December 17thA week before Christmas Eve, I'm kind of excited but also a bit daunting as I have 2 huge lists of things to do. Just waiting on my pay from Neil to arrive, always seems so slow from the NZ bank to mine... not liking banks very much these days. I do love my lists, my life would be in shambles without them.
Tried changing my credit card on my airport valet service, what a nightmare.... think it's just easier doing it on the day. Even wading through Qantas's website there is zilch info on how to change it. I've given up on that one. I want easy on such things.
December 18thRosemaree wants to organise mexican for dinner so I let her and Jane decide where and when and they pick tonight. Rosemaree blows it off but we still go, so Jane and the kids & us. It's a really fun night-those damn margaritas! Ends somehow with yours truly in a baby pram..being pushed by Mark, am so relieved Janes photo was a blur. Her kids are great, so well behaved but they still have some spirit. We score a bottle of Gin & Jack for christmas- woo hoo, dangerous! Some single Mums have brilliant kids, really only one we know who has a truly heinous child. So we are lucky.
Watch Dexter when we get home, quite a brilliant episode... and wow Deb fires the gun! Can't imagine where they will go with this next season. So well written.
December 19thMorrissey is in town... a bit excited about tonight, a chance to escape for a few hours. Even if the weather is all gloomy and grey and a bit wet, still it is warm so Festering Hall (opps Festival Hall) will be stinky hot. Great to see that he starts the set with "Shoplifters of the world unite" how cool is that. Marks never witnessed Mozza live so I hope it's a good show.
I manage to dig up my bootleg Tee from his Hollywood Bowl show, it's a bit ratty, so I iron it! Yes ME iron... you know it's an important gig...when the cobwebs are cleared from the ironing board! In my case Ironing Bored!
Pack a few more Ghost Car books, slowed down today, just running out of steam doing these, so a few days off at Christmas will help a lot. Our office closes for 2+ weeks but I'll probably slip in and out and box them every few days just to keep them going out to fans. We open again on Jan 14th. Will be nice not having to deal with masses of emails every day... think i will tweet still at GryphonMusic
There will be a huge gay marriage rally in France on Dec 27th-to show support for the bill in their parliament. Any french fans reading this, we hope you will show your support. You should be able to marry the person you love, it should be that simple. It's almost 2013, gay marriage should not be an issue, those who appose it should fuck off back to their cave. (Go Gryphon-rattle that cage).
We leave in the late afternoon and want to see Greg Skyhook in time for christmas and his birthday (Dec 30th). I am giving him one of my BEX piece s of art ("A good lie down") think he'll like this one.. we arrive right on time, those back streets around East St Kilda always make the drive more easier. Good to see him, we do love the man, a bit of a father figure for us both...we won't tell him that or we'll never hear the end of it(chuckle).
We stay too long and miss dinner, so grab some fast food (unfortunately) can't believe you need a parking stub for the Macdonalds at Elsternwick-ridiculous.
The streets and parking around Festival Hall packed with cars... so I take a risk and park in a residents area, and am relieved later that we didn't get a parking ticket. The show tonight has an all ages area and some open bar area, which means a stupid metal fence is up on the sides. I'm glad our seats were in a different area-who wants to watch a gig with 6 metal bars in front of you... crappy- I felt sorry for all of those who bought tickets in that area.
The guy next to me was obviously a Morrissey fan, and a drunk one, he sang very loudly and off key, occasionally in my ear. I let it go, he obviously loves the man and he was having fun....at least he knew most of the words. We had an exit ramp near us, and as Mozza burst into "You're the one for me fatty" a pregnant woman walked up the ramp - it kind of made me chuckle (sorry). A good gig, not the best, nothing can ever beat the Hollywood Bowl show that I attended.
Still it was brilliant to see him, chuckled as he stripped off his shirt and threw it into the crowd, he must be over his "I'm fat fat fat" fear.. it was a nice last gig of the year and glad Marky enjoyed it too.
