Saturday, January 27, 2007

Who owns god?

It seems the ‘left’ and ‘right’ (though lets face it, Lib and Lab could both be described as the conservative wrong these days) are battling over christian values. Rudd, the runty new Labour leader has grabbed the moral high ground, over faith based social values. While Abbott, the outspoken Catholic heir apparent Liberal minister, is defending troops in Iraq playing the fighting evil card.

The bun fight to woo the souls of the nation is officially on. Buddha and Allah need not apply.

Welcome to Dollywood

British psychologist Oliver James has deemed Sydney, "the most vacuous of cities. The Dolly Parton of cities in Australia." Which when you think about it, only maligns Ms Parton. He portrays the residents of the harbour city as self obsessed, consumer driven and spiritually bereft. Really, Dolly’s much kinder, wiser and saner.

Shame on you Mr Oliver, you may have got Sydneysiders right, but you owe Dolly an apology.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

it's a tough job but someone's got to do it

It's good to know that my rates money is going to a worthy cause - I'm paying their contractors to have sex. Yes, Yarra and Melbourne City Councils have decided that illegal brothels are such a problem, they have got private investigators onto the job to flush them out and in at least 17 cases they have admitted to having sex in the line of duty.

Needless to say the not-boyfriends is rushing his CV to the City of Yarra as we speak.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

the great wall of Brooklyn

After 2 years of bickering about division of matrimonial assets, this New York couple decided to partition their house into 2, despite the fact they owned a second house a couple of doors away.

"It's my house," said Simon Taub, who requested the building of the wall.
"And emotionally, in my age, I want to be in my house,"


It reminds me of a Taurean ex-partner, who had a real thing about owning stuff, even if he didn't want or need it, he didn't want anyone else to have it. Really, it's the principal of the matter - what's mine, is mine!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

finally, I'm normal

The latest Australian Census, the results of which should be out later in the year, is pointing towards the number of unmarried women outstripping the married ones.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Burn him – he’s a witch

The manual that will be used as the frame of reference when David Hicks and other Guantanamo detainees are tried has been released this morning by the US Defence Department. If passed into law these military witch hunts trials will afford detainees few of the rights that ordinary US citizens have, let alone what their own soldiers can expect if court marshalled.

For example, ‘evidence’ obtained under ‘coercion’ is admissible, so is hearsay. The prosecution can use classified information that the accused’s counsel can have no access to and of course, the detainees can only be defended by a lawyer provided by their accuser.

Truth and justice? But certainly the American Way.

And what will our Amnesty International Badge wearing government ministers do about it?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

headline du jour

Sex dispute ends in tractor rampage

January 16, 2007 - 12:02PM

It started with client who wouldn't pay a prostitute and ended in a tractor rampage, two damaged cars and criminal convictions. New Zealand's Timaru District Court has heard how a prostitute tried to get her own back on Christopher Malcolm Duane Muir, a farmhand on the country's South Island, who didn't pay after using her services. The Dominion Post reports the prostitute and three friends visited Muir on a farm to try to recover the money. Muir could not pay the women, who smashed his car windows and dented a door using a bat, causing about $NZ1400 ($A1240) damage, the court heard. Muir then drove a tractor at the women's car while they were in it. A front loader on the tractor smashed the car's windscreen, shattering glass on Jacinta Kathleen Borrie, a front seat passenger. Muir tried to stop the car before it was driven away and struck a door of the vehicle with the tractor. Muir pleaded guilty to dangerous driving of a tractor, five counts of unlawful taking, three of burglary, and incurring debt by deception. He will be sentenced on February 22. Borrie has pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging Muir's car and will reappear for sentencing on January 29.
AAP

Monday, January 15, 2007

spam spam spam

Even Monty Python couldn't come up with this one.

Optimism hope got horse found nice apartment fixed vowed.
Bad tan ragkate hudson enjoying summer chews spits.
Dolphin safe someone call, peta.
Clearance tech networks jobs advertise. Kreuklacey lohanlucy
mooremaria millermena.
Razzie article discussion this.
Smallville apprentice, survivor, charmed.
Time, romy sullivan, recurring jay, leno americas.
Oceanside where became spent majority.
Anymore sydney, bristow, mans walk clara forsythe others!
Century almost stay arrived, pretty. Symbol valentine scary movie
december, posed, nude.
Superb joy continue jan pst kittygirl great favorite.
Dresses drunk dyna, razinn moment rachael! Kickboxing dogson april it
reported involved bon jovi. Brother born february an american actress
and. Sheenon under laws state page court filing counting additional.
Masks abnormal nicole simpsons visited! User votingyou scored, link
pics, wallpapers avatars. Visited addicted gambling drugs bought!
Teacher chemical engineer jennifers original towards, ballet
chemistry. Electra maran your ad here october august? Persontags fav
inquiries popular idol.
Worst razzie article discussion this toolssign create, links?
Feeling hopeless right now, can better worked me.
Recommend anyone especially if drive shitbox do.
Wondering, how keeps body such, good, shape, well heres. Belief
conspiracy theories baby formula. World, is not enough white she
devil undercover brother.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

tour of duty

Or how I spent my holidays by AOF aged (oh bugger that) .




