All posts by Dog

Early memories.

For most of us, recallable memory begins with speech. Few of us can recall anything before we are able to speak and verbalize our experience. This is obvious really because otherwise we have no way of telling ourselves what we’ve seen. Images, cloudy and unformed, may appear but without words to describe what we see, they can’t be understood.

I have no firm memories of my time in Bartlett Street. I’ve seen a photo of my sister and I standing outside our house where an itinerant photogtapher took a picture.

As an aside, my mother hated that photo. My sister’s underwear was hanging down on one side and neither of us was dressed for success. Still, she’d paid for it so she kept it.  🙂

Oddly I *do* have a cloudy memory of having the photo taken but it’s not firm enough for me to claim it as a first.

The first time I’m sure I actually remember an event was standing outside the old Cooperative Butchers shop opposite the castle (for anyone unaware, Caerffili has a huge castle in the centre of the town). The run of Coop shops has long gone but they were a valuable profit sharing resource for families for many years!! Anyway, my mother had been shopping and had met a friend outside and was chatting. I was examining a Belisha Beacon (now there’s a subject for another post) and ignoring the world as was then and is now my usual modus operandi  My mother called, I paid no attention, she called again as mothers do and said if you aren’t coming I’m going without you… and started to walk off. Being me, and stubborn, I both refused to move *and* had a meltdown that I was being left behind. I’ve no idea who bent, or how the situation resolved itself but it did. There’s nothing special about this memory other than it neing the earliest. Having said that, in retrospect it set the scene for many repetitions of odd behaviour through my life.

Memories – issues.

There a few things to bear in mind concerning ‘memory’. To begin with they are for the most part flawed. Apart from the annoying human habit or reconstructing memories, even that reconstruction can be compromised by the insertion of foreign material. This may come from other people’s reminiscences, old photos, and even from media!!

Also those twin bugbears of perspective and bias (unconscious or otherwise) intrude without preamble on our mental records meaning we have to be extremely careful deciding what is actual fact, and what we’d wish was fact.

Pretty much I’m suggesting that my ‘memories’ may not be as accurate as I’d like, but with that caveat… and as that’s all I really have to be going on with… we’ll set off again. 🙂

I was born at a very early age.

I always wanted to start my biography that way, but as it seems it’s never going to be written I thought it would do as the first post in this ongoing series of reminiscences… i.e. self indulgent ramblings.

So as usual , where to start? The beginning seems as good a place as any.

I’m told I was born in Glossop Terrace Maternity Hospital in Cardiff, Wales. Clearly I have no memory of that so I just accept it.

I’m also led to believe that in my early years, until I was five or so, we lived in a liitle house in Caerffili on Bartlett Street to be exact but without checking I couldn’t tell you the number. All I really remember of the place is that we lived next door to a cobbler called Cyril Grono who used the front room of his house as a business premises and the remainder as a home for himself and his sister.

Around the corner, on White Street, lived my grandparents, William and Sarah Emily Knight. That’ll do for background and context for now. No doubt more will emerge later as we move forwards.

On the theme of ‘what to post’.

Most successful blogs have a purpose, i.e. a reason for their existence that makes people come again and again to visit them, join, and leave comments. Problem is, I don’t feel that strongly about any single issue. I have no in-depth hobbies to discuss, nor do play online games or pretend towards any kind of philosophical or academic pretensions. Pretty much I’m just… me. So I think this blog will just have to be a bit of an eclectic mish-mash of personal information, ideas and opinions, and general news, i.e. political, social and technical!

If this sort of thing is of interest to you, welcome aboard. If not, well sorry for wasting your time. 😀


On the evening of Sunday 24th we had a bonfire. Beautiful fire but I managed to fall over a lump of tree trunk that we use for ‘occasional’ seating. The wood is roughly shin height so all 130 kilos of me went down in a face plant… ‘across’ my shins, damaging both legs.

No damage to most of me but my left shin was badly bruised and the right got a deep graze. I say ‘deep’ but as there’s next to no flesh on that part of the leg deep means bad.

I went back to the house, with lumps on each shin the size of Popey’s biceps. A cold compress helped a little but despite a wipe down with antiseptic and a dressing, the ongoing pain meant I had to go to the doctor on Tuesday (Monday was ANZAC Day). Once there I was given a script for antibiotics, told I might have ‘oedema of the bone marrow’ (which may or may not be serious – I wouldn’t know) and off I went. Three days later and to me at least it feels *worse* not better.

