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Showing posts from November, 2019

Want to know about evil? Don't ask a vicar.

If the Bible is too long, read The Third Beast instead. All your answers about what is moral, what is immoral, and what is evil, in 158 short violent angry pages. Wait a minute. This gritty British crime novel is blurbed as 'the ultimate novel of bloody revenge'. Revenge Biblical? Hardly. But then, maybe. She was only a little girl, really. When she was done up in her school uniform, with her white ankle socks and all, she looked about ten years of age. The first-person unnamed narrator is the girl's uncle. He runs a breaker's yard in grimy 1970s unemployed pre-Thatcher Britain. He breaks cars and sells the bits to poverty-stricken Triumph Dolomite, Morris Minor or Ford Escort drivers. Occasionally he might get a Jag. When she was a little girl, she was always down at the scrapyard in the nice weather. There was an old Riley I kept for her, as a playhouse. She'd line all her dolls upon the back seat, you know the way little children do, sitting them up straight a

The midnight truck.

It was a warm night. I was two blocks into my six-block return walk, Helen by my side, and the streets were empty. (Helen is a failed greyhound staying with us for a few weeks. Failed as in racing, not as in being a greyhound. At being a greyhound she is quite competent.) Nothing in the air tonight except the occasional muffled ramp of a distant tram in Sydney Road and the soft rush of a city train on the down line. This neighbourhood was built in the 1940s for artisans and tradesmen who wanted to work where they lived. House blocks combined a residence with a small factory or workshop: cup of tea in the morning and five minutes later you're planing a piece of mountain ash or cutting some leather for a car seat. There are still several small factories, a couple of old warehouses with car parts hanging from dark ceilings like carcasses in butchers' shops, a bird boarding house that used to be something else, and a couple of print factories that clatter by day and fall silent

First Tuesday in November.

The TAB was deserted at 9.30 a.m. "Everyone bets on their phone," she told me when I got home. Of course. * Cup Day lunch: home-made chicken burgers in the sun at the new table in the garden, with roses as good as Flemington's (Queen Elizabeth climber planted last year is now in full bloom and six feet tall with a bullet). The burgers were very simple; nothing to it. Hardly needs a recipe: Toast burger buns very lightly. Grill or fry crumbed (breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs of choice, salt, pepper) chicken fillets until just done. Ample shredded iceberg lettuce as a bed for the chicken on bottom bun spread with mayonnaise (peri-peri or aioli). More mayonnaise flecked with finely chopped white onion under top bun. Serve. * Alexandra had chosen Vow and Declare, who lost the race with fifty metres to go after leading bravely; and then, incredibly, took off again and got his nose in front. Then, on the replay, the second horse's crazy diagonal charge across th

Beatles vs Australia.

A five-Test series: Kitchen Hand pits five Beatles recordings against cover versions recorded by a selection of Australian artists. Who will win the Ashes? 1. Bad Boy The Larry Williams (Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Slow Down etc) classic put to the test by the Beatles in full flight, versus the Twilights' uncanny harmonies. The Beatles : A crowd favourite, John Lennon's voice tends to a slight raspiness when he really gets going while Ringo lets fly on the hi-hat or tambourine or whatever brass it is he's belting away on. A classic rock'n roller. But can it beat the Twilights? The Twilights : Glen Shorrock doesn't rasp like John Lennon and doesn't scream but it's still a visceral vocal job. The drums thunder with that millisecond off-beat accuracy that makes any song as tight as a ... well, drum if no other comparison comes to mind. By the way, don't judge this song by its ridiculous YouTube black and white clip in which Shorrock was forced by some idiot d