Saturday, June 15, 2024

Movie Review: Inside Out 2

 Movie Number 18 of 2024

The Film: Inside Out 2

The Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 3.75

As a big fan of Pixar's movies and a fan of the original Inside Out, I was always going to see this. Unfortunately, like most sequels, this doesn't quite live up to the magic of the first film. Very few sequels to reach the giddy heights of their predecessors. The Incredibles II, Deadpool II and most of the early Marvel films did it. Sadly, this one didn't quite get there. But it's not too far away. 

One thing about this film - if you don't know the premise of the first film, don't bother going - it would be too confusing. Knowing what went on in the first film is critical for understanding the second. 

In the first film we meet the emotions who run Riley (okay, well all of us) when we are children. 

There's Joy (Amy Poehler), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Liza Lapira), Fear (Tony Hale) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Riley's primary emotions who have negotiated her life for the last thirteen years. 

But Riley is now thirteen, about to embark on a hockey camp with her best friends and life is looking good. 

Until puberty kicks in - and the emotions are at a loss with what to do with emotions who have just turned up on the doorstep. Bring in Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Embarassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and the wonderful Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos) take over the joint. I really loved Ennui - she was great. 

Much of the film is spent getting the original set of emotions back in their rightful place, running the Riley show. 

What is good about this film is that it portrays the tumultuous time that puberty tends to be. It also puts Anxiety in sharp focus, and gives an accurate portrayal of what this horrid emotion can be like if it's not tempered by other, less problematic emotions. 

Looking at, this movie is seen to be a stellar film by the critics (92% Fresh). Their comments relate that Pixar has made a movie that keeps the charm of its predecessor while tackling more difficult and complex emotions. I see their point but think that some of the original charm is lacking.

This is a film you could take younger children to as it only runs for an hour and a half and most of the heavier stuff would wash right over them. For me, I did like that the film portrayed the way emotions can change with lightning speed as you learn to deal with them. Ennui, in particular, is brilliant. 

Being a Pixar film, all the colour and movement in the animation was there. As I was a little late to the cinema I did not see a short, which Pixar used to release with their films, however, there is a post credit release worth sticking around for, which could portend to a third film in the offing. 

Oh, and there was no Bing Bong. Bing Bong was the best thing to come out of the first film. (The film about imaginary friends, IF, has lots of characters like this.)

I won't say I was disappointed with this film, or even let down by it. I just didn't think it quite met the standards if it's stellar predecessor. 

Maybe I'm getting picky in my old age? This really isn't a bad film. I just feel it has a touch of "sequelitis." Getting a second film in the series just right is notoriously difficult.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Theatre Review: Julia

  The Play: Julia by Joanna Murray-Smith

The Company: Melbourne Theatre Company

The Theatre: Southbank Theatre, Melbourne

Stars: 4.5

Until: 13 July - season extended, but tickets are scarce. 

Julia Gillard. Love her or hate her. And depending on your feelings about the 27th Prime Minister of Australia will probably sway how you feel about this play. 

I've long been a Gillard fan, so there was a fair chance I was going to like this. 

To be fair, it's awesome. But if you don't like the woman, which the bloke next to Jay clearly didn't, there might not be much point going. 

The play is ostensibly a single hander, with Justine Clarke playing Julia through various stages of her life, from her childhood in Barry, Wales, to her schooling in Adelaide, her law degree and student politics and the rise up the ranks of the Labor Party. The play starts just before Question Time on 9 October 2012, moments before she is about the deliver one of the most memorable and hard-hitting speeches ever delivered in the Australian Parliament - and it goes on from there. 

Justine Clarke is stunning. Yes, this is the Justine Clarke from Home and Away and Play School. She embodies Gillard, playing with her accent - using her own moderate Australian accent, occasionally delving into Julia's distinctive nasal voice at times. Her costume is pretty simple. Flared tailored trousers and a shirt - with a jacket for effect every now and then. Clarke is not just a mimic, as her fabulous take off of both Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott goes to show. She embodies Julia - and it is wonderful to see. 

