May 7thPart 1 of "Picnic at Hanging Rock" is on Foxtel tonight. They did a fantastic job, great costumes- I really want Hester Appleyards glasses. The settings perfect, great script, this reboot is pretty damn good! Looking forward to the other 5 episodes. I wonder how much of the "missing chapter 18" will be included. We are thinking about going to the rock on my birthday, in a few days but the weather forecast says rain rain and more rain so don't think it will happen.
We love the Rock, I never hear animal noises while we are climbing, but at times a very soft "Hum" - it is weird. Like some futuristic machine is hidden on Diogenes Mount- building in pressure.
Try to call Andy White but he isn't home, so phone tag. It will happen when it is meant to happen.
Given up on the Kalorama General Store - time to go "Get Stuffed" and will happily give other areas our hard earned money. It really isn't a biggie.
May 8thI call a friend, Mothers Day is approaching and I thought I'd venture to the cemetery with her. Seems like a good day for her to visit her folks grave. No one really likes being alone for such things, so thought I'd be a good mate and go for the drive.
The emails still rolling in around Neil and Fleetwood Mac. They never seem to stop, most are just really general or asking for tour "areas". Still early days, not a lot to report.
I'm a bit shocked at how much Coles Express is shafting the public with petrol prices- 9c more then other places. Bad form Coles, shameful!
May 9thMy Mum sounds a bit flat, so I send her a big bunch of flowers -early. Yes before Mothers Day but I thought today would surprise her and cheer her up.
Happy Birthday to Doug- the mechanical chicken arrives on time, much to the "delight" of everyone. Sometimes it's just fun to post such a present.
I hear about a movie that is secretly being filmed up here. It could well be over but apparently some stage sets remain. So I order up some Indian to pick up at 5.00 PM- and decide to take my good camera to the Olinda Arboretum to take a snap for Maddison, if it's a kids film. I don't know what is being filmed, I'm hoping its Where The Wilds Things Are Part 2.
I park at the Olinda Pool and walk across the road- and spot "JP Parking". I stupidly assume it's JP Productions. Now keep in mind I expect to find some empty stage set. I see a lot of cars parked in a field, and in the distance something in the trees. So I head towards the grove, feeling even sillier as it's just 2 stray kites that have snapped their strings & ended up lodged in the tree tops. I see 7 people walking their dogs, I wonder if they are off for a sticky beak, so I follow them, pretending to photograph weird shaped trees along the way. After several Kms they turn around and head back, once again I feel like a goose. I start to head back and see a lone man with a dog so last chance and I ask him. He says no but as I walk away he remembers seeing buses and some limousines going down the dirt road next to the pool. That must be it, Limousines in a forest, going down a dirt road at dusk. Very Brad & Janet / Rocky Horror Show.
I head back to the car and start my walk down the long dirt road. The Arboretum turns into fairly dense forest and the sun is soon setting. I must of walked maybe 4 kms and no sign of anyone, anything. As I am about to throw the towel in, some lights are approaching behind me, and I go all odd and leave the road and hide behind a tree-not sure why- guilty conscience- no crime to be out walking. I see they turn left down the road, so that must be it, so I pick up the pace a bit. Still not sure why I am suddenly pursuing this, hmm my birthday in 2 days, maybe I just need a mini adventure. Mid life Gryphon crisis? Ha
! As I approach the turn off I see security, so they are not letting anyone in. A roar goes up to my left, so now I know they are certainly filming. I work it out in my head roughly where they are filming and head off road, which is nuts. I have no water, no torch, no ID just my camera pack. Heaven help me if I break a leg . The bush gives way to the most incredible ancient path. You can tell it hasn't been used for decades- apart from animal droppings it's not disturbed by man- impressive flowers are growing - some I've never seen up here before. It is so serene. 5 minutes later I force myself through a bracken wall and it opens to a big valley, surrounded by forest. Floodlights are now on and light up the area, masses of white trucks are on the ridge next to stone monoliths & more security. In front of me a long run of trees , low to the ground and old, climb up the ridge. So a small dash and I'm undercover again. Infiltration or what? (Feel free to play a 007 theme song) .
