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Gertrude’s Diary #57 – All Roads Lead to Home

It’s time for me to go to Sydney for my semi-annual familial obligations. I’ve managed to avoid going down the hill on Christmas Day for the last two years. Call me wierd, but there is something about the idea of getting up early, eating a hurried breakfast as you rush around completing the last minute packing and then spending 3 hours in a journey that manages to be both monotonous and stressful that – for me – simply does not capture the spirit of Christmas.

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Backanalia is Go!

It may be madness, but we’re going ahead with the Backanalia tonight. scans of the weather maps, radar, tea leaves and entrails reveal very little chance of any rain from now on, and besides, it’s the last one here at Reid, we’ve got Katyusha playing, we’ve got numerous interstate and international visitors here especially for it and the spirit of the Backanalia just impels us to go ahead.

Line up, starting times, etc are pretty much as usual except we forgot to hire a toilet so ladies (and boys doing number twos) will have to go into the house.

Hope to see you here.

Coffee Bitch #38, Diamonds Cafe, Civic

Coffee Bitch

Three beans

Diamonds Cafe

Under three minutes.

Popular with public servants. This cafe opens early.

Approachable from all sides, it only has one door.

If you’re early, there are parking spaces outside.

An ethereous aroma.


Outside tables, crass metallic.

There is some respect for European style shown in the service here. A busy pedestrian corner throughout the day. Newspapers, pigeons and passing traffic; security cameras and satelites overhead. Not much has changed in the culture of this street corner since a large explosion over the road one summer forty odd years ago.

Post Election Mania and the Japanese Climate Agreement

Evil Alisandra

Keeyooto” Why give a very very very important, of course intentional, rational, ratified, international environmental agreement a Jap title? Let”s face it. Japan seems not to give a flying F about world environmental issues although there are surely a few private members of its society who possess an inkling of a conscience, but they don”t count. In reality, EA couldn”t give a flying F if their favourite replacement to the Big Mac is Whale Booty but hey”try arguing with the Yahkooza.

So changing to an environmentally friendly light bulb will solve the world”s problems will it? Pull the other artificial leg why don”t you ” you friggin idiots. The weather reports are fixed and 99% of the time incorrect. Who gives a fuck about the north and south poles when we”re living in another version of nazi fascism, disguised by well-meaning pollies promising diversity, understanding, harmonic integration and multicultural ecstasy (hey give me one of those pills). Blue Omo and Green and Golds were pretty good” EA has been channelling Adolph, probably thru those curious Stephen King novelettes.

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CHIFFON #64. The Long and the Short of it



I have been a little bit run off my feet being brilliant and for what? Petty bourgeois whims. I was asked if I would cut this woman”s hair in an attempt to make it like it once was, fantastic, but that was then, and there has been a bit of wear and tear. However, Chiffon she is aware when genius is required, so I said we!

I travel two hundred odd miles to be here. I turn up at the address at the appointed time. I walked in to the kitchen. My subject was waiting. I told her to wet her hair and remove her top which she did, revealing another top (bugger). At least her shoulders were bare. I proceeded to comb her long locks straight down her back, flat against her skin, to which she did that little wiggle thing because the water was wet. I started to comb her hair again mentioning the importance of keeping her head perfectly still. She reached for the dip and indicated agreement at my instruction. I waited till she finished chewing and then I cut, starting with a little snip at the nape of the neck.

Are you cutting it there? She asked, a little worried

No I lied.

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Gertrude’s Weather Warning

A slow-moving trough of low-pressure is expected to cross the region over the next 24 hours. Canberrans are warned to expect the following conditions:

Colleagues checking the Bureau of Meteorology website every 10 minutes.


Coffee Bitch # 37, Coffee on the Go, Jolimont Centre

Coffee Bitch

Three beans

Coffee on the Go

Under one minute.

Nastiness here. There were two cafes

A busy Canberra place. Arriving and departing coaches. Plenty of ashtrays. Toilets, a newsagent with internet access, slamming doors and uniform changes.

Near a post office. Automatic teller machines. A lounge area with television.

A number of exits. Three lanes of traffic out the front.

Crema bland. Decor sucks. Like, if you had to sit out a bomb threat.


CHIFFON #63. Which Party Preferred!



I recently returned from what is best described as a sabbatical. The truth is that I was held up by life in Wagga Wagga so I have not been around for a few weeks and my whinging has suffered as a result but I am now about to rectify the sitation, restore the status quo.

When I got to Wagga I was met by my friend Sue (not her real name). I thought she was a bit cool toward me and it wasn”t until I was sitting at her kitchen table that the subject of the last text message came up in conversation. Her eyes accusingly locked mine and she asked, who the fuck is Sarah?

Uh oh! This was unexpected I thought, and for a brief moment I thought she was having a turn for the worse but then it dawned on me and I laughed, as you do in these situations. I replied, no non no my little sparrow that is French! Que sara, and it sort of means such is life, nes pa? and then I got all Chiffon with her and she was putty in my hand. This proves she is on the edge of the abyss, my abyss, as well as” on my abacus and I tell you I never budget with people.

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Gertrude’s Diary #56 – Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is a terrible thing. Here are a few practical steps to take if you’re suffering from this affliction.

Hit it with a big hammer. This could be painful if you locate your block within your skull, but art requires sacrifice.

Write any old crap that comes out of the end of your fingers. You might start channelling a famous writer of the past. I think I’m getting Virginia Woolf.

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Sunsets Summer 07 @ The Ampitheatre, Commonwealth Park

Sunsets 07

Saucy Panto @ The Street Theatre

saucy panto

Idiotic Journey

Four knuckleheads decide to drive from Australia to Ireland and, if appearances on morning tv amount to anything these days, it becomes a minor cause celebre. Cleverly, the boys have adopted a worthy cause, youth mental illness (because they ‘had friends who suffered from a Mental Illness’), and there is a charity you can donate to as you follow the boys merrily traveling the globe via their web site crazyjourney.com.

Crazy Journey

The above artwork was taken from their site. The image of a car dominating the globe really makes you think. Do the boys have a deeper message they’re trying to get out? They have chosen to travel in a Hummer. Good choice. Everyone loves Hummers because they represent American military might and they declare that burning as much petrol as you like is a basic (western) human right.

The people of the developing world, through much of which the boys will travel, will hopefully see through the irony, taking time out from disease, pestilence, oppression, displacement etc. to appreciate the true horror of Australia’s mental illness problems. They may like to donate a little rice or something.

Phil Moriarty @ DNA Studios – NYE

Phil Moriarty

Gertrude’s Diary #55 – Dear Gertrude

Following my last post which contained a handy reference for identifying methods men commonly use to avoid meaningful conversation, my mail bag has been filled with a flood of questions from women asking me for my insights into their relationship difficulties.

Well, when I say ‘a flood’ I actually mean just this one, from gertbysea. She writes:
“Why is it that when a couple who have kids and both work encounter extra demands from their family it always seems to be the woman who has to go out out with only 24 hours notice to obtain reindeer antlers for a school production?”

While rather a specific question, I think we can tease some universal themes from it.

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The Kelly Women @ The Street Theatre

The Kelly Women

Starts tomorrow