It all comes to a head near the end of the play, when Clarke expertly dons a red wig, and the well-known accent, and delivers the Misogyny Speech without missing a beat. 

She's incredible. I give them rarely, but this performance was worthy of the standing ovation she received from most of the audience. Funny the number of men still on their bums. 

Joanna Murray-Smith is one of Australia's leading playwrights. She's hit this one out of the park. Sarah Goodes direction on this occasionally incendiary, rather funny, though provoking play is peerless. The minimal set, which uses lights, projections and mirrors to great effect, is simple, but it only supports Clarke's amazing performance. 

This is one of the best plays to come out of this already good season at the MTC. 

Loved it. 

And if you can't remember what the Misogyny Speech is all about - here it is, set to music with a professional choir. Just magic. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

It's Bridgerton Day .... Again

 You're getting no sense out of me today. 

At 5 pm I'll be logging off my computer, shoving on my pyjamas, and watching the second half of the third series of Bridgerton. 

I might have a gin and tonic too. 

Regardless, I'm not writing tonight. 

See you tomorrow. I'm choosing to go into my own little fantasy world tonight. 

Today's song:

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


 If you want to feel naked, have your watch strap break. 

Yep, the trusty Apple Watch, which has sat on my wrist for four years, the watch strap broke. Broke to the point that even though it's can be fixed, it is falling apart. As somebody who likes a leather watch band, they do have the tendency to perish over a couple of years, and this one is nearly dead. I've had a hair tie in place of the little bit of leather that keeps the end of the watch strap in place. 

Why leather? I like the feel of leather. It's very much a sensory thing. I've also got a sensitivity to rubber and I really dislike the feel of metal straps, so leather it is. Leather straps are also a bit steam punk - edgy - classic - but they do get manky. 

Regardless, I've been walking around without a watch and I've felt naked. 

I have no idea if I closed my rings, something I've been taking pride in. (Your rings tell you if you standing, exercising and moving enough through the day).

While exercising after work at the gym, I couldn't easily check on my heart rate. 

I tried to pay for my eyebrow waxing at Myer with my bare wrist, and then pay for lunch ten minutes later with it as well. Thankfully, I had my phone on me to pay for things. Then I remember the time when you had to get your wallet out and find a credit card - or heaven help us, cash. 

Regardless, I've felt naked for most of the day. Thankfully I have a spare watch strap at home - the old leather one will be given a decent send off, and I can stop having this pending sense of doom because my life is being disrupted by the small computer on my wrist not being there for a few hours. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

I can't be the only one.

 It is a truth universally acknowledged that a cat's mother, on a cold day, will take a trip down to KMart to buy her cat a new blanket. 

At $4.50, this is a steal. 

Will he be grateful for the purchase? Of course not.

Will he be kept a bit warmer? Yes. 

Will he see it as his divine right to be spoiled rotten? Of course. I am his slave after all. 

I think he looks happy enough on his throne, on his bed, under his blankie. 

Of course, he gets tucked in at regular intervals. 

I'm such a bad cat mother. The poor, half-starved, under-loved, neglected beast. You can see it in his eyes. Just dreadful. No consideration for the cat at all.

Today's song: 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Croque Monsieur

 As I do most weekends, I popped out to Blarney and Barney's today for a cup of tea this afternoon. On arrival, I found Blarney in the kitchen helping Chance, one of the twins, do a school project for Food Science. He wanted to make a Croque Monsieur

First of all, what is Food Science? What happened to cooking, or home economics as subjects, and when do you, as a year eight student make something as poncy as Croque Monsieur? Why not make a grilled cheese sandwich and be done with it. 

I have to admit that I love Croque Monsieur. I love the bechamel, mixed in with the Swiss and Gruyere, with the ham and Dijon mustard, which is then baked, then grilled. And unlike the Croque Madame, it doesn't have a fried egg on top of it. 

