Thursday, March 31, 2011

The front fell off

John Clarke and Bruce Dawe in 1991. They are still doing the same schtick.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


As a sometimes artist, I am always envious of printmakers who do etchings. Are they etchers? Etchographers? Etchists? Anyway.
  1. They get to play with acid 
  2. As a result they have an emergency shower on hand in their studio - who doesn't want that?
  3. Etchings always look great. They have that spotty acid-eaten texture that other artists have to work so hard to achieve. And it's pretty obvious that the etchists know it. How often have you seen a great looking etching that has four intentional loopy lines and just a whole lot of terrific-looking mess? Heaps, that's how often.
I grabbed a book of Fred Williams prints and drawings at the library on Saturday. It is a masterpiece of the curator's profession - e.g. Landscape with Goose;

"Landscape with goose (1973)
Drypoint, roulette, electric hand engraving tool and burnisher, printed in black ink on Lavis Montgolfier St Marcel Les Annonay paper, edition 2/20"

Oh come on. The paper cannot really be called that. Really? REALLY?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The brownest belts in town

The children pictured below are now officially brown belts! Mind your Ps and Qs with them or they will block you and possibly mutter "Teh". Michael seemed to be having a good time at the first post-grading class, but when I came upstairs this morning he was making a "Boo Tae Kwon Do" poster - a pretty good rendition of the official logo, but with a red diagonal line through it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The boys had their first Tae Kwon Do grading this morning. They were far from keen. They often have to be dragged to classes, and although Michael just floops his way through it, Marcus often complains that his back hurts, or something’s not fair. Miscellaneous grizzles. Then Michael chimes in, despite showing every indication of enjoying it when he's there.

So, grading. We promised the boys that if they at least achieved brown belt we would let them choose something else to do, as long as it was something they could do together. Over the last few days I have been trying to encourage the boys to practice by attacking them with carrots, socks, underpants, magazines, apples etc. The would wave a desultory low block in my direction and give me that "you're embarrassing" look they they have learned from teens on TV. Michael repeats like a mantra "Tae Kwon Do is useless". Marcus said "What if you are attacked by something poisonous, or spiky? You wouldn't want to block with your hand then would you?" Michael added "Or something hard, but floppy?"

We managed to get them into the white gear, keep them away from the black dog and get them in the car. Grading was in a high school gym in the northern suburbs. The boys were in a group of about 70 white and brown belts, aged from about 6-12. Some very small kids were in the upper grades of brown belt, well on their way to purple.

They judged each grade together - I was worried for the boys that they would have to stand all alone in front of all the parents etc and execute their moves. Marcus did very well, he was obviously doing his best. Michael did better than we feared (he had been rehearsing some pretty disrespectful expressions) but he at least did everything he was asked to. I don't think his block would have stopped a serious assailant with a sock or apple though.

As the grading wore on, and the moves performed got more and more complicated, I was constantly tempted to leap up and move the kids further apart. None of the highly trained senseis seemed to realise that kids were bumping into each other, and sometimes performing chops to the back of each others heads by mistake. The top grade were asked to do some free shadow-combat with blocks, kicks, punches and snappy turns - they looked a little like obstacle-sensing robots.

A sequence of moves often ends with a punch and a sharply shouted "TEH!". When the kids are asked to do the sequence in their own time, you can tell that the ones who finish last are a bit reluctant to draw attention to their last-ness with a big shout. I'm pretty sure one of them said "Murp".

The whole thing wrapped up a good deal faster than I had thought. Marcus was relieved at the end that it had been quick and not as daunting as he had feared. Michael maintained that TKD is "stupid" as well as "useless". Tomorrow they have their next class and will see if they have progressed to the Belt of Brown.

 I have just looked up some of the competition rules and now have to think about whether I want the boys participating in a sport where three points are awarded for a kick to the head.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


OK, you might think it has been 2011 for a while. In fact it’s just started. 2011 football season, that is.

So is here is my never-commented-on, probably entirely unread regular AFL Prediction post.

