Controversial Film: Tuesday, 29th November, 1977

After I had finished work for the day, I drove to Caringbah and, on the third and top floor of the store, Waltons, wrote out a cheque to the amount of eighty-one dollars and twelve cents, which was the amount required to cover contributions to the Medical Benefits’ Fund for the next two months. Upon my return to the Venture store’s undercover car park, I set out for neighbouring Miranda and allowed the ‘Galant’ to occupy a space in the open rectangular car park that lies between Miranda Fair and the store, Barters. In the arcade that links the car park with Kiora Road, I purchased groceries to the sum of fourteen dollars from the supermarket, Jewel.

At six o’clock, in this evening’s edition of the series, “Doc”, the elderly Dr. Joe Bogert, played by Barnard Hughes, is bequeathed two hundred and forty thousand dollars in the will of an elderly female patient.

We departed at eight, having watched “And Mother Makes Five”, to jog and walk through Gymea and Miranda. I retired at eleven after I had watched the opening half an hour of the film, “The Night Of The Iguana”, from 1964. Its cast includes the acclaimed British pairing of Richard Burton and Deborah Kerr, Ava Gardner and Sue Lyon, whose provocative teenage role in the film, “Lolita”, was the source of considerable controversy two years prior to this.


Articulate English: Pronouns And Singular Verbs

Many pronouns such as she, he, it… require singular verbs. Others such as no-one, everyone, everybody, nobody, none, each… also do.

No-one was injured in the crash.

Everyone was there.

Nobody saw the incident occur.

Everybody is safe!

None of them had heard of him.

Each of them has a raincoat.

One hundred and twenty-four people were aboard the aeroplane, however, none was injured.

The ‘Population Bomb’

There is scarcely a day that goes by when we do not here about the threat and perils of global warming. Tiki regularly reads to me editorials and readers’ comments from the newspaper and it was on such an occasion, in the later half of last year, that I was read one that really caught my attention.

The person of eighty years of age told of when he or she was born, the world’s human population was approximately that of two billion and of how in their eighty-first year it was approaching that of eight billion. This quadrupling in the population was referred to as the ‘population bomb’.

The writer went on to explain that the greater the population, the more food that needs to be supplied. This, of course, means that more land has to be cleared to grow crops and supply meat, dairy products et cetera. It also means that our seas and oceans are in ever increasing danger of being fished out. Already, countries’ territorial rights are being infringed upon, in regard to this!

The more people there are the more manufacturing is required and the more refuse is created. The carcasses of whales have begun to appear on shorelines, the victims of having ingested large amounts of plastic. Recently, I heard that the global population of insects will be extinct in a century. I also was informed by an expert on television that anyone who eats fish three times per week is ingesting eleven thousand microbeads in that short period of time. These are contained in shampoos and the like.

Surely, in order to combat climatic change, we must firstly address the core issue, namely, the ‘Population Bomb’?

The Top 40 Fantasies: No.7

1. I Can See Clearly Now (1972)                                                                                                                                                                                            Johnny Nash

2. Last Date (1960)                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Floyd Cramer

3. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (1949)                                                                                                                                                                                Hank Williams

4. I Can’t Control Myself (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                             The Troggs

5. Where Does Love Go (1965)                                                                                                                                                                                                Charles Boyet

6. She Drives Me Crazy (1988)                                                                                                                                                                                                The Fine Young Cannibals

7. Rock Me, Mama (1945)                                                                                                                                                                                                         Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup

8. Black Night (1970)                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Deep Purple

9. A Lover’s Question (1958)                                                                                                                                                                                                    Clyde McPhatter

10. You’re A Friend Of Mine (1985)                                                                                                                                                                                        Clarence Clemons and Jackson Browne

11. It Must Be Him (Sen Sur Son Etoile) (1967)                                                                                                                                                                    Vikki Carr

12. No, Not Much! (1956)                                                                                                                                                                                                           The Four Lads

13. Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well? (1945)                                                                                                                                                                Lucky Millinder: vocalist, Wynonie Harris

14. Without You (1961)                                                                                                                                                                                                                Johnny Tillotson

15. The Prisoner’s Song (1925)                                                                                                                                                                                                    Vernon Dalhart

16. The Wild One (1958)                                                                                                                                                                                                              Johnny O’ Keefe and The Dee Jays

17. Return Of Django (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Upsetters

18. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                   B.J. Thomas

19. Heaven (1985)                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Bryan Adams

20. The Fugitive (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Merle Haggard

21. Two Sleepy People (1938)                                                                                                                                                                                                       Fats Waller

22.The One That You Love (1981)                                                                                                                                                                                                Air Supply

23. A Whole Lotta Woman (1957)                                                                                                                                                                                                Marvin Rainwater

24. Oh, Babe! (1950)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kay Starr

25. Get Away (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Georgie Fame

26. Flowers In Her Hair (2014)                                                                                                                                                                                                     Derek Ryan

27. Too Old To Cut The Mustard (1952)                                                                                                                                                                                      Rosemary Clooney and Marlene Dietrich

28. Love’s Standin’ (2006)                                                                                                                                                                                                              Vince Gill

29. Bet Yer Life I Do (1970)                                                                                                                                                                                                            Herman’s Hermits

30. Gangsta’s Paradise (1995)                                                                                                                                                                                                          Coolio

31. Transfusion (1956)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nervous Norvus

32. The Kissing Tree (1959)                                                                                                                                                                                                               Billy Grammer

33. Hot Rod Shotgun Boogie No.2 (1951)                                                                                                                                                                                        Tillman Franks

34. A Hole In The Bucket (1961)                                                                                                                                                                                                       Harry Belafonte and Odetta

35. The Last Train To San Fernando (1957)                                                                                                                                                                                    Johnny Duncan and The Blue Grass Boys

36. To Be Or Not To Be (1983)                                                                                                                                                                                                           Mel Brookes

37. Can I Change My Mind (1968)                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tyrone Davis

38. The Icing On The Cake (1985)                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stephen Duffy

39. The Look Of Love (1982)                                                                                                                                                                                                                ABC

40. You Better Not Do That (1954)                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tommy Collins






A Democracy No More

As an atheist, I am not at all offended by Israel Folau’s post of last Wednesday on Instagram. What really offends me is that there was a time in this country when an individual had a right to free speech.

The people who are lamenting over the notable loss he will be to Australia’s chances in the forthcoming World Cup of rugby have simply missed this point.

An Advertisement That Does Not ‘Ad’ Up

There is a televised advertisement on behalf of McDonald’s screening in Australia. It features an Australian octogenarian couple, seated together in a park. The lady produces a slip of paper and asks of the gentleman if he remembers having handed it to her when she was sixteen. The handwritten admission reads: “IOU $6”. Without having received a verbal response, the lady informs the elderly man that it’s time to, as she puts it, ‘cough up’ — with the intent being of then spending it at ‘Maccas’. So far, so good!

However, I wasn’t born yesterday (my birthday was on the day before!) and having seen the advertisement twice or thrice I remarked to Tiki that its producers hadn’t done their homework, for if the lady is, indeed, in her eighties, or even her seventies, the IOU would have been expressed in pounds, shillings and pence.

Australia did not change to decimal currency until February of 1966.


‘Black Caviar’ Remains Undefeated, Yet Again!: Saturday, 28th April, 2012

I awoke for the last time at half past six to the sounds of ‘Jasper’ (twelve and a half years) and “Zed” (not her name by pedigree) each demanding to receive their respective biscuit. I left the pair downstairs, as I wanted to see what musical content I had managed to record overnight from the ABC’s programme, “rage”. The show had celebrated its ‘Silver Jubilee’ some weeks ago. “Catch Us If You Can”, a British film from 1965, in glorious black and white, screened from 9.30 a.m. on the channel, 9GEM. It features the rock group, The Dave Clark Five, a seller of more than fifty million records in its time.