Croque Monsieur is a favourite thing of mine. 

Photo thanks to

The again, I grew up a child of the seventies with something called Cheese Osh-Mi-Gosh, which was really just cheese sauce on toast. And Cheese Savouries, also known as Savoury Toast, which I have long, involved discussions about the addition of tomato sauce and whether the bacon goes on top or is put in the mixture, and how much is too much Worcestershire Sauce. (There is never too much Worcestershire Sauce). We also won't tell any god-fearing Tasmanian that the really just a bastardisation of Wesh Rarebit

Call me a cheese on toast fiend. I'll own it. 

Regardless, I watched as Chance turned his hand, under Blarney's make the bechamel. For a first effort it was excellent. I hate making anything like that - too much stirring.

Then they assembled the sandwich, spreading over the bechamel, then some Swiss Cheese, some ham, some Dijon mustard, which was found at the back of the fridge where all good mustards go to die, then the gruyere. The sandwich is then buttered, a grated cheddar and parmesan mix is sprinkled on top, and the whole thing is then baked for a few minutes before being put under the griller for a few minutes. 

To me this is bliss. 

To Blarney and Chance, it's not worth eating because there is mustard in it. 

"Are you going to at least try it?" I asked. 

"Suppose so."

"But it's one of my favourite things. How could you not love Croque Monsieur?"

"Mustard. Disgusting."

"Well why did you put it in? You can leave it out. And Dijon mustard is the mildest of all mustards. It just gives a bit of tang." I will say that being of Cornish stock, mustard, pickles and any sort of tangy condiment is just up my alley. 

Blarney and I have polar opposite palates. It's okay. 

Regardless, I was very happy. Both Blarney, Barney and Chance tried a bit of the Croque Monsieur and I got the rest. 

I left happy, signing off on Chance's Food Science assignment saying that his version was better than he ones you get at Patisserie Laurent.  Blarney said it would have been even better with ham off the bone. I reckon what he put up was ten out of ten.

It made for a good public holiday. 

When the family come back from their holidays, I think I might have to go over and cook them dinner to say thanks. 

Today's song: 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Sunday Stealing: Quick Question

 After a red-eye flight yesterday morning, and an eleven hour sleep last night, I'm working out what time it is and where I am. It's a bit cooler than Darwin down here. Maybe that's why I slept so well last night. 

Now for this week's questions before I put myself back to bed. 

Questions, as always, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing

1.  Are you afraid of the dark?

No. Am I afraid of what goes on during the night, also no, but I know I am a lot more wary of walking the streets at night around here. In Darwin, I won't go out alone after dark. 

2.  Can you curl your tongue?

Yes. I have that genetic mutation. 

3.  Can you wiggle your ears?


4.  Did you ever participate in a talent show?

Not that I can ever remember. They're not big things over here. 

5.  Do you have any piercings or tattoos?

Yes. Both my ears are pierced and I have a small tattoo of the Chinese symbol for love on my hip. 

6.  Do you prefer Mac or PC?

As much as I love Apple products, I have only ever owned PCs. 

7.  Do you still have your wisdom teeth?

I have two of my wisdom teeth. The top and bottom ones on the right are gone, both taken out in the chair in my 20s in different sittings. The one at the bottom got a dry socket - some of the worst pain I've ever experienced. The other two are still there and are fine. 

8.  Do you watch cartoons?

Not now. I used to really like cartoons as a kit, and was a big fan of Rugrats and X-Men in the 90s when they played on telly on Saturday morning in England. It was perfect hangover viewing. 

9.  Have you ever been hospitalized?

Yes, but all were planned and it wasn't for long. I've had two overnight stays after having a gynae procedure and once when having my gall bladder out in the last five years. I'm lucky.

10. Have you had braces?

No. I missed out on that rite of passage. 

