Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shopping 2

A week ago, I sought some pool supershock at the variety store -(take your pick of two) - only to see empty, yawning shelves. I asked at the enquiry desk. She pressed keys on a blackberry, and announced that they had none.
"We'll be getting more in," she said.
"You know that that's no use to me," I said.
"In 6 - 8 weeks, " she said.
WHAT? Do they have to walk to the factory to get it?
"This is a terrible shop," I said bitterly.
"Yes, it is, isn't it," she said.

On Friday, just 5 days later, being in the same shop, I checked the shelves out again.
Yup. There it was.


Yesterday the granny behind me in the checkout queue pressed some bank notes into the hand of her (about) 10 year old grandson.
"Do you want to pay?" she asked. "Do you want to be the man and pay?"

Living in the past? Or brainwashing to shape the future?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Slap

On page 11 she gives Hector his shopping list: 25 gm green cardamon seeds, 4 eggplants....
On page 24 Hector sees, in his garden "..the late season eggplants, full and black, hanging precariously ..."
Just carelessness, I expect.
An engaging, irritating book.

'An anthropological insight into modern Australian life," said one commentator on the ABC's bookshow.
Which was an interesting comment in itself: she saw the fiction as fact.
The characters were not like anyone I've ever come across...but they were similar to the scandalous mores that the newspapers trumpet.
"None of the characters are particularly likeable, but they're mostly uncomfortably recognisable," writes Leigh Sales. To my mind that's because they are largely stereotypes.

Another commentator on the ABC said that it is a soap opera. I'm inclined to agree.

It's an engaging, easy read. But not something I would urge someone else to read.
Interesting to talk about, though. The issue - someone slapping a friend's child - of more interest than the book, unfortunately.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Cindy Gallop, on a Ted talk, says that because of parental/school/society reticence, most children now learn about how to engage in sexual practices from hard core porn sites.
She has learned this from personal experience, because as an older woman, she chooses lovers in their twenties.

Because, as she says, these sites are owned by, run by, controlled by men, girls can find themselves obliged to cooperate in ways that they might otherwise not choose.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

These little birds are made from recycled metal by "the gathering" at Deniliquin. They have fooled my neighbour's cats, who like to short cut through my garden....I expect that they may now have sore teeth.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy endings

Tayla is a tall, trendy 10 yr old. She tells me that on the weekend she had to help her dad birth a calf, and it all went wrong. Her dad had to break the calf''s bones to extract its body bits. The cow was pretty wrung out, but they watered, fed, mended and tended her, got her to her feet and she perked up.
The next day they returned and she was ...not making it. Tayla's dad shot her. "You thought it was going to have a happy ending, didn't you?" Tayla said.


miasma: sounds to me to be sparkling and flowery. Wrong.

fulsome: has such a powerful sense and projection of its own meaning, that if you use it correctly you will almost certainly convey the opposite of what you intended.

pronunciations: idyll. Correctly pronounced to rhyme with riddle, piddle, widdle, all of which I reject and persist in pronoucing it as idol, or idle, both of which convey the languid lazy beauty of something Eyedyllic - the "I" as in "Ibis", "Iambic", "Iberian".

respect: very current at the moment. "Do your teachers talk about respect?" I ask. "All the time," rolls eyes. "What does it mean?" "Oh, they haven't told us that, yet."
Unfair selection there. A lot of comments, some of which were meaningful.

I find it generally disrespectful for people involved with younger, say teachers, coaches and THE PRINCIPAL OF A LOCAL FAITH SCHOOL to refer to their students as "kids"....a word that can be casual or friendly, but by such as the above sometimes sounds like a synonym for "the mob".

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sticky Social Situations

On Guardian Unlimited Talk, someone asked for ways to handle a potentially dreary social occasion.
It was suggested arranging for one's mobile phone to ring, and saying loudly into it: "Dead? When? How? I'll be there at once."
On the other hand, if you were actually enjoying yourself, you could say: "Dead? When? How? Well, he won't mind waiting then, will he?"

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Two seven year olds.
Him: "I went to Sydney on the weekend."
Her: "What Sydney? The Sydney with Sydney Harbour?"
Him: "Um...." Silence.
She persists: "You mean the Sydney near Yass?"
"Yes," he says, relieved. He's found his bearings.

Take note, Sydney. Hubris is never a pretty look.

The Fly and I

Yesterday there were four flies inside. Today, only one -but, I can tell that he really likes me.
Where have all the insects gone? Few flies, no greenflies, blowflies, moths, or clouds of flying ants. Backyard zappers? What?
I am cautious re change. My bank recently changed its bland paint to crimson, orange and oxblood -(a fitting colour in that its old logo used to be a slaughtered sheep). It has unhelpfully redesigned its online banking, from black on white to grey on cream. It has erected plastic barriers between the tellers and customers - I think of them as Gail's gaols.
Are these there to protect me from the tellers? I think it's the reverse, and feel quite chuffed that the bank evidently sees me as menacing.

Friday, November 20, 2009


It's lucky that I'm not a diplomat: I'm sure that I would airily have trodden on international toes, with neither intention or awareness, so that I would have provoked even mild and pacifist countries like Sweden or New Zealand to declare war on Australia.
This to explain the edit of my last post, in which I happily and unconsciously slated a whole decade of people.

Expanding further on reactions to heat/cold: an older, such as I, is not stoic and enduring: it's just that entropy is getting the upper hand.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Yes, it is, isn't it?
Chris Brennan: "Fire in the heavens, and fire along the hills./ And fire made solid in the flinty stone."

I read where U.K. teachers wanted schools compulsorily closed if temperatures reached 26 C.
I read and hear of soldiers in the M.E., where temperatures are 10 degrees hotter than here - high 40s, over 50s. We haven't really stretched ourselves, evidently.

I notice the difference in expectation of some younger who grew up with uncooled or poorly cooled and heated cars, supermarkets, homes, schools, businesses and lives, some of whom now have so accommodated themselves to changing times that they seem to consider a temperate climate, albeit created artificially, to be a sine qua non.