Will Type For Food


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blue clothing and smiles

A lady came round to our house to talk about investment, which is to say after her first two words, 'Well, the....', I had no idea what she was talking about. Occasionally Bea the cat walked in and out of the house and I began to wish she'd bring in a mouse or a sparrow to liven up proceedings. I looked in a glazed fashion at the succession of stock photographs flickering by on her laptop, mostly of couples wearing blue clothing and smiles. I became fascinated in these, couldn't notice anything else, started to wonder if the Baron and I should be posing like this.

At one point she talked about a 'growth matrix', and my ears really perked up. Could we have that great mythical beast, a growth profit matrix, in our own house? Eventually another one came on the screen and I almost felt like cheering. Another page in her computer seemed to simply consist of a circular red band with a word in the middle. She pressed a button and another red band appeared inside the first one, and a different word replaced the original one. I began to feel like she was giving us an ad for Target by mistake.

Why is it that these talks invariably make me look in all directions but the one I am supposed to be looking at and start obsessing about the furniture, about how pretty the mountains look on the graph, about the obscure choreography of models in stock photographs? I suppose this is a failing in me, this inability to fully appreciate portfolios, or to use phrases like 'going forward', 'fully across', 'grasping the opportunity'.

Finally the lady came to her grand conclusion, which of course I hardly noticed because I wasn't even sure what she was grandly concluding. She turned her computer off. She put it in her bag. She got ready to go. "Ooh, ooh, ooh," I cried. "Do we get a booklet?" Everyone gives you booklets. The Mormons even give you booklets; I felt sure she would have one as well. She gave us a comfortable, reassuring booklet with blue cardboard covers, rather like the comfortable, reassuring booklet with blue cardboard covers I got from the old place of employ when they made us all redundant. Ah, that's nice. We thanked the lady for her time and apologised that we couldn't do business with her and offered her dinner, which she refused, and sent her on her way.

I'm pretty sure I practiced my stock photograph posing in my sleep though.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The education of Pamela

Advocates of gradual political change would do well to study the glorious reign of Bella the Fox Terrier over the Train family affections in the later years of the 20th century. "Right", said Mum. "We have a dog, but she's not allowed inside. Dogs are outside creatures". A few months later, the rules seemed to have changed. "Okay," said Mum. "She's allowed in the laundry but not anywhere else in the house, her fur will get all over the place". Winter arrived a while after, and it's a well known fact that in winter, it is compulsory for dogs to lie in front of fireplaces and/or heaters. "Fine", said Mum. "She's allowed inside, but not into the bedrooms". Suffice to say that in short order, Bella had not only found her way into the bedrooms and onto the bed but also in the bed, which was naturally right and proper and soon became the established way of things.

As it turns out, the Baron and I have been enjoying a similar education with Pamela the chicken. Of course, chickens are outside creatures; naturally we shouldn't let them too near our food; and so on and so forth. Which is why I am currently sitting on the bed typing this with Pamela the chicken a few short metres away in the laundry, her head tucked up in her feathers, safe from everything except perhaps the occasional house fox (and the less said of house foxes the better).

Naturally when we set off to Bright we took Pamela with us, and while the other chickens enjoyed the best of the Baron's ancestral lands below, Pamela mostly hung out upstairs with the Baron and my mother-in-law and myself, watching football, playing scrabble* and eating roast lamb (which she pronounces exceedingly good). She has gone to sleep on the occasional shoulder, perched on arms and laps and even the occasional foot. And, while occasionally venturing outside to take a turn about the gardens herself, she mostly stayed indoors, so that once, as I held the door open, both cat and chicken leisurely wandered inside after me, making me feel rather like Saint Francis**.

Pamela is soon to conclude her sojourn with the Baron and myself and lead a life of active retirement at the place of K, a few kilometres away from us in Heidleberg. I'm sure K has got all sorts of jolly adventures for Pamela, including regular meals of roast lamb, cheese curds, and the occasional nap on the shoulders. She's a chicken of very refined tastes, after all.

*Here's a tip for playing scrabble with chickens: don't. They cheat by trying to eat the tiles. 

** The similarity doesn't go very far, considering my own proclivity for roast lamb.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Deceptive derrieres

Late night fart excuse: 
Him: "Not me". Her: "Me either". 
False bottom again. 

This Easter I have mostly been spending my time writing poems about false bottoms.