Premiers: Western Bulldogs <–  STOP PRESS: worst prediction I have ever made.
Runners Up: Collingwood
Rest of the top 8: St Kilda, Hawthorn, Essendon, Melbourne, Carlton, Adelaide
Wooden Spoon: West Coast
Brownlow Medal: Brendan Goddard, St Kilda
Coleman Medal: Jack Riewoldt, Richmond (85)
Richmond Outlook: As ever, a rolled gold certainty for ninth

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Further thoughts from aboard a tuna boat

[Some more about yesterday's fishing expedition.]

We were out there for such a long time, with so little action, that after a while I was just staring into space. It was not a large boat - you had to find somewhere comparatively comfortable to lean and just settle in there.

The basalt stacks of the coastline are pretty amazing. Tasman Island has an unbelievable timber platform perched above the rocks, with an almost-vertical tramway up which supplies were winched to the now-decommissioned lighthouse.

We couldn't see the top of the island yesterday due to sea fog. Wikipedia to the rescue.
How did they ever get anything onto the platform?

Interesting and beautiful as all of this is, I was finding it less novel after about six hours of circling around. At least I wasn't leaning over the rail the whole time like Dan. It must have seemed like an eternity to him, as he couldn't even see where we were going. I started to think about eternity too.

The rocks are being bashed constantly by the sea. I understand the "constantly" part a lot better now. Every day, all night, no breaks for weekends - down here it just doesn't stop. It's been happening for hundreds of thousands of years, and will keep happening no matter what. It's happening now.

I thought about how I would go living on one of the islands. I'd be eating a lot of raw seabird eggs, I decided. The birdlife all around was very varied. Gulls and albatrosses and terns and ... prions? The albatrosses could glide into view, glide about just above the waves until your neck got stiff and your eyes hurt from watching, then glide off around behind the boat and out of view, all without a flap. Incredibly efficient. Smaller birds were flapping like nobodies' business - they must have to eat a lot more than the albatross I suppose. But not too much at once - then you can't fly. A tricky business. I love how seabird eggs are the pointiest, so that if they roll, they roll in a circle and not off the rocky ledge.

We saw a lot of basking seals on the rocks, but more fascinating were the ones in the water. In pounding waves that would have drowned me in a few minutes, the seals attitude was more akin to a Tuesday night in the lounge room, with not much on the telly. Idly rolling and lolling, waving a flipper here and a tail there. Just hanging out in the 3-4 metre swell. "Hi, humans! Catching any tuna? No? We've got heaps!! Hahahahahaha!! BRAAAAAAAP."

Rolling in search of invertebrates

If this was your job, would you ever get sick of "rolling across the surface of the cushion"?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Some pictures of the rocks I sailed around today for 8 hours

My boss paid for us all to take a work day off today, and go tuna fishing off the south coast. That's pretty good isn't it? He's a pretty fantastic boss. So I am not going to post any pictures of him asleep in the Big Fish Fighting Chair.

We were out there for eight hours - Steve was very keen to catch some bluefin. We got one bluey, and three stripy tuna, so a pretty quiet day really. After about 5 hours I was ready to get off the boat, to be honest.

We had some casualties. Two workmates threw up early on, then found somewhere to sleep. A third actually spent the whole trip bent over the rail, head down, occasionally getting waveslapped in the face while throwing up. The whole eight hours. Once we were back on land, he pulled himself together and was his usual charming self. Which to my mind wins Effort of the Day.

Nathan's face says "I caught it, but I can't eat it. Or anything else."
Like the tuna, Jeff is strangely attracted to the squiddly lures.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

So, another birthday season has come and gone. I turned 43 yesterday, and that's it for our family for the rest of the year. Among other lovely things, Elf and the boys gave me a terrific pair of books by Shaun Tan: The Arrival and Sketches from a Nameless Land - together in a boxed set.

The Arrival is a beautiful, wordless story. A family living in the city are finding life getting harder and darker. Dangerous serpentine shadows lurk in the margins. The man leaves his wife and daughter and emigrates to a distant and very strange land. He is lonely and confused - he cannot read the signs, understand the customs or work the vending machines. He gradually makes inroads in the new world, a year passes, and his family come to join him. Happy ending.

The amount of imagination, creativity and sheer hard work involved needs to be seen to be believed. The companion volume Sketches from a Nameless Land shows how much work goes into such a book, before the final drawings are even commenced. It's like looking over the shoulder of a genius while he is kicking things around, and anything is still possible. He drew half the book before he realised he had got the style wrong, and went back to the beginning.

Shaun Tan is a national living treasure. The best thing is that he is quite young - I hope we are lucky enough to see many more books from him. Oh, and he won an Oscar the other day. Well done little guy!

Whales Must Be Saved!!

After our encounter with Sea Shepherd, Michael was filled with whale-savin’ zeal.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ads for my imaginary cars

I am just not getting any offers on my shedload of imaginary vintage motors. I am not sure what's wrong, as they are some of the most sought after non-existent marques you will find. So  - I have dug through the vaults to find the original trade ads, full of that "new car" excitement. I am "pumping up the tires" if you like. I am by the phone, and I am ready to trade in anything for these clean, straight units.

Big thanks to for their incredible range of Fiats.

Cheese Hub!!!

Great news: Burnie is going to be a cheese hub.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ever popular netball team names

The one thing that still seems to drive new visitors to my blog is: a hunger for netball team names. Four of my top ten search terms are
  • netball team names
  • netball team names ideas
  • netball team names list
  • good netball team names
So, to demonstrate I am in touch with what the people want, here are some more suggestions. [I want to stress that these are the very best I can do. I am not keeping any back for later. I am not sucking you in to a free service, only to later offer Premium Subscription Only netball team names.]
  • Bathplug Bandits
  • Pug Rubbers
  • Onion Bunks
  • Spongefrocks
  • Boatwhisks
  • Trout Stanleys
  • Choice Snoods
  • Slippery Shoefoots
  • Le Sheeps
  • Helena Handbaskets
  • Collapsing Scones
  • Double Daptos
  • Mud Puppets
  • Fat Rakes
  • Captain Stubings
  • Sky Pikelets
  • Okra Basins
  • Chad Rabbits
  • Fox Boggle
  • Steam Punnets

School sports day - shock win to Wellington House

Our school is not that big, so it only has two "houses", Derwent and Wellington. The boys are proudly members of the blue house, Derwent. Derwent has won the last eight sports days in a row.

But not today! Marcus ran in one of the last events, a 100m relay. He had come second to Reuben (from Wellington), three time already through the day. He and Reuben ran the last leg for their teams, and again it was Reuben by a nose. The winning team got 28 points, the losing team 21, so if Derwent had won they would have been 14 points better off. Wellington won the day by 13 points. Marcus did the maths, but I don't think he's taking it to hard. He was pretty happy to blame another kid who didn't compete in anything all day.

I saw Michael's Late For School race. The fastest he ran was actually before the start, when he had to go fetch one of his official LFS Race Accoutrements (which are Jumper, Bag, Hat). He competed in everything and had a couple of thirds to show for it.

He was having a great time yelling when I showed up. He loves a good yell. I have a lot of trouble getting him to encourage Marcus when we are watching his races at Little Athletics. Perhaps I just need to emphasise the yelling aspect a little more.

I saw Marcus do his utmost to catch Reuben in the individual 200 metres. Marcus's style is a bit reminiscent of Betty Cuthbert - head back, mouth open. Reuben just smoothly loped along in front and never looked like being caught. Michael and I yelled happily anyway.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan and Haiti

I wrote this elsewhere a couple of days ago:
Like everyone, I am shocked by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan - incredible devastation. Who knows where the death toll might end up?

For perspective, I looked up the Haiti earthquake from just over a year ago. Estimates vary, but something like 230,000 people died, and 300,000 were injured. So what I am telling myself is a) don't forget about helping Haiti and b) a year on from now when its off the front page, don't forget about helping Japan.
Now the nuclear power stations are scaring the bejesus out of everyone - they are so close to Tokyo. It's too soon to rule out a Chernobyl-size disaster happening, on top of the earthquake and tsunami. So maybe we are in the midst of something unprecedentedly awful. And it's not the time to be saying "You think this is bad? Geez!"

But still. Haiti eh? I don't think I ever got around to sending any help. So I had a look around and I reckon this a pretty sound bunch of guys to go through. You can tell by their daggy website that they've got their priorities right.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Uluru from space

This pic was taken by Marcus's outer-space buddy, Colonel Doug Wheelock from up in the International Space Station.