“Weekend Sunrise”, which screens from seven o’ clock on Channel Seven’s Studio 52 in Martin Place, Sydney, has Samantha Armytage, who is thirty-five years of age, and Andrew “Deal Or No Deal” O’Keefe (forty years) as its presenters. The ultra-slim Jessica Rowe read its news bulletins, and the weather reports today came via James Tobin (thirty-two) from the Farmers’ Markets in the suburb of New Farm, in Brisbane, where, unfortunately for the farmers, it was raining. Simon “It’s Academic” Reeve (fifty) presented the reports on sport from the Olympic equestrian trials, in Sydney.

KFC says that it will appeal against the decision that was handed down yesterday in which a young girl was awarded eight million dollars in damages plus the cost of her family’s legal fees. The family had claimed that she had received severe cerebral damage after she had consumed contaminated chicken, which had allegedly been served in a ‘Twister’. Her family has fought the legal battle for three years, especially as she requires continual medical care for the remainder of her life.

Australia has won the series of three Tests, that concluded overnight in the Caribbean. The Third Test, played in Dominica, was won by seventy-five runs and the series by two Tests to nil. Wicketkeeper, Matthew Wade, received the award for ‘Man Of The Match’. The West Indies was dismissed for 294 runs. Its captain, Darren Sammy, scored 61 runs; Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 69 and Dwayne Bravo, 45. Australia’s captain, Michael Clarke’s left-arm spin claimed 5-86 while the off spin of Nathan Lyon took 3 wickets for 87. This means that the latter is the leading taker of wickets in this series with thirteen to his name. It is only the second occasion in his career that Clarke has claimed five wickets in an innings.

At least nine people have been killed in suicidal attacks in Syria.

Last night, Manly narrowly defeated Canterbury by twelve points to ten. The game of rugby league had been described on Channel Nine by Ray ‘Rabbits’ Warren, who is sixty-eight years of age. Manly was coached by Des Hasler last season, when the club won the premiership. However, this season he is the coach of Canterbury, with Geoff Toovey occupying his former position at Manly.

The Brisbane ‘Broncos’ — or as I prefer to call them “Drongos” (tongue in cheek, of course) — defeated the Gold Coast ‘Titans’ by twenty-six points to six at Suncorp Stadium, which was formerly known as Lang Park, in Brisbane.

Thousands of people have been found to have been exposed to asbestos during and after the floods in Queensland, last year.

A man has been arrested after he held four people hostage in central London, just three months prior to the scheduled commencement of the Olympic Games in the English capital. The perpetrator, who is fifty years of age, walked into a building in Tottenham Court Road with cylinders, that contained gas, strapped to his body. Objects were thrown from windows during the siege, which had a duration of three hours.

The retired American space shuttle, ‘Enterprise’, has ridden on a so-called ‘Jumbo Jet’ airliner as it flew across New York City. The United States is in the process of ceasing its programme in regards to the use of space shuttles. The craft is to spend a few days at JFK Airport prior to its settlement at a museum in New York.

The Dow Jones has closed the week at 13,228 +24 points; the NASDAQ at 3,069 +19; London’s FTSE 100 at 5,777 +28; while Frankfurt’s DAX finished at 6,801 +61. Gold is trading higher at $US1,663/oz and oil(W.T.I.) at $US104.50/brl. The $AUD is the equivalent of $US1.o4, 84 Japanese yen, 79 euro cents, 64 British pence and $NZ1.27.

An English primary school has released a photograph from 1951 which shows Mick Jagger and Keith Richards when they were in the same class. Although they attended separate high schools, it is, of course, musical history that they were reunited in the formation of The Rolling Stones. The photograph of the pair, at the age of seven, has been released to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the group.

