Wednesday, June 19, 2024

new order's shell-shock

Like so many similar things* I am very interested (not obsessed) in/with New Order but I actually think they only ever really reached about 10% of their potential. I mean, yeah, 'Blue Monday' was pretty good, 'Temptation' was OK, I always had a soft spot for 'Procession' which was I have to say only heightened when I read in one of Peter Hook's memoirs that Bernard Sumner once had an angry outburst (did it get physical?) insisting that the single didn't exist. I'd like to get another copy of 'Procession' as I think I have mislaid the one I bought when it came out. 

Yeah, I know I'm talking about records of 40 years ago as if that's all NO ever did and of course they have made thousands of records since many all of them not as good, and as I have already pointed out, the good ones could have been better. If I'd made them they would have been much better, lol. Anyway the only reason I bring this up is I bought a 12" of 'Shell-shock' in Ballina (alongside the Cure's Pornography) and it's you know, really just OK isn't it. The A-side seems to just get tinnier and tinnier and the b-side tracks - a dub version of the A and I guess a kind of similarly dub version of 'Thieves Like Us' is a better side but I will never forget that, yes, when I saw them play the Palais in St Kilda in fuckknowswhen - um - 1983? they left the stage and the instruments carried on playing and at the time I thought that was amazing, I mean, it was amazing but now when I play their records I feel the way I feel when I read student work that's been flagged for AI - I'm reading this, did the person who submitted it read it? Did NO hang around for the whole recording or did they just set it to go in the studio and wait to get a call when it was done? It's kind of OK if they did, but it's kind of annoying as well. I guess the end of the 'Shell-shock' dub does have some funny rock out guitar so presumably a person did that. 

This is what you get when you search for 'New Order Shellshock Fan Art' on Etsy. 

*I hope to win an award for these five words, in the Most Fatuous Sentence category please

Sunday, June 16, 2024

kensington street library this morning

Perry and I frequently visit the Kensington Street Library but we don't often tell you when we do. This morning I took about six books there - mainly things I had doubles of, from my office - and unfortunately took about three things away, on various pretexts.  

(Not sure what the 'we can hear you' on the right side means). Anyway, on the way back from there I was provoked to wonder about the extreme heightening at the railway line in these parts. The line is low, the suburban streets of Kensington in the west are much, much higher. 
This was obviously done a long time ago and very purposefully because the street behind this wall (its ground level somewhere midway to the trees) is all late 19th century. 
At some point in the last 12 months Laura and I had a benign argument (maybe that's just a conversation) about whether it would be good to live on the top of this building. I think it would. But I am also prepared to entertain the possibility that this is not, as I had long assumed, a house on top of an office building, but maybe just an open area. Anyway either way, I realised this morning that while on one side you could probably see as far as the sea, on the other, all you'd see is this: 

Friday, June 14, 2024


So a couple of days ago my mother and I flew to Ballina to visit her cousin to get some materials for a book I will one day write. But not for a while because I have other projects on the boil before then. Two planes to Ballina. That was actually fairly painless, particularly because we were fully prepped to have problems with inclement weather etc, etc, etc. 

The important grounding exercise on arrival was to visit op shops and this we did immediately. They weren't that amazing but it had to be done. In both the op shops we visited on the first day, hilariously, there were intensely drawn-out conversations between the woman behind the counter and the woman buying stuff. In both cases the women buying things were retired middle class people with a lot to say. In both cases they fussed over the money - the form of it, not the amount, so that in one instance thirty something dollars was paid in $1 coins. It was madness. 

I am sure (am I?) that not all of Ballina is an architectural letdown but I didn't see anything that exciting. 
Really, it could have been any country(-ish) town anywhere in Australia - actually as I said to my mother, it could be Greensborough. 
Nice bird outside the airbnb we stayed in. 
Can you believe this. 
Beach thing. Beach-ish. Actually I think this is a cove or perhaps an inlet. 
Nothing need be said. 
The next day it was back to the op shops. There are many of them. They all had something going for them. 
I really enjoyed this tea towel. All these kids are no doubt approaching 30 and complaining about how they are getting old. 

I can't even remember why I took this photograph (though it includes one of the op shops, a great one) but I do remember why I put it in this post - because it existed. 
I am just non-plussed about what stands in for print media these days. I mean I bet Australians are reading more now - probably 3 or 4 times more - than they were in (say) 2002. But they're not reading magazines. So what nonplusses me is the kinds of things that still do make it into print. Rolling Stone is the one that foxes me the most. 
This is flying out of Sydney. I mean, whatever. 
Very quickly - I don't think we were even out of metropolitan Sydney - it got very cloudy and stayed that way till we got to Melbourne. 

So ultimate feelings about northern NSW? Well, firstly, the trip was very successful I would say, and I think I got what I needed. Secondly, I am sure Ballina has secret pleasures and treasures (aside from the op shops) but these didn't necessarily reveal themselves straight away. Thirdly, my mother is an entirely agreeable travelling companion, though I guess I knew that already. Fourthly, travelling is a palaver and the older I get the more of a hassle it becomes. Yes, yes there are compensations and there are much worse ways to spend your time/money but I'm completely rooted today. But I almost always am on Friday. 

