Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Money's on MasterChef

So, it's time! And it's been a long time coming. The final chop for the final two MasterChef Australia contestants, Adam and Callum. And the biggest question of the day is not who will win, but who gives a stuff about the election debate between Jules and Tony on the other channel. I'm in WA too, which means that not only is the election debate set to come a poor sorry second (or 17th) in viewer ratings numbers, but that here, with our time difference with the eastern states, it's on at 5pm.

5pm on a lazy Sunday afternoon? A fine, sunny, 26 degree Pilbara day? Watching two dullards fight the fight for the battle of the boring?

I think I'll be in the kitchen, whipping myself into a frenzy of eggplant, pear and prosciutto pizza and preparing the champagne cocktails for the drawn out MasterChef spectacle about to ensue. And it will ensue and it will be drawn out and drip with drama and bleeding phalanges and dollops of Callum's oily, pubescent sweat.

And I will love it.

So, bring it on.

Adam, Callum and not Claire
My money's on Julia Gillard nipping off quick smart after her droll altercation with Mr Um...Ah...Abbott and finding herself a little tele of her own in which to indulge in the real main course of this evening's entertainment fare.

And she'll be, like, uh, GO MARION! MOVE FORWARD! 

So, to my poem of the moment. It's Julia, it's Tony, it's Matt Preston in a green and gold sparkly cravat, it's the vibe. It's the great debate, with cameos from the esteemed Laurie Oakes, Kevin Rudd and an auspiciously suspicious pair of budgie smugglers.

Wonder what they're like grilled?

He said, she said
He said he liked Twitter
and speaking in Chinese.
She said she supported him
(like dogs support their fleas).

He said she was on his side.
She said that as well,
right up until smoko
and although she’d never spill,

she said that she wouldn’t.
Then she went and did.
Then when Laurie Oakes piped up she
Current PM, Julia Gillard,
Captain of the Red Team
went and shut her lid.

He said that he wouldn’t                                                 
shy away from questions.
She said, ‘I am speechless
I have nothing more to mention.’

He said, ‘Back to Tony,
the matter of the day?’
She said, ‘Least I’ve shared too little;
what about him, hey?

‘He said that he wouldn’t.
Then he went and stripped -
swam out with his budgie smugglers
Laurie Oakes, ball breaking,
boss busting journo.
in the tidal rip.’

She said, ‘He got carried,
carried right away,
or maybe, well, he should have done
to stop that flesh display.’

Laurie said, ‘I’m Laurie Oakes
and this is all deflection,
then said, ‘Tell us, what of Tony
in this dull election?’

She said her election
would make sure Abbot loses,
for he said, she likes flirting with him.
She can take his bruises.

But Abbott said she’s sneaky
with blood upon her knife and
she thinks he’s a sexy thing,
Vote 1 Marion Grasby from MasterChef!
a truth that Tony likes.

She said, ‘We should both debate
The issues here at hand.’
Tone said, ‘Yep, too right we should.’
She said, ‘What’s the plan?’

He said, ‘Well, a nailbiter.’
She said, ‘Sunday night?
I’m still voting for Marion
for MasterChef, all right?!’

He said, ‘You don’t cook!’
She said, ‘Helps digestion.’
He said, ‘What? A croquembuche?
You fancy that Matt Preston!’

She said, ‘Hah! Ridiculous.'
He said, ‘Let’s move on.’
She said, ‘Let’s move FORWARD.
I think you got it wrong.’

She said, ‘My hair’s better.’
He said, ‘Mine’s more fluffy’.
She said, ‘I’m Altona bred
and you’ve become quite stuffy.’

He said, ‘My voice resonates.
It’s...ah...sort of...more refined.
She said, ‘Mine’s the people’s voice,
it’s Kath, it’s Kim, it’strine.

He said, ‘You’re a heathen.’
She said, ‘Thank the Lord.
You’re a bible basher
Before dirty Julia, there was dirty Tony,
who did the deed on not so fabulous
Malcolm. tsk tsk.
but your scriptures haven’t scored.’