Give a worm a camera

Spring onions at worm grovel level.
Lettuce - worm shot this from the hip, photojournalist style.
I gave him a boost for this one.

Buy a nice shirt for JAPAN

Buy this lovely shirt from Salvation Army Japan. Price $20 which goes entirely to SA relief in Japan. Postage is about $11 for 1 shirt, about $14 for two, $21 for 4 etc. Get together with pals and order a few to save on the shipping, maybe.

"Japanese media reported at least 1,000 people are presumed dead from Friday's massive 8.9 earthquake, most drowned by the wall of water that swept across the northeast coast of the island nation. The Salvation Army in Japan is responding to the earthquake and tsunami that brought devastation to the north of the country. Joshua Smith from ( Hydro74 ) has designed a shirt to help raise funding and awareness for those affected by the disaster. The Japanese Kanji on the shirt translates to Save World Army. 100% of the proceeds of the sales of this shirt will go toward The Salvation Army's relief efforts in Japan. Printed with waterbase discharge inks on pre-shrunk, super soft Tultex 100% ringspun cotton."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy 1st birthday to the 2nd largest dog in South Hobart

Winston turns 1 today.  He is a lovely fella, extremely gentle and good-humoured. He has mostly stopped eating shoes. We have met only one larger dog in South Hobart, in that time. We were told Winston was the offspring of a labrador-retriever cross and a labrador-boxer cross. So we were a little shocked when he didn't stop growing. I think he's got some Newfoundland or St Bernard going on there somewhere.

We took him, the kids and the wave ski to Kingston Beach yesterday, to have a paddle in the lazy Browns River estuary. Last time we took him there, he was very keen to follow the boys, but got a bit panicky when the water was too deep for him.

Yesterday was his first experience of the wave ski. Suddenly Elf and Michael were on this orange thing, moving away, faster and faster. Winston followed, and suddenly he was swimming. He had a look on his floppy face of combined worry, astonishment and pride. His jowls floated along either side of his massive nose, like he might be part manta ray.

Marcus took the wave ski off on his own, and looked right at home on it. He paddled up to the footbridge and back, with me trying to keep up (doing a nanna breaststroke to keep my head out of the water). I could not.

Winston makes friends with every dog and child he possibly can. People are always pleased to meet him - he lollops towards them, radiating good intentions. One lady called to us "He must be a Newfoundland! They're so intelligent!". Which is not something we have noticed, yet.

Hound in the sky! Hound in the sky!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Unicode symbols - more interesting than you thought, eh?

I believe everyone has the right to express themselves the way they wish, how they want to dress, who they want to be with, or if they maybe want to be a blue-green heptahydrate. It's high time we stopped excluding Iron (II) sulfate from the gender discourse.
If my child made this choice I would stand by him.

Maru the japanese cat

I am not planning to make a habit of posting cat vids. Maru is a pretty special cat though. I love the look on his face that says "I suspect I am losing some dignity here. Not certain though. Maybe I'm actually looking mad fresh".

Genghis Khan Airport

I love the concept of Genghis Khan Airport. In just 800 years, The Geng has gone from being the most feared warlord in world history, to being just another place where you can buy bad fat novels and bad warm coffee.

Also it is going to be the name of my prog rock band. Wanna join? I need someone to play theremin.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Listen up - NSW has something to say

For some reason, a talking and gesticulating map of New South Wales is ridiculous, more so than a map of Tasmania. Maybe its the straight bits? I guess NSW is saying "bend your knees, kids!" And no, I don't know what shifting the couch has to do with the election.
(This is an Electoral Commission online ad for the upcoming NSW election.)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Mr Slick

Note to self: maybe crop out the toilet.

Black carrots, man

I was at the Big Supermarket the other night, and they had purple carrots. At least they called them purple, they were actually black. I tried to trick the boys into eating them with their eyes shut, and then opening them – but they twigged that something was afoot. Nobody does that with carrots.

Someone else's black carrots
Review: They are pretty amazing visually. They are black right through. Not very crisp or juicy though. They tasted like carrots probably tasted in the 17th century - like slightly carroty cardboard, with overtones of dirt. Probably best for a once-off freakout or for emo kids who still won't eat their vegies. I laughed, I cried. D+

In retrospect, hats off to whoever thought of orange.

More FebuChristmas

I have just got home with the boys, on Wednesday after school. For the last few weeks a friend with kids at the school has been dropping in each Wednesday and hanging out, more or less until sundown. Which is fine and all, but ... not really. They may all arrive any second, so I will knuckle down and type.

I am definitely finding blogging harder since getting sucked into the Twitter/Facebook vortex. I might think or hear of of an odd semi-notable thing, but then make it a 140-character Tweet and forget about it, rather than ruminating on it and getting a whole blog post from it.

For instance, I haven't got around to mentioning here that Michael told me the correct name for a 2-pronged fork is a bident.

Also I have to say a bit more about FebuChristmas

Last Saturday we had a big lunch to wrap it up, before everyone returned to Melbourne, Canberra and Switzerland. They were all booked on the ferry for that evening, so we were expecting lunch would wrap up at about three.

Irma took on the job of making bolognaise and salad for fifteen, and it was delicious. Elf made her peppermint ice cream with choc buds. In my opinion the choc buds freeze too hard like little chocrocks - if we can just fix that the world will beat a path to our door.

Over the duration of the visit, the little Swiss cousins Bea (3) and Eric (nearly 2) mastered being friends with Winston. To begin with they were quite nervous of him, but by Saturday they were following him around. Irma, Chonk, Bea and Eric stayed down at Imp and Ed's to avoid Chonk's cat hair issues. (He likes to collect it and fashion it into little furry grey-brown bow ties, which is embarrassing for everyone*). Bill and Felicity stayed at the pub, and we only played actual bedtime host to Fred. My Mum and Dad were also in town but stayed outside the Fullagar Cordon mostly, to avoid obstructing essential services. Sorry, got a bit Christchurch there for a second.

After lunch on Saturday everyone was doing the usual Christmas read/snooze/desultory chitchat, except Irma who was parboiling enough carrots to get all the way home to Switzerland. Someone asked, in a tone of voice that suggested this was the first time it had come up, "What time does the boat sail tonight?" The boat that was still four hours drive away that is.

So turns out it was chuffing off ninety minutes earlier than anticipated. Everyone disappeared out the door with a puff of dust and practically-still-raw carrot. It was amazing.

Chonk and Irma are stalwart readers of the blog, which I really appreciate. It was great that they came all the way from their mountain republic to visit Tasmania for a week. I was able to pin them down and recite lists of made up things in person, which was really refreshing. And Elf enjoyed having all her siblings together for the first time in ages, and getting them to do what she told them in that big sister way that comes so naturally to big sisters.

*Actually just a boring allergy

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A magnificent story from This American Life

There is a sting in the tail of this story. Near the end, the innocent man's lawyer says "If Collin Warner had lived in Texas, or Florida, or Louisiana, he'd have been dead a long time ago. And that would have been the end of it."

If you believe in capital punishment, that must be a pretty sobering thought. The people in the bureaucracy responsible for catching and killing the right person are OK at it, but no more than that.

Every time Collin Warner came up for parole (he was sentenced to 15 years) he was asked if he was sorry for what he had done. Every time he stated that he didn't do it. He served 20 years.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Shooting Stars with Vic and Bob

This show hasn't been on in Australia as far as I know. I thought this was a hoot. [The sound starts bad but gets better.]

Sea Shepherd

Elf wanted to go down to the docks to welcome home the Sea Shepherd ships this morning. They have been down in the Southern Ocean blocking the Japanese whaling fleet, and doing a fine job too. Their leader Capt Paul Watson was on the radio today saying that they are not a protest movement, they are simply going for where the money is - interrupting that business so its simply not profitable. This year the Japanese gave up and sailed home early - quite a victory for Sea Shepherd.

There were about 100 people there when we arrived. Michael was explaining the Sea Shepherd flag to Elf at top volume so all 100 could hear him. "The trident is for Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, the crook is for the Shepherd bit, and the skull is..." Soon Senator Bob Brown arrived and Michael gave him the floor. The Federal Police were searching the two vessels for evidence of criminal activity, at the request of the Japanese. This is the third year in a row that this has happened, and nothing has been found.

