June 29thI tick another chore off the list- fixing the numbers on the back gate. It's faded on the 2 enamel plates- so I make 2 templates and respray the numbers. I find if I add the copper spray over the black it works- a really nice copper finish. The odd delivery van gets lost up here so it's good for them to be able to spot our house number. Just two things left on this list and it's really hard to get motivated to get them done today. One is climbing a decent way under the house, to the really really enclosed tiny area - so a bit of freaking going on for me. These dead vines that somehow grow up into the wall need to go, a fire hazard. But of course they are in an area where I can just fit. I will do it but I have to be in the right mind set.
I think I had too many Chico jelly babies last night. I'm feeling a bit 'urgh' today. I remember when we first got to try these, a cross promotion for Chico and the man tv show from 1974. You got a "buy one get one free" coupon and a seventies iron on for the show. That was all the way back in 1974 , what a year. Skyhooks release the mighty "Living in the 70's", Split Enz hadn't crossed the ditch yet to Australia-they were busy with the Buck-A-Head concerts at His Majestys in Auckland. The other lollie about to have a name change are Red Skins, which Mark and myself never quite liked the taste. I always wonder if Allens are being sincere about these product name changes, after all they've existed forever and no one ever moaned about them. Where are all the people on their soapboxes asking for a name change during those times. I'm not saying stopping racist "branding" is a bad thing but i do question the financial motives and the timing. Does this mean re-runs of 'Chico and the Man' will be banned because he is called Chico? I'm not sure about other Australians reading this but I can't ever recall anyone being called a Chico or a Red Skin in this country, sure plenty of other racist comments but never those two.... and whats next -Coon chesse? Chico Rolls, the list goes on. Meanwhile Indigenous people are dying in custody but hey we've renamed some Jubes so we've done our bit. Well my rant is over for the moment.
I'm cleaning up my desktop and found a handful of cool super rare MP3's. The gorgeous "Heatherdine" by Split Enz, Tim Finn on vocals. "Heatherdine...no beauty queen". I wish they'd record this one. Still the simplistic beauty of this rough is probably one of the reasons why I love it so much. 30 minutes worth of The Ninnies having a play in their room in the Uk and other fun stuff.
A big jump in the Covid 19 infections today in Victoria ; still they have tested 100,000 more people over the week so with those numbers no surprise. A second wave- 75 new infections, I guess countries like America would kill to have a mere 75! I do like the main Victorian medical officer-Brett Sutton. I feel we can trust him.
June 30thThe last day of June, I really need to look at our tax. Probably zero to pay but need to get it in. We have a really cool accountant. Nothing seems to phase her, just gets the job done. I think she thinks we are weird as I'm ok with paying some Tax- a lot of people do everything they can to avoid it. Especially at the moment when Australia is basically bankrupt. Trying weighing our AAA rating up against our Trillion dollar National Debt! In reality we probably are a ZZZ rating!
We enjoyed the first episode of McMillions. The 6 part true crime documentary on the McDonalds Monopoly scam that happened between 1989 - 2001. Amazing really and so brash. Worth checking out.
I head off and pay the Gas bill , nice to get that "pay on time" discount via Origin. I also call Mum and my Sister, poor old Sis is in the wars - she woke up and couldn't breathe, thankfully all ok now. I do worry and especially being so far away. It was nice and reassuring to talk to her.
Markys birthday in a few weeks time, normally we'd be celebrating it up on Magnetic late July but for the moment the Qld borders are still closed. I do miss our island paradise.
My day started with a very strange dream, just before I woke up. One of my old surf gang , walking along with me. We arrive at this rustic white painted wooden bridge-on one side the sea rolling in, on the other a lake. "This is my quiet spot" he tells me "You should join me". My Surf mate is no longer with us, so for the moment i certainly do not want to join him in the afterlife. I remember we walked past 6 other surfies, and I bumped into one- on purpose-no idea why. So a bit of a boring dream, but very calm, I'm still not sure as to why it appeared in my head. Because it was so close to my awakening- I remember it clearly and even now 5 hours later it remains very clear in my memory. My surf mate looked happy and healthy- we both had boards, mine the wonderful seventies tangerine shorter board. I could actually feel the wax under my hands- how odd is that? It left me a tiny bit melancholy- and maybe i should be thinking about those no longer with us a bit more. While dreaming it, I knew that it was a dream. I just went along with it, to see what was going to happen. Next minute Miss Banshee climbs on me and wakes me up with a very loud MEOW!
