Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

An albatross swan song – Verse 9: Mission accomplished – and home again

An albatross swan song
Verse 9: Mission Accomplished – and home again


After my little episode at Starbucks Pumpkin decided we should go home and promptly packed our bags then took me to the airport; besides, we had achieved all our goals. I, OK, we, OK, Pumpkin had solved the mystery of her Flying Dragon Ghost and my pink elephants had disappeared. I was convinced that goldenelephant shit could fix just about anything. My new Duck was probably the real McCoy after all.

I decided to fly back under my own gas. So I waddled out onto the main runway where I flapped and spluttered and fluttered and farted. However, being weighed down by all those dead animals I couldn’t even manage a Spruce Goose. I barely made it off the deck.

Pumpkin rescued me and booked us a flight to Sydney. I was apprehensive at first but she assured me everything would be OK. She even booked us in at my preferred check in – she is so thoughtful.

Going through airport security was an absolute buzz. A cute little security guard decided to pat me down. She pattered under my wings, down my torso and then very carefully ran her hands up and down my legs. It was about then I felt something drop, twice. I looked down and saw an AK 47 in my pocket (OK a derringer) which went completely unnoticed by the security guard.

I decided it would be best to line up again and give her a chance to do her job properly but she called me back and mumbled something about the Society Of Dirty Old Men and told me to “wack off” ‘wise I’d be sent to Starbucks.

The flight home was uneventful although I did get distracted by a gremlin that happily tampered with the starboard engine. I took another doubleheadedgoldenelephant to fix the gremlin problem then drifted off into a twilight zone and dreamt of flying dragons ghosts, my beautiful wife, goldenelephants and getting very rich indeed. Everything was good.



When we arrived safely back home I was feeling like a million quid, but I realised all was not well. I had my arms back now as well as my very expensive toes and a couple of brand new gonads. No pink elephants anymore but I was honest enough with myself to realise I had a golden elephant problem – big time.

I tracked down my Psych/o, Madam Morpheus, who had recently moved to new rooms at Potty Point. I was told she negotiated a really good deal with the previous tenant; a dude from the Royal Bank of Scotland. Apparently the dude claimed he had to go (ASAP) to the Bahamas for health reasons.

I marched into my Psych/o's waiting room; her office door was closed but I could hear her chatting on the phone and laughing. I opened the door; she turned around, saw me and immediately looked dejected.

“Hello Justin, what can I do for you this time?” she said in a somewhat defeated manner while hanging up the phone.

“I have a problem, Doc,” said I.

“Yes Justin and what would that problem be – this time?” she inquired in a most patient and deliberate tone.

I told her all about my unbelievable adventure in China, flying dragon ghosts, long weird lunches and so on. I showed her my 10 toes and she was delighted. I showed her my new arms and she was impressed. She showed absolutely no interest at all in my new gonads.

After telling Madam Morpheous my story she said, “Mmmmmmmm, it sounds like you had a wonderful time, Justin.”

“But it was too good to be true, Doc. You see, my new Duck got me addicted to doubleheadedgoldenelephants and the whole adventure was probably just another beautiful hallucination,” I admitted.

“Doubleheadedgoldenelephants – what exactly are double headed golden elephants, Justin?” she inquired.

I pulled a couple of little paper packets from my pocket and said, “Here, try one.”

Madam Morpeus studied the small paper packet for about three seconds then laughed her head off. I’d never observed her looking so happy. Sheesh I thought, this stuff really is powerful – it cured my Psych/o as well.

“Oh Justin, you are such a goose,” she laughed, which I thought was highly unprofessional of her. Anyway as I had now returned to a human incarnation such a comment did not faze me at all.

“Here, have a look for yourself, and here, you can borrow my glasses. I expect you forget to bring yours – as usual. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, Justin,” she said while handing back the small paper packet along with her specs:

I put on her spectacles and read out loud the small print that I had previously missed:

Herring bone powder of the highest quality
The East Dapto Trading Company
Contact: E. Ramsay

Mmmmmmm I thought and immediately pictured the 226 +1 sampans sailing happily to a secret location near Wollongong. OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!

Madam Morpheus was still laughing her head off but regained her composure long enough to assure me, “See Justin, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Your golden elephants were nothing more than a health supplement. Everything you experienced on your adventure was totally real.”

Wow, I thought, reality can be a real mind fuck at times – but what can you do?

Madam continued: “Now that you’re back to your old self – who or what would you like to be next, Justin?”

“Johnny Depp” I said with enthusiasm.

“That would be perfect, Justin. Johnny Depp it is.”

I must admit I was a little disappointed about the 226+1 sampans and the healthy cargo but you can’t have everything, I suppose. At least I had my sanity and finally I was cured. I was happy and once again I was a compleat human being. Everything was good. On that note I got up from the couch and headed for the door only to hear Madam Morpheus call out, “Johnny!” “Yepp,” I said right back at her.