I walk between trees and the cheers go up again. I sneak a peep and groups are in front of the prop Gallows, cheering. Are they peasants or Apocalyptic Ferals? I turn and see my original entrance area is now cut off by stage people and a security person- now I'm worried amidst some adrenalin. How do I get out? I wait and catch my breath, as daylight fades. Only one thing for it, walk out through the security entrance. I take a deep breath and head out from the trees. There is a table, blankets, some of the feral cast are back so I mingle in with them. A lady stops me- "You are late" she says. I smile" I'm always late" (which is a lie as I'm usually always early). She finds a nice brown outfit for me and adds some rather heinous face make up. "That should do you". Who the fuck does she think I am, an extra? In a movie that I know nothing about, not even it's name. The group I am with are called back for another cheering scene- the Director is now pushing everyone to be louder, wilder- I happily do so.. I think I'm a peasant and I'm revolting (in more ways then one). This is so weird- I hide behind a large guy who is a bit dreadlocked - he's good coverage. Are they filming, or rehearsing? I recognise actress Mia W. in her horse & coach. She starred in Tim Burtons Alice in Wonderland. She looks great. Next off for some food, it is dinner break. I guilt over eating a productions food, so a cup of tea is perfect. people are all chatting , I feel like one of the gang- it's all making my head spin- and I decide I've fluked this enough and need to really exit. I excuse myself to the Loo, attempt to clean my face and return my top. Back to my original plan of front gate entrance. I see 2 people struggling with boxes and offer to help as they walk towards their car. I decide talking while going through security might bluff it enough and really who tries to break out of a movie set? I look at the girl and realise I have seen her before. "Don't I know you?" I say. Turns out she worked for Mushroom Records many moons ago. She tells me to drive carefully as the roads up here are dangerous.
Five minutes later I'm heading back down the dirt road, I find a smaller side piece so avoid the endless return trips of the mini buses for the cast. I'm now laughing like I am absolutely bonkers, hysterical laughter as I walk through the forest road- like a complete nutter- I can't help it, the whole situation was bizarre, oh well I wanted an adventure.
I'm now nearly an hour late for our Indian Food, the owners asks me what is on my face (still some bad make up) .... I get home and still laughing. Mark asks me if I am stoned? I tell him of my adventure- "So I was right, you are a movie star"! I roll my eyes. What a day! Sometimes you just have to cross the line and have some fun. Be brave, be Bold, enjoy life.
May 10thThe fundraiser for the Mannequin is going well, fans are donating a few dollars, it's really really positive. We ask fans to donate a mere $1 , which is nothing in the scheme of things. The club Paypal account is: email@example.com Thanks everyone, this is mighty.
I find out (thanks Wendy) that the production was actually "Judy & Punch". I've read quite a bit about it, the excellent Mirrah Foulkes who penned "Animal House" wrote it. American dollars helps fund it. So it wasn't JP productions, the JP was Judy & Punch- boy how stupid am I.
May 11thOh birthday time again and it's bucketing down. I am so glad we cancelled going to Hanging Rock , it would of been like Niagara Falls with all this rain. It's still a really fantastic birthday, lots of phone calls, emails,cards and awesome presents. Mark makes homemade sausage rolls for lunch so that is just great-YUM! It really was a great day, so many friends calling and making it extra special. I'm cleaning the fire top in the Pool room and wipe the 2 silver elephant candles, that Johnny and Angie Marr gave me for my birthday-way back in 2001. A much cherished gift that ignites the happiest memories. Today is a good day. Open several surprise boxes, one from France from lovely Belle. My Sister and niece and Mum just spoil me rotten.
May 12thWe have about 5 days of rather horrid weather, so the weather man tells us. It's not even Winter and we have used a lot of fire wood . The house is nice and snug and finally my cold has pretty much vanished-good to let my body fight it naturally.
I head out during a break in the rain and pick a few flowers for my friend Rosemaree.
May 13thI'm up bright and early and call Mum for Mothers Day. Good old Australia Post still haven't delivered my Mums Mothers Day parcel- god they suck -snail mail all the way. Still the Mums got their flowers so they are happy. I head to the bakery and grab some pies for Marky for lunch while I am out. Next to Rosemarees and arrive right on time which was good. She gives me some packages of my favourite Pasta for a present-which I am delighted to receive.
We are both surprised how many cars are out, still I guess it's kids visiting parents and taking them to lunch. We arrive at the cemetery where Rosemarees parents are and it's an insanely BIG cemetery. The sun is shining, and it's nice to see so many graves covered in flowers by loved ones. I have a little bunch from our garden and Rosemaree has some. I think about my own Mum and how little time remains, I try to be a really good son, not always easy to do at times , but points for trying eh?.
While I'm walking among the graves I come to the realisation that it would be great for Mark and myself to be buried together- well cremated as we don't want to be worm food. So will have to chat to him and we need to work something out.
We don't stay for long and are saddened by the grave of a very young kid nearby, always seems sadder when children die. It must devastate a family.
Head home and on the way call into the bakery and my good old mate shouts me a coffee & cake- thanks Miss R. A nice morning and I'm happy I suggested this , good for both of us.
May 14thThanks Mark, got to see the amazing Ballet Boyz at Londons Roundhouse. "Fallen" has always been one of my favourite dance pieces. Such a talented troupe.
We grab some lunch at Olinda and are back at the film set. Nice to sit up on the Gallows and watch the fog drift around the trees, the Arboretum where this was filmed is on Observatory Rd and quite aways into the forest. Perfect for movies. I talk Mark for a walk around the site, and I'm figuring a few more days of filming , depending on this horrid weather.
I climb up on the Hamer rock and pose for a snap . People (on line) seem obsessed over the red socks that I am wearing, I have no idea why. I am the King of red socks, they fill my sock drawer.
