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Preview: Happy Antipodean

Happy Antipodean

A blog by Matthew da Silva since 2006

Updated: 2017-06-27T22:19:04.108+10:00


Up the Cross


This morning I went out early at around 10.30am and stopped at the dry cleaner's to drop off a knitted throw rug that mum made and that she used to use but which has just been sitting on the floor in my apartment since I brought it home with the other things from the nursing home. After getting my docket I headed down to Darling Harbour and went up the stairs to the walkway that goes to

A walk to Darlinghurst


This morning I went down into Darling Harbour as usual. Underneath the Western Distributor two trucks were moving, one forward heading in the direction of Haymarket and the other reversing at the same time in the same direction behind it. I headed up the stairs that lead to Bathurst Street and passed by the office building that supports the pedestrian walkway. It leads to a bridge that passes

Egyptian for lunch again


This morning I set off shortly after 11am on my walk, which took me through Darling Harbour as usual. On Broadway near Central Station there was a young woman wearing a blue denim jacket with "1966", "666" and "Bad Acid" printed in red and white ink on the back. She was walking along arm-in-arm with another woman, who wore a tan coat. Down near Wattle Street next to UTS a young man wearing a

Walking home at dusk


Today a friend and I went up to Newtown for lunch and we had some Thai food. After leaving the restaurant we walked south on King Street and I saw a young woman with pink hair wearing a white long sleeved shirt and a rainbow coloured bow tie. My friend and I stopped at Parliament, a cafe near Alice Street where there's an old 70s Ducati 750 stuffed into the fireplace and a church pew for

Getting a pair of shoes fixed


Today I left home at around midday to go for my walk and it was still quite cold, the sky overcast and nacreous with lighter and darker bands of cloud visible toward the horizon. I went down under the Pyrmont Bridge onto the promenade and there were quite a few people about despite the uncomfortable weather. A man in his 50s wearing shorts and a white singlet jogged briskly along in my

To Enmore for lunch


It was fine out so I planned a longer walk than normal but my route took me down to Darling Harbour as usual. Outside the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel at the traffic lights a glossy dark pigeon walked between my feet to peck at something on the pavement. Later, near UTS where the construction hoarding is installed, a woman came up to me and touched me on the arm, asking if I could help her. "What's

Back to sunny skies


For the first time in many days I went outside today without an umbrella because of the blue skies. My route took me as usual down into Darling Harbour. There was a four-year-old boy chasing an ibis around one of the planter parapets shouting "Shoo, shoo, shoo!" and pointing at the unfortunate bird with an outstretched finger. Children in the Darling Harbour quarter frequently chase birds.

Baffled by bookshops


The other day I came across an article in the New Yorker on my Facebook timeline about a photographer of the American subculture named Nan Goldin. It was a great read. There was something so redolent with significance for me in the figure of Goldin and in her history, which takes in what is for me a great but under-observed era: the 1980s. I wanted to know more so when I was out walking today

Crisis in opinion poll industry


Now that the UK general election has played itself out we're seeing a lot of people aim criticism at the media for getting it so wrong. Rupert Murdoch is reported to have stormed out of a meeting when the exit polls came through because he had used his newspapers to campaign strongly for the Conservatives but they had done relatively poorly in the election itself. An oracular Jeremy Corbyn of

ABC's Guthrie not keen on the limelight


Writing as usual for The Guardian, Amanda Meade interprets in print an interview the ABC's managing director Michelle Guthrie did with Jane Hutcheon, who runs the broadcaster's One Plus One program. As Meade notes it's the first time Guthrie has appeared in the media in such a candid fashion and many people will take an interest in it. Meade highlights the way Guthrie seeks to distance

A hung Parliament doesn't have to mean poor government


Here's an unflattering photo of the British PM from the Guardian website. The media are already on the hunt since the results of the UK general election came in today revealing a big swing to Labour and a reduced contingent of MPs for the Conservatives. PM Theresa May will form a government with the assistance of the Democratic Unionists Party, a Northern Irish mob of social conservatives, but

Book review: Nikki Gemmell, After (2017)


Euthanasia is a politically fraught subject but one that has resonance within the community. You can see how important some people view it by considering the work done by Andrew Denton last year. Denton was interviewed a lot following his researches but nothing has happened on the legislative front in Australia, probably because of the fact that we still have a conservative government in

