Thursday, October 27, 2011


Something popped into my inbox earlier today that set my teeth on edge. Exactly what that was I will get to in a moment, but first some background...

Subiaco is an inner city suburb which was, up until the late 1970s, a working class area. Then the 80s hit, the Yuppies arrived, Laura Ashley convinced them all that living in a turn-of-the-century workers' cottage was just too darling, and the area became rank with BMWs, sundried tomatoes and pastel polo shirts.

Since the 1980s things have simply gotten worse. Now it's Mercedes, Prada, lawyers, molecular gastronomy and enough carbon offsets to sink a yacht. The average home price in this city is $500,000, but in Subiaco it's sitting at just over $1.22 million.

So of course Subaico has something called the "Earthwise Community Centre", and of course it's hosting the 2011 Cruelty Free Festival:

The 2011 Cruelty Free Festival – Saturday, 5th November 2011 from 10am to 4pm

At the Earthwise Community Centre, 315 Bagot Road, Subiaco

This event celebrates cruelty-free living, social justice and sustainability. There will be information stalls, cruelty-free products, food, cooking demonstrations, family entertainment including activities for children, and live entertainment provided by local bands.

FREE ENTRY ~ pets welcome!

For more information, look up the “ Cruelty Free Festival WA ” page on facebook or go to website

Hope to see you there!

Many people think that I'm an unquestioning tool of the right wing hegemony, but this sort of rich, smug, overpriviliged eco-virtue makes me rage like Leon Trotsky at a royal garden party. You just know that the crowd is going to be full of doctor's wives with organic moisturisers, hybrid SUVs and Pomeranians that have better access to medical care than the average outer suburban child.

I hope they all get food poisoning from the cruelty free fair trade heritage variety wheat grass juice.

Although, to be fair, I guess this compensates for the 2011 Cruelty Festival held last Saturday in Girrawheen...

Monday, October 24, 2011


After more than a decade of wear and tear, not to mention the flood of March last year that made it swell and pucker like a supermodel's lips after a bad collagen injection, the hardwood floor in my living room was dull, scuffed and discoloured.

However last week I finally got some professionals in to repair and sand and repolish. It meant moving out for three days, and dealing with varnish fumes when I did eventually get to move back in, but it was worth it.

Unfortunately the floor's liquid gleam has made everything else in that part of the house look dowdy and old-fashioned. So I spent the weekend weeding my way through ten years of accumulated art, occasional furniture, objects d'art and dustbunnies and paring everything back to a more modern, minimal look.

Well, minimal for me, anyway.

The only new things are the Mini cushions on the couch. But I've edited out a lot of useless little dustgatherers and moved some of my larger artworks into the room. As a result, it feels a lot calmer.

Quite unintentionally this has become a dark little area, featuring Angry Johnny, the Evil Monkeys, Bad Dog and a whole lotta bits of dead animals. I'm guessing the feng shui will be less than optimal.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Some years ago I bought a pastel drawing by a local artist at auction. I like the ethereal, insubstantial quality to the portrait, but the frame, clearly chosen by some genteel old lady in the 1980s, was so ugly that I kept it in the spare room.

But I recently bit the bullet and had it reframed. And, being a thrifty person, I had the framer install the Evil Monkeys picture from my lightbox into the old frame. I was then going to paint it, but it turns out that the silver in the frame echoes the gleaming plastic in the photograph, and it looks pretty cool. With art, context is everything.

Meanwhile the new frame for the portrait is taller, with a bigger, plain white mat and a simple wood frame. The wider mat prevents the frame from visually blocking the image - its white spaces bleed out into mat and better express its serene simplicity.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Saturday saw me off on another rogaine, this one right smack dab in the middle of spring, and thus blessed with gentle weather and native orchids going berserk with beauty.

On the last rogaine I caused no end of consternation with my blistered feet and my utter lack of preparedness. This time I took care of the latter by learning from experience, and brought everything I knew or suspected I’d need. As for the former, I avoided it by two means. First, I wrapped my toes in so much fixomull that they resembled a foot fetishist’s remake of ‘The Mummy’. And second, I bought a new pair of rogaining shoes.

It’s surprisingly easy to buy good rogaining shoes. One simply walks into an adventurewear shop (the ones filled with folding hats, shirts that couldn’t get wet if you held them underwater and many-pocketed pants) and buys the ugliest shoes one can find. The ones that are the most lumpy and hideous are guaranteed to be perfect rogaining shoes. I’m working off the theory that rogainers, being huge fans of nature, don’t want to own anything that might compete with the attractiveness of the Australian bush. This theory would also explain why they all drive Subarus.

My team did a little better in this rogaine, placing in the top 43%, as opposed to being in the top 47% as we were last time. However our pleasure at doing better was tempered by our displeasure at picking up unwanted parasites. Even though I was wearing long pants, a thick shirt and shoes so abhorrent that any sensible creature should have fled at the sight of them, I still managed to collect three ticks. I was not happy about this.

Frankly if I wanted weird-looking bloodsuckers attached to my thigh, I’d go on a date with Lemora.

Friday, October 07, 2011


Today is my birthday. How do you think I've celebrated it? Was it:

a) with lunch at a smart restaurant?

b) a day off work just to relax and enjoy myself?

c) spending $50 on rare Ursula Andress movies from Amazon?

I think we all know the correct answer. I don't know whether to be pleased or appalled with myself.