It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Kikoman while he's down

Chaotic times here, in a good way. Dorothy and Adrian have departed to travel elsewhere in Godzone before returning home, but Dan remains and Tracey (used to work with M) arrived on Saturday to stay for a week or two.

Saturday night saw our "Trash The Carpet" cocktail party, which was fun, I vaguely seem to recall. The carpet is moderately trashed, and now we're looking into getting the new one sorted. In the meantime, some unsightly soy sauce stains are keeping the place fragrant.

Loads of movie activity too (Super Size Me, the fantastic Touching The Void)and more planned for this week; bands, meals out etc. Then on Friday we (me, M & Dan, that is) head up north on a road trip. Yippee!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Busy times at our place, with 3 visitors all being here at once; Sheffield mate Dan arrived on Sunday to join Auntie Dorothy and Uncle Adrian. Poor old Dan is sleeping in the study on the sofa bed, which we tried to get upstairs but couldn't quite manage.

It's great having everyone here. It's also pretty busy, what with so many meals out, trips to various tourist sites etc. Tonight we're going to M's parents place for dinner, Friday night it's another movie in town, Saturday night it's a party at our place...and so on.

Meanwhile, we're getting up at ridiculous times (4.30 am) to catch the England matches in the Euro. Rooneymania has officially broken out in our little corner of Godzone. I'm very jealous of the lassies I know over there - I dread to think what they're getting up to. And this weekend I'll be missing Glasto too - gah!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I Feel Like A Natural Woman

This driving malarkey is a rum old business. Not only do I have no time to read any more, resulting in a becalming on p.250 of The Brothers Karamazov, but I only have a tape player in the motor. As a result I'm listening to stuff that I bought when I used to buy tapes, i.e. 1993, and not all of it is good. The Dead Kennedys are a fun band but, really, I'm over it. Luckily a compilation tape from the lovely Mr Dan (here on Sunday!) is keeping me sane, although I did find myself singing loudly along to Carole King's "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" today.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Sydney Film Festival

Just enjoyed a long weekend, courtesy of the Queen’s Birthday. God Bless you, Ma’am. Curiously, the colonies generally seem to get a day off for it yet the Mother Country goes without.

The main thing has been the arrival of Dorothy and Adrian, my aunt and uncle, for a 2-week visit. It’s great to have them here after they were so generous to us in New Zealand. So, what do you do when relatives come all the way to Sydney for a visit? Movies, of course. Well, the Sydney Film Festival is on and the free screening at the AGNSW was not to be missed, so they can do the tourist stuff some other time.

For the record, the films we saw were:

Far Side of The Moon – Arty Robert LePage movie about space exploration, among other things. Funny, touching, and some wonderful visual invention.

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers – Flawed but interesting biopic with a great cast.

The Wages of Fear – Classic 1953 French movie, nailbiting and quite brilliant. Endlessly ripped off.

Then, of course, there was the…the…football….but I can’t talk about it. It’s just too soon. Sob.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

EU know it makes sense

I just spent a wee while looking over the UKIP website - what a ship of fools! I'm hoping that they don't establish a baseline of support in the elections, so if you happen to read this - please go out and make a progressive vote this Thursday.

Incidentally, UKIP are very proud of their celebrity support; Kilroy-Silk and Joan Collins, now Geoffrey Boycott and Jonathan Aitken. The racist, the tax exile, the wife-beater and the perjurer. How depressing.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Movie mania

Thanks everybody for your comments on the new set-up. Glad you like it.

Weekend was spent Getting Things Done. M had a job interview to prepare for and heaps of uni work to do, plus her parents were moving house. I pottered around trying to be useful, and also found time to catch 3 movies on video and one at the Art Gallery screening, as follows:

Roger Dodger: Brilliant, cynical, hilarious "all men are buzzards" movie
Auto Focus: Pretty good, very seedy "all men are buzzards" movie
Gettin' Square: Aussie crime comedy enlivened by a couple of great supporting performances
Treasure of the Sierra Madre: Seen this a few times, obviously a classic. "I don't need to show you no steenkeen badges!"

Also finally finished reading The Chartreuse of Parma by Stendhal, thank gawd.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Hi, welcome to Tom's new blog. this is a new version of the "latest news" section of the old website. It's much easier to use than Angelfire, so expect more frequent updates and possibly more frivolous ones. With this, I can just stick thoughts up as they occur to me.

The old website is still acting as a holding site, where you can follow links to photos, top 100 novels updates and my old thesis. It's at

Please let me know what you think of the new set-up and feel free to respond to anything up here.

Remember: I love youse guys.

