Wednesday, December 30, 2009

the best bit of holidays v's control freak

As you can see from the fact that I'm posting I still haven't finished my conference paper. Not to worry, I have a full 48 hours before it needs to be submitted (working on the basis that time difference gives me a bit of leeway and that the folks accepting my paper in America have better things to do at midnight 31 December than to check whether I've emailed it in).

So instead I'm planning the trip. The conference is being held in Townsville, after which I'm flying to Japan for a week. This has allowed me to indulge in one of life's greatest pleasures - the holiday planning frenzy. I've compared prices of about a million hotels in Townsville. Decided against staying in the nominated conference hotel (bad online reviews, silly prices) and chose another major hotel chain just across the road.

I hate staying in hotels. Really really hate staying in hotels. Travel would be perfect if I could just teleport myself home every evening to drift off into slumber in my own bed, with the cats at my feat. And on my face. And pinning my arms down. And pushing pressure on my bladder. Only to wake the next morning and teleport myself back to my international local. However I do love hotel buffet breakfasts. Little bits and pieces of things I would never normally eat. Not that they're necessarily very nice, and mercy not very good for me. But I love the novelty of it, particularly in Asia. And particularly in Singapore, where you have roti with curry sauce and congee sitting next to the croissant.

So I'm hoping this hotel will have something spectacular for me to choose from at breakfast. At least once, I'm happy to go the take away coffee and muffin on the other days.

Unfortunately my hotel in Japan has already been booked, so I don't have the pleasure of reading reviews, and putting prices in Yen into a converter and tossing up whether the up-market shower fixture is worth the extra twenty bucks a night. However I have spent hours, literally hours, working out individual train prices versus a variety of Japan Rail passes, worked out where you get the ferry to the island of Hiroshima, worked out how to get to Kyoto from Osaka airport. I've even downloaded guides. Yes the clever people at Lonely Planet will now let you download PDFs of individual chapters of their guide books. So if, like me, you've purchased the Kyoto guidebook, but want to go to Hiroshima, which is not included, you just pop online for for about $5 can get the Honshu chapter from Lonely Planet Japan. With all of the maps, and train timetables, local vocabulary and recommended eateries.

oooooo..... overload....... pleasure overload.......

Not that I live and breath the books. In the words of Eleanor Lavish 'I abhor Baedeker. If it were up to me every copy should be flung in the Arno'. I don't always use them, but damn I like reading them. Both before and after.

Before it builds the anticipation - you start to imagine what the cities will look like, how they will smell, how the people look, move and sound. You think about what you might be eating, what the climate will be like, all the wonderful places you might go, and all of the possible discoveries of still mysterious places you will uncover. On the return home you get to read about all the places you planed to go to, find that that mysterious place isn't that mysterious, it was on page 162 all the time, or maybe it's not and you actually did discover something amazing.

I'm also starting to get into the language. I'm a step ahead in that the Japanese use a lot of Chinese characters, so even though they're not pronounced the same I might be able to work out what some of the text is saying. So while I couldn't look at the characters 京都 and work out it's pronounced Koyto (I'd say JingDou) I know it means Double Capital (as in capital city, Beijing is the the Northern Capital, Nanjing the Southern Capital).

Sorry, I got all language freak and boring there for a moment. So if you'll excuse me, I'm off to practice my Japanese, and eat left over ham and aoili sandwiches.

Bon voyage!

Monday, December 28, 2009

christmas post



tee hee. This picture was just too moi not to steal it from some other poor, unsuspecting blogger's site.

Well, I had quite a list of things to get through last time I posted. How's all that going, I wonder?

1. Run a highly underfunded international conference
I am pleased to be able to report that I lived through this conference. Only one complaint. Mind you this was screaming-abuse-at-me-at-the-registration-desk complaint, but from someone largely considered in the industry to be insane. There were a few hiccups with the catering, and the bar lost a bucket of money, but Dr Space Junk and I managed to make it through alive. Then we both slept. I mean really, really slept. I'm still sleeping as I write this, actually. I am hoping for a minimum of 12 hours a night until I get back to work.

2. Finish the fucking course review process that has destroyed the last three months of my life
This is somewhat connected with old Father Darth up the top. Unfortunately this still lingers on. And it really has destroyed the last three months of my life. This is the reason that I am so tired, and so despondent, and so totally utterly physically, emotionally and mentally rooted. I took this job 12 months ago to try and reduce the stress in my life. It has done anything but. It's a good thing that the people are great and my academic supervisor is just down the corridor, or I'd be outta there.

3. Cook Christmas dinner for 30 workmates
Survived this too. Exhausted and plastered (it only took about three drinks). I will be eating the left overs until Easter.

4. Write a conference paper
I should be doing this now, but am writing this post as a form of procrastination

5. Have Christmas
Christmas has turned me into an eating machine - pate, dip and dukkha, grilled lemon quail, roast beef with aioli and potatoes, cheese course, ice cream, pavlova and cake. All washed down with gallons of booze. I think it's stretch my stomach, because I've been perpetually starving since. I'm waiting until 4pm before starting to prepare dinner....

6. Drink far too much Frangenlico with my choice-bro who will be down for Christmas
Too much eating for Frangelico. But he's here until Saturday!

7. See if I can find someone who wants to go to the ODIs with me.
Some possible action on this front. I am helping my conference paper procrastination along with lots of watching the Boxing Day test with eating ham sandwiches and cherries. I'll start on the voddie tonics in about an hour.

Merry Christmas to you and all your nerf herders.

I'm off to see the pandas tomorrow!

Monday, December 7, 2009

hellllloooo overthere.....

Yes. A while. A very long while.

Still can't upload photos. If I could you would have:
  • the cutest possible shot of Apollo asleep on my bed yesterday
  • Dr Brown banging his drum in the Christmas Pageant
  • other stuff that I've probably forgotten about

In the next week or so I need to
  • run a highly underfunded international conference (three days to go. OMG!)
  • have finished the fucking course review process that has destroyed the last three months of my life
  • cook Christmas dinner for 30 workmates
  • write a conference paper
  • have Christmas
  • drink far too much Frangenlico with my choice-bro who will be down for Christmas
  • see if I can find someone who wants to go to the ODIs with me.

Preference Australia v's Pakistan if anyone's interested.

Monday, November 9, 2009

fuck me, it's hot

This is from my little weather widget thing, from 7.30am.
Neither my good self nor my black cat look as jolly as this couple

Friday, November 6, 2009

why I had a good day and great things about Adelaide

Today I worked from home. ooooooooo.... it was divine. I still got up at the same time, and made my tea and gave the cats their food and injection.

