Posts Tagged ‘Gold coast’

Herr hair.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021


For beauty.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021



Monday, July 19th, 2021


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.

We’ll meet again.

Monday, July 19th, 2021


We’ll meat again.

Monday, July 19th, 2021


Is ‘Quash’ a less invasive ’Squash’?

Monday, July 19th, 2021



Britannia waives the rules.

Monday, July 19th, 2021











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




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

Sunday, May 23rd, 2021


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




My favorite hair hoppers.

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021





Wednesday, May 19th, 2021




Sunday, January 31st, 2021






Sunday, January 31st, 2021


Hair hopper.

Sunday, January 31st, 2021



Jerri Blank.

Sunday, January 31st, 2021


Moonlight on the water, Fairy Meadow beach.

Sunday, January 31st, 2021


With friends like these, who needs enemas.

Sunday, January 24th, 2021


Ugly Dave Gray.

Sunday, January 24th, 2021




Sunday, January 24th, 2021


My first prolonged period of ‘masking’ today, medical face masks I mean. Things I learned:

1) Eating a wonderfully aromatic cheese and garlic gnocchi for lunch is nice, however, reliving the aroma for five hours, it kinda loses its allure.

2) Falling asleep on the train is good. Dribbling whilst asleep with a mask, bad.

Number 96.

Sunday, January 24th, 2021



Sunday, January 24th, 2021


Surfers paradise by night.

Sunday, January 24th, 2021


Hair durrie.

Sunday, January 24th, 2021



Sunday, January 24th, 2021




Sunday, January 24th, 2021


Melbourne walls.

Sunday, January 24th, 2021




Sunday, January 24th, 2021




Sunday, January 24th, 2021



Sunday, January 24th, 2021


Surfing the dial.

Sunday, January 24th, 2021




Sunday, January 24th, 2021



Monday, January 18th, 2021




‘Scuse I, is this Engadine McDonalds?

Friday, January 1st, 2021


Tuesday December 9th 1980.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020


An addendum.

The below was originally written in December 2005,
not long after I had visited New York. It was then
twenty five years since Johns passing, now, here we
are, forty years since the nightmare of 1980. Very
little has changed about how I feel, and my perspective
on what happened. I’m still no closer to resolving, or
coming to terms with that loss.

Tho I have suffered many awful losses in the years since 1980,
somehow John’s loss hurts greater than most others. It truly
took the shine off the world, showed us that something as joyous,
enriching and challenging as an artist, performer and poet, can be
silenced by violence. Violence that could be minimized if not for
humanities greed and arrogance. It was a dirty, senseless act, and it
tarnished the hopes, and innocence, of countless millions of people.
I think it struck me as especially cruel, as it was Johns music, along
with the other Beatles, that kept me afloat, gave me an escape, from a
very troubled childhood.

That is why, John’s is the one death I cannot reconcile, because it
was so senseless.

With time comes a greater sense of poignancy. The Annie
Leibovitz photos from that day illustrate this most
powerfully. Gazing at the photo of John sitting in the
window, I was recently struck that the sun had set, it
was now dusk. John would never see daylight again, that
hit me like a punch to the stomach.

What an unimaginable loss. I’m forever thankful for the
time John was with us.

Today, in Australia . .

December the 9th at 2.50pm marks
the twenty fifth anniversary of John Lennon being
taken from us.

So far most of what I have read has been from fans in
the U.S and the U.K, but with the time differences, it
was 2.50pm on the afternoon of December 9 that the
horror unfolded down here in Australia. We had a
different perspective here than many others around the
world, as we didn’t wake to the news, we watched it

Today has really stopped me in my tracks, 25 years
have passed, I was only fifteen, I didn’t know death,
I didn’t know shock, I was still pretty much innocent
.. in the blink of an eye all that was to change.

