The Life and Times of Peter Green
Archive: 18 September - 8 October 2006
Tiger Tops (Chitwan) -Kathmandu
Wake up before Sis and am sitting on the verandah staring at the massive Bengal Tiger prints in the mud in front of our room. They are huge and deep, 'here kitty kitty'..no way! A weird feeling to know that a huge tiger was only metres away and could of entered our room at the flick of his paws (it is a 'he' I've learnt that much around the tracks whilst staying here.)
Have some food, just the two of us, and the kitchen staff all come out to say goodbye. Sis is chatting to her new friend and they swap addresses. It's a teary farewell from some of them as we climb aboard our elephants that take us to the river. We get to the water and the elephants plunge in, they like it in the water and have a bit of a play while crossing the river. Happy elephants.
We climb into our jungle jeep and several of the staff are with us, we know them by now so we chat. It's strange after such a short time I pick up some of what they are saying....I figure after a few months I could speak Nepalese. The jeep takes us to a larger river and we wait for the 'ferry man' to turn up in his dug out canoe..... where is he....a huge alligator goes past...hmm maybe he was breakfast?
He turns up and we climb on in and journey up river. We are met by another jeep, our guide is in it and he calls in and picks up his son Loki. I tell him all about Loki as far as the ancient Gods and what his name means...he is impressed. He's a nice guy, wants to know all about rock and roll and music...think he wants to run away and join our road crew. The Maoist program is happening everywhere, it's kind of forced, school kids are ferried to locations and it's not a demonstration as such, really some sort of forced show of power...and the kids all waving their flags. Our Yeti air flight is delayed so our driver takes us all around Naingunr...past the huge bazaar....I need to buy some new sunglasses and Loki wants to take me shopping..for once I resist, too many Maoist students....
We wave goodbye as we board our 3.00 Yeti air flight, this time around there are only 6 of us on board and no screws fall out. The pilot and co pilot keep watching us, I stare them down... could be the soccer playing eyebrow ring thing again..who knows. I consider stealing the Yeti Air seat cover for Ben Yeti but they are stitched to the seat.
Taxi from Kathmandu airport and back to Kantipur House. Digimbar is waiting for us, some new guests have arrived and soon the Germans- which means noise.....and they were really noisy all night. Why do people have to shout to each other when they are next to each other....I want a huge microphone to call out "will the Germans please shut the fuck up".
Dinner at Jyala Royal Tandoori which is just down from the hotel. The fried doughnut lady and the embroidery man ask where we have been as they haven't seen us all week. Some locals wave from the windows and the Samossa man comes out and says hello, gives us some free food. It's like being home.... my sis is hating the gas smell from the motorbikes, all the healthy air at Chitwan and you forget about the 10 million motorbikes...cough cough.
I have my usual room, and sleep ok tonight....except the German man woke us all at 7.00,,,,,,, i think every person in the food area gave him dirty looks this morning.
Up early as is our way, haven't really slept in any morning on this trip....I do feel a bit crappy today, typical travellers upset stomach, probably water related, still compared to some, this is light and will pass. We are both lucky to be feeling this good.
We head to Patan, which is separated from Kathmandu by the Bagmati river. We wind up in the worst traffic jam ever, the maoists have yet another protest/strike so the roads are nuts, can't turn this way, gotta go that way....there is no air conditioning, it is getting very hot and I left my water bottle in my room....sucks. The traffic fumes are pretty gross.
Patan is also known as Lalitpur (City of Beauty) and has a very long Buddhist history, and you see four stupas that mark the 4 corners of the city. We finally arrive at Patans Durbar Square, which again is packed with temples (how many temples can one see in a day?). Sis spots Cafe de Patan where we will eat later on.
As per usual we are under siege from hawkers, today I just want to be left alone and it's not going to happen. Hey I would stupidly go to a major tourist area when I'm feeling crap.- my fault.So I try a new approach, I decide to make up my own language. When they ask where I am from I say Bozwanna....and then spout absolute nothing words.....it confuses them and the hawkers back away....I bring our communication down to nonsense... and keep a very straight face. Sis almost wets her pants as this man tries to unsuccessfully have a conversation with me before trying to flog me a 'singing bowl'. So fellow travellers if you are ever under siege just make up a language, confuses the hell out of people.....