In the afternoon we decided to replenish the wood supply. Ailsa Craig always seems to provide for us - Mark finds 3 medium size fallen tree limbs, so we set the sawhorses up and chainsaw them into fire ready sizes. This should be enough to get us past the end of Winter. If we are lucky even a few dozen logs that can dry out till next Winter. We've never had to buy firewood-well unless you count the Kindling for Cancer bag I purchased from charity. Fifteen years and never had to get any delivered, we are so lucky.
July 1stAnother early morning dream for me, this one just before I awoke. I've never had a dream with Tim Finn in it before. We were at some ancient rickety wooden amusement park that had a stage and Tim Finn decides he must sing. I'm sure it was some lingering thought, left over form playing "Heatherdene" a few days ago-as he sings the song live. The funniest moment happens when 2 old metal doors swing open and Tim emerges in a metal cart similar to the ones on the Cha-Cha or Ghost Car rides at carnivals-it's painted in butterflies and Tim is belting out a tune. Just bizarre and I start to laugh- and suddenly awake. Trippy or what!!!!
A parcel arrives while I'm in the shower and at long last the new smoke machine and lasers. Of course we will have to test these out tonight (wink) just to make sure they are working. I'm at the payphone and having a chat with Wendy. Sadness is everywhere and not just Covid related. A belated birthday card arrives from my friend Stephanie in the USA. It has these awesome John Lennon stamps on the front which makes it extra cool. Thanks Steph!
Several Melbourne suburbs are now in lockdown, so far we have escaped being one of them, only a matter of time says Mark. I fear he is correct. I head out and buy a few groceries- just to stock up. I use the Internet at Montage as our phone & Net are still down.
A sad report that states Koala's may well become extinct in NSW by 2050 unless the state government acts. The recent bushfire were the tipping point- not good news at all. At some stage, weather permitting I need to start checking out the local Koala population that is hidden away up here on Mt Dandenong. It would be good to check on their health and that there are still enough food sources for them.
I make some extra nice spiced lentil vegetable soup. Mark hates lentils so this batch is just for me.
Late afternoon and I head to the Art-Room to work a bit on the Mars volcano landscape for MIMs space moment. I just need to define them- and to make therm a bit more 3D under the smoke and strobes. Thank god we have some extra red earthy house paint-perfect for the job. I hand dry it using the trusty blow dryer. Next i set up the S700 smoke & laser machine and even the mini 10W strobe. I take a few shots with the el cheapo art camera. Very happy with the result- especially the main volcano that suddenly has ridges and micro fire lava type definition. The strobe does my head in, so turn that off and just stick to subtle smoke and some red laser. Mark walks in and gives me the "new toys" look. I just smile. Oh yeah! I have to remind myself that this is a 10 minute moment for a 6 year old so whatever we create is going to be appreciated. It's not some massive production for the Victorian Arts centre , still I do like it that we make such an effort.
We are still watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer , every episode, only 2 seasons left. It holds up well, all these years later. I love that we got into Buffy the first moment it aired- no Buffy come latelys here. The rest of the night , documentaries on the National Geographic channel. In bed by 1.00.
July 2ndI'm trying to prevent some Log Cabin Fever around Markys so decide today would be ideal to have lunch at Montage. Just an hour or so out and about. We watch the Council working on all the natural drainage areas up here, I'm hoping these use all that rich soil and tree drop compost for Parks - so nutrient packed.
Astrid is at Montage so excellent coffee. Remco makes us some healthy burgers for lunch. I have my laptop with us so we order some groceries on line, less time at a supermarket during Covid the better. The phones & net are still down at Kalorama. But we are dealing with it. As we sail past our 100th day in lockdown, it's bizarre to see the situation getting worse. You can see it in peoples eyes, checking out others, that jerky step back movement. I think Mark cleared his throat and you could hear peoples necks crack as they swung about to see who 'coughed'. America goes from worse to worse- the USA would kill to have the small infection numbers that we do. 520,000 dead worldwide. It just becomes a number, which I hate. All of it becomes that- infected and dead , infected by area, by age by country , these are people with families and friends.
Home and Banshee is really fussing over us, she now thinks it strange to be alone in the house even for 1 hour. She follows us about cat talking, asking where we have been. A few "into temptation" cat treats calms her down.
I bite the bullet and head under the house to remove the blasted dead vines. I rarely ever see spiders, and not many spider webs. We know a large blue tongue lizard occasionally lives underneath as the soil is almost desert like. I'm ok with him being there with me providing he doesn't decide he wants to bite me. I'm happy that the final thing is off the list. Now I can throw it away and make a new one tomorrow.
July 3rdAnother weird dream just before I woke this morning. To do with Crowded House and Dame Edna. I never dream of the Crwodies but was happy Paulo was in it and smiling. Banshee must of been watching me dreaming, as she got close to my face and let out a meow. (again).
