Wednesday, 31 October 2012

In which I get a smaller office and leg it

Hi everyone,

Rattling off a quick post for the evening in between writing the latest piece (legal this time, rather than historical).

Well, I'm now ensconced in my new office.  Sadly, my beautiful window over the river will just have to stare out of itself.  The new office is about half the size of the one I was in, which is a nuisance.  Although on the plus side, it only has one neighbour - a terribly nice South African lawyer called Phillip - which means I should be able to have the radio on during the day.  This is great: I think better with some plainchant or Thomas Tallis playing, so it's kind of a win.

The day was a catch up day, together with being asked by one of the partners if I could put my "prolific writing skills to use" and draft up a "what it all means" memo concerning a recent piece of legislation on civil procedure.  Personally, I think it does some alarming things to the law of evidence.  So, that's a fun little project that I should be able to rattle off and that might morph into an article all its own.

In the evening I went to the Blood Bank for a plasma donation and while I was there completed the paperwork and gave the extra blood samples to go onto the bone marrow donor registry.  It occurred to me while I was doing this that I'm a blood donor, a plasma donor and now registered as an organ and bone marrow donor.  When I snuff it,  I might not get an obituary so much as a notice on eBay!

Went for the usual 4.5 mile run up to St Mary's in Coburg when I got back to the casa - I figured it'd be OK as the blood bank put all the actual blood back, and I'd drunk gallons of water which should make up for the missing plasma.  Anyway, I made the run in good time and without collapsing so clearly all was well.

OK, definitely time to finish this paragraph and get some sleep.  So many things a man can do - why are there only 24 hours in the day?!?

See you tomorrow

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Tired Tuesday

Hi everyone,

Starting this post on the tram and expect I'll finish it on the laptop.

Lordy but I have been tired all day.  Not brain tired, fortunately, but physically tired in the sense of “it's a good thing this shirt has a collar because otherwise I don't think I could hold my head up".  Even multiple coffees and fresh fruit didn't give me much of a lift.  I think it's just the combined effects of yesterday's run, the last annoying remnant of a cold, and not sleeping so well last night.  Anyway, a few stretches and a good night's sleep is what I need.

The last thing I did before finishing work today was pack up my office. No, I haven't been sacked! But for reasons too complex to type by phone I have been asked to move to another office so someone else can have mine. Suffice it to say it's not a disciplinary or punitive move. But it does mean I go to an internal office and lose my view of the Yarra River. >snif!<

The high point of the day was Joni sending me a video of Rachel, which I watched once ... than then kept hitting replay 3 times.  I miss my girls so much.  They were doing their own little Halloween last week - A Night at the  Boo-seum", and Rachel was going to be Dorothy and Grace Tinkerbell.  It's so cute, but it makes me ache too, because I'll never get to be part of their lives like I hoped I'd be, and get to be the father I thought I'd be, and there'll be something missing from their childhoods that they'll never know, and this breaks my heart.  Surely, surely this is too high a price to have to pay because for once in my stupid life I wasn't able to cope?

I guess not.  God forbid that there should be a burden in the world I cannot shoulder.

To love in this situation isn't easy, not at all.  At least it's straightforward.  Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt.

Monday, 29 October 2012

A brain clearing post at lunch

Hi everyone,

I need to get my head out of the workzone, so I thought I'd do a quick post about something completely inconsequential.

I had an email from a recruiter just now with an invite to a wine-and-fingerfood networking event to coincide with the launch of Skyfall, the next James Bond movie.  I'm torn about whether to accept.  On one hand, I'm not known for declining free food or free wine.  I'm also really trying to overcome my instinctive discomfort with social events.

On the other hand, I'd rather stick my tongue on an electric fence than sit through another slab of Daniel Craig as James Bond.  I know I'm a voice in the wilderness on this one, but I think it's close to killing the franchise.

I should explain.

