Thursday, March 31, 2022

Try Faking It!

Last night's book launch has got the fire in my belly about writing my own book flaring again. 

So I'm arming myself with the tools required to write this bloody thing. (although I've got two and a half books in the planning and writing stage, there is the one passion project that I want to get off the ground first). 

And I've got Catherine Deveny's words in my head. 

Write in the gaps. 

In other words, those ten minutes all add up. Ten minutes here and there. It will get you somewhere. 

And use your prompts. 

I've got a lot of these stashed around my place and person. There's always a deck of tarot cards within five meters of me. At home, my set of Cards Against Humanity sit on the bookshelf behind me, always good for a laugh and left of centre pivot. 

And then there's the Oblique Strategies deck I have on my phone. Open the app, shake the phone, tap the screen, and get provided with a way to tackle the problem. There are great as they can help turn around your thinking. 

So today's missive from the great digital beyond read:

Try faking it!

Right.

Personally, I think all I ever do is fake it. Isn't that's what life is about - trying to look like you know what you're doing when you really don't have a clue. 

I know I was faking it a bit last night when I was out at that book launch. I had my armour on - my snug fitting cherry dress, make up, red lippy, kitten heels. Is that really me? I'm not sure. I feel like a bit of an actor when I'm out like this. The real me is happier sitting on the couch with the cat, in my pyjamas, drinking a gin and tonic. 

But when it comes to writing - how does one fake it?

Do you put on your writer's persona and get on with it? Or pretend you can actually do this? Or maybe just write so in-authentically that writing takes on a life of its own. 

Who knows, yet this is the head space I need to get back into. 

Each time I see a friend launch a book - achieve something I think is impossible, the fire is stoked again. 

And I can do this. I just have to let myself do this. 

Today's song:

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Book Launch

The Book: True North by Catherine Deveny

The Location: Tempo Rubato, Brunswick

One must show support for one's mentors. And tonight, all stops needed to be pulled. It was a meeting of the tribe, celebrating our fearless leader, the head of the feminist benevolent dictatorship, our chief MILF**, Catherine Deveny. 

We've been waiting for this book for 18 months. Tonight, it was launched. 

And I've now got it into my head that I can write a book and have a fabulous book launch like that.... but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

So, I left work on time. I put on my fabulous cherry dress, slapped on some war paint, ran fingers and product through my curls, dangled some silver from my ears and gave myself a squirt of Juliette's got a Gun's Lady Vengeance and I was out the door in half an hour. Frocking up, was also necessary. 

It was a meeting of the tribe. We all know each other wearing trackie dacks, jumpers and ugg boots - or nothing at all during the ritual retreat Sunday morning skinny dip. It would be good to be seen looking a bit more polished. Besides, it's a night out of the house, with people, and alcohol - and a kitten, but we won't go there. 


I made it to Tempo Rubato a few minutes late, got my vaccination status checked, then in to door to the proceedings. Clementine Ford helped launch to book. Another person I admire by the bucketful, I was hoping to catch her, buy a physical copy of her wonderful book,  How We Love, have her sign the copy, and thank her for writing such an amazing book - it's been one of the best things I've read this year. I wouldn't be amiss thanking her for the vibrator recommendation - but this was a night about books, and words, and supporting and decent company, my little helper in my bedside table could stay out of the topics of conversation. 

Anyway, back to Dev and her book. 

After a few more speeches and a Q&A session it was on to the catching up, meeting people and socialising. 

Most of the Gunnas - as we are known (people who attend Dev's masterclasses and Writer's Retreats) had frocked up a little - just because. When your Queen says celebrate, we celebrate.

Catching up with the tribe was great. A couple of meet ups and music gigs have been discussed. For me, to be surrounded again by these wonderful like minded people. A tribe who love and support you without prejudice or judgement - it's a too good a feeling to to go along. Walking in I found K - a partner in crime from the last retreat. Big hugs and heartfelt I love yous were the theme of the night. Fi placed a G&T in my hand. Lots of meeting up with others I've met either online or in person over the years. 

I bought the book - well two books. I'm now the owner of Clementine Ford's How We Love on paper. It was duly signed and I will cherish this. If you haven't had a chance to read it, do so. It is a generous, thoughful exposition about love in it's many forms. 

And then over to Dev to get my copy signed. Another book to love - up there with my tatty signed copy of Louis de Bernieres' Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and my copy of Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book which Terry Jones signed for me many years ago. . 

After a hug and some hearty congratulations, my book was stamped and signed. The stamp was chosen with care, as these stamps always are. I was expecting the "Pull your finger out, your excuses are bullshit" one. I've received that one before. (As I said, benevolent, feminist dictatorship - tough love is a given).

I was pleasantly surprised. 

There was more talking, more laughing and another G&T. 

The offer of a lift home was accepted, and I was back home with the cat by just past nine. 

Never more have I been grateful for being a part of this tribe of strong, vibrant, eclectic and interesting women. 

And I'm truly grateful to Catherine Deveny for just being herself, and being so bloody generous with her time, her words and her ideas. I'll start the book tonight. I've read a number of her other books and they're great. 

It's now time to pull my finger out, write that bloody book, get it published and have a fabulous book launch party so I can return the favour. I've seen what I want to do, now I just have to do it. 

Oh, and Dev, if you're reading this, I fucking love you too. xx

Today's song: 


** MILF - acronym for "Mother I'd like to f*ck - I'm not a Mum so I can't be a MILF. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Give me another three hours

 It's been one of those days. 

I've worked a full eight hour day. I need another three or four hours in this day. 

I did manage to cook myself some lunch, if you call blanching some broccolini, asparagus and edamame, before heaping that on top of some rice and salmon (with pickled ginger) and going back to my computer. 

I got none of my own work done. 

The day was spent helping others, putting out fires, teaching people stuff, getting on with things so that the rest of the streams were working well and getting on top of their stuff. 

But me, nup. It's now time to get some real work done.

It's 8 pm. 

I have at least two hours of concentrated effort ahead of me to get some stuff that looks like my work done. 

And part of this is to clear the way for tomorrow, knowing I'm going out tomorrow night. 

And part of it is knowing if I don't get this done I'm going to get quizzed by my boss. 

And part of it is knowing that I get more done in these two hours with MAFS on in the background. 

And at least I've taken a few hours off, gone into town to collect the mail and to go for a long walk - which has made me feel a lot better about things. 

But still. 

I'm just a bit over this. 


Today's song:



Monday, March 28, 2022

Movie Review: The Duke

Movie 11 of 2022

The Film: The Duke

The Cinema: Village Cinemas - The Rivoli

Stars: 4 1/2

For me, this was a nearly perfect movie. Not only does it have Matthew Goode in it (current celebrity boyfriend) but it portrays a little remembered event in British history which shows the English at their barking mad best. 