Off to Montage to use their internet. The day started nice but the weather changed and suddenly bucketing down. Good to see Mark #2 and Andrea today. Limited numbers allowed again so it was full to the legal capacity. I have a second coffee as I know Mark is at home and unpacking the grocery delivery. Most of our Woolworths stuff arrived, so the hoarding isn't as crazy as before-well not yet. Plus Woolworths gave us another free delivery which is fantastic.
July 4thMark installs the Fraudband today-yes the NBN has arrived at Kalorama. Thankfully 95% of it works, just no incoming calls- but that's due to the communication lines being cut on the mountain-but everything else a'ok. Our internet about 10% quicker which is still crap but any improvement I guess is a positive. We both expected it to be an absolute failure so happily surprised.
We spend most of the night watching the Eden-Monaro ByElection. Covid has made this a very strange election, huge gaps in the counting, something like 100+ tables and people having to follow social distancing while doing the count. By the end of the night Labor is just ahead. Which is an incredible job by Kristy McBain. Keep in mind that this is basically a blue ribbon Liberal seat and recent boundary changes making it even more so . I have a good feeling about this one, a Labor win in the next few days? I was absolutely shocked at how vile Liberal Sussan Ley was on the ABC panel- such a negative nasty old bag. There was no need for most of the shit that she went on with, totally crapped all over the Liberal name that was for sure. Morrison needs to take her aside and give her a boot up the political arse.
Homemade lasagne and homemade apple pie for dinner. I wish I had an apple tree, I do so need to plant one.
July 5thWe watch IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS -an observational documentary following a young Arrernte aboriginal kid called Dujuan as he grows up near Alice Springs. I'm both fascinated, and saddened by it in parts. I'd love to learn one of the indigenous languages at Uni. Apparently seven are taught. Arrernte is probably the one i'd go for.
We clean up the old phones, routers etc in the office, all obsolete now that the NBN has been fitted. Plus a good excuse to give it a bit of a dusting. I've shredded some old paperwork too. Over the next 6 months I'm going to work my way through everything! Sooooooo much!
Great to see Kristy McBain claim VICTORY for Labor. Of course the Liberals won't say she has lost, pretty much impossible for her to overtake McBain and the preferences keep flowing to Labor too. Kotvojs just needs to show a bit of dignity around this and admit she has lost. Of course the Liberals keep trying to spin this the other way , talk about sour grapes.
July 6thThe NSW-Victorian borders close on Tuesday. Covid 19 secondary outbreaks in Vic. Not surprising as the amount of testing in Victoria has been triple compared to everywhere else. We are fine, our postcode is not one of the lockdown areas. We call our mate Trudi as hers is. Still she likes her "me" time so she will fly through lockdown. It must be a worry for those who are not good around the lockdowns. If the numbers jump again tonight , I dare say the state government will re-inpose stage 3 restrictions.
Up to the final season of Buffy. What will we do now? Next year is the 20th anniversary of "Six feet Under" tv series. I'd love for them to release a BluRay box set. I'm still shocked it has never been on bluray.
Butter Chicken for dinner tonight, so a little bit of Indian to warm our hearts and soul.
July 7thI had good intentions of getting up early and having a short bus adventure to Montage for a coffee and breakfast. I fell asleep again, awoke with a start , ran into the shower, turned around 3 times and considered that awake up wash. Grabbed my laptop and just made the bus. Good to see Kim and we had a chat and laugh. It's been awhile since we caught up. The weather suddenly turned and grey clouds arrived. Apparently the mountain will be hit with a lot of rain towards the end of this week. Guess it's coming across from Western Australia where the lower parts of WA have had a large soaking.
I have our phones on speaker while I'm waiting to speak to someone at Telstra around a credit for when our phone lines were down. Talk about having to fight to get every cent back, lucky I'm patient and can type the diary while waiting.
Mark has to add chrome to order Woolworths online , you can see the hoarding buying is happening again as the website gets swamped. We manage a delivery order just in time as the delivery days and times fill up before our eyes. One of the Woolies stores is locked down because of a staff member outbreak. I'm rather happy NOT to visit a supermarket for the moment. I do feel safe at the IGA at Olinda, not many people and they always seem to be cleaning it. It's a very odd world we all live in. Still i'd rather be here with our 100+ deaths to living in America with it's 135,000 and a President that pretends Covid 19 doesn't exist and people are not dropping dead around him. I'm sure the families of the dead think his attitude is fucked. 191 cases in Victorias second wave so parts of Victoria will be in lockdown again. Whatever keeps people safe, I'm fine with that. So back to Stage 3 again. So only out for work, food, exercise or medical care.
