November 1stI run to the mail box and post Kevins birthday card so it will get to him on time. You never know with Aussie Post, sometimes really fast, other times as slow as a snails ball sack! I sent a birthday gift to a mate in France, and 4 weeks later still no show. Painfully slow. I still love sending and receiving cards - I love the effort, I love that people get us and find the perfect card. I don't do E-cards. I try to be polite about them but I find them cold and to "instant". I'm an old fashion kind of guy (as Tim Finn once said).
Big thank you to Kevin S in NZ for the chocolate that arrived today. What a nice surprise, all the way from N.Z.
We are feeling worn today, we both are, too many parties and Halloween moments. I should be napping but hopeful that Montage coffee and some snags on toast will give me a bit of a charge. I lean into marks arms in our kitchen, almost like a slow waltz , but really it's just him holding me upright. We certainly have been burning the candle at both ends.
November 2ndMisty rain outside. All the wild roses blossoming , they circle the stone Gryphon statue like a crown of thorns but with pretty flowers. Gryphon is King.
I have a big phone chat with Alison. She's been part of our life for what seems like ages. Thanked her for a comment she made about someone years and years ago, she was right. I should of listened to her instincts. I forgot to tell her that her friends old restaurant is now called "Mister Greens"- we'll have a chuckle around that one. I want to call up and book as Mr Green.
We set up a little film area in the guest bedroom, mainly because it has great curtains as a back drop. We were not going to film tonight but at the last minute went what the hell lets go for it. I give up trying to do this off the cuff and am laughing way too much- Mark is so professional, and of course that makes me laugh even more. I'm so desperate to get this done, I scrawl out some "cheats". It's only meant to be 5-7 minutes in length but we use 1.5 hours worth of tape. God I suck at this. But 40 years in Melbourne is kind of awesome, so we both get the job done. Now poor old Mark has to wade through this mess. He really is incredible, I would be absolutely lost without him, I hope he knows how much I appreciate his efforts. I'm a lucky guy.
November 3rdPeter and Mark #2 bring in their new pup Rhubarb to Montage and he is such a cute doggy. A little baby dachshund. He seems to like me, and I wonder if Miss Banshee will smell puppy on me when I get back , if so I really will be in the dog house.
I am playing phone tag with Leanne in Perth. I'd like to say we both have intense social lives, which is why we keep missing each other , but it's really bad timing on my part.
November 4thThe Tarantula that I bought MIM is not working, don't you hate that, will have to take it back. Maybe I'm not meant to give a giant robot spider to a 6 year old as part of a stocking stuffer. ?
Thinking about our friend James Freud today, he's been gone 9 years. Fun memories, and fun working with him too , we'd only re connect every 4 or so months but it was always fun. Thankfully, by accident I ran into him at Prahran, only a few weeks before he passed away and it was a joyous moment- we ended up catting over coffee for what seemed like forever. I'm playing the Breaking Silence limited edition in our office today. I've been chatting with people on FB about him. I'm glad so many still care about James.
I noticed quite a lot of the people suspected as being the Zodiac killer have died of heart attacks? is that strange? Maybe not?
November 5thPublic holiday today.
I clear the post office box and find this awesome hand made Halloween card from Jan Mc. It's a keeper, she is so very talented.
Mark surprises me with Debbie Harrys book "Face It". It looks magnificent, and the images are perfect. Excited to get this present.
November 6thI send off for my Sisters extra special Christmas present. Only Marky knows what it is. I give my sister 50 guesses but so far she's not even close. It's very cool.
We head out as I wanted to cut off a small tree limb so the Wollemi Pine can continue to grow skywards. What was a 30 minute job, becomes 4 hours, as we just kept on working in the yard. I used my climbing rope and safety glasses , I went a bit high up but know my limits so enough was enough. So now we have some big burn pile. The worlds biggest haystack. Finally feeling our age, we slump against each other on the couch. Sweat covered, dirt covered, oh it's good to have a blokey moment.
November 7thIt's one of those days where I love being in the art room and garage. I look about and 101 little things that need doing. Some are fun, some are boring as bat shit. I have the phone with me and Nigel from the Enz calls , so we chat for awhile. We always end up talking about music or animals and every so often a dickhead politician. I'm glad he lives so close to us.
We are drinking quite a bit of sunraysia Pomegranate juice, don't like the taste but it's packed full of potassium so we suffer it.
War of the Worlds Part 1 is on. It's ok but I wish there was more sci fi and less drama in it.
November 8thLots , I mean LOTS of tree parrots arrive at lunch time , all hoping for a feed. They are fun to watch. Andy the kookaburra doesn't like them , cramps her style. She nudges a few off her area.
I send a message to our friend Belle, it's her birthday. I'm annoyed that her present hasn't arrived yet.
I sneakily put our "40th Anniversary" video up late tonight. Suddenly my You Tube page comes alive and people start checking it out. Mark did such a good job considering how terrible I was.
November 9thHappy Anniversary to us. What an absolutely brilliant 4 decades it has been. It feels magical, almost blessed at times. Thinking back we really did squash a lot into those 40 years. Plenty of adventures coming up I assure you. Thanks for being part of it (yes YOU dear reader).
Playing one of our rare Skyhooks live in Brisbane (December 1975) CDs, total aussie fan hysteria. Girls fainting everywhere, cracking up as the mighty 'Hooks take the absolute piss out of the Bay City Rollers. Sooooo funny.
John and Alvin steal me away and drop me home. Nice.
November 10thThe phones are running hot today, we've had calls from so many friends. By midday Mark tells me to put the answering machine on. He should get upset if no one bothers to call. (:
November 11thIt's funning riding the bus through the Hills and at 11.00 am -2 minutes silence. Nice the few on board and the bus driver paused on this Remembrance day.
I head to Karwarra nursery to buy todays native plants, and guess who forgot that they are close don Mondays. You'd think living up here for 14 years I would remember such things. But alls not lost, I sit under a tree at the oval and have a 30 minute meditation session. After that some kick boxing stretches, which must of looked weird to passers by.
November 12thToday is boring, all I do is mow mow and mow- the various lawns, the ridiculous nature strip, around the fountain area, in front of the office, the east lawn the west lawn, even the centre of the circular drive way. I should shut up and be so bloody grateful that we have such a gorgeous property and such amazing lawns and gardens, we could have some crappy concrete tiny nothing area. I need to stop mowing and just take in all the beauty (and shut the fuck up).
November 13thI try again to get some plants from Karwarra and success it's open. I buy some tubulars of Grevillea Paruula and Grevilea Coconut Ice. Small shrubs. While I'm here I go get lost in their exceptional native garden. The red fruit is growing on the broad leafed palm lilly (yum). Lots of little honeyeats are flying about - it's such a calm place.
I'm at Montage and Mary arrives and we hang out with the locals for awhile. A few moments crack us up and we laugh our arses off. Just locals today so we can misbehave. It's a really nice group and what a wonderful vibe.
Pell gets to go to court to explain why he should get an appeal. I hope the vile grub croaks it in jail. Throw away the key, I say. Time the public called the Church out on it's child molesting priests.
Watch Britannia Season 2, great first episode. What a wonderful show.
November 14thWe head to St Kilda for a bit of Christmas shopping and a day out. The black shiny beast of a car seems to have a mind of it's own today and somehow secures us free parking for many many hours. It's great to be back on Acland street and we are ready to Christmas shop. We call into Readings , it's still such a great store. One of the Frenz we know works in the shop, so that was nice to say hello. We fill up 2 bags with books- one I fall for totally- the "Little People, BIg Dreams"... David Bowie book. It's for kids and Ana Albero's illustrations are wonderful. I grabbed this for Maddison, introducing her to David Bowies music at Christmas. I buy a box of cool glitter make up too so MIM can have some fun making us all into Ziggy Stardust!!!!! Mark spots a book he'd love so I secure that plus 6 others. Next we go into Urban Attitude, nice to see it still exists. A few fun goodies, and the BEST shop lifting sign. A picture of Winona Ryder and under it "Put it back Winona. Shoplifting is a crime"! Fantastic.
