December 18thI'm waiting on my pay to arrive, hopefully in time for Christmas. Looking good!
Interesting polling- after the SSM grand-standing and the Bennelong win, the Liberals stay exactly the same in the Polls-still behind. You'd think they'd get some spin from it, but nope. 27th consecutive poll behind, and Julie Bishop spotted at the Kmart knife sale! Watch out Malcolm.
Transfer 3 live clips to You Tube, nice to keep the fans happy (big thanks to you too Marky). 851,000 people have enjoyed what we put up so far! Wow! You Tube is so easy, I just wished we'd have a better NBN, the Liberal lemon is appalling up here, so slow.
So sad to hear that Aunty Jack star Rory O'Donoghue died, took his own life apparently. Terrible. How to describe the Aunty Jack Show that was on in the seventies- simply I can't. It was unique. My 2nd tv debut too, the commercial for it filmed at Bulli Pass in Wollongong, I was a VERY young kid , it's almost faded from my memory. I remember standing on the pass with these other extras waving a boxing glove. (Aunty Jack's favourite weapon of attack..well apart from "ripping your bloody arms off"). It was such a cool show, trippy and a pisstake of our glorious Wollongong. Lots of music, including a new anthem for Wollongong. "Wollongong The Brave".
"Lift Up Your
To an Illawarra land
Of Dapto, Port Kembla and thee
What should I say?
Should I just say "G'day"
Wollongong the brave"
RIP Rory, RIP Thin Arthur - you made us laugh till we cried.
December 19thSo close till Christmas, my pay arrives so I've very happy. Thanks Boss! I did find a cheeky chocolate bar and a arty card for the Finns this year. A small gift but hopefully a bit of a laugh from them.
We drive to Upper Ferntree Gully for dinner, but the Flame is closed, which is annoying, so eat elsewhere. I head into the chemist to buy some eyedrops & magnesium and suddenly this loud pounding on the roof. Suddenly the lights start to flicker on and off and people are gathering around the door way. One of the girls at the cash register nearest to the door lets out a cry - her car window smashed by massive hail stones. Our 4WD with Mark sitting in it, is in the parking lot. I drop all my items at the counter and head to the door way. Just in time to see 2 more car windows impacted and smashed to pieces- all small cars. Huge hail stones are bouncing off our 4WD. Adrenalin kicks in, I hold my backpack over my head and run to the car, determined to drive it out of the line of fire. A medium size Ford is next to suffer- glass sprays everywhere, I move the bag to protect my face and a baseball size hail stone hits me on the head- hurts like hell.
I jump in the car dazed, throw my bag at Mark and drive off- it sounds like machine gun fire on our roof. cars are damaged everywhere, I spot a large tree in the Woolworths car park and hoon in. I drive over the embankment and the windows are protected by the tree. I spot some middle aged woman frozen in fear in the car park- grab Marks very sturdy umbrella and run out to her . I get her to her car - she is so relieved. Another hail stone hits my shoulder and I have a huge bruise for a week. Finally it stops. Might as well do some shopping at Woolies, and maybe I am rewarded for helping the damsel in distress- my Woolies card gives me $40 off my shop. Gotta love that.
On the way home there are lightening strikes all over the mountain. Like giant devils pitchforks striking down from the heavens. Ailsa Craig is nice and safe- what a night!
December 20thI see Mr Trumps approval rating is at an all time low. 59% disapproval. He may well be a one term president.
A few cool shots of Skyhooks, Enz and other 70's bands in Abby Beaumont's "When We Were Very Young" (Rock'N'Roll in the Seventies). Plus loads of other bands from that era. Text wise a few mistakes but made up for by the photos. Copies of the book are available from this link:https://rocknrollphotosbyabby.com/payment-details/
Our friend Greg drops in for lunch today. Wonderful to see him- a very enjoyable afternoon. He also donates some more items to the Skyhooks Archives - so they'll stay a part of the bands musical history. A wonderful thing to do, as so many stage items have been lost forever.
December 21stHappy Birthday to Fred Strauks of the the mighty Skyhooks-such an exceptional drummer.
Post some mail at Mt Dandenong while I'm buying some items from the Organic shop. I have a coffee at Montage, the girls never see me "flying solo" -they think it's bizarre. Crowded House is playing, fall in love with "Instinct" all over again. The locals are great, leave me to enjoy my space.
