Sunday, February 11, 2007

Kangaroo Valley wombats

We recently spent an extended weekend at Kangaroo Valley, in a group of holiday cabins up in the isolated hills.

Besides being beautifully peaceful, and having a very handy pool (it was one of the hottest weekends of the summer), the most lovely thing about the place was the animals.

There were the domestics - 2 donkeys, ducks, 4 chooks, 2 rabbits, and Miss Millie the pig (so cute! such an enthusiastic eater!).

And there was the wild. We saw one kangaroo, as well as a goana. And at night there were wombats all over. Two were munching grass outside our cabin one night. And driving down to the valley's main street at night, we had to stop more than half a dozen times for these rather large animals (somehow managing to move both more slowy and faster than you'd expect).

A local said that years ago there were no wombats in KV. But as housing estates and high speed roads take over the region, huge numbers of the creatures have found their safe haven in the valley.

2006 is kaput

2006 is gone! Time for some thoughts on it from the position of middle-brow cultural consumerism.
Movies - There was a lot of good alternative stuff coming out of the US for a change, a little challenging, a little wacky - Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, United 93, An Inconvenient Truth, Shortbus, The Aristocrats. The Devil Wears Prada & Casino Royale were solid popcorn fun.
Only saw one Australian film, and it was worthy - Ten Canoes.
Mission Impossible 3 was the worst film I saw at the movies (why won't Tom Cruise's character just die!!!), while Date Movie was the worst new film I saw on dvd. Burn the copies. All of them!
Music - most enjoyable aspect this year for me was getting to know some tuneful man bands better - Keane, Belle & Sebastian, Matthew Sweet and The Sleepy Jackson come to mind.
And of course, there was the memorable 2 seconds during which Chris Isaak shook my hand.
Books - I'm rarely as grateful for the new release of a book as I was for Chris Masters' much-needed Jonestown. And after all the subtle threats before publication, no lawsuit from Jonesy? Pity the pathetic ABC management had to behave so foolishly about the whole thing.
The most powerful novel I read all year was The Leopard, by Guiseppe De Lampdesua, while the most powerful short story I've EVER read turned out to be Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx.
Media - With the publication of Jonestown, Noami Robson leaving Today Tonight, and the improving fortunes of and The Monthly, is the Australian Media a safer saner place? Even Murdoch's papers have changed their tune (at master's orders) over global warming & climate change. Still, channel 9 has Eddie Maguire, and Shane Warne & wifey are poised to be the new over-exposed tv celebrities of '07, so all isn't completely safe.