Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

John Lennon’s Last Days: A Remembrance by Yoko Ono.

Thursday, December 8th, 2022

John Lennon’s Last Days: A Remembrance by Yoko Ono
BY YOKO ONO
DECEMBER 23, 2010.

Making Double Fantasy was a great joy for John and me. But it was in­tense as well, since we were trying to finish it for the Christmas release. John knew what I was up against and protected me to the end. If it weren’t for that, the record would not have been a dialogue between a man and a woman. But if the record was not a dialogue between a man and a woman, John would have re­fused to do the record at all. That’s how it was.

Nobody was unkind to me. But there was a strong feeling that this record should have been just John, and I was an extra thing that they had to put up with. I hear a big yes! from you guys who are reading this. So you must understand how people at the time also felt.

Because of that delicate situation, John had to do his own thing and protect me at the same time. Even with his quick, as­tute observation and total power in the studio, that was not easy. He was trying to protect a proud lioness with a sheep’s heart, without so much as letting her know that’s what he was doing. Now, looking back, I get that as clear as a bell.

By the Double Fantasy sessions, I was pretty used to how you do it in rock. But in a pressured situation, I went back to being my old classical avant-garde self. A guitarist was having a diffi­cult time finding a good solo for one of my songs. It was late at night and I just quickly wrote musical notes on a piece of paper and asked him if he would play that for the solo. Sometime before that, I had been told by someone that he read music. So I thought it was more polite to give him a scribble of musical notations than showing him what I wanted on the piano, in which case the whole group would know what I was doing. He just said, “I can’t play this,” to John. John looked at me, looked at the guitarist and left the room, beckoning me to follow him. Outside the control room, he said, “Remember? You should whisper to me!” I should whis­per the music line in John’s ear?! But in rock, you don’t criticize the musicians for their solos. You just say, “That was good. But could we have one more, just in case? A bit lighter, possibly …” Something like that. So I knew I made a faux pas. I just said, “I know, I know,” and let it go. That was that.

Then there was “Yes, I’m Your Angel”! I wanted to do it in 3/4. John said, “Let’s do it rock, 4/4.” So we did it in 4/4. When we finished all the tracks, John said, “So we did it! Anything, Yoko?” I told him that I actually still wanted to do “Angel” in 3/4. “Oh … right! I never should have opened me mouth! So let’s get them back.” The musicians had all packed and left the studio already. Andy, the drummer, had to come back from Bermu­da! But we did “Yes, I’m Your Angel” in 3/4. The problem was, the one we did in 4/4 sounded much better. The musicians played both 4/4 and 3/4 versions perfectly. So it was not their fault. Something about doing it in 3/4 was so predictable for this kind of song, it sounded more contrived than the 4/4 ver­sion, which surprised us as being more fresh when compared with the 3/4. So we went back to using the 4/4 we did anyway. The musicians were all gracious about it, but I don’t think I won any popularity contest or anything! I thought nothing of that at the time. Artists have the right to aim for perfection. But now I see that John was helping me, without making a thing about it.

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One day, in the middle of making Double Fantasy, the engi­neers told us they needed two hours to fix the board. So we should go out for a while. Take a walk. Great! After being in the dark studio for ages, the outside made us squint. It was like spring! A beautiful, beautiful day. The sky was shining blue. We felt like two kids skipping class. John decided that we would go into Saks Fifth Avenue. He went through a few counters and stopped at the glasses: “We should get one for you.” He picked a pair out — large black wraparound shades — and put them on me. Strange­ly, he started to look rather serious. “What?” “You should wear these all the time.” I thought that was silly and wanted to laugh, but stopped short. He was gazing. It reminded me of the first time I saw him gazing at my “Painting to Hammer a Nail In” in the Indica gallery. This time he was gazing at me wearing the glasses he picked for me. “Why?” I asked with my eyes. He just took my hand and we walked quickly toward the exit. It was time to go back to the studio. I immediately forgot the incident totally. Later, those were the glasses I wore to face the world. I heard John saying, “Keep your chin up. Never let them know that they got you!” So even after his passing, he was still pro­tecting and helping me.

We were both very verbal people. Once we were on the eleva­tor talking away, and forgot that we didn’t push the button. The elevator was still on the ground floor for the longest time with­out us noticing. Finally, the door opened and a lady came in and we noticed what we did. We were just chatting away. Why did we have so much to talk about? Maybe because it was just the two of us. We burned the bridge, and we didn’t have anybody else except each other. John didn’t mind that at all. It probably had to do with the fact that he had met and shook hands with so many people in the Beatles’ tour days, not seeing people so much felt fresh.

We were also very silent people, too. We didn’t have to say anything. Just by looking at each other we knew what the other was thinking. The more the world hated us, the more we be­came fiercely protective of each other. I loved the way he looked toward the end: “Keep your chin up. Don’t let anybody see that they got you!” I always nodded when he said that. But when he was alone, I caught him pondering with a faraway look of a young/old soldier who remembered it all. One day, he even said, “Look, if I ever die, make sure to …” and he gave me precise in­structions on what I had to do to the Beatles’ outtakes. “Make sure to do that.” I thought it was remarkable that he was still concerned about his old takes. Artist to artist, I liked that re­mark at the time.

One night, he was sobbing. “Don’t leave me alone. Don’t die on me.” “But, John, I’m older than you, so it’s natural that I go first.” “No, you can’t. You just can’t.” But another day he said very calm­ly, “If you died, I’m going to make a soup out of you, and drink it. We will finally be one body then.” He seemed to have been in­spired by that idea, and said it to people who were working for us. “You know, if Yoko died, I’m going to make a soup out of her, and drink it ….”They all looked stone-faced, as if he didn’t say any­thing unusual. John sounded like a little boy when he was saying that. A little boy who thought of a great idea.

The two of us as a couple were not very popular, to put it mild­ly. Everybody around us seemed to be thinking if it weren’t for John being with me, the Beatles would get back together again. While we were separated, John told me that he had to do an interview to say that the Beatles could get back together. He told me that the record company felt they had no chance to sell his rec­ord if he hadn’t done that. So he did an interview and sent a copy to me. When you watch that famous video interview, you see that John was being rather awkward. He tried to be funny — that was always an out. For a guy like John to finally do an interview he didn’t believe in, he must have felt really pressured. I thought if we separated, maybe he will get back to being the popular guy he had once been. That was not the only reason I wanted the separation. I had enough, too, of being hated by everybody in the world. The situation was hell. It was getting dangerous for me. For John, it was affecting the sales of his albums. That meant a big dent in his career. I felt guilty. But John was gung-ho about us being together. So we went back to sit in hell and enjoy it. Hell! What’s hell?

“We’ll be happy wherever we are as long as we are togeth­er. Do we care? No, Yoko. We don’t, do we? We’ll be on rock­ing chairs in Cornwall when we get old, and wait for Sean’s postcards.”

In the Double Fantasy period, he got his creative juices back, and was totally alive writing great songs and recording them. But in the middle of the night, he was having nightmares of us sepa­rating again. This time, by death.