He said, ‘I believe in stuff.’
She said, ‘Tell me what?’
He said, ‘Better stuff than you.’
She said, ‘Bloody rot.’

He said, ‘Why should I tell you,
you’re not the real PM?’
She said, uh, try deja vu,
you’re Malcolm Turnbull, then?

He, he blushed a little,
to match Ms Gillard’s hair.
She thought she’d one up on him
and gave her bestest glare.

He said, ‘It’s irrelevant,
you’re Welsh, what can I say?’
She said, ‘You’re a Londoner,
you drongo.’ Ah…touché.

He said, ‘Oh, you’re right.’
She said, ‘Yes I am.’
And off they sailed in a sinking boat
from dear Van Diemen’s Land.
Tony and the budgie smugglers.
A little underdone.

He said, ‘We are sailing.’
‘She said, ‘Far away’.
He said, ‘Will they miss us?’
She said…’Can’t quite say.’

He said, ‘This boat’s sinking.’
She said, ‘Better row.’
He said, ‘Glad I bought my Speedos.’
She said, ‘Bright red? No!’

And as they were drowning
all was left to see:
two small dots of crimson
sinking in the sea.

She said, ‘I am sorry.
Appears we’re off to Heaven.’
He just smirked, his parting words,
‘Looks like we’re back to Kevin.’

Elise Batchelor July 2010

Mini MasterChef

Adam, Callum and not Claire

Photo: Pilbara Poet in MasterChef apron courtesy Leonie Palmer

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Are we there yet?

With school holidays coming to a close, I bet there are plenty of kids out there counting down to the next ones already.

My memories of family holidays involved squishing always one too many siblings in the back seat of our unairconditioned (dark maroon) Datsun Sunny. Sunny...funny. Not. No, not at all, when the trip seemed to last always long enough for my sister to vomit, my brother to fart way too often as a comic device and my parents to come up with excuses as to why we weren't, yet again, flying first class to Disneyland rather than bucket carseat class to Lakes Entrance, or Bugara, or Bacchus Marsh.

To be fair, I did love our family holidays, if for nothing but the simple promise of more fish and chips than was humanly combustible. And anything was better than school, even if the vinyl was sticky, the chips were soggy and I'd always end up getting my period.

So here's to holidays! And to the time honoured wonder that is reverse psychology.

A Holiday Bargain

Please can we stay in a tent, Mum?
For once can we stay in a tent?

No way!

With the poles and the pegs and the sleeping bags,
go on Mum, let us stay in a tent!

You cannot stay in a tent, son.
There are flies when you stay in a tent.

But Mum!
I’ll swat them real good and I’ll zip up the door.
Go on Mum, let us stay in a tent!


Well then, can we stay in a campervan?
It’s not like a tent at all.
It’s got real thick walls and real beds for us all.
Go on Mum, can we campervan please?!

We cannot all fit in a campervan.
They’re hot and, well, what if it rains?

Then I’ll do a rain dance; it won’t rain, not a chance,
Go on Mum, please for once?

No, No, NO!

Then Mum, can we stay in a caravan?
It has a real fridge, stove and sink.
And the rain won’t get in, and with air conditioning
you’ll be cool all day long with your tonic and gin.
Oh Mum, let us stay in a van.

Too crowded, my boy, not a chance, love
and, my, who needs stoves anyway?
We’ll go out to dinner each evening of course
and without the dishes I’ll feel no remorse.

But you always say, Mum, I eat like a horse.
A van would be cheaper I say.

Look son, it’s a NO to the caravan.

Well, what about renting a shack?
All my friends stay in shacks, in their old tracky dacks,
with beaches outside and old walls full of cracks,
with fans on the ceiling and little knick knacks
and stinky fish piled up high, stacks upon stacks…


Ok Mum, looks like a resort hey?
A boring old, dumb old resort.
With a pool and a spa and a stupid old bar
and all restaurant food and a fancy hire car
and all you can eat and room service, blah, blah
and a room of my own with a view of the sea.
Well, big deal, ho hum, all that stuff there for me,
like movies all night on LCD TV,
with Arnie and Jean Claude on cable for free,
I’ll be just so bored I will go round my tree.

