own inimitable style. I don't let myself drink too much of it because more than one makes me loud and uninhibited and I tend to sing or get flirty - or both. It's not pretty. 

Walking back from the pub, Barney, who's quite used to me with a beer or two down me said, "Cider does things to you."

"It does. Be thankful I've only had a pint."


"One pint makes me a bit noisy. Two pints and I'm outright larey. Three pints and I'm on my back, legs in the air, pants around my ankles singing 'Roll me over, in the clover,' or some other off-colour rugby song."

Barney asked when was the last time I drank three pints of cider. 

London, I told him. That was over 20 years ago. 

And what happened when I drank those three pints of cider. 

I told him I think I woke up next to one of my downstairs neighbours. And I smiled. 


The second thing that made me smile was Jay and I in the gym tonight. It's our friend Trish's birthday tomorrow. Thanks to COVID we haven't seen much of her. And Jay had been down the Peninsula and popped in on Jenny's daughter's chocolate shop. She met up with Trish's ex-husband. 

We spent the workout trying to remember his name. 

We've known Trish for well over ten years. We've gone away together. We can tell you all sorts of things about our wonderful friend Trish. But could we remember her ex-husband's name. The ex-husband who comes up in most conversatins. 



"It's a middle-aged accountants name."


"No, and it's not Andrew."

We worked our way around the circuit. 



We got there in the end. (His name is Geoff).

A silly conversation for a strange day. More daft in that we've been hearing about him for over a decade, but his name fell into the rabbit hole of useless information. 

Today's song:

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sunday Stealing: From LEP

I'm not sure where the day went. I've not left the flat. Other than doing an online exercise class this morning, I've done nothing active. My old downstairs neighbours gifted me Meal Kit box from HelloFresh as they forgot to cancel their order before they went away. Saved me a trip to to the supermarket. I cooked up one of the meals today - very tasty and lunch is sorted for tomorrow. 

So all I've done today is binge watched A Discovery of Witches. And read my book for book group. 

I said I was going to do some work. But no. Not this weekend. I think I needed the rest. 

So now it's past 9 pm and I still haven't done this. I'm doing my normal trick. Answer a question, iron something from the pile. Too easy. 

Questions, as always, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. Do you buy things when you want them or wait for sales?

This depends. For most things I buy the when I need them, with the exception of shoes and clothing - those I wait for a sale. Oh and bit ticket items, I'll wait for the year end and half yearly sales - no point paying ticket price for those things. But shoes and clothing normally are bought online, second hand or on sale. 

 2. Do you think time moves slowly or quickly?

Quickly. Very quickly. How is it not the back end of the year 2020? Seriously. How are we in mid-January 2022 already?

 3. How often do you spend time alone?

All the time. I live alone, so I'm by myself all the time. It's really good when I get time like I have this weekend  where I've been on my own, doing as I want without

 4. What’s something that has changed in the last month?

My ice cream consumption. I've been very mindful of how much ice cream I eat - and other than a choc top at the cinema, that's it. It's the only ice cream I've had since this new year, and this is winning. 

 5. What’s the best part of your job, profession?

Sometimes, I get to be creative. And I'm good at what I do. 

 6. How many pens do you have?

From a distance, I first read that as how many penises to do I have. I am a big pen theif. Recently, I put all my stationery away and there were over fifty working pens which went into the drawer. I have too many pens, but I'm sure I'll steal/borrow some more soon. 

 7. What are your healthiest habits?

I'm really fit and healthy - in the gym a few times a week, I walk a lot. And I don't drink that much - 1-2 drinks a week.  And I keep my dairy and gluten down. I'm pretty healthy for the most part. 

 8. Do you have a favorite postage stamp?

I cannot remember the last time I used a postage stamp - everything is done by email now. What a strange question. 

 9. Who did you talk to the most this week?

My team at work. I was onboarding a team member, so I had two full days in the office with him. He wins.

 10. What’s on your bedside table?

Books, a bottle of lavender oil, my phone and iPad, hand cream and a glass of water. Oh, and quite a bit of cat hair. 

 11. How often do you try something new?

As often as I can. More often than not this will be trying a new place to eat, or making a new recipe or seeing a new film or reading a new book. I wish I could do more new things. I love learning stuff. 

