Showing posts from 2009

n3 - dec 09

My uncle passed away 9 days ago, on the 22nd Dec. He died comfortably in his sleep in hospital. He was born on the 22nd April 1916. So he lived to 93. That's coming and going on the 'master' number. He wasn't my blood-uncle, he was my mum's sister's husband. They were married for 63 years. My auntie's still going at 89. The funeral was two days ago, on the 29th. I gave a reading at the funeral, of which I was most honoured to do, from the book of Ecclesiastes.
We went around to my auntie's apartment in Bondi Beach a few times during that week after his passing. I've rarely visited them over my adulthood years, but going back to that apartment four times within the space of a week flooded me with that sense of utter familiarity, that this was once my second home, a place I'd come to every Sunday from childhood to early-teens.
Auntie & Uncle lived on the top floor. The kids - my cousins (all of them at least a generation older tha…

pet ratties !

It wasn't until I met Sarah that I discovered what pet ratties were all about it. I'd always thought that the value in keeping rats as pets is that they run up and down the length of your arms, across and around your shoulders, and that they're "intelligent". Well I was wrong. Pet ratties offer so much more to their owners and carers, and those who love them in general. I know now that there's a world-wide community of rat lovers who love keeping ratties as pets.
Last weekend we drove up to Newcastle to visit a 17-year old girl who's offered to take Sarah's rats from her as Sarah is moving out from her apartment. We'd visited Hannah some weeks ago to inspect the environment and TLC factor, and everything was at or above expectation. And she was such a nice, decent girl too who obviously loved rats, and her family were amazingly lovely people too. This trip was to be the deliverance trip, taking the cage and the toys and the food and the ratt…

Robert Lurie's biography on Steve Kilbey & The Church

"With the Church, what real, tangible magic - ultimately unidentifiable and unexplainable." - Robert Lurie, No Certainty Attached, 2009.
I've just finished reading Robert Lurie's biography on Steve Kilbey & the Church, No Certainty Attached. In reading this book I was immediately struck by how good a writer Lurie is; he's my hero now, not Kilbey! I think he's done a damn fine job in balancing critical, well-researched perspective with the passion he has for his subject. His grammar and vocabulary are ace, too. I'm enthralled! So I'm going to use this book as an influence, a template, for my future scribe-extrapolations! ;)
Robert Lurie intersperses his narrative with occasional autobiographical anecdotes, such as his account of discovering the Church and the 'Starfish' album in 1988, and the immense, lasting impact the band has made on him. He talks about his time in Sydney in July 2003 where he met up with Steve Kilbey f…

my fretless bass

I bought my first fretless bass on Wednesday. I'd wanted a fretless bass ever since I was 19, in an on-and-off kind of way. And during one of my Christmas shopping expeditions, I walked into Music City Sydney in Petersham on my way to and fro from one shop to the next. I immediately noticed how downscaled the shop had become since I'd last strolled in, some 12 or so months ago. I just glazed around not paying much attention to anything in particular. Until I spied a bunch of basses on one wall with orange stickers stuck onto each instrument with sale prices. A fretless bass immediately caught my eye. It had a sticker of $314, down from the tag's rrp of $449.

I had a go of it. The action was quite high. I asked the man behind the counter to lower it for me. He lowered it a little but that was as far as it could go. It's still playable but at some point I'll have to find a way of lowering it further, if that's all possible. It sounded good and playe… the movies

Tues, 15 Dec
Yesterday afternoon I decided to go to the pictures on my own. It's nice to have the autonomy to do what one likes during leave time, especially when it's contrary to everyone else appears to be doing at in that moment. So, I strolled out the door in the early afternoon, cut through Queens Park and then Centennial, arriving at Fox Studios in time for a quick bite, a coffee, and a ticket purchase to see the new blockbuster, 2012. I was looking forward to catching this film as its subject matter is of keen interest to me.

I was about to front up to the Subway stall and order my usual round of veggie wrap. Just as I was converging onto the stall front, the second stall down from Subway suddenly snared my attention. It was a wrap rotisserie shop that seemed to specialise in fancy wraps. Most of these were of the clucky variety, and not being too fond of the old chinker I decided on the safe bet of the veggie wrap. Roasted capsicum, for example, was one of the wr…

The Church live @ The Factory Theatre

On Saturday, 12 December, myself and a good friend drove down to Marrickville to see the Church play at the Factory Theatre. We hadn't ventured into this venue previously for a rock concert and were impressed with the size and cleanliness of the large room. There were many familiar faces at the gig so that it turned out to be a fairly social, as well as ardently musical, occasion.
It was good to see the Church with my friend David. I was reminded that it was with he, more than half a lifetime ago, with whom I first went to see the Church in December 1987 at the Tivoli, the gig that more than likely premiered 'Under the Milky Way Tonight' live. And now some 22 years on, the song was yet again played by the band, and was cast off by Steven's announcement that "we are going to play....that song", swooping his left arm in the direction of Marty who commenced that familiar A minor refrain. The song went down well.
The Church have always been able to offer abundant…


I spent a few days in Hobart recently. From last Friday evening to Tuesday night. Most of the time I spent time with my sister, nephew, and brother-in-law (and their gorgeous tortoiseshell cat, Catiana!) I found plenty of time however to go out and traipse about the city and suburbs, to get a feel for this fine little city, and to ponder what my long-term relationship to the place might be.
It fascinates me how much alike the surrounds of Hobart match those of Cairns. Both cities are green and lush with cavernous mountains surrounding the metropolis as seen from the bay areas. There is one, palpable, gigantic difference between the two cities, of course. One of these cities is situated dead smack in the tropical zone and is always hot, the other, some 3-4,000km south, is snugly shelved in the cool-temperate zone. Why they appear similar is that they're both at the far ends of the Great Dividing Range that flourishes up and down near the east coast of Australia from Far Nort…

Songwriters Day @ Darling Harbour

Saturday 21 November was Songwriters Day at Darling Harbour, Sydney. The event is hosted annually by the Darling Harbour Authority for Australian Music Week, and organised and co-hosted by the SSA, the Songwriting Society of Australia. Of this purely volunteer organisation, it is Ken Stewart of the band Urban Guerillas who does the lion's share of the organising and groundwork, so that's a terrific effort Ken!

There's been a heatwave over Sydney during the past three days, and even though temperatures didn't reach quite as high as anticipated on Saturday, it was nonetheless pretty damn hot. It was clammy and humid with no refreshing breeze, but thankfully the event was on the Saturday rather than on the Sunday as the Sunday had become very hot indeed. People came and performed and put on a good show despite the heat, and the sound quality was good, so all were happy with that.

This is Pete Scully, president of the Society. He does good work liaising with other song…


Today's the day I bussed up to the Prince of Wales outpatient clinic to collect the results of last week's blood test. I had to make an appointment at the clinic to collect and consult with the medico. It's been 9 months since I last had a blood test, and preceding that test by 3 months was a previous test. The star figure, the number in question in all my blood readings, is my HbA1c.

Today's was 7.2.

In Nov 2008 it was 7.3. I improved it down to 6.6 by February 2009. Now it's climbed back up. In short, the HbA1c measures the amount of glucose present in hemoglobin over a period of about 10-12 weeks. It's a fairly good indicator of how one's at with diabetes control, in measuring the average amount of glucose in the bloodstream over a period of three months.

And my control ain't disastrous, but it does need improving. Otherwise they're gonna force the meds back on me and this time around I won't be in a position to turn the other cheek and …