CAT SPARKS PHOTOS...AND ANN GETS ALL TEARY-EYED
Cat Sparks, dynamo, force unto herself, Duran Duran apologist, and just generally one of my favorite people, has just posted photos from the dinner we shared with her, part of her immense and very enjoyable photo gallery. Her photos from dinner are much better labeled than mine...
A Love Letter to Australia from My Wife... (Usually we're cynical and curmudgeonly, I swear!--jv)
We were only together for 3 short weeks, but I think I am in love. In that short period of time I was able to do, see and feel things I never thought possible. And I couldn’t have done it without you.
I hiked in a rainforest and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef (even though I grew up in Miami, FL, I had never been snorkeling before and was scared to death!). I watched a fireworks display as fruit bats flew past my hotel window. I climbed up the steepest mountain I have ever climbed and saw the most beautiful land below me.
I experienced the sounds and colorful sight of lorikeets and parakeets in the trees. Also, cockatoos, goannas, tree possums and too many other wonderful creatures it list.
One of things I love about you is the way that even the urban areas are filled with nature. You don’t have to go far to be in the middle of a lovely park with flora and fauna that should be the envy of the world.
I love the way you smell – so clean and fresh. It makes me feel intoxicated when I breathe in (and yes, even in the cities!). I also love your mulberry trees--eating mulberries off the branches near Geoff Maloney's house, hands stained purple, was great.
I also love the way you nurture all of your artists, whether their venue is the written word, dance, visual art, music or any other artistic endeavor. I love how diverse your cities are, with all kinds of people from all over and with some of the best food and drink I’ve had.
I ate and drank and ate and drank some more. Can’t get enough of those Tim Tams--or that Toohey’s Old. Not to mention ginger cordial. And the wines!!! Too many good ones to list!
I woke up each morning with such anticipation of a great day and each day exceeded my expectations. How often can anyone say that even on one day? And yet it happened to me for 3 weeks.
I love the way your people talk and how they embraced us with their warmth and their friendliness. I love how they helped us to slow down and smell the flowers, so to speak, and made us laugh and smile. I guess the thing I love you best for is your people. They are what make you such a wonderful country, and one that I long to return to soon.
(Evil Monkey: "You ever do that to me again, I cut you real bad." Jeff: "Do what?" Evil Monkey: "Go off for three weeks and leave me at the mercy of a madman." Jeff: "Was Ben Peek that bad?" Evil Monkey: "That guy hit me over the head with a beer bottle when I wasn't looking and tied me to a chair. Then he forced me to read all of this disgusting crap." Jeff: "I'm sorry." Evil Monkey: "All he fed me was bananas, which was insulting. There was a perfectly fine corn souffle and left over steak in the refrigerator but I couldn't get to it! And the guy kept going on and on about his novel. Jesus Christ. I felt like that character at the end of A Handful of Dust by Waugh." Jeff: "Okay, I won't do that again. I did wonder why you were tied to a chair when I got home, but I didn't want to pry, just in case..." Evil Monkey: "Very funny." Jeff: "I try. So...what're you gonna do now? You seem to have some bags packed by the door." Evil Monkey: "I'm gonna find that bastard and cut him real bad.")