Bob Brown is an impressive man. He walked in quietly, moved to the centre of the group and just started speaking with no soapbox, microphone or media lackeys to get everyone's attention. He said that Sea Shepherd had saved about 800 whales this season [applause] that the Japanese people were to be congratulated for turning away from whale meat which tastes awful anyway [applause] and for protesting at the disgraceful slaughter done in their name [applause].

I did consider shouting "on the other hand, have any of you heard of whale bacon?" but I'm glad I didn't. We were initially hopeful that once the crew were released we might get a chance to climb on board the ships, but it seemed like that rumour was untrue, so we wandered off.


I moved my desktop computer upstairs a few months ago, and the space vacated immediately attracted crap. People would walk into the room with something, and just unconsciously walk over and put it down there. Forever. There is another desk in the room, and it too was starting to sag under the weight of last years' kids schoolbooks, heavy tools and various things cunningly transferred to me by Mum and Dad under the catchall "selling their house" excuse.

We have finally achieved broadband, and this means moving the computer downstairs again, so today I carried out a decrapulating exercise. I moved a lot of stuff from under the stairs, and officially designated it a shed. This meant, by the power vested in me, I could bang in nails and hang up tools in there. More of a shedlet really, you can't even stand up in it. But it's got the hacksaw out of the bedroom, and that is undeniably a good thing.

While cleaning I found a bunch of board books set aside for Arthur, who is nearly one. A title I know his mum is going to love is Chunky Farm.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Eskimo Pie 9 d Knackered 4, indoor soccer semi final

Eskimo Pie narrowly beat us last week. They lifted this week and we didn't, sadly. We were 2-1 up with about 30 seconds left in the first half, when their main striker swivelled and hit a shot from an acute angle. it went through two pairs of legs and into the net.

They came out at the start of the 2nd half and played exceptionally well, with a definite plan. Like last week they were marking me out of the game - I had to run all over the place to try to get the ball, and then had no space to do anything much with it.

They banged in four goals in about five minutes and from that point we had to throw everything into attack. We scored a couple but the the game was gone. For the second week in a row I didn't score. And so the summer roster ends.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

My mighty spinach

Last night we dined on spinach (hidden in a pizza) from my very own veg garden. A big moment. I got overexcited and picked too much - had to eat a few large handfuls on its own. Delicious! For spinach.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Just found some more cars

Blow me down - I have just remembered I have a whole 'nother hangar out the back stacked full of redundant yet notable (non-existent) automobiles. Would you believe I have, in more or less mint condition;
  • a Bishop Spong Sportswagon
  • an original Stubing Superior driverless bus
  • a 1956 Classic Clerihew light lorry
  • a Nutley Six, cut down into a ute
  • a Hokusai Scrimshaw 1200 ride-on wheelbarrow
  • a Wrigley Osiris Five submersible car
  • the aqua Sussex Tong forklift that appears in the opening credits of On The Buses
  • an Oxbow Peril P100 fire engine
  • the front half of a Munster Shark tourer welded to the back half of a Munster SuperTrout delivery van
  • a Nesbitt Zanzibar hearse
  • and a 1972 Lamington Ark Royal Princess armoured car (fastback)
Due to straightened circumstances I am open to any offer on these unique (yet sadly imaginary) commercial vehicles. No tyre-kickers please.

Football season creeping up fast

These pictures are from Our Great Game - The Photographic History Of Australian Football by John Murray. I am stunned by the quality of these images, and the fact I have never seen them before.  I have put up some more here (to avoid drenching this page too heavily in football). If you love football, consider buying this book.

Which you can do here.  It is published by Slattery Media Group to whom I say: sorry I scanned your pics guys, but they have been reproduced for review purposes, pretty much.

Essendon's star full forward John Coleman leaves the tribunal, after last home and away round of 1951 season. He had just been suspended for four weeks for striking, and would miss the Grand Final. Essendon lost by two goals. Shortly after this picture was taken "the impact of the rush of the large waiting crowd hurled Coleman against a traffic signal-box. He struck his head and collapsed on the pavement. He was eventually assisted into one of his friend's cars." Coleman played only 98 VFL matches but averaged 5.48 goals per game.
Johnny Greening of Collingwood is carried off after being felled behind play by St Kilda's Jim O'Dea, 1972. His teammates feared that he was dead. Previously an out-and-out champion, he didn't play football again until 1974, and only played another 9 games before leaving the VFL.

Rare Cars

I have an impressive collection of very rare and totally imaginary cars from all over the world. For the interest of any enthusiasts out there, here is an inventory.
  • The Watling Whelk
  • The Uranus Clotheshorse
  • The Limpid 6
  • The Nguyen Wallace Ant-Bear
  • The Trumpet Whetstone
  • The Blaine Nodule 383
  • The de Botton Pyramidé Deux
  • The Curlewis Ampersand
  • The Nevsky Nyet
  • The Spofforth Spiral GLE
  • The Motopolonia Tim 5000
  • The Chesterfield Squab
  • The Hyderabad Mopoke X
  • The Cumberland Aitch
  • The Iberia ¿Quando?
  • The Nanking Most Opulent Baron 9
  • The Giles-Zeitung Havoc
  • The Free Car of the Heroic Workers of Minsk
Some, such as the Nodule and the Ampersand, were made in limited numbers in the 1940s and 50s by small family coachworks in Britain. Others such as the unusual Tim 5000 were turned out in their thousands behind the Iron Curtain, but were so badly made that very few were ever seen in the West. People often ask which is my favourite - how could I possibly answer? But of course, with a rueful wag of the head I will usually admit that after a tough day I like nothing better than hitting the open road in my Clotheshorse Roadster with the top down and the magnetophone on full, disappearing into the twilight.

Soccer update - I know everyone is wondering

I am still playing soccer. It occurred to me recently that if I can keep playing for another 5 years, Marcus will be a strapping 14 year old, and he can join our team. We have subsided (like silt) to the lower division, where we are finding the going a bit easier.

We played our last roster match against a team called Eskimo Pie on Friday - they are on top of the ladder. They beat us 7-5, which means we finished third, and play them again in the semi-final this Friday. I am our main goalscorer, but I didn't manage to score this week. I think they are certainly beatable, but I had better shoot straight this time. I suspect I broke one of my toes a couple of weeks ago, as it's looking pretty fat. If I can keep it out of trouble for a couple more weeks I promise I will give it some rest.

Buying bread at the end of the day is dispiriting

We have a good bakery. Not a coffee and friands kind of "bakery" but a place which specialises in sliced white, sliced wholemeal and, for the Fancy Dans, your casalingas and pasta duras. Their bread is lovely, cheap and keeps well. They close at 6pm, and if we haven't managed to get bread there, we are faced with choosing from the Other Breads.

Don't get me wrong, I Iove a fresh crusty loaf of pretty much any real bread. But by 7pm, the shops have only fruit loaf, crumpets, Wondersoft and mysterious brands of similar cheap sliced white that you don't see at any other time. Is there some pool system whereby any part of the country with a temporary bread glut distributes it to corner shops across the land? And it arrives at about the closing time of the bigger shops and proper bakeries?

Tub v Dog

Autumn began today. Since dawn we have had all the available kinds of weather, including scattered snow on the mountain. The autumn leaf guys were around overnight , pouring sacks of them into previously spotless doorways and alcoves along Salamanca Place. The wind which has been absent for about six months has blown up again.

I was just now putting the rubbish bins out. I left the heavy black plastic recycling tub on the top step while I took a bag down to the street. Winston was hanging around trying to help when I think the wind caught the bin and slid it down the three steps towards him. I heard the sound of heavy plastic on concrete, then Winston came around the corner going like a greyhound. He stopped at the very far corner of the front yard and looked back to see if the Tub Beast was still chasing him. I said "Come on - let's capture it!" and pretended to sneak up on it, then pounced. After a mighty battle I subdued the Beast, and held it towards Winston in triumph. He looked at it dubiously, then I lurched towards him as the Beast made a last bid for freedom. He took off again, and I eventually met him right around the far side of the house, after stowing the tub out of sight. Like Brave Sir Robin in Monty Python's Holy Grail, he "bravely ran away, away, bravely ran away".