Friday, March 19, 2010

My boy Jack.

“Have you news of my boy Jack?”
Not this tide.
“When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Has any one else had word of him?”
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide
.

“Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind —
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide
.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!

77 comments:

patchouligirl said...

Oh I can relate to this one. I have a son called Jack and living on Lake Macquarie I imagine he'll get into yachting when he's older as it is popular around here. He has already been on his grandfathers yacht. Better keep up those swimming lessons!

patchouligirl said...
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patchouligirl said...

I'll celebrate by getting rid of the vulture and putting in a real photo of us on the lake.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Next PSF will feature the poem I'll celebrate by getting rid of the vulture by Australian poet P. Girl.

squib said...

Now that is depressing

Speaking of which, am nearly finished reading 'Radetzky March'

Melba said...

Squib stole my line.

Thanks Ramon. You've achieved your goal of making me depressed.

Sad. So sad. Reminds me of Ataturk's words to the mothers of dead ANZAC soldiers at Gallipoli:

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

In fact, his are better. Now I'm doubly depressed.

I think I need to go out drinking with Alex.

squib said...

I'm feeling much the same, Melba. I think we need to have a group cry into some single malt

Pepsi said...

Another sad one, are you stuck on war ones Ramon?

Hiya Melbas - I have a photo of me standing in the pouring rain next to that big plaque with those words on it at ANZAC Cove, sobbing like the big sooky la-la I am.

Squib, you cant cry into your single malt, makes it too salty & ruins it.

So - off topic, if Vronsky shots himself at page 412, whats the rest of the book about?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Loved the 'Radetzky March'.

Mmm, I think I see a pattern forming here.

Alex said...

I think I need to go out drinking with Alex.

Yes Melba, as far as depressing goes, you're hardly likely to top that in a hurry. Drinking with me would make Ramon's poetry seem like a veritable ray of sunshine by comparison.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I thought you were off the sauce, Alex?

squib said...

It's not that I don't like the book or that I find the impending doom of WW1 depressing. It's the repressed men and father/son relationships that I find almost unbearable. It's beautifully written but suffocating

Alex said...

That's what I was getting at, Ramon. I'd either spend the whole time gazing mournfully at Melba's drink while sipping an orange juice, or I'd reservedly have "one drink to be social" and an hour later she'd be pretending that she didn't know me.

Actually, while I'm at it, I've got yet another off topic political query for you. What the hell was everyone waving at while Tony Abbott was ranting about hospitals in parliament the other day?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Not too sure Alex.

I tend to zone out whenever I see The Monk.

Alex said...

I tend to zone out whenever I see The Monk.

I guess everyone does Ramon, if the little clip that the 7:30 Report ran is anything to go by. I watched it this morning over breakfast and haven't been able to stop wondering. Even the Libs looked completely distracted. I might have a look at Lateline later to see if that clears anything up.

Also, I have to say that I feel somewhat privileged that I still legitimately have no idea who Lara Bingle is.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Alex, Lara Bingle was a popular cartoon character on the Hey there, who the fuck are you? show which ran on Irish television from 1984 to 1996.

Alex said...

Well Ramon, that would explain all the coverage that's coincided with St Patrick's day.

patchouligirl said...

The next door neighbour called in and they are a man down for Friday night sailing - my husband has just gone off to be the fill in. I hope PSF hasn't jinxed him!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

"I'll celebrate by getting rid of the vulture,

And putting in a real photo of us,

On the lake.

The next door neighbour called in,

And they are a man down for Friday night sailing,

My husband has just gone off to be the fill in."

That's gold, Patchie.

patchouligirl said...

My signature is an ineligible scribble. This is partly because I'm too lazy to practice writing a new surname every time I get married. It's a long story but I've had four surnames so far and don't get too attached to them.

patchouligirl said...
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Alex said...

There's something about all this that I'm missing, isn't there?

patchouligirl said...

Oh - in my semi inebriated Friday night state I thought I was being painted as someone who disposes of husbands in the lake and was quite enjoying the lightheartedness of it. The bit about the surnames is true. He's not back yet by the way.

Boogeyman said...

“Have you news of my boy Jack?”
Not this tide.
“When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.


Jack should have bought a motorised boat and stopped piss-farting about in that yacht. No wonder his mom was worried.


or I'd reservedly have "one drink to be social" and an hour later she'd be pretending that she didn't know me.

Alex, do you turn into Ke$ha after just one drink?

Alex said...

Now you're just being mean, Boogey.

If I didn't know who Lady Gaga or Lara Bingle were, what chance do I have with someone who uses a "$" in the middle of their name.

I'm shit with 21st century pop culture.

No wonder his mom was worried.

Are you American, Boogey? I hope you weren't offended by that off-colour biscuits and gravy gag I made the other day.

WitchOne said...

