May 3rdI try to stay calm and nice while i call Netspace and the NBN people to get our FOURTH NBN box. It's a joke really isn't it? Not even a year and four boxes fried already, apparently it's really common. In some ways it's interesting to see if one can be away from the Internet for 10 days. I'm kind of calm around it and I feel sorry for the girl on the other end having to try and deal with technicians and available times. End result is i leave it in her hands and will try and call back tomorrow when I'm up at Olinda.
We watch "Nomadland" and it's great , a movie that has such heart & soul, so glad it won all those awards.
Banshee spends the day inside, snuggled up under her blanket, it's grey and foggy and misty rain out in the Kally world. She knows she has it good. I make some Tzatziki dip for Marky, down to the last cucumber from our garden. All three of us are indoor cats today, fire blazing away and enjoying each others company. I sip my tea and listen to Banshee talking in her sleep. What do cats dream of?
May 4thI'm awake fairly early and head up to Olinda. I'm using the payphone as it's far easier then the mobile. It seems to take forever, Netspace have some silly NBN date for us and I tell them "No" and say we are a priority customer and it needs to be sooner. I have my coffee and use Montage's internet to put some money in my account and pay the final few bills. I even post on the Official Skyhooks facebook page, so I haven't kept away from the Net for very long. Good to see Nick, Adrian, Barry, Carolyn and Lisa. Tom Hardy sends me the latest photo that he is going to use & I share it with Astrid. Our early morning perve factor.
I have an appointment this week around a secret thing that I want to do. Why does that sound like I am about to have a sex change?
I make a not to buy a small super sharp pair of scissors tomorrow. Banshee has a dreadlock. Just the one, & in a spot where she can not groom herself. I think it's from a sticky tree-seed and her fur has joined to it, so I have to snip it out. She has so much ridiculous fur it won't even be obvious. The trick is to sidetrack her while I snip it off, if I get it wrong I'll pay with a swipe from very VERY sharp claws.
May, May, May, birthday month so many birthdays this month. It does my head in.
I spend some of this dreary afternoon in the art room. I am determined to finish the Ukulele "creation". So far I've managed to reuse all recycled or found materials. I continue with that spirit this afternoon. I take the glass off the recycled frame and polish up the darkened wood. For the backing i couldn't find any base wood that size, but i do spot the hard art card that our Steve Kilbey original art arrived in, so I measure that up and use it. Paint it black, some micro red glitter, holes and wire to secure the Uke. I found an ancient tube of glue, and scraped out enough to attach the wings and a few other areas. I reuse the tiny nails to keep the backing intact. A bit more hand painting, a PG signature/date. Dry it and all that it really needs are 2 wire holder screws and I'll recycle the original wire, so it can be hung. Where?, I have no idea but feeling pretty good that it has been done. It looks ok. I sit on a chair in the art room and sip on some spicy lentil soup, and a paint brush in hand just tidying up a few scrapes. I still don't have a name for it. "Ascension"? has just been rattling around in my head. I'm certainly not an 'artist' but I love creating , some turn out as imagined, some are cr@p, some go to good homes, some I reuse it's fun, it's enjoyable. I do it for me, and at times Marky or a mate. But no, not an artist.....I do anger myself when i suddenly become El-Slacko & don't finish a project. Thankfully the stubborn side of this taurus pushed me to do so, most of the time.
While I was looking around for backing wood, I found my old set of black angel feathers from the Space Party several decades back. A lot of the feathers have gone, some stolen by possums for nests. So I hang them over the Nick Seymour Crowded House Angel wing backdrop , while working on the Ukulele feathers- they kind of inspire and I love their decay. Like I flew too close to the sun and my beautiful wings failed me ... into a death spiral! See even my brain is in some Art Plain- simple objects become far more exotic......
May 5thWe've scored another sunny day here at Kalorama, so I head to Montrose at the base of the mountain. Some shopping and pay the last bill. I mail Mum a little Mothers Day card. She likes mothers day flowers so all week i flattened some to add into the card and a voucher so she can buy whatever she wants. The wonderful Gerry at Montrose Post Office manages to get Mums envelope into the mornings mail so it goes out straight away. The best post office in Victoria is at Montrose! I swear he's always happy & so efficient! I buy a boring old Lotto ticket for our mate Doug, one of the many May birthdays, no mechanical chickens this year for him, but imagine if he won the $10 million. Surely one day a friend must win a decent prize from our birthday lotto tickets that we send out. Hope it's you Doug! 'We' could buy Dixons!
Marks favourite "healthy" (well kind of) chocolate berries are on special so i buy him a bag of those. The butchers is empty so i head in and grab some food for dinner. We flutter between vegetarian meals and meat. Totally ok with that. Apart from the odd back ache we are both fairly healthy. I do make a note to buy more fruit tomorrow, chocolate coated berries really doesn't fill the quota.
I clear PO Box 50 and there is a wonderful present from my mate 'Belle in France. I guess it's a bookmark , but to nice to use as such. This exceptional hand-carved bookmark size piece of wood, and it has the most beautiful Gryphons on either end. i LOVE it, my first birthday present and what a beauty- thank you Isabelle, it arrive don time-well early! Six days to go till I blow out a forest fire of candles.
May 6thOff to Lilydale as i need to go to a bank and get a shitload of 50c pieces for the payphone. I also head to the Lilydale Arcade- and have lunch at Kings cafe. (they have the best onion rings). I'm shocked that I look like I am the youngest person in the entire shopping place, full of geriatrics. It's kind of weird. No youngsters anywhere to be seen. I go into Woolworths and get our weekly shopping done, usually I'm buying it online but had time to kill so loaded up. Extra bonus as our insurance is via Woolworths so every month we get 10% off. I figure the money saved means my lunch is free!
I take my torch and go for an evening walk & post our mate Dougs birthday card and a lucky lotto ticket. Who knows if Aussie Post will deliver on time , fingers crossed.
We watch "Breath" , the movie is as good as Tim Winton's (Aussie Author) book. Breath feels very "US", Mark & myself in so many ways. I promise Marky, when we eventually get the Magnetic island house that I will be taking him out on our surfboards. A wonderful movie, that Western Australia Albany coastline is truly oz beautiful!
May 7thI wake up fairly early & decide to do the "bus run" for a coffee at Montage and to get some of the May birthday things out of the road. So in 22 minutes I manage a shower, feed the cat, empty her litter tray, bolt out the door and get to the bus stop. The Montage crowd keep saying "You are here early.." ! I am indeed. Our friend Chez is selling some of her one off hand painted cards at Montage. So i buy this lovely semi glittery giraffe, water colour. I decide it will be Sharon Finns birthday card so write that out and get it ready to be posted.
I call Sis and she is still in the Covid ward, still testing negative but she sounds rather drugged. Try Mum but have a feeling she has accidentally turned off the new phone Telstra gave her. She too is waiting for NBN box repairs, it's all a bit of a shambles.
I'm fairly certain Mark and myself are waiting till the end of the year for the 20 million Pfizer vaccines to arrive in Australia, we are avoiding Astra Zeneca.
May 8thI sleep in, my bed was way too comfortable this morning, & toasty warm. Sun trying to break through the Autumn grey outside but little success.
After lunch i start some basic clearing of the vegetable patch. A few of the tomato plants that are on their last legs. Not even 200 tomatoes this year , a terrible year for Tomatoes on the mountain. I'm very happy how many cucumbers we picked and some late capsicums are popping up too, just tiny ones. But perfect for Pizza's. I over-used the chives so need to let them recover and the oregano is taking over the walk way. Wendy's Mums mint has become a robust little forest, really tall! Smells magical.
I check on some of the tiny native plants i bought at Kalwarra. Three of the four are thriving, I'm fine with those odds. Boronia Denticulata, very hardy and getting tall, it will have an abundance of pink star shaped flowers in Spring. The Melaleuca Thymifolia is a compact shrub and that one has mauve flowers in Spring. Next to it is the Eutaxia Obovata - another smaller shrub and it will have orange flowers-so a lot of colour in Spring in this area. I also plant some of the Woolworths flowers, time to take them from the mini green house. A nasty slug managed to get inside the dome and consume his way through a few. So this at least has encourage me to plant them. All in a row next to the mini ferns that I've resurrected.
I'm trying not to think about how many Emails will arrive when the crappy Fraudband NBN finally is back on in a few days time. They have been appalling replacing this fourth NBN box -absolutely pathetic. At least we get a refund for days not having the NBN, as they should.
I'm going to put up one last Crowded House backdrop tomorrow to check for holes & mould. I'm hoping it will be the Forest backdrop. After that I'll take down my tightrope as we are heading towards Winter , so no backdrop work during that season , too wet and last thing I want to do is get the canvas wet.
I spend most of the afternoon in the art room. Just tidying it up, cleaning paint brushes, attempting to get some life back into old house brushes. I clean the back of one of Nick Seymours pieces of art. I think it was the first burning building rough that he did. Nice chunky canvas too, which I love. When Nick gave this to me it was a bit decaying, some strange whitish mould on the back which i continue to "fight". Anyway I hung it up in the art room. I added the eyelits to the Ascension- the flying ukulele and that is also now up on the wall. I have such strange feelings around the Uke Art, maybe too predictable for my liking. But saying that, it is meant to be recycled object art. I considered making the "wings" out of chicken wire but I used all of ours on Maddisons volcano's for her space set. It is what it is, that's how I'm going to look at it. Banshee spent the afternoon with me, she loves going for a walk and just hanging out. She walks all the way to the back gate but doesn't pass it, shakes her head and says "no" so she's a smart cookie. A relief too as she has never gone out of the yard. We walk around the yard, down all the tracks. Sometimes she will abruptly stop & smell wild flowers. Two acres is such a luxury for a cat, it's a pretty good life and she's not locked away in a square box.
It's late evening and I'm in the office like the good ol' days. I just needed to get some scanning done. Mostly from our Skyhooks press books- so many of them. It is still mind blowing that any band had this many articles! To put me in the freaky mood I'm playing this audience recording of the original Skyhooks at Yarra Valley Grammar- way way back in July 1973! Shit even I was a youngster back then. It's amazing to hear the germs of Skyhooks, just over a year later & lineup changes they were it, the greatest band in the land.
When I leave the office a huge possum stampedes past me, massive! Following close behind is a smaller one, who sees me and suddenly stops. He stands up on his back legs and slowly walks towards me. This freaks me out, but i remain calm, well on the outside. I think he recognizes me and I dare say has enjoyed eating some fruit with me. I sink lower to the wooden decking and talk to him in a soft voice. He seems really calm about all of this , unlike me. We hang out for ten minutes , he's just sitting inches from me and doesn't seem afraid. A nice moment. At least he didn't lunge at my throat.
May 9thHappy Mothers Day to my wonderful Mum. We are so lucky to have her here still, she drives me nuts at times but we love her. She loves her card, present and those flattened flowers. All arrived on time. I give her a call after lunch. Another grey Autumn Day. The leaves are finally falling , a lot so Ailsa Craig will soon have a fine covering of yellows and reds.
Sending out Birthday Best Wishes to our mate Doug! Hope you have a great day.
I snuggle up in bed and I'm reading Mercedes Lackey's "Blood Red". I started last night. I've got this kind of awesome arty bedroom light- i put one of those ancient light globes in it ("Antique Globe") , made by the specialist company. Just enough light to read.
It must of rained last night, as all the ground is wet , so I won't be putting up the Crowded House "Forest" backdrop today. I'll have to check the weather for a nice day during the week. I only have one photo of the band in front of the backdrop. It's really dark, which i do like. Tim Finn's in the shot, a really good haircut too...and Neil Nick and Paul-they are all holding instruments. Pauls blurring and fading out, maybe an omen. I'll have to run it with the backdrop on my Facebook page when we finally have it up between the trees. I'm thinking of shooting it at dusk and maybe adding some mist from the smoke machine. It must be a decent size as I can only just lift the bag that it is in. I still find it funny that I'm erecting a Forest backdrop in a national park between trees in our grove.
May 10thMark wants to make me home made sausage rolls for my birthday tomorrow , so I head to the butchers at Montrose. I LOVE that he is doing this. I manage to escape the rain by a few minutes. It's a gloomy old day, very few humans about. I go between shops, & get it done in record time.
I pick up some excellent birthday cards that have arrived at PO Box 50. Thanks Sally in the UK, Pip, Jace & Caz from the awesome surf crew, Merelyn & Maz , Isabelle in France, Alison C, Peter & Mark #2 and Liz B. Nice! Plus a mystery gift. An exceptional handmade wooden server with native flora made by the wonderful MUMMA (pyrography collection). I'm certain there will be an email from the gorgeous soul who sent this but our NBN still down. It's meant to be fixed today we shall see. I wonder if people have missed me on Sheepbook, Twitter and of course the F/16 diary will be sent to Deb late. It's weird when I don't post, some people panic worrying we are sick or dead! HA!
May 11thWell Happy Birthday to ME! Peter you look great for your age. Yes I know thank you for that Peter. HA! A wonderful day, lots of celebrations, calls, emails and Sheepbook. Marky made his famous sausage rolls, with a birthday candle in them! A bit of a sing-a-long at Montage. Lovely presents and cards, so thanks everyone. Disaster at Wollongong so my gift from Mum-Sis-MIM will be belated. That void was filled in by this exceptional generous present from Wendy C in QLD. Such an effort but it arrived on time and made my day. I am blown away that so many friends remembered to call.
May 12thAwesome art present arrives from our mate Spock from BCO. An artified print of my old "Bitch" bag! Looks magnificent-thank you Spocky!
We watch "Who killed Jon Benet" on cable. What a sad world when a little kid like that ends up dead.
I find a cool little Nirvana book for my mate Allie. It was part of an Interview cd set, the cd is totally stuffed so threw it away but the book is great & mint so passing it onto her. Nice to mail out small surprises to people.
May 13thWe are finally catching up on our TV shows. Last night we started watching "Exposed-The Ghost Train Fire" on ABC iView. So many people have commented what an amazing 3 part investigation this is, based on the horrid fire at Sydney's Luna Park in 1979- where 6 kids & a Dad were killed. We watched the first 2 episodes (#3 tonight) - Caro Meldrum and team did a great job. I'm delighted that Martin Sharp is the posthumous hero - his room packed full of interviews, paperwork , his obsession in many ways led to this. On the 7.30 Report this week, maybe some good news: NSW Police said its unsolved homicide team was reviewing the origin of the Luna Park fire the circumstances surrounding the seven deaths. A spokesperson for NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the state government was "aware of calls for a fresh inquiry into the matter..."
May 14thThe nights may be cold at Kalorama but the days have been really nice. Winter is on the way and I have one of those small fairy Books- Winter Poems which we are upgrading for Maddison to enjoy. A few spare Cicada wings which we will glue on the fairy illustrations to add some 3D. We have been pressing some tiny flowers that grow in our yard to add to the pages. I'll mail it off to MIM and she'll get it on the first day of Winter. She's only 7, so this will be special for her.
Nice to hear the new Hoodoo Guru's single- WORLD OF PAIN. Nice to hear a song with a bit of Umph. I'm so over Coldplay soundalike boring as bat shit middle of the road lame singles. Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6cGXNOAYHc
Foxtel is off again, it takes awhile but we eventually fix it ourselves. The Foxtel person on the phone was hopeless, we couldn't understand a word she was saying.
May 15thI play The Killers "Sam's Town" today in the office. So many good tunes on that album. It should of made it to #1 in Oz, but only managed #2. "When you were young" is a great song- " You sit there in your heartache Waiting on some beautiful boy to save you from your old ways, You play forgiveness, Watch it now, here he comes...". I am a bit shocked that this album is nearly 14 years old.
May 16thI start my day with Bob Dylan singing "I Shall be Released"! Cool.
We find a few Crowded House-Enz photos from the December 1989 shows and put a few up on my Facebook page, gryphonmusic (twitter) etc. Just a couple. I remember those dates, just one tiny decision stopped me from possibly being killed in an earthquake. Big thanks to Grant Thomas and Neil Finn who "maybe" saved my life.
The third Crowded House single is out soon, I hope this one gets some airplay. I'm shocked that the previous two never charted anywhere, you'd think the Crowded House brand alone would get them enough sales to chart, even in the lower areas of the charts. Like I said previously, maybe they've become an "album band". Anyway, we wish them well. It does feel a tiny bit odd not being on the team when a new release-only a small bit.
Anyway- all the best from the mountain. Huge thank you to Deb for her tireless efforts getting this diary up on Frenz.com. (editor's note: I'm always late with it, but thanks for your patience and understanding!)