February 22ndNice to see that Gunns ,the evil foresty company lost 22% from their share value today. It's karma for sure.
Nigel from the Enz calls late in the afternoon, we are both heading out to work in our gardens, late afternoon the best time during an Australian Summer. You'd think when a band member calls we'd be talking about the Enz or music or gossip but ours is mostly tomato, peaches and picking wild blackberries. We both joke about it being more important. He offers us an item for the Club Auction but I have no idea how we'd send it safely. Just great that he did offer.
I'm in the office and Mark runs in and grabs me...come see this! Sitting on the fountain are two yellow tailed black cockatoo's - a boy and girl- they just look like a couple. Making bird noises and gulping down the water. You can't stop looking at them, beautiful in an odd way. Usually this type stick close to the coastal areas. I spotted them the other day and thought they were just passing through but maybe they are hanging around Kalorama for a visit. The boy parrot is a bit parrot whipped as the girl departs makes some clicking noise and he obeys and follows her.
February 23rdIt's one of those days at our office where we seem to spend every second working. It's good, the day goes fast and you know you've removed a few things off the TO DO list. I need to make time soon to continue work on Ghost Cars book. With the deadline changing because of the new album release it gave me a breathing space. I could have finished a chunk after christmas but the UK dates just meant I was back on deck, and time dissolved around me.
We had some sad news this afternoon, our old Tour manager Skip (and his lovely son Arlo- yes named after THAT Arlo-our old crew man) had his wife pass away. Skip is one of our favourite guys , always lovely to us and we had the pleasure of meeting Maureen many times. I just felt for them, the good do indeed die young. I left a message at the Finn building, possibly they are away. So decided I'd send them some flowers from us all, just bright fun ones. I find it impossible to send things like wreaths . With death still close by I like the idea of bright and coloured instead of a stark reminder which is what wreaths do for me. I can't imagine losing ones partner, I guess it happens to us all, unless you do a Antony and Cleopatra and go around the same time ...Vipera Aspis anyone?! Anyway Skip and Arlo you are both in our thoughts today.
I ended up calling Pete and Susan O'Doherty , to make sure I had Skips correct home address. I was chatting to Pete and realized he didn't know that Maureen had passed away and it made me feel even worse. It had been awhile since I spoke to the O'D's as Mark and myself call them so despite the sad news it was so good to chat- as always sadness brings people together on a different level- human beings sure are complicated creatures.
February 24thA quick drive to Mountain Gate today, just banking and grabbing some gear from Office Works and a new external hard drive. I pop my head into our travel agent to ask about Kenya VISA's but my usual person is not around. Plenty of time still and my sister is waiting on her new passport. It looks like we may have to get a VISA for Dubai too as the time difference is about 11 hours between flights and I know the Airport does have the Dubai International Hotel at one of it's terminals. Have no urge to try and sleep in the transit area and end up feeling like crap.
February 25thI put in a small order for Enz cds- Luton and a handful of Mental Notes. Since all the Judd bullshit, Mental Notes has stopped selling, so I am doubting it will reach gold at this stage. Which is a bit depressing as I wanted that to happen for those guys. Oh well we did our best, at least we moved it closer by several thousand units. It's still about about 1450 to go.
The baby elephant at Melbourne Zoo was named today- her name is MALI. She is so full of beans, running everywhere swimming tripping over and putting on a one woman baby elephant show. Like dolphins humans seem to love elephants.
I heard back from Craig Hooper so I'm going to fly to Sydney and call in and interview him, in about 2 weeks. I haven't seen him for years and I cant recall anyone interviewing him so it's hopefully unique. Good for my Crowdies book and maybe even a flashback segment in the upcoming newsletter in May. So little archival material around The Mullanes, the few TV interviews that we have, plus a folder of paper interviews, and a few promo snaps and recordings like Bankstown Sports Centre in May 1985..... just wish we had some live footage, that would of been good. Remember it's a quarter of a century since he was in the band...amazing how time flies by.