I'd love it if Alex turned into something interesting after a drink. Sadly, I think that's just me. In my mind, I've been drinking, therefore I'm interesting.

I love surnames, I have adopted my mothers practice of keeping the same signature no matter the surname, if it's illegible "enough" then it'll do. Less strain on, umm, something.

I've only been married once so far but one can live in hope.

Alex said...

I'd love it if Alex turned into something interesting after a drink.

Me too, Witchy. Me too.

Melba said...

Well spotted Alex.

BOOGEYMAN IS A YANK.

Alex said...

Given how these things tend to play out, he'll probably be away for the next few days. Leaving the rest of us to whip ourselves into a frenzy of wild speculation.

WitchOne said...

That sounded mean Alex, it wasn't meant to be, I just happen to be a natural bitch; no matter my intentions.

Puss In Boots said...

I'm with Alex. Who the hell is Ke$ha?

The reason I don't drink is that I turn into someone uninteresting. Which is no mean feat given my lack of interesting traits to begin with.

Boogeyman said...

Are you American, Boogey?

I about am as American as going on hols, taking a picnic basket of ginger snaps and lashings of ginger beer down by the brook, then later putting on our sou' westers and galoshes and heading down to the cove to look for smugglers.

I hope that helps, lass.


I hope you weren't offended by that off-colour biscuits and gravy gag I made the other day.

Yes. Yes, I was. I expect a full reparation from you, in the traditional form.


Leaving the rest of us to whip ourselves into a frenzy of wild speculation.

You people and your frenetic self-flagellating weekends.

Melba said...

Yeah but Boogeyman, you didna answer the question.

Anyone can rehash the ole Enid, mate. Which aren't Orstralaian btw.

Alex said...

I expect a full reparation from you, in the traditional form.

Boogeyman, the sheaves of barley and the goat are on their way.

Witchy, no offence taken. I knew what you meant. And in any case, I've already described myself as the dullest person I know. I stand by that assessment.

Puss, it sounds like we both need to go out drinking with Melba. The only thing we're missing is somebody who can't keep their clothes on.

Melba, I think Boogey has made it abundantly clear that he is every bit as Orstralaian as mom and apple pie.

WitchOne said...

ME!! I tend to nude up whenever it's appropriate, in my mind, which is never on the same wavelength as everyone else'

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I start singing when drunk.

And shouting about history.

And theology.

And politics.

I think you get the general idea.

Alex said...

Okay, so we've got a surly idiot, a terminal bore, a compulsive nudist AND someone with no volume control*. It could be the greatest drinking party ever assembled.


*Presumably, Melba will play the part of that one person who spends the entire time trying to diffuse tense situations and keep everyone out of trouble.

Puss In Boots said...

Am I the surly idiot or the terminal bore? I could easily play the part of vapid fashion victim if required. I find it gets rid of annoying types at parties (read: liberal supporters and religious freaks). After all, who wants to hang around with someone who chatters incessantly about her Hermes scarf collection?

Alex said...

Puss, you said you got uninteresting. I read that as boring.

I'm the surly idiot.

Alex said...

Actually Puss, here's a quick fashion related question for you:

Is it my imagination, or are men starting to carry handbags now?

Puss In Boots said...

Excellent. I can deal with that.

And yes, certain men are carrying handbags. It has been a growing trend for about 5 years now. And may I say I would never ever date a guy who carried a handbag.

I don't think it will become mainstream in Australia, though. Most men here are too concerned with looking macho to even consider carrying a handbag.

Alex said...

I guess I hadn't really noticed before. But the other day I was in a shop and saw this bloke with a handbag and thought "Hey, it's nice of that fellow to hold onto that while his missus looks around the shop". Then I noticed the woman he was with had her own handbag. "Oh". Then I thought "Hmmm, I reckon his is nicer".

Ever since then, I've been seeing them almost regularly.

Boogeyman said...

Melba, I'd have thought that responding to a question like "Are you American" with an answer along the lines of "I'm as American as something which is clearly, obviously, and completely non-American" should not have been too subtle for most, but I have today been sadly disabused of that notion.

I'm actually Australian, just not a very good one, because I hate most sports, particularly finding cricket literally terminally dull (I have actually died and been medically revived during cricket matches on the telly - true story), and find football to be a stupid game dominated by bone-headed neanderthal pack-raping morons; additionally, I'm not a beer-swilling redneck racist homophobic boor.

As for handbags - why? Surely a laptop bag or satchel bag would suffice.

Puss In Boots said...

