Sunday, January 30, 2005


If you're Australian, did you hear Wave Aid on Triple J tonight? I only heard bits of it, and only recognised bits of that, but the finale - Midnight Oil - brought back memories. It's funny how the music from your younger years stays so firmly in your head. Is that because it's more important to you then, or because you fail to keep up with what happens later? (Suspect the latter.)

I remember seeing Midnight Oil a few times in my teens and twenties, but can only remember one venue: Ballina RSL Club. The most memorable night of those years was for Cold Chisel (Bangalow Bowling Club - a tiny place, and a great night; also saw Crowded House there), INXS (The Playroom? Gold Coast), Matt Finish (remember them? Italo-Australian Club, Lismore), the Narara thing (near Gosford, 1982-or-3?) and various bands in Byron Bay at the Top Pub, Great Northern, and the Rails. Aaahhh. I can't believe it's so long ago. Sigh... I was so bloody cool then (laughing).

Thursday, January 27, 2005

John Deere in the rain

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

26th January

In Australia this day has a number of different names: Wednesday, public holiday, Australia Day, Invasion Day, Survival Day, Hottest 100 Day etc.

I was going to write a post about my local area and its Aboriginal history (Bundjalung country) but made the mistake of watching
The Castle (the greatest land rights film ever made in Australia) to transcribe an excerpt, got carried away and forgot.

So here - Australian as anything in all its stereotypical, comic strip, essential truth? style - is what I think "Australianness" is about: the spirit of egalitarianism^^, and laughing at ourselves.

Darryl and Sal Kerrigan fell in love at the greyhounds [greyhound dog races] and live in a house next to the airport, beneath big overhead power lines which remind Darryl "of Man's ability to generate electricity". They have four children: Dale, Steve, Tracey (married to Con) and Wayne (doing 8 years in gaol for armed robbery).

Dale visits Wayne every Friday. They "get on great" and "can chat for hours".

Wayne: How’s Mum?
Dale: Good.
Wayne: How’s Dad?
Dale: Good.
Wayne: How’s Trace?
Dale: Good.
Wayne: How’re you?
Dale: Good.
Wayne: How’s Steve?
Dale: He’s all right.
Wayne: ... Good.

The family has a holiday house at Bonnie Doon, near the lake and those overhead power lines. All except Wayne go there for the weekend. Darryl & Sal are smooching on the verandah while Trace, Con, and the family greyhounds are in the front yard under a tree, Trace steadying a punching bag while Con practices kick boxing. We hear Steve roar up on a dirt bike (motorbike).

Darryl to Sal: Marvellous, ain’t it? The lake... The kids... (laughs) Oh! Look at the dogs! Don’t they love it? (inhales) Oh, smell that... (they smell the breeze and smile happily) ...Two-stroke.**

At home, a letter of compulsory acquisition arrives - the Kerrigans and their neighbours are legally obliged to move because the airport wants to expand. Darryl goes to court in a bid to stop the aquisition, but is unsuccessful. He calls a meeting of the neighbours to discuss whether they should take further legal action.

Darryl: Listen. Things are getting a bit serious. Last night I had a visit from some hired thug.
Farouk: Yeah, me too.
Darryl: What’d you mean, you too?
Farouk: A man, he come to my house, and he say, ‘Stop with the court business.’ If no stop, he have friend who come and beat me. And I say, ‘You have friend - I have friend. My friend come to your house, put bomb under your car and blow you to fucking sky!’
Darryl: What’d he do?
Farouk: He get scared and he leave!
Darryl: I bet he did.
Farouk: I don’t really have friend like this, but, you know, I’m Arab and people think all Arab have bomb (all laughing).
Darryl: You’re a bloody ripper, Farouk, that’s fucking fantastic! (to Evonne) Excuse the French, Evonne.
Evonne (dismissively): Get your hand off it, Darryl.

Darryl and Sal are in the pool room, the special place at the heart of their home where Darryl keeps his most prized possessions. They don't want to leave.

Darryl: I’m really starting to understand how the Aborigines feel.
Sal: ... Have you been drinkin’?
Darryl: Well, this house is like their land. It holds their memories. The land is their story, it’s everything. You just can’t pick it up and plonk it down somewhere else. This country’s got to stop stealing other people’s land!

