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

Thursday, April 26, 2007

She's nobody's baby now

Life plods on in its usual way (movies, gin, gigs, wine, diet, mah jong, more wine) but I realise that I haven't posted much about the most interesting thing recently, so here's an update on the gorgeous Beth*:

1) She is definitely a toddler now and no longer a baby. Running around, expressing opinions, throwing the odd tantrum - she's got the whole works. We have marked the transition by ceasing to describe her age in months and switching to years. A couple of months ago she was 18 months old, now she's nearly two, if you see what I mean.

As Sarah mentions, its a truism to say how quickly it happens, but ye gods it is true. Mind you, one of the cherubic wee lassies who acted as flower girl at our wedding just turned 16, which is really scary.

2) Beth can now count, kind of. It goes "one...two...three...fourfiveeightNINE!". I can make her look very clever by holding up nine fingers and asking her how many there are, as she always gives the same answer.

3) She has her first brand names. She loves her Barbie spoon and toast with Marmite (not Vegemite - ha ha!). She got a bit confused at Bunnings, where she kept laughing and shouting "Hop hop!". "No, sweetheart, that's bunnies."

4) She is toilet training and just this week has moved out of her cot and onto the Big Bed. Significant, ahem, movements.

5) She enjoyed going for a bike ride the other day, sitting behind me with a wee helmet on, so we'll do that more often. At one point we sheltered from the rain in a bird hide, but I don't think she grasped the basic concept of quiet, stealthy observation. Instead, she stuck her head out of the hut window and shouted "Hello ducks!"

* Apologies to Ben and anyone else with a low soppiness tolerance. Back to the usual drivel shortly.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Brian Sibley is a top bloke - and a sophisticated user of RSS

A bit of exciement and embarrassment over on my book blog. For those who don't follow it, I'll repeat it below:

Original Post

Peter Jackson; A Film-Maker's Journey by Brian Sibley

I don't really read authorised biographies, but this was a gift so I gave it a go.

It's a very interesting story not very well told. It was probably rushed into production because there is some really shoddy writing and editing on display. However, Jackson is an unusual figure and this book does answer the key question: How the hell did he get the "Lord of the Rings" gig?

Comment: Brian Sibley

Thanks for mention - sorry about the shoddy writing! :-)

Comment: Tom Goodfellow

Oh, crikey. Did I say shoddy? I meant, er, fantastic.

I feel mean now, what a thing to say about such an obviously good-natured bloke. Good on you, Brian, for your gallant response.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


My work let's me do flexitime, so I can have a day or two off each month provided I make up the hours elsewhere. Yesterday I took advantage of this to join M&B at the NSW prison service family fun day. No, really.

It was a strange affair, with fun rides, candy/fairy floss, farm animals and a free barbie, all set in the grounds of a prison. Beth had a blast, and I've posted a whole bunch of photos on Flickr.

RTA rant

For those of you who don't know, New South Wales has a very tedious and onerous set of rules for new drivers. First you are on your L plates for 6 months, until you pass your driving test - fair enough. Then you're on your red P (for provisional) plates for a year, whereupon you take a test taken on touch-screen technology that doesn't work. This grants the enormous privilege of progressing from red Ps to, oh yes, green Ps. Great. 2 years later, you can take another computer test to finally ditch the plates, thereby depriving other drivers of an excuse to mutter "bloody P-platers" when they are stuck behind you doing the speed limit on suburban streets.

The whole system is unwieldy and irritating, aimed squarely at 17-year-olds rather than, er, mature types such as me. It's expensive too - each of those tests costs money, and if you fail you have to pay again.

The last stage is the one I passed yesterday, meaning I can finally go at 110kmh on freeways and have a glass of wine before driving - both denied to P-platers. More importantly, a full driving license means I can drive overseas. Finally, my dream comes true! I get to trundle round the M25 in my mum's Peugeot this June. Huzzah!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

So it goes

Kurt Vonnegut has died. I'm really quite upset. The more I read and the more I knew of him, the greater he seemed to be. One of the greatest of the 20th century for my money.

Here's a passage from God Bless You Mr Rosewater that describes a secular baptism. I think it stands as a testament for the guy's humour and humanity:

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-:

God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

Check out the puss on me

So there's this website that supposedly tells you who you look like. ADHD Librarian told me about it. He looks like Carl Lewis. Anyway, I try my own snap. Turns out I'm a mixture of Ken Branagh, Mani Noriega and Condi Rice. Which is spooky, because that describes my personality pretty good too. What gives?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Phoebster

Much excitement over the Easter weekend, largely thanks to the arrival of my new niece, Phoebe Elizabeth Cross, in the family. As you can see, she is a wee sweetheart in a just-born kind of way. Amy needed a little bit of extra tlc after the birth but is doing just fine now. I particularly enjoyed being able to do the webcam thing and thus to see her in all her sleepy-eyed glory.

We were up at Avoca for the weekend, mainly sleeping and playing canasta. Lovely.

Oh, Jeanne, what a strange way I had to take to meet you!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Is it possible to have a red letter week?

It’s been action-packed, so I’ll give you a brief version followed by the longer version for those who are interested.

So –

1) My sister Amy had a baby – Phoebe Elizabeth
2) My mate Sarah had a baby – Ursula Rose (EDIT - Rose Ursula. Whoops!)
3) We saw the Pixies at Luna Park
4) V Festival at Centennial Park
5) Movies
6) Father Ted

And for those of you with a pre-2003 attention span –

1) My sister Amy had a baby – Phoebe Elizabeth

As it happens I heard the news as I was composing this post. I haven’t had the chance to speak to anybody yet so all I know is that everybody is well and that labour lasted a mere 2 hours – not bad for the first one!

Amy is older than me and this is her first, so it’s all just too exciting. I’m popping over to England sans M&B for 10 days in June/July just so I can meet Phoebe. I can’t wait!

2) My mate Sarah had a baby – Rose Ursula

I’m looking forward to meeting Rose too. She looks very cute in the photo.

3) We saw the Pixies at Luna Park

The Pixies! The Chuffing PIXIES!!! They were stunning, which was both exhilarating and something of a relief – what if they had been crap?

4) V Festival at Centennial Park

This was primarily a great social event, catching up with mates all over the place. Fantastic music was provided by the Pet Shop Boys and an in-form Jarvis Cocker. On the downside the organisation was shocking, resulting in massive queues to get in and, more importantly, for beer. Beck was a bit lacklustre too, despite a highly imaginative stage show involving puppets and his very own Bez.

5) Great movies

Pather Panchali – Glorious, shimmering, moving
I’m going to have to buy the trilogy in the UK, cos the subtitling on this edition was bobbins, and it was letterboxed. Gah!

Harold and Maude – Hilarious, transgressive, sweet-natured
One of those films where a single shot, without a line, changes your whole perception of character and motivation – a real Rosebud moment.

Intolerance – Long, dull, broken
2 ½ hours into a 3 ½ hour film and the DVD breaks. It isn’t even a very good film, although it’s impressive and important and all that. Now I have to spend and hour in a library watching the last hour on video. The things I do for art.

W.R. Mysteries of the Organism – Bizarre, bizarre, bizarre
I have no comment to make. Just…try and see it.

6) Father Ted

I got series 3 on DVD, utter genius from start to finish. “I hear you’re a racist now, Father”. Dougal has to be perhaps the sweetest sit-com character ever.

Other than that, its been pretty quiet…