Monthly Archives: December 2010

Music: Top Ten 2010

For me, I think this year will be remembered by the large amounts of “surf” bands that exploded onto the scene – Beach House, Wavves, Surfer Blood, The Drums, Best Coast – the list goes on. From memory, last year when I nutted out my top ten I found it easier to pick ten great songs, but struggled for quality albums.

This year, not as hard.

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Miscellany: The Penny Bunger

My father is a great storyteller. Whenever we have a spare moment together he often delves into tales of childhood nostalgia. Like the time he fired a lit bow into his backyard Willow tree while playing cowboys and Indians with a neighbour.

It’s the delivery and the excitement in which he tells it that makes his stories come alive – as if I was there.

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Miscellany: The Kidney Stone

It was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

I had crawled into bed just before midnight when the uneasiness started in my stomach. It felt like a hot air balloon filled with sharp bricks floating around inside me. It was only soup and a salad for dinner that evening, meager by my standards and hardly a cause for a stomach irritation. I tried to shut the queasy feeling out by listening intently to a passerby’s conversation coming from outside my window, but it didn’t work. I begrudgingly got up and went to the bathroom. Maybe a mouthful of water would wash this knotted rut away?

But that’s when my torture began.

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Miscellany: Canada, not just a country, a suburb too

Having lived in Toronto, Canada for five years my ears prick up anytime I hear the “C” word back here in Melbourne. I refer to the terms  Canadian or Canada. For my blog I will post all things Canadian I come across here during my time in Australia – history, people, sports, buildings etc.  If you are reading this and know of some Canadian content here in Melbourne, please email me. I’d like to find out more:


I like being surprised when I head out on a road trip. Heading to the Grampians last weekend via Ballarat my wife and I decided to spend some time at Sovereign Hill. Trying to do the math in my head while making the turn off to Ballarat’s city centre, I had come to the conclusion It had been more than 20 years since I had been there. My wife, a Canadian, had never been nor heard of it before this weekend. After a quick stop at the information centre, we piled up all the maps on the back seat and headed toward  goldrush country.

We had one more turn to make when I stopped the car in disbelief.

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Sport: Pakistan cricket caught in Taliban web

Something has gone awry with the state of cricket in Pakistan. The national cricket team has not played a home game since 2007, and touring teams refuse to play there. The gentleman’s game of cricket is being hacked.

Why? Terrorists.

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Community: It’s birds in the palm trees, not bats.

The retched screeching starts around knock-off time. Coming off the concrete station platform at Mordialloc,  around dusk every night, you’ll hear it.In fact, It’s hard not to hear it.  At first it seems like a few bats, flapping and screaming in the palm trees on Main St. But as you move closer you’ll notice they aren’t bats.These creatures have feathers.  Every now and then something flies out from the palm but it’s too quick and small to see exactly what the object is. In the right kind of luminous light you can see a green and sometimes red chest. Also, the closer you get to any one of the palm trees, the decibels increase. It’s a maddening sound. You can’t see what is hidden in the palm trees and all that exists is the ear-piercing and gregarious fowl sounds carried out by millions.

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Miscellany: The Macedonian Gardener

Mum has always been a devout gardener.

Last week my mother made three new additions to her yard – an apricot tree, a plum-tree and rose flowers.In an already crammed garden, these freshman plants will sit beside staple backyard figures that have been part of the Robertson fabric for years. The lemon tree. The cherry tree. The mint and parsley patch. The apple tree. Fig, peas and tomato plants. They all have their place in prodded soil that surrounds the fence line.

There’s always been space for a garden at our place.

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