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I did the artwork for the Double Fantasycover. I selected a good font for the words. And I used two photos by Shinoyama for the front and back of the LP, except I made them black and white. The original photos were in color. I thought it would re­flect the grittiness of the album by making it black and white. I thought it would send the message out that it was a documenta­ry and not fiction. But “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” as John said. When I look at the cover now, I wonder if there was more to the story in making it black and white that was not in my calculation.

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The album was finished. We put out the single “(Just Like) Starting Over.” But the single did not go to Number One. I went to John, who was sitting in a comfortable chair reading the pa­pers. “John, I’m sorry. The single only went to Number Eight.” “It won’t move?” “No.” He was thinking for a second, looking at me. Then he said, “It’s all right. We have the family.”

He had grand plans if the single went to Number One. Being English through and through, John had planned to take Sean and I to England on the QE 2. He wanted to show Sean to Aunt Mimi, and also say hello to Liverpool. But now we had to chuck that plan altogether.

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The last weekend was very quiet. The sky was cloudy in a rest­ful way. And the town seemed as though it was asleep.

Saturday started with John listening to “Walking on Thin Ice.” As John was so focused on it, I went out to the newsstand and suddenly thought I should get John some chocolates as a surprise. He loved chocolates, but it was not in our sugarless diet at that point. After the drug binges of the Sixties, John wanted both of us to clean up and be healthy “for Sean’s sake too.” But that Saturday, the last Saturday John would enjoy, I thought of getting him some chocolate and surprising him. I don’t know why I thought that. I didn’t like chocolates at all then, so I wasn’t suffering not eating them. I got some and came home. As I came out of the elevator, I was surprised by John opening the door to the apartment before I rang the bell. “How did you know I was coming back just now?” “Oh, I know when you’re back.” He was so happy that I got him the chocolates. I remem­ber how he smiled.

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The same day, John wanted all my artwork to be brought up­stairs from the basement to the white room. This was not the first time he asked for it, but he asked for it on this weekend again. “It’s ridiculous. We have those great works, and we are leaving them in the basement. I want to enjoy them.” For me, it was boring to have to see my old works every day. As a result, my pieces were piled up in the basement storage covered in dust. In those days, I didn’t particularly care about that. “John, can we do it after we finish the album? We are all so busy now.” “No, we should do it now. You’ll never do it otherwise.” As he said it, there was a touch of sadness in his voice, as if he already knew we would never bring them upstairs. We didn’t.

All day, John did not stop playing “Walking on Thin Ice.” He played it over and over again. We still hadn’t overdubbed the gui­tar solo, so I thought he was checking what to do with it. But it was unlike him that he took so much time on it. I went to sleep. When I woke up on Sunday morning, he was still playing “Walk­ing on Thin Ice,” as he looked over the park. I knew the song was a good song. But I was just thinking of what else should be done musically. Never thought deeper than that at the time. Only just recently, it occurred to me that maybe John was aware of the song in a different light.

Walking on thin ice
I’m paying the price
For throwing the dice in the air.

But it goes into the middle eight after the second verse:

I may cry someday,
But the tears will dry whichever way
And when our hearts return to ashes
It’ll be just a story.

I hadn’t realized that it said “I may cry someday,” not “YOU may cry someday” or “WE may cry someday.”

What was I thinking?! John probably noticed it as he listened to the song that weekend, so intently. Was that what made him keep on listening? Did we know something? John? Me? Death was one thing we didn’t discuss that weekend. But it was around us like a thick fog.

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The last Sunday. I’m glad in a way that we didn’t know that it was our last Sunday together, so we could have had a semblance of normalcy. But it turned out that it was not a normal Sunday at all. Something was starting to happen, like the dead silence before a tsunami. The air was getting tenser and tenser, dens­er and denser. Then, I distinctly saw airwaves in the room. It was wiggly lines, like on the heart monitor next to the hospital bed, just before it becomes a flat straight line. “John, are you all right?” I asked through the density. He just nodded and kept lis­tening to “Walking on Thin Ice,” playing it loud. Walking on thin ice. Walking on thin ice .. . “John, John, arrre youuuu alllll riiight?” I heard my voice vibrating. I could not go near John, for some reason. WALKING ON THIN ICE. WALKING ON THIN ICE. WALKING ON THIN ICE. I realized that both of us were in a strange dimension in a weird time zone, as if we were in a dream. Then it all stopped. I went into a long and shallow sleep, with John over me, kissing me tenderly.

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Monday. The very last day of John’s life, we woke up to a shiny blue sky spreading over Central Park. The day had an air of bright eyes and bushy tails. John and I remembered that we had a full schedule. Annie Leibovitz’s photo session, RKO radio show, and studio work from 6 p.m. John liked being prompt. John was English, I was Japanese. The result was both of us possessed extreme austerity and hilar­ity back to back. The sky was turning gray in the afternoon. And John kept talking to the RKO radio guy, cramming in a lot of things. We nearly became late for the studio. I rushed into the car and saw John still signing an autograph for a guy in front of the Dakota. “John, we’ll be late!” I re­member being a bit irritable. “Why one more au­tograph?” I thought. John said something like, “OK,” and rushed into the car, sat next to me and held my hand as usual. The car drove off.

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I know I speak of his hands a lot. I loved his hands. He used to say he had wanted hands like Jean Cocteau — long and slim fin­gers. But I grew up surrounded by cousins with those aristocrat­ic hands. I loved John’s, clean, strong, working-class hands that grabbed me whenever there was a chance.

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The studio work went until late at night. In a room next to the control room, just before we left the studio, John looked at me. I looked at him. His eyes had an intensity of a guy about to tell me something important. “Yes?” I asked. And I will never forget how with a deep, soft voice, as if to carve his words in my mind, he said the most beautiful things to me. “Oh,” I said after a while, and looked away, feeling a bit embarrassed.

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In my mind, hearing something like that from your man when you were way over 40 … well… I was a very lucky woman, I thought. Even now, I see his piercing eyes in my mind. I don’t know why he decided, at that very moment, to say all that as if he wanted me to remember it forever. Did it matter that the whole world hated you if your guy loved you that much? Who cares if you had to live in hell with him? Some couples might be lucky to live in heaven. John and my heaven was in Hell. And we loved it. We would not have wanted it any other way.

Yoko Ono
London, October 18th, 2010

Belmont Rocks Chicago.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

Summer of 1985 at Chicago’s Belmont Rocks by Doug Ischar from his out-of-print book “Marginal Waters“.

“Since even before the early days of modern gay movement, the Belmont Rocks were a place to call our own. The lakefront stretch of stone and grass from Belmont to Diversey harbors was a public space Chicago’s LGBTQ community claimed from the 1960s through the 1990s. This unwelcoming stretch was more than a frequented waterfront area. The Rocks were a political statement tied to our liberation. The Belmont Rocks were a symbol of our right to be here, our right to exist, and our right to gather outside and in the sunlight at a time when our bars still had blackened windows.” — Owen Keehnen

What a collection of beautiful, empowering, and heart wrenching photographs.

