Monday, April 30, 2007

more corellas

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Little Corella

Little Corella, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

The cockies were out the back of the shop this morning. However, when I looked at the pics properly I discovered that they're Little Corellas, not the usual Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos (the ones with the yellow head crest feathers) that hang around. The Corellas have that distinctive blue ring around the eyes, are smaller and have only white head crest feathers.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Saints were woeful last night. No defence, no one in attack. Our only good player was Robert Harvey, the oldest player in the league. He is a marvel. Pity that the kids let him down. Commentators are starting to talk of us as also-rans already. *Sob*

Victoria's state emblems

Shirl has a picture of Michigan's state bird so I thought I'd find my state's emblems: Leadbeater's Possum, Pink Heath and the Helmeted Honeyeater.

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my daemon

seen at Janet's.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Friday fill in

1. OMG I just saw a book!
2. This is the end, beautiful friend, ... the end.
3. When I want a hug I generally call my ex.
4. If I can strum can you sing?
5. What a cat sees a cat owns.
6. It's been a long time since you did the stroll.
7. This weekend, I'm most looking forward to playing with GIMP

From The Beach Formerly Known As Percy


I don't have Photoshop and can't afford to get it now that I'm poor, so I looked on Google for something I could get for free. It just so happened that an instruction book for GIMP came in to the shop so I downloaded GIMP. It looks bloody complicated, but I guess it's one of those things that, as you use it, becomes easier. So, if weird pics start popping up, you'll know I've been Gimping!

Perhaps I'll try it out tonight while I'm watching the Saints play over in Adelaide. I might need something to distract me from the game if they play the way they did last week!

Changing seasons

A little while ago on her blog, Shirl asked how could one tell that the seasons are changing. Well, the last two Thursday nights have certainly let me know that we're no longer in summer here. Before Easter we were playing tennis and sweltering. The last two weeks we've been freezing! Last night, one of the young kids who plays was blue by the end of the night. Of course, being an adolescent boy, he was in shorts and t-shirt only - no jumper or jacket to put on between sets.
It was bitterly cold. There's something about Seville, maybe 'cos it's in a valley or something, but it gets really cold once the sun disappears.
We lost, by the way. But, no matter, we're in the semi-finals next week. Haha, because there are only 4 teams this season, we're ALL in the finals.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #8

I'm going to pinch Janet's idea for this and do a letter of the alphabet per week. (Thanks Percy :) )

So, thirteen things I like beginning with the letter A:

1. Aragorn - the Tolkien original, not the film version. I always thought Viggo was/is too short for the role. "Longshanks" he ain't.
2. Alcohol - I like a good red wine and a good Russian or Swedish vodka (not necessarily at the same time).
3. Albums - in particular, record albums (vinyl and CDs)and photo albums.
4. Africa - never been there and parts of it are scary as hell, but it's still a fascinating place.
5. Aussie Rules football - go Saints!
6. Albacore - Tuna. We had fresh tuna last week - straight from the ocean. Yum!!!
7. Adidas - I have small but wide feet and finding shoes that fit and are comfortable has been a chore all my life. My current pair of Adidas tennis shoes are great. Wear them everyday.
8. Art - wandering through the National Gallery in the city is something I don't do often enough.
9. Atlas - don't know why, but I can waste an awful lot of time looking through a good atlas.
10. Apocalypse - it's just a great word.
11. Amplifier - currently have a Peavey but I wish I'd held on to the old Fender amp that I used to have.
12. Absolut - a favourite vodka (I know I mentioned it twice, but it's near the end of the list and I'm struggling to think.)
13. Automobile - specifically, mine. :)
I had a very pleasant evening on Tuesday - dinner with the family. Best of all, yesterday (Wednesday) was a public holiday so - no work!! I got to lie in and recover from the previous night's indulgences. I pottered around for a while, doing nothing really, and then I got the guitar out and had a bit of a strum. Ouch, sore fingers! Then off to the Tavern for a few drinks with some friends.
Today I feel pretty relaxed, which is something I haven't been lately.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Social Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Drama Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Seen at Shirl's

Happy Birthday to me

52 today. Ugh!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


There was a young guy in the shop this afternoon. He'd arrived on a motorcycle which was parked, legitimately, outside the shop. Coppers in a divisional van, parked in front of him, backed right into him. Broke his mudguard and bent their own number plate. Doesn't seem to be any other damage. However, they're still out there. The cops can't leave till their sergeant has been down to view the scene.
The driver's out there saying "but I looked in the mirror, didn't see the bike." Wouldn't hold water if it were a civilian saying it. Also, they walked right past the bike to get to their van.
Me, I'm chuckling, having such a respectful attitude towards authority as I do.