December 20thI had a friend get "Alice" from the Brady Bunch to sign a photo as a belated Christmas present. Ann B Davis is about 86? So signs very few, but our Brady Bunch lovin' mate will love this cool gift. I can't believe both Mark and 3 Ducks Wendy did not believe me that Gilligan from Gilligan's Island is dead. We are still chuckling that he got busted with a box of pot that Mary Ann (Dawn Wells) supposedly sent him a few years back... they make such a big deal over some pot. Good grief...sweet little Mary Ann, how much weed was growing on that island, no wonder they never wanted to leave!
Spend the afternoon packing my bag with christmas gifts for our time home at the 'Gong for Christmas. I always make a promise to buy smaller gifts so we can have walk on baggage each year but I always blow that promise.
December 21stWell the world did not end today, can't believe people thought it would. Funny though as I always wonder if so many people thinking that way put out some sort of mental vibe. I looked out the office window and spotted Banshee the cat in the highest branch of a gum tree- I started thinking she might just know something we don't?
December 22ndWendy from QLD sends us an amazing present box. I go a bit strange when we get gifts, I have to find out why it's so hard for me to accept stuff. Some therapy in that one I assure you. Thanks Wendz (and you too Paul).
Rosemaree drops in and we are so happy she loves her present. We went to so many shops looking for that perfect gift... and then we worried she might have it...! She gave me the thing I need the most stamps- so I was very happy.
Belle emails me that her Christmas Angel arrived safely from Oz, the French postal system gave the box a bit of a work out though but the angel survived. A good omen.
I decide to cut the grass around Ailsa Craig and use the ride on mower, as I head down the huge side area, the steering fails , next the brakes go, and I'm heading towards tree and shrubs. Unfortunately they are covered in blackberries so I am scratched and bleeding, and shit it hurts! I decide I have to jump in case it flips and crushes the life out of me. My gym teacher would be proud, the most perfect forward roll, and I roll back up onto my feet. "Tuck that head in Green" ...see kids you do learn something useful at school. The auto kicks in after I eject from the seat and at least the motor stalls as it crashes into the tree... and half flips. Wow..scary. Death by mower is so lame especially at Christmas, really not my style.... gotta go in some exotic fashion! The MCCulloch lawn mower people are going to get a nasty letter methinks.. written in my blackberry blood!
December 23rdA stinker of a hot day but we have 2 really nice visitors. Benny and his Dad on their motor bikes. Of course I can't stop singing "Benny & the Dad" to the tune of Elton Johns Benny & the Jets. (Complete with falsetto moment)...yes we are freaks. So nice to see them, such a hot day so a huge effort. I yap on too much...sorry. Love our jam that was a present..great on the home made bread.
December 24thManage to get Banshee back inside this year before we leave, so for once the only scratches are from blackberries not the cat protesting. A good drive to the airport, so few cars, arrive at valet with time to spare. It's nice not having to line up for bag drop etc, all handled at the valet desk. Into the freaky flyer for some breakfast and coffee. The freaky girl makes Mark a coffee, he's gone awhile, have they eloped?
Flight, grabbed a pillow and cat napped and also read Pete Townshend's WHO AM I book, one of my presents from the worlds cutest boyfriend. Good book, enjoying it a lot. Love that the Danny Fields and Pete Townshend sexual moment(s) get a mention. Danny was always a regular at Max's Kansas City in the good old days. I'll have to find the best Danny Fields memoirs book.. I'm sure he's penned a few....next time I'm in the states I'll see what's on offer. He's worked with some cool people-Jim Morrison, The Velvets , didn't he manage Iggy & the Stooges??? Plus for me the ultimate, he shared that loft n NYC with Edie Sedgwick from Warhol's factory. Someone should put together a very cool movie on him...
The food on the Qantas flight was some lame arse cookie but I did score some ginger beer.
Bag is out fast so we grab our AVIS car and head off to Mark's dads place, high up there on the great dividing range. About 170 kms away. Strangely enough we arrive exactly on the allotted time. Mark said 2.30 and it was 2.31 when we knocked on the door. We stayed for a few hours, which was nice to chill and then head towards the 'Gong. We drive through Robertson and stop at the "Pie Store". Always a great pie at that place.. amazing how a pie and a drink can just recharge you.