Sad news that Margot Kidder has died, she was an awesome Lois Lane in that first Superman movie. She had a hard life. I think we were in LA when they found her years ago, in a backyard, dirty, confused -the image always saddened me.
May 15thWe are loving The VEEP - box sets has it stored on Foxtel so we get to see all the seasons. Brilliant show and we can't get enough of it. I wonder if the real Vice president ever watches this show and gets inspired by it. The final season is still over a year away, it will be worth the wait.
I head to the David Jones website and buy a birthday gift for my Sisters husband, he's a really good guy , so happy to get him something decent.
May 16thI notice this diary page just clicked over it's 490,000th reader. Starting to get close to the half million mark, I'm a bit speechless. Thanks everyone.
I had some sad news today that one of our music loving mates has passed away- Michelle Bagot. A lovely woman, she fought the good fight - felt so sad for her daughter who emailed me. Shitty that the good die young. One less Frenz in the world. We've lost a few lately, and all really good people.
May 17thThe Rolling Stones latest tour starts in Dublin today. Impressive that Jagger soon turns 74 and can still work his magic on the crowds. I bet when I'm 74 I won't be as active, maybe it is something I should aim for- being 21 at 74!
Rain, and loads of fog tonight. I take some stuff up to the recycle bin and spot a rabbits foot on the walk way- looks like Mr Fox has been visiting and BYO rabbit for his dinner. I make a note to bury the foot in our Pet cemetery tomorrow.
Our Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon is off to a good start. For the first time I spot Wentworth Miller in Buffy. You know Snart from Legends of Tomorrow. It was the very first tv show he did - the GO FISH episode of Buffy. Mark goes "Oh good spot". We love Buffy, lost count of how many times we have watched the show. Proud to say we have watched it from the very first time it aired, no Buffy come laters here , original fan boys.
Banshee sleeps on the couch tonight, she looked so comfortable on Marks blanket , snoring away, we didn't have the heart to wake her up. Of course she woke me up at 5.00 AM.
May 18thI spend the morning getting the word out to Crowded House fans, that Foxtel-Arts will be playing Crowded House Live at Masonic Hall-NYC from 2007. It pays for fans to keep an eye on all our areas, like the NEWS page at www.frenz.com/crowdedhouse/
Yum Enchilada Friday at our house- a favourite of ours.
May 19thI hear a noise outside at 4.00 and it's a fox walking along the path near my window. He's a handsome devil , he stops and stares at me. All I could d is wave. Banshee must of heard him as she wants to go outside, not at 4.00 little beastie. I keep her in for a few more hours, till the sun starts to rise- and she's so demanding. Cats, they do control us or at least try to do so.
Some wedding on today, my care factor is zero. The Royals are just people, they eat and crap like everybody else. I'll never get the fixation or the hype, guess it sells magazines -royal click bait.
Sad to see Le Mama Theatre in Carlton engulfed in fire, the very early line-up of Skyhooks played La Mama, way back in September 1973. So much talent came from that place- Graeme Blundell, David Williamson, Cate Blanchett etc. What a loss.
We watch the BBCs wonderful Bowie: The Last 5 Years" . Just brilliant, have to admit at one stage I did go close to tears seeing Bowie on our screens again. Such a talent, such a loss. The Bowie Mr Button Eyes always freaks me out. Think i'll have to wrap my face and add some buttons to feel what David felt. Still he was dying so I guess not.
Every day I am chopping wood for our nightly fires, I now have arm muscles, not big Arnold ones, just nice toned . I work on the punching bag every day after I do the axe work. Don't consider it exercise.
May 20thFoggy , misty morning on the mountain. I drive to Montage and catch up with some locals. Montage is our favourite coffee place on the mountain ("Ripe" a close second). It's shop 4 , 1526-1528 Mount Dandenoing Tourist Rd, Olinda. Owner Janet and her excellent staff always look after us. The chairs and tables remind me of The Galleon at St Kilda. A nice relaxed vibe, it's now become our main coffee chill out zone. So if you are in the Hills drop in - it has a nice welcoming vibe.
I arrive early ay Montage so work on some Neil Finn live video for You Tube. Some tourists behind me must of been peeping over my shoulder- they walk past and go "that looks cool" . Oh yeah I say . The locals arrive and lots of laughter and a bit of mountain gossip. It's snug and warm inside and Montague is packed today. The weather certainly hasn't kept people away. The Olinda bakery is just around the corner, so you can grab some rather nice Pies and baked goods- perfect for these almost Winter days. Which is what I do.
Sharon Finns birthday tomorrow. Who knows where the Finns are this coming week. I hope she has a great day, no doubt Neil and the boys will make it extra special. Sending love to you Dawny!!!!
So close to the half way mark for 2018. It really is a strange old year. I keep waiting for something to happen , something huge, something fascinating. My skin tingles as I feel it approaching, whatever "it" is. My life is in the lap of the (old) Gods. Hopefully they will be kind to this wild eyed boy from Freecloud (Wollongong).
Be good to yourself and never let the bullies win.