Tuesday, 29 May 2018

More or less random jottings

This blog has been pretty quiet recently as we have been away in South Australia for a couple of weeks and my doings have been reported on another blog.

We are now back and after spending Sunday recovering from a 13 hour drive I got stuck into a bit of gardening yesterday.

Even though we are in the second worst spell of dry weather since 1993 I decided that the time has come to start doing some rehab on the vegie garden. The first step was dig over a patch used for spuds last season.
Of course with spuds having been there last year a few got missed. I'm always happy to find a few more kipflers.
I also dug up an amphibian. As I am not a frog-eating surrender-monkey (et c'est un Pobblebonk, pas du simplement 'grenouille') this fine specimen was released into the garden to munch a few more slugs'n'grubs..
Then on the Tuesday morning Frances found this beastie in the bathroom.  She found one in early April as well, when our friend Roger Farrow identified it as a Scutigeromorph centipede.
I have been doing a bit of reading recently, finishing "Gallipolli" by Peter Fitzsimons and am currently about halfway through "Working Class Boy" by Jimmy Barnes.

Gallipolli

I got onto this after reading Bandana-man's book about Fromelle and Pozieres.  It is very long book, but doesn't in my view waste much space.  It is in much the same style as the former book presenting facts in a novelistic manner.  
There was a lot in here that I didn't realise about Gallipolli.  The two most astonishing elements were:
  1. It started off as a naval exercise, developed into the army helping the navy; and then the navy bought out of any aggressive strategy
  2. The most amazing bit of the whole process was the evacuation which was initially expected to lead to a 50% casualty rate but ended up getting all the troops off with no casualties.

Basically a very good read if you have the time.

Working Class Boy

I have been ambivalent about Jimmy Barnes as I didn't much care for the music of Cold Chisel with this attitude summed up by a joke:
Q: whats got 100 legs and an IQ of 250?
A: the front row at a Jimmy Barnes concert.
More recently I was quite impressed by his efforts with the Choir of Hard Knocks and interviews he gave to the ABC about the content of this book.  To say the least it is a book about a pretty desperate childhood.  Its a bit repetitive, as was I suspect his life, but I am well hooked into it and want to find out how things change.
Two particular comments have stuck with me:
  1. At one point the family get some nice food (getting any food seems to be a major event) and he just gorges on it.  He says that he didn't think you could have too much of a good thing - and then notes it took him 45 years to realise the error of that view!
  2. He talks about the TV series The Samurai and how he pretended to be a ninja and in this role went and hid in the fields.  No-one found him.  He realised later that was because no-one was looking him.
I thought at one point there could be a personal connection in the tale.  Barnesy went to Le Fevre High School, and we worked out that he would have been there while Frances was based there as a school librarian.  I asked her if she remembered a small obnoxious Glaswegian kid but she didn't.  It then turned out that he left Le Fevre after a year and went to schools back in Elizabeth. 

It is a very grim story and - as with Fitzsimons - isn't written in a conventional structure.  However as a story about a class of people it is a ripper,

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