I just want to enjoy the temples....I almost have a fight with some guy flogging boxes, tells me "i'm wasting his time" but he was the one who pursued me.... he gets the look and a one finger salute. Not in the mood. This (apart from the airport security) is my only crappy moment...
We walk to the Dhukuti street markets and this is great, it's where the Patan community shop and far cooler, no tourists. Sis buys some exquisive blankets and one for me which was so nice. We watch the locals going about their daily shopping....I like the real stuff. We never barter, always the price, everyone else haggles ...hell the stuff is so cheap anyway, and what we save is nothing but for the locals it could mean eating and extra meal.
Lunch at Cafe de Patan and taxi back to Kantipur as I want an afternoon nap...body feels the urge to sleep. Sit on the roof with sis and we watch the storm roll in. There is also a power blackout and Sis's Tv half works (don't ask)....the storm cools Kathmandu down and the power is on again off again...dinner on the roof. We play cards with Digi.
Kathmandu- Mt Everest
Proving I am even stranger than the average nepalese bear, I book a wake up call for 4.30!!!!!!!! I wake up at 4.00 ..yes 4.00 in the morning... but it all feels good, we are doing a quick fly around the Everest region, mainly to get some shots. It's not Cosmic Air or Yeti air , todays obscure airline is Buddha Air!
There are 14 peaks over 8000m in the world and of the 10 highest 8 are in Nepal. We will fly around all 8 today. Mt Everest is 8848m and apparently growing.
I head off with Sis, torch in hand down the side alley-way near Kantipur house and there is our driver, having a nap waiting for us- we are early so he is pleased. Even at 5.00 in the morning Kathmandu streets have people wandering about, true, huge quanities of people asleep in the street but lots walking about...some food places are even open for breakfast.
We help a mother and daughter carry all their food and gear into the airport, the daughter was really cute- some Nepalese woman are really stunning. They have a house in the hills that they rent out to hikers. Seems everyone does.
Amazing views of Everest and the mountain range...Sis and myself are invited to the cockpit, she flies the plane and just misses a mountain..imagine if she clipped the top off Everest and made it shorter...worldwide outcry! Just great views, too hard to describe, blue ice and snow and just massive......
Back in Kathmandu in the blink of an eye and it's about brunch time...so we eat at The Bakery Cafe while I wait for the art shop to open. I am buying a Manish Laf Stirestha painting, such a bargain for 6500 Rupees. Its from the Canvas Contemporary Art Gallery....have a chat to the manager and I tell her I know about Manish's dutch show a few years back. Anyway I now own one so that's exciting.
Film us at the front carved windows of my room looking out of Kantipur house,,,,Sis and myself are both wearing incredibly stupid Nepalese knitted hats.....and pulling faces......the people walking past truly think we have something wrong with us. Hey we are from Bozwanna! This is tradition. The German man is in the courtyard leaving "Goodbye German man...."
Go for our evening walk and the shops are loaded with fresh spice, it's everywhere and I know i am breathing in massive quanities...it makes me so so trippy..far worse then pot. Speaking of the evening dealers are out in force and want to sell me everything....they never approach my sister just me.....what does that say...damn eyebrow ring.
We finally find the Pumpernickel and its got a few tourists eating, we have never seen this many tourists the whole time, about 12! Strange woman tries to have some discussion with me, I am so not interested.....just another scam, I can see through her....must be the spice. Maybe she isn't really there?????
Retire to the roof and have a coffee and read my favourite paper....The Kathmandu Post...Nepal's #1 selling English daily paper. Gives a real insight to the maoist violence happening in Nepal. It's only 8 pages but a good read.
So a bit of a military muscle might be happening in Bangkok..lots of tanks...I call our friend at immigration and our travel agent and it appears we will be fine..just have to sit it out.
Exhausting day, our helicopter lands in the field near the hotel, always a scary thing as there is a military place right next door..they eye it with suspicion from the roof...I wave to the soldiers that all is ok. They see us every day and always chat and wave so all is ok.
We climb towards the Everest range, can not believe we are doing this and rushing it...usually you approach this several days at a time slowly going higher. Our good friend Trisuli is with us, a great guide and a half decent painter. I decide to leave the camera at home as the cold will probably mess with it, it's new so I am treating it with care. I notice Trisuli has a huge red oxygen bottle with him, he taps it and grins.
The bridge over Khudi Khola is so intense, it looks like it is straight from an Indianna Jones movie, picture vines, huge gaps, giant gorge and broken wood....we cross it, crazy or brave, same thing..... when you fall. Sis has that, 'if you will I will' look.