11. Were you ever a Girl or Boy Scout? (Or a brownie)

I was a brownie for about three months, just before we moved to the country, where they didn't have scout or girl guide troupes. 

12. What is one food you refuse to eat?

I can't think of anything I'd refuse to eat as I'm a pretty adventurous reader, though I think Century Eggs, a Chinese delicacy, would be pushing those limits. I'm also no fond of bananas or lasagne. The former is about the texture and that there is about a three-hour window when they are just right. I don't like the latter because I got really bad food poisoning from a lasagne many years ago and I've not been able to look it in the eye ever since. 

13. What's the most expensive item of clothing that you own?

I bought a wonderful silk kimono in Darwin that was a lot more than I pay for most clothes. I love it. It's an art piece. But it won't be worn until summer now. 

14. What's your favorite foreign food?

Define foreign. In Australia, food is food, and being a very multicultural place, we have all sorts of cuisine that makes it onto our tables. But here are a few things I like.

  • Indian food - Kadai Paneer
  • Vietnamese food - Bahn Mi (good bahn mi - pho is good too)
  • Japanese food: Any dessert with yuzu in it. Sake's deconstructed yuzu cheesecake is amazing. 
  • Spanish food: Patatas Bravas if you please. 
  • Chinese food: Yum cha (also known as dim sum)
  • French food: There's a long list here, but steak tartare and anything with French butter in it. Love French Butter. 
  • Greek food: Glactoboureko
  • I also love the spice palate of Middle Eastern food. 
  • And flat rice noodles that hail from Thailand and Indonesia
  • Oh and for Malaysian food, there's Char Kway Teow, and their satay's are to die for. 
  • In New Zealand there is this feijoa soda which is incredible....
Do you want me to go on?

15. Who's your favorite fictional character?

At the moment I have a little thing for Benedict Bridgerton. Just because...

Today's song: 

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Movie Review: The Way, My Way

 Film Number 17 of 2024

The Movie: The Way, My Way

The Cinema: Village Cinemas, The Rivoli

Stars: 4

A few things before I start with the review. 

Firstly, I was hoping to see The Way, My Way at the Deckchair Cinema in Darwin, but by the time I went to get tickets it was sold out. 

Secondly, the Camino de Santiago is very high on my bucket list. And like the protagonist, I can't quite tell you why I want to walk 800 kilometres across the top of Spain, but it sounds like a good thing to do, and I've got numerous friends who've walked it and have said that it's a transformative time. 

Thirdly, this is a bit different to other Camino films, the best known being The Way starring Martin Sheen. 

What makes this film different is that it comes across as a memoir or docu-drama. 

Regardless, I really enjoyed this. 

Very quickly in the movie you learn that Bill (Chris Heywood), a film maker and baby boomer, is a bit of a prick. We learn that while on a motoring holiday with his wife he encountered Camino pilgrims and became a bit obsessed and took the journey on, despite a dicky knee and with no real distance walking experience. 

I think if I'd met Bill on the camino, I'd be giving him a wide berth. Regardless, Bill meets a lot of very different people along the way, from Balacz, who's coming to terms with his wife's terminal diagnosis, the religious Laszlo, who's trying to find himself, the Gabriella, who's inbetween careers, to Laure, who's trying to find some self-forgiveness.

What is really cool is that some of the players are the actual people Bill met on his camino. Oh, and on screen, Jennifer Cluff plays herself as Bill's eminently sensible wife, Jen. 

This movie shouldn't be seen as a documentary, nor a drama. It comes into that strange genre of film memoir.

And other than spending the first half of the film wanting to throw something at Bill and scream, "piss off, boomer," (possibly because he reminded me of a boomer work mate who drove me up the wall) it was great to watch him develop, even if anybody remotely sensible would have packed it in and taken a taxi with this wretched knee.

The film gives a real look about what the camino is really about. And with the scenery, and the complex characters and the stories being told, it's made me want to pack my swag and head for Biarritz to start the journey at St Jean Pied de Port...