Edit: two hours later and I've just given my witness statement. They're nothing if not thorough with their paperwork! The kid tried to ride home but the bike's steering is bent too. The copper might lose her police driving licence (though not her civilian one) as a result of this.

the Door to Moria

IMG_1128, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

At the arboretum in FTG. The carving on the door just reminds me of the the door to Moria in LOTR.


I haven't been doing enough reading lately. But, just finished one book and picked up two more. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse - a time-slip story, connecting the present day with the 1190s, based, I think, on the Holy Grail.
The Talisman of Troy by Valerio Massimo Manfredi - based on what happens to Diomedes after the Trojan War. After 10 years fighting in Troy his homeland had changed and he is no longer welcome as king. He moves on to settle new lands - in what later becomes Italy. I think it's going to be centred around the struggle between Diomedes and Aeneas to claim this new land.
I've only just started with these books but they look interesting. Manfredi has been recommended to me by a couple of customers so it's time I gave him a go.

I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes

by Jaclyn Moriarty.
Strange little book. It's based around the Zing family and their efforts to keep watch on Cath Murphy, Cassie Zing's Grade 2 teacher. These efforts are known as The Zing Family Secret. Why they do this is not revealed until the end of the book when it's finally explained that Cath is also a Zing - the product of an affair that Mrs Zing had with an actor, but she was adopted out and doesn't know any of this. The actor wants to keep tabs on his daughter without it ever becoming public knowledge. So he hired the Zings to keep him informed, which they do with enormous enthusiasm.
The whole story is a little bizarre and the writing doesn't follow "the rules" as such. Each chapter is based around one of the main characters. The events aren't, therefore, narrated chronologically. It took me a while to get used to this. There was a similar effect in the last book I read, Gloriana's Torch, but, in that chronological slips were flagged as an example of the author's supposed cleverness. In Buttermilk Pancakes they just happen and are so much more effective as a result.
There's a lot of humour in this book. Not laugh out loud stuff, but the sort of writing that gives you a chuckle later on when you realise the connection between something that's just been described and what happened three chapters ago.
There're lots of observations about relationships threaded throughout the book - particularly about having affairs, real or imagined, and how this affects the people involved. There's the original affair between Mrs Zing and the actor which produced Cath. Marbie Zing (daughter and, therefore, sister to Cath) has an affair with an aeronautical engineer which leads her boyfriend and his sister, named Listen, to leave. Fancy Zing (other daughter/sister) finds a purple sock in the washing machine and convinces herself that this means her husband is having an affair. Cath has an affair with Warren, another teacher, until his wife turns up.
Meanwhile, Listen has found a spellbook which she follows religiously to cast spells - to make a vacuum cleaner break, to make someone give someone a rose, etc. The spells all happen, but in a way that's quite normal in the circumstances - not as some flash of 'magic'.
All in all, an enjoyable read.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Found :: lost and

  2. Male :: female

  3. Spoken :: said

  4. Life :: 's a bitch and then you die

  5. Tonight :: 's the night

  6. Fingernail :: broken

  7. True :: false

  8. Give up :: don't

  9. Shining :: The Shining by Stephen King

  10. Everywhere :: I go there are books, books and more books!

from here


Lost yesterday. :(
They seem to be in a win-lose-win-lose cycle at the moment. Too many injuries to key players, particularly in defence, don't help one bit. *Sigh*
Off to Adelaide next week to play Port. Not hopeful about that. Going to be another one of those years I think. *bigger sigh*