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Paul McCartney and Wings in Australia 1975.

Sunday, November 20th, 2022

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Ever since I can remember, even before I had hair I could sit on, I used to wander around record fairs and shops with my ‘Wants list’. A sheet of paper where I had listed in order of desirability, all the things I most wanted to enhance, or complete my Beatle collection.

At Number Two was film footage from the Double Fantasy recording sessions, which, a few years ago I finally got a copy of. Sitting at Number One on my list was a poster from Wings 1975 tour of Australia.

Being ten years old at the time I never got to see this tour. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s too funny not to relive.

I have a vivid memory of sitting in my brothers bedroom, pleading with him to get me a ticket and take me. He declined. In an act ‘VERY’ out of character for me, I became dramatic and borderline hysterical. I told my brother if he didn’t take me, I would suffocate myself with a pillow, THEN tell mum and dad it was HIS fault.

His response was a firm ‘I don’t think so’, so I grabbed a pillow, and in front of him held it up to my face.

After about thirty seconds I thought, ‘Ewww, this is very hot and uncomfortable’.

Pulling the pillow away slowly for an even more dramatic effect, so my brother could see I was serious, what I heard was the front door closing as he left to go to soccer. 😂

Fast forward forty six years, and thanks to Greg and especially Richard, I now have the poster, and it came back from the frame shop yesterday. It looks amazing.

The moral of the story is, ‘Patience (if not pillows) is a virtue’.
👐🏻 🇦🇺

‘Horse gone absolutely fucking mental’. Sons and Daughters, fine art Lithographic Prints.

Friday, November 11th, 2022

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Long to rain.

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

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Do I like the Royals?

No (mostly).

Am I utterly fascinated by the ferocious, stubborn, violent power and pearl clutching drama and hysteria?

ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY.

What is playing out right now as the rein transitions to King Charles III is a real insight in to human nature. The roar of opposition to the new season of The Crown is being driven by the mysterious ‘men in grey’. They are wresting and forcing the narrative to change.

It’s the ultimate gaslighting.

We were ALL there through this period of history, we ALL remember what happened and how it played out, yet they are insisting this is all fantasy. It’s classic behavior and has been seen to work before. Corrupt officials telling a witness what they saw didn’t really happen how they think it did. Once the witness cracks and thinks ‘maybe I didn’t see what I thought I did’ bingo!, that’s all they need, a seed of doubt.

What’s happening now with the press is gaslighting on a MASSIVE scale.

The public (to a very large extent) has shown over and over again that they’re too lazy, too greedy, too weak to confront reality and engage in critical thinking. It’s really too much bother to independently think, and they’ll just go along with what they’re told.

They will then vehemently defend that position, because to do otherwise would mean they were wrong, and again, that’s too much bother and distraction. The men in grey win again. When John Major and Tony Blair are your character witnesses, I know who I’ll be believing.

Of course The Crown has to approximate and recreate dialog, which gives the men in grey the hook to SQUEAL ‘Fiction!’, but, I’m still willing to bet at least 80% of what is portrayed is very, VERY accurate.

It’s SO much easier to go along with what you’re told, than to pause the conversation and say, ‘Hang on a sec, have a look at this mob and what happens, and what is STILL happening’.

If I had kids, the one piece of advice I would drill in to them is, ‘Question EVERYTHING’.

🍿 👑

Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

Monday, October 10th, 2022

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Happy fiftieth anniversary to the pioneering kids TV show Hey Hey It’s Saturday.
In 1970’s staid, backwards, bogan, conservative Australia, this was just the show the kids of Australia needed to wake them up to thinking outside the square. In it’s golden years, this show was unmissable.

What happens when a network needs to fill three hours on Saturday morning, the hosts are hungover, our parents were doing the washing or mowing, and the tv station boss is asleep? absolute anarchy is what happens, genuine tv anarchy.

In the early days no one was paying attention, the parents were happy if the kids were sat quiet in front of the telly. For three hours on a Saturday morning the kids of Australia got to taste and experience the thrill of knowing what we were watching was radical, outside the normal cartoons and entertainment being rammed down our throats from the UK and America. This was OUR show, and we knew it was genuine mischief, unlike contrived anarchy like The Gong Show.

Our parents would pass through the lounge room, catching a glimpse of a character, but not lingering long enough to realize what was being said and insinuated. It’s not inaccurate to say that a lot of what was going on was borderline surrealist and absurdist. Talking microphones, camp unseen voiceovers, parody’s of soap operas and the celebration of the mundane. It truly was a show where you just had to be there, trying to explain it does not make sense.

I remember as a little kid sitting in front of the telly, eating my ‘Grainous’ semolina porridge, watching Gavin Wood read out his ‘Pop report’. This day as Gavin spoke the sound of chickens could be heard, then a shotgun blast. Dropping on Gavin from high above was a chicken egg, which would explode when it landed on his desk, or on him. The blasts and dropping eggs continued all through the segment, until at the end there was one final loud blast. With that, a large plucked dead chicken crashed down onto the desk, it’s neck and head flopped over the front. Nonchalantly the voice over said, ‘That was Gavin Woods pop report’, and then cut to a cartoon. The kids of Australia looked on, and continued to eat their Weetbix, because this was the norm.

I was so lucky as a fourteen year old to be taken to a rare live audience broadcast in Sydney. By this stage all the cool hip young adults, basket cases and stoners had cottoned on to what was happening on Saturday mornings. No matter how hungover you were, you always got up by 8.00am to watch Hey Hey. Being in the audience was incredible, at least 80% were adults, all in outrageous fancy dress. Dangling above us for no reason at all were parrots strung up by string with arrows through their heads. I recoiled when I saw Jackie McDonald smoking, and during the ad breaks John Blackman would come down and told the most foul jokes to keep us primed. It was also interesting to see during the same breaks, floor crew would go and discuss things with Ozzie Ostrich, not Ernie Carol, they spoke to Ossie.

I bailed on the show about 1985. It was so popular they shifted it to prime time Saturday nights, for me, and many others, it lost its spark. A big part of the attraction was it was like a secret club. As a kid I ‘never’ fit in (I still don’t). I have a vivid memory from second class of a girl saying to me in the playground, ‘You’re weird!’. My mind and thought processes were always abstract, strange, outside the square. Hey Hey It’s Saturday lit a spark in me that helped me see the world a little less constrained than was being presented to me everywhere else.
This celebration of the obtuse later allowed an appreciation of the absurd to blossom under the guidance of people like John Waters.
Thank you Hey Hey It’s Saturday for helping make my formative years tolerable.

Hatchet.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

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The Princess.

Sunday, August 14th, 2022

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A movie review.

Tuesday 21st of November 1995.

I was busy at work that day, but my focus was on only one thing – watching Diana’s interview which was going to be broadcast live in Australia at the same time it was being seen in the United Kingdom. We set a television up in the office, and as the time drew near, more and more people filled the room. It seemed everything stopped so people could watch this. As the interview progressed, viewers asked me for clarity and opinion as it was known I had loved and followed Diana from before the engagement.