I don't understand why a man would want a handbag either. What do guys normally carry around? Wallet, phone and keys, I would have thought. It's not like you need all the crap women normally carry. For instance, in my handbag I have: large purse, keys, phone, mp3 player, pen, chewing gum, mints, moisturising cream, small packet of wet wipes, small bottle of perfume, lipstick, mirror, toothpicks, tissues, Nurofen Plus, small emergency sewing kit, bandaids, tweezers, nail file, and various other things I've forgotten.

patchouligirl said...

having a kid puts heavier demands on handbags as they now also have to accommodate toys, straws, spoons, children's panadol and often a spare nappy, baby wipes and a drink bottle (when you don't want to bring in the whole back pack).

The car has two back packs, one the 'daycare' bag, with a change of clothes for any season, spare shoes, nappies, wipes, sunblock and a hat. The other is the 'swim' bag, with towels, goggles, wipes, nappies and sunblock (again).

For days out on the boat I'm compiling a checklist so we don't forget inflatable boats, sun umbrellas or beach toys.

Boogeyman said...

I look at that list in Puss's purse and wonder just how many one really needs day to day:

large purse - thin wallet suffices.
keys - of course
phone - of course
mp3 player - see phone
pen - no, I'm not someone's secretary
chewing gum - no, only trashy chicks chew gum
mints - don't order onions and garlic for lunch
moisturising cream - real men only moisturise in the morning after shaving, and before bed at night
small packet of wet wipes - our hunter forebears did without wet wipes, and so should we
small bottle of perfume - a little dab of cologne in the morning should last all day
lipstick - real men make do with some moisturising lip balm applied first thing in the morning, and perhaps top it up during the day with ones kept in their car glovebox, and office drawer
mirror - car mirror, office bathroom mirror and, in an emergency, the pub or nearest service station bathroom mirror will suffice
toothpicks - don't choose the stringy beans for lunch
tissues - don't go watch Titanic during your lunch break
Nurofen Plus - be prepared - add a double shot of rum to your coffee before entering that 3 hour staff meeting
small emergency sewing kit - don't eat too much at lunch and you won't split your pants
bandaids - a couple of elastic bands and a post-it note will suffice
tweezers - fingernails
nail file - teeth

patchouligirl said...

Theres a few items in mine Puss doesn't have. Firstly a swiss army knife - it has tweezers, toothpick, scissors (replacing the nail file) and the all important cork screw. I wouldn't think of leaving home without it. The other item is a tape measure. I don't use it as often but for those times I need to take clothing or furniture measurements to the shop with me it is very handy.

Alex said...

I'm actually Australian, just not a very good one, because I hate most sports, particularly finding cricket literally terminally dull (I have actually died and been medically revived during cricket matches on the telly - true story), and find football to be a stupid game dominated by bone-headed neanderthal pack-raping morons; additionally, I'm not a beer-swilling redneck racist homophobic boor.

You understand the confusion then, Boogey.



I normally carry a wallet, keys, phone(doubles as music/storage device), headphones, handkerchiefs(at least 3), notepad & pen, lighter(no, I don't smoke), dental floss(heaps of uses), leatherman(swiss army pliers), LED torch small enough to be gripped between the teeth, and a spectacle repair kit.

I don't think it's about carrying what you need every single day, but what you might reasonably need from time to time. And if you walk, cycle, catch public transport, etc, then keeping stuff in the glovebox of your car hardly helps. Having said that, I manage to get by without a bag on most days. So long as I've got enough pockets.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I hate most sports, particularly finding cricket literally terminally dull

Well, that's a bit of a shame as my next post was going to be a long discussion about Pup's return to form.

squib said...

I hardly have anything in my bag; just a purse, some snotty tissues, loads of old receipts, rooibos teabags, lip balm, keys, marbles, reading glasses, a book (Don Quixote nearly destroyed the stitching on my bag not to mention my will to live), and my new business cards which feature a giant squid eating a ship

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

and my new business cards which feature a giant squid eating a ship

Cool Squib!

Can you design my new business cards?

squib said...

If you like, Ramon. Of course, I have you to thank for the picture

Alex said...

Marbles Squib? Like, for shooting? Are you any good?

That is pretty cool with the cards, too.

squib said...

LittleSquib put them in there, Alex. She spins them around her bread plate when we eat out

Leilani said...

I don't have anything in my bag. In fact I don't even have a bag since someone waltzed into my house and took it off my kitchen table. So no bag, no keys, no wallet.

WitchOne said...

Wow, you motherly types are amazing with your organisation.

Just shows I'm not very good at it really.

I carry my wallet, keys with girly Leatherman (tweezers, very sharp scissors, bottle opener, knife and screwdriver), tissues (I'm always sneezing, a guy at work was counting my sneezes the other week, he gave up before I stopped), mirror (I don't use it, it's just pretty), tampons and business cards. 2 mobile phones because I like to wank twice as hard as everyone else.

Puss In Boots said...

I just had a look in my bag. I also have: sunglasses, hair tyes, hair clips, small scissors, headphones, scarf, scarf ring, stamps, comb, a little sachet of salt and pepper, and some foreign currency which I'm carrying around until the dollar crashes again.

patchouligirl said...

