Thursday, April 30

joyous weekend ahead

When will they ever learn? When they're not running death camps for chickens and breeding bird viruses, they're abusing pigs on an industrial scale in Mexico, just so Americans can eat more hot dogs. "Factory farming" sounds more ethical than what it really is, and no wonder nature bites back. You can't escape natural balance.

There's been some hysterical web commentary about the flu, and my mate Alec McClochendichter contributed helpfully to the debate at The Independent.

Classroom conversation at work last night:
Student: Sir, what's going to happen with this flu, are we all going to die?

Me: Not at all, we're not all going to die. Just some of us. But if you're really worried, spend next weekend at the airport - catch it while it's still benign.

Wouldn't that be a buzz? Once you've got your immunity, you could spend the next year or two walking fearlessly through public places, blessing the sick and the fearful.

Actually, I've been doing something like that for decades, blessing all the black spot virgins. "I've been there and it's not so bad."

Right now though, I've got a mammoth trouser outbreak of swine herpes, but I'm too much of a gentleman to identify the swine I caught it from.

Anyway, I got up before dawn to drive the bliss partner to the airport in her car, with a stop-off for an hour at the NSC stadium where she does her exercise class.

I filled in time by walking the dog somewhere completely new, and she was happy as a pig in shit. And when she saw the ducks on the pond, she ran at them, straight across the layer of solid-looking green pond scum. Her spluttering face as she sank straight through what she thought was grass!

On the drive back, the traffic was so heavy that it made sense to stop off and have breakfast at McUnHeardOfs. I left the dog in the car, which is illegal, but fortunately when you live in NSC, compliance with the law is optional.

Looking at the menu board: what kind of breakfast could I order that wouldn't half kill me and support torture of pigs and chickens? The safest thing was also the tastiest: a great slab of raisin toast, soaked in hot salty butter, with a cup of real black tea. And a free read of the newspapers. Oh the bliss!

I had told myself I would only eat half the toast, and take the rest out to the car for the dog, but the willpower deserted me, and the dog had to make do with a couple of free tubs of butter.

Even if the raging herpes means I have to cancel the weekend house party, it's going to be a good few days. For once I've got wheels.

Today will be a tea buzz, and tonight I'm going to binge on a whole bottle of weissbier. How fortunate to have the two best addictions you could possibly hope for.

I'm going out now to lie down in the sun. I may be quite some time.

Sunday, April 26

blissheidism and hotheidism

On Sunday I splashed out on a month's supply of Paulaner, a six-pack. This could help me turn into a blissheid, but it's a distraction from the main goal - getting through the 200 bottles of Peerless before the mexican killer flu arrives at the door.

The bliss partner flies to New Zealand at the weekend, so as a quarantine measure I'll have to brick up my bedroom door while she's away. I've told her I'll pass pills and water to her through the window but only one of us has to get sick at a time.

Actually, I reckon it could be a good move to hang around airports, hugging passengers arriving from hot spots. Catch the flu early, and gain immunity before it mutates into something worse. Also getting in early before antiviral stocks run out.

Every morning I take life-giving pills, the heat-raising ones against fried thyroid. If I ever stop taking them, it's curtains within days. On Sunday I stupidly forgot to take them, and this coincided with a sudden cold spell. Overnight it was only 12 degrees, which is nice if you're in Scotland but here it's a freezer. You know how it is - you wake up shivering but you're too cold to get up and do anything about it. At 4 a.m. I summoned up the courage to get out of bed and fill a hot water bottle. So at least I got an hour's blissful warm sleep until the alarm went off at 5.30.

Then the first day back at work was a scunner. I was too chilled to eat lunch, and so I just got colder and more bad tempered. Monday night I went to bed with 2 hot water bottles and an extra quilt. Overnight I thawed out. Oh the bliss of raising heat again!

Friday, April 24

stout sans pareil

I'm most happy to report that I have now sampled the first half of the extra bottle of Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen. I saved it for myself instead of sending it as a present to whatever his name is. Onan or Albie or Doctor Bob, it gets confusing when all your friends have birthdays at the same time. The verdict: fantastic! Possibly even as good as Erdinger. I didn't think I would ever say that, but it's true. After sinking a whole glass, I lay back to savour the joy coursing through the veins. This stuff should be illegal.

The guy in the beer shop offered a 10% discount if I bought the whole case, but that wouldn't help me get through the 200-odd bottles of Peerless lager, brown ale, canadian blonde, real ale and bitter under the house.

And the Peerless Stout that I brewed a couple of years ago has matured nicely in the meanwhile, and may get even better in the future, though of course there's no bliss effect in it. There's still about 50 bottles of that. For once, one of my investments has paid off.

I've just heard that DUNEDITIN this year is taking place on Skye, with a side trip to DUNVEGAN for blissheids trying to get back on to a meat diet.