It's 1961 and Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent) is a Geordie activist who's looked on by the community as barking mad. His latest crusade it to let the Old Aged Pensioners to get there television licences for free (I had to explain to my friends what a television licence was - being aware of them when I lived in England) To get out of paying the licence, Kempton takes out the cathode which receives BBC1... go figure. His long suffering wife, Dorothy (played by the amazing Helen Mirren) takes the old duffer in his stride. Nobody does a long suffering wife like Helen Mirren, playing her age (or more to the point, 10 years younger than her current age). 

Anyway, on a trip to London, and incensed  Kempton, agitated about the British Government spending a packet on a Goya painting, on a whim, breaks into the National Gallery and steals the painting, which ends up sitting in the wardrobe in his box room in Newcastle for a bit. Until a few weeks later, Kempton takes the Goya back, walking into the National Gallery with it wrapped in newspaper under his arm. 

The film then goes into the court proceedings and what happened next (Which is where Matthew Goode comes in, playing his lawyer). You also get to meet Kempton and Dorothy's family and get a good view of what is happening in Britain, some 15 years after World War II, when things weren't like they are now. 

I loved this. This is a charming film - a very funny film in places, but one that ultimately restores your faith in humanity as the somewhat gormless, always caring Kempton shows up the British legal system. It's also wonderful because the rest of the cast will have you scratching your head and saying, "I know you from somewhere...". And of course, Matthew Goode is in it. And I have a spoft spot for when Helen Mirren goes all plain. 

But this is Jim Broadbent's movie, and the twinkle in his eyes has to be seen and celebrated. 

Another movie which is great to take your mother to. Hear that, Mum?

This is up there with movies like Their Finest, Misbehaviour, Pride, Brassed Off, Billy Eliot and Kinky Boots. 

Go. Take your Mum. Enjoy. You can thank me later. 

Today's song: 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Sunday Stealing: From Pinterest

 Well, I am home after my first date in 15 years. A pleasant coffee was had. I will say no more, but I am winning having a pleasant coffee on a lovely afternoon. Mind you, some stuff has been filed away under use for the novel :). All is well. 

Questions, provided as always by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. Are you living a meaningful life.

Not really. I should do something about that. 

2. What’s the one thing you cannot live without?

My friends. They are everything to me. 

3. When is it acceptable, if ever, to break the law

Umm, as somebody who broke the law daily for six years I can't talk. But the way I see it, if you're not hurting anybody, then so be it. I don't see stealing food when you can't afford it as a big thing. Smaller misdemeanors can often be wiped away. Hurting somebody in self defence is allowable. Drugs, particulary personal use laws, should be wound back - as more often than not, long term drug use is a disease. There are too many grey areas in the law. I'm just saying that if people are not being inconvenienced or hurt, let them do it (like me and my immigration status way back then). 

4. What do you want your final words to be

Thank you. Maybe an attitude of gratitude will get me into heaven.

5. What do you think are the five most beautiful things in the world?

  • Kindness
  • Puppies and kittens
  • Roses
  • Sunrises and sunsets
  • The ocean

6. What makes you feel empowered?

This is going to sound strange, but going for a naked swim in the ocean in the bracing waters of the Southern Ocean on those writer's retreats is one of the most empowering and enlightening feelings. I'm not sure what it is. That you're doing something illicit? That there feels like there is a sense of danger? That you're facing the elements head on. I don't know what it is, but it feels fantastic for days after. 

7. Which is more important–what you say, or how you say it?

Both are important - and equally important. I can't separate the two. 

8. Do you live to work, or work to live?

I work to live. If I didn't have to pay bills I'd not be working.

9. How do you think the world will change in 10 years? 50? 100?

Do you really think there will be a planet in 100 years the way we are going? Really. With everything going on at the moment, I don't want to think about it. Hopefully, as a world, we are a lot kinder to the planet. 

10. What is something you’re certain you’ll never experience?

Childbirth. 

11. What one responsibility do you wish you didn’t have?

I wish I was not on the Property Association for the Freemasons. Franky, I'm just over it - but if I walked away, nobody would pay the bills. 

12. What is something you’re embarrassed that you’re so good at?

I'm good at the following thing - all of which are a bit embarrassing. 

  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Starting arguments from 10 kilometres away
  • Driving anything
  • Rhyming

13. What’s the one thing you most want to achieve before you die?

I really want to publish a couple of books. 

14. What’s something that offends you?

Rude peope, particularly people who are rude to service staff. 

15. What makes you most angry about the country?

Pretty much everything the current Australian Federal Government either offends me or makes me angry. Allegedly we're having a Federal Election on 14 May. I will be four days out of surgery - but I am hoping we can have an election party where ever I may be and I hope we will be celebrating the demise of the current fuck up fairies who pretend they are in charge. 

Today's song:

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Theatre Review: Admissions

 The Play: Admissions by 

The Company: The MTC

The Theatre: The Sumner, Southbank

On until: 12 April


I commented to Jay on the way to this that the 2022 season of the MTC had got off to such a great start that this may be a bit of a disappointment. It was that sort of feeling, not knowing what you're going into, but still looking forward to going to the performance regardless. 

My gut instinct turned out to be right - was this as good as Touching the Void or Fun Home? No - but it doesn't mean it was bad - just different.

Admissions is a very wordy play. According to the MTC website, the play is about "Sherri Rosen-Mason is head of admissions at an exclusive high school; her husband Bill is the principal. They are passionately committed to increasing the number of students at the school from culturally and linguistically varied backgrounds, and they’re starting to see results. But when their son’s application to Yale is deferred, it sets in motion a chain of events that will test their convictions to the very core."

I was in about three minds about this play throughout. It's a play about power and privilege, which is being portrayed to an audience, by extension, who have power and privilege. It is also very American, as Jay pointed out, we don't have the Ivy League  - but we hear enough about it over here to know what is going on - and the play makes some very pointed statements about white privilege. 


Was I convinced about this play? Not entirely. But the performances were solid. Kat Stewart is great as the morally conflicted Sherri. For me, William McKenna, who played the son, stole the show with a 15 minute monologue at the crux of the matter. The staging and direction were solid. What more do you want from the price of the ticket? It is certainly entertaining, but you do have to keep your ear on this. 

And you do come away thinking just how far you are willing to go to change the world you live in - which at the end of the day, is a result. 

The season of the MTC has extended the season of this out by a few weeks, given its popularity. It's worth a look. 

Today's song:

Friday, March 25, 2022

Hell is the United Australia Party

What have we, as a collective society, done to deserve the barrage of awful advertisements on the television brought to us by the United Australia Party?

Seriously?

I've just had a look at their website. (Yes, I am procrastinating that much - have a big re-write to do - and I don't want to do it). Oh my. 


Remind you of anybody?




Seriously... It's everything out of the Trump playbook. 

And the Palmer United Party (AKA PUP) was a complete PUP. I will say that about the only good thing to come out of it was Jacqui Lambie - who lover her or hate her, has turned into a reasonable senator. 

I keep questioning where this inept Trumpian horror sketch is coming from. I mean, Clive Palmer, the fat fuck, the one term House of Representatives member for Fairfax, who was rarely in the chamber, and when he was there he was asleep. If anything an LNP stooge. This is the guy who closes down a mine but won't pay his workers there entitlements and all sorts of other dodgy practices

Really - you want that guy leading the country? 

