Monday, 31 July 2006

the wayback machine

On this day in 1987 armed with a stick with a sweet little red handkerchief tied to its end I boarded a flight to Amsterdam.

I must confess that prior to the departure the mistress was having quite the nervy b about her voyage to the northern hemisphere - she no longer wanted to go. It was all rather barmy, and most uncharacteristic, behaviour. I was not going to be completely alone over there - my brother and his girlfriend lived in Amsters and I had some friends in Blighty. I also ended up making quite a few more friends, all of whom i've lost contact as I was a slack suck in those days but it's just as well really, we couldn't possibly have remained friends as i've done so much personal growth since then.

The night before the flight I stayed at my parents' house and spent most of the time lying in bed worrying and trying to convince them that I had pneumonia as my sides were aching so. They didn't seem to believe me and took me to the airport, not the hospital, where they, along with Randall who with a friend had very kindly come to the airport, farewelled me. I felt rather at sea as I walked through those departure gates. I did distract myself from sickness and fear by some purchases of duty free booze, a carton of fags, to cure the pneumonia, and a wristwatch, no doubt to monitor every second i had left alive. I sobbed from Sydney to Singapore. What a booby. Is it any wonder that some of my heros are Flashman, Dr Zachary Smith and Walker.

Anyway I ended up having quite a good time away, for one thing I didn’t backpack, eurrgh how foul that would be, and sticks and hankies are a lot more stylish, returned in Dec 88 on the day that Roy Orbison died and just in time to revel in the joy and pride that was our nation's Bicentennial.

So obviously not a lot happening on 31 July 2006, however I did manage not to sob on my bus trip to work, too gripped by the STA handy hints for passengers, latest poster promotes managing coughing and sneezing on the bus. While i am not coughing and sneezing I am suffering from tennis elbow on my right arm. It's really sore, am not sure how or why i have developed it.

Still it is nothing that a margarita won't fix. Amanda makes the best margaritas. The couple i had her way a fortnight ago have left me with quite the thirst. I think the trick is using the juice of a lemon rather than lime. I use two lemons to four fl oz tequila and two fl oz curacao. And shake it all together with ice. Why the margarita with its lemon juice and iodized Saxa salt caking the glass's rim, is a veritable health drink. Have one tonight. You won't regret it.

A most civilised snifter. Chin chin.

Friday, 28 July 2006


Today I feel kind of scratchy and out of sorts. At lunch I went window shopping to get me some gift ideas for upcoming birthdays but every shop was playing a song that just made me feel as though I was rubbing my teeth with chalk or hearing the sound of someone’s nails scraping down a blackboard and I had to leave. video killed the radio star and what will we be singing in the 80s used to be the only songs that could really do that to me, spaz me out big time, my shoulders feel kind of tight now just thinking of them, but today it was Mandy, Never gonna give you up and something (should that be anything) by Crowded House.

I should have just returned to work but I continued on this stroll in a most perverse and masochistic manner and stumbled through the City Plaza basement where I kept seeing people whose faces looked familiar and our eyes would flicker with recognition but then quickly dim as neither of us were sure if we really knew each other, the eighties were wild, darling, wild i tell you, so we'd lower our heads and carry on with our business. To think I could now be blogging to you about my five brand new old friends. Shame.

I then went into a clothes shop which had dangling from its ceiling lots of mobiles (not phones) that got caught in my hair. It happened about three times and on each occasion I was startled, exclaimed and then grappled with the ornament trying to disentangle it from the bird’s nest that had become my hair .


I feel like Dagwood Bumstead when I'd much rather be Baby Dumpling.

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

True confessions from the bog log

This year has been the first year that I have watched almost all of Big Brother. I’m not even going to pretend that I am ashamed - am so tired of portraying myself as high brow, also completely pointless as you all know I’m as base as, well, Big Brother. However, I would just like to say that I have never watched the up late version, clearly still can’t quite shake the high brow yearnings, it’s good to be aspirational, but it's probably due to my being such a straight edged prude.

Admittedly I did temporarily stop watching BB after the scandal as I felt sick and kind of culpable. The BB moratorium only lasted a week; the Prime Minister's wanting it banned justified my return.

A few of this year’s housemates (HMs as Gretel says) resemble minor celebs which tickles me no end.

David looks a lot like Princess Stephanie.

Camilla appears to be Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington with a dash of Debra Messing.