"Latest news" archive

Monday 24th May (Tom)Once again, let me begin with an apology; technical problems mean that photos can't be updated until June 1st at the earliest. NZ ones are up if you want to check those out.
Quiet-ish week for me, but M went up the coast on Saturday for a big wedding. I left them to it, cos the three sisters were all together for a girlie one. Spent a 6 hour journey north listening, and singing along, to eighties compilations.
Nothing much else happening. Anyone who would like to hear about the night we spent clearing out the garage can email me direct. 
Monday 17th May (Tom)
Back from New Zealand yesterday. It is a fantastic place, as everybody always says, and it was great to have so much time to spend with Mum, and my aunt and uncle. 
We spent three nights in Queenstown, which is just glorious, then had various travels around Auckland, Rotorua and Napier. I'll get pics up tonight if possible, and will provide a more detailed commentary there. 
The down side, of course, is that M couldn't come due to uni commitments. That was pretty miserable I must confess, but I came home to find the entire house has been redecorated, which was handy.

Tuesday 4th May (Tom)
Off to NZ on Saturday morning, leaving M all on her lonesome for a week. Woe is us!
Before then there's my audition for a TV quiz show, the return of David & Adele from their travels around Oz, Adele's birthday, a last-night-in-Godzone booze-up, last night of my film course...usual stuff all told.
Had a good weekend up at Avoca, involving a fair bit of alcohol and some ubergeek game-playing from the boys. In answer to your unspoken question, no I won't ever grow out of it.
Friday 30th April (Tom)
Off to Avoca tonight to spend time with various mates. Looking forward to it, home life is getting a bit stressy at the moment due to uni, redecoration etc.
Saw a corker of a movie at my film course, an obscure Ealing comedy called The Maggie. Impossible to get on video, so if it ever gets shown on TV do watch it - and tape it for me.
Tuesday 27th April (Tom)
Another long weekend here, this time for ANZAC day, basically Remembrance Sunday with better hats, more beer and legal gambling.
Obviously the highlight of this weekend was watching Arsenal close out the league with 4 games to spare, at Spurs of all places. Many jubilant emails and texts received, all conveying the same simple message: "We won the league at White Hart Lane, we won the league at White Hart Lane" etc.
The viewing not doing theme was set on Fri and Sat with 3 trips to the Dendy Cinema in Newtown, for Capturing the Friedmans, Elephant and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. 3 great movies, and very nice choc tops too.
Weekend rounded out with a trip to our favourite restaurant (Linda's Backstage) and a walk/picnic at the local National Park. Sorted.
I'm off to New Zealand in a couple of weeks, leaving M behind to continue with uni work while I go travelling with my Mum and aunt. So much for a quiet life.
Thursday 22nd April (Tom)
OK, lots happening as ever but things should slow down this weekend. If you're really lucky I may even put some new photos up. After all, I have some coursework to do, so it's displacement activity agogo.
Visiting mates David & Adele are currently somewhere in central Australia, most likely wandering around that big rock thingum. Been splendid having them here, they're back for a few days in early May.
Last weekend saw a fabulous bushwalk in nearby Kurringai Chase National Park followed by a masked ball in honour on Ness and Jeremy's collective 30ths. Hot sun, convivial company and a bottle of Absolut - what could possibly go wrong?
On Tuesday we saw the wonderful pom stand-up Daniel Kitson at the Opera House. I say wonderful, but fair to say his somewhat confrontational style did not suit all tastes. That is to say, M hated it. Ah well.
7th April 2004 (Tom)
I've probably sound a little football obsessed in recent weeks, but, dammitall, it was good while it lasted. Good luck to Chelsea, and I hope it can be contrived for both teams to lose the Cup Final. Meanwhile, if Arsenal muck up the league it will be clocktower and an automatic rifle time.
M's Masters is going well. She passed her first assessment on administering an intelligence test. I took it - apparently, nobody ever got a minus score before.
The weekend found me geeky gaming with the chaps whilst M went on a wild girl's night out. We both reckon we had the most fun.
Tomorrow we fly off to New Zealand for a few days to see various family members plus our mates Barnaby and Lorna (see pic top right). Highlights are due to include a whalewatching trip and, er, some boozy nights watching football. Full details will be posted next week and even, if you're lucky, some photos!
BTW, if anyone reading this is going to the Wedding Of The Year - have fun! We'll be there, kind of. xx
29th March 2004 (Tom)
Hmm, busy busy busy - again. 
Made a short film last weekend, which was a fun day. If anyone's interested, please ask, but I can't put details up here until it's reached the intended recipients.
The week was a blur of boring academic stuff, driving practice and a stomach bug from a dodgy chicken caesar salad.
Recovered for Saturday, though, when we went to see the ace Boothby Graffoe doing his stand-up balladeering thing. Then stayed up on Sunday to watch Arsenal v Man U, happy with that result, roll on next weekend.
17th March 2004 (Tom)
A quiet-ish week here. Saturday night at Avoca for Karen's birthday party was a fun one. I ended comatose up on the sofa "watching" Arsenal at 4 in the morning:
Michelle: Tom, Thierry Henry just scored
Tom: Wah? 
Spiritualized and their light show at the Metro on Sunday was blinding in both senses of the word.
Otherwise, academic work is tending to dominate our time, and my driving test is booked for a fortnight today. Eek!
9th March 2004 (Tom)
OK, just a little 4 month gap there. You didn't notice did you?
Looking at the last entry, I am happy to inform you that England did in fact win in the rugby. Seems like a lifetime ago now, but I remember a long day in a pub in town followed by a very exciting match, followed by about a month of laughing at downcast Aussies. The record of the night itself shows several pictures of me embracing random people in Engerland shirts and waving at the camera. Who are these people? No idea, but I suspect that at the time they were each my besht mate.
M is still on the Atkins, or a variation thereof. She says she's lost a heap of weight, but she looks equally gorgeous to me as she has always done.
So what else have we been up to? Well I guess the big thing was our trip back to London (home?) for Christmas and all that. If you're reading this we probably saw you then, and it's safe to say that we had a great time seeing you and would love to have seen you more. Mum's birthday at the start of January was a treat, a party in Brentwood followed by a few days in a cottage in the Cotswolds. Next visit is already booked, we arrive in London on 28th December after Christmas in Banff, Canada.
M has just started studying for a part-time Masters in Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University. This demonstrates that she is dead brainy. She is trying to get as many credits done early as possible which means she is at uni on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. This is a particular bummer cos my film course in on Thursday nights. Doh! Weekends are where it's at, then, and we're kind of busy then and all.
The film course is going well by the way, 3 fantastic movies so far this semester: The Bad and The Beautiful, Umberto D and Jeux Interdits. 1952 was obviously a fine vintage; Ikiru and Singin' In The Rain that year too.
The top 100 novels thing is continuing to be very enjoyable, and when not enjoyable then at least educational. I've added a page here for those who are interested in my pithy comments.
The bad news for Australia's road safety people is that I am learning to drive, or rather failing to learn. I nearly hit a bus this morning. Is that bad? Test in a couple of weeks. 
Otherwise, it's been the same old same old. Beer, movies, mates, curries, gigs...
Upcoming: 2 or 3 trips to New Zealand, a trip to Canada/UK/Hong Kong, visits from Mum, Dad, Dorothy & Adrian, David & Adele, Dan and anyone else who would like to come, various theatricals and, here's hoping, the Pixies and Brian Wilson might even make it down here...