Looking around the website further, you find that there is a lot of Anti-Vax fluffery around there. 

Looking at their policies, they appear to be pro-nuclear, anti-vax, anti-cooperation (like abolishing the National Council - which yes, is not something we've had before, but I think I like that the heads of each state, who all did a lot of the heavy lifting over COVID, at least talk). Oh, there's nothing about the environment, schools or hospitals, but a lot about mining. 

Fun. 

Then there's the song. Which appears to be written by a group of year nines on music camp. Roool good it is. Have a listen

Being, completely honest, the more I see this drivel, the more I ponder where they will go on my ballot in May - last, or second last under the LNP.

They really aren't doing themselves any favours. 

If anything, this horror story of a political party is there as a warning about where we could go if we don't take care. 


Today's song: 



Thursday, March 24, 2022

Juggling

 How does one juggle a weekend full of commitments? 

I've got a few things on. 

  • A play tomorrow night in town
  • Dinner before the play
  • I need to buy a new keyboard as this one is finally giving up the ghost
  • A movie night with some friends, followed by dinner after the film
  • And do eight hours of work - to keep myelf sane during the week
  • And go over the Westgate to spend some time with Blarney's cats on both days
  • And get some exercise in
  • And watch the new series of Bridgerton
  • And go on my first date in 15 years
I'm just trying to work out how I'm going to fit this all in. 


Today's song: 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The Lobotomy

 I'm getting a lobotomy on 27 April. 

Well, it's going to look like I've had a lobotomy. 

Nah, really, I've had a small skin cancer taken off my forehead/temple, my doctor didn't go deep enough and the histology stated that all the margins weren't as clear as they should be. So I've been referred to a plastic surgeon, who removes 20-30 of these things a week. It's something that has to go, but in the scheme of things, it's been caught early and all will be well.  

He talked through the procedure, done in a day surgery place. I'm rather happy I get a sanctioned day off from work. (Big yay!). 

"This will leave you with a scar," he tells me. 

"Scars make you interesting." 

"It will be a fine scar"

"Doesn't matter," I tell him,"I can tell people I've had a labotomy, and they will believe me."

He smiled at me.

"How did you get that scar in your eyebrow?" noticing the bald patch and fine scar that's been there for decades. 

"My sister. I was eleven years old. She donged me with a five-iron. Told you scars make you interesting."

He asked if I had any concerns. 

"Just keloids."

"You should be fine - have you got keloid scars?"

"Only the one in my belly button from a laproscopic surgery."

"That's common. You should be fine."

And that was that. The surgery date has been set. I've got the day off work sorted. I'll call my health fund to make sure the day surgery is covered. I wait knowing this. And I'll keep working like a slave until then. 

It's a bit sad when you are grateful for a doctor's appointment to take you away from work. 

I'm a bit grateful that this, although it's a skin cancer, is one that is easily treated.

You have to look for the small mercies. 


Today's song:

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Surfer Rosa

Surfer Rosa turns 34 today. 

Surfer Rosa?

One of the best albums EVER. It's The Pixies greatest album, just trumping Doolittle, which is also AMAZING. 

But Surfer Rosa (and Come on Pilgrim which is the second part of the album which came out a few months later) is some of the most seminal, most influential music out there . It's the powerful bass. The loud-soft-loud. It's the subversive lyrics.

YOU ARE THE SON OF AN INCESTUOUS UNION!

Okay, Nimrod's Son is on the Come on Pilgrim side of things. 

But we must take every chance we can to celebrate The Pixies. 

Because The Pixies are GOD. 

And I'm too exhausted to write anything more sane tonight. 

One, two, threee...sing it Black Francis.


Today's song: 



Monday, March 21, 2022

Happy Gotcha Day

Two years ago I made the track out to Coldstream at the edge of the Yarra Valley. COVID was just kicking in, but this was before all of the masking and real lockdowns and curfews and 5 kilometre radii limits. Before we all started to hate the four walls of our living rooms. 

I'd seen you on Cat Tinder and fell in love. 


I mean how can anybody not fall in love with those big yellow eyes and that wet, black nose and that look of utter vulnerability? And okay, they got your breed wrong, because of course, there should be no mistaking that you're a Small House Panther and not a Domestic Short Hair. And Reggie couldn't be your real name (besides, my grandfather was a Reg - I'm not having a cat named after my Grandpa). And black cats are the hardest to re-home thanks to superstition. Being a witch, I see no problem having a black familiar.)

So we met. You were a bit reticent, but you didn't hate me. According to the staff at Animal Aid, you'd been there a few months. You were good at letting your displeasure known and you weren't venting it with me. You were quite calm about me. 

So some time later, you were bundled into the cat carrier and we made the long journey home. I look you on a limited adoption to see how it would all go. If you weren't happy after a fortnight, I could bring you back. 

On arriving home, we found out the following: 

  • You don't jump up on the kitchen benches
  • You're unfailingly clean
  • You're a tidy eater
  • You love to jump
  • And you're not adverse to making your presence felt.
On that first night you came up to me, jumped up onto my shoulder and started to purr. Of your own volition. You were letting me know you were home. 


That first night, you slept curled up behind my knees. The deal was sealed. I paid for your permanent adoption the next day. 

Two years on, you're still home. You're a funny little arsehole. 

You have the best derp face. 


Two years on, when I join you on the bed for a cuddle, you now purr. You let me rub your tummy too, though I'll get  kangaroo kick after 10 seconds or so. You love when I cook. Raw chicken sends you positively loopy. You don't like it when I go out for the day. You give the most wonderful cuddles when I get home, settling on my chest, screwing up your eyes and purring - for no more than two minute, but these cuddles mean a lot. 

You get stroppy when I don't make your bed. You love talking to the birds from the windowsill. You never ask to go out the front door. 


Basically, you're the love of my life. 

Happy Gotcha Day, Lucifer Reginald Morningstar Goose-Boy.

Thank you for letting me be your Mum, Reg. 


Sunday, March 20, 2022

Sunday Stealing: Swap Bot

 Autumn is finally upon us, even if it is still 25 degrees outside (77 F). The leaves have started to turn and fall. There is a chill in the air in the evening. It is most wonderful of feelings. I love that we have a deciduous tree in our car park - I love going leaf kicking - do it a lot. 

Questions, as always, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. Do you like sushi?

Yes - love the stuff - particularly sashimi. Raw fish is good for you. 

2. What color is your car?

Red. To be really specific, Mazda Soul Red. This is a clean version of my car. 


3. What is your favorite thing about the place where you live?

The diversity. The great coffee. The closeness to the river. The fact that I can get to work in 30 minutes door to door on public transport. Of my flat, it's in a quiet area, I've got a spare room and it is cozy. 