Their case is picked up by someone Darryl befriends - Laurie, a retired Queens Counsel - and is taken to the High Court. The opposing lawyer insults Darryl's house and his gaoled son. Darryl swears at him and court is temporarily adjourned.

Darryl: I’m sorry Lawrie, I...
Lawrie: That’s all right, Darryl. I was thinking the same thing, though not in those words.
Darryl: I wish I had your words.

Back in court, in his finest hour, Lawrie sums up:

A home is not built of bricks and mortar, but love, and memories.

Happy day, Australians, whatever you want to call it.

^^ Have we lost this lately?
** Is "two-stroke" an international term? It's the fuel you use in bikes, chainsaws etc, and (just between you and me) it smells really good.

!! Actually, ignore that last point - it's wrong. Proving that the internet is an amazing place, a sharp-eyed reader informs me that "two-stroke" is a type of engine. That special smell (laughing, but it's true!) is due to the fuel - it has oil in it, plus some unburnt fuel gets emitted in the exhaust. Thanks, Reader!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Remarkable J

My sister J has just embarked on her Masters in typical fashion (ie. full-on) while holding down a full-time job and caring for a husband, two children, and tackling all the running-around, angst and energy a family life entails. She is the very epitome of someone I consider to be Real. (And I want to make it clear that my last possibly-histrionic post in no way refers to her in the first paragraph - I was thinking only of myself there, as per usual.)

J is a person who was far too sensible to continue school till Year 12 - our school was a waste of bloody time, as many of them are - and who spent her formative years doing far more interesting things, most of them at the beach and not all of them legal (I'm saying that last bit to make her look groovy... obviously...) Qualifying for uni as a mature-age applicant, she became a whizz-kid Honours student. Details from her research were published around the world overnight, for example, every journalist taking the results completely out of context - which surely must be the measure of a great academic's work, yes? (laughing).

Now she’s onto the next big step. Her subject is an area which has direct implications for the wellbeing of actual people in the real world, though she says in an email, “I actually only chose the course because I'd get lots of letters after my name one day.” Oh. Sure you did.

Go, J-darl. You’re an inspiration.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Self-talk pep-talk blah blah

Lately I’ve been asking myself whether I have any right to add to the general blog noise. Real people already have a lot to say. But I’m not a real person, not a real middle-aged adult: they have partners, children, careers, mortgages, things to do and places to go. I have no life of any interest whatsoever, or not at the moment. What have I got to say worth listening to?

And here now is my answer: whatever I bloody well want. I’m a real person, just as you are, regardless of circumstances. That’s the only justification we need for existence: we exist. I’m real, and so are you. I think and feel and have opinions and thoughts. So do you. That’s enough.

What are we for, we Pitiful Human Sods? We’re not all going to be great. We’re not all going to be memorable. We’re just one person, each of us, just an individual, just a one, just a piddling one only among fucking billions. What does it matter? What if each of us never achieves anything? What if - in the eyes of the world - we’re nothing?

Are we nothing? Vote no, now, loudly. We matter. Idiots all, together alone, together together, we matter. That’s it and that’s all. You’re a whole universe in yourself. You and me, both of us, we matter, and if you can’t be decided, then take my word for it, you matter. That’s all you need to know. It’ll take you through everything that comes, and shit is coming sometime, you can bet on it.

Say yes and smile. Look on the bright side: the flipside, the B-side, the other side, right here, wherever you are. The will to life. It’s more powerful than you. And that’s the thing that saves us. Yes, I’m trying to convince myself. And why the hell not, eh? I can. And I think it’s working.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Quotes of the day

Found in today's edition of the Sydney Morning Herald:

["the getting of wisdom", SMH Good Weekend, p.9; not online]

Tom Waits, musician, on a good lyric:

Contains weather, the names of towns and something to eat.
Male code prevents us telling mates we love 'em** by Tim Dick]
Here referring to the film The Motorcycle Diaries and the adventures of Che Guevera & best mate Alberto Granado:

Their journey cemented a relationship - a loaded word, but that is what friendships are - which would last until Che's early death. It bound them together for life.
That is an unmitigated good, but the mateship code says the message - that we [men] need friends - has to be told through tales of adventure. [...]

