Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A song for winter. 

Blackbird flying in the sky
please don't look me in the eye

you are very very lucky
it's never easy to find me

the winter's coming now you've grown
the cold will numb you to the bone

it cuts you through so that you know
in pain the minutes go so slow

your soul and mine will carry on
when this transparent world is gone

there's nothing strange in what i say
it's always meant to be this way


- thanks, andy bell etc; the best songwriters of the 1990s bar none

and welcome to winter

in australia

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Lost dog column. 

After many years, the Melbourne Herald Sun has quietly dropped Alex Graham's Fred Bassett.

If Snoopy was the eternal child amidst the baseball playing field and the piano practice room of a 1950s American childhood, Fred was the amiable uncle in a comfortable suburb somewhere in Britain - probably Scotland - in a similar era.

Snoopy's world was a sometimes frightening rough and tumble playground, with children of all types - bossy Lucy, loser Charlie, anxious Linus, intellectual Schroeder, the ever-smudged Pigpen and, of course, the eternally unreachable little red-headed girl. No wonder Snoopy wandered off into his own imagination frequently as the flying ace, the author and other personae.

On the other hand, Fred's world was mainly an adult one of comfortable interiors and an ordered life. No kennel-roof for Fred, he wanted - and got - the chair. Of course, he would never say no to walkies and some of Graham's best images were of a kind of autumnal suburban Britain with windswept streetscapes, autumn leaves falling, the adults hatted and scarved, Fred in his tartan coat and the occasional venture onto a golf course.

While Fred was 'almost human', he also, being a dog, needed 'dog time' and here Jock the irascible Scottie, among others, made frequent appearances.

The Herald Sun occasionally received letters from readers complaining that Fred Bassett wasn't funny.

Fred Bassett and his world wasn't about the 'joke' but how do you explain that to people?

Most of all, Fred Bassett lived in a beautifully drawn world.

He still does, of course.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

More about the old book. 

Its combination of horror and theatrical comedy intrigued me, reminding me of some of Hitchcock's material.

I googled the author, Alec Coppel, and sure enough, he wrote scripts for, among others, Hitchcock, including Vertigo, and also wrote the screenplay for A Man About a Dog which was made as Obsession, also released as Hidden Room.

There were way too many commas in that last sentence.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Monday, May 23, 2005

An old book. 

Some books just disappear.

I found one in a musty old secondhand bookshop in Sorrento.

A Man About a Dog by Alec Coppel, first published in London 1947 during the austerity years: 'THIS BOOK IS PRODUCED IN COMPLETE CONFORMITY WITH THE AUTHORIZED ECONOMY STANDARDS'.

It's quite the comedy to begin with. It's all couched in theatrical language:

'Clive is married, and his wife's name is Storm - Storm Riordan.

Storm is beautiful and two-faced.

But we'll come to Storm later. More about Clive, first.'

Clive, a psychiatrist, decides to murder his wife's lover.

Storm has a very cute Scottie dog, Montgomery:

'Montgomery was quite a lad. Jet black, relieved only by that flash of Scarlet tongue, as worn by all the best Scotties, slightly protruding through the teeth.'

Clive catches Storm and Bill, her lover, after the act. Storm storms off and Clive orders Bill under gunpoint to follow him ... to a place whose location is not revealed, where Clive retains Bill via an ankle chain. For some months, until speculation about his disappearance dies down.

It's getting rather macabre.

Clive has an idea for a perfect murder. An acid bath.

He tries it out.

On Montgomery.

Then ... he puts it into human practice.

On Bill.

When Storm taunts him about having taken a further three lovers, Clive triumphantly confesses his crime to Storm and produces Bill's teeth - his only remains - on a string, placing it around her neck. Shortly after, Clive discovers a hidden microphone and believes his game is up.

Thinking he is about to be arrested, Clive adds the contents of three bulging hot water bottles - the remaining acid (to which rubber is impervious but human flesh melts instantly) to Storm's bath.