4. Are there brands of certain items that you will ONLY buy that brand? Ie paper towels, ketchup etc

Yes. I will only buy Heinz baked beans - there are no other. And Lee and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. And Kewpie mayonnaise. And Bickford's Lime Juice cordial. There are a few things that I prefer the real stuff to the home brand items. 

5. Are you allergic to any food? Animals? Plants? Medicines?

Other than bactrim gives me a rash and morphine makes me throw up

6. Have you ever been stung or bitten by an animal?

Oh, yes. Other than the normal mozzie bites, I have had a couple of bee stings, the worst being when I was a teenager and a swarm of bees flew over the house. A been flew down my top and stung me on the nipple. It was a very, very uncomfortable week as my breast blew up on that side. I was a C cup on my good side and a E or F on the other. Horrible experience. 

7. Do you have a favorite bird? Do you feed the bird at your house or the park?

As a rule, I really don't like birds. I'll feed the ducks and admire the black swans around the place, but I like to keep them at a distance. My favourite bird is the Blue Footed Booby. I just like its name. 


8. What would you recommend bingeing on Netflix or similar?

The last two things I've been bingeing on a streaming service are A Discovery of Witches and This is Going to Hurt. Both are English fare with some of my favourite English actors. 

If you missed The West Wing or True Blood, they are great too. 

9. What is your proudest achievement?

It's a toss up between running a couple of half marathons and gaining my Masters. 

10. Do you have or are you from a big family?

No - It's a pretty nuclear family - though I have 15 cousins. Just a mum, stepdad, sister and stepsister. 

11. What do you do for exercise?

Lots of things - I go to the gym and do circuit/weight training, as well as walk. And I like swimming when I get a chance. I used to run. I used to love running. 

12. What would be your favorite breakfast? (You didn’t have to cook it yourself.)

Ohh, another toss up. I love Eggs Benedict when done well. But there is also almost anything on the Three Bags Full menus - a local cafe which does amazing breakfasts - the peach melba waffles look amazing. Unfortunately, at the moment I have to be careful because they're yanking my gall bladder in a few weeks and I have to keep fats to a minimum. 


13. Is there an item that you really want but can not afford?

A house. A boyfriend. A golden retriever puppy. A BMW sports car. All of which are out of my reach for various reasons. I rent here in Melbourne as house prices have been extortionate for over a decade on one income (and I love my lifestyle). You can't buy a boyfriend. The other two things are pipe dreams which are just impractical, no matter how much I love golden retriever puppies. 

14.  What was the farthest distance you made for your holidays?

Living in Australia, I've been both to Ireland and the East Coast of the United States. In both cases, it's at least 24 hours travel away. 

15. Are you afraid of speaking in public?

Not really. I can do it comfortably, but it doesn't mean I enjoy it. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

The best of March

Nothing makes you slap on sunscreen like a squamous cell carcinoma.

I'm the first to admit that I've not been vigilant in the past about sunscreen. I'm rarely outside. I've got the type of skin that gets a lick of sun and I tan, thanks to some darker skinned relations way back in the dark ages, but mainly, I'm not outside in the sun much. If I know I'm going to be out for a while, the sunscreen goes on. Today, as I went for a drive down Bayside to have my hair coloured, the sunscreen went on my face. 50+. A light emulsion, which dries matte, Ultra Violette 50+. I probably should get another bottle. It's the lightest 50+ I've found. It sits well. It's not greasy. It doesn't feel like sunscreen on your face, which is my biggest misgiving about the stuff. It just feels crap when you put it on. 

See, being a lovely day outside, and with an hour's drive down to the hairdresser (yes, I drive 45-60 minute to see my darling hairdresser) it's sunny out. Brightly sunshiny. It's time I started doing this daily, if I'm going out for more than then minutes. It will be a struggle, but a with all habits, they take time to take root. It will be done. 

But today was the best of March. There's the brightness of the full moon, the sweet, cloying smell of night blooming jasmine mixing in the warm night air. The sun is warm enough to keep you in a t-shirt, but the breeze takes the edge off. The leaves have started to turn. Autumn is here, even though the warmth is still around, you know it won't be for much longer. 

It's just the way things are. 

Today's song:

Friday, March 18, 2022

Knobs and Excrescences

 Today's pseudo-medical appointment saw me at the podiatrist. 

I say pseudo-medical as this wasn't totally necessary thing to do, but an annual trip to see Danny the podiatrist is a wonderful is a good thing. She sorts out all of the knobs and excrescences on my poor old feet. Today, is was the errant toenail with the propensity for growing inward. Rather than be bothered with it, poking, prodding and dousing it with tea tree oil, I see her and she gives me tips on how to fix it. All good really. 

The funny thing is, as a reflexologist, I get the call of feet. I know that they are a map to the soul. I love how so much can come from massaging somebody's feet. 

So I had Danny look at my clodhoppers this morning. 

And yes, there's the dodgy ingrowing toenail on my right foot - easily fixed. I was given tips on managing the bugger, which in the scheme of things, is minor. 

Then there are the warts. Three of them. 

"What's this about? she asked as she prodded and poked around. 

"I don't know."

"You know warts come out when you're run down."

"I do."

"Are you taking a multi-vitamin?"

"Yes."

"Are you stressed?"

"Fucken oath."

"Ah". 

Once you have the wart virus in you, it never leaves. They come out new and then, when I tend to be stressed - and normally on my feet. That's when I come see the podiatrist and have them dealt with. And they're a bugger to get rid of. It's a gift that keeps on giving. 

We talked about treatment. Of course, the doctor can cut them out. Or use the stuff from the chemist and cover them with duct tape. Or use the white of banana skins. Or rubbing them with a piece of steak and then burying it in the garden. (Don't have a garden, but it's worked before) Or milk weed juice (again, used that as a kid and it worked - but where to get milk weed). 

A bit like this skin cancer which I'm seeing the plastic surgeon about on Wednesday. Bugger to get rid of. But manageable. And annoying. 

Like most knobs and escrescences. They are there to show you your failings. Warts and all. 

Today's Song

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Theatre Review: Hamilton

 The  Production: Hamilton

The Theatre: Her Majesty's Theatre, Exhibition Street

Stars: 5


It started out  as a fraught Wednesday. Doctors appointments to be arranged, work to do, you name it, it had to be done. 

Then the message came through. "Want a ticket to Hamilton?  I have two spares due to the 'spicy flu'. Let me know."

As somebody known to go to the opening of an envelope, and after a rather shitty few weeks at work and the knowledge that I was seeing the surgeon about having my gall bladder yanked that afternoon, it sounded like a good thing to me. Besides, a free theatre ticket (okay, it will cost me a nice lunch sometime down the track. Kitt didn't want the tickets to go to waste) So, of course I arranged for my downstairs neighbour to feed the cat, and I stayed in town to find some dinner, and then go meet Kitt and her friends. 

And very pleased that I went along. I also wasn't expecting excellent centre Dress Circle seats. I think I owe Kitt two lunches. 

Anyway, this is phenomenal. 

Even going in blind and knowing little about the show. 