The mountain is amazing, it's a different cold, gets into your skin, imagine what it's like at the top. Trisuli pulls his water colour box out of his pack and does a quick painting as a present, and it's something we will cherish. At least he doesn't ask us to hold the pose half way across the bridge.
There is a bit of a breeze happening, and the cold is getting inside our coats...at the same time I'm hot..... after some hiking exploring and some history from the master guide, our chopper returns. The weather is changing so we have to get back, too easy to get stranded here and without long term gear it would be a bad thing. Flying in this weather could be a very bad thing too.
We land near the hotel, my legs ache a bit and sis is lightheaded but it was breathtaking. We look up and the skies around Kathmandu are full of kites, they fly a lot of them here. They gather in numbers as the day comes to an end...and the stiff breeze sends them skywards.
We have dinner out the front of Kantipur and another german is really rude to the waiter , I accidentally ram my chair into this neo nazi shit, "opps...' no apology from me. The waiter winks.... I hate that stuff. The staff here are so nice and friendly and really fast and probably earn 10c a day....they dont deserve someone being so rude.....he was lucky he only got a chair leg. Two bad Germans in 2 days, too weird.
Digambar sits with us and we just chat, tells us he has to get the staff to turn on the generator as their power cut is tonight, each area has them....so the lights fade, the power kicks back in....the room lights are dimmer, kind of romantic. The Nepalese are use to this.
It's our last night in Katters, will be sad to leave, the people and the vibe, and it does make you appreciate what you have. That sort of realism is always a good thing. Lovely place, everyone should visit Nepal.
Kathmandu - Bangkok
We have an 11.00 pick up at the hotel. Have some breakfast in the lounge area and chat to Dig, he's a nice guy. He asks if his wife could come part of the way and of course that's ok, if she can fit with all my sisters baggage. She is wearing a cosmic pink sari ..pretty cool, it blows around in the dust of the Kathmandu street. She is Digi's goddess...he tells us all about their arranged wedding and it's a funny story.
As we leave the samosa man and his staff of three are all waving, way too cute guys. We'll be back....
At the airport THAI have a cosmetics ban on their flight to Bangkok. Yeah like someone is really going to blow up a flight from Kathmandu, equally bizarre as coming here you could carry everything on board. The airport security scanners hardly ever work, same as Peru, and people are taking short cuts across the runway to get home, people riding bikes on the Tarmac etc....so perverse that they are worried over cosmetics and toiletries... lets all be paranoid together- yep the terrorists HAVE won!
The THAI VIP lounge is an interesting diversion, good chips and receding hairline business men, all scratching their balls at once (yieks)! The man sitting 2 seats away (the only business man not scratching his nuts) looks like Neil Finn age 80...or what I expect Neil to look like, so odd, thought about sneakily taking a photo of him. I wonder if he can sing....
Heading through security, the brat with the machine gun goes on about my sister having a roll on deoderant in her carry on....she says not to worry about it, I make a point of throwing it in the bin, I'm almost certain that most of the goods purposively taken, especially make up are just extra goodies for airport staff......so my GEL (not liquid) shaving cream is pulled out , I put up a fight, and pretty much squirt the contents in the nearest bin... the main security guy is pissed as he doesn't score anything...I tell him to go fuck himself in our non existent language. It's interesting that all the locals boarding the plane are not checked.....such a scam. If it was just a case of real security and people just doing their jobs you'd understand but this is a con...
Sis and myself look at the airport 'suggestion' box on the wall, and it is tempting to leave a message for the head of security....telling him what a rear end of a goat he is...and a con artist. We talk to an airlines person on board and they say 'what security check'....we give a one finger wave to Mr Security as THAI TG320 lifts off. My final words in Nepal are "shauchalaya kaha chha"? (Please dont send me to the public toilet).
Touch down in Bangkok 4 hours later, immigration is so fast, and our bags come out on a different luggage belt...but we are soon at the Amari Airport Hotel again, and order some room service. The rain starts and the road is nowhere near as busy...it does flood a bit, people wading across the road carrying luggage on their heads. I watch as a stream of tanks roll past- don't mention it to Sis in case it freaks her. Call home and reassure Mum; some stupid neighbours tell her we may not be able to leave Bangkok, these are people who have no idea, have never left the safety of their homes.....just causes Mum some extra worry. It's such a bloodless military shake up....the King is fine about it too...kids are handing soldiers flowers...very passive all things considered.
