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Vietnam Letters #70

Postmark 17th July, 1970

James St.

(Thurs) 16-7-70

My Dearest Jock,

How are you Darling? I guess that if you are back in  camp now, you are beginning to feel much better, after having some good meals & clean clothes & showers, & not having to sleep in wet clothes & on the wet ground.

I had a letter from Mel to-day & they are all well down there. I was talking to Jeanette on the phone to-day, we have a date at 2.30PM every Thursday on the phone now, as she can ring here for a local call. They aren’t going up for Shirley’s wedding.

Mr. Robinson died on Tuesday night (the fellow who had cancer) & he is being cremated at Canberra to-morrow, & Sandy & Barbara are going down for it, & I am going to mind Richard for them. I will have to be up earlier tan usual in the morning as they will be bringing him around at about 7AM as the service starts at 9.30 AM. I hate the thoughts of getting out of bed at that time, as the frosts we have been having lately are just terrible. I don’t have the trouble of waking up in the mornings now as I used to, as the tonic I am on, is to keep me alert & I usually wake up, from about 7AM onwards but the thought of getting out in the cold is the worst. Even the boys stay in bed now of a morning until I get up. Usually the cold doesn’t worry them, & they used to get out of bed of a morning & run around with out their slippers on or dressing gowns on, until I kept telling them to put them on. So it must be cold for them not to want to get out of bed. Even Sydney has been haveing temperatures of about 38 or 39 degrees in the mornings lately. Our daily maximum temperatures here lately have been between 44 & 48 degrees. it’s supposed to be the coldest winter since 1886. How about sending me over some of that Vietnam heat, & I will send you a big box of ice & frost to cool you down.

Gee, I miss you Honey I wish that the time could go by quicker than it does. Although the days seem to go by too quickly as I don’t seem to get all the things done that I want to get done in a day, but yet it seems like years, since you went away. But yet we have got a god part of the time over & done with, we only have about another 4 months at the most to go now, only I pray that it is less than that. I love you so very much Darling, I love you with every part of me & with every little feeling that I have in my whole body, and I shall always feel that way about you, nothing could ever change my love for you my Dearest.

Well my love, I must finish up for now & get ready for bed, I only wish that you were here sharing our nice comfortable bed, instead of sleeping in an old bunk in the camp or on the wet & miserable ground in the jungle.

May God bless & protect you Darling,

Yours Always,

Sandra. xxxx.

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Gertrude’s Diary #141 – Gertrude Announces her Retirement

For most of my life I have been totally self-obsessed and I think this blog is an enabling factor in this behaviour.  It’s all me, mine, my, I.  At least I’ve tried to steer clear of ‘one’, which I just can’t manage without dissolving into a parody of someone more formal than I.  Me.  (Pretentious?  Moi?)

So I believe that I will call it a day at #150.  I just can’t keep it going anymore.  Week in.  Week out.  The same old treadmill.   The same old bullshit; my tiny, boring life dissected for every ounce of entertainment value.  I mean, it’s kind of depressing when you think about it, isn’t it?

Maybe I could sum it all up for you in one steam of consciousness.  It would go something like this:

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Vietnam Letters #69

Postmark 16th July, 1970

James Street

(Wed) 15-7-70

My Dearest Jock,

I was very pleased to receive your letter to-day, & hear that you were out of the jungle & had had a shower & a good meal. I guess by now you are back in Nui Dat.

I also received a letter from Mum to-day & a lottery ticket which they bought for you for your birthday, they called it “Happy Returns Jock”, but it was not quite lucky enough, it was $18 of $20. They are leaving for Dubbo on Fri morning 31st July, the day before the wedding, & she asked what day I would be down there. Well I guess I’ll go down on Wed 29th. I don’t know whether I should take the car down without getting the bearing in the wheel fixed as Wally said it would be alright to drive with it around here, but he wouldn’t advise going on a long trip. To-day in Cooma I enquired about the price of train fairs & it would cost the boys & I $3.74 to go to Queanbeyan by train, which would probably be cheaper than getting the car fixed. And it will cost us $26.66 to come home from Dubbo to Cooma by train, which is cheaper than I expected really. Mum & Dad suggested that we go with them on their trip in the Caravan, they are going for about a fortnight out west to Bourke & along the Darling River. But I won’t be going with them as I can imagine what it would be like travelling around with the boys.

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Gertrude’s Diary #140 – From the Collected Letters of Gertrude

c/- Culturazi.com

Mr Ron Radford, AM
National Gallery of Australia
GPO Box 1150
Canberra ACT 2601

Dear Mr Radford,

I am writing to thank you for hosting Masterpieces From Paris.  That such a marvellous exhibition should make it’s way here is an event to be celebrated.

Entering the presence of those paintings was an unforgettable experience.  The variety of tone and texture.  The clarity of colour.  The details leapt out with such great veracity, as though I could reach out and hold them; which I could in fact do, because I’m actually talking about the backs of people’s heads and shoulders which is pretty much all I saw.

May I humbly suggest that you hold a special event viewing for people 165 cm or less?  I think that is the only way to alleviate the discrimination against the small of stature, as pointy stilleto heels or stilts are not the sort of footwear that should be encouraged in crowded galleries, lined as they tend to be with hard flooring and dazzled art lovers.

I trust that the Gallery will give this matter the consideration it deserves.

Yours faithfully

Vietnam Letters #68

Postmark 14th July, 1970

James Street
N.S.W. 2628

(Mon) 13-7-70

My Dearest Jock,

I received two letters from you to-day, & it was just great to hear from you again. I love you & am missing you terribly Darling. Oh, how I wish you were home here with me. My life is just so empty & meaningless without you, & how I look forward to the day when we are to-gether again.

