66 shades of grey

66 shades of grey
66 shades of grey ... this pic of me was shot by Kim, of Kim Thomsen's Photography at Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. Kim just wandered over and asked whether it was OK to get some character shots.


The cross is in front of the church in Karumba and it seems TV antennas have a greater reach for the sky.


I went fishing out of Nhulunbuy on the Gulf of Carpentaria. We anchored in a bay about 10 hours from Nhulunbuy and went ashore. This poor fella had been snared in the locals' overnight net and then had a run-in with the resident 14-foot saltwater croc - named Nike by the local indigenous fellas - and came off second best.

the rock

the rock

oodnadatta track

oodnadatta track
What a tough place to live ... this is out on the Oodnadatta Track


My photo
G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.

Monday, December 5, 2011


It has been a while since I’ve put pen to paper, as it were.
It wasn't helped yesterday when my email account was hacked. It took yonks to again retrieve the suspended account. Apologies to everyone who got some sort of shit email.
Hackers should be shot with shit balls. End of story.
It has not been because I haven’t wanted to write something, just the end-of-the-year blues … aka I really need a holiday because I’ve read more stuff this year for work than any year in memory, which, not doubt due to the excellence and quantity of the year’s wine, is on the way out.
There have, however, been some things indicative of just what a good life it is.
To whit, the fresh wasabi saga. I gave my friend Sue a chunk and she being the good woman that she is, reciprocated the next day with my lunch of a crusty baguette stuffed with home-cooked eye fillet, ribboned zucchini and corn salad and fresh wasabi.
Like I said, she’s a good woman.
I also tried the wasabi with some smoked ocean trout and while it did overpower – to a degree – the flavour of the fish, it was good. And for me, the smoked ocean trout is as much about texture (it’s better than smoked salmon for that reason) and married with Meredith goat’s fetta and avocado … and some greens from the garden … it was a winner.
I went sans wasabi with another smoked ocean trout thing and substituted some black caviar. OK, it was Danish, but while I was preparing the meal, I was eating the caviar by the spoonful. Shit it’s good.
My two smoked ocean trout meals were washed down with some Sword’s chenin blanc, a great pairing. I’ve made a real mess of the case I bought, so the time is right to grab another. Reckon I’ll drink it right through summer.
It was a big seafood week. On Thursday night, I had crispy-skinned barramundi with cured king salmon on the side, some crème fraiche, capers and baby herbs, which I washed down with an Australian rose that was a bit thin on the ground. I switched to tempranillo, which somehow sustained me for the rest of the night.


As I said earlier, I really need a holiday. I’ve been tossing up what to do … the two most popular ideas were to hit Vanuatu or perhaps go bush (I said bush, not butch) and give the LandCruiser and camper trailer a bit of a hit-out.
Vanuatu won.
I got an email from my son, Liam, suggesting 10 reasons that should be enough to swing my thoughts.
They included:
1) I’m here and on holiday … So if you were to come here, we’d both be here. Have you noticed that here rhymes beer, cheer, beach gear, no need to steer etc…

2) We’ve got nothing planned other than to eat (this is definitely going to be a seafood summer as we’ve got a deal with some of the boys that we slip them a 50 every week and they go out and catch us crabs, lobster, squid, fish, etc), sleep, beach, fire, outdoors, sleep, eat and maybe more sleep… Hence the no need to steer, just cruise …
4) Given that most of our activities come directly from nature (lobsters and mangoes and sand and sun) and your accommodation is covered, you will spend less than if you were to stay home …
5) Andy is away and staying in his place will be a 40-year-old old Canadian woman named Carol, who could take your interest …
6) As I write I’m sitting looking over the Bellevue hills (the view is probably around 150 square kilometres of a combination of cattle-filled paddocks and dense bushland set before the Mele mountain range), there’s a lizard walking past, dogs asleep at my feet, a Jeffery (his pet pig) grunting for attention in the distance, classical music playing in the background on a luscious hectare plot with one of the most wonderful established gardens, full of every fruit and flower you can imagine (have you ever tried a Brazilian cherry?). On top of which there’s not a hint of civilisation to be heard …
7) On the balcony where I’m sitting there’s a pool table, dart board, ping-pong table and a set of speakers hooked up to a pretty serious system … When it’s time to play, it’s a good place to do so …
8) Although I mentioned no need to steer, Paul will be in Fiji and has let me have his tinny with motor and all the trimmings … Fishing anyone …? Island hopping anyone …?
10) And most of all, we’ll get to hang out … I miss that cause I love you and there needs to be much more of it …
What do you think???
I didn’t think too long. I booked today. I’m outta here on December 22 and staying until January 5, Tattslotto notwithstanding this week or next.
Oh, and I did edit the top 10. Some was a bit on the personal side.
And the other good news is that my youngest son, Joel, will house-sit for me and water the garden.
It’s a win-win, especially given that he works shit hours and having a place to crash in the wee hours without the need to drive for 45 minutes is a bonus for him.


