UPDATE (+ “Road Trip pt 1”)

I have not been quite so attentive of late. But I have been busy, but then again maybe not so busy. It’s christmas. I guess that distorts things. But maybe also I have also reached a point where this little digression is increasingly peripheral. It takes so much time to do this shit, and although I get the occasional compliment, it doesn’t seem like I am really making a difference. I guess to my life it was interesting for a while. To my future existence — or indeed anyone else’s that is weary of my sphere of influence — it might also be worthy. But right now I am thinking this blog’s day’s are numbered.

For the time being I am kinda soldiering on — so here are some pics and later a story.

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I cooked for Dee and it was a triumph. Usually she turns her nose up at anything I cook. This time she was impressed. I have to thank my mum’s BF John for the recipe/inspiration.

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I think this is the first real-life fire I have ever witnessed.

ROAD TRIP (pt 1)

I am getting increasingly rubbish at driving. I just don’t do it enough these days. And this became apparent when I sideswiped a parked car just outside our house as I tried to get out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. The other car suffered no damage, yet Dee’s car was horribly, and expesively damaged.

But aside from that utter fail, when I drive in general conditions I find myself a bit lost. For example I accidentally choose routes that are only traversable by bike and have to backtrack or just aggravate the trip with excess milage. And this malaise is overly exacerbated by our river and it’s infinite twists and turns but it’s very finite crossing points.

So it is summer holidays here. A forced period of work leave. For Dee it is closer to 17 days, but for me it is just 10.

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And then Dee and I wanted to do something unusual with our summer holiday random free-day — so we went antique shopping in the country. And it seems everyone else was at the beach so going inland seemed obvious to me as a ginger and a recovering agoraphobic and perhaps to Dee too who just likes road trips and getting to be master of the tunes on the car stereo.

Secretly I wanted to also visit Kulgun, the farm my great, great grandad ran in the late 1800s.

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We navigated there just by sense. I kinda knew the idea from google maps but it was kinda awesome just turning down roads we weren’t sure led anywhere and suddenly being on the right track.

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So this is my great, great grandad’s farm. His name was Henry and here is his handwriting,  his ledger about the farm: how many animals he had, what crops he tried to grow, how little money he made. And the crazy thing is — he kept this ledger for decades. Perhaps that’s not so crazy seeing how poor they were. It was such a struggle to survive back then.

And the ledger also cryptically noted other amazing episodes in his life (in those days you didn’t necessarily put stuff down like we/I do these days) plus it acted as an address book. It was only rediscovered this year when I tried to find all my poppa’s research before it was lost forever. And in that process I managed to give it back to one of my relatives — Darren — who still runs the farm — all these years later.

So Kulgun is still our soil. And Thursday I got to see it for the very first time, and I wanted to see the views, the land. I wanted to see what they might have seen.

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A Mystery

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So with quite a lot of help from a fellow Auchenflower blogger, I have been looking into the history of our home.

I suppose you might be thinking, “Why?” or something worse, but I guess I have some predilection for the dreaminess of history. And sadly there is not much actual meat to the facts you find — just random names and dates from long, long ago and perhaps some other minor details — but it’s fantastic to dig and with every bit of discovery — let your imagination swim around those few skerricks of information and perhaps build a mental time machine that transports you around this home you know and love.

But there’s also a real mystery to this house.

Although the original/cool part of the house is over 100 years old, and the land has been owned privately since 1862 (a very early land release in Brisbane) — the house wasn’t built at this site. It seems the house was built and lived in at some other location for about 70% of it’s lifespan — then split in two — and transported here at about 1980/81.

This was only discovered through viewing the aerial survey of Brisbane made by the Council in 1946. And when I zoomed in on the site of our house all that was there was grass and trees and the roll of the land. The next-door house on our right was there, a much more humble version it should be said — but our house was bizarrely absent.