I sat through Casino Royale with Joni not long after we got married, and it was a nasty argument that followed.  My gripe with the approach in the movie was that, in being so keen to get away from the (admittedly extremely formulaic) Bond movie to that point, they'd remade the story into "just another big budget action movie".  For one thing, the dialogue could have come out of any given movie (Transporter, The Bourne Miscellany and Die Hard) come to mind, which duly knocked out the humour that usually went with Bond films.

Equally, no matter how buff Daniel Craig is, he's not a particularly interesting actor to watch.  Yeah, he tried to draw out the inner life thing, but I kind of wasn't convinced about this as he only seemed to speak in a monotone and he didn't have many facial expressions (specifically, after 20 minutes you'd seen them both).

The other thing was that the product placement in the movie was almost laughable.  It's been said before, but you could have been forgiven for thinking you'd grabbed the wrong DVD and were watching a 2.5 hour Samsung commercial.

The thing that really irked me about the movie, though, was the completely gratuitous scene of the collapsing house in Venice at the end of the movie.  I know Roger Ebert thought it was brilliant -
With "Casino Royale," we get to the obligatory concluding lovey-dovey on the tropical sands, and then the movie pulls a screeching U-turn and starts up again with the most sensational scene I have ever seen set in Venice, or most other places. It's a movie that keeps on giving

- but to be honest, I was hopelessly lost as to who was trying to kill whom, and why.  And by that stage, I was pretty sure I no longer cared.

Actually, I think writing this has helped me answer my essential question: it might be worth going and cranking out a review afterwards.  The only problem will be how to keep an open mind.

Sunny Monday

Hi everyone,

It's been a good Monday, I'm not going to lie.  I did fail to go running this morning, which I attribute to a design flaw in my clock-radio (snooze button is way too big and easy to hit).  Nonetheless, I was at the office in time to have breakfast and also get and handle on the file I had to look after at the Magistrates Court this morning.

The Court matter itself went well, although as it's still ongoing I won't talk about it.  It was all sorted by lunch and so I was able to spend the afternoon settling an advice and a few other things I needed to attend to.  As this week is quiet I was out of the office early - about 6:30pm, which with this firm is early.  I should add that on the flipside they're appealingly relaxed about start times - as long as your work is getting done, they seem to turn a blind eye on lateness till about 9:30am.

Picked up some groceries on the way back to the Casa, including fixings for actual homecooked meals.  Believe me, the last few weeks of hectic activity and having microwave meals or sandwiches for dinner got old!  I probably wouldn't have killed for a homecooked meal, but I may have been willing to inflict non-lethal violence.  Anyway, before I could get to that, I had to blow the dust off the Nikes and turn on the iPod and crank out a few miles.

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It'd been a warm day and I can safely say I sweated some wine out this evening!  As you can see from the thingy over to the right, I ran 4.5 miles this evening (which it's rounded up to five) which is my usual run - not bad for first evening back in training.  In addition, before I set out I checked my weight - 97kgs - and this time I'll get it down to the 80-85 my BMI says it should be.  Of course, this may need extra motivation. Something like this maybe -


Dinner was a slight misfire - it was meant to be diced beef with gravy and a side of (Heart Foundation approved!) macaroni and cheese.  I put way too much flour with the gravy and too much water with the pasta, so it kind of came out as beef with spicy Yorkshire pudding and cheesy pasta soup.  Tasted OK though!

Tomorrow and Wednesday are largely appointment free, so I should be pretty near up to date by the end of the week, thank God.  I've never been this in control of my work before.

Oh, and one more thing: can I endorse using a mix of honey and lemon to clear your face up?  Yeah, yeah, a guy giving himself a facial ... yuk it up people.  I don't care - this is the first time my face has been almost free of spots and scabs in 22 years.  So if it's a problem for you, feed appropriate search terms into google and you'll find pretty much what's needed.

