Thursday, June 30, 2005

Poole Dorset

I have met my niece Tilly for the first time. She is 9 months old, beautiful and has an extremely easy going temperament. Not your typical crying baby. Have also met up with old mates and a pen pal that I hadn't met before, well not properly. He is the one on the right in the photo titled "Drinks at the Night Jar". My 8 year old niece thought she recognised him and asked if he was one of the characters off of 'Carry on Doctor'. She also said I look weird. I must say I feel quite at home. Mike took me for a bomb around the harbour on his Boston whaler. I found myself admiring Poole Harbour, Old Harry Rocks, the locals fishing, lobster pots, the sandbankes ferry, the SBS doing maneuvers, Brownsea Island et cetera. Sydney's Ostentatious harbour isn't a patch on this great natural harbour we have in Poole. No need to build an opera house and a bridge here to get on the map, in fact no need to get on the map. I will miss it here when I return to Australia....

Drinks at the Night Jar Posted by Hello

Mike and a very 'Manly' SBS boat WooooWhooo! Posted by Hello

Old Harry Rocks and Me at the helm Posted by Hello

Mike and I on the harbour Posted by Hello

Tilly and her uncle Posted by Hello

Welcome Home "This country"

34 hours later I get off the coach and sit on a wall watching the passing traffic and the familiar surroundings of Branksome Round About. This place and Poole is embedded in my memory. The bend in the road, the courts shopping centre, the butchers, Portman building society, a pine shop and passing Bournemouth buses are exactly as I see them down to the finest detail in my head and all triggering memories of years gone by. Not much has changed but for a Jehovist Witness church opening up in replace of the youth club that use to be next to the train station. An old man wheels his bike past me and stops for a chat.

"Going some where? In the army?" He must be referring to my baggage and cropped hair.
"Actually no just arrived back. I've been in Australia and I'm home visiting family and friends."
"Australia, I had my chance in 1956. £10 pom assisted passage.Didn'tt take it though. I was too green at the time, thought Id miss my Mum. Wanted to be close to her ya see. Wish Id of gone, thiscountry'ss no good any more."
"Are well mate."
"This country's just full of f***ing blacks now."

And with that he walked off.

Holy Air

Royal Brunei Airlines is my chosen carriage to London. It was the low cost air fare rather then the Royal tag of the Sultan of Brunei that made up my mind. A completely dry airline in the name of Allah we are all blessed prior to each take off. A video of the promised land is shown and a deep voice reads from the Koran in Arabic tongues. Any fear of flying I had prior to take off dissipated immediately after the holy blessing. Why aren't other airlines doing the same? Ryan Air could have a recorded blessing read out by a catholic priest in a thick Irish accent prior to each take off, Thai Airlines could have promises of Buddhist reincarnation as you taxi along the runway, An atheist airline could read out stats on air fatalities and how its more likely to get run over on the street... Who said you shouldn't mix religion and flying, I think its a great idea!

Monday, June 27, 2005


Thursday, June 23, 2005

EMAIL Updates now activated

Watch this space

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Man from Montreal returns!

I had just finished a long surf and was undoing my wet suit when I see the French Canadians again coming my way. The spokesman from yesterday came running over wearing a new wet suit and carrying a brand new surf board.

"Do you remember me?" he called over.
"Yeah, of course."
"I’m so excited! I have bought a new board." He said in his French Canadian accent.
"Nice one."

With that he asked me to go in the water with him and show him how to surf. I agreed and paddled out with him trying to give him a few tips. I’m a hopeless teacher though.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Three men from Montreal with beards

Went for a surf. Paddled out on the long board. The sea looked quite sizeable but a bit lumpy and rough at the same time. Probably not ideal conditions. Got out the back and realised I had arrived at the beach during a lull. The large swell started rolling in. I decided to catch one in. Managed to get one and took it into the beach. That's when I met the three bearded dudes from Montreal.

"Is it safe to swim?" The spokesmen asked
"Not really, there's a really strong rip and the beach is closed. Are you a good swimmer?" I asked
"Yeah, I can swim" He said enthusiastically "Maybe it is ok in the shallows here?"
"The rip is still strong there."
"Ok thanks!"

With that, as if he hadn’t listened to a word Id said he ripped off his T-shirt and dived in the sea! The conditions were perilous, I watched concerned that he would be swept out, feeling guilty that I hadn’t convinced him to give a swim a miss. Then his two mates also with beards and strong French accents dived in. I was sure that a rescue situation was imminent. They were having a whale of time going deeper and deeper, diving and splashing in the rough swell. The life guard spotted them and they got out of the water.

"How was it?" I shouted over.

They decided to stay in Manly, find jobs and hire surf boards.

Mel and Mel at Little Manly - 7th June 2005 Posted by Hello

Scotch at the Rocks Posted by Hello

Enjoying a drink at the Palisade Hotel Posted by Hello

The Hero of Waterloo Posted by Hello

The Queen and Jason's Birthday

It was the Long Weekend here in the colonies. The Queens grants us with the Monday off to celebrate her birthday. A birthday that she shares with Jason. Managed to get Jason hammered on scotch and ice down in the Rocks. The portrait was taken moments before he threw the towel in. Poof.

Portrait of Jason Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

A week of Torture

Bog standard really. I wont bore you with the work details. Let’ see beers on Monday night with Nick and Chris at the skiff club. Got told off by Megan (Nick's bird) for playing the pokes with Nick for too long. We resumed our seats with her and Chris. I then watch everyone devour medium rare Porterhouse steaks and roast potatoes....went home to cook. Went to football training and watched the Anthony Mundine fight afterwards in the bowling club. Played heaps of internet poker, Have won a couple of sit and go tournaments now. Seem to be getting the hang of this and haven’t lost any money at it. Went to the Italian suburb of Sydney yesterday with two wops from work and Andrew. We had great pizzas (best I’ve had in Sydney) washed down with San Miguel and stopped off at a dodgy Italian cafe for espressos. Needed a sleep under the pine tree's when we got back to work, however I work in a sky scraper with no trees in sight. Mel practiced massage on me last night. Whilst she was pushing her elbow into my back - I thought she was going to break it at one stage - I lay there with my head through the massage table head hold. The table resembles a Sadomasochists torture table, it just needs a couple of hand and foot straps. I took my mind off of the torture with the sweet tunes of Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughn. At the end of the massage I slept on the table, I didn’t realise how relaxing it was to have some one punish your back for an hour. I eventually woke up and took myself to bed. Woke up this morning, the back feels great. The scene of the crime - torture table - is still up in the lounge. I must collapse it....

Monday, June 06, 2005

Elvis is the King

Had our first bye in the league so a few of the boys from the football team got together for a day of team building and lawn bowls. When I told Mel the game was off and that we were playing bowls instead, she astutely informed me that lawn bowls is just an excuse for a ‘piss up’. Correct. I had a permanent drip of Victoria Bitter all day. Ended up with the team in the Steyne pub thinking I was in control of things. The bouncer thought otherwise. I was carving up the dance floor with the assistance of one of my team mates only to be asked to leave. I can only assume it was for appalling dance moves. One meat pie later and I was back at home dribbling into my pillow. For some reason I had decided to remove the fake video camera that was affixed to the ceiling in the hall. Mel wasn’t amused.

Sunday was a rude awakening. Found myself driving the porcelain bus at 5am. I dropped a couple of nurophen and went back to sleep. My Sunday was spent playing internet Texas hold em poker on the internet. I interrupted this only to watch the Ricky Hatton fight, purchase and eat a ploughmen’s spread and a surf at 4pm. Ended the weekend with a roast rack of lamb accompanied with roast rosemary and garlic potatoes, carrots, beans, cabbage and red wine. Watched “Elvis by the Presley’s” prior to bed. Love Elvis more than ever now. Thank you very much….

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Man and Camera Posted by Hello

Man and Camera

I was returning from lunch walking through our lobby at work which has a coffee shop in it. A man was sat with his mother eating cake and drinking tea. The old boy had a strange looking camera on his table. I asked him about his camera. He told me it is a Linhof and he became quite animated in his description of it. He bought the camera two years ago in Paris from a well known street in Paris which is tumid with camera shops. He paid $550 for it and informed me that new ones cost $5,000. I asked for a photo of him and his camera. He said it was ok and posed for the shot. See the attached photo. I like it.