And the loathsome John looks a lot like Phyllis Diller. I’m sorry to insult Phyllis Diller but there you go.

The fashion and style of the HMs was quite a drawcard for me. What a household of hotties. Most of the men parade bare-chested and with low slung baggy trou displaying underpants or just unadulterated crack, and as for the ridiculous accoutrements worn by Jamie, wide, cloth hair bands and Burberry sweat bands that look like bandages, give us an H O T. The women display so much cleavage that Gretel Killeen now always covers her décolletage and appears comparatively Victorian.

The HMs would sagely observe that it’s not just looks that make a great package, personality is equally important, so I have of course been riveted by their conversations, expressions, and general use of language, it is a living thing, after all, and fascinatingly vibrant in that house.

I guess during her brief stint as an intruder Perry was my favourite – she was so overbearing and spoke utter nonsense. Perry played the role of Jerri Blank in the big brother house. Perry is 39, the other house mates are in their twenties, and a reformed boozer and smoker, and a mother. She gave up fags and anti d's before entering the house which combined with living in the Big Brother House must have been horrific. Perhaps she thought it would enhance her BB experience. Her announcing to BB and her housemates that she was constipated, about to get her period and wanted a cigarette was particularly endearing. The other HMs were gob smacked and tried to be supportive, they didn’t even snigger. I really enjoyed how she generally started every sentence with Can I just tell you something, her version of Jerri Blank's I've got something to say, and would finish with You are who you are. I loved those expressions and her self actualisation mantras, you have to love yourself before somebody can love you, so much that I would read the bb diary webpage to savour her key catchcries. Perry has a great future promoting laundry powder on television, perhaps doing those buyer’s choice segments, or being an agony aunt on the Mike Walsh Show.

Have also enjoyed the the frequent utterances of "you treat me as though i'm insuperior", malapropisms such as " inconsolable differences", the stagy tears, hand wringing, holding of head in hands, cushions being flung testily and Gretel's abbreviation of nominate and nomination to nom. But most of all I enjoyed banging on and texting my friends about it.

And, no, emphatic shaking and tilting of head, my viewing enjoyment was not derived from outright mockery and a need to feel superior. I find BB really interesting from a like sociological perspective for I am a people person. Could sit on the steps of Town Hall and just watch the passing parade all day - people, people, people.

Friday, 21 July 2006

The week that was

Yes, well, salutations and whatnot, not much with which to regale you since last Sunday’s sad and sorry business.

A friend had a double pass to the cinema courtesy of a cbd hair design studio, where hairdressers are artists, and treated me to an outing. While I wasn’t that keen on seeing the movie, advanced screening of the White Masai, was keen on an excursion and according to the latest book on social etiquette 21st century style, so helpful and it’s great that there are so many published these days, it would have been churlish not to accept. I was surprised by the number of people attending an advanced screening and they were not all sporting the same haircut as my cinema pal - something was afoot.

Imagine my surprise and glee when Tristram Shandy a cocking bull story and not the White Masai began playing in our theatre, we’d taken the wrong turning and ended in theatre 4 instead of theatre 3. It was more entertaining than I had thought the White Masai would be, quite amusing but not brilliant. The al pacino impressions at the very end were not a patch on John Sessions’s Pacino but that’s hardly surprising, his is brilliant and wickedly amusing, he is such a brilliant impressionist and character actor.

This week I had my hairs cut and dyed, no, tinted, a lengthy process and no complementary movie passes were distributed either. Despite it being a Wednesday evening I was still asked whether I was going out partying that night. Sneezing and coughing extravagantly I managed to change the topic to sickness, much more interesting and heard all about the hairdresser's recent bout of ‘flu, ailments and a good brand of expectorant. I left the salon with a gorgeous lorisi hairdo, kiss curls, much volume, which had been greatly facilitated by the hairdresser's gob, some product, rouged cheeks, a beauty spot and a very self satisfied gait. It's so important to pamper yourself, you deserve it, i certainly don't.

While off sick I discovered the joys of eBay and made bids on books to complete a few series by my favourite author. The books should be arriving soon. Hurrah.

Tonight am off to the Illawarra to see, not star in, more's the pity, a production of Same time next year and celebrate Amanda's birthday which falls this Monday.

Sunday, 16 July 2006

Street of dreams

After another serpent like message from Boy regarding the production of before the bubble burst, the musical that is about my life and times, I hastily left my sick bed to sneak down to the community hall and cast an eye on the production’s progress.

