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48 responses to “Saturday Salon”

  1. Jumpy

    I’ve had a very sore throat for the last couple of days to the point where my sleep, and that of the wife, has been badly disrupted.
    This morning she said ” I’ve told you, take some euthanasia tablets ”
    I must have shot off a worried look.
    She giggled and corrected herself ” I meant echinacea tablets…. although……”
    She giggles still…

  2. Obviously Obtuse

    Not frist surely? Looking forward to camping in the cathedral ranges (although they are just small hills) tonight. Shame the little one has a cold and temperature has plummeted, but there you go. Last time he was up there was when he was in his mothers belly. Caves to squeeze through.

  3. Obviously Obtuse

    Hmm. bit of a freudian slip perhaps. caves in the cathedral ranges, that is.

  4. Casey

    I’m off to the white sunshine bouncing on the blue of the Harbour and the grey of the bridge. Looking at the light in the water, I will think of Joe and the flood that does not flow and then I will think of the opening passage of Gail Jones’s Five Bells which faithfully chronicles all the auditory and visual experiences of the Quay. Looking up at those arches, I will also remember the walk across the Bridge on that cold day in May when we said sorry, and I walked next to Pauline Pantsdown and it was freezing. I will always remember that and the ghostly ‘sorry’ that faded away before our eyes. Gail Jones called that an ‘ethically imperious spectre’ intervening in the real, and insistently, if frailly communicating. Then I will remember that Kate Grenville said she locked eyes with an Aboriginal woman that day and she wondered if her great-great-great grandfather had locked eyes with the Aboriginal woman’s great-great-great grandfather when those English ships sailed into the harbour. Her sense of place swiveled, she said, and the result was The Secret River. It’s just amazing how many of our writers have been inspired in and by that place. Then I will wonder how our artists will fare during the Abbott era. After that I will broomstick it to the graceful Gallery, where the Sydney Moderns await, safely in the past, far away from an Abbott government. At least they are safe, their work done.

  5. paul burns

    About to settle down to a quiet weekend of reading. + plus probably the occasional foray on to LP. Haven’t watched the news from Thursday night till this morning and reading the Guardian on line just confirmed my worst fears.
    Time to retreat into books on the early middle ages or the 18th century. Some time ago I watched a whole series of lectures on line on the early middle ages, from Yale. Hence my renewed interest in the period and the furious buying of books etc.

  6. Biff

    Then I will wonder how our artists will fare during the Abbott era.

    *cries*

  7. Helen

    I wake up this morning and what do I see but a regular LP commenter claiming that a female commenter, a PhD like many others on this forum, can’t possibly know shit because “she is a girl”. Honestly, how old is he, 12? “A Girl”. And did he receive a solemn and sad lecture about civility and anger and how he should do some yoga and mend his ways because he’s upsetting everybody? No. Of course not.
    Thanks to FN and Mindy and other commenters for schooling him on his failure to acknowledge his interlocutor as an equal human (or witch, perhaps more than equal.)

  8. philip travers

    Cathedral Rocks National Park go there whenever I can.My sense of whiteman’s spiritually is awakened there.A large egg shaped rock sits on very sandy soil.The park to me proves the Dorrigo Plateau that has volcanic caldera once sat under the sea.The large egg shape boulder is the universal shape the Cosmic Egg released.Very sacred ground.A time of day and year maybe awaits someone to talk across the universe,as surely the Great Pyramid of Giza.And all the other sites across Australia that seem to have Heiroglyphs,near Gosford,Alien craft sites.Great figurine sites up in and near a town devoted to Cattlemen casts its unusual shadow.Often showing up in New Dawn Magazine. I felt a presence twice at the same corner where two tracks meet,on a warm sunny days. I feel good someone is excited going there. I have read some of the articles in Policy Magazine.I have changed my thoughts a bit about that Norton person who shows up on this site readily. And today I am a little bit angry with the flotilla entering West Papua waters.Neither Australians nor Indonesia need to create some bad headlines for each other.If they are not useful citizens the authorities cannot immediately decide to let free,like trained professionals like doctors engineers builders architects,nurses,naturopaths or technically inclined,then the only thing they can teach is being on the sea ,with or without instruments and film making.Well if the officials have no need of that.Then it is a costly process being enjailed,diplomacy and everything else.Indonesia is a free as any other country.The West Papuan territories should be approached without considering Indonesia is an enemy.It isn’t .Australians,and maybe within Indonesia itself,the problem of the past decision is talkable. To wave the flag of Freedom is a nonsense. Australians pushing a freedom agenda,is not ever going to be the same as self governing or no enemies.To what do you apply the word freedom too! There is more than likely within Indonesia quite regularly the separatists in the forests would be quite welcome to assist in an Emergency saving Indonesian lives of people who might simply be humans in distress.Freedom also implies responsibility and able to prove it.I don’t consider Australians doing this are extremists or without any real merit.But I also think its a bit silly,rather than dangerous to the relationships of elected governments and countries considerations of borders,or disputes between borders. Sorry. For the length.I just want to be able to say somewhere. I might be troubled by their arrest,but think they are not as well motivated as the singular cause of West Papua could suggest.

  9. alfred venison

    i’m pleasurably ploughing through peter nettl’s 1960 biography “rosa luxemburg”, starting chapter 3, on university & politics in zurich, 1890-1898. -a.v.

  10. faustusnotes

    I’ve spent the morning reading Beevor’s The Second World War, initial thoughts on my blog (it’s not up to his usual standard). It has a nice rang of anecdotes and letters home and a great pace.

    Given the tone hereabouts I thought it might please “the girls” on LP to mention that Beevor puts quite a bit of effort into reporting on women’s efforts in war, especially on the Eastern Front. I just finished the chapter on Stalingrad in which he mentions the “Night Witches” (surely this will please Casey): a squadron almost entirely made up of women who flew some obsolete bomber called a Po-2. Apparently this plane is quite useless but the “Night Witches” used it to terrify the Germans during bombing runs by turning off its engines and gliding silently over their positions at night. This meant that the Germans had to be constantly on their guard not just for the obvious sound of planes, but for the faintest swish of a gliding aircraft. As if the bombs and bullets and dysentery weren’t enough, they had to be on the lookout for witches!

  11. Brian

    Well, Helen, I’ve been concerned to create some common understanding so that we can have conversations without upsetting each other. The commenter you refer to I don’t know personally, but my impression is that he’s about 60. After being tired out of my brain last night, hard to concentrate, the words harder to find, today before I saw your comment, I was just telling my wife that whatever I was trying to achieve it looks beyond me and I’m going to have to rethink how I spend my time.

    Now I have to go out and work again.

  12. alfred venison

    fwiw, Brian, i appreciated what you did there & what you have been trying to do at other times as a mediator. -a.v.

  13. Terangeree

    FN @ 8:

    a squadron almost entirely made up of women who flew some obsolete bomber called a Po-2.

    You’ve awakened the aeroplane aficionado which I was when I was 10 years old.

    It wasn’t a bomber that they flew, but the Soviet equivalent of a Tiger Moth.

    The Wikipedia entry says that the US Air Force lost a jet fighter in the Korean War to one of these aircraft — a North Korean Polikarpov flew so slowly that the US jet fell out of the sky trying to slow down to intercept
    it.
    Over 40,000 of them were built between 1928 and 1953

  14. Terangeree

    … must remember to finish editing and proof-reading before clicking on “Post Comment”.

  15. GregM

    Good news indeed for you Casey on this sparkling Saturday.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-17/northern-territory-to-ditch-their-witchcraft-law/4894086

    And not before time.

    On your broomstick then and off with you to Alice, Tennant Creek, Victoria River, Darwin, Katherine and beyond, safe now in the knowledge that the NT police won’t be taking pot-shots at you as you zoom overhead.

  16. FDB

    Then I will wonder how our artists will fare during the Abbott era.

    Aren’t we/they supposed to thrive on adversity?

    No art for me today then. I just had four coincident paydays – regular job, new second job, gig from ages ago I thought would never come in, gig I’m doing for the next few weekends paid upfront! – plus my 2012/13 tax refund. All lobbed in my bank account (lately a barren and forbidding place to look) while I wasn’t looking late last night.

    So it’s surf and turf for me this evening, and Fancy Feast for the little ones. Coopers’ black and tans in front of the footy. Ah, the simple things. Like being able to pay mortgage, pay bills and eat ALL IN THE SAME WEEK!!!

  17. alfred venison

    nadezhda popova, possibly the last living member of the night witches, passed away earlier this year:- nadezhda popova obit.

  18. GregM

    Thank you alfred for sharing Nadezhda Popova’s obituary with us.

    What a fine and brave lady from distant and desperate times.

  19. Biff

    Ah, the simple things. Like being able to pay mortgage, pay bills and eat ALL IN THE SAME WEEK!!!

    Indeed. Moi, I am currently owed a total of just shy of $4,000, from an assortment of sources, for work done and dusted anywhere between one and six weeks ago. The bright side is that at least that work came in and was paid for.

    Now then: who understands Rudd’s five-year freeze on superannuation? Can Abbott unfreeze it or does freeze actually mean freeze? God knows my super is very modest, but it’s the very modest that the Right go after while they leave Gina Rinehart and Twiggy and Clive Palmer alone, IIRC.

  20. Liz

    For me, the worst is when you’re owed a tiny bit of money for a gig and it takes ages and multiple phone calls and emails to be paid. It’s just so mean. I’m chasing up $150 at the moment and it hardly feels worth all the effort I have to make.

  21. GregM

    God knows my super is very modest, but it’s the very modest that the Right go after while they leave Gina Rinehart and Twiggy and Clive Palmer alone, IIRC.

    Listen Biff. It’s one thing to have a go at Twiggy and Clive Palmer.

    But leave Gina well alone. She is a major poet (poetess?) as you well know.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic_5JR65WGM

    Are you so totally devoid of compassion for her that you ignore your own exhalation of grief @5 above where you responded to Casey’s haunting question to us @3 ?

    Then I will wonder how our artists will fare during the Abbott era.

    Consider, just for one moment, if you have it in you, what torture she must be going through at the prospect of the philistinism of an Abbott government where her literary gifts are not recognised and celebrated.

    Her hopes of succeeding Mary Gilmore as a poetess on our plastic banknotes will be dashed.

    Give that some thought before you cavil about Gina’s circumstances.

    And if at a literary soiree she should approach you I hope that you will have the goodness in you to impart to her some sage advice on how she might improve her rhyme and rhythm in her poetical works, which are, to be frank, pretty wretched.

  22. FDB

    I regularly find myself in the odd position of feeling guilty when chasing up unpaid gig money. When I’ve done live mixing especially, I often know the band are making a loss, and I’m the only one on the night actually coming out with money in my pocket.

    Then I remember how many times I’ve been in their position, and send another email.

  23. paul burns

    At least I get a $200 something cheque a year for PLR. But wait, before Howard that used to be for life and he reduced the payment for 20 years. God knows what Abbott will do.
    And you don’t make a lot out of writing books with a normal first edition print run of 1500. And you usually have to sell 1500 copies before you get any royalties. For a first book.
    PS. And writing poetry is not a money-making exercise at almost any time, in my experience except for the 25 copies or so you get from the publisher.

  24. Su

    Fancy Feast, huh. The feline overlord n’mistress have got the hungerstrike down to a fine art now, solemn frowny faces and oscar worthy scenes of languishing didn’t banish the hated can so they progressed to full-on cat fights in front of full dinner bowls. Chicken thigh is acceptable. Barely. Luckily I quite likedal.

  25. Casey

    Mon deux did I really buy a Sydney Moderns scarf with some glorious painting of the white sunshine bouncing off the blue of the harbour and the grey of the bridge for 110.00 fracking dollars? What the frack is the matter with me? what am I? Rich? Of course it doesn’t help that they made me and other sucker exit the exhibition via the ye old stupid shoppe with ye crappy wares where every year I get fleeced by my own stupidity and the Gallery’s avariciousness. Of course the scarf is so spectacular it actually makes a wall hanging. As if I will hang it. As. If. Well, I would want to be making sure I will be wearing it every day for the next year or I will be sticking my fingers in my own brain and scrambling it, to teach myself a lesson.

    Furthermore, did my male friend who I’ve known for years and years really tell me “Just so you know, I prefer it dark”, regarding my the colour of my hair? Was it really the third time since I went light that he said that? And then, did I really rip his head off over a sparkling sauv blanc at the Gallery and ask him what frack does “Just so you know” actually mean? And when I saw his face crumple, did I actually apologise? Did I? AGAIN? How many times have I apologised this week? And why?

    I won’t even tell you about the shoes I bought in town which turned out to very badly as well.

    I’m very stressed. Stupid harbour.

  26. Chris

    Now then: who understands Rudd’s five-year freeze on superannuation? Can Abbott unfreeze it or does freeze actually mean freeze? God knows my super is very modest, but it’s the very modest that the Right go after while they leave Gina Rinehart and Twiggy and Clive Palmer alone, IIRC.

    Rudd is not proposing to freeze your superannuation! He’s proposed a freeze on changing legislation around superannuation. And this is definitely one area which should be changed only very rarely and after a lot of consideration because if we want people to invest their money in super they need long term certainty.

  27. Casey

    At least I can go to Darwin now the witch hunts are over up there.

  28. Casey

    Fancy Feast for the little ones

    How are the little Wainrights? How old are they now? what colour are they? Who’s dominant? Funny stories? Spill.

  29. FDB

    They’d now be about 5 months.

    Martha (the all-white stone-deaf one) is unquestionably dominant. Also far more curious/reckless, while at the same time more under-the-covers cuddly.

    She’s basically EXTREME! kitty, while Rufus is a homebody. And a bit of a whinger. Black and white, and far more popular with visitors, as he behaves more or less predictably and takes no for an answer.

    Given my location, with large front windows opposite a park, they are very popular with the passers-by. I’ll often be minding my own business and walk into the front living room to confront strangers, children, dogs etc ogling their windowsill antics.

    In a word, adorable.

  30. FDB

    did I really rip his head off over a sparkling sauv blanc at the Gallery and ask him what frack does “Just so you know” actually mean? And when I saw his face crumple

    Sounds a bit like “just so you know” might have meant “just in case how attractive I find you is important to you”. From this vast remove though, even my prodigious gaydar are not reliable.

  31. Casey

    I love them from here already. You know, Casey, my cat after whom I am named was a harlequin. Much more placid than the fat ginga that now runs my life. Such pretty cats. Martha sounds wonderful, too. Excellent, FDB.

  32. Casey

    Sounds a bit like “just so you know” might have meant “just in case how attractive I find you is important to you”.

    No, not gay. Oh mon deaux that’s all I need. Where’s my homemade limoncello? I will be back in two nips.

  33. Biff

    Rudd is not proposing to freeze your superannuation! He’s proposed a freeze on changing legislation around superannuation.

    Oh yes I know, sorry, I expressed myself badly. What I meant was, ‘Hooray that Rudd is proposing to freeze, or has frozen, any changes. but will it stick?’ I thought he had already done it by fiat, although I’m not sure why I thought that. What I was wanting to know was whether Abbott could unfreeze the freeze and go ahead introducing legislation to tamper with one’s hard-earned. Am in furious agreement with the second part of your comment, of course they should bloody leave it alone.

  34. Terry2

    Friends visiting from PNG helped pick our coffee and pulp the cherries this morning; ideal weather for drying coffee with day temps in early twenties, clear skies and balmy breezes: went for a swim this afternoon, chilly but invigorating : life is good & everyone will sleep well tonight.

    FDB, Liz and Biff: we should be in the medical game – I have to go in for day surgery in a couple of weeks – they insist on all bills being paid in full ten days prior to treatment : way to go for them.

  35. Chris

    Biff @ 31 – I don’t see how a government can stop any future government from legislating whatever they want (and that’s a good thing). It’s just a policy promise by Rudd. Unfortunately neither the ALP or the LNP have been able to resist fiddling with the super laws every couple of years – probably because there is so much money involved.

  36. Russell

    I’ve never made the slightest attempt to understand super, partly because you would have to keep understanding the changes … too tedious.

    But, didn’t Howard make changes to super that advantaged the well off? Gillard made some little progressive changes, I think, but no doubt it was the usual one step forward after the LNP dragged us three steps backwards. Anyway if super arrangements are one of things driving growing inequality, then an ALP government should make changes.

  37. Graham Bell

    Biff @ 31, Chris @ 33, Russell @ 34.
    Just in case you think your superannuation absolutely safe and secure – just remember what happened to the generous retirement scheme for Soviet coal-miners when the USSR broke up. Governments will do whatever they like with YOUR money and there is not a thing you can do about it – except make contingency plans for your own wellbeing when that happens. (and if, by some miracle, it doesn’t happen, you will have lost only an hour or two in planning and a few pages of paper).

    fn@8 +Terangeree @11.
    Indeed. It’s not always the latest-&-greatest weapons that are the most effective. Thanks a.v.@15.

  38. Brian

    Thanks, av @ 10. While LP’s here I’ll be here.

  39. alfred venison

    thank you, Brian, good to know. -a.v.

  40. Moz of Yarramulla

    GB@35: tricky, when we have the recent example of the Germans dictating terms to their various EU subjects that resulted in their savings being plundered to reduce bank losses. To keep your super safe you really need to be storing it under the bed… or perhaps in bank shares now we understand the priorities.

  41. paul burns

    Is this the thread on which to gloat about the rubbishing Gerard Henderson got on Insiders this morning? GLOAT.

  42. alfred venison

    and you’re welcome, Graham Bell, glad you found your way to it. -a.v.

  43. Biff

    Graham Bell at #35, yes indeed, that has always been my view, and that’s why I was asking.

  44. David Irving (no relation)

    Fortunately for me, I’m very close to retiring. The current super system only has to hold together for another couple of years.

  45. Linda

    David Irving@43 Won’t it need to hold together for the duration of your retirement?

  46. David Irving (no relation)

    Linda, once I’ve moved up to the country, and stocked my paddock, I won’t care so much.

  47. Graham Bell

    Tuesday night – so I watched the repeat episode of “The Vikings”. That nasty jarl would be chided for not being an equal-opportunity employer these days, wouldn’t he?

  48. Graham Bell

    Sorry Biff @ 42, should have mentioned earlier the ABC Radio National Background Briefing program this past weekend about baby-boomer homelessness through no fault of their own. Haven’t got the link but it is probably podcast.