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Showing posts from November 30, 2008

Canberra: Why wait for death?

This title was taken from the Bill Bryson book, Down Under . Yes, there is quite a tradition to slagging Canberra! Before I get back to Canberra, I better acknowledge the fact that the photo is not from that fine town, but an action shot of Henry in motion. I figured that even reading about Canberra is dull enough to kill elephants, so I'd best give you folks something interesting to look at. So I did finally make it to Canberra! As you can see in the photograph below, the whole plane is absolutely over the moon at the prospect of a day in such an exciting place. Some people reckon that the name "Canberra" means 'meeting place' in the Ngunnawal language, with reference to the various transcriptions of Kambera (alternatively spelt Kamberra, Nganbra or Nganbirra). However, my sources - high up in the indigenous community - reckons that this is a mistranslation . They claim that the actual meaning of the name is "cake eating" ( at a meeting). They at

The best view of Canberra is from the back of a departing train.

So this title is a cutting little remark made by Percy Deane, the Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department, in 1928. To continue the tale, after an extensive search, the present site was chosen! Although people claim that it was chosen halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, the dodgy pastoralists of corrupt and amoral New South Wales managed to wrangle and extra 230 kilometres closer than their more cultured and classy southern rival. Thus, utisiling nefarious means to marginalise the exceptionally superior states, the NSW government ceded the new Australian Capital Territory to the Commonwealth Government in 1910. In that same year, setting the scene for the kind of funsville that Canberra would go on to be, the ACT became an alcohol-free area ! A soulless patchwork of streets sprawled out over a flat and barren landscape, Canberra is truly the Michael Buble of Australian cities: clean, neat, polite, inoffensive and completely and utterly lacking in any character, charm o

It is an expression of bureaucratic Existentialism. It exists without existing.

I am still winging my way to Canberra here, this time from Melbourne airport. As you can see, there was a bit of cloud. Yes, in response to a question asked by Willits’ finest blogger, USelaine, Canberra is one of those artificially constructed artefacts of the decision-less decision made (not made?) years ago. The title today is a comment on Canberra from Malcolm Muggeridge, a noted political commentator here from last century here in Australia. The story of Canberra is far from interesting, fitting to the town. When the Australian colonies decided to federate, you can imagine the keen debate around which of our fair cities would be chosen as the national capital. As the city of Burnie (declared by the Queen herself , no less) was still in its formative years, the decision was made to bypass Tasmania altogether. That left two candidates for the new national capital. At the time, bloated a gold rush and a superior code of football, Melbourne was Australia's largest – and we

Up, up and away, in my beautiful, my beautiful BAAA-LOOOON...

So here I am in the skies above a fresh Hobart summer's morn. I quite like the top photograph, the geometric lines of the wing and pastoral beauty of the sun-dabbled land below is a subtle mix of images that I do like very much. Photos taken from a plane are rarely successful, in my experience, so I was quite happy with the way that that these ones turned out. This second image is an aerial shot of Cambridge, the location of ‘Hobart’ airport. Apologies for the brevity of the post. It is a bloody madhouse here today, and when you’re the boss (and believe me I feel so grubby saying that), every bastard wants a piece of you!

Oops, I did it again!

So, those canny readers who spotted my blue in Tuesday's post deserve a pat on the back. Indeed, the photograph featured a building and not a river , as advertised. An easy mistake to make, and one that I am sure that you will understand! Tricky things building and rivers. The message that we should all take away from this is that even the best make mistakes , especially when they are rushing and very, very tired. SO this photograph I present this morning was hurridly taken on my way to Canberra on Tuesday. I say that I was on my way to Canberra, but actually, the plane was heading to Melbourne. Then I sat in an airport for an hour, got on another plane, and that one took me to Canberra. That is a nice example of the importance of Tasmania to the major airlines in Australia, you cannot get a direct flight to the nation's capital! Despite this, I have a little photo essay to come of the journey, but don't be afraid, I emerged unscathed!

All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

Yesterday evening I spoke about my surprise, frustration, anger, and eventual grief over the frankly disgusting decision to award "world's sexiest man" to Hugh "friend of Dorothy" Jackman at the expense of the Sultan of Studliness , Ezra. In this vein, I'd also like to stake a claim for Dame Judi Dench hunky Hank. Born on the cusp of Libra and Scorpio, Henry likes long walks on the beach, Elmo, grapes and the sultry tones of Marvin Gaye. If you're interested, leave your number in the comments section, and I will pass it on to the lad himself. Be warned though, he is very picky. Unless you bring muffins.

Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!

Another day, another shot of the Derwent. I am still in Canberra (what have I done to deserve that cruel fate, I ask you?), but I shall be back home later today. Hopefully I will have some photos to share. I guess that will depend how my meetings go! Canberra is kind of like a cross between a church, a country town hosting a high school debating tournament and Singapore. It's like Portland, Oregon. Minus the interesting parts. On Xanax. And methadone. Canberra is kind of dull you see. That's why they put Parliament there. They figured that nobody would notice. They were pretty close to the mark. And no, the title has nothing to do with Canberra, but I figured with a town that dull, I need to spice it up a bit. Who better than Alfonso Bedoya?

Well, sir, I ain't a for-real cowboy. But I am one helluva stud.

I read some nonsense the other day that noted thespian Hugh Jackman was chosen as "world's sexiest man" by some panel of know-nothing nincompoops. Hugh Jackman!?!? Have they even seen Ezra? Ignorant fools!!!

You can't handle the truth!

I am in Canberra today (the nation's capital for all you fun fact hunters out there), for more meetings ! Such is the joy of being boss for the time being. It will be a shorter trip than Sydney though, and hopefully one free of cake. That said, the robot and I have conspired to keep to photograph's rolling along. This one is of Hobart's mighty Derwent River. Like the Nile, Amazon and Mississippi rolled into one, this is one impressive bit of drink. There is no hyperbole in that description either, because as I have told you a million times, I hate exaggeration. Err, this isn't the river, this is the Hydro Building on Elizabeth Street. Tip for new bloggers, be extra careful when pre-posting late at night before a trip away!

The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing.

Here you can see Henry doing Anthony Hopkins doing Hannibal Lector doing Henry, trying to eat Ezra's face. Don't panic though, it was only a game, and Ezra emerged unscathed. Far too long ago now, I a sked a question of everyone about which actor they would like to play them in a film. As I said at the time, others – cruelly and maliciously , I might add – suggested one of Robert Downey Jr, Hugh Grant and (most unkindly) Ben Affleck to play the part of yours truly. Of course, I vociferously and aggressively rebuked such nonsense, and suggested indie-favourite early-1990s floppy haired Martin Donovan. I think that he would have the height and gravitas to successfully translate me onto the big screen. Oddly, other people seemed reluctant to engage with this question – unlike the others that were asked that week – I put it down to the unhealthy tendency to subdue our egos that society often forces upon us. Naturally, this is I am happy to disregard at will. I am of the Shir

Dreams can come true...

I find talk of career paths infinitely dull.

One must be very naïve or dishonest to imagine that men choose their beliefs independently of their situation.

So I will end this crop of Sydney photos with some water. I quite like walking past this series of fountains and water features. It smells of chlorine, which makes me think of public pools, which makes me think of girls frolicking in swimwear, which I find relaxing. I need that right now. I've had poor old Henry hanging off me for two straight days, as he is feeling poorly. It really has to be seen to be believed. The lad is clearly struggling, but he does appear to be embracing his illness with some gusto. It's even generated a new nickname, Dame Judy Dench , as that's who his melodramatic approach to expressing his unease this weekend reminds me of.

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.

Even in the big city, you can find a spot of some tranquillity. Here is the Chinese Garden in Darling Harbour. I wish we had a Chinese Garden in my backyard. It could offer some respite from whining children at the very least!

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

I couldn't tell you what this is, but I did like the look of it. It appeared to be attached to the IMAX cinema.

Martyrdom, sir, is what these people like: it is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.

Consider this part two for today. I'll be honest with you and admit that my stay in Sydney didn't really see me venture far from Chinatown and Darling Harbour. I think that the title, an observation by George Bernard Shaw, is a nice encapsulation of (part of) the mentality of those involved in the goings on in Mumbai. Quite seriously, only the most mediocre and moronic minds (not to mention ill ), could ever think that action like those seen of late could ever do anything but harm a cause. Perhaps I am being too generous, as the cause may well be nothing more than mayhem in an of itself.

Nous voulons explorer la bonté contrée énorme où tout se tait

I figure that I'd exhaust my Sydney photos today and start with an overpass. You can imagine my supreme disappointment when I found no troll nor goat down there. Even worse, all that could be spotted was a couple of buskers, some pigeons and a bandicoot. Ripped off!