Saturday, August 07, 2010
Despite appearances, I have not photoshopped that snap of dear little Ezra™. No, he really, truly does possess the kind of pensive eyes not normally found outside of Jersey cows and Japanese soft toys.
These are not bullet holes. Pier One, Sullivans Cove. May 2010.
Often, it is not not looking that causes people to miss things; it’s not looking properly.
I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--
I, too, am America.
Friday, August 06, 2010
Mysterious birds lurking in the grass of St John’s Park. New Town, July 2010.
I think that these fellows are finches, but I cannot be sure. If there are any keen-eyed twitchers out there who can identify these buggers and set me straight as to whether they taste nice when battered and deep fried, I’d be most appreciative.
That said, I have yet to find a substance that does not taste better battered and deep fried. Indeed, it is the key reason that I do not own a deep fryer.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Here you can see Ezra leading Jen a merry dance down at Hinsby Beach back in May.
There is a moment of great joy and celebration when you child first rolls, crawls and walks.
Then you realise the magnitude of potential damage that they can do has increased by about sixty-seven thousand percent…
My baby takes the
My God, it is Theme Thursday already. This one is a tricky one: BROWN.
Buses to me are BROWN. Technically speaking, Metro Tasmania buses are actually white and green, with splashes of yellow; but metaphorically, and more importantly metaphysically, buses are BROWN.
BROWN is functional. BROWN is enduring. BROWN in unheralded.
We all need a touch of BROWN in our life, but I’ve never heard anyone claim BROWN as his or her favourite colour.
Here in Australia people clamour to claim their green credentials, but forget that without any BROWN there can be no green. Green rants and raves and pats itself on the back; BROWN just gets the job done.
BROWN is Earth. BROWN is work. BROWN is triumph without adulation.
Nobody cheers a bus; but buses get me from A to B.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
I think that this photo makes Henry look a little like a gunslinger here. He’s got what I like to called “the slight squint of Clint” going on here, and bears a passing resemblance to a young Charles Bronson.
That said, if he wants to be a true hero of the Wild West, he’ll need to keep his trap shut. He’s got plenty of the strong about him, but our Henry is not what you’d call the silent type.
Playgroup HQ. St Johns Park. New Town. July 2010.
Here you can see the HQ of Playgroup Tasmania, which is located on the way in to St Johns Park, as you make your way up into the road that leads to
What most intrigues my boys about Playgroup HQ is not their wargaming tables, reams of maps or extensive files relating to millions upon millions of naughty and nice children; no, their interest is about one thing and one thing only: TOYS.
You see; this innocent-looking former church hall (I’m speculating about that bit) is actually home to
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
In all seriousness, every time I revisit these most excellent Communist propaganda posters, I wonder why they lost the Cold War.
Today’s poster features the innovative, exceptional and persuasive slogan:
Have a happy holiday!
Nothing says “happy holidays” like Marx and Engles frolicking in the forest with some joyously cheerful kiddies!
It is funny really, when others think about ideas like dialectical materialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat or the concept of relative surplus-value, they envisage dour grey industrialised wastelands and soot-coated agitators. Myself, nothing says the production of absolute and relative surplus-value more than a rosy cheeked cherub picking pansies in fields of flowers.
Bottom of the stairs looking up. Carruthers Building, St Johns Park, New Town. July 2010.
Last Friday I was on the [second] bus on the way to work – the Glenorchy via New Town Road – when I found myself rapidly approaching the emotional climax of the book I was reading. For those that don’t know (and you would be forgiven for not knowing of it), The Middle Parts of Fortune by the little known and long dead Australian expat Frederic Manning.
Men and war, war and men. That’s the plot. While this book is a record of experience on the Somme and Ancre fronts of World War One, there is far more waiting around than actual battle. Just like a real war.
That said; if you know anything about the Somme, you know that there will be blood. Perhaps the most striking thing about the book is the voices. Manning served in the ranks, a gentleman amongst men. The dialogue strikes one as ‘true’, and it is as if in recording the conversations of ‘the ordinary soldier’, it seems at times as if one is hearing the voices of ghosts.
The upper-middle classes had no lack of voice when it comes to the experience of the First World War. That is less so true for everybody else. It seemed that by the time it became ‘okay’ for ordinary people to speak about the war, they were dead. Most of us know them best through the mute, exhausted faces that stare out at us across time from black-and-white Great-War-era photographs.
That is what makes Manning's novel so special to me. Published in a limited edition during 1929, he captures their voice. The book gives the reader an atypical and vivid indication of what trench life and fighting felt like from the viewpoint of people that we might actually be able to relate to (being from such stock myself). More importantly, the book delivers some idea of the emotional and physical costs of battle. It explores the ways that men related to each other and to their superiors. As a reader, it takes it out of you.
But the point of the post is not to inform you of this most excellent book. The point was to regale you with a tale.
There is me on the morning bus to Glenorchy (although getting off in New Town), filled to the brim with school kids, reading this book. So I get to the real kick in the guts, the emotional and literal climax, and I’m welling up.
Fair dinkum, I thought “I’m not sure that I want to start bawling in front of all these people”, and set the bugger aside and looked out the window until I could get off and finish the chapter.
That’s the sign of a decent read.
Monday, August 02, 2010
If there is one thing that you can say about cranky Hanky, it is that he is tenacious. Like a Staffordshire terrier with a mouthful of child, Henry is not one to give in flippantly to a challenging situation.
No, if Henry is going to quit, he is going to quit with as much fuss and bother as he can manage!
The view from the cubicle. Level 4, Carruthers Building. St Johns Park. New Town. July 2010.
I figured that as I'd shown you my old desk, so I may as well show you the new one.
Yes, this is where the magic happens. It's a long way from glass case by the sea...
Sunday, August 01, 2010
There's one thing that driving around in a Geilston Bay Community Centre car will give you: disdain for everybody else on the road.
Ominous skies above New Town. July 2010.
So it is Sunday, which means time for the Sunday Top Five. Today, I'm nominating my Five Favourite Television Shows! Demonstrating my existence on the cutting edge of televisual delights, the list doesn't contain much in the way of contemporary programs, but makes up for it with foul language (well, one show does at least...)
- The Royle Family
- Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister