Friday, 15 May 2009

Update from the Snail Shell

All fun and games here, as you can imagine, with only two weeks to go before the removalists turn up. I'm still packing. Or, more accurately, putting things into piles and then shifting them to other piles and then getting cheesed off with the whole process and transferring my attention to something completely different.

That something completely different is writing. (In a local café, of course, where the floors aren't covered in paperwork and the coffee tastes better.) I have several projects on the go, so when I get stuck on one I can always move onto the next. Not sure if this really is the most efficient way of doing things but it seems to work.

Yesterday, I interrupted what I laughingly claim to be a routine to have my birthday lunch with friends in Carlton. (For the record, Cafe Zum Zum in Rathdowne Street.) This time last year I was birdwatching in Mount Molloy, Far North Queensland, where I almost took a decent photo of a spectacled monarch. This time next year I could be anywhere. But I'm hoping to be eleven months into an indefinite stay in a nice little cottage on the Atherton Tablelands and working on book number three or four.

All I need to do now is find that cottage and buy it.


NanaJude said...

If my luck can change, so can yours ... wishing you lots of the good stuff

Snail said...

Thanks, jj. I'm sure everything will fall into place.

Actually I'm not sure at all but I'm hoping that'll be the case.

Have some radio and newspaper interviews lined up for the first week of June, so they will keep me occupied during my first week of homelessness!

Anonymous said...

Polystyrene beads are made of quickcook brown rice, didn't you know.

We are pigging out on Eurovision 2009 here. It may not be Kulcha but it's the nearest thing to a bardic gathering we Europeans have left after 3K+ years of stoneage development.
Well, what would you choose, between football and Eurovision, ay?
Iceland, very nice.
Israel - possibilities if they weren't so self-conscious about their kerosene tin drumming.

The whisper is Norway.
But I don't like getting ahead of the delayed shows, so I'll eschew youtube etc until the final on SBS here.


Snail said...

Ah, the Eurovision Song Contest ... Not quite the same now that Terry Wogan has gone but I'm sure Julia Zemira will do it justice. (I hope the commentary won't be fair and balanced.)

Never sure whether the voting is entirely political, due to similar tastes in an area or a combination of both. But it's always entertaining when someone produces something catchy enough to break out of the bloc voting. Norway, you think? Will check it out tonight.

Lulu Stader said...

Thanks for keeping us posted on your movements, Snail.

Fabulous pictures of the spectacled monarch, by the way.

Good luck with finding a new snail shell. YOU GO GIRL!!

Anonymous said...

Whatever the voting gets skewed by, the thing is that this is a real live performance, so luck and fitness and nobbling and all the other contest stuff actually figures and makes it worth having an opinion about.
No Madonna or Kylie on delay/up-pitching feedbacks or worse here.
For example, already the poor losers are bitching about the naff Russian camera work. Great fun!
And juries are back again for half the points this year - did you know? Some of the result may actually be about art after a long time of the folks all doing it for their tribes.

For what it's worth, my opinion of Wogan is pretty low; he's a commentator from a long line of Empah cheerleaders, cricket snobs not the least amongst a mob of film and theatre chauvinists to boot; the UK contestants have not so far thrilled **on the night**, so what'd he throw it in for? And the selection committee in the UK? Where's the Welsh eisteddfodd-style pop thrillers?
Sorry, you don't count, they seem to be getting told, even if you are from the **UK**?
I'm very much with the rest of Europe in giving the UK the bum's rush until they stop their gobs and get with the program of having fun on the night.
Pub singing is all the poms know how to use for comparison and they just suck.
Phantom of the Opera and Rod Stewart singing jazz standards? There's another one coming up for the UK's entry. She'll have to be a lot more thrilling in the flesh than her videos say.

It's a lot of fun if you can manage a vodka daiquiri or three. Zemira is commenting beautifully, not too bland, getting a few gentle digs in, revealing her favourites, but letting the performers shine for themselves.
Sam Pang is the revelation of the two, I reckon. Very dry wit and he's a good interviewer.
He says always votes for Portugal. They haven't won ever. But did we see them stop enjoying themselves ever?
Actually, this year I might have a second look at Portugal - - not bad at all.

You should also enjoy the Russian semis announcer, Andrey Malakhov, who is very much in the mode of the Fast Forward "Oh Veeektor" with not-so-wooden spokesmodel (very very good looking of course, mother of 3) Natalia Vodyanova he's announcing with. Russians do sleaze so well, I always think - even when it's scripted.

Also loving the trilingual anouncing. When it works it's real good fun.


Anonymous said...

Nice to see you're in the Eurovision spirit, from your tweet about eschewing broadcast media for the day. And if not the reason, you didn't spoil it for us fans, very grateful.

Spain's definitely not fat lady just sang and I am sure I've won my bet, after Iceland's 3 minutes of perfect pop (Sam Pang's description). She's the shiz. Big warm voice and intonation is absolutely remarkable too - not a fudge in the whole song.
Norway's not a chance to be out of the placegetters but I suppose it depends how much the juries are allowed to contribute to the final word whether he gets the gong.
They'd be a bit silly not to bow to the crowd re Norway - he's not so bad to listen to.

