Saturday, August 28, 2010

This time last week

We were hovering around the television awaiting details of booth counts in outer-western Sydney electorates...and whether Green preferences would be enough to carry the day in Boothby, an electorate in South Australia. Melbourne had already fallen to the Greens as predicted and, also as predicted, the Liberals were carving their way through marginal seats in south-east Queensland.

Oh, it was a night of thrills and spills. Spills for the red team mostly. Damn.

Now, well, we are none the wiser. Indeed we await the calling of three wise men of the north as to which side - red or blue - they are prepared to shack up with to form stable government. That being the key phrase of the year. One of the three who holds the balance of power is Bob Katter (above), who I think of as like the mad uncle at Christmas time. For ten minutes he is hilariously inappropriate but then the afternoon sets in. And sets in. And sets in.

So a week later and we still don't have a government. Stable or otherwise. The only person happy in all of this is the ABC's election analyst Antony Green, a genius with a spreadsheet and savant of psephology. Normally his appearances are limited to one night every three years, when he can strut his numerical stuff. Now it seems we can't get enough of him.

We can, but it will take some delicate arm-twisting in Canberra to get Antony Green back in his box.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It must be winter

It must be winter. People are saying this is the first real winter we have had since 1996. Which was the year that I moved to Melbourne.

It's true that the thermometer has stayed consisting low, rarely rising past 14C for the past six or eight weeks. Last night I succeeded in scalding my leg on a hot water bottle. Ouch! Of course 14C is not particularly cold, a fact I remind myself of whenever I think about going to France next January.

The weather has been cold and even a little bit wet. The rainfall is nearer the long term average - but still way, way down over the past decade. The past couple of winters have been disturbingly erratic, one recently saw spring arrive sometime around June as trees kept their leaves and around June flowers burst into bud.

This week I have moved to part-time work, due to a combination of fatigue and demands at home. Today was the first day of office-free, guilt-free living. It's about giving more to the family and a little about more time for myself.

On the way back from the city I stopped in and put a deposit on a bicycle for my wife. The bicycle is a long overdue birthday present that became a long overdue Christmas present. As she not a terribly sporty lass, and one who moved house/town/country pretty frequently as a child she didn't do a lot of biking. So we will see if riding a bike is something you never forget. We pick it up on Saturday. Look out for us all on a pavement near you.