I'm saving now. 

Definitely a film for Camino boffins or those interested on the road in front of them. 

Today's song:

Friday, June 7, 2024

Why is it...

Why is it that you mention to somebody in Melbourne that it's 28 degrees, sunny, without a trace of humidity in the air and a lovely breeze, that people tell you to...

  • go away (this happened)
  • shut up (this happened)
  • fuck off (this happened)
  • go to hell (this happened)
  • stick a thistle up your bum (this happened)
  • or just hang up the phone on you? (and yes, this happened too)
All of this has happened to me this week.

Is it because it's cold and wet and rainy in Melbourne?

Darwin in June is a marvel. The weather is almost perfect. It's not too hot. Not too wet. Nice and sunny. Cool nights, warm days. People are happy. You're not drained by the humidity. You can sleep at night.

It's good. 

But I'm going home in a few hours. Back to cold Melbourne and a stroppy pussycat, who will be happy to see me after he's given me an hour or so of sass, abuse and a solid dose of the "poor me, you left me with that child, you bitch." (He's a cat, that's what they do.)

I'm a bit torn. 

As much as I'm looking forward to my own bed, my friends, a long weekend and the knowledge I can walk the streets at night safely, I'm going to miss the wonder that is turning up to work in light cotton dresses and Birkenstocks. I will be wanting to go and get an ice cream in the evening because it is warm and it is what you do. I'm not going to like having to put on ugg boots and a thick dressing gown when I get up first thing in the morning. 

Then I realise how lucky I am to have this job and that I get to live two lives. 

Today's song:

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Odd Jobs Night

 Tonight is my last full night in Darwin. I'll be arriving back in Melbourne very early Saturday morning. 

I hope my cat is still alive. 

I'm looking forward to the cool. I find it strange that the air conditioning in this one-bedroom flat is set to the same temperature that I have my heating on at home (22 degrees). As it's now the dry, I'm finding it's not as necessary to have the air con on full blast. There's even a very thin doona on the bed, which also fills me with joy, but it's not the thicker one I have at home. 

Tonight is odd jobs night. 

  • I had dinner with a colleague down at the hotel restaurant. The barramundi is good here. 
  • I've done my ironing, after doing the washing last night. And yes, I even iron when I'm up here in Darwin.
  • I'm half-packed
  • And now I want to go to bed.

The week has been good. I've kept the pact with myself and managed to do more than 10,000 steps a day - which the warmer weather makes easy. A loop around the waterfront each night has been great. No swimming this trip, but that is okay. Finally, the hotel pool looks like it will be ready to swim in in the next few weeks. 

But it's been a big week, and a tiring week, so I think I will leave this for tonight. 

I'm just not feeling it. 

Today's song:

So Unfair

 The nasty Uber driver man made me feed my ice cream to the crocodiles. 

We had had a lovely night down on Stokes Hill Wharf, where a number of small restaurants are housed at the end of the pier. We'd been told that the tacos were really good at this hole in the wall Mexican place - and they were good. One colleague had chicken tostadas, which they loved. The other had a bowl of loaded fries that could have fed four. Me, I tried the pork and fish tacos, which were very tasty (But I think I preferred the fish tacos I had at the other Mexican place on the waterfront - but they were still good.)

A nice cheap and cheerful dinner. 

We'd ambled down there after work. It's always good to get a decent walk, even better when you have a bit of company. 

After dinner, we found an ice cream place. I was happy. Hokey Pokey ice cream and Macadamia ice cream are two of my favourites. Rather than selecting one, I paid the exorbitant price of $12 for a double scoop. And it was worth it. (One of my colleagues got the same mix in a cup).

We wandered slowly back down the pier, talking about how we were getting home. I was up for a walk. I had an ice cream to walk off - and Darwin is not somewhere you walk alone at night. My colleagues wanted to Uber home. I was outnumbered. 

The Uber was ordered. 