17th November (Tom)
Oh God. Now I just know for a fact that Australia will beat England in the rugby on Saturday, and my accent will mark me out for mockery until I can escape the country in a few weeks. Aussies + sport = a bit of a nightmare for a lonely pom immigrant. Already getting a bit of stick from colleagues and students here at work.
The other minor catastrophe is that M has decided to go on the preposterous Atkin's bloody diet. Lamp chops and lettuce with a block of cheese for dessert for the forseeable. No danger of me taking it up I think.
Deathly quiet weekend for me, trying to save a bit of cash for the trip home. M went out sailing on the harbour with our mate Vanessa, it was a birthday pressie, sounds as though it was blissful. 
We did go and see the last Matrix movie, which was predictable: fantastic action and risible everything else. The last scene got a laugh though, because it was obviously shot in the Sydney Botanical Gardens with various landmarks like the AMP tower in the background. The last scene of the even worse MI2 was shot there as well.
Latest book: The Scarlet Letter. Great prologue.
11th November (Tom)
Oh lawks, more activity than I can summarise here really. I'll give it a go, in no particular order:
Nelson Bay
Lovely place about 2 hours north of home that we headed to with Amy & James and their doctoring pals Grant & Sarah. Nice self-catering hut in a caravan park, right next to a spectacular beach. 
Centrepiece of the weekend was a marvelous boat dive at Broughton Island. Great stuff, at least the second one was. We saw dolphins on the way out there, grey nurse sharks whilst underwater, and a humpback whale on the way back. Awesome, dude.
Same country, 3 hour time difference. Godzone is a biiig place.
Popped over to W.A. ofr the wedding of old diving/backpacking mate Sara to a nice chap called Declan. Great wedding in a park in the 30C heat, followed by an evening do on a boat which was ruddy great and v Australian. Best man's speech included the phrase about Sara's Dad, Errol; "Thanks for the free piss and food, mate". 
Also a chance to catch up with my old mate Barnaby and his lovely wife Lorna. Lots of loafing around in ropy pubs and on luvverly beaches. May well be catching up with them in Aukland soon.
Very impressed with Perth generally, excellent times to be had there. M fancies living there, but they say its the most isolated city in the world and I couldn't stand the cultural backwaterdom. Fantastic games shop though, where M mysteriously allowed me to blow $260 on long out of print Runequest stuff. Mmm, trolls.
My Top 100 Books marathon continues apace. the conceit is pushing me towards books I wouldn't otherwise read, which is the point of the exercise I suppose. I've managed to knock off 2 books in a day each: The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (elegant, brilliant, deceptively complex) and Charlotte's Web (quite moving actually). I also finally finished Tristram Shandy (dementedly entertaining) and ploughed through The Pilgrims Progress, for which I feel I deserve at least a long weekend in the Celestial City to recover. Now on If On A Winter's Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino, the opening line of which is "You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveller". Lord! Postmod aperitif anyone?
Happy News!
Just had an email sent from Hindustan via Crouch Hill, and it seems that our good mates Frances and Simon have just got engaged. Huzzah! Much happiness. 
Miscellaneous Thoughts
V excited about the return to Blighty in Dec. Diary is getting full, so there will probably be a couple of open invite type occasions when I'll head to the pub or whatever and you can come along if you like. #1 of these looks set to be at Walthamstow dogs on Thursday 18th - more details soon...

