"Happy Christmas from Mt Dandenong".
November 27thI am feeling exceptional Christmasy at the moment. I found myself singing 'Silent Night' while driving the car around the hills. It could be because i unpacked boxes of Christmas decorations this morning, or maybe just excited about heading on home.
Midnight goes into the vets for desexing. Dr Cooper is here so thats good and she likes Coop. It feels sad leaving her and I wonder if it feels like we humans have tortured her by knocking her out and not feeding her for hours and cutting her open with surgery. I know it's not really like that but for a kitten , who knows how fearful all of this stuff is. I also know she is being looked after so when the call comes in, in the afternoon that all is well and she is in her recovery suite all nice and warm I am relieved.
I can't wait till 4.30 so head to the bakery, which is across the road from the vets and sip my coffee and wait. She looks a tiny bit groggy but walks up and snuggles into me with her "take me home" look.
We curl up on the couch under a big blanket and Mark joins us, it isn't too long and all 3 of us are asleep and snoring ever so slightly.
November 28thThe mountain is fog bound this morning, you wouldn't think it is Summer in a few days. Midnight slept well, and I mix her drugs into her food. Marky is on cat guard duty all of today so she doesn't climb everywhere and pull her stitches.
I take one of the boxes connected with Project X into my friends Joan and Deb as they are helping me out around one of my brain freeze hit a speed hump areas, they are so talented, so fingers crossed and it's good to keep this project rolling. Yes it is taking forever.
November 29thRain and grey and a big storm warning for the mountain. They were right about this foronce, feels a bit like the past and several houses, cars are crushed. In the evening I take the Red Beast down to the oval. Sensible as a big tree limb came down where the car would of been. It's just my beat up bucket of bolts but I love that car as it has helped me help so many people. So it lives in the safe area at the oval all night. I notice loads of debris and even power lines down while I am out.
I arrive home and as expected the power goes out. We fill the lounge room with candles and lights and the three of us snuggle again on Marks couch.
Markys Youtube Wednesday today is Neil Finn and Mark Hart at The Roxy. 1998 and they are performing the haunting "Spirit of the Stairs" I always felt this gorgeous gem was wasted not being on an album. Anyway, you can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd5UOSoFG9w
Not much sleep tonight, we could hear trees crashing down in the distance and a few loud noises at our place. Another big tree limb crushes part of the old chicken coup. It was solid metal so you can imagine how big and heavy the limb is. No new chickens so no feathered friends were killed.
November 30thUp early as I'm sure there will be delays getting off the mountain. The crews started at 5.00 am and all along the road chainsawed trees. Some rain and the gutters are full with debris.
I buy Markys main Christmas present today, a new mattress for his bed. A friend from the charity who does the deliveries for us will be dropping it in tomorrow so yes Marky gets it early. He might as well, seems silly trying to hide a mattress.
I bring home a big cardboard box to fill with presents for home, they are all wrapped and ready to go. Bloody hell it is heavy, postage will be insane but i'm ok with that, it means I don't have to wait at Sydney airport for bags.
Chat to an Enz person around some Enz possible stuff. Interesting.
December 1stUp early and we are first at the vets for Midnights health check. All is perfect, no infections but this time a different staff member and she refused to come out of her cage. Eventually i entice her out and she gets the all clear, her stitches come out next week. Hurrah.
I work in the office for a few hours. Give this diary a bit of a push. We've had 30,000 readers so far this year. I am both humbled and amazed. God bless Deb for sticking with this and putting it up. She is a star.
One of my work related mates, Jay delivers Markys main Christmas present, the new bed mattress. Sounds so boring writing that but it's what he wanted and needed so why not. I gave up considering wrapping it and he might as well use it now. It's very comfy and I have a brief nana nap in the afternoon.
I lost the vibe to cook dinner so drove in the horrid weather to Indian by Nature at Olinda and bought dinner, and grabbed some icecream from Duncan at Olinda Pizza. It suddenly seemed very late. The day evaporated and suddenly it was 2 AM.
December 2ndAnother lovely Summers day on the mountain, single digit temperature, rain, fog and rather grey.
The phone rings and I chat to another of our Split Enz managers and Tour manager David H. Some about the sad passing of our friend Dee and the rest he surprises me. In his youth he would see Reuben Tice play shows all the time. So he was blown away that i was door bitch for therm 2 Sundays ago and I promised if they play more shows to let him know. He is so excited to see our video footage for "Down the Road". He reconfirms just how popular they were at Warrandyte, Eltham and Research. That made me smile. You can check out The Tice here, just one song at the moment but enjoy:
I arrive at the bakery and hiker Pauline has left me a big bag of her homegrown Oranges. Bless her she must of carried them all the way from her home at Mt Evelyn. They will be put to good use. A few of us are sitting around sipping coffee's talking about Tamagotchi's being back in fashion (for the 100th time).
