Saved Cats

August 27, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | LIFE |

Top Cat

Out of the caged room wandered a tiny ginger kitten and nuzzled P’s leg.  “He has made his choice.”  The inside of his bat ears were green from microchip dye.  He howled in his box on the passenger seat all the way home.  He reprises this Allen Ginsburg-sized howl, learnt from early on, when he wants to eat or go outside. We called him ‘Miron’ after Sean Micallef’s accident-prone, French plasticine figure, a terrific parody of the old ‘Red and Blue’ euro-trash TV show.  We were then living in a rented, rambling pile on the side of a hill and Miron often disappeared…

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Biggles Flies Away

August 25, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE |

Vale Graeme Bignell (1938-2015) A big crowd gathered at Adelaide Oval for a moving and friendly memorial service to farewell a Great of Glenelg who passed away recently, aged 77, after a long struggle with ill health.  Graeme drove a cab in Melbourne as a young man and then took on a month by month job selling cars (if he sold 12 in a month, he kept his job), whilst bringing up 2 children on his own. Having become a phenomenal success at his chosen career, he moved to Adelaide in 1971 to take over the reigns of a failing Ford…

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Funerary Music

August 24, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, MUSIC |

The Village Funeral (Frank Holl, 1872) Leeds City Art Gallery

THE ETHER IS AWASH WITH DESIRED SONGS FOR FUNERALS – THEY’RE COMMON AS MUCK, OR INTERNET KITTENS. SO HERE ARE SOME MORE! L WANTS: Here Comes the Flood (Peter Gabriel) Not Perfect Day (Lou Reed). OUR FRIEND GRANT WANTS: Funeral For a Friend (Elton John) at commencement Comfortably Numb (the Pink Floyd original, not the Scissor Sisters‘ version) Roll Away the Stone (Leon Russell) at conclusion. P THINKS A SAMPLE OF THESE MIGHT SUIT HIM: It’s Time (Elvis Costello) The Final Taxi (Wreckless Eric) Trauermarsch (Richard Wagner) + The deformed lady singing In Heaven on stage during Eraserhead: P’s DAD WANTED (&…

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Peppers Springs Retreat

July 30, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Restaurants, TRAVEL |

Winter, 2015 For The Varnished Culture, it was a week of cancellations, most of which, surprisingly, suited us mightily. 1. We were groaning in the early cold and imagined damp, having packed late the previous evening, when the airline rang and said our morning flight to Melbourne was cancelled due to fog.  So we got to fly at a more genteel time. 2. Above the clouds, we were warned that turbulence was expected, so hot drinks were not available.  This meant free booze in economy – such a shame the flight was a shorty! 3. Our hire car’s handbrake had been…

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‘Stolen’ Towels and Sweet Revenge

July 24, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, TRAVEL |

Vines at Lyndoch: apart from its Barossa locale, they have nothing to do with this story

The Barossa Valley is justly beloved of wine buffs and travellers to South Australia, but from time to time, a local hostelry will just not come up to scratch.  Best to shrug philosophical shoulders and move on, but we are all prone to cut up after particularly poor experiences, which stick like a bone in the throat. Many years ago, friends of The Varnished Culture suffered such an experience, having bought a couple of nights via an ill-advised travel auction. R felt compelled to write a letter of complaint.  Redacted appropriately, this letter, dated 28 February, said as follows: “Dear__________ My…

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