 12. What are some of your grocery list staples?

In no real order: 

  • Almond milk
  • Eggs
  • A couple of frozen dinners for quick lunches
  • Loo paper
  • Cat food
  • Smoked salmon
  • Ginger
  • Tonic water

 13. Do you have a favorite poet?

Yes. T.S. Eliot. He's amazing. 

 14. What interesting fact do you know?

I know lots of interesting facts - but whether other people will find them interesting is another matter. 

 15. Do you fold laundry right away or do it later?

 I'm pretty good at putting the clothes that aren't for ironing away, then I like to have the ironing done - and all of the ironing done, in the next day or so. I feel like I'm winning if it's ironed within 24 hours of coming off the line. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Movie Review: The King's Man

Movie Number 4 of 2022

Movie: The King's Man

Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Garden

Stars: 3.5

I'm a fan of the first two Kingsman movies (Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle) so I was going to give this origin story a go, despite the dodgy reviews and rather unkind remarks.

Needless to say, I went in with low expectations and was happily surprised. This isn't a great film, but there are quite a few redeeming features to it which kept me entertained. Jay found it boring. Me, I'm a bit kinder to some action films  - and this one took my fancy. The violence was stylised enough to not turn my stomach or keep me awake, and I loved the historical basis of the film, despite an at times dodgy script. It's just a matter if the goodies winning over the baddies both in the film and in my reaction to it.

So what is this about? Basically this film shows how the Kingsman got it all together - an elite group of spies who operate outside of politics to keep the world safe. 

It starts in the Boer War, when Duke Orlando Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) makes a promise to his dying wife that their son, Conrad (Harris Dickinson) will not participate in War. Oxford was an active soldier, but after the death of his wife he became a pacifist, staying away from the dreadful things the British Army was capable of at the turn of the 20th Century. Of course, Conrad being a young man wants to join up, much to his father's chagrin. But we know that things are happening behind the scenes. The servants are in on what ever is going on. Polly the Nanny (Gemma Arterton) and Shola the butler (Djimon Hounsou) are up to something, as they teach Conrad advanced ways of protecting himself and others. 

And then there is the plot which the movie is based on centered around the start of the First World War. Tom Hollander is wonderful as King George V, Tzar Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm - all related and all a bit strange. The latter was under the spell of Rasputin, played by an almost unidentifiable Rhys Ifans. 

And the silliness continues. There is revenge, heartbreak and a very cool final shoot out in a really great location, in which the ultimate baddie is finally vanquished. 

I get why people haven't reacted to this with the same gusto as they have the first two Kingsman movies. It's not got a great rating on, but I see some value in there. 

For one, I love that my curiousity has been piqued around the history of the times. I really liked all that and I've spent a bit of time looking up the actual history of the times. Fascinating stuff. 

Secondly, the main cast are great, and do their best with the rather dodgy script. 

Next, the action scenes are great. The violence which peppers the first two films is there, but it's that stylised, funny, "bang-bang-you're-dead" action that I can deal with. 

And lastly, as I have a bit of a think for Ralph Fiennes, why wouldn't I like this. His delivery of a Wilfred Owen poem got right into me. 

This isn't the best film, but I did enjoy it, against my better judgement. It's a bit of mindless eye-candy which is just what I needed on a warm Friday night. It isn't for everybody. But what film is?

Today's song: 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Last night's dream

 I rarely dream. 

Yet last night, going to be exhausted, wiped out from the long work days and the heat and the humidity, I fell into bed  just before midnight, where the light went out immediately and sleep took me within minutes. 

The dream was vivid. 

I was in Sydney, on the Northern Beaches. I'd gone to his house to mind his cats, not that I'd ever go to his house, nor does he have cats. We weren't together in this dream, but things were amicable. 

The place partly reminded me of a resort, partly of a room we used to share at a hotel in Manly, the room facing Southward with a balcony that looked over at a street. We went around the house. Talking. I was looking for places to park my car, which I had found free parking on the street nearby. 

His apartment ws large. On the second or third floor - and we went looking for the cats, which we saw go outside. They were orange / tabby arrangements. His daughter appeared with curly bobbed hair - nothing like how she wears her hair. I had to go move my car.

Out the back of the apartment, it wasn't such a great scene - it felt run down, in a country town, slight neglect way, not in a bad people live here way. I tried to find my car. 

