Names For Kids

for Kim and Lisa

Just like every girl I’ve ever met
She had the names for her kids all set
Two seconds and a first for two boys and a girl
All future husbands will just have to accept

Funny how a name can recur through a life
I refer to experience that they’re all alike
Good guys named Ben and sweethearts named Em
Familiar names tend to make good friends

Remember the time we found that book in that store
Written by somebody with the same name as yours
If I ever meet someone with her exact name
It would only kick up old feelings again

I’ve never met anyone with that name before
Your folks were inspired when you were born
It echoes in my head and it’s so pretty to say
I want to write it on my pencil case


A very overdue flickr update (part the third)

Me and Moriaty
One of history’s greatest villains. And a wax statue of Moriaty.

It’s coming on summer, they aren’t cutting down the trees, and I figured better than doing a whole lot of explaining (like my brother Vince would), I would let these pictures speak a thousand words.

Jay, Josh and Natalie
Jay, Josh and Natalie @ the Borderline

Asho & Ali
Asho and Ali @ Barfly

Nathan And Andy Clockwise
Nathan & Andy Clockwise

Tim in a phonebooth
Tim Byron in a phonebooth

Sophie & Ash
Sophie and Ash

A nice flow of friends have been coming through London. I don’t feel like a tourist anymore. Josh Pyke, a very talented and hairy singer, and an old mate, has come and played in London several times. Asho, a great old friend has breezed in and out as well. Andy Clockwise, who I barely knew in Sydney, spent some time in London, and some time drunk on my couch. tim Byron, ex Reservations keyboardist, came for a visit of universities, and spent some days in London. Two of my oldest, dearest friends, Sophie and Ash, jetted here for gigs and time off. I think we laughed the whole time.

Before Sunset
C’est moi et Erin, dans Paris

Paul and Ann on the Seine
Paul & Ann

I have done very little travelling in the last few months. A quick stop in Paris to visit Paul and Ann who were on holidays there. I love Paris so much. Erin and I recreated the movie Before Sunset one morning. Look at us chatting away about intense topics.

Emily and Isabelle
Emily and Isabelle, striking a pose

Nick, Nathan and Jodie
Nick, Nathan and Jodes

We had a party at my house and it was a great night. Above, Emily and Isabelle striking a pose. Also, Nick, Nathan and Jodes the morning after. I had a wonderful moment at the party, thinking I got to London with nothing, and built this life for myself. It was great.

My Desk June 2007
My desk, circa May 2007

It’s changed quite a bit since then, but I thought it was funny. I will update this as time passes.

More actual proper ‘what I’ve been doing’ type updates coming soon.

Why not smile

The Last Week Of Smoking In Paris

I was there for
The last week of smoking in Paris
Before they banned it in all the bars.

And I met a man enjoying
What may have been his last ever cigarette
Like an old friend he will never see again.

And yes, it wasn’t always good for him.
And yes it did him harm.
But he remembers the good times they had.

And he has promised to quit
It’s best for the long term; best for his health
He feels like his chest could feel better.

He’s been smoking so long
And it may take a long time
But he’ll get over it one day.

You were there for
My last week of living in Sydney
Before I left you in all the bars

And I saw you were enjoying
What may have been my last kiss on your neck
With an old friend I would never see again.

And yes, you weren’t always good for me
And yes you did me harm
But I’ll remember the good times we had.

And you had promised to quit
It’s best for the long term; best for our health
I feel like your smile could be better

We’ve been at this so long
And it may take a long time
But I’ll get over you one day.

The Lowest Form of Conversation

I’m up and sleepless. With worry.

A weight is in my chest, just above my heart. My throat is a little dry, and my muscle wont move but wont relax. This is what thinking about the future gets you.

It’s come up lately. And the right thing to do is not too far from something I want to do. You know in school, in your last few years, they make you study your ass off for stuff you don’t care about to keep your options open. This terrible idea of keeping your options open.

Options are closing now. But that’s not even really what I’m thinking about. What’s got me worried is coming home.

I don’t think I want to.

Cathy thinks that every traveller here thinks of leaving. They may have been here 30 years, but if you ask them when they are going home, they will have an answer. Maybe it’s a few months. Maybe it’s a few years. But there’s a finish line.

I don’t know where that line is for me. But I know I have to be home soon and I’m dreading it. Johanna always said I was running away. But I just don’t like going back. I just feel like there will be many people back home for whom I will have nothing to say.

‘Remember When…’ is the lowest form of conversation. Remember when we did this? Or that? I know some people love it, but I hate it. And I’m dreading, really dreading, from the bottom of my washing machine stomach. Just writing this – it’s making me want to throw up.

This might sound mean. I don’t know I feel the need to write this down. And maybe it’s good. I’ll have low expectations. But from experience, people see you with old eyes. First impressions are hard to break. And people dislike change. Generalisations, yes.

And it’s not everyone, of course. The people who still mean a lot to me, and I hope I make it clear who you are when I speak or email (or text) you. But the rabble. Oh god.

I don’t want to sound like the arrogant prick who says “I’ve been overseas and nothing’s better than that.” I don’t think it’s that. You might not think so, though. But I’m on the defensive already.

I’m trying to think of the point of this rant to sum it up. I’m not sure there is one. All I wanted to say is I’m coming home. And I’m worried. I guess, I don’t like change either.


Boys And Girls On Earth

I don’t throw parties.

Historically, I’m an introvert. There’s a clear way of spotting introverts. Recorded music versus live music. I prefer to stay home and listen to CDs (or the ipod). When I played music, I preferred writing and rehearsing to playing live. Even the great live bands…I prefer listening alone, in comfort.

Take the Hold Steady, a band that Q magazine are touting as one of the 10 hottest bands on the planet. Their sound is bar band – Replacements, Bruce Springsteen, etc, and a hot one at that. Yet I put that disc on (yes, the disc) and I’m taken away. I lie in my bed and imagine I’m at the gig. If you don’t understand that, then I’m never going to be able to explain it to you.

The Hold Steady album is amazing. It’s called Boys and Girls In America and it’s just that, a snap shot of drunken nights out, big nights, the meat market of modern dating and suburban life. As Jarvis cocker said – we drink and dance and screw cos there’s nothing else to do.

The album cover has a bunch of kids cheering, as if at a gig, looking up at the sky. It’s been quite a lauded album. All it does is celebrate normality, maybe even mundanity. But maybe that’s where we are heading.

So my household threw a party. I thought a lot about the Hold Steady song ‘Massive Nights’, and enjoyed it for what it was. Meeting people, dancing, wasted myself and more, and less, and all around. And I loved it. And we built nothing useful. We wrote no songs, made no progress, but we laughed and had fun and kissed and hugged and fell further and further away. The opposite of the Rimbaud tortured artist. Rimbaud can go get fucked. I never liked the guy anyway.

So maybe it’s not artistic. It’s not big. Maybe every orgasm we have is another novel lost. Myeh. The Zen revelation I had when I sat on my back step a good 16 hours later with a cup of tea is that you have to enjoy every moment that lets you enjoy it. And maybe we are passive. Maybe we could have left the house and saw some painting. Maybe we could have been chaining ourselves to a tree.

The party was great. It ended. We survived. And by surviving – we lived. It’s good enough for now. I put on the Hold Steady album, and listen and become introverted again. So yeah, like that dude John Mayer says, we are the generation that is waiting for the world to change more than doing something about it. This is life on earth, 2007, London. It’s as valid as anyone else’s. And we had some massive nights.

I smoked too much.