OK, bedtime.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 28 October 2012


Hi everyone,

It's been a quiet Sunday, and sadly it's been spent stuck at the office again. This time for an advice I was planning to crank out tomorrow, until I was asked to help out a double-booked colleague by running a Magistrates Court matter for him. So, I've done the advice today and tomorrow I'll probably ask my secretary to prepare the material to serve on the other side.  I say 'probably' because her work tends to be pretty sloppy and the last few times she's done something for me, she's done it so badly it took me as long to fix it as it would have done to do it myself from scratch.  Still, I mentioned this problem to the partner-in-charge last week and this might be a good way to segue into some performance guidance.

I read a really awesome blogpost the other day over at Figuring Out The Plot about the need to dream big.  It‘s kind of topical for me given the whole failed marriage situation, in a "God closing a door and opening a window" sense. That is, one road in my life has been closed off, presumably so that I have to take another.  While I'm taking that extra road, I might as well make it something awesome.  I could be jaded about this except, when I look at where I am now versus where I was at the start if the year, I can see that being let go from the last job was, truly, a blessing in deep disguise! Anyway, in line with the "dream bigger" theme I decided to sign up for my first semi-competitive run, the Sunday Age City2Sea.


Now, I know this isn't exactly quitting my job and going to live in a yurt on the Mongolian steppes, but it's surely something I've never done before.  It's 14kms, which I've done before but which is near the limit of my longest runs. And it's two weeks from today. You may assume that bright and early tomorrow I'll be pulling on the Nikes and cranking the iPod. Need to get into training!  I should add that it has the bonus of letting me do some fundraising for Autism Victoria, which some of you will know is a cause dear to my heart.

Aside from signing up for 14kms of pain, the day was, as I said, office based.  For my sins I failed to get along to Mass.  I eventually finished the advice and tidying up by about 9pm and got some groceries on the way.  Sandwiches for dinner.  Fortunately this should be a relatively quiet week so things should get back to somewhat normal.

See you tomorrow

Friday, 26 October 2012

Wordless Friday

Hi everyone,

I know I should say something weighty tonight, but I can't find the words, and don't want to use poorly chosen ones.  So instead, I give you a picture that grabbed my attention this week -

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Short post

Hi everyone,
Blogging from the phone again: sorry. Terribly tired; it‘s been a huge day. Court in the morning (we lost but may have grounds to appeal), and a lengthy and detailed serious injury on which to get instructions and draw response. So, hectic.
Sorry: there‘s more I should write but I really need to sleep.
Will get it all out tomorrow.
See you then.

A history post ... elewhere

Hi everyone,

Over on my actual "writing" blog, I've put up what I think is not a bad piece on history, law and memory.  You might like to have a look!

More later.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Early night.

Hi Everyone,
It‘s a little after 11pm and I‘m in bed and typing this from my phone. Dead tired and looking forward to getting my sleeping patterns back to semi-normal.
We finished the hearing I mentioned today - decision is reserved. Finally finished that advice this afternoon and will edit it tomorrow.
Good function at the old new job this evening. Great to see some familiar faces!
Ok: my eyelids are heavy. Sorry this post is dull even for me: it‘s been that sort of day!
See you tomorrow.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Quick morning update

Hi everyone,
Today looks pretty good so far. The air is cool, the sun is shining, and I‘m in a world beating frame of mind.
The balance of yesterday‘s County Court hearing will be today; I also need to do a Magistrates Court appearance this morning.  The day is otherwise helpfully quiet which is a Godsend.
This evening I have an “Alumnae Cocktail evening“ at the old new job‘s offices, which I find mildly surreal given the whole “fired my ass“ thing. Still, another chance to network. You never know where your breaks will come from.
Let‘s see what the day has to offer!

Monday recap

Hi everyone,

It's after 1am and I really need to turn the laptop off and get to bed.  I'm a little heartbroken as I just finished typing a really good law and history piece for the wordpress blog and then pushed the wrong button and lost the lot.  I don't really care for wordpress as a blogging platform, but need something I can use that's separate from blogspot so as to keep these two bits of my life separate.


