Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Discipline Urgenly Required

Discipline is urgently required in Labor ranks if we are to win the federal election. The recent stories regarding Therese Rein (Rudd's wife) and union leader Dean Mighell are going to be exploited by Howard to stem the decline in his popularity.

Howard is a master at tapping into perceived fears about the "bad ole days of unionism" (yes, well, those were the days when the gap was smaller between rich and poor, young workers could afford to buy a house and there wasn't nearly so much unpaid overtime).

Dean Mighell could have been smarter about his comments. Like so many union leaders of his ilk, it's all about ruffling up their peacock feathers and saying "look at moi, look at moi!". There's no doubt that Mighell's comments will wind up on a national Liberal Party ad deliberately used to mislead workers about unions.

Mighell and the likes of Kevin Reynolds et al must be brought into line. The people in the ALP's bunker in Canberra need to urgently get these union leaders on message (although, I suspect it'll be like be herding cats). Combined with their giant sized egos, giant sized bellies and their medium to small sized declining unions, they have the ability to derail the ALP's campaign to victory. In saying all of that, bosses have regularly stolen money from poorly paid workers and are given awards for it, but when a union leader does the same thing, he's branded a criminal.
But, I still believe there needs to be discipline. Spouses and any other outside interests that include the employment of workers need to be vigourously checked. How hard would it have been for Big Kev to say over dinner - "listen, love, we're going to be doing a little campaign on fairness at work. Can you make sure your employees are paid correctly".
Discipline discipline discipline....Howard will be closing ranks and will run the most vitriolic, negative campaign of his life because he is losing his grip on power. He is a desperate man and his henchmen will be out to uncover every bit of dirt possible. Kevin Rudd must pull people into line. The ACTU must pull people into line.
“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.” Martin Luthar King Jr.
PS - thank god for Get Up! It's doing such a good job! If you're not already a member, click here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Oor Wee Hoosie

At long last - you can view oor new hoose on google videos. We've settled in nicely - I even made stovies for dinner (made from left over roast beef and potatoes). A true Scot would eat stovies with oatcakes and dip a spoonful of stovies into a mug of warm milk. Blech...I chose red wine and no dipping. It was my first attempt at stovies and while they were cooking, it brought back memories of home. It's funny how smells do that. Here's Jock looking wistfully at his oatcake...

and here's a virtual tour of our house:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

An Indian Superman‽

Here's what happens when an Indian Superman meets an Indian SpiderGirl. There are so many questions - like, if they're saving the planet, how did they learn to dance like that? And did they ever appear on Telethon and the Connie Vidos School of Dance?

You'll also notice that I've decided to use an interrobang as the punctuation for the title of this entry. It has been introduced to me by Jamie Osborne and I think it's fabulous and well fitting for this bizzarre little filmette courtesy of YouTube.

I wonder what their children would look like should they decide to breed

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pulling a rabbit out of the hat

I don't know Mr Hat, what do you think? Do you think Mr Howard is a big fat loser breath stinky shit?

From The Australian

"Howard warned his troops that the Coalition could be “annihilated”, and that he has no rabbits out of hats.

It was blunt, dramatic and will have to be effective. Howard wants people to realise that if Labor is elected, there will be changes of policy and personnel that will “change the country’”."

Yes, Mr Howard. That is correct. We want to change the country, don't we Mr Hat.

Happy Birthday to Me!

The great thing about being 34 is when a boy in a nightclub thinks you're 23, you think you don't actually need the expensive Advanced Signs Stop Ageing Cream from Clinique anymore and that all is rosy and well. Until you remember that you've been in Blanche DuBoisesq lighting and you're wrinkles aren't showing. This same boy, who was dancing next to me, went to Applecross High, a bizarre coincidence given we were in a dank and dingy dance hall in Glasgow. There ended our similarities as he was born in 1987. A true child of the Howard era.

We went to see Groove Armada for my birthday at the Barrowlands, an old fashioned ballroom in Glasgow's east end. An epic concert - I pinched the poster (pictured) off the lamp post at the end of the night because "it was my birthday". It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

iPod in your Pants

Apple and Levis, you have simply gone too far.