Each morning I woke to a blanket of clouds, rain or mist outside the window. The air was always cold, too chilly to pad around in a summer dressing gown kind of cold. The novelty of the lush green bush began to recede into the misery of endless, damp weather. The neighbourhood surrounded me and my world seemed to shrink to the size of my childhood – a handful of streets horseshoed in a farm and tree lined valley with only 2 roads leading out of it. But for those 11 days life centred on the house, how a pair of parents had slept, their need to be fed and watered, even entertained occasionally. One tugged at the reins needing to get out, itching with boredom. The other didn’t want to move much further than her bed, or chair. Though one day when we were out she took herself off to the supermarket barely a kilometre away, like a naughty child taking someone’s car for a joyride.

From the home front I observed how not only the world of my family had changed, but also the land I had grown up in. Sure I remember childhood summers where the sun had actually shone, we’d squirt the hose at each other with glee, muddy up the lawn and get sunburnt – but the other ways in which the nation had altered in my extended absence. The media had not changed, or rather it had worsened. The paper and TV talked little of the outside world, unless like many you had pay TV and beamed in the BBC rather than just the cricket. From NZ news services I deduced that this apparently peaceful land was really a hotspot of violence and following that line of reasoning it placed South Auckland, fair and square, in Hades. Almost all the violence was linked to Maori. Yet beyond the news, I saw a different presentation of this culture – frequently while walking through the city streets Maori language was spoken, full sentences or a peppering of words through a conversation. I never heard this in my childhood. There is a Maori channel on the box – the programs usually bilingual, with delightful homegrown stuff like “Ask the Aunties”. The meeting of the 2 representations of Maori life in NZ collided. But then again, I wasn’t staying in South Auckland.

The other major change from my childhood was the bird life. Just as the development of a bicultural society had flourished, so too had the native birds – tuis, kingfishers, fantails…these sweet and beautiful creatures bought back to life thanks too the development of a predator free precinct, letting them reproduce safely and flourish once more.

I come back to Australia, where I look out my window onto houses and cars. Yes there is some birdsong, the occasional nonindigenous blackbird, sparrow or mynah. The land is dry and brown. The native peoples suppressed, hidden, ghettoised. For a few days I have the juxtaposition of the heady joy of returning to my own space that does not run on the timetable of having to take care of my elders, meeting some kind of cultural and environmental shock.

As always I ask, where is my home? Can I create a new promised land? I pick the lushness on New Zealand with some Australian warmth muted to a more reasonable 20something degrees. I want the flora and fauna, but with my Melbourne urban delights. I want family, but not living in the same house. And I want a healing with the indigenous owners of the land.

Why can’t I ask for this, it is Christmas after all!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

more ephemera - from the Western Front to Hornchurch

More historical goodies squirreled away in my suitcase. This is another from the series of postcards written my grandfather who was injured in WW1. I was quizzing my father for more information – when, where and how was he wounded in combat? The replies were vague. The best he could come up with was France at an unknown time in the conflict and something to do with his arm. Did he have a scar, did he have problems moving one of his limbs? I drew a blank there. He did know that he was still recovering in England at the end of the war.

So perhaps it is time I learnt more about the so called Great War. The war to end all wars.

I have William’s first pay book which leads me from him signing up at the age of 21 in January 1916, until the book ends in mid 1917 in England. The often illegible scrawl of the place he was paid in sketches a story of his first 18 months in the army.

After joining the 4th Battalion of the 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade he spent the first 5 months of the year in training, initially in Featherston and then at Trentham. In June 1916 he boarded a troopship and in August arrived in England to spend further time, presumably in training, at Sling Camp and Codford until he was shipped to the front.

From early February 1917, his pay book notes he was “in the field” where he remained until mid June. From preliminary searching this places him at Mesen, aka the Battle of Messines in France. This was the second round of fighting, which the allies won (but would later loose). It was presumably here he was injured and sent to England to be nursed. First at Oatlands (NZ No.2 Hospital) and then for rehabilitation at Hornchurch (No.3).

The earliest postcard shows his ward (possibly at Oatlands). The latter ones are from daytrips while on leave, such as this one of the New Zealand Soldiers Club (which I presume is in London).

If anyone can fill me in with further details, or decipher the last line of the card, it’d be much appreciated. If you want more ephemera, just let me know.





March 18th (1918?) England

Dear Dad

Just to give you an idea how the New Zealand people look after their boys. The club is a fine place to stay at and our chaps make full use of it so handy to theatres etc. Well I hope to strike fine weather like we are getting when out on leave. I also hope to get in touch with some of your people at Stowmarket and give you (?) news of them. Just (keeps on? _ _) til I come home.

William

Friday, January 05, 2007

from the wild and windy place

Wellington is a wild and windy place. Contrary to seasonal dictates, it does not appear to be having a summer this year. Roads and hillsides are studded with slips, waterlogged pieces of earth have dislodged in recent months and caused havoc.

For a drought plagued Victorian, the juxtaposition was very odd. At first I revelled in the lushness of the landscape – so green and fertile, I didn’t care that it was 15c. Then I kind of got, well…over it. Grey, windy, wet, cold days out of season tend to dent the psyche.

So now I am back in the ridiculousness of 30-plus c days, dying earth and water restrictions. As a woman who revels in moderation, these extremes are doing my head in. And my sleep! Oh for an 8 hour sleep. When that resumes I’ll be back blogging.

In the meantime muse on this.

Look at these little patches of prime Wellington real estate.




Are they selling:

a) a couple of metres of pavement
b) a perch for a dolls house
c) a sheer cliff face

In a land of rain, slips and earthquakes, strangely c is the answer!
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