December 14thOh c'mon TEN days till christmas, that is insane, I just want to put the brakes on. I love Christmas , i actually do. It stresses so many people out, our family is pretty good, they don't go too kooky, though my sister over spends on her brother despite promising each year we won't. Ok I did buy her a car one christmas. She is my kid sister , I thought what the fuck, why not. I was so on top of all the Christmas "stuff" and it kind of went pear shaped. So with ten days to go I'm attempting to get everything done.
December 15thI grab The Fantastic Four on Bluray. I LOVED the FF comics when I was a kid and I'll never get why this movie gets attacked by the critics. Nothing new, all previous FF movies have been critic crapped as well. Anyway we liked this, far far more then the reboot of Mad Max. It's already made 170 million and that doesn't include the DVD/Bluray sales. So it's already $50 million ahead of it's production budget. I guess the real loss comes from the advertising budget- how much was spent? Still a sequel is pencilled in I hear...time will tell. Fuck the critics and social media we enjoyed it. (Bends over and shows arse to "reviewers"). If any diary readers were really smart they'd buy up Fantastic Four merchandise as super hero movies that are not massive tend to end up having collectibles that do value over time....
Great to see Nick and Nicola today. Mr Seymours clearing out his storage area and I'm grabbing stuff for the archives. Plus I really want to catch up, it's been way way too long. 4 hours later I have a very VERY full four wheel drive. So packed, I have to sit on 3 stage backdrops when I am driving, so I look like the worlds tallest man behind the wheel. It's a really nice afternoon and sad in some ways as I never get to see these guys as much as I would like to. Thanks also because some of the items in the archives are sensational. A few need work , like some of the early stage costumes, but I'm hoping down the track we can work on another Crowded House exhibit. That would be great.
December 16thWell not good, obviously during the packed car ride a gold record bumped on my "super power" button for the car and sucked the life out of the temp. car battery. I arrive at the general store in the afternoon and when I leave -my car won't start! Urgh! Thankfully the landscape gardener guys are nearby and I have my portable battery cables-so we jump start it and it gets me home. Tomorrow I'll call the battery people to deliver a new one. It could of been worse and fried on the freeway with the car packed full of archival stuff!!!!
December 17thIt's 40 years today since Mark and myself first saw Skyhooks play live. After several attempts to play Wollongong (the city fathers banned the band...I'm serious!) they finally arrived. The venue Wollongong showgrounds and a large crowd, in fact the 2nd highest on the tour. We assumed all true fans would go to the gig at 9.00 in the morning.....isn't that what they did? Surprise surprise , apart from the road crew we were the only people at the showgrounds. It was very cool in one way, we got to see soundcheck. A burly security ape tried to throw us out but the brilliant Shirley Strachan, yells from the stage" hey mate piss off and leave them alone, they can stay". C'mon what a hero! Of course the gig fried our little brains and we remember very little of the show. But the music etc imbedded itself onto our soul and changed our lives forever. Forty years no way, but it is. What a ride! Thanks Skyhooks for making our life magical.
December 18thWe announce a USA show for Neil Finn in 2016. The Telluride Festival in Colorado in June. We expect some other shows around that time so stateside fans will be happy.
A super hot night , in fact a few days with record breaking temperatures.
Miss Trudi turns up with some christmas presents and it's great to see her. She's look great. A good mate.
December 19thThe wonderful Berry Twins are helping post some christmas mail in the UK. Janet sends me the cutest snaps of her little elf mail posting helpers. Way too cute. Thanks girls xxxx
Well it was a record breaking heat wave today. I think Melbourne dodged a bullet and was saved by the cool change and some rain. It reached about 106 on the old scale. We have marvellous cooling in our lounge room which is a lifesaver. Mates turn up from up north, and it ends up being a shirtless , pool playing party with surfer dudes. Fun long long night, watch a blazing red sun come up.
Call into the general store, great I'm not signing any more christmas cards, we've ran out. I take the archive book and work on some of the items Nick donated. They are amazing.
It's still cooking in the afternoon so I test the fire sprinklers and get soaking wet , which is great, nice and cool.
December 20thI meet Rosemaree at the General Store for a coffee and ask her if she would like to come shopping with me. We head up to Sassy as I want to visit the gift arcade, and get some bits and pieces. They have some amazing Egyptian statues. The fire alarms are ringing through the hills, so i decide it's best to get home, just in case.
I order some dvds from Crawfords (Aussie tv shows) for part of Marks christmas presents. Gotta spoil him, such a sweet man I am very lucky.
