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

Sunday, November 28, 2004


A lively weekend centred on the wedding of M’s younger sister Karen and my new in-law Steve. We decided to make a weekend of it so we booked the Friday and Saturday at the Manly Pacific Hotel (where the England rugby team stayed during the World Cup). Friday night was a night at the Steyne Hotel with the bride, groom, and various other bridesmaids etc.

Chief bridesmaid was M herself, so on the day itself I was chatting to a bewildering array of Aussie extended family members and old friends. The ceremony was on a beach at the Quarantine Station in perfect weather, everyone looked great and all that, and I chalked up a long-held ambition by copping off with a bridesmaid at the end of the evening.

Other highlights included a choreographed Saturday Night Fever style first dance and a sighting of a highly endangered bandicoot. Well, I don’t know if the individual bandicoot was highly endangered, but you get my drift.

I’ll upload some photos soon.

Sunday night was M’s Christmas do, a jolly nice harbour cruise, where I learned that a high proportion of Corrective Services staff are entirely hatstand. One woman spent 10 long minutes explaining how veneering my 2 front teeth would solve my nail biting. I also had a long conversation with a revhead bikey who bore an uncanny resemblance to Vladimir Putin.

Special mention this week to Ed Black, an anti-Microsoft campaigner who has mysteriously changed his stance following a pay-off of a few million dollars. I can’t really criticise the guy, a few million would test anyone’s principles, but his justification was mid-blowing:

"Life is a constant reordering of priorities," he said when the Microsoft settlement was first announced. "For important and pragmatic reasons, we are choosing to move on with regard to this matter." Brilliant! I shall keep that one up my sleeve for sure. “OK, so I’m a hypocrite and a deceiver, and perhaps in my past I did murder a few old ladies, but let’s face it, life is a constant reordering of priorities.” Dick Cheney would be proud.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Cold feet

Busybusy weekend upcoming. Michelle’s younger sister Karen is getting married and M is a bridesmaid, so we’ll be whizzing around Manly like mad things trying to combine the usual wedding stuff with a GB v Aus League match, Arsenal v Liverpool, M’s work do and so on. I’ll try and take lots of pics and post them soon.

Blighty is getting booked up already, we haven’t got much time left to play with at all. We’ll be doing at least one night of “We’ll be in this pub at this time, come and join us”, but if you want some hot one-on-one action, now would be a good time to book us up. People who read this blog get priority.

Fairly quiet week here, I did enjoy an old-school game of Talisman at Rob and Lari’s lovely new place on Monday. My Monk (Adds Strength to Craft in Combat!) was narrowly defeated by M’s Elf (Can Evade Enemies in the Woods!). Curse her counterspelling cunning.

Couple of other things bubbling under that can’t be mentioned in a public forum. Just ask.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Joseph K, The Grim Reaper and Huggy Bear

I’m feeling dead intellectual at the moment having just enjoyed a pair of doom-laden European masterpieces. Part of my top 100 book thing was Kafka’s “The Trial”, which I’d always thought was a critique of bureaucracy and faceless authority, a kind of terrifying Guantanamo bay kind of thing. In fact it’s suffused with sex and religion as well as guilt, suggesting it’s a long dream sequence. I’m now on my 85th book (Daniel Deronda), meaning I should hit the century around February or March. I’ll finally allow myself to read some other good stuff, and the Da Vinci bleeding Code.

Film course was ace this week, with a screening of the Seventh Seal by Bergman, the one with a crusader playing death at chess (as opposed to Bill & Ted playing him at Twister). A big tick off my “films I really ought to have seen” list and it’s a mind-blowing movie. Beautifully shot, great acting, excellent use of music, and about Big Themes. Also has a strong contemporary resonance in its depiction of religious extremism and witch-hunts fuelled by fear.

Up to Avoca this weekend for a relax and another intellectual exeprience: Starsky and Hutch.

Monday, November 15, 2004


Click on the link for a picture of me in student daze. Shady, no?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

They're both cool. Trains and blimps.

Hectic weekend, the highlight probably being finally watching the very wonderful "The Station Agent". There was a buck's/stag do on Friday night (I left early - sad), family stuff and footie on Saturday, Newtown Festival and Balmain quiz on Sunday. Hence I am now cream crackered. My state of mind is further confused because I'm reading "The Trial" at the moment.

Quieter week this week, thankfully, though we may be visiting Larissa and rob's new place at some point. Drop us an email, would you Lari?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Eroticism of the Baroque

Unusual night for me last night, went to the Brandenberg orchestra to see them play some Baroque concertos (Vivaldi, Bach etc.). I actually thoroughly enjoyed myself as well as learning a little bit - like what a concerto is for one thing. Plus, there is something strangely erotic about a woman playing a string instrument in elegant clothing. The bass player was a hornbag.

More on my usual bent, getting excited about the Big Day Out on Jan 26th. Some great festival bands just announced: The Hives, John Spencer Blues ExplOOSHEOOON and - yes! - the Polyphonic Spree.

Stag/Buck's Night for future brother-in-law Steve on Friday followed by a quiet Saturday, at least until Arsenal v Spurs kicks off at 11pm. Newtown Festival on Sunday, but no tree-climbing I suppose, regretfully.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Beer, wine, literature

A pleasant, boozy weekend with a big caveat. M was stuck at home the whole time doing boring old uni work. Gah!

To pass the time, then, I headed over to the the Parramatta Spring Fair and saw the National Tree Climbing Championships. No, really, I did. Apparently the winners get to go to Nashville or somewhere and compete in the world championship. Some things you just don't expect to exist. Anyway, a brief trip to the pub ended up at the RSL several hours later, and culminated in me sleeping through the Arsenal game at 4.15 am.

I did rouse myself, though, to go and meet an old Hallamite called Jacqui who arrived in Sydney that morning. Always a pleasure showing someone the ropes and we had a good old chat over a bottle of wine by the harbour bridge. Most civilised. Some photos from Sheffland did remind me of rather less civilised times though. I'll post the photo here when I can lever M off the computer.

Still making my way through The Executioner's Song which is very good, though 700 pages in I'm looking forward to the end. The first half is brilliant, uncomfortable reading about the criminal mind a la "Crime and Punishment".

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Four more years

Obviously, I'm thrilled. To be vindicated in my strongest beliefs after four years is a matter for great satisfaction and humility.

Yes, there have been tough times. Tough decisions. But sometimes that's what this is all about, making a strong, resolute decision and sticking to it. Others would have flip-flopped, but we knew we had to take the fight overseas and we went right ahead and did it. It's caused argument and it's caused upset - but we knew it was the right thing to do.

Finally, I'd like to thank you, the people who made today possible. Without your energy, your support and your friendship we would never have made it to this historic point.

A drink, then, to our fourth wedding anniversary. Tom and Michelle xxx