May 4thI sneak across to the empty house near us, that has recently been sold and head to their chainsawed fallen tree. I'm after a new chopping block as I've worn out the one I made all those years ago. The endless pounding of wood being chopped has taken its toll. I find a block, not too big as I'm carrying it. The pile is massive so they won't miss one piece. I find I have some arm muscles that I never knew about and get it home. We have a pretty decent Winter supply thanks to Mark, but the axeman (yes me) needs to cut it.
I hear from some of the Split Enz guys today, which is always fun. 40 years since I started working for them. Isn't that incredible- what a trip!
I decide we need a homemade Chocolate Cake with cream tonight, after all I've burn't up a few calories chopping wood. My friend Caz says I'm the only person in Australia that has managed to lose weight during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Not a lot a few kg's probably all wiped out now as we grab another piece of chocolate cake. Move over Tammy Baker!
May 5thI make the drive and grab some Lotto tickets for birthday presents for some friends. Kind of boring but easy to mail. All those May Birthdays.
Mark has the vibe for more yard work, so I head out with him. I'm got my trusty axe and he is using the chainsaw. We probably make a scary sight. That Wollongong "don't fuck with us" stance while working. He may have to go to a CAA meeting soon as he is addicted. Chainsaw Addicted Anonymous!
May 6thI mail off a small Birthday present for our mate Doug. The May birthdays continue. I see Adrian and Barry while at the Montrose post office , off to get their doggys washed. They seem ok, not too crazy from lockdown.
Call our ex crew guy and good friend Geoff as he has BIg birthday today. Glad there are people older than myself.
We have Indian for dinner, one of my better efforts.
May 7thLooks like the Crowded House dates have been put back a year plus. Like many bands. I just feel a bit sorry for fans that can't make those shows in a years time but are forced to wear it instead of a refund. That goes for all tours not just Crowded House. Kind of crappy that bands fans are treated like this and one has to ask who is earning all the interest on the ticket money?
I mail Toija some magic beans, ok just some broad bean Heirloom stock. These are excellent, every bean sprouts and they taste great in a casserole.
Send Mum some flowers for an early Mothers Day present.
May 8th"Locked Out" is playing on the radio in the office and our main office doors lock breaks so i really am Locked Out. So that is weird. Have to reopen the other secondary entrance and get a new deadlock added. Thankfully the security system still works fine but it's really strange entering directly into my part of the office first, especially after 15 years of not doing so.
Mark records Aussie movie- "Little Monsters" and we love it. A Zombie dark comedy film, written and directed by Abe Forsythe. A washed up musician teams up with a school teacher and her pack of kids and end up at animal park, when a Zombie outbreak occurs. Love the shot of the Zombie covered in quills as it attempts to eat an Echidna. They never had that on The Walking Dead. Cute moment when the musician changes the lyrics to Neil Diamonds Sweet Caroline to "Miss Caroline" ( the name of the teacher) and serenades her. A fun movie during this crappy pandemic.
May 9thHappy Birthday to our mate Doug. Hope your day is amazing.
I see that Unemployment in the USA is almost at 15%, that is so many people. We are so lucky that we live in Australia. It's bad here but not 15%. Well not yet. With a Recession on the way it could well be though.
I start repairs on an old door, stripping it back - a bit of a love hate moment. Close to getting this finished, and suddenly realised it was dark outside. So focused I'd been doing this for hours.
May 10thHappy Mothers Day Mum. Sis and myself love our old Mum. I remind myself how lucky we are that she is still here. She has some good and quite a few bad days but she manages to get through it.
Sad news that Little Richard has died. Skyhooks played some shows with him on their American Tour, way back in 1976.
May 11thYes my Birthday. Happy to avoid it this year, especially during the pandemic. Lots of calls, cards, presents , emails. I realise how lucky I am , and it ends up being a really fantastic Birthday. Mark sneaks me away, deep into the forest, and there is a little table, chair , a birthday cake with sparklers. I'm wearing my Covid mask, so it makes for a funny photo. Two hikers go past and just crack up laughing. In years to come I'll look at that photo and know exactly which birthday it was. It was a really cool cake too, little ice Llamas and Cactus on it -tasted fantastic. By afternoon i was taken back by the volume of calls and emails and especially FB messages, so thanks to you all. Like most years my Mum singing was the very first phone call of the day. Sis and MIM did their own version of Happy Birthday which was very cute.
