General chat for July

Over to July chat host Bobi ( with thanks):
The Logies were on Sunday night and I tuned in …. and then out.

When Leila walked on in that frou frou red dress with the barn door sleeves and the split in the skirt up to and including the wazoo, I knew we were in for an excruciating night – and I wasn’t wrong.

For those who missed it, here is a gratuitous photo of my beautiful boy demonstrating, with reluctance, the style in question. He says it is draughty in all the wrong places.

If you want a precise summation of the fashions, try this article by Kate Halfpenny found here She went to uni for three years to learn clever phrases to describe this car crash. Money well spent. From today, I am incorporating ‘reptilian black’ into my lexicon.

I enjoyed Tom Gleeson’s opening speech, because who doesn’t love snark at Karl’s expense, and I lasted until Guy’s singing medley. It then all became too much and we decided that bed and SBS streaming was a better option. But congratulations to Masterchef for winning again. I might not like this season but I am still a fan of the ‘feel good’ formulae.

With a glass of wine (because from today it’s Dry July), I watched the last episode of 63 Up and sobbed. For those who haven’t tuned in, I can highly recommend it. This season was a mixture of immensely satisfying and completely sad. I love these people. I love this show. But timey-wimey.

This month I am going to watch The Last Man on Earth (SBS). It comes with good reviews and it’s a comedy. I need more comedy. It’s hard to find a good laugh amongst all the news at the moment. We are all going to hell apparently.

Speaking of, The Loudest Voice (STAN) is getting a great write-up. Russell Crowe is not one of my favourite people (he takes himself a little too seriously) but he is a good character actor and the supporting cast looks pretty fab. I am looking forward to this one. I like a good biopic, especially about someone whose dead.

And speaking of STAN, Veronica Mars is returning. I loved the first incarnation. I have my fingers crossed for the second.

But to end on a high note, SBS is putting on some Jacques Tati movies (more comedy). I have fond memories of, and can recommend, Mon Oncle. You’ve got to love SBS. They know their lane and it’s a great lane. There’s no category at the Logies for what they do best.



  1. I’m heading out to watch the new Spider-Man movie today. It’s the last Marvel movie, this year (I’m not even sure what’s next on their line-up), but as a kid who grew up loving super-heroes, I really like the current trend. The special effects industry — while capable of being misused, certainly — has finally caught up to story-teller’s imagination, and I think that’s a marvelous thing, put intended. Plus, I’m a little bit in love with Tom Holland, and make no apologies for that.

    • ohhh – I want to see that. I love Tom Holland in a non naughty way (even if it is slightly creepy given his age and mine, lol).

      • It was a good movie, I enjoyed it.

        And Holland just looks 16, but he’s actually early-to-mid 20s, one of those guys blessed with youthful looks (and incredible talent to boot).

  2. I’m amazed that someone with talent actually won a Gold Logie.

    It’s been terribly cheapened by victories to Denyers and Stefanovics in recent years.

    Thanks, Bobi.

  3. I don’t know if we are the last people in Australia with older (fully-functioning) televisions, but from 1st July we no longer can get SBS2 (Viceland) because they changed all the bandwith stuff to accommodate a foreign movie channel.

    No loss to us, as it seems that SBS’s charter is to fit as much s-e-x/nudity shows in as possible, but I feel sorry for the people who used the channel during the day for news from their country of origin.

    Just mentioning it here, in case there are any other dinosaurs who are wondering why their televisions won’t tune in to 32 anymore. Of course, this is how 7Flix started, and they had to switch back because hardly anyone was watching. It will be interesting to see how much the viewership drops for SBS, if at all.

    • I watched it occasionally. Maybe the odd movie or doco.
      Yes, I don’t require the full on sex scene to get the message or the plot. My mum used to say, “The pan to doorknob says all you need to know’.

      • Sex on TV is an interesting one, that’s for sure. I mean, in the old days when TVs were large boxes, you could probably easily manage, but these days, with flat-screen TVs? You’d fall right off, unless you had a superhuman sense of balance …

        … oh, you mean sex on TV in a different way. Got it.

        I guess I’m playing devil’s advocate, in a way, because nothing is accidental. If there’s a scene, in a book or on the screen, it’s there because the writers and/or directors wanted it there. I’ve seen some sex scenes that actually were very critical. And I think that’s the way to use them, when they’re actually telling you something important about the characters. I remember a movie with Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry. The sex scene was fairly gratuitous (never in my life have I wished to see Billy Bob’s scrotum, and I don’t ever wish to see it again), but the scene was really important, and it’s stuck with me all these years because it was an almost critical piece of the story. You’re seeing who people are without any pretense, when they’re at their most vulnerable. And I can certainly understand stories where that’s a critical element.

        But then you get things like Game of Thrones. Sure, some of those sex scenes were to move the plot along, but a lot of the nudity was just for the sake of being subversive and showing lots of nudity. And then you get things where it’s meant to be shocking, where it’s supposed to be confronting. You know, they’re using sexuality deliberately to get that, “Oh my gosh!” reaction from the audience.

        And the fourth option, some people just like erotica.

        • Once again, I agree with you – when it comes to drama shows. As long as the sex/intimacy scene is part of the story and it done tastefully, no problem. But with SBS it is all the other shows, more like pretend documentaries or game shows whose only purpose seems to be to titillate. I suppose for me it is the equivalent of clickbait, trying to project an image of being hip, instead of just smutty.

  4. I did go see Last Tango in Paris and Emmanuel in the early 70s, but I don’t want Billy Bob’s sac in my head.
    I know what you mean though, Windsong. Just like you can’t have a biker movie where they say, “Oh bugger!”. 😛

  5. My TV is 9 years old, 21″ screen, and I have had no problems getting 32 since the changeover. Can’t watch subtitled movies often, though, since I need my glasses to see the subtitles, but that makes the picture fuzzy and I get sea sick moving my eyes up and down. Sucks sometimes being old and blind. Sex scenes don’t affect me one way or the other often. I dislike scenes of rape or any violent sex, but it depends on the context I guess.

    • The critical thing with the TV is whether they are set up to receive MPEG4 or not. A 9yo TV, I think, is on the borderline of when they started to add the codecs in, so your tv is probably just within the time frame.

      Ours is a bit older, about 12, but it was such a great quality tv to start with, and plays very nicely with the recorder that I don’t want a new one because I doubt anything new could be as good. I suppose in the end we will be forced, like all other tech “advances”.

  6. Bobi, that’s a brilliant July Precap. Sorry I hadn’t noticed it before. Bloody bonza job, and your model, well perfectly underweight as a top model should be. Give her a celery stick.
    Now we will try to stream your TV recommendations.

    • Thank you. It is good practice for The Great Australian novel.
      The beautiful one is on a boiled chicken diet (digestive problems as many greyhounds have). It is working so well I might try it myself.

      • I’ve done the kids’ book. The artwork too ages. And the one we had to write at uni if that counts. Now I write and draw my journals for my descendants.
        I don’t have the inclination to persevere and publish the kids’ books

      • Maybe you gice could consider group writing the great Australian novel…where one person writes one chapter at a time. It could get interesting.

        • You joke, but communal fiction, a shared story where multiple people contribute? That’s actually a big thing on the internet. I can think of one site, where the site has on overall theme and mythology, and posters are encouraged to write their own stories (that fit inside that world) and submit. The site users all upvote or downvote, so the good stories become entrenched and established, while the bad ones naturally drift out. The site in particular is themed on cosmic horror (think the Men in Black franchise, but instead of a small hidden organisation dealing with alien threats, it’s a small hidden organisation dealing with monsters and demons and Lovecraft-esque things) … and, I admit to hating that particular genre, but I really respect good story-telling, and some of the stories have been crafted so well.

          I’ve never been able to keep a journal, but for 10 years now, I’ve kept diaries. I write down the best thing that happens every day. It’s good, for me. It’s a way of protecting good memories (because the bad ones tend to linger uninvited). I’m sure, some day in the future, children of my friends will find them and wonder, “Why’d he write so many entries about Jordan the Maltese chef?”

          I actually do have an archive of my work, online, that I put up and people can read, free-of-charge. It’s a bit embarrassing, so I’m hesitant to pass the link on, but I usually get pretty good feedback, and as a hobby, it’s not as stressful as it could be. I haven’t written anything in so long, though. My life went to crap, last year, and I haven’t been able to get back into it, like, at all.

          After college, I tried to become a professional novelist. I had a few that I’d written. I even got myself a literary agent (after being rejected by every publisher and every other literary agent in Australia. I literally have nobody left to approach). But the agent wasn’t very good, and the thing is? The whole process takes so long. I didn’t think it would be easy, not for a second did I think that. But I hadn’t factored in the time. From the time you start typing, to the time your book is sold in a book shop? A decade. Maybe even longer. And the difficult part is that, every single day of that decade, you have to be willing to sell that manuscript to everyone you meet or talk to, every single day. And I couldn’t do it. After a year, or so, I just hated everything I wrote. I was so ashamed of it all. I think the tipping point was, someone asked me once, what I was working on? And I couldn’t even tell them the title of the story, I was so ashamed of it. You know that, at that point? It’s totally worthless to keep trying.

          So one day, I told my literary agent (who wasn’t very good at all anyway) to shove it somewhere, and I threw everything in my recycling bin (so my manuscripts would’ve been recycled into flower mulch. Which means someone would’ve gotten something out of them). Like I said, I just hit a wall where I couldn’t do it anymore. Following your dream shouldn’t make you that desperately, deeply miserable. It just wasn’t good for me, towards the end.

          • I’m not sure there’s enough alcohol in the world :).

            Plus, I don’t think the genre and style would really appeal to anybody here.

          • Oh, I don’t know about that Windsong. We’re a pretty eclectic bunch here, and definitely one of the most civil. I’d be interested to see some of you writing, but of course don’t do anything with which you are not comfortable. You and Daisy posted photos of yourselves, and that is something I’d never do.

          • You don’t have to post if you would rather not but, just based on what you do here, you write beautifully.
            Maybe later when you feel the time is right. As Von says, we are a supportive bunch here. It’s my aim in life to be next level civil.

        • Oh Windsong, that’s so sad. It shouldn’t be that hard.
          My SiL self published (non fiction) and a number of book shops agreed to put the book on their shelves, for a cut. It sells slowly (she gave it a bad title) but there is a little bit of money rolling in.
          A friend of mine put hers (also non fiction ) on Amazon and it sells – badly written but beautifully titled.
          It seems like such a lottery.
          The thing that gives me hope is that Matthew Reilly started out self publishing. His are rollicking yarns.
          I must admit that I was thinking YA. It’s alwat been my go to.

          • No, I was looking at self-publishing on Amazon recently. There’s a lot of people that do it. But most of them, you can really tell that they’re self-published. You know, there’s a good story in there, but it needed some serious editing and proof-reading, and that’s what an actual publishing house would give you. Maybe it’s because of my experience in the industry, but some of them do seem very amateurish, like, they lack that professional polish (and it’s clear as day, to my eyes). And you’d have to publish a lot of them, to really get noticed. Some authors on Amazon have entire libraries of their own work. I don’t know how they do it so quickly. Between editing and rewriting, it takes me a long time to get to a final copy that I’m willing to show off.

  7. Looking forward to season 3 of “Stranger Things”. Thinking about going to see “Toy Story 4” or “Spiderman”.

    • They could be older but I’ll bet next week’s rent, they’re all white. Onya Ch 9.

      Yep, they look like white trash to me. Same as it ever was.

      • You mean “El ‘ ise” ?

        Bogan parents. Someone thinks it’s cool. Or couldn’t complete a birth certificate.

        • Don’t get me started …. narcissistic parents inflicting 80 years of pain on little extensions of themselves.
          People who name their child after the last place they had sex … god help us … spelling something backwards, like Enived, makes me shudder … or thinking it’s clever spelling, like Jakxsen or Wyliumm, makes me think of retrospective birth control.
          But Baby still takes the cake for me. That woman should lose custody.

          • And spare a thought for poor teachers trying to recall all those names. And sometimes you get told off because the spelling is the same but you’re supposed to pronounce it differently. Now on top of that, the African names are a stretch for the memory.

    • So I take it that the gay couple will be the villains this season? *sigh* They do that so often on shows that the gay person has to be the bitchy one. 🙁

      El’ise ….. oh dear. I have a bad feeling how they named their 3 kids… We call it “Chantalism” in German. Basically when you give your kids really stupid names:

    • And he continues to look like a classy, classy guy.

      But then the entire MAFS cast is fighting so hard to remain relevant, at the moment.

  8. Warning: whinge ahead.
    I took the girls to see the Claude Monet exhibition yesterday (school holidays). It was small but spectacular.
    We tried to have a good look at the lily pond painting but there was a family ahead of us taking selfies in front of it. As in, seriously, every variation: Dad with one child, Dad with the next child, Dad with all the children, and then repeat but with Mum, and then …. they tried with a Mum plus Dad with each, and then all of the children.
    The crowd was building up and was loud and vocal, and even a little pushy, but they remained oblivious and self absorbed. Or were just being deliberately difficult.
    They were also oblivious to the fact that the painting itself was largely obscured by their big bulky presence in each of the photos.
    I’ve heard about this o/s but I’ve never really seen it here in Australia. I’ve always thought we were too laid back, or too clever, to be like that. Clearly not.

    • Oh my God, tell me about it, Bobi. Everyone on the riverboat cruise in Strasbourg was told not to stand. But at every interesting thing there were three people who (unnecessarily) stood to take that pic, oblivious of people behind or around them. Like they are the only ones who matter. The teacher/Judge Judy in me came out and I barked at the woman next to Woolif, “Sit down”. Nice ride but annoying. I got off the boat and said to Eoolif, “I hate people.

      Then there were these; so the crowd is in the cathedral, all standing about 3 metres ir so back in an arc to all get that once in a life time pic of something. Then there’s the couple who walk right up in front of it and stand admiring and photographing, oblivious to the fact that there was a reason that they were able to get prime real estate. And now no one else can ge their shot or view. “Wake up you idiots!”. People are dense, selfish and infuriating.

      • At sunset at Uluru, a shitload of tourists turn up to take “unique” photos. In ‘ 84 I saw a woman cop a tirade of verbal abuse from ham photographers because she was walking in the foreground and would feature prominently in any photo, killing the pristine vibe.

  9. Sorry about not editing. The internet here is so crap. Well my sim card is inadequate. So I am spitting it out quick.

  10. I am through with Stranger Things 3. Very different two the first 2 seasons. Far less gore (which I am so grateful for). Also the tone changed regarding the humour, which is now much more like typical mid-80s comedies.
    I enjoyed it actually, the kids are so tall now. :O

    • Season 1 was the best. I watched S2 but Mr Juz dropped out after the first ep.
      I am still looking forward to S3. And how strange to think the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman is now old enough to play a young woman on the show. I used to love him so much

  11. I am gathering that no one stuck with The Voice?
    I thought the choices of (semi) finale contestants was a little odd – based more on popularity than talent – and I tuned out some time ago. But I did read about the winner.
    Seems a shame that people are complaining. She seemed to have a pretty fab voice to me.

    • I didn’t, no. I tend to avoid singing competitions.

      However, I’m super-stoked that Ninja Warrior is starting back on tonight. I love that show.

      • I loved Ninja Warrior.
        Not the Australian one, nor the American one but the first one, whichever one that was.
        Maybe because it was new (and Americans are OTT).

      • One time, when I was in Grade 6, I went to The Willie Weeties Show. I don’t know if you had it over East, but kids of all ages would line up to fill a big old hall, and on the way in you could write your name and put it in a box if you wanted to sing. The show was broadcasted on radio.
        Well I got lucky and they name. I sang Eidleweiss, terribly.
        I don’ t really get embarrassed. But I ought to have been.

        • There’s something about listening to people sing live, that I just cannot deal with. I don’t know what it is, but it’s almost like an OCD thing, like, I just can’t cope with it at all.

          • That’s a pity Windy, I live it if it’s good. But it,’s the good instruments that really get me. Like the guys on the bridge yesterday. (My FB page)

          • I avoid the singing shows like the plague. In fact, I really can’t stand any sort of “talent show”, especially since they have become so hyped with the screaming etc.

            I think it is because I love live theatre and musicals. I want to see and hear professionals singing the music the way it was meant to be sung. I don’t like people putting their own spin on songs (don’t get me started about young girls singing the national anthem), and there are very few cover versions I can tolerate. One recent exception is Disturbed’s version of Sounds of Silence – now I love both the original and the cover.

        • In three years, I’m yet to hear a simple compliment towards the commentary team. It makes me laugh. They really are awful, but channel 9 is sticking with them. I don’t mind Freddie (although he flirts with all the male contestants. Freddie, damn it, that’s my job), but those two up in the stands would benefit from a ‘mute’ button.

          I like that, after three years of the show, we’ve established a regular cast of contestants who keep coming back (and it’s great to see them again. We’re getting more of them as people, we’re getting more of their stories, and I like that). Last night Bryson the hot nerd and Alex the moustached fire-fighter came back, and both made it up the wall. Monday night, we got Ashlin (you don’t get two words, out of Ashlin, but he is just superhuman. There’s no other way describe him) and Rob the robot builder, and we’ve still got Jack Wilson (the indigenous guy who always competes in his speedos) presumably tonight, as well as the rock-climbing Ben fellow.

          • Oh – I exempt Freddie from the dig at Ninja commentators. The gantry crew are shockers. Have never even learned their names. . .

            I became firmly team Freddie after his Celebrity jungle stint and to hear him console a contestant with a firm “gutted for you” is fine by me!

  12. On Windsong’s recommendation, I took my grandson to see Spider-Man today. We loved it. It hit all the right notes. My poor lad had to go to the loo just 5 minutes before the end and in the middle of the most crucial action sequence. He said he couldn’t hold it any longer but he ran all the way there and all the way back.
    And, Daisy, about half an hour of the movie was set in Prague. How spectacular was that. I kept looking to see if you were in the crowd.

    • I mustn’t have been there that day, Bobi, because I would definitely have poked my face in and waved. 😁

  13. So I had another adventurous weekend. I went to my first medieval fair, yesterday. It was so much fun! Actually, I spent the day eating (salty pretzels and freshly-squeezed orange juice and strawberries-and-cream and donuts and other sweet medieval fair. The summer berry medieval cordial was *amazing*), but it was great. I got to see fencing, and Turkish wrestling, and horseback jousting, and all the animals (like camels and falconry). I got to listen to a lecture on Italian swords and European hand-to-hand combat, and I browsed the stalls and made some purchases, I even got to try some cups of mead. It was a good day. I’m wrecked today, but it was a good day.

    • It’s like you were in Europe. Pam and Charlie are medieval fair fans.
      Great photos Windsong. That jousting’s gotta kill.
      I like that you think outside of the square.

      • I appreciate that. I’ve always been a nerd, and I’ve definitely been a bit of a history buff. Attending a genuine medieval festival is one of those things that’s always been on my list. Like I said in an earlier thread, I call them my “superhero days”, days when I get to do something fun and adventurous. Like, this is the life I want to be living. I wanna be a guy who does this kind of cool stuff all the time, and I’m definitely heading towards that goal.

        I didn’t get any major life epiphanies after getting sick, last year, but I decided to stop procrastinating. “Oh, I’ll do that someday”, well, it was a trap for me, and I never ended up doing anything. Maybe it’ll be a while before I’m holidaying in Tokyo or trekking through Prague, but at the moment, I’m getting out and doing stuff, and it’s making me very happy. As you can see by my wild grin in almost *all* of my photos, heh.

        • It looks so cool. I’m a big reader/watcher of sci fi-fantasy so that’s eight up my alley. My brother’s friend had a medieval wedding and everyone looked fantastic. And, of course, now I am watching S3 of Stranger Things and think there should be more scenes of them playing D&D.

  14. I’ve had a busy week. Took Mr 7 to my home town of Canberra and he got to see his first snow. Given his Dad was 21 for his first snow, 7 seems early.

  15. Tomorrow is the biiiiig day. The Direccte accepted the unilateral agreement of my company. It is not great for those who will be laid off though. :(.
    So on Monday the PDV, meaning application process for voluntary departure, starts. If they approve of my plan, I will finally quit my job and start my Patissier training in France. On Thursday they review the first batch of applications they received. If they deny, I will throw a temper tantrum and cry like a baby.

    Anyway, I made a new cake. There is this new trend of Fault Line Cakes and I thought I combine it with an old trend of using buttercream succulents:<

    • ohh – I had never even heard of Fault Line Cakes. I’m stuck in dripping cake territory – definitely behind the trend. Very cool indeed. . .

      More importantly, I do hope you get the right news Zhee so you can go ahead with your patissier training.

      • Thanks! If all goes well, I know maybe by the end of the week how it will turn out.

        Brussellsprout, I love the drip cakes as well. I prefer the buttercream cakes anyway over sugarpaste covered ones. Yeah, they look nice, but they don’t get me into the “I wanna devour that cake”-territory. But with buttercream, you know you can just dive in.^^

    • So cool, Zhee. I had not heard of a fault line cake before. Good luck with the redundancy bid. When you have done your patissiere training please move to Australia so we can come eat your wares.

      • Thanks!

        I am currently sitting like an idiot infront of my computer. Staring from my company Outlook account to the clock and back and forth. 7 minutes to go. At 9 am here the leave process will start.
        Then on Thursday, the review panel has the first session, so maybe I know by Thursday or Friday then.
        Weird feeling, but I am also superscared they might reject the plan. :S

    • This reminds me of the Geo (or Geode) cakes that I first saw recently on Spring Baking Championship. Everybody else has probably already seen them, but it was new to me!

      These cakes have chunks cut out of the side, and the hollow is made to look like the inside of a beautiful rock, with bright “crystals”.

      Have you done these before? Any pics?

  16. It is done! The end is near! I got my approval of the training plan on Friday afternoon. 😀 Zhee is going to be a professional Patissier. 😀
    I am still trying to wrap my head around everything. Just a bit more than a month to go, then 11 years are over. I made so many friends and met lovely, diverse people. These I will miss for sure. But honestly not the job itself. :S

    • Well done. I am sure that your diligence over the 11 years stood you in good stead with your application, and your big step toward your dream is well deserved.

      • Thank you all. 🙂 Thankfully my sister is coming for the week so we are having a bit of a celebration.
        I am a bit scared with the French part. It is something completely different if you just have conversations, do daily stuff in French and then all of a sudden, you go to a French school.^^ But I already have subscribed to Rosetta Stone and in September I also take French classes. I am a B1 apparently, I need B2. That’s doable (A1/2, B1/2, C1/2 – so I am right in the middle basically and C1/2 is basically native speaker).

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