Who else for the final 3?
My wife is backing Azerbaijan on their performance alone.
I'm with Turkey for the dum tek tek earwig :-) and very excitingly performed twice in a row.
And besides, we need them to be well part of Europe to shove it to the wowsers over there who want to sit on women again.

And UK? They think a sleaze on the piano would make a difference? She couldn't sing for peanuts.

Oh boy, cosmonauts to announce the voting!
Cop that, young Harry.

And tonight's announcers? I thought the semi's guy was teh sleaze! Ha ha.

I'm three sheets to the wind so better get off your sober site now.

Hope you did get into the spirit. Twitter would've been great for the real-time event.
Must think about that nextyear.

Enjoy your last few days/weeks down south. Autumn's always nice in Mello.


Pestie said...

Seems you are not the only one migrating for the winter...except I seem to be kicking the trend and heading to a colder climate! Yikes! Just when I thought we could do a cuppa every other weekend...Brissy it'll be for me...will be in field for next week or so but in touch after that to fill u in and catch up on trail tales...

Snail said...

Thanks, Lulu. Once I've got my cottage, there'll be more.

D, you were right on the money with your earlier prediction of Norway. Heard Casey Bennetto this morning discussing the ins and outs of crafting a 3-minute pop song that transcends national boundaries. Clearly not easy.

Julia and Sam make a good commentating duo. Should be more of them. Hadn't heard of Sam before Eurovision but I hope he gets some more gigs.

The Russian camerawork was a bit dizzying but anyone who can manage to host an event of that size (sure, it ain't the Olympics, but still ...) is doing pretty well in my books. Esp., as you say, the whole thing is live.

Pestie, I'll probably be up there some time in the second to third week of June. Will still be here for the first week of June, staying in the city, leaving on 5th, if all goes to plan. Thought I'd take a slow drive this time. Doing it all in five days is nutz. I have to be mindful of the cost of storage, though. It's free for a fortnight, after which it starts getting quite expensive. Fortnightly cuppas are still on!

Anonymous said...

There would've been a riot if Norway hadn't won :-)

We enjoyed ourselves very much, again. My european connections go back to the San Remo festival that sort of inspired Eurov, plus my wife adjudicates at eisteddfodau, and we were at The Dome in '74 for the ABBA landslide - and, btw, Olivia Newton John, who was the Brit's rep. Ha! even then they couldn't pick the best song for her - - in a poll they chose Long live Love. A real dud, and not fair to a really special live singer, as she was.

Bet you won't lose this placemarker now ;-) Eurvision comes up next year and you'll be wondering at all the changes that can happen in a year!

See you, investigator.

Snail said...

I remember that they used to roll out Cliff Richard every year until he finally chucked in the towel. The only two Brit Euro songs that I can recall off the top of my head are Puppet on a String and the abysmal Making Your Mind Up. But Wikipedia (not so good on the serious stuff but marvellous for popular culture) has reminded me of the others, some of which I'd like to scrub from my mind but all of which were very much products of their time.

Now, I wasn't going to have a telly in my northern retreat but I'm going to have to get one. If I can get a signal, that is.

Dave Coulter said...

Sounds like a good plan :)

Snail said...

I supposed if there's no signal I could still get a telly but watch DVDs on it. You can hook up a DVD player, can't you? I know nothing about these things. (I currently have a >20 y.o. CRT TV with a VCR.)

Anonymous said...

I remember that they used to roll out Cliff Richard every yearI rest my case.
But Wikipedia (not so good on the serious stuff but marvellous for popular culture)Well, it just appears that way because the detail is better than New Idea ;-)
Some mighty big misinformation is still around in that area of Wikipedia. In particular the "I was there" kind of contributions. Not helped by the BBC destroying many of their film archives.
Many of the eyewitness reports of the Euro right through until recently are as unreliable as reports from those who claim to remember the Sixties :-)

Now, I wasn't going to have a telly in my northern retreat but I'm going to have to get one. If I can get a signal, that is.If your terrestrial reception is u/s, the Optus Aurora platform is your friend. It carries the ABC, both tv and radio, and some other FTA tv and radio channels.
The reception entails getting a 90cm satellite dish and a digitial decoder. Local businesses will install whatever you need if you are indeed in a poor reception area; if you can pull in the terrestrial with a standard gutter-mounted aerial, then you don't need local specialists - by definition.

With a respectable computer card (not necessarily a tv card if you are getting a satellite signal, in that case it is one that can convert the satellite signal to other formats), you don't have to invest in a tv monitor at all, the output from the decoder or a terrestrial aerial can be displayed on your computer monitor.


Bronwen Scott, FCD said...

That's valuable info about satellite coverage.

Despite not being all that far from the tower on top of Mt Bellenden Ker, there's definitely no mobile coverage at my new place. The combination of rolling landscape and great big trees interrupt the signal.

Friends of a friend live along the same road, so they might be able to give me some tips. How much sky does a satellite dish need? (Is that a 'how long is a piece of string' question? You know I'm technologically challenged!)