September 6thA late night last night so I attempted to sleep in this morning. No such luck. First off the loudest garbage pick up in the 18 years we have been here. Next a tree chainsawing guy starts on a neighbours place at 7.30 and finally our insurance company person calls. The last one I was fine with as it was an update and all good. Slowly still, 1 more quote to go and it starts picking up speed. So I abandoned hope and got out of bed, & watched the news & had some cereal and went to the office for a bit. Replied to my mate Deans emails and headed out. Some talk about linking up with my friend Troy - and no it's not just because he has an awesome 961 Commando Norton motorbike. But being sensible around Covid and lockdown. I did zoom to Montrose, a quick in and out-Gerry at the Post Office -he's such a happy bloke, never seen him be miserable the entire time we have been going to that LPO. 7 minutes in at IGA and home.
The last week our decking has had an invasion of sulphur crested cockatoos , at it's peak 23 at once. Today just the 3 regulars turn up-thank god for that as I was running out of sunflower seeds.
I order some black jellybeans as a surprise for my Mum, she was saying how she hadn't had them for years so she will hopefully be excited when a bag of them arrives in the mail.
Nice phone chat to a mate tonight, lots of laughs. Laughter a must have in my Covid survival pack.
September 7thJust tweeted this. "Oh how funny- Matthew Guy replaced "Millhouse" O'Brien as Vic Liberal "leader". That's like replacing a dead skunk with another dead skunk-they both still stink!"!
Exciting as our Cheap Trick video just hit 500+ views. Just from word of mouth which is really nice. Marky is thrilled.
We watched The Go-Betweens documentary- "Right Here" tonight. Such a cool documentary. Red Dog's director Kriv Stenders put it together.
September 8thI head off down the road and give ranger Troy a bit of a massage. A lovely bloke and was so appreciative. The added bonus was that he took me to Monbulk on his rather awesome Commando 961 motorbike- yes it's a NORTON. Got some grocery shopping done, just a tiny bit , which made the drive more legal I guess . It was so magnificent to be on a bike again and the road to Monbulk is so beautiful. Troy shouted me a coffee at the cool Monbulk coffee place. I always wonder if the owner is BI, was tempted to gaydar him but that felt a tad rude. Today was great.
September 9thKind of cool as I end up buying the other Peter & Marks car. So I'm a proud owner of a chunky RED Holden Rodeo. It is awesome and so safe. I never want one of those small coffin type cars. Those boys are so good to us. We love 'em, and of course they are nice blokes as their names are also Peter & Mark. Thanks chaps, the people of the hills owe them too as we used the Red Beast to deliver food, wood, fuel water to 132 houses during the disaster.
I decide to make Mark a really nice Indian dinner. Even going to set dress the table with flowers & linen napkins. I'm making it all from scratch-the food not the table setting. We need more vegies in our diet so vegetable Korma, his favourite rice and even some Garlic Naan. Track down most of the vegetables that i need and have the spices. Desert will be Blood Orange Icecream.
I'm driving up our road and our neighbour Martin stops me and tells me just how much he loves our Cheap Trick video. I was a bit speechless- apparently he has watched it multiple times. How cool is that.
Dinner is a smash, I got the balance right, you know it's good when I like my own cooking. In bed early tonight, exactly at midnight-I sleep so well.
September 10thWake up feeling fantastic. I slept the deep sleep of the dead, not sure if it was the late afternoon boxing and exercise or the good food. Maybe life is just good?
I miss a mate call today from America, I did wait but time was against me as we were heading "Off Mountain"- just fuel and main grocery shop. We tend to do one BIG shop a month and have our Covid stockroom. So prepared for almost anything. I win $30 on tattslotto, I rarely take a ticket but this is nice and my fuel was $30-so thanks Lotto Gods.
I'm at the Supermarket and run into lovely Sam from the Kalorama Free Supermarket and Hub. Lovely to see her, nice chat. She's a good egg.
Lunch from Montage and we call into the Arboretum and sit and eat it on the benches and just absorb the scenery. God we are so lucky to be living up here.
We both work in the yard all afternoon - just getting the last of the fence line ready- removing ivy, this bush stuff that we hate that grows like crazy, hidden fallen trees and probably pirate treasure! We get all the main stuff done at long last. Big burn piles, flaming away. So just some clean up tomorrow if it doesn't rain. I finish up & head into the garage and spend some time boxing and also a bit more chopping of wood-so i've certainly had some sort of work out today.
September 11thWe've been watching the National Geographic's "9/11- One Day In America" . Really, it will probably be the only thing related to 9/11 that we will watch, it still does my head in. The footage in this 6 part documentary is incredible, in conjunction with the 9/11 Memorial Museum. This must be a sad day for so many- and it was also the day that heroes were made.
Western Australia has doubled it's expected Budget surplus for 2020-21, making it the best performing economy in Australia-to the tune of $5.6 Billion. Great job Premier McGowan. Apparently Victoria is now the 2nd best performing economy in Australia. Way to go Vic.
Work on the yard today and put tools down when the other Peter & Mark call. Apparently Yarra Ranges council have delivered some big mounds of cut firewood to the oval-so I makes plans to see the boys down at the site. I arrive and not on the list as apparently you have to apply on line via the council website -"X" amount of cars etc. The guy in charge recognises me from the manager days at the Kalorama Free Supermarket and Hub. It appears on one of those cold days I took him a beanie, hot coffee and hand warmers. So he adds me to the list- I feel like a VIP! The Boys turn up and we fill the cars with wood. We have enough but this is kind of a gift to them. After I drop it off I call into Kellys on the Hill as I so do not feel like cooking tonight. So one of Carolyns excellent Parmi's, chips and vegies. When i finally get home I am in awe of the work that Mark has done near the top gate-looks incredible-slowly the yard is taking shape, it may well look even better the pre- Disaster.
September 12thA bit of a grey old day outside, nice and cool so perfect to continue our yard work. Think we might have a picnic under the trees for lunch today.
Seems crazy but today way way way back in 1988 (yes 33 years ago) Crowded House first debuted on the Australian charts with "When You Come" (#28) from the wonderful "Temple of Low Men" album. The 45 cover, one of Nicks painted images from the back of a "Temple" stage jacket. All seems so long ago, but a nice memory.
At 2.30 PM we finish the fence line and new gate work , the final fire pile is burning away and the rain starts. Not too heavy which is good as we want this last tiny bit of stuff gone. There must of been a temperature drop as mixed with the rain, tiny hail stones fall. I spend 35 minutes boxing till the rain stops. My poor old boxing gloves got a serious work out. It's tempting to keep going but my arms and muscles (yes I now have some muscles- hallelujah !) will ache later.
Mark says tonights homemade Lasagne was possibly the best lasagne he has ever tasted. That's a big call but I'll take the compliment. The temperature has dropped, so I bring in some firewood from the tiny bit that we have left for this year. Got to keep the house toasty.
September 13thThe start of a new week and I'm awake early. A small disaster with a neighbour so I help them out, my good deed for the week.
A nice chat with a mate from overseas, always good to catch up with people- I'm just glad that the majority of our friends are still alive and well in a Covid world.
We watched "Archive" last night. What a brilliant surprise ending, nice to be able to say "never seen that one coming" . Theo James excellent and yes he has always been rather nice on the eye. Got our Noir Sci-Fi fix for the day.
Nice afternoon chat with Miss Wendy- Life, Love and everything in between.
At 4.00 PM I turned my jeans inside out & stitched up a rip in the crotch. My friend Chris said my balls were too big & caused the worn area- I have such lovely friends. My balls are the perfect size thank you very much- I'm sure you all need to know that.
By 5.00 I'm at Olinda and thought I'd support Duncan at Olinda Pizza shop & grab some Pizzas. The Deli still open so a fine coffee from them -which I will regret later as the caffeine slips into my system and I don't get a deep sleep.
In the early evening I get an email from our mates. Apparently an Antique store at Olinda has several cool items out front, one being an ancient mannequin. I drop everything, jump in the car and zoom off. No cars on the Tourist Road, not one. I look at the clock- 15 minutes till Curfew so that is why. I park in front of the shop, and decide the mannequins name is Elsie. Named after Elsie in The Divinyls song from 1982. "She never had an education, She uses life as her vocation, Standing on ledges clinging to the edges, The world's a hard place to land on". Elsie helps me carry a really small drum kit to the car too. It seems perfect for a video clip. I quickly speed home and make it back with 1 minute to spare. Good score- thanks Boys.
Of course having a mannequin and drums led to a guitar coming out, some glitter lip stick, Hedwig sunglasses and a rather LOID version of Ash's "Girl from Mars". Got to get off the couch during lockdown and have some fun. I will NEVER grow old gracefully!
September 14thI call my cousin for his birthday, it's nice that all of the family remembered and gave him a call and presents.
A friend has gone awol, I hope they are ok. I'm sure they are, probably just me worrying too much in a Covid world. As soon as i type this he calls up-see that's the magic of the F/16 website. Wishes come true.
September 15thThe chainsaw guys arrive right on time to start work on the giant tree stump + roots. Nice blokes and they get into it straight away. They are clearing one or two other stumps from the fence line, and they have a specialist guy who works on the big tree roots. Should be gone by the week. It's the perfect day to work outside, really nice weather.
I forgot to pay for my coffee at Montage the other day, Astrid leads the pack to hunt me down and have me arrested. Of course they all know I'd be horrified that I didn't pay and gave me such shit. So cute. As I'm driving off I spot my mate Peter. Park The Beast and run inside, of course being an absolute dickhead I lock my keys inside the car. Now if I had a coat hanger I could break in, but coat hangers are far and few during Covid. Thankfully kind hearted Peter drove me home for the spare key. I am hopeless.
I feel more sane this afternoon. The last 48 hours I swear i have been downright kooky! I decide to spend the night working in my "Office". Just 8.00 till midnight. Mostly going through the big red filing cabinet. I find some very cool things. The fraudband appears to be running at it's usual turtle speed though. I just want to send images, text and communicate with the world. I think I'll do a Tesla and invest in a flock of carrier pigeons. Placebo's wonderful "MEDS" album is playing while I type this. Track 6 "Post Blue" just great. " It's in the water baby, It's in the pills that pick you up, It's in the water baby, It's in the special way we fuck." . I do have the urge for some "E". Maybe it's the music.
Once it gets past 10.17 PM I decide to play Back Sabbath's "Sabbath bloody Sabbath". I have no idea why, and come on guys 666 on the album art- get it right, the real number of The beast is actually 616. I guess 666 always worked as far as a good lyrics line but no, no no.
I was talking to a mate on twitter and we were saying how November 7th still seems so far away for the new Dexter tv New Blood air date. Something to look forward to I guess.
As I depart the office just before midnight , our little Cheap Trick video now hits 800 views. Thanks everyone. So cool for word of mouth!!! We love you. I know I am obsessed with how many view it, & like all things on my You Tube page will stop obsessing ove rit when it get it's 1000th view. I just want it to be a success for Marky, plus to show some worth in that tiny bit of Cheap Trick footage I filmed when i was a kid.
September 16thWe wake up to another beautiful day at Kalorama, the weather has been superb. A few changes around lockdown restrictions, we can travel more and a few other positive things.
A few heavy moments today, at one stage sadness and the thought i may well be going nuts. Thankfully some good friends, and as always Marky my rock. So understanding, he gets me. Thankfully one call and it basically worked itself out. I'd say mostly my shit , that little attic room in my head opened it's door and bullshit and weird thoughts rolled out. I forced them all back in and bought a new big lock for my brain. I gave someone a massage today, and at one stage I thought tears were going to fall onto his back. I faked it, got the job done and pulled myself together. So unlike me. In the end I weighed up what was really important , sometimes having someone in your life is worth all the other stuff. Find the positives, they are nearly always there-sometimes just below the surface.
It's taken me the day to get over this, exhausted on all fronts, as is Mark who mowed all the lawns by himself. Early evening we climb into bed for an hour just to recharge. Fell asleep at midnight , a much needed deep sleep.
September 17thGreat to see that 2/3 of QLD parliament voted in support of the voluntary euthanasia bill. Death with dignity. A positive start for the day.
Covid numbers are still rising in Victoria, sadly 1 death, which is still way better then NSW's 12 deaths per day. 210 people have died in NSW from Covid , 6 in Victoria. I've had a few small Covid stressys moments lately, really tiny, just the smallest stuff around isolation. Thankfully it doesn't last long.
Andy White is in contact and we may have a chance run in at our cafe this afternoon or at least cross paths if the universe sees fit. Will be good to see him and have a chat.
We head off the mountain to do some supermarket shopping, some take away food for lunch which is rare for us. The roads are busy and Woolworths packed.
Andy & myself grab a coffee at Montage and head to the Arboretum-drink it in our cars and chat with the windows down. Even a bit of exercise on this lovely afternoon. So nice to catch up on gossip, friends and even some possible cool projects.
My afternoon in the office finishes with an email from Neil (Finn), it's been a while since I heard from him so that is a lovely way to finish my day. Wonderful to have that old contact again.
September 18thA weird restless sleep, with even less sleep with old lady cat Banshee wanting to go outside at 5.45 am.
Marks cool little Cheap Trick- Australia 1979 has now gone past 900 views. It's great that every day or two 100 more people get to enjoy this. Hope you can help make it hit 1000-then I will shut up! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSpCIBE_qpo
I head to Olinda with some mates & fill the Ute up with fire wood from the Yarra Ranges people. We get it to their home before the rain starts , so that feels good & one thing off my weekend list. On the way home I call in to see my mate Deb S. who has kindly repaired my favourite Camo's-I bought them at a tiny market in Kathamandu, Nepal. All fixed, lovely afternoon in her snug house chatting (masked) while the grey skies opened up and it started raining.
I'm in the office for an hour & playing The Go-Betweens "Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express" . Always loved track #3- "The Wrong Road".
We are LOVING the latest season of American Horror Story. Once again Frances Conroy shines as a vamp. Clever casting too using Macaulay Culkin. I dig that some people just don't get this show. More! More! More! Bite Me.
September 19thI decide to give The Beast a good clean after the free firewood pick up at the Oval. So vacuuming, scrubbing and even a bit of "new car" spray. I'm excited as I can now wear my repaired Camo's without being arrested - they were a tad crotchless.. I find my "Normal People Scare Me" T-shirt which seems to be fitting as odd looking people out walking -they smile as they pass me by-they KNOW I mean THEM. I post a snap on Twitter (taken by MG) and my friend Chrissie tells me that my crotch looks rather large in the photo. Maybe my buddy Deb sewed in a cod piece! (:
I hear from Toby and another bike ride to Monbulk planned. The motorbike jacket present is a size or two, too big but it's solid and I could climb inside of it if we have an accident-so thanks Toby very generous , looking forward to grabbing my groceries and going to the supermarket on a ripping Norton power machine. I do get a bit of a thrill on a bike. I also trust Tobes 100%.
So that's it from us in the Hills. The weather is improving, our disaster zone less of a disaster. The locals seem happier on the sunny days so bring it on, our mental state is in good condition.
Stay safe, and wear a mask it - it's no big deal.