Do we have to stay in a resort?

Yes son, we do.


Elise Batchelor July 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Crying over spilt satay

Despite the profundity of our Australian leadership spill a couple of weeks back, I dare say a hearty chunk of the population is still more perterbed by the elimination of Marion in MasterChef this week. Unlike KRudd, Marion possessed an array of qualities befitting the post of supreme being in her field: Articulate and without spin, loved by all in the house and, ultimately, cookin' with gas, all the way home. Marion was the best in fact. Probably even, if you took away the nerves and pressures of assumption, the best at satay sauce.

But we'll probably forget her too. Shed a tear. Take a deep breath.
And drink in the amnesia.

Because life moves on to other dramas quicker than you can post a Facebook status or text 140 characters on @Twitter.

And so, to the topic of my poem. We have a new leader at our helm. She can't cook for shit but she's fierce and on fire - at least until the next elimination round when Ms Gillard faces the Australian public once and for all.

My tip? Marion from for PM!

Fair shake o' the sauce bottle

At lunch there was a murmur.
By afternoon some grunting.
By dinner the announcement
which had the punters punting.
The PM’s speech ensued that night
before we’d time to breathe.
A flood of news reports gushed in
we couldn’t quite believe.

Ask some who were watching on
the tele as Rudd spoke
whether they thought this was simply
just a poor timed joke.
After all, the nerve of it,
to cut in to, oh no!
Not just any viewing,
but on MasterChef! No go!

(Meanwhile, in Morocco,
quite insulated there
a quite bemused, a bit confused
Pete Garrett scratched his…hair.
Our Peter, he was whaling
or trying hard to stop
and had no clue about Australia’s
head up for the chop.)

The cauldrons they were burning -
someone had lit a match.
The Redhead type (I know, a pun,
let’s not labour it, Batch).
And whilst we all slept in our beds
our lives as safe as houses,
a dim thought might have sat there quiet
on what Gillard espouses.

By dawn, Rudd pulled the pin on it.
By brekky, new PM!
By lunch the great post mortem.
By dinner, Rudd? Who? What? When?
By evening social networking
was all about her hair.
Oh my Lord, get over it!
(But really, to be fair

if I say it once more now
and then no more forever,
Ms Gillard’s got a wicked stylist,
perfect coiffed endeavour.
He gets up early, 5am
and makes her breakfast too.
Handy when your partner is
a fine hairdresser, phew!)

That is it. My commentary.
And so, back to the soccer.
A woman’s in the top job now;
the stir has been a shocker.
But @Twitter told us yonks ago
and Facebook soon got bored.
With our attentions, oh so short,
we’re only briefly floored.

And then we all get hungry
for something else to #hash.
Another drama, more suspense
on which our teeth can gnash.
Our passions heat like microwaves,
then cool like jellied sweat,
but fair shake o' the sauce bottle,
hope history don’t forget.

© Elise Batchelor June 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rains (n. Plural)

Rains in the Pilbara is always an auspicious occasion. Not only cause for celebration, but reason to modify the English dictionary. Such is the rarity of these about-time-happy-tears-from-heaven, that when one drop falls we call it rain, but when there are plural, they become, necessarily, 'rains'.

When rains come, we also run into our front yards and dance. Jiggy jig, jive and rhumba. And we just hope they will stay for more than a few minutes, during which time we can hopefully absorb enough by osmosis to keep our souls hydrated for the next...year...or two.

And when they leave...which they always do...there is that little moment of melancholy before the dreaming begins again.

No way does one ever want to miss rains in the desert. And there's not much we wouldn't do to seize the moment and get wet. Something like yesterday when it rained. Something like this...

Storm in a Teacup

Each morning as she wakes she wishes
once upon the starfish
on her doona quilt of bright red
on her soft and squishy queen bed

and she asks the painted starfish
and its friends who dot the doona
if the rain might come but sooner
if it might just change its tune, huh?