31st October (Tom)
It's Amy & James' last weekend here - we can't believe how quickly the time is going. We were up at Avoca last weekend for Annabelle's 2nd birthday. This weekend we're heading up to Nelson Bay with their mates Grant & Sarah for diving and socialising.
Latest film course doozie was La Ronde (Max Ophuls, 1950). Clever, beautiful, sexy and funny - much like myself, in fact. Immediately installed as one of my all-time favourite movies. Had a general discussion on movie censorship at this time, which threw up the fact that Young Man With A Horn was released in Oz as, er, Young Man Of Music...
Went a bit crazy on CDs this week and spent about $100 (40 quid or so) that we haven't got, but I got 8 CDs for my money. Indulging in my new taste for Missy/Outkast/NERD type US R'n'B. And Spiritualized, naturally.
23rd October
No photos added as yet, sorry...over the weekend maybe?
This weekend was extremely busy with various days and nights out. One highlight was seeing Stoppard's The Real Thing at the Wharf Theatre. The lead was Hugo Weaving, soon to overtake Harrison Ford as the biggest movie moneymaker ever in terms of tickets paid for his films, but I thought Stephen Dillane was better in the London production we saw. Not bad for a colonial prod though, and check out the homepage quote for a great line.
Picked up my sister Amy & brother-in-law James from the airport on Sunday and went for drinkypoos down at circular quay in the rain. Various shenanigans lined up with them, which will be recorded for posteriority with our new digicam.
The bad news is that I have managed to get gout at the tender age of 17 (mentally, I mean). Apparently it is usually associated with excessive alcohol and obesity, so how I've picked it up is a mystery. I'm finding that physical pain is a great motivator on the fitness front though.
I've also set myself the task of reading the Observer's Top 100 novels, 36 of which I have already done. Currently on Tristram Shandy, which I've always meant to get around to and is proving to be rollicking good fun. The biggest obstacle: Clarissa. Any Sheffield types reading this who remember how much we all hated Richardson? This is 1000 pages of the bugger. Think I'll take in Charlotte's Web first.
15th October (Tom)
So what's occurred? M has turned 30, England are in the Euros, I'm learning to drive, a wedding, scuba diving, films....
So, yes, M has joined me in the 30-49 demographic group. We are now duty-bound to listen to boring pop music, begin our inevitable rightwards drift politically, stop drinking to excess and start muttering about the youth of today.
M's birthday bash was a right old do, with about 20 of us partaking of muffins and cocktails up at Avoca. Somehow 3 rolls of film were used up, so once we get those processed there will be piccies up in the gallery. (btw, we've just got a digital camera - yay!). I should mention that I am relying on others for the truth - the last thing I can remember is several people very sensibly advising me to slow down on the cocktails. Apparently I was dancing all night, and at one point I came this close to pirhouetting through the patio doors taking the TV set with me. Er, breakfast the next day was good though.
M is teaching me how to drive, bless her, and so far we have neither crashed nor initiated divorce proceedings. I'm still crap though, and more to the point I absolutely HATE IT. People keep saying I'll enjoy it once I'm more confident, but this is transparently untrue. It's AWFUL.
The wedding was M's cousin Lisa, to a nice young chap called Bryce. Much filling in on family detail for me. I couldn't dance on this occasion due to a crook foot, so I watched other people and obsessed on the awfulness of the tunage (Grease fecking megamix etc.). there was a full-on "blue" to keep us amused though, one girl called another girl's mum a slut or something. Wahey!
We've invested in scuba gear and we're revving up now for some top diving. We had a practice dive at Terrigal near Avoca, just to de-rust, and it was surprisingly easy to get back into the swing. More soon. 
Amy is coming! Haven't seen senior for ages, so I carnt wait for Sunday when she and her new hubbie James are arriving. They're currently in Perth, watching the rugby. You carnt get away from the game at the moment, unsurprisingly. From what I understand, it's a bit like footie only less good. 
Have now done 3 sessions at my history of film course, which is ace. the teacher is David Stratton, the Oz equivalent of Barry Norman I guess. He's charming and astonishingly knowledgeable. It's a chronological course spanning 10 years and I've joined about halfway through (this week's was the hundredth session). Basically, we sit in a lecture hall at Sydney Uni, David provides some context and shows a whole bunch of clips, and then we watch the film for the week. We are currently on the year 1949 and we've seen All The King's Men, The Reckless Moment and Jour de Fete. Never seen or heard of any of them, but I would recommend all of them wholeheartedly.
Also continuing on the Dickens thing. Just finished A Tale of Two cities and I was nearly crying on the bus at the end. Sad, innit? Saw As You Like It at the Opera House as well, btw.
Photos coming soon!
24th September (Tom)
I'm still laughing after the weekend's football shenanigans. I stayed up to watch Arsenal v Manure and thought we were just grinding out a very tedious result. Then suddenly it was all handbags and Martin Keown's throbbing temple and Mr Ed hammering off the bar, ruddy hilarious it was. (Note to non-footie fans; trust me it was ace).
Had a splendid Saturday celebrating our mate Mark's 30th at the Anzac Club. Bowling was the go, crown green style, and as it turned out I was absolutely bobbins. M was good though. Much beer and impressions of Crackerjack. Has that movie made it to Blighty?
Excited about tomorrow, I'm starting a history of film course at Sydney Uni. Runs for about 12 weeks. Cool.
Avoca again this weekend. I went in to the sea last time and it was feckin freezing. Won't try any of that "exercise" nonsense again for a while.
15th September (Tom)
Ho hum, ho hum, ho hum.
What? Right. Johnny Cash died. Bugger. Great great man. Sam Philips too. Leni Riefenstal, Diana, hang on. Still. Johnny. We loved you man.
News, then. Avoca, beer, pub quizzes. Kazaa has brought with it much happiness. Godspeed. Rarities. 80s nonsense.
Usual arts activities. I do have some recommendations though, if you're interested:
28 Days Later - For the first third mainly, which is stunning, Desolated London to a Godspeed soundtrack, and graffiti reading "The End Of The World Is Extremely Nigh".
Brick Lane by Monica Ali - Believe the hype, this knocks White Teeth into a cocked hat. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll fancy a curry.
Number9Dream by I. Forgethisname - Bladerunner fantasies with family emotions that just about work. Exciting.
Shooting An Elephant & Other Essays by George Orwell - Newly collected essays. Quite, quite brilliant.
4th September(Tom)
I'm still alive. I have now driven around the place for a grand total of an hour. So far, no harm has come to either myself or any innocent bystanders. Not that I noticed anyhow.
Spent a bit of time recently with Laura and Boo, prior to their return to the motherland. This generally involves copious booze ingestion, an elevated level of smutty conversation and lots of all-round happiness. Especially in a week that sees Arsenal win and Southampton beat Manure.
Hot news just in; the splendid White Stripes are playing town. Update; tix sold out in 20 minutes. Bugger. Jurassic 5 may be playing, who will offer more than mere consolation.
Bought the unutterably entertaining 24 Hour Party People DVD, which is a real top-drawer package, recommended.
OK, you'll have spotted it by now, we've been doing bugger all. Ho hum.

27th August (Tom)
Well, about keeping it up to date, I can only quote Teenage Fanclub on this; Well I know what I said I’d do/I lied. It’s not like I have an excuse, cos we’ve entered a pleasant fallow period for a couple of months before things start getting hectic again in a little while. We’re taking the time out to catch up with some chores, gardening and suchlike. We bought a new doormat the other day. More scary, yesterday I took my Driver Knowledge Test and I am now officially a learner driver. Our poor car. I say quiet, but we’ve got the usual things on the go; trips to Avoca, dinners out etc. All pleasant enough, but we are trying to save up for stuff too. In October the following kicks in:
 1) The recently married Amy & James are coming over for a visit, which is anticipated to revolve largely around wedding celebrations, the Rugby World Cup and scuba diving. Sounds like a good mix.
2) More hitching related activity in November, with a trip to Perth for my mate Sara’s big day, which is anticipated to revolve largely around wedding celebrations, the Rugby World Cup and scuba diving.3) December 12th we leave for Blighty via a couple of days in Tokyo. Woohoo!
 Re the Blighty trip, we’re starting to compile a list of Stuff We Have To Do, beyond all the obvious stuff involving catching up with people and boozing. So far we have Borough Market, the NFT, a greasy spoon and the Cittie of York. Any other suggestions?15th August (Tom)
Not much has happened recently. In chronological order; Mum came, holiday in Tassie, my sister got married, nephew went to hospital, some old friends resurfaced, and a session of disco bowling - nothing of note really. Actually, as a result of the preceding I am now officially cream crackered and ready for a month or so's kip.
In order then;
Mum came and we had a splendid old time of it. Our mutual friend Jean was over from Honk kong for a bit too, so we took the opportunity of a trip to Linda's Backstage Restaurant in Newtown and various other excitements. Mum didn't quite make it up Bridgeclimb but we kept ourselves busy nevertheless. Hopefully some photos of Mum's trip will appear here soon.
Me, M & Mum spent a week in Tasmania, specifically Hobart, Freycinet National Park and Lauceston. It is a beautiful state and everything feels so close together compared to mainland Godzone. Looking forward to getting back and spending more time there.
My sister got married! Bloody hell! Amy & James decided to avoid the usual wedding hassles and got hitched in Bristol on the sly. Good for them, M & I are both delighted for them. Welcome to the family James, or may I call you bro?
Little Alex spent a night in hospital with a high temperature, bless him. He was very brave though and the problem has passed.
I was chuffed to receive (unrelated) emails out of the blue from a couple of old uni mates - Jimmy & Diane. Good to hear how people are getting on. Ah, Sheffield. just the memory makes me want to get a dodgy haircut and have a boogie to the Sultans of Ping FC.
Disco Bowling is a top night out. Everything you want from a bowling alley can be found in Top Ryde; smelly slippers, dodgy music, cheap bowling and...wait a bar!!!...sheeeeit.
Will get photies up asap and I promise to be a better updater in future. Cheers, and Up The Arsenal!

