Saturday, October 4, 2008


it's been a bit of a whirl of late. I've had a gentle nagging toothache for a few days so I've been hopped up on codeine and bumbling a little. Thursday I went to see the Underminers play. They are my friend Hap's other band (The Dead Salesman being the main one I guess) and they were performing in acoustic mode at my old venue. They are a seriously low key proposition so they suited my drugged up state beautifully. Unfortunately the drinks I had didn't, so I had to cut the night short as I started to feel really nauseous.

The next day I had a funeral to go to. Kinga, a prince among bartenders, lost his old man Brian earlier in the week so I threw the suit on and off out to the cemetary to show a bit of support. As far as funerals go (it's a given they're never pleasant) it was a fitting and occasionally light hearted send off for a sweet old guy who was held in high regard in the circles he moved in. The coffin was carried out to the jaunty strains of the North Melbourne FC theme song and the eulogy gained a few gentle laughs when the old boy's smooth ways with the ladies were referred to. After the ceremony we repaired to the Grapes Hotel, Brian's regular watering hole and the place where I got to know Kinga many years ago when he ran the place. Sandwiches, tea and beer were all in good supply and Brian's old mates regaled us younger folk with stories of the old guy's exploits as a young tearaway rocker in the 50's and of his legendary charm with the widows and divorcees of Ballarat and surrounding areas. Like a lot of people, Í tend to ge a bit reflective at wakes and I looked around my circle of friends and thought that at some point we'll be those old guys telling stories about each other. A thought made more poignant by the fact my crazy mate Brooksy who was in attendance has just been diagnosed with something nasty and is already showing worrying signs, unable to open a bottle of beer without assistance. I pulled the pin about 9, heading home with Lize for a nightcap and some reassurance from the girl.

Last night it was back out again for Shaun the booker's girlfriend Mel's 30th. Due to some incompetence on behalf of the original venue, the party had to be moved at late notice due to a double booking and was relocated to the Blue Note, Ballarat's newest and only gay bar. It operates in a hairdressers after hours, has a grand piano and a patchy selection of beverages. Mine host, a tall camp gentleman of European origin, serenaded us with agricultural versions of Blue Moon and Girl from Ipanema in the earlier part of the evening before Shaun was able to wrangle a mix cd onto the house system and convince Liberace to get back behind the bar. Caught up with a load of good people that I don't see as much of as I should but felt slightly aggrieved all night about the drink selection and the rabbit in the headlights style of bartending going on. Lize and I got a cab home at midnight and had a pizza and stayed up chatting for a couple of hours which was a pleasant end to the night.

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