Saturday, 21 March 2009

Windmills of my mind #2

In truth the blogosphere is just a form of public therapy, and here i should make some hilarious allusion to the fact that with therapy you get charged for the hour but only get 50 minutes with the shrink... yet no matter how hard i contrive that witticism just cannot be applied to cyberspace. Bummère (it's OK for me to talk about my mother like that but not you!)

This morning in between my chores and slipping into the 2nd b.r. to access the internet, i've converted it into a cyber chamber, thoughts about John Paul Young keep popping into my head.

I really don't know why.

First i was thinking about his comments in the 1977 or 1978 RAM Rock Readers poll.

When asked about his political allegiances/preferences he wrote "gorne fishing". I was shocked by his apathy at the time, actually i still think it is lame-o. Incidentally, the same poll featured an alleged quote from Debbie Harry stating that 'the only good thing about Australia is the smack.' I don't recall madly thumbing through the 's' section of the Oxford dictionary at that point. I would have already read several books by David Dalton, plus that delightful Going down with Janis Joplin, oh and that ridiculous Mick Jagger by J Marks book to have been well versed with synonyms for sugary breakfast cereals. 'Rock stars have such sweet tooths yet they do not pack on the pounds.', I mused as I examined my hair's split ends.

Then thoughts of Squeak led to my picturing him all squirmy and squittery and unco-ordinatedly bopping while singing "i wanna do it with you" on Countdown. Enticing or what! This then led me to think of his crimped hair and how a girl at school told me in 1978 that when she crimped her hair she looked like JPY. Why on earth would you want to look like JPY?! Well i did like his nautical ensemble when he performed on that pontoon in Sydney Harbour one Rocktober.

Every pop star has to have a go at sporting a sailor suit it's a winning look and has been favoured by bands from the Rolling Stones to Mother Goose. In fact i think Squeak's ensemble may have inspired the attire for that it's only rocknroll film clip. So not only was Ronnie Wood diddled for that song's writing credits but our very own JPY for the look!

And if you're in a band and fame has eluded you, may I suggest that you go down to your local army and navy store (a bit different from the ones that Hilda Rumpole used to frequent - they stocked nice chinaware) and purchase a sailor suit pronto! Post some pics and film clips of you and your band en nautique on Facebook and You Tube and I guarantee that your ship will come in.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Hey everybody take a look at me

Back in the day the most popular trend on the street for the people who wore t-shirts was to sport a Ramones t. One in five people did, with great smugness and a spurious feeling of street credibilite. And yes, many a time back then did i blog on about it - my humour and general slant is drawn from the powers of observation... (bully for me and everyone under the sun!)

Anyway that Ramones t-shirt trend was briefly replaced by Blondie t-shirts, alas none with the slogan “Blondie is a band not a person”, perhaps that was just confined to badges. Both have now been usurped by the style retro enfance. T-shirts with popular culture icons from one’s childhood. Marvel comics heros , tv shows, and very popular with many gels born in the late 80’s and 90’s are the t's featuring those Roger Hargreaves Little Miss characters. I have not seen any of their male counterpart wearing the Mr Men series, apart from one t that read Mr Cock but i don't recall that book, perhaps it was indexed.

I don’t need t-shirts to demonstrate my retro enfance allegiances for I have Facebook. And to have both would be just plain greedy, and, greed is bad, which also happens to be the slogan of my favourite t-shirt, written in Choose Life font, natch.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Yesterday between the hours of 4.30 and 7 p.m. was curious to say the least.

After work I set forth to visit a friend in hospital. I left the bureau, striding down Barrack and crossing George Street. I marched down Martin Place, once named Martin Plaza (pity poor Martin ‘Mental as Anything‘ Murphy who thought it would be drole to have Martin Plaza as a nom de stage but dated himself immediately and continues to do so if he still sports that ridiculous white cowboy hat and struts along the promenade in Coogee or perhaps that was just his style for the late 90’s...)

Yes, so I was walking at a cracking pace down the Place and up, past the Cenotaph, the wacky, zany nozin’ about charity spruikers, and lots of middle-aged ladies sportin' floral sunfrocks with vavava-voom necklines. I crossed Pitt to continue my ascent when this stranger stopped in front of me and uttered the most ridiculously effusive compliments, warranted but nevertheless ott (oh welcome back 'ott'. Did you run away with 'trendy'?). Admittedly I was a somewhat dignified contrast to all that cleavage and red raw decoll – yep I was sportin’ a stripey neck to knees, a pink tutu and a giant green St Patrick's day hat. A noughties nod to the band Mother Goose. I thanked him and said he was most kind and attempted to continue the march.

