Melbourne notes…

Megsie’s new fave beer (when in Melbs at least)…

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…and Sir Galahad found his spiritual home at the Waiters tonight (where Megsie was getting down and nostalgic with Tuppie and Rosco)…

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After all these years the Waiters still totally hits the mark – transports you back and gives you a yearning for the 60’s/70’s; you know, for places like the Paradiso in Lygon St. Beyond good. Thank the lordy Pelligrini’s, Don Camillo’s and the Waiters still exist.

Sadly they’d run out of cassata, so Megsie and Tup settled for/split a baci and tartufo (Everest of course, what the hell else is there?) Oh happy days. There is a goddie and sometimes he’s Italian.

Sir Galahad Poo does MONA…

The Gang’s been ridiculously slow, we know, to make the MONA pilgrimage but we’d been hanging off to do it with Davey (never mind, darl, plenty more adventures down the track, eh…)

And the Muzzbotts flew in (with Elsa) to spirit us off as a joint birthday celebration for Megsie and Studio Bitch (60 and 65 respectively; tragic but true.) So out we set, with three objectives – MONA, Sullivan’s Cove Distillery (for the Scotsman) and The Cascade Female Factory for a moon-o-rama (more of that later.)

Objective #1: MONA…

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Naturally we surrendered to the full shebang; boarding the gunboat, chatting to Trev (the pirate lorikeet), riding the sheep…

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And generally enjoying the entire immersive experience…

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Loved the space – yep, it’s on steroids – and the artwork (so many of our fave peeps; Sid, Matthew H, Julia DeV, the list goes on and on)…

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Julia Deville, Cinerarium

[We’ve interspersed some of MONA’s shots with our own, hence the wild variation in quality(!) n(Ed)]

So much to get off on…

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Julius Popp, Bit.fall

And of course we were completely taken by Greg Taylor’s work, not the least because he’s a Bega boy!!!! Who would have thunk it…

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Greg Taylor and Friends, Cunts…And other Conversations

Sir Galahad, it goes without saying, was entirely in his element and on a dedicated mission of his own…

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Wim Delvoye, Cloaca Professional

[Have to say that we have no idea of Wim’s prescribed diet for the piece, but Sir G is a much healthier looking stool specimen, hands down – perhaps he has a more nutritional regime.  n(Ed)]

After which he checked out the MONA wildlife…

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And enjoyed a very nice lunch at The Source…

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Definitely no disappointments MONA-wise. We’re sure DW’s having a serious laugh (on countless levels) but as that fits squarely into our own subversive POV we were beyond happy with nigh on everything. Bloody marvellous.

[But on a serious note: post visit, we are now enjoying a luxurious mosey through Monanisms (thanks Chrissie, loving it big time) and it has amped our regard even further. Everything David Walsh does – the labyrinthine museum, the gunboat, the publication, the extended environs, the heterogeneous vision, the vibe – is nothing short of pure class. And, crucially, entertaining. Serious smile on the dial biz, regardless of the dark thematics. We may never bother with conventional cultural institutions again. MONA is a long awaited affirmation that the stereotypic pretension and pomposity of the Argh-rts is just a load of old bollocks. n(Ed)]

Objective #2: The Cascade Female Factory – most specifically because Minnie had sent through (way back) a fabbo article from the Australian newspaper by David Hunt (author of Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia), examining the myths and mysteries of Australia Day. Brilliant article, way funny, but we were especially transfixed by…

‘…it might be more fitting to honour our nation on a new public holiday, “Arse Day”, to celebrate Australia’s first mass mooning. A witness to this most Down Under of events at the Tasmanian Cascade female factory in 1838, where women convicts were protesting a lecture on morality, reported, “The three hundred women turned right around and at one impulse pulled up their clothes showing their naked posteriors which they simultaneously smacked with their hands making a loud and not very musical noise.’

Pure gold. And so of course a mooning became the second objective…

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Such an appropriate rite, especially in situ. We’re hoping it catches on.

Plenty more to see, of course…

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And then we wound our way, as one does, up the hill to the Cascade Brewery…

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…which had everything we fancied, even a crow saying ‘fark’…

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And more.

