Home again after spending the last two weeks in Australia, dividing my time between Brisbane, Melbourne and then finishing up with a few days in Sydney.

My ostensible purpose was business, but my hope was to eat and drink with as many of that rarified group of people who identify themselves as “Burgers” – people I’ve met via Journal Space (now defunct) and then via the website entitled “Cheeseburger Gothic” – as possible.

What a lively, articulate, educated, interesting and generous group you Burgers turned out to be.  Although my visit was fast and restricted to three cities, I was fortunate enough to eat, drink, talk and laugh with the following exceptional people (in quasi chronological order):

JB (and wife and kids),

Monster Yuppy (and wife),

Quokka (and husband),

Greybeard (and wife),


Big Bad Al,

Hughesy (and husband),

Nowhere Bob,

Damian (and wife),

Red Roo,

Barnsem (and son),

Guru Bob,




Albion Love Den,











Oberonsghost, and


You all showed me a very good time that exceeded my hopes – which isn’t easy to do.

I fell in love with your country, your people and what I believe is a nascent, yet distinct culture. What I did, saw and learned convinces me that Australia embodies much of what we here in the United States once took so much pride in showing, but which we no longer seem capable of manifesting and are losing even an interest in maintaining the pretense of projecting.

I very happy to be home, again with my wife whom I so deeply missed, but I am left somewhat bitter and somewhat jealous that you have so much materially, spiritually and culturally that we do not, that we once had or at least pretended to have, that we’ve lost and may never recover. I have concluded that early events shape cultures and national character.

You were founded by forced colonization.   To survive, the prisoners of Botany Bay created a communal society that resented those with guns who took the lion’s share for themselves. In vast contrast, the first Europeans to our shores were Puritans in the north who sought to crush freedom of thought through harsh theocratic rule, and by businessmen in the south who sought to accumulate vast wealth through slave labor.

I will undoubtedly write more about this, but for now all I can do is express my deep appreciation and gratitude for the warmth and kindness y’all showed this progressively aging and often foolish seppo.  I look forward to my next visit, which will be around the same time next year, but will include stops in Canberra and Hobart and, if at all possible, Perth.

Again, thank you all.



16 Responses to “HOME AGAIN”

  1. “I will undoubtedly write more about this, “…and I am looking forward to reading you observations.

    Outstanding experience meeting you, and look forward to your return.


  2. Monster Yuppy Says:

    Glad you had a good time. Will email our scheduled LA details. The only day we are out of action is the 26th, as the sales at Desert Hills Cabazon are too good to miss.


  3. Happy you love Australia, Paul. My great-great-great-great-great grandparents, Henry Kable and Suzannah Holmes were on the first ship of the First Fleet. Famous First Fleet convicts (with a glass-encased exhibition tribute to them in the National Museum of Australia in Canberra), and later, influential free settlers. I love living in Australia.

    It’d be nice to visit the US one day… I live in hope of travelling! It was delightful to meet you in Brisbane at Ouzeri and Lock & Load. You are one amazing man! I hope to meet your wife too next time you’re in Oz. Bye for now, JoannaG :))


  4. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on those subjects.

    PS well on any subject really

    PPS I hope the improved water made it through.


  5. Michael – Next time we include your son, yes?

    Yuppy – Yes, send the details. I will simply not pass up the chance to spend a bit of time with you and your lovely wife in LA.

    Roo – First ship of the First Fleet? Doesn’t that make you the Australian equivalent of royalty? I look forward to seeing you next time, too.

    Bangar – Not only made it back, but I am sipping a small glass of it at this very moment between typed words. Fucking fantastic, mate.


  6. Good to hear! Enjoy … and keep it away from old ladies 😉


  7. Loved meeting you too Prof – goes without saying. Looking forward to seeing you again next year.


  8. Bloody hell *shakes head in disgust* what happened here. “THE PLAN”, people, the fucking plan!

    I begged, I cajoled, I threatened; we spent three months in practice. It was supposedly laid out with military precision. He was to find our country so lacking in grace, in charm, absent anything approaching culture or beauty, that the chance of him coming back would be Buckley’s.

    Remember the fucking plan?

    The trip down to Logan City, it was supposed to one of the first cabs off the rank. PNB, straight off the plane and shown around that particular hellhole of a suburban wasteland??

    That ‘stunning’ hotel I had him booked into at Broadmeadows??

    The Trip to the Rooty Hill RSL??

    What the hell happened? All of a sudden you damm people are coming off as erudite, pleasant, graceful, having gorm and fucking charming. What happened to all the things we practiced? The mono-sybillic grunts, the lopsided grins, the facial tics, perhaps even a little bit of drool by the thespian orientated.

    The Monday lunch in Melbourne is a perfect example of lost opportunity. Dim Sum. Dim Sum and fucking chop sticks, for christ’s sake. I was expecting PNB to be hit by at least four pork and ginger buns and numerous fried scallops, and to be covered in enough soy sauce to cause sniffer dogs at international airports, worldwide, to take interest in him for years to come. Nary a splatter. I was, unfortunately, located at the opposite end of the table and the chance to hit him with a soggy wonton were, and are, above my acting abilities, but those who were situated in close proximity still didn’t take advantage of the situation, to my stunned amazement.

    When Havok ordered the custard tarts I grinned in anticipation. He’s going to play the trump card, I thought to myself. What was a pleasant lunch was going to be hilariously ruined, with recriminations flying, and hopefully, punches thrown. What did we get instead, Havok picking at the tarts and desultory mentioning that “they weren’t real good”. My heart slumped, people, my heart slumped.

    From what I’ve gleamed from the sources, the efforts in Brisbane and Sydney were no better; the result? He, from all accounts, enjoyed the trip. The thing, the one bloody thing, that we all agreed couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t be allowed to fucking happen, and now look. He’s threatening, nay promising to return, not only that but he’s going to bringing others…what a clusterfuck!!!


  9. Hey! I took him to Woolworths at Margate, is it my fault if he felt right at home?


  10. I love Australia for its Woolworths, its tattooed bogans, its vegemite and cheese rolls and its Humpybongs. And, Quokka, you introduced me to them all.


  11. It was great meeting you Paul and having the opportunity to drink. eat and laugh with you. Good times indeed. I’m looking forward to seeing you again and in the meantime reading your observations.


  12. What Therbs said. It was a pleasure to share some time with you Paul, and of course everyone else! I look forward to your return, and yes, bring the missus too!


  13. I think the thing we lack in our formative makeup is manifest destiny. But don’t be fooled, we are really a nation of forelock tugging suckholes. Not the Burgers, naturally, who are mostly as unAustralian as it gets.

    Bloody pleasure to make your physical acquaintance, sir.


  14. Oh, BTW, re slavery etc – Are you familiar with the term squattocracy? We will discuss this next time you are here.


  15. Yes, I was able to oblige PNB with his dearest wish.
    On meeting him he said that he dearly hoped he would see the southern cross now that he was finally in the southern hemisphere, and hoped that someone would point it out to him.
    Which I did, when we were at Margate’s fish and chip shop, and a young mother walked by in a backless frock with the Cross tattooed across her spine.
    My only sorrow is that when I sent boylan running up the street after her to get a better look, he failed to take his camera.
    Never mind.
    She’ll still be there next time.
    Um – unless of course she’s in jail.


  16. Superb website…

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[…]……


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