December 24, 2009

The Christmas Card Situation

Hello and season’s greetings to all,

Several years ago, I was travelling along the Portuguese coast and was woken in the middle of the night by the BurberKing yelling from the annex of our VW camper “we’ve got a major f***ing situation here!” The phrase has stuck in my mind ever since. The situation itself was high comedy, but you can ask me about when you next see me, as there is some nuance in the retelling.

So, we’ve got a major Christmas card situation here. In mid November I went into the City with the express purpose of buying Christmas cards. I travelled the full 12ks from the Crawley campus. There is no real need to ever leave UWA, so it was an effort. Truly. Not for me were the standard cards bought at the newsagent or bookshop.

I went into the Combined Charities Card Shop on the corner of William and Hay Street. Tucked away in the foyer of the Bank of Queensland and operated by lovely volunteers that remind you of your grandmother’s friends. I picked out my cards from the selection pinned to the display boards, and marked my choices on the order forms provided. It took some time, as not only was the design of the card important to me, but so too was the charity itself. Jamie’s family has some links to Save the Children, so I picked up some of them. As our parents are getting older, I thought Alzheimer’s’ Australia deserved some sales as well. And I picked out some cards from the Leprosy Mission to send to our friend, Shane, as he is fond of telling us about exotic diseases.

These are only a few examples, but they give you a flavour of the thought and feeling that went into the Christmas cards that I bought and which none of you will receive. I have lost them. The cards, and the stamps that I bought and have slipped into the King’s Vortex of Shame (the “Vortex”). This whirling and turbulent flow is frightening at times, and it took all of your Christmas cards.

There is a mystery attached. At the point of sale at the Combined Charities Card Shop, I purchased some gift tags. Two sheets of them (about 20 tags for the 4 presents I have managed to buy). These gift tags avoided the Vortex. They are currently sitting on our kitchen bench, resting against the knife block. I see them every day and they serve only to heighten my anguish over the cards (and stamps) that the Vortex has so cruelly taken from each of you at what should be a peaceful time of year, full of giving and getting and love and joy and fine wine.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

February 10, 2009


8 February 2009
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March 26, 2008

See you later

I am not going to add anything more to this blog for the time being. This is to commemerate me turning 35. I was going to delete the blog, but the burberking likes it, so I won't. It is just more self indulgent trash on the internet, if you ask me. I am off to spend more time underwater where it is quiet.

February 20, 2008


Roma tomatoes this year. And many, many chillies. With a little bit of rosemary and an abundance of mint, sage and oregano. Some radishes, lettuce, rocket, vietnamese and italian basil. Passionfruit and corn didn't work out.

Sadly, our lemons are ripening quite late this year. Our gin and tonics have missed the home grown lemons.
As summer is coming to an end, I am not sure what we will do with all the lemons once they eventually ripen. A lemon glut.

January 30, 2008

Well Jack

He looks fine now, doesn't he? Was a bit different on Saturday.

Thanks to Murdoch Country Vet Cop Emergency Hospital Department ED

January 27, 2008

Australia Day II

Don't forget what's not great about Australia. They were my previous words.

Dugite snakes. There are very Australian and I don't much care for them. One of them bit my dog early this evening. Right in the middle of our Australia Day BBQ dinner.

How we avoided detection by the Booze Buses on our emergency drive to Murdoch Uni, I will never know.

So now Jack is living the life of Riley in a $900 a-night bed, feeding on a $500 vial of anti-venom. I am not sure what accounts for the remaining $600 of the overall bill. To think, earlier in the day, we were pleased to get a good deal on a $450 washing machine. How thrifty, we thought!

Bloody snakes. I hope our little friend makes it through the night. We will miss him terribly if he doesn't.

January 25, 2008

Australia Day

I used to like it. Then I went off it for a bit. And then one mate used to have great parties on Australia Day, so I developed a bit more affection for it. I once skied through a blizzard in France on Australia Day with two men and the flag. We had a great day, notwithstanding the Fosters.

But the relationship went sour when Hanson wrapped herself in the flag and then the country got wrapped up in it as well. And then young men wrapped themselve up in it and bashed some Australians with Lebanese-born Australian parents.
I am yet to recover from the shame. I cannot look at the Australian flag without those Cronulla riot images coming to mind. Eternal shame on us.

The motto this year is 'celebrate what's great'

Go for it. But don't forget what's not great.


The cost of supplying all the water to my house from 10 July 2007 to 11 Jan 2008 was $49.65

I am going out and buying a swimming pool and I am going to fill it with water. And then, day after day, I am going to do bombies in it and splash loads of water out and then fill it with more water. Then my water bill will go up and I'll be all incentivised to invest in a rain water tank to harvest the rain from the roof.
Its the only way out this ridiculous situation.