He went
To sit down
But his bottom
Was false. 

Actually it's a concept from brewing, a false bottom can be used to drain the beer wort from the cracked grains once you get sugar out.

Don't trust him, girls!
He bared his bum to someone else!
It's a false bottom. 

I didn't say the poems were any good.

False bottom: for when
JLo's famous behind just
Isn't good enough.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ask the Easter Bunny!

Got problems? Sure you do! Just tell them to our guest psychologist, the Easter Bunny, and he'll give you much-needed advice for this complicated modern world! 

Dear Easter Bunny,

I would like to get my Mummy a present to show her how much I love and appreciate her this Easter. What do you think it should be?

Hester, age 6.

Dear Hester, 

Hey, I've got this great idea. Why not give her some Easter Eggs? Yum! 



Dear Easter Bunny,

I have severe dietary problems and the doctor says if I don't give up sugar I might die. What do I do?

Arthur, age 90

Dear Arthur, 

Nothing a few chocolate easter eggs won't fix - here, have some now! Have some more! 



Dear Easter Bunny,

I have no idea what I am going to do with my life! I have just left uni and split up with my boyfriend and I am not sure I can take it anymore! Help me, it feels like everything is crumbling around me!

Linda, age 23

Dear Linda, 

Okay, I'm thinking something round, but not completely round. A bit ovular, actually. It's covered in colourful foil, and it's made out of chocolate and extremely tasty. It's - an Easter Egg! Here, have ten! No, make that twenty! 

With loving kindness, 

Dear Easter Bunny,

What do we do about the complicated military situation in the Ukraine?

Tony, age 56

Dear Tony, 

Sometimes the most complicated solutions require the simplest answers. Have you tried Easter eggs? 



 Dear Easter Bunny,

What should I go for - plain milk chocolate eggs, or fancy Violet Crumble and chocolate eggs?

John, age 30

Dear John, 

What am I, a psychologist? 


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Neigh, I say!

Those frames for drying clothes indoors are interesting, aren't they? The Baron calls them "the clothes horse". I call them "the vine". "Where's the vine?" I say. "No-one ever calls them the vine", says the Baron, though they totally do because I totally just did. "It doesn't look anything like a vine". "It doesn't look anything like a horse" I reply. "It looks like a clothes horse" she retorts. "Or a clothes vine" is my swift come back. Why can't I call them a vine, after all? It's a perfectly good metaphor. Thank you for your support.

Anyway, that's not what I'm here to talk about today. What I'm here to talk about is this: why do we have a greeting for the morning and night - "good morning", "good night" - and yet no greeting for when we go to the toilet? "Happy wees!" "Magnificient motions to you!" Something should be done about this. I'll write to Mr Abbott this minute.

Thank you for sharing this moment in the mind of a Tim.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Thing for reasons of thing

No need to adjust your channel. Carry on spending your time wisely and valuably.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Something about nothing

"Have you noticed something?" said the Baron on the train the other day. "The tile shop by the railway. It's not there anymore."

I must admit I hadn't noticed this - or rather, I hadn't been hit with an overwhelming wave of not-very-much after noticing nothing-very-much in a spot where there previously had been something. If you know what I mean.

Just what do you look for when what you are looking for is something that isn't there anymore, anyway? As we travelled on the train to the spot where the Tile Shop That Was Wasn't Anymore, I couldn't help but notice a lot of other places where the Tile Shop That Was Wasn't Either, and maybe even a spot where the Tile Shop that Was Might Have Been If It Had Been What it Wasn't, and all very lovely and attractive nothing-very-muches they were, too. Of course, I couldn't  be sure that the tile shop hadn't been there when we weren't looking, as who knows what all this stuff gets up to when we're not looking? After all, we're not looking. Where were we again? Where was anything again?

Presently, we passed by a big pile of rocks and dirt behind a fenced off area. "There!" proclaimed the Baron triumphantly. "Do you see what I mean? Nothing!"

And it really did, quite clearly lack a.... whatever it was that it had previously not lacked. I had never seen a better lack in my life. The bare dirt and rubble were rather emphatic on that point.

It was really something.

Friday, April 04, 2014

The ultimate critic

Flicking through my notebook just now, I found this:
In a dark dark room in a dark dark house made of wood from a tree that fell in a forest where no-one was there to see or hear it fall lived a critic who wrote reviews that no-one read of plays that no-one watched..... 
I'm not sure where I was going with this, maybe I was thinking of Peter Craven?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Grow a pear!

There are six pears sitting on a plate on the table. They came from the tree outside. I have no idea where the tree came from.

It occurs to me now that there are a confusing array of ways in which I could refer to these pears.

Six pears
Three pairs
Four pears and a pair
Two pairs and two pears
Pear, pair, pear, pair
A pair of three pears

I think I could be a while working this out. You are definitely not allowed to eat any while I do.

 Fig 1: Not a pair.

Monday, March 31, 2014

How to really get along with your neighbours

Our cats Harriet and Beatrice have the habit, very occasionally, of following us up or down the street when we pop out. They're most fond of this at night, and would prefer it if we walk at a very leisurely pace to allow them to stroll just behind us, though if the occasion demands they've also been known to break into a brisk canter to keep up with us. This habit, I think, is entirely charming, so often of an evening I like to take a turn myself around the front of our Lalorian gardens, taking in the evening air and seeing a few sights with the cats.

It has been my fond wish that, one evening, a neighbour will be out in their lawn, and they will say, with a tone of inquiry in their voice: "hello, nice night to be out!"

"Yes!" I will say. "Just taking my cats for a walk!"

And there the conversation will end, with the neighbour thinking "why, what a charmingly quirky fellow he is, with attractive and well behaved cats!"

This evening I had my shirt off, because it was hot, and I was going for another walk up and down the footpath with Harriet (who is the most fond of walks). Actually I kind of had to persuade her to come with me for a walk - I sat down on the driveway until she walked out of the garden and onto the footpath and then joined her. (I didn't try calling her. She hardly ever comes when you call her). But she seemed happy enough to come, and so there we were, two intellectuals enjoying the cool of the evening. We got a couple of houses down when Harriet, as is her wont, jumped over into the front garden of one neighbour, and wandered up the driveway. A moment or so after that I saw a white flash - it must have been another cat, and Harriet ran after that. Not sure what to do, I kind of hummed and hawed, loitered a bit, and tried walking back a bit to see if Harriet would follow me. Nope.

So I tried walking back to the driveway Harriet had walked up and called her name. She duly presented herself again (the offending white cat apparently having vanished), and I began walking hopefully back up the path. Harriet didn't really seem interested, and I lost sight of her again (with her grey coat she's quite difficult to spot at night). Suddenly, horror of horrors, a car turned into the driveway! I quickly saw Harriet wasn't on the drive anymore, and then managed to spot her in the garden again. I called to her, but she didn't seem inclined to come at all. I kind of shifted from one foot to another awkwardly, fully aware that I was a strange shirtless man standing for no apparent reason outside the house of someone else who had just arrived home to see me there. 

Okay then.

"Um.... just trying to get my cat" I said. "She was on your driveway".

"Oh, she's all right isn't she?" said the neighbour.

"Yes," I said. "I can see she's in your garden. She's quite hard to spot because she has a grey coat....."

Then, for added verisimilitude, I called: "Harriet! Come on Harriet!"

She didn't come, of course. She hardly ever comes when you call her...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Flavour Review

What tastes better? The holes in Swiss cheese, or the holes in cinnamon donuts? This is a question that has perplexed man through the ages, ever since holes were discovered back in the ninth century by Albert Einstein. And yet until now, no-one has thought to perform a comparative study of the two.

Here at WTFF Flavour Review, we work hard to eat food for our valued readers, so we set out to sort this matter out once and for all. Taking part in the most high-tech complicated study the world has ever known, we ate several cinnamon donuts and followed it up immediately with a meal of several slices of Swiss cheese. Then, because we weren't certain whether we had tasted the right sort of holes or not, we ate several more slices of cheese and several more donuts.

Although at various times in history, conmen, shysters and hucksters have tried to pass off the hole in the middle of a bagel as being equivalent to the hole in the middle of a cinnamon donut, there's no mistaking the true, sweet, yet piquantly spicy flavour of a proper donut hole. It is undoubtedly true that a well-crafted donut hole completes the perfection of the donut, while contrasting elegantly with the rest of this classic food stuff. As Bertie Wooster says to Jeeves, "Top hole!"