I've had friends rave about the brilliance of Lin Manuel Miranda and Hamilton in the past, but chose to not watch the Broadway version that's on Disney Plus. 

But I loved every minute of this. Every, freaking, minute. 


There's so much to like about this. 

The story is unexpected in many ways, telling of the often forgotten forefather, Alexander Hamilton, who was the illegitimate son of a prostitute who rose to become one of the most powerful and influential men in America. The musical gives a potted history of his life as he rises up the ranks, marries, sets up the American Treasury, has a fall from grace and eventually dies. 

The music is a blend of R&B, hip hop, jazz and Broadway. The full orchestra are just amazing. The dance numbers are beyond compare. 

For somebody who's not normally a lover of musicals, this one is very smart, great fun and just plain, good entertainment. The dancers are mesmerising - their skill and athleticism second to none. Of the cast, a wonderful mix of ethnicities, there were a few standouts, but they were all EXCELLENT. 

The Australian company is led by Jason Arrow as Alexander Hamilton, ChloƩ Zuel as Eliza Hamilton, Lyndon Watts as Aaron Burr, Akina Edmonds as Angelica Schuyler, Matu Ngaropoas George Washington, Victory Ndukwe as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Shaka Cook as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, Marty Alix as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton, Elandrah Eramiha as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, and Brent Hill as King George III.

For me, my favourite, apart from Hamilton and the odious Nathan Burr, was King George III, who's wonderfully campy and just great fun stole my heart. I've had his signature song out of my head all day, driving my workmates mad.

What I wasn't expecting was that this is not only entertaining, but incredibly intelligent musical theatre. Not only is this very funny in places, it has a huge heart. The songs are wordy. A friend said that he'd watched this on Disney Plus with the subtitles on to get the best out of the story. I don't think you'd need to, but I know I'd get a bit from a second viewing via the  streaming service. 

You could say I'm raving about this because I got a free ticket. I'm not. I'd happily pay top dollar to see this again. 

It's worth it. Do it. Treat yourself. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Score

 Despite the glumness of the last few days, the doctor's appointments, the overwhelming amount of work and everything else which is going on at the moment, I've managed to score a ticket to Hamilton tonight. 

There are a few caveats on this - that's I'm finished with the surgeon by then being one of them (seeing him at 5.30 - but you know what doctors can be like). My neighbour is feeding Lucifer - got that arranged - and yes, I feel a bit bad about the fact I've left him all day as I've been in the office. 

But I've scored a ticket to Hamilton - which is a good thing. A friends's mate has what she refers to as "the spicy flu". Bad luck for them. Good luck for me. 

SCORE. 

Something unexpected. Something which is nice in the scheme of things. 

I'm now off to see the surgeon.

Wish me luck. 

Today's song:



Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Good things, not so good things

I'm just back from the pub after having a drink with my cousin. He's down on a training course that's being held on the other side of the suburb and it was lovely to catch up. 

It takes me away from work - which is a bloody good thing. If he hadn't rang to tee up a drink down my local I'd probably still be at it. Bit it's one of those late summer nights where the humidity is up around the 80s, and it's warm, and it is the perfect night to be sitting out in the beer garden with a vodka, lime and dry. Not working into the night is a good thing. I'm running out of puff anyway.

It also makes me think less about today's news. My doctor called with the results after having a small lump cut off my temple. It's come back as a pre-cancerous growth, tending to a squamous cell carcinoma. The margins weren't quite clean on what she took off, so for me, it's off to the plastic surgeon to have it looked at and managed. Basically, it's another hole in the head, which I need like a hole in the head. Of the good thing with skin cancers, you get them early and they give you little trouble Well, here's hoping. This one shouldn't be any trouble, but it needs to be tended to by an expert. 

Both the skin cancers and the gall bladder run in the family. I rang to thank my mother when I found out about the latter (and to see how Bart was getting on). 

But honestly, as I'm off to the surgeon to see about my gall bladder tomorrow, knowing that I'll be in for surgery in the not too distant future, with any luck, depending on the COVID surgery backlog.

I'm just a bit over doctors at the moment. 

Oh well. It's getting older and life in general. 

Just has to be done. 

Today's song: 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Movie Review: The Batman

 Movie 10 of 2022

Movie: The Batman

Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 4

Things to know about The Batman. 

It's three hours long. 

It's a dark, but not as outrageously violent as some action films go.

It's beautifully shot. It's grim, gritty film noir at it's best.

There are some really good performances in there. 

And it's not funny. 

And it's three hours long. Could it have been half an hour shorter in length. Definitely. Though the three hours went quickly. 

According to RottenTomatoes.com, "Batman ventures into Gotham City's underworld when a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues. As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator's plans become clear, he must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis."

That about sets it up. But this is not the Batman of the seventies, with Adam West and the na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na song. It's not the camp, fun, KAPOW, SPLAT, BOOM many of us Gen X-ers think about when we think of Batman. Nor are the baddies as stereotyped as the may other iterations of the franchise. The Riddler (Paul Dano) is basically a fucked-up sadist. The Penguin (an unrecognisable Colin Farrell) is a mob boss with his finger in every pie in Gothan City's upper echelon. Then there is Catwoman, who is not really as bad as people make her out. Zoe Kravitz is great as Serena Kyle, giving just enough vunerability to her abused and agreived character as she cuts a swathe through the underworld. I found myself cheering for her. She also had lots of cats, so I had to like her. 

I really liked Jeffrey Wright as Lt. Gordon. Jeffrey Wright is one of those character actors who make the film better (like he did as James Bond's mate Felix, or his role in The French Dispatch - great actor). 

Then there is Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader. He's grim. He's a bit sulky. And he gets on with it. Personally, I think he plays to type a bit too much, but in this very bleak Batman, he's what was needed. George Clooney, Michael Keaton wouldn't cut it - too soft. Christian Bale and Ben Affleck too polite. Robert Pattinson brings a bit of grunge, which is a good thing. Then again, part of me wanted to see him have a haircut and a shower, but this wasn't the cleanest of Gotham Cities we've encountered.

Matt Reeve's direction is assured, as is the script, which wavered in parts, but was generally strong. 

For me, the best thing about it all was the cinematography. Grim and gritty from the opening credits to the the final moments. It's glorious to watch. 

Am I pleased I've seen this?

Yes. 

Will I rush back to see it again? 

No. 

Oh, and did I mention that it's three hours long? 

Today's song: 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday Stealing: Questions to ask friends

 We have a long weekend here and the weather is lovely, so I'm not sure why I'm here writing this. 

Questions, as always, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. What emotion do you experience the most?

I swing between boredom and contentment, with a bit of anger thrown in for good measure. Call it being a middle aged woman. 

2. What embarrasses you most in front of other people?

I'm very good at putting my foot in my mouth. That or spilling food down my front. I'm very good at the latter. 

3. What do you love most about yourself?

I am unfailingly kind. I think this is a good trait. 