Objective #3: Sullivan’s Cove Distillery (cos where else do you take a Scotsman but the engine room for a tasting of the World’s Best Whiskey 2014?)

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We do love a broad-arrow.

Thanks so much to Sammy Jo and Iain for the best birthday prezzie ever.

[Because, of course, it also afforded Megsie an über rich vein of R&D – for all manner of convict-o-rama down the track. Uh-oh. n(Ed)]

Reunion or bust…

The Gang hit Melbourne with bells on last weekend for a 60th birthday bash with the boarders from ’72 at flirtin’ Merton Hall. We’ve not attended any old girl reunions to date; partly due to clashing work commitments, but mainly out of natural reluctance. We just couldn’t bear the thought of all that ghastly conventional old-school-tie palaver.

But a reunion of boarders only is an entirely different proposition. We had, after all, spent more time together during the formative teenage years than we’d spent with our own families. And this year we’re all turning the big 6-oh!, so catching up for a collective birthday-do after all these years promised to be a genuine hoot.

Sir Galahad Poo (he’s now taken the name Galahad for special/official occasions, bless him) came along for the treat, which turned into a celebratory lunch that – courtesy of an outstanding effort by the stayers – extended from a 12.30 start to 10.30 that night. Perfeck.

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Pretty bloody funny, too (though quite surreal being addressed as Morgue all day!!)

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Particular thanks to Dog (above) and Marsh for organising a cracker day. We’re definitely up for the next one.

While the raison d’être for the trip was the reunion, we did manage to pack lots of goodies into the short stay. We spent the day before with Granny, doing our habitual rounds; deli section at Vic Market, Dolcetti’s, then lunch at the Last Jar followed by our traditional bevie with Chloe (at Y&J)…

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…where by sheer happenstance we were treated to a box seat at the First People’s Demo…

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Gawd. We’ve never seen so many cops in one place! Very exciting.

And later that night we caught Ruben’s gig at the Comedy Festival…

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[Thanks for the snaps, Rosa. n(Ed)]

On Sunday we did a road trip with Chrissie to Bendigo Regional Gallery for the Imagining Ned exhibition (see full highlights in the post below.) Omigod, what a fabulous gallery!!

And what a seriously cool town; kulcha-rama everywhere. Here’s a mere blink of random sights within 100 metres (in lapping terms!) of the BRG…

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Gavin North, Raw 2015, digital print on canvas

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Shane Phillips, Matching Chairs and Matchboxes 2015

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Even the shop windows were groovy…

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And we fancied transporting this little number home (same date as the Hideout!)…

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The final night at Granny’s gave us a beautiful Franklin St (last drinkies) send off…

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…and we arrived home on Monday, thankful (as ever to be back in the country)…

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and totally recharged…

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Such is life (and life is good.)

For Peter…

The Gang couldn’t possibly sortie south without swinging by our fave hipster, Edward Kelly. So on Sunday we did a road trip to Bendigo for…

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…currently showing at the Bendigo Regional Gallery. No great surprises, of course. Being avid Ned-o-philes we’ve seen most of the works at one time or another (at the very least on the net), but it was wonderful to be immersed in it all – and in one place! Given that we’re about to launch ourselves into studio practice proper, it was a timely opportunity to re-inhabit ‘Ned head’.

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The iconic artefacts set the scene and then it was off and running in the contemporary homage stakes. The field was led – it goes without saying – by Sid, and the BRG did a nice job of going off-piste with a couple of very impressive (and humungous) tapestries from the Portalegre Tapestry Workshop (see here); Sidney Nolan, Glenrowan, wool (both)…

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So vibrant – just divine (click to enlarge all images.) Other Sid gems included: Kelly at the river (1964), synthetic polymer paint on composition board…

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Crossing the River (1964), oil on composition board…

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detail…

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and Kelly, oil and enamel on composition board (painted in the year of our birth, 1955)…

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…[which perhaps the architects had in mind when they designed Federation Square! n(Ed)]

Other highlights were Arthur Boyd’s Ned Kelly, glazed and coloured terracotta (c1954)…

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Albert Tucker’s Metamorphosis of Ned Kelly, synthetic polymer paint on composition board (1954)…