“Haven’t you forgotten something?” and then she reminded me of her unpaid fees.

“How about we settle for a dead albatross and a bottle of Muscat in a brown paper bag?” I suggested.

“That would be perfect, thanks, Johnny.”

“Xie xie, Dr Reynolds, for listening. You’ve been an absolute dream,” I replied, and then took my leave.

I walked out of Dr Reynolds’ office feeling like, like Johnny Depp and pretended not to notice the Taoist magic man sitting in her waiting room and impatiently tapping his foot.

Everything was good.

Finally: The Ghost of Audrey Albatross gets bitchy.


The Game of your Life

"What are fears but voices airy?
Whispering harm where harm is not.
And deluding the unwary
Till the fatal bolt is shot!"

Let’s play a game:

Pop down to your nearest sports store; buy a bow and one arrow (on credit) and get back home ASAP.

Give the bow and arrow to you partner, or friend, anyone will do and then go out into the back paddock.

Get your friend to load the arrow into the bow then draw the stringy thing back as far as possible. Then get your friend to aim the arrow directly at your beating heart. Tell your friend to let go of the stringy bit.

Come back and tell me how you feel.

The albatross, in human mythology, incites mental imagery of a burden hanging around one’s neck. People make jokes about us and it hurts. It’s a bum rap really and that Coleridge guy has a lot to answer for. Why not a seagull or penguin? But an albatross it was. In fact, it was me and it’s time we sorted some stuff out.

Firstly, did you play my little game? Why not?

At least I let you in on my game; you knew what the consequences would be. Don’t you think it’s sad that you guys didn’t give me the same courtesy? Nope, you simply crucified me, and it hurt. And then you made a joke of it, and that hurt too.

Right up to the moment of my demise I trusted you. If you remember we got off to a flying start. I was wandering around the mall just like any other blonde and happened upon your good selves sailing in your ship.

It was all good for a while. I did tricks for you and you feed me all sorts of exotic food. It was fun. And I never missed vespers nine by moonlight. It was ever so romantic. Golden times they were. I truly believed our relationship was based on honesty and trust; the (necessary) seed crystal of intimacy and love. I felt secure.

And then it all went pear shaped, you started to play a very silly and dangerous game – with yourselves. Sadly, for me, you didn’t realise you were playing the game. For no good reason you chose me as the perpetrator of your own stupidity. You allowed your fears and superstitions to justify the cold blooded murder of an innocent life – me.

And to make things worse I have become an insidious archetype of ridicule. Is that how human beings play their game? Draw you into their confidence then take you for all you’re worth and more?

They say life is a game and I suppose it would be hard to disagree. I suspect the challenge is being aware if one is participating in a game; and knowing the players (your competitors) and rules – for games usually have winners and losers.

Unfortunately, those who prefer not to play games will be disappointed, for in the real world individuals are being constantly drawn into the games of others; the political game, the religious game, the games our corporations play and the games we play with each other.

Life is a competition and sadly the rules are nebulous and favour the well informed, cunning, connected, deceitful, manipulative, and in many cases the mean and brutal. These are the types who (in general) rise to the top; these are the ones many choose to follow. Mostly we end up disappointed then have to cop it on the chin.

The game of life is unavoidable but we can mitigate the (destructive) games we play in our personal lives – our direct relationships. We have a choice: to play or not to play. Once again one must know if one is playing a game, and if so what is motivating the game, otherwise the consequences are quite often unfortunate.

The self personality quite often acts as a very selective filter, a personal censor, distorts stuff and creates unnecessary conflict. Many of us end up playing games with ourselves and don’t even know it. We all know and understand this on an intellectual level but comprehending it from a personal psychological perspective quite often escapes us – to the detriment of our personal lives and relationships.

We seem to find it easy to identify shortcomings in others without even considering we could share same. We think we know how to cure others but find no reason to look at ourselves.

The mitigation of games reduces competition and fosters co-operation. It also reduces conflict, creates stillness and most of all fosters trust. Who do you trust?

They say competition is an excellent catalyst for progress. It would be hard to disagree, for the greatest competition of all – war – has proven to be an excellent accelerator for the sophistication of the art of destruction including socially advantageous stuff as well – but at what cost?

Some games are not worth playing.

It would be very naïve to think we could eliminate games altogether, for our leaders will never allow that, but we can choose not to play some of the unnecessary games, ones that create conflict:

The racist game; the envy game; the get rich at all cost game; the winner take all game; the control game – you know the ones.

They say we are all connected by six degrees, I would argue that in many ways 99% of humanity is connected by nil degrees; it’s just that we are so distracted by the game of life we simply miss the obvious.