December 21stHawaii all booked and we all know the drill, two suitcases packed with mail and zero clothing. Hey it's an excuse to go shopping and fill the empty bags while we are in Honolulu. Just working on the hotel, Ramada totally fucked it this time, and I'm a bit furious with them. I get the large prize pack away to the lucky winner, one items I still have to get signed but the rest is all packed. I even wrapped a few items in Split Enz gift paper.
December 22ndI pack my suitcase with all the christmas presents for home, it's chockers.
We are so incredibly flat out today, but a surprise visit from Allie & Em which is really nice. So that is my lunch break, and straight back into work when they go. We stay in the officer till 2.00 in the morning.
My Mi-Sex 3 CD set arrives from NZ, it was very cheap. Bargain.
December 23rdThe one final present I need is for my sister and it becomes ridiculous, thank god for the Internet , it means she won't get it at Christmas... basically the latest Apple Watch for her.. so i grab a real apple at home and glue some watch straps to it and pack it in a snazzy box. She'll like the surprise and it is worth the wait.
December 24thWe are up bright and early, little sleep as is our way when it comes to heading home for Christmas. We are like the coyote and the sheep dog, passing each other in the kitchen, 'Morning Ralf"....
We head to the airport and I take along my master sheet for some photocopying at the Freaky Flyer lounge. I haven't had a chance to get to Office works so i figure I might as well save some money and copy away to my hearts content in the freaky flyer area. We are both Life Members of the Freaky flyer which is one of the best things that we have ever done. As an experiment I decide to work out the value of this one visit. The free photocopying is fantastic. Save $70 on that. 2 juices, 2 large toasted sandwiches and 2 coffees must be another $20. Add to that 2 newspapers and a $5 note that's sitting on the floor of my shower room. So close to $100. That's pretty good. Marks carry on bag is now filled with copies and I'm happy they are out of the way.
The plane is delayed 30 minutes and the AVIS office in Sydney is packed with only 2 people working. There are road changes to the airport but thankfully I fluke it and make the right turn. The tunnel is packed so by the time we arrive at marks dads place, high up on the Great Dividing Range, we are about an hour late. So a short stay. We head off again, after grabbing some food at Bundanoon. We head towards Robertson and down Macquarie Pass. I drop Mark home and very eager to get to my Mums.
About 12 of us at Christmas Eve. MIM is wonderful, she is the best Santa's little helper and gives out the gifts to the family, she even insists on opening everyone of them!!!!! A lovely night. I drop my cousin home and Mum is already in bed asleep by the time I return. I know I won't sleep so pop a Stillnox for some happy christmas ZZZZ's. I can't imagine a Christmas without a family- that would be very sad. I appreciate what we have.
December 25thI awake refreshed and fairly early. I spend some time making the Fruit Salad for lunch , which I somehow have got stuck doing every year. Maddison shows me her new swing set that Nan has bought for her and she shows no fear on the swings "higher, Higher, HIGHER" she shouts, a brave 2 year old. Great to see Sis and she spoils her brother. Way too many presents. She loves her apple/watch... and eagerly waits for the real deal.
We drive to the Cremo and put some flowers on the graves, it's packed, with not only the deceased but the living, cars everywhere this year.
Lunch is excellent, possibly the best Christmas pudding Mum has ever made. I drive my cousin David home and MIM kicks her legs in his pool. She sulks and does the upturned lip when I tell her it's time to go.
By 7.00 I'm sitting in my bed and scrawl in my diary... it reads..." 7.00 and some solitude. I'm in what is now "My" bedroom , but it's not really, it's my kid sisters smaller room, she took over my room when I left home all those years ago. Mum is napping after a long day, she's older now and Christmas wears her out. hell it wears me out. MIM is asleep on the couch and Sis asleep in a chair.
I sit on the bed and finish the Pete Astor 'Richard Hell' book. It's hot again, almost New Orleans hot, stiffling. I obsess about the pink tule circular mosquito net that Mum has erected over this bed. It does not seem practical, in fact rather stupid, I want to grab it and bring it crashing to earth but I resist. I no longer live here. I wonder what Mark is doing, and fight the urge to jump in the car and visit him, his Mum only lives a few KM's away. It's almost 8.30, I'm alone and watch ET of all things on TV. Home again tomorrow, a nice family Christmas but the next 12 hours roll by slowly.
December 26thHappy Birthday Banshee!!!
Up at 6.00 and at Marks Mums place by 6.50. I look in the car mirrors and see my Mum alone on the street waving goodbye. That saddens me. It was a really fine family Christmas Mum. Love you.
No rain, they lied, the weather is perfect and we arrive at Sydney airport with time to spare. My suitcase is full of presents, Marks is full of photocopies!!!!!! (sorry). I am obsessed with the instant pancake machine at the Freaky flyer. I don't want a pancake but hang about till someone does, one simple push of the button. Life is becoming way too simple.
We have 2 arse-holes in the seats in front of us, what jerks put their seats back on a 1 hr flight. Hope you enjoyed my knee in your back dog face! (Grrr). Lots of people coughing on the flight, I bet we get sick with the flu (again). germs everywhere.
The Boxing day sales are on and cars line the streets desperate for parking. We avoid them each year, it's an art form to do so and we know all the side streets now.
Home at last and I make Miss Banshee a meat birthday cake which she devours in 5 seconds flat. She spends the rest of the day following me about cat talking.
The Dr Who Christmas special totally sucked this year. Sad that this once mighty show is becoming dribble now.
December 27thHmmm wake up and my voice is croaky and nose running. I was right inflicted with something from the flight. Next time I'll wear a full body suit with oxygen tank.
I mow the back lawn as I want to start work on 2 of the Crowded House back drops. 65 mould areas are finally cleaned away and some minor repairs. I hang them in the gum trees to dry. I'll work on the larger backdrops in a weeks time. These are fantastic, love Nick Seymours work. Just glad we managed to save them. These are both from the same stage set, Stage right mid truss and stage left midd truss. I manage to get them up on ropes all by myself, that ladder is pretty damn high, next time I'll make certain Mark is nearby.
Finally get top see BIRDMAN on Foxtel. It's fantastic and deserved all those awards. Great cast- Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Naomi Watts , Emma Stone etc. LOVED this movie.
December 28thHappy Birthday to Benny. We email him in the USA, he sounds happy which is nice to hear.
I take my work book and have a coffee at Nelly's and it's very peaceful. The General Store is only open for 2 hours today , they keep minor hours around Christmas. I'm running a bit of a fever, the best is yet to come. No sleep tonight, just got to let my body piss this bug away. I don't want to become a pill popper each time I get some minor illness.
December 29thWell Mark orders me into bed today, the flu is a peakin'. I snuggle up with former Prime Minister Paul Keating..ok it's really Kerry O'Briens book on Paul Keating. A big chunky book (thanks Sis) so I'll enjoy that. I hate being confined to bed so I sneak out and do some gardening, some washing of clothes, some washing up. I even put together a pretty decent Lasagne for tonights dinner. Sadly I blow out our friend Laura (and family) visit, I'd hate to give anyone this bug.
I sweat, cough, become a tad delirious which is always exciting... so not much sleep.
December 30thI get a call from Bongo Skyhook today, just saying hello. He has the same flu bug. Which we both find to be very funny. Later on a call from our mate Doug and he has the same bug!
We remember to call Greg Macainsh , it's his birthday today, a bit pissed that we couldn't go visit him today but he'll understand, my gravel voice just sounds horrid, and last thing he needs are my germs. We don't like the germ gift that keeps on giving.
I've had a few days off from our Skyhooks and Split Enz Facebook pages.. but a quick visit to the office and I add a few things today. A really good version of "Matinee Idyll" from the Melbourne 2006 Tour.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Official-Split-Enz/634446746612422?ref=hl and a few snaps on the Skyhooks page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Official-Skyhooks/751125208300602
Also, I'm hoping our Skyhooks website will have it's 250,000th visitor by New Years Eve. Only 257 visitors needed: www.skyhooks-music.com
December 31stClose to recovered from the flu bug, got some sleep last night. Sunny sunny sunny day for new years eve and it's going to cook later on today. They expect it to hit 40 degree's in the city.
My Sister gets her Apple watch and is so excited, nice to hear.
I head to the supermarket off mountain to buy a new work diary, as time goes on I love the paper version and detest the digital. Also I need some sparklers for our new years photo for the net. (Mark rolls his eyes). Proving the Internet does indeed have everything there is a tutorial page on how to take sparkler photos (I like that). Of course the supermarket has now sold out of sparklers so go to the Kilsyth discount store for a packet-they even have a new work diary for me.
Head home to the mountain and the temperature is really rising, it's going to be a stinking hot end to 2015.
By 2.30 PM our Skyhooks website has it's 250,000th visitor which is fantastic. A really, really nice way to end 2015. I love how active all the music lovers we know are, does my ol' heart good to know such people are out there. Thanks everyone.
Sad that I have finished another paper diary. I'll put it in the office archives with the many decades of others. A really good solid practical diary (thanks for sending it to me Wendy C too), back to the old Office-land variety for 2016.
We've had a lot of offers to go out tonight, but this new years , we are staying in. Our house is wonderful and cool, so new years spent with my best mate. Totally in awe of Sydney's fireworks this year- trying not to imagine what they would of spent on it! I contribute with some sparklers that somehow create some burning angel wings on yours truly. (Yes my Nephilim bloodline rumours may well be true).
Have a fantastic 2016 all of you