And she closes tight her eyes and then
peers up towards the window
where the blind and curtains hang low
all so dark with but a faint glow

and she hopes with all her guts and gizzards
that the blind will flick up
and reveal a morning wake up
with a weather pattern mucked up

where the sky will be all black and purple
bruised, like when her sister
threw that tape recorder at her
aged just ten, did that cause one stir!

And her leg had looked a storm all swirly dark
and eggplant mushy
oh, she was so not a sissy,
well, maybe a little prissy,

but the blind, today she’d wished from bed
would zip up quick, surprise her,
rain would thwack and rumbling thunder
would chase painted starfish under

neath the doona with its polyester centre,
dry not soggy,
and she’d bound, a little groggy
to the window pane all foggy

and she’d write the words through window mist
up to the darkened sky where birdies
all too wet to fly
had gone to Melbourne for some dry

simply, THANK YOU, to the gods of rain
and lightning, hail and snow,
You’ve really given it a go;
it must be really hard I know

but what a looney tuney glee it brings
to wake up hearing frogs
going berserko on their logs
and jumping in and out of bogs.

Imagine them, gone psycho yelling
ribbit, ribbit, boing!
Sploshing puddle, path and lawn,
whacko frogs, with baby spawn

and what a rip roaring delight there is
in running from the sill.
Get outside now, my girl, you dill,
all nickey noo and feel the chill.

     It’s the blue moon sunshine RDO,
     the day of all your wishes
     when it pishes and it pishes
     and it fills the cracks and fissures
     fills the sink and does the dishes
     rains for me and you and fishes
     and it smells divine…ahhh…delicious.

She bounds out to the hall all starkers
running through the kitchen -
no point getting rain then bitchin’
that you missed the chance to stand in

dirt which smells of sweet release and lawn
which turns green just like that,
a purging sky which pours flat chat
and you know this is where it’s at…

As she dashes past the sink she grabs a
teacup from the drainer thinking
this will make me saner
knowing I have a container

into which I’ll let the storm c
and keep it then as proof
that I’ve felt rain on my roof,
that I’m not a total goof

and she hurtles out the front door with her
teacup tight in hand
feeling blissful, whacko, grand
to gather raindrops as she’s planned

and she races to the centre of the front yard
on this morning
in a barefoot dance of yearning
with her cup and belly tingling

and it stops – the sky.
It ceases.
To let rain fall from its creases
and she’s out there, oh bejeesus,
with her cup - her bits - her pieces,

nothing more or less this morning
with the sunshine peeping through
and she knows not what to do
but just stand and wail boo hoo

and she sobs her heart out there and then,
not drenched but much forlorn
on this sneaky Pilbara dawn
feeling woe and no more storm

and her tears fill up the teacup quickly
lapping to its rim
telling her things aren’t so grim
at least these tears she could swim in

‘til she holds her head up finally
and just pauses then in thought…
she saw rain and she just ought
to be mature, as she’d been taught

so she turns on heel with dignity and
walks back to her door,
bottom wobbling, eyelids sore,
knows she should not ask for more

and she climbs beneath her doona
and she makes one final wish
to her starry doona fish
with her teacup on a dish

that in all the dawn commotion with the
rainfall hard and quick
no one saw a tall blonde chick
standing out there in the nick…

and she hopes oh my that if they did
her teacup covered something
with her bits and pieces bumping
and her heartbeat raw and thumping.

She peers from ‘neath the doona cover
through the panes of glass - forgetting
‘bout her wobbly arse
and spies the last cloud quickly pass…
and lets the sun

© Elise Batchelor June 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Waxing Lyrical

When my favourite waxer to the stars, Rosa the Russian Beautician, descended upon the rugged Pilbara terrains this week, I was dribbling with excitement. I have not seen Rosa and her lycra leopardy body since 2000, when her voice echoed through the Melbourne's Botanicals Gardens at my wedding. Indeed, the wedding was cut short (according to Rosa's way) as her vocal chords were so powerful they blasted a hole in this green grassy patch, enough to turn it into an open cut mine.  