But!

I didn't get tom, the deadly treadly, out. Nor did I snort and snarl my way to campus cursing the day my fellow motorists were born. No. Instead I walked to the kitchen table and turned on the laptop. I was working at home, and I was loving it. Still in my pyjamas I'd done a couple of hours work by the time I was normally heading in the door. And I'd got more done than I normally did in a day by then.

However by around 11am the stomach was starting to make itself known, so as I didn't have to justify my whereabouts to anyone, or write 'gone for lunch, back in 10' on my office door, I went into town to do my food shopping.

When I was younger, I hated living in Adelaide. It was small. It was quiet. The good bands never toured. Now I'm older, and have lived the high life in some of Europe's most famous capital cities - I still think Adelaide's boring but I'm old enough not to care. I don't have the energy to go out anymore and young persons music bores me to tears, so it's just as easy to stay at home in Adelaide as it is Melbourne or New York.

But no matter what my age, there's always been one thing about Adelaide that has made the place worthwhile - the Adelaide Central Markets. They're one of the largest covered markets in Australia, or the Southern Hemisphere, or the World, or the Universe or something. I'm not sure and as a tourism person I should know. Don't try to over analyse it, they're just great.

And they're where I come from.

At least they could be, as they're the first thing I remember. Truly, it's the ONLY thing I remember from being young. I remember going there and my brother being in an indigo blue canvas backpack thing, that were de rigeur in the 70s, on my father's back. So he must have been about one, so I must have been about three. I really don't remember anything before that.

Of course there was food involved (is it any wonder I've become a fat foodie). I'd eat kabanas at Con's chacuterie, doughnuts at the bakery, and at Lucia's I'd eat kitkat. Lucia and her husband Pasquale opened Lucia's Pizzeria sometime in the Pleistocene era, and were the first in Adelaide to serve up pizza. Back then it was a tiny, two table place and I clearly remember sitting on Pasquale's knee as he served me pieces of chocolate. Mother and Father having been in Europe not long before my birth were no doubt slugging back the short short Italian coffee.

I remember many birthdays there, Saturday morning outings with Miss Quinn the slightly mad old cat lady from next door (I aspire to Miss Quinn) and later lazy student days eating pizza and buying cheap veggies at closing time.

These days it's still one of my favourite places on earth (I even dated one of the staff very briefly - and very disastrously). The coffee's wonderful and if you order right the breakfasts are close to heaven. I highly recommend the baked beans on continental toast. I have breakfast there every week with Opera Boy and we always sit at the same table and laugh and snort until we run away to our respective places of torture a little happier than on other days.

And it's still a place of habit for me. Same fruit and vegetable shop
Same baker, some butcher. There's a lot more Asian food available than when I was little. Then it was all Italian and Greek and not nearly as fashionable as it is now. But the sights and smells and noise and range of delicious things is always amazing and you always see something new and come away with something you didn't plan, unless you're very very good.

Today I came away with fried pork dumplings for my lunch. They were a little cold by the time I got them home (and changed back into my pyjamas), but still a very delicious thing to do on a busy day working at home.

So really, I worked a long day, 10 hours, got about 12 hours of work done but still managed to have a blissful day with the cats by my side, a long trip to the markets, a coffee at Lucias and dumplings for lunch.

I really, really need a job where I work from home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

insert pavemet here

Nervous Breakdown Averted.

Nothing to see here.

Move along.

Go about your regular business.

OK: So the days are still long, and the work still overwhelming. However:

1. took no home work with me last weekend and did no study - it was divine
2. all industry presentations over, successfully
3. have purchased food that is not pizza or take away Indian
4. beer
5. i've had an incredible amount of sleep
6. just generally decided to not be such a big fat girl and just get on with it, damn it!

Also my new hot water system that wasn't working had decided to kick in (just in time for summer), my house guest is gone leaving my evenings blissfully kittenesque and I've actually done some social stuff (it's been a while. Work can just take over some times).

Additionally I've asked for an extension for my final assignment (there have to be perks to working where you're a student), and the student whose thesis I've been proofing has been told the cold, hard truth that there's no way she's going to be able to graduate this December - by proofing I mean adding or removing articles, not proper editing which is what I've told her from the beginning she needed.

Not only that, but I've received some more excitement in the post. I still can't upload photos, but if you take this post - and supplement 'pavement', you 'll get the idea

Monday, October 26, 2009

ever feel like an idiot?

Tears. Everywhere - tears. I'm a fairly standard neo-feminist. I hate crying. A lot. But it's all I've been doing lately. I cried at my mothers. I cried at my fathers. I cried in front of no less than four colleagues today.

I fear there's some stress in my life. A straw too many was placed upon my camels back. I could give you photos, but my fucking computer's still not got functioning ports.

Life sucks sometimes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

R2D2 update

I am having beer for dinner. Again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

some days you just can't catch a break - or - there's no point crying over spilt beer

It's been a while since I wrote a post that was more than copying a recipe of someone else's site.

'Oh, has it?', you all say... 'hadn't noticed frankly'. Well yes, it has been a jolly long while.

There are several reasons for this:

1. Work has been crazy busy. Work is always crazy busy, I know. For us all, I know! But trust me when I say mine is extra crazy busy at the moment, summed up mostly by this shiny little droidy friend:
I know for most of you this will be meaningless, but for those in the know it's rather cute and funny, so please allow me this little in-joke.

Also, almost all of the positions for staff who work under me are soon to be vacant due to impending motherhood, pure selfishness and the joy of retirement (obviously not all in the same person).

2. Study has been equally busy, connected with that is a number '3'.

But first, let me tell you a story.

It all started a week ago today.

Well, actually it started on a warm August afternoon in AD79, when a little mountain call Vesuvius opened up the bowls of its molten body and started the eruption that would end the lives three cities, Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum, as well as the lives of many of their residents.

Going on two thousand years later some of the remains of these towns are on display in an exhibition 'A Day in Pompeii' at the Melbourne Museum. As a great lover of all things Classical I was all a-quiver about this development and immediately chose a weekend in October and booked flights for a day trip to Melbourne. That day was 10 October, last Saturday.

In the past when I've done these trips I've tried to get on the first possible flight out of town so I can have as much time as possible at my destination. The older I get the stupider this is, as by 3pm I'm dead on my feet. So this time I get a sensible flight time. Bus to the airport works a charm - only 5 minutes to transfer in the city. Row to myself - fabbo. Quick connection to the shuttle in Melbourne and I'm on my way. Walk down Spencer Street to Flinders Street and only just miss a circle tram.

