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Tweed Ride, Sat 6th June, 2009

Hello Loadedog,

We’re wondering if you can announce the Canberra Tweed Ride for us in Cuturazi. It’s being held on Saturday, 6 June, starting from the coffee van at Gorman House Markets at 11.30 for noon. The ride is about 15km with numerous stops for cafes, bars and foolishness. Wear vintage clothes – no lycra permitted – and ride any old bike-like thing you can get your hands on. Details are on the card attached to this mail.

Thanks heaps!

Coffee Bitch #59. Hansel and Gretel, Phillip

Coffee Bitch

four beans

Hansel and Gretel, Phillip

Watch out for the Dragon Lady they said. I have no idea what they meant.

I must say I came in pumped, a little short of time and festering with the hunger to exterminate mediocrity. [Read more →]

Vietnam Letters #37

Postmark 26th March, 1970

James St
NSW, 2628
(Wed) 25th-3-70

My Dearest Jock,

This will only be a short note as it is now 25 to 11 and I am tired and must get to bed. This is the last letter I will be able to get away to you for a few days, for 5 days anyway as I suppose the Post Office will be closed over Easter.

I spent almost all this afternoon writing my Dorothy Dix letter to Shirley to-day. I gave her plenty of my advice but whether she takes it or not is another thing and whether it helps her or not is another thing too.

How are you my Dearest? I hope you made the most of your two days rest and really enjoyed them. I love you Darling and feel very sorry for you over there in that terrible place. I pray that God will protect you and that he will give you strength to bear it, and please don’t worry anymore about that letter that you wrote me, because I have forgotten about it and anyway when a person is living under strain and in that terrible place that you are in you should be entitled to blow off steam sometimes, and if ever again you are cranky with anything at all, write me another letter like that and take it out on me, and I promise I won’t get upset about it, I will understand. I am just sorry that I let the last one upset me. Just user me as your punching bag and honestly Darling I won’t mind. Well my Dearest shall close now,

Loving you forever,


xxxxx [

Vietnam Letters #36

Postmark 23rd March, 1970

James St
Berridale, 2628
Monday 23rd March

Dear Jock,

Thank you for your letter I received on Friday as it didn’t take so long in getting here. So glad that you are OK. We are all pretty OK here. I suppose you will be looking forward to your few days rest. Hope you enjoy it. It will be good to have a few showers and a swim I guess after the jungle life. [Read more →]

Vietnam Letters #35

Postmark 21st March, 1970

James St
N.S.W. 2628

(Thurs) 19-3-70

My Dearest Jock,

This will only be a short note as I am feeling a bit sick and am anxious to get to bed. I am feeling sick in the stomach and I took some Enos but it hasn’t done one any good. I hope I’m not in for anything. I have an appointment with Dr. Shedden at 3:45 tomorrow at Jindabyne.

It has been raining here all afternoon and is still raining now (10P.M.) I left the car out all afternoon to let the rain give it a wash. That’s the lazy way of doing it isn’t it? I cleaned the inside of it out before I left Canberra, but as yet I haven’t got around to doing the outside. But it isn’t too bad though.

I made Brian’s hat today for the Hat Parade on Saturday. I just stuck a picture of Jack and Jill on one of their little plastic sand buckets and he can wear it on his head. He should feel quite at home in it as he wears it on his head most of the time anyway.

Well Darling, I will close for now hoping this finds you well and with as much love in your heart for me as I have for you,

Your ever loving wife,


xxxxxx [

Chiffon #96. Pigs Might Fly


Swine Flu.

Well, Well! What do you know?


You know I think it is sad that we have not learned much about minimising contact.

SHUT DOWN the Airports, keep the ships at sea.

Stay at home.

Boil all water and…

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Gertrude’s Diary #114 – The Rabbit and The Cat

I guess you can never make these sorts of decisions for others.  I mean, you raise them and then you hope they’ll have the necessary resources to live their lives well, but you  just can’t predict how they’ll turn out.  I always hoped he’d at least find someone who was kind to him, but this one just slinks around arrogantly, and is as likely to smack him in the face as pay any attention to him at all.

At first it seemed innocently playful, but now I’m not so sure.  I don’t think either of them realises how dangerous they’re games are.  You can tell that the claws could come out at any second, but the rabbit just follows along, oblivious to the threat.

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Baterz Tribute @ Folkus

Baterz Tribute @ Folkus

Chiffon #95. Hi Ho the Dairy Oh


Let me first set the scene. It is now the day after yesterday and this story begins before then.. I am a bit of the fluttered. It has been hectic where I have been. My girlfriend (bless her heart) has been angry and she does not know why. I fully suspect that like Raskalnikov, she has done something she can not tell me about, something she is obviously not proud of, something trivial, as trivial as just, say, spending all her money on the poker machines.

So there it is.The scene is set. I said to her, ‘there, there, petalhead, my little love rock, calm down’. To no avail. I proceeded to back out of there like a rabbit at a ferret convention. I tell you I thought this was all too much considering I had just had the water pump replaced on her (our) car. She complained because I did not use the same mechanic she used (ten years ago). So finally I am off to do her bidding.