When Martin Bashir asked the question ‘Do you think Charles will be king?’, Diana hedged around the answer said, ‘I think he would find the top job very limiting’, I turned to the room and said, ‘Mark my words, she will be dead within eighteen months’.

This morning I went to see the new documentary ‘The Princess’, directed by Academy Award nominee Ed Perkins. If at all possible I urge you to go and see this movie at the cinema. It’s a big story, and it needs a big screen. In truth I hadn’t read much about it, so I went in cold, not knowing what to expect, maybe the usual collection of well known clips and narrative? What I saw had me sat in the cinema chair for a good ten minutes after the last credit rolled, shaken, contemplating, sad, forlorn, a sense of loss and resignation, but most importantly, an educated reminder of why Diana won my heart, and why I will always hold her dear.

The viewing was very personal to me, my life arc followed Diana’s, she was only four years older than me, so I lived this in real time, and it gave me a real sense of a long passage of time, and in that time, a lot has changed. Somehow or other the director weaves a story by focusing on signs that were there, and when looked at again with the hindsight of all those years passed both during and since, those signs were all so incredibly obvious.

The uncomfortable truth is Diana was drawn in as a convenience for the establishment. She came from a family where there would have been ‘some’ level of understanding of Royal life, but Britain needed an heir and a spare to the throne, and Charles needed a bride of virtue and no past, two things his long established mistress Camilla lacked.

Diana I believe was caught in the tail of a comet that came from the Victorian age. With vestiges of a time quickly fading, but not fading quickly enough for her, for at the same time, women were finally starting to be taken seriously, strong, independent, opinionated voices. In the middle was Diana.

The camera lingers on the couple during their wedding eve interview. When asked ‘What do you have in common’, they both offer up ‘the outdoors’. Then comes an interminable silence. At this point I was reminded of a scene from the movie ‘Best in show’. When Jennifer Coolidge’s character and her vastly older husband are asked the same question Charles and Diana were, Jennifer pauses and says ‘We both like soup’.

Many scenes are from the camera person’s perspective, those that followed, those that stalked, those that gave chase. The movie was only two hours long, but even that short perspective of chaos, bustle and intrusion was enough for me, I felt stressed and claustrophobic. I cannot imagine twelve years of that.

She had become a commodity, where even respected photographers like Arthur Edwards were speaking of her as a person without feelings, who was scorned and belittled when she failed to comply to their unachievable demands. I kept defaulting back to the fact that here was a woman, who was nineteen years old when she was drawn into this insanity, who as a six year old literally watched her mother drive away to become for the longest time a distant figure in her life. In 1980 trauma, anxiety and self harm were not understood, let alone tolerated.

Conspiring family from both sides brought she and Charles together.

Diana looking for a Prince, stability and security, Charles looking for someone to placate his nagging family.

We’re back to that crossover world, between the old and the new. Charles all along only truly loved Camilla, Diana knew this shortly before the wedding, but it was too late, ‘Your face is printed on the tea towels’. Charles I think came to resent Diana for nothing more, other than she wasn’t the person he’d always loved. Diana herself stated that once Harry was born Charles never touched her again.

Again the filmmaker gives a subtle nod and dig to family callousness by inserting footage of the family hunting, the point was not lost on me.
I was most impressed that this film did not seem to go out of it’s way to be ‘Pro Diana’ and ‘Anti Royal’, it didn’t need to, the footage and audio, all of it undeniable, did that job all by itself.

We see Diana start to get her feet and voice. We see a woman do things that no other person in that family had ever done.
Diana found her niche, championing the downtrodden and disenfranchised, but the Royals found these interests to be vulgar and beneath a person of her standing.
Going to a polo match fine, holding an AIDS patient’s hand, not so fine. Hunting and slaughtering majestic birds and animals fine, sitting with a homeless person under a bridge at 1.00am, not so fine.

I have a vast Audio Visual archive of Diana footage, and I must say, the director has found and utilized a lot of different angles and film of events I have never seen, including a short, but insightful interview from Angola in early 1997. It shows a strong woman, a focused woman, a person on the cusp of something probably great and profound.

Watching this movie, my long held belief and understanding, literally from the moment the events of August 1997 unfolded, it was clear, and very obvious that as long as Diana was around, Charles and Camilla would be forever in her shadow. I knew this in 1995, I knew it in 1997, and I know it now.

The outpouring of grief by the general public is shown to great effect, and it helped me to tie together my often scattered and emotional thoughts of what happened that week.
Yes, we cried for Diana, I personally can only remember one other time in my life when I have cried so genuinely. I now understand we were also crying for ourselves, for the loss of that small corner of our hearts that dared to hold out hope in fairytales and happily ever afters, call it the last of our innocence.

This movie is about Diana, but it is about so much more; our human nature, our failing ability to be steadfast in ‘some’ principles. In an all too often cruel, nightmarish world, what do people love almost as much as a fairytale? A story of redemption.

What happens when after five days the Queen and Phillip finally appear? They hop out of the car, walk around, point to a few bouquets. The previously incandescent crowd turns in the snap of a finger to one of (it could be argued) cloying forgiveness.

Is ‘forgiving and forgetting’ an always healthy and appropriate virtue? I think it’s the lazy and unchallenging way out sometimes.

The brilliance, and subtlety the director brings to this movie is once again displayed in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of Phillip taking a bouquet of flowers, without a look at the card or appreciation, stoops slightly forward and rather uncaringly throws them down on the enormous sea of blooms stretched out before him.

Walking in to work on Monday the 1st of September 1997, from my workmates who I had viewed the interview with eighteen months previously, I was met with a chorus of ‘Don’t say it! don’t say it!’.

In a world where we’re distracted for at ‘most’ five to seven days in a news cycle, we move on from war (Ukraine anyone?), children being blown away en masse in schools (what’s the tally this month?), why would we be principled enough to hold firm and take a stand for just one woman, but in this case I choose not to forget.

That woman, that Princess, had a name, and her name was Diana.

Barbara’s out of control baby!

Thursday, July 7th, 2022

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Orange is the new black.

Thursday, July 7th, 2022

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Tug of war. 40Th Anniversary.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

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Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the release of Paul McCartney’s Tug of war album.

The album is filled with nostalgia for me, I was seventeen, and on my first tropical holiday
when I purchased it at Tolmies record store in Burleigh Heads.

As with any music discussion, it’s enjoyment, understanding and appreciation is all subjective.

One mans ‘Hey Jude’ is another mans ‘Hey Hey’ (I’d actually like to see both those guys in the same
room, at the same time).

Paul hadn’t released a studio album in just under two years at that point, a timeframe mostly unheard of for
Paul and most artists of the time.

Like every Paul album I played it repeatedly. It was lush, it was beautifully produced, and it had a hit.

So, what are my thoughts now with forty years of hindsight?

It’s kind of of more Tug, than War, if you know what I mean.