February 26thI send some friends Gabrielle Bates art invite for the opening. It is at a bit of a weird time so who knows who will turn up. Tim Hume from NZ calls around his Judd article in the Auckland newspaper. I originally give him a No Comment on pretty much all of it. In the end I decide a simple 2 line quote from me is all that is needed. I'm not all that interested in Judd these days & felt it's all been said before. I'm sure Tim Hume can find enough quotes and information on the internet to write a ten page Judd article if needed. Deb has a chat to him and tells the truth on her Judd 'stuff'.
Of course I check my mail and there is the usual abusive bullshit email from Judd himself. So boring. Not even worth reading to be honest.
I email Jennifer and a few others to see how they are surviving the current snowstorm that has hit New York city and other areas. It seems never ending, Miss K is over it, I think never ending snow would make anyone feel over it. As long as our friends are safe.
February 27thWake up to early morning rain and some fog sets in, in the afternoon. Second last day of Summer, bring on Autumn.... always a nice time of year.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gra is on tonight, it's on Foxtel, ARENA channel so not pay per view. Virgin Airlines are one of the sponsors. The Virgin Mardi Gra flight takes off from Melbourne, those travelling are given feather boas and the usual stewardess are replaced by stewardess Drag Queens. Would you trust a drag queen to get you off your plane safely if it ditches into the ocean? Good on Virgin to support the Gra!
We settle in to watch it, several hundred thousand people line Oxford street..some great floats and a beautiful Sydney night. I wish there was less talk from the people hosting it and more of the parade itself. Mitsy Macintosh the Gra's main drag queen was exceptional though with her live cross (dressing) to the crowd and parade. The gay Scottish lads were a crowd pleaser, when they reached the main intersection area they were encouraged by the several hundred thousand crowd to get their kits off.... so off came their underwear and into the crowd it was thrown. Such is the spirit of Mardi Gra, we all had a chuckle. The parade seemed to go on forever, PFLAG got the usual loud applause and the NSW Police force and gay Bus Drivers of Sydney!!!!!!! It started at 7.45 and finished around 10.45. Sydney turns it on for Mardi Gra night and so it should. The Pink dollar is still running hot and Mardi Gra alone brings about $30 million in revenue to the NSW economy.
February 28thLast day of Summer, and apart from Emerald no real fires. The national parks have had a decent down pour lately, so I think we escaped another fire year.
Australia is on Tsunami alert along the whole coast after the Chile earthquake. Chile quake could of been a lot worse if the epicentre was closer to major towns. They were lucky in one way I guess, still I'm sure the families of the 122 dead don't think so. The epicentre was 70 miles from Concepcion.... far closer to the town of Maule. A few friends thought it was at the heart of the main cities, there would of been a lot more killed if that was the case. After the previous quake Chile had a pretty decent system if another happened, so they were semi prepared, unlike Haiti. The Chile government knew what it was to do. Miss K and myself are thinking the world may well be coming to an end!!! earthquakes, mudslides, tsunami, extreme snow and rain storms.... all that's missing are the locust plagues!!!!!
In the afternoon I Vac the house and dye my hair. A laid back Sunday.
March 1stClay send some the few Tim Finn dates for June: 3 June – Lizottes, Newcastle, 4 June – Lizottes, Kincumber & 5 June – Roth’s Wine Bar, Mudgee. Just these few dates and then he returns for some larger theatre shows later on in the year. The Bic-Dave-Tim tour of NZ went really well, overall a nice vibe and the Live CD is back in the NZ Top 20. 5 times Platinum, it's done well for a live cd.
I call in and see Cromb and Sal, just have a cuppa and chat. Noel signs bits and pieces and gives us some great Enz artwork to use in the Auction. I swap some eggs for nashi fruit. We love that bartering at the open Crombie Market place (their house!). Like Nigel just enjoy the company with Crombie. Good people, not arseholes which is nice.
March 2ndI get our confirmation emails in for Africa, and let management know that we are escaping.
I finish off our company tax for Filthy Rich and drop it into our accountant. That's out of the way, I like staying on top of all that stuff. Had to put details in for my Tim Invoice so some GST back to us on that one I am hoping.
We call in and pick Rosemaree up for Gabes art show, I didn't want her to have to take public transport. We head to The Quarter at 27-31 De Graves Street. It's just around the corner from Vali's old studio and I use to walk here with her for our coffee and cafe sessions. Am starving so we don't wait for Bec, as she is trying to find a park. The little coffee places are packed but we squash in on a booth at the back.
