Talking #activatedalmonds on Balls Radio

I was so irritated with the idiot pseudo-science being peddled by “TV chef” Pete Evans last weekend that I went beyond helping turn the #activatedalmonds hashtag into a thing. I also made it the topic for my regular spot on Phil Dobbie’s Balls Radio this week.

I won’t write any more about it. It’ll make me cranky. Just listen.

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If you’d like more Balls Radio, have a listen to the full episode. You can subscribe over at the website.

The 9pm Edict #18

Danger on the streets! Lock up your children! There’s not a moment to spare. Australians demonstrate their stupidity and complete lack of class by proposing fucked up names for satellites. And in an effort to become relevant to important media issues, a food review.

This episode’s lead topic is the report that NSW Police are lecturing parents who let their children walk to the shops or catch a bus on their own.

I counter this idiocy with the map showing how in just four generations children’s range of action has been cut from six miles to 300 metres, my own experiences as a child, and the Free Range Kids project.

We also hear the misery of entries into NBN Co’s “Name the Satellites” community involvement outreach PR project thingy, and review the wonder that is SunRice Thai Satay Chicken Sauce with Rice.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

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If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733. Not that anyone ever does.

[Credits: Audio grabs from The Police’s Roxanne, SunRice Flavoured Quick Cups television commercial and the survival kit checklist Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr Strangelove. The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission. Special thanks to Neil Gardiner.]

50 to 50 #4: Poor, with cheap holidays

One core issue affected everything while we were living on our farm at Mount Compass: we were poor.

I suspect my father’s enthusiasm to have his own patch of land blinded him to the economic realities of trying to run this property as a dairy farm. He presumably bought it cheap after the drought of 1961, but I’m told the bank manager was sceptical — even though he still approved the loan.

The facilities were basic. The milking shed was a simple cement brick rectangle with a corrugated iron roof. The dams and concrete water tank were only constructed later, and initially the sole water source was the bore and its unreliable pump.

One image that stays with me is my father in the middle distance, striding through the overgrown bracken over to the pumphouse, often in heavy rain or even a storm, to get that damn pump working again.

The house was basic too, but more about that another time. And I’ll talk about the effects of being poor later too.

Today, though, the three factors that caused the farm’s continual financial struggles, and an explanation of that photo.

Continue reading “50 to 50 #4: Poor, with cheap holidays”

50 to 50 #2: Photos from 1 year old

Since the first post in this series included a photo of me and my father, it’s only sensible that today you see my mother.

I’m fairly sure this photo was taken at the same home at 43 Adelaide Road, Gawler that I mentioned last time. There’s other photos from that time too, and I’ve just now posted them on Flickr.

However I’m told that in 1961 we moved to live on a farm near the village of Kersbrook in the Adelaide Hills — although I have no memory of this at all. As shall now be usual, there’s a map over the jump.

I do have memories of the Gawler house, though. Fuzzy ones. Lying in a pram looking at the plaster mouldings in a white ceiling. The green leaves of the nasturtium plants in the back garden contrasting with the reddish brown of the corrugated iron fence. The yellow of the pumpkins.

Continue reading “50 to 50 #2: Photos from 1 year old”