Sunday, 29 April 2007

A gentle touch...

I want to play with your mind for a minute.

Do you mind? I have warm hands...

Think of the last time you went out to a restaurant for a nice dinner. Go there in your mind, recall all the details, the smells, the noise, the emotion.

The lighting was dim and the walls a dark crimson colour, weren’t they?

If yes, I do free tarot readings every other Sunday.
Well, not free exactly. I expect a coffee.

If no, imagine the same dinner but WITH red walls and dim lighting. Can you do that? Can you change the decor of that dinner? To a rich red colour? Like using one of those online colour scheme programs that let you ‘repaint’ your house, paint the walls red. (Those who said yes, you try it with a deep bottle green.)

Now, think of something else totally different. Say, a polar bear.

Nice bear.

Now, go back to your dinner memory. Are the walls red now? It wont be so for everyone but for some it will. And if I was to ask you about that dinner in a weeks time you may also find that the red walls are part of the memory.

Memories are not as hard and fast as we believe.

A final thing about that dinner: Could you see yourself sitting at the table? Was your perspective that of someone looking at you and your partner enjoying a lovely meal in this red and dimly lit restaurant? Perhaps from slightly above? Often from above the right shoulder.

For many people that is the case. They can see themselves in the picture.

And yet at the time, when it happened, you only really saw your partner and your arms.

So is it a memory at all?

Friday, 27 April 2007


Ugh! Too much work. Better do something else. Have posted stuff ('stuff'!) on all my blogs rather than...well, it doesn't matter. Just I felt the need to divert.

Thursday, 26 April 2007


In the aftermath of the college shootings in the US it has been both interesting and depressing to see the gun lobby rushing to man their battlements, to defend their 'God given' rights to fire a piece of high velocity metal through the body of another man.


Neither sweet, nor fitting.

Galah: An Australian parrot. Slang usage: An idiot or dill.

Yesterday was ANZAC Day in Australia; a day to commemorate, not celebrate, the heroic lives and senseless deaths of our soldiers. Notably in the Dardanelles campaign in Turkey, but in reality all postings in all wars. I went to Gallipoli, on the Dardanelles, before it was the media circus and obligatory politicians stop-over that it is today. I stood on the beach, Anzac Cove, and looked at the hills around it.

And cried.

On each and every hill was a small white marker surrounded by a wrought iron fence. On each marker was a plaque that said words to the effect "At this site are buried the bodies of xxx soldiers of the British Empire. The names of x are known. They were..."

I use xxx and x because the numbers were usually in the hundreds, the names usually less than ten.

I wont go into my thoughts on the folly of war but suffice to say I have no respect for the Galahs we have for politicians who sent young men to such senseless deaths.

In the same war, a British poet called Wilfred Owen wrote about what he saw. His poem, called Dulce et decorum est may be read here.

The full quote that gives the poem its title is Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. ("It is a sweet and fitting thing to die for your country".)

Sadly Wilfred Own was shot on one of the last days of WW1.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

One can only hope...

Went and saw the film 'The Lives of Others'.

Very uplifting. And highly recommended.

It gives you hope that, in these times of terrorism (both state sponsored and religiously inspired), there may be good people out there who can see the folly of it all.

They are the true heros of this world.



Yesterday was the official graduation ceremony for the undergraduate psychology course.

Trés daggy.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Paris to New York, via Google Maps.

I love Google Maps. The poor man's GPS.

But if you put Paris in as your starting point and New York as your destination, you get instructions that include Line 20 above.

Too much spare time in Googleville?

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Rested and relaxed

It is mid-semester break here. So I had a slightly delayed birthday present.

We went and stayed at a place called Hepburn Springs; as the name suggests it is a mineral spring area of Victoria. Using a small cottage (Bliss Botanica Cottage, no less) as a base we had a relaxing time, had probably too much lovely food, and (the purpose of the trip) had a massage at Pepper's Retreat.

I must confess a slight misrepresentation: the above photo is at Pepper's but we didn't make use fo the spas. I just couldn't find a suitable photo of the massage rooms.

We had a 90min massage and facial. I could have done with a little less facial and a little more massage but it was lovely, none the less. And I say we because, even though it was for my birthday, Margaret seemed to manage to get a twin package. Sneaky, eh?

So rejuvinated, it is back to study.

But first a little blogging - some long overdue reading and writing.

Friday, 6 April 2007

At long last!

By my reckoning it is 101 days since Hot Cross Buns came into the shops in Melbourne.

I had three today, having patiently waited until the 'right' time.

"Right time?" (I hear you ask) "But you are an atheist!"

Yes, but I am also someone who likes nice food and likes tradition. So I like to eat hot cross buns at the right time. The same way I prefer to wait until Christmas for the local strawberries to ripen rather that forking out for the insipid hydroponic glasshouse variety that seem to be one of life's more expensive ways to buy water, even if they are available all year round.

Will it be 365 days until my next hot cross bun?

No, probably not; you see there are a few that have not been eated and they may, may, still be around in the morning. Left overs are fair game. (But freezing them is cheating.)

Next comes Sunday and the chocolate eggs...

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Sacred blue!

Some years ago I used to harrass Nigerian conmen. It seemed a fair sort of hobby, hard to explain at times, but stimulating intellectually and artistically. (Some of you may recall my passports post.).

In the course of this I met up with expatriate Australian, Allan Sanders. Met up with in the internet sense as, sadly, we have not met face to face to do some serious damage to a bottle of wine. Yet. We were both teasing the scammers and eventually collaborated on a joint correspondence with the same person, playing off against each other. The letters are here.

Allan lives on the seaside, in France, and runs a bed a breakfast.

He sent me the link to the B&B site; it just looks so French!

I suppose there is a reason for that.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Cuckoo, in more ways than one.

A bungling armed robber shot his female accomplice as they held up a restaurant in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne overnight.

The couple waited until after the last customers had left the Cuckoo restaurant, in Olinda, before confronting a staff member by his car in the restaurant's car park .

The pair demanded the staff member hand over a black plastic bag, which it is thought they believed contained the restaurant's takings.

However, the bag actually held left-over bread rolls, which the staff member was planning to feed to his chickens.

It's believed the woman was then accidentally shot in the stomach by her partner, who fled the scene.

The injured woman took herself to the William Angliss Hospital before being transferred to The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne with serious injuries.

A 37-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested shortly after 5am and was being questioned by detectives, Victoria Police spokesman Senior Constable David Fitzgerald said.

None of the restaurant staff were hurt during the incident.

- The Age.


Sunday, 1 April 2007

USB Toaster.

I wonder if they have a waffle iron?


The wheels have come off my blogging of late.

Not only have I done little posting, Google Reader tells me that I have 100+ unread blogs on my subscription list.


How much plus, I wondered. So I counted them. 361 unread blogs.