I went on Friday night to the opening of Crikey lunatic First Dog On The Moon’s exhibition at Platform Seven in the Degraves Street subway.
There was a decent crowd and a more-than-decent speech by Julian Burnside to open the exhibition.
The artwork is all crackerjack … watch out for the eyes on the Jesus character … Dog has nailed it … as he has with everything there.
Do yourself a favour and check it out. You probably won’t get a free beer or wine as we did (thanks Dog), but you’ll have no regrets.
He’s a very clever Dog, except when it come to dates. December 4 really was December 2.
And afterwards, I fled to the Saint and Rogue bar in Little Collins Street to catch up with some friends, where pinot grigio was the order of the day (OK night).
It was great to catch up but it wasn’t to last long into the night. That was left for Lina’s wine bar, but that’s another story.


My friend, Sue, also gave me a bottle of magnetic nail polish, direct from Europe.
It’s the first time in a while that I have pained a nail (well mine anyway … and I did only one).
It’s a charcoal type of colour and the deal is that once you’ve applied a thick coat, you hover the magnetic bottle cap over the nail to move particles and create a pattern. I did the pinky on my left hand and it was, well, it sucked.
My friends at Crikey, Amber and Sophie, gave it a go. Amber nailed it with tiger-like stripes.
Reckon I may have another try once I finish typing this lot. Oh, and Sophie’s just went.


I’ve just had a crack at another Sword’s special, this time a blend of shiraz, Grenache and Mataro.
It sells for about 12 bucks a bottle and is worth the price of admission.
It’s got chocolate, liquorice and spice on the nose and is really soft, but lasts in the mouth. I could get used to it.
I also went halvies in a case of WTF Shiraz from Trevor Jones in the Barossa. By the way, WTF stands for wisdom, tenacity and focus. I haven’t decided whether it’s a WTF (read other version) wine yet, but will give it a crack later.


Age writer Malcolm Knox got fair up my frock with his description of New Zealander Dean Brownlie’s batting.
“He has no discernible talent other than staying in and making runs. Clearly unconvinced that he belonged in this arena, the Australians spent the first innings trying to intimidate him with short-pitched bowling.
Because he has no tickets on himself, playing with neither backlift nor frills, he didn't take the insult personally. Gary Kirsten and Justin Langer made great careers from never hitting a ball out of the middle of the bat, and NZ's prototype of this kind was the wonderfully annoying Andrew Jones, who averaged 43 against disbelieving Australian attacks.”
Malcolm, you and I must have seen vastly different Test matches.
Justin Langer was a gun.
Read the full story here.


The Most Humiliating Newspaper Ever Invented
This looks like a joke, but apparently it's real? Check out http://gawker.com/5863606. It’s hard to disagree with the headline.


OK, I can kind of relate to this diagram tweeted by David Campbell, a son of my hero Jimmy Barnes.

1 comment:

  1. Heya Mick,

    Re: the Sword red blend. Another GSM available for about the $12 price is Red Knot's GSM - http://www.shingleback.com.au/products/red-knot/red-knot-mclaren-vale-grenache-shiraz-mourvedre - which is also good value.