Lord love Hetty and Brian because I certainly never will after witnessing this travesty.

They’ve cast this woman, Sybilla, not Eve as Boy so mistakenly advised, to play me. Boy, if you’re gonna spy try to get the facts right. Sybilla has succeeded in portraying the Mistress as a cross between Blanche du Bois and Di “Bubbles” Fisher with a dash of Frankie Howerd come Panto Dame/Mother Riley!! Between you and me, non sequitur risers, Pee Wee Costello’s latest lamentable attempt at a leadership challenge has hardly left me inspired to topple Sybilla . Like Pee Wee, too inept to carry it out is the Mistress’s rule of thumb for this production.

Still it is rather nice of Brian and Hetty to be so enthusiastic about getting this musical up and running. I should not be so critical of Brian and Hetty, according to Boy, Brian reads my blog.

Brian has done a pretty good job with the score and choreography, and Hefty’s, bloody spell check, I mean Hetty’s , direction is generally on the money but really does she have to counter every criticism by citing her marks for drama in Year 11. All I can say is that Hetty must have flunked out big time in Year 12 as we never hear about those marks and I guess I should stop saying so for Sybilla’s portrayal of me seems to increasingly resemble some mad camp Panto dame. Still which is worse to be a woman and portrayed as a Frankie Howerd inspired Panto dame or middle aged and still harping on about one’s one academic success in secondary school. You do the math…I doubt Hetty could, it’s not called mental arithmetic for nothing. I know , i know, these jokes are even older than my tongue but humour the Mistress while her dreams are being dashed.

After much coughing and interjecting I was banished from the hall by Brian who got Sascha, one of the dancing bubbles in the chorus, to wheel me to a café and keep me away for a good hour or so.

While at the café Sascha, who is currently in Year 9 at a performing arts high school, Brian said it was a very groovy institution but i question its grooviness when it is so keen to be associated with this musical, talked at me and texted friends, slurped the froth from her skinny cap and my full cream one, and picked the choc chips from my biscuit, occasionally smoothing out the blanket over my knees and posing questions such as “are we feeling comfortable?”, “are we liking our biscuit?" " let me help with those chocky bits, we don’t want to choke”, curious for a gel of 14, i know, her grandmother runs a dodgy private nursing home on the North Shore, effectively making me feel as though it was time to start rinsing my hair with magic silver white, or perhaps Grecian 2000 would be more appropriate now that I’m being portrayed as some camp dead man.

Eventually I’d had enough of being treated like Mistress Ga Ga and snatched Sascha’s bubblegum pink flip top Motorola clam shell mobile whizbangery and texted Brian pleading with him to be allowed back and promising not to cause trouble.

UGTBK was Brian’s reply. He’s been spending too much time with that chorus of high school students. Sascha, rolling her eyes, explained that it means you’ve got to be kidding.

She then called a taxi which deposited me at my flat. HHIS and LOL not. It was a rotten day and as god is my witness, I swear I'll never set foot, or wheel, in that community hall again.

Friday, 14 July 2006

a bit of this, a bit of that - but mainly crap

Hello, the doctor has prescribed bedrest and no talking, I wished he'd advised me to try and have fun no matter what i do, it's very hard being delicate and coming over all Merle Oberon at the drop of a hat. Omigod now I have Flanders and Swann singing i'm a Gnu on my brain, then again beats having Sinead O'Connor's version of nothing compares 2 u whirring around.

Last night I watched New York Doll, a documentary on Arthur "Killer" Kane and the New York Dolls reunion at Morrisey's meltdown in 2004. It was good, you should hire it. Enjoyed the Morrissey interview too.

So now i've spent the morning listening to New York Dolls. I think my approach to pop and rock music is akin to that of a sufferer of Huntington's disease. Forget all about something or someone for ages and then as soon as there is the slightest reminder get all obsessive again and start popping in every day. But the lesson is you should not get rid of records, tapes or cds as you never know when you'll get that urge to hear a long forgotten former favourite again.

Unfortunately video store does not have all dolled up. Do you? If so can you please lend it to me, video store is loathe to order things or tidy my flat! Could you come around and do that too please, piles of clothes and papers on the floor. Fortunately I live in the age of electricity and not candlelight or Havisham would really have to be my middle name and the mistress would be going up, up, up in a puff of smoke, fire safety it ain't no joke. Have you installed a smoke alarm in your hoame? It's compulsory in most Australian States and Territories, surely? Is your smoke alarm's battery working?