December 22ndLots of Christmas cards today, so nice that people think of us. A lovely one from Shirl Strachans parents, Ron & Joyce always remember us- such lovely people- they must be getting on now. I hope they live forever.
December 23rdWe work in the office till 3.00 and that's it. Closed for Holiday break. Seems like ages since we have had some time off so pushing for 2 weeks. Will be a luxury to be email, private message, sheepbook free till mid January.
I give the car a wash, Qantas valet will vac the inside etc , so it's all clean and shiny when we arrive back from Wollongong.
Mark sets up my new music system in the office, his wonderful present. It is so nice to be able to play whatever I want again. Thanks Marky.
Finish packing my bags, they are full of presents, I really should invest in a sleigh and flying reindeer.
I hear from Sharon Finn which was nice. Hopefully they got my little present on time.
December 24thNot much sleep, and awake early. Miss Banshee looks sad , she knows we are heading off. A quick drive to the airport today, 46 minutes, a new record-lots of green lights. Drop car into the valet parking and they check my bag in, the airport is rather empty. That's a surprise on Christmas eve.
We head to the usual Freaky Flyer Lounge, and hate what they have done to it, some ugly new wall. A bit of photocopying for the band, have some breakfast and use their internet. We board soon enough, and I'm right next to the wing, and it looks rather wobbly today. Some rough weather above Sydney and I'm glad Mark strapped himself in as the plane really bounced.
Avis have my car ready, it's black,sexy and fairly new and we are on the way to Marks dads place. Traffic isn't too bad and we make good time. We are both starving , and our stomachs grumbling by the time we arrive. Marks brother wife etc are over from NZ, so it's a family gathering which is really nice. We ignore that we are now really hungry- even the blue tongue lizard sun baking out on the steps looks like a delicious snack!
We depart a few hours later and head towards Macquarie pass. The few food shops we pass are closed and the endless winding roads of the pass tend to add to the nausea. Arrive at the 'Gong and grab a burger. Christmas eve can wait- we need food.
Drop Mark home to his Mum and they give me a really lovely gift, and a lovely sentiment on the card. I arrive at my Mums and our relatives have already arrived, I didn't even spot my Sis with her new hair colour. Miss MIM see's me and runs out the door and jumps into her Uncles arms. She's growing and as gorgeous as ever. Good to see everyone and it's a nice night. I drive my cousin home and he shows me some of his rather excellent photos from his recent South African trip.
Home by 11.00 and crash into a deep sleep.
December 25thThe usual Christmas day drill- up early and help Mum with the Pudding and then I make the fruit salad. I rush to get it done before Sis and MIm arrive at 9.30 for present opening.
So many presents, every year we say "lets just buy a couple of things" and my generous sister goes crazy. Maddison is having a ball , and Mum is speechless when we wheel in a huge new tv for her, good because her eyesight keeps failing. MIM loves her Wonder Woman outfit and I slip on the old bat cape and cowl-much to her giggles. We terrorise the household.
Christmas lunch , is fun, my Mum manages to drop one of the baked chickens (lucky we have spares) much to the laughter of all. I become slave. Washing up, serving etc.
I drive Mum and MIM to the crematorium to put flowers on the graves . Mum too fragile to walk about so just Maddison and myself. MIM asks about the various deceased relatives, as only a 4 year old can do. So I tell her little stories of them all as she cleans the markers and helps put roses on their graves.
Afternoon I teach MIm how to use a skipping rope, which is fun to be part of. She picks up fast and both of us double skip together. She wears her old uncle out. I pack my bags and that includes Marks presents from the family. Maddison bought her Uncle Mark a R2-D2 coffee plunger (press) - so funny and so cool....plus some orange BB's which he loves. All out of her own money-so sweet.
While the evening siesta is on, I start reading Derek Rielly's "Wednesdays With Bob" book. A present from Sis, a little book on the one and only Bob Hawke, Australia's 23rd and oldest living PM. What a great read, I devour half of it by the afternoon and decide to save the rest for the various flights I'm about to take. We have lunch leftovers for dinner, so much food, we never waste it. Chat to Mum and we are both nodding off, so an early night. I awake a few hours later with a desire for organic cherries, which I know are in the fridge. So a snack and read some more, till midnight.
December 26thNext thing I hear is Mums voice-"what time do you need to leave"? . It drags me out of a deep sleep, ok a tad stillnox sleep - flow morphia slow, let the sun and light come streaming, into my life ( thanks Richard O!).