4. Who has influenced you the most?

This might seem a bit strange to say, but my old tarot teacher has had a huge impact on my life. She's made me question things I never thought to question, introduced me to a therapist who helped me turn my life around, and is a wonderful friend. 

5. What would you like to change about yourself?

I'd love to be two inches taller and 30 kilograms lighter. I'm working on the latter. 

6. If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Write, walk, read and swim. 

7. If you had the option of adopting a baby fox of baby koala, which would it be?

A baby fox. Koalas have a tendency to piss on you. And Baby foxes are just plain cute.

8. If you had to be on a reality show, which would it be?

Married at First Sight. But I'm not their type and I don't have enough Instagram followers to go on that show. 

9. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?

One of the following if I had the money: 

  • London
  • New York
  • Boston (LOVE Boston)
  • Ubud in Bali
  • Mykonos in Greece
  • A lovely village in France so I could get my French back

10. How many bones have you broken?

Just one - my little toe, which I collected on a door frame. It was six weeks of limping hell and not wearing shoes. 

11. What do you fear about getting older?

The illnesses and injuries which never seem to go away. They seem to get worse as you get older. 

12. How do you relieve stress?

Walk, go see a movie, shout at things. 

13. Are your feet the same size?

Yes. 

14. 100 kittens or 3 baby sloths?

100 kittens. Yes, please, 100 kittens. 

15. What do you want more than anything else in life?

100 kittens would be great, thank you. 


Today's song: 



Saturday, March 12, 2022

Movie Review: Uncharted

 Movie Number  9 of 2022

The Movie: Uncharted

Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 3.5

I've found the near perfect, brainless, entertaining Friday night film. A film where you don't really need to engage your mind and just enjoy the unrelenting action. Uncharted is it. It ticks all the Friday night, post-work boxes. Pretty to look at. Tick. Unrealistic. Tick. Plot holes everywhere. Tick. Forgiven for it's flaws. Absolutely. I went to be entertained. I was entertained. Nobody's going to win an Oscar, and that is fine. 

And then I find out this has been adapted from a video game - and all the problems with the plot make sense. 


So, the general plot, is this, according to RottenTomatoes.com

"Street-smart thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago. What starts as a heist job for the duo becomes a globe-trotting, white-knuckle race to reach the prize before the ruthless Moncada (Antonio Banderas), who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs. If Nate and Sully can decipher the clues and solve one of the world's oldest mysteries, they stand to find $5 billion in treasure and perhaps even Nate's long-lost brother...but only if they can learn to work together."

It is that silly. 

And a lot of fun. 

What I liked about it was the action was good, clean and unrelenting. Not messed up torture, but lots of things blowing up. 

Tom Holland brings his boyish charm as Nate, the poor orphan, deserted by his brother and left to fend for himself. He's a likable grifter, and the film needed this. His physicality is incredible. Mark Wahlberg  does a good job as the grumpy Sully. And I really liked Tati Gabrielle (from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) as Braddock, the not so usual baddie after exactly what Nate and Sully are searching for.  

It's also a pretty film to look at. The locations are amazing, from the back streets of Barcelona, to the bottom of Manhattan, to what is said to be The Philippines, but looks more like Thailand. 

The acting is nothing more than you'd expect from an action film. I did take issue with Sophia Ali's hybrid British/Australian accent, which went from Hollywood to the Southern counties, to Byron Bay within any given sentence. 

And there is a cat. Mr Whiskers. Gotta love a film with a cat. 

As I said, the script and the plot are nothing to write home about, but I really enjoyed this, just because it was good, clean fun. 

What more do you want on a Friday night after a hard week at work? 

Friday, March 11, 2022

The Long Weekend

 In my life, I cannot ever remember going away for a long weekend. Jonella does it all the time, heading off hear and there, whether it be to visit friends or go somewhere new. 

Okay, actually I lie, I've been away for long weekends, but I tend to go home to Adelaide for the time - and I don't see this as really going away. 

I mean going away where you rent a holiday home, or fly somewhere for the weekend, or go camping (shudder). I don't do that sort of stuff on long weekends. 

And yes, this weekend I will be working some if uit - getting some stuff done that I need to do when I'm not being interrupted (and I get paid for). I'll also see a couple of films, start a book, do some writing and relax - all around home. 

Maybe going away for the long weekend is something I need to put on the bucket list. 

In the meantime, we have Lloyd Cole to keep me company. 

Today's song: 



Thursday, March 10, 2022

The list

I'm trying to compile a playlist of song as an alternative 80's quiz list - just because. 

As a bit of a challenge, I've been hunting out songs which are known yet slighly obscure to reel in the real 80's oficinados. 

There are some FANTASTIC songs on my compiled list. Some early songs of Madonna. Some middling Prince. Some Australian rock standards from The Angels, Cold Chisel and Rose Tattoo. 

Of course there are the one hit wonders. The Vapours, Matthew Wilder, After the Fire - songs which you know, will sing along to, but you're going to struggle with the band name. 

There are some of my absolute favourite songs from artists like The Waterboys, The Dream Academy, Modern English and Ultravox. 

And some songs  which really should get relegated to Room 101 - or the Guantanamo Bay torture rooms - The Nolans anybody? 

Sifting through these songs as I compile this list, I'm finding I can position the song and where I was at the time when I was listening to it - Like Irene Cara's Flashdance played in the gym at the school, or Ultravox's Vienna was all over Countdown, left off the number one song by being ousted by Joe Dolce's Shuddupa Your Face.

Many, many memories. 

And then there is this. Found it somewhere - an offshoot from one of my favourite ever bands - Talking Heads. 

They don't make them like this any more. 1988 was a good year. 

Today's song: 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

GGG

 I'll admit to this here. 

I've gone on the apps. 

The apps you ask?

The dating apps. Online dating. Tinder for oldies. Actually I'm not on Tinder, but one that's a bit gentler that a couple of friends have recommended. 

Initially, I went on the apps as a bit of research for my novel. I want my protagonist, Faith, go have a go and see what's out there.

So I bit the bullet and cast out the net to see what's out there. For research. 

I have to say, middle aged men are not that inspiring. Seriously. 

But after a lot of swiping left, there were a couple of people who piqued my interest. The fellow with the nice eyes and kind smile - this is good currency. 

There was the cute French dude, who was a bit stuck up (unfriend, unmatch, no drama).

Then this other fellow popped up. Age appropriate. Not too far away. Separated. No agendas. In  one of his photos he had a Pixies ticket in his mouth. And he likes gin. 

He'll do. 

We've been gently chatting for two weeks. 

The way I see it, if I meet somebody nice to go have a drink with, all well and good. If I make a friend, even better. Anything more is icing on the cake. 

And one good thing about this fellow is he makes me question things. Like the principle of GGG. 

I think GGG and I think of my neice, Georgina Gayle Grant. No, GGG in the dating world stands for Good, Giving and Game. Good to be around. Generous in may ways. And game for anything - within reason. 

And I find myself questioning if I fit the bill. After all, it's been a very long time since I've done anything like this and I don't quite know how to answer these sorts of questions. 