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But that strangely made a bit of sense because when we first had the building properly inspected (during the settlement process) we discovered a lot of recent timber in the roof and it seemed the floorboards were all modern too (except for the deck). Half the living room had ancient VJs and the other half were from a different period. And that is not to mention the extension out the back and then the other extension in the 2000s to modernise the kitchen. It was a real jigsaw puzzle then and is now even more so.

So my awesome blogging-history-helper delved a little more into the records and discovered a name — “Palazzi” — who had bought the property in the 1980s and had got building approval for some sort of structure. Bang! So I fired off a few snail-mail letters explaining the mystery and seeking help to all the “Palazzi’s” in the phone book. And there were only two — so not such a big deal. That was a week ago and no response as yet — but it is early days.

Upon asking another quasi-local-history buff — she told me houses got moved all the time in Queensland. Indeed then I remembered the house next door when we lived in Clayfield was shipped off to Macleay Island in the dead of the night. And although there are no real signs of the house being split in two — dad was saying they split it along the natural joins and so it looks like a jigsaw puzzle when split but looks entirely natural when put back together. And seeing as they replaced the stumps, the floorboards, the roof timber and perhaps the tin on the roof too, it would be a pretty simple move.

THE LAND

But then something else was weird. From all the records for a few weeks we believed the house was the product of a bloke called John Potts who in 1890 acquired the land here and then took out a mortgage — presumably to build a house. 1891 seemed to be the magic date where our house began. That date was just amazing to discover. What else was going on in Brisbane at that time — and the world?

And then 25 years or so later it became the property of a Herbert Lindsay — a railway worker — with 2 sons and 5 daughters who died in 1936 but the land stayed in that family for another 45 years — another epic tale. The house had a dynasty.

So trying to learn more about Herbert and his family I was trying to decipher the handwriting on the title note (because the middle name was obscure) and posted it Facebook. And the consensus was “Colross” or “Colrass” and soon enough my mate Andrew posted a link to a Trove story about Herbert’s death and his address. And that address wasn’t here. BANG! It was the house directly behind us. So suddenly everything made sense. Our land was part of their backyard and was eventually sub-divided.

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So where now? I don’t know, but hopefully the Palazzi people get back to me. But there is more searching on Trove and Ancestry.com.au to do.

ANOTHER MYSTERY

My mum is visiting from Melbourne this weekend and yesterday upon hearing the story above we decided to try and track down the house in Auchenflower where my first memories of the world were. See mum (and dad) had totally forgotten where it was — how does that happen? We did move around a lot. By 12 I had lived in 11 houses/flats over two States and four towns. Anyway mum drew a little map of how she remembered getting to the house from Milton Road and we did some google map searching and eventually we found a location that made sense. Then we trekked off to find it. It was a bit of harrowing journey for mum — I forget how ridiculously steep the streets here are.

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Being only 3 (almost 4) back then — the things I remembered about the location of that house were limited to the fact it at the top of a hill, and the road had a kink in it and the house was wooden and raised and the cars parked underneath. So when we got to Patterson Street and stood outside mum was instantly convinced this was it. Mystery solved. And I was convinced too — the street indeed had that kink and the house was on a hill etc.

I desperately wanted to knock on the door and look at my old room (which I do remember) but no one was home and just standing outside looking intensely at the building seemed pretty creepy enough already.

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Bumpy Lake Manchester Ride

Waking up to the news of another epic gun tragedy in a country where just this week a few States were ‘umming and arring’ about banning guns from workplaces just makes you so angry. So angry you just have to punish some hills to calm the blood.

I almost cancelled today’s ride cause mum is visiting and today was gonna be busy but then got a rush of blood to the head last night cause Shirts was like, “Just do a shorter ride – DER!” and then he doesn’t even show up! He is certainly a man of mystery.

But luckily Tom and Benny made it and we set off to Lake Manchester — north of Ipswich — on Tom’s suggestion.