What got me most of all is that I so rarely dream, when the alarm went off at 6.30, I turned it straight off, put my head back on the pillow and went back to dreaming again. 

I keep thinking about this dream. Why was I dreaming about my ex and his non-existent cats? 

According to, my go to place for dream interpretation, dreaming of cats means,

"To see a cat in your dream symbolizes an independent spirit, feminine sexuality, creativity, and power. It also represents misfortune and bad luck. The dream symbol has different significance depending on whether you are a cat lover or not. 

To dream that you cannot find your cat highlights your independent spirit. You need to allow yourself to be free and not let anyone or anything hold you back."

Interesting stuff. 

Not so much about dreaming about the ex, but the cat thing. 

As I'm still knackered, and it's still humid, I'm wondering if the dream will return. 

I want to see if I go back there.  Just to see if the cats return.

Today's song:

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Quiet

 I'm not used to this quiet. 

Working from home, the television is always mumbling away near me. I'm not watching it, but it provides some ambient noise, a bit of company. The cat is mostly silent, his claws gently tapping on the floorboards as he slinks between the bedroom, the couch and the kitchen. The're the hum of the air conditioner, a constant presence at the moment as my flat tends to be an oven once it gets over 30 for a few days, Of course, there are the occasional sirens from down the end of the road where the Fire Station resides. And the car alarms. The ding of the tram bells telling recalcitrant drivers to get out of the way - or not to pass when the tram doors are open. Being inner city, there's the odd nutter, the odd screaming fight, the occasional screaming orgasm (whether faked or real and not made of vodka, amaretto, Baileys, coffee liqueur and milk.) Children complain, babies cry, trucks peep as they reverse their backsides into the Fish Factory's driveway. I hear all of this from my seat at the window in my lounge room office. 

Today - I'm in the office in the city. I've come in to train a team member. We'll be the only two on the floor. 

I came into this at eight 'o' clock this morning after a 15 minute dream run in the car to the town. (I'm not risking public transport at the moment). 

The  coffee shop guy was there. I bought my coffee before going upstairs, where I am the only one here at the moment. My colleague is having his wife drop him off shortly. We're having a training day - far more effective if we're sitting next to each other, albeit masked. 

It's oh, so quiet out there at the moment. Quieter than when we had the lockdowns. It's a strange feeling. I'm not sure if it's that of inevitability that we will get a dose of this sodding disease or the weeks of uncertainty as we wait for the worst of the wave to pass. Sure things are open, but staff shortages and close contact restrictions are biting. We are allowed out, it's just nobody is game to do that with any enthusiasm.  They're very different things. And there's not really a time on this. 

So I'm sitting here listening to the quiet. The rattle of the lifts which are near my desk. The occasional clatter of the printer which goes through it's random cycles. The hum of the fridge in the kitchen behind me. My keyboard, as my fingers clatter over the keys. 

Once my colleague arrives, it won't be as quiet, but until he gets here, I'll revel in this strange peace. 

Today's song:

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Book Review: Still Life

The Book: Still Life by Sarah Winman

Stars: 4.5

My first book of the year and I've not been disappointed. When a book sits in Dymocks "Book of the Year" table I often worry, or ignore the book as it's not my genre. 

I'm glad I didn't let this one pass. 

This is glorious. Part English Patient, part All the Light We Cannot See, part A Room with a View, with a bit of Tea with Mussolini thrown in for good measure. 

Goodreads describes the story as this: 

"Tuscany, 1944: As Allied troops advance and bombs fall around deserted villages, a young English soldier, Ulysses Temper, finds himself in the wine cellar of a deserted villa. There, he has a chance encounter with Evelyn Skinner, a middle-aged art historian who has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and recall long-forgotten memories of her own youth. In each other, Ulysses and Evelyn find a kindred spirit amongst the rubble of war-torn Italy, and set off on a course of events that will shape Ulysses's life for the next four decades. 

As Ulysses returns home to London, reimmersing himself in his crew at The Stoat and Parrot -- a motley mix of pub crawlers and eccentrics -- he carries his time in Italy with him. And when an unexpected inheritance brings him back to where it all began, Ulysses knows better than to tempt fate, and returns to the Tuscan hills." 

For those who don't like war stories, the war bits are very limited. 

