Bob’s Your Great Uncle

I was at home yesterday at 5.30 in the late afternoon when Louise said, “Would you like to go and see Bob Dylan in concert tonight?”.  He was in Adelaide, it seemed, as part of an  Australian tour, and Louise was being offered a pair of tickets by a friend. Having just finished the Times Crossword (gloat) I had nothing else pressing to do, so I said, “Sure.  Why not?”

DylanThe answer, it turns out, was, “Because this tour is absolutely awful”. He had a prefectly competent band, but everything was played in a plodding monotone, such that even his old (once good) songs were delivered in the same indistinguishable style. Both Dylan and his band played in semi-darkness, feebly backlit by a row of the sort of lights they use for night bowls games, but with low wattage bulbs. So it was impossible to see what was not worth listening too.

Dylan has been a great musician, with a wry sense of humour, who might have retired years ago, except that Continue reading

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ABC Not Learning from its Mistakes

The ABC (the major Government-sponsored Radio & TV broadcaster in Australia) is a weird organisation.

michael rowlandHaving been travelling a fait bit recently, I have been waking up in hotel rooms and, as one does, turning on the TV whilst working out how to get an early morning cup of tea of coffee out of a kettle which is the size and weight of a chaffinch. The ABC have a perfectly likeable chap called Michael Rowland, who does a good job of cheerfully hosting their breakfast programme. His job description evidently calls on him to smile a lot, which is fine – no one wants to listen to a misery-guts first thing in the morning. Should not be hard, you might thing, for an easy-going, affable chap like Michael Rowland.

Virginia trioliBut the ABC put him through daily torture Continue reading


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A Grizzly Irony

There is a grizzly irony about the shooting down of MH17 by Ukrainian separatists and the deaths of so many civilians in Gaza – they are both the work of the same people.

KhazariaNot literally of course, but it works like this. In about 740AD King Bulan of Khazaria converted to Judaism. Probably, this is because he was being squeezed by Orthodox Christians on one side and Islam on the other. Over the next hundred years or so, pretty much all the other Khazars followed suit. Zharaia was in those days a vast state, north of and between the Black and Caspian Seas, being – roughly speaking – modern day eastern Ukraine, southern Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and western Khazakstan. There were a lot of Khazars by the standards of the time: the population of about 1½ million was much bigger than, for example, that of England.

Precisely how many of the world’s Jews descend from the Khazars is a matter of hot debate. Zionists like to think Continue reading

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How to deliver a fridge

There are a couple of things one might say if a friend suggests that one helps him deliver a use commercial fridge to a cattle station some 2000 kilometers away. They boil down, essentially, to “yes” and “no”.  Having just spent a week in trial in Melbourne, I thought it might be good idea to swop my wig for an Akubra for a few days. So I said yes.

IMGP5271The fridge was duly loaded up on the back of a ute.  I joined the delivery process at Alice Springs airport: our destination was Napperby Station, just a couple of hundred kilometres out of Alice. The fridge was, of course, quite heavy, but that was no problem, at all:  the owner of the station, Roy Chisholm, has loads of boy’s toys, including Continue reading

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Bog standard

At the weekend cWP_20140720_001onference, I was given a room with a bathroom adapted for disabled persons. All handles here, handles there and a fold-down seat in the shower.

I am not sure how I felt about that.  It was good to be able to have a shower without both elbows banging into the walls. But it did have a distinctly old-people’s home feel about it. Continue reading

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Cold is coming…

RedSkyIt is my own fault really.  When recently in England, I foolishly boasted that a typical Adelaide winter day was not unlike a typical English summer day. As it happened, the weather in England was really nice; warm and sunny, when the countryside looking at its early summer best.

Conversely, having got back home to Adelaide, it has been cold and wet.  There was a red sky a couple of nights ago. Shepherd’s delight? No, it’s bloody freezing.

Furthermore, I can feel a cold coming on.  I have Continue reading

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Roll with Laughter

LawSocI was walking down Chancery Lane in London a few days ago, past the Law Society. A good opportunity to check that my name is no longer on the English Solicitors’ Roll now I am at the South Australian bar, so I popped in. Did they have someone who could help me? No, not in person, but there would be someone who could help me available on the hotline telephone in the corner. The word “help” turned out to be less than entirely accurate. The conversation went something like this:

ME:                 I just want to check on the status of my name on the Roll.

VOICE:           Yes, sir. Can I have your full name?

ME:                 [full name] Continue reading

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Dark Liquor

WP_20140608_001Whilst staying with my old friend Ian Posgate at Badgemoor, he was kind enough to share a splash of this very unusual whisky, which appears to be an admirable private venture. Very dark, and with huge overtones of grape. Matured in sherry casks? Madeira casks? Or even port casks?

It was hard to tell, even after a second glass. Continue reading

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Mrs Perdita Shripton at Daycare

PerditaCaptureI have been traveling recently. Whilst I was away, Neighbours A very thoughtfully took Perdita along with their own dogs to daycare on the day that Neighbours B were removing a nest of asbestos. The doggy daycare centre has just posted its video showing its canine ankle biters having a whale of a time – hours of endless romping fun. At 2.06 of the video (I would not suggest it necessary for anyone to watch the whole thing, unless of course you are on the lookout for the hilarious antics of your own darling pooch) we see Perdita, for all the world looking as if she is saying, “Have any of you children seen my copy of the Literary Review?”

It will be very good to see her again this week; one misses one’s dog whilst one is away. Continue reading

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15 Years Old Party – None Believed Dead

Lucy’s party went off without any apparent mishaps.Lucy party 2014

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