Monday, 31 May 2010


Ok ... for someone who's lived half his life in tropical climes, winter still holds a strange fascination ... even after spending 20 winters in cold rooms under warm doonas ... I still think of the snow-blighted lands of Narnia ... or of sleighrides covered in animal skins; ice glinting in the watery winter sun ... magical worlds populated by the cruel and haughty but always beautiful ... or the homespun comforts of a hot cup of chocolate against the musky odour of a hairy chest ... winter!

Green in your love on bright days
You grew sunblind you thought me unkind
To remind you how winter kills
Lost in daydreams you drove too fast and got nowhere
You rode on half fare when you got too scared
How winter kills
Tear at me searching for weak seams
Pain in your eyes makes me cruel
Makes me spiteful tears are delightful welcome your nightfall
How winter kills
I tear at you searching for weak seams
How winter kills
How Winter Kills - Yazoo

The days are okay
I watch the TV in the afternoon
If I get lonely
The sound of other voices
Other rooms are near to me, I'm not afraid

The operator
She tells the time, it's good for a laugh
There's always radio
And for a dime I can talk to God

Are you there?
Do you care?
Are you there?

And in the winter extra blankets for the cold
Fix the heater, getting old
I am wiser now, you know, and still as big a fool
Concerning you

I met your friend
She's very nice, what can I say?
It was an accident
I never dreamed we'd meet again this way
You're looking well, I'm not afraid

You have a lovely home
Just like a picture, no, I live alone
I found it easier
You must remember how I never liked

The party life
Up all night
Lovely wife
You have a lovely wife

And in the winter extra blankets for the cold
Fix the heater, getting old
You are with her now, I know
I'll live alone forever, not together now
In the Winter

Alive - in which Allison Goldfrapp tries to resuscitate Xanadu but with vampires and black metal!

Ok ... my friend Dave will be appalled ... and perhaps a little titillated:

Hhmmm ... no amount of post-modernist hipster irony could resurrect this ... its just gets worse by the minute I'm afraid to say ... meanwhile ... any takers for Goldfrapp live at the Palais in Sept?? I think my card's free.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Dennis Hopper - RIP

Ok ... Vale yet another hollywood legend


Ok ... bar the tourettes Penguins' Christmas message, I do believe all my ex-blog posts have now finally been transferred across!!!


Enjoy reliving those old times with me.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Girls just wanna have fun

Ok .. Its about time I did another music round up and this time the girls have it.

Lets start with the most polished ... Janelle Monae's debut full length The Archandroid has finally dropped after a very strong EP and countless celeb-whoring mini-gigs round the traps ...

anything with a retro sci-fi vibe is always going to do it for me ... and the Metropolis/Bladerunner allusions come thick and fast ... but ultimately this is a fun album ... not one to dissect academically over a glass of wine ... but one to shake booty to over a few bottles ...

if we had to make a comparison then she is the female equivalent of Outkast/Gnarls Barkely ... this Saturnine Dorothy is well and trully no longer in Kansas!!

Moving up the spectrum to the elctro-punk sophistication of Crystal Castles ...

this their second effort also self titled consists a measured approach that conveys less a sense of maturity, but more a tenacious sense of idendity ... as if to say when we were new, our approach was mired in chaos but we are no longer inbetweeners ... we are young adults!

Make no mistake, this is what today's Yoof sound like ... part raver, part lo fi skank rock, opp shop and the odd flash of couture, and an all-knowing slouch ... but I like the sound ... almost drone like swathes of noise accented by vintage bleeps providing interesting rhythmic counterpoint ... you start dancing but stand stock still without realising it ... immersed in the electronic pulse of a surprisingly accomplished album.

And now to the lo-fi end of the spectrum ... is my Micachu moment for 2010 ... a great new band that manages to defy easy classification. Its the Sleigh Bells with their debut Treats.

Its not entirely new ... but these guys throw everything bar the kitchen sink into the mix ... and still come out with a sonic punch ... look its nursery rhyme call outs, layered vocals, electronic guitar rock stabs and shuddering beats that could cause a migraine if dialled up to 11. Ah but so much fun! You have to jangle these bells at some point ...  dare I say it ... kinda like a wasp-y MIA? I think this is what the Ting Tings think they are ... in their heads.

Guys ... you better step up!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Meat is not Murder round these parts I'm afraid!

Ok ... to commemorate our dear friends' visit, we had steak over at the Station hotel.

I have blogged about this joint previously, and I still maintain (after the 5th visit) that the best steak in Melbourne is too be had here.

We had 2 bottles of the Poggiontondo Chianti Superiore 2007 which I can thoroughly recommend.


Both M & A had the Goulburn Valley tenderloin, S had the Black Angus New York Strip Steak and I went for the Sirloin as I wanted something with a little more give.