And it was a bumpy ride all the way. Lot’s of shitty little hills, many that were fucking steep.

Plus Tom seems to be a magnet for dirt roads which mean you have to really, really concentrate of the road, trying to avoid the big rocks and finding the safest lines but trying to keep the bike straight.

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ImageThe View from Mt Bill Cosby

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ImageTom: “There should be more dirt roads in Queensland!”

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At the end of the Lake Manchester Road — which incidentally had a very, very sweet and straight downhill where I broke 80km/hr — was this old building and a mango tree, but no lake. It seemed you had to go down this rutted and narrow and steep dirt road so we collectively said, fuck it, and turned around.

Then we turned right into Kholo Road which we hoped led to Ipswich. This road went on forever and had many bullshit pinches and never seemed to be heading towards civilization. I started wondering if we were lost.

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But then we arrived at the Warego Hwy and all was well. After a pastry at some bakery we skipped through the ‘Switch and at Riverview we jumped on this brand new bit of bikepath. It was nice and smooth, but it kept crossing roads and at one point becoming a footpath. It was just too fiddly. I think we’ll stick to our usual route next time.Image

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ImageBenny got a flat outside the Correctional Facility, but we needed a rest anyway.

ImageJust Tom wandering around kids play equipment.

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Then Benny shot off to do a Mt Coot-tha on his way home — he is a machine that boy — and me I road with Tom a bit just so I could get over 100kms. When I got home I was the kind of hungry where if you just tap your stomach all your insides hurt.

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BUMPY!

Best music of 2012

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You all know how much I like lists — and so I get a bit excited in December when everyone puts out their “best of” lists and thus it seems the world is suddenly in-tune with me. But by January I am a freak again. Oh well.

And reading all those music lists is a bit bitter sweet as it completely distorts the list I have provided below — because I discover all this awesome music I have missed — but I can deal with it.

So here is my top 50 songs released in 2012. (And I have only provided a link to some that might not be so well known).

1) Pretend You Love Me — Sonny and the Sunsets
2) Feels Like We Only Go Backwards — Tame Impala
3) Fold the Cloth — Cate Le Bon
4) Time to Dance — The Shoes
5) Eye Pattern Blindness — Pond (live version linked)
6) DTV — Natural Child
7) No Idea Why — TV Torso
8) Moth Wings — Pond
9) Cooking up Something Good — Mac Demarco
10) Go Quietly — Little Scout

11) Lance Jr — Courtney Barnett
12) Tidal Wave — The Laurels
13) Heaven — The Walkmen
14) Big Love — Matthew E White
15) Black White Blue — Ladyhawke
16) Wild Desire — King Tuff
17) Hey Jane — Spiritualised
18) Nancy From Now On — Father John Misty
19) Seven Stars — Air
20) Skyfall — ADELE

21) Here I Am — Adam Green and Binki Shapiro
22) Bend Beyond — Woods
23) Ploughing Out (pts1 & 2) — Cate Le Bon (live version linked)
24) Ballad of the Golden Hour — Widowspeak
25) What’ll It Take — Graham Coxon
26) How Do I Know — Here We Go Magic
27) Friends of Friends — Hospitality
28) She Got A Mind — Natural Child
29) Alison Road — White Fence
30) Elephant — Tame Impala

31) Ode to Viceroy — Mac Demarco
32) Make it Known — Foxygen
33) Serpents — Sharon Van Etten
34) Roman Ruins — Line & Circle
35) Passenger — Emily Wells
36) Satellites — Catcall
37) Baby’s in Blue Jeans — Mac Demarco
38) Apocolade — George Barnett
39) I Wanna Go Out — Teen Mom
40) Go Outside — Cults

41) Whispering or Singing — Boomgates
42) Are you looking after yourself — Courtney Barnett
43) The Night — School of Seven Bells
44) Myth — Beach House
45) Please Be My Third Eye — La Sera
46) Too Young to Burn — Sonny and the Sunsets
47) Falcon Eyed — Cate Le Bon
48) Messing up my Mind — Fletcher C Johnson
49) Stairway — Yukon Blonde
50) Gangnam Style — PSY

LATE EDITION: Cut Me Some Slack!

