mockturle06: (Chris)

‘The earth had been pulverised, blown and blasted out of all semblance of what it once was. Not a blade of grass, not a tree or bush showed the slightest sign of life. The area was a jumble of tremendous craters and shell-holes... piles of swollen bodies of horses and mules... a wrecked tank here and there... filthy, putrid lakes and mires...screaming, blasting shells were falling about us. We ran, we gasped our way through this hell.’Private Bert Bishop, 55th battalion

This week, aside from seeing photos of what I missed re that Jude Law play I couldn’t get to see, the lesson appears to be those that don’t know history are doomed to make American-made films about it and then make me watch them. Yikes.

First there’s this interview with Patty Jenkins this week, of all weeks, where she’s talking about the Wonder Woman film: ‘I thought the First World War was especially exciting. Most of our society doesn’t know anything about WWI, which was such an interesting war.’

Only if you’re a cloth-eared American, dear. Yesterday, thousands of people attended pre-dawn services at memorials across Australia, New Zealand and the world, honouring the fallen and injured in all wars, but especially the 102nd anniversary of the ill-fated Gallipoli landings.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the march in Sydney yesterday: ‘An estimated 100,000 people lined the heavily-barricaded streets from near Wynyard to Hyde Park to honour the 120,000 Australians and New Zealanders who have lost their lives in wars in the past 120 years.’

Americans might not know or care, but it’s a big deal here. The Australian War Memorial states that 'from a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner.'

In human terms, no-one in Australia was untouched by grief in the aftermath. In cultural terms, precious few Australians are entirely unaware of WWI.

The sadly late, forever great John Clarke summed it up in an episode of The Games, when asked by an insensitive type why Gallipoli was a thing, pointing out it was a massive military failure. ‘I know,’ says John Clarke, quietly but bluntly. ‘That’s why I have no great-uncles.’

And that sums it up. That’s why I was there yesterday morning, for the great-uncles and for all the other cousins and branches of the family that were struck from existence in Ypres and Passchendaele and all the other muddy pits of horror.

It’s never not moving or meaningful, these memorials. I choke up every time. Me. But it’s our thing, and why should I expect the Americans to know, care or understand? Or take it seriously or show any sensitivity?

Maybe if Americans, in general, paid just a little more attention to history (and other cultures) they might a) make better movies and b) stop electing Nazis (well, they did elect he-who-shall-not-be-named as their representative, so, you know, ceding of the high ground there, chaps).

Meanwhile, from the near weekly ‘what fresh fuckery is this’ Chris Pine files, I read that he’s going to be playing Robert the Bruce now.

What and the fuck now? Were there no Scottish actors available? And it’s for Netflix, so I’m sure it’ll be all perfectly fine (rolls eyes and imagines biscuit tin lid brought to life). I do hope that it turns out okay, as the Scots are such a gentle and forgiving race. I mean, you’ve seen Trainspotting 2, right?

I wonder where they’ll film it. Please not the ancestral lands, they’ve suffered enough.

Ah well, I guess I’ll just have to sit tight and bite down hard the way I do when Outlander diddles with my clansmen (and the ’45). How bad could it be? I’m sure such an important part of Scottish history and culture will be treated with sense and sensitivity (she says, thinking only of The Goodies).

Ack. Why can’t he be a nice boy and do a Broadway play and read bedtime stories like Chris Evans? But no. Why must I absolutely adore the train-wreck that is Chris Pine, and not someone sensible and caring like Chris Evans? It’s always the bad boys, isn’t it (let me tell you about my great-x-n grandmother who was transported for the love of a bad boy).

Not that young Christopher is a bad boy as such. He’s just gleefully erratic. One never knows what he’ll do next these days. Like play a Scottish king (what, he couldn’t be bothered with a run at Macbeth?). Ah well, it’ll be interesting, at least, to see what he does. Always that. Because I do adore him, the little dear. Bold choice, darling. Very bold.

Meanwhile Tom Hardy is entirely unsurprising in being surprising. Even if the story isn’t true, and I dearly hope it is true, no-one on the entire planet, not one, spoke up and said they wouldn’t believe a tale about Tom Hardy collaring a bike thief. It’s just the kind of hijinks Tom Hardy gets up to (when he’s not reading children’s bedtime stories). It’s the sort of crazy thing we expect from Tom Hardy. And we love him for it.

So the windmills of my mind were flaming wrecks like Catherine Wheel fireworks or a bit of Acme kit after I read all that yesterday evening when I finally got online. The laptop decided to start working again. It could probably smell other laptops on me, as I made no secret of looking for a new one. My grandfather used to lean an axe against a tree to ‘encourage’ it, and I do the same with my tech. It works more than it ought in a sensible, rule-abiding universe.

I was going to see Warhol today but it’s just been/being one of those days of feverish running about and getting nowhere fast. Love those kind of days. And I have been feverish. Only really decided to go to the dawn service (one has to commit to a walk) because I was up with a fever and a cockroach landed in my face (it was after my leftover chocolate).

Yes, a cockroach. It could smell my half-eaten freckled egg and it wanted. It’s Australia. As much as my new chum colleagues might recoil in horror, a large brown cockroach in the face is nothing, nothing, especially when one foolishly leaves the sugary goodies unsecured. At least it wasn’t a huntsman spider, is all I’m saying.

My pics: https://www.instagram.com/mockturtle06/

My browser history: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

mockturle06: (Avengers)

I was going to say no weeds or household chores were hurt in the making of this post, but I did have a bit of a hack at the jungle on Sunday, and I was bitten by four spiders, or one spider four times, I wasn’t really keeping track.

And I ended up having to do the washing after all, despite the BOM promising a day of clouds and showers. I had my playlist all worked out in my head and I then woke to blue skies and sunshine. I felt abused.

Never did get near that playlist because my phone played up properly, my laptop went bung and my old tablet, the last refuge of a scoundrel, had 500 updates to process, as I’d been using phone and laptop instead of late. Just not my day.

Saturday was better. Didn’t go to the science march, I know, I know, but I wasn’t sure if I should (job politics) and besides, I’d already arranged a pilgrimage to Beatdisc on Record Shop Day, thence (look, I saved and reused one of those thences I edited out from my arcane documents) to see the NT Live screening of Hedda Gabler.

Missed the rush at the record shop, and there was still plenty of, I was going to say cool stuff, but that would not be strictly true. More a collection of items of curiosity to enthral and amaze. I certainly found a few things that made my inner teen squee. Though at the till later the record shop dude took one look at the purchase I’d but on top and pronounced that the store was a scared space and there was no judgement there. Then he saw the purchases I’d been hiding underneath. Silence. Scanner boops. More silence.

Oh dear. Well, one was a joke purchase because I’d previously referenced the band when reading a dry technical glossary and said it all sounded like new wave album titles and I could see the vinyl onesies already. Then, when I went to the Belvoir to see The Dog/The Cat, that very band started playing on the tannoy as I sat down in the bar/foyer. So when I found their vinyl offering in the very cheap pile, well, I figured I ought to, since it was obviously meta meme of the week. One has to just go with it, you know?

So, onto Hedda Gabler. I do not like the play, because Hedda is a flaming hellbeast of a mega-bitch who destroys other people out of boredom and deserves everything she gets, vacuous she-demon that she is. But it’s one of those plays actors and directors love more than the audience, I think (I’ve yet to meet anyone who has ever seen a version say they liked it, quite the opposite) so it’s frequently staged, and with actors worth seeing. So I go.

And I adore Ruth Wilson, I’ll see anything she’s in, even this, and she almost made me feel sorry for Hedda. Almost. Yes, very artistic, turning the blinds into nourish prison bars to represent how trapped she was, but she did it to herself, for no reason. That’s the problem with staging it in the modern day – why doesn’t she just leave? In the era in which it was written there were less options for women (no jobs, bank accounts or property) but now, it’s not good, but it’s not impossible. Why make such a mess?

Ah well, it’s always easier to be on the outside looking in. The Sarah McLachlan interludes (I think it was SM) were more amusing than intended because I’d only just been thinking of the big Buffy finale that week and humming Sarah McLachlan to myself, so it was a bit meta to see the histrionics to the old Sarah McLachlan tunes, it was like seeing someone else make the same creative choices, and wondering if I should, too (yes, probably, it’s all very Hedda in my head world).

So I liked that, and I liked how Ruth made her so manipulative and more than a bit mad.

There was a line when Kyle Soller walks on about how his aunt is pleased to see him alive and well. I seconded that, as I kind of loved him in Poldark. He seemed to be using something near his native accent here, but it kind of worked, and is still playing the good-hearted and clueless cuckold, but hey, that’s his thing and he did it well. Often the role is played as deserving of betrayal, but here he was simply a man-boy well out of his depth, and there was a sweetness and naiveté there that engendered sympathy. He’d simply tied himself to the tail of a hellcat out of bedazzlement and a sort of wishful thinking, and didn’t really deserve everything that happened. Anyways, I love Kyle.

And Rafe Spall. Oh my. I know I’ve not been keeping up with my British telly since it all moved to the premium channels, but since when did Rafe turn from young oik to hot stuff? Because, man, hot sex on a stick. I know the judge is supposed to be mad, bad and dangerous, an apex predator, but, man, sign me up. He stalked and swaggered about the set in a very sharp suit, and the scene where he throws Hedda about and spits tomato juice all over her, that gave me very confusing feelings. Whimper.

Oh yes, those boys. Poor Kyle wrestling noodles every night and Rafe rinsing and spitting the tomato juice. Every night, and twice with matinees. Properly actorly stuff, boys. I applaud your commitment.

So, even though I don’t like the play and loathe the character, and setting it in contemporary times made it just look like one of those HBO shows of rich people behaving badly (if it was Midsomer or Lewis there’d have been a nice juicy murder before the last act), the performances were stunning, so well worth the ticket.

And besides, I rounded off the day with yum cha and bad 80s vinyl. My idea of a grand day out.

Oh, one last bit about The Dog/The Cat, what with all the tech going whizz fizz this week I didn’t notice, but Lally Katz, who wrote The Cat, liked my tweet about liking their Battlestar Galactica joke.

Oh my, I must remember that some people find and read my posts (usually I work to the sound of silence and presume I’m just talking to myself in an empty room).

Ian Rankin also liked my tweet about Beatdisc, the local vinyl emporium, so my likes page is worth printing and framing right now. Squee.

Sorry, just had to share with someone, somewhere, anyone. Because squee.

Sunday we made eggs ala Sir Ian McKellen, which, by the way, is now the go-to recipe, and I was thinking how I’d collected recipes posted by Ian McKellen, Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Jackman. All Marvel boys, I noted, and I’d seen them all on stage, more than once.  That’s the Marvel universe, proper theatre actors who can cook.

The DC boys? I’ve never seen any one of them on stage, I don’t think many have ever been on stage, ever anyway, and I’ve never seen a recipe posted. Can’t act, can’t cook. I think I might have put my finger on the reason why Marvel films are way better than DC. Get you a man who can do both.

I know, I shouldn’t write stuff like that, you never know who might see it, but no-one ever reads this, and the point still stands, the Marvel boys have way, way more theatre creds than the DC boys (do they have any?) and I have lost count of the number of Marvel actors I’ve seen on stage (Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant, Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Wenham, William Hurt, Elizabeth Debicki…). DC actors: 0.

I mean, sure, the DC boys can fill out a t-shirt, but hasn’t the genre moved on from the 80s? (Any DC actor who does have theatre creds gets a pass but I can’t recall hearing of any appearing on stage in London or New York, so, you know).

In fairness, TV DC does fare better, with the casts of Preacher and the Arrowverse, although, Preacher aside, that’s mainly musicals (she sniffs). Not sure if Lucifer’s Tom Ellis has ever strut the boards (but Lucifer is back on telly and so far so fun).

And anyway, I’m allowed to be pissy and grizzly. Today is the day I was supposed to see Jude Law live on stage in Obsession at the Barbican. And I’m not. I had third row – whimper. I’d hoped I’d be better from being hit by the car, but nope, and the double family tragedy means no visits, and the house repairs mean no money, so, nope. NT Live it is, then. At least there’s that. Thank fuck there’s that. But you know – pout (even if it did promise to be entirely the sort of Euro-theatre I’m not that keen on). I’m missing Jude, dammit.

I’ve never seen a recipe from Jude, but I’m sure if I asked nicely. It’s the nicely part that will always trip me up. Ah well, maybe that’s why I hate Hedda. Takes one to know one.

The wonderful world of weird: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts (warning: contains ivory dildos and Pine)

mockturle06: (Chris)

For a very brief window, due to a random rearrangement of desks, I am working with folks who can sing the Jetsons’ theme song, quote Are You Being Served and The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, appreciate Tom Hiddleston and know the difference between Godzilla and a dinosaur.

Sweet. Do you have any idea what a joy and relief it is to have someone not only get your jokes, but sling it back? To get your pop culture references instead of thinking you’re just making weird random outbursts because you’re mentally ill (well, probably, but also quoting Hanna Barbera).

Or maybe it’s just the leftover crème eggs I bought (there’s still like four left, oh dear) when I’ve nothing else to eat. Gotta go clean and lay off the crème. Maybe the sugar high is making me silly. But I’m not solely responsible for the chocolate eggs disappearing. At first the cleaner was blamed, but I pointed out that, despite my overtures at friendly (I’m always working back late at festive times with leftover chocolate) the cleaner keeps behaving like I’m trying to poison her.

‘Well, that’s stupid’, dismisses my colleague. ‘Who’d clean up the mess?’

Man, I’m gonna miss it when we rotate again and the straights are back.

Maybe I’m just being silly because it’s been a hard month, you know, double family tragedy (on top of the anniversary of another), the house falling apart around my ears (though I got the new very silly curtains up and I like them and not seeing the neighbours is very soothing), not seeing Jude Law live on stage in London (I had a ticket) and dealing with yet another restructure and crazy deadlines, half-baked jobs and having high profile projects taken away from me. You know, stuff.

So, anyways, we were talking Hiddles because Night Manager is finally screening out here, and I’d gone and seen the big monkey fillum last week.

I don’t know, I have a childish thing for big monkey films that I’ve not quite grown out of, and besides, I remember the withering judgement that greeted my choice of seeing Godzilla vs King Kong on the big screen once in my yoof, but what film are they remaking now, huh? Not your black and white arty farty films, no sir. No, we’ve got Shakespearian actor, Eton educated young Hiddles running about slicing and dicing pterodactyls in a King Kong movie. Ah, this is where a fancy education will get ya. If he shows up being all broody and serious and I coulda so been 007 in G v K 2.0, my life will be complete, or, at the very least, I’ll be ticking off a very silly box I never thought would ever be ticked. Heh.

As for the film, the whole South east Asian War Film Heart of Darkness aesthetic was very, very silly, and it got a bit Land of the Lost there for a while, and I would have preferred rampaging Skeleton Men (Danger Island) to the noble natives thang (but I guess not) and I was horribly cheated on the promised big spiders and I have a better, wilder, far more dangerous jungle past the Hills Hoist (weeding eludes me) than the Capability Brown park-scapes they strolled through, but yeah, it was an ok popcorn film.

Anything it might have had to say on war, the environment, politics, or anything, really, was flimsy at best, and lost under the wash of the monster mash. I think maybe there was a version that might have said something, at some time, but not anymore. Clearly the test audience of man-babies wanted more monkey eating octopus, less ruminations on geopolitics or the follies of getting involved in land wars in Asia (<- Princess Bride reference).

As for my own jungle, yeah, well. It was perfect weather on the weekend and despite a cracking headache I made it as far as the back door, where I found an enormous (and deadly) red back spider jealously in possession of my left wellie. If I was looking for an excuse, and I was, that was as good as any. Besides, I worked myself into throwing up the weekend before, and the green bin was full. What I really need is a flame thrower, and Tom Hiddleston on standby, armed with sword.

I went out to an actual screening of Doctor Who. I wasn’t going to, but come the long weekend and the cable and internet went out, as it must, and they said it’d be out until late Sunday night at best so no telly and no streaming so screening it was. Of course, the cable and interwebs came back on by Saturday night but I’d already bought the tickets by then, and it wasn’t a bad day out, though hella crowded as everyone in Sydney had woken up with one thought in their head: go to Circular Quay. Yikes.

Had burgers, strolled, or rather scrambled, through the markets. Sampled the malbec at the Dendy. Shrug.

Just so you know, I’ve been sampling malbecs across Sydney, and the best is at Event cinemas in George St. No, really, and their rose is the best, too. Second is the Opera Bar (ditto with their rose). Next is Toni and Guy in Park St (yes, really). Then it’s the Dendy entry (somewhat stale and disappointing) and, at a distant fifth, the Bar at the End of the Wharf, Hickson Rd (but the view, oh the view). Riverside doesn’t even do malbec, and their reds are always sticky and warm and give me migraines. All in the name of art, you understand, my user testing.

So, Doctor Who. Shrug. It was a rehash of much I’ve seen before (but that’s what I get for being a lifelong fan). I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t emerge from the screening thrilled, moved or in any way affected by it. Sigh.

Didn’t even try the wine at the Belvoir. Went straight for a beer (oh dear, not that brand) to wash down the veggie roll (all they offer) as a pre-show snack (and my sole sustenance for the day) before I went to see the return of The Dog/The Cat.

I adored this the last time I saw it in the Downstairs. This was Upstairs and last time I thought the dog part was far, far funnier, but this time the cat part was funnier, if sillier (this is where the rapping cat from my tweet comes in). The crack about Battlestar Galactica still has me in stitches, though. Ditto the cat’s expression, me.

Xavier Samuel has really honed and owned his cat (last time the joke seemed to be more that he was in the cat suit, this time he lived it) but I still like his Ben in the first act, endlessly pulling tinnies out of nowhere (again, way funnier in the smaller space, because they really appeared out of nowhere).

Benedict Hardie’s roles seem to have been beefed up, or maybe that was my perception. He does arrogant city douche rather too well, but that was funny, too, in a brittle American humour look how awful and unaware he is kind of way

It’d actually be ideal for a small American stage, despite how Oz the dog act (ahem) is, because the second act, with the cat, is very American in its sensibilities and style.

Anyway, I still love it, it’s still laugh out loud cringe at the too familiar funny.

Surreal and still screamingly funny was the Popular Mechanicals over at the STC. Originally a Belvoir production (and it still had Belvoir stamped all over it), one could try and claim that it’s like Stoppard in that it shifts the focus to some minor Shakespeare players, in this case, the mechanicals from Midsummer, but, really, it’s a direct descendant of an Aunty Jack sketch, complete with blustery fart jokes.

There are many theatre jokes, as our amateur thespians scramble to replace their leading man at the last minute (Bottom being famously indisposed), including a boozy old ham who could stand in for any old theatre luvvie you care to think of.

But, really, for all the prefect comic timing, perfect costumes and large performances, the pièce de résistance was the rubber chicken Busby Berkeley sequence, which had me doubled over with laughter it was so absurd and so perfectly staged.

Go for the jokes, stay for the rubber chickens.

I loved that, I really loved it. And I needed silly and it was very silly. Seeing such Oz humour was rather bittersweet, too, as it was the day John Clarke died (yes, I know he was a Kiwi but has anyone been such a part of Australian life?).

Okay, so here comes the Pine update. Much like the crème eggs, I was trying to go clean. Much like the crème eggs, I failed.

It all started last week, when in the middle of doing eight, yes, eight, really super urgent high level jobs my pals in another time zone started beeping me about a Pine sighting in Angie Tribeca. I was thrilled to hear it, but it was a bit of a tangle tracking down Angie Tribeca (Stan has it) and juggling everything else (literally, dropping my phone several times as I was typing as well) and I think I accidentally posted about Pine on my Twitter feed instead of DM-ing my mates, but that’s life with me, all thumbs.

So I duly streamed the Angie Tribeca episode my caring and sharing friends had alerted me to. I’d never seen the show before, or heard of it, tucked away on Stan as it is (a local streaming service, but my fave, more Goulds Bookshop in choices, which is my aesthetic, than Netflix which is like Blockbuster way too much in library or lack thereof).

It’s an odd show, and exactly the sort of show I would have loved in my teens (in fact I pretty much wrote something like it verbatim in my teens, the same notebook that has the modern version of Holmes, oy, such a notebook, I was on fire, but dismissed, and other people get to make these shows instead). So maybe it was just the huh factor, or maybe I’d made myself grow up and try to like more sophisticated fare (as if, rubber chickens, big monkey), or maybe it was 1.30am in the morning, but it was a bit too hard edged silly, but it was only my first go, and Pine was doing whatever the hell he was doing, but you know, whatever, right? He said he had fun, and that’s the main thing.

Frankly, I was disappointed they killed off Timothy Omundson, because I adore him (forever high-scoring because of Galavant). But hey, at least I saw it, and ogled the Pine and only hours after the US screening, oh such times as these. Shortly afterwards it was red lights all round as a router up the road went out (so the recorded message said).

Other Pine included People Like Us, which he’s kind of adorable in (and I could watch on the digital bunny ears, being screened at midnight on a local channel – I was up and unwell) and I sort of worked through a repeat of Finest Hours (cable and internet back on by then, so I was catching up). I’ve seen that enough to know when to look up. He’s so sweet in that. Ah, I miss young puppy-ish Pine.

Also finally finished S1 of Preacher (also streaming on Stan). Forever disappointed I couldn’t get a ticket to see Dominic Cooper in Phèdre when I was in London, or the NT Live screening later (and grouching again over missing Jude Law live on stage), but never mind, he lurks in my DVD collection and now he’s playing Jesse Custer, of all the characters on my bookshelf, and doing a damn fine job of it. I think they caught the essential essence of Preacher, with its 90s dry, dark, gross-out humour, just perfectly fine (although much like Angie Tribeca, I’m not quite there anymore, but I did appreciate it).

To be honest, to see such a faithful adaptation of a beloved book is such a rare and beautiful thing, it was fun just to savour the authenticity and the sure touch of folks who knew what they were doing. It was Preacher. In this age of re-imagined reboots, that’s pretty darn fucking amazing.

And I don’t know why I found some stuff confronting, considering what I submit to in the theatre (fake vomit, rubber chickens, Xavier in that cat suit). I must be getting old, or something. Or maybe watching on my phone is an even more intimate space than front row at the Belvoir. Whatever. They did Preacher. They pulled it off. Yay.

Yes, I know this post is all about actors. Well, trying to see them in the theatre, or at cons, is my version of twitching, only with luvvies (which is why I fume when I have to stay back at work, like punishment, when a rare and elusive blue-eyed bird has alighted only two blocks away – arrrgh).

Meanwhile, I’m wearing a very loud dress today, mainly because I’m acting out (no Jude Law in London), possibly because I was watching stuff from the 60s last night (it screams ‘68, much like that outfit we saw in the markets that was wearing 1984 on its rolled up red vinyl sleeve).

At least I haven’t covered it in tea, so far, like yesterday: perfume allergies, aspirated tea, favourite top ruined. I had to run across to the shops and try and find something that was both cheap and close to my size (it’s all skinny little girls down this end of town, and that ain’t me). I found one jumper, and at first I didn’t like it, but because it was smaller than I usually wear it clung in all the right places, and it has these weird ridiculous 17thC Dutch collars, but I’ve kind of fallen in love with them, too.

Maybe that’s why I’m dressed like a fruit salad today, because I was all Puritan black and white collars yesterday. Puritan, me, ha! Now that’s just silly.

Items of note: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts (warning: may contain Pine)


mockturle06: (Sherlock)

This week everyone has been so kind, surprisingly so. Indulgent, even. So I refuse to be a brat and ask why no-one was this supportive ten or twenty years ago when I needed this kindness more, and just accept and wallow in the kindness I have now, and thank my lucky stars I’m surrounded by much nicer and kinder people these days.

So something has gone right for me. I think I made the right choice turning down that job I accidentally got. They even offered me more money, but it wasn’t that much more (like only the price of a decent sandwich, I’m not that hot), and I think, right now, sticking where I can, for as long as I can, surrounded by people being as good as they can be (we all have off days), is the right choice for me.

So, as you might expect, it’s all been comfort food (and I can’t tell you how disturbing the diet has been, but yum) and comfort telly.

Doctor Who has been my go-to for troubling times since I was three or four years old. For some long-forgotten and astonishingly disturbing reason I decided at a very young age that this fictional mad bastard in a box was a comforting, reassuring and protective presence. Even weirder, I still find the Doctor a comforting presence, and I don’t know whether it’s just familiarity or habit, or the result of too many nights as a tiny child scared of the dark praying that the Doctor would save me. Whatever, entirely silly and unsound, but there it is, the Doctor is my touchstone, my safe place, and, dammit, it works.

I mean it. I’ve had some long dark nights, and every time, if I can find the Doctor on telly (or somewhere), he makes the shadows go away, just for a bit. That’s real magic, that is. I know it’s not real, but I’ll take the placebo, thanks. Watching Doctor Who makes me feel better, for a bit, and that’s enough.

Maybe that’s why the Doctor is so special, because so many of us remember being a child, and afraid of the dark, and those tiny whispers, hoping to be brave in the face of monsters.

And man, there have been some monsters this week. The kind that can’t be banished but just have to be lived with. Any respite is welcome.

Cute enough, one episode was the Robin Hood one, so I had two heroes for the price of one. Double my champions.

And of course Foxtel screened Star Trek again, and who was I to say no. I wasn’t going to, but I did, and my innocent wee babies (as they were when they made that) made me happy, for a bit.

I didn’t think Chris Pine could be a comforting presence any more, but he was. Not that I don’t love that peculiar boy and his own particular brand of peculiarity. Oh no, don’t take the lack of posts as a sign of that, it’s just that the posts that used to drop into my feed like rain have all dried up, so there’s nowt to share.

Perhaps he’s been a little too peculiar for some. I’m all art for art’s sake, but perhaps a modicum of sense or sensibility is required when one’s pay cheque is determined by the number of likes. I mean, go nuts, young man, but we don’t want to end up like Shia LeBeouf now, do we? Don’t be Shia LeBeouf.

If he’s kicking against the roles he’s being offered lately, then either don’t take ‘em or make your own, be your own art project if you must, have fun, but don’t go too far. I mean, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt (that’s my only worry, and, you know, I worry).

That said, I have a sticky soft spot for that crazy boy and his shenanigans. I mean, you can go too far the other way, and lose out because you’re too slick and smug and manufactured, ain’t that right, Tom Hiddleston? So don’t be Tom Hiddleston, either.

Nobody wants to be Tom Hiddleston (and damn, because that beautiful boy I saw in Othello was so damn sweet and full of promise).

So go your own way, my dear, it’s amusing to watch from a distance, just don’t get lost, okay?

Whatever, what would I know, stuck in a crumbling life, with crumbling dreams. But hey, like my tag line says, if you can’t be a good example, be a horrible warning.

And I just don’t know why I like the Pine so much, but with my penchant for the Doctor, and Sherlock and the like, maybe I just like the floridly eccentric. Maybe, oh nos, I like people like me. The freaks, geeks and losers.

Because, and I’m being honest here, nothing scares me more than normal, boring people. People like my local rellies (not my nutty northern ones). People who only talk about painting their back deck. People who won’t eat things for a dare. Who won’t be with people who don’t share their rigid beliefs or hold to their strict codes of behaviour. Those people terrify me. And, I think one can say this these days, they’re everything that’s wrong with the world.

Nah, give me the weirdos any day. Even if they break my heart. Because what’s life without cuts and bruises along the way? You can’t make wine without smashing grapes (I know it’s supposed to be eggs/omelettes, but I could really use a drink right now). It’s been that sort of a week.

Meanwhile, I’m going to have to take up walking every lunchtime from next week if I keep up with the comfort food (oy) but I figure (what figure?) now is not the week to let my sugar levels drop. Maybe I could take my camera. I haven’t done that in ages (usually it’s wall-to-wall midday meetings).

I wonder if the war memorial is open – it’s been closed since 2015 and the reflection pool dug up. I know, WTF, right? I wanted to see Rayner Hoff’s Sacrifice again, because it was referenced, and it made me want to see it again. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking, highly charged sculpture, and I’m not just talking all the cultural, social and historical meanings piled upon it. If you see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about, maybe. Doomed youth, is there anything more romantic or tragic?

You’d think I wouldn’t talk that way after this week, horrid week, but nothing stops me being overly gothic in my fancies. If anything, it makes them worse. Shameful, but there it is. I am what I am.

I did say freak/geek/loser, right? With an unhealthy obsession with Chris Pine. And an innumerable number of Tardises (WTF is the plural) hiding in her bedroom (including a tiny one pictured on a teapot).

News of the world: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

mockturle06: (Dean sad)

This was going to be an attempt at a cheery post for once, but no. I’ve just had a call (and messages) that my beloved and dearest and so like me it was very funny cousin Catherine has died abruptly, and no one knows if this will finish off my Aunt, her mother, who had the stroke, because Catherine was her favourite, and I am just so upset right now. So very fucking upset (but thank you John, who called, because talking helped).

Anyway, after a long Friday of office fuckwitery (I wish I could tell you what my clients did next, but I can’t, but let’s just say it’ll be one spectacular screw-up I’ll be airing as a grievance for months/years to come) I was in a mood for nasty.

And nothing is nastier than Richard III (though I am a badge-wearing Ricardian). I went to see the Bell Shakespeare Company performance of R3 at the Opera House with Kate Mulvany as Richard, in the role she was actually born to play (she rips off her shirt in one scene, no FX required, very brave).

I knew she’d be damn good, so I was looking forward to it. What I got was a performance so fucking on point and pin you to your seat amazing that everyone else can just go home now – R3 is done. We couldn’t leapt to our feet cheering quick enough come the curtain call.

This was the first post-Trump R3 production, and it was interesting. Instead of setting it in WWII as most have, this was very Weimar Republic, with the rest of the characters just clueless as to what was going on until hit by an axe. Last year, in other words.

And Richard, instead of a moody, misunderstood post-Columbine boy who was just never given a chance, Kate’s R3 was evil, winking, leering, manipulative, ruthless and unapologetic going for it game-player who just didn’t give a shit about anyone or anything but what he needed to get the crown. Welcome to the brave new world of evil for evil’s sake.

And yet, no matter how vile Kate’s R3 was, and, in the age of Trump, there was licence to be pretty damn vile, the grinning and winking still had us onside and complicit in this awful play. Yeah, nothing like real life, as we stand half amused that it could be that shockingly awful, gasping, and doing nothing.

It was great. So fucking amazing. I’ve never seen better. And I’d had a nice-ish dinner at the Opera Bar beforehand.

So I woke to Saturday, all sunny and feeling like I’d turned a corner and all was right with the world. It wasn’t to last.

Sunday brought more rain and a nasty head cold that has lodged itself in my ears to fester, as they often do. So I really felt quite awful and feverish all day, just enough to be irksome.

Monday comes, pitch black and lashing with rain and dreadful news.

mockturle06: (mr flibble)

I’ve had two job offers. On paper, I’m brilliant. In real life, not so much.

Managed to lock myself out of the house last night, while the city was being lashed with the wash of Cyclone Debbie. Sheer brilliance. By luck, because it was lashing down, I’d dumped my bag in the laundry while I faffed about, so I had my phone and my book, and my old fold out chair from when I used to sit on the back deck before the Bad Neighbours. And it was dry and solid because the laundry used to be the outdoor loo, there’s even a light to read by.

Unfortunately before I chilled and settled I sent off a testy IM to Himself about being stuck in the laundry so he made a big announcement, left whatever fancy art wine and cheese do he was at and caught a taxi home to rescue me. It was sweet, but I’m never living it down and I’m basically his bitch for the rest of the year.

Still, being dry and inside watching the Legion finale was better than trying to read my Buchan in a howling gale in the laundry - the gap under the door was letting in some water and a bitey draft, must fix that.

Legion was, well, I just really like it. It has no plot to speak of, so I shouldn’t, but it picks up the insanity of the Prisoner, the nuttiness of all those ITC shows I loved (Avengers, Department S, etc.) and the bent reality of Life on Mars (they keep citing cable shows, but Life on Mars was doing this over ten years ago, people) and the general UFO aesthetic. And Dan Stevens, who manages to walk a fine line between campy and menacing.

Oh, and I also picked up two Dan Stevens glossy mags today, which made me happy. Not that I ever get to scan my stash these days, and definitely not in a leaking lounge room, but hey, it’s the small things. It keeps my mind off my rotting carpets and uncertain job sitch.

At least I’m not the only one suffering bad 70s reno syndrome. I know several folks in the same actual boat, brothers and sisters in buckets and bailing. I think, I know, we’re all so over it we’d happily round up all surviving purveyors of badly done 70s renovations (certification my arse) and drive them over The Gap with pitchforks. Not too harsh at all for the intergenerational misery and economic hardship they’ve caused with their carelessness. Not to mention actual safety issues (me sloshing about in a swill of lead and asbestos, for starters). Bastards.

Meanwhile, there’s been an explanation, of sorts for the boy’s extreme haircut (I’ve copied several news reports to my blog). It’s pretty much he’s just a mad bastard, thanks for asking.

I’m not sure I entirely buy the ‘just bored’ excuse though, as it was the perfect hair to wear when flying about in fighter planes like he was the other day (the life of a celebrity, eh), so I’m kind of hoping something is up, but either way, he’s letting his freak flag fly and I’m happy if he’s happy. I do miss the Jack Lord look he was rocking though, that was a fave.

I’m just envious, I guess, because what’s charming eccentricity for the blessed, is certifiable deficiency and deviance for the rest of us. But it was ever thus. There are always two rules for everything.

Even for infanticide, as it’s always a medical condition for rich folks and murder if you’re poor. I know, a bit heavy, but nowhere is the dollars for diagnosis so stark as in cases of infanticide (and I saw enough in my time as a coroner’s clerk).

I know, I need to lighten up. At least I know now I’m not the only one bumbling about like a lunatic. This latest restructure has us all shook, like dropping things, forgetting things, walking into walls, doors and buses. They’re targeting folks for termination, which is, I’ve learnt, way worse than the arbitrary red crosses on a floor plan that I was hit with last time. Really, last time it was so very ‘those six desks there, sacked, those two desks, keep, those six desks, gone, those two, stay’, and so on. Except I know the two keepers are gone now because, oh man, so not the shoulders you would have wanted to load the work of a half dozen ex-employees onto.

So last time it was so damn arbitrary I knew there was nothing I could have done better. This, though, being picked off like characters in a horror film. It’s awful.

So I should take those job offers, and yet, and yet, I have eggs. I got another box of eggs from the farmers market that is our office kitchen. I think I might cling on until I’m prised off. Because despite a few bad apples, I like most of what I do, and the people I do it with. And, hey, at least the CV is working. I should be able to get a temp position with an agency when the crosshairs fall on me. Maybe. I don’t know. It’s all so uncertain and awful.

Which may explain why I spent hours last night in the laundry. Or I’m just a lunatic. Whatever.

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Well, yesterday was weird.

It kind of started and ended in a fluster, all my own doing, as always. First of all, in a flying panic, running late and not having slept in a week, while transferring my bits from ye olde battered work bag to a slightly less dinged handbag for interview purposes, I left my aging, over-heating Samsung piece of shite nestling in my ancient quilt of many stains (more blood than coffee, sad to say), so that was fun. Miraculously, it was perfectly fine and wondering what the deal was when I clutched it to my bossum some 19 hours later.

Mind you, this meant I showed up to my interview and my hair appointment at the wrongs times, because I’d left all that fiddly detail to my calendar. That’ll learn me. At least I was early, and folks thought me mostly…quaint. Yes, we’ll go with ‘quaint’.

The interview, well, I only started doing these for practice as I’ll be applying for my own job again, but another manager in another department submitted my name to a very good recruiting form, so, first, thanks for the respect and support, but what the hell do they know that I don’t? Then, yesterday, two more people got the chop, and one had been there longer than I have. So, you know, shit got real fast.

And I kind of fell backwards into that interview, showing up half an hour early, and being so tired I accidentally answered with the truth when they asked me how I’d deal with a curly problem I’d only dealt with last week. I actually admitted to a sneaky work around, and their eyes gleamed. So, I dunno. More money, I can’t say less security (it’s a very short-term contract but since I get turfed out of my ‘permanent’ roles every 18 months, that’s moot these days) and it’s not as interesting as some of the content I work with now is (though I fairly nearly nodded off over that 40 pager yesterday because policy regs). I dunno, but I’m gonna have to decide. Maybe. I dunno if I’ll get it. I may know how to run rings around immovable objects (aka IT departments) but I’m still ‘quaint’.

The hair? I so cannot afford it but it’s part of being interview ready, so it’s a work expense and therefore a necessary, not a luxury. They did slap on a free treatment though, because I was being quaint (and I’d earned the points and they thought yesterday was the day I should redeem them, because, quaint).

The good parts of the day was being able to drop some tidy tricks on some appreciative colleagues, who don’t, as yet, mind the ‘quaint’, sneaking off for a much needed sandwich. Trying not to eat but sometimes the concussion headache demands food, or rather if I starve myself I make it worse, so that’s why I’m trying to do more walking, when I can.

Alas, due to many meetings yesterday (hence the extreme pleasure of a covert sandwich), no lunchtime walkies as planned, but I did have to trot up to the interview and back. I only remembered where the interview was because I’d been looking it up the day before and had accidentally typed I Oxford Street, instead of one, and I thought that’d be the name of the self-indulgent one-hander play I was going to write and debut at the downstairs theatre at the Belvoir. As if. (I’d cut my own hands off before I ever wrote anything about inner city wankers – gimme starship captains any day).

Which brings me to the last surprise of the day. On the way up to my somewhat unscheduled hair appointment I dropped in on one of the last newsagents in the city and there it was, a magazine that had come out six months ago, that I’d wanted but despaired of ever getting a copy, just sitting there. Battered, sure, but it had to go in the interview bag anyway. And, at last, I had it, and it made me happy.

Sure it’s just a magazine, now cluttering up the top of the bookshelf, and it means nothing and I should care more about real things, and real problems, but it was pretty, and humans like pretty things. Hell, even Neanderthals were buried with a handful of their favourite pretty things. And it made me happy, just for a bit, to gaze upon the pretty, in proper print resolution.

So that was a brief respite, and, well, for me, it was like a peek of sunlight after a month of wet weekends (March, much?). I do like my pretty things.

