November 16thWe work in the office all day and all night. (no sleep for the wicked). I decide that it's a demos day so nothing but demos of songs and rarities playing by all our artists, way into the night. I love rough copies, ideas and those sparks of gems when a song is just forming. A lot of the time I think artists work songs too much and they lose something in the process. I'm happy to hear all these rough diamonds.
Mark speaks to Barry our neighbour, he doesn't sound good, we'd love for him to make it to Christmas but I am starting to think he doesn't want to, when your quality of life dissolves maybe it is time to go- and hope that there is something beyond this mortal coil as Shakespeare penned 'shuffled off this mortal coil'. There are so many nasty arseholes out and about that waste their lives, whereas this guy is a nice bloke. So many people ask me how he is going- the local community will miss him when he eventually goes.
I get some emails from fans worried that Judd is about to pop himself off and they ask me if I can check, he posted his suicide on line again. I try calling him twice, just to check and I try to be nice but it's impossible- he's a prick- so I think it's time to just wash my hands of him, you get sick of trying.
November 17thWe are enjoying 'Ranges' up here, our new place to go, it's more expensive but the place is a decent size and they look after us, good kitchen staff soon and the coffee is ok. I can imagine it being insane on the weekends over-flowing with tourists. It's at Olinda and is a la carte. The chef gives me his creme brulee recipe, we'll see how I go with it, the caramelizing of the sugar is the tricky bit I guess.... I need one of those fancy kitchen micro blow torches! I'm liable to set fire to the whole place. Brulee heaven here I come. "Mount Dandenong Burn't Down Due To Brulee Desert!"
I call over to Barrys to grab some Silverbeet, sneak in the yard incase he is napping, he spots me and comes out and we have a chat. He looks a bit better but apparently not. It's just nice to sit and chat to this cool old geezer ... makes me laugh. He tells me a few things about his younger days and you all know how I love stuff like that- history being passed down via people. It's something that is missing in society these days I think.
I call into see Warrick and get my acupuncture, he does my complete hand for the Carpal Tunnel and it work wonders, my fingers feel like someone has opened the flood gates, almost electric- maybe my acupuncture is the way to go after all.
November 18thHappy Birthday Foxy One!
We drive to Mountain Gate so we can pay our house insurance and decide to eat lunch at one of the local restaurants. We give Jen a birthday call on the mobile, glad you enjoyed the small present girl, Mangana saves our life as far as getting cool gifts and they do great gift wrapping. We like that, other wise I'd do some horrible job I'm sure.
There are quite a few people about, I chat to the Wilderness Society guys who are out and about spreading the good word. I love watching the general public as they make an effort to totally avoid their stand, or some get all excited and have a chat. Human nature it's a funny beast.
Our Crowdies charts are in for Recurring Dream and it jumps on the chart again, it's now Top 50 nationally and Western Australia has joined Victoria as a 'charting state'. So week 159 on the Aussie charts. So it's been charting for over 3 years now. Good grief, some albums only spend a few weeks on a chart. It will be appearing under many christmas trees I think.
I call our plumber and Graham turns up- Australian plumbers are kind of cute I see. Any of you single girls (or guys) tradies are the new cute- go for it. Anyway he's a nice guy and has to order some bits and pieces in, no major work but it means all the taps will be working 100% for bushfire season.
November 19thThe hot weather has arrived early, major fire danger day today. Last night Melbourne had it's hottest nightly temperature (for November) in 110 years.
I go against what I originally said and sent Judd an email , with a contact number for Beyond Blue. They do good work and I'm hopping he will call them when he threatens suicide, he did for the 3rd time a few days ago. I only get worried that he will either do 2 things: mess it up so bad that he becomes a vegetable and someone has to find him like that or just cry wolf one too many times and accidentally pop himself off. I know he'll just trash my email but good intentions etc.
I've been sitting on the details for this 2nd Crowdies Festival show, the West Coast Blues N Roots Festival released it to their website today so I just went along with it , I never heard from management so I'm glad I rolled with it. It's kind of funny-Crowded House the Blues band..... 2 Blues Festivals so far.....*GRIN*.