My best mate is becoming a citizen at Sydney Olympic Park this Australia Day. He'll get his citizenship tree (and hopefully not kill his as I did mine), we'll sing our strange new anthem and then we'll have a drink. I'll go along knowing our friendship involves no Gallipoli, no Che revolution and no Alexander pash. But, and the code prevents me from saying this to his face, he makes my life good.
["A good man in Africa," by Nicola Graydon, SMH Good Weekend, pp.24-26; not online^^]

Paul Rusesabagina is, in most respects, unremarkable: a Rwandan of average height and stocky build, mild-mannered, polite and always impeccably dressed [...] For 76 days in 1994, Rusesabagina acted as the Oskar Schindler of the Rwandan genocide. With little more than a well-stocked cellar, a single telephone line and a knack for persuasive banter, this self-effacing man - himself a Hutu of moderate political persuasion - kept the Hutu death squads away from the 1268 terrified people who sought safety in his hotel in the country's capital. [...]

[Rusesabagina:] "...we Rwandans still refuse to call evil by its own name. It is always to do with 'the other'. The Hutus will tell you a history that favours their side; the Tutsis do the same. To me, we are all guilty. I lost members of my family to both ideologies. We need to sit around a table together - Hutus and Tutsis - and negotiate the future."
For, as [he] told the murderous militia: "One day all this will be over. How will you face history?"

**If you can't/won't register for the online edition & want to read the article, let me know and I'll (quietly) post it in full.
^^Ditto for the posting thing. Please let me know if you can find it online.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Stop time & look

Jennifer Barger

Beautiful work from Frog and Toad’s Wild Ride by Jennifer Barger in East Wenatchee, Washington, USA (near Seattle?). For me there's something mystical or otherworldly about these images: they invite a sense of reverie. Lovely, eh?

Jennifer Barger

**Artist retains full copyright of any and all works she has created. Please contact this artist before using any of the artist's work in any way. Thank you.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Clearing a path to the fridge

I made a big effort to clean this room today - got rid of all the stuff that was just sitting around clogging the place up. Now the sound of typing on this keyboard is sort of echoing (not even joking... it's very strange). The room looks very clean.

Which can't be said for the kitchen/dining room, which is where I dumped all the stuff that used to be in here. All this mess - it's a chaos of the migrating type, from one room to the next, until hopefully one day it migrates right out the front door and disappears for ever. I suspect the key to this operation is to dump stuff right where it will be most annoying, so that I have to do something about it immediately. Of course there is nowhere so annoying that I have to do something about it immediately.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A good consumer yearns

Now that I've discovered them, I know I could write if only I had a Mol-a-skeen-a (Moleskine). That's the only thing holding me back (sigh).

[Update: If it's not obvious, I'm joking. Sometimes I assume you think like me. Apologies, et cetera.]

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Beauty in the pages

by Joachim du Beleg
Some rights reserved.

You can see some beautiful work by Joachim du Beleg at Le Moleskine à Beleg. He works in a notebook called a Moleskine (pronounced mol-a-skeen-a) then scans the whole thing so that the edges of the notebook and the ribbon bookmark sticking out become part of the image. It gives you a sense of the thing being handmade, a one-off: one page in one book, unique.

Apparently the Moleskine inspires such love and loyalty (or very stylish marketing) there is a website dedicated to it, an article written about it, and now The Wandering Moleskine Project:
Several notebooks will be sent on their way from various points around the world, and scans of pages will be posted as they are filled. [...] Participants are entitled to use one page of each notebook and to send it on to the next recipient within one week of receiving it.
Joachim hosts the Project scans here.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Pulling my smelly socks up

You know those Before/After shots in advertisements? My thinking processes for a while now have resembled one of the Befores. Not my fault, of course, apart from the fact it’s my responsibility. I discovered MoodGYM ages ago, thanks to a story on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters (about the millionth time I’ve been grateful for free public broadcasting) and then neglected to stick with the program. Typical (a statement which typifies warped thinking, which MoodGYM teaches you to identify and deal with).

Thanks to forecasts of a rainy day (any excuse to avoid mowing... and about the millionth time I’ve been grateful for being a real lazy git... oops, warped thinking alert...) I’ve just gone back to the lessons at MoodGYM. And if it seems like I’ve mentioned its name three times already because I might be advocating its use? Oh, why yes! Why yes, I am! If your own thinking processes could do with some coaching, MoodGYM is free, you can sign up under an assumed name (you need to leave a real email address but after the sign-up you’ll never hear from them again) and you can work through the lessons whenever you want. It’s based on the theory of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, which is based on the belief that our thoughts about events determine how we feel, not the events themselves.