Quaint? You bet. But at least I got through the day, with the grace of a flailing hippo, but I got through it. And I got a treat. Like I said, weird day.

Today promises tempests though, of every kind. I worry that quaint won’t cut it.

News from the Front: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

mockturle06: (Dean sad)

I am my own worst enemy. Nobody could ever hate me or sabotage me or simply just screw up my life and make things difficult the way I do.

Today I have a job interview, a big meeting, a walk and a hair appointment and I’ve left my bloody phone at home. Twas to be expected I suppose, with a last minute bag change, chronic insomnia (or disturbed sleep via angry possums) and me having a really bad concussion week: face still going numb, still with the dizzies, the nausea, the falling into things and dropping things. Which is probably what happened to the phone. I hope. It’s only an ancient Samsung, what could possibly go wrong with it nestled in the folds of my hastily thrown aside quilt?

Then there was trying to buy a boxcutter in Coles, queue sirens and questions. Why? Because I want to cut up boxes, that’s why. Himself spends all his money on Ebay then tosses the boxes behind the rotten front door to rot and I mean to have at them. Meant to get at them last night but I had a very long and difficult day at work and then the bus caught on fire, so, you know, late.

I am a stupid and selfish child. Who cares about nothing but what on TV. True, that, but in my defence, between my allergy to washing powder and washing a month’s worth of crap and pegging up a month’s worth of socks with my concussion, I was good for little else but sitting on the couch and letting what’s left of my brain dribble out of my now deaf ear. If I’ve got to go, I’m going out watching the Pine, and that’s that, as far as I’m concerned.

I care about things that aren’t important. This is true. But I have no control over the things that are important. None.

Ever since that new manager showed up, life has been an unendurable hell of long hours, no OT and snide comments. And now we’re having another restructure and I’ve got to apply for my own job. Again. Hence all the job hunting (and not getting).

I can’t do anything to help about my Aunt’s stroke because I can’t afford a plane ticket. It’s fallen all to my cousin, the eldest, to manage everything and I want to help, because I remember how fucking awful it was for me, with no help, or support or relief and work and managers and rellos being just officious, judgemental and making even more demands on me and having not one person willing to buy me some food or pick me up from the hospital on a cold, dark, wet night.

So I want to be there, but I can’t. And it must be hard, because she never had a warm relationship with her mum, and she had a kid out of wedlock and she was in the car crash that killed her father so she’s always been on the outer, which I suppose is why we’ve always shared long letters, since I was a kid. I love her to bits and I want to scream that I can’t help.

So I tried posting some tea and biscuits. It’s not much, but the folks I talked to said they’d much prefer Tim Tams to a hug, so I thought it’d do. The first time I tried I was told I wasn’t allowed post tea and biscuits to the UK, possibly under the Sending Coals To Newcastle Act. They said organic matter was verboten, which is a bit of a stretch, definition wise, for Tim tams, but there was no posting to be done that day.

The next day I tried again. This time I was in trouble because I didn’t know her phone number. I’ve never had it. It’s always been letters, and now Facebook. Growing up, phoning the UK cost a month’s wage, so it was just never done. Never even thought of. Even phoning my Aunt from a UK landline felt weird and wrong and she’d hang up almost instantly out of frugal habit.

So I had to look up the white pages and return for a third try. Well, they accepted the parcel at least, but I’ve no guarantee it’s ever going to get there. They don’t make it easy to try and be kind these days.

I judge other people when I’ve no right even existing. What would I know about other people? According to what I read yesterday I ought to, as my mother always said, be locked up and have the key thrown away. I am a mess. A fat, ugly, old, miserable, about to be unemployed, everyone hates me, useless, exhausted, broken down mess.

But hey. I’ve got that job interview (and I’m deaf in one ear and I haven’t slept in days). Just look at me in the mirror. Yeah, I want to punch myself in face, too. Loser. I deserve everything I get. It’s all my fault. I don’t try hard enough. I’ve been a waste of space since the day I was born. A nuisance to all. I should just shut the fuck up right now.

PS. Richard 3 tomorrow. Pissed off and bitter freaks UNITE!

More stuff I found interesting: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218

mockturle06: (Chris)

This morning I tripped and fell in the utter blackness right into the lavender bush. I always looked like I’ve been dragged through brambles backwards, but at least today I smell nice.

Sunday was spent, on the one day this month it didn’t rain for an 8 hour period, desperately processing loads and loads and loads of washing. I couldn’t get the bloodstains out of my Spandau Ballet t-shirt, which is sad, because I both own a Spandau Ballet t-shirt (but they’re great live) and I bled all over it, and stained it forever (well, I could probably try soaking it in a bucket but there wasn’t time). I bled because the other week I was having such a bad period and I was in so much pain I gave myself second-degree burns with my dangerous hot water bottle and never even noticed it on top of everything else, so my whole back has been a bloody pus-filled mess ever since. Yay. I’ve just about run out of black shirts to wear to work (not goth, just bleeding, which I suppose is pretty goth).

Anyways, when not washing I was watching the Chris Pine double feature on Foxtel. Because. It was Star Trek anyway, which is my happy place. I don’t know why because that film has plot holes that could suck down an entire galaxy, never mind a planet, but there it is. But it makes me happy watching the wee space twink (as he was), so I don’t care what you think.

The other was the regrettable This Means War starring noted children’s television entertainer, Tom Hardy. Well, he dropped another bedtime story this weekend, didn’t he, and some pics of him filming Peaky Blinders, and looking just stunning with his pal Cillian, and bless Peaky Blinders for their complete lack of pointless retooling, at least from the photos I saw.

I could have watched it all on DVD, but I’m too lazy, and it was there, like an excuse to view, right then, bugger doing anything more worthy or important.

Ah, don’t mock my DVDs. We have no decent broadband, so I have my DVDs. Our local streaming companies are very limited library-wise, so I have my DVDs. When they remove films I like, I have my DVDs. When they delete files from my library, even though I paid for them, I have my DVDs. Don’t mock the DVD.

Besides. I remain amused by my stack-o-Pine, that is rather like the pile of Fassbender I used to have circa 2005 when he was doing all those TV series I loved him in that he pretends he was never in these days. The spines of my DVDs show a rake’s progress of young Pine.

I worry about him these days. In the last six months I’ve seen like 27 different personalities, all with their own haircut and wardrobe, like that McAvoy film, and only one of which I’ve been able to link to a film role. I do hope the rest are related to our boy being suddenly all method and indulging in some performance, rehearsal, performance art project or whatever I don’t know about, because otherwise I worry.

The only other people I’ve ever known to try out a different personality every other week are all dead now. So I worry. And I hope it’s just performance. And because I can’t sit the boy down with a cup of tea and a Tim Tam and ask him if he’s ok, I hope his friends will. Because, seriously, none of the other actors I like are like this, even the terribly arty British ones. I mean, sure, they change for roles and the odd OTT fashion mag shoot (like Ewan shaving his hair for Fargo), but they snap back to their normal selves in-between times. I haven’t seen Pine look like himself since, well, since before Anton died (see the first Beyond press appearances, compared to everything that has come after). And that worries me.

So I hope it’s all performance, because otherwise, you won’t hear the crash, it’ll just be silence.

But hey, I’m just reading it totally wrong and being way, way oversensitive, because, you know, I lost a lot of people I loved, back in the day (because I was young, ignorant and careless). But I worry. Because it’s a different personality every other week. I do hope there’s a crap art performance reason for it. Somebody tell me he’s fine, he’s happy and it’s all just his art. I’m sure it is (and I’m just the one being melodramatic). It’ll all make perfect sense in the end. I’m sure of it. I hope for it.

Maybe I’m just tired. Last week broke me. The house is falling apart around my ears and a month of rain has not helped – huge puddles everywhere inside, running down the walls, dripping from the curling ceiling. Would that I’d been paid my 300+ hours of unpaid overtime, but it went unpaid, so no money for fixes. I have to fix the front door now because it got stuck and instead of leaving it like a normal person and exiting through the other door, Himself put his foot through it in a temper, so now I have to pay for a new door, too, somehow.

Good thing I’d already given up on seeing Jude Law on stage in London (I had a ticket). Besides, my Aunt’s just had a serious stroke so I wouldn’t be welcome as an added distraction anyway (I sent two care packages, and, oh man, they don’t make it easy for you to post stuff these days, that also broke me).

Oh, and work, aside from the joy of doing nine versions of an interactive accessible form and the client decided to stick with their 90s PDF instead, and that’s just one job that went nowhere last week, I have to reapply for my job and my boss hates me so we know in this round of musical chairs once again they’ll keep the pretty thin girls who do nothing all day and get rid of the tubby bad diet, bad sleeping 300+ hours of unpaid OT grumpy old cow, and does anyone ever think I might be grumpy because of the 300+ of unpaid OT and the impact it has on my sleep and mealtimes, working 6am to 11pm, with no breaks or meals, just to make ridiculous and arbitrary deadlines that the pretty girls won’t do and don’t have to, because they’re pretty? So there’s that.

Which is a pity because I really believe in the work that we’re trying to do. I really believe in trying to make information accessible (which is why the client clinging to their 90s PDF is so maddening). I mean, I watched The Green Death when I was a wee thing, and now I’m working in an environmental portfolio. But you know, with the politics these days, it’s not a good place to be. So there’s that, too.

The only bright spot in this bleakest of months (rain, nonstop), has been, of all things, a Disney Prince, in the form of Dan Stevens. If I wasn’t enjoying Legion so much (I adore the Prisoner/Avengers/Jason King/UFO aesthetic), it’d just be Beauty and the Beast, which was fine. I’d not seen the cartoon, but any opportunity to see my Brit boys get their screaming panto on.

And when I saw it at the State, that frou-frou of a palace, at the non-premier, with the bubbly and the dancers dressed as candelabra and being given a rose and a goody bag, and having the crowd so into it they all whooped and cheered and sang along and it was really great, seeing that way. I really loved them for roaring with approval when Le Fou got his man at the end. That was nice (and why all the controversy, has Beauty and the Beast ever not had a queer reading?). And Dan was still Dan under the CGI, and Ewan gave me my money’s worth, so it wasn’t a waste of time. And it made me forget my troubles while the screen flickered, and that’s all I can ask of these magical creatures we call actors.

I did manage to get through Saturday, which involved another Aunt (it’s all a bit Wooster, as if things weren’t topsy turvy enough) and her big birthday party with the rellos I never ever see (because they think I’m gay) and it was in a religious retirement home and they’re all hard-core god-botherers and they drink Coopers beer without shame (both are pro-religion, anti-equality) and yet they were all off to see Beauty and the Beast (written by gays, performed by gays).

Sucking up that amount of hypocrisy does bad things to my liver, I can tell you. Or maybe it was the prawns. Or the cheese. Whatever, it was more of something to be endured than enjoyed. There was a mighty fine bottle of Di Bortoli Yarra valley merlot that I demolished, so I’m pretty sure I’m free from invites for the next decade. Mission accomplished.

Haven’t been to the theatre much, but I saw a rather disappointing screening of the RSC’s The Tempest. I was so looking forward to my favourite Simon Russell Beale as Prospero, but he seemed to just phone it in that day. Maybe it was the cameras, or the real-time digital effects, or it was a wet weekend and I wasn’t feeling fab. Either way, shrug.

Much better, and far more effecting, was the screening of the Donmar’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, with a revelatory Gemma Arterton in the lead (I never knew she could do that).

I care nothing for religion, and this play had a fair bit to say on the matter, as you might imagine, but the gender issues, the whole woman versus the established patriarchy, the power games between the rich, the entitled, the powerful and those who set themselves up as gate-keepers (and how these things are often opposing forces rather than interchangeable titles), well, that was all entirely relevant and current and electric (and they didn’t even need the conceit of the fake Newsnight broadcasts to hammer than one home).

Had I seen it last year, before all the shit hit the fan, it would have merely been good. Now, with all that is going on in the world – and how fucking depressing that a play about medieval persecution is so now – it was one wild ride. I hope you saw it. Weeks later, I’m still thinking about, often. It got under my skin, because it was so on point, and so visceral. That’s proper theatre: timely, thought-provoking, commenting on the real world and gut-wrenching. Even just watching the screening, the punches landed.

The only other thing that have given me joy recently is Preacher. It is taking me forever and a day to get through this (limited bandwidth plus a month of wet weekends, and every man and his dog hogging my .0004kps connection, does not make for streaming fun).

My main lark is that, however many liberties they may take with the source material, for better or worse (and I really dug the comic in my misspent yoof), Cassidy is still Cassidy. I always knew Cassidy was the sort of character who wouldn’t stand for any actor trying to bring his interpretation to the screen. No, Cassidy is having none of that shite. He is what he is and that’s an end to it

From the photos Dominic posts from set, Joe Gilgun seems to be either the most method actor ever (take note, Pine) or they simply managed to employ an actor who is Cassidy, 24/7. It amuses me greatly. Because I have long adored Cassidy. He’s scruffy, a vampire and, well, Irish, and I always think it’s the being Irish that gets him in trouble far more than being a vampire, which amuses me further still.