The public sphere feedback loop and the internationalisation of media outlets


I was having a quiet beer with a friend yesterday at a bar overlooking Darling Harbour. We could hear the rain thundering on the metal roof of the building and see the water outside dimpled during the intermittent downpours. At one stage the conversation veered to a friend of his who is prone on similar occasions to repeating the tropes we are used to hearing from the mouths of radio shock

May high on pre-poll testosterone


You hear it all the time when there's a terror attack in one of our cities. Politicians come out and encourage residents, visitors and citizens to go about their daily business as usual. It's like a mantra out of the pollie's playbook when this kind of incident occurs. Senior police are accustomed to say similar things when they're dragged out before the microphones in the aftermath of a mass

Why do people just put rubbish on top of things?


The note is gone unfortunately. If I had made time to take this photo a day or so earlier it would have been there. This is the protective stanchion at the exit to our building's parking garage and there was one resident of the building who would repeatedly put his or her used disposable coffee cup on top of it. It was annoying another resident so much that they - the other resident - stuck to

Book review: Rachel Reiland, Get Me Out of Here (2002)


Subtitled 'My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder', this is a rare thing: a first-person account of the experience of living with a mental illness. Reiland - the name is a pseudonym - was perhaps saved as an author by her habit of incessantly diarising her exploits during the process of therapy the book recounts. As a result, there is ample material for the memoirist to work on while

ASIO central to China money expose


An ABC-Fairfax investigation has revealed that Chinese businessmen making donations to Australian political parties are trying to exert influence over the political process in Australia. The five-month-long investigation culminated in a 4 Corners program on Monday night in Australia. Two businessmen in particular - Chau Chak Wing and Huang Xiangmo - warrant attention by the journalists in

People are on edge


This morning while returning home from the dermatologist's I was eating a cheeky beef kebab in the food court under Myer on Pitt Street when I saw a member of Westfield staff acting oddly. He was pointing down while standing with his back partly bent. He was facing away from me but I followed his arm and saw a black backpack sitting on the floor underneath a lunch counter. He was standing

London terror attacks could push Corbyn over the line


It was evening in Australia when the terror attacks on London Bridge started and so we got all the action as it was happening. Police were telling people not to load images and videos to the internet, but to give them to authorities first. There were messages telling people to run and hide. A special help line had been set up so that people could phone into authorities even if they were unable

Just about gotten used to the wafer


Last night at a bout 9pm I put the wafer under my tongue and let it take effect. This was a bit later than the day before, but yesterday it was after I had finished drinking wine. I stayed up drinking water until about 10pm then because I was feeling sleepy I had a shower, cleaned my teeth and went to bed. I read a bit of my book on the Kindle as usual then turned off the light and was soon

Getting used to the wafer


Last night I went out to have a beer with friends and got to the pub at about 4pm after walking across Darling Harbour and up Bathurst Street. We had a few drinks then headed upstairs to the bistro for dinner. I had some fish with greens - taking the low-carb option - and another glass of red with it, then quite early we bundled out the door and I got into a cab on Goulburn Street. The driver

Inadvertent presidential comedy tweet reminds me of how Twitter used to be


Yesterday just after midnight US eastern time the US president Donald Trump made a queer tweet and it stayed up online for the next 15 hours until someone finally clicked to the game and took it down. What is 'covfefe'? Nobody knows. But it kept the twitterverse entertained for a long time and it reminded me of the good old days of Twitter before trolling and extreme views ruined the party for

Second day of new medication


This morning I got up late and made some coffee, drinking two cups at the desktop before going out for my usual walk. Up on Harris Street near the Bendigo Bank there was a single, crumpled, but clean, black sock on the pavement which however didn't take up my attention for long because there was also nearby a big, late-model, silver Rolls Royce with a silver-haired bloke with a cigarette in

Changing medications


Yesterday when I was out and on my way to see my psychiatrist I stopped in at the medical clinic and popped my head in the door of the dietitian, wanting to weigh myself to check on my progress. I still haven't organised to buy a battery for the scales I have sitting unused at home in the bathroom and in any case different scales perform differently, giving different weight totals for the same

Drifts of leaves


I never realised why they're called "leaves" before, but of course it's because they "leave" the tree and fall to the ground. They are what's left after the annual molt that deciduous trees undergo as they prepare for winter. These are introduced trees. All along Harris Street. And they have left a trail of crunchy dry leaves for everyone to walk on. As people walk on the leaves they are