Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I dreamt I was shown the opening spread (pp. 2-3) of a magazine and asked, 'have you seen this? James Cruickshank's in it'. The magazine was called Pierrot and most of pp. 2-3 was taken up with very elegant and painstaking drawings, they looked like engravings, with the title 'Thoughts of Pierrot'. In the dream I knew all about the youth movement of the Pierrots, they were languid, lazy gay young men who lolled about feeling sorry for themselves. The drawings/cartoons were of Pierrots in outer suburbia being cross at their parents or bemoaning how bored they were. I knew that the Pierrots were simultaneously celebrating their culture, and poking fun at themselves.

I thought the part of the spread I was supposed to be looking at was a very elaborate picture of a 1930s living room with no-one in it, and I said, 'Where is he?' Answer came, no, he writes for the magazine, and I realised there was a staff box in the top left hand corner. His name wasn't in that either. I said something like, 'oh I thought you meant he was hiding in the picture'.

I knew, without reading it in the magazine, that the Pierrots were all in a fluster because Marc Almond was in town, and he was a hero of theirs and had embraced their movement. I also knew that they greatly admired Rowland S. Howard.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

new neighbours

I am adopting a 'wait-and-see' attitude for the rejigged Neighbours. I must say I felt a stunning ambivalence towards the tragic truck-van collision at the end of the ep and was fairly disgusted that Mickey caused it with his broom-brooming in the new family's hire van. Who's going to pay for that!? Apart from someone with their life. Or someones. Fraser and Rosie's vows were, as Mia correctly pointed out, worst ever and blah blah as I have often said who cares what I think about this I am not the demographic and more to the point I probably shouldn't still be watching this show at all, come to think of it.

Hey, that's right - I shouldn't! (Scales fall from eyes).

Friday, July 20, 2007

life passing before eyes...

kensington nitelighf

Larst night my old lady and I went to Kensington for our cheap frills, and had a very pleasing dinner at Sori Cafe, the well-known Korean-Japanese cafe in, er, Kensington. I can't recall the name of the dish I got but it was kind of baked with rice and vegetables on top. And I had a Cass, Mia had an Asahi. We were too full for dessert but oddly when we went next door to the White Rabbit Record Bar ( we found our cocktail spaces weren't empty. White Rabbit always confused me, unti last night. I used to think it was actually a record shop, then I decided it was a bar, now I appreciate it is actually both. The music they played was excellent; I have no idea what it was. I said to Mia we should come here every Friday PM on our way home (as it is on a train stop on our way home). I couldn't hear her response. When we got home she put her scarf on Millie which looked tres chic.

Speaking of stuff, Asha and Bela are now getting on like a house on fire, with all that that metaphor might entail. I was just saying to Asha how Bela had never had a friend before, because of his personality. I suppose Asha was the same but more due to circumstances.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

this i believe

Personally I believe if one's name is Hicks one should not publish a book called 'Small Town'.

But it's too late now.

Friday, July 13, 2007

they're moving grandpa's grave to build a sewer

Not really, they've just entirely knocked down the 1960s and earlier administrative buildings at Broady now and the staff presumably are all relocated into the new 'green' building next door. I was a little saddened to see what I assume was an early municipal office - which looked Edwardian - go; you can see the shadow of it to the back of the 1965 town hall.

This is that site from the other side, in January this year.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Models On

This is my favourite Models single, it was produced by Lobby Loyde.

Models 2 people per sq km

Ray Argall is a brilliant director. This is a great song.

smoking ban in bars, clubs and venues: one man's second opinion

My first thought on entering the Cobra Bar (atop the Tote) last night was, why does it stink like that. Opinions of a few fellow patrons were that it was because there was no smoking smell to cover it up. I saw two people spilling entire beers on the carpet, which made me think well there's certainly a lot of rotten old beer in the carpet, for one. Later at the Corner discussing this I received an opinion that it was actually BO (hey, isn't that pheronomes?) but knowing as I do BO is entirely a construct of the soap industry in the 1930s I can only accept that as culturally a valid opinion.

Pink Stainless Tail were playing and a really good band with Tim in them whose name I didn't catch. Tim did a good impression of the chef who usedta be in Sesame Street who would fall down the stairs with all those cream pies, ie he was dropping sticks at a rate of knots but unlike the aforementioned guy he did it with aplomb and picked them up a lot while also adjusting his mike. Well done. Pink Stainless Tail with Chris Hughes = one of the best of their shows I ever seen.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

hygiene issue

(Asha in the bed)

smoking ban in bars, clubs and venues: one man's verdict

I think it's great!

Entering the Old Bar last night, my first thought was it smelt like someone had cleaned it. My second was, that someone had lit it, electrically. My third was, there's Julian Teakle. To actually be able to see Julian Teakle, who is usually invisible in a fog of smoke, was something very special. He told me that Tasmania had been smoke free barwise for two years now. Wow! I said.

What it means in practise in a place like the Old Bar is half the people there are not in the room where the band is playing, because they're all out the back. I have often tried to put into words or a stylish metaphor my genuine feelings about smokers and smoking, but it always ends up revolving around excreta worship. I respect nicotine addiction around as much as I respect heroin use, online gaming, gambling, smallpox, religion, Big Brother, Meatloaf, skinheads and celtic tattoos. I am glad it is now only going to be semi-in my face when I go out, rather than totally. Now all we need is to ban alcohol.