I have to admit that i hired a very soupy, poopy film that i refused to see at the cinema and it was therefore inevitable that it was hired once it came out on dee vee dee. That's as far as the confession will go, not mentioning the title.

This afternoon i have a the trouble with harry, which i haven't seen since all those fillums by Hitch were reprinted and screened at the cinema in the mid 80's. Wasn't that impressed by it at the time but am ready to give it another burl and Shirley MacLaine is just gorgeous.

Tonight i was to have people over for dins but it has had to be postponed. A shame as I was looking forward to their company and cooking a special dinner. And tomorrow was to feature an outing with some rocknroll playmates am not sure if i uh can ah re.. sist.....................

Hanyways i mustn't complain at least my current job entitles me to paid sick leave, my boss just sent me a delightful email telling me to rest and not to return until i was feeling 110% and my permanent replacement fully trained ?!, and you should see the effect of the sun's light shining through the prisms on my bedside lamp, there are rainbows cast upon my bedroom's walls...........................

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

A treat and some puzzles for the Mistress

Last night I had a surprise guest who brought me a delicious Thai feast - red duck curry and green chicken curry and a bottle of wine. Despite the red and green theme the surprise guest was not Father Christmas, which was just as well as I strongly oppose Christmas in July. What a “sucky”, as Melbourne teens used to say, concept.

The guest was not only a surprise but also a mystery for she claims to only go by the name of Lady. So to paraphrase the great troubadour, John Swan, i'd like to say, Lady, what's your name, may I thank you for the treat and talk to you of things inane.

Speaking of Swanee, well, i have just learnt that one of my friends, another wannabe senior, natch, who has retired to Western NSW, has become an acquaintance of Swanee's half brother Barnsey. Not that Barnsey lives in the country any more but this 40 year old retiree (? ridiculous, I know) met Barnsey through a friend a month or so ago while visiting Sydney . I guess Barnsey needs some new pals after leaving the southern highlands for Sydney. Lots of people left that area after Maggie T and Dickie Z split. Now said retiree catches up with the B during his visits to Sydney and recently spent a lot of time hanging out with B chez B and watching the world cup soccer. Retiree thinks Barnsey is tops. I don't know what to think - when in doubt snigger and blog.

Monday, 10 July 2006

To serve them all my days

So in between travelling to the country, getting het up about hanging with wannabe Seniors, trying to make friends with a cool new set of 20 year olds, dismally failing and then having to suck up to all my old friends, they're ancient, i've been recovering from the very long trip and mirth and mayhem that was my visit to Bellingen.

A milder attack of last month's laryngitis and coldy achey thingo, flu?, returned in time for the weekend. Fortunately i was raised on so much Ealing and Dad's Army i carried on, blustered and lemsipped my way through the weekend and had a very nice time thank you very much.

Had some friends over for a cosy supper on Saturday night and I served them the Mistress's specialty - humidity drawer everything's got to go minestrone. It was tasty I must say. My guests provided some delicious wine and some very fine chocolates, the highly reputable brand, Merci, that's French for ta. In keeping with one's mad carry on we watched the 'ilarious series 3 of Stella Street and then that 64 or 65 documentary on the rolling stones tour of Ireland, Charlie is my darling. The latter quite interesting if you like Irish physiognomy, are a stones fan and enjoy analysing personalities. Otherwise i suspect it would be pretty dull, or perhaps it is just dull and that's why we spent most of the viewing time talking over it and analysing the stones. We developed some very good theories on how the different systems of secondary education experienced by each of the stones had moulded them. I don't think even David Dalton has done that, so watch out. But if Victor Bockris is still alive don't tell him, ok.

At last there is a chance for me to put to use my superficial knowledge of different education systems and ludicrously extensive ken of stonesy and other musical stars, ponder the impact of Jules Ferry on French rock, i've a hunch it was pretty bad, and puzzle over the Gymnasium failing Milli Vanilli yet nurturing Aha. I told you it was superficial and i'm already a bit bored. It could then lead to an analysis of the depiction of teachers and schools in film, from Goodbye, Mr Chips to Heartbreak Kid and how it has left teachers disappointed and unprepared. I don't recall seeing Alastair Sim marking homework in the Belles of St Trinians. Rip off or what. But then again i might leave those projects until my retirement, so busy, busy maintaining this blog and saving for the nest egg, now where did i put those pluravit multi vitamins....

slippers an' pantaloons and the great exodus

Can I just tell you something I am not about to retire and nor am I moving to the cockin' country despite everybody doing it, doing it, doing it, yes, picking their nose and chewing it, just like you, see i'm way too immature to retire.