November 20thTim Finn plays the first of three shows at The Quarry in Fremantle Western Australia. It's such a cool looking venue, one of those perfect settings. I've always liked the Belvoir Amphitheatre too, huge ghost gums around the stage and always a excellent crowd. I think music lovers in WA are extra supportive when artists make the effort to visit and play shows. I can't remember a bad gig in WA, will be good having Crowded House return to Perth in 2010.
An art collector has found a tooth , thumb and finer that belonged to Galileo (17th centure). Tozzelti-a scientists cut away the parts during the burial ceremony in 1642. You watch these babies go for a fortune at auction. We still have Michael Jacksons nose if anyone wants it! No I woudn't lie..... you jaded readers all of you.
November 21stHappy Anniversary Marky- wow that many years. It just keeps getting better. A months worth of rain fell in Melbourne this weekend, our garden water tanks went from 2 litres to 5000 over night. Good timing rain god. I think 75mm fell in the Dandenongs.
I see Stephen Cummings has a new album 'Tickety Boo' out soon, really enjoyed his last one. He played 555 Music Store today but I got caught up in romance and we never made it, we made out but never made it....sorry Kev.
November 22ndThe world is in Twilight Fever isn't it, 'New Moon' just keeps bringing in the cash. It bumped off Harry Potter for highest opening movie but the Lord of the Rings movies still hold the record- the kids are digging it....and mothers everywhere seem to be offering up their sweet white necks for a bite. Maybe I should put on my Lestat coat and roam the hills taking a nibble here and there.
Bec visits, shouts me the lovely Brulee at Ranges and we pick up my dragon fly light for the side of the house courtesy of Mangana. As always some serious pool playing, I win all 3 games (reputation intact).
A strange night, we were watching a dvd and around 10.30 we kept hearing noises like someone walking around the side of the house. No alarms went off none of our motion sensors or security lights. I checked anyway, all lights on and super torches and stuff but nothing. It was weird I had such a eery feeling , goose bumps- but nothing, just put it down to strange noises in the hills. Our property is so secure but we still check.... very strange.
November 23rdWe get the sad news that our neighbour Barry passed away last night. He died in his sleep in his own bed in his own house and not at a hospital or something horrible like that, fast and hopefully painless. A good bloke, who had a really great life- we'll all miss him up here. I discovered later on that he passed away around the same time that we heard our ghostly footsteps-weird eh? Probably not connected at all just odd timing.
So I got little done today, phoned a few locals and sent the word out that Barry was no longer with us. Not sure what is happening with his house, who knows who'll end up next door.
I spend some time going through the charts, as I always enjoy wading through our stats. Recurring Dream dropped one spot this week to #51 (was #50)..but it climbed on every other chart- including it's first time debut on the digital album chart at #39! South Australia was our golden state this week as it showed up on the SA state chart. I'm still hoping all the fans and general public in NSW grab a copy as I'd love for it to show up next week on NSWs state chart, plus that would add some muscle to our national chart spot. Patrick Donovan from The Age was in contact and talked about running a small piece on it in HIT magazine, that sort of exposure too will help with all those people Christmas shopping.
Lisa Jackson emails me from USA and asks what is a good Christmas present, I tell her stamps. I can always use stamps, I have everything else in my life but postage kills us. I think she thinks I'm a freak for even saying that but it's the perfect gift.
November 24thThe carbon trading scheme or emissions trading scheme or ETS or whatever people decide to call it puts a lot of pressure on Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull today. His party is cracked down the middle, and at question time Turnbull looked nervous and like he was going to cry. This big toughie Liberal sure has been brought down to size, but it's good he is supporting the ETS. At the time of writing I think his party is narrowly behind him, if only to save face in the eyes of the public who have already given the Libs some of the lowest opinion poll points. People are not asking if PM Rudd will get his ETS passed in time for the global talks in Copenhagen but if Turnbull will still be Libs leader in a few weeks time. Never have I seen a political party so destroyed and so quickly.....but people like Barnaby Joyce from The Nationals somehow succeed in looking like bigger losers-it's a rare talent *GRIN*. Politics what a strange beats it is. I know Kevin Andrews is after Turnbulls job, he was pretty hopeless trying to sell hoWARds 'workchoices' reforms.... I guess Rudd is rubbing his hands in glee at the Liberals attacking each other.
I read the latest stats from the Copenhagen diagnosis and it's a bit of a worry. Nasa data shows a trend of .19 degree increase in temperature over the past decade despite short term fluctuations from El Nimo and solar related events. Green house gas emissions from fossil fuel burning 40% higher in 2008 then they were in 1990 and Arctic ice melt is 40% higher then the average IPCC predictions, the highest melt in 2000 years. ...and still you have people in politics saying nothing is wrong. Were they stewards on the Titanic in past lives?
We order a special Trek type present for Marks mum, it's brilliant can't wait for Christmas.
Our friend Nicky calls and our printing is almost complete , I might even do the long drive tomorrow to pick it up just so I have an extra day time window for the mail out. So I know what we will be doing all weekend, envelope stuffing me thinks!
We watch Forest Gump on Blu Ray- still cool, run Forest run!
November 25thWe have some breakfast at Olinda, as we know it's going to start getting busy in our office over the next few weeks. I arrive home and a message from the wonderful Nicky from our printers- so I jump back in the car and do the drive to pick up our stock. It doesn't take me long, the GPS is great- I behave and sit on the speed limit, I'm good like that these days. The print shop is fantastic, such a great work space.
I take the toll roads home and we get straight into it. By 3.30 we have 8 huge mail containers ready to go so I head to our local general store-slash post office. Kerena helps me stamp and sort them, we use up every mail bag in the place, and there is still half an hour to spare before pick up. I head back to the office and Mark has been working away, I continue and head down with another 4 mail bags- so a big part of the mail out is on it's way. Our fingers ache, it's always brutal but feels good that we cleared a lot of the space on the office floor. It's always an insane mail out, I have such relief when we finally get it all done, usually takes a week. If nothing else it employs a lot of people I guess.
November 26thIt's a strange day, starts off sunny but by 1.00 the sky turns grey and a massive storm front moves in. Around 4.30 I brave the rain and head outside to lock Alice and Joan Francess in their pens. I find Joan Frances but no sign of Alice. I wonder if the storm has frightened her, usually they don't, chickens love the rain. So I spend the next hour walking around trying to find her. I am soaked to the skin, even with my waterproof tour gear on. Mark comes out to help. I notice the metal head has been bumped off the chicken art statue in their pen so I go in to investigate. A deep sorrow hits me, as I find a pile of feathers and then a larger pile. A fox has sneaked in under the guise of the storm and taken her- poor little chicken is well and truly dead by now. Mark says it all, 'that's well and truly fucked'. We are both so sad, and there is Joan Frances all by herself. I try not to think of the horror the chicken must of went through as the fox attacked, I just hope she died fast. I know they are only chickens but we kind of like them in their quirky strange ways. We have been the only people up here that haven't had a chicken taken by a fox, till today. Not much you can do, we can keep them locked up all day but after being saved from battery hen cages it's nice to know they have 2 acres to run free on. I guess it's just part of living in a national park and foxes are foxes. We both get little sleep tonight, just seems like a sad way to go.
November 27thWell Australian politics has been very enjoyable this week, the public got to see the Australian Liberal party rip itself to pieces. Everything from mass resignation of Lib front benchers led by Tony Toupee Abbott- who looks like he was injected with weasel dna, to a small army of Lib dissidents popping up everywhere with very big knives and sticking them in their comrades backs. The ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) has certainly shaken up the town. The one thing which was really really appalling, Turnbull being told he had the numbers to vote YES, but weasel features Abbot and the Michinites didn't care, they didn't want it to go through and lit the fuse for all this chaos. You'd think if you had a majority your party would see that as a YES, but Abbott and cronies used it to try and get rid of Turnbull. It's been a bloodbath really and really fascinating to watch...the fight is on for top Liberal spot- I still think Turnbull will retain it by the skin of his teeth.
It must be the day for it, horrible evil GUNNS tree pulpers have dropped some more of their court action on 2 more of the 'Gunns 20'. Lets hope the final few also have their case thrown out of court. A truly horrible company.
Carnivale has been on tv here, we missed it the first time round and finally getting a chance to watch it. It's great. I was especially intrigued by last nights episode which had this one shot of a Carnie on top of a van playing the mouth organ and the song he was playing was 'Waltzing Matilda' .... an Australian classic from decades ago, almost our other national anthem...how odd. It sounded wonderful.
Tim Finn played a really good solid show in Adelaide last night, very vibey around it. He spilt the beans on stage and mentioned he was locked in to return to Adelaide next year to play Womad. I didn't think we were announcing this yet (bad Finn).
Pearl Jam at Mt Smart in New Zealand. I guess Ed and co will be catching up with the Finns at the beach. I still really like 'Just Breathe' from Back Spacer... glad it's in their set.
November 28thI've had a lot of emails coming in around Tim Finns live shows this week, all really positive- several encores each night. He's come a long way since Mental Notes, good to see he is still making music and performing it live and the crowd numbers have been quite decent. 'Anthology' has just started increasing it's sales, I guess people are buying it for Christmas presents.
The gay marriage protest is on today, Australia wide, a call for equal rights. Fuck the church , it shouldn't be up to them to decide on what individuals do- if two people no matter what gender care about each other and want to be married so be it- religion is meant to be a positive thing not a controlling thing- basic equal rights. With the divorce rate at over 50% now for straight couples you'd think they'd want to include everyone just to keep it in the positive! *GRIN*.
The Nevski Express between Moscow and St Petersburg derailed today killing 25 people and 63 injured- there is talk of an attack by ultra nationalists. I know they have tried to do this before. Does my head in a bit that this was the train that we all travelled on in Russia. The same one the Crowdies travelled on while they were in the country. Travel is like that I guess, the risk we all take.
Our friend Allie is in town today, she was going to email and catch up but we haven't heard from her yet, hopefully we will.
November 29thOvercast today, I drive up to Olinda Village to the bakery. I'd forgotten the Olinda street fair was on today so there are tents everywhere and tables and people... I double park and run inside, grab food and escape. Spend the day working, so busy need to work the whole weekend just to catch up. It's work work work for us.
Joan Frances the chicken is walking about by herself calling for her sister. Banshee has been keeping the chicken company, talk about the odd couple. I think we need to get a new chicken soon, can't just have one. Maybe a white one, and call it something original like 'Whitey'..or an art joke and all the white one 'Whiteley' (such as Brett Whiteley).
Ok who else thinks Alexander Skarsgard is the hottest actor on tv? A mere mention of his name recently on the diary had me receive several almost erotic emails from 'Eric Northman' fans. As season two of True Blood comes to an end in Australia, it's nice to hear that season three has been signed for and goes to air June 2010. More bite per buck, it just keeps getting better. Deborak Ann Woll from the same show is quite hot as well, we like the weird little noise her Vamp teeth make as they descend..bite me baby!!!
Mark is in the kitchen creating some of his killer omlettes - so for once I am not cooking, nice when someone else does it. I was tempted to give the Brulee a go but think I need to buy the right Bruleee baking containers, gotta be professional eh? If the Brulee recipe works out (or my attempt of it) I'll put it on one of the upcoming diaries.
Pearl Jam at Christchurch tonight, the last of the Australasian dates for them- they depart with their excellent live reputation intact. I'm sitting here waiting for our latest ARIA charts for Recurring Dream-The Very Best Of Crowded House. They arrive Sunday evening, so I tend to put the diary together whilst I am waiting. So that's it's for another diary.
PS: Boom Crash Opera will be playing The Corner Hotel in melbourne this Thursday Dec 3rd- so we are all going. It's electric and original band member Richard Pleasance will be joining the band for a one off gig. Their last gig in Victoria for 2009.