May 12thTreasurer Josh Frydenberg has a massive coughing fit in Parliament, now self isolating while waiting on Covid 19 results. Surely he isn't as ill as our very sick Economy. A karma moment?
Indian for dinner (again) , just from the local but it was perfect. It can be a bit hit and miss but this one a hit.
"A Little Luxury" gift box arrives from Laura, Kevin and tribe, filled with the coolest stuff, the super soft bathrobe is my favourite. I'm a lucky boy. Add to that a present from Belle in France. She always remembers! Where as I suck at birthdays.
May 13thIn a few weeks OPERATION BUFFALO is on the ABC (starts May 31st at 8.30). A 6 part drama, around the British Atomic Tests at Maralinga, which is 1000 km north west of Adelaide. Porchlight Pictures produced it, they have been involved in some cool shows- The Kettering Incident, Laid, Animal Kingdom to name a few. Looks great.
Restrictions lessened in Victoria today , you can have a few visitors. I sneak off and create Petit Faux Montage in our fernery. Basically our metal tables, Moroccan lamps, paintings . It was going to be a surprise for Marky but our mates Wendy and Doug arrived so, the 4 of us enjoyed the moment. Spicy lentil soup that i made in the morning, some cool cakes and Moroccan tea. What a combination. I received the most amazing bag, so perfect for plane flights etc and also Bat Duck. Yes if Batman was a duck he'd be this. We love W&D, get along so well, just lots of laughter and fun times. Wendy finally gets the lovely present from my Sister.
May 14thI love that our water bills with a $45.00 credit. I adore that, usually means we have overpaid because they mostly estimate the bills on the larger blocks up here in the national park. Still, it feels nicer than getting a large water bill.
Mark surprises me with homemade sausage rolls. They taste so great, his Mums secret recipe.
I chat to MIM who is at home working on her space suit design as only a six year old can. She promises to mail me the design so i can find all the 'pieces' for her visit . A little Maddison performance moment will happen for the 2 Uncles and a select lot of friends. Fun! We love her spirit.
We now have fires burning every night, in the lounge room and at times the pool room. A lot of zero degree nights. Winter is arriving.
May 15thI head out for a short visit to Butlers to buy a birthday present and card for my sisters husband. Butlers have some excellent writing books and they wrap them well. The Suns out today but the air has some bite to it. I decide to jump on the Bus today, it has been awhile- totally empty. I avoid touching everything.
87,000 dead in America now, I do worry about many of our friends. Some shit head preacher in Americas south, blames gays for Covid 19. He also tells his flock that God will protect them from Covid 19. God mustn't like him very much as the arsehole died today from the Coronavirus. Some of his fellow priest became infected and his homophobic church closed down. Karma really is a bitch. One less homophobe in the world- see my glass is half full around Covid 19.
May 16thAstrid Kirchherr dies, we love her early Beatles photos but also adore her other rarely mentioned work. A sad day. She sometimes reminds me of Edie from The Factory.
I finally finish thanking people for all the Birthday wishes on Facebook and twitter. Good to make the effort and say thanks.
Loved tonights episode of "Where the Wild Men Are". Former Olympic coach Nikola Boric now a hermit (well kind of) in Croatia. What a lovely soul this man has- one of my favourite episodes.
May 17thI'm playing a lot of Jimmy & The Boys today, the ultimate shock rock band and from Oz too. I went looking for my favourite Jimmy & The Boys T-shirt and of course it is in the very last spot I look. I know I have way too many T-shirts, some of that is the fault of touring and looking after merchandise. Anyway I'm happy i found it, forgot it was signed. I decide Joylene Thornbird Hairmouth really should be Queen of Pop in 2020 , seeing she missed out in 1980. I guess they'll never get back together for a reformation tour-too old to be performing 69ers onstage and I'm wondering if Ignatius Jones voice is strong enough in 2020 to rip the heavens open again.