At least I'm getting out there. 

Today's song: 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Meet Bart

 I received a random text from my mother on Sunday as I was driving home from the Great Ocean Road. 

It was a photo. I didn't actually know my mother knew how to send photos over her mobile phone Anyway, I got this photo. 


I was driving back, and I didn't get to ask about who this cat was. It could see it was being held by my step-dad, but as for the cat.... My mother is like me. She'll talk to any cat. 

Anyway, Mum calls tonight to ask if I got her text. "What text?" I asked. 

"The cat."

I explained I'd been busy and hadn't got to enquire more. 

It seems that this is Bartholomew. Or Bart for short. 

The vet near my mother was looking to rehome Bartholomew. Or Bart for short. 

Good biblical name.

Anyway, Mum and Graham were suckered into at least visiting this pale orange moggie, who it appears ingratiated himself to them, sitting on their laps and purring and being a general big orange nuisance. 

Then they had some chats. Friends will come feed him and look after him when they go away. 

Mum and Graham are picking him up on Thursday. 

They swore they were never going to get another cat, not after Freda the bitch. 

But my Mum is getting a cat and all is alright with the world.

I just feel a bit bad because I can't take Lucifer over for extended stays now. And he so liked going to Grandma's place...

He'll have a lovely life with Mum and Graham. He'll be spoiled rotten. 

Welcome to the family, Bart. 

Today's song: 


Monday, March 7, 2022

Ponderings from the Retreat

I'm back. 

And I'm a little less broken than I was two days ago, which is a very good thing. 

A few days with "my tribe" have done wonders for my battered soul and my feelings of insignificance and uselessness as a writer, even though I write for a living. I've got about 5000 words done over the weekend which is good. I've been writing from the scar, and not the wound, as we have been reminded time and time again. (Basically, don't write about the trauma, write about the situation and the feelings after you've processed it all.)

The thing I like most about these retreats is that I get  to hang out with people I don't get to hang out with in my real life. I love my friends, love them dearly, but these people are my tribe. It's great to have open, honest, out there conversations with people, giving different inputs and ideas. We all have very different lives. I was hanging out with a group of 40 something Mums - again, a bit strange for me, but my childless state wasn't seen as a barrier. 

The other decision I came to is that I seriously need to cap my hours at work. I've known this, but I've reached the end of my tether, and it's time for the stupid hours to stop. I know when I go back in tomorrow it's going to be lunacy and I have some big deadlines this week, but I've got to cut back. For my health and sanity. I don't want to be in a position where I feel like falling down in a puddle of tears when I get to relax again. 

My biggest takeaway from the weekend came from the annual ritual "Bathing of the Lunatics", where a mob of us go for a naked dunk in the sea first thing on the Sunday Morning of the retreat. I nearly didn't make it this time. It was blowing a gale and it looked a bit rough. I was standing around with the group without my sarong saying ,"Nah, too windy." Then FOMO got the better of me as the group took off down the hill. I ran back to my room, grabbed my sarong to be used as a towel, shoved my pyjama bottoms on and caught the group up on the beach. 

What they don't tell you about going skinny dipping is just how liberating it is. Okay, yes, tossing your naked body into the Southern Ocean with a group of equally middle aged, naked women is a strange thing to do, but if feels BLOODY EXCELLENT. I commented to one of the throng who was coming out the same time as me, "This will sound strange, but doing this, I for the first time in probably forever, feel beautiful. Alive and beautiful." It's a good feeling. There should be more of it. 

I know life is not a retreat. I know I don't get the special treatment I get down there very often (like having the Turkish Delight from the chocolate box delivered to my possie, or having Ash serve me up the crunchy bits from the cauliflower cheese)

But all this means a lot. 


Today's song: 



Sunday, March 6, 2022

Sunday Stealing: From Kwizgiver

 I’m writing this from down the Great Ocean Road on a Writer’s retreat. As always, it’s been a transformative experience and I get to commune with a mob of like-minded women (and the odd bloke) and we write, laugh, cry, sing, dance, skinny-dip and generally have a ball for the weekend. I’m just back from the Sunday morning ritual skinny dip, which I nearly didn’t attend, but FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) got the better of me and I was in the strangely warm waters of the Southern Ocean on this blowy morning with the rest of the lunatics. It really is the best start to the day. 

Questions, as always, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing.  

1. How long have you lived in your current residence?

A little over 15 years.

2. What changes have you made to it since you got there?

I haven’t made the changes as I rent, but I have put up a blind in the kitchen, as the curtains that were there were always threatening to be set alight. I have block out curtains in my bedroom and living room – which are good for insulation. I’ve painted the place out twice on the landlord’s coin and they’ve remodelled the bathroom and put down floorboards, which I am VERY happy about as the carpet was manky when I moved it. They’re much easier to clean. 

3. What surprised you about living in your place or in your neighborhood?

How quiet living inner city can be. 

4. If someone were considering moving in next door, what would you warn them about?

The junkies. The needle exchange is about 500 meters away and the local ‘flora and fauna’ can be interesting. For the most part they cause no problems, especially as the area is know for the heroin trade – people get their fixes and go off. But you do have to keep your eyes open. There’s very little trouble – just the occasional stray. 

5. If you have to move in the next 45 days, what are you definitely not taking with you?

A lot of the crap in my kitchen. The kitchen really needs a good clean out and I can see some things being sent to the op shop or just turfed. Also there are some boxes in the top of my wardrobe that I haven’t looked in in years. They can go too. 

6. What are you currently reading?

On audiobook I’m nearly finished The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by VE Schwab – which I am loving. On paper, I’m just about to start Michelle de Kretzer’s Scary Monsters. 

7. What did you recently finish reading?  

The last two books I’ve read were Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning and Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches. (Yeah, I know, HUGE difference in genres)

8. What do you think you’ll read next?

I really want to restart and re-read Mrs Dalloway, and I might go into the next book in the Harness trilogy. 

9. When did you take the road less travelled?

As often as possible. 

10. Did you ever participate in a talent show?

No. I don’t have that sort of talent. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and my dancing is dodgy. 

11. When did you most recently strike out?

Funny, I don’t see not being able to do something as striking out – it’s more an opportunity to learn. I did miss a deadline at work, and I know when I get back from this retreat work is going to be stupid, but it’s not a failure missing these deadlines – it’s a failure of management to plan. 

12  Where do you go to find yourself?

Nature, and in particular, water. If I can’t go for a swim, a walk along the river or a trip to the beach sorts me out.

13. What do you have mixed feelings about?

Quite a few things. Vaccine mandates, though I agree with them in principle they give me an uneasy feeling. I’m triple vaccinated myself, but I do, to a point, see why people are against it – even if I don’t agree with the anti-vaxxer set.

14. What did you most recently add to your collection of something?

Books. I have far too many books. I am always adding to my book collection – but in my defence, I also try and shed a few now and then. 

