Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some things for christmas

Christmas trees in Federation Square:


Santa. (Who deliverers the gifts under our tree in the living room. Please note Australia Post, how Santa doesn't just leave our stuff in the letter box out front!!):

Here is a little something to put under the tree:
Yes, it's a bike for little Timmy (and by the front tyre are some beers for dad.. umm I mean Santa! I remember my step-dad once telling me that Santa doesn't like milk!  So we should leave out a stubbie and corned beef sandwich!):

Christmas is also a time to think about others:

Our friends and family:

Obscure reference for all but a few:

  Nieces and nephews, cute when they aren't being a pain in the backside:

It is also a time to spare some thoughts for those doing it rough (bedding seen here is situated next to train tracks and  under a carpark in the very affluent suburb of South Yarra):

Lastly what would Christmas be without those daggy songs we pretend to hate, but can't stop singing along to!

Lastly, I leave you with a message from the the King and I:

All photographs's copyright matthew schiavello 2011. My nephew is copyright his parents 2005. God bless being able to give children back to their parents!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cleaning out the front room- forgotten treasures

I was cleaning out my front room recently and whilst culling my CD collection I came across these forgotten treasures.

This first one is such a cool tune. Handsome Boy Modelling school, A.K.A Dan the Automator and Prince Paul. This track features Sean Lennon, Josh Hayden and Money Mark.

Handsome Boy Modelling School: 'Sunshine'

This next one, was a tune I loved for so long, I can't believe I had forgotten it.

Everything but the girl- 'Walking wounded'

This next one many people loved... well a few people I know hated it.. but with lines like:
'A letter to you on a cassette, cause we don't write anymore'.. and
'there's no aphrodisiac like loneliness, you shouldn't leave me alone'...
how can you not get caught up in it?

The Whitlams: no aphrodisiac

In the process of cleaning out my front room I also found some notebooks I had written in a very long time ago. I think I was in my early 20's at the time. Yikes!!!!! As I previously shared three songs, I will share some pieces from three notebooks found. These writings of youth with its dizzying heights and depths... where every feeling seems to be overwhelming... Ah to be young again and to feel the roller-coaster highs and lows of life, love and unrequitedness... ummm, maybe not.

One notebook I titled 'Things best left unsaid'.


Everything comes to an end.
Somethings sooner than most
The sadness that permeates
the happiness that never was.


In another note book I wrote down some thoughts on relationships (some editing done for flow):

We define our relationships as we live them. Conventional rules are no longer relevant- wife, kids, dog, till death do us part. Now the possibilities are endless and fidelity seems a curious remnant of the past, something quaint, something that we wish we had still. The rules of modern relationships seem to be discovered as we hurt and become hurt ourselves. If the hurt does not tear us apart, we learn of a new boundary, a new rule of engagement. Writing the rules as we go hurts like hell. Why can't we harken back to the old days and ways,  using their learning's, reshaping to suit our modern life?

Theses are from the last of the notebooks rediscovered:

In the silence that gathers
my heart lies broken
Words cannot express
this deepest, deepest sorrow.


I do but wish to be with you
to feel your warmth and caring
this mouth so sweet, I'm wanton to kiss
Oh, but I do so wish.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

A training guide for the European counsellor : Guiding Principles

Previously you were promised a whole new world, a brave new world, the world of the european counsellor. You were teasingly introduced to the concept last month and here we are with another precious installment. This installment provides you with what is most crucial and critical. It provides a foundation from which you can build your practice upon. These guiding principles will underpin and inform your work. This is not reading for the faint of heart! Dear reader, prepare to be challenged, to be enlightened, to have the information wash over you, caress you and then lead you to it's private chambers. Prepare to be reborn. All the while, dear reader, never loose sight of the fact that your new self was only possible due to my humble self and K.P. (editor extraordinaire)!  Yes, all donations are gratefully accepted (cash only, no paper trails please)! Without further ado, without enforcing an ad break like some tacky television program, or even to leave you waiting till next blog post, like some tacky serial, let me waste no more time and get straight to the point. What is the point I hear you ask, yes tis seems an eternity since we last talked of why we are here. Alas, existential questions such as these must wait for their appropriate time, which is not today, for today we are here instead for another installment in the magnificent guide for the European counsellor. This frightfully sublime installment provides some guiding principles to help us as make sense of the mess that is other people’s lives.  Forget those pompous doctors with their ‘do no harm’ oath, because 'sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind!' Which should probably be guiding principle #1.  Read on for more:

‘You are right, you are the expert, that is why people come to you’.
Don’t forget that, because once you do, how can you help others? Don't lose sight of why you are there!