I see the Health Minister in Brazil has quit after only 4 weeks. I dare say impossible to work with that halfwit Brazil president. I watch the infected and deaths grow in Brazil as that idiot Bolsonaro does nothing. Mark predicts it will end up climbing to #2 just behind America and it's horrendous death toll. Sad days for the people of both of those countries.
I'm using my birthday mug from Belle quite a lot, it's the perfect size and I love the rawness of the handmade mug. It has 'Breathe" painted on the outside so i must remember to do so.
May 18thI dig around in the garden trying to find 2 very large potatoes. Most are medium and small but a miracle in the afternoon and I have two. So make baked Hasselback Potatoes with cheese, bacon, sour cream and some chives from the garden. Mark hates baked potatoes, so all mine.
We give the yard project one last going over and light our final burn pile for many months. It's quite nice hanging around a fire in this colder weather.
May 19thIt's true I did sneak a look at Magnetic Island today , to escape in Winter and maybe Marks birthday. Of course Queenslands borders are still (sensibly) locked down... but it can't hurt to have a look. With Virgin Airlines in decay, I'm wondering if Qantas will push up their airfares, hopefully not. By total chance I received a really nice Email from our Qld agents, with a $150 voucher off house accommodation on the island. They keep tempting us. We'll try and be patient (and stay safe I guess). It's just so brilliant to break Winter up with some time on that magical island.
May 20thA really fantastic visit from Trudi today. Cakes, presents and plants. Really good company. Always a joy when she visits . We catch up on some gossip. I've baked a Poppy seed cake, so we dig into that. She brings lunch for us, so feeling rather spoilt. I now have avery awesome pair of socks that has photos of myself hugging Banshee on them. How cool is that.
May 21stWe watch KILL CHAIN documentary-which shows the weakness of Americas basic election infrastructure, laid bare for all to see. I'm shocked at how easy it is to hack all 3 of the major voting machines.
Di & Mr Chops send me a very cool Dancing Queen belated birthday card, a real cool drawing.
May 22nd60 days of lockdown for us so far. It's been totally fine, we've adjusted really well. I guess it's testing time for many in relationships, can you spend what would be work time with your partner at home? It's good for families in some ways, maybe the return of the old family discussions around the kitchen table. We originally looked at 100 days , so we are still sticking with that. Happy to let others be our guinea pigs.
I head up to the art room and work of some Tree of Life wrapping paper for a mates birthday present. At times I get the vibe to do those one off little special touches. This one is easy, a very cool wooden carved stamp from my Nepal visit, white tissue paper, loads of paint and a hairdryer.
100,000 hospital patients worldwide have tried Chumps Malaria tablets - showing no improvements but a higher rate of death. I am amazed that people are dumb enough to be suckered by the likes of him.
Nice to hear from Sharon Finn today. I do miss those guys.
May 23rdOh good grief, getting ones nails done during a worldwide pandemic is the height of stupidity. It's not an essential service no matter how much you try to spin it.
Head out into the misty rain and plant the Camillia that Trudy gave us. Right by one of the fence lines. It has an Azalea next to it , so that should add a bit of colour to the area.
Homemade Pizza for dinner, I'm making really nice Pizza crusts these days.
May 24thWe start on Marks bathroom, most of today was scrapping and sanding, taking a bit longer but no rush. Banshee the cat inspector turns up to view our work. I enjoy working on projects with Marky, the good thing is that we have the same tastes in music too so enjoying some sounds while we work away.
Sad news that 100,000+ Americans have now died from Covid 19. Trump should be ashamed of himself for his incompetence as a President over this. Extra sad as most forget that these are one hundred thousand PEOPLE who have lives and families , not just a bloody number. England also has had a jump in infected from 1000 a day to 5000 after reducing their restrictions, maybe too early?
Stay safe everyone. Love from Oz.