What this book excels at is deftly drawing out a throng of wondeful charcters and describing, Florence, Tuscany and the East End of London wiht a deftness rarely seen.

Part way through the book I was completely in love with Ulysses, Cressy, Col, Peg, the kid, Evelyn, Massimo and of course, Claude the Parrot. 

The stories which come out over the course of the novel's 40 years are marvellous. It looks at Florence with a lover's gaze - just like EM Forster did in A Room with a View (who appears in cameo in the end of the book). I will also say that A Room with a View was the film which made me want to go to Italy

I really enjoyed this. It's my cup of tea.And even though the author chose not to use quotation marks, and she has a few mor quirks in style, her prose is gorgeous. 

This was a  great way to start the reading year. 

Still Life comes highly recommended. And if you don't like it, your mum will. 

Today's song: 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

No Shits Given - The Cards

 I bought a deck of cards just before Christmas. It had my name all over it.

It's a practical deck, not a tarot deck. It provides clean, unmitigated advice about life when you shuffle and draw a card. Some could see it as a bit wrong. A bit risque. 

Me, I like that it's straight talking. And after a very long, very fraught day at work, followed by a killer, but necessary Core class at the gym, followed by another meeting for the Masons at 8.p.m. (where I clearly stated I needed to be gone by nine p.m - which was respected). And after some time in my reading chair, nearly finishing my book, with the cat sitting in the windowsill behind me, I had a shuffle and pulled the following card. 


Give zero!

Perfect advice for today. 

So I give no shits that people will think less of me because I've put a Phil Collins song for song of the day. I like Phil Collins. I give zero shits that it destroys my street cred - not that I had much in the first place. I give zero shits that I'm overburdened at work. I'm doing what I can in the overly long days I'm working at the moment (doesn't help that I'm training and managing a team as well). 

So I'm giving zero shits for the rest of the day. 

I'm going to have a shower now and see if I can find A Room With A View on one of my streaming services. I give zero shits that people think I'm strange because I have always wanted to be like Lucy Honeychurch (from A Room With A View).

I'm just giving zero shits. 

Because I have no shits left to give. 

Today's song: 

Monday, January 10, 2022


 Last night I did some smooshing. 

As a bit of context, I rarely eat fruit. I never have done, probably never will do. The only way I eat fruit is when it's chopped up for me. But yesterday, going through the local greengrocer, they had near the tills bags of passionfruit for a quick sale. A bag of six for three dollars. They were screaming to be bought. I love passionfruit. I love fresh passionfruit. It reminds me of summer and my childhood, when we had a passionfruit vine out the back of the house. It always teeming with fruit over summer.

What do you do with a bag of passionfruit?

Smoosh them up, I tell you. Smoosh them up and freeze them. 

From the cupboard, I found a tin of lychees - another favourite fruit. I love the texture of them. I love them even more since I discovered lychee ice blocks at a hotel in Hong Kong, where they froze a mix of lychees and lemonade - perfect for a hot day. 

So I opened a tin of lychees, pouring the fruit and syrup into the blender. I then got out some ice block moulds, and poured the lychees in after mixing them with the passionfruit pulp. 

Utter genius. 

I'm sitting here with a lychee and passionfruit ice block feeling very happy indeed. You don't get much better than this on a warm night. 

Today's song: 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Sunday Stealing: How far will you go?

 Another weekend, another few loads of washing, some downtime and some work. Another weekend, another bit of downtime before the craziness of he week. 

Have to say, I wish I didn't have to go into the office tomorrow. I'll be going in very early and walking home at night to try keep the viral load to a minimum. I'll be wearing that N95 mask in the office. It's just for a day. Oh well, the change in scenery will do me good. 

Questions, as always, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing

1.  What was the warmest welcome you’ve ever received?

I can't think of any one special time, as I'm lucky in that my friends always seem happy to see my, but my sister's dog, Bosley used to give me the best greetings. He was all over me like a rash for hours after my arrival. I used to love that dog, God love him.

2.  What was the best thing about your youth?

Oh, lots of things. No mobile phones. A better body, not that I knew it then. No pressure. No bills to pay. Discovering new things all the time. You don't realise how good your youth was until it's no longer in your grasp. 

3.  Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met.