We all know the taste of a classic Swiss Cheese hole. Later imitators, such as the holes in Cheezels and Burger Rings, have their uses (putting on fingers, for instance), but they are no competition for the true Swiss Cheese hole. Though small, these pleasingly round and flavoursome lacunae in the body of the cheese sweeten the bitter tastes and are said by the Swiss to be full of healthy, life-giving properties. (Later attempts to use hole-punchers to give cheddars and camemberts an authentic Swiss appearance have been doomed to failure). Yes, truly the hole in Swiss cheese is one of the most glorious Epicurean experiences on the face of this earth. Holy Moly!

Bigger: Donut holes. 
Cheesier: Swiss holes. 
Complication: what about cinnamon donuts with jam in the middle instead of a hole? 
Conclusion: yum.

Tomorrow, join the WTFF Flavour Review again, as we delve into the relativity of space time, the metaphysics of Hegel, and the pants of Ernest Hemingway as we examine the question: what lasts longer: a glass half empty, or a glass half full?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Catalogue des amoreux

Fell in love with a poet,
Changed my name for a rhyme.
Went out with a solipsist -
I became a figment of his imagination.
Had an affair with a marching band leader
Because he wanted someone to two-time with.
Had a fling with a plug
Because I turned it on.
Now I've just learned to live with myself
No funny business, though.
Because gay marriage is wrong, man.

Comments on the comments about the focus iin the comments

You know what gets me? The inevitable focus in the media on the lack of focus in the media on the March in Marchers, that's what! Because even with this inevitable  focus in the media on the lack of focus in the media of this important event, where is the lack of focus in the media on the inevitable focus in the media on the lack of focus in the media on this.... er.... um.... hang on....

You know what gets me? The inevitable lack of focus in the media on the march about the lack of focus in the media about the.... wait.... hang on....

So, in the end, I think what I can say, conclusively, is that it is precisely this lack of a lack of a focus on a focus on a march that may or may not have happened in March that is really dragging our country into the gutter. I think.

And we really ought to do something about it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Did I forget to mention Atilla the Hun?

Hello everyone! Let's talk about Mongolia. I bet you were all just sitting there and thinking, 'I wish Tim would come onto his blog and talk about Mongolia, but I know he won't because it's just such an obscure subject'. Well I'd make no such assumptions if I were you, because as it turns I know heaps about Mongolia. Or one thing at least. Horses. It's all about the horses.

Yes, Mongolia is basically the tale of the beautiful relationship between a man and his horse. From the horses, they get milk*, and from the milk they get curds, and from the curds they get wonderful cheeses like Kashk. (Here is a picture of Kurdish women preparing Kashk in a village in Turkey, and being Kurdish they are not Mongolian but I bet they would be if they knew how to.)

But this is not enough for the industrious Mongolian and his horse. Oh, no, not nearly enough! Not only do they make cheeses, but their fermented drinks turn out to be made from milk as well. Arkhi is a kind of Mongolian milk spirit, and from the run off they make curds, Aarul, as well.

Mongolians even sing. (I bet you weren't expecting that, were you?) Mostly, they sing about their horses:

[the songs] often use horses as a symbol or theme repeated throughout the song.

Their favourite instrument is  the horse-head fiddle, thankfully not actually made from the head of a horse. And they also practice throat singing, a type of singing in which one person sings two notes at once, thereby rendering him or herself - hoarse. 

This has been a blog post about horses. I mean Mongolia. But usually both at once. Thank you for your time.

Mongolians letting their hair down in their spare time.(Image from Wiki).

*For the purposes of this blog post they do anyway.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Autumnal hymnal

It's autumn! And today we travelled to Kyneton and, while waiting for the train back, we went for a toddle around the gardens where I picked up some oak leaves and began writing poetry on the back of them. This, observed the Baron, was one of the most hipster things I have ever done.


I once was green
But now I'm brown. 
I loved the tree - 
It let me down.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Homage a la Spectator

When I first started subscribing to the Spectator I'd read it religiously, cover to cover, concluding with me flicking through the magazine to see if there was any cartoons I'd missed. It was quite an exhausting exercise, and rather unprofitable too, as at the time I probably should have been looking for jobs (or, at any rate, filling out a form saying I'd been looking for jobs). It got to be ridiculous; I didn't even have much time to read books. I'd barely have finished one issue of the Spectator before I received the next issue, and then the trouble would start all over again. Pretty soon the back issues were mounting up. I have a habit of leaving magazines folded open on the page I'd been reading on tables and benches and floors and toilet seats, a sort of casual domestic filing system, you might call it, so that didn't make it any easier to sort stuff out either. For a magazine largely devoted to current affairs, it was bloody hard to keep up with.

