Monthly Archives: January, 2006

So, so much tennis – and sport in general

Mum came over last week for the Aud Open – it’s the third time, so I think that counts as a tradition. The first time we did it, she looked at me incredulously and asked why we’d never done it before (mostly because I’d always gone home for summer, of course). For the first time we went to a night at Rod Laver… Mum wasn’t a huge fan. Thought it was a very different crowd – lots of after-workers, many of whom were drinking. We saw Hingis smash Zvonerava (?), and sadly we watched the Pou get beaten by Grosjean. Actually, I think it was more like Pou losing than Grosjean winning, although Mum claims this was because Grosjean was too good.

Mum is the fan. I don’t mind watching tennis, but it is infinitely more fun for me with other people around.

We went to two days – one at Rod Laver, one at Vodafone. It was ok; not the best tennis we’ve seen, but good. We saw Sam Stozer win in the second round, which was great – that same day we went outside and watched Healy win, which was also good. Entertaining mostly because Healy’s brother and some drunken mates were in front of us, and they were very loud. We saw some other ok stuff, but generally it was just that – ok.

Right now, though, I am watching Baghdatis trying to take down Federer in the final. I watched B’s semi – truly nail-biting. He’s a legend; at least, he will certainly become one, for the next while, probably despite what happens tonight. If he so much as wins a set I imagine he will make a whole heap of little Cypriot, and little Greek, kiddies start playing the game (as happened in Argentina [which I realise the other day must have silver somewhere…] thanks to… whatever his name in the late 70s/early 80s), which is all good.

Federer has just broken back…

I have watched more sport in the last two weeks than in the previous – I don’t know – 6 months or something. Tennis, cricket… and the winter Olympics soon – I do love a bit of that. And of course the swimming trials. But the Commonwealth Games? Pft. I’m leaving town.

The Tyrannicide Brief

I was a little bit scared by this book. It is by Geoffrey Robertson, QC, and so I rather worried that it would highly technical and legalistic, and completely impenetrable to me. How wrong I was.

It’s about the only lawyer who was willing to take on the brief to prosecute Charles I after the two civil wars between him and the Parliamentarians. Thankfully it gave an enormous amount of background info on Charles, the Puritans, Cromwell, and everyone else involved and the times etc too, else I would have been completely lost – this is so not my area.

Cooke is my new hero. He was suggesting changes to the lawyer profession – things we simply take for granted today – that did come to be until the nineteenth century, largely because, I think, many of the MPs being asked to consider the reforms were themselves lawyers – often practising ones, at that. And they were not going to rain on their parade, were they?

He was given a farce of a trial after the restoration – after going to extreme lengths to ensure a fair trial for Charles – and was hanged, drawn and quartered. And then pretty much forgotten.

Ah, fickle Clio.

Sucks be to Post-modernism

How I enjoy being me: not being at BDO, I have put on the Wolfmother concert I taped off Rage ages ago (bad me). I am also reading Charles Freeman’s The Greek Achievement.

This is not the reason I can say nasty things to postmodernists, although it is a bit out there.

No, the reason I am feeling smug towards PMs at the moment is what I just read in the aforementioned book. There was a philosopher who lived around 490-420BC, name of Protagoras. His most famous words, apparently, are “man is the measure of all things.” He claimed that if one person said a drink was bitter, then it is true to say that it is bitter; and if another person said the same drink was sweet, it was true to say it was indeed sweet. Ha ha! PMs are not so postmodern after all! They are indeed rehashing ancient ideas! And to add a cherry to this glorious statement, Freeman continues with: “This was easily challenged by Democritus, and after him, Plato. If all beliefs are true, so too is the belief that no beliefs are true and there is an insoluble contradition.” Mahahahaha.

*sigh* Back to school tomorrow.

Almost French

I’ve been meaning to read this for ages (such a familiar refrain); it has been glaring at me from the bookcase for a year or so. I started it last night – hot nights always make me not want to sleep – and finished it this morning.

It’s be Sarah Turnbull, documenting her life and experiences in Paris after moving in with a French man she hardly knows. Paris is one of the places in Europe I am least gagging to see. I am sure it is beautiful, and if/when I go I hope to enjoy it, but there are more interesting (to my mind) places to see – ones that are less likely to be full of rude people (according to the stereotypes). Some of the interactions Turnbull describes just reinforce this idea, like feeling pressure to dress your best because Parisians expect it, and having people be rude to her in the street (not necessarily an exclusively French or Parisian thing, of course). But some of her descriptions – like the gardens, the cafes, and some of the people – really do make me want to go there and experience it. Preferably with someone who knows the city and the language.

It also makes me glad I married someone whose language and culture was at least vaguely familiar and understandable, this side of techno stuff anyway.

No more babies

What a surprise; all the babies died. I think this was hastened by the hot weather recently – I’ve had the light off in the tank for most of the week, trying to keep the temperature down; it is currently at 32.7C. Hopefully this will not weaken all of the other fishies too much.

General observations on the day after Australia Day

I have just had a run in the rain. Well, I stood in our courtyard while there was a sun-shower, anyway. It was very pleasant. But it is still hot.

Bernard F won the Hottest 100. Who’da thunk it? Particularly with Ben Lee at no. 2. This year’s voters must have been a particularly sappy bunch – the ones I don’t know, anyway, since my circle were all arguing between Mind’s Eye and something by the Foos as the top song.

6/12 songs from one album in the Hottest 100. That is mighty impressive, especially for a first album. Well done, that Wolfmother.

Wil Anderson is a knob.

Spray bottles are a God-send on hot days with too many people in one place having a bbq.

Marcos Baghdatis is a hero.

Yet more babies

I think the angels are speeding up their breeding time. There were babies between Christmas and New Year – I think? – or was it after that? Anyway, not that long ago, certainly when one considers that new eggs were laid 4 days ago. It was rather bad timing for them, though, since we were at the start of three days of 40C or so. I turned the light off in the tank for a few days, because the temp got to around 32C, which I didn’t think was very healthy. So I haven’t had a really close look recently, but there don’t seem to be as many wriggly tails as one would have expected. Oh well.

The heat doesn’t seem to have affected the fish immediately. I think it may have weakened some of them, though… we’ll have to wait and see.

Faux celebs

Rant, rant…

I just saw a thing on the news about Simone Warne. I don’t know the ostensible reason for her being there – something about a home renovation website – but since it was Channel Seven (oh, the shame… it was after the tennis), they then announced that she would be appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Please!! Big Brother people are barely worthy of celebritiy status, but at least they are the ones who have ‘earnt’ it. Simone W’s is more infamy than fame. The truly hilarious part was the reporter then reassuring the audience that she insists that the Dancing with the Stars isn’t the start of a media career… oh good. I guess Joanna Griggs has come from something of a similar position, albeit a less out-there divorce, but I am still a bit sus of her, too.

End rant.


I finally saw this movie. It was moderately enjoyable; there weren’t as many songs as I dreaded, which was a relief. Having the Muses as a gospel choir was pretty funny, and quite effective – and whether they knew it or not, following the tradition of the Greek chorus, too.


Am I too much of a nit-picker? A pedant? Perhaps. I guess I understand about making Hera the mother – cheating on your wife is a bit hard to have in a Disney film, particularly if you want Zeus to come up smelling like roses – and we just won’t even mention the fact that he is Hercules with Zeus as a father, rather than Herakles… To be really nit-picky, I was a bit irked by their giving Pegasus to him (I could be wrong, always willing to be, but I hadn’t thought that was so – Pegasus was born when Perseus cut off Medusa’s head, was the child of Medusa and Poseidon, and was ridden by Belerephon… but hey). And then there was their putting the heroes out of order. I follow the school that there are essentially two ‘generations’ of Greek heroes, the wild and the polis-oriented. Herakles obviously is wild, as was Achilles and Jason, I think. Theseus is your ultimate political hero. And yet Philoctetes says he has taught all of them before Hercules… anyway. Very few are going to pick that up.

And I guess it was too much to expect that, in a Disney movie, Hercules would kill his wife. But there were no Labours!!


We went to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on Boxing Day.

Sometimes, just by the way, it is very easy to forget what the title of the story actually says, because it is so recognisable.

It was a fantastic film. I believe there has been some sort of furore over its Christian content… well, duh. If you object to your children being exposed to that, then don’t let them see it. And if you didn’t know beforehand that it had Christian content… maybe you should have done your homework a little bit better.

Liam Neeson was perfect as Aslan. I have been meaning to look up what else Tilda Swinton has done – I thought she was glorious as Jadis. And Rupert Everett was the fox… I was very impressed with myself for picking it.

Apparently whoever made this one – Disney? – has the rights over the rest. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made Magician’s Nephew; despite its lack of fame, it is a fantastic story, and I think it would translate well to the screen. I think Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair would all do likewise. I am not so convinced, though, about A Horse and his Boy or The Last Battle. The first is a bit too odd, and the last a bit too disturbing. Still… we will see.