‘If you feel it, express it’.
The moment you put a filter between what you feel and what you say, you’re not being honest. Is that what you want? To lie to your client? They are paying for you! For your brilliant advice and for your honesty. They are paying for you not to bullshit them. The only people in life you lie to are; the tax man, the government, your partner, your family, your friends and anyone else you feel  it appropriate.

‘If the client isn’t listening to you, they are not learning, and if they are not learning, how can their situation change’.
The client has come to you because you are an expert. If the client knew how to fix their situation, why would they be there paying you? So less client chit-chat and them going over and over the mess they are in, and more focus on you and your brilliant advice. They can share their long winded woe-is-me stories with their friends, shop assistants or strangers in bars, you only have 50 minutes to change their life. Keep an eye on the clock and make it happen. 

‘Problem in, solution out’.
As a beginner, you should aim to solve each problem by the end of each session. Set a 'best time' and try to beat it. The more experienced you get, the more problems you can solve in each session. The truly gifted will square the client up as they walk through the door and tell them what their problem is before they have a chance to sit down or open their mouth. An example – “I can tell from looking at you that you don’t listen”. The next step would be to move straight into solution finding, which for the European counsellor means, dishing out your sage advice. Remember, the more advice you can dish out in a session, the more 'bang for their buck' the client is getting! Who doesn't love value for money?

‘If the advice didn’t work, It’s because the client has not followed it properly’.
You can lead a man to water but you can’t make him drink. If you hold his head under water long enough he will drown. Keep that in mind and remember that the law may view it as facilitated suicide. Speak to your lawyer in need.

‘If you think this is too hard, it probably is’.
There is no shame in walking away from a ‘too hard client’ or ‘situation’. Better to do it now than later, as chances are it will only have become a bigger problem. At the end of the day it is not your problem and you have to ask yourself, ‘do I need this right now’? Just think, you could instead be catching up with fellow alumni for high tea. Don’t forget to (constantly) think of yourself and what is best for you. After all, your clients need you to be at your best.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


It is odd that almost ten years later I still find myself thinking of him. Sometimes I wonder if he is ok. I wonder if he is happy. I like to imagine that he is. Sometimes I want to pick the phone up and call him. Sometimes I miss him, his smile and warmth. Sometimes I realise that I didn't really know him. I was too immature to see beyond myself and my own needs. When it ended, it was clear that this was all that could have come of it, we both wanted and needed very different things. But for a few brief years, we were what we both needed. We loved as best we could and we became better people. Now, for many varied reasons I can't call him, but I still think about him. I still miss him and love him. When I am maudlin, his memory is most strong. A glass of wine or a beer, weakens my resolve not to complicate his life or trouble him with my phone call. But over time I have learnt to trick my desire and as such his phone remains silent from my calls.

Hilton, you loved phonographs and gramophones. You loved a world that existed before you. I still have the cd you made me of Libby Holman. I still recall your seriousness as you said 'If anything ever happens to me, take the Edison phonograph'. Though you rarely said 'I love you', this was your way of saying it. Where I was verbose, emotional, expressive and quick to react, you were the opposite. Back then I didn't know how to read nuance, especially yours. My insecurity got the better of me and so I missed the best of you.
And here we are. Years later, different people, grown older and further apart. My thoughts of you are imbued with romantic dreams and fallacy. The truth is that we are human and we err. The truth is that I am very grateful that our lives crossed. You helped me grow, you gave me love and every day that I woke up next to you, I felt like the luckiest person in the world. You were and are beautiful, intelligent, generous and kind. Some people believe that once we express something, it enters the collective consciousness where others are then able to access this expression. It becomes shared in some mysterious and unknown way. I'd like to think that this is true and that it does happen. I'd like to think that my heartfelt thanks and apology for not being all I wished I could be, finds its way through the collective consciousness to you, where ever you are, hopefully happy and living a content life.

with love,

Libby Holman- 'Am I blue'.