I called in at Barbara’s this morning & she said that a letter had come from you fo Sandy, & I was anxious to get home & see if there was one there for me & was very happy to find not only one but two. I am going into Cooma on Wednesday, as I have to get some more of my nerve tablets, & Barbara is going to mind Brian for me, which will be a great help as the twins on their own are quite well behaved, & Brian on his own is well behaved too but put the three of them together & they are just uncontrollable.

I bet you are all looking forward to getting back to camp for about 10 days break, & especially to going on R&C.

Well I must finish up for now Darling hoping this finds you well & not too wet & cold & tired. May God Bless & Protect you,

Yours Always

Sandra xxxxxxxxx

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Chiffon #117. A Dog’s Life


Recently the heat saw me taking it easy, but only after I have exercised my dog twice daily. It is a bit of a chore. She is, as you would expect, unruly and demanding like her owner. She is also open to spontaneous flashbacks that result in her attacking things (people usually) as well as anything motorized such as motor bikes, vacuum cleaners, things that usually have wheels or two to four legged animals also.

The other day I was kicking back in my lounge room on the first floor of my apartment after a taxing stroll up a small mountainside. The lounge room window, large with a wide view, was open, the dog peacefully sleeping on the floor by my side, when the tranquility of the scene was broken by the staccato spurt of the posties’ bike.

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Gertrude’s Diary #139 – How to Behave Like My StepMother

I went to lunch on the weekend to celebrate my father’s 87th birthday.  It was the usual fun-filled family affair, and I thought regular readers might enjoy a little insight into how these events usually go, taken from the perspective of my step-mother.

1.  Should you be invited to attend a social occasion to be hosted at one of your step-children’s homes, plead illness.  If you are particularly desperate to avoid their company, you may need to resort to extreme tactics such as crashing your golf cart.   Whatever your excuse, be sure to milk it for all it’s worth.  Calling your husband frequently during the event will make sure that your absence is emphasised.  Be as pathetic as possible; pleas for instructions on how to operate the television or the microwave oven can be effective reminders of how inconvenient is your husband’s absence.

2.  Should the event be held in a restaurant, you can employ the following strategies.

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Vietnam Letters #67

Postmark 9th July, 1970

James Street

(Fri) 10-7-70

My Dearest Jock,

How are you my Darling? I hope that you are well, & feeling much better than I do.I haven’t felt the best to-day & I have been feeling so cranky with myself for being sick. It just seems so long since I have felt completely well & fit. I decided to-day that I just going to say blow the work & only do the bear necessities, when & if I feel up to it & I’m going to get as much rest as possible. To-day I went to bed when the boys went, & lately I have not had much of an appetite but I have been forcing myself to eat & especially plenty of good food such as fruit & vegetables & eggs & things & I just had an egg flip which I intend to have everyday. So I hope to be able to build myself up and maybe I will have a bit more energy & not feel so tired & weak all the time. Sometimes I feel as though I would like to go to bed & stay there or better still I would love to go to hospital for about 6 months, well maybe not for that long, but just the thought of it sounds very relaxing.

I hope that the ink cartridge for your pen, that I sent the other day didn’t burst on it’s way over, in the letter. But it seemed such a small thing to make up a parcel for. If it did, then let me know & I will send another one & make a parcel out of it this time. I love you & miss you very much my Darling & it will be so wonderful to have you home again, & I hope that day isn’t very far off. Brian told me to-day that when you come home he is going to give you a big hug & a kiss, and you can be sure that there will be plenty of hugs & kisses in store for you from all of us, when you come home.

I’m pleased that the days are going a bit quicker for you now since you have had your promotion, but I guess you must get very tired too, with the extra work & worry. When you come home you can join me in my health building diet & rest.

Well speaking of rest I guess I had better hit the sack or I will never wake up in the morning. Lately I have been getting the boys to come & get into bed with me of a morning to wake me up. John & Mike take it in turns, it s John’s turn in the morning. For I sleep so heavily lately that I just can’t wake up of a morning.

Bye for now my love, hoping this finds you well & not too lonely.

Your everloving wife,



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Chiffon #116. Progress


Progressions. When in hindsight one looks back and documents events, especially day to day events, you can get an idea of how things are going.

Since chrissy of two thousand and four not much has been happening amongst my world of aquaintances. On the whole the group has lost a few comrades as well as relatives. This is the way of it though.

Through my own writings, which have been big whinges on occasions, I can claim to have been instrumental in changes. For an example I criticized the National drink and drive initiative and my observations have been listened to. It now is the ‘drink or drive’ campaign which does give drivers and drinkers a choice as opposed to an order. If you would argue with me, you only have to wonder why it was changed.

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Jim Conway, Review

Jim Conway’s Big Wheel (Folkus, Friday 11 December 2009)
by Zeke

Three big wheels

The Karismakatz, DJ Gosper and Christo Carlsen, opened the evening with a set showcasing not only their musical skills but also the depth of their songwriting.

In late 2009 DJ was named Best Female Vocalist of the Year by the Canberra Blues Society, her song Baby Rose was named Best Song, and their recent CD, Hot Flush Blues was named Best Album.

DJ was immediately on form, and her harmonica solo in Go With The Flow was a wonderful, soaring introduction to an excellent performance. Other song highlights included Baby Rose, with the haunting guitar melody supplemented by guest Dave O’Neill’s violin part.

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Paverty Reunion

Paverty 35th Anniversary Reunion Concert, Folkus Room 30 October

Thinking about the year 1974. It seems so long ago and so far away from the vantage point of 2009 (ahem… ’10 – Ed.). Remember 1974? It was the year of Cyclone Tracy, Watergate, Abba’s Eurovision win AND the birth of Franklyn B Paverty, Australia’s bush band of renown.

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Captain my Captain @ the Phoenix