July 8thI thought i'd venture out today and support a few local shops before the lock down hits, I know a few of them will do it tough over the next 6 weeks. I head to Butlers and buy this cool little pair of antique scissors. They will be part of a little birthday box for a friend. The sun is actually shining, so I just stand on the spot for 10 minutes and soak it in, mentally healing! Today was the last sit down at Montage before the 6 week lockdown #2 happens. Pete, Adrian, Barry , Caroline & Alex. All cheerful despite what's coming up. See you on the other side. My last words.
Just heard that America has had 62,000+ infections in the one day. Absolutely insane and Trump pats himself on the back and says he's doing a fine job. He really is fucked in the head. We get an email from our old housemate Peggy who lives in California. LA County alone had 2400+ new infections and 64 deaths in the one day. Stay safe Mad Dog.
While it's a nice day, I start mowing our few nature strips at the property. The wet grass etc creates a bit of smoke, more like a KISS concert but I get some of it done. Ailsa Craig always looks its best when the lawns are all mowed.
July 9thI pay all of our insurance for the year, the house, office , structure and contents- a nice big chunk but all done so a bit of security and out of the road. I hate it in some ways as it would be a nice airfare to an exotic location, well that's if we could actually fly somewhere during this pandemic.
Some mates have asked why my lentil spicy vegie soup is so winter wonderful. I put aside a bowl of shredded chilli, mixed with coriander, cumin, turmeric, thyme and black pepper and leave it for 2 hours. I add coriander during the last 30 minutes and then mix it into the soup while it's cooking. It has a little bit of a bite, perfect for these cold months.
July 10thThe Covid infection numbers continue to rise in Victoria. This happens from a selfish few that just can't listen and spread this virus. OK compared to America it's nothing but no doubt the other states in Oz will go a bit nutty over this. It won't be the first outbreak, I have a feeling NSW will be next. It's quite shocking how many people have now died worldwide.
Woolworths has ran out of bread so I decide instead of making it , I'll grab some from the Olinda bakery. Olinda is like a ghost town, 5 cars and I dare say they belong to the people working in the shops. I grab a coffee from Montage and sit on the wall nearby, exercising my legs and drinking it. I chat to Remco for a short while which is really nice. We both notice how quiet it is outside, no cars going by on the tourist road either. I'm not sure if this second lock down will be more difficult for some or easier. By now many have adjusted. Thankfully we have services like Beyond Blue who do great work. Premier Daniel Andrews must be exhausted.
July 11thNSW gets a dozen people infected at the Crossroads pub. From memory I think that is a Pub frequented by truck drivers too , so i wonder if they will spread this outbreak even further?
We watch Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" -strange that we missed this one when it was released back in 2015. Eight strangers who seek refuge from a blizzard in a stage coach stop over at a Wyoming remote Haberdashery. Loved it. It was originally going to be a sequel to Django Unchained but Quentin decided to make it a standalone film.
The rain arrives from the West. Some wet days ahead, maybe this will keep Victorians inside, as we have another day of high infection numbers. I chat to Mum, Sis and MIM-all 3 at Mums- the wonderful women in my life. Mum promises to mail some coconut rough chocolates, so i love her even more.
In the afternoon I trim my hair, and now my ears are freezing so I'm living in a beanie to keep my head warm.
July 12thBolan, T.Rex "The Slider" is 48 years old this week - I love this album, it will always make my Top 10. It climbed as high as #13 on the Australian national charts, top 10 in Wollongong on the 2WL radio chart. I like to think my purchase at Wollongongs Wilsons Record bar helped it to go top ten in my home town. So many amazing songs. In 1972 T.Rex's "Spaceball Richochet" replaced Bowies "Quicksand" (1971) as the song i would obsessively sing as a kid. Well till Skyhooks came along. One of my biggest regrets is not being allowed to go to the Hordern Pavillion in 1973 to see Bolan play live. I was just too young and Mark was even younger. The only time T.Rex & Bolan came to Australia.
Link to "20th century Boy" from the Aussie 73 gig here (You Tube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC4SKIxV3R0
We head to the office and I find the giant Slider poster and decide on a quick photo moment (thanks Marky for taking the snap). I did try to find my Bolan-T.Rex fanclub membership card as I know we still have it somewhere. Hopefully it will turn up in the next 6 weeks of office clean up and cataloging.
Insane that Florida re-opens Disney World on the day of the largest infection numbers ever by a USA state. What the hell is that foolish Florida governor thinking?
So that's it for now, some gloom and doom but rocking moments as well.
We are safe and happy, hope all of you are too.