Sunday, February 24, 2008


Big Bird;

This is what greets us in the morning with a big sqawking complain if we don't put some seed out quick enough

Big Mushroom;

A big patch of Horse Mushrooms growing in the front garden because of all the recent rain - large but tasteless.

Big Boats:

The QE2 crosses paths with the Queen Victoria this afternoon so we all stop work to check it out..

Big Day:
Another 0700 til 2300 working day. Put in the Ornette Coleman Quintet, then take it out.
Amazing Jazz but a tiring day.

Big Mistake:

Got a new wireless router because the old one died (probably a lightning strike) and then forget to put on a password - wondered why all my Data Allowance got sucked up so no blogging until I got it back.
Live and learn.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love and other bruises

Happy Valentines day - without the hype and pink hearts. I only realised what day it was when I saw a van selling roses parked on the M4. Anyone stopping on the freeway with B-Double's speeding past at 110k must be desperate.

This is Romeo and Juliet from the Shakespeare Place sculpture opposite the Mitchell Library. It's an island also surrounded by roads or "an isolated wasteland between on and off ramps of the Cahill Expressway." Nicely put. It is an interesting monument to explore if you are willing to negotiate the traffic.

Yesterday was an historic occasion that has been recorded and written about in many media - I watched Kevin Rudd's historic speech and applauded his Government's prompt resolution of an outstanding wrong.

Yesterday was also the 30th anniversary of the Hilton Bombing.

February 13th, 1978; I was on a bus travelling to work in a Sandwich bar in the CBD. I didn't understand the enormity of the event at the time - it just meant that I got to work late because my bus was held up. I had been in the city for 2 weeks and was heading back to Dunedin the following week to finish my final year at Otago Varsity. Coming to Sydney was a good way to make a bit of money to fund that year and to experience life in the big city.

Several years later I worked as a Guide for the Opera House (among many jobs I've held in this place) with Rosamund Dallow-Smith. I didn't know then that she had been on the street at the time and had narrowly missed being injured herself. I also didn't know that "it was the Hilton Hotel bombing that finally led to the formation of the Australian Federal Police on October 19, 1979."

The cause of the bombing was never satisfactorily resolved and resulted in the arrest and subsequent acquittal of several members of the Ananda Marga sect - an easy target.

"There was a lot of rumour and innuendo going around at the time we were on the scene. The strongest being that ASIO had stuffed up. It was common comment around at the time that ASIO had in fact planted the device and planned to find it for whatever purpose, but the garbage men were early that morning. " Keith Burley

Today I was very pleased to read; "a new plaque will be unveiled in Sydney's George Street today at the site of a bomb blast outside the Hilton Hotel 30 years ago that marked Australia's entry into the age of terrorism" or the age of Conspiracy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Computer says No!

This afternoon I spent 2 hours trying to upgrade my Mobile and Landline. A simple thing in this digital age one might think? Just go online, browse through the numerous communication packages available, bundle them all together, press the submit button and have a cup of tea.

Reality: do all the checking and filling in of forms then press the submit button and "Computer says No!"

"This service is not available to your area" in fine blue print at the bottom of the last page. AAArgh! I don't get it - I'm already on this provider - mobile and home phone.

Another 20 minutes on the phone listening to the saccharine tones of a fembot until I can get on to the Calcutta call centre to find out that all those cute little raccoons and penguins don't apply to my phone - I'm in the enemy territory no less. I therefore have the privilige of paying an extra $30 a month in Line Rental and can't get any of those tempting discounts for subscribing online.
Bring on the competition I say so the Mega Communication Oligopolies will get their due.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hone Tuwhare

To Kath

I like ya smokes, woman

They kind of ease the
knot in the belly?

Like, before I go on
and read out the boiling
in the gut. And

when the smoke swirls
like dreams, I come
easy. Oh sure...

Ah, Kath, the meeting
is okay. And now
you've only got two

Time I moved on.

New Zealand's "most distinguished Maori poet writing in English" Hone Tuwhare.
He passed away on 16th January 2008.

From a Poetry Reading in 1977 when I was at Otago University and he asked me for a cigarette in exchange for a poem.
I got the better end of the deal.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Treasures in the Rain

We went exploring a treasure trove today.

The Victory Theatre in Blackheath is an Antique Centre just full of old and new goodies .

Outside it was bucketing down with rain but inside there was two floors of little alcoves to explore with teapots, jewellery, chairs, books, records, chaise lounges, magazines, and lots and lots of memoriabila, collectibles and knicknacks.

This Green satin embroidered ball gown caught my eye but the price was a bit prohibitive. I could see it being displayed on a wall to show off the embroidery flowing down the front. It must have made a striking impression in its heyday.

I got lost among the haberdashery section and 40 year old copies of Woman's Journal, pretty little pinifores and a stack of handbags. The only thing I actually bought was a few bags of vintage buttons and some commemorative spoons for the lad but the mass of shapes, textures and colour was inspiring.