Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another Wedding

This one was the little brother's. For reasons best known to themselves they decided to get married in Melbourne. The logistical dramas that stemmed from this were many and varied but once everyone hit town everything fell into place. (One tip though - casual parking for a couple of hours in the Melbourne CBD had this bumpkin wincing - $42 for two hours. Highway robbery.)

Anyhoo the kids got married in a registry office, something I've never seen before. It was quite low key but surprisingly emotional. Their musical choices were excellent as befits a groovy young couple - Radiohead, Flaming Lips and Augie March. The celebrant's avant garde grasp of English made for light relief and it was quite short and sweet.

We then repaired to the Gertrude hotel in Collingwood for refreshments. The food was excellent (little bro and I are good mates with the chef), cider and beer flowed freely and there was pumpkin and orange cake and champagne toasts. We left late in the evening having had a lovely day. Pausing only for a toasted ham and cheese from a roadhouse on the way home (which tasted oddly of fish) it was a tired carload than pulled back into to Ballarat at midnight.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mess Hall

Its funny how you can get swept up in a Friday night, even when you haven't done the work to earn the enjoyment of it. I guess I'm still playing catch up. Bought some Merlot cleanskins, pate and camembert to take the edge off the week for Lize, then cooked a couple of rippingly good scotch fillets with barbequed corn on the cob and baked spuds. The girl had had a hard day at the office and nine o'clock found her a bit dazed and confused, so she opted for a lie down on the couch while I decided to hit Karova and see one of Australia's best kept secrets.

The Mess Hall are two piece rock and roll, more QOTSA than White Stripes and while quite bluesy in parts, a bit more manic than the Black Keys. They cook up a dirty wall of noise, with drummer Cec's incessant pumping kick drum and sinuous drones and scattershot licks from vox/guitarist's Jed's old Tele. The vocals are exhortations and yelps and the whole thing is a damn fine example of the things that are good in music. Notably absent from the stage were ironic keyboards, designer jeans and bassplayers that look like some tit from Spandau Ballet. All plus points in my book. Caught up with the lads afterwards (though Cec seemed to spend most of his time throwing up from his exertions) and Jed was a fount of good humour and gossip. Apparently Wolfmother haven't broken up and are back in the studio which is great news for fans of Black Sabbath.

Being the old and broken man I am I snuck home in a cab at 1.30am.

Monday, April 14, 2008

the horse

i applied for a job today. After swearing to myself I wouldn't do it again it's a bar job. I am an idiot but since my freaky eye test the panic has set in. I can handle being a bum, but being a blind bum is terrifying prospect. If I get it will at least make this blog more interesting.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


i don't tend to have positive interactions with the medical community. Most are incredulous about my weight, lifestyle, smoking and drinking habits, refusal to drop dead on the spot etc. My GP has got to know me over the last few years and seems to have placed my file in the humour him/too hard basket. He doesn't badger me too much, offering more gentle encouragement and the odd hot tip for basic survival. So when I visited an optometrist today I really shouldn't have been too surprised by what happened.

The optometrist was a comely sort of lass, from Hertfordshire in the old dart and gave me the usual eye tests and was well into her spiel on glasses and how awesome they are when she got to my left eye. One of the reasons (apart from finding it tough to read in dim light) that i went to get my eyes checked is if I'm tired or its dark, the left eye gets a little blurry, with lights sparklig or even tripling if I stare too hard. Apparently this is not a good thing. Cue 3/4 hour worth of tests and the comely lass getting a more worried frown. The upshot is I have something I have never fucking heard of wrong with me . Its called Keretoconus. It means your corneas are out of shape, getting pointy instead of nice and round. This gives you blurry, trippy vision and eventually can render you legally blind. (which I gather means you can still see big stuff like cars and whatnot, but you mightn't be certain it's definitely a car it might be a horse. But it doesn't go all dark which is nice). There are options apparently, hard contact lenses to start with and then you can graduate to corneal grafts. Anyway she gave an appointment in two weeks to make sure it all wasn't just a bad dream and she'll make some reasonably nice glasses for the other eye which is merely lame rather than fully buggered. I'm a touch freaked out but hey I guess it ain't fatal and given the current advances in medical technology I could be rocking an awesome pigs eye or some such in 10 years time.

Monday, April 7, 2008

All in the Family

Check this story out folks I know this isn't a real newsy sort of blog but this can't be avoided. Dad and daughter happily shagging away and having kiddies while they're at it. Not content with wallowing in their own insanity they feel its necessary to go to the media with their heartwarming tale of forbidden love and poor unfortunate inbred children. As a society I reckon the signs are bad - this is not the sort of thing a healthy community tolerates.

Friday, April 4, 2008


a couple of lovely kids got married in Ballarat last night. Jarrod and Renae are one of those couples that you have a gut feeling will make the long haul. They seem to love and respect each other and treat each other with affection and good humour. Funny people too. Jarrod is one of the more talented sound engineers I've worked with, a capable and calm dude who has bailed me out on countless occasions with his clever ways with a misbehaving PA. Renae used to work with Lize at Maccas back in the day and she's since been heavily involved in the retail side of the rock game and is one of Lize's oldest B-town mates.

The wedding was great craic. Nice jazz, cold beer, little snacks and a great mix of folks. Cocktail receptions are awesome, no being stuck on a table full of mental aunties or Johnno the boring guy from the bank who's someone's second cousin. Caught up with some people I haven't seen in ages, and ended up back at my old bar carrying on with them till all hours. It was a bit odd seeing the bar from the other side when it was pumping, got a few rueful stories how things have changed since I've left but it all seemed cool to me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

a trip and a storm.

tuesday morning Lize and I threw some clothes in a bag and buggered off to see our mates Ruddo & Jen in Anglesea. Jen's folks have a little cabin down there in a caravan park and being the darlings they are invited us down for a night. They are some of our oldest friends and hanging out with them is fun and easy. While in some ways we're quite different as couples (they are the most energetic people on earth, its all half marathons and scaling the Andes with them) we get on really well. So we sort of had a compromise day where they dragged me on a walk that seemed to go on forever, that I actually ended up enjoying and then we went to the pub at four in the arvo which is more my pace. Then Jen cooked up some awesome steaks, stout and beer were consumed and a vigorous night of cards, scrabble and a few more ales ensued.

Not having overdone it the previous night, Lize and I bounced out of bed nice and early and packed the car as some gentle rain fell. We said our goodbyes and embarked on the lazy hour and a half drive back to Ballarat. Or at least that was the plan.

The next couple of hours were some of the toughest driving I've ever done. Insanely strong gusts of wind buffeted the car between Geelong and Ballarat, sometimes physically pushing the car half off the road. Branches were being ripped off trees, a dust storm was visibly building and there were sporadic downpours of rain. White knuckle stuff. We made it back home in one piece, but saw a fair bit of carnage from the storm, including a house that had a massive tree fall on it and smash through the roof. By the time Lize went to work at 3pm the sky was thick with dust and the sky was a queasy shade of yellow. The worst seems to have abated now but apparently big chunks of the state are without power and there's plenty of damage to property.