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Observations From Isolation: Ch.29 – Mates, Football, Etc…

I’ve got these two mates. In the grand scheme of things, they’re new mates; we’ve met within the past few years. They don’t know each other – if there’s a thread binding the two of them, it’s me – but I regard both of them as close friends, the kind of friend you make later …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.28 – Train In The Paddock… Open Heavens… Snacks In Caves On Beaches With Babes…

It used to run the Melbourne lines. Dark laps of the underground City Loop before exploding – rattling like crooked death on twin steel pins – into the faded southern light and heading east to Lilydale, north to Upfield and Craigieburn, across the top of the Bay and south to Williamstown, further west to Werribee. …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.27 – Untitled…

Some of the spiders are still here. Fat and long-limbed golden orbs stringing their thick webs from wattle to decking post, laden with slung bugs and wayfaring Jacaranda stems. Most of them are up high, hanging off the teev aerial, shooting yellow-ish strands to the palms against the fence. Some come down low and thread …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.25 – Behind The Mask…

Three weeks ago, spurred by the news of two Covid-positive returned travellers in southern Queensland, I started wearing a mask at work. Down south too, things were ramping up and masks were about to become mandatory for everyone. NSW was on a knife’s edge as Victoria began to spike, quickly entering Second Wave territory, stage …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.23 – Trucks On The Beach…

The Moreton ferry terminal is eerily quiet for a Monday morning. No people about, ticket office closed, a distinct dearth of big boats. I briefly wonder if we’re too early, but a quick check of the Facts reveals we are, it would seem, in the wrong place – the passenger ferry and the car barge depart …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.22 – Walking In The Woods…

Events down south make people uneasy. They thought things were pulling back, a seeming return to some sense of normalcy. A fallacy in this day and age though, it would seem, and so The Fear returns, albeit in a smaller, perhaps more manageable fashion. We grab a couple of apples from the bowl on the …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.17 – On Life As It Is Today…

Claire’s away for the weekend. Has loaded the car with all manner of contraband and hit the blacktop, a high-speed run to an undisclosed location, her co-conspirators too numerous to mention, the lot of them half drunk on mulled wine, good cheese and the righteous feeling one gets from fresh air, exercise and bucking The …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.16 – The Football Is Back. Long Live The Football…

This evening, you’ll find me on the couch, a maroon and gold scarf draped around my shoulders, a cold can of beer in one hand. I’ll have rushed back from work and, via the fridge, come straight into the spare room, where the teev is. I’ll be watching football, and I’ve been looking forward to …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.15 – The Times Are Over. Fuck The Times…

  These are king-hell-ass odd Times. They’re different, no less real, more confronting and a cold and somewhat harsh reality that we’ll all need to embrace or be forever damned. I’ve always been someone to keep to himself, and the curtailing of social possibility has only heightened this. Working at the bottle shop is a …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.13 – On Writing In Isolation…

  I’m finding, in this age of isolation, that I’m looking at writing in a different light; I’m confronting it differently, and indeed, it’s confronting me differently. In writing purely for myself, the goalposts have moved and truthfully, I’m not sure in which direction to kick. Without journalism, the only subject matter is what I pull …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.9 – On Frustration…

 I’m drinking cheap wine at my desk while Claire does a crossword in the loungeroom. Addy is supposed to be in bed, but is sitting in her doorway, reading books. There’s some music playing quietly on the stereo. This is, to be sure, a quiet Saturday night. This morning I woke up early and went …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.8 – Grandpa, And The Three Generations Since…

Observations From Isolation: Ch.8 – On The Death Of Grandpa, And The Three Generations That Have Come After… Grandpa died a couple of weeks ago, drifting off in a morphine fog sometime in the night. It wasn’t anything to do with The Virus, just the slow and dignified end to a life spent, in the …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.7 – On The Demise Of Civility…

Observations From Isolation: Ch.7 – The Demise Of Civility (As It Were… And Still Is…) (Originally written in August, 2017, but still pertinent today…) For the past ten months or so, as befits a hobo journalist with relatively new paternal responsibilities, I’ve been moonlighting at the servo in town. Slingin’ petty, as the local grommets …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.6 – Life On The Frontline During COVID-19…

I should begin by qualifying the above title. For you see, I am in no way a medical professional, far from it, and even further from it for me to insinuate that what I’m doing is anywhere close to being as ‘frontline’ as these people; these doctors, nurses, pharmacists, GPs, paramedics and countless other medical pros …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.5 – Tiered Waterfalls, Up In The Hills…

Observations From Isolation: Ch.5 – Tiered Waterfalls, Up In The Hills…   We get to the Top of the Bitumen Hill And I pull onto the side To lock the front wheels and then Kick it into four-high and we turn Off the scrappy blacktop onto dirt and head Up and east.   There are …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.4 – Deep South, Pitbulls and Disused Railways…

On Walking The Track… Isolation In Nature… Pitbulls And Graffiti… No Sound But The Birds… There’s a winding track a five or so minute drive from our place, that cuts through bushland and under the highway, running the couple of kilometres between north Ocean Shores and Billinudgel. It’s only wide enough for walking or bike …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.3 – Golden Orbs, Pirates & Dance Parties…

Golden Orbs On Thick Strands… Pirates In The Bottleo… Dance Parties About The Loungeroom… Two golden-orb spiders have built a huge and complex web off the side of the palms bordering the driveway. I pull in at night after work and they hang directly above the driver’s side door; I have to slip out and …

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Observations From Isolation: Ch.1 – Desperate Times…

These are desperate times and so desperate measures are required. People are confused, their eyes dart right then left and they stand stock still, although not for too long lest they be pulled up by the authorities and told to move on. People aren’t quite sure, and so no one is moving fast, no one …

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Feature In No Depression Magazine (US) – Yirrmal & Indigenous Australian Music

Appearing in the summer issue of legendary American roots music magazine No Depression, SJF has a long feature on up-and-coming artist Yirrmal, and the scope, influence and identity of indigenous Australian contemporary music. Issue out in mid-May. And consider subscribing to No Depression – for only $6 a month, you can support ad-free, in-depth arts …

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Stars & Hype Reviewed In Rhythms Magazine

A review of Stars & Hype: First Time Notes On The American Deep South has been published in the January / February issue of Australian roots music bible, Rhythms magazine. Written by legendary Australian journo Michael Smith, the review goes in-depth, and make comment on not just the work in question, but also the “paradoxes that combine …

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