Anyway, it turns out I probably shouldn't have worried about keeping up with it. Because the Spectator doesn't really seem to be worried about keeping up with itself, either. The magazine comes out on Friday for the weekend but never arrives until after the weekend. Sometimes it misses Monday, too, and arrives on Tuesday. Sometimes it lazily appears in the letterbox on a Wednesday, presumably after having had a dawdle around the neighbourhood to see the sites.  And sometimes it leaves things up to Thursday, whereupon, having almost arrived it scratches its head and wonders if it mightn't like to leave things up until Friday, after all. This leaves open the terrifying but somehow wonderful possibility that sometimes, the previous issue might not arrive at a person's house until a few days after the latest issue arrives. Indeed, perhaps one day I will go out to the letterbox and find the long-delayed 1771 issue has arrived:
I have observed, that a Reader seldom peruses a Book with Pleasure 'till he knows whether the Writer of it be a black or a fair Man, of a mild or cholerick Disposition, Married or a Batchelor, with other Particulars of the like nature, that conduce very much to the right Understanding of an Author. To gratify this Curiosity, which is so natural to a Reader, I design this Paper, and my next, as Prefatory Discourses to my following Writings, and shall give some Account in them of the several persons that are engaged in this Work. As the chief trouble of Compiling, Digesting, and Correcting will fall to my Share, I must do myself the Justice to open the Work with my own History.

It's Thursday at the moment, as it turns out. Having just collected the mail, I see that though there is a letter from my father, a copy of Earth Garden magazine (which I swear we have already received anyway*), and some other unimportant item of paraphernalia**, my Spectator still has not arrived. I regard this prospect with sublime bliss and contentment. If journalism largely relies upon a progressive diet of outrages and scandals and scandalous outrageous topping the previous weeks outrageous scandals, the Spectator, being a conservative magazine, never changes. It is greatly reassuring to unfold the latest issue, or the previous issue, (whenever either of them arrive) and to find that the world is getting worse, and there is nothing we can do about it. And the cartoons are pretty good, too. 

*Psst. Article by me and the Baron in it! Buy this fine publication! 
**Dunno, probably an overdue bill or some such. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Solemn thoughts for a Sunday evening

I should brush my teeth but I want a biscuit. There are no biscuits around the house. But I keep not brushing my teeth just in case a biscuit should miraculously appear. This seems unlikely. So instead of eating a biscuit I will drink a cool glass of water. It has a depressingly unbiscuit like texture and a taste that is not particularly akin to the taste of biscuit either, like so many things in this troubled, tormented world.

I will keep hoping for a biscuit for another half hour or so. You never know.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Show-off sesquipedalianism

This was just a silly thing I wrote trying to include as many sesquipedalian (six-syllable) words in as short a space as possible.

Hat tip to Sir PWAF who first used the phrase 'show-off sesquipedalianism'. What follows next is my fault.

And Abecedarians
And Old-Tipperarians

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Forgetting Hollywood, one celebrity at a time

There's a character in Italo Calvino's story-novel-book thing If on a Winter's Night a Traveller who is teaching himself to unread. That is, instead of looking at printed words and instantly knowing what they mean, he is trying to be able to look at words and not know what they mean; every day he practices unreading in the hope that one day all printed words will have completely lost significance for him.

I feel a little like that chap these days when I looked on a list of Hollywood celebrities and realised I had no idea who these people were. It is a particularly refreshing feeling, to each day know fewer and fewer of these people. Perhaps one day I will wake up and not know of any celebrity at all, and what a pleasant absence of knowledge that will be. Browsing through a long list of people being famous for being people who are famous taking photos with other people being famous for being people who are famous becomes a rich and rewarding experience, like meeting strangers for the first time and discovering how boring and dull they are. They have all starred in films I haven't seen or been the sons or daughters of people I don't know or been involved in some scandalous contretemps with other equally fatuous people or been in songs I haven't listened to and are probably pretty shit anyway. What is a Leto? Do they all have to come with a Jared? Why is Channing a Tatum?