The book is almost at an end when Storm drops her negligee to the floor and poses one naked leg over the bath, about to step in.

And then a bell rings downstairs ...

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Friday, May 20, 2005

Who put all these plastic jars in the shower? 

I picked up a plastic jar.

It wasn't shampoo. It wasn't conditioner.

It was something else. 'Face scrub' or something. It had bits in it. Bits of what, I don't know. Lucky I didn't put any in my hair. The jar looked just like the shampoo jar. Or tube or whatever it is you call plastic containers.

There was another one. I picked it up. It was a struggle. I'm 6'2" and the shower cubicle is kinda small. I hit my head on the soap dish on the way back up. The label on the plastic jar read 'Aromatherapy Bath and Shower Gel: Rainforest with Pine Needle Oil and Wild Mint.'


I've a garden full of mint growing wild and here we are squeezing fake essence of it out of some plastic tube manufactured from petrochemicals.

This aromatherapy thing is out of control.

Soon there'll be aromatherapy engine oil.

'Valvoline 20W-50 Aromatherapy Motor Oil. Suits all engines. With extract of lavender and roses to soothe and relax your engine especially in peak hour traffic.'

I finally found some shampoo amongst the hundreds of plastic jars. Unfortunately it was my wife's RPR 'Rev Your Red' colour highlighter. But I didn't read that part, I just read the part that said 'Shampoo'.

I went into the shower with fair hair and came out with red.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

What librarians like. 

Well, what do you think they'd like?

It's obvious. Something which will shut the visitors up.

Oh, that's crude. Sorry. Being a librarian today is so not about making the vistors BE QUIET.

(Did you notice that the reporter wrote, ungrammatically, but that is not my point, 'even God got a look in'? God wrote the Bible?)

'Journalism' is like fashion. It's what they think their friends will like. Or approve of.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Cell phone goes missing. 

I'd been shopping.

Came home.

Later that day, where's my phone? Not in the hallway. Not in my pockets. Not in the car.

Call the number from the landline.

Pause. The refrigerator gives a muffled ring.

Open the door. A plastic bag containing bacon bones from the butcher is ringing. Not so muffled any more.

There's my phone. In with the bacon bones. I must have dropped it into the bag when I was putting the shopping in to the car.

It was fine. Just a bit cold. No dramas.

Not like the time it went through the washing machine.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Friday, May 13, 2005

But they're not strays .... 

I'd suggest the Vatican has more of a problem with bureaucrats than stray cats.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

It used to be called confession. 

Nobody had a problem with it.

But somebody - in the Church, after political correctness finally held sway over actual theological common sense - decided to call it ... reconciliation.

And what the hell does that mean?

It means nothing, Jack. Nothing at all.

If you're going to confess your sins, you're going to confess your sins.


A stupid word for a stupid world.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The old man and the ice-cream. 

The other day, I saw an old man, probably seventy or seventy-five, eat an ice-cream.

I was sitting somewhere, drinking a coffee, and I watched this old man walk to the ice-cream stall in the mall. He looked at the flavours, bought the ice-cream, walked across to a seat, sat in the sun, all on his own, and ate the ice-cream, enjoying it just like a five-year-old would.

Who knows what a seventy-five year old has seen in his life?

Born in 1930 - that's a Depression and a world war at least.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

'Try hitting reload and see if that helps' 

Why would 'hitting reload' help? It sounds quite violent.

I suppose it is like 'refresh' which used to mean spraying something fragrant at something else, or taking a bath.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Comments are back. 

Thanks to my personal IT consultant, Andrew, my son.

I completely screwed up the installation of Haloscan comments following the catastrophic failure of CommentThis! after which all previous comments were lost.

So now I have blogger comments.

And now all I have to do is post something interesting enough to earn a comment or two.

Hmm. Could be a challenge.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Monday, May 02, 2005

New! Improved! Comments now in glorious stereo! 

My old comments - through CommentThis! - failed.

So I tried to install Haloscan comments.

I don't know what happened, but it's there twice.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?