IT problems aside, it's been a great day from my perspective.  I had a hearing in the County Court today.  As it's still on foot, I can't really share details, but I think the phrase "issues rich and challenging" applies, as does the phrase "batting in a speedball cage".  And who was there at the middle of the storm, juggling interests and problems, keeping folks happy and generally finessing smooth progress from a losing hand?  Little ol' me!  I know it sounds like I'm plugging myself, but I've never thought of myself as a competent litigator before.  Discovering I don't just automatically screw things up is something that doesn't get old!

Worked a few extra hours this evening on a singularly intractable advice.  Dinner of macaroni and cheese with a little canned tuna and corn.  Skyped with my little angels tonight - so so so adorable, and Joni tells me Rachel is getting better all the time.  So in love with my little princesses and think they're due for another 'just because' present.

OK, time for me to sleep.  Lots to do tomorrow, including the balance of this hearing.  Fortunately thing will quiet down a little after this week.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Updating by tram

Hi everyone,

Sorry I've been e-communicado the last few days.  No real excuse apart from being terribly busy and sleeping erratically.  So, this is the update!

Saturday I did a bunch of laundry before heading into town to get fixings to make up a costume for an early Halloween party that night; also to go to the office to catch up on some work. Productive day.

The party was given by a friend of mine from the old new job. I kind of think I went too far with my costume: as in, went way past "Halloween scary" to "genuinely macabre", so I don't think I‘ll post photos of me unless there's overwhelming public demand. The function itself was a barrel of fun: a fleet of Jack Sparrows, a forest of gorillas, a full coven of witches, and one guy whose costume was a giant hand flipping the bird!  Two of my friends from the old job and the Bar who are a couple (but who seem to think nobody knows they‘re a couple - we all do!) are an Indian-origin guy and a Malaysian-Chinese girl ... naturally they came as a pair of Amish people!  What I found genuinely interesting though was this: the friend who invited me (viz, the host) is with a Colombian girl, a lot of whose friends are Colombians, Venezlanos and Mexicans who live here, and a couple of the Mexicans came dressed as they would for the Day of the Dead, which I found fascinating.

Sunday was, I'm afraid, almost all spent at the office. Again, not glamourous but sadly necessary.  It was double-late when I left, so dinner was from Hungry Jacks, which was kind of a guilty pleasure and also reminded me I need to start running again!

This morning I have a hearing on which raises a few thorny issues.  Naturally I've come prepared: I've got my alligator cufflinks that I wear when I need to eat someone alive in court

And, can I add this?  One of the advantages of having friends who are girls is that you pick up a bunch of information which, as a guy, is usually inaccessible.  Like how to clear up intractable skin.  I know what you're thinking, and yes, I do still have a Y-chromosome.  However, I've had breakout-prone skin since I was 12 which is (a) unsightly and (b) bloody uncomfortable, expecially by Fridays when I've dragged a razor across it 5 evenings on the trot.  I learned of something that's damn nearly fixed it (and if I start using Mach 3 razors instead of the cheap ones, will probably fix it altogether).  Again, will share if there's overwheming public demand.

OK, time for me to get to grips with the day.  The Saints beat the Buccaneers this morning, so I'm off to a flying start!

See you this evening


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Pictorial maybe?

Hi everyone,

There's not a lot to report today.  It was an appointment free day, thank God, and productive.  When I knocked off at 9pm (I know, bad habits kicking in again) I was halfway through drafting my appeal advice from yesterday's loss.

Anyway, since there's not much actual news to share, I thought I may as well share a few pictures from a road trip a few years back.

This one is from the property my maternal grandparents lived on when we were kids, in southern New South Wales.  About 20 years ago this was the grandmother's vegetable patch

This is the Big Ned Kelly at Glenrowan.  Sorry about the photo of ol' Ned being on his side.  To know what a great holiday destination Glenrowan is, watch this,

A shot on the road between Albury and Howlong.

The gateway to Brocklesby

 Finlay's store in Brocklesby, now sadly boarded up.  Icypoles from here in summer tasted awesome. 