In and out of stores, I bump over a display at Karma (does that mean I have bad Karma?) . Chakra had cute felt slippers, very jeanie like, so scored some of those for someone special. Mark buys a book from an international charity store which was nice of him. I buy soap! We spot Acland cakes across the road, delighted it is still here , the good old Monarch. Baked cheesecake and coffee for us in the tiny back room, just like the good old days. This kind of goes on for hours, we visit a lot of stores, most very happy to see us spending. You can tell Australia is in a very average way, the public certainly are not spending money. So it's up to Mark and myself to kick start the broken economy!
Some crazy amount of hours later and we finally arrive home, in the dark and carrying far more presents then Santa could ever handle! What a fun day.
November 15thWhile the weather is ok and our vibe strong, we grab our Christmas list and head to Eastlands. There is something fantastic about shopping early for Christmas, no crowds and still plenty of bargains. I'm excited that Ishka has 50% off everything, even marked items. So a few presents for relatives were grabbed and a new pair of mirror sunglasses for myself. I'm in a bit of a grot mood today, not sure why, but the last thing i needed was the woman at the register to keep stuffing up. She was hopeless. At first I was nice and patient, the second time, I just ignored it , the third and fourth times it had become a bit of a joke. How will she be at Christmas with those massive crowds. Some people simply should not work in retail, this lady was one of them. I can't even remember the name of the shop. I was happy later when i found a little shop that had my jars for the homemade chutney and blackberry jam , 2/3 less in price. I bought every bottle they had. I wish they had more, still need a dozen or so. So lets all pray my tomatoes grow and some blackberries appear otherwise I'm going to have cupboards full of empty jars. Mark ticked the final present off his christmas list, well apart from whatever absolutely incredible thing he is buying me. (Ha!).
The classic moment for today was walking into JB HI Fi and they were playing Skyhooks over the store PA. Something a bit naughty hearing "You just like me cos I'm good in bed" bursting out of the speakers , even funnier to see JB customers singing along. Finally JB playing something we actually enjoy in the store. Hurrah. I move the Skyhooks cds to some prime spot- hey it's one of our bands, we go the extra yard! Long live the 'Hooks. A guy was looking in the Crowded House area at the Deluxe Editions. "Are you Peter Green" he asks? usually i say No! But i didn't and fessed up. "I have 3 of the Deluxe cds and really liked your written piece in the debut booklet" That made me smile. he asked me what he should buy next from the set, I suggested "Afterglow"! Nice bloke. Shout out to you Edward on the diary as promised.
We wave goodbye to Eastlands, happy to have some of this shopping done. Both of us are feeling tired, but remind ourselves we won't have to do it when the last minute Christmas chaos is underway. We call into our fave Pizza place and grab some groceries. I spot some little 187 ml bottles of Yellow Tail wine for Xmas boxes. Pinot Grigo and Sauvignon Blanc. Perfect. Tick, tick ,tick nearly done.
November 16thIn the morning I'm at Montrose Craft Market, a lady tries to sell me her chutney, which is funny as I'm making my own very soon. I had a taste, didn't have the heart to tell her mine is way better. A few people at the market, very few buying things.
Miss MIm has her piano recital at her school today. We have to keep reminding ourselves that she is just 6 years old. I know how biased we are but she blew everyone away including her family. So confident and off she went, played her gorgeous heart out. Sis and myself think she has inherited the music gene from our grandfather. He could play pretty much everything. We are really proud of you Maddison.
Mark and myself work in the yard today, I strip down to my shorts and work up a sweat , while we cut, clip, break, bend, burn, saw, and swear at the ivy, blackberries and some feral plants. We end up with huge haystacks (again) and they are set a light.
November 17thI awake to find that our little 40th Anniversary piece on You Tube has had 1001 viewers already. I expected maybe 300 , so a thousand is absolutely fantastic. The nice comments continue to arrive, thanks everyone it's nice when you work on something and it's appreciated. Big thanks to Mark.
I'm in the garage and art room today, working away on a long list of little things. I repair the recycled wooden christmas tree , and decide it can go up near the back entrance to our property. Next week i'm adding little micro lights to it , so it can be lit at night. I certainly do have the Christmas spirit at the moment.
I have to pull my finger out and write a piece on Mark and myself for an upcoming book. It's an honour to pen something for it, and an area that we rarely don't touch on publicly too much , our relationship. No doubt there will be more mentions in the diary further down the track.
Lots of happiness to all of you