Blogging

  • Wendy’s Secret Garden - “Oh look, there’s Wendy, doing the washing up…”, my friend Sue commented, as she pointed towards the upstairs window of the house Wendy Whiteley has lived in for almost fifty years. Downstairs, at the entrance to the house, a number of women had gathered to read the sign declaring the NSW Government had promised to keep the garden open to
  • Upcoming Rixon / Goodwin Family Reunion - Through my mum’s side of the family, I’m a descendant of the convicts, James Rixon and Amelia Goodwin, who came (were sent) to Australia in 1798 and 1800 (respectively). For many years, James was buried in an unmarked grave at Windsor in the (now) western suburbs of Sydney, until a couple of years ago when a plaque was placed on
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #8 : Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw - Having been a fan of Petra Mede from Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, I was so pleased when she got to host Eurovision in 2013, and then in 2016, she co-hosted with Måns Zelmerlöw, the previous year’s winner. Together, they were awesome in the half-time act which (in a loving way) took the piss out of Eurovision, by explaining “the secret” to writing
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #7 : Petra Mede - Following on from yesterday’s awesome half-time moment from when Norway hosted Eurovision comes another awesome half-time moment. This time it’s from Sweden, and it’s one of two (or maybe three) moments I’ll post featuring the awesome Petra Mede. Petra is a Swedish comedian, performer, television presenter etc. She’s super-talented, super-funny, and IMHO has been the best host of both Melodifestivalen
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #6 : Half Time Act from Norway - The half time act in Eurovision can often be quite boring. Riverdance from Ireland set the standard, prompting a global phenomenon. When Norway came to host Eurovision in 2010, they were already behind the curve with “flashmobs”, but they did an awesome job “uniting Europe”. I wanted to be there with them. As part of these “moments”, I’m sharing in
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #5 : Shirley Clamp - There are so many occasions when Shirley Clamp SHOULD have been Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Of all the times she’s entered, this is probably my favourite. Min kärlek (Aha) Ska brinna (Aha) Så klar som en stjärna i natten Min kärlek (Aha) Ska finna (Aha) Sin väg i det djupaste vatten Min kärlek till dig (Min kärlek,
  • The Real Full Monty - A mate and I went to the recording tonight of the finale of a forthcoming Channel 7 TV series. It’s all about men’s health. It’s based on a popular movie. It has a confidential spectacular, ending. We had to hand our phones in to keep it all very confidential. We’re not allowed to say who the final eight are. However,
  • Surry Hills on a Sunday Afternoon - As if we don’t already have enough construction underway in the neighbourhood (eventually it will be awesome, but for right now, the light rail is a pain in the arse) they’re building a new apartment block on the corner of my street. Though I mostly use the back lane-way to enter my building, I thought I’d go for a walk
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #4 : Nanne Grönvall - In 2005, in controversial circumstances, Sweden chose Martin Stenmarck with his song “Las Vegas” (which I liked a lot) over Nanne Grönvall with her song “Håll om mig” (which I liked a lot more). Nanne had the popular vote (chosen by viewers), but was trumped by Martin who had the jury vote (chosen by a group of experts). There was
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #3 : Molitva - Continuing my “Eurovision Countdown” and highlighting another wonderful song and performance. And highlighting something which I wish there was more of in modern Eurovision: songs in languages other than English. This song is awesome, and was easily my favourite from 2007. Marija Šerifović from Serbia. There’s an English language version, too, but in my opinion, it lacks the passion of
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #2 : Loreen at Gay Gala - Initially I was a little “ho hum” about Loreen’s entry in Melodifestivalen (the contest which leads to Eurovision) in 2011, “My Heart Is Refusing Me”. It kinda sounded like someone had put Swedish lyrics into “Google Translate”. I have since come to love this song, thanks largely to seeing her performance at the Swedish Gay Gala in 2012. The song,
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #1: Loreen at Melodifestivalen - As it’s now exactly one month until the Eurovision Song Contest final, I thought I might start sharing each day some of my favourite moments from Eurovision and Melodifestivalen (the Swedish contest). This is from Loreen from Sweden who won with Euphoria in 2012. Interestingly, the first Indigenous woman to win the contest (Berber from North Africa). The year afterwards,
  • Lismore Floods - It’s about a year since the last big floods in Lismore (my home town) in Northern NSW. My sister’s house is on the left in the featured photograph, and the house on the right is one I considered buying a couple of years ago. I suspect the value of the property is a fair deal LESS, now. My family still
  • The Eastern Suburbs G&L Choir - A couple of years ago, I wrote the following: Twenty five years ago (or thereabouts) I remember attending the National Choral Championships in Wagga Wagga. Although it sounds fairly tame, the championship organisers found themselves the subject of national media interest, as they asked the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir to change their name to the “Eastern Suburbs Choir” (or
  • Quiet Easter - There was a moment the other night, Good Friday night, at around 11.00pm, when I stopped for a moment and marvelled at how quiet it was. Though there’s normally a low level traffic rumble where I live, it was almost eerily quiet. Though other people like to leave Sydney for the Easter Weekend, the peace and quiet is one of
  • Eating Out and Going to The Pub - “Tell us about yourself, tell us your new job title, and what’s your ‘signature dish'”, we were asked today at work in an ice-breaker, ahead of an all-day workshop. In the midst of the largely female group in which I work, I was one of two blokes who struggled a bit. While my colleague offered “barbecues and fruit salads” as
  • Out And About - I really struggled to think who would be the best person to include as my “plus one” for the invitation I received to the Sydney premiere of the new film, “Love, Simon”. It’s a new American coming out film which focuses on a young man (final year of high school), who is “outed” by a fellow classmate in a moment
  • Melodifestivalen 2018 - Standing at the bus-stop yesterday and looking down at my phone (as seems to be the fashion these days), I felt a nudge. I looked up and saw the smiling face of a colleague. We both share a passionate interest in the Eurovision Song Contest, and she opened with the line, “Is this the worst Melodifestivalen in living memory?”. I
  • Grace Jones – Bloodlight and Bami - The first time I saw/heard Grace Jones was on ABC-TV’s “Countdown”, when they played the video clip for “Walking In The Rain”. I remember going to school the next day, and there was much hilarity and joking among my 16 year old school mates about her. In a country town, where Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel were the bands of
  • The Passing Of Time - Though I can’t be sure of the exact date, it was sometime in February 1988 (thirty years ago) when I got my first full time “paid job” in radio, working at 2WEB, Bourke. Prior to that, I was a volunteer at 2NCR-FM, Lismore (since 1978), and worked as the phone answerer for Saturday nights requests at 2LM, Lismore (since 1981).
  • Mardi Gras - Though I never made it to the street parade this year, and I didn’t get to see Cher perform at two o’clock in the morning (or something stupid like that), I have some wonderful memories of this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Going back to the very beginning, I was very pleased to be invited to attend the
  • Pump Up The Jam - “What are your plans for Mardi Gras? Are you going to the parade? Are you going to the party?” have been the questions colleagues have been asking me over the last couple of weeks. When I’ve told them, “I’m actually a little shy, I’m not very good with crowds”, they’ve seemed a little disappointed. But there was a time in
  • Riot Preview Screening - There were moments in the movie, Riot, where I had to look away. I’m not one for violence in movies, as I often find the violence in films is somewhat gratuitous. Though you wouldn’t say that about this film, which recounts the events of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978. In fact, I was told, the
  • Museum of Love & Protest - There was quite a crowd tonight in Sydney at the National Art School. As part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for 2018, currently underway, there’s a terrific exhibition called, “The Museum of Love & Protest”, which commemorates forty-years since the first ever Mardi Gras. These are some of my favourite photographs from the exhibition.
  • The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning - There was a time in my life when I thought television equalisation (as it was called) for regional areas was an important issue. I’d grown up in Lismore in Northern NSW with just two television stations, and then suddenly there were three, and then suddenly there were four. And now there are many more. And then suddenly “Northern Star Holdings”
  • Memories Of Mardi Gras 1978 - As we head into Mardi Gras season in Sydney, and in particular the fortieth anniversary (though strictly speaking, it’s half way through the year), I thought I’d re-share an earlier post from 2016. I recently had an email from someone interested in the oral history project I had been involved in back in 1998, celebrating twenty years since the first
  • Melodifestivalen 2018 Deltävling #2 - There was a fair bit of “eye candy” in the second heat of Melodifestivalen, the competition which chooses Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. From the opening number (a cover of Saturday Night Fever’s “Stayin’ Alive” featuring male pole dancers), and later, David Lindgren (the host) appearing in tighty-whities, to the homoerotic charm of Samir och Viktor, there was
  • Life Right Now - In the last few weeks I’ve become a bit of a bore with friends telling them about the book I’ve read/listened to called “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning”. Despite the rather gloomy title (very Swedish!), it’s an inspiring work written from the perspective of a woman in her 80s/90s, preparing for her death, and not wanting her children
  • The Murder Mall - “I’ve never ever heard it called that either”, a couple of friends agreed with me a few months ago. We were referring to the newspaper description of the Surry Hills (formerly Redfern) Shopping Village as “The Murder Mall”. I have lived in Surry Hills for over twenty years and have never heard it called “The Murder Mall” until a few
  • Food, Glorious Food - It was near impossible to get a taxi in Kings Cross on Friday night. “You see what happens when they introduce lock up laws, and try to gentrify the place?”, my friend said, as we waited for a taxi. Having seen a play at Hayes Theatre, we walked along Darlinghurst Road, remembering the days when Kings Cross had a “livelier”