Unfortunately I'm waiting nearly 30 minutes for the next, and I'm starting to think it would have been quicker if I had walked. When it does come, it's packed, but I'm happy to stand. At Russel Street the driver announces that because there's a rally at Parliament he's stopping here. That's OK, I respect the right to protest. Out I hop.

Now, Melbourne has a reputation for gray, wintry weather. However on this particular day the sun was hot and harsh and I was not dressed appropriately for this, mmmmmm.... starting to get a bit sticky. OK, not much further now. At Parliament I see the protesters, not many of them but they're blocking the whole street. As I push my way through I realise that they're trying to tell me that they know what I want with my body better than I do and that my choices should be removed by an act of legislation.

Blood pressure rises.

Keep going, BHG, keep going. Don't punch them and spend the day in the lock up.

Finally at Melbourne Museum. And it is HEAVING. Entry is timed, and despite the fact that it's only 1.30pm the earliest I can gain entry is 3pm. Bugger. I have to be back at the airport at 5.30, but that's OK, maybe I'll just have to pay for a cab. I get my ticket and decide to peruse the rest of this fine institution's collections.

But first a bit to eat, just need to get past this queue. Oh, hang on, this queue if for the restaurant. Not really moving either is it. Sod, that, I'll just pop out and find a cafe.

Yes, well, the Melbourne Museum is not really geographically located in a sensible place for weekend bites to eat. I'm setting up a hotdog stand out the front I think. By the time I've walked all the way to Swanson Street, only to end up with a bag of crisps from the 7/11, find an ATM to get money for the inevitable taxi fare and leg it back to the Museum it's nearly 2.15, and I figure I should go and stand in line so I'm the first of the 3pm'ers to get in.

There are actually some good displays in the entry hall, and I watch a couple of videos. What I would like is a catalogue so I can have a browse before. Of course it's only available from the exhibition shop, which is at the end of the exhibition and inaccessible to the rest of the world.

sigh

At 2.40 I decide to give the door bitch a sob story about flight schedules to see if I can slip in early, to be told that it would be bedlam if we all got in at 3 and I should feel free to go in now.

Go in where? It seems like all of Melbourne is in the exhibition. It's shoulder to shoulder jostling for every glimpse. They're all pieces I've seen before, and the interpretation is simplistic at best. I know not everyone there has an Honours degree in Classical Studies and a Grad Dip in Archaeology (they're too smart to have done that), but really, they could give those of us with an interest something to read.

After 15 minutes I can stand it no longer, and leave annoyed, frustrated, on the verge of tears. And the catalogue's crap and totally overpriced.

At least I could use my return shuttle ticket back to the airport. Where I had the worst sandwich of my life (half went in the bin) to be on a cramped flight where the woman next to me spilt her drink on me. At the end of it all I stopped at the pub near my bus stop to get some beer to drown my sorrows.

Half way home the holder broke, they fell on the ground and smashed.

Now truly this is a sad story, but how is this connected to my study and point number '3'? Well, I was going to take a photo of my ticket receipt as an illustration to go with my story of how I paid nearly $300 to spend 15 minutes in the Pompeii exhibition.

But unfortunately for some reason my computer has decided not to read memory sticks. So I can't upload photos.

I also can't access all of my study documents that are on my flash drive, meaning I'm wasting time and will have to go into the office tomorrow to access my presentation that I'm giving to a crowded audience of Barossa Tourism operators on Wednesday.

There is more things to be upset about. I have a searing hangover (remember, the last bottle is always a mistake), one of my favourite bloggers in hiatus meaning my almost daily relaxation read has been removed, and there's no food in the house.

Good news on the horizon? I have discovered a few new blogs that may help to fill the void (but never the whole thing AFM!) and I'm looking a burgers online. I love burgers - provided there are no yellow arches involved of course.

And I have an exciting new project to work on. I'm not actually allowed to tell you, or anyone, what it is, but it it involves this fuzzy, purple fellow

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

daring cooks, pho

Long time, no post. And it's another noodle recipe.

This month's Daring Cooks challenge is bought to you by Jaden of the Steamy Kitchen. Jaden rightly points out that we're not cooking fhow. These delicious spicy and sour noodles are pronounced fuhr? Like you're asking a question. Or fourth tone for those with a sinophone background (I think Vietnamese has more tones than Chinese. This is why I will never, ever learn to speak Vietnamese. Or Cantonese. My understanding is that Cantonese has about a billion tones, and that is one or two more than I care to master). But sorry, I 'm distracting from the noodles!

For Pho, you'll need
2 tbspn whole coriander seeds
2 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 litres chicken stock (As clean as you can make it. Don't buy it. That's cheating)
1 whole chicken breast
1/2 onion
1 5cm piece of ginger, bruised
1 tblspn sugar
2 tblspn fish sauce

...and some pho noodles. Also called Hor Fun in Chinese. You can buy these already sliced or buy them in a slab and slice them yourself.

For toppings you'll need
bean sprouts
lime (quartered)
fresh coriander
sliced red chili
Vietnamese basil
half a finely sliced red onion

Then you:
Heat a dry fry pan and roast the dry spices until just toasty
Add these to a sauce pan with the rest of the ingredients (I leave the sugar fish sauce until the end to test for seasoning)
simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Skim the liquid regularly to remove any of the scum that forms
remove the chicken, and add fish sauce and sugar to taste
shred or slice the chicken breast

Meanwhile cook the noodles.

Place the noodles in your bowl and strain the broth through a sieve to cover. Arrange the chicken meat on top, add a few drops of chili sauce, and serve with the toppings on a separate plate for everyone to add as they please.


I must say, I've cooked pho before, and eaten it plenty, but this is one of the best recipes I've ever tried anywhere (including Hanoi).

You gotta give it a go!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

滑牛肉面

Having taken Friday off of work to.... study..... I ended up doing my market shopping, and going out for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. But yesterday to everyone's surprise, including mine, I sat down and have almost completed my presentation for Barossa Tourism (The TG and I will have to go up in a couple of weekends and take some extra photos, but I figure he'll feel at home!)

At the markets I had bought the ingredients for this months' Daring Cooks recipe - give or take two key ingredients, so my Saturday night dinner plans were washed away. However I did have a packet of sheet noodles.


So I decided to reward myself for finally doing the damn presentation by cooking myself my famous HuaNiuRouMian (滑牛肉面), or Slippery Beef Noodles. I call them this because there's beef in it and they're slippery.