Again, I know a lot of really interesting people - I'm lucky like that. My friend Reindert is incredible - he's into all sorts of things including Ultra marathon running, he speaks four languages, and has a really interesting slant on nearly everything. I've met some really incredible writers as well, who I'm happy to sit down with and talk to about writing for hours. 

4.  What is the least you’ve ever worn in public?

I've gone completely naked in public. But do remember, this was skinny dipping on secluded beaches. That counts, yes?

5. What was the worst vacation you ever took?

I won't say it was the worst vacation, but more the start of the vacation got off to a not great start. When I was coming back to Australia over 20 years ago, I met up with some friends in Greece. We had very different expectations and budgets. It wasn't a bad time, we just weren't aligned. We parted company after a few days - I'm not sure about them, but I had a great time once I was on my own again. 

6.  What room in your home do you spend the most time?

The living room - but that is because it's also my office at the moment. One end of the living room has my desk, computer, secondary screen and all the other accouterments there - and I'm spending a lot of time there at the moment. The rest of my time is spent on the couch watching telly. 

7.  Who made the strongest first impression on you?

I remember meeting somebody in an office setting who turned out to be a very good friend. I remember laying eyes in him and I felt like I'd been struck by lightning. It was a very strange experience. It's happened a few times, but I know feeling went through my body. It was visceral. 

8.  What was the most surprising action you’ve ever taken.

Getting on twenty years ago I left my job and moved to a Greek Island for a few months, not being able to speak the language. At the time it was very surprising. 

9.  When was your life most out of control?

That would be when I was at University. I wasn't having a great time back then and I was drinking a lot, like many university students. It all worked out in the end. 

10.  What would you be best at, were you to change careers?

I think I'm doing what I am best at - which is writing. Okay, I would rather be a novelist than a technical writer, but at least I write for a living. 

11.  What is the cruelest thing a person has ever said to you?

Other than the normal childhood slights, probably having somebody tell me he didn't love me any more. That wasn't fun. 

12.  What is the best thing you ever won as a prize?

A bit over ten years ago I won to tickets to anywhere in the world. I changed this to a round the world ticket, but that was really awesome. All on a 100 words or fewer competition at work. Best 97 words I've ever written. 

13. What is your strongest argument against capital punishment?

The person might be innocent. Juries are not infallible. You just don't know. We don't have capital punishment here in Australia so we don't have to think about it. I'm not for it in the slightest, although there is a part of me that thinks mass murderers could be put to death, you just don't know. It's inhumane. 

14.  What have you been most ignorant about in life?

Thankfully I have no idea about war, suffering and hunger. I've never witnessed it first hand. I don't want to either, but I do know that I'm very blessed in this. 

15.Where would you most hate to be pierced?

Oh, anywhere other than the ears. The labia comes to mind - or nipples. Or the bridge of the nose. Though I don't mind the look of nasal peircings, I couldn't put myself through that - especially the septum or bridge. 

Today's song:

Saturday, January 8, 2022


 This is a strange one. 

Petrichor is one of my favourite words, and it's been on my mind all day. 

For those not aware of the word, it's generally described as a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.  You know that smell - rain on the roads. It's one of my favourite smells. 

There's also a colour known around the traps as Petrichor Blue, which is a lovely deep near petrol blue with a bit of green in it. See belowfor an idea of it. This blue is one of my favourite colours. You don't here about it much. 

It's not disimilar to petrol blue. 

Which is also anothe favourite colour of mine. 

I've no idea why I've been thinking about this all day. I do love how the word rolls around your mouth. I love that we have a word for the smell of rain.

Maybe it's because I went for a good long walk this morning. It was drizzling for much of the walk. It wasn't cold. It was very muggy - thankfully we don't have to wear masks outside because it would have been impossible to breathe. I walked down by the river. It felt wonderful. The towpath was next to empty. I bought a coffee on the way home. 

And this all made my day. 

Today's song: 

Friday, January 7, 2022

The Virtuous Lunch

Lunch is a meal to savour. It's also supposed to be good for you. It's there to nourish you in the middle of the day. 

I'm trying to take nourishment to the next level. 