I continued to enjoy my cone. 

The Uber turned up. A very nice Haval car. Large and comfortable. 

We made our way to the car. I still had the cone left.

"No eating in the car!" came a booming voice from behind the wheel. 


I am one for not disobeying Uber drivers. I have a very respectable 4.83 Uber score - I'd like to keep it.

 And yes, it's his car, his rules, and I was not up for a fight. (He was a very nice Uber driver, all things considered)

But what was I to do? Stay behind and get another Uber for myself? Scoff down the rest of the cone and give myself a cold headache? Race to the nearest bin, which was a good 100 metres away?

In the end, it was simple. Being foodstuffs, with no plastic or wrappings, there was one solution. The cone and the last of the ice cream was thrown off the pier into the water. 

It felt horrible. 

I gave up my ice cream to go with the flow. 

It was so unfair.

Macadamia ice cream is one of life's joys. It shouldn't be fed to the fishes and the crocs. 

I got home and had a compensatory gin and tonic to soothe my weary soul. 

It is, however, lovely being in Darwin, where it's warm enough to have an ice cream after dinner. With the breeze, and the light and sunset, and tacos and ice cream, life is not bad at all. 

Tonight's sunset from the Pier. 

Today's song:

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Freestyle Evenings

 There is something to say of business trips to Darwin, where there is music, and beer, and easy company. 

Being away from home brings the opportunity to do different things, particularly as the weather is warm and dry and life appears to be pretty good. 

My evening started after work, when I donned my exercise gear and a pair of runners and did a lap of the Darwin Waterfront, fulfilling my need for some exercise. I've made a pact with myself to do at least an hour's exercise or 10,000 steps a day. It's nearly midnight and my watch says I've done nearly 14000 steps, so this requirement is fulfilled. 

On the way back to the hotel, I grabbed some dinner - a Subway wrap. A healthy version with grilled chicken and lots of vegetables. Cheap and easy dinner.

Then it was a quick visit to the Smith Street gym to see what sort of FIFO packages they have going. I was quite pleased as I miss the gym while I'm up here and there's a decent package that runs over six weeks which will fit the bill. Just being able to go to a gym while I'm up here would be great. 

Then home. Eat the Subway wrap. Have a quick shower. Dress. Then head out to a dodgy bar down Mitchell Street for some live music with a colleague. We were joined by his boss and the big boss. 

Beer is a great leveler. 

It's difficult to get drunk on beer. 

And in the warmth of a Darwin night, just sitting in a dodgy bar, drinking beer, not talking about work was great. 

There were no plans, other than to see whoever was on at The Tap. 

And that was the night. 

Coming home, we watched as some happy, tiddly backpackers drive a couple of girls along a shopping trolley along the footpath.

"Youth is wasted on the young," my colleague reminded me. 

"But in our youth we wouldn't have had such a fun, mellow night."


Today's song:

HRT is a Feminist Issue


It's the second doctor's appointment I've had in about six weeks about this. 

HRT patches, at the moment, in Australia, are in short supply, which means many middle-aged women who are managing menopausal symptoms are scurrying to find their medication, if, they can find them at all. 

I went to see the shopping centre doctor because I'd managed to track down another brand of patch, but even though it's the same strength, same chemical compound, same way of using the patch, I had to get another prescription. No such thing as a generic oestrogen patch it appears. 

That was $60 out of the holiday budget I won't see back. 

Being told in the weeks before that these patches are in short supply, I started looking for my next round of patches early, because the thought of being hot, sweaty, grumpy, leaky, dry, sleepless, exhausted and partly psychotic doesn't really interest me, and knowing that you can't get your patches means you can make choices.

So, I had a telehealth appointment with my doctor today, to look at the options. 

It's a daily pill, or a gel. 

"How can they let patch production dwindle to a point where we're running out? What are the TGA, or whoever controls when these things come in and out thinking about letting these crucial strips of plastic, which you plaster to your body twice a week be not available. 