  1. In a hot wok cook about 3 tablespoons of peanut oil for a couple of minutes and allow to cool. Once cool mix half of this with a teaspoon of corn flour, a teaspoon of soy sauce and a splash of water. Marinate about 200g of beef strips in this for at least half an hour.
  2. Cut strips of noodles off the sheet - nice thick noodles. Cover in a bowl with boiling water, pulling the noodles apart with chopsticks. They will only take a couple of minutes to cook. Drain them and set aside.
  3. Heat the left over oil in the wok again and fry off half a small, diced onion, garlic, ginger and half a teaspoon of hot pepper sauce. When this is coloured, add the beef with all of the marinade and cook until almost done through.
  4. Then add a couple of bunches of Chinese spinach. This is often grown hydroponically so needs a good wash to get rid of any sand. I sometimes don't do this properly and the whole dish ends up a bit crunchy. Once the spinach is wilted remove everything from the wok.
  5. Pop the noodles into the wok and season them with a mixture of half a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of light soy and a teaspoon and a half of dark thick soy. Add a small splash of fish sauce for seasoning.
  6. Return the beef and vegetables and heat through
  7. Consume immediately!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

happiness is


coming home and finding exciting things in the postbox

Sunday, September 20, 2009

procrastination post 2,958

Recently I expressed dismay at the horrible state of my home. Also, I'm working on a large, boring research project for my Masters studies and finally the Teutonic God that was supposed to move into chez-BHG months ago is actually rocking up in a fortnight's time (Teutonic Gods have very strict attitudes to cleanliness. And everything else it should be noted).

So in an attempt to not do the boring research project I have not only be rearranging my stamp collection -yes, you read correctly I'm so un-keen to do this I've been moving stamps about in albums - but have also cleaned the fridge. So TG can eat in safety.

Fridge Door, Before and After


Fridge, before and after.



And the Recycling elves are happy too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

daring cooks do dosa

Finally I have been able to take part in a Daring Cook's challenge - too much fish in recent months. Yukky.

This month's hostess, Debyi from The Healthy Vegan Kitchen talked us through Dosa. Debyi did hers with a chickpea filling and a very good looking coconut sauce on top.

Being different.... OK being disorganised, I did mine a little different, but more Marsala Dosa with a curried potato filling. If you'd like to see Debyi's version there's a recipe on her site. This is mine.

Saag-Aloo (without the Saag).
Peel and dice two smallish potatoes and boil until soft. Drain and set aside.

Heat some vegetable oil in a fry pan until seriously hot, but not smoking and toss in a half teaspoon of black mustard seeds. When they start to pop add a half a teaspoon each of cumin seeds and chili flakes along with two cloves of finely chopped garlic. Cook for a minute and then add half a small chopped onion. Add a teaspoon of cumin powder and half a teaspoon of turmeric and fry to cook the spices. If you're adding Saag, you'd do it now. But I was not so I did not! Add the potatoes and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Add some water or stock if needed to bring everything together. I also put in some coriander leaves.

OK, this is your filling.


To make the dosa mix together 1 cup plain flour, pinch salt, half a teaspoon of baking powder, a generous pinch of cumin, and then stir in 1/2 milk milk mixed with 3/4 cup of water to make a thin batter.

Ladle this batter into a hot oiled pan to make the dosa. Keep 'em thin. Unfortunately mine were much too like pancakes. Misshaped pancakes as you can see.



They still were delicious. Just not dosa. Next time I will try a different batter and make proper Sambal to go with them.


Or I will just go to my favourite dosa man, just near Sansag Marg in New Delhi. Now, this guy knows how to make dosa!!!



UPDATE: Bollocks. Now I want dosa.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

why it's good i'm not a breeder

I'm not sure if this is accurate, but it seems once most people have passed on their genes, they become cleaner. All of a sudden dishes are done and carpets hoovered and things put away. Sharp corners are minimised and batteries are no longer left sitting on the coffee table once they've been changed in the remote.

This afternoon I contemplated my fridge.



Actually I was looking for the tomato paste for this month's Daring Cooks challenge (posts tomorrow). What I did find was an old tin of cat food with interesting growths, the bones from a leg of lamb I did about two weekends ago and half a cabbage that must have been there for at least two months. How the fuck to you loose half a cabbage in a standard fridge. It was a big one too. Then there's the lentil soup that's about to turn, stewed rhubarb, although that's going in me tonight, and assorted bags with half bunches of spring onions.

The door shelves are more of a mystery.



Many jars here of dubious origin and date, although this one has obviously been there a while. It would also appear that I've transported it here from the house I was in previously. Note cat hair stuck to the lid.



There are also jars of home made jam - whose home I'm not sure - salad cream (I don't even eat salad cream), tahini, pad thai sauce, vitamins I don't remember buying etc etc. I'm sure this would give most toddlers instant listeria.

Then there are the dust bunnies around the speakers in my bed room I've been ignoring for the last couple of weeks.



Maybe it's time to get with the season and do some spring cleaning.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

what did you do today?

5.30 - alarm goes off
5.31-6.45 - feed cats, shower, dress, pack lunch and work clothes, drink tea
6.46 - realise back tyre on bike is flat. again. shit
6.47 - get in car and drive to work
7.00-5.00 - do mindless job (read: sit in meetings all day where no one decides anything)
5.01 - leave work
5.02 - realise left lights on this morning and car battery is flat
5.50 - thank nice RAA man and drive home like mad woman because I know if I stop at traffic lights the car will stall and I'll never get it started again.
6.05 - eat toast

I was going to take a picture of the glass of wine I'm drinking to go with this post, but the battery in both my point and shoot and SLR are flat and despite 30 minutes of hunting I have absolutely no idea where I put the chargers.

Fuck.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

more comfort cooking

My Barossa Tourism Region presentation has been rescheduled. That gives me another four full weeks of procrastinations. Today's method? Indian bread.

Aloo Parantha
Filling
1 small potato, mashed
three slices of onion, then finely diced
half bunch coriander, finely chopped
1 red chili, finely chopped

Dough
Put about this much plain flour out on a bench (note my canny placement of standard objects in the background to give perspective. Old archaeologists trick).



In this well add about two tablespoons of the yogurt and a generous splash of milk and pinch of salt. Then add enough water to make a firm dough, after kneading for about 3 minutes.

Make the filling..... well.... by mixing all the filling ingredients together.

This amount of flour makes about three parantha, so divide the dough into three bits.

Push each bit out with the ball of your hand to make a small circle. Place a large pinch of filling in the middle, and fold over the dough to enclose the filling. Then roll out on a floured bench. Some of the filling will break through, this is normal so don't worry.

Then heat a heavy based fry pan and fry the bread on both sides in butter or ghee.