In my lunch bowl in front of me you can find the following: 

  • Half a tin of lentils
  • Half a tin of diced beetroot
  • Half a bag of baby spinach
  • Some feta cheese
  • Some mint leaves picked from the garden down stairs
  • Coles Raspberry Balsamic dressing
Seriously, can you get more healthy? Can you get any more virtuous - oh I suppose the feta could be vegan feta, but I'm not paying that much for stuff that tastes like arse - and I'm not that much of a wanker. 

And I'm drinking home made kombucha. 

I made my own iced almond decaf latte this morning. 

And my snack of choice for this week is celery stalks with some peanut paste butter**

I'm going to be pooing real good for the next few days. 

If lentils weren't so hippy, this could be a salad you take to a friend's barbeque. It's actually really nice - and filling. 

If I wasn't such a messy eater, I could take this salad to work. 

If I hadn't found a worm in a bag of spinach once, I might be more likely to eat the stuff. 

And the mint is good. I used to gather mint from our swamp when I was a kid. Now I just have to g downstairs to my old neighbours rock garden. At least I don't have to go down a steep hill and past the pump to find the major ingredient for the sauce used on roast lamb (The mint sauce was always my job).

Still, I feel very virtuous for eating like a hippy. 

**Where I come from it's known as peanut paste. Always was peanut paste, always will be peanut paste. And it's preferably Bega Crunchy or Super Crunchy  - I don't like the smooth stuff. 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

I'm going to call it

Currently, Novak Djokovic is sitting in a holding room at Melbourne airport, waiting to see what happens next. Apparently he applied for the wrong visa to allow him to play at the Australian Open and he's been asked to leave the country. His arrival in Australia has been all over the news due to his stance on to being vaccinated for COVID (although allegedly he had a bout of it a while ago)

I'm going to call it. What's the bet he's back in the country by the weekend? Odds on, I reckon. 

As somebody who has about as much interest in tennis as I do in stock car racing, the Kardashians and the plight of Karl Stefanovic, I'm not at all interested in whether this guy plays at the Open. I really don't care. 

What I do care about is the fact that news time, better spent on other more pressing things (sic) is being spent on some rich, powerful, entitled dude, who's not complying with the country's vaccine stance, appearing to be able to flaunt the system. 

Sure, if you've got money, have a media presence and friends in high places around here, you can apparently do what you want. We see this all the time. 

Doesn't mean we have to like it. Doesn't mean it passes the pub test. 

Silly bloody wally should have got his paperwork right. 

I'll mark this. He'll be back in the country by the weekend. 

Today's song: 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

My Christmas present to me

Last night I gave myself a treat, mostly because I'm worth it, and mainly because when I booked this present for myself I was stressed out of my heat at the back end of December. 

Tonight, I took myself off for a facial. 

It was utter, utter bliss. 

I've been buying my moisturiser from Emme at Radiance Beauty in Camberwell for many years. Yes, it looks like it's expensive, but for the tiny amounts of product you use, it lasts far better than any supermarket moisturiser, making it really cost effective. It's great stuff, and I recommend the products all the time and it's the only moisturiser I've ever used that doesn't turn my skin red, dry and flaky - the joys of having really sensitive skin.. 

Emme's facials are also legendary. It starts with a back scrub, where you're back is massaged while this great body scrub smoothes your skin. Then the scrub is wiped away with damp, warm towels and your've covered with another warm towel.. This is followed by a massage - not too soft, not too hard, but just right. After a day of yelling at the computer screen and jockying documents, it's the perfect antidote to a mediocre day. 

Then the facial itself, after I was rolled over on the table. Absolute bliss. You're cleansed, scrubbed, massaged, toned, masked, moisturised, and masked again, before a last layer of premium moisturiser is applied. Having your face massaged is a treat. I know it's strange, but I can't remember the last time anybody touched my face. COVID has been bad for the world when it comes to touching others - just having somebody massage your face is a strange feeling - a lovely sensation. I wonder why I don't do this more often. (oh yeah, money). 

It's an hour and a half of absolute bliss. 

There should be more of it. 

Today's song: 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Movie Review: Licorice Pizza

 Movie Number 3 of 2022

Film: Licorice Pizza

Cinema:: The Rivoli, Village Cinemas

Stars: 5

Ah, first love. Don't you just love it?