By August of 1980 I had been a Beatle fan for five
years, in 1975 I was fan-ish enough to beg my brother
to take me to see Wings in concert, he didn’t, and I
sobbed like a .. well, ten year old.

During the years 1975 through to mid 1980, John had
pretty much retired. I didn’t ‘know’ him whilst he was
active and recording, I remember seeing the photo of
Yoko and he in our local paper that was taken in
February 1980 in Palm beach, wow, a John sighting! A few
weeks later Rolling Stone ran another photo of John in
Palm beach, this time he was standing alone on the
boardwalk (must find that picture some day) by this
stage I was collecting, and clipping everything about
the Beatles.

In August came the news that John was recording again,
I was SO excited!, I had a new Beatle to follow! Again
our local paper the Illawarra Mercury ran a photo of
John and Yoko arriving at the studio, it was real, it
was true, it was happening! John really was going to
be recording again, and by fifteen, I was old enough to
appreciate this.

Sydney Sunday Telegraph August 31 1980

I started collecting every bit of
news that filtered down to us, mainly from our Aussie
music magazine ‘Juke’, which I bought without fail
each week. Another magazine which I can’t recall the
name of, also had regular updates on John’s return, I
do remember Gil Tucker from ‘Cop Shop’ was on the
cover of this newspaper like magazine. This was all pre
Internet, so one had to hunt down news, scour papers and
magazines for the smallest bit of news. Each new find would
be read over and over, then cut out, and added to scrap books.

Nov 80

Tv Week ran a one page story in November, it had
a cool photo of Yoko and he standing outside the Hit
Factory studio in New York.

TV Week Nov 1980

One night in November I was lying on my bed listening
to my prized National radio cassette player, when the
announcer said, “Coming up next we premiere John
Lennon’s new single ‘(Just like) Starting Over’” gulp!! The
excitement!, my first time ever hearing a new John
Lennon song on the radio. The DJ played the song, and I
don’t remember what I thought of it on first listen,
but I remember singing it over and over all night, just
trying to remember it. Of course it turned into a
completely different song.


A week or so later I got Double Fantasy on cassette, I
can’t remember exactly, but I probably brought it from
the ‘Rock pit’ in Corrimal court, this was our local
record shop, and they knew I was a Beatle fan, they
always put my name on Beatle posters when they were
advertising a new album. Needless to say, my name went
on the giant Double Fantasy poster that the store had.
I remember holding the cassette in my hands as I sat
in the back seat of my parents purple Escort car while
dad filled up with petrol, I was just waiting to get
home to play it.

Above: My original cassette of Double Fantasy.

By the second week of December the year was winding
down, in February I would be turning sixteen. I felt
so old and mature, at school we were in the second
week of ‘End of year activities’. This was a cool thing
where for the last two weeks of school, you got to pick
fun subjects and activities, like skating and

On December the 9th the world was good, the weather
was warm, and for once school was fun. I spent the day
with my friend Jeff in the darkroom developing a heap
of photo’s we had taken in our photography course (I
still have one of these photos in my collection). We
had such a fun day, we had gone on an excursion into
town to David Jones to take some photos the previous
day. During lunch, as we walked north past the
industrial arts building, I vividly recall Jeff asking
me what I was doing later that day, I told him
excitedly that I was going to dinner at my brothers
place, and his girlfriend Sue was making apricot

Above photo: Taken in my photography class on December 8th.

When I got home from school at about 3.10pm, my sister
Rhonda was visiting mum, they were talking in the
kitchen, dad had just left for afternoon shift and I
went to my room and picked up my National radio
cassette player. I walked up to dads ‘shed’ (garage)
this is where my guitar and drums were kept. Every
afternoon I would grab my cassette player, and head
strait for the shed, I would put on a tape, or the
radio, and I would play along with whatever was on and
practice the drums.

This afternoon was no different, I
settled in, turned on the radio and started playing, I
flicked around the dial to find another song .. wow,
cool! A Beatle song, ‘Love me do’ so I played along to
that. I swept across the dial again, ANOTHER
Beatle song ‘Strawberry fields’.

When the song ended, so
did my childhood, so did my innocence.

‘In case you haven’t heard already, former Beatle John
Lennon was shot and killed just a short time ago in
New York city’.

The words of the DJ, I think it was Triple J radio.

What happened next I can’t explain, I guess it was

(I have since come to understand, in trauma, it’s
referred to, and known as, ‘Disassociation’).

Above: The radio announcement as I heard it.

Everything seemed to be in slow motion. I picked up
the radio and walked down to the house, but I don’t
remember walking, during the short time it took to
get to the house, I felt disconnected from my body. I
walked into the kitchen where my sister and mum were
talking, I didn’t say anything, I literally could not
speak. They saw something was terribly wrong, my sister
kept saying over and over, ‘What is it!?’. All I could
say was, ‘Just listen’.

I put the radio on the kitchen bench, and soon enough,
at the end of another Beatle song, the announcer came
back and repeated the words I had heard only minutes
before, ‘John Lennon has been shot and killed in New York’.
My sister and mum gasped, then my sister said, ‘I feel
like a part of me has died’.

In those few short seconds my childhood, innocence,
sense of safety, and hope, was snatched away from me.

I sunk down into a kitchen chair, the airwaves were
flooded with news and John songs. I gathered myself up,
and went in my room and found some cassettes. I
started taping the radio. I guess I thought If I put John
on tape, then he wasn’t really gone, he was still here. It’s
a phenomenon I’ve seen repeatedly since, with Princess Diana and
other high profile losses and disasters.

People seem to need something to cling on to, to not let go of.
I went and lay down on the lounge room floor, listening, trying
to take this in. The phone rang, and it was my sister Dianne, she
asked me if I had heard the news about John. In the
background I could hear my niece Kylie crying, who I
knew was crying as much for me, as she was for John.

Soon enough we had to go to my brothers for dinner. I
didn’t feel like seeing anyone let alone eating. I
remember arriving and being in shock, my brother
and his girlfriend Sue were really understanding, Sue in
particular I could sense felt horrible for me,

I didn’t eat that night, and I don’t know that I ever
ate apricot chicken again. I went and lay down on
Glenn and Sue’s bed, and listened to my radio, the
same one that brought me my first hearing of ‘Starting
Over’. I wouldn’t let go of the radio, I clung to it,
even when I went to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet
just to get away from everyone, and it was in
there that I heard ‘Working class hero’ for the first time.

Outside in the lounge I overheard my brother say to my
sister, ‘This will be one of the biggest news stories ever’.
When we got home, I was watching Roger Climpson read
the late news on channel 7. At the end they played the
video of John singing ‘Imagine’. At that moment dad
walked in from afternoon shift and said to me, ‘I see
your mate died’.

‘My mate’, oh how I wish. John was a person who sang
and wrote songs, songs that touch my very soul, I
‘feel’ his music, not everyone can, but I’m one of the
lucky ones, every one of his songs sound as fresh
to me today, as the first time I heard them. I don’t
know too many other artist who’s music you can say
that about, for me, The Beatles, solo Lennon and McCartney
and Brian Wilson.

One of my main joys in life is collecting everything
connected with John in 1980, the ‘Double Fantasy’
period. I love when I find a new photo from this time,
the reason being is the last six months of 1980 was
the only time I ‘had’ John. He wasn’t working as an
artist when I first became a fan. I cling to 1980, the
few memories I have of him whilst he was still alive,
because I miss him, I miss his music, I miss his
words, I miss the world I had when John was still here,
and so was my innocence, and sense of safety.

I miss the ‘man’ .. this is something that has only
very recently been made real to me. Only a couple of
weeks ago I got to visit New York for the first time,
within a day I understood why John fought for years to
be allowed to live there. I took a deep breath and got
on the subway and headed uptown to 72nd street, the
address of the Dakota.