I suss out the situation as best as I can, in other words ask the locals..and tell Sis she will get her wish and go last minute shopping at the Siam Shopping complex..as long as I know it is safe. We big brothers are a bit like that.....
Head downstairs for breakfast, that fresh honeycomb is calling......."Gryphonnnnn Gryphonnnnnn eat more honeycomb on toast....."
Sitting at the table when a family spot my Nepal Tee and gather and ask us all about the place, they are just heading to Kathmandu today, all very excited......we are good ambassadors for Nepal and give it the thumbs up.
Sis heads off to buy some more Thailand Baht, for her shopping trip, and to organise a car and driver...I've watch her grow and develop into a world traveller, soon she can do it all and I will be reassured , she is safe....tanks or no tanks.
The driver takes us to the Queens charity shop, basically some high class gifts and all the money raised goes to the Queens favourite charities...so a good thing to support. Some nice stuff too, buy Mark and myself some really fine silk shirts...and of course some silk boxers for those long hot Summer nights at Kalorama. Buy a few small gifts for Christmas presents.... considering i was going to be 'bag boy' for my sisters shopping I out shop her. Still it helps some charities out so it's good karma shopping and I will keep telling myself just that.
The tanks and soldiers are everywhere, some very cute soldier boys, I try to call Bec so she can fly in and get a hot military date, chat to a few of them, so polite. The driver gives us a mini tour and eventually he drops us off at the centre. He will go off for a wander and we'll catch up with him in 4 hours....that should give Jennifer enough time. We find an icecream shop and treat ourselves, nice to be out of the heat. Life looks like it's all normal here. I head to Room Interior which is a very funky house type store. Almost buy a huge inflatable dome but realise it's a stupid thing that will serve almost no use, not even in the Rated PG DVD (hey always looking for props)....I do buy a bright orange electric pepper grinder and it's half the price of what you'd pay in OZ, same brand too. It does look like a massive dildo, which gives the airport customs woman a huge smile and a very wicked look in her eyes........!!!!!!!!
We get lost in the maze of elevators and it takes us awhile to find the driver and car......the traffic back to the Amari sucks, I have a nap,while we snail along.....the driver starts being erratic and tries to rush through the traffic..we are both glad to be back at the hotel in one piece.
Call Mark at the Hotel and he tells me about the helicopter crash in Nepal and that the WWF people that we met are all missing. They can't find the helicopter. I mention that they had quite a few satellite phones so I think it's bad news.... it ends up that they crashed only a few km's from the take off area, all dead including Jill Bowling the Aussie woman. It feels strange, one minute you are sharing dinner, next a whole group of people are gone from this life. I sit for awhile and think about how fragile we all are, and how each day we risk it all even crossing the street. Sad news indeed.
We check out and walk past the exotic cake shop...see we can be good....lost a little weight on this trip, close to the weight I should be for my age and height, want to keep it that way.....but those Thailand cakes......no no no go away evil sugar coated temptress....
Check into Business Class Qantas, nice to see that flying Kangaroo symbol again...it's a packed flight.
Sis shouts me a massage at the airport. It's way too cool, they have these massage shops, about 20 girls, and it's a real massage not the hot and sweaty type...imagine if porn style massage was offered at airports (yieks). Some of the creepy men who would delay their flights for Porny massage do check it out- c'mon guys get real.........anyway I get fingers and neck done....my favourites -and for the first time in years my poor old overworked fingers feel just amazing...it's like they are all clear and flowing...just the best. I think Sis had a deal with my massage person that I get the full rough massage..while hers was soft and relaxing...my massage girl was like a nepalese tiger, knuckles , knees, I thought I'd snap in half at one stage- felt damn fine!!! They giggled a lot each time I went 'ouch!". So if you are at Bangers airport, go and get a massage, nice way to start a long flight- thanks Sis....the perfect present.
Flight home was nice, and seemed to go fast, oh yeah I dropped a pill, so that is probably why...but they work so well was still blissed when we touched down in Syney.
Customs and immigration a total nightmare, I hate flying into Sydney International, it is out of control....long lines, and we know we are getting the extra going over, after all it is Nepal. Everything is taken out of our bags, we declare stuff, our shoes are given the clean...and the only thing taken off me was mosquito coils..which they missed and I suggested they check them out....I have to bolt for my next flight, so I leave Sis while the customs people go through her many bags......"call you tonight" we wave and hug...what a great holiday and not one brother or sister fight.