I spend a few hours in the office, it's a miserable day so office and art room and maybe chop some wood in the garage. I find a little box in the archives of some of Pauls original hand written lyrics that he gave us, so I pop a few of them on the FrenzDotCom twitter area.
It has been a rather peculiar day. Six SIX different times I have found $1 and $2 gold coins on the ground, not here at Kalorama but out and about, sometimes 15 kms between locations. You could get it if it was 1or 2 but SIX. By #5 and #6 I was going "No Way" , so yeah I invested in a tattslotto ticket.
Stuff it, gave Mark some more of his Christmas presents and he is 'working on mine' which means I will love it. All of December is a time for Holiday celebrations so presents are fine to be opened early. Laura sends me a picture of some gorgeous earrings she bought at David Jones from the gift voucher we gave her, she looks so pretty in them.
So I'm in the lounge room and Mark decides I must have my presents too. He's managed to get me blurays of some unreleased tv shows, so brilliant. Also the original Addams Family box set- , Patrick Stewarts book and a 2024 work diary- all things I love. Spoilt and thrilled. He trained THING to walk in with the Addams Family box set on his back, no that is wrong, thing doesn't have a "back" , so on his stump. I am over the moon, thank you Marky and thank you Thing.
I put the word out to some mates to give the Reuben Tice clip a view. We were just 7 views short of 700. An hour later we are at 720 views. Our friends are so supportive of these projects. We love them for it. Especially more obscure things. Ok they do it to shut me up, I know that. HA.
I email Andy White to find out when stock arrives for his new album as I want to get one as a present for a family member. He is off to Ireland, etc soon.
December 3rdI let Midnight go into the lounge room at 6.00 am and back to bed. I must of needed sleep, I didn't wake up till 10.00!
The bakery oddly empty and T spoils me. God they are good to me. I sit outside and write a boring "To Do" list for today, just all tiny things, a dozen of them, tedious. Mostly because today my paper diary page is empty! How strange. It's never empty. So the "To Do" list compensates for that. I chat to Sis and she is taking MIM in to have her Christmas photo. Maddison sends me photos of herself putting on clip on nails 5 minutes before the snap. Our little girl is growing up.
I vacuum the corridor, under my bed where Midnight has chewed up one of my books, washed up, changed the kitty litter, filled the green bin with some of the tree drop from the storm, carried the remainder into the fire pile. Chainsawed and cut logs for Winter fire wood, changed the water around my vase of sunflowers as they are still looking great and added some ferns; I took the glass covers off some smell vegies so they can get a blast of sunshine, emailed a thank you to Liz Logan because she sent us the first Christmas card of the year, cashed an $8.85 tattslotto tickets which covers my 2 coffees when I head to charity this week and gave both Marky and Midnight a cuddle because that is always on my "To Do" list.
December 4thCute that our Victoria Premier is a huge Crowded House, Split Enz fan. I kind of knew that anyway, recall meeting her at some of our shows when she was buying some merchandise. She has a half decent collection of Enz-Crowdies T-shirts too...proudly showing some for Australian Music T-shirt day. I make an effort to find her a cool little Crowded House Christmas trinket and call up her office for the postal address. Fun. Can you imagine what crap music someone like Peter Dutton would like-Urgh!
I book the Red Beast in for it's upgrades in January. Good when they are done, should keep the old girl on the road for quite awhile longer. I also book in a day at the hairdresser so I can look half decent when I go home for Christmas. I'll let my hair be a human haystack till that time.
I'm playing Lady Gaga's "Born this Way" and attempting to make Marky dance with me. He really is a good dancer, i will make it my mission in 2024 to get MG dancing a lot more.
Midnight pulls down the Christmas tree for the third time. I put it back up again. No ornaments on it, just tinsel. It's a war of wills, I will win this!
Shout out to Josephine and Kimberly for running our YouTube Wednesday links on their pages. Really nice of them, we love the support.
December 5thWell Summer has arrive, another hot day. The big tin barn which is the charity is roasting. We all live on Icey Poles, and a few look like they might collapse. It's only just begun. Heaven help us when it is a week of hot weather.
I have taken another small step around Project X (huge thank you to Joan and Deb for amazing efforts) so that feels good.
I arrive home, it was a long day but I managed to get all my stuff done plus extra. I'm in one of the more remote parts of Ailsa Craig and i remember the tiny possible wild Wollemi plant. Suddenly it is double the size and looking a hell of a lot like a Wollemi pine. The wild population in NSW at that isolated site has 46 adult trees and 43 juveniles. So it would be rare that this one is "wild". I have a theory that during or massive storm disaster a seed or something was flung from our giant domestic Wollemi and it has grown. I would love that. I have named it Wildling. I'll get one of my rangers to check, love for it to be another Wollemi.
We watch the start of the second season of "TIME", this one set in a womans prison. Jodi Whittaker, yes the Dr from Dr Who is in it. Funny a Time Lord in Time! Anyway it's really good. I see she comes to Australia soon for one of the fan gatherings.
December 6thI am sleeping well, Miss Kitty does wake me up early and i deposit her in the kitchen for food and stumble back for a few more hours. Her stitches come out in a few days.
We call Marks dad for his Birthday and the other birthday girl who hates birthdays and apparently I am one of the few that can get away with singing and waving lit candles at her to blow out.
Markys Youtube Wednesday a bit special. Some live Crowded House from May 1991. The Prahran Club, Melbourne. "Now We're getting Somewhere" and it has this cool little segment in the middle where the Crowdies cover The Beatles "I saw her standing there". Anyway check this one out, it's a lot of fun. About as close as you can get to Crowded House onstage too.
December 7thLoads of people at the charity today, all after bargains for Christmas. I put together some bulk book deals and wrap them and they go, every single one of them. We have a lot of fun today, though another staff member goes home sick. I test for Covid just to be on the safe side and all ok still Covid free. Not many of us left that can say that. We have a fresh face on our team, another bloke, welcome Zac.
I pick a few more blackberries and make another batch of Jam. Just a handful more. So far I haven't stuffed any up, my Pop would be proud of me.
December 8thI am awake early and take Midnight to the vet so she can have her stitches out. A bit of a weird lump near the stitches but that could be a stray fatty tissue. We just have to keep an eye on it. She's a good kitten, no big freak out so that is a relief. We return the bucket thing as she didn't try to rip out her stitches.
Keith Richards and wife Patti have been married for 40 years now. Remarkable, and it seems like Keith is genuinely loyal and adores her. Backstage in the band room I'd catch him giving her a smile and a wink. Kind of cute.
We start watching STRIFE. Asher Keddie has the main role and as always she's really great. It's set a decade ago so you get to have a bit of a giggle how things have changed. It's a fictionalised adaption of Mia Freedmans 2017 memoir "Work, Strife, Balance".
A bit of a phone tag and coffee tag with Andy White, just before he heads off. I finally catch up with him on a street corner at Olinda, but he is holding 2 copies of his " Good luck, I hope you make it" new CD. It's now available on Andy White Bandcamp too. I tweet this info but stuffed it and typed available on Camp band... lucky I spotted it, one has to ask, where are all the Camp bands these days? I drive past the ancient Mount Dandenong Garage, and it's just calling for a bloke to pop on a Santa hat and sit in front of the pump for a photo, so I did. Told you I have the Christmas spirit.
Safe flight Mr White.
December 9thWe wake and I remind Mark that the power is off for most of the day, just line work on the main Tourist Rd. So I escape for my coffee at the bakery. I pass on a Christmas present for our friend Kay as her son will be seeing her in hospital later today. Presents are nice so hope this will cheer her up.
I pull my finger out and concentrate on Project X all day. Even a supply run to Spotlight for a few final bits and pieces. It moves to a new level today. Still loads to do but a few "OK that's great" moments.
We both work in the office till 9.00 PM tonight while the wind and rain batters Ailsa Craig outside. I have a few email tech problems so that is annoying and I felt the IINET guy was rather useless. He has handballed it down the line and I wonder if I will ever hear anything again. Sometimes it just correct itself.
December 10th.Kalorama is covered in fog, this grey weather is here for a few days. It's really thick and holding the warmth in.
I sip my coffee outside at Olinda and just chat to locals, nice and relaxed. A few of my tree specialists look at the photo of the possible baby Wollemi and they seem to think it is.
Our neighbours are grabbing the old Jackeroo today so it will be gone soon. Hope they can repair it as I'd love for a nice family to own it.
My mate told me that The Stones "Hackney Diamonds" has hit gold record status in Australia. So far it's Austria, France, Germany, Holland the UK where it has achieved Gold. Good one Australia.
So another diary signed off, for another fortnight. Two weeks till Christmas, so our Best Wishes go out to you all.
Love, Ho! Ho! Ho!
Peter and Mark & Midnight.