The traffic was very slow as I left her town and I honestly breathed a sigh of relief as I watched the last vestige of civilisation disappear in the rear view and I opened the newly worked on V.R. up so as to notice the hum of the engine and the ease at which it took on the Hume Highway. [Read more →]

Stomp! A (very late) Review by Bertrude and Gertrude.


There’s little to say that hasn’t already been said about the extraordinary “Stomp” stage show.  A one and three-quarter hours performance that exudes energy and flamboyance.

Void of any conventional musicality, it is a  celebration of rhythm reminiscent of the sentiment expressed by Sammy Davis Jnr in his signature tune, The Rhythm of Life.  This is a show that has to be seen to be believed, if only for its therapeutic value.  It’s said in traditional Chinese medicine that 10,000 finger tip beats on the scalp is a cure for baldness.  Likewise, Stomp brings warmth and health  to the soul.

Born of a curiousity for anything percussive, Stomp sometimes overwhelms the listener with a relentless cacophany that is hypnotic and bewildering.  This, in my view, was the only downside as there was little room left for a quiet, introspective or ‘pianissimo’ moment:  a little more sensitivity would have been appreciated at some points.

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Coffee Bitch #58. Satis, Watson

Coffee Bitch

three and a half beans


The word “clutter” comes to mind. Several other words come to mind when the coffee takes more than four and a half minutes to arrive.

No visible heaters warming any of the mostly cruddy furniture outside. [Read more →]

Gertrude’s Diary #113 – Spooky Medicine

I’m late with my entry this week, but I had a GSW come in with a sucking chest wound and falling blood pressure. Then there was the MVA with head trauma and a suspected sub-dural haematoma.

Oh wait. That wasn’t me. That was one of the 23 episodes of ER I watched on DVD. It’s well known that we have a shortage of qualified medical personnel in Canberra, and I believe that with my recent experience I could now diagnose most things. Well, certainly I could diagnose a gun shot wound or a motor vehicle accident. And I’m pretty sure I could intubate someone. It’s practically a do-it-yourself surgery lesson.

“Nurse! Get me an IV of morphine. And you’d better do something for the patient while you’re at it.”

I also indulged my love of the X-Files with a marathon 25 episodes, including those I’d never seen before when Scully was abducted by aliens and the one when Mulder had it off with a vampire. Outstanding. [Read more →]


Michael Lemmer

Present: Jim Boots, John Griffiths, Jess, Ruth, Beth and…. Gertrude!!

Our guest is Michael Lemmer

Click Play Audio to play podcast. Click here to download

If you’d like to download the podcast, tap this URL: http://the-riotact.com/~john/insban/pod110.mp3 into iTunes or your media player or whatever.

There is a facebook fan page for people to marvel at here.

This link is for people who have podcasting software which you can find here.

Recorded on Tuesday 14th April, 2009. Track list and more pics after the jump

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Vietnam Letters #34

Postmark 19th March, 1970

James Street
NSW, 2628

(Wed) 18-3-70

My Dearest Jock,

How are you my Dearest? A bit fed up with the jungle I guess, hope you’re not feeling too lonely Darling but it won’t be too long before we see each other again, even though it will only be short, too short for my likings, but it will be worth having a few days of Heaven again, even though it will be terribly hard to part again.

I caught a mouse near the stove the other night. I’ve had the trap set for the last few nights but there must only have been the one.

Nancy called the day before yesterday with a big heap of lollies for the boys and yesterday she bought me a nice bunch of Pancys from her garden and some apples for the boys.

I called down at the Drs. yesterday to find out what the surgery hours are at Jindabyne as I still haven’t had that Cancer tests that Shedden told me to have. I should have had it done in Canberra but I kept forgetting it. I also want to get a flu injection which I always say that I will get each year, but don’t, and then I am sorry after I go down with the flu. I also want to ask him a few things about when I should start taking the pill before you come home on R&R and also if you happen to be home just the week when I have my periods, and if there would be any way of stopping them from coming, if they are due that week. By the way do you know just when you will get your R&R leave yet?
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Vietnam Letters #33

Postmark 17th March, 1970

James Street
Berridale 2628

16th March

Dear Jock,

I was pleased to get your letter. I got it on 12th so it came nice and quick. So glad to know that you are OK. I guess you will be looking forward to your little break it will be nice to get a few days home and be out of it for a while. Sandra and the boys arrived back last Thursday. I am glad they got back OK. The boys were very pleased and excited to be back. On Friday Paddy O’R went to Canberra for the swimming. We went. It was a lovely day. Paddy did well but just missed going to Sydney by 1 & 1/2 seconds. He was a bit dissapointed because they had announced that he was picked then when they checked on his time he just didn’t make it but he may next time he is only young. Poor Old <illegible> was burned on Friday. He made 89 years so he had a good <illegible>. <illegible> will be lonely now as she has no one left.

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