The two albums previously, Back to the egg, and McCartney II delivered mixed, if not challenging
results and levels of success.

By the time Wings came to record Back to the egg, the constraints and novelty of being in a band
for Paul had set in, and definitely a sense of ‘Been there, done that’ must have been clouding him.

Tho a fan favorite, to these ears, a level of tiredness had set
in. Band members were wearing clogs on stage, some were almost vulnerable to a jacket with
elbow patches. This version of Wings (and there were many) appeared more roll than rock, granted, Back to the egg
had an edge missing from the folksy and overly long ‘London town’ album, but I’ve never bought into the adage that this
incarnation of Wings were the most rocking. Have a listen to Soily on Wings over America, then we can talk. Personally, I
had the feeling Pauls heart just wasn’t in it anymore, and that he was starting to feel a little lost.

The pre album single ‘Goodnight tonight’ was a reasonable success, but the singles that followed from the album
were moderate successes at best. A tour followed, again, a fan favorite due to the somewhat quirky set list,
to me, in hindsight, it kind of fell short compared to what was going on in concerts by other artists at the time.

Paul had set the standard with Rockshow in 1976, now in 1979 he was reduced to kicking a toy robot on stage for a laugh.
The setlist was was vastly shorter than the last time Paul had played British theatres, and nothing rocked and smoked
like the last tour, the closest they got was Spin it on, even that didn’t sound totally convincing in a live setting.

Paul wasn’t happy with the final show of the 1979 tour, or others during the run of shows, he knew they were under rehearsed
for the upcoming Japanese tour (which was going to add Another day, Live and let die and Let em in to the set list). We all know what happened in
Japan. It must have been a nightmare for Paul, but in hindsight, it was probably fortuitous. Try as I might I can’t really
imagine Wings limping along any further. A tour of Japan, then what, back to America? Nope, historically, I’m glad Paul got the
jolt. He needed to think about where he was going, what he was doing, and with whom. Wings continued on through 1980, but only on
minor projects, and overdubs on things like Kold Kuts. Tapes of rehearsals from late that year show they were a spent force.

Paul threw a curve ball in May 1980 when he released ‘McCartney II’, his second all solo album. This album featured the
monster hit ‘Coming up’, even earning a thumbs aloft from John Lennon. This single built up Paul’s stocks again, but, as the casual record
buying public found, after the first single, and then Waterfalls, the rest of the album proved to be a little quirky and challenging.
Tho a hit album on the back of Coming up and Paul’s loyal fan base, this album quickly became one of Paul less popular and
appreciated.

In time, this albums fortunes and standing would shift dramatically (Humble brag, I adored ‘Check my machine’ from the
first time I heard it).

1980 wasn’t finished with us yet. Nothing further needs to be written about the horror, emotional chaos and questioning
that enveloped not only the Beatle fan world, but suddenly, after December, the whole world was focusing on, and judging the former Beatles
(tho, were they ever, are they ever, really ‘former’?).

1981 was a pretty quiet year for Paul. News had filtered out that he was working with George Martin. Personally I was happy to hear this,
because even with a small period of time passing, I knew the reception that had greeted Paul’s two previous albums needed to change
for his next album, he was losing traction, and I knew it, and I’m betting Paul did as well. I sensed, and hoped, that George would get Paul into a studio that wasn’t a barn
or a castle, that the arrangements would be well thought out, and all those marvelous, what I call ‘little brush strokes’ would be back,
embellishing those always incredible melodies.

When Tug of war was released in April 1982, it was welcomed with open arms. Hit singles, beautifully recorded, lush, complex backing vocals that
wrapped their arms around the songs, and either comforted or exhilarated all who heard them. Paul has a habit of doing a One, Two, Three punch to open
many of his albums, Band on the run, Jet and Bluebird for example. Then you hold your breath to see if track four can continue the quality. In cases of
albums like Ram, Band on the run and Chaos and creation in the backyard, those punches continue to the very last note.

I need to switch tack now and look back with forty years of hindsight. In 1982 people were just SO happy to have ‘A’ Beatle release a solo album
that critical evaluation was difficult, especially from fans such as myself. I’d hazard a guess the high praise from the Rolling Stone reviewer may have
been tinged with relief and gratitude that we at least still had Paul here, and also, the fact that Tug of war really did shine sonically and arrangement wise
when compared to Pauls two previous album releases.

Side one.

The opening track ‘Tug of war’ is a masterpiece, played, sung and arranged beautifully. The sentiment and lyrics are pure McCartney, and the purest McCartney is
always perfection.

In years to come they may discover
What the air we breathe and the life we lead
Are all about
But it won’t be soon enough
Soon enough for me
No it won’t be soon enough
Soon enough for me.

Track two is ‘Take it away’. A slice of perfect Macca pop. Slathered with glorious 10cc-esque backing vocals with Eric Stewart stepping into the role
of backing vocalist after Denny Laines departure. Eric slotted in perfectly, and his vocal blend with Paul, and especially Linda, was a highlight and would
feature on all Pauls albums up to, and including, Press to play (that album won’t be afforded such a wordy review, in fact, I could get it down to
five succinct words).

Track three ‘Somebody who cares’. The punches keep coming. Top shelf Macca, this song highlights the fidelity of this album. The recording of Pauls
acoustic guitar solo brings out even more emotion on top of Pauls vocals.

Track four ‘What’s that you’re doing’. What indeed Paul. Just because you record a jam with Stevie Wonder, isn’t a guarantee that it’s a good idea
to release it. Strangely, the remix/mash of this song on Pauls side project ‘Twin freaks’ in 2005, is one of the highlights of that album, and deserves
to be sought out.

Track five ‘Here today’. No words.

Side two.

Track one ‘Ballroom dancing’. A fun look back to old times, all the essential elements are there, production, arrangement, vocal arrangement . . but.

Track two ‘The pound is sinking’. Paul doing his old trick of making a song by adding sections of different songs he’s written, and putting them together.
Works a treat, this song is SO Paul.

Track three ‘Wanderlust’. The most ‘Wings’ sounding song on the album for me. Only Paul could write a song about the threat of being busted for
drugs sound so lovely, so regal.

Track four ‘Get it’. It’s at this point what I call a ‘Macca malaise’ starts to creep in. It happens on many of his albums, on side two, he starts to run
out of steam. It happens on Pipes of peace, the album after this (which could have been repaired easily, with spectacular results, stay tuned), it happens on Flowers
in the dirt as well. Here we have a fun little song, a duet with the incredible Carl Perkins. Like I said, it’s fun. End of.

Track five ‘Be what you see (Link)’ A link track to the next. Basically vocals with a vocoder. I think any album with vocoder vocals on them should be crushed with
an industrial pulverizer, but hey, that’s just me. Did I mention I find this album runs out of steam on side two?

Track six ‘Dress me up as a robber’. Inoffensive yacht rock, but yacht rock none the less. Tho, it does have all the essential ingredients present that stops me from
ever being close to disliking a Macca song.