The grain silos at Brocklesby

The next two are where the grandparents' house was - now sadly reduced to bricks and twisted corrugated iron.   The number of times we sat out here with the grandfather on long summer evenings ... the memories!

Thanks for indulging me folks!  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A Nomination? For Me?

Hi everyone

How's everyone going?  It's been a big day here in litigation land - a judgment in the County Court at 10am (we lost) followed by protracted - and ill tempered - negotiations in another matter at the Magistrates Court till 3:30pm.  There was quite a late lunch, and I didn't get my first coffee of the day in until  4pm.  Torture I tells yer...

Anyway, I'm double-stoked that Amy from One Creative Procrastinating Gal nominated me for (drum roll please!) the -

The rules are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Write eleven things about yourself.
3. Nominate eleven promising bloggers who have less than 200 followers and tag them in your post.
4. You have to give them eleven questions to answer.
5. You should not tag back.
11 Random Things:

I've been in my new job for about 4 months now, and for the first time in my career my office doesn't look like it was trashed by an angry orangutang.

I really like breakfast cereal.  Discovering my work supplied it for free felt like winning the lottery.

I understand French reasonably well and fairly often read Le Figaro over lunch.

I went to New Caledonia on a school trip in 1994 and have thought about it countless times since.  I'm almost scared to go back, though, for fear of spoiling my memories.

I keep trying to persuade myself to read fiction and failing.  I haven't read a work of fiction (that's if you don't count the newspapers) after being pressed to take English Literature in 1995

I've always had a fascination with science, particularly physics, astronomy and archaeology.  Naturally, I became a lawyer.

Maps fascinate me.  Hand me a street directory and I can be entertained for hours.

I'm persuaded that there is no food that doesn't improve if you add chilli to it.

I love to write - this was originally why I started blogging, although the focus has shifted a bit since.  The things I can't get published wind up on my wordpress site (link at the right)

I know that people probably think I'm a bit weird or (which is worse) creepy for blogging like I do.  I try and ignore this, which may or may not be prudent.

People fascinate me.  Not in a stalker kind of way, but I'm endlessly intrigued by how people make sense of the world.

Now, onto the 11 questions from Amy (who declares herself to
1. How long have you been blogging?
A bit over a year.  I originally began it to showcase the writing I was doing, and it kind of drifted to more of an electronic diary.
2. What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?
I've made a couple of  great friends through blogging.  Some of you know it's been a bumpy road these last 12 months and I've learned (yes, learned) how much it means to have people who have your back.
3. Best Quality?
Perseverance.  I find I can usually keep pulling myself up off the mat, although sometimes it takes longer than others.
4. Worst Habit?
Nobody can hold a grudge like I can.  It's not an attractive quality: nobody should still want to settle scores from high school twenty years later.
5. Favorite thing to drink?
Alcoholic? Rum.
Non Alcoholic?  Sweet tea.
6. The thing you dislike doing the most?
Part of my job - disputes over pre injury earnings.  Mind numbing, fiddly disputes over numbers.
7. What are you a sucker for?
Book shops
8. Guilty pleasure?
Going though an entire jumbo pack of cheese cornchips in one sitting.
9. Favorite flower?
White rose of York - for some of us, the Wars of the Roses will not be over until King Richard III's name is cleared!
10. What is YOUR talent?
Loyalty to people.  Does that count?
11. Books or movies?
Books - anything by Bryan Greene at the moment.
Now, my turn to share:
My 11 nominees:
  Heather at Chasing Butterflies
Leelee at Heartland Girl
Kristi at Kentucky Girl
My 11 ?'s:
1. Why did you start blogging?

2. If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?
3. When and where would you live if your options were unlimited?
 4. Complete this sentence: "The world would be a better place if ..."
5. Comfort food of choice?
 6. Preferred sandwich filling?
 7. Favourite place to be on a Friday evening?
 8. Complete this sentence: "The car I drive is ..."
 9. What are you looking forward to?

