full throttle bliss

The year has tilted into Summer. It’s been 30+ degrees all long weekend here in Sydney.

I know our planet is spinning like a top at a kid’s party, wobbling towards the skirting board at the edge of the universe, but it feels a bit early for all this. Nevertheless I unplugged the heaters and carried them up to the loft. I dusted off the fans and carried them down.

I wore shorts and drank beer.

When the shorts got too hot I gardened in my underwear and drank water.

When the underwear got too hot I got nude and lay in the hammock and drank red wine. Probably a mistake. I dozed and dreamed across decades. Mosquitoes bit my balls. Red wine stained my chest. I woke up and it wasn’t 1978.

I watched the football finals. AFL: shithouse. Another year ruined by the piss and poo Hawthorn football club. Niggardly, nasty rubbish. NRL: magnificent. What astonishing drama. Untether the Sydney Opera House and let it float out to sea as a bingo hall. All you need is grass and grunt and no script. That was superb.

The Wallabies beat the fat blokes of England! That was a great start to yesterday.

We went out to lunch In Caringbah, cooked and served by magnificent May M. in her nineties. A friend returned from France after tending to her dying mother. New neighbours moved in across the street. Wallington said they were having sex on their upstairs deck when she came to bed. Good on them. You’ve got to move into a new house.

Today Currawongs ate mulberries from the tree in the back garden and rainbow lorikeets bathed in the bird bath. The rocket lettuce has gone to glorious yellow seed. The garden grows so fast you can see it move. I’m reading Captain Matchbox And Beyond: the music and mayhem of Mic and Jim Conway. Maybe that’s why I was dreaming of 1978?

Since making whoopee became all the rage it’s even got into the old birdcage.

Don’t stop the world. I don’t want to get off.


it is most mad and moonly

I’ve just been out looking at the first full moon of Spring. The Blood Moon in the East. It more or less rose over Point Piper where the Second Reign of Malcolm has begun.

And a few hours ago I was facing the other way. My tribe. The Black Cat Sun in the West.

rob and eve

I love this time of year in Sydney. The garden is berserk. I’m back.

Notes from Cribyn

We’re off road at a cottage in mid-Wales after weeks of wonderful hostings with family and friends.

The pace has been frantic and friendly and we’re ready for a rest. On the way to Wales yesterday I shouted ‘why are we still only going 40?’ and Wallington said ‘Who are you asking’ and I said ‘I’m shouting at the signs!’

it’s time to stop and smell the silage.

It’s weird driving across the UK with a three inch GPS screen as a map. You never quite know where you are on a broader scale. All you know is that you follow the A376589 for another 17 miles and then turn left. Now an then you need to turn around when possible. We’re like two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, mile after mile.

But fuck it is fun. The hedges down here in Wales are profuse and plump and vivid with Spring. Unbelievably gorgeous. If Wallington could ever get sick of me being happy it would happen now, but I think she prefers it to the very occasionally grumpy Redsall.

Just to make sure I don’t explode with joy I have a shithouse cold and I buggered my back over in France, as you do, but I won’t complain. I’m on the mend.

I’m reading books on Kindle which is a bit like driving via a GPS. Once I’ve started I’ve got no idea what the book is called (I have to go back to the menu page to find out) and I only know what % I’ve read. I can’t tell when chapters end (‘I’ll just finish this chapter/%) and when a dog (it wasn’t me) spilled a glass of wine on the Kindle in France it stopped working. The Kindle, not France. France was already out to lunch.

Anyway, even the orchestra is beautiful.

It is so peaceful and superb here in Wales, though Wallington did shed a tear at lunch because she misses all the wonderful kids that have been loving and entertaining us for weeks now. Me too.

We ate sandwiches and read The Guardian In the Wiston church graveyard today, and said our hellos and goodbyes to Wallington’s mum and the rest of the departed Welsh relatives. We’ve ¬†got washed socks and undies over the heated towel rail in the bathroom, we’re miles from nowhere, and we’re happy – in case you were wondering.

Hong Kong

I finished reading Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread today. That’s a joy of being on holidays. I’ve been reading it for a month and I finished it in a day in Hong Kong. Poolside in a 32 degree day, then in the bar with a glass of Italian red wine.

I ended up weeping, which surprised Wallington as I’d spent most of the flight telling her it wasn’t a very good novel.

In the end, and at the end, I found it very affecting. It’s about family and loss and time passing.

Time passes quickly at 500 miles per hour at 38,000 feet. By the time I finished the book today it had four bookmarks. There was a boarding pass for flight CX162 to HK. There was a Gleebooks bookmark. There was a Cathay Pacific sanitised towelette in a foil wrapper. There was a Cathay Pacific individually wrapped toothpick. There was a business card from a concierge called Christian, from the Phillipines but working in HK.

All these bookmarks were a bit like the novel on fast forward. The things we accumulate as we speed through life.

I’ll leave them in the book and I’ll leave the book somewhere in the world and someone will find it and know where I was, briefly, in that world. And what I was reading.

Desert Island Vauxhall Astra (or similar) Discs

We’re not gone yet. I was just being lazy. And busy.

We leave Monday, if we survive the weekend. We’re well into the exciting stage. I’ve dragged the suitcases out of the dissident’s room, Wallington has clothes laid out everywhere (‘I’ll reduce them by half over the weekend’), and I’m starting to wonder whether my passport has expired, and my tetanus injection, and that warrant for a minor drug infringement in France.

Tonight over dinner we agreed we would take one CD each on our travels. We’ve got our ipods with 3 million songs on them, and our ipad with no songs but word games and books, and a not iphone with no itunes, and actual books, and we can play ispy, or talk and laugh, and there’s a fair chance that our rental car Vauxhall Astra or similar (http://redsall.com/2014/02/20/oh-lord-wont-you-hire-me-a-mercedes-benz/) will not have a CD player – but fuck-the-world we’re taking one CD each anyway.

What one CD would you take if you were stranded for six weeks having fun in Hong Kong, England, Wales, France, Ireland, and Singapore?

I know from experience that some of our rental accommodation will provide CDs – Enya, Rod Stewart’s Greatest Hits, Love Songs Volume 11, Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols – but for all those long hours on the road in a Vauxhall Astra or similar what one CD (from our selection, don’t get too carried away) would you choose?

We’ve been playing a lot of Ry Cooder’s Greatest Hits out in the sunroom. Classical tempts me too but there’s classical radio stations that will ointment that wound.

For me – tonight – it’s probably Morrissey’s Vauxhall and I. I’m going to be driving a Vauxhall or similar. Vauxhall and Wallington. The sun burns through to the planet’s core. Used to be a sweet boy. Chain saw.

Wallington is a genius. Tonight she chose Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs. Her one CD is three CDs. I don’t believe in the sun. Nothing matters when we’re dancing. Love is a trucker’s hand.

Who knows what we’ll choose on Monday morning, 6am, leaving on a jet plane