Track seven ‘Ebony and ivory’. I have never understood the dislike of this song. Perhaps overfamiliarity fatigue from hearing it endlessly on the radio, but
it’s a great song, wonderful, simplistic but perfect sentiment, well recorded, full of hooks. Like ‘Through our love’ on Pipes of peace, Ebony and Ivory
redeems the ending of this album (alas, the same can’t be said for ‘Motor of love’ on Flowers in the dirt).

Before Tug of war, Paul was fast running out of ‘Fab Free Pass Credits’ and laurels to rest on. Tug of war gave him a shot in the arm, his fan base now had hopes for good time coming (sorry, not sorry), the critics were brought to heel . .

. . and then, Paul decided to make a movie.

In a short period of time, Paul lost a lot of those gains and good will. He was absent from the concert stage (I don’t blame him) and the general public had moved on from vanity projects. In 1984-88 Paul would find out just how depleted those stocks of goodwill were. A whacky thumbs aloft just wasn’t going to cut it.

When Paul gets cornered, and suffers a critical, and especially commercial smack down, that’s when he comes out fighting, and that’s when he delivers some of his best work.

Happy birthday Tug of war, you’re fantastic, you’re still better than most anything ever written and recorded by anyone (as is most everything Paul has released), but, don’t get too big for your britches. You’re the first born of what I call the ‘Paul Era’, which is post Wings, but unbeknownst to us, better, much better was to come.

Whippy spinout.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

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Hey the camera loves you.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

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Linda McCartney, a remembrance on what would have been her eightieth birthday.

Friday, September 24th, 2021

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Today on what would have been Linda McCartneys 80th birthday.

They say beware meeting your heroes, lest they disappoint. I’m here to tell you, sometimes that concern is unwarranted.

I’m one of those strange breed, a Paul/Linda/Wings fan as much, maybe more, as I am a Beatle fan. From my first days of falling in love with The Beatles, I was always drawn to Linda. She was the unfashionable, the unliked, the picked on, the easy target, the marginalized. I felt a kinship I guess.

I’d be watching Countdown, and there would be Linda, a maternity frock, knee high rainbow striped toe socks, and open toe platform heels, and above that, her unshaved legs. My mum would walk through the lounge room with a smile and say, ‘Oh Linda, she loves being a plain Jane’.

From the get go I recognized Linda as a fashion terrorist, and I’m pretty sure I recognized her ‘So what’ attitude.
I’d happily make an argument that Linda was one of, if not the first female punk, or, ‘rock chick’ in a band.
People swoon over Courtney Love, Chrissy Hynde etc, they’re lauded, they’re respected (rightfully so), but, what about Linda?

Here she was, no musical experience.

In 1972, Paul said, ‘Do you fancy being in a band?’. She was shown the chord of C, and that was it, sink or swim. She was not a natural musician, she was not a natural singer, but, in an attitude that truly was punk, she just went for it and didn’t care, or didn’t seem to care.

Years later talking about the relentless bile, scorn and judgement that was constantly thrown her way, she commented, “Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will break your heart”.

So there Linda was, on stage, only been learning the piano about four weeks. Bare feet, hairy legs, mix matched clothing, sometimes Paul’s (as he too would wear Linda’s clothes), and unflattering glam make up . . if she wore make up at all.

Touring the world, being, and learning onstage, and the not so small matter of raising three children at the same time, with no real nanny’s or help.

All the while being pilloried for doing nothing more than falling in love, marrying, having a laugh, and daring to have a go.

Imagine having pretty much the worlds press universally disliking and judging, and your husbands fan base, which again, numbered in the many millions, actively, physically and vocally disliking you. But Linda maintained a ‘Get on with it’ and ‘Who cares what other people think’ attitude.

What’s not to admire about a person like that.

By 1976 Linda was a member of what was arguably the biggest band in the world. She’d flipped a finger to her detractors, and she was holding her own in front of crowds and critics of up to seventy six thousand people a night.

On songs like Silly Love Songs she was carrying complex harmony vocal lines, and replicating difficult string section parts on her keyboards. On other songs like Maybe I’m Amazed and especially Medicine Jar, her playing of the Hammond B3 rocked.

The important thing however to remember is, Linda never sold herself as anything other than a punk. She never, ever sold herself as something she wasn’t.

When asked about her skills, Linda laughed and said, “Are you kidding! most kids in high school can play the tambourine better than me, but I’m there for support, I’m the rough edge”.

I think a lot of female musicians owe Linda a debt of gratitude.

Fast forward to 1993, Paul and Linda are back in Australia and touring. There is a whole book I could write about that month, but for now I’ll mention just a few observations.

As far as meeting your heroes and having concerns of feeling let down, that could not have been further from the truth with Paul, and especially Linda.

The Australian tour wasn’t like America or Europe, the security was ever present, but very relaxed.

Before the tour commenced I wrote a letter. I kept it on me at all times in case I ever had the opportunity to hand it to someone, anyone, who might be able to get it to Paul and Linda. In this letter I explained how much it meant for myself and other fans in Australia to finally see them. I explained how I had become vegetarian, and the story behind it.

The first night they played in Sydney I had a ticket that got me into the soundcheck, and access to dinner in the VIP area.

At the conclusion of the soundcheck Linda walked up towards us, to talk to a technician. I took the opportunity to ask Linda if she would autograph our albums. She explained that she had to race out to do an interview, but if we gave our items to her assistant, she would see if she could sign them later.

Before handing over my album, I slid my letter inside it.

Later that night at the concert I was front row centre (natch).

At the encore when Linda came down front to take a bow, she walked over to me, leant forward and said, ‘I read your letter’. I didn’t quite catch what she said, she repeated, ‘I read your letter’. She put her hand over her heart and pointed to me. For anyone that would be acknowledgment enough, more than anything I could ever have hoped to ask for.

After the show I walked back to the VIP area. Back at my table, there, before me at my place were all my albums and items, beautifully signed with the most lovely and personal inscriptions from both Linda, AND Paul.

Incredible.

But, my letter was missing.

The next day, waiting at the stage door for Paul and Linda to arrive, she drove up first. Linda walked over to me and again said, ‘We read your letter’. Amazingly, Linda stood there and quoted whole tracts of it back to me, discussing different points, how moved they were, and how much it meant to them. She then said if it was okay she and Paul were going to keep it, and they would love to publish some of it. I wasn’t about to say no to Paul and Linda.

I asked Linda if she would pose for a photograph for me. For the first time in our by now many interactions, I was actually nervous trying to focus my camera. Linda walked over and explained you rock your finger over the shutter, never push the camera down. The photo came out great, but if you want to see it, you’ll have to come to mine, as it’s too personal to share around. Free photography lessons from one of ‘thee’ greatest female photographers of all time?, yes please.

A few days later it was old friends week as Linda arrived at the stage door and came to say hello. Standing next to us with his mum and dad was this little boy Dylan, about ten.
Linda knelt down to say hello.

Dylan was chatting away and said he was vegetarian. His parents confirmed he was, it was all his idea. Linda stayed at his eye level speaking so lovingly, kindly, compassionately and enthusiastically to him.

Linda said her goodbyes.

About half an hour later a roadie came out with his arms piled high with t shirts, records, CDs, and beautiful photography books. He called out, ‘Is there a little boy here called Dylan?’, we pointed to the lad, and the roadie walked over and said, ‘This is all for you, it’s from Paul and Linda’.

Upon inspection, everything was inscribed by them both with messages of love and encouragement, ‘For Dylan’.

In Auckland I arrived at the airport just before Paul and Linda walked out. They were so excited to see me, thankfully a friend captured that moment on camera.

The last time I saw Linda was at the concert the next night. Again, I was front row.

As she was leaving the stage for the final time she walked over to me, pointed, put her hand over her heart and mouthed, ‘Thank you’, then bowed.

I’m ‘so’ glad I got to tell Linda I loved her and how much she meant to me, she deserved that love.

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Pandemic pondering.

Friday, September 24th, 2021

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Brilliant!

The Dunning-Kruger effect explained in the link below.

This also ties up my thoughts on the current state of play. Basically, large tracts of the population have no experience or concept of ‘Sacrifice’. They/we, by and large, for the past fifty years or so have lived a very sheltered and privileged life.

I don’t think it’s any accident that the lowest vaccination rates are in the 20-26 year old age group. That’s not because they’re more aware, worldly or educated, they’re not.

I’m old enough (and proud, and unbelievably thankful) that I’ve lived long enough that I have ‘literally’ lost first uncles to the last pandemic, the Spanish flu, no vaccines back then, people had to band together and look out for each other.

I can remember walking in my neighborhood as a small child and seeing kids in their iron lungs, placed in their garages so they could see the other kids and the world passing by. I also remember standing in line in Corrimal memorial park to get my polio vaccine, so I wouldn’t end up in an iron lung.

I remember being on holiday in Queensland with my family in April 1982. I bought the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, and I also remember my brother and I discussing an article about a cancer that was only killing gay men. There was no vaccine for HIV, we had to band together as a community, we had to think of others, if not for ourselves.

We modified our behavior, we longed for science to save our friends from dying before our eyes. We sacrificed, we thought of others, and with that came the joy and power of community and even learned compassion for some.

The absolute truth is, I/we, aren’t that important. We get on a plane and think, ‘What if it crashes!’ Well, what if it does, you’ll be in the news cycle for a week at most, maybe a little longer if a reality tv star is on board with you, but, it won’t stop the world, your demise won’t stop the sun rising the next day. In the scheme of things, we’re just a spec of dust, a blip. In a hundred years there won’t be anyone who remembers us.

We’re all vulnerable to the mundane, and we are all mortal.

How many times in a disaster do you hear someone say, ‘I didn’t think it would happen to me, I thought these things happened to other people’. That’s ego, that’s people thinking they’re above the mundane.

It’s far easier for people’s egos to accept and process the fanciful and inexplicable, a conspiracy. It conveniently takes away the need to process and accept that something as invisible to the human eye as germs and viruses can make them sick, and can lead to their death.

Life is random, we ‘cannot’ control it.

‘Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream’.

If Einstein is correct, and also the cosmic law of equal and opposite, then for all the greed and selfishness in the world, there is also generosity and selflessness . . we just need to find that again and nurture it.

It’s really simple, shit happens. We can rail and scream against it, we can clutter our minds with ‘What ifs’, and endless ruminating and distractions of cause and source, or, we can work together, helping each other, but . . as my long life experience shows me, that involves sacrifice, learning to be selfless, and caring for each other as a community.

Can your ego handle that?

Dunning-Kruger effect.

Herr hair.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

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For beauty.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

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Bygone style.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

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Space pool.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

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Gone Veggie.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

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There’s not too many things in life I take ‘absolutely’ seriously. It’s an ‘absolute’ in my life, no joking, no negotiation. It’s a true measure of my personality that on a daily basis I’m able to remain calm, and not scream about animal cruelty and the animal/cattle industry. Almost thirty years for me now. I realize, in all things, change comes slowly. In 2020, sales of meat alternatives rose by 18.4% and sales of veggie burgers rose by 37%. These figures back up what my eyes can see. Thirty years ago there was only veggie sausages in the supermarkets, that was our choice. Now, I literally shake my head in wonder when I see fridges and freezers in shops, packed full of plant based options. I do feel vindicated, and, if it was part of my nature, which it isn’t, I’d feel VASTLY morally superior. 😏

Hometown.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

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Lockdown lunacy.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

I’m at the stage of lockdown, where inanimate objects are hissed at.

I’m going to spite order a pizza tonight, and I will spite the box, and I will enjoy resenting every mouthful, and I will resent feeling bad about feeling guilty in a very spiteful way.

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Jumbo mumbo.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Lockdown causes people to partake in distracting behaviors. Obviously the caption writer at Gladys press conference today has dropped a tab of acid in the last few hours, and, more power to them.

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Dreams.

Monday, July 19th, 2021

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I think sometimes in moments of stress and anxiety, our bodies and minds need a little breather from reality. At times, these moments can be found in dreams.

I just woke from one such dream.

A few friends and I were walking through ‘town’ (if you’re from the Illawarra, you know where I mean). Finding a little community hall in the park we pushed the door open and found a small group of elderly people. Some slow dancing, some jiving to the music coming from a small dancette record player on the floor.

Michael Parkinson was there dancing with a lady. ‘Oh no, this is some swingers thing’, but no, Michael was dancing with his wife. I thought, ‘Oh, this is pleasant!’.

An old dear walked up, hands soft and gentle from frequent dabs of Ponds, and asked if I would like a cup of tea. ‘Oh yes please!’, and it was served to me in fine bone China (In this dream I was spared the hideous sight of people scarfing coffee down from plastic lidded cardboard cups, VUL-GAR!).

As I looked around I could see the walls and tables covered with all sorts of things. I asked a lady who was wearing white snap on kid gloves what all this was. She explained that everyone brought in things to sell they no longer wanted, to pay for their craft items and lessons. Can I have look? Certainly, would you like another cup of tea? Yes please!.
All around me people were talking softly with perfect, impeccable manners.

All the ladies are wearing white gloves, how civilized!

Venturing over to the tables, my eyes widened to the size of the fine bone China saucer in my hand. Before me was every issue of TV Week and TV Times magazines from the 1970’s I’d ever dreamed of owning. Mint copies, all the Number 96 covers, and all only a dollar each.

‘Would I like another cup of tea?’, yes please!. I looked up at the wall, and there I saw a Tammie Fraser Halloween mask with real hair, for only ten dollars. I was squealing inside like Dr Smith. ‘Can you believe this! only ten bucks!’ I mouthed politely, and quietly, to my friends.

All around me were flagrant displays of gentleness and manners. ‘Would you like another cuppa?’ Yes, thank you.
Looking down I could see crates of records. Multiple copies of Bernard Kings ‘Kitchen man’ album (that’s not a dream, I do now own multiple copies of that album, different pressings and labels). There, staring up before me, was a mint copy of Miss Marilyn reading ‘Peter and the wolf’. I sunk to my knees, it too was only a dollar. I clutched it to my bosom and let out a heaving sob.