My suggestion is to serve with the absolutely fantastic dahl they serve at raj on taj. Exquisite food, shocking service.



Next on the menu? I have roast veg in the oven. Then rhubarb and apple crumble.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

back to basics

Take a really cold day, add a few bottles of wine too many the night before, and inevitably a young woman's thoughts turn to only one thing.

Stodge.

Yes, I'm going back to my ancestral roots and have eaten little else than simple carbohydrates and meat today.

Waking up early to see to the cats' medicinal needs I popped off to do some food shopping. Unfortunately my thoughts were slightly less than clear and I managed to come home with lots of food, but precious little to eat.

But I had bought liverwurst. mmmmmm.... beautiful, smooth Latvian liverwurst. So after a very strong cup of tea and several pieces of toast and liverwurst I popped off for a late morning snooze (of about four hours).

On waking, and downing several large glasses of lime and ginger cordial I decided on my winter favourite for dinner - toad in the hole

Toad in the Hole
Heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and put two large knobs of butter or lard in a baking dish to melt.

Whisk together 125g plain flour, 2 eggs, 150ml cold water, 150ml milk and 2tspn grain mustard and let to rest for 15 minutes.

Once the fat in the pan is smoking, place 4-6 pork sausages in the dish and pour in the batter. Bake for approx 35 minutes or until the batter is golden and cooked in the centre.



Only one thing can make toad in the hole better, and that's onion gravy.



Thinly slice a brown onion and fry in butter and oil until the onion starts to soften. Cover the fry pan for 8-10 minutes until the onions are completely soft. Add a tablespoon of plain flour and stir to cook for a few minutes. Then add red wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to flavour and cook, stirring occasionally until thick and wonderful.

You could cook some green veg to go with this, but on day-afters it sort of defeats the purpose!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

sunday evening cat porn

Antonius Pius - Hail Caesar - looking cute on a Sunday night


Thurston the Wonder Cat - looking cute on a Sunday night


Apollo - looking cute on a Sunday night

Monday, August 10, 2009

warning warning

I feel a gigantic cook off in me bones.

I've a hankerin' for char sui drumsticks and fried rice and kangaroo in black bean sauce. For lasagna and polpette and gnocchi amatricciana. For mascapone with caramelised figs and chocolate sauce. For pasticio and domades yemista. For jiaozi with black vinegar and chili jam. For toad in the hole with onion and Marsala gravy. And all sorts of to-doin's.

Home delivery available.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

questions, concerns and uncharacteristic sundays

1. Question.
Why is everything so bloody hard. Not here, not in my real life, but at work. Why is everything so bloody hard? Why are people so difficult, or stupid, or difficult and stupid and why are systems and procedures so horribly out of date and un-workable? And why do I give a shit? Why should I be worried that the junior staff and done absolutely none of the key, fucking essential things they should have done over the mid-semester break? Why is it now my job to fix it? And why have I spent my weekend doing work that we could train a monkey to do? A monkey would fit in better than the junior staff and be far, far less skanky in the process.

2. Concerns
As you may have guessed I've had a shocking work at week. Underlings being useless have added a burden to my already stressful week. And I've had two co-workers (not the idiots of the pack, the good ones) in my office in tears. Because we're all working so fucking hard because we can't rely on anyone else. It's a concern. One of them is packing her bags and moving to Queensland. The other, I suspect, like me had wine for dinner two nights this week. It's a concern. I'm trying to cut down on sugary foods in the evening. I think wine is about as sugary as you can get. It's a concern.

3. Uncharacteristic Sunday
Actually in many ways this Sunday has been totally in character in that I've procrastinated my way out of doing any research yet again. It was raining and I didn't have any clean stockings and ooohh.. let's have a cup of tea and think about it.

However, the attempts I would go to to get out of my research were uncharacteristic.

I gardened.

Now, I'd love to have a good looking garden. Lots of lovely flowers and fruits and a veggie patch down the back. But over the years I've realised this is work. And work I don't much care for to boot.

So a while back I rang the good fellows at my local gardening people place and got them to come and cut my 'lawn' (read: large patch of weeds and both front and back of house) and clean my gutters. That just left the 'garden beds' (read: large patches of weeds spread systematically around the place). When the good fellows at my local gardening people place left after their last visit they left a note saying 'will come back and poison weeds in garden beds'.

I don't like the idea of poison around the places where at some point in time and in an alternative universe I might plant vegetables, or mores the point somewhere where my cats might get a mouthful of them.

I have been vaguely successful in that I've managed to keep two rosemary bushes alive. I've killed geraniums and mint on a regular basis, which I've been told is impressive, so these rosemary bushes are my pride and joy. In the same bed are some soon to flower daffodils - left over from my grandmother. Nothing to do with me. As you can tell, in so much as they're still alive.

So this afternoon I weeded this patch, along the side of the garage, to within an inch of its life.

I then took all of the leaf litter that I had been using as mulch, but which the good fellows at my local gardening people place for some reason swept up and put in the green waste bin so that they could come back and lay mulch that they are going to make me pay for, and took it out of the green waste bin and used it to mulch around the plants.

Yes, weeded and mulched. All in one day.

If you can hear a 'thud' it's my mother falling off her chair as she reads this.

It's a bit late in the day, so it's a little dark, but here's how it looks now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

midnight shenanigans

After a quick trip to the Seacliff Hotel last night to farewell a young lass from the office who's off to find fame and fortune in Darwin, I headed home, ears aching, throat aching, brain aching.

I managed to stay conscious until about 8.30, which is pretty good really before I fell into slumber. Around 1.15 I woke to the sound of a mighty gale, rain pounding down. However the gale and the rain was not outside. It was in my toilet. I rearranged cats and struggled out from underneath my winter layers of quilts and blankets to find a geyser in the loo. Honestly, I was still half asleep and it took a while to work out just what was happening and where it was happening. I was instantly aware that the hall represented the Tiber in full flood (soggy socks), but the actual cause of the inundation took me a while to locate. Actually I had to pad around outside in the afore mentioned soggy socks and a torch to turn the water off at the mains before I had any idea what was going on.

On my return in doors, I discovered this



The bracket that takes the pipe from the mains to the cistern has completely rotted away. I spent the next 90 minutes mopping and soaking up water, moving the books that were my reading material au commode and drying them in the kitchen, saving art work waiting to be hung that was propped up in the hall and generally mopping up.

This morning the damage seems minimal, although young Tony (hail Caesar) is obviously bemused by the proliferation of towels in the hall.