So I’m loving that, what I’ve seen of it (though it gave me a moment of difficulty to press pause mid flailing entrails and answer a call from a prospective employer, because I was watching it on my phone at the time, because at least I can use 3G to fill in the wifi lags, at great expense).

Hey, the mashed spud brain still knows all the lyrics to The Models I Hear Motion. They were playing it in Coles while I shopped in the wee hours.

I’m impressed, because there’s precious little I remember these days. A few flashes of Yeti and Cybermen from Doctor Who. Admiring my stack of Fassbender DVDs like Smaug and his pile of gold. Posting on a Life on Mars board once. Watching a dumb film while flying across the orange part of Oz. Don’t remember a second of the holiday I was coming back from, but I remember that. What film? Please don’t ask. Who was in it? Who do you think?

So, buried somewhere my Models discography is still intact. Yay?

Mind you, last week Coles were playing Bucks Fizz. I figured if I throttled any deserving arseholes that day I could cite mitigating circumstances, having been unduly provoked. Because Bucks Fizz.

And finally, the word of today is: amplexus (when two frogs like each other very much…)

News from the front: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218

mockturle06: (mr flibble)

As I wrote in my Twitter feed (what, you’re not following? The wit, the pearls, the absolute gems, I tell you), it was recycling day today, which meant I had to run the gauntlet of two garbage trucks with their grabby robot arms (which would be nervous making enough if I’d not grown up watching Doctor Who) snatching at bins as I duck and weave in the blackness on my way to the bus stop.

Ah, and they are indeed the bins of social shame. Not just for the ‘who put that in there’ kind of thing that’ll get you’re a fine from the council, usually because some neighbourhood miscreant has done a midnight fling of old nappies into your carefully washed and folded recycling, but the audible evidence of personal vices. Or, to put it bluntly, one can get an estimate of the average alcohol consumption of each household by the din caused by the smash and crash of many empties being flung into the trucks.

I mean, I thought the house next to the bus stop had an eyebrow raising number of empties in the mix, but the house on the corner is either running a speakeasy out of their lounge room or someone needs to ask if they’re ok, because, seriously, dudes. That was quite the protracted smash and crash. It just went on and on and on. One can at least ope there were a few Chinese takeaway containers in the mix.

Yes, I’m being judgemental and mean, still, and I can’t seem to help it. I mean, I read about personality changes being a symptom, but man, this is weird. Weirder still is that I know this is going to win me a lot of friends, not, and I’m finding it hard to care. Ah well I was always far too sensitive and emotional.

Okay, that was so weird. Just spent four days away, or struggling to be me, or suffering what the Victorians call a brain fever. Probably just the concussion giving me another whack. One minute I was at work and getting it done, the next writhing on the bed shaking and suffering such fever dreams that even the makers of Legion would have dismissed as too far out there.

Then I had a couple of days of still being woogy and needing to have post-it notes everywhere like Dean in that episode of Supernatural where he got hexed (I know, not narrowing it down). I really felt for the poor boy, though killing the witch that hexed me wasn’t really an option for me.

Or maybe it was. Some real mean girl posts (don’t know why but these episodes make me really mean and cranky) some mad as fuck dreams and a couple of thunderstorms and I’m a bit better. At least in a sitting up at my desk remembering my passwords kinda way.

Bit better than yesterday, when following the slender plots of 70s and 80s cop shows was a struggle. No, I’m not telling you which shows but I found them on a channel up the back of the dial, as it were, and as I wasn’t up for reading and the worksite next door ruled out sleeping and I was feeling all unhappy I thought maybe a wallow in the past might help. Oddly, it did.

And at least I was home, with the telly on again, on Monday when I had two building sites going at it hammer and tongs, and trucks, and I got to see the Oscars fiasco, and that delighted my feverish wicked heart no end, just because, like a vogon, I didn’t see why anyone else should have a good time, and seeing skinny blonde girls humiliated never gets old (especially as it so rarely happens, they get everything they want in life, people love them).

I know, I shouldn’t be mean, but I was feeling awful and the schadenfreude of seeing that film, where the untalented and arrogant white guy never stops telling everyone how things should be, actually get kicked off the stage, there was beauty in that. Cruel, yes, but rather deserved in their insufferable smugness and presumption of destiny.

And as for the dude who messed up the envelopes, man, I wouldn’t want to be him, but watching the whole thing play out in the media, it treads a fine line between blood sport and there but for the grace of, you know? Usually I’d be way more sympathetic, but eh, shrug.

And still with the crazed fever dreams, but points for incorporating Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe into the mix, surely. I know, what the? My head is a perfect bubble and squeak of places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, not this week but years, even decades ago, all mixed up and set to simmer. I couldn’t even tell you which library I was dreaming I was in, as it was the National Library of Victoria, the State Library of NSW, the British Library and maybe even the Bodleian, all jumbled up Escher style. I was looking for a book that was straight of some of the lurid stuff I’ve been watching/reading and then I was trying to get to the park, and I kept getting messed about on the way. Needless to say, I never made it.

mockturle06: (Chris)

I forgot to mention in my review of The Finest Hours that Chris Pine must be a real little trouper, as he must have taken a bucket of cold water to the face for days while filming that. The dear boy.

So I suppose if he can put up with that, I can put up with this, though, like Renton in Trainspotting, I’m really feeling the ‘thirty more years of this’ ennui.

You might have noticed I’d not reviewed Newton’s Law, despite being a Toby Schmitz fangirl. There’s a reason for that. Oh dear. It’s such a bad 80s lawyer show, and it’s really kind of awful. Pedestrian scripts of limp mediocracy and acting straight out of an Aldi ad. Oh dearie me.

Not that I was watching it properly, or uninterrupted, but, yikes. Legion was a bit of a drag, too, a bit too realistically like a fever dream for me to really enjoy it.

And I was really looking forward to last night. I was supposed to have most of the night to myself so I tried to leave early (didn’t, but tried), but I blew past the shops to catch the bus and the sun was still up when I opened the back door, just. Okay, kissing the rooftops, but, you know. Not pitch dark yet (soon I’ll be going out in the black and coming back in the black again).

Instead of making dinner, I thought I’d order in Thai, and, as MenuLog have been sending me ‘are you dead’ emails, I thought I could tender those in court as proof that takeaway is a sometimes treat, and not eaten every night as we who live in the outer commuter belt are always accused of doing (usually because I’m commuting when I should be cooking). I thought it could be a treat.

What I wanted to do was wriggle into the corner for an hour, just one hour, and try and write something, anything, on the cheap nasty PC I’ve had for a year and have never actually used for typing yet. The keyboard is pretty bad, as it turned out.

So I decided to order Penang curry, and settled down to type away, the reviews in the previous post, and it was kind of nice. Just me and my cheap, nasty PC.

And I’d timed it so perfectly that Himself and the delivery guy arrived at the gate at the same time, and the curry was good, and I offered to wash up by myself, so I don’t know where I went wrong. But I did.

Much like a scene from Legion, I ended up with the contents of the fridge hurled at me. My milk, my marmalade jar smashed to the floor, my near empty packet of Tim Tams, my left-over rice. In fact, the only things I have in the fridge. At the time it just looked like everything in the fridge being thrown about, but no, just my stuff. I read once in an article on domestic violence that if it’s only your stuff that is damaged or destroyed, then the seemingly random violence isn’t quite as random as it appears. Whatever.

I still don’t know where I went wrong. I said I’d wash the dishes and asked if there was room in the fridge for my leftovers and suddenly my milk and Tim Tams are bouncing across the floor (the marmalade didn’t bounce). I’m fairly sure I’d remember saying or doing anything that’d make a Penang curry worth a face full of fridge contents.

So it’s midnight and I’m showering glass and marmalade off myself (I ate the Tim Tam). And I have to get up at 4am and do it all over again. I think of Chris Pine taking bucket after bucket in the face making The Finest Hours, and I button up my big girl’s blouse and get on with it. This, you see, is why I need Chris Pine in my life. Just something, anything, to take me out of myself. I need a reason to keep going, and staggering from film release to TV show to theatre ticket seem to be it for me.

Meanwhile at work I get blasted for letting a colon slip through because I’ve had no sleep and it’s still in the style guide so basically I’m offending against rules I haven’t been told about and an email smack down isn’t enough, no, I get a bent over the desk verbal follow up, too.

Other people decide they don’t like the heading styles in the template and it’s all that’s okay, I’ll change it for you, anything for you. I miss stray punctuation and I’m in the stocks wearing cabbage leaves. It’s always one, harsh, brutal law of made up on the day rules I’ve never been told about for me, and red carpets and free gifts for everybody else.

That Renton feeling, thirty more years of this? Yeah, I’ve got that now.

And I’m only telling you this so that if you read my previous whine about not being able to write because of other people’s shit, this is what I’m talking about.
mockturle06: (Chris)
 I realise I’ve not yet reviewed any of young Christopher’s fillums here. 

Am I ashamed and embarrassed, a little, yes. Somewhat.
 
A lifetime’s worth of anglophilia means I usually prefer my actors with solid and lustrous theatre credentials that include Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Stoppard, Pinter, Williams, Beckett and the like, and even my favourite Oz actors can manage that (saw Toby Schmitz from Black Sails doing both Stoppard and Shakespeare, David Wenham from Iron Fist doing Ibsen, Hugo Weaving doing Beckett, and even Damon Herriman from Justified doing Mamet). 
 
So yes, I am, I must now admit it, a dreadful snob. 
 
Compound that with his early roles as Disney princess/non-threatening boyfriend, and, well, did I mention that I’m a dreadful snob? Not that I haven’t seen Princess Diaries 2, but I was on a plane, for days, and it had Julie Andrews in it. 
 
But the boy isn’t just a pretty face, and he seems to have a solid work ethic – certainly I’ve yet to see him phone in a performance of rely on a bag of shticky tricks (hello Benedict), and I usually like his choices. Sometimes they can seem a bit mechanical and precise, like count three beats, turn and smile, but maybe that’s because I’ve seen them so often (thank you Foxtel and the Pine Nut in programing). And he’s diverse enough to pop up all over the genre cable movie channels, so that’s something (I’m not keen on niche actors, I like my boys versatile). 
 
Countless regrettable YouTube videos demonstrate the lad is not afraid of making a complete and utter tit of himself on camera, which shows a bracing lack of preciousness for a Hollywood boy, and I’m not just talking about the interviews, either, which seem to fall into Chris Pine is so bored he’s losing the will to live, Chris Pine is a lunatic and needs to rest now or Chris Pine is quite possibly very drunk/hungover (I blame PR for those, never schedule promo interviews the morning after the night before). 
 
So, Z for Zachariah, which I tend to think of as the radiation film so soundly mocked in Mamet’s Speed the Plow. Well, it is, rather. Rather a lot. It’s a quiet film, lovely to look at (and I’m talking the NZ scenery here, not Mr Pine, though this is pretty much peak Pine, right here), suitably bleak and mumbly, existential without ever delving deep, and pivoting upon, not so much the end of the world, as more of a jealous Othello vibe (and I saw Chiwetel as Othello at the Donmar, years ago). Apparently, there will be no threesomes at the end of everything (don’t tell my school chums that, see previous post).
 
It was kind of Beckett-y, and I think I was supposed to be getting some Eden references , but I’m a bloody heathen, so nope. And it was a bit kitchen-sinky for a post-apocalypse film - surprisingly lacking in zombies and car chases. Like I said, Beckett-y. 
 
CP is darn pretty, and that’s actually a plot point, as it makes him an immediate threat to the not-at-all cosy domestic arrangements he’d stumbled into. He’s a bit shady, and may have done some pretty dark deeds to survive, or maybe not, he’s certainly not as overtly violent as CE, and there’s a real sweetness to his ever so brief and budding relationship with Margot’s character. They actually talk, unlike CE, who, like all scientists (trust me, I work with enough of them) who just bosses and bullies. 
 
And the not very ambiguous last scene of his, when Caleb knows he’s in danger, shall we say, it’s a heartbreaker, every time. The look on his little face. Poor possum. 
 
So that’s that. The radiation film, where three’s a crowd. 
 
The Finest Hours is a Disney flick, so you’ll never hear anything stronger than ‘damn’, which is hilarious, with all the merchant navy men and coast guard crew all thinking they’re going to die. But no swearing. Keeping it tidy in the face of almost certain death, now that really is the finest hour (cue Sandra Dee here, as it’s set in the 50s anyhow). 
 
Oh, but CP is so adorably dorky in this. I was in love with Bernie before he even got out of the car. There’s such a lot of bashful stammering, a real Jimmy Stewart-like performance. And that’s not a bad thing.
 
