Charm Offensive

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

It’s an election year here in sunny Australia. Sometime between now and May, we will be lining up at the polls to elect a new national government. Voters don’t choose the Prime Minister. The leader of the winning party normally becomes the PM. Party leaders are elected by sitting government members or other processes determined by the relevant party. Too easy. In the lead up to the election, the current PM has, according to media reports, embarked on a “charm offensive”. Charm is not an attribute I usually associate with the PM. Anyway, he and his fam recently did this big interview with one of the television networks. Anyway, anyway, I’m not sure that the interview achieved the charm objective but we are all talking about him as a result of that interview, so perhaps it was a success?

The most surprising part of the interview was when the PM’s wife, Jenny, took the rap for the PM’s disappearance to Hawaii on a family holiday during the bushfire emergency after Christmas in 2019. I can’t blame her for wanting to get away from Australia at that time because both Canberra and Sydney where they live, were covered in toxic bushfire smoke. Their official residences are old so they were probably full of smoke. Any mother would want to get her kids away from that. I’m not sure Jen should be taking responsibility for the PM’s absence though. Strange decision for the PM to leave the country in the middle of a major emergency affecting half the country.

Anyway, anyway, anyway, I was delighted to see that the PM had taken up the ukelele. Everyone needs an outlet in these stressful times. In his very own Like a Version cover, he strummed a few bars of the old Dragon hit, April Sun in Cuba for us. Strangely he didn’t seem to know any of the words beyond the first line of the chorus. I wonder why he picked that song? Let’s have a look at the words of the first verse:

I’m tired of the city life
Summer’s on the run
People tell me I should stay
But I’ve got to get my fun.

[Songwriters: Paul Hewson / Marc Alexander Hunter / Yaleidys Salazar Fernandez / Dayana Otero Salazar / Mark Richard Edwards]

C’mon, the PM’s taking the piss, isn’t he? The one thing I’ve learnt from my Friday song day is not to offer up a tune until I’ve checked the lyrics.

I look forward to the (soon to be ex?) PM participating in the national uke muster at the National Folk Festival in future. I suspect he may be too busy to attend this April due to family commitments, campaigning and not taking responsibility for anything, except maybe for scaring the hell out of voters or further taking the piss.

Sadly I won’t be attending the Nash this year either. My hearing is going and I need to protect what’s left of it. I guess that comes from attending too many folk festivals. Or maybe it can be attributed to that Dragon concert I went to at the Calamvale pub in the 80s. Gosh, that takes me back. Let’s have a listen to the original version.

I also like that line about snake eyes on the paradise, but I’m easily amused. Despite Jen’s convenient mea culpa on the Hawaii trip, I’ve come to the conclusion that the PM really doesn’t “get it” if he needs his partner to take responsibility for his actions.

Here’s to holding the hose and taking responsibility for your own actions or lack thereof.

Kind Regards.

Photo by alleksana on

Landing It

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

To travel to my home town, the place of my birth, would take a number of days by car. For a family with small children that journey would likely stretch to over a week. When I was a child, the cost of plane fares was also exorbitant, hence our family rarely visited our relatives in Far North Queensland. I remember a special occasion when our family did make the trip by plane. Perhaps it was my first plane trip. It was very exciting.

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As you do … on cheap electricity and a gas-led climate emergency.

The late, great John Clarke, together with fellow comedian, Bryan Dawe, explain Australia’s energy market. [Videos might only be available to Australian audiences.]

But don’t mention the planet.

You have to wonder if those companies with large long term contracts for electricity are paying proportionately much less than small users of electricity? It would make sense. Discounts for bulk purchases are pretty standard, aren’t they? I wonder if small users are thereby subsidising the big users? Do we know by how much? On top of that, the Australian government has committed $600 million to fund a new gas-fired power station to boost capacity when domestic demand and hence, gas prices. peak. As gas is expensive and government will want to reduce the budget deficit incurred from the pandemic (including clawing back the cost of its gas-led recovery investments), it doesn’t sound like future electricity prices will be minimised. Maybe this will just spur more businesses and individuals to go off-grid? That is likely to make it even more expensive for those who can’t afford to make that switch. It doesn’t seem to be a win for the hip pocket or the planet. Who does win then?

My Measure

The other day, my little dog chewed my eraser and ruler. She’s so adorable. It was her way of saying “Get my breakfast or pay the price.” My True Love (TL) joked that she had my measure. Unfortunately, he’s the one that has my measure.

My TL says that I am like a fierce little dog. When the little dog sees a person (in my case, a government spokesperson) walking past the house, a frisson of excitement issues from the little dog as it prepares to take on its larger foe and a volley of furious barking ensues. The little dog is so proud when its barking sends off the (completely oblivious) offender. It’s sport, it’s fun. Okay, I do admit to getting rather furious in defense of my position (ie. good public policy). However, sometimes a little impulse control wouldn’t go astray. So I’ve amended my last blog post so that it is more in keeping with a calmer, bigger dog.

Notice too, how I’ve issued this advice/apology on a Saturday when there are fewer passers-by (readers).

Woof, woof.

Kind Regards.

The Changing Seasons – March 2021

Canberra (national capital of Australia) – March in satire. The empathy, or something, flows.

[This post contains material of a satirical nature. International readers should feel free to concentrate on the photos and disregard the sub-text.]

Spat in our eye then unleashed tears they learnt to cry in empathy training.

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The Changing Seasons – February 2021

Summer ends in the national capital, Canberra (Australia) – Clean air, clean water, good nutrition, shelter and safety; the essentials of life in the national capital, the rest of Australia and globally. I do think about these issues quite a lot. February was no exception.

It has been a grey, often wet and windy end to summer in the national capital. The sun has shone too but it hasn’t really had any bite to it like it has in recent years. Thank goodness, I say. Who needs that howling inferno we had last year. However, we know the clement weather is temporary so we enjoy it while we can.

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Walking With Magpies

This article contains material of a satirical nature that may offend some readers. Please note the photos are awful, but the story is good/scary/funny.

For months now I have been in serious training. Magpie training. It’s full on magpie breeding season here in Canberra (Australia) and for the unlucky few, a walk, cycle or broomstick ride, may lead to being dive-bombed by a rampaging magpie. As of a few minutes ago, the count on the number of magpie attacks that have occurred in Australia this year is 3798, with 466 injuries (see Australia’s Magpie Swooping Map 2020). The number of attacks and injuries are likely significantly under-reported. But have no fear, ladies and gentlemen, there are a couple of ways to mitigate the risks.

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The Returned

A Short Story

The old man slaps his car keys down on the kitchen table. It’s cold inside the house and he is tired. It’s been a long drive in heavy rain. He has to take a slash. His water works need fixing. That’s why he is here. Back in Canberra.

The mobile rings as he is zipping his fly. “H’lo,” he says loudly. It’s his eldest daughter on the line. The cranky one. Of course, it is not the youngest daughter. She doesn’t ring. She is too busy working in the old folks home. His son doesn’t ring much either. If the old man knew how to text, they might communicate more often.

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Gash in the Fabric

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Well scheiße, ladies and gentlemen, what a crappy few weeks it has been downunder. How’s that for an impressive, or pathetic, example of tautology? It has been all about the corona virus (Covid-19) these last couple of weeks. You know the old saying, “Pride goeth …” Hubris, pubis. Australians have been so self-congratulatory about how we got “on top of” the virus. Apparently and allegedly, all the time we thought our borders were closed, our borders weren’t actually closed, if you know what I mean …

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