I did make a quick trip to the GP and am now dosed up on penicillin and have cancelled all my, sometime important, Saturday plans to sit at home and wait for the emergency plumber. I've bought a carton of spring water for drinking and teeth brushing, but showering is out (hurrah). So is washing the dishes (not fun, but essential) and the flushing of the toilet (so the garden is now the venue and nature at my demand). Hopefully the plumber can plug the hole when he arrives and I can get some laundry on and do the dishes. Luckily my poor healthy has limited my interest in food, so there's not much to wash. But a general indicator of my diet is how many empty tins of cat food I have. Currently I have 7 (which is about four days in my house). But only one bread and butter plate and a Tupperware container that used to contain lentils.

mmmmmmmmmm.....maybe some vegetable soup or something is on the cards for today.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

woe is me

I don't know about you, but when I'm sick, really sick, IV drip type sick, I consider myself fine. Don't know what the fuss is. Of course I'm fine to go to work.

But my tonsils are another matter. When I was younger, in my 20s, I got tonsillitis regularly. Three or four times a year up they would come. I would know it was coming because I'd get a certain taste in my mouth. The taste of infinite death and suffering.

This time it's snuck up on me. Bigger than they've ever been before, touch me under the jaw line and scream in agony. My ears are blocked and aching. I'm miserable god damn it.

I spent some time trying to take a picture, so you could see how big and pussy my tonsils are, but lucky for you it didn't work. So here's a picture of Thurston The Wonder Cat instead.

Enjoy


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

brain...... oozing... out... ears

Have just spent all evening reading applications for a junior administrative position in our School.

Word of advice: if you are thinking of applying for such a position - smiley faces are not dot points.




..... really.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

a kitchen disaster post

Since I started my current job late last year I've managed to wow the crowds with my culinary outings, from my famous Italian style pate, to a lovely chestnut tart, a rhubarb and raspberry crumble cake and a gigantic slab of baklava.

Tomorrow we're having lunch to say farewell to a departing fellow servant of the state.

In my head I had fantastic pastry. Mini shepherds pies and gorgeous lentil pasties. So I came briskly home from work to set upon the pastry. First thing to do was get that brand new packet of plain flour out of the pantry.

Hang on. How long have they been printing 'self raising' on plain flour?



Crap.

Ok, ok, don't panic. There's a bit in the plain flour container, and you have some pizza flour and some of the really cheap stuff that you use for dusting. OK, 5gm short. Hurrah.

mmmmm.... not so hurrah. After it's rested, it's dry and crumbly and I have awful trouble rolling it out. I make a couple of the pies, and decide to leave that, it's just too hard to get the dough into the mini muffin tins. Stick with the pasties.

I had made the most wonderful lentil curry on the weekend, so I set about cutting out circles of the less than perfect pastry. I should have stuck with the pies. Ever time I went to crimp the pasties, the dough broke and the curry leaked out, if I managed to get a circle of dough that was thin enough in the first place.

These are some of the better specimens




However, this is what most of them looked like.


I could have dealt with it if they tasted good, but the lentils had dried out and the pastry was way to short. It was like a mouthful of chalk.

Panic! Out come all my standard books, something with self raising flour,and not too much butter, as I'm running low on that too. Why can't I find anything with self raising flour!!!!!

Then I realise I have what I need for banana cake. Hardly revolutionary, but at least I won't go empty handed.

OK, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, bananas, milk. All set. Cream the butter and sugar. Hey this doesn't look right.

Of course it doesn't you dim-wit, because you've put in the flour, not the sugar.


Having used the last of the butter I have no choice other than to press on and mix it to within an inch of it's life. When I put it in the pan it had big chunks of butter still sitting in it. It's out now,and looks OK, but I think I'll cut it and try it before I leave tomorrow, just in case I have to face the ignominy of stopping at the shops on the way.

So, what started out as a sparkling clean kitchen and dreams of glory, ended with not one, but potentially three failed dishes and a kitchen that looks like this.



Worst thing is, as I was cleaning up I found another packet of butter in the fridge.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

101-120

OK, the top 20 are now on the radio, and I'm on the final stretch. Hope I have the energy to make it to the end

101 There She Goes - The Las
At one time widely considered by music journalists to be the best song ever written. Don't know if that was actually the case then or now, but it's a jolly fine tune.

102 Throw Your Arms Around Me - Hunters and Collectors
Going to show that Australian Pub Rock and have a soft side. Mark Seymour was just on the radio talking about this being a song about love. We all know it's a song about getting your leg over.

103 Tijuana Lady - Gomez
It took me a long time to come around to Gomez. This comes from the Bring it On album, which I've just found out is only 10 years old. Seems like they've been around longer than that. Great album, but I must admit to never having listened to anything else they've written.

104 Tomorrow Will Do - Hilltop Hoods
Adelaide's favourite sons. The Calling is a ripper little album, and this is my favourite song on it. Good phrasing. Nosebleed Section, from the same album, has just appeared on the radio at number 13.

105 Tower of Song - Leonard Cohen
Leonard played this when I saw him earlier in the year and the earth moved.

106 Town Called Malice - The Jam
Paul Weller grew up in Woking, which is enough to drive anyone to Punk I should imagine. Bands like the Jam, or the Saints or the Talking Heads, show that punk's not all about safety pins and spitting. Town Called Malice's about boredom and disillusion and knowing that there has to be something better, something more meaningful out that. I think we all think that. I wonder how many of us actually do something about it.

107 Transmission - Joy Division
Oh. My. Fucking. God. What a great song. I think my generation have been scarred by being taught to dance by Ian Curtis, Bez and Peter Garret. No wonder we all look like we're having fits. Ooops, Ian Curtis had epilepsy, didn't he? Errrr... sorry about that.

108 Try a Little Tenderness
Ducky Dale introduced me to this song. It builds, and troughs, and builds again, and then peaks incredibly!

109 Unbelievable - EMF
Not the greatest song ever, so people may be wondering it's doing in this list. If you have to ask, you weren't there.

110 Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack
The video for this, which was one continuous shot, was a ground breaker. I love the tempo and the phrasing of this track.

111 Vapour Trail - Ride
The Oxford group to challenge Manchester. Two fantastic albums and a really difficult, quite awful third one. Their guitarist Andy Bell now plays with Oasis, which shows how the mighty can fall.

112 Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
The ultimate London band doing the ultimate song about London. If you've ever been near Waterloo Bridge on the way home from work on Friday, with the City starting to go to sleep, but Soho and South Bank starting to wake up, this song is like poetry.

113 Weirdo - The Charlatans
I've always had a soft spot for The Charlatans. They've always had an edge amongst a lot of soft brit pop. This song really is weird.