The flick also features firm favourites Holliday Grainger, Aussies Eric Bana and Keiynan Lonsdale, Ben Foster, and Graham McTavish, so that’s kinda neat. 
 
So it’s your basic Thunderbirds plot, sinking tanker in the middle of a massive storm, and our heroes have to get out on the world’s tiniest boat, through some rough CGI seas that remind me of catching the Manly ferry through the heads in inclement weather, and try and rescue three times the number of people that will actually fir on their tiny little boat (I spot a flaw in their plan here, but I guess that’s where the heroics come in). They actually cite the maximum number of passengers at this point, to my great amusement, but sweet little rule abiding Bernie, having just about drowned in CGI seas, is 100% done with rules and regulations and backchat and snipping and sniping and all those sharp comments about the last attempted rescue that failed, and, after the hissy fit that has clearly been a very long time coming, he disobeys a direct order and steers his tiny, overloaded little boat back to shore, which, for dramatic purposes, has been blacked out by the storm.
 
It’s a pity the storm effects are a bit wooby (the script was writing cheques the digital department couldn’t cash) as I’ve seen some storms like that out here, you know, the one last year that started to sail someone’s pool off to New Zealand, or the one maybe ten years back where the tanker, an actual tanker, ended up on a Newcastle beach. So I don’t doubt the storm, just the Turner-esque soft-focus CGI rendering of it.  I mean it’s cute that the art department were clearly referencing Turner’s Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, but maybe a little more realism wouldn’t have gone astray in providing some real peril.
 
That said, I do like this film, I like that it’s based on a real story (don’t know why, just do, usually I like my fiction fictional) and I like CP in this, and his ‘be one with the waves’ moments. He’s sweet, and f-knows, I could do with some sweet in my life. 
 
He's sweet in Hell or High Water, too, even though he's running around robbing banks. Did you know you can only rob banks during business hours - out of business hours it's just plain burglary? Of all the trivia I've picked up from QI, that has to be the most useless, but hey, I'm using it now.
 
So you know the drill by now, also starring Ben Foster and a scene-stealing Jeff Bridges. It's by the same dude who did Young Adam (yes, which I saw because of Ewan) and I liked it enough I guess to recognise the guy's work without having to resort to IMDB. 
 
And it's a perfect western. Absolutely perfect. Now you know I've a bit of a thing for westerns, they're just a genre I grew up with, and I love a neo-western (hello Justified, Supernatural, and hell, even Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders count these days). And let me tell you, this was perfection. Not a shot, not a moment, not a note out of place (I have the soundtrack on vinyl). 
 
And Chris, it's too damn bad nobody decided to give Chris a nod because it's a great piece of low-down tightly wound thousand yard stare acting. I guess it just wasn't showy enough but Chris has never been a showboating actor, he's always whatever the role needs, no less and no more. Like I said, precise in his choices. He just lives Toby Howard the entire time he's on screen and he doesn't have to scream and howl his pain, it's there in every downcast look, every flinch, every silence. 
 
Toby is the heart and soul of the film, he's the one who sets it in motion, and he's pretty much the one who ends it, too, with that magnificent showdown, or rather stare down, and ooh, just the way he leans there with the rifle resting against his thigh, I could watch that all day, no lie. 
 
He's a broken man, but there's steel there, too, and he just doesn't give up. He might not show his scars so easily, but you can tell he's had it just as hard as his brother. It it shows, just in the way he stands, all hunched shoulders and tight. It's a really finely calibrated performance. Another lost boy (see also T2, previous post).
 
The film is great too, the story I mean, all the comments on how the west was won, and lost, land rights, poverty, the insane lack of law and order (the bank customers being more heavily armed than the bandits) and the dark humour. It was very much of the same cloth as Justified, and I have no problem with that. Not one little bit.
 
And Chris, if ever there was a man who could rock a saggy porn 'tache and look like he hadn't bathed in a week and still make me want to jump his bones in the worst way, well, I never thought it'd be Chris, but there you are. Who knew my clean-cut honey could be all gritty and sweaty and oh, yeah. 
 
And it's a damn shame he didn't get more kudos and encouragement for doing this. And I'm sorry I don't give the boy the respect he deserves, especially when some of my lauded Brit boys have become caricatures of themselves (hello, Benedict), or making regrettable life choices (hello, Tom). Lately Benedict seems to have gone the full Widow Twankey pantomime, twirling about in his roles, the subtle shades of performances like the one in Stuart a long distant memory, not to mention both he and Eddie playing wizards decades before I ever expected it of them. Oh dear. 
 
So, yeah, giving Chris some love, and there are worse things than being a Disney princess (or crushing on one). And I haven't even mentioned the space movies yet, but taking such a beyond well known role and making it his own, well, that's stylish, that is.
 
So there are a few Chris Pine films that aren't too shabby. (Notice I didn't mention Bottle Shock. I hope someone burnt that hideous fright wig but I suspect one didn't have to get too close to an open flame for that to happen). He does a half decent spy, too. I'd love to see him as Felix, James Bond's BFF, but I guess I never will (but stranger things can happen, never expected to see Hiddleston, after Shakespeare and Chekhov, in a giant monkey movie).
 
And I'm looking forward to seeing him in Wonder Woman (with Spud!), even though I suspect dearest Steve is going to get fridged so bad. And I'm also curious to see how he manages the quatum leaping deadbeat dad in a Wrinkle in Time, too. That was one of my books as a kid, as was Wonder Woman, so, you know, it's important. (Between those roles and Star Trek he's pretty much hit all my childhood fancies, so it was kind of inevitable that Chris Pine would cross my line of sight, sooner or later).
 
Sorry, but I don't have much else going on right now, which is probably a good thing...
 
mockturle06: (Dean sad)

The other day there was a lot about Kurt Cobain’s non-birthday. It was more about me feeling old and tired, than any distress amongst his surviving nearest and dearest.

And at least the man had the dark good fortune to leave his legacy intact. Age shall not weary him, enfeeble him or cause him to make embarrassing tweets or indulge in humiliating comebacks, reality shows, reunion tours or misguided acoustic solo albums of spoken-word poetry. None of that. Just the pure vision of a doomed Romance-age poet. Beautiful.

Yes, I’m being dreadful, but which has more value? Unblemished art or, say, the sad, staggering degeneration of a David Cassidy? (Who was never in same league, but for comparison). I mean, which would you rather, blowing your own face off or appearing in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. There are indeed, it seems, many fates far worse than death.

And if you think I don’t know real pain, hey, my Dad killed himself and the worst and most difficult project I’m working on right now is pretty much the digital equivalent of what happened to all his actual papers: burying them in landfill. So no comments about taking dead dads lightly. No, it’s my own pain that makes me such a bitch about it.

So yeah, getting old sucks, and at least when you’re dead you don’t know what happens to the shit you leave behind.

Oh yes, cheery mood. I thought going to the school reunion would throw some light on the skittering cockroaches of my mind, but instead it’s sent me spiralling down the rabbit hole of existential bleakness.

But first, Trainspotting 2. Oh yeah, it’s all about getting old and still being as much a loser as you ever were. If there’s a theme this year, it’s constantly being reminded that all my dreams will never happen now. Like that Marianne Faithfull song, I know now that I’ll never ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in my hair, etc., etc.

Which is pretty much T2 in a nutshell. One could blame poverty and society (or lack thereof), being perpetual outsiders, but, pretty much, they’re a bunch of nothing losers making the same mistakes they always make and everything changes and nothing changes and nobody ever wins. Or something like that.

But damn, it was funny, and stylish, if gritty Scottish squalor could ever be called stylish (and funny how they’re knocking all those slum towers down when they’re just starting to throw them up where I live, developers, eh?). And if Ewan was worried he couldn’t ‘be’ Renton again, let me reassure him, he was Renton again, completely and utterly. It was brilliant.

And as for Robert Carlyle as Begbie – hee (I was hoping to have some distance between watching the delirious return of that mad bastard Begbie and Once Upon A Time, but no, EvilChannelSeven decided to whack on several episodes I hadn’t seen all at once on Sunday and I only caught them because I was hungover and looking for no more energetic activity that lying glassy-eyed in front of the goggle box).

So I liked that, I really did. And I saw it for free, because I won tickets, so that was a small spark of light in my otherwise bleak and run-down existence.

So I thought it was cute to watch a film about old friends who were really anything but, sadly trying to re-run/reboot/relive their youth and failing most terribly, and then go off to the school reunion. Uh huh. I just sat in the corner while everyone caught up on their many husbands (quite the partner exchange going on there, I should write a HBO show) and kids and dogs. But hey, at least a lot of them have quite interesting careers, which is something considering we were never expected to amount to much (working class government school, see comments re grit and squalor, above). But hey, to those princesses I have to work with, if you think I’m too loud and a bit rough around the edges, meet my classmates. I’m the quiet one, dammit.

At the time I didn’t think it was too bad, and one dear chum I’d known since kindy introduced me to expresso martinis  - and I still don’t know whether to thank her or smack her because I think I’m still suffering the hangover. Oy.

It was just afterwards, I was all rippled like a pool into which many stones had been chucked, and one of the former bullies I’d hoped to face and put behind me pursued me on Facebook all Sunday until I deleted the app. Again.

She was all ‘you didn’t talk to me, didn’t you remember me?’

What I thought was, to paraphrase Willow from BTVS, she made my life a living hell for four years and I hated her with a fiery passion. What I actually mumbled in reply was the usual lie about old age shredding my memory (less of a lie these days but it’s more serious head injury than age).

Come Monday and I’m being picked on from all quarters, and I’ve just about had enough. Stayed home on Tuesday to deal with a whole pile of issues that had been dumped on me, but it was mainly so I could curl up and cry. I didn’t, but I wanted to.

At least there was Chris Pine on the telly this week. My drug of choice (and less painful than an expresso martini, though it did, at the time, make watching Star Trek, yes, again, almost as transportive as watching it high on hospital grade anaesthetic, which sums up my 2016, pretty much). The dear boy. Chris, if you’re ever looking for a reason to get up and go to work on a wet Wednesday, keeping me out of the knife drawer should do in a pinch. My little slice of California sunshine.

Though last night I wallowed in Penny Dreadful repeats, because sad and gothic and doomed and oh, I’m probably going to start reading those thick Victorian novels again. And bad me, watching that second to last scene at the graveside all wrong. No, I must not, never mind that Timothy Dalton was being his most Bryonic since playing Heathcliffe or Rochester, both of which I saw as a schoolgirl in pigtails, so you can’t imagine how much it moved me, or set the standard. And Josh Harnett, whom I loathed as the most typical of cheesy Yank actors, was giving it his very best Bryonic, too, and almost nailing it, and so, love.

Then of course Rory walked in and stole the show, but that’s what he does (and why I always think the ‘film’ he was in was way better than Spectre, because the B Team/Scooby Gang looked like they were in a way more interesting film that was happening off-screen, let’s be honest here).

But no, must not, no new fandoms, must not dump current fic the way I dumped my MUNCLE one like a red hot stone (but it was basically such an, er, um, homage, and why, I’ll never know, to This Means War that the subsequent Chris Pine flail that caught me entirely off guard really should have been no surprise at all as it seems my subconscious was leaning that way long before my eyeballs caught up, and it was more the, er, um, optional ending on the DVD anyway, plot-what-plot-wise. Ahem, and I’d love to ask Chris if he was playing it that way through the rest of the flick, because, well, gosh).

Pity, because I did have fun scribbling most of the first MUNCLE one, which also owed a lot to The Champions and The Thunderbirds, damn my magpie brain. The second wallowed in Le Carre inspired ennui until I happily gave it up for a new/old toy.

Besides, I like my current fic, even if there are more daddy issues than Hamlet and Oedipus combined. Poor wee abandoned pup (read a great article on daddy issues in Hollywood).

There’s an awful lot of T2 riffs there, too, which my subconscious did pick up on a good 48 hours before the rest of me did, before I’d even seen the damn film (sometimes I think subby should drive the car, it seems to know the truth way before I do, but then it has, as they said in that episode of Doctor Who, all it needs to see clearly, it is both clever and unloved).

Mind you, I have thrown in a lot of Frankenstein, Dracula and Heart of Darkness riffs, that I can see myself stumbling towards Penny Dreadful, even now (my always abandoned fics are always like this, morphing into the next obsession before I’ve even got there).

Which isn’t to say I abandon the fics because I lose interest. No. Yesterday I wanted desperately to write, but was at the beck and call of others from 4am to 11pm, so no, no writing. Sunday, I did try, but ended up with, no, not the dull ache of a hangover, that I can cope with, just, but the red hot needles of my old concussion headache, and I’ll never know why an hour or so of scribbling in a notebook sends me wild with pain, but it does. It’s not helping or making me happy, I can tell you that.

I have over 300 pages of plotiness sloshing about in my battered old noggin, and I’ll never get it all down, especially the dialogue which goes from 40s film snappy in my head, which is ideal, to 90s tv soupy, which is bad, when I finally, finally get a chance to touch pen to paper, which is very, very rare. (What I need is a non-judgemental secretary who will work all hours for free – yeah, right).