So. I went back. Redid some of the lessons about warped thinking, realised I’d forgotten everything previously learned, and also realised that I’ve probably imbued this whole blog with examples of How Not to Think Your Way to Self-Esteem, Success or Happiness. Oh good. That’s great. Always happy to be a beacon of instruction for others. Give me a round of applause, please. Comparing yourself to me should give you just the boost you’ve always wanted (...warped thinking and associated laughter alert...).

Back to MoodGYM to get fit. Damn. I’m sweating already.

Alleyways & sidestreets

Sudholz Place II
Photo by Sparrow (all rights reserved, presumably)

If you haven't yet visited The Adelaide 'Alleyways and Side Streets' Project to see Sparrow's photos, do yourselves a favour, et cetera.
The aim of this project is to take a photo (or photos) from every single named alleyway and side street in the city of Adelaide. I've always been fascinated with these places for as long as I've lived in Adelaide, as they each seem to have their own personalities and traits.

I encourage people to comment on these photos, especially anyone living in Adelaide who has thoughts or experiences regarding these places.

Vardon Avenue II
Photo by Sparrow (all rights reserved)

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Ray Charles: demigod

I'm no connoisseur of the music of Ray Charles (didn't even know he'd died, sorry) but there was a program on Channel 10 tonight (NSW, Australia) which made me think I should be. Despite the deadening presence of celebrities, Genius - A Night for Ray Charles was great. Songs from Stevie Wonder and B.B. King, music, dancing - what more could you ask for?

Sometimes I forget what life's about. Music sometimes makes me remember. RIP Ray Charles.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Can't see the trees for the forest

I once read (sorry, can’t remember the source) that if you ask centipedes how they walk, they’ll get so flustered trying to describe how they move each of their legs, they won’t be able to take another step.

It’s happening to me. Now that I’ve started wondering what I’m trying to do with this blog, I can’t do anything. Paralysis. (Yes, I know I’m being a bloody idiot, but that doesn’t actually help.)

Ho hum. In the trials of life, this is a hiccup. Please excuse the stupid “ick” noises for a while.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Quiet light

My favourite parts of the dairy where my parents worked for most of their adult lives: the worn and fading concrete walls and floors.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The underconcreteworld

What happens to the soil under cities and roads? If it's covered in vast areas of concrete, does it "die", or can air and water and living things still move through it somehow?

More questions

I heard Tim Costello (a person I greatly admire; now with World Vision) talking on ABC Radio at the cricket say that he thinks Australians have responded so generously to the earthquake/tsunami appeals because it is "morally clearer" to give to this cause: there are no human agents to blame, unlike in the trouble-plagued regions in Africa. He wasn't saying this is what he thinks, I hasten to add, only what he guesses the rest of us are thinking.

Is this true? We help people only if it's "morally clear"? Living in some poverty-stricken country under a corrupt government is morally unclear? It's due to the faults of the people living and suffering there? Is that what we're thinking?


This was prompted by reading a post at This Is Not A Love Story (home of stories to take your breath away):

“It is a crime how our society forges men to be firm and emotionally indestructible, culturally conditioned and designed with conquest, killing, or dying in mind - but doesn’t acknowledge the price of such strength. We are what we do, as men, not what we feel.”
And just to show this is still the case, despite decades of “feminism” (true feminism would be anti-sexism, wouldn’t it? Well, wouldn’t it?) look at this:

A photo stolen from the Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 08 November 2004 p.1:

In God we trust... US Marines of the 1st Division line up for prayer at their base outside Falluja. Thousands of marines, many inexperienced, are gearing up for an imminent attack on the rebel-held city.
Photo: AP/Anja Niedringhaus.

On the front page of a major Australian newspaper, young men lined up like tombstones, preparing themselves to face death and killing. Whatever your views about the war, pictured here are real people, facing real death, the end of life as they knew it. Regardless of their mission (yes, they’re going in to kill people) how can you not admire their fortitude in standing there, doing what they perceive to be their duty? And how can you not also wonder what the hell is going on? We as a society still require men to do things like this? Can you imagine two lines of women standing there like that? There’d be outrage. It’d be a disgrace.