A $30 Swiss army knife would replace the scissors and the tweezers and you'ld be up a knife, a toothpick, a flat and phillips head screwdriver and a corkscrew on the deal. And it's easier to find in the bottom of the bag.

Alex said...

Do you actually use the toothpick on your knife, PG? The idea of a reusable toothpick kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Why the hell would anybody need a knife, a toothpick, a flat and phillips head screwdriver?

The corkscrew I can understand.

WitchOne said...

Things need fixing Ramon. When things need fixing, at least I know I can fix them, and since I have stupidly long nails, if my screwdriver is for whatever reason not suitable, I use a handy fingernail.

Alex said...

Ramon, if you spend a lot of time fiddling with electronics, you'll probably want a knife, pliers, wire cutters and a couple of screwdrivers handy. I'm still not real sure about the toothpick though.

patchouligirl said...

The toothpick in case you get something stuck in your teeth when you're out - what that never happens to you? The screwdrivers - very handy for changing batteries in kids toys or jimmying open paint cans, turning the locks in toilet cubicles when some kid has locked it from the inside and climbed out under the door as a joke and its the only one with any toilet paper. I've used the knife to cut up fruit on the road or cut string or light rope. When you have one of these babies, you will never stop finding uses for it I promise you.

Alex said...

So you do actually use it to pick your teeth, then? How do you clean it? Personally, I carry floss.

patchouligirl said...

you can clean the toothpick or the knife (if used on fruit for example) with the afore mentioned wipes. Or just wipe it on a tissue - its only a toothpick. Or you could just use the toothpick for cleaning your nails instead of as a toothpick at all but try to remember which!

Buyers tip: If you're content with the $30 variety, you'll find you can have either the phillips head or the corkscrew, but not both. Get the corkscrew one because you can use one of the fold out screwdrivers on phillips heads as it has a narrow enough top on it to fit one half of the phillips head X quite effectively.

Alex said...

I'd also like to add that if you decide to go for a leatherman, be aware that a genuine Leatherman brand leatherman will set you back close to $100, but it also comes with 25yrs worth of warranty.

Puss In Boots said...

I have a Swiss Army knife, but it's so huge I never take it anywhere. I think it is either the most comprehensive one they make, or at least one of them. I took it overseas with me and it was very handy. But it's way too heavy to carry around every day.

patchouligirl said...

May I recommend the spartan:

http://www.myswissarmyknife.com.au/victorinox-spartan-red-swiss-army-knife.html

As small as a packet of floss and far more versatile. They have a similar one with an led light which would be useful when you are trying to find a key in the dark.

Puss In Boots said...

I've also got one of those Swiss Army Cards, which are quite handy. But I keep forgetting to put it in my bag.

Perseus said...

"Why the hell would anybody need a knife, a toothpick, a flat and phillips head screwdriver?

The corkscrew I can understand.


Which made me think of my favourite W.C.Fields quotes:

"Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water."

Boogeyman said...

Yes, routinely carrying a knife in your handbag makes so much sense, because so many places are such big fans of knives - airports, nightclubs, hotels, the police station, etc

Alex said...

You can add music and sporting events Boogey, but you'll still have a list of places that I haven't been to in years and probably won't visit in the foreseeable future.

Puss In Boots said...

My mother keeps a big knife in the bottom of her bag - it's a fold up one. She always forgets it's in there. She was even let through airport security with it once, when we were seeing my sister off. Shows you how safe Brisbane Airport is.

But she did have it confiscated at the Mags court once. They gave it back to her when she left.

She hasn't learned her lesson. She still carries it everywhere. She says it's so she can eat fruit when she's out. I've never seen that woman eat fruit in her whole life.

WitchOne said...

My girly Leatherman was given to me by my Mum, it was a confiscated item at the airport where my Mum works.

I had no idea the girly ones were so expensive.

patchouligirl said...

so many places are such big fans of knives

I flew from Frankfurt to Sydney via Bangkok with my swiss army knife in my hand luggage during the week after 9/11 without a problem. Maybe security is tighter now or maybe swiss army knives aren't viewed as being as dangerous as flick blades for example.

Alex said...

Don't they stop you taking everything on planes, now - including liquids? I don't really know. I haven't flown in over a decade.

Witchy, it's the warranty that you pay for. If you break your girly Leatherman, you should (theoretically) be able to take it to a dealer for a replacement.

Puss In Boots said...

They say they do, Alex, but I think sometimes they're a bit lax. My mum took her switch blade through airport security in 2006, so it was well after the tightening of security.

Meanwhile, I just about get strip searched every time I go through airport security. I have never been through without beeping, and I must just look shifty or something. They always send my handbag back through a number of times, too.