Thursday, April 23

spud's blissheid brother

Spud's self-taught blissheid brother has set up a YOGA NIDRA blog. Of course in New South Caledonian, he is known as a tête de félicité. Here he is running a yoga nidra session:

Yoga Nidra Session Led by Usuff Omar, Laughter Yoga Instructor

Tuesday, April 21

st. onan's day

Yesterday was onan's birthday, so we broke out a double ration of bliss pills. He got a couple of books from his partner and then she took him out for lunch.

The mother outlaw sent him a CD called The Sounds Of Scotland. Artists include Jimmy Shand, Moira Anderson, and the pipes and drums of the 1st battalion black watch. Onan says it's no worse than the current Australian radio, TV, and newspaper assault on his musical sensibilities. I think he's referring to the Susan Boyle phenomenon. For a generation brought up to believe that musicianship is about having a fit body and a video where your bits hang out, who would have thought that a middle-aged frump with a moustache would be able to hold a tune! What next?

Next thing they'll be trying to tell us that young people can cope with disappointment, without the services of a trauma counsellor! That wouldn't help Doctor Trish (she who got me to write for 20 minutes at a time without censoring). She works nights as the studio shrink on the set of Grand Frère (the New South Cal version of Big Brother). It's her job to counsel people when they get expelled from the house. I wonder if they get to wear the electrodes on their heads, just like me.

I gave Onan a bottle of Weihenstephaner, which neither of us have ever tried before. I hope it turns out less disappointing than the last weissbier I bought him (I've forgotten the name of it but you can be sure it wasn't Erdinger or Lidl's own brand).

His mother marked the day in time-honoured fashion, by opening an old greeting-card on the phone, and letting the tinny synthesiser play several verses of Happy Birthday down the line. It was mildly amusing on the first occasion some decades ago.

The PPP marked the occasion by getting him to phone the hospital room on the day, so she could provide a live update on the fund's losses.

It's a consolation to everyone that Onan has a wonderful bliss partner to make a fuss of him once a year, otherwise what would he have to live for?

The partner's lunch.

PS - the trousers are open again.

Saturday, April 18

books, money, TV and sexual minorities

What a great thing is a library! I came back with a bagful of books including "Sex After 50". Also one by Elmore Leotard (on the sensei's recommendation) - the guy writes really readable stuff, a bit like Barry himself.

The old dear would never even touch a libary book, let alone read one. Instead, she buys books by the bucketful from a George Street shop, and then wonders why she has no money and has to scrounge off the pension fund. The fund manager just subbed her another 5000, saying that she was worried there would be nothing left for the deserving New South Caledonian people, for whom the loot was being held in trust. The old dear said "oh don't worry about them, they don't need it."

Some families are just ghastly.

We're the last people here in NSC to get an LCD TV (albeit almost the smallest size available). Trawlermen is on, the BBC series re Peterhead fishermen. Those mountainous waves remind me of my own time at sea (5 days on the Clyde in a puffer - smoking non-stop and drunk in a different town each night).

My old schoolmate and reformed dealer Phil is coming here again in July. I've sent him a link he might like. It's to a website run by a guy who was my brother's classmate, a lawyer who now does freebie work for persecuted minorities in Brazil. Compared to him, my life feels almost normal.

Wednesday, April 15

international pension fund takes a dive

As if the global disaster wasn't enough, the Piddledorf Pension Plan has now had an accident, falling down and breaking several major bones. I'm not sure if it really fell, or was it pushed by a passing blissheid on a contract? I'd rather not know. 10% off the top of nothing isn't worth arguing about.

It's in hospital now on morphine, and very sorry for itself, contemplating the long road to recovery at that age. I used to be cursed with feelings of empathy for fellow humans, but the bliss pills fixed that. Of course everything balances up, and the pills seem to have caused an increased sensitivity to animal suffering. On Australian satellite TV last night, there was extended footage of two guys in a Jordanian abbatoir mistreating a cow. I looked away, but then every time I looked back the b*st*rds were still at it. It was pitiful - the poor cow kept trying to run away, but it was in a small pen, and there was nowhere to run to.

To the credit of the TV company, they were trying to shock viewers into supporting the campaign against shipping live animals from Australia to the Middle East. Even if they survive the crossing, they have a halal slaughterhouse to look forward to. Fortunately, the only Australian meat in my diet is shipped here after being humanely shot in the outback.

But back to the pension fund. The depressing thing is, the PPP will never get the bliss pills. It once tried them, but gave up on the second day: "It was horrible, I couldn't get anything done." The whole point! Some people are just too dumb to medicate.

Monday, April 13

special request

Regular visitors have been pestering me to include more references to toilets in my posts, but I'm not going to encourage them any more. This will be the last time.

If I was a buddhist, I'd choose Japanese buddhism. Their toilets with all the gizmos are almost like those gods with umpteen arms.

Saturday, April 11

easter message of hope

After two months of working full time (how can people do that?), I was turning into a horrible person, going out of my way to piss people off. Occasionally I'd be walking along the street muttering four letter curses to myself, imagining doing horrible things to folk. But thank goodness for the holidays! I've been here at Spud's mum's beach shack for just two days, and already the murderous impulses are fading.