It is a disgrace. It has always been a disgrace. We send men off to war in so many ways, and not all of them involve guns and fighting. Why do they put up with it? And why are we women still standing there at their backs, prodding them with bayonets? Something made these men go. Something made their families and friends tell them they should. What was it? Tell me.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Public speaking

I’ve been thinking about why I started this blog. There are a number of reasons, but the most surprising thing I’ve come up with - having not realised it before - is that blogging gives me a chance to be listened to. And I mean “listened to” in the sense of being read, obviously, but they feel the same.

In 3D life I’m usually shy. (Imagine the quiet people you can’t remember from school or work, and I’d be one of them.) I don’t usually have much to say unless I stumble across a great conversation about something interesting. Chitchat seems like a waste of energy and often I just can’t be bothered, beyond just being polite and trying not to cause offence. I know that small talk greases the wheels of community (or something) but so would talking about anything meaningful. This is probably just me being selfish and lazy, though. I can’t be bothered making an effort unless there’s something in it for me.

Blogging allows me to work out something to say, and then write it, consider it, rearrange, tinker, fiddle, and present it in leisurely fashion. This is something I can’t do in real life: when I say something there, it jumps directly from my brain out my mouth, and there’s no-one ever on guard-duty. I often say really stupid and regrettable things, which I then do regret, at long length. And yes I know everybody does this at times. And I know there’s no point agonising about it. What’s done is done; what’s said is said; get over it. But. Blogging at least extends the journey between brain and listener/reader. It gives me the opportunity to say what I really think, not to stumble over the jumble of rocks tumbling out my mouth.

Also, I don’t get interrupted, I don’t get hurried. There’s no increasingly-tense silence as someone waits while I try to think of an answer:
Them: “How’s it going, then?”
Me: (thinking: How’s it going? What is it? How am I going? How am I going?)

Go on, laugh. I’m an idiot (who’s also laughing).

For one reason or another, in conversations with people I don’t know well, I usually end up being a listener. Often I’m prompting them with questions just to deflect attention from myself. Listening feels much safer than speaking, and I’m a coward. Sometimes I’m listening to be polite. Sometimes I’m listening to give the other person due respect and attention. And obviously if the conversation is interesting, I’m listening because I’m interested.

But blogging gives me a chance to be the talker. And you the reader give me the honour of feeling listened to. These are valuable, good things. Yay, I say.

Fugitives from justice

The dogs ran away yesterday.

Big Pup usually trots over here every morning from her home down the road. She hadn’t arrived yesterday, so I assumed she wasn’t coming. I let Little Pup off the chain so she could loll about on the grass and gnaw bones. Which she did, and it wasn’t a problem. Until I forgot to tie her up again. And Big Pup arrived after all. From inside the house all I heard was their sudden reunion. By the time I got outside they were gone. No sign, no sound.

This has happened before. I used to try following them - generally they go straight to the creek. I once tracked them to the edge of the bush (ie. an overgrown messy treed area) next door, and sat in wait beside a track where I thought they’d run out. Which they did, and they even ran straight up to me, the idiots. But then, being the prime idiot myself, I grabbed Little Pup and couldn’t keep a grip on her collar, so they ran off again. I then became so incensed I stumbled along after them, further and further along creeks, through two neighbouring properties, until it just became too stupid and embarrassing to continue. I clomped home fuming and exhausted. They probably had the time of their lives.

Yesterday I didn’t even try to follow them. There are no cows in the paddock between the house and the creek at the moment, and the grass is seriously overgrown: at least knee-high and in some places higher, and it’s snake season.

I can’t blame dogs for being doglike - running away for them is fun. They get a day or two to do whatever they want, they can roll in muck, swim in the creek, possibly chase cattle and horses, possibly kill small animals, possibly attack neighbouring dogs... Are you getting the picture? Once they’re on the run, there’s no knowing what they’ll get up to.

They were back this morning, absolutely filthy. Big Pup even had a bit of old barbed wire stuck to her tail... God only knows what that’s about.

The thing is this: I look after these dogs quite well, I think - take them walking, give them food and water, check them for ticks, pat them every time I turn around, and so on. And covering all this activity, there’s a contract in my head: I do this for them, and their end of the bargain is to behave and not run away.

But they do run away. And every time it feels like they’ve betrayed me, failed to honour their part of the bargain. Which is ridiculous. I know it’s stupid. They’re dogs. They probably think they get fed because they get fed. They get water because they get water. It’s just the way things happen. They might not even notice I have anything to do with it. And yet... and yet...