Monday, June 10, 2024

small walk

I'm not quite sure what the place we went today is called. Is it Westmeadows or Broadmeadows or does it have another name? I have been there before, definitely, in what might almost have been another life. Then, the public housing component was called Barnsley Mews but now I believe the estate that replaced it is called Valley Park and I don't think it's public housing anymore. 

Here's Ferdie and Perry, completely loving the environment and their time together (they get on very well). 

I think I've marvelled about this before but this green slope (it is more severe in real life than it looks here) was surveyed as a street, to be called Lyons St. I suppose it is possible that it was made more severe later on after the Lyons St idea was abandoned. 
Anyway, here it is in the Melways 1966.
More of the land alongside the creek. 
A little way north some gem has erected this sign which I'd like to say is ineffectual (I mean I'm sure it is for most people, but chickens like me don't dare cross into land labeled thus...)
A couple of houses of Gwilt St. Like the slope, they're more impressive in real life. 

So this is looking out across what google maps seems to want to call the Otway Crescent Drain (though there does not seem to be an Otway Crescent) we came across this campsite. I can think of plenty of worse places to live. 
And thus ends our trip for Monday. Happy 'king's birthday' (sigh). 

Sunday, June 09, 2024

park court

When Perry and I were coming back from Frankston we stopped a little while in Elsternwick and I spied this block of flats. It's Park Court, designed by Seabrook and Fildes just a couple of years after their renowned Macrobertston Girls High. This is from 1938, nine flats. It has seemingly not had anything particularly amazing happen in it, but it's a remarkable looking place. 

other frankston (yesterday)

So since we were in Frankston North we thought, well, why not go to Frankston. Maybe we'll stumble on Graham Kennedy's house. I don't actually know where that is/was, so it would be a stumble. But also, we thought, maybe we'll see some interesting places. We did. This was the most interesting, and it doesn't look like it's got long to live. I hope it's not Graham Kennedy's house. Anyway, as you can see...
This site might one day soon be this delightful and unique proposition. 
We were up high on the cliffs just south of Frankston proper, so we went and sat down and looked at the sea for a short time. And the sky. 

And a bird (or two)

Then we went past this house, which had a really high wall which made me think, it must be interesting. So I took a picture of it over the wall, reasoning that, were I to be a very tall person, I would have been able to look over anyway. 
Then we went down a dirt road. This was one of those roads you first think, well, that's got to be a boring road to nothing because it's an unmade, shabby thing. Then you think wait a minute... perhaps that's just what they want me to think. It was! I mean, it was what they wanted me to think. Because it did have some really interesting houses in it, like this one, which I wasn't really able to capture that well but hopefully you get a sense of it. 
Similarly, this one was better than my picture suggests. 
And again... 
Then we went into real Frankston and I made Perry stay in the car while I had quick lunch. This was what they gave me to mark my table when I placed my order. It's good isn't it. I should have stolen it. 
But no, we left Frankston every bit as honest as when we went there. Must go back soon, it was really good. 

Update a couple of days later: did a bit of research and it appears that GK's house is no longer there, demolished long ago, but we were in very much the right part of Olivers Hill so we intuited it, definitely. 

Saturday, June 08, 2024

in the pines

Today Perry and I went to the place presently known as The Pines, in Frankston North. I became interested in it because I saw reference to it in Housing Commission files, then I pursued the files on 'Frankston Forest' as it was initially known. The area was developed by the HCV in the late 1950s/early 1960s but not to the extent originally intended, in fact, I think only 1/3-1/4 of the area initially slated. We parked in Karri Ct and walked to the shops from there.  

The housing is all HCV but a range of different styles and materials. There are a few of these...
then there are these brick homes which I've always thought of as a bit earlier - 1940s. Maybe early 1950s. 

This is next to...

the Salvos building, for which, as you can see, the door is never open. Well this door isn't. There's another one round the side, it's OK. 

This is the laneway behind the shops. We walked around the shops. 

There's a lot of stuff in the files about a mural intended for the side of the building (I'm assuming this side). Obviously this is more recent than that. I don't know if a mural was created for the building and if so, whether the old one is underneath this one (unlikely).  

The building(s) are actually quite original, at least at the front, I'm pretty sure. 

This was in the file, what a horrible story!!! Made me feel terrible for the person who made this error. 
(As it transpired, the HCV agreed to pay half the cost of the bricks, which is probably better than nothing from the Kibbles' pov). This (below) I really liked - it's the backyard of one of the shops, looks like it hasn't been used for anything at all for 65 years. 
Check out this barbed wire. I don't know which one of these shops has laid on all this bw but woof. 
How cool as shit is this? 
A-a-a-nd more houses, since I know you like them so much. 

More Frankston soon... but this was wild and we had a really good time. 

new order's shell-shock

Like so many similar things* I am very interested (not obsessed) in/with New Order but I actually think they only ever really reached about ...