Lately, if I have not been gallavanting to the country way up north, I’ve been down the south and interstate or heading west of the Blue Mountains visiting friends who have left Syd. and bought their retirement homes. I have so many people telling me about retiring this, retirement that that I’m starting to freak out. Sweetheart, if I can’t personalise your statement or experience it is not worth my while listening. While i commend their railing against the Costello work till you drop plan, I can't see how it's financially possible. It was a big enough step getting a mortgage last year, i was fine about turning 40 - had had 3 years of coming to terms with that, and even if I did get the retirement bug I’m mortgaged until I’m 69. So can I just adjust to being middle-aged bloomer before labelling myself Senior?

The Sydney exodus has been affecting me for the past ten or so years, hey, even I left Sydney, to go and live in a smug, provincial town in another country only to return 18 months later to more of the same with the election of villainous forked tongued John.

Since then I have become increasingly alarmed and saddened by the steady migration of friends to the coast, the country and to the bluestone flatlands of Mel, openly voiced it, but eventually come to understand the appeal of the new destinations, even toyed with the idea of movin' to Mel, but i couldn't possible do that until I retire.

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Captain Castlereagh

As I blithely skipped down Castlereagh Street returning from Take a Break coffee lounge, armed with a bacon and egg sanger, a cup of coffee and not a whiff of ambition, a man stopped directly in front of me, really close in a rather menacing fashion, and demanded "give me all your money and your hugs and kisses too."

And no he wasn't about 60, rotund and long bearded but i must say that while I felt a bit nervy and taken aback I was kind of taken with the ZZ Top tribute within the demand. I explained I didn't have any moolah on me, had just spent it on the sanger, stepped aside for the personal space was kind of cramped, and advised that I only had the sandwich and coffee to give and was then called a "f***%$ d%g". A rollercoaster of an exchange, charming but nevertheless a rollercoaster.

I walked as fast as my pins could take me, yes, i do have legs and I know how to use them, spilling the coffee down my front.

You make a smug posting the day before and look what happens. Oh bad Carmen you've done it again.

Monday, 3 July 2006

sink or swim

As that builder said to little brian jones as he splashed about in the pool. And on that compassionate note and 37 years later to the day, the mistress says hello and extends her apologies for being in absentia from cyberspace this past week. She'd also like to thank her readers for their interest.

She's been gadding about like there's no tomorrow and according to Brian the autodidact, rather full of herself to boot, to which the mistress sez, lay off the vinegar, Vera. Mistress sez t shirts will be on sale Monday week.

Anyway, Bri Bri, i say let bygones be bygones and may the new financial year be bile free.

That certainly was the sentiment at the shoot of 1980's house in Bellingen - all involved had a top time.

The 11 year olds claimed to have "ravenous adventures", the teens watched the soccer in the wee hours or rocked on, amps blaring and dominating in true share accom house style while the olds quaffed their light beers or rough Williamson red, found each other hilarious when not making diary entries moaning about their hms (housesmates, you der) and ailments, and really did have quite the middle age rampage.

After filming was completed, i snuck off to Nana Glen and spent a couple of days with Russ, Danielle and child. Brian really envies how at ease i am with the celeb set, but what else can you do when you are as centred and smug as the Mistress. I stayed in the chapel which had been especially constructed for Russ and Danniii's nuptials. Super. Really lovely down to earth types. In the evening we got mellow, chewed the fat and belted out some great new songs that Russ's been working on. I'm not one to gossip but let's just say that the ears of Baz, Hugh J and Jack Marx must have been burning big time. His Ballad for NicnKeith brought a tear to my eye.

Caught the train back to Sydney. Rather good voyage, lunched on a tasty beef braise with rice while listening to German stoners singing along to Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, my three favourite bands. We shared a spliff and chilled out. Will be hooking up with them at the CBH (Coogee Bay Hotel, like double der!!) for the Saturday session and then join the British beef backpackers sizzling on the sand. Then i really will have to meet up with Hetty and Brian and get to work on that ruddy musical. I'm in the mega soup as i've not given my all but you know what, we all need a bit of time out from the hustle and bustle and tedium. I say good on me - i deserved to spoil myself. The mistress is so worth it.