Down Macquarie Pass with it's turns and cliff like drop off areas. Rains for a few minutes and the odd waterfall trickles over cliffs nearby. Drop Mark in first and it's great to see his Mum and Allan, such nice people, Margaret's sense of humour is up to speed. I get the ultimate christmas gift, for the first time EVER since I have known her (and I have know them since I was 5) I heard her say the word SHIT! To find a living dinosaur would be less rare. To have a threesome with Brad and Angelina would be easier.....I love it. A classic moment that I will never forget. made me smile all of christmas...thanks Margaret!
I zoom my shiny metallic blue Holden Cruz into Mums drive way, for once I have arrived early so give Mum a hand setting up for Xmas Eve. Only 10 minutes later family start arrivng. Only a few but it's a nice evening, apart from my uncle being a tad nasty & this year I gave a serve back. After all it is Christmas and always better to give then to receive (cough). Mum announces to the relatives that Sis is indeed pregnant , so they applaud-which is kind of cute. I stay up late, Mum crashes so I put a blanket over her on the couch, her cute little dog curls up at her feet. I read in bed till the clock ticks over, can't sleep so pop a pill. ZZZZ is just around the corner.
December 25thI wake up so refreshed, up by 6.30 and cutting up fruit for the fruit salad. Sis arrives and we open presents, Mum watches us like we are still 12 (well I am). Christmas morning is still fun here, Mum makes it that way... but no scary Santa suit thank the goddess. I am spoilt, the latest iPad from Sis, looks like our vow for smaller presents this year fell on deaf ears. We are all spoilt. Christmas lunch is nice and my uncle is much nicer today. So really I shouldn't of poisoned his fruit salad (sorry). Mum has o.d'd with sixpences in her christmas pudding, so many... was worried someone would choke. We visit the Cremo and put flowers on a few of the families graves.
As we head to my cousin David's parents plots I look over and there I spot him. Under a grey sky a lone young man standing over a grave marker, by himself. I'm truly transfixed and his sadness wreaks out of him, he's sobbing and I feel almost guilty having such a lovely Christmas with my family. You just want to go up and pat him on the back...but you don't, a total invasion of a strangers space. My sister says it's probably his wife gone or his boyfriend..and I agree. The vision of this sad man is still etched into my memory, and I know this time of year must be shit for so many people, we all open our happiness flood gates, thinking of ourselves. Still they various charities had to turn away helpers for their charity xmas lunches today, so I guess many do think of others..... as I write this weeks later he's still on my thoughts-weird how it lingers on.
It's a long day for Mum, so once again I'm in front of the tv at 10.30 that night. I flick over to SBS and watch PARIS:THE LUMINOUS YEARS. It covers 1905-1930- Picasso, Matisse etc , truly fantastic loved it. I think of Nick Seymour so I email him to try and see it, think he'd enjoy it-especially the cubism segment. SBS has some brilliant shows... that most aussie's won't see because they are watching reality tv or being inane on Sheepbook. Such wonderful piece of history surface and we dumb out with other shit.
I try to sleep but Paris is in my thoughts.... I get zilch ZZZ's tonight.
December 26thHappy Birthday Banshee...the worlds best cat turns 8 today... and we'll be home soon to be your slaves once more. It's also a very special day for Jennifer & Matthew in America- hope it is truly brilliant, I know already with you two it will be fun. I can't wait to see some photos. Stoked for them both, gorgeous people.
I stumble out of the bedroom, I've somehow forgotten to shave while I've been away so stubble, kind of looks ok but spiky facial hair can be annoying. Mum is awake and god bless her, cooks me breakfast. I head over to Mark's mums and arrive just past 6.00. We say goodbye and head off, back to the airport. A well worn trail that we have done year after year. Drop in the hire car and for once the electronic baggage system works. Some newbie flyers ask how to do the bag tags so we assist them. Freaky Flyer for food, and I check my dwindling bank account on Qantas's Apple computers. I love the freaky flyer zone, still amazed that Mark and myself have it for free for life.
