Sunday, April 27, 2008

Those Who Forget History Are Doomed to Repeat It

I missed Anzac Day at our park this year - a shame because I find the ceremony very moving and poignant, especially the small local gatherings which have strong connections to the names on the memorial stone.

As I was driving to work that day I listened to Philip Adams talking with author, Peter Ewer and 93 yr old veteran Frank Cox, about a group of Anzacs that I, and probably a lot of other people, never knew existed.

The Forgotten Anzacs were Australian and New Zealand troops that fought in the Second World War under the umbrella of the "Anzac Spirit", in another battle that proved disastrous for the soldiers involved and which reinforces my low opinion of the British Military Command of the time.

"The campaign in Greece turned out to have uncanny parallels to the original Gallipoli operation: both were inspired by Winston Churchill, both were badly planned by British military leaders, and both ended in defeat and evacuation. British bungling at Gallipoli was one thing; but in Greece, Churchill authorised his commanders to leave the Anzacs to their fate if their rescue compromised wider British interests.

Just as Gallipoli provided military academies the world over with lessons in how not to conduct a complex feat of arms, Churchill’s Greek adventure reinforced fundamental lessons in modern warfare — heavy tanks could not be stopped by men armed with rifles, and Stuka dive-bombers would not be deflected by promises of air support from London that were never honoured."

Frank Cox was one of those soldiers and spent 3 yrs as a prisoner of war after he and thousands of other troops were left on the island to fend for themselves. Despite his very advanced age he tells his story with a clarity and sureness of memory that I envy.

The Late Night Live episode is still available on line and is well worth a listen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Here is Bmos, one of the Ensemble of performers in Moving Target - a wonderful, loud, physical collaberation with Malthouse Theatre that's just finished in the Studio. It wasn't a difficult show for me - I had an hour between Cue 1 and cue 2, - but the 6 actors were really worked hard. Lots of running and lifting and bashing against walls.

"The children's game of hide and seek has rarely been so physical, rough, exhausting and repetitive. The improvisational skills and breakneck intensity of Moving Target make for a wildly unpredictable, strangely unsettling experience." Bryce Hallett, SMH

The plywood box set was designed to take the punishment and accentuate the sound and movement but it had a few worried managers fussing around it, concerned about Risk Management. That's ironic because part of the underlying themes, which were many and complex, was the modern obsession with risk and potential threats and "Being Alert".

Bmos is the sibling of Amos who unfortunately didn't last the season - he was regularly thrown across the stage and had pillows stuffed over him.
I loved the action of this play - the lights and sound matched the physical intensity and the first half, though seemingly unintelligible, had me laughing every time.

In this production I saw some great lighting with LED washes (intense, quick colour) and discovered M83 Car Terror. Played LOUD it makes the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, playing a nice bit of Strauss in the Concert Hall, ring up and complain.
Noisy bloody neighbours!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Birds are Back in Town.

I know Cockatoos are engaging creatures - they can charm the birdseed right out of your hand - but like a bunch of unruly teenagers once you invite them into your home they put their feet up on the furniture and start trashing the place. We were warned several times of their bad habits but had to learn the hard way. We were a bit late in putting out the food so they gave the newly built hand rail a good chew - just to teach us a lesson.

Consequently they have been banished back to the bird feeder and if more than 4 congregate they get sent off. This gives the King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas a chance and they've been showing their appreciation by paying us a closer visit.

It could be they are also admiring all the wonderful work on the new verandah. This handsome King Parrot checked out the post, the steps and the cane chair one afternoon and invied a mate along for a stickybeak as well.

There has been much wonderful work been done on The Back Steps as shown by the before and after shots - in best Backyard Blitz style.
The strange outward opening door from the kitchen has finally been blocked off (much better for the Feng Shui apparently) and the steps have been moved to the verandah. A spot of paint here and there and the transformation is complete - provided the Cockies don't come calling.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

My Beautiful Bag

This is my wonderful bag created for me by Trudi of Knitting and Chocolate fame. It was part of a Ravelry swap mentioned earlier and I was so swept up with trying to create the best bag for my Swapee that the fact that I was going to get one almost slipped my mind. That made getting a big brown box in the mail all the better - especially when it cried 'Exterminate' as I placed it on the counter. I knew I was in for a treat!

The bag itself is felted and wonderfully lined with a heap of useful pockets. The lovely scroll work, inspired by a medieval post I had made early, flows into the sturdy handles which are also lined. Note the little green LED torch on the right side! The bag is big enough to take tools, notebook, diary, ipod and knitting, and I've already been using it daily. I don't lose my little coin purse so often now because it has a dedicated storage soace.

But wait! There's more!
A talking Dalek Chocolate Easter Egg, Merino et Soi yarn, chocolate Bilbies, a book and stitch markers. One spoilt knitter I am.

The egg has been eaten but its voice box is destined for this knitted Dalek pattern - maybe for next year's Easter Show?