Half Birthday (illustrations to follow)

(Image Credit: Getting There)

In a few moments I will be 58.5 years old.

My half-birthday was an important feature of my life when a child: my father’s family was small, and for various reasons we didn’t have much to do with them, My mother came from a large Scots family, in whose company I endured many large Christmas / New Year celebrations, but mostly it was just the four of us: mum, dad, the dog, and me. More particularly because we lived in Canberra (I’m talking mid-late 50s and 1960s).

So I felt a bit cheated about birthday celebrations – there weren’t enough of them. Especially because my father and I were born on the same day.

Now, back then my mother wasn’t the greatest of cooks, but she adopted very early the concept of the Clock Cake (illustration to follow). When I was about 5 years old I had this wonderful idea: what about a half birthday celebration with the big hand pointing to the 6 instead of to the 12?

My darling mother duly obliged, so we had another small family celebration (and I have no doubt that she was mightily relieved when I became a teenager).

So far all this has been a personal indulgence.

What I would like Pubsters to do now (other than the usual Pubster thing, which is to comment upon whatever takes our fancy) is to suggest appropriate birthday presents for public (including Pubster) figures.

Yes, I know, totally frivolous – but It’s Too Darn Hot

429 thoughts on “Half Birthday (illustrations to follow)

  1. Puffy,
    Thank you – it is good advice and is generally the way I handle such situations. However, No1 son’s friend was a bit miffed a couple of years ago with that solution and I was left ‘holding the baby’ as it were. The dairy-farmer (next door) is more understanding that people like me with an independent streak like to pay their way and he accepts payment for helping out with a bale of hay (if he’s got any to spare) and we often borrow equipment from each other at times.

  2. The *** bozo is claiming responsibility. When you are expendable you are expendable. Not that he’ll be sacked for incompetence or lying.

  3. Looks like Lt. General Campbell needs some further training on how to more effectively lie and lead any difficult questioning right away from the matter in question.

    Peta tried her best with Abbott, but it was a total failure so she just had to fall back on instructing him to make a bolt for it when things got a bit hot! 😉

    At the outset of the briefing, it was made plain the Border Protection commands assets – that is, a number of boats – had entered Indonesian territorial waters on several occasions in breach of Australian government policy.

    In General Campbell’s opening statement, he referred repeatedly to vessels, in the plural, that had unintentionally strayed into Indonesian territory.

    Yet, under questioning, he retreated. The question of how many vessels were involved was one for a review of how this happened, he maintained. Later still, he refused to be drawn on whether we were talking about one vessel or a number of vessels. To what end?

    Not surprisingly, there was no information on how the vessels came to be in Indonesian waters or what they were doing. Not surprisingly, there was no commitment to publicly release the findings of the inquiry or even its terms of reference.


  4. Julia Gillard was always extremely cautious. But that was because of the hung parliament. What has Shorten got to lose now? I personally would love to see some outrage. Not only from Labor but also from Human rights advocates.

    Deafening silence all around.

  5. BK,

    Er, do we have a Prime Minister at the moment?

    More like a Prime Monster! 😉

  6. BSA

    I’ve got a bit off time for them.

    Decades ago I was a Civil Service drone working in the UK Cabinet Office. Stuff in the Falklands was going down. I had the job of receiving cables/signals and deciding who should have a copy.

    One the day Atlantic Conveyer was hit (it had the helicopters on-board) one came in from the RM Commando CO – ‘Yomping’.

    One of those in power above me asked what does this mean …

    I replied ‘Port Stanley that way – so on your feet’!

  7. CTar1
    I get the impression the Royal Marines were & are a sort of go to outfit with a reputation for having a go?

  8. BSA

    The RM are something not to fool with. The British Army are known whingers.

    The Marines get on with it.

  9. Murphy arrived in here yowling his head off for reasons known only to him. Paddy was sprawled out sound asleep and Murph walked over his head which caused Paddy to shake his head and resettle. Murph then decided to make the return trip – Paddy went from sleeping dog to furious dog and went after Murphy with malicious intent which meant I had to rescue the dumb ginger moggie. I think Murphy must be suffering from heat exhaustion because he knows full well to let a sleeping Paddy lie – Champuss can get away with that sort of thing with Paddy but Murphy has always had to tread very carefully.

  10. Some trivia for a hot afternoon, about ‘It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum’ –
    At some stage Gloria says after the war he’d like to have his own show with ‘men in frocks’. That actually happened. A real concert party known as ‘The Kiwis’ stayed together after the war and kept that name. They toured Australia very successfully for years. My grandmother, who adored the theatre, took me to see one of their shows when I was about seven years old. I can still remember how amazed we both were by how hard it was to tell that the ‘women’ in the show were really men.

    Here’s a bit about it.

  11. Have you noticed the number of fictitious US Presidents who have served with the USM? I’ve always wondered about the lack of UK PMs with a similar pedigree, but had it pointed out to me that the RM are supposed to be intelligent, unlike the USM who often include a PR training unit …

    … *naughty grin, with wooden spoon*

  12. leonetwo

    A sign of the different times that they thought it newsworthy to mention that 18 of the troupe owned a car.

  13. curioz

    [I’ve always wondered about the lack of UK PMs with a similar pedigree, but had it pointed out to me that the RM are supposed to be intelligent, unlike the USM ]

    They got ashore from ‘Ferocious’ in the Falklands and got the job done.

    Second plan was to run ‘Canberra’ up the beach and let the Army go over the side.

  14. This boat thing just keeps on getting worse – Indonesia, if they wished, could take legal action against Australia for breaching the International Law of the Sea.
    Australia may avoid legal action with swift apology for Indonesia breach: law experts

    “It’s very rare in international affairs that a country would seek to take legal action based on what, on face value, would appear to be a minor incursion.”

    Still, Australia’s violation of Indonesia’s sovereignty is likely to exacerbate tensions in the already stressed relationship between the two neighbouring countries, said Dave McRae, research fellow in the East Asia Program at the Lowy Institute.

    “An Australian vessel entering Indonesian waters, even unintentionally, is certainly the sort of occurrence that has the potential to provoke a strong response from Indonesia,” Dr McRae said.

    “Even if the Indonesian government were inclined to take a muted stance, their hand could be forced if there is significant public criticism.

    “The broader point is that people smuggling should not be the focus of Australia’s relations with Indonesia


  15. I think our illustrious PM is still on holidays.

    They are saying our FM, Julie Bishop tried to talk to the Indonesian PM last night.

    Tried to. Does that mean she was unsuccessful?

    What happens to the new lines of commnuniction they set up, and Julie’s claim she talks to her friend everyday.

  16. Got a bit of a fire going down south from us…moving in a sth-east dir’…they expect a southerly change later on…that could make things exciting!

  17. At this time I am happy with the silence from Labor. Leaves a big vacuum that Abbott cannot avoid. I suspect many on his side, feel the same way.

    We need to keep the focus on the government at all times

    I like , Labor isn’t biting back, everytime the government blames the previous government.

    To do so, only diverts the attention back to Labor. We know fro0m our visitors, deying the slurs leads one nowhere.

    I would have concerns, if one did not know, Labor is capable of hitting back, with passion.

    Labor does not need to be where Abbott wants them, busily defending the past.

    Labor needs to fight hard, which I believe it will. It needs to pick the battles they take on well. It does not need to say no no no It does not need to say every day how bad Abbott is. The public, left to their own devices will work that one out themselves.

    All attention needs to be focused on this government.

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