That Old Black Magic

My Dad used to scare me to sleep with this song when I was a kid. Happy birthday Jack Pollard, I miss you every day.

Birthday fever

When I hear Peggy Lee I think of another cool blonde, my beautiful mamma who turns 86 today. Happy birthday to the woman who grew me in her body and gave me her love of music, art and books.
(How smooth is Peggy Lee’s band?)

Laugh as I walk to the beach

I’m walking (not running) 14 kilometres in the City to Surf race from Sydney city to Bondi beach on Sunday August 11th dressed as Clown Doctor Quack to raise funds for The Humour Foundation so we can continue our work in 21 children’s hospitals across Australia bringing joy and giggles to very sick kids.

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.” Frida Kahlo

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Clown Doctors Australia

Clown Doctors Australia

What’s In A Name?

Ripper bewdy, it’s official, the fresh prince of Kensington Palace, little George Robbo Stevo Brian Thommo Hyphen Double Barrelled Windsor has been named. He may well become a pants man. The name George has hints of suave, George Clooney and George Hamilton come to mind. Georgie Porgie kissed the girls and made them cry.

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” said William Shakespeare. Call me superficial but like the British TV presenter who didn’t want her kids playing with children who had Bogan-sounding monikers, names tell me a lot. When I was nine years old I found a Kelpie cross stray on our street and I talked my mum into letting me keep him. My eldest brother was a big fan of The Aunty Jack Show at the time so we decided to call our pooch Kevin, or Kev Kavanagh Kelpie to give him his full name. Our family used our dog to gauge someone’s sense of humour, if they chuckled at our dog’s name we knew we’d get on well with our new friend. Kevin the Kelpie was not so judgemental, he only had a problem with men who jogged in shorts. He would snarl and bark and go crazy apeshit mental. I have the same reaction when I hear pretentious names.

Our current Prime Minister is called Kevin, and apart from boning Jules, our first female Prime Minister I don’t think I can vote for a man called Kevin. I think my Kelpie would have barked at Kevin Rudd. But he would have snarled at Tony Abbott’s budgie smugglers too. Bring on our next female Prime Minister, I hope her name isn’t Kylie.

Virgin birth

According to No Idea and Women’s Monthly magazines, Prince William’s missus Kate Middleton has just given birth to the new Messiah. Baby supply shops had been rejoicing because in English speaking countries it is mandatory to copy shop for whatever a little royal tyke is wearing, eating and riding in. But after waiting up all night I can exclusively reveal that while every police officer in London was waiting outside the ‘royal’ hospital revealing important security details to every photographer with a tele photo lens, pregnant women across the English capital embarked on a shoplifting spree. Even women with newborns rushed out to snatch the most expensive designer pram they could find because, just like the royals, a mere stroller won’t do. It is very important that parents procure this essential item, because a pram is perfect as a clothes rack when that little baby turns six. When Duchess Kate was pregnant with her son she appeared at the opening of an envelope wearing a must-have modish potato sack which all women with pregnancy brain immediately rushed to snaffle from a high street shop. Women must spend hours shopping and fussing over baby outfits and pregnancy wear, we can’t have them wasting time on crazy, trivial feminist pursuits like changing the world can we?

Alas Smith is gone

A shining light has gone out in the comedy world. The brilliant British comedian and writer Mel Smith has died. I first saw him on TV on Not The Nine O’clock News with Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson and Griff Rhys Jones. I loved Mel Smith’s rubbery comical face and dead-pan interviewing style. When I lived in London I saw him in a play called The Gambler and I chatted to him afterwards. He was gracious and funny and we talked about how much Australians love to gamble. Mel Smith was a gentleman with a dazzling wit, a naturally funny goof who made millions laugh, mentored young comics and wrote some of the sharpest gags I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Thank you Mel Smith for sharing your sparkle and your wit with the world, you inspired me to try to be funny. Hope you’re having a laugh, a flutter on the gee gees and a pint wherever you are.


Lush – Urban Dictionary definition:
If presented with an opportunity to drink shamelessly and in large quantities, and if in the mood for a drunken good time, a lush generally won’t pass it up.

On Ernest Hemingway’s birthday it occurs to me that a lot of the writers I like were very fond of a drink or 400. Jack Kerouac, Dylan Thomas, Charles Bukowski, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hunter S. Thompson, Tennessee Williams and Dorothy Parker all battled the grip of the grape. Maybe alcohol’s power to lessen inhibitions opens the door to the imagination for creative types. Many writers and artists have a long history of substance and alcohol abuse.
I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim,” said Frida Kahlo.

Fear and Loathing

“Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.” Hunter S Thompson


In May 1986 I stood singing outside the South African embassy in London for a few weeks with a bunch of other ratbag protestors hoping that our combined voices could help free Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. I only knew about him because of the song by The Specials AKA. He was freed in 1990. I don’t think it was because of our singing. Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Madiba’s health may be ailing but we can look to him for inspiration.

Tomorrow is Mandela Day. All you have to do on July 18 is donate 67 minutes of your day to doing something good in any way you can. Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for social justice. Can you spare 67 minutes of yours to support a charity or serve your local community? Make every day a Mandela Day.

Goodbye school holidays….

…it’s been real. I sent my daughters back to prison today, they’re not happy. I’ve told them they have to study hard and get really high paid jobs to keep me in style in my old age, but they don’t seem to be listening. As over-achieving children of a single mother they all want to drop out of school and bum around with me picking up the tab. Mummy says no. They can do that when I grow up.