Bells and Whistles

I’ve been mean I know, leaving poor wen to bear the load all by herself, a newly hatched armadillo no doubt wondering what she’s let herself in for; me, I’m more interested in watching the rugby than blogging. But I have more excuses.

For nearly a week my computer has lain idle as a result of the house being painted. I took all the furniture and piled it in the middle of the lounge room until the paint dried then put it back minus all the shit that has been thrown out. I’m a shocking hoarder; inevitably a paper or an article I’ve kept for years will become essential reading two weeks after been thrown out. I need periodic upheavals such as a cyclone, moving house or painting the walls to make me sift through the rubbish and make room on the bookshelves for all the stuff I’ll collect over the coming year.

And I’ve bought a new digital camera! The most important things I’ve learnt are; it chews through batteries like blazes; I didn’t really need an extra 128Meg of memory, if I use the HQ image setting rather than the SHQ I can fit about 75 images on a 16Meg card and I’ll probably have to spend a lot longer than I thought finding out how to make the most of all the bells and whistles. It’s taken me most of the day to perfect downloading images using a USB cable, what with causing problems with restarts and such. To prove that I’m gradually getting there, cop this.


Watching the rugby last night was interrupted by the signal dropping out so often that I gave up and read a book while Rosemary watched ‘the Bill’. I knew that as soon as the game was finished on 7 it would be repeated on Austar. Might as well not wasted my time. The referees have really mucked up modern rugby by insisting on penalising the most minor infringements making the game a misery for all but the diehard fanatic. I can understand why some one not well versed in the intricacies of the game thinking it is boring to watch two fullbacks kick (badly) back and forwards in a vain attempt to gain field position. Particularly if one of the teams is Australia. Their performance last night was lacking in skill, passion and devoid of entertainment. They will be lucky to beat Scotland in their next game and can’t really expect to progress past the semis.


Another pastime that has kept me away from the keyboard is a fascinating book I’ve been reading. Reading his critical comment is participating in a chain reaction; offering up more opportunities to read others works who in turn lead to more hours of literary bliss. Clive James has just visited Darwin. It’s an indication of his current reputation that he comes to the Top End during the build up, the worst time of year for bad weather. Any one worth paying $50 to see visits during the dry season when it’s cold and wet down south. I suspect that he, like many performers at the end of their careers, can only get a gig when the theatre has not been booked by a more fashionable artist. I fear that he is fast reaching, as he puts it in the foreword, “the time… to follow [English Grammar] into oblivion.” His essays are great though. His wit and erudition are unsurpassed, starting with his description of “the most sadly beautiful of all modern rubrics, Windows is Shutting Down. And English grammar is checking out.” Perhaps I’ll blog a little more about what I read.

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2022 years ago

D’you think Clive James’ despair at the state of the language (I’m guessing that’s what the “English language checking out” is about) is justified? or is it just an inevitable pessimism about the state of everything that afflicts you as you get older?

BTW great eyebrows, Woodsy. I tweeze & tweeze & can never quite get that wonderful arch!

2022 years ago

It’s hard to say wen, can we believe anything written by an reconstructed expat who writes “If we take it for granted that a writer is posturing if he calls himself an essayist,” then calls his book ‘the essential essays’. He quotes Martin Amis as declaring “that Britain no longer leads the world in anything, except in decline.” It’s not a great leap from ideas like that to suggesting the language is under attack from the ‘Moronic Inferno’.

Then again it may simply be the last gasp of an old man intoning “now, in the good old days…..”

2022 years ago

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