The heroes depart – Lemmy, Bowie, and now Glen Frey of the Eagles, who wrote or co-wrote with Don Henley their most enduring songs. These are the times of parting and we must get used to it.

History has its cycle of highs and bummers, although we never know just where we are in the cycle until it becomes where we were. After every golden age is a silver twilight under which we can almost believe ourselves back when the world was young and dragons walked the earth. In the past decade I have seen Leonard Cohen, America, Jeff Beck, Ry Cooder, Dweezil Zappa, Steve Vai, Ravi Shankar and, to my surprise, Hawkwind, still touring to this day. If I were richer I could have seen some truly big ticket Sixties names. Thousands did.

All that talent, we sigh, still up there playing after all these years, and it makes us glad. But not for all that much longer. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever hear Joni Mitchell sing Edith and the Kinpin live.

Back in those same Sixties, over a period of what seemed like a few weeks, most of the names I had grown up hearing on the radio died. They were mostly comedians or comic actors, who learnt their trade in the music halls and war-time tours of battlefronts. They could do it all, sing, dance, juggle, joke. During a strike, Norman Wisdom and Bruce Forsyth (still with us), played the whole hour of the TV variety show Saturday Night at the London Palladium on their own. By the end they were visibly exhausted, but victorious. That era was soon forgotten, its jokes too topical to repeat, its songs too trivial to endure. If there is an afterlife for old artistes, it must be a kind of Fawlty Towers seaside residential hotel, where the guests live out eternity happily recalling times and triumphs nobody else remembers.

What then for the Rock ‘n Rollers? Is there a Valhalla for the Sixties, an eternal Hotel California where the guests have finally taken over? A definition of Heaven as being No More Managers? Or do they embark on the Biggest Tour of All, across all the heavens and hells, nirvanas and happy hunting grounds, that have ever been and ever will be?

Am I just being romantic in believing that some at least of the work of the Sixties generation will endure, that it embodies some eternal verities, shines a timeless light on the human plight? Not since the Romantic poets of the Nineteenth Century has any art form been so enthusiastically embraced both by the public and by intellectuals. Just what it is all about may be a matter for dispute, but the very fact of that dispute, that attention, suggests that Rock n’ Roll, in all its manifestations, far from being an ephemeral amusement, is the voice of humanity, freed at last from cloister and academy.

So as the Pete Brown album title says, Things May Come and Things May Go, but the Art School Dance Goes on Forever.


We have a bird bath. When we moved in it was buried in the shrubbery, just a wide bowl with no plinth, so I put it on top of a large pot next to the barbed-wire tree and the birds came. Parrots various, our resident blackbirds, Indian Minahs, the odd pigeon, and Magpies.

Magpies are intelligent, curious, inventive risk-takers. They will come in through the patio doors and eat our cat’s dinner. They are bold and fearless, unlike Ravens who are arrogant, cowardly bullies.

This summer a couple of Magpies have appropriated the bird bath, chasing off all other birds, including the Ravens. So we have bought another bird bath and put it on the other side of the garden. We hope the smaller birds will go there, once they notice and get used to it.

At the worst, the two Magpies will have their work cut out policing both bird baths. It’s the old course of empire thing, as the empire grows the cost of holding it together against the interests of both the inhabitants and outsiders forces the imperial power towards bankruptcy. Sensible empires divest and build trade links, foolish ones send in troops and bombers. Magpies, history is against you, give up now.


New Year’s resolutions don’t wear well. Virtuous and high-minded does not have much survival value in the heat of summer when staying cool and un-fried by the UV tops priorities. So a few years ago I decided on one that I could hope to follow with minimal effort and maximum delight. ‘Drink More Coffee!’

This I have achieved! Two cups a day on average, either at home or at a cafe. One reason I’m looking forward to getting back to Swinburne is my morning hit of Mocha at Haddons. I hope it is still there, Swinburne is forever reinventing itself, with mixed results, and I took a semester off. What have they been up to while I was away I wonder?

A month lying on the floor recovering from a 27 year old slipped disc’s big comeback bid has given me time to think, not much else being possible. So I intend, now that the pain is moderating, and this is not a Resolution, to put up on this blog some of the things that pop into my head during the day.

On my desk I have a big blotter-sized diary pad. it has a section called New Year’s Resolutions. I have written there ‘Move!’ Why? I’m going nowhere, we are steadily making this house yet more habitable and the longer I live in Mooroolbark the more I like it. So, ‘Move!’ is an order to me from me to actually do something, write something, stop imagining and engage with the possible. Possible, of course, does not mean easy, or safe, or wise. Perhaps I should settle for mowing the lawns and watching the telly. No, too late for that now.


  Look them up at

Music has power. It can alter your mood in ways that are sometimes beyond control. Whether that means switching from happy to sad, angry to calm or nonchalant to nostalgic – there is no doubt that music affects you. While you probably know the impact music has on your moods and emotions, there are many …

Source: 7 Fascinating Ways Music Can Affect Your Emotions


Spend an evening with ABC’s dynamic duo John Clarke and Bryan Dawe.

Source: An Almost Definitive Chat with Clarke & Dawe | ACMI


Source: VIDEO PREMIERE : Julia Kent – Invitation To The Voyage


I’ve moved to a new web host, Panthur.

Everything is still here I think but not coming up quite as I would like.

Also I’m not getting comment notification and the linked email address doesn’t work.

I hope to get this sorted soon, and some new stuff posted.

On Saturday night we were treated to a Blood Moon Eclipse. These are fairly common, though they are visible from different places each time. This was the third of a set of four consecutive lunar eclipses. The fourth will not be visible from my back garden. The red is caused by light from the Sun being tinted by passing through Earth’s atmosphere, which depends on the relative positions of the three bodies. This eclipse was predicted not to be Blood Moon, but it was.
I was taking photos from the back garden – not brilliant so I won’t post them – but for some reason, probably me working in the dark, the camera began taking a video. I wondered why the red light was on for so long. Then the batteries went flat.
So here is a short video of a Mooroolbark night with a blurry Moon, insects, and occasional comments.

Si tu te demandes où est Charlie, à jamais dans nos esprits

par Jean-Baptiste Bullet

Translated by Evelyne Chibleur

J’ai pas peur te toi extrémiste                                          I am not frightened by you extremist,

Qui vient descendre nos journalistes                              When you come and kill our jurnalists

Crois-tu passer pour un croisé?                                      Do you take yourself for a crusader

En butant nos gardiens de la paix                                    By killing our policemen?

Penses-tu avoir des couilles                                            Do you think having balls

Quand c’est ton frère que tu zigouilles?                          When it is your brother you’re murdering?

Pendant qu’à terre il implorait                                         When on the ground he was imploring

« c’est bon chef j’ai eu assez »                                        « ok boss, I had enough ! »

Si tu te demandes où est Charlie                                If you ask yourself where’s Charlie

A jamais dans nos esprits                                           For ever in our minds

Un coup de kalach, pour un coup de crayon            A stroke of kalach, for a stroke of a pen

Tu salis ta religion                                                        You are dirtying your religion

Partir en Syrie faire le Djihad                                        Going to Syria Djihading

Pour r’venir faire une fusillade                                    And coming back for a shooting

Penses-tu aux familles qu’il y a derrière?                     Do you think about their families left behind?

T’es-tu senti menacé                                                    Did you feel menaced

Par un pauvre crayon de papier?                                  By a simple paper pencil?

Faire de l’humour dans un journal                              Having humour in a newspaper

Merite-t-il la peine capitale?                                        Does it deserve the capital punishment?

Si tu te demandes où est Charlie                            If you ask yourself where’s Charlie

A jamais dans nos esprits                                        For ever in our minds

Un coup de kalach, pour un coup de crayon        A stroke of kalach, for a stroke of a pen

Tu salis ta religion                                                    You are dirtying your religion

Tu débarques froidement depuis Reims                     You coolly disembark from Reims

Armé, cagoulé comme un prince                                Armed, hooded like a prince

En scandant le nom de ton Dieu                                 By chanting your God’s name

Qui ne voudra même pas de toi aux Cieux                 Who will never want of you in Heavens

C’est de respecter nos différences                              Respecting differences

Qui fait la beauté de la France                                     Makes the beauty of France

Mais toi ce matin t’as tout gâché                                 But you, this morning, you spoilt everything

C’est la haine que t’as semée                                      you only scattered the hatred

Si tu te demandes où est Charlie                           If you ask yourself where’s Charlie

A jamais dans nos esprits                                      For ever in our minds

Un coup de kalach, pour un coup de crayon       A stroke of kalach, for a stroke of a pen

Tu salis ta religion                                                   You are dirtying your religion

Je m’en fous où tu vas à la messe                              I don’t care where you pray

Mais ne t’en prends pas à la Presse                           But do not attack the press

Quand c’est la guerre là bas                                      When it is war over there

T’est content qu’y ait des caméras                            You are pleased to find cameras

Ne viens pas me parler de religion                            Don’t talk about religion

C’t’excuse est complètement bidon                          This excuse is completely bogus

Je pense qu’il n’existe pas de bouquin                     I don’t think there is a single book

Qui dise de flinguer son prochain                            Which says to gun down his fellow man

Si tu te demandes où est Charlie                         If you ask yourself where’s Charlie

A jamais dans nos esprits                                    For ever in our minds

Un coup de kalach, pour un coup de crayon     A stroke of kalach, for a strocke of a pen

Tu salis ta religion                                                 You are dirtying your religion

Même si j’ai envie de crier aux larmes                    Even I want to shout in tears

J’mets pas tout le monde dans le même panier        I don’t put every one in the same basket

C’est en partant d’un amalgame                              It is out a confusion that

Qu’on fabrique des croix gammées                        Swastiskas are made of

Mais j’ai pas peur, je suis français                          I’m not frightened, I am French

Et c’est debout que tu vas me trouver                      And you will find myself strongly standing up

Contre toi je lève mon stylo                                    Against you I raise my pen

Je suis aussi CHARLIE HEBDO                          I am also CHARLIE HEBDO

Si tu te demandes où est Charlie                        If you ask yourself where’s Charlie

A jamais dans nos esprits                                   For ever in our minds

Un coup de kalach, pour un coup de crayon    A stroke of kalach, for a stroke a pen

Tu salis ta religion                                                You are dirtying your religion

Bafouer notre liberté d’expression                         Violating the freedom of expression

Mais c’est s’en prendre à toute la nation                 It is attacking a whole nation

On est 66 millions et on te dit …                          We are 66 millions and we are telling you …


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