Sunday, September 30, 2007

Must. Stop. Looking. On. Youtube. For. Videos. That. Make. Me. Homesick.

Must. Go. To. Bed. Now.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Music man

I keep forgetting to post about the debut album of a friend, Nyjon. He's a medical doctor (also trained as a naturopath) who runs a clinic on Harley Street (the prestigious medical location in England) using herbal medicine and diet to help people with cancer, and he's set up a charity (Chart) to raise money for people who can't afford this complementary medicine. And he sings, and writes songs, sometimes with the poet. I'm a bit too excited about the fact that the song 'First Love, Last Love' is one that the poet wrote for me with Nyjon, before the married days.

To use words not my own, [the album's] inventive blend of pop, funk and R&B carries a powerful and enduring message, spanning themes from responsibility and honesty in love to ecology and social reality. If only Al Gore would listen, I'm sure he'd snap up 'Lover Earth' (cowritten with the poet) as an environmental campaign song. Nyjon and the poet have just done another environmental song - Blue - which you can hear here:

You can listen to tracks, download them or purchase the CD from:

His cover of George Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' is pretty special too. It's not on the album but is a fundraiser for Chart. To get the single, simply make a donation via their website.

The Buffy Project - part 1

When we got back from Australia at the end of May, and life in London seemed dismal and drab, as it often does, but PARTICULARLY WHEN THERE WAS NO SUMMER IN SIGHT, I decided it was time to finish something that was set in motion some years ago.

I was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. When I first moved to London in 1998 I stayed in on Friday nights to watch Buffy on Sky One. I watched Angel too, because it was on afterwards, but it never grabbed me so much. When I moved in with the poet in mid 2000, much of my concern at living in a house without a television was that I wouldn't be getting my regular fix of Buffy. I wasn't sure I could do it, and my mother was convinced I had a secret television hidden in a cupboard somewhere, but I grew to appreciate and enjoy not having a television. Buffy got left behind, and it was ok.

My brother had a couple of seasons on DVD which I watched back to back one December I was in Brisbane, when it was too hot to move and the rest of the city languished inside with their air conditioning. It was the last time I saw my father, and he watched many of the episodes with me. Somehow it became a bit of a bonding experience for us, not that you could have predicted my dad enjoying a show about a teenage vampire slayer.

But otherwise my life was Buffy-free. Perhaps it was the lack of sun turning my thoughts towards those who dwell in darkness, or maybe it was just silliness, but I decided to watch the entire series of Buffy this year - seasons 1-7 - to see what I had missed out on. It helped that the poet and I had just bought a portable DVD player so we could watch films (my pc was pretty old and slow and mangled most DVD viewing experiences).

And so began the great Buffy Project of 2007.

To be continued...

Silly as a bum-full of Smarties

I've just come back from the cinema, watching Kenny. What a guy. The film made me homesick for Australia, for the kind of guy I've met nowhere else in the world - completely down to earth and patient and decent, a bit rough and maybe not the smartest, but you'd trust him with your life. Not that people like that are peculiar to Australia, of course they're not, but there's a particular Australian breed of them. Fair dinkum types.

The kind of man who peppers his speech with 'he's serious as a heart attack, mate' and 'busy as a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad'. Who has an unironic 'Advance Australia Fair ' singalong in the car with his little boy. Who looks out of his window in Nashville Tennessee on his first ever trip out of Australia, sees snow and says, 'Look at that, that's lovely. Good on 'em.'

Maybe I wouldn't want to marry him, but I sure as hell would want him for a brother-in-law or friend. Come to think of it, my Aussie brother-in-law is not far off. A good bloke.

'Useless as tits on a bull' got a big laugh from rest of the (British of course) audience, whereas the phrase just sounds normal to me. I guess I haven't lost all trace of Australian-ness, thank goodness. Even if I apparently sound like a Pom.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Who would have thought that finally getting broadband (now that I have a pc that can handle it) would be so satisfying?

Who would have thought the poet would ever be able to access his email quickly and efficiently, in a way that didn't bring despair to the entire household?

Thank you Tiscali.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


How sad would it be for me to start carrying around my digital camera, just so that I would be able to gather photographic evidence of the blatant disregard for law that seems endemic in the UK today? Laws that are meant to protect the public.

e.g. two perfect opportunities from today

1. A van driving the wrong way down a one way street and nearly running me over. If I hadn't chanced to look in that direction just in case of idiots (a cyclist nearly mowed me down on the same street doing the same thing), it would not have been a pretty sight.

2. A man driving along while using his mobile phone. No hands free kit even.

I fantastised as I walked about getting clear photos showing the crime and the registration plate and sending them to the police, but who am I kidding?

It seems that too many people just want to do what they want to do, regardless of whether it might harm someone else. They obviously didn't have the same parenting I did. Which probably means they didn't get drummed into them that 'fooling leads to fighting' either. It does, it really really does!