Rush from International to Domestic airport, and Qantas get me on another flight, call Bec from the freaky flyer lounge and tell her my flight is late....she is kindly picking me up at the airport.
Arrive Melbourne and a bit freaked as she wasn't at the flight area but she is downstairs at the baggage claim...(Phew). Bags are out fast so off we head to Kalorama. My sleeping pill has made me very 'foggy', I can't even remember getting home. I do remember smiling when i first catch sight of those blue hills... and so nice to see Mark and the critters...god I love this place. Oddly enough today is International Tiger Day!
No jet lag, wake up at the usual time, and feed Miss Banshee, she gives me one of those 'where have you been human slave..." looks. her royal pussiness runs this house.
I sit and watch the birds all 'visiting' while having a cuppa on the decking. Destructo arrives with his girlfriend to say 'welcome back and where is my sunflower seeds'...life returns to normal. I sip my tea surrounded by a dozen white cockatoos.
Visit the office and Mark has it all neat....I'll put an end to that *GRIN*.
The day is spent unpacking, some washing. Get my flight details for New Zealand for Tim's debut show, off again but only a quick 2 days.
Deb reminds me she leaves for holidays soon so this diary will fall behind for a short period....have to play some catch up when she returns. Hope you had a brilliant holiday Miss Levitt.
We have BBQ for dinner, not sure why, just felt we should.
Go through more 'stuff' around Enz FRENZY stock, trying to work out if Warners have done the re pressing, very few shops have copies of it, so I'm guessing not.
Start on the Emails, funny you ask people not to Email while you are away and suddenly there are double the amount. Can't be helped so start going through them.
I check out The Age EG Poll-Awards. Great to see Crowded House ahead in Best Band and Best Album sections. The fans have been amazingly supportive on voting for The Palais Theatre too, it's now jumped to number two spot. If anyone can get The Palais to the number one spot it's our mighty army. Hope it happens, with all the talk of re-development around the St Kilda Palais/Palace area, a win for BEST VENUE could mean a public groundswell that would protect it....I've witnessed so many amazing shows at The Palais. All I want for Christmas is to see The Palais at #1.
So if you are reading this and haven't cast a vote for The Palais Theatre, this is your last chance. We need YOUR help on this one. If you want to cast a vote for family members and friends simply 'remove cookies'.....every single vote helps. (it takes about 5 seconds).
This is probably the last week for voting, so do it now, let me know if you have voted....great to see Deborah Conway creeping up towards bumping Miss Kylie Minogue off for Best Female. Hessie would be sitting up 'their' going 'Yeah Cmon Deb..." *GRIN*. I guess this is the last time we can ask for your help to vote (or vote again).......for those that have helped, a huge thank you. Imagin e if Deb bumped off Kylie (not Deb Levitt the Deb Conway variety I meant).
Enz conference call tonight, around the possible Enz dvd....it now looks like it will be put back till 2007, more politics between record companies. I think it's a bit stupid, having an Enz dvd out for Australia at the same time as the Crowded House DVD (Farewell to the world" will by no means decrease Crowded House sales. So silly but hey just my thoughts, in the end as long as the Enz Live dvd is good quality and it does come out eventually I'm sure fans will wait, just means they miss the huge Christmas sales period. No further news on Enz playing NZ...
Tim emails me about some images for marketing, which we have in the computer, so easy as pie.
Manage to clear half the emails today, just worried if we reply, people will reply to our replies so the pile doesn't really go down.
Movie of the month has to be 'Boy Town' looks hysterical...ageing Boy Band returns for one last grab of glory..as middle aged men.... they can actually sing better then Human Nature *GRIN*. Human Nature suck, people who buy Human Nature shit have musical tastes so far up their arse......urgh. You can polish a turd Homer! Human Nature are evil...
Would love to be in Paris at the moment. There is a Robert Rauschenberg show at Centre Pompidou...covering his 1953-64 works- good stuff, all French readers of the diary should go and check it out. get some KULTure! (:
Send Deb the NEPAL images for the photo area, have had a lot of people asking about seeing some snaps, so Deb will put them on the IMAGES area, there are only a small handful. Hope you all enjoy them.