Sticky hairs are Rosa's business. She's done the Donald Trump (who tried to comb it over in the downstairs!), Susan Boyle with her virgin thickets and the Princess Mary...but we better not go there. Old growth forest is a matter of fearful trepidation when you are honouring your bikini!

So, a dedication to my favourite beautician to the stars and her creator, Marney McQueen. Here is another type of waxing. A type we might all be forced to use were it not for the plucking and preening skills of such a goddess of the privates.

Lick, Spit and Dribble

Mr Bradley Brady, he was
not a happy chappy with his
ears upon the ladies, right
behind him rather chatty, at the
rural royal show and its great
whiff of cows and poo and all those
rides and floss, you know, yes all those
showy things you do.

But now he was not blushing he was
simply mortified, something had
all the blood now rushing to his
most deflated pride, for as they
sat these women two doing as
ladies quite enjoy, that gossip
thing, yes, as you do, oh how their
words they stung our boy…

‘He’s really rather hairy,’ as they
whispered ‘hind his back, under the
sun, that spotlight glaring, Bradley
too stunned to attack.
‘Indeed, how does she cope with Bradley’s
fur and fuzz and fluff? It makes him
look a real dope, I bet she’s
really had enough.’

‘Mmm…’ they mused, then silence as they
wandered off together and he
didn’t threaten violence
but he really wondered whether they were
right with all his hair and he should
sort his body out, I mean, this
body, to be fair was taut and
ripped with sexy clout.

Shave it? Pluck it? Rip it out? He
wasn’t quite sure how and as he
pondered this out walking came the
sign - a mooing cow - with a
bit of spit and dribble and a
lick right up his back, he thought,
‘That’s it!’ no time to quibble, ‘I must
go on the attack.’

No one fancies back hair and the
ladies had now said it so with
inspiration out there was not
time now to regret it.
And no man likes his pride to be
remarked upon in public
so with purpose in his stride our Bradley
thought…hairless republic!

With no idea of how to do it
Bradley wandered round until he
came upon a stall, ‘I knew it -
remedy now found!’
He bought up every item from the
stall and raced right home so he might
soon remove the blight, but would it
stick or burn or foam?

Oh well, Bradley thought as he did
melt the items then all boil and
bubble, rather hot until the
mixture looked quite zen.
Silky smooth and bub-bl-ing, a
spatula he found, the appli-
cation might be trou-b-ling but
Brad, he stood his ground.

‘Twas only minutes later when the
scream ripped through the air with Bradley
running, scorched potato, burning
back from here to there.
And in that very moment came his
wife through their front door holding a
coffee and a magazine
‘What is it?!!!’ she implored.

Bradley’s brain did grapple, sobbing,
screaming, ‘Ohhh! The pain!’ Dripping
blood red toffee apple,
‘down his back and bum in vain.
Anne, his dearest wife was off the
Richter scale with terror and just
screamed, ‘What is this strife!’ as if to
quick negate his error.

After, in the bedroom, as Brad
lay upon his tummy bandaged
here until forever, started
then to think it funny…as his
wife took him to hospital
with plastered toffee burning and he
told her of his back hair plight which
got his guts all churning.

‘That was me,’ she’d told him as he
blushed, a sorry twit, ‘…with my
girlfriend and my magazine
discussing Bradley Pitt and that
beard of his, absurd… but not
quite as much as you. Oh my
darling, p’raps you’ve learned that toffee
burns and sticks like glue.

Our Bradley full recovered and his
wife loved him the more and with his
back hair left unbothered she’d
remind him, Je t’adore.
So hurrah for back hair gentlemen!
Hurrah for beards and fluff, but if the
hot wax comes a’rendering -
be bold, be brave, be buff.

© Elise Batchelor June 2010

Rosa the Russian Beautician and the Michael Caton

    Rosa and the John Brumby