How are you going to clean these jeans? Is this a joke?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Meat Craiglea

Craiglea likes Reef Oil sun factor 2, drinking a bundy and coke by the pool on the Gold Coast and hanging out with the girls at the Mudgeeabra Cutting Shoppe in the Wallaby Hotel Complex, where she gets a semi perm and bleach. If she wants her hair done, then that's a different matter entirely - she prefers her mum to do it on the verandah of her Nan's house, where she runs a small business setting the hair of recently moved Victorian retirees.

Her ultimate fave rock star is Craig McLachlan and she especially likes the song Mona, which was his only hit actually. Craiglea was the chick in the video clip, when her name was originally Jenny. She got slightly obsessed with Craig so ate seven Chef Jay's Tri-O-Plex Duo Bars a day for fourteen months until she was satisfied she could play the guitar on the back of a ute as well as Craig.

Craiglea is currently single.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


We finally got broadband from our ISP! It only took 6 weeks this time instead of four months. Rather than tell you our tale of woe, which included a cross line with a Mrs Joyce Bowes, I thought this little piece from Trigger Happy TV is symbolises how I felt during this process.

The BlairDitch Project

I thought the day that Blair was to resign would have fan fare and much waving of flags, but it seemed, such as the life of a lame duck president, that it came and went, like any other day, disposable like a takeaway Chicken Treat Hawaiian Pack - a sweet and short lived sensation that left a greasy after taste.

Did Tony's New Labour experiment over promise and under deliver, and will Gordon Brown ditch the project or continue it against the will of the Labour die-hards and the nonchalance of the nouveau rich?

I believe his legacy will be the quagmire in Iraq, spin and mistrust, instead of a social legacy of a minimum wage and union rights, the reinvigoration of the NHS (although the opposite is the perception) and the public service, better maternity leave and frankly speaking, good looks and charm. His mantra of "Politics may be the art of the possible; but, at least in life, give the impossible a go" may have robbed him of the legacy as a People's Prime Minister or as a Prime Minister of Hearts. For the very nature of what he was trying to do, by being heroic and tackling the impossible - fix the NHS - in effect, became his downfall.

Curing the NHS is an impossible task. It is a giant leaky bucket that can never be sealed and there will always be a story the opposition will find about an 80 year old grannie who stayed in the corridor for 4 hours in emergency, or an outbreak of a super bug that claims the life of a healthy man in his prime.

So many Brits had faith in Tony, and were stripped bare, along with Labour's membership and activist base.

The people can't pin all their hopes on one man - it will take more than one generation to fix the broken country that the Tories left - yet the general malaise that has enveloped Britain has a country drunk on consumerism and yearning for a spot on reality TV. The reality is, that the people who pinned their hopes on New Labour will be the same people that are needed to lift New Labour into the next decade of the 21st century. Those people have been left scarred and cynical by sound bites and lies, and can't see beyond the 80 inch wall mounted telly at the positive things ten years of Labour has done.

I will remain forever angry at Blair's decision to go to war. But I mustn't become cynical. He said in his closing remarks: "Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right. I may have been wrong - that's your call. But I did what I thought was right for our country".

So, dear reader, I will leave you with this quote from Glasgwegian artist and architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, for whom I have much admiration:

There is hope in honest error. None in the icy perfections of the mere stylist.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Recipe of the Month!

Fiona, Jock and I went to this tres fabulous French restaurant last night and ate a three course meal for ten quid each. The dessert was so yummy, I got the recipe from Chef so I don't have to eat there again (actually, that's a pile of merde, I think I will become a regular). So, here is the recipe for Lemon Something French Thingy (I can't remember its name):

You will need:

  • 2 pints of double cream (that's 1.2 litres for my metric friends)
  • 300 grams of castor sugar (that's a lot really)
  • Juice of 5 lemons (don't cheat from that lemon squeezy thing you can never find at the supermarket)
  • A bowl, whisk, pot, stove and some moulds

You will do:

  • Bring cream and sugar to the boil stirring constantly
  • Keep it bubbling for a further 3 minutes and keep stirring
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon juice
  • Pour in to individual moulds or Vegemite glasses
  • Bung in fridge to set, or window sill if you're in Glasgow.

And voila! You have a fabulous French dessert. It's creamy and sticky and tangy and deliciously rich. Nigella Lawson would probably like this dessert and deliberately drip it down her satin dressing gown so she can seductively lick it off with her fingers...."Oooh, I just love Lemon Something French Thingy. It's the most astonishingly easy dessert to make and I just love the way it oozes off the spoon representing the end of your dinner party and that lovely slide into beaujolais induced stupor before you fall into your satin sheets" (camera cuts to uber fabul-arse-looking friends of Nigella laughing and wiping up drippy Lemon Something French Thingy from corners of mouth, camera pans back to Nigella's chest), et cetera et cetera.

Have fun making and eating it!

PS - photograph may not actually represent what this dessert looks like.

PPS - still no broadband, even though they assured me it would be yesterday.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Broad Banned

Well, since the last time I wrote on this blog, Scotland has changed its government, I've changed my underpants and the broadband situation at home remains unchanged - ie, no ISP. Carphone Warehouse are inept. The problem is, once it's up and running, it's okay and cheap and that's why I stick with it. I've had fights with call centres around the UK (at least they're not in India like British Telecom) and I'm sure they deliberatly got my name and gender wrong just to spite me. So, it was a snarl of the lip in my pyrric victory against the company when yesterday I finally received my "Go Live" pack (ie, going live on broadband on 10 May) that was addressed to MR Alifon Bunting, the evil fuckers.... I have a big booklet that says "Welcome to Broadband Alifon" with name references throughout.... "Alifon, don't forget to set up your calling circle for your friends" and little cards that say "To Alifon's Friends. Alifon thought you might like cheap broadband from Carphone Warehouse". Alifon fought carfone warehouse might like to pull its fingers out fanks very much....

We had our first homemade Scottish friends around for dinner at oor new hoose the other night. Graeme and v. pregnant Jenni (whom we met at the Rock Ness concert last year) and David from Jock's work and his wife Victoria. It's really lovely having friends in a new country. I feel like this is becoming my new home. :)
Here's our neice Hayley all grown up reading a book. I miss her terribly. And at the other end of the spectrum, I phoned 94 year old Grannie Sinclair the other day, who was chewing a sweetie and couldn't talk. I suggested rather than call her back, that I would do some talking for a change. She agreed this was a good idea, then preceded to talk about "That bally neep Tony Blair" with a mouth full of caramel toffee.
And finally, our friend and Jock's best man Fiona arrives today from exotic Europe. I'm cooking her haggis for tea.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Going for Broke

The Scottish elections are on, and for the first time since the early nineties, I have not done any door knocking, leaflet folding, press releases, radio interviews..... nothing, to ensure a maximum vote for the Labo(u)r Party. It's been bizarre being a bystander. In a country where it's not compulsory to vote, it would be easy to just let the elections slip by unnoticed. Apart from the odd sandwich board attached to light poles (very guild election-esq) if you didn't read newspapers or watch TV (and we don't - we haven't paid for the TV licence and Jock has banned TV in oor hoose) you wouldn't know that tomorrow, Scotland will most likely be setting on a new and highly dangerous voyage, with the SNP at the tiller.

The Scottish National Party has jumped on the mood of Scots who are well pissed orf with the Iraq war and so, there's no distinction between the Westminster and Scottish Labour Party who have their wellies firmly stuck in the same Baghdad quagmire. Worse, the SNP are using the logo "It's Time" (how dare they!) to get over the hill to Holyrood.

So, tomorrow I shall cast a vote in an election I have simply watched, and hopefully, the Nats won't succeed and Labour will continue to rool the roost at Holyrood. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

(pic: I took this with my phone when I visited a UPS depot yesterday...)