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HaHa (Regan Tamanui)’s Ned, stencil print (2004)…

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and Ned’s Head (which we’ve been enjoying on streetscapes across the country over the last decade)…

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Mars Drum’s Ned and Burqa on the Pink Lake IV, digital print (2015)…

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Freddie Timm’s Ned Kelly, natural ochre pigment on canvas (2000)…

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Adam Cullen’s Kelly at Glenrowan, synthetic polymer paint on linen (2011)…

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and Sir Galahad Poo’s handz down favourite, Juan Davila’s Sentimental history of Australian art, synthetic polymer paint on canvas (1982)…

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…he lingered somewhat.

Anyhoo, consider this a mere taster for a terrific exhibition – there’s plenty more besides, not to mention the rest of this remarkable gallery’s permanent collection, etcetera. What a treasure of a regional gallery it is!

What a treasure of a town, in fact. So culturally progressive/enlightened/connected. Absolutely bloody marvellous.

Other side dishes that caught our eye included Arthur Boyd’s fridge, Leda and the swan, enamel on steel (1958)…

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and another Poo favourite, the astro turf rotunda (mea culpa, we didn’t get the artist’s name)…

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What an incredibly soul nourishing trip it was. And on arrival back at the Hideout we were greeted with this further fillip…

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…in concert with this (the view from the workshop door)…

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It’s a sign we tells ya!

Our own Australia Day ceremonials…

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Here at the Hideout we’re thrilled to share the news of the civil elevation of our dear Poo in yesterday’s Australia Day honours list!!

He’s been made Lord Warden of the Sink Portables – and those of you wishing to observe protocol are advised to accord him all the appropriate courtesies and address him henceforth as Sir Poo, Lord Warden of the Sink Portables, OM (Knight of the Ordure of the Mire.)

We gave him a suitable toasting, as one would expect…

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…and Minnie has promised to make him a garter.

It was certainly a most unexpected turn of events in what had been a traditionally conventional Wyndham Oz Day long weekend; beach, relaxed house-guests and the requisite cocktail-o-rhumba…

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We’d had such a lovely few days in the lead up – mooching with Dira and La Groppa (who has maintained that idiosyncratic refusal to be photographed, long before Sia even thought of it) – and so we’re happy to report that the Poo didn’t spoil the mood by insisting on any sudden and uncharacteristic formality.

“Just call me Poo” he declared in the approved manner of the classic, self-effacing Aussie. And so we shall.

[Ps: thanks for the Tatt, Jacq – our fave treat. n(Ed)]

Neddy’s naming day…

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Well given that we’ve had no control over the peculiar weather, neither have we sought to seriously formalise the progressive milestones of the workshop set-up…until now.  Today was the most important day ever for Prisoners of the Crown (Megsie-centric at least), because today we christened our most adored and favourite son, Ned.

[Okay, okay, aka Megsie’s Big Box, for all you silly buggers who happen to be so inclined. n(Ed))

Today we luncheoned – 5 peeps and six dogs, all of whom are card-carrying adore-eez of Ned Kelly (and if they’re not they’re hardly likely to fess up to Megsie about that, are they?)

Sammy Jo and Iain had left a bottle of our fave bubbles to wet the kiln’s head when it finally arrived. And so we did, with Rogero, Kez and 3 of their cute doggies…

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And frankly, if you don’t have the Poo and Taittinger in the mix it really doesn’t cut it, does it darlings…

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Happy happy joy joy.

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This was a truly seminal moment for partners-in-crime, Ginger and Megsie…

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…if only because Megsie can now get excited about her own workshop and leave Ginger entirely to her own devices…(ha!)

You know, we’ve come to all sorts of conclusions in our old age, darlings – but the most significantly enduring is that circumstances are best served when one is sensible enough to avoid the crowd scenario. Yep, hard to imagine (we know!) but these days we really do like it small and close and sincere.

So for all of you out there who would have liked to have attended Ned’s christening…we genuinely thank you and apologise most sincerely.

But hey, it’s ultimately all about mise en place (so, you’re ready when you’re ready.)

Definitely not personal, we promise.