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Interview meme

Saw this at the beach, formerly known as Percy, and thought it was a good idea. So here goes....
What do you miss most about where you were born?
Given that it's almost 40 years since I was there, the memories are pretty hazy. I miss childhood I think. I can still remember the places we used to play - the park across the road, which seemed huge then but probably wasn't, and "the debris" - an empty house block near one of my aunts' home. It was just a pile of rubble. I found out, years later, that the house had been bombed during the war and had just been left like that. 20 years after the war ended, the debris was still there. I miss my nanna too. She used to babysit us every Saturday night while mum'n'dad went out. We'd stay overnight and all sleep together in her big old bed (which, again, probably wasn't that big). She had a TV, colour to boot, which made it really special - we didn't have one (I was 13 before there was a television in the house). I remember we were allowed to watch The Monkees if we were good. :) I remember when we got news that she'd had a massive stroke and was in a coma - that's the only time I've ever seen my Dad cry. He and Mum flew back to England straight away. She died the day after they got there. Damn, now I've made myself get all teary!
When did you really feel you'd grown up?
Still waiting for that moment!
I think, seriously, when I bought my first car. I'd not long started teaching, was earning a decent wage and took out a loan for the car. That was probably the first, real grown-up thing I did. I don't think I felt very grown-up when I started work as I was only a few years older than the students. That gap has widened significantly since! I know, last night, I didn't so much feel grown-up as just plain old.
Tell us one of your best memories!
Too many of the good times ultimately ended up badly. I think I'll go with the three stand-out concerts I've been to - The Cure, Pink Floyd, Page and Plant. Music to die for in all three cases. Those are good memories that can't be soured by what came next.
One memory that always stays with me is from when I was 10 - coming home from school to see nanna waving from the upstairs window. That meant mum was home from hospital with the new baby, who turned out to be sister #2, Clare.
What scent or smell do you like best?
My sense of smell is shot to pieces by so many years of smoking. I only wear 'Opium' as a perfume as anything else smells funny on me, I think anyway. I like the smell of good essential oils in an oil burner. Mum's cooking is always a good smell. Roses - I wish I could have captured the smells of all the roses that I photographed at the arboretum the other day. Just gorgeous.
When I say music, what pops to mind?
Ha! Coming from Percy, as this question does, means Led Zeppelin. Good guitar playing. Also, I think immediately of my CD collection, the concerts I've been to, Byron Bay last week, the alternative country stuff that's on the radio at the moment (even tho' it's not really my cup of tea). I need to get the guitar out and actually start playing the thing instead of just gazing adoringly at it. :)

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

I don't believe it....'s raining out there. Not very heavily, but it's the first rain of any sort that we've had down here for weeks and weeks.
"They" should organise a huge music festival - that'd bring the rain. Guaranteed. :)

Speaking of which, I was told yesterday that there were approx 70,000 at the Byron Bay shindig, not the 30,000 that I said. I thought it was a bit crowded under those tents!

4pm edit: still raining. Looks like it might have settled in for the night. Yay!
Cars are skidding and sliding all over the place. Don't know why it doesn't occur to some people to slow down just a little bit when the roads are wet.

Not black today.....

.... just downright grumpy. One of the teenagers in the house turned 20 on Thursday and had her party last night. 6 o'clock this morning, ie one hour before I had to get up to come to work, I had to get up and tell (not ask, tell) them to turn the music off and shut the fuck up. I believe those are the exact words I used. They'd promised me they'd turn it all down by 2. Silly me believed them.
I wouldn't have really minded if it was decent music....but death metal? At 6 am? Sorry, but no.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Byron Bay panorama

pano, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

Made using autostitch. It'll do for a first try.

Quote from a customer...

"I'm organised, the rest of the world just has to catch up."

Just tickled my fancy for some reason.

Friday fill in

1. I love a "sunburnt country" is what first springs to mind. It's the opening line of a famous Australian poem. !
2. I can think of many things to put in here, but I'll go with blackness today is my downfall.
3. I went to the EastCoast Blues n Roots Festival to dance in the sun , but I danced in the rain instead!
4. The Cure is my favorite band.
5. If I had a million dollars I'd get out on the road and leave this all behind.
6. One of my favorite things to enjoy is travelling!
7. I'm going to work in the bookshop this weekend!

From Percy

oil burner

oil burner, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

With this one I circled it then used lomography on the circle. I like the colours a lot.


church, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

I wondered what would happen if I circled a circle. Quite like this.

here's looking at you kid

here's looking at you kid, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

Looks like a grumpy old owl to me. It's actually a tree with two trunks.

rose and bee

IMG_1146, originally uploaded by jsarcadia.

This is at the arboretum in Ferntree Gully - about 5 mins away. I like the way I've inadvertantly caught a bee in flight.

(Trying this upload through flickr instead of picasa.)

A little less black

Today is, I think, a better day. I think it's post-holiday blues or something. I'd much rather be out there on the open road.
Also, I'm getting increasingly worried about the future of this bookshop. There used to be a post office and two banks in this little stretch of Boronia but they have all moved to different parts of town. In doing so, an awful lot of passing foot traffic has disappeared with them. Trade has declined accordingly. More and more we seem to be relying on the regulars and, sadly, they just aren't enough. I'm seriously thinking that we might have to move to a more lucrative position - where there are people wandering around and, therefore, are more likely to pop in to have a look. Once they do that they invariably buy something.
Something has to be done though - for most of this year we've been struggling to pay the rent and bills. Stock purchases have become very few and far between. That doesn't help attract new (or even old) customers either.
The logistics of such a move is the stuff of nightmares though.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #7

I'm in a bit of a black space today so I think my 13 is going to be pretty negative... maybe if I have a bit of a rant I might feel better about the world.

Thirteen things to rant about....

1. Guns. I hate them. Scrap them all, every single last one. Even military ones. If there are no guns then you have to get right up close and personal to be able to kill - and that would make it so much harder to do.
2. War. I just cannot accept that there is any reasonable justification for declaring war on another country. You don't like it's leader? Tough, it's not your decision to choose who governs in other countries. You don't like it's politics? Tough, diversity is good, learn to live with it. You want its oil? Tough, find another, renewable energy source. You want its land? Tough, make do with what you've got. Its religion offends you? Tough, learn some tolerance. You want the power? Sad, sad, sad creature.
3. Intolerance. Tolerance is just fundamental if we are to be able to get along in this world.
4. Conformity. You can be an individual as long as you think and behave the same as everyone else. Bollocks! Dare to be different.
5. Organised religion. Mind control in its most dangerous form.
6. Industrial Relations laws in Australia - "work choices". Bullshit. Expoitation, unfair dismissal, worsening conditions is all we're getting. Bosses love it - wonder why?
7. Immigration laws in Australia - the treatment of refugees here is disgraceful. Pack them off to Nauru or somewhere similar. Don't let them land here, they might actually have a case and then we'd have to let them stay. Shock! Horror! And why can't they land? Well, they might be terrorists, dontcha know. As if terrorists would travel by leaky boat with no guarantee they won't drown before getting anywhere. Get real.
8. John Howard - the most dishonest, untrustworthy, contemptible politician of them all.
9. Fundamentalists - whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, white supremacists, whatever. They're all as bad as each other, breeding hate and intolerance at every opportunity.
10. Ignorance. Learn, find out, explore. Don't just take "their" word for it 'cos it rarely bears any resemblance to truth. I despair at youngsters around me who know little about the world around them and care even less. Where are we heading when people are concerned only with their own, immediate pleasure.
11. Mass media. Keeping the masses ignorant, feeding them propaganda. Makes it so much easier to keep them under control.
12. Fear. This culture of fear we're all living in these days. It breeds more intolerance and hatred. It allows the powerful to stay powerful, whether they deserve to or not. It breeds ignorance. It breeds violence. It breeds more fear. And so much of it is manufactured by the powers-that-be. It's just so unnecessary.
13. Multinationals. Insatiable greed. Environmental destruction. Exploitation.

Hmmm, do I feel better? Not really. I don't know what's brought on this blackness but here's hoping it goes away soon.

via Janet

dumpr dolphins

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

waste of bloody time

Yesterday I went to the local arboretum and then up to Mt Dandenong and took a heap of pics. I spent ages sorting through which ones to flickr and which ones to post here. I finally made three posts, each with 4 photos to show different aspects of the day. They posted fine and then, an hour or two later, they disappeared to be replaced by red crosses. This has happened to me before with pictures - blogger seems to lose half the code sometime during the day. I don't understand why. So I deleted the posts. Don't know whether I can be bothered doing it all over again. Maybe tomorrow. Grrrr

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


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Cropped from one of my dolphin pics so that you can actually see the dolphins. What a highlight that was, watching them wander past.