A while ago I would at least have known vaguely that I ought to have seen such and such a film that so and so was in, and been able to sort my whosiwatsits from my watchicallits. But this year, these lists often inspire in me complete apathy and ignorance: there are names of people I will never know  and never care to know.

It would seem my long years not watching television, avoiding film, disregarding popular song, and ignoring all but the most unpopular news stories while spending most of my time on unsocial media sites like blogger are having an effect. I can't wait to see who I'll forget tomorrow. My only regret is that I won't be able to remember which unimportant person I'll have forgotten in order to be able to take pleasure in it (though I'm certain everyone will keep talking about them anyway, so maybe I'll be able to find out that way).

Friday, February 28, 2014

Suburban nude

Getting undressed for the shower, you are just shrugging off the final item of clothing when you realise with annoyance that you are not sure whether you have taken the post in for today. Laziness slouches in as you decide you couldn't be bothered putting your clothes back on to get the mail. Soon after comes anxiety, and with it the dawning awareness that you will have to do a naked sprint for the letter box to see if there is any mail (this is even more irritating than those times when you took the bins back in wearing only your dressing gown, or did the gardening in a pair of underpants). Then comes concern: for your neighbours, who will undoubtedly be horrified by your nude sprinting up and down the driveway. Not to mention how embarrassing you will find it if the letterbox actually turns out to be empty because you have either actually taken in the mail earlier today and forgotten about it or you just didn't get any mail today anyway.

And then enters the good old feeling of Ah Fuck It and you turn the shower on and get back to your ordinary state of utter apathetic bliss.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Problems of modern life....

There is a chicken in our house. I am of her flock and she is of mine and it seems we have never known anything different.

This is rather awkward, as there are three chickens in the backyard. I am of their flock and they are of mine and it seems we have never known anything different.

Which is even more embarrassing, for there are three more chickens in the backyard on the other side. I am of their flock and they are of mine and it seems we have never known anything different.

I wonder how I am going to explain it to them all? That I have been seeing flocks behind their backs? I don't know if their tiny chicken brains will be able to comprehend it.

It is all very difficult.

Sunday, February 23, 2014



Some say that it's a butterfly
Flitting here and there,
Some say that it's cheap alcopops,
Or lacy underwear,
Some say it is the gift of God,
Some say it is nowhere,
But I say chocolate banana shoes

Some say that Bunnings sells it cheap,
Some say it's in the air,
Some say it's something we should try,
Some say we shouldn't dare,
Some say the airline lost theirs
And have nothing to declare,
I swiftly paint my whippets quack

Some say it's nudist cars with guns,
Some say it's pubic hair,
Some say it started with the Queen,
Or even Tony Blair,
Some say it's trolling someone's blog
Some say it's being square,
But why do budgies wimples snip?

If cymbals ooze along the grams,
Or men bend down in prayer,
If mome-raths gimble in the wabe
Or legs are shorn and bare,
If it's a costly thing to earn,
Or life's not free but fair,
Let spiffing pimples tango now -

NOTE: The poet does not endorse painting your whippets.

Because freedom. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Critica dicta

"Can art exist without an audience?" - Alison Croggon. 
If artists did not exist, it would be necessary for critics to invent them.

Criticism is the sound of one hand clapping.

All artists are thwarted critics.

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no critic to analyse its fall, is it really art?

Art lies in wait for the creator. The creator lies in wait for an audience. The critic lies in wait for them all.

It may be possible to write the perfect criticism, but only of art that does not exist.

It is not necessary for art to be created to be art.

It is not necessary for art to be created to have an audience.

It is not necessary for art to be.

It is not necessary for conceptual art to have a concept.

All minimalist art is overstatement. All maximalist art is an understatement. Criticism is the in-between.

Art is an argument between a critic, the artist, and life.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chook central

Chooks seem to present themselves in many and varied ways at our house. We started off with a modest modicum of chooks, Daisy and Griselda, to be layers. They were duly given a pen to the side of the garden and duly began laying.

Shortly after this, we were presented with Agatha by my brother. Agatha had an interesting story; she had for some months been living at my brother's house in Warburton, on the side of a large hill, with two guinea fowl. At night, foxes would come down off the hill and pick off the guinea fowl, but Agatha survived. We were wondering how she was going to fit in when she came to our house, but we needn't have worried: instead of waiting for the other chooks to peck her, Agatha just lowered her head and ran madly at Daisy and Gris and pecked them both into submission before placing herself over the food bowl and scoffing the lot. In fact, we've discovered pecking is pretty much Aggie's raison de etre - she'll peck anything from a trouser leg to a fellow chicken, just to keep her beak in.

For a time being we acquired Henry, because Daisy got clucky and we took pity on her and gave her an egg and in due course we all got to know the egg better, and there you go. Henry was a bantam rooster, in fact, and took to living inside, perching on teapots, and placing himself between the sounding boards of the harp and the piano when he wanted to crow. What a soothing, tranquil time that turned out to be.

Daisy and Gris eventually slowed down in their laying and we acquired Esme and Shirley, the two Australorps; and eventually Esme became clucky, as Daisy had before her. We gave her some eggs, too, which is how we ended up with Geoffrey (despite the name, Geoffrey is most likely a girl).

What is this all leading up to? Well, this afternoon I was lying in the bath when a chap positioned himself at the front door and began shouting in. "Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?" Eventually the Baron wandered out, and I got some clothes on (well - a towel counts doesn't it?) and went out as well. He was holding a chicken. Another brown, by the looks of it (quite like our Daisy and Griselda). And he was kind of sort of wondering what to do with her.

How had he discovered us? It appears he'd been wandering round our street and asked someone walking the dog if anyone round here had chickens. Apparently we're a bit ostentatious about the whole chicken-keeping thing - (what - is it the habit of walking the chooks on the oval, the loud squawking in the morning from the Australorp's house, the occasional habit they have of escaping into neighbour's gardens, making it necessary for us to somewhat illegally leap fences and chase them out again?) Who would have thought? 

So we appear to have a new chicken. She's sleeping in the laundry right now.

You've heard that expression 'chick magnet', right?

Well, the Baron and I appear to be something similar. We're bloody chook magnets!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our new neighbour

When you have bees, you often hear or read other people telling you: "tell your neighbours about your bees". "Take them some honey", they'll advise. "Do it soon! Do it now!"

Somehow, the Baron and me never quite got around to the Telling Our Neighbours About Our Bees part. No, we're pretty resolutely and adamantly stuck in the Not Telling Our Neighbours About Our Bees part of our lives, and we're getting pretty good at it, let me say. We do some Not Telling Our Neighbours About Our Bees frequently and often, so much so that by now, just about everyone in the neighbourhood must have been not told about our bees. It's amazingly successful. Mind you, our neighbours might have found about our bees anyway, thanks to the magic of looking over the back fence, but if they have, they haven't told us about it, which seems right and proper.

Some new neighbours recently moved in next door. We had come to know the old neighbour, T, pretty well; he was the one with the Chow Chow dog, though he told us officially the landlord wouldn't allow dogs on the property. Well, these new neighbours, it turns out, have a dog too (which amazingly I didn't find out by looking over the back fence - well, not before he had announced his own presence anyway). This reflects well on them, I think. In keeping with the general comradely spirit of the neighbourhood, they haven't told us about the dog, and we haven't told them about our bees, so I think we're getting along reasonably well.

Anyway, today we decided to get rid of a few cat biscuits, and what better way to do so than by using it to bribe the dog? The Baron snuck a look over the back fence and saw that the dog was sleeping; a hasty, "puppy!" quickly brought him trotting curiously over to the fence. He was just gathering his energy to bark, apparently, when the Baron scattered some cat food on the ground. He loved it! When I went to have a look, a few minutes later, he was still scarfing up all the biscuits lying around. (I was happy to add to the collection).

You know, it's just possible the neighbours see him as a bit of a guard dog. I'm not sure about that, so much. He's good at eating biscuits, though. I hope he doesn't tell his people.

I don't know if this blog post had a point except for how wonderful it is to not tell people things. And even if it did.... I wouldn't tell you anyway.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Salad daze

This might sound odd coming from me in my thirty sixth year of existence, but I don't get salad. Just what is it anyway? A smattering of lettuce, a spritz of vinegar, a trivality of tomato or apple or citrus to provide flavour? It is less a food stuff than a bowl full of oxygen with some vegetable matter in the in-between spaces.

Salad raises profound questions of existence: when does a bowl of leaves and vegetables and stuff stop being just leaves and vegetables and become a salad? Who even eats salad, anyway? Salad has long been regarded as a vegetarian cliche, but in my experience vegetarians are hardly ever interested in salad: "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse-sized soy-bean curd block!" cries the Archetypical Vegetarian, standing proudly on the hill and casting aside the inconsequential arrangement of arugula they have been presented with.

Try as I might, I can never make a bowl of lettuce and vegetables go from being a bowl of lettuce and vegetables to being a proper salad. Is there a formula one can use to balance out the lettuce leafs with a proportional amount of non-lettuce leaf material? Ought I be carefully measuring out and weighing each lettuce leaf to determine the impact they will make on the final complex mathematical algorithm for the stochastic system of food that will grace my bowl? How can you stop the liquid stuff, the vinegar and oil and all that, from just trickling down to the bottom of the bowl? Wouldn't it just be more simple, more honest, if, instead of presenting people with a bowl of lettuce leafs on the table, to just bowl the whole lettuce over the floor towards them?

The vegetable that missed its calling as a bowling ball. 

And surely, if the lettuce is really what people are after, we could think of a better system of serving it up to them than salad. Couldn't we decorate these round, attractive little balls of leaf-matter by carving them? Alternatively, we could stuff them with other food stuffs: or, for the real lettuce afficionados, we could serve them up as lettuce shiskebabs, on pointed sticks, as a frugal but nourishing treat in these financially-straitened times.

Surely this would make more sense than to serve them up in - a salad.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Hetero-metro-friendly Valentines

I love you in a totally-not-gay-
So hetero-metro-friend of mine,
Would you be my Valentine?

Send him Roses chocolates fine,
My heteroflexual Valentine,
And casks of sparkling goon bag wine,
My intellectual Valentine,
And when our hands and lives entwine -
Oh! Man! Dude! Too far! My sweet asexual Valentine.

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Here, have a beer.
I'm off to the loo.

For Valentines I got your flowers
But the postage cost too much, man.

Thought for the day: on keeping a tidy house

It's amazing how messy things don't look when you ignore them.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Blurst poem in the world

Like being the oldest person in the world and then dying, being the worst poet in the world and then writing something to prove that is hardly an exclusive category these days. It was just over a year ago when Gina Rinehart wrote the (allegedly) worst poem (in the 'universe', according to this story), and now Aussie battler Rinehart finds herself pipped at the post by newcomer Kristen Stewart:
Kristen Stewart writes worst poem of all time 

 Kristen Stewart is doing anything she can to escape the brooding monotony of her one-dimensional performance as Bella in teen horror-romp Twilight... 

 Behold… The worst poem of all time, which she recited out loud to the publication during her cover interview, and kindly allowed them to publish in full for their own general amusement.... 

Just who is the worst poet in the world, in the universe and of all time anyway? Could either of these upstarts really challenge the acknowledged worst poet of all time, William Topaz McGonnagall? Surely it's time for a Worst Poetry Slam to settle this matter for once and for all.

First up, we have Rinehart's poem, Our Future:
 The globe is sadly groaning with debt, poverty and strife 
 And billions now are pleading 

Er, THANK you. Ms Rinehart's effort will now be engraved on stone and cast into the fiery pits of Mordor from whence it has sprung. Next up, Kristen Stewart brings a touch of whimsy to the worst poem competition with her poem, entitled, My heart is a whiffle ball/freedom pole.
 You read its clock, scrawled neon across that black/
Kismetly … ubiquitously crest fallen/
Thrown down to strafe your foothills/
…I’ll suck the bones pretty.
As I said to the Baron earlier today, better than a kick in the pants with a wet sock. 

Now let's move on to Mr McGonnagall, with his beautifully sensitive work, The Tay Bridge Disaster.
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time. 

Hey! HEY! If you're going to throw stuff like that, make sure it's only RIPE tomatoes please, and preferably throw them in that bucket over there so we can make some passata afterwards, thank you very much. 

But in the end, gentling ladymen, isn't 'worst poet of the world', like 'favourite poet', rather a subjective category as Wendy Cope points out in her lovely poem Favourite?
When they ask me, “Who’s your favourite poet?”,
I’d better not mention you.
Though you certainly are my favourite poet
And I like your poems too.

William McGonagall looks dourly upon your petty efforts at writing the worst poem in the world.
Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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Me person. Live in world. Like stuff. Need job. Need BRAINS! (DROOLS IN THE MANNER OF ZOMBIES) Ergggggh ...