Monday, November 26, 2007


In mining-speak, "gawn" means permanently gone, and not coming back, so don't even talk about it anymore.
(If you want to talk about something that's gone only temporarily, you'd say that it's "f*cked off", for example, like one guy said when he got accidentally left behind at the bus-stop: "The f*ckers have f*cked off, f*ck'em!" ... but if you mean that something's really gone forever? It's gawn, eg, "have you seen my stapler? I think it's f*cked off somewhere." "Nah mate, she's gawn. You'll have to get a new one.")

That John Howard, he gawn. Finally.
What a relief.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Birthday

It was my birthday last weekend. And while you might be expecting (if those chick lit books are any kind of guide) for me to be all sad about the marching on of time and the accumulation of years and wrinkles, I’ll have to disappoint you. I decided two years ago that my thirties were going to be awesome, and so far they have been. Completely.

Hayden took me up to the Atherton Tablelands for the weekend, to stay at our favourite B&B in Ravenshoe (pronounced Ravens-Hoe not Raven-Shoe). We spent Saturday hooning around the Tablelands, tasting the local cheeses and visiting the bogan-infested Tinaroo Dam to watch them race each other on waterskis and jetskis. Hilarious. Later in the afternoon we met the charmingly kooky celebrant who is going to marry us in April next year. That is, if she turns up on the right day.

On Sunday morning we weren’t feeling ready to go home just yet, so we decided to visit the markets at Archer Creek – just down the road from where we were staying.

There were a couple of stalls that really caught my attention. I loved this one selling watermelons:

Unfortunately I was a bit perplexed by this one: the guy just seemed to be selling things out of his campervan. Things he might possibly be needing later – like the spare tyre? And how long has he been hoarding that thigh-master for?

Since we had never been down that road before, we decided (I can’t remember who’s idea it was) to drive home on the inland route. And it got pretty outbacky pretty quickly. This is the view from the truckstop where we had lunch:

Please note: I did not request to have lunch at a truck stop in the final hours of my special birthday weekend. It was just that it was the last place to get fuel or food for the next 256km. (And yes they did have a sign out the front that said just that.)

Before getting back in the car I went to the loo and I saw this sign advertising showers for $3. That’s per person, just to be clear.

Do you want to see what a $3 shower looks like in inland North Queensland?


I am definitely not as tough as I used to be when it comes to the places where I'd shower, you know, expecting to come out cleaner than when I went in.

I suppose that would be the old age catching up with me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Meeting in Melbourne

The best part of our trip to Melbourne was catching up with friends and revisiting our old haunts, and in between times getting totally distracted by the beautiful Europeany-style gardens. This culminated, of course, in the wedding of Drue and Sarah where I got to see so many unexpected faces (Pip and Vesna, I don't know why I didn't expect to see you there - in retrospect I should have, but it was a great surprise to see you both and meet your delightful other halves), the reception was near our old neighbourhood just down the road from where Hayden used to work, and the last thing I did on the night was nick a beautiful white rose from the table decorations. I was not the only person to do that, and I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have had the courage to start dismantling the beautiful arrangements if someone else hadn't shown me the way. But there it is.

We had expected that in the week before the wedding the bride and groom would be completely overrun with last-minute to-do's, so I felt pretty lucky to get a whole afternoon of Drue's time on Tuesday. It was just like the olden days, with Drue dragging us through some inky cobbled laneway up to the back entrance of this charming drawing room of a bar above Swanston Street. You know only the good bars in Melbourne are entered through a tiny old door squeezed between two massive industrial bins in a back ally that smells of cat piss and old oyster sauce.

As well as bars, Melbourne is famous for its cafes and bookshops, and we did make the most of our time in both. Actually, for all the build-up of getting to go to Borders after dinner, the first visit was a bit of a fizzer. I don't know if it was just that at that point in the trip I was always going to be overwhelmed - any time that I've had a drink or two in the afternoon, I'm definitely (these days at least) headed for an early night. We probably shouldn't have pushed on to what was one of our old favourites in the past: dinner at Trotters on Lygon Street followed by a good long browse in Borders. Now you know that we'd built up the Borders thing. Especially the after-dinner Borders thing. So arriving in Borders on an extremely full tummy and a fading afternoon-wine headache, I have to admit it: I got overwhelmed. Hayden did too. We just weren't used to seeing so many books. And so many people buying books. And walking up and down the aisles, talking on thier phones while buying books.

After a couple more visits to Borders and other massive bookshops during the week, I did finally manage to make a purchase on Sunday before we went home. I managed to come away with a small paperback about punctuation. Hm. OK, I did gain a few moments of timelessness leafing through a book of Thomas Hardy's poetry and another one of Yeats. But why undermine that by purchasing a small (but admittedly very helpful) book on commas and full stops?


Anyone who's come here (Directed by Mikey?) looking for pictures from the wedding day, I'm afraid this is pretty much it from us:

Hayden did take some flashless ones in the church, but unfortunately they came out completely blurry. It was a beautiful ceremony and it even had a little *gasp* moment .. there are heaps more pictures on Claire's blog, and with any luck Drue and Sarah will write it up themselves too.