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Showing posts from November, 2017

The New Advertising Breakthrough. Scene One: June interrupts the meeting.

Guy, a copywriter, and Rob, his art director are a creative team at Blake Browning Burns. They have just walked into the meeting room they call 'the cupboard' because it is small and intimate enough for closed-door meetings of two or three people. (It is generally suspected around the agency that such 'meetings' have also taken place after, or even during, Friday nights drinks.) Craven, the account director, follows them into the room. Craven is tall with jet black lank hair, and has affectations, and wears loud suits. He looks like a character from a Raymond Chandler novel, possibly Lindsay Marriott from 'Farewell My Lovely'. 'Craven' is his surname but he uses it as his first name. It fits. In the room, Craven throws a fat manila folder diagonally onto the table with a thump, slewing out a bunch of briefing notes. CRAVEN: Guys! GUY (DEADPAN): Guys what? CRAVEN: I'm just saying 'Hello!' ROB: No, you're not, you said 'Guys

Fragrant leek and potato casserole.

Chop two onions into fine rings. Evenly line a large casserole with some of the rings. Add a tablespoon of Australian olive oil. (Does anyone still buy the imported stuff ?) Now chop three or four zucchini - depending on size - into rings. Add a layer of zucchini over the onions. Do the same with a couple of sliced leeks, then two or three peeled potatoes sliced very, very thinly. Add half a cup of tomato puree and a shake of salt and cracked pepper. Repeat the zucchini, leek and potato layers and tomato puree. Top with more tomato, chopped parsley, snipped chives and fresh basil. Add a little chicken or vegetable stock to almost cover vegetables. Add cheese if desired. Place the lid on casserole and bake until bubbling.

Communication breakdown: things the client won't let you say.

It is late morning in the boardroom of advertising agency Blake Browning Burns. During the meeting, the account executive, Angelo, has briefed the creative team, Guy (writer) and Rob (art director), on a boring job - to write and design a brochure for an automobile client. Language warning. ANGELO: So that's the brief, guys. Write a brochure promoting the Sniper Roadside Assistance Program. GUY AND ROB TOGETHER: Great. (YOU CAN HEAR THE ENTHUSIASM IN THEIR VOICES. OR YOU COULD IF IT WAS THERE) ANGELO: Happiness? GUY: As happy as we could be on a dreary Tuesday morning having just been briefed on possibly the single most boring job in the history of advertising. ANGELO: Stop complaining. You get paid. ROB: We don't get paid enough for the pain we go through. Unlike you. You just drive up and down from St Kilda Road to your revhead client in Mulgrave and deliver bullshit at both ends. ANGELO: You try it some time. The client hates me and you hate me. But that's

First, joint your chicken.

I used to have neighbours who were immigrants from India. They used to cook outside in summer, catching on pretty quickly to the local custom. The smoky aroma that came over the fence was insanely wonderful. It smelled like a Goanese street food stall. So I tried to out-aroma them. I came up with the following. Spicy barbecued chicken. Grind or process: a tablespoon each of chili and coriander powder, a teaspoon each of turmeric, fenugreek leaves, peppercorns, and salt, five green cardamom pods, one piece of star anise, two cloves of garlic, one inch each of peeled ginger and cinnamon, one clove, one pinch each of asafoetida and nutmeg, and a teaspoon of sugar. Blend all the spices with about three-quarters of a cup of vinegar. You'll end up with a grainy-textured sludge. Then fold the grainy sludge through a cup of full-fat yogurt and coat all pieces of a chicken which you have jointed and slashed. Press the mixture under the skin and into the slashes. Store chicken in the

Written in 1784; recorded in 1961; broadcast in 2017.

I was driving to Werribee on a warm Saturday. It was just after midday. I turned off the ring road where it swept around onto the Princes Freeway at Laverton and straightened up towards Hoppers Crossing. The traffic was light and I was fiddling with the radio. There was nothing I felt like listening to; eighties rubbish on the commercial stations or boring chatter on the talk stations. I flipped it again. Her voice came out of the radio and I couldn't place it. The song could have been medieval or it could have been recorded yesterday. But it might have been the most beautiful song ever recorded. They lyrics had that special quality so rarely found: once heard they can never be forgotten. By the time it finished, I had arrived. The radio station went straight on to the next track. I looked it up later .

Gatum Gatum to Gado Gado.

I'm not sure if there was ever a horse called Gado Gado, but there was once a Gatum Gatum, which won a Melbourne Cup*. I was standing up to my ankles in wood shavings in my father's workshop (he was building a boat) in November 1963 when he stopped planing some timber to listen to Bert Bryant's call on 3UZ. It was one of the earliest Melbourne Cups I can recall. Now it's a lifetime later and Winx is burning herself into the memories of a new generation of children. Alex rode her first proper horse (meaning not just going round in a circle on a Shetland pony at a fair) on the Mornington Peninsula recently, and probably imagined herself steering Winx to victory. She wants to be a vet or a jockey. * In possibly the weakest segue ever written in this blog, we now move on to today's recipe. Gado Gado. Chop five or six potatoes into quarters. Chop four carrots into batons. Boil them. When half done, drop in four cubes of cabbage into the pot and, towards th