November 1stHoly shit, it's November. I'm now in the Christmas panic mode! I was hoping to have all our Christmas shopping done early but not even close.
The first International flights land at Sydney and Melbourne today-lets hope there are no Delta AY surprises on board.
Amazing news that missing 4 year old Cleo Smith has been found alive and well, after 18 days of being missing. Such incredible news.
November 2ndWe are enjoying "Nuclear Family". Director Ry Russo-Young shares how her parents pioneered gay parenthood in the '80s, and the legal battle that threatened to tear their family apart. Sad in many ways, amazing in others.
Public holiday here today-Melbourne Cup. Sit at the community Parklett in the sun & enjoy a coffee from the bakery, I care zilch for the Cup.
Mark designs the label for the chutney jars. I'm making them early this year. Fingers crossed for a good batch. At least they will be ready.
November 3rdRAIN. We take the cover off the new steps and relieved they stood solid and didn't wash away. Looks like we do have some skills after all! A low key day, I spend it making 'to do" lists, lots coming up, want to stay on top of it.
Banshee is a bit obsessed with being outside today, just sitting in her chair under the verandah watching the rain. Crazy cat still loves water, well she was born on Tsunami day.
November 4thTim Smith , Lib from Kew- seriously what a dickhead. Crashed his car from drink driving, the moron could of killed someone, he should step down.
A nice find, and extra $500 of my lost Super. It was in relation to the last election work that i did, called the ATO and they are tracking it down. The guy I spoke to was fantastic. Seemed very efficient. Prefer the $500 in my pocket and not the tax mans. I'm sure they will make it complicated.
My first full day back at the charity and brilliant to see the girls again. Lots of laughs and we got heaps done. So many DVD donations arrive and a few good albums too. I'm enjoying myself but a long day. The charity are happy with my efforts.
I sidetrack to Kilsyth Woolworths and grab Mark the last discount bag of coffee - so good they put it aside for me.
Big thanks to BP today for giving me 500 Qantas points.
November 5thI take Mark to Eastlands for his second vaccination. A bit of Christmas shopping for me while he gets the jab. I find this rather excellent Blinky Bill metal biscuit tin , which I'll load up with Mums favourite lollies. I finally find a place that sells Tinsel chenille stems to go around my chutney bottles. Buy lost of books and some extra cool presents.
A bit of house cleaning this afternoon. One of my favourite pieces- this Oinochoe (jug) with the 1500 BC design. A favourite for visitors- they always ask if they can touch it. Such a beautiful piece of ancient art.
An email arrives with some great ticket prices for us to fly home at Christmas, so we rush and book our flight- and happily get two pretty good airfares. I work on the hire car next, and that is never cheap at Christmas, but done. I'm going to use my points & pay for the return tickets as I've been getting some nice bonus Qantas points from BP and Woolworths Big W etc. It takes the sting out of air ticket costs.
My afternoon spent making chutney, just enough for 20 of the 24 bottles, so I'll have to make a mini batch next week for the final few. Possibly my best batch. Not bad, not bad at all says Marky.
November 6thTourists are back on the mountain. Some japanese tourists stop & pose for photos in front of our gates. Maybe it was their Gracelands moment. I waved, they screamed- how cool is that?
Marks in fatigue land, so I do the tiniest bit of burn off. I'm in a gruff, no real reason just one of those afternoons and my whacko body chemistry. It will pass. Not even time for my 3 days of the Black Dog. In fact recently the Doggy has left the building, feeling great for the entire month-we like that. Woof.
I see Liam from ALT spills the beans that Tim Finn and Andy White have recorded an album. I'm amazed it has stayed a secret for this long (many months). I've kept Mum the entire time, that does kill me. I just want to shout it from the roof tops. I love the musical efforts of both of these fine gentlemen.
Every so often i do sulk when i don't get my own way. I blame being an only child for 11 years the reason. Not me of course just parenting. Of course it is me! Not a big sulk, my sulks are subtle, most would not notice them, which is silly. What is the point of sulking if you don't get attention. Slowly my attitude improves, I figure by midnight I will be back to normal. Plus i'm keeping an eye on Mark while he has some tiny reactions to Moderna. He is my priority.
We watched a really good transfer of iconic Australian film "The Odd Angry Shot" from 1979. Based on William Nagels rather excellent book, it stands the test of time. Experiences of Aussie soldiers in the Vietnam war- and a bit of dark comedy added. Great cast- although it seems like a Dons Party reunion meets a Prisoner reunion. John Hargreaves who we adore is in it and so many other famous aussie faces.