Yesterday, we walked the animals along several beaches, then followed up with a freezing swim amongst tanned blonde mermaids. Then spent the hottest part of the day back at the shack. Spud's mum has transformed the garden in the last year by planting trees, tall bamboo and bougainvillea. It's only a small place, and the neighbours are so close we can hear every word, but thanks to the jungle they can't see us. So the clothes came off, and after a bottle of Peerless, I was able to make an offering to the plants, using the uncle's plant food formula. What a primal feeling to give back to the land as nature intended!

Blog ethics prevent me from mentioning anyone I live with, so let's just say the jungle was a perfect setting for liberating some ching back into the wild. Possibly with person or persons unknown.

Lunch on the veranda wasn't the usual improvised DIY sandwich affair. It was grilled salmon, with baby spuds, and tartare sauce. Washed down with some kind of tropical fruit pulp scored from aldi.

In my first 2 days here, I've had one Peerless on day one, and two on day two. Tonight is going to be exciting, as we find out whether it's going to be a linear or exponential progression. Eventually I hope to sink enough to feel some effect.

To finish this easter message, some information for our congregation:

On TV, Michael Wood's series on India has got up to the episode on the Buddha. I never knew he was Indian. If the guy really did and said all those things, he was a very astute person. If you wanted a religion, you'd choose that one.

And I've just read a newspaper interview with Richie Benaud, where he admits his biggest regret:

I wish I hadn't tried to hook Jack "Dasher" Daniel at the MCG in 1949. I didn't get inside the line of the ball and had my skull badly fractured in several places.

Who knows know what it means.

Tuesday, April 7


A recent post by ion about noise transmission between tenement flats made we wonder why the neighbours never murdered me when I lived in Edinburgh. They never once complained about my off-key late-night saxophone practice. Even when Vinnie and his moll and Mary Hopkin and I spent several hilarious drunken hours after the pubs closed, dragging an abandoned piano up four flights of stone steps to my place, nobody said a word. One guy in his pyjamas did come out on the landing for a look at the commotion, but then went meekly back into his house. Hungover the next morning, we were faced with the reality of a heavily damaged piano in the living room, too heavy to move when sober. Someone suggested breaking it up into smaller pieces, but how do you chop up a cast iron frame?

To his credit, Vinnie came back the next night with a 4-inch junior hacksaw, with which he failed to make even the slightest scratch in the frame. So after a few home brews we started on something easier, the piano strings. Sawing through tensioned steel wires could be art if you're John Cage, but the whiplash is something awful.

I ended up living with that piano taking up half a bedroom, for several years. When I finally moved out I had to pay a team of guys to carry it back down the stairs.

But I was mostly a model neighbour, apart from the piano and the sax, and the night we launched fireworks out the kitchen window. I was too inhibited in those days to make bonking noises, but the guy in the creaky bed next door used to take so long getting off I felt like banging on the wall, but I didn't. I wouldn't have been so considerate if I'd known he would end up burgling me through the skylight one morning, while I was in the house. Surely that's not neighbourly?

Sunday, April 5

albert's bats

Albert's fascinating wildlife pictures of a bat and two birds reveal that the skies are not always blue in his life, but there's always bliss pills.

Wednesday, April 1

opportunity for gold diggers

In the course of my duties as hut manager for the guy who wrote Badboy Hotters and the Earthy Allotment, I was working on the publicity material for a new edition. I had a brilliant idea! We bury a box of gold somewhere in the allotment, and get the author to weave some clues into the text! The idea has been used before for a kids' book years ago, but this will bring the concept to a whole new audience.

Because I've never actually gained entry to the allotments, I haven't a clue where the book's action takes place. Can somebody tell me where to bury the gold?

Here's a picture of the allotment from the book cover.

best short story and prime dream

I posted recently about an Aussie short story collection that I've been reading. The best story I've read so far is called Queen of Love by Rosie Scott, and it's available online. You might like it.

On a possibly-related topic: I dreamt two nights ago that Denny was sleeping over at my place, even though I was already living with someone who was a mix of Mary Hopkin and my Bliss Partner. When Denny got drunk and obnoxious, she decided she was going to sleep in my parents' bed, between my father and mother.

I realised I'd have to dump Denny, and I spent the remainder of the dream trying to talk her into going back where she came from, before Mary/BP went ballistic.

Because she was so blootered, I had to help her to gather up her belongings, including a bright yellow $4 pair of swimming goggles, Elton John sized or Dame Edna perhaps. (Blissheids will say this proves I'm gay or transvestite, but it's all in their mind). Denny and I had apparently bought these together (in reality, when I knew her Denny used to be forever buying trinkets from Habitat and head shops).

When I told Doctor Robert, he reckioned the dream is positively primal. And that was without even seeing the post at the trouser blog.