To top it all of, we ordered both of the deserts on the specials board - the Chocolate Souffle and the Eton Mess. I'm not the fondest of berry deserts but this was one hell of a mess ... the crumbled meringue and the cream and just a hint of a swirl of raspberry and rhubarb was delicious!

We were in Enid Blyton land .. giggling and carrying on like boarders in a midnight feast.

A TV Dinner

Ok ... Masterchef has been ths source of office conversations, texts and FB rants ... and has now transcended electronic media and found its place on the dinner table at friendly gatherings ...

Inspired by Jimmy's goat curry, the H's had us over for a lovely dinner which rounded off a bittersweet day when we farewelled our dear friends during the day and reconnected with dear friends that night ... nothing like a fantastic meal and even better company to take the edge off a potentially mopey Saturday ... and nobody wants one of those!

We had goat curry served with Puri (well done M!!), chicken rice, simple tomato salad and Raita. M & K are our foodie friends in the fridge. In fact, I'm suprised that their attendance has not been counted in one of our cookups, being deft hands in all things culinaire themselves.

I don't think K would be too upset if I said that M certainly holds the reigns in that kitchen. He is certainly a master of pulling a complex dinner together ... and, like the gourmands amongst us, is inspired by other great cooks, fresh and interesting produce, and is a fellow devotee at the shrine of herbs and spices ... whats more ... he treats these elements with the greatest respect but is unafraid to defy convention for the sake of discovering new tastes and sensations ...

So an invite to dinner cannot be easily declined ... and really why would you??

Here's the man in action sweating spices and a mirepoix.

Puree in the making. M panfries his so minimal bubbling is achieved. In Singers, we deep fry so that the flat disc of dough puffs up like a balloon.

Not to be outdone, K made a beautiful Orange and Yoghurt cake which was served with an Orange blossom sauce, marscapone and citrus fruits.

All in all, a great night. Although the Nietzsche-Plato-Aristostle-Murdoch conundrum was a bit of a mind fuck ... go easy on us M!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Strange Days

Ok ... its been a strange week ... vacillating between sheer mind-numbing, keris-twisting, tarchycardia-inducing  boredom and the heartwarming pleasures of the company of dear old friends:

The original Mimi and Me

It was a short visit and more of that later. I have to catch you up on whats been missed so far. Due to more than agreeable demands on my time, these pages have suffered a bout of chronicler's neglect.

One of the many great things about having visitors from overseas is that it makes you see your own place of residence in an entirely different light ... you can't help but share in the excitement of the new.

So many different angles to this city ... so many wonderful experiences just waiting round the corner ... or crouched in some alleyway ready to pounce like an imaginary tiger ... and not just in the city alone .. but with the right guide, the burbs can yield all manner of delights ready to be explored ...

I guess what I'm trying to say is I love this mofo of a city ... and I love my life here. What better recommendation can I give.

(But ever so often it can make me blush ....)

A world of oppression

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Old Friend

Ok ... on the advent of a visit from a dear old friend, another equally dear old friend just rang. So my mood is both contemplative and a little ponderous. I miss you all so much dear friends ... I started this journey full of hope and promise for a future and a life outside the confines of an autocratic society and ended up with numerous ticks on life's list ... but its the bond of friendship and a soulmate that has bouyed this existence and I now wonder how much more I would have achieved if I still had your support in close proximity ... I miss you all very much.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Vale Lena!!!

Ok ... another legend passes on ... Lena I will miss your toothy grin and that slightly manic expression in your eyes when you hit the big notes ... like you knew what was coming and how we were going to react ... which we did ... desperately trying to belt the notes out at the same time ... and collapsing in laughter and relief at failing dismally to keep up ... for today at least "I'll concentrate on you!!"

Sunday, 9 May 2010

A Pre-blog cook-up

Ok ... as you may know (and probably couldn't care a toss) I am slowly but steadily transferring all the posts from my old blog on here. Most of the photos have been easily retrieved with the old right-click palaver, but some simply refuse to be "saved-picture-as'd" and I have had to resort to combing through endless folders of old pictures some of which I have possibly deleted ... alas that is indeed the way of the world!! But sometimes the world does throw you a bit of relief and this is one of those ocassions. I have found some photos from a pre-blog cookup which I think was done in November 2006 ... at least thats the date listed in the folder name.

The details of this are lost in the ether of time, but this was the seafood ravioli gone wrong when certain parties insisted on using lasagna sheets instead of wonton sheets as per my recommendation (face - rub - in - your!!)

I believe the menu went as thus:

Entree - Moreton Bay Bug and Scallop  Ravioli  Rissolles (was meant to be lobster but we baulked at the price)
Main - Roasted Poussins wrapped in vine leaves (sorry I'm not trying too hard here)
Desert - Lemon Tart (which I remember being a triumph of mediation as it was not too tart and not too sweet)

As usual, we started with the job of pastry making:

And I probably began cooking the sauce.