Opened the mail box and there are a lot of orders for our 'Wings off flies' coffee table style book, suddenly it is THE item that people are after, must be all the music lovers that missed out the first time around. Glad we had this new pressing, nice to have copies of the book available again, so many fun photos, live, backstage at home with the stars *GRIN*. Mark is even signing copies, we all know he loves it.
Get some emails from the HUSH boys, was really nice to hear from the band..still no word if they are going to do a full tour..I keep pushing them to do so, they kicked arse at the Countdown show....be nice to have a fun rocking band out there playing shows.
David sends us the Enz Live DVD, still have to get time to watch it....
Email the Woodface doco people, have to find time to get the VHSc tapes for them and some other stuff....seems Woodface is getting it's second wind, kept hearing songs on radio from the album and Tim Finn is playing 'It's only natural" in his stage set, so he tells me.
Remember at the last second that I need to book a car and accommodation for New Zealand, it's coming up fast. The good ol' Crown Plaza Hotel will do, we used to stay there with the Enz on so many tours, as well as the big Hotel that seems to change name every year, the one on the hill....I've forgotten what it is now. I remember the roadcrew going nuts once after we seemed to live at the hotel for a week....people started going stir crazy and breaking things...
Jason our electrician mate calls by and adds the final light to the hallway of Ailsa Craig, looks pretty damn fine I must say, so gone are the ugly lights. We find out a little bit more history of the house, nothing groundbreaking but always nice to know.
The weather keeps changing from hot to cold, soon it will be warm enough for me to give all the animals a wash, Banshee seems to be diving into water less these days, she loves the garden hose though.....and attacks it daily.
It's the weekend and am avoiding the office, want to work around the yard. Mark helps and we both attack the vegetable patch. We put in numerous types of tomatoes, am growing some from seed to, the really good seed-bank variety... they'll taste superb. Silverbeet for the chooks in a rainbow of colours, already double in size..also numerous chillies and the round red peppers that you can stuff with fetta cheese...hey why pay $35.00 per kg.... it's going to be giving us loads of vegies I can tell....
It's nice to be outside working, Mark attacking weeds (and smoking none). Still no pot planted here, just no urge to do so, healthy living Gryphon thats me.
Martin our neighbour and his family have finally moved in, nice bunch, we are lucky as a famous philosopher once said 'no dickheads'.... *grin*. We get an invite to their open house, so we will meet some of the other neighbours, after nearly a year we are still the new kids on the street.
Sorry to see Melbourne STORM lose against Brisbane, the referee was pretty crappy.....good team the Storm, they'll do well next year.
Latest POLL in Australia shows a vote of 90% that says the War in Iraq has done nothing to stop terrorism. I hear that Bush is going to turn tail and run from Iraq....he'll have to do it slowly, like 5 or 10% of troops out every month or so, just so he won't look like a bigger dickhead then he already is.This stupid war has cost tax payers $2 billion, can you imagine what $2 billion could do to help people who are starving, hell even help fix up things in your own country Mr Bush. Give the $2 billion to me I'll show you how to spend it.....you are stupid man, loser of the free world not leader! So glad when he goes.
Off we go, Tim Finn single time, attack some stores with gusto....good to see people at the counter buying COULDN'T BE DONE, it's such a limited run, it will run out fast I bet.
I take the chip from my camera and print out loads of photos for my Sis and Mum, also for some big frames I have for one of their Christmas presents. The photos turned out really well.
The Dick Smith Super Store at Knox still has not got stock of Crowded House Recurring Dream cd, it's the 2nd biggest selling cd by an aussie band, annoys the hell out of me. I bother the cd manager at the store every time and he just never re-stocks.....if he doesn't do it soon I'll get a phone in happening where every second person will be asking for it....I swear I'll probably drive the poor man insane but really, stock should be in the stores.
Do the drive to some more stores, some only have 1 or 2 copies of Tims single, some 6, some half sold....won't look at how much petrol we are spending, but it will be good if we can get Tim Finn back in the charts.
The guy next to me in the coffee place was obviously short on cash and was trying to find a mere 20c, I pretended he dropped 20c and just said 'you dropped this I think.." and just handed it to him..all subtle. A small good deed.
Neil emails me that he has finished at Real World Studios. I've been keeping his location as secret as we can do, so he can get on with it. He just emailed me that he has mailed his new album to me, that is so quick and kind of blows my mind, can not wait.....sometimes it is good just not to listen to stuff being put together and suddenly you have a chance to hear it all....