Just want toast , and no shaving cream so I have several day old stubble . I head off to grab Mark at 6.30 am.
We wave goodbye to Wollongong and possibly I got caught by a speed camera, my fault, thought it was a 110 zone but only 100 , so that might suck. Maybe not if I am lucky. Check the bag in and food at the FF. Time is rushing by today, we are on the plane and in the air. The Qantas snack was yummy- which is rare. I wade through photos on my camera, anything to waste time. Arrive Melbourne early, my bag is out first and Qantas valet have my car in A1 spot -so out of the airport within 15 minutes.
The Boxing Day sales are on and cars are lined up everywhere. The Bell street exit ramp has changed so I have to detour via the city , but still on track to get home by 12.30. We call in for some lunch and some grocery shopping and finally back at Ailsa Craig. We sing Happy Birthday to Banshee as she is a teenager today-13 years old. She is so happy to see us. We hug her and she is purring and even louder when she gets her birthday treats.
Unpack bags, more presents. Check with our security people that all went well (it did) only the security guy shows up on our various monitors.
Settle in to watch the Dr Who Christmas special, and it's a beauty. It's been awhile since the Xmas Special has actually been special and this one we loved. A nice way for Peter Capaldi to bow out too. Loved David Bradley as the first Dr -he gives a great Hartnell impersonation.
December 27thI am awake early which is annoying as I would of loved to sleep in. I water the vegetable patch, pick a huge container of beans and some lettuce.
I send a parcel off to Brian Mannix, as he is doing a favour for me, such a good bloke.
The hot weather has arrived, our house, so gloriously cool. When it starts getting warm we finally put the air con on, a nice chilled 16 in the lounge room.
We start watching Twin Peaks -The Return on Bluray and it really is awesome.More bizarre then the original - we love it.
December 28thHappy Birthday to our mate Benny!.
Back to the airport again for a few days away for work. The drive always feels longer when you've only just driven it 2 days prior.
I put our friend Michelle B's present up in the art room. No more room in the house for art, it looks fun in the art area. Cool!
Slowly reading the WE GOT YOU book (thanks Girls) so many stories it's excellent but after a year of Finn stuff, to read stories on NF during my break is doing my head in, think I need to wait for the right moment to finish it. Great that it has happened, such a worthy release.
December 29thWork work work, busy as all hell. All goes well.
Finns are rehearsing, the Neil and Liam dates are coming up fast. Only a handful of NZ shows not sold out (a mere 4) -the lads are very excited.
Don't Miss Out. https://www.neilandliamfinn.com/tickets1.html Good luck Sis with the special day event!!!!!!
December 30thHappy Birthday to Greg Skyhook .
Not sleeping too well, be glad to be back in my own bed soon.
Loved Jim Jarmusch's GIMME DANGER a film on Iggy & the Stooges. An excellent Blu-Ray (thanks Marky)... I do enjoy Iggy Pop, he's a survivor. He has amazing eyes and looks sexy in a dog collar.
December 31stTraffic not too bad and home by 10.30 am. Miss Banshee wanders down the walk track to greet me, as does Marky. Another year is coming to an end, a few positives this year but I don't think I'll miss 2017.
Wendy C's excellent Ginger Essential Oil bath fizzer was exactly what my well worn body needed-thanks girl! xxx
Spend an hour Archiving, cleaning, cataloguing some band items. OK I love doing this, you get to see all those cool stage clothes close at hand. Thankfully I haven't picked up any oddball perversions around Archiving, like sniffing the clothes!!!!! Ha!
A beautiful day in Melbourne town, lets hope the weather holds for New Years celebrations. Our mate Claire calls and drops in with armfuls of presents. I've baked some very special cookies, and a few corona's and of course a pre- NYE photo session among the Dandelions. A fun afternoon and a nice way to end the year.
It's great that the Victoria State Government has made the trains free tonight-6am to 6PM so families can get public transport in to see Melbourne's fireworks. Sydney & Melbourne always great fireworks shows.
So another year comes to an end. Strange moment for the diary as we have had exactly 40,000 readers this year. EXACTLY 40,000-freaky! .
Happy New Year everyone, especially you Debbie Levitt! [editor's note: Thank you, couldn't do it without you. :)]
May 2018 shine!