Licorice Pizza shows first love. And the wonderful shit people got up to in the seventies at it's very best, all under the careful and loving direction of Paul Thomas Anderson, who's responsible for such great films as Magnolia, Boogie Nights and The Master. Anderson likes working with large casts and throwing up-and-comers in with big name stars. He's fond of telling big stories in an everyday way. And he's a little bit left of centre.

And in this film, he does this all of this brilliantly. 

The film provides the story of Alana Kane (newcomer Alana Haim) a young woman trying to find her place in the world, who at the start of the film is working as a school photographer's assistant. One on of her gigs, she meets Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) a teenage child actor with enough chutzpah to climb Everest in a day. For Gary, it's love at first sight. For Alana, she's a bit more dubious. 

And it goes on from there as we watch Alana assist Gary with every get rich quick scheme he can poke a stick at, from child acting, which he's obviously outgrowing in more than just age. From waterbeds, to pinball machines, the kid doesn't stop, Alana helping him, platonically, along the way. 

Then you meet some wonderful Anderson characters, There's Sean Penn as the drunken actor up for a night of it. And Bradley Cooper is hysterical as Jon Peters, and oversexed womaniser who buys a bed of the kids - with hysterical results. Other cameos from Maya Rudolph, Harriet Samson Harris (remember Frasier's agent? Her.) and Michael John Higgins among others, brings up the star power. Haim's real life family portray her screen family, rounding out the cast nicely. 

But this film belongs to Anita Haim and Cooper Hoffman. Both are going to be actors to watch in the future - Haim bringing a young Barbra Streisand kind of vibe - smart, funny, Jewish, while Hoffman, son of another Anderson alumni, Philip Seymour Hoffman, jumps off the screen, bringing all of the unwavering confidence that a 15-year-old boy can display when you're a kid of the seventies. Both of these actors are up for big things. They're amazing. What was even better was seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman's son on film, channeling his father. The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. 

The stuff these kids get up to is the stuff of awe. It's the things that you used to get away with. 

And there is one scene with a reversing truck which is mind blowing. 

The aesthetic of the film, total seventies, is on point, from the sets to the clothes to the mannerisms. This is a love song to these times.

I adored every last polyester encrusted, shag-piled carpeted, vinyl seated moment of this film. 

It's truly awesome. 

Today's song: 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Film Review: House of Gucci

 Film 2 of 2022

Film: House of Gucci

The cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 4

It's the role of a biopic to delve into the lives of people you'd never come into contact with. And House of Gucci is one of those films. 

Ah the eighties, with its excesses, it's new money, its lack of class - this film has it all. 

Rotten Tomatoes describes this film as being "... inspired by the shocking true story of the family behind the Italian fashion empire. When Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately... murder."

Set in the seventies, eighties and nineties, this film is wonderful just for the little details of the age. Set initially in Milan, we meet Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), a secretary working for her father's trucking firm. And then we meet Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) a bit of a wannabe odd-bod lawyer. The two meet at a party, fall in love, and difficulties ensure. Maurizio's father, Rudolfo (Jeremy Irons) is not in favour of the match. Besides, he has enough on his plate, being that he's in a bit of a feud with his brother Aldo (Al Pacino) and his dimwit son, Paolo (an almost uncrecognisable Jared Leto). 

And the saga plays out. Various family members are metaphorically stabbed in the back. The Italian's lackadaisical view of tax accounting makes the family fall foul of the law. People die, have children, have really bad ideas and get tied up in bad business deals. Oh, and Maurizio and Patricia's marriage breaks down. Fun, eh?

This is a fascinating look at a rather dysfunctional family. Lady Gaga is fabulous as the gold-digging Patrizia. Adam Driver is great at Maurizio, who strangely gets sexier as the movie goes on, despite the dodgy hair and him looking like bizarre overbred cat. I loved Jared Leto in his role of the dimwitted Paolo - who you can't help to feel sorry for. I also enjoyed Salma Hayek's turn as Patrizia's psychic, Pina, who has a big part to play in the whole downfall of the family. 

In all, this is a great insight into a very sad situation. It's worth the ticket price to see the fashions and the sets, which show 80's excess at it's best. 

My only quibble about the film is why the whole cast, who are Italians, but being an English speaking film, speak in an accent which would not be out of place in The Godfather.  I found this a little off-putting - but it's a small thing on what turned out to be a really entertaining film. 

Today's song: