Tuesday, October 31, 2006

quick quiz

about whom is the following quotation:

"My understanding is that he wasn't wearing any undies, his fly was open and some of the lunch meat fell out of the sandwich,'' Jabba told Confidential.

1. that dude from one of the idol shows a few years ago. or was it big brother. i can't fucking remember.

2. axle whitehead

3. this guy

this has to be one of the most unpalatable things i've ever heard and i love derek and clive.

where did this incident occur:

1. the arias

2. that music show that people in australia make a big deal about

why do you care about this:

1. i don't

2. who gives?

me either. just trying to keep off the hardcore news.

Monday, October 30, 2006

final derek and clive. warning: language and violent concepts

but my favourite bit is when peter's voice goes dangerously quiet and he says: "dolly, you've tested me in the past."

i also love it when dudley gets the laughs and has to hide his face. and just tries to keep up with the psychotic genius that is peter cook's mind.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

a very special day, the best in 7 whole years.

1. daniel chirico. you make the best bread in town. thanks for breakfast.

2. my dentist, you do the best fillings in town. thanks for the no-pain session.

3. thanks jane for being at malvern central today so we could run into each other, have a quick coffee and chat, and set a night for our inaugural writers circle meeting next week.

there was one cloud: no thanks to you, dude on your mobile, who i gave way to so you could do a u-turn in the middle of glenferrie road, malvern. you in your green jeep, with rego omu 782.

where was my thank you wave?

you didn't even have a spare hand, did you?

but the best news, the best thing follows. i want to share it with you, for this is my journey and you are part of it now.

the best thing about today was hearing something i haven't heard for 7 years, had given up wishing and hoping for.

when i got home from my busy day of having teeth filled, eating fantastic toast, running into friends, there was a message on the phone from mum. she was at the hospital, peter mac, and said the scans were all clear.



this is a woman, my mum, who has fought and battled and survived and worked so hard to stay alive. we have ridden the rollercoaster, my family and i. for seven long years. she has had periods of wellness, and times of terrible illness. she has lain in intensive care, so pale and thin, hallucinating that there was a little girl sitting on the chair by her bed, who when mum felt very, very bad, came and got into bed with her.

she hasn't given up. she has been so strong. she is amazing. i feel very lucky that we still have her. one of my friends, her mother was diagnosed with cancer after my mum, and she died a couple of years ago. different cancer. my mum has one of the better ones. but still, her type has killed a king.

so, i told princess and she did her happy dance. she shouted her wish had come true. turns out one of her friends had told her, write your wishes on a piece of paper. fold up the paper and put it in the garden, cover it with flower petals. and the wish will come true. so she did it. i helped her, but i didn't see what the wishes were. she is so sweet using up her wishes on her grandmother, instead of wishing for a pony, a lolly shop, different hair. every birthday, every star-light, star-bright, first-star-i-see-tonight, princess and i have been wishing on granny. seven years of wishes. that's a lot of wishes.

if i could tap dance, i would.

if i could fly, i would.

if i could give each and every one of you a big, squeezy hug, i would.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

when a girl loves horses

it's the melbourne racing season, oh joy. we get to see regular visions of loveliness in their frocks, shoes and fascinating headwear, spewing, and stumbling along the road with goosebumps on their arms from the cool melbourne breeze.

stallions and fillies, aka tools and toolettes.

but for me, the real interest lies in the stories about relationships between man and beast. as a young girl, i owned picture story books about horses, i endlessly drew them, of course i wanted a palomino, but my second choice was a bay, around 14'2 hh. i was thrown at 7 years of age and got 12 stitches in my leg. it was my fault, i'd never ridden, talked the kid out of having to lead me, joined the trail ride unsupervised, and tried to turn my plodder who was homing home, to get him to go back into the wood we'd just passed through, so we could jump over a log. of course he fucking bolted. and of course i fell off. onto a log, with a sticky-out bit of branch. branch meet upper thigh, leg meet branch.

i got back on the horse, of course.

i read jill's pony books, i loved bill in malory towers. i rode whenever i could. my aunt agisted a couple of old nags at her property in woodend. i rode them. i travelled to cairo, i went out one day with my friends and we rode all through the hot day, a day so hot that even though i drank 3 litres of water and wore a hat, i still weed dark orange. i went through three horses that day, each one faster than the last, until finally, i was racing across the sands, galloping as fast as i needed to. i learned to do jumps, i hated children who had jodhpurs and went to pony club. i took carrots to whichever horse i could get to; the paddocks near my grandparents' house in barwon heads, my friend's sister's horse which was on a block in ashwood, where the smorgy's is now.

and when i was a little older, i read all my father's dick francis novels, wonderful books where the protagonist is always connected to horses in some way: jockey, artist of horse portraits, horse vet, trainer.

and i never have really given up my dream of one day having my own horse.

this is why that photograph of tommy woodcock, lying in a stable in 1977 with reckless's large, gentle head on his lap moves me every time i see it.

this same man was phar lap's strapper and by all accounts had a very special and close relationship with the giant champeen -

"He loved him just like a, your pet dog would. You'd go in the yard and he'd just, he'd follow him everywhere without, he didn't have to put a, head collar on him or a lead or anything like that. There was a tremendous rapport between them. Just trust and love. " - Tony McSweeney

trust and love. it's all any of us need.

phar lap died in 1932, hemorrhaging over woodcock, who held his head.

"I don't think that Tommy Woodcock was ever the same after it. He died in his arms. He had his head cradled in his lap. But I think that all Australia wept when Phar Lap died." - Tony McSweeney

a few months ago, my dad told me a fantastic story he'd heard on the radio about an old jockey. this jockey had ridden 39 races in his career, and had 40 falls.

how can that be? you ask.

well, after one fall, they were carrying him off on the stretcher and he fell off that. so they counted it as a fall.

i'm laughing at this right now, remembering my father's laugh as he told me this story, laughing and gulping, he could barely get the words out; my dad's laugh is large and wild and so infectious.

the story runs like an old vaudevillian take-my-wife routine.

there was some fund set up for jockeys and they had to tell him to retire from it cause he'd cleaned the fund out.

more laughter.

he used to ride alot around the country, and some of the nurses in hospitals where he was going to ride, they'd look up the form guide, and if he was racing in their town, they'd make up a bed for him.

i can see the nurses, can't you, standing in their starched white uniforms, having a smoke and reading the form guide.

i found this jockey after much googling. his name is les boots, and there is another story that his wife would pack his pyjamas for him on racing day, so that when he inevitably went to hospital, he'd have them with him.

i love stories like this. don't you?

back to phar lap, you know the story about how his heart was so big and heavy. so much bigger than any other race horse which had been, i guess, autopsied? people would cite the size of the famous horse's heart as an indication of his greatness, as if it were so big it made him some super horse, some freak of nature, and it was because of that heart, its size, its power, that he could not only perform such physical miracles, but he also gained a special personality, a form of anthropomorphism which we saw, again recently, with makybe diva.

let me tell you something about race horses and their bodies. i spoke to a vet who was involved in research at melbourne uni a couple of years ago, and this vet told me that hundreds of horses die, collapse, without warning, on racetracks and in training around this country, every year. that they are pushed and pushed and then their hearts and lungs can just stop, and they die on the tracks. of course, there will be more figures for races [lower] and less or none kept for training [higher?].

this explains, taken from an online animal liberation document

Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage

Between 1% and 2% of horses have blood flowing from the nostrils after a race. The first time this happens they are banned from racing for 3 months, the second time they are banned for life.

However, the situation is actually much more serious than people have realised. Researchers at the University of Melbourne have shown, through the use of an endoscope inserted into the horse's throat, that 50% of horses have blood in the windpipe, and 90% have blood deeper in the lungs. In post-mortems of racehorses, one fifth have bruising at the back of the lungs, with the bruise more prominent the more recently the horse has raced. Racing regularly causes blood vessels around the lung to rupture.

The speed at which horses run makes a difference. When horses were tested within 2 hours of racing, 75% had blood in the upper respiratory tract, and 9% had blood at the nostrils. However, when horses were examined after only cantering, 38% had blood in the respiratory tract and 2% had blood at the nostrils. Those that bled at the nostrils did not always have the most severe internal bleeding.

In another study, 44% of horses had blood in the windpipe within 2 hours of racing, but only 0.8% showed blood at the nostrils. Horses over 5 years old were more likely to have haemorrhaging, possibly because the lungs could not repair damage during continued training and so, over the years, the problem became chronic.

One theory is that it is the force transmitted through the legs which damages the blood vessels in the lungs. In humans, lung trauma is common after an impact to the front of the chest, as in a car accident. Such an impact can lead to pulmonary oedema and localised haemorrhaging. In horses, a very large impact force is transmitted through the front legs to the shoulder blades and chest wall, and then to the lungs. The faster the horse is running, the greater this impact force, the more damage is done to the small blood vessels, and the greater the bleeding into the lungs and airway.

so basically, horses are bleeding internally more than people (trainers, owners, riders, all those people with a vested interest) will admit.

so, if you're the type to get dressed up and go get pissed and trip around in your frippery, please think of the horses. who are trying their hardest to win races, noble beasts that they are, for people who want to make money and have a day at the races.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

me and the media

i have decided to part ways with the daily newspaper and the wireless radio. i will no longer be listening to jon faine while at the gym. nor will i be reading the age over my breakfast each day.


because it all makes my head hurt too much. i need to turn away, in order to preserve myself. some people might be able to read about all the things in the world, and not feel anything. but i can't. things stick in my head and my heart. i want to fix the world, and i can't. things make me angry - politics and all sorts of social and environmental issues - and i can feel the toxins in my body. i waste energy thinking over things, getting frustrated by things. energy that i really need to save so i can smile at my kids, help them with their homework, play the occasional grippy ball game with them.

so i have decided to be kind to myself, and leave the things that make me feel like this.

on the weekends, however, i will be buying the age and the australian.


i'll see how i go with the australian. i stopped reading it cause it was too right-wing, but as i will be avoiding articles that shit me, i'll just keep to their interesting life style sections.

i still want to be able to access the articles on literature and the arts, and the human interest stories. i will avoid the stories on iraq, terrorism, george w, howard, children dying, bombs, racism, murder, mayhem.

i will turn my eyes to the light.

i will concern myself with what really matters in my life, with my family and friends.

things like:

1. why oh why the fuck can't the neighbours scriptwriters do a better job when integrating the new characters of fraser, pepper, wil and rosetta into the show.

why oh why the fuck couldn't they have come up with a better name than johnny smith, JOHNNY SMITH, oops BROWN FOR FUCK'S, as the unseen person who rosetta and carmella's mother wants rosetta to marry.

2. should i start having brazillians again?

3. i wonder whether ebay has any how and why books?


ps. i have rejigged my blogroll, and included a few new players.

pps. i am waiting to see whether i will be the inaugural big blogger winner of 2006. check it. i can probably get you an invitation to the finale party if you really want.

ppps. final derek and clive is coming soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

the black owl

3 minutes ago my mother and i were standing in my kitchen. she told me about a dream, and then went back outside to cut some roses.

and i rushed in here.

she said she had a dream a few weeks ago, about a native american woman sitting in the dirt, connecting with the earth. there were large birds walking around her. and there was a black owl to the side, a huge black owl, that would stand hip-high to a human. the owl had a wide wing span and was moving its feathers in a motion that swept up dirt over itself; it was giving itself a dirt bath.

mum sees a dream analyst, who talked it through with her. he thought it might symbolise connecting with the planet and the ground, those sorts of things. he said he would look it up in his big book at home.

next session he told mum he'd found the black owl. apparently native americans believe that a black owl is a harbinger of death.

are you getting shivery?

mum had no idea about this metaphor. neither did peter, he said he'd never heard of it before.

i am shivery.

but he assured her he thinks that rather than her thinking death is imminent for herself, that death is close to all of us, it's in all our lives, but that she more than most might have it a little closer to her mind than others, as she continues to live with cancer.

but how freaky is that owl? where did it come from? is there such a thing as archetypal memory?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

whales, and derek and clive

this is quite charming, i think. i just love the way dudley kind of sees where peter is going with this, and then hooks into it.

this is the second-last one, i'm building up to the one that probably made me laugh the most.

you know, you tube is fantastic just for the fact that this stuff is there, available. it's like having a personal archive of my life, my history.

i wonder if there are clips of adventure island, the magic roundabout, and the original bill and ben the flowerpot men?

i could take you all on a personal history of mg's media delights, starting from when i was 4.

first ipods meant that you could have your ultimate collection of music, all in the one place, all accessible at the touch of a finger.

now it's anything you might have seen on tv. or, as is the case of derek and clive get the horn, heard on a crappy cassette back in the early '80s.

and i have my own youtube ideas, oh yes i do. but i won't be telling you about them. i'll give you a hint: lipsync.

but it will take me a while to get my project up and running. john thinks i'm mad, i think, but i am creatively excited.

just about to take the gigi down to elwood beach to meet a friend. i've been to the gym, and i had a job interview yesterday as well, so my lovely pottery life of "leisure" may be about to change. more details as they come to hand.

Friday, October 13, 2006


but i'm sorry, i find it hilarious.

what gives you the horn?

i love dudley's voice right at the point when he lists all the things that give him the horn, after stating that his wife DOESN'T, he says "everything gives me the horn."

i have never seen this footage. we had it on tape, so obviously i had no idea dudley leaves his seat and has a crack at the blow-up doll.

it is crass. it is distasteful. but it amuses me muchly.

so tell me. do you hate me?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

you've got to be joking

WACKY but semi-serious nonetheless. One of Melbourne's leading architectural firms has proposed a radical redesign of Parliament House, complete with rooftop public park, lollipop-like solar collectors and John Batman's immortal words, "This is the place for a village," in lights.

this is the first paragraph in the age today, on page 3.


lollipop-like solar collectors?

just put a fucking dome on top, or leave it alone.

bloody architects. tools. if they're serious. and if they're not, if it's just a game, a race to be more and more controversial and provocative, then WHY ARE THEY IN CHARGE OF THINGS LIKE BUILDINGS?

more derek and clive to come. be patient, my pretties.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Derek and Clive week part 1

warning: this might be offensive to people who are religious and don't like swearing. but i love it.

when i was in my late teens, early twenties, somehow i came across derek and clive, aka dudley moore and peter cook. dudley moore had appeared in crap, but at the time funny and enjoyable, movies such as 10 with multi-braided bo derek, and arthur, with wife of director blake edwards, julie andrews.

so it was a delightful, and a very, very adult thing, to stumble across this highly offensive and irreverent material.


ps. there are so many political and social issues this week that are shitting me big time, and i want to comment on them, but it's taking time to get posts together. so i guess this is a kind of stay tuned.

Friday, October 06, 2006

you probably think i was kidding

when i said i bet martha stewart never had to tape shut her oven.

well, i wasn't.

it's taped shut now. with clear tape, instead of the brown stuff that was used last time, which i had to scrub off.

fuckitty fuck. it has to be the worst oven i have even had. even the one in osaka was better, because it was a toaster oven and therefore i had no high expectations.

now before you feel too sorry for me, i have this to say. along with there being trevally in little alfoil parcels in there, with tomatoes, tarragon and oil, around the house there are vases and VASES of freshly-cut fleurs that my wonderful garden yielded me today.

birds of paradise. which i'm not too partial to, but john adores. on the mantlepiece above the fireplace.

pink blossom in a fetching japonois arrangement next to the ceramic buddha in the entry space.

gorgeous peony roses, of scarlet, with their blowsy petals adroop in the bathroom.

and overblown and fullsome peach roses (usually i abhor peach, but in a rose it is charming) nestled with some jasmine beside my bed. our bed.

i enjoyed the garden today. while the gigi lolled in the shade, i tidied up the bird she had somehow caught, plucked and chewed. i sprayed the roses for aphids. they weren't there last year, why now? and i put on gardening gloves, so retro, and pulled out suckers that were attacking my roses. i picked lemons, six of them. filled the wheel barrow with weeds and flowers. and i was so happy.

need to tackle the tennis court yet.

and i am flirting with the idea of a great gatsby type partay sometime. on a sultry, hot night.
i see gin and tonics, white dresses and hats, and some badly played tennis. fluffy i think has suggested such an event, and it is very much to my liking.

what do you think?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

my inner hoon

true confessions time. last night i went to get the next dvd of lost from the video store. i can't wait until we are up to date with them, because then i can go and read the reviews bevis has put together.

i took john's car.

this is john's car:

my sister and i call it electric blue, only when we say it we actually sing it, like in that icehouse song.

so i drive out into the night. window open, cause it was so warm. this would ordinarily be an unspectacular moment. and it was. until i put on the radio.

this is what was on:

now, i grew up in the 70s listening to my cousins' black sabbath, led zeppelin and deep purple albums. when i listen to wolfmother, it takes me back to my childhood, times spent running wild, playing with scalectrix cars, cb radios and skateboards. and listening to this type of music.

yes, it's derivative. there's kind of this status quo riff running right through the back of a lot of the songs.

but i find it intoxicating, especially when driving that car. so intoxicating i dragged off a man in a station wagon who tried to take me on, at the lights on nepean highway, but then i missed my turn. and had to do a u-turn, which wasn't very wolfmother.

there. i've said it. i didn't think i would, but in much the same way that i have crossed over after taking the piss out of john's car, now it's happening with his music.

but it will never NEVER happen with the football team. i will never, ever barrack for collingwood. again.

do you have an inner, or indeed an outer, hoon?