Tuesday, February 24, 2009

7000 young leaders

I had a bit of a Monty Python moment yesterday during the NSW Young Leaders Day at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, organised by the Halogen Foundation. I was reminded of that beautifully satirical and ironic moment in The Life of Brian where Brian says: 'You're all individuals.'
Crowd, in unison: 'Yes, we are all individuals!'
Brian: 'You're all different.'
Crowd: 'Yes, we're all different!'
Man in crowd: 'I'm not.'
Crowd: 'Shh!'
Brian: 'You've all got to work it out for yourselves.'
Crowd: 'Yes, we've all got to work it out for ourselves.'
Brian: 'Exactly!'
Crowd: 'Tell us more!'

I had this thought when Megan Dredge, the MC, was revving up 7000 kids to shout, in glorious unison, 'We're all leaders, yes it's true..!'

It was a great day, though, and a really well organised event which tours the country, with both primary days and secondary days. In addition to Mike Martin, the general manager of the Halogen Foundation, and me, the speakers were Bridie Carter, actor of McLeod's Daughters fame, Natalie Cook OAM, Olympic gold and bronze medalist for beach volleyball, and Mark Beretta, sports anchor for Channel 7.

Oh, and I also made a point of singing a few lines onstage, just so I could say this:

I've sung on stage of the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

So there.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

You killed my father...

Nothing much to say. Just a picture, borrowed from roflrazzi.com:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Delicious discoveries.

Yesterday morning, cursed by an insomnia that is no longer funny or acceptable, I got up at 5.30am to go for a run. I figured it was early, the streets would be empty, I'd get to see the sun come up, and when I'm already up, the awakening world is a kind of groovy place to watch.

But I got more than I bargained for, because at about 6.20, just as I was nearing home, I came across a large thicket of blackberries. Now, in the Blue Mountains, blackberries are considered a weed, and as such Council sprays them. When they know they're there. These ones they clearly don't know about, because there are literally hundreds of berries that are ripe and plump and juicy and jet-black, and maybe three times as many as that red and ripening.

I have my reasons for loving wild blackberries, in addition to their obvious tasty merits. One is that they are so much tastier than those farmed hothouse hybrids which cost $5 a punnet. Second, they cost about $5 a punnet less than those farmed hothouse hybrids. Third, they remind me of my late grandfather, who used to come around to our place at Wyee Point, and disappear into the thickets that choked a number of the nearby vacant blocks. He'd emerge with scratches all over his arms, purple-black stains on his shirt and lips, and several ice-cream buckets full of these juicy little numbers.

But best of all, I love wild blackberries because eating wild fruit straight off the bush makes me feel all foragy. I feel like a resourceful nomad. I feel like Adam in the Garden of Eden, but with less nudity. And hopefully less snakes.

I'm going to head up there tomorrow with an ice cream container of my own, and I'm going to forage me several kilos of those bad boys, and I'm going to do it every two or three days until summer ends, or I get sick of blackberries, or Council realises they've missed a patch, whichever comes first.

New-clear. NEW-clear!

I just finished watching the excellent Channel4 documentary 1983: The Brink of Apocalypse, which deals with the events of surrounding the Cold War standoff between the USA and the USSR, and how close we came to full-blown nuclear war, seemingly caused in equal measure by paranoia, stupidity and an utter lack of communication.

What leaves me shaking my head is how the producers of such a painstakingly-made documentary can fail to notice that the otherwise excellent narrator, Gina McKee, repeatedly mispronounced the word 'nuclear' as 'nucular'. We've had eight years of this mistake with one George Walker Bush, but he is by all accounts a complete idiot. I'd have expected better from Channel4.