If I could just explain the terms of the contract to them a little more fully, do you think there’d be grounds to sue? It’d make me feel a lot better. Not for the money, mind, just the principle of the thing.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Essence of Zen, or something

I found this copy of an old email from years ago - something that was doing the rounds at the time, presumably, so you might have already seen it. Worth a rerun though, regardless.

The following are Haiku poems (are they called Haiku poems or just Haiku?) supposedly dreamed up by those canny Japanese to replace more dreary computer error messages.
Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

The Web site you seek
cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand-dollar screen dies
So beautifully.

With searching comes loss
And the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.

The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao - until
You bring fresh toner.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.


I don’t know how much of this is just me being an idiot and wanting to blame outside forces, or coincidence, or maybe it’s just my imagination, BUT (and isn’t there always a “but” in a sentence like that? Qualification, qualification, qualification... but what I really mean is...) a cool breeze came up today and now I’m happy again. The last few days were really hot and humid, and I’ve been lurching about, bawling in despair. But now that it’s cool, everything’s different. I used to think those old stories about people moving to other climates for their health were just stupid, but maybe there’s something in it. And really, why shouldn’t there be? We’re influenced by physiological factors, why not meteorological ones? It’s a fact of life in this family that several of us get migraines due to sudden changes in barometric pressure. So I don’t know why I’m surprised to find that sudden changes in temperature or humidity can tangle with our moods. It was just such a sudden, unmistakeable change today: feeling bad > cool breeze > feeling good. It's pitiful if I can be so easily influenced by factors beyond my control. But I’m happy at the moment, so don’t bloody care (wanders off, whistling).

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Little Prince Lou

Introducing a lovely weblog from Belgium, Lou's Diary, created in French and now being translated into English. It's written by Luc Boland and tells the story of his son Lou, who has Septo Optic Dysplasia. Lou loves sounds, and used to stand in their hallway for long periods, making the door to the living room squeak. When his mum oiled the hinges and ended the squeak, he 'was infinitely sad and [...] kept saying : "The door, it's crying because it doesn't squeak anymore!". And that lasted for two or three days!'

I don't have kids and probably only think I can imagine what it's like to be a parent. But it doesn't take much imagination to see that Lou's parents and his sisters have had to join The Remarkables, those seemingly-ordinary people in our midst who somehow rise to the challenges of their lives and excel, whether they want to or not. And little Prince Lou, the Remarkable who can imitate sounds so well you can distinguish between his "lawnmower" and "edge trimmer", is his own man. As his dad says:

...if there is one message I'm trying to convey in my stories about Lou, it is definitely the message that he taught me by his presence : we grow rich from other people's differences. [...] if there is one common denominator to all of humanity's evils (exception made for accidents and natural disasters), it is surely the fear of others, of that difference which reflects our own doubts on us.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I promised myself I'd post something today, that I'd sit down and keep writing till an idea sprang to life. Two hours of blathering on, and nothing. I went through all my photos. Nothing. I'm here now, hoping I'll suddenly get through to the other side of this bloody fog of nothing and that something will loom up ahead... (squinting) But no.


There is nothing in my head. Can't think of a single bloody thing to write about. I could post a photo, except I can't see anything either.

So there's no alternative. I'm sorry and all that, you certainly deserve better, dear reader, etc., but I'm afraid we're right at that point where there's nothing else for it: I'm gonna have to sing.

Stand back...

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The Great Eastern Fly In

Well, the first day of 2005 was rather good in this part of the world. My very sweet parents and I went to Evans Head to see The Great Eastern Fly In: lots of aircraft in a little coastal town for a 3 day plane-love fest, basically. I’ve never been to one of these things before, but it was fantastic. Lots of planes you could have a stickybeak at up-close (I don’t know anything about planes, but inexplicably love them), people sitting around in the shade under the wings, planes doing aerobatics (including one absolutely amazing display in an ultralight: a few tubes of metal looking to be strung together with string and some sail-cloth doing world-class ballet in the air) and - my favourite - the glider (pic above, and first below). We actually went down there intending to take a few joy flights, but walked around and sat around and hung around too long and all of us lost the will to live, basically... It was hot. We probably all had low-blood sugar or something. No excuse, I know, but it was enough just to look at these things:

And no, it's nothing at all like trainspotting. Nothing at all.