Gabes art show- Oriented (and the way thither....) is at Level 17 Artspace....... 300 Flinders Street, Melbourne (Level 17 in the list at Victoria University). She's done well, her time overseas on the scholarship has done some cool things with the way she approaches her work. We weren't going to buy anything as we are saving for the holiday but I flick a red dot at Item #1 on the list- hell we really need some more art work (NOT). There goes my wages for another few weeks. Oh well gotta support the Aussie arts. People waste money on useless crap every day and I like to buy art.... so be it. Mark rolls his eyes but loves the piece, WE have a new piece of art (hooray).
Great to see Gabe, Tony Skyhook was at the show too- such a nice guy, always a pleasure to see him. We drop Rosemaree off home and forget she has my mobile in her bag. Back at Kalorama at some reasonable hour, a nice night.
March 3rdMonique Brumby sends me a copy of her new album and a really nice letter. I like her stuff a lot so will be interesting to play it.
I spend the afternoon writing out a few questions for the upcoming Craig Hooper Interview. I also book Banshee into the Pet Hotel, they really look after her, and it saves the person looking after Ailsa Craig having to do so.
I chat to Cathy at Royal Brisbane hospital, she sounds down and we don't blame her- she is so brave, probably the bravest of our friends at the moment. Always a joy to talk to our friend, not many people around from those early days, and we three have the same sense of humour- heaven help the world.
March 4thTim Burton's 'Alice In Wonderland' starts today in Oz. In it's three day opening it has grossed around $210 million worldwide (it cost about $200 million) so Disney must be happy. It's also the highest grossing 3D film as far as it's opening in the USA (yes even more then Avatar-it opened with 55 million, Alice-$116 million). The reviews have been very mixed some brutal, especially from the English. Depp and Burton- I know I'll be happy. It's sitting at #1 in the USA. I wonder how many people have taken some E and gone along and seen Alice in 3D- that would be freaky.!!!!!!! I can see what the future will be special drug edition.... that will follow 3D editions. A drug double feature- Charlie & The Chocolate factory and Alice In Wonderland-TRIPPY!!!!!!!
I think I have caught some minor flu or something from the neighbourhood kids- they all seem to have it-and someone coughed on me (urgh!). Go to bed a bit feverish.
March 5thCall my Mum and wish her a great birthday. I'm still feeling a bit 24 hour flu ish so I avoid flying out today and will surprise her on the weekend instead. My Mum doesn't know so it will still be a surprise. Spend some of the afternoon in bed, flu bugs like this I just let my body fight it and catch up on some sleep. I cant find my mobile, in my fluish haze...and at the last minute remember that it's in Rosemaree's hand bag- no idea why she didn't call when she found it. The whole 5 seconds that would take. Still my fault for asking her to mind it- shows where my fevered brain is. I looked everywhere, just glad it is safe.
I watch Queensland receive some record amount of rain...floods and more floods. No Mr Abbott nothing wrong with the worlds weather.... please god may the Tony Abbotts of the world NEVER become prime minister for Australia! He's like an ugly Palin in speedoes!
A restless night but I'm feeling a little bit better so stumble out of bed at 6.30, feed the cat and grab a shower some toast and head off. I have to call into Prahran and grab the damn phone, just glad I did leave early.
As I check into the Valet it starts to rain, I think Melbourne is in for some big storms. My flight leaves on time, I work on Kenya details on the flight. Read a few magazines. I head to Hertz and all their cars are out, but they do give me a brand new Toyota Hybrid Camry . It had about 20 kms on it. Push button start and detectors all around it for parking, large screen GPS and one of those weird foot lock hand breaks. I'm not that fussed as I just want to get on my way. I even use my old GPS as I know it's system, the one in the car was so high tech. I set the address and head off to Craig Hoopers place. Down Freeway 5 and Highway 31. I call in for some food and let Craig know I am 5 minutes away. It takes me an hour or so.