10. Coke or Pepsi?
 11. Last book you came into possession of?
Congratulations to all nominees!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

While a video loads

Hi everyone,
It‘s 1:30am and I‘m back in Melbourne as I type this. Right now my phone is uploading a short video from the weekend to youtube.  It‘s not unearthly special - just some film of one of the prettier places there from this afternoon.  I have a longer piece prepared as well, but my phone won‘t load it without wifi.
It‘s been a productive weekend. Friday I finished the rough draft of the piece on Richard III I‘d been wrestling with. This morning I scribbled the initial draft of a review of Sophie Wahnich‘s recently-translated book on the Reign of Terror.
As you know, the weekend was spent with my mother.  It‘s a relationship that‘s kind of loving but awkward.  Sadly, not much more I can usefully say on that point.
It was in any case, a good weekend. Lots of sunlight and fresh air.
Hope your weekends were good too!
And btw: the video I was loading here
See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A somewhat wordless weekend

Hi everyone,
So here I am at the family place for the weekend.  I drove down earlier today. My father and little sister are at one of the northern properties, so it‘s just mum and me here.  This is a little difficult, as I‘m not yet quite in a space to explain the whole marriage situation.  Anyway, not having any pressing chores, I spent some time cruising the area and getting some photos, and I though you might like to see them.
And, as I‘m doing this from my phone, I‘m afraid I can‘t give a commentary on each (the Blogger app is pretty basic).  Hope you enjoy them anyway.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Not what the day deserves

Hi everyone,
This post won‘t be as long as the day deserves.  That might be just as well though: it‘s probably only interesting to me.  Anyway, today was the first ‘difficult‘ day I‘d had at the new job.  Difficult in the sense of being late in, and having no less than 4 medium size crises unravel through the day. Usually that sort of thing should make me insane and blame myself and convinced I‘m a horrible evil failure. Today - I just got in with it, fixed the problem and generally managed to roll through. Maybe it sounds pathetic, I guess, but it feels good to think “I still got it“.
Evening was a little difficult because I kept thinking of Grace and Rachel last night, playing with their wooden blocks, and how Grace so lives cuddling her little white toy bunny.  I miss my little girls so much.  Why can‘t we turn time backwards? Sigh.
Ok, it‘s very late. Sleep time.
See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

A picture Sunday

Hi everyone,

It's pretty late here (1:20am) - I just finished skyping with Joni and the girls.  I swear, those two little princesses are just the most perfect little people in the world.  So sweet, so gentle, so clever and so funny.  Rachel is getting cluier with words all the time and Grace - she's just the funniest, smartest little thing you ever saw.  Grace looked so thrilled to see me, and Rachel kind of cried when it was time to say bye-bye.  I love them more than there were words to say it.

It's been a weekend in town.  By way of a quick recap: On Friday evening I was having some chillout time (on the couch in sweatpants eating cheesy-poofs and watching Big Bang Theory) when Sophie, the former housemate who lives in Albury called me - she was in town and had had a dinner date fall through, so she asked if I wanted to catch up for tapas and a glass of wine.  She was in Fitzroy (about 5 minutes from here), so I met her there.  All was well until I found I'd unwittingly left my car in a permit zone.  Screw you, City of Yarra.


Saturday was frustrating: I was meant to meet the landlord here to sort out some bond paperwork, but an hour and a half late they called me and said they had to cancel.  Grumble.  Anyway, I went into town to get some things from the State Library for a good friend in Maine to do with a shared historical interest (she has a pretty neat historical blog that's worth a look - Heirlooms Reunited).  I was going to go to the office and get caught up on some work, but I got there and remembered I'd left my keycard behind.  Back I trekked to Brunswick, then back to the office.  That was an hour and a half well spent.  Gripe.  The evening was good though - Sophie teed up a dinner at a Lebanese grill for her and me and two other ex-housemates, Toby and KP, so it made for a really fun evening.  Although I can tell you, there was no good place to look when the belly dancer came out.  Where is a man meant to look when the dancer is wearing a thigh split velvet skirt, a fuzzy green bra, and dancing with a couple of swords?