With my swag in my arms I asked a perfectly coiffed and groomed lady, where should I pay. With her Persil white gloved hand she pointed out it was an honor system, and to simply drop some money in a tin. She then showed me how later they would teach me in craft classes how to fold and wrap paper. We all turned as someone opened the door, and we could see the sky outside was lovely and blue.

Then I woke up.

If anyone doesn’t think that is THE perfect day, then I absolutely don’t know how we’re related, or friends.

A state of power.

Monday, July 19th, 2021

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Not to be whiney or tiresomely political, but this needs to be plainly understood. The decisions the NSW ‘Gov’t’ are making are business driven, almost as much as they are health driven. There’s only one reason we went with a soft lockdown, pressure from business to stay open. Gladys slipped up and gave that away in a presser last week, that’s she’s taking advice from ‘business’ as well as health. Here we see proof of the Gov’t ‘trying’ to put pressure on health officials to deliver what the Gov’t and business want, not what is best for the health of the people of NSW. That . . is . . insane.

Addendum: Tho I may critique Gladys, a mantra I learned long ago, and it has always held me in good stead . .

‘Be careful what you wish for’.

Remember when we all detested Turnbull and wished him gone?

Having a buff of my crystal ball, and giving it a lingering gaze . . just suppose behind the scenes the right faction in the NSW Gov’t are working to white ant and roll Gladys. If you think she’s bad, imagine the NSW treasurer and his band of ‘Let her rip’ merry men being in power. I’d say a perfect time would be in about two weeks. The general public are now SO disengaged and non thinking, they will fall in behind who ever yells and tells them what they should think.

In two weeks people will be sick of lockdown, and, being the imbeciles the majority of the general public now are, if the treasurer makes a move, the public will approve, because hey, let’s lash out and kick someone, anyone, because, that’s what we do these days. Morrison detests Gladys, and, the boys club aren’t happy there are too many women running the show.

It’s just a feeling, I could quite possibly be wrong.

“Be careful what you wish for”.

We’ll meet again.

Monday, July 19th, 2021

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We’ll meat again.

Monday, July 19th, 2021

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Is ‘Quash’ a less invasive ’Squash’?

Monday, July 19th, 2021

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Britannia waives the rules.

Monday, July 19th, 2021

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Who knew Britannia delivered The Queen, Prince Phillip and Princess Anne to Wollongong in 1970, well, Port Kembla harbor to be exact. I was five years old, and I have a vivid memory of standing on the north eastern side of Gladstone Avenue and Crown Street with my family to greet them. I remember seeing The Queen and Princess Anne, probably because their clothes stood out. The photos are courtesy of the Lost Wollongong Facebook Page.

Beryl gone wild!

Monday, May 24th, 2021

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PTSD, Complex Trauma, Anxiety, and the problem of celebrity endorsement.

Sunday, May 23rd, 2021

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A Saturday morning musing.

Me being me, I’m loving all the Royal chaos and drama, but also, I must admit, I’m feeling ‘VERY’ uncomfortable with Harry and Oprah etc discussing trauma, PTSD, anxiety etc. Is part of it me being worried because it (here comes that word) triggers me? yep, probably a ‘bit’, but it’s more than that. Genuinely, I know it’s good to talk about such things.
Hear me out (or not), I’m ‘really’ worried, because, I know celebrities and royals are people too, but it’s bullshit to think that they don’t have greater support that their (here comes another shudder word for me) privilege affords them. They have the safety nets, they have the fundamentals like shelter etc.

When an issue, both social or medical becomes cause célèbre, yes, the public and Gov’ts become aware, but with that, often soon after, comes a perception of, ‘Okay, we know about that now, isn’t it all fixed, get on with it, we don’t need to keep hearing about it’.
No more evident has this been seen post marriage equality. In my experience many now think, and assume, ‘Well, now it’s out in the open, just get married, find a boyfriend, be openly gay, what have you got to worry about’.

There is no instant magic wand, one piece of legislation, one allowance by the public does not instantly erase thousands of years of distrust, homophobia, damage, violence, pain and dysfunction. But, people think it has. It’s the same with the addressing of mental illnesses and disorders.

I see this with OCD, depression, and chronic anxiety. When something IS discussed, and becomes a (I’ve gone to the trouble of copying and pasting this term, so I’m going to overuse it) cause célèbre, the seriousness of the situation, for the average Joe struggling with these disorders and illnesses, can be trivialized.
These decimating situations can be co-opted, sometimes in well meaning empathy, ‘Well, it’s not so bad, I have OCD, I like to hang my washing strait with the same coloured pegs’ . . ummm, no, that’s not OCD, that’s a quirk.

The same with Complex trauma/PTSD, everyone can say they’ve been impacted by trauma. The risk I fear is people may come to think, ‘Well, I’ve had trauma, I got over it, you just need to get on with it’. Never quite grasping the multilayered and truly disabling depths Complex trauma can be.
Once you add in Oprah and Hollywood, and yes, for the first time in my life, I’m going to use the word, ‘privilege’, I worry this will come back to cause great trouble and heartache to the truly marginalized.

The gov’t will probably throw some money at the problem, but in many cases, that could work against the marginalized, because the Govt’s perception is, ‘We gave money, you should be fixed now, what are you complaining about’.

No more has this phenomenon been better manifested than in ‘RU Okay’ day. Where Govt’s and work places think that if they hand out some balloons and Donuts one day a year, that somehow negates the still appalling and damaging behavior by them towards people for the other 364 days a year.

I get what Harry is saying needs to be talked about, but I’ve seen good intention backfire and work against people. The reality is, there IS a vast difference in circumstance between a Harry and an Oprah, and a suburban shit kicker man or woman sexual abuse and/or violence survivor, sitting at best, in a housing commission flat. Crippled by nightmares, addictions, decimating physical manifestations, trying to get on, or stay on, a pension as they’re demeaned at every step by govt departments trying to save a dollar and reduce percentages.

The conversation needs to be far more nuanced and forward thinking for the impact on the most vulnerable and desperate than what I’m seeing.
The news cycle is fickle, soon Harry and Oprah will be last weeks news, and the general public will be left thinking, ‘Haven’t we talked about that? Isn’t that all sorted for you?’ This can, and I’m almost certain will, come back to bite the most vulnerable people on the arse.

If the balloons, t shirts, donuts and ribbons come out, we’re in trouble. It’s far too big, far too delicate to be ‘Oprah-ized’, for want of a better word. Just my thoughts, your mileage may vary.

Black and white Museum Station.

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

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My favorite hair hoppers.

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

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Red.

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

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Tentative.

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

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Manly.

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

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Hair hopper.

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

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Jerri Blank.

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

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Moonlight on the water, Fairy Meadow beach.

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

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With friends like these, who needs enemas.

Sunday, January 24th, 2021

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