November 7thWe were woken up with a call from our ex road crew guy Geoff Lloyd this morning. He's finally back in Melbourne after 6 months in Qld due to border lockdown. We love Lloydy!
In need of a coffee and a chance to start writing out our Christmas Card envelopes. I want to sit outside but the weather is a changing at Olinda, sunny skies turn to grey , the temperature drops and I stubborn as always stay put. If it rains i will move. It doesn't, so I chat to the girls, get some envelopes done and enjoy another wonderful Montage coffee. I did let Andy White know but I think he is currently awol, enjoying the freedom of no lockdown.
November 8thHappy Birthday to our mate 'Belle in France. We hope you have a magnificent day. With International mail being so crappy I'm sure your tiny presents will arrive late.
I heard from Neil (Finn) this morning which was nice. basically, around a charity dare and he paid up which was really good. I like it when people keep their word. He always does.
Wow 7 years ago today, Andy White was playing up a storm in our lounge room here at Kalorama. What a fun night. It still sounds great. 5000 people have enjoyed this one.
November 9thJust home from a long 9 hours at the charity - and happy to find that the fences have been fully replaced and the new gate added, & old fence gone. Hurrah! 5 months and only a few more things to go on the Insurance list. So slowly it's coming together at Kalorama. An exciting day at the charity- wave goodbye to our friend Barbara who has been looking after the books for years. So now I'm in charge of DVD's, Blurays, CD's , Vinyl and yes BOOKS! Which I do love -a lot more work but I'm up for it. So a rather exciting afternoon going through loads of books- and getting them ready for the public. Placing them , and thankfully the charity is trusting me to get the prices right!
Make lasagne for dinner & an easy evening, just watching movies & cable documentary's. In bed by midnight. I say Happy Anniversary to Mark as we have been in Melbourne for 42 years -yes today is our anniversary. What an exceptional 42 years it has been, every day absolutely wonderful-so many adventures. One has to live life, made a million times better with my best friend next to me.
Tonight 5 months ago that massive storm hit Kalorama , many places still recovering from that. It changed our lives forever.
November 10thRain, Rain, Rain. It's that misty rainforest sort of rain , which I kind of love. I take a basket of bits and pieces to the recycle bin and just enjoy getting slightly wet. It smells so good too. It purifies my soul.
Our original Skyhook lead singer Steve Hill would of turned 69 today if he hadn't passed away. Sad as we were just getting to know him.
I have the urge for a coffee, it's been a few days, so head to Montage with my laptop. Sit inside, in my own little bubble , get a few things done. An email arrives that Dean Stockwell has passed away-age 85. We loved the BLUE VELVET movie, such a wonderful character in that.
November 11thI'm up early as I want to attack the huge pile of book donations at the charity. It's my first day being 100% in charge of books and I want to be on top of it all. I really go for it, in the end 10 storage shelves pretty much empty as I have stocked the store to the roof. They give me an award, which i go a bit red faced. Apparently the book sales have been so amazing that they've outsold every other item in the store and that has never happened. They are all so happy, I leave a bit proud and it feels great.
We celebrate with 2 of JJ's Pizza's for dinner. The weather turns around 7.00 PM , rain on the way.
A rather full on storm hits the mountain again. So far none of our trees are down but it's always in the back of our mind these days. Dean check son us that we are ok- that is really sweet.
November 12thThe storm continues all night, I get up at 5.00 AM and decide to move the car down to the oval. I walk back home in the misty rain and wind, rather wet tracky dacks! I see a chunky branch is where the car would of been, so I made thew right decision.
It finally stops blowing around lunch time , so I am going to have a coffee with some of the Montage crew. I walk down to the oval.
My car is ok and only one other vehicle in the parking area. A new shiny 4WD with a specialised work trailer. I see this guy heading towards me. He asks me if the red one is my car. I instantly think, "shit what have I done". But I'm wrong. Apparently he was driving past, spotted my car and pulled in. The car brings back loads of childhood memories- his Mum would take him to school-same type same colour. So I'm chatting to this guy in the rain for about 45 mins, neither of us seemed to care. A really nice bloke his name is Matthew. One of the many up here on the mountain, helping restore our community-he's re-stumping some of the broken houses. We'll probably catch up for coffee down the track. I swear this car is a magnet, usually calling in good interesting people. Love live the Red Beast (his was called Big Red!). here is to all the Matthews helping to restore our houses.
November 13thI've got the urge to read my Nikola Tesla book while sipping a coffee. Olinda for me. I unload a table out front as it is booked out, which is perfect as I want to sit outside closer to the elements, I don't mind setting one up myself if they are busy. A few regulars say 'hello', a few miss me hiding under my rather awesome beanie. I'm in low profile mode- it suits me at the moment. Watching the local foot traffic rushing by, all excited to again be spending their money. The world keeps spinning and some push Covid to the back of their minds. We are still being fairly careful I keep thinking this is far from over, lets hope I am wrong.