So I get upset and frustrated, especially as my muse is really funny, and he needs to keep that snap that he has in my head while I’m travelling home, all bitter and twisted, on the bus (no, I can’t write on the bus, I’m usually strap-hanging and the roads so bad and the drivers so crazy if I do have a seat I’m hanging on with white knuckles because I usually don’t get a seat until near the end of the line, and it’s a race to go off shift for Mr Bus Driver, passengers, traffic and the laws of physics be damned). 

So the one last hobby I’ve tried to keep, all others sacrificed to the great god of duty and doing endless shit for other people, all the time, is barely registering a pulse these days.

My next book to read will probably be re-reading the Princess Bride (though it’s been so long it’ll be as new), if I ever finish the dreary Hornblower, if for no other reason than certain characters in my never-to-be-finished fic riffing on ‘as you wish’, which is cute. Derivative, but cute. No, I can’t change it, they do what they like and I’m not allowed to interfere at all or they’ll slam the door on me and I’ll be banned from my own little imaginary world. Yes, even the imaginary characters in my head make me their bitch, such is my miserable existence.

But enough about that. Watching tv while lonely and sad (and sometimes tipsy) always leads down to the path of ruination, wasted lives and truly awful fic.

One outlier to this saga of death and decay was also seeing Hidden Figures. It’s being sold as a chick flick here, which is odd, as it’s all about maths and spaceships, usually such a male prerogative, but I suppose that’s the point. A chick flick about maths, whoda thunk it. Why, they even had a few conversations that didn’t revolve around men – gasp.

So it wasn’t quite as mawkish as I’d feared for an American can-do film, and it was such an Obama-era film that I wanted to cry, but it was pretty damn formulaic in structure, but for a film about maths chicks, I’ll take it. And it would have been a touch more suspenseful if I’d not been familiar with the mission, but I’ll allow that too (it was a bit like watching Macbeth and thinking maybe this time it won’t play out the same way). So it was pretty much by the numbers (heh) but performed with such verve, I couldn’t help but like it.

The one thing that really struck home was the long dashes to the loo. I once worked in a Victorian building that had fancy loos for the chaps, but the ladies had to use a near heritage-aged demountable set up in the loading dock/courtyard, because women neither worked nor peed when that building went up. So I’m used to lengthy dunny runs in all weathers. And this was in 2007.

So that rang true. Alas, no forward thinking Costner-like manager came around and co-opted one of the gentlemen’s lavatories for us girl-types, so it was always coming back soaked if one had dashed off sans brolly. The life of a working girl in a man’s world, eh? (Don’t even talk to me about potty parity).

And I do feel for their challenges. I’ve been called a monkey with a university degree, to my face, just for being poor and the undeserving recipient of an over-generous state education.

I do wish I didn’t look like my maternal grandmothers (especially now), and much more like my Viking paternal ancestors, so I could properly look the part when I’ve a mind to rip someone’s head off, because they’re well past deserving it. All my cousins are proper little Vikings, all blond and ginger terrors.

I do wish I didn’t look like I do. I wish my Dad had bought the house in Bondi, so no one would ever sneer at my postcode origins. I wish I was normal and could talk to people.

I don’t particularly wish I had my school chums lives. It seems all about partner-swapping, sex, pay checks and vet bills. I know I live too much in my own head for that (mainly because I was trained to do so from a lifetime of bullying).

And I know, despite being cut of plain cloth, I set my standards way too high (yet quite rightly decided I’d rather die a spinster than live with a gamer, but you all know what they’re like now, right?) and I know I want the moon and the stars, and a dream man not afraid of red velvet dinner jackets – heh.

Ah well, and I really should tell Katy Manning this, Green Death was, and remains, a favourite story of mine from childhood, and, in a way, I am still fighting that fight for the environment. It’s pretty much the only reason I stay put with the long hours and lousy pay. The good fight. There is a purpose (even if the politics and pettiness are maddening).

I just wish I had time for a wee bit of fic. But come 11 pm and I’m too knackered. And yes, watching telly on Sunday arvo was a waste of time, but that was only after the headache from hell and being hounded by an old nightmare on social media. Maybe I should stop fussing about the right time, and write at the wrong time. Maybe I should get a better cheap PC and try out some speech recognition software. I could mutter to myself like Auntie Rotter, wouldn’t that be…just too weird.

So that’s my so-called life at the moment: no riding through Paris, in a sports car, with the warm wind in my hair. These days I’m lucky if I can just manage to catch a ramshackle old bus.

Stuff I found on the interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218

mockturle06: (lom tea)

Well, I’ve put my money where my mouth is, I’ve re-subscribed to a few non-Murdoch (never ever) papers in these troubling times. I’d only unsubbed during that pesky re-trenched bubble and subsequent massive pay-cut so I’d been surviving on Google, multiple devices and RSS feeds and that worked pretty well, but I figure it’s time to stop gaming the system and get serious and support a free press (who, ironically, demand my money).

Mind you, I could only subscribe to the two foreign journals that have actual offices here. Others don’t seem to get what the WWW stands for. They’re all ‘this is a local paper for local people’. Well, good luck with that.

Maybe those two august journals have offices here because they don’t insist on a local postcode and phone number in their subscription process, and, weirdly, seem to have a lot of Oz subscribers as a result, and somehow think its worthwhile building on that subscriber base. Funny, that.

Anyway, that’s me trying to do the right thing (and failing wildly, as always).

I’ve just found out there are several showers in the building. That would have been useful to know during the two months of heatwave hell, because, trust me, in 46C and 80% humidity I’ve got sweat rolling down my face from just brushing my hair. Icky sticky.

It’s been pretty awful, but it was the right decision on the worst day to go to Tropfest. Mainly because it was happening in my home town and not miles and miles away in those rarefied nice places, and I wanted to enjoy the novelty of a short commute, I wanted desperately to support the concept of cultural events out west, and Sam Neill was going to be there.

Sam Neill. My hero. In my home town. Unbelievable. But there he was (later teasing that we all thought we were going to die in the heat, but we came anyway). The heat was pretty dire, but when the sun set the breeze came up and the park is nice (for now) and it was way cooler sitting in the park sipping real lemonade than sweating on the couch in a stuffy, cheap, nasty, badly made worker’s hovel.

And the films were great, really great. Lots of dark humour, lots of sad, lots of funny, lots of weird. My favourites were the one with the jelly, the serial killer’s dog (that dog is a way better actor than most I’ve seen, I kid you not), and dearest Matt Day’s winning film that combined euthanasia with local property prices. Heh. I also liked Olga’s story. Alas I missed the first film, which was held to be really good, but it couldn’t be helped (it might have been close by but they sure didn’t put on any extra buses to facilitate the short commute).

Got home in under 20 minutes – unbelievable. Took me nearly three hours to get home from the old Hordern Pavillion.

Oh yes, I went off to see the B52s and Simple Minds. Not exactly the most complimentary bill, but I’m not complaining as I love both bands.

And yes, you’d think I’d have had enough of bright yellow beehives and hot pink kaftans of late (guess what I found on Netflix) but no. And I love the space songs. Space and sex, sex and space. They even played Planet Clare, which made me happy.

And then there were Jim and Charlie. Simple Minds. My boys. Foolishly, instead of sitting sedately up the back I’d run into an old pal and we’d run up the front like loons. So I was hanging off the rail, singing and dancing (to Jim’s bemusement). I loved it, loved, loved it, but I always do. They always do a great show, always play the faves (well, not all the faves, but it’ll do, certainly that visa troubling song was missing from the playlist).

Alas, because of the heat and the fact that they’d confiscated my water bottle upon entrance, I really felt oogy during the last encore (and it was New Gold Dream, dammit) and Jim saw me wilt and sassed me, making sleepy-time gestures. Well, okay, better he thinks I was up past my bedtime than trying very hard not to hurl, but, seriously. I finally get up the front at a Simple Minds gig and I get sassed by Jim. Oy.

It wasn’t quite just the heat, though. I had to buy two packs of Advil, three packs of Libra, two packs of Messina Gelato flavoured Tim Tams, a box of Twinings Irish Breakfast tea and a Chris Pine DVD. This may have been the most menstral shopping basket I’ve ever had in my life.

Well, at least I got it in there. It caught me by surprise, being a week early, so I couldn’t take time off, and I had to miss Suzi quarto at the Opera House (wail!) because it hurt more than being slammed by a 4WD, and it just wasn’t fun.

So I ended up spending Valentine’s Day, not rocking out at the Opera House, but like I always knew I would (and tried so hard to avoid): crouched over in bed weeping, drinking whiskey, with a fistful of Tim Tams and Chris Pine on the telly. Ah well, at least there was Chris and his dopey grin and bright blue eyes. Saved me from completely losing my mind (or what’s left of it, anyway).

And there was Tom Hardy reading bedtime stories on the BBC. Tom Hardy, national treasure and children’s TV presenter. How did this happen again? With Taboo on at the same time? Versatile boy.

Yes, we always knew I would end up like this. At home, alone, with the remote and a half eaten packet of Tim Tams. Sigh.

The cats knew it. Ever since my birthday they’ve been hanging around the door like ‘hello, we heard there was an elderly spinster in residence’. Fuck off.

Sooty was all over me like a rash yesterday, an actual rash as I’m mighty allergic (double fuck off). I wish he’d go back to just glaring at me suspiciously from the bushes or the top of the fence, but no, he thinks we’re best pals ever since I chucked him that pressed processed lump of alleged turkey alleged meat Himself left in the fridge for me while he was off for another week in Melbourne. Since the cat was starving and I’d decided I’d rather starve I just heaved it out the door, figuring that at least one of us could be happy. One of us was.

So now I have a bloody black cat for a familiar. That’s all I need. I already have a reputation, I don’t need to be seen in the front yard, broomstick in hand, black cat at my feet, bird on my shoulder.

I’ve lost the Captain, but I’ve got Mr Goldstein now, the cockatoo who comes around for morning tea when I’m home (which I have been, a lot, as work has been generous with the telecommuting while I’ve been recovering from my pedestrian antics).

Why Mr Goldstein? Because the other week, dozing with a fever, I dreamt I was being paged and that a Mr Goldstein was waiting for me at the desk. I work up and I was still being paged by Mr Goldstein, and he was waiting for me, on the back rail. So he answers to Mr Goldstein (frankly, he’ll answer to anything if there’s a biscuit involved) and he looks like a Mr Goldstein the way he nods and scowls, so Mr Goldstein he is.

Yes, I’m insane, you’re only just getting that now?

What else? Well, telly, obviously. Legion looks pretty damn interesting if nothing else (and I’m familiar with the source material and Mr Stevens so they kinda had me already) and I just love the funky Prisoner/Clockwork Orange/TC aesthetic they’ve got going on. It’s very trippy but I don’t mind, kind of a Life On Mars riff, which makes me nostalgic (these days when you watch Life on Mars you laugh at the primitive technology and Sam hasn’t even been hit by the car yet, ouch). So I’m going to stick with that until I get bored and pissed off (and even then they’ll probably keep me hanging around if they hook it into the MCU proper).

Yeah, part of that ‘life’s too short’ thing I’ve got going on now, no more crap films, no matter who’s in it, no more rubbish TV shows, no matter the critical buzz and never, ever any book reviewed in the paper. But yes, I astonish myself now with how ruthlessly I can hang up on shows I adored for one or two seasons, before they were re-tooled or re-cast beyond all recognition, before they went off the rails, or, in a few cases, offended me mightily with their sexism, racism, fascism or whatever extreme point of view the gamer-bots in the writers room think are cool this week.

Yeah, life’s way too short for that stuff, and, as there’s so much telly these days, one can simply jump to the next thing, even if it’s a show from a few years or decades ago, or a shiny new toy.

And besides, finally, after a lifetime of being told what to do, I’ve finally figured out what I actually like and don’t like. I know my tropes, which boxes I like to have tickled, and I’m reasonably okay these days at sniffing out stuff I like, bugger the rest of the universe, and I don’t care if I exist in a fandom bubble of one. It’s better that way (though I swear I can have fandom wars with myself, just you watch me).

Still reading Hornblower and oh, how I want to tip him over the rails, as he is the most awful character, but I persevere (I know, after the speech above, right), because I’m just using it to spark ideas (that I will never get around to writing down) and for fek’s sake can somebody please find someone for Bush to love. I’m begging you. It’s so dysfunctional it breaks my heart, every damn page.

But enough of that. I’m just living off scraps of Dan Stevens and Chris Pine right now. And Tim Tams. No good can ever come of this.

Stuff I found of interest: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts
 

mockturle06: (Lewis)

I had a response to the family history post last week, which is better than the sound of crickets that usually greets my posts (not that I’d had time to post much but I’m having my own upheavals here and I’m treating this writing as therapeutic, as I need to get back into the swing and get some shit off my chest).