19th July (Tom)
Mum's here! Haven't exactly done a lot so far due to work but it's smashing to have her around. Off to town this weekend to do some touristy stuff, which is quite exciting.
Slightly disturbing fact: the head of my library group is Gary Wilmot. Lordy! 
8th July (Michelle)
Tom and I are getting really excited with Barbara's imminent arrival on Sunday. We're going to Tasmania for 8 days with her in the middle of her four-week stay. We're hoping it will be cold enough to feel a bit like home for her. Ridiculously fabulous Winter weather so far - definitely not complaining about that. Mum and Dad came over last Saturday and helped us perform our own little "backyard blitz" on our garden. We've now got a lawn - as opposed to the forest of weeds trying to take over before - and borders for planting a tropical garden. We've also created the space for a pretty impressive vegie garden around the corner. Tom reckons he is going to take charge of that. So far we've got some herbs, a lemon tree and 3 Birds of Paradise (it's a plant, honest) planted. The main thing I want in the backyard is a massive hammock for relaxing in. It's on my b'day list. Tom needs a haircut so I'm off to prime the shears. 
8th July (Tom)
Sorry for the gap in updates, we had an extremely introverted period of mourning for missing out on Glasto. Still, at least it was a crap line-up; REM, Radiohead, Flaming Lips....sob.
A few people have muttered disgruntled mutterings about having no sound on their antiquated pooters, and have asked for a round-up of my chat with La Feltz. here's an edited transcript:
V - So, Tom Godfellow (sic), where are you calling from?
T - Sydney, Australia, Vanessa.
V - Gosh aren't I famous?
T - Well nobody here knows who you are. How's London?
V - (Whitters on about the congestion charge for about half an hour). Who do you miss most then?
T - My Mum, as I told Mungo the researcher.
V - Guess what, your Mum is on the line!
T - That must be why I gave Mungo her number. Is this where I act surprised?
Barbara - Hello love!
T - Hi Mum. Miss you.
B - Miss you too. See you soon.
V - Amazing, London Live brings people together. It's almost like they have telephones in Oz! Thank you both. Next on the show, we ask "Is Botox the new Rollerblading?"
26th June (Tom)
A few people over last night for the State of Origin rugby league match, in which NSW roundly walloped Queensland, much to Dani's chagrin but everybody else's pleasure.
Winter has finally arrived in plenty of time for our trip to Tassie in a few weeks. Should be cooold. Meanwhile, I gather that in blighty the sun is shining over the green pastures of Somerset for Glasto. I'm not jealous, gnash gnash.
24th June (Tom)
Well we had a few more days of jollity and late night Trivial Pursuit with D&A but, alas, they have now returned home. I was particularly pleased that the weather held for their brief stay at Avoca, where the vodka drinks mixed by David went down a treat.
Quiet period now until my Mum comes to visit in a couple of weeks. We've basically booked up our trip to Tasmania with her, and there are a couple of other bits and pieces planned. Carnt wait to see her!
Adam & Rhyl are finally back in Oz or so we hear, hopefully we'll catch up with them in the next few days. M's parents are over for dinner this week, maybe going to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday....back in the old routine...
18th June (Tom)
Well the photos may not be uploaded yet, but I promise that Adele and David have indeed been here for a week now. As I write they should be on their way back from a flying visit to Adelaide to visit Adele's aunt. They are doing Bridgeclimb tomorrow which should be a doddle after our astonishingly hair-raising clifftop walk in the Blue Mountains last week. Of course, I was ok but, let me tell you, the others took some coaxing to get round that bit with the overhang and the thousand yard drop and...I'm sorry I can't go on...
In other developments, the wonderful Dave Gorman has announced dates for his show Googlewhack Adventure in London and Edinburgh. Can't recommend it enough, go see!
11th June (Tom)
Another break thanks to Technical Difficulties, this time my computer monitor went doolally.
On this occasion though you could have heard my latest merely by visiting and listening to my conversation with a Celebrity. It was all just too exciting for words. A few people have asked how I ended up on the show; what happened was that I emailed the Robert Elms show about something else and the producer passed on my address. I spoke to a man named Mungo and we did the show, arranging to be "surprised" by Mum in the process. We were actually up at Avoca at teh time with a group of half-cut friends straining to remain quiet in the background.
T'other big news is yesterday's arrival of the lovely Adele & David who will be staying for a couple of weeks. I'll pop up some photos as soon as the monitor is replaced, hopefully tonight.
4th June (Tom)
Just added my "Libraries in the Movies" dissertation to the site, access it here. I just reread it for the first time in a couple of years and it's actually not too bad. Could have done with a couple more redrafts but that's hardly a novelty. brought back some happy memories of UNL: The Highbury Barn, the Tramshed, the Hen and Chickens, the Bailey...what a cultured time that was.
Had a mentalist bus driver this morning. First of all he didn't believe I was from Essex/London and insisted I couldn't be anything but a Brummie. Then he started telling me that the Blue Mountains is a hive of UFO activity and it's all to do with an anti-gravity beam patented by Kessler in the 30s and HAARP, which involves electric beams being reflected off the moon. I have looked at Nexus Magazine for the proof and it's safe to say we don't need to start wearing aluminium helmets just yet. Made for a more interesting trip than usual, mind.
My reinvention as a handyman continues. I varnished a bedside table. I am very proud.
Am currently obsessed once again with The Sopranos, season 4 just out. The conversation about Notre Dame predicting 9/11 had me laughing almost as much as the sex scene with Janice as a pimp, I'd better stop there. Meanwhile, our mate Tanya has converted Michelle to the legion of Buffy fans just as the last ever episode comes out. DVD sessions loom.
Catastrophe at home, where our pooter monitor has collapsed. I'm hoping it has righted itself today. i think it may be something to do with its proximity to the speakers. I've been listening to BBC radio while playing ChampMan rather too much recently. here's the filthiest joke ever broadcast from I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue:
"This game is based on the 1970s TV show Give Us A Clue, except in that game the players had to use only their body movements and expressions. Afficionados still talk in awe of the time Lionel Blair conveyed A Town Like Alice merely through his uncanny portrait of its author. Who can forget Una Stubbs' astonishment when she saw Neville Shute all over Lionel's face?"
29th May (Tom)
Well sorry for the wee hiatus there, technical problems to blame. Won’t bore you with the details, suffice to say that they were entirely my fault. Oh well. Just watched the mighty Tony Adams on the Kumars, which was a pleasure of course, especially the detailed discussion of traffic conditions on the Lea Bridge Road. The Kumars is pretty popular here and has produced a local variation based on Greek culture. To an Aussie crowd I would say wog culture, the nuances of language are rather different at this end.
Nothing of great significance has happened since the last update. Mainly we’ve been watching movies in our nice warm living room (we blew a grand on a gas heater cos it’s cooold). What a fantastic run of movies though. Of the following, I would give them all 5 stars except one that scores a zero. Can you guess which? Hellzapoppin’
Sunset Blvd
A Hard Day’s Night 
Strangers on a Train
Repo Man
Say It Isn’t SoClue: the last one is a Farrelly Brothers movie about a man who's true love turns out to be his sister...with hilarious consequences!
Weekend of fun and laughter approaching, should be more interesting news soon...I hope.
18th May (Tom)
Loads of new photos added to the photo page. Click on the link on the left to check them out. Hope you enjoy them.
(Michelle) - Tom and I have just returned home from Avoca Beach. It was a rather wet weekend so no sunbaking or swimming but the ocean is just as amazing in stormy weather and we had our fair share of walking along the beach in the rain and marveling at the crashing waves (quite hypnotic really). Lots of video and DVD watching (see Tom's 12/5 comments). Feeling really relaxed after a great weekend. Planning on seeing the Matrix Reloaded tomorrow night despite mixed reviews. 
Not much doing socially but I had a good night out on Monday (Tom opted out) with some girlfriends, Dani, Ness and Pecky. Started off at the Ashfield Hotel. Met up with the girls and my sister Karen and her boyfriend Steve. Then the six of us crossed the road to my favourite hotpot restaurant in Sydney (actually, it's the only one I've been to but it's so good you wouldn't want to try anywhere else). Absolutely stuffed ourselves silly and had fun to boot with the whole chopsticks/hot liquid/chilli rigmarole. And it's cheap as chips - 10 bucks each. Then Dani, Ness, Pecky and I went to the Empire Hotel to watch our friend Kylie sing as part of the regular "poptarts" night every Monday featuring various female artists and bands. Great fun. 
Getting very adult now with plans this week to get quotes from a TV aerial service and gas fitter for the house. Can you believe we're getting this and our Winter heating sorted out before buying anything frivolous or going on a holiday? Who would have thought? Missing London a lot, especially since the week of constant rain we've just had reminded me a lot of the Mother Country. Hope everyone's well. I'm not used to using a website to send news so this sounds very much like a group e-mail. 