And no, it was not possible to get a better photo!

After that I came back here and scribbled a bit more about Richard III.  I do this odd thing where I want to explore ideas.  If I just need to bash something out, a keyboard is fine.  If I want to write while pondering, I reach for a nib-pen and a bottle of ink.  Having to do the words slowly and carefully kind of makes you slow down and think things through.


Today I discovered I'd been robbed of an hour by daylight savings.  I spent most of the day at the office quite productively.  Dinner was hamburgers smothered with soy and barbeque sauces, served between slices of toast with avocado and tomato.  Simple but delicious (have made a spare one for lunch tomorrow - just knowing it's there will get me through the morning!).  And now, skype, blogging and bed.

Incidentally, in the twitter feed from one of my favourite college football teams, the San Diego State University Aztecs, there was a beautiful photograph of a sunset over their football field.  For some reason, the photo says something to me about hope and new beginnings and life and maturity and courage that I can't quite put into words.  Anyway, they very nicely said I could re-use it on my blog, so here it is -

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Fear the Spear!

See you tomorrow folks.

Friday, 5 October 2012

A musical discovery...

Hi folks.  I came upon this via twitter and it's really worth a listen - this girl has a first class country voice.  What do you think?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Another Wordless Day

The picture for today's "Wordless Post" is courtesy of my sister K.  This one was taken, I believe, on the coast of North Africa - it's really something. 

See you tomorrow everyone!

Monday, 1 October 2012

A link-up at lunch? This time it's movies...

Another linkup - this time with Austin Family Diary!

A three item linkup on films?  I can manage that over lunch!


I can cheerfully watch any given Will Ferrell movie, but Semi-Pro is special.  Yes, I know the plot is a cliche, but really, a sporting movie is always best as a Cinderella story (think about it: who - apart from Colts fans - didn't get a warm feeling when New Orleans won the Super Bowl?).  And, I kind of feel warm to this movie because it got such a belting from the critics.  Sure, it's not Casablanca, but it's just a simple feel good movie wth laughs.

Rio Bravo

How do you suppose the discussions at Warner Brothers went with this movie?  "It'll be great - John Wayne and Dean Martin!".  "Dean Martin?  The guy who does all the work for the Mafia and croons his songs through his fifth cocktail of the night? Are you high?"
But it worked - a solid, redemptive Western with a happy ending.  If I'm having a day where I really can't muster my courage for negotiating, or controlling a barrister or something, every so often I tell myself to release my inner John Wayne (which usually means using his voice inside my head).  Only problem is, sometimes you take it too far and go from "walking" to "moseying" and there's always the danger of calling your opponent "pilgrim".

Anything from the 1920s

A few months ago I began to get increasingly interested in the early days of Hollywood - from the 1920s to the earlyish 1930s and have been searching out clips from films of the time on YouTube.  Maybe I'm dumb and a bit of a romantic, but it strikes me it must have been an incredibly exciting time to be alive.  And maybe it tells us something about the world too, when one considers the films and actors that disappeared despite being famous in their day (who, now, remembers Virginia Rappe for anythng except her death?).  I think it must have been that time that Natalie Merchant had in mind when she released "San Andreas Fault" (typing this at work so no youtube link I'm afraid - look it up, though, it's a beautiful song).
Thanks for linking up folks!

A semi-wordless Monday

I seem to recall having heard that the endless attraction of songs and poetry is that they help us to say the things we feel, but for which we cannot find words.

I just spent an hour trying to say what's in my heart by writing a long, rambling blog post about something else that could be shaped by it.  Then my Firefox browser crashed and wiped it out, which I don't regret at all as it wasn't going close to saying what I wanted to say.

I don't have words - my own or anyone else's - for what's on my mind and in my heart.  I'm afraid I just don't.  But looking through the computer, I found a photo from a road trip a few years ago that, in a way, says what I wish I could.

See you tomorrow everyone.