Oestrogen is a life force for many of us. 

It provides more than just a comfortable body temperature. 

It helps regulate your moods.

It stops your pelvic floor from dropping out from between your legs. 

It keeps your skin feeling a bit more pliable. 

It allows you to have sex comfortably for all concerned, especially keeping your vagina from tearing or feeling like a sandpaper encrusted vice. 

It helps you keep the psychos at bay - whatever your flavour of psychosis may be. 

And yes, you can tell me that this is all a part of life. 

But if menopause was happening to a man, we would have had a lot more solutions, which would not go into shortage at regular intervals. I mean, when was the last time you heard about a Viagra shortage?

Talking to my lovely doctor, she recommended a gel, still topical, but not the set and forget of the patch, more a daily application to the upper arms and thighs once a day. A bit messy, but at least the oestrogen will get in. And it's available. 

Of course, the messy option is readily available. 

There is also a tablet form, but that could play with my blood pressure, so we're not going that route. 

It galls me that this crucial, non-PBS medication, which makes life worth living for so many women, is allowed to sell out. 

It's fucked. 


On the other side of things, as I was signing off from the phone call with the doctor, sitting in the tea room, at work, looking out over the Darwin duck pond, she raised the other point.

"So, when are we going to talk about you getting that ADHD/austism diagnosis. You don't know what can help if you don't know."

"When I get more than a few weeks back in Melbourne and I've saved up the $1000 it costs to get yourself assessed."

"You should do it. It might be of benefit."

"I know. Have you watched Geek Girl on Netflix?"

"Not yet." (My doctor and I talk about what's on Netflix - we have very similar taste in streaming telly.)

"Well, if you watch in, when you see Harriet Manners, know that her thought processes mirror mine. It's a hard relate. Just without the modelling and maybe a little more self-awareness."


"Hey, I'm neurodiverse. So, I don't quite know what flavour that is. I like the wine. I maybe don't need the label."

"You're quoting Schitt's Creek."

"It's a good analogy."

We talk the same language. 

Today's song: 

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Teenage Boys

 I'm nearly ready to head to the airport to go back to Darwin. I've got nearly everything ready for Liam, my house sitter. 

I've known Liam since he was two-days old. He's now 18. 

Yes, I'm letting an 18-year-old look after my flat and cat for a week. 

He's a good lad. Quiet. Responsible. At university, but on a break, so he reckons he'll make the most of having a television to himself for the week, while feeding my ratbag cat. 

I've done everything a good host should do. I've cleaned the toilet and bathroom. The kitchen is in order. I've made the bed with fresh linen, and there are clean towels for the bathroom sitting on the bed. My vibrator has been hidden away out of sight. I've even done a bit of dusting. 

And of course, I asked if I could get any food in, after all, he's used to living with his Mum and Dad and I'm pretty sure they keep him fed. He also got told that he was welcome to anything he found in the cupboard or fridge - with the exception of the bottle of French Champagne - if that gets drunk, that needs to be replaced.

It seems 18-year-old boys have very simple needs. 

He asked for a loaf of light rye bread (because when he came over he noticed my KMart special sandwich press) That and six litres of lite milk. 


What the? 

Sorry, I buy one to two litres of almond milk a week. I don't really drink milk, haven't done for years - I run better on limited dairy. 


I've never had a teenage boy of my own, but many of my friends possess one of two of them. They seem to improve with age. Liam is definitely out of the grunty stage and is well on his way to being a fully formed human being. 


What's he going to do? Bathe in it? Is this normal? 

I spose it's calcium, good for the bones. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Sunday Stealing on a Saturday NIght

 It's Saturday night and I'm getting ready to go to Darwin once again. So, as is the tradition, I'm going to do a job and do a question to get both things out of the way. I have my house sitter coming just before I go to the airport tomorrow night. 

Questions, as always, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. If you like art, who is your favourite artist and why?