Good to have a surprise.
I'm back at Dr Warwicks for my chiro....it's been a few months, but happy to report the porcupine boy has returned. Apparently I'm doing well, just have to keep up on the exercises. I'll be swimming as soon as the local pool opens....can't wait...not the best swimmer but like all true blue Aussies it's passed down...we swim and swim and swim..
We are working away on the next mail out, Mark is endlessly stuffing sticker sets into envelopes, I'm attacking the labels with the dymo printer.....we both go 'over it' every few hours.......
Today is another day of driving, about 150 kms worth....back to Knox, to Camberwell, to the city, to Prahran....I've been everywhere man!
Arrive at Rosemaree and the owner of her apartment block eyes me suspiciously like I am a cat burglar (meow)...I assure her I'm not and Rosemaree drives in..just before I am sent to jail.
We go for a drive down to Prahran and have a bite for an early dinner. I also clear all the old mail out of P.O. Box 333, feels very weird like I'm kissing an old flame....so good to see all the staff again, they all come out and it's like old time, almost like a christmas party where you catch up with the relatives....
Drop Rosemaree off at her place, and start the journey back to Kalorama. It's not a bad drive, just me and "Slade Alive" (2006 re issue) blaring away..... traffic is ok , I'm home again an hour later. Wander on down to the office and do an extra few hours work, it's been a long day but thought I'd get it all out of the way. Good to see our ol' friend too.
I was putting stamps on envelopes, some were stick on, but a lot were water based, I kept thinking, if terrorists wanted to really mess people over they'd add something to stamps and envelopes.....some sort of poison..URGH! hmm nice thought for the day, where do they come from (my thoughts not terrorists).
Pack my bags for NZ, and we finish a whole stack of mail so I'll take that along for posting too. Always good when you can do the mail drop, am thinking next year instead of 4 massive mail outs we'll just get world air tickets and post mail, jump on a plane and post more, it actually works out cheaper then $1.85 International per letter times thousands...
Melbourne - Auckland
Tim Finn "Imaginary Kingdom" launch.
I manage to get on a decent flight today, no red eye departure which usually happens around NZ. Almost luxury leaving at 11.00. I am in the freaky flyer club and decide to check on The Age EG Voting Poll. Crowdies are still romping it in #1 group and album....and amazingly The Palais Theatre continues to climb, #2 and creeping closer ...only 3% to go. I call caroline who leases The Palais and she is excited. We know The Espy has a huge database, but we have fan-power and lots of relatives *GRIN*...there is a chance. I cast a lone vote using the Qantas computers.
Flight over was pretty non-eventful and nice that they are finally outfitting the Qantas seats with individual tvs...about time. We arrive only a bit late, customs is a breeze, just let me walk straight through, grab the hire car and head into the city. I always forget where to park at the Crown Plaza, but it all works out ok. Nice room, and good food, I know if I don't eat now i won't have a chance.
Walk to Sky City Theatre, it's part of the Auckland Casino, easy to find. Run into Marie Finn who seems to of lost her kids, actually the nanny had them.... and around the corner is Jacqui from publishing, looking gorgeous. Helen Eccles keeping the show totally under control, damn she's good. Sneak in and find a seat, and the show starts. Love how Tim had a Druid come out and bless us all, as only Tim Finn could do, both funny and kind of nice.
Really loved the gig, just felt really comfortable around it all. gawd 'Salt to the sea' just does it to me. When you listen to the lyrics you know it's so about Paul, and I just kept thinking of us all at Blackwood. Big drippy years were growing in my eyes, I over compensated with the Visine again! Lovely song, my favourite. The band is great, they look like they are having fun, and Mr Tim Finn, Mr Chatty onstage..'tis good to see. 'So Long For Now' the 2006 version, could of been horrid, is really good.... overall a really nice show.....
The Finn clan all a few rows to the left of me...after-wards I just wait around. Spot Gretchen in her red hat and wave but she must be blind as a bat or way too excited and looks straight through me. Grab Jude and Carolyn Finn and we head backstage, I tell them this time they can lead me, after all those years of having to walk them backstage, I have no idea where to go.
The family are all happy to see me, just good to chat. Tim pops out all showered up and he gives me a hug and says 'glad you made it'.... and flashes that grin, shit he is happy.
Sit with Matt Eccles in a room and just talk, how good is Matt, the Betchadupa boys are all healthy and seem happy...I wish they'd record more stuff....waiting, waiting.