After all these years of being a fan, John was an image
in a magazine, an image in a movie, when I ascended
the subway staircase and found myself standing next to
the Dakota, John became a ‘person’. Until you stand
and walk around where John called home, it’s hard to
get a real sense of him. When I walked
around to the entrance way to the building, and stood
in the spot where John had passed by a thousand times, I
really could imagine John in his
cool black cowboy boots, I could picture him walking
with pride with his wife and son in tow, across to
Central Park, scooting around the corner to Cafe La Fortuna
for his coffee, his gangly stride walking
around to the west side pharmacy to get his ‘bits and
pieces’ on Columbus Avenue. In a word I got a sense of
the ‘man’.

That’s when the real tragedy of that day in 1980 hit
me, he was just a man, a husband, a father and he was
taken from us all so easily and senselessly.

At 2.50pm today I’m going to be playing Double
Fantasy, and I’m going to be remembering that short
time I had with John.

Greg xoxo

Melbourne January 2020.

Monday, March 16th, 2020



Wednesday, February 5th, 2020



Wednesday, February 5th, 2020



Wednesday, February 5th, 2020


Onto your feet.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020


Just as I predicted (again). Donny will walk away from this impeachment aquittal with a minor skid mark of scandal, which I think is of little consequence to him personally.

So, screaming for blood, kicking out at him, pointing fingers has not worked (as I foretold). In fact, what it’s done is (as I foretold) emboldened and empowered him, and more importantly, his supporters, and even more importantly, people who were on the fence about him, will now see him as a victim, and err to his side.

It’s a really simple lesson I learned when training as a union delegate, and it’s shown itself to be just as true in politics, as it is in the workplace. ‘Do you want to get rid of your frustrations, get it off your chest, lash out at the boss, tell him what you really think of him?, or, do you want to get what you want’.

It’s almost as simple as that.

The world needs to think smart, and stop being reactionary. So, America, you yelled and screamed, but did you get what you wanted? Nope. In fact, you’ve just made things a WHOLE lot worse for yourselves, somewhat like a child having a tantrum instead of thinking smart. Manipulating and outsmarting the parent is how the child gets what its after. Instead, it chose to lash out, and now the parent is coming for them.

This phenomenon isn’t reserved just for the U.S, it’s playing out here in Australia. Barnaby Joyce was returned with an increased majority, probably because he’d been under personal attack. Passing around online petitions to ‘Sack Scott Morrison’? give me a break.

This is a different world, a different playing field. Stop wasting your time stamping your feet. Think smart, think strategic. Poking the bee hive doesn’t work anymore. Your tantrum has just now delivered another four years in the White House for Donnie.

Oh, by the way, I don’t know the answer, and I think Govt’s know we don’t yet know how to tackle this new reality. So, they run wild, and all we do is click on-line petitions and make memes (tho, fair play, my piss spot Barnaby meme IS gold).

We can’t ‘really’ march anymore, and we can’t ‘really’ strike, because unfortunately greed and cowardice of far too many came into play, the, ‘I’m alright Jack, fuck you’ brigade. So many of our hard fought for civil and workplace rights have been given away. Now the effective gains we made, have all mostly been lost, and, again, with the level of apathy and distraction permeating every aspect of life, the Govt’s know they hardly have to lift a finger before the populace rolls over.

I see this in the GLBTIQ community too. So many battles were fought by our Queer forebears. Once a ‘semblance’ of equality and safety was won, many in the current generation were happy with ‘well enough’. Barely casting an eye over their shoulders to be educated by very recent history, at how all those gains that were won with blood on the streets, could all be lost in the snap of a finger. The religious discrimination bill anyone?

Get out of the suburbs, and out of the cafes, and get active! Us older soldiers have served our tour of duty and are scarred and spent. You’re not alright Jack, powerful forces will fuck you over as soon as look at you.