15. When did something most recently stir you to tears?

Ah, coming to this retreat, I came in broken – I know I was broken. Work has broken me. But the way I see it, I’m like the Japanese art of kintsugi, where the cracks are filled with gold. This weekend has been about filling the cracks with gold. It’s been amazing.



Saturday, March 5, 2022

Kaddish

Shane Warne is dead.

Shane Warne is dead and I am broken.

Shane Warne is dead, and I am broken, but this is life.

Shane Warne is dead, and I am broken, but this is life, and I, at least can heal.

Shane Warne is dead, and I am broken, but this is life, and I, at least can heal, unlike Shane Warne.

I want to say a kaddish for Shane Warne.

For this is life, and all is as it should be.

I want to say a kaddish for Shane Warne,

For this is life, and all is as it should be,

And this is all a part of the greater plan.

I want to say a kaddish for Shane Warne,

For this is life, and all is as it should be,

And this is all a part of the greater plan,

Even if it sucks dog’s balls.

And even though I am broken,

I can heal.

For this is life.

And all is as it should be,

And this is a part of the greater plan.

Hallelujah. Amen. 


I woke to the news of Shane Warne's passing. He was a year younger than me. Okay, he lived the high life, allegedly a bit of a drug fiend, loved his texting, loved live, loved women. He was a big hearted Virgo - that's what they do. 

My first response was to message a friend who is married to one of Shane's old mentors. "Thinking of you and Jack today," read the message. She wrote back, "He's stunned. Goes to show how precious every day is."

She's right. 

Life is precious. 

But all is as it should be. 

Of course, I would rather be saying the Kaddish in Hebrew. It always resonates better in the original. And you can't get angry at a prayer which has been said for over a thousand years. A prayer which takes the sting out of death. A prayer for the living. A prayer about life. 

Shane Warne is dead, and it sucks dog's balls because it reminds us, especially we who grew up and watched this character live larger than life across the media, with his blue eyes and hair plugs and larrakin ways. And we mourn his bogan charms and his infinite potention. And we think of his family, his newly adulted children. His friends and family.

And we are reminded of our own mortality. 

Because this is lfe. 

Today's song: 




Friday, March 4, 2022

The Romance of Packing

 Nothing screams of the romance of travel like the mandatory nose fuck you have to give yourself before travelling. The swab goes up the nose, there's the argy-bargy with the test tubes and droppers and the like, then the wait. This is more a courtesy than a necessity. I'm well. Negative.  But I'll also be with a group of people for the weekend from all over the country, it's nice to know you're clear of this insidious disease. 

Anyway, I'm nearly packed. 

Two pairs of knickers, my bathers, just in case, a pair of runners, ones that I don't mind getting destroyed with mud and sand. A cardigan. A change of clothes or two. And my glasses. 

In my toiletries bag there's a lot of buscopan (the anti-spasmodic which is keeping my gall bladder in check) Some lavender oil to help me sleep in a strange bed. Lots of sample bottles of lotions and potions - enough to tie me over for the weekend. 

My red comb - the comb I've been using since I was a teenager, is in there. I won't forget my hairbrush this time. I often forget to take a hairbrush. 

There's my writing stuff - notebook, pens, the laptop mouse and keyboard. And of course the cables - you are tethered to the world by the cables. iPhone. Computer. Apple Watch. General USB...

I've also shoved in my No Shits Given tarot deck, some tarot cards.

And a book. 

And my crochet. 

I think I'm sorted. 

The leaves are starting to turn on the tree out the front. The ivy, which is snaking up an aerial cable out on the side of the building is starting to wither. 

I've finally had the time to notice these things. 

Apollo Bay, here I come. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

I miss him

 He was a prick again. Got wind that I was getting out the cat cage and he bolted under the bed., under which he stayed for over half an hour and I tried to cajole him out. 

Finally, he came out, only to be caught, shoved in a cage and taken over the Westgate Bridge to Blarney and Barney's place. 

He's now sitting in their cupboard. But Blarney got to give him a pat while I was around, and now he's sitting in the bottom of their wardrobe, happy enough. 

But my place feels very empty without him. 

There's no little wet nose prodding my leg wanting treats. Not nails on the floorboards scuttling about. No demands for attention with a plaintive wail. Nobody walking on the keyboard. No one wanting to play. Nobody sitting next to me on the windowsill. 

We've been together two years in a few weeks. 

Who knew this little black house panther would become the love of my life. 

Today's song: 



Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Away from the shit show

One more day of the eighth level of hell.

According the Dante and Wikipedia, " In this circle are punished people who used fraud against those with whom they had no special bond of trust (simple fraud). ... They are naked and punished by being whipped violently by demons."

That was half my day.

The other half was spent in the fifth level of hell. Again, which according to Dante and Wikipedia, "In the swampy, stinking waters of the river Styx – the Fifth Circle – the actively wrathful fight each other viciously on the surface of the slime, while the sullen (the passively wrathful) lie beneath the water, withdrawn, "into a black sulkiness which can find no joy in God or man or the universe".

Yep that sounds about right. 

I'd rather be somewhere fun, like the second level of hell - but alas this is not the case. 

But I have one more day before I leave the shit show that is work for four days. 

The work laptop is going into the cupboard at 6 pm tomorrow night. 

Before I go away I need to: 

  • Cut my toenails
  • Do a RAT test
  • Deliver Lucifer to Blarney and Barney's place
  • Pack
  • Clean the flat
  • Try and decide what I want to write this weekend (as the novel is escaping me at the moment)
  • Write a letter for the Property Association (yet another shit show)
  • And try and relax enough so I can have a great time at my writer's retreat knowing that I can't drink this weekend.
Hopefully, by the end of next week, the worst of this shit show will be over. 

And I will have had four days off to get some perspective and energy back. 

And I hope my fellow retreaters like giving hugs, because I need some at the moment. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Notes from a Long Day

 Finally unhooking my bra about ten minutes ago, I finally felt myself relax. Finally. 

I'm not thinking about work. I shut down my work computer at 10.30 pm last night. Tonight, it was 7.30 pm tonight when I shut it off - but I could do no more. My brain was absolutely fried. 

I have Friday and Monday off, I'm just trying to clear the decks before I go away. There is no way I am turning on my work computer before 8 am on Tuesday morning. I NEED this time off. 

On the good side of things, I have been getting a lot of purry cuddles from Lucifer. That's always good. He's not going to be happy when I take him over to Blarney and Barney's on Thursday night. I do love that little creature, all six kilos of him. He was funny today. Got himself a dag. Cats with dags are hilarous. The humiliation on their little faces is just priceless. 

I shouldn't laugh at his misfortune. 

Brightening the day slightly is the chats I've been having with a fellow on Bumble. I call this a minor dipping of the toe into the dating / making friends game. I'm going in with no agenda or expectations - and if I come out of this with a friend, then I've suceeded. Anyway, he, we'll call him Mr Ormond, helped brighten the day. We bonded over gin and The Pixies. It's just nice to talk to somebody who I'm not working with at the moment. 

And I'm looking forward to a weekend down the Great Ocean Road.

Nuff said. 

Today's song: