Chat with Bobi

By Bobi

It’s been an odd year. Quietly whispering *unprecedented times*. 

The whole year feels like a pause and re-stock year. I’m not complaining because that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My house is clean, junk has been thrown out, I have narrowed my hobbies down to five, and the dog thinks that routine household chores should only be done to maximise his comfort. And I oblige. I have my priorities right. 

Lately, I have taken to looking to the future. I am eternally optimistic and hopeful, more often than not. Mostly. Sometimes. When I can.

Right. Preamble done. Excuses made and you have been softened up. Forgiveness assumed. 

We went shopping for Christmas decorations. I know. I know. Too much.

I had a blast. My tree is a glass cylinder, 2 feet tall, battery operated and glows in the dark, and my shelves are covered in gnomes and elves. The doggo tells me that they are rabbits, and he reminds me that he is very patient and very tall. I suspect the gnomes will have a short life.  

And now I slide away from the topic so cleverly that you barely notice. The best thing about the lead up to Christmas is all-things-British-on-TV. 

I love black and white movies. I watched The Ghost of St Michael’s on the weekend – a little bit of fun – and it is just going to get better from here. I love this time of year.

I am in the middle of Staged (ABC iview) with Michael Sheen and David Tennant. I haven’t tuned in to something that is such easy watching since The Good Place (which I am rewatching on Netflix). I am against anything that makes me think too much. 

The new series of Grantchester (again iview) fits all my criterion for a murder/mystery: limited number of suspects, clues and red herrings sprinkled liberally throughout, pretty villages, good actors and I feel so smart when I see the obvious. 

Slightly off topic, I am also watching The Rise of The Murdoch Dynasty. I didn’t mean to. It wasn’t something that I thought would appeal to me, and I am not a Rupert fan, but I could not change the channel. There’s a man who screwed up his kids right royally, so let me finish with what I imagine would be the Murdoch Christmas tree. 

Ten weeks until Christmas, guys. 



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76 Comments

  1. The most interesting year we’ve lived through continues to roll on, unabated.

    Speaking of Christmas? I used to work in a toy-shop, and I’m active in the community of adult fans of Lego, so I’ve been hearing from a lot of people that, if you want to do some Christmas shopping? Then you need to do it *now*, because there is no guarantee that stores will have *anything* left, by the middle of December. The toy industry does half its annual takings in December, but with all the shut-downs earlier in the year (factories and delivery services closing, international postage delays), Santa might have some trouble this year.

    The Queensland state election is happening at the end on month. On the actual day of Halloween. Under October’s second full moon. This is terrifying, to me. They might as well summon Godzilla, and be done with it. I pre-voted yesterday. While I enjoy voting, it’s usually stressful and busy to do it on election day, while visiting a pre-vote centre is easier and faster. Plus, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic (how’s that going, America?). Speaking of pandemics, we have the anti-vaxxer party here in Queensland (they frame themselves as “medical choice”, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…). The anti-vax rep tried to convince me to vote for her, yestersday. That was a fun 20 minutes. I think I made her cry. Good times.

    Foxtel’s continuing to offer up some good television. I’ve been watching, “The Vow” and really enjoying it. It’s the story about the NXIVM sex cult (that suckered in the blonde actress who was in “Smallville” a few years ago). I’ve found it really fascinating, because the documentary series focuses on several of the people who were suckered in by the cult (when the cult leader promised personal empowerment), and tells the stories of how they realised the truth (of what was actually going on) and escaped. It’s horrifying and scary to watch, but it’s really fascinating. Cult leaders, terrorist cells, fundamentalist religions, health-and-wellbeing gurus like Pete frickin’ Evans — they all tend to use the same tricks. They all operate from the same playbook, and they do it because it works. NXIVM even resorted to blackmail (like Scientology allegedly does). It’s interesting how they portrayed the cult leader, Keith Raniere. In the first episode, he is presented as a quirky, eccentric genius — and those things are probably true. Sociopaths are dangerous *because* they’re smart — but as the episodes go on, the series reveals more and more of what a psychopath this guy is, and how he set up this whole thing, just so he could have sex with lots of young women.

    Foxtel is also screening, “Picnic at Hanging Rock”, the most recent television adaption (starring a few English performers, including Natalie Dormer who was Queen Margaery in Game of Thrones). It’s such an iconic Australian story, but I’ve never read the book or watched any of the other adaptions. It’s quite interesting. Not only do you have the story of these girls, who went on a picnic one day and just vanished off the face of the Earth (with maybe some hints of the supernatural at play?), but there’s broader subtext to the story. The story comments on Victorian social values of the 1900s (one of the main characters is a young British noble who was banished to Australia after a college scandal involving another young man, but he seems to be developing an attraction to Arthur, the handsome stable boy), and in the background, you can see Victorian England’s last grasps at attempting to control Australia (given Australia is in the process of becoming a federation). Period-dramas are very hit and miss, with me, but I am enjoying this one.

    I also finally indulged in buying Matthew Reilly’s “Jack West” series of novels, starting with the “The Seven Ancient Wonders” and “The Six Sacred Stones” and moving backwards. The most recent one is “The Two Lost Mountains”, which was just released in hardback form at the bookshop. I’m a sucker for this kind of global adventure (with hints of the supernatural at play), and I expect they’ll at least be entertaining. And I got them at a secondhand bookshop, so I didn’t spend too much.

    • WS, my friend pre-voted in the ACT election and did it using a QR code. Makes the US look so antiquated.
      You will be pleased to hear I am nearly caught up on Lego Masters. Halfway through second grand final. Mr 8 is meant to be watching with me but confessed today he looked up the winner on YouTube. But it’s possible lying about that so I have to wait and see. All the final three teams are worthy, each with their own strengths.
      I reckon long-haired duo’s Hansel and Gretel cottage was my fave build

  2. I’ve been having run ins with venues over QR codes for the past week or so. It mainly started when the sport finals organisation sent an email saying that you would not be allowed to enter without scanning a QR code. When I challenged the lack of a manual option, they offered one, but they did not advertise it.

    A friend told me that she didn’t understand how it worked, so she just pretended to do it, which made me wonder how effective it is. My kids tell me that after scanning you have to enter your details, so how many people don’t bother? And I haven’t yet found a person who can tell me who stores the information, for how long, and what else it can draw from your phone.

    After the extensive scrutiny of the covidsafe app, I am stunned how willing people are to do this without any questions at all. I certainly understand that it is faster for venues and allegedly touch-free, so if people want to use it (fully informed) then that’s fine. But venues must offer a manual option to those who don’t wish to use it, or don’t carry a mobile.

    Mobile phone numbers are quickly becoming the equivalent of what they were trying to do with the “Australia Card” that is an identification number for every person, and it is sliding in the back door very effectively. I suggested to a young adult that in the future we may see newborns being issued with a mobile number – he ROFLed. But is it that unlikely?

    • I can see a future where a child is assigned a number at birth which then becomes their ID for phones, social media, government stuff – like a mega myGov password crossed with a mobile number

    • I’m always puzzled by those QR codes. I don’t have a smart phone. It’s all just wasted on me. I was actually getting donuts, today, and I wasn’t carrying a pen with me (I’d just been for a hike), so I completely forget to actually sign in, at the door. There was only, like, 3 people in the cafe, so I think I was okay. But I just completely forgot.

      • I had a scary experience driving alone through the state forest in my little Morris1109 in 1974. Between Manji and Albany. I had no idea I wouldn’t see a soul. Not a farm, driveway or car. Well luckily I finally found one driveway because my radiator had been boiling dry.

  3. But I sure loved Walpole 1920. Walpole us a different route but it still would have been a desolate road back then.

    • Good read. We just watch S2 of Criminal on Netflix, a UK drama that has just three sets: police interview room, the room where the detectives watch the interview and the hallway outside, where they visit the vending machine. It’s very good. I like UK crime drama because the cops look like real people: they have crooked teeth, bags under their eyes, women can be over 30. It’s refreshing. But I did grow up on a TV diet of The Bill

    • Yay to most of them. Gladys nsm. Not so much. She’s been siding with Slomo in wanting to pressure the states.

      • So he’ll never say never again?

        I feel like we’re being really inappropriate, right now …

        Still, though. Sean Connery. That’s a big one. Talk about an icon.

        • Not inappropriate. Who wants to battle on past 90, and he seems to have had a good life. Although you never really know, do you.

    • Sean Connery was inappropriate vwhen he said it was okay to hit a woman.

      Icon or idiot? Maybe I should just live and let die.

      • Yes. Disappointing, but I suppose a man of his times *shrugs*.
        Not that that makes it okay. None of my grandparents, nor my Dad, would have taken that route.
        But I guess I am just slightly more understanding and it lets me keep watching his movies.
        He was def my favourite Bond and I loved him in Indiana Jones.

    • If you are a fan and would like to see a movie from Sean’s very early work, try watching “On the Fiddle”. It’s an adaptation of RF Delderfield’s book Stop At A Winner, and Connery is so, so young.

  4. Back to that interview….omg. A great message to all the men out there that slapping your woman is justified. “Dinner not ready?” “House not tidy?” “Argued back?” Slap.
    Staggering message for domestic violence. Win the debate with a slap.
    On this one I agree wholeheartedly with Dr Phil.

  5. Guys, my good old dog died last night. A vet came to the house and sent him off peacefully, although it was still heartbreaking.

    The house seems so empty, and I don’t know what to do with myself.

    • I’m sorry , Von. My thoughts are with you.

      Race that stops a nation. Another dead horse. Two trainers participated who’ve been caught administering electric shocks to horses. I feel sick. Shame.

    • I am so sorry, Von. My heart aches for you.
      There is no substitute for the companionship of a dog.
      I have one dog left with me but I still miss the old terrier so, so much. I don’t know what I am going to do when the grey goes too.
      I wish there was something I could say to help. ❤️

    • Von, I am so sorry. When we left our dogs with my daughter and I was home for a day without them, I kept expecting to see them at every window and glass door with their, “Can we come in?” It was strange that their presence was still felt. I know your little companion will be doing the same. I hope you find comfort wherever you can. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • So sorry, Von. I am not much of a pet person, but we had a cat living with us for a year, and at the end of that time I had a real sense of the grief of them not being there when they have been part of your life. You do look for them when you come home, and it is a skip of joy if they are sitting at the window waiting for you.

      I hope you have many great memories to treasure in the future,

  6. Thank you Dave, Bobi, Daisy, Juz, and Fijane for your sympathy and kind thoughts.

    My friends and the many vets who have treated my boy have sent considerate emails and texts and phone calls. While they’re comforting, my good dog is still gone and I just have to cope with it. His empty bed, water dishes that don’t need refilling, meds that don’t have to be given,are all little things that smack me in the face with his absence.

    Juz, I don’t think I’ve ever posted a photo because I don’t know how. He was a boof-headed old beagle with a pendulous belly, wonky eyes, and other problems when I got him when he was 9. The belly improved with some weight loss, and the rest was controlled with treatment. And I love him dearly.

    I do have good memories of our time together. I was telling him about some on the day the vet was going to come. He put his paw in my hand and left it there at one point. Dogs, hey? They’re more intuitive than we think.

    • This is the perfect place to be venting your grief.
      We are a bunch of old dog lovers and we are crying with you.

      • Thank you for that Bobi.

        I went to the post office yesterday to mail a birthday card to a good friend. Walking back into an empty house was very distressing. I thought of putting away old doggo’s bed and a few other things, but it is too soon, you know? He was too good of a boy, and too loved.

        I’ve been sleeping with one of his raggedy chewed-up old dollies. Heh. It is a tiny bit of comfort.

    • Von, if you use a tablet or phone, posting a pic is easy. If there is no one there who can show you, perhaps I could call in and show you how sometime I am in Perth.

    • Sorry, Von – I was probably thinking of Bobi’s dog. Talk about him here as much as you like. As you know some pretty nice people hang out here

      • No need to be sorry, Juz, it’s fine. I’m a privacy freak, even though I know this is a safe site.

        And yes, some great people hang out here.

  7. Get as carried away as you want. Grieve as much as you need. I am very sorry for your loss. I’ve lost birds and dogs and still think about them and miss them.

  8. Anyone here a fan of the political sitcom Veep? Watching the Trump election shenanigans is giving me flashbacks but this time I can’t laugh.

  9. I opened my electricity bill today, and found out that WA government has given all households an electricity credit of $600. I’d heard nothing about it so it was a nice surprise. I feel a little guilty at all the federal and state government handouts that have come my way because of the pandemic and the downturn in the economy. Not guilty enough to hand them back, but I will spend some of that savings at local businesses.

    Sending my old dog off and taking care of him afterward was expensive, although I had set aside some money for that. Any extra helps.

    Five years ago I would not have needed, nor been so grateful for, the handouts. Things change.

    • How lovely for you. The more I hear about your Premier, the more I think about moving 🤣.
      I received my gas bill and it took my breath away. Gas led recovery, my fat foot.
      I, too, am spending money on small, local businesses. Anything to keep the wheels turning.
      And I am also using the “checkout chick” lines at Coles on the basis that it will keep someone in a job. I know it’s a small thing but I figure that every little bit helps.
      I hate the gig economy trend. I think it’s dehumanising. I feel like that old man shaking his fist at the sky and trying to singlehandedly stop the tide.

  10. Can’t take my three legged dog for a “walk”. My doctor reckons it’s a Draconian measure for dogs and their owners not to be able to excercise. My dog will go crazy, so then will I.

    This house is half renovated and at a grinding halt. Been living in one bedroom for yonks. I have music collection, guitars, books, uptight dog. Tradie shortage. Like The Block

    I went to petri dish/supermarket. No loo paper, sanitiser, bread. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The crush at Dan Murphy’s liquor outlet entrance was something to see.

    Last trip to dog park tonight.

    “Our” virus doesn’t have much grunt, mild symptoms etc. But it breeds like rabbits and real contagious. Masks mandatory to your letter box tomorrow.

  11. Anybody watching The Amazing Race? It has been awhile since I have seen a season with such blatant alliance. It seems a bit silly to me, to swear undying loyalty to several other teams in the first leg when you hardly know them.

    Yet, it is great tv, because I can’t wait to see which team breaks the alliance first and how.

    Apparently, the next episode (no 5) was delayed in the US due to the election, so we might need to watch out for some double eps or weird scheduling.

    • I recorded and started watching but thought it was a repeat of one I’d seen so stopped. Also it hasn’t been advertised (not that I’d seen) so I missed recording some.

  12. I watched the Reputation Rehab ep on the Bachelore (Abby).
    It was delightful.
    And she is such a pretty girl. She had a lucky escape from whichever doofus was the Bachelor that season.

    • Yes, a very odd week for us. Currently waiting outside a cafe for coffee and I am one of only six people wearing a mask (staff are in masks, though). At suoermarket yesterday I would say 70 per cent in masks. Most common non-maskers people in gym gear in their early 30s

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