Morphettville Racecourse, in Adelaide, is officially sold out, for this afternoon, at twenty past four, the champion of sprinters, Black Caviar, is to attempt to win her twentieth race. The mare is yet to taste defeat. She is trained by Peter Moody and is to be ridden by Luke Nolen. Should the mare of five years be successful this afternoon she will become, globally, the first horse since the 1870s to have achieved such a feat.

There are fears that India and Pakistan are on the verge of conflict. Both have tested their latest ballistic missiles. The two countries have fought three wars since 1947. India and China fought a war fifty years ago and the former’s latest missile possesses the range to reach Beijing. Globally, India is reportedly the largest importer of arms.

Channel Nine’s “Weekend Today” coincides with Channel Seven’s “Weekend Sunrise” between seven and nine o’clock. Its co-presenters, this morning, are Cameron Williams (forty-nine) and Leila McKinnon (thirty-nine) who is pregnant with her first child to Bruce Gyngell, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nine Network.

Deborah Knight (thirty-nine), who was allegedly shown the door at Channel Ten to reportedly make way for Sandra Sully to read the “TEN Eyewitness News” between 5.00 and 6.00 p.m., reads this morning’s bulletins. The sport is covered by the ursine Tim Gilbert (forty-four) and the weather by Emma Freedman (twenty-two), who is at the Sydney Observatory atop Observatory Hill that is located in close proximity to the Harbour Bridge. The observatory is hosting a display of some historic telescopes.

The rumours, that were muted yesterday, pertaining to Prime Minister, Julia Gillard’s position becoming evermore tenuous, continue to exist. Only now, it would appear, that she has but a month to reverse the growing disquiet that pervades her leadership.

The crowd of 30,000, in Adelaide, watches in awe as ‘Black Caviar’ wins easily, and pays $1.04 for a unit of $1.00 placed on the tote to win and $1.04 to place, on the N.S.W. T.A.B. These dividends mirror those of Super-T.A.B., whilst on Tatt’s tote the respective dividends are $1.10 and $1.00 (which, of course, is tantamount to no profit). Her twentieth win has come in the Robert Sangster Stakes, at the level of Group One. Even against opposition of quality she still had a margin of four and a half lengths to spare. Broadcaster, Hilton Donaldson, who called the race, became quite emotional in describing what he had just witnessed.

The races at Eagle Farm, in Brisbane, as well as the meeting at Southport on the Gold Coast were cancelled due to heavy rain.

As many as 50,000 people have demonstrated in Malaysia against what they believe is a flawed electoral system. The crowd gathered in Kuala Lumpur, only to be dispersed by the use of water cannon.

On Monday, Australia will finally be declared to be free from drought. Such conditions have persisted for the past decade.

Ms Georgie Gardner (forty-one) read “National Nine News” from five o’clock this evening. The report on sport was presented by Erin Molan.  At seven o’clock Felicity Davey reads the “ABC News” in its entirety, to viewers in New South Wales.

The Western ‘Bulldogs’ 15.12 (104) defeated the fledgling Greater Western Sydney ‘Giants’ 9.8 (62), in Canberra, this afternoon. The latter is still seeking its first win of the season after, this, the fifth round of competition, in the A.F.L.

Telephone boxes in London have become redundant due to the advent of the mobile. The company, BT, is selling off its boxes for approximately three thousand dollars each.

“Getaway”, screened on Channel Nine between 5.30 and 6.00p.m. Its reporters are Natalie Gruzlewski, who helps to sail a yacht in New Caledonia; Jason Dundas, who visits Jakarta; Jules Lund, who experiences sheep shearing near Wilpena Pound in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges on the sheep station, Rawnsley Park. Catriona Rowntree visits a French villa at Howden near Hobart, Tasmania, and Giaan Rooney visits Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour.

“The Sydney Weekender” on Channel Seven and screened simultaneously to “Getaway”, features its host, Mike Whitney and his appearance at the Hawkesbury Vegetable Farm. The programmes other reporters are Erica Davis, Rose Kelly (the wife of Channel Nine’s presenter of the weather, Steve Jacobs), Darren Coggan and Karen Ledbury. It is followed for an hour by “Seven News”, read by Mark Ferguson, who left Channel Nine towards the end of 2009. Matt Carmichael presents its sport before Mark Ferguson returns to present the report on the weather.

Between five and six o’clock, the “TEN Eyewitness News” is read jointly by Matt Doran and Natarsha Belling. The segment on sport, ‘Sports Tonight’, is presented by Mr Rob Canning and the weather, by Ellie Southwood.

The enquiry on Thursday, into whether the suspended Speaker of the House, Peter Slipper, misused government funds to travel by limousine, has reportedly raised more questions than answers. The Australian Federal Police is now investigating. Mr Slipper’s driver of twelve years has allegedly faced charges of having forged dockets in the past. Mr Slipper denies his fares are excessive, claiming that travel by limousine is cheaper than the hiring of one of the Government’s  cars. The Opposition has stated that Mr Slipper cannot return to the position of Speaker until the claims of sexual harassment, that have been levelled against him, are also resolved. A male member of his staff has levelled these accusations against him.

Global air traffic is predicted to double by 2030. To cope with this problem Airbus is already planning an even larger version of its already massive airliner, the A380. When it takes to the air in 2020 is will be capable of carrying an extra one hundred passengers. That could mean that there will be six hundred people on a single flight. The newest aircraft are lighter than ever, with carbon fibre plastic reinforced fuselages and frames made from advanced aluminium alloys and titanium. Composite materials provide for safer aeroplanes, for such combinations do not corrode and, secondly, there is no fatigue.

China and the United States are said to be in secretive talks over the escape of a Chinese activist who is said to be hiding in the American Embassy in Beijing. He reportedly angered the Chinese government when he allegedly exposed a policy of forced sterilisation and abortion.

The presence of cane toads in parts of Sydney’s Sutherland Shire has become such a problem that the local council has hired the use of dogs that can detect their whereabouts. The toad is highly toxic and its inexorable migration across a large swathe of the Australian mainland has decimated much of the country’s predatory wildlife. The toad was introduced to Australia from Hawaii, in 1935, to consume the destructive beetle that was such a pest to farmers of sugar cane in Queensland. However, this proved to be unsuccessful when it preferred another menu. South America was the toad’s continent of origin.



A Rule Of Spelling: Delete The ‘E’ And Add A ‘Y’

When we write words such as shine, smoke, scale, bone, ice, shake, stone, brine, slime, grime, wire… in their adjectival form, the above rule of spelling is applicable.

Hence: shiny ribbon, smoky sky, scaly skin, bony leg, icy waters, shaky hands, stony path, briny liquid, slimy pond, grimy surface, wiry figure.

Therefore, shouldn’t we spell the colloquial adjectives pricy and dicy, as such? Although I must admit that I prefer the usage of dear, expensive or exorbitant and risky, perilous, hazardous, dangerous or unsafe, respectively.

It would appear that the rule applies when the noun’s penultimate letter is a consonant.

Not On The Menu!

I recall one lunchtime, and how a colleague suddenly exclaimed: “This tastes like s—!”

“I’ve never eaten excrement, so I wouldn’t know!”, I quipped.

One Card Becomes Two: Wednesday, 30th November, 1977

We awoke at half past six to another sunny, warm morning and by eleven o’clock — really ten, as we are under daylight saving — it was already twenty-seven degrees Celsius. Tiki had had a further sleepless night due to the severe pain she has been experiencing in her left shoulder and arm since last Monday. It really must be sore, for she woke me several times during the night!

Tiki washed last night’s dishes and at a quarter to eight she received a telephone call from “Brutus”, as he was about to depart from Central Railway Station bound for Melbourne. He told her that he had left some garbage that included eggshells, in his unit and asked that if we happen to be over that way would we dispose of it for him.

We endured a long wait for Tiki to see her general practitioner and, as she suspected she has to have her left shoulder X-rayed. We arrived home at five minutes to twelve, just one minute before Bill Collins introduced the film, “Three’s A Crowd”. In this offering, from 1969, Larry “I Dream Of Jeannie” Hagman plays a chap who is married to two women. Norman Fell is cast as the liftman who assists him in his endeavours to keep the two women (played by Jessica Walter and E.J. Peaker) apart.

Tiki tore an old Christmas card in half in order to make another one. I hadn’t seen such a thing done before! The ‘new’ card is intended for an elderly friend of the family.

Having done this, it was time for her to ring the radiologists’. She was surprised to receive an appointment for a quarter past two. I drove her to the building that bears the name of ‘Wyoming’, which is located near Caringbah’s railway station. I sat in the waiting room while a gentleman, who appeared to be about six feet five inches tall, with fair hair and glasses, took X-rays of her left arm and shoulder.

In the meantime a young surfer, sporting a moustache of bum-fluff, wandered out attired in a smock of light blue. It displayed his bare back as well as his swimming costume, which was adorned in stars and stripes. No sooner had he appeared, than he was verbally dispatched back to his cubicle.

It transpired that the radiologist had overestimated the size of Tiki’s small shoulder and this had resulted in the initial X-rays being out of focus and, therefore, having to be retaken. I wrote out a cheque to the amount of forty-three dollars and ten cents and then accompanied Tiki to the third floor of Waltons to claim on it, in addition to this morning’s bill of eight dollars and seventy cents which had paid for her consultation to see her doctor.

We each enjoyed a glass of icy pineapple juice at the far table of the milk bar at the top of the stairs that lead from the Kingsway to the railway station. Sixty cents the poorer, I drove home by ten past three having not failed to notice the queer mushroom-shaped cloud during our short journey.

I watched the remainder of “The Mod Squad”, which concluded at four o’clock. Today’s edition centred upon a revolt at an educational institution and how the siege that ensued became right out of hand. Fortunately, Pete and Link, the male members of the Squad — played respectively by Michael Cole and Clarence Williams III — were on hand to bring the situation under control.

The ominous thunderclouds had made it so dark that, shortly after four, I was writing my diary — which has come to consume more and more of my time — with the light on.

We left for Tiki’s parents’ to give “Nan”, who is ninety years of age, her Christmas present. It consisted of stockings, ‘4711’ perfume and ‘4711’ refresher towels. In return she presented us with a cover for toilet rolls. It is in the form of a doll dressed in a flowing yellow dress, and was crocheted by her.

“Mum” insisted that we stay to dinner. “Dad” had elastoplast and six individual sticking plasters on cuts which were inflicted to his left shin when he rolled his rideable mower on the hilly front lawn, at the weekend. His mother experienced her second fall within a week, at 3.00 a.m. today, this time in the toilet of her home.

According to Channel Seven’s ‘News’ this evening, read by Roger Climpson, Terry Page, a bookmaker who is based here in Sydney, has been losing heavily over the past eighteen months and was allegedly near collapse after the first four races last Saturday were won by favourites or near favourites. He, also allegedly, had to stand himself down from fielding at today’s races as a consequence.

Tiki’s sister, Wendy, washed the dishes and after “Willesee” we departed, in the rain, to drive home. This evening’s edition of the programme, which is based upon current matters, featured the Adelaidian boy, Anthony Nolan, who at the age of six, appears to be losing his will to live in his fight against a disease of his bone marrow. Debby Boone — Pat’s daughter of twenty-one years — who is in Sydney to appear in John Denver’s TV Special, after her first single, “You Light Up My Life”, spent eight weeks atop the American chart, was also interviewed.

The last half of “Cousteau’s: The Sleeping Sharks Of Yucatan” was viewed from eight o’clock, followed, at half past the hour on Channel Seven, by a programme of the series, “Hunter”, which features James Franciscus, Linda Evans and the veteran actor, Ralph Bellamy. Tiki fell asleep on the floor with a pillow beneath her sore left shoulder.

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