There are many good human beings amongst us; human beings like my Dad and The Flying Dragon Ghost who did good and were motivated by the right stuff. There are also many people who have contributed to Webdiary who are decent and understanding human beings – passionate. These are the people we need, people who will play the game in the interests of all; or even better – not play games at all.

On that note it’s now time to withdraw from this little game and disappear into the ether – sometimes games just go round and round.As such I shall bid you farewell and wish you and your loved ones all the joy in all the universes.

Thank you sincerely Margo, Fiona, Richard, Craig, Scott, David, Malcolm, dear Father Park, Kathy, Geoff, Harry, Eliot and all who have sailed in the good ship Webdiary.It’s been an education, fun, and a wonderful opportunity to connect and share.

It’s been said that science begins as philosophy and ends as art. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could turn the science of living into the art of life?



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Claude is doing just fine

My dearest Psycho,

I thought it best to make contact and let you know that everything is fine and dandy here in other place.

Also it would appear there is quite a bit of interest in dear Claude's current state of being.

Never fear, Claude is doing just fine here in the other place and to his delight Claude met up with another dead Tom - or part of a dead Tom.

This was good for Claude had something else to do rather than eating me five times a day, or eon or whatever.

Anyway, Claude was so exited to find his icon that he demanded it be placed somewhere of notice; so we went to the oblivious place - Meow Rushmore.

Unfortunately, when we eventually got there (there are no maps in the other place and no co-ordinates either) some little guy in a stupid hat told us to piss off - in Chinese. I told the little prick I would report him to BOG; he said he was BOG so I let fly with some really abusive language. Claude was a little bit embarrassed at my behaviour and told me not to worry about BOG.

We decided to have a picnic instead and ate Tom with haggis and spuds.

Love and pecks


PS. A snap from the other place is attached to let all our dear friends at WD know that Claude and Audrey are doing fine ... burp...



Claude sends his love and denies having anything to do with qwerty - I have no idea what he is talking about.

killing kenny

Justin, that is an astonishingly good mock-up- like Q & A - just can't quite figure out who it is between Howard and the furry freak brother.

Angas Young, as a tentative guess?

As for Claude, neither here nor there, at a guess.

Paul - It's the red head

Paul Walter: "just can't quite figure out who it is between Howard and the furry freak brother."

Paul, that is the ghost of Julia Gillard without much hair. Poor Julia. But it will be interesting when she becomes PM. She of course will be a far better PM than a ghost. I'm exited.

Cheers mate.

...it's the redhead

Phew ... An Alfred E Neumann "what, me worry?" moment.

For a moment there, I thought you were going to say it was Pauline Hanson.

Why not Jenny Macklin, who is doing such a wonderful job with aboriginal housing, or the ultimate papier-mache, Julie Bishop.

MBD - Warning!

What the cat brought in

Phil Moffat, I suspect that Claude (may his fur rest in pieces) is beyond the control of Malcolm B Duncan's paws – erm – claws – erm – hands now.

Besides, the puir wee puss had had THE OPERATION, so why should he (I employ the masculine pronoun out of courtesy) have any interest in such esoterica?

Take a chance...

Fiona:  "I suspect that Claude (may his fur rest in pieces) is beyond the control of Malcolm B Duncan's paws – erm – claws – erm – hands now."

I reckon you would have had a good chance of securing a gig on a comedy show !

Go on, give up ya day job Fiona..


Fiona: Too kind, Kathy m'dear, but not pygmalion likely...

Out of the box

PC Moffat, if you're prepared to open the box after doing that to Claude, alive or dead, you're a braver man than I.


Malcolm B Duncan: "if you're prepared to open the box after doing that to Claude, alive or dead, you're a braver man than I."

A cat must always be careful of the company it keeps; after all Richard did warn Claude about that crout.

However, one must always keep the lid on things, any thoughts to the contrary  would not be the dreams of a brave man, rather a stupid one.

If the box was mine I'd swap it for a spring roll and dim sims at the local chinese, they will find a use for the box as sure as 1,000 year old eggs. 

Schrödinger's Claude, pet noodles and prostate procedures

Claude you are a fucking geniarse. Sometimes life presents us with a moment of pure clarity: it is rare but it does happen.

Today, Claude, you have blessed me with one of those delicious moments.

I now know how The (stock) Market can be right and wrong at the same time. Please forgive me for crossing threads but at the end of the day who says we can't be in one thread at a time, or many threads all at once?

Paul Morrella's statement regarding The Market: " it's always right, even when it's wrong" appears to be a paradox so how about we put some mechanical thought into it, if only in a quantum way?

OK let's lock up a cat (one particle in three spatial dimensions) in a box (why a cat and not a rat I'll never know but Richard must be correct about the crout) and inside the box a computer connected to the stock market so that when a bust occurs it will activate a device to snuff the cat.

By doing this we can examine if the quantum world of unpredictable, emotional and other investors (the sum total of the market) can be translated into main-street reality, providing a connection can be engineered between the two states; hence the cat, the computer and the box enabling the super-positioning of states that are normally disconnected.