I was pretty taken with the bands last night by the way the Bad Luck Charms in particular sounded amazing, they have some sensational hard rock numbers. Ladybird were a kind of bold twee, which could have gone either way but came out pretty good, and New Estate were themselves. Good news I heard last night: Catherine McCarthy to make solo album, Shane reckons we should have an election party at chez Lorraine. What do you reckon, would you come?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

south western victoria

Arrived in Portland just before the sun went down, which I won’t call good timing, because I didn’t time it, but which was opportune, because I managed to visit and photograph four decent sites before the light ran out (well, in truth the last few pics look weird, all washed out, but ultimately I don’t think it’ll matter too much they’ll probably only be reference photographs) and then got accomm.

The accomm. in question will not be named, but it is a late 19th century hotel on the waterfront, somewhere between Orwellian or Lynchian, or Porteresque perhaps, or there is always the possibility that all the rest of the time I am entirely ensconced in cotton wool and this is how life is, but anyway, it’s a cheap ‘n’ miserable pokie joint with some rooms upstairs. I enquired about the room price and it was so cheap I asked to have a look at it, was given a key, went and had a look, thought, god, all I want to do is exist on a Sunday night in Portland, I’ll be back on the road before the sun comes up so what difference does it make and it IS cheap, so I went back downstairs and the guy was on the phone and I said ‘I’ll be back in a minute’, and then moved the car out the front etc and went back in and the guy said ‘oh, you’re back!’ and I guess we were both surprised.

Now you’ll probably expect a tale of dread, fear and woe, but no, it’s just a slightly creepy old hotel with small rooms and full of second hand furniture (I did wake at some point to hear someone tortuously edge across the floor outside, step by laboured step, but they didn’t sound like they had tremendous upper body strength and were wielding a samovar, well maybe a samovar, but not a scimitar).

Portland actually seems (I am not sure I’ve ever been here before) a delightful place, with its brilliant brutalist’s brutalist civic centre, and its arts centre which is to the pyramids what the Sydney opera house is to ships’ sails. It also has a rad building called the Ruth Martin Centre (why they would name a building after a late 1990s Neighbours character I don’t know, but I am NOT against it) which is two storeys, all 1930s cream plaster and brick trim. I went to sleep extremely early after two glasses of a Pemberton pinot noir and a small pizza at the local pizza restrong (a day’s driving and half a bottle of pinot and I felt totally trippy; I saw these amazing clouds that turned out to be a fir tree, and I saw a woman completely outlined by a window on the side of a three-storey theatre building and thought, as you do when you are trippy, ‘did I really see that woman?’ and dreamed the dreams one dreams when one reads half a Pat Barker. And then woke up unfeasibly early and read the rest of Pat. And now I am on the verandah with lapsang and laptop, in my newly acquired Fletcher Jones getup (yep, I went to Fletcher’s factory outlet when passing through Warrnambool… what a grouse place… I had a wander through the gardens too… love the huge stone baskets… it’s completely overdone in the statuary department… the factory has been sold, a developer’s dream, though the guy in the shop told me the shop may stay and the gardens definitely will.)

So this morning I am heading out to Heywood, then Casterton which is my furthest western point, and slowly edge back from there, taking in Hamilton and Coleraine. I actually have a slight set against Hamilton though I’m not sure why. I am going to have to steel myself against the constant temptation of op-shops, well, maybe just a couple can’t hurt.

And now my dream is to get out of this hotel without actually having to see any of the other inmates. That would be sweet.

Later (Casterton, 10:14 am)
Apart from the fact they do not have a sign as you enter Casterton saying ‘Welcome to Casterton: rhymes with Mastodon not plaster nun’, or the other way around, (there is a sign but it just says ‘You figure it out’) I like Casterton. It reminds me of the gold towns of eastern California, stuck as it is in a bit of a valley, & full of grouse 19th century two-story balconied buildings in a reasonably narrow (because everyone parks in it) main street. I have a minor beef with myself because two people from History, or at least from the History of CJ Degaris in which I have an interest (Mary Degaris, CJ’s sister, and George Hervey who, in a manner of speaking, killed him) were born here but I don’t really know where. I have to keep reminding myself I don’t give a loose root about those kinds of things, though I suppose if I knew where the houses were I’d go and see if they were still there, maybe break in, have a look around, film myself, you know.

I have about five more places to go today, but from hereon I’m going back home, so whatever I don’t manage, it is at least closer. I have already made my westernmost stop (Dartmoor, quite an attractive town, though it’s easier to find a map of Gallipoli there than it is to find a map of Dartmoor - !) and Casterton is my most northwest. Coleraine, where I have five sites to visit, is as northerly but it’s further east. OK? In the meantime I have been struck by the beauty of the small towns in this region, Merino was hilly and delightful (I took a picture from the top of Maud St – actually it was almost but not quite the top, because I stopped the car and a cattle dog came out to see wtf I was doing, so I went half a block downhill).

Digby, much smaller, has things going for it too. Yeah. Digby.

Looking forward to Coleraine, I hope it is all I imagined (I have no expectations).