When we finally gave up on the lasgana sheets, I turned what should have been Ravioli into rather fancy rissoles.

The Poussins were lovingly wrapped in a layer of Prosciutto and then rugged up in their little coats of vine leaves.

M put the finishing touches on his scalloped potatoes.

 Before the oven

After the oven

And pretty soon its was "a-table" with satisfied punters to boot.




One Happy Punter
and the rest of the crew

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Administration, bills and loans!

Ok ... a little bit of housekeeping. I'm starting on the long haul of transferring posts from my old blog to this one. It will be somewhat of a manual process, but at least I can maintain the chronology. Blogger gives you the option of amending the dates of your posts. I will be starting with some of the more significant posts to begin with, and then filling the gaps later on. I am starting, rather topically with the day I met The Sartorialist. Enjoy!!

(ps .. don't forget ... chronological!! Oh and top marks if you know what I'm quoting in the title of this post.)

ceo - douglas has just heard the future

Ok ... are you suppurated by the throwaway rock/pop that is shovelled out like slops in a pig pen to all who grovel in the trough of what is deemed music these days??? Well my friend Douglas thinks he has just heard the future in ceo ... and if this is an accurate taster of whats to come ... and not simply the best of the bunch .. then I think I will have to agree. Lets see what label journospeak comes up with for this ....

If the little snippet of vocals sound a tad familiar its because Eric Berglund who is essentially ceo is from the Tough Alliance. Its those damn Scandies again!! And surprise surprise, Modular has snapped this up.

Anyways, his solo effort under the moniker of ceo "White Magic" drops in July on these shores. I'm a little excited. There's been so many great electronic albums so far ... I think I need to do a round up post soon.

Playing politics with people's lives - Booktown at Clunes with Malcolm Fraser

Ok ... I pay scant attention to politics despite the fact that I know quite a number of people who are passionate about the idea of government and its policies and policy makers. To me, politics, like philosophy, has the annoying ability to make me feel frustrated in some instances, and both witless and stupid in others. Arguments are circular and very little is achieved beyond the realms of rhetoric and the persuasive sound bite. Admittedly distance has given Malcolm Fraser the luxury of candor, but rarely have I heard anyone connected with politics speak with such compassion and clarity. It was worth the special trip out to Clunes for the Booktown weekend. That and the town itself which is deliciously quaint. It was like stepping out onto a set when we got out of the car.

We had just enough time to grab a coffee before heading to the marquee for a conversation between Fraser and his co-biographer,Margaret Simons. They talked about the process of writing the book and the archival research that went into it. And Mr Fraser also offered some of his opinions on the policies and performance of both the Labour and the Liberal party in recent times.

He was dismissive of the attitudes of both parties towards immigration. He said that they were playing politics with people's lives and opined that both parties were simply trying to show how tough each other can be whilst doing nothing to dispel the fears and misguided notions of the general public. 85% of the people who arrive in boats are genuine refugees. But there are a whole lot more who come in via student and tourist visas, effectively lying about their intentions, and end up as illegal immigrants. He's appalled that the government is re-opening the Curtin detention centre in WA as far away from legal representation as possible.

He is also concerned about the denigration of our civil liberties with the anti-terrorist laws. He jokingly said "Watch out cause ASIO is watching" and reckons that the ASIO building should be located in the dessert instead.

Someone asked him if he regrets any decisions made when he was leader during the Vietnam war years. His response was that regret in hindsight was not necessarily confirming that given the chance he would have done things differently. Communist insurrections were sprouting up all over the world ... it was hard not to have felt threatened by its pervasiveness ... but I guess its all down to splitting idealogical hairs. And you know what they say "hindsight is always 20/20 and foresight is about as good as a blind man's". And Mr Fraser is glad that Malcolm Turnbull is dipping his toes back into the political stew.

All in all this was an illuminating and in many ways inspiring hour and a bit spent with a former political figure that I do not necessarily hold in regard in terms of his bias. But hearing him speak there was no doubting his compassion and his sincerity.

The rest of our afternoon was spent traipsing through endless book stores and (guess what!) stuffing our faces. M had already scoffed a baked potato and I inhaled a Bacon and Egg bun, but we still couldn't go past the Roast Beef and gravy roll.

We wolfed this down to the strains of the Wesley college combined school band. Wesley has a branch here in town ... and yes it is a little posh round these parts.

We also had a chance to look in wonder at Goldfields era architecture and filligree.

 There were lots of bargains to be had and we were pretty much maxed out on musty old rooms filled with musty old books so we sat outside and had ourselves a pot of mulled wine. The perfect ending to a perfect day.

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