 

RESURRECTION (pt 2)

PART ONE

So while it is very true some people develop a “drinking problem” — I had somehow developed a “sober problem”.

And this may seem quite bizarre to people who know me now and didn’t know me then. Because we all know what a boozy McBooze-hound I am now.

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And having a attention span that might generously be described as “fleeting”, and crucially a very, very low threshold tolerance for fools — this led to a disastrous social life. I was boring — like epically boring. And serious and judgmental and generally a massive deadshit.

On top of that I think I had a mild dose of agoraphobia stemming from *that* incident on the plane where at 16 I vomited all over myself and was forced to sit there for half an hour (plus vomiting again to add to my woes).

Here is a story from those years.

But then I turned 27 and that is the cut-off year for being eligible for Miss Universe — and also the year Brian and Jimi and Jim and Janis and Amy and Kurt and Robert all died. And that dude from the Manic Street Preachers went forever AWOL.

So I had a birthday party — which was mostly an excuse to have my new band play it’s first show. And although I specified no presents (and I was pretty obviously not a drinker) someone bought me a bottle of vodka. And so I put it in the freezer cause I remembered from when I was a kid you could do that cause one of my dad’s ex-girlfriend’s liked vodka and blew my mind when she proved it didn’t freeze.

And it sat in my freezer for a while, not turning to ice, which I was still quietly impressed by. But then one evening I decided to see what happened if I indulged. I “destroyed” maybe an inch and a half of the bottle and had a glorious time and went to bed fully prepared for a massive hangover the next day — but for some reason I woke up feeling strangely fine. No ill-effects.

It took me a few weeks to finally finish that bottle and I remember then experimenting with wine. And I did get into some trouble occasionally, but gradually I worked out my *limit* and I was pretty determined about it. I can remember being out and talking incessantly about my limit. I must have been thoroughly boring to all those around me. And this was the last vestiges of my sober-deadshittedness.

So then I started hanging out with drinkers and there are a few people I need to acknowledge.

My mum — who visited once and was appalled to find no bottle-opener (or wine glasses) in the house — so promptly ensured I was well-equipped.

My Dad — who showed me how to safely open a champagne bottle (hold the cork still with your left hand and twist the bottle at the base with your right) — just as a safety-sam dad would do.

Wintah — who taught me what “wintah-drunk” looks like (and I am not sure I really want to go there — but cheers anyway)

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Pat — who taught me how to fall asleep when things got too much. I have used this technique occasionally and managed to party on quite effectively.

Laura K — how to vomit ANYWHERE and how to talk at a million miles an hour. Laura also has a secret super-power of being able to inform EVERYONE at ANY STAGE OF THE EVENING exactly how many alcoholic beverages she has consumed like it was crucial life-or-death knowledge.

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Dale — who taught me that if you are playing a rock n roll show in some form of intoxication — just adopt a wider stance for extra anchoring. (And he also said that if you wanna perform drunk — you need to get accustomed to rehearsing drunk too. Sage advice.)

Craig — how to turn up early to maximise drunken opportunities.

Mitch and Timmy — how to be the happiest/most-zen drunk ever.

Ryan — for the stories — which probably shouldn’t be documented.

Liesl — for being all sober like me for ages — and then getting over it too.

Gypsy — who years later still seems to be gobsmackingly overwhelmed at how crazy I can get on the turps.

The “carpark” — when we were all poor and more adventurous we would get drunk on takeaway booze and head up to the top level of a carpark at the top of the Chinatown Mall. We had this great view and a bench to sit on and only very, very rarely any hassle from security.