Flight is ok, another cookie and more of Pete Townshends book. Arrive Melbourne 20 minutes early, a strong tail wind behind us....and the 4WD is at the Valet's and they've washed it for us. Thanks guys.
I call into the supermarket on Canterbury Road and Banshee gets a steak for her birthday! We arrive home to find her wandering around the house already. She's happy to see us. We look foolish singing happy birthday to a cat! She meows and sings along. It IS nice to be home.
Dr Who Christmas special was on tonight, it was ok, still not brilliant. Some good moments. It's hard to dislike the good Dr.
December 27thLooks like "The Very, Very Best Of Crowded House" had some very solid Christmas sales. It jumps to #13 (from #20) on ARIA catalogue chart here in Australia. Up to around 100,000 units in this country so I can see it eventually hitting double platinum here. Amazing, considering Recurring Dream is at 13 Platinum. Guess people are still discovering the "House" and their music.
Bek calls in at 12.30, always fun, she's amazed at how many phone calls have came in while she is with us, and how many people are turning up over the next week. It's a bit of as circus here till the new year. We have our office/email closed till Jan 14th so some luxury-especially around the emails. I'm still going to try and get a few dozen Ghost Cars books sent out every day just to keep them moving. It's a hell of a job so don't want to slow down. I decide to extend the Neil Finn/Paul Kelly Contest till the 14th, so people can get last minute entries in. Aussie Post basically shuts down for a week so worried some entries may be stuck in limbo because of this.
December 28thIt's our mate Benny's big 40th! We were intending to jump out of a big cake in our birthday suits, but they are at the dry cleaners and we can't get them back on time... but have a great day anyway! So many Festivals this time of year , Mr Yeti could be anywhere in Australia working, we lose track of him, will have to implant a GPS somewhere on his body (yieks). Think he's off with John Butler playing NSW festivals. Have a excellent 2013 Mr & Mrs Yeti.
Trudi visits, she's busy getting her bunker in lock down mode for new years eve *GRIN*. Some great christmas presents, feeling very spoilt. So many cool christmas and new years cards too, love it when our mates make an effort.
December 29thCongratulations to Warwick & Miss Navine, lots of wedding bells this time of year. Happy wedding bliss to Janet & Steve in the UK too and my little sister celebrates her 5th year wedding anniversary today. All of you ol' romantics. Thanks to Mr Abbott & Julia , many couples can't get married here yet- it will happen.....France will be next wait and see. Think we are protesting going to any future weddings till ALL Australians can get married.
December 30thand Greg Skyhooks birthday, December certainly is a busy month.
The most beautiful days for Melbourne, not too hot, and I picked our first organic tomato today.
The Kookaburra's have returned, with their baby birds. I do give them a small portion of meat, they beat the life out of it like it is some wild snake they have found. The baby kookaburra's are all fluffy.. funny looking. Banshee the cat watched them from the kitchen window. Just intrigued not wanting them as a meal.
December 31stLast day for 2012.... where did it go? A strange year, a bit of a struggle for many. Mark reminds me how lucky we are, and he is right, we are totally blessed here at Kalorama. I need a good slapping sometimes, should be very happy with life, and I am, honestly. Was happy that the cool little Ghost Cars book made the printers, after all this time, and Mark is the one who kept it in motion. Now to get them all sent out!!! People will have to be patient, each time someone emails it takes me away from sending copies, during the time off I'll keep chiseling away at the pile. A big thank you to Deb for keeping the diary floating about on the Net too. [editor's note: you're more than welcome!]
We bought some 2013 sparklers but really when you think of it they won't burn any different to regular sparklers so they won't spell 2013 (DOH) ..so abandoned those for a slightly over made up snap with scribbles on my forehead and hands that I Twittered to people on GryphonMusic. As Mark says "the things you do"... the real effort was removing the waterproof marker off my hands! What a tool I am. So many phone calls around midnight, we really felt the love! Nearly all our friends called from far and wide and local-really nice guys.
So Happy New Year folks! 2013 will be fantastic... and you know I'm never wrong (cough)!
All the best