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Freeze :: frame

  2. Naturally :: of course

  3. Painting :: oil

  4. Merits :: earns

  5. Ironic :: wry

  6. Survival :: of the fittest

  7. Cow :: moo

  8. Anchor :: s away

  9. Sisters :: got 2

  10. 70 :: old

Monday, April 16, 2007

fun with dumpr

View full
Byron Bay beach

dumpr seen at Shirl's

on the road

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This is at Tarcutta, halfway between Melbourne and Sydney. It's a memorial to truck drivers who've died on Australian roads.


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This is at Holbrook, just north of the Vic/NSW border. Miles from any sort of sea or ocean. Odd place for such an exhibit.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


This is Lake Eildon at Bonnie Doon, about an hour and a half's drive from here. Not a single drop of water to be seen. It's usually full of houseboats and waterskiers. I don't think it'll ever recover.
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dolphins - oh for a stronger lens!

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yet more shots

1. Tallow Beach 2. Byron Bay 3. Cape Byron lighthouse 4. The most common sight while we were there.

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more shots

1. Rainbow lorikeet 2. Unknown flower 3. Bananas 4. Hibiscus

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festival site

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This is where the action can see one of the music tents on the left. That's not the biggest one either.

dolphins off Cape Byron

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some shots from the Byron trip

1. rainbow 2. Tallow Beach 3. Bird of paradise flower (I think) 4. Sun trying to get through

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What a week and a half

3500 kilometres there and back.
It took me just over 2 days to get there and a full three to get back.
I arrived at Byron Bay early Friday morning and stayed till midday Wednesday. Got home at about 4pm yesterday.
During the entire time of the festival (Thurs - Mon) it rained. All day, every day. Didn't deter the crowds one bit. There were an estimated 30,000 people there. Because of that I didn't take my camera to the festival itself - I was too worried about it getting soaked, getting banged around in the crowds. I did get some pics around Byron Bay though - shall post those on flickr later.
I had a great time though. We had a cabin in the tourist park within walking distance of the festival site. That made it so much easier.
Saw some awesome acts - Eric Burdon, Larry Carlton and Robben Ford, Ziggy Marley, Bo Diddley, John Butler, Bonnie Raitt, etc etc etc. Could have seen a lot more if I'd wanted to - the music started at lunchtime each day and went through to midnight. We generally made our way over there at about 5 or 6 and then stayed till stumps.
There were 4 huge tents set up (the biggest held about 10,000 people I reckon) and music was playing in all of them. Plus stalls selling all sorts of stuff and food tents galore. The food was good and reasonably priced, the alcohol was expensive. The mud was free.

The highlight of the whole trip? Dolphins. I saw a pod of dolphins swimming past the lighthouse. Awesome. That was a time when I definitely wished I had a bigger lens!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Woohoo, I'm off to Byron Bay....

The first real break I've had in two years. I am so ready for this!
See you all in a week or so - be prepared for thousands of photographs!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Great Goose!

Well done to Shirl and her goose photo. Getting the recognition she deserves.


"My account has been reviewed as safe. What does that mean?
Having a "safe" account means that you are good at moderating your own content. Awesome!"

Safe - sounds boring to me. *shrug*

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

what you see when you walk through our front door...

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two sleeps to go....

and then I'm off to Byron Bay. Can't wait.

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Trembling :: shaking

  2. Shut up :: now there's something I haven't had to say much since I quit teaching!

  3. Heights :: scary

  4. Monica :: Seles

  5. Delicious :: food

  6. Joint :: smoke

  7. Ferry :: disaster

  8. Bliss :: happiness

  9. Rejection :: consigned to the scrap heap

  10. Satisfying :: contentment

from here

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Great start to the season!! Yeah!
Melbourne started the game pretty well, kicking the first couple of goals, and I thought "uhoh". But then the boys got into gear and ran all over the top of them. We weren't supposed to do so well because too many of the big guns are out injured. Didn't matter one little bit.