I find the house and he is out in his home studio that he is building. He's great, I can see the Craig Hooper in his face from 25 years ago. It's been that long since I have seen him. These sort of interviews are kind of strange in one way but liberating in others. I also chat to him a little bit about his time with The Reels-as I find that interesting as Mark and myself used to see The Reels a few times live. The interview, some of it will be used for a flashback in the May newsletter and the rest in the Crowdies Ghost Cars book. His daughter is at home and she comes out to the lounge room and we chat. He lets in his 2 huge dogs- one is called 'Spike'. I start laughing, 'do you mean Buffy-Spike' I ask. They both laugh...... so I find out that both Craig, his wife and daughter are all HUGE Buffy The Vampire Slayer Fans..... what are the odds. Like us they have been in it from the start, original fans , well the daughter got into it later as she was a bit too young. I promise to send her a picture of Belinda Bardot in the Sarah Michelle Buffy outfit that we have. He also signed the Mullanes photo which was part of the Auction prize.
As I'm leaving I check out his guitars, really nice -loved his Fender Mustang-- I remember he played this when he was in The Reels...... I think he used Neils gold Les Paul in the Mullanes- anyway nice guitars.
As he says goodbye it starts raining, it smells great out here surrounded by giant Australian gums.... you don't mind getting wet. I lock in the GPS for 'home' and head off down the freeway. 50 K'd later I find the right turn off and head towards the 'Gong. I call into a shop and buy three large armfuls of roses for Mum and some Lillys for Sis. I call Sis and meet her at the turn off near Mums and she goes in first. I park further down the road and sneak up to the house hidden by masses of roses. Their perfume is making my nose twitch and I so want to sneeze. I ring the bell and call out 'Flower Delivery for Mrs Green'. She falls for it and I sing 'Happy Birthday' as she opens the door to sign for the flowers. Good that I can still surprise her. It's stinky humid weather so nice to be inside. We spend the evening chatting and laughing, I even get a half decent foot massage from my Sis...those stick on nails are great for it!!!! We watch the massive rainfall in Melbourne, what a storm. Actually it was only 30mm, Kalorama gets about 55 so a bit hyped. The media tend to make all these storms 'the biggest' these days. I decide to sleep on the couch near the air con. I get almost zero sleep, just too hot- it's almost tropical.
I remember looking at the clock and it was 4.30! I must of nodded off after that.
I hear Mum stumble out of bed so I climb off the couch, it's 6.30-oh joy. I have a quick shower and my dear old mum fixes me breakfast. Sis is awake as well. We all have breakfast together, I rush it down. Say goodbye and jump in the car. They are off to help with Clean Up Australia Day, they have their bags and gloves. The mountain looks foggy and the traffic isn't too bad. I have a small time window to get to the airport, and make it with 15 minutes to spare. I don't have time for the frequent flyer so I stand by the boarding gate area-by fluke it was the area where you line up to board so i was first on. Flight down was boring and another Muffin. Gee exciting plane food.
It's drizzling when we arrive, so I take it slow going home, a few car accidents around me, but I am home by lunch time. I call into a subway near Montrose and an older America couple are buying lunch. They look incredibly jetlagged and the old guy is confused with our Aussie money-he's about 75c short so I politely step in and give them the extra. They are so appreciative, I shrug it off, just want to grab some rolls and get home- it would be a sad day when I couldn't give some oldies some coins. 'This wouldn't happen in America' they say 'Someone would steal the rest from us'- really? I don't believe that I'm sure people would help out these older gen pensioners.... oh well an easy good deed that one, probably left a positive impact for their visit! *GRIN*
It's nice to be home, funny how only a day away and I miss it so much. It's still raining so I go out and wash the car.... using the excess water. I have an afternoon nap. I'm woken by a call from Warrick and Tania who want to know if we are going out with them tonight to a local gig. I'm bushed from lack of sleep so say no...the rain soon starts so happy to stay cosy inside and watch the debut episode of 'V' on Australia TV. We always liked the sci fi 80's version but this one is ok..I guess. It rains most of the night, this is such a great house not even a drop of rain gets in.
Mark tells me about a dozen orders for the 4th diary nook TRIP have arrived so I guess I'll do those tomorrow, when our office is closed.
Monday is a public holiday so the mountain will be full of tourists. The gang at Ranges said they will make sure we have a table for lunch. It's like an invasion and the multi page pullout in the newspaper on the Dandenongs would send thousands up here to eat and shop and wander about. I intend to sleep in, if Miss Banshee allows it.