Entries Tagged as 'People'

Gertrude Implores You To Take Her Seriously For A Minute

As some of you may know, I recently began employment with a small, grass-roots organisation dedicated to helping local communities do anything they can to reduce their carbon footprint. I spent several months visualising a job exactly like this one; working with people of vision, action and commitment, 5 minutes from home and Wildflower’s school, and with regular hours that accommodate other commitments. It is literally a dream job for me. Of course, the downside of this employment is that it comes with an increasing awareness of climate change, a line of thinking which is liable to lead to the excruciating discomfort of self-examination.

Despite the impression I may have given you with the amount of space I devote in my blog to flippant observations and trite assumptions, I actually try hard not to be judgemental of others. Recognising in each of us the struggle to reconcile to the slip of time we have between life and death (sorry; bit of new-agey philosophy crept in there), I am inclined to forgive people their foibles and stupidities. Plus, I’m quite foible-ridden and stupid myself, so people in glass-houses and all that. Also, I’m afraid no one will invite me anywhere if I start airing my opinions about the urgent need to dismantle the military/industrial complex and the end of the world scenarios that await us if we don’t.

So on the whole I have been able to check an inclination to proselytise when confronted with my friend’s and loved one’s casual indifference to the impending doom that awaits us. I don’t want to single any one out, you know, or make people I care about uncomfortable, but I just don’t think the Good-Fairy Government from the shining land of We Actually Give A Toss is going to make an appearance and give us time off from our oil dependent lives to find a nice little techno-fix for this. Uh uh. If we don’t take matters into our own hands, no one else is going to do it for us.

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Wedfest Pics

Last weekend I had the honour and pleasure of attending a lovely wedding cum music festival held at Mystery Bay on the south coast of NSW. Full credit to Alison Procter and Dan Kempers for conceiving and organising a beautiful weekend, based around but by no means dominated by the actual nuptuals. Click the pics below to see the galleries.

Wedfest Gallery One

Wedfest Gallery Two

Ding Dong Her Work is Done

Ding Dong

We are bemused to announce that Margaret of Ainslie, our neighbour, who single-handedly fought the good fight to rid our street of any signs of life and culture, has done so even though she fully intended to up and leave a few months later. Such selflessness. Such benevolence. The neighbourhood will perhaps be dismayed to learn that there now stands nothing between them and a complete outbreak of lawless merry making, nothing that is, except for the fact that we also are leaving, our lease being up and the landlord apparently moving in.

Is it possible that Margaret, who admitted on 666 ABC that it was she who complained to our real estate agent (who then issued a cease and desist letter regarding the Backyard Backanalia), has also been involved in our dismissal? I guess we’ll never know, but fans of Margaret can cherish the possibility that her final gift to the neighbourhood was to rid it of us for good.

As Margaret told us during our pre-emptive visit to discuss the Backanalia with her (which she denied ever happened, to the Chief Minister no less), she was desirous of moving to ‘a better area’ of Ainslie, so we can’t accept credit for having moved her on. Residents of ‘better areas’ of Ainslie can only hope that Margaret and her charming maltese terrier are heading their way.

Frances Emily Sorrelle: 1931-2008

Frances Emily Sorrelle

I first met Frances in nineteen fifty-eight when she established her home in Majura Avenue, below Mount Ainslie, with her husband Norm. Born to the daughter of a forestry worker, she grew up in Doonkuna Street, Reid, in time to watch the infant national capital develop. She was a devoted home maker, wife and mother. Not long after I met her she had a daughter and then had to face life without her husband. She  rose to the challenge of providing a life for her children as well as herself.

Frances was a member of the St Brigids Roman Catholic parish where she attended church regularly. She was a member of the girl guides as well as a leader for the cub scouts.  She worked in the commonwealth public service as a humble clerical assistant and rose within those ranks. After her retirement from the public service she traveled to Africa and to the Middle East. She maintained an active interest in the city she knew and loved, developing a passion for its history and being involved in restoration projects of bush farmhouses around Tidbinbilla and the Brindabella ranges.

My own relationship with Fran, as she was popularly called, tempered in the last few years as she settled into old age and, although we did not necessarily see eye to eye on everything, I can say confidently that I will never be able to thank her enough for her kindness and dogged persistence. She died last week and I will miss her. I loved her. She was my mother.

Graham Benedict Raymond Sorrelle

Daniel McFadden Memorial Gallery

Click the image below to see the currently smallish gallery of works by and photos of Daniel McFadden. Keep sending them in folks. I intend to put them into a nicer flash gallery format once it’s completed.

Daniel Mcfadden Memorial Gallery

Blazing Knife

Local artist Stephen Harrison displays his impressive skills with the ‘blazing knife’.

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Squeegie Man R.I.P.

Loadedog has received an unconfirmed report that local ‘Squeegie Man’ and former independent candidate for the Senate, Dave (The Jew) Edwards, has committed suicide just short of a Federal Election that he was expected by some to contest. Edwards was apparently found hanging in his residence by a friend.

Edwards’ ‘patch’ was the corner of Northbourne Ave and Ipima Street, Braddon. There, in a distinctive fedora, he washed car windscreens for gold coins, an unusual springboard to a political campaign that produced, predictably, a negligible result at the ballot box.

A brief web search has elicited little of Edwards’ policies, but if this is anything to go by, it seems he may have appealed to right wing nutjobs, of whom there are apparently at least 885 in Canberra.

This should be good news for Samuel Gordon-Stewart who is destined to be a lightning rod for nutjobs of one variety or another and who has just announced his candidature for the Senate. Samuel, a teenage blogger whose main interest is talk radio, stands poised to inherit Edwards’ demographic. We wish him well.

Cross Country Walking Sucks

Many years ago, when I was younger, fitter and possibly a bit stupider than I am now, I decided I wanted to walk from Sydney, where I lived, to Canberra. I packed up a backpack, caught a suburban train to Picton, and set off down the old Hume Highway, a cloud of flies and the occasional car swooshing by my only company.

At nightfall on the first day, I stumbled into Bargo, went into the local pub, had a few beers, got talking, ended up at some party somewhere with a bunch of drunken yahoos and slept in a caravan nearby, losing my grandpa’s old akubra in the process. The next day I made it to Mittagong and that’s where the footslog ended. I figured I’d learned everything there is to know about intercity walking, which is that it’s hard work, boring, lonely and the flies never, ever leave you alone.

Thus I have enormous respect for Amy Banson, who recently walked from Brisbane to Canberra and is now setting off from Perth, again to Canberra, this trek being aimed at raising youth awareness of depression and other mental illness.

Nuclear Winter News

Fans of now-defunct glam rock duo, Nuclear Winter, whose enduring fame was secured in the early nineties down in the also defunct Gypsy Bar, will be pleased to know that Jason, the duo’s indefatigable singer, is alive and well and still wearing feather boas and ripped tights.


We received the above photo from him recently, in a lipstick kissed envelope, along with some charming praise of our flat-mate’s hair.

Angry Man for Hire

Angry man

Hello. My name is Philip. Perhaps I can be of service?

Make Love (with your Penis), not Dinner

A friend, who on this site goes by the name of The Big Knobber, sent me in this little tidbit from 2003, for ‘the archive’ as he put it.

A Malaysian man sliced off his own penis, then fried and ate it after taking hallucinatory pills that caused him to hear voices urging him to mutilate himself, police said.

There seems to be a bit of this sort of thing going on, well… five cases in 3 billion is a bit isn’t it, though most of them probably were made up. I suppose the stories of women cutting off men’s penises were becoming a bit passe. It does make you think though, and strange thoughts at that…

But it is vile to laugh at this man’s misery. If he exists, he is clearly profoundly mentally ill, a graphic but not actually that unusual example of the extent to which mental illness drives many to self-mutilate. Cutters, according to the anti-Emo crowd, are also passe, our society passing judgement on those who use physical pain to quell their emotional turmoil as being needy attention seekers. ‘Get over it’. Must they go to the Malaysian man’s lengths to receive some attention?

Whatever Happened To…

Are you missing out on the important news? Are you, for instance, unaware that a new DVD rental store has opened in Nowra? Or that beach use has dropped by 50% in the Shoalhaven? Are you interested in a ground floor investment in a new regional telco? Or do you miss Johnboy’s editorial largesse on RiotACT, hanker for more of his pithy observations, or simply wonder what sort of rag he’s writing for now? If it looks a bit drab, give him a chance. He only started on Monday.

Update: Johnboy revs up.

Canberra’s Epidemic of Violence

Please forgive the Canberra Times style headline, there’s no ‘epidemic’, but anecdotal reports have certainly created the impression that violent events have begun plaguing a number of formerly safe havens, bars whose clientelle are just not used to that sort of thing.

The Phoenix’ demographic of hippies, pot-heads, poets, socialists and archeology students for example, is as likely to engage in a bit of biffo as they would troop off to a Young Liberal’s meeting, but last weeks Bootleg Session saw a regular patron and warbler, Pete Hayes, kicked to shit on the pavement by three guys. This followed on from the previous Wednesday where Police allegedly were called four times to attend violent incidents.

According to one astonished patron, the Saturday in between saw punters unable to leave the Pot Belly for 20 minutes as a violent melee ensued. And RiotACT reports an incident at All Bar Nun involving a knife-wielding lunatic attempting to run over another patron.

It could be the result of Ice-induced aggression – another social phenomenon that the press delights in calling an ‘epidemic’ – but I think there’s been some breakdown in the social order such that stupid young males aren’t being made aware of their traditional drinking grounds, Mooseheads and PJ’s and the like, and are wandering around, terribly confused, surrounded by people who can put a sentence or two together and, understandably, having a nasty fight or… fight response.

What’s needed here is a public education program, possibly beginning in upper highschool, with excursions to appropriate night spots, classes in etiquette (wouldn’t want to get caught drinking a poofda drink) and, on graduation, a Mooseheads drinks voucher, a striped polo shirt and a packet of condoms.

Ali Parraga: R.I.P.

Ali Parraga

Today we bear the sad news that Ali Parraga, pictured above dancing to Cicilia Kemezys’ flute, passed away yesterday morning. Many will recall Ali as the ‘Silver Man’ who busked in Civic for many a year. Attendees at January’s Backyard Backanalia will recall his performance with greater poignancy I’m sure, knowing, as we now do, that it was his last.

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Will the Aussie Bloke Ever Grow Up?

A male friend of mine visited me yesterday and, amongst other things, talked about his on-again-off-again relationship with a woman of our acquaintance. He was talking about birthdays and other anniversary-type occasions that a certain type of woman is prone to want to make a fuss about, and that a bloke like my friend would rather ignore. He doesn’t think they’re important.

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