With a little mechanical thought even a kiddy could work out that as the computer ticks away recording all those sub prime quantum market transactions the PSI wave function probability thingy (how a prostate procedure got into this experiment I can only guess) would prove that a living and dead cat would be displayed across the entire system (box etc); or at least until you open the lid of the box, in which case the cat would then be either dead or alive, but not both.

A little research on the topic reveals that three such experiments were conducted, all using the same cat for scientific purrity:

The first in Copenhagen and from all reports it sucksessfuly revealed that when an observation took place, and the superposition of states became one or the other, the cat was found to be dead.

A further experiment carried out in Austria revealed that when the lid was opened the cat was also dead but at the same time bouncing all over the place. The Austrians attributed this phenomenon to the central banks' manipulation of the computer's hard drive and that banks hold pathological desires of cruelty towards cats without testicles.

Finally but most importantly, an experiment was carried out at Potts Point. This time when the observation took place the cat was found to be both dead and alive at the same time, while pawing on the computer's keyboard and clenching a very confused albatross between its teeth, or what teeth it had left.

It was said that the cat's owner immediately shut the lid and has not opened it since, all the while keeping the box under his bed, even though it has developed an odour of dead reds and Black Douglassies.

So there you go, it is possible to be dead and alive, right and wrong and all things at once; all you have to do is put some thought into it, but not a lot.

I'm exited, just can't wait to get into String Theory, internet threads and one minute pet noodles.


I was wondering around the place the other day - maybe this is heaven - no dogs - and I came across this reallly dark place. Met this German bloke, Schroedinger. Nice bloke, lots of herring and sausage and that. Might team up with him for a while. Oooops, there's another albatross.

Richard:  Be careful round this Schroedinger bloke, Claude.. he's not kind to pussies.

parallel universes

Never mind, Claude.

Can't be in two places at once.

Queen Mary Celeste and Captian Scott

The ghost of Scott Dunmore doth appearith; and a bloody good ghost at that.  Good to see you appear from the ether Scott. I have enjoyed reading many of your posts over the years, your honesty and good humour were a delight. It's sad that you like many have disappeared.

But I have a theory, it's all a conspiracy, maybe, or a time warp or a parallel universe. I must admit I have been reluctant to mention it but as the days, months and years pass by I find I can no longer hold my reticent tongue.

Sometimes I think we are probably all dead but refuse to wake up to the fact, sometimes I think time must be going backwards and soon I will be in 2001 BC. None the less I am very confused and WD has a lot to do with it.

Now can anyone explain the following?

Submitted by admin on November 11, 2011 - 11:11am.

About Webdiary

I have been looking at that date for a very long time now and dearly want to know its significance. At first I thought it was my computer, but I checked other computers and it appears the same.

It would appear we ghosts are all living in the past and WD does not exist, or won't for another 2 years, 4 months, 5 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes and 11 seconds; but who can be sure about anything these days?

Scott, mate,  maybe you  could help me with this one, sort out this disruption in the space time continuum thing and tell me if I am a living ghost of just a ghastly liver.

Either way is OK, for I can handle the truth - besides if we are all dead that means we can do any fucking thing we like. Bring it on.

Maybe WD is really the Queen Mary Celeste of blogs?

Oh, a dead cat, with a dead albatross hanging out of its mouth, nothing unusual about that. 


That's as good an answer as any you'll get from me, Phil. Maybe the San people have something, "Somewhere there is a dream dreaming us."

Your largesse I could not let pass without some thanks and while I'm flattered I'm unable to throw any more light on the subject than anyone else.

Richard is a spoil sport, isn't he? Perhaps unwittingly, he has possibly given us a clue however. Maybe we could get Claude (given the company he's keeping) to look up Heisenberg. Somehow the Tonkin Paradox (the more he knows the less he knows) has an eerie similarity to his uncertainty principle.

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, thus I find my ignorance far from sublime; the little I know mostly serves melancholy That's me but we can still have fun, can't we?

That's as close as I get to the arch conceit, philosophy.

Fare you well wherever you fare.

Gordian, not!

The date's an easy one, Phil, being simply an artifice to keep the post up the page. But then again, who knows what reality is? My seven year old niece startled me yesterday by telling me that "we're all dead", explaining that it was a game amongst her friends to talk in opposites.

If we define sanity, as I do, as being merely the dominant percentage of a population, then it follows that reality that we share might be a facet of existence (or non) that could be everything or nothing. Perhaps on another level of perception we are as quantum appears to us? Molecules of ink on a writer's page? Software for Douglas Adams' mice? A puff of dust on a fading wind? A convenient method of shuffling matter so it doesn't rot.

Perhaps we live for a purpose, perhaps those who believe so are self-delusional? Every day I know less. Suits me fine, as I reckon that those who think they've done and know all have little left to do and learn.

If you say so Richard

Richard: "The date's an easy one, Phil, being simply an artifice to keep the post up the page." You would say that wouldn't you. It does not make me feel any better.

They told us there were weapons of mass destruction, kids were chucked overboard and there were reds under our beds. Nope I don't feel relaxed and comfortable Richard.

Maybe you are correct and we are nothing but dust. Maybe we all live inside an atom within a much larger universe, for an atom has charactieristics similar to our solar system, our universe.  An atom has a nucleus with protons and neutrons orbited by electrons; a bit like a mini universe.

A purpose to life?

I've never been able to work out if there is a purpose to life but I suspect it has something to do with life itself: reproduction. Other than that who knows.

But regardless of the purpose of our existence it's curious that we spend so much time devoted to reproduction and its offspring while at the same time creating more efficient  ways to murder that offspring. It all seems counter productive, unnecessary and heartbreaking. Power and cash will always take the front seat, our kids ride in the back.

Holy shit there's that dead cat again; this time he has a keyboard in his mouth and nine bloody tails. Now that is unusual.

A ghost from the past

Greetings one and all and specifically Phil. 'Twas Jenny that redirected me here re yourself and Malcolm. As with the former I won't be blogging again; not from pique but as you suggest, I no longer have the desire to say anything having put forward my views on the most important issues facing humanity and to  an almost complete extant been proven right.

What inspired me this time was your poem. As best my memory serves me it was Charles James Fox, a Whig pollie remembered for his drinking, philandering and his instrumentality in in bringing to fruition William Wilberforce's desire and activism to have slavery abolished.

I should have lived thus.

Swan song - Coule

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

The keyboard in this cuppbord can't spell.

Tom Lewis is a very nice man and he feeds me albatross a lot. Or, a lot of albatrosss. Good stuff - like fish with feathers. Or feathers with fish (that velvet thing) but, having had THE OPERATION, I couldn't be sure.

I'm still around. Love the Albbatross.

Whenever your in doubt, claws to reflect.

Male coming soon.

It's time

OK, Claude baby, time to come clean. If you really are lurking around garbage tins, not to mention the Liberal Club, you are presumably encountering the odd odiferous scrap, including the Daily Smellie.

If that is the case, have you consumed this tidbit? (Phew, Rupe hasn't started charging - yet - for his online "newspapers".)

What, if anything, do you know about it? In particular, is there any truth that a certain avatar has been observed travelling north?

Ding dong the cat is dead - no more kitty litter to buy

Claude has now settled comfortably into the world of TOM, although even I could not accuse Malcolm of complicity in his death - I killed him. Maybe it's just something about being Malcolm. Claude now wanders happily between the Liberal Club and the bins behind the Chifley Club and will, no doubt, have more to report later.

Dr Reynolds is of the view that WD might collapse - I beg to differ. The extrordinary exploits of Dr Sterne, the Chronicles of Nardir, The Maid of Ruin and the Great Australian Novel have some way to go. All have a life to live and to love - as do we all.

I have been unusually busy - as I live, you wil receive.

Meanwhile there is still a prodigious amout of cat fur to clear out of the flat. Fucking cat.

Adjectives at twenty paces

Surely you mean frolickling, Dr Duncan?

A poem from the ether - One Autumn Day

Dear Jenny, how sweet ;-) it is to be remembered by you. I trust you and Ian are well and doing what brings you joy and contentment.

Unlike you I forgot my WD password long ago so I had to re- register. In this high tech age it seems we are burdened with an albatross of passwords and user names (sorry Audrey but I couldn't help myself); or the slings and arrows of digital misfortune, sorry doubly.

Occasionally I drop by and have a read at WD to find most of the names have moved on.  Maybe we have all run out of things to say and simply find we are repeating ourselves.

But the WD experience was, among many things, fun. Geoff Pahoff's recent exposure reveals not only can he be a combative (little) bugger but a funny one as well; little dick, big heart. Eliot Ramsay just never gives up does he; but there is something lovable about him all the same. There are many names that come to mind when you take the time to reflect on WD; names, human beings from both sides of politics who wrote some bloody good stuff.

I always thought your good looking ugly one was a good read, not always did I agree with what he wrote but he always had a fair argument, and if others put shit on him he always would reply with reason and without malice. A good man is your good looking ugly one; must be the Scot in him ;-)

And speaking of Scotts, that bloody highlander with apsirations of being a politician appears not on the pages of WD. I miss him. Maybe dear departed Claude was, after all, the brains of the duo.

It is unfortunate that Margo is absent most of the time as I have always enjoyed reading her posts, actually I haved followed Margo since her early days in the press and loved her honesty and the way her words connected with thoughts of my own. I miss her also.

Like you Jenny I also miss my Father and I would like to take this opportunity to share a very special poem with you. Margo may remember this poem for I posted it to her when she had to take a rest and get her shit back into perspective. The Internet is a wonderful medium for communication - it can also be very cruel, in the psychosocial sense, but that is another discussion.

My Father was an airman during WW2, just like Justin's and Michael Park's fathers, and like them I loved and respected him more than one could describe. Like you Jenny my Father passed away in the autumn; in the early hours of a crisp moon lit morning; as he did I held him close and recited a poem that was dear to us both; he smiled and squeezed my hand with failing strength and died a few minutes later; we cried and a wonderful soul became one with the great unknown.

My Father learnt to fly in 1942 at an airbase at Moffat (of all places) Rhodesia. About 10 years ago we were having lunch, and a few grogs, and out of the blue he recited a poem, a poem someone had carved into the guard box where he would stand guard duty at night at Moffat airbase. Dad did not know the title, nor who wrote the poem, only the poem's four lines:

My candle burns at both ends;

It will not last the night;

But ah my foes, and oh, my friends....

It gives a lovely light!

I loved it, so did he so I did an internet search to find it was called First Fig and written by Edna St. Vincent Millay. A little more research reveals Edna was quite a free spirit and that poem says lots about spirit; passion and fearlessness, living life to the fullest - a life worth living, a life  worth sharing.

Cheers Jenny it was beautiful for you to rememeber me. I will always remember you and many of those good people who have drifted through the pages of WD. And thanks for remembering that very small part I played in your friendship with Kathy Farrelly; not only can the internet be used for cruelity it can be the catalyst for beautiful friendships.

Cheers Phil Moffat

PS. Justin, I know the name of the ghost.

Richard:  Phil,  it's been my pleasure to read your writing before.  It's also a pleasure to cross paths. 

Here's to those old men Phil Moffat.

Phil Moffat, I can't remember whether you are two or one 'l' but I am sure you will forgive me. I was touched by your response to the extent I am prepared to set my self imposed rule aside for a brief moment. You will recall maybe way back in 2006 I was trying to give up blogging and you said I never would. Well for two years you were right, but I finally managed it. But how could I let you escape without saying Hi. Kathy has become a great pal, thanks to you, and I now count Roger Fedyk, Claude, Scotty Dunmore and F Kendall amongst my good friends. from WD. I've met them all now. Roger is an extraordinary musician and he and the Scot jam along together when we can. But you are right, people move on, as we have.

The Scot and I are well, still farming the plains. The drought cracked so things are not so hard at the moment. And we have a real Clancy of the Overflow type to help run the place. Ian is writing songs again and writing (rather heavy) stuff on his website Noahs Rainbow Serpent but doesn't blog anymore. So he doesn't take comments but if you are interested you can read him there and email him on the contact email at the bottom of the About section if ever you feel like getting in touch. And you can gaze upon his kindly face there. He is a good man, great intellect and a beautiful voice. If you can access Youtube he is there singing his version of This Land is Our Land. Or you can turn him up by searching WD's Town Crier thread. Maybe Richard can find the link, I am no good at links, always seem to stuff up. An old Folky back in the sixties said he considered Ian the best folksong writer in the country - but Ian and I reckon it is Eric Bogle by a long shot. Many of Ian's best songs he has never recorded - which is a pity. Maybe that will change now he has his own studio.

Now I hope you have gotten rid of that tie - see I don't forget. If not, then I can recommend a new one in the prettiest tartan in all of Scotland - the Hume - biased I know and don't tell Claude.  

That was a lovely verse so I googled the poet. We do miss these old men (and women) when they go. I hope as we move up the stairs toward our departing point that the young ones coming along will feel the same about us. My dad (it was 1985 he died, not 1995 so he would be 104 now) never fought in the war - he was told to grow vegetables instead and I used to follow him and the draught horse and plough round and round the paddock all day. His favourite crop was beetroot which he would bag up and put on the running boards and where the back seat should be, with us kid sitting high on top, and drop it off at the army stores. Till one day a telegram came saying: Send no more bloody beetroot. I think he was a bit hurt. The horse's name was Pat after his brother who took a hit at El Alamein, survived but never the same again. I loved that man.

I was only very young during the war but sa great many of my older cousins and my uncles went, were injured, killed or POWs for years. It took a terrible toll on the family, mostly my mother's and she also lost a brother in WW1. Two were airmen, one a spitfire pilot (he was shot down and died) and another was postumously awarded the VC for an incredible feat of courage. His name was Rawdon Hume Middleton and for many years I corresponded with two of his surviving crew as well as his bereaved fiancee. Those old men never forgot what he did for them. They are both now dead as is the old airman who used to put flowers on his grave every year at Beck Row in Suffolk. I went over there and he took me over the Mildenhall airbase and several old colleagues met with us. I remember them crying as they sat in the little church that day while Ian sang Amazing Grace to them. The church organist had come along to open the church for us. Now they too are mostly all gone. and I really miss them in my life. I can really relate to how you and Justin feel about those gallant old fathers.

The town of Moffat in Annandale appears in my book quite a bit as it was from around there my mother's family originally hailed from, sheep farmers in the Tweed valley.  A beautiful area of Scotland. I guess the Moffat your Dad knew was somehow named after that place other Moffat.

Anyway, time to go my friend. I am going out to plant trees and get on with life. I do wish you all the best and and I said if you feel like being in touch you can find us via Ian's website.

And here's to thsoe grand old men. Just one sip as you know I can't stand the stuff!  

PS Jenny - I remember now

Hi Jenny; I remember the second reason why I abandoned that second, or first "L" - take your pick. I decided at tender years to be a minimalist, you know a one key sort of guy. I like to travel light and discard unnecessary baggage; especially cerebal baggage we accumaulate that burdens us and those around us.


PPS Phil, the only one I am intimately....

Phil Moffat: The only Ian Macdougall with whom I am intimately acquainted is not that Canadian trombonist jazz freak. Mine is that good looking soul you can find if you google exactly this: noahs rainbow serpent ian macdougall.

Or the url is:     noahsarc.wordpress.com/ 

All heavy stuff about climate change and thylacines.

Never been to Canada, either of us. And that bloke might take exception to an email from some mad Scot with a ragged tie from down under. So I figured I better clear this up once and for all. I now see there is a Major Ian Macdougall as well - this is really getting beyond a joke. They are as common as termintes in the woodwork.  

Cheers and keep in touch via charlie.honk@live.com  if you want a book when it is hot off the press in a week or so.  

And PS for you

OK Phil, my mistake, it is charlie.honk@live.com not hotmail. And as for that trombone playing Ian MacDougall, that is not this Scot. Nor is he the Admiral Ian Macdougall I keep getting plum in the voice phone calls for; nor is he the one who went bankrupt; nor the one who was divorcing his wife (I got the call from the lawyer); nor was he thankfully the one who died in a car accident on the way to the snowfields - hearing that on the radio when he was on his way up there freaked me out big time.   

Mine is only on utube with This Land is My Land and on his NRS website and at one time a blogger here. As for all those others, well, I can only handle one at a time.

Cheers and sorry for the error.        Jenny 

PPS I never approved of that name for my little West Highland terrier, though he was a mutt I picked up in the street and did somewhat lack the normal social graces one expects of a house canine.

Thanks Jenny - that touched

Dear Jenny; thanks, it is wonderful to make contact again.

I actually spell my name with one "L" although my birth certificate spells my name with two "L"s. Being a financially responsible (OK tight arse) Scot (albeit a lowlander) I decided to abandon the second "L". There were two reasons for my doing this. I figured that during my lifetime I would have to sign or write my name millions of times; dropping the second "L" would save me a fortune in ink, not to mention a million nanoseconds of my time. In fact I was correct for today an ink cartridge costs more than a bloody printer. I suppose that is the Ebonesor McScrooge in me.

If everybody took just one letter from their name I'm sure it could almost solve the global warming problem along with the GFC and where all those missing socks end up.

I have completely forgotten what the second reason was. Maybe that's the scotch in me, hehe.

Oh yes; that bloody tie, I had forgotten about that one; it was fun, thanks for re-igniting the braincells.

But I do remember you saying you were finishing with the blog thing and then returned, as many do, me included. It's the nature of the game.

It's fantastic to hear things are wet and wild down your way now and also good to hear you have finished your labour of love. I simply wouldn't have the attention span to write a book but I do envy those who do. Hopefully we will see yours published, if so make sure to let us all know; Malcolm or Claude can do a review and Eliot can drive us all mad.

I've also watched Ian singing This Land...on Youtube; if you remember that's when I said I could have given him a big hug, but he's too ugly ;-)  In fact I had a look at Ian's web site the other night and I was surprised he was so into jazz.  Well done Ian.

Did you know the very first concert I went to was to see Stachmo at White City around 1964; we had great tickets in the third row. I always remember that when I watch that Rock Quizz show on SBS.

Moffat in Scotland is an absolutely beautiful little town and when I visited the place I couldn't help grinning as I could see my name all over the place: "Welcome to Moffat" as we drove in (actually we stopped and I have a photo of me standing by the sign), Moffat Post Office, Moffat Bakery and they also make Moffat Toffee (the worst I've ever tasted - yuk yuk yuk - but the booze is great) and so on an so on. That was my 15 seconds of fame, even if I had no one but my lady friend to share it with. I spent some time in Scotland and loved the place for many reasons; actually I will be taking the wife over there next year for a bit of a wander.

Ah beetroot, I love to eat it raw; but I did grow some once and ate heaps of it until I thought I had a bowel problem. I soon soon made the connection and realised what the red stuff was colouring the bowl; that was a relief.

Anyway Jenny great to catch up but I must away now and take my neglected tie to the dry cleaners. Thanks for letting me know where to find you, no doubt we will catch up a wee bit later.

With best wishes, kind regards and a big hug for the ugly one.

PhiLip M

PS. Oh and an even bigger hug for you Jenny.

Hang on there a sec Phil Moffat

Phil: 'I've also watched Ian singing This Land...on Youtube; if you remember that's when I said I could have given him a big hug, but he's too ugly ;-) '

Now me lad you really have me confused. Have I been falsely accusing the albatross of calling my good looking one, the ugly one? See here from the Town Crier!!!

Submitted by Justin Obodie on September 7, 2008 - 8:27pm.
Wow Ian, saw your flick and felt like giving you a big hug - but you're too bloody ugly mate.
Everything else was great - well done.
PS, Jenny can have my proxy re the hug thing.

Now, the queston arises as to whether there is a conspiracy going on here, after all this is a good place for such theories. Or were you and Justin out on the town together and so out of it that you forgot who was who?  Oh well, no matter, I know the wonderful truth of the matter of the beautiful Scot with whom I have now spent 32 years. He is looking older but more distinguished every day and is totally and utterly spoilt rotten. I mean, just take a look at that face on his site - how could one do anything nasty to that. If I say a cross word I feel terrible and spend the rest of the day hugging him and saying sorry. Not fair so I will take all the hugs on offer thanks, I am sure I am owed thousands.

Ian into jazz, are you sure you looked at the right website or that other one of the same name on utube. He's not nearly as good as the good Scot here - but I would say that. Maybe he does like jazz, but if so he never said so to me, probably because we are so into folk and I am not a great fan of jazz  myself. I will check out his site myself on that score.

My book is at the printer, but family history can be so damned boring to anyone not family (like last week's mutton my late father used to say) so it is not likely to have universal appeal. Though there are some great stories in it - like the time mother rode a horse 28 miles up an isolated mountain bridle track in 1917 to stop a young blood up the valley sending any more love letters down with the mailman. Her father had come home early after a trip to Sydney and he had the Post Office as an adjunct to the farmhouse. He had put a ban on the letters.  It took her all night, with dingoes howling in the bush but she was so terrified of her Danish Lutheran father she chose the dingoes. The book is called Down Vanished Years and I am only printing 1500 copies. If you are keen you can email charlie.honk@hotmail.com  Oh and don't think I find writing easy - it only took me 17 years to bring it to fruition!

Ok, it's one "l'  for the sake of the environment.

Anyway, lovely to catch up and you know where to find us. Ian is trying to convince me start a site like his and put extracts of my book on it, but frankly I can't be bothered. Done the book, now time for something else.

Gotta go, more trees to plant before the knees give out. Take care and if you send me an address via that email I will send you a book, gratis.   

A thousand hugs to keep you going, as I have to get going myself now, so signing out. Happy days. Oh yes, you would feel very at home in Moffat. Love that town too.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx all for you while the Scot is up the mountains skiing somewhere. 

One Autumn Day

Justin,  this is just to bid you a proper farewell and to thank you for the good times as well as the sad times you shared. I will always remember how you wrote of your grief over your father's death and how that touched a chord in me, so as a parting gesture I thought I would share with you an autumn day in 1995 when my own father dropped dead in my arms. For many days I sat and watched the autumn leaves and the apples fall and as the trees became more naked every day I felt his memory was slipping away from me. So I willed the last leaf and apple to cling there forever so that in seeing them every year I would be able to cling to the memory of his last living day - and I penned this little bit of free verse - but I am no poet and never had any pretensions to being one.                               


                               One Autumn Day


Today my father died

and I wish

that I could turn back forever this autumn day

to yesterday

let me cling to this time

as the last leaf clings to the tree

and the lone apple hangs heavy from the bough

let this season not pass

for tomorrow’s spring he will not know

and I alone do not want to greet it.


As I said the good looking one (are you sure he is?) and I have moved on now to other things - to actually getting on with life. One cannot live in cyberspace but many make it their life and I do not think that is very healthy. You do in fact find that you have written most of what you want to say.Will Howard was right. I feel the same. But I made five very good friends here and those friendships I am sure will endure as the years pass. I too remember people like Mark Ross, Phil Moffat and David Curry and the good things we shared. It was Phil that connected me to Kathy. Maybe we will find them out there in the ether.


Anyway, so long - my never blog again rule is one I intend to respect, but for you I am prepared to break it to say a proper good-bye. Ian and I both wish you a good life from here to eternity - or wherever albatrosses finally come to rest.  


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
© 2005-2011, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the site editors.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.
Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 12 weeks 5 days ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 12 weeks 6 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 6 days ago