Two great things this weekend

30 June, 2007

Eales and Bledisloe

Great Thing #1 – Bledisloe Cup match at the MCC – Wallabies vs. the All Blacks.

We have one of each in our household, so someone will come home a winner.

My tip is the Elephant and Wheelbarrow bar in Melbourne will also be a winner in terms of bar sales when the Clarke boys, Col, Possum Boy, Barnesman and Wakes meet up for some pre-game inspiration.

Bledisloe, take me home, to the place I belong

In Australia –

We’re superior

Bledisloe, take me home

Great Thing #2 – Overseas holiday

After months of counting down, the big day has finally arrived.

We’re off to London, via Hong Kong, with plans to visit the races at Sha Tin and Newmarket, the two Tour de France stages in London, and a week on a beach somewhere in Europe for good measure. (Not to mention the chance to catch up with our gorgeous niece, Alisha).

I’m hoping to update the blog while I’m away, but have also enlisted the services of a few guest posters to help keep the ball rolling in my absence. Who knows, I might find the thought of spending an afternoon in an English pub more appealing than sitting on the net trying to work out what to say!

Go Wallabies!


World’s tightest jeans – a fashion tragedy

28 June, 2007

Do you know the guy in this photo? Fashion Tragic

It was taken at Southbank, in Melbourne.

Please pass this link on to everyone you know in Melbourne, and request that they do the same.

Hopefully someone who knows this man will eventually point out to him the error of his ways, and prevent him from inflicting this sight on anyone else in future.

This has been a community service announcement.

Who is this loony?

27 June, 2007


Go to roaf’s site, Gaijin Tonic, and find out.

He reminds me of one of my relatives, who shall remain nameless…

Loonies come in many shapes and sizes.

One of my favourite types is the ‘Pot Laugher’, so-named for their penchant for sitting alone in bars, laughing at their beers. As well as the customary hearty chuckle, they express their platonic love by muttering sweet nothings in the direction of their drink.

Another brand of loony is the ‘Collector’. I’m not talking here of your normal person with a single hobby such as stamp collecting or coin collecting. I’m talking your fully blown collector of old cardboard boxes, back issues of the local paper, string, used milk cartons, KFC food wrappers – all at once.

The ‘Winter Dresser’ can be seen walking down Puckle St in the middle of summer wearing an overcoat, scarf, gloves, and woollen hat. Near relative, the ‘Summer Dresser’ is seen at the other spectrum of the scale, wearing t-shirt, shorts and thongs in the depth of winter.

Any other categories I’ve left out in my haste to get to bed? As Hans would say [listen to sidebar audio file] ‘Let me know’.

Tarpins in for nasty shock…

26 June, 2007

Let’s just say Wakes’ dreams of making millions of dollars from our horse’s stud career are about to be ‘snipped’…

Nothing good was ever going to come of his mental backwardness.

Travel Writing 101

25 June, 2007

Our non-fiction class had a special guest speaker a few weeks back, Teresa Cannon, an accomplished and very successful travel writer.

Teresa is a contributing editor to several Lonely Planet guides, and is co-author of the wonderful Aliya: Stories of the Elephants of Sri Lanka.

I’ve long harboured a desire to become a famous, well-paid travel writer, flitting from one exotic location to another, on a never-ending expense account. Teresa’s presentation certainly put paid to that – I didn’t realise there would be hard work and hardship involved in my dream job!

Seriously, I was inspired by Teresa’s enthusiasm for her work and her ability to make a living out of something she obviously loves.

A few interesting observations:

  • Travel writing involves a focus on place and/or movement
  • Think about the various dimensions of the place you are writing about – physical/cultural/historical/political
  • Also, importantly, what is missing?
  • Try to evoke the images/smells/sound/energy of the place you are writing – and remember to bring your imagination
  • Think about your audience and the particular needs they may have
  • Be alert to the agendas of various people you may speak to in researching your story, and decide how you will deal with these
  • Take photos, if only for your own sake. They may rekindle/refresh some memories when it comes time to write

While on the Road:

  • Be in work mode*
  • Writing takes precedence*
  • Don’t miss any opportunities
  • Collect literature
  • Allocate time for writing
  • Try to keep to a general itinerary*

* Things I might find difficult to cope with in my travels…

The difficulties:

  • Homesickness/loneliness
  • Alienation
  • Cultural differences
  • Fear or strangers or strangeness
  • Find your own way to cope with these – they happen to everyone

Hopefully, I’ll be able to apply some of Hazel’s excellent advice when it comes time to write up the Tour de France next month.

Star Wars + 30 years

21 June, 2007

Mystery Star Wars Star

OK, Star Wars fans, (that means you, Mrs Gray) – here’s a quiz for you.

Which character did this guy play in the original Star Wars movie, 30 years ago?

Answers, as well as a couple of other classic then-and-now photos are over here at Recent World.

May the force be with you.

Clue – he does his hair differently nowadays.

Nice Pants

20 June, 2007

Pants 1

Where can I buy a pair of these pants?! (In fact, the whole ensemble is pretty snazzy…)

I posted a link a few weeks ago to 50 Writing Tips, which I found a useful resource – so useful in fact that I subscribed to their Writing Tools newsletter.

Today’s newsletter made reference to this article, which in turn is where I found the photo of the author with the snazzy pants. I would imagine the owner of this type of outfit in the Swinging 70’s would have driven one of those wood-panelled station wagons a la The Brady Bunch, and would have enjoyed having his friends around for a fondue party. Did someone mention Hot August Night?

All this thinking about fashion reminded me of Australia’s latest major golf choker, Aaron “Dresses” Baddeley, famous for his collection of shocking plaid trousers as well as being a very talented golfer. Funny how the two often go together. I loved this line from ESPN

Take a moment to send a sympathy card to Judge Smails — apparently, Aaron Baddeley raided Smails’ closet when the Judge was sleeping. Purple plaid trousers: The kid has stones, I’ll give that to him.

Pants 2

Sorry, I couldn’t find the purple pants anywhere on the web, you’ll have to make do with the red look above.