114 What Difference Does it Make - The Smiths
My official vote was for How Soon is Now, which did rate in the final count, but I only voted for that because I knew it had a chance. But really this is my favourite Smiths song. I love Morrisey's rhythm, and this song is a great example. Johnny Marr shows why he was the musical genius in the band.

115 White Riot - The Clash
Another quintessential London band, they grew up to the immediate north of where I worked, under the shadow of the West Way. Having experience the Notting Hill race riots, this is a song of solidarity and class politics. But having seen black Londoners risk life and limb to stand up against the establishment, it's also urging working class white English kids to work out what they believe in and take it to the streets.

116 Wrote for Luck - The Happy Mondays
I fell instantly in love with this song, and have multiple 12 inch remixes of it. The heady heyday of the Hacienda on vinyl.

117 Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John
A very young contender in a list of old standards.

118 You Do Something to Me - Sinead O'Connor
Sinead O'Connor is obviously barking. But this is a beautiful version of this song.

119 You Made Me Realise - My Bloody Valentine
A friend of mine once served Kevin Sheilds a pint in a bar near Kings Cross. Back in Australia at this stage, I got an hysterical call from him around closing time in London. I had to go around and tell everyone that my friend McBeath had meet Kevin Sheilds. No one got it.

120 - Young Man, Old Man - The Dissociatives
Finally at number 120. I have a secret crush on Daniel Johns. I think we all do.

75-100

Getting closer now.

76 Loretta's Scars - Pavement
See Number number 94

77 Love Comes Quickly- The Pet Shop Boys
The Pet Shop Boys get overlooked by those creating 'great' lists. The Pet Shop Boys were endearing. They were around forever, from the mid-80s until recently. Hell, for all I know they're still together. They made the wonderful disco tunes, with thought provoking lyrics and were really Out before it became common practice. Which is shameful really.

78 Lust for Life - Iggy Pop
This is best listened to on a car radio. Now famous for its role in the Trainspotting movie, it completely effectively conveys the title. This is a song that makes you enthusiastic about getting out and living. And form Iggy Pop. Who would have thunk it? It is noted that Iggy Pop also appears on the long list of people I regret not seeing at a Big Day Out.

79 Neighbourhood #1 - Arcade Fire
Quite possibly the best song every written in the history of time. The high-hat that comes in at the beginning makes all the badness in the world disappear.

80 One Step Beyond - Madness
Madness are interesting. Everyone loves them from Rude Boys to Grandmas. If you've ever been to the Camden Lock Markets you'll understand how much sense they make there.

81 Pablo Picasso - Modern Lovers
I once saw Jonathan Richmond interviewed and it may have been the funniest thing I've ever seen. I discovered this song when it was covered by a local act I used to see a lot when I was a first year. Their version was fantastic, but the original is always the best. John Cale produced this, which you can really hear.



82 Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
This has added appeal to me, as a collector of religious stuff as I do have several personal Jesuses. This is seriously danceable, and is extra good for Goths who can swing around on the dance floor with their deathy robes flowing out behind them. I'm not sure if Depeche Mode wanted to be Goth icons, starting as New Wave I think they'd prefer to be Gay Icons. But Dave Gahn is quite obviously barking mad - heroin addictions, obsessive tattooing etc.

83 Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
The punk band you're having when you're not having a punk band. This had a great clip too, although apparently one of the few I'm not adding here. They always seemed to be out of place in their genre, even before David Byrne donned the over sized suit, really I think they were more a movement of their own.

84 Punk Rock Girl - The Dead Milkmen
I'm not sure if I'm the only person on earth who would have this in their list. Possibly. But on the radio they're playing Guns'n'Roses at the moment, so I ask you - who's crazy now?



85 Rise - Public Image Limited
Johnny Rotten headed the Sex Pistols. We all though he was a genius. Then we discovered the Malcolm McLaren was the genius. We all thought Johnny Rotten was a tool. Then we realised that Malcolm McLaren was a very annoying, pretentious idiot. Then John Lydon came along with PIL. We thought, actually maybe this guy has something to say. And the song's are good too. Then the Sex Pistols reformed to cash in on the punk-revival and we weren't sure what to think anymore. Apparently he's now doing adds for margarine on UK telly.



86 Rock and Roll All Night - Kiss
Most of us have been to a wedding, or some dodgy party where this has played when we've had enough champagne cocktails that we've got onto the dancefloor.

87 Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush
When I was younger I couldn't stand Kate Bush. Really, really disliked her. Really. Then one day, not that long ago, I heard this song somewhere and suddenly, in my adult world, the lyric made sense and the music just jumped inside me and went for a bit of a run around. Kind of like Kate and the hill, I guess.

88 Shake Your Rump - Beastie Boys
Whoop Whoop, it's the Disco Call

89 She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
The Cult haven't aged as well as you might have thought they would, although they did have a comeback single recently, or Ian Astbury did.

90 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
I suspect that this may take up the number 1 spot in the official countdown. I don't think it's necessarily a fantastic song, I don't even think it's Nirvana's best song, and I'm not even a great Nirvana fan. But when this song came out, everything seemed to change, and I think that earns it a spot in this list.

91 Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
Poor Dusty didn't have the easiest of lives. But her songs are timeless.

92 Song 2 - Blur
Blur started as a pretty boy Brit Pop band, coming off they back of Madchester with a great single 'she's so high', which had a picture of a hippopotamus on the cover of the 7-inch. I still remember the first time I heard it. Their first couple of albums were good, but very scenish, which I think destracts people from just how good song writers they are, and how solid their later albums are. I think this is one of the shortest songs ever written, and always reminds me of low flying planes, not sure why. Maybe because they're made of heavy metal. God, I'm cracking myself up today... .... ...

93 Streets of Your Town - The Go-Betweens
Another summer song, which is not surprising for a Queensland band. This song broke the Go-Betweens into mainstream, just as their careers were coming to an end. Reminds me that Anything I Could Do should have been in this list as well.

94 Summer Babe - Pavement
Speaking of songs that should be in this list, this is the second Pavement song in this post. And all it does is to remind me of the songs that should have been in the list that aren't: Gold Soundz, Cut Your Hair, Range Life, Summer Babe, Two States. Best band ever? Gotta be in the top 5 (no, I'm not making any more lists)

95 Sure Shot - The Beastie Boys
Ha! The beasties are on the radio now. But for Sabotage, which is another fantastic song, and could happily have appeared as my third Beastie Boys song in the 's' category. Both Sabotage and Sure Shot were on their Ill Communication album, which I have had stolen no less than twice. Maybe three times, I'm starting to loose track. Sure Shot opens up the record, which is a classic in itself. The Beasties are one of those acts that sort of fly under the radar, despite having released decades worth of solid music. I did actually manage to see them one year at the infamous Big Day Out and the bogan Australian crowd were dreadful to them. Will be amazed if they ever come back.

96 TeenAge Riot - Sonic Youth
A bunch of old(er) folk writing about teenagedom. Successfully. Everyone thinks my cat Thurston is names after Thurston Moore. He's not, that's another story. But I do have a friend whose son is named Thurston after Thurston Moore. Apparently their new album rocks. Stayers when so many of their peers have faded away (Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr etc). Lee Ranaldo has also produced some of the best records over two centuries.



97 That's Entertainment - The Jam
This paints such a picture. The Wonder Stuff did a not nearly as good a version too.

98 The Killing Moon - Echo and the Bunnymen
Despite the intrinsic value of this song it always reminds me of the Young Ones, the scene when Vyvyan steals Ric's "girly purse" and he threatens to write to his MP. But you don't have an MP Ric, you're and Anarchist. OK then, I'll write to the lead singer of Echo and the Bunnymen - Dear Mr Echo...... Oh tee hee, sorry lost myself there a moment.

99 The King is Dead - The Herd
Talk about a moment in time. This was the Howard defeat in the election of 2007. One of the best moments of my life.

100 The Partisan - Leonard Cohen
There are many reasons to love this song. It's Leonard Cohen. A part of it's in French. It's about WWII.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

61-75

The real Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time starts in about an hour, so I'm going to try to get all of mine posted, before I find out what the nation's number one is sometime Sunday afternoon.

61. Hey Boy, Hey Girl - The Chemical Brothers
This entry also involves the by now infamous XTC fan who has featured widely in this little adventure. When I was a student I was certainly part of the 'music scene'. Adelaide has a pretty lively and healthy music scene for a town of its size, maybe because for young people there's precious little to do other than drink large quantities of beer and go out to gigs. So when I was younger it seemed like everyone I knew was involved in the music industry. I shared a house for a few years with a guitarists/music retailer/label owner/band manager/music whore. Often when one of his bands was supporting a touring Australian band I'd wake up to find the hall full of amps and the lounge room full of rhythm section members smelling of cheap spirits.

But this is getting away a bit from the Chemical Brothers. The XTC fan worked in a record shop with the the guitarist flatmate. I use to spend a stupid amount of money on records purely on the basis that the NME told me they were good. Often they were, often they weren't. But we were Indie Kids. Not Rude Boys. Not Punks. Not Goths and certainly not ravers. And we did not listen to dance music. Except me. I will dance to almost anything. And I was derided for it seriously. If I were still in touch with the XTC fan he would be mortified to see the Chemical Brothers in this list.

I once saw the Chemical Brothers play at the Brixton Academy. On a Tuesday and it was almost midnight when they came on. I was less than functional the next day. The next time I saw them was in the Boiler Room at the Big Day out and I had to queue for about a quarter of the set to get in!

62. I Melt With You - Modern English
You probably have to have watched John Hughes movies as a teenager to appreciate the musical value of this song, but the guitars have a particular quality that I think appeal to people my age.

63. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
What a great song! Fantastic lyrics of, well, survival. Not a song of a woman moping about pining for the bloke who left her, who by all accounts sounds like a bit of a boar. No, Gloria shoves two fingers proudly to the world and gets on with it.

64. I Won - The Sundays
I am now listening to the official countdown streaming through my computer and number 100 is Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out. The Sundays piss all over Franz Ferdinand. I think they only released one album (maybe two) but all tracks are little corkers. Gloria Gaynor would be proud of Harriet Wheeler and this song. But please tell me, how come I can remember the name of the singer from a band from the 1980s but I can't remember the password for the HR account at work?

65. In A Big Country - Big Country
Guitar Bag Pipes. Need I say more?

66. Johnny Come Home - The Fine Young Cannibals
The Fine Young Cannibals may have the honour of being the most un-photogenic band in history, and maybe the for being the worst dancers.

67. Jump Around - The House of Pain
I don't think I should like this song. I think it's a bit violent and a little misogynistic. But it's soooo catchy.

68. Know Your Product - The Saints
This is one of my official top ten votes. The Saints were probably Australia's first punk band. The lads are from Brisbane, then a banana republic thanks to highly conservative, regressive, restrictive, corrupt, dictatorial politics led by then premier Joh Bjeelke-Petersen. Aka The Devil. Like most Brissy bands of the time I think that The Saints were forced to move camp to southern states/overseas to make sure that baton wielding police didn't shut their shows down.

I find that punk song can have this much brass in it rather refreshing.

69. La Vie En Rose - Edith Piaf
The only song I can confidently sing in French from beginning to end. Beautiful.



70. Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley
Jeff made an appearance yesterday. The son of famous 1960-70s musician Tim Buckley, both met sad, early ends. Jeff famously calmly, consciously walked in the Mississippi River one night never to return. And so the Last Goodbye became even more poignant.

71. Lazarus - The Boo Radleys
I tried to find a clip for this song to upload, because I'm not really sure how to describe it. A swirling storm of trumpet and pedal and swimming shoe gazer vocals.

72. Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups
Every summer there's a song. A song I can't get out of my head. A couple of years ago this was it. I haven't heard anything else by this mob that comes close, and frankly first time I heard it I though the singer was female. It has a stonkingly good guitar solo in the middle.

73. Levi Stubb's Tears - Billy Bragg
Midnight Oil are on the radio now. I don't know if I've forgiven Peter Garrett, or if he needs to be forgiven.

But this is Billy Bragg's second appearance in as many posts. Like David Gedge from the Wedding Present Billy manages to combine beautiful lyrics with an inability to sing. Would the songs mean as much if he could? Probably not. The narrative in this one makes you want to cry.



74. Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
Probably about 15 years ago there was a TV documentary series called Dancing in the Streets, which followed the development of Western popular music. I'd never really been that much of a Dylan fan, but this series had a whole episode of him.

Suddenly, I got it. And the gods swooned.

I've never really had such a light bulb moment. So this is what everyone's been talking about! And I was hooked. Seriously hooked. Whole back catalogue in one purchase hooked. I could see how he, and others but particularly him, stood out from the other bubblegum singers of the 1960s.

75. Lock It - Falling Joys
Another classic Australian song. Great guitars that envelope you like diving into the ocean on a hot day.

And as I sign off Stevie Wonder's playing. Solid.