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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Glebe shooting

I've struggled to write something clear and positive about this.

Underbelly 2 screens on Monday nights. We try and get the children well away before it starts at 8.30. About 8.20 last Monday as one daughter was getting out of the bath I heard a series of five or six small explosions. Fireworks or possibly some minor act of vandalism I thought. A little later there was some shouting outside and the other daughter went out on to the front porch to look but wanting to avoid attracting attention I urged her back inside.

Much later I realised that a large noisy engine or generator had been running for some time and looked out the front to see a police truck turning into the street. I noticed that Police Line tape had been stretched across the street and across the laneway at the back of the house. Summat's up I thought.

The next morning the online Sydney Morning Herald had a brief report of a knee-capping in the laneway. The more sensationalist online Daily Telegraph report relishes the drama. There was, perhaps, a party to celebrate the release from prison of the 25 year old target. The comments section of the Telegraph added nothing productive to the situation.

I hope but don't expect that something positive will happen as a result.

This article in The Glebe of March 5 sums up the situation but doesn't seem outcome focussed:

Modern Pharmacy, Fareham

My Great-Aunty Lavinia was married to Wilf Smith from Fareham. Wilf's brother Syd was a photographer and produced a series of real photo postcards of Fareham and the surrounding area as well of others of ships at Portsmouth. Their father W O Smith was a pharmacist and his Modern Pharmacy advertised High Class Artifical Teeth amongst its wares.

As children we thought Aunty Vini (pronounced Veeney) had been married to a man called Wolf. The family story was that Wilf had been gassed in WWI and never recovered but like all family stories I now don't know how accurate this is.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lovett Bay

My wife's family has had a weekender or bach in Kiwi-ese on Lovett Bay near Church Point for fifty or more years. The bay has gained some recent publicity as the fictionalised location of 'Salvation Creek' in which a romanticised view of the local floating population is part of the setting for a living with cancer book. My best friend is dying of prostate cancer and he and one of his fellow end-of-lifers call this approach to discussing cancer an "organ recital".

I spent new year's eve at the house on my way back from London in 1986 and perversely feel protective of a place I have a one-step removed connection with. My daughters are the fourth generation of the family to belong there. There's something about being an incomer that gives desperation to developing a sense of belonging. Like a cuckoo.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kings Bloody Cross

I first visited Sydney about 28 years ago. I'd been in India for a month or so with a tour party organised by the Religious Studies Department of Victoria University of Wellington. We had a night at the People's Palace in the Cross on our way home from Singapore.

I went with two people to a pizza parlour and encountered a group of young Aussie suburbanites who'd come into the Cross to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show which screened continuously for years. Although the sheilas were all dressed in regular Friday night going out clobber the blokes were wearing black corsets and fishnets and too much make-up.

It was somewhere between garish misogynistic Rotary Club fund-raising drag and serious cross-dressing. Somehow it was a useful stop off experience between the confronting otherness of India, the manic capitalism/tourism of Singapore and the dreariness of early-1980s Wellington.

Now that binge-drinking is the main nocturnal activity in night-time Sydney men dressed like that are bashed by men like the ones who used to dress like that, as a laugh, 28 years ago.

The Mardi Gras may move to Homebush because Oxford Street, Darling-it-hurts, etc have been abandoned to the self-destructive. Too much revenue in alcohol for the situation to change much. It seems a million schooners away from stilettos and pizza.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let there be music

Two band posters - the old for a gig at the Glebe Rowing Club featuring Nunbait who are worth a google and the new for Cod who are the most entertaining live act currently strutting their stuff around Sydney. Years ago and next month.

One webpage giving Nunbait's history says the name came from the singer's interaction with his Christian flatmates when he was tripping.