Dee — who taught me that when I am pointing or accentuating any statement by smashing my finger into the table — I need to get a taxi.

And finally Steve who I am reliably told survived trying to take a piss from a ledge three-storeys up.

RESURRECTION (pt1)

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My very first taste of alcohol was at the house of the family that cared for me after school during the period of grade 1, 2 and 3. We couldn’t afford after-school care, so at least four days a week — after school — I was billeted out to the family home of my classmate — Damian and his massively fat, ugly mother who would whip me with a spoon for any infractions — which usually turned out to be me mimicking the anti-social psychopathy of her deadshit offspring.

Damian would play games like throwing rocks at passing cars. I just joined in. I mean — I was stuck here trying to fit in. It was a very quiet street and the game ended in spectacular disaster when the car we pelted (and I am pretty sure any rock I threw purposely missed) resulted in a very irate gentleman stopping the car and storming up to the door while we scurried under the house. That episode resulted in not just a lashing with her wooden spoon (and she had one specifically for corporal punishment) but my dad making things much worse and a lot more anti-justice.

So my dad spent a while congratulating her for her example of discipline and apologising for “my behaviour”. He then proceeded to deliver a threat that has lived with me forever. Right in front of her, in the street in front of her wretched house, perhaps attempting some symbolistic public humiliation — my dad threatened to pull down my pants in front of the police and spank me silly if this ever happened again. He didn’t ask me what happened — he just took her word.

But in “happier” times the father of this household must have got home a bit early and I rarely got to meet him. But on this occasion I remember he was drinking his beer out of a glass and he encouraged me to take a sip. Naturally I was disgusted at the taste and that was his point and he was pretty amused. But it seemed Damian was already used to the taste.

FETCHING STUFF

At home my dad would make me do chores incessantly. He thought it was a bit of a joke. In those days my dad had custody of me and my sister — but from 10 to 13 — it was just me and dad. My dad was good at getting me to fetch him stuff. Perhaps that’s why he suddenly got very, very fat at about 30. An example would be that when he woke up he would bang on the wall that divided our rooms and that meant I needed to bring him a coffee in bed and turn on the stereo.

Dad would drink occasionally — perhaps more so but I was oblivious. He would make me fetch it from the box of cheap cask-wine in the fridge. I remember once he asked me if he “was acting differently” and I said, “no.” And ‘no’ like it was a silly question. Now I think about it he must have been seriously wasted.

NEXT TASTE

Despite all that It was an entire decade later that I tasted booze and that was despite a lot of peer-based encouragement. I was 16 and she was 15. And because we were having a very bland evening where all my charms fell on her deaf ears (which were used to much more rock n roll activity) I suggested we get ‘drunk’. I didn’t know what that meant or really cared — I just wanted to engage with this girl I was utterly obsessed with. Even though she was a whole year younger than me, at 15 she looked like a woman while I looked like a boy. And this process accentuated that. She waltzed into the bottle-o and emerged with a massive bottle of rum, while I slunk into the 7-11 and emerged with a humble bottle of coke.

That was where I sat and she stood in this equation.

But that night I imagined we were equal. And various things happened in that period which booze or no booze made things pretty magical — but there was no consummation — even though we agreed we just might do it the next week.

So after an awkward episode of extreme daylight — and sobriety — the next school-day, in front of all my friends in the lunch-time schoolyard — she absolved herself of everything that had happened and very ceremoniously handed me back that bottle of rum — which was still half full — telling me that I had paid for it so it belonged to me.

There would be no consummation. This was THE END.

MY 18TH

When I turned 18 I was stuck in an HSC holding-pattern. I was so scared of not getting into university and I was living in the sticks of Marrickville. But I managed to celebrate the event by hobbling over to a football game at the SFS. And that was a big deal for me. There was no drinking or parties or really anything that resembled a celebration – but I think I at least got some vitamin D that day. And maybe that was for the best because I was still wearing tracksuit pants and jumpers my grandma had knitted.

The next time I tasted alcohol was when I moved to Queensland after high school. I moved up there cause all my high school peers were such utter deadshits. Like, they have big careers now and money and live overseas and stuff, but pretty much each and every one of them was a deadshit.

VOMIT and EVENTUAL ABSTINENCE

The next taste of alcohol was bad. At NYE when I was 18 I vomited after 2 beers and had to go home before the midnight stuff. After a few more episodes of epic embarrassment I assumed I was allergic to booze. And after another try which resulted in me vomiting different colours and spewing out a window down two stories I gave up booze.

I then became a designated driver and a very, very surly late-night companion. I was sober and naturally not being that type of soul — that made things even worse.

MOOSIC

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Conan got me into Mac DeMarco. I had seen him on a blog a bit earlier but he looked like a hick and so I was a bit weary. The song Conan suggested to me was “Ode to Viceroy” and I wasn’t blown away, just a bit intrigued. Luckily I delved a little deeper and so this song spoke to me. I think it was the “storyness” and the personality. And plus maybe my secret inner smoker.

Here is “Cooking up something good” by MAC DEMARCO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_5jyK29VaY

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I source a lot of my new stuff from the Everybody Taste blog. Whomever runs that blog is possibly my music-double. Mostly rock/guitarish songs – but always a bit left of centre and a bit irreverant. And so here is a band they seem to be actually funding/endorsing through their label. I dunno how stuff works — but I do like this song, especially the bass.

TEEN MOM — “I wanna go out”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_0BHILVppY

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We saw Skyfall on Friday and I was entertained but left a tiny bit disappointed by the gooby ending. But it wasn’t a documentary — right?

But I think this song is better.

ADELE — “Skyfall”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StJLvbPIvTw

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But this is my most favourite song ATM. It is by an Austin band called TV TORSO. I love the pick scrapes best. Enjoy.

http://tvtorso.bandcamp.com/track/no-idea-why

Next we have WIDOWSPEAK — ANOTHER band from Brooklyn. Ugh. Anyway — this song is great. It is “Ballad of the Golden Hour

Here is a picture of them:

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OLDER STUFF

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Finally two old-school bands that you might think of checking out if you haven’t already. “Crackerjack” and “Goldstar” and “Brass Digger” by the STARLIGHT MINTS

Next we have ROGUE WAVE (photo below) and “Every Moment” and “Kicking the Heart Out

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My week away. (Canberra and Melbourne)

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So it’s been over a week since you’ve heard from me – but I have been busy.

Essentially I’ve spent the week in Canberra and in Melbourne.

CANBERRA

A decade ago I kinda worked at Parliament House, in the sense that I worked for a Queensland MP and would visit there occasionally during sitting weeks. I had a very important looking pass with my picture on it and I got to go anywhere I wanted, except through doors that said “Members Only”. If I had a suit (you need to wear a jacket in there) I could have ducked into the Reps chamber too.

But the reason I was in Canberra this time was because I was part of a delegation lobbying for a parliamentary inquiry into public sector job security. We had meetings with Adam Bandt from the Greens, Bob Katter, Peter Slipper, Tony Windsor’s Chief of Staff and finally Kevin Rudd. But along the way we also met with Larissa Waters and a few other politicians.

I think it is safe to say that it was quite a “through the rabbit hole” experience — but dear readers — unfortunately I really can’t provide any more detail.

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Parliament House predominately has these hard-wood floors — saturated with the pock marks of high-heels. And so all the while you walk around it, making so much noise — you actually get this vibe that you are in the corridors of power.

POINTS

But I can say that Dee was giving me points for political celebrities I spotted. So here is the washup:

1) 2 minutes after entering the House I was walking through one of the big, heavy doors and realised someone was behind so I held it open for that person — who turned out to be Andrew Wilkie. At that point I was not sure how many points he was worth — but it felt like I should get a bonus.

2) Bill Shorten just buying tea at the Aussie’s cafe/store.

3) Tony Abbott jogging (in t-shirt and jogging shoes etc just seconds after Question Time finished) through the corridors of Parliament House. I suspect he wears his jogging attire underneath his suit. That’s the only way I can explain such a quick costume-change.

4) As Joe Hockey walked passed he recognised my boss and then shook his head in disgust and because I was the only one looking at him — he had to direct that silent rant at me. I am pretty sure I was flattered by someone who is so much part of the problem thinking we were scum. LOL.

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Beautiful art-deco light fixture. I fucking love almost every bit of the design of Parliament House. It is inspired.Image

PH has real art everywhere — like sourced from the National Gallery. It is quite surreal to casually wander past a Brett Whiteley (above) or notice an Albert Tucker hanging on the wall behind you — and you only notice as you get up to leave a meeting.

5) Talking to Kevin Rudd about Lego. We walked into this big, important meeting with Kevin and bizarrely he had a Lego set on the coffee table he was building. And he had meticulously separated all the little pieces into tea cups and the big bits into breakfast bowls. Upon seeing this I couldn’t help myself but exclaim, “OMG! I have this set too — it’s AWESOME!” He explained that it was a recent gift and made a joke about how it was a barometer about how his meetings were going — if everything was getting too boring and people started playing with the Lego things were not going so well.

I then went into great detail about the specifics of the build and followed that up with an epic story of how Wintah had recently broken it. Eventually I suspected I was getting close to freaking Kevin out and being quietly ejected so I shut up and let the business stuff continue. But if you are reading Kev, any help on Lego you need — just let me know.

As the meeting closed and I was doing a video I said to Kevin that my beyonce used to work at Riverbend Cafe and was a big fan. It was then Kevin finally actually warmed to me and kinda blushed. I could see him thinking, “Maybe this crazy lego-nerd ain’t so bad”.

6) I got big points for Insiders regulars — but I only saw Peter Coorey, Laura Tingle and that gangly photographer that appears on Michael Bower’s “Talking Pictures” segment (my favourite part of Insiders). I did see a lot of First Dog pictures.

Others: Peter Garratt, Chris Evans, Darryl Melham, Ian McFarlane, Jenny Macklin, Tanya Plibersek, Craig Emerson, Peter Dutton, Wyatt Roy, Joel Fitzgibbon.

Unfortunately I didn’t see Annabel Crabb or Julia Gilliard or Chris Pyne or First Dog on the Moon which would have sent the points system in meltdown. Oh well.

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Me in business-mode waiting for the lift.

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Look at this crazy-cat

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There are over 2500 of these exact clocks all over the House. The ticking they make is unbelievably loud. “You get used to it,” Adam explained. Periodically these bad-boys go nuts for ages to indicate divisions and other important stuff. The two squares at the bottom are lights that indicate Senate or Reps divisions. 

MELBOURNE

So then I was off to Melbourne for the FWD2012 conference on online campaigning.

After the first night of ‘enjoying’ the very basic facilities at Queen’s College — shared toilets and showers — I decided to stay at mum’s house. Apart from that fact I am getting a bit snobby in my old age — I really have trouble using public facilities. That’s just how I roll.

Anyway. Mum had a new edition to her pad. This dollhouse — Villa Sibi — based on the Philip Norman house. It comes from Germany. Mum had even made little magazines for the Ken and Barbie occupants inside.

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Here’s some pics of mum’s house and Melbz.Image

The view from Mum’s balcony. At dusk it is like a painting that gets better every minute.

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Those three bowls and stand are apparently extremely desirable. Mum paid 400 euros for them.Image

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Hi mum!Image

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Mum’s spare room — where I slept — is like an old-school kid’s room. Complete with these amazing original children’s books from ages ago.Image

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BONUS PICS:

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Adam is super-cool! When Alex makes a joke he gets it!

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