He grabbed my hand , squeezed and caressed it, imploring me to meet him for a cup of coffee some time. I eventually unwrangled my hand from his grasp, looked around for Candid Cameras (kind of like “Ashton Kutcher’s Punk’d”, kidz), and bade him farewell. He then said I was a very negative (?!!) and untrusting person and with that the Impulse sans fleurs moment ended and I continued my way.

I finally got to the bus, a trifle puzzled but 'negativity' well intact, and reached Randwick Junction. As I approached the hospital I bumped into someone I had thought of the week before who I hadn’t seen for 12 years. Ain’t that a cowinkydink!! Alas it was not New York City Funk - the Sydney identity of the 90’s. Not a day passes without my thoughts turning to him. Haiku mo: New York City Funk where have you gone? Did you finally make it to the Big Apple? Or just turn into Matthew Hall?

After I’d made my lavender lady visit, during which I’d had my arm stroked continually by another visitor who stood beside me - so much tactility that afternoon I must have entered a Prozac zone for I was clearly no longer too hot to touch, I embarked on the tedious journey back to the inner west.

I walked through the delightful grime and humidity of Central's underground from Eddy Avenue to Devonshire Street tunnel, scanning the lists of names on the war memorial plaques in their handsome wooden cases along the tunnel's walls then turning my gaze to the big advertisements in one of which I espied the father of one of my brothers-in-law! There he was plastered on the wall promoting a telecommunications company and playing a suitor to Carol Raye! And no, he is not Barry Creyton.

Friday, 13 March 2009

It's a living thing!!

Don’t worry the mistress has not gone all pro-life on you and about to bleat that "Johnny would have been 12 today if his mother had not had an abortion." A quote from a pro-life campaign pamphlet placed in the faaaaaaaaamily’s letterbox circa 1974.

In fact I am exclaiming about language, the English language, you know that feisty, unwieldy, capricious, vagabond temptress of a tongue.

“Oh lady behave!” I cried to the telly the other evening while watching the ads in between Two and a Half Men. (Yeah, I disgust you because yes, I do enjoy that show. Hey, I’m thrilled to see all my Brat pack mates together again; Jon “Duckie” Cryer so gainfully employed and Charlie Sheen is like a total male feminist these days).

The commotion was caused by the promotion of a new dessert offered by one of those fast food chains that sells every possible ingredient on a soggy crusted pizza (commonly known as the got problems with me glands lovers special).

Said dessert/pudding/sweets/afters was called a ‘chocolate lava cake’ but it plainly looked like a self-saucing pudding to me. Is the term self-saucing pudding now over, passé, obsolete, dare i say, extinct in the culinary kingdom? Now only to be used to describe neo-cusser Pastor Krudd or other self-satisfied toads who one has the misfortune to endure in one’s quotidian.

D e v A s t a t e d.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Doppleganger Goddamn!!

Over the weekend in between beetling about the great Sydney metropolis, from the battlers’ west to the meretricious east, from the haughty north to the “I’m not a raShirelist” south, I was clearly in generalisation mode and also pondering people (yes, I can multi-task of which I am most proud), dead people. Dead and interesting people. Dead, interesting and famous people. So many thoughts, so many qualities all triggered by one email, an invitation to join the Ronald Colman Appreciation Society on the worldwide pencil case that is Facebook.

I duly joined the club for I like the sap, and firmly believe that everybody needs a club. Furthermore Colman did inspire the Odie Cologne and Maxwell Smart’s Prince characters, not to mention his sterling interpretation of Sydney Carton and that cove in Random Harvest, and then of course there is the Ronald Coleman Lodge Nursing Home near Bondi Jungle…oh that's coleman with an 'e'

Anyway would you please just let me attempt to assert the point of this Bill Collins-like ramble, mmm, I’m a bit thirsty, water or juice?, yes, well the point is:

(TA-DAH) thoughts of Ronald Colman led me to think about George Sanders and how he married Ronald Colman’s lady within weeks of her being known as widda Colman. So I wikied George Sanders and really didn’t glean much more about him and widda Colman; you all know about George and the Gabor sisters, his battle with the booze and that suicide note. However, I did happen on information about George’s brother Tom Conway, who was also an actor who lived his life through the bottom of a booze bottle. Are we not all a little bit thespian?