Off to give Tom a haircut now. Here's the before and after shots. What do you think?

12th May (Tom)
Quiet times here, largely due to lack of cash. Fortunately our local video place does 8 weekly movies for a measly $5, so we've been catching up. Best so far has been the splendid Adam's Rib, very good fun. We had a social video night with some mates which reminded me of teenage get-togethers, only with Aussie Chardonnay instead of White Lightning cider. Still not sure which I approve of more.
Bought tickets to go see Coldplay in July. Curse them, I was determined not to like their second album but they got me in the end.
This week I have been mainly:
Reading - 'Cleese Encounters' by Jonathon Margolis and 'The Kindness of Strangers' by Ian McEwan
Watching - Being John Malkovich
Listening to - Wilco
Eating - Beef Stew
Drinking - still no beer - embargo ends Saturday!
6th May 2003 (Tom) 
Writing this during a languorous evening shift at the library. Have spent most of it searching for a googlewhack containing the word bodkin, and sending out emails.  
Not too much news. I forgot to mention a great night out we had on Friday watching a game of ‘footie’ (they mean Rugby League, while people in Melbourne would mean Aussie Rules). I am now officially a supporter of the Sydney Roosters , primarily as a quid pro quo with our mate Dani becoming a Gooner. We watched them trounce the even-more-absurdly-monikered Parramatta Eels and ate meat pies. Go Roosters! For those who don’t know, we’ve booked flights back to Blighty for Christmas. We arrive on Dec 15th and will be around for a few weeks. We are travelling via Tokyo, so anyone with good tips for there please let us know. Last night we saw…. X-Men 2 , which was pretty good fun and contained a strangely large number of references to Star Wars. Mind you, I once saw a highly dour and serious Swedish movie called Songs from the Second Floor in which I spotted loads of references to the piss-poor Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, which was a little distracting. Of course I’m on a bit of a downer right now about Arsenal having ballsed up the league so comprehensively. Carnt really say we deserve to have won it though. Still, hopefully our domination of the cup should continue and I’m particularly looking forward to that evening as it signals the end of my self-imposed beer ban. VB please, and lots of it.2nd May 2003 - Tom
Up and running at last!
This will be the briefest of brief messages just so I can be sure the whole upload business works ok. Welcome to the site, sorry it's a bit crap and content-light right now. Stay tuned, it'll be updated plenty over the next few weeks. We're having a financially induced quiet period so I can play with this properly.
Just to set the scene, it's Saturday night and poor old M is at work. I've just spent an hour or two reliving my youth at Dave Parkers by playing Arkanoid on the net. In a couple of hours Man Utd v Charlton kicks off, which we'll be watching thanks to lovely Rupert Murdoch. the league could all be over by tomorrow night. Buggrit.
On the plus side we have a stack of DVDs to watch and some recently-burned CDs to listen to. Loving 'Up The Junction'. I never thought it would happen/With me and the girl from Clapham/out on the windy common/That night I ain't forgotten. Perfection.
This week I have been mainly:
Reading - 'The Corrections' by Jonathon Frantzen (thanks Dan)
Watching - Yes Minister
Listening to - The White Stripes
Eating - Melon
Drinking - not beer (sob)