Since I’m that way inclined, I looked up a variety of ailments and rediscovered cellulitis (which I’ve had before) and decided I may have it again. Treatment is with antibiotics, but so far the ones I have seem not to be as effective as I’d have hoped.

If it doesn’t improve over the weekend, I’m going to go back to the GP on Monday or Tuesday and asking for further advice or treatment. However, I’m currently sitting in a recliner with my leg up considering calling the surgery for an appointment today. Really not sure whether to let it ride or wait it out. The medication has only had a couple of days so… ?? 🙁

Back again.

I figured, what the hell. I’m here now, upgraded the software, fiddled with the settings so why not write something. But there’s the rub. As with nearly any other blog written by a halfway normal person what *do* I write??

I could start with a joke… if I knew any. Or maybe I could do what I do best… i.e. ramble! To be honest I figure that ‘rambling’ is my best bet. If there was an Olympic event, I reckon I could ramble for Australia and get the gold… or better if they ever put a platinum medal. 🙂


Well… it’s like this. I’ve abandoned my other blog, redirected the domain to my forum at Australian Opinion and decided it might be a good idea to use *this* site as the ‘new’ blog.

Obviously, it’s been here quite some time, but has rarely been ‘used in anger’ so I think perhaps it’s time to start. So let’s see how it goes eh?? 🙂

The Voice – Australia.

Here I am for the second time watching the Australian version of “The Voice”… and bizarre as it might be to some, I’m enjoying it! Ricky Martin and Delta Goodrum are both gorgeous and the ‘bromance’ between Seal and Joel Madden seems as strong as ever. 🙂

Good show but the better singers went out early for a variety of reasons few of which had anything to do with their voices. Miss Murphy for example was a standout.

Still, Danny hits fourth, Celia at third, Luke at two… and no surprise… Harrison at one.  This means Seal as coach makes it two in a row. 🙂

Over for another year. Not a bad show if you like shows like this.

I wonder how fast Harrison will disappear into obscurity like Karise Eden?

Sexism – the new political reality in Australia.

I remember Maggie Thatcher being elected to the Prime Minstership of the UK and the wave of hatred that she engendered as her tenure progressed. Within a few years many of us were out on the streets protesting against her policies and fighting desperately (and without success) to control the excesses her administration imposed on the UK population.

Yet despite her gender I honestly don’t remember gender based vitriol targeting her, or her husband Dennis, in the way that has been aimed at Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minster. Her tenure as Prime Minister has been repeatedly marred and jarred by a level of sexist aggression unheard of (to the best of my knowledge) in any other country.

Jibes have been constant ranging from criticising her hair colour to the shape and size of her body and onwards to the sexual orientation of her partner. Politicians *have* to expect a lot of flak about their physical appearance and their personality, but surely the level of offensive sexist vitriol directed at Ms Gillard is unprecedented.

A lot of this seems to have been generated by right wing media in an attempt to undermine her hold on power, but the most obvious and regrettable result has been a loss of respect for the office of prime minister itself. Is there anything that can be done to remedy the situation? Not easily. It has begun to dawn on me that one of *the* main reasons Margaret Thatcher didn’t suffer the same sort of rudeness is because she was a conservative and the darling of the right wing. Julia Gillard on the other hand is leader of the Labor party and as such is the figurehead of the left wing (regardless of whether you consider the Labor Party to be fundamentally ‘socialist’).

If this analysis is correct change will be a long time coming so I’m afraid that until a female is elected to lead the Liberal Party and becomes Prime Minister the sexist rantings will continue unabated. Happy thought eh?

Federal Labor… on a suicide mission?

I fail to understand the attitude of some federal members of parliament in Australia. Regardless of their personal wishes, it’s clear that Julia Gillard is the person who will lead the party to the election, for good or ill. This being so, why are they insisting on stirring the pot insisting that Kevin Rudd should take back the reins?

Kevin himself has accepted he’s not going to challenge for the leadership before the election, if ever which should keep potential for change out of the media. However these continuing subversive stories keep the possibility of leadership change as the main issue surrounding the party, and therefore the election, and pushing the *real* issues off the media agenda!!

Where are the policies that the Liberals will bring to the new parliament if they win? What will be done about the rampant sexism that underlies much of the Liberals attacks on the current government?  There are questions that need answering that aren’t getting a look in because of this constant white-anting!!

I’ve said it before and will repeat it here, Federal Labor MP’s need to think more of the good of the country and less about themselves. The target is to retain power for the benefit of the people they represent, everything else is secondary By all means cause chaos in the leadership *after* the election when Labor has a majority, but until then… keep quiet!!