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Monday, December 19, 2005


Well, Christmas has definitely started. We were out on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with various family and friends. Monday was supposed to be our rest night, a plan slightly scuppered by my staying up until one to watch England lose at cricket again. Then tonight we are hosting friends, tomorrow is my TAFE library leaving do, my sister in Sydney arrives the following day…January is looking like a month of sleeping and abstention.

Beth is coping admirably with the disruption to her regular patterns. She still seems to be a very amiable and self-supporting baby; we can leave her to play while we do the washing up or whatever and she just rolls about happily and chews her toes.

I’ve started on the bible reading project, which will probably take me a while. Genesis is great though, with most of the things I enjoy in a book: unsurpassed poetry, iconic stories and an obsession with genital mutilation and the brutalisation of women. Groovy. (Anybody have a set of the Pocket Canons from a few years back? I love the format and they’re out of print now).

Oh, and I watched the Blue Kite – beautiful but depressing, much like Arsenal performances recently.

I’m off to dance to electropop like a robot from 1984. Kisses.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

God's Bodkin, Man!

We had a big moment yesterday when I got home from work and Beth decided to mark the occasion by moving from a prone position to sitting up all by herself for the first ever time. Michelle and I were both dumbstruck, and were cheering and applauding when we should have been considering our baby's welfare. As a result, Beth then toppled backwards and whacked her head on the floor, triggering a few minutes of loud crying. We are such bad parents.

I finished reading Bleak House, which I have wanted to get through ever since it was recommended by 2 people I trust on these things - Lovely Kate and Bunjo. At first the whole thing is bewildering, requiring great concentration just to remember who is who and how it all fits together. Eventually, though, it begins to get easier and the last couple of hundred pages are genuinely moving.

Also I whizzed through Another Bullshit Night In Suck City, a memoir about a man becoming reunited with his alcoholic father at a homeless centre at which the son works. Groovy.

Oh, and I watched Olivier's Hamlet on video. There's a plot I know well. Well enough, in fact, to notice the omission of both R&G and Fortinbras. Great imaginative use of the camera, and some top bodkin-lobbing action in the "To be or not to be" soliloquy.

Dec 15th is Nick's birthday, and officially the start of Christmas revelries. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Well, it is called Revelations

Here’s a fascinating bible quiz – use them anytime someone argues that the Bible is an unarguable source of Truth. Oh, really? In that case, mine’s a locust fritter, and be sure not to insult any bald prophets as you go about your daily business.

I’m going to read the Bible shortly, as soon as I’ve finished Bleak House and Another Bullshit Night In Suck City. I like a varied reading list.

We had a good weekend doing Christmas related socialising with my in-laws, M’s uni mates etc. Doing the round of mates this week prior to my sister’s arrival on 22nd December. Beth seems to be coping well with all the excitement, although her sleeping is a little bit less perfect than normal this week. I’m writing this at work, so I don’t have any pictures of her to hand but we uploaded a few onto Flickr last night. You can see them at

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I had an uncle who once played for Red Star Belgrade

If there’s one thing that I’ll never get used to in Australia – even more than calling flip-flops thongs – it’s the whole perverse Christmas in summertime thing. On Monday it was 39 FRIGGIN DEGREES and yet the shopping centres are still piping out Cliff Richard singing about mistletoe and mulled wine. Surreal and un-festive, but it won’t stop me enjoying a break from work before starting at Sydney Uni.

The daily(ish) swim is Beth’s new treat, plus it should help me & M get some exercise, however superficial. She doesn’t really appear to enjoy being in the water, but neither does she actively express unhappiness, so we’re considering it a work in progress. The solid food project is going flawlessly, though – sweet potato, pumpkin, rice cereal, it’s all going in.

I’ve got the eBay bug, worryingly. Anyone got any expansion sets for Talisman the board game they want to offload? Didn’t think so.

Finally, and in full, the greatest lyrics of any pop song ever, “The Saturday Boy” by Billy Bragg. He seems to have a direct line to my life as a teenager, and as for the “unrequited” rhyme – I am truly not worthy.

I’ll never forget the first day I met her
That september morning was clear and fresh
The way she spoke and laughed at my jokesAnd the way she rubbed herself
Against the edge of my desk
She became a magic mystery to me
And we’d sit together in double
History twice a week
And some days we’d walk the same way home
And it’s surprising how quick
A little rain can clear the streets
We dreamed of her and compared our dreams
But that was all that I ever tasted
She lied to me with her body you seeI lied to myself ’bout the chances I’d wasted
The times we were close
Were far and few between
In the darkness at the dances in the school canteen
Did she close her eyes like I didAs we held each other tight
And la la la la la la la la means I love you
She danced with me and I still hold that memory
Soft and sweet
And I stare up at her window
As I walk down her street
But I never made the first team,
I just made the first team laugh
And she never came to the phone
She was always in the bath
I had to look in the dictionary
To find out the meaning of unrequited
While she was giving herself for free
At a party to which I was never invited
I never understood my failings then
And I hide my humble hopes now
Thinking back she made us want her
A girl not old enough to shave her legs

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nerd 2.0

It’s been a pleasantly low-key weekend in preparation for the traditional festive period of Nick’s Birthday (Dec 15th) to, er, Australia day (Jan 26th).

After a stormy week it’s finally getting warm (about 30 degrees) so we did a bit of gardening and stuff, planning on a proper bushwalk on Sunday. Saturday night was dinner with friends and Sunday avo brought the mother’s group Christmas picnic at beautiful Bobbin Head – 13 babies made for little boredom.

Saturday and Sunday Saw Beth being unusually unhappy until we figured out the reason – her first tooth! Bless. Frozen flannels and chewy plastic are now the go.

I’ve been having fun playing around with lots of those new web applications you may have read about: wikis, Del.ic.ious, 43 Things, 43 Places, Bloglines, All Consuming and so on. There’s so much happening it’s hard to keep track, especially as all the librarian blogs are 5 steps ahead of me at any given time. Great fun though, and the potential applications to life and work are mind-blowing. It feels like web 2.0 might actually mean something valid. Is the internet coming of age? Or is it just ego stroking for content creators and of no worth to the community in general?

If you’re reading this on Blogspot, you can see all this stuff gathered in one place at

Devoted sister, beloved ____ (Curb Your Enthusiasm)