Again I keep the car at the oval, the wind is howling like a caged Banshee (sorry Banshee not you). The weather is not happy, I watch the trees swaying like a stoned rock audience as i walk home from the car park.
I leave a message for Fen & Giles. Think we are playing phone tag. A nice post from our mate Kim Grange today around our anniversary in Melbourne.
A huge thank you to our buddy Dean for my new work boots. The Blundstones are officially dead and in the bin. New boots, an exciting blokey thing.
November 14thI let one of my vegetable patch carrots go to seed from last year. Simply because I like what it looks like. Of course I was tempted to run "Alien Skin" over it to create a carrot "flower" from an Alien world. Well it is after all Sunday...God created Sundays to be arty-she really did!
Good news, Victoria's new cases of Covid had a huge drop, the lowest number since September. Let's hope that continues.
I was awake early this morning, baking fresh bread. It has been awhile, but on such a grey cold day a warm toasty kitchen is welcome. Miss Banshee agrees as she plonks her cat arse down in front of the oven and lets out a mighty Purr!
I spend most of the day in front of a roaring fire, cuddled up with Marky & Banshee, sipping my homemade soup and loving Aussie author Tim Winton's 'Dirt Music'.
We really enjoyed the MORGANA documentary last night. A lonely Aussie housewife plans to end it all until a last hurrah sets her off on a radical journey of personal re-invention and sexual exploration, finding new life as a sex-positive feminist porn star. The stalker in me found out that Morgana (Muses) now works at the "Night Moods" adult shop at Boronia-about 15 mins away from us. So my plan this week is to try & visit the sex shop & meet this interesting re-invented lady. Plus i LOVED the "Night Moods" store T-shirt -so very seventies- I need one of those. Kind of typical that Morgana ends up working at THIS sex shop. Last August- a shotgun wielding robber was no match for the manager of a Boronia adult store who fought back and hit the man with a machete. Police said the manager swung the machete and connected twice with the man’s head, before the injured man fled through the back door at Night Moods adult store! My one concern is that I keep calling "Night Moods" phone number but it is disconnected- so I'm hoping Covid hasn't wiped out another small shop. I'm sure if I am successful I'll post some snaps on my GryphonMusic twitter area or my Sheepbook page.
I stayed in the warm office after lunch & signed a few copies of my book TRIP. A mere 89 left. The print run for that book was double so it took awhile longer to sell this many. I get excited when i mail them off to people. I think I've signed and numbered every copy so far- maybe that decreases the value. I never know, just happy that they are winging their way to someones home.
November 15thI take the car out of the top parking area as I need to turn it to face the other way for my morning exit to the charity. Miss Banshee goes for a walk with me and climbs on into the back seat. She puts her face against the window and we go for a little drive to do the turn. She is so excited, big eyed staring at the rest of the outside world. Such a cute cat. She turns 17 in a few weeks time.
November 16thI hear from my Dr friend Troy, all goes well overseas. The Drs without Borders are just amazing. He's left me with the keys for his Norton motorbike, but no bike license and it's way way too powerful for me (and expensive!!) so much as it is a lovely thought , I know my limits. I'm happy just to double up when he returns in 5 months. Great the team are ok and safe.
I'm back at the charity today and head long into the books and other stuff. I get a lot done , I'm really stoked they are super happy with what I do. Plus I'm enjoying it immensely.
November 17thWell we did it! The search for "Morgana" was a success. A quick drive the to Boronia Sex shop & this place is a CLASSIC. Think seventies sex shop-red plastic curtain to enter, dust and so many of the adult toys are seventies/eighties. Naturally we loved it. We were the only people and there she was sitting behind the counter- Miss Morgana herself. As Mark said, what an amazing lovely lady. Seeing we are taking up so much of her time , we really should buy something. I laugh as Mark is walking around the store with a 90 cm giant dildo-no maybe not that. I grab a "Naughty" Santa hat and we stumble upon a table of $2 porn video tapes- oh wow. VHS!!! I buy Catwoman for $2 and Morgana signs it for us- this nice dedication and on a $2 porn video tape none the less. Cool. We chat for awhile, take some photos. I feel we must be interrupting her midday TV shows that she is enjoying on the tiny tv on the store counter. Before I depart i ask her about the "Night Moods" Adult shop t-shirt she wore in the documentary. She tells me just a few were made for the staff of this store. "Hang on a minute" . She makes a call, wakes the person at the other end of the phone up. Wanders into a tiny back room of the shop and calls out "I found one, the very last". How gorgeous is that, ok it is a Ladies size 10! I strip off my shirt and squash into it -wave our goodbyes. Outside I pose for some photos in front of the shop wearing it, much to the delight of the Boronia Rd traffic. What a fun morning-thanks Morgana, thanks Marky.
November 18thMy Mum mailed me what she believes is the first single (well EP!!!) that I received. The Beatles "Requests". I was VERY young. She can't recall who gave it to me but I'm convinced she did- that Paul McCartney loving mother of mine (brainwashing her small child). Release June 18th '64. It makes sense as this was released on June 18th 1964. The week before she sneaked me up to the Mascot airport to see The Beatles arrive in Australia (11th June 1964). Little did she know the local news crew filmed her (busted!!!) & a tiny Peter wearing my tweed coat & rain cap-and of course a Beatles badge
November 19thAus-Music Tshirt day. So instead of the obvious I pick a Hessie LARGEST LIVING THINGS tee to wear. Lots of people commenting when i wore it to Olinda. A big thank you to Miss Wendy at Montage who took the "not so bad" shot of wearing it. Extra thanks to the Ladies at Table #6 who picked out which one of the photos was their favourite. Looks of nice comments about the shot on Facebook- not too bad for an old fart.
We make an effort to mow the 3 nature strips and a few other areas of Ailsa Craig before the (possible) rain starts. I whip up a homemade lasagne, go for a quick jog around Kalorama oval and plot my night out.
Great to see AFL footy coach Dani Laidley return to North Melbourne Footy club & for her to get such great support during transgender awareness week. Also it's just nice to see Dani happy- hopefully her life has turned a corner for the better.
I managed 9 laps of Kalorama oval. Pushed for 10 but no way- know ones limits. Walking home & mesmerized how pink the sky was as the sun set. A big sigh & happy to be alive, loving this world. I decide to work in the office till midnight. Nice call from Miss Fen and Giles, Dean, Caz and Pip. Playing the double CD form The Clash, that will keep me company for awhile. I head to the house at midnight, watch some late night cable with Marky. He's on the couch reading a book & Banshee snuggled up next to him.
November 20thI try to sleep in but impossible with an old cat. So get changed and walk around the property clearing a tiny bit of tree drop so we can finish mowing the lawn.
I also book our final air tickets home for Christmas, so that and the hire car ticked off the list. It's coming up fast, but locking in flights makes me feel happier.
We work in the yard today, there is meant to be rain on the way so we both push ourselves to get all the mowing done. It may only be 2 acres but it's a killer getting it done at once. We ache, ache and really ache. Both a bit worn so we have an early evening mini nap which I have to say was nice. I like snuggling up to my mate and watch his calm breathing. It's somehow always has been really reassuring.
We stay up till 2.00 am watching movies and documentary's. I'm excited that he has the new Dexter as well as Trek and a few other delicious things for our tv screen.
November 21stIt was meant to be heavy rain today but instead rather fabulous sunshine. Our neighbour has cleared the natural gutter that runs next to the road, and has a roadside fire going. So I head out and clear some of the gully of the final bits of tree bark from the big storm & burn them all . It's everywhere still but after today , pretty much done. Burn baby burn.
I have a mini argument over Mum , nothing major just over self medicating and not taking blood pressure pills. She's being silly & pissed that i am being extra stubborn. I just don't want anything bad to happen to her because she thinks she knows best. Yes it's her body but some common sense please. 10 minutes later 'argument' is over so that feels better. I only hassle her because we love her.
Midday, i catch up with Andy White at Montage for a meeting. Excited as he has locked in ONE live show at the Brunswick Ballroom on December 12th. One date before he flies out for the almost sold out UK shows & 2 shows in Italy. It's such a cool venue and a very good chance he will play a song or two from the upcoming Tim Finn + Andy White album. It will be awesome to catch up with many mates at this gig, also fan mates who we haven't seen for what is ages because of Covid. A nice way to start the Christmas cheer too. I believe advance tickets are cheaper , and via Moshtix (on the Brunswick Ballroom page). So go to the Brunswick Ballroom website and grab some tickets. Love for this to be Sold Out- because so many of us have been starved for live shows I think it will do well. I'm selfishly wanting to catch up with people so please come along and say "Hi". The Brunswick Ballroom also has a really good dinner selection , so make a night of it. Dinner and then a really cool show. See you on the 12th. https://brunswickballroom.com.au/
That's it for another diary, I'm a bit shocked that the next update I'll be wishing you all a Happy Christmas!