So…alas, those promised news reports of yore on the rollicking mighty Reverend Hay were not forwarded at present (and the Trove search engine isn’t the most refined of beasts), so you’ll have to wait for his exploits.

I can tell you about MacRobert’s Reply. Basically, Lady MacRobert, who was already widowed, lost her three sons in WWII. So she up and donated £25,000 to buy an aircraft, called ‘MacRobert’s Reply’ to give some back to those Nazi bastards. Because, Scottish.

My family: hardcore Nazi punchers.

I think there’s also a back-story involving Aston-Martin, and the start-up thereof, but I can’t remember all the details (or find the relevant links, my researcher needs to go stand in the naughty corner).

Then there’s the judge and the lord, but we don’t talk about them, because it’s all too shameful. No, it really is.

I could try and tell you the story my grandmother told me, when I was a child, of the time the river flooded, and it came up to the door. Then it came spilling under the old wooden door, and they tried to sweep it back out (this was just a redneck hovel, or so I’ve always imagined).  But the water kept rising, so they stood on the chairs, and then they had to get up on the table, but still it kept rising. Finally they had to swim out of a window and climb on the roof, and they had nowhere else to go (this was over a hundred years ago in about 1913 so there were no choppers to airlift them out, they were on their own). The water came up and up and up until it was right up to the roof. And then it started going down again (well, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be here typing this).

I presume, from what I know about floodwaters now, that it took a while to clear, and the old homestead was knee-deep in mud.

Mind you, my Scottish uncle now has his very own flood story, as their house flooded up to the first floor last year. I can’t find the link now (sorry), but there was video posted on the old Press & Journal pages of my Uncle’s car floating off down the street. I’d been rollicking around the Aberdeenshire hills in that very car only a couple of months beforehand, so it was somewhat shocking to see via grainy web page footage. (Still, my archivist’s advice on how to try and rescue water damaged photos has earned us a spot in the good books, for now, which is a very rare and precious thing indeed).

I wish I could tell you about my grandmother’s favourite brother, who came back from the war (WWI, the great war, the war to end all wars) and just sat on a park bench, until he died, very shortly afterwards, and all he would do was play with a little hand held mechanical poker machine, that she still had and showed me (I can’t even find one on Google, so no wonder it got stoled, being very rare), over and over again. Flick, spin, three hearts. Over and over, until he died.

War is totally fucked, and you know what, my grandmother should be counted amongst the wounded, because she lost her favourite brother, slowly, and horribly, too, right in front of her, without being able to do a damn thing about it.

Which is probably why I’m a bit touchy about the addled war vert trope so beloved of TV shows. It’s no fun if they’re family. Even at a distance, that story upset me then, when I first heard it as a child, and upsets me even more now, knowing the shit that poor fucker must have been through.

She also lost a brother to blood poisoning, but I can’t remember the details. I can tell you science is important, because we don’t want to go back to shit like that.

I’d like to end up with a funny story, only I can’t remember exactly why my ancestor whacked somebody over the head with a guitar (and was done for GBH way back when which is how I come to know about it), smashing said guitar to pieces, but all I can say is, clearly, we take our music criticism very seriously in my family (man, there are times when I’d like to El Kabong a few so-called musos, oh yeah).

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Briefly, what I did do: hugged a giant glittery clitoris. What I didn’t do: anything constructive.

Ok, so, last Saturday. Didn’t see Nick Cave (I’ve been leaving ticket buying to the very last minute and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, I just never know if I’m going to wake up bedridden or not).

I did see Amanda Palmer (and Neil Gaiman).

But first, the wimmins march. What was it good for? For learning, in an empirical way, that I’m not the only person in this anonymous city who is concerned about recent events. What I hoped to achieve? Nothing except a good showing to demonstrate that we, the people, hold a strong and different opinion to the wizened old men in power.

Also, it was fun, if hot, and marchers have always, always been on the right side of history (look at the Chartist movement) – unless you’re that 1% we’re protesting about. And, you know, I’ve got a tradition to hold up. From Swing Rioters to mutineers to revolutionaries to ratbags, I come from a long line of front-line socially conscious folk. So, you know, these were my people. In pink hats. Deal with it.

After the march, as I was a touch unwell, I found my favourite old oak (?) tree in the gardens and collapsed under its spreading branches and read a Hornblower novel (I’d popped into Kinokuniya on the way and picked up some Hornblowers and Aubrey/Maturins, thus reaching a new level in naval gazing, ahem). I’d intended to write, but alas, was a touch too touched by the sun for that (and my alone time had been whittled down by a third).

Actually, it’s frankly annoying that I have had a lot of spare time, like yesterday, and I want to spend it scribbling, because I need to spend it scribbling, but I can’t, because after an hour or so the headaches are so bad my head feels like one of those magic cabinets with all the swords sticking out of it.

It drives me to tears and my muse is on fire and I can’t keep up and when I do find an hour I have to myself and I’m not cross-eyed in pain, I can’t remember all those wonderful scenes that played out in my head. Could have been my best ever, but will never be finished because I just can’t manage it.

Which is a damn shame because my grumpy, forever calling a spade a fucking shovel, muse is so funny, and he breaks my heart.

Anyway, Amanda Fucking Palmer. Live at the Opera House, with the usual staged managed chaos that can make such a huge space feel so intimate. The seats weren’t great but weren’t bad (we were practically on top of the piano, but that meant we spent half the time just looking at Amanda’s magnificent shoulders.

It was funny, it was sad, there was a lot about the march, Brendan was wonderful (and funny and sad), Neil came on and read a Leonard Cohen protest song, and then there was the Glitoris. It was, as stated, a giant glittery clitoris, and made such an impression it got a write up in the Guardian. After the show, folks, including me, lined up to meet Amanda and have their photo taken with the Glitoris. As you do.

So that was Saturday. Pretty much been wobbly afterwards (too much sun, too much big day), and I didn’t even do anything for Burns Night, and Oz Day is usually just Burns Night recovery day (since I’m not allowed to mention my ancestors) and I was going to go to the park to see what was going on (they promised music, balloons, vintage cars and cooked meats, which is usually enough to get me out the door), but, alas, no, I just slobbed it instead (too much hot weather, too much concussion, too much that time of the month).

I did finish my Hornblower book, though. It wasn’t bad. Hornblower’s a massive dick, though. Total and utter dick (the way he treats women and his besties, for a start). Heaven help any character based on him, she says, coughing into her hand. (Ioan, I’m thinking, was far too sweet a boy to be playing Hornblower). And, no, I’d never read them before, couldn’t find them, until now (thank you, Kinokuniya).

Obligatory Chris Pine mention? Well, they had Star Trek: Into Darkness on telly on Monday, which I watched, instead of going out (was somewhat invalided, anyways), and besides, it had all my boys in it, or, you know, Chris, Karl and Benedict being, well, Benedict. Or, as some wag referenced on tumblr, it featured god’s perfect idiot, a British villain, a moody teen, a gratuitous cameo, a CGI character, etc.

Not that it’s a cliché at all, she says, sarcastically. It’s a total mess of a film. It starts out being a spy film, they throw Khan in there for no reason and nothing makes sense after that, and those boys have so not earnt their KHAN! moment so they should really can the Khan, if you know what I mean (I’ve sooo jumped ship) and don’t even get me started on the white-washing or why all movie villains are British posh boys (actually, that does make sense, we loathe those 1% Hooray Henrys). But, boys, pretty. I’m so shallow.

So I pretty much missed the entire Sydney Festival this year. Couldn’t be helped (though it would have helped if Neil and Amanda and others would stop Instagramming their festival fun, I feel so stay-at-home frumpy). Alas, it’s not a tickets at the last minute kind of thing, and just rocking out once a week is killing me (but brave, brave me for trying despite being so old and wretched and wrecked, yes?).

I could say something about World/US politics, but where does one start? I do know that after a century of tremendous bluster in all their fillums and tv about how they were going to stand up for what’s right, blah, blah, blah, the only resistance to a tyrant they can actually muster is a teen mag and a park ranger. Shame on you.

News from the world: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

Bail up!

Jan. 20th, 2017 09:30 am
mockturle06: (Sherlock)

These photos of James McAvoy and Chris Pine turned up in my tumblr feed and I always thought it looked like they were staring in a live-action version of some 70s Japanese animation I used to absolutely adore as a kid.

Ah, if wishes were 60s sports cars, eh?

So, nothing else happening, except for me trying to find an ensemble that I can wear on a protest march, to a gallery, to sit in a park with, and then diner and a concert at the Opera House. Because I cannae be arsed travelling the old 51km there and back again to change. Oh, and I’ve got my period, too. So, yep, extreme wardrobe challenge. Dammit, I have this amazingly stupid red dress I’d bought to wear to an Amanda Palmer show, what, jeez, years and years ago now, when I had money, and every fucking time, no, you’re wearing the black, darling. Every. Fucking. Time. I’m gonna have to give it away, as new. Maybe Amanda would like it? Or could find it a worthy home. I should ask.

So I mentioned family history before. Mine contains much that is inaccurate and apocryphal, mainly because none of them could tell the truth to save their lives. Professionally, even. And I’m not just talking about the convicts. There’s the dude who allegedly wrote for travel magazines but only ever had one article published and always seem to be in places just before it kicked off. Hmmm. And the cold war pair whose files are sealed and who died, allegedly, in a locked room.

Then there’s the notorious Reverend Hay, and that’s the appellation that accompanies him around the globe (there’s a HBO series in his biography, if only I could get Russell Crowe interested in playing a boozy, brawling whore-running preacher who was pretty much run out of towns from Scotland to New Zealand with flaming torches).

I also love it when historical personages make guest cameos, like the time one of the family was hauled up for renting premises to the notorious Kate Kelly, and the general rowdiness that ensued. It sounds like Kate was basically running a Ned Kelly fan con, with the usual fake artefacts and peripherally involved speakers (the main players all being dead, natch), re-enatcments and the like.

Not that she’s the only alleged bushranger to cross the family tree, but then Oz was so small then, so there were always the crossing paths with Ben Hall and the various Captains, the whole Robbery Under Arms thang. Hell, my folks were cattle duffers running up and down the old track from Queensland to Victoria, all very Shelby-like dodgy, including my grandfather, who was a very dodgy boy indeed. Which is why, though I’m related to the squattocracy by many no doubt regretted marriages, I’m not part of it. Too much dodgy blood, shall we say.

Still, it would have been fun, had I had to move out west (always still a possibly) to reveal that I might be scum, but I’m still a lesser sept of these familes. You may kneel, and fetch me some tea, milk, no sugar.

At least I like to imagine the look on a certain snobs face who wanted to belong to the squattocracy when they found out I was one. Yes, you pillock, these towns and rivers, we named them.

Mind you, a millennia ago my ancestors owned most of south-eastern England, until some Cnut took it away from them. Damn and blast. Don’t suppose I could make a land rights appeal? I have a spiritual connection, I watch Grantchester. No, didn’t think so.

Sorry, felling put upon, having a ‘just you wait, Henry Higgins’ moment, again. Sadly, even my best behaviour isn’t up to the standards of certain snobs who went to better schools than I.

But blood is blood, and I can’t help it if Aunt Polly sometimes peeks out. I am, after all, the girl who got up and walked off after being sent flying by a 4WD.

Dad used to call her Boudica (and, turns out, he was right). I mean, I’ll take a hell of a lot of shit, and then I won’t. And it’s a thing. My grandmother and Aunt both broke doors in fits of pique, and I finally did the same, the day I was retrenched. (You’d think, then, that the menfolk were bad carpenters, as well as being especially annoying, and my grandfather was slapdash at best, but on the other side, they ran a big furniture shop in Aberdeen, they made furniture for that little shack called Balmoral, for fek’s sake).

And then there’s the story my Uncle told me of the time my grandmother just threw my grandfather’s old coat in the kitchen stove fire because it was tatty and she was tired of it, without checking the pockets, which were full of shotgun shells. So there’s the family, face down on the grass outside the house, counting off the shots exploding in the kitchen.

So, reckless, crazy and mercurial and not to be crossed on all sides of my family. Sorry if that offends, but, you know, born that way.

But also smart, and not book learning smart, but cunning smart (though it skipped my maternal uncle and brother who couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag if you showed them the hole).

Back to bushrangers, if you remember the Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, well, loosely based on events and there’s an old family story that one of my great or great-great grandmothers (not so many as you’d expect because we’re late marriers and breeders) answered the door to, well, we’ll call him Jimmy because I can’t remember his real name or tribal name. Calmly as you please she invites him in and gives him the whole tea and cake on china service, as though it were the local vicar, and Jimmy is so pleased and grateful he bids her goodbye and goes on to massacre the next farmstead along instead.

I tried looking it up when I was at uni and the story and history matched enough to rate it plausible. Anyway, the moral of the story is always use best china for serial killers, they appreciate the finer touches.

And that’s the sort of manners that are important.

Articles of interest from the Interwebs: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

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