An hour later it's time to go, walk with Tim and Marie, we take the freight elevator to the garage where the Finn-mobile is located. On floor 2, we hear another band playing...."is that..." I start to say..."Oh yeah" says Marie...it can't be, someone is rehearsing "Frenzy" the song. We all can't believe this......."Must be neil getting ready for his next tour.." I joke. "Yeah" laughs Tim..... I think only in NZ.
The Finns offer to give me a lift, Marie worries about me walking alone...I'm a big tough boy from the 'Gong..I'll be ok...she folds the seats anyway and I climb in....jump out at the first lights and tell them they should get home I'll be ok..truth is I spot the Hotel across the road.....!!!!!!! Nice couple, good to see and really glad it all went so incredibly well, first night, sold out.
Back at the Hotel, go and use the Business Centre and Post a review, only end up doing it on Frenz.com as I totally forgot the addy for TITM, I know Colleen or someone will copy it so it will reach the masses. can't sleep, very hyper....
I call home, chat to Mark for awhile, he is heading to bed...... i end up watching several movies, one being the new Superman. The Porn in NZ is so lame, just woman and sheep..OK i am making that up...really I just watched regular movies....
Head down to the bay...with my bag of mail. The Post Office does not open till 10.30 so I have one too many coffees. I must learn to be patient. I do walk past the same old souvenir shop that was here when I was a young kid on a school excursion..it's called "Kiwiland" and it's in the same location. I don't check it out... finally the Post Office opens and I get all the mail and several parcels out of the way.
Walk to the Hotel and try the Finns home number and it is always engaged...so I check out, pack the car and head to Tim and Maries new place. Quite a drive but a lovely one and I understand why they live here. The house is great, and they have just left to catch Richard Finn, so instead of waiting inside, I decide to head to the local beach. I strip down to my board shorts, which happen to be in the car and walk way way out into the bay. The tide is out so I go way way way out. very calming....and I search for sea creatures..very few I'm afraid which probably isn't a good sign.
Spend ages here as I'm loving it, I leave a bag of cd covers for Tim to sign and Marie will mail them back....so i don't need to bug them on the weekend, I'm sure Tim has to pack for Oz etc....plus time has just disappeared so i'd better head to the airport. I leave a note and some sunflowers, and thank Tim for his generous air ticket.
I try to remember how many times I have gone to the airport this way, up via Parnell, I give the Finn place a wave knowing that they are in England, feels strange without them in town. Buy Mark some duty free Jack Daniels and I win some JD T-shirt and cap (lucky me)...
the computers are down at Auckland Qantas FF, so i read my book and nibble on their salad.
Flight back seemed to last forever, the 2 people next to me where tossers, who went on and on and on about the wine, I prayed for a plane crash to put me out of my misery. Imagine living with them.... and the flight goes on and on and on......
After the horrid time at Sydney customs, I am overjoyed that at Melbourne there was not a single person in line, my bag was out quickly and they waved me through. Grabbed the car from valet and called into Rosemarees. She was a Goddess and made some dinner for us both, made me feel very special. I am home at Kalorama 40 minuets later, all those green lights, gotta love 'em!
Settling back in after time in Nepal, and watching the weather change.... we are going to have a full on Summer, already there are fires and the drought is full on. It sprinkles with rain but no solid downpours for awhile. Makes me wonder why i am getting a water tank for the garden if it won't rain to fill it. We are lucky up here compared to other areas, farmers just packing up and selling everything, very sad to see. I wonder what it takes to get this John hoWARd government into gear to do something to help. I see they are flying in 'Elvis' again, the giant water bombing helicopter....hey if we didn't waste all that money on Iraq Australia could afford to BUY a massive water bombing chopper of our own....best sort of bombs water bombs.... lets face it Australia's extreme Summers mean we will be renting 'Elvis" for decades...... we should have our own.
So that's it, Christmas is fast approaching again, and 2006 will come to an end....it's been an odd year.... extremes of good and bad I think... but it's not over yet... gotta stay positive.
Pray for rain for Australia!
P.s. looks like voting is finishing for the AGE Poll..so last chance...Crowded House- band and album The Palais Theatre for Best Live Venue. If you want to vote again simply 'remove cookies' that should let your family cast a vote as well. Can everyone reading this please make the effort....you know I'll know if you haven't *GRIN*.
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