Yes, I love art - I seek out art. I go to art galleries as a regular occurrence. I love that art makes you feel things, though this is not all art. 

As for my favourite artists, I have many, but the one that comes to mind tonight is Francis Bacon. I love the sensitivity and brutality of his paintings. Irish, gay, an alcoholic, an iconoclast, his paintings speak to me. I hunt him out in major galleries. 

Job: The dishes. 

2. If you were able to learn any three skills or talents instantly and with success, what would they be? 

I would love to be able to play the piano - I should look into lessons. 

I'd love to be able to sing better - I can carry a tune, just not that well. 

And I wish I had neat handwriting. I have a doctor's or serial killer's handwriting. It would be good to have better penmanship. 

Job: Scrub down the stovetop. 

3. If you were to live in Ancient Times, where - in what country - would you want to live in?

What do you describe as ancient. I don't think I'd like to live anywhere before the 1500s - even then, it's pretty hairy. At least in the times of say the Tudor court people are somewhat literate. 

Then again, ancient Rome had running water... but then they had Caligula. No thanks. 

Job: Put the dishes away. 

4. What is something you’re embarrassed to admit to liking? Whether it be a guilty pleasure show, or unusual hobby, etc.

Phil Collins. The Channel Nine News (the only way I get in half palatable right wing news). Beans on toast - best quick dinner ever. 

Job: Torment the cat - he was tormented enough, he went from his spot on the bed to his spot on the cushion on the couch. 

5. What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

That would probably be my first proper job. I've had a lot of dodgy jobs, but spending eight hours a day putting price tags on things at a department store at the end of university was not a great thing. 

Job: Set up the ironing board. 

6. What is something that you wanted to do as a child that you would still like to do now?

Learn how to play the piano. I'm quite musical. I used to play the flute. I'd like to think I'd get the hang of it pretty quickly. 

Job: Plug in the iron. 

7. What do you hate being judged for more than anything else?

My size and weight. I've had this all my life. Unfortunately, it's the one thing I wish I didn't judge myself for - years of being judged as a child has made it's mark. 

Job: Pack underwear for Darwin. 

8. What is your life’s mission?

To be happy. It's as simple as that and it is a mission every day.

Job: Iron one item of clothing. 

9. If everyone walked around wearing warning labels, what would yours say?

"Mad, bad and dangerous to know." That is what I was once told I was. 

I think now I'd probably have something like "Sensitive and would like to stay that way." It reads better than, "Gently neurodiverse. Intermittent filter settings. "

Job: Iron something else. 

10. At what age did you first feel like you were an adult?

About 27. I'd been living in London on my own for a few years and had to make some pretty big decision. It was then that I knew I could do this adulting lark. 

Job: Pack cereal for Darwin (so I have something for breakfast ready on Monday morning.)

11. When did you not speak up, but wish you had?

I tend not to make mention of conflicts on my socials - whether that be Palestine or Ukraine or wherever these awful atrocities take place. I don't feel like it's my place to speak out, though many would disagree. I know that the standard you walk past is the standard you accept, but there are some things I'd rather talk about in private. 

Job: Get clothes ready for tomorrow. 

12. What is something that makes your skin crawl?

People who are rude to service staff. And men who wear clothes that got left in the washing machine for too long, then dried them and they smell musty. Ick. 

Job: Put away the clothes horse. 

13. What was the last thing to give you butterflies in your stomach?

Oh, I can't remember. Maybe walking into the first session of the Faber Academy at the offices of Allen and Unwin. That was a strange feeling. 

Job: Iron another piece of clothing. 

14. What's your favorite type of media to work with? (Paint, clay, pens etc.)

They keyboard. I'm a writer - though I enjoy painting even though I'm not good at it. 

Job: Iron another piece of clothing. 

15. What question do you hate answering?

Tell me about your family / love life. I prefer to keep this one mostly under wraps. 

Job: Put away the iron and ironing board. 

Today's song: