"Happy New Year". Kalorama 2024.
December 11thA bit of a brain fog day. Rather lethargic I kind of struggle on, doing this and that. Maybe I didn't sleep well last night, loads of weird dreaming. Once again bullshit from IINET, if it wasn't for my email address we'd get rid of them. They have become annoyingly useless. I spend an hour on the phone with them, eventually they get it all fixed. Hate HATE that they change my password without asking me.
Marks brother Stephen from NZ calls so that's really nice. I also chat to Trudi for awhile. After that Laura. A chatty day. Always welcome.
I box up a few Christmas presents that I am going to mail. I hate presents around the tree after Christmas so not doing it this year. It's usually just 1 maybe 2 but it irks Mark and with an attack kitten she will have them open before we get to see our distant friends. So in the post they go. I find obscure things to do all afternoon, my brain is set in that area. Maybe i have contracted the "Christmas Blues" from people- it seems this year everyone is over Christmas before it has even begun.
Play T.Rex "The Slider" while making dinner. My favourite T.Rex album. That always cheers me up. Not bad for an album from July 1972, has some longevity, half a century later. Rock On!!!!!
December 12thThe big Christmas Box for home is sealed. Bloody hell it is heavy, 25 kg. I use a full roll of packing tape to secure it and our trolly to get it to the car.
I am awake early so I head to Officeworks for some secret mens business, ok Project X stuff.
Loads of fog as I drive down the mountain but it all clears by midday and the charity becomes a bit of a sweat box. We are all sucking on Ice Poles to keep cool.
December 13thThe giant Christmas Parcel home was nowhere near as expensive as I thought, so relieved to get this on it's way so a hassle free arrival at Sydney airport.
Once more I have a little list of tiny things that need doing, 20 of them and during the day I tick each off. Markys Youtube Wednesday and seeing this week it's 51 years since the first Split Enz concert at Auckland's Wynyard Tavern, he digs up some unreleased footage of mine that we filmed as part of the 20th Anniversary at the Wynyard. The Enz performing "My Mistake". A cute ending where Tim and Neils Mum Mary wanders up to the stage and hands Tim her hanky to wipe his stage sweat. Love it.
Link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEFOFesyEDI
December 14th10 days till Christmas. Am i the only one that still gets excited, Sis and Mum sound so bored by it all. Marks over the flying before he has set foot on the plane.
I have a weird morning dream about Shirl from Skyhooks, it was very real.
The charity is having a Christmas gathering this afternoon. So around 4.00 pm the staff not working arrive. I get changed into my green shirt that I wore on the Countdown documentary plus a Santa hat, yes jeans too. The food is nice and I end up being in charge of the icecream, cute little cones. A nice gathering though the religious chaplain tended to go on and on and on. We were all dying from heat exhaustion and she's doing this waffling religious internet link. We all got blessed, I probably need it more than others. HA.
Home not too late but ten hours at the charity and that is it, I am frazzled.
Neil Finn puts another of Markys Youtube Wednesday links up on his Sheepbook page so that was nice, guess it is some sort of seal of approval.
December 15thChantelle has me locked in for a haircut and dye job and my fave hair person gives me the best scalp massage. I say yes to an extra treatment just so she keeps on massaging. Nice.
Lots of Christmas cards arrive today so thank you readers. I love paper cards, i don't do internet cards. Just not into them which I'm sure pisses off a few of our mates.
On the way home i call into Adrian & Barrys but they are not in so I leave the Chrissy present at the door, we will see them in a few days.
It's a 10.00 PM night grocery shop with Marky and myself dropping some soaps and deodorant into Pinchapoo's late night bin to help the homeless this Christmas. Good on you Kate. Thank you Mark too for always coming on my strange "helping the humans" drives that we do. You'd think after all of this time my husband would be sick of me and these diversions.
December 16thI sit at the bakery and work on some of the material side of "Project X". Once again people stop and ask, humans sure are inquisitive creatures.
I text Kay to see if she is up for visitors at the hospital but today is a bad day , so i respect that and will just keep up the texts every few days and snaps of Midnight that make her smile.
December 17thI hear from one of the project officers at Tonga where we went for the Tsunami disasters, nice that we still are in contact with some of the people around this. That part of the country is slowly getting back into shape.
Labor are doing well in the latest Polling, Dutton and the Liberals fall further behind. Hopefully Peter Dutton will NEVER be PM. I just don't like the guy i think he is a dickhead.
Today is the anniversary of our first Skyhooks show at Wollongong. Way back in1975, finally the band were allowed to play the 'Gong. Mark and myself were so excited. We assumed all fans arrived at concerts 12 hours before the gig so that's what we did. Shock horror no one was there except us and the road crew setting up the stage in the middle of the showgrounds. A few hours later Skyhooks arrived and that alone fried our tiny brains. We sat in the stands and eagerly watched, it was like Australia's number one band was playing a show just for us. This huge local security guard tried to throw us out, and the voice of God (aka Shirley Strachan) bellows out of the speakers. "Hey mate fuck off and leave them alone, they can stay". Our friggin' hero right! So we got to see soundcheck and were absolute sad arse dags, applauding after every song, which gave Shirl a smile. He must of thought us sad arses, but in our world he thought we were great because we were not screaming 16 year old girls but we were there for the music (man)!
The show itself blew our fuses even more, huge crowd, the second largest on the tour, we were very proud that out town had such a massive turn out. We both remember so little. I broke Marks Tandy electronics free torch. You will all have to ask him why he took a torch. HA. Anyway magic days and no longer concert virgins. Marks still trying to get his underpants back that he threw on stage (I am joking). Hooked back then, forever.
December 18thThank you for the amazing Christmas cards. We got a special one today, from the Premier of our state Jacinta Allan. An amazing hand written message, really lovely. She has such good musical taste too, loves Split Enz and Crowded House, her fave bands. Dragged out her Crowdies tshirts for Australian Band T-shirt day. Cool.
Barry runs up to me while I'm having a coffee and gives us a very cool Chrissy present from Adrian and himself. I'm also hanging with Kalli the dog and her puppy at the bakery, everyone wants to give them a pat. Send Kay some photos and she has her Christmas presents from us, so very sad I hope she makes it till Christmas. Life can be so unfair for some people.
Keith Richards turns 80. When the bombs drop and the world is nuked, it will be Keith Richards, my Mum and cockroaches that will be the last survivors we know that. I put up the Keith Richards "Run Run Rudolf" picture cover single in honour of his eightieth and Christmas on my FB and Twitter page.
Hang with Jed and decide to get him some youtube views for his single as his Xmas present. He's a good lad...well some of the time.
December 19thWe receive this really brilliant Christmas parcel from Wendy in Queensland. She spoils us both so much and I guilt like crazy. I know she loved our present but it still freaks me out, she has such a good heart. I trust her a lot.
A bit fatigued at the charity today, Lachie my coffee guy is on Xmas holidays so his little coffee van has gone for a few weeks. You'd think my one a day coffee would mean nothing but it's my morning treat. I do struggle on during the day. We help a family who lost everything in bushfires. They have that empty look in their eyes but a tiny glimmer of hope when we help them.
December 20thUp early and walk around Ailsa Craig picking some flowers for Trudi. We always give her a bunch, all of todays flowers are orange so that's a tad odd. A friend called me about her mystery ailments, I kept saying "Epizootic" simply because i love the word, it's my word of the week from my Penguin Dictionary of Curious & Interesting words.
Trudi on time as always and we swap Christmas presents, hers displayed so artfully, so clever. All of us love our presents that is cool. We head to Olinda cafe for some lunch and fun. Good company.
In the afternoon I use my Cold-Press machine to make my own Dark Heart juice and stoked that it works, and tastes sensational.
December 21st.I'm having a few weeks off, just time for us and to work on projects, the yard, cuddle the husband and the fur girl. I felt like I put a lot into 2023 so a nice recharge. I was tempted to go away to somewhere exotic but was thinking it's really nice being here at Kalorama this time of year. The charity girls give me a Chrissy shirt for Xmas and some chocolates, which was so nice of them.
December 22ndChristmas is so close and I feel like i am the only person with some joy in my heart and Christmas spirit. I get why some are over it this year but I am going to refuse not to be happy, generous, kind and if possible bring some Christmas joy to a few people. It's the one time I love to really catch up with mates so we both appreciate our friends efforts and really, we are all having a good time. Today we see Laura and Kevin and we swap presents and I sneak off and pay for their lunch. While we are at the table my phone tells me I can check in with the Qantas App so yep all done. That was simple. Wave goodbye to L&K and we drop into 'The Others' house and give them a Xmas gift box that we put together. Nice they love it, they are both good friends so got to take care of your mates.
In the late afternoon I chat to Noel, Nigel and Mal so a bit of a Split Enz call. felt so familiar and everyone has their lives now, is Split Enz a fleeting memory, I think it's something they hold dear but we move on, well kind of.
December 23rdI sit outside in the sun and stitch repair my Mambo dogs bonking backpack. It is a favourite of mine and I fill it for flights so am happy I have repaired it for the trip to Sydney. I email the Finns for Christmas, totally slack and forgot to send a card this year. Oops. Rare as we usually do. I'm getting excited about heading home. Maddison just seems to be growing as much as my gorgeous old Mum is shrinking. We both know we won't get any sleep tonight and up early. Our security mate Chris arrives and he is having one of the spare rooms and "in theory" Midnight will curl up with him at night. She already senses something is happening.
December 24thMark and myself are awake at 4.30 am. Midnight is following him around and giving him the kitten evil eye. We leave just as the sun is coming up and get to Melbourne airport at 7.30. I find a park for the Red Beast and we head through the security check in a few minutes. Soon having a coffee and some breakfast at the Frequent Flyer Lounge. My favourite weatherman tells me it is bucketing down in NSW and our flight, which was running EARLY got stuck in a holding pattern and basically arrived on time.
I "deal with" the Avis people and get my way , I'm sure they'll try to shaft us some other way. Soon we are heading to the top of the Great Dividing Range to drop Mark off at his Dads. His step Mum will have a delicious lunch waiting for us. Rain all the way and we are sensible, too many people killed on the roads over Christmas.
Nice to see my other "inlaws" and the food was a welcome recharge. I want to avoid the storm and fog so off I go. I hate leaving Mark It's only a blink of an eye, just a few days and both of us will be sidetracked enough. As i depart a Kangaroo is eating grass on their lawn so I wish him a Happy Christmas. So Australian. Here in Oz 10 kangaroos pull santa's sled, we all know that.
As expected when I get to Robertson, heavy fog and the rain increases, and for most of the drive down the Pass it's just me. Midway and the water is now flooding down the road, and the 60 or so turns are getting hairy, I watch a big surge of water take away one of the new safety barriers and I get the tiniest bit frightened, mainly because I don't know how "good" this car is under such conditions. I slow down even more and the wipers are going fast, lights on etc. A tree limb crashed down near the car and I will need to wash my mouth out at Mums as I did use some terrible words. Eventually I leave the pass and onto Albion Park. The weather is crappy but not insane.
Mums place looks the same and it's great to see her. I drive and pick my cousin up and Sis will arrive soon, MIMs off with the inlaws. Most of the other family members have Covid so Christmas Eve at Mums will be a tiny crowd this year, But it doesn't matter we will have fun. Mums eyesight has nearly gone but she somehow struggles on and makes the best of what she has. We stay up talking which is great. As I go to bed a text arrives. Our friend Kay has lost the fight with cancer. I've kept it mostly with us for months and was hoping she'd make it into the new year, and not Christmas Eve. But sadly no. I avoid telling my family as we lost my grandmother on Christmas Eve (and strangely enough Mark lost his grandfather at that time too). I pop half a something and get some sleep, otherwise the sadness will wash over me and I may drown. I light a candle in the window for her and send out a thank you to Kay for her wonderful gift of Midnight the kitten. A small part of her memory will be with us with our furry kid.
December 25thHappy Christmas Everyone. Not much sleep as I did think about Kay and her family all morning. I stumble out of bed and Mum is already in action mode making the pudding. I assist but bless her she is doing find, amazing because of her almost blindness. The thing is , this amazing blind ladies pudding is still better than what I can make. I cut up the fruit salad and start on the platters. Sis and Maddison arrive and so good to see MIM. We open the insane amount of presents. yes we know it's not the number of presents but it does feel extra special. Wonderful and we all have fun. Sis's husband arrives, yes she married a Mark too- so Mum, Sis and myself all Mark obsessed. We try on our family portrait outfits, reddish long wigs and groucho marks glasses and moustaches. Sis's husband shakes his head like we are all fucked. Mum pulls her hair over her face so she looks like a ginger Cousin Itt from the Addams family.
I pick my Uncle up and MIM comes along for the drive and we wing into the Crematorium first and put flowers on the relatives graves. Maddions teaches me Taylor Swifts "22" which oddly enough I don't mind. Drop the Uncle at Mums and we head to my cousins place to give him a lift. We both make him sing Taylor Swift! We roll our eyes he doesn't even know one song. Much to MIMs disgust.
Lunch is great, less shit stirring from all.
In the afternoon I head to lake Illawarra for a breather with Sis and MIM. We scamper over oyster covered rocks and pose for photos. Sit in the fresh grass and chat and let lunch settle. This is great a sunny moment and all is calm, even the lake.
At night I pop half a valium and wake up by the loudest thunder, a huge storm has rolled in and the house is shaking. Not much sleep tonight.
December 26th"Peter are you awake". I jerk upright, and check the clock. "Mum it's only 6.00 am"! Blind ladies and can't see the clock I think to myself. I climb out of bed 45 mins later, I'm awake now. I pack my presents and backpack and head off at 8.00. Wave to Mum and hope she is still with us next Christmas.
As I approach Macquarie Pass I notice that it is again fog bound, so I take it slow. Rain starts again but no flash flooding so I am relieved. The slowest driver from QLD ahead of us, and in the end we have a convoy of 18 cars behind him. Just wouldn't pull over and let us pass, so every car beeps him and gives the finger as they go by. Feeling the love mate? I arrive at Bundanoon and don't want to go to Marks dads place this early so look for an open cafe. Nothing. At one stage I stand in the main street for 20 minutes and not a single car comes along.
I pick Mark up and off we go, Sydney airport. The Google Maps crashes so I have to have a guess but we arrive at the car rental place. Still 3 years before the work is finished and hire car returns are at the airport again.
Our flight leaves on time but we have to go into a holding pattern so circle after circle on the flight map. Finally we touch down and grab the car and head home. I buy Mark some fast food which we wolf down.
Midnight is so happy to see us, she jumps into my arms. It's nice to be home.
December 27thGrey skies in the morning and sun in the afternoon. I make another batch of my Dark Heart juice. I call David Jones at Eastlands and leave a message for the manager. Trying to get something from them for our archives seeing the store is closing down. My Sis tells me that I have won $45.00 on my Christmas scratchy's. Yay!
Markys Youtube Wednesday up today. This one is great as Neil adds a few more lyrics. Crowded House Live at The Paradiso, Amsterdam. October 16th 1991. "When You Come". Check this one out it's really good.
Link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PilblcAYqHg
December 28thSo nice to have time off away from the charity and the world, well not all of the world. Just sitting in the sun sipping coffee and doing the work I want to do today. My mate Jedekaih Wilson sits for a moment, he's a bit electric today, probably excited as his debut album comes out in February. He asks me which of his suggested titles I prefer. Well one stood out to me so I tell him. For Christmas I spread the word on his youtube clip and it jumped by 80 more views so that's a nice gift to give to the young bloke.
I chat to Ian for awhile, we both say how strange it is that Kay isn't here with us sharing a joke.
Marky gives me a bluray of all the recent Dr Who episodes so I am so excited. I am so spoilt. I could easily binge watch all of them but I will pace my viewing experience.
December 29thI work on the "FAN" exhibit idea at the bakery. Early early stages. I'm sure I can hear Trudi saying "one project at a time, one at a time" , I am glad I ignore those pesky voices in my head.
I give the art room a tidy up, shuffle stuff around for Project X. A few tiny 'to do's" on the list and get them done. I run out of the special glue I am using so add it to the buy list. Mark has some great suggestions so I take notes in our work book. We are such a great team, rarely fight but every so often the Lion and the Bull but heads over an idea. We both concede and find some solid middle ground.
December 30thSip my coffee and watch the rain roll in across the mountain. Quite a few tourists today.
I call Gregory Skyhook and leave a Happy Birthday message. He is now 73 and still living in his seventies.
I do speak to another Skyhook tonight, our buddy Bob Starkie. As always a funny chat, he's always done the right thing by us. A champion.
I have to fix "Noels Neck"...do not ask (rolls eyes).
December 31stLots of texts and calls from friends, it's lovely but it bogs my day down. I chat to Sis, she and Miss MIm are heading to Queensland for a weeks break. Hope the weather up north improves.
A nice talk to Wendy Smith who recently released "The Quiet Ones...Skyhooks, AC/DC and Me". It's available on line now. A great time to be a music fan. I am going to find time, lie down in the hammock and read it from cover to cover. Link: https://thequietonesbook.com/
I spend 3 hours in the art room, was hoping for more but sidetracked again. The diary numbers for 2023 arrive. 22,000 views so that is amazing for me. Thank you for returning every fortnight & big thanks to Deb for being a Goddess & putting it up on the Net.
As soon as dusk arrives I head out on the decking and Mark takes a snap of yours truly with a sparkler. I am amazed it even lights as it must be ten years old. It's kind of cool, Marky knows what he is doing. So i use it for the Happy New Year image.
Just as the new year clicks over and the fireworks is exploding over cities in Australia, our Reuben Tice live video has it's 1000th view. So I am happy now. So thanks everyone who checks out and supports Markys Youtube Wednesday clips. More to come we promise.
Have a magnificent 2024.
Stay safe and find joy in the simple things of life.