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Showing posts from October, 2022

The hotel with two names.

Term break. Four times a year now; they seem to happen every few weeks. We had driven out of Melbourne mid-morning under a slate sky and a rain-blowing southerly on a cold late-winter Saturday. North, north, north: trying to outrun the weather. Around midday we pulled in for lunch on the run at a truckstop cafe on a great curving main road in a town west of Bendigo: salty, deep-fried, battered food: food you'd probably never eat standing still or sitting at a table. Food that reaches way down into the prehistoric DNA. Does salt enhance the view of mountains sliding by on the horizon or, conversely, does that incredible panorama make the food taste better? After the western roll we corrected northwards again, munching, and in the rear vision mirror grey fingers of cloud groped towards us, chasing again, like fingers of a giant. Small towns swung or swam into view and out again; Bridgewater on Loddon, Serpentine (describes the river, not the town), Durham Ox and Kerang, a 1950s relic

Essendon Football Club and the One Hundred Year Karma.

The AFL's Essendon Football Club was founded in 1872. Essendon was a respectable suburb in the lower middle class sense of being seen to be respectable. Many early players were drawn from local churches. Anglicans, Baptists and Methodists gravitated to the Club. Catholic footballers, largely Irish and working class (although some were better educated and culturally richer than many of their bovine-like overlords), knew they need not apply to play at Essendon, and generally went to the neighbouring industrial suburban clubs of Foostcray, North Melbourne or Fitzroy. Reasons are lost in the mists of time, but history yields clues. In 1916 the highly-patriotic Essendon Football Club, exclusively Protestant, airily proposed along with many of the more affluent clubs that players compete as amateurs and that the League turn all gate receipts over to the Patriotic Fund. The proposal was rejected as a drain on the poorer clubs, and the four working-class largely Catholic suburban pillars

Melty unctuosity: chicken and cheese polpette, following a neon sunset.

We sat stretch-legged and stunned in the front row of cinema ten at Pentridge, and I emerged over two hours later, mid-evening, with my mental chronology rearranged like a typhoon rearranges a village. The boys didn't even live though the Bowie era but they still enjoyed the 154 minutes of Moonage Daydream , a neon-soundtracked cakemix of glam glitter space arthouse new romantic post-disco punk-survivalist rockumentary. Talk about your life passing before your eyes: that pre-year-twelve January day in 1974 when Sorrow oiled its way out of the radio on the spirits shelf behind the bar at the Windermere hotel and snaked across the pool table while I played snooker with friends on a camping trip. The hot March of the previous year when Space Oddity 's discordant fade-out chilled the charts four years after its recording. That October Friday night another year earlier when newsreader Peter Hitchener was still on radio hosting a weekly pop show and back-announced Starman segueing