But look at this!!! Just LOOK I say.

George Sanders

Tom Conway

It’s a resemblance of Samantha Stevens and cousin Serena proportions, except they were meant to be cousins but even spookier two different actresses played them, Elizabeth Montgomery and Pandora Spocks!! Farout brussel sprout. Please don’t raise the similarities between Patty Lane and her cousin Cathy in the Patty Duke show (also produced by Bewitched’s William Asher) for I am like totally discombobulated now as I type.

So now I must go and search for my doppelganger, I feel so a-lone. I suspect it was the character Archangel in that asylum scene from the Nun’s Story…While I do that you should read this excellent article , always infinitely much pleasanter than those rude'uns.


Thursday, 5 March 2009

The Mistress and the rum realtors

The other evening as I fed the week’s dainties and morsels to the block’s garbage and recycling bins I was distracted from my act of benevolence by a very loud “Psssst”. I turned to see a man emerge from the shadows near the bins with an “excuse me" and "I’m sorry to startle you."

Well, how about not lurking in shadows and trespassing after dark, fella, not to mention saying "pssst", I thought , but instead said ,“oh that’s alright” and "How may I help you?" while taking several steps back. The last time this happens I’ll probably offer to sharpen the knife.

Having broken the ice, the fellow proceeded to grill me about the block of flats, asking how well they had been renovated, details about the fixtures and fittings, and whether the residents were happy with the quality of the renovations. Yes, I was still there in the shadows by the bins, intrigued by the ludicrous situation, I think it was the “pssst” that had reeled me in, but still somewhat cagey.

I answered his questions with questions and learnt that his father had apparently once owned the block and believed that he’d been diddled in the sale of the block to the developers. The sum he’d got sounded perfectly good to me (loads of lolly not to mention humbug all round) and as for the hard luck story, the previous owner was a slum landlord.

The tale continued for a while, how his grand pappy had laid the building’s bricks, etc. and that the dispute could go to court. I lost interest, my frontal lobe struck a gavel against its remains declaring both parties as bad as each other ("business is business, Gran(pa)" ). I then heard myself utter "oh, for fuck's sake" to something that realtor-in-the-dark said. This shocked him, granted swearing is a lot more offensive than lurking in the shadows and pouncing on people.

Conversation brought to a close he scrawled his number on a scrap of paper and asked me to contact him should I be prepared to provide further information. I have not. Property being theft and whatnot.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Flights of fancy

Last night I dreamt that Prince Phillip had died and I was in trouble because I didn’t tell the Queen but apart from that I am quite well in the conscious world, despite the ever present Sydney spectres of sharks, ATM bandits, bikie wars and acronyms.

Today marks the six month anniversary of a special bond that has developed between me and the Avian Kingdom.

I recently bade farewell to the Channel-Billed Cuckoo, a visitor from Indonesia and/or Papua New Guinea between September and February. This cuckoo’s dignified and handsome appearance belies a god awful (no, that is unfair, nothing could be that awful) cry that is uttered at dawn and dusk. Its cry is the combination of a wail and a shriek.

With the cuckoo’s departure my fascination/irritation has been transferred to the plague of Umbrella Cockatoos who have beset Victoria Park. There must be a couple of hundred of them flying about in the evenings when I walk through. They are really rather cracked and full of energy with a hideous plaintive cry and they have so much fun. They fly in packs and then hoards of them congregate on the branches of gum trees and some quite small trees. They hoe into the leaves and nuts causing the small trees’ branches to bounce. The trees look as though they will topple under the weight of so many birds. Imagine the trees’ bitching afterwards. It’s a ludicrous sight, the birds are so out of proportion to the tree, it’s like a medieval painting.

Generally the birds fly, squawk and defecate across the park and pool oblivious to the pedestrians and swimmers. However last week as I crossed the park the wind’s direction changed and it spun out the cockies, who decided to leave their trees and head towards more sheltered terrain. However the wind and their panic disoriented them and they flew low and entered the human domain. I had to raise my umbrella to defend myself as they swooped askew. Their swooping intensified and it seemed that battle had begun so I ran, squawking with terror and delight to the end of the park and the sanctuary of City Road.

Next week: my encounter with Gang-Gangs.